10/27/14. C/A welcomes the VAIS (Virginia Association of Independent Schools) accreditation team this week for an on-site evaluation—part of our re-accreditation process. Prior to the visit, our accreditation team reviewed numerous documents and a self-study we prepared based on survey responses from our various constituents. While on-site, the team will interview members of the Board [...]
By Christina Bordeaux 9/29/14. Commonwealth Academy marked National Yoga Month by introducing its first yoga class to Middle School students as a 45-minute elective offered year-round. Through age-appropriate yoga poses, games, and activities, students learn techniques to calm their bodies and their minds. Taught daily, yoga creates a non-competitive atmosphere that allows the imagination [...]
C/A students, families, and faculty joined Alexandria dignitaries and scores of citizens to honor victims of the Holocaust at the city’s annual Day of Remembrance. Head of School Dr. Susan Johnson was the invited keynote speaker and explained to a solemn crowd the story of how art teacher Ksenya Litvak, inspired by her role model, [...]
New Media teacher Ricardo Pontes will exhibit over 20 original drawings from the summer weeks he spent in Portugal. The collection includes landscapes from his village and a small fishing village as well as figures. The exhibit opens December 13: Artworks Fine Art Studio 7740 Old Georgetown Road Bethesda, MD Opens: December 13, 2013 [...]
Nov. On a recent college visit to Juniata in Pennsylvania, Director of College Counseling Services Steve Maczynski connected with C/A graduate Ethan ’13.
November 4. Congratulations to New Media teacher Ricardo Pontes, whose recent work is displayed at VisArts current gallery show, Best of our Best. Mr. Pontes teaches drawing and sculpture at VisArts in his spare time. Two of his drawings and a sculpture were selected for the show which opened on October 25. Prior to the [...]
November 1. Honor Month culminated on Nov. 1 with High School students in each class signing the honor code. Their signatures, framed with the honor code, are displayed at school. During the month of October, students discussed honor and integrity during advisory, watched relevant films, and shared written reflections about the subject.
October 31. Photographer, retired economist, and polyglot Jim Coates spoke to Spanish 3 students today about an adventure he will soon cross off his bucket list: a motorcycle trip to Uruguay. He showed the class his trip map and equipment, including his motorcycle, a BMW R 1200 GS; talked about his plans for riding across countries; and [...]
Oct. 28, 2013. Sixth and seventh graders, dressed as the explorer of their choice from one of the four major colonial powers, presented maps and timelines about them themselves to peers and lower schoolers.
Rap Genius Chief of Education Dr. Jeremy Dean spoke to C/A’s English department about incorporating Rap Genius’s revolutionary annotation technology in the classroom. One of the top 100 websites in the world, Rap Genius enables students collaborate virtually as they build their own interpretations on text; they can highlight and annotate texts online as well [...]
October 5, 2013. C/A Alumni John Salmons ’09 and Remy Lavelle ’09, (front row, left), were among three students to speak at the College Planning & Preparation for the Special Needs Student presentation held on Saturday. Hosted by C/A, and sponsored by the DC Capital Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, the workshop included [...]
Lower Schoolers use Pixelogic’s Sculptris to create 3-D objects in the Mac Lab. With this project, students enter the digital world, use math concepts, and demonstrate their understanding of transformations (such as reflections, translations, and rotations) that they have examined with actual objects in the Visual Thinking & Strategy Lab. Students also apply concepts from [...]
Writing Department Chair Case Anderson kicked off Honor Month on Monday during High School advisory, joined by Head of School Dr. Johnson, Science Department Chair Katie Theobald, and Director of College Counseling Services Steve Maczynski, who shared their personal reflections about honor and integrity. During October, each Thursday advisory will be dedicated to discussions pertaining [...]
Congratulations to all newly elected SGA officers and grade representatives! In High School, Sofia ’15 (Secretary), Chris ’16 (Treasurer), and Robert ’16 (Communications & Technology) join SGA President Peter ’14 and Vice President Chris ’14, who were elected at the end of last year. High School grade representatives are: Andy (12th), Juliet (11th), Rachel (10th), and Gabby (9th). Middle Schoolers elected [...]
To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, The Stixrud Group is sponsoring a gala to raise money for C/A and other local independent schools that serve students with learning differences. The gala, which will be held on November 2, is cosponsored by the Center for Adoption Support and Education. (Tickets to the gala are available to purchase [...]
May 30. Congratulations to Tyler ’13 and Sam ’16 who received awards in the recent juried photography contest held by Kingsbury Day. The contest called for entries dealing with the theme “Habits of Mind.” Tyler’s entry (right) received third place and Sam’s entry (far right) was selected as a runner up.
