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Activity Fridays – Shark Dissection

On Friday August 1, 2014 students from grades 4-6 participated in a fun, exciting, and educational science activity. SHARK DISSECTION! Students were given the opportunity to dissect a dogshark.  Dogsharks are the most abundant sharks in the ocean. Students learned about the anatomy and were able to recognize the different organs in the shark’s body. The activity was hands on and engaging. Perhaps one day, some of these students will be surgeons in the future!



Shark Dissection - Excelsius Academy
Students getting ready for the dissection.
Students are getting excited!
Waiting for the science teachers to instruct them on the next steps.
Mr. Son explaining the different areas  and then dissecting the shark for students to see.
Ms. Garcia joining in with her students to dissect a shark too!
Ms. Nguyen showing her students the different organ areas inside a shark.
Students pointing at the different organs of the shark.

ACTIVITY FRIDAYS – Germs / Bacteria Science Project

Everyone knows that you should always wash your hands. But why? And how often? Washing your hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Through this science experiment, students explores which parts of the hand are the most difficult to wash germs off of. Student learned different hand washing techniques and concluded which one is the most effective. Using a special lotion, students can see their germs under an UV flashlight. Students could see the areas that were cleaned thoroughly, and areas that need to be cleaned. Our students had a lot of fun learning about bacteria/germs and learned the importance of washing their hands thoroughly to eliminate bacteria!

Activity: Friday, August 1, 2014

Before washing their hands, students applied special lotion and see their current bacteria.
The bacteria is glowing!
Students experimented with different hand washing techniques and discover that using warm water and soap is the best method!

Activity Fridays – Science of Baking

Science surrounds us everywhere, even in the food we eat! 

On Friday July 25, 2014, students participated in a cupcake activity. Students learned the process of baking, applied what they learned in their math class (ratios, proportions, fractions etc.), decorate their cupcake, and finally get to eat their masterpiece! The goal of this activity is not only to teach the science of baking but to open the student’s mind and guide them be as creative as possible.

The students had a great time making cupcakes and had a delicious snack afterwards! Take a look of our photos below!

Cupcake 2
Students prepping their table with ingredients and supplies.
Cupcakes 6
Our students are so excited to make cupcakes!
Cupcake 1
After baking is complete, students decorate their cupcakes!
Cupcakes 8
Getting ready to start decorating!
Cupcake 5
Cupcake making is so much fun!
Cupcake 3
Students showing us their complete cupcake.
Cupcakes 12
Students have to wait and help each other finish decorating cupcakes before they can eat it.
Cupcakes 11
Students are split into teams from different classes to encourage new friendships.
Cupcakes 10
Students proudly showing us their cupcakes.
Cupcakes 7
Students look forward to every Activity Friday.
Cupcakes 9
Students showing their cupcake designs.
Cupcakes 4
“Can we make more cupcakes?”

Character Counts – SELF DISCIPLINE

Congratulations to our winners!

For each character trait taught throughout the summer, teachers select one student in their class who has most portrayed the characteristic of Self Discipline. We look forward to see the who will be chosen for the next character!

Thank you parents for your support.

Awarded: Friday, July 25, 2014

AM Session Award Recipients
AM Session Award Recipients
Our PM Session Award Recipients
Our PM Session Award Recipients


 1st AM2  1st AM  2nd AM
 Isabella Phan 

Isabella shows self-discipline by taking responsibility of her jobs in the classroom and also her actions. She uses great behavior in the classroom and with her friends. She listens in school and is eager to learn!

– Ms. Winger, 1st Grade

Landon Nguyen  

Landon always turns in his homework, completed and on time. In class, he follows directions quickly and completes his work by always trying his best. When he has finished an assignment he does not talk to others, but quietly works on something else. Thank you for your hard work, Landon! Congratulations!

– Ms. Kraai, 1st Grade

 Teresa Tran 

Teresa shows self discipline in class by making good choices. Despite distractions that may occur, Teresa remains focused on work and shows determination when it comes to solving difficult problems.

– Ms. Lam, 2nd Grade


 2nd AM2  3rd AM  3rd AM2
Kevin Nguyen 

Kevin lives in North Orange County. It takes about half an hour to get to school but he’s always on time. When he’s in class, he works hard and is focused. When Kevin doesn’t know how to do something, he looks for the answer on his own before asking me. I can always count on Kevin to be on his best behavior when I’m in or out of the class. Kevin is extremely mature and responsible. He respects his teacher and classmates.

– Mrs. Khuong, 2nd Grade

Jenny Phan 

Jenny shows great self-discipline. She is well organized, and is always prepared for class. She brings her supplies daily, and is a role model to other students in how she sets and achieves her goals. Through her self-discipline, Jenny continues to succeed in 3rd grade and has raised many of her assessment scores this past month. She even received a 100% on her English assessment! Well done Jenny! Your self-discipline is exemplary!

– Ms. Sagan, 3rd Grade

Michelle Nguyen 

Michelle always shows self-discipline by controlling herself in class. She never shouts or disturbs her neighbors when they are working. Also, Michelle always completes all homework assignments even though some of them can be difficult for her.

– Ms. Tran, 3rd Grade

 4th AM3  4th AMs  4th AM
Giana Nguyen 

Giana is consistently display self-discipline. She is a role model for other students.

– Ms. Rodriguez, 4th Grade

 Annie Tran 

She regularly exercises self-discipline in the classroom. She always has her homework completed and is ready to learn. She stays focused in class and strives to always improve. She is a pleasure to have in class and I believe is a wonderful, self-disciplined student.

– Mrs. Kim, 4th Grade

Michelle Lee 

Michelle makes positive choices that help her become a better student. Rather than talk to her peers, Michelle is productive and stays on task, choosing to complete activities that are assigned. Her work is always neat and completed on time. She has also asked for clarifications when she doesn’t understand something. 

– Ms. Chan, 4th Grade

 5th AM  5th AM2  6th AM
 Ethan VoTran 

Ethan is a very dedicated student and he works hard to make sure he gets all his work done. I am very proud knowing he has planned things out to make sure he gets things done. Even when he has to leave early, he takes the initiative to ask what the work will be for homework and completes it by taking the time on his own to learn the material. I know there are other things he could be doing over the summer but I really feel he puts in the effort to make sure he gets his work done. Ethan’s enthusiasm in the classroom makes me really enjoy him being in my class. Great job Ethan! Keep it up!

– Ms. Bertelson, 5th Grade

 Vy Tran 

Vy demonstrates self-discipline through willpower and self-control in all aspects of her studies.  She always completes all of her homework and assignments on time and with great detail, neatness, and impeccable organization.  Her time management skills and self-motivation will definitely result in the accomplishment of her scholarly goals.  Way to go, Vy!  I am very proud of you!  Two thumbs up!

– Mrs. Paternie, 5th Grade


 Charlene Le

– Mrs. Albaba

 1stPM  2ndPM

Hamilton Nguyen

I chose Hamilton for the Self-discipline award because he perseveres through difficult situations without complaint.  He also always does his homework and any other task without being asked.

– Ms. Garcia, 6th Grade

Ted Chen 

Ted is new to our class and speaks very little English. He is a model of self discipline. Since he speaks Chinese there is no one for him to even talk with. This situation could lead to day dreaming and playing around. Ted listens intensely, tries his best and, because of his self-discipline, is doing very well in a strange new place. 

– Mr. Eddy, 1st Grade

Anice Ho 

Anice is the youngest student in the class but she is always focused, hard working, and on her best behavior even when I’m not in the room. She is reliable, helpful, and seeks answers on her own before asking me. She knows what is expected of her and does it with pride and a smile on her face. I’m very proud of Anice.

– Mrs. Khuong, 2nd Grade

 3rd PM2  3rd PM  4th PM2
 Alexander Dao 

Alex has shown self-Discipline not only to me but towards other teachers as well. He had to take a test in another teacher’s classroom, instead of being a distraction he was polite and respectful to the class. 

– Mr. Montes, 3rd Grade

 Ysovie ThanTrong 

Ysovie showed self-discipline by completing her essay on time. The prompt was a bit difficult, but she worked through it. She also does a great job at controlling her actions in the classroom by never shouting.

– Ms. Tran, 3rd Grade

Sarah Van 

Sarah always comes into class prepared, with her homework complete and organized. She comes in early each day for additional help in areas that she struggles with. Sarah participates in class and follow directions quickly. Congratulations Sarah! 

