September 29, 2018
October 13, 2018
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Dear Parents:

An important life skill we want our students to develop is goal-setting. One of the best things we can do as educators is to model this. I already shared my own 2017-18 head of school goals with you in the Weekly News on 9.7.18.  Now you can view our admin team members’ goals for 2018-19. If you are in a position to help with these priorities—through time, talent, or treasure—please feel free to contact that particular administrator. We’d love your support! GHCDS Admin Goals 2018-19

Current events—in particular the Supreme Court nomination hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Judge Kavanaugh—have provided many teachable moments, especially around our core value of Respect. How can we as a School help our students become critical thinkers through engagement in civil discourse where there may be a range of perspectives—and help them do this in a respectful manner? This is especially important in a school population as diverse as our own, which is one of our greatest strengths. From 12th grade to Nursery, we will continue to work with our students on developing these fundamental skills and core values so they can help lead these discussions in the future.

On a similar note, I was delighted and proud to hear from a group of our seniors motivated by the hearings to identify ways they could help upper school students better understand “consent” in an effort to prevent sexual assault. The group met with Ms. Wilson, our advisory coordinator, and Ms. Grey, our upper school head, and began generating ideas of how they as students could take on leadership roles in this effort. We look forward to supporting them.

Also, we are excited to host our 16 trustees on campus next Friday, October 12 for Trustee Day. This is a wonderful chance for trustees to get a taste of the magic happening around campus. We are enormously grateful for their leadership and support and are excited to connect them directly with our students and faculty.

Lastly, we will be rooting on 12th grader Dominic Pugliese and 11th grader Nati Kuipers as they compete next week in triathlon and swimming events at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (https://www.buenosaires2018.com/?lng=en) representing the U.S. Virgin Islands. Bravo – vamos, chicos!

Have a wonderful three-day weekend!




As we approach our October 12 deadline to submit our Middle States Association Self-Study, I wanted to provide quick historical context. Two years ago we had the chance to select the protocol for our Middle States re-accreditation process. Previously the school (St. Croix Country Day School at the time) had followed the Project Protocol and focused on reducing and eliminating bullying from campus. This led the school to adopt the Olweus anti-bullying program, which then led the school to adopt the RULER program, the social-emotional curriculum from Yale that we continue using and implementing today.

For this re-accreditation, we selected the Excellence By Design Protocol. This particular protocol forces the school to assess all parts of its operations, including student life where issues like bullying would be reviewed—and we felt that this would engage the entire school faculty and staff in a more meaningful way and lay the foundation for creating a stronger culture of continuous improvement across the board. I am now delighted to see this in action.

Last Tuesday afternoon I walked around to ten different cross-grade, cross-division meetings, where faculty and staff discussed everything from vertical alignment of our math curriculum and the best architecture for sharing digital files, to a desired profile of graduates and the importance of hygiene at snack shack. No stone is being left unturned!

These meetings would not have been possible just two years ago. Why not?

●       Because of the heavy rains, we would have had flooding and leaking in several of the rooms. Teachers would have been helping to mop water off the floors. But we now have eliminated flooding and leaking from all classrooms.

●       Many meetings that took place did not involve note-taking, and when they did, this was usually with pad and paper.  But we now have provided faculty members with laptops, and note-taking is part of all meeting protocol.

●       More than half of our 40 A/V devices—Smartboards, projectors, screens—were broken, so meetings often included no visuals. But we now have functioning A/V in all but three spaces (those broke this year and we have ordered replacements) and this helped the groups focus on clear visuals.

●       Plus, we have hired exceptional teachers in the last two years who are bringing ideas and energy to push our conversation forward alongside our talented veterans.

●       Plus, we have invested in excellent professional development in the last 9 months and further boosted the energy and ideas flowing into conversations.

This is an exciting time to be at GHCDS. We look forward to sharing more in the weeks ahead!



To: GHCDS family
From:  Head of School Search Committee

The Search Committee for the next Head of School is hard at work. We are meeting on a regular basis, reviewing candidates and video interviewing the chosen few. There are ongoing discussions, phone calls and time is being dedicated to this interview process.

Our deadline for receiving applications is October 15.  We will then finalize video interviews and bring the finalists to St. Croix in early November.  Once candidates are on island there will be opportunities for everyone to meet them.  The final step is for the Board of Trustees to consider all recommendations from all constituents and approve a candidate for hire.

This process is time consuming and we appreciate your patience and support.  We are striving to find the best fit for GHCDS.

With Appreciation,

The Head of School Search Committee

ACT Aspire test to the NINTH GRADE on Wed. Oct. 24, 2018

Good Hope Country Day School will be administering the ACT Aspire test to the NINTH GRADE on Wed. Oct. 24, 2018. The ASPIRE will provide valuable information to the school regarding not only each individual students’ progress toward college readiness, but will also allow faculty to analyze the results and use them to guide their curriculum and activities in subsequent courses.The test consists of Writing and English, Reading, Math, and Science assessments and is a vertically articulated, standards-based, summative assessment linked to ACT College Readiness Benchmarks and other curricular standards.

Students should arrive in the Library by 8:00 a.m., ready to begin testing at 8:10 a.m. Please ensure that your child has had a good night’s sleep and has eaten a good breakfast. Calculators will be allowed but not provided, and students should come prepared with several No. 2 pencils. There will be no make-up day for students who are absent on testing day. The testing will last the entire school day, with breaks for snack, lunch and stretching activities throughout. The snack shack will not be open on testing day, so please make certain that you send your child with plenty of food!

For more information regarding the ACT Aspire, please visit their website, http://www.discoveractaspire.org. Please feel free to contact Ms. Thatcher or Mrs. Dawn Grey with any questions you may have about the testing.


Sing, Dance, Play, Stand-up Comedy, Poetry Recital, Magic, Acting …etc.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
3:30pm – Mrs. Thompson’s Rm
Show Date: Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 pm

This is NOT a competition. Only about 12 acts can be selected due to time limitations.  Please come fully prepared to perform your talent at the audition. Bring your “A” game and give yourself the best chance of making the top 12.  If you are singing with a track, please have it in iTunes (preferred), iPhone, iPad, iPod, as if it were for the actual show. YouTube Soundtracks will be NOT be allowed for auditions. “Performance material should be appropriate for all ages.”  Parents and Guardians are encouraged to attend the individual auditions in support of their child.
If you cannot attend Thursday’s audition:
Video Auditions (Grades 7-12) can be submitted to Angel by:
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – 11:59 pm
Grades 1-6 MUST attend LIVE audition
For more information call or text Angel Tirado at 340-513-3998 or email him at angeltiradojr@yahoo.com or visit Mrs. Pedrini in the Advancement Office.


¡Gracias! Merci! Thank You!

What a Shakesperience!

First and foremost THANK YOU faculty for accommodating our absence and helping the students stay caught up with assignments and homework. There have been many requests to perform, and the students are excited to share their work and learning with the GHCDS community. In an effort to best showcase their work, and share it with the community, the monologues will be performed in conjunction with the Fall Drama (Nov. 2,3,9,10,11). Make sure you are in attendance to see not only a great comedy, Bed, Breakfast, and Broadway, but also some of the Best of the Bard.

We spent an incredible 5 days in Utah with thousands of students from around the country sharing our love of Shakespeare. GHCDS students Maya Acosta, Jack Falconer, Jasmin Nieves, Wylie Crowther, Ethan Stamper and Carolyn Grimm represented our school and island very well. Our actors performed monologues from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors, and Richard III.  Our Technical theatre students competed in the categories of: Rigging, Sound, Lighting, Costumes, Hair & Makeup, Stage Management, Props, and Scenic Construction.

The students were able to see three professional productions performed by the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Othello, The Foreigner, and The Liar.  All of which were performed wonderfully. In addition we were able to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument and experienced the Southern Utah Anniversary campus.

A thousand times thank you for all of your help and support.

Mr. Shelley and Mrs. Pedrini

Around Campus

Step 1, 2, 3, 4… 1, 2, 3, 4…

We are so delighted to have Ms. Sonja from Pointe Dance Academy working with our students this year.  Students in Grades 1 to 4 will each have a four week unit of Cecchetti Dance instruction throughout the year.  Ms. Sonja will teach dance to the first and second grades in Quarter One and the third and fourth graders in Quarter Three.   In the second and fourth quarter she will be offering Pilates to Middle School students as an elective.  The joy of dance is so clear on all their faces.  Bravo, First Graders.  Second Graders are next!

St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group Logo and Slogan Competition

GHCDS Lower School Art Students participated in the St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group Logo and Slogan Competition. On September 30th, winners – Nnenaya Bedminster (2nd Place), Asia Williams (3rd Place), Anna Simon (Honorable Mention), Savanna Holley (Honorable Mention), and Mycal Marshall (not pictured – Honorable Mention) received prizes at the STX Youth Opportunity Fair.

Nature Haikus

The sixth graders went out on the Nature Trail for peace, quiet and inspiration to write haikus.

Chemical Reactions & Post -Its

In science, 6th graders are experimenting and observing evidence of chemical reactions such as color change and formation of a precipitate.  In math, they have been exploring the concept of area using post-its and other non-standard tools of measurement.

Middle School Community Service

This week the Middle School began its community service program.   This Month the members of Mr. Locher’s advisory volunteer at the Animal Shelter, while the members of Mrs. Adams advisory will sing at the Herbert Grigg Home. On Monday Ms. Blanchette took Michael  and Amarion to the Animal Shelter to walk dogs.  On Wednesday Ms. Blanchette, Emily, Emma and Fleur sang at the Herbert Grigg Home.  They began by singing for the residents gathered at lunch, and then they visited individual rooms.  Ms. Williams was so very welcoming, and the girls chatted with a resident who is 108 years old.  Next week different students from each advisory will volunteer. Thanks to Mrs. Hotter for supporting our efforts.

Lower School Parent Information Afternoon

Physics Students Investigate Acceleration Using Our New Robots

Geometry Team Challenge

Geometry students work on their first team challenge. Groups of students worked together to solve two especially challenging problems. The teamwork was awesome as students persisted to arrive at solutions.

Warming up for After-school Kickball with parent volunteer, Mr. Ramsden

Parents’ Association

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