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!