Lower School Newsletter for March 3, 2019

This past week has been a whirlwind of special dress and silly activities coupled with numerous projects and assessments. Students have worked hard and had some fun and laughs with their friends and teachers. Before we settle in for the final quarter of the year, we look forward to taking some time away to travel, to get busy with spring cleaning, and even just to spend a day in pajamas enjoying a good book. Wishing you all a very joyful break and wonderful time with friends and family! Let’s hope to return to a campus full of melting snow, sprouting leaves, and chirping birds.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Congratulations to all of our students on a fantastic Arts Celebration! It was a pleasure to see and hear their many talents as part of the fabulous show. Special thanks to Linda Vaillancourt, Christa Mecham, and Leslie Durgin for all their efforts in putting together this special event.


As we look ahead to spring, we are beginning to prepare for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. This special event is scheduled for Friday, May 10. In order to be sure that all grandparents and grandfriends are invited, please complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Crystal Gordon with any questions.


For morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up, there are short-term parking spots reserved for Lower School families on the right-hand side as you head back toward Main Street and in the first few spots in the back lot. This is a busy area. Please use caution! Parents may drop off elementary students in front of the Merrill Lower School building, but parking is not permitted in the turn-around. Please remember not to idle in the drop-off area or to park in the spaces designated for cars with handicapped tags or the spaces marked for Admission visitors. When staying for more than a few minutes (e.g. meeting with a teacher or heading to the playground), please park on Main Street, Portland Street, or the back lot and not in the drop-off spaces. We realize that space is tight and are looking at expanding options in the future. We appreciate your help in keeping our students safe!


Students in grades two through four have had the opportunity to enjoy a rotation in our luncheon book club, meeting once a week during lunch with Mrs. Deidre Cutter. The students enjoy eating together and reading a book with the group. After completing the book, they engage in an activity to help deepen their understanding of the text. Recently, groups read the book Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky. Students then designed their own Scranimal and had the chance to write a poem describing their Scranimal as well. The creativity, designs, and poems have all been very unique and exciting to see.  After spring break, students can look forward to a new book and project!  ~ Deidre Cutter


Mad Science of Maine will offer a second class for students in kindergarten through fifth grade this spring. Radical Robotics begins on Tuesday, April 9. Register and find additional information here.


NYA will host our sixth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. This year’s challenge is Share a Story. Find someone to read to – your grandparents, your favorite four-legged friend, your stuffed animal collection, whomever, whatever, wherever; take a photo or a selfie; and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 20 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 Friday, March 22 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!

CHICKADEE AWARDthe-chickadee-award-2

After break, Lower School students will listen 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 thirteenth year, and is given annually to one of ten picture books nominated by a committee of teachers, librarians, and early literacy professionals. The winner is 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. Our students will listen to book talks from their classmates and then vote for their favorite book at our Chickadee Voting Event on Tuesday, March 26 in the Middle School Community Room. Their votes will be included in the statewide tally to select the winning book!


Thinking about tackling some spring cleaning during March break? Do you have any toys that your children have outgrown? We are looking for toys, puzzles, and games in good repair to add to our collection of options for use during After Care. Donations may be dropped off at the main office in Curtis, under the Middle School sign-in table, or at Lower School reception. Thank you!

Summer Programs Button 2019EXPERIENCE SUMMER AT NYA

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for toddlers to age 15. Camps include a variety of sports (tennis, lacrosse, and soccer), art, theater, dance, circus, science, magic, and more! Register by April 15 to receive the early bird discount!


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates for NYA families and alumni . You are welcome to bring friends and neighbors. Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please. There are several options during our March break from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (see For Your Planning below).


3/4-3/15 March Break
3/4, 8, 11, & 15 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
3/18 Classes resume; Girls on the Run begins
3/20 Dress Down Day for Key Club
3/20 Deadline to submit photos for March Break Reading Challenge
3/22 End of third quarter
3/26 Chickadee Award Voting
3/27 Dress Down Day for St. Jude’s Hospital
4/3 Dress Down Day for National MS Society
4/9 Mad Science Radical Robotics begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
4/11 Dress Down Day for Model UN
4/15 Patriots’ Day NO SCHOOL
4/16 Lower School Parent Conferences/Spring In-Service NO SCHOOL
4/17 Dress Down Day for Safe Passage
4/19 Spring Choral Concert (grades 6-12), YPAC 6:30 p.m.
4/23 Poem in Your Pocket Day
4/23 Spring Strings Concert (grades 3-12), location TBA 6:30 p.m.
4/25 Spring Instrumental Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.
4/26 Poetry Out Loud Presentations
4/26 NYA Soirée, Thompson’s Point, Portland 5:00 p.m.
5/2 Fifth Grade Arts Night, Higgins Hall 5:00 p.m.


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