Panther Roar Newsletter Header 2020

Upper School Newsletter for August 9, 2020

Dear Upper School Families,

I trust that you are all having a healthy, restful, and relaxing summer so far, all the while keeping in mind that four weeks still remain!

As we continue working to prepare the NYA campus for the return of students and the opening of school, we are delighted to welcome both new and returning families to our NYA community as we begin the 2020-2021 school year. It will be exciting to have our students, faculty, and staff back on campus again beginning on Tuesday, September 8. Although the day-to-day “normalcies” of school will look quite different as we incorporate some new and required daily protocols this fall, we look forward to a safe and proper return to on-campus learning for the first time since last March.

As we enjoy the remaining weeks of summer, this first monthly Panther Roar newsletter provides some important back-to-school announcements and reminders as we all plan ahead for September. In addition, we will host an Upper School community meeting on Zoom this coming Thursday at 4:00 p.m. to review our reopening plans.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions, and I very much look forward to the new school year ahead.

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


A reminder to all Upper School families that we are hosting a community Zoom meeting on Thursday, August 13 at 4:00 p.m. This meeting will provide additional information and updates regarding the opening of the school year and NYA’s Return to Campus Plan. You may register for the meeting here. The registration link also includes space for you to indicate any specific topics that you would like us to cover in the meeting.


New Middle and Upper School Student Orientation will be held on the morning of Wednesday, September 2 from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m. This is a student-only event and an opportunity for all new students to come to campus, meet their teachers, advisor, and some classmates, and learn more about the Upper School at NYA. Time will also be given to learning more about the daily academic schedule, understanding the technology platform we use, taking a tour of campus, and having some Q&A time with student ambassadors. All students should bring their fully charged BYOD device with them for the technology portion of the orientation. Dress for students will be comfortable, casual, and masked. Additional information will be sent out prior to the event.


All rising ninth graders are invited to participate in a brief orientation program here on campus from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2, directly following the New Student Orientation earlier that morning. The program will include meeting the class deans, participating in some informational sessions, and meeting classmates. Dress for students will be comfortable, casual, and masked. Students will assemble in Grizzy Quad, next to the Savage Middle School Building, for introductions.


Parents, please mark your calendars for a virtual Upper School Parent Night on Wednesday, September 16, beginning at 6:45 p.m. This event will begin with some information about the evening for all parents followed by a virtual progression through your student’s schedule with individual classroom teachers.


The Upper School Dean structure is set for the upcoming year, with the following faculty members serving as Grade Deans (who remain at that grade level each year) and Class Deans (who advance each year with the class):

  • Freshmen: Grade Deans (Ms. Markham & Mr. Gagne), Class Dean (Mr. Myer)
  • Sophomores: Grade Deans (Mr. Sillin & Ms. Lake Adams), Class Dean (Ms. Michaelis)
  • Juniors: Grade Deans (Ms. Smith & Dr. Sengupta), Class Dean (Mr. Gengras)
  • Seniors: Grade Deans (Ms. Sullivan & Ms. Kanzler), Class Dean (Ms. Jaffe)


While there will still be some additions to the Class Officers list for 2020-2021, the following students were elected by their classmates last spring to serve in their respective roles.  (The freshman class will have their elections early in the fall.)

President of the Executive Council:  Elizabeth Goodrich

Senior Class

  • President:  Jackie Ellsworth
  • Vice President:  Annie Sillin
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Jack Thibodeau
  • Activities/Fundraising:  Alaina Rauf
  • Athletic Council:  Chris Hamblett & Lilly Weinrich
  • Judiciary Committee: Emma Collins & Alaina Rauf

Junior Class

  • President:  Lila Jackson
  • Vice President:  Jack Schaeffer
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Aidan Lacombe
  • Activities/Fundraising:  Emilia McKenney
  • Athletic Council:  Emma Sharp & Noah Silander
  • Judiciary Committee:  Noah Hallward-Rough, Mary Parker, & Alev Yilmaz

Sophomore Class

  • President:  Ethan Rapkin-Stiles
  • Vice President:  Sally Stronge
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Seamus Rohde
  • Activities/Fundraising:  Jack Hegarty
  • Athletic Council:  Jack Byrne & Angel Huntsman
  • Judiciary Committee: Rogers Crowley & Sally Stronge


The first day of school, Tuesday, September 8, is a Dress-Up Day: dress pants (no shorts) with dress shirt and tie (blazer not required); dress (no more than 3 inches above the knee); or skirt (no more than 3 inches above the knee) or professional dress pants with blouse or dress top.

We will have a special schedule on the first day to help streamline the first full wellness check experience and to ease students’ transition into the new school year. More details will be sent out closer to the start of school.


An essential step in preparing for the new school year is to make sure that you have completed all necessary Family Forms. Health forms are of critical importance, especially now, and no students will be permitted on campus without the Annual Health Information and Authorization for Health Care Form. Please contact Ashley Moody with any questions regarding health forms.


Every student will undergo a quick wellness check before entering school each morning. The check will include a short series of questions (fever, symptoms, potential exposure) and a no-contact temperature screening (with a touchless forehead thermometer). Two staff members will be at each screening location to conduct the wellness checks. Staff will be wearing face masks and shields and may wear additional PPE. All students must wear approved face masks and maintain physical distancing during the wellness check and while waiting in line. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we all become accustomed to this new process.


Drop off procedures each morning will include the wellness check (see above) and locations are grade-specific.

Wellness checks for all juniors and seniors will take place outside at the entrance to the gym. After the wellness check, students will enter the gym foyer, make a quick stop at their lockers, and proceed directly to their music or study hall classroom.

Wellness checks for all freshmen and sophomores, along with Middle School students, will take place in the quad between Savage Middle School and Mertz Science Center. Students will be dropped off in the Middle School parking lot turnaround and will walk around the Science Center to line up in Grizzy Quad. Middle School students will line up to the left and ninth and tenth grade students to the right. There will be markings to help maintain physical distancing while in line. After the wellness check, students will enter the Science Center, make a quick stop at their lockers, and proceed directly to their music or study hall classroom.

To help streamline the drop-off process, we are staggering drop-off times by grade:

  • Grade 9: 7:30-7:45 a.m.
  • Grade 10: 7:45-8:00 a.m.
  • Siblings may come in the time slot for either student.

Students who arrive late (after 8:00) should wait outside the Middle School entrance and notify Mrs. Goodrich at 846-9051. Mrs. Goodrich or another staff member will come outside to conduct the wellness check and then give the student a late slip for class.


Attendance will be taken daily during wellness checks. Parents should call 846-9051 or email by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. Because late arrivals can be disruptive to the student and the class, we ask that families make every effort to consistently arrive to school on time. Students who arrive late (after 8:00) should notify Mrs. Goodrich at 846-9051 and wait outside the Middle School entrance for their wellness check.


A reminder to all parents to be sure that you have set up a parent account in Family Web. Family Web is a section of our website where announcements, directory information, calendars, lunch menus, and additional school information can be found. You can access Family Web under the Parents tab at the top of the NYA homepage. If you have not yet set up a parent account in Family Web, follow these instructions and then review the information on how to use Family Web. You will also want to check that your directory information is accurate and make any changes if needed. Contact Chris Mazzurco, Director of IT, with any questions.


Students should come prepared on the first day with all textbooks. Students received textbook information in the mid-summer update sent to families back on July 22 and NYA’s virtual bookstore can be accessed at any time. For questions on textbooks, please contact Lisa Robbins.


As part of NYA’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, all students are required to have their own laptop or similar device and to bring it to campus each day. You can find the minimum system requirements here (also posted in Technology under the Student and Parent tabs on the NYA homepage).  Contact Chris Mazzurco with any questions regarding technology or BYOD.


Please remember that the 2020 Summer Assignments must be completed for the first day of school. All students have summer reading assignments in English. In addition, students who are continuing their language studies in Level II or above in French, Latin, or Spanish have summer assignments to help keep their knowledge of the language fresh after time away from school. There are also summer assignments for students in mathematics and for those taking AP classes.


All students enrolled in a mathematics class in the Upper School must own (and begin the school year with) a Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator. These calculators can be purchased either online or in local stores. Students only need to purchase this calculator once, as it is the calculator used for all levels of mathematics at NYA throughout the students’ high school years.


Students received draft schedules earlier in the summer primarily intended for textbook purchasing. Some academic schedules may remain exactly the same, but other schedules will have changes and additions that will include music and art classes, study halls, and locker numbers. Some schedule changes may include class time and/or location changes. Advisors will hand out the complete and most up-to-date schedules at advisory on the first day of school.  Current schedules can also be accessed at any time through Family Web.



Student drivers must register the vehicle(s) that they intend to drive to school with Mrs. Johnson in the Main Office by Monday, September 14. All student vehicles are required to have a numbered parking sticker. Please complete this registration form and give it to Mrs. Johnson in the Main Office. A sticker will be assigned at that time.


Due to the new protocols in place on campus for morning screenings and ease of movement and distancing, all Main Street parking is now reserved for Lower School drop-off and pick-up only. All student drivers, including seniors, must park their vehicles in the ice arena lot.


We are revamping campus dining procedures to ensure student safety and limit large gatherings. Students may continue to bring food and drink from home for break and lunch or purchase them from NYA Dining Services. All campus meals will be pre-order or in grab-and-go format in disposable containers. We have designated a streamlined route through Safford Center for students to pick up and go, and students will be masked and maintain physical distancing during pick-up. Rather than eating as a large group in the cafeteria, we will eat in classrooms or outside. Families may set up dining accounts through “” Student IDs, which are used for setting up dining accounts, will be available for new students at New Middle and Upper School Orientation. Please note that there is no option for cash sales this year. Contact Lisa McGlinn in the Business Office with any questions. Lunch menus are available on Family Web.


NYA has long had an active and vibrant music program. With ongoing study regarding the spread of COVID-19 through aerosol droplets produced by singing or playing wind instruments, however, we will need to adjust how we manage music rehearsals this fall. All music classes will meet, but some groups are being split into two sections to allow for smaller numbers and greater social distancing. Strings and Steel Band will start off with instruments, but will need to follow new precautions, such as not sharing sheet music. Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band will also continue to meet. These groups are currently deemed higher risk, but will be able to practice outdoors, and will also explore different music activities, which could include a variety of options including (but not limited to) percussion, composition, critical listening, ear training, audiation, ukulele, music theory, and music history.


Guidance from the Maine Department of Education (DOE), Maine Principals’ Association (MPA), and the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) will shape our decisions around competition schedules, transportation, and offerings this fall. There will undoubtedly be significant changes to our fall sports, and we will provide updates as they become available. We remain committed to our tradition of after school activities and are looking at how to best provide these opportunities safely to our students. First practices are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 8. Contact Kelsy Ross with any questions regarding athletics.


Some reminders about the daily dress code:

  • Skirts, dresses, kilts (longer than mid-thigh; no more than three inches above the knee)
  • Dress pants/slacks/corduroys/khakis/chinos
  • Dress shorts (knee-length, Bermuda style)
  • Buttoned up, collared dress shirt (tucked in as appropriate) with/without a sweater
  • Dress blouse with/without a sweater
  • Footwear (clean, neat, & worn at all times)

Please see the full details of the dress code in the Upper School Student & Parent Handbook.


8/11Lower School Community Zoom Meeting4:00 p.m.
8/12Middle School Community Zoom Meeting4:00 p.m.
8/13Upper School Community Zoom Meeting4:00 p.m.
9/2New Middle & Upper School Student Orientation8:45-10:45 a.m.
9/2Freshman Orientation, Grizzy Quad11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
9/8First Day of School; Dress-Up Day
9/8First Day of Fall Athletic Practices
9/16Upper School Virtual Parent Night6:45 p.m.
9/17Middle School Virtual Parent Night6:30 p.m.
9/18Sky Day Project
9/21International Day of Peace
9/26Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club7:15 a.m.
10/1Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/12Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day)NO SCHOOL


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