Middle School Newsletter for September 8, 2019

What a wonderful first week! The fifth and sixth grade orientations were a great success, and students enjoyed the sixth grade overnight at Camp Soci. Sports practices are underway, and students have begun to get comfortable in their classes. We look forward to settling into our routines and having a more typical schedule for the upcoming week.

All parents are invited to attend the Middle School Parents’ Night this Thursday, September 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. 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.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


It is essential that we have current health forms on file for every student at NYA. If you have not already done so, please complete all necessary health forms as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.


Additional forms, such as the Off-Campus Travel and Athletic Permission Forms, can be found in Family Forms under the Parents tab on the NYA website. Please be sure to complete and turn in all necessary forms as soon as possible.


Middle School Parents’ Night is on Thursday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. Parents have the opportunity to visit their student’s classes, meet their teachers, and learn about the curriculum. The program begins with opening remarks by Marissa Markonish, reminders of upcoming events, and a presentation by our Arts Department about the exciting music and visual art programs offered to our Middle School students. This event is just for parents. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room and ends around 8:00 p.m. for grade 5 and at approximately 8:45 p.m. for grades 6-8. We look forward to welcoming Middle School parents at this informational evening!


Students in grades six through eight will be signing up for their enrichment “X-Block” courses early this week. Check out this year’s offerings here. Fifth grade students will take Keyboarding as their enrichment course. X-Block courses meet third period (10:20-11:05 a.m.) on Mondays.


Friday, September 27 is the start of Homecoming at NYA. This is an ORANGE & BLACK Dress Down Day for students to show their Panther Pride. Middle School students follow their typical Friday schedule from 8:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. Once classes are dismissed, the Homecoming fun begins! Students head out to get ready for their games or prepare to cheer on the teams. We have a table where students can stop by to get panther paw tattoos, face paint, orange & black temporary hairspray, and some special orange and black loot. [NOTE: Face paint and hairspray cannot be applied until after games – it runs on team uniforms!] There are games scheduled throughout the afternoon and ample opportunity to cheer on NYA. Students may also volunteer for a shift at one of the Lower School stations (crafts, tattoos, or face-painting) and can get their own turn in the bouncy house. There is an all-school cookout to grab some dinner while enjoying the fun. The Parents’ Association will be selling panther logo wear by the turf field that afternoon from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.  Accepting cash, check, and now credit cards!


NYA families are invited to Come Home to NYA activities on September 26-28. For a full schedule, visit www.nya.org/ComeHome. One opportunity that may be of interest is the Athletic Hall Of Fame Induction of Allie Tocci Hurley ’08, which will include special remarks by Travis Roy ’94. All are welcome to attend on Friday, September 27 at 10:00 a.m. in the NYA gymnasium. The annual NYA Steve Morris Golf Tournament will take place Saturday, September 28 at Falmouth Country Club. Many faculty, current parents, and alumni play in the tournament. Proceeds benefit the Steve Morris Scholarships Fund, which provides financial aid to current NYA students. The scramble format makes it a fun tournament for all abilities. Put together a team of four or sign up individually!


The first parent/advisor meetings of the year are coming up during the first two weeks 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.


The seventh and eighth grade classes have their experiential overnight trips coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 15-16. The eighth graders are heading to Cow Island with Rippleffect where they have the chance to try their hand at sea kayaking, a climbing wall, raft building, and a zip line. At night, they sleep in large yurts on the island. The seventh grade class is heading to the Kieve Leadership School in Nobleboro. There they enjoy buffet style meals in the main cabin and comfortable sleeping accommodations in cabins with electricity and indoor plumbing. They engage in numerous team-building challenges and take advantage of high and low elements on the outdoor ropes course and an indoor climbing wall. Additional details about each trip, including what to pack, are coming soon. Contact Danielle Barschdorf with any questions. There will be no Middle School sports on the afternoons of October 15 and 16.


I am thrilled to announce that this year I will once again be offering an educational program to Philadelphia & Washington, D.C. from June 15-20, 2020. The trip is open to all students currently in seventh and eighth grade. We have twenty-seven students already signed up! I will hold informational meetings where interested parents can learn more about this amazing opportunity. The meetings will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at 3:45 p.m. and Thursday, September 26 at 8:00 a.m. in room 81 in the Middle School. I plan to cover all of the program basics, including the itinerary and the price. If you are interested, but cannot attend the meetings, feel free to email or call 846-9051 ext.435 with any questions. ~ David Echeverria


Picture Retakes  are scheduled for Friday, October 18. Anyone who missed pictures on September 4 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 know if your student plans to have his/her photo taken that day.


  • Guided Mindfulness Sessions: 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, September 18, October 16, and November 13. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA will provide some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or can sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). All are welcome!
  • The Brain Trust: Ian Ramsey will facilitate a monthly parent and community gathering called “The Brain Trust” to discuss health, emotional well-being, mindfulness, and human performance for our children and ourselves. The group is open to all and will include discussions, readings, mindfulness and movement practice, and possibly field trips! The group will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room on Wednesday, September 18; Wednesday, October 16; and Tuesday, November 12. 
  • Wild Soul Words Book Group: 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 will provide wine and other beverages. The first date and book selection is: What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney on Wednesday, October 9. The group will meet in the Middle School Community Room at 6:30 p.m.
  • Faculty TrainingDavid Bidler, owner of The Distance Project and founder of nonprofit Physiology First, will work with faculty on September 17 to discuss  strategies to help with student anxiety and controlling physiology and emotional states.


This past Friday morning, we sent a test of our text alert system. If you did not receive a text message from NYA, and you would like to receive texts in the future, please text START to 22383 and add 22383 as a contact in your phone’s address book. In addition, please update your information in Family Web using the Custodial Parent Information Form to ensure that your cell phone number is correct and your Parent Alert settings are set to receive text messages. Instructions on using this form can be found here. We use text alerts mostly to communicate unexpected changes in the schedule or closures (i.e. snow days).


As part of appropriate safety and preparedness as well as meeting state mandates, NYA holds both fire and crisis drills throughout the year. The first of these drills is happening soon. Every effort is made to avoid making these anxiety-producing for the students. Please feel free to contact Marissa Markonish or your child’s advisor with any questions or concerns.


Save the date, Friday, October 11, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day.  We welcome grandparents and grand-friends to campus for musical performances, senior speeches, classroom visits, and lunch. If you have not already done so, please fill out the grandparent information form. We are also looking for a volunteer co-chair to assist Debra Ramsey P’15, P’20 and the Development Office in planning this year’s event. Please reach out to Crystal Gordon if you are interested this opportunity or need more information on Grandparents’ Day.


On behalf of the NYA Community, thank you for making the first All-School Cookout last Thursday night such a huge success. The weather cooperated, and we all enjoyed an exciting afternoon of games on our fields, camaraderie, and food while celebrating the first week of school. The Parents’ Association would also like to thank the many  parents and alumni volunteers who helped set up, serve, and clean up including: Rich Brimberg, Debra Ramsey, Rhiannon Ramsey-Brimberg ’15, Nate Curtis, Jen Hemenway, Chris Hemenway, Linda Manchester, Scott Frank, and Robin Baron. This team served 300 hamburgers and poured a lot of lemonade. Thank you for all of your help. Thank you also to David Daigle and the kitchen staff for effortlessly preparing all of the food. A special thank you to all of the PA class representatives for hosting break-out sessions for parents, families, and host families. These gatherings providing the opportunity for families to meet each other and to learn more about their child at NYA. Have a wonderful school year, and I look forward to seeing everyone throughout the year. ~Tori Baron, NYA Parents’ Association President


9/11 Upper School Parents’ Night 6:45 p.m.
9/12 Middle School Parents’ Night, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
9/18 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
9/18 The Brain Trust, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
9/26-9/28 Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/26 Head of School Dinner, Reunion Tent 6:00 p.m.
9/27 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym 10:15 a.m.
9/27 Homecoming Festivities 2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/28 Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club 7:15 a.m.
9/28 Homecoming Festivities 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
9/28 All Alumni Reception, Reunion Tent 6:00 p.m.
10/3 Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/11 Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/14 Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day) NO SCHOOL
10/15-10/16 Seventh & Eighth Grade Experiential Overnights
10/15-10/16 NO Middle School Sports!
10/16 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
10/16 The Brain Trust, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/18  Picture Retakes & Toddler Picture Day


Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group
YouTube – North Yarmouth Academy
Twitter – @NYAToday
Flickr – nyatoday
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS
Instagram – northyarmouthacademy