Vienna Exchange Program

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We have five students from grade 10 traveling to Vienna, Austria this year to do an exchange program with a Montessori-IB school in Vienna. This is not the first time that we have collaborated with this school, as they sent an exchange student to our school a few years ago. Our grade 10 students are traveling to Austria for two weeks in February and will be attending classes on a daily basis, as well as partaking in many excursions around this modern and cosmopolitan city. The students are being accompanied during their travel by a grade 10 parent, Ms. Teresa Ethen. Once they arrive in Vienna, however, they will be living with host families for the two weeks. It is interesting that this school is similar to our school in the fact that they have a Montessori program up to eighth grade and then they have an IB program till graduation. Our families are very excited for this big adventure, and the Austrian families are very excited to host. One or two of the Austrian students will be coming to St. Thomas in April/May to experience the opposite side of the exchange. International education at its best!

Spanish Immersion Exchange Program

Our students with their host brothers/sisters.

Our students with their host brothers/sisters.

Andy Yu in his new bedroom at his host family’s house.

Andy Yu in his new bedroom at his host family’s house.

Zack with the Spanish students at the Boadilla School.

Zack with the Spanish students at the Boadilla School.

Last week Tuesday six of our 7th & 8th graders left on a jet plane for a six week Spanish Immersion Exchange Program.  Andy Yu, Joaquin Hawkes, Noah Ballas, Zachary Edwards, Nathaniel Levine and Lindsay Barr will be attending classes at another IB school, Boadilla, in Madrid. They will also be living with host families. Ms. Bonnie Barr & Ms. Amy Ballas will be the chaperones during the six weeks.  Ms. Barr will be there for the first three weeks and Ms. Ballas will be there for the final three weeks.  Ms. Barr has reported that the students are settling in and having a great time thus far.  They have already been skiing and have plans to go to amusement parks with their host families.  They will be going on field trips to museums such as El Prado, Reina Sofia & Alcala de Henares with the school.  There are also day trips planned by Ms. Barr to travel to neighboring cities such as Segovia, Toledo & Avila. I will keep you updated weekly on the adventures that our students are having in Spain!  ¡VIVA España! ¡VIVA PGIA!

Noah, Joaquin & Lindsay getting ready for class.

Noah, Joaquin & Lindsay getting ready for class.

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Checkmate

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VIMSIA is proud of the students who competed in the National Scholastic Chess K-12 Grade Championships in Orlando, Florida this past weekend. Congratulations to Rohan Nagi who came in first place in his division (unrated 9th graders), Drake Walters who placed in the top ten (unrated 5th graders), Miles Tolud who placed third in his division (undrated 6th graders), and Tendaji Davis who placed first in his division (unrated 2nd graders).

Congratulations to VIMSIA Chess Coach Darryl Allen, who tied for first play in the coaches play division!

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Romeo and Juliet

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Congratulations to the hard-working cast and crew of Romeo and Juliet! Congratulations to Ms. Bump on an amazing play!

Alumni Luncheon Panel

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VIMSIA's College Counseling Department hosted our annual Alumni Lunch today! Eleven alumni including: Christina Brett '17, CJ Fahie '16, Niquay Leonard '17, Kobe Potter '18, Silas Wisehart '18, Nalani Figueroa '18, Vanshika Lulla '18, Ali Bartsch '17, Leah Trotman '17, T'Leah Serieux '17, and Vernelle Callwood '18 returned to campus to speak to our Diploma Program students. They shared advice and insight about life after high school and their adventures in college. Students engaged in discussion about the college experience and how the IB Program prepared them for academic success. Many thanks to our alumni for the support of our students!

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Raffle Ticket High Sale Winners

Congratulations to this years top raffle ticket sellers, Michael Holt 64 books and Sarah Sables 42 books. Ms. Holt will receive $1,500 off of tuition next year and Ms. Sables will receive our second place prize, $650 off tuition! Congratulations to our top sellers and to all of our families. Your diligent efforts produced our best sales ever with 55,450.00 - 1109 books sold Our top raffle winners, 1st Place ticket #01734 and 2nd Place ticket # 08305 are both members of our VIMSIA family. Thank you very much for this record breaking support.

Sincerely,

Mary Capellas, Raffle Chairwoman

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PTA Throws an Epic Staff Holiday Party

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at VIMSIA, we’d like to sincerely thank the PTA and all the parents who donated so many delicious dishes for the Staff Holiday Party. A very special thank you goes out to Mr. Terris Bynum (DJ Tee) for providing us with great music and endless dancing and Jeanne Walters for spearheading the event! We are so grateful to have such an amazing group of supportive and caring parents. Thank you for throwing this amazing party!

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DP Global Politics

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On Friday, December 7, 2019, the grade 11 and 12 DP Global Politics class welcomed Mr. Michael Feshbach. Mr. Feshbach taught a lesson on parliamentary systems. He spoke in depth on the unicameral national legislature of Israel, the Knesset. He discussed how governmental parties have to work together in order to accomplish goals. He also spoke in broad terms on the role of how parties of any government should listen and respect different views and opinions and still be able to work together to come to agreements that benefit everyone.

The Gift of Reading

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During the morning one of our little friends was looking through our "readers" (books not in our library corner). I suggested she find an available older friend to read to her. Two great things happened:

1. the younger child got her hands on work she is not ready for yet.

2. the older child gets to solidify her reading knowledge by reading to a friend.