Dear YHS Parents,
As we head out for the Thanksgiving break, I would like to share some information with you about upcoming events the week following our break.
1. Monday, November 26th, 7:00-8:30 PM, YPAC, Freeport-Yarmouth Hockey Proposal: Susan Robbins and I have been approached by a group of Freeport hockey supporters to consider the possibility of forming a cooperative Freeport-Yarmouth boys' hockey team. On Monday, November 26th from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center, there will be a meeting for anyone interested in learning about the proposal. The Freeport parents will present their proposal, followed by a moderated question/answer period and the opportunity for those attending to state their opinion on this proposal. In the next few weeks, a decision will be made by the school administration based on all of the information, including this forum.
2. Tuesday, November 27th, 6:30-8:00 PM, YHS Library, Parent-Principal Coffee: Assistant Principal Josh Ottow and I will host parents at this evening meeting. Part of the meeting will be devoted to a discussion of an exciting opportunity for Yarmouth students called Youth Court. Youth Court is based on restorative justice principles. The opportunity for Yarmouth students is either to be involved in administering the Youth Court or to be referred for alternative discipline consequences under certain conditions. As with all Parent-Principal Coffees, these are informal and open forums for parents to discuss any issues related to Yarmouth High School. Please join us.
3. Wednesday, November 28th, 6:30 PM, Franklin Theater, Waynflete School, Portland: I want to let you know of an upcoming film called Play Again that is being shown at Wayneflete School next Wednesday night. I have attached a flyer for the film to this email. From the flyer: "Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future."
4. Friday, November 30th, 7:00-10:00 PM, YHS Cafeteria, Semiformal Dance: Yesterday, I sent an email officially notifying you of our decision to continue to conduct breathalyzer tests on all students attending this dance. Today's message is about the dance and the reasons we have decided to conduct these tests. The Semiformal Dance is a long-time tradition at Yarmouth High School, most recently being organized by the sophomore class for the whole school. The class has hired a DJ and will decorate the cafeteria for the dance. Students get dressed up for this dance. Some students come with "dates" but most students come by themselves or with friends. Last year at the semiformal dance, we had several problems with alcohol use and our subsequent discussions with students in the Student Senate and Class Councils resulted in a proposal initially brought forward by students to breathalyze all students at the prom to ensure that students did not come to the prom under the influence. The goal of the students and faculty is to have safe and fun dances that are substance free. One of the strategies in addressing this goal is to conduct the breathalyzer, but it is certainly not the only one. We have a full school assembly on Wednesday that is sponsored by the Student Senate where, among a number of other presentations, there will be an explanation of expected behavior at dances and a statement of our goal to have substance free, safe, and fun dances. It is certainly my hope that over time, we will not need to conduct breathalyzer tests on every student that attends a dance, but we want to continue to send a clear and unambiguous message to our students about our expectations. For a full list of our dance guidelines, you can go to this link.
5. Finally, I want to take the opportunity to congratulate all of the students, staff and parents who were involved in the Sound of Music production last week. Nearly every seat was sold out for five performances. Everything about the production was outstanding from the performers to the backstage crew to ushers and ticket takers to parent volunteers. Everyone involved contributed to this outstanding show. What a great demonstration of excellence!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Ted Hall, Principal
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