January 28, 2018

The Head's Heads Up

One of the primary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees is to set the mission of Chesapeake Academy. In its strategic planning process over the last two years, the Chesapeake Academy Board of Trustees outlined a plan for revising the mission of the school to more closely align it with the overall educational approach we live everyday at Chesapeake Academy.

The previous mission statement, updated approximately 12 years ago, was a solid identity statement. However, as the school's program has grown and evolved in focus and approach, the Board has felt that the mission statement needed to be revisited once again.   Over the last several months, the Board has worked with support from the faculty and administrative team to create a mission statement that in a very succinct way describes the unique educational experience of Chesapeake Academy.  The group worked from the question that we reflect upon often as a school community, "Why Chesapeake?".

The mission is designed to work in concert with the philosophy statement and the Small School, Huge Classroom tag line. Together, all 3 statements form our "North Star" or our guiding principles.  

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce our new mission statement:

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.

There are several key components I'd like to point out:
  • The word each in the first section speaks to each student getting what he or she needs to best learn.  Our teachers know our students well and seek to find the most effective ways to reach individuals. The word each in the last section speaks to individual responsibilities that we have to contribute to our community, both local and far reaching.
  • The phrasing of how students approach learning reflects our emphasis on a growth mindset and academic skills that we can cultivate in students.  Learning is an approach--learning how to learn is important.  Curiosity and creativity are the foundation for students reaching their potential.  Our teachers and students work together to ensure that students are engaged in their learning, seeking more information and broader skills, and thinking in new and different ways. 
  • Pursuit of excellence--academic, athletic, artistic or musical, in service to others--is a hallmark of Chesapeake Academy.  The mission articulates the process of striving and the importance of always reaching for the best in oneself no matter the arena.
  • Character values and the expectations that students will act with integrity form the foundation for our community.  We want our students to practice kindness, respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, and empathy as they work together and as they act as individuals within our community.  Why do we inspire these qualities?  Because we know that human potential is met in small and large ways through our children's skills, actions, contributions, and compassion. Our students know the positive impact they can and do have on our community and the larger world. 
I hope as you think about this mission, you will see our vibrant community, vigorous curriculum, innovative approach, and consistent values reflected in it.  At the heart of what we do is to grow children into the best version of themselves because we know that is what improves our world.   
This new mission statement works in conjunction with the Chesapeake Academy philosophy, which outlines in more detail what we believe and what we seek to accomplish together in this community.  

Chesapeake Academy's Philosophy:
Located in historic Irvington, Virginia, where the Rappahannock River meets the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Academy is a school dedicated to preparing each student for future academic, ethical, social, and physical endeavors in an intellectually challenging environment.  Bound by common goals and aspirations, Chesapeake Academy students experience an academically challenging, traditional liberal arts curriculum taught by teachers who model creativity, commitment, flexibility, teamwork and a love of learning. Intellectual curiosity is valued, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning, growth and achievement. Our caring and supportive environment guides children to develop confidence in their abilities. In all aspects of school life, teachers know their students well. This relationship allows teachers to address differences in learning styles and teach in ways children will experience their greatest achievement.

In keeping with our heritage, Chesapeake Academy students are an interconnected community of learners. Our school, guided by a purposeful social and ethical curriculum, is a place where friendships and consideration for others thrive and responsibility and leadership develop. We embrace each other's beliefs and differences and discover that our diversity enriches us. The school's community, formed by a unique partnership of parents, students, teachers, alumni, and neighbors, works together to help children achieve academic excellence and personal growth. We believe students learn best when teachers, parents, and children work in harmony.

From age 3 through grade eight, Chesapeake Academy students develop and articulate ideas. The inclusion of visual and performing arts in the curriculum encourages self-discovery and creative expression. The physical education and athletic programs promote life-long personal fitness and character development. School-wide experiences and community service opportunities encourage students to be comfortable expressing their ideas in front of others as well as assuming future leadership roles.

Chesapeake Academy believes that an enriched and challenging academic curriculum, within a nurturing, child-centered environment, provides the foundation for future successes.

