March 12, 2021
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. 
One Year Later...and What a Year It's Been!

It's hard to believe that it has been exactly a year since we sent Chesapeake Academy students home with packets of 2 weeks worth of work on a Friday the 13th in March 2020. I remember talking with the Lancaster County School Superintendent around 2:00 pm coordinating together on a plan to all be in school the next Monday, knowing that we may have to close at some point. At 2:30, word came from the Governor's office that all schools state-wide would be closed for the next 2 weeks. Over the walkie-talkies, I spoke to the whole school, letting them know we wouldn't be together again for a few weeks. 

In the next few days, I made a chart of what the impact would be on various aspects of school life if we were out for 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or 8 weeks. Nowhere on that chart was “out for the rest of the school year.” What a wild ride it was over those first few weeks–from packing up bags of materials for each student for pick up at a designated time, to getting assignments on the website, to ringing the bell every morning on FaceBook live, to driving the school bus to see every child, to hosting a virtual auction, to figuring out how to celebrate our eighth graders. Whew!

Looking back, it's clear we were building the airplane while we were flying it. Every day brought something new–new guidelines from the state, new wisdom from health professionals, new questions about how to plan, new worries about staying safe. 

Now, 364 days later, we have a proven track record of being in person for all our students safely since September 2. I often get asked what the secret of our success is. I wish it were clear that there was one secret ingredient that I could bottle. But, the magic of Chesapeake Academy is how the right ingredients always come together at the right time with the right people. 

Our Faculty and Staff's Dedication: At every turn, the faculty and staff problem solved, responded, anticipated, planned, and wore themselves out to make sure we could open school. We zoomed all summer long to talk big picture and small details about how to keep everyone safe, how to plan for effective learning, how to raise funds for needed supplies, and how to create a safe, comfortable space for our students. They spent their summer and early fall getting on board with Canvas. They evaluated, and in many cases, reinvented so many aspects of school life to make CA COVID-safe.

Our Summer Camp Success: Modifying summer camps and essentially practicing our protocols with smaller groups for many weeks throughout the summer gave us confidence that we could offer a safe environment. 

Our Families' Commitment: CA families have been engaged and supportive of the COVID protocols since day 1. Our families have demonstrated a care and consideration for each other and the whole school community throughout the year. 

Our Students' Responsibility: Sometimes, I read statements that children cannot be expected to follow directions or wear masks. Hogwash! Our students have done an excellent job wearing masks, washing hands, cleaning spaces after they've used them, and following directions. They've done it with the knowledge and spirit of collective responsibility. It has been a small price to pay to keep our community learning together.

Open Lines of Communication: Keeping the lines of communication open throughout the summer helped us all establish the common goal of getting back to in-person learning. Zoom sessions throughout the summer with parent groups allowed us to establish “guide posts” of a plan and get feedback on particulars of the plan. 

Flexibility: In keeping with our school culture, we were able to work with parents and students to make temporary distance learning scenarios work so that students who were ill or had had a possible exposure could continue engaging with the class from home. We also made adjustments to protocols as new information about mitigation strategies became available. 

The Expertise of the Medical Advisory Group: This group of parents met frequently throughout the summer to give feedback on COVID protocols, ask relevant questions as the handbook came together, and to provide sound guidance on routines and expectations.

The Commitment of the Board of Trustees: The Board of Trustees stayed connected throughout the closure in the spring and the planning of the summer. Reviewing the protocols, working on financial plans, thinking strategically, this dedicated group of volunteers helped hold the helm steady.

The Contributions of Our Supporters: Our community members who support CA financially made it possible for us to open the doors in the fall with the sanitizing equipment we needed and the technology required. Through the auction and other generous contributions, CA had what we needed to make a safe, productive environment.

So, with the combination of a collective effort, a common goal, and effective protocols, we have truly worked together to stay together. As we look back on this accomplishment, I hope you will celebrate with me the many factors, both small and large, that contribute to this success. This has been a year like no other, and I am proud to be a part of a community that responded together with such purpose. 


Class Acts...
Chesapeake Academy 3.0: Blended Learning

Fruitabulous Fun!

Kindergarten Spanish is learning Spanish vocabulary for fruit. Ms. Duncan read a book about Pepita outlining what fruit she had in her lunch box at school. Then students wrote and drew what was in their own lunch boxes. The class put the strawberry on top of this fruit-tastic class by playing matching games identifying fruit in Spanish.
Kindergarten is Busy Bird Watching!

