May 26, 2020

Dear HMS Families, 

We hope that the Memorial Day weekend provided you with a chance to spend time together outside and off of screens as we all strive to maintain a healthy balance during these strange times.   

We miss seeing our students and all of you very much, and this feeling only intensifies as we move towards the end of this year. We are so appreciative of the encouraging and supportive messages you continue to send to us.   

We are in the midst of planning virtual step-up day experiences for our students, along with a virtual celebration honoring our 8th graders. We are so proud of everything they have accomplished during their middle school years. We will make sure that they hear that and feel that from all of us before they move on from HMS! 

Please review the information below, which contains updates about the next couple of weeks, along with some other messages of interest and adventures in distance learning. We will provide specific information about the wrap up of the school year as we get a bit closer to the week of June 8. 

As we continue to acknowledge the myriad of challenges and losses during this time, we also want to give voice to the positive perspectives about our wonderful students and community. We are grateful to Karen Jagolinzer for sharing the following post with us, which describes a lot of what we have already seen from HMS students and all of you:

With Gratitude,
Joan Adler and Tom McDowell - HMS Administrative Team
Honoring our 8th grade students
The eighth grade team is creating a virtual celebration to honor our 8th grade students. The link to this event will be shared with all 8th grade students and with you so you can watch it together during the last week of school. Stay tuned for more information about this.
Virtual “Step-Up” Day
Our current 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students will have an opportunity to “meet” their new teachers virtually on Wednesday, June 10. They will hear from all of the teachers in their grade level, and they will have some time with their homeroom teacher and the students in their class. Our 5th grade team is creating a virtual step-up experience for our incoming 5th graders and their parents, and our current 8th grade students will also participate in a virtual step-up day experience. You will receive more information about how this will work as the date draws near. 
Locker Cleanout
Parents will be able to pick up items from lockers by mid to late summer. We have to postpone this given the construction at HMS. If there are items that are "must haves" for families (for example, if your family is moving from Yarmouth in June or July), we will retrieve those items from the lockers so you can pick them up. We will work out a structure for the locker cleanout and send the plan to all of you. 
Technology/library books/school supply returns, and yearbook pick up
We are creating a schedule that will allow parents to drop off laptops and chargers, library books, classroom library books, and borrowed school supplies. This will take place sometime during the week of June 15. We are hopeful that students who have purchased yearbooks can pick them up at the same time (this will depend on the delivery of the yearbooks from the publisher, which may be delayed - stay tuned). We will provide a drive up/drop off/pick up structure, which will adhere to all safety and social distancing protocols. Again, we will share this specific information as we complete this plan. This is just a heads up so you can begin to locate books/items you want to return to HMS.  : )  
Placement for the coming school year
We hope to share placement for the coming school year before the end of this school year. We will keep you posted on next steps to access this information sometime during the week of June 8.
Adventures In Distance Learning:
A gift for our 8th grade students!
Huge thanks and appreciation to our PTO, Molly Kilpatrick, and the 8th grade team for providing the gift of a summer read to HMS 8th graders! Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you need further information about this.
School Newspaper News! 
Please enjoy the latest issue of the incredible Harrison Times, brought to you by this talented, creative team of writers and editors! We cannot wait to see what they have in store for us next year. Congratulations on their first, wildly successful year!
Inspiring stories
If you have not seen Life pup for Lucia please take some time to watch it as a family! Thanks to Greer Altman and Lucia Littlefield for sharing their friendship and this special story with us!
Cheryl Lambert is published in the Maine Educator
Check out pages 20 and 21 in the Maine Educator - COVID issue. Cheryl provides useful guidance about the importance of moving and having a support group to help you with your goals during the time we are all at home. This is a great read, and it is exciting to see Cheryl featured in this issue!
A Wonderful Message from YEF
Yarmouth Education Foundation volunteers are still hard at work helping our schools during these unprecedented times. YEF is proud to have awarded nearly $60,000 to the Yarmouth School Department this year. This includes traditional grants and professional development opportunities, but YEF has also given back in other ways. YEF donated more than $15,000 this spring to make sure all Yarmouth students had technology access and the proper school supplies to make remote learning a success. The YEF mission is to support innovation in education, and we understand innovation may look differently in the months ahead. We’ll be here to help!
Clipper Honors
YEF Clipper Honors is back! Our incredible Yarmouth School Department employees deserved to be honored, and YEF is excited to partner with Clayton’s this spring. Donate $25 in honor of an educator and your special person will receive a YEF certificate of appreciation, a personalized note for your family, and a gift card to Clayton’s. The deadline is June 4. Order online at