Newsflash: September 25, 2020

Admin News

CIS Corporation Announcement

The Annual Meeting of the CIS Corporation will be held via videoconferencing on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00pm.

CIS Corporation members will receive meeting details via their registered email prior to the meeting.

For any inquiries, please contact the CIS Corporation secretary, Ms. Azela Diapana <>.

PLDT Advisory

Dear CIS Community,

We have recieved an advisory notice from PLDT indicating major mainenance on one of their submarine cables. As per the latest update (refer to the infographic for details), all measures are in place to ensure continued connectivity during the scheduled emergency repair. PLDT has spare cables systems and additional capacity to keep uninterrupted connection during the service maintenance.

If there are any connectivity issues (which there are occasionally even without major maintenance!), do not let it bother you. Teachers are aware this might happen, so students can just switch to work on asynchronous learning activities until their connection is restored.


Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

I have been thinking a lot about how we connect with each other lately. Humans (most humans) thrive on social interaction and many of us find it difficult to operate at our full capacity when in isolation.  We often behave differently when we are around other people to when we are alone, sometimes this is positive and other times this can be less positive. As a PYP school our teaching and learning strategies are founded in the theory of Constructivism.

Constructivism believes that knowledge is constructed in context through experience and social interaction, meaning that the best learning happens when a person is interacting with others, and when their emotions are involved in the learning.  The CIS Remote Learning program has been designed to ensure that both of these aspects have been addressed, and as we dive deeper into the school year the evidence of our constructivist beliefs is beginning to emerge. While visiting Seesaw, reviewing student responses and hearing what has been taking place in synchronous classes the beauty of constructivist learning is being honoured by the CIS teachers and appreciated by our learners. This week one of our teachers shared a video of a brother and sister laughing and giggling as they interacted over a math lesson that had been designed for one of them. The lesson itself was offline, but the students had chosen to video themselves doing the learning, then posted it on Seesaw to share with their teachers. This combination of learning through social interaction and the full engagement of emotions is so far from what I experienced as a young learner at school, and so close to what we are working to achieve at CIS as educators base their instruction in constructivist theory.

Our bi-weekly elementary assemblies are another example of the value we place on social interactions here at CIS. We cannot come together physically as a community at this time, but this does not stop us from coming together. Each week our elementary student council come together via Google Hangouts to plan the assembly, create a script, contribute their parts and combine it together to create a wonderful  community production.


Throughout the year we like to hold regular parent workshops at CIS. Since we have been on Remote Learning the elementary school has not offered workshops to parents, however we believe the time has come to begin offering these again. CIS views parents as partners in the learning process and never before has this been more true. As partners we would like the opportunity to discuss the learning process with you in greater detail and there is much that we as a school can learn from your experiences over these past months of being a teacher and facilitator of learning at home. In the survey linked here a list of workshops has been shared. Some of these are workshops that we have offered before, while others are new and more targeted to our current circumstances. We would be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete this short survey to help us plan workshops that would be both meaningful and worthwhile to you as parents. There is also a place in the survey for you to suggest workshops that we may not have thought of. Please follow this link to complete the short survey.

Remote Learning on Seesaw

PE Synchronous Class

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias, PE Teacher

Physical education has never been more important than it is right now. Students find themselves living more sedentary lives. Sedentary bodies can lead to sedentary minds.

During our PE synchronous class, students are engaged in several virtual fitness games such as 60- Second Challenge, Virtual Tag Games, Scavenger Hunt, Simon Says as well as learning the different Components of Physical Fitness to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of the most exciting parts is letting them play using the materials that are available at home, for example, paper bags, paper towels, pencils, rolled socks, stuffed toys, pillows, the laundry basket, and books. Students display a lot of enjoyment when they have been very active and participative during our synchronous classes. They also get a chance to collaborate with different grade levels. Students are also provided with options to do the PE activities posted on Seesaw at their own pace.

KG and G1 participate in exercises using the equipment they have at home
Recently, Grade 4 and Grade 5 did the Fitness Challenge together.
It is fun seeing everyone’s faces online during PE class.

Understanding the concept of CHANGE in the Early Years

by The Early Years Team

Our EY learners have been engaged in our unit of inquiry, Who We Are. We have been exploring the key concept “change” through various learning experiences, such as story read alouds, collaborative discussions, and simple experiments. Last week, we did an experiment to see how objects and materials change. The EY 2 and 3 students had the opportunity to conduct some experiments at home. Some students choose:

  • Color Mixing – Mix two or more colors and see what changes happen. What happens if we mix different colors together?
  • Ice Melting – Put some ice in a bowl and let it sit on a counter. Observe what happens to the ice after leaving it out of the freezer.
  • Making Playdough – Mix ingredients together and see what happens. In what way did the materials change?

The students identified that changes can happen when we mix ingredients together, or if we change the conditions they are kept in together.

We have also investigated how living things such as humans and plants can change. Last Tuesday, we put some mung bean seeds on wet cotton to see what would happen. After a few days they began to sprout. We recorded our observations each day using pictures each day is an opportunity for them to begin developing their research skills.

We look forward to inquiring deeper into this unit to gain a better understanding of who we are.

Living Things in Grade 5

by Ms. Freya Abella and Ms. Carolyn Pynor

This week in Grade 5, we looked back and reflected on our first Unit of Inquiry. The students have shown how advertisements affect our decisions on what we purchase. In their responses, they showed evidence of how they are Thinkers and Communicators, and how they are reflective.

We have also begun our new Unit Of Inquiry, How the World Works with the central idea,  Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. We are talking about unusual animals and how they have adapted with their ever-changing environments. This is a  little bit like us adapting to COVID-19 and the changes in our environment.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Social and Emotional Learning in MHS

Last week in the ES portion of the Newsflash Mr. Davies explored the area of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) needs and why it is so vital for us to be aware of and address those dimensions within our community, especially given the current quarantine status. As he explained, our previous traditional daily face to face classroom interactions with students allowed many of our students’ social and emotional needs to be met organically; however, as this period of remote learning is extended and people find and/or feel themselves isolated, both physically and psychologically, it is incumbent upon schools to become more intentional about how they meet these social and emotional learning needs.

I wanted to build on what was shared last week and focus on our Social and Emotional Learning efforts in the Middle and High School, exploring some of the things we are doing in our co-curricular programs to promote and facilitate social and emotional learning.

Virtual House Activity Day

The House Activities Day (HAD) is one of the most awaited events at Cebu International School every year wherein the members of the 4 Houses – Acacia, Mahogany, Molave, and Narra – engage in various activities that promote teamwork and foster school spirit! In recent years, this event has been spearheaded by the Student Council members fulfilling their aim of creating opportunities for students to have fun, work together, and enrich their non-academic school experience.

With the remote learning set-up this year, it has been quite a challenge for the members of the StuCo to come up with creative ideas to hold a virtual HAD, which would be quite unique compared to those held in previous years, yet would still be as fun and as enjoyable! While virtual, the students were able to enjoy a morning full of exciting and engaging activities as they went through 6 different activity stations which ranged from virtual charades, singing songs, competing in random trivia, drawing and guessing pictures, team challenges, and even physically challenging activities!

Of course, the House Captains were on top of their league as they guided their house members in creating house hype videos which included chants and cheers for their respective teams! Virtual venues were created to house up to 40 students at a time and each one tried their best to contribute whatever they could to help their respective teams!

In the end, there can only be one winner and for our first HAD of the year, the house that obtained the most overall points was House Narra!

Here’s what Bianca M., the Class Representative of Grade 11 has to say about her experience:

If I were to describe last week’s HAD, I would say it was different…in a good way. The days previous to HAD, were filled with much uncertainty. Surprisingly though, it went much better than anyone could have expected. There were almost no complications during the day itself and from what I heard, most people actually enjoyed it. It was a nice break from online classes and a great way to connect with people from different grade levels. One highlight of mine was the live awarding ceremony. Because of the new online platform, I wasn’t able to see who was watching us. This was a good thing, though, as I have really bad stage fright. Overall, I think the day was very successful and enjoyable for all who participated. I surely can’t wait for HAD 2!

And here’s the Narra House Captain’s experience:

Online HAD was a huge success. I was quite nervous waking up in the morning since this would be the first HAD I would be leading. Going into the first activity I was very excited after the game finished and I felt the nerves coming in because we had tied with Acacia that round. But as the day progressed and we started winning more and more of the activities, my nerves settled and the determination to win kicked in. When they announced the final results I was ecstatic because I knew all the effort the Narra team had put into the games. Overall, I felt as though all the games went very smoothly and all the intensive planning the Student Council put in really showed.

StuCo would like to thank everyone who helped in any capacity to make this first ever virtual HAD a success! To all teachers who supervised the teams and activities, to the live ceremony team headed by Ms. Jenny Basa and Ms. Justine Condor, and especially to all students who gave their best for their respective houses! Until next HAD!

Here are some photos from our HAD 1

Adapting Homeroom Time

One of the things we have done this semester to help our students socially and emotionally has been to return to holding homeroom/advisory twice per week, which has given us much more scope to meet virtually with our students with a non-academic focus. Last week, for example, we were able to allocate homeroom time to gather our students across all grade levels according to their respective houses and facilitate their collaboration in preparation for HAD day.

For any of you who missed our opening ceremony, you can follow the link to the video below. The respective houses, led by their house captains, collaborated on the video, created and presented house cheers, and then presented three house representatives for the “best dressed” competition.

The houses worked together to plan and create these spirit videos which were used to kick-off our HAD day and begin scoring points for the final tally. As you can see, these creations were student driven and student led, with the adults facilitating from behind the scenes. One of the things that HAD does so well is to involve all of our students across all grade levels, so those who may have been feeling a bit isolated would have the chance to work together with their houses and feel a sense of participation and connection.

After School Activities

This semester we have initiated and are running ASA’s just as we always do, albeit virtually, and these groups provide another opportunity for us to address the SEL needs of our students. This semester the ASA’s are optional both for students and for faculty sponsors. However, even though these are not mandatory, we are running nineteen different ASA activities after school to allow our students to gather (virtually), learn, collaborate, and create outside of regular class time. The following are two examples.

Student Support Club
Last year this group was formed after we saw the encouraging success of the Grade 5/6 mentoring program. We thought it would be a great idea to embrace the purpose of the mentoring program, which was created to provide support, empathy, and guidance for our youngest MHS students as they transitioned into Grade 6, and expand it to the entire MHS student body, since we can all use a little help from time to time. While this is a student-led group, Ms. Villagonzalo serves as the faculty sponsor and works with the students to equip them to be effective peer mentors. Here is a description of this ASA in the students’ words:

A strong support system is the foundation of a good community. In order for our school community to be efficient in what we do, we must have a group of people that the entire student body knows they can rely on. This group of people must be well-equipped enough to be able to tend to students and help provide emotional, social, or mental support.
This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Knowing how to react/how to phrase words in situations where one opens up
  • Being open-minded and accepting towards all identities and cultures
  • Practicing non-judgmental listening
  • Not forcing opinions on others
  • Recognizing and helping others recognize toxic behaviours, traits, relationships, etc. and how to handle such situations
  • Recognizing self-sabotage, and helping others to stop
  • Knowing and understanding sensitive topics, why they are sensitive topics, and why they should never be joked about
  • Understanding and being able to recognize depression, anxiety, disorders, etc.

Disclaimer: We understand that these are very serious issues, and it takes   someone who is more knowledgeable about these topics to deal with       them. We are not mature and prepared enough to help others with these, and will direct others to get proper help if necessary.
○ Reminder: It is okay to get help when necessary and is never something to be ashamed of.

The reason we want this group to be student-driven is because students can relate and empathize easier with other students. We understand the struggles a student has to go through, especially now with remote learning. We hope that this encourages students to be more open to approaching us and speaking with us.

Virtual Guitar Club
This semester we have revived the Guitar Club as an ASA and our small but active group comes together, guitars at the ready, on Google Meets to share and learn from each other. While students are given some direction and are taught how to play songs and develop new skills and techniques, they are also invited to request songs for the group to learn and can also teach the group songs and techniques that they have picked up.

Student reflections:
Guitar ASA is a fun way for me to get back into playing the guitar during this quarantine. I am able to spend this time dedicated to learning how to play the guitar better despite not being able to interact in-person. For me, it’s a great way to enjoy my hobby with others, making this quarantine a little less lonely. – Miggy

I have really been enjoying the Guitar ASA so far. I’m in the process of learning guitar, including practicing different guitar chords and learning different songs. The Guitar ASA helps me in this aspect, because it surrounds me with people who can help me get better. It’s more relaxed and less stressful compared to standard instrument lessons. Our sessions are done in a very social way, where everyone is working and communicating together; I really enjoy that. – Kat

College Counselor’s Corner

Tip for the Week

Online options for extra-curricular activities:
If you are worried about having less opportunity for CAS during quarantine, sign up for the online CAS projects presented by Mr Pierra. When filling in your college application form, provide context about your situation and describe what you are doing virtually. The admissions officers will appreciate as much information provided by you as the applicant.

Upcoming Virtual College Visits & Fairs

September 30 Wednesday 2:00 PM PH timeScholarships and Financial Aid Overview of Financial Aid at Japanese national and private universitiesTo register, click here:
September 30 Wednesday 6:00PMHong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) Faculty of EngineeringLink to register:
October 2 Friday 1:00 PM VirtualTemple University (Japan)Zoom link:
October 5 Monday 10:00AM VirtualChinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)Zoom link to follow
October 7 Wednesday 6:00PMHong Kong Polytechnic University(Hong Kong) Faculty of Construction & EnvironmentLink to register:
October 14 Wednesday 6:00 PMHong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) Faculty of Business, Health & Social SciencesLink to register:
October 15 Thursday 1:00 PMUniversity of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada) ID: 318 394 3681 Password: 946466
October 17-18 Saturday & SundayEduCanada Virtual Fair(list of institutions to follow)
October 27 & 28 3:00 - 7:00 PMStudent World Virtual FairsList of Universities

SAT Update

Please note that most universities have gone test-optional. This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

September 26 and October 3 have been cancelled by the College Board. Test-takers registered on these dates will have received an email with instructions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020CANCELLED
September 26, 2020CANCELLED
October 3, 2020CANCELLED
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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: September 18, 2020

Admin News

CIS Corporation Membership and Meeting


Dear Parents,

This the last call for those who would like to be a member of the CIS Corporation. The deadline is on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

We would also like to let you know that the new meeting date for our CIS Corporation meeting is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

More details and Notice of the Corporation meeting will be sent to your registered email address.

Finance News

Elementary News

by Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

We have now completed our 6th week of Remote Learning for this school year. The CIS teachers continue to reflect and innovate daily in order to meet the needs of our learners. There can be no doubt that due to the incredible work of our CIS teachers within the remote context, the education of your children has continued successfully. I have admiration and pride for what our teachers have achieved. Additionally, we are keenly aware of the level of support each and every one of you, as parents, have invested in your children’s education. We acknowledge that without your incredible investment of time our remote learning program would not have been this successful. This has been a true partnership.

Photo by Andy Falconer on Unsplash

As we now settle into this longer-term culture of remote learning, a common theme emerging within the wider International School Community is the social and emotional well-being of our learners and their families. Through our previous traditional daily face to face classroom interactions with students, many of the social and emotional needs were naturally met, however as we extend remote learning, schools are becoming more intentional about how they meet these social and emotional learning needs. Today in our afternoon professional developing session, teachers have been discussing the following questions:

  • Q1: How might we create a virtual classroom that represents all learners? 
  • Q2: How can we create a virtual learning environment that values everyone’s ideas and learning?
  • Q3: How may we create a virtual learning environment that supports active and engaged learners?
  • Q4: How can we ensure virtual classroom organization supports the developmental needs and learning styles of all learners?
  • Q5: How can we foster independence, responsibility, and cooperation in the virtual learning environment?

Here is a short video you can access if you would like to learn a little more about social and emotional learning (SEL). These SEL skills connect to the Self-Management and Social Skills identified in our PYP ATL skills and attributes that remain a focus on our daily learning. Please continue to provide CIS with feedback about ways in which we may be better able to support your child during this Remote learning time, your feedback is valuable to us.

Elementary House Activities Day (HAD)

Today (Friday, 18th September) was our first ever CIS Remote Learning House Activities Day. Thanks to everyone who was involved in this day (teachers, support staff, students, and parents), it was a huge success. The lower and upper elementary teams created virtual HAD 1 homepages on Seesaw where students checked their activities schedules and accessed their House Day Activities. The energy and enthusiasm really were equal to our on-campus HAD days!

Here are the upper Elementary HAD Pages students accessed so they could manage their morning and access their synchronous HAD activities.





Classes on Seesaw

KG-G1 Eagles
We find ourselves in a very unique time in history, our current situation, the simultaneous need to reduce physical distance presents a challenge for us all. For many people, the practice of being removed from others is difficult, and this can be especially challenging to our students in the early years. Talking about feelings and practicing social bonds is more important now than ever for our students. During this time while we are physically removed from one another, how can we stay connected?

Our current Unit of Inquiry “Who We Are” the Kinder and Grade One students have been exploring the concept of connection. We read a book called  The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. The Invisible String is a story about two siblings who learn that everyone has an invisible string that connects them to everyone they love, anywhere, anytime. This invisible string of love can never be broken. We may be far physically, but the people we love and even those who have passed away are never far, “as long as love is in your heart, the string will always be there.” This love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. We explored questions like “What is an invisible string?” “Who are you connected to by an invisible string?” and “In what ways are we connected to each other?”

These are some student responses to the question, “How are you connected to by an invisible string?”

  • “Catherine and I both have huskies.” (Erin)
  • “My connection to my friends is the game Fortnite. ” (Masa)
  • “I am connected to my friends because we go to the same school.” (Audey)
  • “We both come from Canada. (Alivia)
  • “We both enjoy reading the same kind of books.” (Audey)
  • “We both lived in Africa.” (Erin)

When we are connected to someone we have a sense of belonging and responsibility. We learned from the story, Have You Filled A Bucket Today different ways we can show responsibility to the people we are connected with.

Here are some student responses on how they can fill other people’s buckets and help when someone is feeling alone, sad, or worried.

