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Weekly News – 3.13.20



Dear parents and students,

Mini-Gusto for grades 7-12 was amazing! Thank you to Mini-Gusto Coordinator Nancy Thatcher and all the businesses, community providers, teachers, and volunteers who created a fantastic mini-gusto experience for our students. Please see some shared experiences below.

Congratulations to Micheal Atwell, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ spelling bee champ! According to the Virgin Islands Consortium, Michael “became the top speller in the territory after winning the 47th Annual Territorial Spelling Bee on Wednesday at the Charlotte Amalie High School’s Ruth E. Thomas Auditorium. Atwell, who is also the 2020 St. Croix District Spelling Bee champ, spelled “eucalyptus” correctly after 16 rounds of competition at the Territorial Bee. For the second year in a row, Atwell will represent the U. S. Virgin Islands at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in May.”

COVID-19 Update: Yesterday, I sent out another update on the coronavirus situation, informing you that when school resumes after spring break, we will either hold classes on campus under more stringent restrictions for hygiene and personal contact, or close campus and move classes online for an appropriate period of time.

Information on COVID-19 continues to evolve by the minute. Today, President Trump declared a national emergency on account of the coronavirus; Gov. Albert Bryan declared a “state of emergency” for the U.S. Virgin Islands; University of the Virgin Islands announced that they will transition to online learning; two independent schools in St. Thomas indicated they will close their campuses after spring break and resume school online; and several more U.S. states announced they will close all K-12 schools. I will make a decision about GHCDS soon. Please expect a follow-up communication from me within the next couple of days.

We will postpone the Fishing for Black and Gold Tournament and Shore Party scheduled for April 19, on account of COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Stamper Keularts at (340) 778-1974, ext. 2113, or by email at lstamperkeularts@ghcds.org.

The GHCDS Parents’ Association is seeking volunteers to serve as officers and committee chairs for the 2020-2021 school year.  If you are interested or have any questions about the Parents’ Association, please let me know, or email current president Robyn Falconer at ParentAssociation@ghcds.org.

Topics covered in this edition of our Weekly News include:

  • Mini-Gusto 2020 (this week’s featured photo)
  • “GHCDS Students Install Crime Stoppers Signs Asking for Tips” in the St. Thomas Source
  • International Women’s Day
  • Roseway Experience
  • Latin Dance
  • Upcycling
  • Third Grade Reading Celebration!
  • Kids Rock Fashion Show

Happy spring break, everyone. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday.

Yours sincerely,

William Bugg, Head of School, Good Hope Country Day School


Quick Announcements:

Due to the current and very fluid situation with respect to the coronavirus, and after careful deliberation, Good Hope Country Day School has decided to postpone the Fishing for Black and Gold Tournament and Shore Party that was scheduled to take place Sunday, April 19th. While we understand that the risk of contracting the COVID-19 illness in St.Croix remains low, our decision to postpone this event was made out of an abundance of caution and in the best interests of the health and safety of our families, donors, and friends (which is our top priority).

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Stamper Keularts at (340) 778-1974, ext. 2113 or email lstamperkeularts@ghcds.org.

Around Campus:

Mini-Gusto Week 2020


“GHCDS Students Install Crime Stoppers Signs Asking for Tips”

From the St. Thomas Source

Good Hope Country Day School’s middle and upper schools take part in “Mini-gusto,” each year, which is a week-long, out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning opportunity.  The project produces new activities, travel opportunities and meaningful internships and community service projects for students, who this year, with assistance from Crime Stoppers volunteers and the V.I. Police Department, are installing street signs promoting the anonymous tip line and reward opportunities available to residents and visitors in the territory.

Seven GHCDS students assisted with the installation of signs on St. Croix during the 2019 Mini-gusto; nine students helped install signs on St. Thomas and St. John.

“This initiative is a $25,000 venture sponsored by Crime Stoppers USVI,” said Laurie Dunton, Crime Stoppers chair.  “We have experienced an increase in reporting and subsequent reward payments since the installation of signs last year on St. Croix.  We hope the residents and visitors on St. Thomas and St. John will be just as responsive to the initiative, and as a result, crime reporting and rewards will continue to increase.”

Crime Stoppers USVI is an anonymous tip line service established in 2010 that provides the VIPD and federal agencies with over 6,000 anonymous tips that have aided the investigation of current, ongoing and cold cases in the territory.


Crime Stoppers USVI, a private, non-profit organization, is not associated with any law enforcement entity.  The identity of the tipster is never revealed. Drug tips are typically submitted to DEA, corruption tips to FBI, weapon tips to ATFE, assault and property crime tips to VIPD.

Senior Nbiko Bowry summed it up best: “There are many ways to serve your community, but none more impactful than doing something that may save a life or bring comfort to a grieving family.”

Crime Stoppers USVI: “YOUR ISLAND, YOUR CALL!”  1-800-222-8477.

Download the free mobile app at www.P3TIPS.COM and submit tips anytime, anywhere.  People can also visit www.Crimestoppervi.org and submit a tip online.  Remember to check back frequently for tip status and reward updates.

International Women’s Day

On Friday, March 6, seniors Kelsey Bhola and Nyama Gibbs attended a round table discussion hosted by Senator Alicia V. Barnes, in celebration of International Women’s Day. The theme of the discussion was “An Equal World is an Enabled World” addressing the fight against negative stereotypes, biases and perceptions about women, and celebrating the achievements of women. The event was held at the Economic Development Authority’s conference room at the William Roebuck Industrial Park and was attended by young women from several St. Croix high schools.

Roseway Experience

The 6th grade students boarded the historic Schooner Roseway operated by the World Ocean School to engage in lessons onboard the living classroom.  Over the course of two days, students explored community values such as communication, teamwork, trust and self-worth while learning about Roseway, sailing the ship and participating in lessons taught by the crew. Lessons included navigation, ocean layers, knot tying, calculating the speed of Roseway, and simple machines. Each day students raised, lowered and stowed the sails, coiled lines, and sang shanties.  Students challenged themselves through lesson activities including climbing aloft and sitting on the bowsprit.  Values and skills emphasized onboard are part of the 6th grade humanities, math and science curriculum.

Latin Dance

In order to welcome next week’s Mini gusto activities, members of the junior class enjoyed some time dancing to Latin music during their advisory period. They demonstrated great coordination skills but most of all, had a blast!

Territorial Spelling Bee Champion: Michael Atwell

As described in the Virgin Islands Consortium: “Good Hope Country Day School’s Michael Atwell became the top speller in the territory after winning the 47th Annual Territorial Spelling Bee on Wednesday at the Charlotte Amalie High School’s Ruth E. Thomas Auditorium. Atwell, who is also the 2020 St. Croix District Spelling Bee champ, spelled “eucalyptus” correctly after 16 rounds of competition at the Territorial Bee. For the second year in a row, Atwell will represent the U. S. Virgin Islands at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in May.”  Click here to read story.


Upcycle enthusiasts were at it again this week making sea critters out of cardboard. Very cute and lots of fun!

Third Grade Reading Celebration!

Third graders enjoyed a surprise party based on the book, Because of Winn Dixie. Students made “mistake bottles”, ate food served in the book, and were excited to see pictures of their own dogs (secretly submitted by parents) adding to the decorations in the room!


GHCDS Students Participate in Kids Rock Fashion Show

Fashion Design students participate in their third JG Management Annual Kids Rock Fashion Show at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School on Sunday, March 8. Students got the full experience, working backstage, helping models, styling garments and even making quick alterations on the spot.

GHCDS Angelina Encarnacion is wearing an outfit created by senior designer Ariel Sutherland.

