Newsflash: January 8, 2021

Admin News

Dear CIS Community, 

We welcomed our students back from our Christmas and New Year’s break this week, and despite the disappointment of still not being able to get back on campus, it was pleasing to get the notes of encouragement and understanding that it is beyond our control, and for our community protection, so we just need to do our best. Until we can get back on campus, then, we continue learning via our quality Remote Learning (RL) which is working well. Additionally, we are exploring various ways of boosting aspects of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to help raise awareness for students, parents, and staff/faculty, and to try ways we can look after our individual and group social and emotional wellbeing during this challenging time. Please read Mr. Wood’s section below (MS news) for more information on this.

CIS Sinulog Family Day 2021 Cancelled/HAD2 to continue virtually

CIS Field Demonstration Sinulog 2018

Every January, the CIS community comes together to celebrate Sinulog Family Day. This is a day celebration with a Sinulog and Philippine Culture theme, where the entire community is engaged in various activities such as Sinulog street dances, on-campus field demonstrations, games, and a “fiesta” motif lunch. The aim of the day is to appreciate and spread awareness of the culture of the Philippines as our host country. 

Due to the continuing modified GCQ safety levels mandated for Cebu City, we are saddened to announce that we will have to cancel this year’s Sinulog Family Day activities. 

We will, however, continue with our scheduled House Activities Day #2 (HAD2) for students, in virtual mode to stay safe. Despite missing regular Sinulog Day activities, HAD2 activities will focus on Philippine Culture, as usual, and there will be a variety of Philippine Language and culture activities in the week leading up to HAD day (Saturday, Jan 16). More details regarding HAD2 will be sent via email by the organizers.

Our Superintendent Dr Underwood with the CIS Field Demonstration dancers, Sinulog 2018

Thank you for your understanding. Please do take time to look at the Sinulog celebrations Cebu City is putting on, as this year is the 500th anniversary of Sinulog so they will be particularly meaningful this year! (More information on the Sinulog festivities schedule can be found on this link, as well as the official Facebook page of the Sinulog Foundation, where links to the Livestream will be posted). Pit Señor! 


Sinulog Organizing Committee, Dr. Gwyn Underwood (CIS Superintendent), and the CIS Admin Team

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

We would like to formally welcome you all back to school after the Mid-Year Christmas and New Year holiday period. For many, this break away from our computer screens was needed and appreciated. We were also fortunate that the Cebu province remained open during the break period, allowing some families to travel within Cebu and appreciate many of the beautiful areas the Philippines has to offer. 

During this break some of our families moved back to their home countries due to changes in their companies and in response to family needs, naturally, it is always sad to say goodbye to people we have come to value as part of our community. As the new semester has begun we have also had some new families join CIS, some have been returning families while others are new to our community. This is very encouraging and we give a warm welcome to our new CIS families. 

Looking through our CIS calendar there are a number of exciting events coming up for us all to enjoy. Firstly the CIS Philippine Language and Culture week from January 11th to 15th, where each morning your child will be involved in additional cultural activities during their homeroom time. This week will conclude our House Activities Day2 (HAD2).

We then have our Three Way Conferences during the weeks of January 18th and the 22nd January and 25th to 29th January, where you and your child will have the formal opportunity to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss the goals your child will be working toward over the coming semester. You will be receiving a sign-up schedule for these conferences next week. Following this, the next exciting event we are planning for is our Annual Week Without Walls. Although it is highly likely that Week Without Walls will be a Remote Learning event, the teachers are already making plans about how to create an exciting and meaningful week of experiential and service-learning activities for the elementary students.  As you can see, it has been one of our goals during these challenging times to keep learning alive and to honor the important events on our school calendar which help form much of who we are as a school community. 

The Elementary Teaching Team August 2020

Keep on keeping on!
For many of us, either our parents or our grandparents had a common challenging experience that defined who they were as a generation, and which caused a level of closeness and understanding to form among them. While planning with Grade 2 and 3 teachers on Monday, we discussed how these common experiences bring us together and help form some of the perspectives and values we hold important. Something these common experiences help us realize is that together we have the strength and that together we can support one another. There has been no official indication of when we may be able to return to campus, but whether we are Remote Learning, Hybrid Learning, or Face to Face Learning, as a school we continue to be committed to providing your children with the best possible education and we are excited by the academic progress we see CIS children are making.

Image sources from

The Gradual Release of Responsibility
The Gradual Release of Responsibility is a model of learning we like to use to help describe how students best learn. The model helps teachers to design learning that creates life-long learners filled with confidence and self-efficacy and prepared to take on the challenges they face with a Growth-Mindset. Teachers begin by setting learning goals. These goals may be set by the teacher based on a curriculum outcome, or they may be set with the student based upon an identified learning need. The teacher then designs the learning experiences to gradually move the responsibility of learning from the teacher to the student being the one in charge. Once the skill has been obtained and the learning outcome has been achieved, a new goal can be set. The cyclical model of learning is based upon the research and theories of Vygotsky, and his Theory of the Zone of Proximal Development. Many parents are actively involved in supporting their children’s learning at home and understand how learning can be enhanced by gradually moving the responsibility of learning from the adult to the child can be helpful. Our children are so capable and seeing them take responsibility for their learning goals is such an exciting journey. 

Sharing the Planet

Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws

The Kinder and Grade 1 students have been exploring the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing the Planet with the central idea “People can change their environment through their actions.” At the beginning of the unit, the students explored how the environment is changing. The Kinder and Grade 1 students demonstrated their thinking skills as they observed different pictures of how an environment has changed over time. The students noticed that there is a lot of garbage in some of the pictures and now they are thinking of ways on how we can make sure that our environment stays clean. 

During Design Day, the students were given the opportunity to design a Clean Up Machine that can help the environment. The Kinder and Grade 1 students took part of the Design Process as they planned and worked on their machines. They gave feedback to their peers on how they can make their design better. They were very excited to share their inventions during our synchronous calls and in the blog.  Other students created a poster to send a message on stopping plastic water bottles from going to the river and into the ocean. They want to promote a clean, safe and beautiful environment for their future. As one of the students shared, “We only have one Earth so we should take good care of it.”

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Social and Emotional Learning in MHS

Source: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Roadmap for Reopening School (

As is our practice at the start of the new semester each year, this past Monday the entire CIS faculty and staff partook in a Professional Development Day to reflect on Semester One and plan for Semester Two. As we will move forward, at least for the foreseeable future, with remote learning, we spent part of our day focusing on the need to continue to intentionally address the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) needs of our students and community as a whole.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified the following four critical domains as schools continue through remote learning, develop hybrid forms of learning, or physically reopen their campuses.

All four of these domains have several specific sub-categories, and we focused in MHS solely on one aspect of the first area, cultivating and deepening relationships as feelings of isolation and disconnectedness due to the lockdown has been an issue for many. Collaborative teacher groups reflected on some of the ways we have been effectively addressing and meeting these needs, as well as looked forward to this new semester and to ways we can continue to cultivate and deepen relationships.

All of our students are in HR/Advisory groups which meet every Monday and Thursday. When we began RL last spring we had initially only set aside one day per week for a homeroom period, but moving into the current year we realized that more time was needed to more fully attend to our students’ needs beyond the academic sphere. While some students may view and treat this time as optional, Homeroom is actually a requirement for all students, and it is vital that we encourage our children to both attend and engage with their HR teachers and peers in this non-academic setting designed to offer guidance and support, as well as connectedness, during this challenging time. Upon reflection, students have shared that they really enjoy and benefit from our homeroom sessions. The advisory program creates the opportunity to build relationships and creates a venue where students may share more casually and personally.

Another area that has facilitated SEL has been our revised daily schedule, where our afternoon “extension time” provides students the opportunity to seek out help from teachers or work in small peer groups on assignments or learning engagements. Encourage your children to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to engage one-on-one with their teachers or work with peers if they have not been doing so. Also, as one of our teacher groups observed:

Our daily schedule helps to maintain the boundary between academic and SEL time.

Our MHS After School Activities (ASA’s) are currently forming for this semester and will begin on January 21. While certain ASA’s (like Student Council and The Student Support Club) are overtly geared toward supporting students in the midst of this situation, all of our ASA’s intrinsically serve to build relationships and connections. While ASA’s will be optional once again this semester, this is really a great chance for students to get involved and cultivate friendships and a sense of belonging.

Week Without Walls is just six weeks away. This is another excellent way for our students to connect with each other and remain “engaged, positive contributors in a competitive, changing world.” While many of us may have struggled with understanding how we can reach out and remain engaged in this way in the midst of a quarantine, some of our students have been extremely resourceful and creative in seeking out ways to practice service learning. In Week Without Walls we have sought out and are carefully planning ways for our students to get involved and engage collaboratively in principled action.

Finally, please know that we are committed to helping our students to maintain their social and emotional health during this difficult time, but we don’t always know what they are going through, made even more challenging when we aren’t seeing them in person. Though we have already highlighted this resource, our Student Support Club is an effective SEL platform for helping students reach out to counselors and peers, and it is available to all of our CIS students in the Middle and High School.

Class of 2021 College & University Acceptances

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Here is an updated list of acceptances that were received over the holiday break. More decisions will be released later this semester.

CAS & Service Learning Updates

by Ace Pierra, Athletics Director & Service Learning Coordinator

Plaque of Recognition for CIS

From last year’s rank 13th as a stakeholder, this year Cebu International School together with Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation rank 2nd overall as an Education Stakeholder and Benefactor for Calendar Year 2020 of the Division of Lapu Lapu City Department of Education. The Plaque of recognition was given last December 21, 2020. 

CIS has been working with the Department of Education Lapu Lapu City Division for years  and will continue  to support other local schools in the city, in the region and in the nation through its service learning and CAS Program. 

Congratulations CIS!

Controlling the Population of Crown of Thorns (COTs) Starfish

As tourism and outdoor activities slowly become available again, our family started advocacy for controlling the population of the crown of thorns starfish. These starfish are damaging the corals in our reefs and if we don’t try to stop them, they can ruin our reefs by eating up all of the corals. The group of divers used kitchen tongs and a small net to pick them up and send them to a larger crate, after which we dispose of them properly. We wanted to take action because seeing our reefs get destroyed by these starfish can ruin the wildlife underwater. As we know underwater wildlife is important to our ecosystem, so I took it upon ourselves and the rest of the team to do our best and try to get as many crowns of thorns as possible. We ended that day with around 550 crowns of thorns. To sustain this project, we want to invite more divers and teach them about this ongoing problem of crown of thorns. We plan to do this on a weekly basis and hopefully make an impact on the reef by getting more people to join us in the future. Overall we feel that we were successful in doing our part to save the ocean. – Sean, Keenan, Liam

Info about COTS

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:

In any admissions website, the checklist of requirements will include an English Proficiency requirement.  Students from our school fulfill this requirement through the following:

  1. CIS provides a certification that English is the medium of instruction and assessment (except for World Language courses)
  2. CIS is accredited with Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and Council for International Schools and most universities globally recognize this thereby waiving the English proficiency requirement
  3. If a student is taking English A: Language and Literature, and earns a passing mark, the requirement is waived.

For some programs that require clinical practice like Nursing, an English Proficiency exam result is required  regardless of high school qualifications.  

Virtual Alumni Chat Series:

Starting this semester, a series of virtual talks with alumni will be scheduled to chat about what it is like to study in a specific country and institution.  The initial chat will be with alumni who are studying in Australia.   Confirmed sessions will be published and sent via email to high school students.  Parents are welcome to attend.

Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs: (students & parents are welcome)


January 14
9:00 PM

January 18-20
Monday – Wednesday
All sessions at
4:00 – 5:00 PM

February 6
6:00 PM


Creating a Balanced College List
Speaker:  Mr. Christian Gregorio, Director of International Admissions
York College, Pennsylvania – LINK to join

University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – LINK to register
HKU Programme Deep Dive Series: 3 interactive online dialogues offered by HKU Business School, Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Engineering.
Jan. 18 Monday: HKU Business School
Jan. 19 Tuesday: Doing Research at HKU Science
Jan. 20 Wednesday: -Bring your Innovation Beyong HKU Engineering

Breda University of Applied Sciences(Netherlands)
Digital Discovery DayLINK to register
You can register for as many sessions as you want, but please note that you have to register for each session separately. If you’re not able to join “live”, please still register, so you can watch the recordings back later.


6:00 – 7:00PM   Studying in the Netherlands: the education system
45 min. webinar + 15 min. Q&A by staff and international students

  • What is it like to study in the Netherlands?
  • What is a university of applied sciences?
  • What is the teacher style?
  • And what are the costs?

7:00 – 7:45PM  Studying at Breda University of Applied Sciences: an introduction to our university and study programmes
30 min. interactive webinar + 15 min. Q&A by students and staff

  • Why should you study at BUas?
  • What kind of programmes do we offer?
  • Project examples
  • International experiences from our students

7:45 – 8:30PM  Studying at Breda University of Applied Sciences: the practical matters
30 min. webinar + 15 min. Q&A

  • Application procedure
  • Scholarships
  • Housing
  • Side jobs

8:45 – 9:15 PM  Discover our Campus and the City of Breda
20 min. video tour + 10 min. Q&A by our international students

  • Our brand-new green campus
  • Our modern facilities
  • The lovely city of Breda
  • Student life
  • Our students favourite spots in the city

9:15 – 9:45 PM How to survive studying in the Netherlands
30 min. interactive quiz + 15 min. Q&A
Get to know the Dutch culture with questions about.

  • Dutch food
  • How to deal with the Dutch?
  • The weather
  • Transport
  • And much more!

10:00 – 10:45 PM Job opportunities
30 min. webinar + 15 min. Q&A

  • What’s the value of a Dutch degree?
  • Which job opportunities do students have after graduation?
  • Stay-back year
  • Job examples of our graduates

SAT Update

With the cancellation of the test dates in the first semester, it is highly likely that future test dates below may be cancelled too due to the pandemic.  An update will be announced as soon as confirmation is received from the College Board.  At the moment, these dates are open for registration.

Students are advised to check the university websites for Test-optional announcements.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 13, 2021SAT only (no Subject tests)February 12, 2021
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsApril 8, 2021
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

To register for the SAT, you may click on this link.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Newsflash: December 13, 2019

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Today has been a wonderful celebration of student learning community relationships. I feel very fortunate to be part of a wonderful community such as CIS. You and your families are truly special and it is at times of celebration such as today that the wonder of our community is really evident.

I am also continually impressed at the quality and caliber of our CIS teachers and support staff. They two are an essential part of what makes CIS work, as are our CIS students, the focus of each day at CIS.  As we go our various ways over the coming three weeks the elementary team at CIS wish you and your families very well. Have a very happy holiday season.

The CIS teachers dancing to Jingle Bell Rock at the final assembly.


And as the teachers danced up front, some other dancers joined in at the back of the gym.

Elementary Art – The Slime Story


“The SLIME Story”

“Ms. Thea, can we make slime?,” asked Clare innocently. “Nah… I dunno, well, maybe next week, not right now Clare, ok? We’re still busy doing our Papier Mache Earth Project in connection with the Sharing the Planet Unit.”

Two of the other girls had also asked the same question, and recieved the same answer. “Besides,” I thought to myself, why do Slime? It’s gooey, and messy…and I’ve been studying it for about a month and I still can’t seem to get the recipe right.“ (Of course, I didn’t let the girls hear me say this to myself.)

I was personally discouraged with my Slime Recipe up until I tried using Contact Lens Solution. A friend of mine, organizing an Art Party for her daughter had requested me last November to design art activities for a kiddie party and the top of her list was Slime. “My daughter loves art and science, and she loves slime, you have to do slime.”

I went around CIS asking teachers like Ms Weng, and Ms Stefanny how they made Slime and they gave me good advice. Contact Lens solution was really an ingredient that I hadn’t tried. Later on I learned that this solution contains boric acid (this is the famous Borax on the Youtube Slime Recipes) and it really, made the solution gooey and sticky. Without this, it was just plain old glue, no matter how much dishwashing liquid or other stuff that I added. So I was determined to try Contact Lens Solution.