  • “I can fill my mum’s bucket by being kind, giving her kisses and hugs, and also by being caring. I can fill my brother’s bucket by smiling at him because he likes getting smiled at.” (Sierra)
  • “My father is happy when I eat all the food he makes.” (Ben)
    “By listening to what my mum says, I make her happy. When I am happy my dad is happy.” (Catherine)

Learning in Music and Band

Early Years  Music
Our youngest students have been focussing on singing songs to build confidence and have fun. They have had an opportunity to move and create actions, as well as explore how they are feeling. Matching facial expressions to words in songs.

Grade 2 Music
Grade two have been exploring music from around the world. So far, they have experienced Reggae from Jamaica and sang the traditional Jamaican children’s song “Tingalayo”. They have also learned a Welsh folk song called “Oli an Ci Ci”. Through this folk song they have demonstrated creativity, and ability to keep beat and had a chance to find and play untuned percussion instruments.

Grade 4
The students in Grade 4 have been exploring musical traditions from different cultures. They have learned how to play the African American spiritual “Peace Like a River” on the recorder with a focus on correct breathing, tonguing, and hand position. In addition to recorder playing, the Grade 4 students have also learned how to notate the rhythms from this song using standard notation.

Kinder/Grade 1 Music
Kinder and Grade 1 students have been focussing on how music can create a community spirit. They have been singing songs just for fun, learning songs which help us remember to wash our hands to keep safe, and songs which create increasingly complicated patterns, so we can sing and play together.

Grade 3
Grade three students have been exploring the use of repetition and contrast in composition. They have also been investigating ways of following a particular structure. The students have had a chance to create patterns using a variety of interesting manipulatives, as well as transferring these skills to sound, by composing melodies using pitched instruments available at home. Some students have even thought about how they can notate their ideas.

Grade 5
Grade five students have been learning about instruments of the orchestra. They have learned how to classify instruments into families and how to differentiate between the sounds of different orchestral instruments. They have also been using Nearpod and Kahoot! during synchronous music sessions as a fun way to review content and stay connected as a class.

Band – Instruments of the Orchestra

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

We are now completing our seventh week of the first quarter with two more to go until our fall break. Congratulations to all of our students and parents for your perseverance and support through this extended stretch of remote learning.

While we have been at home, there has still been quite a lot of activity going on at school. We have conducted our Student Council (StuCo) elections and have a group of peer leaders chosen by the student body for 2020-21, we have begun our offerings of After School Activities, the variety of which has been impressive given the circumstances and the fact that these are optional for the first semester.

Most importantly, our students continue to progress in their learning through this challenging time, demonstrating the ability to self-manage and be responsible, respectful, and prepared.

MHS Student Council Leadership This Year

Mr. Ron de Villa, Student Council  Faculty Sponsor

Student Council elections for the 2020/21 school year have just been completed and this year’s elections looked much different than ever before. Candidates had to campaign virtually which was quite a challenge as they were asked to respond to a set of short-answer questions, allowing them to explain their motivation for running, their ideas and goals, and candidates also had to figure out new ways to reach out to the student body remotely. 

The Student Council exists to create opportunities for students to have fun, work together, and enrich their non-academic school experience. Throughout the year StuCo runs events, various projects, and provides service opportunities for the student body which aim to promote school spirit and school unity. 

Voting for several positions had to occur in a series of elections to determine our executive board consisting of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary; which was then followed by House Captain elections; and finally the Class Representatives. All in all, we have 17 student leaders who are very much up for the challenge of creating virtual activities that will be worthwhile and will benefit the whole student body.

Here are some thoughts from Class Representatives who ran and won their respective virtual Homeroom elections:

This year I ran for Student Council because, for the past few years, I’ve seen my fellow peers be a part of the student council and help out in all these fun activities. They were helping to make change in the school and make it a better place for everyone. They would help out with telling the council of our class discussions and some ideas our classmates had. This year I wanted to be the one to help make change in our campus and be the one to represent my class. So I decided to run, but there were some changes since we had to do virtual elections. It was a fun experience for me and different from how it worked in the past years. Though different, I still enjoyed the process and liked how they still tried to make it similar to how we would do it in physical school. In the end I was happy to be chosen as our class rep and hope to do well for the rest of the year to represent my class and help the school grow. – Jandra R., Grade 9 Class Representative

This year’s election for class representative has been quite different since it was done virtually. During the traditional elections, I would talk to my classmates about why I would want to run as class rep during our break times. However, I followed a similar process in an online messaging app this year. I’m looking forward to helping in all the virtual events that Stuco will organize for our student body! – Ma. Isabel D., Grade 12 Class Representative

Online elections may sound quite odd but in my experience, it was actually really fun. This year, especially with remote learning, I wanted to help build up both my class and our school spirit. In order to do so, I ran for student council hoping to work hand in hand with fellow students to help unite and ignite the spirit within our student body. With my new position, I am looking forward to helping to do so and I hope the rest of the student body is excited as well for the interesting year we have ahead of us. – Bianca M., Grade 11 Class Representative

Quite fitting in this very unique school set-up this year, we also elected the first female House Captains in the Student Council. This is especially important as it shows how well-represented the student body is through the elected Student Council this year.

Virtual elections were a bit nerve-wracking at first, but it went pretty smoothly. The reason I chose to run for Narra’s House Captain was because I knew the fact that there had never been a female house captain prior to this year. I found it quite interesting that a female has never been elected, and I wanted to prove to the student body that a female could do just as good a job as a male when running a house. – Cassandra R., Narra House Captain

HAD has always been one of my favorite school events, something I would look forward to each year. Never would I have imagined that my next HAD, which I signed up to lead as house captain, would be in a virtual environment in front of a screen. Despite this, the student body has helped me to adapt to this new normal and adjust with the changes. At first, I was really scared to run for such a big position, but I thought I’d try my best and give it my all as not to regret the opportunities I did not take in the future. Although this HAD will be very different, I am still very excited to meet everyone and lead our team to victory for our first virtual HAD! – Youngseo (Jenny) P., Acacia House Captain

Once again, on behalf of the whole Stuco, thank you for participating in this year’s first ever virtual elections and we look forward to having fun activities for all MHS students this school year!

A session on Japanese Culture by Mr. and Mrs. Tetsuro and Hiroe Morooka

As reported by Ms. Joy Pierra, Grade 9 I&S class

Last Tuesday afternoon, our Grade 9 Individuals and Society class had the honor of watching Mr. and Mrs. Morooka’s presentation about Japanese culture. Over the past few weeks, my classmates and I have been conducting extensive research on ancient Japan, so we were delighted to have Mr. and Mrs. Morooka visit our class (virtually of course). This deeply relates to our Statement of Inquiry for Individuals and Societies at the moment which is, “Civilizations provide us with significant ideas and practices which shape our identities today”. We explored two specific aspects and how they are still used in modern day Japan. Mrs. Hiroe Morooka talked about the traditional Japanese tea ceremony called Sado, while Mr. Tetsuro Morooka talked about a sentence of appreciation called, Itadakimasu. It was extremely interesting to learn about these topics as Mr. and Mrs. Morooka were very informative and not only explained the topics, but explained the history behind them as well. This information will be helpful for our upcoming projects and we are so thankful to have them present to our class today. – Bella

Thanks to Mrs. Hiroe Morooka we were able to get a glimpse into the unique Japanese art of tea ceremony and subsequently, flower arrangement. The tea ceremony is quite complex, and its link to Japan’s seasons makes it doubly relevant. But while the complexity may make it seem tedious, it adds a certain aspect of beauty to it as well, and serves to remind us of the dedication the Japanese put into their art and lifestyle. There are many different kinds of tea ceremony, classified by their link to the seasons, or the level of their formality. There are also many implements as well, with many different types of cups and sweets designed, stylised, and moulded for seasonal use. For example, in the summer the cups used to serve tea are shallow, so to lose heat quickly in the warm Japanese summer. In the winter, the cups are taller, made to preserve heat in the middle of snowy days. During these ceremonies, many hosts will have flower arrangements, depicting the earth and the heavens in the arrangement of the flowers, which ties in to the slightly Zen Buddhist roots and ideologies of the art.- Jandra

Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Another topic we learned, which was explained by Mr. Tetsuro Morooka, is about the saying “頂きます (Itadakimasu)”. Mr. Morooka explained that this is a saying/phrase that you say before you eat your meal. He explained that Itadakimasu is translated to “I humbly receive” specifically for a mealtime setting. Mr Morooka also showed a video of his son performing this phrase before he ate and you can see that he puts his hands together when saying Itadakimasu. The class also gave examples of similar sayings to Itadkimasu, and we discussed the differences and similarities. One of the similar sayings mentioned is “Bon Appétit”. Mr Morooka, who also knew about this saying, explained that “Bon Appétit” can be said when someone delivers the food to enjoy and eat the food, while for Itadakimasu is said by the people who received the food or are eating the food. – Liam

Japan’s culture and its general modern influences are quite widespread and popular despite it growing as a nation almost completely secluded from the world beyond China, Korea, and their own internal politics especially during the isolation period. Due to this almost secluded growth, Japan and subsequently its people has changed almost exponentially from era to era, time period to time period. Even the most simple seeming things such as giving thanks for a meal have the most interesting uses, literal translations, and varied interpretations. So ingrained in Japanese culture is the act of giving thanks, “Itadakimasu”, that the guest often would feel uncomfortable if they were to forget to say it. The rabbit hole goes deeper when it comes to discussing the uniquely Japanese art of tea ceremonies and flower arrangement, an art that corresponds to the season, to the occasion, and later around the Feudal Periods, religion, ideology, and philosophy. Japan has cultural wealth in spades, and their adherence to said culture is quite commendable as well. It is something special, like an orchid amongst the lilies. Zeke

Grade 8 Visual Arts

Our students have been developing their artistic techniques through learning how to create contour drawings. A contour drawing shows the outlines, shapes and edges of a subject, but omits fine detail, surface texture, colour and tone (‘contour’ is French for ‘outline’). The purpose of contour drawing is to emphasize the mass and volume of the subject rather including all of the details. The illusion of three-dimensional form, space, and distance can be conveyed in a contour drawing through the use of varied line weights (darker lines in the foreground and paler lines in the distance) and through use of perspective.

Students were also tasked with creating inverted drawings as an additional challenge. An inverted drawing is one where the artist sketches an object which is upside down. When creating such a drawing students have to intentionally not focus on the object they are drawing. Instead, they have to conscientiously draw the figure by replicating the lines correctly.

Aaryan- inverted drawing

Mary Gabriella- contour drawing of a closed hand

We created a contour drawing with objects around us; we had to select objects at the start but our teacher had to approve these to gauge the difficulty so we couldn’t pick simple items. I drew my pair of scissors and my mouse. I think drawing my hand was still a little bit easier, other than the nails, since I struggled more with the different objects. This exercise fits with our theme of composition since we had to look carefully at the lines and shapes and how they helped create the form. – Juan Miguel

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:

Extra-curricular activities show what a student does outside the classroom.  Colleges look for dedication, passion and commitment to a project, club or activity.  It is quality over quantity.  One or two projects over a long period of time looks better than a list of 10 activities that were done in a short period of time. 

Upcoming Virtual Visits and Fairs:


September 22 – Tuesday
1:30 – 2:30 PM (Virtual via Zoom)

September 23 – Wednesday
1:30 – 2:30PM
Virtual via zoom

September 24 – Thursday
8:30PM (Virtual via zoom)

September 25 – Friday
3:00 – 4:00PM
Virtual via Zoom


September 30 – Wednesday
2:00 PM PH time


October 15 – Thursday


October 17-18
Saturday & Sunday


University of Illinois Chicago (USA)
Zoom link:

Osaka University (Japan)
Join Zoom Meeting – zoom link for Osaka U
Meeting ID: 702 135 2845 – Passcode: 762233

Boston University (USA)
Join Zoom meeting

Harvard University (USA)
Chat with a Harvard University student ambassador
Lanz Aaron Tan (a junior at Harvard College will talk about the application process, life on campus and covid-related issues)

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Overview of Financial Aid at Japanese national and private universities.  To register, click here:

University of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada)
Meeting ID: 318 394 3681   The password will be 946466
Session for CIS students

EduCanda Virtual Fair
(list of institutions to follow)


Please note that most universities have gone test-optional.  This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

September 26 and October 3 have been  cancelled by the College Board.  Test-takers registered on these dates will have received an email with instructions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
September 26, 2020CANCELLED
October 3, 2020CANCELLED
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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

Share this:

Newsflash: September 11, 2020

Admin News

You have probably noticed now that each week, we are showcasing examples of remote learning in the Newsflash from various subjects at both the elementary and middle/high school levels. We hope you are finding this informative and interesting! Our purpose for doing this is to give our community an idea of how learning is occurring at various levels in different subjects, and to promote the feeling of community through connectedness as we all work towards our school’s guiding statements.

Another way parents have the opportunity to learn more about how we do things at CIS is to attend our CIS PTA virtual Coffee Morning Meetings! Last week, we covered the question, “How can parents support their children during remote learning?” I have included the main areas covered below for those who could not make it.

Next week, Thursday, Sept 17, 10am, we will be voting in our new PTA Board (further details will be emailed prior to the meeting), and Mr. Denton will be giving a session on the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). Parents from grades 6-10, in particular, will find this session helpful.

How can parents support their children during remote learning?

1. Lay the foundations

  • Are YOU ready to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional learning?
  • Children will pick up (and mimic) your feelings/attitudes!
    • Be positive/proactive/place importance on learning
  • Ask for help (from teachers, keep in touch with other [positive] parents)
  • Consider the context (Remote Learning) at home – adapt!
  • Consider “Maslow” before “Bloom” (essentially meaning consider health and wellbeing needs before trying to learn).
  • Note the key components of remote learning at CIS (refer to the diagram to the right) also highlights the need for a holistic program that addresses five main focus areas that cover both the social-emotional learning as well as academic learning.

2. Prepare a safe space

Physically – uncluttered, resourced, quiet/limit distractions, comfortable,
Emotionally – safe and supportive, protected from stress/fear/harm

3. Facilitate a supportive learning environment

  • Provide positive conditions at home (download PDF with details)
  • Ensure they take breaks
  • Allow them to FAIL (“First Attempt At Learning”)
  • Consider their Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) needs
  • Relationships with their peers
  • What motivates them?

4. Promote optimal learning habits

  • Learning should be fun (even if it is hard at times)
  • Encourage a growth mindset
  • Approaches to Learning skills
  • Maintain a disciplined structure to facilitate productive habits (age-appropriate/important for all ages)
  • Balance screen time with breaks and non-device work
  • Consider your child’s individual needs (personality, temperament…)

A selection of resources with more detail:


Finally, the Student Councils of both ES and MHS with their teacher supervisors are busy preparing for our first Virtual House Activity Day (HAD) next Friday (Sept. 18) morning. I am impressed with the creativity of the planning teams and look forward to the event. As per usual, students then have the afternoon off while the Faculty hold inservice meetings.

I hope to see many of you at the Parent Coffee Meeting on Thursday at 10 am. Have a wonderful weekend!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Elementary News

by Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

Over this past week, the AMT (Academic Management Team) has been exploring the concept of Cognitive Bandwidth. This is a concept that explores how we may free up intelligence, or IQ, by establishing routines that take care of lower-level thinking, freeing up the mind to engage in creativity and problem-solving.

Distraction depletes cognitive ability because the distraction becomes the point of focus. As adults, we have developed some level of control over this distractibility, although many of us would admit to finding ourselves distracted more often than we would like. Children however have limited ability to monitor or control this distraction, particularly when engaged in formal school-based learning. For children distraction may be caused by spending learning time organizing a personal space, active social media in the learning space, by just getting up too late and being unprepared, then having to leave the focus of learning to retrieve something that has been forgotten. Helping students intentionally develop and managing their executive functioning skills empower students to make intentional choices to overcome many of these distractions. Freeing up a student’s working memory can be done by developing routines and through learning to use calendars, diaries, daily planners, and by engaging in personal reflection.

At the beginning of each school year, our CIS teachers spend several weeks setting students up for success by developing habits and routines that allow them to automate their lower-level thinking so the distractions of getting organized do not become a focus that robs a student of their cognitive bandwidth. Although we began the school year remotely,  the focus on the development of routines and learning habits at beginning of this school year was no different, it was clear to us as a team of educators that developing habits and routines would be the foundation of Remote Learning success. To assist with this, the elementary teachers developed a school-wide schedule identifying each class’s synchronous calls. Each family was given a schedule showing when each call would take place, and students were given a daily schedule to follow which included an identified start time, break times, and an identified end of the school day.  Over these past weeks, we have seen these routines gradually become established, resulting in students become increasingly responsible for their own learning. These routines are at the heart of our IBPYP Learning. The ATL (Approaches to Learning) Skills and Attributes are weaved throughout the PYP as essential skills and attributes that prepare students to navigate this changing and challenging world. When considering the management of our Cognitive Bandwidth, the Self-Management ATL skills emerge as a focus area. It really is very exciting when we see our students make milestones in their personal self-management, and taking increasing levels of responsibility for their own learning. (Source: International Baccalaureate)

As you continue to support your children with their remote learning, supporting them in the development of these daily routines is one of the most effective ways to help them to develop independence in their own learning. Regular bedtimes, waking up at the same time each day, taking responsibility for changing their own device, and having a set place to work each day are all ways these habits can be developed, thereby maximizing your child’s cognitive bandwidth.

(Source: Alison Young)

Learning in the Media Center

For the past few weeks of remote learning, students have been exploring how to take good care of their books at home. CIS students see themselves as a community of readers who care for the books they enjoy. Here are some student responses to the question, How can we take good care of our books?

  • “Not ripping the pages and being caring. Books are really good. They help us to learn more things. We should not rip the pages and mark on them”. – KG1 student

  • “Handle the book with clean hands so the next reader can still enjoy the book. If you are not using the book already because you are older now, you can donate the book”. When you’re borrowing from the library, make sure you return them on time so that other students can enjoy them too. – Grade 3 student

  • “I have to make sure that they don’t break or rip the pages. I also make sure that we don’t toss them around. Don’t draw on the books or paint on them or else we can’t read them again. We should take good care of our books and read more because it makes us smarter”. – Grade 4 student

During one of our Synchronous calls with the Early Years class, we read a story about Mr. Wiggle, who loves books. The story taught us how we should take good care of our books.

One way to make sure that our books are in good condition is to use a bookmark. During one of our synchronous calls, we made bookmarks together.

Students are also learning how to choose good-fit books using the I-PICK method and the 5 Finger Rule. As a reader, we make sure that the book that we have is a good fit so that we can understand and enjoy what we are reading.

Borrowing Books from the Media Center during Remote Learning

During this continued stay at home, the Media Center is here to provide you with hours of enjoyment! Students are welcome to borrow materials using the Follett Destiny catalog. Reading is a great way to pass time, improve thinking skills, learn new information, and expand our imaginations!

Here’s the link for our library catalog

If you have any questions about borrowing books, please feel free to reach out to any of the Library/Media Center Staff Mr. Monfre (,  Ms. Noelle ( and Ms. MJ (

Learning in Art

Over the past few week several teachers, EA’s and ur secretaries have been preparing our CIS Remote Learning Art Kits. This has been a rather big job and we are thankful for the assistance Ms. Lory, Ms. Belen, Ms. Freya have given. If you have not yet been able to collect your child’s RL Art Kit, please drop by the school at some point to collect it, or we are happy to work with you if you would like to arrange delivery through a third party.

Let’s look at some of the art projects CIS students have been doing during remote learning.

Early Years

The Early Years students have been exploring landscapes and Yoyo drew her chosen landscape. Yoyo has chosen colored pencils as her medium in this artwork. Yoyo describes her character as showing joy as she stands beneath the tree with the flowers.

Grade 3

The Grade 3 students watched a short film called Austin’s Butterfly.  This film focused on the importance of creating several drafts before having a successful drawing. Taito has shown perseverance in his Third Butterfly Draft. After each draft, the other Grade 3s suggested helpful ways for Taito to improve this butterfly drawing.


Grade 1 have been exploring the concept of impressionism and brush painting. Erin Gibson has captured the style of Impressionism in this landscape Painting. Her brushstrokes show similarities to the style of Vincent Van Gogh.

Grade 4

The Grade 4 student artwork connected to their Unit of Inquiry where they have been exploring the concept of persuasion through the context of advertising. Anna proudly displays her poster, advertising Bubble Tea. Anna has worked on 2 drafts before coming up with this final piece, following the principle from Austin’s Butterfly of making several drafts and seeking feedback from others before coming up with the final piece.

Learning in Grade 3

In Grade 3, the students have been exploring what makes them unique. They did so by representing different aspects about themselves through emojis. Then, all of the students tried to see if they could recognize each of their classmates by emojis alone. Emojis have now become more than just a face on an email, they are used to regularly express feeling and convey emotions in contexts where face to face communication is not possible. Learning to navigate the tool of the emoji is quickly becoming an important social skill. As the unit has progressed we have identified and discussed what are the different unique things that connected all of us, and which of our communities they connect us to. Please see some of our work samples below.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Another model for examining the power of technology integration

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus has been credited with the famous quote: The only constant thing in life is change.

Our current Covid crisis has forced schools across the world to get on board with exploring and implementing the use of new technological tools; at CIS this has meant advancing and refining our use of platforms and tools we already had in place, as well as adding new technology tools and resources to help our students engage and learn. While in the past some teachers could (and sometimes did) resist innovation since they were familiar with more traditional media; however, we are now in a position where educators world-wide have had to expand their skills and use of technology in order to continue being effective practitioners within our profession. This has actually been a real “silver lining” in the midst of this crisis, as technology holds the potential for opening up doors to learning we could have only imagined in the past.

We have examined the SAMR model in the Newsflash on a couple of occasions, and this week I wanted to share the RAT model for technology integration, which is similar and perhaps a bit easier to remember. It has been said that technological advances can fall into three categories: those which replace previous methods, those which amplify previous methods, or those that engender transformation. Similar to the Redefinition level of the SAMR model, technology has the ability to transform what students are doing and create ways of learning we would not have thought possible without the use of those innovative tools.

The RAT model breaks down our use of technology into these three categories as illustrated below:


Just like the SAMR model, RAT gives us a framework for evaluating the impact of technology on our instructional methods, student learning processes, curriculum goals, and the assessments we are using.

An example of replacement would be schools installing white boards back in the 20th century. While white boards may be easier for students to see and easier to clean than blackboards, there really isn’t much appreciable difference between the two types of technology. PowerPoint can provide another example of replacement. If, for example, a teacher has a three slide PowerPoint containing content that could have easily have been written on the board, he is using technology just for the sake of technology.

With amplification, we find that the basic structure of the experience in question doesn’t change. The practices that we’re doing, though, are amplified, so things either get better or they’re done more quickly; our efficiency or productivity increases as the structure becomes streamlined. Calculators offer a pretty clear example of amplification, that is, if you know what you’re actually putting into your calculator. Google docs contain built in features that can amplify the experience, like being able to search the “version history” of your doc to revisit a paragraph you might have deleted without needing to keep a stack of revised drafts. Student work created in Google can also be enhanced through features such as auto-saving the document as well as auto-sharing and auto-linking in the cloud. However, you are still creating a piece of writing with new tools that amplify the experience.

This is where things really get exciting, and our teachers in both ES and MHS have been experimenting with technology in ways that challenge previous structures and where a brand new paradigm can emerge, where something incredibly different is created that couldn’t have existed without the use of innovative technology. Technology has the ability to change the way we teach and change the way we think about activities we might implement to engage our students. It also has the power to change the thought processes of our students. At the transformation level, we find school or learning not as we’ve always known it, but rather we see a new paradigm emerging, where the subject matter changes, our methods for teaching change, and/or the methods for learning change. Here are examples of how we are doing this in MHS.

Example 1:
Mr. Gibson, for his Grade 9 Language and Literature class, has created an asynchronous Nearpod extension of his lesson on chapter 4 of  Orwell’s Animal Farm exploring the impact of totalitarianism on education. He has created supplementary activities and questions which allow students to reinforce their understanding, as well as a short interactive video, which pauses along the way to check for and ensure student understanding.

You may access this experience by clicking on this link, entering the code RLMNO. The program also asks you to enter your name so it can record your individual responses; this feature allows Nearpod to provide both individual and class feedback, including graphs and charts to visually represent the data from the class. All of this can be generated automatically via this app.

Example 2:
Using the Flipgrid app participants make audio or video recordings and post them on the flipgrid, which is essentially a virtual message board; the messages here, however, are videos which allow students to both demonstrate their knowledge and also develop important communication skills. Other students from the class are often tasked with collaborating and offering feedback by posting their own videos in response to those on the flipgrid; these follow-up posts reinforce the students’ knowledge and allow the teacher to gauge the understanding of the class.

For example, students in Mandarin B (Grade 11 DP) may record and post their response to a newspaper article, using vocabulary specified by the teacher, and then their classmates can watch and respond to these recordings with video comments of their own (also using Mandarin). We can see here how much practice students would receive to reinforce and expand their understanding. The teacher also has the opportunity to review all of this recorded material and offer specific feedback and suggestions for further development.

Example 3:
Ms. Enrile describes her virtual classroom
The unique situation that we are in right now empowers teachers to find new ways to deliver the content during remote learning. My personal journey in daily class preparation includes designing and utilizing virtual classrooms for my science classes. A virtual classroom is a classroom with active links and embedded resources in Google slides. It is an ideal platform for sharing interactive resources with my students.

Essential to my virtual classrooms are the learning expectations, active links to varied resources and activities, synthesis discussion, formative assessments, and virtual labs when applicable.  As students access the tasks in the virtual classroom, they are able to develop their understanding and skills. All resources for each lesson are conveniently located in one place and students can always revisit the virtual classroom as they review the lesson. Its use is also beneficial to the students who missed classes. Since students are able to develop their knowledge and skills asynchronously, our morning synchronous sessions are focused more on giving feedback and answering questions since the synthesis discussion has already been integrated within the virtual classroom.

The use of virtual classrooms is just one of the varied ways to keep students engaged and keep the spirit of inquiry alive even during remote learning.

In essence then, the RAT model- replacement, amplification, and transformation, is simply another framework to help us understand and evaluate how we are using technology and provides a means for us to reflect on whether or not this has been effective? While transformation is the level we aspire to, it’s important to also acknowledge that It takes both critical and creative thinking on the part of our teachers to reach that level as they create learning engagements that are truly transformative.

Creativity Activity Service (CAS)/ Service Learning

by Zoe S. and Deandra R.

With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cebu has been one of the main cities of the Philippines that has suffered the most. The Enhanced Community Quarantine has limited the ability for most Cebuanos to acquire work and money, especially for the day to day workers. 

Without any work and a steady income, they were desperate to find support within their own communities. Most of these workers have families, so a source of money or food is essential to their survival in Cebu’s ECQ. The families that live by the riverside about a kilometer away from Villa Leyson Subdivision suffer from this situation, as they have no proper work to supply for their livelihood. Whatever finances they held had been exhausted, forcing them to find any means of work that was close to home. Since the ECQ only allowed them to move within their own barangay, finding work and money was scarce. This situation had taken a heavy toll on these poor families, as they had to work twice as hard for half the pay. 

My family is fortunate enough to live comfortably in this quarantine, but when we learned of the situation of these poor families, we felt the need to help. We reached out to friends and family, my grandmother and grandfather in the USA, Ms. Pynor the Grade 5 homeroom teacher, and CIS parent Mrs. Jovi Green responded positively. They all agreed to help us support these less fortunate families, either with money or basic goods. My grandparents from the USA sent us money to partially pay for the supplies we were buying, while Ms. Pynor and Mrs. Jovi Green also contributed with donations of food and supplies. With the cooperation of all these people, we were able to support multiple families every two weeks since June. 

On our first donation, we identified the families that needed it the most, one of which did not live close to the riverside but within Villa Leyson. We purchased the groceries and had the identified families collect from our home. They were grateful, even for the very basic essentials, as each family received food to sustain them for five days. In addition to food, we also donated clothes, bags, and shoes we have outgrown. We have done around eight waves of grocery donations since June, and have plans to continue in the future until these families are able to steadily support themselves. 

With this, I learned that there are people who are truly suffering from Cebu’s quarantine and that my family is very fortunate enough to be able to help them. There are many more poor communities just like this all over Cebu, some of which are in worse conditions than that of the riverside. As members of the CIS community, it is within our ability to help and support these communities in any way. Be it in donations, awareness, or in any way that you can think of contributing, we can make a difference in Cebu’s current situation. – Zoe S.

Because of the pandemic that the world is facing today, many people have been vastly affected. I am planning to support the communities living by the riverside near Villa Leyson, Bacayan from selling my family’s old clothes (attached below are pictures of the area). These clothes would be sold at low prices to family and friends, which would help prevent contact with strangers (considering the Covid-19 precautionary measures) and it also allows them to thrift. All of the profit earned from the clothing will then be used to provide those families with basic necessities such as but not limited to food packs, shampoo, conditioner, and sanitary items. I have decided to do this because many people have been struggling with their jobs to support themselves and I have outgrown a lot of the items in my closet. What better way to get rid of clothes than to do it for a cause? This week, I have been successful in selling some items to my families’ households, but I think it would be a challenge to get many other people to buy a lot. I would overcome this by promoting this sale through social media platforms to spread the message. I hope to make an impact on the lives of the people living by the riverside by putting a smile on their faces and by reminding them that people care. This helps me as a learner because it allows me to be more open-minded and aware of what people are going through during these trying times. It makes me more grateful for the blessings that I have and also reminds me to bless others as well. I challenge other students to help support Cebu whether that be by donating to charities, giving provision to the less fortunate, spreading awareness about Covid-19, or even by staying at home. Let us make a difference, even while stuck in quarantine. – Deandra R.

Salamat sa mga Frontliners

by Jenny B.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and has led the Philippines to be in the world’s longest and strictest lockdown. During this unprecedented and difficult time, the majority of us have had the privilege of being in a safe home within the comfort of our families and preparing for a new school year in remote learning.

On the contrary, there have been many others out there struggling to make ends meet. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of indispensable workers to our society as well as shed light on the significant imbalance in the wealth inequality of the Philippines. As we are adjusting to the new “normal”, it is crucial to understand what we could do to help our frontline workers and those who have been at work non-stop in order to provide us with our welfare.

In my case, I’ve used money that I’ve earned from working as an online english tutor for younger kids during the summer, to purchase face masks and shields to donate to the families of frontline workers. This project was meaningful to me in that I was able to give back to those who do so much for us and be able to give back a sense of gratitude and let these families know that I acknowledge and am immensely grateful for the work that the frontliners have done to help me and my family feel protected.

Going forward and embracing the changes around us, we have been taught the value of our health and safety and develop a sense of responsibility to ourselves and others by practicing health measures and protocols that are being established around us. With more cooperation and less indifference, we can fight through this pandemic and gain profound insight.

Book Donation Drive

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor 

Tip for the Week:

  • When writing your college essay, always start with your draft on a google doc or word document. Do not type directly into the online form where you are to submit the essay.
  • Share your doc with at least 2 adults for editing.  Aside from your college counselor, you can share it with a parent or a teacher for their comments.

 Upcoming Virtual Visits and Fairs


September 14 – Monday
1:30 – 2:30PM
Online via zoom

September 15
1:00 – 1:45PM

Online via zoom

September 17
2:30 – 3:30PM

Online via zoom

September 17 – Thursday
Available on these timezones:
04:00–07:00; 13:00–15:00 CEST (Central European Standard Time)
09:00–12:00; 18:00–20:00 ICT (Indochina Time)
7:00 – 10:00 PM PH Time (online via Zoom)

September 30


2:00 PM PH time

October 15


1:00 PM

October 17-18
Saturday & Sunday


Nagoya University of Commerce & Business (Japan)
Zoom link:

New York University Shanghai
Student Registration:
Virtual Meeting Link:

New York University Abu Dhabi
Student registration:
Zoom link: will be sent to you after you register on the link above

Council of International Schools Southeast Asia Fair
Link to Register:
View the full list of attending universities (247 universities from all over the world)

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Overview of Financial Aid at Japanese national and private universities
To register, click here:

University of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada)
Meeting ID: 318 394 3681
The password will be 946466 – Session for CIS students

EduCanda Virtual Fair
(list of institutions to follow)


Please note that most universities have gone test-optional.  This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

September 26 and October 3 have been  cancelled by the College Board.  Test-takers registered on these dates will have received an email with instructions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
September 26, 2020CANCELLED
October 3, 2020CANCELLED
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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

Share this:

Newsflash: September 4, 2020

Admin News

Cebu moves to MGCQ but 20 year olds and under are still on lockdown!

It is promising to see our risk level move down to MGCQ after 6 months of lockdown, however, for school operations, there is little change in our outlook as our students are still unable to return to school. DepEd schools restart October 5th, however, this will be via distance learning, and the indications at this stage are they will not be allowed back onto campus for some time – possibly even until a vaccine is available. We are therefore unsure when independent/private schools could be allowed back on campus. We are preparing for our return and will be seeking some specific input on the conditions we have options with from parents and students shortly. For now, we have been pleased with the positive reception we have received from our Remote Learning 3.0 program. It is positive to hear from teachers and principals that our students have settled into the the new school year with RL well, and that our learning objectives are being addressed as planned. We acknowledge RL is different to F2F learning, however, we are learning to accommodate the areas that are more challenging, and to take advantage of those that we can do better remotely!

One way you can help is to maintain communication with your child’s teachers, and keep seeking ways to support your children in their learning engagements. Last Wednesday we hosted a virtual PTA Coffee Morning discussing how parents could support their children at home, and I will be sending home the areas we covered shortly for those who could not make it to look over. Keep an eye out for upcoming info sessions for parents. The next event we have planned for is September 17th (10am – virtual meeting), where Mr. Denton (MHS Assistant Principal-MYP) will give a session on the IB MYP. More details will be shared next week.

MYP Consultancy Visit

Last week, CIS hosted an MYP Consultancy Visit, where an IB representative virtually visited the school to look at our MYP program, documents and interview our students, teachers, admin and parents. The findings will be used to guide us as we make final preparations for our verification visit at the end of this school year, when we will be seeking authorisation to become a full MYP school (we are currently on candidate status). Once we obtain this, CIS will be the first school in the Philippines to be an IB Continuum school, offering the PYP, MYP and DP all the way through Early Years to Grade 12!

CIS Corporation meeting postponed

Due to COVID-19-related complications, the CIS Corporation Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sept. 15th will be postponed to a date in October yet to be decided. We will update you on the new date/time when it is confirmed.

One of our complications is we have been unable to attract as many CIS Corporation members as we usually do. I wonder if one of the reasons why is the system is a little complicated, so I would like to try to simplify it here!

  • The purpose of the Corporation is to facilitate the operations of CIS as an incorporated company, as required by the SEC.
  • Our bylaws state all CIS parents and guardians are eligible for membership (the first year at CIS is as an associate member with no voting privileges).
  • We usually have two meetings a year – an AGM in September and a Regular meeting in March. A written report is prepared for both meetings, and that is supplemented by a verbal report from the CEO (the Superintendent). New and renewing CIS Board members are voted in during the Sept. meeting as well.
  • CIS Parents and guardians have to register to become CIS Corporation members(with a nominal fee of 200PhP). One purpose of this requirement is to ensure we can operate our meetings with interested members, as a 20% quorum of members is required (so if all parents were automatically members, we would struggle to obtain a quorum, as not all parents want to or area able to attend the meeting. By having this member system, it reduces the numbers making it more feasible to operate). It is not an exclusionary step, all parents are equally entitled to become members.
  • Board members are elected using a nominating system and nominating committee to determine who would be a good addition to the 10-member Board, keeping in mind we have requirements for Philippine nationals members, and desire a representation of expat, local, and business representatives that can compliment the Board with their input. The Board speak as one voice via the Chair, and oversee governance, judiciary, strategic, and Superintendent hiring and evaluation. The Superintendent is tasked with the operational management of the school.

We are extending the CIS Corporation membership signup date, and would like to encourage parents/guardians to consider signing up to become Corporation members. Your membership supports the school by allowing for broad representation as you support the functioning of the Corporation. Please contact our Corporate Secretary, Ms. Azela Diapana <> for sign up details.

PTA Board nominations and election

We have already received six nominations to the eight-member PTA Board, with a few more inquiries and nominations being processed, indicating we will get a good number of nominees this year! Thank you so much to those who have shown interest in contributing by agreeing to be nominated.

