January 22, 2020
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

As I gathered my thoughts to write this article, I received this note of thanks from the Bowman family. As I processed some strong emotions, I realized that this says it all. Chesapeake Academy is indeed a Small School with a Huge Heart.


To our extended CA Family,

Saturday morning January 9th was a morning like any other. We rose early to feed horses and other animals. The day would include routine chores, but some fun and relaxation were also in the works. Suddenly we realized that our home was on fire. Within mere minutes it was apparent that our own efforts to save our dream retirement home were futile. Many brave men and women firefighters would also risk their lives trying to save our home. It was not to be and our home was completely destroyed. The shock of losing everything Mary and I have built together over thirty-two years is deep and unrelenting.  

As quickly as this tragedy arrived, so did the care, concern and generosity of so many. We are living the promise of Luke Chapter 12. We are sheltered, fed and clothed. Our church family, neighbors and even total strangers have overwhelmed us with kindness. The Chesapeake Academy family was among the very first to reach out to us. Within twelve hours Delaney's uniform needs, school supplies, clothing and even her lunches seemingly appeared from nowhere. We have tentatively located a nearby house to rent and the extremely generous financial support given by the CA families and staff will be crucial when we undertake setting up household as soon as we can move in.

In a time when there is so much division and disunity surrounding us on a daily basis, how incredibly uplifting it has been to experience such immediate, sincere and heartfelt help from others in our time of need. Mary and I will remember your unselfish giving, as well as your genuine care for our wellbeing for the rest of our lives. Delaney Belle has experienced a lesson in kindness, compassion and unity that could never be taught in a classroom or read in a book. We are deeply grateful, humbled and overwhelmed. Chesapeake Academy has lived up to everything positive and good we ever heard about this wonderful school and community. You have cemented a place in our hearts forever. We will add a second line to the motto, "Small School - Huge Heart!"

With deep appreciation,

Jesse, Mary and Delaney Belle Bowman       

Welcome to Sixth Grade!

Admission Director Kelly Antonio is happy to announce that Chesapeake Academy has two new sixth grade students:

Ian Jonson (pictured above) and his family have a home in Northumberland County. When Ian's sister started school at St. Margaret's back in the fall, SMS staff suggested parents Eileen and Urban reach out to CA for Ian. We are thrilled to have Ian join us in person for the remainder of the year.

Thomas Major (pictured below) and his family relocated to Lancaster County back in November. Thomas and his sister, Finley, visited CA in December. While fifth grade is at capacity due to COVID protocols, and Finley is not able to start right now, Thomas was able to get started in sixth grade. Please reach out and welcome Thomas, Finley, and their parents, Maggie and Art, to our community.

Calling All Volunteers! It is Time to Build a Winning Auction Team!

You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Jan 28, 2021 04:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Chesapeake Academy 
has appreciated your support 
over the last 8 consecutive years!

Please continue to show your support for CA by 
voting in these categories:

#32 - Best Annual Charity Event 
(Community Oyster Roast)
#53 - Best K-12 Independent School
#54 - Best Summer Camp

Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we set the standards high with our Sequins and Spurs auction - live and online, 
ran a successful camp during 2020, 
re-imagined our annual 
Community Oyster Roast into a Shuck-It Bucket event with 
GREAT success, and opened in person for all students 
pre-K through eighth grade on September 2, 2020!

We have proven it can be done!
Deadline to vote for 
Chesapeake Academy
and all your other favorites will be January 31, 2021! 
But why wait? 
Vote today HERE!
Class Acts...
Chesapeake Academy 3.0: Blended Learning

Pre-K Authors Debut in the Old Grey Mare Publishing Company

The Old Grey Mare Publishing Company is up and running in pre-kindergarten 3 and 4, and authors are lining up for their time to shine. Staffed by volunteer editors as well as teachers, the Old Grey Mare Publishing Company offers very young writers the opportunity to use their own words to begin to learn about the written code of language. Students dictate an exciting story to an editor who captures the tale and passes it along to be edited into a perfect form for learning! Students research and illustrate these tomes and finally gather the class for a "reading," after which they field questions and comments from the class. Although visitors to this author's corner presentation will be watching via Zoom, the excitement in the class is not one bit diminished!

Tempus Fugit!

First graders are tackling the vital life skill of telling time by tying the lessons to both their literature and math lessons. Students created their own analog clocks and labeled the hour, half hour, and five minute intervals; and now they have a useful tool to use for a variety of different tasks in class. As Ms. Allen read Pigs In A Blanket, students use their clocks to track the pig’s day at the beach. Not only are students beginning to develop time telling skills, they are getting some good practice sequencing the events of a story as well! 
Dear Mom and Dad!

As a way for first graders to reflect on their week, students are writing a weekly letter to their parents about something they felt was important about their week. While practicing organizing print and developing writing skills, these letters can spark conversation at home about what is happening at school and open the door for students to think about their learning. 
Math, Your Way!

According to third grade teacher Sonja Smith, math centers are just the ticket at this point in her class because they allow students to work in areas that they specifically need to solidify. The class is using a must do/may do checklist, so students have choice, but they also benefit from activities targeted for them individually. Some of the centers are group work, some are independent, and sometimes it’s working with the teacher.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

In Hub World, it snowed overnight, and Ms. Dynia needed help shoveling out her front yard! In A&I, third grade innovators were challenged to build a snow shovel using a limited selection of supplies. Success was determined by the weight of snow (rice) that could be removed in one scoop, using only two fingers to operate the shovel. Students had the chance to go back to the drawing board to adjust their design and beat their record. In addition to employing the design loop and collaboration skills, students learned how to use a kitchen scale, including selecting an appropriate unit of measure and using tare to account for the weight of the container.
First Chapter Fridays

Fifth graders end the week in literature with First Chapter Fridays. As class winds down, students get to settle in to listen to the first few pages of a novel that is sure to pique their interest. Sometimes the book is chosen by Ms. Emery and other times a faculty guest is invited to come share his or her favorite book, or students sign up to share a book that they've read and want to class to know about. Recently, Ms. Smith shared the first three chapters of Holes by Louis Sachar, which begins, "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake." Who woundn't want to read on?

Exam Prep Grows Study Skills

Seventh graders have been elbow deep in exam prep, and they are learning study skills and test taking strategies as they go. For both their Writer's Workshop and Literature exams, seventh grade students created a detailed outline of the material for their exam by working through a topic development process of the material they covered during the semester in both classes that will culminate in a detailed essay.

For Writer's Workshop, seventh grade writers will be crafting an essay about being able to attend school in person during the pandemic by analyzing their experience using a number of tools and methods to organize their thoughts.

As they prepared, students re-read exerpts from some of the books that they read during the first semester and the associated writing assignments that they completed.

For Literature, seventh grade readers will prepare for an in-depth vocabulary test. Students are also preparing to write an essay on one of the broad themes common to their readings during this semester. In order to showcase their chosen theme, students will discuss it using the context of three different texts.
Chesapeake Academy Honors MLK's Legacy

Chesapeake Academy students honored the service, work, and ideals of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. with two informative and age appropriate virtual theater productions. Created by Bright Star Theater (one of CA's PALS partners), "Meet Dr. King" offered an introduction to King's life and work, focusing on integral concepts of Black History like freedom, integration and equality. "Meet Dr. King" helped young people begin to understand the importance of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. The play catalogued Dr. King’s life from his boyhood experiencing racism for the first time, to meeting his wife, Coretta, to becoming a pastor and finally a national inspiration.

Chesapeake Academy middle school students tackled "Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King," also developed by Bright Star Theatre. This story of both triumph and tragedy iluminates King's journey to become a prominent civil rights leader, following Dr. King’s life as a young boy in Georgia, to becoming a preacher in Alabama, to becoming an important figure on the international stage. 

These powerful and impactful historical dramas from Bright Star Theatre clearly demonstrated that civil rights won during Dr. King’s time were achieved through sacrifice and commitment. Head of School Julie Duvall comments, "When the student body gathered in a whole school assembly to discuss King's work and impact, it was clear that students could articulate what drove the civil rights leader to work for change, how his principles of non-violent social change shaped the world we inhabit, and why his legacy deserves to be honored today."
Student Council Still Hard At Work!

Although COVID protocols have ended all student council events and gatherings, the executive team continues to meet regularly to discuss student life and plan assemblies for the student body. From left to right, Secretary Namiyah Andrews, Vice President Lorry Manetz, Treasurer Porter Pittman, and President Robert Cunningham.
Parent Teacher Conferences Are Around the Corner!

It is nearly time to discuss our favorite subject! Parent/Teacher Conferences are coming up February 8 through 11. Grab your calendar and contact your child's teacher to schedule a progress check! A strong partnership between school and home can help you make the most of your child's education. Every family meets a minimum of twice a year with their child's teachers to hear what is working, what strategies will address needed growth, and what to celebrate! (Most teachers will share a GoogleDoc sign-up sheet to make this easy for you.) If you need a hand scheduling convenient conferences with multiple teachers, Ms. Connie is happy to help! 

Since Middle School students run their own conferences, please make sure to sign up for a time when your child is available.
Whatcha Reading? Is it Good?

While Winter has us in its grip, the time is right to curl up with a good book! Looking for suggestions? Check out what folks around Chesapeake Academy would recommend!
  • Julie Duvall is reading The New One by Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein: a comedian husband and his poet wife tell stories of becoming a parent
  • Molly Vanderpool is engaged in Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints by Phyllis Diller and The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale 
  • Susan May recommends The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It is about twin sisters and how their family history is defined by identity and race. Next up is Sweet Tea and Vinegar Pie by local author Denise DeVries.
  • Sonja Smith is rereading some of her favorite books by the late Julia Reed who was an incredible storyteller
  • Kim Dynia has been exploring Farms With A Future by Rebecca Thistlethwaite
  • Kenzie Manetz is hooked on the "beach reading" books that she find in Reese Witherspoon's book club, "Hello Sunshine." They are light reads that are perfect for an exhausted mind at the end of a long day. 
  • Hillary Smith just finished Deep State by Chris Hauty. Pretty neat, smart thriller. Entertaining and nothing else!
  • Dave Buttram is reading The Book of Five Rings by the 17th century Samurai Miyamoto Musashi.
  • The Guest List Lucy Foley is on Katie Parker's reading list!
  • The Girl with the The Louding Voice, by a Nigerian author Abi Dare gets rave reviews from Robin Blake who will share it with her book club next month.

And what are our students reading? Over the last month pre-k has covered the gamut, discovering a passion for Skippyjohn Jones by Judith Byron Schachner!

Kindergarten recently enjoyed Amelia Bedelia Means Business by Herman Parish and Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.

First grade is loving Charlotte's Web by E. B. White.

In Library, second and third graders are reading Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and looking at the classic stories embedded in the text: Chicken Little, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

In class, second graders are enjoying Cleary's Ramona the Pest as a whole group read-aloud. 

In Sonja Smith's class, third grade is reading John Reynolds Gardiner's Stone Fox. This is the story of a young boy who has to win a dogsled race in order to win the prize money to save his family’s farm.

Fourth graders are learning about Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the super soaker using Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton.  

Fourth grade students are reading a variety of Andrew Clements novels: The School Story, Frindle, The Janitor's Boy, and No Talking.

Fifth grade readers are enjoying Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. 

Sixth graders are reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.

Seventh grade Lit students are reading  The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Eighth grade students are exploring the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments. In addition to reading the amendments themselves and studying historical context, students have been digging deeper using excerpts from fabulous books including Stamped and Lifting As We Climb and from nonfiction sources like Frederick Douglass' Independence Day speech to current newspapers. The skills of identifying key ideas and evidence in nonfiction are critical! 

CAPPA will have a meeting on February 10 at 8:30 a.m. for all parents--room parents, new parents, and returning parents! There is a lot to discuss and a lot of ways to connect. Please join us via Zoom (info sent out the week before via email) to find out how to get involved and support the teachers, students, and school!

Unfortunately, our speaker event with Nina Schroder has had to be rescheduled for later in the spring. Stay tuned for updates. 

