September, 2014

Website Banner 2Fall Festival – 3 Week Countdown!

banner-page-001 (2)AZ Academy’s largest fundraiser is right around the corner, and our staff and parents have been busy planning it!  We have been focusing on these areas: the prize booth, classroom games, other booths, the concession, security, entertainment, overall ambiance, infrastructure logistics, the raffle, the special edition Activity Book (“Education is a Campaign” targeted at election 2014 candidates), overall marketing and advertising, and an adult after party.  Whew! We have been super busy!

The Fall Festival is an evening carnival with over 1,500 people in attendance – it is a really big event!  Last year we raised over $30,000, and this year we are hoping to top that, even in this economy.  It supports our enrichment programs – drama, PE, art, music, and Spanish, which are the programs that schools are cutting due to lack of funding.  But not at AZ Academy!

With everything packed into one evening – games, food, entertainment, and much more in the works – we need every single AZ family to volunteer before, during, and after the event.  Here is how you can help:

  • Sell raffle tickets
  • Sell advertisements for the Activity Book, which is given out to every child in attendance
  • Encourage Election 2014 candidates to show up for our “Meet and Greet the Candidates” booth
  • Help with set up the week of the event
  • Volunteer the night of the event
  • Help with cleaning up after the event

Show your student and our staff that enrichment programs are an important part of the AZ Academy difference.  We will continue to call parents and we will be setting up a Signup Genius page to track volunteer commitments – we thank you in advance for all of your hard work!!!

Raffle Tickets and Activity Book Ad Paperwork for the Fall Festival

paddle boardXbox One, Paddle Board, $100, Toshiba Laptop…what do these things all have in common?  They are raffle prizes for the Fall Festival!

Raffle tickets and Activity Book ad forms were sent home with your student this week.  For raffle tickets, think about the people you interact with often.  For Activity Book ads, think about the businesses you do business with all the time – gas stations, restaurants, etc.  You will find that the opportunity to win something or to advertise a business to our many families in attendance will be well worth the expense!

Please return the envelope each week on Thursdays – it will be sent back home on Friday with a treat for your student if funds were raised.  This is the easiest way you can help us have a successful fundraiser!

High School Seniors Went to UVI’s Fall Fest in St. Thomas Today

Five seniors flew to St. Thomas today to attend an exciting event!  As published on their website, the UVI event is described as a combination of fairs:

“A Fall Fest for students on UVI’s St. Thomas Campus will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. The theme is “Putting the Pieces Together.” The “pieces” of the Fall Fest are a Health and Wellness Fair, a Career Fair, and an Activities Fair.”

We hope you learned a lot, Sammy, Stephanie, Taeja, Miranda, and Conrad!

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Movie Night – October 10th @ 6:30PM

monsters incMonsters, Inc. – Rated G (92 minutes)

Monsters generate their city’s power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted.

The Student Council, comprised of high school students, is hosting Family Movie Night.  The first movie of the year was the classic, Princess Bride.  October 10 is the next Family Movie Night showing Monsters, Inc. Admission is free. Bring a chair or a blanket and a friend. Weather permitting, the movies are shown on the stage under the mahogany tree.  Inclement weather does not stop us. In the event of rainy weather the movie is shown in room 3-D.

All children 6th grade and under must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.  No drop offs permitted.  Although this is an outdoor theater, children are expected to be reasonably calm and quiet out of respect for all who come to enjoy the movie. Except for visits to the restrooms, please remain in the viewing area.

Popcorn, pizza, and soft drinks are sold as a fundraiser by the High School Student Council.  Watch for specials like snow cones in December!

Future Movies:

  • November 7 - The Croods
  • December 12 - Frozen

Spirit Event Re-scheduled for Friday, October 17th @ 2:15PM

At October’s Spirit Event we will be testing our Fall Festival games, but with so many new ones, they are not all ready yet!  As a result, we are re-scheduling the Spirit Event for a week later.  Thank you to all of the parents who are building games for the festival – we appreciate your Dragon Spirit!  As always, parents are welcome to join us J

Conferences Next Week!  Progress Reports Sent Home Today!

3rd – 12th grade quarter 1 Progress Reports were sent home today with students.  Please ask your student for it!

If you have not already had one this year, conferences are being scheduled next week.  We would love to meet with you and your student in person, but if this is a challenge, please set up a phone conference to touch bases.  It is important that we begin the year working as a team!

Beach Cleanup – Environmental Citizenship at AZ

IMG_1420After an assembly on Tuesday this week to teach students about Coastal Cleanup Month and about the procedures for recording data on trash collected this month, AZ Academy’s students headed to the beach on Wednesday to clean it up!  Breaking up into buddy groups and armed with gloves, a trash bag, and the trash collection record form, students combed the beach between Seaborne Airlines and WAPA, finding a wide-variety of trash items.  The most interesting finds of the day included a TV, tons of tires, a boat full of trash, a variety of discarded appliances, and a leopard print steering wheel cover!  As we clean this same beach every year, it was surprising to see how much trash had accumulated in just one year!

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We were honored to be joined by AZ Academy class of 2008 graduate, Carolyn Whitney Carter.  Having received the title of Miss USVI three times, she has focused on education and the environment for her platforms, and she was eager to join us and inspire students to keep our beaches clean.  Next month Whitney will be heading to Uganda and Rwanda to help emcee an AIDS awareness fundraiser and to help child soldiers reintegrate into their families.

IMG_1393 (2)We were also joined by WTJX and their film crew, who were there to document the event.  With a focus on 3rd and 4th graders, they spent the afternoon interviewing and filming students as they did their jobs.  We look forward to seeing what they put together to show AZ Academy’s commitment to environmental citizenship, and we hope it will inspire others!

As we prepared to leave, several students were concerned that there was still more trash we didn’t get a chance to collect, especially in the mangroves closest to WAPA.  NO WORRIES – our next beach cleanup is on Friday, October 31st after school, so please encourage your student to sign up for the Volunteerism Club on Signup Genius!

AZ Tech Corner

technologyA powerful computer network is essential in today’s world. AZ Academy has recently made huge upgrades to its technology infrastructure. Recent upgrades include new server, server operating system (OS), gigabit switches, wiring, network attached storage (NAS), dual source load balancing router,  wireless access points (WAPs), high speed internet from 2 internet service providers (ISPs), and a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system. This simply means that communications and sharing of information and knowledge is now much more efficient! Please visit the tech corner next month to see what’s next!

No School – Monday, October 13th

Monday, October 13th is Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday, but it is also VI/Puerto Rico Friendship Day, which is a local holiday.  Enjoy your long weekend!

Sixlets and Starbursts – High School Math News

sixlets_logoWho loves candy?? Everyone! And students will do just about anything to get their hands on some: even solve a lot of math problems.  For Algebra 1’s chapter review, yesterday, I gave the students several problems to solve with a time limit. Each student had to solve every problem since they had no prior knowledge of which one he or she will be called on to answer. If a student got the problem correct, they received a sixlet or starburst. If not, the problem was passed on until it was answered correctly. Most students doubt themselves, especially when it comes to math. They usually say, “I don’t know how to do this,” and don’t even attempt the problem. Vying for candy allowed students to use their full potential. Everyone won more than one candy, which they started to eat right away with an eagerness to earn more.  Tyanna won the most candy, and not because it was her birthday. Anas and Tyanna closed the review by answering the challenging bonus and were rewarded three sixlets and two starbursts.  Sharing my two favorite candies was difficult, but seeing my students strive was worth it!

Ms. Lindquist,

Art Online – Share Your Student’s Projects with Family and Friends!

artsoniaThe Art Room has been busy with hands creating and paint flowing.  I am excited to share all of the amazing art work I get to see with you.  This year I am posting your little artist’s work on-line on a website called Artsonia.  This website offers families excellent options for “publishing” student art in a variety of ways that make excellent gifts!  I have sent paper permission slips out with all of my art students from Pre-k through High School.  If you have not received this important information with your screen name and security key please contact me at:  I can e-mail you the same information at your convenience.  Please register a.s.a.p. so that you are able to share in the excitement of your child’s creative spirit.  I look forward to another year of art education that inspires me daily.

Busy Bees in Early Elementary!

Katie Picture 3Katie Picture 1Katie Picture 2We are busy little bees up in pre-k/kindergarten!  We have had a lot of fun getting to know each other and have formed a wonderful little community!  The pre-k’s are currently on a journey through the alphabet; learning numbers, shapes and colors along the way.  Their imaginations run wild as they play with dinosaurs, insects and Buz Light-year!  They love to make delicious treats out of play-doh for Miss. Dana and me.   The kindergartners are hard at work mastering letter sounds so that they can begin reading soon.  We have also ventured into the world of addition and have become budding authors as well.  As a class we have talked about apples, studied bugs and learned about communities.  Currently we are exploring the world of dinosaurs!   Everyone was surprised to learn that dinosaurs are much older than their parents!

Here’s to a wonderful Cruzan fall!

Ms. Katie,

Minecraft Society is Evolving Quickly

Minecraft SocietyThe Minecraft Society is up and running! Or rather, up and mining. The students have spent the past two Tuesdays creating and surviving. I am enjoying hearing the shouts of students working cooperatively – “Can I have some diamonds?” “Sure.” “Thanks!” But sometimes not so cooperatively – “Who set my house on fire?” All in all, the students are having fun. We are realizing that everyone wants to play Minecraft in a variety of ways and are working together as a group to make rules for this society. There’s a lot of energy and we’re having a great time!

Middle School Math Fun Galore!

The Middle School Math classes have started a ‘Khan’ test (“contest”, in case you didn’t get the pun!)  Starting October 1, the students will get as many points as they can.  The class who has the highest percent change on October 8 will win a prize.  Also, the students who are the highest achieving will also win a prize.

Be on the look-out for some healthy competition.  Khan Academy is such a great resource for students to review previously learned math skills and remediate those who need it.  Log on with your student and see what all the excitement is about!

Mrs. Torres,

4th and 5th Grade News Alert – We are Hard at Work!

Welcome back to school.  I’m very excited to be working with the 4th and 5th grade students this year.  We’ve hit the ground running and are having fun.

In English Language Arts, we are reading a book together as a class and discussing all the parts of a story.  We’ve also started grammar with nouns and verbs, and will be moving into pronouns and adjectives soon.  Spelling will also be added to the schedule in the future.  Reading logs and AR quizzes are something your child should be doing regularly.  The best way to get better at reading is to read.

In science we are looking at ecosystems, living things, and cells.  We are increasing our vocabulary with words like tissues, organ systems, population, community, producers, and consumers.  In social studies we are doing a project in the computer lab.  We have researched the five regions of the United States.  For each region, the students are finding information like population, climate, landforms, major industries, and which states are in that region.  That information will be organized using the Microsoft PowerPoint program.  The students will design their own presentation and present it to the class.

Math class is moving quickly through place value, rounding, addition, and subtraction.  The goal for this year is to master those basic procedures.  One way you can help is to work with your child on their basic math facts.  Knowing the times tables will really help when we get to division.

Again, I hope you are finding the start to your school year a pleasant and productive one.


Clark Dauner,

Graphing with Skittles in Ms. Harris’ Room!

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We are off to a great start in our first and second grade classroom!  Our class is now in a routine and students are actively engaged in our learning.  The students have learned that they are mathematicians, historians, and scientists on a daily basis when they explore our world.  We have spent a great deal of time focusing on collecting data and learning how to represent this information using both picture and bar graphs.  Our data analysis has included some pretty tasty treats!

Ms. Harris,

Dragon Tales from the Middle School and High School History Classes

History is sooooo boring. Why do we have to study it?

How can anyone say it’s boring? It’s awesome! It gives us a glimpse of how, what and sometimes why people did what they did in the past. Understanding the past gives us a key to the present.

Did you know that being informed about current events as they happen makes you a historian?

The study of history helps us appreciate many perspectives and interpretations, which in turn helps us to understand other people and their cultures.

Analyzing events of the past helps strengthen our critical thinking skills. It trains us to gather evidence and find patterns and trends. Then we can apply the information we learn from the past to analyze and solve the problems of the present.  Studying history challenges us to think outside the box and be creative. It gives us the excitement of discovery and the reward of solving real-world problems.

Besides, it’s just plain fun!

Check out Crash Course with John Green on YouTube.  We use these informative, entertaining videos in class whenever they apply. Use them at home to review and strengthen historical knowledge or to study for a test.

Mrs. Cissel,

3rd Grade is Off to a Great Start!

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! We have gotten off to an exciting start in third grade getting to know everyone, learning school and classroom procedures, and creating a nurturing environment.  September has flown by!  The students have been learning to be aware of their behavior on their “How am I doing?” charts and to make positive choices.  Thank you to all the parents for making positive home/school connections!  As we have delved into reading, writing, social studies, science, and math, the students are also learning to pick out interesting books, read maps, conduct experiments, and question the world around them.  The third grade is off to a great start and I am eager to see where this journey leads us!

Ms. Robel,

Hands on Physics!

Who says physics isn’t fun? The high school students were testing momentum and acceleration first hand, using a child’s toy race track and some Hot Wheels cars. Lots of fun and learning were had by all! 

Have a great weekend, AZ Dragons!