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September 15, 2019

Dear Families,

Week number two is in the books! It was great to see everyone at Middle and Upper School Parents’ Nights. I hope you gained a solid understanding of the goals and objectives of your children’s classes for the year. While this evening was more about the overall curriculum for the year and not your child’s individual progress, close parent-teacher communication is important. If you have questions regarding your child’s individual progress, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s advisor or teacher.

The fall athletic season is well underway. Middle School teams are competing in tennis, soccer, and cross country. Upper School teams are competing in soccer, cross-country, volleyball, field hockey, and golf. While most teams are just a few games into the season, the NYA golf team is already well into its schedule. The Panther golfers have been playing matches for about four weeks already, and the season is off to a great start. The team is currently 7 – 5, with its final home match on Wednesday followed by the state qualifier on September 24.

One of the highlights of the fall is the Lower School play. Under the direction of Ms. Vaillancourt, the Lower School students always put on an amazingly entertaining show. Preparations have begun for this year’s performance of Winnie the Pooh. The performance isn’t until November 20, but save the date as it will be a can’t-miss event.

Mrs. Gagne and Señora Smith were already out in the field doing work. The fourth grade students went on a field trip to explore classmate, Eliza Smith’s, milkweed field. They happily found quite a few monarch caterpillars to bring back to the classroom. It is very exciting for the students to watch this incredible life cycle unfold before their eyes. As part of their science unit, the fourth grade will learn about the anatomy, life cycle, migration, and preservation of the endangered monarchs. In Spanish class, Señora Smith will also involve our students in a symbolic monarch migration, where they will send paper butterflies and letters of friendship to students in Mexico. This is some great hands-on learning going on in the Lower School.

Each week in my newsletter, I will choose a “Mission Spotlight.” This will be something happening in our community that exemplifies the mission of NYA emphasizing clear standards; high academic expectations; concern for the larger community; and pursuit of opportunities in academics, arts, or athletics. It could also be aligned with the Academy’s values of respect, honesty, perseverance, compassion, and responsibility.

This week’s Mission Spotlight focuses on the seventh grade’s Royal River Project. Each year, Mrs. Barschdorf’s students conduct an in-depth study of the Royal River. Beginning this week, students will conduct field work, collecting samples in the river. Over the course of the next few weeks, you may see seventh graders walking down to the river in their waders. This hands-on project utilizes a variety of skills including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and the integration of technology. After in-depth study, the students present their findings on the Royal River ecosystem to the community in December.

Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day takes place on October 11. It is always all smiles on Grandparents’ Day as proud grandparents and grand-friends enjoy visits with their talented grandchildren! You can help make this day a huge success by volunteering. There are many volunteer opportunities on Friday, October 11 between 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This event is a great way to meet new people and reconnect with other parents. Jobs and shifts are as follows:

  • 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. — 14 Volunteers for Parking Guides (three), Registration Tables (six), Greeters (five)
  • 9:45 – 10:30 a.m. — Six Volunteers to assist with break
  • 10:30 – 11:00 .am. — Six Campus Guides to assist Grandparents at buildings

Choose what fits your schedule, then contact Debra Ramsey P’15, P’20 at to sign up or ask questions. Thank you for helping make this event a fantastic day for all.

Congratulations to NYA senior, Afton Morton, who was selected as a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist. Semifinalists are chosen based on their performance on the PSAT test. These students are the highest scoring participants and represent about .5% of high school seniors. Semifinalists must submit an application and essay and will learn this spring if they are a National Merit Finalist and winner of one of the scholarships. Congratulations, Afton!

The Parents’ Association is looking for a co-chair for the NYA Holiday Craft Fair. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Tori Baron.

Attention Golfers! The annual NYA Steve Morris Golf Tournamant will take place Saturday, September 28 at Falmouth Country Club. Many faculty, current parents, and alumni play in the tournament. Proceeds benefit the NYA Steve Morris Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to current NYA students. The scramble format makes it a fun tournament for all abilities. We hope to see many of you out on the course for a fun day. Put together a team of four or sign up individually!

The golf tournament is held during homecoming weekend, September 27-28. Most NYA Middle and Upper School teams are hosting home games, and the entire schedule of festivities may be found through this link. We will dedicate both the tennis courts and the turf field during ceremonies on Friday beginning at 3:15 p.m. We hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 19 will be a Dress Down Day for the Bath Area Food Bank. A $3 donation will enable students to dress down for the day.

Can’t make it to a game, or if a family member wants to check in on NYA Athletics, follow @NYAPanther on Twitter for regular updates. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.


Ben Jackson
Head of School


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