Upper School Newsletter for November 12, 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome, November!

Since the start of this new month, we have already hosted our fall NYA Middle & Upper School Open House for prospective families, we held our fall semester Parent/Teacher conferences, and we have even experienced our first extended power outage of the season. Students have passed the midterm point of their first semester and are now just a week away from Thanksgiving break. We also look forward to celebrating the achievements of our fall athletic teams this coming week at the Athletic Recognition evening on Wednesday night beginning at 6:00 p.m.

I also encourage you to consider attending the Digital Citizenship seminar intended for NYA parents this Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room.  Jennifer Hanson, Director of Library Services at Worcester Academy, will speak about social media issues while offering resources for parents who might be navigating these topics with their children.

In the meantime, we hope this newsletter provides some helpful reminders and information for you as we look to the weeks ahead.

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


We recently launched a new peer mentoring program at NYA that was introduced during the Freshman Seminar. This is a student initiative that was proposed by Rick Hilscher (’18) last spring. The intent of the program is to provide freshmen with an additional source of support on campus. All freshmen have been paired with a mentor (senior) or mentoring team (two seniors or a senior and a junior). We will provide opportunities to foster these peer connections over the next few months. This past week, all mentors and mentees traveled to Bradbury State Park after school on Wednesday and Thursday.  It was perfect hiking weather and the kids were able to spend some time together off campus while enjoying hot chocolate, cider, and snacks.


Mark your calendars this week for NYA’s fall season Athletic Recognition evening in the gymnasium this coming Wednesday, November 15 at 6:00 p.m.


NYA will host a parent education seminar on digital citizenship on Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room. Jennifer Hanson, Director of Library Services at Worcester Academy, will present on topics that include the benefits and challenges of social media: making positive choices in the digital world; handling challenges in the digital world (e.g. cyberbullying); online safety; resources for parents. Jennifer will present workshops to students in grades 5-12 during the school day.


pumpkin-pieAttention all bakers (and want-to-be-bakers) in the NYA community:  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, here is an opportunity for NYA families to reach out and help others who may be experiencing difficult times…in the form of a pumpkin pie (or 2 or 3)! Each year, The Root Cellar collects pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving meal baskets that go to families in need in the Greater Portland area. This is a tough time for many families, and there is an ever-increasing need for food. For the past twelve years, our family has donated pies to the Root Cellar as part of the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Family Network. Again this year, we would like to extend an invitation to all NYA students and families to join in on this simple, yet fulfilling activity. Additional information on how to join this effort is available here.  ~ Cathy Jakubowitch (Jack Kostelnik ’17, Xander Kostelnik ’19)


On November 28, NYA will welcome award-winning author Sy Montgomery. Sy’s books for both adults and children, including The Soul of an Octopus, The Good Good Pig, Spell of The Tiger, and Mother Bear Man, have garnered many honors. Sy will do presentations and workshops with Lower and Middle School students throughout the day. She will also do a parent presentation at 6:30 p.m. in Higgins Hall with a focus on her adventures throughout the world. The evening session is open to the public. Sy’s visit is part of the NYA Kauffmann Program lecture series.


The NYA community is working to support the Preble Street Shelter by collecting donations of food to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays. Seasonally, and especially with the start of the cold weather, they are in need of extra supplies to serve the individuals and families who rely on their help. Students are asked to bring donations of the following items to the Main Office or Middle School reception area: Stuffing Mix; Rice; Pasta; Gravy; Canned Fruit and Vegetables; Coffee; Canned Soup; Canned Beans; and Cooking Oils. In celebration of the spirit of giving, students will enjoy a Dress Down Day on Tuesday, November 14. Thank you for your generosity!


Now that we are past the power outages (hopefully) the ninth grade class trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has been rescheduled for Thursday, December 7.  Students will board the Amtrak Downeaster for the Museum and some other activities in Boston.  One benefit of the rescheduling will be a temporary exhibit on daily life in ancient Greece.  Additionally, students will be studying the cultures of ancient Rome and China, as well, with ties to their English and history classes.  Details will be sent to ninth grade parents soon.


NYA’s Make-A-Wish Club will host a Choral Concert at 7:00 p.m. on November 16 at the First Universalist Church in makeawish-logoYarmouth. Singing groups from Bowdoin College, Freeport High School, Mt. Ararat High School, NYA, and more will perform, and representatives from Make-A-Wish of Maine will speak. The concert is free and donations are encouraged. Contact Heidi Grant with any questions.

The NYA Make-A-Wish Club will also host a Black [& Orange] Friday Ice Hockey Clinic at Travis Roy Arena on November 24. The idea behind this fundraiser is parents can shop while kids get a few hours of ice time with NYA varsity ice hockey coaches and players. Check-in begins any time after 11:00 a.m., and the clinic will run from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. with a food break in between. Male and female skaters of all abilities from Mites to PeeWees are welcome! The cost of the clinic is $50, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish of Maine. Skates, stick, and helmet are required. Register here! Contact Liz Smith with any questions.


The Lower School Drama Club is presenting Jungle Book KIDS on Wednesday, November 15, at 2:30 p.m. in Safford. Lower School students have been hard at work since September bringing the story of Mowgli, Baloo, and all the jungle animals to life. The play is free and open to the public.



Because it is sometimes necessary to cancel or delay the start of a school day due to stormy conditions, we reach out to families in numerous ways during times of bad weather. Due to the variety of weather patterns, from Boothbay to Biddeford and from Bridgton to Freeport, it may look like clear going in one town while another is “snowed under.” The administration makes cancellation/late start decisions with student safety as a top consideration. If it has already or will soon stop snowing but the road crews have not been able to clear the streets, the administration may decide to delay the start of the school day. Buses will be delayed two hours in this instance. nya-sign-snowCancellations or delays are posted first on Ben Jackson’s “Head of School” Instagram account– bjacksonnya_hos. A text alert and email notification are then sent out, and the information is posted on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, cancellations are reported to channels 6, 8, 13, and NECN. At times, power outages can interfere with some of these methods of notification, so if you are uncertain, please check multiple sites.

In the event that snow arrives unexpectedly or earlier and/or heavier than predicted, the administration may decide to call for an early release from school. If this is the case, we will make every attempt to contact parents. The early release will be announced on local radio and television stations (if possible), will be sent out via text alert and email notification, and will be posted on the NYA website. The school will remain open until all children can be safely picked up by parents or other authorized individuals.


Please save the date of Friday, April 27, 2018 for the annual NYA Soirée at Brick South, Thompson’s Point. This year’s gathering will include a live auction, games, cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and plenty of fun. Kindly help us spread the word and plan to attend!

Planning for the Soirée is underway by event chairpersons Josie Griffin P ’27, P ’30; Jen Edwards P ’30, P ’32; Gretchen Lacombe P ’22; and Amity Jackson P ’21, P’22, P ’26 in concert with the Development Office. If you have ideas for the event please share them with this team. Also, if you are able to offer any auction or table prizes this year, please be in touch with the event chairpersons or Jennifer Richard at NYA. In the past, successful auction items have included jewelry, travel packages, concert and sporting event tickets, fine dining, and unique experiences. Table prizes are typically smaller items such as gift cards to local vendors, flower arrangements, craft beer and wine, and sweet treats. Let’s make this a fun, meaningful night for the NYA community!


Kiva is a non-profit organization that coordinates the giving of microloans to under-served entrepreneurs around the world. NYA’s Kiva club is organizing a Change for Change fundraiser beginning after Thanksgiving break and running until Friday, December 15. Each grade will have a class jar to collect change. 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 15 will receive a free dress down day when we return from winter break. Thank you for your donations!


Mark your calendars! The NYA Parents’ Association will host the Annual Holiday Craft Fair and Book Sale on Saturday, December 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in the gymnasium and Safford Center. This annual event is held in conjunction with a town-wide holiday celebration, Yarmouth Hometown Holidays. Get a jump on your holiday shopping while browsing over seventy talented and unique vendors from across the state. Enjoy a sit-down lunch at the NYA Café and listen to holiday music by the NYA Chorus. A special raffle table filled with vendor’s goodies will benefit Project Graduation, and of course the PA will have a table selling all the NYA gear you need!

The Holiday Craft Fair is a substantial fundraiser for the Parents’ Association. Money raised from booth rental fees helps support NYA teacher grant requests. But, it’s your participation that makes these vendors want to return year after year. As always, we are looking for a few volunteers to help set up on Friday, move vendors in, and take down after the event on Saturday. Please sign up for a shift if you are able to volunteer. Help out & feel good!


Once again, the NYA library will be holding a used book sale at the NYA Craft Fair on Saturday, December 2. We would like your gently used books, and will accept books for ANY age, young children through adults. You may drop off your books in the NYA library or at the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Contact NYA librarian Eliot Grady with any questions. Thank you for your support!


University of Maine’s Men’s Ice Hockey Team will hold their annual “Skate with the Bears” at NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena this year. UMaine will be playing Boston University on Saturday, November 18 in Portland, and will come to NYA on Sunday, November 19 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for this event. The team will be flying to Ireland for a tournament later Sunday afternoon. The event is open to the public and is a chance for kids and adults to skate, meet, and get autographs with the team. All players will be in attendance. We hope to see you there!


The NYA Parents’ Association’s Wrepoinsettiaath Sale and Project Graduation’s Poinsettia Sale are underway. Order Forms are combined this year, and are available at each of the three school offices and on the NYA website. These fundraisers are an easy way to support the PA’s grants and programming as well as the graduating Class of 2018. Please take a minute to place your order and help spread the word to friends, family and local businesses. The deadline for orders is November 15, and orders will be available for pick up at NYA on November 30 and December 1. If you have any questions, please contact Corinne Larson.


11/14 Dress Down Day for Preble Street food donations
11/15 Lower School Drama Performance, Jungle Book KIDS, Safford 2:30 p.m.
11/15 Upper School Athletic Recognition, NYA gym 6:00 p.m.
11/15 Deadline for Wreath and Poinsettia Orders
11/16 Digital Citizenship Workshop for Parents, MSCR 5:30 p.m.
11/16 NYA Make-A-Wish Choral Concert, First Universalist Church 7:00 p.m.
11/17 Last day of classes before Thanksgiving Break
11/17 Pumpkin Pie Donations Due, Middle School 7:30-8:30 a.m.
11/19 Skate with the Bears, NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
11/20-11/24 Thanksgiving Break NO SCHOOL
11/24 NYA Make-A-Wish Black (and Orange) Friday Skate, NYA’s Travis Roy Arena 12:00-2:00 p.m.
11/27 Classes resume
11/28 Visit from author Sy Montgomery
11/29 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families gift item or $3
11/30-12/1 Wreath and Poinsettia Pick-Up, MSCR
12/2 NYA Craft Fair, Curtis 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
12/7 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families gift item or $3
12/15 Last day of classes before Winter Break
12/18-1/1 Winter Break
1/2 Classes resume; Second Semester begins


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