Middle School Newsletter for February 10, 2019

It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks of classes until March break! These weeks are packed with numerous special events, from the final games of the winter season to Spirit Week, Bring A Friend to School Day, and National Language Exams. Students are hard at work in their classes as the second semester is now in full swing, and it is important to maintain a healthy balance by also incorporating some light-hearted fun!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Enrollment agreements were sent out last week with a March 1 deadline. We appreciate your prompt return of these agreements as staffing and schedules for next year will be constructed based on students whose re-enrollments are submitted by March 1.


There will be an orange and black Dress Down Day on Wednesday, February 13 in support of the varsity basketball teams who are competing in the playoffs.  The boys team has a home game on Wednesday vs. Dirigo at 6:00 p.m.  Show your Panther Pride!


We will have a Dress Down Day this Thursday, February 14 to benefit Tri for a Cure. This coming July marks the 12th Annual Maine Cancer Foundation (MCF) Tri for a Cure. The MCF is committed to reducing cancer incidence and mortality rates in Maine and the Tri for a Cure is one of their most successful fundraising efforts. For each of the past eleven years, one thousand women have gathered in South Portland to swim, bike, and run in support of the MCF. The Tri for a Cure has raised more than $14 million for the MCF and 100% of funds raised are reinvested into Maine communities for cancer prevention, early detection, and access to care. We are delighted to raise funds for this cause and provide a show of support for Ashley Randlett and Eliot Grady who will participate in the Tri this summer. In addition to donations, we are asking everyone in the community to wear pink on this day in support of the cause (and it just happens to be Valentine’s Day!).


On Tuesday, February 19, the fifth and sixth grade classes will head to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland for a special field trip. Students will experience a dynamic introductory presentation about the Gulf of Maine and then work in teams of four or five at multi-touch, interactive tables doing hands-on experiments and scientific investigations. The students will take team photographs, collect and analyze digital data, and record videos of their hypotheses and conclusions in digital “field notebooks.” The program concludes with a presentation displaying their team data and relating this data to current research being done in the Gulf of Maine.


The entire Middle School will gather in the NYA gym at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20 to celebrate the hard work, growth, joy, and accomplishments of the student athletes and performers. The fifth grade will be dismissed at 2:20 p.m. in order to attend this event. Parents and families are welcome! We ask that all students plan to attend and get picked up following the celebration.


On Thursday, February 21, we will have an afternoon of activities for students in grades five through eight from 2:30-4:00 p.m. (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:20 p.m.). Students will remain in the Middle School after the academic day and have a bit of time to tackle any homework as we prepare for the festivities. We will have pizza, snacks, a movie, and a variety of games. This event allows faculty and students join in on the fun, whether enjoying a slice of pizza or battling it out in a fierce game of Wii boxing. Seeing T-Mac boogie down to some Just Dance action is an event not to be missed!


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show your friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, February 22 will be “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 February break. Register a friend and find more information here!


After the Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration on Wednesday, February 20, there are no afternoon practices or rehearsals until after our spring break. To help keep our Middle School students active and involved during that period, we will offer a variety of “Cabin Fever Reliever” activities on Monday, February 25, Tuesday, February 26, and Thursday, February 28. Students will have the option of being picked up immediately after school (by 2:30 p.m.) that week (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:20 p.m. on these days). Otherwise, they will sign up for one of the activities that will run from roughly 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. each afternoon. Past activity options have included Free Skate (no sticks, helmets required, for skaters of all abilities); Silent Reading; Games (Chess, Checkers, Board Games, & Word Games); Crafts; Innovation Lab; Gym Games (Futsal, Bombardment, etc.); or Study Hall. This year’s options will be presented to students in mid February for sign-ups. As usual, the Middle School building will remain open and supervised until 4:00 p.m. each day.  All students on campus after 2:30 p.m. must be enrolled in one of the activities. It should be a fun time for all!


NYA Spirit Week 2018Friday, March 1 will be Winter Carnival at NYA. We will have an abbreviated class schedule in the morning followed by special activities after lunch. Students in grades five through twelve will be broken up into groups to experience each of the activities while playfully competing against the other teams. Classes are paired together for the afternoon events: fifth and twelfth; sixth and eleventh; seventh and tenth; and eighth and ninth. The activities will include Name that Tune, Bombardment, Musical Chairs, Captain’s Coming, Sing Down, and Knockout. It is a fun way to unite the school community and break out of the winter doldrums.


NYA Spirit Week - PJ DayLeading up to the festivities of Winter Carnival, we will have special dress days and lunchtime activities Monday – Thursday, February 25 – 28.  Lunch activities will include Whipped Cream Gum (a rather messy, no hands, gum-chewing activity), Marshmallow Drop (an even messier activity that involves dropping marshmallows off a ladder into the open mouth of your teammate below), Cheese Puff Whipped Cream Challenge (a crazy challenge of trying to make cheese puffs stick to your partner’s whipped cream-coated forehead), and Blindfolded Make-Up Artist (an activity where one student applies make-up to another student without being able to see his/her face). Below are the special dress days for the week:

  • Monday:         Pajama Day
  • Tuesday:         Sports (NYA, outside sport/dance, or professional sports team)
  • Wednesday:  Wacky Wednesday (crazy, mixed-up outfits)
  • Thursday:      Superhero (dress as the superhero of your choice or create your own)
  • Friday:            Team Colors: 5th = orange black; 6th = red; 7th  = blue8th = white

If a student chooses not to take part in the special dress, s/he must be in regular NYA dress code. 


For the final week before March break, the fifth grade schedule will be altered to allow students to join in on the special events scheduled during that week.  Their academic day will end at 2:20 on Monday, February 25; Tuesday, February 26; and Thursday, February 26 in order for students to take part in the Cabin Fever Reliever Activities. They will follow the same special schedule as grades six through eight on Friday, March 1 and then join in on the Winter Carnival fun until 2:30 p.m. The fifth grade academic day on Wednesday, February 28 will run until 3:00 p.m. as usual.


Studio Band 80's 2019This Friday, February 15 will be NYA Studio Band’s annual “Last Waltz,” their final performance of the year. Student musicians from grades 9-12 will perform a diverse set of songs by contemporary and classic artists ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers and The B-52’s to Half Alive and A-Ha. The concert will take place in Safford Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and promises to be a fun time for all ages. Come out and jam to some awesome tunes and great performances!  ~ Ian Ramsey and Ross Markonish


Please join Athletic Director Jack Hardy on Tuesday, February 26 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Middle Community Room for an interactive conversation about the state of sports at NYA. This event will feature a review of our sporting success so far this year and a preview of what is to come. Lower, Middle, and Upper School parents are all invited to learn more about the opportunities available for students, ask questions, and share feedback on what is working well and what you would like to see moving forward. Coffee and snacks will be provided.


NYA Outing Day 2018The NYA Yearbook is a much-loved, highly-anticipated publication. The yearbooks will be passed out to students during our NYA Picnic/Fun Day on May 31, 2019. All NYA Middle and Upper School students are automatically charged for a 2019 yearbook, so you will see a $55 charge per student on your March bill. Don’t want a yearbook? No problem, just call or email Lisa McGlinn in the business office, 207-847-5425, and she will reverse the charge. If you choose not to purchase a yearbook for your student, please inform your child so that he or she will be prepared not to receive one on the last day of school.

Are you the parent, grandparent, or friend of a senior? There is still time to place a recognition ad in the yearbook. You can place an ad online at Jostens until February 15. Contact yearbook advisor Meghan Scribner with any questions.


In the coming months, NYA language students in grades seven and above will participate in National Language Exams and contests in French, Latin, and Spanish. Individual classroom teachers will provide students with more information about the tests. There will be no charge for these exams. Please contact Eliza Alexander, Modern and Classical Language Department Chair, with any questions. Merci, Gracias, Gratias!  ~ The Modern & Classical Language Department


NYA will host our sixth annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. This year’s challenge is Share a Story. Find someone to read to – your grandparents, your favorite four-legged friend, your stuffed animal collection, whomever, whatever, wherever; take a photo or a selfie; and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 20 to be considered. The pictures will be judged by a panel of faculty and staff and a winner for each Division (Lower, Middle, Upper, and Faculty/Staff) will be announced on Friday, March 22 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!!


As the second semester gets underway, it is also time to start thinking about the eighth grade transition to Upper School! Parents of eighth grade students are invited to set up a time to meet with Eric Austin, Head of the Upper School, to learn more about the Upper School, discuss sample schedules, outline curriculum, and obtain answers to any questions. Feel free to contact Eric to set up a time to meet.


Middle School Spring Sports begin the day we return from March Break, Monday, March 18.  Students should bring clothing and gear and be ready to practice that day.


NYA is hosting a Girls on the Run (GOTR) girls_on_the_run_logogroup here on campus this spring. GOTR is open to girls in grades three through five. The group will practice on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15-4:45 p.m. from March 18 through May 29. Each practice will focus on a topic related to the girls’ lives and include discussions, games, and a running workout. The running practice helps to prepare the girls for an end of season celebratory 5K Run with other GOTR girls from all over Maine! Your daughter does not have to be a runner to participate; she can run, jog, walk, or skip her way to reaching her goal of crossing the finish line! Registration closes on Thursday, February 14. Visit Girls on the Run Maine to register or learn more about the program.

Sixth grade students in Mongolian costume by a model yurt


2/13 Soirée Planning Meeting, MSCR 2:00-2:30 p.m.
2/13 Code Orange Dress Down Day
2/14 Last Day to register for Girls on the Run
2/14 Dress Down Day for Tri for a Cure $3
2/15 Last Day to place a yearbook ad
2/15 Experience NYA
2/15 Last day of Middle School Winter Athletics
2/15 Studio Band Last Waltz Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/18 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/18 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
2/19 Gulf of Maine Research Institute Field Trip, Grades 5 & 6
2/20 Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
2/21 Middle School Pizza and Fun 2:30-4:00 p.m.
2/22 Bring A Friend to School Day
2/24 Middle School Sunday River Ski Trip
2/25-3/1 Spirit Week (special dress and activities)
2/25, 26, & 28 Middle School Cabin Fever Reliever Activities 2:30-3:30 p.m.
2/26 NYA Sports Update with Jack Hardy, MSCR 8:00-9:00 a.m.
2/27 Lower School Arts Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
3/1 Re-Enrollment Agreements Due
3/1 Last Day of classes before March Break; Winter Carnival
3/4-3/15 March Break  NO SCHOOL
3/4, 8, 11, & 15 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
3/18 Classes resume; Middle School Spring Athletics begin
3/18 Girls on the Run begins
3/20 Deadline to submit photo for March Break Reading Challenge


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