The New School News

January 9, 2022

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All School Meeting Agenda 1/10/22

Due to the current COVID conditions, we have decided to switch our January ASM from in-person to virtual. We will still have a 6:00 start time: Here's the link to the Zoom Room.

The first half hour or so of the meeting we will still be doing our career "speed dating" activity. It will just look a little different from how we initially envisioned it. Thanks, in advance, to all of you who will be sharing what you do with our students.

Following the educational component of our meeting, we will review the COVID-19 Policy Updates and offer some opportunity for discussion and Q & A.

We will share information about where we are at with the planning of our 3-Week Intensive period in February. COVID had required us to pivot again and reimagine our intensives.

Teams Updates: The Admissions Team has an Open House this week and some recruitment ideas to share with us. The Events Team will fill us in on their fledgling plans for an Old Fashioned Community Picnic and Ice Cream Social--with donuts!

Teachers will share some information with you all about the planning process for second semester.

We have advertised for and hope to hire a full-time Humanities teacher to start this spring. We are looking for a few parents and students who would be interested in participating in an ad hoc hiring committee. Interviews will be held during the last weeks of January.

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Career Exploration Intensive Begins

Our Career Exploration Intensive opened on Thursday with an opportunity for students and staff to explore our strengths. We all took Gallup's Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment. Designed by psychologist Don Clifton, the CliftonStrengths assessment helps people discover their talents and shift their focus from the things they can't do, to the things they do well. After we all took the assessment and read our results, we created a large visual representation of the who school's strengths and talked about trends we saw in the data.

Building on our strengths, we will now turn our attention to what we want our futures to look like. Highlights for this week will include guest speakers, college tours, job shadows, resume writing, and mock interviews.

Here's a link to the calendar for the week. Fingers crossed for good weather!

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Hard Decisions and Incredible Conversations

The students at The New School are amazing!

Wednesday, students and staff met for a difficult conversation about our much anticipated 3-Week Intensives. Given current and projected COVID conditions, traveling and spending the night (or multiple nights) no longer feel like prudent activities for February. Teachers shared their concerns with students, and together, we talked through various possibilities for our calendar.

Students explored the pros and cons of keeping the 3-Week Intensives where they are or postponing them. Ultimately, students voted to keep the schedule as is and to reimagine the learning for that time period. The hardest hit group was the American Narrative group. Those students had been looking forward to travelling to Washington DC and spending a week there investigating the Smithsonian Museums and the National Monuments.

Disappointing situations are not new to our student body; the past two years have been really challenging for everyone. Teachers were impressed by how our students responded to this new development. They were mature, accepting, and understanding about the shifts. It was an amazing conversation and a hard decision for all of us.

Last Last Call for Artists!

We still have space for a few more pieces in our upcoming Art Show at the Kennebunk Library in February. Students are invited to submit artwork for display in the Speers Gallery. Two-dimensional work will be matted and framed for display during the weekend of January 15-17. Students who have an interest in learning how to mat and frame art are welcome to help Marylyn and Amy Wentworth. All media forms considered: drawing, painting, digital art, photography, mixed media, pottery, sculpture etc. Submission deadline is January 14. Talk to Christine if you have questions.

Volunteer Teams Updates

Events Team | The Events Team met in-person last week to create an annual calendar of events and also to brainstorm about our spring fundraiser. Some exciting ideas were explored including a 5K road race. The Team decided to focus our energy on planning an outdoor event featuring ice cream, donuts, picnic baskets, and carnival-type games. More information will be shared at the All School Meeting tomorrow night.

Admissions Team | The Admissions Team met Monday night at 6:00 via Zoom to schedule and coordinate our next several recruitment events. Please spread the word about our January 12 VIRTUAL Open House by liking, commenting, and sharing the Facebook posts.

Facilities Team | The Facilities Team meets at 5:00pm on Monday 1/10 before the All School Meeting. This will be a virtual meeting, since it is a virtual ASM. Zoom link will be provided to the Facilities Team, but anyone is welcome to join. Just email Scott and he'll share the link.

Still a Few Spots in Mindfulness Workshop: Last Week to Join!

Last call for participants in our 8-week mindfulness class. Our first meeting was January 4, but you can still join us for the remaining 7 weeks! The class gathers on Tuesday nights from 6:30-7:30 at The New School and is open to the public. Content is appropriate for ages 12+. Workshop cost is $70 for the remaining 7 weeks!

Interested? Go here to register!

Join the Hiring Committee

We are hiring a full-time humanities teacher for the spring, and we need some help. Christine is looking for a couple interested parents and students to join the Hiring Committee to help us find the right candidate for our teaching team.

The applications are already starting to come in. Committee members will be responsible for reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and organizing hiring events. For more information, connect with Christine this week. Interviews will be scheduled for the week of January 17 and January 24. Committee members need to be able to commit to all interviews.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • January 10: All School Meeting 6:00 @ TNS with "speed dating" job fair (Now on ZOOM!)
  • January 12: Virtual Open House 6:30-7:30p (RSVP for Zoom link)
  • January 5-14: Career Exploration Intensive
  • January 17: No School MLK Jr. Day
  • January 18-28: Health and Wellness Intensive
  • January 31-February 18: 3-Week Intensives
  • February 21-28: No School February Vacation
  • February 28: Teacher Day
  • March 1: Second Session Classes Begin

Annual Appeal Final Week

We still have donations trickling in for our Annual Appeal, so we’re going to keep the campaign going for another week. (You can, of course, donate throughout the year.)

All week we’ll be rolling out videos from LEAP night on Facebook to show what The New School’s been up to!

The New School is only possible because of the generous support of our donors. A gift of any size will help bring this high quality, personalized, holistic educational experience to these remarkably talented, insightful, brilliant, unique, ambitious, artistic, goofy, witty, hilarious, emotionally intelligent, empathetic, self-aware, honest, virtuous, caring young people -- our future leaders.

Can you chip in? (Thank you if you already have!)


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!