HS Friday Bulletin August 10

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin August 10


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back to what will (hopefully) be another safe, respectful, responsible and exciting year in the high school. In the opening assembly on Monday, I spoke to the students about time and how time will pass them by at such an incredible pace that, if they’re not careful, they’ll miss the year as it flies by without them. I welcomed all the new students to ISM and welcomed this new batch of freshmen. I reminded the Seniors that there are only 174 school-days until their graduation! I think some of them had already worked that out for themselves and I warned them about time and procrastination; that time is ruthless and once it has gone, there is no getting it back!

Thank-you to all the parents – both new and returning, that attended last Tuesday’s High School Parent Coffee in the Little Theater. Thanks particularly to the HS PCA reps who were all there and who were extremely helpful during the new parent and new student orientation day. On that same note, I want to say a huge thank-you to Crystal Cappuccio, Scott Lassey and their team of Ambassadors who ran the student orientation activities last Thursday – Well done to you all; a great effort and a great help. Here is the link to the PowerPoint that I showed. Within the presentation, you will find some key dates for this semester, but for your ease, I posted this on page 4 of this bulletin.

Our next Parent Coffee will be on September 11th. This has been moved from the scheduled date that was published on the hard calendar because FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) will be here in school and we wanted to give parents an opportunity to listen to the experts and to ask questions regarding substance abuse.

There have been a number of changes recently – even in the few short weeks since we broke for the summer, we have said goodbye to about 60 of our high school friends but we say hello to about 80 new ones. I would like to welcome all our new families – I hope that Manila can be somewhere in which you feel happy and comfortable.

We also said goodbye to some teachers at the end of last year too and so we have some new ones to welcome to our ranks.
• Alexandra Berry – Counseling
• Jerome Devie – French
• Janina Delfin – Learning Support, SPED EA
• Josh Hudson – Mathematics
• Brad Philen – English
• Mark Ryan – Chemistry
• Johanna Schooley – Librarian
• Stephanie Tao – Counseling
• Tim Venhuis – IT Coordinator (returning to ISM after 2 years at ISJ, Johannesburg)

Far fewer new teachers than normal this year, which is great for continuity and institutional memory. In fact, I recently took a look at our statistic for high school and found that the average stay for our teachers is now about 6 years (many international school have an average of 2.5, so I think that this speaks well to the job satisfaction our teachers feel here at ISM). We also have a new intern this year, Gabriella Reyes, who will be working with the Social Studies teachers. Welcome to you all – I hope that ISM can be both a professionally rewarding and a fun place to work.

For many years now, we have been working on bringing teaching teams together physically to support and provide natural opportunities for teacher collaboration, and these changes will once again bring teams together; both physically and professionally. So, like most summers, we have been busy renovating and reconstructing during June and July. The two rooms for the teaching of our Film program are now together in one place for the first time, up on the fourth floor – they also have a TV studio with green screen for news articles and special effects.

The Learning Support team have moved to a lovely new space above the high school library and Specialized Learning Support now occupies the long corridor above the Elementary School Administration block (below the Lofthouse).

All of our Art teachers will also be together for the first time, with renovations being made to all the middle school and high school art rooms and the inclusion of two new rooms for Digital Photography and Digital Graphic Design.

As you enter the Counseling Centre, you may notice that too has grown. Mr Lassey and Ms. Cappuccio have a nice new area for grade 9 and 10 students with their own waiting area; and Mr. Relf finally has an office with a window after occupying a windowless cell for the past 8 years (we decided to bring him out of the darkness and into the light!).

Next time you visit you may notice that the High School Office has been remodeled a little too.

We have some congratulations. Scott Lassey and Kristen Baek got married this summer (but not to each other!)

…Scott and Amanda…

…and Kristen and Andrew.

More Congratulations:
• Mr. Baker, Ms. Barlongay, Ms. Geoffroy and Ms. Wong received their Masters Degrees in Multidisciplinary Studies
• Mr. Airey completed his Masters in Special Needs Education
• Ms. Patrikios and Ms. Thompson graduated from the Principal’s Training Center
Well done to you all.

Next week, on Tuesday, August 14th will be our annual Open House evening, which will start in the FAT at 4:45pm, with refreshments outside from 4:30pm. It is a tight schedule for the evening so do please try to arrive on time so that you don’t get a tardy slip from any of the teachers. Open House is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teachers in their regular classroom setting. It is a chance to put a face to a name and to learn a little about the courses that your son or daughter will be studying during this academic year 2018-19. The evening is different to the Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTCs) that are held in October in that individual students are not discussed during Open House. During the evening, you will follow your child’s high school schedule, receiving a 10-minute “lesson” from each of his teachers, who will introduce themselves and their course. I will be sending out your schedules for Open House on Monday, August 13th, afternoon – we are still shifting students courses around here and there and I want to make sure that the parents of all new students have been included when I send them.

Looking forward to seeing you at Open House on Tuesday and to another fantastic year ahead.

Have a great weekend
Mike Dickinson
High School Principal