Head of School 2018-2019 Year End Report

Michael Bornn, Head of School

Michael Bornn, Head of School

VIMSIA’s focus is to raise the bar of education in the Virgin Islands via individual student learning. As one functions at VIMSIA, one should always ask yourself: “What is the impact on student learning?” Everything else falls into place after that.

 We have repaired most of the hurricane damaged facilities. We are embarking on a major construction effort of five facilities: BEC, La Casa, Art Trailer, Dance Trailer and Weight Room. They will rebuilt over the next several years. The first building will be starting this summer. All these facilities will be constructed to a higher standard than the original facilities.

 Our graduates continue to be accepted in their first choice schools with significant amounts of financial aid to enable attendance. Our graduates are well prepared for college. Several have gone on to excel at graduate programs; others have commenced highly gainful and exciting employment.

 For a school with only ten years of graduating classes, the successes of our graduates are very impressive. The IB program prepares our graduates for college. Our graduates have achieved. They are achieving.  And they make us proud. They prove our school is meeting the challenge of quality education.

 VIMSIA will continue to improve in areas of math performance, acquisition of languages, writing skills, classroom management, self-discipline, intrinsic curiosity, collaboration and developing the love of learning. We attempt to reach every child at our school.

 Art, music, dance and theater offerings will continue on their growth path. Speech will also be added as an elective next year. Swimming, sailing and tennis offerings are being developed for next year as well.          

 VIMSIA seeks to educate a diversified student body and our families is reflective of the world at large. We are indeed proud that our teachers have taught in over 70 countries as well as the Virgin Islands. International travel and interactions are a foundation of our school.

 Expanding the Montessori Method to reach every child in the VI is indeed a goal. Early childhood education is critically important and the Montessori Method has been proven to be a leading pedagogy in early childhood education. On island Montessori training for staff and parents will commence this coming school year. 

 VIMSIA now has an endowment to help ensure we have a financial cushion to help mitigate future disasters and more importantly to fund the pursuit of excellence in perpetuity.  Raising money to grow the fund is a priority. 

 The campus is 100% solar energized. A portion of the campus is operating on an off-grid basis with storage batteries and generator back-up.  We are in the process of installing additional storage capacity to take the whole campus off grid. The cost savings of this sustainable program goes directly to improve student learning.

 To further enhance teacher recruitment and retention, we are embarking on two offerings. First, a fleet of electric cars has been donated to the school. They will be available for lease to teachers desiring an electric car. The cars can be charged at our solar powered electric car charging station free of charge, with an estimated annual fuel savings to each teacher of approximately $2,400.

Secondly, we have acquired a two-unit house on Vessup Lane so we will be able to provide affordable housing for our staff close to school. This housing program is a long-term initiative with the goal of acquiring several houses in the area over many years. The vehicle and housing alternatives are purely optional for staff. Providing transportation and housing for faculty is a step in the direction of improving the quality of life for staff, which in turn improves student learning.

 We are working on a proposal to have the concession stand open daily for students and staff to be able to purchase items from a student-run venture. Such will also incorporate existing student fund raising efforts of selling pizza weekly.

None of our achievements and goals would be possible without the amazing support of our staff, students, parents and donors.

Thank You For The Carpets!

Ms. Bolinger and our Montessori classrooms would like to extend a huge thank you and expression of gratitude for a very generous act of kindness to one of our VIMSIA families for donating classroom carpets. Look at this wonderful classroom carpet in Ms.Bolinger's class. Most of our class carpets were soaked and ruined from Hurricane's Maria and Irma. Gracias to our donor who prefers to remain anonymous!

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VIMSIA Welcomes New Chief Accounting Officer

Charmaine A. Duncan, Chief Accounting Officer

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We are pleased to announce that Ms. Charmaine Duncan has joined our team as the Chief Accounting officer. Charmaine is part of the Administrative team and will report directly to the Head of School. 

Charmaine is a parent and former Board Member of VIMSIA. She comes to us from Caribbean Auto Group and TJ Johnson Automotive Group, where she has over 14 years of experience in accounting procedures and reporting. She has served on the Board of Trustees as the Treasurer for several years, thus she has a wealth of existing knowledge of the school. 

Charmaine grew up in St. Thomas and attended St. Peter and Paul Catholic High School.  She attended Howard University after graduation.

NEW Online Contracts Coming Soon

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We are beyond excited to announce that soon, our current parents will have the option to enroll their children online! Peggy Hunt, Business Director and Kara Ebe, Director of Admissions, have been hard at work preparing for the roll-out of our new online enrollment portal. It hasn't been easy (as you can see by all the markers and flow charts) but the outcome will be worth it! Congratulations to our administrative team on this huge step forward! Parents, keep an eye out for contracts... coming very soon!

Spanish Exchange Program with Casvi IB School in Madrid

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Saskia C., Ava Jayne P. and, Kaia A.

Congratulations to these three 7th grade girls! They are off to Casvi IB School in Madrid, Spain for a 5-week Spanish immersion exchange program. We wish them safe travels while they represent PGIA in the international IB world. Go Spanish!

The Madrid students will be with us here at VIMSIA in February & March. 

Clothing and Book Drive

In order to help the homeless of our St. Thomas community, I am holding a clothing and book drive for the Bethlehem House.  I reached out to them and found out what items they are especially in need of.  They need books and clothing, and I would love to be able to give them a generous donation from our school.  I will be putting boxes for clothes and books in the gazebo, the science pod, PGIA library, and art room for donations.  Search your closets and bookshelves for items in good condition that you are willing to part with.  Remember, your donation could mean a lot more than you realize to someone in need!

Sincerely, Darby Williams (PGIA Grade 11)

Congratulations to Carter and Max!

Carter had a very successful swim meet this weekend in Puerto Rico.  She qualified to represent St. Thomas at the CARIFTA games as part of the USVI National Swim Team.  Such a huge honor!  Her time on the 50m free was 31.18 and the 200m free was 2.32.26.  She dropped a total of 17 seconds from her personal best this weekend.  Congratulations also goes to Max who won first place overall in his age-group. We are so proud of both of you.  

Head of School Social Thursday 9/3

The Head of School Social has been postponed until Thursday, 9/3 at 5:30. Concession will open at 5:00 for complimentary light fare and beverages.  Mr. Bornn hosts Thursday evening's Parent Orientation to help get our 2015/2016 school year off to a great start and ensure lines of communication are open and flowing!  We want to provide this opportunity to meet new families, as well as ensure everyone has a clear understanding of what to expect during this school year and years to come.  This meeting is open to the whole school and will feature vocal and piano performances by Ms. Luba Dolgopolsky, who will be teaching individual vocal and piano lessons on campus throughout the school year.

Luba was born in St.Petersburg, Russia and raised in the United States. First trained as a Classical pianist, and later as a Jazz pianist as well, she comes from a family of several prominent Classical musicians.  She earned her Master's Degree in Music Education from Teacher's College at Columbia University and currently makes her home in St. John, where she performs regularly with her own band, as a solo act,  and as a guest artist with other groups.  LUBA is on faculty at the University of Virgin Islands as a Vocal Instructor, as well as Vocal/Piano Instructor at the St. John School of the Arts and we are so excited to welcome her to VIMSIA as a vocal and piano instructor.   For more information and to hear Luba perform, visit her website.