Middle School Newsletter for Sunday, September 10, 2017

What a wonderful first week of school! It is hard to believe how quickly time passes and that we are about to embark on week two. The fifth and sixth grade orientations were a great success, and students enjoyed the sixth grade overnight and fifth grade field trip. It was great way to open the year, but we are looking forward to having a more typical schedule for the upcoming week.

All parents are invited to attend the Middle School Parents’ Night this Thursday, September 14, 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


The 2017-2018 Middle School Student & Parent Handbook is now posted on the NYA website under the Parents and Students tabs. The handbook is full of useful details, as well as outlining critical information on school rules and policies. Please take some time to read the handbook carefully as all members of the NYA community are expected to read and abide by the policies and protocols. Hard copies of the handbook are available on request.


I am thrilled to announce that I am again offering an educational program to Philadelphia and Washington, DC from June 11-16, 2018. The trip is open to all students currently in seventh or eighth grade. Twenty-one students are already signed up! Parents of interested students are invited to attend an informational meeting to learn more about this amazing opportunity. The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 at 3:45 p.m. and Thursday, September 28 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 in finding out more but cannot make a meeting, feel free to email or call 847-5435 with any questions. ~ David Echeverria



Friday, October 13, 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.


Throughout the year at NYA, we have periodic “dress down days” in which students and staff are invited to dress more casually (see Middle School Student & Parent Handbook for details). These dress down days are sometimes to celebrate special events on campus such as Homecoming. At other times, we hold these days to collect donations or to raise funds and awareness for charities or special causes.

little-angmo-picUnder the leadership of Eliot Grady’s advisory group, we are holding our first Dress Down Day of the year on Wednesday, September 13 to sponsor an 8-year-old girl, Nilza Angmo, who hopes to attend the Siddhartha School in Ladakh, India. As little as $360 will pay for Nilza Angmo’s tuition, books, and other school expenses. NYA has a special relationship with the Siddhartha School. Khen Ripoche, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and founder of the Siddhartha School, is a frequent visitor to NYA and presented the Academy with our prayer wheel last spring. In addition, Stanzin Angmo, NYA Class of 2016, attended Siddhartha prior to coming to NYA in her junior year. Stanzin Angmo is currently a sophomore at Bennington College in Vermont and returns to Ladakh each summer to help educate the community on women’s and children’s health issues. $3 Donation

On Tuesday, October 3, we are holding a Dress Down Day to provide support to victims of the recent hurricanes. This Dress Down Day is being co-sponsored by Blythe Thompson, Class of 2022, and Tessa Quattrucci, Class of 2018. Thousands of people across hundreds of communities have been impacted by these recent natural disasters. In addition, volunteers and responders from across the U.S. have taken time away from their families to assist those in need. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these tragedies. $3 Donation


Middle School Parent Night is this Thursday, September 14 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 from Marissa Markonish, reminders of upcoming events, and our Arts Department presentation 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!


Parents, please enjoy this letter of introduction from our new school counselor, Jackie Bromage.  We are delighted to welcome Jackie to NYA and to have her as a member of our student wellness team.


The seventh and eighth grade classes have their experiential overnight trips coming up on October 10 and 11. 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.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACEls-gp-day-2017-86-resize

The International Day of Peace is celebrated around the globe on Thursday, September 21. NYA participates with a special assembly to recognize the installation of the peace poles created last spring. This project was spear-headed by Shannon Gallagher and Ellen Gagne, whose travels inspired them to bring these symbols of peace to the NYA campus. “Peace poles serve as a visual reminder for us to think, speak, and act in the spirit of kindness and peace,” shared Shannon Gallagher. “It is estimated that there over 200,000 peace poles located in almost every country in the world, spreading the message: May Peace Prevail On Earth.” Art teachers Colby Myer and Tim McMahon were instrumental in the creation of the peace poles which were designed and painted by students in all three divisions. The Lower School classes are also presenting their pinwheels for peace and singing the song, Sing Peace Around the World.


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.


Friday, September 22 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. NYA students have the opportunity to go outside on September 22 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 a special exhibit at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.



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 September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13. 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). For more information, contact Ian Ramsey.

MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL GRANDPARENTS’ DAYGrandparents Day, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day coming up on Friday, October 20. To add or update the contact information for any grandparents or “grand friends,” please complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Caroline Anson with any questions.


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 can be found under 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.


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 6 through November 17 (30 total sessions). For more information, please visit Shelby’s website or contact Shelby via email.


only-kayakAs 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 meeting dates and book selections include: The Only Kayak by Kim Heacox on September 28; Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv on October 26; and Tribe by Sebastian Junger on November 30.


Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24. 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 your child’s classroom teacher or advisor know if she/he plans to sit for a retake.


9/13Guided Mindfulness Session7:00-7:30 a.m.
9/13Dress Down Day for Siddhartha School Sponsorship$3
9/13Upper School Parent Night6:45 p.m.
9/14Middle School Parent Night6:30 p.m.
9/21International Day of Peace
9/22One Sky Day
Head’s Circle Dinner
9/27Washington D.C. Trip Parent Information Meeting, Savage 813:45 p.m.
9/28Washington D.C. Trip Parent Information Meeting, Savage 818:00 a.m.
9/28Wild Soul Words Book Group
10/3Dress Down Day for Hurricane Relief$3
10/5-12Middle & Upper School Parent-Advisor Conferences
10/9Columbus DayNO SCHOOL
10/10-11Seventh & Eighth Grade Experiential Overnights
10/20Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day
10/24Picture Retake Day


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