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. 

                                                                                                                      October 12, 2018

The Head's Heads UP!

Most adults remember middle school as a particularly tumultuous time in our development--one in which our bodies changed rapidly and we struggled to navigate complicated social landscapes. This "life in the middle" between childhood and the full blown adolescence of high school is portrayed as awful, awkward, embarrassing, and unavoidable. Stereotypical middle school scenarios are often characterized by cliquishness and the resulting isolation of one or more students from a group. Most of us adults might agree that we simply survived our middle school experience. 

Yet, I know that Chesapeake Academy students thrive at life in the middle. It is evident every single day in the way middle schoolers engage with each other, with their teachers, and with younger students at school.  

Within our small school, we stress a combination of individual coaching, standards for personal responsibility, and expectations for kindness and inclusion. Chesapeake Academy's middle school students feel a sense of belonging and connection to each other and to the adults at CA. They work hard--and work hard together--to create a supportive and safe middle school culture.

At Inward Bound, our annual middle school overnight retreat, students work in their advisory families, their grade level groups, or their blue/white teams to collaborate, solve problems, play, and compete. The activities designed by the faculty and often led by the eighth  graders, emphasize communication skills and teamwork. In turn, students need to really work on patience, empathy, and acknowledgment of each member of the group in order to be successful. 

At the outset of Inward Bound, each student was asked to observe three other students for the duration of the retreat with the intention of giving positive feedback about the students' contributions. The thoughtfulness with which students approached this task was really wonderful. Here is a sample of the kinds of statements students wrote to each other: You've really grown a lot and I've noticed during the activities that you are a really good listener." "You help our group come up with the best plan, even if that plan wasn't the one you wanted to do at first." Each student left Inward Bound with three comments or observations on how they make middle school a great place to be.  

Not every moment of middle school life is wonderful for every student every day. In fact, we expect mistakes as well as times when things are working well. Those challenging moments are often the moments of greatest growth for students, and we reinforce that mistakes do not define students. By emphasizing the impact each individual has on the whole school, we demonstrate our belief that students can and will be the best version of themselves most of the time. 

As we look ahead to conferences in November, our middle schoolers prepare to partner with their advisors, their teachers, and their parents to help reflect on their achievements and set goals. They learn to advocate for themselves and recognize what they need to do better, even if it is difficult.  

While we know this preadolescent period can be challenging for families, there are parenting strategies that build skills. If you are parenting middle schoolers, take a few steps back and allow your student to solve problems. Be a good sounding board and affirm your presence without taking over. Allow your student to speak or email to teachers to ask questions. Give them a little space to work out an issue with a classmate. Ask how you can help, but insist that your children act as well. Take the time to listen to your child reflect on lessons learned as they internalize the skills that help them solve problems and maintain relationships. Tell your children by your actions and your words that you believe they are capable of navigating change and developing the skills they will need for high school. 

Living "in the middle" may always have some challenges, but I am so proud of the responsibility, trustworthiness, and respect demonstrated by Chesapeake Academy's middle schoolers every day. And I am equally proud of the insightful coaching, genuine concern, and patience our faculty brings to guiding students through "the middle" successfully!


Julianne Duvall
Head of School 

Class Acts...
What's Happening on the Halls?

Pre-K 3&4 Treks to Deltaville Maritime Museum

In their first big adventure of the school year, Pre-K 3&4 students travelled to the Deltaville Maritime Museum to spend a morning in multi-modal heaven with Ms. Karen Minter and her merry band of helpers. Minter, a gifted early childhood educator spun out a series of hands-on activities for her visitors surrounding the children's classic, The Mouse and the Apple. Baking apple turnovers, painting with apple halves, sequencing, sorting, rhyming, patterning, exploring magnetic shapes, and navigating an obstacle course kept wee learners engaged and growing. This gang is ready to hit the road again!

Faces and Our Cultures Exchange Begins

Chesapeake Academy is delighted to announce the arrival on October 17 of the sixth exchange student at the school from Guatemala, Juan Pablo Palomo. He is pictured here on the far front left with his family. Sponsored by the Faces and Our Culture exchange program, Palomo will participate fully in all aspects of seventh grade school life at Chesapeake Academy. Faces and Our Culture is an organization that pairs host families and Guatemalan exchange students for a cultural program. Middle Schoolers are excited to welcome Juan Pablo and are looking forward to finding much in common. Juan Pablo enjoys soccer, basketball, outdoor activities, playing the guitar, listening to music, and video games. While in the United States, Juan Pablo will be staying with eighth grader Spencer Cammarata and his family. Please be sure to welcome Juan Pablo!

Cathy Bollinger Kicks Off
 PALS Series

On Wednesday, September 26, award winning singer and songwriter Cathy Bollinger kicked off the 2018-2019 Performing Arts and Lecture Series, enthusiastically performing lively songs that teach social skills, letter sounds, and more.  

Cathy Bollinger is a board certified music therapist, children's songwriter, and performer. For the last twenty-five years she has worked with children of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings. Her music therapy experience includes work with children and adults with developmental and neurological disabilities including brain injuries, intellectual disabilities, and autism. She currently provides individual and group music therapy sessions at Innisfree Village, Albemarle County Schools, the Alzheimer's Association, and Building a Bridge. 

Cathy has performed countless music workshops and school assemblies across the country. Her parent/teacher workshops demonstrate how to use music to teach essential skills to young children. Cathy has produced eleven children's CDs which have been nationally recognized by Parent's Choice Awards, the American Library Association, and Parenting Magazine. Her music encompasses a range of educational topics such as early reading skills, healthy habits, and social skills. Cathy is fueled by a strong belief in the power of music to nurture, teach, and inspire!

Cathy received a master's degree in music therapy from Drexel University (formerly Hahnemann University) and completed her internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, Virginia.

Cross-Curricular Connections Speed Learning!

Connecting with older students is exciting for Chesapeake Academy's smallest folk--and it is a powerful teaching tool for all. First grade students focused on proper number formation (no reversals) while helping Pre-K 3&4 students work on learning to count with one-to-one correspondence. Verbally sequencing the strokes for younger friends cements the order for first graders while Pre-K 3&4 children brought their top counting game. Fun for all!  

Feedback Helps Fine-Tune Admission Process

The admission process is designed to assist students and their families as they find their place in the Chesapeake Academy community. Each step should support, inform, and connect families to the school in meaningful ways.  On Tuesday, October 2, several new parents joined Julie Duvall, John Baker, and Hilary Scott for a roundtable discussion of the admission process and transition into the CA community. This gathering allows for Chesapeake Academy to collect feedback so that we may continually improve the fit and feel of the transition into Chesapeake Academy. This year's roundtable bustled with stories of happy students and connected parents. 

Mastering the Map in Second Grade!

Adding to their knowledge of the world around them, second grade geographers hone their budding map skills, locating and labeling continents and oceans around the globe while learning to distinguish various geological structures and map features. The activity also offers students great practice for independently ordering their materials and developing motor dexterity...all important skills for growing citizens!
Birthday Books are a Gift that Keeps Giving!

The school year is off to a fantastic start, and students at CA are excited about reading!  Honor your Osprey with the gift of reading! By donating a book to Chesapeake Academy's library in your child's or grandchild's name, you help foster the love of reading in your Osprey and for all Ospreys!  Simply fill out the Birthday Book form attached below, denoting your special Osprey's name and the amount you would like to contribute to the cause. Our school librarian and reading specialist, Kenzie Manetz, will select a special book for your growing learner and affix a name plate detailing your gift. The books will be presented to Birthday Book recipients at a school assembly later this year then added to the library's permanent collection.  

Parents or grandparents who are interested can just go to the Chesapeake Academy website to find the Birthday Book Donation Form!

Sixth Grade Tackles a Zero Waste Challenge

Sixth grade geography sleuths will be exploring human impact on regional geography as part of their gamified geography course. The unit is inspired by a combination of the Zero Waste Movement and a documentary series that was created years ago, called The Story of Stuff, which basically brings awareness about a linear consumer cycle.

A big part of geography is the connection between our individual cultural choices (and in a larger sense the choices of our society) and their impact on our environment and people in other areas. One of the questions The Story of Stuff brings up is "If I buy this super cute item for a really low price, who is actually paying for it?" or "How can something be sold at the final end for so low a price?" Another part of this inquiry is to determine what happens to all of the stuff we no longer use, and how that impacts us and the environment.

Sixth grade students are spending the month of October assessing their own consumer habits and their impact on the environment as well as concepts such as zero waste and minimalism (and the low impact ideas behind them) to develop ideas about sustainable living. At the end of the month, students will be taking part in a theoretical 100 Thing Challenge, where they have to think about if they could only own 100 possessions, what would they be? 

To finish, students will be designing/building small living spaces with sustainable choices to house themselves and their 100 possessions.

The Osprey Nest Has Moved

The Osprey Nest will be open every Wednesday in the gym from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. You may purchase our new spirit wear (hoodies, t-shirts, belts, performance wear, PE uniforms, etc.). All of the used uniforms have found a new home at the AWL (Animal Welfare League) in Kilmarnock should you need to purchase additional items throughout the year.
Polish Your Parenting!


The only offering in this Polish Your Parenting for this issue is The New Bloom's Taxonomy but it is a good one. In this article from Education Weekly, the author explores how innovation and design inform this age old educational tool. This is a good read and well worth pondering in parenting.

Math Roundtables for Parents


Chesapeake Academy will be hosting two roundtable discussions for interested parents to learn more about the approach we have to math at Chesapeake Academy. The two dates are on the master calendar: October 16 and October 26 at 8:30 a.m. at the Residence. We will send out more information closer to those dates but hope that you will attend.

We know that excellent math education involves a combination of skills: procedural knowledge, strategic and logical thinking, and the math confidence to apply knowledge to new and open-ended situations. Our program teaches and reinforces each of these skills. We are proud of the work we have accomplished, and continue to look for ways to evolve and improve. 

Busy with Bivalves!

Seventh graders are raising oysters in a variety of tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay this year, and in the process they are learning about the growth cycle and testing the water quality and other factors that impact development. "Watching the spats grow into oysters is fascinating," reports their teacher Robin Blake. Students compare the growing conditions in the tributaries of the Bay as they raise oysters in each location. "This will help them prepare for our Florida trip in February when we compare our local ecosystem with the ecosystems of the Florida Keys," concludes Blake.

Musicians Practice New Skills with Orff Instruments

The new Orff Instruments have been played by kindergarten through eighth grade students, and the Pre-K 3&4 peeps will soon make their debut on these percussion powerhouses. These instruments build enthusiasm for learning about music by allowing kids to make music without having to read music, which inspires deeper forays into theory, writing music, and performance. Learning to keep a steady beat is a powerful tool for executive functioning. The instruments include the bass, alto, and soprano xylophones; alto and soprano glockenspiels; and the alto metalophone. Thanks to grants from the Wiley Foundation, Rappahannock Concert Association, and the Chesapeake Chorale for making the purchases possible.

Inward Bound Builds Connections and Understanding

Did you hear of tossing eggs, digging through owl pellets, and crowding onto an ever diminishing space when your middle schooler returned tired but happy from Inward Bound? Designed for students to get to know themselves better and to bond as advisory groups, grade levels, and as a larger Middle School group, the Inward Bound Middle School Retreat at Chesapeake Academy is an overnight experience for Middle School students and faculty members. Students participate fully in group problem solving activities (led by the eighth grade students in their advisory families) as well as games, contests, and reflections. Activities, centered on the annual character theme of connection, build a sense of community, explore ideas of trust applicable to middle school students, and connect the theme of connection to advisory topics of transition, friendship, self-discovery and leadership. So all these tales of amazing exploits reflect purposeful building of connection in the middle school. 

Student Council Scoop

Each year Student Council raises money to support Water Missions International, an organization that donates self-sustaining water purification systems to areas in need. In Wednesday's assembly, there was a short presentation to raise awareness about a lack of access to clean water in different parts of the world, a subject closely tied to the sixth grade science, geography, and literature curriculum. 

During recess, students participated in a mini Walk for Water to collect water from Carter's Creek to bring back to the school. This difficult trudging helped students develop an understanding of what it's like to carry water long distances every day.

Michelle Ritter, CAPPA Co-President

CAPPA  Update

Now that the cooler weather is finally here and sweatshirts are definitely needed, the Osprey Nest will be open on Wednesday mornings from 8:14 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. or by appointment. Please contact Lara Brown if you need to purchase some logo wear!

Thank you to everyone who supported the CAPPA Apple Sale. Apples should be delivered to Chesapeake Academy later this month. 

Chesapeake Academy's Grandparents' and Grandfriends' Day is Friday, November 2, 2018. Please be on the look out in your inboxes for a SignUp Genius asking for refreshments for our special guests that day.

Shelley Ritter, Co-President
Janet Smith, Co-President
Alissa Fulmer, Secretary
Katie Dew, Treasurer
Lauren Leo, Room Parent Coordinator
Rosetta Struse, Hospitality
Lara Brown, Osprey Nest Coordinator 

Ian York, Athletic Director
Coach's Corner

Soccer players have shown some steady development as our season has unfolded sucessfuly. Both varsity and JV soccer teams played a  successful game this week against ACDS. Congratulations to the JV team on an undefeated season! (Don't forget to return your laundered uniforms!)

Our Golf team, though small, is earning accolades for progress each week and enjoying the instruction they receive at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club. Their second match at Piankatank this week showed their growth with Claire Beitel winning her flight.

Our volleyball team is a young one this year but that has not prevented them from starting to reach hard toward solid skills or from learning from each trial. It is great to see these players support one another through personal milestones and challenges and learn from the lessons each match presents. In their contest with Aylett Country Day School this week, this camaraderie and commitment to one another was evident as were the building blocks of a maturing team.

#win without boasting; lose without excuses!
THE Attitude is Gratitude

  • Karen and E.T. Minter and her team of volunteers from the Deltaville Maritime Museum crafted an amazing morning of hands-on activities for Pre-K 3&4 that was very appreciated!  
  • Thanks to the co-chairs, the many volunteers, sponsors, and donors for creating the popular Chesapeake Academy Community Oyster Roast. And thanks to Hurricane Michael for not ruining our fun!
  • Thanks to Hazel Farmer for her willingness to share her time reading to children at Chesapeake Academy! As we all know, this is the single most important contribution that can be made to child development!
  • Thanks to community leader Glenn Cockrell for sharing his passion for providing clean water across the world and challenging Chesapeake Academy students to become aware of water issues and to do what they can.

Don't Miss the Dates!

10/13 Annual Community Oyster Roast, 5:00 p.m.
10/15 Golf at Hobbs Hole
          Soccer at Northumberland Middle School, 4:00 p.m.
          Chesapeake Bay Foundation Field Trip, sixth grade, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
10/16 ISAC Volleyball Championship Hosted by ACDS at Christchurch School
          Math Roundtable for Parents, 8:30 a.m. at the Residence
          Chesapeake Bay Foundation Boat Trip, fourth grade,12:00 to 2:30 p.m.
10/17 PEAC experience at CCS, seventh grade, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
          ISAC Soccer Championship Hosted by Ware at Christchurch School
          Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 p.m., James Library
10/19 Pre-K 3&4 Pumpkin Patch Rain Date, 8:30 a.m.
10/24 PALS Presents "Count Mathula," 9:30 a.m.
10/25 Richmond Symphony, "Top Ten," grades four through eight, 11:30 a.m. performance
10/26 Math Roundtable for Parents, 8:30 a.m. at the Residence
          St. Margaret's School Hosts seventh and eighth grade girls for lunch, 12:15 p.m.
10/31 "Halloween Misfits," 10:10 a.m. in the Gym, second grade
         Tag Day
11/2 Grandparents' and Grandfriends' Day, noon dismissal 
        End of First Marking Period
11/7 Picture Make-up Day
        Dress Uniform Day
        Lancaster Community Library Alpaca program, Pre-K 3&4, 10:00 a.m. to noon 

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