Upper School Newsletter for September 10, 2017

Dear Upper School Families,

Following an opening of school filled with annual orientations, new schedules, excited faces, and fresh notebooks, we are all now immersed in prepping for the second week of school – the indisputable beginning of “the rest of the year.” We have enjoyed a terrific start to the new school year, beginning with opening Convocation, a successful picture day, two successive Dress-Up Days, and all athletic teams in full swing. Most students have now finalized any necessary schedule changes and are establishing a rhythm to their academic schedules, meeting with their advisors, and participating in their respective athletics and activities each afternoon. Though September can certainly be a tiring month for students and parents alike, a new school year inevitably elicits newfound energy in us all.

I know that I speak for the entire faculty and staff of NYA in saying that we thoroughly enjoy the return of our students to the hallways, classrooms, studios, and fields!

In the meantime, your student’s teachers and I look forward to seeing you all at Upper School Parent Night coming right up this Wednesday, September 13, beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Safford Center. All schedules for the evening are provided for you when you arrive. This event is an excellent opportunity to meet the teachers and experience your son’s and daughter’s academic schedule. And not to worry – there are no tests!

Happy September,

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


The technology department met with each grade level this week to discuss the changes and additions to our new cloud-based platform.  If you have any questions about the new software or any of our offerings, please feel free to reach out to Chris Mazzurco, our Director of IT.


Organization and planning have continued for the upcoming class trips. The junior and senior classes have the following events planned:

camp-beech-cliffOn Sunday, September 10, the senior class is traveling to Camp Beech Cliff on Echo Lake on Mount Desert Island. The trip includes hiking in Acadia National Park, canoeing, a high ropes course, and rock climbing, among other activities. This experience is aimed to provide an opportunity for the class to gather as they begin their final year at NYA together. The seniors return to campus on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 12.

9-11-memorial-new-yorkOn Sunday, September 24, the junior class is traveling to New York City for the second year in a row, to visit the 9-11 memorial site. The primary focus of the trip is the study of that central event in 21st Century American history. The juniors return to campus on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 26.


On Wednesday night, September 13, from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room, all ninth grade parents are invited to hear more about the ninth grade experience. The discussion includes such topics as academic expectations, daily and weekly routines, extracurricular opportunities, and the Freshman Seminar, as well as ways to help support your child. There is a short presentation and time for questions. This meeting is intended as a precursor to Upper School Parent Night, which follows directly afterwards, beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Safford Center.


Parents, please mark your calendars for Upper School Parent Night on Wednesday, September 13 at 6:45 p.m. Parents first convene in Safford Center for a brief introduction and announcements, and then have the opportunity to visit their student’s classes, meet their teachers, and learn about the curriculum. This event is just for parents. We look forward to seeing all of the Upper School parents for this informational evening!


Attendance is taken daily between 7:40 and 7:55 a.m. Parents should call the main number, 846-9051, or email Heidi Lathrop by 8:15 a.m. if a student will be absent all day, will arrive late, or will be dismissed early. It is our policy to call the parents of students for whom we cannot account.


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.


Throughout the year at NYA, we have periodic “dress down days” in which students and staff are invited to dress more casually (see Upper School Student & Parent Handbookfor details). These dress down days are sometimes to celebrate special events on campus such as Homecoming. At other times, we hold these days to collect donations or to raise funds and awareness for charities or special causes.

little-angmo-picWe are holding our first Dress Down Day of the year on Wednesday, September 13 to help sponsor an 8-year-old girl from Mudh Village, Changthang, India, who hopes to attend the Siddhartha School in Ladakh. NYA has a special relationship with the Siddhartha School. Khen Ripoche, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and founder of the Siddhartha School, is a frequent visitor to NYA and presented the Academy with our prayer wheel. In addition, Angmo Stanzin, NYA Class of 2016, attended Siddhartha prior to coming to NYA in her junior year. $3 Donation

On Tuesday, October 3, we are holding a Dress Down Day to provide support to victims of the recent hurricanes. This Dress Down Day is being co-sponsored by Blythe Thompson, Class of 2022, and Tessa Quattrucci, Class of 2018. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these tragedies. $3 Donation


Parents, please enjoy this letter of introduction from our new school counselor, Jackie Bromage. We are delighted to welcome Jackie to NYA and to have her as a member of our student wellness team.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACEls-gp-day-2017-86-resize

The International Day of Peace is celebrated around the globe on Thursday, September 21. NYA participates with a special assembly to recognize the installation of the peace poles created last spring. This project was spear-headed by Shannon Gallagher and Ellen Gagne, whose travels inspired them to bring these symbols of peace to the NYA campus. “Peace poles serve as a visual reminder for us to think, speak, and act in the spirit of kindness and peace,” shared Shannon Gallagher. “It is estimated that there over 200,000 peace poles located in almost every country in the world, spreading the message: May Peace Prevail On Earth.” Art teachers Colby Myer and Tim McMahon were instrumental in the creation of the peace poles which were designed and painted by students in all three divisions. The Lower School classes are also presenting their pinwheels for peace and singing the song, Sing Peace Around the World.


Friday, September 22 is Sky Day, “a global citizen art initiative designed to bring us together and promote a new level of ecological citizenship around the world from Only One Sky.” Around the globe, people take photos of “their” sky. NYA students have the opportunity to go outside on September 22 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos are uploaded with a special hashtag assigned to NYA and are part of a photo collage of our school, state, country, and the world. The collages appear in the Sky Day Project Gallery on-line and as part of a special exhibit at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.



The first parent/advisor meetings of the year are coming up during the first two weeks of October. These meetings are a chance for parents and advisors to meet early on in the year; to check in about all aspects of the student’s life, including academics, extra-curriculars, social matters, goals, concerns, etc.; and to begin to forge that partnership of support for each student. Advisors contact parents to schedule meeting times.

MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL GRANDPARENTS’ DAYGrandparents Day, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day coming up on Friday, October 20. To add or update the contact information for any grandparents or “grand friends,” please complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Caroline Anson with any questions.


It is essential that we have current health forms on file for every student at NYA. If you have not already done so, please complete all necessary health forms as soon as possible and turn them in to the Health Office. Contact Ashley Moody with any questions.


Additional forms can be found under NEW FAMILY FORMS and RETURNING FAMILY FORMS under the Parents tab on the NYA website. Please be sure to complete and turn in all necessary forms as soon as possible.


As part of appropriate safety and preparedness as well as meeting state mandates, NYA holds both fire and crisis drills throughout the year. The first of these drills is be happening soon. Every effort is made to avoid making these anxiety-producing for the students, while instilling the importance of proper preparation and communication.


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 sessions are scheduled for 7:00-7:30 a.m. on September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13. No experience necessary, and beginners are welcome and encouraged. NYA is providing some meditation cushions, but participants are encouraged to bring a pillow to sit on if possible (or can sit on chairs if that is more comfortable). For more information, contact Ian Ramsey.


only-kayakAs 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. Participants gather in a casual environment to talk about a given book, drink wine (or beverage of choice), and examine how lessons from that book might apply to our community. The group is hosted and facilitated by Ian Ramsey, and NYA is providing wine and other beverages. The meeting dates and book selections include: The Only Kayak by Kim Heacox on September 28; Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv on October 26; and Tribe by Sebastian Junger on November 30.


Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24. Anyone who missed pictures on September 6 should plan to have photos taken. There is a $10 charge for those who would like to have a second sitting for photos on this day. Information on signing up for picture retakes is sent out directly to parents by Coffee Pond Photography. Please be sure to let your child’s classroom teacher or advisor know if she/he plans to sit for a retake.


Want to look, move, and feel better than you have in years? Come train with Shelby! Fall Bootcamp is being offered at NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena from September 6 through November 17 (30 total sessions). For more information, please visit Shelby’s website or contact Shelby via email.


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