Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ Category
The Grade 2 students assembled craft kits this week for the Children’s Hospital volunteer department. These kits provide recreation for children who have long stays at the hospital during the holidays. The director of the volunteer department is very appreciative of these kits and assures us that each year, every one of them gets used!
Students will a take a short walk to Children’s Hospital to deliver their craft kits.
The kits will bring joy to the children who make the ornaments, and to staff and visitors who will enjoy the beautiful finished products decorating the hospital.
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 First Grade classes visit Northaven Retirement and Assisted living in Seattle as their community outreach project. Each class visits Northaven four times during the year, alternating visits each month. The children read stories with their grandfriends, share a snack, and maybe sing a song. Everyone enjoys this special time. Mrs. Portwood’s class made their first visit this week.
Henry O. shares a story.
This week, Villa Academy eighth graders will assemble for the annual Spring Retreat. This is a chance for our students to step out of their busy routine for a full day of reflection, discussion and prayer at Magnuson Park.
The topics and activities planned for the day include a panel of recent Villa alumni, a discussion focused on healthy social decision making with Julie Metzger, a presentation from Officer Kevin O’Neill, and a capstone activity revisiting personal goals set at Leadership Camp. We are also pleased that Father Saur will join us to talk with the students about how their faith will serve them through the transition to high school.
Eighth graders have also been busy preparing activities for the day through their advisories. It promises to be an exciting opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences as a whole before the fast-approaching final days of the school year are upon us.
On March 28th, sixth grade students visited the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center to participate in the Mountain School program, a nationally recognized environmental education program that teaches students about the ecosystems, geology and natural and cultural history of the mountains.
Read about their visit HERE
This week, Villa Academy second grade students head to the foothills of Cougar Mountain, just west of Issaquah, to visit and explore the wide array of animals that call the Cougar Mountain Zoo their home. The primary focus of the Cougar Mountain Zoo is endangered species and education – a perfect introduction to the second grade endangered animal unit which piggybacks their Safari and Kenya curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to view animals including, reindeer, macaws, tigers, cougars, lemurs, alpaca, wallabies, and perhaps even an endangered cheetah!
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.”
Video Highlights from the Trial
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. Stay tuned for a sentencing update!