Designers know that teamwork is essential. After several attempts to quickly change a garment, designers improvised by pairing Kelsey Bhola’s top with Layla Bradshaw’s skirt. Day Charles and Savanna Capdeville walked quickly down the hall to get model Diane to the stage. Photo credit: Aleah Mann and Frances Falcon-Vasquez

Summer Opportunities for Upper School Students

There are 1,000s of summer programs for high school students each year and it’s not too early to begin thinking about how you will spend your summer!

Available around the globe, and even in your own backyard, summer programs are great!

Following is information from programs that have reached out to our school to advertise. The school does not promote or necessarily recommend these programs, we are just sharing information:

●      Yale Young Global Scholars: https://globalscholars.yale.edu/summer2020

●      National Student Leadership Conference (NYLC): https://nslcleaders.org/college-prep-program-enrollment

●      Savannah College of Art and Design: https://scad.edu/summer

●      Washington University in St. Louis Pre-college Programs: https://precollege.wustl.edu

●      University of Miami Summer Scholars Program: https://ssp.dcie.miami.edu/apply-now apply by Dec. 1 for application fee discount

●      Denison University, Reynolds Young Writers workshop: https://reynolds.denison.edu poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction writers, current sophomores and juniors

●      Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies offers a variety of summer programs and some financial aid is available: https://spcs.stanford.edu/

●      SAS, Summer at Smith, summer pre-college programs for young women at smith College: https://www.smith.edu/summer

●      Boston University Academy of Media Production, Program Info & Application Materials: https://bu.edu/amp

●      EF International Language Campus, https://ef.edu, language immersion summer programs in many different countries

●      United States Coast Guard Academy AIM (Academy Introduction Mission) offers students a chance to experience a week at the Coast Guard Academy, to see if it could be a good fit. Visit https://www.uscga.edu/AIM

●      Pratt Institute for PreCollege Summer 2020, areas of concentration include: Architecture, Comic Book, Digital Arts, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Photography and more. https://www.pratt.edu/precollege

●      Rensselaer Poly Tech Pre-college Summer Engineering Program, rising 11th-12th grade students please get info and apply at https://go.rpi.edu/pipeline

●      Savannah College of Art and Design (SACD), pre-college summer programs, rising 9th – 12th grades, https://scad.edu/sss, scad.edu/rs

●      University of Chicago Summer, high school students, https://summer.uchicago.edu

●      Adelphi University Summer Pre-college Program, choose from courses including Intro to Nursing, Business, Acting, Medical Research, Gender Studies and more, https://academics.adelphi.edu/summer

●      Northeastern University Accelerate: Pre-college Programs, programs include: Bioengineering, Entrepreneurship, Exploring Modern Physics, Innovation in Health professions and more… https://northeastern.edu/precollegeprograms

This list will be updated as more information comes in. Contact Ms. Thatcher for further information.


Parents’ Association


Dear GHCDS School Community,

In the last six weeks, we have surveyed parents, teachers and administration to find out what are the needs and wants of our GHCDS community. There have been so many good recommendations, including adding outdoor learning and meeting areas, upgrading our athletic and theater facilities, and providing funds for special learning experiences. With approximately $55,000 in available funds, we would like to support many of these initiatives.

Proposals for funds will be accepted over the next few months on a rolling basis from parents, students and faculty. Proposals may be for projects, activities, books, equipment or experiences that enhances the academic lives of children at the GHCDS. While preference is given to proposals that offer school-wide access to our school community, students, teachers and/or parents are also encouraged to submit proposals that will benefit their individual classrooms or grade levels.

The school administration will do the first review of proposals for content, appropriateness and to determine if alternate funding sources are available.  A sub-committee of the PA will then review requests.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please complete the Grant Request Form with appropriate documentation and submit it to the front office. We look forward to hearing about your project. If you have questions, please email them to parentassociation@ghcds.org.


No clipping needed for Box Tops!  Now when families use the Box Tops app to scan their store receipt, they can “Give Credit” to GHCDS. To “Give Credit” make sure you have the latest version of the Box Tops app, scan your receipt, then tap the star icon to enter your “Give credit” memo. To download the app, click here.


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