Lower School Newsletter for December 9, 2018

It is hard to believe how quickly the days have passed and that our Fall Semester is now coming to a close. As we look back over the first half of the school year, we want to celebrate our many successes and begin to set new goals for the spring. When we return from the Winter Break, we will begin both a new semester and a new year – 2019! A new year is a new beginning, and in the school calendar we are blessed with two “new years,” in September and in January. Let us embrace these new beginnings and look forward to a bright new year ahead. In the meantime, have a relaxing break enjoying time with family and friends.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


This week, NYA received a gift of $100,000 to be used for need-based student financial aid. The gift , from anonymous donors, will support both current-use financial aid ($25,000) and the North Yarmouth Academy Endowed Fund for Scholarship Assistance ($75,000), which provides need-based aid to deserving students. Read full story here.


With the close of the Fall Semester, teachers will be sending out midyear reports to parents via email in early January. Parents of students in the Toddler and Primary classrooms will receive written class summaries and will be contacted later in the month to schedule observations in the classroom in February. Parents of students in Grades 1-4 will receive written progress reports accompanied by comments from each teacher.


Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will have some additional options for after school activities in the spring semester. Mad Science of Maine will offer two classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grade on Tuesday afternoons: Take a Bite Out of Science and Radical RoboticsNew this year, Mad Science also will be offering a special program to students in grades four and five on coding. Mission Code will be offered on Thursday afternoons from January through March. Check here for additional information about the programs and how to register.


With the approach of winter, students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will soon begin the ice skating unit as part of their Physical Education class. It is such a treat for students to be able take advantage of NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena. See this informational letter from Braden Heal and Marti Morton for additional information.


Do you have any old or outgrown snowshoes collecting dust somewhere? If so, pass them on to NYA! We are looking for snowshoes of all sizes to add to our current set for PE classes and other groups to utilize in exploring the great, wintry outdoors. We’d also love ice skates and helmets! Donated items can be dropped off at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools.


NYA is sponsoring a dress down day ($3) on Thursday, December 13 to support the Portland Rotary Club’s upcoming service trip to La Romana in the Dominican Republic. A group of Maine Rotarians will be traveling to La Romana to provide water filters to over 100 impoverished homes in the town, provide audiology care and hearing aids for over 300 hearing impaired patients from all over the island, and to continue to partner with one of the schools in La Romana. The funds raised from our dress down day will support the purchase of school supplies for the students and teachers in that school.


A reminder that all Holiday Family donations from the “mitten wishes” should be brought in, unwrapped, by  December 11. We would welcome donations of gently used jackets, boots, snow gear, and warm clothes as well. Collection bins are located at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools. Thanks to donations and funds raised through our dress down days, we have been able to provide household items, clothing, toys, gift cards, and more for our Holiday Families. Thank you for your help in supporting this worthy cause!


The junior class will be holding a fundraiser at Chipotle in South Portland (359 Maine Mall Road) today, December 9, from 5:00-9:00 p.m. The class will receive a portion of the sales from all orders made during that time if NYA is mentioned at checkout. Bring your friends and family to Chipotle for dinner and support the juniors raise money for prom!


The NYA Parents’ Association is delighted to announce this year’s first Parents’ Night Out at Woodhull Public House on Thursday, December 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.! PNO is a relaxed opportunity to meet fellow NYA parents, toast the season, and blow off a bit of holiday steam! Babysitting will be offered by Upper School students raising money for the Make-A-Wish Club. Contact Liz Smith to sign up for babysitting. Suggested donation is $10 per child per hour. Babysitting will be in the great room in the Merrill Lower School Building from 4:45-7:15 p.m. Come meet old friends and new.


sick-childIf your child is sick, please have them STAY HOME for the benefit of their health and the health of the school community. Indicators for staying home: vomiting or being too nauseated to eat breakfast; a throat so sore it hurts to swallow; a temperature of 100° or higher; incessant coughing or nose blowing; a pounding, blinding headache; utter exhaustion or aching all over. To return to school, the symptoms listed should be significantly decreased, if not resolved, AND the child should be fever free without use of Advil/Tylenol for 24 hours. If you are wondering whether you have a cold or the flu, please check here for additional information. A reminder that students are not permitted to possess any medication, over-the-counter or prescription, at school. If a student requires medication during school hours, please contact the school nurse. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ashley Moody.


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena for students, alumni, families and friends. Upcoming open skate dates are as follows:


  • Thursday, December 20 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (immediately following the Alumni Hockey Game)
  • Thursday, December 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 29 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, January 5 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 21 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Monday, March 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 11 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please.  For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon.


On Tuesday, December 4, Mrs. Gallagher’s first grade class had a terrific time at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunk for the Frosty the Snowman book event! Students were excited to meet illustrator Wade Zahares and listen to him read the book. They sang and had cupcakes, and each child received a book to have personalized and signed by Wade. The museum prepared and provided materials for a snowflake craft to make while sipping cocoa. Getting into the snowy spirit was a perfect way to spend the morning and everyone had a really nice time. Students then wrote and created illustrations about the trip. ~ Shannon Gallagher


The Lower School Arts Celebration will take place on Wednesday, February 27 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym (snow date = Thursday, February 28). All Lower School students will take part in a musical performance. Following the concert, parents and students will remain in the gym to enjoy the art show and brief reception. Mark your calendars now to join us for this special event!


Project Graduation is an all-night event comprised of safe, organized, adult supervised activities offered as part of a post-graduation celebration for our NYA seniors. The Project Graduation Committee collects and redeems returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK system at Hannaford as one of our fundraisers for this annual event. Please pick up a pre-tagged CLYNK bag, take it home, fill it up, and drop it off at any Hannaford CLYNK location. Pre-tagged CLYNK bags can be picked up at the main office in the Upper School or the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Thank you for supporting our seniors!


NYA is offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions are led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The next session is scheduled from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12. All are welcome!


12/9 Junior Class Fundraiser, Chipotle, South Portland 5:00-9:00 p.m.
12/11 Upper School Winter Concert, NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.
12/12 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
12/13 Dress Down Day for La Romana School $3
12/13 Parents’ Night Out, Woodhull Public House, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
12/14 Last day of Classes before Winter Break
12/14 NYA Gear Sale, PSMS 1:30-3:30 p.m.
12/14 End of First Semester
12/17-1/1 Winter Break NO SCHOOL
12/20 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/22 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:30-6:30 p.m.
12/27 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/29 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:00-6:00 p.m.
1/1 New Year’s Day NO SCHOOL
1/2 Classes resume; Second Semester begins
1/22 Mad Science: Take a Bite Out of Science begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
1/24 Mad Science: Mission Code begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.


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