The New School News

February 13, 2022

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Second Semester Planning

Students and teachers have been collaborating on creating a schedule for our spring semester. Student engagement in this process has been really high. Mane and Ryan have spent countless hours working on a schedule proposal, which we will be using tomorrow as a jumping off point as we meet to continue figuring out what learning will look like at TNS this spring. .Our goal for tomorrow is to finalize the list of classes we will be offering and to take our first pass at slotting these classes into the schedule. Participating in creating classes and planning the schedule allow our students to demonstrate many of our Guiding Principles, including Creative and Practical Problem Solving, Collaborative and Quality Work, and Clear and Effective Communication.

Our goal is to have students signed up for classes by the end of the week. The first two weeks of March will be an add/drop period for students.

“Compassion is not a virtue—it is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have—it’s something we choose to practice.” — Brené Brown

Winter Sports Intensives - Climbing Gym

Final Week of Inter-Session Intensives

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of our Inter-Session Intensives. Continuing our emergent approach to learning, each of our three intensive groups is still finalizing its plans. Winter Sports will be skiing at Shawnee Peak on Tuesday. American Narratives will be touring the Skolfield-Whittier House in Brunswick with a historian who specializes in the Gilded Era. Haunted History will be visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Students will share their learning with the community at the March All School Meeting on March 7.

During the 3-Week Intensives, the schedules for the different groups may not be the same. Each group will be planning their days to best meet their learning objectives, so it will be important for families to be in close communication with Intensives Leaders and with each other (if carpooling with students who are part of different groups).Start times may be different in the morning and pick-up times may be different in the afternoon. We will provide you with as much advanced notice as possible for changes.

February Vacation

Students and teachers alike are looking forward to February vacation. We hope that if you are travelling, you use care and remain healthy. Please continue to refer to the current COVID-19 Policy for school operation if your student discovers they have been a close contact with someone who has covid or if they become ill, themselves. Have fun, relax, and be well!

Students will not be in school on Monday, February 28 because we have a teachers’ day for professional development. School will resume on Tuesday, March 1 with our new spring semester schedule (still being developed).

Re-Building the Wall

Two years ago, we folded up the accordion wall that separated Rooms 1 and 2. While we love the large, open classroom this created, in order to offer more than 3 classes during a single block, we need another classroom space. Our quick and easy solution for this is to restore the wall.

Looking for a couple volunteers to tackle this project over February vacation. We need the extra classroom space for March 1. If you want more information, talk to Scott or Christine.

The task can count as an ad hoc project for the family commitment contract. Email Scott if you can help.

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Art Show at Kennebunk Free Library

The Kennebunk Free Library announces its February 2022 Speers Gallery exhibit “Through the Eyes of the Young”, featuring the art work of students from The New School and The School Around Us. The show features pieces of different media, all created by students ages 5-18.

The New School (TNS) is a democratic high school located in Kennebunk, and School Around Us (SAU) is a holistic learning community for ages 5-14 in Arundel. In 2016 The New School was featured in a one-school art show at Full Circle Gallery in Biddeford, and showed their work in 2017 at The Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk and in 2020 and 2021 at the Speers Gallery at the Kennebunk Free Library.

Both schools offer a variety of opportunities to expand their student’s artistic skills that vary from year to year. Of late, drawing photography, music, and theater have been of special interest to a number of students. Some years it is painting, pottery, sculpture, and sewing. Whatever form of artistic expression comes to the fore is encouraged, as the schools feel that the arts fuel imagination and personal expression, as well as contribute to the development of a sense of self that feeds intuition, close observation of the world and the ability to fuse emotion and intellect. The arts also build self-confidence and the ability to connect with an audience beyond the self.

This year the work of students includes photography from The New School and self-portraits from The School Around Us. Artist Ellie Kennedy, age 12, says, “Art is the ability to create whatever you have on your mind. It is so amazing to have the ability to put your imagination into a sheet of paper and respect yourself to share your feelings, thoughts and ideas with other people. When I draw I feel happy and I love having the freedom to be in my own bubble with myself and my imagination.”

Kennebunk Free Library is pleased to welcome back and display the works of these talented artists once again.

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Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • February 14-February 18: 3-Week Intensives
  • February 14: Admissions Team Meeting 6:00 on Zoom
  • February 17: Events Team Meeting 6:30 on Zoom
  • February 21-28: No School February Vacation
  • February 28: Teacher Day
  • March 1: Second Session Classes Begin!
  • March 7: All School Meeting in-person @ TNS 6:00
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The New School | Kennebunk, Maine

The New School offers rolling admission, so students can apply any time throughout the year. Parents & Students, please spread the word. Let people know all the cool stuff going on here, and invite friends to come visit an Open House!