First and foremost, we would like to wish your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve heard many people say that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. Is that surprising? Though it’s a holiday sandwiched between the frenzy of Halloween and the December holiday season, Thanksgiving remains the holiday of “coming home.” It’s a time of rest and togetherness. My hope is that you are all able to enjoy this time with your families and friends.

When we return from Thanksgiving break it will be just three weeks before our December holiday break. As we end 2019, I would like to thank you all for your support of Yarmouth Elementary School and the work we do together to help all children become successful learners and citizens. It has been a fantastic start to the 2019-20 school year and we appreciate all that you do!

We wish you a restful winter break and hope that you enjoy this time with your families. For the New Year, we wish you health and happiness and hope that the winter recess provides opportunities for you and your family to do things you might not be able to do when school is in session.

Our entire school community- students, parents and staff-  has accomplished a lot during our first few months of school. We have a great deal to celebrate and much to look forward to!


Speaking of looking forward, we are hopeful that the construction process for the new addition to YES will begin in January 2020. As Dr. Dolloff shared with you the bids for this project will be opened on December 10th. After we have signed a contract with a construction company we will be sharing information on important details that you will need to be aware of during the construction process. It's an exciting time and we will keep you well informed!


The Yarmouth Education Foundation has awarded nearly $30,000 to our schools since September. Three of fall grants will impact students at YES! 

Coding Drones: Todd Abbott 

This YEF grant will give every student at the elementary school the chance to use drones. This exciting opportunity will help teach young students how to code, program, and fly drones. Besides computer science, students will work on math concepts like degrees of angles, velocity, measurement, and more. This hands-on project will be fun and exciting. Students will also play a role in fixing the drone if their intended flight path doesn’t quite work out! Drones are used everywhere today - from delivering packages to exploring the ocean - and Yarmouth students will be one step ahead. 

Light, Lenses, & Eye: Deb Landry and Third Grade Teachers

New science equipment is coming to YES! Every third grade classroom will receive innovative tools to help study the human eye. Students will use lasers, lights, and eye models to explore how the eye and brain are connected, why people wear glasses, and much more. Plus, YEF is pleases to provide materials so all third graders can study the inspirational work of Dr. Patricia Bath. Dr. Bath was an African-American woman who grew up in 1950s Harlem. She overcame a long list of challenges to become a world-renowned eye surgeon. Teachers will bring together science and social studies for an inspiring unit for every Yarmouth third grader.

Art Meets Climate Science: Deb Landry, Chake Higgison and Grade Four Teachers

This grant will impact 400 students and more than a dozen educators across the district! Yarmouth students are learning about the Earth’s changing climate, and its effect on habitats around the globe. This grant brings in climate scientist and working artist Jill Pelto to three Yarmouth schools. Pelto spent years studying glaciers in Antarctica and the northwestern United States. From there, she developed an innovative classroom curriculum that combines artwork with scientific data. Her lessons leave a lasting impact on all kinds of learners - from math and science lovers to creative artists and everyone in between! She will work specifically with all fourth graders, seventh graders, high school art students, and YHS environmental science and marine biology classes as well.

YEF Clipper Honors

The Yarmouth Education Foundation Clipper Honors program is back! It is the perfect holiday gift for Yarmouth School Department employees. Donate $25 or more in honor of a special educator, and your honoree will receive a YEF certificate of appreciation, a note from your family, and (new this year!) a gift card to Maple’s bakery! Place your order online, and YEF will take care of the rest. Ordering opens on the YEF website ( after Thanksgiving break. It is a thoughtful way to honor teachers, administrators, support staff, bus drivers, and more! YEF volunteers will deliver your gifts the week of 12/16.


The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2019 Computer Science Education Week will be December 9-15 at YES. Mr. Abbott and Mrs. Moreno engage our students in coding throughout the year, but this week they will also be supporting classroom teachers as we take on this challenge once again!


Winter weather cold has arrived early this year! Please be sure that your child leaves in the morning dressed for the weather conditions. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. Boots, gloves, hats and snow pants should become part of their standard attire when the snowflakes begin to fall.  Students will be allowed to play in the snow if dressed properly.  It is also important to label your child’s clothing and boots.  We have several items (including winter coats) that are piling up in the lost and found area outside the lobby.  We will be making a donation of any unclaimed items on December 20.  If your child is missing any items please make sure that you check the lost and found before that date. 


Last winter southern Maine suffered from a high number of pertussis cases which is a vaccine preventable illness categorized by long lasting coughing fits that end with a ‘whooping sound.’ For more information please see the Maine CDC or the YES school nurse webpage. Together we can prevent pertussis.  

Donations Please: The YES nurse’s office is in need of boys and girls underwear (new) size sm, med, and lg, kids socks, and girls pants.Any donations are appreciated.  

From time to time children need to miss school due to illness, please keep students home with the following conditions and be sure to contact the school to let us know your student will be out for the day.This list is a guideline, and is based on the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for schools.It is by no means complete.  

  • Fever greater than 100.4°. You can return to school after you have been fever free for 24 hours (without fever- reducing medicine such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen).

  • Diarrhea/Vomiting. You can return to school only after being symptom-free for 24 hours.

  • Strep, and Bacterial Infections: Following a diagnosis of strep throat or other bacterial infections, you can return to school after starting antibiotic medications and clearance from a doctor

  • Symptom Management: If your student does not have a fever but has a runny nose with green/yellow mucus, uncontrolled cough, sore throat or other difficult to manage symptoms students should stay home. When little bodies are fighting illness they become tired and it is important to rest and hydrate.

 The best way to stay healthy this season is wash your hands and get vaccinated!


In SEL this month we have focused on The Zones Of Regulation. The Zones uses four colors to help students identify how they are feeling at that particular moment and what tools they can use to manage their Zone. The Zones focuses on self-regulation which is such a vital skill in their social/emotional wellbeing. Have your child put their feeling in a Zone category and ask them what Zone tool they can use to manage that Zone. You can even notice when they may be in a particular Zone and ask them what tool could use to help them. 

If you would like more information or you have any questions please call or email. 

Laura Spellman


  • Silver Graphics Sale – Going on now! Choose from different keepsakes with your child’s artwork. They make wonderful gifts and will arrive in time for the holidays. Paper orders were due Nov 25, but the due date for online orders is extended to Sun, Dec 1! Distribution: YES library Dec 16-19, 3:30-6:30pm.
  • Otto’s – Cook-free Tuesday! Dec 10, 5-9pm stop at Otto’s for dine in, take out, or gift cards, and the PTO will receive a percentage of your sale. Just say you’re dining for the Yarmouth PTO. Thank you!
  • Hannaford – Next load is Wed, Dec 18, 12pm. To reload an existing card, write the card’s last 6 digits on your check’s memo line; no need to send in the card or form. For first-timers (thank you!) forms are sent home with K-4 or can be accessed here for HMS.
  • Disney on Ice – See your favorite Disney story come to life on Friday, Dec 20, 7:00pm in the Cross Insurance Arena, Portland! Cost is $17/person. *Limited seat availability* Please RSVP and provide payment by 12/12 to Melissa Neish ( Sign up forms coming home soon.
  • Online Boon Supply Sale – Still open! If you’re looking for great hostess/holiday gifts, the Boon Supply sale continues online throughout the year. Check out the PTO’s storefront: - 40% of your purchase goes to school enrichment!

  • Boon Distribution – We have a small amount of merchandise to distribute. If you didn’t have purchases delivered to your house, you can pick them up at Rowe library, Wed, Dec 11, 3:30-6:30pm. If you’re unable to, please contact Sarah Day to arrange a different pick-up time (
  • Student Directory – You can access the online directory at (easy login directions). If you ordered a paper directory, it will be sent home with your student the week we return from Thanksgiving break. Note that the district will no longer provide us with class lists, so you will not find those in the directory. Consequently, the paper directory is now organized by grade level to make it as easy as possible to find students. Some parents added their students’ teacher names before we went to print, so that information will be in the directory. All information is downloaded by the district for us straight from PowerSchool.
  • PTO Meeting – Dec 12, 4pm in YES library. Please join us!
  • Simply Giving – If you’d like to consider the PTO with an end-of-year charitable gift, simply write ”direct donation” in the memo and send your check to: Yarmouth K-8 PTO, P.O. Box 262 Yarmouth, ME 04096 or click here for online giving. A written thank you and receipt will be sent to you.
  • Thank You! – Please feel free to look at the enrichments we’re able to provide through your donations of time and funding. We’re so grateful to you, our school families, for all you do to support the schools. Please contact Jessica and Christy for any reason at Happy Thanksgiving!


  • Book Arts Workshops, Mondays, December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 3:45-4:45, grades 3 and up, sign up required. Use the linked form or email Jill at Come make art out of old books.
  • Hometown Holidays, Saturday, December 7: come to the library to make ornaments, all day, all ages, drop in
  • Ukulele Jam, Saturday, December 14, 10:30-11:30, bring your uke and jam to some winter songs - there will also be a few ukuleles available to play/try. Drop in. 
  • Gingerbread Day: December 18, 3:45, all ages, sign up required. Sign up at circulation desk, email Mary at, or call 846-4763
  • New Year's Eve Party, December 31, 11-12, all ages: join us for stories, crafts, and a balloon drop to ring in 2020!


The students in the Global Action Club at the high school are collecting children’s winter boots and snow pants for two important causes.  The snow boots will be given to the Travis Mills Foundation. The Travis Mills Foundation works with the families of veterans recovering from the physical and mental challenges of deployment. These veterans and families visit Maine in the winter and they need boots and snow pants for young children. The donations will also supporting the Ocean Avenue Elementary School. Many children in this school are recent immigrants. They are in need of winter boots as well as snow pants. Over the next three weeks there will be a bin in the elementary school office area to collect gently used boots and snow pants if you would like to donate to this cause. 


Thursday, December 5: School Lockdown Drill

The state of Maine requires that each school hold a minimum of two lockdown drills each year. The purpose of a school lockdown drill is to protect the children and adults in the building from a potential emergency. Our staff is trained annually in these protocols.  As with fire drills and other safety protocols, the hope is to acclimate students and teachers to a procedure that they will be able to follow quickly, effectively, and safely. With elementary age children we are thoughtful in our approach to these drills so as to not cause undue anxiety.  We work closely with the Yarmouth Police Department, who will be on site to assist us in this practice. 

Saturday, December 7: Day of Hope & Rotary "Rudolph Run"

The third annual Day of Hope, a student-organized conference, features Maine leaders addressing the topic of hope: where they find it and how they use it to make a positive impact on the community. The four speakers (from politics, business, public service, medicine, etc) will deliver "TED-style" talks discussing their work, innovative ideas, and hope for progress in Maine and the world. The Day of Hope will take place on Saturday, December 7, from 11 am to 1:30 pm at the Yarmouth High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults and may be purchased at the door. All proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish® Maine. The Day of Hope was created to help rebuild the singular most important aspect of our Maine identity: an unwavering sense of community. Now more than ever, it is important that we unite in hope for a more innovative and inspired future. Through this event, we aim to bring this hope and unity to our community.  This year, speakers for the Day of Hope will include: Dennis Welsh, locally-based, world-renowned photographer; Amy Halsted, Executive Director of the Maine People’s Alliance; Christian Hayes, owner of The Garrison and Dandelion Catering Co; and Kate Vickery, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Maine. For more information, visit our website or our Facebook page at Day of Hope Maine.  The "Rudolph" Run information, sponsored by Yarmouth Rotary is below. The Kids' Run is free (with donations appreciated), and the funds raised go toward the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and to support Rotary's mission of helping others.:

Thursday, December 12: PTO Meeting 4:00 p.m.

The K-8 PTO will hold their monthly meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the YES library.  Please consider attending this meeting and learn how you can join in on the fun! Let me take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful "Make-it Take-it Craft Fair" that took place on Sunday, November 17. We appreciate all the hard work that goes in to make this event happen.  Many families volunteered to help the PTO run a station or filled in with other tasks that were needed to make this such a success.  Thank you to everyone for your help!

Thursday, December 12: Winter Concert Performance 6:00 p.m.

We look forward to our annual Winter Concert Performance! As you know, we place a high value on music and the arts in Yarmouth and student participation numbers are quite large once again this year. Our students have been working hard and you are in for quite a treat!

Friday, December 13: YES School-Wide Community Meeting 8:55 a.m. 

All of our students will get to experience an encore performance from the Winter Concert!

Friday, December 20:  Pajama Day!

Friday, December 20 is our last student day before the holiday break. I have declared another"Pajama Day" at YES.  Everyone can start picking out their favorite "PJ's" to wear to school that day!

December 23- January 1: Holiday Winter Vacation

Happy New Year! Remember that classes resume at YES on Thursday, January 2.

Again, on behalf of the Yarmouth Elementary School faculty and staff, we wish all of our students and families a happy holiday season!

Warm regards,

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal