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YES December 2018 Newsletter
Ryan Gleason
Sunday, December 02, 2018

As we end 2018, I would like to thank you all for your support of Yarmouth Elementary School and the work we do together to help all children become successful learners and citizens. A National Blue Ribbon award is not just a reflection of the work going on in the building. It is also a recognition of the work that our families and community do every day to help make YES such a special place of learning for our students. We appreciate all that you do!

We wish you a restful winter break and hope that you enjoy this time with your families. For the New Year, we wish you health and happiness and hope that the winter recess provides a myriad of opportunities for you and your family to do things you might not be able to do when school is in session.

Our entire school community- students, parents and staff-  has accomplished a lot during our first few months of school. We have a great deal to celebrate and much to look forward to!


On November 6, Yarmouth voters approved school bond improvements at all schools, including the addition and renovation of our own Yarmouth Elementary School. Thank you again for your support! Planning is already in motion and I would anticipate news in the coming months that will share a timeline of the construction process. We will keep you well informed!


The Yarmouth Education Foundation is pleased to announce it awarded 13 grants worth a total of more than $24,000 this fall cycle. YEF holds two grant cycles each year. YES received six grants! We are so appreciative and want to thank YEF for their ongoing support! A description of the grants can be found below:

STEAM Makerspace Cart and Coding Robots-3rd Grade Teachers

A makerspace is a community destination where students can create, solve problems, and work as a team. This grant will provide a makerspace in all third grade classrooms so children can learn through creation. Teachers are always looking for new ideas to incorporate into their lessons, beyond the traditional lecture-style learning. These incredible STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) carts will allow students to come up with ideas for projects, learn that ideas may not always work, and failure is ok – just keep trying! These carts will give students everything they need to put their STEAM skills into action as they invent, innovate, and discover with tools, tubes, gears, wood supplies, robots, and robotic kits.

Staff and Student Mindfulness -Ryan Gleason with Laura Spellman and Lindsey Lokken

This grant is designed to improve student and staff wellness at Yarmouth Elementary School. Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. It helps people of all ages respond calmly to situations, improve mental health, and cope with stress. YEF will help bring a mindfulness workshop to YES educators. The workshop will give staff an introduction to mindfulness and share how it can be incorporated into classrooms. A mindfulness coach will lead the staff workshop but will also spend six weeks at YES visiting all classrooms. The coach will help students practice mindfulness, focus their minds, and have compassion for others. Teachers will be able to observe and learn as well. This innovative approach to wellness will have a positive impact on students and staff.

YES Weather Station-Deborah Landry with Kate Parkin

A wireless weather station is coming to Yarmouth Elementary School, and all Yarmouth schools will be able to gather weather data from this device. Many grade levels study weather. Fourth grade, in particular, will use this weather station as part of their earth and space science curriculum. It will send real-time data to indoor devices so students can monitor temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction, air pressure, and more. This weather station can also link to other stations around the world so students can study weather and climate from regions across the United States and beyond. It will help them learn how to gather and sort data, make predictions, and use weather tools. It will teach them about major weather events happening around the world, and it will show them how weather impacts their daily lives at home.

Wind Firefly-Deborah Landry with Karin Ney

Third graders learn about many types of energy, and this grant will allow them to investigate how energy transfers from one object to another. They will also study how energy can change forms. This grant will introduce them to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) challenge demonstrating how wind energy can produce electrical energy and, in turn, power a light. YEF will provide 22 mini wind turbine kits, and student must work with them to create a successful design. This grant also provides each third grade classroom with the children’s version of the inspirational story “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” so teachers can incorporate this book into the unit as well.

Finding Balance-Chris Wentworth and Karin Ney

YEF is excited to provide hammocks and slacklines for Yarmouth Elementary School. This grant allows students to explore different ways to regulate their bodies and minds during their outside time. The school offers team sports and playground equipment at recess, but some students can find those options challenging and overwhelming. This grant gives children a space where they can unwind, refocus, and recharge in a different way. Children can work on building strength and balance, or enjoy a calming swing in a hammock.

Fossil Labs at YES-Deb Landry with Laura Wetmore and Kate Parkin

Third and fourth grade science lessons will be enhanced thanks to a YEF grant that funds an incredible collection of fossils. This new collection will help students understand the history of our planet, learn about habitats, work with maps, and discover how landforms and environments have changed over the years. They will observe and measure fossils to determine when the organism lived and compare them to living creatures today. Students love to hold real fossils and are much more engaged in the subject matter compared to when they read about fossils in a book or online. 

YEF Clipper Honors

If you would like to support the YEF mission, you can give the gift of education! The YEF Clipper Honors program is back. If you are looking for a holiday gift for a Yarmouth School Department employee, please consider Clipper Honors. If you make a $25 donation or more to YEF in honor of an employee, they will receive a special YEF certificate of appreciation, a personalized note from your family, and cookies from Cookies Direct of Yarmouth. The ordering deadline is Thursday, December 13. YEF volunteers will deliver gifts on Monday, December 17. These can be given to teachers, administrators, support staff, nutrition workers, bus drivers, and more. You can order online at the YEF website: - thank you! 


December 3 -7, 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.”

"Hour of Code" activities will begin this week and continue into the month. Each year at YES students spend at least an hour exploring the concepts of Algorithms, Loops, Sequences, Events, and Conditionals. Following the introductory work at Rowe School, second graders review the apps Kodable and Bluebot on their iPads. Later in the year they will learn more tools in Scratch Jr. and have an introduction to Code Academy. Third graders will spend time on the Lightbot Hour of Code app as well as selected options from Fourth graders will explore a project in the newly minted Scratch 3, using tutorials to create a conversation, make music or design a dance party. We will explore this new version of Scratch further during the Innovation block involving all fourth graders in January and February 2019. Thank you to Mrs. Wolinsky for hard work and leadership to make the YES "Hour of Code" another successful event for our students!


Winter weather has arrived early this year! Please be sure that 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 21.  If your child is missing any items please make sure that you check the lost and found before that date. 


With winter weather comes the danger of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is most common in severely cold temperatures but as a little know fact, hypothermia can also occur at cool temperatures, or temperatures above 40 degrees, when an individual becomes wet from sweat, or playing in the snow.  At Yarmouth Elementary School, students go outside to play when the REAL FEEL temperature is above 10 degrees.  With this in mind, students should come to school prepared to play outside most days.  Again, please send hats mittens and boots to school for recess, and snow pants if students plan to play in the snow, all winter long.  Don't forget to send a change of shoes for inside play and SNEAKERS for PE class. A change of clothes, kept in their backpack, is also a very good idea with the playground very wet. 

Together, we can keep the children at YES safe and warm this winter!

For more information visit the YES school nurse blog at :


In Guidance we will be focusing on conflict resolution strategies. Students will learn that conflict is neither good nor bad. Conflicts just happen. They are a part of life. They will learn a variety of ways to manage conflicts and learn the difference between big problems and small problems. Big problems require adult help and small problems are those in which the child can handle on their own. Be on the lookout for a Kelso’s Choices worksheet that I use to teach kids the many ways they can solve their small problems.

Happy Holidays!

Ms. Spellman, YES School Counselor  


Parents and Guardians,

A continued, heart-felt thank you for supporting a lengthy list of enrichments! Check them out:

  • Hannaford Gift Cards - Next load date is Wed, Dec 19 at noon.
  • Close Buy Merchandise Distribution – Merchandise is in! Please pick up at the Rowe School library, Dec 12-13, 3:30-6:00 pm. If you are unable to pick up at these times, please email us at
  • Otto’s Friends & Family Fundraiser - HMS students and families, join us for a fun evening at Otto's on Tuesday, December 11, 4-7pm. Pizza for sale to benefit the PTO. Non-HMS families, what a great reason to not cook – to-go pizzas also benefit the PTO!
  • Directory - Our online directory has launched! If you opted to share information with us, you should have received an email from Yarmouth PTO with a link to sign into your account. If you did not receive an email but want to add your info to the directory, please contact us. We will confirm you have a Yarmouth student and send you your account information. Questions? Visit our FAQs link below or contact us. FAQs:
  • “Maine Girls” Save the Date - Join us Jan 15 at 6 pm in the Yarmouth public library for a free screening of “Maine Girls.” This 30-min documentary follows a group of immigrant and US-born teenage girls as they face the unfamiliar and bridge divides. A Q&A session follows led by 4 local leaders working in related fields. If you’re bringing children, we recommend middle school age and up, but please view the trailer to decide what’s best for your child.
  • Box Tops - Thank you for your continued clipping!
  • PTO Meeting - Please join us Dec 20 at 4 pm in the YES library.
  • Giving - Please contact us if you’d like to work with us! If you’d like to give a donation, please write a check to Yarmouth K-8 PTO and send it to PO Box 262 in Yarmouth.

Thank you again for your support!

Christy Hayashida and Heather Meier, Yarmouth K-8 PTO Co-Presidents


Thursday, December 6: 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. 

Friday, December 7: Community Meeting & "Kids Night Out"

For our December Community Meeting, we are focusing on our core values of CITIZENSHIP and CARING by supporting our animal friends at the Midcoast Humane Society. There are a variety of different needs for this community of animal friends. Any level of support you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Children should bring donations to their classrooms the week of December 3-7. We will celebrate this week with a school-wide community meeting at 2:45 on Friday, December 7.

In addition to this, we are inviting children and the staff to bring in a copy of one photo or an illustration of their favorite animal friend that will get posted on the “We love our animals and stuffies board!” Please be sure to send a copy, as these pictures will not be returned.

Caring for our Animal Friends Wish List:

Animal Care Supplies:

  • Wet cat and dog food
  • Dry cat and dog food (dye-free only)
  • Canned tuna
  • Cat litter (unscented, please)
  • Collars and leashes
  • Non-coated paper plates (no styrofoam, please)
  • Towels and blankets (no pillows, please)

Foster Supplies:

  • Non-clumping litter
  • Pet safe heating pads
  • Food Scales
  • Animal Enrichment
  • Dog, cat, and small animal treats
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Veggies for small animals
  • Chicken and beef stock
  • Scents (catnip, herbs, spices, extracts, animal scents, room sprays, etc.)
  • Puzzle feeders
  • Animal toys
  • 3 oz Disposable paper cups
  • CDs (especially relaxing music, nature sounds, or audiobooks)
  • CD players

Thank you for supporting this important core values work with our students!

Also, on Friday, December 7th, the YHS Interact Club will host a Kids' Night event to raise funds for the Yarmouth Food Pantry. They will show Holiday Favorite movies and have games for kids to play. The evening will take place at First Baptist Church on Main Street in Yarmouth from 6-8 p.m. Cost is $12/student and $10 for each additional sibling and is open to grades K-5. Pizza, popcorn, and baked goods will be on sale. For more information:

Thursday, December 14: Winter Concert Performance 6:30 p.m.

We look forward to our annual Winter Concert Performance! 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. Information to those students who are participating will be communicated. While on the subject of music, congratulations to our YES students who sang the National Anthem at the Maine Mariners game in Portland on Friday night. Thank you to Mrs. Troy and Mr. Ciechomski for all the work they do with our students to inspire such a love for music!

Thursday, December 20: PTO Meeting 4:00 p.m.

The K-8 PTO will hold their monthly meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the YES library.  Please consider attending this meeting and learn how you can join in on the fun! Let me take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful "Make-it Take-it Craft Fair" that took place on Sunday, November 18. 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 21:  Pajama Day!

Friday, December 21 is our last student day before the holiday break. I have declared another"Pajama Day" at YES.  Everyone can start picking out their favorite "PJ's" to wear to school that day!

December 24- January 1: Holiday Winter Vacation

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

Again, on behalf of the Yarmouth Elementary School faculty and staff, we wish all of our students and families a happy holiday season!

Warm regards,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal