Lower School Newsletter for May 13, 2018

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


Mark your calendars – Friday, June 1, 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. There will be a variety of stations located throughout the campus, including a bouncy house, games, a giant slip and slide, music, and various charity fundraising activities.

Please note that the cookout will begin around 11:30 a.m., and families may want to be prepared with snacks for hungry tummies. The 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!


We will host a Popsicles on the Playground event on Wednesday, May 16 from 2:40 to 4:00 pm. We will gather in the playground area (weather permitting) 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 2018-2019 school year. For families who are not able to attend, After Care will be offered at the usual times.


The sun’s rays are getting warmer (at long last), and it is now time to think about sun protection. We ask that parents apply sunscreen as needed before the start of the school day. Parents may also send in labeled sunscreen to Jen Elkins if reapplication is needed for After Care. 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.


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


  • Primary students will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, May 18! The classes will walk down to Royal River Park to take part in Yarmouth’s Arbor Day festivities. The Yarmouth Tree Committee, Librarian, and Tree Warden will be on hand, and the children will have the chance to visit various stations for activities such as painting plant pots, hearing stories, learning about composting, and planting a tree! Students should wear relaxed dress and comfortable shoes for this outing.
  • On Wednesday, May 23, second grade students will be heading out to sea with Odyssey Whale Watch in Portland. This excursion will be the culmination to the class’ study of whales. While there are no guarantees, they could see a variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, numerous birds, and hopefully some humpback and minke whales. They will head out midday and return to campus at 4:45 p.m.
  • Friday, May 25, will be the annual Beach Day for Primary classes! Together with parent volunteers, they will head to the beach at Winslow Park in Freeport to enjoy sun, sand, and fun. Kindergarten students and teachers will also stay on for a picnic lunch.
  • Grades 1 and 2 will also enjoy a beach day on Friday, May 25. They will be heading to Bay View Beach in Saco and enjoying lunch there.
  • Grades two through four will head to Maine Wildlife Park in Gray on Wednesday, May 30. This wonderful rescue is home to Maine animals who, due to injury or being orphaned at a young age, are unable to be returned to their natural habitats. The group plans to spend the day exploring all of the animal exhibits, going on a scavenger hunt, and enjoying a picnic lunch. Each third and fourth grade student has been researching a Maine animal of their choice, writing a research paper, creating a clay model of their animal in their habitat, and creating a green screen presentation. They are looking forward to meeting the animal they researched face to face!
  • On Thursday, May 31, students in grades one through four will enjoy a River Walk 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!


On Tuesday, May 30, 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 at Camp Soci and then enjoy some downtime at Sandy Point Beach on Cousins Island. They will enjoy an ice cream treat as they head back to campus around 2:30. We are looking forward to this time to celebrate together!


  • The Dress Down Day to support the March of Dimes, originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, has been rescheduled for Friday, May 18. The Echeverria family is raising funds for the March of Dimes in honor of their sons, Thomas and Raphael, who were born too early at 22 weeks on November 26, 2010. Premature birth affects approximately 380,000 babies in the United States each year. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight premature birth so more babies can go home with their parents.
  • On Friday, May 18, NYA will welcome Anna Korsen, Program Director of Full Plates, Full Potential. Anna will give a short presentation at Friday Forum about Full Plates, Full Potential, a program to feed hungry kids in Maine. NYA will hold a Dress Down Day on Thursday, May 24 to raise funds in support of this worthy cause.


The NYA Girls on the Run team held their practice 5K on Wednesday, May 9. The team of 16 girls and their running buddies ran 3.1 miles around NYA’s campus. Bubbles, music, sunshine, and plenty of cheers helped to make this event extra special for the girls. Many NYA teachers and staff came out to support the girls during this special event. It was an empowering and joyful celebration of what these girls have accomplished so far in the season.


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. Thank you!


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 Friday, June 1.


Thanks to all who participated in the success of NYA’s 34th annual spring fundraiser, the Soirée. If you have any feedback regarding this year’s event or creative ideas for next year’s gathering, please be in touch with Crystal Gordon. Enjoy these great photos from the event. We hope to see you at next year’s Soirée!


