NYA campus from above

Message from the Head of School – Mental Health & Wellness Resources

March 25, 2020

Dear Families,

We are all getting used to our new routines, and I hope everyone is managing well. Even if you are finding time for some positive family bonding and new experiences, the transition to the “new normal” presents challenges for kids and adults alike. We are all in this together, and I want to make sure we are providing as much support as possible from school.

Earlier this week, the faculty completed two successful days of professional development. Mrs. Markonish, Mr. Austin, classroom teachers, and advisors have been sending updates and instructions to students and families. Students will soon be having, or have already had, their first meetings with classroom teachers and advisors. It is understandable to have questions, so please don’t hesitate to reach out as they arise.

Many important reminders are being shared about how to remain safe and healthy from the spread of COVID-19. In addition to our physical health, we also need to focus on our own mental health and wellness during this crisis. Our current reality is new for all of us, and it is natural to see a range of emotions among adults and children alike. Children can react in different ways, and any reaction is okay. These reactions may range from the excitement of setting up their new remote learning environments and connecting with friends on social media to a real sense of loss from their normal routines. As students think about family and loved ones, they may struggle to fully understand what is happening which may lead to heightened stress and anxiety.

NYA is here to support you as you guide your children through these uncertain times. I want to take this opportunity to share that Cindy Hould, NYA’s Counselor, is a resource for your children. Cindy has already posted extensive materials with guidance on how you can support your child and remain strong as a family. These are posted on NYA’s Resources for Learning at Home webpage. Cindy will continue to update these as new resources become available. Cindy is also available for direct support and questions. You may reach out to her at chould@nya.org or 207-200-5143. Effectively coping with stress and anxiety will only make us more resilient, but it sometimes requires help and guidance. I encourage you to reach out to Cindy or the school if you are in need of support or if you have questions.

We are all anxious to return to our normal routines and eventually we will. As long as we continue to take care of each other and our families, we will emerge only stronger. To that end, we are so fortunate to have such a caring and compassionate community, and I thank you for all that you do. I continue to think of all of our students and families and look forward to once again gathering together on campus.


Ben Jackson
Head of School