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YES February 2019 Newsletter
Ryan Gleason
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dear YES Families, 

We are now beginning the month of February and it’s hard to believe we are officially past the half way point of the school year. As we reflect on our school year at YES we will analyze and renew our goals for the remaining five months of the school year. The 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 support the nationwide theme of celebrating peace and tolerance during the month of February. Before sharing some important YES news and events for this upcoming month let me close with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal”.

STAFF RETIREMENT NEWS                                                                                                                     

At the end of this school year Cathy Wolinksy (K-4 Technology Integrator), Betsy Clark (YES Librarian) and Belinda Saucier (YES Educational Technician) will be retiring. All three of these staff members have given many years of service to YES, touching the lives of so many students and community members. We are sad to see them go but certainly wish them nothing but the best as they move on to new adventures. We will begin the process of hiring for their vacant positions in the coming months. You will all be missed!

CONFERENCES AND REPORT CARDS                                                                                                      

As I shared in the January newsletter, our parent conferencing occurs at about the mid-way point of our school year.  Teachers are in the process of beginning to conference.  They will be sharing with you how students are progressing and growing in regards to the YES learning standards.  Once again, your collaboration and support is appreciated!

MENTORS NEEDED!                                                                                                                                 

Do you have a friend, neighbor or family member that would be an excellent mentor for a student? Yarmouth schools has an established mentor program that pairs students in grades K-8 with an adult from the community to improve important life skills and build self esteem. We are hoping to provide additional students with this opportunity.  Please help us spread the word about this program and consider contacting someone in your network of friends and family that you believe would be an excellent mentor.  For more information please check out the Yarmouth Schools Volunteer application .  


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 2018 MEA assessments during the weeks of March 25 and April 1. 

YARMOUTH'S GOT TALENT 2019                                                                     

It's Time to Get Ready for the 9th Annual Yarmouth's Got Talent!                                   

All talent welcome to audition – music, dance, arts, magic, comedy or any creative endeavor that will win over the audience! 

Entry Forms:

Entry form for individual performers or group leaders: 

Entry form for additional group members: 

Entry forms must be submitted by Monday, March 18 for students at Rowe School or YES

Entry forms must be submitted by Thursday, March 21 for students at HMS or Yarmouth High School


Monday, March 25

Start at 3PM at HMS and YHS

Start at 3:45PM at YES.

Show Date:

Friday, March 29 (Rain date, Saturday, March 30)


Cash prizes based on audience vote.

A first and second prize will be awarded for each age group.

View official rules and links to the entry forms at

A NOTE FROM THE ART STUDIO                                                                     

This winter and spring there are a number of artful design challenge opportunities outside of Y.E.S.  that I would like to make parents and students aware of.  While some years I do choose an external design challenge and embed it in my curricular lessons, I will not be doing that this year. However,  I wanted to be sure that I alerted our Y.E.S. community of the many opportunities that their child can participate in! Here they are in no particular order, with links to the online information. 

Portland Youth Film Festival: Submission deadline, April 12th.  Both short films of 3 minutes or less and documentaries of 8 minutes or less, open to Maine students K-12. 

Doodle for Google: Doodle for Google is an annual contest open to students in grades K-12. Students are invited to create their own Google doodle for the chance to have it featured on, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages for their  Schools.  While this is a national contest, there also are state winners, and the potential prizes are significant.  Super fun to check out previous year’s winners. This year’s  contest theme, “When I grow up, I hope…” Deadline, March 18th. 

Maine Clean Water Week Poster Contest: In 1983 the Maine Legislature made provisions to designate the first full week in June as Maine Clean Water Week, a week to increase public’s awareness of the improvements made in the quality of Maine waterways.  The theme of the poster competition is “ Why Water’s Worth it to ME”. Open to students 1st - 12th.  Deadline April 5th. 

Junior Duck Stamp Competition: This is another national and statewide competition and is directly tied into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Conservation Program.  Deadline March 1st. 

Lyme Disease Awareness K-8 Poster Contest: Deadline  April 12th. If your child is looking to participate please let me know as there are only three posters that can be submitted per grade. While I am NOT planning to have any in-school competition, if a child plans to go through the work to submit, I should know because if there are more than three submissions per grade, per school I would need to determine which three can be submitted.  I'm not familiar with this format of competition but wanted to put it out there as it’s such a worthy cause.


Chake Higgison, YES Art Teacher  

SCHOOL NURSE NEWS                                                                               

Hello YES families! This time of year, with temperatures touching below freezing at times, it can be nice to cozy up on the couch and watch a movie or play a video game inside to stay warm.  Did you know that the average child aged 8-10 years old spends 6 hours a day in front of a screen for entertainment? That is over 91 days a year. This is time that could be spent being active.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend that children spend at least one hour a day being physically active. So, how can your family reduce recreational screen time?   

  • Set consistent limits for screen time that can be adhered to, involve children in the rule making process 
  • Monitor content of screen time
  • Have screen free zones in your home, for example: bedrooms and the dinner table
  • Find fun active things to do as a family, for example, go for a walk after dinner, a hike on the weekend or try a new sport like ice skating.  

For for information please see the YES nurse Blog HERE and the CDC website HERE. 

Also, please remember to send sneakers to school in your child’s backpack.  Children are not permitted to participate in PE without proper footwear for safety.

Happy February! Stay healthy!

Alison Thomson, RN BSN PTO NEWS                                                                                         

Kindness & Community – The PTO and your school will be launching an exciting project to promote kindness, service, and community with Raise Craze to support our schools. Here’s a quick, 2-minute video that shows a little about Raise Craze: Look for the wave of kindness beginning March 1 when all students from Rowe, YES, and HMS are invited to join us for a family night to kick off this project! We will have crafting, activity stations, and other pop-in fun for all families. Save the date! Specific details coming soon.

Hannaford Gift Cards – Next load date is Wed, Feb 6 at noon.

Rowe PTO Meeting – Please join us Thursday, Feb 28 at 4 pm in the YES library.

Thank you for supporting a growing list of events and enrichments! Please contact Heather or Christy for any reason or


Friday, February 1: Super Friday Celebration!                                                                                        

On Friday we will have a "Super Friday Celebration" to get excited for the Super Bowl this Sunday.  We are encouraging students to wear an item of clothing that shares something that they think is "super".  Many students will want to wear Patriots gear or another team shirt and that is all A-OK!  If your child is not a football fan that is also okay, as any thing they are excited about can be shared. I've heard many students share their plans that include celebrating varied"super" interests like Star Wars, Harry Potter, hiking, the color blue and pizza. There are all kinds of options!

Saturday, February 2: Groundhog Day                                                                                                

After several days explaining to our students what a "polar vortex" is we are hoping Punxatawney Phil does not see his shadow and warmer days are ahead!smiley

Tuesday, February 5: NAEP Testing (Grade 4)

Friday, February 8: 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!

Thursday, February 14: Valentines' Dayheart

February 18 to February 22: Winter Break- No School

Monday, February 25: School Resumes                                                       

And another important date to note is our annual YES Grandparents/Special Friends Day to be held on Friday, May 24th 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.


Ryan Gleason, YES Principal