November 1, 2020

Dear YES Families,

"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it." -Ralph Marston.

Despite all of the challenges that we are facing there continues to be plenty of things for us to be thankful for. As we enter November and approach the Thanksgiving holiday, this is always a good time to focus on thankfulness and appreciation.

I continue to be thankful that I am the principal at YES and have the opportunity to be part of the amazing work that helps our children grow every day. I am also extremely thankful for the people I get to work with. Our students, families, and staff make YES a special place.  Please know that all members of our school community have my appreciation for the role you play in supporting the success and health of every student- perhaps now more than ever.

Our November newsletter highlights many of the events that have taken place over the past month and the exciting things we have to look forward to in the month ahead.

VIRTUAL PARENT CONFERENCES Parents, thank you for actively participating in your child’s education by attending the virtual fall conferences. Individual conferences will continue to take place over the coming few weeks.  Our teachers appreciate your support and look forward to continue working closely with you throughout this year. 

NWEA MAP & MPG RESULTS  During the week of November 2, the NWEA MAP (Gr. 3 & 4) and MPG (Gr. 2) results will be mailed home to you. These results will also include a letter that helps to explain the assessment and how we use this information to support instruction and help students to grow.

This universal screener is also utilized to help us as one measurement for instructional support. If it is determined that your child can benefit from some extra RTI support in reading and math teachers will be reaching out to you soon. Additionally, we use these results as one piece of the identification process for GT instructional support for grade four students. In Yarmouth that is the first year groups meet with GT teachers.  Again, teachers will reach out to you in the coming weeks if your child qualifies for this support.

Fully remote students will be taking the NWEA this coming week with the results mailed home the week of November 9.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE & PICTURES YES construction and renovation plans continue to progress as planned and on time! It has been a thrill for our staff and students to observe the addition grow and evolve these past two months. The new addition is expected to be completed by September 2021. 

At the end of December 2020, we will be relocating several rooms from their current space into other temporary spaces as the renovation phase of the existing school begins. The current main office, nurse office, RTI Learning Center, and grade four classrooms will be relocated other spaces in the existing building or to modular trailers outside of the grade two wing. Once moved, they will be located there for the rest of the school year. 

Beginning in January 2021 the main office door/entrance will be located in the parent pick-up loop. There will be an intercom/buzzer system installed on the left-hand side door with the main office located just inside of that door. 

I will send more reminders/information to you in our next two newsletters prior to the scheduled January 4, 2021 return from holiday break. In the meantime, I am pleased to share some new construction pictures with you! Check out the recent updates: YES Construction Pictures

WINTER WEATHER GUIDELINES With Thanksgiving coming soon, before we know it there will be snow on the ground. We were fortunate to dodge the snowy weather on Friday!  

This is a good time to review some of our winter weather playground and clothing guidelines as we may get some snow before our December newsletter.

  • We will NOT go outside if the temperature is 5 degrees or below.  Wind chill plays into this, but fluctuates within seconds. The effect of a consistent wind chill may also cause us to stay inside even if the temperature is above 5 degrees. 
  • Students who want to play in the snow and on snowbanks must wear winter jackets, boots, and snow pants. If the temperature is below 40 degrees it is too cold for shorts, tee shirts, and no coats. If you are in need of winter weather clothing please reach out to Ms. Spellman in the counselors' office as we do have resources available for those in need to make sure that all students have the proper gear.

Thank you for your help with this to keep our children healthy and warm this winter!

PIK MY KID- ANNOUNCEMENT TIMING As we get into more wet and snowy weather, there may be times when we house students in the gym for parent pick up. What will help us get students out more quickly with the app is by following these steps upon arrival:  

  • Pull on to McCartney St. and get in to the car pick up line.
  • When you come to a stop and have your place in line then hit the app indicating you are here
  • Stay in that order/spot as cars load and that should align with the app telling us which students should be sent outside.

Thanks! The more we are able to follow these steps the smoother and faster the pick up will be. 

GRADE 3 GUEST TEACHER Mrs. Callahan will be on maternity leave from approximately December to the end of February. While she is out we are pleased to share with you that Mrs. Julie McDonald will be filling in for her as the substitute guest teacher. Mrs. McDonald has worked as a substitute  in the past and brings a wealth of teaching experience to the role as a longtime teacher in other Maine schools. 

BOOK FAIRS Each fall our annual Book Fair is a well attended YES tradition. Although that can’t happen in-person this year we have some nice alternatives to share!

Royal River Books “School Book Fair”! Royal River Books is helping out school libraries this year! Royal River Book Fair Where - Royal River Books, 355 Main Street When - Sunday November 8, 10am - 5 pm What - 20% of all sales will go directly to YES Library. Thank you for supporting your local bookstore and your library! Masks required; limit of 10 customers in the store at a time   YES Book eFair! In addition, we are hosting a Follett Book eFair! Supporting a love for reading is critical to student success. Explore our online book fair and help your child find their next favorite book. Go to this link to reach the fair directly: .

Orders are due by November 16, 2020. Follett will ship your books to the school after our eFair is complete. For every purchase made, we will earn 25% back in rewards to help our school library! Thank you for your support!

Mary Moreno, YES Library/Media Specialist

PTO NEWS Hannaford Gift Cards (HGC) – Next load is Tuesday, Nov 17 by 12 pm. Forms will be sent home with YES and Rowe students, or you can print one: HGC Form.. HGC is a fundraiser in which you buy a Hannaford gift card, receive the full amount, and the PTO receives 5% of your gift card amount. Easy and free to you!   Teacher Appreciation – We asked for your help in celebrating Yarmouth K-8 staff, and you responded so generously, raising over $4,300! Thank you! This was enough to give each staff member a gift card for lunch at either Bruce’s or Clayton’s. This year, given the above-and-beyond asks of our bus drivers and crossing guards, we included them as well. We will have enough funds left over to provide additional support to staff and will be discussing with principals any staff needs and wants. All leftover funds will go to staff, as opposed to other PTO initiatives. We’ll keep you updated!   Make It Take It Craft Fair – As you’ve probably guessed, due to social gathering restrictions, we cannot hold our annual craft fair this year. We didn’t want to leave you completely empty-handed, so we compiled a few gift ideas that students can make for family and friends. We hope your children enjoy making these simple crafts: Make-It Take-It - At Home: Craft Ideas.. We look forward to gathering next year!   School Directory – The PTO is waiting to receive data from the administration in order to create the PTO School Directory, which will contain the contact information of opt-in families. Opt-in families are those who agree to share their information with the PTO. The information of families who do not opt-in will not be in the PTO School Directory. Digital forms that will allow you to opt in if you wish to do so will be coming to you soon. This year, we will again provide both an online and printed directory. The printed directory will be $6 or $7 depending on the number of orders we receive. This is not a fundraiser but a service we provide to parents. We’ll keep you posted on next steps to take once we receive data from administration.   PTO Meeting – Please feel free to join us at our next meeting on Thursday, Nov 19 at 7 pm. A link to the virtual meeting will be on our Facebook page and website closer to the date.   Questions about any of the above or anything you’d like to discuss can be sent to Christy Hayashida and Jessica Raimy at We check email daily.

SCHOOL NURSE NOTES Testing Information  If your student becomes ill, please let the school know of the nature of your child’s illness so we can work together to keep everyone healthy at Yarmouth Elementary School. Medical advice is best sought from your family's Primary Care Doctor. If you do not have a Primary Care Provider, the CDC has a Symptom Checker that is very helpful for determining next steps when you are unsure of what to do or where to turn.

If your doctor advises a COVID-19 test, there are many options available.  Maine has a State Sponsored Swab and Send program that is free of charge.  There are four locations in Cumberland and York Counties. The details can be found HERE. If the column states “swab and send - YES” this is a State of Maine swab and send location.    Other testing options can be obtained via your PCP or or however they may require insurance or payment to process testing.    More details can be found on my Blog.   As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.     Alison Thomson, School Nurse, YES  Phone (207) 846-3391 

YCAN PROJECT HOLIDAY Project Holiday is a program coordinated by Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (YCAN). The goal of this program is to enhance the holiday spirit of giving in the Yarmouth community by connecting anonymous donors with Yarmouth families who confidentially request assistance. Information can be found here:  Project Holiday

GESKUS PICTURE RETAKE DAY We received the following information from Geskus, our school photographer, regarding the November Open Retake Day:

Our Customer Service Team has been inundated with a very large amount of parent inquiries, tripling our call volume.  We value our customers and strive to keep response times to 24 hours, however, we are currently averaging a 72 hour response time which we feel is not acceptable.  Geskus is committed to getting back to our standard 24 hour response time to customer inquiries, so our Customer Service Team is working additional hours and over the weekends in order to do so.  We want you to be aware of this and ask that you please pass this information along to all of your families. We are on it!         Take care,    Kathy Pelkey, Geskus Representative 

If you are interested in a retake you can find the information here: Geskus Retake Day. We have been told that student photos take in October should be in before the retake day in case you would like to hold off until then.   

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3: VOTING DAY November 3, 2020 is election day. Yarmouth residents will vote to fill an open seat on the Town Council, and vote in the State and General Election. Due to COVID-19, the Town will be holding elections at the Yarmouth High School gym at 286 West Elm St. The polls are open 6am to 8pm. Due to construction at the high school, and the fact that school will be in session, all voters must enter through the Portland Street access road. Please note that the polls will not be accessible from West Elm Street. 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11: NO SCHOOL- VETERANS DAY HOLIDAY I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank our community Veterans for your dedicated service to the United States Armed Forces.  We will forever be grateful for your bravery and sacrifices to protect our country’s freedom.   


And finally, on behalf of everyone at Yarmouth Elementary School, we wish all of our families a Happy Thanksgiving and wonderful start to the Holiday Season!


Ryan Gleason, YES Principal