Middle School Newsletter for August 20, 2017

It is hard to believe that the days of summer will soon be drawing to a close, but we are also eager for the crisp days of autumn and the beginning of another school year. We are delighted to welcome you all, whether back or for the first time, to the NYA community. Our Middle School electronic newsletter, In the Middle, will come to you once each month and is a vital means of sharing important information with you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions by email, phone, or stopping by my office in the Middle School. We look forward to an exciting year together!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


New Middle and Upper School Orientation is this Friday, August 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for new sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and all fifth graders to come to campus with their families, meet some of your teachers and classmates, and learn more about the Middle School at NYA. Following the morning activities, there will be a picnic lunch on the front lawn. Check with the Admission Office for additional information.

MIDDLE SCHOOL LOCKER OPEN HOUSEms-locker-set-up-13-resize

Is the thought of bringing all of your textbooks, supplies, and athletic gear on the first day of school a bit daunting? No worries! You can bring in all your gear at the Middle School Locker Open House this Friday, August 25. Families can swing by the Middle School building between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., drop off some of their textbooks and supplies, and begin to set up their lockers. This is a great time to get a head start on preparations for the first week, to scope out how other students might be organizing or decorating their lockers, and to get to see some new and familiar faces. Families attending the New Student Orientation can head over to the Locker Open House after the picnic lunch.


We are collecting any unneeded textbooks to use as classroom spares or to pass on to students in need. We will have a box under the sign-in table at the Middle School Locker Open House for any donations. This is a great time to clean out those backpacks and bookshelves. We appreciate your generosity!


There have been some changes to the daily dress code for students in grades six through twelve:

  • Skirts, dresses, kilts (longer than mid-thigh; no more than 3 inches above the knee)
  • Dress pants/slacks/corduroys/khakis/chinos
  • Dress shorts (knee-length, Bermuda style)
  • Buttoned up, collared dress shirt (tucked in as appropriate) with/without a sweater
  • Dress blouse with/without a sweater
  • Footwear (clean, neat, & worn at all times)

In addition to the regular dress code, fifth grade boys and girls are allowed to wear polo shirts.

Please see the full details of the dress code in the Middle School Student & Parent Handbook.


The NYA Parents’ Association is holding a sale of “gently used” dress code clothing in the gym hallway from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on August 23, 24, and 25. Get some back-to-school shopping done and support the PA! Contact Alexandra Maurer with any questions.


The first day of school, Tuesday, September 5, is a Dress-Up Day:  dress pants/slacks (no shorts), with dress shirt, tie, and blazer; dress (longer than mid-thigh; no more than 3 inches above the knee); skirt (longer than mid-thigh) or professional dress pants with blouse or dress top.

nya-convocation-2016-17-0007-resizeConvocation will begin at 7:45 a.m. This is a special gathering for all members of the NYA community (students, parents, faculty, and staff) to start off the new school year. After Convocation, parents are invited to join the NYA Parents’ Association for coffee as students head off for their day. Students should plan to arrive no later than 7:35 a.m. on the first day. You will want extra time to drop off all of your gear and to get seated for Convocation in the quad (outside the MS building). Seating for students is done by class. Students may leave their bags and equipment in their lockers or in the classroom of their advisory (all fifth graders in Room 63; all sixth graders in Mertz Science Building 612; and seventh & eighth graders in advisor rooms as posted).

Following Convocation, Middle School students and faculty will gather in the Middle School Community Room. Fifth and sixth graders will then meet with their teachers (in rooms 63 and 612 respectively) to begin their orientation. Seventh and eighth graders will proceed to advisor meetings and will then follow a special schedule with all of their academic classes meeting for slightly shorter periods. There will be no music class on the first day. Remember to bring your instruments beginning on Wednesday, September 6. Sports practice for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders begins on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 5. Be sure to pack athletic clothes, shoes, and equipment.


Students should come prepared on the first day with all textbooks and supplies. Along with their schedules, students received a textbook information sheet and a list of supplies for Middle School classes to help with back-to-school preparations. The textbook information sheet has detailed instructions about ordering textbooks. For supplies, simply scan down the list and find each of your classes to determine the appropriate supplies. Additional supplies may be needed later, but this list should get you well on your way. For questions on textbooks, please contact Lisa Robbins. For questions on supplies, you may contact Marissa Markonish or the specific class teacher. NYA student agendas will be distributed on the first day.


summer-reading-pic-2Please remember that summer assignments must be completed for the first day of school. All students have summer reading assignments in English. In addition, eighth grade students who are continuing their language studies have summer assignments to help keep up their knowledge of the language after time away.


It is essential that we have current health forms on file for every student at NYA. If you have not already done so, please complete all necessary health forms as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.


Additional forms, such as the Off-Campus Travel and Athletic Permission Forms, can be found under NEW FAMILY FORMS and RETURNING FAMILY FORMS under the Parents tab on the NYA website. Please be sure to complete and turn in all necessary forms as soon as possible.


All students received draft schedules earlier in the summer. Some schedules may remain exactly the same, but many schedules will have changes. The changes may be as minor as a study hall meeting in a different classroom or as significant as several classes having switched times and/or locations. Advisors will hand out complete, up-to-date schedules at advisory on the first day. Be sure to discard any other schedules and to use only this new schedule. Students will receive three copies of their schedule at this time – one to keep at home, one to post in their lockers, and one to keep in their agenda. Schedules can also be accessed through Family Web.


All students have two lockers in the Middle School, a top and a bottom. We encourage students to use their lockers as an organizational tool – unpack book bags and leave them in the locker, bring specific supplies needed for each class; pack up everything needed for homework each night. Generally, students utilize the top locker for books and supplies and the bottom locker for gym/athletic bags and equipment, coats, etc. Many families find the eighteen inch double locker shelf from www.lockershelfco.com to be a great tool for providing a place for all their supplies.

Each locker is labeled with a magnetic name tag. These will help students find their locker during the first few weeks of school. In addition, throughout the year, the tags will help parents to find the appropriate locker to drop off items that were forgotten at home and will help us return lost items to their owners. Students may hang pictures, etc. with magnets inside their lockers, but nothing except the name tags should be on the outside of the lockers. Name tags should be kept on lockers throughout the school year. Locker doors should be kept closed and tidy with nothing protruding (hanging out) from the lockers. While students should keep their lunch boxes in their lockers, no food or drink should be stored in that space. Any leftover food should be removed by the end of each day. It is important to remember that for safety reasons nothing is permitted in the space above the lockers.

Students will also be assigned an athletic locker in the locker rooms off the gym. These lockers are primarily used for storing students’ personal items during PE or while out at practice or a home game. Please note that instruments should be brought to the band room before school (not stored in the Middle School).


The second day of school (Wednesday, September 6) is picture day. This is a Dress-Up Day. Both class pictures and individual portraits will be taken, and the portraits will be used in the student directory (distributed in late September or early October). Families also will have the opportunity to purchase portraits. Information on ordering pictures will be sent out directly to parents from Coffee Pond Photography. Seventh and eighth grade students will follow a typical Wednesday schedule, but may miss a few minutes of a class for pictures.


Fifth and sixth graders will have a special orientation with altered schedules during the first week of school. Sixth graders will end the week with an off-campus overnight on Thursday, but will still participate in athletics on both Thursday and Friday afternoons. Fifth graders will end the week with an off-campus outing on Friday afternoon. Families will receive additional information from the classroom teachers.

SPORTS SCHEDULESsport-gear-pic

Middle School fall sports begin on the first day, Tuesday, September 5. Be sure to bring all necessary athletic clothes, shoes, and equipment for your first practice. Detailed information about the athletic schedule can be found on the NYA website. Athletic schedules change frequently due to weather and other conflicts and it is important to check them regularly.


Attendance is taken daily between 7:40 and 7:55 a.m. Students should be in class, ready to learn, by 7:58 a.m. Parents should call the Main Office (846-9051) or email Heidi Lathrop by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. It is our policy to call the parents of students who are not accounted for.


Students may either bring food and drink for break and lunch or purchase them from the cafeteria. Families may set up dining accounts through “myschoolaccount.com” or pay with cash. Lunch menus are available on Family Web.


Parents, please mark your calendars for Middle School Parent Night on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. Parents will have the opportunity to visit their student’s classes, meet their teachers, and learn about the curriculum. The program will begin with opening remarks by Marissa Markonish, reminders of upcoming events, and a presentation by our Arts Department about the exciting music and visual art programs offered to our Middle School students. This event is just for parents. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room and end around 8:00 p.m. for grade 5 and at approximately 8:45 p.m. for grades 6-8. We look forward to welcoming Middle School parents at this informational evening!


We are pleased to be offering a selection of enrichment (“x-block”) courses to students in grades six through eight (fifth grade students take keyboarding and computer skills in the fall semester and music in the spring). These courses allow students the opportunity to enhance their program with additional coursework in a variety of areas. The enrichment courses meet once per week for the semester and are graded according to effort (1-3). Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will have a choice of offerings for both fall and spring, and will sign up for their fall enrichment courses during the second week of school. Eighth graders will also have the option of joining an Upper School activity in the spring.


NYA will be offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions will be led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The sessions will be held from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA will provide some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or can sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). For more information, contact Ian Ramsey.

EXPERIENTIAL OVERNIGHTScowislandnateoct2016-71-resize

Each class in the Middle School will have the opportunity to enjoy an experiential overnight at some point during the school year. The sixth graders have their overnight the first week of school as part of their orientation. The seventh and eighth grade experiential trips will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 10-11. The eighth grade class will be with Rippleffect on Cow Island, and the seventh graders will be at the Leadership School at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro. More details will be coming soon. The fifth grade will enjoy their overnight on the Schooner Stephen Taber at the end of the school year.


Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day coming up on Friday, October 20. To add or update the contact information for any grandparents or “grand friends”, please contact Caroline Anson.


only-kayakAs part of the Kauffmann Program, NYA will be offering a monthly book group that focuses on nature and society’s relationship to it. The Wild Soul Words group is open to all adult members of the NYA and surrounding communities. Participants will gather in a casual environment to talk about a given book, drink wine (or beverage of choice), and examine how lessons from that book might apply to our community. The group will be hosted and facilitated by Ian Ramsey, and NYA will provide wine and other beverages. The meeting dates and book selections will include: The Only Kayak by Kim Heacox on September 28; Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv on October 26; and Tribe by Sebastian Junger on November 30.


8/23-25NYA PA Clothing Sale, Gym hallway9:00am-12:00pm
8/25New Middle & Upper School Student Orientation9:30am-12:00pm
8/25Middle School Locker Open House11:30am-12:00pm
9/5Convocation, Griswold Quad7:55am
9/5First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/5Middle School Fall Athletics Begin2:30pm
9/5-8Fifth & Sixth Grade Orientation
9/6Picture Day; Dress-Up Day
9/7-8Sixth Grade Experiential Overnight
9/13Guided Mindfulness Session7:00-7:30am
9/13Upper School Parent Night6:45pm
9/14Middle School Parent Night6:30pm
9/28Wild Soul Words Book Group
10/9Columbus DayNO SCHOOL
10/10-11Seventh & Eighth Grade Experiential Overnights
10/20Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day


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