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Upcoming School Committee Topics of Interest

The following meeting topics and dates are being shared in an effort to ensure that each stakeholder is aware of discussions and decisions being considered by the Yarmouth School Committee.  Please know that all Yarmouth School Committee meetings are public meetings, and citizens are invited to attend at the Log Cabin located at 196 Main Street.   

Advanced Placement programming and funding at Yarmouth High School

On Thursday, December 8, the Yarmouth School Committee will be holding a workshop on Advanced Placement programming at Yarmouth High School.  YHS Principal Eric Klein will be sharing data and information from the current AP offerings, and the School Committee will begin deliberating various aspects of the program, including:

               Course offerings and sequence

               Examination expectations and funding

As this is a workshop session, the School Committee will not be making decisions regarding the program on December 8.  It is anticipated that any decisions that result in changes to the AP program would be decided on January 12. Both meetings will be public meetings held at the Log Cabin on Main Street, beginning at 7:00 p.m. 

Non-resident students

As a follow-up to a workshop session held earlier this fall, the School Committee on January 12 will revisit the topic of non-resident students in the Yarmouth Schools.  It is anticipated that the Committee will make decisions regarding the various categories under which non-resident students attend our schools.  

Outsourcing of support services

On Thursday, January 26, the School Committee will hear a report from Superintendent Andrew Dolloff and Business Manager Herb Hopkins on the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing custodial and transportation services.  The Committee will consider a decision on this topic on February 9.  Both meetings will be public meetings held at the Log Cabin on Main Street, beginning at 7:00 p.m. 

We hope to see you at our meetings!

Yarmouth School Nutrition heading to Department of Education State Competition after regional victory!

posted Mar 28, 2017, 11:10 AM by Andrew Dolloff   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 9:53 AM ]

Yarmouth School Nutrition director, Blair Currier, and Harrison Middle School staff member, Nikki Davoren, won the Department of Education's Regional Farm to School Cook-off competition yesterday.  Competing against teams from Falmouth and RSU 14 (Windham/Raymond), Blair and Nikki created the winning breakfast and lunch featuring Maine ingredients.  

Entrants were judged on taste, presentation, food cost and food safety skills.  For Yarmouth, breakfast featured crepes made with Maine wheat and eggs and served with a wild blueberry and kelp smoothie.  Lunch included Atlantic fish tacos with Maine apple salsa and garlic roasted potatoes.

Blair and Nikki will now represent Yarmouth's School Nutrition Department in the state finals in April.

School Committee presents FY18 Budget Proposal to Town Council

posted Mar 17, 2017, 6:16 AM by Andrew Dolloff

On Thursday, March 16, the Yarmouth School Committee presented its proposed FY18 budget to the Town Council.  The Committee's presentation may be viewed here.  Public comment will be received on the budget at three hearings being conducted by the Town Council.  Those hearings will take place on March 30, April 6, and May 4.  All hearings will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Log Cabin on Main Street.  For more information on the proposed budget, please view our Business Office webpage.

2017-18 Academic Calendar approved by School Committee

posted Feb 2, 2017, 7:32 AM by Andrew Dolloff

The School Committee approved the 2017-2018 Academic Calendar on January 26, 2017.  The calendar follows a similar format to the 2016-2017 school year.  Please download a copy for your files and begin planing for next year!

FY18 Budget process has begun

posted Jan 27, 2017, 8:09 AM by Andrew Dolloff   [ updated Jan 30, 2017, 9:50 AM by Laurie Brigham ]

The budget adoption process began with the superintendent's presentation of the proposed budget to the School Committee on January 26.  On Monday, January 30 we will begin holding workshop sessions (please see the full budget schedule, below).  Members of the public are invited to attend as many of these discussions as possible, so you may be well-informed of the challenges our schools are facing and how the Fiscal Year 2018 budget will address those concerns.

You may click to view the handouts from the preliminary budget presentation.

You may also view the proposed line-item budget by department.

For updated budget information, please access our Business Office webpage.

To stay apprised of budget discussions, please enter the following dates in your calendars.  All meetings are open to the public.

January 30                   Budget Workshop I – Monday evening, 6:00 p.m., Log Cabin

February 6                   Budget Workshop II – Monday evening, 6:00 p.m., Log Cabin

February 9                   School Committee – First Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

March 9                       School Committee – Second Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

March 16                     Budget Presentation to Town Council – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

April 6                         Town Council – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

May 4                          Town Council – Public Hearing II – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

June 6                          Town Meeting and VOTE – 7:00 p.m. at Harrison Middle School

June 13                        Budget Referendum (VOTE) – R.W. Boyd AmVets Hall

2017-2018 Budget Development Schedule Released

posted Nov 21, 2016, 4:49 AM by Andrew Dolloff   [ updated Nov 21, 2016, 4:58 AM ]

In a press release distributed to news outlets on November 15, the district announced the budget development process for the coming year.  Citizens are encouraged to make note of these dates and the opportunities for public input:                                           

                                    January 26    Overview of Budget – School Committee Meeting – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    January 30    Budget Workshop I – Monday evening, 6:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    February 6    Budget Workshop II – Monday evening, 6:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    February 9    School Committee – First Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    March 9        School Committee – Second Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    March 16      Budget Presentation to Town Council – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    April 6          Town Council – Public Hearing I and First Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    May 4           Town Council – Public Hearing II and Second Reading – 7:00 p.m., Log Cabin

                                    June 6           Town Meeting – 7:00 p.m. at Harrison Middle School

                                    June 13         Budget Referendum – Voting to take place at R.W. Boyd AmVets Hall

Water Testing at all four Yarmouth schools produces good results

posted Oct 17, 2016, 12:19 PM by Andrew Dolloff

In a letter to parents and staff on October 17, we were able to share excellent results of the water testing conducted throughout the school district.  

Yarmouth Schools Earn 2016 Let’s Go Recognition

posted Aug 25, 2016, 11:25 AM by Andrew Dolloff   [ updated Aug 25, 2016, 11:26 AM ]

Let’s Go!, a program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, has identified all four of our schools for achieving their 2016 Let’s Go! goals. 

This recognition program honors school lunchrooms that are implementing best practices that reduce waste and increase participation. Many of these low-to-no cost environmental changes help “nudge” students to make healthier choices. Reaching this status is no easy task! Our school nutrition staff has showcased their commitment to creating a healthy cafeteria by submitting their Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard.

The Let’s Go! program works with our schools to promote a healthy, high energy lunchroom, and we are pleased to recognize our school nutrition staff for their efforts.

Morgan Cuthbert Named Cumberland County Teacher of the Year

posted May 23, 2016, 7:25 AM by Laurie Brigham   [ updated May 23, 2016, 7:30 AM ]

YARMOUTH — It makes sense that Morgan Cuthbert was named Cumberland County Teacher of the Year last week.

“It’s natural and logical,” Frank Harrison Middle School Principal Bruce Brann said.

Cuthbert, a seventh-grade math and science teacher at Yarmouth’s middle school, was selected by the Maine Department of Education for the honor.

“He’s a top shelf teacher,” Brann said. “He’s a perfect choice for the profession.”

Cuthbert, a resident of Freeport, was one of 300 nominees from across the state and is now one of 15 finalists for Maine teacher of the year (there were no nominees from Piscataquis County). He said it’s an honor to have been chosen as the representative for Cumberland County, and credits the seven years he has taught in Yarmouth for helping him get to this point.

“You get the community aspect when you teach in Yarmouth,” Cuthbert, 39, said. “It’s a wonderful place to work.”

He was nominated for the award by a former student, Duncan Birkbeck, and Birkbeck’s mother, Rhonda Birkbeck. After accepting the nomination, Cuthbert had to write essays, submit his resume, and do an interview to move on in the competition.

Cuthbert has a master’s degree, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine. He has taught in Cumberland, South Portland and England.

He said he likes teaching in Yarmouth because the administration and other teachers are very supportive of new ideas.

“You can be really innovative,” Cuthbert said. “You get to ask the question of what’s next and you get to challenge yourself.”

Brann said Cuthbert is “relentless” when it comes to bettering himself as a teacher.

“Morgan teaches year to year, and by that I mean he’s always learning,” he said. “He’s curious. That makes for a great middle-school teacher because as a result his students are curious.”

Cuthbert fuels his curiosity by taking students into the field for projects. When Duncan Birkbeck, who’s now in ninth grade, was in Cuthbert’s class, they collaborated with Dr. Brian Beal of the University of Maine at Machais to visit clam flats and do a study on invasive green crabs.

