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Weekly News – 5.10.20



May 10, 2020


Dear parents and students,

Hope all our Panther moms have had a very happy Mother’s Day.

Our seniors now have just under three weeks to go in their GHCDS career!  It’s been a strange second half of the year, for sure, but all our faculty and staff look forward to seeing our Class of 2020 graduate on Saturday, May 30. We are making every effort to have as interactive a graduation ceremony as possible, given the circumstances. In the next couple of days, Interim Upper School Head Nancy Thatcher will be sending the Class of 2020 and their families further information on how we will celebrate our seniors!

As we transition towards summer, please know that parents and students will be permitted to come to campus between 9 a.m. and 12 noon on Wednesday to Friday, May 27 to 29, to return books and technology and to pick up personal items.

Athletic Director Amy Carter and Lower School Head Julie Crisler are planning an on-campus, half-day, summer school program from July 6 to Aug. 21 (provided the VI government allows and it is safe to do so). The program, to be called PAWS (Playing and Working Safely), will be offered at a reasonable weekly fee to current and new GHCDS students going into grades 1-8 next year.  This exciting, mornings-only program will provide students with learning opportunities in math and reading, the arts, and physical education; give parents a much-needed break from the daily supervision of their children; and allow the school to practice social distancing and other COVID-19 requirements with a small number of students. Keep an eye out for more information from Coach Amy and Ms. Crisler.

For all our students and faculty, online learning has stretched us, challenged us, frustrated us (at times), and yet provided us with new growth opportunities. As the U.S. and the V.I. slowly emerge from the cocoon of stay-at-home orders, we are proceeding with hope and trepidation.

All of us certainly hope the summer will bring respite and the fall will allow us to resume school on-campus, even under social distancing — just as we hope our businesses and nonprofits will reopen and the island economy will strengthen. We are counting on the 2020-21 school year to begin on-campus, as scheduled, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, while we are simultaneously making sure we’re prepared for other outcomes — as that’s the prudent thing to do in these unpredictable times.

In this week’s Weekly News, please find the GHCDS key dates calendar, tuition and fee schedule, financial aid information, health office forms, and summer reading lists for next year.  If you have any questions about these items or about how to plan for the next school year, please let me know.

Also in the Weekly News, please note the following updates:

  • Coping With COVID Check-in #5
  • Yearbook Order Information
  • Second Grade Fun With Reading
  • Panther Fitness for Athletes
  • Kinder Continues to Amaze!
  • GHCDS Senior Class of 2020 College Acceptances
  • Parents’ Association is looking for volunteers

Have a great week!

Sincerely yours,

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


GHCDS is proud of the hard work Michelle Dizon (proud parent of a graduating senior, active GHCDS Board member and CDS alum) and Kieran Walters-Sundaram, (proud member of the graduating Class of 2020) put in to producing this very special video. It represents the continued triumphs this amazing class and the solid support system they have in their parents and families! CONGRATUALTIONS!

Coping With COVID Check-in #5

by Sasha Marohn, GHCDS Counselor

“Brain fog” is common these days as we all are affected by our lives being upended because of the pandemic.  We’re in a holding pattern and it’s hard to make plans for the near future, which can increase stress and anxiety.  To counteract this, it’s important to focus on being present in the moment.  When we add to that focus by doing something for someone else, our resiliency is increased.  Acts of kindness generate a sense of well being for both the giver and the receiver.

Resilience is always amplified by the connection of relationships.  As one student shared during a discussion about remote learning, “I never realized how much I missed being right next to people.”  The NYT recently hosted the virtual event “Kids Supporting Kids” and provided the online forum for children across the U.S. to share their ideas for coping with the quarantine situation.  Kids enthusiastically shared what helped them and the suggestions included keeping a quarantine diary, writing funny songs about the pandemic, creating social distancing games, making videos of pets doing funny things, working on a big Lego project, and trying new things like learning to bake.

This week is national Teacher Appreciation Week and dedicated teachers all over the world have been working hard to overcome the obstacles of remote learning in order to stay connected with their students and continue to provide them with a quality education.  GHCDS teachers have shown such dedication, perseverance, and caring.  Parents and students, you can celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by creatively directing your acts of kindness to the teachers.

This weekend is Mother’s Day and it’s a special time to focus on doing something loving, kind, and thoughtful for the Mom in your life.  With all the extra juggling that mothers are managing these days of children being at home for school, the perfect present might be a gift certificate entitling Mom to two hours of uninterrupted “alone” time!

As a school community we continue to draw upon our collective resiliency as we navigate this last month of our school year without being on campus together.  We continue to collaborate and problem solve with parents and students. We welcome feedback and you can contact your student’s teachers, the Deans, and Head of School with questions and concerns.  Please feel free to also contact me, Sasha Marohn (GHCDS Counselor), by email smarohn@ghcds.org or cell 340-332-3413.


2019-2020 Yearbook

The Custom Pages are due by May 9th the estimated time of delivery to St. Croix is June 8th 2020. Please check your TreeRing account if you are interested in changing the location for your delivery rather than to the school. Yearbooks can be bought at any time after the new deadline of May 11th. Please read more to better understand the options available directly from the TreeRing website. https://treering.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360040722052

Around Campus:

Second Grade Has Fun With Reading

2nd Grade really made reading fun this week! Whether students were reading to stuffed animal buddies or constructing cozy, dark spaces for flashlight reading, 2nd graders know the importance of reading EVERY day!


Congratulations to St. Croix This Week Cover Artist – Suenita Banwaree!

For the Month of May, St. Croix This Week cover artist is our own middle/ upper school art teacher Ms. Banwaree. Check it out when you can. There’s also a great interview with Sally Bugg inside on page 59.

Panther Fitness for Athletes or any Panther that wants MORE Panther Power!

Hi Panther Families!

We’re pumping up the volume with this week’s workouts, and we’ve changed up the routine, too!

Weekly Workout:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday-Tabata

This week, let’s aim for at least two rounds again, as this Tabata is a little more challenging! *PLEASE NOTE- The workout fellas in this video are not wearing shirts. It’s an excellent workout, very well rounded, so we’re excusing the PE dress code violation. For this week’s Tabata click here: https://safeYouTube.net/w/fJV9


Tuesday and Thursday-

Let’s change it up a little, with Minute to Win It-Steps and Stoops!

  • Here is your Minute to Win It timer: https://safeYouTube.net/w/0HAC
  • Between each class, or on breaks, find a step, any step, around your home, or use a stool that won’t slip. In Lower and Intermediate classes, some students used the step into their shower, after making sure it was dry, of course!
  • Hit your Minute to Win It timer, and start stepping! When the beat picks up, so should you!
  • Aim for 12 Minutes total for the Daily Win!

Ms. Banwaree would love to have workout pictures for the yearbook! If you take some, please send to sbanwaree@ghcds.org

Kinder Continues to Amaze!

Kindergarten students continue to amaze! This week they tried hard to do Coach Amy’s step challenge – which they admitted was harder than they thought it would be- and also shared some of the things they do to exercise.

They stayed busy counting to 100 by twos, solving math problems and learned about the Earth’s layers.

This week we also celebrated Cinco de Mayo.

And, of course, we dedicated a lot of time to talking about very important people in our lives – especially moms! Kindergartners wore favorite colors of moms and dads to our weekly meeting, showed their classmates favorite pictures and shared a story about something that mom did for them.

GHCDS Senior Class of 2020 College Acceptances

(As of May 1, 2020; italicized, bold indicates commitment; ED indicates Early Decision)

  • Stephen Bannis: Jacksonville University; Michigan State University; University of Houston
  • Kelsey Bhola: Harvard University; Duke University; Brown University; Spelman College, Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program; Fordham University; Boston University; University of Miami; New York University; Northeastern University; Ursinus College; Howard University
  • Lidia Boguslawska: Montclair State University; Colorado State University; University of Tennessee; Loyola University, New Orleans; Rider University; Rowan University; Kutztown University
  • Nbiko Bowry: University of West Florida; Jacksonville University; Florida Institute of Technology, UMass Boston
  • Zachary Bozzo: University of the Virgin Islands
  • Layla Bradshaw: Brenau University; Virginia Commonwealth Arts Foundation Program; Stevenson University; Savannah College of Art and Design; Jefferson University
  • Donovan Capdeville: Syracuse University; Temple University; Hofstra University; Manhattan College
  • Douglas Capdeville: Syracuse University; Rider University; Roanoke University; Lynn University; Loyola University, New Orleans; Old Dominion University
  • Gabriel Capdeville: Syracuse University; Rider University; Roanoke University; Lynn University; Arizona State University
  • Savanna Capdeville: Syracuse University; Loyola University, New Orleans; Loyola Marymount University; Drexel University; Howard University; Rider University; Spelman College; DePaul University; Virginia Commonwealth University; George Washington University; American University; Emerson College
  • Miko Dizon-Bumann: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; Tufts University; Binghamton University; UMass Boston; Northeastern University; Syracuse University
  • Dominique Elizee: University of the Virgin Islands; Savannah College of Art and Design; Fordham University; Lafayette College; University of Pittsburgh; Spelman College, Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program;
  • Nyama Gibbs: Howard University; Georgia State University; Clark Atlanta University; Spelman College
  • Gabriella Gomez: University of the Virgin Islands
  • Carolyn Grimm: University of Virginia, ED
  • Gus Johnson: Temple University; Drexel University; Georgia State University; UMass Boston; University of Houston
  • Quincy King: University of South Florida; Howard University; University of South Carolina; West Virginia University; Ohio State University; Florida Southwestern University; Florida State University; University of the Virgin Islands
  • Lucy Klempen: College of Charleston; Roger Williams University; Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Natalia Kuipers: Bryant University
  • Sean Low: United States Coast Guard
  • Andre McIntosh: Stetson University; Jacksonville University
  • Trey Roth: American River College; College of the Redwoods
  • Rosie Simpson: Susquehanna University; Augsburg University; Hofstra University; Quinnipiac University; University of New Haven; Ithaca College
  • Ariel Sutherland: University of the Virgin Islands; University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Larissa Sweeney: Loyola University, Maryland; Connecticut College; Guilford College; Nova Southeastern University; Willamette University; University of the Virgin Islands
  • Kieran Walter-Sundaram: Savannah College of Art and Design, GRADpath; California College of the Arts; Georgia Tech
  • Kimberly Thompson: Western Washington University
  • Carlos VanGurp: Hillsborough Community College: Georgia State University Perimeter College; Lynn University; Barry University
  • Saisha Wesley: University of the Virgin Islands


Parents’ Association

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 email Sarah Franks at sarahcfranks@gmail.com or  ParentAssociation@ghcds.org.


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