The New School News


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The Week Ahead

GRATITUDE: For more than a decade I have practiced listing three things I am grateful for every day throughout the month of November. A common mindfulness practice, the practice of gratitude has been shown to increase mental health, improve resiliency, and relieve stress. If you are curious about the practice, check out this article.

Today, I am grateful for the warmth of the fire in my pellet stove, the joy I feel when I get to listen to my daughter talk with enthusiasm about something new she is learning, and the slight ache in my hamstrings and triceps from a terrific workout this morning. Take time to connect with yourself and identify the little things that you appreciate. When we tune into them, we realize they aren't little, after all.


Short Week: This week is short--only two days of school before we break for Thanksgiving. Please let the office know if your student is going to be absent, late, or dismissed early.

Travel Guidelines: If you are travelling during the holidays or will find yourself in mixed company, please be safe and take precautions. The CDC and the Maine Department of Education have different guidelines for people depending on their vaccination status.

In general, if you discover that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please be sure to monitor for symptoms and test 3-5 days after your exposure. Unvaccinated community members are asked to quarantine for 10 days.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the office directly.

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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.

Mental Health Resources

The dark months of the year can be challenging for people who are dealing with mental health issues. The additional stress of the continuing uncertainty and fear created by COVID-19 may exacerbate this. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a valuable online resource for residents in Maine.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there are several helplines available:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

(press 1 for the Veteran Crisis Line)
Maine Crisis Hotline: 888-568-1112 (text or call)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741
TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Trevor Text: Text START to 678-678

If you are not in an immediate crisis situation, but you need to talk to someone, you can call:

Maine Intentional Warm Line - 1-866-771-9276

The Intentional Warm Line is available toll-free from anywhere in Maine, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a mental health peer-to-peer phone support line for adults, aged 18 and older, offering mutual conversations with a trained peer specialist who has life experience with mental health recovery. The focus is to encourage and foster recovery, while moving toward wellness and reconnecting with community. Call the Intentional Warm Line 24/7 from anywhere in Maine at 1.866.771.9276 (WARM).

SMART School: As part of their public policy project, Mandi Donegan and Hunter Roberts are getting involved with suicide prevention. They have formed a SMART Team at TNS as part of a program sponsored by SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.)

According to their website: Students Mobilizing Awareness and Reducing Tragedies- is a suicide prevention program created by SAVE for motivated student groups on high school and college campuses nationwide. SMART program staff, in partnership with student leaders, organize motivated students who are passionate about raising mental health and suicide awareness on campus and in the community. Additionally, the program allows students the opportunity to design and implement custom suicide prevention programming that best fits the size and needs of their schools. These efforts increase capacity for stronger, safer and overall healthier communities.

Through the use of social media, peer-to-peer outreach, educational seminars, awareness events and activities, and annual training, SMART aims to accomplish the following:

  1. Increasing a sense of well being in school by teaching effective coping skills
  2. Reducing stigma towards mental illnesses and suicide
  3. Encouraging early screening for mental illnesses and advocate professional treatment among students if needed
  4. Teaching and showing students the signs and symptoms of mental illness
  5. Displaying many resources for students to use for help by increasing connections between youth population and mental health professionals

Mandi and Hunter will be organizing monthly events to educate our school community about suicide prevention.

Volunteer Teams Updates

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.

Admissions Team | The Admissions Team is coordinating to have parents and students at the school on December 18th to give tours and answer questions.

Facilities Team | TNS received a donation of a lawnmower this week.

Career Week Survey

Our first short Intensive during our Winter Intersession will be focused on career exploration. During Career Week we will investigate job skills and potential career tracks. We would love to tap into our community network and take advantage of the diversity of work experiences that folks have. Please fill out this survey, if you are willing to share your connections. Thank you!

Outta the Box eGift Cards Now Available!

Outta the Box now has eGift Cards for sale online HERE

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.

Encouraging people to buy gift cards is one way to help The New School's fundraising, and of course purchasing one yourself works too.

They’re very easy to buy. Take a look

We also have physical gift cards available.

A Letter from TNS Alumni Emma Terravecchia (Class of '21)

Hello all. I am Emma Terravecchia, an alumni of The New School. I graduated this past June, 2021.

When I graduated, I had no idea what my plans were for my life ahead, never mind the upcoming school year. All I knew is that I wanted to make a positive impact in this world, preferably in a city & preferably working with kids &/or in a school setting, discussing racial justice topics. I hadn’t applied to any colleges or anything among that nature. I applied for positions & internships having to do with working with kids & racial justice. Everything had already finished expecting applications or didn’t end up fitting what I was looking for. With the endless support of the TNS community, I knew that I would find something that would find something that would fit who I am perfectly.

Early August, I applied for an Americorp position in Boston. Less than 2 days later I heard back via email with a zoom link for an interview. A day later I was notified I got the position. From that point on I’ve been working at a smaller charter Elementary school in Roxbury, Boston. I am placed in a 2nd grade classroom as a 2nd teacher. Although I have the privilege of working with all the grades, K-5. This experience is most definitely one I will never forget & I’m not even half way through.

Throughout the past months of teaching these kids, they also teach me everyday. Having the compassionate teachers I had at TNS, who cared for me no matter the situation, empowers me to do the same for these kids. To see them only as not as students & how they do academically but who they are as children, as a person. I really try to acknowledge how their realities are different than mine.

The staff & community at Dudley Neighborhood Charter School is so dedicated to making school for these children be something where they like coming, where they feel valued & appreciated. That most definitely mirrors my experience at TNS.

To everyone in the TNSK community, I truly would not be in the position I am right now if it weren’t for the encouragement & reassurance that I can do what I set my mind to.

Lastly, to all the current New School students, whatever stage you are in, in your school life, home life & just with yourself; Show up as you, everyday, every time. Be so authentically you, that no one can ever shake your own belief of who you are, what you can achieve & what you deserve. You got this.

-Emma Terravecchia


AUGUSTA TRIP: The Public Policy class will be traveling to Augusta on December 8 to tour the State House and meet some of the members of our state government -- the President of the Maine Senate, the Assistant Majority Leader in the House, and others. We will not have an early release on the day of the trip.

While members of the public don't necessarily have to abide by the strict dress code in the State House, students should still dress nice. Comfortably, but nice. We will be representing The New School in a space where business attire is the norm. Colors, funky clothes, all good. However, you may feel out of place in a tshirt or sweatshirt or with (unintentionally) ripped clothing.

More details to follow soon!

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, contact Susan Blaisdell ASAP.

Non-Food Donations for Community Outreach Services

The donation pile (pictured here) is growing slowly. Fortunately there are still two weeks left to add to it!

Thank you to everyone who has already brought in non-food items for our donation drive to assist Community Outreach Services (COS). COS extends a helping hand to individuals and families in the towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel by assisting with food, fuel or specific needs.

We hope that students will reach out beyond their immediate family to solicit much needed items for families in need. Below is a list of items we are trying to collect. Items may be dropped off at The New School or at Outta the Box. Questions may be directed to Susan in the office.

  • Pet Food Supplies

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper towels

  • Tissues

  • Napkins

  • Dish Soap

  • Laundry Detergent

  • Multi-purpose cleaners

  • Hand soap

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Deodorant

  • Toothpaste

Next All School Meeting December 6

December's All School Meeting will be held in person on Monday, December 6 at 6:00 at The New School. One major agenda item for December's meeting is the 3-week Intensive currently scheduled for February.

Reminder: anyone in the community can submit items for our agenda prior to the All School Meeting meetings. When submitting an agenda item, please include a brief description of the topic and an estimate of the amount of time you would like to devote to it. Agenda items should be submitted on Fridays before an ASM.

Dates to Remember

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar
  • Wednesday--Friday November 24-26 Thanksgiving Break, No School
  • Monday, December 6: 6:00 All School Meeting
  • Wednesday, December 8: Trip to Augusta. No early release.
  • Tuesday, December 21: LEAP Night
  • December 23-January 4: No School, Vacation

Kids Shopping "Extravaganza" at Outta the Box

Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2:30-4pm

8 York Street

Kennebunk, ME

Outta the Box is hosting an event for kids to come in and shop for holiday gifts for friends and family. Kids will have free rein to shop on their own (with shopper helpers), and parents can enjoy cookies and cider while they wait. There will also be craft tables where children can make a gift, and a table will be set up with reasonable items for purchase.

OTB is asking for volunteers. They have asked for students to be shopper helpers and to help with crafts, and we would love to have some current parents on hand to talk up The New School.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


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!