Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Preschool Mitten Tree Project Update

Preschool students sorted and counted:

9 pair of mittens
48 pair of gloves
35 hats
3 scarves
15 sets of socks (multiple pairs in a set!)
24 sets ( combo hat/mittens, or scarf/ hat or gloves /hat)

As well as 18 gift certificates of $25.00.

A P3 Parent Volunteer and a P4 Parent Volunteer will deliver the donations  to First Place School today. In addition to our donations, the Villa Library is donating close to 100 gently used books to send with our donations.

On behalf of the families at First Place School—-THANK YOU!


Update from the Head of School

 

December 7, 2012

 

Dear Friends,

Today I met with the Villa Parent Association (VPA) and presented an overview of a comprehensive school improvement plan, associated with our Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS) re-accreditation process that will commence with the 2013-2014 academic year.  As an accredited school, Villa Academy undergoes a peer review process on a seven-year cycle, with our next evaluation scheduled for the 2014 – 2015 academic year.

PNAIS accreditation is an inclusive, continuing process that involves reflection, rigor and forethought to assist each member school to clarify and live its own vision, mission and values. The process promotes quality standards without standardization in a way that supports both school independence and educational quality in a collegial environment of peer review.

PNAIS schools voluntarily join the Association and, in so doing, commit to the core value of continuous school improvement with the goal of maintaining accreditation through compliance with the Association’s Standards and Indicators. PNAIS accreditation is an elective and thorough process that ensures that schools have the leadership, resources, organization, staffing and structures in place to allow for continual improvement that will sustain schools and ensure a quality educational program over time.

At Villa Academy, the most recent  on-going school improvement process generated from our 2007 accreditation report, but began in earnest during the 2010 – 2011 academic year under the leadership of Mrs. Jody Elsner, Villa’s Lower School Director who was, at that time, Villa’s Interim-Head of School.  During that year, Mrs. Elsner and the Villa faculty and staff began studying the components and implications of a “21st century education” at Wednesday afternoon faculty/staff meetings and through outside reading and research.

There are numerous definitions of “21st century education/21st century skills,” but a particularly useful and succinct definition comes from Mr. Barnett Berry, founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Teaching Quality:

Twenty-first-century learning means that students master content while producing, synthesizing and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources with an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures. Students demonstrate the three Rs but also the three Cs: creativity, communication and collaboration. They demonstrate digital literacy as well as civic responsibility. Powerful learning of this nature demands well-prepared teachers who draw on advances in cognitive science and are strategically organized in teams, in and out of cyberspace.”

The research, review and discussion of “21st century education/skills” at Villa Academy continues and includes both formal and informal conversations centered on the application of new instructional techniques and curricular standards, while ever mindful of our Mission as a Catholic independent school dedicated to excellence in the education of the whole child and guided by the Cabrinian tradition of educating compassionate hearts and confident minds.

This self-assessment and professional development process, along with our review of educational “best practices,” serves as one foundational leg of a school improvement process.

The second foundational leg of Villa’s school improvement process is the formal PNAIS self-study, which will be conducted during the 2013 – 2014 academic year. The self-study is an inclusive, collaborative and reflective process involving the Head of School, the Board, faculty, staff, parents, students, alumni and others who have an interest in the school and its future. It provides the background information and analysis upon which a peer review team will rely during their visit to Villa Academy in the 2014 – 2015 academic year.

The self-study process, followed by a peer review report, looks for congruence between a school’s mission and its programs and practices, and starts with a review of the school’s mission statement. The process considers the school’s strengths, weaknesses, priorities and plans and should identify any “gaps” as well as articulate aspirations (programs and facilities) for school improvement.  A peer review team will review the self-study and, following a three-day visit to the school, provide an additional written report to the Head of School offering team observations and highlighting areas of commendation, recommendations and conditions that the school must satisfy in order to maintain accreditation.

Considering the best practices/standards of a 21st century education, the findings of our self-study and the report from a peer-review accreditation visit, a new school improvement plan (Visioning Villa – 2017) will be developed and pursued in the years ahead.  In this improvement plan I hope to draw on all of the sundry skills and significant talents of the Villa community and will rely on its collective wisdom to make Villa Academy all that it can be – sooner rather than later!  This school improvement plan may suggest that the Villa Academy Board of Trustees consider a capital campaign in the next couple of years to support our improvement goals, to further Villa’s progress and to fully meet its Mission and Vision.  This is an option that has been occasionally discussed at meetings of the Board of Trustees over the last eighteen months, though no decision has yet been made.

This graphic was presented to the VPA to help illustrate this process:

 

The next few years at Villa Academy will be exciting – and pivotal.  I’m enthusiastic about our future and our potential and am convinced that the best is yet to come!

Stay tuned!

Sincerely,

 

John K. Milroy

Head of School


A Villa Christmas Tradition

In our main foyer each year, we display a lovely Christmas tree.  Beautiful ornaments, donated by our Kindergarten students and their families, adorn this tree. In the spirit of Christmas tradition, once again we have invited our Kindergarten students to choose or make a small ornament for our Villa tree.

Students may begin to bring their ornaments on Wednesday, December 5. If you would like to hang your ornament with Mr. Milroy, be sure to drop in between 8:15 and 8:30am on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Many families choose the ornament together, picking something that is symbolic or special to their child, and hang it on the tree together.  Every ornament has the child’s name on the back, so when the class reaches 8th Grade, the students can find their ornaments on the tree and remember when they were in Kindergarten.

The Villa Christmas tree stays up until the Feast of the Epiphany and our return to school. Next time you are in the building, please stop and enjoy this very special Villa Tradition that began nine years ago!


Christmas Illuminata concert – November 29 6:30pm

 

Villa Academy cordially invites you to the annual evening Christmas concert Thursday, November 29.

Please join us for a lively holiday performance by the Villa Band and friends.

Hot cocoa and Christmas cookies, and holiday carols will follow the concert which starts at 6:30pm in the Theatre. For more information, please contact Marcie Cheung


Grade 4 Partners with Food Lifeline

On Thursday, November 15, fourth grade students visited the Food Lifeline distribution center in Shoreline.  They toured the facility and learned about how Food Lifeline receives all of its food from contributions and distributes it to food banks in all of western Washington.  The need in the Seattle area is high and food banks struggle to keep up with the  growing lines at local food banks. Fourth grade students will return to Food Lifeline two more times to help package food donations.

 



The Preschool Mitten Tree Project

The Preschool will begin its Community Service project on Monday, November 26. The Mitten Tree project will run through Friday, December 7. All donations will benefit First Place School, a school for homeless children in the Seattle area.
Preschool Families are invited to donate NEW mittens, gloves, hats, socks, scarves and /or gift certificates that will be given to families at First Place School.  Donations can be brought to school any day until December 7th.

 

 


“Food Driving”

This week, Grade 6 students spearheaded the St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving Food Drive in conjunction with St. Bridget Parish. They consolidated collection boxes and bags throughout the school –  63 boxes of nonperishable items in total!

Here is another advisory group entry: Food Stadium

A new twist this year: Middle School Advisory groups participated in a structure building competition. The competition entailed creating free-standing structures out of the donated food collected by each Middle School advisory group. Winners will be selected in two categories: the tallest structure and the most creative structure.

The winner of each category wins a free dress day!!

Ms. Reznicek/Ms.Sprute’s Advisory won “Most Creative” (below)

Empire State Building

 

 

 

Ms. Pothier’s Advisory won “Tallest Structure” but sadly no photo of their creation was captured.