Middle School Newsletter for September 9, 2018

Phew!  We survived the first week back to school.  It was a wonderful week, the fifth and sixth grade orientations were a great success, and students enjoyed the sixth grade overnight at Camp Soci. We now 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 13, 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


Parents, please mark your calendars for Middle School Parent Night on Thursday, September 13 at 6:30 p.m. Parents will have the opportunity to visit their student’s classes, meet their teachers, and learn about the curriculum. The program will begin 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 will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room and will end 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!


The NYA Parents’ Association will be selling NYA clothing and gear before the two parent information nights this week. The “store” will be set up outside the Middle School Community Room from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13. Cash or check only. Parents, stop by and pick up some NYA gear before the events begin!


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).


We are delighted to be welcoming Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on Tuesday, September 18. Dr. Greene is a child psychologist and founder of the non-profit organization, Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and a best-selling author. During the afternoon, Dr. Greene will be speaking with students and presenting to faculty and staff. We hope that you will be able to join us at 5:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room for the parent session with Dr. Greene. A huge thank you to the NYA Parents’ Association for bringing Dr. Greene to campus.


Ever wonder what your child should wear to an NYA event? Looking to carpool? Want to share photos, ask questions, learn about NYA activities, etc.? Look no further! We created a closed Facebook Group just for NYA parents.  In order to join, go to the NYA Community Network Group, and click on Join Group. We’ll confirm that you’re an NYA parent/guardian/host parent, and accept your request. If you have questions, contact Amity Jackson or Kristi Belesca.


Parents, please enjoy this letter of introduction from our new school counselor, Michelle Napoli.  We are delighted to welcome Michelle and counseling intern Emily Holden to NYA as part of our student wellness team.


Friday, September 21 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. Middle School students will have the opportunity to go outside during advisory on September 21 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos will be uploaded and will appear in the Sky Day Project Gallery on-line and as part of a special exhibit at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.



There is open ice time available to NYA students in the Travis Roy Ice Arena after school from 4:00-5:00 p.m. this fall. You must be in full gear to go out on the ice. Students need parental permission (an email or written note) before taking advantage of this opportunity. Middle Students may not go to the arena until 4:00 p.m. After athletic practice or a game, students should return to the Middle School building where they can pack up, get some homework done, and spend some time with friends before heading to the arena at 4:00. Student should be sure to bring everything with them as the Middle School building will be locked after 4:00 p.m. It is important for students to follow these guidelines in order to maintain this privilege.


Friday, September 28 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 8:00-2:15. Once classes let out, 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 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 contact parents to schedule meeting times.


The seventh and eighth grade classes have their experiential overnight trips coming up on October 9 and 10. 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 9 and 10.


Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day coming up on Friday, October 12. We invite all grandparents and grand-friends to campus for a musical performance and much more! To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends receive the invitation, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information. To RSVP, visit www.nya.org/rsvp. For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon at 847-5401.


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 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 via email or at (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.


A reminder to please not idle or park in the Middle School parking lot drop-off area in the afternoon. This can cause an extensive back-up in the parking lot which may create hazardous conditions for our students. For the safety of all our students, please park in a parking space until your child arrives. Cars also should not park or idle in the handicap parking space unless equipped with a handicap parking license plate.


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.


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, October 10, 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 can sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). All are welcome!


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.


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 New Family Forms and Returning 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.


Looking to bring more fresh, local, and mostly organic fruits and vegetables into your life? Well look no further! NYA is pleased to once again serve as a pick-up site for Fall & Winter Farm Shares from Wolf Pine Farms in Alfred, ME. A winter share is seven boxes delivered from October to March and generally includes storage vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.), fruits (apples), a dozen eggs, grains (oats, wheat flour), frozen berries (blueberries, cranberries), and a “special treat” (raw honey, Maine sea salt, mushrooms, or maple syrup). It is even possible to split a share with another family. Visit Wolf Pine Farms to learn more or sign up.


Want to look, move, and feel better than you have in years? Come train with Shelby! Fall Bootcamp is being offered at NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena from September 5 through November 16 (11 weeks). For more information, contact Shelby via email.


9/12 NYA Gear Sale, Middle School 5:50-6:30 p.m.
9/12 Upper School Parent Night 6:45 p.m.
9/13 NYA Gear Sale, Middle School 5:50-6:30 p.m.
9/13 Middle School Parent Night, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
9/18 Dr. Ross Greene Parent Session, MSCR 5:00-6:30 p.m.
9/21 Sky Day and International Day of Peace
9/27-9/29 Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/27 Head of School Circle Dinner 6:00 p.m.
9/28 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym 10:15 a.m.
9/28 Homecoming Festivities and BBQ 2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/29 Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club 12:00 p.m.
10/8 Columbus Day NO SCHOOL
10/9-10/10 Seventh & Eighth Grade Experiential Overnights
10/10 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
10/12 Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/17 Wild Soul Words Book Group, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/18 District II Music Festival Auditions
10/20 Safe Sitter Babysitting Class, Middle School 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
10/23 Picture Retake Day
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


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