April 2015

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“A Tourist’s Guide to St. Croix” – Projects Due May 1st

Parents and students – do not delay!  This project deadline is quickly upon us – next Friday!  Students are to write a one paragraph article about the location they have selected, as well as take a photo of themselves at the site.  Essays and the photo are to be emailed to azacademy@azvi.org!

 ITBS & PLAN Testing Next Week

Standardized testing is one of the ways AZ Academy measures the effectiveness of its curriculum and instructors, as well as the growth of students from year to year as compared to students in the same grade across the nation.  Kindergarten and 1st grade is completing the testing this week, but next week, 2nd – 19th graders will begin the ITBS and the PLAN respectively.  Click on the links below to learn more about these assessments:



 AZ Quest a Success!

Evidence of learning was abound at AZ Quest this year!  Classrooms featured student work and projects, as well as tons of interactive experiences that made this open house engaging and fun.  The Book Fair Book Swap and its stamp making activity were a hit, as well as the coffee, donuts, and popcorn sold by the Guatemala Group.  The musical chairs game for 40 people kicked off the event, followed by performances by early elementary students that were so cute!  The event ended with the elementary band, the middle school band, and the high school band sharing their songs to a delighted crowd!

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Thank you all for coming!

 6th Annual Jail or Bail

JBWebLogoIt’s time to throw some people in the “slammer” for AZ Academy’s Scholarship Fund!  Join AZ Academy at theTtriathlon Jump Up on Strand Street in front of the Royal Poinciana on May 1st from 6:00 – 10:00PM.  The high school band, Chained Freedom, will be entertaining the crowd while jailbirds are arraigned in front of the judge during their breaks.  The Guatemala Group will be selling drinks and hot dogs, so stop by to grab a quick bite and wet your whistle.

So who is going to do some, “hard time for a good cause” this year?  Here is a quick peek at the AZ Academy families that are accused of audacious crimes…

  • Beverly Hermon, mother of Nikita (10th grade)
  • Marcel Galiber, father of Javier (9th grade)
  • Nelvin Boscan, father of Valentino (kindergarten)
  • Danny Matarangas-King, father of Alexis (8th grader)
  • Sweeny Toussaint, grandfather of Sweeny (8th grade)
  • Trina Soto-Clarke, mother of Jared (2nd grade) and Justin (5th grade)
  • Deseree Rodriguez, mother of Jose (3rd grade)
  • Luis Cintron, father of Antonio (kindergarten)
  • Megan Fitzgerald, mother of Jordyn (4th grade)
  • Valerie Kepley, mother of Wilson (2nd grade)

And that’s just the start of the list!  A special thank you to all of AZ Academy’s family jailbirds for their commitment to their school family!

Quiz Bowl Spirit Event was a Hit

Broken up into blue and silver teams of 8, teams were given 15 minutes to decide the answer to 45 trivia questions – and then the games began!  Pulling a new question randomly, Ms. Paula read the question, and then the teams had 15 seconds to record their responses on a marker board and then reveal it to the scorer.  It was a fast paced trivia bonanza until 3:00PM, and then the results were announced – the Blue Team earned 3 points and the Silver Team earned 1.  But no worries Silver Team – winning the competition this year lies in the events during Spirit Week.  Every year, the competitions that week decide who the overall winner for the year is, so get ready everyone!

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Upcoming Calendar Events

  • Week of May 4th – Informal Assessments
  • Week of May 4th – Teacher Appreciation Week – share the love!
  • May 8th – Middle School and High School Dance @ Divi Carina Bay
  • May 10th – Mother’s Day – share some more love!
  • Week of May 11th – SPIRIT WEEK! GO BLUE! GO SILVER!
  • Week of May 18th – Semester Exams (6th grade and up) – 15% of the grade!
  • May 23rd – June 1st – Guatemala Group’s Service Learning Trip
  • May 25th – NO SCHOOL – Memorial Day

Swimming Starts Again Next Week

poolIt’s getting super, hot during PE, so it’s time to get back into the pool!  Beginning next week, April 28th and 30th, swim lessons will resume.

1-12th graders will have swim lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and should change during lunch.  PreK – Kinder students will have swim lessons only on Thursdays, and should change during lunch as well.  Students who are non-swimmers should have arm floaties or a swim vest.  A lifeguard will be on duty at all times.  Students should wear their AZ t-shirts on these days, but can change into flip flops at lunch if desired.  Please send a towel and an extra bag (like a grocery bag as the personalized tote bags which can be found online) each swim day for wet clothes.  Sunscreen is also recommended.

Statement of Intent

What are your plans for next year?  We need to know so that we can assure our staff they have jobs next year!  Currently, we have 9 students enrolled for next year.

Please log onto https://azvi.achieve-technology.us, click on “Student/Household” on the left, and then choose “Enroll/Re-enroll” from the drop down menu.  Once in the form, you must make a selection for each item.  If your student is returning, on the second and third row select “Not Applicable/Returning”.

If you need your user name and password, just email azacademy@azvi.org.  It is quick and easy and gives AZ Academy the information it needs to adequately plan for next year.  Thank you!

St. Croix Big Island Adventure Camp T-shirts Spotted in Rwanda

IMG_1468Jamie Van Leeuwen, the Executive Director of the Global Livingston Institute, Jaymedelivered over 300 STX Big Island Adventure Camp @ AZ t-shirts to Rwanda last October with AZ Academy’s graduate Carolyn Whitney Carter.  As Miss U.S. Virgin Islands, she was there to emcee an AIDS Awareness musical festival while also volunteering at local schools.

When Jamie returned to Rwanda this month, six months later, he was happy to find these colorful t-shirts were still being worn by children in the villages.  AZ Academy is honored that this gift has been cherished!

