Monday, January 23, 2012

School Spelling Bee

How do you spell?
2011    cymotrichous
2010    stromuhr
2009    Laodicean
2008    guerdon
2007    serrefine

These were the winning words for the National Spelling Bee for the past five years.

On Friday, January 20, Harrison Middle School held the School Spelling Bee. The Bee began with 10 students. Congratulations to all participants; with a total of 332 students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 the finalists did very well.

Our results are:

Winners:    Paul McNeil, Grade 8 and Andrei Lougovstov, Grade 7
Alternate:    Thomas Spencer, Grade 8
Participants:    Grade 6: Madison Lindahl and Sage Waterson
                        Grade 7: Madison Miller, Ravi Patel and Clare Walsh
                        Grade 8: Conor O’Donnell and Danielle Laverdiere

The Cumberland County Spelling Bee is scheduled for February 8 at the Falmouth Middle School Library - registration at 6:30, Spelling Bee at 7:00.

Good luck (spelling) to Paul and Andrei for their upcoming efforts to move onto the State Spelling Bee.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HMS Geography Bee

Geo Bee Winner

Chris Bock, an 8th grade student, at HMS, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on Tuesday, January 17th, and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship.  The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 24th annual National Geographic Bee.  This year's Bee is sponsored by Google.

The kickoff for this year's Bee was the week of November 14th, with thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participating.  The school winners, including Chris Bock, will then take a written test.  Up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on March 30, 2012.

State champions will participate in the national championship rounds in Washington, D.C. from May 22-24, 2012.  The first-place national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations.  Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the Society's mission is to inspire people to care about the planet.

The other HMS finalists, in addition to Chris Bock, included: Ravi Patel (second place winner), Gracie Griffen (third place winner), Cody Cook, Henry Jones, Chris Landry, Paul McNeil, Hayden Dieterle, Ally Tillotson, and Tyler Vellieux.

Mrs. Newick, 7th grade social studies teacher, is the HMS Geo Bee Coordinator.

Friday, January 13, 2012

''UnumProvident Starting Six'' Honors Outstanding Educators

The Portland Pirates' usual starting six will get "schooled" this Sunday as a team of a different sort "takes to the ice." Outstanding educators from around the state will be honored this Friday, January 20, as part of the second-annual UnumProvident Starting 6 Educators' Hall of Fame. Applications for the UnumProvident Starting 6 Educators' Hall of Fame were sent to all public school superintendents and principals asking them to nominate an outstanding educator in their school or district that is helping students prepare for college, career and citizenship. 

This year Laura Mike, HMS School Counselor, will be honored as a UnumProvident Starting 6 and join their Educators' Hall of Fame. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yarmouth Education Foundation Grants Awarded

The Yarmouth Education Foundation’s (YEF) mission is to promote and enhance educational excellence by generating independent funding for innovative educational projects, enrichment programs and other creative educational initiatives that fall outside the standard budget and curriculum. The Foundation will allocate funds during two grant cycles (fall and spring) each year. 

HMS was awarded three Yarmouth Education Foundation Grants in the first round of these grants.

Google Ninjas
Students in grades 7-12 and staff will be able to become experts in the Google Apps (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Calendar) by taking advantage of online training. Once they demonstrate their knowledge by passing an online test on each of the Google Apps each participant will receive a static cling sticker that may be affixed to the top of their laptop. These stickers will create a visual way for other students and staff members to know who can help them when they are having difficulties with any of the Google Apps.

Inquiry Book Project
Interested students & staff will fill blank sketchbooks with ideas in words and/or images to match one of the themes provided and will share that work by sending the books on a local tour throughout Yarmouth and possibly the greater Portland area. The grant for the Inquiry Book Project was inspired by the official Sketchbook project out of Brooklyn, NY.

Healthy Hearts for HMS

The grant allows for the purchase of 25 pairs of snowshoes. This outdoor activity will help develop a life long recreational experience and promote health and overall wellness. 

Winner of National Safe Routes to School Mini-Grant!

Several Maine schools applied for the National Center for Safe Routes to School's Mini-Grant this fall - a highly competitive nationwide process.  We are excited to announce that the Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth was chosen to receive a $1,000 award.

At Harrison Middle School, students will use global positioning system (GPS) devices and OpenStreetMaps (OSM) to create safe route maps that walkers and bicyclists can use to travel to school and around the community.

HMS has already started their activities, even before the check had arrived.  Yarmouth held a kick-off introduction to a mapping session with a local cartographer and support from the local bike-pedestrian committee and school administration.    

Letter Exchange Program

HMS is participating in a letter exchange program with students at the St. Bakhita School located in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda. Kiryandongo was a United Nations- sponsored settlement for refugees of Sudan until 2008. Over 500 children of the Sudanese refugees, attend St. Bakhita which runs on a volunteer basis by adult refugees and other volunteers.

Charlie and Susan Roscoe of Yarmouth, through their non-profit organization Schools for Refugees, have continued where the UN left off in providing the necessities to refugee children for their education. Their education will play a key role in the success of their adult lives.

Students at St Bakhita speak Acholi, the language from the Sudan, but they are learning English in school. Students at HMS are finishing their letters so that all the students at St. Bakhita receive a letter from their new penpals. The letters will be mailed through the generosity of Schools for Refugees to arrive around their first day of school on February 1. The excitement will be when HMS students receive their letters from Uganda.