March 30, 2020 

Dear HMS families, 

I am sending this update in recognition of our students, our educators, and all of you who continue to provide daily encouragement and support as we move forward with distance learning. We know that you are with us every step of the way, and we are so grateful for that.  

Your incredible children are demonstrating curiosity, flexibility, and resilience as they adjust to this new reality.  

All of you are supporting your kids with what they need, while somehow continuing your own work, and managing the many changes necessary in your homes.  

The HMS staff is putting in long hours to stay connected with our students, ensure that they feel some sense of normalcy, and that they can learn, laugh, and play together. And like all of you, our staff members have their own families, babies, school-age children, and parents whom they are caring for.  

All of us at HMS feel the strength that you are sharing with us, and that we bring to each other as a community. We hope you feel it too.  

Included in the strength we share is the essential need to breathe, make sure we get enough downtime, find a balance between work and play, engage in favorite activities, practice mindfulness, and do everything and anything we can to model these things for our kids.  

With this goal in mind, you may find the article, Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies useful as you reflect on what you and your family need. Rremember that you can access support from our school counselors and social workers, who also have resources available on their sites. We will share other articles and information about this topic in the days ahead. 

Please know that we are being mindful of our students’ workload during this time and that we will continue to make necessary adjustments as we learn more about the structures and schedules that are working best for them. We appreciate your input and we are attempting to respond to your emails in a timely manner.  

For now, we hope you can take a few minutes to enjoy some of the celebrations that took place while we were all together at HMS, along with the inspiring creativity that our students and staff have been tapping into since distance learning began.  

Please share my message to HMS students, here and attached, with your kids. We miss them every single day.  

Stay in touch and let us know what you need. 

With positive thoughts to all, 

Joan Adler, Tom McDowell, and the HMS staff 

 Previous Celebrations:

We are pleased to recognize Haley Doane and Kalei Peck, March recipients of the HMS/Rotary Student of the Month Award! Kelley Kirwin, Kimberly Grover, Haley, and Cheryl Lambert:


Michelle Raber, Kalei Peck, and Mike Hagerty:

 National History Day, founded in 1974, gives history scholars a chance to delve deep into a topic and to present their research as an exhibit, in a paper, through a documentary, or by performing. This year, 13 our students accepted the challenge: Chloe Bibula, Esther Bolese, Ana Brenes, Mia Cyr, Izzy Gilbert, Sally Higgins, Sebastien Martinez, Will McDowell, Fionna Moran, Eli Olson, Nathan Pires, Sophie Smith, and Natalie Waloven.  We are so impressed with their motivation and hard work! Four of these students moved on to the state finals:

 William McDowell - Breaking Barriers Through Endurance: Ernest Shackleton's Incredible Antarctic Expedition

Esther Bolese - Blood Soaked Tyranny: The Liberation of DRC

Elijah Olson - The Vietnam War on the Homefront

Sebastien Martinez - Navajo Code Talkers in WWII

Congratulations to all! NHD scholars with Ms. Agell:

Congratulations to Kelley Kirwin, who signed on as a professional athlete with Portland Rising! There were roughly 115 women who tried out and only 27 were offered a spot on the team! This is an amazing accomplishment that speaks to Kelley's hard work, perseverance, and athleticism.

Kelley Kirwin, professional athlete:

 PTO provides support to our community 

Our PTO collected donations for Wayside Food Programs, which partners with Yarmouth Food Pantry, soup kitchens, shelters, and other social service agencies. Our YES and HMS students contributed a grand total of 1,213 pounds of food! This effort comes at a critical time, as some food banks are experiencing a shortage in food and volunteers due to COVID-19. Thank you, Yarmouth students and families! Huge gratitude to our Kindness in Action Chairs, Danielle Damasco and Elaine Hughes. Danielle put this idea into motion and saw it through, and Elaine jumped in to help at critical times.

PTO Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

The PTO provided an incredible feast for the HMS staff. Everyone is still talking about the delicious food, which was so beautifully presented. We felt wonderfully cared for, and we send that same appreciation right back to all who helped with this endeavor.

Thank you for this amazing luncheon:


A message from the Red Cross - well done 7th Grade Scientists:

The Red Cross sent their appreciation to our 7th grade students and teachers for their work on the recent blood drive - “In my experience, yesterday's drive was the smoothest one yet. Our goal was to collect 66 donations of blood. Altogether we managed to collect 68 donations! This equates to 204 lives potentially saved which is awesome. Your support for this partnership is very much appreciated. We are so grateful that we were able to squeeze this event in as this amount of blood is a huge boost for us.” Eddie Scott, American Red Cross (Portland Office) Our 7th grade students at work:


 Recent Celebrations:

Thank you for sending photos of your children engaging in distance learning - we love them! Please keep them coming. Thanks also for only sharing photos featuring your own kids (as opposed to pictures of  groups of children, whose parents might not give permission for this).

 -The Poem Booth Live!

Our beloved Poem Booth has gone live thanks to Charlotte Agell. Please encourage your writers to share their creativity by clicking on The Poem Booth Live link above. 

-Inventions brought to you by STEAM 

Check out Tyler Moore’s impressive creation (attached). Tyler made a plow to clear his driveway during the recent storm!  

-7th Grade Scientists 

Our 7th grade students created unique projects to depict their current unit of study on gas exchange: 



Tyler Moore's snowplow

A message to HMS students