HS Friday Bulletin October 13

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN OCT 13


Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week, I am pleased to announce that our search for an Orchestra and Strings teacher has been successful. Last week we interviewed John Christopher (JC) Joya, who plays first violin for the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and has been teaching Strings at Colegio San Agustin. After being impressed with his interview, we invited him to teach the High School Orchestra and a Middle School Strings class for a day so that we could observe his interactions with the students. He was an instant hit with the students in the high school orchestra – one student reported that he reminded him of Giovanni Bobisse in the way that he heard every mistake and corrected them. I found him to be very warm and nurturing and I am confident that the students will be in good hands as we continue through this year. Thank you for your patience.

Last week I provided the link to the folder containing the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) presentations that the Seniors in the full IB Diploma program completed recently. At the time, we were still uploading the videos. Here is a link again to the folder containing the presentations if you missed them and would like to watch.

Thanks for the turnout at last Tuesday’s Parent Coffee and to David Collett for his insights on all things tech that we are currently using here at school to make teaching and learning a more efficient process. We also had 3 Seniors, Julia, Janel and Kayla present their ToK presentation from 2 weeks ago and once again it was an outstanding display of reasoned argument and logic on the subject of Truth.

If you couldn’t make the Parent Coffee please feel free to review the information covered by Dr. Collett here and in the video at the end of the presentation. Some questions were asked during the session that have been addressed below:
• A question was asked about how to access comments and the standards grades in PowerSchool and so please click here to review this process.
• There were questions related to a recommendation for a system to secure the internet at your home and to try to filter objectionable content. The most commonly recommended solution to this is called OpenDNS. It is a system developed by Cisco Systems and so is an industry standard. Here is a tutorial on how to use this. Please note that in some cases there have been reports that it can cause your internet connection to slow down.
• A question was asked about how we promote good digital citizenship through to the students. We do this through Wellness classes and Advisories. Here is an example of a past advisory session in the High School.
• There was interest in a set of tutorials on how to use certain social media services (snapchat, Instagram, etc.) so as to have a better idea of how students are using them and to engage your children in a dialogue about them. I will create these and get them out to you ASAP in subsequent bulletins.
• There was also interest in specific parent sessions where we go over the uses of social media and technology generally in more detail. These would be after school and most likely run as a series (to be repeated if sessions fill up). Please express your interest via this form so I can get an idea of numbers interested and times before I send out an official sign up form.
• Finally, click here for a step-by-step guide for installing and logging into PowerSchool on your Apple iPhone or iPad.
Once again thanks for coming and feel free to contact Dr. Collett at any time at collettd@ismanila.org

Next week ISM is looking forward to hosting members of the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) / CIS (Council of International Schools) accreditation visiting team. The team’s role is to report on the self-study that we submitted at the beginning of the school year. This cyclic, 10-year accreditation process allows schools to take an introspective look at all aspects of school life and reflect upon areas of relative strength and areas for future growth.

And finally this week: Our traveling IASAS athletes have been in Bangkok for the soccer and Singapore for the volleyball and cross-country this past two days. In the soccer, the boys are currently at one draw and one loss, while the girls won both of their opening games. In the volleyball, the boys were beaten in their first two matches but won the third, while the girls won their first two, but were narrowly beaten by SAS in their third match. The cross-country races start today. The games and races continue today and tomorrow with the final games scheduled for Saturday afternoon. For all the results and game schedules, please logon to the www.iasas.asia – the site has been redesigned this year and is much easier to navigate. Click on the sport, then navigate to the “event website link” under the IASAS Tournament side on the right. Good luck to all our athletes – make us proud both on the court/pitch/course and off. Go Bearcats!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin October 6

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin Oct 6


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I’m looking back two weeks for this parent bulletin as I gave myself a week off last week for the long weekend. The first thing for me to do is to provide you with the links that I promised for the Great Works Concert and the Opening Ceremony Cheers from our Battle of the Bearcats. Both well worth a watch. Thanks to our IT department for getting these links ready for us all to enjoy.

Last week the Seniors in the full IB Diploma program (which is 170 this year!) were able to check a “biggie” from their to-do lists as they completed their Theory of Knowledge (ToK) Presentations. Here is a link to the folder containing the presentations if you missed them and would like to watch. We are still uploading these presentations so please be patient. One of these presentations will be showcased at next Tuesday’s parent coffee – see below.

Next Tuesday at 7:30 in the Little Theater is the October Parent Coffee – Our IT Coordinator, Dr. David Collett will be in charge of this one and will be presenting on the technology that we use here at school both in the classroom and for communication between home and school. I have finally got the PowerSchool Parent app to work on my iPad and iPhone and together, David and I will be able to show you this working so that you too can access this added functionality. If you would like to have the app ready to go before you arrive then click this link that will take you directly to this app on the iTunes app store. Here is the agenda for the parent coffee:

ISM IT Learning Environment (Google Apps for Educators – GAFE)
• Google Mail
• Google Calendar  Google Classroom
• G+ (social media)
ToK Presentation
Interactive session on Social media
• Data on the services that students use
• Guidelines
• Family parameters
• Role of parents
PowerSchool Parent iOS app
Parent Portal
• Permission forms for activities
• iCampus Card
• PowerSchool

Next Wednesday our travelling IASAS athletes will be off the Bangkok and Singapore for the first season round of competitions. Good look to our soccer stars in Bangkok and our cross-country runners and volley-ballers in Singapore.

Here’s a message from our IT Coordinator:
As of October 2nd, Google Classroom Guardian Summary invites have started to go out. This email will come from a Gafe_admin account. Please be assured this isn’t spam and you may accept the invitation. If you haven’t received this email please check your spam folder. If you have any questions, or still haven’t received the invite, please don’t hesitate to contact me at collettd@ismanila.org.
Best Regards,
David Collett
IT Coordinator

And finally this week, don’t forget to make your appointments for the High School Parent Teacher Conferences on the afternoons of Monday and Tuesday, October 23rd and 24th. The registration software will open for appointments at 8:00am on Monday October 9th at which time you will be able to make appointments with up to 4 of your child’s teachers. Then, on the following Monday, October 16th, the system will allow up to 4 more conferences to be made (making a total of up to 8 conferences). A step-by-step guide on how to make appointments for Parent Teacher Conferences was sent to you by email from the High School Office last Tuesday. In some instances, a pre-booked conference time may be visible when you sign into the HS PTC Scheduler on the Parent Portal. In these cases, the pre-booking was made at the request of the named teacher. If a pre-booking has been made, you may change the given time to suit your availability but please do not delete it completely as this is a priority request. If you wish to know more about the reasons for this, please email your son or daughter’s teacher. In order to make appointments, you will need your Parent Portal username and password. If you have misplaced or forgotten these details, please call the High School Office on 840 8650 or email Sam Ramos (ramoss@ismanila.org) or Laurie Atilano (atilanof@ismanila.org).

Have a great weekend everyone.

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin September 22

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN Sept 22


Today was Battle of the Bearcats and WOW! what a wonderful day. The noise in the high school gym at 8:0am was louder than I’ve ever heard it before. Dance Co. started the ball rolling with a great performance and then… drum roll… the SENIOR PARENTS flash mobbed us all with a dance of their own – absolutely fantastic! That must have been a huge effort, so a big shout out to all the senior parents that took part this morning, especially to the organizing parents. The cheers this year were great again and even the Freshmen (that have, in the past, been a little intimidated and shy) were confident, loud and entertaining – well done to the Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors whose cheers also brought the house down. The Grade Level Coordinators Mr. Berg and Ms. Gough for Grade 9, Ms. Waldock for Grade 10, Ms. Patrikios for Grade 11 and Ms. Mazarakis and Mr. Paulson for Grade 12 all deserve our thanks for the huge amount of time and energy that they have put into their grades in order to make the day a huge success. I’m sure that sometimes it felt like herding cats! But it all came together in the gym this morning. The rest of the day was also a huge success with spirit prevailing over success and unity being put before division. The Seniors won the most gold medals, but the Juniors lifted the trophy for Bearcat Spirit.

Wednesday of this week saw another excellent Great Works Concert with our high school student musicians from the Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Show Choir and Concert Choir coming together to perform Handel’s “Messiah”. A big thank you goes out to our conductors for the evening, Mr. Nazareno, Ms. Arrieta and particularly to Ms. Provencher. Also, a great note of thanks to the rest of the High School and Middle School Music departments. This year we also had an unprecedented number of faculty “wannabees” in the combined band, orchestra and the choir so a big thank you to everyone who made this evening another one to remember. In my last 11 concerts I really think that this ranks at number one. Sometimes it can be difficult to find this caliber of musical culture and here it was right on our door step. The link to the concert is not yet ready, but I’ll be sure to add it to next week’s bulletin.

As I have mentioned in previous bulletins, the Grade 12 Theory of Knowledge (ToK) Presentations begin next Monday and run for three days until Wednesday. These presentations count for one third of the Senior’s IB grade for ToK. Please take a look at the schedule and know that you are welcome to attend for all or part of a session.

And now a message from our IT Coordinator: We are happy to announce that the Google Classroom Guardian function will be rolling out by Friday of next week. You will receive an email that looks like this, asking you to accept the invitation to view a summary of your child’s classrooms activities and the frequency. We recommend Weekly Summaries. The summaries will look similar to this. Please note that at the top of the summary will be “late work.” This can be misleading as it is possible (even likely) that this work is not actually late as it may have been turned in by hand rather than electronically. So we advise that you ask your child about it first rather than assuming it is not turned in. Please be assured the teacher will contact you about late or missing work and so you don’t need to follow up on what is listed in the classroom. We hope you enjoy this new addition to our ISM communication and that it provides an additional resource for you to talk with your child about their learning in school. If you have any questions or concerns about this system, please feel free to contact our IT Coordinator David Collett: collettd@ismanila.org.

Finally, don’t forget that there is no school for students on Thursday and Friday of next week.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin September 15

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN Sept 15


Dear Parents / Guardians,

It’s been quite a quiet week this week, compared with the first few of the year, as things start to settle down and students and teachers get into their learning and teaching routines. I, together with Mr. Howrey and Mrs. Harrington have been busy interviewing candidates, 5 so far, for the open Strings Teacher position to replace Mr. Bobisse who unfortunately had to leave us last week. I will of course keep you in the loop on our progress and as soon as we appoint I’ll let you know.

This week, while visiting classes, I have been particularly impressed with some of the work that has been going on in the Grade 12 Theory of Knowledge course. Students are preparing for their ToK Presentations, which will be held in the Little Theater and the AMR the week after next. The ToK Presentations are always some of the most impressive demonstrations of intellect and learning that our students offer each year. If you ever doubted if your grade 12 child is ready for college then come along and put your mind at rest. Please block off time, if you can, to come along to watch the presentations on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 – 27.

We have a couple of big events to look forward to next week. On Wednesday evening next week, the music department will perform their annual Great Works Concert, starting at 5:30pm in the Fine Arts Theater. This year the music students (together with some members of the Elementary, Middle and High School faculties) will be performing excerpts from Handel’s Messiah with a bundle of Bach, a nugget of Nelhybel and a karat of Karrick thrown in for good measure. Of course, the Hallelujah Chorus will bring the hour-long concert to a rousing close. Please come along to support the Orchestra, Symphonic Band, combined Concert and Show Choirs and members of the faculty as we all unite in music.

Next Friday is our annual Battle of the Bearcats. A day of competition, fun, dance, sport, video games, cake decorating, Quidditch! and much, much more. The focus of the day is on spirit rather than winning, and it is always one of the most memorable and fun-packed days in the school calendar for our students.

Today, our volleyball and cross country teams, together with our dancers headed away to Taipei, Singapore and Bangkok for the IASAS sports and dance exchanges while our soccer boys and girls stayed here in Manila, with International School Bangkok and Taipei American School flying in this afternoon. The soccer matches start with varsity boys at 4:00pm this afternoon, then our girls play at 5:30pm. Please come along to support if you can spare the time. I’ll be flying up to Taipei this evening to watch the boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams at TAS, with a particular interest in a tall freshman wearing the number 4 shirt this year on the girls’ team. Go Bearcats!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal