Principal Newsletters

    Welcome Back Letter

    posted Aug 21, 2014, 6:02 AM by Cathy Wolinsky-YES   [ updated Sep 12, 2014, 7:17 AM ]

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    We trust you had a relaxing fun-filled summer and are just about ready to start thinking about schedules and routines of a new school year and other fall activities.

    We look forward to seeing you at our informal drop-in Open House on Thursday, August 28th from 9:30AM to 10:30AM. This is an opportunity for you and your children to meet new teachers, visit classrooms, and see old and new friends. 

    We look forward to an exciting and productive learning year as we all work together with your children. This fall we are very fortunate to welcome several new people to Yarmouth Elementary School and have some familiar staff in new roles:

    • Mrs. Becca Wood is our new office secretary.
    • Mrs. Melaine Moll joins the second grade team.
    • Mrs. Cassie Fier joins the fourth grade team.
    • Ms. Cheryl Sleeper is a long-term substitute for Mrs. Wentworth in Grade 3.
    • Mrs. Joyce Crockett is a long-term substitute for Mrs. Woodcock in our Learning Center.
    • Ms. Betsey Reinsborough, Mrs. Susan Harlow, Mrs. Sherry Kirk, Ms. Katherine Fischer join us as Ed Techs, and Victoria Ballenger joins us a long-term substitute Ed Tech. 

    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.

    Throughout the year, Becca Wood and Lisa Bianchini will send informational group emails for me. Therefore, if you see a message from either one of them, it most likely is from me. For example, we recently emailed a letter about allergies. 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 the bike racks are near the front entrance of the building.

    Children should not be on the playground before 7:55 AM as there is no supervision before then. In the afternoon, please come in the office and sign your children out even if you arrive after dismissal at 3:10. This may be 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.

    Just a reminder that birthdays are celebrated without food items and gift bags for students. Teachers creatively honor students on their special day.

    During the summer I read Best Friends, Worst Enemies Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson PhD. It’s an interesting ead and an excellent resource for parents.

    Please keep the following dates and events in mind as you plan.

    September 8th, Monday              Grade 2 Open House                 6:00PM

    September 11th, Thursday  School Committee                     7:00PM

    September 15th, Monday             Grades 3 and 4 Open House       6:00PM                                          

    September 19th, Friday              Picture Day                             morning                                     

    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 email I like to hear from you!


    Betsy Lane, Principal

    June Newsletter

    posted Jun 3, 2014, 11:57 AM by   [ updated Jun 3, 2014, 11:59 AM ]

    June 2014 Newsletter

    Yarmouth Elementary School


    Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends,

     Our last day of school is Tuesday, June 17th with a noon dismissal.

     Teachers and students are holding Learning Celebrations during the next two weeks to showcase student growth, accomplishments and achievements. Please contact your student’s teacher if you are unsure of the time and date.

    If you want a conference with your child’s teacher, please let her/him know so it can be scheduled.

    Thank you for respecting our placement process for the following school year. To our best effort, we created balanced groupings to give everyone a year of successful learning. Class lists and school supply lists for 2014-2015 will be mailed home to all students later in June.

    Two new teachers and a secretary join us for the next school year. Cassie Fier (pronounced Fear) will teach fourth grade and Melanie Moll will teach second. Debi Bartlett, who worked in Central Office before staying home with her family, will replace Lauren Guiney who moves to Florida with her family.

    The School Committee approved the revised Social Studies Curriculum on May 8th. For your information, here is the link to the curriculum framework:

    Field Day, a fun day filled with laughter and friendly competition for everyone, is Thursday, June 12th from 12:00 to 3:00 PM. The rain date is Friday, June 13th. Please be a part of the festivities from noon - 3:00.  Volunteers can sign up online via VolunteerSpot at: .  If you have any questions, please contact organizers Kristina Keaney ( or Allison Flowerdew (

    Children will have their bag lunches from the cafeteria before Field Day starts; you and younger siblings are welcome to join them. Due to the busy schedule and number of people, please do not have younger siblings accompany you while volunteering at Field Day activities.  I apologize for any inconvenience. Please make sure your children have appropriate footwear and clothing, a towel, sunscreen, and a Tee-shirt in the class color. A change of clothes is also recommended.

     Town Meeting is Tuesday, June 3rd @ 7:00 PM at Harrison Middle School to vote on the school budget among other articles. Town voting is June 10th at the AMVETS Hall, North Rd., 7:00AM – 8:00PM. Maine law requires that the school budget be ratified by a referendum voting procedure. This is also your opportunity to vote for two new school committee members.

    The PTO Ice Cream Social, Book Fair, Basket Raffle and Art Show is Wednesday, June 4th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM at Rowe School.

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to the PTO raffle baskets and to those of you who have purchased tickets. This is a very successful fundraiser that allows our students to have educational experiences beyond what our regular budget provides.

    Grandparents’ Day was a huge success with grandparents visiting from across the country. Thank you to all of you who baked to offer the grandparents a mid-morning treat. Speaking of which, the YES faculty and staff appreciated the Teacher Appreciation breakfast.

     Yarmouth Education Foundation awarded three grants this spring to YES. One was to begin composting in our cafeteria this fall with Garbage to Garden. To learn more about Composting With A Cause and, to help us get started, stop by Rosemont Market and Bakery in Yarmouth any June Saturday from 11:00 to 1:00. Or, you can visit or Call 332-0277.

     Girls as Engineers, another YEF funded project, has nearly completed remodeling their chicken coop. These chicks will live in style! A HUGE thank you to Mike Murray for his direction and organization and to all the parents that accompanied the “engineers”.

    This time of year is always bittersweet; long days and warm weather stir familiar eagerness for summer break, yet at the same time, it is difficult to say goodbye to our fourth graders who move on to Harrison Middle School. The students will visit HMS on Monday, June 9th @ 9:50. You may not feel ready for this, however, the students are more than ready to go and will flourish in their new environment with a sense of independence. Next fall they will adjust in a day; it may take you a week or two.

     This summer this office will be open most Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 8:00 to noon. The answering machine will be on when we are not here and I will check email throughout the summer. I extend my best wishes to everyone for a happy and safe summer vacation. 


    Betsy Lane, Principal


    May Newsletter

    posted May 5, 2014, 9:01 AM by   [ updated May 5, 2014, 9:02 AM ]

    May 2014

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    Dare I say that the weather actually feels like spring? At least the sun’s warmth feels hopeful. Fourth grader Trinity Sinker wrote this spring poem and left it rolled and tied with a white string on my desk:


    Outrageous flowers

    New plants breaking through the ground

    Color splashes everywhere

    A breath of fresh air

    Children playing

    Bright red and bright orange

    Birds soaring through the sky

    Spring is here!

     We will administer Measures of Academic Progress™ (MAP) tests in math and reading to third and fourth graders on the following days and time:

    • Fourth Grade Reading           Tuesday,  May 13th    8:45 – 10:00
    • Third   Grade Reading           Thursday, May 15th    9:50 – 11:05
    • Third   Grade Math                Tuesday,  May 20th    10:00 – 11:15
    • Fourth Grade Math                Wednesday, May 21st  8:45 – 10:00

    Your child will take the tests on a laptop computer. MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.  And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth. Your child will spend a total of about two hours completing both tests.

    As I mentioned in an earlier message, Yarmouth Education Foundation funded a waste reduction program, which will officially begin this fall. When the teachers told their students about this exciting new program to separate organics and recyclables from their cafeteria trash, they simply asked, “Why can’t we do it now?” Good question, so we started this week! Thanks to all of you who send reusable containers with lunches. The students are a natural at this.

     Yarmouth Education Foundation also funded Girls As Engineers, which will meet on weekends beginning in the middle of May. If your daughter would like to design and build a safe home and exercise area for six to eight chickens and you are available to help, she should:

    ·       List all the reasons why she wants to explore engineering.

    ·       List what she hopes to learn from this experience.

    ·       Think of other reasons why she wants to be involved and list them.

    ·       From her lists, write an opinion or a persuasive piece (maximum one page) to convince a small group of teachers why she should be chosen to participate.

    ·       Independently do her best work.

    ·       Convince you to participate. She must have a parent join Girls As Engineers.

    ·       Put her final draft written piece in Ms. Lane’s mailbox by Friday, May 9th. This is an extended deadline.

    This is a quick reminder that we have students with peanut and nut allergies. We have a nut free table in the cafeteria and some classrooms are designated as “nut free”. If your child is in a “nut free” classroom, any snacks or lunches sent to school must be free of nuts and nut products to keep everyone safe. Children who do not have nut allergies are invited to join children at the nut free table for lunch; however, their lunches must be free of nuts and nut products.

    The PTO continues to work tirelessly to raise funds for field trips and guest speakers, which is deeply appreciated by all. One of the easiest fundraisers is the one that is free – the Hannaford Gift Card. Look on the PTO web site for more information.

    The PTO Bike Swap is Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th. Look for information flyers that went home in backpacks.

    Now that students are riding bikes to school again, please remind your students to walk their bikes on the walkers’ path, place their bikes in the bike racks and to wear their helmets. It is a law that students under 16 wear bike helmets.

    The Fourth Grade Music Concert is Wednesday, May 14th @ 7:00 with both band and chorus.

    Grandparents Day is Friday, May 23rd from 9:15 – 11:15. “Grandfriends” are welcome to attend if grandparents are unavailable.

    Memorial Day is observed on Monday, May 26th and there is No School.

    Many of you will attend spring games, races, events, and recitals over the next few weeks. We celebrate your students as well in all that they have accomplished this year. It’s hard to believe the last six weeks of school are upon us.

    If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 846 – 3391 or through email



    Betsy Lane, Principal



    April Newsletter

    posted Apr 3, 2014, 11:13 AM by   [ updated Apr 3, 2014, 1:05 PM by Cathy Wolinsky-YES ]

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    April vacation begins with Friday, the 18th off; classes resume on Monday, April 28th. We wish you a safe and relaxing week whatever your plans, and plenty of warm sunny weather.

    The gigantic snow pile at the back of the playground, once a place of great intrigue for forts and climbing, is now ignored and slowly disappearing as if embarrassed to still be around. We look at it with contempt.    

    Our annual “Beach Day” is Friday, April 11th.  Our cafeteria is converted to a beach for the day, turkey hot dogs are served for lunch, and the students sit on the “sand”. Students are welcome to bring towels to sit on and sunglasses and hats to wear at the “beach”. There is no swimming. Please join us if you are available, an early trip to the “beach” would be a treat this year. 

    This is an exciting time as Yarmouth Education Foundation is considering grant proposals. Teams from YES submitted three proposals. Grants are awarded for innovative projects that fall outside the regular school budget and curricula.

    Earth Day is officially April 22nd, however, we try to make an effort every day at YES to be stewards of the earth. Thanks to all of you who send reusable and recyclable snack/lunch containers. YES hopes to work with ecomaine in the fall to focus on waste reduction next year. Here is a link to a "secret code" puzzle, with a recycling message, from ecomaine that can be downloaded or printed.

    The K-4 PTO is offering new school T-shirts (navy and white). The cost is $10 each. The fabulous shirts are made by a local business, which is also a YES family! Wear yours with pride!

    Our annual placement process to create balanced groupings for the following school year continues. These groupings are essential for equal opportunities for all students; therefore, we are unable to honor specific placement requests; thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

    Remember to check teacher websites and blogs frequently to follow student classroom activity and to scan News and Announcements and the YES Calendar on our school website to remain current with upcoming events.

    Our annual Grandparents Day is Friday, May 23rd from 9:15 to 11:15 when grandparents and “grandfriends” are invited to visit YES for a special program.

    The Fourth Grade Music concert is Wednesday, May 14th at 7:00 PM.

    Please check Lost and Found! Items will be donated to a charity during April break.

    If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 846–3391 or through email to


    Betsy Lane, Principal


    March Newsletter

    posted Mar 5, 2014, 8:15 AM by   [ updated Mar 5, 2014, 8:16 AM ]

    March 2014

    Yarmouth Elementary School


    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

     As I write this letter, snow and ice are piled outside my window. Crocuses and daffodils hidden underneath have a considerable wait to feel any warmth from the sun. Instead of checking the temperature to see if it is warm enough to go outside, I look forward to the time when the children are freed of their coats, boots and mittens and are less encumbered in their outdoor activities.

     This weekend we Spring Ahead! Set your clocks ahead one hour as Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday.

    We have no school on Friday, March 14th. All Yarmouth teachers have a full day of professional development and Yarmouth Elementary School teachers will work primarily on literacy Common Core State Standards.

    PTO is sponsoring an opportunity for you to celebrate your children’s creativity by having their art personalized on a variety of products through SilverGraphics. These items would make great Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation gifts and more. Orders are due by Wednesday, March 5th.

    The K-4 PTO continues to offer its ever-so-easy fundraiser with the Hannaford gift card. For every $100 - $500 you put on a gift card to spend at Hannaford, the K-4 PTO gets a 5% donation from Hannaford. It’s like magic money for the PTO and very generous of Hannaford!

    Thank You! Our students raised money through the American Heart Association by participating in Jump Rope for Hearts to purchase new playground equipment. This was accomplished through donations from friends and family members and energetic and enthusiastic YES jumpers.

    Later this month fourth grade students will learn about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and participate in a fund raising event for MD, as one of their classmates has Duchenne MD.

    Best Resources: Check individual Teacher Pages and Blogs to keep informed with what is happening in your students’ classrooms. They are an excellent source of communication.

    Interest Point: We currently have 324 students at YES: 107 in second grade, 104 in third grade and 113 in fourth grade. There are a total of 167 boys and 157 girls. We look forward to working with each one of them every day. We take our work seriously and appreciate the opportunity to know you and your students.  

    If you should have any questions, concerns or compliments, please feel free to contact me at 846–3391 or through email at



    Betsy Lane, Principal


    February Newsletter

    posted Feb 7, 2014, 4:47 AM by

    February 2014


    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    The Yarmouth School Committee named Andrew Dolloff as our new Superintendent of Schools at a special meeting on January 30, 2014. He will succeed William J. Michaud, our current Interim Superintendent, and will begin his official duties on July 1, 2014.  Andrew Dollof has served as the Superintendent of Schools at Maine Regional School Unit 21 (Kennebunk, Arundel and Kennebunkport) since 2009.  Prior to serving as Superintendent, Andrew was the Assistant Superintendent in Scarborough from 2006 to 2009, the Principal at Scarborough High School from 2000-2006, the Director of Student Activities and Athletics in Scarborough from 1996-2000, and an Assistant Principal at Wiscasset High School from 1995-1996.  Andrew was also a Chemistry Teacher at Lewiston High School and a Biology and Chemistry Teacher at Dirigo High.

    The YES Faculty and Staff extend a warm welcome to Andrew and very much look forward to working with him.

    Some of you may have had your second conference this year regarding the academic, social and emotional progress of your children. If you do not have a conference scheduled at this time, please contact your child’s teacher as soon as possible for an appointment. This is an important opportunity to talk with your child’s teacher to ensure that home and school are collaborating to give your child a successful experience.


    February Vacation begins on Saturday, February 15th; we have a full day of school on February 14th. Classes resume on Monday, February 24th. Please check individual teacher pages and blogs to find out how classrooms plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day.


    Our 4th Grade Band Concert is Thursday, February 6th @ 6:30 PM in the YES gym.


    If your 3rd or 4th grade son or daughter has never played lacrosse, you and your child(ren) are invited to the Yarmouth Youth Lacrosse Information Night, Wednesday, February 5th @ 7:00 PM at the Yarmouth High School Cafeteria. This event is for first time players and parents.


    Girls on the Run online registration for the spring program opens on February 12th @ noon. This is a 10 week program that promotes self-esteem in preteen girls through an experienced-based curriculum and running. No previous running experience required!


    Must say the predicted warmer weather is a welcome relief from the bitter cold. Of late when we announce outdoor recess, the children’s cheers resonate throughout the building. Please continue to send snowpants, hats, mittens, boots, and extra socks.


    I notice many of you (and the students!) checking our well organized Lost and Found; our custodians are amazing!


    It is very early to mention this; however, some of you have already asked me about placement for the next school year. When we begin that process in May, those who know your students very well expend extraordinary amounts of time, care and thought creating balanced groupings to provide equal opportunities for all students. We, therefore, do not honor specific placement requests. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


    If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

    846 – 3391 or through email




    Betsy Lane, Principal

    January Newsletter

    posted Jan 7, 2014, 6:51 AM by

    January 2014


    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,


    Welcome Back! We trust that you enjoyed the holiday break with your families and extend our best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, and safe 2014.


    Our custodians did an extraordinary job on the building while we were away; a special thank you to Maryann Anthony and Gloria Groves. 

    We are more than ready to engage in the challenges and rewards of teaching and learning. Everyone’s enthusiasm and eagerness to be here make up for the limited daylight and cold temperatures of the season. Are you noticing the extra minutes of daylight that have returned since the winter solstice?


    The Superintendent Search Committee’s primary goal was to attract the best and brightest candidates to the position. Our schools have long been synonymous with high quality education. The successes of our schools and children are the direct result of decades of strong, collaborative and forward thinking leadership and support from the community. Yarmouth’s steadfast commitment to education, outstanding facilities filled with talented and motivated educators, and appealing community attributes attracted a highly capable field of candidates. The Committee now has final candidates to introduce to stake holders during the first week of January. For more information on the process, visit the District Website.

    We will administer Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests to third and fourth graders in mid January. These tests are done on the students’ laptops. Watch for letters with specific information for your child’s grade level to be sent home electronically.

    Monday, January 20TH is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There is NO school.

    You are invited to attend an informal Principal’s Chat on Friday, January 24th @ 2:00 PM in the conference room.

    PTO meets Thursday, January 16th @ YES, 7:OO in the library.


    Please check individual teacher blogs, teacher web pages and the YES web- page for news. There is a great deal going on! Fourth Grade classes go to Augusta for a field trip on January 14, 15, and 17. Do you know which day your fourth grader goes?  

    Please be sure that your children are prepared to play comfortably outside. Boots and snow pants are needed. Extra socks, mittens and a hat stored in backpacks come in very handy. It’s important to dress warmly and appropriately because students go outside twice everyday to benefit from sunlight and exercise. We may shiver as adults, but they truly love to go outside to run and play.


    We did not donate Lost and Found before vacation. Please take another look for boots, snow pants, hats, gloves, and coats.


    If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 846 – 3391 or through email



     Betsy Lane, Principal


    December Newsletter

    posted Dec 4, 2013, 6:44 AM by   [ updated Dec 4, 2013, 6:47 AM ]

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    December is such a dark month, it seems the buses are loading at twilight. Yet December’s mood is somewhat brightened with the arrival of the winter solstice on the 21st and the beginning of lighter days. It certainly gives us reason to celebrate!

    Our last day of school before the holiday vacation is a full day, Friday, December 20th. Everyone returns to school on Monday, January 6, 2014. We wish you all a happy holiday season and fun and safe vacation with your families.

    Our winter concert featuring the fourth grade chorus and Orff ensemble is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18th @ 7:00 PM. If you are unable to attend in the evening, we have a dress rehearsal at 2:00 PM that afternoon. The 4th grade band will have its concert later in February. 

    On the day before Thanksgiving break, our SHARE Team (Spectrum of Health, Arts, and Resource Educators) organized our first all school community meeting in the gym. When the students entered, they dropped a food item in a container. We began our meeting with a greeting and ended with a song. It was a heart-warming experience and a particularly nice way to start the Thanksgiving break. The food will go to the First Parish Congregational Church Food Pantry.

    During the week of December 9 – 13, Yarmouth schools will participate in Computer Science Education Week (CSEdweek), an annual program dedicated to showing K-12 students the importance of computer science education. During this week, students around the world will participate in "An Hour of Code". This is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code" and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, and an innovator. With guidance, all students will choose from a variety of tutorials accessed on a browser, tablet or smartphone.

    At YHS students will explore programming with the assistance of community members who work in the technology field. At HMS students will work with industry representatives and teachers. At YES 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders will spend their Hour of Code on laptops using tutorials focusing on sequencing, looping and repetition. At Rowe School the first graders will explore logical thinking apps on the classroom iPads.

    For more information or particulars, parents can go to CSEdweek or contact Cathy Wolinsky, Instructional Technology for grades K-4.

    We recently welcomed three new families to YES and are delighted to have their students with us. In addition, if you attend Portland Stage Company’s Snow Queen, you may see fourth grader Keegan Donovan performing.

    The students go outside twice each day and need appropriate outerwear. Please be sure that your children are prepared to play comfortably outside. Boots and snow pants will be needed all too soon. Extra socks and mittens stashed in backpacks are always welcomed. Please check Lost and Found near the office if you are missing something. Our “fall collection” will be donated to a charity over break.

    You may recently have heard of The Mileage Club, which is a program that encourages children to move more by completing laps of walking/running. Ms. Pachuta has scaled the program back with the main goal to offer children another playground opportunity with some extrinsic motivation (charms that log mileage). The children have to put the effort into this and they are responsible for tracking their own progress on the honor system. Girls On The Run participants created the walking/running trail on the playground for us as their community service project, thank you!

    A huge thank you to everyone for the delicious holiday pies, which were left for teachers and staff before Thanksgiving. This is a most thoughtful gesture and one that is greatly appreciated.

    Remember to check individual teacher pages and blogs for specific information about your child’s classroom activities. The YES web page also has important information.

    It seems fitting at this time of year for us to stop and thank you for giving us one of the greatest gifts of all. Your children are ready to learn, curious, polite, cooperative, considerate of others, kind, and most endearing. Parenting done well is a serious commitment, and we commend you for your significant accomplishments.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for any reason. I enjoy hearing from you.


    Betsy Lane, Principal

    November Newsletter

    posted Nov 1, 2013, 11:36 AM by   [ updated Nov 5, 2013, 12:40 PM by Cathy Wolinsky-YES ]

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

    We have no school on Monday, November 11th for Veteran’s Day nor on November 27th, 28th, and 29th for Thanksgiving. Hanukkah begins at sundown on Wednesday, November 27th. We wish you all safe and happy holidays with your families.

    Parent/Teacher conferences are a vital link between home and school. Many of you may have already had a conference this fall with your child’s teacher, or have one scheduled very soon. If you missed your conference for some reason, please contact your child’s teacher and schedule a time to meet.

    The weather has changed and we will still go outside twice a day. When the temperature is 40 degrees or lower, students should not wear shorts to school. Students wearing shorts may be asked to stay inside. Please make sure that your students have warm jackets, mittens and hats. Along this same line, Lost and Found has grown substantially. We return all items with names to the students.  Please stop by and see if anything belongs to you.

    We have always allowed students to return to the salad bar during lunches for second helpings, however, this does not meet dietary health and safety regulations. Therefore, students will no longer be able to return to the salad bar except for utensils and napkins. They will need to take what they want to eat when they go through the first time. This will take some getting used to, I’m sure.

    The Book Fair was held last week. With the funds raised, we purchase new books for the school library, especially new titles children are eager to get in their hands, and arrange for authors’ visits. Thanks to all of you who made this event successful through your purchases and donations. It is greatly appreciated!

    Last month in classroom guidance, Ms. Spellman focused on strategies to regulate social behavior. The purpose of the lessons were to provide a fun, motivating, and non-threatening way for students to explore social thinking.

    Students learned potential ways to spread kindness and compassion to others. The lessons varied depending on the grade level, but the themes were around whole body listening, expected and unexpected behavior, as well as our core value of caring. 

    Mrs. Tate’s second graders planted bulbs in the front of the school and under the sign at the beginning of our parking lot with Amy Sinclair. We look forward to the beautiful colors that will pop with the arrival of spring.

    Thank you for sending us students who are ready and excited to learn, we all love our work and take it very seriously. Recently, a mom new to the district told me that her child came home and said, “Yarmouth’s a good thing. It’s working for me.” As we like to say, Yarmouth Elementary School is the school all children deserve.

    Remember to check individual Teacher Pages and Classroom Blogs for news.

    The K-4 PTO annual children’s craft fair is scheduled for Sunday, November 24th.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for any reason. I enjoy hearing from you.


    Betsy Lane, Principal

    October Newsletter

    posted Oct 1, 2013, 11:09 AM by   [ updated Oct 1, 2013, 11:10 AM ]

    Yarmouth Elementary School


    October 2013


    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

     Thank you to all of you who attended our annual Open House events; we sincerely appreciate you taking the time to visit with us. And, we thank you for your understanding and patience as we have become accustomed to our new electronic entry system.

     Monday, October 14th is Columbus Day and we have NO SCHOOL.

     I invite anyone who is interested and available to join me for a morning coffee and principal’s chat on Friday, October 18th from 8:30AM to 9:30AM. I will hold the next one in the afternoon.  If you know you will attend, please call the office and let us know.

     The beginning of the school year was very smooth and the school year no longer feels “new” as we follow our daily schedules. We have 320 students this year and I am now able to greet them all by name. It might not be their name every time, however, I can usually get it right if I’m given a minute!

     During the first two weeks of October, third and fourth graders take the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) tests. There are six sessions, which are each approximately 45 minutes long, and students complete one session a day. The week of October 15th is for students who missed a test session for any reason. Yarmouth students take learning seriously and expend considerable energy during these testing sessions. A good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast and snack give them a strong head start. We will receive the NECAP results in early winter.

     On Thursday, October 17th at 1:30 we will have a lock-down drill with the supervision and assistance of the Yarmouth Police Department. Prior to the drill, the teachers will tell the students what to expect so there are no surprises. At this time the teachers will lock classroom doors, close the windows and shades, turn off the lights, and direct everyone to a safe position in the classroom. They will remain in this position until notified that it is safe, approximately two minutes. I will send you more specific information as the date draws closer.

     We are required by law to have ten fire drills during the school year and we have successfully completed three. We work closely with the Yarmouth Fire Department who critiques our safety procedures. The students and teachers are remarkably efficient.

     This fall we implemented the Responsive Classroom approach, which is a research- and evidence-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. We are very pleased with the results both in the classrooms and on the playground. For more information, visit their web-site   

    Your students may have mentioned that they have a class once a week with Ms. Spellman, our school counselor. This year’s schedule allows her to offer classes instead of her somewhat hurried lunch groups with a limited number of students. Although Ms. Spellman still facilitates a few small groups and sees individual students on a short-term basis, she is delighted with the new format as it reaches all students, allows for more interactions with our Core Values (respect, caring, fairness, and citizenship), and exposes everyone to strategies that help to develop and keep friendships.

     The annual Book Fair will be held during the week of October 21st. Students will have time during the week to visit the Book Fair and two evenings, October 22nd and 23rd until 7:00 PM, are scheduled for you to visit with your students.

     During the week of October 14th, our Technology Specialist, Cathy Wolinsky will travel to Honduras to teach educators how to incorporate technology into their lessons with 3rd - 6th graders. Schools in Honduras are participating in the global OLPC project using XO laptops in schools. The MICDL organization has worked for several years to host teachers that have traveled from other countries to look at Maine’s MLTI program in grades 7-12. Now MICDL is establishing consultancies in other countries, and Cathy and Alice Barr at YHS are part of the first venture of this kind. The team of five educators is preparing modules of lessons to share with twenty teachers who will come from all areas of Honduras for two days. The team will then conduct workshops at a Technology Fair for Honduran schools for approximately 500 participants. 

    The next K-4 PTO meeting is Thursday, October 3rd at 7:00 in the YES library. The PTO is active with their important fund raising. Online Close Buy orders are extended until October 10, 2013. The ever-so-easy Hannaford gift card program is available again this year. For every $100 spent on a gift card to be used at the stores and pharmacies, Hannaford donates 5%, or $5 to the PTO. You support the PTO just by shopping at Hannaford!

     We are fortunate to live in a community where our children can safely ride their bicycles to school. We have bike racks located at the end of the walkers’ path at the back of the school. Please remind your bike riders to wear their helmets, put bikes in the racks and to walk their bikes on the walker’s path out of safety concerns for students walking.

     Remember to check teacher blogs and web pages for specific information on classroom activities.

     As always, please call in the morning to let us know if your student will be absent or tardy. If you email a teacher with afternoon plans for your child, please cc Lisa Bianchini and/or Lauren Guiney in the office to make sure the email is read. Please come into the office to sign your child(ren) out if picking them up after school. If visiting even briefly, stop at the office to sign in and get a visitor’s pass. Thank You! 

     If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 846 – 3391 or through email


    Betsy Lane, Principal





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