January 15, 2016

The Head's Heads Up....
Welcome to 2016!  Joyful noises abound up and down the halls, and students are happily back at work in classrooms growing in wonderful ways. Teachers are refreshed, creative, and alive with ideas to promote student learning!  This is truly a special school. 

But the magic that happens here is only made possible because of the many volunteers who support the school's special events and fundraisers.  Our next community focus is our auction.
Chesapeake Academy's 39th Annual Auction, the Golden Jubilee, will be held on May 7, 2016. 

Auction proceeds allow the school to provide educational programs that teach students to be excellent citizens and eager learners, award financial assistance for children who would otherwise be unable to attend, and offer children's arts programs that are free and open to the public.

After a successful and well-attended auction meeting, excitement is mounting. We are delighted to have the talented Catherine L. Emery to chair this gala celebration, and there is plenty for everyone to do. 

All hands on deck! Will you procure? Or would you sponsor? Can you advertise in the catalog? Or will you set-up, stage or decorate? Or is clean-up more your speed? There truly is a role for each of us!  And if we each play our roles, our school will continue to ring with the sounds of happy learners.

What better way to ring in the New Year than by voting for Chesapeake Academy as well as your favorite Virginia shops, restaurants and services?   Go to   Vote for Best in Virginia Now! to cast your ballot for  everything from  Best  Hotel to  Best  Outdoor Adventure and  Chesapeake Academy , of course!  Pick up a copy of the  Best  of  Virginia  2016 special issue  in May to find out who wins!   Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. EST January 22.
Spread the word to continue Chesapeake Academy's winning record!  We were #1 independent school last year...and our Oyster Roast was #1 Charity Event!  Our Summer Camps landed in the top three! 

CA Hosts The Artful Deceiver!
Spread the word! Chesapeake Academy will host world famous magician, Arthur Trace, on  
Saturday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m.   This event is  FREE and open to the community for ages 3 and older!

Highly acclaimed by his peers as "one of the most unique acts in the world of magic today," Arthur Trace is the eighth magician in the history of magic to be awarded The International Brotherhood of Magicians Gold Medal. His list of accomplishments is long.  When not touring, Arthur lives in Los Angeles with his wife and dog.

CAPPA will be selling popcorn and water.

Adult chaperones are required, and pre-registration is a must, as seating is limited!
Call 804.438.5575 to reserve your space!

Class Acts ....What's Happening on the Halls?
Seventh graders Faith Hattersley and Abby Souders authored this informative project on the Trail of Tears.
National History Day Fair
Seventh and eighth grade students are competing in National History Day (a competition that's been around since 1974). Students, individually or in pairs, selected a historical topic of interest to them that followed the theme of Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange. They also chose a project from the following variety of presentation methods: historical paper, exhibit, website, performance, or documentary. 

Next, students narrowed their topics to a debatable thesis. They conducted research and practiced note taking/organization skills. Along the way they presented on the context of their topic and their analysis of their favorite primary source. 

Projects were due on  January 11 for a school-level history fair.  Students will have the chance to use constructive feedback to enhance their projects so they are ready to be entered in the regional history fair in Alexandria  at Mount Vernon High School on  March 5 . Exhibits will be displayed in the James Library for the next two weeks. 

Kim Dynia, Middle School social studies, explains, "Competing at this level creates growth! The process develops  independent research skills, encourages presenters to  combine information with a visually appealing display to communicate findings, and allows students to learn to  defend their process and conclusions to strangers."

Small School: Huge Classroom!

No time like the present to donate to the 50th Anniversary Annual Fund!  Your gift supports the depth and breadth of the school program and funds the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating our children. Visit the Chesapeake Academy Website to donate now!

Chesapeake Academy seventh grader, Reese Bragg, at orientation for pages at the Virginia Legislature! Stay tuned for periodic updates!
Mini Economy On the Move!
After hearing about Chesapeake Academy's participation in the Virginia Council of Economics' Mini Economy Program, Market Days, Dr. Bruce Benson, a retired economics professor from Florida State University (and father of Ms.Kaitlin Benson), got excited! To help the third, fourth, and fifth grade students prepare to participate in this statewide program on March 22, Dr. Benson gave them a jumpstart with his presentation on the finances of opening a lemonade stand.  Thanks to Dr. Benson's visit, the students have a better understanding of price point for Market Day. 

Chesapeake Academy students are preparing for Market Day by creating at least 40 products and designing their marketing displays. Many students learned the benefits of creating a game that provides a service last year. By providing a service, you don't run out of product for your customers.  In late February, the sixth graders will host a mock run of the market and give valuable, constructive feedback to our current participants on their displays, products, and selling prices.  

Mini Economy is experience-based instruction used to teach concepts of entrepreneurship, economics, and government in the classroom. Conducted as a unit of study, this high-energy simulation focuses on economic concepts, financial literacy, classroom management, and real-world market situations. Students establish their own society, design currency, plan and open businesses, and create a functioning government.
Authentic Learning!

Examinations and ERBs...updated!
First semester exams for seventh and eighth graders are fast approaching (January 19 through 22).  Teachers have provided study guides that break down material for students into manageable chunks for nightly review.  While exam review is a student job, your child might need help getting organized with review materials at home. Encourage your students to make sure to pace themselves, spending time wisely in review, and getting good sleep and nutrition.   Extra help is available daily for students after school.    
There is no required basketball practice the week of exams, but Coach York and Coach Smith will hold open gym time from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. each afternoon for athletes who want to play.  Some time for exercise each day is good for the brain!

Exam week ends with a morning exam, blue/white activities, and an ice cream social on   Friday, January 22  for the end of the semester. This will be a half day of school for students and a work day for faculty. Forty percent of the semester grade is composed of the first marking period grade; 40 percent is the second marking period grade; and 20 percent is the exam grade.  

On Tuesday, January 19th, we will begin ERB testing for students in grades 3-6. The ERB (Educational Record Bureau standardized test) provides information to teachers and families about a student's progress on ERB objectives. While the tests help us continually meet a student's needs and are an important part of our yearly curricular review, performance on the ERBs does not affect classroom grades or advancement to the next grade level. High scores on the ERBs, however, do serve as a gateway for a variety of gifted and talented programs for elementary and middle school students. Information about such programs will go home with test results in early to mid-February.

The testing sessions will extend for 4-7 days (maximum 1 to 1 ½ hours per day) depending on the level, with the majority of the test sessions in the morning.  Core subject and co-curricular classes will continue to meet during the week and regular academic work will continue around the testing schedule.  Seventh and 8th grade students will complete their ERBs the following week January 25th.  

We continue to use the online version of the ERB test, which gives us data more quickly than the paper version and is a fairly low-stress testing scenario for the student. The online ERB test is adaptive, which means it successively selects questions to maximize the precision of the exam. From the student's perspective, the difficulty of the exam seems to tailor itself to his or her level of ability based on question responses. This precision gives teachers and parents much more complete feedback on the student's mastery of particular academic standards so that we can target the next stages of instruction. Students with an academic program that outlines accommodations will have access to the appropriate supports. 

It is important that your child is on time to school, well rested and well nourished (always, but especially during testing) so that your child is prepared for the testing.  Make up ERB testing will be scheduled the following week if a student is absent from a test session.

ERB testing for seventh and eighth graders will take place the week of January 25, but students will have a regular routine otherwise.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the exam period or standardized testing.

Getting Organized! 
Assistant Head of School Julie Keesee
Exciting New Scoop on Parent Partnership Conferences!
Parent Partnership Conferences will be held  February 9 through 11 . In Early Childhood and Lower School, parents can call Connie Smith to sign-up for a time or communicate directly with their child's classroom teacher. We are excited to "bring the student in" to the Lower School conferences by sharing video tapes of Lower School students answering questions about where they feel successful, what seems difficult, and what their personal goals are.  This process builds student ownership over their learning and promotes healthy reflection on strategies.  These short videos can be stored on the server and referenced in later years as student electronic portfolios continue to develop. 

In the Middle School, students take the lead on their conferences in person reporting on their progress with their parents and advisor. Middle School parents should sign-up through Connie Smith or through the advisor. 
We look forward to meeting with you and reflecting on successes while planning the next steps in progress. When we work in partnership, our students thrive! 

Students in the Driver's Seat:  Intrinsic Motivation!

