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!

Summer Program Registration Open!


Registration for Villa Academy’s Summer Program is now open!

Please visit the Summer Program Class Openings page for registration and course descriptions.

Villa Parent Book Club: The Nature Principle

February 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Parlor

Book clubs are great motivators to actually finish a book. So, check this one out of the library and plan to finish before the end of February. Villa parents will gather in the Parlor for an evening of discussion about Richard Louv’s latest book, The Nature Principle. His first book on this subject, The Last Child in the Woods, started an international movement to reconnect children with nature. Now, Louv reaches even further with a call to action for the rest of us. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv shows us how connecting with the natural world can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; and build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies. It should be an interesting read and interesting evening talking about what we thought of it.

This event is for Villa parents.

Childcare will not be provided.


All Parent Education Events 2012

Basketball Playoffs 2012

CYO Basketball Playoff Games, all games are on Saturday February 4th:

6th grade girls – vs. St. Joseph-Issaquah, 10:15am at St Anthony.
6th grade boys – vs. Holy Family-Kirkland, 10:15am at Assumption.
7th grade girls- vs. St. Anne, 9:00am at St. Luke.

Get out and cheer on our Viking teams!!!