HS Friday Bulletin September 8

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin Sept 8


Dear Parents / Guardians,

This week has been a week of bad news I’m afraid.

Our High School Librarian, Emma Rees took ill last weekend and will be leaving ISM, returning to the UK so that she can receive the necessary medical treatment. Emma played an integral part in the renovation of the high school, middle school and elementary school libraries last year. The collection is in the best shape it has ever been and the cross curricular links that she has established between the library and the other academic disciplines has ensured that our students and teachers are well served and well resourced. I’m sure that I speak for everyone in the ISM community when I wish her a full recovery. Thank you, Emma, you will be missed.

Our Orchestra and Stings teacher, Giovanni Bobisse, will have to return to his home country, Italy this weekend for personal reasons and will not be returning to ISM. Giovanni has been with us for 3 years, but, because of his contributions, it seems like he has been here for much, much longer. His individual style, wit and rapport with his students has been an absolute pleasure to observe and I have enjoyed his company and his contributions tremendously both here at school and in the wider Manila community. Shortly after he arrived in the Philippines, Giovanni founded the Tondo Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to teaching underprivileged children a musical instrument, but, in the process, teaching them so much more than that. Thank you, Giovanni and good luck. Our Middle School Principal, Ms. Harrington, and I are actively seeking a replacement for Giovanni.

They say that bad news comes in threes, and the third piece this week happened yesterday, when we were notified that this Saturday’s ACT test had been cancelled. ACT received credible evidence that some of their secure test materials had been compromised. Unfortunately, ISM is among those test centers that are impacted by this situation. Accordingly, ACT took the decision to cancel the test event at the impacted test centers around the Asia Pacific region to ensure the fairness of the exam for all examinees. ACT will not be rescheduling this test, but instead students will have to wait until the next test date on October 28th. In their letter, ACT apologized for any inconvenience this has caused.

And now for some other (hopefully, brighter) news. Thank you to those parents that have sent the recent news articles regarding the government’s insistence that random drug testing be carried out at all junior and high schools. As you may already know, we have been using our present drug-testing clinic for many years now and we are happy with their professionalism and confidentiality. We see no reason why any legislation, which may be new to many other schools, should have an impact on our drug-testing program. I have read through Order #40 and I am confident that our present program testing does already comply with this legislation. I will of course let you know if there are any changes that need to be made to our current practice in order to comply with this new order.

Thank you to Mr. Swan and his team of Counselors for the interactive workshop that they organized for last Tuesday morning’s High School Parent Coffee, in which discussions were facilitated on some of the challenges that both ISM students and parents face. This allowed parents to share their views and strategies that work for their family. Our Counselors also shared strategies – and data – relating to the questions/statements being discussed. Thanks to everyone who attended, despite the awful weather. Here is the link to the slides that Eric used in his presentation. Our next parent coffee is on October 10th at which our IT Coordinator, Dr. Collett will be talking about all things tech here at ISM, including tutorials in Snapchat and other apps that our children are using to communicate with their friends.

Thanks also goes out to Mike Relf who gave another very informative presentation at last night’s IB Information Night. The first part of the session really did show that ISM is performing at a very high level when compared with other schools around the world. The rest of the evening was dedicated to an explanation of the structure and systems surrounding the IB diploma. Here is the link to Mike’s slides.

We have another packed weekend of sport again this weekend, starting this afternoon/evening and continuing for much of tomorrow. For the full fixture list please navigate your way to the ATAC blog (click “Game Schedules” on the Schedules tab).

Looking forward to next week. On Thursday, all new parents are invited to the lobby of the Fine Arts Theater for the New Parent Meet and Greet, starting at 5:00pm. Please come along if you are a new parent and enjoy some nibbles, a glass of wine and an opportunity to chat with other new parents, members of our PCA and the school administrators.

What? No long weekend?! Have a great (regular) weekend everyone!

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal