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Lower School Newsletter for August 14, 2022

I hope that you are enjoying a fun, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer break!

It is hard to believe that the days of summer will soon draw to a close. While it is certainly bittersweet to say goodbye to summer, we are beginning to think about the crisp days of autumn and the beginning of another school year. We are delighted to welcome both new and returning families to our NYA community as we prepare for the new year ahead. We look forward to having our students, faculty, and staff back together on campus for the first days of school.

As we enjoy the remaining weeks of summer, this newsletter provides some important back-to-school announcements and reminders as we all plan ahead for September. With our new Veracross parent portal, we will be switching to a different format for sharing updates this year. Stay tuned for more information.

We are very much looking forward to the new school year ahead!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Be sure to log into Magnus via the Veracross parent portal to complete all forms before the start of school. Students will not be able to attend school until these vital forms have been completed.


We will provide information regarding classroom placement and schedules, along with welcome letters from your child’s teachers, to families in advance of the Lower School Family Picnic. There will be two classrooms for both Toddler and Primary and one classroom each for Kindergarten through Grade Four.


The Lower School Family Picnic will take place on Friday, August 26 from 11:30 a.m. – 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! This year’s picnic will be BYOP (bring your own picnic and water bottle), and we will provide fruit, chips, and dessert for everyone! Please bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn. We encourage you to bring your child’s change of clothes, workbooks, and other school items to the picnic. Although regular access to campus buildings will be restricted to students and staff again this year, parents are able to get a quick peek at the classrooms and drop off the bags with their child’s clothing and items for school. Please make sure all items are labeled with your child’s name.


Our Before and After Care programs are almost fully enrolled, and the enrollment period will soon close. If you are planning to utilize Before or After Care and have not yet signed up, please do so now to reserve your space.

Before Care takes place in the Merrill Lower School. Families who are enrolled in Before Care may drop off their child at the door between 7:15 and 7:40 a.m. The children will head to their classrooms at 7:40. The first day for Before Care will be Monday, September 12.

After Care will begin on the first day of school. Each afternoon, we begin with children in groupings of Toddler, Primary/Kindergarten, and Elementary, and the groups combine at approximately 4:00 p.m. as the number of attendees begins to decrease. Students staying for After Care should be sure to pack an additional snack. We utilize a walkie-talkie system for pick up from After Care.

Please contact Leslie Durgin with any questions.


In order for anyone other than a parent (e.g. nanny, grandparent, relative, neighbor, or friend) to pick up your child from school, they must be listed as a “contact authorized for pickup” in the Veracross parent portal. This is very easy to do and you can add new individuals to the list at any time! Simply log in to the portal and click the “Update Family Profile” button on the left (this is also where you can update addresses, phone numbers, etc.). Scroll down until you see “Additional and Emergency Contacts.” You can add anyone in your contact list to the authorized pickup list by clicking “Pickup Authorization” and then “Add New +”. To add other individuals to the authorized pickup list, simply add them to your contacts first. As noted in the portal, we will ask to see a photo ID the first time the individual picks up your child from NYA. Please be sure to plan ahead and add the names of those who will be picking up to the authorized list. We are not able to release your child to anyone not on this list.


To ease the students’ transition as we begin our new school year, we are again making some modifications to the first week of school. Wednesday, September 7 will be the first day of school for students in Kindergarten through grade four, and the first day of school for Toddler and Primary students will be Thursday, September 8. In addition, Toddler and Primary students will have a later time slot for drop off on Thursday, September 8. We hope that these adjustments allow for a more peaceful entry into school for our youngest students. Pick-up times will remain as usual.

Drop-off times for Toddler and Primary students on Thursday, September 8 only:

  • Toddler: 8:30-8:45 a.m.
  • Primary: 8:45-9:00 a.m.


Students in grades one through four will begin their first day with Convocation at 7:45 a.m. on Denney Field, the grass field behind Higgins Hall. Convocation is a special gathering for the members of the NYA community (students, parents, faculty, and staff) to start off the new school year. Elementary families should plan to arrive no later than 7:35 a.m. on the first day and head directly to Denney Field. Students should say goodbye to their families before the start of Convocation and then join their teacher and classmates for the event. Seating for students will be organized by grade. Kindergarten students will go directly to the front door of the Merrill Lower School to meet Miss KB and start their first day.


Parents, mark your calendars now. We will host our Lower School Virtual Parent Night on Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. The evening will begin with an information session for all Lower School parents as well as the opportunity to meet our staff. Parents will then participate in breakout sessions with individual classroom teachers to receive additional information about your child’s class and have the opportunity to ask questions.


Wednesday, September 14 is picture day. This is also a Dress-Up Day. Both class pictures and individual portraits will be taken. Portraits will be used in the student directory and class photos will be included in the yearbook. Families also will have the opportunity to purchase portraits. More information on ordering pictures will be sent out directly to parents.


Head of School Ben Jackson and the NYA Parents’ Association are co-hosting parent welcome receptions to kick-off the school year. Please join us at the Kauffmann House (124 Main St., Yarmouth), 4:00-6:00 p.m. (drop in any time) for an opportunity to meet other parents and learn how to get more involved with NYA.

·       Wednesday, September 28: Reception for Lower School & Toddler Parents

·       Thursday, September 29: Reception for Middle & Upper School Parents

Please RSVP here.


Students will be met at the door each morning for drop-off. Access to buildings will be limited to students and staff except when their is a scheduled visit or appointment.

For students in Primary through grade four, families will line up to enter on the ramp entrance to the Merrill Lower School front porch. A designated teacher or staff member will greet students at the door, and students will then enter the building and proceed to their classrooms. Younger students will be assisted by a staff member in dropping off items in their cubbies before heading to their classrooms. Parents and siblings can then exit down the front steps off the porch.

For students in the Toddler House, families will line up on the back deck to enter into their child’s classroom. Teachers will greet families at the door and will then escort the child into the classroom and help them settle in for the day.

Please make note of the drop off times for the different age groups:

  • Toddler: 7:55-8:10 a.m.
  • Primary: 7:55-8:10 a.m.
  • Kindergarten – Grade 4: 7:40-7:55 a.m.
  • Families who arrive after 8:10 a.m. will need to check in at the Middle School and pick up a blue slip before heading to their classrooms.


End of the day pick-up will take place at the same location as morning drop off. A staff member will be waiting to greet parents at the porch door. When a parent arrives for pick up, a staff member will summon/escort the student to meet the parent at the door. Teachers will have the students already packed up and ready to go. Families will then exit down the front steps off the porch.

Please make note of the pickup times for the different age groups:

  • Toddler: 2:30-2:35 p.m.
  • Primary: 2:30-2:35 p.m.
  • Kindergarten: 2:40-2:45 p.m.
  • Grades 1 and 2: 2:50-2:55 p.m.
  • Grades 3 and 4: 3:00-3:05 p.m.


Drop-off and pickup parking for families is available along Main Street, on Portland Street, behind Curtis building, and in the short-term parking spots along Curtis driveway designated for Lower School drop off and pick up. Please note that parking or dropping off anywhere on Storer Street is not permitted. The parking spaces behind the First Parish Church are private property and are for church business only. Parking is also not permitted in the turn-around, in the spaces designated for Admission, or in the handicapped parking space without a permit. Elementary families are encouraged to drop off students at the walkway to the ramp of the Lower School.


Attendance will be taken daily at drop-off. Parents should call 846-9051 or email 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 to school on time. Families arriving after 8:10 will report to the Middle School building to check in and pick up a blue slip before joining their class.


Food and dining play an important role in the child’s school experience and provide an opportunity to nourish both body and mind. We encourage families to pack a healthy lunch and snacks for children and to include ample variety and quantity. Many children will eat a morning snack and an afternoon snack in addition to a full lunch. Busy days promote busy appetites!

Again this year, Toddler and Primary students will bring snacks from home in lieu of a communal classroom snack. Everything that your child needs for lunch and snacks must be sent from home, including utensils and a water bottle. As we will often be eating outside, we suggest sandwiches and cold finger foods. Please use a thermos for warm items as we will not have ready access for heating up lunches.

Beginning in first grade, students have the option to continue bringing lunch from home or purchasing lunch from NYA Dining Services. This year, NYA is delighted to have a brand new dining program with CulinArt! Families will not need to preorder lunches this year, and may opt to sign up for a lunch meal plan or to purchase lunch by the day. You will be receiving additional information about our new dining program and how to set up your dining accounts later this week.


Wednesday, September 7 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. Please be sure to review and follow all aspects of the student dress code, which can be found in the parent portal and in the Lower School Family Handbook on the NYA website. We appreciate your support!


The school day at NYA begins at 8:00 a.m. All students should be in their designated classroom ready to learn by 7:58 a.m. Students who arrive late should check in with Mrs. Goodrich at the Middle School Reception Desk. Parents should call the Main Office (846-9051) or email by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. It is school policy to call the parents of students who are not accounted for.


NYA is looking forward to an exciting hockey season this school year, with a number of new players  joining the veterans on our teams. Several student-athletes from away have already been placed with NYA families and associates, but there are still a few awaiting placements in local homes. We would love to have new or returning families on our homestay roster. Families receive a stipend to help with the expenses of housing a student-athlete. Guest students frequently become great older siblings for any younger children you might have at home. If you are interested in hosting a player from away, please contact Sagaree Sengupta and Eliot Grady of the NYA Homestay Program for initial information.


Calling all golfers! NYA’s annual golf tournament, honoring late faculty member Steve Morris, is a fun event to raise money for need-based financial aid for NYA students. All are welcome to participate. The event will be held on Friday, September 30 (NEW DATE) at Toddy Brook Golf Course. Learn more and register here.


NYA loves our annual tradition of inviting grandparents to campus for a special day. Grandparents’ Day for Middle and Upper School students is held each October, and the event for Lower School grandparents takes place in May. To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends receive their invitation and event information, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information.


8/26Lower School Family Picnic11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
9/7First Day of School for K-12; Dress-Up Day
9/7Convocation7:45 a.m.
9/7First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/8First Day for Toddler & Primary Students (with special arrival times)Toddler: 8:30-8:45 Primary: 8:45-9:00
9/8Lower School Virtual Parent Night6:30 p.m.
9/12First Day for Before Care
9/14Picture Day; Dress-Up Day
9/21International Day of Peace
9/21Head of School Dinner6:00 p.m.
9/23Sky Day Project
9/23-9/24Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/28Reception for Toddler & Lower School Parents4:00-6:00 p.m.
9/29Reception for Middle & Upper School Parents4:00-6:00 p.m.
9/30Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Toddy Brook Gold Course7:30 a.m.
10/10Indigenous Peoples’ DayNO SCHOOL
10/21Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress-Up Day
10/21End of First Quarter


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