FREE Ticket to VIMSIA's Las Vegas Night!

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Black Jack, Bingo, Poker and Roulette are just some of the many attractions at Las Vegas Night, Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy's (VIMSIA) signature fundraising event and the island's most glamorous event luring crowds from all three Virgin Islands. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 7PM-2AM. Community members interested in free admission can sign-up to volunteer online. As a small token of appreciation, a FREE ticket will be given to volunteers who work either four hours before the event or two hours during the event. For more information, please email pengle@vimsia.org.

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Student Council Organizes Color War

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After the last exam, the PGIA students enjoyed and afternoon of fun activities organized by the Student Council. Some went to the beach at Secret Harbor, some played Console-type games, some chilled and watched their choice of entertainment while others participated in a Color War. All activities ended up with a sweet ice cream treat. The Student Council hopes that everyone enjoyed their afternoon and wishes everyone a wonderful summer!

41st Annual Montessori Graduation

“Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school but for life” - Maria Montessori  

 Riddhi N. Atmaramani, Kinze Simuel Brown, Cassidy Alexis Caines, Gavin P. Johnson, Brianna Joan Jordan, Joniah J. Julien, Divina M. Kamra, Matthew Harold, Dietrich Meyer, Leah Mitzi Parker, Selena Grace Webster, Amelie Kiera Zucker

Riddhi N. Atmaramani, Kinze Simuel Brown, Cassidy Alexis Caines, Gavin P. Johnson, Brianna Joan Jordan, Joniah J. Julien, Divina M. Kamra, Matthew Harold, Dietrich Meyer, Leah Mitzi Parker, Selena Grace Webster, Amelie Kiera Zucker

Twelve sixth year Montessori students walked the stage and graduated from Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy’s (VIMSIA) accredited Montessori Program. Graduating from one of only two available Montessori schools in the US Virgin Islands is a game-changer for these students and a life decision supported by their friends and family. VIMSIA’s graduation included remarks from keynote speaker, Brad Wilson, CEO of Brad’s Deals LLC, current parent and member of the VIMSIA board of trustees.

Montessori Director, Norma Bollinger opened the 41st annual graduation ceremony by welcoming twelve eager graduates ready to take on life and move up to VIMSIA’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program next fall. There have been over six-hundred Montessori graduates in St. Thomas since the school was established in 1964. Bollinger explained that a noted difference between a Montessori graduate and one that graduates from traditional school is their “love for learning, our children from the minute they begin in a Montessori program are motivated through intrinsic motivation.”

The ceremony included speeches from both Upper Elementary Montessori Directresses Caroline Morrison and Kate Ludick. Morrison highlighted how important the role of the teacher is stating “Dr. Maria Montessori believed that it is the role of the teacher to walk alongside you, challenging your imagination whenever possible to help you see through the obstacles in the way.” Ludick was thrilled to see such a beautiful ceremony to mark the end of another successful school year. “The children now are going into the third plane of development and becoming adolescents. It was a very positive way to end the year for them and do something special, because they gave us –the teachers- hope” said Ludick.

Successful entrepreneur Brad Wilson –also a Montessori graduate- took the opportunity to share with the graduates three things he wished he knew as a teenager, during his keynote address. “First, be aware of your life and if it’s one of inertia or activity” commented Wilson, commending the Montessori graduates for already living a life of activity by choosing a Montessori education. “Second have a practical framework for success and lastly be open to your instincts and the wisdom of your unconscious mind” stated Wilson. He stressed how “the importance of independence, curiosity and discovery will only grow in the future.”

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics there are 132,656 schools in the US (2008 numbers), 4,000 of them are Montessori Accredited schools with only two located in the US Virgin Islands.  

Greek Mythology

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The Upper Elementary class put on a dynamic presentation on Greek Mythology featuring gods and goddesses today for the Lower Elementary Students! Under the direction of Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy Upper Elementary Teacher, Kate Ludick, students prepared facts to present, dressed up in costume displaying key signature pieces and performed a group dance with audience participation! The event concluded with questions and answers from both parents and students!

RICKY JAMES JR. to Take Part in Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum

RICKY JAMES JR. to Take Part in Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine on June 15-24, 2018

Written By: Thomas Rodgers

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This summer, Ricky James Jr. from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands will join outstanding high school students from across the nation to take part in a unique academic and career oriented development experience, the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Medicine, taking place this summer on the campus of Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia.

NYLF Medicine is one of the Envision family of programs (www.envisionexperience.com) that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

Ricky was nominated to attend this forum by one of his teachers at the VI Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy. Ricky survived two catastrophic hurricanes in the Virgin Islands and was able to make a difference in his community during the recovery and rebuilding stages as he volunteered with the All Hands and Hearts Volunteer Group. This group is a non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations, and local communities. Ricky is an avid golf player of the Mahogany Run Jr. Golf Team in the Virgin Islands, and he attends the University Bound Program. As a rising high school senior, Ricky looks forward to gaining the hands-on medical experience that this forum will provide.

“NYLF Medicine is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” said Andrew Potter, the Chief Academic Officer for Envision. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, will be challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life.” 

Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.

Egg Drops in Design Class

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Under the direction of Middle Years Program Teacher, Jamie Truax, Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy 8th grade students had a fun afternoon conducting egg drop experiments. 

The egg drop challenge was a fun project for the last week of design class that was completed in a week. "We went through the steps of the design cycle- investigate, plan, create, and evaluate. First, the students investigated what the challenge was and looked at various websites for ideas" commented Truax. Basically the idea of the project is to create something you can put an egg inside so that when it's dropped from a tall height, the egg won't break.

Students came up with at least two ideas for a plan and began to bring in supplies. After that we created! Various teachers donated balloons, straws, bubble wrap, plastic bags, tape, etc. and some students brought supplies from home as well. The students had 45 minutes to build their protective barrier around their egg. The class went down to the stage and dropped their eggs from the top and EVERY SINGLE EGG SURVIVED! Afterwards, the students reflected on the process. 

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