Upper School Newsletter for September 9, 2018

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 students to the hallways, classrooms, studios, and fields!

Your student’s teachers and I look forward to seeing you all at Upper School Parent Night coming right up this Wednesday, September 12, beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Safford Center. All schedules for the evening will be provided for you when you arrive. This event is an excellent opportunity to meet the teachers and experience your child’s academic schedule. And not to worry – there are no tests!

Happy September,

Eric Austin
Head of Upper School


The technology department worked with students last week to discuss setting up email addresses, working with the cloud-based platform, and logging in to FamilyWeb. If you have any questions about the software or experience any technical issues, please feel free to reach out to Chris Mazzurco, our Director of IT.


On Wednesday night, September 12, from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room, all ninth grade parents are invited to come early for Upper School Parent Night 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 will be 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 12 at 6:45 p.m. Parents will 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!


The NYA Parents’ Association will be selling NYA clothing and gear before the two parent information nights this week. The “store” will be set up outside the Middle School Community Room from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13. Cash or check only. Parents, stop by and pick up some NYA gear before the events begin!


This past Friday morning, we sent a test of our text alert system. If you did not receive a text message from NYA, and you would like to receive texts in the future, please text START to 22383 and add 22383 as a contact in your phone’s address book. In addition, please update your information in Family Web using the Custodial Parent Information Form to ensure that your cell phone number is correct and your Parent Alert settings are set to receive text messages. Instructions on using this form can be found here. We use text alerts mostly to communicate unexpected changes in the schedule or closures (i.e. snow days).


Ever wonder what your child should wear to an NYA event? Looking to carpool? Want to share photos, ask questions, learn about NYA activities, etc.? Look no further! We created a closed Facebook Group just for NYA parents.  In order to join, go to the NYA Community Network Group, and click on Join Group. We’ll confirm that you’re an NYA parent/guardian/host parent, and accept your request. If you have questions, contact Amity Jackson or Kristi Belesca.


Organization and planning is currently taking place for some upcoming class experiences occurring September 16-18. The classes have the following events planned, thanks to the deans who have been working to schedule them. Additional details about each trip, including what to pack, are coming soon. Contact either NYA Dean of Students Lynn Sullivan or the appropriate dean (listed below) with any initial questions. There will be no Upper School athletics on the afternoon of September 17.

The ninth graders are going to be dividing into two groups on Monday, September 17 – one group will head to New Hampshire’s Mt. Chocorua for a day hike, and the other group will be kayaking off of Littlejohn Island in Yarmouth and then using the climbing wall at NYA. (Later in the fall, the groups will swap with the kayaking/climbing group hiking and the hiking group climbing and kayaking).  Dean: Mike Gengras

Also on Monday, September 17, the tenth graders will travel to Monkey C Monkey Do in Wiscasset where they will spend the day on the ropes course, zip lining, and playing laser tag games. Dean: Peter Sillin

On Sunday, September 16, the junior class heads to Boston for an overnight trip. There, the class will enjoy a food festival, the Harvard University Museums of Science & Culture, explorations of Harvard Square and Faneuil Hall, and a surprise adventure. Dean: Liz Smith

And finally, on Monday and Tuesday, September 17-18, the seniors will travel to Joe Dodge Lodge in Gorham, NH, for hiking, outdoor fun, and games.  Dean: Andrea Lauerman


We are delighted to be welcoming Dr. Ross Greene to NYA on Tuesday, September 18. Dr. Greene is a child psychologist and founder of the non-profit organization, Lives in the Balance, originator of the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach, and a best-selling author. During the afternoon, Dr. Greene will be speaking with students and presenting to faculty and staff. We hope that you will be able to join us at 5:00 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room for the parent session with Dr. Greene. A huge thank you to the NYA Parents’ Association for bringing Dr. Greene to campus.


Parents, please enjoy this letter of introduction from our new school counselor, Michelle Napoli.  We are delighted to welcome Michelle and counseling intern Emily Holden to NYA as part of our student wellness team.


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 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.


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 will be contacting parents to schedule meeting times.


