Important Letter to GAMS Students and Families

Welcome to GAMS Important Letter to GAMS Students and Families

September 25, 2020

Dear GAMS Families,

Let’s begin by celebrating the fact that we have been able to engage in FIVE (5) weeks of “in person” education for those who have chosen the physical presence option.  Equally exciting is the fact that our Digital Teacher Team and their fully virtual students have navigated their course to digital success in the same time period!  We know that you, our students, families and staff deserve the credit and our appreciation for your vigilance in attending to our health and safety protocols, for your diligence in making teaching and learning a top priority each day, and for your sensitive and compassionate awareness to the social and emotional health of all.

In my last letter, I informed you that we had established a course we would follow to September 30th.  We are now just days away from arrival.  During this part of the voyage, we learned from the work of Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey & John Hattie’s “The Distance Learning Playbook,” our Apple Vanguard Groups, Digital Teams and Professional Collaboration work each Wednesday.   As a result of this professional development work, we were able to accomplish a great deal together for the benefit of our students.  Next week, our District Leadership will adjust our course with our sights set on November 25th.   Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lura Hanks, has arranged for International author and speaker, Jay McTighe (“Understanding by Design, Essential Questions” & 15 other books and 50 professional journal articles), to partner with us during the next several weeks of our continued growth and development as a learning organization.  Similar to September, we fully expect October to result in tremendous growth in our capacity for instructional success.  That is the “big picture” view. 

Now, let’s talk specifics for the month of October. 

  • We remain HOPEFUL that before October ends, we will receive our long-awaited shipment of Apple iPads that will enable us to function in an equitable one-to-one digital environment with everyone using the same tools and software platforms.Such consistency will truly empower all for greater success.
  • We encourage YOU TO REQUEST phone, ZOOM or FaceTime conferences with your child’s teachers.We are at the mid-point of the first grading period.Due to restrictions, we are not offering “in person” parent-teacher conferences this year.Nonetheless, there is evidence that some of our students need us (parents & teachers) to put some structures and strategies in place to put them on a path to success.
  • October 1 & 2: Quay Hannah returns to work with our students as we continue to emphasize cultivating a culture of respectful relationships at GAMS.
  • October 6School Picture Day and the start of our optional yearbook fundraiser campaign for those students who would appreciate the chance to earn a free 2020-2021 yearbook.
  • October 12: No School
  • October 23: Last day of the First Marking Period
  • October 26 – 30: National Red Ribbon Week

Remember, we care about you and your children.  We are committed to providing them the best educational experience possible.  We will relentlessly pursue excellence for our students and expect it from our students … for the sake of their present and future success.


Mr. Mark W. Herman
Principal, GAMS
on Instagram:  gamsprincipal