Panther Roar Newsletter Header 2020

Upper School Newsletter for November 15, 2020

Thank you all for your understanding and flexibility over the past week during the temporary shift to remote learning in the Upper School. We have been so impressed with the students and the manner in which they have adapted to the virtual platform. The faculty are working hard to provide instruction, continuity, and support for their students, and we all look forward to being together again on campus very soon.

Since last month’s newsletters, we witnessed another fantastic Halloween costume parade on the fields, we held our mid-semester Parent-Teacher conferences, we hosted our fall virtual Middle & Upper School Open Houses for prospective families, and we had the pleasure of celebrating the post-season athletic accomplishments of our fall teams and athletes. The midterm point of the students’ first semester has now passed, and, amazingly, we are now less than a week away from Thanksgiving Break, and a mere four academic weeks until the end of the first semester.

As we look to the weeks ahead, I wish all of our students and families safety, good health, and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School

Ms. Bourget’s Spanish students recently completed a unit on food, and as part of the unit collected some healthy food for the Yarmouth food pantry. They took advantage of the recent nice Maine weather to deliver their contribution.


School pictures are now up on NYA’s SmugMug website! To access the site, go to Our SmugMug password is:  NYApanthers (Please note that the password is case sensitive)

If you would like to order prints, you can do so via SmugMug. Once you find the photo you would like to purchase:

  • Click on the shopping cart icon on the bottom right corner of the photo.
  • Select Paper Prints (on the left).
  • Select your size (most sizes can be found under Standard Sizes; wallets are under Other Sizes).
  • Complete your order.

Thank you for your patience with school portraits this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we chose to do the portraits in house, and it took longer than usual. If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Belesca.


Enjoy this update on managing holiday stress from Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor.


Project Graduation is a safe, fun filled, alcohol-free program of activities for our seniors after graduation. Parents work throughout the year to raise funds to provide special events to make the night of graduation unforgettable for our seniors. This year’s organizers are already at work raising money with the NYA Annual Poinsettia Sale. Place your orders HERE now through November 29. Due to COVID-19, families will pick up the poinsettias at Estabrook’s Nursery in Yarmouth rather than on campus. You will receive a voucher to use at Estabrook’s once you place your order and pick up will take place from November 30 to December 6. Please help support Project Graduation and share the link with your friends and family!


The Parents’ Association usually sells wreaths and greenery during this time of year as a fundraiser. Unfortunately, the PA was unable to find a wreath vendor this year due to the pandemic. We are very sorry for the inconvenience, and we hope to offer this fundraiser next year!


Although athletic updates are constantly being revised. Here is the latest information. Please contact Kelsy Ross with any additional questions.

On Monday, November 9, the state released revised guidelines and regulations related to both community and school sponsored sports. The updates more closely aligned the ways in which each group can offer athletics and activities and were made in order to more universally fight increasing COVID-19 cases in our state. In response to these updates, please review the following timeline:

Monday, November 9 to Sunday, November 29 – Virtual Upper School After School Activities

  • These activities will be offered during the 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. remote learning schedule block
  • Upper School hockey coaches will communicate with their current rosters via email
  • As MPA athletics are still under no coach contact, Ms. Ross will communicate with all other students via email
  • Drama will begin, Monday, November 16. Information will be emailed by Coach Krainis

Monday, November 30 to Sunday, December 6 In-Person After School Activity Gatherings Resume

  • Upper School hockey coaches will communicate schedule details to current rosters and work under the current state physical education (PE) guidelines
  • Ms. Ross will communicate with all other students to sign up for select open gym offerings, run under the current state PE guidelines

Monday, November 30Studio Band will begin (tentative); Information will be emailed by Mr. Ramsey

Monday, December 7 to Sunday, December 13 – MPA and Upper School hockey teams will hold in-person practices under the school sport guidelines (individualized skills and drills; no inter-squad competition)

Monday, December 14 to Sunday, January 10MPA and Upper School hockey teams will hold practices and team competitions (in-house), under school sponsored guidelines

Monday, January 11MPA and Upper School hockey teams begin regionalized competition against teams from the same geographic area, under school sponsored guidelines

We understand the important role after school activities play in so many of your lives. We share many of your frustrations in the way the recent surge of COVID-19 cases has impacted our ability to gather in these groups. We also believe in the commitment of our community to adhere to the guidelines and do the right thing. We feel the above timeline allows us to safely – albeit slowly – return to activities in the best way possible.


Enjoy this update from Heather Dean, NYA’s athletic trainer and K-5 PE teacher.


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 Brunswick, 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. Cancellations or delays are posted first on Ben Jackson’s “Head of School” Instagram accountbjacksonnya_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 social media. The school will remain open until all children can be safely picked up by parents or other authorized individuals.


While everyone enjoys the opportunity to dress casually, it is made more meaningful when we use these days as opportunities to support organizations and families in need. Each year, NYA “adopts” area families and raises funds to purchase much needed household essentials and a few fun extras for the holidays as part of our Holiday Families initiative.

On Wednesday, December 2, we will have a Dress Down Day to raise funds for Cooking for Community, which supports both area restaurants and individuals with food insecurity by paying restaurants to prepare easy to reheat packaged meals using primarily locally sourced ingredients. Maggie Mae’s in Yarmouth is a member restaurant, and our funds will benefit local families in need. Thank you to E-Beth Goodrich for sponsoring this fundraiser.

Students wishing to participate in these dress down days should bring in $3. Exact change is appreciated!


Due to current restrictions in place, NYA will not host a flu shot clinic this year. However, the CDC highly recommends flu shots, now more than ever. Below are some options for flu shots this year:

  • Your doctor’s office – Call to set up an appointment and to confirm availability.
  • Pharmacies – Maine pharmacies offer flu shots to ages 7 and up. You could take a chance and pop in OR you can call ahead to ensure they have enough supply for the demand.
  • Urgent Care – Many urgent care offices throughout the state are offering free flu shots (e.g. Convenient MD is offering free flu shots for those 6 months and older, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). Call or check websites to determine options in your area.


The second session of NYA Parents’ Association’s Morning Forum Series, Student Health and Wellness During COVID , will be held on Wednesday, December 2 via Zoom from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. Speakers will include Cindy Hould P ‘33, NYA Counselor, and Ian Ramsey, Director of the NYA Kauffmann Program. The Zoom invitation will be sent on December 1. We hope that you are able to join us!


11/23-11/27Thanksgiving BreakNo School
11/29Last day for poinsettia orders
11/30Classes resume
11/30-12/6Poinsettia Pickup at Estabrook’s in Yarmouth
12/2Morning Forum via Zoom8:15-9:15 a.m.
12/2Dress Down Day for Cooking for Community$3
12/9Dress Down Day for Holiday Families$3
12/17End of First Semester
12/17Last day of classes before Winter Break
12/18-1/1Winter BreakNo School
1/4Classes resume; Second Semester begins


Facebook – North Yarmouth Academy Page, NYA Parents’ Association Group, North Yarmouth Academy Athletics Page
YouTube – North Yarmouth Academy
Twitter – @NYAToday
Flickr – nyatoday
Instagram – Ben Jackson HOS
Instagram – northyarmouthacademy