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December Newsletter
December Newsletter
Ryan Gleason
Sunday, December 17, 2017

The month of December brings with it the wonder of the holiday season. As we start to experience more winter-like weather, excitement grows. This is a month that is filled with learning and anticipation. On behalf of the Yarmouth Elementary School faculty and staff, we wish all of our students and families a happy holiday season. We hope that 2018 brings continued good health and happiness to everyone!


On Friday, December 1st YES kicked off the month with a school-wide community meeting that was prepared and facilitated by our SHARE team. Thank you to the team for leading such a fantastic assembly! The theme of the meeting this month focused on the YES core value of citizenship and connecting with larger communities in our lives. The meeting involved videos, poetry, and personal connections between all members of the YES community, celebrating the power of kindness and how we can give to others in ways that help make the world a better place. And of course, "Steamer" was there to help lead the meeting! During this event, we were overwhelmed by the number of food items that were donated to support our local food pantry right here in Yarmouth. Thank you for supporting the important core values work that we do with our students.


Please be sure your child leaves in the morning dressed for the weather conditions. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. Boots, gloves, hats and snow pants should become part of their standard attire when the snowflakes begin to fall.  Students will be allowed to play in the snow if dressed properly. It is also important to label your child’s clothing and boots. We have several items (including winter coats) that are piling up in the lost and found area outside the lobby. We will be making a donation of any unclaimed items on December 22nd.  If your child is missing any items please make sure that you check the lost and found before that date. 


On Friday, December 8th, the Interact Club, a YHS service club, is sponsoring a KIDS' MOVIE NIGHT from 6-8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Main Street. The cost is $10/child (and $7 for each additional sibling). The movie Moana will be shown. Popcorn, drinks, and snacks will be for sale. Kids can bring a pillow and blanket and come in pj's if they like. This is a drop-off event, so parents can go out to dinner or get a jump on holiday shopping. This is a fundraiser to support a reforestation/lake purification project at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, where the club members will be volunteering in April. All money earned will go to buying trees for the project. For more information, contact Interact Club advisor Karin Walsh at


December 4 -10, 2017 is Computer Science Education Week, and Yarmouth Students in all grade levels will be provided opportunities for participation. A preferred opportunity will be provided through the Hour of Code, an international effort to teach computer programming and generate student interest in coding. From their website, “Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify ‘code’, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.”

Here at YES several learning activities will take place this week! Second and Third graders have already been introduced to the app “Scratch Jr.” For the Hour of Code they will use the “CodeSpark Academy” app called “The Foos”. It is designed to help students learn about Loops, Sequences, Events and Conditionals. Students have individual accounts and move at their own pace. Third graders also may access the Lightbot app or the Scratch Jr. app on their iPads.

Fourth grade students, who have had several years with Hour of Code, will access the Hour of Code website ( and select an appropriate learning tutorial and activity.

In all of these activities, students will work with partners or in small groups, sharing their exploration and learning. Many of the Hour of Code activities will continue to be supported by teachers for the rest of the school year as they fit with math and other curriculum areas.


Thursday, December 7th: School Lockdown Drill

The state of Maine requires that each school hold a minimum of two lockdown drills each year. The purpose of a school lockdown drill is to protect the children and adults in the building from a potential emergency.  Our staff is trained annually in these protocols.  As with fire drills and other safety protocols, the hope is to acclimate students and teachers to a procedure that they will be able to follow quickly, effectively, and safely. With elementary age children, we are thoughtful in our approach to these drills so as to not cause undue anxiety. We work closely with the Yarmouth Police Department, who will be on site to assist us in this practice. 

Thursday, December 14th: Chorus and Orff Ensemble Performance 6:30 p.m.

We look forward to our December Chorus and Orff Ensemble performance held in the YES cafeteria. Mrs. Troy will communicate more detailed information to the families of our performers.  As you know, we place a high value on music and the arts in Yarmouth and student participation numbers are quite large again this year. Thank you to Mrs. Troy for the work she does with students to inspire such a love for music and for leading this special event!

Thursday, December 21st: PTO Meeting 4:00 p.m.

The K-8 PTO will hold their monthly meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the YES library. Let me take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful "Make-it Take-it Craft Fair" that took place on Sunday, November 19th. It was a great turn out and our students talked for several days afterward how much they enjoyed this event. We appreciate all the hard work that goes in to make this event happen.  Many families volunteered to help the PTO run a station or filled in with other tasks that were needed to make this such a success. Thank you to everyone for your help!

Friday, December 22nd:  Pajama Day!

Friday, December 22nd is our last student day before the holiday break. Continuing a tradition from last year (and at the strong urging of our students!) I have declared that day "Pajama Day" at YES. Everyone can start picking out their favorite "PJ's" to wear to school that day!

December 25th-January 1st: Holiday Vacation

Happy New Year! Remember that classes resume at YES on Tuesday, January 2nd.

We wish all of our students and families a Happy Holiday Season!

Warm Regards,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal