Yarmouth Elementary School (YES) Principal Ryan Gleason announced Thursday in a letter to families that instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, the school will be having a “Friendship Day Celebration.”
In his letter, Gleason explains that YES has been reflecting on “the celebration of holidays through an inclusionary lens.”
“As a result of our reflection and research, this year Valentine’s Day will be celebrated at YES on February 14th as ‘Friendship Day,'” Gleason wrote. “As part of that celebration, we wanted to let you know well in advance that you do not need to send any items to school for this day.”
Gleason told families that if students come to school with Valentine’s cards, candy, or toys, the school will have the students place those items in their bags to bring back home.
The “Friendship Day” celebrations will include “making cards for each other or an activity that connects the class,” the principal said.
“The focus for students is on friendship and recognizing other classmates in our community,” he added.
YES previously celebrated the last day of school before Christmas vacation as “Comfy Clothes Day,” while school staff concurrently participated in a “Festive Holiday Sweater” day.
Halloween at YES was also celebrated as a “Comfy Clothes Day,” and Gleason asked students not to wear costumes to school.
Read Principal Ryan Gleason‘s letter to YES families regarding the “Friendship Day” celebration below: