Dear Students and Parents,
There is no question that the school year is well underway, evidenced by the many events and activities as we head past the midpoint of September.
Homecoming, the Spirit Challenge, and the Dance - In addition to our Homecoming athletic contests (Please refer to this link for a complete list of events and times), we will be participating in the WGME School Spirit Challenge on Friday September 23rd from 6 to 8 am. The school spirit challenge is a friendly competition between schools to show school pride and spirit while helping the community. The program is designed to promote the community and stewardship with high schools in central and southern Maine through an on-going food drive to benefit the Good Shepherd Food Bank. Please see this link for more information on the Spirit Challenge pep rally.
For the last five years, we have instituted mandatory breathalyzer tests for all students as they arrived into school dances. The school committee policy for breathalyzer use can be found at this link, which outlines the procedures that administration must follow. Should students be tested, this would occur in a private area not in sight of other students coming into the dance. The type of breathalyzer that we use is one where students do NOT have to put their mouths directly on the device. Instead, students blow into a funnel a few inches away. Please be in touch if you have any questions. Should students wish to bring a guest from another district, a guest permission form must be filled out and turned into the main office by the end of the week.
YAAP Presentations - Next Tuesday, all 12th graders will be participating in an assembly with YAAPP (Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program). You may remember that last year's 9th graders participated in this workshop; this year 11th graders will attend on October 4th and 9th graders on November 8th. Last year we began a series of presentations aimed at raising awareness of gender bias and behaviors to reinforce our beliefs of learning, specifically that the best learning occurs when students and staff are physically and emotionally safe. Another goal of these workshops is to establish a common language and understanding of our expectations related to healthy, respectful relationships. These goals reinforce a cultural shift for all students regarding respectful relationships, particularly taking a look at how gender stereotypes and socialization have taught us to act and the impact these issues have on how we treat each other.
“Coffee Chat” parent meetings will restart at the high school with our first meeting on Thursday, September 22nd. The first session will be held in the Flex Room at 8:30 for morning folks, with an evening session held in the library at 6 pm.
YHS will hold its annual Open House on Wednesday evening, September 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. You are also invited to an informal welcome of our new assistant principal in the YPAC from 6:15-6:25. At 6:30, please report to your child’s advisory group to receive important information. Following advisory, you will then follow an abbreviated schedule which will provide you with the opportunity to meet your student’s teachers. This is a terrific event to celebrate the start of a new school year. The Advanced Art classes will be holding a bake sale to help raise funds for their annual trip to New York City. Students will have a table outside the cafeteria, selling both baked goods and water. Thank you for supporting our artists!
During the month of October, the PSAT exam - a practice test for upcoming SAT’s in the spring - is offered to sophomores and juniors. Please review the following information, as there are always many details surrounding standardized testing events.
PSAT's - *New for Sophomores and Juniors*
Juniors and Sophomores are scheduled to take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 19th. Please note that although this test is on a Wednesday, this is not a late start day for sophomores and juniors. Following the exam, students will report to periods 4 and 5 with a break for lunch. This year the State of Maine is not paying for the exam. The cost of the PSAT is $20. Please see registration information below from guidance.
Registration Process for PSAT's
Beginning Monday, September 19th, juniors and sophomores can register for the PSAT in guidance. Please bring $20 in cash or check made payable to Yarmouth High School. Fee waivers are available in guidance. At the time of registration, students will receive a study guide to help prepare for the PSAT. By taking the PSAT, Juniors are automatically screened for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. For sophomores, this is an opportunity to practice taking a college entrance exam and receive feedback to help prepare for future standardized tests.
A few quick notes to end this message:
Class Pictures will be taken this Thursday, and I’ve attached an order form for your convenience. (Your student’s advisor should also be handing these out on Monday).
Upcoming Fundraisers - Once a month, we take time to provide information regarding fundraisers for the many organizations that support our students:
Looking forward to seeing you soon at the many upcoming events here at the high school. Quite a bit of information! In summary:
Homecoming: Many athletic events all week, Friday morning pep rally, Saturday dance.
Class Pictures: This Thursday
Principal’s Coffee Chats: This Thursday (8:30 am and 6 pm)
Open House: Wednesday September 28th
YAAP workshops: This fall
PSAT’s (sophomores and juniors only) - registration starts this Monday September 19th, exam date October 19th.
Dear Students and Parents,
With the sails unfurled, the Yarmouth Clipper Ship begins yet another voyage as the 2016-2017 school year is underway. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the first week, we already have several notable achievements to share, as well some upcoming events as we prepare for the weeks ahead.
Although it has only been a few days back from summer, I recently learned that in July, sophomore Sam Marjerison took first place honors at the Maine Youth Film Festival for his short film documentary, Yarmouth Clam Festival: Fifty Years in the Making. Even more recently, it has been announced that senior John Lane will be inducted as the first member of this year’s Varsity Club by WCSH news.
We have also had some strong performances by all of our athletic programs, which are off to a tremendous start. Many of Yarmouth’s student-athletes were recognized in the Portland Press Herald’s Fall High School Sports Preview, which noted the longstanding tradition of success in Yarmouth.
In preparation for our incredible tradition of theater performances, I’d like to share a message from our Playmakers who are preparing for this year’s fall musical, Cinderella:
On Tuesday, September 13th from 6:00-6:30 in the YPAC there will be a meeting for all parents and students who are in the cast, or anticipate working on the crew, This informational session is important to welcome new families, go over scheduling and expectations, collect contact information, and answer any questions you may have. We hope that all students involved in the musical - on stage or behind the scenes - and at least one parent, will plan to attend. The meeting will also be followed by the year's first Friends of Playmakers (FOP) booster club meeting, and all parents are welcome encouraged to come!
In a few weeks, we will celebrate Homecoming the weekend of September 23rd. In addition to the many events and celebrations, Yarmouth will also host the WGME Spirit challenge on September 23rd from 6:00-8:00 a.m. The school spirit challenge is a friendly competition between schools to show school pride and spirit, all while helping the community through a food drive to benefit The Good Shepherd Food Bank. The program is designed to promote the community and stewardship between high schools in central and southern Maine and will be televised by WGME Channel 13.
Another quick note that the first Principal’s Coffee Chat will be held on Thursday September 22nd. We will hold our first session at 8:30 am, and also hold an evening session that evening at 6 pm. Please feel free to drop in for a chance to share ideas about the upcoming school year and the work that lies ahead.
August 21, 2016
Dear Students and Parents,
As much as we have enjoyed an absolutely glorious Maine summer, I must admit that it’s good to write to you again as we prepare for the upcoming school year. It has been a busy and productive summer, as we recently held a technology summit at the high school for educators across the state. I couldn’t help but overhear some of the participants mention that Yarmouth is one of the most beautiful schools they’ve ever visited. Bruce Bickford and his staff have once again done a tremendous job preparing our building for another year of learning.
September is a special time at Yarmouth High School. We welcome back our students, eager to share stories about summer trips, adventures, and experiences. I’m looking forward to sharing our students’ achievements with you in future messages. September is also a time to welcome new faces - both students and staff - to our community. Our nine new faculty members bring great diversity and enthusiasm to the high school, and I’d like to quickly introduce them:
Jackie Anderson - Special Education
Amy Bongard - Assistant Principal
Sarah Carrigan - Social Studies
Joey Hendricks - Music
Fiona Henry - Educational Technician
Brigitte Kearney - Educational Technician
Kayleigh Navarro - French
Christopher Nolan - English
Kate Pietropaoli - main office administrative assistant
Lillian Stiles - Math
Our goals at the high school remain unchanged, as we honor Yarmouth’s incredible commitment to student learning and the district mission empowering all students to create fulfilling lives in a changing world. At the same time, our work this year requires us to consider how to improve our practices in teaching through innovation, collaboration, and mindfulness in the 21st Century. Once again we look forward to this challenge and working with your children.
On a final note, classes begin on . I would ask that students and parents review the summer reading and assignments to make sure that students have fulfilled their academic responsibilities when they return to school. The start of the school year brings forth a tremendous amount of important information; please make sure you review the following with your son or daughter:
I am looking forward to seeing each of you in the coming weeks, and would love to hear from you if you have questions, comments, or concerns. Please feel free to call the school or send me an email at: email@example.com. Wishing you the best,
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is unquestionably a busy time of year when there are so many significant events to share with you as we face the final weeks of school. Please take a few minutes to review the following important pieces of information:
Robert Boyd Award - Since 1968, a YHS senior has been recognized for outstanding accomplishments inside and outside of the classroom, as well as abiding by the “Golden Rule” in life - standards that Bobby Boyd established many years ago as a graduate of Yarmouth High School in 1962. We would like to congratulate Cody Cook as the 2016 recipient of the Robert Boyd Award.
School Budget - The Yarmouth School Budget is being considered by voters June 7 and June 14th. Citizens are first invited to attend the Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Harrison Middle School to vote on each of the articles of the budget. Voters are then provided the opportunity to cast a ballot in a town-wide referendum to approve the budget as set by the Town Meeting. The referendum will be held on June 14, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Robert W. Boyd AmVets Hall. Please refer to the district website for more budget information.
School Start Time Change - Last Thursday, the Yarmouth School Committee approved the change of school day start and end times beginning with the 2016-17 school year. At the high school, classes will begin at 8 am, and end at 2:45. Please refer to the following link for more information.
Graduation - To celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2016, we will hold our graduation ceremonies this Sunday, June 5th at 1 pm.
Final Assessment Schedule - It may be hard to believe, but in two weeks, our students will begin their final exams. Please refer to the following schedule for more information Link here.
Public Policy Presentations--Volunteers Needed: It is time for the AP U.S. History students to present their public policy projects. Students have been researching issues for several weeks and will present their findings and recommendations to panels of students, faculty, and community members. We are in need of a number of volunteers from the community to serve on these panels. Panelists are not asked to grade students, but will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. The presence and participation of community members helps make this a rich, authentic learning experience for our students. The presentations are scheduled for Friday June 3, Monday June 6, Tuesday June 7, Wednesday June 8, Thursday June 9, and Friday June 10. If you are willing and able to participate please sign up at this link. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Programs - As we prepare for the end of the school year, it’s not too early to plan for summer. As you can imagine, there are many wonderful learning opportunities for students during the summer months. Our guidance department keeps an ongoing list of various programs - please refer to this link for more information. The University of New England runs one such program called Ixplore, which provides students with a wide range of experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math. The Ixplore link can be found here
YCS “Lunch Crunch” - This summer, Yarmouth Community Services will be offering a lunch program for any children aged 2-18. Not only is this an opportunity to eat a nutritious meal, the Lunch Crunch program is also seeking students who are interested in community service. Please refer to this link for more information.
Will Play For Food - This summer, make sure to check out a new program at the Yarmouth Farmers' Market. The purpose of the program is to provide a free option for people who need financial assistance to shop at the farmers' market. Each week, 317 students hope to set up at the farmers' market to play music. A donation collection will be set up near the musicians so that shoppers at the market can donate to the Will Play For Food cause. This gives 317 musicians a chance to earn community service hours, a chance for live music to be enjoyed at the market, and a great reason for people to donate. Donations will go to Amy Sinclair, the market manager, and she will keep the money in a bank account. Vouchers will be available at the Food Pantry and 317 Main, and will come in $5 and $10 increments. At the end of every Thursday, farmers will return the vouchers that people cashed to Amy Sinclair, and she will reimburse the farmers for the full value of the produce that was purchased. Please see this link for more information.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
In addition to taking time on the first weekend of May to honor Mother’s Day, this month also represents an incredible celebration of the arts at Yarmouth High School. We have many wonderful demonstrations of student work that will be showcased over the next several weeks. This month, the work of the YHS Advanced Art and Photography students will be on display at Clayton's Cafe. As part of this celebration, Clayton’s will hold an artists' reception on Monday May 9th from 4 to 5pm.
On Monday May 16th at 6:30 pm in the YPAC, YHS will host a musical spring concert featuring our concert band, jazz band, concert choir, advanced vocal ensemble, and chamber choir. Don’t miss this incredible evening of celebration.
Our Playmakers have also been hard at work, preparing for upcoming spring performances. On Wednesday May 18th at 7 pm in the YPAC, YHS will be presenting a staged reading of an original musical Alive with music written by Karl Munroe and Amelia French. The musical centers around a grieving family and follows their complex and sometimes messy coping process as well as the journey one takes to discover who he or she is. ‘Alive’ features performances by Andrea Hincks, Conner Pearl, Mikayla Clifford, Colin Prato, Nick Prato, and Karl Munroe with instrumentalists Ben McNaboe, Ava Seid, Abby Van Lonkhuyzen, Nico Whitlock, Ben Slayton, and Ethan Hunt.
Also of note, the Playmakers will be presenting Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderalla in the fall of 2016.
