August 31, 2020
Dear HMS Families,
Our HMS staff extends a warm welcome to the 2020 school year! We have missed your children and all of you very much, and we are excited about the start of the year. We understand the challenges that might come our way and the concerns that may accompany our return to the building. Please know that we are here to partner with you as we work together on behalf of all of our students.
Our staff is spending time reflecting and talking about the strength of “together” and all that word means and conveys for us as a learning community. We will share this message with our students in words and in actions, staying safer together, learning together, and laughing together.
We wanted to do something to bring this essential concept to life. To that end, here we are, TOGETHER, on Winslow Field : )
Please share this picture with your children so they know that we are with them - all together - in the adventures that lie ahead. We were able to take this photo with a drone that we received from a Yarmouth Ed. Foundation grant - we thank YEF for their support and their wonderful work!
I will send out several different communications in the coming weeks in order to keep each one at a reasonable length, though all of these updates will be longer than usual given the current circumstances. We will also send out a letter from our Nutrition Team Director shortly.
Today’s communication focuses on:
- where to find information on our homepage
- a reminder about our technology pick up dates/plan
- our school calendar/schedule for the coming year
- health and safety protocols
- our cell phone policy
- the introduction of new staff members
We will reach out in the next couple of weeks to share information about:
- our learning community philosophy
- Powerschool/parent portal
- extracurricular activities and athletics
- further information about health and safety
- additional general information
- virtual open house dates
Please check in with questions. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!
Thanks very much,
Joan Adler and Tom McDowell
HMS Administrative Team
- Please access the live link for information on HMS News, Events/Calendar, and our Live Feed. You can click on “Menu” located in the top right hand corner for information by topic/category.
- Please click on the live link above for a reminder of these dates and the process to pick up your child’s laptop on Wednesday or Thursday this week.
School Calendar and Information About the First Week:
- September 8th is the first day of school for students. The school day runs from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. Drop off time for parents driving children to school is 7:45 am.
- This year’s school calendar is attached to this email. We will begin the school year in the Yellow Level 1 Model - this model provides for two days of in-school learning and 3 days of distance learning each week.
- During the first week of school only - 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in Group 1 will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday, and 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in Group 2 will attend school on Wednesday and Friday. We will not have a midweek distance learning day during the first week of school.
- Our educators teaching students in the fully remote model will be in touch with information about their students’ opening week schedule.
- Our regular hybrid schedule will begin for all students during the week of September 14. At that time, students in Group 1 will attend school on Mondays and Thursdays and students in Group 2 will attend school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be a distance learning day for all of our students.
- The fifth grade team will reach out to parents about scheduling appointments for these students to meet with their teachers on September 8 and 9. These visits are by appointment only. During the first week of school, after these appointments take place, fifth grade students in Group 1 will attend school on Thursday, September 10, and fifth grade students in Group 2 will attend school on Friday, September 11. The regular hybrid schedule will begin during the week of September 14. Fifth grade students in Group 1 will attend school on Mondays and Thursdays and fifth grade students in Group 2 will attend school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be a distance learning day for all of our students.
- HMS staff will be outside supporting students to enter the building in small, socially distanced groups - this means that students will not gather outside, in the cafe, the library or the hallways before the start of the school day or at the end of the day.
- Students will begin the day in their homerooms of approximately 12 students per room. Homeroom groupings will take the place of advisor groups this year.
- Educators will be in their homerooms ready to welcome students between 7:45 and 8:00.
Health and Safety Information:
- The following links from Dr. Dolloff’s presentation and the HMS Community Presentation provide comprehensive information about our health and safety protocols, along with the information below: Reopening Schools - July 30, 2020, HMS Return to School 2020 Community Meeting Recording, HMS Community Meeting Q&A - August 20, 2020.
Masks for kids - we share this with you in case it’s a useful resource for your children.
-Students K-12 will be required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth. Face shields may be an option for those students with medical or other challenges who are unable to wear face coverings.
-Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear face coverings.
-Face covering breaks will occur throughout the day when students can be six feet apart and ideally
outside or at least with the windows open.
-Face coverings will be made available by the school.
-Face coverings are required to be worn by every student on the bus during school bus transportation.
-Schools will aim for a physical distance of six feet when feasible, with three feet as the minimum distance allowed.
-Schools will seek to maximize physical distance between desks within their physical and operational constraints.
-We will have exterior spaces available for outside classes.
HAND WASHING AND SANITIZING
-Students and staff will be required to exercise hand hygiene (handwashing or sanitizing) upon arrival to school, before eating, before putting on and taking off masks, whenever possible during the school day, and before dismissal.
-Teachers will provide handwashing breaks at appropriate times throughout the school day. Handwashing standards will be made clear and will be taught and reinforced to all students.
-Hand sanitizing: If handwashing is not feasible, hand sanitizer can be used. Hand sanitizer will be placed at key locations (e.g.,building entrances, cafeteria, classrooms).
-A reminder that students who bring cellphones to school will need to keep them in their backpacks, lockers, or computer bags between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Cell phones may not be on or in use during this time. There is a phone available in the main office if students need to call home during the school day. This phone will be cleaned regularly throughout the day (before and after students use it). This procedure supports a safe and orderly environment for all students.
Staffing this fall:
Three new members of our school-wide team will fulfill roles for educators who are unable to return to in-person instruction this fall. We have shared information about these teachers below.
Educators who cannot return this fall will work with our students who have chosen the fully remote option. Our students will benefit greatly from their skill and expertise. Students who have chosen the fully remote option will access the same core curriculum as their peers who are attending school in the hybrid model
Karen Jagolinzer and Gina Rollins will teach our 5th grade students who have chosen the fully remote model. Karen and Gina will both teach remotely.
Julie Logan and Stephanie Robison will teach our 6th grade students who have chosen the fully remote model. Julie and Stephanie will also be working remotely.
We are excited to welcome the following new staff members to HMS:
Katie Payne will be our new Administrative Assistant. Katie brings extensive experience in multiple roles at Enterprise Holdings to this position.
Katie Bauer will join us in a temporary role, teaming with Jen Laberge in 6th grade. Katie will teach Language Arts and Social Studies. She has a wealth of experience to share with us having previously taught both English and Theater. Katie is also very familiar with HMS students and curriculum as one of our "go to" substitutes.
Laura Bergeron will join us as an Educational Technician this fall, Laura brings her impressive experience supporting students in a myriad of ways to this position. She has held a variety of coaching roles in Yarmouth, including Assistant Nordic Ski Coach for HMS students, and Assistant Girls' Lacrosse and Girls' Soccer Coach.
Brandie Burrows is our new Library Media Specialist! Brandie brings an impressive background in teaching, ten years of outstanding library service, and a wealth of experience collaborating with educators to this position. Brandie worked as a middle school library media specialist with students in Pawtucket, Rhode Island last year. Her past experience includes time as an English teacher in Madrid, her role as a substitute librarian at Falmouth Memorial Library, and six years as a reference librarian at the Portland Public Library.
Crystal Found will join us in a temporary role, teaming with Kelly Conley and Rich Smith in 5th grade. Crystal will teach Reading and Social Studies on this 3-person team. Crystal has 20 years of teaching experience overall. She has worked with students at various grade levels during her career. Crystal taught 4th grade at St. Brigid's for 16 years. She is very familiar with HMS as another of our sought after substitutes.
Joe Furrow will fulfill the role of an additional, temporary Educational Technician, offering support to students and staff as needed. He brings a wealth of experience as a special education teacher to this position. Joe taught in the FLS Program at Brunswick Junior High and was a special education teacher at Mt. Ararat High School.
Caroline Myers will join the 8th grade team. She will work with Todd Stiles and Bill Shardlow on a three-person team. Caroline will teach language arts and social studies. She has served as a long-term substitute at HMS and is well versed in our curriculum given her experience as a substitute in our school and district. Caroline was our HMS Theater Director so she knows our students very well. She brings great experience to this role having taught English, history and theater in Massachusetts, and English, history and students with ELL needs in South Carolina.
Zach Wheeler will join us in a temporary role, teaming with Ragan Bartlett in 6th grade. Zach will teach language arts and social studies. He brings many strengths to this position including his time at Biddeford Middle School as an Educational Technician, providing small group and whole-class instruction to students with special needs. Zach has also worked as a BHP supporting students with behavioral needs. He completed his student teaching at Mt. Blue Middle School where he taught 6th grade English.
Andrea Utz will teach 5th, 7th, and 8th grade World Language (5th Grade Exploratory French and Spanish, 7th Grade French and 8th Grade Spanish). She brings her expertise to this role, which includes 16 years teaching French and Spanish (most recently at Saco Middle School). Andrea did her student teaching in Mexico, and lived and studied in France during her college years.