Your Annual Fund Dollars at Work!

Just this month, faculty members from Academy Schools have been ‘out and about’, attending conferences and workshops.

An article on states, “The National Staff Development Council (2007) created a set of nine standards that all professional development should follow. They include content knowledge and quality teaching, research-basis, collaboration, diverse learning needs, student learning environments, family involvement, evaluation, data-driven design, and teacher learning.”

Above and beyond the Clock Hours needed to keep teaching certificates current and meet state requirements, professional development is vital, providing teachers with support and knowledge to promote student motivation and understanding, to implement learning standards across the curriculum, and to introduce new strategies and ideas to engage all learners. Academy Schools is committed in supporting and empowering its teachers with opportunities to grow professionally and personally.

Here are just some of the books our teachers are reading this summer…

UDL Now!: A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms by Katie Novak

Belonging and Becoming: The Power of Social and Emotional Learning in High Schools by Barbara Cervone

Asperger Syndrome and the Elementary School Experience: Practical Solutions for Academic & Social Difficulties by Susan Thompson Moore

While students are unwinding and enjoying their summer routines, members of Academy Schools’ teaching team are busy! Ms. Dunne recently spent two days in Tacoma attending workshops on The Daily 5, a well-regarded framework that supports literacy and aids students in developing life habits in reading and writing. Also in this series was an intensive introduction to The Literacy CAFÉ System, a strategic program that promotes the core components for successful reading. To top it off, there was a math component.

Mrs. Maria, Mrs. Arntzen and Ms. St. John spent a week at the Staff Development for Educators (SDE) National Conference where they were immersed in research-based approaches to student-centered environments, practical applications for learning, as well as the science of learning, with a whole lot of social, emotional and cognitive development added in. The outcome from these five days of intensive professional development will strengthen all areas of learning in Lower School, and throughout the entire school, as they share what they have learned during valuable staff meetings.

The important point to make is that Academy Schools couldn’t provide this essential support of our teachers without your Annual Fund contributions. Thank you for making these outreach opportunities possible! We’ll report on more about teachers as learners in the weeks ahead!

Jump for Joy – It’s June!

From Mrs. Artnzen’s classroom

Hello Parents,

We are in the home stretch! We only have a couple days left of school! This has been an amazing school year filled with so many great moments!! More than I could even list! With this last days of school, we will be completing final assessments, participating in spiral review of concepts learned and playing some fun games connected to skills and concepts attained throughout the school year. This has been an incredible year and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach your little ones. ~Mrs. Arntzen


·         Money

·         Measurement using simple and standard tools

·         Telling time on a digital and analog clock

·         Double digit addition and subtraction


·         Silent Consonants

·         Spiral Review


·         Two-syllable words          

·         Compound Words

·         Conjunctions (or, and)



Your children have definitely increased their reading stamina and almost all of the students are choosing chapter books to read.  Fluency, comprehension and reading levels have increased for all and I am very excited to see where the next levels will take them in their reading journey. The Magic Treehouse series is a favorite in our class!

Seattle Aquarium


We recently took a trip to the Seattle Aquarium where the children got to see first-hand some of the things that we have been talking about in class. They had a great time and there was even enough time to head to Alki where they quickly rolled up their pant legs and explored the low tide!

Social Studies

We are wrapping up the last few pages of our map books and I have been excited to see that your children have learned to use a map key, a compass rose and are quickly learning to read directions when it comes to maps.

Alki Exploration


Rockin’ the Stage


On the stage at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival

Academy Schools’ very own music teacher, Wes Waddell, performed on the Green Stage at the Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day Weekend. Those who were lucky to see him said “he’ a great performer!” Yes, indeed. Mr. Waddell is the music man! And Academy Schools is so fortunate to have Mr. Waddell, a valued member of the Bushwick Book Club of Seattle, as music teacher extraordinaire!

Principal for the Day!

On Friday, May 12th, there was a new Principal at Academy Schools!

Father and son, a memorable moment!

The POD (military speak for Plan of the Day) was fully orchestrated by the new Principal at Academy Schools, Master Scoville, including free dress for all (no coupons required).

Christopher led the all-school assembly, initiated the pledge, chose the patriotic song (sung with aplomb by Christopher’s father, Michael), and made announcements.

Principal Scoville had very specific instructions regarding academics…including Literacy for all grades, with a choice of grammar or read a book/short story, math for one hour (teacher’s choice), “cool” science experiments, and computers for grades 3, 4 and 5. At morning recess, elbow tag was permitted, but without jabs or heavy elbows, please! There was pizza lunch for the whole school. And, following lunch, students were served popsicles as they headed outdoors for mid-day recess and PE.

By mid-afternoon, everyone was ready for some outstanding Show & Tell. Once again, Principal Scoville brought his A-game to Academy Schools! Master Rowe from ATA , Seattle Martial Arts and Leadership Academy, came and spoke about his program which teaches discipline, respect, confidence and leadership…all admirable virtues, plus flexibility.

The day ended with an afternoon movie and popcorn in the atrium. Thank you, Principal Scoville, for a memorable day!

All Hands On! NatureBridge!

Middle School Notes from NatureBridge, May 2017

Favorite Part:    

“Nature Bridge Itself!  I like the location, staff, activities…basically everything.” – Logan 

“I liked the people at Nature Bridge.” – Armaan 

“The people and Nature Bridge and my friends.” – Kesha 

“Getting to know my classmates better.” – Benji 

“Learning more individually by doing stuff.” – Mirah    

“I really enjoyed the canoe ride.” – Jack 

“My favorite part of Nature Bridge was when I went to the beach (tide pools).  And the hiking trails.” – Alex M.     

“My favorite part was the canoe ride.” – Annika

“My favorite part of the trip was hiking on rocks.” – Gurveer 

“My favorite part was canoeing.” – Chris     

“I liked everything!” – Kirin and Noah     

“My favorite part was hearing our group’s echo off the mountains.” – Sarah     

Favorite Part:

“The cabin was very noisy.” – Shang 

“The fact that I was allergic to most of the food.” – Mirah 

“Slipping on the rocks at the beach.” – Jack 

“My least favorite part was leaving.” – Kirin     

*Lots of students said that they didn’t have a least favorite part! ~ Thank you, Mr. T.!

Water Water Everywhere!

March Madness of a different variety – Middle School Social Studies with Mr. Tower

Middle School students at King County’s South Water Treatment Facility

This semester in Social Studies we are exploring Pacific Northwest History.  All of us are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country that has an abundance of natural resources.  Your students have been learning about the different regions of our varied geography.  We are surrounded by mountains, trees and lakes. Our proximity to the Pacific Ocean tends to cause quite a bit of precipitation in the lowlands but it’s all of that darn rain that helps keep the plant and animal life thriving!

Noah taking in the sights, sounds and (bad) smells of the water treatment plant.

To learn more about our community and the most important natural resource in the world (water) we took a short two-mile drive to our local water treatment plant.  Kelly, our wonderful tour guide, showed us exactly what happens to all the organic waste, chemicals and trash that go down the various drains in our homes.  It is a long journey through the treatment plant before the water can safely be pumped back out into the Puget Sound.  We had a great time learning about this complex process and now have a better appreciation for the 50-80 gallons of water that we individually use on a daily basis. 

Kirin exploring the final stages of water treatment before it is pumped back out to the Puget Sound.

Currently, we are learning about Pacific Northwest Native Americans as well as the Lewis and Clark expedition.  There are more field trips and lots of fun left to be had this year.  Let’s all hope for some sun!


Going Global in Mrs. Arntzen’s Class

Going Global

This has been a fantastic week! First, I would like to thank the PTO and my parents for the teacher appreciation gifts. I am most grateful! Next, I would like to point out that there are merely six weeks left of school! In that time we will be wrapping up our academic concepts, doing some spiral review of what we have learned throughout the school year, and taking some more fun field trips and sunshine breaks to refresh our brains and bodies for learning!

Upcoming Events:

Seattle Aquarium-Thursday, May 25th –9:00 am- 1:30 pm /Reptile Man 2:15-3:30

No School-Memorial Weekend- Friday, May 26th -29th

Save the Dates

Donuts for Dad- Thursday, June 8th

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium – Tuesday, June 13th –9:00 am- 2:00pm

Field Day- Friday, June 16th- 10:00am – 12:00pm


  • Recently, your child has been working on the sounds of the following vowel pairs: oi/oy and ow/ou. They are doing pretty well distinguishing the sounds in their writing. Last week, your children learned how to sound out words with 3-letter blends with words beginning w/ str, spl, spr, scr. This week we will be working on silent consonants.


    • Subject/verb agreement
    • Quotation Marks/dialog and the use of speech bubbles to show conversations
    • Using commas to separate dates and words in a sentence


  • Writing letters to friends and family with commas at the greeting and closing
  • Writing sentences to include quotation marks
  • Writing comic strips to demonstrate dialog and speech between two characters


      • Decoding two-syllable words
      • Character, setting, plot
      • Reading comprehension


          • Pennies, nickels, Dimes and Quarters (and some bills)

    We have had a lot of fun with this unit! In addition to worksheet practice, your children have had the opportunity to “shop” for groceries using their coins, interact with money via the Smart Board and sing songs related to coins and the counting of them.
    Social Studies

    Me and my place in this world

          • This week, we wrapped up our unit called Me and My Place in this World. The finale was creating a model of the earth complete with the continents (see above pic). 


  • Science
          • Our recent trip to the Pacific Science Center was really fun! A huge thank you to the family volunteers who came along to help out. We took a few breaks to let children run in the sunny field after lunch and before we went home. Due to the popularity of this unit, our next course of study will be Me and My Place in Space. We will study the planets and their proximity to the earth.

    “If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” ~ Vince Gowmon

Terracotta Warriors of the First Empire

Late in April, the Third, Fourth and Fifth graders ventured beyond Tukwila on a field trip to the Pacific Science Center and ended up on the opposite side of the globe. They had the rare opportunity to view the ancient terracotta warriors from China. This amazing adventure started with an Imax movie about the dig sites and how the first emperor of Qin united the ancient countries that ultimately became China. The students had a great time in the exhibit looking at all the different artifacts from China that include: warriors, horses, bronze animals and other bronze weapons from the era. These artifacts are over 2,000 years old and provided our students with a glimpse into ancient history.

Winter Chess Championship

Strategy and finesse

In January, one of Academy Schools’ own joined a slew of other student chess aficionados at the Washington State High School Individual Championship at Lakeside Upper School in Seattle for two days of rigorous timed (Double Swiss) play. Jack gave it his all, played 10 games over two days, and earned 12th place in the Individual Championship Section Reserve category.

Everyone at Academy Schools is so proud of Jack! He proved his skill and determination – and represented his school well. Congratulations, Jack!

Washington State High School Individual Championship for Chess, January 2017

Laura Arntzen Joins the Board of PEAB

About a month ago, a request was sent out by Highline College expressing interest in a private school educator representative who would be willing to actively participate as a board member for the Professional Educators Advisory Board. Academy Schools recommended Mrs. Arntzen for this role as a representative of our school. Laura is passionate about private education and is excited to be a representative.

The board is comprised of educators from several surrounding districts and is made up of private school, public school and administrative personnel. According to Sharon Ricci, the Membership and Outreach Manager at the WA Federation of Independent Schools, the board members’ influence over the future of education training, strengthening relations with fellow educators in our region and act as a representative for Private Schools by providing valuable perspective to Highline College.  Typically, PEABs meet three times per year and representatives are asked to serve 2 or 3 year terms.

The board was created to provide valuable input on a brand new program at Highline that, if approved, is set to launch in the fall of 2017. According to Ms. Ricci, the group will be asked to advise on a wide range of concepts related to Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, English as a Second Language, and Bi-Lingual Education. Mrs. Artnzen’s experience in these areas will serve the board well. We look forward to sharing more details of this highly collaborative program as it develops.

Academy Schools is extremely proud that Mrs. Arntzen has agreed to represent our school and serve as a voice for all independent schools in the region. Congratulations to Mrs. Arntzen!