The New School News
What a week we've had!
It started off with our first All School Meeting of the year, which was held over Zoom. HERE is a link to the slideshow.
We heard from some students about their first weeks adventures, discussed our Hannaford card fundraiser to gauge ongoing interest, and then broke out into teams (Events, Admissions, Facilities) to pick coordinators, meeting times, and brainstorm ideas.
Classes are in full swing! Some new students have joined us!! We also had an opportunity to exercise our restorative practices after a challenging Wednesday. Like with any community, tension and differences of opinion are inevitable. But with our unique community, we address it head on because we recognized that supportive relationships and healthy interactions are critical components of a positive and productive learning environment. The students (and staff) demonstrated a willingness to listen to one another, address potential tensions, and move forward stronger as a community that effectively resolves conflict in respectful ways. Kudos to our kids and our community!
NEED TO KNOW
COVID-19 Protocol Update Please advise us if your student has received the vaccine. This information will inform our decision making if the school has to respond in the event someone tests positive for COVID-19. Our goal is to minimize risk, keep students/staff (and all of our families) safe, and keep our doors open to avoid having to go remote. 100% of staff are fully vaccinated. Vaccination information and locations can be found on Maine CDC’s Vaccination website.
Help Keep Our Pantry Stocked Now that the kitchen is open again, students have opportunities to prepare their own lunch, breakfast, and snacks. Sometimes, people forget to bring their lunch or get hungry during the day. Historically the school has kept some pantry staples and healthy snacks on hand for everyone. We are looking for donations of healthy snacks and things like eggs, milk, flour, and pasta to stock our pantry. Also, is there any parent ("or student) interested in helping to organize an on-going pantry drive? This would involve monitoring our kitchen supplies and sending out periodic sign-up emails to solicit donations. If you are interested in coordinating the pantry, contact Susan. General, non-perishable donations can be dropped off at any time or sent in with students.
Volunteer Opportunities You can stay aware of available volunteer opportunities by going HERE and signing up.
Every Day Fundraising Opportunities
Clynk - Pick up a Clynk bag & tag from the office. Put your redeemable bottles and cans in a green Clynk bag, stick on the tag, and deposit the bag at Clynk locations (usually the grocery store). The school receives the funds generated from your returnables.
Amazon Smiles - Amazon donates .5% of eligible purchases to your designated non-profit. Shop at smile.amazon.com and designate The New School.
A LOOK AHEAD
- Monday, September 20: Board Meeting
- Friday, September 24: Last Day of Add/ Drop
- Wednesday, September 29: Teacher Day--students not in school
- Monday, October 4: All School Meeting 6:00 @ TNS
- Monday October 11: No School Indigenous Peoples' Day
- Weekend of October 16/17" Fall Clean-up at TNS
Learning begins with questions: What is motion? How far away is the sun? Why do people tell stories? How do I train my dog? What can I do to affect change? Is there a benefit to living in groups? How do I find the unknown? What does it mean to be human?
From the simple to the complex, questions like these underpin classes at TNS this fall. Students will seek answers through discussion, experimentation, observation, research, reading, and writing. Along the way, they will probably develop more questions. The teachers are excited to seek answers with the students. We love learning, too.
Getting organized and developing systems for keeping track of time, assignments, physical resources, and information can be challenging for students. Families can support learning by familiarizing themselves with student systems. Every students at TNS has an email address associated with the school. Every class has an associated Google Classroom where teachers will post assignments, learning resources, and even discussions and activities. High school students are growing in their ability to independently monitor and organize themselves, and it can be challenging for parents/guardians to find ways to support students without micromanaging them. We will be working hard to create routines in our classrooms and in Advisory over the next few weeks, so that students will have access to the tools they need to be successful. If you see that your student needs additional support or have questions about what we are doing, don't hesitate to reach out to your Advisor. That's what we are here for!
Through the Lens Check out some of the amazing images students captured in Josie's expressive class, Through the Lens. Students are still working with Josie to define their goals in this class, but they know they want to explore how images and video can be used to tell stories and maybe effect change.
Leaves Through Leaf
Please Note: the titles in this gallery are not the actual titles associated with the photos. Students will be titling their work this week. These titles are merely placeholders.
So excited to report that enrollment is now up to 20 full-time students! At the beginning of August we had 15, and were thrilled when some of the students that hadn't yet made a decision submitted applications and were accepted into The New School! We have a wonderful and diverse student population full of energy, empathy, and talent. LEAP night should be amazing!
The first few weeks of school have been inspiring to be a part of as a new community member. I have been impressed by literally every individual, and each in their own unique way -- Angel's drawing posted above, Olie's insights in the Policy, Arts, and Activism class, Mandi's caring nature, Bear's digital portraits, Nolan's hats. Too many to mention.
I've shared out a few communication documents, and I really appreciate the participation and response. I'm new to this job, and parents you're making it easier with your eagerness to follow through; some within minutes. Thank you all!!!
Please feel free to reach out any time with questions/concerns/ideas/anything!
Isopod Behavior Lab
Animal Behavior students investigating what "behavior" is.
At the Rocky Intertidal Zone
Experimental Design conducts a transect lab at the ocean.
Physics of Motion Water Balloon Lab
Cohen and Jethro exploring Newton's first two Laws of Motion.
Special thanks to Bear's dad Billy Landenberger for building us two solid benches for the Common Room. He did this a few weeks back, but we want to recognize how Billy answered the call to help out. Thanks Billy! Bear's mom Bridget did a ton of work cleaning and organizing the Art room too, which was a tremendous help getting ready for opening day.
Olie had a great idea! They wanted to be able to advertise things to the school community.
Stay tuned for this section of the newsletter, which will be developed in the coming weeks.
You'll be able to advertise:
- Babysitting services
- Dog walking services
- Lawn mowing or shoveling services
- For sale or items wanted
Students harvested some of the apples from our apple trees at the school and made apple pies and apple crisp on Wednesday.
Transect Lab at the Ocean
Experimental Design Students at Mother's Beach
Our students have adopted five community values that they have committed to focusing on this year.
- Honest Communication
Althea, our school mascot, will recognize a student each week who demonstrated one of these values. She's always watching, and because she's a good girl she can recognize good behavior. (Slipping her bacon will not increase your chances of getting an Althea Accolade; no bribing the judge!)
Since she doesn't have fingers to type, she dictated the following to me:
Dear TNS students,
Every day I'm SO excited to pull into 38 York Street. After I chase my ball a few times in the back yard, I love going inside to say hello to all of these new humans in my life. Sometimes I have a bone too...jealous?
This week, Anna Messinger was so kind to me! She was patient as I warmed up to her, and then scratched behind my ears and was so calm and friendly. There's always tons of exciting stuff going on here, so it's nice having someone like Anna who I can sit next to and know I'll get some love when I wanna chill out.
Thanks for your kindness Anna!
Wags & Wiggles,
ABOUT THE NEW SCHOOL
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 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!