Spring 2018 School News

Science Fair highlights student research and understanding of the Scientific Method


There is no better way to experience the full inquiry of a scientific investigation than to participate in a science fair!  Mrs. Stein’s 3rd-6th graders became “full-fledged scientists” when they each selected a topic of personal interest, performed research, developed a scientific inquiry question (ex. “what is the effect of _____ on ____?”) and created an experiment following the steps of the Scientific Method to find an answer.   The final step was sharing their findings in a creative and fun way with their peers and parents at our annual HCCS Science Fair, this year occuring on Wednesday, May 23rd.  The science fair is a powerful way of keeping curiosity alive in the classroom while fostering a student’s natural inclination to want to learn about the world around them.  Way to go students!

Spring Music Concert Celebrates American Folk Heritage


On Thursday May, 17th, the HCCS student body presented the Spring Music Concert, with the theme of American Folk and Heritage songs. The students sang American folk classics like “Yankee Doodle”, “Goober Peas”, “Simple Gifts” and “My Country Tis of Thee”. The audience whole-heartedly participated in the sing-along portions of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and “America the Beautiful”! In between the songs, the students provided background on the history and evolution of folk music. One of our first grade students explained that, “by definition, folk music finds its source in the grassroots; songs anyone can understand and in which everyone is welcome to participate. Some folk songs tell a story, reflect life or local culture.” Well done to all of our students and a big thank you to our music teacher Mr. Taulbee for another excellent and joyful concert.

Teachers and Students Host Hunter Mothers for Tea in honor of Mother’s Day


On Friday, May 11th, the K-2nd grade students joined their mothers and/or grandmothers for afternoon tea in honor of Mother’s Day. The students welcomed their guests with a song, and delivered fresh flowers. Student artwork of tea cups, saucers, and tea pots decorated the walls of Heritage Hall, while Father Mills played piano to provide fitting music for the beautifully appointed space. Mrs. Adams, first and second grade teacher, and Mrs. Mills, the Kindergarten teacher, prepared a lavish tea complete with scones, cakes, cookies, sandwiches, and more, along with fresh flowers and decoration to treat the Hunter mothers and grandmothers. The teachers helped the students prepare a keepsake documenting their “favorites” about their moms. The teachers also instructed the young students on proper etiquette during a “fancy” event and gave them pointers on conversation, and questions with which to pepper conversation. The Hunter community greatly appreciates the efforts of the teachers and students to honor and show appreciation for their moms!

Students Explore the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


On Tuesday, May 8th, the students, faculty and parents explored the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for a morning field trip. The students first toured the “Great Outdoors” exhibit. HCCS students were divided into two groups: k-2nd and 3-6th, each with their own docent. Mrs. “T” gave her expertise to the younger group, and Mrs. Elizabeth Davis, to the older.

Seasons and natural references were common themes as docents led their groups through galleries such as the “Tapestry Gallery” where they saw a wedding tapestry of harvesting fruit for a ceremony. The younger group began with an American oil painting called “Breaking the Ice” where children were asked “What is the subject matter here?” or  “How do you know the season?” All students enjoyed the classical floor mosaics of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, from 70 BC and deciding which panel was for which season. The older group explored the Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows, lamps and jewelry;  the Faberge “stone” flowers, such as the exquisite Lily of the Valley, created because winter was so long and dark; the Art Nouveau furniture with carved vines; and  Students the Egyptian mummy and painting of the erupting of Vesuvius. Following the guided tours, the students had a picnic lunch under the oak trees!

Mrs. Adams’ class Welcomes Global Guests-Part II


As Mrs. Adams’ class studies geography this Spring, several parents who grew up abroad shared their experiences of living in countries including Brazil, UAE and Zimbabwe. On Friday, April 27th, first Josiah’s father, Mr. Riz James came to share his experiences growing up in Pakistan. Watching him sketch his country and locate the region where he grew up was fascinating. He wrote and spoke a greeting in Urdu, his native language. Students enjoyed tasting mango and naan bread brought in by Mrs. James. Mr. James also demonstrated how to hit the ball in the game of Cricket, a favorite sport of children and adults. He and Josiah shared a hand game that they play together as well. Mr. James said that he grew up without any electronics or toys. He attended a Christian school, and math was his favorite subject. Students were given one pencil that had to last for a very long time. He shared a picture of poor children unable to go to school. Mr. James grew up in a Christian home. He said his faith became real to him when he was baptized as a teenager. Living in a predominately Muslim country was very challenging to his faith. Thank you Mr. James for coming to share your experiences with our students!

Mrs. Adams’ class Welcomes Global Guests- Part I


Throughout the Spring, Mrs. Alisa Adams’ 1/2nd grade class has been studying geography. Within her classroom, there are several parents who have had a lot to contribute to the discussion. On Thursday, April 26th, Leila’s father, Mr. Tim Parker, spoke about growing up Zimbabwe, Africa, formerly South Rhodesia. He brought in artifacts such as antelope skins, horns and an ostrich egg to share with the children. He told stories of his childhood as the youngest of six children to missionary parents, Robert and Pam Parker. The family sometimes distributed tracts and pamphlets from a Jeep to people who had never heard of Jesus. Mr. Parker described the sights and sounds of African animals, and shared that he attended a Christian school similar to HCCS from K through High School. At times he would travel with his parents in a small airplane, landing on a grass landing strip which scattered the native goats and chickens. Mr. Parker wrote phrases in the native African tongue “Ndebele” and translated for the children. He also brought books showing the topography and animal life of the area, explaining that his home in Zimbabwe was full of books and reading was a constant pass-time. Thank you Mr. Parker for sharing your experiences with our students!

Kindergarteners Recite rhymes in Mother Goose Performance


Mrs. Mills directed her Kindergarten class in a charming recitation of English nursery rhymes performed for parents and the student body of HCCS on Friday, April 20th. For several weeks the group practiced memorizing poems so they were able to recite “Three Blind Mice”, “Old King Cole”, and “Little Miss Muffett” from memory. Donning simple costumes such as grey wigs, sunglasses or a King’s Crown, this clever group showed not one bit of stage fright and kept their audience smiling. All took a much deserved bow!

HCCS wins First Bank Non-Profit First Prize


Throughout the months of March and April, First Bank hosted a contest as part of its Grand Opening for its Westhampton location. Five area non-profits: Reinhart Guest House of Bon Secours; The Sophie House; Westhampton Day School; Sportable; and Hunter Classical Christian School competed for monetary prizes. Thanks to the efforts of many parents, faculty, Board members and an extensive network of friends on social media, Hunter won first place and received a check for $1,907.00. Vanessa Peete, HCCS Business Manager and teacher and Dr. Ann McLean, HCCS Head of School received the giant check by Tonda Arthur, First Bank Branch Manager on April 19th at the Patterson Avenue office. Thank you for helping us win the contest with the most votes and thank you to First Bank for supporting our school!

The Hunter Community Celebrates the Annual Spring Fling and Fundraiser


On Saturday April 14th the Hunter Classical Christian School came together on beautiful and breezy afternoon to celebrate the annual Spring Fling Fundraiser. The band of Mr. Kim Taulbee, our talented music teacher, Still Water Hum played in the background while children played games on the lawn and playground. Parents, faculty and community members enjoyed delicious home-cooked barbecue courtesy of Donna and Noel Hodges and a feast of sides and desserts. The beautifully decorated themed baskets were admired and raffled off, while the bidding on the silent auction items, including a hand painted portrait of a child by Head of School Dr. McLean, heated up. Magistra Bruce, our Latin teacher, was the lucky winner of the 50-50 raffle, and subsequently treated her class to a pizza party. Many thanks to the numerous volunteers who contributed to make this year’s Spring Fling the best yet!

Students Drop Everything and Read to the local preschoolers in honor of D.E.A.R. Day


On Friday April 13th, the upper school students left campus for the morning in honor of D.E.A.R. Day. D.E.A.R. day, as it is affectionately termed, is an acronym for “Drop Everything And Read”. This day is held annually on April 12th in honor of beloved children’s book author Beverly Cleary’s birthday. Our students enthusiastically embraced this day to take part in a literacy-based community service project and a morning full of sharing the joy of reading with the little ones in the nearby preschools. The students visited 3 local preschools, read children’s classics to the little ones and enjoyed getting to play teacher for the morning!

