Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apple Distinguished School

Frank H. Harrison Middle School

Yarmouth High School and the Frank H. Harrison Middle School have been named Apple Distinguished Schools for their work in integrating technology in every classroom chiefly through the use of Apple MacBook computers.

Harrison Middle School began its laptop program in the fall of 2002 with seventh graders and then continued with both seventh and eighth grades the following year.  Since that time, all students in seventh and eighth grade are assigned a school laptop computer to use at school and at home.
Yarmouth High School began its laptop program in 2004 and added one grade at a time until all four grades had computers for use at school and home. 

The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for schools that are recognized 
centers of educational excellence and leadership.

“The laptop program using Apple MacBook computers has had a profound impact on 
teaching and learning at Yarmouth High School,” said Ted Hall, Yarmouth High School 
Principal.  “Our teachers have embraced the use of the computers and continue to 
develop innovative student-centered learning that engages students at a high level.”  
Bruce Brann, Harrison Middle School Principal, said “Since the very beginning of the 
laptop initiative students and staff embraced it as a tool for teaching and learning.” 
The selection of Yarmouth High School and Harrison Middle School as Apple 
Distinguished Schools highlights their successes in enhancing and extending teaching 
and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology. 
Representatives from Apple were present at the February 9, 2012 School Committee 
to present this award to representatives from both schools.
Of note, this is the fifth consecutive year that the Frank H. Harrison Middle School has been selected as an Apple Distinguished School.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Art Unit of Study

Elaine Fletcher, HMS art teacher, created a new unit of study - 8th Grade Metal Tooling - this year. After I viewed this unit of study I wrote the following:

Wow! This was a great first time through a new unit of study. You were so well prepared that everything went off amazingly - the students were engaged - almost as much as the teacher. The direct instruction got the students up to speed and ready to venture off on their own. You encouraged and supported their creativity. You expected students to talk and walk the vocabulary and they did not disappoint you. The assessment demonstrated what they had learned and what challenges they found in this unit. The final products - each and everyone - were outstanding! This unit was a pure success - you planned it and pulled it off. Although not planned, a piece from this unit was selected for display during Youth Art Month at the Portland Museum of Art.

The month of March is Youth Art Month. In celebration of this, the Maine Art Education Association holds an annual show of student work from throughout the state at the Portland Museum of Art. Each MAEA member art teacher may select one student piece to represent the school in the show. Hundreds of works are displayed and a certificate is awarded to each participant to commemorate this honor.

This year’s Harrison Middle School's representative piece is a copper sculpture created by eighth grader Susannah Lickus. This beautifully crafted and exceptionally detailed piece is of a flower, and is entitled “Full Bloom”. It truly rewards the viewer for coming in close.

The show runs from Tuesday, February 28 through Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Portland Museum of Art. The certificate reception is on Saturday, March 10. Eighth through twelfth grade awards are made at 6:30PM. It will be well worth the trip to see this statewide student art show!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The Awards are an important opportunity for students to be recognized for their creative talents. Each year, the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists, a national organization, partners with more than 100 visual and literary-arts focused organizations across the country to bring The Awards to local communities. The Maine partner is the Southern Maine Writing Project at the University of Southern Maine. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates. We are pleased to see such a strong Yarmouth showing in these writing awards.

Twelve HMS Students will be honored at USM on March 16th during the Annual Scholastic Writing Awards. Congratulations to Silver Key winners Lucy Alexander, Brenden Norwood, Isabelle Murray and Meredith Hawkins, and to Honorable Mention Writers Cody Cook (two categories!), Jake Cooper, Sarah Gleason, Mary Kate Gunville, Samantha Jones, Liane Rolls, Jack Diggins and Henry Becker (who was missing for this photo).