Upper School Newsletter for December 9, 2018

Dear Parents,

Happy December! As the final week of the first semester is now upon us, yearlong classes are approaching their annual midpoints, and all first semester electives are nearing their end. Naturally, the probability of a ‘Snow Day’ also increases this time of year, along with the inevitable shuffling such a day can create amidst even the best of planning. As Ben Jackson announced to the student body at a recent Friday Forum, the first spot to learn about school delays and cancellations can be found on his official NYA Instagram account: jacksonnya_hos.

We look forward to seeing you all at this Tuesday night’s annual student art opening (5:30 p.m.) in the Curtis Gallery and the Upper School Winter Concert, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Our students and faculty have put a great deal of work into both events, and we hope you can come out and enjoy the evening.

My very best wishes to you and your family during the upcoming Winter Break!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


This week, NYA received a gift of $100,000 to be used for need-based student financial aid. The gift , from anonymous donors, will support both current-use financial aid ($25,000) and the North Yarmouth Academy Endowed Fund for Scholarship Assistance ($75,000), which provides need-based aid to deserving students. Read full story here.


Report cards and comments for the Fall Semester will be sent out via email in early January. Report cards list each class with the teacher and letter grade. Comments written by each teacher accompany the report cards. These provide more detailed feedback on the student’s performance in class, highlighting strengths, and offering suggestions about areas to work on. If there are any questions about report cards or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact the individual teacher, the advisor, or Eric Austin.


The junior class will be holding a fundraiser at Chipotle in South Portland (359 Maine Mall Road) today, December 9, from 5:00-9:00 p.m. The class will receive a portion of the sales from all orders made during that time if NYA is mentioned at checkout. Bring your friends and family to Chipotle for dinner and support the juniors as they raise money for prom!


NYA is sponsoring a dress down day ($3) on Thursday, December 13 to support the Portland Rotary Club’s upcoming service trip to La Romana in the Dominican Republic. A group of Maine Rotarians will be traveling to La Romana to provide water filters to over 100 impoverished homes in the town, provide audiology care and hearing aids for over 300 hearing impaired patients from all over the island, and to continue to partner with one of the schools in La Romana. The funds raised from our dress down day will support the purchase of school supplies for the students and teachers in that school.


Do you have any old or outgrown snowshoes collecting dust somewhere? If so, pass them on to NYA! We are looking for snowshoes of all sizes to add to our current set for PE classes and other groups to utilize in exploring the great, wintry outdoors. We’d also love ice skates and helmets! Donated items can be dropped off at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools.


Thanks to donations and funds raised through our dress down days, we have been able to purchase household items, toys, gift cards, and more for our Holiday Families. We would welcome donations of gently used jackets, boots, snow gear, and warm clothes as well. Collection bins are located at the Main Office in the Upper School or at the reception desks in the Middle and Lower Schools. All items must be in by Tuesday, December 11. Thank you for your help in supporting this worthy cause!


The student Executive Council will soon be conducting a secret gift exchange called “Amigo Secreto” for the entire Upper School. This voluntary series of gift giving will take place during this last week before Winter Break (December 11 – December 14).  The goals include having fun, sharing kindness, and pleasantly surprising your gift recipient. Homemade gifts, repurposing, and minimizing costs are all encouraged and part of the fun!


On Wednesday, December 12, Key Club will be holding a gingerbread decorating competition during school period in the Community Room. The funds raised will benefit March of Dimes, an organization that helps premature babies and their mothers. The entry fee is $10 for two member teams and $15 for teams of three or more. Entry fees must be paid by Tuesday, December 11. All materials will be supplied. The winning gingerbread house will be selected by an anonymous judging panel, and the winning team will receive a selection of gift cards from local business (e.g. Romeo’s, Rosemont, Pat’s, etc.).


