September 6, 2020
Dear HMS Families,
The excitement about welcoming our students back to school continues to grow as Tuesday approaches!
The HMS staff worked on all aspects of safety/health protocols, schedules, and instruction during our in-service days. Here we are, back at it, practicing our new routines: : )
Outdoor staff meeting:
Please know that we are committed to responding to the questions and concerns you share with us throughout the year so we can stay safer together as a learning community.
As noted in our last update, today’s communication (outlined below) will focus on:
- our learning community philosophy
- general information about life at HMS (including the school calendar)
- additional information about health and safety
With ongoing gratitude for your support,
Joan Adler, Tom McDowell, and the HMS Staff
Learning Community Philosophy
Kindness and inclusion are embedded in our core values and are essential to our work with HMS students (our core values are located on page 6 of Yarmouth’s Strategic Plan). Our staff is committed to creating a learning community that welcomes and values diversity, differing perspectives,
and a myriad of life experiences. We pay close attention to all aspects of our students’ social/emotional needs and development. Our students, parents, and families continue to partner with us in support of this vision. We value your input and communication, and we rely on the conversations about kindness and inclusion that you have with your children at home which further strengthen our vision.
We look forward to sharing information about the steps we will take as a district and a middle school community to ensure welcoming, inclusive environments for our students, parents, families, and staff members.
We appreciate hearing from you when things are going well; it is essential for us to know about any concerns you might have. We welcome your feedback and communication - always.
We extend gratitude and appreciation for our amazing PTO - more information about this organization coming soon in a separate communication, and the folks at the Yarmouth Education Foundation - YEF, who funded our new outdoor classroom spaces!
Inclusion at HMS
Congratulations and thanks to Denise Condon and Mikaela Gillis for their work on the Unified Champion Schools Initiative! We are thrilled for our students, staff, and community!
Student Needs and Safety
Some of our HMS students are dealing with severe food allergies. Allergies can include a wide range of foods (e.g. tree nuts, milk, shellfish, poppy seeds). These students are learning to become expert label readers to protect themselves from exposure to the foods and/or environmental factors that can make them ill.
Other students have Type I Diabetes. These students have to be acutely aware of everything they eat and how to compensate for that food with self-administered insulin. They are also learning to become experts at carb counting and figuring out their insulin dosage.
Your child(ren)’s teachers will reach out to let you know if there are specific foods that your child cannot bring into the classroom in order to support their peers’ safety and health. This is especially important given that students will be eating breakfast and lunch in the classroom.
This year we are asking parents not to send in food/snacks for any kind of celebration.
Please remember that 7th grade students must provide proof of MCV and Tdap immunization before the first day of school (we sent out several reminders of this during the summer months).
Arrival at HMS and our school calendar
We are limiting access to our school during the pandemic. Students may arrive at school between 7:40 a.m. and 7:55 a.m. Please review the information from Dr. Dolloff about the arrival time at school, and the school calendar - both are attached to this email.
Bus routes and bus schedules
This information can be found at the Transportation link, which is also located under the “Parent” tab on the homepage.
Distance Learning in the hybrid model and on Wednesdays
Students in the hybrid model will participate in distance learning two days a week that follows the regular HMS schedule and on Wednesdays between 8:00 am and 11:00 am. Students in the fully remote model will also participate in distance learning on Wednesdays during this same time. Teachers will be in touch about the specific schedule for these days. It is our expectation that students attend “hangouts/meets” with their teachers and classmates during distance learning.
Parent Contact Information
Parents will use an online template to update the Yarmouth Student Information Form, which includes completing your current contact information. You will receive a detailed email about this process soon. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to share this important information with us.
You can access our Daily Bulletin by visiting our website and clicking on Menu>Parent>Daily Bulletin. You can subscribe to our Daily Announcements by signing into the PowerSchool Parent Portal and selecting “Email Notification”. Once on that page you can determine what you would like to receive for email notifications and how frequently they will be emailed to you.
Athletics, Extracurriculars, and Virtual Open House
Stay tuned for information about all of the above in our next update.