HS Friday Bulletin March 22

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin March 22

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Last Saturday was “Extended Essay writing day” for the Grade 11 students.  The Extended Essay is a research paper of up to 4000 words, giving students an opportunity to conduct independent research or investigation on a topic that interests them. Like the Theory of Knowledge (TOK essay and presentation), and participation in creativity, action, service (CAS) activities, the Extended Essay is a mandatory prerequisite for the award of the IB Diploma.  The Grade 11s started to think about potential topics and specific research questions back in January and many of them are making good progress.  We try to get this piece of work completed in Grade 11 so that the start of senior year doesn’t get too bogged down when they are starting to think about their college applications (and of course trying to keep on top of their regular schoolwork).  If you have a son or daughter in Grade 11, please check on their progress and give them a nudge to try to get it off their plates by June.

In response to questions from families, please note that, so far, the school has not been impacted by water shortages. We have two very large underground water systems, which would allow us to function in the event of a loss of main water. The cisterns are tested regularly to ascertain the potability of the water.  We have taken measures to reduce our use of water for non-essential maintenance work, landscaping and play facilities in the Early Years Center.

As I said in last week’s bulletin, we’re coming to the beginning of the end for the Seniors, with lots of “lasts” starting to happen.  Today,  the Seniors finished their IB/AP Mock exams.  The “mocks” give students the sense of what it is going to be like in May when they sit the real IB/AP exams.  If students prepare well for their mocks, it often stands them in good stead for May as they are less reliant on cramming and hopefully it gives them an opportunity to identify misunderstandings in time to work on them before the real exams.

Another reminder that the Grade 12 (IB2) Art Exhibition is still on-going in the lobby of the FAT.  The exhibition will run for one more week, until Friday, March 29th.  Please take time to enjoy some of the wonderful pieces that our IB Art students have created.  Thanks to Ms. Godfrey and Ms. Garner for organizing the show this year – and of course, well done to the Grade 12 IB Art students for some outstanding work again.

Looking forward to next week, Miguel Syjuco returns to ISM to work with students on creative writing, journalism, and literary study of his novel Ilustrado. Miguel’s novel won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, the Palanca Award, and was a New York Times notable book in 2010. He is a journalist for The New York Times in addition to freelance reporting for The Guardian, Boston Review, Rappler, BBC and more. Mr. Syjuco also works as Assistant Professor of Practice, Literature, and Creative Writing at NYU Abu Dhabi. His return marks our 6th year working together to incorporate more Filipino voices into our curriculum and to give our students real world connections to literature, journalism, and the power and importance of language. On Wednesday March 27th in the High School Library from 3:0pm to 4:0pm, he will deliver a reading from recent journalism followed by a Q&A session with the audience. This event is open to ISM HS and MS students and parents.

A reminder that the PCA International Night has been moved from this weekend to next and will now take place on Saturday, March 30th.  International Night is the most important event of the PCA’s calendar. It is the biggest fundraiser of the entire year for the PCA where we enjoy an afternoon of celebration of national dance in an international setting. The members of the various countries, regions and cultural groups represented at ISM come together to proudly show off their art, music and food. It is a spectacular showcase of multiculturalism that is unique in our school community. The event starts with a cultural show at the FAT. The theme this year is “Amazing Places, Amazing People” and in line with this theme, you can sample the delicious holiday cuisine of the 40+ participating countries at the International Buffet that follows the show. The Cultural show starts promptly at 4:30pm at the FAT. The International Buffet follows right after at 6:00pm in the ES Gym.  I have been told that tickets have all been sold.  Well done and thank-you to the PCA for organizing this again this year.

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Mike

Michael Dickinson

HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin March 15

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin March 15

MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We’re coming to the beginning of the end for the Seniors, with lots of “lasts” starting to happen.  At the end of last week, the Seniors had one less thing on their IB plates – the English and Modern Language “B” Orals were completed, so Seniors, cross that one off the list.  This week they are hard at it again as their IB mock exams started yesterday.  We scheduled a couple of breaks in the middle this year to give them some time to breathe so, after this weekend they will continue until next Friday (March 22nd), but will have next Wednesday off (apart from those students taking AP US History) to focus on their Thursday and Friday exams. 

There is something both innately intimidating and strangely satisfying about the perfect perspective and gorgeous geometry of our excellent exam facility!  Does this take any of you back to younger years? (the picture – not my attempt at alluring alliteration!)

