Panther Cubs Newsletter Header 2020

Lower School Newsletter for November 15, 2020

November is one of my favorite months of the year as it reminds us to take a moment and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. This year, perhaps more than ever, it is important to be thankful for all that we have and to appreciate what we have once take for granted. I know that many of us are so appreciative of every day that we are able to spend on campus and in the classrooms together. With the Thanksgiving break coming soon, we hope that you have the opportunity to give thanks and bring renewed optimism and positive energy to your lives. We also wish to extend our thanks to you for entrusting your children to us and for offering us your ongoing support.

At this time of year, despite the recent stretch of beautiful warm weather, we also need to remember that snow is likely just around the corner. While the winter weather brings many joys (skiing, sledding, and hot chocolate among them!), it can present a few challenges. Students sometimes forget that a change in weather necessitates a change in attire. As we move about the campus throughout the day and enjoy playtime outdoors, it is essential that everyone has the appropriate cold-weather gear to stay warm and dry. This is also the time to think about what happens when weather impacts our school day. Please take a moment to review the information on snow days which is outlined below. While I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s glorious weather, we will soon be chanting, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools

Primary B’s Thankful Turkey


As Ben shared in a recent update, we have made a couple of small adjustments to the school calendar to help us remain refreshed and recharged during the long winter stretch. Friday, November 20 will be an early release day, allowing us to get a head start on Thanksgiving Break. There will be no After Care on this date. Release times will be as follows:

  • Toddler and Primary students – 11:00 a.m.
  • Elementary and Middle School students – 11:15 a.m.
  • Upper School students – 11:30 a.m.


Book lovers, mark your calendars! NYA’s Scholastic Book Fair is going live from November 17-30! This year, the fair will be an ONLINE-only event, and all orders will be sent directly to your home. There will be titles with age ranges from toddler through adult. We will provide the link to our Online Fair Homepage on Tuesday, November 17. Simply log onto our Online Fair Homepage using that link, order, and pay online. Orders will take approximately 15 days to arrive due to possible postal delays. Feel free to browse the Digital Flyer and check out the Elementary Author and Book Highlight Video and the Middle School Author and Book Highlight Video. Your support of this book fair earns helps us earn Scholastic Dollars to order more books and supplies for our classrooms.  ~ Shannon Gallagher


While everyone enjoys the opportunity to dress casually, it is made more meaningful when we use these days as opportunities to support organizations and families in need. Each year, NYA “adopts” area families and raises funds to purchase much needed household essentials and a few fun extras for the holidays as part of our Holiday Families initiative. We will have two Dress Down Days to support this program on Friday, November 20 and Wednesday, December 9. The Middle School Student Community Council will take a lead role in organizing this initiative.

On Wednesday, December 2, we will have a Dress Down Day to raise funds for Cooking for Community, which supports both area restaurants and individuals with food insecurity by paying restaurants to prepare easy to reheat packaged meals using primarily locally sourced ingredients. Maggie Mae’s in Yarmouth is a member restaurant, and our funds will benefit local families in need. Thank you to E-Beth Goodrich for sponsoring this fundraiser.


School pictures are now up on NYA’s SmugMug website! To access the site, go to Our SmugMug password is:  NYApanthers  (Please note that this password is case sensitive)

If you would like to order prints, you can do so via SmugMug. Once you find the photo you would like to purchase:

  • Click on the shopping cart icon on the bottom right corner of the photo.
  • Select Paper Prints (on the left).
  • Select your size (most sizes can be found under Standard Sizes; wallets are under Other Sizes).
  • Complete your order.

Thank you for your patience with school portraits this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we chose to do the portraits in house, and it took longer than usual. If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Belesca.


Enjoy this update on managing holiday stress from Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor.


Because it is sometimes necessary to cancel or delay the start of a school day due to stormy conditions, we reach out to families in numerous ways during times of bad weather. Due to the variety of weather patterns, from Boothbay to Biddeford and from Bridgton to Brunswick, it may look like clear going in one town while another is “snowed under.”

The administration makes cancellation/late start decisions with student safety as a top consideration. If it has already or will soon stop snowing but the road crews have not been able to clear the streets, the administration may decide to delay the start of the school day. Cancellations or delays are posted first on Ben Jackson’s “Head of School” Instagram accountbjacksonnya_hos. A text alert and email notification are then sent out, and the information is posted on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, cancellations are reported to channels 6, 8, 13, and NECN. At times, power outages can interfere with some of these methods of notification, so if you are uncertain, please check multiple sites.

In the event that snow arrives unexpectedly or earlier and/or heavier than predicted, the administration may decide to call for an early release from school. If this is the case, we will make every attempt to contact parents. The early release will be announced on local radio and television stations (if possible), will be sent out via text alert and email notification, and will be posted on social media. The school will remain open until all children can be safely picked up by parents or other authorized individuals.


With the approach of winter, students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will soon begin the ice skating unit as part of their Physical Education class. It is such a treat for students to be able take advantage of NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena. See this informational letter from Heather Dean for more details.


Due to current restrictions in place, NYA will not host a flu shot clinic this year. However, the CDC highly recommends flu shots, now more than ever. Below are some options for flu shots this year:

  • Your doctor’s office – Call to set up an appointment and to confirm availability
  • Pharmacies – Maine pharmacies offer flu shots to ages 7 and up. You could take a chance and pop in OR you can call ahead to ensure they have enough supply for the demand.
  • Urgent Care – Many urgent care offices throughout the state are offering free flu shots (e.g. Convenient MD is offering free flu shots for those 6 months and older, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). Call or check websites to determine options in your area.


With the change of seasons, it is important to dress children with the appropriate layers and clothing for outside play. Except in the case of extreme weather, students will be going outside. Warm coats, hats, mittens/gloves, snow pants, and boots are all essential items. Please be sure to label everything as children sometimes struggle to recognize their own items and many have identical gear. Also, please be sure to update extra back-up clothes for the season (shorts and a t-shirt can be difficult to wear in December!).


Enjoy this update from Heather Dean, NYA’s athletic trainer and K-5 PE teacher.


The second session of NYA Parents’ Association’s Morning Forum Series, Student Health and Wellness During COVID , will be held on Wednesday, December 2 via Zoom from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. Speakers will include Cindy Hould P ‘33, NYA Counselor, and Ian Ramsey, Director of the NYA Kauffmann Program. The Zoom invitation will be sent on December 1. We hope that you are able to join us!


Project Graduation is a safe, fun filled, alcohol-free program of activities for our seniors after graduation. Parents work throughout the year to raise funds to provide special events to make the night of graduation unforgettable for our seniors. This year’s organizers are already at work raising money with the NYA Annual Poinsettia Sale. Place your orders HERE now through November 29. Due to COVID-19, families will pick up the poinsettias at Estabrook’s Nursery in Yarmouth rather than on campus. You will receive a voucher to use at Estabrook’s once you place your order and pick up will take place from November 30 to December 6. Please help support Project Graduation and share the link with your friends and family!


The Parents’ Association usually sells wreaths and greenery during this time of year as a fundraiser. Unfortunately, the PA was unable to find a wreath vendor this year due to the pandemic. We are very sorry for the inconvenience, and we hope to offer this fundraiser next year!


11/17-11/30Online Scholastic Book Fair
11/20Dress Down Day for Holiday Families$3
11/20Last day of classes before Thanksgiving BreakEARLY DISMISSAL; NO AFTER CARE
11/23-11/27Thanksgiving BreakNO SCHOOL
11/29Last day for poinsettia orders
11/30Classes resume
11/30-12/6Poinsettia Pickup at Estabrook’s in Yarmouth
12/2Morning Forum via Zoom8:15-9:15 a.m.
12/2Dress Down Day for Cooking for Community$3
12/9Dress Down Day for Holiday Families$3
12/17End of First Semester
12/17Last day of classes before Winter Break
12/18-1/1Winter BreakNO SCHOOL
1/4Classes resume; Second Semester begins


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