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NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY

Lower School Family Handbook

All information contained herein is provided exclusively for the use of the NYA community for purposes related to our academic and extracurricular programs and should not be used for any other purpose.


North Yarmouth Academy Lower School Family Handbook Table of Contents Welcome & Mission Statement ........................................................................... 1 Academic Information.....................................................................................2-6 Academic Overview.........................................................................................2 Reporting System..............................................................................................4 Student Records Maintenance & Release .....................................................4 Academic Support Services.............................................................................6 Library................................................................................................................7 Computers.........................................................................................................7 General Procedures & Policies.......................................................................7-17 Drop Off at School............................................................................................7 End of Day Pick-Up........................................................................................ 8 Late Fees............................................................................................................ 8 Before and After Care..................................................................................... 8 Student Safety................................................................................................... 9 Attendance Policies......................................................................................... 9 Tardiness........................................................................................................ 10 Appointments & Early Dismissals.............................................................. 10 Snow Days..................................................................................................... 10 Communications from NYA........................................................................ 11 Communicating with the School................................................................. 11 Food & Dining............................................................................................... 11 Toys & Electronic Equipment...................................................................... 13 Dogs on Campus Policy................................................................................ 14 Student Dress Code....................................................................................... 14 Halloween....................................................................................................... 17 Lost & Found.................................................................................................. 17 Community Standards.................................................................................18-22 Honor Code.................................................................................................... 18 Community Values........................................................................................ 18 Standards of Behavior .................................................................................. 19 Discipline Policy for Toddler and Primary Students................................ 19 Discipline Policy for Elementary Students................................................. 21 Academic Dishonesty.................................................................................... 22 Student Harassment Policy........................................................................... 22


Health Services.............................................................................................22-25 Health Service Office..................................................................................... 22 Promoting a Healthy Environment for the School................................... 23 Confidentiality............................................................................................... 23 Health Forms.................................................................................................. 24 Injury or Illness.............................................................................................. 25 Medication...................................................................................................... 25 Notifications...................................................................................................... 26 Statement of Nondiscrimination................................................................. 26 FERPA Notification....................................................................................... 26


Welcome to North Yarmouth Academy North Yarmouth Academy is a close, small school community where students discover great opportunities to pursue their interests and develop their talents. Within this community, a student will encounter other students and faculty with a wide variety of abilities and interests. All members of this school community are bound together by mutual respect, trust, and common commitment to achievement. The Lower School Family Handbook is written with information specifically for the staff and families of the Lower School at North Yarmouth Academy. It outlines the basic principles, philosophy, requirements, and guidelines of the school. A successful community must have certain goals, values, and standards that everyone must understand and respect. Please understand that this Handbook is not intended to cover all aspects of the relationship between families and the Academy, and that NYA reserves the right to change policies and procedures at its sole discretion. The NYA Board of Trustees has approved the Mission Statement that follows:

North Yarmouth Academy Mission Statement North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school. The Academy offers a structured program that establishes clear standards and high expectations in an environment that emphasizes values of mutual respect, trust, and community. North Yarmouth Academy is dedicated to fostering integrity, character, and intellect in its students. The North Yarmouth Academy program encourages students to develop: • Problem-solving skills based on sound analytical and creative thought • Sophistication in writing, speaking, and artistic expression • Appreciation for the importance of athletic activity, teamwork, and cooperation • Self-confidence and self-respect through a breadth of experiences that extend beyond the classroom • Concern for the larger community and an appreciation for the natural environment • Desire to continue the process of lifelong learning

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Academic Information Academic Overview The Lower School works to cultivate, foster, and encourage a sense of curiosity and wonder in children and serves as a natural foundation as they develop into students who have a deeper understanding and respect for learning and knowledge. It builds on values that connect children throughout the school: cultivating integrity, character, and intellect to help the students of today prosper as learners and innovators throughout their lives. The Lower School utilizes Montessori methods through kindergarten. In the first through fourth grades, the methodology continues to foster curiosity and motivation to learn while preparing for an easy transition to the Middle School. Toddler Program | 18 Months – 3 Years Old: The Toddler Program provides a warm and inviting setting for our youngest students, aged 18 months to 3, and welcomes them to the Montessori classroom. The nurturing environment supports the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of each child as they continue their growth toward independence. Learning is child-directed and focuses on social-emotional development. All areas of the Montessori classroom are represented in this setting and include Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Cultural, Geography, Science, and Peace. The Montessori materials, which are slowly introduced to the children in individual and small group lessons, reside on the shelves in their respective locations for the children to select. Working with these materials fosters concentration, independence, and the development of gross and fine motor skills. Circle time encourages and builds a community atmosphere and includes songs and finger plays that help support emerging Language and Math skills. Additionally, the children enjoy Creative Movement, Music, Spanish, and Art. Primary Program | Pre K and Kindergarten: The Primary Program embodies the Montessori philosophy of teaching and welcomes children aged 3 through kindergarten. Montessori education nurtures children’s desire to learn and work collaboratively across age groups as they develop a wide range of intellectual, social, and emotional skills. Embedded within the heart of this approach is the Great Period, a block of time dedicated each day to independent work and individual or small group lessons on a wide variety of topics including practical life, natural science, language, math, and art. Children have the freedom to work at their own pace, and teachers gently guide them, but the overarching educational goal remains to inspire rather than instruct. Children learn through exploring and manipulating materials designed to provide the opportunity to think, feel, and discover. These activities help lay the foundation for increasingly abstract thinking, all within the context of connecting with teachers and other

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students. Students in the Primary Program also pursue enrichment courses each week, including Music, Spanish, Art, and Movement or Physical Education. Elementary Program | Grades 1 - 4: The elementary program at NYA employs multi-age classrooms where students have the opportunity to both teach to and learn from their peers. The curriculum in these early grades is designed to emphasize social and academic growth, while promoting a sense of community within the classroom and the entire NYA campus. The teacher guides students through an expansive exploration of culture, language, mathematics, and science as well as concepts that shape social learning and understanding. The classroom offers a rich and open learning environment incorporating class meetings; group work; individual, small-group, and full class instruction; and varied learning and discovery centers. Students are provided with multiple exposures and learning experiences, which include field trips and classroom projects that are integrated into the curriculum. The classes are structured to meet the needs of each individual, as the students are given the opportunity to work at their own level and at their own pace. As students progress through the grades, the program continues to provide a small, nurturing environment which allows students to transition with ease, creates strong connections, and paves the way towards success in the Middle School. The approach is student-centered, and incorporates more formalized elements in various subjects. Students are given the opportunity to be selfdirected learners through guided discovery and academic choice. The classroom is organized in a way to foster independence, cooperation, and productivity. Teachers place increasing emphasis on developing fluency in mathematics, reading, and writing. They inspire and support each student to reach her or his potential while embracing a love of learning. Student learning continues to be enhanced by experiential studies, field trips, and service projects. With the guidance of their teachers, students continue to drive their own educational discoveries as they begin to tackle increasingly complex concepts in preparation for their transition to the Middle School. Elementary students further their involvement in enrichment courses. They have instruction in Spanish language and culture twice each week. Students participate in the Academy’s highly regarded Visual and Performing Arts program, gaining exposure to a variety of materials and experiences in the studio and strengthening performance skills through continued vocal and instrumental music instruction. Beginning in grade three, students take part in an introductory Strings course with violins provided by the Academy. Students in grades one and two learn ukulele. Physical Education classes take place in the gym, on the turf and grass fields, and in NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena, providing opportunities for personal growth, good sportsmanship, achievement, and teamwork. -3-


Reporting System Regular contact between parents and teachers happens throughout the year. In addition, there are set times of more official contact for teachers to provide updates on the progress and goals of each student. Toddler and Primary: August/September: Parent Information Session. November:  Mid-semester Parent/Teacher Conferences. Phone call or email for parents who could not attend. December: Close of fall semester. Written class summary sent in early January. April:  Mid-semester Parent/Teacher Conferences with student skills reports. Phone call or email for parents who could not attend. June:  Year-end written class summary sent. Grades 1-4: August/September:  November:  December:  April:  June: 

Parent Information Session. Mid-semester Parent/Teacher Conferences. Phone call or email for parents who could not attend. Close of fall semester.  Written comments and reports sent out in early January. Mid-semester Parent/Teacher Conferences. Phone call or email for parents who could not attend. Written comments and progress reports for all students.

Student Records Maintenance and Release Policies Student Files: Current individual student files are kept in a locked, fireproof cabinet in the Main Office and are maintained by the Registrar. NYA policy requires parents and students of the age of majority to make a request to view a child’s permanent file to the Registrar at least 24 business-day hours in advance. When a student graduates, most materials are purged from the file. A copy of all high school transcripts, NYA applications, and attendance records are kept in perpetuity. In some instances, other material may be maintained for a limited time. Because we do not keep immunization records in perpetuity, it is advisable for parents to maintain their own record for future use.

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Transfers/applications to other programs: Students applying for entrance to summer schools and special programs or transferring to other schools should give their completed application material to the Head of Lower School. They should also notify and/or submit transcript request forms to the Registrar. The Academy forwards educational records to the school where the student intends to enroll. According to the policy established by the NYA Board of Trustees on March 1, 1988, no records will be forwarded from NYA in the name of any student with an outstanding account. However, in accordance with Title 20-A, Part 2, Chapter 117, Sub-chapter 2 Section 2951, upon the request of a school unit, NYA will release copies of all student records for students transferring from NYA to the school unit. If a student requires a letter of recommendation, parents should speak directly to the appropriate faculty or staff member. The appropriate form(s) with name and address and a stamped, preaddressed envelope should accompany the request. Internet restrictions: As defined in Title 20-A Chapter 221 Section 601, NYA will not publish on the Internet or provide for publication on the Internet the student’s personal information, including, but not limited to, the student’s full name, personal biography, e-mail address, home address, date of birth, social security number, and parents’ names, without first obtaining the written approval of the students’ parents. For information regarding the release of photographs or video of students, please refer to the Academy’s media policy. Dissemination of education records to criminal justice agencies: As defined in 20 United States Code, Section 1232 g(a)(4), NYA may disseminate education records if: A. The juvenile has not been adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime. B. The education records are disseminated to: a. Criminal justice agencies; or b. Agencies that by court order or agreement of the juvenile are responsible for the health or welfare of the juvenile and that have provided the school with a statement describing the purpose of the dissemination; and c. The education records are relevant to and disseminated for the purpose of creating or maintaining an individualized plan for the juvenile’s rehabilitation.

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Education records received under this subsection are confidential and may not be further disseminated, except to the court or as otherwise provided by law. The persons to whom the education records are disseminated shall certify in writing to the school that the records will not be disclosed to any other party, except the court or as otherwise provided by law, without the written consent of the juvenile or the juvenile’s parent or guardian.

Academic Support Services All students are expected to complete North Yarmouth Academy’s academic graduation requirements, and at all times the school will maintain its academic standards and not alter essential elements of its curriculum. The school’s aim is to provide the necessary support to assist students in meeting these expectations. NYA does not offer remedial educational services, but is able to offer certain accommodations to help students find success. If parents or teachers have an academic, behavioral, or developmental concern about a student, they should consult with the Head of Lower School to discuss a plan of action. While NYA does not provide educational testing, the school may provide a referral to Child Development Services, Yarmouth Student Services, or an independent professional and assist throughout the process. The referral may include an initial meeting to review student performance and potentially recommend testing or services. Decisions regarding accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis by the Head of Lower School, after consultation with the student, the student’s parents, teachers, and any appropriately qualified educational evaluators or health care providers. Some examples of reasonable accommodations may include: • Appropriate seating in the classroom • Location of classrooms in accessible areas • Time available for the student to meet with a tutor, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, or other specialist during the school day • Participation in annual meetings to develop and implement an ISP (Individual Service Plan) with an NYA administrator and faculty along with evaluators from the Yarmouth School Department (K-4th) • Oral follow-up by teachers on written assessments • A quiet, separate area for assessments Any accommodations or adjustments to the academic program must be consistent with the academic support services outlined in this document and must not present an undue burden on the school.

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Library NYA’s main library in Curtis building is currently being renovated into a new Learning Commons. Books for Lower School students are also housed in classroom collections and the book nook. In addition, elementary classes regularly visit the Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth. All NYA students may have access to their collections. Borrowers are responsible for lost or damaged materials.

Computers Beginning in upper elementary, students will be introduced to using computers for school use and will have the opportunity to use computers in the lab with their classroom teacher. Classes utilize the PC computer lab in the Savage Middle School and a specially equipped classroom lab in Russell Hall. This very limited access helps to provide a safe and slow introduction to computer use and safety. The great room and the elementary classrooms in the Lower School are also equipped with multimedia technology designed to complement and enhance the classroom experience. It is our philosophy to limit technology in the classroom for our youngest students.

General Procedures & Policies Drop-off at School Unless enrolled in Before Care, all Lower School students should arrive between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. In the Toddler House and Learning Cottage, parents will accompany students into the building, sign in, greet the teacher, and say a quick goodbye. Swift drop-offs tend to be most effective in helping children transition into the school day. Parents should accompany all Primary students into the Lower School, sign students in at the reception desk, and help at their cubbies if needed (e.g. hanging coats, changing into inside footwear, etc.). Teachers will greet Primary students at the door and welcome them into the classroom beginning at 7:45 a.m. each morning. Parents should say their goodbyes in the reception area before students enter the classroom. For elementary students, parents may drop-off at the crosswalk or accompany students into the reception area. Mrs. Gallagher’s students should sign in at the reception desk between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., and then proceed directly upstairs, hang up coats and drop off bags, and get settled for the day. Mr. Hopkins’ and Mrs. Gagne’s students should sign in between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., go to their lockers, and then proceed to their classrooms.

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All Lower School parents will drive up the Curtis driveway for morning dropoff and afternoon pick-up. Parents may drop off elementary students at the crosswalk as they head back toward Main Street. There are short-term parking spots reserved for Lower School families only on the right-hand side as you head back toward Main Street and in the Curtis lot. Please note that parking is not permitted in the turn-around, in the spaces designated for Admissions, or in the handicapped parking space without a permit. Parents may not utilize Storer Street for drop-off or pick-up.

End of Day Pick-Up For half-day students, pick-up is at 11:40 a.m. Parents should pick up children first and then gather belongings and sign students out at the reception desk. Unless a student is enrolled in After Care, afternoon pick-up is at 2:30 p.m. for Toddler and Primary 1 & 2, at 2:45 p.m. for Primary 3/Kindergarten, at 2:50 p.m. for Mrs. Gallagher’s class, and at 3:00 p.m. for Mr. Hopkins’ and Mrs. Gagne’s classes. Unlike morning sign-in, parents of all students must enter the building at the end of the day to pick up their children. Parents will pick up their children at the classroom door, gather any belongings, and then sign out. If families have children in both the Toddler House and the Lower School, please pick up toddlers first. Students in After Care may be picked up between 2:45 and 5:00 p.m. Parents should pick up students directly from the After Care activity (the group may be outdoors, in the classroom, or in the Great Room depending on the activity) and then gather belongings and sign students out at the reception desk.

Late Pick-up Fees The safety of our students is always our foremost concern and students will be monitored by NYA staff until pick-up. It is essential, therefore, that parents are respectful of the demands placed on staff and be on time for pick-up each day. In the event of an unavoidable delay (e.g. traffic due to an accident or an unexpected emergency), parents should make every effort to contact the school to let them know of their arrival and pick-up plan. With the exception of extreme circumstances, there will be a $10 late pick-up charge per each ten minute increment (e.g. 1-10 minutes late = $10; 11-20 minutes late = $20) as it is necessary to keep additional staff on duty in such situations.

Before and After Care To accommodate different family schedules, we offer both Before and After Care options. Before Care is available beginning at 7:15 a.m. There are three options for After Care: until 5:00 p.m. one-two days per week; until 5:00 p.m. three-five -8-


days per week; or for one hour five days per week. Families enrolled in After Care are asked to provide us with their pick-up plans each Friday morning for the following week. Late pick-up fees go into effect after the designated end time of the selected After Care plan.

Student Safety As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for our students, we have a combination lock installed on the door at the entrance to the Lower School and the Toddler House and Learning Cottage. The combination lock provides access during the school day. All other entrances are locked from the outside and are utilized as exits only. To open the door, press each number on the combination lock in order and then push down the handle to open the door. If there is a mis-key, simply push down the handle to reset and then re-enter the combination. The code to the combination lock will be given to Lower School parents/ guardians and staff only. The combination will be changed periodically and should be kept confidential. If someone other than a parent or guardian regularly transports a child, e.g. a grandparent, neighbor, or nanny, the parent may share the combination with him or her. If a friend or relative will pick up a child occasionally, NYA staff will open the door for them. If anyone other than a parent will be picking up a child from school, it is imperative that we have a signed Pick-Up Permission Form on file. These forms are available at Lower School reception and in the Toddler House. New forms must be completed annually. In addition, the person picking up the child will be required to show a photo ID. Children will not be released to anyone unless there is a signed permission slip on file and a corresponding photo ID.

Attendance Policies Daily attendance is taken each morning between 8:00 and 8:10 a.m. A parent should call the school (846-9051) by 8:15 a.m. when a student will be absent all day, arriving late, or leaving early - even if the parent has informed the classroom teacher. It is our policy to call the parents of students who are not accounted for. Students who arrive after 8:05 a.m. are considered tardy. Regular class attendance is essential to the learning process. It is important for children to maintain a regular routine and to be present at school in order to learn and share with their teachers and peers. The Academy strongly discourages non-essential absences. If at all possible, family trips should be scheduled during school vacation. The school calendar is published months in advance to aid families with their planning. -9-


If a student exceeds a total of ten absences in an academic year, the family will be notified by the school and the student will be placed on attendance probation for the remainder of the year. If additional absences occur, the student may be required to repeat the grade the following year, regardless of achievement and/or grades earned. In extraordinary cases of prolonged illness or disability, documented by a physician, the Academy may exercise its discretion to modify this policy. In this event, it may be necessary for the family to hire a tutor to aid the student in making up missed course work. If parents must take their student out of school for three days or more, it is essential that they inform the office and communicate with the classroom teacher to make plans for make-up work as necessary. In addition, if parents go away and leave the student in someone else’s charge, the school must be notified where the parent or guardian can be reached in case of an emergency and if someone other than a parent will be calling in absences, etc.

Tardiness As late arrivals disrupt the flow of the class and may impact the student’s learning, we strongly encourage students to arrive on time each day. Students should arrive by 8:00 a.m. and will be marked tardy after 8:05 a.m. To participate in a school event (e.g. drama or music performance), a student must arrive at school by 10:00 a.m. on that day. In an exceptional circumstance, a parent may communicate directly with the Head of Lower School to request a waiver of this rule.

Appointments & Dismissals To take a student out of school before the end of the day, a parent should send a note stating the reason for dismissal and the time of departure or call prior to 8:15 a.m. on the day of early dismissal. Parents must sign the student out at the Lower School reception desk and sign them in again upon returning to school.

Snow Days Because it is sometimes necessary to cancel or delay the start of a school day due to stormy conditions, we issue text alerts to our families, post on social media, and encourage families to check television stations or the NYA website for updates. Due to the variety of weather patterns, from Boothbay to Biddeford and from Bridgton to Freeport, it may look like clear going in one town while another - 10 -


is “snowed under.� The administration makes cancellation/late start decisions with student safety as a top consideration. If school is not cancelled, and a parent feels it is too dangerous to be on the road, they may simply call the school. On days when road conditions require slower speeds, families should plan to leave early enough to allow for the extra driving time that is needed. On those days, consideration will certainly be made for late arrivals. In the event that snow arrives unexpectedly or earlier and/or heavier than predicted, the administration may decide to call for an early release from school. If this is the case, we will make every attempt to notify the parents. The school will remain open until all children can be safely picked up by parents or other authorized individuals.

Communications from NYA Information about upcoming events such as parent-teacher conferences, guest speakers, concerts, etc., can be found on the NYA website: www.nya.org. Families will receive updates, highlights, and additional information about the entire Academy via the all-school email from the Head of School and about the Lower School via the monthly e-newsletter, Panther Cubs. Classroom teachers will email families at various times throughout the year with classroom updates, additional information, and photos. If you are a family with parents living separately, we will gladly, at your request, send information to all parents. Please update the Custodial Parent Information form in Family Web if you have a change of address, phone number/s, or email address/es.

Communicating with the School Parents should feel free to contact any of the teachers or staff at NYA at any time. Contact may take place via email, phone call, or setting up an appointment to meet. Because the mornings are often hectic as students prepare to settle in for the day, we provide Parent Note forms for parents to share information with the teachers in the morning at drop-off. These forms are available at Lower School reception and in the Toddler House.

Food & Dining Food and Dining in the Toddler and Primary Programs: Food and dining play an important role in the classroom as students will be eating snack and lunch daily. The lunch table can serve as a place where bodies - 11 -


are nourished with wholesome food and minds are stimulated with interesting conversation. Thank you for assisting us to reach these goals! Lunch: Our goals are to: • Encourage healthy eating habits • Teach courteous table manners • Avoid waste of food and packaging • Learn to set up for lunch • Offer thanks for our food and friends Suggestions for lunch: • Parents should provide each child with a lunch box or bag; an ice pack to keep lunch cold; a reusable plastic container (approximately 5x5); a cloth napkin; and silverware as needed. • Healthy lunch options might include: sandwiches such as soybean butter and jelly, meat, or cheese; macaroni and cheese; dinner leftovers; cheese with fruit and crackers; vegetable sticks like carrots, celery, cucumber; fruit (whole or cut pieces); and yogurt or smoothies. • Please try to avoid: “junk food” (e.g. processed fruit roll-ups, lunchables, candy, etc.); glass bottles; and pre-packaged items or disposable packaging. • Cookies and chips should be limited. • Classrooms are peanut- and nut-free (no peanut butter or nut products of any kind). • The school will provide cups and water for each table. • We have a microwave to heat lunch if necessary, although in the warmer weather we may be eating outside and sandwiches are definitely easier! Snack: Children’s level of hunger in the morning varies greatly from child to child and day to day. We accommodate this variation by allowing children to consume their morning snack when desired. All children will have a simple, healthy classroom snack each morning. NYA will provide morning snacks for the first two weeks of school. We then ask each family for their assistance in taking turns with the weekly grocery shopping for snacks. Each family will be assigned on a rotating basis throughout the year to bring in the groceries and supplies that the class will use to make snacks. Families are provided with a shopping list including items such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and crackers, and dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Full-day primary students may want an additional snack in the afternoon. Because of potential food allergies, we do not allow nuts or peanuts. Other food allergies are dealt with on an as-needed basis.

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Food and Dining in the Elementary Program: Lunch: Beginning in first grade, students will have lunch in Safford Center, the NYA cafeteria. Students may bring a packed lunch from home or purchase from the variety of options available through NYA Dining. Dining services offers madeto-order sandwiches, homemade soups, a hot entrée, salad bar, and a variety of healthy snacks each day. All students will have a dining account set up with NYA. If they choose to purchase items in the cafeteria, they may do so with cash or using funds pre-loaded on their dining account. To help avoid confusion and to aid in making healthy choices, teachers will assist students in ordering their lunches in advance. The dining staff will have student lunches ready and waiting when they arrive in the cafeteria. Snack: Children’s level of hunger varies greatly from child to child and day to day. Children should bring a simple, healthy snack to eat in the classroom each morning. Busy days also lead to busy appetites and students may find themselves hungry again each afternoon. Therefore, students may wish to have an additional snack for the afternoon. Students may bring this snack from home or purchase a snack in the cafeteria to be saved for later. PLEASE NOTE: All Lower School classrooms are peanut- and nut-free. Because of potential food allergies, we do not allow peanut butter or nut products of any kind in the classroom. Other food allergies are dealt with on an as needed basis. Thank you for your assistance in helping our students enjoy healthy and nutritious food and good company!!

Toys and Electronic Equipment In the Toddler and Primary classrooms, children may bring one small “lovey” to have with them during rest time only. We will provide each child with his/ her own rest cot and NYA beach towel blanket so no other items are needed for rest time. The mats, cots, and towels remain at school and will be washed and sanitized regularly. Blankets should not be brought from home. With permission of the teacher, elementary students may bring an item such as a lacrosse stick or baseball glove for play during recess. Otherwise, we ask that all toys, stuffed animals, cards, games, etc. be left at home. Such items may become lost or damaged or could create distractions or disruptions in the classroom. In

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addition, the use of personal electronic equipment (including cell phones, music devices, video games, cameras, tablets, etc.) is prohibited during the school day. We ask that all electronic equipment be left at home.

Dogs on Campus Policy Dogs are not allowed in the buildings of NYA when school is in session (roughly 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). This prohibition does not apply to certified service animals. Dogs are permitted outside on campus grounds at all times. However, the school reserves the right to ask that a dog be removed from campus.

Student Dress Code The dress code at North Yarmouth Academy is a tradition that symbolically distinguishes NYA from other schools and represents a set of values that are important to the Academy. NYA recognizes the importance of approaching one’s education with seriousness and dedication. However, the Academy also recognizes the importance of comfort and self-sufficiency, especially for our younger students. The dress code in the Lower School promotes neatness and simplicity and becomes more formalized as the children get older. School dress is worn during the academic day from arrival until pick-up and for away events and field trips unless otherwise specified.

FOR TODDLER AND PRIMARY STUDENTS: Bottoms: • Pants (no blue jeans) • Bermuda length shorts • Skirt • Dress • Until age 4: Elastic waist only – no belts, buttons, snaps, or overalls Tops: • Polo shirt • Collared button up shirt • Sweater • T-shirt (plain or with non-commercial graphics; no TV or movie characters) • No hoodies or athletic sweatshirts Outside Footwear: • Closed toe (no flip-flops, loose sandals, or crocs) • Easy on-off (most students should be able to do so by themselves) • No light-ups, squeakers, wheelies, etc. - 14 -


• Weather appropriate • Sneakers for PE class (age 4 and up) Inside Footwear: • Simple full-foot slippers or moccasins (no commercial characters) • Easy on-off (most students should be able to do so by themselves) • Should be left at school Rain Gear: • Raincoat • Rain boots or weather appropriate footwear • Hat (optional and for outdoor use only) Snow Gear: • Winter weather appropriate coat or jacket • Snow pants • Winter Hat • Mittens or Gloves (waterproof is best) Extra Clothing: • All students should have two complete, seasonally appropriate changes of clothing kept at school (remember socks and underwear!) • Toddlers and Young Primary students should have two additional pairs of underwear and/or pull-ups • Families of Toddlers and Young Primary students should provide a regular supply of pull-ups and wipes Please LABEL all clothing items!

FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS: Bottoms: • Pants (chino-style) • No blue jeans, sweatpants, windpants, leggings, or yoga pants • Bermuda shorts (knee-length) • No athletic-style shorts • Knee-length Skirt (with dressy top or collared shirt) • Knee-length Dress Tops: • Polo or rugby shirt • Collared button up shirt • Sweater • No T-shirts, hoodies, or sweatshirts - 15 -


Outside Footwear: • Closed toe (no flip-flops or loose sandals) • No light-ups, squeakers, wheelies, etc. • Weather appropriate • Sneakers for PE class Inside Footwear: • Simple full-foot slippers or moccasins or Crocs are a great inside option during “boot weather” Rain Gear: • Raincoat • Rain boots or weather appropriate footwear • Hat (optional and for outdoor use only) Snow Gear: • Winter weather appropriate coat or jacket • Snow pants • Winter Hat • Mittens or Gloves (waterproof is best) Extra Clothing: • All students should have one complete, seasonally appropriate change of clothing kept at school (remember socks and underwear!) Please LABEL all clothing items! Many of the restrictions on the Lower School Dress Code are in place to limit distractions in the classroom and during the school day. This includes any items that promote commercial characters (e.g. Stars Wars or Finding Dory) and clothing that lights up, makes noise, etc. If an article of clothing is deemed unacceptable for any reason, the student and/or parent will be notified and asked not to wear the article again.

DRESS-UP DAYS: On occasion, the Academy may ask the students to abide by a more formal dress code (Convocation and Grandparents’ Day are examples). Dress for these days is as follows:

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Toddler and Primary: • Pants (no shorts), with polo, collared button-up shirt or dress blouse • Knee-length Dress or Skirt Elementary (Grades 1-4): • Pants (no shorts), with polo, collared button-up shirt, tie • Dress pants with dress blouse • Knee-length Dress or Skirt

DRESS DOWN DAYS: From time to time, the Academy may have special dress-down days. On dress down days, students may also wear blue jeans, T-shirts (with or without commercial graphics), hoodies, athletic clothing, and sweatshirts. All clothing should be in good repair and school-appropriate.

Halloween Halloween is a big occasion at NYA and the Lower School celebrates with a variety of activities throughout the day. Parent volunteers may help with the festivities as the classes carve pumpkins, make crafts, do seasonal activities, and have some special treats. The Lower School students have a special parade midmorning. In the afternoon, the elementary students join the Middle and Upper School students for a Halloween Parade in the gym. Parents of younger students who would like to attend may pick up their child and join the fun. Students wear costumes as part of the celebration, but we ask that they stay in keeping with the dress code – nothing too scary, no weapons of any kind (swords, guns, light sabers, etc.), no masks, and no commercial (movie or TV) characters. Animals (e.g. cat, dog, lion), careers (e.g. chef, doctor, firefighter), book characters, Halloween classics, and silly creations are all great choices. This is a wonderful opportunity to be creative and keep things simple.

Lost & Found There is a Lost & Found bin located in the reception area of the Lower School as well as at various locations around campus. Items in Lost & Found will be removed and donated periodically to charity. Be sure to check the Lost & Found bins regularly and retrieve missing items. Labeling items will help us to ensure that everything is returned to the proper owner.

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Community Standards Honor Code North Yarmouth Academy seeks to provide opportunities for educational excellence, both inside and outside the classroom, and to assist students in developing the social and ethical values necessary for community life, including personal integrity, judgment, and an appreciation of cultural and ethnic diversity. The Academy thus expects students, staff, and faculty to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the school’s pursuit of its educational objectives.

NYA Community Values The NYA community values the following character traits: Respect • Expressing tolerance toward others with words and actions • Interacting politely and appropriately with others • Caring for one’s surroundings • Value self and others Honesty • Seeking to tell the truth • Accepting ownership and responsibility for actions and work • Establishing and maintaining trust in all relationships Perseverance • Persisting in the face of challenges • Continuing to do the right things when it is difficult • Making consistent ethical choices Compassion • Showing empathy and sensitivity to the feelings, perspectives, and needs of others • Reaching out to and helping those in need • Standing up for others Responsibility • Demonstrating accountability for personal behavior • Taking the initiative to do the things that are expected of one • Following through with commitments and obligations

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Standards of Behavior Mutual respect, trust, and a commitment to academic achievement are the cornerstones of education at North Yarmouth Academy. Faculty and staff strive to maintain a campus in which all students feel valued and respected, and where effective teaching can take place. Students in the Lower School are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the values of this institution.

Discipline Policy for Toddler and Primary Students Children in the Toddler and Primary programs are expected at all times to show respect for each other, the teachers, and the environment. Teachers provide the children with clear examples of positive behavior and how to act in specific situations, e.g. through the use of Grace and Courtesy exercises. Through gentle redirection, the setting of clear limits, and teaching in neutral moments, the discipline of the classroom is maintained. If these measures should not work and a child should continue to lack self-control, a teacher will separate the child from the group and sit with him/her until he/she regains their control to resume normal class activity. At no time will harsh or abusive punishment be used, nor will the child be neglected or humiliated. It is understood that children need to learn to respond to their emotions in a positive and constructive manner. One function of the classroom is to guide children through this process of developing self-discipline and awareness of their role in a group. Certain behaviors, if they recur on a regular basis and cannot be modified, may require more significant interventions. Such behaviors may include: • being destructive to the room and the materials • lacking the ability to maintain focus and attention for daily activities and tasks • presenting a state of constant over-activity which impedes learning for self and peers • struggling to follow even simple instructions or requests • acting aggressively toward staff or peers • lacking the capacity to control one’s emotional state • being unable to separate from the parents after one month in school If such behaviors should occur on a frequent basis, any or all of the following may occur: • The teacher may ask the parents for a conference to notify them of the problem and to discuss both the issues and potential measures to remedy them. • The staff may make careful, written observations of the child’s behavior for a period of several days and may share such observations with the parents. The school counselor may be invited in to observe as well. - 19 -


• Follow-up meetings with the parents, teacher, and administration may be scheduled. • The parents may be asked to: - explore options for outside support - reduce the child’s schedule - withdraw the child until a later date - withdraw the child from the school

Such measures are taken in the best interest of the child, the parents, and the other children. School readiness and stress in social situations can sometimes only be evaluated after a child is present in the program. While the behavior may be only temporary in the child’s life, it is the responsibility of the parents rather than the school to modify difficult behavior patterns. Our teachers and staff will do their best to provide the parents with support, basic advice, and encouragement. One of the challenging behaviors that can occur is biting. While biting is not uncommon nor unexpected in toddler groups, it can be quite upsetting for everyone involved. The safety and wellbeing of the children is our highest priority. The staff work to prevent biting from taking place by providing a calm, yet stimulating classroom environment, careful supervision of the children, and instruction on appropriate ways for the toddlers to express themselves. Biting can happen for a number of reasons at this age and it can be unpredictable when biting might occur. If a biting incident should occur, the teachers first address the needs of the child who is bitten and then separate the child who did the biting and provide clear, consistent messaging utilizing instructive intervention. First aid is administered to the bite as needed. Parents of both children are notified of the incident by the school. When biting becomes a pattern of behavior, the school puts together an action plan to try to address the needs of the child and to keep all of the children safe. Such a plan might include the following actions: • Meeting with the child’s parents to review the plan and ensure consistent messaging at school and home.  • Monitoring the child as vigilantly as possible and taking every precaution to step in before biting occurs. • Assessing the environment and schedule and making adjustments to reduce potential stressors. • Bringing our school counselor into the classroom to observe and share insights and suggestions. • Requesting that the parents meet with the pediatrician or other professional for further insights.

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• Maintaining regular communication and arranging a follow-up meeting with the parents to assess progress and determine further action if needed. • As with other recurring behaviors, the parents may be asked to: - explore options for outside support - reduce the child’s schedule - withdraw the child until a later date - withdraw the child from the school

Discipline Policy for Elementary Students Just as in the Toddler and Primary programs, elementary students are expected at all times to show respect for each other, the teachers, and the environment. Teachers and students join together to develop classroom rules and expectations and to work in support of one another. Students who engage in unacceptable behaviors will meet with the teacher and, in the event of more serious issues, with the Head of Lower School. Parents will be notified as necessary and brought into the conversation as partners in helping their child learn more appropriate behavior. If an elementary student should continue to have difficulty following the guidelines of the classroom or if unacceptable behaviors should occur on a frequent basis, any or all of the following may occur:

• The teacher may ask the parents for a conference to notify them of the problem and to discuss both the issues and potential measures to remedy them. • The staff may make careful, written observations of the child’s behavior for a period of several days and may share such observations with the parents. The school counselor may be invited in to observe as well. • Follow-up meetings with the parents, teacher, and administration may be scheduled. • The parents may be asked to: - explore options for outside support - reduce the child’s schedule - withdraw the child until a later date - withdraw the child from the school

The staff will work together with the family in support of each student and make decisions which are in the best interest of the child and the other students in the class.

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Academic Dishonesty In the Middle and Upper Schools, Academic Dishonesty is taken seriously. In the Lower School, students are learning to explore and ask questions. Teachers will work with students to help them begin to understand acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Any student copying material from another student, book, or website will discuss the situation with his/her teacher in order learn from the incident.

Student Harassment Policy North Yarmouth Academy asserts in its mission statement that it emphasizes values of mutual respect and trust. Accordingly, our school seeks to create a community that is free of verbal or physical conduct that harasses, offends, disrupts, or interferes with an individual’s educational or professional performance or that creates an intimidating or hostile environment. NYA’s policy encompasses all forms of unlawful harassment, i.e., harassment based upon an individual’s race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability, but school policy goes further than the law mandates. NYA’s policy prohibits any harassment that has the effect of interfering with a student’s educational environment, even if the harassment is not based upon the student’s legally protected status. Types of harassment may include, but are not limited to, bullying, hazing, sexual harassment, and cyberbullying. Students who believe that they have been harassed or students and parents who have information about harassment of others should report to their classroom teacher, Head of Lower School, or Head of School. North Yarmouth Academy will promptly, thoroughly, and as confidentially as possible investigate all reports of harassment and will take appropriate action to prevent recurrence of the harassment. Harassment may be considered severe misconduct, jeopardizing a student’s position in the school. See the Middle School or Upper School Student & Parent Handbook for a complete description of the Student Harassment Policy.

Health Services Health Service Office (HSO) The Health Service Office is open routinely from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The school nurse/designee provides health services, consultation, resources and education to students, parents, faculty and staff. The goal of the HSO is to maintain and/or improve the physical, mental and emotional health of students by promoting self-care behaviors that encourage healthy choices and maximize the student’s ability to learn. - 22 -


Programs supported by the HSO include but are not limited to: • Grade level programs that address issues of decision making and risky behaviors. • Baseline ImPACT testing for all students on entry to NYA, along with yearly testing for all students. • Vision and Hearing screening for 5th and 7th grade students and Vision screening for 9th grade students • Program descriptions supported by the Health Office are found on the HSO website.

Promoting a Healthy Environment for the School Please keep students at home if they are ill. A few possible indicators of illness: a temperature of 100.5 or higher, throwing up or being too nauseated to eat breakfast, diarrhea, a sore throat that hurts to swallow or breathe, incessant coughing, pounding headache, exhaustion, aching all over. Students should remain home until they are free of these symptoms, including fever-free without medication, for 24 hours. Rest and quiet will help students improve faster, and will prevent exposing the school community. If the student has a contagious/ communicable disease (i.e. strep throat, chicken pox or conjunctivitis/pink eye), contact the HSO to discuss the time period required for exclusion from school.

Confidentiality All original health forms submitted are kept in the HSO. To provide information to designated persons providing care to students, the Health Information & Authorization for Health Care form is copied and placed in a non-revealing envelope/binder to assure confidentiality. Copies are provided when a student is off campus for field trips, athletic events, or other school related activities and are located in areas on campus for access by school personnel providing care. Designated areas on campus are the Main Office, Middle School Office, and areas designated by the Crisis Management Team. • It is important for the school nurse, designated faculty/staff/athletic trainer/ coaches, and emergency health care providers to have current/updated information in order to provide safe and appropriate care. During the school year, parents should notify the HSO of any changes in a student’s health status, including illness, injury, or change in prescription medication. • If there is information you are concerned about submitting on any form, please contact the school nurse to discuss your concerns and develop a plan.

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Health Forms To ensure health and well-being of students, specified health forms are required and need to be submitted for each student: It is important that the HSO receive all health forms prior to start of pre-season athletics, class trips, and start of school. Students whose forms are not submitted by the deadline will not be allowed to participate in pre and/or regular season athletics, class trips, or other off-campus activities until they are submitted. In addition, if forms are not received within two weeks of the students’ pre-season or first commitment at NYA, the student will not be allowed to attend any NYA function including academic classes unless prior arrangements with the school nurse have been made. All forms are reviewed by the school nurse and stored in the HSO. Forms to be completed by Parent or Guardian • Health Information & Authorization for Health Care (annually). • Maine School Asthma Plan (biannually if indicated by diagnosis of asthma or a change in the plan) • Food Allergy Action Plan (biannually if indicated by diagnosis of food allergy or a change in the plan) • Authorization for Administration of Medication by School Personnel (when medication is required during school and/or when off campus on a school sponsored event) Forms to be completed by Healthcare Provider • Physical Exam (on entry to NYA, and as needed to maintain an exam on file less than 24 months old) • or Waiver of Exam (after initial physical submitted and then due dates of physical exam) • Immunization Record/Exemption (on entry and updated on physical every two years) • Maine School Asthma Plan (biannually if indicated by diagnosis of asthma or a change in plan) • Food Allergy Action Plan (biannually if indicated by diagnosis of food allergy or a change in the plan) • Authorization for Administration of Medication by School Personnel (when medication is required during school and/or when off campus on a school sponsored event)

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Injury or Illness • First aid and over-the-counter medications are available to all students in accordance with the student health forms submitted by the parent or guardian. Care is usually provided by an RN but when not available by faculty/staff/athletic trainer or coaches during athletics. • If a student needs to go home due to illness/injury, the school nurse or Main Office will contact the parent/guardian/designated emergency contact to come and pick up the student. It is important to keep contact phone numbers up to date so that the student can go home in a timely fashion. • For those students who are driving or walking home, verbal permission must be obtained from the parent/guardian. The school nurse/designee may assess that the student is unable to drive and require that the parent/ guardian pick them up. • If an emergency exists for an ill/injured student, 911 will be called, and every effort will be made to contact parent/guardian. A designated NYA employee will accompany any student transported to the hospital and remain with the student until the parent/guardian arrives.

Medication • Students are NOT allowed to carry medication (prescription/over-thecounter) unless authorized by the Health Office and with a physician order. • If a student requires medication (prescription/over-the-counter) during school hours, a parent MUST notify the Health Service Office, discuss the plan for administration, and complete the appropriate forms: Physical Exam, Physician Authorization for Prescription Medications, or a signed prescription. Medication MUST always be in the original labeled container. • It is important that the NYA Health Service Office and Emergency Health Providers are aware of all medications students are taking whether during school hours or not. If changes occur during the school year, please contact the Health Service Office.

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Notifications Statement of Nondiscrimination North Yarmouth Academy is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all its students, faculty, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. For that reason, North Yarmouth Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, disability, or any other legally protected status in its programs, organizations, activities, and conditions of employment and admission. In addition, North Yarmouth Academy provides reasonable accommodation to qualified disabled students and employees, and applicants for admission and employment, unless the proposed accommodation poses an undue hardship. Consistent with applicable state and federal rules relating to interscholastic athletic competition, North Yarmouth Academy does make appropriate distinctions based upon age and gender of student athletes.

FERPA Notification Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are 18 years or over, or attending a postsecondary institution: access to their education records; an opportunity to seek to have the records amended; and some control over the disclosure of information from the records. At NYA, a student over 18 or a parent may inspect and review their education records; seek amendment of inaccurate or misleading information in their education records; and consent to most disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records. To seek access or amendment to educational records, contact in writing: Benjamin Jackson, Head of School North Yarmouth Academy 148 Main Street Yarmouth, ME 04096 Complaints of alleged violations may be addressed to: Family Policy Compliance Office US Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-5920

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Profile for North Yarmouth Academy

NYA Lower Family Handbook  

North Yarmouth Academy's Lower School Student & Parent Handbook v_Auguts2019

NYA Lower Family Handbook  

North Yarmouth Academy's Lower School Student & Parent Handbook v_Auguts2019