October 2, 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!
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! 

It is no secret that the enterprise of being in person in school every day for every student takes a special commitment from each one of us. I want to salute our students, our families, and our staff for thinking about the impact of daily choices on each of us and for making decisions that benefit our school community. 

Our students have been rock stars! These young Ospreys are doing a great job of not just following the protocols, but also understanding why the protocols are in place. Their efforts reflect their desire to help others and to do what they can to be excellent school citizens. We are so proud of them! 

CAPPA is spearheading several efforts to develop parent connection, volunteerism, and fundraising. Feedback from Back to School Nights offered an excellent guide to help us find ways for parents and families to get to know one another. Challenging times call for creative solutions. Thank you to our CAPPA leadership for providing insights, engaging parents, and supporting our school. 

I also want to thank our parents for their patience as we get routines established and as we tweak strategies based on lessons learned. Your appreciation of the work of the faculty, your gratitude for their efforts, and your offers of support mean so much to the teachers. The partnership between faculty and families has been a cornerstone of Chesapeake Academy's community, and it has never been more evident than in our current circumstances. At a time when teachers nationwide are experiencing low morale and overwhelming burdens, your support bolsters our CA faculty. Thank you for valuing our work.

I told our faculty and staff that everyone was a new teacher this year. There has been so much to reimagine and so much to learn to make sure that we are meeting each student's needs–academically, socially, and emotionally. For those not in a classroom each day, it is difficult to imagine the energy and stamina required for teachers to do this well. This can-do group of faculty members is getting it done and trying to create some sense of normalcy for students. 

In one of the parent zoom sessions in August, I indicated that we would need to closely monitor not only the health and wellness of our community, but also the pacing of the school year. With longer school days, a longer school year, and the dynamics of teaching and learning in these circumstances, it is important that we provide appropriate breaks for our teachers and learners. We will make modifications to the calendar over the course of the year to ensure we are keeping our students and staff in top form. We will not change dates already on the calendar, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or spring break. And, rest assured, we will always provide several weeks notice of any calendar update so that you have time to plan. 

Being part of this community is so special. I appreciate your collaboration and all your efforts to help us meet our mission.

Class Acts...
Chesapeake Academy 3.0: Blended Learning
Pre-k Launches the Old Grey Mare Publishing Company

When you are three or four years young, the code of language is not only abstract, it can seem irrelevant! So as our youngest learners acclimate to school, one of the tasks for teachers is to reform their view of the value of print. The Old Grey Mare Publishing Company, staffed via Zoom by volunteer editors, captures student passions in their own words and allows teachers to use this enthusiasm to introduce rudimentary concepts of print. Once the peeps have illustrated their stories, they share their work with the class (and their parents via Zoom) in a reader's theater style presentation! Many thanks to editors Wendy Charlton and Sandy Johnson for their faithful support of this process!
The Pen May Be Mighty, But Writing Starts with Spelling!

First graders have jumped right into spelling, leaving behind most of the invented (phonetic) spellings of their early ventures into writing. First grade spelling is differentiated in the classroom to meet the specific needs of all learners. The focus in the beginning is on short vowel words that follow the CVC (consonant vowel consonant) spelling pattern. Once students learn the spelling rule and can identify and spell words that follow the rule, they are encouraged to apply it to their writing. Being able to spell these words will also come in handy with reading and developing reading strategies such as chunking to decode unknown words. 
Check Your Perspective!

Last week, third grade held a morning meeting where students discussed the annual theme of perspective and what it means. After some really great conversation, the class decided that perspective can mean several things, but mainly it means how you see the world. Students decided that interacting with others goes much better when we take the time to stop and consider other people’s perspectives, or point of view. Seeing a situation from someone else’s point of view can help us to better understand how to work together.

Sometimes perspective is more personal. The class talked about how changing your perspective about a situation can help, looking on the bright side instead of getting bogged down in the negative.

After this discussion, students decorated eye glasses with the ideas that they came up with written in the lenses of the frames and hung them on our bulletin board as a reminder to consider perspective throughout your day!
Building Community, Hand in Hand

Fifth graders got into the groove of a morning homeroom routine with a project that encouraged each student to consider personal and class values. 

A variety of lively activities helped students identify important ethics in their personal lives. Next, each student wrote their most important personal values on a cut out of their hand. Fifth graders assembled the work on an "All Hands In" class bulletin board to symbolize they can believe different things and still work cooperatively as a team. 

The final step was for students to work together to agree on class values, which were placed around the frame of the board. Seeking peace, acting with integrity, and making safety a priority are among the values that fifth graders will work to live into as they begin their journey into middle school. 
Something Old is New Again!

Lower school Spanish classes started off the year learning greetings, numbers, and colors. Students embraced songs and activities that helped them recognize and engage with their peers in a collective manner. While working in pairs, students used fortune tellers (Remember these favorites from your own school days?) to converse in Spanish with numbers and colors. This activity allowed the students to interact and learn using Spanish vocabulary.
Spanish Class Heads Around the World

Like Jules Verne, fourth and fifth grade students are launching a trip around the world! Students will be traveling to many different countries in their Spanish class and learning about the variety of Spanish speaking cultures. The best way to experience other cultures is to immerse yourself, so each student has been assigned a Spanish speaking country to study and share with the class, speaking only in Spanish. As students travel to these new countries, they will collect stamps in their passports. This activity will allow students to have a new perspective on hispanic cultures throughout the world.
Are You and Your Child Looking at Secondary School Options?

Students are excited to be back in the hallways of Chesapeake Academy, but none are as enthused as our current eighth grade class. They enjoy the privilege of being the oldest students at school and are proud to take on extra responsibilities. All the while, they are dreaming of their future school home as they consider possible high schools for next year. Whether choosing public or private, fit is key. Take time to research options that consider your child’s interests and academic needs so that this important next step can be a seamless transition. 

Both public and private schools are an option for Chesapeake Academy students. This year, because of the pandemic, there are some changes in the process. We will help guide you through those.

Families interested in public schools should contact the high schools in the winter time to schedule a spring tour. Since public schools are not currently on campus, their scheduling may be a little different. However, Lancaster High School typically does an evening event for parents of incoming ninth graders. We will communicate with you once we have that date. We have great relationships with our 6 surrounding county schools, and CA students do well with the transition. 

Students interested in applying to a private secondary school should take time to identify the schools that they are most interested in, complete online applications and essay questions, and schedule in-person or online interviews. At the same time, be sure to schedule a date and time for taking the Standardized Secondary Achievement Test (SSAT) (https://www.ssat.org/). The SSAT is a standardized measure used by independent schools to create a benchmark of achievement for applicants. It measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for successful performance in independent schools. 

This year, due to scheduling challenges relating to the pandemic, the test can be taken online in the comfort of your own home. It is open to both seventh and eighth grade students. Practice tests are available for free through the website, and students can take the test more than once. Before signing up for this assessment, be sure to check with the schools you are considering to be sure that they are requiring it this year. Some schools do not expect students to take the SSAT due to challenges created by Covid-19. If you have any questions about the application process or want extra support in refining your high school list, feel free to reach out to your child’s advisor or Mrs. Manetz. They are great resources during this important time.
Oyster Gardening Helps Clean the Bay

After turning in a bumper crop of four overflowing oyster cages in June of 2020,the oyster gardening project has been handed off to a new class of seventh graders who are so excited to take their turn raising oyster spats! 

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation provides CA with 50 spats to begin, and with careful care and monitoring, students return over 800 to a 1000 oysters by the end of the school year. This success doesn't just happen! Students check on water quality weekly, and scrub the oysters every week to ensure that their charges are safe and are not being eaten by crabs and other small organisms that can enter the cages. 

The oysters are added to oyster reefs in local waterways, helping to keep our bay clean!
Inward Bound Creates Community

Designed for middle school students to get to know themselves better and to bond as advisory groups, grade levels, and as a larger middle school group, Chesapeake Academy's Inward Bound Retreat is generally an overnight experience for students and faculty members. Due to COVID, this year's program was 100 percent masked and outdoors over two days. At Inward Bound, students participate fully in group problem solving activities, games, contests, and reflections. Activities, centered on the character theme of perspective, build a sense of respect relevant to other perspectives applicable to middle school students, and connect the idea of perspective to advisory topics of transition, friendship, self-discovery, and leadership.

Activities are led by the eighth grade students in each advisory family and include games and tasks that encourage collaboration, critical thinking, teamwork, and creativity. As these student leaders guide their advisories, they emphasize really seeing and listening to peers and helping students form connections in and out of their advisory groups. This year's spate of activities was action packed and punctuated with some reflective interludes.

This year's big Advisory Challenge was called "Storming the Castle." Using a mystery bag of supplies, advisory families built up to 3 catapults. Taking turns, the groups attacked the teachers' castle with ping pong balls, trying to hit certain areas to earn points. The advisory with the most points won the challenge.

As Inward Bound is traditionally the first student council event of the year at Chesapeake Academy, a costumed dance generally is a popular event. This year middle school students decorated wild hats to don as they strutted their tail feathers in a variety of line dances chosen by eighth grade advisory leaders. 

A timed relay race provided another wacky teamwork challenge as students raced to fill a pipe to make a rubber ducky float. Problem solving became an essential skill as students discovered the pipe was leaky, and had to figure out how to get the pipe filled before the water could run out.

No Inward Bound is complete without "Capture the Flag." Students were divided into blue/white teams to play a new version of this classic feature. Collaborative skills got a workout as students competed to build the highest tower out of clothespins and popsicle sticks--a tower that would hold a full water bottle 8 inches off the table.

Groups of students were given a small puzzle to complete in their down time, only to discover that someone had mixed up the pieces! Faced with the limitation of only being able to have one student out of their group at a time, students trotted out their negotiation skills to get their pieces back from the other groups!

Middle school students also worked on choosing their perspective as they completed a grateful hearts self-reflection/art activity. Faced with a year where there is so much to worry about, taking a few minutes to brainstorm things that make them happy and for which they are grateful is an important life skill. In their final activity, middle school students wrote letters to students in other grades, complimenting them on their work at Inward Bound and sharing tips for a great school year!
Art is an Equal Opportunity Joy: Everyone Can Create!

Middle school art students are drawn to art as they begin building personal sketchbooks to showcase their individuality. Students are learning fundamental elements in art and using this learning to produce creative pieces.

Currently, young artists are studying the use of line. Hands-on activities include a zentangle representation of their name on the cover of student sketch books and creation of a self-portrait using the works of Pablo Picasso as a guide.

Learning is alive in the art room at Chesapeake Academy!

Breaking News: Election results are in! The 2020-21 Student Council representatives are Robert Cunningham as President, Lorry Manetz as Vice President, Porter Pittman as Treasurer, and Namiyah Andrews as Student Council Secretary! Many thanks to all who stepped up to run for office and serve their school. That is the Osprey spirit at work!


CAPPA is up and running this school year! Many thanks to all the parents who jumped in to help with our Back To School Campus Clean Up! Because of your efforts, bushes were trimmed, leaves were hauled away, mulch spread on the trail to the outdoor classroom, the old tennis court was cleaned and power-washed behind the gym creating a new outdoor space for kiddos, and the doors were painted on the Wiley building. Wow!

In addition to the massive outdoor clean up, CAPPA also provided funding for 10 folding picnic tables to help facilitate additional outdoor classroom space or lunch space as needed. Thank you families for your continued support. CAPPA could not make it happen without your ongoing dedication of time and resources.

What's next? Our annual Apple Sale Fundraiser! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it provides many resources for the school. Flyers will be going home, and you are also welcome to use the graphics to post to your social media accounts. Spread the word, and sell some delicious apples. The class with the most sales will win an ice cream party! 
Save the Date
10/6, New Parent Round Table
10/7, Dress Uniform and Shoes, Picture Day
10/9, Interims home
10/10, CA Oyster Roast 2.0: Shuck it Bucket
10/12-13, Fall Break, No School
10/15 WFS Admissions Visits, noon, seventh and eighth grade
10/16, Pre-k's Pumpkin Party at Townley Farm, 9:00 a.m. to noon
10/23, Pumpkin Party rain date
10/28, Tag Day
10/30, Halloween activities, Pre-K through fourth grade
11/4, Dress Uniform and Shoes, Picture Make up Day
11/6, End of MP1
11/11, PALS presents, Barb Lawson, Wild and Wonderful Storyteller, 9:30 a.m.
11/16 through 11/20 Parent Partnership Conferences
11/18, Tag Day
11/25, 26, 27, Thanksgiving Break
Polish your Parenting!

  • Helping Children Too Much is Hurting Them https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/helicopter-parenting/3194736.html

  • What happens when we let our children make mistakes? https://simplyfamilymagazine.com/4-powerful-benefits-of-letting-your-child-make-mistakes

  • Tips for Cultivating Independence in Children https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/teaching-kids-to-be-more-independent/

An Attitude of Gratitude

  • Cooler weather offered fresh air and opportunities to learn outside. Thanks to CAPPA's parent volunteers and generous donations, we have wonderful spaces to spread out and learn.
  • Did you know masks mean you don't have to pick lipstick, worry about coffee breath, or breakouts, or things stuck in your teeth! And they are the perfect solution to RBF! Who needs botox?
  • As the shape of instruction changes, teachers are busily finding just the right activity to engage and delight students....the halls are hopping with good stories.
  • CAPPA and their uniform sales add convenience to the task of keeping kids in proper uniforms!
  • CAPPA's FB page is very popular and the reminders are good for everyone!
  • Ms. Dynia the tech guru is the hero of the day--every day!

The Gift of Time and Talent is a Treasure!