Back to the Grade 2 class. In comes Irene who says, “Ms. Thea you are so unfair!!!” “What? Why?”, I pleaded. “You told Clare and the Grade 2 Js that they would make slime.” “I did?”, I asked. “Uh-huh,” she replied, “Why didn’t you tell our section that we would do it also?”

I kept silent. Then in came the Grade 2 Js. Bella, Thea and Clare marched in, holding their jars and their cute little slime containers. “Oh. Did you girls think we were doing slime today? Because I really wanted you to work on the Earth project”, I said to them.  “WHAT?? Yes we’re doing slime! Yes you told us! Remember you said ‘We’ll do it next week’…And Ms Thea a promise is a promise!!!”, they all chimed.

So I was stuck. With my promise.

I had to act fast. I had all the ingredients that day, except for Baking Soda. Think, Thea, Think. I said to myself. Okay we have glue, we have contact lens solution, we have glitter… we just need some baking soda. Where could I find baking soda? “Ms Amarga!”, I thought to myself. I know Ms. Amarga has a lot of stocks of different stuff in her classroom and she’s always so kind to lend me things. I went over and asked for some, leaving the Grade 2 with Ms Eva. I hurried back with the baking soda. And our adventure was about to begin.

I had only to do a small demo of Slime and soon they were all crowding with their containers saying, “Me, Me, give me some glue!!!” “Okay calm down,” I told them, “So how do we make slime?”

 (This was our inquiry). A bit of glue… yes that’s it, hold out your containers—I poured glue into their containers one by one… a bit of contact lens solution… and a pinch of baking soda… and you can add some glitter…”They all obeyed perfectly, there was no need to motivate them on this lesson, because they had all already desired to do Slime. We all mixed our individual slimes, and some were successes instantly, while others hardened due to too much activator.

“Okay now you have to take it out of the container with your bare hands and massage it.” “What?!”, “that’s gross,” said some students. “It’s part of the process and it all washes off with water, don’t be afraid,” I reassured them.

It was like a big Science Art Experiment. “Oh no! Mine got all hard,” exclaimed some of them, they had added too much contact lens solution and too much baking soda, and this made their Slime solid. “Okay, try again…” Ms Eva and I said to those who wanted to make new ones after the first tries flopping…. They patiently remade their slime. Pretty soon, it was like no one wanted to leave the Art Room they were all so busy with their Slime! They kept adding and adding glue, I said, “Okay that’s enough sorry guys, time is up!”

In the end they all had big smiles, and their joy was a joy for me as well. The tables were coated with glue, I was so grateful to have maintenance workers that come in and clean the room. I was fulfilled and happy because my students experimented and succeeded with something new and artistic. They all left the Art Room happy that day. Why? Firstly, it was an activity of their choice that they prepared for. Secondly, we succeeded in achieving the Slime result. Thirdly, the process was so messy and gooey, and just simply kid-friendly.

I learned from this experience, that often as an educator we can be so serious and have our own goals for the children. But when we loosen up and try things that they themselves request, we give them responsibility over their own choices, we actually make ourselves vulnerable when we choose their idea over our own, and we humble ourselves to cooperate with what they want, not what we want. They also enjoy because it’s an activity they want. I’m not saying we will no longer do serious drawing and practice drawing skills, but Slime was a nice adventure and break from the more planned classes, wherein I as the educator I decide what to do. In this case, it was three Grade 2 girls who decided what they were going to do. They were determined to make Slime, they brought their containers to school with big smiles on their faces and they inspired me to take this up as an Art Activity for them. Their determination to do it inspired me to be determined also. Their joy upon making it made me joyful too.

“This is why I’m still an Art teacher,” I thought to myself, “to hear shrieks of joy and delight when kids are making something new, when they are excited about what they are making, and are enjoying the process, not too worried about the end result.”

It’s like how Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I think all kids are artists, we educators, just have to step back and assist them sometimes, and not always insist on our own ideas, because they actually already have the idea of what they want, we can just be humble and help them achieve it.

Garde 2 and Ms. Thea

Middle/High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Semester One of the 2019/20 academic year has now drawn to a close. It’s been a wonderful five months of building relationships, teaching/learning for relevance, and challenging our students with appropriate rigor to help them develop holistically.

This week we continue to highlight some of the unique and student-centered assessments our teachers have engineered over the past weeks to reinforce and deepen their students’ understanding and skills, develop ATL’s, and allow them to create quality performances and products of which they can be proud. As educators, few things bring us as much joy as watching our students shine and effectively perform challenging real-world tasks.

We hope all of our families enjoy a time to rest and be refreshed over the holiday, knowing that we will return to build on the foundation established during this first semester.

Grade 7 Science Project: Water Crisis in the Philippines

by Ms. Nice Uy, MS Science Teacher

On Monday, December 9th, 2019, the grade 7 Science class presented their research projects, The Water Crisis in the Philippines, as part of their summative assessment. This task allowed them to apply their knowledge and skills as to how to separate soluble and insoluble substances in light of our Mixtures Unit this second quarter. Their goal was to ultimately address an issue and propose solutions regarding the water crisis in the Philippines. Students were given a sample of dirty water – a mixture of saltwater, sand, gravel, charcoal and dried leaves. Their task was to create a method for cleaning water and make a model based on the design they had constructed. They were required to find ways to use different separation methods to produce clean water in the end. This culminated with students presenting their research project to the school administrators.

Dirty water sample- students were tasked with producing clean water as their output.

Student Reflections:

Our assessment was about separating mixtures. We did a filtration project by making a filter using natural items. This task connected to the statement of inquiry; ”Systems can be used to observe in order to develop a model to explain the function of humans and its consequences to impact society.” Yes, it was a bit challenging because there was so much going on. Also it was confusing when filtering. And we didn’t really know how to make it. We could have finished the project more easily by following what the teacher said and by listening and cooperating better instead of talking and interrupting. We could have improved the project if we had finished the filter earlier so we would have had much more time to finish the slides. – Rosie and Avery

Raising awareness about the water crisis in the Philippines is important because we see how water is needed for people’s basic daily necessities, especially for drinking and hygienic purposes. Many of the water sources Filipinos rely on are unsanitized. For this project, we had to use methods to purify contaminated water. We created a model that uses the filtration process for the contaminated water. Then, we then distilled the water we filtered using a distillation apparatus. We both did our part. One of us did the pounding for the charcoal for our filtration model, and one of us conducted the distillation process. We made sure that all our materials were in the right place during this project. We both made sure that we were able to address the water crisis in the Philippines by being intentional in finding ways on how to purify water using effective methods. One of the challenges we faced was communicating with each other. Another challenge was how we managed our time because we also had some other classwork and other upcoming summative tasks for different classes so it was a bit hard to balance, but we were able to resolve these issues. – Rasmus and Fiana

There are many countries that have a water crisis and the Philippines is one of them. According to, out of 107 million Filipinos 7 million rely on undistilled water sources. We wanted to stop that, so we have made an effective and cheap filter that could be used by the locals. We found the project a bit difficult for we had to find materials that we usually don’t use like charcoal. Also, we had to find out how these materials helped us in filtering. We planned it specifically before we made our filter. We could have collaborated more to finish the report faster so we would finish the ppt before time. It would be better since we would have more time to revise it. – Lloyd and Jiyeon

Grade 12 Group 4 project

by  Ms. Jacqui Street, DP Biology Teacher
       Ms. Christine Enrile, DP Chemistry Teacher

On December 10 and 11, the grade 12 students conducted the Group 4 Project, an interdisciplinary activity in which all Diploma Program and IB Certificate science students must participate. The Group 4 Project aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Introduce students to the idea that Science is a group activity performed by teams with a mixture of scientists from different disciplines
  • Encourage understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method
  • Develop and apply information and communication skills in the study of science technology
  • Raise awareness of moral, ethical, social, economic, and environmental implications of using science

To realize these goals, the students analyzed a topic or problem which can be investigated using Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics. The students worked collaboratively across disciplines to explore a commonly believed myth using The Scientific Method. The research problems the groups explored included the dependence of pain tolerance on gender, possibility of abseiling down a mountain using duct tape, maximum weight capacity of geometric shapes, effect of salt in water on electrical conductivity, basic purification of water, how friction can save lives, static electricity, heat absorbance of different colors, and the effect of air pressure on the flight height of drones. Students culminated their activity through the video presentations which chronicled their hard work.

