Preschool Continues Guatemalan Studies

Today the preschool had a very special guest speaker! P5 mother, Laura, the liaison for the Preschool’s “Coins for a Cause” fundraiser, spoke to students about their meaningful contribution to the children of Guatemala.

The $400 raised back in January funded a nutritional assistance program for Guatemalan children struggling to recover from last year’s tropical storms.

P5 Mom Laura, explained to our preschoolers that many families in Guatemala can’t afford to feed their children a balanced nutritional diet. Now, because of the preschool’s donations, some of these children receive a peanut butter  vitamin that comes packaged in a small condiment style wrapper, similar to ketchup or soy sauce.  This story resonated with several of the Villa P3 student, who were eager to share the types of nutritious foods their family eats, and inquire about peanut allergies.

Each student received a photograph of a Guatemalan child that was helped by Coins for a Cause fundraiser. One student was quick to notice that the Guatemalan child in the picture was wearing a traditional woven shirt. As Laura explained to the students, this is a sign of which village she comes from.

High-fives were exchanged all around as Laura thanked the preschool for helping children, not much younger than themselves, halfway across the world!

Preschool Garden Clean up Party

Preschool Garden Clean Up Party

Wednesday, April 13

8:30 – 11:30am

We are asking our preschool parents (both past and present) or middle school students needing volunteer hours, to join us as we clean the preschool garden.

Please bring your own garden gloves and tools.

We have four big projects to complete in preparation for Earth Week 2011

1. Pruning of an old laurel hedge

2. Weeding the raised beds and vegetable beds

3. Preparation of raised beds and vegetable beds with compost and new topsoil

4. CLEAN UP—–bag up all of our debris for pick up!

Come for an hour or stay for all three!  We will be hard at work RAIN OR SHINE!

PLEASE NOTE: We are asking younger students to STAY AT HOME FOR THIS EVENT!

Thank you for your consideration—– We are really working hard to make our Preschool garden an amazing outdoor space for our children.

Questions? Concerns? Contact P5 teacher, Sara Olson

How do you talk to a Middle Schooler?

Find out Thursday, April 14th (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) at Villa Academy’s next Parent Education event

Keeping the Connection Alive!
How to talk with your Middle Schooler (even when they don’t want to talk with you!)

Just when their lives get more complicated, 11-14 year-olds often stop going to their parents for advice and support. How do parents respond? What new skills are helpful? Lori Gradinger of Courageous Communications will help middle school parents, and any other parents who might want to prepare for what is to come, learn tools and tips for their new job as the parent of a pre-teen. Lori is a communication coach and a parent who understands what you are going through. She has helped countless parents navigate through these interesting times. You will leave this evening with tools and tips that will help you know what to say and how to say it so it will be heard. There will also be time for questions and discussion. Go to HERE for more information about Lori.

Spring Conferences – April 13th

Spring Conferences, a cornerstone of our working partnership, are set for Wednesday, April 13. Meeting with each child’s teacher(s) accomplishes several important pedagogical goals.

Conferences bring parents fully into the ongoing teacher/student dialogue. Only with parents as full partners can we support our students in doing their best work. Conferences also add a dimension to parents’ understanding of their children by describing the students as learners. It is our hope that parents leave their conference well equipped to support their student and the learning process in the home. Every student has challenges at school, but it is also important to celebrate successes. Both challenges and successes will be part of the conference conversation.

Lower School:  These optional conferences are provided to talk about progress to date, both academic and social; to discuss third trimester and perhaps summer goals; and to consider the transition to a new grade.

Kindergarten-Grade 2:  Spring conferences are optional, but highly encouraged. As was the case this past fall, these conferences are for teachers and parents.

Third-Fifth Grades:   Spring conferences are optional, but highly encouraged. Students participate with their parents and homeroom teacher.

Preschool:  Spring Conferences were held earlier in March, so no preschool conferences will be held on this date.

Middle School: Conferences are mandatory for all students.

Middle School conferences will include only the student’s advisor, the student and parents.  Each advisor and student will be prepared to share growth this year and engage in dialogue about goals for the rest of the year, as well as summer.

Specialists Patty Hamilton, Pam Sprute, Lindsay Mahaffey, Elizabeth O’Neil and Harold Grytting can be available to join specific conferences, or families can meet with them individually during this conference day.
All other specialist teachers are also middle school advisors and will not be available on Wednesday, April 13.  Please feel free to contact these teachers separately for a time to meet on another day, if desired.

Regular classes (Preschool through Grade 8 ) will not meet on Wednesday, April 13.

Instructions for logging onto the conference system can be found here. Your username and password are sent via email or can be recovered from the conference system website.

Villa teams with ASB to help victims of Japan's Earth

Students at Villa Academy and Assumption-St. Bridget School are writing letters to the students at MeySen Academy in Sendai (located in the earthquake area). These letters will be delivered this week to an ASB family with a connection to MeySen. The letters are very heartfelt and special.

Additionally, the Villa Student Council is organizing a fundraiser in conjunction with ASB. ASB has set a goal of  $1000. We hope to match their goal. The collection begins Wednesday, March 23, and ends on March 30. All donations will be sent to Catholic Relief Services. Students can bring  donations to the Main Office or to their classroom.

About MeySen Academy:

MeySen Academy is located in Sendai. All kindergarten students have been accounted for (the earthquake hit just after they went home).  Students, families and some teachers are actually living at the school after the quake.

Over its 40 year history, MeySen Academy has become one of Japan’s premiere educational institutions specializing in early childhood development and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

The standards of MeySen Academy management are rooted in the ethics and guiding principles of Christianity, though the school has no special affiliation with any denomination or religious organization. The expectations we have of MeySen students, teachers, and staff are based on the character principles of Christianity and our curriculum openly incorporates Biblical principles and values. About one third of the teaching staff plus all of the administrators are Christians. However, there is open and dynamic interaction among teachers, students, and parents of all faiths, enhancing the international teaching experience for our teachers.


Eighth Grade Spring Retreat

On Friday, March 25, the Villa eighth grade will assemble for their 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.

Among the many topics and activities the students and teachers are planning for the day is one led by recent Villa alumni on what to expect as a high school freshman.  A second topic, led by Julie Metzger, concerns making healthy social decisions in high school. We are also pleased that Father Sauer will join us in the afternoon to talk with the students about how their Catholic education influences their decision making.

Eighth graders have also been busy preparing activities for the day through their advisories. It promises to be an exciting opportunity for the students to share their thoughts and experiences as a whole before the fast-approaching final days of the school year are upon us.

Green Team construction project underway

This week the Green Team began the initial stages of construction for Villa Academy’s first official outdoor classroom. If you haven’t heard yet, the funding for this classroom was generously granted by the Villa Parent Association. Designs were finalized, lumber was ordered, and now our Green Team members have managed to dig all of the post holes for each of the 9 FSC certified cedar benches and white-board that will make up the classroom.

Completion of our new outdoor classroom is projected within a month (pending the schedule of further work parties). Until then, please be cautious  of the construction zone just below the main Villa entrance (west side).