September, 2015

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THE FALL FESTIVAL IS IN THREE WEEKS! DON’T FORGET TO…

  • Sell raffle tickets and activity book ads – turn envelopes in on Fridays for a treat!
  • Volunteer to help before, during, and/or after the event!
  • Invite friends – they will have a great time!

Call Ms. Kishma or the main office if you have any questions.  We thank you in advance for all of your hard work toward this incredible family event!

Beach Cleanup – Wednesday, 10/7 @ 8:00AM

beach clean upModeling community service is very important!  So as part of the International Costal Cleanup campaign, AZ Academy participates in the annual call to clean up St. Croix’s beaches.  AZ Academy has adopted the beach west of Seaborne Airlines, and this will be our 4th time scouring it from the road to the ocean!

Students in 3rd-12th grade should wear their AZ Academy t-shirt, comfortable shorts, and tennis shoes.  They should bring a full water bottle since it is so hot outside, but gloves and trash bags will be provided.  We leave promptly at 8:00AM and will be back at 9:45AM for a late snack (2nd period will begin at 10:00AM).  As always, parents are welcome to join us!

* Students in PreK – 2nd grade will remain on campus and complete a school cleanup!

Scarecrow Decorating Contest – Friday, 10/9 @ 2:05PM

It’s time for our 2nd Spirit Event of the year, as this month it is a scarecrow decorating contest!  Students gathered on Friday in their buddyscarecrow groups to choose a tree and begin planning their display.  Here are the rules: 1) Each team will receive 10 white kitchen size trash bags – they may use as many or as few as they like; 2) The scarecrow must be propped up or tied to the tree – it should stay in place; and 3) Scarecrows will be judged on creativity, usage of the fall theme, and family friendliness.

So please ask your student what they volunteered to bring in, go buy, or collect for stuffing, building and decorating their scarecrow.  Also ask your student if they are a captain or co-captain for their buddy group, because the responsibility falls on them as leaders to coordinate their team over the next week!

Note that parent participation is encouraged, so if you can carve out an hour on Friday to come help your student’s team out, that would be awesome!!!

Movie Night – Friday, 10/9 @ 6:30PM

hocus pocusJoin AZ Academy at the Mahogany Stage for Movie Night, featuring…Hocus Pocus!

“After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teen-agers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches’ reign of terror once and for all.”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107120/

High school students will be selling popcorn, hot dogs, water and juice, but you are also welcome to bring your own food and drinks!  Just bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy the evening – and feel free to invite friends!  The more the merrier!

CrossFit 340 Waiver for PE

340CrossfitLogoV2If your student has PE on a Tuesday, they are heading down to CrossFit 340 to utilize their facility and equipment.  If you have not already done so, please complete the CrossFit 340 Liability Waiver Form  Your student should have a hard copy, or you can get another from the main office.  Thank you!

Billionaire Project – September’s Spirit Event

September’s Spirit Event featured student work in the first few weeks of school – The Billionaire Project!  Using differentiated instruction, students were given many ways that they could explore what they would do with their money if they were a billionaire – from art, modeling, math, writing, and more.  At the event, projects were shared in classrooms, and some great projects came out of the experience!  Since many products were collaborative across the Blue Team and the Silver Team, both teams scored a point!

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IMG_2222Parent Night was a Successful Feud!

Parents gathered to play Family Feud – AZ stlye – on Wednesday, September 23rd!  Thank you for everyone that came, and thank you, Ms. Kishma and Ms. Sarah, for coordinating it!  It looks like the Blue Team scored a point!

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Welcome to AZ Academy’s Board of Directors, Charlene and Beverly!

President of AZ Academy’s Board of Directors, Kobie Nichols, welcomes Charlene Hiddleston and Beverly Herman-Beck to the board!  In their first meeting, they received a comprehensive update of where the school is today and learned about the important work we will be doing this year – developing a program and facility vision that will be used in a capital campaign.  This includes our current facility, the Cruzana Manor Ruins, and the Bingo Building, and we are excited about the possibilities!

Do you want to join us?  Or do you know someone who can help us develop this incredible vision?  Call Paula Heller or Kobie Nichols!

Achieve Login

achieveHave you logged into AZ Academy’s Achieve portal?  If you haven’t, please check it out!  For PreK – 2nd grade families, you can check that student/household information is accurate and up-to-date, as well as review reports cards and attendance data when they are released.  For 3rd grade and up families, you can do the same but you can also view progress reports, teachers’ grade books, and schedules.

If you do not know your user name or password, please let Ms. Angie or Ms. Patricia know by calling 340-718-7909!

Gardening Needs

gardenMs. Gayle Vanasse kicked off our after school Weeds and Seeds program on Friday with the help of Master Gardener Tina Roberge.  They are both super excited about the possibilities for this gardening program!  A few things are needed if you happen to have them around – gently used gardening gloves and hand gardening tools.  Please turn them in to the office!

Farewell, Richard McPherson!

richardAZ Academy sends its condolences to the Heller, Carter, Yanez, and McPherson family for the loss of Richard C. McPherson on Thursday, September 24th at the VA Hospital in Puerto Rico.

Richard McPherson (Opi) received a “Village Founder’s Award” from AZ Academy in 2006, one of six given in the last 17 years of the school.  His generosity and support for AZ Academy was influential in many ways, from building the Mahogany Stage, the stage in the ruins, and the music room in the locker area, to promoting the music program and getting substantial donations of instruments and funds for program development.

We thank him for his service to AZ Academy and our country, and we send his family peace and love.

Growing a Garden of Readers!