Save the Date

1/25 through 1/29 Exams, seventh and eighth grades
1/27 Tag Day
1/29 Half Day for Students/Teacher Workday, End of Second Marking Period
2/2 Birthday Book Assembly
2/3 Dress Uniform and Shoes
2/5 Report Cards Emailed
2/8 to 2/11 Parent Partnership Conferences
2/10 PALS Presents "The Wacky Science Show" by Cris Johnson, 9:30 a.m.
2/12 to 2/15 No School, Mid-Winter Break
2/24 Tag Day, Faculty Professional Development
3/17 PALS Presents Richmond Ballet's "Coppelia," 9:30 a.m.
3/29 through 4/5 Spring Break
4/9 End of 3MP
Polish Your Parenting: How to Support Your Student!
Successful students are well-supported by but not over supported. What does that mean?

  • From Beth Clark...."The best parenting intentionally scaffolds and challenges kids to grow and develop in skills, interests, and independence, reflecting on successes and their failures as part of the process and taking time out to notice how far they have come and smile at how things that seemed insurmountable are now commonplace."
  • From Beth Clark...."The world needs more responsible, resourceful people. And more kindness. We have more than enough people who can pat their own backs."
  • From Kim Dynia "Be active in your child's digital life from a young age. Students are savvy, and they will find ways around parental controls and limited email addresses, even if it is just through friends who have more relaxed settings on their accounts. In addition to controlling access to social media and search engines, help your child understand how to make good digital decisions and know what they should do if they come across inappropriate information. Encourage your child to ask questions and be open about what they are seeing online. Share how you use good digital citizenship in your own use of social media and email communications."
  • Katie Parker suggests Common Sense Media as a resource. This is a great site for parents to check out the age appropriateness of various books, movies, video games, and more! 
  • Kenzie Manetz suggests, "From the get go, develop a strong partnership with the teachers who are working with your child. Find time to touch in and ask questions and be open to listening to their thoughts and ideas of how your kiddo is developing. Teachers are professionals and they want students to succeed. Listen … a teacher’s words, even if you don’t think they are spot on, give important information about how others see your child.
  • Help develop your child’s passions with exuberance and consistency. Identify those areas that your kiddo excels and find ways to expand learning in those areas other than just at school. For example, if your child is really strong at math, join summer programs, find “challenge tutors”, employ technology, play math games, or even just work on math puzzles as a family with the ultimate goal of investing in your child’s interests and abilities.
  • Work to strengthen your child’s weaknesses in measurable ways. Every child has something they are not good at and, more often than not, your child’s teacher will be one of the most important vehicles for making change. Talk openly about your concerns and formulate a plan. Concerns can be as wide ranging as difficulty with reading to challenges with kindness or focus. Creating a plan that has definite goals will help you see real growth. Make your child part of the work and discuss his or her weaknesses so that they are treated as a challenge instead of a secret. We are all different and that is what makes us all unique and special. Challenge equals opportunity. Challenge is where the real growth occurs, so partner with your school and brainstorm ways to help your kiddo grow.
  • Remember that you are raising a child and they are not necessarily equipped to process everything grown folks do. Children don’t need to be exposed to adult conversations and they don’t necessarily see things accurately. Parent with purpose! A parent's job is to help their child become a responsible, reasonable, thoughtful adult. This takes curating, conversation, and role modeling. 
  • Find ways to give back. Schools and teachers work hard and their time is valuable. Find ways to give back … This can mean giving time to special projects or, if time is not available, it can mean sending in a special treat or writing an appreciative note. We all know that gratitude drives positivity. Imagine your life without a solid school, and I am sure you will feel grateful for what your child receives in terms of learning and support each and every day.

An Attitude of Gratitude

  • Thanks to the volunteers and medical personnel who are organizing vaccine distribution.
  • Thanks to Julie Duvall for ensuring that our faculty and staff have timely access to vaccines.
  • Thanks to the Charlton and Wagner families for donating bikes to the bike path and to Austin Atwell for supplying much needed bike chain oil!
  • Thanks to Ellen Christ for the delicious muffins!
  • Not to jinx it, but a mild January is not hurting any feelings.
  • The warm response to supporting the Bowman family reminds us all that we are all in this together.
  • Once again, a hat tip to the CA faculty for their flexibility and unfailing willingness to dive in and help each other.
  • Thanks to all who have taken the time to vote for CA in the Virginia Living Best of Virginia survey!
  • Thanks to all who donated to the Bell Tower Annual Giving Fund! We still want to reach that 100 percent goal by June 30. There is still time to show your support!