Exploring Identity through English, Spanish and Art

This week PGIA students explored the topic of identity in their English, Spanish, and Art classes.

Starting this lesson in English class, students composed poems and biographies, highlighting their personality traits. Then, using these writings, self portraits were created in Pre-DP Art and Phase III Spanish class. An emphasis was placed on incorporating symbolism and imagery to show characteristics through their artwork.

The Pre-DP Art students then swapped the pieces and wrote a description of the artist in español. Ms. Rodriguez's Phase III students then translated the description to English and compared it to the original ideas written in English class.

This lesson explores language, identity, descriptive words, symbols and imagery in written and visual languages and how we express our thoughts and emotions to an audience.

PGIA Diploma Program Dancers Board the Carnival Breeze

On Tuesday students in the DP Dance program went on a field trip aboard the Carnival Breeze. They explored various career opportunities in entertainment, engineering, tourism and hospitality with Ms. Helen and Captain John Amaro.

PGIA Students Paint Smiling Faces

Last Friday, PGIA students Sy Sebastian, Deja-Marie Simon and Bella Zakers volunteered with Ms. Ferguson to paint faces for kids at the Lattes in Paradise Halloween party in Red Hook.

UVI Coastweeks Researchers Come to VIMSIA

Coastweeks is a nationwide effort coordinated by The Ocean Conservancy. Last Thursday two UVI Researchers visited with grade 7 students in the PGIA and Upper Elementary Montessori students to discuss marine debris as part of the Ocean Conservancy's Coast Weeks program.

Their talks prepared grade 7 for an upcoming a beach cleanup. The presenters also spoke to the Upper Elementary about ocean debris, island hot spots for garbage and how students can get involved in ocean clean-ups.

Delicious Events in Upper Elementary

Ms. Collings (Ms. Satter's mom!) visited Ms. Satter's class last week to do some cooking with the students. The students learned to make Banfora, a pineapple pancake-like recipe from Burkina Faso (one of the countries 6th graders are representing in MMUN). Student's also made caramel apples to get into the fall spirit.

Students in Ms. Hess’ class participated in a fun “Ice Cream in a Bag” community event that was tasty but also a cool chemistry demonstration.

The Back to School Fun Run begins Cross Country Season

Cross Country season is here!

The Back to School Fun Run was held last Tuesday as a season opening race. The following athletes placed in their respective divisions;

Boys 7-9y/o Half mile: Finn Torrice-Hairston 1st place

Girls 10-12y/o One mile: Zia Zucker 2nd place

Boys 10-12y/o One mile: Owen Livingston 1st place and Graham Pickett 2nd place

Girls 13-15y/o One Mile: Maia Tolud 2nd place

Boys 13-15y/o One Mile: Aidan Griffith 2nd place

Boys 16 & over One mile: Teagan Kappel 1st place

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Autopista College Fair a Huge Success!

PGIA students met with 10 colleges and universities this week at the Autopista College Fair! Admissions representatives were on hand to answer our students' questions and talk about high school success strategies. Our visitors were very complimentary of both our campus and students...great job PGIA! Contact Kara Ebe Cook for more information or ways to get involved.

Basil Plants and Recycling - Ms. Hess’s Class Plant Sale


Max and his mom have been growing basil plants in recycled water bottles. Very cool in its own right, but the awesome thing is that the Upper El class will be selling the plants to raise money for their school garden! Good on you, Max - what a great way to give back to your school! Ms. Hess’s Upper Elementary class will be selling the basil plants on the afternoon car deck Thursday October 24th and Friday October 25th while supplies last. $3.00 per basil plant, cash only, donations welcome! Plants come in a self watering recycled water bottle planter. Proceeds of the sales will go towards supplies for the class garden.


Trip Report: Fall Break Exchange in Denmark

Fall break marked the beginning of the Gefion - VIMSIA exchange program. The week was intense and had a great impact for everyone involved.   The context and point of the program was historical and cultural explorations and exchange.  Each day was designed to explore not only the colonial history in the Danish West Indies, but more importantly and significantly how Danish society is coming to terms with their colonial history and experience.  This is part of a broader movement within Danish society to reshape their national mythology to include their role in the transatlantic slave trade and colonial exploitation and extraction in the islands. 


We toured museums with exhibits dealing with this past and paid particular attention to how they were presenting the story to the public.   We toured the city visiting important landmarks that were built with wealth extracted from the slave trade and colonial exploitation of the islands, learning that history is a story that is told not just through books, but the built world around us.  


We visited statues and works of public art recently commissioned and erected that honor important events such as 1848 emancipation or that honor the memory of important figures in the Virgin Islands such as Queen Mary and the four queens of the Fireburn revolt.  We visited the Royal Archives to see the importance of preservation of the past through historical documents and the limitations of the perspectives of they offer to historians.  Finally, we sat for a screening of the documentary We Carry Within Us, and follow-up discussion with the director about how we restore humanity to the past, about how Danish society is confronting uncomfortable truths of its past so that they can begin to have a more objectively honest view of their past and how individuals and communities can help to heal the living wounds of the past through action and service.  The program was phenomenal not only in terms of what the students were exposed to, what they learned, but also in the relationships and friendships formed.   There will be more to come next week from the student perspectives, stay tuned.

Eight Danish students and two instructors will be coming in January for their part of this years exchange.  We have four families lined up to host students but need an additional 6 families that would  be willing to host them for around 4 to 5 days (we are still finalizing their schedule of activities).   If anyone is interested or have questions please feel free to contact Mr. Ott for additional information.




JV Girls Volleyball Wins Antilles Tournament

Last weekend the VIMSIA Volts JV Girls Volleyball team bumped, set and spiked their way to a big win in the 2019 Antilles JV Volleyball tournament. Our JV Girls Volleyball team defended their 2018 title - winning the tournament for the second year in a row. 8th grader Alivia Arroyo was named tournament MVP. Congratulations to Alivia Arroyo, Natalia Figueroa, Layla Howard, Mya Vigilant, Devin DeGannes, Nyala Burke, Zia Gibbs, Ariana Tyson, Destiny Donastorg, Aysia Frett, Natasha Webster, and Cassidy Caines. Our JV Girls Volleyball team did an excellent job representing VIMSIA!

VIMSIA After-School Sailing Program

Peter Holmberg, Virgin Islands own Olympic silver medalist, America's Cup Skipper, and Match-Race World Champion, will be joining the after-school sailing program as a coach!

Sailing at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) is an after-school program available to Lower and Upper Elementary students on Wednesday afternoons.


Fall Break in Denmark

Four VIMSIA students, Maia Aqui, Chantel Carty, Saskia Connor-Louw, and Mikayla Kurtz traveled to Denmark during fall break as a part of a cultural exchange trip. On Monday, they were greeted at the Copenhagen Airport by Gefion Gymnasium students waving the Danish flag. Its a tradition in Denmark to use their flag, Dannebrog, in celebrations such as birthdays and welcoming travelers!

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MMUN Students to Represent: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, and Italy

MMUN Students holding the flags of the countries to be represented. Left to right: Italy, Burkina Faso, Ecuador.

MMUN Students holding the flags of the countries to be represented. Left to right: Italy, Burkina Faso, Ecuador.

MMUN students have spent the first part of the year studying the United Nations, what the UN does and how the UN makes a difference in the world. Students will be representing Burkina Faso, Ecuador and Italy at the Montessori Model UN conference that is being held in New York City in March. In the coming weeks students will be researching these countries in preparation to write position papers on the assigned topics (to be announced soon!).