We seek:
  • to prepare each student for his or her future academic, ethical, social and physical endeavors
  • to provide a nurturing environment where students build confidence as they rise to the challenge of developing new skills
  • to model creativity, ignite curiosity, demonstrate commitment and flexibility, work as a team, and lay the foundation for life-long learning in our students so our students demonstrate the same values
  • to foster strong relationships between students and teachers to allow teachers to know students well and address each student's learning style
  • to cultivate an interconnected community of learners where friendship, consideration, responsibility, and leadership thrive
  • to embrace each other's beliefs and differences and discover that diversity enriches us
  • to work in harmony with parents, teachers, and students for the students' academic achievement and personal growth
  • to encourage self-discovery and self-expression through the integration of the arts 
  • to promote life-long fitness and character development through athletics
  • to engage in school-wide and community service so that students are comfortable expressing their ideas and assuming leadership roles
  • to develop global citizens who value a pluralistic society and who have the skills to tackle 21st century challenges.
Small School.  Huge Classroom.


Protect your Family from the Flu:  Follow the CDC's 3 Guidelines!
Chesapeake Academy faculty are cleaning and wiping daily to keep our community healthy. Here is how you can help!  The  CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu): 
  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. 
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rubAvoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics.  Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complicationsFor people with high risk factors treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk factor or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor's instructions for taking this drug.

Class Acts...
What's Happening on the Halls?
Congratulations Justin Burke and Jeff Szyperski!

Two members of the Chesapeake Academy community will be honored by the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce on February 10 for their service to our community.  We know Jeff Szyperski as a past parent, board member, and chair.  Jeff has never failed to step up to support Chesapeake Academy, and it seems the broader community feels the same way.
Chamber Executive Director Anne Paparella said the nominations for Jeff spoke highly of his business leadership attributes as well as the countless hours and commitment he has given. No surprise there!

Justin Burke joined CA last year when his son, Fin, entered Kindergarten; and we are delighted to welcome this family!  Justin is being honored because his business peers find that he  has "contributed to the success of nearly all of the Chamber's events over the last two and half years.  His enthusiasm for the chamber, his ideas and creativity have elevated the chamber events.  He has a talent for bringing in new ideas and implementing them.  His 'hands on' total involvement includes taking part in planning, set-up, and clean-up." 

Congratulations to Jeff Szyperski and Justin Burke!  These gentlemen set a wonderful example in the Osprey Nation!
Nothing Nicer than a Book....with a Friend!

Lancaster Community Library's Children's Librarian Tonya Carter visits several classes at Chesapeake Academy to share her passion for reading and books!  Her visits are class favorites in Pre-k 3&4, always featuring engaging stories and great activities!  This wonderful story, Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman , sequences the many ingenious ways a tailor reuses the same cloth, offering great vocabulary and themes that encourage stewardship and critical thinking. 
Kindergarten Step-up Tradition

Pre-kindergarten 4 students trekked across the hall to Kindergarten to get a good look at where they are headed next year!  Mrs. Vanderpool treated them to circle and centers, generating excitement and enthusiasm for the transition ahead.  While students took this sneak peek, their parents joined Julie Keesee at the Residence to learn about the transition ahead from a parent's perspective.  With a clear picture of where they are headed and five months to go...these wee Ospreys will soar!

" And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings."

Everybody, Get the Rhythm!

Music students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade are learning to experience rhythm in many ways. Beginning by feeling the beat through movement, students move on to rhythm patterns introduced through echo clapping. Next, they are taught how to read rhythm patterns using a method developed by Zoltan Kodaly. In this kindergarten class activity, they are creating rhythm patterns using popsicle sticks after hearing the pattern clapped by the teacher and then comparing them with a partner for accuracy. Once all students have the correct pattern, they engage in reading the rhythm using the appropriate terminology.  Next up?  Students will soon be writing rhythms on paper and creating their own rhythm patterns which will ultimately be played on percussion instruments!

Mayhem in a Mitten

While the weather outside has been frightful, kindergarten and  first grades  seized the theme and headed to the Deltaville Maritime Museum for a warm and wooly morning with former CA teacher Karen Minter based on Jan Brett's childhood classic, The Mitten.

Minter lead groups of learners through a series of work stations based on the hilarious and space-defying sequence of events from the text. Each station was designed to develop various curricular goals for these grade levels, such as writing and decoding VCV and short vowel words, simple addition and subtraction, geography and culture, weather, calendar use, and animal habitats and adaptations.

Weather Reseach Wins!

Science meets art and creates deeper understanding!  After doing some research on the weather topic they selected, second grade students painted an illustration of their topic to accompany an acrostic poem composed to explain their topic. When students presented their topic to the class, they used their illustrations and poems to help them with their presentations. The outcome? Students mastered weather concepts by teaching their peers--and they enjoyed it!

See these student paintings!
No Rigamarole...En Espanol!

Cutting, pasting and labeling photos of clothing in Spanish helps third grade students learn and use the Spanish vocabulary for clothing readily.  Spanish is a regular part of the curriculum from pre-k 3&4 through eighth grade (with the exception of sixth graders who study Latin for a year to provide a good foundation for learning vocabulary).

Timmy Kirby runs the Monster Mile!

Ospreys About Town

We know CA students are the most interesting people, and certainly we know a lot about them in school...but often they are up to good things outside of school as well. In 2017, Timmy Kirby made his love of running pay off for a variety of charitable events! Timmy participated in the Deltaville Kids Fun run to benefit the Deltaville baseball fields, the Virginia Beach Monster Mile for the Spikes K9 Fund for working dogs; and the Norfolk Harbor Final Mile to raise money for the We Promise Foundation that helps to make dreams come true for children with medical challenges. He ran the Irvington Turkey Trot Two-Mile Run for the Animal Welfare League and the Virginia Beach Rudolph 1K for the Lynnhaven River Now Foundation, as well as the Virginia Beach Surf-N-Santa 5 Miler that funds the Lynnhaven River Now Foundation's efforts to keep the waterways of  Virginia Beach clean. Go, Timmy, Go!

Chesapeake Academy Sponsors 
Girls, Gizmos, and Gadgets 
STEM Competition!

Chesapeake Academy is proud to host  Girls, Gizmos and Gadgets in early March.  This event is a STEM competition where girls, grades four and five, tackle science, technology, engineering,and mathematics challenges competitively. Challenges will include chemistry, mathematics, logic, building, and physics.  No specific preparation is needed, but each challenge will require careful reading of the criteria, collaborative problem solving, and the ability to persevere and try different methods. Chesapeake Academy has entered two teams in the competition, and these girls are preparing eagerly!  There will be ten teams in all with girls coming from Lancaster, Northumberland, Middlesex, and Richmond County middle schools! 

Registration is Open for Award Winning CA Summer Camps 

Voted top-rated in Eastern Virginia for the last three years, Chesapeake Academy Summer Camps combine adventure, the outdoors, and every variety of glorious summer fun.  "We are delighted to have Camp Irvington back for younger campers (ages 4-6) for nine one-week sessions," comments Head of School Julianne Duvall Keesee. "Camp Irvington's 'Tell Me a Story' camps feature engaging activities and trips based on the best in children's literature guided by our all-star staff.  For the older (ages 7-13) set, Camp Chesapeake is debuting three engaging new options over seven one-week sessions from June 25 to August 5.

CAMP IRVINGTON Ages 4-6, June 18 through August 17, cost $275 per week
"Tell Me A Story" of summer fun! Spearheaded by Chesapeake Academy teachers Susan May, Hillary Smith, and Katie Parker, this camp springs from outstanding children's literature and quickly engages children in a  wide variety of related trips, activities, and experiences.  Camp Chesapeake is the perfect place for campers to explore new concepts, discover new interests, and meet new friends. This full-day program for children ages 4 to 6 nurtures campers' curiosity and offers a wide variety of experiences on and off campus--weekly trips, arts and crafts, silly competitions, games, and more! Each week spins off a different children's book, so no two weeks are the same.

BUILDER'S BOOT CAMP: June 25 through 29, cost $300
Catching the maker's movement wave with hands-on fun, problem solving, and skill building, campers develop competence and confidence with real-life tools while creating age-appropriate building projects.  Want to build a catapult, box car derby vehicle, jelly bean dispenser, or your own musical instruments?  Come to camp and see a creative project spring to life from your own hands!

I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM: July 2, 3, 5, and 6, cost $225
On a quest for the best....ice cream, glace, gelato, sorbet, or sherbet ! This camp will take campers on the road every day, exploring the region looking for the best frosty concoction we can find--and sampling the recreational wonders of the Northern Neck along the way! Along with sampling the wares at local ice cream shops, each day will include other fun activities like putt putt at Bethpage, swimming, and hiking. The coup de gras will be unique new flavors of iced delight developed and created by campers!

FARM TO TABLE: July 9 through 13, cost $275
This is far more than a cooking camp! Campers travel to local farms and oyster companies and visit with fishermen and other food source locations to see first-hand where our food comes from.  In between picking berries and catching crabs, campers will learn how to prepare delicious meals with local foods with the advice of touted local chefs.  An exciting and delicious week is guaranteed!

SPORTS CAMP: July 16 through 20, cost $275
Love to compete?  Campers enjoy action-filled days of sports and sports-related activities that emphasize the fun -damentals.  This recreational program emphasizes sport-specific basics, fitness, teamwork, sportsmanship, and strategy.  Campers acquire skills through daily practice and gain confidence in their abilities as they each discover their individual potential.  Sports include soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball, and more.

NORTHERN NECK EXPLORERS: July 23 through 27, cost $275
Find adventure by foot, bicycle, and paddle!  Campers enjoy all of the great outdoor activities the Northern Neck has to offer.  Daily journeys throughout the region include fishing, swimming, kayaking, biking and more.  Each day of the Northern Neck Explorers camp has unique destinations that highlight the region's geographical and historical highpoints.

MYSTERY TOUR: July 30 through August 3, cost $400
Each day of this camp has completely unique destinations and activities.  Adventure and mystery are at the heart of this one of a kind camp, which combines creative exploration with an exciting daily road trip.  Journey with friends to five different surprise destinations throughout the week.  All activities and park entrance fees are included. This is for the true adventurer!

MUSIC MANIA CAMP: August 6 through 10, cost $175, Ages 8 through 11
Barbara Hays, Chesapeake Academy Music Teacher, believes everyone has music in them! This half-day camp will bring it out! Vocal warm-ups, fun songs, singing in harmony through rounds and partner songs, rhythm activities using body and instrument percussion, creative movement and dramatics all culminate in a closing performance that showcases all this talent and gives every child a chance to shine.

Pied Piper of Young People, Summer Camp Director, Mr. Ian York returns to this role with a love of adventure, sports, and the outdoors.  "Summer in the Northern Neck of Virginia promises unparalleled adventures and explorations of all kinds.  We simply cannot run out of ways to have fun in this part of the world," York explains. "Early indications are that this will be a full house and a fun summer, so it would be best to sign up early!"  Applications are available on the Chesapeake Academy website and by calling the school at 804.438.5575.

Advanced Geography Tries Out Indian Textile Arts

Sixth grade Advanced Geography students have been learning about India's contributions to the world. Following a discussion of the textile and arts industries, the students tried their hand at creating their own textiles. Batik fabrics, which are made by creating patterns using hot wax and dying the fabric, have been found in various parts of Asia and Africa dating back almost 2,000 years. Students used a simpler method, with gel glue acting as the resist and acrylic paint as dye. The students learned how much work goes into keeping traditional hand crafts alive. 

Rube Goldberg Develops Problem Solving as it Confirms Basic Principles of Physics

Students incorporated previous studies of speed, motion, forces and simple machines  into an ambitious Rube Goldberg Project that required problem solving, critical and creative thinking, and a good measure of luck.  Divided into single gender groups, student teams tackled the project which required at least 10 steps showcasing simple machines going through various motions in order to solve a problem.  The problem for this year was to filter a cup of dirty water. While the groups took very different paths to project completion, both projects succeeded in filtering water!  

Parent Partnership Conferences:  
A Parenting Power Tool!

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 minimun 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 sheduling convenient conferences with multiple teachers, Ms. Connie Smith 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.

If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. 
Carol Dweck

Ready to Purge Your Bookshelves?  

Extended Day Program Leader Susan May is in search of great books for all ages (particularly thrillers at this point) for the Little Free Library literacy program through St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. You can support literacy in our community and clear the way for more good reads on your home bookshelves!  Win/Win: Go, purge!   Contributions can be left on the blue table in the Wiley lobby!  

