The New School News

December 12, 2021

Big picture
Big picture

Wrapping Up First Semester

It's hard to believe, but our first semester is wrapping up. Our last day of classes is Friday, December 17. Unless students have made other arrangements with teachers, all work from this semester is due by the 17th. The only exception to this is Public Policy Projects. The final and formal presentations of the Public Policy class will be in January.

The New School provides numerous opportunities for students to speak about their learning throughout the semester, but the biggest venue for this is LEAP Night. The last three days of every semester are spent synthesizing, reflecting on, and sharing our learning with the public. The day after LEAP is a portfolio workshop day that allows students to update and maintain their Informed Thinker Portfolios.

Transcripts and Narratives will be sent home in early January.

Volunteer Teams Meeting This Week

Events Team | On Saturday December 18th, The New School will host a craft fair in our parking lot. TNS will be open for tours (and heat), and folks will be selling small food items and offering cider for shoppers. This is a great opportunity to tap into an existing event and promote The New School to the broader community. Look for sing-up genius this week to find out how you can help out with this event! Events Team meets Tuesday at 6:00 via Zoom. Here's the link.

Admissions Team | The Admissions Team is coordinating to have parents and students at the school on December 18th to give tours and answer questions. Please let the Admissions Team know if you can volunteer! Admissions Team meets Monday at 6:00 via Zoom. Here's the link.

Big picture

Wednesday Explorations on 12/15

Our Wednesday Explorations for this week will include:

Cooking with Fern--students who join Fern in the kitchen this week will learn how to make numerous variations of meatballs--some great foundational cooking techniques (frying, baking, braising, and using a crock pot) will be explored.

Volunteer Work at AWS--Evan will once again be taking a small group of students to the Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk to do some volunteer work.

Making Stuff--Ally and Josie have a number of crafty opportunities lined up. Some items will be sold on Saturday, December 18 at the Last Minute Shoppers Craft Fair.

Holiday Celebration

Wednesday, December 22 students and staff will celebrate the season and the end of the semester with a potluck lunch, our annual Cookie Swap, and a Yankee Swap. Wednesday will be an early release day. Please let your advisor know if you do need to be at school past 2:00 on the 22nd so we can plan accordingly.

The student activities committee is organizing the day, but here's what you need to know now:

  • Potluck Lunch: bring food to share--the student activities committee will be handling sign-ups this week.
  • Cookie Swap: Bring a dozen (or 2) cookies on a plate with copies of the recipe to share and get a dozen (or 2) different cookies and cookie recipes in return during our our annual cookie swap. This is an opportunity for student bakers to showcase their favorite cookies and to get some new recipes to try.
  • Yankee Swap: A long-standing New School Tradition, to participate in the Yankee Swap bring a gift (homemade, regifts, and bizarre are best). If you do purchase something new, the the price cap is $10. Gifts for the Swap should be wrapped but unlabeled.

Big picture

Intensives Update

Planning continues for our 3-Week Intensives which will take place in February.

Click here to look at the slideshow presentation about the Winter Intersession from last Monday's ASM.

We do need email confirmation from families by December 22 to finalize our groups. Please let Christine know which 3-week Intensive your student will be participating in. If you have specific questions about the 3-week Intensives, connect with the group leaders.

Evan/Ally: Winter Sports

Christine: The American Narrative

Josie: New England Ghost Tales and the Supernatural

LEAP Night

Everything you need to know about LEAP.

What is it? LEAP (Learning Exhibitions And Performances) was created by our founding students as a celebration of learning. Students will create informative and interactive displays of their work from the semester and talk to the public about their growth and experiences.

Feedback Team Presentations: Each student will speak to a team of two adults about their displays. Feedback Presentations are deep conversations in which students are asked to be reflective and articulate about their work from the semester. Feedback Presentations generally last 45 minutes to an hour.

Public Open House: After presenting to their Feedback Teams, students will remain at their displays to engage with the general public. This year, we are limiting our LEAP Night audience to families only due to COVID. Audience members are encouraged to visit numerous exhibits and to ask students questions.

Performances: The final part of LEAP Night is a series of short performances and presentations in the Discovery Room. Students who have completed Gateways will be presented with Keys a this time. Seniors will share a sneak peek of their Senior Projects. Musicians might play for us and writers might share their work during the Open Mic performance.

LEAP Time Line

5:15--Orientation for Feedback Teams--please meet in the Discovery Room

5:30--Feedback Team Presentations--students share with Feedback Teams

6:30--Exhibits are open to general public

7:ish--Performances in the Discovery Room

Please note: We will not be providing food at LEAP Night this year because of COVID-19.

LEAP Teams - We Need 28 more of you!

LEAP FEEDBACK TEAMS: LEAP Night is our end of semester celebration of learning. Join us on Tuesday, December 21 for an evening of Learning Exhibits and Performances. Students will share what they have been learning with the community on LEAP Night. We are currently recruiting people to interview students and serve on LEAP Feedback Teams.

Interviewers team up with another community member and talk to students about their semester. Being on a LEAP Feedback Team is a terrific way to support students and to find out more about the exciting things we are engaged with here at The New School. If you would like to be on an Interview Team, please fill out the LEAP SignUp Form

Big picture

Video Production Crew

Building on the talent we discovered in our participation on the video contest, all students are invited to participate in the production of The New School's next TV commercial. The crew from the Covid-19 video are collaborating with Scott to produce a spot that will run in early 2022. Talk with Scott if you’re interested in joining the production crew, and we can discuss timing, roles, and scope as a group while taking into consideration the increasingly busy schedule through the end of the year.

The contest win brought positive exposure for The New School and a $50,000 prize, but just as importantly it identified and showcased student talent. (This is where this author refrains from quoting The New School’s slogan at risk of sounding too corny)

Let’s build on our momentum and see what we can create next.

Winter Mindfulness Workshops

Join us Tuesday nights from 6:30-7:30 for an 8-week mindfulness class beginning January 4.

Contact Susan in the office to register. The workshop is open to the public. Workshop cost is $75--less than $8 a session!

The New School Mindfulness Workshop

Need to manage stress, bring some peace to your life, or are curious about mindfulness?

The workshop will run for 8 weeks for one hour each week, including weekly emails with practice reminders, journal prompts, and any additional information to complement that week’s lesson.

The course includes:

- definition of mindfulness

- getting started with a practice

- science of mindfulness

- multiple practice opportunities including movement, breath work, eating, journaling, visualization, compassion, and deep relaxation.

- how to fit mindfulness in to a person’s busy day

- Q&A

At the end of the course, you will:

- gain a deeper understanding of your own patterns of stress and options for wellbeing

- develop a mindfulness practice that you can confidently maintain on your own

- know multiple mindfulness practices that resonate with you

- understand how to integrate these skills into your life

GIFT IDEA: Outta the Box Gift Cards

As you know, money raised through Outta the Box goes directly toward The New School’s operations, and helps keep the cost of tuition down. Please consider giving an OTB gift card this holiday season as a way to help The New School's fundraising while also sharing this hidden treasure with someone you think might love thrifting. Outta the Box has eGift Cards for sale online HERE, and you can purchase a physical card at the store.

Calling All Artists!

The New School and the School Around Us have been selected to participate in an Art Show at the Kennebunk Library in February. Students are invited to submit artwork for display in the Speers Gallery. We are looking to collect 25 pieces from student artists. Two-dimensional work will be matted and framed for display. All media forms considered: drawing, painting, digital art, photography, mixed media, pottery, sculpture etc. Submission deadline is December 21. Talk to Christine if you have questions.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • Monday December 13: Admissions Team Meeting
  • Tuesday December 14: Event Team Meeting
  • Friday, December 17: Last Day of Semester 1 classes
  • Saturday, December 18: Last Minute Shoppers Craft Fair in The New School parking lot
  • Tuesday, December 21: LEAP Night
  • Wednesday, December 22: Portfolios and Holiday Potluck/Cookie Swap/Yankee Swap
  • December 23-January 4: No School, Vacation
  • 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


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!