The New School News


The Week Ahead

November is filled with wacky weeks. Here's a look at this week's anomalies:

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10: We will NOT have an early release on Wednesday, November 10. Instead of Explorations and Student Meeting, we will follow a Thursday class schedule. School will run 8:30-3:30. Please plan accordingly.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11: No School in honor of Veteran's Day.

NO CLASSES NOVEMBER 12: There will be no classes on Friday, November 12 because of student-led conferences.

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Honoring Our Veterans

The New School will be closed on Thursday in observance of Veterans Day. Did you know that the holiday was originally called Armistice Day in commemoration of the end of World War 1? In 1954 the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to extend our remembrance to all veterans from all wars.

No matter your stance on war, if you see a veteran this week, be sure to thank them for their service. I started doing this after a conversation with my father, a Vietnam Veteran. The simple acknowledgement means a lot to him, and I know it means a lot to the other veterans I know.


Thank you, Susan Blaisdell, for your service. Susan served in the Navy as a young woman.

All School Meeting Update

The November All School Meeting will not be rescheduled. We had to cancel last week's meeting due to illness. Looking at the calendar for November and taking into consideration student-led conference scheduling, holidays, and the lingering effects of illness and fatigue, it seemed prudent to forgo a meeting this month.

Teams should still plan to meet and to send information from your meetings to the office, so that we can share what you are doing with the greater community.

December's All School Meeting will be held in person on Monday, December 6 at 6:00 at The New School. One major agenda item for December's meeting is the 3-week Intensive currently scheduled for February.

Reminder: anyone in the community can submit items for our agenda prior to the All School Meeting meetings. When submitting an agenda item, please include a brief description of the topic and an estimate of the amount of time you would like to devote to it. Agenda items should be submitted on Fridays before an ASM.


COMMUNITY LEARNING: While it is not practical for every class to get out of the school every day, we do our best to take our students out into the community to deepen our learning. This week, the Animal Behavior class will be visiting the Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk on Tuesday, November 9. They will be meeting with an animal behaviorist. Other members of the school community will be able to revisit AWS again in December for additional volunteer opportunities. Physics of Motion students will be fat biking with Apex Youth Connections in Biddeford Wednesday 11/10.

PROGRESS REPORTS and STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES: Progress Reports for the first half of our Fall Semester were sent out via email last week instead of being distributed at the ASM. Advisors should have reached out to parents to schedule student-led conferences. The New School does not use the traditional parent-teacher model for conferences about student academics, but instead places students in charge of a teacher-supported discussion with parents about their progress and learning. Student-led conferences encourage and support students to take ownership of their learning. Seniors will be holding their first Senior Round Tables during November, which will take the place of conferences for students in Phase 3.

SENIOR ROUND TABLES: Congratulations to Mandi Donegan for conducting a successful first Senior Project Round Table last week. Seniors need to plan, coordinate, and facilitate a minimum of three round tables in support of their senior projects. Students in Phase Three select between 8-10 people to serve on their Graduation Committees. At their First Round Tables, students pitch their ideas for a Senior Project and receive feedback, resources, and ideas from their committees. Mandi is going to explore fashion and design in her project. Ian Kruger's Round Table is scheduled for November 18. Good luck, Ian!

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: How do you direct a theater performance when only half your cast is present on any given day, and you yourself are stuck at home for a week? Theater teacher Josie Perkins is wrestling with this dilemma. The One Act class is excited to have an opportunity to participate in the Climate Change Theater Action Project, but somebody must have been shouting "Macbeth!" in our theater space, because the production process has been plagued with challenges. Participating in theater builds resiliency, problem solving skills, and collaboration abilities. The class is focusing on reframing their obstacles as opportunities and will be a testimony to the theater adage, "The show must go on!"

AUGUSTA TRIP: The Public Policy class will be travelling to Augusta to tour the State House and meet some of the members of our state government on December 8. We will not have an early release on the day of the trip. More details to follow soon! Just wanted to give parents and students a heads up.

Breakfast Wednesdays

Thank you to everyone who has brought in Wednesday breakfast. The students have really enjoyed having breakfast available. There is still availability on the sign-up sheet for November. Please look here. Thank you Fern Brown for organizing.

<--- The New School's Breakfast Club

November is Giving Back Month

“Community” is at the heart of The New School philosophy. One of our basic tenants is a belief in the value of participating in and supporting our community. This month we will be collecting needed items for Community Outreach Services (COS). COS extends a helping hand to individuals and families in the towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel by assisting with food, fuel or specific needs. Questions may be directed to Susan in the office.

  • Pet Food Supplies

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper towels

  • Tissues

  • Napkins

  • Dish Soap

  • Laundry Detergent

  • Multi-purpose cleaners

  • Hand soap

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Deodorant

  • Toothpaste

Community Match Ends Soon!

On Friday, Evan showed up in a magical unicorn onesie for the final day of spirit week, proving once again how amazing our school is and how fantastic our teachers are.

Help other students join The New School, and give them the chance to experience the magic!

Please help us reach our fundraising goal for replenishing our Tuition Assistance fund. The Board pledged to match up to $16,200, and we are nearly there! Any size donation will be matched. Double your impact and support our ability to offer families financial aid. Share the link with friends and extended family members. Get the word out! This campaign ends November 15. We are so close to our goal!

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • Wednesday November 10th: Classes instead of Explorations. Day ends at 3:30
  • Thursday, November 11: No School Veteran's Day
  • Friday, November 12: No Classes, Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Wednesday, November 17: No Classes--Teacher Day
  • Wednesday--Friday November 24-26 Thanksgiving Break No School
  • Monday, December 6: All School Meeting (now in person!) 6:00
  • Wednesday, December 8: Trip to Augusta. No early release.
  • Tuesday, December 21: LEAP Night
  • December 23-January 4: No School, Vacation

Irises in Front Yard

Thank you, Susan Blaisdell for donating some of your prized irises to the TNS landscape! Before returning to Maine, Susan grew prize-winning irises at her home in Michigan. She has nowhere to plant them in her new home, so into the earth they went here at The New School.

Please take care when driving, parking, or walking near the edge of the front lawn near the main entrance. Thank you!

(click the quote above to learn more about Adm. William H. McCraven)

University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven


The New School is an independent, democratically run private high school in Kennebunk, Maine. We learn by doing, and encourage not just academic achievement, but development of the mind, body, and spirit. Our goal is to give TNS students the tools they need to be active, informed citizens of a democracy.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.”

― John Dewey

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!