AZ Academy is working diligently to develop a garden of readers!  Our philosophy is that reading should be taking place on a daily basis and on the child’s individual level.  Reading is embedded in every subject area throughout the course of the school day.  This literature-rich environment begins in the early grades and continues all of the way into upper school.  Check out our fabulous AZ Dragons immersed in their very own reading activities!

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Ms. Harris

1st/2nd Grade News

The 2015-2016 school year is off and running in our 1st and 2nd grade classroom! We are learning that it takes a lot of work to begin a new school year! Obeying the rules in order to be respectful to our teachers and our classmates is important! Reading books by Kevin Henkes has taught us about Characters. The Magic Tree House books are teaching us about some cool Settings! We are also learning about digraphs to help us read and spell,  and we’re learning to love number bonds in math (sort of). Can’t wait to see what else we’ll learn!

Ms. Jill

Stem Class

S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math.  We have been exploring patterns and construction of patterns in a 3 dimensional form.  All the students were very successful in problem solving and creating incredible designs!

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Ms. Melinda

6th Grade News

What a month it has been!  I am extremely blessed and excited to be a part of the AZ team.  My English/Language Arts class began the novel Hatchet and had the chance to research birds that were indigenous to British Columbia.  They created posters and presented about their birds.  We plan on getting a bird expert from USVI out to talk to the class in the near future.  So many fun things are happening in 2B!

Ms. Sara F

Mr. Smith is Everywhere!

Where to begin? P.E.? We’re having oodles of fun at the swimming pool and playing tennis at the Canegata Ball Park and at Cross Fit. Music class?  The 2nd and 3rd graders would dance until they passed out if I let them. What about the most ridiculously awesome math class on the face of the planet where we’re having fun with ratios and the constant of proportionality? How about chess class where I have check mated Jordan Heller at least 22. 5 times so far this year? Or cross country and how we descend and take over the Lagoon on Mondays and Wednesdays? Didn’t Napoleon Bonaparte say, “A picture is worth a thousand words” or something similar to that? This is the 21st century so you have a video to go along with the pictures, so do enjoy!

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Mr. Smith

4th Grade News

Hard to believe we’re already at the mid-term point of this first quarter, but time is flying.  Fourth grade classes and curriculum are moving along just as quickly.  In Language Arts we are revisiting and practicing the first two steps of the 6+1 writing process (ideas and organization).  We’re also beginning to look at nouns, the parts of a story, and adding academic words to our memory banks.  We are reading a book entitled, “The Sign of the Beaver” about a boy who spends many months in the wilderness waiting for the rest of his family to arrive at their new cabin.  This book goes along with what we are discussing in Social Studies, which is the arrival of early Americans to North America, where they came from, and why and how they settled their civilizations where they did.  Please contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns.

Mr. Clark

Super Sleuths in ELA Classes

Students in E/LA III and IV and English 5 are becoming word detectives. They are investigating the theory posed by Mrs. Crowther that the English language is a well-ordered system, particularly in the area of spelling, and not a crazy language with lots of exceptions. According to Mrs. Crowther, spelling is a vehicle for meaning. To investigate this theory, students are learning to create word matrices and write word sums to show how words can be pulled apart and put back together. Be careful! As Ms. Melinda’s class found, matrix making can be highly addictive and students may want to do this to the exclusion of other important work. That’s a good problem!

Check out the “PLAY” word matrix and the “COVER” word matrix!

Mrs. Crowther

3rd Grade News

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year in the third grade! We have gotten off to an exciting start in getting to know everyone, learning school and classroom procedures, and creating a positive learning environment for everyone.  September has definitely 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!  We have dived into reading (genres, main ideas, and supporting details), social studies (communities), science (living things), and math (multiplication and division).  The students are also learning to pick out interesting books, read maps, conduct experiments, and question the world around them.  Wow! The third grade is off to a great start and I am eager to see where this journey leads us!

Ms. Robel

Pre-K and Kinder News

Welcome to Mrs. Thomas’s Pre- K, Kindergarten class. This is my first year at AZ Academy and everyone has been so helpful showing me around the campus and answering all of my questions. This truly is a family here! My own students and colleagues have been extra helpful this past week since I fractured my foot and am sporting a boot and crutches! Not fun!

Every week in class we highlight our “Letter of theWeek”. Everything that we do centers on this letter. For example, when we were on the letter “Bb” we learned to sing “Bingo”, went on a Bear hunt with the beautiful blue binoculars we made, sorted, matched and counted bears, played number, color and shape Bingo etc. You get the idea. There is always so much to do around our letter that the week is over before we have run out of ideas! The children have been enjoying their specials classes in Art, Spanish, P.E. and Music too. What a wonderful, energetic group of students I have! We are busy building our community and getting to know each other. Thanks to all of you for welcoming me to this amazing school. It’s going to be a great year!

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Ms. Thomas

ELA Updates

giverELA III and ELA IV are reading The Giver and thinking about characters’ perspectives. In order to better understand the book and some of its vocabulary, we went over context clues and how to use them. Metacognition is our new favorite word: thinking about our thinking. We metacognate about context clues, about our reading, about inferences and evidence.

Other than The Giver, we are also reading our own Accelerated Reader books each day in class and then sharing “Book Talks” that demonstrate our understanding of reading and enhance our public speaking skills.

Lastly, Google Drive is our new best friend. It keeps track of all of our homework and writing so that we cannot lose it. It allows us to give each other instant feedback and it is always accessible, at home or school, via the internet.

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. geden@azvi.org

Mrs. Eden

The students of ELA I took advantage of the beautiful weather. The students enjoyed buddy reading Jerry Spinelli’s “Report to the Principals Office”. Buddy reading is a great way to share a book with a friend, while practicing reading aloud.

Ms. Melinda