Kindergarten is deep in the study of animal life--habitats, characteristics and classification. The class has noticed the increase in bird life around campus in the last two weeks. Using recycled bottles and spoons, Kindergarteners created bird feeders to place near the classroom windows and porch for closer bird observations, counting, and graphing.
Autobiographies Inspire Authors!

Writer’s Workshop is magical! Second graders feel like true authors as they write and edit their own autobiographies. Neatness and attention to detail are key elements of the project, and every kiddo takes their work seriously. It will be many weeks until students finalize this work, but it is certainly going to be well worth the wait. Pride abounds as authors find that they have a lot to share in writing.
Money, Honey!

Practical skills create authentic learning opportunities! Second grade is reviewing and expanding their understanding of money. Whole group instruction, independent workstations, and a variety of games have helped build student knowledge of coins and their value. Money can be a tricky topic for young learners. To support in-class instruction, parents sent in a bag of coins for use in class. Using real money helps students identify different coins with greater accuracy and builds their interest in money-related math tasks. 
Greeking Out in Fourth Grade

Fourth graders have a new twist on read-aloud time. Students are listening to the podcast "Greeking Out" presented by National Geographic. Host Kenny Curtis retells many well known Greek myths for kids! It offers more than just stories, including lots of cool facts and unique family history. Students have encountered gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes, and more! 
Fraction Action!

In math, fourth graders are using playdough to manipulate fractional amounts. Hands-on activities strengthen students' ability to manipulate the different types of fractions and visualize equivalent amounts. It prompts great discussion as students figure out different shapes to cut into equal parts. Manipulating the dough from larger to smaller equal pieces is a great visual for equivalent fractions. Students are encouraged to use playdough at home to explore fractions, too! 
Taking Stock of Tik Tok!

Young People's Literature National Ambassador Jason Reynolds' video series "Write, Right, Rite" is an inspiring series of video writing prompts delivered in a creative, engaging way by the writer himself. Recently, sixth graders accepted Reynolds' challenge to create a Tik Tok dance. The assignment was a great way to practice organizing information in a sequence, and it helped writers see the role descriptive language plays in writing clearly. The task was also a load of fun! Students got to try each other's dances and offer suggestions to improve the written steps. 
Sizing Each Other Up in Sixth Grade Math

The customary units of measurement are essential to everyday life! It is hard to cook, measure, plan, or execute anything without them! Sixth grade math students practiced conversions by playing the game "Headbands."

Each student wore a customary unit on their heads, and their classmates had to give them an equivalent measurement. For example, the clue for one cup could be "You are eight fluid ounces." Students got a huge laugh out of this and loved trying to get their peers to guess what was on their headband! Who says, "Math is not fun"?
Students Own the Process!

Students in eighth grade Integrated Studies are wrapping up a long-term project involving researching and showcasing their choice of activist. After examining examples, selecting their activist, researching and compiling a project, and spending time peer-reviewing and sharing feedback, students were ready to agree on the criteria for grading these projects.

In discussion groups, students outlined the components of the project, defined what it would mean to meet or exceed expectations, and determined how that should translate into grades. Then the group came together to synthesize and adapt their ideas into an official rubric. Collaboration, critical thinking, compromise, and student ownership! 

Its a Gas...Lab!

Eighth graders got to see the relationship between pressure, volume, and temperature by completing a three-station gas laws lab. Students evaluated what they observed to determine which of the three gas laws the demo related best. And there was plenty to see! Students got to crush a soda can with ice water, expand a marshmallow, and inflate a balloon with hot water!
Student Council Update

Student Council's Executive Committee and Class Representatives did a campus "spruce up" during their recess. These campus leaders looked for bits of trash blown from outdoor lunches, pumped up the balls, and tackled other small tasks to tidy and maintain student spaces. From leading assemblies to taking out the trash, servant leadership matters!

In other news, Student Council will be hosting a movie night for fifth through eighth grade students on March 26 to screen "The Princess Bride." The cost will be $4.00.

CAPPA Update

CAPPA is ready to Go For The Gold For our Teachers! In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, March 22-26.

CAPPA has made plans to show our gratitude for making this school year possible with coffee and doughnuts on Monday and a lovely lunch on Wednesday.

Thank you to all of the families who have supported our CAPPA fundraising efforts to make it possible to show our teachers how much they mean to our community! 
Ospreys! It's Raffle Time!

