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!


YES SEPTEMBER COMMUNITY MEETING

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.

COMMON ASSESSMENT TESTING & RESULTS

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.

FALL CONFERENCING 

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!

OUR HOUSE

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 http://www.yarmouthourhouse2.com.  

UPCOMING PTO EVENTS & FUNDRAISERS

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 http://www.closebuycatalog.com.

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: http://www.yarmouthpto.org/contact-us/ .

UPCOMING EVENTS/DATES TO REMEMBER

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.

Friday, October 6th:  NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS  - STAFF IN-SERVICE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY

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: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/

Monday, October 9th:  NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS- COLUMBUS DAY

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