As it is looking like we will have more than eight nominations, we now need to go through the selection process and voting in of the new PTA Board. As outlined in the PTA Charter, we use a nominating system (like the CIS Board), the process is as follows (although note we have had to make a few adjustments to cater to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic).

  • CIS Parents nominate willing parents to the Nominating Committee via the Chair (Mr. Belda), who will collate the nominations, and confirm their willingness to serve on the PTA Board.
  • The Nominating Committee considers all nominated candidates and presents a slate of eight candidates to the PTA members for voting on at our next PTA meeting (Sept 17). The selection process focuses on presenting members who represent our school’s diverse body, as well as those who can and are willing to contribute towards fulfilling the purpose the PTA Board in a united manner.
  • The members of the Nominating committee will be announced shortly, as we are just confirming the last two members. (Members are drawn from the parent body who are not running for the Board, and school representatives who work with the PTA).
  • Once the PTA Board has been voted in, they will vote as a Board on who will become the Officers of the Executive Committee(President/Vice President/Secretary and Treasurer).

Note this process is a little different from what has been practiced in the past few years, as the process had evolved to fit the annual needs and interests of the parents at that time. This year, we are bringing the system back to fit the PTA Charter more closely, in an attempt to encourage a wider participation at the PTA Board level. We look forward to your participation in the PTA this year as we adapt our PTA activities to fit the strange new world we are now living it!

Have a great weekend and you can look forward to another 4-day weekend next week (with Wednesday as Osmeña Day public holiday)!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood 

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

Over these past two weeks, you will have received a request to connect by video conference or phone call with one of your child’s teachers. For us at CIS, connecting with you as parents is one of our priorities, as this gives you the opportunity to share your family’s Remote Learning experiences, and enables us to assess the effectiveness of our program and make adjustments to better meet individual learning needs. The feedback you have provided us with has been very positive and the suggestions you have provided for small improvements are valued.

This week I have asked Ms. Maureen Juanson, our PYP Coordinator to write a piece for the community on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), something that is at the forefront of all our minds. We also have contributions from our Philippine Language and Culture classes.

This school year, many teachers around the globe have put in a lot of focus on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) of students. At CIS, our teachers have also taken this on board in order to support our PYP students adjustment to the new normal during these unprecedented times. SEL comes in various forms at our school, such as explicit teaching through Seesaw engagements and dialogues during homeroom synchronous lessons, Guidance and Counselling classes with our school counselor, and embedding it in the units of inquiry. But what is SEL exactly? Why is it important? Who can benefit from SEL? What is the best way to teach it? Recently, an article entitled Social-Emotional Learning: Not Just for Kids, written by Wendy Turner was published to help answer these questions. Below are some highlights that adults will find useful to support students in developing their SEL skills and competencies.

SEL, as defined by The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is “how children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” and includes five competencies. It is important for students to first access and unlock their full social-emotional self in order to attain full academic achievement. Following an SEL curriculum is just one way to develop these competencies with students but the best way to teach these skills is for adults to model these to our students every single day.

  • Competency 1: Self-awareness

This focuses on setting goals, being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and cultivating a growth mindset. This can be modeled by sharing goals that you’re working on, your plans to get there, and challenges that you encounter along the way.

  • Competency 2: Self-management

This is our ability to manage emotions. This can be modeled by keeping our cool and recover when we lose it as we experience anger, frustration, or nervousness in everyday situations.

  • Competency 3: Social awareness

This is about empathy and appreciating diversity, people, and perspectives that are different from us. This can be modeled by using caring words, noticing when others are feeling sad, hurt, upset, or frustrated and offering your help, and reaching out to others who are in need and more vulnerable.

  • Competency 4: Relationship skills

This focuses on our ability to get along and make connections with others. It includes cooperation, negotiating conflict, and communication skills. This can be modeled by trying to talk and connect with as many people as possible within your community. Make sure that the children see you engaging in positive and productive conversations with people providing you services at home, school, and others in the bigger community. Show children how to acknowledge and greet people that you interact with every day, give a compliment, and do nice things for them. Model how to become a team player and engage in collaborative activities.

    • Competency 5: Responsible decision-making 

This is our ability to make good choices as we work to solve problems and navigate our day-to-day challenges.  This can be modeled by showing  children how to engage in personal reflection before acting on something by asking a few questions, e.g. What am I really trying to do? Is this helpful? Is this necessary? “STOP. THINK. DECIDE.” protocol is one way to practice this with children for everyday moments and common problems.


The first sign of children’s learning is when they repeat, imitate, or copy what they see and hear from others. Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory explains that children continually learn desirable and undesirable behavior through observational learning.  What does this mean for us then? This means that we need to look deep within ourselves and engage in self-reflection right in front of our students. “With great intention, focus, practice, and extremely hard work, we can create better weather in our classrooms (homes) when we pursue social-emotional excellence, embracing these competencies as real, raw, complete human beings, showing our students how to do so along the way.” To effectively teach SEL to children means we just need to be authentically human, committing to doing better, and sharing our work along the way.

Remote Learning on Seesaw

This week, our EY 2/3 and KG/Grade 1 learners began to explore Filipino words through songs. The students introduce themselves by saying “ Ako ay si (name)”, identified body parts, and counted objects from 1 to 5.  During our synchronous classes, students played games using Filipino Language. We played “ Simon says…,” “ Spin the Wheel”, and “Bring me Game”.

During our synchronous calls, Our young learners have engaged in the game spin the wheel. The wheel has 8 colors and each color has the corresponding action that has something to do with their body parts. We also sang our famous Filipino songs for children.

The virtual classroom was designed to promote agency, by providing students with the choice to explore which center they would like to visit in their own time. The PL&C virtual classroom is a platform where students can access the different learning centers, and each learning center has active links.

The Grade 2 and 3 students started their Philippine Language and Culture class by sharing how they use their whole body while listening. We talked about the different body parts in Cebuano and how we use them when listening (e.g., “mata” – to look at the person who’s talking, “kasing-kasing” – to care about what the person is saying, “ulo” – to think about what was being said). We then moved on to explore the Philippine Currency in connection to their Math topic on Place Value. We learned the words piso, diyes, singko, baynte, singkwenta, usa ka gatos, and usa ka libo. They also had a chance to create their own Philippine Play money.

In Grade 4s and 5s Philippine Language and Culture, we were learning the vocabulary related to expressing their feelings and emotions. They practiced saying “Nalipay ko, Naguol ko, Nabalaka ko, Nasuko ko, and Nakurat ko”. We then explored the entrepreneurial nature of the Filipino in the form of the Sari-Sari store and discovered what items a sari-sari store usually sells and why people buy them in connection with their unit on advertising.

The Kinder and Grade 1 students have been inquiring into the transdisciplinary theme of Who We Are The way people live and work together can influence the well-being of a community. The past two weeks, has seen students inquiring about their social and emotional well-being, and this week they are focusing on how relationships with others affect well-being. We started our inquiry by doing a ‘Show and Tell’ and presented it through our synchronous class. The students were able to make connections right away when they were watching their friends’ show and tell. Some of the students even showed the same thing that they have! After the video call, the students reflected on these questions:

  • What did you notice?
  • What new connections did you make?
  • How might you act with these new connections?

Students noticed they have similarities and they were surprised to discover all the connections they have with their classmates. When asked how they might act on the new connections they made, the students responded that they would like to talk more with their friends about these connections when they get back to school.

This week, the Early Years continued to inquire into the unit of inquiry – “Who We Are” by looking at our similarities and differences. We expanded our knowledge and shared that our names are a part of who we are as a person. We looked closely and compared the different letters found in our names. The Early Years noticed that our names have similar and different letters by recognizing letter names and sounds. We were also able to integrate numbers by counting the letters found in our names. In the following week, we will continue to learn together in our small groups and learn more about how our similarities and differences make us unique.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

MYP class virtual displays

Grade 8 I&S Parent Coffee- explaining PEEAL essay model
Our Grade 8 Individuals and Societies students have been working on developing arguments into a formal paper. A few weeks ago we saw a useful tool in the Newsflash- the PEE model for writing strong paragraphs. In Grade 8 they have been examining an expanded version of this, the PEEAL essay structure (point-evidence-explain-analyse-link), which will be used extensively this year in this course and will also be used across various subjects within Grades 6-9. This simple model helps students to be aware of the quality of their own writing and evaluate the strength of the argument they are presenting.

Students worked on an example paragraph in class together in response to our research question:

What were the factors that led to humans changing from being hunters and gatherers to being farmers?

Over the weekend students were asked to complete a second paragraph independently using their research action plans to provide guidance. This was a formative piece of work; however, learning this structure will set students up for a successful year both in this course and in their other courses. The PEEAL structure helps students organise their thoughts and ideas more effectively to build more detailed, compelling, and convincing historical explanations and arguments. For this reason, this is a model which university students could also implement.

Mr. Denton held a parent workshop for parents of students in his I&S class two weeks ago to help them learn more about the PEEAL structure, and also learn how they might help their children at home. Please find included a link to the class website with videos about what each element of the structure looks like.

Middle High School Student Council

by Youngju K., 2020-21 StuCo President and Joo Ha C., Vice President

The first-ever virtual StuCo campaign has been an experience that both of us will never forget. Jhon and I were expecting, as has been the case in past years, to present in front of all of CIS. Instead, Covid-19 came along and we had to present our campaign virtually. It was quite a rapid process since our campaign videos had to be a maximum of 3 minutes and we were given about a week to create it. However, Jhon and I worked for hours, whether it was about our ideas, posters, or our videos. We knew it had to be perfect, and in the end, we felt it was all worth it.

The elections started on August 20, during homeroom time. Ballots were sent out to each homeroom grades by the Student Council advisor and students were given the decision to vote for either Deandra as President and Dominic as Vice President or Jhon as President and Joo Ha as Vice President. This was the chance for the two teams to show what they would bring to CIS and both teams had definite strengths. After much consideration and voting, the school announced that the 2020-2021 Student Council President and Vice President would be Jhon Kim and Joo Ha Choi.

Our President, Jhon has been in CIS since grade 6, and has been a  member of the Student Council for 3 years in a row. Joo Ha has been in CIS ever since pre-school and has been a member of the Student Council for 2 years. With their experience as class representatives, we can’t wait to see what they will do as the school’s President and Vice President.

For as long as we can remember we’ve always had only male house captains, but this year there is a refreshing change! Two of our elected house captains are female – Cassandra R. from grade 12 as Narra’s house captain and Jenny P. from grade 11 as Acacia’s house captain. We are looking forward to how this new gender ratio may open our eyes and help us raise our school spirit in new, creative ways.

Joo Ha and I can’t wait to plan and put into practice the various promises we made during our campaign presentation. We know that times are tough right now, but we hope to put in our best effort to help you guys with everything that is changing as we continue in this online learning set-up. Even though our spirits may be down due to current circumstances, we believe that it is our job to improve the morale of our student body! We want everyone to feel connected and included even in this period of physical isolation. Please don’t forget that we are here for you and that the teachers, your classmates, and friends, are all there to help you succeed. Do not hesitate to reach out for any type of help or aid.

Your President and Vice President

Creativity Action Service (CAS)

by Kimberly C.

A Helping Hand from Home: Mask On

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is in our best interest to protect ourselves and take good care of our health. Nevertheless, it is just as important to look out for the people around us. Working together is key in order for us to overcome the challenges we face during this time of crisis.

At CIS, we strive to be global citizens while taking action in our local community. Mask On is a student-led activity open for students from 7th to 12th grade and is spearheaded by Nayeli Caitlin Dy. Participants of this project will be making homemade masks that will be donated to Everlasting Hope, a non-government organization that helps children with cancer and their families. 

Face masks are essential in the mitigation of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, some people do not have the means to access them due to lack of supply or financial reasons. Hence, homemade face masks are a smart choice because they are reusable and easy to make. Moreover, a cloth mask is intended to trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs or sneezes. Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but don’t realize it (MAYO CLINIC, 2020). 

Here are some useful information, which were obtained from a test conducted by scientists from the University of Chicago, about cloth face masks: 

  • Best fabric for cloth masks: When each fabric was used in a single layer, high thread count cotton performed the best with a filtration efficiency of around 80% for particles larger than 300 nanometers. 
  • Better when layered: One layer of cotton with two layers of silk, two layers of chiffon, or one layer of flannel was effective at filtering greater than 90% of particles larger than 300 nanometers.
  • Keep the fit of the mask in mind: Improperly fitting masks which left gaps for leakage decreased filtration efficiency over 60 percent.


  • To check if the fabric serves as a great filter, hold the material up to light. Make sure you do not see the outline of the individual fibers. 
  • Wash cloth masks daily with soap or detergent and hot water. 

Attached below are some preview materials of the Mask On initiative. Sign up now through the google form to join. We look forward to making masks together with you and for us to share them with the Everlasting Hope community. 

Service Learning

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Service Learning Coordinator

CIS Partners with Bayanihan Para sa Pilipinas

This year, we welcome a new partner called “ Bayanihan Para sa Pilipinas”. This group was formed to help the frontliners in the country. Here is their message;

“We would like to thank our partner school in Cebu, Cebu International School for helping us in distributing the care packs to our medical frontliners. Each package contains 10 items, including essentials such as germicidal soap, surgical masks, sanitizer, ear saver straps, coffee, muscovado, shampoo and conditioner.

This initiative is a wonderful opportunity for organisations to collaborate and give meaningful appreciation to our healthcare frontliners, who are the true heroes in this fight. Thank you Cebu International School and Uncle Arnulfo B. Pierra Jr. for teaming with Bayanihan Para Sa Pilipinas.

They will continue to accept donations such as medical supplies, care and food packs for our frontliners in Cebu.” – Emilio Garcia BPSP

Alumni Spotlight

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:

  • When writing your resume/CV, start with the most recent activities or awards you have received.  Universities will want to see the most current information about you.
  • Identify your role in the activity or project.
  • Write 2 or 3 sentences about each activity.

Upcoming Virtual Visits and Fairs:


September 5 – Saturday
9:00 – 10:30 AM
(online via zoom)

September 5 – Saturday
2:00 – 3:00 PM
(online via zoom)


September 10 – Thursday
1:30 – 2:30 PM
(online via zoom)

September 17 – Thursday
Available on these timezones:
04:00–07:00; 13:00–15:00 CEST (Central European Standard Time)
09:00–12:00; 18:00–20:00 ICT (Indochina Time)
7:00 – 10:00 PM PH Time (online via Zoom)

September 20
10:00AM – 1:00 PM PH time

September 30
2:00 PM PH time

October 15
1:00 PM

October 17-18
Saturday & Sunday


Osaka University (Japan)
Virtual Open House for their International Undergraduate Degree Program in the Human Sciences
Click here to register:

Hiroshima University (Japan)
Session on International Global Studies
Click here to register: Zoom Session 
Meeting ID: 874 6239 7750
Passcode: 8t37er

University of British Columbia (Canada)
Zoom link to be sent via email by Ms. Basa
Session for CIS students

Council of International Schools Southeast Asia Fair
Link to Register:

View the full list of attending universities (247 universities from all over the world)

KIC UnivAssist Webifair
Click here to register:
Check this link for the list of 40 universities

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Overview  of Financial Aid at Japanese national and private universities
To register, click here:

University of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada)
Meeting ID: 318 394 3681
The password will be 946466
Session for CIS students

EduCanda Virtual Fair
(list of institutions to follow)


Please note that most universities have gone test-optional. This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

*The College Board has restricted future registrations for Sept. 26 and Oct. 3 since these will likely be cancelled due to quarantine restrictions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
*September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
*October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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: August 28, 2020

Admin News

Thank you all for your feedback on our updated Remote Learning 3.0 program. After almost a month, we are pleased to note that feedback on the updates has been overwhelmingly positive! We will continue to seek ways to improve, so please do not hesitate to send any feedback via a teacher or principal. As our students and faculty continue to learn how to perfect their use of new apps and systems, we expect learning will settle into a new routine, where student progress is possible without having to spend extra energy on setting new processes up!

Virtual Parent Coffee meeting

Thank you parents for your role in helping our students to focus on their learning. This is a challenging task, so the focus for our next Virtual Parent Coffee meeting next Wednesday, Sept. 2nd at 10 am, will be exploring ways to help you do this. I hope you can join us! (A link to the meeting will be emailed to your registered email prior to the meeting for security.)

CIS Corporation AGM

The Annual Meeting of the CIS Corporation will be held via videoconference on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 5pm. In order to attend, parents need to become Corporation members. As outlined in last week’s Newsflash, all parents are eligible to become members. Please contact Ms. Azela Diapana (Superintendent’s Secretary and CIS Corporation Secretary) for registering details, or for more information.

(make sure you’re a registered Corporation member!)

We encourage you to become a Corporation member and support CIS through the election of Trustee members, and fulfilling our company requirements for the SEC.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Class of 2020 IB DP Results

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 for achieving impressive results in the IB Diploma Programme even during a world pandemic!

Overall, despite a smaller cohort than in the past few years, and an unusual exam session (which did not actually involve any external examinations), our students continue to perform well in the IB Diploma Programme.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

Thank you for another week. There is no doubt that Remote Learning prompted CIS to adopt a new teaching pedagogy. It has been discussed before that between March 16th, 2020 and June 5th 2020, CIS was engaged in what we describe as Emergency Learning. However, with a lot of summer holiday upskilling we have now adopted a new approach to learning and teaching.

The SMAR model was made popular by Dr. Ruben Puentedura with the goal of transform the way learning happens in order to achieve;

    • deeper student engagement
    • personalise learning
    • authentic learning

At the lowest level, educational technology tools are used as a substitution for traditional teaching approaches, for example an iPad may be used to directly replace the page of a text book, or a laptop may directly replace a pencil and paper when writing an essay. However, at the highest level of redefinition we see educational technology being used to engage learners in ways that were previously not possible. In schools such as CIS, many of our learning technology used often hovers around the modification zone, occasionally touching redefinition when we provide students with the inspiration and agency to really explore authentic possibilities.

Some may ask, “Why is this important?” “Why is my child not being taught to memorize math facts or rote learn spelling words?” They are learning these things, maybe not in the same way you may have. However as parents it is so important for us to realize that the world we now live in, and used to live in, is not the world our children will live in. COVID-19 has been a reminder of this. If we do not prepare our children with the ability to redefine the way they learn, it is likely that one of two things may happen;

  1. either our children will not be prepared for the world that is coming
  2. or they will chose to separate themselves from our current institutions of learning, making traditional learning institutions irrelevant, and they will develop their own more authentic modes of learning.

There is no doubt that Covid-19, and the resulting remote learning environment has been difficult for each of us, but out of this we have all been forced into a new learning and teaching pedagogy that would have otherwise taken a lot longer time to achieve. In the book, Disrupting Class, Clayton M. Christensen discusses the impact of disruption Innovation on education and the future workforce. He explains that everything that can be automated will be automated, completely disrupting the future of the traditional workforce. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to do a lot more than we think it can, and will do it faster and more accurately than humans. Clayton does not say this to scare us, but rather to prepare us. It might be good to ask ourselves the question, “What place does rote learning math facts play in such a world?”

At CIS we seek to honour the traditions and experience of those who have gone before us, while also asking the questions and redefining the learning that will enable us to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Mandarin and Spanish Remote Learning

During our first and second week, Spanish and Mandarin elementary students continue their foreign language journey. The KG/G1, students have reviewed numbers and colors, they joined the Google Meet for color games, counting numbers from 1-10 and even 100. KG/G1 students also learned how to express their feelings by reading The Color Monster. The Grade 2 and 3 students have introduced themselves and their families, their age, and favourite color. This week we have been working on expressing feelings, they made an  emoji poster and practiced writing the words in Spanish and Mandarin. The Grade 4 and 5students have shared all  about themselves by completing the Know Me and All about me charts. Mandarin students wrote a greeting letter and made a Flipgrid video to introduce them for their Pen Pal collaborative project with another international school in India.

Grade 5 Remote Learning

The Grade 5 students have been learning how to stretch their brains by taking risks, developing new skills, diving deeper with their thinking, and showing persistence by continuing with difficult challenges. Through literacy, students have learned to enhance their writing through the use of powerful vocabulary, and they are learning that patterns are a significant aspect of mathematics. Another aspect of the Grade 5 remote learning has led them to explore the world of advertising and identify many techniques that are used to persuade people. We want to learn to be discerning consumers, responsibly taking our place in the world.

Several of our Grade 5 students have developed additional skills during remote learning. Haesueng has taken up cooking, check out his video!

PE Remote Learning

This week marks our fourth week of remote learning. Despite the circumstances right now, students were still able to enjoy, socialize with classmates, move and do several active games and activities. One of the PE highlights was the ‘60- second Fitness Challenge’ which motivated everyone in class to give their best while doing the challenge. This also helped them understand and realize their strengths and weaknesses. Our PE synchronous sessions helped a lot with students’ social-emotional skills.

Here are a few responses from our Grade 5 students:

  • “I loved how GOOD it made me feel, one or two days later! Just like Coach Jay said! Thank you Coach Jay!” – Sinead
  • “I like it because it’s a good exercise.” – Kuto
  • “This is so funny some people were kicking balls and some were kicking stuff animals haha but it was really fun.” – Ariann
  • “This made me crack up I look hilarious This exercise was awesome!” –  Savannah
  • “I like it because it keeps me fit.” – Aryan
  • “It was fun and really tiring but I kept trying and I’m pretty happy with 23 points.” – Daniel M.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Digital Well-being, Part II

As I shared two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend several virtual courses over the summer specifically focused on effective on-line instruction and the implementation of technology to help our MHS navigate this season of remote learning. As parents, screen time is one of the challenges we may encounter in general and may particularly struggle with within the scope of remote learning as our children are now, by necessity, spending so much time with their screens. 

Key question: How much screen time is too much?
This is a difficult question to answer and, as parents, we must negotiate what is right in meeting the unique needs of our respective families. A good rule of thumb, though, is that it likely is too much when the online activity, regardless of length of time, interferes with other aspects that are essential for a whole and balanced life, like spending time with the family. If other priorities fall by the wayside, or if your child’s sleep or exercise are suffering, then it may be that a child has a problem with too much screen time or with managing the amount of time they have. Another related factor that may help in answering this question is to look at how screen time affects your kids emotionally. If you find that your kids are moody after a lengthy session of gaming or chatting online with friends, then it might be too much.

It’s also important to remember that our kids have been cut off socially for several months now, and in our case here in Cebu, not even allowed to leave their houses except for emergencies, not even able to go out to a restaurant or see a movie. Our children haven’t been able to do what they are used to doing and so they are socializing on their devices as a default. We return to the idea of balance and having the wisdom to choose our battles carefully and also show understanding and empathy for our children’s situation.

Another important question to consider is: “What are the kids doing online?”
Some online activities are wonderful, and even educational. Pause and ask yourself whether your children are using what they are encountering online in a purposeful way. Also inquire and reflect on how they are interacting with the online content. 

All to say, with regard to screen time, it is important to pay attention to what our children are actually doing when they are online. It could be helpful to become familiar with the games your kids are playing so you can understand them and set reasonable boundaries (they might get really excited that you want to try playing with them). This will help you to be more understanding but also recognize if your kids are making unjustified excuses. For example, if they are playing a multiplayer game, they might legitimately need “just 5 more minutes” (i.e.  legitimately need a bit more time to be fair to the other players in the game who may be collaboratively resolving the scenario they are in).

It is important for us to recognize that screen-time is not monolithic, not summarily good or bad. As with most tools and blessings in life, some online activity can be very useful and even help our children learn, while other activity may be unacceptable or even harmful to them.

Starting the new year in the DP

by Emily Cornet, DP Coordinator

For our 11th graders, these first few weeks of the new school year have been all about the introductions to their new courses in which they will be enrolled over the next two years. Some students have been working to find the right combination of classes, while others are settling into their schedules and beginning their exploration of Mandarin, Physics, History, among others.

Our 12th graders have picked up where they left off at the start of the summer, with many courses continuing their work on their IB Internal Assessments. 12th grade students are building their knowledge and depth of understanding, while at the same time adapting to the new adjustments set by the IB that changes some of the expected topics of the course (for the May 2021 exam session only) in light of remote learning.

While the 11th graders are just now starting to learn about the Extended Essay, a key component of the IB Diploma Program, many of the 12th graders are getting closer to completing their Extended Essay journey as they move towards finishing their final copy for submission to the IB as well as completing their viva voce interview process.

Learning Engagements in MHS

by Ms. Gerri Ancajas Jumao-as, Visual Arts Teacher

Grade 9B Visual Arts Class

The Grade 9B class has been investigating ‘composition’ for their unit on Still Life Drawing. Students have been exploring various techniques on how to approach still life drawing, specifically composition. They experimented with different ways to arrange and place visual elements in a piece of work using very simple shapes as the building blocks. They had to grasp the techniques in drawing through a formative exercise on composition using simple geometric shapes with IT integration. They applied their skills in creating different compositions showing different moods such as happy, lively, lonely, sad, tension, angry, congestion, and strength.

Here are some of the students’ products:

Maki: Order
Bella: Congestion
Dennis: Order
Jandra: Angry
Bryan: Increasing
Marianne: Strength
Seohyun: Tension
Max: Lonely

Psychology 10 Presentations

Psychology 10 is a semester-long course designed to give students a basic overview and understanding of the subject; this will help students to make an informed choice if they select Psychology as one of their DP subjects entering Grade 11. The students have learned that psychology aims to be empirical, and that there are many approaches to understanding behavior; thus, students have worked on guides to organize and review different approaches and research methods. The Unit One global context centers on identities and relationships. Students will explore identities, different beliefs, values, and approaches.  Part of their learning engagement task is to research the different approaches and analyze how these approaches reflect and explain human behavior and mental processes. 

Here are some of the students’ sample slides and reflections:

I think I have learned the basics on a topic I was very excited to learn. I think sociocultural psychology tells me also the process of culture being assimilated to different countries, so I can definitely say this topic was very useful. ~ Jun Jang

From my presentation I undoubtedly learned a lot about the ideas and the focus around the Cognitive Approach. Through this project, I learned all about the area of psychology I focused on. And by going into detail to talk about the main theories and key figures that surrounded this subject, I fully grasped the purpose and objective of the Cognitive Approach. ~ Sean Killen

While making this presentation, I learned a lot about structuralism and functionalism as two schools of thought in Psychology. I learned that the psychologist at that time treated thoughts and mental processes like how they would treat rocks and compounds which, as we know now, isn’t the proper approach to how our thoughts and behavior work. I also learned that these schools of thought influenced methods of analyzing the mental processes and the educational system in general. – Julianna Chan

Starting off the research was a pretty hard process. I wasn’t sure how to start or where to start. I began watching videos of my topic (Watson Behaviourism). Once I started understanding my topic more I started having fun learning and understanding more about the subject. I learned a lot about Watson’s theory of behaviour and I gathered that a lot of people, myself including, disagree with his theory, which is that we should only concern ourselves with what we can see and not concern ourselves with mental events and physiological processes. ~ Lea Fridrich

At first, I wasn’t sure how to start the given assessment. It is better to do something rather than do nothing, so I started to search about my topic (B.F.Skinner). After I started to understand the concept of the assignment, I learned a lot more about my topic than I expected. From my topic, I learn Skinner’s theory of behaviourism and his different results of experiments. Not many, but some people had disagreed with most of Skinner’s theory, which represents limitations of behaviorism. ~ Chewon Yang

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor

Tip for the Week

In a webinar hosted by UKEAS on Writing Effective Personal Statements , Lesley Thirkell of the University of St. Andrews shared statistics on the number of students who started their personal statements with these phrases. 

Tip:  Use an opening phrase that is unique and catchy.  Refrain from using the examples below.  The number shows how many times these opening phrases have appeared in essays over the past couple of years. 

The Student World Virtual Fair

Connect with 80 universities from all over the world on September 3, 2020 at 5:00PM (PH time).  Find your university overseas! Chat live with top international universities and government agencies.  Have your questions answered on programmes, application processes and moreRegister for free using this  link.

Find out how to navigate a Virtual Fair:

Japan University Consortium

Upcoming webinars

Study in Japan
August 30, 2020 Sunday
3:00PM PH time

To register, click here:

The webinar will last 1 hour with a 30 minute presentation covering applying to universities in Japan – How to apply: standardized tests, deadlines, AO (Admission Office) Entrance Exam and more! There will be 30 minutes at the end for Q&A from a panel of experts from member universities listed below.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
September 30, 2020 Wednesday – 3:00PM PH Time
To register, click here:

Kyoto University of Advanced Science (KUAS)

KUAS Webinar: Information Session
Date: September 4th (Fri)
Time: 16:00 – 17:30 Filipino Time
Registration Form: please register using this Link

SAT Update

Please note that most universities have gone test-optional.  This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

Below are the future test dates which may be subject to change till further notice from the College Board due to quarantine restrictions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020CANCELLED
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Newsflash: August 20, 2020

CIS Corporation Announcement

The Annual Meeting of the CIS Corporation will be held via videoconferencing  on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 5pm.

Artwork by Katrina R., CIS Class of 2020


The members of the CIS Corporation shall comprised of the parents or guardians,  whether of Philippine or foreign nationality of students who are currently enrolled in the School and who have studied at the School for at least one (1) school year. Full membership are parents or guardians whose child/ren have studied at CIS for one year and have paid the annual membership fee are eligible to vote. Associate members are parents or guardians who are currently enrolled but who have not studied at the School for at least one (1) school year and have paid the annual membership fee are entitled to attend membership meetings but with no right to vote.

Due to the restrictions of the GCQ , we send details for arranging payment of the 200 pesos Corporation fee to those who express an interest in contributing to the school  by becoming a member. This may be done by contacting our Superintendent’s Secretary Ms. Azela Diapana If CIS parents would also like to know more about being a CIS Board of Trustee, they may also contact Ms. Azela for details. The deadline for membership and nominations of new Trustees is September 3 at 12 noon.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

This past week a few of our faculty have been able to access the school campus to make use of the more stable internet, and pick up school resources. Several teachers have even been able to collaboratively plan using the same physical spaces, while also honoring social distancing norms, and taking Covid-19 safety precautions. These planning conversations are examples of how our teachers continue to seek ways to enhance the learning being received by your children, and ensuring the curriculum is being delivered in a way that is consistent with our CIS core beliefs.

Coach Jay

While checking in with some of the teachers who have been able to access the campus, I came across Coach Jay running his live synchronous classes from his PE classroom. Beside his laptop, Coach Jay has set up two large speakers, and he had a selection of balls, skipping ropes and exercise mats, along with a large whiteboard full of PE learning engagements.“I love it!” he said with a big smile on his face. The students are clearly loving his classes as well.

Digital Citizenship and Educational Technology

Digital citizenship is a 21st Century concept that all children are taught as part of the PYP ATL skills that are weaved through their daily learning. It has been exciting to see just how quickly our learners have adapted to the remote learning environment and how proficient they are at using EdTech tools. Looking through history, we are are able to trace the development of technology and the fears that various members of society carried as these tools have gradually impacted education. The article, A History of Educational Technology (an abstract from a larger paper by Dr. Maryanne Berry of Sonoma State University) explains the development from desktop sandboxes, to individual student slates, then on to whole class chalkboards. What is interesting is that with each development in technology, a change in educational pedagogy has also  been required as educators adapt to meet the requirements of delivering the curriculum through different tools. As a movement of IB educators (CIS is an IB World School) we are committed to an approach to learning and teaching refered to as ‘Student-Centered’. The Glossary of Educational Reform describes Student-Centered Learning as instructional approaches, and academic support strategies designed to address distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, and cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students, by employ a wide variety of educational methods. These may include modifying assignments and instructional strategies in the classroom through to entirely redesigning the ways in which students are grouped and taught in a school. I really like this video by Teachers in Education  which clearly explains the Student-Centered Approach we use at CIS.

With this increased reliance on EdTech tools to deliver the curriculum, particularly within the remote learning context, it is necessary for all users to understand their rights and responsibilities as a Digital Citizen. CIS has an active ICT Committee who has developed a set of Digital Citizen Responsibilities within the framework of the CIS Five Respects. As these digital Five Respects are an important part of helping each of us manage our online interactions, you may find it valuable to review these with your children over the coming week. We also encourage questions and comments from you about the role of EdTech at CIS.

Grade 4 Remote Learning

This week the Grade 4 students have been working at establishing positive learning habits by putting their learning routines into practice. One key part of this is becoming familiar with the Daily 5 Literacy Routine. With support from peers, and from the range of teachers that the Grade 4 students interact with, they have plenty of opportunity to practice these routines. Routine help take care of the small things so that we can use our best brain power for the real work of learning.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Best wishes for a long weekend. Your children definitely deserve it, and, knowing how much support you are providing in your own homes to help them to be successful, you certainly deserve one as well. I wanted to share some of the learning experiences our students have been engaged in over the past week. First, though, we wanted to share a video created by Daniel Monfre, our eLearning Coordinator, containing tips on how to maximize your use of some of the Google tools we are using at CIS. Mr Monfre is a Certified Google Trainer and we think you will find his insights to be very helpful.

Remote Learning Tips for Students and Families

by Dan Monfre, eLearning Coordinator

Hello CIS community. We understand how overwhelming it can be to stay organized during remote learning. This short video will discuss an overview of Google Classroom from the students’ perspective, review Classroom summary settings for guardians, the Classroom To-Do list and Calendar for students, and a brief overview of organization and search tools in Google Drive. We hope these tools will help students organize their work and help parents stay connected with the learning process.

Sections In the video (for quick access):

  • Google Classroom & Classroom Summaries (Click here: 00:39)
  • Classroom To-Do & Calendar (Click here: 02:35)
  • Google Drive (Click here: 03:23)

Guardian email summary settings:

Creating up a Google account:

Glimpses of Student Learning in MHS

Language Acquisition is arguably one of the most challenging subject areas to orchestrate and navigate within the scope of remote learning. Our teachers are doing a remarkable job of leading our students in their Language Acquisition classes.

In Mandarin 8/9 students, for example, are mastering their color vocabulary, paired with other frequently used words through reciting the color song. After learning the song, students are expected to recite the color song without looking at the lyrics.

After singing the song, students are recording themselves finding examples of each color and showing them to the camera while saying the color. For example, holding an apple and say “这是红色。zhè shì hóng sè.” 

Students are also using the padlet tool to write letters in Mandarin to distant pen pals who are in the Mandarin class of a former CIS teacher. Students in both classes are sharing about their lives, backgrounds, daily routines, hobbies, and also their experiences with remote learning. These two Mandarin classes are also sharing videos on Flipgrid. This kind of interaction makes the communication (i.e. the use of the language) engaging and relevant for students.

Our Grade 12 Mandarin ab initio class (which only began learning Mandarin at the start of last year) is also using the flipgrid tool. They are composing short essays, using an exemplar for guidance, and are recording these essays orally and sharing them on flipgrid. One of the great learning aspects of flipgrid is that classmates can access all of the videos (so it works like a message board) and then can record their feedback on each one, thus making this activity dynamic and engaging.

Stuart B. – Grade 12

Our Grade 12 Spanish B class, which is operating at an admirable level of Spanish fluency, engaged in a debate (in Spanish) on Tuesday focused on one of the primary DP Oral topics of Identities, narrowed more specifically on the subtopic: Concepts of Beauty. The debate questions was: “Should we restrict or censor fashion and the diffusion of fashion to control people’s perception of beauty” (i.e. should we restrict freedom in this area or not). Students had prepared the debate in previous classes including learning very specific vocabulary to enable them to be precise in their arguments. The teacher also engineered and facilitated group meetings to prepare the pros and contras, and also to prepare counterarguments on this topic.

Students in Grade 8 Language & Literature class have been reflectively exploring their individual identities. They have each been tasked with making a collage that represents the different aspects of their identity, using specific criteria established by the teacher:

Here are a few examples:

Grade 10 Language and Literature classes have begun reading the novel, The Alchemist. They are learning to implement the “PEE” paragraph writing model (as seen in the graphic below) to develop the quality of their writing, and here, to specifically hone in on specific portions of the text, answering the following prompt:

What point does the old man’s story about the boy in the castle and drops of oil make? (pp. 30-32)

MYP Grade 10 Drama 

It can also be a challenge doing drama collectively as we are not able to be physically gathered together. Students instead are working through a unit focusing on monologues, which incorporates many of the same principles and techniques of drama, while allowing students to work independently. The Statement of Inquiry for this unit is: Performance style informs how a character is presented to an audience. For this unit, students have engaged in a process including recording a pre-assessment monologue video which was shared on Flipgrid (also with feedback from their classmates).

