Dear YHS Parents,
I hope that the first week of school went well for your son or daughter. From my perspective, students jumped right back into their schoolwork with engaging assignments and classes. At the end of the day on Friday, we had a short "Back to School Welcome Assembly" where we welcomed the ninth graders, our new students, and our new staff. Today, I have several brief updates for your information.
1. On Wednesday, we will be welcoming a film crew from a German TV station as they put together a show that will compare American and German high schools through the eyes of one student in each country. The film crew will be following one sophomore student throughout the day starting with his bus ride to school, continuing through his classes and his after school activities. Since the filming could involve many students in the background, I want you to know that if you do NOT want your son or daughter shown in this film when it appears in Germany, you can have your child pick up a sticker as they come into school that day that can be worn on the clothing so that the videographers know not to include him or her in the final edit. This should be a fun way of highlighting Yarmouth High School in another country. If you have any questions, please let me know.
2. Next Thursday evening, September 18th, is our annual Open House, beginning at6:30 PM in advisor groups. In the next few days, you will be getting an email from your child's advisor with more details. This is a great opportunity to hear from the teachers about the classes. Remember that parking is tight, so if you can carpool or walk, that would be helpful.
3. On Saturday
evening, September 20th
beginning at 8:00 PM
, the Junior class will be sponsoring a Homecoming Dance in the cafeteria. Because many of you will have children attending, I want to make sure that you are aware of the expectations for each student who attends. For the last three years, we instituted mandatory breathalyzer
tests for all students as they come into school dances. This was based on work that was done with students and teachers to create the conditions for safe and substance-free events at school. We will once again use the breathalyzer
for all students as they enter the dance. Our school committee worked with us to create a policy for breathalyzer
use, which you can find at this link
. Students will be tested in a private area not in site of other students coming into the dance. The type of breathalyzer
that we use is one where the student does NOT have to put their mouth directly on it. Instead, the student blows into a funnel from a few inches away. The equipment is designed to determine whether there is any alcohol present in the breath. Often students ask if chewing gum can have a bearing on the test and it does not.
4. I want to make you aware, if you are not already, of a social media app that is causing lots of discussion among the students and staff of Yarmouth High School. It is called Yik Yak. It is an app that allows people to post comments anonymously about a range of topics. It is based geographically so the Yarmouth Yik Yak would only include topics posted about and in Yarmouth. Much of the discussion in school has revolved around comments that have been hurtful and specifically targeted at named individuals. Our Student Senate and the "Be the Change" team have already been talking about how to address the negative aspects of this app. You can learn more about this app by looking at the Common Sense Media website at this link
. If you have not talked to your son or daughter about the app, it would be a great way to better understand what is going on with Yik Yak.
If you have questions or comments, please be in touch.