HS Friday Bulletin June 1

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN JUNE 1


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Once again, I thought that last Friday evening’s 2018 High School Graduation ceremony was absolutely terrific! The decoration and the food outside the FAT were fantastic. I really liked the montage of pictures for each graduate on the TVs outside and on the big screen inside before the ceremony began – thank you to the Graduation Décor Committee, the Catering Committee and the Senior Lunch Committee for all their hard work and effort – you guys did a great job! The graduates looked fantastic up on stage, the speeches from Jackie Tan Ho, Mr. Toze, Ranbir Mahtani and Mr. Spradling were uplifting, inspiring and “senti”. The class feature, “Good Old Days” was beautifully delivered by some very talented singers and rappers – one of the very best I can remember. If you’d like to watch the Graduation ceremony, here is the link – https://youtu.be/0DS4590ByEk. I’ve included a couple of pictures for you here: HS Grad could not run as smoothly as it does without the continued effort and hard work, both in front and behind the scenes, of our HS secretarial staff. I would like to thank Laurie Atilano, Sam Ramos, Tina Gabriel and Bee Suarez for helping out again this year.

The moment the class of 2018 graduated by moving the tassel on their mortarboards from
their right to their left…

…and then again, seconds later.

Well done graduates – you have been a great class and we will miss you.

Last Saturday night was the Grade 10 party, “Sophisticated”! Thanks to Ms. Waldock, the Grade 10 GLC for organizing this event at such a busy time of the year. And, thanks to all the teachers that gave up their Saturday evening to chaperone – well done!

Yesterday evening was our annual “Bearcats for Street Soccer”. This is an annual fundraiser organized by the newly elected Bearcat Council SY18/19. The competition began in 2010, and has supported the Philippines Homeless World Cup Teams, and Soccer Programs within our Service Partner Organizations. Bearcats for Street Soccer invites teachers, parents, alumni, MS and HS students to donate P200 and compete for glory and ultimate bragging rights! The PCA are ever present, offering food drinks and plenty of cheering, and BT film the games and interview players to share with the community. It’s a much anticipated and fantastic way to end the year! Well done to the Bearcat Council, under the guidance of Ms. Roseleip, Mr. Woods and Mr. Pekin, and everyone else involved in this great event.

This morning, the Grade 8 students were given a sneak peak of what High School is going to be like as they participated in this year’s Grade 8 to 9 Transition Day. The day brought together students and staff leaders from within the Middle School and High School to help our Grade 8 students become more familiar with the academic, social, and emotional differences between the two divisions. Led by our HS Student Ambassadors, our Grade 8 students attended informational sessions in Math, Science, English, Geography, and Technology. Additionally, they heard from our Counselors, Administrators, Grade Level Coordinators, Athletics & Activities Director, and attended a Fine and Performing Arts showcase. To cap it off, the Grade 8s experienced their first HS lunch when they were allowed to eat in the Kantina with current high school students in Grades 9-11. Based on their attentive and engaged behavior throughout the day, the incoming Class of 2022 appears to be a fantastic batch! Well done to Crystal Cappuccio and Scott Lassey for organizing the morning.

Next Tuesday, June 5th, at 3:00pm we will be having an exhibition of student work from the Digital Photography class that has been working hard to improve their photography skills this semester. The exhibition is a collection of the students’ best work and will take place in the upstairs section of the lobby of the Fine Arts Theater. Please come by and have a look.

Our teachers are still busy at this time of year writing report card comments for all students. The report cards will be available through the Parent Portal from Wednesday, June 13th. Student dismissal for the summer break will be next Thursday at 11:30am with the buses leaving shortly after, at about 12:00 noon.

This will be my final bulletin for this school year. The Dickinsons are off to Cyprus and the UK this summer, with a stop-over in Muscat, Oman on the way back – a part of the Middle-East that we have never visited before. Thank you to everyone for your support this year – we simply couldn’t be as good a school as we are without everyone pulling together in the same positive direction, always striving to become a better and better place in which students can live and learn.

Take care everyone. Wishing you a relaxing summer vacation with uncomplicated travels and safe returns.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 25

To Access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 25


Dear Parents / Guardians,

As I said last week, we’re into awards season and the season kicked off to a good start last Friday with the Honors Societies Induction Ceremonies.  The keynote speaker this year was Mr. Conrad Alampay; an ISM and a JIS alumnus who graduated from ISM with the class of 1998.  He was a part of ISMs gold winning IASAS basketball team in the year of his graduation (and he believes that this was the last time ISM won basketball gold).  He is currently the president of DigiScript Inc; a Manila based company that is leading the rest of the field, using cutting-edge laser technology to scan historical buildings as means to digitally preserve them as 3D models so that degradation and deterioration can be monitored so they can be properly maintained for future generations to enjoy.  Mr. Alampay gave a very interesting address which showed the audience what his company does to help preserve historic buildings and even demonstrated the equipment, showing a video of himself scanning our high school library.  The students were then inducted into our honors societies including:

Tri-M Music Honor Society
French Honor Society
Spanish Honor Society
Chinese Honor Society
National Art Honor Society
Quill & Scroll Honor Society
National Honor Society
The Cum Laude Society

Here is the link to the video of the evening.

Last Saturday night was the second event in our celebration season.  This year’s Prom was held at the New World Hotel in Makati and was a notable one in recent years due to the Royal Wedding happening at the same time (on the teacher’s table via a YouTube link)!  It was a great Prom this year and thanks must be given to Ms. Patrikios and her Prom Committee for doing such a wonderful job with the décor and the organization – Well Done!

On Monday the IB1 (grade 11) Art Exhibition opened in the gallery of the FAT.  And on Wednesday, we had the High School Advanced Dance Finale, starting at 3:30 in the Little Theater.  Well done to Ms. Godfrey and Ms. Garner for bringing out the best from our IB artists and to Yek for another great showcase of dancing talent

Tuesday afternoon was the third event in our celebration season with the Academic and Service Awards Assembly.  We had 160+ award winners this year and so were able to celebrate a plethora of areas both in and out of the curriculum where students shine.  Here’s what I said in closing:

Celebrating success has, in recent years become a bit of a taboo subject in the minds of some educators.  The rationale being that life shouldn’t be a competition, so why turn schools into a field of competitive endeavor.  I recently read an article about a school in the UK that replaced sports day with something less competitive because of the sense of failure that it might produce in the students that didn’t win a medal or a ribbon.

 Celebrating success can come in so many forms though, because success itself has a myriad of faces.  Obviously, there is the more traditional definition of success and I’m happy that we at ISM don’t forget the hard work that our IASAS athletes dedicate to every sport in which they participate – we celebrate their success first on the podium or the stage when they receive their medals, then again at the end of each season in assemblies and at sports awards evenings.

 Success doesn’t just come from competition though – earlier this year we celebrated the success of the wonderful high school play, the IASAS drama performance, IASAS dance, the Forensics and debates previews, the ToK presentations and countless other examples where we’re celebrating achievement that isn’t competitive or divisive…but unifying and inspiring.

 Celebrating these kinds of accomplishments in a community helps to create and maintain the sense of unity that every school ought to enjoy.  This afternoon we have celebrated academic, leadership, service, literary and sporting successes as well as collaboration, creativity, courage, resilience, compassion and so much more.

 Whether these achievements are due to natural ability in a particular academic discipline or whether from sheer hard work, grit and determination, we’re here to recognize and celebrate so that we can all enjoy the moment.  Hopefully these successes will spur us on to do the best that we can, in everything we try…no one can ask for more than that.

 I hope that everyone here today can look back on their school year with pride and, whether you’ve won an award or not, you can honestly say that you’ve done the best.  And, as Mr. Birchenall said in his opening remarks, that you have created the best version of yourself that you can be.

Laurie and Sam from the HS Office always do a great job organizing this event and so really deserve our praise and thanks for another job well done.

And then we turned our attention to the big one!  High School Graduation.  We had two great grad rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday.  Then on Thursday afternoon, the seniors enjoyed signing each other’s Kawayan (Yearbook) while tucking in to an excellent lunch organized by the Grad Committee.  I’ll give a full run-down on how graduation went, in next week’s bulleting, but for now here’s some information regarding the live-stream:

  1. The link for the Graduation live stream is: http://community.ismanila.org/livestream It will be active from 3:30 pm onwards, which can only be viewed via desktop (iMac or Windows-based desktop, not on mobile devices)
  2. Live Stream will also be broadcasted in our ISM TVs located in the canteen, MS and HS Hallways, LT, AMR, and the ES Projector
  3. After the graduation, the video will be uploaded in our ISM Live YouTube Channel.

Fingers crossed for another excellent graduation ceremony this evening.  Take care everyone, have a relaxing weekend.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal


HS Friday Bulletin May 18

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 18


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Exams are over – Yay! It has probably been a while since many of you sat exams in a large setting, so I thought I’d share with you the scene in the high school gym earlier this week. Before (with 420 exam desks and chairs all set and ready to receive), then after (with over 400 students in grades 9 and 10 sitting their exam). It looks quite Dickensian (no pun intended) doesn’t it?

It does remind us also that although we pride ourselves on being a progressive, contemporary place of learning, where inquiry and collaboration have taken over somewhat from rote learning and lecture, in many ways, there is no getting away from these traditional aspects of school life. Well done to Mr. Birchenall for accommodating at very short notice, the extra holiday that was declared for last Monday. Well done to all the teachers, proctors and secretaries for making this exam season run smoothly once again.

Speaking of traditions – Awards season is upon us. This evening, in the Fine Arts Theater we induct a number of students to some of the more prestigious Honors Societies with which ISM is associated. On Tuesday we have our Academic and Service Awards afternoon, where the whole high school can come together to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of their peers in all aspects of school life, then, finally on Friday evening we end with the Commencement Exercises for 2018 (Graduation). I really enjoy this part of the year when we get to celebrate together all that we are as a school.

I cannot believe that we are just one week away from graduation. I sent an email to all the seniors and senior parents the week before last, with all sorts of information – please be sure to check your email and read this information carefully if your child is graduating this year.

But, before the Senior class don their caps and gowns for graduation. On Monday, they have a day of “transition workshops”. The move from the comfort and security of high school to college can be a difficult one and so, each year, our counselors provide the Seniors with as much support as we can; with presentations from alumni on cultural, academic and social transitions, diet, nutrition and cooking (with some recipe suggestions), finance, self-defense (and protection).

Then later in the afternoon, there are two optional sessions for both students and parents in the Lofthouse on obtaining visas; one session for US visas and the other for Canadian visas. Well done and thank-you to our counseling team.

We still have other events to look forward to next week. On Monday the IB1 (grade 11) Art Exhibition opens in the gallery of the FAT. On Wednesday, we have the High School Dance Finale, starting at 3:30 in the Little Theater. Great stuff!

Take care everyone, have a relaxing weekend.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 11

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN MAY 11


Dear Parents / Guardians,

I was in a meeting yesterday and when I reminded the group that it was only one week to our Honors Societies Induction Ceremony and only 2 weeks to Graduation the reply was simply “YIKES!” Yikes! Indeed. We have found ourselves at the very sharp end of and every decreasing length of stick. In fact the length of the stick is now only 17 days long. My goodness, where has the time gone? And, there is so much left to fit in to those 17 days of course.

For the Grade 9, 10 and 11 students, the most pressing for them is their end-of-year exams which started for the Grade 11s yesterday – they appear to be off to good start. With the declaration that next Monday would be a country-wide holiday for barangay elections, we have had to move next week’s exam up by one day, but the order of the exams has remained (Monday’s exams have been moved to Tuesday, Tuesday’s to Wednesday and Wednesday’s to Thursday) so as to avoid any confusion. Mr. Birchenall has done a great job in altering Thursday’s exams for the Grade 9s so that those students taking the AP Human Geography exam next Friday all have Thursday afternoon free in order to study.

The big one for me, regarding organization, is of course High School Graduation – arguably the biggest event of any high school’s calendar. This year, graduation will be live-streamed in the Little Theater for family friends, yayas, drivers etc. that are unable to get a ticket for the Fine Arts Theater. In this way, extended “family” can be here at school to enjoy the moment with the graduates and still be able to watch the graduation ceremony, live. There will be free seating in the little theatre so as soon as the doors to the FAT close, those extended family members can make their way to the LT to watch it all on the big screen, then make their way back to the FAT at the end to greet the graduates as they leave the theater.

“Moving On: Dealing with Transition” workshop is a K-12 parent workshop presented by all three divisions of our school-wide Counseling Department. During this workshop, we will explore the issues associated with transitions and offer hands-on activities to enable you to best support your family/students, whether you are leaving ISM or have friends that are leaving. Please join us in the AMR (not the LT as previously advertised) on May 17th, from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.

A reminder that the MS / HS Art Exhibition started yesterday and will run for the next couple of weeks until next Wednesday (May 16th). Please come along to the lobby of the FAT and enjoy the wonderful display of artwork. You can find the high school exhibition upstairs on the balcony, above the FAT lobby.

Another reminder that the Bearcat Career Experience Registration & Application were sent to all current grade 10 and 11 students this week. This year we have over 20 companies participating, offering work experience opportunities in various fields. The application deadline is May 16th. All applications should be submitted to the HS Counseling office.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing weekend.
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal