Sunday, January 19, 2020

Voyager Academy High School News, Jan. 19, 2020

In this issue...
  • Help Biology Textbooks ARE MIA!!! 
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (Feb 10-14)
  • "Say Something": An Anonymous Reporting System for School Safety
  • ACT Test Prep Update
Student Life
  • Winter Semi-Formal....VAHS Snow Ball!
Viking World Travelers
  • Fall Break 2020, in New York City! 
  • Travel to Peru, the Land of the Incas 
  • Thailand 2020!
Yearbook and Graduation Info.
  • Senior Quote Submissions for the Yearbook are Open! 
  • Buy a Yearbook before the price goes up!
Viking Volunteerism and Fundraising
  • A Barbeque Chicken Plate Fundraiser for a Viking Family! 
  • 4th Annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser 
  • Backpack Buddies: Balanced Meals and Snacks for Students in Need
Student Support, College Prep, and Career Planning (ACT, college and scholarship info., etc.)
  • Preparing For Your Exceptional Child's Future 
  • FAFSA Opened October 1st – File as soon as you can! (college financial aid form assistance) 
  • Apply TODAY for an Unforgettable Summer at Duke University!
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meets Wednesday Mornings 
  • The VAHS Counseling Department Blog (website) 
  • Be a Smartie and join the PTO ! ! 
  • PARENTS:  Sign up to receive text messages from the school 
  • Important dates


Help Biology Textbooks MIA!!!
Calling all past Biology students....check your locker, under your bed, in your closet or maybe your car! We are missing some of our biology textbooks that you borrowed for your classwork with the promise of return. I know you enjoyed this class SOOOO much that you want to keep it and study how the mitochondria is the POWERHOUSE of the cell for ever but we need to get them back so we can continue to teach the next generation. Drop them by Mrs. Huntington's room C115 anytime!


Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation week is upon us, February 10-14, 2020.

The PTO has historically given gift cards to the staff on the last Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week. We would like to repeat this as a HUGE thank you to these folks who spend so much time with our kids.

We have made it super easy, please follow this link and you can contribute and then be done!!…/9e874d243493480fa61b4f2516c9…

Remember, ANY amount is so appreciated and it all ADDS up!!!

In the Elementary school alone, if all parents contributed $5.00, we would have $2,000.00 to split among the staff.

Again, thank you for all you have done for the teachers and THANK YOU in advance for your help in supporting and loving our teachers!!!

PTO and volunteers


"Say Something": An Anonymous Reporting System
On Tuesday, January 28, 2019, Voyager Academy will undergo training to launch the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” (SS-ARS). This program, which fulfills the mandate requirement under 115C-105.51 of NC Law, teaches middle and high students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:
  • Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – especially within social media 
  • Take every sign and signal seriously; act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult OR 
  • Report it anonymously through SS-ARS 24/7 Crisis Center, mobile app, or website 
  • Respond to and manage the submitted tip via multi-disciplinary educator and administrator teams 
  • Sustain the curriculum and awareness via student clubs, in-school activities and call-to-action weeks
Our students often are aware of the problems their peers are facing, so we must empower them to know the danger signs and give them the tools to help each other with the assistance of trained and caring adults. As you know, most conversations are taking place on social media, therefore it is critical that we teach our students to be looking out for one another as these digital conversations are taking place. SS-ARS teaches them what to look for in text, video and photos while empowering them to act quickly to help a fellow student.

The SS-ARS program is being provided and sustained at no cost to us through Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a national non-profit organization. More than 7.5 million students and adults have been trained in their signature, evidence-based Know the Signs programs that includes Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS). They have an exceptional track record, reputation, and level of expertise in working effectively with kids, parents, and teachers to improve school safety and culture. 

We anticipate that SS-ARS will help stop school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; it will help reduce bullying and cyberbullying; help intervene upon cutting, drug use, racial conflicts, and other violent and victimization acts. 

