The Upper School Newsletter for October 16, 2016

Grandparents’ Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It is the first concert of the year, one for which students have had merely a month to practice and meld as ensemble groups. It highlights an impressive array of musical talent along with an impressive effort by all to be ready for a concert so quickly. Special thanks go to Ian Ramsey, Nora Krainis, and Linda Vaillancourt.

It is a special day for other reasons as well. It is the first day for senior speeches. I want to send a note of congratulations and thanks to Milla Rosenfeld and Lauren Tufts for not only being the first, but also for setting the bar high for their peers.

Being in school allows us to the see the joy and smiles of many students every day. Grandparents’ Day allows us to see the joy and proud smiles of grandparents who are grateful to spend this time with their grandchildren. It is also a tonic to see grandparents in classes, some of them diving in to the lessons along with their grandchildren.

Finally, I want to thank Randall Thomas, Tara Johnson, and Caroline Anson for their preparation and organization. The day, of course, would not be so successful without the small army of parents who help to make it run so smoothly. Thanks to Deb Ramsey for coordinating the volunteers.

I could not be more proud of the work that goes on here every day by students, and by faculty and staff. To show that off to people who mean such a great deal in the lives of our students is an honor.


Mr. Drisko/John Drisko
Assistant Head of School & Head of the Upper School

NEASC Visit, October 16 – October 19

Every ten years, schools engage in a re-accreditation process through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This year it is NYA’s turn. NYA is judged on fifteen standards, such as Mission, Governance, and Faculty. Our work began a year and a half ago as the faculty and staff participated in a self-study where we evaluated ourselves in these fifteen standards. Over the course of many committee meetings and reflection NYA produced a “Self-Study Report”  that was sent to a visiting committee over a month ago. The visiting committee consists of eight colleagues from schools around New England who will visit classes, talk with individual faculty and staff as well as students over the next three days. Ultimately the committee will evaluate to what degree NYA meets each of the fifteen standards. The entire process is one of positive and thoughtful self-reflection balanced by an outside objective assessment of the school. Though the process is long, it is extremely valuable for helping NYA to continue to improve as an educational institution for our students.


The Community Directory, sometimes known as the “face book”, will be coming out this week. Advisors will be handing them directly to their advisees. You should expect them to bring these home. If they do not, and you want a copy, stop be the main office after the 20th to pick one up.

experiencenyaboxEXPERIENCE NYA

Do you know a family who might be interested in NYA? Prospective parents can attend one of our upcoming EXPERIENCE NYA events to learn more about our school. EXPERIENCE NYA includes coffee with Ben, followed by senior speeches and an optional campus tour. It’s a great way to get to know what NYA is all about. Visit the Admission Events page on our website or contact the admission office for information. Ask your friends to RSVP for the October 21 event today.

CALL FOR BOOKSbook-tree-ipod-2

The NYA Library is once again holding its Book Sale at this year’s Holiday Craft Fair, and we would like your gently used, saleable books.  We will accept books for ANY age, young children through adults. You can drop off your books in the NYA Library or at the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Please contact Librarian Jill O’Connor with any questions.


Our Picture Retake Day with Coffee Pond Photography is scheduled for Wednesday, November 9 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room.


On Thursday, October 20, we will have our second Dress Down Day for our Thanksgiving Baskets and Holiday Families program ($3 donation).

On Wednesday, October 26, we will have a Dress Down Day sponsored by seventh grader Aisley Snell to benefit the Dean Snell Cancer Foundation, named after Aisley’s grandfather ($3 donation).


Thursday, October 27:  Join us for this year’s first Morning Forum with Head of School Ben Jackson.  The Forum will include informal conversation about NYA current events, as well as a tour of NYA’s Innovation Lab.  Come with questions, comments, or just to listen. 8:00 – 9:00AM in the Middle School Community Room.  Coffee and snacks provided.

Sponsored by the NYA Parents’ Association.


Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, November 3 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Friday November 4 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no school on these two days. Each conference will last ten minutes. This is a chance for parents to talk with individual teachers about the progress of their child in that class. Instructions for the sign-up process will be sent out soon. Please remember that sign-ups for conferences are on a first come, first served basis.


10/19PSAT’s for all juniors and some sophomores8:00 a.m.
10/20District II Auditions
10/21Senior Speeches: Amelia Demetropoulos, Lindsay Tufts, Joey Hogan. 10:15 in the Gym
10/27Morning Forum with the Head8:00 – 9:00
10/28Senior Speeches: Nathaniel Sinibaldi, Thomas Pitts, Andrew Keith.10:15 in the Gym
10/28End of Quarter
10/31Halloween Costume Day and Parade at 2:00 p.m.
11/3 – 11/4Parent-Teacher Conferences (see above)
11/9US Athletic Awards Night6:00 p.m.
11/10Veterans’ Day Flagpole Ceremony 7:55 a.m.
11/11Veterans’ Day No School