Middle School Newsletter for December 18, 2016

It is hard to believe how quickly the days have passed and that our fall semester has now come to a close. As we look back over the first half of the school year and reflect upon challenges and successes, it is also a time to look ahead and set new goals, perhaps expanding one’s social circle, improving study habits, or trying a new sport. When we return from the winter break, we will begin both a new semester and a new year – 2017! A new year is a new beginning, and in the school calendar we are blessed with two “new years,” in September and in January. Let us embrace these new beginnings and look forward to a bright new year ahead. In the meantime, have a relaxing break enjoying time with family and friends.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


We plan to send out report cards and comments for the Fall Semester via email on Friday, January 6.report-card-1 Report cards list each class with the teacher and letter grade. Comments written by each teacher accompany the report cards. These provide more detailed feedback on the student’s performance in class, highlighting strengths and offering suggestions about areas to work on.

Enrichment courses are graded on a 1-3 effort scale: 3 = does not meet expectations; 2 = fully meets expectations; 1 = goes above and beyond expectations. These effort grades can be found on the comment, but will not appear on report cards.

If there are any questions about report cards or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact Marissa Markonish, the advisor, or the individual teacher. Students have worked very hard this semester and have made significant progress since the beginning of the year. They should be proud of their success!


The Upper School looks forward to welcoming members of the Class of 2021 next August! We want to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Parents of children of eighth graders are invited to set up a time for a Transition Meeting with John Drisko, Head of Upper School and Assistant Head of School. These meetings offer the opportunity for parents to hear more about what to expect as students transition to the Upper School. Parents will be able to see a sample schedule, receive a curriculum overview, and ask questions. Parents may sign up for a meeting time here. If the available times do not work with your schedule, please contact Carol Harris via email or at 846-9051 to arrange another time. I look forward to talking with you!  ~ John Drisko


sick-childIf your child is sick, please have them STAY HOME for the benefit of their health and the health of the school community. Indicators for staying home: vomiting or being too nauseated to eat breakfast; a throat so sore it hurts to swallow; a temperature of 100° or higher; incessant coughing or nose blowing; a pounding, blinding headache; utter exhaustion or aching all over. To return to school, the symptoms listed should be significantly decreased, if not resolved, AND the child should be fever free without use of Advil/Tylenol for 24 hours.

If you are wondering whether you have a cold or the flu, please click here.

A reminder that students are not permitted to possess any medication, over-the-counter or prescription, at school. If a student requires medication during school hours, please contact the school nurse.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ashley Moody.


Middle School students have been busy at work in their science classes over the recent weeks. Eighth graders have been working on the muscular and skeleton systems in Human Biology, coming up with a variety of innovative ways to master the terms and diagrams. In Earth Science, the seventh graders made coral animal polyps out of marshmallows, frosting, sprinkles, and Twizzler pull-n-peels.  Some students were even brave enough to act like a parrotfish and eat the coral!  The sixth grade class took advantage of some technical difficulties and recorded a podcast.  In the span of 20 minutes, the class produced their first episode about force.  Each student chose a concept related to force, wrote a twenty second example of their topic, did a single practice run, and then recorded.  Enjoy the three and a half minute podcast here.



It is that time of year to think about our Middle School weekend trips to Sunday River! These tripssunday-river allow students to enjoy great skiing and snowboarding as well as valuable social opportunities on the weekends at a highly discounted price. This year, Sunday River is offering three trips on January 8, January 22, and February 5, with February 12 as a make-up date. On each of the three Sundays, students leave NYA at 7:00 a.m. and return by approximately 5:15 p.m. We hope to see you on the slopes!   ~ Nate Smith


For many years, NYA has worked throughout the fall to help provide some wish-list items for local families in need. For the past few years, we have teamed up with Molly McMahon, NYA class of 1995 and daughter of Jack McMahon, Middle School English teacher, and sister of Tim McMahon, Middle School art teacher. Molly is a social worker who helps immigrant families seeking asylum in the United States. Molly provided NYA with the wish lists of local families in need. While many of their wishes include the basics such as warm clothes, shoes, boots, pots and pans, dishes, etc., we are sure to also include toys and special gifts. The entire school community joined together for this great cause. Thank you for helping to make the season bright!holiday-family-wrapping-2016-28-resize


Middle School students enrolled in new enrichment courses for the Spring Semester last week. Check out the offerings for this spring. Courses will begin on Wednesday, January 4.

MIDDLE SCHOOL EVENING WITH THE ARTS09-nya-ms-evening-with-arts-2016-17-2673

Congratulations to all of the performers, artists, and musicians and to Nora Krainis, Tim McMahon, and Linda Vaillancourt on a fantastic evening! It was a wonderful event and a testament to the talents and hard work of our Middle School students. The drumming performance with guest artist Michael Wingfield was a special treat. Thank you to the parent volunteers, Heidi Lathrop, and Tori and Robin Baron, Middle School Evening with the Arts coordinators!

 North Yarmouth Academy , North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP




During the first week of December, seventh grade students participated in a short unit on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Students researched Victorian England and delved into what it was like to grow up as Dickens. They learned about the hardships and poverty that informed Dickens’ writing and considered what it was like to be a child in 19th century England (they all agreed that they would not like to live during that time!). After researching the time period, students completed a “reader’s theater” workshop in which they acted out several scenes of the play. The unit culminated with the class traveling to the Public Theater in Lewiston to see a production of A Christmas Carol. Afterwards, students discussed and critiqued the production, considering whether the play production “matched” what they read in class.


On Thursday, December 15, eighth graders traveled to the Portland Museum of Art for a special exhibit of the Art Books of Henry Matisse. This collection of books includes some of the most important works he made, including Jazz, which he created shortly after the conclusion of WWII. The students had fun exploring an interactive portion of the exhibit where they had the chance to move Matisse’s shapes around to make their own compositions. The students also were able to explore the Modern Menagerie exhibit, including the works of Maine artist, Bernard Langlais.

8th-grade-pma-12-16-1 8th-grade-pma-12-16-3





FAMILY OPEN SKATEskates-image-pic

Alex Kloza (Ice Arena Manager) and Caroline Anson (Alumni Relations) 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. Open skate dates are coming up on Saturday, January 14, 2017, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; and Saturday, February 25, 2017, 5:30–6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Caroline Anson.


We have begun planning for the eighth grade class whitewater rafting trip. This overnight trip gives the entire eighth grade the opportunity to come together and celebrate their time in the Middle School. Several Middle School faculty members will be chaperoning this trip. The cost for families will be approximately $135.  Financial assistance is available; please contact Marissa Markonish for more information. We will depart after the All School Outing on Friday, June 2 and return late afternoon on Saturday, June 3.  We hope that the entire class of 2021 will be able to join us on this exciting trip!


12/17-1/2 Winter Break  NO SCHOOL
1/3 Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3; Second Semester begins
1/6 Anticipated date to send out report cards and comments
1/16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day NO SCHOOL
1/18 Middle School Debate, NYA Middle School
1/20-1/21 District II Instrumental Festival, grades 7-12
1/27-1/28 District II Choral Festival, grades 7-12