Middle School Newsletter for April 8, 2018

With spring finally trying to peek through, we have under two months until the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. These months will be packed full of learning, exploration, and special events. Having entered the final stage of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to remind families of the importance of attendance and arriving on time. Regular class attendance is essential to the learning process. As late arrivals disrupt the flow of the class and may impact the student’s learning, we strongly encourage students to arrive on time each day. It is important for students to maintain a regular routine and to be present at school in order to learn and share with their teachers and peers. The Academy strongly discourages non-essential absences. If at all possible, family trips should be scheduled during school vacations. As indicated in the Middle School Student Handbook, excessive absences (more than 10 days) are of great concern. A student with excessive absences will be placed on attendance probation and may be required to repeat specific courses or the grade the following year, regardless of achievement and/or grades earned. We so enjoy the opportunity to teach and learn with your children and value every moment that we have to spend with them. We appreciate your help and support in limiting absences throughout the year.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools

The Middle School Digital Photography X-Block Enrichment Course, taught by Laura MacMahon, experiments with light painting.


The Sixth Grade Africa Fair will take place this Friday, April 13 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. At the Fair, student work will be on display, and each group will present their topic using a different form of technology. A local restaurant will provide foods with an African flair. We look forward to welcoming sixth grade families to this special event!


Congratulations to the fifth and sixth grade students who performed as part of the District II Elementary Music Festival on Thursday, April 5. Students were selected based on teacher nomination and represented thirty different schools in District II. After an afternoon of rehearsals, they performed their concert for a full house at Leavitt Area High School in Turner. NYA’s participants included:

BAND: Haley Hegarty, Brynn McKenney, and Fynn MacCarthy

CHORUS: Nizzie Hemphill, Caleb King, and Genevieve Vaillancourt

ORCHESTRA: Lauryn Casey, Lyla Casey, Emmalynn Craft, Nell Rohde, and Liam Devine


Since the mathematical constant Pi (π) is 3.1415…, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14) each year. In the Middle School, we celebrated the day (a bit late!) with some fun circle-related competitions. The first activity was Guess the Circumference where students had to estimate the circumference for a given circle with no measuring allowed. Not as easy as it seems! Eben Weislogel, whose guess was only off by 1.9 cm., was the winner, with Jack Schaeffer a close second. For the Perfect Circle Competition, students attempted to draw the best circle. The finalists from each grade (Nell Rohde, Sophia Yilmaz, Vy Tran, Emilia McKenney) came together and, after some intense competition, the panel of judges crowned Sophia Yilmaz the winner! For the Pi Memorizing Contest, students signed up ahead of time and worked hard to memorize as many digits as possible. The competition was fierce, but in the end Sally Stronge earned runner-up with a notable 91 digits memorized, and the winner, Rafa Nakouzi, impressed everyone with his 101 digits of Pi. Well done!  ~ Nate Smith


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show a friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, April 13, 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 April break. Register a friend by 4/9 and find more information here!


Don’t miss this opportunity to come together to enjoy delicious food, a live auction, music, and fun while supporting NYA. Join us at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 27 at Brick South – Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine. The evening includes a hosted cocktail reception; silent and live auctions; family-style dinner; games, raffles & more! Members of the NYA community and the public are encouraged to attend. Purchase your tickets now: nya.org/Soiree.


On Wednesday, April 18, author Josh Alves will be visiting NYA and doing presentations and workshops with students in grades K-6. Josh is an award-winning author/illustrator whose work includes Lilly Bristol, Dinosaur WranglerSURPRISE!; and the Zeke Meeks chapter book series. Josh will meet with students in the Community Room to read, sing songs, do drawing demonstrations, answer questions, and talk about topics such as Where do ideas come from? and Keys to Cultivating Creativity. Thanks to Angee Wayashe for seeking out Josh, Shannon Gallagher for organizing his visit, and the NYA Parents’ Association for supporting Josh’s visit to campus!


