Monday, December 26, 2016

YEF Clipper Honors

The Yarmouth Education Foundation spread joy and sweetness this holiday season through their Clipper Honors program, which included delicious chocolate. These special deliveries are appreciated beyond words! 

The photos taken by Allison Flowerdew share the happiness of just a few of the lucky recipients more eloquently than words ever could : )
Tristen Rogers and Louise Schutt
Kathy Gardner and Liz Reinsborough
Mike Hickey and his students
Cheryl Lambert, Kelley Damboise, Brian Skilling, and Randy Dehetre
Bob Gross

5th/8th Grade Buddies Gift of Self equals gift of community

5/8 Buddies
Each year our 5th/8th grade "Buddies" participate in a Gift of Self project. This year's Gift of Self included making holiday cards and letters for community members at Brentwood, Bay Square, Bartlett Circle, and a group that meets weekly at the Historical Society. Our HMS Student Leadership Team has also participated in this activity.

Our hope is to grow relationships between HMS and Yarmouth residents, which will lead to visits in the community and at our school. We're looking forward to this in the new year!

HMS students share the importance of Mindfulness

Thanks to Susan Parr for her guidance and leadership about the benefits of practicing Mindfulness, and for sharing this update about the practice of Mindfulness in our district:

Yarmouth High School's Green Group invited eighth graders Olivia Bailey and Izabel Cox-Faxon to share their knowledge of Mindfulness with their group. 

The Green Group is dedicated to three objectives: 1) to raise awareness of mental health issues for high school kids, 2) to help de-stigmatize mental health issues among our students, and 3) to help YHS students learn more about how to access help with challenges like stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. 

Olivia and Izabel discussed how Mindfulness decreases anxiety and depression and has positive impacts on the brain. Ms. Parr led the group of over 20 high school students in a two minute Mindfulness practice. 

YHS Green Group

Math Team News

On Monday, December 19th, the 7th & 8th grade Math Teams traveled to Portland to participate in a Southern Maine Math League meet. 

Our 7th grade team's hard work, perseverance, and engagement earned them the first prize at this meet!
Georgia Herr, Emily Mickool, Elena Miller, Tyler Lucca, Milo Wiebus and Krisztian Kovacs

Congratulations to the following team members on an awesome performance: Georgia Herr, Emily Mickool, Elena Miller, Tyler Lucca, Milo Wiebus, and Krisztian Kovacs, and to both teams for their participation in this meet!
Georgia's teammates sang Happy Birthday to her, adding to this special day!

Thanks to Jay Harrington and Bob Gross for their guidance and leadership of these teams. 

HMS Science Club News

Sonja Bell and Gabrielle Merchi-Rossini
Bob Gross shared this interesting update from a recent Science Club meeting: 

Twenty students attended at our latest Science Club gathering. They enjoyed learning about the different types of prey found in owl pellets. Our thanks to Ellen Bennet, Jim Parmentier and Beth Fowler for their on-going support of our students' discoveries and learning about fascinating science related topics!
Sophie Smith and Chloe Bibula

Sunday, December 25, 2016

HMS Winter Concerts Bring Joy to Audiences

This year's winter concerts at the YPAC showcased our students' talent, hard work and commitment to their craft. Our musicians and singers impressed and inspired the audiences under the expert direction of Mrs. Grover and Mr. C!

The HMS Symphonic Band, HMS Jazz Choir, and 7th & 8th Grade Chorus delivered beautiful performances at the YPAC. All of those attending felt the joy and emotion in the music and understand the hours of practice, focus and attention necessary for our students to create a show like this.                             
Mrs. Grover and her students at work

The concert was a blend of holiday favorites and songs that require an exceptionally high level of skill. The audience showed their appreciation with standing ovations for our band and concert choir. 

Mr. C. directing
Our thanks and appreciation to these students for sharing their talent with us. Our sincere appreciation to Mr. Dustin for supporting our middle school show by playing piano during the concert.

To Mrs. Grover and Mr. C., we loved taking a break from the hectic, pre-holiday pace to watch, listen, and enjoy all that our students have learned. Thank you for making this possible. 

The 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band, and 5th & 6th Grade Chorus wrapped up our winter concert season with wonderful performances! 


A capacity crowd was treated to challenging selections that demonstrated the effort, growth, and talent of our 5th and 6th grade musicians and singers. It was clear to all that the students' hard work was the foundation for these stirring performances.
Many thanks to Mr. Dustin for supporting our middle school show by playing piano during the concert, and to Davis Young for accompanying the Chorus on percussion. Thank you to Mrs. Renton as well, who came out of retirement to play the piccolo with the Chorus. 
And finally, to Mr. C and Mrs. Grover, thank you for all that you do to teach and inspire our students. Your hard work is music to our ears!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thanks to our HMS Nutrition Team!

HMS Nutrition Team: Cari Fulton, Tracy Gilbert, Nikki Davoren, Kathy Lathem, Donna Gordan, Blair Currier

The HMS students and staff are grateful to our Nutrition Team, led by Kathy Latham at HMS, and Blair Currier, district-wide. These dedicated professionals take care of every aspect of meals at HMS, preparing and serving nutritious, delicious fare with kindness, patience, and attention to individual needs. 
Our students' understand and appreciate all this team does for us every day, evidenced by the thank you notes shown in the photo. We all know how fortunate we are to benefit from the Nutrition Team's commitment to their work and care for our school. We're thankful for all they do for us!

Hour of Code

HMS participated in the annual Hour of Code, held early in December. Mike Aresenault shared the following description of this engaging learning opportunity:
The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11). Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). 

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.

Computer Science is Changing Everything:

Students at HMS will participated in Hour of Code during their Math classes. There were many tutorials for each student to choose from at 

Each year and their partners add new tutorials to their site. This year some of the highlights are:

Moana: Wayfinding with Code Minecraft Hour of Code
Make Music with Scratch Gumball's Coding Adventure
and many more

There are 172 different tutorials that can be found on the Hour of Code site from partners such as Kahn Academy, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Scratch and Disney.

To make it easy for all students to access the Hour of Code site Mike placed a direct link to the tutorials on the HMS Web site under Students>Hour of Code. 

Jay Harrington's Dine and Discuss sessions continue

Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington, 7th grade math and science teacher, continued his Dine & Discuss sessions at HMS this fall. These meetings about formative assessment in teaching mathematics are a great fit with our faculty focus on formative assessment practices across content areas. Jay is a terrific resource for us regarding this work. He enjoyed hosting these meetings and expressed his thanks to the HMS Nutrition Team for catering this event and providing the delicious spread.

Specific information about this learning:

Please join ATOMIM for 2 evenings of great math, activity and discussion.  
What are the sessions about?

The ATOMIM Board, in cooperation with the Maine Department of Education, was pleased to offer a two-session fall Dine & Discuss series titled "Formative Assessment meets Formative Instruction: Strategies that provide a window into the student mind."

    • Link formative assessment and formative instruction through 5 key elements
    • Learn about practical strategies that increase student engagement and provide important information about students’ mathematical thinking (ie Math Discussion Prompt Cards, Concept Cartoons, Troublesome Knowledge Hinge Point Questions, and more!) 
    • Network with other educators to share ideas
    • Receive a book of 75 strategies for use in the mathematics K-12 classroom  
  • Over 150 attended the first round last spring and teachers of all age groups provided positive feedback:

  • "I had a great time! A good mix of independent reading/thinking, small group discussion, whole group discussion, and hands-on activities. Can't wait for the next session!"
  • "The sessions were really informative and easily applicable to students of all ages and learning abilities. It was helpful to see how the strategies can be employed."

    "LOVE the hands-on activities! Strategies to bring back to the classroom are KEY! Thank you!!"

