Panther Roar Newsletter Header 2020

Upper School Newsletter for September 13, 2020

Dear Upper School Families,

Following a smooth opening of school filled with annual orientations, new schedules, fresh notebooks, and plenty of open-air classrooms, 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 including opening Convocation, our first Dress-Up Day, several introductory virtual student gatherings, and the preparation for athletic practices beginning this week. Most students have now finalized any necessary schedule changes and are establishing a rhythm to their academic schedules, meeting with their advisors, and getting a feel for the nightly homework in their classes. Though September can certainly be a demanding month for students, parents, and teachers 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 students to the hallways, classrooms, studios, and fields! Here is a selection of photos from the first week.

We have our first ever Upper School Parents’ Night Webinar this Wednesday, September 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and we hope that all parents will be able to attend. Here is the link, and the password is 1814. This event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about program specifics and to be introduced to your child’s teachers and academic schedule. We look forward to “seeing” you there!

Happy September to all!

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


Despite the later start date this season, we are looking forward to the fall athletic season getting underway on Monday afternoon. Many of the details for each athletic activity are currently being finalized and will be shared as more information becomes available.  If you have any questions, please contact the individual team coaches or Director of Athletics, Kelsy Ross.  Go Panthers!


Our Virtual Upper School Parents’ Night is on Wednesday, September 16 at 6:30 p.m. Here is the link, and the password is 1814. This event will provide parents with the opportunity to get to know more about NYA, their child’s classes, and their teachers. The evening will begin with a Zoom Webinar for all Upper School parents to get to know our Upper School program. Classroom teachers are also preparing videos for the parents to introduce themselves and go over the curriculum for each course.


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


Picture day will be held on Monday, September 21 for Middle and Upper School students. This is a modified version of our usual picture day. Our school photographer, Brian Beard, will take a photo of each student for our school directory. Class (group) photos will be taken later in the year. This is not a dress up day, however students may dress up if they wish. The photos will be taken from the shoulders up. If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Belesca in the marketing and communications office.


Because so many of our seniors were impacted by postponed and cancelled SAT (and ACT) administrations, we were approved by the College Board to offer a School Day SAT to our seniors on Wednesday, September 23.  The test will take place in the gym, and many layers of preparations are underway to ensure a safe and uninterrupted test administration for our seniors. More specific details will follow as we get closer to the test day. Please contact Katherine Thomas, Director of College Counseling, with any questions.


Thank you to students and families for the amazing job you are doing with the morning wellness checks. In just a few short days, students and staff are honing the process, allowing students to move through it more efficiently. A reminder to be sure to complete the pre-screening at home each morning. If students travel to a non-exempt state (any state other than NH, VT, CT, NY, and NJ), they must be cleared by the Health Office prior to returning to school (current guidelines require a negative COVID test or 14 day quarantine). When arriving late to school (after normal wellness checks have ended), students should go to the Middle School building, ring the doorbell (on the left door near the handle), wait outside to be screened, and bring a blue late slip to class.


Welcome back to NYA! Just as we prepared you, things on campus were a little different this week. At times, even I was confused on which way to walk in a building, and facial recognition with masks was challenging. This heightened awareness required additional energy, and so it makes sense if you felt quite depleted by the end of the week. One of our wellness themes from last spring was REFLECTION, so I encourage you to think about how the week went. Identify what went well and where you need additional supports. Ask for help. Make a plan to put those additional supports in place. Shift any worries you may have to a problem-solving approach. Identify what you can control and what is out of your hands. Friendship is so important in uncertain times. Engage in meaningful conversations with people you trust and talk about what makes you feel better. Listen when a friend shares their concerns and seek additional support with an advisor, teacher, coach, or me. We all need to look out for one another and that is what it means to belong to the NYA community. Please stop by my office on the second floor of Curtis. I am available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can also reach me via email or on my cell phone, 207-200-5143. ~ Cindy Hould, NYA School Counselor

SKY DAYone-sky

Friday, September 18 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. Advisory groups will head outside on September 18 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos are uploaded with a special hashtag assigned to NYA and become 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 special exhibits in museums and planetariums around the world.


The annual Steve Morris Golf Tournament will take place Saturday, September 26, at Falmouth Country Club. Every year, parents, alumni, faculty, trustees, and friends come together for the annual tournament, which honors late faculty member Steve “Mo” Morris by raising funds for need-based financial aid for talented NYA students. This fun scramble-format tournament includes games and prizes, breakfast and lunch, and an opportunity to join the NYA community in supporting students and families. We invite you to click here to register as a single, twosome, or foursome. Contact Crystal Gordon for more information or for sponsorship and prize opportunities.


Our fall parent-advisor meetings will occur during the first week 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 will contact parents to schedule meeting times via Zoom.


As part of appropriate safety and preparedness as well as meeting state mandates, NYA holds both fire and crisis drills throughout the year. We will soon hold our first “drill,” a training program to familiarize students with egress procedures.


A reminder to all parents to be sure you have completed set up of your parent account in Family Web. Family Web is a section of our website where announcements, directory information, calendars, lunch menus, and additional school information can be found. You can access Family Web under the Parents tab at the top of the NYA homepage. If you have not yet set up a parent account in Family Web, follow these instructions and then review the information on how to use Family Web. You will also want to check that your directory information is accurate and make any changes if needed. Contact Chris Mazzurco, Director of IT, with any questions.


Some reminders about the daily dress code:

  • Skirts, dresses, kilts (longer than mid-thigh; no more than three inches above the knee)
  • Dress pants, slacks, corduroys, khakis, or chinos
  • Dress shorts (knee-length, Bermuda style)
  • Buttoned up, collared dress shirt (tucked in as appropriate) with/without a sweater
  • Dress blouse with/without a sweater
  • Footwear (clean, neat, & worn at all times)

Please see the full details of the dress code, and much more, in the Upper School Student & Parent Handbook.


9/14US Athletics Practices Begin
9/16Upper School Virtual Parents’ Night6:30 p.m.
9/17Middle School Virtual Parents’ Night6:30 p.m.
9/18Sky Day Project
9/21Modified Picture Day for Middle and Upper School
9/21International Day of Peace
9/23SAT Test Administration for Seniors at NYA, Gymnasium7:45 a.m.
9/26Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club7:15 a.m.
10/1Parent-Advisor Conferences begin
10/12Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day)NO SCHOOL
10/14PSAT Test Administration at NYA7:45 a.m.


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