NYA Middle School Newsletter Header 2020

Middle School Newsletter for September 13, 2020

What a fabulous first week! In some ways, this was a week unlike any other in my many years at NYA, but in the end, it still feels like the NYA that I know and love. The students and teachers are getting acclimated to the new traffic patterns on campus; we are adjusting to wearing masks, distancing, and practicing hand hygiene; and we are loving break, lunch, and classes outside. In the classroom, things feel surprisingly normal. We are just so happy to be together on campus again, to have welcomed so many new students to our community, and to be settling into our new year of learning, exploring, and growing together.

We have our first ever virtual Middle School Parents’ Night this Thursday, September 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Here is the link, and the password is 1814. This will be followed by Parent-Advisor Conferences in early October, and Parent-Teacher Conferences at the end of October. Parents are an integral part of the NYA community, and school-home connections are vital in allowing us to better support the students each and every day. The middle school years are a time when students begin to take responsibility for their school work and for themselves. Working together, parents and teachers provide them with the skills and support necessary to do just that.

Here is a selection of photos from the first week back.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Our Virtual Middle School Parents’ Night is on Thursday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. Here is the link, and the password is 1814. This event will provide parents with the opportunity to get to know more about NYA, their child’s classes, and their teachers. The evening will begin with a Zoom Webinar for all Middle School parents to get to know our Middle School program. Classroom teachers are also preparing videos for the parents to introduce themselves and go over the curriculum for each course.


Thank you to students and families for the amazing job that you have done with the morning wellness checks. In just a few short days, students and staff have begun to hone the process, allowing students to move quickly through. A reminder to be sure to complete the pre-screening process at home each morning. If students travel to a non-exempt state (any state other than NH, VT, CT, NY, and NJ), they must be cleared by the Health Office prior to returning to school (current guidelines require a negative COVID test or 14 day quarantine). When arriving late to school (after normal wellness checks have ended), students should go to the Middle School building, ring the doorbell (on the left door near the handle), wait outside to be screened, and bring a blue late slip to class.


Picture day will be held on Monday, September 21 for Lower School students. This is a modified version of our usual picture day. Our school photographer, Brian Beard, will take a photo of each student for our school directory. Class (group) photos will be taken later in the year. This is not a dress up day; however, students may dress up if they wish. The photos will be taken from the shoulders up. If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Belesca in the marketing and communications office.


Welcome back to NYA! Just as we prepared you, things on campus were a little different this week. At times, even I was confused on which way to walk in a building, and facial recognition with masks was challenging. This heightened awareness required additional energy, and so it makes sense if you felt quite depleted by the end of the week. One of our wellness themes from last spring was REFLECTION, so I encourage you to think about how the week went. Identify what went well and where you need additional supports. Ask for help. Make a plan to put those additional supports in place. Shift any worries you may have to a problem-solving approach. Identify what you can control and what is out of your hands. Friendship is so important in uncertain times. Engage in meaningful conversations with people you trust and talk about what makes you feel better. Listen when a friend shares their concerns and seek additional support with an advisor, teacher, coach, or me. We all need to look out for one another and that is what it means to belong to the NYA community. Please stop by my office on the second floor of Curtis. I am available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can also reach me via email or on my cell phone, 207-200-5143. ~ Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor


Middle School participation in after school activities remains an integral part of our curriculum. Offerings this fall include cross country, field hockey, tennis, and soccer. Any student or family requesting a medical waiver or waiver for an alternate activity should contact Mallory Michaeles, Associate Director of Athletics, as soon as possible to discuss those options.

Although the Cumberland County Conference (CCC) will not be providing competition schedules for middle school teams this fall, NYA will offer a Monday through Thursday schedule of practice and in-house scrimmages (Tuesday through Thursday for field hockey). After school activities will not meet on Fridays and students will be ready for pick-up at 2:20.

Coaches & Contact Information:

After practice, students may return to the Middle School to grab their backpacks and school materials. A reminder that students should be picked up from school immediately following their last class or activity (3:00 for fifth grade M-F; 3:30 for grades 6-8 M-Th; 2:20 for grades 6-8 F). Families should be sure to have a clear pick-up plan in place before the start of the school day. If your child is not waiting in the turnaround, please pull into a parking space and wait for him or her there. A reminder that entrance to buildings on campus is limited to students and staff only.


Enjoy this update from Heather Dean, NYA’s athletic trainer and K-5 PE teacher.


Students in grades six through eight will need to bring their musical instruments this week for Band and Strings. Please note that instruments should be brought to the band room before school (not stored in the Middle School). Only instruments small enough to fit inside a student’s locker (along with all of their other supplies and gear) may be brought in the Middle School. Students will go through the wellness check first and then can swing by Higgins to drop off their instruments.

one-skySKY DAY

Friday, September 18 is Sky Day, “a global citizen art initiative designed to bring us together and promote a new level of ecological citizenship around the world from Only One Sky.” Around the globe, people take photos of “their” sky. Advisory groups will head outside on September 18 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos are uploaded with a special hashtag assigned to NYA and become part of a photo collage of our school, state, country, and the world. The collages appear in the Sky Day Project Gallery on-line and as part of special exhibits in museums and planetariums around the world.


The annual Steve Morris Golf Tournament will take place Saturday, September 26 at Falmouth Country Club. Every year, parents, alumni, faculty, trustees, and friends come together for the annual tournament, which honors late faculty member Steve “Mo” Morris by raising funds for need-based financial aid for talented NYA students. This fun scramble-format tournament includes games and prizes, breakfast and lunch, and an opportunity to join the NYA community in supporting students and families. We invite you to click here to register as a single, twosome, or foursome. Contact Crystal Gordon for more information or for sponsorship and prize opportunities.


Our fall parent-advisor meetings are coming up during the first week of October. These meetings are a chance for parents and advisors to meet early on in the year; to check in about all aspects of the student’s life, including academics, extra-curriculars, social matters, goals, concerns, etc.; and to begin to forge that partnership of support for each student. Advisors will contact parents to schedule meeting times via Zoom.


As part of appropriate safety and preparedness as well as meeting state mandates, NYA holds both fire and crisis drills throughout the year. We will soon hold our first “drill”, a training program to familiarize students with egress procedures. Please feel free to contact Marissa Markonish or your child’s advisor with any questions.

Sixth grade students used communication skills to build nature structures!


9/14MS Soccer, Tennis, and Cross Country Practices Begin2:30-3:30 p.m.
9/15MS Field Hockey Practices Begin
9/16Upper School Virtual Parents’ Night6:30 p.m.
9/17Middle School Virtual Parents’ Night6:30 p.m.
9/18Sky Day Project
9/21Modified Picture Day for Middle and Upper School
9/21International Day of Peace
9/23Modified Picture Day for Lower School
9/26Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club7:15 a.m.
10/1Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/12Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day)NO SCHOOL


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