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Superintendent’s Update: Remote Learning, Pre K Updates

GORHAM, ME (January 27, 2022) – The following is an excerpt from Gorham School Superintendent Heather Perry. The full update can be read at


Earlier on in the fall I had talked about snow days and our plans for the use of snow days for the year.  In those earlier communications I had talked about the “what if’s” that MAY occur if we use all five of our planned snow days in the calendar.  At the time, it was still beautiful fall weather in Maine so I’m not sure everyone really “picked up what I was putting down” sort to speak.  Recent weather has likely now brought the conversation more fully to the front of our minds!

We’ve now used 3 of our 5 snow days with just two left and we still have a ways to go this winter before we are out of the woods.  All that being said, I thought it was time to REALLY emphasize what remote learning snow days might look like in Gorham since there is a pretty good chance we might have to use one or two yet this year.

To be clear, we will continue to use traditional snow days for two more days.  We will only use remote learning snow days for any days we may have to cancel school due to snow above and beyond those total five.  In the event that we do have to move to remote learning snow days, here’s what you should expect as parents:

First – in order to meet requirements outlined by our state and federal laws, we must offer lunches to students and families on the days we do remote learning snow days.  We will do this by asking families who are interested in having a lunch sent home with their children the day before a snow day to please sign up using the survey that is OUTLINED BELOW.  Yes, this means we are going to have to pay extra special attention to the weather and on days that might look questionable, send meals home the day before so families have them.

Second, our goal would be that remote learning snow days allow us to strengthen and maintain learning for our students.  Unlike the pandemic where we might need to be prepared to have multiple remote learning days in a row, a remote learning snow day is more than likely just one day so the learning materials that will be sent home (K-5) or posted online via google classroom (6-12) will be primarily aimed at making sure learning is strengthened and maintained rather than focusing on new learning.

Our building leaders have worked closely with our talented staff to develop a more detailed overview of what to expect on remote learning snow days by grade level. 

Special Education Services Expectations:

Our Special Education staff will also continue to provide remote learning snow day instruction to students.  Their expectations for services are outlined on the school district website at

These will be the expectations for our remote learning snow days IF WE NEED TO USE THEM later this winter.  If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal to ask and to learn more.  

In the meantime – below is the survey link for families that would like to request that a lunch be provided for remote learning snow days.  I’ll also share broadly on social media and on our website.  Please complete the survey as soon as possible as who knows what mother nature has in store for us next week!

Remote Learning Snow Day Survey Link:


In my last blog, I sent out a survey asking folks to ask questions they may have regarding our new Pre K program opening in the fall of 2023 at Narragansett Elementary School.  I got some GREAT QUESTIONS.  I haven’t had a chance to answer all of them yet, but I thought I’d take the time to highlight a few here on this blog post and then link to a Q&A sheet with all the questions that I’ll continue to post answers to over the course of the next few weeks.  So please keep checking the Q&A link below for additional answers!  Here’s a few highlighted questions now:

Question:  What are the typical credentials of specialists(OT, PT, S/L) providers for Pre K? Are they the same for Kindergarten or early primary, or are they birth-5? What levels are teachers and ed techs certified for?

Answer:  All specialists that will be utilized in our Pre K program will have full licensure to perform the duties required of them for the age level they will be working with.  Speech, OT’s, PT’s all will have full approval to work with Pre School-Aged children.  Teachers working with Pre K students will have the 081 early childhood certification endorsements required by the state of Maine.  Educational technicians are certified to work with all age levels including early childhood.  The Gorham Schools will be conducting hiring processes for all new staffing positions in April of this year.  If you are interested in applying, or know someone who is, please keep your eye out on our website or for postings then!

Question:  More of a clarification: the Arts Alliance and Seedlings will be providing Pre-K services in addition to the two classrooms at Narragansett AND they will be free of cost too? Will we have to work with those organizations directly to utilize their program or will enrollment all be done through the Gorham school system?

Answer:  Yes, our partnerships with the Gorham Arts Alliance (for 8 student slots) and Seedings to Sunflowers (for 32 student slots) will be funded by the State of Maine as public Pre K slots.  These are in addition to the 64 new slots that will be housed at Narragansett Elementary School.  These are all approved public Pre K programs.  This means families will not be charged for these costs.  Please keep in mind, however that before or after care services may still be charged by our partners, but the Pre K programs themselves will be free to families. Enrollment for the Gorham Arts Alliance programs and the Seedlings to Sunflowers Programs will be conducted directly through those two organizations, although we hope that the Gorham Schools can help families make the necessary connections later this spring if needed.  If you have questions regarding the Gorham Arts Alliance program, you may contact Amy Valentine at If you have questions regarding the Seedlings to Sunflowers program, you may contact Meghann Carrasco at

Question:  Will transportation be provided or will the parent(s) be responsible for the transportation for their child?

Answer:  YES.  Transportation will be provided from home/childcare to school and from school back to home/childcare to any location in the community of Gorham for the classrooms housed at Narragansett Elementary School.  This will be the case for BOTH the a.m. and p.m. sessions.  For students participating in the Gorham Arts Alliance and Seedlings to Sunflowers programs families will have to provide transportation.

Question:  Will there be any options or partnerships for aftercare/before care?

Answer:  The Gorham Schools is working with many of our local child care providers to ensure there are appropriate slots available for before/after care.  We have had several meetings and will continue to meet in order to work on building out these partnerships for families as we realize this is a strong need.  So far we have been able to identify 16 slots with one of our partners and we are looking to continue with the hopes that by the time we get to the April/May time frame we will be able to host an evening event for families and interested providers to do a little “match making”.  Ultimately, however it will be the parent’s responsibility to work with individual providers to secure these slots – but we will do our best to make sure those slots are available and well communicated later this spring.

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