Middle School Newsletter for August 15, 2019

It is hard to believe that the days of summer will soon be drawing to a close. While it is certainly bittersweet to say goodbye to summer, we are beginning to look forward to 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 on Wednesday, August 28 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. This is an opportunity for new sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students and for all students entering fifth grade to come to campus with your families, meet some of your teachers and classmates, and learn more about the Middle School at NYA.


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 on Wednesday, August 28. Families can swing by the Middle School building between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 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 see some new and familiar faces. Families attending the New Student Orientation can head over to the Locker Open House immediately following the orientation. If you aren’t able to come by during the Locker Open House, please feel free to stop by by later that week to drop off items and set up your lockers.


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!


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

Convocation will begin at 7:45 a.m. on the front lawn. 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. Seating for students is done by grade. 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 grade students will then meet with their teachers (in rooms 63 and 612 respectively) to begin their orientation. Students in seventh and eighth grade 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 4. Fifth grade has their first day of PE on Wednesday, September 4. Sports practice for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students begins on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 3. Be sure to pack athletic clothes, shoes, and equipment for your first practice.


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. On the Supply List, simply scan down 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. Students in grades seven and eight also need a laptop with these minimum system requirements as part of NYA’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.  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 the 2019 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 in French B, Latin B, or Spanish B 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 in 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 at any time through Family Web.


Students in grades six through eight will have two lockers, 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 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.

Fifth grade students, who have “super binders” and fewer textbooks, will have one locker. They will also have space to store items in their classroom and in areas as designated by their teacher.

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 decorate the inside of their locker with any non-permanent and school-appropriate items. We have seen mirrors, bins, whiteboards, beads, shag rugs, and even chandeliers! Students may also hang pictures, schedules, etc. with magnets inside their lockers, but nothing except the name tags should be on the outside of the lockers, and 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, including straps from lunch boxes and backpacks. Be sure to check your locker and close it completely each day! While students should keep their lunch boxes in their lockers, no other 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).


We are excited to welcome the following new faculty and staff members to NYA:

  • Zoe Adams is NYA’s new Athletic Trainer and PE Teacher for grades two through five. She graduated from UNE with a BA in Athletic Training. Zoe completed fieldwork at UNE, Westbrook High School, Thornton Academy, Biddeford High School, and Yarmouth High School
  • Theresa Bartick joins us as our new STEM Coordinator at NYA. Terry earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and her MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. She also completed the Extended Teacher Education Program at USM. For the last five years, Terry was a science teacher, STEM Coordinator, and math interventionist at Gorham High School. Prior to teaching, Terry had thirteen years of experience in the engineering field.
  • Andrew Cook has accepted the position as Middle School Art Teacher. He earned his BFA and MA in Teaching from the Maine College of Art. Most recently, Andrew taught at Portland Arts and Technology High School and Poland Community Elementary. Andrew is a practicing artist who runs his own business “Lobstering is an Art,” which has displayed at the annual Clam Festival Craft Fair. He has also run “Life as an artist” workshops at elementary and middle schools.
  • Isabel McDonald will be teaching one section of seventh grade English and one section of sixth grade English. Izzy earned her BA with a major in English from Sewanee University. She earned her MA in English education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Most recently, she taught third grade and helped coordinate the middle school community service program at St. Bernard’s School in New York City. Izzy has additional experience at the high school level at Eastside Community High School (New York) and the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Students.
  • Kelsy Ross joined NYA on July 1 as our new Athletic Director. She holds a BA from Roanoke College and is completing her MA in Physical Education, Athletic Administration, from Springfield College. For the past nine years, she has held multiple positions in the Bates College Athletic Department. Kelsy served as the Bates head women’s soccer coach, was a lecturer in the Physical Education Department, ran the Bates intramural program and multiple youth camps, and served as the assistant women’s basketball coach. She has also worked for the Maine Olympic Development Program, Maine AAU Basketball, and in athletic facilities management.


The second day of school (Wednesday, September 4) 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 later in the fall). 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 grade students will have a special orientation with altered schedules during the first week of school. The sixth grade will end the week with an off-campus overnight on Thursday, but will still participate in athletics on both Thursday and Friday afternoons. The fifth grade will end the week with an off-campus outing on Friday afternoon. Families will receive additional information from the classroom teachers.


Together with the Parents’ Association, we are hosting a new event for our families and students. The All Family Cookout will be on Thursday, September 5 at 5:00 p.m. and will include a cookout, lawn games, and class meetings. This is an opportunity for for new families to get to know our community and returning families to reconnect and meet new friends. Families will also learn more about how they can become involved with the school and Parents’ Association. Additional details coming soon. We look forward to seeing you there!


Parents, please mark your calendars for Middle School Parent Night on Thursday, September 12 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 will 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.

SPORTS SCHEDULESsport-gear-pic

Middle School fall sports begin on the first day, Tuesday, September 3. Be sure to bring all necessary athletic clothes, shoes, and equipment for your first practice. Prior to the start of school, coaches will contact families via an introductory email, including a season outline and specific activity information. 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.


Some reminders about the daily dress code:

  • 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.


Attendance is taken daily between 7:40 and 7:55 a.m. Fifth grade students check in with Ms. Buehner, and students in grades six through eight sign themselves in at the table under the whiteboard. The Middle School building is open at 7:00 a.m. Students should be in class, ready to learn, before 8:00 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. Contact Lisa McGlinn in the Business Office with any questions. Lunch menus are available on Family Web.


We are pleased to offer a selection of enrichment (“x-block”) courses to students in grades six through eight. 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 on Mondays and are graded according to effort (1-3). Fifth grade students take Keyboarding as their enrichment course. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will will sign up for their enrichment courses in mid-September. This block is currently blank on students’ schedules.

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 grade has 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 15-16. The eighth grade class will be with Rippleffect on Cow Island, and the seventh grade 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 11. Lower School Grandparents’ Day will be on May 1, 2020.  To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends are invited, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information.


8/22Lower School Family Picnic11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
8/28New Middle & Upper School Student Orientation9:30 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
8/28Middle School Locker Open House11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
9/3Convocation7:45 a.m.
9/3First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/3Middle School Fall Athletics Begin2:30 p.m.
9/3-9/6Fifth & Sixth Grade Orientation
9/4Picture Day; Dress-Up Day
9/5All Family Cookout sponsored by PA5:00 p.m.
9/5-6Sixth Grade Experiential Overnight
9/11Upper School Parent Night6:45 p.m.
9/12Middle School Parent Night, MSCR6:30 p.m.
9/26-9/28Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/26Head of School Dinner, Reunion Tent6:00 p.m.
9/27Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym10:15 a.m.
9/27Homecoming Festivities2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/28Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club7:15 a.m.
9/28Homecoming Festivities10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
9/28All Alumni Reception, Reunion Tent6:00 p.m.
10/3Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/11Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/14Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day)NO SCHOOL
10/15-10/16Seventh & Eighth Grade Experiential Overnights


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