Lower School Newsletter for August 12, 2018

With the intense heat of this past week, it is hard to believe that the days of summer will soon be drawing to a close. While it is certainly bittersweet to say goodbye to summer, we are beginning to look forward to the crisp days of autumn and the beginning of another school year. We are delighted to welcome you all, whether back or for the first time, to the NYA community. Our Lower School electronic newsletter, Panther Cubs, will come to you once each month and is a vital means of sharing important information with you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions by email, phone, or stopping by the office in the Middle or Lower Schools. We look forward to an exciting year together!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


The Lower School Family Picnic and Parent Information Session is coming up on Wednesday, August 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to meet other Lower School families and teachers, ask any questions that you might have, and most importantly, have fun! You will begin by enjoying a picnic lunch provided by NYA. Please bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn if you would like. After lunch, parents will head into the Middle School Community Room to meet our teachers and learn more about the upcoming school year. You will then head over to the classrooms to meet with your child’s teacher for a brief information session where you will receive a welcome packet with your child’s schedule, class list, and information about the class. You will also have the opportunity to find your child’s cubby or locker and bring in a change of clothes and any other items before the first day. While parents attend these sessions, NYA staff and student helpers will supervise the children for play time on the field and playground.

Please RSVP before Friday, August 18 to let us know if you can or cannot attend and about any dietary restrictions in your family. We look forward to seeing you very soon!


A reminder to all families who wish to take advantage of our Before Care or After Care programs to please sign up as soon as possible. We plan our staffing based on current sign-ups and do not want families who wait to be disappointed if they are unable to obtain a spot.


New this year is the option for half day Primary students to join their friends for lunch by signing up for Lunch Bunch. Families are asked to sign up for this option before the first day of school.


Join in the fun! The First Annual Maine Cornhole Championship will be held at NYA on Thursday, August 23 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Rotary Club of Portland’s service projects and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine scholarship fund at North Yarmouth Academy, which provides full-tuition scholarships to Club members to attend NYA. It is just $100 per team to play in this bracket-elimination tournament that will include food, drinks, music, fun-spirited competition, and great prizes! FMI and to register, visit www.nya.org/cornhole.  


We are delighted to be welcoming Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on Tuesday, September 18. Dr. Greene is a child psychologist and founder of the non-profit organization, Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and a best-selling author. During the afternoon, Dr. Greene will be speaking with students and presenting to faculty and staff. We hope that you will be able to join us at 5:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room for the parent session with Dr. Greene. A huge thank you to the NYA Parents’ Association for bringing Dr. Greene to campus.


Our first day of school, Tuesday, September 4, begins with Convocation. Convocation is a special gathering for all members of the NYA community (students, parents, faculty, and staff) to start off the new school year. You should plan to arrive a bit early (around 7:30 a.m.) as you will want extra time to get to Convocation in the quad (open area beside the Middle School building) by 7:45 a.m. Students in grades one through four will be seated by class.  Primary and Toddler students may stay with their parents (and have plenty of wiggle room and space to play!).

After Convocation, Lower School students and teachers will be dismissed by class. Parents of elementary students should say their goodbyes at that time. Parents of Toddler and Primary students should accompany them to the Toddler House and Lower School building and then say their goodbyes. All parents are invited to a short coffee social with the NYA Parents’ Association following Convocation.

The first day of school is a Dress-Up Day: dress; skirt or dress pants with blouse or dress top; dress pants with collared shirts, plus ties for grades one through four.


It is essential that we have current health forms on file for every student at NYA. If you have not already done so, please complete all necessary health forms as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.


Additional forms can be found in New Family Forms and Returning Family Forms under the Parents tab on the NYA website. Please be sure to complete and turn in all necessary forms as soon as possible.


The second day of school (Wednesday, September 5) is picture day. This is a Dress-Up Day. Both class pictures and individual portraits will be taken, and the portraits will be used in the student directory (distributed in late September or early October). Families also will have the opportunity to purchase portraits. Information on ordering pictures will be sent out directly to parents from Coffee Pond Photography.


The Lower School Drama Club will be presenting Disney’s The Lion King KIDS this fall! Linda Vaillancourt will direct and Ellen Gagne will be the assistant director. All students in grades one through four will participate in the production. Elementary students interested in taking a larger role can participate in the after school Drama Club, which will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:15 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, September 11. Students not in the after school club will fill the ensemble roles and will learn the songs, choreography, and staging as part of their fall music classes. The performance of The Lion King KIDS will be on Wednesday, November 14, at 2:30 p.m. in Safford Auditorium.

Interested students in grades 1 through 4 should sign up for Drama Club on the sign-up sheet on the reception desk in the Lower School. There will be a participation fee of $60 for Drama Club which will help with the costs of costumes, props, and royalties.


fruitToddler and Primary: Families do not need to provide school supplies for students to bring to class. NYA will provide all basic classroom supplies. The teachers will also have individual supply packages for each student, including a container to store their change of clothes. Each family will be asked for their assistance in taking turns with the weekly grocery shopping for classroom snacks. Families will be assigned approximately two-four weeks over the course of the year to bring in the groceries and supplies that the class will use to make snacks. Foods are generally limited to fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers and breads, and dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Teachers will provide assistance with a shopping list.

school-suppliesElementary: Families do not need to provide supplies for students to bring to class. Instead, Mrs. Gallagher, Mr. Hopkins, and Mrs. Gagne are putting together supply packages for students including notebooks, folders, pencils, erasers, and assorted other supplies. Items will be replenished as needed by NYA throughout the year.


Attendance is taken daily between 7:55 and 8:05 a.m. Students should be in class, ready to learn, by 8:00 a.m. Parents should call 846-9051 or email Heidi Lathrop by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. Because late arrivals can be disruptive to the student and the class, we ask that families make every effort to consistently arrive before 8:00 a.m.


Unless enrolled in Before Care, all Lower School students should arrive between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. In the new Toddler House and Learning Cottage, parents will accompany students into the building, sign in, greet the teacher, and say a quick goodbye. Swift drop-offs tend to be most effective in helping children transition into the school day. Parents should accompany all Primary students into the Lower School, sign students in at the reception desk, and help at their cubbies if needed (e.g. hanging coats, changing into inside footwear, etc.). Teachers will greet Primary students at the door and welcome them into the classroom beginning at 7:45 a.m. each morning. Parents should say their goodbyes in the reception area before students enter the classroom. Mrs. Gallagher’s students should sign in at the reception desk between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., and then proceed directly upstairs, hang up coats and drop off bags, and get settled for the day. Mr. Hopkins’ and Mrs. Gagne’s students should sign in between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., go to their lockers, and then proceed to their classrooms.

1-drop-off-signsAll Lower School parents will drive up the Curtis driveway for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. There are short-term parking spots reserved for Lower School families only on the right-hand side as you head back toward Main Street. Parents may drop off elementary students in the Curtis turn-around, but parking is not permitted in the turn-around. For the safety of all our students, parents may not drive down Storer Street for drop off.


For half-day students, pick-up is at 11:40 a.m. Parents should pick up children first and then gather belongings and sign students out at the reception desk. Unless a student is enrolled in After Care, afternoon pick-up is at 2:30 p.m. for Toddler and Primary 1 & 2, at 2:45 p.m. for Primary 3/Kindergarten, at 2:50 p.m. for Mrs. Gallagher’s class, and at 3:00 p.m. for Mr. Hopkins’ and Mrs. Gagne’s classes. Unlike morning sign-in, parents of all students must enter the building at the end of the day to pick up their children. Parents will pick up their children at the classroom door, gather any belongings, and then sign out. If families have children in both the Toddler House and the Lower School, please pick up toddlers first.

Students in After Care may be picked up between 2:45 and 5:00 p.m. Parents should pick up students directly from the After Care activity (the group may be outdoors, in the classroom, or in the Great Room depending on the activity) and then gather belongings and sign students out at the reception desk.


As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for our students, we have a combination lock installed on the door at the  entrance to the Lower School and the Toddler House and Learning Cottage. The combination lock only provides access during the school day. All other entrances are locked from the outside and are utilized as exits only. The code to the combination lock will be given to parents/guardians and staff only. You may share the code with a grandparent, relative, nanny, or friend who will regularly pick up your child from school. Please do not share the code with anyone else.

If anyone other than a parent will be picking up a child from school, it is imperative that we have a signed permission slip on file. Pick-Up Permission Forms are available at the Lower School reception desk. We will also need to see a photo ID the first time the individual picks up a child from NYA.


Please be sure to follow all aspects of the student dress code as outlined in your welcome packets and in the Lower School Family Handbook on the NYA website. We appreciate your support!


Looking to bring more fresh, local, and mostly organic fruits and vegetables into your life? Well look no further! NYA is pleased to once again serve as a pick-up site for Fall & Winter Farm Shares from Wolf Pine Farms in Alfred, ME. A winter share is seven boxes delivered from October to March and generally includes storage vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.), fruits (apples), a dozen eggs, grains (oats, wheat flour), frozen berries (blueberries, cranberries), and a “special treat” (raw honey, Maine sea salt, mushrooms, or maple syrup). It is even possible to split a share with another family. Visit Wolf Pine Farms to learn more or sign up.


Each year, NYA invites the grandparents of our students to campus to experience a special day with their grandchildren.  Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day will be on Friday, October 12, 2018 and Lower School Grandparents’ Day will be on Friday, May 10, 2019. To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends are invited, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information.


Want to look, move, and feel better than you have in years? Come train with Shelby! Fall Bootcamp is being offered at NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena from September 5 through November 16 (11 weeks). For more information, contact Shelby via email.


8/22 Lower School Family Picnic and Parent Information Session 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
8/23 First Annual Maine Cornhole Championship 4:00-7:00 p.m.
9/4 Convocation, Griswold Quad 7:45 a.m.
9/4 First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/5 Picture Day; Dress-Up Day
9/18 Dr. Ross Greene Parent Session, MSCR 5:00-6:30 p.m.
9/27-9/29 Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/27 Head of School Circle Dinner 6:00 p.m.
9/28 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym 10:15 a.m.
9/28 Homecoming Festivities and BBQ 2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/29 Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club 12:00 p.m.
10/8 Columbus Day NO SCHOOL
10/12 Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day


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