Upper School Newsletter for April 7, 2019

Welcome, April!

Thanks very much to all families who recently submitted their re-enrollments, enabling us to commence the ’19-’20 course registration process for these students. They have been working closely with their teachers and advisors to develop their preferred course selection for September. We are currently developing sectioning forecasts and a schedule template designed to best accommodate the choices of all re-enrolled students with the goal of having draft schedules prepared for students later in the spring. This annual process is an exciting and important exercise to help assist students in looking ahead, setting achievable goals, and planning appropriately for next year.

Of course, we are also quickly approaching the time when our senior class will be graduating. Our final two Senior Speeches of the year were delivered last Friday, culminating another terrific year of shared stories, memories, and experiences. With only four weeks of classes now remaining in their high school careers, the Class of 2019 continues to do great work in their senior year at NYA. We are proud of each one of them, and we very much look forward to celebrating their achievements in the coming weeks!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


Special thanks to all those who supported the Show Your Love campaign. Together we exceeded our goal and successfully unlocked $30,000 for NYA. During the last two weeks of March, 522 individuals made gifts; contributing over $59,000 to NYA. We are deeply grateful for your generosity!


Have you ever been asked “What is NYA like?” Well, here’s the chance to show your friend just what it’s like to be an NYA student! Friday, April 12 is “Bring a Friend to School Day.” This is an opportunity for our current NYA students in grades five through twelve to invite friends from their sports teams, neighborhoods, summer camps, after-school programs, etc. to spend the day with them at NYA while many area schools will be starting their April break. Register a friend and find more information here.


NYA sent its top ten mathletes to Augusta on Tuesday, April 2 to compete in the Maine State Math Meet. There were 96 Maine high schools in attendance including 26 in NYA’s division The NYA Math Team finished first for the state meet and second for the regular season in our division. The top scorer for NYA at the state meet was Ashley Ren. Ashley was recognized for having the seventh highest score among juniors in the entire state. In addition to Ashley, the following students competed at the meet: Andrew Schaeffer, Hannah Gagne, Xander Kostelnik, Aidan Yilmaz, Cindy Lin, Abby Xu, Candice Wang, Cam Goodrich, and Jack Schaeffer.  Congratulations, also, to Coach Reggie Hackleman on another fine season!


Thank you and Congratulations to Mr. Jack Hardy who has announced he is retiring in July after 41 years in education, the last seven as Director of Athletics at NYA.


A hearty congratulations to all 22 students who worked so hard taking their AAPPL language exams last Saturday. These exams tested students’ proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a second language, and they are the first step to earn the Seal of Biliteracy at graduation.


On Thursday, April 11, David Bidler, owner of the Distance Project, a performance center in Freeport, will give a presentation in Freshman Seminar about breathing to change physiology and performance. Later in May, the ninth grade students will go to the Distance Project to participate in more breathing and performance activities.

In upcoming sessions, we also will be covering topics including healthy communication, scientifically-based information on alcohol and drugs, sexual health, and healthy relationships. Parents are strongly encouraged to engage in conversation with their children at home as well. Casco Bay Can has useful resources for facilitating these type of conversations. Please contact Ashley Moody or Michelle Napoli with any questions.


Last week, the Upper School gathered to hear from a collegiate student panel about a youth-driven dialogue program called CivilTea, a program model for building skills in communication, leadership, and listening. This model provides a platform within a school community to support student dialogue that emphasizes respect, compassion, and openness – all values NYA strives to instill. Through this program, students interested in leadership and social advocacy can participate in facilitator training, aimed to build the skills necessary to hold peer conversations about challenging topics such as stereotypes, bullying, social media, gender identity, and racism. These student facilitators then work directly within the school community to engage further and deeper into issues relevant to the students, faculty, and staff. We look forward to exploring the student benefits of this program as a potential component of the Diploma with Distinction in Social Advocacy.


NYA just co-hosted (along with 317 Main Street) the seventh annual Maine Acoustic Festival on Saturday, April 6. The event included workshops, a shared meal, performance opportunities, and a Contradance for roots music students and adults from around Maine. Congratulations to NYA’s Bluegrass Band, which performed alongside several other student groups from around Maine.


From April 5-7,  five members of the Key Club and club advisor Eliza Alexander attended the 70th annual Key Club District Educational Conference in Springfield, MA. Students participated in a variety of activities emphasizing leadership and service to their communities. They joined a large number of students from throughout New England and Bermuda for this year’s “Aloha” themed conference.  Congratulations to Ellie Hilscher for winning first prize at the talent show!


All chorus students in grades 6-12 should be dropped off at Yarmouth Performing Arts Center (YPAC) at Yarmouth High School before 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19. Attendance will be called in from that location. Chorus students who walk or travel to school by bus should be at the Ice Arena parking lot by 7:50 a.m., and will travel to YPAC by NYA minibus.


The Spring Concerts are coming! The NYA Music Department will present four concerts over the next several weeks.

  • Friday, April 19: Choral Concert, involving all choral groups grades 6-12. This concert will take place at the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center at Yarmouth High School. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., and students should arrive no later than 5:30.
  • Tuesday, April 23: Strings Concert, featuring all NYA string players, grades 3-12. This concert will take place in Safford Center. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., and students should arrive no later than 6:00.
  • Thursday, April 25: Instrumental Concert, featuring an array of NYA instrumental groups. The MS Band will perform at the concert, as will many of the US instrumental groups. This concert takes place in the NYA Gym, and starts at 6:30 p.m. Band students should arrive no later than 6:00.

*Dress for the three April concerts should adhere to NYA’s “dress up” dress code. Students should arrive dressed, fed, and ready to perform.


On Monday, April 22, Mrs. Gagne’s class will hold a bake sale in Safford Center during break and lunch for elementary, Middle, and Upper School students to raise funds toward purchasing pencils and notebooks for a village school in Malawi, Africa. The students are learning about Malawi in class, examining the differences between their schools and ours, and reading The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.  They also are sponsoring a Dress Down Day on Tuesday, April 30 for this great cause.


Each April, people throughout the United States celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by selecting a poem to carry and share throughout the day at schools, libraries, parks, workplaces, and various venues. This year, NYA will celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on Tuesday, April 23. All students are encouraged to put a poem in their pocket and add their voices to the celebration. NYA will also celebrate Poetry Month with a Poetry Exhibition on Friday, April 26 at 10:15 a.m. in the NYA gym.


Sophomore Alaina Rauf is organizing a book drive at NYA as part of a project to create Mobile Libraries for underprivileged children in the northern part of Pakistan. The project is called Aagahi, an Urdu word which means Awareness. Students can bring in books of any variety (old or new, picture books, children’s books, fiction, nonfiction, textbooks, etc.) for the book drive. Collection boxes labeled by grade are located in the library. Book donations should be put in the appropriate class box from now until May 1. The class with the most book donations will celebrate with a free Dress Down Day and special baked treats!


And speaking of donations, NYA’s Key Club is working with Key Clubs across Maine to gather supplies for the Preble Street Shelter in Portland. They are collecting donations of all varieties for the shelter, including clothing, winter coats and accessories, school and art supplies, cards and games, laundry detergent, and personal hygiene products. They would especially appreciate donations of backpacks, duffle bags, and towels. There will be collection boxes in the Main Office in the Upper School and in the Middle and Lower School reception areas. If you have any of these items, or if you would like to make a cash donation, the Key Club would appreciate your support!


NYA’s Kauffmann Program is excited to be sponsoring the third annual Kauffmann Contest for Environmental Writing. The contest is open to all Maine high school students and the entry deadline is April 20. Winners receive cash prizes, have their writing published online, and get the chance to participate in a reading ceremony.


You are cordially invited to the NYA Soirée on Friday, April 26, 2019 at Halo at the Point, Thompson’s Point. This will be a fun evening of camaraderie and support for NYA, including games and prizes, auction, dinner, a hosted bar, and live music by Wavelength! Learn more and RSVP at www.nya.org/soiree.  We hope you will join us for this fun, engaging evening to support NYA. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Looking to get involved with your child’s school, meet other parents and families, and have some summer fun? The NYA Parents’ Association is looking for a few committed volunteers to help organize and manage the NYA booth at the Yarmouth Clam Festival taking place this July. This is a major fundraiser for the PA, with all proceeds going right back to NYA. If you are interested, please contact Scott Frank, Laura Bergeron, or Tori Baron for further information.


Summer Programs Button 2019

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for toddlers to age 15. Camps include a variety of sports (tennis, lacrosse, and soccer), art, theater, dance, circus, science, magic, and more! Register by April 15 to receive the early bird discount!


4/10Morning Mindfulness with Ian Ramsey, MSCR7:00 a.m.
4/10Pierce Manchester Recital, Higgins Hall6:30 p.m.
4/11Dress Down Day for Model UN$3
4/12Spring Bring A Friend to School Day
4/15Patriots’ DayNO SCHOOL
4/16Spring In-Service Day for FacultyNO SCHOOL
4/17Dress Down Day for Safe Passage$3
4/19Chorus (grades 6-12) Rehearsal at YPAC8:00 a.m.
4/19Spring Choral Concert (grades 6-12), YPAC6:30 p.m.
4/22Bake Sale for Malawi
4/23Poem in Your Pocket Day
4/23Spring Strings Concert (grades 3-12), Safford6:30 p.m.
4/25Spring Instrumental Concert (grades 6-12), NYA Gym6:30 p.m.
4/26Poetry Out Loud Presentations
4/26NYA Soirée, Halo at the Point, Thompson’s Point, Portland5:00 p.m.
4/30Dress Down Day for Malawi$3
5/1Last Day for Book Donations
5/3Seniors’ Last Day of Classes before Service Projects begin
5/6-5/17AP Exams (more info to follow)
5/13-5/24Senior Service Projects
5/18NYA Prom
5/24Last Day of Classes for Grades 5-11; Special Schedule
5/24Memorial Day Flagpole Ceremony, Curtis Lawn7:50 a.m.
5/27Memorial DayNO SCHOOL
5/28-5/30Exams for Grades 6-11
5/30Senior Service Projects Discussion & Marching Practice 12:00 p.m.
5/30Seniors & Parents Dinner, NYA Gym6:30 p.m.
5/31Last Day of School; Awards & Fun Day8:00 – 1:00 p.m.
6/2Commencement, Curtis Lawn2:00 p.m.