November 8, 2019
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!

Each year, we launch the school year talking about what we need to create the community that makes us happy, creative, and productive. Community is a powerful concept. Coretta Scott King said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."

As a community, we start with our mission statement, which is WHY we are all here together. 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 the community and world a better place. 

The mission statement connects us to a common purpose–to make the community and world a better place. As a community, we have to nurture that common purpose, seek understanding, and reach out beyond our comfort zone. We have to honor a sense of tradition and connect those traditions to a vibrant future vision.  

This year, our focus is on understanding our PURPOSE.  
Finding our own purpose is a process of understanding and knowing our own talents and then figuring out how to share those talents with the world. We try to ask ourselves: what does the world need from us? How can our talents have a positive impact on others? 

We start our school day every day ringing the bell in the bell tower. The bell dates back to 1889 and was at the original Chesapeake Academy, which is now the Hope & Glory Inn down the road. We ring the bell to honor our 6 founders, who started Chesapeake Academy 54 years ago. Each morning, we get a fresh start together to build our community of learners, but we also feel the purpose of those who came before us.  

Over the last two years, we have been building the vision for this generation of learners and the next with the campaign for the Arts & Innovation Hub in Memory of Dianne Chase Monroe and the expansion of the James Library. Thanks to lead donors, contributors, and foundations, we were able to cut the red ribbon on the doors to the Hub on the first day of school!

The Hub provides us with another avenue to meet our mission and to provide a dynamic learning experience for our students. The program of Arts & Innovation links technology, design thinking, creative arts, and computer coding so our students can use foundations in a variety of areas to problem solve, create, respond, and perform. Your grandchildren have new opportunities with textile arts, construction, computer coding, robotics, computer aided design, and audio/video production. It's so exciting! The space itself links the media resources of the library with the hands-on tools and equipment of the Hub. Four classrooms open into the Hub, changing the flow of students, teachers, and ideas throughout the school. We are eagerly living into the space and the new curriculum.   

The A&I initiative also supports our relationships with local and regional organizations, so that we can host events, after school activities, and other programs for children in the Northern Neck. 

Chesapeake Academy is a unique learning environment because each person sees a purpose in that mission. Each student is known and knows that he or she is an important contributor. The teachers are a wonderful, collaborative team of innovators, risk takers, and explorers who make so many amazing things possible. They are excited to take on new challenges. They are experts, and still are always striving to improve, adapt, and extend learning for students. What wonderful role models! 

In turn, our students respond! 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).  

The results are in the smiles of students eager to wear an Osprey jersey, to welcome a younger student to play, to share an exciting new book with a teacher, to cheer on a peer, to master a new skill, to pursue a new interest, and yes, to even fail at times. 

We are a community centered on belief in the mission of Chesapeake Academy and our investment in the lives of young people. Chesapeake Academy students have a whole community that has embraced them, and that community is committed to helping each child discover the unique beauty of their contribution to the world.  

Our teachers and staff members spend hours and hours every day developing caring, trusting relationships with each student and trying to figure out just the right ways to reach each one.  

Our parents and grandparents prioritize education and devote time, treasure, and talent to ensure their students can be here.  

Our Board members serve as ambassadors for Chesapeake Academy and spend time developing strategic plans for its on-going success.  

Our community supporters volunteer time and donate money to ensure that Chesapeake Academy can provide an excellent educational experience for all students.  

Our students love their school–they demonstrate curiosity and creativity, pursue excellence, and act with integrity. By raising kind children who are responsible, respectful, hard working servant leaders, we will make our community and world a better place. 

This is important work.

Class Acts...
What's Happening on the Halls?
Lions Club Vision and Hearing Screening

The Lions Club of Lancaster County is offering an outreach program to provide initial vision and hearing screenings for children at Chesapeake Academy. If you would like your child's vision and hearing screened on November 12, please complete the permission form on Google docs (select link below) by November 8. Information regarding your child's screening will be forwarded to you so that you can pursue additional interventions if necessary.
Practically Perfect Pigs

This week's library class for the kindergarten set was filled with porcine fun as children met a new favorite character, Olivia, from the Olivia,The Pig series by Ian Falconer. This sassy pig wowed students with her crazy antics and silly escapades.

Once the giggling was finished, kiddos enjoyed creating their own construction paper version of this precious pig by visualizing and recreating her body parts as geometric shapes.
Grandparents and Grandfriends Are the Greatest!

Grandparents' and Grandfriends' Day is one of Chesapeake Academy's most loved traditions! This interactive event brings together beloved grandparents and grandfriends with eager students at Chesapeake Academy to celebrate the joy of learning. Starting in the morning with a reception and short update from Head of School Julianne T. Duvall, grandparents visited classrooms, joining in active learning centers and sharing the joy of learning. The morning concluded with a performance honoring grandparents and grandfriends that included some feats of harmony and rhythm by the students, directed by Music Teacher Barbara Hays. 
Spread the News!
Decal marketing is one of the lowest-cost, highest exposure marketing tools available to make connections in our community. When someone applies a CA decal on their vehicle, they are proactively endorsing this vibrant school. Apply the decal onto a vehicle and you have a walking, talking advertisement in the shape of word-of-mouth marketing, which is powerful! Cue in the words Hilary Scott, Director of Admission, has shared with parents ….word-of-mouth marketing is the #1 way in which people first learn of CA. Contact to request a decal.
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Big and Fat!

Sensory play reached a new level in pre-kindergaren 3&4 as students explored the pumpkin fruit, finding the seeds and toasting them before carving their own jack-o-lantern! This goo ranked right up there with aqua beads and kinetic sand--and pre-kindergarten got a spooky friend out of it!
Blake Presents at VAIS Leading Learning Conference

Chesapeake Academy Middle School Science Teacher Robin Blake presented at the recent Virginia Association of Independent Schools Leading Learning Conference in Richmond. Blake shared Chesapeake Academy's program to involve more girls in STEM related inquiry: Girls, Gizmos, and Gadgets.

"Engaging, authentic early STEM experiences for young girls, targeted development of persistence in problem solving and critical thinking, good mentoring from great role models, and ample opportunities for practice and exploration form the core Chesapeake Academy's response to this worldwide issue," Blake explains. "We actively encourage our girls to recognize the strengths they bring to problem solving in the sciences, and we coach consistently toward a growth mindset. This approach is effective with our students, and we want to share what is working for us with the broader community."

Girls Gizmos and Gadgets is a STEM competition designed to empower middle grade girls (fourth through sixth grade) to tackle STEM and design challenges. The event features teams of girls competing in five 30-minute challenge tasks. Chemistry, robotics, building and design, and physics challenges require girls to question, collaborate, collect and analyze data, create and evaluate conclusions, redirect, reboot, and regroup to refine solutions. The event is coached and judged by female science and STEM enthusiasts and is well reviewed among local school systems.

The Virginia Association of Independent Schools exists to assist member schools in maintaining standards of excellence (through an accreditation process), to encourage activities to exchange information about new methodologies and practices, and to promote the well-being of and public regard for independent schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chesapeake Academy is a fully accredited member of this association.
"Designers, On Your Mark!"

As students in third grade wrap up their unit on Ecosystems, they are tasked with designing research stations to be built in their assigned habitat. Students must consider climate, terrain, and safety as they fashion tiny renditions of their creative ideas. All stations must be at least 4 inches off the ground and provide space for research to occur. They must also incorporate four rooms and be camouflaged. Once all designers have finished this task, they will present their ideas to classmates.
Oyster Education Day Inspires

Chesapeake Academy seventh grade students attended Oyster Festival Education Day in Urbanna on Thursday before the Oyster Festival. Oyster Festival Education Day brings the expertise of local non-profit, government, and private organizations to local students with a focus on watershed science and history. It is a cooperative effort of the Marine Science Legacy Program, the Oyster Festival Waterfront Committee, and the Oyster Festival Foundation. Chesapeake Academy develops a marine science thread throughout the curriculum that culminates in a comparative field study between the Florida Keys and the Chesapeake Bay. "Oyster Education Day is a great event for our students to test and expand their understanding of our local waterways," explains science teacher Robin Blake.

Chesapeake Academy students traveled to ten stations, learning about different aspects of the Chesapeake Bay's keystone species. Chesapeake Bay Governor's School seniors challenged Chesapeake Academy students to study a variety of oysters to determine and describe changes among different oyster populations and try to find the reason for their observations. Using scientific tools such as rulers, chemicals, and microscopes, students studied a variety of oysters. After considering their observations, students determined bacteria in the water caused changes in oyster quality. Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School students outlined the ways various bacteria from waterways impact the health of oyster populations.