It is going to be a weekend of hard work coming up for them.  Good luck seniors, and as I said last week, keep your foot down on the gas.  Here is the schedule again for this year’s mock exams.

The Grade 9 students who are enrolled in the AP Human Geography course sat their mock yesterday, while the Grade 10 students in the AP English Literature and Composition are doing theirs as I type.  The last of the AP mocks, AP US History, will be next Wednesday.  Good luck to all.

Tuesday this week saw the opening of the Grade 12 (IB2) Art Exhibition in the FAT.  The exhibition will run for 2 more weeks, until Friday, March 29th.  Please take time to enjoy some of the wonderful pieces that our Art students have created.  Thanks to Ms. Godfrey and Ms. Garner for organizing the show this year – and of course, well done to the Grade 12 art students for some outstanding work again.

Thanks to Mr. Joya, Ms. Provencher and Mr. Nazareno for the series of “Afternoon Delights” this week.  There will be more next week.  If you are in school at 3:00pm to 3:15pm outside the Bearcat Kantina, please stick around; you won’t be disappointed.

Monday – Strings
Tuesday – Band
Wednesday – Choir

Bearcats in action this weekend…

Also on Saturday, March 16, the HS Golf team will be in competition at Mount Malarayat.  Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Birchenall and to Mr. Pearce for giving up their Saturday to chaperone and give constructive advice to the golfers.  According to Mr. Birchenall, we have a very strong team this year and so high hopes for the IASAS season tournament in Jakarta next month.

This Sunday Ms. Wong will accompany the NAHS (National Art Honors Society) students at Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati for the annual “Art in the Park” event.  NAHS use it as an opportunity to fund-raise for their chosen charity and this year, all proceeds will go towards Future Faces, to build a new soup kitchen / multipurpose facility. The facility is designed by ISM Alumni Architect, Nicholai Go (Class of 2011) in collaboration with Project Pearls, an established foundation that provides meals to children in Bulacan. To build the kitchen we will be using bricks, manufactured by Green Antz, made from used shredded plastic and combined with cement.  All the art being sold has been donated, with much of it being created by ISM students.  The doors will open to the public at 10:00am.  Well done Ms. Wong and NAHS.

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Mike

HS Friday Bulletin March 8

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin March 8

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that you all, but particularly the high school students, were able to get a little R&R during last week’s February break.  The Dickinsons headed off to our usual spot in Hakuba, Japan, and had a fantastic week on the slopes.  The trouble with these active holidays at my age is that I’m still 19 at heart and behave as I did when my muscles were stronger and my joints better lubricated.  Anyway, the limp from a MCL tear that accompanied me back to Manila is totally worth it!

I know we are all super happy to be back at school, but not as happy as our SLS Teaching Assistant Keno Camacho, who is a proud new dad!  Welcome to the ISM community baby Mateo!

During last week’s break, the IASAS Cultural Convention delegates and teacher chaperones ventured to Jakarta for Debate and Forensics; the Musicians were in Singapore while the Artists, Film-makers, Dancers, Thespians and Theatre-tech crew all headed to Bangkok.

Some highlights:
I
mpromptu: Kody Tinga – Bronze medal
Original Oratory: Andrea Lee – Silver medal
Oral Interpretation: Razel Suansing – Gold medal
Oral Interpretation: Bella Leak – Silver medal
Debate: Keerthana Bathula – 3rd place Best speaker
Debate: Aldrin Aujero and David Bloom recognized in the top 8 debate speakers

Music:  All 3 octets were recommended for the Festival Showcase in Singapore and many of our soloists were also recognized.

I’ve managed to assemble some of the videos here for your viewing pleasure (I can’t find all of them – sorry)

Strings Octet:
Choir Octet:
Dance:
Festival Concert:

Thanks to the many teachers involved in both the preparation and the trip – particularly as they are giving up a part of their February break to travel with the students.  I only heard great reports on our students’ performances and contributions but as important, I have only heard great things about their deportment and conduct during the 3-day visit – Well done Bearcats!

On Tuesday morning this week, for the High School Parent Coffee, I asked some of the performers from the Cultural Convention to perform for us and they were absolutely terrific.  Thanks to the 40+ parents that came out to enjoy the music, film and speeches; and thanks (of course) to our wonderfully talented students.