Monday, December 12, 2016

The smooth sounds of HMS Jazz Night

 Congratulations to the 6th grade Jazz Band and the 7th/8th grade Jazz Band for a fantastic evening of music last night! The 6th grade Jazz Band, with a 70's Disco theme, played a robust set of songs, including one written by our own Mr. C.

The 7th/8th grade Jazz Band hit their stride on all four selections, including a jazzy take on Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein". Thank you to the jazz bands for getting our concert season off to a swinging start!

Shellfish Nursery Updates

 Morgan Cuthbert and YHS students Connor Senger, Ben Cox-Faxon, Clementine Blaschke, Grady Welsh, and Duncan Birkbeck submitted their work on the Yarmouth Shellfish Nursery to the Lexus Eco Challenge: Land & Water. They were announced as one of the winning teams in November-congratulations to all on this important, on-going work, which will have a positive and lasting impact on our community!

We're proud to share an article about the Shellfish Nursery with an update on Morgan and the students' work from the recent issue of MEA Maine Educator Lessons in Mudflats

Thanks to Allison Flowerdew for these wonderful photos!



The Most Wonderful Time of The Year-Makerspace : )

Matthew Gautreau enjoying Makerspace
The HMS Library was excited to host the Annual Makerspace event again this year! This event is wildly beloved by all the fifth graders who have participated in past years. 
A Makerspace is a place where people are free to create and innovate using a variety of materials and tools in their own way. This is the heart of true innovation and our students took advantage of every moment they had to dream, play, imagine and design-the results were spectacular!
Our thanks to to all of you who donated items to make this year's Makerspace a reality for our students! Special thanks to Merry Stuhr, Charlotte Agell, Tracy Weinrich and Bob Gross - the HMS Makerspace Team!
To get a true sense of this activity please visit last year's site and stay tuned for this year's photos coming soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Thanks to our HMS Maintenance Staff

HMS Maintenance Staff: Barbara McNeil, Gloria Groves, Maryann Anthony, Bill Allen
The HMS community is grateful for the work of our Maintenance Staff! We appreciate all they do to ensure the upkeep of our building and attend to the needs that arise on a daily (minute by minute!) basis.

Barbara, Gloria, Maryann and Bill work tirelessly and  proactively to keep HMS shining like a brand new school. They respond quickly and professionally to all challenges, check in with staff about our school's needs, and always keep an eye out for the well being of our students.

Together they make sure we know about everything from students who may not have a ride home from school to anything in our building that requires an upgrade. Their communication and contributions enable us to provide a safe, comfortable, wonderful environment for students to learn. We're fortunate that they are part of our community!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanks to YEF for bringing Google Expedition to Yarmouth!

Alice Barr, Mike Arsenault and Cathy Wolinsky
Once again our district is immensely fortunate to benefit from the tireless efforts of the Yarmouth Education Foundation! 

YEF awarded Yarmouth Technology Integrators, Alice Barr, Mike Arsenault and Cathy Wolinsky, a grant to purchase Google Expedition, which will be used to enrich the learning experiences of students  K-12. 

The excerpt below, from the YEF grant, explains how we'll use Google Expedition:

Google Cardboard” is a virtual reality (VR) headset which immerses you in the video or picture so you can see a 360 degree view of an image or video. Put on the headset and you are instantly inside the media. Turn your head and look around to see in all directions. Google Expeditions allows a teacher acting as a “guide” to lead classroom-sized groups of “explorers” through collections of 360° and 3D images while pointing out interesting sights along the way. Students can explore coral reefs, go to refugee camps, and watch art come to life. The sites are all over the world and include Versailles, the Great Barrier Reef, and Machu Picchu. The expeditions also include tours of the human body and its systems.

Our thanks to Alice, Mike, and Cathy for their idea to bring this technology to Yarmouth and to YEF for their on-going work to enhance our students' experiences throughout our schools. We greatly appreciate your work and your commitment to Yarmouth children!

The HMS Library hosts Harry Potter Week

Our thanks to Merry Stuhr, Nancy Castonia, and Tracy Weinrich for creating this special week for our students and staff! Thanks to Merry for sharing this write up, which describes the magic perfectly:
Harry Potter Week
In anticipation of the film release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (J.K. Rowling's magical world moves to the U.S. and takes place years before Harry Potter), the library hosted a Harry Potter Week from November 14-18!

This magical week featured:
• a special
Fantastic Beasts window, created by Nancy Castonia
• a daily Harry Potter trivia question (this required research from all but the most extreme HP fans)
• draw your own Patronus on the whiteboard table (for those who didn't know what a Patronus is, this was a pretest for the daily trivia contest.)
• make your own Harry Potter bookmark with one of the highly inspirational quotes from the Harry Potter books 

• students were invited to wear their Hogwarts House colors on Thurs., Nov. 17th (Merry included this essential NOTE: If you don't know your House colors, and want to know which House the Sorting Hat would place you in, please contact me for assistance! I have the perfect way for you to find out!)
• a photo opportunity for interested students: Nancy has made a giant "frame" that is based on the
Wanted posters from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This was amazing-the kids loved it! 

Much learning, adventure, magic and fun was shared by all! 

Nancy and Merry

David Shaffer visits the HMS Symphonic Band

 Thanks to Mr. C. for arranging Mr. Shaffer's visit and sharing the details of this exciting experience:

On November 17th, 7th and 8th grade students in the HMS Symphonic Band welcomed Composer, David Shaffer, who engaged the students in a clinic. The band has been working on a variety of music this fall, including "Promise of a New Sunrise" composed by Mr. Shaffer. 

Director/Composer David Shaffer
 Mr. Shaffer visited our school and other schools in Maine, conducting his music and helping the band to improve their technique and sound. A long time college band director from Ohio, Mr. Shaffer now lives in Boston. He complimented our students on their willingness to learn and improve, as well and their focus and response to his conducting and requests.

The students were excited to have this special visit and came away with a better sense of how to play their music at a higher level of ability. Also, the chance to have a real live, composer visit with us is a rare treat for the band.

Thanks to out students and Mr. Shaffer for making this clinic a highlight of the fall for the HMS Symphonic band!


Maine Biotech Day

Morgan Cuthbert and Jay Harrington filled us in on this exciting opportunity for 7th grade science students:
Dr. Norman Moore
The 7th grade science classes were fortunate to host Dr. Norman Moore from the Alere Medical Company. Dr. Moore is an expert on infectious diseases. He discussed the importance of finding the root of specific diseases in order to develop appropriate treatments. He created the patent on a device to detect the strand of bacteria that causes pneumonia so medications could be tailored to treat this illness. 

Dr. Moore shared stories about his work lecturing around the world. His talks focus on infectious disease and working to control/exhaust outbreaks. Stories of 15 foot tapeworms and MERS captivated our students. Dr. Moore provided an exciting look into the field of biotechnology, from immunology to ecology. He lit a spark for some of our students interested in pursuing the field in the future. 

Our thanks to Dr. Moore for he presentation and to Agnieszka Carpenter, from Bioscience Association of Maine, for including HMS in this exciting opportunity!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cathy Flanagan wins YMCA Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Cathy Flanagan, HMS Educational Technician, on receiving the YMCA Staff Excellence Award for her work as the Camp Director of Pineland. Recipients of this honor demonstrate their commitment to thinking, acting, and communicating in a caring, honest, and responsible manner on behalf of children and service to community. 

 Cathy and her nephew Will, also a member of the Pineland staff

As the write up for this prestigious award notes, "Cathy is beloved by campers, parents, and staff alike. She has a special way with children, and counselors say that they return to camp each summer because they love working with her. In fact, nearly all of the counselors started as campers themselves, nurtured and mentored by Cathy. Cathy works diligently with her staff to create a safe and supportive camp experience where kids learn new skills, develop character, and make lifelong friends....Cathy's dedication to her campers ensures that they truly have the opportunity to discover their potential."

If you know Cathy, you understand that every word above describes her to perfection. You also know that she's not the least bit interested in the limelight and that it took considerable effort to convince her to share this exciting news : ). The HMS community of students, parents and staff truly love and appreciate Cathy for who she is and all she does. We have been the very fortunate recipients of her work for many years; we're incredibly proud of her achievement!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

HMS Yogis

 Susan Parr arranged for our students to participate in Yoga instruction at HMS:

Fifteen HMS students attended the first of four yoga classes this week with instructor Erica Marcus! The theme was "Strength" and the students tested out their physical, emotional and mental "Strength" by practicing varied yoga postures and positive affirmations. We are STRONG. We are CAPABLE. We can do ANYTHING we set our minds to! 

Thanks to Susan and our students for this inspiring message and practice!

HMS Yogis

6th Graders bring Bye Bye Birdie to the HMS Stage!

The 6th grade cast and crew of Bye Bye Birdie
Tom McDowell shared this great review of the 6th grade show:
The 6th grade cast and crew of Bye Bye Birdie did a fantastic job in front of large crowds at two performances on Saturday! It was clear to the audience that the performers and backstage crew put many hours of hard work into this production, and it paid off with an engaging, humorous, and heartfelt performance.

We are ever grateful to Betsey Reinsborough, our exceptional HMS Director! Her unparalleled direction guided our students through their collaborative work on the play, and equally important, they had loads of fun doing it.

Many thanks to Betsey's supporting cast, including her mom, HMS's own Liz Reinsborough, who was there for every step of the production and performance, and her dad, Tom, who shared his expert carpentry skills as handyman-in-chief.

Our gratitude to Kathy Gardner for handling the many details necessary to create this show, to Isabel Bates and Emily Corson, for their help with auditions and backstage support, and to all of our parents who made this play possible. Well done everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

HMS PTO's Spooky Halloween Extravaganza!

Kyla Winchester
Our amazing HMS PTO reps brought their vision for an awesomely fun and spooky Halloween evening to the HMS cafe on Friday, 10.28!

Our 5th and 6th grade students turned out dressed for the theme, played games, sang, participated in a dance-off and costume contest, and generally had a hilarious, creepy time enjoying the decorations and amazing music provided by HMS DJs Evan and Ty Luca-our thanks to both of them!
The awesome decorating team ensured just the right atmosphere for the evening-we're grateful to Will McDowell, Trent Richard, Michael McGonagle, Spencer Moore, Carter Lucca, Maggie Ralph, Fiona Bergen, Lexi Clark, Anielka Waldron, Margo Patch and Sophie Smith, for the time and thought they put into this party!

Pizza, snacks, and Halloween goodies bags were enjoyed by all-thank you Rob Anderson and Michele Lucca! 
Sincere thanks to all of our chaperones for making this night possible. Our appreciation to Melina Roberts, Laura Coroi, Stacey Pardales, Jess Smith, Alison Moore, Kim Tippie, Jesica Garrou, Michele Lucca, Charlotte Brennan, Meghan Haugevik, and Stephanie Robison. 

Jess Smith, Stacey Pardales, Jesica Garrou, Melina Roberts and Michele Lucca

Our thanks to everyone who stayed to clean up! This includes some student volunteers: Darby Brennan, Liam Hickey, Owen Redfield, Evan Lucca, Ty Lucca, Carter Lucca.

Finally, our gratitude to the HMS PTO for the time and energy they put into this event with the goal of adding PTO fundraising at the middle school! We're looking forward to making this event an annual celebration!🎃
Melina Roberts

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

District 2 Middle School Honors Choir!

Kimberly Grover shared the following, exciting news about the exceptionally high number of HMS students accepted to the District 2 Middle School Honors Choir! Congratulations to Kimberly and her students!

Congratulations to the following 30 HMS students who were accepted, through individual auditions, to the District 2 Middle School Honors Choir!!! 

This represents a lot of dedication, focus, practice, and hard work as well as talent.

Students will attend the 2017 District II Honors Vocal Festival at Windham High School on January 27 and 28, 2017.
7th Sopranos

Hillary Connor
Fiona Brown
Elena Schlax
Tori Kendeigh
Lexi Inger
Maddie Emrich-Shanks 
Maren Found
Maya Panozzo 
Caroline Meehan
7th Altos

Marin Cowell
Ella Doxsee
Delaney McDonough 
Emily Mickool
Olivia May
7th Baritones 
Tyler Lucca
Isaac Grondin
Milo Wiebus
Ethan Bolles
Jared Conant
Krisztian Kovacs 
Nicolas Mogul-Campbell 
Galen Skinner   
8th Sopranos  
Eleanor Zimmerman 
8th Alto 
Izabel Cox-Faxon 
Lydia Dustin
Abigail Hill
Calin McGonagle 

8th Baritones  
Evan Lucca 
Max Kemplar 
Miles Hagedorn

Cheryl Lambert is published!

Cheryl Lambert
We wanted to share the exciting news that Cheryl Lambert, HMS Health Science teacher, has been published in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Cheryl wrote this article before joining us at HMS. 

Congratulations, Cheryl! 
Technology Has A Place In Physical Education

Sunday, October 30, 2016

600 Tee-Shirts for Uganda!

Paula Vicenzi shared this exciting update about our on-going relationship with our sister school in St. Bakhita. Paula brought this partnership to HMS several years ago:

Through the generous support of students, staff and parents, approximately 600 tee-shirts were collected for the children at the St. Bakhita School Ugandan UN refugee settlement camp.
Charlie Roscoe, founder of Schools for Refugees, will bring the shirts to Uganda on November 3rd, along with 320 letters written by HMS students as part of our letter exchange program with the 


Thank you for your on-going support of the students of St. Bakhita!


Watt Key Skypes with HMS 8th grade students

Many of you remember last year's One Book One School event, featuring Alabama Moon, written by Watt Key. 

Molly Kilpatrick, our Lead Language Arts teacher, set up a skype session with Watt and our 8th grade students, who have just finished Watt's book, FourMile. Watt talked with our students about his ideas, which led to this book, the writing process, the need for continuous practice, and setting realistic goals. Our students' learned so much about the career of an author, along with essential life lessons. 
Watt Key skypes with HMS 8th graders

Watt's new book, Hideout, will be released January 10. Check out this attached preview!     

HMS Mock Election

HMS 8th graders count ballots for our Mock Election
Megan Rice, 8th grade social studies and science teacher, led the 2016 Mock Election, sponsored by our 8th grade students and teachers. Important information regarding the referendum questions was provided for students and staff, along with election links:

Referendum info:                         
    Question 1                          
    Question 2
    Question 3
    Question 4
    Question 5
“The November ballot also will include a bond issue, which will appear after the citizens’ initiatives. The bond question asks if voters favor spending $100 million for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation for highways and bridges and for work related to other types of infrastructure. The bond would be used to match an estimated $137 million in federal funds.” - from PPH, Oct. 3, 2016

Election Links:
Ballot Ready - Presidential
Ballot Ready - Local
Our students voted on Wednesday, 10.26.16. The 8th grade students shared the results with our school:

Clinton: 306
Johnson: 38 
Stein: 35 
Trump: 76


1: Yes-178 No-265 
2. Yes-214 No-242 
3. Yes-362 No-132 
4. Yes-198 No-214 
5. Yes-201 No-220 
6. Yes-210 No-220 
Our thanks to Megan, and our 8th grade students and teachers for providing our school with this important opportunity.