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 Tuesday September 6th. 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:
First Day of School - Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 6th as a BLUE day. This will be a full regular school day, with advisor/advisee period starting promptly at 8 am. A reminder that this year’s schedule has been adjusted by twenty minutes and can be found here. Advisor group lists and locations will be posted in the main hallways for students who are not sure where to go.
Wednesday Late Start Workshop Days - Every Wednesday morning, students arrive to school at 9 am, which allows teachers to meet for professional development training. This will start on Wednesday, September 7th.
Open House will be held on Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 PM. Open house is an opportunity for parents to come in to meet with their son or daughter’s advisor and teachers and learn about classes following an abbreviated student schedule.
Bus transportation - Please refer to this link for parents to see the updated pickup/dropoff bus schedules.
Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) - For those students who are attending PATHS this year, those classes start on the first day of school. Ms. Bongard will send more detailed information to PATHS students in a separate letter.
Student Driving Privileges - Since many of our students drive to school regularly, we ask all student drivers to provide a copy of their car registration information to keep on file. If your son or daughter plans to drive to school on the first day, please make sure that we get a copy of the registration. A separate letter from Ms. Bongard will be sent to seniors describing the protocols for our Senior Open Campus program.
Student Laptops - We are continuing the laptop computer program for all students in grades 9-12, and students will be issued a “MacBook Air” computer during the first few days of school. Students will receive permission slips on the first day of school; please return these to the advisors along with a $25 check for insurance prior to the distribution of computers. We also ask that you take time with your sons and daughters to review the expectations for laptop use. This program will continue to help our students use technology in many aspects of their learning. If you would like to get a jump-start on this process, please review the following letter at this link: Parent Letter for the Laptop Rollout. To access the form that requires your signature, please go to this link: Form to be sent in to advisors.
Online Classes - Once again, we are a part of the Virtual High School program (http://thevhscollaborative.org/). This program has a wonderful reputation for offering high quality online classes. Students who are interested in taking a class that is not currently offered at Yarmouth High School should see their guidance counselor in the opening days of school.
Sports - The athletic department has launched a new means of viewing schedules and information, using an App called BigTeams. To access this, go to App store on your phone, type in BigTeams, and:
Clubs & Activities - On September 27th, our Student Senate will host a Club Fair that provides students with the chance to explore the many activities and clubs available at YHS. Please encourage your son or daughter to get involved in the extensive and diverse opportunities at the high school and in our community
Our Student Handbook can be found at this link from the YHS home page. This site contains the school’s protocols and policies for how we operate as a school community. We ask parents to review this with their child before the start of school.
School announcements - Can be found on the home page of the district website to stay up to date with events and news at YHS.
Every year, we need to notify parents about our pest management policy. You can find the exact policy at: http://tinyurl.com/yhspestmgt
School Nutrition - Please read through this letter from Blair Currier regarding our school nutrition program for the upcoming school year. If you would like information regarding our free and reduced lunch program read through information. Please use this link for an application this program which should be filled out and returned to school. Should you have any questions, please contact Mr. Currier at 846-2323, email@example.com.
Our school calendar can be found at: http://yhs.yarmouthschools.org/calend. If you are someone who uses “Google Calendars,” you can subscribe to this calendar by going to the bottom right side of the calendar where you will find a link to the directions.
Each year, we supply our volunteer coordinators with the names, phone numbers and emails of parents. If you do NOT want your information shared, be sure to call the Main Office.
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,