Middle School Newsletter for January 14, 2018

Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed the winter break and are now eager to settle in for the second semester. Our classrooms have been alive with vibrant learning, and teachers were delighted to provide you with a small taste of that in their comments. Students have worked hard and have made significant progress since the beginning of the school year. We are proud of them, and they should be proud of their success! The start of the second semester is an opportunity for students to assess what worked well and what did not, and to make changes for the days ahead. While sometimes greater effort may be needed, it is always beneficial to work “smarter,” i.e. more efficiently. Teachers are here to help, and one-on-one time can provide individualized support. Advisors are also an excellent resource and can help students learn to advocate for their learning. As we begin this new year, we look forward to getting back to work and embarking on new adventures together.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Friday, February 2 will be an early release to allow faculty and staff time for professional development meetings. School will run from 8:00-11:30 a.m. on this day with a special class schedule. We will have morning snack, but lunch will not be served. All students should plan to be picked up at 11:30 a.m. Buses will leave at 11:40 a.m. There will be no Middle School sports practices or games on this day. Upper School sports and drama will run as scheduled. Curtis building will be open for students with practices, games, or rehearsal.


Report cards and comments for the Fall Semester were sent out to parents via email on Tuesday, January 9. Report cards list each class with the teacher and letter grade. Comments written by each teacher accompany the report cards.  These provide more detailed feedback on the student’s performance in class, highlighting strengths and offering suggestions about areas to work on. Enrichment courses are graded on a 1-3 effort scale: 3 = does not meet expectations; 2 = fully meets expectations; 1 = goes above and beyond expectations. These effort grades can be found on the comment, but will not appear on report cards. If you did not receive the email or have any questions about report cards or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact Marissa Markonish, the advisor, or the individual teacher.


Thanks to the efforts of fourth grade student Nathanael Wayashe, a local meteorologist from WMTW Channel 8 News will be coming to NYA on Tuesday, January 16 for a Weather at Your School presentation. The guest meteorologist will be meeting with students in grades two through five in the Middle School Community Room. The meteorologist will broadcast live from NYA and then stay to chat with our students and answer some of their questions about weather. Our in-house meteorologist, Forecaster Jack (Jack Sillin ’18), will also be on-hand to work with the students.


As the second semester gets underway, it is also time to start thinking about the eighth grade transition to Upper School! Parents of eighth grade students are invited to set up a time to meet with Eric Austin, Head of the Upper School, to begin that transition process by learning more about the Upper School, discussing sample schedules, outlining curriculum, and obtaining answers to any questions. Feel free to contact Eric to set up a time to meet.


julius-caesarOn Wednesday, February 7, all eighth grade students will be participating in a workshop conducted by the Directors Lab of the Portland Stage Company. Professionally trained teaching artists will come to NYA and will present a shortened version of Julius Caesar. After the performance, students are invited to “direct” the scenes performed in a series of workshops. During these workshops, students investigate the many different ways one can interpret and present the same material and are invited to explore how rhetoric, intent, and tactics can impact communication. ~ Annie Powell


Congratulations to the eighth grade for winning the NYA Kiva Club’s Change for Change fundraising challenge! Eighth grade students enjoyed their victory Dress Down Day on January 3.


Daily attendance is taken at the beginning of first period. A parent should call the office at 846-9051 by 8:15 a.m. when a student will be absent all day, arriving late, or leaving early – even if the parent has informed the teachers and/or advisors. It is our policy to call the parents of students for whom we cannot account. For further details on attendance policies, please consult the NYA Student and Parent Handbooks. Thank you for your help with this process.

STUDIO BAND ACOUSTIC SHOWstudio-band-acoustic-show-social-graphic

On Thursday, January 18, the NYA Studio Band will be performing its 11th Annual Acoustic Show at 7:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Yarmouth. This year’s Studio Band includes a cross-section of Upper School students, grades 9-12, ranging from four year veterans to first time performers, some of whom have learned a new instrument only this year! The band will be performing songs from a range of artists, including The Roots, Macklemore, The Lumineers, The Allman Brothers, and David Bowie, and it is sure to be a fun-filled evening of music for all. Admission is free (donations to help support Studio Band costs are gladly accepted) and the event is child-friendly, so all are encouraged to attend this hometown show! Our final show of the season, Studio Band’s Last Waltz, will be on Friday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Safford.  ~ Ross Markonish

beauty_beast_posterIT’S THE TALE AS OLD AS TIME…

Work is well underway for NYA’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Students in grades 5-12 are presenting this beloved musical featuring the ambitious, book-loving Belle (Elizabeth Gagnon ’20) and the hideous Beast (Justin Guo ’18) desperate to break a curse plaguing him and his servants. The show is based on the 1991 animated Disney film which was then adapted into a live-action movie in 2017. Favorite songs include “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Performances will be Friday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 10, at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This show is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $8.00, and can be reserved through Heidi Lathrop or by calling Heidi at 847-5432.


Students in the fifth grade will have some options for after school activities this Spring Semester. Mad Science of mad-scienceMaine will offer two classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grade this spring:  Jump into the Future and Engineering ManiaJump into the Future begins on Tuesday, January 23. Check here to register or for more information. In addition, girls in grades three through five will have the opportunity to join an NYA Girls on the Run (GOTR) girls_on_the_run_logosite later this spring. Each practice will focus on a topic related to the girls’ lives and include discussions, games, and a running workout. The running practice helps to prepare the girls for an End of Season Celebratory 5K Run with other GOTR girls from all over Maine! Your daughter does not have to be a runner to participate; she can run, jog, walk, or skip her way to reaching her goal of crossing the finish line! To learn more about the GOTR program, check out these links: video 1video 2, and What is GOTR.


On Thursday, February 22, we have planned an afternoon of activities and dinner ($3) for students in grades five through eight from 2:45-4:30 p.m. Students will remain in the Middle School after the academic day and have a bit of time to tackle any homework as we prepare for the festivities. We will have pizza, snacks, a movie, and a variety of games. This event allows faculty and students join in on the fun, whether enjoying a slice of pizza or battling it out in a fierce game of Wii boxing. Seeing T-Mac boogie down to some Just Dance action is an event not to be missed!


After the Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration on Wednesday, February 21, there are no afternoon practices or rehearsals until after our spring break. To help keep our Middle School students active and involved during that period, we will offer a variety of “Cabin Fever Reliever” activities on Monday, February 26, Tuesday, February 27, and Thursday, March 1. Students will have the option of being picked up immediately after school (by 2:30 p.m.) that week (the fifth grade academic day will end at 2:30 p.m. on these days). Otherwise, they will sign up for one of the activities that will run from roughly 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. each afternoon. Past activity options have included Free Skate (no sticks, helmets required, for skaters of all abilities); Silent Reading; Games (Chess, Checkers, Board Games, & Word Games); Crafts; Gym Games (Futsal, Bombardment, etc.); or Study Hall.  We hope to have the opportunity to take advantage of our new climbing wall and virtual reality experience in the Innovation Lab as well. This year’s options will be presented to students in early February for sign-ups. As usual, the Middle School building will remain open and supervised until 4:00 p.m. each day.  All students on campus after 2:30 p.m. must be enrolled in one of the activities. It should be a fun time for all!

SAVE THE DATE!rossgreene-232x300

The NYA Parents’ Association is pleased to announce that we will be bringing Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on April 4.  Dr. Greene is a child psychologist, founder of the non-profit organization Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and New York Times bestselling author. His books include The Explosive Child, Lost at SchoolLost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene will be presenting to students in grades five through twelve, parents, and faculty and staff. We are excited to bring this renowned speaker to NYA!


woodhullNYA’s Parents’ Association is hosting a Parents’ Night Out event for all NYA parents on January 17, 2018 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Woodhull Public House in Yarmouth. Babysitting will be available at the Lower School for toddlers through fourth grade students from 4:45-7:15 p.m. We hope to see you there!


On Wednesday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m., NYA is pleased to sponsor the presentation of the film Angst at Yarmouth High School. The showing is open to the public and is recommended for students in eighth grade and up. The film explores the pervasiveness of anxiety among young people today and follows the lives of a few students and families coping with anxiety. It also has an appearance by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps who discusses his mental health struggles.


1/15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day  NO SCHOOL
1/16 WMTW Weather at Your School
1/17 Parents Night Out, Woodhull Public House, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
1/17 Showing of Angst at Yarmouth High School 7:00 p.m.
1/18 Middle School Debate @ NYA 3:30 p.m.
1/18 Studio Band Acoustic Performance, Unitarian Church 7:00 p.m.
1/19-1/20 Grades 7-12 District II Instrumental Festival, Oxford Hills
1/21 NYA Sunday River Ski Trip
2/1 Middle School Debate @ Falmouth Middle School 3:30 p.m.
2/2 Early Release for Faculty and Staff Development 11:30 a.m.
2/4 NYA Sunday River Ski Trip
2/7 Eighth Grade Julius Caesar Workshop
2/9-2/10 Beauty and the Beast performances
2/11 NYA Sunday River Ski Trip
2/16 Last day of Middle School Winter Athletics
2/16 Studio Band Last Waltz Performance, Safford  6:30 p.m.
2/19 Presidents’ Day NO SCHOOL
2/21 Middle School Winter Athletic & Drama Celebration, NYA gym 2:30 p.m.
2/22 Middle School Pizza and Fun 2:45-4:30 p.m.
2/23 Bring A Friend to School Day
2/26, 2/27, & 3/1 Middle School Cabin Fever Reliever Activities 2:30-3:30 p.m.
3/2 Last Day of classes before March Break
3/5-3/16 March Break
3/19 Classes resume; Middle School Spring Athletics begin


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