Ian York, Athletic Director
Coach's Corner

The basketball teams have been hard at work since Christmas break. The JV boys team played their first game on 1/18. The team was full of first-game jitters, but they shook that off and had a good first game. Martin Smith was the leading scorer with 6 points. The JV team is showing lots of improvement, and they are eager to get back on the court for games on 1/30 and 1/31.

The girls basketball team was short-handed in their last game due to the illness with 5 players missing the game. Even with several girls missing, the team put on a strong performance against the defending conference champions. The girls were led by eighth graders Rebecca Meberg and Eden Stander. The girls played inspired basketball and they competed all over the court. The girls will be back in town 1/30 and 1/31.

The Varsity boys returned from Christmas break with lots to play for since most of their conference season is still ahead of them. On 1/16 at St. Margaret's School, the boys showed hustle and good sportsmanship in a close loss to the Dahlgren school. Although the loss stung, the boys regrouped and worked hard in practice to improve their game. The team is focusing on rebounding, good passing, and finishing around the basket. The team looks for a solid finish to the season with the next games coming on 1/30 and 1/31 after exams.

CAPPA Countdown!
Last year, for the first time ever, our community hit the 100% mark for parent participation in our annual fund campaign! This is a milestone for our school! This year we are looking to repeat this level of successful participation!

As parents that have chosen Chesapeake Academy for our children's education, we are already investing in their futures. However, tuition dollars alone do not cover the costs of the excellent educational experience at CA.  Funds that are raised through annual giving, events, and from outside grants are crucial to the success of Chesapeake Academy and our children.
Please help us achieve 100% parent participation again by giving to the Bell Tower Annual Giving Fund. Expect a call from class room parents as each class works toward that 100 percent mark.  Any amount helps our cause!

Thank you.

The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes" 

THE Attitude is Gratitude

  • Winter storms can cause an array of headaches for homeowners, and the same is true for schools.  Thanks to Richard Abbott for his inventive de-icing methods and his attention to our safety.
  • Thanks to alumni Alec Faulkner for coming to CA to spend some time with students talking about how he pursued his dream of becoming a professional soccer player--and achieved it! What a great role model!
  • Thanks to former CA kindergarten teacher Karen Minter for sharing her genius with CA first and second graders at the Deltaville Maritime Museum.  Thanks also to her able helpers, ET Minter, Nancy Quinn, and Phyllis Motley.
  • Thanks to former teacher and CA parent Beth Somers for keeping the clock for the basketball games. That is dedication!
  • Alice Riviere's daughter, Marshall Novak, spent time in first grade this week helping edit writing, sound out words, and spending one-on-one time with students that were working on various tasks.  This gal has the gift!  Many thanks!
    Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present. 
    Albert Camus

Don't Miss the Dates!

1/29 - 2/2 ERBs, seventh and eighth grades
1/30 Basketball vs. Aylett Country Day School, JV Boys @ 4:00 p.m., Girls @ 5:00 p.m., VBoys        @ 6:00 p.m.
1/31 Dental Health Presentations by VCU Dental Students, pre-k 3&4 through third grade
1/31 "The Little Red Hen," second and third grades, 10:05 a.m.
2/5 through 2/8 Parent Partnership Days
2/7 Dress Uniform
2/9 Basketball Hosts Ware Academy:  JV Boys @ 4:00 p.m., Girls @ 5:00 p.m., and V Boys @       6:00 p.m.
2/13 ISAC Tournament @ Ware Academy
2/14 Science Museum Field Trip, grades six and seven
2/15 ISAC Tournament @ CCS
2/16 through 2/19 President's Weekend, no school
2/21 Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
2/24 Merman, The Magician, 2:00 p.m.
2/24 STEM Summit at Foxcroft, eighth grade girls
2/27 Sheila Arnold Jones, Storyteller at LMS, grades four and five 9:00 a.m.; grades six through eight 1:00 p.m.
2/28 Tag Day
3/1 Richmond Symphony Trip, grades four through eight
3/2 Trustees and Guests Tour, 9:00 a.m.
3/3 Girls, Gizmos and Gadgets, grades four and five, 10:00 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.
3/7 Dress Uniform
3/15 Trustees and Guests Tour, 9:00 a.m.

"Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise." 

Chesapeake Academy | | chesapeakeacademy@chesapeakeacademy.org
 Post Office Box 8   107 Steamboat Road    Irvington, VA 22480