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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
During the first half of the year, there have been many moments where I have been incredibly amazed and proud of our students and staff. Friday afternoon’s Unified Basketball game was yet another one of those times, and I’d like to share the words of one of our community members who wrote, “it was one of the best sporting events I have ever attended.” To watch our students work together was truly inspiring, and I would encourage you to attend these games which define the very best of sportsmanship.
As we now begin the second half of the year, it should come as no surprise that there are many upcoming events during the month of February. This Friday at 7pm, the Outing Club is hosting the Maine Outdoor Film Festival in the YPAC - A fun-filled night full of outdoor films and prizes. Doors will open at 6:30, with a cost of $8 for students and $10 for adults. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
Our juniors will also begin their Public Policy Presentations this week. Volunteers are needed! These students have been researching issues for several weeks and will present their findings and recommendations to panels of students, faculty, and community members. Panelists are not asked to grade students, but have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. The presence and participation of community members help make this a rich, authentic learning experience for our students. The presentations are happening during the following dates/times:
If you are willing and able to participate please sign up at this link. If you have questions, contact email@example.com. There will be another opportunity for community members to volunteer to listen to public policy presentations this May.
Next week, we will hold another parent meeting/coffee chat on Thursday February 11 at 6 pm. I very much 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. With February vacation two weeks away, parents are reminded that all students will be turning in their laptops on Friday, February 12th.
Finally, in February we will embark on our search for the next assistant principal at Yarmouth High School. I would like to invite parents to participate in this search process, as we plan to hold interviews the week of March 14th. Please let me know if you would be interested in serving on the search committee.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The week back from vacation provided yet another illustration of our incredible students and experiences at YHS. On Thursday, we were held spellbound listening to the inspiring performances of Natalie Bourassa, Hannah Grant, Nick Prato, Sage Watterson, Isabelle Murray, Ella Werner, Amanda Dettman, and Lucy Alexander during the Poetry Out Loud competition. This year’s competition was judged by several renowned poets from the Telling Room, and I would like to thank Anne Tommaso and Marita O’Neill for their work to create this event, now in its fifth year. Ella Werner and Isabelle Murray took first and second runner-up awards respectively, and I’d like to recognize Amanda Dettman who won this year’s competition. Amanda certainly demonstrates our district’s values of perseverance, who finally took top honors after finishing as a runner-up for the past two years.
This weekend provided another example of perseverance by our girls’ varsity basketball team, who beat the 7-1 Falcons with great passing and a tenacious defense that held off a last minute surge by Freeport. I’d like to congratulate all of our teams who, in typical Clipper fashion, played with great heart and character. We also had a noteworthy individual performance, as Anneka Murrin set the new school record in the 800 meter race at this weekend’s WMC track meet. Finally, our very own Franz-Peter Jerosch will compete in the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships to be held January 15-24, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
I’d like to end this note with a few reminders. First, there is no school next Monday, 1/18 as we will enjoy a three day weekend to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. Finally, a reminder to parents of sophomores and juniors to start planning for the upcoming Career Exploration Program. This link provides some helpful information and can also be found on our website. Our students will also be working extensively with their advisors to prepare for this program.