Middle School Newsletter for April 23, 2017

Happy spring! Despite the snow storm which kicked off the month of April, we are now beginning to enjoy true spring weather and can imagine that the end of the school year is just around the corner. Students are enjoying the chance to get outside each day, whether for recess or simply walking from one class to the next. Practices are also much more enjoyable – and practical – when athletes can run outside, practice shots on the field, and run plays on the baseball diamond. We are all appreciating the longer days and brilliant sunshine.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


rafting-pic-3We will once again be rafting with Adventure Bound in Caratunk, Maine. We will depart after NYA Fun Day on Friday, June 2 and return late afternoon on Saturday, June 3. We will sleep in small tent-cabins at the Adventure Bound Campsite and enjoy games, movies, swimming (weather permitting), and s’mores on the campfire. We will have a pizza dinner on Friday evening, a full breakfast Saturday morning, and a cookout on Saturday. They will provide wet suits and all rafting gear needed for our trip down the Kennebec River. Adventure Bound provides this recommended packing list. Students should bring everything with them when they come to school on Friday, June 2.

Parents, please:

  1. Complete the Adventure Bound Permission and Release Form.
  2. Send in a check payable to NYA for $145.  (If the cost is a concern, please do not hesitate to contact Marissa Markonish about financial assistance.)

We ask that forms and payments be turned in to the Middle School reception desk by Friday, April 28.  We are looking forward to this fun-filled class trip!


I am thrilled to announce that next year, I will once again offer an educational program to Philadelphia & Washington, D.C. (June 11-16, 2018). The trip is open to students currently in sixth and seventh grade. This year, students will have the opportunity to sign up for the trip a year in advance. Advantages of signing up early: you receive a discounted price, and you can spread out your payments over a longer period of time. Certainly, if you cannot commit to the trip at this time, there will be opportunities in the fall to sign up.

I will send home additional information with your student in the coming weeks – so please be on the lookout! In the meantime, I want to let you know about upcoming informational meetings that you are invited to attend to learn more about this amazing opportunity. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, April 26 at 8:00 a.m. in room 81 in the Middle School. I plan to cover all of the program basics, including the itinerary and the price.  If you are interested but cannot make either meeting, feel free to email or call (847-5435) with any questions you may have. ~ David Echeverria


Congratulations to the performers in Friday’s Choral Concert. It was a great show! There are three additional music performances over the weeks ahead:

  • Tuesday, April 25: Strings Concert, featuring all NYA string players, grades 3-12. This concert will take place at the First Parish Church in Yarmouth.  The concert begins at 6:30 p.m., and Middle School students should arrive no later than 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 27: Instrumental Concert, featuring an array of NYA instrumental groups. The Middle School Band and Jazz Band will perform at the concert, as will many of the Upper School instrumental groups. This concert takes place in the NYA gym, and begins at 6:30 p.m. Middle School Band students should arrive no later than 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 4: Fifth Grade Arts Night, featuring our entire fifth grade class!  Fifth graders will take part in Strings Concert on Tuesday, April 25, but will share their artistic, band, singing, and acting talents at the Fifth Grade Arts Night. See details below.

*Dress for the two upcoming April concerts should adhere to NYA’s “dress up” dress code.


The fifth grade will have their Arts Night on Thursday, May 4. The evening will begin at 5:00 p.m. with students and families enjoying a pizza dinner in the Middle School Community Room, followed by a showing of fifth grade artwork in the Community Room and around the Middle School building. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., students will present their band concert featuring small group, solo, and full band performances in the Higgins Black Box Theater. Next, the audience will be treated to the fifth graders’ singing and acting talents in their production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. The evening will wrap up with dessert for all performers and audience members. Dress code for performers:  BOYS: nice shorts (khaki, tan, black, blue) and polo or tee shirt; GIRLS: Charlie Brown dress.


As they near the end of their Middle School careers and prepare for the increased freedom, and accompanying responsibility of the Upper School, eighth graders have the opportunity to earn the privilege of signing out of study hall for the final month of the school year. Eighth graders must sign out “face to face” with the study hall proctor and let them know where they will be instead of study hall – it must be on campus! Possibilities include Safford, the library, the Community Room, the quad, the gym, and the fields (the ice arena, tennis courts, and Upper School Student Lounge are off-limits). If students decide to move to another location, they must come back and tell the proctor. To have this privilege, students must be in good academic standing (i.e. no outstanding seventh periods or missing assignments, working to potential in each class, maintaining grades, etc.). If a student is not currently in good academic standing, he or she will earn the privilege once he or she has moved back to that status. There is a zero-strikes policy for this privilege (e.g. if a student should not inform the proctor where he or she will be, the privilege will be lost for the remainder of the year). The eighth graders are very excited to take advantage of this privilege!


On Wednesday, May 10, the NYA Middle School once again will host Special Olympics of Maine for special-olympics-logotheir Motor Activities Event. The Motor Activities are events for athletes with more severe limitations, including those who are wheelchair bound. The Middle School students and faculty will head over to NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena to welcome Special Olympians from several chapters around the state. We will begin with a welcome parade, cheering on the participants and welcoming them to the event. With the help of Special Olympics coaches and volunteers, students will then run various specially-designed activities at stations around the arena. We will close with an awards ceremony where each participant will be presented with a medal. The Athlete Oath of the Special Olympics is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” This sentiment is most fitting for the philosophy of NYA as well. It has been our pleasure to partner with Special Olympics of Maine for well over a decade in sponsoring this wonderful event.


On Friday, May 19, students in grades five through eight will enjoy Middle School Field Trip Day. Dress code is casual and neat. Students may wear jeans, knee-length shorts, t-shirts, etc. They should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a jacket/fleece and raincoat/umbrella. Students also should pack snacks and a water bottle.

  • Fifth Grade is heading out for a lobstering trip on the Lucky Catch in Portland. Students should arrive at the Middle School by 8:00 a.m. and will be ready for pick-up at the Middle School by 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.lobstering-1
  • Sixth Grade is going to Crystal Spring Farm and Land Trust, Bradbury Mountain, and Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick. Students should arrive at the Middle School by 8:00 a.m. and will be ready for pick-up at the Middle School by 4:00 p.m. They should bring a bag lunch. Comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes are essential.
  • Seventh Grade is traveling down to Boston for the day. Students should report to the NYA ice arena parking lot by 7:45 a.m. Please be sure to arrive on time! While in Boston, students will explore the James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Students may choose to pack a lunch or bring money to purchase lunch from one of the food truck options in Dewey Square Park. Finally, the group will head to Black Math commercial animation studio in Chinatown for a presentation by Jeremy Sahlman, Creative Director of Black Math and husband of Erika Sahlman. They will be ready for pick-up at the NYA ice arena parking lot by 5:00 p.m.
  • Eighth Grade will be spending the day in Salem, Massachusetts. Students should report to the NYA ice arena parking lot by 7:45 a.m.  Please be sure to arrive on time! Student may choose to pack a lunch or bring money to buy lunch. They will be ready for pick-up at the NYA ice arena parking lot by 5:00 p.m.

There will be no sports Friday afternoon.

SIXTH GRADE AFRICA FAIR25-ms-africa-fair-2017-25

Last week’s sixth grade Africa Fair was a great success. The Fair was the culmination of a multi-disciplinary unit on Africa which included African foods; poems; trifolds with maps, graphs, and cultural issues; and clay sculptures of animals created to adapt to each environment. Students also wrote original stories and painted wooden bowls which were generously made and donated by an NYA trustee. Students, faculty, and families were invited to take part in the celebration. Every student took part in the presentation by explaining the various aspects of the project or sharing their poems, stories, and essays. Congratulations to the sixth grade class and their wonderful teachers on an amazing Africa Fair!

SAVE THE DATE!soiree2017

NYA Soiree: Fundraiser to support the students and programs at NYA. Friday, May 5 at Thompson’s Point. Thank you to event chairs Jen Edwards and Josie Griffin. We look forward to seeing you there!

Auction item sneak preview: Two Tickets to the US Open Tennis Championships donated by USTA New England.

For more information visit our website. Click here to get tickets.


Representatives from Scott Simons Architects will be on campus to present a draft of a campus master plan for community feedback and discussion. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room.


NYA’s class of 2019 will be putting on a raffle for four sets of four tickets for different Sea Dogs games this summer. Four of the tickets are for Fourth of July, eight are for July 19, and four are for August 17. Beginning Monday, April 24, we will be selling raffle tickets throughout the school day and at various sports games for two weeks. The tickets will be $1 each or $5 for 10. This is open to the Lower, Middle, and Upper School families. Please help support the class of 2019!


clynk-picThe NYA community has been supporting NYA Project Graduation by collecting and redeeming returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK program at Hannaford. In the coming months, there is a special opportunity for us to earn bonus funds for each bag returned. If you drop them off by Monday, April 24, Hannaford will add 50 cents to each dollar of returnables labeled with the ‘NYA PROJECT GRAD’ sticker. Labeled CLYNK bags are available (free!) at the NYA Lower, Middle, and Upper School Offices. Please take a few to your home or office, fill them, and return to ANY Hannaford. Thank you for supporting our fundraising efforts!  ~ Joanna See and Martha Barrett, Project Graduation Committee


4/24Final Day for CLYNK Bonus
4/24-5/5Raffle for Sea Dogs Tickets
4/25Morning Forum with Ben Jackson, Middle School Community Room8:00 a.m.
4/25GISA Dress Down Day$3
4/25Seventh And Eighth Grade History Trip Informational Meeting, Savage 813:30 p.m.
4/25Spring Strings Concert, Grades 3-12, First Parish Church, Yarmouth6:30 p.m.
4/26Seventh And Eighth Grade History Trip Informational Meeting, Savage 818:00 a.m.
4/27National Poem in Your Pocket Day
4/27Spring Instrumental Concert, Grades 6-12, NYA Gym6:30 p.m.
5/4Fifth Grade Arts Night Pizza Dinner, MSCR5:00 p.m.
5/4Fifth Grade Arts Night, Higgins6:00 p.m.
5/5NYA Middle School Mock Trial, MSCR11:00 a.m.
5/5NYA Soirée, Thompson’s Point, Portland5:00 p.m.
5/9Campus Master Plan meeting with Scott Simons Architects, Middle School Community Room5:30 p.m.
5/10Dress Down Day for American Lung Association$3
5/10Middle School Special Olympics, NYA Ice Arena
5/10Lower School Muscular Dystrophy Association Hop-A-Thon, Lewis Field
5/12Lower School Grandparents’ Day
5/19Middle School Field Trip Day
5/24Middle School Recognition Evening
5/25Last Day of Middle School Spring Sports
5/26Last Day of Classes; Special Schedule
5/26Middle School Spring Athletic Celebration, NYA Gym2:30 p.m.
5/29Memorial DayNO SCHOOL
5/30-5/31Fifth Grade Schooner Trip
 5/30Sixth, Seventh, & Eighth Grade Exams 8:00-11:30 a.m.
5/31Sixth, Seventh, & Eighth Grade Exams8:00-11:30 a.m.
6/1Sixth, Seventh, & Eighth Grade Exams8:00-9:30 a.m.
6/1Fifth Grade Wrap Up8:00-9:30 a.m.
6/2NYA Awards and Fun Day8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
6/2-6/3Eight Grade Whitewater Rafting Trip
6/4NYA Commencement, Front Lawn2:00 p.m.


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