Knights, Bishops, and Rooks, Oh My: Students Check Out Chess Club


On Mondays this spring after school, the shout of “Check Mate!” rings out from Heritage Hall as a many of our bright elementary students are turning their attention to learn the game of chess.  Hunter Classical Christian School is partnering with Championship Chess for top-notch instruction and to foster a love of this lifelong strategy board game. The initial instruction focused on the rules of the game and the moves each piece can make. As the students master these basics, they will develop an understanding of scoring and strategy. Championship Chess states that, “chess is a learning tool for the development of the mind that just happens to be a game” and explains that the problem-solving and reasoning skills developed in chess are valuable skills applicable in the classroom and life. HCCS welcomes this new addition to the extracurricular activities for our students!

Meteorologist Tom Patton on News Channel 6 welcomes HCCS science students to the world of weather


On Tuesday, March 27th, the 3rd-6th grade students of Mrs. Stein’s science class visited with meteorologist Tom Patton, News Channel 6, as a culminating field trip to their science segment on weather. Mr. Patton kindly helped the students create weather maps and taught them about the makings of a weather forecast. The students even appeared on air during part of Mr. Patton’s noon weather update! Thank you Mr. Patton and News Channel 6 for this excellent opportunity to learn firsthand about forecasting the weather!

Tornadoes Takeover the Science Classroom


On Tuesday 3/20, the students in Mrs. Stein’s science class created tornadoes in bottles to study the effects of how a vortex of air can create a tornado. As part of a study on weather and the water cycle, the class is learning that tornadoes can form during thunderstorms when windy conditions create a spinning mass of air.  If this vortex reaches the ground, it becomes a tornado.  On Tuesday, the class participated in a hands-on science lab using 2L plastic bottles and colored water to create models of tornadoes and observe the results of creating a twisting motion to form a “tornado.” This was a science experiment all the students were eager to be a part of. Later in the science segment, the students will visit a TV weather station to talk with the experts on forecasting and communicating the weather!

Illuminating literature: Students study lighthouses in literature and history


In Mrs. Adams’ first and second grade class, students read Keep the Lights Burning Abbie, by Peter and Connie Roop.  This true story focuses on perseverance and on the experience of a young girl, Abbie, who lived in Maine in 1856. Abbie had never lit the lighthouse before, but her Papa depended on her.  She single-handedly kept the lighthouse lamps lit for her father to help the sailors, during a tremendous storm off of the coast.  Mrs. Adams’ students made their own lighthouses out of construction paper, decorated them, even and lit them with battery powered lights.  The class connected the lighthouses they learned about in the story to a history lesson from Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World. The older students compared the lighthouses they constructed with the ancient lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, built by Pharaoh.  Several students created the ancient lighthouses, as well. The students adeptly compared and contrasted information across different subjects, geography, and time in history.

HCCS Offers Enrichment Opportunities for Homeschooling Families


HCCS is pleased to announce the first L.A.M.P.S. program will begin on Monday March 12th. The L.A.M.P.S. program is designed for homeschooling families who would like instruction in Latin, Library, Art, Music, Physical Education, and/or Science and provides 12 weeks of instruction through the end of the school year, on June 1st. HCCS offers a limited number of part-time enrollment options for these subjects in grades K-6.  The formation of the heart and mind of a child is a great joy and responsibility of parents, and HCCS is pleased to partner with parents who choose to educate their students at home to provide supplemental instruction or enrichment opportunities.

See the detailed schedule for information about the L.A.M.P.S. offerings by subject and day. For information about enrolling and tuition for the L.A.M.P.S. program, please call the school office at 804-708-0048 or request an information packet.

Reader’s Theater of “Bronze Bow” Reveals Protagonist’s Heart Transformation


On Thursday, March 1st, Mrs. Robin Bruce’s 6th grade Language Arts enjoyed a presentation of the development of the character of Daniel from Elizabeth Speare’s “Bronze Bow”. This story is set in during Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, primarily in Capernaum.  One student, Lee Carter, was assigned to portray the character of Daniel from the beginning of the story, which saw the loss of his parents from brutal Roman authorities and other challenges. Another student, Joseph Weis, portrayed the character of Daniel after the conflict of the story, through which (spoiler alert) Daniel survives, rises to the challenges of caring for his sister Leah, wisely chooses friendships and nobly assumes responsibility.

The two different representations of Daniel demonstrate his character development. The challenges shaping him include the hardships of working in a blacksmith shop, wrestling with dilemma’s over the meaning of strength, the pain of the loss of family members, a growing understanding of Jesus’ grace in hardship, as well as the happy rescue of a beloved sister, Leah. In the beginning of the story, Daniel thinks the “bronze bow” refers to a physical weapon one pulls back to shoot, but Jesus makes it clear He means one’s heart must be strengthened, rather than solely the physical body! As the novel ends, Daniel is a changed man due to a transformed heart because of the Christian message.

Both students did an admirable job fielding questions from their teacher and classmates about their character’s perspective at different stages of development.  Parents and siblings enjoyed this “reader’s theater” presentation, which demonstrated understanding of character development, plot, and story line, as well as the transformation of a young man’s heart moving closer to Jesus through life’s journey.

Class Presentations honor leaders for President’s Day


In honor of President’s Day, Mrs. Adam’s first and second grade students honored our American President’s on Monday, February 19th in Heritage Hall. Each student selected a president of their choosing to research and shared important facts, quotations, and interesting tidbits about their selected leader. Additionally, there were two presentations of First Ladies. Beginning with the first president and ending with the current president, the students used posters, pictures and impersonations to bring the presidencies to life.

The morning was full of surprises: all heads turned when Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy entered Heritage Hall sleekly attired and donning long black gloves. Who knew President Lincoln had a pet turkey named Tom? Nancy Reagan made an appearance waving her American Flag as she expressed love and support for her husband. And while it is commonly known that James Madison was instrumental in drafting the Constitution, it is less well known that he was the shortest president standing at five feet and four inches tall!

The presentations concluded with first grader Josiah James singing the names of all 45 presidents in chronological order, inspiring the first and second graders to learn the song, as well. HCCS strives to develop a lifelong love of learning in students, and it is a joy to watch students grow in knowledge and respect for our nation and its leaders!

Parenting expert and author John Rosemond shares wisdom with HCCS Community


On Tuesday February 13th HCCS hosted an evening with America’s most-widely read parenting authority, author John Rosemond. Community members, parents, friends and faculty welcomed Mr. Rosemond for a 90-minute session entitled “The Obedient Child in 3 Simple Steps”. Mr. Rosemond shared specific strategies with parents to create peace in the home. He explained that these effective parental attitudes and behaviors were once the norm of generations past and the environment many of our parents were reared in.

Rosemond, who has a syndicated weekly column in over 220 newspapers and has authored more than 20 books on parenting, discussed the lack of emotional resilience in children today and the staggering rates of depression and self-destructive behaviors of teens and young adults. He highlighted the difference between child-centered family life and family life directed by parents operating primarily in the role of the husband and wife.

Mr. Rosemond urged parents to lead their children with authority when giving instructions- speaking from an upright position, using as few words as necessary, and not engaging in question/answer about the instructions. Parents should expect obedience the first time instructions are given. Thank you to Mr. Rosemond for caring deeply for the next generation and the current generation entrusted to guide them!

Science Students Create Systems of the Body Exhibit

Systems of the Body2

Mrs. Stein’s 3rd-6th grade students are hands-on this week creating an interactive science project to display in the Heritage Hall Classroom. To learn the six systems of the human body: skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, circulatory and nervous, Mrs. Stein’s students are creating life-sized replicas of each student and the systems.

The students conducted research of each system, reading about each organ, highlighting the important information and recording this information to incorporate onto their life-sized body. Then each child’s form was traced and cut out of bright red, blue or green paper.  In this kinesthetic learning activity, each student created replicas of the different systems: cutting, coloring, and taping each organ “flap” in the proper position, and included the information researched under each “flap”.

