Sunday Letter Graphic for WordPress

October 25, 2020

Dear Families,

I continue to appreciate the efforts to follow safety guidelines by our faculty and students. With each passing day, everyone seems to be getting more and more used to our new normal, and everyone has worked together to keep our community safe. I recognize and appreciate the many sacrifices our students and families are making. I further appreciate our families and their flexibility and cooperation each and every day. We will all need to remain vigilant and work diligently to mitigate the risks to allow us to remain on campus. I am confident everyone will continue the great work. I miss seeing and interacting with you on campus, but am thinking of all of our families.

The Parents’ Association will once again host their Morning Forum Series. The Morning Forums are a series of informational presentations on various aspects of NYA. This year, they will be held virtually. In addition to sharing information, these will also serve as a valuable opportunity for our families to connect with one another. The first Morning Forum is scheduled for Thursday, November 5 at 8:15 a.m. The topic will be Getting Involved at NYA. The full program is as follows:

  • November 5: The Year Ahead and Ways to Get Involved at NYA (You will receive a Zoom invitation the day prior to the event.)
    • Welcome, introductions, and important dates – Ben Jackson, Head of School; Jennifer Richard, Director of Development
    • Ways to get involved with the Parents’ Association and your child’s education – Tori Baron, PA President
  • December 2: Student Health and Wellness During COVID
    • Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor; Ian Ramsey, Director of Kauffmann Program; and Ben Jackson, Head of School
  • February 4: NYA Strategic Initiatives
    • Ben Jackson, Head of School; Garrett Bowne, CFO; Linda Manchester, NYA Board President; Jennifer Richard, Director of Development
  • March 4: Pride Points of the Academic Program Across Divisions
    • Eric Austin, Head of Upper School; Marissa Markonish, Head of Lower and Middle Schools; various department heads
    • Alumni Speakers-The Lasting Impact of an NYA Education
  • April 8: The Arts and Athletics
    • Kelsy Ross, Director of Athletics; Linda Vaillancourt, Chair-Visual and Performing Arts; Colby Myer, Upper School art teacher

COVID-19 will not cancel Halloween at NYA! Halloween will be celebrated this Wednesday, October 28. For those new to the community, Halloween is a big deal at the Academy. Almost everyone comes in costume. There will be some activities planned throughout the day as shared by the divisions, but the celebration will culminate with a parade at 1:45 p.m. We will broadcast this for families on Facebook Live.

On The Bright Side:

Miss KB’s kindergarten class finished a study of pumpkins with a fun, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) project. Children engaged their sense of curiosity and activated their critical thinking skills to build pumpkin boats. They designed their own sails and crafted mini gourd boats to float in a tube of water. In pairs, the children assessed, evaluated, used prior knowledge, and made changes as they experimented with different designs.

Ms. Welch’s second grade class ended their personal narrative writing unit with a virtual author celebration via Zoom with their families. Throughout the first quarter, students learned the elements of crafting multi-paged stories. They chose one story to take through the publishing process of revising, editing, and finally publishing. It was a special moment for them to share weeks of hard work with their families!

This week, Kind Club distributed kindness coins to students who performed acts of kindness. Each kindness coin tag states, “Thank you for sharing your kindness. Pass it on.” Students in the senior class received kindness coins for helping ninth graders develop skills for using a daily planner during Ninth Grade Seminar. A kindness slip was written for Eliza Smith: “Whenever I see Eliza, she is always saying hello and making my day a little brighter.” Thanks for all the kindness!

The college application process is well underway for our 48 seniors and post-graduate students. Some have already completed applications and many others are busy finalizing them, gathering recommendations and transcripts, and revising their college list. COVID makes it more difficult to visit and learn about schools. However, over 100 colleges have arranged virtual visits to NYA to meet with our students this fall. Best wishes to the Class of 2021 as they navigate this process.

NYA’s Ninth Grade Seminar, now in its fourth year, is underway. The purpose of the NYA Ninth Grade Seminar is to support the transition for our students to high school and delve into other topics related to health and wellness. Recent seminar topics include organizational strategies, time management, the role of the school counselor, ally building, and maintaining healthy friendships.

Middle School athletics wrapped up their season this week. Even though interscholastic competitions were cancelled, the students had a terrific season working on their skills, staying active, and playing scrimmages. Thanks to the coaches for a great season. The Upper School season continues into next week, but we are already looking towards the winter season. For more information on the winter athletic season please click here. Upper School families, please mark your calendars for the NYA Virtual Upper School Fall Recognition Ceremony, taking place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10.

Parent-teacher conferences will be held Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30. The technology department sent the link for conference sign ups this past week. If you haven’t received the link or need it re-sent, please email Tara Johnson. This is a great opportunity to receive updates on your child’s progress from the teachers as we complete the first quarter of the year. I hope the year is off to a great start for your child.

The NYA Admission Office is hosting a Virtual Open House for prospective Middle and Upper School students on Sunday, November 1 . The Middle School program will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and the Upper School program will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The day will include several presentations, including a “live from the science lab” segment and a panel discussion with students, faculty, and administrators. There will be time for Q & A as well. Families may register through the following link. Please forward and encourage your friends and neighbors to join us as they can learn more about an NYA education and what it might mean for their children. Information on other upcoming admission events can be found on the admission section of our website.

Monday will be a dress down day in support of Camp Sunshine. NYA has partnered in support of Camp Sunshine in the past, and this day is sponsored by the Key Club. The donation to dress down is $3. Please bring exact change.

Reminder: No classes Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30.


Ben Jackson
Head of School


Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group, NYA Athletics Page (for livestreams of home contests)
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Twitter – @NYAToday
Twitter -Athletics – @NYAPanther
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