JV Soccer Secures Triple Crown Victory!

VIMSIA’s Junior Varsity soccer team finalized the school’s “Triple Crown” sweep of the three IAA League titles last Friday! The Volts prevailed handily with a 3 to 1 win against the Antilles School JV team. Antilles and VIMSIA were tied at the end of the regular JV season.

The offense’s prowess, along with the defense’s determination, secured the victory for VIMSIA. Our entire team has trained so hard in practice and fought their way to the top.

We are so very delighted with our students who have proven that they excel not only in scientific, artistic, and humanitarian fields, but on the soccer field as well.

“I was so proud of the way the players worked together to make it happen. The sportsmanship and excellence of our team is a tribute to all the coaches, but particularly to Senor Araujo, who instilled a love of teamwork and fair play in all of them from a young age!” -Ms. Bump

Go Volts!

Experience Our End Session Presentations

We at VIMSIA recently celebrated another wonderful series of End Sessions with your students. We invite you to our virtual End Session Presentations by reading and viewing below!


BOUNDARY WATERS

What an amazing trip it was to the north country. From May 22nd until June 2nd 2017 a group of 8 students and 2 adults from the Peter Gruber International Academy's End Session program left the Caribbean island of St. Thomas on a 12 day adventure to experience the history, culture and environment of the Upper Midwest and boreal forest of the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area). Students got a full taste of the region while experiencing Valleyfair, Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse, North House Folk School, Grand Portage National Monument, the Boundary Waters Wilderness and a bit of consumerism at the Mall of America. Ms. Butler and I are so proud of each one of the students. Each of them met and overcame challenges as they traveled, camped, portaged, canoed, fished and experienced and entirely new environment. Well done!


DIY- Do It Yourself!

Throughout the DIY end session, the students made many items ranging from small decorative art pieces to large pieces of furniture.  The students used simple hand tools as well power tools for their wood projects. They completed projects for both their own use, as well as items that they provided for use around campus.

View our slideshow here!


VI HIKING AND HISTORY

Ms. Montgomery and I thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks we spent travelling with students to various historic locations and beautiful hiking destinations. As residents of the Virgin Islands, it is easy to get caught up in our lives and forget how amazing this place is! 

Ms. Monti and I are both island girls, but even though we grew up here, we found ourselves learning new things about our history and unique ecology on every trip we took! 

I look forward to creating more end sessions that teach students about our world while exploring our fabulous back yard!

You can view our presentation here.

~Melissa Bump


NASA AND UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Our time at NASA was great. We watched an IMAX movie about Mars, sat in on the opening ceremony of the robotic mining competition where we heard from the NASA Director and former astronaut, walked through the space shuttle garden, and saw Atlantis. We also met a current astronaut, saw inside Kennedy, and took part in a shuttle simulation which definitely tested one's love of turbulence and sense of balance. We attended a college fair, talked with some robotic teams, and saw one team's robot have a very successful run in the competition.

We arrived in Orlando and hit the Mall of Americas for food and shopping. We then spent three hours at the Sky Zone for glow night. Everyone had a wonderful time at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We visited Hogwarts, took risks and rode rides that were way outside of our comfort zones. As we were leaving the park, we were treated to a water show and fireworks. Lots and lots of walking but so worth it to hear the screams and laughter!

Thank you for sending your children on this adventure with me.


ECUADOR AND GALAPAGOS

The main focus of this End Session was to provide students with an in-the-field experience of the natural history of the Galapagos Islands. Students had the opportunity to observe and reflect on the formation of oceanic islands through volcanic activity, as well as the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos through the process of adaptive evolution.  Prior to our 8-day guided trip in the Galapagos we spent two days in Quito and the surrounding area, where students were given the opportunity to explore the city and hike the world's second highest active volcano, Cotopaxi.


MAURITIUS

The focus of this End Session was to explore the unique island of Mauritius, off the east coast of Africa. This African nation has a diverse history of British, French, Portuguese, Indian and Asian roots.  This was a travel End Session that included experiencing the cultural offerings of the island, from “Surviving Forest” to a sacred Hindu temple to the ancient slave ruins of Le Morne Mountain to the city capital of Port-Louis.  Our premiere destination was Le Bocage IB International School where Mr. David Jenkins is Head of School!  Our students stayed with local host families and attend a few days of classes at Le Bocage.  The other days were filled with excursions all over the island and biodiversity research with Ms. Courtney Jenkins within the extensive natural environment of Mauritius.

Please view our end presentation here!


VIRTUAL TOUR OF JAPAN

Our Virtual Tour of Japan explored many topics. Students learned different Japanese crafts, cooked various dishes, and learned about the social, political, and environmental issues occurring in Japan right now.

We'd love for you to watch our full final presentation here!


Congratulations to everyone on another successful and exciting round of End Sessions!

Congratulations to our New Middle Years Students!

VIMSIA is one of only 238 schools in the world that offer both the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes through the International Baccalaureate Organization. As such, it is quite an honor to annually advance our 6th year Montessori students into the Middle Years Programme.

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an international program for students aged 11 or 12 – 16 to develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills necessary to participate actively and responsibly in a changing world. The Middle Years program emphasizes the importance of a balanced curriculum and encourages authentic assessment, long-range tasks, and interdisciplinary units. Teachers develop units of study that focus on a unit question and can be applied across disciplines.

We marked this distinctive occasion with an enthusiastic ceremony in our Amphitheater. Ms. Kathy Schlesinger, our talented librarian was our keynote speaker, urging our graduates to “Read Irresponsibly.” Student graduate speakers Natalia F. and Destiny D. reflected on years of triumphs and trials. On behalf of their respective classes, they expressed heartfelt gratitude for their Montessori teachers, Mrs. McGonigal and Ms. Morrison, who in turn spoke of their pride for their students’ achievements.

Mr. Bornn, our fearless leader, and Ms. Bolinger, our mistress of ceremonies, then presented hard-earned diplomas to this year’s graduates. Delighted parents scooted to the front aisle to capture the prized exchange, and Mr. Elger enthusiastically welcomed the new 7th year students to the second half of their education at VIMSIA. Although there is always some sadness in seeing our children move up from the Montessori School, we take pride in the fact that it is the years of Montessori education that prepared them for all the wonderful challenges to come in MYP. We can't wait to see their accomplishments which are to come!

Sincere congratulations to all of our 2017 6th year graduates:

Saiid A.
Noah B.
Lindsay B.
Gabriella B.
Paschal B.
Nyala B.
Gabriel C.
Ronan D.
Destiny D.
Natalia F.
Christopher G.
Eli H.
Gabriel H.
Layla H.
Annabelle H.
Kai L.
Fairley M.
Ayele M.
Alexander P.
Lennon R.
Sy S.
Maia T.
James W.
Malcolm W.

Celebrate Summer: Nature IS Nurture

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Happy Summer!

Montessori philosophy inspires care of the environment and careful stewardship of our earth. Dr. Montessori wrote, “Children have an anxious concern for living beings, and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight. It is therefore easy to interest them in taking care of plants….”

Ms. Upp’s primary class took time out of their busy last day of school to search for VIMSIA’s new administrative hire, Ms. Julie. Their beloved classroom plant needed a plant-sitter for the summer, and Ms. Julie needed some company for her new office. The children gathered around Ms. Julie and presented her with her new charge. Ms. Upp assured Ms. Julie that the plant was hardy enough to thrive in any conditions. Even though Ms. Julie lacks a single green thumb, the prognosis is good.

As we say our temporary farewells to your children, we are wishing them the most fulfilling of summer breaks until we meet again. May summer be a wonderful opportunity for your families to reconnect with the beautiful flora and fauna that surrounds us on St. Thomas. True, summer is a little different for us in the Caribbean, resembling so closely the rest of the year. However, summer break worldwide remains a cherished time to celebrate family, nature, and a break from schooling.

We don’t have de four season dem,
Summer, Winter, Autumn an’ Spring,
but de dry season wid the noisy bees
an’ de shrill call o’ de cling-cling,
an’ de sun turnin’ de sea into a hot bath,
an’ de grass bake so dat it crackle like parchment
under yuh foot; when de beach dem crowded
wid folk cooling off; de season when mango is king.
— Valerie Bloom, Two Seasons

End Session: Mauritius Adventure Continues!

Dear MRU Families,

It's been a few days since we've written, but we've been so busy! Since we climbed Le Morne mountain, we attended classes at Le Bocage, worked on our presentation project, explored the Last Surviving Forest at Ferney Valley, went to the capital city of Port Louis and the marketplace, toured the sugar museum and learned about the history of the sugar industry, visited the tea factory, the vanilla factory and the rum factory, and ate amazing food the whole way!!
Phew.....

Now, this weekend was one for the students to just enjoy time with their host families and see what a weekend in their lives is like. The kids have been all over, from hotels, to petting farms to bowling alleys to the mall to beach houses, etc. We are so grateful for their hospitality!

Monday (tomorrow) will be our last full day, which we will spend at Le Bocage, finishing our project, attending classes and getting henna tattoos!

Tuesday we go to school in the morning, have lunch and then off to the airport for a 4pm flight to Dubai.

We are sad to see this experience come to a close, but what a fabulous trip it has been.

Here's some photos...enjoy!

I'll send more details soon.

Love from the Indian Ocean,
Ms. Z & Mr. E

End Session : Boundary Waters Out from the Wilderness

Wow, what an adventure! I must say that Ms. Butler and I are so proud of this group and they should be very proud of themselves. We had an amazing four days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness where they paddled and portaged canoes, set up camp, slept and lived outdoors, swam, fished, saw the Northern Lights and experienced all the beauty of the northern boreal forest. There were ups and downs, frustrations and celebrations, and through it all this group of eight students showed true grit!

Today we are heading back to Minneapolis and along the way we will visit the International Wolf Center to learn more about the animals we heard during our nights in the woods.

End Session: Mauritius

All the kids did great, acting very respectfully and easily making it to the top and back down. The teachers on the other hand… well, let's just say, it was a little humbling.

Tomorrow we are off to the "Last Surviving Forest" Ferney Valley, where we will finish up our biodiversity research. And have a very traditional Mauritian lunch prepared right in front of us.

We are having a wonderful time, more updates soon!!

Ms. Z and Mr. E

End Session: Mauritius

Dear All,

We had a great day in Mauritius, highlighted by a trip to the Albion Tide Pools and Lighthouse.  The students did some biodiversity research and enjoyed the spectacular Indian Ocean scenery.  While jet lag definitely was still in effect, their effort was admirable.  Tomorrow sees us off to the Black River Gorge to see some of Mauritius' most endangered species up close.  Enjoy the photos!

Mr. E and Ms Z.

End Session: NASA Day 4

What a blast we've been having...pun intended. 

On our way out of the Space Coast, we visited the Space Coast Fab Lab. We saw many huge 3D printers and other amazing equipment that will be used in this maker space. We also learned about hydro phones. Hopefully our school will develop a further relationship with this group to conduct research in the VI. 

We arrived in Orlando and hit the Mall of Americas for food and shopping. We then spent three hours at the Sky Zone for glow night. LOTS of laughter (and good exercise) had by all. 

We rose yesterday bright and early to reach Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We started the day at Hogwarts playing quidditch, defeating dragons, and drinking butter beer. Some of us took risks and rode rides that were way outside of our comfort zones. We met transformers, Thing 1 & 2, and Cat in the Hat. One of the scariest rides was Mummy as you can tell from the picture. We rode the Hogwarts Express to Kings Cross Station Platform 9 3/4 and spent some time in London, San Francisco, and New York. We ended the evening with exploring Gringotts Bank and fighting Voldemort. As we were leaving the park, we were treated to a water show and fireworks. Lots and lots of walking but so worth it to hear the screams and laughter!

We started our today going to Volcano Bay which opens at 9:00. By 9:30, they had reached capacity so no one else was allowed in. This is probably a blessing in disguise as we were all pretty tired from yesterday! Today we are relaxing, playing putt-putt and beach volleyball, maybe swimming in the pool, shopping and perhaps seeing a movie. Tomorrow, we are leaving bright and early to make sure we will get into Volcano bay! 

I am absolutely loving spending time with these kids. I am so blessed to have such an amazing group. Thank you again for sending your children on this adventure with me. 

Major hugs,

Ms. E