Annual Traditions that Foster School Pride and Unity
Traditions are an important aspect of any school's culture and at West Virginia Academy our culminating activities will provide fun events for our students and their families to enjoy each year. West Virginia Academy values hard work, responsibility, teamwork, and fun. These virtues are reflected in the themes for our culminating activities that students will play a key role in planning and participating in throughout the year under the supervision of faculty and parents.
West Virginia Academy will operate on a balanced calendar schedule. Each term will have a general theme and each class will integrate this theme into their instruction during the term. At the end of each term the culminating event will be available for West Virginia Academy families and the community to attend. Students will be actively planning their participation in the culminating events during the term on Experience Days, which typically are held on Fridays.
Term 1 - Fall Fest
The theme for the first term is “Earth On, Above, and Beneath” and the culminating activity is Fall Fest. During the first term, students at all grade levels will learn various topics on the earth (e.g. land masses, oceans, state and national boundaries, etc), above the earth (e.g. weather and space), and beneath the earth (plate tectonics, earth’s layers, etc). Each grade will be responsible for running a booth at the Fall Fest with a game that fits the theme for the term. For example, the fourth grade will learn the states and capitals during this term, so they could make a large map of the United States and have participants throw bean bags on the map. If the participant can tell the state or capital then the participant wins a prize. Landing on West Virginia would give participants a bonus prize!
Not only will Fall Fest have grade booths, but each homeroom class will be responsible for making a scarecrow reflecting some aspect they learned that fits the theme. Scarecrows will be displayed and judged and winners will be announced at the concluding program to Fall Fest.
Term 2 - Cultural Connection
The theme for Term 2 is “Making a Difference” and our culminating activity will be Cultural Connection. This will take place on the last day of Term 2. The Cultural Connection event will be just like it sounds, an event connecting cultures and people all around the world. Students will be learning about various aspects of culture inside West Virginia, the United States, and all around the world. Each grade will be assigned a culture to represent at the festival. Students will be asked to volunteer at a booth of their assigned culture at Cultural Connection. Students will also be learning a song that is commonly sung during their assigned cultural area. Grades will be performing throughout the Cultural Connection night.
Term 3 - Science Fair
Gravity, Magnetism, Heat, and Energy, these are just some of the topics that follow our Term 3 theme - “Forces in Motion.” Students at West Virginia Academy will be exploring forces in their own science fair projects. Students at younger grades will be experimenting as a class and present their findings at the science fair together. The older grades will have their projects displayed and judged and the outcome will be announced. The event will also include some interactive science activities for students and community members of all ages.
Term 4: Hall of History
“Knowing the Past, opens doors to the future.” (Carter G. Woodson) West Virginia Academy’s theme for the fourth term is “Where we’ve been, and where we are going” and the culminating event is the Hall of History. This event will turn our school into a living history exhibit. Three areas will be represented for each era assigned to the grades.
The younger grades (K-3) will be asked to transform their class by creating gallery walks that represent their era. Gallery walks include several stations with artifacts, pictures, posters, and other items representing the era. The middle grades (4-7) will be assigned one of the same eras as a younger grade class, except their focus will be on specific events that occurred during that era. These students will be making a timeline with all the events represented in pictures and small descriptions.
The older grades (8+) will be choosing one famous individual from one of the eras to study. They will have the nine week term to learn all they can about that person, then they will “become” that person for a night. Families and other members of the community will be invited into each classroom and experience the era represented. History will literally come to life as these students will be available to talk to and ask questions about their famous person’s life and accomplishments.