Sunday, November 19, 2017

YEF Spreads Joy and Learning

 Congratulations to our fall YEF grant recipients!

We're excited for our students to experience the new explorations, creative thinking and problem solving that will occur as a result of these grants. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to YEF for continuing to enrich our students' learning by providing these unique opportunities!

Bob Gross' grant, "Sea Perch" will provide new challenges in robotics for our students
In Bob's grant application for the Sea Perch kits he explained that Sea Perch will enable our students to construct underwater robotics rovers. This expands on the land-based robotic work our students have done in the past.  The more complex, underwater environment provides students with additional challenges not required for land-based robotics.
Tate Gale, Josh Leinwand, Morgan Cuthbert and Janice Medenica accept the award of the Cubelets grant 
Morgan, Tate and Janice shared that Cubelets are pre-programmed robot blocks with nature and a systems model in mind. Each of the 17 types of Cubelets has a special skill. When they’re combined, the robot-building possibilities are endless. The Cubelets grant aligns with our NGSS Standards and Science and Engineering Practices. This project will engage, stretch, and increase the learning experiences of our 7th grade students. Josh appeared in the video presentation for this innovative grant.

Let the new experiences begin!

Cooking and Learning in Cheryl Lambert's classes

Blair Currier, Director of School Nutrition, and Cheryl Lambert, HMS Health Science Teacher, have been busy creating engaging Stir Fry cooking labs for our students!

Students learned knife skills, how to sauté vegetables with rice and even make their own stir fry sauce. Each group competed for the best dish and were rated on presentation, smell, taste and texture, with support from our expert judge, Mr. McDowell!


Maine Biotechnology Day

 Thanks to Morgan Cuthbert for filling us in on Maine Biotechnology Day and presenter, Jay Palmer's visit to our school:

Jay Palmer, CEO of Clear H2O, joined the 7th grade science classes on November 8th, for a Maine Biotechnology Day presentation. Maine Biotechnology Day provides opportunities, state-wide, for individuals working in the life science industry to visit middle schools in Maine. The goal of this program is to inspire future scientists by sharing career stories, promoting science as a subject and showing students that bioscience companies in Maine are engaging places to pursue a variety of careers.

Mr. Palmer shared the hydration packets he created, which are used in the transport and treatment of sick animals. Students were able to create their own gel droplets by mixing calcium and alginate.  Mr. Palmer also discussed the importance of creativity and problem solving around issues that arise in  everyday life. We thank both Clear H2O and Bioscience Maine for this opportunity!
Mr. Palmer with our 7th grade students

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A visit with Sammy Potter

Thanks to Rod Corey and the 8th grade team for creating this exciting learning opportunity for their students!

On Monday, November 6, 8th grade students were treated to a first-hand account of how our government works. Sammy Potter, Yarmouth High School Senior, spent the spring semester of his junior year working in Washington, D.C. as a page for Susan Collins.  Sammy shared personal anecdotes of his time working closely with senators and representatives, in addition to his passion for politics.  He encouraged 8th grade students to participate in our democracy through the support of a candidate for office, or by being knowledgeable about the issues of our time. 

Our thanks to Sammy for taking the time to share his experiences and enthusiasm for being involved in the political process!
Sammy Potter

Rotary Recognition: Congratulations to 7th grade students Abigail Whitney and Sarah Dressel!

Janice Medenica, Abigail Whitney and Mike Hagerty
Randy Dehetre, Kelley Damboise, Sarah Dressel and Kimberly Grover
Congratulations and best wishes to Abigail Whitney and Sarah Dressel, November's recipients of the HMS/Rotary Student Recognition award! The Unified Arts Team chose Sarah for this recognition and the 7th Grade Team chose Abigail. This recognition is based on growth mindset and the effort/grit/perseverance demonstrated by HMS students. Abigail and Sarah will be honored at a rotary meeting, which will be held on November 20th, at the Town Hall Community Room, at 7:15 AM. 

The Unified Arts team shared that Sarah comes to each class with a winning attitude and prepared to work hard every day. She demonstrates true diligence and works in a way that ALWAYS showcases her investment in making progress. Simply put, there are no off days for Sarah.  She always challenges herself to go BEYOND. She's hardworking, creative, and also hilarious. She's a good listener, which her teachers believe make her a wonderful friend. 

Abby's teachers note that she's an inspiration to her classmates, her teachers and her school community. Abigail is the personification of grit, dealing with some unexpected circumstances with strength, perseverance and a non-stop positive attitude, which communicates to all who know her that she is a force to be reckoned with! Abby is a talented and committed student who will not let anything stand in the way of her learning.
The effort, grit, and perseverance Abby demonstrates daily has been incredibly motivating, and we feel so fortunate to have her with us at HMS!

Our heartfelt thanks to Sarah MacGillivray, past president of the Yarmouth Rotary, Bruce Myers, current president, and all members of the Rotary, for partnering with us to make this program possible!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thanks To Our PTO!

 Bob Gross and Charlotte Agell are grateful to the PTO for funding some favorite new student pastimes:
Thanks again to the PTO for purchasing Quick Chess for our students-the games have begun!

Thanks to the fabulous PTO! We're so excited to be in receipt of some Bananagrams, available now in time for the national competition, and always for random moments of vocabulary and spelling fun.

Letter Exchange With Friends In Uganda!

Thanks to Paula Vicenzi for bringing this wonderful opportunity for global connection and learning to our students and for this recent update about communicating with our friends in Uganda!

Five years ago, Charlie Roscoe and his wife Susan (founders for Schools for Refugees) reached out to HMS to begin an exchange of letters with the students from the St. Bakhita School in Uganda. The school is located in the UN settlement about five hours from the capital of Kampala.


All students in Uganda are required to learn English so Charlie and Susan deliver our students' letters twice a year when they visit St. Bakhita. They return with beautiful, heartfelt, handwritten letters, which our HMS students devour as quickly as they can, anxious for news about their new friends! 

Our students are learning a lot about life at St. Bakhita and Uganda and are hard at work on their responses to the latest batch of letters.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Morgan Cuthbert and YHS Students Receive Exemplary Practice Award

Morgan and the Shellfish Nursery Staff with ROWE students
 Congratulations to Morgan Cuthbert, 7th grade science and math teacher, and the Shellfish Nursery staff, YHS juniors, Clementine Blaschke, Duncan Birkbeck, Grady Welsh, Ben Cox-Faxon and Connor Senger, on receiving the Exemplary Practice Award from the Maine Association for Middle Level Educators. Morgan and these students attended the MAMLE conference on Friday, October 20th to present their work and receive this honor.  

Thanks to Morgan for sharing this write up about the Shellfish Nursery work and this award!

Exemplary Practice Awards are rooted in MAMLE Core Beliefs:
An exemplary middle grade school must…
1. meet the developmental needs of young adolescents.
2. promote local professional development.
3. promote a healthy work environment for both students & teachers.
4. exemplify high standards based on research.
5. invite active participation by students, parents and/or community.

These students and I started our work on the soft shell clam project four years ago when this group was in 7th grade.  Since then this project has morphed into a collaborative learning study with the Town of Yarmouth and the Yarmouth School District.  The students’ goal is to research and pose possible solutions regarding the dwindling numbers of soft shell clams in the Yarmouth flats. We’re grateful to the Yarmouth community for their support. Hancock Lumber, Scott Dugas, and Bob Miles and Sons have all helped with this project. The Yarmouth Educational Foundation donated an upweller through the YEF grant process, which has enabled us to grow clam seed at a faster pace and in a protected environment that allows us to control for different variables.

In the past four years the students have connected with and presented to the an amazing list of local institutions. Highlights of these presentations include: Rowe School K-1, Colby College STEM Summit, University of New England Department of Education, Thomas College CIE, ECET2, MAMLE Annual Teaching Conference, The Gulf of Maine Research Institute Annual Conference, Sierra Club Earth Day Talk, and The Perloff Foundation Ecology Summit at USM.

The Yarmouth Shellfish Nursery has also been an integral part of the 7th grade ecology program at HMS. Students learn about many topics including classification of organisms, life cycles, competition, predator/prey relationships, trophic levels, and human impact on the environment.

This has been an amazing learning experience that gives the students a connection to their community and authentic learning experiences.  Students have become involved in scientific research and solving problems in their own community.

5/8 Buddy Food Drive

5th and 8th grade Buddies create a colorful parade to Town Hall
HMS 5th and 8th Grade Buddies are focusing on giving back to the community. Their first project was a food drive for the Yarmouth Food Pantry. On October 27th the buddies walked to Town Hall to drop off all of the donations they collected. 
Our students and teachers enjoyed the beautiful walk and the feeling that comes from learning about how we can help to support each other and our community. 
Our students at work
The Food Pantry coordinator let us know that the buddies collected 1,905 pounds of food for the food, which was more than double the amount of food they were expecting!

Our sincere thanks to our 5th and 8th grade students for their work on this important project and to the 5th and 8th grade teachers for creating this powerful learning opportunity. We're grateful to the staff at Town Hall for welcoming our students and teachers!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Growth Mindset In Action

Gina Rollins shared some of our 5th grade students inspiring responses to this activity about growth mindset:
The students brainstormed the meaning of the word "yet" and then watched this minute long video entitled You Can Learn Anything

After viewing the video the students made a list of things they can't do, YET, in school and their lives outside of school. 
Gina and the students discussed how they would let each other know when they did not understand something. They agreed to communicate this by adding the word "YET." Gina wanted to share some of their amazing ideas about school:

Literary Cafe

Merry, Stuhr, Tracy Weinrich, and library volunteer, Nancy Castonia, created the perfect environment for our students to celebrate National Teen Read week and the annual HMS Literary Cafe! Our students appreciated the chance to relax and read in our beautifully decorated library and engage in conversations with peers and staff about their recent book choices. Thank you to our parents who provided the delicious snacks for this event!

Bus Driver Appreciation

On Friday, October 20th, our HMS Student Leadership Team greeted our bus drivers with cheers of thanks and appreciation for all they do! The students made signs and cards for the drivers and presented each of them with a sweet treat in recognition of the way they sweeten up our mornings and afternoons every day.

We're grateful to our drivers for their kindness and care of our students and for transporting them safely to and from our school each day. Thank you to our bus drivers and to Nini Emmons, our Student Leadership Team advisor, and to this team of students, for creating this wonderful celebration!

Eighth Grader Students Explore Our Community

 Thanks to Rod Corey for filling us in on our eighth grade students' recent trips/community service activities:
Thank you to our PTO for funding the tie dye t-shirts in the photo! The eighth grade class will make great use of them on our trips and team activities this year!
On Friday, September 22, the eighth grade participated in the worldwide event, Coastal Cleanup.  Walking through the fort, beach, and parking lots at Popham Beach, we collected 1,841 cigarette butts, many sandals, several abandoned lobster traps, rubber bands, bottles, cans, and hundreds of miscellaneous pieces of plastic.  The park ranger and several beach goers were very appreciative of our students' work. Data from the cleanup will be sent to the Coastal Cleanup organization which will be added to a world wide data base.

In September, students also spent some time learning about the history of Yarmouth through a visit to the Yarmouth Historical Society for a slide show and a walking tour of Main Street.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Congratulations to Elena Miller and Sawyer Flowerdew!

Mr. Rice, Sawyer Flowerdew and Ms. Rice
Congratulations and best wishes to Elena Miller and Sawyer Flowerdew, who are the first students to be honored by the HMS/Rotary Student Recognition program! The Unified Arts Team chose Elena for this recognition and the 8th Grade Team chose Sawyer. This award is based on growth mindset and the effort/grit/perseverance demonstrated by HMS students. Elena and Sawyer will be presented with their awards at the next Rotary meeting, which will be held at the Town Hall Community Room, on October 16th, at 7:15 AM. 

Mrs. Grover, Elena Miller, Mrs. Lambert and Mr. Dehetre
Our thanks to Sarah MacGillivray, past president of the Yarmouth Rotary, Bruce Myers, current president, and all members of the Rotary, for partnering with us to make this program possible! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

HMS Welcomes our New Students and Parents

Thanks to HMS School Counselor Laura Mike, PTO president, Amie Moore, and PTO members Marjie Longshore, Stephanie Brewer and Naomi Bentivoglio for the warm welcome they extended to our new community members! Students and parents who have recently moved to our town had a chance to meet new friends, ask questions and get to know our school during this gathering. Thanks to everyone who supported this special event!

Tell Us About You!

Thanks to Mr. Skilling, Ms. Damboise, Mrs. Lambert and Mr. Dehetre for creating this engaging learning opportunity that supports our students and staff to, "Tell Us About You!"
Mr. Skilling here!

We want to know more about you! This is your opportunity to show us some of the things you like to do. You just might find out that others might want to talk to you about it or that others just might may have the same interests as you!

So what physical or recreational activities do you, and maybe your family, like to participate in? For example, hiking, fly fishing, yoga, skateboarding, circus arts, sailing, martial arts, dance, juggling, mountain biking, skiing, archery, horseback riding, rock climbing, fencing, gymnastics, snowmobiling, kayaking, etc.

To share, first click on the link below. There you can record a video response on the spot, where you tell us your name and about your interests and maybe share some photos, OR  instead, you can upload a video that you have, or created, of you in action (max. length 1min. 30 seconds).

Regardless of how you want to do it, we are curious!!!

Thank you!
Mr. S

Famous Mainers

 Our 8th grade students are learning about famous Mainers' contributions to our state. Thanks to Ms. Rice and her students for sharing this fascinating project with us in a new and innovative way! 
Click on the icons within this presentation to learn more:

8th Grade Spanish Students experience a bit of Mexico

 Thanks to Paula Vicenzi for filling us in on this great, authentic learning experience, which allowed our students to end the year on an exciting note!
¡Vamos a Margaritas! 
As part of their cultural unit on Mexico and Food, Mrs. Vicenzi's and Mrs. Roberts' 8th grade Spanish classes went on their annual trip to Margaritas in Portland. A guided presentation gave students a chance to see Mexico as it is today; its people, tradition and art. Students toured the restaurant to see the folk art and decor which are all hand made in Mexico. After watching a demonstration on how to make fresh guacamole and salsa casera, students enjoyed the, "all you can eat taco buffet!" Margaritas also gave each teacher a piece of authentic Mexican art to be displayed in the Spanish classroom as a visual reminder of their trip to Margaritas and their Mexico adventure.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thanks to our PTO!

Holy Cow are those Holy Donuts delicious! Thank you to Kelly Sawhney, Amie Moore, Marjie Longshore and our PTO for this awesome, much appreciated treat! We enjoyed every bite!

6th Graders Explore Mt. Apatite

Thanks to Ragan Bartlett for sharing this exciting news about the recent 6th grade field trip!

Sixth graders were graced with beautiful weather as they set out on their Mt. Apatite geologic field trip on Friday. They hiked the mountain. They observed and identified trees, gathered rock samples (quartz and mica were popular choices) and drew the origin rock face exposed by the quarry.

Thanks to our many parents who assisted in keeping our students organized during this authentic learning activity. Our students, parents and staff enjoyed all they discovered and the scientific camaraderie!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

7/8 Jazz Choir Goes On Tour

On Friday, June 2nd, the 7/8 Jazz Choir went on "tour" to three different nursing homes in Yarmouth; Brentwood Rehab, Bay Square, and Coastal Manor.  At each stop the jazz choir performed a variety show consisting of full group songs and small group/solo songs with guitars, ukuleles, piano, etc. 
Tyler Lucca and Maggie Murray
This was an outstanding day and a great experience for our students. They were joyful at the opportunity to give of themselves; their audiences was extremely appreciative of the way they shared their time and talent, and the wonderful interactions that that happened as a result of their visit.
Maddy Corson performs
Our thanks to Kimberly Grover for creating this important, powerful opportunity for our students, and for sharing these beautiful photographs. We appreciate our students outreach to these communities! 

Evan Lucca performs
The 7/8 Jazz Choir

Olivia Bailey's latest publication!

Olivia Bailey
Congratulations to Liv Bailey! Her article, "The Absence Beneath My Skis" is now live on KidSpirit as part of the summer issue on Resilience

Jessie Post, the Managing Editor of KidSpirit and KidSpirit Online, shared this about Olivia's work:

Thank you so much for all your work on this thoughtful article, and for being such a committed member of our community! It was wonderful to see you during our International Ed Board Meeting yesterday. We were so glad you could join us; I hope you enjoyed it!

Best wishes,

8th Grade Civil Rights Museum

Sam Bevins
Congratulations to our 8th grade students for their hard work on their Civil Rights Projects. Parents and students were treated to informative and engaging projects on a variety of themes in the history of Civil Rights. The deep learning and the creativity on display was an inspiration to our school community. Additionally, the work of our 8th grade students in this project reminds us to continue to uphold our school's core values of respect, compassion, and responsibility.
Abby Hill and Maggie Murray
Camden Rollins and Patrick Bergen
Many thanks to our 8th grade team and to our parent volunteers for their guidance and support during the research and creation of these important projects! 
Kira Ruffner

YEF Ends The Year on a Sweet Note

Bill Shardlow  
Thank you to the Yarmouth Education Foundation for spreading joy and sweetness with the Clipper Honors and cookies delivered to our staff last week! The smiles on the faces of the happy honorees are evidence of what this wonderful tradition means to them!
Janice Medenica and Mike Hagerty
Gina Rollins and Rich Smith

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 Legenda

The Amazing Legenda Staff!
The Legenda Staff is pleased to announce the unveiling of its brand new site! Here you can download the 21st issue of the magazine (as well as the 20th). You can also meet this year's staff (pictured above). Many thanks to the talented Alex Dow who coded this site for us! Our appreciation and gratitude to the Legenda Staff for sharing the gift of their creativity with us!

Mr. C. Publishes New Music

We're pleased to let you know that HMS Band Director, Brad Ciechomski,  has had two more of his pieces published, making a total of 21 pieces published during his career to date! 
We invite you to listen to  Let It Begin, which Mr. C. wrote for a younger band, as an opener or closer for a concert, and Ascending The Crystal Hill, which has been commissioned by the NH band association for the All State MS festival.  Mount Washington is known as the crystal hill because it's covered with snow for most of the year. We know that you will enjoy this beautiful and inspiring music and much as we do.
Congratulations to Brad! We continue to learn from all he has to share with students, staff, and our community, as we appreciate his wonderful music!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Congratulations to Sarah Dressel!

We're pleased and proud to let you know that Sarah Dressel, HMS 6th grade student, celebrated an exciting evening at the Telling Room in Portland, on Tuesday, May 23. Sarah's short story, "The Beast and the Bucket" was among 60 original stories or poems selected from hundreds of entries to be published in this year's anthology "SPARKS." Congratulations to Sarah and many thanks to her for sharing her talent with us!
Sarah Dressel