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