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Dear Parents,

Last week we were touting the talents of everyone involved in the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which sold out in its last show on Saturday. Word traveled around island quickly that our students, faculty, and key volunteers (including many parents) had exceeded their own already high expectations. Bravo to all involved!

This week we shift from the performing arts to the visual arts, where an equally talented crew has set up the art show in the pavilion. It is such a treat to see how our students from the youngest to the oldest have the opportunity at Good Hope Country Day School to express themselves creatively through painting, sketching, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and even fashion design. We are fortunate to have world-class artistic mentors guiding their journeys: Phyllis Biddle, Suenita Banwaree, and Jean Bishop. I hope you have a chance this evening to see the show (details below).

One on-going question is how can we use our beautiful campus grounds to expose students to art? The key concept is that our campus is and should be a gallery. We already have some fantastic works of art on display:

  • Tom Elicker’s bronze cat sculpture in honor of Tina Tobias, our late nurse
  • The 2006 sixth grader’s ceramic “underwater” sculpture
  • The 2015 tiles project completed with artist Sarah Hayes
  • The vibrant wall murals (Dr. Seuss, shapes, and more!) from our Mini-Gusto Campus beautification artists
  • And more!

Going forward, we hope to build on this inspiring foundation.

Second, today was “Trustee Day” – we were excited to have our trustees on campus visiting classrooms, seeing the art show, and getting their own dose of GHCDS magic! We are grateful for their service and are already eagerly planning another Trustee Day for the fall.

Lastly, May 1 was college matriculation day. We are delighted to see the varied paths our seniors will be taking in their next exciting chapter (see list below) and are enormously proud of them for their hard work.

Happy Cinco de Mayo – and have a wonderful Half-Ironman triathlon weekend!



  • Hot Topics in Education

  • Quick Announcements

  • ¡Gracias! Merci! Thank You!

  • Around Campus

  • Parents’ Association

  • Key Dates

Hot Topics in Education

“The West Indian Island that Shaped Alexander Hamilton.” March 3, 2017. The New York Times.

I thought I’d shift this week to an interesting look at our island’s illustrious historical figure of the moment!

Quick Announcements

GHCDS Parent Association- Final Meeting

Final meeting for the school year will take place on Tuesday, May 9th at 5:30 p.m. in the school library!  Election of PA Officers for the upcoming school year will take place.  The PA really needs your support and is a terrific way to get involved with the school community.  Our guest speaker, Aaron Hutchins, will discuss the exciting cross country and mountain biking trail being developed.  Hope to see you there- bring a friend!

Seeking Top Candidates!

We are currently looking to hire excellent candidates for the positions listed below and appreciate any referrals:

GHCDS Job Opening – Primary Grade Teacher 2017-18


Around Campus

Monday, May 1st was National College Decision Day!

On Monday, seniors in high schools across the country made a commitment to the college of their choice, taking the last step in their high school college preparation. At GHCDS, the senior class wore college gear from their future schools to announce to the entire campus where they were heading. From Virginia to New York, California to Florida, U.S. Service Academies to Gap Year programs in Spain and Ecuador, we’ll be tracking our future alumni across the globe! See the updated list of “where they’re going” in today’s Weekly News!

JSA Program Director Visit

On Wednesday during lunch break, high school Junior Statesmen of America members were treated to a visit by Ed Banayat, Senior Program Director for US Territories and Freely Associated States, who sat in on their weekly meeting, and also advised them on his own high school involvement in JSA, as well as its various programs and offerings. Also present was Attorney Ernest Morris, another JSA veteran, who continues to assist in organizing various JSA events.


Third Circuit Court of Appeals Field Trip

Seniors from Mr. Fletcher’s Civics/Government class, as well as juniors on the Moot Court team, travelled on Tuesday to the Almeric Christian Federal Building to hear oral arguments in five separate cases at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Afterwards, Judge Julio Fuentes, Judge Patty Shwartz, and Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr all fielded an array of insightful questions from students, and even came up off of their benches to greet students individually and shake their hands. Many thanks to Attorney Pamela Colon and Courtroom Operations Supervisor Gregory Kane for helping to facilitate this wonderful real-world civics lesson!

AP US History

Eleventh grade AP US History students spent all year preparing for their grueling 3 ½ hour exam.  Last Sunday students took a practice test and for the past two weeks many of the nineteen students have spent every day after school reviewing with Ms. Guerra.  They are a determined group of scholars! Above is a picture of their energy circle and chant right before the exam.

News Reports

Second Graders presented their NEWS reports to their fellow classmates each day this week.  Topics ranged from trains and Touch-Me-Not flowers to rad women in history.  There was even a flowing volcano!  NEWS weeks are exciting because the students complete all of the research and artwork for the presentations at home, so it is always a surprise to their fellow classmates. Plus, we learn about so many new things!

Real Life Geometry

The fourth graders were treated to a visit from Mr. Steve Garner, aka Morgan’s dad, as part of their geometry unit.  Mr. Garner says he uses math everyday as an electrical engineer.  Here he shows us an example of the right tilt of a solar panel for maximum efficiency.  We learned the solar panels on St. Croix are tilted at 15 degrees, which coincides very closely with our latitude!

Bonjour mes amies!

French class during our yummy “déjeuner”!

2017 South American Opti Championships

After 5 days of highly competitive racing at the 2017 South American Opti Championships, the VI Opti Team brought home a bronze in the team racing event.

ISV Team racers: Mathieu Dale (St. Croix), Katherine Majette (St. John), Winborne Majette (St. John), Mia Nicolosi (St. Thomas), Caroline Sibilly (St. Thomas)

Professional Development

Dear Parents,

In the last few years, we have invested in high-quality professional development for teachers in the areas of literacy and social-emotional education.  With the adoption of new math curricula from Kindergarten to Eighth grade, we look forward to stretching the Week of Inspirational Math throughout the year!

One of the main goals for the Upper School during 2016-17 was to improve the upper school curriculum and instruction. The US team had workshops with Dr. Denise Trombino, Ph.D. in Education Curriculum and Instruction, on various pedagogical strategies for the classroom such as differentiation, note-taking, study skills, Do Nows, and reading strategies for content teachers in all subjects.  In addition,  Dr. Trombino mentored four members of the team. This involved two class observations and two coaching session per teacher.


In the summer of 2015 Primary teachers participated in a seminar for FUNdations, a multisensory, systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting program. In the summer of 2016 Primary teachers participated in a three-day Fountas and Pinnell Levelled Literacy workshop.  They learned how to use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System to identify student reading level and to conduct systematically designed small group lessons with engaging leveled books.  In the 2017 -2018 school year we will continue our training with Fountas and Pinnell through professional workshop days scheduled in September, October, and February.   During the week of June 5th Kindergarten to eighth-grade language arts teachers are looking forward to working with AnneMarie Johnson from Columbia University’s Reading and Writing Project.


Research shows that students with higher emotional intelligence are better prepared to focus, learn, and do their best in school because as children develop greater awareness of their emotions, along with strategies for regulating them, they can make better choices and decisions.  In the summers of 2015 and 2016 four members of the GHCDS faculty/administration participated in RULER training seminars at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  RULER, a research-based program developed by the Yale Center, focuses on teaching how to understand and regulate emotions using four anchor tools – the Charter, Mood Meter, Meta Moment, and the Blueprint.  Our first year of adopting the RULER Program focused on teaching and practicing the tools among faculty.  Over the course of this second year, teachers have introduced the anchor tools to their students in the classroom setting and our school has begun to partner with parents through RULER workshops to provide support to families in creating emotionally intelligent homes.



This year Lower, Intermediate, and Middle School science teachers met monthly to study next-generation science standards and ensure that the curriculum in each grade includes well-developed units in each standard: earth science, life science,  physical science, and engineering.   Three teachers attended the National Science Teachers’ Association Conference, returning to school with wonderful ideas to share with colleagues.


During the course of the 2016-2017 school year, Upper, Middle and Lower School teachers collaborated in researching Lower and Middle School curricula that will strengthen our overall math program and provide vertical important vertical alignment.  After research and discussion with math educators at other independent schools, GHCDS will adopt Bridges Math from Kindergarten to fifth grade,  https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/families , and College Preparatory Math (CPM)  from sixth to eighth-grade http://cpm.org/about-cpm.  In July Middle School Math teachers will attend a five-day training in Utah for CPM, while Kinder to fifth-grade teachers will participate in a three-day training at GHCDS in August.
These new programs will require a few shifts. In addition, current research concludes that the drive to teach Algebra in eighth grade to all students has not equaled improved achievement. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865577774/New-research-says-the-push-to-have-students-take-algebra-by-8th-grade-has-hurt-not-help-students.html.    GHCDS Upper School Math teachers have found that requiring all eighth-graders to take Algebra for which they are not developmentally ready, has resulted in students not mastering fundamental skills that are essential for higher level math courses that follow Algebra.  Time would be much better spent strengthening foundational skills.  Students currently taking seventh grade Pre-Algebra will take an end of course assessment to determine their readiness for Algebra. A student who takes Algebra I in ninth grade still has multiple pathways to higher level math.  He or she can take Algebra in ninth grade and then Algebra II and Geometry in 10th grade.  Students currently taking Algebra I will take an end of course assessment to determine their readiness for Geometry.  In the 2017-2018 school year, sixth graders will take CPM I, seventh graders will take CPM II, and most eighth graders will take CPM III.



Ms. Blanchette and Ms. Grey


Key Dates

  • Monday, May 1-5                            Student Art Show/ Teacher Appreciation Week (PA)
  • May 8-12                                           ERB Testing – Grades 3-6
  • May 15-19                                         ERB Testing – Grades 7-8
  • May 16-19                                         St. John Trip – Grade 5
  • Friday, May 13                                 Prom
  • Friday, May 19                                 Middle & Upper School Choral, Band, and Steel Pan Concert
  • Wednesday, May 24                        Lower School Concert – Grades 1-6
  • Friday, May 26                                 Orange, White and Blue Day – Grades 7-12; Beach Day – Grades 1-6
  • Monday, May 29                       No School: Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 31                       Senior Awards Celebration
  • Thursday, Jun. 1                              Field Day – Grades 1-6; 8th Grade Celebration
  • Friday, Jun. 2                                   Early dismissal 11:30am
  • Friday, Jun. 2                                   12th Grade Graduation


This Week in Sports


This Week In Sports

Hi Panther Families!

We’re looking forward to watching the Elementary Soccer Panthers compete today for Championships on our home field!  They’ve worked hard and created a unified team that makes us proud to see them wearing the black and gold.

Junior Varsity and Varsity softball, Junior Varsity baseball and Elementary volleyball are still finishing their regular seasons.  Junior Varsity and Varsity soccer are preparing for playoffs, with Junior Varsity taking on Arthur Richards at home on Monday.  We’d love to see you there!

Thank you, and Go Panthers!

Coach Amy

Games This Week


  • JV Soccer Playoffs vs. Arthur Richards @ Home 4:00 Pizza Game Food!
  • JV Softball vs. Elena @ Field TBA, but please come prepared!-Taxi one way
  • JV Baseball vs. Elena @ Basilio 3:45 start-taxi one way



  • Varsity Softball vs. Complex @ Profit 4:00
  • Elementary Volleyball vs. Juanita @ Juanita Gardine 3:45 Taxi one way



  • JV Soccer Finals if/WHEN we win Playoffs
  • JV Softball-Possible Playoffs
  • JV Baseball Playoff Rounds Begin-TBA



  • Elementary Volleyball vs. Alfredo @ Home 1st game 3:30
  • Varsity Softball vs. Possible Playoffs @ Profit 4:00



  • Elementary Volleyball vs. Claude O @ Home 3:30
  • JV Baseball Possible Playoff Round
  • Possible JV Softball Champs


Practices This Week:

  • JV Soccer: Tuesday 3:00-4:15 lower field
  • Varsity Soccer: Tuesday and Thursday 4:00-5:30 lower field
  • JV Softball: Tuesday 3:15-4:30 upper field
  • Varsity Softball: Tuesday upper field, 4:00-5:30
  • JV Baseball: Games only
  • Elementary Volleyball: Games only this week.


