November 12, 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!

I had the pleasure of observing some Illustrative Math lessons recently in Lower School. The engagement with math concepts by students was deep, thoughtful, and creative. And, yes, math should be creative, in that students find multiple ways to solve a problem or justify a solution. They use a variety of tools to support their process and make connections.

In the summer of 2021, the faculty adopted Illustrative Math as an overarching approach to math instruction that ensures that student understanding develops in richly, interconnected ways as opposed to discrete topical sequencing. Kim Dynia, our Director of Curriculum and Instruction, set the course for the faculty training throughout the summer, and we ordered new materials that support CA’s curriculum at each grade level.

Illustrative Mathematics is a problem-based process designed to prepare students to strategize, reason, communicate, and think critically in the classroom and beyond. As Pre-Algebra teacher Hillary Smith says, "Illustrative Math is to math as Orton Gillingham is to literacy….a tool that routinizes best practices."

Illustrative Math helps dive deeper into topics and exposes the why of math and not just the how. Each topic opens with an "invitation." This invitation is an open-ended inquiry that draws students into the lesson, giving everyone core experience with the topic from which to grow, no matter their level. This practice develops math literacy by exercising math vocabulary as students explain how one piece of the topic relates to another.

The math routines involve a warm up, lesson practice, small group work, more practice, and free choice, then a cool down. In my observations, I saw students explaining their thinking and listening carefully to the reasoning of others. After all, 4 x 5 can be explained in many different ways, building both the math fact knowledge, as well as the number sense that is such a foundation.  

For many years, we have gotten wonderful reports from receiving schools about how well CA students are prepared for the next level of math. As a methodology, Illustrative Math fits right in with our focus on problem based mathematics and will help our students continue to grow in quantitative reasoning and critical mathematical thinking.

How to Make Parent Partnership Conferences Work for You!

Your child's teachers are excited and ready to broach your favorite topic and theirs: Your student! These Parent Partnership Conferences bring together the insights and wisdom of a student's best advocates--their parents--and the perspective and experience of their teachers to discuss each child's growth. This powerful partnership is one of the most important contributions you can make to your child's success, so take a minute to make this time count!

  • Collect your thoughts. What seems to be working? What opportunities exist for growth?
  • Find out what is coming next in your child's curriculum. Knowing what is coming up will provide a context for what your child is working on now.
  • How can you best support the process? Use this conference to determine how to focus your efforts to best support your child's growth.
  • Follow through on recommendations and stay in touch to share results. Feedback helps fine-tune better strategies!
  • Support your partners! 

Contact your child's teacher or advisor to make your appointment.

Class Acts...
Chesapeake Academy 3.0: Blended Learning

CA Thanks Veterans!

To honor Veteran's Day, CA students had a special assembly so students understand the sacrifices and responsibilities that our service members past and present have undertaken. After some discussion, and a video tribute to our soldiers, students wrote a V on their hands and put a star or initials of someone in their lives who has served or is serving. Assembly concluded with all the students signing the movements to "My Country Tis of Thee". Ask a CA student about how our service members make our community and world a better place.

Ringing in the Joy of Music!

Kindergarten was the first class to try out CA's new colored hand bells! Rotating through the notes, ringers all got to play each color and try their hand at being the conductor. Kindergarten students are also learning to create and clap rhythm patterns left to right using popsicle sticks. The next step in their learning is to write these patterns on paper. Music touches all parts of the brain!
The Ambiguity Zone

The Chesapeake Academy faculty and staff took part in the Virginia Association of Independent School’s annual professional day by using the conference's keynote address as a springboard for deepening understanding of the role of the design process in education and specifically in the Chesapeake Academy Arts and Innovation program.

Keynote speaker for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools' Professional Day, Sarah Stein Greenberg, is executive director of Stanford University's, a consortium of creative people who work to unlock creativity in multidisciplinary designers at the university and beyond. Stein is also the author of the acclaimed book, Creative Acts for Curious People. Stein maintains that although it is not a native state for most people, exciting opportunities unfold when creative people adapt to become comfortable with and make use of the periods of ambiguity from which great questions arise.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kimberly Dynia, led the faculty through a process designed to help unlock the opportunity involved in ambiguity. The process involved focused listening, recording data, synthesizing the data into opportunity statements, and ideating solutions. Dynia pointed out, "Starting with insightful data-driven questions offers the best beginning to the design process. Rich, well considered questions inspire quality solutions!"  

For the second part of the day's program, Dynia welcomed parents, grandparents, and students to join faculty in empathy mapping to gather data on how constituent groups access the Arts & Innovation Curriculum at Chesapeake Academy. Finally, the group enjoyed a technology playground that included programming Sphero and Dash robots, weaving on handlooms, 3D printing, CAD modeling, stop-motion animation, and creating a layered iMovie using a green screen.

The Virginia Association of Independent Schools exists to assist member schools in maintaining standards of excellence (through an accreditation process), to encourage activities to exchange information about new methodologies and practices, and to promote the well-being of and public regard for independent schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chesapeake Academy is a fully accredited member of this association.


Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS) presented Bright Star Touring Theatre's "FrankenSTEM" on Wednesday, October 27 to pre-kindergarten through fourth grade students. In this rollicking performance highlighting the importance of STEM, it required science, technology, engineering and math to make Dr. Frances N. Stein's masterpiece come to life.
PALS programming is funded by the Wiley Foundation with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Second Grade Counts Money!

Who remembers learning to count money? There are so many concepts involved! Second grade math students have been practicing this essential math skill in a wide variety of ways! These learners enjoyed playing Money Bingo with partners to practice their skills in a fun way. Students count groups of mixed coins of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. They are learning how to show amounts of money using different coin combinations. 
Fourth Grade Book Tasting

The library was transformed recently into the Chesapeake Academy Book Cafe as fourth graders dove into their first-ever book tasting. With the goal of introducing students to a wide array of books and expanding students' understanding of genre, the book tasting showed young readers that you can't really judge a book by its cover! Ms. May and Ms. Emery led students through rotations that included a diverse range of genres--from non-fiction to mystery. With a pile of genre-specific books at each table, students had time to select interesting choices and read a page or two. Then, fourth graders recorded which ones they might want to check out to read in the future. Students walked away with a list of to-be-read books to fuel them for months to come. 
Practical Proportions!

Sixth grade mathematicians are working on ratios and proportions, using mixtures to visualize many important concepts from the unit. What happens to the taste of a drink when you add different amounts of drink powder to the same amount of water? If you adjust the amount of water, can you adjust the amount of powder accordingly to keep the ratios equivalent? And the bonus is figuring out what the appropriate ratio of powder to water is and drinking the delicious result! 
Athletic Awards

Most Improved Player--Ryann Kenner
Most Valuable Player--Brynleigh Allen
Coach's Award--Izzy Dew

Junior Varsity Soccer
Most Improved Players--Kelsey Liner and Keegan Casey
Most Valuable Players--Jake Hodsden and Mead Smith
Coach's Awards--Ingrid Carey and Brendan Beuchelt

Varsity Soccer
Most Improved Player--Jimmy Hodsden
Most Valuabl Player--Nathan Meberg
Coach's Award--Parker Daley and Miles Hollingsworth

Congratulations, Ospreys!

PALS Celebrates Story!

Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS) presented a celebration of story that spanned the grades with performances from Barb Lawson, storyteller, and workshops from Elizabeth Massie, a professional writer. Barb Lawson is an award-winning storyteller and actress who has shared her stories and songs across the country. Her laugh out loud comical style has contributed to her 25 year career and certainly kept her audience in stitches. She is a Virginia Commission for the Arts Performing Artist.

Offering creative writing workshops to middle grade students at Chesapeake Academy, Elizabeth Massie is a former school teacher and full time professional writer whose opus includes numerous novels (historical, horror, and mainstream) collections, and short stories. Her middle grade series, Ameri-Scares was optioned by Warner Brothers in 2019. 
PALS programming is funded by the Wiley Foundation with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions

Eighth grade science students are focusing on energy, so to begin the unit, they got to experiment with exothermic reactions and endothermic reactions. 

Inquiring minds used alka seltzer and water to show one reaction, and hydrogen peroxide with quick rising yeast to show the other reaction. Can you guess which was which?

Volunteers! All Call: CAPPA would love to put together a team of talented can-do folks to create a float for the Kilmarnock Christmas parade to represent CA! If this sounds like your way to step up, contact Stacey Carden. This is a fun project and it will help our school, too!
A big thank you to Whitney Lang and all of the Apple Sales volunteers for their hard work to make this popular tradition available again this year! All of the events CAPPA promotes take much organization and many helping hands to pull them off properly. Thank you goes out to so many volunteers for the time given to the school both in and out of the public eye!

Coach's Corner

Due to being the only middle school team in the area, our Varsity tennis team did not have any matches against other schools, but players had great competition among each other. Coach Cabocel commented on the growth and promise of the team, and they really seemed to enjoy their time on the court. In fact, many of our fall tennis players are participating in the fall clinic that Coach Cabocel is holding, and they are already leading the way and encouraging others to learn the sport. Our goal is to help Coach Cabocel grow the game in this area, and with 17 Ospreys playing tennis this fall (on the team and/or the clinic), we are well on our way! 

The JV soccer team ended their season on October 21st with their final home game. The team went undefeated this season, and, as Coach Keplinger highlighted, they showed tremendous growth in their skills, their knowledge of the game, and in their teamwork skills. The future looks bright for CA soccer, as we had 17 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders on the team! 

The Varsity volleyball team saw scoreboard success in the later part of the season, with two big wins against Aylett Country Day School and Light of the World Academy. It was exciting for the members of the team to see their hard work and dedication turn into points on the scoreboard and exciting wins! While we came up short in our ISAC semifinal game against ACDS on October 16th, there were some exciting moments, and the team enjoyed playing in Yarbrough Gymnasium at Christchurch School. With no graduating players, we are looking forward to a strong season next fall! 

Our Varsity soccer team had a storybook season after a year's hiatus from competitive play. The strong leadership of eight veteran eighth graders and solid play of all 17 players, the team continued to produce wins, but - more importantly - they won in the more important categories of sportsmanship and unselfish play. After earning a bye as the #1 seed in the ISAC tournament, our team faced Ware Academy in the ISAC Championship game on October 21st at Christchurch School. The team picked up a great 2-0 win, and as Coach Smith shared - it was a definite team win; everyone had to do their job to secure the win and to bring the trophy back to CA! 

As you can tell, it's a great time to be an Osprey! We are looking forward to continuing our success in the winter when we begin basketball. This year we will field a JV boys team, a Varsity boys team, and a Varsity girls team! We will meet for some open gyms in December, and then we will really begin in January! Thank you for all your support this fall, and we hope to see you in the gym in 2022! 

Go Ospreys! 
Attitude of Gratitude

All seasons of the year are good for gratitude, but November seems the right time to push our gratitiude game up a notch or three! Try keeping a list of things for which you are grateful!? Or send a note of thanks to someone you have taken for granted?

  • Volunteers rock! Thanks to Jane Atlas and Bobbie Duke for shelving and repairing books. Thanks also to Emily Thomas for donating a morning a week to shelving books.

  • Here's a list of everyone who helped with the apple sale. If anyone was left out, know CAPPA is so grateful for your help: Arthur Lang, Seda and Demir Demirkan, Hunter Beane, Mary Rowe, Ashly Hudson, Ainsley Hodges, Samantha and Emma Somers, Stacey Carden, Heather Neighbors, Mary Bowmen, Marsha Paulson, Kendall Rosalia
  • Thanks so much to Frederick Johnson who let us borrow Northern Neck Fence Company's truck and trailer to pick-up the apples for CAPPA's apple sale.
  • An artist who shares his craft is a gift in a school! Thanks to Jeff Patanaude for reading his children's book to first grade and donating books to students.
  • Robin Blake sends a shout out to the Rock and Minerals store in Lancaster for graciously hosting the fifth grade class and being very generous with their time and samples.
  • Thanks to Catherine Emry and to Richard Abbott for grilling the best hamburgers and hot dogs for the faculty and staff on Professional Development Day!
  • While CA's Custodian, Cameron Wilson was out, the can-do team of Richard and Jan Abbott, Connie Smith, and Catherine Emry, dove in to keep the school clean. Thanks also to all the teachers who did their part!
  • The eighth grade class and Ms. Novak send heartfelt thanks to Emily Thomas, Kelly Antonio, and Catherine Emry for treating them to a soup and sandwich lunch! What a treat!

  • Thanks to William Harrison and Cosmo Duncan for loaning remote control vehicles to Ms. May!
  • Thanks to all the folks who purchased books from CA's online book fair! A special thank you to those who gifted the James Library with books from Ms. May's wish list!

Save the Date

11/12 Report Cards Emailed, Pizza Hot Lunch
11/15-19 Parent Partnership Conferences, K-8
11/16 Academic Awards Assembly, 10:05, parents invited
11/17 Tag Day
11/19 Pizza Hot Lunch
11/24-26 Thanksgiving Holiday
11/29 Open Gym
11/30 Open Gym
11/30 Giving Tuesday
12/1 Dress Uniform/Dress Shoes
12/2 Basketball Tryouts 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
12/2 Pizza Hot Lunch
12/10 Interims Out
12/10 Christmas Parade
12/15 Tag Day
12/16 Pizza Hot Lunch
12/17 Half Day; Winter Break
1/3 Classes Resume
1/5 Dress Uniform/Dress Shoes
1/7 Pizza Hot Lunch