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 an educational leader in the Northern Neck of Virginia, Chesapeake Academy has prioritized continual innovation over the last 10 years to meet the needs of students in the 21st century. We work collaboratively and creatively to advance the educational experience for our students, focusing on key initiatives, including science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) and project based learning (PBL), as students address real world problems through multiple strategies.
Research shows that student learning is maximized when
knowledge is a consequence of experience.
Thus, providing the instruction as well as the opportunities to search, connect, communicate, and design are the keys to developing curious, creative, and prepared students. It is always our intention to build the strongest and most relevant skills for student success, and so we have begun integrating design thinking as a vehicle for t
he vigorous Chesapeake Academy curriculum. T
he time is right to take the next step.
With a strategic partnership with the College of William and Mary School of Education's Center for Innovation in Learning Design, we have developed a vision for the arts, innovation, and design; and we are calling this our a
rts and innovation
. It is now time to tailor a space to this purpose.
Chesapeake Academy's mission provides the rationale for the creation of a new space on campus, which will support the overall approach that encompasses STEAM and computer science, as well as the arts, technology applications, and design thinking.
Thanks to seed money from individual donors interested in meeting the educational needs of students to explore, invent, design, prototype, and create, we are moving forward with a plan for the creation of a design hub that would support the arts and innovation initiative. In memory of Dianne Chase Monroe, the Arts & Innovation Hub will provide a vibrant space and cutting edge materials for student design and innovation. Chesapeake Academy students will be well- versed in defining problems, proposing and designing solutions, prototyping, testing, redesigning, incorporating feedback, and launching their ideas.
In the architectural plans, the courtyard off of the James Library will be enclosed, with the library moving to the new space and the hub occupying the current library space. The Arts & Innovation Hub and the James Library will flow together, thus serving as a physical representation of Chesapeake Academy's philosophy and approach to integrating arts, technology, media, literacy, the humanities, and the sciences in a dynamic effective curriculum.
In order to meet the creative and critical thinking needs of the 21st century learner, technological equipment, such as a 3D printer, robotics, and laser cutter, would have a home in the hub, along with power tools and hand tools. In addition, a broadcasting room set up for video and audio, plus arts and design supplies, would live side by side with software design tools.
The Arts & Innovation Hub project includes these components:
- enclose the courtyard and relocate the James Library to the larger courtyard space
- provide flexible library shelving and furniture to support a variety of learning situations and needs
- relocate the brick courtyard, plantings, and benches to create a patio off of the library, connecting to the Bell Tower
- install adjustable partition between the James Library and the Arts & Innovation Hub
- create a recording studio for audio and video productions
- provide technological equipment, mechanical tools, and art equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, large screen computers, hand tools, sewing machine, etc.
- provide flexible areas for small group and large group work
Chesapeake Academy would like to also serve the needs of the larger Northern Neck community. The hub would allow us to expand our current partnerships with local organizations to invite community members into the space for collaboration with CA students. We envision the hub as a center for programs that reach a broader audience of students in the Northern Neck.
We are launching this initiative publicly and with great enthusiasm at the 2018 auction as the Fund-An-Item.
"Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared."
Calling all Parents: Help Wanted!
Yikes! Our Auction is two weeks away!
Now is the time to sign up to help to make this event spectacular! Over the next two weeks, we have bid paddles to be made, candle holders to clean, items that need washing--you get the idea.
The week of the auction, we need help
blowing up (with equipment) hundreds of balloons.
we need help stringing those balloons to be hung. In addition, tables need to be set out
afternoon, so we need lots of muscle!
morning, additional decorations need to be done, and all auction items need to be carried to the tent so the crew can set up the displays.
morning we will be making final preparations; and
is clean up, pack up, and put away day!
Special yummy treats will await those coming Sunday morning at 9 a.m. to help! Email Travis Abbott if you can commit to helping Sunday morning!
So there is something for everyone to help with.
Please, let Catherine Emry know when you can help. We need MANY hands before AND after the auction. Each student benefits from the proceeds of the auction so your help is vital to our success!
Contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 804.438.5575.
Many Hands Make Light Work!
Who doesn't love milkshakes?
Northern Neck Burger--makers of fabulous milkshakes--is supporting Chesapeake Academy throughout the month of May. For every milkshake sold, they will donate $1 to our school.
Take one for the team and drink up, Ospreys!
Run NNK Earth Day 5K Race and School Challenge
Wondering what to do with your weekend? Let's run for Chesapeake Academy on Saturday! A $1000 cash award will be made to the local High School/Middle School (combined) with the most entrants. A $500 cash award will go to the school with the next highest number of entrants. Public or independent schools in Northumberland, Westmoreland, Lancaster, Richmond, and Essex counties are eligible for the prize. Cash awards will be made to the school Principal or Head and will be earmarked for the support of programs to promote youth running and fitness. You do not have to be a student to count. Parents, relatives, and friends may register on behalf of a school, even if they don't run. Simply check the school you are supporting on the registration form. Registration after will cost $30 for adults and $12 for students. On-line registration is available at
The first 100 registered runners/walkers will be guaranteed a specially designed T-shirt. Post race refreshments will be provided.
Chesapeake Academy Classes Showcase Auction Projects!
Take Your Patio Experience to the Next Level
A beautiful hand-made Patio Bar. A charming and useful addition to any backyard, patio or pool area. The exterior features hand-made board construction that will add a unique sense of charm to your outdoor entertaining. Inside it is a fully functional insulated cooler that even has a bottle opener and wine glass rack on the outside.
Chesapeake Academy Kindergarten Class
It's Time to Relax
Want to sit outside and enjoy the weather without having to go far for your wine? Then these beautiful Outdoor Patio Chairs with built-in wine and wine glass holders will be perfect for you complete with cushions. Make your friends jealous and bid on these beauties!
Chesapeake Academy Third Grade Class
Back by Popular Demand!
Watch your kids practice the art of selling and learning the value of money with an Old-Fashioned Lemonade Stand or Snack Shack! This is refurbished from the original lemonade stand that was extremely popular when E. T. and Karen Minter crafted this in 2010, vintage style! Hand-crafted of sturdy wood with a reversible sign and painted especially by the fifth grade class, this gift comes with a juicer, a pitcher and cups for pouring and serving. To make this gift more unique, it will be foldable for easier storage. The perfect way to kick off summer!
Chesapeake Academy Fifth Grade
And there are more class projects to come!
What's Happening on the Halls?
Fifth Grade Investers Earn Top Middle School in Stock Market Game!
Woohoo!! Hold the presses! We have exciting news...Fifth graders Celden Hornsmith, Leona Li, and Joey Porter are scoring ahead of Virginia Commonwealth University's Director of the Center for Economic Education Stephen Day in the Stock Market Game!! Yep! They are in sixth place in Virginia! That means they are also
the top middle school group in the region!
The Stock Market Game is an engaging real-world opportunity for students to participate in a mock stock market exchange with elementary, middle, and high school students statewide and gain a fundamental understanding of investing and how to make your money work for you.
"When students participate in The Stock Market Game, they are in a real-world situation that practices the content and skills taught in math, English/Language Arts, economics, social studies, and other school subjects. Most importantly, The Stock Market Game will help students develop positive money habits and prepare them for the future," Parker enthuses. Fifth graders trade in small groups from February through early April with an opportunity to buy and sell stocks agreed upon by their group members. Hold steady, team! Bring home that win!
Billy B's "Rock Knocking Native Americans" Did Not Disappoint!
Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS) welcomed the ever popular Billy B who presented "The Rock Knocking Native Americans" to local early childhood, homeschooled and local public schools. Through song, dance, and audience participation, Billy B helped the audience discover what life was like during the Pre-Columbus Native American period. Students gained a new appreciation of our country's history as well as the use of natural resources for food, clothing, shelter, and tools by Native Americans.
Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series is designed to make quality arts programs widely available to the young children of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. The series is primarily made possible through the generosity of the Nettie Lokey Wiley Foundation and the Virginia Council for the Arts.
What is Hatching in First Grade? Embryology!
The first grade class enjoyed a surprise field trip to collect eggs from a chicken coop at Mrs. Antonio's house! Noticing and describing the differences in the bird's color, size, feet, and feathers, first graders saw ten hens and one rooster. The children each reached into a nesting box and collected an egg to bring back to school for our incubator. Over the next 21 days, we will check the temperature of the incubator, roll the eggs, and discuss the development of the chicks inside the eggs daily. We have 20 eggs in the incubator; it is set at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit; and we will roll them them at least twice a day to simulate the "mother hen" by providing warmth, moisture/humidity (water in the incubator), and gentle movement. We are also hatching quail eggs for an interesting comparison. Stay tuned!
Hands-on Fun at the Deltaville Maritime Museum
Chesapeake Academy kindergarten and first grade students spent a delightful April morning at the Deltaville Maritime Museum exploring a variety of engaging early learning centers created by Mrs. Karen Minter, a former early childhood professional with a vast repertoire of multi-modal methods that bring learning alive.
This was the group's second field trip to the Deltaville Maritime Museum to work with Minter. Collaborating with the museum to develop and provide age-appropriate activities for children in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula while also promoting the museum in the area, Minter believes that if you engage the senses, you will engage the mind. Kelly Antonio explains, "We started our morning by reviewing the life cycle of butterflies/moths and frogs/toads with whole body movement. Students explored learning activities based on facts surrounding the body parts of these different animals (and how they are alike/different via Venn diagrams). Then children rotated through a variety of stations focused on science, math, and language arts before having lunch." Kindergarten teacher Molly Vanderpool continues, "After lunch, we took a walk through the sculpture garden behind the museum and discussed animal sculptures that represent animals native to the area."
Worm Grunting in Second Grade
Second graders have been learning about earthworms and what an important role they play in the health of the soil and therefore our food and plants. Students began by learning about the anatomy of the earthworm, their habitat, and life cycle. After this initial introduction, students harvested some worms using a very unusual method called worm grunting. Worm grunting involves making vibrations by inserting a stick into the ground and rubbing another stick against it to mimic the vibrations that a mole would make as it hunts for earthworms to eat. Our playground worms sensed these vibrations and fled to the surface where they were caught by some very happy second graders. Never heard of this endeavor? See a professional worm grunter at work here...
See Worm Grunting in Action!
Once students collected specimens, they made careful observations and gently experimented to see these invertebrates prefer cold or warm temperatures, wet or dry soil, bright light or darkness, etc. Second graders are
working on a display to showcase their findings that will include some artwork featuring worms. The icing on the cake? Students are currently reading How to Eat Fried Worms in their literature circles!
Worms all around!
Third Graders Enter the Northern Neck History Fair
The Northern Neck History Fair is open to local Virginia history students. "Since Virginia history falls in the fourth grade curriculum in Lancaster and Northumberland Middle Schools and in third grade at Chesapeake Academy our students really step up to compete. It is good for them," explains third grade teacher Martha Rogers. Students choose their topics and create projects that deal with some element of Virginia history from 1607 to 1789 and could include models, dioramas, displays--either on their own or with a partner. Exhibits are on display at Historic Christ Church and Museum until April 29, and they will be displayed at Lancaster Community Library from April 30 through May 13. All participants were entered in a random drawing to win two tickets to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. The awards ceremony will be held
at Historic Christ Church at 7:00 p.m. There will be prizes awarded for first, second, and third place, and honorable mentions.
Zap! Crackle! Pop! Hold onto Your Hair!
Something shocking is happening in fourth grade! Students have been learning about static electricity, electrical circuits, and different methods used to acquire this energy. Students participated in a lab where they explored how static electricity can affect an object and others around it by creating a negative charge on the balloon. Then they determined how a positively charged object such as a balloon, styrofoam, salt, pepper, and paper reacted to it.
Have you Considered Faces and Our Culture's Cultural Exchange Program?
Faces & Our Cultures
is a cultural exchange experience between Guatemala and the U.S. that partners with 100 schools in 13 different states. Each year more than 160 cultural ambassadors from Guatemala travel to the U.S. to share their culture with school communities and learn from the American culture.
This year, we hope to welcome Guatemalan students to the Chesapeake Academy campus through the Faces and Our Cultures Program for the third year. These young participants spend nearly two months (7.5 weeks) living with a host family while attending classes and participating in extracurricular activities at school. The program has led to wonderful friendships and has provided our students and our Guatemalan guests with valuable cultural experiences.
In order to participate in the Faces Program, Guatemalan students apply to be Cultural Ambassadors of their country and are carefully selected by the Faces & Our Cultures Team. They go through a preparation process during the year and also prepare cultural projects to share with their host family and school. Parents in Guatemala cover the cost of their child's program.
This sort of cultural exchange has innumerable benefits. Aside from the exchange of cultures, students expand their world view beyond our narrow shores, accomodate and celebrate diversity, and get valuable practice showcasing the best of our way of life. Children of host families have the option to participate in a Guatemalan Cultural Exchange Program which can be customized from two up to four weeks during the summer. Should we find interest in hosting this cultural exchange, young cultural ambassadors would arrive October 16
, stay with their host families and join our school community for the following 7.5 weeks, and depart December 9
If you are the parent of a rising sixth, seventh or eighth grader who is interested in hosting a student, contact Hilary Scott to find out more. Jackson Pyles' family hosted Julian in the fall. Jackson's mom says,
"Hosting Julian was a great experience for our family. Faces of our Culture helped to faciliate communication with Juli and his family before his arrival so we were all very comfortable when he arrived. Julian was enthusiastic about practicing English and he enjoyed the students in his class at Chesapeake Academy. He also enjoyed playing with the kids in our neighborhood. Juli's favorite activity was fishing. Donny and the boys were able to get on the river several times while the weather was good. We have been in touch with Julian and his famliy since his departure and hope to connect more in the future. Hosting a student through Faces of our Cultures allowed our family to show the best of our place and learn more about Guatemala."
Fifth graders are learning about light in science by distinguishing between transparent, translucent, and opaque, using light materials testers.
Resources to Polish Your Parenting
- Being a parent is hard, especially when you have to keep up with the growing list of technological changes affecting your children. In between chauffeuring kids to soccer practice and staying on top of their grades, there's little time to research online threats, but computer viruses, ransomware and identity theft happen to children every day.
- Need a parent's guide to Instagram accounts?
- How To Have "The Talk" With Your Kids (On Internet Safety, That Is)
- A strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will put your child on the road to success in school and beyond. Here are some resources from NSTA to help you support your child's learning in science at home and at school.
"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.
Welcome, John Baker!
John Baker has accepted the position of Chesapeake Academy's Academic Dean. Mr.
Baker is a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Columbia University and is currently working on his Ed. D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. For the past four years, Mr.
Baker has served as the history department chair at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, and has directed the Duke University Talent Identification Program in the summers. Previously, Mr.
Baker taught history at the Kent School in Connecticut and at the O'Neal School in North Carolina. Mr.
Baker also interned for a year in a PreK through fifth grade Montessori school in New York while a fellow at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia (this is a Columbia University Teacher's College center aimed at preparing leaders for independent schools). In 2017, Mr.
Baker presented at the VAIS annual meeting on inquiry- based learning. He has taught middle and upper grades, coached lacrosse and basketball, and served as a residential faculty member in various settings.
Baker will contribute a deep background in both academic leadership and in building relationships within the community. He has had multiple administrative responsibilities throughout his career, including evaluating faculty, leading professional development, and developing curriculum. His residential life and coaching experiences, coupled with his emphasis on responding to student needs, highlight his approach to working with the whole child. Mr.
Baker's references cite his ability to partner closely with faculty and parents, as well as his positive relationships with students. They note his ability to be detailed-oriented while still maintaining an eye on the overall vision or program.
We look forward to welcoming Mr. Baker this June!
Cell Structure Intrigues Sixth Graders
Sixth grade science students used microscopes to identify the structural differences between plant and animal cells, consulting background information on cell types. Students went on to create an animal cell slide by swabbing their inside cheeks, and a plant cell slide from an onion.
Dead Language? Don't Think So!
Each year, over 20,000 students take the Intro to Latin level of the National Latin Exam. In order to receive a certificate of achievement, a student needs to score higher than the national average. This year, Rya Struse, Ap Pollard, Gavin Simpson, Leyton Dew, and Jackson Pyles received certificates of achievement, and Layla Leo received a ribbon and certificate for outstanding achievement!
We've Heard of High Rollers...but Slow Rollers?
The eighth grade science class reviewed Newton's Laws of Motion by building slow rollers! Small rollers are small "cars" made of washers with a small acrylic axle. Students changed the size of the washers (wheels) for change of mass. They then determined if changing mass impacted the speed. Finally, students challenged themselves by changing the slow roller diameter to see how that would affect the speed.
Chesapeake Chorale Donates to Chesapeake Academy Music Program
Artistic Director of the Chesapeake Chorale Dr. Cheryl Brown Davis (middle) presents Chesapeake Academy Music Teacher Barbara Hays (left) and Chesapeake Academy's Head of School Julianne Duvall Keesee (right) with a donation to benefit the school's music program. The Chorale's mission of enhancing and sustaining school music programs benefits the community both culturally and financially. All proceeds collected from ticket sales from Chorale concerts are given to area schools to keep music programs alive and thriving. Since 1996, this non-profit, volunteer community choir has donated over $150,000 in equipment and money for the improvement of performance facilities and music programs.
Eighth Grade Attend Physics Fest at Jefferson Lab
The Jefferson Lab's Physics Fest was a popular destination for eighth grade Ospreys this week.
is one of 17 national laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The
also receives support from the City of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The
's primary mission is to conduct basic research of the atom's nucleus using the
's unique particle accelerator, known as the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF).
also conducts a variety of research projects using its Free-Electron Laser, which is based on the same electron-accelerating technology used in CEBAF.
In addition to its science mission, the
provides programs designed to help educate the next generation in science and technology, and to engage the public.
During the two-hour opening program, students got a brief interactive summary of the science and technology at Jeffer
son Lab followed by the Deep Freeze (cryogenics) and Hot Stuff (plasmas) presentations. Eighth graders reviewed a variety of concepts, notably, atoms, their parts, and the distances between various nuclei and their electrons.
Students also learned about the properties of liquid nitrogen and the concept of absolute zero as they observed the impact of the liquid nitrogen on carnations, racket balls and balloons.
Reviewing the visible light spectrum, students observed neon, mercury, hydrogen, and helium gasses pass through the spectrum. They compared these gases with light as it passed through a fluorescent light.
But that was not all! Students were given special prism-like glasses to observe these gases again, and they noted how certain colors were absent from the visible spectrum, thus giving a gas its true color.
The students also saw plasm: the fourth state of matter, as they watched a Van de Graph demonstration.
"I was astonished with the amount of material that we heard
in two hours
, but it was all presented in a fun, interactive manner. Time flew!," explained Larkin Denton.
After the the "Physics Fest", students were treated to an hour-long hands-on classroom experience dealing with atoms using lite brites! Students reviewed mixtures, elements, and compounds with washers, nuts, and bolts as well.
" We learned about what an electron accelerator is and how it works, and I can't wait to see it firsthand," enthused Rebecca Meberg.
" And she was not alone!
"The students all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can't wait to attend the open house on
May 19 to actually see the electron accelerator. Jefferson Lab allows the public to view the accelerator one time every two years. There will also be many fun lab experiences for the kids to complete," explains science teacher Robin Blake.
||Ian York, Athletic Director
Spring athletics are in full swing, and all the teams appreciate the warming weather.
The tennis team will travel to the College of William and Mary on
for an afternoon of tennis. On
the tennis team will head to New Kent High School for a tennis match which will start at
The Run Northern Neck/Earth Day 5K is Saturday,
April 21 in Heathsville. We have lots of families signed up, and we are hoping to bring home $1000 for having the most people signed up from a local school. Go, Ospreys!
"Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action."
Student Council Elections
We are quickly approaching that time when we elect the Student Council Executive Committee for 2018-2019. Elections are open to rising seventh and eighth graders. The president and vice president must be elected from the eighth grade class, but the positions of treasurer and secretary are open to seventh graders.
In order to run in the election, the candidates must be in good academic standing and be enrolled for the 2018-2019 school year. Candidate speeches are due to Ms. Dynia by
, and elections will take place on
Wow! Each class had great increases to their Annual Giving percentages. First grade had a huge jump from 46% to 75%!!!! A huge thank you to everyone who has given so far. We are so close to reaching our goal of 100%, so please consider a gift of any amount! A $5.00 donation could turn into over $50,000 in grant money, if 100% of parents give.
Get ready to drink some milkshakes in May.
During the month of May, Northern Neck Burger Company in Kilmarnock, will donate part of their proceeds from milkshakes to CA! Yummy!
The weather will get warmer, and what better way to celebrate than to get out and sail! CAPPA is partnering with Premier Sailing to offer three afternoons of sailing instruction. Please email Shelley Ritter at
for more info.
Don't forget that the Boxtops collection will be April 27.
"The use of imaginative fiction is to deepen your understanding of your world, and your fellow men, and your own feelings, and your destiny."
THE Attitude is Gratitude
- The Development Office is a bustling place with volunteers working hard getting the Chesapake Academy Annual Auction ready to go! Many thanks to those who have already helped, and thanks in advance to those who are about to answer the call for all hands on deck to volunteer!
- Thanks to all who signed up for the Run Northern Neck Earth Day 5K! The Osprey Nation has really stepped up, and we are leading the pack at this point!
- Thanks to Lamberth Building Materials for donating materials for the pre-k 3&4 contribution to the Artstravaganza! This local business has always helped CA teachers, and we appreciate it!
- Thanks to Grover Branson for spending long hours prepping Coach York to get his commerical drivers license (CDL)! Ospreys on the move for our Small School with a Huge Classroom!
- Thanks to Rosetta Struse for donating quail eggs to the first grade embryology study.
- Mrs. Tonya Carter, Children's Librarian at Lancaster Community Library shares her love of reading and some phenomenal children's literature with pre-k 3&4, kindergarten, and first grade classes each week. If you see her, thank her for all she adds to these programs!
- In order to keep all balls in play in our school community, the faculty and staff continually adapt, adjust, pitch in and pick up responsibilities. This collegiality makes CA a great place to work!
April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain."
The Waste Land"
Don't Miss the Dates!
4/21 SMS Prospective Parent Program
4/23 through 4/27 OLSATS, kindergarten, first, and second grades
4/24 through 4/27 DC Trip, seventh and eighth grades
4/25 Tag Day
5/1 Jefferson Labs Field Trip, eighth grade
5/2 Dress Uniform
5/2 Faculty Professional Development
5/4 Tennis at the College of William and Mary
5/7 Tennis @ New Kent Middle School
5/9 PALS, The Ugly Duckling, Virginia Repertory Theater
5/11 CAPPA Field Day
5/16 PALS, Flumpa
5/18 Book Fair
5/18 Student Council Event
5/28 Memorial Day, no school
5/29, Exams, seventh and eighth grades
5/30 Tag Day
6/1 Noon Dismissal
6/4 Dinner with Head of School and Board Chair, eighth grade
6/5 Graduation, students on campus by 5:15 p.m. (eighth graders here by 4:45 p.m.)
"Spring is made of solid fourteen-karat gratitude--the reward for the long wait. Every religious tradition from the northern hemisphere honors some form of April hallelujah, for this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bang return to joy after a season of cold second thoughts."