Order your Villa yearbook NOW!

It is time to order your child’s yearbook for the 2011-2012 school year. Production is well underway and this year’s book promises to be a special keepsake for your family.

The cost per book is $37.00. You may order as many copies as you wish for students in Preschool through Grade 7***. Scholarships for books are available upon request. Contact Christa Callanan for more information.

***GRADE 8 PARENTS PLEASE NOTE: Your Grade 8 student will receive a yearbook for Graduation. Unless you are ordering a second copy for someone, DO NOT order a yearbook for your graduate.

Please complete the online order form no later than Wednesday, March 21. Orders received late WILL NOT be processed as the Publisher has set a firm deadline for receiving notification of our total order.

“Coins for a Cause” – Preschool Community Service Project


Twin Brothers Juan & Juan

The Villa Academy preschool is raising money to help two, two-year-old twin boys, Juan and Juan, who are severely malnourished. The money raised will help pay for the medical treatment necessary to get the boys well again.

Preschool students were introduced to the project on February 22nd, Ash Wednesday. They learned a little about brothers Juan and Juan by watching a video sent to the school by the twin’s medical doctor—Dr. Peter in Guatemala.

Preschool students will design coin collectors in class and each family is invited to collect coins during Lent. Preschool classes will talk about the spirit of Lent throughout the coin drive, incorporating the value of caring for others less fortunate than ourselves.

Children are encouraged to try to raise the money themselves – doing extra jobs or chores around the house to make money to add to their boxes. All are welcome to make a donation online at Maya Health Alliance.

With help from former P5 parent, Laura Hernon, Villa’s Guatemalan contact, students will learn and experience a little about the following:

  • Guatemala—-  the Quetzal, the Tikal (Mayan Pyramid), the Guatemalan Flag,  the White Nun Orchid (National Flower), the Toucan,  the Jaguar and  the Howler Monkey
  • Language—-there will be a little lesson in Kaqchikel —one of the Mayan languages
  • Culture—we will learn about the village where Juan and Juan live.

Fort Building in the Orchard

The 25 acres of green space at Villa Academy have many uses, perhaps the most visually interesting are the student-built forts in the orchard. Designed and built by the hands of our young future architects, negotiators, and project managers, the rustic forts, although only yards away from the adult manufactured play equipment, take students to a world all their own.

Branches, sticks and logs are transformed into a wonderland of student-run dwellings.  Take a walk through the orchard forts during lower school recess you will see students wheeling-and-dealing, trading building materials and negotiating the terms of their property rights.

Nature faces tough competition (television, cell phones, computers, busy family schedules) for the attention of young learners, but that makes a sunny winter recess spent building forts at Villa Academy all the more special!


Fund-a-Need 2012: Reinvigoration of the Extended Day Program Classroom Space $75,000 Goal

Environment impacts learning – this is no surprise. The sensory impressions students absorb from their surroundings influence emotional life and consequently their ability to learn.

At Villa Academy we are fortunate to have spacious well lit classrooms, many with awe-inspiring views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. Unfortunately, two of our busiest spaces, classroom 125 and classroom 133, home to our bustling Extended Day Program, show years of wear from countless cheerful children hard at play.

You might be surprised to know that 74% of Villa Academy families utilize EDP. The continued success of the program is a result of our EDP Director Shea Salyer’s committed effort to offer programs that appeal to a wide range of student interests. The following are all part of EDP: Green Team, the musical (“Beauty and the Beast” this year), piano lessons, Writing Club, Mandarin lessons, band and Villa Voices, Sewing, and the Villa Times newspaper.

With your support of this year’s Fund-A-Need, we can inject energy and inspiration back into the EDP space by redesigning the classrooms to better foster exploration, social engagement, and a desire to learn and gain confidence in their own potential.

Inspired by the beauty of our campus grounds and the views from many of our other classrooms, the new design will aim to “bring nature inside” by incorporating a living wall, fish tanks, and natural murals. The refresh will also include:

  • Fresh coats of paint
  • Durable laminate flooring
  • New furniture
  • Mobile room dividers to improve the functionality of the space
  • Improved shelving countertops and cupboards
  • New cubby storage system
  • Gaming area (with new foosball, air hockey, and arcade style basketball tables)
  • A custom built loft and stage area
  • Craft sink station
  • Updated reading and library sanctuary

These improvements will not only enhance the experience of the hundreds of children who participate in EDP, but will help us showcase our afterschool programs to potential families and bolster the program through higher attendance.

As you know, learning and development don’t stop at 3:00PM. Many of our students’ most memorable and influential experiences take place after class, within the walls of our EDP classrooms. Please help us recapture this space as a place of imagination and possibility by making a donation to the 2012 Fund-A-Need, online or at the Villa Auction on March 3, 2012.

8th Grade Mock Trial

On February 9, 2012, the Villa Academy 8th Grade U.S. History students traveled to the Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle to try former president Andrew Jackson for his alleged crimes against humanity, which occurred in the 1830’s as Americans moved west. The specific charges stated that “President Andrew Jackson, with premeditated intent, did conduct or authorize a widespread or systemic attack against a civilian population (herein, the Cherokee Nation), where the following methods were employed: murder, extermination, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and other similar inhuman acts that caused great suffering and serious injury.”

Students spent almost six weeks preparing for this trial. Prep included learning the historical context of Native American removal, specifically, the idea of Manifest Destiny and westward expansion. Then, students digested almost thirty pages of primary source material, which ranged from speeches to letters, and from first-hand accounts to Supreme Court decisions. Students selected witnesses, and were given roles; they had to write an essay about how their role fit into the context of the trial, and what evidence from the source material packet would assist them. Once the students were familiar with the historical context, the source material, and their roles, they had to get ready for the trial. This involved drafting opening and closing statements and examination questions, learning about courtroom protocol, questioning techniques, and objection rules, and practicing their testimonies.

Judge John C. Coughenour presided over the opening and closing statements. Unfortunately, he was still presiding over another trial and could not stay for the whole morning. Chris P. Reilly, colleague of Mr. Guadagno, presided over the rest of the trial.

The trial lasted for almost two hours, though a few jurors were in tears within minutes of the Prosecution’s opening statement. Students battled back and forth between direct and cross examinations, showcasing both their exhaustive preparation and their abilities to think on their feet. 8B, the prosecution, focused on Jackson’s threat of “utter annihilation” during their opening and closing statements, while 8A rested their defense on the choices given to the Cherokees, and the consequences of those choices. Ultimately, the jury returned a GUILTY verdict after debating the charges and testimony for almost an hour.

The students impressed everyone: the judge(s), court clerks, visiting parents, jurors, Mr. Guadagno, and Ms. Brooks. In fact, the court staff said that the kids were incredibly professional, poised, and confident.

One parent-spectator said, “What a huge success today!  It was so much fun to see the mock trial.  All the kids were amazing. The enthusiasm and hard work by all was more than apparent. An event to be remembered forever!”

Judge Coughenour invited the students to ask questions about his career, including his appointment by President Reagan and his most well-known cases. The students were able to tour Judge Coughenour’s office, library, and jury room as well.

We are so grateful to Michael Guadagno for all of the ways he supported the 8th Graders during this experience. He put forth an incredible amount of effort and time, and his guidance was invaluable.

Basketball jerseys are due

Basketball jerseys are due by February 29th.  Please put jerseys in a bag and label the bag with your child’s name.  Jerseys can be returned to the bin in the gym foyer or to the main office.  Jerseys not returned will incur a $30 charge to their tuition accounts.

Basketball Playoff Scores

CYO Playoff game scores from this past weekend:

6th Girls – lost to St Joseph-Issaquah, 26-5.

7th Girls - lost a hard-fought, physical game to Holy Rosary-Edmonds,

6th Boys - in the opening round beat Holy Family-Kirkland (5-1, #1 seed south
division), 37-36 on a 3 point shot from Joe S.  Villa trailed 32-18 with 5
minutes to go in the 4th quarter and outscored HFK 19-4 down the
stretch to win a great game.  In the quarterfinal round Villa lost to Lakeside, 24-21,
after coming back from a 12 point deficit in the 4th quarter.

A great job by all the coaches and players qualifying for the playoffs.  Congratulations
on a fine season!