Middle School Newsletter for October 14, 2018

Thank you to all the parents who were able to meet with advisors over the past few weeks. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to come meet with us! Parent-Teacher Conferences are now on the horizon (November 1 and 2) where parents have the opportunity to meet with each of their child’s teachers. These conferences provide an important opportunity for parents and teachers to connect and build a strong school-home partnership in support of each student. Perhaps more than at any other point in development, the Middle School years are a team effort as both teachers and parents help students become increasingly responsible, thoughtful, and self-reliant. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with your child’s teachers to both learn and share as much as you can.

Not only do these days provide this crucial time for parents and teachers to connect, they also provide some much needed downtime for the students after a busy fall and the chance for some quality family time before the rush of the upcoming holidays. Students in grades six through eight will also be switching gears as they leave fall sports behind and gear up for their winter activities.

Thank you for all you do to support your child and NYA!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


There will be a dance for seventh and eighth graders on Friday, October 26 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The dance will be in Safford Center (the cafeteria in Curtis, the main building on campus). There will be a DJ, snacks, and decorations to add to the fun. The cost is $5. Dress is casual – dress down, but school appropriate.

Parents: Students and chaperones will remain in Safford for student pick-up. Please arrive by 8:00 p.m., park, and come in to pick up your student. Also, please let us know (note, email, or phone call) if your child will be picked up by someone else.


There will be a movie night for fifth and sixth graders on Friday, October 26 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The movie will be shown in the Middle School Community Room. The cost is $3. The movie will be lighthearted and age appropriate. Dress is casual – pajamas are welcome! Students are encouraged to bring pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Snacks (popcorn, candy, water) will be served. Students with allergies or dietary restrictions may bring additional snacks as well.

Parents: As with the dance, students and chaperones will remain in the community room for student pick-up. Please arrive by 8:00 p.m., park, and come in to pick up your student. Also, please let us know (note, email, or phone call) if your child will be picked up by someone else.


The NYA Make-A-Wish Club will be hosting a pancake breakfast for students on Tuesday, October 16, during first period (8:00-8:45 a.m.). Students are able to sign up for a lighter breakfast (pancakes (plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip) and orange juice) for $5 or a larger breakfast (pancakes, sausage, eggs, fruit salad, and orange juice) for $8.

Gluten and dairy free options will also be available. Breakfast will be delivered to the first period class. Students pre-order and pay Mrs. Lathrop at the Middle School reception desk. The Make A Wish Club will continue to take orders/$ during school on Monday!  Breakfast will be served on Tuesday.  All proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish of Maine.

Thank you for your support!  ~ The Make-A-Wish Club


Each year, NYA works throughout the fall to help provide some wish-list items for local families in need. For the past several years, we have teamed up with Molly McMahon, NYA class of 1995, daughter of Jack McMahon ’93, former Middle School English teacher, and sister of Tim McMahon, Middle School art teacher. Molly works with immigrant families seeking asylum in the United States. While many of their needs 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 joins together for this great cause. We will be holding another Dress Down Day for Holiday Families on Wednesday, October 17 ($3 donation).


The athletic department is pleased to announce a new feature on our website that will allow you to download your child’s team schedules directly into your personal calendar. Visit the NYA Athletics Teams page to subscribe to the schedule of your choice, and see these instructions for help getting started.


District II auditions will take place on Thursday, October 18.  Students will be dismissed at 1:45, and the bus will depart from the arena at 2:00 p.m. and head to Windham Middle School for the auditions.  Parents may pick up their students directly from the audition or students may take the bus back to NYA.  The bus will return to the arena at approximately 5:45 p.m.


The Safe Sitter babysitting class is designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. The instructor-led class is filled with fun games and role-playing exercises. Class content includes teaching skills in: Safety, First Aid and Rescue, Child Care, and Life & Business. Successful completion of this course will make students eligible to participate in the Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program during NYA’s 2019 Summer Programs. The CIT program allows students to have hands-on practice working with kids of varying ages!

The class will be held on Saturday, October 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Middle School. There is a registration fee of $60 which includes the course, a book to take home, and a certification card. To register, please complete the online registration form. Full payment (cash or check) is due by Friday, October 5 at the Middle School reception desk. Students should bring a bag lunch on the day of the class. Please contact Jen Bonnett (207) 847-5458 with any questions.


Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23. Anyone who missed pictures on September 6 should plan on having photos taken. There is a $10 charge for those who would like to have a second sitting for photos on this day. Information on signing up for picture retakes is sent out directly to parents by Coffee Pond Photography. Please be sure to let Heidi Lathrop and your child’s advisor know if she/he plans to sit for a retake.


For the past several years, we have worked to support the Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival by carving pumpkins for their display. On the afternoon of October 19, Middle School students will change into casual clothes and join their advisory groups for a pumpkin carving challenge! Judges (aka a few volunteers from NYA staff) will select the top three pumpkins. The winning advisory group will lay claim to the coveted quadruped panthowl (our unique Middle School “trophy”). We will then deliver the pumpkins to the L.L. Bean campus in Freeport. If you are planning to visit the Pumpkin Festival on October 20, keep an eye out for our NYA jack-o’-lanterns!


As I frequently have heard students say, “Halloween is kind of a big deal at NYA.” The full community gets into the spirit, and the vast majority of campus comes to school in costume. Students may wear their costumes (or portions of their costumes) throughout the school day. However, it is important that costumes still permit students to engage in the learning process (i.e. cumbersome masks or accessories should wait for the parade). All costumes should be school appropriate in nature. If a student should opt not to wear a costume, s/he must be in regular dress code for the day (and we remind students that dressing down as a “public school student” is not a costume).

We will have a slightly abbreviated schedule on Halloween, followed by the Halloween Parade in the gym at 2:00 pm. The parade is an all school event in which students share their costumes with the school and have the chance to win prizes in categories such as “Best Small Group,” “Scariest,” or “Most Original.”  Parents are welcome to come and check out all of the fun.  Students will be ready for pick-up at 3:00 p.m.


There will be no sports for students in grades six, seven, and eight on Friday, October 26; Monday, October 29; Tuesday, October 30; and Wednesday, October 31.  Students will be ready for pick-up at 2:20 p.m., except on October 31, when they will be ready for pick-up at 3:00 p.m. Students on campus after 2:20 p.m. will attend an after school study hall. Middle School winter sports will begin on Monday, November 5.


Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, November 1 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Friday, November 2 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no school on these two days. Each conference will last ten minutes (15 minutes for fifth grade conferences with Michele Buehner). This is a chance for parents to talk with individual teachers about the progress of their child in that class. Instructions for the sign-up process will be sent out soon. Please remember that sign-ups for conferences are on a first come, first served basis.

To make the most out of the conferences, come in ready to ask questions about all aspects of your child’s involvement in each class:  How is her effort? Her comprehension of the concepts? Her homework? Her performance on quizzes? on tests? on papers? on labs? What are his greatest strengths in the class? What areas are most challenging for him? What seems to interest him most? How is her focus? Is she able to follow directions independently? Does he participate voluntarily or only when called upon? How does he handle group work? Is he able to work effectively with all members of the class? Does she take on a leadership role? Does she let others do most of the work? Does she come to class prepared with everything she needs each day? Does she use her agenda book appropriately and effectively? Does he seem comfortable and confident with his peers? Is he sometimes too chatty, disruptive, or distracted? What goals would you suggest for him?

At the same time, come in ready to share your insights on what you see, hear, and observe about your child in relation to the class, NYA, and her world in general. Share any strategies that have been helpful to your child and let teachers know your insights on what might work best for him. Talk about what you see in terms of homework and class preparation – the time of day, location, length of time, strategies, challenges, etc. Ask what you can do better support your child in her learning. Ask if there are things that you should not be doing. Approach these conferences as a team supporting one another and working toward the common goal of meeting the needs of your child. We look forward to meeting with you!


NYA’s annual Middle & Upper School Open House is less than a month away!  The program will be held on Sunday, November 4, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We are excited to welcome prospective families considering grades 5-12 to campus to interact with our faculty and students. If you have friends or family who are interested in receiving more information about the Open House and North Yarmouth Academy, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the Admission Office. You can also direct them to our Open House event page.  Please feel free to share with any friends or family you think may be interested.  Invite cards are available by contacting the Admission Office.


Once again, the NYA library will be holding a used book sale at the NYA Craft Fair on Saturday, December 1. We would like your gently used books and will accept books for ANY age, young children through adults. You can drop off your books in the NYA library or at the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Contact NYA librarian Eliot Grady with any questions. Thank you for your support!


The NYA community is working to support the Preble Street Shelter by collecting donations of food to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays. Seasonally, and especially with the start of colder weather, they are in need of extra supplies to serve the individuals and families who rely on their help. Between Monday, November 5 and Thursday, November 8, students are asked to bring donations of the following items to the Middle School: Stuffing Mix; Rice; Pasta; Gravy; Canned Fruit and Vegetables; Coffee; Canned Soup; Canned Beans; and Cooking Oils. Parents may also drop off donations when they come in for conferences on November 1 and 2. In celebration of the spirit of giving, students will enjoy a Dress Down Day on Wednesday, November 7. Thank you for your generosity!


The seventh and eighth grade experiential overnight trips on October 9 and 10 were very successful. The eighth grade visited Cow Island with Rippleffect while the seventh grade took part in the Leadership School at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro. The weather was amazing, and the students had the opportunity to take on personal challenges while forming stronger bonds with their classmates. A big thank you to all the teacher chaperones and congratulations to the students!


NYA US & MS Grandparents Day

Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day Music Performances

Thanks to all the grandparents and grand-friends who attended the Upper & Middle School Grandparents’ Day last Friday. We had a big turnout, and we hope everyone had a great time. Thank you to all the parents who volunteered at this event. It would not be successful without your help!




Ever wonder what it means to be an NYA Parent Ambassador?  Join the Admission Team and the Marketing Team on Friday, October 19, from 8:00-8:30 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room to learn about the many ways to be a Parent Ambassador.


Project Graduation’s Poinsettia Sale is now underway. Poinsettia Order Forms are available at each of the three school offices and on the NYA website. This fundraiser is an easy way to support the graduating Class of 2019! Please take a minute to place your order and help spread the word to friends, family, and local businesses. The deadline for orders is November 16, and poinsettias will be available for pick-up in the Middle School Community Room at NYA on November 29 and 30. If you have any questions, please contact Corinne Larson. Be on the lookout for information on the NYA Parents’ Association Holiday Wreath Sale coming soon.


As part of the Kauffmann Program, NYA is offering a monthly book group that focuses on nature and society’s relationship to it. The Wild Soul Words group is open to all adult members of the NYA and surrounding communities. Participants gather in a casual environment to talk about a given book, drink wine (or beverage of choice), and examine how lessons from that book might apply to our community. The group is hosted and facilitated by Ian Ramsey, and NYA is providing wine and other beverages. The first date and book selection is: Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone- on October 17. The group will meet in the Middle School Community Room at 6:30 p.m.


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 sessions are scheduled from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays,  November 14 and December 12. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA is providing some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or participants may sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). All are welcome!


10/16 Make-A-Wish Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser 8:00-8:45 a.m.
10/17 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families $3
10/17 Wild Soul Words Book Group, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/18 District II Music Festival Auditions, Windham Middle School
10/19 Parent Ambassador Seminar, MSCR 8:00-8:30 a.m.
10/20 Safe Sitter Babysitting Class, Middle School 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
10/23 Picture Retake Day 8:00 a.m.
10/24 Last day of Middle School Fall Athletics
10/25 Middle School Fall Athletic Celebration, NYA Gym 2:30 p.m.
10/26 End of First Quarter; No Middle School Sports
10/26 Fifth & Sixth Grade Movie Night, MSCR 6:00-8:00 p.m.
10/26 Seventh & Eighth Grade Movie Night, Safford 6:00-8:00 p.m.
10/29 No Middle School Sports
10/30 No Middle School Sports
10/31 No Middle School Sports
10/31 Halloween Festivities and Parade; Special Schedule
11/1-11/2 Parent-Teacher Conferences NO SCHOOL
11/1-11/8 Bring in Donations for Preble Street
11/4 Middle and Upper School Open House 1:00-3:00 p.m.
11/5 Middle School Winter Sports begin
11/7 Dress Down Day for Preble Street
 11/9  Veterans Day Flagpole Ceremony, Front Lawn  7:50 a.m.
11/12  Veterans Day NO SCHOOL
11/14 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
 11/16  Last day of classes before Thanksgiving Break
11/16 Deadline for Poinsettia Orders
 11/19-11/23  Thanksgiving Break
 11/26  Classes resume
11/29-11/30 Poinsettia Pick-Up, MSCR
 12/1  NYA Holiday Craft Fair


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