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January 17, 2020
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Weekly News – 1.20.20



Dear parents and students,

Today we honored one of America’s greatest heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King challenged all people everywhere to build a better world, “to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” He challenged us to “transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world-wide brotherhood, to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Furthermore, he urged us to address “life’s most persistent and urgent question…What are you doing for others?” 

These are difficult words, as relevant now as they were when they were first spoken more than five decades ago.

Dr. King eloquently captured the essence of what education is all about:

  • Character:  “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
  • Critical Thinking:  “The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false. The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning. He [or she] has a strong austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment…. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions….Rarely do we find men [human beings] who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.” (Strength to Love)

Inspired by the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., GHCDS teachers help students become “reflective, creative and compassionate…critical thinkers” who are “empowered to better their island and the world,” as our mission says.

For each of GHCDS’s four pillars—scholarship, citizenship, integrity, and respect,” Dr. King’s speeches and writings contain gems of wisdom and nuggets of hard truth.

No Name-Calling Week began (fittingly, as Upper School English teacher Lea Wilson put it) today and ends this Friday. This week, our Upper School student club, Prism, “will be facilitating activities meant to promote on-going dialogue about ways to challenge bullying and name-calling and create a safe campus for all.” See Ms. Wilson’s letter, below, for more.

Last week, many classes across the grades featured lessons from Dr. King, including Sheila Deevy’s 1st graders, who learned about his legacy and compassion and created a display, “Dreams for the World.”

This Friday, Jan. 24, the Upper School will hold a student-led assembly about Dr. King.

Please see our Weekly News for information on upcoming events, including:

  • No Name-Calling Week, Upper School, Jan. 21-24
  • Middle School “Masquerade Dance,” Saturday, Jan. 25, 6 – 9 p.m., Pavilion
  • GHCDS Science Fair – 150 projects (grades 5-12), Jan. 28 – 30, Pavilion
  • Peter and the Starcatcher (spring musical), Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7
  • Mini-gusto XLIII, March 9 – 13

And be sure to read Athletic Director Amy Carter’s This Week in Sports.

Today, I’ll conclude with a challenge posted recently by Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice King: “What are you doing to become the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about? How are you using your voice to spread a message of peace, love and compassion? How are you using your wisdom to educate others about racism and injustice? How are you using your privilege and power to stand up for others? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has left his legacy. What will you do to leave yours?”

Yours sincerely,

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



Save the Date!



Around Campus:

Congratulations Riley Miller!

GHCDS 6th graders participated in the Name the Mars 2020 Rover Challenge (  The Virgin Islands was grouped with South Carolina in the first round. Riley Miller is a semifinalist after the first round of judging.  There were over 28,000 submissions which were narrowed down to 155 semifinalists so to make it this far is a great achievement.  The NASA home page  has an article about the competition if you are interested in finding out more click here:

Upper School Club, Prism, Sponsors No Name-Calling Week

This year’s No Name-Calling Week begins (fittingly) on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 20 and ends on Friday the 25th. Prism will be facilitating activities meant to promote on-going dialogue about ways to challenge bullying and name-calling and create a safe campus for all.

No Name-Calling Week was inspired by James Howe’s novel The Misfits about students who, after experiencing name-calling, run for student council on a No Name-Calling platform.

The week is rooted in the idea of #KindnessInAction — not merely recognizing the importance of kindness, but actively adding kindness into our every action.

Each day, we will make an announcement in the bulletin. We will challenge students to be an ally and speak up against name-calling and bullying. We will also be distributing complement and random acts of kindness cards, that are meant to be passed on. There will be a stack of blank compliment cars in the office and bookmarks in the library. Friday, Prism will be hosting a Mix-It-Up lunch in the pavilion. Pizza will be on sale for $2/slice. – we hope that you can join us!

Feel free to acknowledge kind acts that you observe.

I’ve included a few articles below – the first is a father’s reflection on being called names as a child who amongst us did not experience this?! The 2nd link is James Howe’s own words about why he wrote The Misfits.

—Lea Wilson, Upper School English Teacher and Advisor to Prism

GHCDS Science Fair: Jan. 28-30, GHCDS Pavilion

Judging Wednesday.  Interviews start at 8:10 a.m.

Open to the public Tuesday 8:30 am -3pm  and Thursday 8:30 am-6 pm

Who: 198 students grades 5-11, 25 judges from across St. Croix’s STEM community

“Why does the GHCDS curriculum include the Science Fair?” you might ask.  The answer is that as long as there are unsolved problems in the world, we need to cultivate problem solving skills in tomorrow’s leaders.

Science Fair is Project-Based Learning at its best.  The students have a chance to do something relevant to themselves and there is an authentic audience with a public display and visitors.  Students are required in the middle and high school levels to write informational essays, incorporate research skills, organization and communication, and create a display for the event utilizing graphic design, spatial awareness, and more communication.

Middle School students also will deliver an oral presentation to their peers in the week before the Science Fair in preparation for judging day, and the 5th and 6th grade students all present their projects to interested adult volunteers from St. Croix’s STEM community, including representatives from Limetree Bay.

Some students will also learn that they don’t know everything and Google doesn’t, either, and they will dialog with other members of the community outside of school.

Time management, planning, struggle and reflecting are all incorporated. Some students learned the art of compromise and modified their experiments to fit the available resources.

All of the skills so far mentioned are not specific to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.  They are applicable to any career path. In addition to these skills, students learn to develop a hypothesis, design an experiment, analyse their data with spreadsheet programs, and write a scientific report.

The Science Fair is one of the things that makes Good Hope Country Day School shine.  It showcases ingenuity, imagination, and critical thinking as well as time management and communication skills. I like it because each student is allowed to choose his or her own topic of study, and as a teacher because it allows me to address each student as an individual and help him or her to push personal limits.

GHCDS Upper School students are competing for slots in the International Science and Engineering Fair.  This is the only affiliated fair in the territory. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, 16 judges from all corners of St. Croix scientific community will be reading display boards and interviewing students from 5th grade through Upper School.

We will have 146  projects on display and open to the public Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 30, from 8:30 a.m.  to 5:30 p.m. Projects range from studies in animal behavior to the development of new Apps for iPhones.

For visitors with younger children, we will have projects of interest marked for a quicker tour.  Everyone can enjoy the Activity Stations after they visit the exhibits. Activities include experimenting with iron filings and magnets and making slime.

—Jane Coles, Middle School Science Teacher, GHCDS Science Fair Coordinator

Reading Buddies!

3rd Grade and N-K Reading Buddies has got to be the cutest event of 2020 so far!


Geography Bee!

Bon Appetit!

This is the last day of the 7th-grade’s semester of introduction to French.  The last unit we covered was all about food, so it culminated in a scrumptious meal (a little heavy on the desserts!) including cheeses, cheesy poofs, saucissons, crepes with chocolate and strawberries, couscous and ratatouille (to go along with the movie of the same name that we had just finished watching), a variety of croissants, tarte Tatin, mousse au chocolat, and a few other treats.   After describing our dishes in French,  we all enjoyed our meal with “bon appetit”!

Predicting Results

Geometry students apply transformations to predict the results of paper folding and cutting. As they applied the patterns they visualized, they were able to predict very challenging cuts. Photo: Melvyn Fox, Ariana Schwartz, Alex Schmidt, Ally Bhola

Marine Biology Four Course Chapter

Students studied three types of shrimp hatcheries and the process involved in farming shrimp. They worked in groups to design and share ideas for a productive hatchery on St. Croix.  Students then visited the abandoned shrimp hatchery on the North Shore and ended the course study with a visit to Eat At Cane Bay to feast on some shrimp!

Forensic Students Feet and Feast

Students ended the chapter on impressions and casting with a visit to Altona Lagoon where they successfully cast an impression in sand using dental stone. The students were then hosted by No Bones where they enjoyed a great feast and shared ideas for their next casting to involve a tool marking.

Mini-gusto XLIII is coming soon!

Dear GHCDS Families and Friends,

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated annual event in the middle and upper schools (okay, second to Orange, White and Blue Day!), Mini-gusto is GHCDS’s weeklong, out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning opportunity. Every March, new activities, travel opportunities and meaningful internship and community service projects are offered to students in 7th – 12th grade. By far the most revered memory of our alumni (okay, second to Orange, White and Blue Day), Mini-gusto provides the chance for our students to explore, engage and serve within our school, our community and the world.

Mini-gusto is a collaborative undertaking. Members of our school family and our greater island community come forward to offer work-place experiences; exposure to activities particular to our island environment; service projects to enhance our community; thought-provoking explorations of world cultures, art and food; and skill-building, craft making, and physical training activities. Travel abroad trips, college visits and individualized programs often take place. In the past Mini-gusto has included campus and community mural painting, business and technology internships, explorations of the history of “west,” vegetarian cooking, golf and tennis, travel to Spain and France, a service trip to Haiti, soap-making and so much more.

As we strive to build on Mini-gusto each year, I offer this appeal to you: Do you have a meaningful or fun opportunity to offer our students? Can your business introduce a career to a high school student? Could your love of history or botany provide a meaningful week of learning to some middle school children? Do you know how to speak American Sign Language or how to quilt? Are you aware of a service project that would benefit from a group of students working on it for a week? Mini-gusto XLIII will take place the week of March 9 – 13, 2020.

Over the past 42 Mini-gusto years, our school has been extremely proud of and grateful to the school and community members who have come forward to create amazing and unforgettable opportunities for our students.  I look forward to meeting with that same commitment and enthusiasm this year. Please feel free to contact me for further information or feel free to complete the attached Proposal Form 2020 Internship right now!

With gratitude,

Nancy Thatcher

Coordinator, Mini-gusto



Parents’ Association

Committee to be Formed to Distribute Funds

Dear Parents,

We hope that all of you enjoyed your holiday break and are looking forward to the second half of the year. 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 just to name a few. 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. More information about how to submit fund requests will be sent out in the next week.

While the officers of the association are able to make these decisions, we really want to involve more members of the GHCDS community. It would be beneficial to have members of our community from different school age groups, backgrounds and interests. Members of this newly created committee would read over proposals and give their input on distributing funds.  We estimate that after an initial meeting, much of this can be done through email discussion. If you are interested in being part of this committee, please email We would like to put this committee together and begin accepting proposals in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you for your time and efforts to enhance our school.

YES, WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! We are in need of chaperones, set-up and clean-up crews. Click HERE to volunteer!



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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