Shout it from the Mountaintops....
We want the world to know....that Chesapeake Academy is accepting applications!  Tell a friend....refer a student! Earn a $500 tuition discount--Contact Mrs. Scott at 804.438.5575 or Email Hilary Scott.
Powerful, Visceral Messages
Students in eighth grade literature analyzed iconic quotes from literature, looking at several "Best of..." lists, and discussed what makes an individual quote powerful. Does it say something unexpected but true about human nature? Does it surprise us with beautiful diction? Does the line simply encapsulate the magic of the story? For instance, the line that students felt was most moving in Steinbeck's  Of Mice and Men, "Tell me about the rabbits, George." means very little outside of the context of the novel. However, to someone who knows the story, these few words hold hopes and dreams dreamed...but unrealized. 

After exploring the quote's language, scholars applied their literary insights and studio arts experience to create a visual to represent a favorite quote from a text of their choosing. The only guidelines were that the quote must be from a text the student had personally read and must be incorporated into the visual. Students' choices ranged exerpts from  Call of the Wild to  The Hogfather and from watercolor to textured nature collages. The results of their week-long study and effort are on display on "The Fridge" in the middle school hall.

Effective, Insightful Communicating!

Literary meets Visual
"I wanted to pick a Harry Potter quote because they are such fun books and have so many inspiring ideas. I chose this particular quote because it related to me."
Chas Faulkner
Art meets Aphorism
"I designed this visual for the  Little Women quote because it shows how you can be the same type of person but encounter different experiences, struggles. What happens isn't always about who you are."
Lily Reihs
Multi-Modal Epigram
"I liked Fahrenheit 451 for its intensity, and this quote was a great start to the story. Watercolors made my visual look smoky and old, which matched the book."
Charlie Li
Abby Souders prepares to make her shot in the Osprey Classic Basketball Tournament.

Orie Bullard plays with determination in the Osprey Classic Basketball Tournament.
Brooks Parker and Parker Brown create algorithms to guide robots as they learn the basics of coding.
Facing the future of Technology with Enthusiasm!
With much uncertainty about the face of the job market of the future, there is agreement that strong coding skills will be an asset to future job seekers.  Using tiny robots, students are learning to create and use algorithms that work to direct the bots around the mats. The Hour of Code program offers an accessible introduction to coding.  Even the tiniest Ospreys are finding this fun.

Liam Hubbard and Khloe Hohensee explore An Hour of Code. Want to know more?Visit The Hour of Code Site. 

Preparing Peeps for the Future!

Coach Ian York
Coach's Corner
After a somewhat daunting Osprey Classic, our basketball season has steadily improved.  Our teams are stepping up and growing more skilled each week.  Individual ball skills, team play, good strategy, determination, and good athletic character are all developing well, and this shows up in our games....win or lose!  I am really very proud of the growth of these  athletes!

Facing Challenges:  Developing Life Skills
Art-Tastic Sonja Smith!
Art teachers from Chesapeake Academy, Northern Neck Montessori, Lancaster Primary School, Lancaster Middle School, and Lancaster High School were invited to join forces to design an art installation for the exterior of the new Lancaster Community Library.  This talented team is in the process of designing the collaborative piece and Mrs. Smith will keep us posted as it unfolds!!  It is v ery exciting for Chesapeake Academy to continue to play a roll in the new library!

Mani Webster, Duke Wolfson, and Rebecca Meberg show off their tickets
Got Your Ticket to Fantasyland
In sixth grade literature, students are exploring fantasy novels and studying what makes these incredible fictional worlds work. In the unveiling of the unit, students received a white envelope. On the count of three--after much feverish anticipation-- students opened the envelopes to discover their own tickets to fantasy lands! Armed with a ticket to Middle Earth, Oz, or The Land of Knowledge, they chose their book and began reading. In addition to studying the plot structure and the characteristics of the genre, students have been applying their growing knowledge base to designing their own fantasy worlds. They were surprised how much they had to consider ("Does my fantasy world have government? Do paranormal creatures and concepts count as fantasy?"). Now students are becoming cartographers making maps of their creations to be unveiled soon!

Stretching boundaries...making useful connections...building skills!
Puzzling over the outcome of another reaction, Kindergarteners are thinking critically!
Solids, Liquids and Gases...and Reactions!
What to do with leftover Christmas candy?  Experiment with it!  Kindergarteners used the candy canes that were left over from math and language arts activities before Christmas to delve into the study of the states of matter.  We also looked at absorption, melting, dissolving, and solidifying.  Using the candy cane as a constant, we used various liquids and a wide range of variables for meeting our purpose.  Put the candy in water, what happens?  If we place it in vinegar, bleach, or cooking oil, what will be our result?  What happens if we apply heat?   Ask a kindergartener about our hypotheses, individual predictions, and our outcome.  (FUN learning)

Using scientific methodology and terminology to explore and learn!

Student Council Squawk!
Lily Reihs, Student Council President

Chesapeake Academy students made a difference! Student Council's Holiday Fund-raiser, Clash of the Coins, was wildy successful. We proved we could do it!  And now we are going to do it again!  Student Council has decided to donate the remainder of the Clash of the Coins money to become Northern Neck Food Bank Champions again this year.  The Northern Neck Food Bank is essential to many in our community and needs our support!

Michelle Ritter, CAPPA President
CAPPA Countdown

Happy New Year! As we get back into the swing of early mornings and homework, CAPPA is working on the plans for winter after school programs, as well as beginning preparations for the Spring Auction! Stay tuned for lots more information on both of these exciting events.

Put January 29 on your calendars....it is Box Tops Final  Friday.

An Attitude of Gratitude! 
  • Coach York extends his thanks to the Sea Camp parents and students for running concessions at the Osprey Classic.  Thanks also to Ben Smith and his dad for being the mascot and cleaning the floors between games. And thanks to Ted Cook for operating the clock, Beth Somers and Chas Faulkner for keeping the books and Kelly Antonio and Julie Keesee for running the clock.
  • Ever wonder how our campus stays looking so great? Grover Branson blows the campus debris away with his leaf blower!  Much gratitude!
  • Hilary Scott is grateful for the support in distributing CA posters.  Thank you to Robin Cunningham, Jennifer Hinton, Alison Weddle, Sonja Smith, Babs Mumma, Pam Macaulay, Rosetta Struse, Christine Hubbard, Suzanne Shepherd and Kelly Denton.
  • Many thanks to parent of Ethan Marsh, Alison Marsh, RN for providing Daily Health Observations of Children Training for the Extended Day Staff.
  • A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Giving Tree throughout the month of December. We collected a lot of warm coats, hats, mittens and even a bike for My Grandmother' s House, a charity which helps families with children in the area. A big thank you to Alison Weddle for delivering the donations.
  • A stir of excitement in the faculty lounge signaled a gift of useful classroom supplies from Ms. Terrie Benson, Kaitlin Benson's mom.
  • Special thank you and gracias goes out from the Bragg family to Robin Blake, Kim Dynia, Julie Keesee, Hillary Smith and Señora Ebner for keeping Reese Bragg abreast of schoolwork while she serves as a Page in the House of Delegates for nine weeks.  This opportunity would not be possible without the support from Chesapeake Academy and the amazing seventh grade teaching staff.  

Dates to Remember
1/18 Bring a Buddy Day
1/18 Student-led MLK Assembly
1/19 Seventh and Eighth Grade Exams, ERBs Third through Sixth Grades
1/18 - 1/21 open gym, 3:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
1/20 PALS, Virginia Opera "Little Red Riding Hood"
1/22 Second Marking Period Ends, Noon dismissal, Teacher Workday
1/25-29 Seventh and Eighth Grade ERBs
1/25 Reenrollment Packets Out
1/27 Tag Day
1/29 Report Cards, Seacamp Chick Fil A
1/29 Box Tops Final  Friday
1/29 JV Basketball vs  Aylett at 4:00 p.m.,  Varsity Girls at 5:00 p.m, 
 Varsity Boys at 6:00 p.m.
2/1-4 Parent Partnership Days
2/3 Academic Awards Assembly, Dress Uniform Day
2/3 Varsity Girls Basketball vs Dahlgren at 4:15 p.m, Varsity Boys at  5:30 p.m. 

Chesapeake Academy | | chesapeakeacademy@chesapeakeacademy.org
 Post Office Box 8   107 Steamboat Road    Irvington, VA 22480