1/11 - 1/25

January 11th - January 25th

Join Houston High students for the first ever "GMSD-wide Spring Musical"
Click here to view some preview photos, and then tune in to Channel 9 next Wednesday at 9 a.m. to watch them perform for Live At Nine.
Lend support to a future falcon
Recently one of our GMSD kindergarten families has received some devastating news. A younger sibling of one of our students, William, age 3, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent surgery at LeBonheur to remove the tumor on his brain, and will begin treatments at St. Jude for chemo and radiation very soon. Ms. Erhardt’s class at Farmington is pulling together some special things for the family, but GMSD is invited to participate in William’s Go Fund Me website.
School Start Times, the shot heard round the world
It was a full on media blitz at the district office last Thursday as Superintendent Jason Manuel prepared to inform GMSD stakeholders of the upcoming changes to the school schedule. As a component to the big announcement, a comprehensive web page went live with information about the crafting of the 2016-2017 school start times.
GMSD students dominate All-West Band and Orchestra
“It’s the largest number of students we’ve ever had to make it,” says Houston Band director Jim Smith. One parent jokes on Facebook that “our students are going to make up the whole All-West band”. With just over 100 children from HHS, HMS, and RES, these fine young musicians made quite an impression on the judges last weekend. Read more by clicking here.
Spotted: Great Teaching and Learning All Over the District!

At Farmington Elementary School, 3rd-5th grade students are building newspaper skyscrapers and testing how much weight they will hold. Check out these great time-lapse photos by APEX teacher Jennifer Harlan.

At Dogwood Elementary School, 5th graders in Allison Booten’s classroom work on cooperative lessons focusing around Westward Expansion while modeling some of the new 21st Century furniture that everyone is now talking about.

Back over at Farmington, a first grade class is delighted to participate in an engaging green screen video project with their teacher Emily Deaton and CTT Ashley Smith. "During our weather unit each child recieved a postcard from another county that had information about that countries weather. They then researched the weather compared to our weather and did a forecast for the other country. We used a green screen app (Green Screen) so that they could put a drawing representing the other country behind them using the layering technique," says Deaton. The final videos can be viewed on her class website.


At Houston Middle School, Principal Liz Dias captures this priceless footage of a robotics activity happening in Keri Eldridge’s Project Based Learning classroom.

At Houston High School, Matt Parker’s biology class gets some hands on experience with BRAINS. In preparation for a lab practicum, a student gently uses a scalpel to examine the different parts of a sheep’s brain.


Meanwhile, in Krista Phillips’ STEM class, Houston High students engaged in a little medieval warfare. First they built a castle that could best withstand force. Shortly after, the lesson charge them with building a catapult or trebuchet that could counteract that force.


Upstairs, Dr. Melissa Ducey’s physics class was putting the finishing touches on their competition robots for an impending robot showdown over the weekend.


Students in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) participate in a new pilot program this year. Typically, an army of parent volunteers completes elementary school health screenings. Taking the blood pressure, height, and weight of so many students has been a daunting challenge. This year, students from the Houston High HOSA program donned their best scrubs and lab coats and completed the screenings in our GMSD elementary middle schools. Pictured here, students at Riverdale Elementary get a quick check up from our own future doctors and nurses!
Congratulations are in order:
TEACHER OF THE MONTH. Jessica Minton has been named Germantown’s February Teacher of the Month. Details will be released early next week. Congratulations, Ms. Minton.
TELEVISION STARS. 5th grade student Haley Polley, her dog Rhexis and Principal Susan Pittman were all interviewed for ABC24 News last week for an upcoming Local Cool School segment. Tune in on Friday to watch their small screen debut. Way to go Dogwood Elementary School!
ALL-STARS. Nikolas Preza can be seen in the most recent edition of Commercial Appeal Academic All-Stars. Nikolas, a Houston High senior, is a dedicated student who is completing his fourth year of study of the German Language. He also took two years of Spanish and has some basic knowledge of Greek and Icelandic. He holds a 4.57 weighted grade point average, scored 33 on the ACT and 2140 on the SAT.
PERFECT SCORERS. Recently, our schools have been notified of three extraordinary students’ accomplishments on the 2015 TCAP Writing Assessment. Three students in our district achieved a perfect score. Read more by clicking here.
BOARD RECOGNIZED OUTSTANDING EDUCATORS. Last week, Dan Haddow bestowed much need recognition on some teachers who are fast emerging leaders in our school system. The LEAD team, a leadership model that began with GMSD’s formation in 2014 serves as the “best frontline of great minds who are currently in the work,” says Professional Development Coordinator Shamira Davis. “These teachers work 35+ hours in addition to their regular teaching careers, but what they do is so important,” she adds. Click here to read the full story and listing.
Spread the Word
Open Enrollment officially began yesterday morning. Students who DO NOT currently reside in Germantown or students who wish to transfer from one GMSD school to another have the opportunity to click the link and fill out the form. In other words, Germantown residents who are planning to attend their designated schools do not need to participate. Likewise, rising Kindergarteners who are Germantown residents that plan to attend their designated schools do not need to participate. Click here to view school attendance zones.
Non-resident students who have been accepted to the Houston High School Honors Academy or the Houston High School Leadership Academy must participate in Open Enrollment.
Curious about our transfer policies? Click here to view our Non-resident Policy.  Click here to view our Resident Policy.
The window for Open Enrollment closes on February 5th. Those who filled out the electronic form will be notified by March 1st of their transfer status.
Searching for Future Mustangs
Do you have a high school aged friend or acquaintance that is interested in attending Houston High School? Help them picture themselves as future Mustang! With a the highest district average ACT score in the State, 17 consecutive years being named “Best of the Preps” by the Commercial Appeal, 39 State Athletic Titles, a world-touring, award winning Fine Arts program and a fully developed AP Program, there’s a lot to discover at Houston High School. - See more by clicking here.

Houston High School Open House
Thursday, February 4th beginning at 6pm
Houston High School
9755 Wolf River Blvd. Germantown, TN 38139 - See more by clicking here.

District Office seeking stakeholders to participate in upcoming textbook adoption. http://www.gmsdk12.org/CTETextbookAdoption.aspx
Do you know an expert in any of the following areas; Advanced Manufacturing, Human Services, Education and Training, or Information Technology?
All parents and community stakeholders are invited to stop by to preview and provide feedback on the High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Textbooks up for adoption.

Parent Preview
February 3, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Click here to learn more.
Or, email Curriculum Coordinator Missy Abel with any questions. [email protected]
ACT Awareness Night brings focus to ACT prep for students
Mark your calendars for March 8th. Join the staff of Houston High School for an exciting night of ACT preparation activities for parents and students (8th-11th grades)--providing food, general group session to examine the targets and goals given the current data, and several breakout sessions led by teachers and students.
Aramark Family Dinner begins at 5:15 p.m. @ 4$ per person
ACT Awareness Night begins at 6:00 p.m.

Wishing luck to GMSD pom squads that are headed to Nationals in Orlando this weekend!
Let's hear if for our girls as they head to Orlando to compete in the 2016 Nationals. Click here to see who's competing this weekend.  Learn more about their journey by clicking here.
Amazing experiences for our music department: An improv Q & A with Dave Matthews’ back up band.
Last week, 100 Houston Middle students were tightly packed in to Spencer Nesvick’s band room to participate in a very cool real world experience. Rashawn Ross and Jeff Coffin, the horn section of Dave Matthews Band gives a musical demonstration, leads an improv workshop, and engaged in a Q&A with the students. Nesvick, a long time Dave Matthews Band fan, is still awestruck from the entire experience.  Read the full story, here.
Riverdale Basketball team celebrated a big District win this week
View text-based website