April 8, 2022
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. 
Head's Heads Up

Chesapeake Academy is a community built on connection for all constituency groups–teachers and staff, parents and grandparents, students, volunteers, contributors, board members–but we cannot take those connections for granted. They don't happen without effort. Continually self-reflecting and honing our skills in these areas is essential to maintaining the connected learning community in which our learners thrive. Community building starts with each of us reaching to develop our best selves, and it occurs every day. Community needs tending and requires attention not only to our personal and professional development but also to our common values, and to each other. Community connections must be continually reaffirmed--day in and day out--over and over again. 

Last week, the school hosted Darcie TeVault, relatively new Director of Professional Development for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. At our invitation, she came to learn more about Chesapeake Academy and to help us shape what professional development the school could use in order to meet our strategic goals. Darcie met with our administrative team, our teachers, and board members Michele Faulkner and Ron Mihills, in a very dynamic and engaging discussion. We understand that our community needs regular tending and invitations to participate.

I'm certain that if you ask your Ospreys what they love about school, a good number of them will say recess! This will likely be followed by talk of their friends, of classmates, of teammates, and of teachers. Maybe they'll mention an academic subject if pressed! In other words, they will speak of connection and community, which are the strongest foundations for both academic learning and character development. 

Leadership, empathy, the pursuit of excellence, and connection unfold in so many ways at Chesapeake Academy: a pre-k student reaches out a comforting hand to a nervous peer; a third grader invites a kindergartener to play soccer, a seventh grader teaches a fourth grader about integers in math, fourth graders work with first graders on computer coding, or the whole school does cheers on a raucous game of musical chairs during assembly! Teachers and administrators share their struggles and their wisdom in the classroom, making each other better. And parents share their most precious children with Chesapeake Academy. Lifelong connections with each other form in these moments. 

We are looking forward to working with Ms. TeVault to craft a plan to keep our skills and our connectedness at their best. I'm particularly proud that our mission statement incorporates the values that we believe and gives us a reason for working together–so each can make our community and world a better place. Our community is a small one, but we have a big impact on each other.  

I hope that you will continue to reach out to new folks, engage with the school positively, support your child's education and development, and spread the news about the strength of our school. The future of our children and the future for our children depend on our ability to create every day the kind of community we want them to be a part of. 

Thank you for being part of our Chesapeake Academy community.


Ospreys: please take a few minutes to gather up all library books before spring break. I’ll check everything in so that the shelves are full of excellent reading materials when everyone returns. Don’t forget those birthday books. Others are waiting their turn. Thank you. Ms. May
CA Summer Camps are top rated by Virginia Living Magazine each year, and spots are limited. Don’t wait! Many weeks have waiting lists already!

Camp Irvington Ages 4 through rising first grade; $250/week except where noted; Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Campers explore each week’s theme through age-appropriate field trips and activities. All activities and entrance fees are included. 
Is it fictional? June 20 – June 24--4 spaces left
Is it a book character? Can I do it, too? Campers will try out adventures found in some of our favorite books. Whether it’s bike riding, making snacks, or exploring, this week is full of fun that should not be missed!
Is it on a picnic? July 5 - July 8 $200--1 space left
Is it on picnics? Does it fit in a picnic basket? Campers will spend the morning preparing for their picnic by creating a picnic basket with special snacks and activities based on clues. Each afternoon they will picnic and play at a fun mystery location. Of course, this week includes splashes of red, white, and blue! 
Is it on a farm? July 11 - July 15 $250--4 spaces left
Is it on a farm? Is there a barn? Campers will explore life around the Northern Neck, learning what is grown in our area and what animals live on a farm. Look for fictional farm fun, too! A visit to a teaching farm will add to the excitement! 
Is it buoyant? July 18 - July 22 $250--6 spaces left
Is it buoyant? Does it sink? Young scientists will explore their environment to find out what floats. They will make predictions, conduct experiments, and record results. All that time around water will also keep campers cool. Some experiences will occur in different locations around the Northern Neck. 
Is it colorful? July 25 - July 29 $250--6 spaces left
Is it colorful? Is it multicolored? Colors reflect our feelings and help us to express ourselves. Color allows us to stand out or blend in. Campers will learn about rainbows, mixing colors, expressing emotion with color, camouflages, and their habitat colors. Campers will use their heightened color senses when exploring the animals at the zoo. 
Is it green? August 1 - 5 $250--5 spaces left
Is it green? Can I help? Become a planeteer at CA Camp! Campers will explore the beautiful environment of the Northern Neck and learn ways to keep it clean and green. So much positive power will have everyone enthusiastically green!
Camp Chesapeake Rising second through eighth grade; Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except where noted; fees for each week are listed below.

Campers will explore each week’s theme through age-appropriate field trips and activities. All activities and entrance fees are included. 
Girls, Gizmos, and Gadgets (GGG) June 20 - June 24, 8:30 a.m. to noon, $125
Specialty camp for girls in rising 4th grade through rising 8th grade.
Chesapeake Academy is going big again with our STEM-focused GGG! Making full use of CA’s Arts & Innovation Hub, campers will design and code robots to perform a variety of tasks, create their own pieces using the 3D printer and laser cutter, and compete in fun challenges! This is a week that will inspire and energize your young inventor! 

Authors Begin Presentations in the Old Grey Mare Publishing Company

Staffed by a team of talented editors (Sandy Johnson and Wendy Charlton, pre-kindergarten's Old Grey Mare Publishing Company supports pre-k students in their first forays into literacy and writing! Editors collect student stories and teachers tailor the text to students' specific curricular goals. Students illustrate and label their text while learning concepts of language like recognizing and counting words, using phonics cues and making illustrations serve the narrative! Each author presents their work in a reader's theater style presentation to parents and peers. Authors solicit help from classmates who act as ushers and sound tech support. Even grandparents get in on the act via zoom, and recordings are shared with parents of the class via zoom! Students hold a question and answer period following their presentation and then go to a celebratory lunch with parents!

First Grade Curiosity: It’s Electric!

To learn more about the world around them, first graders at Chesapeake Academy ask lots of questions! A question about the classroom lighting led to an engaging learning experience! First graders set out to learn all they could about electricity! Students read books, watched videos, made paper circuits, played with snap circuits, and explored natural and man-made methods for generating electricity. If you’re uncertain of what powers your home, how it got there, or who some of the major scientific contributors are, then ask a CA first grader! The highlight of this exploration was making their own lego circuit vehicles, which, of course, they raced!

Third Grade Presents The Tadpole and the Caterpillar

Chesapeake Academy's third grade class presented "The Tadpole and The Caterpillar" by Eileen Diamond on Wednesday, March 30 for students and their families. In this fetching and hopeful tale, a tadpole and a caterpillar meet and discover that they will not always look the way they do. With time and patience, each will become entirely new creatures. This production was directed by music teacher Barbara Hays assisted by third grade teacher Martha Rogers.

Narrator Eli Hamrick launched the play with an introduction of the action and then kept the audience apprised of plot developments using an artful combination of narrative and sandwich board signs. As the action opened, Toby the Tadpole, ably played by Benton Miller, is being harangued for his immature stage of development by his peers–a bird, played by Hannah Hopkins and three goldfish played by Nora Charlton, Quinn Stewart, and Annabel Clair. Curious explorers (Easton Minor, Lucas Rafael, Joseph Wilson, Jamie Lang, and Alex Keplinger) watch the drama unfold through their binoculars. Just as the fledgling protagonist is despairing, he is approached by a very friendly caterpillar with a positive outlook. The caterpillar, brought to life by Brantley Chance, advises patience and self-acceptance as they await their metamorphoses. Time proves the kindly caterpillar right, and the frog and butterfly cavort in delight, reassured that despite their naysayers, they have become who they were meant to be!

Student videographers from the sixth grade (Ryann Kenner, Finley Major, and Yvelisse Cabocel) recorded the production, and third grade parents helped with costuming.

How You Can Best Support Students
During Testing Week

Chesapeake Academy students will be involved in standardized testing during the weeks of April 25-May 6. Students in kindergarten through second grade will be taking the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), and students in third through eighth grade will be taking the ERB test. Classroom teachers will organize the testing modules to best suit the daily flow of school life, ensuring that no more than two tests are given on a single day. A schedule will be shared with parents once students return from Spring Break.

The OLSAT is a multiple-choice K-12 assessment that measures reasoning skills with several different types of verbal, non-verbal, figural, and quantitative reasoning questions. It is designed to assess a child's performance across a wide variety of reasoning skillsets. The multiple-choice ERB test is designed to provide information about a student's performance in several key areas (depending on grade level): listening comprehension, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, word analysis, writing mechanics, and mathematics. The ERB tests provide a snapshot of current student learning that can highlight trends in achievement. They can provide information that helps guide instruction based on an individual student's strengths and areas for future growth. As with any standardized test, general test-taking skills, nerves, and familiarity with testing routines can affect student scores.

Parents play a key role in helping students prepare for standardized tests. Your partnership is critical in helping your kiddo enter each test with a calm presence and confidence in their abilities. With this in mind, make sure that your learner gets a good night's sleep so that focus and energy levels are steady throughout the week. Take time to provide a healthy breakfast that has filling protein and fiber so that brain function is optimal. Be sure to talk about the tests in simple terms so that OLSATs and ERBs don't lead to unnecessary stress. After all, though these evaluations provide a data point for assessment and planning, they are only one aspect of a student’s academic profile. Finally, consider setting your alarm clock a few minutes earlier so that mornings are fluid and don't feel rushed. Organized morning calm is always the best medicine for a healthy, happy school day!

Third Grade Reading Skills are On the Move!

Third graders are working on reading non-fiction texts with an eye on identifying and pinpointing key facts, an essential modern life skill. Hannah Hopkins and Easton Minor are shown here with their Fact File reports.

