Dear Students and Families,

As we head toward the end of our first full week of 2022, I wanted to reach out with some thoughts and some information.  This note is a bit lengthier than the typical fare, but I encourage you to take a few extra minutes to read through the details.

I have had many conversations with students, parents, and staff over the last few days, and the talk has often turned to Covid and how we can keep everyone well.  One of the challenges of the pandemic has been the call for isolation for medical reasons, contrasted with our very human need to connect with each other to process such a difficult time.  Relationships have been the foundation for learning at YHS for decades, and they are an essential part of adolescent intellectual growth and social development.  So that we can continue to connect with each other, we have been deeply grateful for the careful adherence to protocols at school and great communication from families this week.  We are all stepping up our habits to make school as safe as possible, and as a result, we are seeing very little transmission within the school setting.

Vaccination, testing, masking, distancing, excellent school nursing, an amazing Coronavirus Community Task Force, supportive families and staff – we have the great fortune to have all of these measures in our favor, and we make the most of our opportunity to connect with each other.  Thank you for all of your efforts, and please reach out with questions in the coming days and weeks.


Amy Bongard

Interim Principal 

Covid Symptoms

We know that it can be confusing to know what to do if your child is exhibiting Covid symptoms.  We have found the chart below to be a helpful resource for navigating that situation.  One important note that is new since before vacation:  We now accept the results of home tests, so your child does not need to go to a testing site for results that “count” for school purposes.  

If you have considered your options and are still not sure what to do, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our school nurse, Melanie Lord: or 846-5535.

Online Academic Support during Absences 

We encourage you to use the chart above to determine if your child should stay home from school.  If your child does stay home, YHS staff offer a number of ways for students to follow along with topics and materials if they are absent.  Those include the following:

  • accessing teacher Google Classrooms (materials);
  • accessing teacher Landing Docs (weekly agendas);
  • emailing and/or virtually meeting with teachers at a time that works for both the student and the teachers;
  • using the advisor as a point person if there are any concerns;
  • (teachers) exempting the student from assignments as possible;
  • using Clipper Time and after-school time to complete missing work once the student returns.

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s advisor and school counselor so that we can support!

End of Quarter 2 / Semester 1

The end of Quarter 2 and Semester 1 is Friday, January 21.  We also will have a "Clipper Wrap-Up Week" during the 4-day week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to end the first semester.  During that week each class will only meet once, classes end by 11:15 a.m., and teachers and students can use the afternoons to finish up any learning or assessments so that the semester ends on a positive note.  We have seen this week be really important in the past, and we expect it to be particularly helpful this year, given Covid absences. 

Please be sure to read through the Clipper Wrap-Up Week FAQ & Schedule so that you and your child know what to expect during the week of January 18 - 21.

New staff / New Roles

A warm welcome to two new staff members who joined us this week!  

  • Adam Nye is our new interim science teacher.  He will teach four sections of Earth and Physical Science and one section of Environmental Science.  He comes to us with four years of experience at both the middle and high school levels.
  • Karen Stoddard is our new main office administrative assistant.  Karen is a 1995 graduate of YHS, and she comes to us after many years of work in the insurance industry, most recently as an executive administrative assistant.  

You will also see a different face at the Portland Street entrance.  Our wonderful administrative assistant, Tina Snow, is moving from the main office to the main entryway – she will be a burst of positive energy for everyone who enters those doors!

Finally, a search is underway for an interim assistant principal to help us finish the school year.  We will update you as the search progresses.

Group Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) for Semester 2

And the innovative learning goes on. . . With the support of a grant from YEF, Ms. Harrington and Ms. Carlisle will be offering a Group ELO opportunity entitled “Exploring Race in Local History from the 1600s to the Early 1900s.”

Components of the program include:

  • Two historical walking tours focused on Portland’s connection to the economy of enslavement, important abolitionists and the underground railroad.
  • Visit and tour of the Yarmouth Historical Society collection
  • Guest speakers from Atlantic Black Box Project, a historical recovery project. 
  • A live performance of  “Malaga Ship Saga” by award winning storyteller Antonio Rocha.
  • A visit to Malaga Island off the coast of Phippsburg.
  • Scheduled meeting times for the ELO group will be during Flex time and after school.
  • Students will work independently or in pairs to complete a project of their choice.
  • Students will present their final projects to staff members at the end of the semester and will receive .5 elective credits for the course.  
  • Given the unique collaboration and support of this Group ELO, 9th and 10th graders will be able to participate with permission from guidance and their advisor.  Priority enrollment will be given to 11th and 12th grade students.  

To sign-up for the course, complete the ELO proposal formFor more information, contact Justine Carlisle ( or Sarah Harrington ( by Monday, January 10.