Lower School Newsletter for February 11, 2018

It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks of classes until March break! These weeks are packed with numerous special events, from skating at NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena to celebrating friendship in honor of Valentine’s Day, spirit week festivities, and the Lower School Arts Celebration. Another highlight is commemorating the one hundredth day of school. Classes take note of this day in numerous ways. Many children will take the opportunity to share one hundred gathered items – from rice to Legos! This day not only allows an enjoyable way of bringing math into the classroom, but it also reminds us of how far we have come since September and lets us know that spring is just around the corner.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


The Lower School Arts Celebration will take place on Wednesday, February 28 in the NYA gym (snow date = March 1). Doors will open at 2:00 p.m. for parents and families to come enjoy the art show. The concert begins at 2:30 p.m. All Lower School students will take part in a musical performance. Dress for the performance is bright, colorful attire. Following the concert, families are invited to stay for a brief reception, concluding at 3:15 p.m. We ask that parents sign out their children before departing from the gym. The usual sign-out sheets will be on a table by the gym door. Please sign-up with Ms. Jen if your child will be attending After Care following the concert. We look forward to seeing you there!


To help meet the needs of our families, we will offer the option of care from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. during our March vacation. This will be available to all Lower School students on a first-come, first-served basis, and will run only if a minimum number of students enroll. Rate for this care is $80/day.  If you anticipate utilizing this service, please contact Leslie Durgin. The deadline to sign up for care over March break is Friday, February 16.


Parents of children in Toddler 2, Primary 2, Primary 3, and Grade 4 are invited to set up a time for a Transition Meeting with Marissa Markonish and Leslie Durgin, Associate Director of Admission and Lower School. These meetings offer the opportunity for parents to hear more about what to expect as children transition to the next level at NYA. Parents will be able to see sample schedules, receive a curriculum overview, ask questions, etc. Parents may sign up for a meeting time here. If the available times do not work with your schedule, please contact Marissa to arrange another time. We look forward to talking with you!


Enrollment agreements were sent out last week with a March 1 deadline. We appreciate your prompt return of these agreements as staffing and sectioning for next year will be constructed based on students whose re-enrollments are submitted by March 1.

KEY CLUB BAKE SALEmarch-of-dimes

On Tuesday and Thursday this week, Key Club will be holding a bake sale during lunch for grades one through four. All baked goods will be sold for donations to help support the March of Dimes. Key Club members will participate in the March for Babies on Sunday, May 6 to raise awareness and funds to support research and programs that help mothers have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. We will have a wide range of goodies such as cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, so bring your sweet tooth!

PROJECT “PURRRR”POSEhomecoming-2016-kb-1

In this club, the children will be helping to support some of the Humane Societies here in Maine by giving of their time to make posters for donations and create fleece blankets to help keep animals warm through winter, witnessing firsthand how rewarding helping our community can feel! We will also sponsor a Dress Down Day on Wednesday, February 14 to raise funds for our project and gather donations. The club is open to students in Kindergarten through grade four and will meet on Wednesday, February 14; Wednesday, February 21; and Thursday, March 1 from 3:15-4:15 p.m. If your child enjoys collaborating with others, working hands on, and has a love for animals, they won’t want to miss out!


On Friday, February 16, Rose Underkofler is coming to campus to do a fiddle workshop with our youngest violin players in grades three through five. Rose, an active fiddler and violinist, graduated from the University of Southern Maine, and is currently teaching beginning strings in the Windham/Raymond school district. Rose is an alumna of the very first Acoustic Music Festival (co-sponsored by NYA and 317 Main Street), and is eager to re-visit the NYA campus to work with our young players.


To help combat the winter doldrums, NYA plans a Spirit Week each year. This year, Spirit Week will be February 26 through March 2. We will mix things up a bit with some special dress days and fun activities and projects. The special dress days might include pajama day, orange and black day, or wacky attire. Check your classroom teacher’s regular update for specific information for your child.


girls_on_the_run_logoGirls in grades three through five will have the opportunity to join an NYA Girls on the Run (GOTR) site later this spring. Each practice will focus on a topic related to the girls’ lives and include discussions, games and a running workout. The running practice helps to prepare the girls for an End of Season Celebratory 5K Run with other GOTR girls from all over Maine! Your daughter does not have to be a runner to participate; she can run, jog, walk, or skip her way to reaching her goal of crossing the finish line! To learn more about the GOTR program, check out these links: video 1video 2, and What is GOTR.

EXPERIENCE SUMMER AT NYAsummer-programs2018

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for toddlers to age 16. Camps include a variety of sports (tennis, lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer), art, theater, dance, circus and more! Register by April 15 to receive the early bird discount!


This Friday, February 16, is the NYA Studio Band’s annual “Last Waltz,” their final performance of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will be performing a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from The Eagles and Bon Jovi to Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys. The concert will take place in Safford Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and promises to be a fun time for all ages. Come out and jam to some awesome tunes and great performances!


The NYA Yearbook is a much-loved publication. The Lower School students do have a small section in the book, though the primary focus is on our older students. Yearbooks are available for $55. If you would like to purchase a yearbook for your Lower School student, please contact Fatou Diagana by February 23. Be sure to include the name and grade of your student(s). The yearbooks will be passed out to students during our NYA Picnic/Fun Day on June 1. Payment may be made directly to the Business Office, and checks should be made out to NYA Yearbook.


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates for alumni and families. Families are welcome to bring friends and neighbors. Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please. There are several dates being offered during our March break: Monday, March 5, 3:00 p.m.; Friday, March 9, 3:00 p.m.; Monday, March 12, 3:00 p.m.; and Friday, March 16, 3:00 p.m.

MARCH BREAK READING CHALLENGE32840192364_c15123c76f_o

NYA is hosting our fifth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. Read a book in a fun, creative, or exotic place, take a picture, and then email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 21 to be considered. The pictures will be judged by a panel of faculty and staff and a winner for each Division (Lower, Middle, Upper, and Faculty/Staff) will be announced on Friday, March 23 at Friday Forum, and via Facebook and newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!


During the months of February and March, Lower School students will be listening to books from the Chickadee Award list. The Chickadee Award is a picture book award program for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. This award is in its twelfth year, and is given annually to one of ten picture books nominated by a committee of teachers, librarians, and early literacy professionals. The winner is chosen by Maine school children. The purpose of this award is to encourage children to develop an appreciation for excellence in writing and illustration that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The evaluation process helps children to understand and interpret books as well as to express and support their judgment about text and pictures with convincing evidence. Our students will listen to book talks from ten of their classmates and then vote for their favorite book at our Chickadee Voting Event on Tuesday, March 27 in the Middle School Community Room. Their votes will be included in the statewide tally to select the winning book!


NYA Soiree 2017, Hemphill Photo

NYA Soiree 2017, Hemphill Photo

Calling all NYA parents, faculty, staff and friends! Please join us on Monday, February 26 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room to share your thoughts and ideas on the Soirée, NYA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. We would love to hear from you!

The annual NYA Soirée will take place on Friday, April 27, 2018 at Brick South, Thompson’s Point. This year’s gathering will include a live auction, games, cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and plenty of fun. Planning for the Soirée is underway by event chairpersons Josie Griffin P ’27, P ’30, Jen Edwards P ’30, P ’32, Gretchen Lacombe P ’22, and Amity Jackson P ’21, P ’22, P ’26 in concert with the Development Office. If you have ideas for the event, please share them with this team. Also, if you are able to offer any auction or raffle prizes this year, please be in touch with the event chairpersons or Crystal Gordon in the NYA Development Office. In the past, successful auction items have included jewelry, travel packages, concert and sporting event tickets, fine dining, and unique experiences. Raffle prizes are typically smaller items such as gift cards to local vendors, flower arrangements, beer and wine, and sweet treats.

Come help us make this a fun, meaningful night for the NYA community!

SAVE THE DATE!rossgreene-232x300

The NYA Parents’ Association is pleased to announce that we will be bringing Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on April 4. Dr. Greene is a child psychologist, founder of the non-profit organization Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and New York Times bestselling author. His books include The Explosive Child, Lost at SchoolLost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene will be presenting to students in grades five through twelve, parents, and faculty and staff. We are excited to bring this renowned speaker to NYA!

LOWER SCHOOL GRANDPARENTS’ DAYls-gp-day-2017-70-resize

As we look ahead to spring, we are beginning to prepare for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. This special event is scheduled for Friday, May 11. In order to be sure that all grandparents and grandfriends are invited, please complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Crystal Gordon with any questions.


2/13 & 2/15 Key Club Bake Sale
2/14 Dress Down Day for Humane Society  $3 or donation
2/14; 2/21, 3/1 Project “Purrr”pose Club meets 3:15-4:15 p.m.
2/16 Last Day to Sign Up for March Break Vacation Care
2/16 Fiddle Workshop for Grades 3-5
2/16 Studio Band Last Waltz Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/19 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/23 Last Day to Order Yearbooks
2/26-3/2 Spirit Week
2/26 Soirée Planning Meeting, MSCR 2:00-2:30 p.m.
2/28 Lower School Arts Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
3/1 Re-Enrollment Agreements Due
3/2 Last Day of classes before March Break
3/5-3/16 March Break
3/5, 3/9, 3/12, & 3/16 NYA Family, Friends, & Alumni Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 3:00 p.m.
3/19 Classes resume
3/27 Chickadee Book Awards


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