Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The HMS Civil Rights Team brings essential learning to our school

The HMS Civil Rights Team at work
Our thanks to Laura Mike for providing this update and photos featuring the HMS Civil Rights team! Laura and Charlotte Agell are the team advisors. 

We're grateful to the following students who attended this training and serve on this essential team:
Julia Bailey
Evie King
Krisztian Kovacs
Joshua Leinwand
Bella Malczynski
Emma Sammon
Grace Shi
Finn Snow
Piper York
The HMS Civil Rights Team (CRT) attended the annual student training on November 7th.  The training was held at the Congregation Bet Ha'am in South Portland.  Brandon Baldwin, Project Manager for Maine's Civil Rights Team Project of the Attorney General's Office, facilitated the training. The mission of Civil Rights Teams is to get schools to think and talk about the categories protected under the Maine Civil Rights Law. There are close 200 Civil Rights Teams in schools across the state.

Students learned: 
1.)  that bullying becomes a civil rights issue when it is related to race, skin color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disabilities (physical and mental), gender (including gender identity and expression) and sexual orientation.  
2.)  the importance of asking people what pronouns they go by or using gender neutral terms.
3.)  to be aware of and inclusive of families that may look different.

Activities included: 
1.) Community Circles that were facilitated by Civl Rights Team Advisors and provided students the opportunity to talk openly about these issues.  
2.)  Alike and Different exercises to illustrate what we have in common with others and how we differ from one another.
3.)  brainstorming and talking what all religions have in common.

The HMS CRT left the training energized and filled with ideas for activities to get our school thinking and talking about these issues!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

8th Graders Work With Ollies-Thank You PTO!

Thank you to the PTO for funding the purchase of Ollies for the 8th grade!  Ollie is a programmable robot that is controlled by a handheld device such as a smartphone or Ipad.  The Ollies provide a highly engaging, hands-on environment to develop coding skills that involve problem solving, experimentation and collaboration in preparation for jobs of the future. Our students are just beginning to explore all the lessons that Ollies have to teach!


5th Grade Students Tend to the Garden

Thanks to our 5th grade students and teachers for helping Amy Haskell, Yarmouth School Garden Coordinator, put the garden to bed for the winter. As Rich Smith said, "Many hands make light work with 110 kids and and six adults working in the garden-AND it was fun!" 

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.