Dear Yarmouth School Community,
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year. We hope you have had a restful summer and are looking forward to the return to school. There is definitely a feeling of excitement here at YHS as staff returns and prepares for the coming school. Once again, our facilities are in excellent shape thanks to the work of our facilities department. This marks the first “YHS Family Note” of the year (also posted on the website) and is therefore focused on the many housekeeping items related to the start of school. Please review the following information, and feel free to call or email if you have questions or concerns.
New Staff at YHS → As the high school’s enrollment continues to grow, so does our staff. In addition to welcoming the Class of 2027 to the high school, we welcome many new faces to our YHS:
Annie Hall, School Counselor Aaron Mooney, School Counselor
Lisa Larrabee, Instructional Strategist Julia Enriquez, Social Studies
Julie Balsamo, English Monica Sandifer, World Languages
Kerry Bishop, Main Office, Attendance Penelope Sanborn, Drama Director
Bethany Walker, Long-term substitute for Melissa Audy in English
Why We Teach⇨ A reminder to check out Why We Teach on our district website. Learn about what inspires our talented and dedicated staff at YHS!
New Cell Phone Procedure → As YHS examines its current cell phone (and laptop) procedures, there is significant current research and first-hand experience to restrict cell phone access during classes. Studies have shown that excessive cell phone usage negatively affects students' academic performance, face-to-face interactions, and overall well-being. We have noticed at YHS that students are increasingly distracted by their phones and other personal devices during class and other school-related activities. This has led to a decline in their focus, attentiveness, and participation, ultimately affecting their learning experience and the school learning environment. To more adequately address this trend, this year we are requiring that students store their cell phones in a cell phone “hotel” in each of their classes. Cell phone use is allowed only during specific times, such as study hall, breaks, passing times, and lunch periods. We acknowledge that cell phones are an important way for students and their families to communicate during the school day, so students will be able to text and call during those times.
Bus Schedules ⇨ Information on the 2023-2024 Bus Schedules for the Yarmouth School Department is now posted on the transportation page of our district website.
Reminder of Portland Street Main Entrance ⇨ Please remember that the entrance on the Portland Street side of the high school is the primary entrance into the building for parents and students who drive. While the West Elm Street entrance will be open for foot traffic and bus drop-off before and after school, it will be locked and serve as a staff-only entrance between 8:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
First Day of School ⇨ We kick off the school year on Tuesday, September 5, which is a BLUE day.
Daily Schedule / Attendance ⇨ We follow an 8:00 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. school day. We are emphasizing both arriving at school on time and strong daily attendance this year at YHS. To this end, we have a 7:55 bell alerting students to be in advisory period by 8:00.
A reminder, too, that students who participate in athletics, Playmakers, Robotics, Debate, and Math Team must arrive at school by 9:30 a.m. in order to attend those after-school programs.
Portland Arts & Technology High School (PATHS) or Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (WRVC) ⇨ If your student is attending the Portland Arts & Technology High School (PATHS) or Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (WRVC), you may access this resource page for details regarding each school, transportation, etc.
Please contact Assistant Principal Amy Bongard if you have questions about PATHS/WRVC. (email@example.com)
Athletics Update ⇨ We are excited to kick off a new school year here with YHS Athletics. Our student-athletes began practices August 14th and are eagerly awaiting opening day. Bookmark our RSchool Today Calendar (link here) for updated schedules for Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Cross Country, and Volleyball.
Junior / Senior Open Campus ⇨ Students in grades 11 and 12 who meet certain criteria will be allowed to leave school during study halls, breaks, and lunches. Please see Open Campus Information for Juniors and Seniors for a full description of the program. (Students should feel free to bring their open campus documents with them if they are registering for a parking pass next week!)
School Nutrition Update ⇨ Our School Nutrition Letter includes a reminder that breakfast and lunch are free for all students this year and information on how to establish an account for your child to purchase snacks and other items that are not part of the regular school breakfast/lunch.
Looking forward to seeing you,
Patrick Hartnett, Amy Bongard, and Sarah Holmes
YHS Admin Team