The students presented the project and ended up winning the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, which had a prize of $35,000 worth of technology. While the students were happy to win, Cuthbert said they also enjoyed the process.

“If you look at what makes science real, it’s about getting kids in the field and having them work with professionals,” he said. “With science it’s about relating everything back to real life, to their community if possible.”

Brann said Cuthbert understands the importance of hands-on learning.

“It’s beautiful because it connects student learning to something that’s real,” he said. “It’s engaging for kids.”

Cuthbert said he thinks Birkbeck nominated him because of the positive experience he had during the green crab study. He said learning moments such as that stick with kids and empower them.

“The middle school level for me is about making those connections with kids and letting them know I care about them,” Cuthbert said.

While winning the Samsung award was a great experience, Cuthbert said his favorite memories of teaching are smaller moments.

“Overall, my favorite teaching moments aren’t the big things,” he said. “… When a student is struggling and then they finally have that ‘ah-ha’ moment.”

Cuthbert said it’s important for students to know what they’re capable of achieving.

“When they finally break through and you see that smile because they really worked for that grade,” Cuthbert said. “It’s allowing the student to know they can do it.”

The next stage of the award process involves more essays and interviews, after which the finalists will be narrowed down to eight, and then three. The winner will announced at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

“I’m honored to be where I am and excited to see where this goes,” Cuthbert said.

Brann believes Cuthbert is a shoo-in for the award.

“I’d be very surprised and disappointed if he didn’t win teacher of the year,” Brann said. “It’s hard to believe there are 14 other teachers of Morgan’s caliber.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 orkgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Morgan Cuthbert, of Frank Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, is the Cumberland County Teacher of the Year for 2016.

'16 Young Athletes Festival

posted May 17, 2016, 8:42 AM by Laurie Brigham   [ updated Feb 2, 2017, 6:51 AM by Paula Roberts ]

'16 Young Athletes Festival

Our 8th grade students and teachers hosted the annual Young Athletes Festival on May 13th. This special event was created by Meredith Hawkins, YHS senior, during her 7th grade year at HMS. Meredith's essay on "Banning the R word" led to a partnership between our 8th grade students and Lisa Bird and Mark Capano, from The Special Olympics. The festival provides opportunities for children too young to participate in the Special Olympics to practice activities related to the games. Lisa trains our 8th grade students to coach our visitors through a variety of stations.
Meredith Hawkins

Our students did exceptional work yesterday. They immersed themselves in this experience and focused their attention on our visitors' needs, comfort and happiness. They gently supported and encouraged the children to participate and created an environment of fun and acceptance. The parents and teachers at the festival were incredibly moved by our students' investment in this event and impressed by their interactions with the children.
8th Graders Najee McQueen, Alex Ramsey, Will Giese, Catherine Glessner, Abi Hincks and Avery May
Our visitors were pleased and excited to spend time with Jill and "Jack" Fulton and enjoyed a surprise appearance by Slugger!
Thank you to Jill Fulton and Jack Fulton-Service Dog!
We're grateful to Meredith Hawkins and Mike Hagerty for championing this event, and to Lisa Bird and Mark Capano for turning their vision into a reality. We appreciate Rod Corey and the 8th grade team for all they do to ensure that their students benefit fully from this essential learning opportunity. 
8th Graders Harry Mellor and Cody Richardson-Ryder
8th Grader Ella Buchanan
8th Grader Elsa Lutz-Mountain
Finally, to our 8th grade students, we all learned valuable lessons from watching you work yesterday. Thank you for your selfless approach to this time with our visitors. You made a powerful and positive difference for these children.

8th Grader Nick Knupple
8th Grader Abi Hincks

Recentlly, The Forecaster has also run a story about this event: http://www.theforecaster.net/special-olympics-yarmouth-middle-schoolers-get-as-much-as-they-give/

4th Graders Release Salmon into Royal River Stream

posted May 17, 2016, 8:38 AM by Laurie Brigham

Fourth graders completed a life science unit that started with salmon eggs in an indoor tank by releasing the baby "fry" into a stream that feeds into the Royal River. Click here to view the WGME13 story. The funding for this project came from the Yarmouth Education Foundation and it was managed by Deborah Landry, Science Consultant.

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