HS Friday Bulletin January 20

Message from the Principal:

Click here to access the full bulletin: HS Friday Bulletin January 20

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Thank you to all the new and returning parents that came to last Tuesday’s Parent Coffee. I tried a “Kahoot” (an on-line, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” style quiz) for the first time, which was a fun way to test the new parents on how well they had been listening during the presentations and introductions of the key personnel in the high school. The PCA were particularly competitive on this one, and ran away with most of the prizes, but I hope that everyone learned some of the important acronyms that we use in our everyday vocab, and of course that everyone had a little bit of fun and met some new people.

This week, the high school teachers have been finishing off their report card comments. We try to ensure that all report cards are complete and accurate, but from time to time, there may be a glitch in the system resulting in error. If you receive a report card with missing information (this happens sometimes for students who have changed courses during, or at the end of the semester), then please let the high school office know so that we can fix the mistake. Again, this semester, the report cards will be paperless; they will be accessed through the Parent-Portal from Wednesday, January 25th.

Today, the IB Business Management students in grade 11 (and a handful in grade 12) have been taking part in what has become an annual Entrepreneur Competition. I visited the FAT balcony earlier today to check out the business ventures and was impressed by the high level of thought and the depth that students have gone into in creating their businesses. These included personalized soap, food delivery by drone, high heel shoes with adjustable heel-height and many, many more. Well done to Mr. Vithayathil, Mr. Richardson and Mr. Winters for putting a real world context to the Business Management course.

Next week, we have Career Week, which begins on Monday afternoon with a keynote address by Nikki Wallace (ISM class of ’02 and founder of POPI – a social enterprise that creates plush toys of native Filipino animals that showcase Filipino indigenous weaves). Teachers will be speaking with students throughout the week about the career opportunities that their subject areas may lead to, so that students can make more informed choices as they prepare to select their ISM courses in March for the 2017-18 academic year. This is particularly important for grade 10 as they consider their options for IB diploma courses in grades 11 and 12. On Wednesday, the grade 10 students will be taken off schedule for the afternoon, so that they can listen to and ask questions of a range of presenters (many of whom are ISM alumni).

Another busy week to look forward to in the High School.

Wishing you restful weekend,

Regards,
Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin January 13

To Access the full bulletin: HS Friday Bulletin January 13

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Welcome back! I hope that everyone had a well-earned rest and that you were able to enjoy family time together and relax, recharge and make ready for the second half of this year. The Dickinsons headed off to Japan where we enjoyed the food and cooler weather in Tokyo then, a 2-hour fast train-ride north to Nagano and on to Hakuba, where we were able to enjoy the fresh fall of snow that the region had been treated to the previous week. It had been 16 years since I last skied and I was amazed at how quickly it all came back – oh my, how my legs ached the second morning though! My two children had lessons for the first two days and then were happily swooshing down the green slopes like they had been doing it for years. After a Manila Christmas, with all the trimmings, we headed down to Negros where I read and relaxed, and my two did their PADI open water dive certification! How many kids are able to ski and scuba in the same 3-week period?! What a fantastic opportunity this country and this region of the world offer for amazing travel experiences.

On Wednesday, I returned from Bangkok where I was searching for teachers for August, to replace those who have decided to leave at the end of this school year, in June. I was reasonably successful, but Mr. Toze has travelled on to the recruitment fairs in London, then Boston then San Francisco, where he will pick up the remaining teachers that we will need for next year.

The second semester has started well, with the Juniors having a whole day last Tuesday to think about possible topics for their Extended Essay – a 4000-word research project that will keep them busy for the next couple of months.

Next Tuesday morning, we will have our monthly Parent Coffee in the Little Theater starting at 9:30am. The first half will be dedicated to the new parents of high school students that have started recently. It would be great for some “old-hands” to come along too so that you can offer advice and answers to the myriad questions that I’m sure our new parents must have about life in the Philippines, in Manila, and at ISM. The second half of the Parent Coffee will be a presentation from Rustic Pathways, the agency that we work with to provide travel trips for our students during the summer vacation. This year we will be offering trips to China, Thailand and Tanzania – if you think that your son or daughter might be interested in one of these trips, then do come along on Tuesday to listen. If you are not able attend on Tuesday morning, Rustic Pathways will be presenting again on Wednesday, January 18th in the AMR at 6:0pm

Wishing you restful weekend,

Regards,
Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

 

HS Friday Bulletin December 9

To access the full bulletin: HS Friday Bulletin December 9

Message from the Principal:

Dear Parents,

So, ICARE is over for another year and it is great to receive the vast majority of our students back at school safe and sound this afternoon, with the last group from the Estancia trip arriving back in Manila tomorrow.  Throughout the week, I have been speaking with many of the teachers and students who have been on the Metro Manila sites and I have only heard good news; good news from the teachers on how engaged, hard-working and enthusiastic our students have been this week; and good news from the students on how much fun they have had – many of them commenting on what a departure it is from the regular school week and how they wish it could be ICARE more often – alas, if only we had the time!  Also good news that, apart from the usual bumps and bruises, and minor cuts and scrapes, everyone has had a great time and remained safe throughout.  Please take time to look at these videos from two of the sites: (https://youtu.be/f18ywLIPTko)(https://drive.google.com/a/ismanila.org/file/d/0B8-0LJIRtRVoQ29ucllueWp3U1U/view?usp=sharing)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers, particularly those who have chaperoned the provincial sites and who have given up their evenings with their own families this week to be with their students so that the students can have a wonderful, memorable experience – as I have said before, ICARE is one of the happiest memories of high school that often stands out in the minds of our returning alumni, when they reminisce on their years here and it is largely the dedication of our teachers that is to thank for these wonderful memories.  Also, a thank-you to our security staff who have been keeping the students safe this week, under the watchful eye and guidance of the ever-vigilant Mike Flynn.  And finally a huge thank-you to Neil Woods and Bee Suarez (nee Yuquimpo) who have dedicated literally hundreds of hours in the lead up to ICARE, to ensure that the whole week runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, with the desire that all students have as great an experience as we can possibly provide.

Next week is, of course, the final week of the semester, with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday being treated as regular school days regarding teaching and learning.  Thursday will be a half day with students being given time in the morning to work on their group reflections and presentations from this week’s ICARE experience.  This is an important part of the CAS requirement for both ISM and IB diploma students to reflect on the learning that occurred during these service oriented activities.

Wishing you a restful and relaxing Christmas vacation, with uncomplicated travels and safe returns.

Regards,
Mike Dickinson