December, 2015

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Quick Calendar Notes…

  • Thursday, January 7th – Return from Winter Break
  • Thursday, January 14th – End of Quarter 2 – report cards will be sent home on January 21st
  • Friday, January 15th – Spirit Event and Movie Night
  • Monday, January 18th – No School – MLK, Jr. Day
  • Week of January 18th – Informal Assessments in ELA and Mathematics
  • Friday, January 22nd – 8:00AM @ Fort Christiavern – Stay Fit 4 Life
  • Tuesday, January 26th @ 6:00PM – Board of Directors Meeting
  • Wednesday, January 27th @ 6:00PM – Parent Night
  • Thursday, January 28th – Box Tops collection day
  • Friday, January 29th – No School – Staff Professional Development Day


Spelling Bee

Students in all grade levels competed fiercely for the spelling bee title this year on Monday, December 14th.  But despite many strong performances, in the end, Ariana S. took 1st place, with Jayme C-W. coming in as the runner up.  Ariana will represent AZ Academy at the St. Croix district bee in 2016, and we look forward to seeing her on stage representing our school!

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 Winter Celebration

Rain, rain, go away – come again another day!  If you know AZ Academy, then you that we have an incredible history of attracting rain at our school events.  But this year at the Winter Celebration, that did not hold us back!  5 minutes before the event was to begin, the rain that covered the Cruzana Manor Ruins relented, and then it was on with the show!  All and all, it was special night featuring the musical talents of AZ Academy’s students – check out the videos below to see for yourself.

Staffing Changes – Ringing in the New Year!

AZ Academy has a few changes in store for our families when we return from break – here are the highlights:

  • Mrs. Gwen Eden will be coming on board full-time, taking on Integrated Math I and the Speech enrichment class
  • Mrs. Michelle Huff will begin as the 3rd grade instructor and the Word Exploration enrichment class instructor
  • Mrs. Erica Childress will begin as the science 4 and 5 instructor, as well as teaching Word Games II and a math enrichment class

Please give them all a warm welcome to the AZ Academy community!

3rd Grade News

Happy holidays from the third grade! December has brought about a significant amount of change in the third grade. Over the last few weeks, we have gained new friends, Carl and Mrs. Huff, into our classroom. We will also be saying goodbye to Miss Robel as she heads back to the States over the winter break. The students have done a tremendous job throughout these transitions, all while rocking and rolling through their school work. They deserve a big hug and a nice, relaxing break!

Ms. Grace Robel

Mrs. F’s English Class

The English students have been reading the play, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  They learned about Charles Dickens as an author and looked at how his life experiences shaped his work.  They watched several versions of the movie and compared and contrasted them.  In the end they performed a reader’s theater for the kindergarten class (their reading buddies).


I can’t wait until next year!

Mrs. Sara Faquaher

May the ‘Chi’ be With You

In P.E. I have started to incorporate Qigong into the curriculum. The literal translation is “Life Energy Cultivation”. It is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine , philosophy, and martial arts, Qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as “life energy”. We’ve been practicing Baduanjin Qigong variously translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade. Our 8 sections are translated into the following:

  • Two Hands Hold up the Heavens
  • Drawing the Bow to Shoot the Eagle / Hawk / Vulture
  • Separate Heaven and Earth
  • Wise Owl Gazes Backwards or Look Back
  • Sway the Head and Shake the Tail
  • Two Hands Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist
  • Clench the Fists and Glare Fiercely (or Angrily)
  • Bouncing on the Toes

View this video to see some of the movements!

P.s. And I’m sure you all thought we did nothing but play dodge ball every week!

Mr. Smith

Earth Science

IMG_1655The Earth Science class went to observe the sedimentary rocks that were exposed when the bypass was built. They learned about the history of the island’s geology.

For more information, check out this Field Guide to the Geology of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands!

