The New School News

December 19, 2021

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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 welcomed: drawing, painting, digital art, photography, mixed media, pottery, sculpture etc.

Submission deadline is December 22. Talk to Christine if you have questions.

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.

Help Wanted

We have a HUGE pileup of Clynk bags that need to be dropped off. They are located outside the kitchen door. See Scott or Susan if you need green Clynk bags.

Wrapping Up First Semester

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 January

Holiday Celebration

Wednesday, December 22 students and staff will celebrate the season and the end of the semester with a potluck lunch 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.
  • 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.
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Last Minute Shoppers Craft Fair

Thank you to the volunteers who helped make for a festive event at The New School. The snow held off just long enough for a beautiful winter day.

We also drew the raffle at the end of the Craft Fair, and winners have been called. You can check out the video of the drawing on our Facebook page.

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Wednesday 12/22 Potluck

The Student Activities Committee is working to organize a potluck lunch for Wednesday, December 22. Here's the sign-up sheet they created. When bringing in food for breakfast or potlucks, please be mindful that we have students with Nut Allergies. Please label ingredients.

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/Scott: The American Narrative

Josie: New England Ghost Tales and the Supernatural

Office Reminders/Covid Policy

Please send in verification of any new vaccinations - including COVID-19 vaccines - to Susan Blaisdell.

With many folks traveling over the holidays, it is important that you familiarize yourself with our updated COVID-19 policy. If you have questions in January about whether or not to come to school, feel free to email someone in the office. Scott, Susan, and Christine can all answer questions about the COVID-19 protocols.

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, or register online. 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

20% off Outta the Box Gift e-Gift Cards (promo ends 12/31/21)

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 we are offering 20% off through the end of the year with promo code THRIFTMAINE. You can also purchase a physical card at the store.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • Monday December 20: Board Meeting 6:00
  • Tuesday, December 21: LEAP Night
  • Wednesday, December 22: Portfolios and Holiday Potluck/Yankee Swap
  • December 23-January 4: No School, Vacation
  • January 4: Teacher Day
  • 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 21-25: No School Vacation
  • February 28: Teacher Day
  • March 1: Second Semester Begins


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!