Villa Partners with UW Landscape Architecture Students

Villa Building


Students in the University of Washington Landscape Architecture program have selected the spacious grounds at Villa AcademyPicture 3 for a case study project. This partnership provides UW students with the opportunity for practical application of  their studies and gives the Villa Academy Building and Grounds Committee well developed suggestions for campus improvements.

The discipline of landscape architecture is focused on the creation of urban open-space and development that meets the aspirations and needs of human, wildlife, and other biological processes on earth.

As part of the initial research, UW students met with Villa’s middle school Green Team. The Green Team offered guided tours of campus as well as their thoughts and ideas surrounding future campus development. Watch Video.

Last week, the Landscape Architecture class presented spatial and programmatic ideas to the Villa Building and Grounds Committee.  There are four student teams, each with a different vision for the future development of Villa’s campus.

All of the groups IMG_2147addressed traffic and pedestrian challenges and looked for ways to improve  the busy flow at drop-off and pick-up times.  Many of the teams had exciting suggestions for ways to integrate outdoor learning. Designs for outdoor classrooms, amphitheaters, sensory gardens, agricultural areas, and space for students to practice environmental stewardship were illustrated on large presentation posters on every wall of the classroom.

An architectural model of the Villa Academy campus was the center piece of the room, reminding us all of the amazing resource we are fortunate to be working with.

Visit by Author Jon Scieszka

Author Jon Scieszka will visit Villa on March 9th

Jon Scieszka will be sharing his writing experience and introducing his latest chapter book with 2nd through 5th graders on Wednesday, March 9th at 12:45.  Mr. Scieszka is a well known author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  His story, The Stinky Cheese Man, won a Caldecott Honor Medal. His books include:

  • Knucklehead
  • Science Verse
  • Math Curse
  • Cowboy and Octopus
  • The Time Warp Trio Series
  • His latest works are the picture book call Truckery Rhymes and 2 chapter books called Spaceheadz Book 1 and Book 2.

Mr. Scieszka’s visit is sponsored by Secret Garden Bookstore and the store will have copies of his books for sale. Watch for a Secret Garden book order flyer coming home with your child the week of March 1.

Girl Scout Cookie Season has arrived.

girl scouts

Troop 43672 unloaded hundreds of boxes of cookies on Saturday (at a top secret warehouse!) to be sold in the upcoming cookie sale. Members of the troop will be out selling cookies at local stores for three weekends starting February 26th.

The troop will take donated cookies to the University District Food Bank and Operation Cookie Drop for members of the military.

You can find Villa girls at

Wedgewood QFC: Sat, Feb 26th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Safeway: Sun, Feb 27th, 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Wedgewood QFC: Sun, Feb 27th, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Met Market: Sat, Feb 26th,  4:00 – 6:00pm

Mountain School

Mountain SchoolThis spring, Villa sixth graders will venture into the North Cascades to participate in a field science study offered by the North Cascades Institute.

At Mountain School, students are introduced to field science and research skills by investigating the habitat  potential of the forest community surrounding the Learning Center for carnivores such  as the fisher, pine marten, lynx and wolverine, endangered forest dwellers. Students are taught how to measure tree diversity, canopy cover, coarse woody debris and ground  cover by creating and surveying their own forest transects in small groups. They learn  the roles of forest carnivores in the ecosystem and the history of hunting and trapping  that have dramatically reduced their numbers. At the end of this program, groups analyze their data and draw conclusions regarding the potential of the Learning Center forests for regional wildlife.

Tuesday, February 15, 5:30, Rainbow Theater
Villa is hosting a representative from the North Cascades Institute for a parent/student informational meeting.

Dear Middle School Parents

When scheduling dances for the year last summer, we inadvertently scheduled the Villa only dance for the Friday before the auction. Ooops! I must have been flashing back to the days when the auction was off campus. In any event, we have rescheduled the Villa only dance for Friday, May 27. We realize that this is the Friday night of Memorial Weekend and recognize that some families choose to take family trips that weekend. If that is the case and your middle schooler will not be able to attend the dance, we are truly sorry. Nevertheless, with all of the activities this spring and with Easter falling so late in the year, we really had few options. One advantage of the later date for this dance is that our sixth graders will be that much older and readier to participate comfortably in the dance.

Please mark your calendars for Friday, May 27 from 7:00-10:00 for the Villa only dance. All current Villa middle schoolers are invited.

Thank you,
Pat Preib

No Bullies!

No Bully Zone


Bullying hurts! It can’t be ignored or accepted as a natural part of Middle School. Intentionally causing harm to another person through physical, verbal or social manipulation is wrong and contrary to Villa Academy’s Cabrinian tradition of compassion. With guidance from Ms. Jenner, Villa Academy sixth graders tackle this issue in a two day anti-bully workshop – students identify the different types of bullying, discuss real life scenarios, and learn strategies to stop peer aggression.

Further Reading:

Best Friends/Worst Enemies by Michael Thompson

Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons

The bully and the bystander

Hi-de-ho Villa Neighbors!

FlowersToday, as part of Catholic Schools Week, we celebrate our neighborhood community!  We would like to thank our close neighbors for their support, patience and understanding with a special card and small gift, crafted by our kindergarten/eighth grade buddies and delivered by our Middle School students.

Living near a school is a joy and a challenge.  Our neighbors are the best!