Middle School Newsletter for February 11, 2018

It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks of classes until March break! These weeks are packed with numerous special events, from the final games of the winter season to special music programs, spirit week, Beauty and the Beast performances, Bring A Friend to School Day, and national language exams. Students are hard at work in their classes as the second semester is now in full swing, and it is important to maintain a healthy balance by also incorporating some light-hearted fun!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools

KEY CLUB BAKE SALEmarch-of-dimes

On Tuesday and Thursday this week, Key Club will be holding a bake sale during Middle School lunch. All baked goods will be sold for donations to help support the March of Dimes. Key Club members will participate in the March for Babies on Sunday, May 6 to raise awareness and funds to support research and programs that help mothers have full-term pregnancies and help babies begin healthy lives. We will have a wide range of goodies such as cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, so bring your sweet tooth!


The sixth grade geography class has been studying Mongolia. One of our geography teachers, Eliot Grady, lived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for eight years. She brought in traditional Mongolian clothing for each student to wear, and a child-sized yurt was erected in the school library. Students heard the legend of how the Mongolians got their yurts and played traditional games with the ankle-bones of sheep and goats. Fortunately, the students did not have to experience the negative 40-degree weather that is common this time of the year in Mongolia!


Enrollment agreements were sent out last week with a March 1 deadline. We appreciate your prompt return of these agreements as staffing and schedules for next year will be constructed based on students whose re-enrollments are submitted by March 1.

DRESS DOWN DAYhomecoming-2016-kb-1

Lower School students in the Project “Purrr”pose Club are helping to support some of the Humane Societies here in Maine by giving of their time to make posters for donations and create fleece blankets to help keep animals warm through winter, witnessing firsthand how rewarding helping our community can feel.  They are sponsoring a Dress Down Day on Wednesday, February 14 to raise funds ($3) for their projects and and gather donations.

STUDIO BAND – LAST WALTZ!lastwaltz17_cgalvinpic-story-400x275

This Friday, February 16, is the NYA Studio Band’s annual “Last Waltz,” their final performance of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will be performing a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from The Eagles and Bon Jovi to Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys. The concert will take place in Safford Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and promises to be a fun time for all ages. Come out and jam to some awesome tunes and great performances!


On Friday, February 16, Rose Underkofler is coming to campus to do a fiddle workshop with our youngest violin players in grades three through five. Rose, an active fiddler and violinist, graduated from the University of Southern Maine, and is currently teaching beginning strings in the Windham/Raymond school district. Rose is an alumna of the very first Acoustic Music Festival (co-sponsored by NYA and 317 Main Street), and is eager to re-visit the NYA campus to work with our young players.


The entire Middle School will gather in the NYA gym at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21 to celebrate the hard work, growth, joy, and accomplishments of the student athletes and performers. The fifth grade will be dismissed at 2:20 p.m. in order to attend this event. Parents and families are welcome! We ask that all students plan to attend and get picked up following the celebration.


On Thursday, February 22, we have planned an afternoon of activities and dinner ($3) for students in grades five through eight from 2:45-4:30 p.m. Students will remain in the Middle School after the academic day and have a bit of time to tackle any homework as we prepare for the festivities. We will have pizza, snacks, a movie, and a variety of games. This event allows faculty and students join in on the fun, whether enjoying a slice of pizza or battling it out in a fierce game of Wii boxing. Seeing T-Mac boogie down to some Just Dance action is an event not to be missed!


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show your friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, February 23, is “Bring a Friend to School Day.” This is an opportunity for our current NYA students in grades five through twelve to invite friends from their sports teams, neighborhoods, summer camps, after-school programs, etc. to spend the day with them at NYA while many area schools will be on February break. Register a friend and find more information here!


After the Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration on Wednesday, February 21, there are no afternoon practices or rehearsals until after our spring break. To help keep our Middle School students active and involved during that period, we will offer a variety of “Cabin Fever Reliever” activities on Monday, February 26, Tuesday, February 27, and Thursday, March 1. Students will have the option of being picked up immediately after school (by 2:30 p.m.) that week (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:30 p.m. on these days). Otherwise, they will sign up for one of the activities that will run from roughly 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. each afternoon. Past activity options have included Free Skate (no sticks, helmets required, for skaters of all abilities); Silent Reading; Games (Chess, Checkers, Board Games, & Word Games); Crafts; Gym Games (Futsal, Bombardment, etc.); or Study Hall.  We hope to have the opportunity to take advantage of our new climbing wall and virtual reality experience in the Innovation Lab as well. This year’s options will be presented to students in early February for sign-ups. As usual, the Middle School building will remain open and supervised until 4:00 p.m. each day.  All students on campus after 2:30 p.m. must be enrolled in one of the activities. It should be a fun time for all!


Friday, March 2 is Winter Carnival at NYA. We will have an abbreviated class schedule in the morning followed by special activities after lunch. Students in grades five through twelve will be broken up into groups to experience each of the activities while playfully competing against the other teams. Classes are paired together for the afternoon events: fifth and twelfth ; sixth and eleventh; seventh and tenth; and eighth and ninth. The activities will include Name that Tune, Bombardment, Musical Chairs, Captain’s Coming, Sing Down, and Knockout. It is a fun way to unite the school community and break out of the winter doldrums.

SPIRIT WEEKms-gum-challenge-2017-6-resize

Leading up to the festivities of Winter Carnival, we will have special dress days and lunchtime activities Monday, February 26 – Thursday, March 1.  Lunch activities will include Powdered Sugar Gum (a rather messy, no hands, gum-chewing activity), Marshmallow Drop (an even messier activity that involves dropping marshmallows off a ladder into the open mouth of your teammate below), Chubby Bunny (a crazy challenge of trying to talk with your mouth full of marshmallows), and Make-Up Artist (an activity where one student applies make-up to another student without being able to see his/her face). If a student chooses not to take part in the special dress, s/he must be in regular NYA dress code. Below are the special dress days for the week:decades-day-2017-3-resize

  • Monday:         Pajama Day
  • Tuesday:         Holiday (dress for the holiday of your choosing)
  • Wednesday:  Wacky Wednesday (wear crazy, mixed-up outfits)
  • Thursday:      Decades Day (wear clothing from any decade, past or future)
  • Friday:            Team Colors:  5th = orange and black; 6th Grade = red; 7th Grade = blue8th Grade = white


For the final week before March break, the fifth grade schedule will be altered to allow students to join in on the special events scheduled during that week.  Their academic day will end at 2:15 on Monday, February 26; Tuesday, February 27; and Thursday, March 1 in order for students to take part in the Cabin Fever Reliever Activities. They will follow the same special schedule as grades six through eight on Friday, March 2 and then join in on the Winter Carnival fun until 2:30 p.m. The fifth grade academic day on Wednesday, February 28 will run until 3:00 p.m. as usual.


NYA Soiree 2017, Hemphill Photo

NYA Soiree 2017, Hemphill Photo

Calling all NYA parents, faculty, staff and friends! Please join us on Monday, February 26 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room to share your thoughts and ideas on the Soirée, NYA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. We would love to hear from you!

The annual NYA Soirée will take place on Friday, April 27, 2018 at Brick South, Thompson’s Point. This year’s gathering will include a live auction, games, cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and plenty of fun. Planning for the Soirée is underway by event chairpersons Josie Griffin P ’27, P ’30, Jen Edwards P ’30, P ’32, Gretchen Lacombe P ’22, and Amity Jackson P ’21, P ’22, P ’26 in concert with the Development Office. If you have ideas for the event, please share them with this team. Also, if you are able to offer any auction or raffle prizes this year, please be in touch with the event chairpersons or Crystal Gordon in the NYA Development Office. In the past, successful auction items have included jewelry, travel packages, concert and sporting event tickets, fine dining, and unique experiences. Raffle prizes are typically smaller items such as gift cards to local vendors, flower arrangements, beer and wine, and sweet treats.

Come help us make this a fun, meaningful night for the NYA community!


The NYA Yearbook is a much-loved, highly-anticipated publication. The yearbooks will be passed out to students during our NYA Picnic/Fun Day on June 1, 2018. All NYA Middle and Upper School students are automatically charged for a 2017-18 yearbook, so you will see a $55 charge per student on your March bill. Don’t want a yearbook? No problem, just call or email Lisa McGlinn in the business office, 207-847-5425, and she will reverse the charge. If you choose not to purchase a yearbook for your student, please inform your child so that he or she will be prepared not to receive one on June 1. Please contact yearbook advisor Fatou Diagana with any questions.


We have decided against doing a whitewater rafting trip with the eighth grade due to safety concerns.  For the past two years, there has been a death at the Forks where we raft within a week of our visit.  As much as we have loved the activity, the potential risk is just too great to take with students of this age.  Instead, we will be doing a more local outing for the eighth graders during the day on Thursday, May 31 (after their exam ends at 9:30).  Details will be coming later in the spring.


Each year, NYA students participate in National Language Exams and Contests. These contests provide our students with the opportunity to earn recognition and prizes by demonstrating their linguistic proficiency. All seventh and eighth grade students will be taking these exams. The Grand Concours and National Latin Exam will take place the week before March Break and the National Spanish Exam will take place at the beginning of April. The fee for these exams (≈ $5) will be charged to student accounts. Awards will be announced in the late spring. Please contact Patia Maule, Modern and Classical Language Department Chair, with any questions. Merci, Gracias, Gratias!  ~ The Modern & Classical Language Department

MARCH BREAK READING CHALLENGE32840192824_4e15902d14_o

NYA is hosting our fifth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. Read a book in a fun, creative, or exotic place, take a picture, and then email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 21 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 23 at Friday Forum, and via Facebook and newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!


As the second semester gets underway, it is also time to start thinking about the eighth grade transition to Upper School! Parents of eighth grade students are invited to set up a time to meet with Eric Austin, Head of the Upper School, to begin that transition process by learning more about the Upper School, discussing sample schedules, outlining curriculum, and obtaining answers to any questions. Feel free to contact Eric to set up a time to meet.


Middle School spring sports begin the day we return from March Break, Monday, March 19.  Students should bring clothing and gear and be ready to practice that day.


NYA is hosting a Girls on the Run (GOTR) girls_on_the_run_logogroup here on campus this spring. GOTR is open to girls in grades three through five. Each practice will focus on a topic related to the girls’ lives and include discussions, games, and a running workout. The running practice helps to prepare the girls for an End of Season Celebratory 5K Run with other GOTR girls from all over Maine! Your daughter does not have to be a runner to participate; she can run, jog, walk, or skip her way to reaching her goal of crossing the finish line! To learn more about the GOTR program, check out these links: video 1video 2, and What is GOTR.


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates for alumni and families. Families are welcome to bring friends and neighbors. Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please. There are several dates being offered during our March break: Monday, March 5, 3:00 p.m.; Friday, March 9, 3:00 p.m.; Monday, March 12, 3:00 p.m.; and Friday, March 16, 3:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE!rossgreene-232x300

The NYA Parents’ Association is pleased to announce that we will be bringing Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on April 4. Dr. Greene is a child psychologist, founder of the non-profit organization Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and New York Times bestselling author. His books include The Explosive Child, Lost at SchoolLost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene will be presenting to students in grades five through twelve, parents, and faculty and staff. We are excited to bring this renowned speaker to NYA!



2/11 NYA Sunday River Ski Trip
2/13 & 2/15 Key Club Bake Sale
2/14 Dress Down Day for Humane Society $3 or donation
2/16 Fiddle Workshop for Grades 3-5
2/16 Last day of Middle School Winter Athletics
2/16 Studio Band Last Waltz Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/19 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/21 Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
2/22 Middle School Pizza and Fun 2:45-4:30 p.m.
2/23 Bring A Friend to School Day
2/26-3/2 Spirit Week (special dress and activities)
2/26, 2/27, & 3/1 Middle School Cabin Fever Reliever Activities 2:30-3:30 p.m.
2/26 Soirée Planning Meeting, MSCR 2:00-2:30 p.m.
3/1 Re-Enrollment Agreements Due
3/2 Last Day of classes before March Break; Winter Carnival
3/5-3/16 March Break
3/5, 3/9, 3/12, & 3/16 NYA Family, Friends, & Alumni Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 3:00 p.m.
3/19 Classes resume; Middle School Spring Athletics begin


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