Lower School Newsletter for August 20, 2017

It is hard to believe that the days of summer will soon be drawing to a close, but we are also eager for 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 Lower School. We look forward to an exciting year together!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


We invite you to join us for the Lower School Family Picnic and Parent Information Session on Wednesday, August 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  At this event, you will have the opportunity to meet other Lower School families and teachers, ask any questions that you might have, and most importantly, have fun! We will begin as a full group in the Middle School Community Room to meet the staff and learn more about the upcoming school year before heading outside to enjoy a picnic lunch provided by NYA. After lunch, parents will head into the classrooms to meet with the teachers for a brief information session while the children will be supervised for additional outside play time. You will receive a welcome packet from your child’s teacher with your child’s schedule, class list, and more details about the coming year. 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.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOLNYA-Convocation-2015-16---8297-

Our first day of school, Tuesday, September 5, 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 may accompany them to the Lower School building and then say their goodbyes from the reception area. 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.


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. Families will be charged a one-time fee of $30 to cover the cost of these individual supplies. 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. Families will be charged a one-time fee of $30 to cover the cost of these supplies. Items will be replenished as needed by NYA throughout the year. In addition, students in Mr. Hopkins’s and Mrs. Gagne’s classes may have workbooks for math, spelling, and/or handwriting which will be ordered by NYA and charged to the student’s account.


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 as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.


Additional forms, such as the Off-Campus Travel Permission Form and Before and After Care Agreement Form, can be found under 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 6) 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 Jungle Book 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. 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 12. 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 Jungle Book KIDS will be on Wednesday, November 15, at 2:30 p.m. in Safford Auditorium.

Interested students should sign up for Drama Club on the sign-up sheet on Ms. Jen’s desk in the Lower School. Contact Linda Vaillancourt with any questions.


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 847-5487 or email Jen Elkins 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. Parents should accompany all Toddler and Primary students into the reception area, 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 Toddler and 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.

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 front entrance to the Lower School. The combination lock only provides access during the school day. All other Lower School 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.


For the safety of our students, we have installed a new paved pathway in front of the drop-off spaces leading to the Lower School. The pathway is a great addition as it allows families to enter the Lower School without walking in the path of cars. Please continue to exercise great caution in this busy area of campus.


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!


NYA will be offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions will be led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The sessions will be held from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA will provide some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or can sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). For more information, contact Ian Ramsey.


The NYA Parents’ Association is holding a sale of “gently used” dress code clothing in the gym hallway from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on August 23, 24, and 25.  Get some back-to-school shopping done and support the PA!  Contact Alexandra Maurer with any questions.

GRANDPARENTS’ DAYnya-ls-grandparents-day-2015-16-6512

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 20 and Lower School Grandparents’ Day will be on Friday, May 11. To add or update the contact information for any grandparents or “grand friends”, please contact Caroline Anson.


only-kayakAs part of the Kauffmann Program, NYA will be offering a monthly book group that focuses on nature and society’s relationship to it. The Wild Soul Words group is open to all adult members of the NYA and surrounding communities. Participants will gather in a casual environment to talk about a given book, have a beverage of choice, and examine how lessons from that book might apply to our community. The group will be hosted and facilitated by Ian Ramsey, and NYA will provide wine and other beverages. The meeting dates and book selections will include: The Only Kayak by Kim Heacox on September 28; Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv on October 26; and Tribe by Sebastian Junger on November 30.


8/23Lower School Family Picnic & Parent Information Session11:00am-1:00pm
8/23-25NYA PA Clothing Sale, Gym hallway9:00am-12:00pm
8/25New Middle & Upper School Student Orientation9:30am-12:00pm
9/5Convocation, Grizzy’s Quad7:55am
9/5First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/6Picture Day; Dress-Up Day
9/13Guided Mindfulness Session7:00-7:30am
9/13Upper School Parent Night6:45pm
9/14Middle School Parent Night6:30pm
9/28Wild Soul Words Book Group
10/9Columbus DayNO SCHOOL
10/20Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day


Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group
YouTube – North Yarmouth Academy
Twitter – @NYAToday
Flickr – nyatoday
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS
Instagram – northyarmouthacademy