The Group 4 Project enabled our students to apply critical and creative thinking and have fun as they planned, designed, conducted, and documented their work.  

Here are some of their reflections:

In our Group 4 Project, we investigated how much weight different shapes can hold by folding paper into columns and stacking books on top of them. It’s a simple experiment but we were able to appreciate the physics behind architecture while trying to present it all creatively. It was a fun deviation from the academic reports that we’re used to doing for the IB! —Axelle

Our group looked into the myth that wearing black makes you feel hotter. Through collaboration and following the nature of the scientific method, we found out that it’s not a myth after all. The Group 4 project was enjoyable as it allowed us to step out of our usual classroom set-up of working individually and only within our Group 4 classes (Chemistry or Biology). The highlight of the two days was watching the hilarious videos that each group created. This was certainly a nice way to end the quarter. — Alya

The Group 4 Project is a significant aspect of every senior’s IB journey. This Tuesday and Wednesday, the senior class took part in this yearly tradition of investigating a “myth” through applying the scientific method. Our group decided to research the myth that you should not swim during a lightning storm. This experiment was memorable to me, as I believe we were able to successfully carry out the entire process in two days. In this span, I was able to overcome all difficulties with the experiment and group members. The days prior to the experiment was quite chaotic because we had no direction and inefficient communication, but when we met on the first day, everything fell into place. We were able to assign roles, finish our tasks, and wrap up the entire experiment on the first day. This was an unforgettable experience that helped me realize several things; my ability to work well and adapt to others, and how prominent the scientific method is in our daily lives. The Group 4 Project was genuinely the highlight of my senior year. – Katrina 

Grade 10 Business Advertising Unit Summative

by Emily Cornet

Over the past month, the students in the 10th grade Business course worked in small groups, creating videos to advertise CIS. During the course of the project, students had to storyboard their plans, prepare and conduct interviews of students and teachers/staff, and film scenes from across the campus. They then put together their advertisements using their technology skills, and last week they presented to an audience that included administrators, the Marketing Department, as well as a handful of other teachers and students.

Even though only students were our main highlight for the perspectives, we showed their different perspectives because they represented different parts of CIS. We also showed the different nationalities that are represented in this school. – Deandra

I learned about the different styles of making an advertisement. First, we have to thoroughly plan what we are going to focus things. We have to take into consideration on what people think so we can reach a higher number of individuals. Lastly, the video has to be visually pleasing and keep the audience wanting to see more. – Keenen

I learned about the different styles of making an advertisement. First, we have to thoroughly plan what we are going to focus things. We have to take into consideration on what people think so we can reach a higher number of individuals. Lastly, the video has to be visually pleasing and keep the audience wanting to see more. – Sean

This project taught me that advertising can be done in several different ways. It would be best to add voice overs or text to make it more interesting and informative.  – Elena

Tree of Giving

by Levi (Student Council President) & Deandra (Student Council Vice President)

On Saturday morning, December 7th, the MHS Student Council’s annual Tree of Giving took place. Along with the Student Council members, a group of students volunteered their time to help celebrate the Christmas spirit with the children from the Umapad dumpsite in Mandaue City. It was a meaningful event where our CIS students helped the Umapad children celebrate Christmas by playing with them and sharing the gifts our school was able to gather over the past fwe weeks. Our guests were children who don’t have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas, and it was heartwarming to see our students show care for others and give back to the community through this event. After sharing food and playing with the children, the event concluded by sharing nearly 400 gifts that our CIS community was able to gather.

We would like to thank all of the students, teachers, staff, and parents for their role in making this event possible! We could not have done it without all of you!

Alumni Spotlight

COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY VISITS for January – March 2020

by  Ms. Jennifer Basa, College/Careers Counselor Alumni Liaison

January 14 - Tuesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Royal Roads University (Canada)
January 23 - Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311iAcademy (Philippines)
January 24 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Yamanashi Gakuin University -International College of Liberal Arts -iCLA (Japan)
Singapore Institute of Management Global (Singapore)
February 27 - Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Venue: TBCEducation USA Fair: (more institutions to confirm later)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Hawaii Pacific University
Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Nova Southeastern University
San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley
University at Albany, SUNY
College of Lake County
Ohio University
The University of Arizona
March 13 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

For students who are planning to study in universities/colleges that require the SAT exam, below is the schedule of the SAT tests. Please take note of the test dates and registration deadlines.

To register for the SAT, you may log on to  If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at or call 261-0247 local 112 to set an appointment.  You may also visit her office from 7:15am to 3:30pm.

PTA News

by CIS PTA Board of Officers 

Dear CIS community,

We would like to thank all the parents who helped buy items, pack Christmas bags and hand them out to our security guards, maintenance/housekeeping staff, and canteen staff yesterday. We had a great time getting into the spirit of giving and thanking the people who tirelessly keep our school clean and safe!
We wish everyone a very merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year! If you are traveling, enjoy your time with friends and family around the world.
We will see you in January, when we will celebrate Sinulog Family Day together!

CIS Anglers Club

by  Paul – G12 

Last Friday the CIS anglers club organized a fishing seminar. We had a special guest Mr. Hitoshi, who is from Palms fishing Japan to talk about shore casting to the anglers. This was the first ever event of its kind held in the Visayas. It was open to anglers all over the Philippines and we had people fly in from Manila, Bacolod, and other places to attend this seminar, we also have two alumni, Shoji Castillo and Timothy Cusi present. 

The seminar was a really great event and myself along with the other anglers were able to learn so much. Shore casting is a type of fishing that is just beginning to take off in the Philippines, so it was a great privilege to be able to be taught by a professional on the subject. We also had many giveaways for the people who attended, one of them was a new fishing rod! Our elementary students was also given the time to sit down and had a short basic fishing orientation. It was attended by the members of the Elementary Scouting Club. 

At the end of the seminar, Mr. Ace announced that I was gonna be a field tester for Palms products in the Philippines! This is an incredible opportunity for me and I owe a big thanks to Mr. Ace, and Palms Philippines for giving me the opportunity. Mr Ace is the current brand ambassador and sponsored by Palms Japan. 

I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of the night! The seminar was such a great experience, and it was something I surely will never forget. The following day, my dad and I took Mr. Ace, Mr, Hitoshi, and the Palms distributor for the Philippines Mr. Jun to Badian to go fishing. We were able to catch a few fish by shore casting and jigging. Although we didn’t catch any big fish due to bad weather but it was still a great experience! Everyone had a great time and it was overall a great experience! Big thanks to Mr. Ace, Mr. Hitoshi, Mr. Jun and the school administration for making all of this happen!

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Newsflash: November 29, 2019

Elementary News

Dear Elementary Community,

The big event this week was the arrival of the new classroom carpets. Each of the elementary homeroom classes had their carpets replaced with soft new carpets and these have been thoroughly appreciated by students. I approached several of these student experts for their thoughts on the new carpets, and this is what they said.

  • “Very very nice, it feels so soft!” (Grade 5 student)
  • “It’s so soft and comfy.” (Grage 2 student)
  • “It’s soft and sometimes in the morning we like to do cartwheels on it.” (Grade 1 student)
  • “It’s very big!” (EY4 student)
  • “It’s so soft, like a sleeping mat.” (G Student)

Thanks must go out to our CIS purchasing department for arranging the purchase of our new carpets.

Mr. Glenn Davies

ES Lap-a-Thon

Date Change – Thursday 12th December
You and your child will have received a letter and sponsorship form for the elementary Lap-a-thon. Due to the senior exams, the date has been changed to Thursday, 12th December. Further information will come from your child’s homeroom teacher about the Lap-a-thon schedule. I have included the Lap-a-thon video again, made by the elementary student council.

Adlawon Farm Field Trip

The Grade 4 and 5 students recently went on a field trip to Adlawon Vacation Farm, it was pretty fun. The food there was amazing, and so were the plants and animals. My favorite flowers personally were the purple and magenta ones. Some plants were shade-loving, and others were sun-loving. I loved planting the corn and lettuce during the field trip, because it was really fun. With the corn seed we planted it right away in the soil, but the lettuce seeds are so small that they have to be planted in trays to grow little seedlings first, then we plant them into the soil. I learned a lot from that trip and I’m really looking forward to our 3 day 2 night camp later on in February when we will visit Adlawon Farm again.

By Monica, Grade 5

Middle & High School News

End-of-Semester Assessments

by Dale M. Wood, MHS Principal

For many of us words like exam and test may stir up unpleasant memories of stress, anxiety, and all-night cram sessions. While it is important to have a mastery of subject content knowledge, there are various and multiple ways students may demonstrate their knowledge and skills more effectively and in ways that mirror how people manifest and apply these things in the real world. Rarely in life are we asked to sit in silence and write for two hours about our knowledge on a topic. By contrast, 21st century jobs frequently require employees to work on projects individually or collaboratively, create products, make presentations, perform skills, evaluate data, solve problems, and reflect on the quality of their performance. More and more our schools are recognizing this and adjusting their assessment strategies to incorporate important skills (such as ATL’s) and create greater relevance by matching tasks to real-world expectations.

The word assessment comes from the Latin verb assidere, which means to sit beside. The implication in this etymology is that an assessment is not something we do to students, but rather, something we do with them and for them. The image suggested is that of an instructor sitting beside the students and working with them to ensure that they understand a concept and/or can perform a skill. With this description in mind, assessments should not be scary, but rather, are opportunities for our students to demonstrate (even show off) their abilities, that is, provided they have developed the skills and knowledge along the way to allow them to be successful on the assessment tasks we ask them to perform.

With this in mind, and to distance ourselves from the negative connotations of the word “exam,” we are simply referring to our Grade 6-10 end-of-semester summative tasks as “assessments.” Grade 6-10 teachers have a two-week window from November 29 through December 11 to set these assessment tasks within their regular class blocks so students do not have all of their end-of-semester assessments in the final days before break. Teachers have worked collaboratively to plot the dates of these assessments, conscious that we do not want to overload our students; during this window the maximum for each student is two summative tasks per day. While some assessments may look more traditional, even these will reflect the holistic nature of the learner and intentionally provide opportunities for students to apply the content and ATL skills we are cultivating within them. Our teachers are encouraged to write assessments which aim to assess various course criteria, and assessment content may be cumulative, building on quarter 1 content and skills.

Exams, since they reflect current practice in academia, are still an integral component to the DP program and therefore continue to be part of our paradigm at Grade 11. Grade 11 students will have scheduled assessment times during the morning on December 9-11, 2019 according to the schedule below.

Grade 12 students will be participating in the IB Group 4 Project on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 10-11 (these students will not have regular classes as they will be with their Science teachers). The regular class schedule will be followed by Grade 12 students prior to Dec 10-11.

On a final note, December 12 will have a regular class schedule with shortened period to enable all C and D day classes to meet. Classes in January, as the beginning of a new semester, will start with Day A.

Grade 11 Exam Schedule

(Venue: Studio) Exams for grade 11 courses will last 2 hours.

Monday Dec 9 Day DTime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioBusiness/Chem (Chemistry students also in Business take Chem.)
Monday Dec 9 Day DTime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioWL
Tuesday Dec 10 Day ATime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioEnglish
Tuesday Dec 10 Day ATime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioMaths
Wednesday Dec 11 Day BTime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioPsychology/History/Business (Chem. students in Business only)
Wednesday Dec 11 Day BTime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioBiology/Physics

Thinking Skills in Action across Grades 6-10!

by Maria Socorro Laplana, Assistant MHS Principal

The focus of approaches to learning (ATL’s) is to help students develop their self-knowledge and the skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of learning. ATL skills empower students to succeed in meeting the challenging objectives of the MYP and DP subject groups. Ultimately, ATL skills help to prepare students for responsible participation in local and global communities.

Our ATL focus for November is Thinking Skills. The Thinking Skills Category, includes critical thinking, creative thinking, and transfer. Thinking skills allow students to look at information objectively and also enable them to analyze thoroughly in order to prepare to express a judgment. By learning to use a wide range of thinking skills, students will be able to conceive different ways of looking at things; think of ways of solving problems that they hadn’t imagined before; will develop creative ways to make and propose solutions; and above all, will be integrating the understandings and knowledge obtained in all the subjects studied.

Enjoy this collection of photos of our students working on tangrams to stretch their “thinking” muscles at ELO last Monday!

PTA Christmas Bazaar Music Performances

by Michael Swank, Music Teacher

As visitors enjoyed last weekend’s PTA Bazaar, CIS music students helped enhance the festive atmosphere by performing a set of Christmas music. The program began with a solo violin performance by Axelle (Grade 12) who performed a medley of holiday favorites. The program continued with a performance of traditional Christmas songs by the MHS band students. Special guests included Mrs. Natasha Arnsby (tenor saxophone), Jiwoo, and Seoyeon (clarinet).

Grade 8 Class Production

Hello! In behalf of Grade 8 Drama class, we (Bella, Sofia, Jack & Zeke) are proud to present our class production “Gnomeo & Juliet”! Based upon William Shakespeare’s melodramatic work, “Romeo & Juliet”, our class production is a play adaptation of a movie meant to present “Romeo & Juliet” in a child friendly light. As our unit is on melodrama, which are emotional, plot driven, and cliche stage plays, we needed to find a way to present something like that in a school appropriate setting, and though the difference may be great, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is as melodramatic and plot driven as “Romeo & Juliet”. To a degree, of course. We will be presenting on the 6th of December, and we invite you to come and watch in Room 314/Drama room. We hope to see you there!

Play Director: Jack B
Assistant Director: Bella F
Props/Costume Manager: Sofia J
Lights & Sound/Marketing: Zeke S

Dragon’s Print

Dragon’s Print officially welcomes the holiday season with some poems by Lea F. and Jandra R.! Get into the cheery spirit with three festive acrostics that you can read on

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Newsflash: November 15, 2019

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This has been another wonderful week on learning at CIS. It was wonderful to see so many parents in our classroom this morning during our parent drop-in time. Sometimes we take for granted all that we have here, but while showing a visitor around this school this morning I was reminded just how talented and dedicated our amazing teachers here at CIS are. In every classroom is was able to show examples of how the skills that are preparing our learners for the second half of the 21st century, are being taught. I was also able to give our visitor examples of how our learners have been empowered to accurately assess themselves, and then decide on their next steps for learning.


February 18th – 21st, 2020 is the week of the CIS Week Without Walls. During this week our elementary student are involved in a number of service activities.  The week is designed around the themes of Fun, Adventure, Curriculum and Service. The service element requires some fundraising as CIS students are involved in supporting schools and organizations that are less fortunate than us, within the community.  Last year the KG/G1 students worked with local schools and donated some classroom furniture and learning supplies. The grade 2 students were heavily involved in supporting the Cebu mangrove initiatives, while the grade 3 and 4 students worked with and an organization called Light of Hope to supply a local village with solar-powered lighting. The majority of the fundraising for these service projects came from the elementary  Lap-a-Thon.  This year the Lap-a-Thon will be held on the morning of Wednesday 11th December. Students will have the option of choosing from 4 different types of laps, these are being designed by the elementary student council. Each student will be seeking some sponsorship for their participation. This is a very fun-filled event and we encourage parents to come and support, and even to take part.

Student Article – Band

When I became a Grade 4 student, I started band. I chose clarinet for my instrument. Four of my friends also chose clarinet for their instrument. We are learning a song called Jingle Bells. Maybe we will perform this in the Christmas assembly. I feel kind of nervous but also I feel kind of excited.

I like our band teachers, Ms. Arnsby and Mr. Swank. Ms. Arnsby teaches woodwind and Mr. Swank teaches brass. I like them because they’re really kind, and they know so much about music! Band is such fun!!-Jiwoo, Grade 4

Middle & High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

Getting excited about this year’s Week Without Walls

Our Week Without Walls experience is not until late February, but most of our planning for this event is already in place as teachers are working on the finishing touches on their respective courses.

This year we are excited about the courses we have planned for our students. We have expanded our focus somewhat this year and are offering some overnight travel experiences and incorporating outdoor education as we seek to include all aspects of CAS (creativity, activity, and service) in our experiences, as well as include international-mindedness and interdisciplinary learning touchpoints. We want to continue offering great service learning opportunities for CIS students, but also work on developing important life skills, develop cultural appreciation, and foster awareness of and interaction with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals through experiential learning.

The AMT, under Dr. Underwood’s leadership, have drafted a philosophy undergirding our Week Without Walls efforts, as follows:

  • Cebu International School’s Guiding Statements highlight our belief in the importance of experiential, constructivist learning, and the explicit development of a wide range of skills and attributes identified as Approaches to Learning (ATL) and Learner Profile (LP) attributes. 
  • We believe providing an extended period of time outside the classroom to engage in purposefully planned activities enables our students to develop many of these skills and attributes in ways that are not possible, or are more difficult, in a classroom setting.
  • All of our WWW activities are designed around the promotion of one or more of the following areas: creativity, activity, service learning and/or intercultural mindedness. In addition, interdisciplinary/curriculum links are encouraged when opportunity presents, but these should not be forced.
  • As a school CIS has identified service learning as a particular focus, and therefore aspects of Service Learning will be included in all WWW activities (unless there is approval not to do so for a specific reason), and activities will therefore follow the objectives of Service Learning at CIS.

This year’s WWW courses are divided by grade level into grades 6-8 courses and grades 9-11 courses. The exception to this is the 4X4 (Life Below Water course), which will be open to grade 9-11 student leaders and to all 6-8 students.

Grades 6-8 will have three options this year: Bohol Adventure, RAFI Kool Adventure Camp (in Balamban), and the 4×4 2.0 which is focused on UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water). All three courses include a combination of physical activity and skill development, outdoor education, and service learning.

Several of our Grade 9-11 courses are carrying on with the service learning partnerships we have already developed with local community groups, including Paknaan, Pit-os National High School, and Gawad Kalinga. Several of our HS students are also committed to conservation and community service efforts carried over into the 4X4 course (which focuses on Sustainable Goal 14- Life Below Water). In addition, we are offering a cultural/historical/ecological experiential course which will explore both the Masungi Georeserve and Corregidor Island in Luzon.

We will be sharing more details about each of these courses next week so that parents and students will be able to make their choices for which one is best for them. We will be sharing a Google Form with students and they will have a week to respond, indicating their first, second, and third choices. Selection will be made according to seniority (according to grade level in their respective grade range courses) and then by promptness of response. We will do our best to place students in their preferred courses. Rest assured that our teachers are carefully planning these courses in order to anticipate and mitigate any risks that may be present.

Masungi Georeserve Discovery Trail

Bohol Chocolate Hills

IB Internal Assessments or the IAs

For the past months and the current one, our IBDP Grade 12 students have been working to complete their IA assignments for their IB courses. IBDP Assessments are composed of both external and internal assessments. External assessments are the exams which students take at the end of their 2-year journey of the DP. Written exams form the basis of the assessment for most courses. On the other hand, internal assessments, or the IA’s as your hear most often from your children, are assessment tasks unique to each subject that complements your children’s demonstration of their knowledge for such a subject. This includes activities such as:

  • oral work in Languages
  • replication of an experiment for Psychology
  • research project for Business
  • laboratory work in the Sciences
  • investigations in Mathematics
  • artistic performances

Rather than being a purely exam-based curriculum, IB has built in these great opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and skills in each subject area through a more individualized and project-based approach, and these assessments figure into each child’s final grade in the respective subject.

A few weeks back we shared about the Psychology IA presentations where students presented the findings from their experiments. In today’s newsflash we are showcasing the IA for Math Studies SL. Several of our students visited the Maths SL course to learn a challenging concept which will help them improve their IA results. Having learned this concept from the SL students, they brought it back to the Math Studies class to teach their classmates.

An Insight on the Math SL Experience

by Katrina R., Grade 12

In our Math Studies class, we have been diligently working on our Internal Assessments (IAs). The IA is a required internal part of the Math curriculum for the IB Diploma, where the student must conduct an investigation and assess their data using mathematical and/or statistical analyses. A few students from our class and I, journeyed to the Standard Level Mathematics class to learn more about the technological aspect of the IA such as graphs for linear regression and exponential decay linearisation. We spent three sessions sitting in the SL class and in the end, taught everything we learned to our classmates in Studies. The experience was very eye-opening because it showed me how different yet similar the topics we were learning are. For example, there were certain things we covered in class but the approaches were very different. We also had to adjust to the classroom environment and learning of the content itself, which was very different indeed. In the end, I can say that this was a very interesting and insightful experience, because I got a sneak-peak into the lives of the SL students. I can also confidently say that the Studies class now know most that there is to know about the technological aspects of our IAs, and we are all, excited and ready to apply it to our reports!

ISAC 1 (Southville International School and Colleges)

by Ace Pierra, Sports and Activities Director

We congratulate our ISAC teams for a successful first season of ISAC. Our boys volleyball team bagged the first runner up trophy and girls got the second runner up trophy. Go dragons!

Here are some blurbs from the players

Throughout my five years as an ISAC volleyball player, I have not only grown as an athlete, but also as a person. From my little 8th grade self who started out as a shy and nervous setter, to becoming the captain of the team in grade 11-12, it has been an irreplaceably rewarding experience.

It was a great honor to be the captain of an incredible team that got us 2nd place last year, and 3rd this year. From this precious adventure, I believe that I had learned about responsibility, leadership, friendship, and of course, teamwork. In my last year of ISAC, I am very proud of the result that my teammates and I had achieved. Although the games were often pressuring and stressful, our team stood steady and was able to overcome thanks to our close bond. Whenever someone made a mistake, we always pull each other up and try to motivate. I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to play with such sweet and caring teammates.

As I near my last year in CIS, I would like to give some advice to the future ISAC volleyball players. Firstly: never give up until the game is officially over because there’s always hope and chance; no matter the score, we can always catch up. Secondly: focusing on how the team performed as a whole in the game is more important than focusing on winning. Every player should have put in all of their effort and hard work during the game instead of relying only on their teammates. Thirdly, losing and making mistakes happens. We should learn from them and try to not repeat the same mistake rather than blaming ourselves and stressing out. Lastly, I would also like to encourage everyone to frequently practice regardless of how good they think they are because everyone has a room for improvement and this can only be fulfilled with continuous practice. Being part of ISAC volleyball is the thing I will surely miss the most after I leave CIS. I am grateful for the 5 years. – Sally

On October 23, the girls and boys volleyball teams flew to Manila to compete in ISAC Season 1 in Southville International School. This was my first ever ISAC experience. In the competition, we competed against 6 other international schools around the Philippines: Brent Baguio, Brent Subic, Brent Manila, British School Manila, Southville International School and Faith Academy. The girls got into the semis round and placed third, while the boys reached the finals and placed second. 

ISAC is a very fun and unique experience. You get to compete against good athletes, and at the same time become friends with these opponents. Traveling with your team also gives you time to bond with one another outside of school. -Bianca

ISAC volleyball was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had in my 9 years of being in CIS. I got to play the sport that I love and also got to represent CIS at the same time which was an honor. ISAC gives you an opportunity to meet and socialize with other schools as well. This event also helps people show off their skills that they have been practicing for a long time and also get the chance to be recognized for it. Even though we didn’t get the result that we wanted this year, we were still able to make the most out of this ISAC and that’s what I love most about our team. This was my first time in ISAC volleyball and I really can’t wait until next years ISAC. – Natalie

Tree of Giving

by Katrina R., MHS Student Council, 12B Homeroom Representative

To commemorate the Christmas Season, the Student Council is hosting its annual “Tree of Giving” event, this December 7th. Children from more impoverished areas in Cebu, will be invited to our campus, and spend a day with our students enjoying a range of activities, such as games, eating, and sports. At the end of the event, the children are given gift boxes, that were donated by students, staff, parents, and more. These boxes are filled with a number of necessary goods to help these children better their education and daily life, and give donors the opportunity to spread the joy of the season. Student Council invites all members of the CIS community to donate gifts for these children, and hopefully, give them a memorable Christmas!

