December 17, 2021
Chesapeake Academy's mission: to inspire each student to approach learning with 
curiosity and creativity, 
pursue excellence in all endeavors, 
and act with integrity--
so each can make our community and world a better place. 

The Head's Heads UP!

Years ago when my three children were all still young, I relished in providing an abundance of gifts under the tree each year. Although I carefully planned the gifts, trying to choose imaginative toys over electronics and classics over the talking toy du jour, it often felt that the value of each gift got lost in the tower of boxes of stuff torn open. 

In fact, at times my son would want to stop the gift opening so as to really engage and play with the new Lego set, but the adults (parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles) would encourage him to keep going with unwrapping the next item in the pile of loot, as we were anxious to see his reaction to the next great gift. At the end of the orchestrated gift exchange, the children couldn't ever recall what they had received.

Like many families, we found we were drowning in stuff. The children had so many toys that what couldn't fit in the bedrooms was relegated to bins and shelves in the playroom, an entire room devoted to kid stuff. In frustration of the kids' inability to ever keep the space tidy, I would frequently sweep through the room and gather up extraneous items (who is going to miss 150 Polly Pocket shoes? Those things are tiny!) and put them in a donation bag. Not once did my children ask where an item had gone.  

As children's preferences for toys morph into a desire for clothing, electronics, and athletic equipment, the price tags get steeper, but the stuff does not diminish. My children started going off to college eight years ago, and I quickly learned the importance of shared experiences as the best gifts to provide memories and connections between us. 

Doing community service together, sharing a live performance, using an annual membership to museums, zoos or theme parks, planning a day or overnight trip to a new location, taking lessons to learn a new skill–these are all ways to spend time with your child or loved one, create a memory, and tell stories about the experience that last far beyond the experience itself. In fact, research shows that happy kids and happy families make experience gifts a habit. 
As we enter a season focused on family relationships and gift giving, I urge you to consider “experience gifts” while your children are young--what a lovely and heartfelt antidote these gifts are to the pile of quickly forgotten possessions so typical of holiday gift giving! 

As we part ways for a short period of time, I do have some wishes for you for how you will spend that time: 

I wish
  • that you have time to have a cup of something hot in front of a fire,
  • that you find a magical book that inspires you,
  • that you take many moments to stare at the Christmas lights,
  • that you let the wrapping paper lay strewn on the floor a little longer than necessary,
  • that you dance with joy and silliness in the kitchen,
  • that you sing at the top of your lungs,
  • that you whisper important things to your family members,
  • that you volunteer to help someone,
  • that you let someone help you,
  • that you write notes to people who matter to you,
  • that you find a great movie to share with someone, 
  • that you go ahead and lick the icing from the bowl!

Remember that your care, concern, compassion, time, and attention are the greatest gifts you give others and yourself. 

Be safe until we see each other again.

CA Faculty Reaches 100 Percent Participation in Bell Tower Annual Giving Fund! Go, Ospreys!
Student-Produced CA Holiday Program Gets Rave Reviews

Chesapeake Academy eighth graders designed, organized, planned, scripted, recorded, edited, and even acted in Chesapeake Academy's virtual Holiday Program. Inspired by the holiday favorite, Elf on the Shelf, these student leaders developed a madcap adventure that tracked the wee imp (who looks surprisingly like the Chesapeake Academy Osprey mascot) around the school as he wreaked mayhem in classrooms across the campus.  

The drama unfolds in verse that mimics rhyme scheme and meter of Clement Moore's “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Once student playwrights had a plan of mischief for the “elf” to produce, they scheduled classroom visits to capture the mischief and each class's reactions on video; They created and edited the narrative using iMovie with the footage they captured. Students coordinated with Art Teacher Sonja Smith to have art students from various grades illustrate the book, and then they narrated the story.  

Music Teacher Barbara Hays worked with her students to create background music to augment the narrative using tone chimes! While every student at Chesapeake Academy contributed to this virtual Holiday Program, eighth grade students and sponsor Robin Blake provided the creative direction, legwork, organization and filmmaking genius. 

Class Acts...
Chesapeake Academy 3.0: Blended Learning

Clash of the Cans Concludes!

Student Council's popular annual holiday fundraising competition, the Clash of Cans, to benefit the Healthy Harvest Food Bank raised $1,478.70 and collected 849 food items! Healthy Harvest does much needed work in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and with demands on their resources surging in 2021, CA plans to give them an Osprey boost! 

The class with the highest point total at the end of the day on December 16 was xx, but everyone wins when the Ospreys come together to make our community and world a better place.
PALS Presents Bright Star Theatre's "A Dickens Tale"

Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS) presented Bright Star Theatre's "A Dickens Tale" to students from three years old through grade eight on Wednesday, December 15 in the Osprey Dome.

In this celebrated seasonal classic, old Ebeneezer Scrooge loves money! Of that there is no doubt! Even at Christmas time, he is more interested in making sure his business affairs are profitable than sharing the holiday spirit--But this stingy old sod learns quite the lesson from three fantastic spirits in Bright Star Theatre's virtual rendition of Dickens' story!

PALS programming is funded by the Wiley Foundation with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Kindergarters Grow Big Skills!

As with all activities in kindergarten, a counting into the teens work station also aids kindergarteners in many other areas, as well. Here, we see Lydia and a tray of gingerbread men. Lydia colored, identified numbers from one through 12, cut out the cookies, placed them in numerical order, glued them to a different material, and labeled her work. It may look like kindergartenerss do little things, but in each little task, there are lots of big challenges designed for each learner to work towards their individual learning goals.

Second grade math students are grapling with Tangram puzzles using problem solving and communication skills. Tangrams are a set of 7 specific shapes of determined sizes that have been in use for centuries. Spatial reasoning, logical reasoning, good old fashioned trial and error, and perserverance develop as students master these puzzles! 

Second Grade Takes the Stage!

Chesapeake Academy's second grade took their turn on the stage, presenting "The Toymaker's Workshop" by Eileen Diamond to an enthusiastic audience of fans, friends, parents, and the school community! As Santa (played by Noel Wessinger) and Mrs. Claus (Peyton Herrington) catch some much needed sleep, an array of toys (soldier, Sullivan Caisse; princess doll, Daniella McLaughlin; fairy doll, MacKenzie Ruddock; and clown, Camilla Johnson) decide to march, dance, frolic and even have a tea party! But when Santa wakes and takes a look, the toys are all perfectly still. The jolly old elf decides he was just dreaming--but the toys know the truth and give each other a wink! 

A lively cast of jolly narrators, who do double duty as toys, propel the audience through the action (Lily Webb, cheerleader; Grant McCormick, dinosaur; Weston Kenner, elf; June Nichols, pirate; Violet Edmonds (elf), Zoe Platsis (black cat), Shannon Wilson (princess), Millie Mayhew (elf) and Liam Veney (elf). The program was co-directed by Barbara Hays and Anne Carol Wood."

The arts are an integral part of the Chesapeake Academy education program. Self- expression and creativity are valued throughout the program, and the curriculum develops innovation as well as process and evaluation skills. The curriculum encompasses fine and visual arts, music instruction, performance, computer coding and media arts. The core areas of the arts curriculum are centered around creation, performance, presentation and response to the work of others. The Arts Team that brings this curriculum to life includes Barbara Hays, Music; Sonja Smith, Art; Robin Blake, Performance, and Kim Dynia, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Equivalent Fractions are Delicious!

There is always fun to be had when fourth grade math students get a visit from mathematics enthusiast, Alice Riviere (Ms. Novak's mom). Riviere and Novak worked with students to use fan favorite candies (M&Ms) to generate equivalent fractions. For example, if 1/2 of the 4 M&Ms in your cup are red, how many red ones would you need if you had 8 candies in the cup and 1/2 should still be red? 

It is possible that some manipulatives were lost in this lesson. It was a fun day of math with a treat! 
Discovering the Stethoscope...And the Heart!

Fourth grade students are learning about the human body and its systems. In order to better understand the heart and how it works, students engaged in a stethoscope building STEM challenge. With limited materials, students set to work brainstorming their design and what they needed to understand about the stethoscopes and the heart in order to build a working tool. In partner groups they sketched ideas and then put the materials to work.

Once they were finished, students examined what didn't work and why, and then summarized what they would do differently if given the opportunity to rebuild. Along the way, fourth graders gained a better understanding of how sound waves travel, how to measure heart rate, and why heart rate increases when physical activity increases. 
Osprey About Town!

Chesapeake Academy has another budding entrepreneur! Stella Mayhew has started an egg business. Stella and her family have Silkies, Ameraucanas, and hybrids, so they produce a good variety of colors in their eggs. 

Stella is going to be selling her eggs at Kellum’s, and Chesapeake Doughnuts is also going to purchase her eggs. Her business is known as “Stella’s Coop,” and the design on the box is one that she created. Great initiative, Stella!
Bohr Models are not Boring!

Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, helped define modern atomic theory! He postulated that electrons occupy certain orbits in the nucleus of Atoms. Each orbit has an energy associated with it. Energy is emitted when an electron moves from a higher energy orbit to lower energy orbit, and the energy is absorbed when an electron move from lower energy orbit to higher energy orbit.

Thanks to Ms. Blake, atomic theory is anything but dry! Sixth graders are learning to create BOHR models showing protons, neutrons, and electrons, using candy! M&Ms make great protons and neutrons, and nerds are zippy little representations of electrons. What a fun way to see atomic bonding! 
Pascal's Triangle Tannenbaum Challenge

Eighth grade students are rolling in the Christmas spirit in Algebra Lab with a mathematical deep dive into the 12 Days of Christmas through a Pascal's triangle challenge.

Students discovered an exponential pattern in Pascal's triangle and wrote an algebraic expression that describes the pattern throughout the triangle. Then, they collected data on all the gifts given by the true love over 12 days of Christmas, which together create a Christmas tree outline when graphed.

Finally, students worked with other triangle number patterns in Pascal's triangle to create Sierpinski's triangle pattern of pyramids. When connected, the pyramid pattern creates a 3D Christmas tree. Algebra elves were busy this week modeling, extrapolating, and building based on all the number patterns involved!
Coding Across the Curriculum

Over the course of this school year, all CA students will try their hands at coding! Jobs in this sector are among the fastest growing, and CA students will be ready. The youngest Ospreys program Bee Bots to move around a mat as they learn letters, numbers, and important sequencing concepts. Lower school students will tackle Spero Robots in the new year, combining coding with design projects in the classroom and in the A&I Hub.

Fourth grade students brushed off their moves in a Dance Party, manipulating blocks of code to move a character around a space to perform a dance and practicing the careful sequenced instructions essential to programming. (Pictured above, students taught Ms. Emery to floss so she could understand their code.)

CA sixth graders are using to develop code to use in art. Students are excited to share their work with one another, and they love creating memes and learning how filters are used on many of the popular apps that they love so much. It’s fun to see them figure out how the web app developers created these effects and that it’s not just “magic.” 

Middle school A&I classes have embraced some interesting new coding challenges. Eighth grade students are currently working their way through a Javascript course on in which they program code to command a dog named Karel to follow commands. Karel must carry his tennis ball and place it where directed. While students enjoy writing the code to make their dog do what they want it to, they usually run into times when they must troubleshoot and figure out why their code isn’t running. Students learn perseverence and problem solving by debugging their code.

CAPPA Roundup!

Please be on the lookout for hot lunch order forms for second semester. The kids love hot lunches, and CAPPA hopes you will continue this fun Friday tradition. Many thanks to Maggie Keeney and crew for organizing this event.

Wishing everyone a wonderful break and a Merry Christmas. Thank you for all you do to promote Chesapeake Academy and the children it serves! 

SO MANY classes are coming close to reaching 100% parent participation in the Bell Tower Annual Giving Fund. If you have not participated yet, won't you please consider a gift and help your child's class reach 100%???? Each class that reaches 100% gets to ring the bell in the Bell Tower. AND, the first class to reach 100% gets an awesome surprise! You can give your gift today at Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Attitude of Gratitude

  • Thanks to Mr. and Ms. Claus for stopping by CA during such a busy season! Santa and Ms. Claus brought the merriment to CA this month, treating the school to a drive though visit, treating the fourth and eighth grades to special seasonal repasts, and enflaming imaginations across the school
  • Thanks to Rob Pittman and his team for making sure CA was well-represented in the Kilmarnock Christmas parade!
  • Thanks to all the parents who supplied the Holiday Breakfasts.
  • Thanks to Stacey Carden, Courtney Keplinger and their crew for decorating CA to shine with the holiday spirit!
  • Thanks to the Wilson family for a note that warmed faculty hearts and a bag full of hand warmers that will do the same for their hands.
  • Thanks to Alice Riviere for sharing her talents with middle school math students!
  • Thanks to Jason Kenner and Ashleigh Lewis for the delicious sausage for the faculty! Christmas breakfast is secured! Yum!

Save the Date

12/20 Winter Break
1/3 Classes Resume
1/5 Dress Uniform/Dress Shoes
1/7 Pizza Hot Lunch
1/12 JV Boys Basketball vs. Ware, 4:00 p.m.; V Boys Basketball vs. Ware, 5:00 p.m.; V Girls Basketball vs.Ware, 6:00 p.m.
1/17 Martin Luther King Day, School/Offices Closed
1/19 V Girls Basketball vs. ASCD, 4:00 p.m.; V Boys Basketball vs. ASCD, 5:00 p.m.
1/21 V Girls Basketball @ Veritas, 4:00 p.m.
1/24 through 1/28 MS Exams, seventh and eighth grades
1/26 Tag Day
1/28 End of Second Marking Period, Noon release for students
2/2 Groundhog Day, Dress Uniform and Shoes
2/2 V Girls Basketball vs. ACDS, 4:00 p.m.; V Boys Basketball vs. ACDS, 5:00 p.m.
2/4 V Boys Basketball vs. Veritas @ Veritas, 4:00 p.m.
2/7 through 2/11 Parent Partnership Conferences
2/10 JV Boys @ Ware, 4:00 p.m.; V Girls @ Ware, 5:00 p.m.; V Boys @ Ware, 6:00 p.m.
2/15 ISAC Semifinals, TBD
2/17 ISAC Basketball Tournament, Boys, 5:00 p.m.; Girls 6:30 p.m.
2/18-2/21 Winter Break
2/23 Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 p.m.
3/2 Dress Uniform