On Friday, we were pleased to welcome over 100 grandparents and “grandfriends” to campus for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. The day included some terrific student performances, a tea party, campus tours, visits with the NYA panther (Pouncer), and an opportunity for grandchildren to show their grandparents around their classrooms. Thank you to the many NYA parent volunteers who helped make this event such a special time for students and grandparents. We wish to thank Crystal Gordon, Jennifer Richard, Caroline Anson, Amity Jackson, the many parent volunteers, Linda Vaillancourt, and the numerous teachers and staff who contributed to the event. Thank you for helping students to share NYA with their grandparents!


On Wednesday, May 9, 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 15 for the entire Lower School. Thank you for your help!Hop A Thon for MB


The third and fourth grade students partnered up with Mrs. Smith’s AP Chemistry class for our big field trip to the New England Aquarium. The Upper School students created and led lessons to prepare our students for the field trip, and the third and fourth graders played fun, interactive games about the sea animals they would see at the aquarium. They played Seal and Sea Lion Extravaganza, Shark Hangman, and Amazon Jeopardy. During our trip to the aquarium, each third and fourth grade student paired up with an Upper School Chemistry student. They spent the day exploring the exhibits in the aquarium, seeing the IMAX movie Pandas 3D, and having a picnic lunch in the park. It has been wonderful witnessing the positive bonds that have been created by the older students mentoring the younger students. It was a fantastic day!  ~ Ellen Gagne


June 15 is the deadline for several forms required for the 2018-2019 school year, including health forms and off-campus travel and athletic participation release forms. All forms and instructions can be found at Returning Family Forms on our website. You can reach this page from the drop-down menu under the ‘Parents’ tab on NYA’s homepage. Thank you for completing these forms by the due dates. It is a tremendous help to our faculty and staff!


Once again this summer, we will host a Lower School Family Picnic to gather families and teachers together before the start of the school year. The picnic is scheduled for Thursday, August 23 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Rising fifth graders and families will be invited to the New Middle and Upper School Student Orientation on Monday, August 27. More information on both events will be forthcoming in July.

EXPERIENCE SUMMER AT NYAsummer-programs2018

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is open, and sessions are filling up. 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, magic, and more!


NYA’s annual Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament typically takes place the second week of June, bringing together past and present friends of NYA. The tournament is in honor of long time, beloved NYA coach and teacher, Steve “Mo” Morris. Steve was at NYA for 30 years until he died of cancer in 2001. Each year, dozens of alums join with our families to recognize Steve. In his honor, a scholarship was established, and it is awarded to a girl and boy in grades 9-12. This year, the tournament will be held in conjunction with a revamped homecoming and reunion weekend, on September 29, 2018 at Falmouth Country Club with a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. Please mark your calendars.


5/15 Lower School Pajama Day
5/16 Popsicles on the Playground 2:40-4:00 p.m.
5/18 Dress Down Day for March of Dimes $3
5/18 Primary Arbor Day Outing, Royal River Park  9:15 a.m.
5/23 Grade 2 Whale Watch Field Trip
5/24 Dress Down Day for Full Plates, Full Potential $3
5/25 Primary Beach Trip, Winslow Park, Freeport
5/25 Grades 1-2 Beach Trip, Ferry Beach, Saco
5/28 Memorial Day NO SCHOOL
5/29 Fourth Grade Camp Soci Outing, Cousins Island
5/30 Grades 2-4 Field Trip to Maine Wildlife Park
5/31 Grades 1-4 Royal River Picnic Lunch
5/31 Kindergarten “Graduation” Celebration  3:00 p.m.
6/1 Last Day of School; Lower School Classes end at 10:30
6/1 NYA Fun Day and Cookout 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
6/1 NYA Gear Sale, MSCR 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
6/3 Commencement, Curtis Lawn 2:00 p.m.
6/11 NYA Summer Programs begin
6/15 Returning Family Forms Due
8/23 Lower School Family Picnic 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


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