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.  

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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Stop, Drop and Roll

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Toddler and Primary students from Virgin Islands Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) participated in a very dynamic fire safety demonstration carried out by Lieutenant Anthony and firefighters from Squad C of the Lima Fire Company. 

Deputy Fire Inspector, Serena E. Williams led an education session for both classes placing special emphasis on knowing your home address, how to call 9-1-1 and what to do in case your clothes catch fire.

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Rookie firefighter Fredericks was kind enough to dress up in all her gear to show the students of VIMSIA what a firefighter would look like in case of an emergency. Naturally, a small percentage of the students were tentative and a bit weary of what Firefighter Fredericks looked like even thought they had seen her in regular uniform and witness her slowly put on her boots, then her pants, followed by a jacket, mask and helmet. Firefighter Fredericks was fully transformed into a scary looking beast when an air tank was added creating a frightening and rare sound. While firefighter Fredericks was dressed and giving out high-fives, Deputy Fire Inspector Williams told the kids “when you see someone dressed like this, don’t run away they are there to help you.”

"I really try to interact with them, they are really small so I expect them to be scared" commented Firefighter Fredericks, adding "I want them to realize that I'm human… it’s nice to have these interactions prior to any emergency."

A special thanks to La Casa teacher Ms. Diana Woods for setting up this special visit.

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End of Year Field Trip!

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For the end of the year community/science-based trip, Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) Upper Elementary teacher, Ms. Ludick, organized a fun-filled day trip to St. John. The Upper Elementary students investigated ocean life in the classroom and then were graciously able to climb aboard Stormy Pirate Boat Charters and head to St. John. "We saw two dolphins on the way at Peter Bay, swam and snorkeled with the turtles and stingrays in Maho Bay, learned some back flips, front flips, dives, and cannonballs off the boats, and ate at Pizza Pi" exclaimed Ludick. The group arrived back at school tired and happy with lots of inspiration to incorporate into individual research later on and lots of friendships celebrated. Students challenged themselves to learn new things out on the water and truly supported each other. VIMSIA would like to thank Stormy Pirates Boat Charters, Pizza Pi (both VIMSIA parent owned! We highly recommend them both!) and chaperones, Ms. Zucker, Ms. Gibbs, Ms. Butler, Coach-Nurse, Joe Slimming, and Ms. Landry.

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2018 Spring Magic Showcase

The 15th annual Spring Magic showcase was held on Sunday, June 3rd featuring a wide variety of performers and talents! Under the direction of Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) Diploma Program Dance Instructor, Helen Sidiropoulos, and after such an arduous year, VIMSIA Students showcased their strength and resilience, and shined brighter than ever!