All chorus students in grades 6-12 should be dropped off at Yarmouth Performing Arts Center (YPAC) at Yarmouth High School before 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 20. Attendance will be called in from that location. Chorus students who walk or travel to school by bus should be at the Ice Arena parking lot by 7:50 a.m., and will travel to YPAC by NYA minibus. Middle School Chorus students will return to NYA by minibus at approximately 8:50 a.m.


The Spring Concerts are coming! The NYA Music Department will present four concerts over the next several weeks.

  • Friday, April 20: Choral Concert, involving all choral groups grades 6-12. This concert will take place at the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center at Yarmouth High School. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., and students should arrive no later than 5:30.
  • Tuesday, April 24: Strings Concert, featuring all NYA string players, grades 3-12. This concert will take place in Safford Center. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., and middle school students should arrive no later than 6:00. (Lower school students should arrive no later than 6:15.)
  • Thursday, April 26: Instrumental Concert, featuring an array of NYA instrumental groups. The MS Band will perform at the concert, as will many of the US instrumental groups. This concert takes place in the NYA Gym, and starts at 6:30 p.m. MS band students should arrive no later than 6:00.
  • Thursday, May 3: Fifth Grade Arts Night, featuring our entire fifth grade class! Fifth graders will take part in the Strings Concert on Tuesday, April 24, but will share their artistic, band, singing, and acting talents at the Fifth Grade Arts Night. See details below.

*Dress for the three April concerts should adhere to NYA’s “dress up” dress code. Students should arrive dressed, fed, and ready to perform.


The fifth grade will have their Arts Night on Thursday, May 3. The evening will begin at 5:00 p.m. with students and families enjoying a pizza dinner in the community room, followed by a showing of fifth grade Parade of States and artwork in the community room and around the Middle School building. Students then 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 The Little Mermaid Jr. The evening will wrap up with dessert for all performers and audience members. Dress code for performers is their Little Mermaid T-shirts and dress pants, khakis, or nice jeans.


Each April, people throughout the United States celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by selecting a poem to carry and share throughout the day at schools, libraries, parks, workplaces, and various venues. This year, Poem in Your Pocket Day is Tuesday, April 24. All students are encouraged to put a poem in their pocket and add their voices to the celebration. NYA will also celebrate Poetry Month with a Poetry Exhibition on Friday, April 27 at 10:15 a.m. in the NYA gym.


On Tuesday, May 1, we are holding a Dress Down Day to support the March of Dimes. The Echeverria family is raising funds for the Portland, Maine March for Babies for 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. Many NYA students and teachers plan to take part in this walk on Sunday, May 6. Please join us in supporting this great cause.


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 weeks of the school year. We met with the eighth graders last week to discuss these upcoming privileges and to encourage them to demonstrate their leadership skills as the most senior student members of our Middle School community. Privileges go into effect on April 18. Students 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, locker rooms, 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. up-to-date with all assignments, working to potential in each class, maintaining grades, etc.). 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!

At our meeting, we also discussed plans for a special Eighth Grade Class Day. On Tuesday, May 1, eighth graders will attend their morning classes and then break for some special events. Students had the chance to weigh in on their thoughts for this day, which will include a climbing session with Salt Pump on our new climbing wall, assorted activities such as Bombardment and Ultimate Frisbee, corn hole and bocce tournaments, a special lunch, and ice cream!


On Friday, May 4, 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 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 2:00 p.m. Lunch at Flatbread Company in the Old Port will be provided. Students should bring money for a snack and dress for being out on the water.
  • Sixth Grade will spend an active day hiking, exploring a local farm, and enjoying an ice cream treat! Students should arrive at the Middle School by 8:00 a.m. and will be ready for pick-up at the Middle School by 2:00 p.m. They should bring a bag lunch and money for ice cream.
  • Seventh Grade is traveling down to Boston to explore the Institute of Contemporary Art. Students should report to the NYA ice arena parking lot by 7:50 a.m. Please be sure to arrive on time! Students may choose to pack a lunch or bring money to purchase lunch from one of the food truck options in Dewey Square Park. After lunch, 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 is spending the day in Salem, Massachusetts where they will explore several sites related to their readings and studies in English and American History. Students should report to the NYA ice arena parking lot by 7:50 a.m. Please be sure to arrive on time! Student may choose to pack a lunch or bring money to buy lunch from one of the area restaurants, and may also wish to bring a little money for the gift shops or ice cream. They will be ready for pick-up at the NYA ice arena parking lot by 5:00 p.m.

There will be no Middle School sports on the afternoon of Friday, May 4.


The NYA Middle School Leadership Academy is a program open to rising seventh and eighth grade students who would like to spend five days this summer nya-leadership-academy-2017-18-0781-resizehiking across the high peaks wilderness of New Hampshire’s White Mountains learning about, and practicing, leadership. This is not merely a fun hiking trip (though it is that also!), but is also a laboratory for students to develop personal grit and leadership skills. Ian Ramsey and Danielle Barschdorf will lead this trip from August 19-23. The cost is $800; some financial assistance is available. Applications are due by April 15. Contact Danielle with any questions.  ~ Danielle Barschdorf


Mad Science of Maine will be offering a second class for students in kindergarten through fifth grade this spring. Engineering Mania begins on Tuesday, April 10. Register and find additional information here.

EXPERIENCE SUMMER AT NYAsummer-programs2018

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. 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! Register by April 15 to receive the early bird discount!


On Thursday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m. after their morning exam, the eighth grade class and Middle School teachers will head to Seacoast Adventure in Windham for a year-end celebratory outing. The eighth grade students opted for the full combo package which includes ropes courses, zip-lining, mini golf, summer tubing, and go karts. Students should bring a bagged lunch or money to purchase lunch and/or snacks on site. They may also opt to purchase additional rides on the go karts and/or a ride on the Sky Swing. Students should dress in comfortable, casual clothing (athletic shorts are okay). We will return to the Middle School by 3:45 p.m. for pick-up.


4/10 Dress Down Day for Dean Snell Cancer Foundation $3
4/10 Mad Science of Maine Engineering Mania begins
4/13 Spring Bring A Friend to School Day
4/13 Sixth Grade Africa Fair, MSCR 12:00-2:00 p.m.
4/15 Leadership Academy Applications Due
4/16 Patriots’ Day NO SCHOOL
4/17 Spring In-Service/Lower School Parent Conferences NO SCHOOL
4/18 Josh Alves Visit, MSCR 9:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
4/20 Spring Choral Concert (grades 6-12), YPAC 6:30 p.m.
4/23 Dress Down Day sponsored by GISA $3
4/24 Poem in Your Pocket Day
4/24 Spring Strings Concert (grades 3-12), Safford 6:30 p.m.
4/26 Spring Instrumental Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.
4/27 Poetry Out Loud Presentations, NYA Gym 10:15 a.m.
4/27 NYA Soirée, Thompson’s Point, Portland 5:30 p.m.
5/1 Dress Down Day for March of Dimes $3
5/1 Eighth Grade Class Day
5/3 Fifth Grade Arts Night, Higgins Hall 5:00 p.m.
5/4 Middle School Field Trip Day
5/4 Last Day of Classes for Seniors
5/6 March for Babies, Portland
5/9 Lower School Muscular Dystrophy Association Hop-A-Thon, Lewis Field 10:00 a.m.
5/11 Lower School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
5/23 Middle School Recognition Evening Art Show, Savage Middle School 5:30 p.m.
5/23 Middle School Recognition Evening, NYA Gym 6:00 p.m.
5/24 Last Day for Middle School Spring Athletics
5/25 Last Day of Classes for Grades 5-11; Special Schedule
5/25 Memorial Day Flagpole Ceremony, Curtis Lawn 7:50 a.m.
5/25 Middle School Spring Athletic Celebration, NYA Gym 2:30 p.m.
5/28 Memorial Day NO SCHOOL
5/29-5/30 Fifth Grade Schooner Trip
5/29-5/31 Year-End Tests and Exams for Grades 6-11
5/31 Eighth Grade Trip to Seacoast Adventure in Windham
6/1 Last Day of School; Lower School Classes end at 10:30; Awards & Fun Day
6/3 Commencement, Curtis Lawn 2:00 p.m.


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