Dear YES Families,  

Happy New Year! We missed the students and look forward to seeing everyone back at school tomorrow on Thursday, January 2, 2020. 

I hope that you were able to create a few special shared memories with your family and friends over this holiday break. We look forward to creating more special memories with your children in the coming months. Thank you for your continued support as we work together in supporting empowered, fulfilled and successful learners at YES! 
As usual, we have a very busy month ahead of us and a few reminders to share.


We are well into winter weather at this time of the school year, particularly after this last week!  Please make sure that your students are coming to school with the proper winter gear. At a minimum, winter jackets, hats, gloves, and boots are necessary each day this time of year. Here are some reminders of our playground winter procedures:
  • We will NOT go outside if the temperature on our website is 5 degrees or below. There are any number of sites to check for temperature, for consistency we will use the one on our YES website. Wind chill plays into this but fluctuates within seconds. The effect of a consistent wind chill combined with a temperature of 5 or below, may cause us to stay inside.
  • Students who want to play on the snowbank at the end of the playground must wear boots and snow pants.
  • Students who want to play on the wood chip area when it is covered with snow must wear boots. 
  • Students who want to roll, crawl around, etc. on the wood chip area, must wear boots and snow pants. Put a simpler way, if students are going to get wet in the snow, they need boots and snow pants! 
Over the past few months, there have been some increasing trends that do have an impact on classroom instruction and our safety practices. We need your continued help with arrival and dismissal.

A reminder that children should not be on the playground before 8:15 AM as there is no supervision before then. School begins promptly at 8:40 AM.  In the afternoon, it is important that you come into the office and sign your children out even if you arrive after dismissal at 3:30 PM.

When needing to park your car in the drop/off pick up line, it is also appreciated if you can turn the engine off and not keep your car idling if you are getting out to come inside or sitting parked for several minutes. The drop off/pick up line is designated a "clean air zone". Our goal is to keep the air quality around our school as healthy as possible. 

Also, when dropping off your children in the morning please have them exit out of the sidewalk side of your vehicle on the right. With traffic entering on the left it can slow down the process at busy times and create a safety issue. At this stage of the year students know the routines so please think "drop and go" to keep things moving smoothly and safety.

We are seeing increasingly large numbers of students being dismissed between 3 and 3:30 PM. Obviously there are times that this needs to happen (medical appointments, etc.) but there are times when it has appeared students are being dismissed to "beat the afternoon rush". This is problematic as the instructional day for all students runs right up to the end of school. It is important that students are with us the entire school day and we appreciate your understanding and support with this. 

Thank you in advance for your patience, help, and cooperation with all of these expectations and procedures.  
From late- January to March is the winter parent-teacher conference window. During this time classroom, teachers will be setting up winter parent-teacher conferences.

If your parent-teacher conference is before the February vacation, your child's teacher will be sharing copies of their report card with you. If your conference is after the break the report card will be mailed home to you the week of February 11. Yarmouth Elementary School reports out on learning standards twice a year, once at mid-year and again at the end of the school year.  Report cards are an "invitation to a conversation" and this will be a nice opportunity to celebrate your child's growth while also hearing about their next steps to keep growing as a learner. You can find a list of the YES Learning Standards for each grade level under the "Curriculum" link on our website:

Prior to your parent-teacher conference you will be mailed home the results of student MAP testing. The week of January 13, 2020, all third and fourth-grade students will be taking the winter MAP/NWEA reading and math assessments. The week of January 20, 2020, all second-grade students will be completing these same assessments. Please remember that our second-grade students take the K-2 NWEA assessment, which is a different instrument than the assessment our third and fourth graders take. This assessment helps to inform our instructional practices in supporting learning growth for our students. 

  • Hannaford – Next load is Wednesday, Jan 8, 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. Forms are sent home with K-4 or can be accessed here.
  • New York Times Bestselling Author, Dr. Ross Greene - Parents and teachers are invited to a presentation by Dr. Ross Greene, a child psychologist and bestselling author. Dr. Greene will discuss his collaborative and proactive solutions model of responding to children, as well as his latest book, “Raising Human Beings.” This book is geared toward all children, with a particular focus on teaching the skills that define the better side of human nature: empathy, understanding how one’s behavior affects others, resolving disagreements, taking another’s perspective, and honesty. This free talk is Tuesday, Jan 28, 6:30 pm at Merrill Memorial Library, 3rd floor. If you have questions, please contact Christina Copsey,
  • Info on Area Camps: Coming to you in January – a K-8 Yarmouth Area Camp Google Document to help parents plan their children’s camp experiences.
  • YES & Rowe Teacher Luncheons: On Wednesday, Feb 5, we’ll have a luncheon to help our teachers and staff get through the winter slump! Just an FYI for now - more info after break. 
  • PTO Meeting – Jan 16, 7pm in YES library. Please join us!
  • PTO Enrichments: You can take a look at the list of enrichments we’ve been able to provide through your donations of time and funding so far this year. Thank you, parents and guardians, for supporting our schools. Please contact Jessica Raimy and Christy Hayashida for any reason at Happy holidays!
Winter weather has arrived and with it so have winter activities. Please remember to have students dressed appropriately for outside play, with hats, mittens, a winter coat and boots.  Snow pants are necessary for play in the snow. Also, please send a change of clothes to school, because students tend to get wet in winter puddles and melting snow.  

The nurse’s office is still in need of donated boys and girls underwear and socks and girls sweatpants/leggings.  

According to the Maine CDC the last 10-15 years have shown an uptake in concussion diagnosis and treatment in Maine hospitals.  Part of that is believed to be because of awareness. Check out this spotlight on concussions webpage for a little education on concussions. There are more educational links included in the webpage. 

And check out the School Health Webpage for district wide information from the health office.

On the third Monday of every January, we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is a day for the nation to reflect upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a minister, civil rights activist and nonviolent leader. Dr. King was considered the most influential leader in the Civil Rights movement, which aimed to end the systematic racial segregation and discrimination. 

Dr. King (often referred to as MLK) played a key role in creating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received many awards and honors – most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Despite his early passing, Dr. King had an enormous, lasting influence on the Civil Rights movement and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential nonviolent leaders in world history. We will have no school on Monday, January 20 to honor the work of Dr. King.  

As always, we appreciate all that you do as our partners to support the success of your children.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you or your child in any way. Have a wonderful start to 2020!

Ryan Gleason, YES Principal