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Welcome Back At-A-Glance-8.15.18
Joan Adler
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

August 15, 2018


Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,


We hope this finds you well and enjoying the wonderful Maine summer with family, friends, and favorite activities! Welcome to those of you new to the HMS community, and welcome back those of you we have had the pleasure of working with over the years. We are looking forward to connecting with all of you during the coming months.  

We will keep you posted on all school news and dates of upcoming events through our At-A-Glance updates, which we will send out every two weeks. This update is a bit longer than subsequent newsletters will be given the information about the opening of school. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have questions or if we can help in any way.  

Our schools are designed to explore and nurture learning, creativity, and the passions of our students. At this time of year HMS feels strangely empty and quiet without them! We look forward to welcoming our students to the 2018-2019 school year on Tuesday, September 4th.  

Our school day begins at 7:55 AM and ends at 2:45 PM. Fifth grade students will start the day with their homeroom teachers. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will begin the day in their advisor groups. All students will head to these locations at 7:55 AM. Our cafeteria opens at 7:40; our teachers are on the playground and in classrooms at that time.  

Please take some time to review the following information to ensure a smooth start to the year!


General Information:  

- Supply Lists are posted on the HMS Home Page (once on the homepage, please scroll down to see this information on the left). You may find it useful to bookmark these links.

-Information about your child’s bus route and schedule can be found at the Transportation link, which is located under the “Parent” tab on the homepage.  

-Our 5th and 6th Grade Student/Parent Meet and Greet visits will take place on , from >span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1825193678" tabindex="0">9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, in the 5th and 6th grade wings. Please stop by to say hello!  

-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. Please take the time necessary to share this essential information with us.

-Parents of fifth graders and students new to Yarmouth will receive their Parent Portal ID information soon. If you are a 6th, 7th or 8th grade parent and have forgotten your Parent Portal ID or password, please contact the office. If you need any support with your PowerSchool Parent Portal account please visit our PowerSchool Help Page

-Please access the HMS Homepage for further specific information about HMS and school events. HMS NEWS provides interesting information and stories about life at HMS. It can be accessed from this link, or from the left hand side of the Homepage. If you’d like to keep all information handy on your phone please download our district application. Our district app is available for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod) as well Google Android devices. Once you install our app please make sure to set up notifications for HMS in Settings.

-You can view the Daily Announcements by visiting our website and clicking on Menu>Parent>Daily Bulletin or 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.

-Students who bring cellphones to school will need to keep them in their backpacks or computer bags between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:45 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 procedure supports a safe and orderly environment for all students.

-If your child is going to be late to school or absent from school please call the main office between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM at 846-2499. If your child will be taking the bus home with a friend, please have her/him bring a note to the office.


-Fall Sports Parent and Student Information Night will be held on Tuesday, August 28, at 6:00 PM. This evening is for athletes, parents, and coaches. The expectation is that athletes and parents attend. All student-athletes must provide documentation of having had a physical within the past two years.

-The following fall sports are available at HMS: 7th/8th Grade Football, 7th Grade Boys’ Soccer, 8th Grade Boys’ Soccer, 7th Grade Girls’ Soccer, 8th Grade Girls’ Soccer, 6/7/8th Grade Co-Ed Cross Country, 6/7/8th Grade Co-Ed Tennis, 6/7/8th Grade Girls’ Volleyball, and 6/7/8th Grade Girls' Field Hockey.

Susan Robbins (, Yarmouth Athletic Director, has already been in touch with specific information about the upcoming sports seasons, and instructions about how to register your child for sports on POWERSCHOOL. Please let her know if you have questions about any piece of this process or if we can help in any way.

Student Needs and Safety

Each year we have a number of students attending HMS who are dealing with severe food allergies. Allergies can include a wide range of foods (such as tree nuts, milk, shellfish, or poppy seeds). These students have all become expert label readers and are experts, as well, at protecting themselves from exposure to the foods and/or environmental factors that can make them very sick.

We also have students who 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 too are experts, at carb counting and figuring out their insulin dosage.

You can support these students and their parents to feel safe at our school by checking in with your child’s teachers before sending in food in to school be shared by classmates. The importance of providing healthy treats for students and/or encouraging the use of non-food treats for classroom celebrations cannot be overstated.  

It is essential that we are all vigilant about safety when dropping off and picking up students from school.

Please read the following information carefully to note the changes from last year. Thank you for your attention to this process:

You will note a change in our drop off procedures this year. Busses and cars will now use the same, large loop. The short loop (which is the cut through to the front of the building) will be blocked off to vehicular traffic.  

This change was recommended to us to ensure our students’ safety during drop off and pick up times. Given this change, it will be important to keep traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible to avoid a backup. Please help us to facilitate this process by making any plans with your child well before drop off.  

Drop Off:  

Use the large loop to pull around to the front of the school for drop off. If there is a bus in the loop at the time you are dropping off, it will have its lights on. Please allow the bus to drop off all students and pull away from school before proceeding around the loop.


Pick Up:  

The buses will be lined up for pickup; do not pass them or enter the circle while they are lined up. Please remain in the upper parking lot. Once all of the busses have departed, pull into the large loop in order to pick up your child.  

Students should be dropped off and picked up in the designated zone. Please do not stop or park in the basketball court or delivery area for this purpose.  

We are delighted to introduce our new staff members, along with current staff members who are taking on new roles this year:  

Sharon Fournier-Administrative Assistant:

Sharon brings a wealth of experience to this role, having worked in a variety of positions in schools, and given her previous experience as an Account Executive and Settlement Specialist. Sharon earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Marketing from the University of Maine-Orono. She has been hard at work all summer!


