September 15, 2017
Your Dollar Did It!
That moment of joy between a learner and a teacher who is their greatest cheerleader is like fertilizer in the field of education. Being able to hire and retain a talented faculty and staff who really care is something to cheer about. Many thanks to 100 percent of parents, board members, faculty and staff who made a gift to annual giving in 2016-17.
Class Acts ....What's Happening on the Halls?
Got to Go, Got to Go, Got to Go to Mexico!
Thanks to Cathy Polhamus of Hills Quarter who donated larvae and food, PreKindergarten 3&4 has been watching the Monarch life cycle unfold in their classroom. This busy butterfly pumped up his wings and was released to begin his long journey South.  Several more to go!
Keeping it Real in Kindergarten!
Kindergarteners are scientists who are ready to use real vocabulary and real tools to explore and experience.  Veronica Edmonds and Kelsey Liner are using hammers (yes, real ones) to print on paper in their science notebooks with chlorophyl.  Kindergarten is studying patterns in nature, so ask a Kindergartener to show you the patterns on a leaf. Follow their adventures through the Kindergarten class blog!
And...They're Off to a Great Start in First Grade
First grade is busily settling into new routines and making new friends! Starting each day in Morning Circle is a great time to practice greeting each other, making important connections, and to talk about our day. These conversations set the tone for a positive supportive classroom.   Kaileigh and every other first grade student took time to sign our "contract" that explains the First Grade Expectations for a productive learning environment.

Lawd, Have Mercy! Second Graders are Piggin' Out on Books!
The second grade students are in pig heaven!  They started the year listening to the first tale of Mercy Watson, 
Mercy Watson Saves the Day , as they reviewed their understanding of story elements.  They also focused on the difference between fact and opinion as they recorded the many wild opinions of pigs made by the main character in the book, Eugenia.  Next they brainstormed questions about pigs so they could find out facts that were meaningful.  They then interviewed Mrs. Keesee about her 200 pound porcine wonder, Olive, who made a surprise visit on Thursday.  Next week they will start reading another Mercy Watson book independently.  Learning is hog wild in the second grade!
Third grade vocabulary word sorts make those spelling words stick! Looks like Khloe has a lock on this!  Third graders have also begun to research for their Brain Bucket projects.  Brain Bucket projects take advantage of student choice and interest to develop research, communication, and presentation skills. Stand by to be impressed with the information they can uncover!

Spanish is fun for third graders!  Check out the wonderful expressions of the students learning their Spanish colors by acting out the "Colores" song.
Drum Roll....Introducing....The Bell Tower Fund!
The bell tower at Chesapeake Academy houses the bell from the original Chesapeake Academy school house in 1889, now the Hope and Glory Inn.  We ring the bell 6 times every morning to honor our 6 founders.  The bell represents the past, present, and future of Chesapeake Academy; and so our annual giving program is now appropriately named the  Bell Tower Fund .  Just as we start each morning at Chesapeake Academy with a renewed sense of purpose by ringing the bell, your participation in annual giving symbolizes your commitment to excellence at Chesapeake Academy each year.  

Tuition dollars only cover 70% of the cost of each child's education at Chesapeake Academy.  When you give to the Bell Tower Fund, you immediately enrich every student's school experience in a myriad of tangible ways.   You support athletics, the arts, STEM and innovation programs, field trips, and technology.  We could not do it without you.  

Fourth Graders Master Flag Etiquette!
Every move fourth graders make with our nation's flag displays the honor and respect we give Old Glory at Chesapeake Academy. Fourth graders learn the rules for raising, lowering, and folding the flag. This privilege signals the beginning of their transition to more mature responsibilities. With the help of fifth graders Robert Cunningham and Anna Carey, the fourth graders were able to practice their new skills.
Ranger Rick Rocks CA!
To commemorate Chesapeake Academy's designation as a schoolyard habitat, the main raccoon himself will address Chesapeake Academy students on September 29 to congratulate them and encourage them to continue their work protecting natural habitats. 

Ranger Rick will be accompanied by Ms. Jen Mihills, Mid-Atlantic Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation, who will hand out copies of the award winning children's magazine!

Thanks to several generous foundations, removal of invasive species on the Nature Trail and the establishment of a polinator garden at the head of the trail will be completed this year.

Jarett Platsis is an Osprey About Town!
Many musicians make music, but fewer compose.  Jarett Platsis debuted an original composition at Convocation this year, and he played piano while everyone attending our convocation sang our school alma mater. Jarett demonstrated skills developed with years of practice.  Earlier this year, Jarett submitted a video and application to attend his second summer session at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan.  He was accepted and enjoyed three weeks of daily lessons and practices in July and August with peers from all over the world. His dedication to music has been truly rewarding as he continues to improve and perform. Jarett has been playing piano since fir st grade and loves to compose his own pieces. He has been a student of Dennis Tucker for over six years.  Does your child want to learn to play an instrument?  Contact Barbara Hays to find out what is offered right here on campus! Contact Barbara Hayes, CA Music Rocks!

CA fifth graders are exploring the writing process in Writers' Workshop. They were tasked with creating posters that describe the different stages of the process. These posters will be displayed in their classroom so that they and the fourth graders can use them throughout the year. 
Save a Life....Walk for Water!
Water Missions International is  nonprofit ,   Christian  engineering organization based in  North Charleston, South Carolina , that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)  solutions  for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Since 2001, Water Mission has provided access to safe water for more than 3 million people in 52 countries. Water Mission International has over 200 staff members working around the world in permanent country programs located in Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.  

Chesapeake Academy students travelled to Grace Church in Kilmarnock to hear Mr. Glenn Cockrell explain how clean water saves lives around the world. Students got a taste of the everyday challenges children from developing countries face carrying water long distances, and they learned more about how they can help provide access to clean drinking water for communities around the world. 

This service project is a key component of an integrated sixth grade unit on water resources which explores essential questions like who owns the rights to water resources and how do organizations or individuals ensure clean water through geography, science, literature, and math classes this fall. 
STEM projects promote critical thinking and collaboration, and Chesapeake Academy believes in their deep value. Each middle school class had to create a STEM challenge involving an apple.  Seventh grade had "Apples Alley." Students constructed a tree beside which they would drop an apple into a contraption designed to catch the apple before it hit the ground. The bruise factor was important here!  CA students don't simply memorize facts:  they use facts to solve problems!

Mass-tering mass! Sixth graders learn how to use a triple beam balance to measure mass in science

The Founders and the Framers
Before U.S. Government students begin their study of the Constitution in earnest, they are exploring the ideological underpinnings the founders and framers used in their development of early American government. Here the eighth graders are discussing Crevecoeur's 
Letters from an American Farmer  (1782) and his comparison of American and European social structure. 
Thinking about Secondary Schools Already?
Many independent secondary schools require the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) as part of their admission package. Chesapeake Academy is offering this test on campus on November 11. The registration deadline for the regular fee for the SSAT is  October 21. Late registration and rush registration (significant additional fees) end on  November 8.  

Chesapeake Academy is only offering the test on November 11.  However, students may register to take the test at other sites on other dates.  Receiving high schools are usually amenable to scheduling a flex day if the student is an applicant to the school (application completed).  Receiving high schools may have fee waivers that they are able to use for promising applicants with demonstrated financial need.  We do not have access to fee waivers.
If your child has current (last 3 years) academic testing indicating that he or she needs extended time, the use of a calculator, or other accommodations which we are authorized to provide through SSAT, please mark that on the test registration.  SSAT will ask Chesapeake Academy to confirm the need for accommodations.

Do your part to protect our planet! is a source for tools to minimize your ecological footprint and store and serve food for families in non-toxic and sustainable ways!  And this company returns 15% of your purchase price to Chesapeake Academy!   
Visit and see what you need!

Lunch Notes:
We love reusable containers, and we encourage our students to recycle any containers in their lunches that are not reusable.  

Students are responsible for washing out recylables and making sure items are sorted before leaving the lunch room.

Dr. Hall's eighth grade Writers' Workshop class is ready to get down to business! Eighth  Grade Writer's Workshop is exploring the process of writing, specifically trying to identify the conversation that takes place in the mind of the writer that can either hinder or help the creative process.

Brain Bender:   There are no full-pay tuitions at CA! Not even one.   Without the Bell Tower Fund and other annual fundraisers, a full-pay tuition would rise by $5,000!   Eeeek!  That is why we all pitch in!  All for one and one for all!  It makes us who we are.  Your 100 percent participation makes a world of difference. Thank you.

Apple STEAM  projects Challenge Critical Thinking
Eighth graders opened the school year with a STEAM challenge called "Apples A-Head." Students had to build a contraption to hold an apple on their head as each student moved through an obstacle course.  Once each student passed the finish line, they traded off the apple to their partner, who had to go through the same obstacle course.

Hilary Scott, Admission Director
We are Glad You are Here!
Hilary Scott, Director of Admission, extends
A VERY WARM WELCOME to Chesapeake Academy's new students and their parents, "We are delighted that you joined Chesapeake Academy! If you are a seasoned Osprey, please be sure to introduce yourself to anyone you're not familiar with, and help us make these new families feel adjusted, included, and part of the Chesapeake family!"

Pre-Kindergarten 3&4:
  • Weston Kenner, son of Jason and Gentry Kenner
  • June Nichols, daughter of David and Ivana Nichols
  • Mason Shelton, son of Steven and Whitney Shelton
  • Violet Edmonds, daughter of Donald and Kimberly Edmonds
  • Colten Mothershead, son of John and Kristen Mothershead
  • John Stephen Weddle, son of John and Alison Weddle
  • Benton Miller, son of Bryan and Jennifer Miller
  • Lucas Rafael, son of Allan Rafael and Lena Okun
  • Noel Wessinger, son of William and Graciela Wessinger
  • Brantley Chance, son of Alan and Megan Chance
  • Annabel Clair, daughter of John and Jennifer Clair

  • Emory Simmons, daughter of Rawleigh and Susan Simmons
  • Brendan Beuchelt, son of Chris and Jennifer Beuchelt
  • Sophia Davis, daughter of Danielle Davis
  • Finley Burke, son of Justin and Melissa Burke
  • Nolan Pittman, son of Robert and Sarah Beth Pittman
  • Veronica Edmonds, daughter of Donald and Kimberly Edmonds
  • Julian Hart, son of Allison Hart

First Grade:
  • Madison Howell, daughter of Joshua and Megan Howell
  • Henry Clair, son of John and Jennifer Clair
  • Lucas Clair, son of John and Jennifer Clair
  • Jacour Mullings, son of Chamaria Dillon

Second Grade:
  • Khloe Ridgell, daughter of Kelly Ridgell

Third Grade:
  • Eliza Leo, daughter of Benjamin and Lauren Leo
  • Joshua Hall, son of Jamie and Elizabeth Hall
  • Delany Bowman, daughter of Jesse and Mary Bowman

Fourth Grade:
  • Nathan Meberg, son of Keith Meberg and Patricia Monge-Meberg

Sixth Grade:
  • Gavin Simpson, son of Richard and Kendra Simpson
  • Layla Leo, daughter of Benjamin and Lauren Leo

Seventh Grade:
  • Claire Beitel, daughter of Richard and Kari Beitel
Welcome to the flock, Ospreys!

Introducing your Student Council!  Larkin Denton is Student Council President. Adair Stanley will serve as Secretary, and Elizabeth Stanley will act as Treasurer. Rebecca Meberg is the Vice President of Student Council for the 2016-17 school year.
Student Council Skinny!
Middle School's class representative elections are coming up quickly! All Middle School Students in good academic standing are eligible to run for class officers. Interested students have met with Ms. Dynia. If someone still wants to throw their hat in the ring, there is still time. Speeches are due to Ms. Dynia by Wednesday, September 20 for approval.  Elections will be held on September 22.

"Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place."

Something for Nothing....And Your Kicks for Free!

Free National Parks Pass for Fourth Graders (and their families):  Link to Info on this Free Pass

Finally the weather was perfect to practice outside! Duke Wolfson is practicing his swing getting ready for his next game.
The Head's Heads Up
We are truly a small school with a huge classroom. I love that as a school, we live this approach. It's not just a tag line, but a valid descriptor of who we are. Teachers and students continually develop connections with local and regional organizations, explore our environment and history in the Northern Neck (and beyond), apply our classroom work to new situations, and approach real world problems with confidence. When our students present their work before public audiences with their Seacamp Symposium projects, for the local Audubon Society, at the National History Day Fair, to local architects, or at Mini-Economies Market Days, they are nothing short of impressive. 

Yet, Chesapeake Academy is not a special environment just because of all the instructional opportunities. We have a special learning environment because the culture at CA is one in which each person contributes to a common purpose and is valued for their contributions. The teachers are a wonderfully collaborative bunch of innovators, risk takers, and explorers who make so many amazing things possible. I have never worked with a faculty that so willingly takes on new challenges and looks for meaningful connections for students. They always ask what more they can do. They are experts, and still always striving to improve, adapt, and extend learning for students. 

In turn, our students engage! They are loved, nurtured, stretched, and challenged to be strong students, but also good people in our community. They plunge right in to new situations, gaining confidence in their ability to own their learning and to recognize their own gifts (and those of others). They solve problems, resolve conflicts, and seek out help. 

Leadership and compassion unfold in small and large ways: a third grader ties a kindergartener's shoe, a seventh grader dissects a worm with a fourth grade partner, a sixth grader creates a Dr. Seuss character with a first grader, an eighth grader writes daily affirmations for the rest of the Middle School girls on the bathroom mirrors, the whole school has a dance party full of joy! Lifelong connections with each other form in these moments. 

The results are in the smiles of students eager to wear an Osprey jersey, to share a story with a teacher, to reach out to include others in play, to try a new skill, to pursue a new interest, and yes, to even fail at times. 

We all know what we do and how we do it.  But, WHY do we do what we do? 
  • Why do our teachers and staff members spend hours and hours every day developing caring, trusting relationships with students and trying to figure out just the right ways to reach each student? 
  • Why do our parents prioritize education and devote time, treasure, and talent to ensure their students can be here? 
  • Why do our Board members serve as ambassadors for Chesapeake Academy and spend time developing strategic plans for its success? 
  • Why do community supporters donate money to ensure that the doors of Chesapeake Academy remain open and that the experience for all students is exemplary? 
  • And perhaps most important: Why do our students love their school community? 
The WHY is our common purpose - we believe that inspiring children to think deeply and work creatively in a caring environment grows them into good people who can impact the world. 

As adults we all have a role in that common purpose. 

In 2016-2017, our teachers and staff, board members, parents, and community supporters volunteered thousands of hours to ensure that Chesapeake Academy students have the necessary resources in a close-knit and safe environment.  These volunteers organized concession stands, sold tickets to events, served burgers, made auction projects, trimmed bushes, and swept leaves. Many hands make light work and when we work together, we accomplish great things.
  • I thank the teachers and staff members for their devotion to our children.
  • I thank the parents for their commitment to education. 
  • I thank the Board for their contributions to the vision of the school.
  • I thank the community members for recognizing the important role that Chesapeake Academy plays in the life of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. 
So why are you here? You are here because you know the impact this school has on children and the impact this school has on the community. I thank you.

Why am I here? Nowhere else has captured my heart like this little place full of joy, learning, and connection. I am full of gratitude for the opportunity to continue to be a part of it.

CAPPA Countdown!
CAPPA's next meeting will be  Wednesday, October 11 at 8:30 a.m. This meeting will be open to any and all parents. Join CAPPA as we discuss the Oyster Roast, Grandparents Day, CAPPA apple sale, and more. Any questions, please email

"Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?" 

Athletic Director, Ian H. York
Coach's Corner
This fall season, Chesapeake Academy students have a variety of sports to choose among: soccer, golf, and volleyball! We are excited to expand our golf program to four days a week, coached by Mrs. Molly Vanderpool and Ms. Kaitlin Benson! Soccer will be coached by Mrs. Hillary Smith and me--with volunteer appearances by Northumberland Deputy Caleb Smith, an avid player. The Girls' Volleyball Team will be coached by Mrs. Martha Rogers and Mrs. Robin Blake.

Fourth graders are invited to get the feel of middle school sports by playing on the JV soccer team during the fall season. Practices are after school every day from 
3:30 to 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted on the calendar (found on the website). Remember:  Chesapeake Academy athletes work to put their best foot forward every day, every practice, every game.  We win without boasting and lose with out excuses.  And we learn a lot along the way!  Looking forward to great seasons!

"No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." 

THE Attitude is Gratitude
The faculty sends a heartfelt shout out to laminator therapists, Karen and ET Minter!  Without them, our class cutouts would have been limp and ineffective.

Kathy Polhamus, a resident of Hills Quarter, saves PreKindergarten 3&4 Monarch larvae each year so they can watch the life cycle unfold! What a gift!
Thanks to CAPPA for their gift of time and energy whenever needed! Treating the faculty during meeting week, helping out with New Family Orientation, Convocation and the Installation...these are the most dedicated Ospreys!  And we appreciate them so much!

Flower fairy, Catherine L. Emery, made her magic in flowers for the Installation!  She really has the gift!

Rya Struse and Maddie Ritter get a shout out from Ms. Dynia for their helpfulness over the summer.

What a transformation the Campus Beautification volunteers accomplished to whip the campus into tip top shape for our big doin's!

It takes a special person to keep so many balls in the air.  Thanks to Mr. Abbott for QBing a team of local contractors to do major projects over the summer.

Thanks to Terrie Benson, Ms. Benson's mother, who cleaned and mended our mascot's costume!  This was a labor of love.

A big thank you for everyone who provided such wonderful refreshments for Convocation and a huge thank you to Janet Smith, Rosetta Struse, Esther Glover, Margot Angstrom, and Farida Nelson for staying to help with clean-up. Many hands definitely make light work!

To Betsy Stanley and Lara Brown for working shard to get the Osprey Nest ready to open for all!

Hilary Scott, Director of Admission, would like to thank CAPPA Room Parent Coordinator, Marie Edwards, for organizing her crew of volunteers to make welcome calls to new families in each grade! Room parents made phone calls to families in the hopes of answering any last minute questions, extending a heartfelt welcome, and coordinating social opportunities prior to the start of school. Room parents for 2017-18 are:
  • PreKindergarten 3 & 4: Kisa O'Brien, Charlotte Charlton
  • Kindergarten: Becca Sterrett
  • First: Margot Angstrom
  • Second: Jennifer Miller, Christina Hubbard, Kate Carey
  • Third: Kim Edmonds, Cassie Hohensee
  • Fourth: Marie and Cedrick Sanders
  • Fifth: Robin Cunningham
  • Sixth: Andrea and Jerry Latell
  • Seventh: Esther Glover
  • Eighth: Amanda Porter, Sabine Stander
"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these." 
                                                        Lloyd Shearer Walter Scott's Personality Parade

Don't Miss the Dates!
9/18 Golf at Piankatank 3:30 p.m.
        Varsity Soccer at LMS 4:00 p.m.
9/19 Soccer Hosts ASCD, JV at 3:30 p.m., V at 5:00 p.m.
9/21 EC/LS Back to School Nights, 6:30 p.m.
9/22 Volleyball hosts LMS 4:00 p.m.
9/25 Golf at Hobbs Hole 3:30 p.m.
9/26 MS Back to School Night, 6:15 p.m.
9/27 PALS Presents Cathy Bollinger, Tag Day, Varsity Soccer hosts LMS at 4:00 p.m.
9/28 Volleyball hosts ACDS 4:00 p.m.
9/29 Ranger Rick Visits CA, 2:00 p.m.
        Volleyball at LMS 4:00 p.m.

At Chesapeake Academy, 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 lifelong 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
These powerful statements are excerpted from the Chesapeake Academy Philosophy Statement.

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