Class Of 2017 College Acceptances

italicized bold denotes matriculation

Christopher Ashley: United States Naval Academy; Rochester Institute of Technology; Lehigh University; Stevens Institute of Technology

Mario Capriola: Ursinus College w/ scholarship; Loyola University, New Orleans; Clark University w/scholarship; Eckerd College w/scholarship; Loyola University, Maryland w/scholarship; Adelphi University; Drew University w/scholarship

Hailey Coates: Fordham University with scholarship;American University; Drexel University; Loyola University, Chicago, with scholarship; Ursinus College, with scholarship

Thea D’Eramo: University of Notre Dame with scholarship;  Pepperdine University with the Regents Scholarship

J’had Ferris: University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas; Virginia Commonwealth University; Marymount Manhattan College with a Trustee’s scholarship; Florida A&M University; Temple University; Flagler College with a Presidential scholarship; University of Tampa w/scholarship; Columbia College, Chicago; Prairie View A&M University

Daniel Garriga-Cerni: Spanish Language Immersion Gap Year, Madrid, Spain; Manhattan College; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Kira Griffith: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program; Harvard University; Yale University; Stanford University; University of Pennsylvania; Brown University; Duke University; University of Washington; Rice University; Williams College; Spelman College, Honors Program; University of Miami with the President’s Scholarship; Case Western Reserve University w/scholarship and as a  Finalist to their Pre-Professional Scholars Program; Emory University, College of Arts and Sciences and  Oxford College Scholar finalist

Shauni Lustig: Citizen Year Gap Program, Ecuador; Colorado State University; George Mason University; Colorado State University

Matthew Mays: Bryant University w/ Trustee Scholarship and athletic scholarship in swimming; Rider University with a Provost Scholarship and the President’s Leadership Award; George Washington University w/scholarship

Marshall McCormick: Texas Tech University; University of Houston; University of Texas, San Antonio; San Angelo State University

Sylvana Montealegre Hutchins: Drexel University w/scholarship; Savannah College of Art and Design; Columbia College, Chicago, Honors Program;

Chloe Phillips-Hayden: Gap Year, California; University of San Francisco, w/scholarship

Izhani Rosa: University of Tampa with scholarship; Florida Atlantic University; Flagler College; UVI, St. Thomas; Stetson University; Jacksonville University; Georgia Southern University; University of Central Florida

Faith Snow: United States Coast Guard Academy; University of San Diego; Stetson University; Florida Institute of Technology; Humboldt State University; Santa Clara University; Point Loma Nazarene University; Azuza Pacific University

Elise Stamper: Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College, Bio-medical Engineering Program; Carnegie Mellon University; Boston University, Honors College of Engineering; University of Maryland, College Park as a College Park Scholar; Drew University as a Baldwin Scholar w/scholarship; College of William and Mary

Aiden Stevens: Judson University with scholarship; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Pratt Institute

Eva Taylor: Simmons College with scholarship; Drexel University w/scholarship; Loyola University, Chicago, with scholarship; Becker College w/scholarship; Sacred Heart University w/scholarship; Adelphi University; Wagner College

Jonathan Thomas: United States Air Force Academy; US Military Academy, West Point, University of Utah, College of Engineering; Texas A&M, College of Engineering; Drew University w/Presidential Scholarship; Bryant University w/Archway Scholarship

Angel Tirado: Liberty University


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