Click here for the Say Something Letter for Parents


ACT Test Prep Update

VAHS is well underway with the ACT Test Prep Plan for our Juniors. This week all Juniors participated in two 90 minute Test Prep sessions with professional tutors from Colprep Tutoring.  

Click here for the Overall Test Prep Plan for students and parents. We are excited to be implementing this plan and expect to see some amazing ACT scores this Spring.


Winter Semi-Formal....VAHS Snow Ball!
Tickets are currently on sale during lunch for the winter semi-formal on Saturday, February 1st from 7-9pm at Umstead Pines Country Club in Durham. Tickets are $10 each or $15 per couple. Students may bring a date from another school (approval forms must be submitted). This will be the final even in our winter spirit week and winter court! More details to come!


Fall Break 2020, in New York City!
Open to any HS student and parent.  Join us for the informational meeting on 1/23 (check with Ms. Paradis for details,


Travel to Peru, the Land of the Incas

Travel with us to Peru, Spring Break 2020!  Hosted by Stephen Manuel.

Our tour will immerse us in new cultures through authentic interactions, hands-on activities and delicious cuisine. Our tour director will be our go-to local expert, helping us do more, see more and learn more than you ever thought possible.

On this trip, we’ll explore Peru’s bustling capital of Lima, immerse ourselves in the country's history at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and then experience it first-hand with a trip to Cuzco, and the famous “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu.

To learn more and enroll, visit

Sign up today for $200 Voucher!

Remember you only need $50 to sign-up!

Prices go up 21st of November!


Thailand 2020!  
Voyager is going 1/2 way round the world!  You can join the trip. Mr. Mills will be chaperoning a trip to Thailand this summer.  Come find out why he is always talking about it. Are you interested? Please contact Mr. Mills right away, at


Senior Quote Submissions for the Yearbook are Open!
Congratulations Seniors!  You are well on your way to graduation.  As part of celebrating your accomplishments, you have the opportunity to provide a senior quote to accompany your formal senior portrait in the 2020 VAHS Expedition yearbook.

Please understand that senior quotes are a privilege, not a right.  Your quote must be approved by the yearbook staff, adviser, and VAHS administration.

Senior quote guidelines:
-Maximum of 140 characters
-Must be school appropriate (no slang, no foul language, no innuendos or double meanings)
-If you use a quote from someone else, you MUST give credit to the creator.
-Must be in English.
-No offensive statements towards race, religion, sexuality, etc.

**Email submission will not be accepted.  Quote forms are available outside Ms. Todd's room, A149, and here

Contact with any questions.


Buy a Yearbook before the price goes up!
The 2020 VAHS Expedition Yearbook is now on sale.  Go to to buy before the price increases.

All purchases should be made at


A Barbeque Chicken Plate Fundraiser for a Viking Family!
WHEN: January 25, 12pm-1:30 Pre-Sale Pickup 1:30–until sold out for Non-Presale pickup
WHERE:  Voyager Academy High School, 4302 Ben Franklin Blvd, Durham, NC

On Sunday December 22nd, the children of Bryan and Nikki were involved in an auto accident. Amya and Cade were both transported via ambulance to Duke Hospital after receiving multiple injuries from the auto accident. Both children have been discharged from the hospital; however, there is continued care that will be needed due to the injuries sustained. Amya has returned to school however at this time Cade is unable to return to school. Nikki will remain home with Cade while Bryan continues to maintain some steady income for the family. There is a long recovery period for Cade and the family at this time is uncertain of when Cade will be returning to school and Nikki  returning to work. 

Let's help the Curtis family to assist with the decrease in two family incomes to one and the medical bills that have unexpectedly arisen during this time.



4th Annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser
If you or someone you know is looking to replace a bed in your home, now is the time. Voyager Academy HS Music Program is excited to announce they will be hosting a one-day Mattress Saturday, February 1st, from 10am - 5pm. There will be 25+ different styles of beds on display for customers to try.  The brand name mattresses are made to order, have full factory warranties, are available in all sizes, and are priced below retail. In addition to beds, there will also be luxury pillows, mattress protectors, adjustable power bases and even massage chairs!! Delivery and financing are available. Visit the Facebook event and click “GOING”INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! SHARE OUR POSTS: Facebook:
Check out this video to see how it works:


Backpack Buddies: Balanced Meals and Snacks for Students in Need 
VAHS is once again teaming up with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to offer a BackPack Buddies Program. This program provides a weekend bag filled with balanced meals and snacks for eligible students to take home over the weekend.  The program is free of charge. Permission slips will be distributed to all students who are currently participating in the Voyager Academy free/reduced lunch program. A form is also included below for your convenience. Please contact School Counselor, Jill O'Kane with any questions. 


Preparing For Your Exceptional Child’s Future
Please join expo for a special guest speaker and our first meeting of 2020.  Gretchen Cleevely of the Brady Cobin Law Group, will speak to EXPO on the importance
of establishing a special needs trust to ensure your child’s financial needs are
met in the event of your death, how to ensure your child receives Government bene-
fits they are entitled to, ABLE accounts and much more.



FAFSA Opened October 1st – File as soon as you can!
If seniors need financial aid to help  pay for college, families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2020–21 FAFSA form just opened this week on Oct. 1, 2019. Families should fill it out as soon as possible. Federal funding is limited, so experts urge students and families to file their FAFSAs as soon as possible.
There are some great articles posted on the Counseling Department Blog about how to get started on the FAFSA!  

Click here for a flyer with information about where students/families can receive assistance with financial aid/FAFSA completion.

Applications for Duke University Summer Session 2020 are open NOW! Click on one of the links below to apply to your program of interest TODAY:
Applications are reviewed as they are received, so don’t wait! Get into your top choice by applying NOW! You can apply for multiple programs with one application.

See you at Duke this summer!


2020**Senior Ads are Now On Sale**2020
Buy a Senior Recognition Ad for your Viking today. Prices range from $40 to $250.  For more information, go to


Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meets on Wednesday mornings from 7:30-8:30am in room D124. 
Students do not need to be athletes, nor Christian to attend--All are welcome! :)  Contact Mr. Baker ( or Mrs. Paradis ( for more info.   


VAHS Counseling Department Blog
All parents and students should frequently check and/or subscribe to the VAHS Counseling Department blog (click here)! Here you will find  important information and opportunities for VAHS students. Topics range from specific grade level information to scholarships and other interesting opportunities.   


Why you might ask?
We need YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It will enrich your experience at Voyager by being involved
You get to meet and socialize with other parents
PTO involvement helps parents be aware of school needs


PARENTS:  Sign up to receive text messages from VAHS
Even though you may have been subscribed from last year, all must re-subscribe.  This is because some cell phone numbers may no longer belong to last year’s subscribers (as people may change numbers or mobile providers). Click below for subscription instructions for your student’s grade.  


Important Dates for VAHS

Jan. 27- 31
Spirit Week!
Feb 1
4th Annual Mattress Sale
Feb. 10-14
Teacher Appreciation Week
Feb. 17
NO CLASSES – Teacher workday
Feb. 18
NO CLASSES – Parent/Teacher conference day
Feb. 25
ACT Exam (all 11th graders)
Mar. 4
Midterm exams for pds. 1 & 3
Mar. 5
Midterm exams for pds. 2 & 4
Mar. 13
Report cards given to students
Mar. 16
NO CLASSES – Teacher workday
Mar. 17
NO CLASSES – Parent/Teacher conference day
April 8
Project Exhibition Day. 4-6:00pm
Apr. 10 – 17
NO CLASSES – Spring Break
May 1
Spring Fling (by the VA PTO)
May 4-15
AP exams
May 18-22
Final exams
May 26
Graduation (time and location TBA)