HS Friday Bulletin February 17

To access the full bulletin, please click here:  HS Friday Bulletin February 17


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Well, last Saturday evening was an absolute blast! Thank you to all the performers, both bands and vocalists, at Battle of the Bands! We were treated to an evening of talent that I find hard to believe come from just our High School students. The evening was cool and clear; a full moon rose above the tennis courts behind the stage on the Elementary School field and the music flowed from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. A big shout-out goes to Mr. MacInnes and his BoB executive council; in total, over ₱1,600,000 was raised for our Service Learning Partners (that is over US$32,000). An amazing haul – well done everyone!

Today is a Professional Development (PD) day for all faculty and staff. In the high school, staff are engaged in shared learning experiences, curriculum development and team meetings that will enhance the teaching and learning for all. It also goes a long way in preparation for the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) visit in October of this year. I, and others, have been up in the Lofthouse for the last two (and the next two) days learning about how schools can be adaptive to changing needs and changing trends in our ever-changing world.

After the break, our musicians will head off to Jakarta, the Art-Dance-Drama-Tech students will travel to KL and the Debate & Forensics representatives will go to Bangkok. For this year’s IASAS CulCon (Cultural Convention). In preparation, there will be some previews for us all to enjoy;

Mon Feb 27, 3:15 – 4:15 in the AMR
Original Oratory (x3 speeches)
Oral Interpretation (x3 speeches)
Impromptu Speaking (x3 speeches)

Mon Feb 27 from 5:00 in the FAT
Dance & Drama

Tues Feb 28, 3:15 – 3:45 in the AMR
Debate (15-minute sample)
Extemporaneous Speaking (x3 speeches)

Please come along and be impressed by the caliber of our dancers, thespians, artists and orators as they prepare for their trips which start on Wednesday, March 1st.

Next week is, of course, February break. Whether you are staying here in Manila, or heading away for some R&R further afield, I hope you have a pleasant break.

Wishing you a restful and relaxing week.

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin February 10

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


Dear Parents / Guardians,

Thank you to all the parents that came to school last Tuesday evening for the Grade 9 and Grade 10 transition Information sessions. The Grade 9 session (for students moving to grade 10) was particularly well attended so well done to you all for braving the Manila traffic to get here. Thanks to Crystal Cappuccio and Issa Daoud for presenting. The grade 10 session (for students moving to grade 11) was presented by Mike Relf and Eric Swan; thanks Mike and Eric for your clear and concise information and again, thanks to those parents who attended. Below are the links to the PowerPoint presentations from Tuesday evening if you were not able to attend.

Grade 9 presentationhttp://bit.ly/2kZJtOD
Grade 10 presentationhttp://bit.ly/2lusNvD

Next Tuesday is our monthly High School Parent Coffee morning from 9:30am to 11:0am in the Little Theater. Please come along if you can spare the time. This week’s agenda includes:

  • Course Selection
    • An overview of new courses
    • An explanation of changes to course offerings
    • A walk-through on the process for course section (so that parents can help their child from home if they so wish)
  • IASAS Cultural Convention Preview
    • Original Oratory / Oral Interpretation
    • Music ensemble / solo pieces

The new Course Offerings Handbook is now online and can be viewed using this link: http://bit.ly/2lqxxqp

Tomorrow evening is, for me anyway, one of the highlights of the High School Calendar – the finals of Battle of the Bands! A fantastic evening packed with vocalists and bands performing a wide range of musical rock and pop genres. Hopefully, the weather gods will shine on us (as they have for most of the finals in recent years) and we can all enjoy a lovely open-air concert starting at 5:30pm on the Elementary Field. I encourage all parents to come along and witness; extraordinary musical talent, a great outdoor music festival experience, tremendous school spirit and all in aid of ISM’s service learning partners. This is one rock concert that we encourage your children to attend! It is safe, well run by the student committee and faculty advisors and lots of fun! There are incredible prizes to be won on the raffle, so make sure you buy your raffle tickets when you get to school.

Next week, we have previews of our Cultural Convention (CulCon) students as they prepare for this year’s IASAS CulCon competitions. Music Previews will start at 5:0pm on Monday and Wednesday in the AMR, while our Art delegates work will be on display from Monday in the FAT Lobby. The Debate, Forensics, Dance and Drama previews will happen after the February break and I’ll let you know more about them in next week’s bulletin.

Wishing you a restful and relaxing weekend. I hope to see some of you tomorrow for Battle of the Bands!

Best regards,

HS Friday Bulletin February 3

To access the full HS Bulletin, please click here:  HS Friday Bulletin February 3


Dear Parents / Guardians,

I write the High School Friday Bulletin this week from the bleachers of the high school gymnasium while watching our Bearcat boys as they play ISB in their fifth and final round-robin game of this year’s IASAS basketball tournament. Yesterday and today, I have spent a large part of my day in the gyms, supporting our girls and boys. The noise from the clappers and drums had given me a headache by the time I got home last night and my own shouting had made my throat hoarse and sore – I couldn’t have been happier! These past two days have been great, where the spirit of IASAS and Bearcat pride and support were well and truly on display. For every game that I attended, the gyms were absolutely packed with Bearcats from pre-school to high school; the support was amazing and the cheers were often deafening. The basketball tournament here at school continues throughout tomorrow.

Further afield, the ISM Touch, Rugby, Tennis and Swim teams are all playing and swimming their hearts out in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Good luck to all our athletes, whether at home or away. Please check the websites below to see when ISM’s games are and do come along to support if you can spare the time. If you can’t get to school you can watch all the action through our live video streams.

Basketball schedule. https://sites.google.com/ismanila.org/iasas/home/boys-results?authuser=0
Basketball live video feed. http://community.ismanila.org/livestream/
IASAS Website (for other video feeds and scores). www.iasas.asia

This week saw Jazz Night come and go for another year. This year’s evening was memorable for a number of firsts. Mr. Bobisse’s own service learning project, the Tondo Chamber Orchestra brought representation and played alongside some of the members of our strings ensembles. Ms. Barlongay’s dancers were there to show off their talents with some great performances (backed, of course by the Jazz Band). Ms. Provencher’s choral groups added solos and group performances to Mr. Nazereno’s amazing group of musicians. And, a great addition this year was the inclusion of professional dance instructors who were on hand to teach some of us that we do in fact have a modicum of dancing ability. The highlight for me was getting the chance to twirl my own daughter around the dance floor – she went home with only minor cuts and bruises, but is on the mend now, both physically and mentally! Well done and thank you to Tom Nazareno, Anne Provencher, Yek Barlongay and Giovanni Bobisse (and of course to our musicians, singers and dancers) for the time and effort that must have gone in to making Tuesday evening such a great success. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Next Tuesday we have two back-to-back information sessions for grade 9 and 10 parents whose sons or daughters will soon make their course selections for grade 10 and 11 for academic year 2017-18. The grade 9 session will start at 5:00pm in the Little Theater while the grade 10 one will start at 6:00pm in the FAT. Please come along so that you can be more informed about the vast array of offerings that students are able to select from so that you can help your kids make choices as they plan for their futures.

Wishing you a restful and relaxing weekend – I hope to see some of you on the bleachers tomorrow.


Mike Dickinson
High School Principal

HS Friday Bulletin January 27

Click here to access the full bulletin:  HS Friday Bulletin January 27


Dear Parents / Guardians,

In last week’s bulletin I wrote about career week, which happened throughout this week with a keynote address by Nikki Wallace (ISM class of ’02) and teachers speaking with students about the career opportunities that their subject areas may lead to. On Wednesday, the grade 10 students were treated to short presentations from some other alumni, mainly from the class of ’09. I was able to get to many of these presentations and was impressed by the variety of occupations that this group of alums have broken into, from Uber to fashion modeling and from architecture to medicine. Thank you to the presenters who gave up their time to talk with our students and thank you to all who were involved in the planning of this event, particularly, Mr. Brown, Mr. Woods and Ms. Wong. The common theme that ran through each of the talks that I attended was how well ISM had set them up for success; that, although the IB diploma is hard work, it prepared them well for their first year of college so that they felt “ahead of the game” compared with other students.

I would like to remind parents of grade 12 students that there will be a meeting at 1:30pm on Monday in the AMR to set up committees for the organization of this year’s high school graduation. If you would like to be involved and can spare the time, please come to Monday’s meeting.

If you’re not doing anything on Tuesday evening and fancy a night of jazz music and dancing, why don’t you join us for Jazz Night starting at 5:30 in the Little Theater? If you’re not a great dancer, don’t worry, there will be professional dance instructors that can make you feel like you are. The lucky ones can have 5 minutes dancing with me; the unlucky ones can have 10 minutes! Tickets are on sale at the cashier for P500 and all profits go to the Tri-M service learning partners.

Last night, I spent a few minutes entering each of the ISM IASAS Basketball games into my Google calendar so that I make sure that I will be there, courtside, to support our girls’ and boys’ teams next week. It’s hard to believe that it was 6 years ago that we last hosted the basketball; I remember it vividly. The support from the rest of the school was incredible. The atmosphere was electric. I still remember Jon Moran (who, 4 years earlier I had taught in my grade 8 science class) scoring a last second basket to clinch the bronze medal for ISM in the 3rd / 4th place playoff game. A court invasion swiftly followed the final buzzer as the crowd went wild – a wonderful memory. Jon is now gainfully employed after graduating from Duke a couple of years ago! Where on earth does the time go?! Please do come to school on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday to support our basketballers. You won’t be disappointed with the level of athleticism; and hopefully you’ll be there to see our teams pick up a couple of medals too. The rugby boys and touch-rugby girls leave for Jakarta early on Wednesday morning, while the swimmers travel to KL and the tennis teams head off to Bangkok. Good luck to all our athletes; play well and make us proud of you, both on and off the field/court/pool. You can follow all the action through live-streaming video on the www.iasas.asia site.


Wishing you restful and relaxing weekend,

Mike Dickinson
High School Principal