Back to school: New science curriculum in Yarmouth

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YARMOUTH — Students returning to school this fall will encounter a few new faces and a more hands-on science curriculum.

According to Superintendent of Schools Judy Paolucci, parents will notice more communication and transparency this year, too.

“There will be a page on the school’s website where parents can see an overview of each grade and what is happening,” she said. “It will be a lot more transparent this way.”

Teachers and students will utilize online Google Documents , so students will receive feedback on their work more quickly and teachers can more efficiently make improvements.

Paolucci said there are three new teachers in the first grade, a new third-grade teacher and a new high school Spanish teacher.

And, teachers have been working on the science curriculum, making it more engaging for students.

“It will be very noticeable to students and parents, because the science units are going to be that much more hands-on,” she said.

Students will work with insects, trees, pebbles, sand and silt.

Paolucci said even behind the scenes, the School Department has been working to find efficiencies with the town and other school districts.

To provide better service without cutting any positions, the town and School Department will share an accounting employee and two bus mechanics. Paolucci said a new task force made up of School Committee members and the business manager will work with School Administrative District 51 in Cumberland and North Yarmouth to find ways to work together. 

And most recently, Paolucci said, through an arrangement with Chebeague Island schools, four sixth-graders will start attending school in Yarmouth this year. Every year a new grade will be added and by 2014, all students from Chebeague in grades six through 12 will attend Yarmouth schools (except those who started at Greely High School in Cumberland, who can stay there if they prefer).

Finally, she said the nonprofit Yarmouth Educational Foundation will help to enrich the educational experience of students by providing additional private funding for the public school system.

She said the foundation will fund initiatives that fall outside the school budget, and its members will collaborate with educators to help achieve the vision of the School Department and cultivate an environment where educators are recognized for their contributions.

The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 6. Bus routes are online at yarmouthschools.org.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter:@amy_k_anderson.

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