Principal Notes

October 20 - 24, 2014 781-7429


Schedule for the Week:

Mon Oct 20 DAY A

Tues Oct 21 DAY B

Wed Oct 22 DAY C

Thur Oct 23 DAY D

Fri Oct 24 DAY E


Dear Parents & Guardians,

This is the second highlight (two weeks ago it was on targeted support for all students) of an aspect of proficiency-based educational structures that Falmouth High School has adapted for our own use over the years. As we continue to use these approaches in combination with one another and graduate students, beginning with the class of 2018. I want to delineate what these practices look like and how we’ve customized them in order to maximize the benefits our students.

This week I want to separate the use of formative, interim, and summative assessment strategies. Formative assessment is, essentially, practice toward a final trial. Like all practice, formative assessments don’t count for or against a student in terms of the course grade. All learning theory posits that the person engaged in the task must struggle if real learning is going to occur. If we grade everything and count it toward the final course grade, students rightly feel as if they must score the grade of A on every assessment no matter how small it is. Instead, with formative assessment, students practice the skill or work with the content knowing that the goal is to grow up to the summative assessment. Also, after giving a formative assessment the teacher also looks at her or his approach and makes adjustments around instruction.

Years ago, I had a friend who had never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to get it right when friends and family came to him that day. The weekend before he cooked a mini version of Thanksgiving, working with all the foods and garnishes, the layout of the room, even what music he thought would set the right tone. He made some mistakes, took notes, then had a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner the following weekend. The first meal was formative, while Thanksgiving day itself was summative. So, as the example indicates, summative assessments are taken after ample practice and they do count toward the final grade. Over time students take multiple summatives, so no one will determine a final score in a course, but each one contributes to it. The key is that all summatives have a process of formative assessment in order to prepare students.

In a recently completed glossary of terms, we’ve defined these strategies in this way:

Assessment, Formative

Measurement of learning designed to gauge how close students are to hitting the learning targets for a given unit or lesson. Information gained from formative assessment is used by the teacher to adjust pedagogy, pacing, and other classroom tools that will help students meet the targets being addressed. These assessments are not used to score students in a manner that influences the final grade in a course or experience but do indicate how students might perform on summative assessments.

Assessment, Summative

Measurement of learning designed to gauge how close a student came to hitting the learning targets for a given unit or lesson. Summative assessments are used to score a student in a way that contributes to a final grade in a course or experience.


Informational Items:

Check out Superintendent Bruno's blog that will be updated regularly and will include a variety of topics:


Substitutes Needed:

The Falmouth Public Schools are currently looking for classroom substitutes K-12. Substitute position requirements are a four year degree and you must have (or be able to attain) a Maine Criminal History Records Check.  If you are interested in becoming a substitute, please visit the employment page of our website (or click here) for more information and to complete and application.


Parent Support Group: Hello Parents! I will offer a Parent Support group meeting Monday October 27th at noon, at the Falmouth Memorial library. After I assess interest from the group and schedule needs I can go ahead and make arrangements for the library for the school year. Please attend if you can; this is a great opportunity to check in with other parents and talk in a confidential space about what's happening in your student's life. Hope to see many of you there. Contact me with any questions:



Once again the Falmouth School Nurses are partnering with the VNA to offer evening flu clinics. Free flu shots are available for Falmouth school age students (including home schooled and private school students).

  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 5-7 p.m. for last names beginning with A-L

  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 5-7 p.m. for last names beginning with M-Z.

  • We encourage you to come on the assigned evening to prevent large crowds.

  • Clinics will be held at the Elementary School Cafeteria.

  • Flu shots are Free. If you have health insurance, please include your group number on the consent form. Your insurance company might be billed for the shot at no cost to you.

We have both nasal spray and injectable vaccine, each free of preservatives.

Information on nasal spray

Information on injectable

You do not need to pre-register. You can download the consent form here: Consent Form

*****Forms will also be available at the flu clinics.

Community Information:

Interested in having your son or daughter join the April 2015 school trip to Greece and Italy?  Go online to and enter trip # 1417810HV and learn more about the itinerary for this exciting trip. Signups will be accepted until December 22nd.  Please also feel free to contact either Julie Blodgett at or Beth Donovan at for more information.  

Essentials Pantry Donations- Over the years many Falmouth families have generously donated gently used children's clothing, kitchen, and household items to the essentials pantry in Portland. There is currently a great need of gently used winter coats and boots of all sizes. With winter approaching there are many families without coats and boots. If you care cleaning out closets and have outgrown or unused items. They will be greatly appreciated.  The pantry serves over 250 families weekly. Falmouth High School students volunteer at the pantry weekly to distribute items.  Collections boxes will be in the front entrance front of the school buildings.


Falmouth Sailing Team is selling apple pies, get your pie on and order your apple pie now! Perfect for any event or just for pure enjoyment.  Only $15 per pie. Buy a pie or 2.  Allow a few days for delivery.  All pies are homemade.  Contact one of the sailing team members, or 



Dental Clinic Opportunity

A dental program called Tooth Fairies will be providing dental care (cleaning, fluoride treatment, sealant treatments, oral evaluation and oral hygiene instruction and a free spinbrush) on October 28, 30 and 31st  to children who would otherwise not have access to dental services. Services provided are available to students with Maine Care, or students that are uninsured and not established with a dentist.  If your child is seeing a dentist regularly, they would not need or qualify for these services. However, if you are having a hard time getting into the community dental clinic or your dentist is no longer accepting Maine Care, we can see your child. If you do not have Maine Care, the fee for the service is $42.00.

Please contact your school nurse for further information.

Thank you,Sue Raatikainen RN  & Kellie Schimelman RN Falmouth Elementary School 347-3152 and Jean Barbour RN Falmouth Middle School 781-9886 & MaryBeth Bachman RN Falmouth High School 781-7429 x 5521




Come Trick or Treat at Falmouth’s 1st

Trunk or Treat!

Fundraiser for FHS Project Graduation

Date/time: Saturday October 25, 2014 11am until 3pm

Rain date Sunday October 26

Location: American Legion Hall Parking Lot -Depot Road, Falmouth

Admission: Advance tickets from Falmouth Community Programs

$3 per child -- Day Of: $5 per child, $10 per family


All proceeds to FHS Project Graduation - Hope to see you there!





Falmouth voted Top City to Live and Learn by Forbes Magazine and Great Schools in 2011!