Teachers New To HMS:  

Mikaela Gillis-Special Education Teacher grades 6 and 7:

Mikaela also brings varied experience to her new role at HMS. She has worked as a K-2 Special Educator and a Computer Technology teacher.. She received her Master of Education in Moderate Disabilities and her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Merrimack College. Mikaela has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Sustainability.


Erin Houghton-Special Education Teacher-grades 5, 6 and 8:

Erin has a wealth of experience as a Special Education Teacher and Behavioral Consultant in Maine and Massachusetts. She previously worked for the Saco Schools and as an adjunct faculty member at Bay Path College in Massachusetts. Erin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Bridgewater State College and her Master’s in Education at Simmons College.  

Nancy Riggs-Special Education Teacher-grades 5, 6, and 7:

Nancy finished up her time as a Special Education teacher in RSU 1 (Bath area) this past June.  She has worked as a program manager at a community agency for family services, and also taught in MSAD 58 (Kingfield area). Nancy received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine at Farmington, and her Master’s in Special Education at New England College, where she is currently working on her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies.  

Todd Stiles-8th Grade Social Studies/Science:

Todd has 17 years experience teaching science. His career includes leadership roles, experience as a MAMLE board member, and a youth coach. Todd received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy from Keene State College. He is currently in the Educational Leadership graduate program at USM.


HMS Educators in New Roles  

Rod Corey-STEAM grades 5-8:

Rod will transition from his role as an eighth grade Science/Social Studies teacher to teaching STEAM. He has 21 years of experience as a middle school Physical Science teacher in Yarmouth, a youth coach, and home renovation professional. Rod's background offers a unique blend of STEAM content knowledge, practical experience, and a developmental understanding of middle school students. Rod earned his BA in Biology from Colby College, and received his Master’s in Middle School Science from Lesley College.  

Jen Laberge-6th Grade Science/Math:

Jen will shift from her role as a special educator to teaching Science/Math on the 6th grade team. Jen brings 11 years of expertise as a special education teacher and a broad range of youth coaching experience to her new position. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Vermont and her Master’s of Science in Special Education from USM. Jen also holds Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study in Literacy (K-12) and Inclusion Education.  

Margot Owen-Response to Intervention Educational Technician-grades 5-8:

Margot will transition from her role as an Educational Technician working with students who have special needs to working as a Response To Intervention Ed. Tech. Margot brings her experience as a Transition Coach, School Coordinator/Liaison, 7th grade Language Arts and Drama teacher, and 9-12 English teacher to her new role. She earned her Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University, and her BA in American Studies from Colby College.  

Educational Technicians working with students grades 5-8:  

Jane Blais:

Jane's career includes a myriad of general education and special education teaching experience. She has worked as a 7th grade math teacher,  a Professional Development Coordinator for the Maine DOE, a 6th grade Math/Science teacher, 7th-9th grade Science teacher, and a Special Education Teacher with students in grades K-8. Jane received her M.S. Exceptionality/Concentration in Elementary Special Education from the University of Southern Maine, and her B.S. in Life Science/Chemistry from the University of Maine, Presque Isle.  

Jen Desjardins:

Jen is an experienced educator and Educational Technician. She has worked as a general education teacher, a special educator, and she has expertise in Response To Intervention practices. Jen earned her Master’s in Special Education from USM, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UMF.  

Jennifer Haley:

Jennifer has worked with students K-4 in her previous role as a Special Education teacher. She has also worked as a Developmental Therapist for Child Development Services. Jen received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Maine at Farmington.  

Shannon Landry:

Shannon’s experience includes her work as a case manager, Faculty Assistant, and Community Action home visitor. She earned her BA in Liberal Studies and her BS in Mental Health and Human Services from the University of Maine or Augusta.  

Dara Siegl:

Dara has taught pre-school and worked as a Children’s Therapeutic Yoga Instructor, a Home Healthcare Companion, a Personal Assistant and a Personal Care Assistant. She is currently the owner of Mini Yoga. She received her degree from York Community College.    


-New Parent Meet and Greet-August 27, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the HMS Library


-New Student Pizza Party-August 27, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the HMS Cafe


-Fall Sports Parent & Student Information Night-August 28, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at HMS


-5th Grade Parent/Student Meet and Greet-August 30, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the 5th grade wing


-6th Grade Parent/Student Meet and Greet-August 30, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the 6th grade wing


-FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL-September 4, from 7:55 AM-2:45 PM at HMS : )


-6th Grade Play-Parent Information Night-students welcome to attend! September 10, from 5:45 PM to 6:15 PM in the HMS Library


-Music Booster Meeting-September 10, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the Band Room


-7th Grade Laptop Take Home Meeting - September 11, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM in the HMS Cafe


-6th Grade Play Auditions, September 11, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM in the HMS Cafe


-5th Grade Open House, September 11-starting at 5:30 with a technology update (more information coming soon!), in the cafe and the 5th grade wing at HMS


-6th Grade Play Auditions, September 12, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM in the HMS Cafe


-7th Grade Laptop Take Home Meeting, September 12, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the HMS Cafe


-7th Grade Open House, September 12, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the 7th grade wing at HMS-more information coming soon!


-7th Grade Laptop Take Home Meeting, September 13, from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM in the HMS Cafe


-7th Grade Laptop Take Home Meeting, September 14, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM in the HMS Cafe


We thank you, as always, for your support. We are looking forward to an exciting, productive year of learning for students, parents and staff!


Thanks very much,

Joan Adler and Tom McDowell

HMS Administrative Team