Student teams have now collaborated to identify and analyze excellent examples of monologues from a selected group of films; students have been able to choose both the films and the monologues therein, from which they will prepare and perform for their classmates.

Student Reflections:

I understood how a monologue should look as well as how it should be acted out. I learned that it conveys a lot of emotions depending on the story. I learned that it takes practice to perfect a monologue and that you have to be determined to do it so you can get it down nicely. I know that it isn’t easy to perform a monologue but it can be done if you put your heart and drive in it.  – Heinz T.

I understood that we need to put a lot of expression into our monologues so that the audience would interpret our characters in the way we want them to. – Brenton L.

College Counselor’s Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor

Please note that most universities have gone test-optional.  This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

Below are the future test dates which may be subject to change till further notice from the College Board.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020CANCELLED
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

Virtual College Visit

Nagoya University

To apply for admission, click here:

Tuesday August 25, 2020 at 1:00 – 2:00 PM (PH time)

To join the zoom meeting, click on this link:

Below is a short summary on the international programs offered by Nagoya University (NU).  

NU offers four-year undergraduate program in: Automotive Engineering (mechanical or electrical), Physics (science), Chemistry (science or engineering), Biology (science or agriculture), Economics, Law and Japanese in Asia Cultural Studies.  Since all the programs are taught in English, no Japanese language proficiency is required at the time of admission. However, Japanese language classes are offered after enrollment. 

NU offers up to 100% tuition scholarships to qualified applicants.

University of California

To apply for admission, click here:

University of California Info • Condor High School

The UC application is self-reported by the student.  Applications are open at this time and can be submitted anytime from November 1 – 30.

UC will be “test-optional” for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Freshman applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT test scores. Here’s the  Link for more information.

What does “test-optional” mean?

  • You choose whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores with your application.
  • If you are unable or chose not to submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration. 

You will need to answer 4 out of 8 questions. (Max: 350 words)

  1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
  7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

For more information about the Personal Insight Questions, including writing exercises and worksheets, visit the UC admissions website .

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Newsflash: August 14, 2020

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

We have now completed the 8th day of the 2020/2021 school year. I am proud of what has been achieved by our elementary community over these past weeks. Challenging times often bring people together and although we continue to find ourselves in a situation we would rather not be in, each of us are working strategically to ensure we continue to provide the best possible education for our children.  One of the changes you will have noticed in our Remote Learning program is the increase in synchronous face to face learning and teaching time. Video conferencing technology has enabled each student and teacher to connect far more frequently, making the school experience more meaningful. In our younger grades, we also have the goal of greater student independence with less reliance on the parent being constantly present to support learning a home.

Remote Learning Home Schedule
To support this goal, today you will receive a Synchronous (face to face) meeting schedule for your child. This schedule contains links and QR codes to each of the Synchronous (face to face) meetings your c

hild will be involved in. This document can be saved on a computer desktop, and can even be printed and put on the refrigerator door. Your child can then just follow the link or scan the QR code to enter their meeting at the assigned time. It is our hope that this document will make the process of taking part in Synchronous (face to face) learning sessions one step easier.

Please do continue to provide us with your feedback about the Remote Learning experience within your household. Our teaching team really appreciate the positive feedback, as it really builds their confidence and validates the challenging work they are involved in daily. We also value the feedback that tells us what is not working, as this allows us to fine-tune our program to better meet your family’s needs.

Remote Learning – Art Learning at CIS Elementary

The role of art in a balanced education is not always valued as much as many educators believe it should be. Like mathematics, art is one of those subjects where we have typically told ourselves that we either have talent, or we don’t. The world we are preparing our students for is one of continual change, where the sands under our feet continually shift. Successful navigators of this future environment are highly innovative, highly creative, and highly flexible. They adapt to change by accepting change as a continuous cycle, like chameleons who continually adapt to their environment. Dr. Ken Robinson frequently speaks of creativity and the role it plays in the development of young people. In his talk Do Schools Kill Creativity, he challenges educators to revolutionize, change, and adapt.

The Role of Arts in Schools is an article that poses questions and provides answers about the importance of developing an artistic mindset in all learners, while also acknowledging the challenges of measuring art in quantifiable means. Art remains a key aspect of your child’s education and we are proud to share some of the pieces created by our students/your children over the first few days of school.

Early Years Artists

The Early Years artists explored creating Cartoon Character Drawings based on themselves, using the Seesaw App’s new features. This was followed up with synchronous (face to face) video calls where all the students made different expressions with their faces.  One trick learned by the students was that by changing the eyebrows and mouth, the expression changes. This lesson was inspired by the artist, “Puno” who is a cartoonist.

Grade 2 Artists

The Grade 2 artists drew Radial Patterns on the Seesaw App, learning to draw patterns digitally with a grid. The following lesson these young artists used pencil and paper to repeat these patterns and shared their learning through synchronous (face to face) video calls.

Grade 4 and 5 Artists

The Grade 4 and 5 artists investigated Hand Contour Drawing. This is a classic drawing exercise from Betty Edward’s “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain” book. It involves drawing your hand without looking at the paper. The artistic habit being developed is noticing details and transferring these onto our paper. The students naturally provided feedback to each other sharing both “what they liked in their drawing” and “what they could improve next time”.

KG.G1 Artists
The KG/G1 artists explored drawing from real-life observation. Initially, they drew a pencil. After drawing an ordinary pencil they explored how pencils may look like if they used their imaginations and added wings, or wheels…turning them into Cartoons!

This lesson was inspired by the art of Matthias Adolfsson.

Grade 3 Artists

The Grade 3 artists, developed more advanced patterns,  first drawing them on Seesaw and then drawing them on paper. Some of the students created incredibly detailed and colorful patterns. This lesson is a pre-skill for when they will design our own Covid Masks with patterns on them!

Remote Learning in Grade 3

Grade 3 has focused on getting to know each other by sharing photographs of themselves, adding descriptive words to their photos, and sharing these with their friends. The students also held several discussions about our Five Respects and decided on how we will follow the Five Respects in Grade 3. These discussions helped the students to formulate all of their thoughts, and resulted in the Gade 3 students agreeing upon 10 class agreements.

The Grade 3 students have also been interviewing family members about their reading habits, and how they use math in their daily lives. These interviews were then shared with the whole class to gain insight into why we read and why we do math in grade 3.”

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle High School Principal

Digital Wellbeing

I had the opportunity to attend several virtual courses over the summer, most of which were focused on effective on-line instruction and the effective implementation of technology to help the MHS navigate this season of remote learning. One of the webinars I attended explored the topic of digital well-being, and I would like to share some insights over the next few weeks that I was able to glean from this webinar beginning with the following.

The importance of rituals and healthy routines

As we move back into our academic structure for the year, it may be helpful to try and recapture some of the beneficial routines you established last year which may have eroded over the summer. One of the benefits of remote learning is that we do have a greater level of flexibility as to how we define time, and one of the blessings of the quarantine is that we do not have to stress about leaving our houses at 6:20 and fighting Cebu traffic in order to arrive at school on time for first block. Still, it can be helpful for us to reestablish a sense of rhythm and routine as we start the year from our homes. Some important rituals worth protecting would be ones connected to our family time, which could be as simple as resolving to eat at least one meal each day with the entire family or having a weekly “games” night to laugh and bond (and even compete) together.

Image source

Another important area would be developing healthy habits and routines related to sleep and rest. If you were informed that there was a drug that was free, would make you feel wonderful, would improve your mood, was perfectly safe, and would actually increase your productivity, would you want it? Most of us would jump at such a crazy possibility. In fact, that drug does exist; it’s called sleep. Research, such as the link to the article below from the Harvard Business Review written by Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University, attests to the importance of sleep and its correlation to our state of general physical and mental health. He also articulates the habits (specifically connected to technology) that can lead to better, more restful sleep.

Relax, Turn Off Your Phones, and Go to Sleep

Some of the tips in the article that Dr. Rosen suggests are as follows (and in the article he explains why these habits are important based on how our brains work):

  • During the day, practice not reacting to incoming alerts or notifications like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Don’t check your phone every time it beeps. In fact, turn off notifications and check on a schedule to retrain your brain’s neurotransmitters (particularly cortisol). Start by checking every 15 minutes, and gradually increase that to 30 minutes or more. Tell your family, friends, and colleagues that you may not respond immediately, but you will within a specified amount of time, such as 30 minutes to an hour later.
  • Stop using all devices one hour prior to sleep.
  • Put all devices away in another room rather than keep them in the bedroom to discourage you from checking them during the night. (If you must keep a phone nearby in case of emergency, set it so that it only rings when certain people are calling, but still place it across the room and away from your bedside.)
  • An hour before bedtime, start dimming the room lights slowly to release melatonin.
  • During the last hour before bedtime, choose an activity that your brain will find predictable and, thus, not anxiety-provoking. Consider any of the following:
    • Watch a television show that you love, maybe even a repeat.
    • Read a paper book (or use a Kindle which doesn’t emit blue light) by a familiar author.
    • Listen to music that is very familiar like a playlist of your favorite songs. If you need a device to do this, burn CDs and get a CD player. (The key is to use a device that doesn’t have internet access, email, or a phone.) Keep the volume low.
    • If you awaken in the middle of the night, try this trick: have a song lyric in mind (not the whole song) that you plan to sing in your mind over and over to block the anxiety and allow you to fall back to sleep. Another option is to learn one of many meditation techniques and practice and use those skills to calm your mind.

Seeking and maintaining balance

Our IB Learner Profile trait for August is balance. As parents, often we need the wisdom to decide which battles are worth fighting with our kids; if we fight them on everything then we will surely lose the overall campaign. What we ultimately want is the best for them, which includes helping them develop a routine of self-care. It is also loving for us to set boundaries for them, as often they don’t yet have the maturity to know what is best.

Further, when we have conversations with our kids about managing themselves on potentially contentious topics such as appropriate amounts of screen time (or other challenging areas), we also need to be careful that we are first regulating our own emotions; we need to be emotionally steady and calm when we have these conversations. As with most things, we provide a model for this for our children when we do this effectively, or present a negative model if we do the opposite. Sometimes we need to step back if we are too emotionally charged at the moment; we all have things that can push us over the edge and in that state our conversation will likely not be productive. If you find yourself in that state, don’t force the issue but rather set a time (i.e. set a structure) to talk later with your child. And, as with most human interactions, our tone of voice is critical if we want this conversation to be fruitful.

The MYP needs you!

by Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator/Assistant Principal-MYP

Hello everyone and welcome to a new academic year!

While starting the year remotely is not our ideal situation, as educators I can promise you we are very much up to the challenge of developing a new blended model for learning, one that is very much in-tune with our increasingly complex world.

On-line learning will never be a replacement for face-to-face learning, however, it is forcing us to develop a new set of skills that are extremely relevant and important.  As educators it is our responsibility to create “safe” learning communities that support social and emotional well-being. We aim to transform classroom learning through tech tools for collaboration, social connection, culture building and differentiation. We will model effective on-line behaviours such as maximising our time together, providing opportunities for students to collaborate, ask questions, clarify confusion and receive feedback. We will offer our students flexibility through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning tasks. We will also need to rethink assessment focusing on formative assessment as learning, providing feedback in a more personalised manner.

It is a brave new world but we are all ready for this challenge, safe in the knowledge that we have a supportive and forward thinking Academic Leadership Team and School Board behind us.

This year is our second year of MYP implementation at CIS, and it promises to be a very busy one indeed. Over the course of the year we have two IB visits scheduled to analyse and evaluate how successful we have been implementing the programme. The first of these visits will be our Consultation Visit, August 27th and 28th. The second will be the Verification Visit in May. Fingers crossed, at the end of this academic year we will be the very first IB continuum school in the Philippines.

How can you help? On Friday, August 28th, from 7:30 to 8:30, our IB consultant would like to hear from you. More specifically, she would like to discuss the impact of programme implementation on the school community. If you would like to join this meeting or know more about it, please let me or Ms Kim know via email.

Keep up to date with all that is happening in the MYP on our website,

Until next time, may your news be good news.

College Counselor’s Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor

College Applications in the time of COVID-19

The College Board has not officially cancelled the Aug. 29 exam. However, given the quarantine restrictions in Cebu City, it is highly likely that the exam will be cancelled. Please monitor your emails. Updates will be sent to your email from the College Board.

Yes, most universities in the US have gone test-optional.  This means that an applicant is not required to submit these scores.  However, you may choose to submit scores if you have taken the tests previously.

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

No.  Not all universities are under the CommonApp.  There are also non-US universities that utilize the CommonApp as their application platform.  For a list of members you may check this link:

To find out how to apply to a specific university, go to their website and look for the “apply” or “admissions” tab.

Yes. There will be virtual visits and college fairs. Information will be sent via email to all Grade 10, 11 and 12 students. A schedule will also be posted regularly on the weekly newsflash.

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU) and University of Santo Tomas recognize the IB Diploma as an admission requirement in lieu of the entrance exam. The University of the Philippines requires the UPCAT for admission.

Nagoya University Webinar

Nagoya University transparent background PNG cliparts free download | HiClipartPhilippines: 18th (Tuesday) 13:00

Register here:




NU offers four-year undergraduate program in: Automotive Engineering (mechanical or electrical), Physics (science), Chemistry (science or engineering), Biology (science or agriculture), Economics, Law and Japanese in Asia Cultural Studies.  Since all the programs are taught in English, no Japanese language proficiency is required at the time of admission. However, Japanese language classes are offered after enrollment.

NU officers up to 100% tuition scholarships to qualified applicants.

A virtual visit will be coming up at the end of the month, the date will be announced once confirmed.

If you need more details, set up an appointment with Ms. Basa at

SAT Registrations Update

If you are registered for the SAT on August 29, please monitor your email regularly. It is highly likely that the Aug. 29 exams will be cancelled due to quarantine restrictions. The College Board will be sending updates soon.

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.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsJuly 31, 2020
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Newsflash: August 7, 2020

Note from the Superintendent

It has been wonderful to see students, families and the school come together this week for the start of our new school year. The teachers have done a great job preparing for our new, upgraded Remote Learning program. At CIS, this most certainly does not mean doing traditional school work, either synchronously or asynchronously, over the internet. Rather, it considers all aspects of inquiry-based constructivist learning methodologies, adapted for remote delivery, in order to provide holistic learning in a personalized learning environment (see the diagram below showing the key components of such a program). Furthermore, we use International Baccalaureate (IB) programs that are aligned with the CIS philosophy, and while this cannot replace face-to-face interactions, it does ensure we can provide a good level of continuity of learning during these challenging times.

As we completed our first week of school after our first ever virtual orientation, I have been particularly impressed to see the vast majority of our members resiliently working to overcome issues when they arise, and facing the various challenges in a calm and practical manner. As I touched on in the welcome of our Family Orientation video, this is in line with how CIS intends to face the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. To summarize, CIS intends to:

a) make decisions that are aligned to our guiding statements
b) focus on areas within our “sphere of control” and not worry about areas that are outside of our control (but still be prepared to deal with them)

Diagram credit: Elena Aguilar, Education Week Teacher Blog

c) use and promote the use of a growth mindsetwhere we believe intelligence can be developed, leading to a desire to learn, embrace challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.

Over this week, we had a variety of opportunities for parents to interact with the school. 

  • If you missed any of the asynchronous videos from Facility Orientation Day, I urge you to take time over the weekend to review them, so as to be aware how we are educating your children (refer to the email sent to your registered address for the links).
  • A few parents opted to join the small group meetings offered, and a larger group gathered for our Virtual Parent Operation yesterday. I will be sending home a Q&A with key questions arising these orientation meetings that might be of interest to those who could not join us shortly. We plan to hold these regularly to give you an opportunity to share positive news and challenges together, and to help communicate ways that you can fulfill the challenging role of supporting your child/ren’s learning at home.

Our next parent meeting will be our first Virtual PTA Coffee Morning next Wednesday, August 12th, 10-11am. Please pencil this in, and a meeting invite will be sent out via email with the above mentioned Q&A. In addition to getting to know each other, we will be discussing our PTA Board and Officer selection process for this year, after deferring that from the end of last year. I hope to see as many of you as possible!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

A big welcome back to our new school year and to this year’s edition of The Newsflash. We have missed the CIS community over these two months, and though we cannot be together in person, we are still happy that we can reconnect with students and parents virtually. Thankfully, CIS teachers prior to the lock down were already fluent and capable in their use and implementation of tech (as seen for example, in our effective use of Google Classroom and Seesaw in our respective sections of the school). This crisis has forced schools across the world to get on board with exploring and implementing new technology tools, and for us this means advancing and refining our use of platforms already in place. The fact of the matter is that, in the past teachers could (and sometimes did) resist innovation, but now we are in a position where we must do this if we are to continue being effective practitioners within our profession. I will comment more on how this can be seen as a real “silver lining” in the midst of this crisis as technology holds the potential for opening up doors to learning we could only have imagined in the past.

Source: BCCHP

We have also made a commitment as a school to focus intentionally on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) to help our students maintain their balance and foster their wellbeing. Meeting our students’ SEL needs in the midst of this crisis is a challenge for us both at school and at home, for teachers as well as for parents. I want to assure you that we are committed to living up to our mission statement’s pledge of “creating a collaborative, challenging, and nurturing environment that includes community members” as is reflected in the examples below.  

This week our homerooms had the chance to meet with students both for an hour on Tuesday and then a half-hour on Thursday. These two sessions were very useful in preparing students for the start of school and then to check in on them as how these first two days went and answer any questions they may have had. We are seeking to make our homerooms a place where students can connect with each other and a safe place to share their struggles and triumphs during this challenging season.

Here are examples of what some of our homerooms have been up to over the past few days.

Our initial homeroom time included personal introductions, as we see in the following example from Grade 6: Grade 6 HR

Many homerooms shared helpful information with their students, as seen in the following from Grade 8: Grade 8 Learning links

Grade 11 HR

The 11th grade students started their experience with the IB Diploma Programme with an introductory workshop session and an explanation of the program (including information about course/level changes). The 11th graders asked fantastic questions in their live session on Tuesday August 4, and have entered the Diploma Programme ready to take on the challenge!

Grade 12 HR

The 12th grade students began their second year in the IB Diploma Programme with a Homeroom session designed to get them reacquainted with each other.  Teams were formed, and competitions are on the horizon for the coming year!

