Newsletter Header In the Middle 2020

Middle School Newsletter for March 8, 2020

This past week has been a whirlwind of special dress and silly activities coupled with numerous projects and assessments. Students have worked hard and had some fun and laughs with their friends and teachers. Before we settle in for the final quarter of the year, we look forward to taking some time away to travel, to get busy with spring cleaning, and even just to spend a day in pajamas enjoying a good book. When we return from break, we will begin looking ahead to next year with our course sign-ups. See below for more details on the registration process.

Wishing you all a very joyful break and wonderful time with friends and family! Let’s hope to return to a campus full of melting snow, sprouting leaves, and chirping birds.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools

Some photos from Spirit Week (photo credit, Nate Smith):

Winter Carnival MS Lunch 2020 NYA Winter Carnival MS Lunch 2020
NYA Winter Carnival MS Lunch 2020 NYA Winter Carnival MS Lunch 2020

For more, view this Flickr album!


A big thank you to all families who submitted their re-enrollments by February 29 to ensure inclusion in the upcoming course registration process. When we return from March break, students will be working with their teachers and advisors to begin developing their preferred course selection for September. Soon afterwards, a schedule template will be designed to best accommodate the choices of all re-enrolled students. This will be an exciting time for students to begin thinking about next year’s opportunities!

Parents should begin talking with their children about course selection over break in preparation for the registration process. Rising sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will be selecting their music courses (Chorus, Strings, Band, or a combination of two) as well as choosing their afternoon option for each season from the available athletic and drama offerings. In addition, rising seventh grade students will be choosing French, Latin, or Spanish as the language they plan to study for the next two years. Math placement will be determined by the department.

Rising ninth grade students will select their afternoon options and their language choice (either continuing in their current language or beginning anew in French, Latin, or Spanish I). They will be asked to select the next math course in the sequence (Algebra I for Intro to Algebra students, Geometry for most Algebra I students, or Algebra II for most Geometry students), though final placement will be determined by the department. Students will also have a variety of options in Visual and Performing Arts. The Curriculum Guide explains the course offerings in each department. We will meet with the eighth grade after break to review options and answer any questions before students begin course selection.


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 welcome 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.


NYA will host its seventh annual March Break Photo Reading Challenge. To celebrate the new Learning Commons, which will no doubt be a favorite spot for many students, this year’s Reading Challenge theme is “My Favorite Place to Read.” Grab your favorite book and go read in your favorite place – a comfy chair, a tree house, a ski lift, a beach chair, wherever you like best! Take a photo or a selfie, and email it to Eliot Grady. All photo entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 25 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 27 at Friday Forum and via newsletters. Get creative, have fun, and READ!  ~ Eliot Grady


Middle School spring athletic practices begin when we return from March break on Monday, March 23. Students should bring clothing and gear and be ready to practice that day. Coaches will communicate any specific gear and clothing updates to their team rosters in the upcoming weeks. Contact Athletic Director Kelsy Ross via email or at 847-5456 with any questions.


We are just a few gifts away from unlocking an extra $30,000 for NYA! If just 32 more people make a gift by midnight tonight, we will hit our goal of 500 and receive $30,000 from Board President Allen Bornheimer ’60, GP’30. Please Show Your Love and make a gift today Thank you for your support!


The Sixth Grade Geography Expo will take place on Friday, April 17 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. This year’s focus is South America, and student work on this region will be on display.  The highlight will be group presentations using several forms of technology, followed by a student-created Kahoot! game to test what the audience learned at the Geo Expo. A local restaurant will provide authentic South American cuisine. We look forward to welcoming sixth grade families to this special event!


Project Graduation Raffle ButtonThe senior class is selling raffle tickets for 31 different prizes, including cash, tickets to Chicago at Merrill Auditorium, and gift cards to local artisans. Tickets are $5 each or you can buy 5 tickets for $20. Prizes will be drawn each day during the month of April! You can purchase tickets from any senior or their family! 


Summer Programs Button 2019

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for toddlers to age 15. Camps include a variety of sports, art, theater, dance, circus, magic, and more! Middle School students may be especially interested in the CIT (Counselor In Training) program. For those interested, we are offering a Safe Sitter course on Saturday, April 4 from 9:00 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Sign-up online through camp registration. Register for camps by April 15 to receive the early bird discount!



Mad Science of Maine will be offering a second class for students in kindergarten through fifth grade this spring. Energize It! begins on Tuesday, April 7. Register and find additional information here.


Alex Kloza and the arena staff have arranged for a series of open skates for NYA families and alumni. You are welcome to bring friends and neighbors. Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please. There are several options during our March break from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (see For Your Planning below).


NYA is always recruiting new families for its Homestay Program. If you are interested in hosting a student or learning more about the program, please contact Here is a link to additional information about the program.


There are several important events coming up over the months ahead and we would like to alert parents to assist in your planning. The Soirée is on Friday, May 15. The spring music concerts are listed in the For Your Planning section below. Fifth Grade Arts Night will be on Thursday, May 7. Middle School Field Trip Day will be on Friday, May 8, and Middle School Recognition will be on the evening of Wednesday, May 27. This event includes a concert, art show, numerous community awards, and presentation of eighth grade certificates. Friday, May 29 is our last day of class with exams the following week (for grades 6-8), and our year ends on Thursday, June 4 with Awards and Fun Day. The eighth grade will have a special outing to Seacoast Fun Park following their last exam on Wednesday, June 3. Mark your calendars now!


3/9-3/20 March Break  
3/10, 12, 17, & 19 NYA Open Skate, NYA Travis Roy Ice Arena 2:00-3:00 p.m.
3/23 Classes resume; Middle School Spring Athletics begin  
3/25 Deadline to submit photos for March Break Reading Challenge  
3/27 End of third quarter  
4/1 Dress Down Day for the Headway Foundation $3
4/2 Spring Parent-Advisor Conferences Begin  
4/2 District II Elementary Festival  
4/3 Experience NYA Admission Event  
4/7 Mad Science Energize It! begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
4/8 Dress Down Day for Tri for A Cure $3
4/9 Lower School Live Admission Event  
4/14 Spring Strings Concert (grades 3-12), Safford 6:00 p.m.
4/17 Spring Bring A Friend to School Day  
4/17 Sixth Grade Geography Expo, MSCR 12:00-2:00 p.m.
4/20 Patriots’ Day NO SCHOOL
4/21 Spring In-Service/Lower School Parent Conferences NO SCHOOL
4/19 Spring Choral Concert (grades 6-12), Greely Center for the Arts 6:30 p.m.
4/23 Poem in Your Pocket Day  
4/24 Poetry Out Loud Presentations  
4/28 Spring Instrumental Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.


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