A Villa Christmas Tradition

Christmas Tree

In our main foyer each year, we display a lovely Christmas tree.  Beautiful ornaments, donated by our Kindergarten students and their families, adorn this tree. In the spirit of Christmas tradition, once again we have invited our kindergarteners to choose or make a small ornament for our Villa tree.

Many families choose the ornament together; picking something that is symbolic or special to their child and hang it on the tree together.  Every ornament has the child’s name on the back, so when the class reaches 8th Grade, the students can find their ornaments on the tree and remember when they were in Kindergarten.

The Villa Christmas tree stays up until the Feast of the Epiphany and our return to school. Next time you are in the building, please stop and enjoy this very special Villa Tradition that began eight years ago!

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Wash Your Handsing Ton

The state’s new flu education campaign starts this week to remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu.

WashYourHandsingTon is a cute play on words being used as the campaign’s slogan to remind everyone to wash their hands, covers their cough, and gets the flu vaccine.

WATCH the Video and remind your family members to do everything they can to stay healthy this year!

Villa Employees climb for Cystic Fibrosis!

On Thursday, December 2, 2010 a handful of Villa Academy faculty and staff teamed up to participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Stair-climb. Every step (56 floors in total) brings us one step closer to the a cure! Way to go!!

Green Team Survey

The Villa Green Team is gathering information about the large plot of woods between the school and Lake Washington. Please take a moment to complete the  3-question survey.


Giving, "easy as pie!"

Matt Talbott Pumpkin Pies

A 5th grade tradition continues! Students in Mrs. Jones and Mr. Kessler’s classes made pumpkin pies for the 25th annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Matt Talbot Center – a recovery center for the homeless, addicted and mentally ill located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

Last week, students paired up in the 2nd floor flex room to begin assembling pies. Each team rolled out their piecrust, occasionally dusting the dough with flour and constructively debating the appropriate thickness. Mrs. Jones demonstrated how to use a rolling pin to drape the dough over the pie pan and fit it snuggly to the pan’s interior. The class mimicked her directions and then moved on to the pie filling.

The fundamental purpose of the Matt Talbot Center is to provide individuals and families the opportunity to overcome obstacles that hinder self-sufficiency. The center offers hope, services and support to those in need. Members are provided with the tools and opportunities to restore productivity and self-sufficiency to their lives and to reestablish relationships with their families.

Members of Holy Rosary Parish, Edmonds, have sponsored this event for many years, and the Villa Academy 5th graders are excited to provide “the trimmings” for this special dinner.

Faculty Focus: The Talent Code

Last Thursday fourth grade teacher, Ms. Nichols, attended a lecture by Daniel Coyle, the author of The Talent Code.

Coyle visited nine “talent hotbeds”, places (sometimes small and unlikely places) that produce great talent. In his talk, Coyle gave the example of one small Russian tennis club, Spartak, which has produced more top 20 women players than the entire U.S.

Coyle has observed common patterns – methods of teaching, motivation, and coaching. His research distilled the essentials of how talent is made, or as the title of his book states, “The Talent Code.”

According to Ms. Nichols, “he assured us talent IS made – it’s not simply present at birth.”

Ms. Nichols noted what Coyle presents as the ingredients for talent:

Talent ingredient 1:
Deep practice.  “Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways – operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes – makes you smarter.” … “The best way to build a good circuit is to fire it, attend to mistakes, then fire it again, over and over.  Struggle is not an option: it’s a biological requirement.”

Talent ingredient 2:
Passion.  Energy.  It takes tremendous energy and time to stick with deep practice for the amount of time needed to develop talent.

Talent ingredient 3: Environment.  Where does the passion come from?  It comes from one’s environment.  How someone sees himself or herself makes a difference in how much they learn.  It’s important to see someone you want to become – to have someone in your windshield.

Just mix those ingredients together and voila, talent!

Mr. Coyle said the biological basis for why deep practice works is the building of myelin insulation that wraps around nerve fibers.  The more a circuit is fired, the more layers of myelin and the faster and more efficient the firing gets.
He also said that as a teacher or a parent you can’t force talent on a child, but you can look for it and encourage it.  He specified that kids need private space to ignite ideas, experiment and develop obsessions that lead them to develop talents.

Alice in Wonderland, coming to Villa!

Alice in Wonderland

This year’s musical is Alice in Wonderland, Directed by Shea Salyer with Music Direction by Jean Johnson.

Join Alice’s madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with the Tweedles, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game! Roles are plentiful, including three Cheshire Cats and dozens of other wonderfully wacky characters.

This fast-paced stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland features updated dialogue and new arrangements of such classic Disney songs as “I’m Late,” “The Un-birthday Song” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

First Cast Meeting*: Tuesday, November 30, 3:15-5:30pm in the Rainbow Theater
Callbacks for lead roles: Thursday, December 2, 3:15-5:30pm in the Rainbow Theater
Performance dates: March 10th & 11th.
Rehearsal days: Mondays and Wednesdays after school until 5:30pm

* You  must be registered to attend the  First Cast Meeting on November 30.
Click below to register; the Alice in Wonderland Musical is the 8th entry in the list.

Registration Page