The HS Blog has gone through a significant overhaul so as to streamline our communication. We hope you like the shift. Some resources previously found on this blog site are now located here on the ISM main website. The HS Blog will be used for weekly parent communication in the High School so please check back each Friday for updates below.

HS Friday Bulletin April 27

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin April 27


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well, an unexpected holiday has been bestowed upon us for tomorrow – it is a pity that this was a last minute decision as I am sure that many families would have liked to have gone away. Unfortunately, we do not have any more notice than anyone else with decisions made by the Department for Education. Still, it has come at a time where the Grade 9, 10 and 11 students should be starting to think about their end of year exams and so, I imagine, for many it will be an opportunity to begin a study schedule and maybe even start a little revision in preparation for these exams. The exams for Grade 11 begin on May 11th and run until May 17th; for Grades 9 and 10, their exams run from May 15th to 17th.

I’ll be here as usual tomorrow (OK, after a later start perhaps!) because it is the first day of the grade 12 IB exams! Wow, they’re finally here! Mr. Relf will start them off with Business Management in the afternoon, beginning at 12:15pm. Then on Monday many of the Seniors will be here to sit the second half of Business Management and the first part of the Biology exams. The IB exams then run for 3 weeks until May 19th. Good luck Seniors for these important examinations.

Our team of Robotics students, under the watchful eye of Mr. Dingrando returned from the Robotics World Championships in Kentucky, USA last week. They represented ISM well with 5 wins from 10 rounds – the best we have ever done so well done to you guys; the robots will be taking over the world soon!

And time continues to accelerate! It’ll be summer before we know it!

Take care everyone, have a relaxing weekend.

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin April 21

To access the full bulletin, please click here:  HS Friday Bulletin April 21


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Welcome back from Easter break. I hope that you were all able to recharge a little, ready for the final push to the finish line this year. Obviously, the week of Easter ended badly with the loss of Navi Bhandari, which meant that the very start of this week was an emotional one with a high school assembly on Monday morning. The students had organized themselves and were wearing white as a sign of respect for the Hindu tradition of mourning. We had a moment of silence as we remembered our dear friend after I spoke about what Navi meant to us all. Here is what I said:

You’ll never know true love until the moment you hold your own child in your arms. Then watch them grow, nurture them, support them, guide them, protect them, encourage them. Be their champion. Be their crutch. Be their shoulder to both lean on and to cry on. You’ll never know true love until you love the child that you brought into this world. On Thursday at Navi’s house this level of love was so obvious as both of Navi’s parents spoke about their son. But, what was also obvious was that you’ll never know loss. Never know pain. Never know grief, until you lose that child that you have loved with all your soul. It is, with the heaviest of hearts that I have called you here this morning. Last Wednesday we lost one of our own. Navi was a true bearcat. Normally, bearcat spirit, tenacity, grit and determination are associated with the activities we see when competing for gold medals on the sports field in the gym or on the track. Navi displayed this bearcat determination every single day of his life. His condition made life hard for Navi. Not the kind of – hard to get out of bed – hard, that we all sometimes feel on a Monday morning. It was hard for him to come to school, to climb the stairs and to carry his bags, but every day he did it with the level of courage and doggedness that was inspirational. But he never complained about his condition; instead, he lived every day to the fullest, with a twinkle in his eye, a big smile and an even bigger heart. That’s how we should remember Navi. When my dad was in hospital after suffering from two massive strokes my mum turned to me and I could see she was more than upset; she was angry. “It just isn’t fair” she said. The same is true in this case. It just isn’t fair. Navi was a friend. Navi was a soldier. Navi was a Bearcat.

Our counselors organized a room for quiet reflection in the AMR and hundreds of students visited in order to write messages to Navi – these messages will be compiled into a memory book and given to Navi’s parents next week. We will be having a memorial in the high school courtyard on Monday (April 24th) at 3:15 around the newly planted tree that will stand in memory of Navi.

Other Announcements:
Congratulations to Dan Hall and Sabina Conjamalay who were married during the Easter break. Dan teaches Science (Chemistry) here in the High School and Sabina teaches Grade 2. Good luck to the two of you.

I must admit to having felt a little negative about our hopes for medals after the first day of IASAS Season 3, a couple of weeks ago. After a disappointing first day though things picked up tremendously. The boys went on to win the gold medal for Badminton (first time ever!) while the girls won the bronze. In Golf, the boys were able to secure the bronze medal and the girls placed 5th.   In Track and Field, although we didn’t win medal for the boys’ or girls’ teams, we did have some outstanding individual performances; IASAS records for Trinity McPherson in the 200m sprint and for Sasha Karlsson for Triple Jump. In total for track and field we hauled 6 golds, 5 silvers and 2 bronze medals. Well done to all our Season 3 athletes.

Thank you to everyone that attended the ISM Film Festival in the Little Theater on Wednesday afternoon. Once again this year the films were outstanding – move over Tarantino and Spielberg, the next generation of film makers is just around the corner. Well done to Nadia Hartley and Keith Bailey for nurturing, honing (and sometimes taming) the raw talent of our students. There were some moments that really had me laughing out loud and others that were poignant and thought provoking.

100% Dance Co. was a huge success yesterday afternoon in the Fine Arts Theater. Well done to Yek and her dancers for treating us to another display of their talent and creativity. I left the FAT with a huge smile on my face – it is my 10th 100% Dance Co. performance and it was one of the best I can remember. After a difficult week, it really gave me the lift that I needed – thanks you guys.

April is Autism awareness month celebrated worldwide. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affect 1 in 68 individuals. While the exact cause of ASD is currently unknown and there is no cure for autism there are a variety of interventions and supports available to help those on the autism spectrum. ISM strives to include and support students with ASD through a variety of educational programs. Some of these supports include: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Learning Support and our new Specialized Learning Support Program which is designed for students with more significant needs. We are working with staff and students of all ability levels and backgrounds to support the development of our inclusive environment through conversations and ongoing education. Students with autism and their families are a valuable part of our school community. We encourage everyone to learn more about autism and what you can do to support ISM and our mission to create a culture of acceptance. Should you want to talk more about what inclusion looks like at ISM, please do contact Bill Brown, Assistant Superintendent, brownw@ismanila.org

Finally this week, a big shout-out goes to the Seniors that, as I write this bulletin, are enjoying their morning of pranks. Many of them will start their study leave after the send-off barbeque this lunchtime, with their IB exams beginning next Friday, April 28th. Good luck as you prepare for these important final examinations.

And time continues to accelerate!

Take care everyone, have a relaxing weekend

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal


HS Friday April 7

access the full bulletin, please click here:  HS Friday Bulletin April 7


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well – we made it through the first half of the second semester! When we get back to school in a week’s time, it really will be the beginning of the end, with only 8 weeks remaining of this school year! And, so much to do in those last 8 weeks. The Grade 12 students will have their send-off lunch on Friday April 21st when those who are full IB diploma (and those with 4 or more IB exams to sit) will start their study leave. The following Friday, April 28th is the first day of the IB examinations which run 3 weeks to May 19th. On that day, school ends for all seniors (whether IB diploma or not). To celebrate their final day, this year’s Prom will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the Polo Club – tickets are on sale and can be bought through the members of the Junior council or at the cashier for Php2800. After Pro, the seniors will then have just 1 short week before graduation on May 26th. I kidded at the start of the year about time accelerating – I wasn’t really joking was I; before we know it we’ll be sending another batch of graduates through the doors and off into the big wild world.

We also need to fit in the final exams for the rest of the High School. Grade 9 and Grade 10 exams run from May 15th to 17th while the Grade 11 exams start on May 11th and run until May 17th.

A big shout-out this week goes to the Music department, Mr. Howrey, Ms. Provencher, Ms. Grev, Mr. Bobisse and Mr. Nazareno together with all of the students (and a few teachers) that took part in last Tuesday’s Finale Concert. The level of musical talent was a credit to you all and was testament to the effort and dedication in the lead-up to the concert. The high point for me was the Jazz Band’s final piece “Lucky Chops” which may not have been as polished as other pieces I’ve heard them play in the past, but boy, they were having fun! Well done everyone.

Finally this week, good luck to all of our season 3 athletes. As I write this week’s bulletin, the Badminton games are still going on here at ISM in the HS and MS gyms, and will continue tomorrow with the finals in the afternoon. Both our girls’ and boys’ teams have a chance to medal. The golf is happening down at Mount Malarayat today under the watchful eye of Mr. Birchenall, while the Baseballers and Softballers are competing in Singapore and the Track and Field athletes and in Bangkok. All the news and results can be found on the www.iasas.asia website by clicking on “season 3” at the top of the page. Wishing you all the best in competition from here in Manila.

And with that, I will bid you safe travels if you’re away for the break. Looking forward to having you all back safe and sound for the final installment of the year, starting on April 17th.

Take care everyone,

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin March 31

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin March 31

Message from the Assistant Principal: 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As Mr. Dickinson is representing ISM at the IB Global Conference in Yokohama this week, it’s my turn to keep you up to date with high school life and I’d like to begin by congratulating four of our alumni, Sophia De Dios, Liah Gomez, Jigmey Penjor and Myles Rublee from the Class of 2016, for winning the Best Drama and Best Film awards at the 2017 AAYFF Film Festival in Singapore. The film, titled Tayo, was made while they were students at ISM as part of their IB Film class and tells the story of an Overseas Filipino Worker, who travels abroad in order to earn enough money to send her son to school. Set in the provinces of the Philippines, the film is a moving depiction of a theme that will resonate with many Filipinos who are forced to leave their families and live overseas in order to find work. The concept behind the title, which translates as Us, is to ‘suggest that this is not one story, but a story of us all, a story that is shared amongst over 11 million OFWs and mothers around the world who make sacrifices for their children’. (https://www.aayff.com/the-winning-films/) What a fantastic achievement! Congratulations to them and to Nadia Hartley, their wonderful IB Film teacher.

As usual, next week promises to be a busy one, beginning with the launch of the PCA Used Book Fair on Monday in the Lofthouse. This is a great opportunity to stock up on reading material ahead of Spring break. If previous years are anything to go by, there is likely to be a wide and eclectic mix of fiction, non-fiction and periodicals to choose from so get there early to avoid missing out on some bargain publications. On Tuesday at 5:30 pm, we have our HS Finale Concert in the Fine Arts Theater, which promises to be a great celebration of our music program with performances from Concert Strings, Orchestra, Concert Choir, Show Choir, Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Jazz Band. If you can, please come along and support our talented musicians, some of whom will be performing at ISM for the last time. I hope to see you there.

Of course, next week is also third season IASAS.  Our Track and Field squad travel to Bangkok and our Softball and Baseball teams travel to Singapore. We will be hosting Badminton and Golf. We wish our student athletes safe travels and good fortune. Even at this late stage, we are looking for volunteers to host some of our visiting athletes. If you are the parent of an athlete or a Cultural Convention delegate, please consider repaying the hospitality shown to our traveling Bearcats by offering to host. Should you require any clarifications or more detailed information about hosting for IASAS events, please go to: http://atac.ism-online.org/iasas/iasas-housing/ or contact our Athletics Director Mr. Mark Pekin at: pekinm@ismanila.org.

Finally, re-enrollment. A recent upgrade to PowerSchool meant that there were some unexpected glitches with the process. I know this has been frustrating for some of you so our apologies if you were inconvenienced. I’m happy to report that the problem has now been fixed. I hope you have a happy and relaxing weekend.

David Birchenall
High School Assistant Principal