Violin – Adam Zhou
Original Oratory – Gabby Fadullon
Flute – Seunghee (Clara) Han
Piano – Irene Lee
Film – You Snooze, You Lose
Vocal Solo – Elias Groff
Impromptu – Kody Tinga
Vocal Solo – Stephanie Harrison

The Seniors are at the “beginning of the end” time of year with their ToK essays being uploaded to the IB this week and their Senior photoshoot on Wednesday.  There are a few that have started to allow things to slide a little so please chat with your Senior about the need to stay strong to the finish and leave ISM with a wonderful reputation and a lasting positive impression in the minds of the younger students and the teachers.  In the meantime, I’d like to share with you the picture that was taken for the yearbook and the counselling office; this is a more casual one at the end of the shoot. (don’t worry about the back-drop – it will be spectacular for the finished picture).

With that need to keep a foot held firmly on the gas in mind, the Grade 12 IB mock exams start next Thursday and are scheduled to run until Friday, March 22ndHere is the schedule again.  Other students (mainly Grade 9 and 10) who are studying AP English Literature and Composition and/or AP Human Geography and/or AP United States History also have their mock AP exams during this same block of time, so please do check your child’s courses and compare them against the schedule.

Next week, Tuesday, at 3:00pm we have the opening of the Grade 12 (IB2) Art Exhibition in the FAT.  The exhibition will run for 3 weeks, until Friday, March 29th.  Please take time to enjoy some of the wonderful pieces that our Art students have created.

Bearcats in action this weekend…

Saturday, March 9th
ISM Softball invitational round 1 on the ISM HS field
MS & HS Badminton teams away at Brent
HS Golf team at Mt Malarayat
Varsity Baseball away at Los Baños
Sailfish away at Bangkok Splash meet
Gymnastics comp at BSM
ISM Wall climbing invitational

Sunday, March 10th
Varsity Baseball away games at Brent

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing weekend.

Mike

HS Friday Bulletin February 22

To access the full bulletin please click here: HS Friday Bulletin Feb22

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Last Friday and Saturday, I was lucky enough to help chaperone 39 wonderful Grade 11 students on the Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) and Geography overnight field trip to GK Enchanted Farm up in Bulacan.  We visited 3 dams and enjoyed some lectures from the engineers about their construction.  The students took water samples and measured temperature, pH levels and turbidity in the dam water. Then at GK, they were able to see some of the agri-preneur (agriculture / entrepreneur) schemes that GK graduates are involved with.  Look out for some of these products in Rustans or the Saturday market in Salcedo – the chili-ginger hot sauce (Hot Mama!) is excellent.  Well done and thank-you to Ms. Govier and Ms. Bowers for their organization of the trip.

Last week, the Grade 10 students have enjoyed the peace and calm of the American Cemetery as they connect the reality of war with their current unit.  Thanks to Robert Butcher and the rest of the English 10 team for organizing these short excursions.

Each evening this week, we have been treated to the previews of all the Cultural Convention (CulCon) students’ work as they prepare for next week’s trips:
the Musicians (Strings, Band and Choir) travel to Jakarta;
the Dance / Drama / Film / Art and Tech students are off to Bangkok;
and the Debate / Forensics teams will do their thing in Taipei

Thanks to the many teachers involved in both the preparation and the trip – particularly as they are giving up a part of their February break to travel with the students.  Good luck everyone.

After the break, on Tuesday, March 5th, we will have our Parent Coffee in the Little Theater.  While the agenda is not completely finalized, I can say that the main theme of the coffee will be a Cultural Convention celebration; I hope to have as many of the performances as I can in all areas of CulCon to give parents a taste of the different aspects of CulCon and to appreciate the level of expertise that our IASAS delegates achieve.

Also on March 5th, from 7:30am – 12pm, Mr. Trevor Sturgeon will be on campus to answer questions about TS College Tours, which offers organized college tours in the US, Canada and the UK. ISM students who participated in the past give the program all positive reviews.  https://www.tscollegetours.com.  Email: tsturgeon@tscollegetours.com

Looking further ahead, the Grade 12 IB mock exams are scheduled to run from March 14th to 22nd.  Here is the schedule.  Other students (mainly Grade 9 and 10) who are studying AP English Literature and Composition and/or AP Human Geography and/or AP United States History also have their mock AP exams during this same block of time, so please do check your child’s courses and compare them against the schedule.

And with that, I wish you all a restful, relaxing and well-deserved break.

Mike