Friday, September 21 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. Students will have the opportunity to go outside on September 21 and take a photo of the sky above campus. These photos will be uploaded and will appear in the Sky Day Project Gallery online and as part of a special exhibit at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.



Friday, September 28 is the start of Homecoming at NYA. This is an ORANGE & BLACK Dress Down Day for students to show their Panther Pride. Once classes let out, the Homecoming fun begins! Students head out to get ready for their games or prepare to cheer on the teams. There are games scheduled throughout the afternoon and ample opportunity to cheer on NYA. Students may also volunteer for a shift at one of the Lower School stations (crafts, tattoos, or face-painting). There is an all-school cookout to grab some dinner while enjoying the fun.


Please mark your calendars for Middle and Upper School Grandparents’ Day on Friday, October 12. We invite all grandparents and grand-friends to campus for a musical performance and much more! To ensure that all grandparents and grandfriends receive the invitation, please provide us with updated grandparent contact information. To RSVP, visit www.nya.org/rsvp. For more information, please contact Crystal Gordon at 847-5401.


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 from 7:00-7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, October 10, November 14, and December 12. 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). All are welcome!


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. 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 first date and book selection is: Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone- on October 17. The group will meet in the Middle School Community Room at 6:30 p.m.


Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23. Anyone who missed pictures on September 6 should plan on having 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 Heidi Lathrop know if your child plans to sit for a retake.


A reminder to please not idle or park in the Middle School parking lot drop-off area in the afternoon. This can cause an extensive back-up in the parking lot which may create hazardous conditions for our students. For the safety of all our students, please park in a parking space until your child arrives. Cars also should not park or idle in the handicap parking space unless equipped with a handicap parking license plate.


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 happening soon. Every effort is made to avoid making these anxiety-producing for the students. Please feel free to contact Eric Austin or your child’s advisor with any questions or concerns.


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, such as the Off-Campus Travel and Athletic Permission Forms, can be found in 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.


Looking to bring more fresh, local, and mostly organic fruits and vegetables into your life? Well look no further! NYA is pleased to once again serve as a pick-up site for Fall & Winter Farm Shares from Wolf Pine Farms in Alfred, ME. A winter share is seven boxes delivered from October to March and generally includes storage vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.), fruits (apples), a dozen eggs, grains (oats, wheat flour), frozen berries (blueberries, cranberries), and a “special treat” (raw honey, Maine sea salt, mushrooms, or maple syrup). It is even possible to split a share with another family. Visit Wolf Pine Farms to learn more or sign up.


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 5 through November 16 (11 weeks). For more information, contact Shelby via email.


9/12 NYA Gear Sale, Middle School 5:30-6:30 p.m.
9/12 Freshman Parent Gathering, MSCR 6:00-6:45 p.m.
9/12 Upper School Parent Night, Safford Center 6:45 p.m.
9/13 NYA Gear Sale, Middle School 5:30-6:30 p.m.
9/13 Middle School Parent Night, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
9/16-9/18 Class Experiential Events
9/18 Dr. Ross Greene Parent Session, MSCR 5:00-6:30 p.m.
9/21 Sky Day and International Day of Peace
9/27-9/29 Come Home to NYA: Homecoming and Reunion
9/27 Head of School Circle Dinner 6:00 p.m.
9/28 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, NYA Gym 10:15 a.m.
9/28 Homecoming Festivities and BBQ 2:30-7:30 p.m.
9/29 Steve Morris Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Falmouth Country Club 12:00 p.m.
10/8 Columbus Day NO SCHOOL
10/10 Guided Mindfulness Session, MSCR 7:00-7:30 a.m.
10/10 PSATs for Sophomores/Juniors, Russell Hall 8:00-11:00 a.m.
10/12 Middle & Upper School Grandparents’ Day; Dress Up Day
10/17 Wild Soul Words Book Group, MSCR 6:30 p.m.
10/18 District II Music Festival Auditions
10/23 Picture Retake Day
10/24 Last day of Middle School Fall Athletics
10/26 End of First Quarter


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