Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
The last time I wrote, March seemed like a long month and now I am scrambling to keep up with it before it disappears.
We had a blizzard and a snow day; the month ends with Beach Day on the 31st.
MEAs will be finished this week for third and fourth graders. Make-ups will continue into the following week.
Chef Figgy’s Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Kidney Bean Ragu and Kale was a huge hit in the recent cafeteria taste testing event. Who knew kids would eat that?
And…Destination Imagination, a non-profit, volunteer-led, cause-driven organization, held State Final Competitions at UMO where Yarmouth Elementary School students had a most impressive showing. Several teams and parent managers worked for several weeks after school on projects that demonstrate creativity, problem-solving and teamwork.
#iMAGINATORS (Wyatt Gawtry, Jack Hebert, Andre Violette, August Violette, Will Raymond, Maya Faulstich, and Lauren Hallee) wereDestination Imagination 2017 State of Maine Wild Card winners in the Top Secret Category.
Yarmouth Mindcrafters, (Lincoln Thorner, Conor Setlow, Declan Newcomb, Owen Hayes, Ethan Goodrich, Linus Qvick, Graham Baybutt) placed third in the Elementary Level, Fine Arts Challenge - ‘Vanished!’ Here’s a link to Vanished! Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNA1RQxNzTA
During the First Week of April, Yarmouth Elementary School is sponsoring is first Spirit Week
There is NO SCHOOL Friday, April 14th, it is the beginning of school vacation week. Classes resume on Monday, April 24th.
I most enthusiastically look forward to working with Ryan Gleason during the remaining months of my tenure as Principal of Yarmouth Elementary School. He comes highly recommended.
It is important to remain informed about the budget process. Detailed information is shared on the district Business Office webpage.
Citizens will be provided three more opportunities to comment on the school department budget:
March 30 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin
April 6 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin
May 4 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin
Check the PTO website for updates on their information.
Music Booster’s Yarmouth’s Got Talent is Friday night!
Please contact me with any concerns and/or questions.
Betsy Lane, Principal
Friday, March 17, 2017
Dear Third and Fourth Grade Parents,
Over the next two weeks, third and fourth graders will take the required Maine Education Assessments in mathematics and English/language arts (ELA)/literacy.
Students will work for approximately an hour a day. Please check our school calendar or teacher pages/blogs as schedules and times differ between the two grade levels.
Please make sure your children are at school on time on these testing dates. Once testing begins they will not be able to enter the classroom until it is completed. If a student leaves school for any reason during a testing session, s/he must return on the same day to complete that session. Testing sessions must be started and completed in the same school day.
The students will use their laptops to take the tests in their classrooms. Fortunately, our students do not share their computers with other classrooms, which removes an obstacle faced in many schools. Teachers and Mrs. Wolinsky have prepared for the test and are ready to administer it. During testing time, teachers masterfully balance fun learning tasks and extra movement activities to keep everyone energized and motivated.
Thank you for your continued support at home. YOU make all the difference!
March 2, 2017
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,
Spring officially arrives this month, we set the clocks ahead, a few pussy willows have appeared, and students are in spring mode on the playground. They are so tired of their winter coats.
Today was Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We started the day with a whole-school community meeting to celebrate the importance of books and reading. The entire school body, dressed in variations of red, white and black to honor Dr. Seuss, spread out across the gym and read silently for 11 minutes. It was an amazing sight!
Maine’s public school students in grades 3-8 and in the third year of high school are required by both state and federal legislation to be assessed each year in the areas of mathematics and English language arts (ELA)/literacy.
Third and fourth graders will take the Maine Education Assessment (MEA) beginning the week of March 20th. The students will work for approximately an hour a day. Check our school calendar for testing dates and times. Please make sure your child(ren) arrive to school on time on these testing dates. Once testing begins they will not be able to enter the classroom until testing is completed.
Our annual placement process is underway. An extraordinary amount of time, care and thought are given to this collaborative process by those who know the students well. It is essential that balanced groupings be created to provide equal opportunities for all students. We are, therefore, unable to honor specific placement requests and thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
We welcomed five new students from other Maine districts this week. We now have 372 students at YES.
Before February vacation we had wacky sock day with an option of donating new socks for those in need. We collected almost 500 pairs of new socks!
Yarmouth’s Got Talent, a favorite local event, is March 31st. Entry forms for K-4 are due on Friday, March 17th. Auditions for K-4 students are on Tuesday, March 21st. For more information go to YarmouthsGotTalent.org.
Merrill Memorial Library is offering “The Curiosity Challenge” on Thursdays from March 2 – March 23, 4:00 – 4:50PM for students in grades 3- 6.
Friday, March 31st is our annual Beach Day when the cafeteria is transformed into a “beach”. Students may bring beach towels to sit in the “sand”, and sunglasses and hats to protect them from the “sun”. Hotdogs, chips and ice cream are traditionally served. Please feel free, younger siblings, too, to join us for the fun. If you plan to come to the “beach” that day and order from the cafeteria, please call ahead and let us know.
Quick reminder that supervision begins at 8:15 each morning and breakfast is served from 8:15 – 8:45.
There is no school on Friday, April 14th; it is the first day of April vacation. Classes resume on Monday, April 24th.
Please feel free to contact me.
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.
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