MHS Classes

One of the things we always do with our students at the start of the year is establish common agreements with them in our classes. Engaging and involving students in creating shared agreements for the smooth operation of class is a powerful way for them to feel invested in the decision making and have “buy in” for the operational policies of the class. Many of our essential agreements this year included an increased focus on the responsible use of technology, such as:

  • Cameras must be on during class. If there is a technical problem, inform the teacher on hangouts.
  • Mute your mics when not speaking.
  • Communication is key- if you have a problem speak up either in class or outside of class.
  • Contact is best facilitated between 7am and 4pm.
  • Be patient. 
  • Keep a smile nearby at all times.

Students were also connecting with each in class this week other through creative experiences engineered by their teachers, as seen in the following activity in our Grade 7 Individuals and Societies class: Grade 7 L&L activity

Mr. Denton created a very comprehensive website for his Grade 8 Individuals and Societies course which will also contain opportunities for parents to actively partner with the teacher as the year progresses. Grade 8 I&S website

Our Grade 11 DP Spanish ab initio (i.e. absolute beginners) class has met once and they are already using introductory phrases in Spanish. The teacher is using a tool called flipgrid where students record themselves and post to a shared “board” which the teacher and other students can see and comment on. After direct instruction and watching videos posted by the teacher, students today were doing the following using the flipgrid tool.

Introducing themselves and using several greetings. Sharing their names, how old they are, and where they are from. Sharing that they are studying the IB DP programme. They also learned how to ask each other questions to elicit these responses. Spanish ab initio is off to a great start!

Thank you, as always, for your support as we begin this new school year together!

Math IA

by Mr. Nick Arnsby, DP Math Teacher

Our Grade 12 valedictorian last school year 2019-2020, Axelle, created a taster video of her Maths IA which is a great example of contextual learning in Maths.

It involved modeling the change in carbon dioxide levels over an island in Hawaii over the last 59 years, which involved creating a composite model that featured a combination of quadratic and sinusoidal functions.

Axelle did not just want to use the quadratic regression formula (we’re far too curious to rely on another person’s formula), she derived it from scratch using calculus (partial derivatives), and then used matrices to solve the normal equations generated.

All of this is beyond the course and shows so many great ATL skills.

We hope that you will be blown away by this (especially those who are Math savvy) as much as we are. Oftentimes when I meet with parents from the DP course, (who are strong in Maths engineers, etc) many are surprised and impressed at the rigor of our Math SL course, normally stating, “I didn’t even learn this until I was in college!”

Welcome to the MYP

by Mr. Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator and Assistant Principal – MYP

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

Our First Week Back

This has been a wonderful beginning to the school year. In today’s CIS Newsflash our elementary team would like to share with you several examples of learning from this past week. Every student has been involved in daily video conferences with their peers and their teachers and it has been simply wonderful to hear the excitement and enthusiasm of our young learners.

After many weeks of uncertainty and preparation, we are now together again as a school community again. Over the summer period, many of our teachers have been actively learning how to become more effective as remote educators. I am very proud of everything our teachers have achieved.

While planning to open this year, as a teaching team we incorporated our professional learning, along with the feedback we reviewed from students and families. We value your feedback as it enables us to finetune our practices and better meet the educational, and social and emotional needs of your children. When designing CIS remote learning, some Key Elements driving our lesson design are:

  • Creating several daily opportunities for synchronous interaction via Google Meets
  • Incorporation of regular mini-lessons where students receive direct instruction from teachers
  • Decreasing the need for parent involvement in remote lessons
  • increasing our focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

There is no doubt this has been, and it continues to be, a very challenging process for our CIS teachers. I am excited to see what we will continue to achieve as a community in these coming weeks together.

This Week’s Learning

Early Years 2 & 3
Each morning this week the EY teachers have been connecting with their classes with an asynchronous video. In response to the video, each student has been responding on Seesaw with a voice recording.  Later in the morning, the EY teachers have held a synchronous video call with all the students together.

(Please click here to view this video)

Grade 2
Grade 2 started the year with a blast! This week, we spent quality time connecting with each other and building our class community. We also explored new digital learning tools and what it means to be good digital citizens. Every day, we collaborated with each other synchronously on Google Meet and asynchronously using Seesaw Blog and Google Hangouts. We then ended the week on high spirits as Coach Jay led us through some fun physical challenges. We’re so glad to be back at school!

Grade 5
Grade 5 students have started the year by developing routines that lead to success. One of these routines has been the Independent Reading Routine. Through the use of the Seesaw platform, the Grade 5 teachers have been able to design asynchronous learning engagements, supported with audio guides to lead the students toward exploring the routines that will enable them to become successful independent learners.

Students are also able to respond through both audio and video to the asynchronous learning engagements. This is the teacher’s view of our Grade 5 students is responding to the math challenge, titled Back to School: Figure Me Out Math.

Data Protection Advisory

by Mr. William Belda, Data Protection Officer

In its constant commitment to the vision and mission of the school and to uphold and maintain the values and principles imbibed and practiced for the benefit of the entire community, CIS has initiated the modification and alignment of all privacy policies and security measures currently implemented and practiced in all its processes, beginning this school year, 2020-2021.

This assures the improvement and upgrade in the protection of all information, which are requested and collected for the specific processing of official school requirements and necessary compliances relative to all academic programs and in accordance to local laws.

The modification improvement of our current Privacy Policy include the following principles:

  • CONSENT – As a constant practice, CIS respectfully requests the consent and approval of usage in the collection of all information necessary prior to its processing.
  • PURPOSE – CIS responsibly provides full disclosure of the nature, scope and extent  of the information necessary for official school usage.
  • LIMITATIONS – CIS prepares appropriate materials, media and/or multi-media tools, based on the processed information, having full approval and consent for the intended usage.

Further updates and details will be periodically released to provide reminders and guidelines to specific school processes and functions relevant to privacy and information security procedures.

For inquiries, you may contact Mr. William Belda, CIS Data Protection Officer:
Telephone (CIS landline): +63 32 261 0247

College Counselor’s Corner

How does the WebiFair work?

Students can move around the virtual platform and interact with any admissions officers that you choose — they will be there speaking to attendees for the entire three hours!

Each of the 30 universities will also give two 10-minute presentations during the event, from inside their virtual rooms. But attendees can actually visit their rooms at any point during the entire event and they will be there and ready to answer your questions one on one!

Who will be there?

Meet one-on-one with 30 highly-ranked universities that you choose, such as University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan State University, Syracuse University, University of Waterloo, University of California, Irvine, and more*, all in one place. Attendees will be able to meet with all of them, individually, and ask individual questions for personalized attention.

SAT Registrations Update:

If you are registered for the SAT on August 29, please monitor your email regularly. The SAT will announce two weeks prior to the test date if the test will proceed or be cancelled due to quarantine restrictions.

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.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsJuly 31, 2020
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Newsflash: June 5, 2020

Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

We did it! Congratulations on successfully completing our 2019/2020 School Year. We were confident we would get through it, but it is a relief to finally get to this point. No one expected we would end up completing the year virtually, but circumstances dictated we needed to do so, and I am proud of being part of a community who all pulled together to make the best of the situation. As things start to open up over our summer break, I hope you and your family get time to refresh and renew yourselves and are ready to approach our 2020/2021 School Year with an open mind ready to face the challenges of a new year!

I thought I would share the following ACCEPT advice to deal with crisis fatigue, as I found it helpful to reflect on the various feelings I am sure we all experienced over the past 12 weeks. It is a good reminder of how it helps to be aware of the potentially negative impact of not processing our emotions to a state of accepting situations that are out of our control and focus on what we can change.

I hope you enjoyed our moving up ceremonies and End of Year Assembly this morning. If you were not able to see it, the advantage of them being virtual events is they are available for you to watch at your convenience at a later time! The links were emailed to your registered email address.

As we break for summer, I want to reiterate what I mentioned in my End of Year Assembly closing address. I encourage you to consider ways of developing a “growth mindset”. Make it a habit to use, and it will stand you in good stead in the coming years. Students, take a break from individual pursuits on your electronic devices (i.e. too many videos and games), and spend some time with your friends and families. Most of all read as much as possible, then think critically about what you read! It is also helpful to write or sketch about your thoughts to help you process your thinking. This will help develop both language and critical thinking skills for next year!

For families who are leaving CIS, we wish you farewell and all the best in your continuing journey. Students who are leaving, and friends of students who are leaving, please re-read Mr. Woods’ Newsflash articles from the last two weeks covering “leaving well”. This is especially important this year considering you have been unable to see each other for the last couple of months. An easy mnemonic I like from David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken, was to be sure to build your RAFT as you leave (this whole book is recommended reading for all parents and students living in a culture outside of their own culture!):

  • Reconciliation • Leave in peace by resolving any conflict you have (as much as is possible).
  • Affirmation • Be sure you let those you love know that you will miss them, and thank those who have helped you on your way.
  • Farewell • Say goodbyes and do not just disappear on your friends – closure is critically important!
  • Think Destination • As you leave one place in peace, think positively about your next destination to prepare you for your transition.

Finally, a few reminders:

If you have not had the chance to read my last Info Brief from the Superintendent, please do so. It is quite long, but it contains critical information about next year. I will be in touch over the vacation to confirm our opening dates (also note any change will be reflected in our official calendar on our website), and to give you details of what procedures and conditions we will be opening with in order to keep our community safe from the ongoing Covid-19 threat.

Please submit your re-registration form and arrange for enrollment payments for next year as soon as you can, as this helps us with our planning (links were sent in previous Info Briefs). If you are unsure of your circumstances for next year due to the Covid-19 situation, please update us so we are aware of your situation. We are also happy to talk to you about your options or situation, just email your divisional secretary and they can forward it to the most appropriate administrator. If you have a whole-school or finance concern, please feel free to contact me via my secretary Ms. Azela Diapana <>.

Please take the time to fill the End of Year Parent Feedback Survey, as this info is very helpful for us as we plan for the coming year (one/family – the link was in the last Info Brief).

Have a wonderful summer vacation, and we will see you hopefully in August!


Dr Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

The Year in Review in the Middle and High School

In light of the fact that Covid-19 has dominated our focus for the past three months, it is easy to forget all of the amazing things that have happened at CIS this year. In taking a few moments to review retrospectively, we can see that it has been a wonderful year, both in terms of learning, but also in developing our students’ holistic growth.

Academic Milestones:
At the start of the year we engaged all of our grade 11 and 12 students and their parents in two separate IB Commitment meetings, where we reviewed the nature and parameters of the program as a whole, as well as conducting smaller meetings with the respective subject teachers, and then culminating with our students and teachers signing a pledge to do their best in fulfilling the requirements of the programme. We also held our annual EE Cafe to celebrate our students’ finishing of this major milestone and then sharing their work with the community. With our implementation of the MYP program, our Grade 10 students completed and shared our first ever MYP Personal Projects.

We also experienced events this year related to academics such as Book week, where our entire school celebrates the gift of reading. We also enjoyed Chinese New Year celebrations, featuring an intentional and fun focus on Chinese culture both for our students who are studying Mandarin and activities and events for the entire student body. 

In addition, we effectively implemented our first design classes as a cornerstone course in the MYP programme. Our IB Visual Arts students were also able to present and publicly display their creations to the public in our IB Art Exhibition at Ayala Mall in IT Park.

G12 IBDP Visual Arts Virtual Exhibition:

Over the past weeks our students have been reflecting on the year and on Tuesday afternoon we held our virtual Celebration of Learning. Students worked with a partner or small group to create a presentation highlighting learning experiences that stood out to them from the entire school year, ranging from Band to Chemistry Labs to The School Production to ISAC soccer, which they presented virtually to their classmates, teachers, and parents. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect and evaluate their own learning from the year.

Please find a link to this year’s Celebration of Learning
Celebration of Learning student presentations

Clubs and Co-curricular Activities
This year we were able to run over 35 clubs each semester in the MHS, giving our students a wide range of options to help them keep physically fit, explore new interests, and develop their skills. These ranged from Dragon’s Print, Cooking Club, Yearbook, dance, and athletic clubs. Even though BEIMUN had to be cancelled, we had a group of seventeen students attend the MUN event in Manila back in September. We were also able to compete in two ISAC tournaments where our students represented CIS admirably with quality performances and strong sportsmanship.

Major School-wide Events
Up through February we were able to hold important school-wide events which serve to build community and highlight the strengths of its members, such as International Day where we are able to embrace and celebrate the global diversity of our student and parent body. Other events facilitating this were the PTA Christmas Bazaar, our school-wide Holiday Assembly, and Sinulog Day. Our School Production of The Music Man involved, in a variety of ways (backstage, sound and lighting, concessions, acting, and live orchestra), about 35 percent of our MHS student body and included students from ES as well. Our HAD days, run primarily by the student leadership of Student Council, provided the opportunity to build school spirit and enjoy the camaraderie within each of our 4 houses.

Service Learning Focus
We have again been able to emphasize service learning as a central component of who we are as a school. Our Week Without Walls, which thankfully we were able to hold just prior to the community quarantine, allowed our students to engage intentionally in a variety of service projects. Even with some hurdles and needing to adjust some of our courses, we were still able to run all of our courses and engage in learning through service. We also had many ongoing service efforts involving our students over the weekends and after school, and with the MYP we were able to introduce elements of Principled Action within our curriculum units.

There are so many things that make a school year memorable. Even though Covid radically changed the ending of our school year, I hope we will be able to look back on the past three months as a unique time which tested us, but from which emerged stronger than ever. We can certainly be proud of our students, who have weathered this storm and once again proven themselves to be responsible, respectful, and prepared.

Business 10 closes out the semester with Social Marketing

Business 10 is a semester-long course which aims to introduce students to the different topics of Business. To end the second semester, students focused on Social Marketing — advertising that is designed to create a change in audience perception or behavior.  During the unit, students decided on an issue, identified their goal as persuasive or informational, and created an advertising campaign targeting these pieces.  Each group had to create multiple pieces for their campaign.  Groups created videos, podcasts, posters, soundbites, a social media hashtag, and even a newspaper!  The final step of the project involved presenting their marketing to the class, either through pre-recorded videos or live presentations in a virtual room.

Here is one example from each group’s advertising campaign:

Group A — Minwoo and Johan (Coronavirus R0 informational video)

Group B — Kate, Duane, and Dom (Climate Change persuasive video)

Group C — Jodi, Luna, and Sofia (Working/Studying from Home During Coronavirus informational poster)

Group D — SooA, Kyoungmin, and Sakura (How to stay health during Coronavirus video)

Student Reflections:

I would say that this campaign really shows my understanding of advertising in marketing. This is because I am essentially taking the concepts in this unit and translating them from selling a product, to selling an idea, from persuading a customer to buy something, to persuading someone to do something. One example in which our campaign shows this is in our goal which is to inform and persuade the audience. Our methods also match the methods that can be used in business advertising which are things such as leaflets or flyers (posters) and word of mouth (video and podcast). We also needed to keep in mind the packaging or the design of the posters in order to catch the audience’s attention. – Sofia

The target that our group has focused on is to allow people to gain more knowledge from looking at our campaigns. By looking at our campaign, we wanted the audience to learn more about the Corona Virus and we wanted to help the people. This is an important topic to focus on because by allowing the audience to learn new information about this virus, it could help decrease the number of people being affected by this virus. – Sakura

We concluded and felt that misinformation and fake news was a prevalent and extremely dangerous aspect and behaviour during COVID-19. It is important that people have reliable, factual, and easy-to-access information during these times, and is a necessity to allow people to stay safe and cautious. We subsequently decided to create our products based on this singular goal. – Johan

We wanted to focus on things that can be done by normal citizens. We chose to do this as not all people have money to donate or time to volunteer in large events. With our campaign goal we chose to be both persuasive and informative, changing in products that would exemplify those qualities better.  – Dominic

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

This past week has been a time of celebrations, memories, and farewells as we have concluded our school year. It has felt a little unusual for each of us to be ending the school year in such a different way. I sit here writing at the desk in my office at school, and Ms. Lory is in the main office outside preparing the report cards ready to be sent home tomorrow, but otherwise, the school is almost empty. Mr. Wood and Dr. Underwood are also in their offices, like me I’m sure, coming to terms with the unusual nature of this situation. Our security team is here, and a few members of the Maintenance team, but the buzz and excitement of the last day of school is completely missing. I began my teaching career in 1998, and this is the first time in 22 years I have seen a school year-end in such a way.

Despite this, we are still connected. This morning I spent time with our Grade 5 class as we took part in the Remote Grade 5 Moving up ceremony that premiered at 8.00 am. I was then able to visit several class parties and also be part of the farewell celebration for our Educational Assistant, Ms. Eva. Later in the morning, I was able to enjoy the End of Year Assembly with the entire CIS community, and in the early afternoon, I was able to visit the grade 2 end of years virtual party, which was held later in the day to enable students who have left Cebu to take part. So, despite the physical distance between us, through the wonder of technology, we are able to remain connected in ways that are still very special and meaningful.

Celebrating Grade 5 Student Completion:

Today we have said farewell to our Grade 5 students. As an international school, many students have come and gone over the years as work and family commitments have brought people to Cebu, and taken them away again. Three of our Grade 5 students have been at Cebu international School for their entire elementary education, while the other 18 students have joined CIS along the way. We are so proud of who our Grade 5 students have become. Recently we celebrated our PYP Exhibition, the culminating event for the Grade 5 PYP students as they complete the IB Primary Years Programme.  Following this event, one of our Grade 5 Students, Niño, who had made it a personal goal throughout the year to develop his drawing skills, decided to ask each member of the Grade 5 class which superhero they would be. He sent each classmate a quiz, then decided to draw each of his classmates as their superhero. The result was both special and impressive.

You can follow this link to see each of the images individually.

Celebrating Grade 2 Learning on FlipGrid

Despite the physical distance caused by remote learning, the innovation and excitement around learning is still very much alive, and simply wonderful. I keep returning to the first two Core Values of CIS:

  1. Learning is an joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration.
  2. Each child’s curiosity needs to be identified and nurtured (morally, socially, physically, and academically) to reach his/her potential.

As a school, it is our commitment to these core values that make us stand out from other schools. Other schools can provide students with workbooks and worksheets that develop academic repetition and memorization,  but not very many schools make a firm commitment to developing every aspect of a child’s potential. CIS has done this, and will continue to do this through any Remote Learning or Blended Learning programs we are required to provide. This is our Core Value.

Our grade 2 students have been actively engaged in joyful, creative, open-ended explorations throughout their remote learning time, and recently they took action on their learning by sharing their projects with each other using an ICT platform called FlipGrid. Janna learned how to use Minecraft and built a simulation to present a problem that may have come up between the early explorers and the Native Americans. She then showed how she could use her ATL Skills to see multiple perspectives and help them find a solution.

Dammy created a slideshow presentation and recorded a screencast to discuss the importance of protecting our Earth, and the different perspectives people may have regarding the use of natural resources, as well as to persuade people to take better care of the Earth.

I am incredibly proud of what our Grade 2 students have achieved over these past months. I am also proud and inspired by how our teachers have adapted to these challenging remote learning conditions while remaining faithful to our CIS Core Values.

Celebrating KG/G1 Learning: Book Making

A key aspect of early literacy is reading and writing for meaning. It can be relatively easy to teach a child how to decode words, or how to write a string of words together to form a simple sentence. It is easy for teachers, students, and parents to grade students on their ability to do this, and this is how we would have traditionally measured success. In a rapidly changing world, however, it is essential that students learn to:

  1. Develop a passion and a love for literacy (reading and writing)
  2. View themselves as an author and a reader
  3. Create their own literacy content that is personally meaningful to them, and which they can share with others.

Throughout the school year, the KG/G1 teachers have developed a love of literacy within their students, and many of our younger students view themselves as authors who have important stories and messages to share with the world. Many of our younger learners are also developing simultaneously in two or more languages, placing even more importance on understanding literacy concepts deeply. Here, one of our G1 students who has only more recently become more confident in the English language, shares his important content with the world around him.

Finding Treasures by Lucas 

Farewell and Happy Holidays

As we now say farewell to each other and embark on our holiday adventures, whatever they may look like this year, we leave with a sense of fulfillment that despite the challenges and difficulties faced over these past months, we have pulled together as a CIS community, and as a global community, to overcome them. The quarantine and Remote Learning situations we found ourselves in were not our choice, however, as humans, we know that through hardship we become better. I do believe that as a result of the challenges faced this year, we are closer, stronger, more skillful, and more compassionate.

I wish everyone a very restful and enjoyable vacation period.

Alumni Spotlight

College/Careers Counselor Corner

SAT Registrations Update:

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 click on this link. If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsJuly 31, 2020
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
March 13, 2021SAT only (no Subject tests)February 12, 2021
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsSAT & SAT Subject Tests
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

College/University Webinars (online)

Students & Parents are welcome to join!


June 9, 2020 Tuesday

June 14, 2020

Sunday – 11:00AM – 2:00 PM

How does the Webifair work?

You and your students can move around the virtual platform and interact with any admissions officers that you choose — they will be there speaking to attendees for the entire three hours!

Each of the 30 universities will also give two 10-minute presentations during the event, from inside their virtual rooms. But attendees can actually visit their rooms at any point during the entire event and they will be there and ready to answer your questions one on one!

Education New Zealand Webinar

Click on this zoom link to register:


KIC University Assist WebiFair:

Click here to register:


  • Augustana University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Florida International University
  • Foothill and De Anza Colleges
  • Full Sail University
  • Indiana Institute of Technology
  • Iowa State University
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Marymount California University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio University
  • Orange Coast College
  • Pepperdine University
  • St. Francis College
  • Syracuse University
  • Tacoma Community College
  • The New School
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Whitworth University


  • University of Guelph
  • University of Waterloo


  • University College Roosevelt

Media Center News

by Mr. Daniel Monfre, Media Center & eLearning Coordinator, Math Instructor

Summer Reading! A great way to pass the time and keep your mind sharp is to enjoy a good book. Families who would like to borrow books for the summer can come to the CIS Media Center to check out books for summer reading. The Media Center will be open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 until 3 pm over the next two weeks (Mon 8-18, June). Families may also use this time to drop off materials they have borrowed during the school year.

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Newsflash: May 29, 2020

Congratulations Class of 2020

College Acceptances

Congratulations to our Class of 2020 on their graduation, as well as their College Acceptances! Merit-based and need-based scholarships/tuition grant schemes were earned by seniors based on merit and financial need ranging from full-ride, full-tuition to partial support.

Click on the image to enlarge the photo.

CIS Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation Ceremony

The CIS Graduation for our Class 2020 was held earlier this evening, at 5 PM. If you did not get a chance to watch it, we have linked the video in for you to do so when you get the chance below.

This event was the first of its kind in our 95 year history! Our congratulations go out to all of our graduating students, and we wish them all the best as they head into the “real world”! I would also like to thank our graduates parents, family members, friends and all teachers who taught them since they started going to school. Your support enabled our students to be successful, enabling them to get to where they are now. A special thanks for the support given over the last few months since the pandemic crisis hit us as well!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood
CIS Superintendent

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

The Importance of Healthy, Well-rounded Goodbyes

Last week I shared some thoughts on the importance of finishing the academic year strong, and hopefully this resonated positively with you. This week we continue with the other aspect of ending the year in a positive way: saying goodbye well.

In a recent article published in Motivation Science, psychology researchers explored the following question: How does the way people end their previous life phase impact emotional well-being and the transition into the new beginning? In this article, Schwörer, Krott, and Oettingen (2020) explained the concept of a well-rounded ending, which can be defined as one that is marked by effective closure. The authors found that a well-rounded ending is associated with high positive affect, low regret, and an easy transition into the subsequent phase. For example, when exchange students ended a visit abroad, a well-rounded ending correlated to stronger positive feelings afterwards, less feelings of regret regarding having missed out on opportunities, and to the ease they experienced settling back into their home when they returned.

A quote used last week from goal-setting guru Gary Ryan Blair asserts that, “Every task, goal, race, and year comes to an end; therefore, make it a habit to always finish strong.” This quote is relevant here as it reminds us that leaving a place is not the only ending we may experience, as moving into a new grade is also an important shift from one phase to the next and involves saying goodbye to teachers and spaces which have come to feel like “home” while at school. As we know, transitions are particularly poignant within international schools as they experience greater instances of coming and going both for students and teachers, and as such, it becomes more important that we shepherd our students toward well-rounded transitions.

Many times it is just as hard for those of us who are staying, sometimes harder, and it is also important for us to say goodbye well to those who are moving on.

To be honest, in my own transitions I have done a pretty good job of finishing strong, but the other area, saying goodbye well, is an area where I have not been as successful at times. Leaving can be hard for all of us, and leaving in such a manner that important matters remain unresolved only makes it harder and can result in lingering feelings of sadness, anger, or regret. It can also make transitioning to that next phase in life’s journey more challenging as we may bring unresolved “baggage” into that new experience.

This year is especially challenging since it can be more difficult saying goodbye well when we can’t be physically present with those to whom we say our farewells. We may feel that circumstances have cheated us out of saying goodbye well. Regardless of the situation, Cherilyn Veland, a Social Worker from Chicago, explains that:

Saying goodbye is important. Saying goodbye allows us time to honor the importance that we have in each other’s lives. It gives us the opportunity to form words for feelings that we might be recognizing for the very first time. A good goodbye honors our past, codifies the choices we made, recognizes life experiences with others and the world around us, and provides closure, as we move on to our next chapter.

However, when life comes at us such that we do not get a chance to say goodbye, or we are not ready to say goodbye, we can be left wondering forever what was, what happened, and what could have been. Sudden separation from whatever it is, be it person, place or thing, can leave a hole filled with heavy difficult feelings, such as regret, guilt, anger, confusion, and fear.

The challenge of our current situation is that we may not be able to say goodbye in the way we would choose or in a way that gives us a sense of sufficient closure. Especially in light of our circumstances, we should feel satisfied and emotionally at peace that our ending fits the definition of well-rounded and has a sense of closure if the following are true:

  • If we feel that we have done everything we could have done within our sphere of control. We cannot control the actions or attitudes of other people, but can only control our own. If you feel that you have reached out and tried to do everything you could have done to say goodbye appropriately, show yourself some grace, especially given our difficult circumstances.
  • If we feel that we have completed something to the fullest. This goes back to the idea of finishing strong. Knowing that you have fulfilled all of your responsibilities, both with regard to tasks and to people, should provide you with peace.
  • And third, If we have a feeling that all of our “loose ends” have been sufficiently tied up. Again we can only hold ourselves responsible to the extent that this falls within our sphere of control. If there is an emotional loose end that is harder to resolve or where there are hard feelings, we can make the choice to forgive others (sometimes we need to forgive ourselves as well). The irony of not doing this is that harboring hard feelings against someone often troubles us when we hold onto them; we don’t hurt the other person by not forgiving, but rather, we hurt ourselves. Sometimes writing a letter, although it is not a face-to-face communication, allows us to get these feelings out. It can help resolve emotions even if the letter is never sent.

Finally, an important part of ending well is also found through the rituals which mark important transitions, such as ceremonies, banquets, farewell gathering, and the like; this is true whether we are moving on in life, or moving up a grade. Our students and teachers have been busy and active these past few weeks in the final stretch of the school year. One of the things we have been working hard on is preserving those rituals as best we can in light of the obstacles that keep us from being together face to face.

As we approach the end of a challenging and unsettling year, I invite you to attend the following end of year events, so that we may celebrate all the good that has occured.

  • Today we held the CIS Graduation of 2020 at 5:00 PM. This virtual event was the first of its kind in our nearly 100 year history.
  • Our Celebration of Learning will take place next Tuesday afternoon, June 2nd. The purpose of the Celebration of Learning is to provide an opportunity for our students to share their highlights from the school year, not only with their parents, but with the entire school community. We will be creating Celebration of Learning “pages” containing links to all of our students’ presentations so that you may visit your own child’s presentation and others that interest you.
  • We will be holding Moving Up Ceremonies this year on the final Friday of school, as is our tradition for students transitioning between important stages in their educational journey, for Grade 5 and 8. This year we are also adding a Grade 10 Moving Up ceremony in light of the fact that we are soon to be an IB continuum school and these students are moving from MYP to either the IBDP or CIS Diploma programmes.
  • To celebrate this year’s achievements and gain positive closure to the year, we are also holding our End of Year Assembly at 11:00 AM on June 5th. This will help us to go on holiday with a sense of closure and hope for the future (when for some there may still be a lot of uncertainty). As usual this assembly will feature student speakers, performers, and awards.

I hope that you will be able to attend these events via the links that we will share, and take the opportunity and find the wisdom to say goodbye well in these challenging circumstances. We will certainly miss all in our community who will be transitioning to other places and other chapters in their lives, but as Ghandi stated:

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are you will always be in our heart.”

Our MHS Band classes have been working over the past weeks to put together music for our Graduation and Moving Up ceremonies. If you think trying to make a zoom meeting effective, imagine trying to orchestrate an ensemble when the performers are not in the same room. Our End of Year Assembly will also feature “spoken word poetry”, which is an interdisciplinary project involving our Grade 6 Language and Literature and Drama classes. The Assembly will also feature dance performances which have been an aspect of our Physical and Health Education courses.

Last week we explained that our Grade 11 DP students, in the midst of remote learning, have begun working on their Internal Assessments (IA’s) in most of their classes. The internal assessment (IA) in IB Psychology challenges students to conduct a replication of an well-known psychology experiment; by following in the steps of a well-known experiment, they learn to think and act like practitioners of psychology. The experiment must be carried out in a group of no more than four students.

The first step is for students to choose an experiment to replicate. To do this they must understand what is meant by a simple experiment. The psychology course defines a simple experimental study as requiring the manipulation of one independent variable and measurement of one dependent variable, while other variables are kept constant. Consequently, correlational studies, quasi-experiments, and natural experiments (that is, any research undertaken without control over the independent variable and without a controlled sampling procedure) would not be acceptable for the parameters of a simple experimental study.

At this point students have completed their proposals, have had their plans approved by the teacher, and have now written the introduction and exploration portions of the IA.

Please find below some examples of our students’ proposals:

Here are some student reflections on their Psych Internal Assessment:

The Psych IA was initially a very daunting task. I worried mainly about writing the best Introduction and Exploration I could, and ironically that really bolstered my fears and caused me to fret over a blank paper for a good few days. It was when I passed my initial draft that I realized worrying the way I did was pointless. Constructive criticism will always sting. It will also always help you write better. With the criticism I was given, I was able to approach what was once a daunting task with a clearer goal in mind and a sounder method in place. I learned a lot about the attitude I must have to utilize my teacher’s feedback to my advantage, and it’s a useful kind of attitude to have, especially in areas of the IB where feedback is needed the most. – Venise

In order to complete the psychology internal assessment, it was important to not only understand the concepts but also be able to explain the ideas as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Since this was my first time writing an IA, I had to rely on the concrete guideline, which has been the grading criteria. Also, group discussions were necessary to maintain consistency and to brainstorm the experiment that we are replicating. It is very important to choose the study wisely in terms of ethics and feasibility, and sometimes it might be necessary to have adjustments in the methods. Last but not least, it has been very helpful to have a feedback session with the teacher, which has made my writing much easier and concise. Overall, I think the most important thing was to write the IA while checking the requirements of the criteria.  – Woochul (James) 

The psychology IA is something I find exciting because it is an opportunity for me to experience conducting first hand research. Although what my group chose to investigate is not a lesson we directly learned from class, I enjoyed reading and learning about it. Writing the introduction and exploration of my IA was first very overwhelming. However, with the feedback I received, I was able to work on areas that needed improvement. I realized the importance of making strong linkbacks as well as the importance of organization. All these make the flow of concepts in the essay clear and effective. – Kimberly 

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/ PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Today I want to pay tribute to the CIS elementary teachers for their incredible work over this last semester. Prior to March 13th there were rumors that a period of remotlearning may be required. Back then we were all aware that some countries had already started to close schools, however, no one really thought Cebu would be affected. Nevertheless, the teachers prepared. Now as we end the second to last week of school, and begin the final week of the school year, we also enter week 12 of remote learning. We at CIS acknowledge this has been a team effort. It would have not been possible without your support at home. This has been a great challenge for all of us. Our teachers are ending the year exhausted but satisfied knowing they have given everything they could possibly give to ensure our CIS Core Values have been honored over this time. Let’s reflect on these for a moment.


Despite planning, teaching, conferencing, providing feedback, holding conferences, and writing reports remotely, I can acknowledge with sincerity and pride that our CIS teachers have embodied the CIS Core Beliefs. Not only this, but our teachers have also successfully guided your children, and to some extent, yourselves, in applying and living these core beliefs at home over these past weeks.  The end of the school year is always an emotional time as we say goodbye to students, teachers, and families, and show gratefulness for all that has been achieved over the year. This year I feel especially grateful that we have such a professional, committed, and caring team of teachers in the elementary school.

Final Elementary Assembly for 2019/2020

On the second to last Friday of each year, we normally hold an end of year elementary assembly. This assembly is where emotions can surface as we say farewell to the teachers and students we have built trusting relationships with, and come to love and respect. Over the past two weeks Ms. Vangie B, Ms. Tara, and Ms, Aimee S. have worked with the elementary student council to coordinate with various teachers and students across the school to create the Elementary School Remote End of Year Assembly. This assembly has captured all the elements we would normally have in a final assembly, including the emotions (a private viewing link was sent out for parents to watch through Seesaw today). We hope you enjoyed it!

PYP Exhibition 2020

This week the PYP Exhibition was launched remotely on the CIS PYP Exhibition  Website. The PYP Exhibition is the culminating event in a PYP student education journey.  Under the direction and teaching of Ms. Carolyn Pynor, the extensive support of Ms. Heather Jean Grady, and the guidance of a wide range of teacher mentors from across the school, the Grade 5 students have undertaken a semester-long collaborative inquiry into an area of significance and importance to them.  We are extremely proud of what our students have achieved and very grateful for the many hours of support and guidance they have received from the PYP Exhibition team.

Over the next few days, I encourage you to visit the PYP Exhibition presentations. While visiting, please provide our students with some positive feedback. This feedback may include:

  • Sharing something you have learned
  • Telling the students about something that has challenged your thinking
  • Asking a student a clarifying question

Normally the PYP Exhibition is a vibrant and exciting event that you could attend on campus. Despite the challenges we have all faced, it is now a long-lasting event hosted on our PYP Exhibition website. We look forward to your visit.

Covid 19 Parody – 7 Years
As part of our CIS final assembly one of our Grade 4 students, Khen Uy prepared a song in the style of 7 Years by Lucas Graham. I would like to leave you all with this powerful song as Khen shares his feelings about the Covid-19 remote learning experience, something we can all relate to.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

SAT Registrations Update

Priority Registration for Fall SAT Dates is Now Open

Until June 3 at 8 p.m. ET, August, September, and October registration will be open to: Students in the class of 2020 or 2021 who don’t have an SAT score, and students who registered for the June SAT or Subject Tests and didn’t cancel.

Registration Details
Beginning on May 28, the following students will get a week of early registration access to sign up for August, September, and October tests:

  • Students already registered for the June SAT or Subject Tests who didn’t cancel their registrations
  • Students in the high school class of 2020 who don’t have SAT scores
  • Students in the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores

All students can register for the November and December tests starting on May 28. Registration for August, September, and October tests will open for all students on June 3.  The new SAT test dates for Fall 2020 are: 

August 29       September 26        October 3        November 7          December 5

College/University Visits (online)

Students & Parents are welcome to join!

June 2, 2020 Tuesday (9:00am - 10:00am)- Explore the Pacific Rim: (USA)
- University of Redlands
- California Polytechnic State University – Pomona
- Western Washington University
- University of Oregon
- Whitworth University
- Hawaii Pacific University
Join Zoom Meeting
June 3, 2020 Wednesday- EduCanada Virtual Fair
To register:

IDP Virtual Fairs Coming up

May 30, 2020 at 2:00pm – 7:00pm (Canada, UK & Ireland)
To register, please click on this link :

  • Camosun College
  • Columbia College
  • Douglas College
  • Fanshawe College
  • Excelsia College
  • Fleming College
  • Humber Institute
  • Langara College
  • NorQuest College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Royal Roads University
  • Sault College
  • Saint Lawrence College
  • University Canada West
  • University of Fraser Valley
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • On Campus
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Trinity College Dublin
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