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Chesapeake Academy begins 44th year

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Chesapeake Academy kindergartners engage in a group cuddle to show their excitement in meeting new friends and reuniting with old friends on the first day of school.
Chesapeake Academy opened for its 44th consecutive year with a convocation and an assembly for students, parents and faculty designed to commemorate the beginning of school and promote involvement in all aspects of school life.

Head of School Deborah Cook led the program by welcoming preschool through grade eight students for the 2008-09 academic year, encouraging each to plan for personal and academic successes while keeping this year’s theme of courage in the forefront of their actions.

“Heroic bravery is certainly one part of being courageous,” Cook explained to the assembled students, referring to people throughout history who have explored the world, fought for what they believed in, or put the safety of others above themselves. “Bravery can also help us face fear of difficulties or failure in our everyday life.”

Prior to the official opening of the academy, the 18-member faculty attended a three-day workshop on differentiated instruction led by academic dean Julie Keesee. Building on a framework for designing curriculum units, instruction and performance assessments implemented by the academy in 2005, Keesee reviewed with the faculty teaching techniques that address individual student learning style differences.

Additional enhancements to the academy’s college preparatory curriculum include the addition of an 8th grade Writer’s Workshop in the Technology Lab designed to help students develop the skills to communicate ideas effectively. The Writer’s Workshop is team-taught by Keesee and English teacher Ted Cook and supports writing projects across the 8th grade curriculum, while targeting technology skills, traits of writing, the writing process, vocabulary study, and grammar.

Chesapeake Academy added one year of Latin to its middle school language arts curriculum. Additionally, the academy initiated a “Bridge to the Middle School” program to help smooth the academic and social transition from the lower school to middle school.

The recent change to a full-day kindergarten program and five-mornings-a-week preschool program in response to the needs of families seeking sound educational foundations for their emerging school-age children, has been wonderfully received by students and teachers alike.

Early childhood teachers Beth Clark, Julia Zimmerman and Karen Minter are thrilled about having more time to explore topics indepth, to elaborate and repeat activities supporting differentiated instruction, and to balance academic activities with crucial social and moral development.

Chesapeake Academy is an independent school offering a half-day preschool and pre-kindergarten, and full-day instruction in grades kindergarten through eight. There are openings in some classes and mid-year enrollment inquiries are welcome. It is an accredited member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and currently serves students of Gloucester, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex and Northumberland counties. To arrange for a campus tour or for additional information, contact Hilary Scott, director of admissions, at 438-5575.

posted 09.10.2008

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