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YES January 2021 Newsletter
Ryan Gleason
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

 

Dear YES Families, 

Happy New Year! I hope that you have had an enjoyable, restful, and healthy holiday week. Please remember that our first day of school after the break for hybrid and remote students is Monday, January 4. Cohort 1 hybrid students will be in-person that day with Cohort 2 to follow on Tuesday. 

Even with the holiday break, It has been a very busy week at YES! Construction and moving have been occurring throughout and students will see some changes when they return. We will be helping them to learn the changes next week but I’ve also included a summary below if you would like to share this with them beforehand.

MOVES/CHANGES FOR 2021

  • For the remainder of this school year, the main office will be located off of the music room. The main/office entrance to the school will be located by the car drop-off/pick-up loop. It will be the door on the left as you face the building. If you need to connect with the office in person, the call box and buzzer will be relocated there for you to communicate with Mrs. Bianchini and Mrs. Carter. 
  • Mrs. Thomson’s office will be located on the opposite side of the music room, next to the current isolation space. 
  • Mrs. Lokken will be in the grade two wing between Mrs. Parker and Ms. Smith.
  • Mr. Abbott and Mr. Stanchi will be using the space in the grade two wing between Mrs. Moll and Mrs. Tate.
  • Our Ed. Techs will be in the grade three wing between Ms. Moynihan and Mrs. Callahan (currently Mrs. McDonald, our guest teacher).
  • Mrs. Clark will be in the grade three wing between Mrs. Wentworth and Ms. Elward.
  • As a result of these spaces being used, all student jackets, snow pants, boots, etc. will be hung up in the hallways on hooks outside of the noted classrooms.
  • My office will be located at the end of the grade two wing by Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Gautreau.
  • The fourth-grade entrance and exit in the morning and afternoon will now be the same door that the second grade currently uses. This is the “main recess door” in the center of the building next to the playground. Arrival and dismissal are staggered so this will continue to keep students spread out during the transition times. 
  • Our next “big move” will be at the end of January/beginning of February. The 4th-grade classrooms and RTI learning centers will be moving out to our “Camp YES” modulars. More specific details will be provided as we firm up those transition dates. 

NEW GRADE LEVEL HELPDESKS

We continue to reflect on ways that we can improve our hybrid instruction. I am pleased to share with you that we will begin offering two additional helpdesk opportunities with a staff member on our all-remote Wednesdays. Assigned Educational Technicians will offer Google Meetings at scheduled times for synchronous support on remote work. This will be in addition to the 9 a.m. Morning Meeting and Teacher Help Desk. This means that students in each grade level will have an opportunity to connect with a YES educator up to four times throughout the Wednesday all remote day. The schedule will be as follows:

Grade Two: Ms. Benoit-  GRADE 2 WEDNESDAY HELPDESK 11:00 am- 12:00 pm  & 1:00 - 2:00 pm 

Grade Three: Ms. Machi-  GRADE 3 WEDNESDAY HELPDESK 11:00 am- 12:00 pm & 1:00 - 2:00 pm 

Grade Four: Ms. Margarones- GRADE 4 WEDNESDAY HELPDESK 11:30 am- 12:30 pm & 1:00- 2:00 pm

Mrs. Miller will also be supporting each of the grade level helpdesks as needed each Wednesday.

For your child to participate in a grade-level helpdesk they simply need to join the meeting link for their given grade. When we return from break the meeting links to access these sessions will be shared with you and all hybrid students.

Students can utilize this helpdesk time to ask questions and work through their assignments with adult support. Students can also meet virtually under adult supervision to work together on assignments when it is allowed. This is designed as a flexible “catch all time” for any content area that a student would like to work on. 

This will begin on Wednesday, January 6. We hope that several students will take advantage of this new opportunity!

WINTER WEATHER REMINDER

We are well into winter weather at this time of the school year, despite the washout that made all the snow disappear last week!   Please make sure that your students are coming to school with the proper winter gear. At a minimum, winter jackets, hats, gloves, and boots are necessary each day this time of year. When the snow returns students will need snow pants to play in the snowy areas of the playground as well. Here are some reminders of our playground winter procedures:

  • We will NOT go outside if the temperature on our website is 5 degrees or below. There are a number of sites to check for temperature, but for consistency, we will use the one on our YES website. Wind chill plays into this but fluctuates within seconds. The effect of a consistent wind chill combined with a temperature of 5 or below, may cause us to stay inside.
  • Students who want to play on the snowbanks on the playground must wear boots and snow pants.
  • Students who want to play on the wood chip area when it is covered with snow must wear boots. 
  • Students who want to roll, crawl around, etc. on the wood chip area, must wear boots and snow pants. Put a simpler way, if students are going to get wet in the snow, they need boots and snow pants! 

CONFERENCES, REPORT CARDS & MAP ASSESSMENTS: JANUARY- MARCH

From mid-January to March is the winter parent-teacher conference window. During this time classroom teachers will be setting up winter parent-teacher conferences.

If your parent-teacher conference is before the February vacation, your child's teacher will be sharing copies of their report card with you. If your conference is after the break the report card will be sent home to you the week of February 8. Yarmouth Elementary School reports out on learning standards twice a year, once at mid-year and again at the end of the school year.  Report cards are an "invitation to a conversation" and this will be a nice opportunity to celebrate your child's growth while also hearing about their next steps to keep growing as a learner. Obviously, this year has been unique and teachers have made the necessary adjustments that they will share with you at conference time. 

We also have the winter administration of the MAP/MPG reading and math assessments. Reading will be held on January 28 and 29 followed by math on February 4 and 5. As you know, this assessment helps to inform our instructional practices in supporting learning growth. Once testing is completed the results will be mailed home to you. 

SCHOOL LOCKDOWN DRILL: JANUARY 14 & 15

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.  We will be holding these drills on Thursday, January 14 (Cohort 1) and Friday, January 15 (Cohort 2). 

SCHOOL NURSE NOTES

Happy New Year! Please remember that if your family traveled over the holiday break you should let me know to ensure that all travel guidelines outlined by the Maine CDC and the Governor’s office were followed. Traveling outside of Maine to any destination excluding New Hampshire and Vermont should quarantine for 10 days upon return to Maine or obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in Maine.  More details can be found HEREand testing locations can be found HERE.  For additional questions or concerns please contact me at alison_thomson@yarmouthschools.org

PTO NEWS

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY: JANUARY 18, 2021: NO SCHOOL

On the third Monday of every January, we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is a day for the nation to reflect upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a minister, civil rights activist, and nonviolent leader. Dr. King was considered the most influential leader in the Civil Rights movement, which aimed to end the systematic racial segregation and discrimination. 

Dr. King (often referred to as MLK) played a key role in creating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received many awards and honors – most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Despite his early passing, Dr. King had an enormous, lasting influence on the Civil Rights movement and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential nonviolent leaders in world history. We will have no school on Monday, January 18 to honor the work of Dr. King.  

Dr. King once said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Hope is a powerful thing. It inspires us to do the impossible and helps us carry on during difficult times. And hope can come in many different shapes and forms. As we begin 2021, my hope is for a positive start to the new year and the continued good health of our YES community. Thank you all for your continued collaboration and support.

Best,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal