SIA’s Evening of the Arts: How We Express Ourselves

Students performing SIA’s Evening of the Arts program

On Thursday, March 24, a packed house of Strelitz International Academy parents watched their children perform on stage, many for the first time! After two years of Covid mitigations, including no family programs or performances, SIA’s Evening of the Arts: How We Express Ourselves was everything our families have been anticipating. The proud parents were smiling from ear to ear, some even cried tears of joy.

“Originally scheduled for February 17, we decided to postpone the show to March in the hopes that Covid cases would go down, and we could plan for an in person student showcase. Parents have been longing for in person events, and we wanted to give our students the spotlight to show off all that they have been learning,” explains Janet Jenkins, Director of the Primary Years Program.

The evening kicked off with a Strings Performance showcasing SIA’s xylo-strings ensemble which included SIA violinists, cellists and percussionists. Students at SIA begin violin lessons in kindergarten and have the opportunity to add percussion instruments in second grade. The students were so excited to show off their new skills!

This was also the first Evening of the Arts since the school’s rebranding as the Strelitz International Academy. The show was a wonderful celebration of all the unique aspects of the school.

The program opened with the EY4 Classes singing, “One Small Voice” sharing the power that we have in changing the world. Other songs included Kindergarten’s Thankful Song, Second Grade’s Lean on Me, Third Grade’s ABC and First Grade’s It’s a Small World After All celebrating SIA’s international representation and emphasis on Global Learning.

Fourth Grade performed the prayers Adon Olam and Oseh Shalom in Hebrew while Fifth Grade students illuminated themselves – creatively dressed in black and lined with Glow Sticks and danced to Mi’Shenichnas Adar, a traditional Purim Song.

All 120 students got up on stage to perform the Finale – Oseh Shalom and Salaam which was followed by a reception in the Cardo.

Heather Moore, Head of School is so proud of SIA’s students and faculty members, “Everyone worked together to produce such a wonderful spring show in a relatively short amount of time. The students brought to life SIA’s Evening of the Arts in a way that perfectly combined their learning of the Fine Arts, Global Mindedness and Jewish culture.”

The Fine Arts are an important part of the curriculum at the Strelitz International Academy. Students begin learning violin in kindergarten. In second grade, students have the option of switching to percussion or cello.

In addition, all students take a weekly art and music class. In art class, students learn about artists, popular art techniques and art appreciation. Music lessons focus on rhythm, beat, and reading music. Many SIA students continue their music studies in middle school after graduating from SIA.

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and authorized International Baccalaureate® program for Infants through Grade 5. SIA is currently enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year.

To find out more and schedule a campus tour, please call 757-424-4327.

Current trends in International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programs (IB PYP)

Children sit at the tables in the classroom and studying

In the wake of the worldwide pandemic, disruption to education occurred in record numbers across the globe. As a result, many schools and educators were forced to find alternative ways to keep students engaged, especially in terms of virtual learning.

It was a new environment for students and teachers, who learned to adapt together in order to make the best of a bad situation.

International Baccalaureate® (IB) schools seemed to adapt more easily to the change, as the inquiry-based curriculum the program instills had already prepared students to adjust, innovate, and flourish. Even the young Primary Years Programme (PYP) students seemed agile in acclimating to the changes, perhaps even more so than others.

Strelitz International Academy immediately realized how valuable our role was in developing knowledgeable, confident, and caring students during this traumatic period. As an IB PYP school serving Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, we knew we had to do all we could to motivate our students to succeed by continuing their lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

We decided early on that the best way to accomplish that was to get students back into a hands-on environment as quickly as safely possible. We created new health and welfare guidelines and dedicated a lot of time into how to best serve our students while also protecting our faculty, staff, and administrators.

Because of our small classroom sizes and diligence at safeguarding our campus, we were able to achieve our goals without incident, to the delight of our students, our parents, and our team members.

This has created the opportunity for new emerging trends to be identified and utilized in the educational process, especially when it comes to the impact the pandemic has had and will continue to have on our organization, our communities, and on innovation as a whole.

Organization – Strelitz International Academy is a strongly knit group of educators, administrators, and parents, who can mobilize quickly and shift paradigms effectively when it comes to providing the best educational environment for the students.
Community – Lessons learned during the COVID-19 outbreak demonstrated how powerful our interactions with others can be and how big a role each individual plays in the overall safeguarding of the planet.
Innovation – Virtual learning is certainly an impressive nod to technology, but we also know that innovation does not always mean the best use of the latest gadgets. Some of the smallest adjustments in how we led our day-to-day lives during the pandemic created innovative new ways to accomplish goals.

All of these lessons can be observed by our PYP students when highlighted by our teachers, which can and will be implemented in our educational process. The beauty of inquiry-based learning is that students can learn from real-world lessons and apply them to not only how they learn and understand, but also to how they can be good citizens of the world.

As of February 2021, there were more than 7,300 IB programs offered worldwide, in more than 5,400 schools throughout 158 countries. The four program elements, including the Primary Years Programme, now reach more than 1.4 million students aged 3-19 across the globe. Between 2016 and 2020, the number of IB programs offered across the planet increased more than 33 percent and continues to rise.

Strelitz International Academy recognized many years ago the value of private school education, especially how the PYP can benefit our students and prepare them for the next stages of their lives. We’re excited to see how the education they receive here is shaping their intelligence and values.

If you’re searching for a new school for your child, we encourage you to learn more about the IB PYP and how we put it to use. Better yet, contact us on 757-424-4327 and make an appointment to stop by our campus and see the program in action. We look forward to meeting you and we’d look forward to showing you all that we have to offer.

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