To further celebrate the arts, YHS's Play in the Streets magazine has arrived! Please help support our students by purchasing a printed copy for a price of $10. To order your copy, complete the online form here http://goo.gl/forms/0MLQjlnvP7 and leave payment in the high school main office We hope you enjoy the magazine filled with artists' and writers' talented work. This year features the following students’ work: Eve Roth, Amanda Dettmann, Isabelle King, Christina Dressel, Salome Skinner, Braelan Creswell, Sierra Mahoney, Clementine Blashke, Isabelle Murray, Jake MacLennon, Madeleine Wheeler, Dahlia McGrath, Stephanie Contois, Veronica Handy, Wells Flanagan, Rose Rasor, Sarah Gleason, Roman Himes, Sage Watterson, Nathan Carolan, Mikayla Clifford, Eliza Waterman, Addison Elrick, Isabella Pardales, Victoria Messina, Molly Malczynski, Emilie, Hardel, Benjamin Dow, and Hannah Mickool.
I’d also like to add a reminder that the YHS Junior-Senior Prom will be held on May 21st at the Masonic Temple in Portland from 8-11 pm. Prom tickets will go on sale this Monday, May 9th until Friday, May 20th. Tickets are $30.00 each. This is always a fun and festive event for students that can also create stress for students and their families. We breathalyze students on their way into prom and are vigilant in keeping students safe at the prom. I encourage you to reach out to other parents to ensure that students are safe after they leave the prom, or refer to this link from Casco Bay Can for more information.
It is not too early to plan for the end of the year, and I’ve included a link to the Final Assessment Schedule. Exams will take place the week of June 13th. This is an important final stretch of the school year for students to complete work and cornerstone assessments.
All the best,
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As we start the month of May, it’s hard to believe the school year has flown by so quickly! (Although I’m sure many of our seniors could tell you how many days are left until graduation.) The excitement begins to grow at Yarmouth High School as we approach the end of the year. For parents of seniors, graduation coordinator Julie Hutchinson will soon be sending out information regarding the graduation ceremony. For underclassmen, we will be sending out the final exam schedule next week (exams will take place the week of June 13th).
This week, there are plenty of events to keep us busy. The infamous AP season begins on Monday, and we’d like to wish all of our students good luck on these examinations. On Thursday, YHS will host NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, who will be joining us for a school assembly to discuss the importance of math, science, and technology in the 21st Century. I’d like to thank our science teachers Sarah Hirschfeld and Mike Weiss for taking time to coordinate this event for our students.
May also marks a month of celebration, as we continue to recognize the accomplishments of our seniors. This afternoon, Walter Conrad was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame as one of five high school students honored for their academic and athletic achievements. I would also like to recognize Jacob Cooper, who was recently honored as the PATHS (Portland Arts and Technology High School) student of the year. Both of these individuals were chosen amongst hundreds of deserving students, and epitomize Yarmouth’s pursuit of excellence.
Despite the brief layer of snow on the ground this morning, one of the most notable signs of spring occurs this Friday, April 8th which marks the end of the third quarter. It is hard to believe that this school year has so quickly flown by. As always, the end of the quarter is an important time to check your child’s academic progress. As the fourth quarter approaches, I'd also like to remind you that any and all cornerstone assessments must be completed by the end of the year. Students need to earn a minimum grade of an 80 on their cornerstone assessments in order to receive credit for the course. Please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions.
On Wednesday April 6th at 6:30, YHS guidance counselors Beth Doane and Brenda Michaelsen will hold a College Information Night. Open to all, this evening is designed to help provide more information about the college application process and financial aid.
This Friday April 8th at 7 pm, Project Graduation will hold its annual Senior Variety Show. Please see the attached flyer for more information, as this event helps raise funds for the evening of activities for seniors after the graduation ceremonies.
A reminder that next week, all juniors will be taking SATS on Tuesday April 12th. Once juniors complete these exams, they will be dismissed from school. Students will be getting an admissions ticket in the mail and should bring this ticket with them on April 12th. More information will be provided to students and parents in the week ahead.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
There is little question March is a busy month. Not only do we celebrate the conclusion of the winter season, but we also look ahead to spring and the many events before us. What a winter it was! Our Girls’ Nordic skiing earned their tenth state championship in a row, while Emma Egan took the state high jump title for the second year in a row. Many of our teams participated in playoffs, and I would be remiss if I did not mention the Herculean effort of our boys’ hockey team who valiantly battled the Waterville Panthers in an epic match. This was also our second season of Unified Basketball, and our team represented the the very best of Yarmouth athletics every time they took the floor. I would also like to commend our Playmakers for another spellbinding performance. Although the winter season may be over, the Playmakers will be putting on a special presentation of These Shining Moments on March 24th.
