Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends,
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. Dr. Seuss
In some ways it seems like we just returned from our holiday vacation, and here it is already February. Our February vacation is the third full week of the month. We have school on Friday, February 17th and classes resume on Monday, February 27th.
Fourth grade students exceeded all expectations with their performances of Harriet Tubman at Yarmouth Performing Arts Center on January 25th and 26th. I am honored to be their principal and celebrate their accomplishments. Suggested donations of $30 to support Spirit Series are still gratefully accepted if you have not yet had a chance to contribute.
Fourth graders have a band concert for you on Tuesday, February 7th at 6:00 PM in the YES gym.
On February 10th our second Lock Down drill is scheduled at 11:15AM with the assistance of the Yarmouth Police Department. This will be much like the one held in December.
Second Grade is sponsoring a Sock Drive/Wacky Sock Drive on Thursday, February 16th. Everyone is encouraged to wear wacky socks, or to wear socks in a “wacky way” that day. In addition, students may bring in one or more pairs of NEW socks (not necessarily wacky) to contribute to children and adults in need. We will collect all the socks at a community school meeting and they will be donated.
On Friday, January 13th, Will Lachance was Principal of The Day. He did a most respectable job with his responsibilities and delighted all the students with an impromptu dance party before the end of his day, what fun!! The regular principal would never think of such a thing! The opportunity to be Principal of The Day was purchased at the Yarmouth Educational Foundation Blue Jean Ball silent auction.
Jared Conant, Maine’s ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy and an 8th grader at HMS, is about to celebrate his 13th birthday by collecting food donations for Yarmouth Community Food Pantry. We will have collections boxes in each hallway and in the office to help Jared if your family would like to donate a food item or personal care item.
Please look at individual teacher pages, blogs and posts for information on Valentine's Day celebrations. Our celebrations are healthy food choices only.
Congratulations to Charlotte Agell, 4 - 8 GT language arts teacher! She has a book contract with Scholastic for a picture book currently titled Elba and Norris. This book was tested last year on the entire third grade! Elba and Norris will be out in Spring 2019. To quote Charlotte, “these things happen in glacial time!”
Our annual Beach Day is Friday, March 31st. This is the day that our cafeteria becomes a sandy beach and lunch is served picnic style. The students dress for the beach and sit on towels; however, there is NO swimming allowed! If you want to join us that day and purchase lunch from the cafeteria, please call ahead and let us know. Watch for the menu, which will be posted on our web site.
If you are a parent of a fourth grader, your child really is headed to Harrison Middle School for fifth grade. Principal Joan Adler, Assistant Principal Tom McDowell and the 5th Grade Team invite you to an informational meeting on May 24th at 6:30PM in the HMS cafeteria. Watch for more information to follow.
The student artwork displayed in our hallways is outstanding. Take a few minutes to enjoy it the next time you visit.
This is school budget time for 2017-2018. Workshops with the School Committee and those with the Town Council are televised and all information is available to you.
As always, please contact me if there is anything on your mind.
January 4, 2017
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
Best Wishes to all of you for a happy, safe and healthy 2017! It’s great to be back after the break. The students are rested, happy and ready to learn.
The New Year promises to bring changes for me. In June, I will retire after 30 years in the Yarmouth schools. In 1987 I joined the Yarmouth Elementary School faculty, then called Yarmouth Intermediate School, as a third grade teacher. I moved to Harrison Middle School in 1999 to become the assistant principal and returned to YES as the principal in 2008. My career in this outstanding school system has been richly rewarding.
And, now it feels right for me to step aside. The YES faculty is highly skilled, collaborative and cohesive. It is an honor to work among such fine professionals willing to problem solve, learn, receive feedback to improve their instruction, and have fun as they work together.
As a teacher, administrator and long ago parent in the community, I know first hand about opportunities the community and schools have available for your students. My son, Matt, graduated from Yarmouth High School in the class of 1996 where he took full advantage of all that Yarmouth had to offer academically, athletically, musically and in theater. He went from YHS to the College of William and Mary and on to run professionally for NIKE in California and to participate in Olympic Trials. Matt, now an attorney in Boston, and his wife Erin, also a runner, have three children ages 7, 5, and 2.
I have no particular plans, only to let things unfold for a while. During a recent visit to my house, I overheard my oldest granddaughter, Madeleine, say to her brother, “I love coming here, we can do anything!” I will certainly explore more mischief and activities with my grandchildren.
There is No School on Monday, January 16th in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
The Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program has selected Yarmouth Education Foundation as the local program beneficiary for the month of January! For every purchase of the blue Hannaford Helps Reusable bags at $2.50 this month Hannaford will donate $1 to YEF! Hannaford developed this program in order to further support Hannaford’s values by making it easy for customers to contribute to their local community and support the environment. Please consider buying a Hannaford blue reusable bag this month. Thank you.
Yarmouth PTO is partially funding a special program, which will make it possible for all fourth graders to embark on an amazing three-week learning adventure with guest instructor, Kent Pierce. For an hour each day, students immerse themselves in a world far beyond the classroom—studying, co-writing, staging, and performing an inspirational one-act SPIRIT SERIES play: Freedom Train. This unique educational experience—acclaimed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education—has been classroom-tested by 40,000 students from Maine to California. Designed to fully engage and challenge our fourth graders, SPIRIT SERIES promotes literacy, higher-level thinking, positive core values, presentation skills, teamwork, character and self-esteem. It is truly amazing to observe the authentic engagement as the students work on this project.
Check the PTO website @ http://yes.yarmouthschools.org for general information and for fund raising information including their continued project with Hannaford Gift Cards.
The Fourth Grade Band has their first concert on Tuesday, February 7th @ 6:00.
On Wednesday February 15th, fourth graders will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This is administered by the State and schools are randomly selected to participate. More specific information will be forthcoming.
Before February vacation (week of February 20 – 24), your child(ren)'s teacher(s) will contact you to schedule a mid-year conference. This is an extremely important conference for a detailed understanding of your child's progress and what expectations remain in the academic year. We deeply appreciate the support you provide at home to make learning here at school successful.
Third and fourth graders will take the Maine Education Assessment (MEA) in the spring. A schedule with more information will follow toward the end of February. State assessments, known as the Maine Educational Assessments (MEA), measure the progress of Maine’s students toward the content standards adopted for Maine students.
As always feel free to contact me with any concerns/ questions/ frustrations/compliments. I want to hear from you.
December 20, 2016
We are bursting with excitement at YES for the fast approaching holidays and vacation. To add to the fun, Thursday, December 22nd, has been declared Pajama Day at YES. Everyone is wearing pajamas to school!
Individual classroom teachers may add read or math-a-thons and/or games. Some classrooms may invite favorite stuffed animals and pillows. It is best to check with your child’s teacher for clarification on these additions.
The students love to play on the large playground snow bank; however, boots and snow pants are required gear.
Thank you for sending shoes to school so students do not have to wear boots all day in the classrooms. It makes a big difference in helping us keep the building clean.
Lost and Found will be donated during vacation, not kidding. Please take a look before the end of the week.
Best Wishes for the happiest of holidays, a merry vacation with your children, and peace and contentment in the New Year.
December 2, 2016
Dear Parents and Friends,
“You have one month to finish the book of 2016. Make the last chapter a good one.” ~ Author Unknown
Our last day of school before the holiday break is Thursday, December 22nd. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3rd 2017.
On Thursday, December 8th @ 1:10 PM, the Yarmouth Police Department will guide our first Lock-Down drill this year. The students will hear me ask the teachers to secure their rooms and will then follow their teachers’ directions. Our second Lock-Down drill is scheduled for Friday, February 10th @ 11:10.
The Fourth Grade Winter Chorus Concert is Thursday, December 15th at 6:30 PM in the YES gym.
December 1st third graders treated us to an inspiring and uplifting school wide community meeting on optimism. A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful Independent Growth by Mraz and Hertz was the source behind this important message and I'm confident the authors would have been honored to see the students advocating the message of optimism. As parents you might enjoy this book as a resource.
Soon the students will need boots on a daily basis. Everyone needs shoes during the day in their classrooms, bathrooms and halls. Please send shoes with your children so boots can be left outside the classroom. Feel free to send an extra (old) pair of sneakers or hard-soled slippers to be left at school. Socks do not count as shoes as much as they try to convince me!
Many of you will attend classroom writing and reading celebrations this month Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to be part of your children’s school lives. We are very proud of their effort and all they accomplish.
Yarmouth Community Services has a few openings in its K-4 Before School Program here at YES. If you are interested please call 846-2406 for more information.
We are very excited to announce that the following Yarmouth Education Foundation grants were awarded to YES:
Mathematics in Action II (Rachel Clark)
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, a former MIT mathematics professor and worldwide lecturer spent October 7th with K-4 educators sharing proven, efficient strategies and reasons behind mathematics instruction. YEF funded this engaging Professional Development Day. Dr. Sharma used Cuisenaire Rods to help educators improve instruction of foundational mathematical concepts.
Georges Cuisenaire, a Belgian primary school teacher, made a discovery years ago with his famous rods, which is now considered a vital component of teaching mathematics. He found that by making use of children's natural inclination to play, and giving them an appealing material which demonstrated the relationships on which mathematics is based, it was possible for them to all understand. Furthermore, the contextual features of size, shape, and color added meaning to each of these rods.
Cuisenaire Rods allow children to quickly see relationships in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and more. The students move away from knowing only rote procedures, to understanding number concepts.
The YEF grant allowed us to purchase Cuisenaire Rods for all 18 classrooms. (We shopped on cyber Monday!) THANK YOU YEF!!
Breakout EDU (Nicole Colfer, Chris Wentworth, Laura Wetmore, Kate Parkin & Karin Ney)
Unlike many traditional curricula or programs, Breakout EDU requires teams to solve interactive clues. During a typical Breakout challenge, students move around a classroom or set area, discussing possible solutions, asking questions, and thinking critically. The end goal of working toward unlocking the box is highly motivating for children and adults. There is an end result and a feeling of accomplishment once each lock and, then finally, a box is unlocked.
Teachers incorporating Breakout boxes into their lessons can create clues relating to specific curriculum areas such as science, geography, history, literature, and mathematics. Not every game ends with a successful conclusion and part of the activity is a reflection on the process of learning and perseverance.
Students will assume roles within the Breakout activities that help or hinder the process. This lends itself to teachable moments relating to: empathy, inclusion, patience, respect, leadership, participation and grit. These teachable moments complement our commitment to our Responsive Classroom philosophy and Yarmouth Core Values. THANK YOU YEF!!
Are you aware of Yarmouth Education Foundation’s Honor Program? You can make a donation in any amount to YEF in honor of a teacher, coach, mentor, Clipper Buddy, friend, relative, and/or anyone you would like to honor. That person will receive a certificate that he/she has been honored and YEF and Yarmouth schools benefit from your donation. It’s a perfect gift idea at this time of year.
I’m sure you are weary of my squawking about Lost and Found, however, there are some very nice items that will be donated during our December break if they are not claimed before our December break.
Please contact me with any questions and concerns you might have. I want to hear from you. Thank you for your continued support.
My Best to everyone for the Holiday Season and the New Year!
November 15, 2016
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends,
November continues to delight us with warm weather, which allows playing outside unencumbered by coats and jackets. One can only wonder how long this can last.
There is no school on Wednesday, November 23rd. We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving with your families.
Looking ahead, there is no school for the holiday break from Friday December 23rd through Monday, January 2nd. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
The 2016 election was long and flush with strong emotions. As parents, and educators we have a responsibility to help children feel safe and secure and learn how to engage with others of differing opinions in a peaceful and respectful manner. If you are interested in a resource for help with this, you might try National Association of School Psychologist. www.nasponline.org.
When you are picking your children up at the end of the day, we ask that they stay inside the building to wait for you. This way we know where they are. This has become an inceasingly important safety concern.
Thank you to School Committee member Laura Coroi for her winning Mediterranean Baked Bean recipe, which will be served all week on the Bento lunch. I had no idea children were such baked bean aficionados!
When the pond freezes behind Key Bank and is suitable for skating, YCS has ice skates to loan. Call 846–2406 for more information.
As always, please check Lost and Found. There are some very nice items that have been left behind. Everything will be sent to a charity over the holiday break.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Included in this message are two poems written by fourth graders in honor of Veterans Day.
By Sierra Hunt
Fights for our country
Who feels so brave they will risk their on lives for others
Who needs a friend to help guide their way
Who fears letting down their country
Who loves fighting for others
Who thinks of others
Who believes in world peace
Veterans Day Poem
By Robyn Felmly
Fights for freedom
Who feels freedom coming into the world
Who needs Family to support them
Who fears that death is close
Who loves America and it's bravery
Who thinks they can win war
Who believes in America
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
Keep Calm and Welcome November
Pokeman cards are not allowed at school or on the buses. They inevitably cause hard feelings with trading.
This is a busy time of year for the K-8 PTO. Please check their site on our website http://yes.yarmouthschools.org , click on Parents then K-8 PTO, to find out more about the Kids Make-It Take-It Craft Fair. Hannaford Gift Cards make excellent gifts this time of year.
We remain on pins and needles to learn what grant proposals Yarmouth Education Foundation will fund. We will know before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for the next newsletter when I will share our YEF news.
For specific classroom information, check teacher web pages and blogs. They’re a wealth of information.
With the approaching season, I am thankful for my position and the opportunity to work in this fine community with respectful, curious students who are eager to learn.
Please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
Dear Families and Friends,
There is no school on Friday, October 7th , a teacher professional development day and Monday, October 10th, Columbus Day. Enjoy the long weekend with your family.
Our first month of school went amazingly fast and well. Our 38 new students are very much a part of us and we welcome the various perspectives, experiences and cultures they share with us. We have 368 cooperative, motivated and curious students.
I met my goal to learn everyone’s name by the end of September. Now, I still draw a blank at times, end up looking at someone a bit strangely and have to ask for help. I do, however, know their names, it may just take longer on some days!
On September 27th, Andrew Dolloff sent an update on our water situation. Four fixtures at YES were replaced, and water from those fixtures was re-examined to test our hypothesis that the lead in the original samples was coming from the older solder found in those isolated faucets. The results of that testing indicate this is the problem. Poland Spring water will continue to be available until the problem is corrected in all classrooms.
The beautiful fall weather allows for day after day of active outdoor recess play. With the chilly mornings and delightful afternoons, more and more jackets are left behind and Lost and Found (right outside the office) has expanded rapidly. Please check when you are in, or better yet, remind your child to check for lost items. If lost items have names on them, it is much easier to return them.
Please help us with our efforts to have the students have healthy nutritious choices at snack time. Candy and foods and drinks with high sugar content interfere with learning. Children do much better with snacks that help them sustain energy throughout the day.
THANK YOU for following our request to come into the office at the end of the day to sign your children out. I know the parking situation makes this difficult if not annoying; however, this is an important safety procedure.
If you are dropping your child off in the morning and will be more than a few minutes, please pull forward to the parking lot to park. It is dangerous for children to be dropped off between cars that are parked and those that are moving. Children should also get out of your car on curbside.
On October 5th we will celebrate International Walk to School Day with a Walking School Bus. We will assemble at Royal River Park at 7:55 AM to depart at 8:00 AM. We will walk on the sidewalks up East Elm Street to the intersection with Main Street, cross over, and continue up West Elm Street to the Walker's Path. Please join us.
A flu clinic for K-4 students is scheduled on Wednesday, October 5th at the Rowe School from 4:00 – 5:00 PM.
Our annual Book Fair is scheduled for the week of October 17th. Watch for more information.
Classroom teachers write excellent blog posts to keep you updated with classroom activities. Let them know if you are not accessing them.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any concerns, observations or questions. It is an honor (and fun!) to work in this school district with your children.
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
We couldn’t have asked for a smoother opening day. Yarmouth Elementary School is alive with the sounds of teachers and children participating in activities that build classroom communities and strengthen relationships. We opened today with 370 students; we closed in June with 349. We welcome all of our new students and families and are glad you are here to learn and play with us this year.
Each classroom has a Poland Spring water system until our water situation is corrected. Students are encouraged to bring their personal water bottles from home to start each day. There are also cups available in the classrooms. Please clearly label your child’s water bottle.
We have two Open House events scheduled for parents only. Grade Two is Thursday, September 15th 6:00-7:00PM and for Grades Three and Four Monday, September 19th 6:00–7:00PM. This is a time for you to learn about your child’s grade level curriculum, behavioral expectations, and routines. Both events will start in the gym before you go to the classrooms.
This year Karen Renton, a retired teacher, has arranged with Yarmouth Community Services to provide childcare in the YES music room during both Open House dates. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please call YCS @ 846 – 2406 to reserve a space for your child(ren).
It is my goal to learn all the students’ names by the end of the month, so if they mention some lady keeps bothering them about their names, they are most likely talking about me.
Please feel free to contact me for any reason. I want to know what you think.
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
What fabulous summer weather we have had for outdoor activities! I trust you have all enjoyed the summer break with your families. Some of you might even be thinking about schedules and routines for a new school year and other fall activities. I saw my friend Nate at Otto’s and he said with a big smile that he was ready for school to start to see all his friends.
We look forward to seeing you at our informal drop-in Open House on Thursday, September 1 from This is an opportunity for you and your children to meet new teachers, visit classrooms, and see old and new friends. .
This fall we are very fortunate to welcome several new people to Yarmouth Elementary School:
This year we have grade level wings or hallways: all grade 2 students are in the purple hall, grade 3 students are in the green hall and grade 4 students can be found in the yellow hall. There are six classrooms of each grade level.
We will continue to work under the guidance of our strategic plan, “Vision 2020: Planning for Student Success”. In addition we will use Words Their Way as a new resource for spelling and word study.
Note Change: This year we start school @ and end school @ . Children should not be on the playground before as there is no supervision before then. In the afternoon, please come inside to the office and sign your children out even if you arrive after dismissal at . This may be very inconvenient; however, it is very important that we know where everyone is.
Please make every effort to confirm plans for after school before your children leave in the morning. If plans should change during the day, please call us and we will notify your child of the new plans at the end of the day. Teachers often do not have time to check email during the day; therefore, calling the office is the safest way to notify us of a change.
On the first day of school, we will send home many sheets of information in an effort to make sure everyone receives it. After that, most of our correspondence will be through email. Becca Wood and Lisa Bianchini will send informational group emails for me throughout the year; therefore, if you see a message from one of them, it most likely is from me. Please make sure you check your child’s teacher’s website, teacher page or blog. This is the best way to stay informed.
If your child plans to ride a bike the first day of school, please remind him/her that most of the bike racks are near the front entrance of the building and bikes should not be left on walkways for safety reasons.
Just a reminder that birthdays are celebrated without food items and gift bags for students. Teachers creatively honor students on their special day.
Watch for news from the School Nutrition Program Director, Blair Currier with information regarding school lunches.
Please keep the following dates and events in mind as you plan.
I enthusiastically look forward to this year as I have the utmost confidence in the faculty and staff to make this an exciting satisfying year. If you have any questions, please contact me at 846 – 3391 or through emailBetsy_Lane@yarmouthschools.org I want to hear from you!
Betsy Lane, Principal
Dear Parents and Friends,
it get so late so soon?
Our last day of school before the holiday break is Tuesday, December 22nd. Classes resume on Monday, January 4th, 2016.
The Fourth Grade Winter Chorus Concert is Tuesday, December 15th at 6:30 PM in the YES gym.
Many of you have recently attended or will attend classroom writing and reading celebrations. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to be part of your children’s school lives. We are very proud of their effort and all they accomplish.
The YES Leadership Team is reading Teasing, Tattling, Defiance by Margaret Berry Wilson as we continue to strengthen our culture and learn more about children and their behavior.
We are very excited to announce that the following Yarmouth Education Foundation grants were awarded to YES for the winter/spring semester and next October.
Salmon Hatchery supports 4th Grade life science curriculum. The salmon egg hatchery will provide a model for study of the life cycle, traits, behavior and adaptations of organisms, and offer a hands-on, unique, and fun experience for students. The salmon will eventually be released in the Royal River.
Stand Up To Learn Seven stand up desks will be purchased and used in seven different classrooms to improve attention span, increased self-regulation, and activity levels. Research suggests physical activity can improve a student 's ability to pay attention and retain information, as well as promote physical fitness.
Flight Club to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) with cameras at YES. Students will work on teams to plan flight paths, fly the UAV, navigate during flights, edit footage, troubleshoot problems, and fix and repair drones as inevitable damage occurs.
Spirit Series Combining social studies and language arts standards and curricula, each of the six fourth grade classrooms will work individually with Kent Pierce for one hour a day for three weeks (15 hours). Through theater they will tell "Freedom Train", the story of Harriet Tubman whose life teaches us that we must sometimes "answer the call", break the rules, and be willing to take the consequences when we do.
Mehesh Sharma joins us next fall for our professional development day, October 7, 2016. This Yarmouth Education Foundation grant provides an opportunity for K-4 teachers and ed techs to have mathematics brought to life by world renown mathematics consultant Mehesh Sharma. His experiences as an MIT professor, a mathematics scholar, and a master of linguistics shine the light for teachers constantly trying to make mathematics relevant. His precise instruction coupled with his understanding of how students learn mathematics is, as one teacher put it, transformative.
A very exciting spring semester lies ahead of us at YES and we look forward to our professional day with Mehesh Sharma in October 2016.
THANK YOU Yarmouth Education Foundation!!!
Are you aware of Yarmouth Education Foundation’s Honor Program? You can make a donation in any amount to YEF in honor of a teacher, coach, mentor, Clipper Buddy, friend, relative, and/or anyone you would like to honor and that person will receive a certificate that he/she has been honored and YEF and Yarmouth schools benefit from your donation. It’s a perfect gift idea at this time of year.
Please contact me with any questions and concerns you might have. I want to hear from you.
Thank you for your continued support.