Students will complete their “bodies” on Thursday, Feb. 8th. In science fair format, next week our younger HCCS students will visit the Systems of the Body Exhibit in the Heritage Hall classroom, eager to view the life-size bodies and listen as their older classmates teach them about each system!

Students Compete in 3rd Annual Spelling Bee


On Friday, January 26th, the students of HCCS gathered in Heritage Hall to take part in the 3rd Annual Spelling Bee!  First and second grade teacher Alisa Adams organized and led this much anticipated event with the support of the faculty in the classroom and parents at home. Each year during the spelling bee, students have an exciting opportunity to demonstrate mastery of their spelling words and to practice their public speaking skills in a competitive and caring environment.

Students participated by grade level, one round at a time. From the kindergartners to middle school students, each student stepped up to the podium and spelled aloud their assigned word before the student body and on looking audience of parents and supporters.

HCCS is pleased to report that every student made it through the first round of the friendly competition! In fact, many of the students were so well prepared for the spelling bee that in order to narrow the field of competitors, “challenge words” from higher grade levels were asked of these conscientious students. Many lessons were learned from this spelling bee, including how to win and lose graciously after giving your best effort. It was an E-X-C-I-T-I-N-G event for all!

Out with the Old, In with the New… Playground!


Since the early days of this school year, plans have been in the works for a new and improved playground at Hunter Classical Christian School! This endeavor was met with great excitement by all our students – from our littlest pupils on up. The new playground is a joint venture between HCCS and Dover Baptist Church. Throughout the fall, the Shared Use Committee, consisting of the HCCS administration and church leaders, has collaborated with builders to design an exciting playground and expand it’s footprint. The playground will be roundly appreciated by both the HCCS community and the Dover Baptist Church parishioners.

On January 8th, little faces fogged up the classroom windows to watch the bulldozer carry away the last of the former playground and level the rich, dark earth.  Despite more snow and ice last week, the new equipment arrived. With great enthusiasm, the students have seen the new playground emerge – a playground without splinters and able to withstand wear and tear, rain, snow, hail, or scorching heat. A second round of uncooperative weather delayed the final steps of preparing the playground and offered an excellent lesson in “delayed gratification” for the children. At last, on Wednesday January 24th, the students gleefully greeted the new playground equipment and put each one of the 10 swings to good use. The students take to heart the mantra of “work hard, play hard” at HCCS!

Keyboarding Kicks-off for 5th and 6th grade students


The 5th and 6th grade students begin keyboarding this week!  Experts agree that the most important computer-related skill your child can learn is to type, and the best time to introduce this skill is when children have the hand-eye coordination, focus, and finger span to learn properly.  At HCCS, we believe 5th grade is the ideal time to introduce keyboarding into our curriculum.

Students will be introduced to proper keyboarding techniques through teacher-guided instruction and online drills by Mrs. Bruce, the homeroom teacher, and Mrs. Stein, the math and science instructor.  They will learn proper posture, finger position, eye placement, and correct reaches, as well as a basic overview of the computer and internet safety guidelines.

The keyboarding class meets several times each week in the afternoon.  Studies have shown the best way to develop “muscle memory” that allows keyboarding to become a subconscious activity, is to practice often with short periods of practice that allow students to learn two to three keystrokes at a time. We will follow this practice and watch as QWERTY will take on new meaning to our 5th and 6th graders!

Science Students Embrace the Cold to Freeze and Thaw Matter


While the temperatures have dropped well below freezing on campus at HCCS, the science experiments are heating up for Mrs. Adams’ first and second grade students! The class used these frigid temperatures to gain a first-hand understanding of the changes in matter between states in their science studies. On Thursday January 3rd, each child partially filled a cup with water and marked the liquid level with a permanent marker, along with their name. They placed these cups outside at the end of the school day. When the students returned to class on Friday, the liquid had changed to solid ice. The students easily observed how liquid expands when frozen because the bottom of each cup was no longer flat and the ice had grown above the previously marked level in their cups. The ice slid out and students could see and feel the formation of the solid matter from the liquid water. The discussion was lively as students made connections between matter as a liquid and as a solid.  A post-experiment survey confirmed that this experiment resulted in 0 cases of frostbitten students!

Read Fall 2017 News

Fall 2017 News