The New School News

January 23, 2022

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Note from the Office

If your student is going to be absent or late, please call the office to let us know. (207) 985-3745.

We care about our community members and we worry when people do not show up when we are expecting them. We also want folks to be able to participate fully in our learning adventures, so we will wait for everyone to arrive until we begin things in the morning. Please, help us out by notifying the office if your student is going to be absent or late to school! It only takes a minute, and it makes a difference to our morning!

Health Intensive Continues

We had a fantastic week filled with laughter, learning, and leaning into discomfort last week. Our first half of learning about human sexuality included conversations about body image, media messages, language, consent, and masturbation. Students were engaged, interactive, respectful, and compassionate. Looking forward to the second half of this Intensive which will open with a discussion about drug use and addiction, delve deeper into conception and contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, and examine what intimacy means and how individuals can establish boundaries in a variety of situations.

“Beliefs are in your head, values are in your heart.” -Wise words from a TNS student during Health & Wellness week

New 3-D Printers

We are excited to announce the arrival of not one, but two new 3-D printers at The New School. Students and teachers have lots of ideas about how we can use printing technology to enhance our learning!

Planning for Second Semester

Friday afternoon ended with a productive whole-school conversation about what we would like learning to look like next semester. Our next step in planning classes for the spring semester will be a series of polls and surveys to help us narrow down the ideas we have generated. Having a truly emergent, student-driven curriculum takes time to develop, but ultimately delivers rich and rewarding learning opportunities. Thank you for trusting the process.

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Hiring Update

Thank you MaryBeth, Mimi, Fern, Jodi, Mandi, Mane, Scott, and Nancy for your work on the Hiring Committee this month! We just wrapped up our first round of interviews Friday night. We had great conversations with six interesting candidates, and we have invited three of them back for an evening event on Monday, January 31.

Our second-round interviews have three components: teaching a class, meeting the teachers, and the formal interview. These will happen concurrently. Candidates will rotate through each component, spending about 50 minutes with each group.

In order for the event to be successful, the Hiring Committee will need some additional support from the community. First, and most importantly, we need participation from at least 8 students. These prospective teachers will need students to teach! Monday, January 31 is our first day of 3-Week Intensives, so we will adjust our schedules in order to make it possible for students to participate in the hiring process. The first class will begin at 4:00 pm. The final class will end around 7:00, and then the teachers, students, and hiring committee will discuss the candidates and come to a decision about whom to offer the job to. The evening will most likely wrap up around 8:30. Dinner will be provided.

Second, we may need some assistance with logistics during the hiring event. We anticipate needing help with things like organizing dinner, keeping track of time, running messages between interview teams, or additional help with cleaning so the school looks its best for the event. As the committee figures out the particulars of the evening, we will reach out for support. If you already know that you would like to be part of this event and are not on the hiring committee, please let Christine know. Thanks!

Student Testimonials

Scott is gathering quotes from students about their experience at TNS. These quotes will be used on a display at Outta the Box, along with the student's photo.

Questions will be along the lines of "What do you like most about TNS?" "How has TNS helped you grow?" "How have you found your voice at TNS?"

Students who raised their hand to help provide some content, please connect with Scott at lunch time, before or after school, or whenever you have 5 or 10 free minutes during the day.

3-Week Intensives

We were so hopeful and so excited about our 3-Week Intensives this year, and the teachers are still optimistic that the month of February will be filled with deep learning, community building, and adventure. Our Winter Sports group is busy planning day-long excursions including ski trips, ice skating, and snowshoeing. The students interested in Haunted History are researching places in Maine to visit to investigate paranormal reports. The American Narrative students, who have had to shift their plans the furthest are still trying to imagine what February will look like, but they share a passion for history, discussion, museums, and exploration, so Christine is confident that she can support them wherever they decide to go. Staying open to emergent learning opportunities is the name of the game this winter!

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). School may happen on the weekend during February and maybe there will be days off during the week to compensate for this. School may take place in the evening or even at night if there is some event that the group decides to attend. 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.

During both our shorter Intensives and our 3-Week Intensives, attendance and participation are important components of earning credit. Students have the opportunity to earn up to .25 credit for short Intensives and up to .75 credit for the 3-Week Intensive. Families, please support your students so they are able to attend and participate fully.

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Transcripts and Narratives

Teachers have encountered a few roadblocks to having transcripts and narratives prepared by the end of the week (our original goal). As a result of missing student work, unexpected illnesses, the time demands of hiring new staff, and planning Intensives that are constantly in flux because of Covid, we will not be able to complete the transcripts and narrative in time to send them out this week. Teachers will be stepping out of teaching during the second half of our Health Intensive in order to complete their narratives. We will do our best to distribute narratives and transcripts at the February All School Meeting.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • January 24-28: Health and Wellness Intensive
  • January 24: Board Meeting 6:00
  • January 31-February 18: 3-Week Intensives
  • January 31: Final Interviews for Humanities Position 4:00-8:00
  • February 7: All School Meeting 6:00
  • February 21-28: No School February Vacation
  • February 28: Teacher Day
  • March 1: Second Session Classes Begin

Team Updates

Facilities: We are all set on salt for a while thanks to Mike and Bill!

Admissions: The Admissions Team has been looking at ways to underscore the connection between Outta the Box and The New School. One idea has been to install a TV on the wall behind the counter to play a slideshow of TNS photos. We just received a donation of a television and wall mount, and will be installing this soon.

Events: Meets this Thursday 1/27. We will be discussing fundraising ideas, and begin pulling together the pieces for the spring carnival in May.

Old Fashioned Spring Carnival in the works!

The Events Team is in the early stages of planning a carnival for the spring, which will include ice cream, donuts, picnic baskets, and carnival games. This should be a blast! The team is exploring a number of ideas, including music, a donut eating contest, raffles, sack races, a dunk tank, and various games.

This will be a fundraiser for the school, in place of our auction from prior years.

The event will lean heavily on volunteer help, so stay tuned for requests. It will be held in May, and doesn't that warm weather sound good right about now?

Important Links

2022 Calendars for Sale

We still have 5 calendars left, featuring student photography, and proceeds support TNS art supplies. Contact the office to purchase one: $20


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

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