Mrs. Melinda Moran

I’m Good in 1st and 2nd Grade!

jill picThe 1st and 2nd graders practiced very hard for our Winter Celebration performance of “I’m Good.”  We all had input in deciding what moves fit the song.  The rain didn’t hold us back one bit – we totally rocked it out!  We hope everyone was blessed by our performance.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.  We’ll be back in 2016 ready to listen and ready to learn!

Mrs. Jill Carter

High School Music and 2nd/3rd Grade Music

Sometimes a video is worth more than 250 words so check out our high school band in action playing a song by a group called “Imagine Dragons” and our 2nd/3rd Graders singing along to a song from the Fast and Furious 7 movie soundtrack.

Mr. Smith

Delectable Division!

Ms. Harris’ Math Work group has been focusing on automatic recall of multiplication and division facts in their afternoon session.  As an introduction to the division concept, the class watched the online story entitled The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, which is about a grandmother making cookies and dividing the amount between visitors that come to her house.  The students acted out the story with their individual bags of cookies and created division problems to accompany.  It was a delectable division kind of day!

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Ms. Chelsy Harris

Mr. Smith Goes to Volleyball Practice

We have the foundation set for a volleyball team that will be competing against other schools next year. We have partnered up with St. Mary’s Catholic School to put a team together and the young ladies have been practicing on Mondays and Wednesday with a graduate student who has volunteered to be their coach. Zarina’s mother has also helped coach practice on occasion, as well as myself. I realized that I hadn’t taken any pics of their practices for Dragon Tales so for their last practice I had our girls take some pics that I could submit. Believe it or not, there are actually a few pics of them with a volleyball that they have provided me with!

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Mr. Smith

Mr. Clark’s Corner

Happy holiday season everyone.  We’ve had two amazing quarters of learning and the kids have worked very hard.  Math students have completed three units and are halfway through the geometry unit.  We are reading a new book in ELA called, The Kid Who Ran for President.  It’s a great story and goes along well with the upcoming Presidential race and election.  We also finished our unit on verbs and will begin adjectives next quarter, as well as continue our persuasive essay writing.  Both social studies classes ended this month with a test.

Also, I want to give out a big kudos to all the students in the music classes.  They did an outstanding job at the Winter Celebration.  Have a great holiday break and a happy new year.  See you in 2016!

Mr. Clark Dauner

The Ultimate AZ Chess Tournament and the Masters of the Universe

So we had our first double elimination chess tournament here at AZ Academy. We had 24 participants in the tournament and it was a battle for the ages – pawns getting sacrificed, knights decapitating bishops, and rooks crushing knights. It was a bloody massacre with only one left standing. Our first chess champion (aka the Master of the Universe) was none other than Tristan L. He then got his shot at the ‘Ridiculously Impeccable Sovereign Supreme Grand Master’ (I will let you guess who that is) but his Kung Fu was lacking in comparison for that battle. Yet he may get another shot at me in 2016!

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Mr. Smith

Busy, Busy, Busy in Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten!

These first few weeks of December have been full of a lot of excitement and anticipation of the upcoming holidays. There has been a lot of learning going on along with many holiday activities arts and crafts and music, music, music! It is hard to believe that it will be January and the year 2016 when we return to school on the 7th.

Some of the fun things we did were to make snow, Play-Doh, ornaments, cards and gifts for our parents which we made with recycled materials such as baby food jars, popsicle sticks, and old curtain dowels. We hope that our parents enjoyed their gifts and also the gift of song that we presented at our Holiday concert. The children did a magnificent job reciting “Five Little Bells” and singing “Jingle Bells”.

The past two weeks, we have enjoyed the company of two visitors from Denmark, Lillie and Axel. Can you believe we had two Axel’s in the class all week? Thank you Lillie and Axel for joining us and we hope to see you again next year when you return to St. Croix for your annual visit!

Our class would like to wish you all a very happy, safe and joyous vacation. Looking forward to seeing everyone and hearing all about their many adventures when we return in January!

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