Upper School Newsletter for October 15, 2017

Dear Parents,

Thank you for taking the time to schedule and attend parent/advisor conferences over the past week. These conferences provide a terrific opportunity to discuss how the school year is going so far for your daughters and sons. Furthermore, these discussions assist each advisor to focus on some of the ways in which we can best support each of our students as the fall semester progresses.

Congratulations to all of our fall athletic teams for their spirit and successes so far as we look forward to cheering on those teams who are destined for post-season tournament competition. Our seniors have also been working hard to meet the upcoming deadlines for college applications with the guidance of Katherine and Steve Thomas, as well as finalizing the year’s senior speech schedule with speech advisors Ross Markonish and Dave Gagne. We are also very excited for this year’s Upper and Middle School Grandparents’ Day, occurring this coming Friday, October 20.

Parent/Teacher conferences are also coming right up in November and serve as a great opportunity for parents to obtain a current mid-semester summary of student progress in each class. We look forward to seeing you there (more information about conferences follows below). If you are not able to attend, our faculty members will be happy to send along a summary email for you.

Finally, I would like to offer a quick thanks to our Class Parent Representatives for keeping everyone informed of special events this fall (Jenna Klein Jonsson, Richard Maurer, Corinne Larson, and Janette Davis). We also appreciate the efforts of Deb Ramsey (Grandparents’ Day Coordinator), Kate Tufts (NYA Craft Fair Coordinator), and the ongoing help of our Upper School Parent Coordinator (Deb Hilscher) and Parents’ Association President (Scott Frank).

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

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, November 2 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Friday, November 3 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no school for students on these two days. Each conference will last ten minutes. This is an opportunity for parents to talk with individual teachers about the progress of their child in that class. Instructions for the sign-up process will be sent out this week. Please remember that sign-ups for conferences are on a first come, first served basis. We look forward to seeing all of the parents over the course of these two days, but if your schedule prevents a meeting, please contact a teacher directly to either meet at a different time, or the teacher can send a summary email to you.


hlcNYA is now a member of the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC). “The Hybrid Learning Consortium creates a globalized learning community, providing students and faculty with a 21st Century digital learning community through online courses which offer freedom of content, collaboration, and scheduling. The HLC brings together independent schools, teachers, and students from around the world with the shared vision to provide best practices of diverse, in-depth and innovative learning. Partnering with HLC enables independent schools to offer variety in course offerings, broaden student and faculty connections, and provide professional development — all in ways that are relational and responsive distinctly to each partner school.” As the only member school in Northern New England, we are excited to be able to offer these additional course offerings to students in the Upper School.  Come meet Founding Director Sarah Hofstra at a Parent Information Session on Tuesday, October 17, 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room. Sarah will also be meeting with faculty and staff, the Upper School student body, and seventh and eighth graders to tell them more about HLC during her two-day visit at NYA.


We are excited to announce that the student lounge in Curtis has been greatly enhanced with a generous donation from current NYA grandparents, Catherine and Dan Coulombe. The Coulombe family recently opened their new furniture store, Country Farm Furniture, on Front Street in Bath and wanted to make a contribution to the NYA community. Dan summed up their gift as follows: “You know how we feel about the school and its staff! What a great opportunity to help a great organization.”  Thank you to the Coulombe family for their thoughtful gift to NYA!


Planning is currently underway for ninth grade students to travel via Downeaster train to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Monday, November 6 to examine artifacts from the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, and China. In November, both History and English classes will turn their attention to the literature, mythology, and government of the Greeks.  After the museum visit, students and chaperones will have a chance to explore parts of Boston before meeting back at North Station for the ride home. Parents can expect additional details very soon.


NYA is taking part in Socktober, a month long community sock drive started by Kid President with Brad Montague. Please bring in a pair of new socks between Monday, October 16 and Friday, October 27, and we will bring the donations to Preble Street Shelter. More than 600,000 Americans are homeless, and socks are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters. The Socktober campaign turns the month of October into Socktober – a reminder that “even a small act of love, such as donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference.”

HALLOWEENHalloween, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Celebrating Halloween at NYA with creative costumes and a student parade is an enjoyable annual tradition here. Students may wear their costumes (or portions of their costumes) throughout the school day. However, it is important that costumes still permit students to engage in the learning process (i.e. cumbersome masks or accessories should wait for the parade). All costumes should be school appropriate in nature. If a student should opt not to wear a costume, s/he must be in regular dress code for the day (and we remind students that dressing down as a “public school student” is not a costume).

We will have a slightly abbreviated schedule on Halloween, followed by the Halloween Parade in the gym at 2:00 pm. The parade is an all school event in which students share their costumes with the school and have the chance to win prizes in categories such as “Best Small Group,” “Scariest,” or “Most Original.”  Parents are welcome to come and check out all of the fun.


Each year, NYA works throughout the fall to help provide some wish-list items for local families in need. For the past several years, we have teamed up with Molly McMahon, NYA class of 1995 and daughter of Jack McMahon, Middle School English teacher, and sister of Tim McMahon, Middle School art teacher. Molly works with immigrant families seeking asylum in the United States. While many of their needs include the basics, such as warm clothes, shoes, boots, pots and pans, dishes, etc., we are sure to also include toys and special gifts. The entire school community joins together for this great cause. We will be holding our first Dress Down Day for Holiday Families on Thursday, October 26 ($3 donation).


NYA’s annual Middle and Upper School Open House will be held on Sunday, November 5 at 1:00 p.m. We are excited to welcome prospective families considering grades 5-12 to campus to interact with our faculty and students. If you have friends or family who are interested in receiving more information about the Open House and North Yarmouth Academy, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the Admission Office. You can also direct them to our Open House event page.


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 colder weather, they are in need of extra supplies to serve the individuals and families who rely on their help. Between Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, November 7, students are asked to bring donations of the following items to the Middle School: Stuffing Mix; Rice; Pasta; Gravy; Canned Fruit and Vegetables; Coffee; Canned Soup; Canned Beans; and Cooking Oils. Parents may also drop off donations when they come in for conferences on November 2 and 3. In celebration of the spirit of giving, students will enjoy a Dress Down Day on Tuesday, November 7. Thank you for your generosity!


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 can 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!


The 2017-2018 Upper School Student & Parent Handbook is now posted on the NYA website under the Parents and Students tabs. The handbook is full of useful details, as well as outlining critical information on school rules and policies. Please take some time to read the handbook carefully as all members of the NYA community are expected to read and abide by the policies and protocols. Hard copies of the handbook are available on request.


Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day is this Friday, October 20. This is a Dress Up Day. Invitations have been mailed! Please encourage grandparents or “grandfriends” to attend and RSVP online. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. at the entrance to Curtis Gymnasium, followed by a student concert, senior speeches, and classroom visits, and concludes with a luncheon with Head of School Ben Jackson at 12:00 p.m. Contact Caroline Anson with any questions.

There are many volunteer opportunities on Thursday and Friday. This is a great way to meet other parents, see the performances, and help to make for a successful event. For information, contact event chair, Debra Ramsey.  (Lower School Grandparents’ Day will take place on May 11, 2018.)


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!


As part of the Kauffmann Program, NYA is offering a monthly book group that focuses on nature and society’s relationship to it. The Wild Soul Words group is open to all adult members of the NYA and surrounding communities. Ian Ramsey will facilitate the discussion, and NYA will provide beverages. The next meeting will be Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv on October 26.


Our Picture Retake Day with Coffee Pond Photography is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. in the Middle School Community Room.


10/16-10/27 Bring in donations of new socks for Socktober
10/17 Hybrid Learning Consortium Parent Information Session, MSCR 8:00 a.m.
10/19 District II Auditions, Edward Little High School
10/20 Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/24 Picture Retake Day, MSCR  8:00 a.m.
10/26 Dress Down Day for Holiday Families $3
10/26 Wild Soul Words Book Group, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/27 Mid-Semester!
10/30-11/7 Bring in food donations for Preble Street
11/2-11/3 Parent-Teacher Conferences NO SCHOOL
11/5 Middle and Upper School Open House 1:00-3:00 p.m.
11/6 Freshman Class Trip to Boston
11/7 Dress Down Day for Preble Street
11/9 Veterans’ Day Flagpole Ceremony, front lawn 7:50 a.m.
11/10 Veterans’ Day NO SCHOOL
11/15 Upper School Athletic Recognition, NYA gym 6:00 p.m.
11/17 Last day of classes before Thanksgiving Break
11/18 Skate with the Bears, NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena 12:00-1:00 p.m.
11/20-11/24 Thanksgiving Break NO SCHOOL
11/27 Classes resume


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