The NYA Parents’ Association is delighted to announce this year’s first Parents’ Night Out at Woodhull Public House on Thursday, December 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.! PNO is a relaxed opportunity to meet fellow NYA parents, toast the season, and blow off a bit of holiday steam! Babysitting will be offered by Upper School students raising money for the Make-A-Wish Club. Contact Liz Smith to sign up for babysitting. Suggested donation is $10 per child per hour. Babysitting will be in the great room in the Merrill Lower School Building from 4:45-7:15 p.m. Come meet old friends and new.


sick-childIf your child is sick, please have them STAY HOME for the benefit of their health and the health of the school community. Indicators for staying home: vomiting or being too nauseated to eat breakfast; a throat so sore it hurts to swallow; a temperature of 100° or higher; incessant coughing or nose blowing; a pounding, blinding headache; utter exhaustion or aching all over. To return to school, the symptoms listed should be significantly decreased, if not resolved, AND the child should be fever free without use of Advil/Tylenol for 24 hours. If you are wondering whether you have a cold or the flu, please check here for additional information. A reminder that students are not permitted to possess any medication, over-the-counter or prescription, at school. If a student requires medication during school hours, please contact the school nurse. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ashley Moody.


Congratulations to the following students who have been accepted from statewide auditions into the All-State Music Festival ensembles:

ORCHESTRA: Madeleine Vaillancourt, cello; Matt McGrath, string bass

MIXED CHORUS: Malia Morin, soprano; Madeleine Vaillancourt, alto; Pierce Manchester, bass

TREBLE CHORUS: Jackie Ellsworth, alto; Afton Morton, alto


Juniors will take part in our Annual College Kick Off Program on Thursday January 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. We invite recent graduates to return to NYA to share their perspectives and insight into the college search and application process as well as their experiences so far in college. This is an informal, discussion based program designed to give juniors a better sense of what to expect as the college search and application process unfolds during the next year. Refreshments will be provided. There will not be practices during this event.


Alex Kloza and Crystal Gordon have arranged for a series of open skates at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena for students, alumni, families, and friends. Upcoming open skate dates are as follows:


  • Thursday, December 20 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (immediately following the Alumni Hockey Game)
  • Thursday, December 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 29 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, January 5 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 21 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


  • Monday, March 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 11 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Helmets are required for everyone on the ice. No sticks, please.  For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon.


Project Graduation is an all-night event comprised of safe, organized, adult supervised activities offered as part of a post-graduation celebration for our NYA seniors. The Project Graduation Committee collects and redeems returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK system at Hannaford as one of our fundraisers for this annual event. Please pick up a pre-tagged CLYNK bag, take it home, fill it up, and drop it off at any Hannaford CLYNK location. Pre-tagged CLYNK bags can be picked up at the main office in the Upper School and the Middle and Lower School reception desks.  Thank you for supporting our seniors!


Kiva is a non-profit organization that coordinates giving microloans to under-served entrepreneurs around the world. NYA’s Kiva Club is organizing a Change for Change fundraiser that began after Thanksgiving break and runs until Friday, December 14. Each grade has a class jar to collect change. The collection jars for the Upper School are located in Mr. Sillin’s classroom. Quarters and Pennies are “positive” coins — add them to your grade’s jar to increase your total. Nickels and Dimes are “negative” coins — add them to other grades’ jars to lower their totals. $1 and $10 are positive, $5 and $20 are negative, $50 and $100 bills are positive. The grade with the highest total on December 14 will receive a free dress down day when we return from Winter Break. Thank you for your donations!


NYA is offering a monthly guided mindfulness session open to everyone in the NYA community. The sessions are led by Ian Ramsey, who has a 20-year meditation practice. The next session is scheduled from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12. All are welcome!


12/9 Junior Class Fundraiser, Chipotle, South Portland 5:00-9:00 p.m.
12/11 Amigo Secreto Gift Exchange Begins
12/11 Upper School Winter Concert, NYA Gym 6:30 p.m.
12/12 Guided Mindfulness, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
12/12 Key Club’s Gingerbread House Competition, MSCR 10:15 a.m.
12/13 Dress Down Day for La Romana School $3
12/13 Parents’ Night Out, Woodhull Public House, Yarmouth 5:00-7:00 p.m.
12/14 Last day of Classes before Winter Break
12/14 NYA Gear Sale, PSMS 1:30-3:30 p.m.
12/14 End of First Semester
12/17-1/1 Winter Break NO SCHOOL
12/20 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/22 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:30-6:30 p.m.
12/27 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:30 p.m.
12/29 NYA Open Skate, Travis Roy Ice Arena 5:00-6:00 p.m.
1/1 New Year’s Day NO SCHOOL
1/2 Classes resume; Second Semester begins
1/3 College Kickoff for Juniors, MSCR  2:00 p.m.
1/11-1/12 District II Instrumental Festival, Oxford Hills High School
2/1-2/2 District II Vocal Festival, Greely High School


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