Welcome!

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 May 31

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

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Sorry this one is being published a little late – the events of last Friday ran away from me and I didn’t get around to finishing it, but here goes.

Welcome to the final bulletin of this academic year 2018-2019.  We’re almost there! 

To start this week; just a reminder that school will be ending one day earlier than originally published due to the late announcement of Eid’l Fitr that signifies the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  Our last day will now be Wednesday, June 5th with a 12 noon departure for all students.

It has been a week of celebrations since last week’s bulletin.  Our honors societies induction ceremony went off without a hitch last Friday evening with students being inducted into the following honors societies:

Tri-M Honor Music Society;
Quill and Scroll Honor Society;
Chinese Honor Society;
French Honor Society;
Spanish Honor Society;
National Art Honor Society;
National Honor Society;
Cum Laude Honor Society.

Dame Jane Walker, CEO and founder of PCF (Purple Community Fund) and Upskills+ was the keynote speaker this year and her personal story that led her to the Philippines more than 20 years ago to work with street children living off the Smokey Mountain dump site was truly inspirational.

Saturday night was Prom at the Fairmont Makati.  Again, a lovely evening with the theme of “Marahuyo” (To be Enchanted). 

Ms. Waldock and her team of Prom organizers had worked hard to create a night to remember for the students and Mr. Flynn and his team were there to ensure the safety of the students.  Thanks to everyone involved in the organization again.

Tuesday was our academic and service awards assembly.  I felt that this year was a little more relaxed while still retaining some of the formality – the balance seemed just right.  I love the fact that we don’t only celebrate and reward academic achievement here at ISM, but also recognize the contributions made by students in such a wide variety of other areas from service to sports and from citizenship to leadership.  The awards afternoon touches on all three of our core values of integrity, service and merit and always makes me feel so proud to be a Bearcat!

And of course we round off the year this evening with our class of 2019 in the graduation ceremony.  Mr. Birchenall, Ms. Hillman and I have had such a lovely time with the seniors this past 2 days of rehearsals and they are now all ready for action today at 5:30 sharp.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing summer break with uncomplicated travels and safe returns.

Best wishes,

Mike

HS Friday Bulletin May 24

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 24

MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This will be the penultimate bulletin of this academic year, with next Friday being our last of the year and I’ll start as usual by celebrating some good things that happened last weekend and this week.

First, on Saturday morning, May 18, we had a service event at ISM with the international organization Special Olympics, whose main goal is to encourage inclusion in sports among people with and without intellectual disabilities. We played basketball in mixed teams of ISM and Special Olympics students.

The organization is also partnered with Asian Development Bank, and ADB was able to make valuable contributions to the event. We hope to continue this partnership with both Special Olympics and ADB over the coming years as well. Well done to Sudhan (Sudhanvita) Arun and Keerthana Bathula for organizing this.

Second, last Saturday night we held our annual “Sophisticated” party for our grade 10 students.  Ticket sales were slow at first but by the time Saturday night rolled around, we had over 160 Sophomores in the Little Theater, enjoying the music, the food and each other’s company.  Here’s a video for you to enjoy from one of the last songs of the evening.  I’m always amazed at how some songs will be timeless.  I’m sure many of you, like me, remember dancing to this one at your school parties too.  A big shout out goes to Ms. Gough, Mr. Berg and the grade 10 class council (and parents) for all the hard work that went into making this another event to remember for the grade. 

Third, the IB1 (grade 11) Art exhibition opened yesterday afternoon in the upper level (balcony) of the FAT.  I know you must get tired of hearing me say this, but I really do think that the work this year, produced by this bunch of Juniors, is some of the most outstanding that I have ever seen here at ISM.  Well done to the art students and to Ms. Godfrey and Ms. Garner for all the help and support that they give to their students, both in terms of their daily teaching and in the preparation of these types of exhibitions.

Fourth, the IB final exams end today, which must be a huge relief for all the grade 12 students – here’s hoping that they were able to perform to their best and that they receive the grades that will unlock the doors to the next phase of their journey through education.  A big well-done and thanks goes to Mr. Relf, Ms. Nyla Caras and the whole team of proctors and support staff that ensure the exams all go smoothly.

Fifth, a big vote of appreciation goes to Ms. Simbaña and the SLSP (Specialized Learning Support Program) team who have put on the first overnight trip for or SLSP students to Subic last night.  Here is her report: On May 22-23 the Specialized Learning Support Program went on their first overnight field trip. This trip was fully organized and put together by the High School SLS students. During their Life Skills class, the High School SLS students were challenged to practice some of their real world skills to book a trip for the secondary SLS students. Their lessons leading up to the field trip included visiting community locations to better understand what they had to plan for such as, hotels to know what they needed to include in their booking and packing forms, hospitals in case there was an emergency they had to deal with, restaurants in order to get an idea of how to help their peers in ordering food, and much more. The students then had to collaborate in order to get all their tasks checked off, communicate with the necessary people, and come up with activities that all the students could partake in. Finally, after months of hard work the secondary SLS students went on their first group trip where teamwork and life long bonds were formed. A quote from one of the 5th grade students, “This has been the best trip ever!”

An invitation to the whole community goes out to celebrate the success of Project JeepTree.  The final ceremony is on Monday, May 27th at 3:30pm – 4:30pm in the AMR, where we will finally be turning over the keys of the car. We hope you can stop by sometime during our event to say hello to some of the ChildHope representatives!

And now let’s look ahead:  Tomorrow night at the Fairmont we will have High School Prom!  Another huge thank-you goes to Ms. Waldock and her team of Prom-organizers.

Awards season is upon us.  This evening, in the Fine Arts Theater we induct a number of students to some of the more prestigious Honors Societies with which ISM is associated.  On Tuesday we have our Academic and Service Awards afternoon, where the whole high school can come together to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of their peers in all aspects of school life.

Before the Senior class don their caps and gowns for graduation, on Monday, they have a day of “transition workshops”.  The move from the comfort and security of high school to college can be a difficult one and so, each year, our counselors provide the Seniors with as much support as we can.  Here is the outline of what’s in store for them.

8:00am: Introduction – Little Theatre
8:30am – 11:30am:  What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then (Talks with alumni)
Lofthouse A: Relationships and roommates
Lofthouse B: Alcohol, Drugs and Making healthy choices
Lofthouse C: Identity, TCKS and Transitioning
Lofthouse D: University Vs High School Academics
11:30am: Pizza lunch at Lofthouse
12:15pm: College Living Experience
Dance Studio: Safety and Self-Defense
Lofthouse A: Finance and Budgeting
Lofthouse B & C: Practical living tips: Sewing, laundry, nutrition & pantry
Lofthouse D: Stay Calm & Cook On
2:15pm: Gratitude Exercise (Little Theatre)
2:30pm: Canadian Visa Application (Optional)

Well done and thank-you to our counseling team – particularly Ms. Cheah for putting this together.

Then, finally, next Friday evening (May 31st) we end with the Commencement Exercises for 2019 (Graduation).  I really enjoy this part of the year when we get to celebrate together all that we are as a school.  I cannot believe that we are just one week away from graduation.  I sent an email to all the seniors and senior parents the week before last, with all sorts of information – please be sure to check your email and read this information carefully if your child is graduating this year. 

Wow!  Busy times! “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” [Bon Jovi]

Be well, everyone.

Mike

Michael Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 17

To access the full version of the bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 17

MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Exams finished for the Grade 9, 10 and 11 students yesterday so they should all be back in classes, reviewing the papers and correcting misunderstandings and misconceptions.  A huge thank-you goes to Sam Ramos and Mrs. Dickinson for their organization of the schedules and the students this year.

Anyone would think that Sophisticated had been planned as a celebration of the end of the exams for the Grade 10s!  Sophisticated is tomorrow evening (May 18th) here at School in the Little Theatre thanks to the hard work of Ms. Gough and Mr. Berg together with their team of student planners – a big thank-you goes out to the organizing committee who put on this annual event for the sophomores. 

For the Juniors and the Seniors, we have Prom of course.  Again, this coincides with the end of the IB exams for our graduating class as their last exam will be next Friday.  Prom this year will be at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati on May 25th.

I would like to reiterate here our rule regarding alcohol in light of the proximity of these two events.  Any student that has found to have drunk alcohol before Sophisticated or Prom will be refused admittance (with no refund).  I imagine that some students will want to go out after these events but there is really nothing the school can do about that – please make sure you know what your children are doing after Prom and/or Sophisticated as, once they leave the school, this responsibility lies with you, the parents.

Sports fans! This Saturday in the middle school gym we host the ISM Judo Invitational. If you are on campus, please drop in to check out the action from 8:30am.

We have had a promising start to our launch last week for triple IASAS housing for season 1 hosting in October. To date we have 125 promised beds. Still 205 to get to reach our total of 330 beds needed for the Volleyball, Cross-country and Soccer athletes. If you can squeeze in a pair of athletes to support this super centenary kick-off IASAS event Oct 9-13th please sign up here.  Let’s go BEARCATS!

And with that, I wish you a restful and relaxing weekend.

Best wishes,
Mike

Michael Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 10

To access the full version, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN MAY 10

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It’s getting harder to remember what a slow news day looked like.  But 89 years ago, on 18 April 1930, the BBC’s news announcer had nothing to communicate. “There is no news,” was the script of the 20:45 news bulletin, before piano music was played for the rest of the 15-minute segment. 

The wireless service then returned to broadcasting from the Queen’s Hall in Langham Place, London, where the Wagner opera Parsifal was being performed. [bbc.co.uk]

This week has been a slow news week in the High School, with exams (or the run-up to exams) taking the lion’s share of the time.  The IB Exams started well for the seniors in the Lofthouse.  Many students haven’t started yet, with their first exam on Monday next week (remember that although Monday is a public holiday here in the Philippines for elections, the show must go one when it comes to the IB).  Grade 11s started their exams in the Little Theatre on Wednesday and these will continue until next Thursday.  Grades 9 and 10 will sit their exams from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

Grade 9-10-11 exam schedules are here
Grade 12 IB exam schedule is here

Good luck to all the high school students during this busy and often stressful time of year.

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing long-weekend.

Mike

Michael Dickinson
HS Principal