Lower School Newsletter for February 5, 2017

As part of the Visual and Performing Arts program, the students are creating art and rehearsing songs in preparation for the Lower School Arts Celebration on March 2. This year’s theme is the Arctic!  In the Toddler Program, the children are expanding their vocabularies and being exposed to new works each week. The Primary classes have been learning about the North and South poles, reading books by Jan Brett, and making a northern lights art project. Ms. Gallagher’s class is exploring the Arctic through studies of the animals, plants, and peoples of the tundra. They are also expanding their skip counting skills in math in preparation for multiplication. Ms. Chapman’s class has been working on a space unit and made Mars land rovers out of candy and the phases of the moon out of Oreo cookies! Ms. Gagne’s fourth graders have been making story plot maps, working on multi-step word problems, and beginning a nutrition unit in science.  Engaging educational activities are happening throughout the Lower School! The children continue to progress by leaps and bounds, and it is a true pleasure to see their learning in action.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Winter Drama presents Seussical, a family-friendly musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss.  The performances are Friday, February 17, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 18, 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 19, 2:00 p.m.  Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at the door.  Seating is limited to 140 per show.  Please contact Heidi Lathrop for ticket reservations (847-5432). It is sure to be a very entertaining show!


Students in K-4 are invited to participate in after school puppet theater club with Ms. Gallagher.  Students will create puppets and scenery to bring some classic tales to life. The club will perform their puppet shows for the Lower School classes on Friday, March 3. The club will meet from 3:15-4:00 p.m. on February 7, 14, 15, 21, 27, and March 2.  Sign up with Ms. Jen at the Lower School reception desk.


Families, if you know anyone who would be a good fit for NYA, please let them know about our upcoming Lower School Live event on Wednesday, February 15 at 9:00 a.m. This is a great event for interested parents where they can step inside the classroom to experience the learning taking place. They will meet teachers and administrators and have the opportunity to ask questions about the NYA program and take a campus tour!


Please join us for our next 2017 Soirée Brainstorming and Planning Meeting in the Middle School Community Room on Wednesday, February 8, 8:15- 9:15 a.m. We will definitely have coffee on hand! RSVPs are welcome, but not required. Bring a friend! If you are unable to attend, please feel free to email your ideas, thoughts, and inspirations to Randall Thomas. If you are interested in learning more about how you or your business might sponsor the Soirée, we welcome your queries!

A bit of information about this year’s Soirée:

  • Goal: a fun, off-campus party for adults to celebrate our school together and to raise important financial support that impacts all programs across our school
  • Date: Friday, May 5, 2017, 5:00-10:00 p.m.
  • Location: Brick South, Thompson’s Point, Portland, ME
  • Mood: Casual or dressy, farm table-style seating by Lani Toscano Design, beautiful flowers by Emily Carter Floral Designs, delicious buffet supper and cocktail reception by 111 Maine, cash bar, live music and dancing provided by Loose Threads, lighting presented by The Event Light Pros, photos captured by Hemphill Photo
  • Lots of fun: 10 live auction items, some fun party games, and ONE truly important mission auction item!

~ Josie Griffin and Jen Edwards, Soirée co-chairs


NYA is bringing Garbage to Garden on campus this spring to increase our environmental sustainability. Garbage to Garden provides curbside composting and is “so easy, you won’t even get your hands dirty.” The NYA Executive Council is spearheading the initiative and is planning a Dress Down Day and a speaker from Garbage to Garden on Tuesday, February 14 for the kick-off.


On Wednesday, February 1, two teaching artists from 317 Main Street Community Music Center came to NYA to do an instrument demonstration for students in grades K-4. The demonstration was entertaining, funny, and participatory, with the children learning about instruments like guitar, banjo, dobro, fiddle, and cello. Carter Logan and Robin Jellis, the instructors, had the students singing, clapping, and answering questions. Everyone left feeling great! The demonstration was part of NYA’s ongoing collaboration with 317 Main Street, including the Maine Acoustic Festival.  ~ Ian Ramsey, Visual and Performing Arts Chair


Attention Lower School Parents! Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 9. The NYA Parents’ Association will be hosting a Lower School Parent Social from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Royal River Grill House in Yarmouth. Let’s get together and add some sparkle to the season! We are working with the Upper School Key Club in hopes of offering babysitting at NYA for a small fee. More details soon!  ~ Libby Swinton Millar


To help meet the needs of our families, we will offer the option of care from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. during our March vacation. This will be available to all Lower School students on a first-come, first-served basis and will run only if a minimum number of students enroll. Rates for this care is $80/day. If you anticipate utilizing this service, please contact Leslie Durgin. The deadline to sign up for care over March break is Friday, February 10.

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 Saturday, February 25, 2017, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


The Lower School Arts Celebration will take place on Wednesday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym (snow date = March 2). 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!


From John Drisko, Assistant Head of School & Head of the Upper School: As many of you know, the final home contest of the season for each team is called “senior night.” This is when seniors are celebrated and their parents are recognized. I encourage you to come to these final contests to support and celebrate the seniors as well as the entire team. Each of the senior nights are listed below. Thank you in advance for your support of NYA activities and specifically for your support of these fine student-athletes/thespians/musicians.

Tuesday, February 7:               Girls and Boys Basketball, 5:30 and 7:00

Friday, February 10:                Boys Hockey, 4:50

The WMC Track Championships at 4:00 at USM

Wednesday, February 15:        Girls Hockey at 4:50

February 17, 18 and 19:            Seussical the Musical

Friday, February 24:                 Studio Band – The Last Waltz at 6:30


2/7 After School Puppet Theater Club begins 3:15-4:00 p.m.
2/8 Soirée Brainstorming and Planning Meeting, MSCR 8:15-9:15 a.m.
2/9 Lower School Parent Social, Royal River Grill House, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
2/10 Last day to sign up for March Break Vacation Care
2/14 Garbage to Garden Dress Down Day and speaker $3
2/15 Lower School Live Admission event 9:00 a.m.
2/17 Winter Drama Seussical Performance, Safford  6:30-8:30 p.m.
2/18 Winter Drama Seussical Performance, Safford 2:00-4:00 p.m.
2/18 Winter Drama Seussical Performance, Safford 6:30-8:30 p.m.
2/19 Winter Drama Seussical Performance, Safford 2:00-4:00 p.m.
2/20 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/23 NYA Parent Social, Woodhull, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
2/24 NYA Bring A Friend to School Day (grades 4-12)
2/24 The Last Waltz Studio Band Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/25 NYA Family, Friends, & Alumni Open Skate 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2/27-3/3 Spirit Week
3/1 Lower School Arts Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
3/2 Snow Date:  Lower School Arts Celebration  2:30 p.m.
3/3 Last day of classes before March Break
3/4-3/19 March Break NO SCHOOL
3/20 Classes resume
3/22 Deadline to submit photos for March Break Reading Challenge