Principal Newsletters

October Newsletter

posted Oct 2, 2017, 6:05 AM by Cathy Wolinsky-YES   [ updated Oct 10, 2017, 5:05 AM by Yarmouth Elementary ]

It is so hard to believe that it is already October!   Although September felt more like July this year, it certainly has gone by quickly.  Students and staff did an amazing job finding ways to "beat the heat" and get the school year off to a fantastic start.  Our first month of school has been a busy one as students are well settled in to their classroom communities and highly engaged in their learning.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to visit with many of you in the office, at drop off/pick up and at our recent Open House evenings. I know that your children are more important than anything in your lives,  and I leave school each evening with a renewed sense of the great importance of the work we do with and for your children. Your kindness and warmth to me as you stopped to visit meant a great deal – so thank you, and please continue to check in with me throughout the year.  I’m always interested in what’s going on with you and your family.

The procedures and daily activities of your child’s classroom should be familiar and comfortable to them by this time in the school year. If your child is still experiencing anxiety or any type of concerns, please contact your child’s teacher or Ms. Spellman, our school counselor. You are welcome to also include me on those types of communications. We will be happy to visit with you on the phone or to schedule a meeting to talk together regarding ideas to help your child or the situation.  Please don’t ever hesitate to contact us – we are here to help.

Before we dive into the October calendar I would like to share some important information with you, beginning with our first "Community Meeting" of the year celebration!


On Friday, September 29th our entire school came together to celebrate our first school-wide Community Meeting.  Over this past month, each classroom came up with goals for our school to work on this year that are based on the YES core values of RESPECT, CARING, FAIRNESS, AND CITIZENSHIP.  Classroom student representatives shared our school-wide goals in the areas of the bus, bathroom, hallways, cafeteria and playground.  We also learned about and worked on a new way to line up for bus dismissal outside. Students were very excited when local Yarmouth celebrity "Steamer" showed up to lead our school in a "core values call" to action!  Steamer will be joining us for Community Meetings all year long.


MEA Results 

Students in all grades 3-8 and grade 11 take the Maine Educational Assessment in March every school year.  We will be sending the results from our current 4th graders (who took the MEA in March 2017) later this week.   Harrison Middle School will be sending home the results for our current 5th graders.

MAP Growth Testing

Thank you to our staff and students for their flexibility and patience as we encountered many technical challenges administering the MAP Growth Test this month.  Unfortunately, NWEA is still encountering some challenges with the reading portion of the test and that affected our grade 3 administration in particular.  We do not want to continue interrupting valuable instruction time for students so we have moved forward with our intervention timeline.  We will revisit these assessments again once NWEA has taken the necessary steps to make sure things are running smoothly.  

Our teachers use multiple assessment methods for reading (including the Benchmark Assessment System) to get the information needed in making sure all students are getting "just right" instruction.  At your upcoming conferences teachers will share more information about this with you.


Over the next few weeks,  classroom teachers will be reaching out to you and setting up our fall parent-teacher conferences.  This is an opportunity to get an in-person update as to how your child is progressing academically and as a member of the classroom and school community.   It is also a time to learn how your child can specifically grow as a learner and also understand ways that you can help support that process.  We appreciate your collaboration and partnership!


Many of you will recall the Our House fundraising campaign of more than ten years ago that provided much needed bleachers to the high school stadium field. That campaign was a great success, but it left us without a few of the amenities we'd like to provide for our athletes and fans - most notably, restrooms.  Now, we are excited to announce the Our House II campaign to further improve the athletic facilities at Yarmouth High School by providing for the following:                                                                              

  • Construction of new restrooms
  • Improvements to the snack shack
  • Updating of the team shed
  • Upgrades to the electrical panel
  • Installation of directional signage

In the coming weeks, you will be hearing more about this project through district-wide emails and a town-wide publicity campaign. To learn more about this opportunity to improve our community facility, log on to  


Close Buy
Close Buy is a local-goods catalog, based out of Portland, that gets sent home to families. Families can purchase goods and 30% of sales is donated to the Yarmouth K-8 PTO. Students do not sell products and there is no competition or prizes, it is strictly families purchasing goods. This is the only sell-stuff fundraiser that we do. Catalogs will be sent home in folders in the very near future. You can check out the company at

Make-it Take-it Craft Fair (Volunteers Needed!)
This event is scheduled for Sunday, 11/19 at the YES gymnasium. It is a long-time Yarmouth tradition.  Craft stations are set up around the gym. Kids can make crafts for $2/each, and take them home to give as gifts if they choose. There is also a bake sale and year and in the past we have had adult craft vendors set up in the hallways. Please mark this on your calendar and consider helping out at this annual fun event! 

Also, The next Hannaford GC load date is scheduled for 10/11.  If you have any questions please please reach out to Heather Meier, our elementary school PTO representative.  She can be contacted through the PTO website: .


October is a busy time in elementary schools and this year is no exception.  Here are some important dates/events to be aware of this month:

Wednesday, October 4th: International Walk to School Day (Optional)

To celebrate this day at YES we will be having a Walking School Bus.  We will assemble at Royal River Park (the parking lot near the Historical Society) at 7:55 a.m.  We will walk on the sidewalks up Elm Street to the intersection with Main Street, cross over Main Street, and continue up West Elm to the walker's path.

Please feel free to join up with us anywhere along the route!  Parents and siblings are encouraged to attend.  Please ensure that your child has plans to get home independently as there will be no Walking Bus in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 4th:  YES and Rowe Free Flu Clinic

This is offered to for students and staff and no cost. It will be held at Rowe School from 4-5:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 5th: Fire Safety Awareness: Yarmouth Fire Department Visit

The Yarmouth Fire Department will visit all grades during lunchtimes to celebrate Fire Safety Awareness Month.


We will be spending the day with the entire K-4 staff, along with some staff members from the middle and high schools, to learn about "Empowering Students Through School Culture".

During the day we will learn about new Responsive Classroom practices and the work of Dr. Ross Greene and his "Collaborative and Proactive Solutions" model.   Dr. Greene will be leading this work with us and sharing how this model is used to problem solve with children in an empowering way.  For more information on this model visit:


Thursday, October 19th: PTO Meeting 4- 5 p.m. YES Library

Monday, October 23rd- Friday, October 27th:  Annual Book Fair YES Library

The annual YES Book Fair is coming up!  All classes will be scheduled to visit twice, each for a 25 minute block, during the first four days for viewing and/or making purchases.  Mrs. Clark will be getting the detailed schedule out prior to that week, but please note that regular Library classes will NOT be held during that week. 

Parents and other community members are invited to come in anytime during the school day as well as Tuesday and Wednesday afterschool/evenings, as the fair will be open straight through until 7:00 pm on those days.  

Tuesday, October 31st - HALLOWEEN  

I hope that you are able to enjoy all the fall activity and fun with your families.  Happy October!

Warm Regards,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal

September Newsletter

posted Sep 11, 2017, 11:16 AM by Yarmouth Elementary   [ updated Oct 10, 2017, 5:05 AM ]

What a wonderful first week at Yarmouth Elementary School!   It was so exciting to welcome our students and begin a year of learning, growth and fun together. Our week centered on building community and setting procedures and expectations for the school year.  I was impressed with how quickly our students settled in to their daily routines.   Equally impressive is the manner in which our YES core values- Respect, Caring, Fairness and Citizenship- have been on full display since day one of school. We are off to a great start!

At the beginning of each month I will be sending you a "YES Newsletter".  In addition to celebrating student learning at YES, I will also be sharing important information for you to be aware of.   On that note, we have a busy month of September ahead of us:  

Upcoming Events/Dates to Remember

Thursday, September 14th:  

Gr. 2 Open House - 6:00- 7:00 p.m.

The event will begin in the cafeteria where I will provide a brief presentation and introduce you to our Grade 2 teaching team and unified arts staff.  You will spend the rest of the evening with your child's classroom teacher.

School Committee Meeting- 7:00 p.m.

Monday, September 18th:   Gr. 3 & 4 Open House- 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Again, we will begin the evening in the cafeteria for a brief meeting and then transition to teacher classrooms.

Tuesday, September 19th:  Volunteer Orientation Meeting at Rowe School

9:00- 9:30 a.m. or 7:00- 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to become a volunteer at ANY of the Yarmouth Schools please plan on attending one of the sessions at the Rowe School for all potential volunteers.  The orientation will cover the needs of the teachers at the schools, various volunteering opportunities as well as the procedures and policies of the volunteer program. 

If you have already attended an orientation in the past it is not necessary to attend this year's orientation.  However, if you are interested in volunteering in the Yarmouth School District it is necessary/required that a Volunteer Registration form is filled out and signed EACH year.  Registration forms are available in the offices at the Rowe School, Yarmouth Elementary School and Harrison Middle School.  Forms for each of the schools are also available for downloading and printing through the link on our volunteer website below.  

If you have any questions please contact Nini Emmons, Volunteer Program Director, at 846-2499 or email her at  Thank you for giving your time and talent to help support our learners!

Wednesday,September 20th: Gr.4 Band Parent Meeting (optional) 6-6:30 p.m.

Mr. Ciechomski (aka "Mr. C"), our Gr. 4-8 band director, will have an optional parent meeting for all incoming band parents.  At this meeting he will explain many aspects of the band program, lessons and home practice (what to expect and how to help). Many parents have found this time together helpful in learning ways to help support their child.   This meeting will be held in the cafeteria.

Thursday,  September 21st: PTO Meeting 7:00 p.m.- YES Library

The PTO supports many of the day-to-day enrichments our students enjoy. An average of $2,500 goes directly to each grade, enriching the curriculum of our students.  Every family and teacher is part of the PTO. You do not need to join to support. Families can support the PTO with donations of time, money, or even a pie at Thanksgiving.

One of the goals of the PTO is to continue to foster a culture of friendship and openness at our schools. We welcome you to be involved, have a voice, and join the fun.  Please consider attending the first meeting on September 21st!

Friday, September 22nd: Gr. 4 Band Parent "Open House/Rental Pickup Night"-3:45- 4:45 p.m.

Parents may arrive at anytime during this hour to pick up instruments in the cafeteria.

Wednesday, September 27th:  School Picture Day

Get those smiles ready! Information will be sent home soon. 

Friday, September 29th: Community Meeting 2:30 p.m. (Students)

Our first school wide "Community Meeting" of the year.  Students only- but make sure to ask your children about the Yarmouth "celebrity guest" when they get home that day!

Wednesday, October 4th: International Walk to School Day (Optional)

To celebrate this day at YES we will be having a Walking School Bus.  We will assemble at Royal River Park (the parking lot near the Historical Society) at 7:55 a.m.  We will walk on the sidewalks up Elm Street to the intersection with Main Street, cross over Main Street, and continue up West Elm to the walker's path.

Please feel free to join up with us anywhere along the route!  Parents and siblings are encouraged to attend.  Please ensure that your child has plans to get home independently as there will be no Walking Bus in the afternoon.


Everyone at Yarmouth Elementary School understands that safety is our number one priority.  I am reviewing our policies and procedures that help to keep our students safe because we really need your help and support. Thank you for taking the time to read and explain these points to your children.


We promise to never leave your child unattended- in the classroom, in the building, at lunch and recess, and at specific times before and after school.  We have staff members that supervise students at these specfic times of the day in order to ensure that they are safe while at YES.

No students should be on campus earlier than 8:15 a.m. We do not have supervision in the building or on the playground until then.   When students arrive at this time they should go directly to the playground.  During this first week of school we have had several students arriving earlier than 8:15 a.m. and without supervision this becomes a safety issue. If you need to drop your child off earlier, you will need to make arrangements with another parent, contact Yarmouth Community Services before/aftercare or seek out a local childcare facility that is open before school.

Conversely, At the end of the day we have also had middle school students arriving at the school prior to 3:30 p.m. (as early as 3:00 p.m.) to meet their parents so multiple children in the family can be picked up at YES.  Again, we are not able to supervise middle school students as instruction at YES runs right to 3:30 p.m. Middle school students cannot be at YES earlier than the dismissal time.   Harrison Middle School offers after school homework club several days a week, along with a host of activities for each grade level.  If you are juggling these pick up logistics I would encourage you to look at these opportunities for your middle schoolers.

At the end of the day we have a staff member on duty at parent pick up outside. They are there to ensure that our bike riders and walkers are leaving school in a safe manner. They are also there to ensure that adults picking up their children are signing them out in the office before leaving.   We appreciate your help and support with this busy area at the end of the day by following our safety procedures.  

Bus Notes/Changes: 

Teachers and bus drivers are now aware of your child's typical weekly schedule regarding morning pick up and afternoon drop off.   If your child has a known change in schedule please contact the main office and your child's classroom teacher by sending a note to school with details of the change.

Each morning the main office will create bus slips for each student that has a change in their transportation schedule.  If you need to make a change on a given day after your child is already in school please contact the main office as early as possible in the day.  Dani Carter and Lisa Bianchini our administrative assistants, are the two people you should connect with.  Classroom teachers are with their students and will not always see an email until the school day has ended. If you are emailing changes please send them directly to Mrs. Carter  ( and/or Mrs. Bianchini  (, as they check email throughout the day. In the case of email, "ccing" the classroom teacher is also a good practice. 

I would like to thank all our staff and volunteers who have helped make our back to school transition so smooth for our students. I would also like to thank you, parents and guardians, for working with us as supportive team. We look forward to a wonderful school year- see you at Open House!

Warm Regards,

Ryan Gleason, Principal                                                                                    

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