Lower School Newsletter for May 12, 2019

It is hard to believe that summer vacation is on the horizon and that this will be the final Panther Cubs before we head off for the summer. These final weeks are packed with activity and special events, so mark those calendars and be on the lookout for additional details from the classroom teachers. It has been an exciting year in the Lower School, one full of growth and change and wonder. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with your children throughout the year and learning together with them. There are few things in life as full of joy and wonder as looking at the world through the eyes of a child. It has been an honor to teach your children and experience this wonder with them. We wish you all a safe, happy, and enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing you again in the new school year!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


May 15 is the deadline for several forms required for the 2019-2020 school year, including health forms and off-campus travel and athletic participation release forms. All forms and instructions can be found at Family Forms on our website. You can also reach this page from the drop-down menu under the ‘Parents’ tab at the top of NYA’s homepage. Thank you for completing these forms by the due dates. It is a tremendous help to our faculty and staff!


Our Popsicles on the Playground event will take place on Thursday, May 16 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. (rain date = Tuesday, May 21). We will gather in the playground area to play, socialize, and enjoy popsicle treats. This event is for all current Lower School families as well as new families who have been accepted for the 2019-2020 school year. For families who are not able to attend, After Care will be offered at the usual times.


Mark your calendars – Friday, May 31, is our final day of the school year!  Students will enjoy special events within their classrooms during the morning. These activities will conclude at 10:30 a.m., and children should be picked up at that time. We invite parents and students to join the entire NYA community for a cookout and fun-filled activities after pick-up. Students may want to bring towels and bathing suits for some of the activities. There will be a variety of stations located throughout the campus, including a bouncy house, games, a giant slip and slide, music, and other activities. The Family Fun Day festivities will conclude at 1:00 p.m., and Lower School parents and students are welcome to stay as long as they would like. We look forward to celebrating the end of the school year with you!


Parents, please remember to clean out your child’s cubby or locker for the summer break. This will help the maintenance staff do a thorough cleaning and allow us to start the new year fresh. Remember to check the Lower School’s lost and found bin before leaving for the summer break. We will be donating all unclaimed items after June 1. Thank you!

SUNSCREENFront of Lower School

The sun’s rays are getting warmer (at long last), and it will soon be time to think about sun protection. We ask that parents apply sunscreen as needed before the start of the school day. Hats and long sleeves are also great for sun protection! Please be sure that your child has all necessary items for time outside, including a seasonally appropriate change of clothes.


NYA Soiree Group Photo 2019

NYA Soiree – Hemphill Photo

In case you missed it, photos are up of the NYA Soiree. Thank you to Erika Hemphill (’22 & ’25) of Hemphill Photo and Brian Beard of Creative Images Photography for capturing the fun at this event for us. View the event photos here.


  • On Friday, May 17, Mrs. Gagne’s class will share their puppet show presentations on famous people from history with the parents.
  • On Monday, May 20, “Bug Man” Jim from the Butterfly and Insect Museum will be on campus to do a special presentation to Primary and Elementary classes in the Community Room.
  • Mrs. Gagne’s and Mr. Hopkins’ classes will enjoy an outing to Mackworth Island on Wednesday, May 29.
  • On Thursday, May 30, students in grades one through four will enjoy a river walk, field day fun, and a picnic lunch at Royal River Park. This will be a fun way for the elementary students to celebrate their final lunch together of the year!


Mrs. Gallagher’s and Mr. Hopkins’ classes will venture south for a Saco tour on Friday, May 17. The first stop is Saco Heath Preserve for a nature walk and bird observation. Mr. Hopkins’ class is full of budding ornithologists, and they are excited to identify local species and share their knowledge. Following the walk, we will head to the Way Way Store, a nostalgic shop that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The owners of the store, Peter and Bridget Scontras, sent a treat of penny candy to first grade students back in the fall. We will return their kindness with a song written especially for them and played on ukulele. We hope they like it! Finally, we will venture to Bay View Beach, a lovely stretch of sand that we visit often. Some days, we are there to do a clean-up; on field trip day, we will mostly be relaxing. This excursion will take most of the day, as we will depart around 8:15 a.m. and return around 2:00 p.m. Students will need to pack plenty of snacks, lunch, and water, as well as a towel and sunscreen (we hope). Further details to come, weather dependent.  ~ Shannon Gallagher


On Tuesday, May 28, the fourth grade students will enjoy a special outing to celebrate their time in the NYA Lower School. While they are away at this outing, third grade students will join Mr. Hopkins’ class for some special activities. The fourth grade students will head out around noon with Ellen Gagne and Danielle Barschdorf, Middle School Science Teacher and Experiential Education Coordinator. They will begin their afternoon with a variety of cooperative games and challenges and then enjoy an ice cream treat as they head back to campus around 2:30. We are looking forward to this time to celebrate together!


