Lower School Newsletter for February 19, 2017

On Tuesday, Lower School students took delight in celebrating friendship in honor of Valentine’s Day. From handmade cards and treats to dancing and games, everyone took time out to just enjoy being together. Another highlight this past week was commemorating the one hundredth day of school. Classes took note of this day in numerous ways. Many children took 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. We are all looking forward to the upcoming break and returning to school with renewed energy, ready to tackle that final push toward the end of the year. Enjoy!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schoolsimg_3052



The Lower School Arts Celebration will take place on Wednesday, March 1 in the NYA gym (snow date = March 2). 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 Dress Up Day 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 combat the winter doldrums, NYA plans a Spirit Week each year. This year, Spirit Week will be February 27 through March 3. 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 weekly update for specific information for your child.

CHICKADEE AWARDchickadee-book-voting-kb-45-sm

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, with the winner 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. For more information, visit the Chickadee website. 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 28 in the Middle School Community Room. Their votes will be included in the statewide tally to select the winning book!  ~ Jill O’Connor


As we look ahead to spring, we are beginning to prepare for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. This special event is scheduled for Friday, May 12. In order to be sure that all grandparents and grand-friends are invited, we ask that you complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Randall Thomas with any questions.

howtoraiseanadult_103620PARENT DISCUSSION GROUP

Parents are invited to a discussion group on Julie Lythcott-Haims’ book How to Raise an Adult on Tuesday, February 28 from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room, facilitated by Kate Danielson, LCPC, NYA School Counselor, and Dina Potter, M.D., Parent Consultant. The discussion will include strategies to support our students while fostering independence, raising self-esteem, and developing resilience. Appropriate for parents of all NYA students. Visit the How to Raise an Adult website for more information. Contact Kate Danielson with any questions and to RSVP.


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 Jill O’Connor by April 4. 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 2. Payment may be made directly to the Business Office, and checks should be made out to NYA Yearbook.


The NYA Parents’ Association is holding the next Morning Forum this Friday, February 24 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room. Parents are invited to hear Ben speak about the Strategic Planning process, with a focus on program initiatives. Refreshments will be served.


There is a Dress Down Day on Wednesday, February 22 in support of STRIVE Maine. STRIVE is an organization that supports tweens, teens, and young adults with intellectual and emotional disabilities.  Donations welcome.


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. New offerings this year include Wizard Magic Camp, Mad Science, Girls on the Run, Counselor In Training program (earn Safe Sitter babysitting certificate), and two levels of dance with Brio. Additional information on camps and registration can be found on our website.

MARCH BREAK READING CHALLENGEmillar-gasparilla-island-fledit

NYA is hosting our fourth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. Read a book in a fun, creative, or exotic place, take a picture, and then email it to Jill O’Connor. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 22 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 March 24 at Friday Forum and via Facebook and newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!  ~ Jill O’Connor

The NYA Parents’ Association is pleased to invite all NYA parents to some casual evening events. The Upper School Make-A-Wish and Key Clubs will provide child care in the Lower School during these events (suggested donation of $10/hour). We hope that you can join us any time from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at:

  • Woodhull, Yarmouth, 2/23
  • The Owl and Elm, Yarmouth, 3/30
  • Dockside, Falmouth, 4/13


Alex Kloza (Ice Arena Manager) and Caroline Anson (Alumni Relations) 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. The next open skate date is this Saturday, February 25, 2017, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


2/20Presidents’ DayNO SCHOOL
2/22Dress Down Day for Strive
2/23NYA Parent Social, Woodhull, Yarmouth5:00-7:00 p.m.
2/24Morning Forum with Ben Jackson, MSCR8:00-9:00 a.m.
2/24NYA Bring A Friend to School Day (grades 4-12)
2/24The Last Waltz Studio Band Performance, Safford 6:30 p.m.
2/25NYA Family, Friends, & Alumni Open Skate5:30-6:30 p.m.
2/27-3/3Spirit Week
2/28Parent Discussion Group, MSCR9:00-10:15 a.m.
3/1Lower School Arts Celebration, NYA gym2:30 p.m.
3/2Snow Date:  Lower School Arts Celebration 2:30 p.m.
3/3Last day of classes before March Break
3/4-3/19March BreakNO SCHOOL
3/20Classes resume
3/22Deadline to submit photos for March Break Reading Challenge
3/28Chickadee Award Voting, MSCR