HS Friday Bulletin May 18

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

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

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.

Regards,
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 11

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

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

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.
Regards,
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 4

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN May 4

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well that was a short week! Or, was it? The Seniors might disagree that it was a short week. They were here on Monday and Tuesday, and of course, many of them were here for the rest of the week, to take their final IB examinations. Week one is now over and so they can say bye-bye to Business and Management, farewell to Filipino, Korean and Japanese (A), cheerio to Econ and Math and au revoir to Geography. The Design Tech, Computer Science and ESS students finish half the exams in those subjects today, then complete them after the weekend. Next week is week two and you can view the full schedule here. Please remind your senior that any electronic device is strictly prohibited in the exam room and they should leave them in their locker – NOT lying around in the Kantina or the Library. Well done to Mr. Relf, Ms. Nyla and the team of proctors for a smooth start to these important exams.

The VEX Robotics World Championships returned from Kentucky, USA this week where our delegation of intrepid Roboteers, Mackenzie Crowe, Yanpeng Yuan, David Zhang and Ashwin Banwari were representing ISM. Thanks to Mr. Dingrando for preparing them and to Mr. Strycharske for accompanying them all the way to Kentucky. Almost 600 robots were entered into the high school portion of the competition. We are proud to report that the ISM team placed 37th within the individual skills category. This is the fourth year in a row that ISM has been invited to represent the Philippines at the event.

The Sophomore Class Council, under the guidance of Ms. Jennifer Waldock and with the help of the Grade 10 PCA representatives, hosted a successful fundraiser for Papaya Academy on Friday, April 27. Nearly 40 Papaya Academy students and over 200 ISM students and teachers packed Uptown Theater for an exclusive showing of “Avengers: Infinity War” in an effort to raise funds for educational resources for their service partner. While the finale of the movie left some in shock, all left the theater proud of contributing to a fun evening for the Papaya students and excited for future events!

I would like to thank the Grade 11 PCA Liaisons, Counselors and parent panelists who helped organize and participate in this week’s Parent Panel Q&A session about managing the college application process. This gave a unique perspective, as parents were able to share their first-hand experiences of the application process in various countries around the world.

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.

A reminder that the MS / HS Art Exhibition started yesterday and will run for the next couple of weeks until Wednesday, May 16th. Please come along to the lobby of the FAT and enjoy the wonderful display of artwork.

The MS Play, Peter Pan, opens tonight in the FAT with a matinée and evening performance tomorrow (again in the FAT). If you haven’t already bought your ticket, don’t worry, they will be available at the door. This evening’s performance will begin at 6:00pm and tomorrow’s two performances are at 2:00pm and 6:00pm. It’s always so much better when there is a nice big audience, so please come along, enjoy the show and support the middle school students.

Looking forward to next week and beyond, the big one is that the Grade 11 exams start on Thursday, May 10th and run for 5 days until the following Wednesday, May 16th. Grade 9 and 10 exams start on Monday May 14th and run for 3 days – they also end on Wednesday May 16th. Please click here for the Grade 9, 10 & 11exam schedules.

Some parents have asked if students are allowed to leave after their morning exams and come to school late for their afternoon exams, so here are the guidelines that have been used in recent years:
• A student may come to school for their morning exam, then leave school if they do not have an afternoon exam.
• A student may come to school in time for their afternoon exam if they do not have a morning exam.
• A student may not leave school between exams if they have both morning and afternoon exams.

This gives the students an opportunity to study at home in an environment that is free from distractions and keeps them safe here at school between exams, if they have 2 exams on the same day. Please make the necessary arrangements to collect your child so that they make it home safely on the days when they are leaving early. If they are going to come to school for the afternoon exam, please have them arrive in plenty of time so they aren’t on the last minutes.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Regards,
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin April 27

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin APRIL 27

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

To start this week’s bulletin, I want to bring your attention to the latest smoking trend that appears to be hitting high schools around the world; Juuling. Juuling, is the next iteration in smoking from vaping, however, where vaping gives off those large plumes of blueish smoke, often smelling of fruit, Juuls are almost vaporless and often odorless. The Time website states that “These sleek vapes, which are not legally available to minors, resemble flash drives, come in a wide array of flavors and contain as much nicotine per cartridge—which lasts about 200 puffs—as an entire pack of cigarettes.” [Time.com].

Users, “charge” the juul using a usb port on their computers and because the Juul is easily mistaken for a thumb-drive it’s very difficult to spot (although I guess that because thumb drives are, increasingly becoming obsolete as students’ work in the cloud these days, one could argue that it might actually be easier to spot?)

What do parents need to know about Juuling?
Although Juul products, like most e-cigarettes, are made and marketed as smoking alternatives, the device is increasingly popping up on high school and college campuses. The term “Juuling” usually refers to this recreational use. Because of their sleek design and resemblance to USB drives, Juul products are easy for students to conceal and use in school — sometimes even in the middle of class. (Juuls also produce less smoke than many similar devices, making them even more discreet.) The problem has grown widespread enough that school districts in states including Kentucky, Wisconsin, California and Massachusetts have voiced their concerns and, in some cases, begun amending school policy to address the issue. Some college publications, including those at New York University and the University of Illinois, have also reported on the trend. [Time.com]. Read the full article here.

Are e-cigs safe?
While e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic substances than traditional cigarettes, the CDC warns that vaping may still expose people to cancer-causing chemicals. (Different brands use different formulations, and the CDC’s warning did not mention Juul specifically.) It’s not clear exactly how e-cigarettes affect health because there’s little long-term data on the topic, says Dr. Michael Ong, an associate professor of general internal medicine and health services at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. “We just don’t have a lot of information as to what the harms potentially are going to be,” he says. “There likely would be health risks associated with it, though they’re not going to be the same as a traditional cigarette.” [Time.com]. Read the full article here.

What is ISM doing about Juuling?
This is a very new trend and right now we are in the investigation stage. As a start, sharing of this kind of information with parents and faculty will educate us all a little more on the topic. Students will also be informed that these devices will be treated in a similar way to any other legal drug (like alcohol or regular nicotine cigarettes) and the possession and trading of these devices will carry similar consequences. Mr. Birchenall wrote to the students this morning with the following message: The following infraction is written on p.27 of the ISM HS Student Handbook: Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are dangerous for the body and have a negative influence on student behavior and performance. Alcohol and tobacco possession or use by students on campus or at a school sponsored event is considered a major discipline offense. Any student who is suspected of alcohol or tobacco use at school or at a school function (on or off campus) will be referred to the principal team. I am writing to clarify that this includes vaporizers, Juuls or any other form of electronic smoking device. Students who commit this infraction can expect to be suspended from school immediately. Please let me know if you need any additional clarification in this regard.

Now on to other things…

This week, the French Honor Society (FHS) will be celebrating their annual main event – La Semaine de la Francophonie (Francophone week). Celebrating and educating the student body on French food, customs and culture. There were a number of fun cultural activities planned for each day of the week. Notice the theme for day1 – I can’t believe I missed that one!

April is Autism awareness month and the elementary, middle, and high school have dedicated this week to celebrate the diversity in the ISM community. The counseling team, together with our Student Ambassadors and SENIA reps (Special Education Network in Asia) have been educating students about communities they tend to be misinformed about, as well as promoting the increased understanding and acceptance of people on the autism spectrum.

In effort to advocate for this, student created activities which share this message to the community. Here’s the link to the video that was shown in last Wednesday’s high school assembly. Well done to Imaya Jeffries and Agnes Roche for getting up there in assembly and speaking to the high school

The VEX Robotics World Championships are currently being held in Kentucky, USA this weekend and our delegation of intrepid Roboteers, Mackenzie Crowe, Yanpeng Yuan, David Zhang and Ashwin Banwari are representing ISM. Thanks to Mr. Dingrando for preparing them and to Mr. Mr. Strycharske for accompanying them all the way to Kentucky.

The Senior IB Exams started this afternoon up in the Lofthouse for the 62 students taking Business Management, then next from next Monday and for the next 3 weeks for the rest of the Seniors. Even though the rest of ISM has a holiday on Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Relf, Ms. Nyla Caras and the Proctor team, (and of course those students studying courses to be examined on Monday and Tuesday) will be here. Good luck Seniors. You can find the IB/AP Exam Schedule here.

This weekend is a long weekend as it’s a national holiday for Labor Day on Tuesday, making next week a short 3-day week. Looking forward to next week. The MS/HS Art Exhibition starts on Thursday and runs until Wednesday, May 16th. The MS Play, Peter Pan, will be performed in the FAT at the end of next week – Friday and Saturday, May 11th and 12th.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing long-weekend.
Regards,
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal