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November 3, 2019

Dear Families,

Halloween was in the air on campus this week. Students in primary to post graduate were all in the Halloween spirit. Lower School students paraded around campus in the morning, and the day culminated with a parade in the gym at 2:00 p.m. Many events were interspersed throughout the day. We even fit in a few classes. It was clear the weather did not dampen any spirits on campus. Here are some photos! If you are looking for something to do with your leftover Halloween candy, the NYA Snack Shack will gladly take it off your hands. Proceeds from snack shack sales go toward this year’s Project Graduation. Please drop off any donations at the Snack Shack when it’s open or in the Upper School Main Office. Project Grad thanks you, in advance, for your donations! Questions, contact Janette Covington.

Rehearsals continue for the Lower School production of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS under the direction of Linda Vaillancourt and Ellen Gagne. Sneak peeks at rehearsals have confirmed that this is a “can’t miss” event. Save the date for the performance on Wednesday, November 20 in Safford at 2:30 p.m. See you there.

The postseason continues for boys and girls soccer and the cross country teams. The boys soccer team advanced to the semifinals after an exciting OT victory over Greenville in the quarterfinals. They defeated Pine Tree Academy 5-0 on Friday and will advance to the regional finals! The girls soccer team played in the regional semifinals on Saturday and defeated Greenville 2-1 in an exciting OT game. Both teams will play in the regional finals in Lewiston on Wednesday. We will share details when they are available. Congratulations to the boys cross country team for qualifying for the state meet, and congratulations to Emma Collins for qualifying as an individual. The cross country meet was held at Twin Brook on Saturday. The boys finished 7th overall, and Emma Collins placed 37th of 84 with a personal record. Congratulations to our teams, and good luck to the Panthers for the rest of the postseason.

As fall activities are coming to a close, winter activities will soon begin. The schedule is as follows:  Middle School winter activities begin on Monday, November 4. Early season schedule details and information were distributed by coaches. The website will continue to be updated as the season progresses. Upper School winter prep hockey activities officially begin on Monday, November 11, with all other activities beginning on Monday, November 18. Coaches will communicate details regarding each season, and online schedules will soon be updated. Students may see Ms. Ross with any questions regarding their activity participation ASAP.

Last Tuesday, Ms. Lake Adams’ “Historical Origins of Modern Conflict” class went to CIEE in Portland to hear Rebecca Davis Gibbons, a professor at USM and a fellow at Harvard, discuss nuclear proliferation. The event was presented by the World Affairs Council of Maine and was an excellent conclusion to the class’s unit on North Korea. Professor Gibbons discussed the different approaches to nuclear non-proliferation and the future of conflicts in areas like Korea, Iran, and Turkey.

On Wednesday, Upper School students participated in their first CivilTea event of the year. CivilTea is designed to promote strategies in civil discourse for our students. A group of students was trained as facilitators, and the session started with a student-led panel discussion. Wednesday’s discussion topic was “dress code,” and the session was designed to introduce students to CivilTea methods for discussion. In the future, students will take on additional, timely topics that impact the community. In the end, the goal is for the community to develop active listening skills, respect opposing viewpoints, and articulate a point of view on any range of issues with confidence.

Mission Spotlight: Credit to Afton Morton for this description of an assignment from her AP Environmental Class: This week, the AP Environmental Science class participated in an iNaturalist project, an initiative aimed toward encouraging ordinary people to get involved in science. This specific project, created by ecologist Charlie Hohn, is focused around trees and changing colors of leaves. Any person can take a picture of a leaf and upload the picture, along with the name of the tree, to the iNaturalist app, and the picture will be used for Hohn’s project, which tracks the colors of leaves at various times of the year. This research will help us understand our climate. Although almost all of Maine is in the temperate deciduous forest biome, the climate of the Yarmouth area is very different than the climate of other places in the state due to factors like wind patterns and rainfall. Exploring the changing colors of leaves will help the scientific community understand the various climates within Maine. On top of that, this research will also tell scientists how climate change is affecting the changing of the seasons in New England. As climate change progresses, the factors that determine an area’s biome, like temperature and precipitation, will also change, possibly leading to a regime shift that heavily alters the environment. Because the shift in temperature is one of the factors that causes leaves to change color, tracking those colors will help the scientific community understand the effects of climate change through temperature. In this way, studies like the iNaturalist project will inform scientists on the various climates in New England and how those climates could change in the coming years.

Some great hands-on learning is going on in the Middle School! Ms. Buehner’s fifth graders put the scientific method to the test with a paper airplane lab. They also learned origami after reading the story of the thousand cranes. Mr. E’s eighth grade American History students just finished a unit on the Civil War and will hold a Reconstruction Convention where students represent different viewpoints about reconstruction and how to reunite the country. Mr. E’s seventh grade history students are learning about taxes as Mr. E taxes them to use items in his classroom such as the three-hole punch, pencil sharpener, and even Wi-Fi! In Art, Mr. Cook’s students are wrapping up Papier Maché Faux Taxidermy utilizing 3D form, color, texture, and a variety of materials; creating stop frame animation using modeling clay; and exploring watercolor techniques, gradients, color, and values.

Project Graduation is an overnight, safe, fun filled, alcohol-free program of activities for NYA’s seniors following graduation. The class is now raising money for this event, and everyone can help out through CLYNK. You may pick up CLYNK bags at the Lower, Middle or Upper School offices. Fill the bags with your returnable bottles and cans and drop them off at any Hannaford Supermarket. Contact Betsy Tod or Marti Morton with questions.

Save the Date for the Make-a-Wish Choral Concert at the First Universalist Church in Yarmouth: Thursday, November 21, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Make-a-Wish Club is once again organizing a concert to raise money to grant a wish to a child in Maine. In addition to high school groups, A Capella groups from Bowdoin, Colby, and Bates will be there: The Colby Eight, the Colbyettes, The Longfellows, and The TakeNotes along with NYA’s music ensembles. It is always a beautiful night of music, and it raises money for a very meaningful cause. There is no charge to attend, but donations are encouraged.

Click here to order wreaths and poinsettias. The deadline is November 11. The NYA logo wear popup store will be open during the afternoon wreath/poinsettia pickup times on Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22 from 2:30  to 6:00 p.m. Come check out all the new items including glassware, ties, new sweatshirt and hat styles, panther necklaces, ornaments, and more! NYA gear makes great holiday gifts! Questions, contact Laurie Hegarty.

Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 19, from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room for an interactive conversation entitled Mindfulness – How can Parents Help? This event is presented by the Parents’ Association and open to the public. It will feature a panel of speakers from the community including NYA’s Ian Ramsey, Lindsey Myer, and Marcia Griffin. They will discuss how to help children be mindful thereby creating more balance, easing stress, and setting them up for success. The PA will provide refreshments.

Save the date: Friday, May 15, 2020 for the annual NYA Soiree. You will not want to miss this great evening of entertainment, camaraderie, and support for NYA at Portland’s Ocean Gateway. If you are interested in joining NYA parents to help plan this event, please email Crystal Gordon. There is a live auction, food, games, entertainment, and much more to organize. We’d love your support to ensure this event is a success!

To support Parent-Teacher conferences there will be no school, November 7 and 8. In recognition of Veterans Day, there will be no school on Monday, November 11. Please join us for our Veterans Day Flagpole Ceremony on Wednesday, November 6 at 7:45 a.m. This is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the importance of Veterans Day and celebrate the many veterans in our school and greater community. I hope to see you there.

Thank you for your patience with the construction occurring on campus and especially for the disruptions caused to parking and traffic flow for the installation of the water line. This work is in preparation for the installation of a sprinkler system in Safford which is part of the Learning Commons Project. Work is progressing well on the new space. This will be an exciting new addition to our campus and a great resource for our students and faculty.

Reminder-Daylight Savings Time ends on November 3. Set your clocks back an hour. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep and have a great week!


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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