Dear YES Families,
Spring is here and excitement is in the air at Yarmouth Elementary School! As always, we appreciate the combined efforts of everyone in helping support our students to meet the unique challenges set before them this year.
As we enter the month of April, I know that the news on everyone’s mind is the direction our school district will take this spring. There is the potential that we may transition to more in-person learning opportunities after April vacation. As Dr. Dolloff presented at the March 25 school committee meeting, the Pandemic Task Force has developed a plan that is under consideration. You should have received an overview of this plan from him along with and an opportunity to share your thoughts through a survey. On Thursday, April 1 the school committee will meet at 5:30 pm to review the survey and consider the final proposal.
CONGRATS TO OUR YGT CONTESTANTS! There were several Yarmouth Elementary School students represented in the virtual “Yarmouth’s Got Talent” event this year. There were also many more YES students who submitted entries for this annual tradition. Whether they were selected for the show or not we are so proud of all our students for putting themselves out there to share their talent, creativity, and imagination. Our hope is that all our students feel safe taking risks and trying new things in a culture of community encouragement and support. And of course, we love to see them have fun while doing it! From speeches to comedy routines to singing (and many more acts) our YES students did just that. Congratulations to all who participated!
MAY- MAINE EDUCATIONAL ASSSESSMENT - GRADE 3 & 4 As Maine educators and school leaders continue to adapt to varying modes of instruction to meet student and community needs in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine Department of Education has made some changes to their mandatory state assessment program. This change reflects a desire to better understand student learning and growth in a more timely manner. The Maine Department of Education is now providing the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) – MAP GROWTH assessment to all SAUs in Maine through June 2022. As you are aware the NWEA growth assessments have been utilized by Yarmouth schools K-8 for many years. We are pleased that the DOE has chosen an assessment that provides us with timely feedback that we can use to support student instruction while measuring the important component of student growth. This Spring 2021 administration will include assessments in Math and Reading. These are the same assessments we administered at YES this past fall and winter. Remote administration will be available for students who are not currently receiving face-to-face (in-person), classroom-based instruction.
Our third and fourth-grade students will take these assessments during the month of May. If we remain hybrid then this assessment will take place over the weeks of May 10 and 17. If we go all-in we have developed a schedule to test all students the week of May 17. Please keep those dates in mind as participation is mandatory for all schools. Our fully remote teachers will be administering the assessment to their grade three and four students. They will be in touch soon with testing dates and details. Results will be sent home shortly after the completion of the assessments.
SCHOOL COUNSELOR NEWS In SEL we have been focusing on the size of the problem. Problems come in different sizes. Small problems can be taken care of quickly and can be solved on our own or with the help of another person. Kids can help other kids solve small problems. Medium problems take more time to solve and require more help. Usually, adults help solve medium problems. However, it’s expected that kids help solve medium problems with adults. Finally, big problems take a lot of time to take care of and require a lot of help from others. When big problems happen, even adults need help from other adults. Students have learned that their reactions should match the size of the problem. A small problem= a small reaction, a medium problem= a medium reaction, and a large problem= a large reaction. As always, modeling this in your own life is highly beneficial.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS Spring is here! Which means Spring Cleaning. Here are a few tech tips around good iPad hygiene for you and your learners.
- Screen Clean - Screens get dirty quickly. If you’re looking to get fingerprints, smudges, and other smears off of your iPad screen, please use a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. DO NOT spray directly onto the screen, instead spray onto a lint-free cloth (microfiber, etc) and use that to gently wipe the screen. More directions can be found here (Rowe and YES) and here (Apple official).
- Charging - iPad batteries last a long time, but also take a long time to charge. Putting them on a charger at school for ten minutes isn’t going to help very much. Please try to charge your iPad every night - this can also double as a great way to end screen time for the day!
- Google Meets -
- Meets with your child’s class are very internet-intensive, so optimizing speeds is extremely important. Definitely try to create a workspace for your learner as close to your Wi-Fi router as possible, but also consider that your overall network performance will be worse if you have other devices at the edges of your network’s range. Try and keep all devices as close to the Wi-Fi as reasonably possible.
- If your iPad loses connectivity, but still looks like it’s connected to your router, restart them all: iPad, router, and modem (some modems and routers are a single combined unit). To restart them, the easiest way is to completely unplug them from the power source, count to 30, then plug them back in. (This can also help to do periodically regardless of connectivity issues.)
- We are accessing Meets through the Safari browser instead of with the Meets app; there are some weird reasons for this, mostly to allow kids to see each other. If you ever cannot find the icon or misplace your school-issued iPad or need to connect a different way, you can go to meet.google.com on any internet browser and log in with your child’s Google ID.
- App Switcher/Closer - If you are asked to “close and swipe” an app, you’ll need to press the home button twice rapidly. This will show you all of your open apps. Place your finger on the app to close, and swipe it up and off the screen. I prefer closing and swiping all apps periodically, despite being told that there is no tangible benefit. You can also use the app switcher to more rapidly move between open apps.
