September 14, 2018
September 29, 2018
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Dear Parents:

We were delighted to have our 5th-8th grade parents yesterday get a taste of life in the classroom when they attended the Parents Orientation. The students themselves did a wonderful job of helping steer wayward parents in the right direction making sure everyone got where they needed to go! As a reminder, next Friday our parents of nursery through 4th grade students will have their turn to learn more about the exciting things happening in their children’s classrooms.

Today is our first Faculty Workshop Day. These are critical opportunities for our faculty and staff to hone their skills, collaborate and plan with colleagues, and – of course – catch their breath. Yesterday and today our lower school teachers have participated in literacy assessment benchmark training through Fountas & Pinnell. The rest of our faculty and staff continue plugging away at the Middle States Self-Study, which we will submit on October 12 in preparation for the November team visit. We are assessing everything from scope and sequence in technology curriculum and counseling services to how aligned we are to our mission. It is a wonderfully reflective process that will lay the foundation for continued improvement.

One final note on behalf of Coach Amy: She asked me to remind all our parents of athletes that she is no longer sending separate emails with athletic information. Instead, all key athletic information is included in the Weekly News – just be sure to scroll to the bottom!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Good Hope Country Day School cultivates reflective, creative and compassionate students who are critical thinkers prepared to excel in college and empowered to better their island and the world.

Middle States Re-Accreditation Self-Study Update

As you know, a five-member team from the Middle States Association will be visiting our campus November 13-16 to assess our self-study, which we will submit to them by October 12. In the meantime, we will be working feverishly to produce the 100+ page self-study document in which we evaluate all parts of our school and incorporate the constructive feedback we received from various constituencies, including parents, on our surveys in May.

Below are the key sections of the self-study document along with the chair of each sub-committee. Chairs will be involving others in the weeks ahead. We are enormously grateful for their leadership!

  • Profile of Graduates – Nancy Thatcher
  • Foundation Documents – Kari Loya
  • School Profile: Community – Linda Stamper-Keularts
  • School Profile: School Info: Alma Castro-Nieves
  • School Profile: Student Performance – Dawn Grey/Denise Blanchette
  • Standard I: Mission – Stewart Shelley
  • Standard 2: Governance – John Harper
  • Standard 3: School Improvement – Cesar Guerra
  • Standard 4: Finance – Sue Gibbons
  • Standard 5: Facilities – Felix Lima
  • Standard 6: School Organization – Sue Gibbons/Annaly Guerra
  • Standard 7: Health and Safety – Clarissa Cooper
  • Standard 8: Educational Program – Dawn Grey/Denise Blanchette
  • Standard 9: Assessment and Evidence – Dawn Grey/Denise Blanchette
  • Standard 10: Student Services – Daisy Pelovitz/Olga Hutchins
  • Standard 11: Student Life and Activities – Kathleen Graham/Nancy Thatcher
  • Standard 12: Info Resources – Ryan Franks/Wanda Bishop


Quick Announcements

GHCDS school photo schedule 2018-19

Parent Information Afternoon: Grades N – 4 Friday, Sept. 28 from 3:30 to 6:00

Parents will meet in the pavilion from 3:30 to 3:45, after which they will proceed to their children’s homerooms or advisories, where they will follow a modified schedule. 


Click here to BRAG about your student!


Around Campus

After School Activities

Thanks to Teachers and a few very special parents for offering After School Activities.  Thanks also to some of our Upper School Students for helping out by offering Chess and by assisting in other activities.

Middle School Drama began this week, while most After School Activities will begin the week of September 24th.  Chess will begin the week of October 9th because chess teachers, David Conhoff and Nayan Bansal will be competing in Georgia – the country, not the state.  How cool is that!

Payments not yet received will be invoiced through the Business Office.

When activities begin during the week of September 24th,  students should report to the playground after school.  At 3:15, Mrs. Guzman and Ms. Beach will dismiss students to their activities. At 4:00 parents should pick their children up at the location of the activity.  If parents do not pick children up at 4:00, they will be sent to After School Care


  • Maker Space with Mr. Chapman: Location: Lower School Computer Lab
  • 4H with Ms. Coles and Mrs. Gruber: Location: Middle School Science Room
  • Running with Mrs. Lambert: Location: Upper Field
  • Steel Pan with Mr. Belgrave takes place at lunch: Location: Chorus Room
  • Lower School Theater Club with Ms. Bishop: Location: her classroom or the Pavilion


  • Stock Market Game with Mrs. Bass and her assistant, Malik John: Location:  Lower School Computer Lab
  • Chess with David Conhoff, Nayan Bansal, and Isaiah Stevens: Location: outside the Lower School Spanish Room BEGINS WEEK OF OCTOBER 9
  • Basketball with Lori Giordano: Location: slab
  • Advanced Fairy House Making with Ms. Banwaree and the National Art Honor Society: Location: Upper School Art Room – meet teacher outside Ms. Canning’s Office


  • No Body To Murder with Ms. Blanchette and Roxy Wallace: Location:  Pavilion: Please note that this activity runs to 4:30 BEGINS WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 10
  • Christmas Crafts with Ms. Cooper and Ms. Nieves: Location: Lower School Art Room
  • Steel Pan with Mr. Belgrave takes place at lunch: Location: Chorus Room


  • Fairy House Making with Ms. Hutchins: Location: Ms. Hutchins’ classroom
  • Destination Imagination:  Ms. Sundaram and Ms. Richards: Location:  Ms. Sundaram’s room
  • Lower School Theater Club with Ms. Bishop: Location her classroom or the Pavilion
  • Kickball with Mrs. Crisler and special guest coaches (Mr. Mirocha, Ms. Archambault, and Mr. Cullinan) Location: the slab


  • Lego Club with Ms. Shelley: Location: Lower School Art Room
  • Math Counts with Ms. Dykstra: Location:  Ms. Dykstra’s classroom
  • No Body To Murder with Ms. Blanchette and Roxy Wallace: Location:  Pavilion: Please note that this activity runs to 4:30


Professional Development

Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Training

On Thursday and Friday Lower and Middle School Literacy  teachers participated in Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment training. Effective teaching begins with what we know about learners, and F and P Benchmark Assessments enables teachers to accurately assess their students reading ability to plan effective instruction.   Both workshops were led by Julie Hoffelmeyer, who has worked with Heinemann for many years.


5th-8th Grade Parent Information

Parents convened in the pavilion at 3:30. Ms. Blanchette introduced teachers and gave parents an overview of professional development initiatives to support the art and science of teaching.  Ms. Marohn spoke about how to look at Middle School as a dress rehearsal for life, Parents’ Association President, Mrs. Falconer got everyone geared up for the November Panther Power Up Run, and then parents were off to learn about their children’s classes.  Laura Kuras and Toby Tobias spoke to parents about Scouting – which will be open to girls in February! Thanks to Mrs. Franks and all the parents who helped organize refreshments. It was a wonderful afternoon.


Upper School Advisory Contest

Advisory photo contest:  A new tradition was born last week. The upper school student council hosted a contest where all the advisories were invited to take and submit a group picture, including the advisor. Pictures were judged on creativity, aesthetic appeal and adherence to the theme chosen by each advisory.  First place winner was Mr. Summerhayes’ advisory and Mr. Fletcher’s advisory made the second place. Congratulations to both groups!!!

Mr. Summerhayes’ advisory won the photo contest. The theme was: “Last Supper in the Chemistry Lab” (Because we figured out it was illegal to eat in there)

Mr. Fletcher’s advisory theme was : Modern Family Meets Inception.


Student Council Annual Breakfast!

The 2018-2019 GHCDS Student Council, under the leadership of Seniors David Conoff and Alinah Hamed held their annual Breakfast Retreat on Saturday September 15th to brainstorm and organize the student body activities for the school year.  The 24 students and Faculty Representatives, Olga Capriola and Laurie Dunton, compiled a list of fun and engaging group activities to include a pool party, color run, a fundraising bra run and more. The group also organized three food sale themes: Picnic at GHCDS, ThanksGiving Feast and Cinco de Mayo. Finally, three Advisory Challenge Spirit Weeks were outlined to help develop and strengthen student body relationships. Go Panthers!


Biology & Global Warming

Biology students collect data to compare temperatures of three different Earth surfaces and make predictions of future global warming impacts.


Parents’ Association

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