The New School News

January 16, 2022

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Career Week Highlights

Our first short intensive of this Winter Inter-Session was filled with personal discovery, philosophical conversations, and laughter. Students and staff learned about psychologist Don Clifton’s research into strengths psychology, participated in a plethora of diverse job shadows, developed their resumes, and got some behind-the-scenes tips on interviewing.

A big shout out to Ally and Josie for coordinating the rich and engaging experiences for this Intensive. We would also like to thank presenters Karen Matthews, Eric Kruger, Gwen Benoit, Cat Matthews, and all of the parents who participated in our speed dating at the All School Meeting.

We appreciate the support from numerous local organizations, too. Students were able to visit Keller Williams Realty offices, the Coast 93.1 radio station, the Kennebunk Sewer District and Waste Treatment Center, the Kennebunk Police, the Wells Reserve Estuary Research Center, the Animal Welfare Society, Spurling Fitness, and Flow Studios.

Health Intensive Overview

We will kick off our health and wellness intensive this week with guest presenters from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Caring Unlimited, and Sexual Assault Services of Southern Maine. Initially, these presenters were planning to come to the school in-person, but Covid may have other plans for us. We will do our best to remain flexible and open to learning opportunities as they arise. Christine will send out a calendar of lessons for the intensive tomorrow evening.

Topics in this intensive will include anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system in males and females; sexual and reproductive health—including contraception, disease prevention, and pregnancy; risky and non-risky ways to express sexual feelings; drug and alcohol use and its impact on decision making; and healthy relationships and good communication skills. Conversations during the next few weeks will tackle tough and often sensitive or embarrassing issues frankly and honestly.

We will do our best to create a respectful and comfortable classroom environment. Students who cannot follow the norms we set at the beginning of this intensive will be asked to leave workshops for the safety and comfort of others.

If you would prefer not to have your child participate in this class, please let Christine know by Monday 1/17 at the latest.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

As we gear up for a day of fierce wind, rain, snow, and mixed precipitation tomorrow, I hope that each of us will also take a moment to think about the remarkable achievements of the man whose life and death we remember on the only federal holiday which is designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., inspirational orator, Baptist minister, social activist, civil rights leader, Nobel Prize winner. Assassinated when he was only 39, Dr. King was instrumental in bringing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act into existence.

Check out this page created by the Seattle Times that commemorates his life, his achievements, and his legacy.

Hiring Process Overview for Full-Time Teacher

The window for applications closes tomorrow for our Humanities Teacher. The hiring committee will meet, review the applications, and schedule our initial interviews with our top 4-5 candidates. The second round of interviews will be scheduled for the top 2 candidates about a week after the initial interview. The second round of interviews will include an opportunity for the candidates to teach a sample class. Ideally, we will bring someone on board for the second semester and have them begin before we leave for February vacation. If the right candidate does not surface, we will reopen our search in the spring and target hiring for the fall. This would not be an ideal situation, but it is important for the school to bring in the right person.

Thanks in advance to Mimi, Fern, Jodi, MaryBeth, and the students who volunteered to serve on the hiring committee!

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COVID-19 Policy Updates and Appreciations

Click here to review our updated COVID-19 policy.

Thank you to all of our families for your continued vigilance, support, and communication about COVID-19. We have had five families who have been impacted by covid since November. Your cooperation with our policies has kept the greater school community healthy. Let’s keep up the good work and continue to support one another as we move through this next challenge.

Teams Updates

Facilities: First off, thank you Bill Howell for fixing the plumbing in the kitchen sink. Hot is now hot, and cold is now cold. Thank you Stacy Morin for dropping off some buckets for salt, and for researching storage shed options. TNS is looking into a new storage shed, which will allow us to move more of our seasonal and event-specific items out of the school. Mike Ouellet's expertise has been invaluable!

Admissions: The Admissions Team planned, promoted, and orchestrated a virtual open house on January 12th. The students and parents on the call answered questions from prospective families, explained what makes TNS unique and remarkable, and represented TNS well. Our next virtual open house will be on February 10th.

Events: The Events Team is hard at work brainstorming ideas to fundraise for The New School. Our signature event this year will be an Old Fashion Community Picnic (see details below) will be held this May, and we look forward to a fun filled day. The team is also looking at a number of other ideas, so stay tuned...

Old Fashion 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?

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

Thank You!

I am so very appreciative of the generosity and support this community is able to provide to one another. Your generosity has made it possible for me to send TigerLily White and Crystal Hamlin $1500 to help support hospital costs and living expenses during this difficult and unimaginable time. Thank you all for supporting these New School alumni!


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3D Printer on the Way

See those frogs above? Nolan created them with his 3D printer at home. Soon, the school will have two new 3D printers for the science room, so students can learn how to design and print using this new technology. The printers have been ordered, and should arrive before the spring semester. Then let the creativity flow.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • January 17: No School MLK Jr. Day
  • January 18-28: Health and Wellness Intensive
  • January 24: Board Meeting 6:00
  • January 31-February 18: 3-Week Intensives
  • February 7: All School Meeting 6:00
  • February 21-28: No School February Vacation
  • February 28: Teacher Day
  • March 1: Second Session Classes Begin


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!