GoFundMe for the Guatemala Trip!

fundraiseIn this modern age, fundraising take so many different forms, which now includes websites dedicated to fundraising endeavors and the use of social media.  The Guatemala Group has embraced these new technologies, and now we are enlisting your help in forwarding our message…

  • Click on the link below to watch a 3 minute video about the students’ service learning trip and make a donation – no gift is too small and it can be anonymous,
  • Copy the link and email it to family or friends, and
  • Like AZ Academy’s Facebook page and then share the link to the video to your friends!

We appreciate your help and hopefully your donation!


Wylie, Cayla, Jesus, Te’a, Jordan, Katie, and Rosie

Science Center Features Hands-on Learning

The Science Center was a very busy place getting ready for Quest. All the classes have put forth amazing projects. Physics unveiled their wind turbine that they will be competing with next week for the KidWind Challenge. Physical science displayed amazing examples of catapults and an awe inspiring marble run. Life science had fun with the human anatomy with an informational Operation Game and displayed detailed 3D cells. Earth science out did themselves with their Mesozoic Mashup Song and the wonderful AZasaurous. I’m am extremely proud of all the students for their great effort and scientific imaginations.

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Technology Classes are in Business

dragonThe Technology I, II, and IV classes have a lot in store for you this quarter, and I mean that literally! For the fourth quarter, the students will complete a project that is composed of a series of assignments. The big picture is for each student to create a new business where they are selling products or services. Creating a new business will entail memo writing and sending a professional email to apply for a trade name, using any computer software to create a versatile, appropriate, and unique but simple logo, using Excel to compose a financial forecast, PowerPoint to recruit potential employees, Word to compose interview questions, and a Media Maker software to create a commercial. This project not only includes technology but it allows the AZ student to use their creativity and individuality to reach their full potential while working on this stimulating project throughout the quarter.

Books, Parks, and Gardens – 3rd Grade is Busy!

The third grade has been busy learning, creating, and collecting during April!  We have officially flown to Neverland in Peter Pan where the students are learning about character traits and motives, symbolism, and imagination.  We have also started to break apart wholes into fractions in math and to learn about how the economic system works in social studies. Over the last two weeks, the students did a tremendous job helping Miss Robel with the book collections and setting up for the book exchange at Quest!  They also had fun visiting the East End Marine Park to talk about conservation and headed to the Botanical Gardens for an eco-fair and litter stomp on Earth Day.

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A Fraction Feast

Mrs. Crowther’s high school math class enjoyed a fraction feast on Wednesday, April 15. Students were required to find a recipe that had at least four fractions in it. They had to double the recipe, then halve the recipe. They then had to transfer the information into a template that was turned into a recipe booklet. To celebrate their success, each student made their recipe and brought it to our Fraction Feast. Since you didn’t get a chance to join us, please download our Recipe Booklet and try out our recipes.

4/5th Grade News – Eat Cookies!

We have moved on to pronouns in grammar, and continue to read the book entitled, The Kid Who Ran for President” as a class.  We had a test over colonial life, and next we’ll be studying the American Revolution and how our government was created.  We had a great time at AZ Quest sharing our paper mache’ planets and the moon phases made from Oreo cookies.  Math students are finishing up the geometry unit with a test soon, and then we’ll be working on fractions.  Our field trip to the East End Marine Park was fun and informative, and another trip to the Botanical Gardens to learn about Earth Day was a success!

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Probability! Cards, Dice and Games

torres picThe best way to learn math is to practice math.  The best way to practice math is with games.  Some great games that the students have been learning are:

  • Horse Racing, which involves rolling dice
  • Probability of Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Stop or Dare- a card game.

All the middle school math students have been having a blast playing games and practicing math all at the same time!

Dinosaurs are Dino-mite!

Our young first and second grade paleontologists have been hard at work!  They have been learning about dinosaurs by conducting comparisons of various herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.  The class read Dinosaurs before Dark from The Magic Tree House series as a read aloud, investigating characteristics of the dinosaurs presented in the literature. The children participated in a “Dinosaur Dig” to excavate the fossils (chocolate chips) from their cookies and created casts of dinosaurs with Mrs. Moran during Science Lab.  As you can see, our class is on a wonderful learning journey!

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History All Around

In the Ancient History, students have projects on display from the Egyptian and Greek Empires. Antonio L. made a working Pan Flute, Ashley S. created a children’s pop-up book about the Greek gods and goddesses. Tyanna J. constructed a temple to the Greek gods and goddess. Cayla F. likes to use clay as her medium of choice making a sphinx from ancient Egypt and a Greek farm diorama. Alexis M. made a poster depicting how Athens got its name and treated the class to olives and bread dipped in olive oil. Colby introduced more Greek foods and treated the class to baklava. Wylie C. goes big with projects. His Egyptian pyramid resided most of the year in the locker area because it could not fit through the door!  It made a great display at the entrance to the class for Quest. His typical Greek home can be taken apart and put back together using clues. These are just a few of the projects that were on display.

Greek Gods pop-up Temple of the gods Pan Flute (800x450)

The Caribbean History class took a field trip to Estate La Reine for a ruins ramble then spent the next week making relief maps to depict the estate and the island of St. Croix as it was divided up in the 1700s. They learned the typical layout of a sugar plantation and the locations of the 9 quarters that divide the island.

Estate La Reine St. Croix

The World Geography class got interested in flags after Ms. Cissel found several flags at a yard sale. The flags inspired the students to design games that would help them learn to what country each flag belonged. Working in groups of two, students designed, planned and executed their games. It was a fun learning experience. These games were played at Quest.

Flags, flag games, Caribbean maps & flags Rosetta Stone Trojan Horse & Pyramid

The American History class is learning 50 states and capitals and their locations on blank maps. They are exploring the Industrial Revolution and it role in the War Between the States.