Congratulations to our newest inductees to the National Honor Society: Aiko ’13, Natalie ’13Peter ’14, Jana ’13, and Ashley ’13 .
May 18. Middle School Math Teacher and Department Chair Susan James received her M.Ed. in Education Leadership with a concentration in Mathematics from George Mason. Congratulations, Ms. James!
May 14. International development specialists Addie Ryan and Tim Hoffine spoke to World History II students about the 2011 Somalia famine as part of the students’ exploration of contemporary global issues. Small groups brainstormed responses to the famine at various levels (Somali household, Somali government, US Secretary of State, United Nations World Food [...]
April 30. The CARE Awards dinner on April 25th was a wonderful testament to the outstanding educators who comprise our C/A faculty. It was a genuinely enjoyable event, filled with warm conversation and heartfelt speeches. We were delighted to welcome longtime C/A friends Mayor William Euille and Delegate Rob Krupicka to the dinner again this year. For [...]
April 4. Attention Talk Radio Show’s recent podcast, “Answers to Teen Questions Most Don’t Ask,” was recorded at Commonwealth Academy and co-sponsored by CHADD of Northern Virginia and our school. Host Jeff Copper interviewed Dr. Clifford Sussman, asking questions about ADHD medications and other topics teens might be afraid to ask, including some of the [...]
April 3. Trevor Romain (author and illustrator of children’s self-help books, PBS host, and founder of The Comfort Crew for Military Kids) toured C/A and spoke to Lower School students about bullying, ADHD, and dyslexia. Well-known for his unparalleled rapport with kids, Mr. Romain was heartily welcomed by our students who will long-treasure the selection [...]
Lower School students stage a simulated wax museum for parents, faculty, and peers. After researching compelling historical characters, students created posterboards and scrapbooks highlighting their character’s life and dressed the role to present to parents, siblings, and faculty who visited the “museum.” Afterwards, visitors watched videos and short movies that Lower School students made throughout [...]
March 5. C/A students raised $1,500 today for Officer Laboy and his family. Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy was critically injured in a routine traffic stop last week. Student leaders in the MS and HS SGA organized the bake sale. Thanks to everyone for making this a success!
March 5. Digital artwork created by two C/A students was selected for exhibition at the Artisphere in Roslyn through the Artisphere Teen Work Experience program. New Media teacher Mr. Pontes submitted artwork prepared by C/A students in class to the competition. Congratulations to Brandon ’14 and Ellie ’14 for their winning entries, a typography portrait [...]
Seniors Conor P. and Brendan M. worked on resolutions dealing with the growing role of drones in international warfare at the Model United Nations held at Johns Hopkins University in February. Several other C/A students joined participants from across the Eastern seaboard as observers: Lane N. ’15, Hilary K.’15, Simon B.’15, Colin B.’15, Peter S. ’14, and Connor M. ’13.
Because many of our current and prospective students have been diagnosed as dyslexic, we thought the following article from Ann Dolin’s Educational Connections newsletter would be of interest. It provides some insight into how words appear if one is dyslexic, and underscores the valuable role technology can play in helping “normalize” the reading environment for [...]
As we continue to try to process the enormity of loss in the Newtown shootings on Friday, Head of School Dr. Johnson suggests the following article as a guide to help discuss the events and resulting emotions with our children. HELPING CHILDREN COPE WITH THE NEWTOWN SHOOTINGS Robert Evans, Ed.D. and Mark Kline, Psy.D. [...]
Mayor Bill Euille, Police Chief Earl Cook, and Fire Chief Adam Thiel joined Head of School Dr. Susan Johnson and C/A students, parents, faculty, and friends on November 13 to dedicate the new Lower School space. Word of our successful program has spread rapidly: the Lower School has almost tripled in size in just three [...]
Middle School English and Drama teacher Bill Vander Clute was on stage again this fall, appearing as Donald in the critically-acclaimed comedy “You Can’t Take It With You,” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The play was staged at the James Lee Theater by the award-winning community theater company Providence Players of Fairfax.
During November, C/A High School students will spend their Monday advisory periods considering and discussing different scenarios and questions related to honor and academic integrity. This marks the second year of setting aside an “Honor Month” to provide students designated time, in advisories and Writing class, to reflect on the topic and bring the ideas [...]
Alexandra Sifferlin, Time.com, reports on a long-term study about ADHD that followed a group of 136 men who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children for 33 years. Click here to read the article.
Of course we love to brag about our students more than anything else. But it’s also great to be able to brag about our school and tremendous faculty. Here are two anonymous parent reviews brought to our attention that were previously posted on GreatSchools.org. Thank you to all those involved in making C/A the leading [...]
10/1/12: Middle and High School SGA elections were held last Thursday and Friday respectively. Congratulations to all the candidates who stepped forward to help lead our student body, and to those who were elected: Middle School Gabby S. ’17, President Corey G. ’17, Vice President Tyler Y. ’17, Treasurer Chris N. ’17, Secretary Charley C. ’17, 8th [...]
During the past two weeks, C/A faculty and staff participated in numerous professional development workshops as they prepared for the upcoming academic year. Educational consultant and advocate Rich Weinfeld and clinical neuropsychologist Dr. William Stixrud were among the presenters. On August 22, Rich Weinfeld led a round-table discussion about his book, Smart Kids with Learning [...]
This summer, two C/A seniors joined other students from the Washington DC metro area and over 20 countries to learn about foreign policy in a class entitled “US Foreign PolicyClass: Focus U.S.-Russia Relations.” As part of the class, students attended a briefing on Capitol Hill to examine current legislation before the House and Senate that [...]
Our holistic approach to educating faculty and staff compelled Attention Magazine to include a story about it in the April 2012 edition. The article explains how we used CHADD’s Teacher to Teacher training as part of our required professional development to enhance relationships between the school and students and their families, as well as strengthen [...]
As the curtain rose for “The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog!” at the Kennedy Center’s Theater for Young Audiences on October 14, close to 60 lower and middle school students from Commonwealth Academy held their breath in anticipation of seeing their original artwork on stage. At the request of set designer Misha [...]
The October edition of The Washingtonian highlights area “schools that experts say truly stand out” in the article “Finding the Right School.” Commonwealth Academy is pleased to be one of the handful of schools singled out by education experts in the magazine. Here is what the article reports: “Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria specializes in [...]
Commonwealth Academy’s Head of School Susan J. Johnson, PhD received a 2009-2010 Distinguished Educational Leadership Award at a reception held at The Washington Post for the year’s Principals of Excellence. Johnson was one of 19 principals from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to receive the award, and the only educator from an independent school. The evening was hosted [...]
Former C/A parents Mary Matalin and James Carville recently spoke with Attention Magazine (August 2009) about their experience at Commonwealth Academy and life with AD/HD.
Commonwealth Academy students competed Thursday evening, March 19, in the Annual Mu Alpha Theta Wildcat Math Invitational sponsored by Mountain View High School in Stafford, Virginia. Participants included Douglas Olinger ’10, Sean Brinza ’12, and 7th grader Tunc Edmonds. Douglas won first place for Level I and Tunc tied for third in Level I. Douglas won [...]
With over 30 years experience educating AD/HD and LD students, education expert and Head of School Susan Johnson, PhD, shares important insights and anecdotes on LD Podcast (#102, #103, #104).
Andrew Villemarette ’12 was the youngest to compete in and finish this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. Congratulations, Andrew!
Leadership Alexandria candidates visited Commonwealth Academy on December 5, 2007. We were honored to host Mike Hart, Sheri Dougherty, Tony Davis, and Luke McFadden, who chose C/A from a list of Alexandria schools for their unit on “Education–The Key to the Future.” Leadership Alexandria’s mission is to “bring together a network of diverse community leaders [...]
Commonwealth students received all three Sportsmanship Awards at the 4th Annual Kingsbury Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament on December 14 -15 at West Elementary High School in Washington, DC. Awardees included Casey Howerton, Ally Leader, and Mike Jones. Jones was also voted First Team All-Star for the tournament. Commonwealth students received all three Sportsmanship Awards [...]
Commonwealth Academy was chosen as one of five finalists for the 10th Annual Alexandria Technology Achievement Award. We are delighted to have received this recognition for the innovative ways our students use technological tools to learn and demonstrate their mastery of subjects. Because technology is so interwoven in our pedagogy, we often take for granted how powerful a tool [...]
Commonwealth Academy has received top honors from the National Association of Independent Schools for its technology program, earning the Leading Edge Award for Programmatic Sustainability in the division of small schools (up to 150 students). In all, only 15 schools–from across the nation–received a Leading Edge Program award. We are so honored to be among them! The Leading [...]
We’re pleased to announce that our new communications materials received a CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) District III Special Merit Award for Graphic Identity Programs. Universities and Independent schools throughout the region submit work each year to an experienced panel of judges. We submitted numerous pieces of our new materials including our admission package, website, strategic plan, [...]
In the August edition of “Families” magazine, our own Head of School Dr. Susan Johnson discusses the prevalence of learning disabilities, difficulties children face in coping with them, and gives practical suggestions to help children with environmental, instructional and behavioral accommodations. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.