Dear Yarmouth Families, 

Despite the many challenges in our world today, the past five weeks have been marked by tremendous celebrations of students and learning.  When a recent storm knocked out power for some of our teachers, students held class on their own. When social distancing prevented us from holding a school assembly, our student senate found a way to celebrate events and share news.  Although social distancing requirements have restricted our activities, students still find ways to help those in need.  

We may face additional challenges in the weeks ahead, but there is no doubt that we will find ways to navigate around them based on the strength of our students, our school, and our community.  As we prepare for the upcoming April break, our administrative team would like to share several updates and resources with you and your families. 

Community Resources for Families - As we prepare for the April vacation, we would like to provide you with updated resources regarding mental health support. We know that this is an unprecedented moment in time navigating COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and with that, there may be increased anxiety and emotional distress. As School Counselors, Social Workers, Nurses and Psychologists (School Psychologists and Licensed Psychologists) we are committed to providing continued support to students. Given the limitations of confidentiality using Virtual Technology, we want to provide you with additional mental health resources should you need them.  Should you, your child, or your family need support while the schools are temporarily closed, we encourage you to utilize the following COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Maine Crisis Hotline - 1-888-568-1112 CRISIS Text Line - 741-741 Call 911 or go directly to your local Emergency Room Yarmouth Food Pantry Hours - First Parish Congregational Church : Tuesday/Friday 10 am-12 pm 

Sleeping Patterns: A Brief Conversation - Click here for helpful tips.

One of the most significant struggles our mental health workers are seeing in our students involves sleep inversion; our students are active at night and sleeping during the day.  We are hoping that you might check in with your children during vacation and explore this issue with them.  Here are some facts and suggestions for helping teenagers regulate their sleep patterns. Please remind them that their school social workers are also available to have a more in depth conversation with them if it would be helpful.

Senior Celebrations - We are committed to finding ways to celebrate our seniors, despite the social distancing expectations in these challenging times. Our yearbook advisor Betsy Puelle put together a tremendous senior video which marks the "kick-off" of our spring celebrations for the Class of 2020.  We will continue to honor seniors in the weeks ahead with many of our traditional events, which include:

The 2020 Boyd Award - Friday, May 22nd (Time TBD).  As is our tradition, we will hold this ceremony on the Friday before Memorial Day.  This event will recognize a member of the senior class who best exemplifies the values of Bobby Boyd, and will allow students and families to watch a virtual ceremony of this great honor.    

Senior Awards - Friday, June 5th (Time TBD).  Much like the Boyd Award, we will create a virtual broadcast of the many scholarships and awards which recognize the Class of 2020’s outstanding effort and achievements over the past four years at YHS.  

Graduation - We continue to plan for a traditional "live" graduation ceremony.  Recommendations from the Governor will dictate when this takes place.  This may mean that we hold graduation in late June, July, or possibly August, and it may involve moving ceremonies to the turf field, but we will take time to honor the Class of 2020.  Next week, senior students and their families will receive a brief survey asking for feedback on these options.    

HS Athletics: Senior Celebrations - The Athletic Department will be celebrating senior athletes who participate in the Spring Sports Season.  Each senior will have an ‘athlete’s profile’ completed and will be interviewed by Athletic Director David Creech.  Coaches will also be interviewed and will share highlights and memories that celebrate their senior athletes and recognize their contributions to their respective programs. Information regarding the Senior Celebrations will be sent out following the April vacation.  All profiles and interviews will be placed on the Athletic Department website. Additionally, we would like to share two additional resources with our community. 

The following MPA link that highlights recommendations and guidelines for Spring Sports athletes:  MPA SPRING SPORT INDIVIDUALIZED CONDITIONING AND WORKOUTS GUIDELINES

Here is a link to a blog from the Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) that would interest athletes, parents, teachers, and coaches: AASP Blog: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips for Athletes, Coaches, Parents, and the Sport Community

Laptop Care & Online Communication Protocol - We have observed an increase in repairs to student-issued devices due to liquid damage and overheating. A reminder that students should keep food and drink away from their school-issued device at all times. It's also important, especially when streaming video in Hangouts, YouTube, etc, that devices are not used on soft surfaces like bed comforters, pillows, or towels/blankets. When they are used in this manner the vent at the back of the device gets blocked and the device will overheat quickly. If students must use a device in these sorts of locations we ask that you put a hard object, like a book, under the device.  Additionally, our district technology team has put together an overview of communication protocols for students, teachers, and parents. Please take a few minutes to review this information, link here.  

Wishing you and your families a week of rest,

Eric Klein, Amy Bongard, and David Creech

- YHS Administrative Team