As we prepare for Spring, there are two key pieces of information I’d like to share. First, we will hold our Spring Sports Information Night on March 14th at 6 pm. For any student who is in need of a physical, physical exams are offered at YHS every spring. If your son/daughter plans to participate in a sport during the coming year, he/she will need a physical in order to be permitted to join the activity. This school physical will meet the requirements of our athletic participation policy (physical exam every two years) at no cost to you. If you choose to have your child participate in this exam, please complete the physical exam permission form which your student can pick up in the main office at YHS (they are also attached to this message for your convenience). Please return these completed forms to Mrs. Moran by Monday, March 21. Physical exams will take place on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Contact Mrs. Moran if you have any questions.
Finally, I would like to ask for you participation in the Bright Bytes Survey. As part of our agreement to use the MLTI laptops, student, teachers - and parents - are all asked to take a few minutes to provide some information on how access to technology fosters access to learning. To help us continue and support policies that support improved access to technology and learning for teachers and students, we ask for your feedback on this survey.
All the best,
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I think it would be fitting to add a new twist to an old expression regarding this February vacation: it “came in” like a bitterly cold winter day but “went out” like a warm and unseasonably warm day of spring. No matter the weather, I hope that you and your family have been able to enjoy some time away from school as we now prepare for the end of winter and start of spring.
I would be remiss, however, if I failed to mention the accomplishments of our winter sports programs over the break. Our boys and girls basketball programs, track, swimming, and alpine teams featured many successful team and individual performances, highlighted by our girls’ Nordic ski team, which won its ninth state championship. Congratulations to our girls and coaches on this impressive accomplishment. I’d also like to wish our boys’ ice hockey team good luck as they prepare for their playoffs which begin on February 26th.
As we prepare to return to school, I’d like to mention the following request from the yearbook for Senior Photos. The yearbook committee is in need of high resolution jpeg photos "remember when" group photos (some examples would be younger sports teams, group birthday parties, school concerts. etc. Please send digital group photos to email@example.com, or photos can be dropped off in the main office in Betsy Puelle's mailbox. Please be sure to put your name on the back so that the picture can be returned to you.
A reminder that our spring registration conferences are around the corner. These will occur on Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9 from 4 to 8 pm. In the near future, you will be invited by your student’s advisor to meet and sign up for next year’s classes. Please take a few minutes to review the 16-17 course of studies (link here) which features several new course additions in social studies, technology, computer science, and visual performing arts.
Wishing you the best,
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Not only were we hit by some unfamiliar white stuff on Friday, we face another flurry of events the week before the February vacation.
District 2 Honors Concerts - The accolades continue to accumulate for our students involved in the visual and performing arts! We would like to offer our congratulations to the District Two Honors Jazz Choir Singers: Eli Anderson, Wyatt Bates, Aaron Dustin, Karl Munroe, Ben Palmer, Nick Prato, and Vicky Williams. These students will be participating in the MMEA District 2 Honors Jazz Choir April 11 and 12 at Fryeburg Academy. The concert will be at Fryeburg Academy on April 12 at 7:00 pm.
Coffee Chat - Thursday February 11 at 6 pm. I look forward to hearing from you regarding not only the second half of the school year, but also your thoughts on the upcoming school year.
Laptop Collection - A reminder to parents and students that we will collect laptops from all students over the February vacation. As no homework is assigned over break, this is a good time to “unplug,” relax, and possibly enjoy some winter conditions. All computers will be collected on Friday, February 12th at the end of the day. If a student is leaving early for vacation, they need to let the office and the computer lab know. If students have work to make up, guidance will be open on Tuesday (2/16) and Wednesday (2/17) from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. Students should sign up here or in the computer lab prior to vacation if they would like to
Playoffs - It’s that time of year to support our athletic teams who are starting their playoff runs this week. The WMC Indoor Track Championships were moved to Monday February 8th at 5:30 pm at USM. Our Alpine teams will be hitting the slopes for the WMC Championships at Shawnee Peak on Monday as well. Boys’ basketball will hold their playoff game on Saturday, February 13th at 10:30 am in the EXPO, and after an eleven-year drought, girls’ basketball will be heading to playoffs, also playing in the EXPO on Tuesday, February 16th at 10:30 am. Athletic Director Susan Robbins will be posting more information regarding all of our winter teams’ championship events later this week for our swim, and hockey fans.