October, 2015

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Fall Festival Raffle Tickets – Final Push for Sales!

With the Fall Festival raffle ticket drawing on Monday, November 16th at Opening Ceremony, let’s all make a final push to sell all of the tickets that we have!  Even if you do not sell all of your tickets, please send your student’s envelope back to school on Monday, November 16th!

After School Activities with Gayle

Gayle Vanasse has been busy creating and exploring with students after school – from making toilet paper roll animals to hiking in the trails!  This week she is sewing and gardening – please encourage your student to participate if they are staying after school!

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After School Program Additions – Flag Football and Math Tutoring

footballBeginning next week, Mr. Mauree will be hosting math tutoring on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15 – 4:15PM in the computer lab.  Students may be referred by their teacher as a requirement for support!  But otherwise, it is open to all students, so feel free to contact him if you would like your student to attend (mheller@azvi.org).

Also beginning next week, Mr. Smith will begin flag football practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3rd – 12th graders from 3:15 – 4:45PM.  Students should sign-up in the main office!  They will be traveling off-campus on the bus, down to the beach near Seaborne where there is a large field.

Coastal Week Beach Cleanup

As part of an international campaign to clean up and quantify trash on beaches, AZ Academy’s students headed out to clean their adopted beach, just west of Christiansted.  Using buddy groups to work as teams, students collected and recorded the type of trash that accumulated on the beach – here is some data about our efforts – we collected:

  • Glass Bottles – 169
  • Soda Cans – 80
  • Plastic Bottles – 195
  • Plastic Lids – 50
  • Bottle Caps – 27

The students did a wonderful job cleaning up our island!

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Spirit Event – Scarecrow Decorations and Leadership

Teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving are learning opportunities at AZ Academy, and nowhere were those skills more practiced than at October’s Spirit Event.  Buddy groups were tasked with designing and building a scarecrow on one of the mahogany trees that line our driveway in preparation for the Fall Festival.  Given only 30 minutes to plan a week in advance, buddy groups headed down to the road with their supplies to create decorations.  Overall they did a nice job!  The Silver Team scored 2 points and the Blue Team scored 1!

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Cross Country Team

18 students laced up their tennis shoes and took off running with Mr. Smith and Mr. Chuck!  Participating in three track meets at UVI, students continued to beat their scores week after week.  Great job, runners!

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Upcoming Events…

AR Points Parties on Friday – 11/6

Students are expected to always be reading books and taking AR quizzes that are worth varying points.  Based on reading 15 minutes each day, a point goal is established for every student.  When the quarter ends, students that have met their goal get to attend a party!

For this quarter, 1st – 3rd graders will have a pool party at Cruzana Manor on Friday at 1:45PM.  4th – 12th graders will have a beach party that starts at 1:15PM.  All students attending parties should report to the main pavilion and be ready to go at their designated time!  Congratulations!  31 students met their goal!

OxFam Hunger Banquet – 11/10 @ 12:15PM

oxfam 2Did you know that there is an abundance of food on the planet to feed everyone?  Did you know that every 3 seconds someone dies from starvation?  These topics are explored at AZ Academy’s 8th Annual OxFam Hunger Banquet.  Every year we visit another location to explore the causes and effects of hunger – last year we investigated Rwanda and the genocide that took the world by surprise.  This year we will visit Syria and try to unravel the complex factors that have created so much unrest in this region.

November Spirit Event – 11/13 @ 2:05PM

Talent-Show-imageNext month’s Spirit Event will be a talent show, because AZ Academy’s got talent!  Join us at the Mahogany Stage as the blue and silver teams face off again!

November Movie Night – 11/13 @ 6:30PM

annieThis month’s Movie Night features the 2014 version of Annie…

“A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1823664/

Join AZ Academy for a fun night of music and laughter!

Thanksgiving Luncheon – 11/24 @ 12:15PM

Let’s give thanks for our AZ Academy family on Tuesday, November 24th!  Join us for a turkeycatered luncheon ($10/person), where we having a Thanksgiving meal will all the trimmings.  Look for an invitation and an RSVP card to be sent home next week!