Osprey families each received five raffle tickets this week to purchase or sell for the Go for the Gold Auction! Tickets are 25 dollars each (buy four tickets, get one free!).

The Grand Prize is $2,500, and the drawing will happen during the live auction on May 1, 2021! Participants do not need to be present to win.

Please return proceeds from ticket sales or unsold tickets to Catherine Emry in the Development Office by April 25, 2021.
Summer Camp is Just Around the Corner: Believe!

Voted top-rated in Eastern Virginia for the last six years, Chesapeake Academy Summer Camps combine adventure, the outdoors, and every variety of glorious summer fun. "If you are looking for quality summer experiences for kids in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula area, Chesapeake Academy has what you need!" explains Head of School Julianne T. Duvall. Camp Irvington for ages 4 to rising first graders, offers six one-week sessions and holds the answer to summer childcare needs. And Camp Chesapeake is perfect for rising second through eighth grade adventurers. Campers in both age groups will explore each week’s theme through age appropriate field trips and activities. All activities and entrance fees are included. All camps run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and cost $250.00 per week. Space is limited, so sign up early. Register for all camps before May 1 to quality for zero registration fees.

In addition to this lineup, Chesapeake Academy is hosting Girls, Gizmos, and Gadgets the week of June 28 through July 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as a specialty camp for girls in rising fourth grade through rising seventh grade. "Making full use of CA’s Arts & Innovation Hub, campers will design and code robots to perform a variety of tasks, create their own pieces using the 3D printer and laser cutter, and compete on fun challenges! This is a week that will inspire and energize your young inventor! We are pleased to offer a subsidized tuition of $100 thanks to generous donors," Duvall enthuses.

Fun Day Sundae- July 5-9 $250
Nothing is more patriotic than a cool ice cream after a hot summer day of adventure! Campers will participate in daily trips and activities such as bowling and beach time. Each day will include a cool treat at new, local ice cream destinations. Of course, expect splashes of red, white, and blue celebrations all week long! 
Northern Neck Explorers- July 12-16 $250
Find adventure in and around the water! This favorite camp is back with new activities and destinations. Campers will swim, paddleboard, and explore parks --a perfect way to see the beautiful waterways the Northern Neck has to offer!

Farm to Table- July 19-23 $250
This exciting and delicious week is back! Campers will travel around the Northern Neck learning about local foods and harvesting and growing techniques. We will also seek the expertise of local chefs to learn more about how our food is prepared and try our own hands in the kitchen. New cooking experiences combine with old favorites to make this a can’t miss week of delicious meals! 

Mystery Tour- July 26-30 $300
Chesapeake Academy’s famous mystery tour is back! New destinations and surprises make for a thrilling week where no two days will be the same. There is something for everyone at this camp. Mystery Tour will keep campers guessing what fun is to come each day! 

Animal Adventures- August 2-6 $300
Calling all animal lovers! Campers will travel to local zoos and farms to see regional and exotic animals. Each day is sure to be a unique adventure as we see awesome animals up close. This is sure to be an exciting week! All entrance fees are included. 
Mad Science- August 9-13 $250
Come experience the fascinating world of science at this new camp offering. We will explore astronomy, meteorology, and more through experiments on and off campus. New destinations and activities make this camp unlike anything offered before. Embrace your inner scientist and join the fun! 

Chesapeake Academy camps will follow recommended COVID safety protocols in consultation with the Three Rivers Health District. In the event that CA must cancel a camp, registrants will receive a full refund.
Attitude of Gratitude

  • For sunny days with bright breezes that help us dry out...
  • For Spring's beginnings...
  • For a healthy school community....
  • For the lessons only children can teach...
  • For the Ospreys return...
  • For the hope of better internet bandwidth...
  • For gently used books to the second grade classroom by the Charlton family...

Save the Date

3/14 Daylight Savings Time Springs Forward
3/17 PALS presents Richmond Ballet's, Virtual "Midsummer Night's Dream,"
3/24 Tag Day
3/23 and 3/25, Bright Star Theatre Presents, History of Civil Rights
3/26 Student Council Movie Night, 5:30 p.m., "The Princess Bride"
3/29 through 4/5 Spring Break
4/5 Faculty Professional Development
4/7 Dress Uniform
4/9 End of Third Marking Period
4/1 through 4/30 ERB Testing
4/16 Report Cards emailed
4/28 Faculty Professional Development, 3:45 p.m.
4/28 Tag Day