Spring is here, Easter on the way!

Colored eggs and cartoon chickens are the advertiser’s secular representation of Easter, but eggs and baby chicks are also deeply symbolic of spring, new life, and re-birth. As we move forward into spring and approach Easter, please remember the true essence of the holiday and take some time to observe the examples of re-birth happening all around the Villa campus. You may have already noticed the budding native plant garden, courtesy of the Green Team, and if you haven’t heard yet, the kindergartners are raising baby chicks – they had a healthy hatch of 15 beautiful babies!


Teachers Helping Teachers

Teaching is not an easy job.  It is even more difficult in parts of the world where the basic cost of books and school supplies total well beyond the financial means of most families.

Reminded of this at a recent Wednesday professional planning meeting, faculty and staff at Villa Academy joined together to support Avivara, an organization that provides assistance to the grossly under-funded education efforts in Guatemala.

The truth about Guatemala education is distressing. A one-room schoolhouse, sometimes the second function of an agriculture loading dock, will enroll nearly 100 students. A serious lack of teacher resources and inaccessible curriculum, available only via the web, make lecture the primary (yet ineffective) method of instruction. Given such inefficiencies, it is not surprising that Guatemalan children generally do not advance beyond the third grade – that is, if they have the privilege of attending school at all!

In true Cabrinian tradition, our community immediately stepped up to help. A group effort from Villa Academy employees, initiated by Becky Bocian in the Business Office, raised enough support to sponsor the educational needs of 56  students for an entire year!

Way to go Villa!

For more information on Education in Guatemala, or to find out how you can help, please visit: www.avivara.org

The Spring Book Fair 2011

April 11 – April 15

8:20 – 3:30   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

8:20 – 3:30 Wednesday for Spring Conferences

8:20 – 12:00 Friday

The Spring Book Fair is in the Rainbow Theatre April 11-15 and is open during regular student hours except on Friday, when the fair closes at noon.  Below is the schedule showing when each class visits the fair.

This event is a fundraiser for our library so please take advantage of this opportunity to purchase wonderful books, encourage reading, and support the Villa Library.  Checks should be made payable to “Secret Garden.”


Monday, April 11

8:45 – 9:15  6A  Calomeni

9:30 – 10:00  4B  Cassarino

10:55 – 11:20  7B  Brooks

12:50 –1:30  3A  Nichols

1:45 – 2:15  7A  Brooks

Tuesday, April 12

8:45 – 9:15  6B  O’Donnell

9:20 – 10:05   4A  Southern

10:20 – 10:55  KA  Raymaker

11:10 – 11:45  KC  Rutledge

12:45 – 1:25   1A  Fisher

2:00 – 2:40  2B  Downey

Wednesday, April 13

8:20 -3:30  Open during Spring Conferences

Thursday, April 14

9:30 – 9:50   8A  Mabbott

10:20 – 10:55  KB  Campbell

11:10 – 11:45  3A  Furman

12:45 – 1:25  1B  McFarland

1:30 – 1:50  8B  Mabbott

Friday, April 15

9:45 – 10:30   5A/B   Jones/Kessler

11:00 – 11:40  2A  Purn

12:00   Book Fair closed


I hope to see you at the Fair!

Karen Strand and Leslie Keeney

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.