Yard Sale – Rescheduled

yard saleA local church is having a huge yard sale on November 21st – the same day as AZ Academy’s scheduled event.  Therefore, we are postponing ours until December – we will let you know what the date is once it is scheduled!

Professional Development Day – 11/25 – NO SCHOOL

Students will have Wednesday, November 25th off, but teachers won’t!  This day is a professional development day for instructors, where we will look at technology applications in the classroom, math instruction, and differentiated instruction.  We will be busy before our break!

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign to prevent drug usage and abuse.  This year at AZ Academy it featured presenters throughout the week, and ended on Friday with the Wear Red Contest, the announcement of the winners of the door decorating contest, and making a giant red ribbon!


Wear Red Contest Results

  • 1st Place – Amarion G
  • 2nd Place – Ariana S
  • 3rd Place – Sophia L

Door Decorating Contest Results

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1st Place – 3rd Grade                    2nd Place – 5th Grade                    3rd Place – High School

Thank you, Ms. Sarah Rojas, for coordinating this week for our students!

Fall Festival – Phenomenal!

Wow! Wow! Wow!  AZ Academy’s 14th Annual Fall Festival was a tremendous success!  Even though it rained like crazy late in the afternoon, everyone rallied and finished setting up quickly so that we could open the gates on time at 5:00PM to an anxious crowd that had begun to gather.  From there, the line to get in to the event was long all night long.  Student favorites included the Haunted Trail, Skeeball, and the Balloon Dart game.

Thank you to all of our parents, students, faculty, and community volunteers for making this event awesome!  There is no way we could have pulled it off without the support of so many people.  We would especially like to recognize Mike and Barbara Gelardi for their passion for the haunted trail – it was an incredible success and will be remembered all year long!

A special thank you to all of our sponsors…

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Thriller Costume Party

The Haunted Trail opened again on Friday night for the Thriller Costume Party!  Music from the DJ was pumping and neon lights danced all across the pool.  Thank you to those who came – we hope you had a great time!

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Art Room News

Students at AZ have been very busy creating meaningful and personal works of art! Students in the art classes (K-12) started the year off focusing on some of the elements of art – including line, shape, space, and texture. The younger children created drawings of bugs, owls, and fish. The older students looked at lines and shapes of big cats and shoes. We then moved on to positive and negative space – the younger children working on opposite color landscapes, with the older students working the Japanese inspired Notan Designs. Now we are focusing on fall themed texture drawings and metal tooling designs. Art work has been saved in the art room portfolios. At the end of each quarter, some pieces will be selected for their classroom binders, others will be sent home soon.

Also check out Artsonia (www.artsonia.com), the online website showcasing your student’s art, in a personal digital gallery. If you haven’t had a chance to go online to give permission to view the artwork or you want to sign a permission form for Ms. Nicole to grant permission- please do so soon! Artsonia is also a fundraiser for the Art Department for us to buy more materials throughout the year. Please consider ordering some gifts online, printed with your child’s artwork. This is a great idea for the holidays and to send gifts to relatives. The gifts range from notecards to t-shirts to mouse pads and more! Thanks so much for your support of the arts! Please email me with any questions: nbrown@azvi.org

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Ms. Nicole


Our Friday afternoon Lego club is in full effect!  This after school club focuses on social skills, while nurturing the creativity of our young AZ Dragons.  The children spend their hour each week collaborating with friends and working together to become architects and engineers in our own miniature Lego Land.  This fun, hands-on experience illustrates AZ Academy‘s dedication to development of the whole child.

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Ms. Harris

4th Grade News

Things in 4th grade are moving along quickly.  The first quarter is now behind us.  Math class is learning new concepts like perimeter and area as well as multi-digit multiplication and division.  ELA students have been writing narrative stories using the writing process.  We are finishing up by typing those stories in the computer lab.  It’s great to see the students excited about writing stories.  Both social studies classes continue to study early Native American cultures and have done a fantastic job on their projects.  We hope to see everyone out at Fall Festival and the adult haunted trail party on the 31st.

Mr. Clark

Seeing Things in Language Arts

Crowther PicIt’s that time of year when specters can be seen flying among the witches and the bats! Put on your spectacles and you might start seeing things, too. After some speculation, students in ELA III & IV, as well as the afternoon word study group, discovered that the base word <spec(t)> means to see, to view, to watch, to spy, to notice, or to examine. Upon closer inspection, 88 words were found that share that same base. That means 88 words are in the same family and share a similar meaning. Wow! What a frighteningly great way to learn a LOT of new words at one time. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this great work in the future.

Mrs. Crowther

Halloween Extravaganza

The month of October found our classroom transformed into a Halloween extravaganza! Our young artists have made hanging ghosts, spider webs, bats, candy corn, ghost mobiles, jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses and so much more! A cool Halloween flag adorns our front door along with Mr. and Mrs. Scarecrow standing close watch. The children have learned some fun finger plays and songs about the holiday and we hope to carve our pumpkin soon! Along with all the Halloween activities, the children continue to work on their letter of the week activities and projects. We are up to the letter “Hh” now. We are pleased to welcome a new student to our classroom. Priscila is a Pre-K student and her classmates have been very helpful showing her around and teaching her our routines. We now have three girls and four boys! I’d like to send out a sincere thank you to all of the students and teachers who have been helping Mrs. Thomas these past few weeks as she hobbles around on her crutches. You have all been so kind and helpful and I appreciate all you have done!

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Ms. Thomas


ELA III and ELA IV are finishing up their unit on The Giver. They have spent the last week writing the dreaded five paragraph essay. Students have worked together to peer revise. They used their rubrics to ensure that they are meeting the standards.

We also have been doing a lot of work with vocabulary. Anyone know what The Princess Bride and The Rocky Horror Picture Show have to do with vocabulary? Is the reference…inconceivable for you? Or perhaps… Wait for it…wait for it… Antici….PAtion!

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Mrs. Eden

Heads in the Clouds

We’ve had our “heads in the clouds” this month in 1st and 2nd grades!  We’ve learned about the Earth, Sun, and the Moon.  We ended the unit by demonstrating the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies!!  It was quite difficult to complete this project without eating our supplies.  We are looking forward to the Fall Festival and Halloween.

In First Grade math we have been hard at work learning about number sentences and word problems.  In Second Grade math we have been measuring and measuring using centimeters and meters-we even measured each others’ heads, wrists, and necks-that was pretty cool!

We are looking forward to seeing what we will learn next month…

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Ms. Jill


Life Science has been studying the organelles of the eukaryotic cell.  Each student chose an organelle and played the part of the organelle’s election manager. They were given the task of writing an election speech and create an election poster. The speech was orally presented to Ms. F’s 5th grade science class.  After the speeches and question & answer period, the 5th graders got to vote for the new organelle president of Cell City. I am happy to announce that Skyla and her candidate, Free Ribosomes were elected president. Adalia Vegas and her candidate, the Nucleus came in a very close second. I am very proud of all the election managers for working hard and, most importantly, having fun with this project.

Ms. Melinda

PE and Chess News

Cross Fit (www.340crossfit.vi/) continues to make the students sweat a little bit. From Kettle Bell swings to Romanian Deadlifts to Mountain Climbers and Burpees, I do my best along with the Boss Lady aka Coach Megan and Coach Nate to make sure your kids are worn out by the time they get home but still want more.

Students in the Chess Enrichment class are steadily getting better. They’re learning more than just the names of the pieces and how they move. We’ve learned some classic openings like the Ruy Lopez and the King’s Gambit but for those of a more aggressive nature like myself, I’ve thrown in the Fried Liver Attack just to keep things interesting.

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Mr. Smith