6.5.17

Dear Parents: The last few weeks of school showcase the best of GHCDS: students presenting projects in front of an audience; teamwork and collaboration; healthy competitions; silly competitions; student leadership; cross-divisional mentoring; students dressed formally (wow!); testimonials and reflections where faculty share meaningful words about students and students share meaningful words about faculty and their peers… the list goes on. As you head off into summer, I wanted to share a few key messages: Commencement. Last Friday’s 12th grade graduation at Island Center was an elegant end to the year. Mr. Cesar Guerra, who is a current parent, former faculty member, alum, spouse of a faculty member, and new trustee, delivered the inspiring commencement address. Valedictorian Kira...
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5.26.17

Dear Parents: It’s been yet another exciting week of celebrations! Our early childhood, lower, and middle school students all gave rousing concerts of singing, band, and steel pans. Our 4th graders held a lovely ceremony honoring each student, highlighting their accomplishments through the year, and unveiling a beautiful ceramic tile mural in honor of the Centennial. Our 8th graders presented their capstone projects on topics ranging from body image insecurities to marketing strategies for businesses in Frederiksted to different styles of hijabs and the impression this may give. Our upper school students have been taking leadership roles in preparation for Orange, White, and Blue Day, perhaps the most popular day of the school year. The battle was fun and fierce! And more than a dozen...
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5.19.17

Dear Parents: As we approach the end of the school year, competitions and celebrations abound. A big congratulations goes out to our Moot Court team of Julian Bishop, Jade Bryan, and Jada Romer for the victory yesterday in the USVI Territory competition held on St. Thomas. Coached by attorneys Michael Rogers and Pam Colon (Parent ’16) and coordinated by Nancy Thatcher, the team improved with every practice and competition and, ultimately, their hard work earned them first place. Bravo! Moot Court combines teamwork, public speaking, critical thinking, and interaction with professionals (attorneys and judges) to give students an exceptional learning experience. Our varsity soccer team deserves praise for the grit, adaptability, and resilience they showed all season, even earning a berth...
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5.12.17

Dear Parents: This week has ended by showcasing some of the best of Good Hope Country Day School. In the upper school, our seniors gave presentations on their senior theses, covering topics ranging from key principles of teamwork, to LGBTQ Inequality in America.   This is one of the projects that best prepares our students for the rigors of college and we look forward to enhancing the overall process next year. Our seniors also delighted guests this morning in the library by recreating Paris in the 1920’s, a culminating activity in Josh Canning’s literature class which brings everything to life and unleashes student creativity. C’est fantastique! Yesterday our 5th and 6th graders presented parts of their Oral History projects, with many of their distinguished interviewees in...
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5.5.17

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...
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4.28.17

Dear Parents: As our juniors and seniors gear up for an intense week ahead of AP exams (may their hard work and preparation yield great results!), I wanted to share with you how we intend to recognize our faculty for Faculty Appreciation Week. The email below was sent yesterday: We are excited to share with you the schedule of events for next week’s Faculty Appreciation Week. We are grateful for the incredibly hard work you do every day and hope these fun options below will help add a spring and smile to your step! Monday – Bici-Cafe. Steve Swanton of BiciCafe will bring his blue Copenhagen-manufactured coffee station on two wheels to our campus between 9:50am and 1:20pm. Faculty members are invited to enjoy two complimentary drinks of their choice: cold-pressed coffee,...
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4.21.17

Dear Parents: We started this week on Tuesday with some creative mischief (a.k.a “Senior Prank”) in our upper school. A light snowfall, a misplaced soccer goal, caution tape run amok, and even the poster below on our GHCDS entry sign! I must say that the seniors have paid me an undue compliment. As I understand it, Bob the Builder starts and completes his projects in every 30-minute episode. Our projects here, however, seem to run on and on and on… I have made a point this week of visiting classrooms, albeit briefly, to get at the heart of what we really are—a learning institution! I have enjoyed watching 3rd graders reflect on character motives in an E.B. White book, 5th graders discuss the migration patterns and courtship dances of the reddish egret, 10th graders write code to...
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4.13.17

Dear Parents: Happy Easter Weekend! Besides spending time with family and friends, I hope many of you will connect with some of the Danish soccer players now wandering both our campus and the island – they are here to participate (along with many of our students) in the AYSO International Tournament. Speaking of Easter, our upper school students raced around campus this morning in search of colored plastic eggs, which had been carefully hidden outside and inside classrooms (and even in my office!). Why the commotion? Most of the eggs contained candies and chocolates for a quick sugar boost, and some of the eggs contained coveted “homework passes,” which would allow the holder to NOT have to complete a homework assignment. In the meantime, our lower school students engaged in their own...
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4.7.17

Dear Parents: It has been fun to see black & gold splashes across campus as our soccer, softball, and baseball players and elementary volleyball athletes dart to their respective practices and competitions. If you have a chance to come cheer the athletes on, please do—the weather is gorgeous! Go Panthers! In the meantime, I have enjoyed reading the upper school student Mini-Gusto reflections—both their informal daily journals as well as their more polished Summary Reflection—and viewing their photos. I have lived vicariously through our intrepid students who have mastered yoga headstand poses to keep their zen, created microwavable pancakes in a cup to prepare for college dorm life, mastered the arts of customer service at jewelers as well as dive shops, interacted with judges in...
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3.30.17

Dear Parents: Welcome back from spring break! It seems like everyone had a wonderful rest—even if some of us returned sick. 🙁 As a quick follow up to our pre-spring break Weekly News, we will be sending out re-enrollment materials next week (not this week) following the April 3 board meeting. Thank you for your patience! Second, as another pre-break follow up, we welcome your suggestions for top teaching candidates for the positions listed below in Quick Announcements, which now includes a lead kindergarten teacher. We learned this week that Ms. LaHaye will be returning to New Orleans, where her husband will resume his work in real estate and she will assume a position with ReNew Charter School Organization. We are disappointed, but are grateful for her contributions this year and...
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3.17.17

Dear Parents: First and foremost, we will be sending out re-enrollment materials for 2017-18 the week of March 27. We hope to include the school calendar for next year as well. Note that this will likely be an electronic mailing unlike the print versions in past years—another step forward! Second, we are beginning to look at staffing for next year and already know of several positions for which we are seeking top candidates. If you know of any excellent candidates for the positions listed below in the Quick Announcements section, please feel free to share these job descriptions directly with them. We welcome your input. In the meantime, excitement abounds around campus. Every morning, every lunch hour, and every afternoon this week I’ve gotten a jolt of energy from hearing the amazing...
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3.10.17

Dear Parents: How do we as a school showcase and display our student work? I was reminded of this ten days ago on our visit to the Norwood School in Bethesda, Maryland, where ceramic sailboats, Native American dioramas, best friend descriptions in Spanish, and other student work adorned the walls of the campus. Because of our wonderful outdoor campus, we unfortunately have fewer weatherproof spaces to display student work and faculty creativity. Teachers have done a great job displaying work inside their classrooms—but we want EVERYONE setting foot on campus (and not necessarily entering classrooms) to see what our students can do.  Those of you who have passed through the main office in the last month have seen the fantastic “career” project Jean Bishop did with the second graders...
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3.3.17

Dear Parents: From Dr. Seuss celebrations in the lower school to alumni receptions in Washington, D.C., it has been another week of active learning, connecting, and growing in the GHCDS community! College acceptances continue arriving for our seniors, with many more to come next month. Keep thinking good thoughts to bring favorable news… To help our students navigate the difficult and highly competitive college application process, I am pleased to share our College Counseling Handbook available on our College Counseling webpage. We are also hoping to add shortly a list of summer program opportunities in which some of our students have participated. I highly recommend that you and your family, regardless of your child’s age, begin perusing these documents. It’s never too early to...
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2.24.17

Dear Parents: From Meta-Moment (Go RULER!) skits and capstone project presentations by our middle school students to SMART goal-setting and fashion show final touches by our upper school students, we’ve enjoyed another week of great learning on our tropical campus. But in two more weeks many of our 7th-12th grade students will be venturing off-campus for Mini-Gusto! This is an outstanding opportunity, coordinated by Ms. Nancy Thatcher, for students to explore their interests and passions, gain real-world experience, and develop greater self-awareness. Mini-Gusto, along with Orange-White-and Blue Day, is the highlight of many GHCDS graduates. As part of this year’s Mini-Gusto, we will be requiring all students to write daily journal entries reflecting on their experience. We will also...
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2.17.17

Dear Parents: Great schools always strive to showcase and celebrate student talents in creative ways.  I wish you all could have been on campus on Valentine’s Day to see our middle and upper school students traipsing from room to room reciting Shakespearean sonnets, singing and dancing pop love songs, and playing other romantic tunes with guitars and ukuleles. Cupid would give them an A+! Another celebration took place a day later when our MathCounts team, under the expert guidance of Dr. Molloy, won first place in the Island competition. Bravo! The MathCounts tournament, held around the United States, is a wonderful test of individual and team abilities. We wish them productive preparation as they now move onto the USVI Territory competition in March. Lastly, we will be celebrating...
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