On Friday, we were pleased to welcome over 100 grandparents and “grandfriends” to campus for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. The day included some wonderful student performances, a tea party, and an opportunity for grandchildren to show their grandparents around their classrooms. Thank you to Linda Vaillancourt, NYA teachers and staff, and the many parent volunteers who helped make this event such a special time for students and grandparents. A big thank you to The Good Life Market for donating the delicious treats! Thank you for helping students to share NYA with their grandparents!


On Wednesday, May 8, the entire Lower School took part in a Hop-A-Thon in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lower School students and teachers gathered on the turf field to hop, skip, jump, and play! Mr. Hardy (aka “Mr. Jack”) led the festivities, and the entire Middle School gathered to cheer us on. This event helps to raise awareness and funds in support of the MDA. We will celebrate with a Pajama Day on Tuesday, May 14 for the entire Lower School. Thank you for your help!


The third and fourth grade students partnered up with Mrs. Smith’s AP Chemistry class for a big field trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. It has been wonderful witnessing the positive bonds created by the older students mentoring the younger students. It was a fantastic day!  ~ Ellen Gagne

NYA GEAR SALE!NYA pop-up store at LS Grandparents' Day

The NYA Parents’ Association will be selling logo gear on the last day of school, Friday, May 31. A table will be set up in the Middle School Community Room from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Several items will be on clearance to make room for new fall merchandise. Plan ahead to stock your closets! Cash or check only.


The Yarmouth Clam Festival is July 19-21, and the NYA Parents’ Association will once again be selling ice cream, natural soda, cold brew, and pretzels on the NYA campus. Look for the SignUpGenius email in early June to sign up for a shift or two in the booth. It’s a fabulous fundraiser for the school –and a lot of fun!


Jay Robbins, independent researcher and historian and NYA archivist, will take part in the Spring Lecture Series at Yarmouth History Center at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21. In a talk entitled A Hodge Podge of Hometown History, Robbins will reflect on the pleasures of researching Yarmouth’s remarkable history and will touch on topics ranging from the Civil War to North Yarmouth Academy to local maritime history and more. This lecture is free for members of Yarmouth Historical Society and $5 for all others.


On Thursday, August 22, we will host our annual Lower School Family Picnic to gather families and teachers together before the start of the school year. The event is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. We will begin with a picnic lunch provided by NYA. Children will then head out to the playground for some fun with their classmates while parents attend an information session with the teachers. Rising fifth graders and families will be invited to the New Middle and Upper School Student Orientation on Wednesday, August 28. More information on both events will be forthcoming in July.


Looking for a new babysitter? Maybe we can help! Many of our Lower School families ask regularly about finding sitters and many of our older students are experienced sitters looking for new families to work with. To help connect these groups, we have put together a Babysitter Registry. Check out the registry to find a potential sitter in your area.


Families of students entering fifth grade should check their summer reading assignments for English class. The book lists will be posted on the NYA website after June 1.


Summer Programs Button 2019

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for ages 2 to 15. Camps include a variety of sports (tennis, lacrosse, and soccer), art, theater, dance, circus, science, magic, and more! Camps are filling up (or full!), so sign up soon to secure your spot.


During the summer, administrative office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. In addition to admission activity, we will be preparing for the upcoming school year. We will continue to send information and updates via email throughout the summer.


5/14 Lower School Pajama Day
5/15 Returning Family Forms Due
5/16 Popsicles on the Playground 2:30-3:30 p.m.
5/17 Saco Field Trip
5/17 Mrs. Gagne’s Class Puppet Show Presentations 2:00 p.m.
5/20 “Bug Guy” Jim Presentation, MSCR 8:45-9:45  a.m.
5/27 Memorial Day NO SCHOOL
5/28 Fourth Grade Outing
5/29 Grades 2-4 Field Trip to Mackworth Island
5/30 Grades 1-4 Field Day and Picnic at Royal River Park
5/31 Last Day of School!; Lower School Classes end at 10:30 a.m. 8:00-10:30 a.m.
5/31 Family Fun Day 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
5/31 NYA Gear Sale, MSCR 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
6/1 Summer Assignments Posted
6/2 Commencement, Curtis Lawn 2:00 p.m.
6/10 NYA Summer Programs Begin
8/22 Lower School Family Picnic 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
9/3 First Day of School!


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