August 2019

August 22, 2019

Dear Parents,

We hope you have all been enjoying this wonderfully sunny summer and that your children are feeling excited to return to school! Summers are great but getting back into a routine is also good for everyone. We have been busy preparing for the 2019-20 school year.  In addition to individual classroom work, groups of teachers have worked together throughout the summer to plan lessons, revise curriculums, and create materials. This impressive work demonstrates the dedication our staff has to improve the learning of all children. Everyone here takes great pride in ensuring that our children are provided the warmth, nurturing, and learning experiences they need during the first two years of their schooling in Yarmouth.

As I enter my 34th year of working in public education, I feel extremely grateful to be here at Rowe School. This is my third year in the district and the community is outstanding. The support from families to our district office, the school committee, and our town council are all testimony to the high priority that Yarmouth places on education. We know that many families move here for the excellent reputation of the schools and we are committed to maintaining that level of quality for all of our students.

Professional development

In addition to the work mentioned above, this summer we had five staff members attend Teachers College at Columbia University for a one week institute on the teaching of reading. Other staff took courses in math instruction, teaching English language learners, and various other graduate courses. All of the teachers who participated in outside professional development will be sharing their learning with colleagues throughout the year. Our counselor, social worker, nurse, and specialist teachers also attend conferences annually. We believe that learning is ongoing and we operate under a model of continuous improvement for all.

New staff

We have a new school counselor this year. Her name is Kristin Dunn and she is coming to us with experience in K-12 school counseling in Nevada, Virginia, and Maine. 

Jennifer Bessey has joined the Yarmouth School Department as a teacher of English Language Learners. She will be working part-time here at Rowe and at Yarmouth Elementary School. 

Todd Abbott, a former third-grade teacher at Yarmouth Elementary School, is our new K-4 Technology Integrator. 

Maintenance and cleaning

The cleaning staff has been busily preparing the building for our first day, along with other work by our maintenance department. Last year, tiles were replaced on the pillars outside of the building and this year, the building was power washed and the overhang in the front of the building was painted. These small improvements have made a big difference!

First-grade parents are invited to a Parent/Student Orientation on Thursday, August 29th. Students and parents are invited to drop in any time between 8:30-9:30 AM. This is the time for you and your child to visit the classroom, meet the teacher, and become acquainted with other children in the class.  It is a wonderful way to prepare your child for our opening day. In addition, you and your student are welcome to visit the art, music, gym, and library classrooms.  It will also be a time to visit with Clipper Care staff, now being managed by Yarmouth Community Services. PLEASE DO NOT park in the Inter- Med parking lot or the People’s United Bank, as those spaces are reserved for patients and customers.

Kindergarten Bus Practice

For the first time this year, we will have an opportunity for kindergarten children to have a short practice ride on the bus. We know that many children are hesitant about getting on a bus for the first time. The rides are on the morning of Thursday, August 29th between 10:00 and 12:00. We ask that one or two adults only accompany the child. We would like to avoid having younger siblings on the ride. If you have not yet signed up for a practice ride and wish to do so, here is the link: Bus Practice Sign Up for kindergarten

Kindergarten Students will have a one-hour appointment with the classroom teacher on either September 3rd or 4th during our Kindergarten Welcome Days. Please be sure to schedule your appointment with your child’s classroom teacher if you haven’t already done so. Teachers sent an email with a link to sign up electronically in early August. Let your child’s teacher know if you have any difficulties with this process.

School supplies

For your child’s immediate preparation for school, you should label all personal belongings.  There is no need to purchase any school supplies. A backpack to carry items to and from school, a snack/lunchbox, and a water bottle are the only things that are needed. Your child’s teacher will also need a note from you stating where your child is to be dropped off after school.  This will help the teacher make sure your child’s dismissal plan is clear for the end of the school day.

Bus information

Bus schedules are available on the district website now.  

Here is a link: Bus schedules for 2019-2020 

Please remember that schedules may be a bit off during the first week of school as everyone adjusts. The bus runs can be somewhat delayed in that first week of school. Thank you in advance for your patience! Please contact Bruce Bickford or Jud Sawyer at 846-2338 with any questions about the bus.

School Handbook

Our Rowe School Handbook contains very important information about our school and our policies. Please take the time to read through it to familiarize yourself with our school. Here is the link to access it: 2019-2020 Rowe School Student & Parent Handbook 

The handbook can also be found on the Yarmouth School Department website under William H. Rowe School. Even if you are a returning parent, a few things have changed, such as recess and lunchtimes, and it is good to review all of the information.

Getting to and from school

We know that change and transitions can be difficult for students and adults alike.  One way to ease the transition from home to school is for students to take the bus to school.  Saying a quick goodbye at the bus stop helps children get ready for the new school day. We have experienced students and parents having a difficult time with separation at the school playground.  While we prefer that students arrive by bus, if you choose to drive your child, please make the goodbye as brief as possible – a quick hug, kiss or a wave allows your child to enter the playground easily. Our experience tells us that once children separate from caregivers and are with their teacher and friends, they do very well. 

We are committed to ensuring that your child gets the care and attention he or she needs to navigate the early days of school and to adjust to their new environment as seamlessly as possible. We have many staff members, in addition to the teachers, such as the school counselor, social worker, myself, and educational technicians who are on hand to help during the transition and beyond, as needed.

Daily routines and dismissal procedures

All school buildings are locked during the school day.  The Rowe School will be locked after the bell rings at 8:40 AM until 3:15 PM.  We unlock doors at 3:15 to begin the sign-out process for students who will be picked up.  Parents should sign their child(ren) out in the sign-out books that are located in the vestibule just inside the first set of entrance doors. We ask that you wait outside beneath the overhang after you sign your child out. This keeps commotion and confusion out of the atrium while classes are being dismissed and help minimize disturbances to the two first grade classrooms that are directly off the lobby. We have staff members who bring the children out to you. Children will line up along the brick wall under the front overhang each day, and staff members will dismiss your child to you. Please do not allow your child to run to you without first making eye contact with a staff member. We also ask that you do not ask for your child to be dismissed prior to 3:30 unless you have an appointment. Our office is extremely busy at that time of day and children are often still packing up and getting organized to go home. Thanks for the help!

When arriving at school after 8:40 and before 3:15, you will need to ring the bell and identify yourself. Children are not tall enough to ring the bell; therefore, you must walk your child to the door to be buzzed in. Our secretary Amanda Murray, or another staff person who might be at the desk, may ask you for identification as we get to know all of our new families.  If a family member or neighbor will be picking up your child, please call the school to inform us and ask that person to bring identification to the door. This is all done in the interest of safety and security and we appreciate your patience.

Lunch with family members

We ask that you abide by our policy of not coming for lunch until after the magical first six weeks of school have passed. This gives us time to establish strong rituals and routines with the children. We will welcome you for lunch beginning Monday, October 14th. By then, your child will be able to proudly help visitors navigate the cafeteria routines! You are welcome to order a school lunch. Your order can be placed by phone the day you are coming in, preferably by 10:00 A.M. You may also wish to bring your lunch from home. We ask that you don’t bring take-out from restaurants, however. 

Important dates:

Tuesday, September 3rd, is the first day of school for First Graders ONLY. 

The schedule is as follows:

8:40 AM to 3:25 PM

Grade 1 mid-day recess is from 11:50-12:10 and lunch is from 12:15-12:35.

Thursday, September 5th is the first full day of school for Kindergarten students.

The schedule is as follows:

8:40 AM to 3:25 PM

Kindergarten lunch is from 11:50-12:10 and mid-day recess is from 12:15-12:35

September 5th -Tea for Kindergarten parents, Merrill Memorial Library, 3rd floor, 8:45-10:00 A.M.

September 8th- PTO Welcome back barbecue at Royal River Park, 12:00-2:00 P.M.

September 19th- Yarmouth K-8 PTO meeting - Yarmouth Elementary School library, 7:00 PM

September 23rd is School Picture Day. Information and order forms will be sent home in the first week of school. Please keep an eye out for it in your child’s take-home folder.

September 26th, School-wide Open House at 6:00 P.M.

Open House is an evening without children when your child’s classroom teacher will present information about curriculum her expectations for the year.

We are looking forward to collaborating with you on behalf of your child this year. Thank you for the privilege of working with your children each day. It is a joy to watch them learn and grow during their time here with us. Enjoy the rest of summer and we will see you very soon!


Susan Lobel, Principal