March 9, 2018

The Head's Heads Up

I know that the safety and security of children are on parents' minds at all times. Rest assured, these issues are at the forefront of our thinking at Chesapeake Academy as well.  We enjoy a close knit community on a beautiful campus. The openness of our campus and the intimate knowledge, trust, and caring we have for each other are among the things that make our school so special. It is hard to imagine any reason to fear on our quiet Irvington campus.

In the aftermath of recent school shootings however, that sense of security has been shaken. This is a serious issue nationwide. At Chesapeake Academy, we have begun the process of reviewing our protocols to reflect the most recent data on best practices. We have worked with several security and law enforcement officials to review our physical spaces, and we have held directed trainings to raise the  ability of teachers and staff to respond quickly, calmly, and effectively to protect lives.

For security reasons, we do not publish our crisis plan so that we can hold information about our procedures and options close, preserving every advantage. However, I do want you to know that we continually and actively evaluate our campus, our planning, our training, and additional safety measures to incorporate those that are most practical and effective against different threats.

Law enforcement and security experts have been working with us on additional steps we can take to protect our community. These measures may or may not be apparent to parents and visitors but they are in constant play behind the scenes.  

In the event of a crisis, we know that events unfold quickly and that it is initially up to the faculty and staff to make decisions to keep children as safe as possible before law enforcement arrives. There are so many variables at play when a school's safety is challenged that we are planning drills on campus with law enforcement assistance to hone timely decision making. I will make sure that you know in advance when we are hosting a drill with the sheriff's office so as not to raise alarm at having police cars on campus.

The sanctity of a safe learning enviroment is paramount.  We understand that talking with young students about threats and potential harm is difficult, and we do not want students to fear coming to school. Our practice drills with younger students consist of games to get students to follow directions quickly and quietly. When seconds count, trusting and listening to the adult in charge is the single most effective safety measure! 

Regular safety, weather, and fire drills develop the skills kids need to be calm, prepared, and responsive. Our commitment to this practice is based in the strong relationships we have with all who share this special community. Like so many challenges, we will address school safety together because we are better together--and every one of our students, teachers, staff members, volunteers, parents, and administrators matter. There is such power in that.

Resources for talking with older children about school violence are plentiful, but here is one good source:   We are investigating resources for tackling these topics with younger children but can recommend, I am Not Scared. I am Prepared by Julia Cook as a starting place.

This is a sobering topic that we all take very seriously. School should be a safe, engaging learning environment in which students have some freedom of movement as well as opportunities to be outdoors for play and discovery. Thoughtfully and carefully prepared as a school community, we will preserve all that is best about our unique learning environment while adapting responsibly to a changing world.

Important Financial Assistance Reminder!

Parents seeking financial assistance consideration have a deadline approaching on  Friday, March 16, 2018. The FACTS application, 2017 taxes, 2017 W-2s, and IRS tax form 4056-T should be submitted by this date. 

If you need the IRS tax form .pdf, you may download it via (select Admission tab, select financial assistance). 

Questions? Please contact Richard Abbott or Hilary Scott.
Class Acts...
What's Happening on the Halls?
The Barnyard Parade!

The Chesapeake Academy community is full of many kinds of talents that enrich the school program! Thanks to Don Edmonds, owner/operator of Edmonds Farm, pre-kindergarten 3&4, kindergarten, and third grade all got a crash course in wee piggies!  Learning all about gestation, care and keeping, and food habits, kids snuggled two-day old piglets and soaked in every detail. This week? Baby goats!
"Do You Like them Here or There?"

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss than with green eggs for snack! A survey of the works of this famous rhymer touched on the differences between reality and fantasy, rhyming, meter and rhythm, syllables, and using our manners! Kindergarteners seized the  opportunity to try something new and were surprised by the results!  

Read Across America/Dr. Seuss

The National Education Association's (NEA's) Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. Chesapeake Academy donned  Seussian hats and hair, grabbed books, sat right down and celebrated the magic of reading!

Push it/Pull it? Learn All About it!

Inductive thinking puts discovery squarely in student hands! What they learn this way sticks! In order to learn about push and pull forces, students pondered, "How can you use a popsicle stick, piece of string, straw, and rubber band to move a rock across a piece of paper?" Working in pairs, students were given identical materials and a lab report to complete with their lab partners.  Each set of lab partners were then tasked with writing a hypothesis before testing testing their hypotheses. The outcome? They know a lot about push and pull forces that they can use growing forward!
Rock Solid Science!

Second grade has been learning about the different kinds of rock and various ways rocks are formed--especially that geological wonder, the geode!  Students marveled at how geodes are formed and got to break some open to see the crystal formations inside. Curious minds explore!

Sheila Arnold, Storyteller Extraordinaire!

Chesapeake Academy students had only rave reviews for storyteller Sheila Arnold at her performance at Lancaster Middle School.  Sheila Arnold, a reknowned interpreter and storyteller, currently resides in Hampton, VA. She is the CEO and Lead Performer of History's Alive! and her major focus is performing, managing, and marketing this flourishing business. 

Through History's Alive! Sheila has given over 600 presentations for schools, churches, professional organizations and museu ms, in 26 states. In addition, she contracts with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to present Historic Character Interpretation and teaches teachers at their Summer Teachers Institute. Students relished time Arnold spent talking with them prior to her performance and advice she offered on upcoming National History Day presentations. 

What was the takeaway?" Do not pride yourself on what you can get, but what you can give back to your community."  You can't beat that.

Butter Braid Sales Benefit Athletic Program

Butter  braids are frozen pastry dough breakfast treats that are available in different flavors and kept frozen. When you are ready to enjoy the delicious treat, you allow it to thaw and rise overnight, and then bake it in the oven. It is very easy and tasty!   

Chesapeake Academy's Athletics Boosters sponsor the sale of Butter Braids each year  to raise money for the athletics department. In the past, proceeds have been used for sports equipment, the balls the kids play with during recess and outdoor time, and sport uniforms. Sales forms went home with students several weeks ago. Thanks for helping out! Here are some quick housekeeping notes on the process:
  • All checks should be payable to Chesapeake Academy. Payment in cash is also acceptable.
  • Orders and money should be returned to Miss Connie Smith by March 12
  • Butter Braids should be ready to be distributed before spring break. More specific information on pickup will follow.
Contact Alissa Fulmer or call her at 804-761-0195 if you have any questions.

Thanks to Local Businesses That Support Chesapeake Academy!

It is impossible to calculate the importance of sponsorships! When a business steps up and supports Chesapeake Academy, they send a strong message of support to the broader community that reaches much, much farther than our school family.  And we want to return the favor!  Please support the local business that sponsor and support Chesapeake Academy with your business and your referrals!  Their contributions make it possible for us to close the gap between tuition and actual cost to provide our students with an excellent education!
  • Bay Internists, Inc. and Bay Select Health
  • Benchmark Appraisal Services, Inc., Jan A. Abbott
  • Bragg and Company Real Estate
  • Chesapeake Bank and Chesapeake Wealth Management
  • Davenport & Company, LLC, Brian D. Manetz
  • Entertainment Systems, Corp.
  • Hubbard Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • IsaBell K. Horsley Real Estate, LTD
  • Mike Antonio Graphics
  • Miller Marine, Inc.
  • Northern Neck Insurance Company
  • Rappahannock Rentals, Inc.
  • Rappahannock Yachts, Mr. W. Bruce Sanders
  • Specials Wine Seller
  • Virginia Commonwealth Bank

Chesapeake Academy Team Competes at Foxcroft K2M STEM Competition

Four girls from Chesapeake Academy's middle school made the trek to Middleburg, Virginia to compete in the sixth annual Expedition K2M: The STEM Summit at Foxcroft School. Two hundred girls from 20 schools spent the day taking on math, science, logic, and engineering challenges to solve a clever identity-theft whodunit based on an animal conservation theme.

The Chesapeake Academy team won one of five STEM challenges in a field of 20 middle school teams. "All the challenges were demanding, but fun. The challenge we got a first place in involved targeting drones using physics and aerodynamics to calculate trajectory. What could be more fun?" comments Adair Stanley, one of the team members.

"The future holds many opportunities in the science, engineering, technology, and math arenas, particularly for girls. We want our girls to be ready to think critically, create solutions, communicate, collaborate and compete effectively--and this is just the sort of activity to develop and showcase that skillset," explains Robin Blake. "I was proud of this team's focus, preparation, and ability!"

This event was made possible through the generous support of K2M, a Leesburg, Virginia-based global medical device company focused on designing, developing and commercializing innovative complex spine and minimally invasive spine technologies and techniques.

Little Red Riding Hood Rocks the House

In the final class performance in Chesapeake Academy's Fine and Performing Arts drama series, the fourth and fifth grades presented "Little Red Riding Hood--A Rockin' Musical." "This play had comedy, stage fighting/slapstick and a message to take care of nature," lauds seventh grade theatre critic Joness LaSalle-Bryant.

The chorus (Trevor Haynie, Ty Makulowich, Sam Antonio, Jules LaSalle-Bryant, Thomas Emery, Robert Cunningham, Harris Stone, and Milly Branflick) punctuated the performance with witty Motown interludes that supported the plot and kept the audience chuckling and tapping toes. This gang has a future on stages and dance floors!

Setting the stage for this performance, enunciating clearly and projecting important details to keep the plot rollicking along, the narrators (Lorry Manetz, Hannah Ditch, Joey Porter, Mason Walker, and Josh Abbott) clearly know how to use a mic as they performed this essential role.

Lucie Johnson as Little Red's mom lifted the "Mom's song" up with clarity and perfect tone like a gift to the audience. This gal can sing!

Anna Carey, aptly cast in the title role, gave a tidy performance showing that oftentimes artful restraint on stage, builds creative focus that can heighten the humor! Wolf, Lucas Edwards, gave a comedic portrayal of villainy as he craftily pursued Red and finally was vanquished by a surprisingly spry Granny! Porter Pittman brought a heady dollop of personality to the role of Granny that ranged from fist-o-cuffs with the wolf to a shimmy and shake that did all grandparents proud!

Trees (Timmy Kirby, Tayloe Emery, Harrison Hinton, and Celden Hornsmith) joined Birds (Kayla Wills, Elizabeth Smith, Davis Bugg, and Miles Hollingsworth) and Forest Animals (Marcus Sanders, Tyler Brent, Nathan Meberg, and Leona Li) in a musical plea to take care of the woods that swept the audience up in the spirit of ecological preservation.

Congratulations to this all-star cast and to their director Mrs. Robin Blake.

National Spanish Exam

Chesapeake Academy eighth graders will be taking the National Spanish Exam in two sessions in late March. The National Spanish Examinations serve as a motivational contest to recognize student achievement in the study of Spanish and to stimulate further interest in the teaching and learning of Spanish.

The National Spanish Examinations are  online, standardized assessment tools for grades 6 through 12, given voluntarily by about 4000 teachers throughout the United States to  measure performance (interpretive communication) and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language.

The National Spanish Examinations are the most widely used tests of Spanish in the United States. In the spring of 2017, a total of 162,321 students registered for the National Spanish Examinations.

Richmond Symphony Highlights Music Around the World
Chesapeake Academy Middle School Students enjoyed a Virginia Symphony performance from the Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Series at the Carpenter Theatre in Richmond. Conducted by Chia Hsuan Lin, this 50-minute performance explored the world travels of composers and the inspirations behind some of the greatest orchestral pieces ever written. Students were challenged to apply their knowledge of geography and world culture while they experienced the world through orchestral music.

Music teacher Barbara Hays comments, "What a tremendous experience for our students!  I especially appreciated the interaction between the Conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin and audience as she took students on a journey to different countries, at times involving the audience in the music with a clapping pattern. This concert punctuated the fact that music is the universal language. Coleridge-Taylor, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Bartok, Copeland, Sculthorpe, Chen Yi, and Marquez each interpreted life musically, and students needed no language skills to get a sense of their experience."

Innards, Innards, Everywhere!

Fourth graders just finished a human physiology unit that explored the various systems of the human body. The final project for this unit involved the students working together to create a model of a life size human. Each organ in the human has a flip book containing information about the organ and what it does for our body. Who knows if a future doctor was inspired?

Does your vehicle need a new CA decal?  
Contact Hilary Scott, Director of Admission, at and a decal will be sent home with your child!

Student Council Speaks....

In their quest to become Food Bank Champions, Student Council raised $119.11 with the special hat/hair day for Dr. Seuss's birthday, bringing their total donation to $210.61 to date. Only $289.39 left to go!

On F riday, March 7, Student Council is holding a Middle School Movie Night featuring Lilo and Stitch and movie snacks.  The cost is $5 per person.

Ian York, Athletic Director
Coach's Corner

The Spring Athletic season begins  March 12 and is shaping up to be a fun one. We will be offering Tennis, Golf, and a running program we call Kids On The Run (KOTR). Please look to the school calendar for the most up-to-date information regarding practices.

KOTR will meet  Monday through  Friday  from  3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fourth through eighth graders are eligible to participate. KOTR is a fun way for the kids to stay active during the Spring season. Although there are no meets against other schools, the group will be training in preparation for a number of local races in the Northern Neck community. These community races will give the students a goal to work towards, but they are not mandatory. The Earth Day 5K in Heathsville on  April 21 is a great chance for the students to run, and also earn money for our school! Here is a link for more information.  Earth Day 5K in Heathsville
The Tennis program is open to fifth through eighth graders. The tennis team will consist of the top 10 players, and the tennis club will offer everyone who isn't in the top 10 plenty of opportunities for play. The tennis team will practice  Monday through  Friday  from  3:30 p.m to 5:00 p.m . The tennis club will practice  Tuesday  and  Thursday . To accomodate all of the tennis players on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will bus the students over to Christchurch School to use their tennis courts. In the past it has been difficult to find other schools that offer Middle School tennis, so we have gone to the William and Mary Tennis Center for matches and training with other middle school age students from the Williamsburg area.

The Golf program is open to fifth through eighth grade students. I have arranged for the Golf Team to play at The Golden Eagle on Mondays. The team will play on the King Carter course on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they  will be going to ICYCC on Wednesdays for practice. The Golf team will leave campus after school and be back on campus by  5:00 p.m. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

CAPPA Countdown!

Please join us for the next CAPPA meeting Wednesday, March 14 at 8:30 a.m. We will be discussing auction prep and after school activities, among other things.  Please come and see how you can get involved.

Congratulations to Ms.Dynia's 6th grade class for winning last month's boxtops! Our next collection date is  Friday, March 23, 2018.

Did you know that Chesapeake Academy received over $50,000 in grants last year--and one of the first questions asked was what percentage of parents contributed to the annual fund?  Please join us in striving for 100% parent participation again this year with a donation to the Bell Tower Annual Fund.

THE Attitude is Gratitude
  • Thank you to CAPPA volunteers who sold refreshments at our Saturday PALS event, "MerMan, the Magician," under the leadership of Michelle Ritter.  We thank Rosetta Struse, Esther Glover, Marie Edwards, Lauren Leo, and Trustee, Grover Branson. From preparing the refreshments to gym clean-up afterwards, our volunteers made a difference, and we are grateful!
  • Thanks to Don Edmonds for sharing his knowledge of animal husbandry with several classes!
  • Thanks to room parents  and parent volunteers who are beginning the class auction projects! Teamwork! 
  • Thanks to Richard Abbott who cleared the campus of the leaf litter and sticks from the storm! Everyone had plenty to do and this good fellow gave plenty of time and energy on top of all other obligations!
  • Thanks to all the parents who make Tag Day lunches, Chick Fil A lunches and hot lunches possible!
  • Thanks to Alissa Fulmer for shepherding the Butter Braid sales to benefit Athletic Boosters.

Don't Miss the Dates!

3/9 Student Council Movie Night, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
3/14 CAPPA Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
3/14 PALS, Virginia Opera Presents "Billy Goats Gruff," 9:30 a.m.
3/15 Trustees and Guests Tour, 9:00 a.m.
3/23 Third Marking Period Ends
3/27 Mini-Economy Market Days
3/28 Academic Awards Assembly, 10:05 a.m
3/28 Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3/28 Tag Day
3/28 National Spanish Exam, 11:00 a.m.
3/30 Good Friday, No School
3/30 National Spanish Exam, 12:50 p.m.
Spring Break 4/2 through 4/6
4/11 Dress Uniform
4/18 PALS Billy B presents The Rock-Knocking Native Americans, 9:30 a.m.
4/23 through 4/27 OLSATS
4/24 through 4/27 DC Trip
4/25 Tag Day

Announcement:  The 2018-19 school calendar dates have been added to the Google calendar for your long-term planning.

Chesapeake Academy | |
 Post Office Box 8   107 Steamboat Road    Irvington, VA 22480