February, 2014


AZ Academy                                                     The Fire Burns Within!

AZ Academy champions the whole child using differentiated small-group instruction in a safe and nurturing environment, thereby inspiring students to reach their full potential.

Quick Notes

  • Mid Quarter 3 progress reports were sent home with students on Friday, February 28th
  • There will be no school the week of March 24th – Spring Break

Black History Month & Literacy

Students learned a lot during Black History Month through stories – both fictional and informational. Thank you Ms. Denise in pre-K – 1st grade for coordinating our events this month! Here are some of the interesting things we learned:

  • The students thought about their dreams for themselves and our community, because Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and it changed the world!
  • DJ Kool Herc invented hip hop in the 1970’s when he noticed that people danced like crazy during the percussion breaks in a song. So he used 2 turntables when he DJ’ed so that he could play back to back music breaks, and then people started “break dancing”!
  • C. J. Walker as the first self-made black female millionaire in America. She invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905, especially one that stopped hair loss!
  • Henry Brown was a slave whose wife and children were sold, and it broke his heart. After being depressed, he had a friend pack him in a crate and ship him up north to freedom!
  • Before he died, Arthur Ash (a famous Tennis player who got AIDS from a blood transfusion) and his daughter published a photo journal of what they did together. He did this because his mother died when he was young and there were no pictures of her for Arthur to remember how she looked!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. as a young child as not allowed to play with his white neighbors, which inspired him when he grew up to change the laws!
  • Harriet Tubman ran away from her master and found freedom in the north, but then returned south repeatedly to help over 300 other slaves escape through the Underground Railroad!

All in all, it as an educational and literary week!  Thank you to our readers – Tyanna J., Rebecca N., Sarah Maynard, Denise Rupp, and Callie Rupp.

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Spelling Bee Success!

Tyanna J. represented AZ Academy at the St. Croix District Spelling Bee this month, and she came in 6th place out of 20 contestants! On March 7th, she will compete in the territorial bee on St. Thomas – her entire AZ family wishes her good luck!

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AZ Hosts 1st Poetry Out Loud Competition

High school students memorized and then performed a poem in AZ Academy’s first Poetry Out Loud competition. The students did a really nice job! Here are the results:

  • 4th – Shardonnay S.
  • 3rd – Felicia D.
  • 2nd – Savanna B.
  • 1st – Sabreen K.

Check out some pictures!



Movie Night – Friday, March 14th @ 6:30

movieStudent Council had a successful Valentine’s Day fundraiser this month – thank you to everyone that bought a treat for a friend! Now it is time for March’s movie, so come on out for family fun and an affordable dinner!

Epic (2013)

102 min – Animation | Adventure | Family

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world — and ours.

Career Week Next Week

The entire school will experience Career eek next week under the guidance of our School Counselor, Ms. Wallace. The Common Core State Standards focus on college and career readiness for graduates, and weeks like this help the school develop that culture with students. Here are some of the events:

  • Pre-kindergarten through 6th grade will visit Ms. Wallace in the computer lab to look at PAWS in Jobland, an online curriculum where a cute dog helps students explore the career clusters.
  • 7-12th graders will spend Monday and Tuesday in workshops, where a variety of presenters will cover topics such as interview etiquette, how to find money for college, and much more.
  • 9-12th graders will spend Wednesday and Thursday at an internship.
  • On Friday at 1:00PM the high school students will make presentations about their internship experience – feel free to join us parents!

It will be a busy week, but it will very educational. Thank you, Ms. Wallace!

VI History Month & March Spirit Event

March is VI History Month, and Ms. Vitra in early elementary has some exciting plans for us! Since next week is career week, there will be no scheduled activities, and of course the last week of March is spring break, so there will be none there as well. That leaves us with 2 weeks to explore our heritage. Here is what we will be doing:

  • The week of March 10th – on Monday – Thursday from 12:45 – 1:15 the entire school will have Quadrille lessons with Mrs. Lampe in the parking lot. Then on Friday, in our Spirit Event, the blue team and the silver team will have a Quadrille dance off at 2:00 – parents are welcome to join us!
  • The week of March 17th – on different days groups of students will go on an educational hike with Olassee Davis to Maroon Country – PARENT DRIVERS ARE NEEDED!

These experiential learning activities will be lots of fun!

Send Someone to Jail on April 26th!

AZ Academy is looking for Jail Birds! Give us the name of friends and family who deserve to “do hard time for a good cause”! e will arrest them and make sure they continue to support our community. Email Paula Heller, pheller@azvi.org, with names and contact information so that we can begin planning this event!

Check out last year’s Jail Birds – they were awesome!

Project South America

Torres photoThe World Geography class has completed an in-depth analysis of the countries of South America. Each student was partnered with another student to research extensively on their assigned country. A few of the questions that they had to find the answer to were:

  • What are the leading exports of your country and how are they extracted or manufactured?
  • What type of government does your country have? Explain this type of government.
  • What are some landforms found in and around your country?

After answering these questions (there were many more) the students were to then begin working independently on a visual aid to display the wealth of information they found. The visual aids were wonderful! It is apparent that each and every student put forth a lot of effort to display their information.

Now we continue on in our journey around the world. Next on our agenda is Europe and Russia!

Fun with Bubbles in Elementary Science Lab

This month the elementary students explored the properties of bubbles in a messy, but fun way!

bubble 1bubble 2








Holidays and Celebrations in Pre-K – 1st Grade

prek picFebruary has been a busy month for prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. We have been learning and talking about Groundhog Day, Black History Month, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and the 100th day of school, as well as the 2014 Winter Olympics. Did you know that room 3A has 100 fingers and 100 toes in it? We have listened to stories about many famous people this month and a well-known animal – Punxsutawney Phil. He predicted that there will be 6 more weeks of winter because he did not see his shadow. We know all about winter weather and that spring comes next because we are learning about weather and the seasons in our unit studies. The Olympics have been fun – learning about the different sports the athletes participate in. Some of the things the athletes have done seem impossible!

Poetry Month with Mr. Clarke

Hard to believe that February is over already. We have been doing a lot of work since the holiday break. The literature classes have been doing a lengthy unit on poetry. I know poetry isn’t always the most exciting subject for students, but it’s a great way to expose them to some unique writing styles, unfamiliar vocabulary, and a different way of expressing themselves through reading and writing. We’ve talked about so many interesting things including imagery, symbolism, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Ask your child what these terms mean and have them explain them to you. It’s also fun to have them show you examples of each term in some actual poetry (simply google the term online to see some examples). We read some poetry by some great writers including Shel Silverstein, Edgar Allen Poe, and Emily Dickinson. The older students also shared a PowerPoint presentation with their classmates about a poet of their choice. Probably the most nerve-racking portion of the unit was when the students had to memorize and recite a poem in front of the classes. We do, however, feel that the more kids can have the opportunity now to speak in public, the easier it will be later in life. For more information on the poetry contest go to www.poetryoutloud.org.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Mr. Clark Dauner, cdauner@azvi.org

Rockets Blast Off in Earth Science!

For the past two weeks, the Earth and Space Science class has been designing and construction air pressure propelled rockets in class. The students have had the chance to experiment and modify their designs. The class also decided to use a combination of Diet Coke and Mentos candy to create the pressure needed for lift off. It has been a lesson in trial, error and re-evaluation. Some failures have been spectacular, and the students learned what works and does not work. The class showcased some of the rockets on Friday during closing ceremonies. A group of rockets will also be launched during AZ Quest at the end of the year.

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Second Grade ROCKS!

The second grade classroom has been busy learning about the earth and rocks. We created Play-Doh models of the earth’s layers and then investigated these layers with a more in-depth focus on sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. The children explored Snicker’s bars to visualize these types of rock. A solid bar represented the sedimentary stage of the rock cycle, one that was placed in a ziploc bag and squished demonstrated the metamorphic stage, and one heated in the microwave illustrated the igneous stage. It was a tasty way to conduct our scientific research. Second grade ROCKS!

Second Grade Pic 1 (640x480)Second Grade Pic 2 (480x640)Secong Grade Pic 3 (640x480)



Hot Topics Logo designed by former AZ Academy student, Morgane Deighan, 2013