– Ms. Kraai, 4th Grade

 4th PM1  5th PM  5th PM2
Sheena DinhSheena works hard and tries her best in what she does. She sometimes struggles with what we are doing in class, but she doesn’t get mad or frustrated or give up easily. If she doesn’t understand something, she comes to class early to ask for help so that she can well on her tests each week.

– Ms. Chan, 4th Grade

Brandon TranBrandon is creating new habits in order to improve his speech and social relationships while gaining confidence.  He is reaching his goals by engaging in positive actions that are sometimes uncomfortable for him, yet he understands their importance.  Way to go, Brandon!  I am very proud of you! Two thumbs up!

– Mrs. Paternie, 5th Grade

Nathan Hoang
Nathan always shows me he is dedicated in the classroom and he understands the importance of doing his work. When I give an assignment on Monday that is due on Friday, he takes the time to break it into sections and do parts of it each day. That shows great self-discipline. That always makes me happy to see when I am checking that he wrote his homework down. He keeps himself organized so he can make sure to get his work done. I enjoy his dedication in class and his willingness to learn. Great job Nathan!

– Ms. Bertelson, 5th Grade

 6th PM1  6th PM
 Austin PhamI chose Austin for the Self-discipline award because he is very consistent with his homework.  He always takes advantage of opportunities for extra credit, and he always advocates for his learning by asking questions when he doesn’t understand.  Monica Nguyen

– Ms. Nguyen, 6th Grade

Activity Fridays – Importance of Creativity

At Excelsius Academy, we believe that every person is creative or has a creative potential. It has nothing to do with how well one can draw. In this fast-paced world, creative abilities are more crucial than ever. Creativity allows you to adapt to your environment. It allows you to create new ideas when the old ones are not working.  By having a creative mind, it will help students become leaders and set examples for their fellow peers. It will open their minds to different possibilities and give them a new approach in life.

On Friday, July 18, 2014, students at Excelsius Academy participated in the “Pop Up Cards” Activity. Students utilized their creative thinking skills and created really awesome designs. Check out below!


Students excited to start working on their pop up cards.
Students excited to start working on their pop up cards.


Students almost done with their pop up cards.
Students having a great time creating their pop up cards.


1st Grade students proudly showcasing their design.
1st Grade students proudly showcasing their designs.


Who says boys are not creative? These designs are awesome!
Who says boys are not creative? These designs are awesome!


Anyone recognize some of these designs? I see the nan nan cat…


These students were extra creative cutting each letter individually. very challenging!
Students going above and beyond cutting each letter individually.


This student created a clever design drawing the Pokemon "Charmander" who shoots fire from it's mouth and adds the words "run"
This student created a clever design, drawing the dragon Pokemon “Charmander” who shoots fire from it’s mouth .


Our students did such a great job! We are so proud of them!


Science Friday – Future Architects & Engineers!

On Friday on July 11, 2014, the elementary students of Excelsius Academy participated in a fun, engaging science activity called the “Straw Bridge Activity”. In this activity, the goal was to build stable bridges using only 30 straws. The students learned how to cut straws and tape them together in ways that would provide a strong base for their bridges. The straw bridge activity helped these students utilize their science and mathematics skills. It also provided them with the basic foundation of becoming possible architects or engineers in the future!

Students listen anxiously as Mr. Montes talks about  the different structure of bridges.
Students listen anxiously as Mr. Montes talks about the different structure of bridges.


Students proudly showcase their bridge made out of straws and scotch tape.
Students proudly showcase their bridge made out of straws and scotch tape.
Students having a blast creating their bridge!
Students having a blast creating their bridge!
Their bridge was able to support 3 books without breaking!
Their bridge was able to support 3 books without breaking!
Students work in teams creating their bridge.
Students work in teams to create their bridge.
Students made new friends and learned the meaning of teamwork.


This bridge is made out of straws and scotch tape and is able to support 3 books without breaking!
This bridge, made out of straws and scotch tape, is able to support 3 heavy textbooks without breaking! Our students are future Architects & Engineers!


Character Counts – PATIENCE

Congratulations to all award recipients! For each character trait taught throughout the summer, teachers select one student in their class who has most portrayed the characteristic of patience. We look forward to see the who will be chosen for the next character!

Thank you parents for your support.

Awarded: Friday, July 11, 2014

Character Counts

Our “Character Counts” program is included in our summer school. This program teaches kindness, trustworthiness, perseverance, and other important characters so that every child is grounded emotionally.

2014 Summer Character Counts Patience Winners
2014 Summer Character Counts Patience Winners – AM Session


PM Class
2014 Summer Character Counts Patience Winners – PM Session


 IMG_0874-2  IMG_0875-2  IMG_0876-2
  Lily Huynh Lily always finishes her work a bit early, but she waits patiently for her friends to finish also by quietly reading a book. She loves helping others and is always patient and kind when she helps her friends.

Ms. Kraai, 1st Grade

 Quynh-Anh PhamShe always raises her hand when a question is asked, she takes turns with her class mates, and she does not complain.

Ms. Winger, 1st Grade

 Jackie Yenson Jackie has to take my class again because he’s not able to skip a grade. Jackie never complains about doing the same work again. He’s always hard working and happy.

Mrs. Khuong, 2nd Grade

 Kaylie  Brett
Kaylie DoI chose Kaylie because she finds something quiet to do, such as reading a book when her classmates are completing their classwork. Additionally, she shows patience by working out difficult Math problems.

Ms. Lam, 2nd Grade


 Angelina NguyenShe has exemplified qualities of patience in class and with her peers. In her writing, she has shared about showing patience to others, especially her parents as a form of respect.

Ms. Kim, 4th Grade

 Brett  VanWhen he finishes his work, he does not rush his classmates. He waits patiently by reading a book. He never complains or gets frustrated.

Ms. Tran, 3rd Grade

 Miyuki  Evonne  Johnny
Miyuki YasukawaMiyuki has shown great patience for 2 full weeks. She is a “fast finisher” during independent work, but always finds a respectful, quiet activity to do while others finish their work. She also worked patiently with her writing partner, giving him positive feedback and helping him write clear sentences. She is a great example of how patience can lead to positive results. She even got a 100% on both assessments last week!

Ms. Sagan, 3rd Grade

 Evonne NguyenShe raises her hand and wants to be called on when she has something to share. If she has a question, she waits patiently for others to finish first.

Ms. Chan, 4th Grade

 Johnny VuJohnny is an excellent example and role model of displaying patience. During collaborative conversations, he patiently awaits his turn to share his thoughts.Ms. Rodriguez, 4th Grade



Richard Vu

Richard did a great job of showing patience in the classroom. When many other students are interrupting a lesson to ask a question that is not important (when is break, what are we doing after break, what will the homework be), Richard would wait until the appropriate time to ask a question. Richard never asked a question in class that I had to respond, “Please be patient.”. He understood the need to wait for the appropriate time. He always raised his hand and waited for me to call on him before he answered. Also, he always wore his bracelet which was asked of him by the principal. Great job Richard, I am very proud of you!

Ms. Bertelson, 5th Grade

 Natalie  Lana  6tham
Natalie HuynhNatalie always waits without complaining. She takes her time on tests so she doesn’t make mistakes. When she is finished with an assignment, Natalie politely sits up straight with her hands folded waiting for the next instruction.

Mrs. Paternie, 5th Grade

Lana ZaideLana has a dedication to her work and to be successful. In the beginning of week 1, she desperately wanted to make sure she understood everything from the first day, however, patience shone through with the weeks as she tried her best and worked with no frustration but with focus.

Mrs. Albaba, 6th Grade

 Jaine T. NguyenI chose Jaine for the Patience
Award because she works hard to ensure hey own success. When she had trouble with a concept,  she patiently works until she has mastered it.

Ms. Garcia, 6th Grade

 1stpm  2ndpm  3rdjpm
Kyla NguyenShe is so patient when the other students are asking questions. Also when she waits for her turn to do things.

Mr. Eddy, 1st Grade

Stephanie HoangShe has a very positive attitude about everything. If she doesn’t know how to do something, she will try and try. She does not give up.

Mrs. Khuong, 2nd Grade

Vanessa NguyenShe displays her patience everyday and reads quietly.

Mr. Montes, 3rd Grade

 3rdpm    4th pm  
 Robert TranHe always waits patiently for his classmates to finish their work. He never rushes them. Instead he reads a book quietly.

Ms. Tran, 3rd Grade

Trevor PhamTrevor shows patience by raising his hand and waiting to be called on instead of shouting out the answer. He waits for his turn if I am busy helping another student.

Ms. Chan, 4th Grade

Jpaul LeJpaul always patiently waits his turn in class and during activities. He is also very patient with himself, and does not rush through assignments or classwork.

Ms. Kraai, 4th Grade

 5th pm2  6th pm2  6th pm
Cindy DoCindy exemplifies patience by waiting without complaining. When she is finished with an assignment, she calmly waits for the next set of instructions.

Mrs. Paternie, 5th Grade

Nelson VuNelson is a one-of-a-kind student. He’s smart, bright, but never gets frustrated.

Ms. Nguyen, 6th Grade

Vinh VoVinh has a quiet and patient nature. He is always kind to his peers. He often has to show patience when waiting for class to begin, or while another student is getting help.

Ms. Garcia, 6th Grade


5th pmZanvious Thantrong

Zanvious did an excellent job of showing patience in the classroom. When many other students are interrupting a lesson to ask a question that is not important (when is break, what are we doing after break, what will the homework be), Zanvious would wait until the appropriate time to ask a question. She never asked a question or made a comment that I had to respond, “Please be patient.” She always raised her hand and waited on me to call on her before she answered. Zanvious understands that it is very respectful and responsible to be patient. Great job Zanvious, I am very proud of you!

Ms. Bertelson, 5th Grade

2014 Summer School Schedule

 Summer School

 SAT Schedule

 Summer School Schedule

 SAT Schedule


Would you like your child to get a head start so he/she can feel confident and ready for the upcoming school year? Our WASC approved curriculum will ensure your child learns the necessary skills to succeed. Make good use of your child’s summer vacation by enrolling her/him in our rigorous yet fun summer program.


Summer School


The 4th grade students are getting ready to compete in the Annual Excelsius Academy Spelling Bee Competition!





Character Counts

Our “Character Counts” program is included in our summer school. This program teaches kindness, trustworthiness, perseverance, and other important characters so that every child is grounded emotionally.


Head Start Courses

Our rigorous academic programs will help them be well rounded scholastically. Come and see why our summer programs attract more than 700 enrollments each year.

Need More Information?

Talk to one of our dedicated staff about our Common Core State Standards based curriculum, weekly fun activities, and experienced teachers.

View our 2014 Summer Schedule

2014 Summer Schedule



Mathematics Teacher – David Walck

David Walck



David Walck is exceptionally unique. Besides teaching, he is an avid painter, musician, and fire performer. He incorporates mathematics into all of these disciplines and shares with his students how mathematics has helped him to excel in these seemingly unrelated areas. This approach helps to instill in the students a desire to learn. This combined with his ability to break things down logically and simply sets the students up for success.

Andrew Dang – Middle School Teacher

Andrew Dang BioAndrew Dang was searching for his soul when he arrived at Excelsius Academy. After he graduated from UC Irvine, Andrew pursued a career in music, and in 2007 he became the first American hip-hop artist to headline a tour of Vietnam. Pleased with his success, he returned in 2010 for a second tour, and this time he planned on staying indefinitely.

The lure of fame and wealth was attractive, but Andrew, the son of a former monk, found himself more motivated by the impact he was making on the youthful audience that came to watch him perform. Simply put, those kids were the best fans any entertainer could ask for.

His success, however, came with unintended consequences. Over time Andrew became more aware of the corruption and inequality that surrounded him, and  while he lived lavishly, he witnessed others toil. His investors became more controlling and his conscience questioned whether he was becoming a champion of the people or a puppet for the ranks of oppression. Much to the ire of those around him, Andrew followed his heart and abandoned his career in Asia and returned home to America.

Dejected and defeated, Andrew began his life anew, and in his search of purpose he found wisdom from a reliable source, his mother. She told him that he didn’t just have a talent for music, he also had a talent for teaching. In Vietnam, he had the chance to live life as a star, but now, after all his trials and tribulations,  Andrew had the chance to become something more meaningful: a role model. It took many years, but Andrew finally began listening to his mom’s advice.

Andrew currently works for the Garden Grove Unified School District as a substitute teacher and test proctor. He is an environmentalist, Vegan advocate, and plans on releasing his first album in 2014.