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YES Distance Learning Update March 29
Ryan Gleason
Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020

Dear YES Families,

Good evening! I hope that you were able to spend some time outside in the nice weather before the rain came in today. As I was making our family trip for groceries I noticed many of our students outside in their yards playing while driving by. It was so exciting to see! We really miss them.

The warm weather on Saturday was a good sign that springtime will soon be upon us. This week marks the start of April and usually I send out my monthly newsletter. However, with the shift to distance learning I will be sending out a weekly update in place of the monthly notes until we are back in the building. 


As we begin our third week of distance learning, we are continuing to reflect on how we are using the Seesaw platform. The ongoing goal is to make it as engaging and effective as it can be for our students.

Up to this point our system has sent all student assignments to one "string" on the student activities feed regardless of which teacher the work comes from. This has led to some challenges in managing the workflow and also has caused some confusion with students and families.

To address this, Mr. Abbott worked with teachers over the weekend to set up separate classrooms for each individual teacher. This will help students see what their assignments are in the classroom, unified arts and instructional support in three different "classrooms". This change will begin tomorrow. To help you and your child, Mrs. Troy created this video Families: Switching Seesaw Classes to explain the change and how to access assignments. I think the students will find the directions straightforward and much more clear than the way the material had been presented to them. 

A huge thank you to Mr. Abbott, Mrs. Troy and all of the teachers who worked over the weekend to set this up. Thank you for your ongoing patience, flexibility and support as we continue to refine our instructional workflow. We are confident that this will be a positive improvement in how we deliver and manage student work.


Greetings YES Parents,

I hope this email finds you well and in the comfort of your home. I'm sending a short note to let you know, that like my colleagues, I deeply miss our YES students and the hustle and bustle of school life. I have been checking in on Seesaw and I am witnessing incredible math reasoning among students as they complete the rich math exercises that were created by teachers. Students, parents, and educators are certainly making lemonade out of this difficult situation and your efforts are much appreciated.

To that end, I wanted to provide a resource that I will be adding to periodically. Consider this a Virtual Discovery Math opportunity. Every so often, I will be sending out an optional website or game that your child is invited to explore. Note that, like Discovery Math, this is entirely optional. These opportunities will accrue with the latest one being in color to distinguish it from the others: This is a favorite site of mine as it offers so much more than math topics and it is based upon altruism. Developed by the United Nations World Food Programme, this site invites students to answer multiple-choice questions, and with each correct answer, ten grains of rice are donated throughout the world. 

Per yesterday's tally: Global Stats
Grains of rice donated yesterday:6,880,480
Over 202 billion lifetime grains.

This site was my son's favorite pastime as he learned the names and locations of all countries by spending endless hours on this site, thereby feeding countless people in said countries. I hope your child finds the concept motivating as well. 
Rachel Clark, K-4 Math Lead Teacher


With many students sharing video responses and pictures through Seesaw please remember that you should not be "sharing" any pictures or video of children other than your own with anyone else. That includes social media platforms. As you are aware, parent consent is needed for their child's image to be shared. We have not had any issues with this but wanted to bring it to your attention as a pro-active reminder. 


We had to postpone our 2020 YES Spirit Week with the shift to distance learning. I am pleased to share that we have moved it to our last week before April vacation! As was originally scheduled, students are invited to participate for the dress up days. We may even come up with a few other fun ideas for that week- stay tuned!

YES Spirit Week- April 13- 16

  • Monday, March 13: Pajama Day (nothing like staying in your PJ’s on a Monday morning- although many of our students are already doing this! )

  • Tuesday, March 14: Hat Day (favorite or fun- any hat will do!)

  • Wednesday, March 15: Wacky Wednesday (crazy hair and clothes!) 

  • Thursday, March 16: Clipper Day (wear your Yarmouth gear and/or blue/white colors with pride on this last day before April vacation!)

We talk so often about the home/school partnership that is such a vital component in helping to support the success of our students.  Never has this been more important than right now. We can not begin to thank you enough for your work at home to help keep our students learning. We recognize that everyone is in different places and this "new normal" continues to bring challenges. As always, please reach out to me directly if there is anything more that we can do to support your child.  

Have a great week,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal