“Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” – Anonymous
Dear YES Families,
This has been a year of change for all of us. The changes that have been made to keep our families and school community safe during the pandemic have certainly not been easy. Yet throughout all of these challenges what has remained consistent is the flexibility, adaptability, and resilience embraced by everyone to do the best we can for our students.
As we enter the month of May, change will occur once again. As the quote above reminds us, change can also be a wonderful opportunity. We look forward to the change of all our in-person students attending school together next week. With this upcoming change comes some important information for you to be aware of.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL-IN LEARNING
- Beginning on May 3, all in-person students will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- The school day will continue to run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- The earliest that students can be dropped off will continue to be 8:40 am.
- Students will arrive at school and go directly to their classrooms.
Arrival Information- Very Important! Clearly, there will be a much higher volume of traffic arriving at drop off time. To keep this process running both safely and efficiently you will see more staff outside on duty. These staff members will be more active in helping unload students to move things along. When arriving and dropping your child off:
- Please have all your children get out on the sidewalk side of the car.
- Additionally, it is helpful if you stay in your car while they unload. We recognize mornings can be a rushed time but having your child ready to get out upon arrival makes a difference. Say your goodbyes ahead of time so they are ready to hop out!
- Staff will be approaching vehicles and opening the sidewalk door upon arrival. This will be to help assist children with the transition out of the vehicle and keep things moving smoothly.
Dismissal Information- Also Very Important! Dismissal presents the most challenging transition time of the school day. In the hybrid model, it takes us approximately 20 minutes each day to load students. With the shift to all-in, we are potentially doubling the number of vehicles coming to school and picking up. We definitely don’t want traffic backed up to main street!
To alleviate this challenge we will have a staggered dismissal at the end of the school day. Please read this schedule carefully. Dismissal will be as follows:
- 3:00 - All Buses Riders/All Grades Dismissed
- 3:01 - All Walkers & Bikers/All Grades Dismissed
- 3:02- All Grade 2 Students & Older Siblings in Grades 3 and/or 4 Dismissed for Parent Pickup.
- 3:20 - All Grade 3 and/or Grade 4 Siblings Dismissed for Parent Pickup
What does this mean for you at pick-up time?
- If you are the parent of a second-grader only, or a second grader with older siblings from third and/or fourth grade, you can pick up your child beginning at 3:05 pm.
- If you are the parent of a third-grader only, or a third-grader with an older sibling in fourth grade, you cannot pick up your child until 3:25 pm. They will not be dismissed until that time and will not be outside or in the gym. If you arrive at the pickup area prior to 3:25 you will be asked to leave the car line and return at the assigned time.
- We will have all siblings stand together while waiting to help speed up the pickup process.
- On days that it rains please understand that it may take longer for us to load. Our hope is to have every child loaded and off with parents by 3:40 but that may take a little longer if students need to stay in the gym during the loading of cars.
- Please make sure that your car tag or Pik My Kid App is prominently displayed upon pickup.
- Trying to pick up right before 3 pm to “beat the rush” is disruptive for learning and challenging for office staff. Unless it is unavoidable we ask that you stick to your child’s pickup schedule. We appreciate your understanding and help with this.
- As at the beginning of the year, the first few days of this process will require some patience as we work through new transitions. Again, we appreciate your understanding and support as we make this successful while also keeping safety as the top priority.
The “Big Top”& New Tents at YES If you’ve been by school this week you could not miss the giant tent structure (5500 square feet!) that is on the playground. We are already referring to it affectionately as the “YES Big Top”. This will primarily be used to help us manage the six-foot distance requirement when students are eating. It will, along with other tent/outdoor spaces around the school, be used for teachers to use during the academic day when available. All students eating breakfast will use this space in the morning. At snack and lunch this space, along with other classrooms in the building, will be used for any overflow students beyond the classroom capacity for eating.
Remote Wednesdays Wednesdays will remain remote days for children. They will look similar to how they have looked all of this year. Students can expect:
- A Meeting/Lesson on Google Meets with iPads
- Classroom Teacher Office Hours/Help Desk
- Additional Office Hours/Help Desk with Ed. Tech Staff
All- In Technology- From Mr. Abbott, Technology Integrator Now that all in-person students will be attending school four days a week, we are able to return to our preferred policy of keeping all school-issued iPads at school as much as possible. To make this as simple as possible, iPads will stay in school the entire week, going home with students on Tuesday afternoons and returning with students on Thursday mornings. This will allow students to complete remote work on Wednesdays. On Monday, May 3rd (or as soon as your child returns in person), please send your child’s school-issued iPad, charging brick, and charging cable back to school in your child’s protective neoprene sleeve. The charging bundle will stay at school, for now, if this creates a problem moving forward we will address it at that time.
- Monday, May 3rd: All school-issued devices and peripherals return to school in protective sleeve
- Every Tuesday: iPads will come home in protective sleeve for remote work
- Every Thursday: iPads will return to school in protective sleeve
- Charging bundles will remain at school
- Repeat through the end of the year
Thank you for all your support and patience as we’ve moved from emergency remote learning, to hybrid learning in person, and now to modified all-in a year later. There have been lots of learnings along the way, thank you for your willingness to adapt with us.
Grade 4 Band- New All In Schedule Going all-in has also required a shift in the band schedule for our fourth graders. Mr. Ciechomski has communicated directly with the families of all fourth-grade students on these changes. If there are any questions please feel free to reach out to him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT MAY DATES
May 3-7: Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week I hope that you will also take a moment to celebrate "Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week" with me! Our teachers and staff at YES provide so much to our students—inspiration, motivation, and, ultimately, their futures. Our educators' work impacts and extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
From May 3-7 we would like to show our thanks and gratitude to all of our fantastic staff. I hope that you will take the time to show your appreciation this week to the educators who work with your child. Often a simple note of thanks means the world to them.
Friday, May 7: Lunch Lady Superhero Day Thank you to our kitchen staff for the terrific work they do each and every day. Our "Lunch Ladies" play a very important role in the lives of our children. We appreciate all that Mrs. Stowell, Mrs. Riddle, and Mrs. Black do for YES. They are the first line of offense in nourishing our students to prepare them for learning. During this pandemic, the work that they have done to support our students and families has been nothing short of amazing. They are “superheroes” and we will be celebrating them on May 7!
Wednesday, May 12: School Nurse Day National School Nurse Day is on the Wednesday of National Nurses Week. This day honors all school nurses who care for the children in the schools every day.
School nurses promote learning through healthy children. They are often the first place a student thinks to go when they don’t feel well or have been hurt. But they also provide a wealth of information that supports a successful education as well. They provide more than band-aids for scrapes on the playground and check for fevers when a child shows the first sign of illness. School nurses are first responders for medical concerns, chronic conditions, administer mid-day doses of medication and so many other responsibilities.
And then there is this year. The work that Mrs. Thomson, our school nurse, has done this year has been herculean. We are so thankful for her and all the amazing work that she has done to support the health of our entire school community as we navigate this pandemic. Thank you, Mrs. Thomson!
Spring MEA Assessment- Gr. 3 and 4: May 18 & 20 The Maine Department of Education has partnered with the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) to provide to students in grades 3-8 and 3rd year of high school, an assessment for mathematics and English language arts/literacy. This will now be the state-mandated Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) that is administered annually to students. As you are aware, Yarmouth Elementary School has used the NWEA MAP growth assessments for many years. We are pleased with this selection as these assessments provide data to educators that support and inform instructional decision-making in the classroom in both ELA/literacy and mathematics.
This year the spring MEA/NWEA assessments for all in-person third and fourth-grade students will be on Tuesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 20 in the morning. Having your child at school on time and well-rested will help them work to the best of their ability and provide a true demonstration of how they have grown this year. We appreciate your support with this.
All remote grade three and four students will be taking the assessment the week before on May 10 and 13. Ms. Davis and Mrs. Wetmore will be in touch with the schedule and all the details. As in the past, we will mail home copies of the NWEA results shortly after all students completed the assessment.
Monday, May 31: Memorial Day NO SCHOOL
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
YEF Clipper Honors The Yarmouth Education Foundation (YEF) Clipper Honors program is back, and YEF is excited to partner with Thoroughfare on Main Street. Clipper Honors is a wonderful end-of-year gift for any Yarmouth School Department employee. Donate $25 or more in honor of an educator, and your honoree will receive a YEF certificate of appreciation, a note from your family, and a gift card to Thoroughfare! It’s simple. Place your order online (yarmoutheducationfoundation.org) by June 4, and YEF volunteers will take care of the rest. Educators will receive their gift from your family by June 11. Clipper Honors is a thoughtful way to honor teachers, administrators, support staff, bus drivers, and more. Thank you for your support!
- Hannaford Gift Cards – Next loads are May 4 & May 25, 12 pm. Forms will be sent home.
- Ice Cream Social – Given all the cancellations this year, we have been trying to keep as many of the fun PTO traditions as possible, so we are giving every K-4 student (in school and remote) a chance to win an ice cream social raffle basket! To keep it simple, this will NOT be a fundraiser, so there will be no raffle tickets sold this year. Instead, we will essentially pick names from a hat – with every student having an equal chance of winning a basket. We hope to have 2-3 “Summer Fun” themed baskets per grade level for students to win. To create the baskets, instead of asking parents to buy items as we typically would, we’re asking for monetary donations to make it easier for parents. If you would like to help fund the baskets, you can make a donation at https://givebutter.com/Kfg8Fy now through Tuesday, May 11. (Or you can make a check out to Yarmouth PTO and either send it to school in your child’s folder or mail it to Yarmouth PTO, P.O. Box 262, Yarmouth, ME 04096.) To increase the excitement for the students, baskets will be on display at YES and Rowe May 24-28. Winners will be drawn and notified on 5/28.
- Kindness in Action Food Drive – Thank you YES students and parents for your amazing contributions of *over 1000 pounds* of food and a few heart-warming cards!
- Volunteering – We’ve already had a great response from parents interested in working with the PTO next year. If you’d like to be involved at a level that works for you, please feel free to share your interests through this 2-minute survey.
- PTO Meeting – You’re welcome to join us at our next meeting on May 20 at 7 pm. Zoom link will be posted on our FB page and website later this month.
- Questions/Comments – Please contact Christy Hayashida and Jessica Raimy at email@example.com.
Summer Reading Opportunities! Check out this Summer Reading Letter from Ms. Perle, our YES Lead Literacy teacher! If offers some great advice and opportunities to keep your children reading all summer long!
June Activities We are going to hold YES Field Day this year! We will have a fun event that will be modified to ensure that we are still meeting CDC guidelines. Details are still being finalized but Field Day will be held on Friday, June 11 (rain date: Monday, June 14), and remember that the last day of school is a half-day on Tuesday, June 15. More information to come!
Retirements- Mr. Ciechomski and Mr. Gross The end of a school year is always a bittersweet time for many reasons. At the end of this school year, it will be a little more bittersweet for us as two of our YES staff members, Mr. Brad Ciechomsk and Mr. Bob Gross, are retiring. For those of you who may not know them, they both work primarily at the middle school but also spend time working directly with many of our students each week.
“Mr. C” has set a standard for 4th-grade band instruction that is second to none. Many of you have had the pleasure of attending one of his student concerts that display the positive growth his musicians make while also having a great deal of fun. "Growth mindset in action" is on full display with our 4th-grade band students. And no one tries to make math more fun than Mr. Gross. As the Talents Math Teacher, he has worked with 4th-grade students directly and consulted/supported staff and students in all grades. Students have loved the math challenges that he has provided them through the years.
On behalf of the entire YES community, we would like to give a public thank you to both of these distinguished educators. We appreciate all that they have done for the students in Yarmouth and wish them the best of luck in retirement. You will be missed!
Wow! That is everything to share for now. Despite all of the challenges, this has been another productive, positive, and rewarding school year for our staff and students. We look forward to our last two months of school and, as always, appreciate your partnership in this process. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can support your child's learning experience in any way.
Ryan Gleason, YES Principal