In a modern twist on an age-old fairy tale, Chesapeake Academy's sixth grade students presented a fully costumed readers' theater production of "Cinderellahood" for the student body and assembled parents. The production, directed by Robin Blake, was loosely based on Grimm's fairy tale but with decidedly Shakespearean misdirections and mistaken identities and self-actualized female characters. Ella, played by Skyler Casey, was a gal who knew her own mind and was unimpressed by money or the handsome prince's (Jacob Lewis) royal platitudes! Narrators Khloe Ridgell and Eli Stewart kept the audience well-apprised of setting changes and necessary expository information. The stepsisters (Ryann Kenner and Shaun Gill) stole the show with their hilarious tongue in cheek egocentricity and were set off nicely by the social climbing stepmother played by Yvelisse Cabocel.

The royal page, Matthew Harte Hackney, was an engaging and humorous show highlight with his puckish sense of fun contrasted with the seriousness of guards (Finley Major and Janiah Newton). The Fairy Agents, Holly, Maple, Yew, and Cedar (played by Yvelisse Cabocel, Ryann Kenner, Finley Major, and Shaun Gill) were perfectly costumed with complementing umbrellas of cascading fairy dust and ably assisted by fairy assistants, Matthew Harte Hackney and Janiah Newton. Izzy Dew was a fetching, if hapless, fairy godmother and her well-intentioned antics of course go wildly awry–which is, of course, the fun part of the story! 

Into this colorful cast, the injection of Robin Hood (Alex Fulmer) and his merry men (Khloe Ridgell, Eli Stewart, and Baylen Miller) from an entirely different tale, brings comic relief and even more over-the-top humor!

Hat tip to these Chesapeake Academy players and their capable director.
Making Music in Fifth Grade

As a culminating project for the sound unit in science, fifth grade students invented a musical instrument with 8 pitches that could be easily played. Students demonstrated how to play their instruments and showcased the pitch changes for their classmates. Each student also created a song that they played on their instrument as well. It was a fun activity that challenged students to think about how to change pitch, and create sound!

Math Meets Geography Meets Art!

After learning about population density and how people have gotten creative with housing in densely populated areas, students designed small houses, apartments, and cabins. They had to research, brainstorm, and construct a final product. Some students chose to use a digital floor planner during the brainstorming step. Others got creative with their outside design, creating a greenhouse enclosure based on a real house in Sweden. Students found that building to scale was more challenging than they thought!
Vocabulary Gets Fun Jumpstart!

Who says learning vocabulary has to be rote drill? Seventh grade Spanish students use a fun matching game for helping memorize vocabulary words related to sports. Students matched the Spanish and English words then glued them together in a handy study guide.
Seventh Grade has the Fever!

This week, seventh grade lit finished reading the novel Fever 1793. This fictional story is based on the events surrounding a yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the city of Philadelphia, killing around 5,000 people. In the novel, a young girl named Matilda is forced to mature quickly, as she struggles to survive and to cope with the tragedy that is all around her.

Through guided class discussions and targeted activities, students honed reading comprehension and oral language skills. Additionally, Fever 1793 provided an opportunity to analyze the effects that a health crisis can have on public policy and individual behavior.
Coach's Corner

This spring we decided to do something new and offer a variety of sports that our middle schoolers will have the opportunity to play once they graduate from CA, and things are off to a great start! We are offering two different month-long Spring Sessions, one of which happened prior to spring break and the other will follow after spring break. The sports that we are focusing on this season are field hockey, swimming, football, and lacrosse. 

During the first session, we have ten students who are learning the basics of field hockey and twelve who are working to improve their swimming strokes. Each practice brings new challenges and opportunities to learn/perfect a new skill, and each student-athlete is gaining confidence in their abilities. Coach Blake and I are excited to be able to share our knowledge about sports we love, and these Ospreys seem to be having a great time, too! 

Stay tuned for more updates after spring break about football and lacrosse! We are excited to have Coach Shields back on the sidelines for lacrosse, and Coach Ed Homer (Head Football Coach at Christchurch) and Charlie Hatcher (a Junior, and Christchurch's starting quarterback and cornerback) can't wait to share their love of football with our Ospreys!  

Here's to a great spring!
Coach Allen
Attitude of Gratitude

  • Thanks to Julie Duvall for bringing One Cracked Yolk to campus for a delicious breakfast option!
  • The generous volunteers that cycle through the many pressing development projects are so deeply appreciated!
  • Thanks to Old Grey Mare Editors Wendy Charlton and Sandy Johnson for making writing an event in pre-kindergarten!
Save the Date

4/11 through 4/18 Spring Break
4/20 Academic Awards, 10:05 a.m.
4/21 PALS, "Little Pigs," pre-k through fourth, 9:30 a.m.
4/22 Earth Day
4/22 Pizza Lunch
4/27 Tag Day
4/27 Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 p.m.
4/29 Pizza Lunch
5/4 Dress Uniform
5/6 Pizza Lunch
5/7 Auction
5/8 Mother's Day
5/12 Middle School DC Trip
5/13 Pizza Lunch
5/13 through 5/27 Scholastic Virtual Bookfair
5/16 Interims
5/20 ARTStravaganza
5/20 Pizza Lunch
5/25 Tag Day
5/27 Pizza Lunch
5/30 Memorial Day--School Closed
5/31 Exams, seventh and eighth grades
6/3 End of 4th Marking Period
6/6 Faculty Workday
6/7 Graduation
6/10 Report Cards Go Home