GMS Parent Portal

September 4, 2019

September: Attendance Awareness Month

Attendance is an important life skill that not only helps students succeed in school but also helps them develop habits that will benefit them as they graduate and enter the workforce. Did you know that by 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rate than 8th grade test scores? Of course, regular attendance will also help students boost their academic scores.

Goshen Community Schools has a goal of maintaining a 97% attendance rate. The average attendance for GMS so far this school year is 94.5%, so we have some work to do! Stay tuned for information about contests and incentives that will reward students for strong attendance.

Attendance Tips for Parents

Click here for facts and tips to help your child stay on track with attendance.

Staff Spotlight

Mr. Francis is an 8th grade History teacher in the New Tech pathway. He has worked in every level of education, but he loves GMS the most because middle school students and teachers have the best sense of humor and make him smile every day. Mr. Francis has a wonderful family, including his wife Claudia, two daughters, Evelyn (5) and Elsie (2), a dog named Chester, a cat named Miri, and a frog named Rocket. Outside of school you will find him digging in his garden, riding his bike, or dominating his fantasy baseball league.


It's never too early to start thinking about postsecondary options for your child. Current 7th and 8th grade students can apply for an income-eligible scholarship available to students graduating from an Indiana high school and who attend an accredited institution of higher learning in the state of Indiana. You can learn more about the Twenty-First Century Scholars program and eligibility requirements here.

New Tech Mathematicians

In Mr. Fish’s sixth grade NT Math class, students are busy developing into mathematicians. There is more to being a mathematician than just learning a process and remembering it for a test. Mathematicians exhibit characteristics such as: persisting through challenging problems, encouraging one another, clearly communicating ideas, trying several approaches to a problem, and finding meaning and beauty in their work. Mathematicians don’t always find the correct answer, but they achieve deeper learning through exploring math.

Students practiced being mathematicians through the “Sassy Cents” activity. While watching a short video, they identified what they noticed and wondered. Then, students were given a focus question: How much money does the emoji face cost? Students then identified what they still needed to know to answer the question.

Throughout this activity, students practiced equally participating in a group and giving constructive feedback. Much of this learning early on can be challenging for students who prefer to simply find the correct answer and move on. It has been a powerful start of the year for these budding mathematicians.

Here is the link to the Sassy Cents activity:

New Tech Students Create Manifests

Mr. Francis and Mr. Ulfig are facilitating a project called “Our Mayflower Compact” in which learners are creating their own agreements (“compacts”) for their journey in 8th grade New Tech. Guided by the project’s driving question (“What makes us effective citizens?”), learners are empowered to make an impact on their learning communities. Throughout the project, students are examining the hardships of the American colonists during the 1600s. Ultimately, they will reflect on their own actions and how they can create a learning environment where all can be accountable and successful this year.

GIMS Landform Creations

Students on team 6-5 created presentations about various landforms and how they are made. They had the opportunity to share their findings with classmates while showing some amazing visual aides.

Learner Profile Attribute

The IB Learner Profile Attribute of the month for September is: Open-Minded. We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience. Ask your child how s/he has been open-minded this week!

Attention 8th Graders! Washington, D.C. Trip Informational Meeting

Wednesday, Sep. 11th, 6pm

GMS Auditorium

All 8th graders interested in attending the Washington, D.C. trip from May 29 - June 2, 2020 are invited to attend this meeting with their parents. This will be the same information that was presented in the spring. You do not need to attend if you are already registered for the trip.

High Ability Welcome & Info Meeting

Monday, Sep. 16th, 6:30-7:30pm

GMS Auditorium

This evening is focused on our sixth grade HA families as well as those new to High Ability; however, all HA families are welcome!

eLearning Day

Wednesday, Sep. 18th, 12-3pm

This is an online event.

Students will not attend school on September 18th. This will be our first planned eLearning day for all Goshen Community Schools students. GMS faculty and staff will attend professional development sessions in the morning, and teachers will be available online from 12:00 - 2:45 p.m. to support students in their work.

Other Important Dates

Monday, Sept. 9 - Screenagers Teen presentation in English & Spanish 6:30-8:00

Monday, Sept. 16 - Screenagers Kids Presentation in English & Spanish 6:30-8:00

Wednesday, Sept. 18 – eLearning Day

Thursday, Sept 19 – Picture Retake Day

Monday, Sept. 23 – Parent/Teacher Conferences, 4:00-8:00 (Open House Style)

Wednesday, Sept. 25 – 7th and 8th Grade Fundraiser Pick-Up, 3:30-6:00

Thursday, Sept. 26 – 6th Grade Fundraiser Pick-Up, 3:30-6:00

Monday, Sept. 30 - Parent/Teacher Conferences, 4:00-8:00 (By Appointment)

GCS Transportation Handbook

The GCS Transportation Rules are listed beginning on page 38 of the GMS Handbook. Read here for important information for bus riders.