Christchurch School science students highlighted adaptations fish have made to feed and protect themselves. CA students considered the impact of these adaptations as they created their own fish with a variety of mouth types, fin types, and colors. Volunteers from the Friends of the Rappahannock challenged students to build filters that replicate the work of the oyster in the ecosystem. And Colonial Seaport discussed wheat, hemp, tobacco, and tea--products that were grown in this region and taken to England across local waterways, making reference to Colonial resentments about taxation.  

Students boarded three traditional oyster boats: the Edna Lockwood , the Mildred Bell, and the Claude Somers . "Our students were fascinated by the process of dredging oysters, and living on an oyster boat on the water," explained Robin Blake. The Yorktown Waterman's Museum presented how to tag gamefish and why it is important to report it to them if you catch a fish that has been tagged. Student then “fished” for fish, and had to decide if it was a legal keeper!

Archeologists from the Fairfield Foundation in Yorktown showed students how to clean artifacts found on the bottom of the Bay and discussed clues to the artifact's origins. Blake reports, "This sort of inquiry excites students and really motivates some excellent thinking. Students learned new things, made some good connections with material they already knew, and enjoyed hands-on demonstrations that allowed them to experience all aspects of the oyster.”

Fire Safety and the Mathmatics of Firefighting: The Perfect Match!

How is the Pythagorean Theorem relevant in firefighting? Why do firefighters sound like robots when they breathe? Turner Crawford from Henrico Fire Department visited this week to answer these questions and more for students. His first session with sixth grade math focused on the mathematics of firefighting as students calculated hose lengths and ladder heights while asking great questions.

Turner then led a fire safety session with pre-kindergarten 3&4 through first grade students, discussing the importance of knowing that in a fire emergency, the firefighter is a friend. He outlined the reasons for each piece of equipment a firefighter must wear and let children get comfortable with him as a first responder in fire emergencies. 
Director of Bryan Innovation Lab Presents to CA Faculty

Cary Jameison, Director of the Bryan Innovation Lab at the Steward School, visited with the Chesapeake Academy faculty to share her insights as the director of an innovation program that has been in operation for several years. Jameison offered her thoughts on what worked well for Steward, what they wished they had thought of sooner, and where they saw their innovation lab heading.

Jameison described grade-level collaborations within and outside the lab. She also described a visiting innovators program that connects student designers with real wold projects. And she invited the Chesapeake Academy faculty to join her for a first-hand view of the Bryan Lab in action.
Think Like an Egyptian!

Fourth graders had the opportunity to think like Egyptian builders when they spent some time in the Arts & Innovation Hub designing pyramids. Using only toothpicks and marshmallows, students chose between constructing rectangular or square pyramids and had just 30 minutes to build the largest pyramid they could. Beforehand, fourth graders discussed the challenges that Ancient Egyptians faced in building pyramids, including hauling materials, assembling, and designing the interior layers of such massive structures. Recreating their own pyramids gave students a visual model as they considered how Egyptians solved those problems and explored ways the structures could be improved.
Interested in learning more about Girls Gear Up!? Contact Hilary Scott at
The Book Fair Is Here!

Readers! Rev your engines! The Scholastic Book Fair is here in time to stock up for winter or to get some early Christmas shopping done. The fair will run from November 5 until November 14 (closing at 8:45 a.m. to start packing up). Bookfair hours are 8:15 a.m to 8:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.
Have you Scheduled your PPD Conference?

Your child's teachers are excited and ready to broach your favorite topic and theirs: Your student! These Parent Partnership Conferences bring together the insights and wisdom of a student's best advocates--their parents--and the perspective and experience of their teachers to discuss each child's growth. This powerful partnership is one of the most important contributions you can make to your child's success, so take a minute to make this time count!

  • Collect your thoughts. What seems to be working? What opportunities exist for growth?
  • Find out what is coming next in your child's curriculum. Knowing what is coming up will provide a context for what your child is working on now.
  • How can you best support the process? Use this conference to determine how to focus your efforts to best support your child's growth.
  • Follow through on recommendations and stay in touch to share results. Feedback helps fine-tune better strategies!
  • Support your partners! 


In a partnership between the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and Chesapeake Academy, middle school leaders gathered in the Arts & Innovation Hub to share some open-ended brainstorming about service projects that might benefit from this sort of broad collaboration. The leaders came up with three service projects to spearhead this year.

On Saturday, November 16, the administration of the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is scheduled at CA. Most independent schools require SSAT testing for high school admission, so any eighth graders interested in the prospect of an independent secondary school education have the opportunity to take this assessment locally.

If you are interested in having your child take the SSAT, you may sign up on the SSAT website under "register for the SSAT" in the top right corner  here  and search for Chesapeake Academy.
Coach's Corner

Coach York is still collecting jerseys from the Fall athletics season. Basketball open gym for fifth through eighth graders will begin November 11. The open gym will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.. Students must have returned Fall athletics jerseys to be eligible to participate. Tryouts begin on November 18 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Student Council Update!

Student Council is planning a Ghost Tour of Williamsburg for grades five through eight with docent Kim Dynia on Friday, November 22. The cost per student is $7 plus food money and should be paid by November 15.

Ospreys About Town

Attention! Parents of middle school girls! Catherine L. Emery is leading Virginia Outside’s first ever all-girls fly fishing overnight camp in June 2020. If you have a daughter or granddaughter age 12 to 16 and think she might be interested, contact . No experience is necessary. It’s going to be a blast!
CRA of Pythagorean Theorem

Though many people think the CRA method (concrete, representational, abstract) of mathematical work is for very young students, it is applicable throughout the curriculum. Sixth grade students have used this approach for tackling the Pythagorean Theorem.

The Concrete Phase: Squaring legs a and b makes a lot of sense when Cheez-Its are the squares! Students used the crackers to explore the special 3-4-5 right triangle to see how the area of the squares formed by each leg could be combined to equal the squared hypotenuse.

The Representational Phase: Students used sketches to help them process a variety of scenarios from ladders against buildings to tree heights to a footrace to a taco truck! Representing real-world situations better understood through the Pythagorean Theorem brought meaning to the formula.

The Abstract Phase: After this level of work, students are able to work with the numbers in abstract. Some students begin to identify the legs in a scenario and quickly work with the numbers on their own without an accompanying visual. The abstract formula ( a squared plus b squared equals c squared) is not just a saying but a shorthand to a real process they have practiced thoroughly.

An Attitude of Gratitude

  • Thanks to the Lang family for picking up CAPPA's apples and to the Browns, Langs and Burkes for unloading them. Thanks to Lara Brown for quarterbacking delivery to buyers.
  • Thanks to the Development Office for a wonderful community luncheon on Halloween!
  • Thanks to the faculty and community members who chipped into help with the Halloween luncheon.
  • Hat tip to the faculty who step up to fill every need!
  • Thanks to several veteran grandparents who reached out to welcome new grandparents in advance of Grandparents' and Grandfriends' Day!
  • Thanks to Amy Beane and Alan Rafael for their support of the Bookfair!

The Gift of Time and Talent is a Treasure!

Dates to Remember

11/8 End First Marking Period
11/11 through 11/14 Parent Partnership Conferences, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
11/13, PALS presents Virginia Repertory Theatre's "The Real Story of Pocohantas, 9:30 a.m.
11/14 Scholastic Bookfair Ends at 8:45 a.m.
11/16 Girls Gear Up!, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
11/16 SSATs at Chesapeake Academy
11/18 Academic Awards Assembly, 10:05 a.m., gym
11/20 State of the School Financial Meeting, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
11/20 Faculty Professional Development, 3:30 p.m.
11/22 Student Council's Williamsburg Ghost Tour
11/27-11/30 Thanksgiving Holiday
12/1 Student Council's Clash of the Coins Begins
12/3 Parent Coffee at the Residence, 8:30 a.m., first grade
12/4 Dress Uniform
12/4 Varsity Basketball hosts New Community School, 4:30 p.m.
12/10 Parent Coffee at the Residence, 8:30 a.m., second grade
12/12 Basketball @ Ware Academy, 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.
12/17 Varsity Basketball hosts Peasley Middle School, 4:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m
12/20 Holiday Program, noon release