Curriculum


Our Program of Studies

Rose M. Gaffney provides a comprehensive PK-8 curriculum that combines the latest in educational technology and research with successful traditional practices. We provide a varied program that offers a broad spectrum of approaches to meet the needs of our student body encompassing a wide range of learning styles, interests, and academic needs.  
In order to maintain excellence in our program of studies, the faculty at Rose M. Gaffney
 continues to attend professional development workshops, focus groups and institutes. Our Pk-6 grades are using the McGraw-Hill Reading program, which emphasizes phonemic awareness, vocabulary, writing skills, spelling, and many other literacy components. The PreK-5 “Everyday Math” program is a rigorous program that emphasizes math computation as well as application. The McMillian McGraw-Hill Reading program, and the Everyday Math programs are aligned to the “Common Core”.  Grade 7 and 8 students are using the Prentice Hall Literature Program which is a comprehensive literacy program that brings together the cornerstones of the Common Core Standards and provides students with opportunities to grow through building academic vocabulary, writing, speaking and listening skills, and expand their interest in literature from many cultures and genres.  The Glencoe Math Common Core Edition continues from where Everyday Math ends.  The 6th, 7th and 8th Grade students can take ownership of their own math learning with a hands-on math book, and e-book, on-line tutorials, self-evaluation quizzes, and step-by-step solutions for selected problems.  Lessons and assessments can be differentiated to help meet most students’ needs.  These programs as well as Science and Social Studies are considered exemplary programs.

Pre-Kindergarten
Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School has a preschool program that is the starting point of a successful academic program at RMG.  There is an urgent need for early childhood programming that prepares children both cognitively and socially for kindergarten. The Pre-K program focuses on school readiness skills in both of these areas. This program offers a valuable service to parents by providing early screening services conducted by Child Development Services (CDS) for the purpose of identifying any developmental delays or areas in which early intervention services can provide assistance.
In Pre-Kindergarten, our children work on areas of concept development, which helps build a foundation for learning in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Health. Experiences in these areas include listening to a variety of stories or poems, participating in hands on learning activities, and creating fun projects to take home and share with parents. The children learn to work cooperatively through play as they explore learning center activities or participate in lessons that include singing, movement, conducting experiments, and much more. Specials such as art, library, music, and gym are also offered as a part of the Pre-K experience with art being integrated into the preschool curriculum.
This is a unique first school experience for young children and can be used as an early intervention option, if desired, to provide children with an additional year in the program to further develop skills and abilities. Early learning experiences in Pre-K are fun and encourage the children to develop a love for learning, which sets them up for future educational success.


Primary Program (K -2)
Our primary program embraces a developmental philosophy recognizing that, as they mature, young children pass through a series of developmental stages, and that teaching methods and materials which work best for older children are often inappropriate for younger children.
  Schools have a responsibility to nurture four key interrelated and integral areas of a child’s development: intellectual, physical, emotional, and social.  A developmental approach, therefore, supports all aspects of a child’s development, rather than focusing exclusively on intellectual growth.
The primary program offers students physical education, technology,
art instruction, library, and classroom music.  Students are involved with technology as early as Kindergarten where teachers begin to integrate computers into language arts and math instruction. 

Intermediate Program (3 – 4)
At the intermediate level, students become involved in more rigorous academic activities that emphasize skill building and critical thinking. Students in grades 3 and 4 continue to participate in programming designed to improve both writing and critical thinking skills using technology to aid the process. Students in grade 3 continue with physical education, library, art and classroom music.  Students in grade 4 are able to expand their fine arts interests through participation in both instrumental and choral groups as well as art class. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in Keyboarding, Physical Education, and Library.  

Middle Level (5 - 8)
Academic programs for students in grades 5 -8 emphasize discovery and active learning experiences. Students do a great deal of work in groups, solving problems, discussing pertinent issues, and planning.  Schedules are busy, varied and contain a variety of opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment.  
In providing these learning opportunities at the middle level, teachers may work together to cross traditional academic boundaries in order to facilitate the study of important issues and themes from a number of perspectives. This encourages students to utilize all disciplines in their research and in the conclusions, that they may draw. 
Middle level students also have an opportunity to participate in the studies of: industrial arts, culinary arts, fitness, book club, art, physical education, band, chorus, technology education and much more.  Students who require extra study time may be assigned to a study hall.  
During this time in their educational career, students also begin formal study of issues related to their development, as well as participate in, and help organize, social events held after school hours. School dances and fun nights provide an opportunity for students and teachers to interact in a new way. 
Students in Grade 8 will participate in the organization and planning of the 8th grade graduation, dance, and field trip.  Fundraisers are necessary in order to raise money for these events.  In order to promote fairness in the distribution of work toward earning these trips, students must participate in at least 5 fundraisers or have earned their portion of the class trip in order to go on trips associated with the fundraiser.  

Physical Education
Physical Education at Rose M. Gaffney teaches physical activity through teamwork, social interaction, and motor skills while improving students’ fitness.  Students have class twice per week.  Students in Pre-K-4 are expected to have sneakers and comfortable clothing in order to participate.  Students in grades 5-8 are expected to change before and after class.  Required gym clothing includes: a tee shirt or sweatshirt, shorts or sweatpants.  Students are required to have a pair of non-marking clean sneakers.  Classes for students in grades 6-8 may be held at the MMHS Gym.  
Students will be excused from class for illness or injury and a note from a parent/guardian is required.  Students not participating in gym class will not be eligible to participate in after school sponsored activities that day, including sports.  A doctor’s note will be required if a student requires more than two excused classes from gym.      

Athletics
The Principal, Athletic Director, and coaches of Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School are committed to promoting a spirit of fair competition, cooperation, mutual support, respect, pride, and common purpose. We believe that athletics is promoted at RMG as a natural extension of the school’s academic program. The intention is to teach and develop physical skills, mental discipline, sportsmanship, and the striving spirit necessary for successful living. Students are encouraged to participate regardless of their skill level or experience.  A full sports program is available, offering students the opportunity to participate in a range of athletic activities including: soccer, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and cheerleading. 

Athletic Eligibility
          There are several areas of student activities that are considered when determining athletic eligibility. Students should refer to the athletic code for complete details. The basic academic requirements are summarized as follows:
Students must receive a passing grade in each class that they are enrolled in, including specials.  Students’ grades will be checked weekly, usually on Monday.  Students who are failing a class, will be benched from practices and games for one week.  If the student receives another failing grade when grades are checked the following week the student will once again be benched for one week.  If a student fails for three grade checks in one ranking period, the student will be dismissed from the team.  If the failing grade is due to late work, the student will be subject to the preceding consequences, regardless of when the late work is handed in.  The failing grade will be taken at “face value” on the day that grades are checked.  Therefore, it is strongly suggested that all work be handed in on time and done to the best of the students’ ability in order to avoid interruption in participation.  
If a student receives a detention or suspension, they must serve the detention/suspension the following day.  If that detention or suspension falls on the day of a game, the student will not be allowed to suit up and participate in the game.  The Athletic Director and Principal expect that students will show appropriate behaviors during practices and games.

Music Department
Classroom Music as well as Choral and Instrumental Performance opportunities in grades PK-8 offer additional academic enrichment for our students.  These offerings mirror the Maine Learning Results, the National Standards for Music Education and the new emerging National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

Grades PreK-4
Rose M. Gaffney offers an enriching Classroom Music and Performing Arts Curriculum.  Students in PreK-3 are taught emerging musical skills of pitch, melody, steady beat, expression, and composition.  Each year students will build upon their musical knowledge through folk and traditional songs, playing of auxiliary percussion, and Orff instruments, dance, as well as learning vital music skills of listening to, reading, writing, performing, and evaluating music.  In grade 4 students will have an Introductory Chorus Class, and an Introductory Band Class.  During the Intro to Band, student musicians will play Orff and percussion instruments, recorders, and Boom Whackers. 

Grade 5-8
All Grade 5-8 students have the opportunity to participate in Chorus, and Band as part of their regular school schedule.  5/6 Chorus meets every Tuesday, and Thursday, 7/8 Chorus also meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, Grade 5 Band meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as does the 6-12 Band.  All 5th grade beginning Band students will have a weekly lesson time during the school day.  Other lesson times for students in 6-8 grade will be held from 7:20-7:50 each morning before school starts.
There are a variety of Choral and Instrumental Music Festivals at both the county and district levels throughout the school year that students in grades 5-8 may be eligible to attend.  Both the Band and Chorus students hold performances for Veterans’ Day, a Winter Concert, and another concert in the Spring.  Other performances might include: Solo & Ensemble, local visits to area nursing care facilities, community outreach programs, Memorial Day Parade, Pep Band, Sea Dogs, and more.  Once enrolled, students enrolled in grades 5-8 wishing to un-enroll from band or chorus may only be allowed to do so at the end of the semester (January 1), and at the culmination of the school year.  Parents will be required to meet with Mrs. Baker, and upon agreement, provide their request in writing.  
Visual Arts Department
The Rose M. Gaffney visual arts program, under the direction of Mrs. Lee, is designed to bring one art class per week to grades PK-6 and the opportunity for students in grades 7+8 to sign up for art as a special. This program brings not only hands on studio experiences to each student but also teaches an awareness of art through history. An appreciation is further nurtured through museum field trips, visiting artists and student displays throughout the school.

Ventures Program
Machias schools’ Gifted and Talented program consists of several components that are designed to meet the needs of our highest achieving students, as well as challenge and enrich the total school population. Mr. Fitzsimmons is the coordinator or this program. 
Differentiation-  
Teachers use strategies to adjust the classroom environment, curriculum content, processes by which they teach, and products required of students to demonstrate their learning, in order to meet the varied academic needs, interests, and learning styles of our students.  
Enrichment-   
Enrichment opportunities are provided for all students, groups of students with common interests, and individual gifted and talented students. The primary goal of the enrichment program is to extend students’ knowledge outside of the classroom by exposing them to opportunities that allow them to act as “real world” practitioners in areas of interest.
Continuum of Services-  
Ventures students’ specific needs are met through a variety of services.  Individualized learning plans may include participation in academically based clubs and competitions, mentorship, apprenticeship, and within and across grade pull out programs.  Students may benefit from opportunities to work with other advanced learners, volunteerism, independent study, acceleration, admission to advanced, AP, and Early College Courses, and guidance and support for course planning and affective issues. 

Friday Specials Block
Students in grades 7and 8 will have an opportunity to sign up for vocational programs such as industrial arts, or culinary arts, as well as fine art, technology, or physical fitness during their Friday specials block.  Study Hall is provided during this time for students who are at risk academically, or for those who prefer a study hall to the offered specials.  Specials Block is offered to 7th graders during the fall semester, and 8th graders during the spring semester.  
Special Education
   Special education services, including speech and language, are available for all eligible students at Rose Gaffney. Students may receive services in a regular classroom where the teacher is supported by an educational consultant. The student may receive help from a resource room program, a speech program, or other specially designed programs.  A full description of services is contained in the AOS 96 Parents’ Handbook for Special Education. Copies can be obtained from the Special Ed. Coordinator, Mrs. Mary Maker, at 255-4381.

                                                                      JMG                                                                                        JMG's middle school program is a project-oriented and adventure-based program designed to address the challenges of middle school students.  The program was created to inspire middle school students to reach their academic and personal potential. It is unique, being the only program which targets this age group and the issues of students transitioning to high school. The goals of the JMG middle school program are:
1) Students will stay in school.
   2) Students will improve their grades, behavior and self-esteem.
   3) Students will successfully transition into, stay in, and graduate from high school.

In the JMG classroom, the JMG Specialist provides a curriculum which focuses on developing skills in the areas of communication, team building, leadership, and problem solving. There is also a strong emphasis on community service learning.  In addition to teaching the core curriculum, JMG Specialists provide individual guidance and academic assistance to students.
At Rose Gaffney, participants are initially recommended for JMG by their fifth-grade teachers and later approved by the full JMG advisory board. The JMG Specialist designs opportunities intended to incorporate individual learning styles while addressing a full range of early adolescent issues.  6th and 7th grade units of study include Self-Understanding, Communication, Organizational and Study Skills, Connections to and Between School and Work, and Decision-Making. Eighth grade units of study incorporate Dream Work, Lifestyles, Negotiation, Career-Based Learning activities such as job shadowing and interviewing and High School Transition.
Title 1 Remedial Services
Students for whom math and/or reading achievement falls significantly below grade level as measured by informal reading inventories or standardized tests are eligible for remedial support through Title 1. Qualified students may receive remedial support in or out of the regular classroom dependent upon their individual needs.