If you wish to donate to the Tree of Giving, the gift checklist is available below. After wrapping your gift, please drop it in the lobby of the main building. Student Council is accepting donations until December 6th.

Dragon’s Print

A teacher’s job is often busy and serious, but it also allows them to see and hear some of the silliest things when interacting with students! As schoolwork gets more demanding this time of the year, here’s a light interview with some faculty on the most ridiculous excuses and statements students have told them. Read their responses on

Grade 8 Museum

by Joy Pierra, Individuals and Societies Teacher

As part of their final requirements this semester, the Grade 8 students created a mini-museum of the ancient civilizations. The museum highlighted the four river valley civilizations named Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and ancient China. This activity allowed our Grade 8 students to show their understanding of the significance of systems and how it’s driven by resources to create civilizations. The museum was opened last November 14 for our upper elementary students.

Here are some of the students’ reflection on the activity:

The first thing we did for our Mini-Museum was to get into our groups. My group members are Rebecca and Soowan and we were tasked to work on Mesopotamian civilization. In our research, we learned about so many things; the Mesopotamian government, art, language, religion, etc. After doing our research we started to think about what to put into our presentation. We used the action plan that Ms. Pierra had assigned us to do. We added in the questions, the answers, and the examples that we want to include in our presentation. After doing that, we created our artifacts. Overall, preparing for the mini-museum was really stressful. It was hard to get everything ready on time, getting the information, making the artifacts, and studying our topic, it was a challenge. However, working with my group was fun though sometimes we need to improve our time management. We worked hard to prepare our posters for the mini-museum and it turned out really well. Our artifacts were really nice and interesting and we presented well. My group really enjoyed doing this mini-museum and we hope that the 2nd graders enjoyed our presentation. Thank you to Ms. Pierra, Ms. Cornet, Ms. Aimee, and Ms. Maureen! – Zhandy

In our Social Studies classes, we were divided into different groups and we had to do research on different ancient civilizations. We studied the art, government, stable food, religion, writing, technology, cities, and social class of each civilization. Additionally, we had to create at least 3 artifacts that represented some of the topics. Today the 3rd and 4th graders visited our classrooms where we were able to share our findings and teach the kids about ancient civilizations. It was a very fun and interesting experience that we all enjoyed. – Bella 

The Grade 8B class held a mini-exhibition. My group made our own little exhibit of ancient Egypt. We presented these to a few upper elementary classes. I think this would have been a very enriching experience for them. We explained all the artifacts we made in detail, such as Egyptian art, technology, and food.- Mahati

Dear parents,

We are very excited for this year’s PTA Christmas Bazaar at Oakridge Pavilion! Besides the high quality vendors of home goods, beauty products, toys, yummy foods and more, we are also excited to have the following special events at the Bazaar:

  • A Car Wash and Nail Salon put on by students raising funds to attend the Global Issues Network Conference
  • Performances by the cast of this year’s musical production, The Music Man
  • A performance by a special Chambers ensemble of CIS band students
  • A Children’s storytime and activity put on by Crafts2Go.

See the Facebook page for the CIS PTA Christmas Bazaar to get schedules and sneak peeks from vendors!  See you there, Nov. 23 and 24.

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Newsflash: August 16, 2019

Dear CIS community,

We have had a busy 4-day week getting started on learning activities, while students also formed social groups in new classes with new class members. The Student Council have also been busy preparing for elections for class representatives, as well as a new initiative – an After School Activities Fair (see poster with details below)!

Due to having just starting the school year we do not have much class news or products to share with you this week, but you can expect more to appear in coming weeks! For now, here are a few announcements and some alumni news.

For parents who like to join our assemblies, we will hold a whole school assembly on Monday, with  separate Elementary and Middle/high school assemblies the following week.

Also keep in mind next Wednesday is a national holiday (Ninoy Aquino Day). Have a restful weekend!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood

CIS Alumnus Represents Metal Cup in Russia

by Jenny Basa, Alumni Liaison

Agustin Dominic “Ado” Laplana (CIS Class of 2015) is heading a team of 6 students from the University of the Philippines – Diliman!  This is the first for the Philippines to join the Metal Cup. Ado and his team will be competing with students from 10 other countries.  The international technological strategy championship in metallurgy “Metal Cup” ( is a professional command competition of youth international teams from technical universities around the world. The aim of the championship is developing human capacity of the metallurgical industry, strengthening of international contacts and cooperation of young specialists of the countries, integration of the best students to elaborate complex technological strategies for the development of key investment projects in metallurgy.  Each team is given a case study where they need to formulate a strategy to solve the key problems/tasks in each case vis-a-vis the development of the metallurgical industry in your home country. The success of the team will be based on the degree of elaboration of alternative solutions for the proposed project.

The CIS community wishes Ado Laplana and his team as they represent the Philippines in Krasnoyarsk, Russia for the Metal Cup on September 15-20, 2019.  For more details on the Metal Cup, please check this link:

Ado Laplana (2nd from right)

SAT Test Dates for SY 2019 – 2020

by Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

For students who are planning to study in universities/colleges that require the SAT exam, below is the schedule of the SAT tests. Please take note of the test dates and registration deadlines.

2019-2010 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
October 5, 2019SAT & Subject TestsSeptember 6, 2019
November 2, 2019SAT & Subject Tests (includes Language w/ Listening tests)September 6, 2019
December 7, 2019SAT & Subject TestsNovember 8, 2019
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject Tests April 3, 2020
June 6, 2020SAT & Subject Tests May 8, 2020

To register for the SAT, you may log on to If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at or call 261-0247 local 112 to set an appointment.  You may also visit her office from 7:15am to 3:30pm.


by Ace Pierra, Athletics & Activities Director


The purpose of ISAC is to provide a structured framework for competition between the MHS students of international schools in the Philippines. It was established on May 8, 2004 by a committee of Athletic Directors representing these schools. ISAC stands for International Schools Activities Conference.

ISAC Member Schools

  • Brent International School Baguio (BISB)
  • Brent International School Manila (BISM)
  • Brent International School Subic (BISS)
  • British School Manila (BSM)
  • Cebu International School (CIS)
  • Faith International Academy of Davao City (FIA)
  • Southville International School and Colleges (SISC)

Member schools are required to participate in all ISAC tournaments and all member schools are expected to host on a regular cycle.  There are 6 core activities of the organization:

  1. Boys volleyball: October
  2. Girls volleyball: October
  3. Boys football: January
  4. Girls basketball: January 
  5. Girls football: March/April
  6. Boys basketball: March/April

Here are the records of core activities championship and overall championships.

Respective ADs meet twice a year to do a preseason and postseason updates. After 15 years of existence, CIS is a proud member of this sports organization.

CAS Experience: CIS and Ateneo Mangrove Planting in Liloan

PTA Pre-loved Book Sale

Greetings parents, from your PTA Officers for the 2019-2020 school year!

We hope you are all settling in well after the break. We welcome any new families and will be sure to meet you soon!

We will be holding a pre-loved book sale during Book Week (October 28-31), and we will begin collecting books next week. If you have books at home in good condition that you’re finished with, students can bring them to school where homerooms will have collection boxes. The books will go on sale during Book Week, and proceeds will go to the PTA general fund. As we get requests for PTA-funded projects, we will present you with options for using the funds.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marjolijn Roepers, President
Wendy Tanagho, Vice President/Secretary
Zana Gawan-Taylor, Treasurer

CIS Activities & Club Fair

On Monday, August 19, during ELO, Student Council and Athletics & Activities will host the first CIS Activities Fair! It will be a quick session from 9:30 am – 10:00 am in the Dragon’s Dome. Students and parents will be able to check out the different after school programs that will be offered this semester. Attendees will be able to explore new clubs and find out what is offered. All students and parents are invited to come. Club registration will open after the fair. Hope to see you all there!

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CIS IB Diploma Exam Results for 2019

Cebu International School (CIS) is pleased to announce the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) exam results for the Class of 2019.

The IB Diploma results were released on July 6th 2019. There were 30 IB Diploma candidates; 24 of them earned the diploma.

A note on the exam participants:

  • There were an additional 2 students who opted for certificates.
  • All Grade 12 students earned their CIS High School Diploma (100% pass rate).

In comparison with the IB average grade worldwide per subject for the May 2019 exam session, 15 out of the 21 subjects offered at CIS earned marks higher than world average.

The number of 7’s (highest grade possible) was achieved in the following subjects:

1) English Lang and Lit (1)
2) Mandarin Ab Initio SL (3)
3) Mandarin B SL (1) – no HL this school year
4) Spanish Ab Initio (2)
5) Spanish B SL (2) – no HL this school year
6) Psychology HL (3) – no SL this school year
7) History HL (1)
8) Math SL (2)

Established in 1924, CIS was authorized to offer the IB Diploma Program in 1999, and was recently re-accredited by the Council of International Schools and Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and re-authorized by the International Baccalaureate for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Diploma Programme. This external validation of our program demonstrating a high-quality curriculum and level of instruction is present, and providing opportunity for our students to shine. A feature of our accreditation protocols is the continual focus on improving learning each year, and we will continue to look at ways to develop our program to facilitate excellence from committed teachers and motivated students in order to offers the best opportunities for our students’ future endeavors.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme® was first offered 50 years ago, is a rigorous two-year education program for students in grades 11-12. The program is unique in its structure, utilizing a holistic approach that explicitly teaches critical thinking, approaches to learning skills and the development of desirable attributes and positive attitudes while enabling a broad base of study in six major subject groups, as well as in-depth higher level of study in three of the subject groups. It is used widely in many international, private and government-run schools in countries all around the world, and is a recognized and respected qualification that promotes entry into higher education and leading universities worldwide.

Congratulations to the class of 2019 for their performance, which is a real credit to their hard work and commitment!

For media enquiries, please contact

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Newsflash: August 9, 2019

Dear CIS Community,

It was wonderful to welcome so many of you to our Family Orientation Day last Wednesday. We extend a very warm welcome to our new teachers and families, and welook forward to working and learning with you over the coming year, our 95th anniversary!

This first Newsflash edition for the year focuses on highlighting the many NEW things that we have at school this year, and some important information on communication at CIS and health and safety issues.

Communication at CIS

The first change you will notice right now is our new blog format for our weekly Newsflash newsletter, making it more visual, interactive and accessible. Please share any feedback you might have at the comments section below!

There is a significant amount of research that shows good home-school communication is a required factor for schools to be a highly effective. Accordingly, CIS places importance on maintaining clear, two-way communication channels that enable us to serve you and your children effectively. In order to do this, we provide a variety of modes of communication, and encourage you to use the one that is most appropriate to the situation:


Telephone is the best for time-sensitive issues. Our reception is staffed from 7:15am through 5:00pm to take your calls and forward as needed. Please keep in mind that faculty are in class or moving around campus during the day, so are often not in a position to take calls or return them until the end of the school day, or the next day.

Online Communication

Email*, Google Classroom or Seesaw & Text messaging are perhaps the most convenient and efficient forms of communication for non-urgent issues. Faculty and Staff will try to respond to messages that require a response within 48 hours (and earlier if it is time-sensitive and if at all possible). Feel free to write a paper note if you prefer and time is not an issue, but be aware notes are easily misplaced, especially if the courier is a younger child! *Important Note: Email is not a good medium of communication for discussions or conveying emotional information, as the written word cannot express feelings like you can in person through verbal and body language. It is therefore not recommended for sensitive or complicated issues.


Discussions are best for sensitive or complicated issues then, after arranging a mutual time to meet. Video conferencing is also possible, but a face-to-face meeting is preferable.

Student & Parent Handbook

Please refer to our Student & Parent Handbook (Page 10) for more details of exactly who to contact for what, and how!

  • Parents may download a PDF version of the Handbook from our parent portal the HUB in the documents section.
  • We will also share a dedicated link to a Google Doc version via email for those who prefer online access.

School Events

As a school, we also facilitate a number of events that provide communication opportunities, such as our Family Orientation last week, Parent-Teacher-Student conferences, PTA/school coffee meetings and parent info sessions. Please do make every effort to attend these events, as they are a great way to learn more about the school, what your child is doing, and to contribute to our community. I look forward to another wonderful year of learning in partnership with all parents, students and teachers!

Facilities Upgrade

We are sure you noticed the effects of out beautification project as you drove onto campus for the start of the year! A huge congrats to our Facilities manager Mr. Dereck Llacuna and the facilities team for all the projects they completed over summer. Some more notable projects included:

  • Painting of the main and ELC facade, the South Gate entrance drive, and accompanying landscaping
  • Addition of a new CIS name and logo “sail”
  • Re-piping thought the building to resolve water issues from old pipes
  • Floor covering for some business office areas (admissions office flooring to come later in the year!)
  • Renovated Admissions Office toilets
  • Renovated staff/faculty lounge and kitchen
  • General maintenance (grounds, painting, cleaning, etc.)
  • Installed speed tables with pedestrian crossing, footpaths to connected carparks, and safety rails at ES pick-up/drop-off areas
  • Preparation of the EY Playground ready for installation of artificial turf (this will be installed as soon as the turf arrives as it was delayed!)

Parking, pick up drop-off points

In addition to the new pedestrian crossing, we have re-ordered the parking lots as follows:

  • The faculty parking lot is now on the far left (North) side (previously parent temporary pick up drop off parking).
  • The second lot (previously staff parking) is now the temporary pick up/drop off parking for parents.
  • The third lot is the overflow for staff (and parents if the temporary lot is full)
  • The others towards the South exit are for owner-driven vehicles.
  • The lots on the North exit side are for driver-driven vehicles (there is a shelter and toilets for those that ned to wait).

The reason for this change is to make it more convenient for parents and visitors who are visiting temporarily, as the second lot is next to the new pedestrian crossing. This is also safer for any accompanying children.

Drivers, please observe Safety Guidelines (parents, please explain these to your drivers):

  • Drive to the conditions and keep to the speed limit.
  • Park cars in the appropriate lots, and use the pedestrian crossing to enter the the buildings (DO NOT cross the pick up/drop off road area).
  • When picking up or dropping off students, cars must move to the front-most pick-up/drop-off point to allow efficient transfer of passengers from multiple cars at the same time.
  • Cars may NOT wait in the pick-up/drop-off point to avoid congestion (drivers must wait for their passengers in the parking lots before the come to pick them up, and circle around or go to the parking lots if they are not ready or are waiting for a passenger).

Security Checkpoints

Please be reminded that for security and student safety reasons, our CIS security team is responsible for checking the arrival and departure of all people and of all vehicles who are coming in and going out of the campus at the entrance and exit gates along the driveway. Drivers who refuse to roll down windows or open trucks for inspection will be denied access to the campus. Any driver that presents a security breach to such as failing to stop upon request will be apprehended, and removed, or delivered to the authorities. We apologise for any inconvenience these procedures brings, but please understand they are there for the safety of our whole community.

  • Yesterday’s congestion when exiting campus after school was due to the large number of “Transport Arrangement” forms that have yet to be submitted by parents. These forms enable the guards to more quickly check our students are leaving in approved vehicles with approved drivers. Please submit these ASAP if you have yet to do so. You may download the form here.

DP Results

Our congratulations go out to recently departed graduates whose IB Diploma exam results came out over the break. We will post a more complete report next week, but for now, I can share we are are pleased that 90% of our registered candidates earned their IB Diploma, with a school average of 33 points (out of a maximum 45, with 29.63 being the world average). As 100% of them also earned their CIS Diploma, we are pleased to know all of our graduates are on their way to university, with the exception of one who is still deliberating on which college to attend!

Have a wonderful weekend, and we look forward to continuing our learning journey next week!

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