Submitted by Ainslee Riley, Principal of Thomaston Grammar School
Thomaston Grammar School, located in the Mid-Coast town of Thomaston, is a great place to be. Our K-5 school has approximately one hundred and eighty-five students, with two classes at each grade level. In addition to having a daily focus on mathematics, literacy, science, social studies, and health instruction, students also have weekly art, music, technology, SEL (social emotion learning), and physical education classes. Our focus centers around our district goals of proficiency based learning and social emotional learning, which go hand in hand. Teachers have worked together to create appropriate grade level performance indicators that align with our state standards. The school has also adopted Restorative Practices and Second Step to help us work toward meeting our goals in the area of social emotional learning.
We have a wonderful parent group that works to provide opportunities for our families to come together to have fun in the school community. They sponsor and run big events like our annual Fall Fest and Cookies with Santa weekend events, movie nights, family dances, Trunk-or Treat for Halloween, and more. They have also brought in organizations like Mad Science of Maine for school wide learning opportunities. In addition to these events that our parent group provides for our school community, we: have two concerts a year, host a Family Fun Night, hold a Talent Show, celebrate Read Across America week with a week filled with theme days, collect food for our local food pantry and hold a Passing of the Food event, and more.
We partner with a variety of organizations that enable our students to have further educational enrichment during and outside the school day. We have partnered with Leaps of Imagination, allowing for art enrichment during the school day for all students in second and fourth grade. We work with the Strand Theatre, which offers a variety of learning opportunities where we travel to the theatre or they bring in artists to do workshops inside our school. Our older students have the opportunity to participate in after school art enrichment, after school programming through Youthlinks, and a Big Trek/Little Trek mentoring program. Through funding from the Georges River Education Foundation, our second grade students and teachers, along with our PE teacher, have been working with an area gym, Hybrid Fitness, to complete an integrated unit on fitness and nutrition. Our students in third grade have the opportunity to learn to ice skate at the MidCoast Recreation Center, and our students in fourth grade have the opportunity to learn to ski at the Camden Snow Bowl. Fifth grade students are able to enrich their learning through our school’s fifth grade TGS Common Ground Garden and Outdoor Classroom. Students in various grades have the opportunity to visit Herring Gut Learning Center, the Botanical Gardens, the Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Tanglewood, Old Fort Western and more, depending on the year, as part of integrated units they are studying. This year the Georges River Education Foundation also helped to fund a birding unit for our fifth grade students that has involved bringing in a variety of experts to talk and work with our students.
We recognize students at monthly theme-based assemblies. Our assemblies focus on a variety of attributes including, but not limited to, respect, compassion, and perseverance. There is also a monthly Principal’s Award given to a student who exemplifies all these attributes on a daily basis. Students who are recognized have a special lunch with Principal Riley. Students who receive TGS tickets are recognized at this assembly as well. These are students who go above and beyond our school rules: Be Safe, Be Kind, and Try Your Best. Students who get tickets are also announced daily and earn prizes for receiving multiple tickets. Students are very excited to receive these tickets.
Teachers at Thomaston Grammar School work hard to make learning meaningful and fun for all of the students in our community.