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YES February 2020 Newsletter
Ryan Gleason
Friday, January 31, 2020

Dear YES Families, 

We are now beginning the month of February and, once again, it’s hard to believe we are officially past the halfway point of the school year. How time flies!

As we reflect on this school year at YES our students are working hard and making strong gains in their learning. To our students, keep up the great work! Parents, your ongoing support of your child’s learning is vital to their success.

February marks a month-long celebration known as “Black History Month”. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. The celebration takes place in February to commemorate the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Our Responsive Classroom practices and YES core values continue to support the nationwide theme of celebrating peace and tolerance during this important month.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE/BIKE PATH CLOSURE REMINDER

If you did not have the opportunity to see Dr. Dolloff's post on the Yarmouth website this Tuesday I have pasted it below:

CONTRACT IN PLACE FOR CONSTRUCTION AT YARMOUTH ELEMENTARY AND HARRISON MIDDLE SCHOOL 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020- Arthur C. Dudley Contractor has been awarded the bid for major renovation and expansion of Yarmouth Elementary School and a smaller project at Harrison Middle School.  These two projects, approved by the voters of Yarmouth in November 2018, will total just under $28m and will provide updated spaces for our growing student population for the foreseeable future.  Final permitting is in progress, and work is anticipated to begin in February.

We are excited that the contractor has been chosen and look forward to beginning the building process very soon. Just a reminder that as part of the renovation and expansion of Yarmouth Elementary School, a temporary closure of the walking path from West Elm Street to the Elementary School is necessary. During this closure, students who frequent the path will be rerouted to McCartney Street. The path will reopen at the end of construction, or sooner if conditions allow. It is a good idea to start explaining this change to your child if they are a walker or biker.   Again, future communication will be coming to you soon regarding the timing of this closure and the beginning of the construction process as those details are finalized.

CONFERENCES AND REPORT CARDS                                                                                  

As I shared in the January newsletter, parent conferencing occurs just after the mid-way point of our school year. Classroom teachers are in the process of beginning to conference and schedule these meetings.  They will be sharing with you how students are progressing and growing in regards to the YES learning standards. Just a reminder that the conferencing window for teachers runs from now through March and your child's teacher will communicate with you directly on when they will hold these meetings.

If your conference is before February vacation, teachers will provide you a copy of the report card at the conference. If it is after vacation, you will receive a copy of your child's report card in the mail by February 14 and prior to the scheduled conference date. Once again, your collaboration and support are appreciated!   

MAINE EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT (MEA) DATES: MARCH 23 -APRIL 3            

The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System provides information about the academic progress of students, schools, and the state as a whole. This system includes state assessments, known as the Maine Educational Assessments (MEA), that measure the progress of Maine's students toward the content standards adopted for Maine students.

State and federal laws require that all students participate in assessments in designated content areas at designated grades. In conjunction with local and teacher-developed assessments, these assessments can help educators, parents, and educational leaders to understand how well Maine's schools are educating, how well Maine's students are learning, and where additional support may be needed.

At Yarmouth Elementary School all students in grades three and four participate in the MEA. To help with your planning please note that we will hold our 2020 MEA assessments during the weeks of March 23 and 30. 

SCHOOL COUNSELOR NEWS

In SEL we have been focusing on the size of the problem. Problems come in different sizes. Small problems can be taken care of quickly and can be solved on our own or with the help of another person. Kids can help other kids solve small problems. Medium problems take more time to solve and require more help. Usually, adults help solve medium problems. However, it’s expected that kids help solve medium problems with the adults. Finally, big problems take a lot of time to take care of and require a lot of help from others. When big problems happen, even adults need help from other adults. Students have learned that their reactions should match the size of the problem. Small problem/small reaction and so on.  As always, modeling this in your own life is highly beneficial!


 

SCHOOL NURSE NEWS                                                                     

Hello YES Families,

There will be a referendum question on March 3rd about vaccination requirements for public schools, healthcare settings, and daycare settings.  The question reads as follows:

 “Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?” 

A NO vote upholds the legislative document 798 designed to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements for students. 

A YES vote repeals Legislative Document 798, which was designed to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements for students. And,  reinstate the law allowing for religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements. No matter your stance on this issue, PLEASE VOTE on March 3rd.  Your voice is important.  

For more information on the LD 798 please see LD 798 and ballotpedia.org (an unbiased site for information on referendum questions including funding for campaigns and details on supporters for both sides.)  

For more information on how vaccinations work please visit the Department of Health and Human Services

As always, for questions and concerns, please reach out at:

(207) 846-3391

alison_thomson@yarmouthschools.org

Alison Thomson, School Nurse

PTO NEWS                                                                                   

  • YES Teacher Luncheon: The YES luncheon is Wednesday, Feb 5. YES staff could still use a bit of love if you’re able! https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/3133265/false#/invitation
  • Hannaford: Next loads are Wed, Feb 5 & Feb 26, 12pm. To reload an existing card, write the card’s last 6 digits on your check’s memo line. Forms will be sent home. Thank you!
  • Kindness Weeks – Food Donations: YES will be collecting food pantry items March 2-16. These items will go to Wayside Food Programs in Portland, which partners with the Yarmouth Food Pantry and has many programs to assist the surrounding area. Students or parents can drop items in the bin that will be provided in the YES entrance. Most needed items: peanut butter, rice, canned tuna, tomato sauce, soup, canned veggies and beans, granola and cereal bars, cereal, mac & cheese, canned fruit with low or no sugar, any kid’s healthy snacks.
  • YES Family Movie Night: YES families are invited to watch a movie in the HMS cafeteria (per our movie license) on March 6Doors open at 5:30 pm; show starts at 5:45 pm. Students will vote on the movie. Movie is no charge; pizza and snacks for purchase. Please bring a water bottle and blanket. We will be collecting donations for the food pantry if students would like to bring an item. This is not a drop-off event. See you there!
  • Bee House Building: YES students are invited to learn about bees and help support local bee populations on Saturday, March 21, 10 am at Yarmouth Community House (179 E Main St, Yarmouth). We will be making bee houses to donate to the Maine Audubon Society, and/or to keep at home in your own yard! Not a drop-off event. Hope to see you there!
  • Box Tops Collection: Please bring in your Box Tops by Feb 12! You can send them with your K-4 student or drop them off at a school office. Reminder that Box Tops has both scan and clippable box tops. Their app will instantly add cash to your school's earnings online. Note that now until 2/4, you can earn 4 bonus Box Tops when you buy 4 participating Annie’s products.
  • Open PTO Position: We are looking for a third person who has organizational/ project management skills to help run YES’s Field Day! Field Day occurs at the very end of the school year. If you’re interested or have questions, please email Christy at yarmouthpto04096@gmail.com.
  • YES Save the Date – Bowling & Laser Tag: YES families are invited for an evening of bowling and laser tag on Friday, March 27, 6pm at Spare Time, 867 Riverside St., Portland. We’ll have 2 hours of bowling and a 15 minute round of laser tag for $15 per person. Bowling Shoes included. This is not a drop-off event. There is a full menu to purchase food if interested. Please RSVP to Melissa at m_neish@yahoo.com, as there is limited space. Hope to see you there!
  • Online Camp Packet: For all those wishing for a thorough compilation of camp information: http://bit.ly/PTOCampPacket. The Welcome Committee also created and maintains a live document about local and state events, attractions, resources, and more: bit.ly/PTOWelcomePacketIf you have additional info to add, please send to the PTO Welcome Committee at rebeccamaltaise@yahoo.com.
  • PTO Meeting: Please join us for our next meeting in the YES library on Feb 27, 4-5 pm.
  • List of PTO Enrichments: Thank you parents and guardians for supporting our schools’ enrichments. Please contact Jessica Raimy and Christy Hayashida for any reason at yarmouthpto04096@gmail.com. We check email daily.

MERRILL MEMORIAL LIBRARY NEWS 

Saturday, February 1: Take Your Child to the Library Day, 10:30 AM-12 PM: Doggie Meet & Greet, Story Time with Mary and her guitar, coffee & donuts, and more!

Saturday, February 8: Chinese New Year Celebration Craft Hour, 10:30AM-11:30: Make a Family Tree Zodiac Banner for Year of the Rat, and get a lucky red envelope

February Break Events - all events are free and all-ages with no registration required unless noted otherwise

Tuesday, February 18, LEGO Free Build, 10:30-12PM; Minecraft Drop-In, 3-4PM

Wednesday, February 19, Pokemon Tournament, Participants arrive between 12:30-1PM, Tournament from 1-4PM. All participants will receive a new Pokemon card with prizes awarded to top scorers. Registration Required. Use this Google Form or email Jill at joconnor@yarmouthlibrary.org to register

Thursday, February 20, Maker Morning, 10:30AM-12PM; Minecraft Drop-In, 3-4PM

Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22: Board Game Days, 10:30AM-3PM: Come play new board games from Island Treasure Toys

Tale-Wagging Tales, Fridays, starting at 3:45: come read to a therapy dog, call 846-4763 or email Mary at mrandall@yarmouthlibrary.org to sign up for a 15-minute spot

And a preview for March, we will be running Got Science? on Mondays in March from 3:45-4:45 and we will host our second Ukulele Jam on Saturday, March 7 from 10:30-11:30AM

K REGISTRATION AT ROWE

If you have a child who will be five on or before October 15, 2020, please call Rowe School in Yarmouth (846-3771) to register your child for Kindergarten 2020-2021.  

FOOD DRIVE

A Yarmouth middle school student is organizing a food drive to benefit the Yarmouth Community Food Pantry. The collection box will be at the front of Hannaford here in Yarmouth Feb 7th, 8th, and 9th. All non-perishable food, household products, and personal hygiene items are welcome. Thank you!

FEBRUARY DATES TO REMEMBER: 

Thursday, February 6: School Lockdown Drill

Our second and final school lockdown safety drill will be held with the support of the Yarmouth Police Department. 

Thursday, February 6: Band Night 6:00 p.m.- YES Cafeteria

Our grade four musicians have been practicing hard and are ready to show us how much they have grown this year! 

Friday, February 7: Community Meeting & Sock Drive/Wacky Sock Day!                           

At our next whole school community meeting, the grade two teachers have organized an optional sock drive to celebrate our YES core values of caring and citizenship.  Students who wish to participate are asked to bring in one or more new pairs of socks. Socks will be collected during the community meeting that afternoon. Everyone is also encouraged to wear wacky socks to school that day to show their school spirit. You can wear unique looking socks, mismatched socks, socks pulled up over the outside of your pant legs, etc.   

As we approach our 100th day of school, we'd like to see if we can collect 100 or more pairs of socks to donate to people in need. We are proud to share with you that all socks collected will be delivered to the Preble Street Shelter in Portland. Way to go YES!

Friday, February 14: Valentines' Dayheart - Everyone is encouraged to wear red to celebrate the day!

February 17 to February 21: Winter Break- No School

Monday, February 24: School Resumes  

Thursday, February 27: K-4 PTO Meeting -  4:00 PM YES Library                       

And another important date to note is our annual YES Grandparents/Special Friends Day to be held on Friday, May 22 this year. Some advance notice for all those special people who have to travel from far away! 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or feedback you would like to share.  I hope that your family has a wonderful start to February and a nice winter break.

Best,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal