HS Friday Bulletin May 4

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


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.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin April 27

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


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.
Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin April 20

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN APRIL 20

Dear Parents / Guardians,

We’ll start this week’s bullet with some well dones! To Isabela Alvarez, Andrea Geoffroy and the whole Sustainability Council for their efforts in raising our awareness of environmental, economic, wellbeing and societal sustainability issues. I saw a very timely report on the BBC news last night which reported that the British government are introducing measures to ban single use plastic straws and stirrers in an attempt to ease the burden of waste from our environment. Timely in that the Sustainability have been promoting the metal straw campaign here at school so if you haven’t purchased one already, now’s your chance.

Our second round of well dones this week is for all the effort that our Fine and Performing Arts team have put in this week. To Anne Provencher, Tom Nazareno, JC Joya and everyone involved behind the scenes for treating us to an excellent Finale Concert last Tuesday. Nadia Hartley and Catrina Waters once again organized a fantastic display of our students’ Films at this year’s ISM Film Festival on Wednesday; well done Nadia and Catrina. And our third celebration of the arts and culture came when we all concerned about Yek Barlongay’s apparent abduction with a whodunit, “Clue” themed 100% Dance yesterday evening in the Little Theatre (which was packed by the way); well done Yek and well done to Rocio Tambunting and Rahul Vanjani for being the sleuths / compères for the evening. Thank you to all the parents that supported these three events – without an audience they would simply not be as successful as they are.

Our third round of well dones goes to all the coaches and athletes for IASAS Season 3 and yet another fantastic series of tournaments in which ISM featured prominently. I tried to get out as much as possible on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday I was able to see all the action on the track and on the field and went home tired, happy, and with no voice after shouting far too much. Here’s a roundup of this year’s Season 3 results:
• Golf – Boys Bronze, Girls 4th
• Track & Field – Boys Bronze, Girls 4th
• Baseball (Boys) – Silver
• Softball (Girls) – Bronze
• Badminton – Boys 6th, Girls 4th

It’s been a great year for ISM regarding our IASAS Sports participation. Mr. Pekin reported to me yesterday that this is the best finish overall in his last 11 years of being in charge as Athletic Director. At one stage we were tied for first place and we finished the year in second on points but equal first on overall number of medals won – that’s fantastic! Well done to all involved and Go Bearcats! Season 3 Sports Awards will be held in the Fine Arts Theater on Wednesday next week (April 25th) at 5:30pm.

Also next week, I’d like to wish our Roboteers good luck as they head to Kentucky, USA for the VEX Robotics World Championships.

Finally this week – Today was the Senior’s last day of school before they take a week off to study for their final IB exams which start next Friday! They finished at lunch, but not before they had their fun this morning with their senior prank(s). The theme of the prank this year is Nightmare and they turned each of the hallways in HS into a different nightmare with snakes, spiders and cockroaches on the Biology floor, a π (pi / pie) theme on the Math corridor and ACT prep books strewn about the English hallway!! The Kantina was converted into a basketball court at break-time with Seniors acting as bouncers on the doors. Lots of fun!

After their fun morning, they were treated to a send-off lunch in the High School courtyard organized by the Senior Moms. The courtyard was turned into our very own Boracay and again, there was all sorts of fun (and lots of food) for the seniors to enjoy. Thanks Moms for your hard work.

Good luck Seniors as you prepare next week for your IB finals.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin April 13

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


Dear Parents / Guardians,

IASAS Season 3 is upon us. The Badminton teams have travelled to Kuala Lumpur, the Softball and Baseball teams are playing in Jakarta, the Golf tournament is being held at the beautiful Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, and the Track & Field competition is right here at ISM. Please come out and cheer on our athletes here at school. You can watch all the action through the live streams and keep up with the leaderboards by clicking on the school links here on www.iasas.asia website – scroll down and click on the sports for Season 3 on the right of the red banner. Or, to save time, you can click the links below
Softball and Baseball, Track and Field, Golf, Badminton

This Sunday, April 15, The National Arts Honors Society (NAHS) will be represented at Art in the Park. They will be selling art work made by IB Art students and other artists from 10:0am to 9:0pm. Please come by and visit Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City to say hello! All proceeds will be going to Ate Academy founded by our very own NAHS alumna, Sammy Westfall! Hope you can come and show your support for our amazing artists:) NAHS will be here in Salcedo Park (link to map).

Next, an update on the Project JeepTree fundraiser for Child Hope and exciting next steps for 2018! On behalf of ISM’s Class of 2019, we would like to thank all of you for supporting Project JeepTree and taking part in the community effort to make a meaningful and sustainable contribution to our service partner, ChildHope Philippines. Although the fundraising ended right before the holiday break in December, we’ve been hard at work this new year and would like to share both a recap of the fundraiser and a preview of the next steps
to our project. But first… How much did we raise?
We sold a total 1,428 trees.
Our total revenue was 714,000 pesos.
Our total profit was 535,417 pesos… (read the full report here)

Looking ahead to next week we have plenty to fulfil your craving for culture:
HS Music Finale Concert- Tuesday, April 17th @ 5:00pm in the FAT
HS Film Festival- Wednesday, April 18th @ 3:00pm in the FAT
HS 100% Dance- Thursday, April 19th @ 3:30pm in the LT

This year’s HS Music Finale Concert explores the theme of Duality. Join students as they examine how dark and light aspects of music are interwoven to create a richer sound. The following music groups will present two or three selected pieces each: Concert Choir/ Concert Strings/ Concert Band/ Symphonic Band/ Show Choir/ Orchestra/ Jazz Band. All these groups will then join together for the final number ‘This Is Me’, a piece from the recent popular film The Greatest Showman. (Poster design by Music Program Leader Brian Howrey.)

The HS Film Festival brings together selected films from Intro, Explore and IB Film classes to celebrate the best of what ISM film makers have created throughout school year. The first part of the festival showcases the best films made for individual projects in all year groups. The final part of the program is used to showcase the culminating IB projects made by Grade 12 filmmakers. Please join us to watch these premiers on the FAT big screen! (Poster design by G10 Film student Rhia Mitsuhashi)

ISM’s Dance Company final show for the school year is inspired by the board game Clue. Clue, originally known as Cluedo in Europe, is a murder mystery game where the players must guess who the murderer is and how they committed the crime. The participants move from room to room, looking for clues. Dance Company has choreographed dances that represent these rooms and unravel another part of the mystery. Will you be able to guess correctly? (Poster design by Dance Company senior Nicole Bitanga, for the event.)

Our Seniors (that are taking the full IB Diploma), now have just one week to go here at school before they start their study leave. Next Friday, April 20, will be their last day and they’ll finish in style with a send-off lunch provided by the PCA and Grade 12 parents (thanks parents) in the High School Courtyard. If a Senior has 4 or more IB examinations, then they will receive the full study leave, but if they have 3 IB exams or fewer, they will need to continue to come to school to finish up their non-IB courses – they will however, receive the day of the IB exam and the day before the exam as study leave days. Good luck to our Seniors in both the exam preparation, and the exams themselves which start on Friday, April 27th.

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal