Middle School Newsletter for December 9, 2018

These past months have been a whirlwind of activity with classes, athletics, concerts, and more. As our Fall Semester comes to a close, we want to celebrate our many successes and begin to set new goals for the spring. When we return from the Winter Break, we will begin both a new semester and a new year – 2019! 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


This week, NYA received a gift of $100,000 to be used for need-based student financial aid. The gift , from anonymous donors, will support both current-use financial aid ($25,000) and the North Yarmouth Academy Endowed Fund for Scholarship Assistance ($75,000), which provides need-based aid to deserving students. Read full story here.


Report cards and comments for the Fall Semester will be sent out via email in early January. 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 the individual teacher, the advisor, or Marissa Markonish. 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!


NYA is sponsoring a dress down day ($3) on Thursday, December 13 to support the Portland Rotary Club’s upcoming service trip to La Romana in the Dominican Republic. A group of Maine Rotarians will be traveling to La Romana to provide water filters to over 100 impoverished homes in the town, provide audiology care and hearing aids for over 300 hearing impaired patients from all over the island, and to continue to partner with one of the schools in La Romana. The funds raised from our dress down day will support the purchase of school supplies for the students and teachers in that school.


Want the chance to show off the ugliest sweater in your wardrobe? Tomorrow is your day! Students may wear ugly sweaters/sweatshirts of any kind (school appropriate, of course). All other articles of clothing must be in regular dress code. Questions? Ask Mrs. Markonish.


Do you have any old or outgrown snowshoes collecting dust somewhere? If so, pass them on to NYA! We are looking for snowshoes of all sizes to add to our current set for PE classes and other groups to utilize in exploring the great, wintry outdoors. We’d also love ice skates and helmets! Donated items can be dropped off at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools.


Thanks to donations and funds raised through our dress down days, we have been able to purchase household items, toys, gift cards, and more for our Holiday Families. We would welcome donations of gently used jackets, boots, snow gear, and warm clothes as well. Collection bins are located at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools. All items must be in by Tuesday, December 11. Thank you for your help in supporting this worthy cause!


Now is the time of year to think about our Middle School weekend trips to Sunday River! These trips allow students the opportunity to enjoy great skiing and snowboarding, as well as valuable social opportunities, at a highly discounted price. This year, there will be 2 trips offered on January 27 and February 24. For each trip, students will leave NYA at 7:00 a.m. and return by approximately 5:30 p.m. I have announced these trips dates to the students and handed out sign-up forms which detail the different lift packages and transportation prices. The forms and payment need to be returned to me by Friday, December 14.  Please feel free to email me with any questions. We hope to see many of you on the slopes!  ~ Nate Smith


The junior class will be holding a fundraiser at Chipotle in South Portland (359 Maine Mall Road) today, December 9, from 5:00-9:00 p.m. The class will receive a portion of the sales from all orders made during that time if NYA is mentioned at checkout. Bring your friends and family to Chipotle for dinner and support the juniors as they raise money for prom!


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 check here for additional information. 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.


There will be a special Middle School schedule on Friday, December 14, allowing us to end the day with a special treat. After classes, students will  clean out and reorganize their lockers before the Winter Break. This will allow us to have a fresh and organized start to the new year!  Students will then have the choice of open ice (helmets required), gym games, or a holiday movie. The fifth grade class will be dismissed at 2:15 p.m.


Congratulations to the following fifth and sixth grade students who have been selected by teacher nomination for the District II Elementary Music Festival:

BAND: Nizzie Hemphill, flute; Nell Rohde, flute; Leif MacCarthy, trombone; Tyler Lacombe, percussion

CHORUS: London Haedrich, Celeste Merrill, Caitlin Michaelis, Genevieve Vaillancourt

ORCHESTRA: Ellie Bouman, violin; Lyla Casey, violin; Emmalynn Craft, violin


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena for students, alumni, families and friends.  Upcoming open skate dates are as follows:


  • Thursday, December 20 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (immediately following the Alumni Hockey Game)
  • Thursday, December 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 29 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, January 5 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 21 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Monday, March 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 11 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please.  For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon.


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. Thank you to Heidi Lathrop, Danielle King, Deanna Huntsman, Lisa Taylor, JoAn Street, and all the other parents who pitched in to help!


Students in the fifth grade will have some additional options for after school activities in the spring semester. Mad Science of Maine will offer two classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grade on Tuesday afternoons: Take a Bite Out of Science and Radical RoboticsNew this year, Mad Science also will be offering a special program to students in grades four and five on coding. Mission Code will be offered on Thursday afternoons from January through March. Check here for additional information about the programs and how to register.


Project Graduation is an all-night event comprised of safe, organized, adult supervised activities offered as part of a post-graduation celebration for our NYA seniors. The Project Graduation Committee collects and redeems returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK system at Hannaford as one of our fundraisers for this annual event. Please pick up a pre-tagged CLYNK bag, take it home, fill it up, and drop it off at any Hannaford CLYNK location. Pre-tagged CLYNK bags can be picked up at the main office in the Upper School and at the Lower and Middle School reception desks.  Thank you for supporting our seniors!


Kiva is a non-profit organization that coordinates the giving of microloans to under-served entrepreneurs around the world. NYA’s Kiva club is organizing a Change for Change fundraiser beginning after Thanksgiving break and running until Friday, December 14. Each grade will have a class jar to collect change. The collection jars for the Middle School will be located on the table to the right of the Middle School reception desk. Quarters and Pennies are “positive” coins — add them to your grade’s jar to increase your total. Nickels and Dimes are “negative” coins — add them to other grades’ jars to lower their totals. $1 and $10 are positive, $5 and $20 are negative, and $50 and $100 bills are positive. The grade with the highest point total on December 14 will receive a free dress down day when we return from winter break. Thank you for your donations!


With the approach of winter, students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will soon begin the ice skating unit as part of their Physical Education class. It is such a treat for students to be able take advantage of NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena. See this informational letter from Braden Heal and Marti Morton for additional information.


The NYA Parents’ Association is delighted to announce this year’s first Parents’ Night Out at Woodhull Public House on Thursday, December 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.! PNO is a relaxed opportunity to meet fellow NYA parents, toast the season, and blow off a bit of holiday steam! Babysitting will be offered by Upper School students raising money for the Make-A-Wish Club. Contact Liz Smith to sign up for babysitting. Suggested donation is $10 per child per hour. Babysitting will be in the great room in the Merrill Lower School Building from 4:45-7:15 p.m. Come meet old friends and new.


NYA is offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions are led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The next session is scheduled from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12. All are welcome!


12/9 Junior Class Fundraiser, Chipotle, South Portland 5:00-9:00 p.m.
12/10 Ugly Sweater Day
12/11 Upper School Winter Concert, NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.
12/12 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
12/13 Dress Down Day for La Romana School $3
12/13 Parents’ Night Out, Woodhull Public House, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
12/14 Last day of Classes before Winter Break
12/14 NYA Gear Sale, PSMS 1:30-3:30 p.m.
12/14 End of First Semester
12/17-1/1 Winter Break NO SCHOOL
12/20 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/22 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:30-6:30 p.m.
12/27 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/29 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:00-6:00 p.m.
1/1 New Year’s Day NO SCHOOL
1/2 Classes resume; Second Semester begins
1/3 College Kickoff for Juniors, PSMS
1/11-1/12 District II Instrumental Festival, Oxford Hills High School
1/22 Mad Science: Take a Bite Out of Science begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
1/24 Mad Science: Mission Code begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
1/27 Middle School Sunday River Trip
2/1-2/2 District II Vocal Festival, Greely High School


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