April 20, 2018
Alumni News! – 4.27.18
April 27, 2018
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Dear Parents:

This was another frenetic week of engaging learning activities all around campus. Our 12th graders presented their Senior Theses on topics ranging widely from gender gaps in leadership and the pros and cons of specializing in sports to how to adapt physical education curricula for cerebral palsy and societal pressures on black women and their hair. Their presentations provoked wonderful questions from listeners and highlighted how exciting learning can be when students are passionate about their topic and can form their own voice and opinion. Bravo to everyone involved!

Not far away geographically, but very far away chronologically, our fifth graders, as part of their unit on ancient Greece, battled in everything from arm wrestling and Hellenic trivia to javelin while representing the rival poleis (plural of polis) of Athens, Sparta, Argos, Megara, and Corinth. Plato and Socrates would have been quite proud seeing many toga-toting scholars walking around campus!

On the fields of our campus and fields elsewhere, our soccer teams at all levels (Elementary, Middle School, Varsity) have been showcasing their teamwork, grit, and skill. It has been fun to see the camaraderie on the pitch as well as the growing number of fans—students, parents, faculty—cheering the players on from the sidelines. Go Panthers!

We are also pleased to have assembled our Planning Team for our Middle States Accreditation Self-Study, which we would have begun last September, but, well… we had a few distractions since then! The Middle States Association will send a 5-member team to visit GHCDS November 13-16 and review our Self-Study to make sure it accurately reflects where we are as a school. We very much look forward to their visit, but we have a lot of work to do before then on a compressed timeline. Through this rigorous process, though, we will be consulting many different constituents, including current parents, to ensure a careful assessment of our strengths and areas for improvement. We will send out surveys for your input in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, you can learn more from my Planning Team meeting slides Accreditation Planning Team 4.26.18 and from reading the description of the “Excellence By Design” protocol, which we will follow Intro to Excellence by Design.

Since we are speaking about assessments, now is as good a time as any to provide an update on my own 2017-18 goals GHCDS Head of School Goals for 2017-18 – Update 4.26.18. These four goals were set at the start of the school year—before Irma (and Jose!) and Maria. I haven’t included in this particular document many Next Steps that I will be focused on in the weeks ahead up until our fiscal year ends June 30, but I hope this gives a sense that we’ve made remarkable headway on many fronts despite the extraordinarily challenging year. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, suggestions, or thoughts you’d like to share—I welcome your input on accomplishing these goals!

Finally, another BAM! (Better After Maria) story from just the last week that reflect our efforts to build a world-class school for our students here on St. Croix:

·         Dry Erase Board Proliferation! Ms. Baker has turned her storage closet into another teaching tool for math and physics, and Ms. Hill is excited about her larger interactive white board. A critical part of learning is making your thinking visible – so we are delighted to see thinking covering many different surfaces!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Quick Announcements

Dear 3rd to 8th Grade Parents,

We assess student learning in many ways – projects, portfolios of work, papers, end of unit tests.  Standardized tests allow us to benchmark our students’ academic performance relative to their peers at independent schools throughout the country.  This will be our third year administering the ERB standardized tests.

Educational Records Bureau, which publishes a Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP), is a global not-for-profit educational membership organization for independent, boarding, faith based and public schools.  Established in 1927, ERB is led by a group of proven innovators with a deep and diverse range of non-profit, educational experience in developing pioneering assessment tools.  ERB membership in the Caribbean includes The Antilles School on St. Thomas, as well as The American Military Academy, Tasis, and St. Johns’ schools in Puerto Rico.

The CTP provides useful information about student performance in listening, reading, vocabulary, writing, mathematics, as well as verbal and quantitative reasoning.  CTP score reports are powerful tools that help teachers reflect on instruction and curriculum, with in-depth data that scales from individual students, to classes, to entire grades. In addition, CTP reports allow us to compare our school’s student performance and growth with similar groups of achievers in other independent, suburban, public, and international schools.  Reviewing CTP scores in the 2015-2016 year led to our exploration of new math curricula (Bridges and College Preparatory Math), which we adopted this year the 2017-2018,

Third and fourth graders will take CTP tests the week of May 7th;  seventh and eighth graders, the week of May 14, and fifth and sixth graders the week of May 21.   It is essential that students arrive to school on time during that week.  In addition we ask that parents make every effort to ensure that students are well rested, and have a good breakfast.  Testing will take place in the mornings from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, and students will follow a modified schedule.  Middle School students will have a beach day in the afternoon of May 18th to celebrate the completion of ERB testing – a tradition that we began last year. Fifth and Sixth graders will have their Beach Day on Friday, May 25.   Thank you for your support.


Denise Blanchette

Head of Lower and Middle School


GHCDS Job Opening – Primary Spanish Teacher

GHCDS Job Opening – Lower School Teacher


Around Campus

Congratulations Crystal Fahie!

The Women’s Coalition held a poetry/writing contest that posed the question, “what is consent?” partially in recognition of sexual assault awareness month. Crystal was our first place winner. Her poem was amazing!

Ollie & Stanley Owl

Congratulations to the cast of Ollie & Stanley Owl! This Edith Weiss play is about a young owl whose inability to hoot makes the other forest animals question his acceptance in their community. This hilarious comedy is based on the slapstick style of Laurel and Hardy. The GHCDS Elementary Theatre Club worked hard each week to bring the story to life; they even made their own costumes!

First graders learning to drum at Estate Whim Museum!

First graders listening to the docent at Estate Whim Museum!

Rider Bound!

Senior Webster Bozzo signed his Letter of Intent to swim Division l at Rider University in the Fall, while studying Business. Webster’s impressive competitive record, earned him offers at a few colleges before he chose to attend and compete for Rider. Congratulations, Web!


The Pre-kindergarten visited the fourth grade classes to observe their dioramas about animal habitats.  The fourth graders did an amazing presenting their dioramas, and it was a wonderful learning experience for the Pre-kindergarten class.  They were some  good conversations between the fourth graders and the Pre-kindergarteners.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of Little Shop of Horrors on a job well done!

Greek Day at GHCDS!

GHS Class of 1976-78 Visit GHCDS!

GHS Alumni and alumni family visit the GHCDS campus! So many wonderful memories and stories were shared while reconnecting with each other.

Parents’ Association

Father/Daughter Dance contest song  “This Is Me” from the Greatest Showman!

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