Thank you, as always, for your endless patience and perseverance.
- Volunteer with the School Community – The PTO is recruiting for next school year. There is room for our parents to volunteer at many different levels. You can share your interests through this 2-minute survey. For those seeking a bit more, we are looking for a Co-President and Co-Treasurer. If you’re a bit interested but need more info, feel free to contact Christy and Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hannaford Gift Cards – Next load is April 13, 12 pm. Forms will be sent home.
- Kindness in Action – April 5-15! YES students are invited to help those facing food insecurity. This week, a paper bag and wish list will come home in your student’s folder. Students can bring in food items or a homemade card for food bank patrons. Remote students are also invited to participate; the office will have bags available for pick up. Students can drop off items in the hallway outside the new main office, or parents can bring items to the new front door.
- SilverGraphics – Now-April 12! You can order products such as face masks, magnets, totes, etc. with your child’s artwork displayed on the items. These make great mementos and gifts, with 30% of the proceeds going to the PTO to fund enrichments. An order form with a picture of your child’s artwork went home with in-school students last week. Remote students can upload art from home. And all families can upload additional art (sibling art, family projects, photos).3-step ordering directions for all students, including remote and HMS.
- Ice Cream Social – In lieu of our traditional ICS, we are planning some end of the year fun for Rowe and YES students! More information after April Break!
- Camp Information – Our Welcome Committee has created a doc that lists organizations offering camps throughout the year.organizations offering camps throughout the year. Contact email@example.com, with questions or additional camp info.
- Online Directory – We have received our family contact information, and the online directory is now ready to use! Online directory directions.
- PTO Meeting – Please join us at our next meeting on Thur, April 29, 4 pm. Meeting info will be posted on our FB page at a later date.
Questions can be sent to Christy and Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIKE SAFETY The Yarmouth Bike and Pedestrian Committee have reached out to provide our school with some good safety reminders. With warm weather in the forecast, I'm sure we'll see lots of bikes around town and more students riding to and from school. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has some great educational materials and a video on bike safety basics. We encourage you to check these out and share them with your children.
SUMMER WRITING CAMP WITH LORRIE KING If you know any kids who might be interested in attending this camp, please feel free to share this information with them. Kids can come from any town, not just Yarmouth.
Have you ever said to yourselves, “There are so many camps advertised each summer, I just wish one of them was a camp for writers.” Wish no more! For the eighth year, a writing camp is happening in Yarmouth this summer.
The camp offers time to write with other young authors in a relaxed environment designed to spark creativity. Writers will have time to get their thoughts on paper, be inspired and energized by activities indoors and out, and have time to interact with other kids and high school volunteers (former campers of course!) who also want to write.
Even if you have been to our Yarmouth Young Authors Camp before, we have already designed so many new activities. Here is the info about our Yarmouth camp:
- Camp is for students currently in grades 3-7
- Camp runs June 21-25, 2021
- Camp will be located at Yarmouth High School
- Camp will follow all COVID guidelines
To register, link here
To learn more about the camp, link here.
Got questions? Contact email@example.com
COLTS SOCCER REGISTRATION Yarmouth Colts Soccer club is for players U9 through U14. U9 (Under 9) age is typically a rising 3rd grader, U10 (Under 10) is typically a rising 4th grader, etc. Youth soccer in Maine (Soccer Maine) uses August 1st as the date for setting a player’s age for the season - for example, a player must be 8 prior to August 1st to play U9 and so forth. • Please be aware that Yarmouth Community Services does not offer a youth soccer option for children after 2nd grade. • Registration for Yarmouth Colts Soccer opens on April 5th. Please see our website for details and the link for our Virtual Info Night on April 5th. • Early bird pricing: $150/player April 5th-30th. $175/player May 1-31st. June 1st onwards is $200. • Registration for Colts Summer Camps opens on April 5th, go to our website to register. • Scholarships are available for both Colts Fall Travel & Colts Summer Soccer Camps. •If you have any questions, need registration help, or need to request a scholarship, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org@yarmouthcolts.com. Please also visit us at www.yarmouthcolts.com for more info on everything Colts.
SPRING BREAK REMINDER As Dr. Dolloff shared in his presentation last week there may be a modification to the April break schedule. Currently, the last day of school before vacation is scheduled to be Thursday, April 15. Spring vacation begins on Friday, April 16 and students will return to school on Monday, April 26. If there is an adoption of an all-in schedule on April 1 then the last day of school before vacation will be Tuesday, April 13. This will allow staff in-service preparation time for an all-in shift. Stay tuned!
THANK YOU This continues to be a year like no other. There have been significant challenges and uncertainty that have put a strain on our entire school community. In a year where we have not had as much control over things as we would like, the one constant that we continue to control is how we respond to and support one another. As difficult as this year has been, I continue to be thankful and honored to be working with the students, families, and staff at Yarmouth Elementary School. I sincerely appreciate your continued support and respectful collaboration. As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I wish everyone a fun and safe spring vacation week!
Ryan Gleason, YES Principal