Newsflash: March 27, 2020

Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

Congratulations on making it through week two of our remote learning journey! I hope you are all feeling more confident with your role in the process now, whether it is helping your children or being the active learner as a student. Students, keep developing your Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills so as to enable you to get the most out of the learning opportunities you are being provided.

For those of you who are interested in a comprehensive coverage of the current Covid-19 situation, here is a good collection of lecture slides covering science, health policies and economics. It is titled The Economics of a Pandemic: The Case of Covid-19 and is by Paolo Surico and Andrea Galeotti, Professors of Economics at London Business School.

As per my email to your registered addresses yesterday, Cebu will be entering a phase of Enhanced Community Quarantine conditions as directed by the City Mayor, Mr. Labella from noon on Saturday. To reiterate the key message in the email on how this will impact CIS, we will continue with our remote learning protocol as planned, but with the order extending our remote learning after Easter break to April 28, unless the order is lifted. (More details on this will be sent at later date.)

Enjoy your last week of learning before the Easter Break (April 6-13) next week. We will be providing you with some ideas for what you might consider doing over the break, as this will probably be your first forced “staycation” in your own home here in Cebu! Perhaps you could also start considering what activities you might like to do to make good use of your time and avoid feeling too housebound.

Lastly, please keep in mind that while it is inconvenient, the purpose of executive order conditions are to try to keep us collectively as safe as possible while the global community attempt to reign in the pandemic. Please consider how you might help other members of our community over this time, such as calling to check in on them. If you are having difficulties or are feeling down, do not hesitate to reach out to other families, teachers or admin for support. We are a family community and we care about each one of you. Take care and stay safe!

Warm regards,

Dr Gwyn Underwood
CIS Superintendent

Elementary School News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal & PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

You all need to be honored and congratulated for the way in which each family has adjusted to the rapid changes placed upon us in the previous two weeks. It has been incredibly challenging for each parent, child and teacher, yet we have all worked together as a community to find solutions that are working. Thank you.

The CIS elementary school teachers are reviewing and modifying their teaching approaches every few days in response to their own learning, and to your feedback. The most effective way to communicate changes you feel may work better for you and your child is to communicate these needs honestly and constructively directly to the teacher. They too are learning to teach through a new platform and are spending many hours fine tuning their approaches. Your feedback is valuable to them.

In this remote learning addition of the CIS Newsflash I have asked each grade level to share some learning that has been happening over the past week. Let’s see what everyone has been up to.

Click on the corresponding tabs for each Grade level!

The Early Years

The Early Years students have adjusted to their new home-learning routine and are continuously active and engaged in their learning due to the wonderful support given at home. With the aim of continuously developing physical, social and academic skills, the teachers have continued to provide a range of balanced activities that include sensory, digital and kinesthetic play.  A few of the highlights of this week’s home learning have been the teamwork and collaboration our students, parents and teachers have shown while responding to the learning engagements.

KG and Grade 1 Learners

This week KG and Grade 1 students used their communication skills to explore the story of The Gingerbread Man.  The students used their creative thinking skills to make costumes out of recycled materials. They have also focused on keeping up with their literacy skills in reading and writing by making books.  The teachers have enjoyed seeing their students (and parents) playing different roles from the story of The Gingerbread Man through the videos and photos that have been shared.  Students have had to utilize their self-management and creative thinking skills when making their puppets or costumes.  It has been a pleasure for teachers to see how much fun it was to act out the story working together with different family members.

Grade 2 Learners

The Grade 2 students have been engaged and enthusiastic since our remote learning experience began, demonstrating great ATL skills and IB Learner Profile attributes each day! Meaningful learning has been sustained through the use of daily teacher-made instructional videos, activities, online resources, and lots and lots of individualized constructive feedback.

This past week, the Grade 2 students continued to develop their persuasive writing skills by writing letters back and forth with their teachers and explored fractions and probability through interactive games. As well, they tuned into their new Unit of Inquiry (UOI) of Where We Are In Place and Time. Prompted by teacher read-alouds and questions, the Grade 2 Explorers inquired into the Norsemen (Vikings) to understand more about one group of early explorers. In order to synthesize key information and represent their new knowledge and understanding of why people decide to explore, they then created informative dioramas that they shared with their classmates on Google Hangouts Video Call. As very reflective learners, the students gave each other feedback and suggestions for further improvement on their dioramas.

Remote learning has been a great opportunity for students to continue collaborating with and inspiring each other outside of their usual classroom environment… and for the teachers, too, who have enjoyed finding creative ways to help keep student interest and engagement levels high!

Grade 3 Learners

Grade 3 have been practicing to be explorers both at home and online, searching for items that they can use for math, building models at home, and writing explorer journals about their tours into an online world. They chose what kind of explorer they would like to be (an archaeologist, a zoologist, a park ranger or a natural historian) and set off to explore various online tours of parks and museums. Here are a few examples of their explorer journals and models.

Grade 4 Learning

Grade 4 had a variety of projects and learning engagements this week. Through their unit of inquiry, they continued tuning in to their new unit Sharing the Planet unit and identified different types of energy sources that are used, including building windmills to show off their crafting skills. They also continued to explore their other simultaneous unit, How the World Works, following the scientific method to create their own science experiments.  In addition to this, Grade 4 students practiced their writing skills, explored their home to identify angles, did math exercises, wrote poetry, created surveys, made artwork, played music, and practiced speaking different languages.  Grade 4 students have shown their resilience and flexibility, adjusting to a new situation quickly and have shown great communication skills, taking advantage of the available media they have to ask each other and teachers questions, comment on each other’s work, record audio, and make videos.

Grade 5 Learning

Grade 5 students have been doing an outstanding job of developing effective learning routines at home. It has been pleasing to see growing confidence with students managing their learning, taking initiative with problem-solving, and increasing their independence with self-management.

Students are supporting each other and looking for ways to build community ‘from a distance’. They have a new appreciation for face-to-face conversations and personal connection through the online tools available. There have been many messages flowing back and forth as students further develop their thinking and ‘go deeper’ with their learning in response to teacher feedback on assignments and tasks.

Students are working hard to continue preparations for their PYP exhibition. This has brought out some very creative and artistic ideas from some students.

Keeping Physical

PE Remote Learning focuses on student’s engagement in varied physical activities which will help them to be active, and most importantly to have fun!  Watching the videos and reading the responses of the students has been rewarding, knowing that they enjoyed performing the different tasks in PE. I am also very thankful for the parents for being so supportive when it comes to facilitating their children in doing the activities.

Learning Through Art

The Grade 2 students have been creating Underwater Doodles. This activity started by making a doodle with their eyes closed. Next, they were asked to draw objects into the doodle, using their imaginations (eyes open this time!). It has been exciting to see the creative ideas students have developed. Next week, they will color their creations, and I can’t wait to see what they will look like. This learning engagement has a wonderful balance of not being too serious, while also requiring students to think deeply, make connections and use their illustrative skills.

Learning in Music

Elementary band students are currently learning a number of band arrangements including the theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy).  They are also learning about the life of Beethoven and his contributions to music.  In this week’s lesson, they learned about Beethoven’s childhood, his rise to fame, and his struggle with deafness.  Ask your child what they know about Ludwig van Beethoven and have them test their knowledge of Beethoven’s best known themes through this interactive Google Doodle:

Have fun and try to get all four themes correct!

Socio-Emotional Guidance Class

Students have been accessing learning engagements found in the Seesaw Library to explore how their feelings can impact them.  Since the theme this month is focused on feelings, students were asked how they are being impacted by the remote learning environment.  Many students expressed positive feelings of being happy, excited, with some sharing smiley faces.  Some of the student quotes have been “I am able to do work at home with my family”, “I am happy because I can play with my friends”, and “I am happy mom playing with me”.

We have one more week of remote learning before the April break begins, so there will be a break in remote learning from Monday 6th April to Monday 13th April. Teachers are preparing a range of activities that students can do to keep them busy during the break. One document that you may find very useful is Mr. Eerik’s list of offline Boredom Breakers. I encourage you to work through this list.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

SAMR Model Defined and Practiced

This past week was scheduled to be our annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) week led by our Maths and Science Departments. Even though all of our events for this special week have had to be postponed, our use of technology (the T in STEAM) has ironically come to the forefront due to our need for remote learning. One of the unexpected silver-linings of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has put us into a situation as educators where we have had to become much more adept at our use of technology tools in order to serve our students and meet their needs. 

In light of this I wanted to share the SAMR model which was developed by Dr. Ruben Peuntedura to provide a continuum and a common language to help teachers evaluate how deeply and effectively they are incorporating technology within their classes. I wanted to take some time to share this model with you and explain how it is being put into practice by our teachers. 

Image developed from original by Lefflard’s on Wikipedia Common

Substitution refers to using a newer tool to replace a traditional tool, for example, reading an online version of Kurt Vonnegut novel, Slaughterhouse Five, which is set in the context of the Firebombing of Dresden, Germany near the end of WWII, rather than a hard copy. Students taking notes in a Google doc rather than in Microsoft Word is another example.

In the Augmentation stage additional features are made available through the use of technology. For example, students could read an online version of Slaughterhouse Five with hyperlinked notes. Students can open up the links to deepen their understanding of features like allusions or access important contextual information regarding Dresden, WWII, etc. These notes could include images and video as well, making this much more powerful than traditional footnotes.

Student work created in Google can be enhanced through features such as auto saving the doc as well as auto-sharing and auto-linking in the cloud.

Modification is the level where the technology is used not to simply replace the same task using different tools, but rather, allows for the redesigning of aspects of the task to transform student learning. A shared google doc, for example, allows students to to collaborate and share ideas and also record the conversation for later review and revision. The “commenting” service in Google Classroom would also allow the teacher to collaborate and share feedback with the class.

Finally, the Redefinition stage is where technology allows for learning tasks and experiences which would have been inconceivable without those tools. An example of this would be students collaborating with another class of students in the country where the text is set (in this case, Germany). Our students would be able to interact with those other students delving more deeply into aspects of the text to gain a much fuller and deeper appreciation. Our students could share how the text affected them and the German students could share how the firebombing of Dresden is taught in their schools and how it impacts their community today.

Note the difference in these four levels, that the lower two levels are focused on the Enhancement of learning while the higher two are focused on the Transformation of student learning. It is not that these two higher levels of the SAMR model are necessarily superior to the two enhancement levels, as sometimes Substitution, for example, reading an online version of the novel students are studying in English class can the most appropriate level for some activities. However, the Transformation levels allow students to harness technology and channel their creativity through the tools available to produce work that would be inconceivable without it.

Here are just a few examples of how teachers are reaching the different levels of the SAMR model in their classes:

Grade 7 Design class is addressing the Covid-19 situation in a very practical way as students have been asked to design products from the materials they have available at home in light of the quarantine. The statement of inquiry for their unit is that Great turning points in humankind challenge us to adapt to new changes and identify problems to develop solutions. Not only is this project highly relevant, but students are also using technology to create and share their products with the teacher and other students. Students are utilizing tools to create online flowcharts and explore designs from various angles without needing to manually create multiple images.

Our Grade 10 EAL class is accessing virtual tours of prominent American art museums which are all closed due to Covid-19. The museums themselves are closed, but Google has partnered with them to create these virtual tours; students are able to visit not just one, but twelve of these museums, so they could visit one museum in New York and then a few minutes later visit one in Los Angeles. Their task is to browse through one of the museums to locate a piece of art that appeals to each of them and use compare/contrast language to respond to the work they have chosen.

In our World Languages classes, teachers are using computer technology to offer an effective tool to perform tasks which we would typically find in the world language classrooms. In Mandarin classes teachers are actively conferencing with students, using group calling to practice oral skills in their target language. Spanish 10 class, in replacement of class participation, asked students to create videos explaining the use of grammar rules and verb tenses.

English IBHL this week engaged in a group discussion using a shared Google Doc focusing on one of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories so the teacher might give feedback on student contributions. Students discussed “The Birth-Mark” and were given some suggestions for features to explore such as theme, imagery, symbols, etc. Students were also encouraged to make comparisons with the other works studied in this course (Perfume, A Doll’s House) or other works of Hawthorne read thus far.

The shared Google doc platform allows all students to function in small groups, allowing for much more contribution from each one. These discussions may take place simultaneously since they are doing so in remote groupings, and this also allows time for the teacher to carefully analyze the quality of the ideas at a later time.

Teachers also continue to experiment with new technology tools to help facilitate student learning such as Edpuzzle and Goformative. Edpuzzle allows teachers to pause videos and ask questions of students before the video continues, it also tracks students to monitor whether they have watched the video and which parts they have re-watched. GoFormative allows teachers to upload multiple media tasks, corrects student work (when in short answer format), and shows the individual working of the whole class at the same time.

Finally, the Newsflash itself provides an example of the SAMR model in practice and shows how technology does more than just replace older forms of communication. When I was in high school I was part of a journalism class that met one period each day consisting of 15 hard-working 11th and 12th graders each of whom produced an article for each edition. We had an award winning newspaper, but we were only able to print every other week and publish only about 300 copies per edition. Compare that with what we can do now. We are able to provide weekly news about our school including thoughts from administrators and teachers. We add links to other articles that may be of interest. We include pictures and video links to enhance the reading. We provide an opportunity for our students to have a voice and make regular contributions by linking Dragon’s Print within the blog. Finally, we are able to share the content with friends, family, and colleagues back in our home countries.

Parents, I encourage you to take a moment and ask your children to show you what they are learning in their classes… and how they are learning it. This may be a wonderful experience for you to see what and how your children are learning in the midst of this situation.

G12 IB DP Visual Arts Virtual Exhibition

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, IB DP Art Teacher

As announced, here is the link to our G12 IBDP Visual Arts students’ virtual gallery –

This year’s seniors worked very hard to complete the requirements of the visual arts course and I am proud to present them to you. This site would work and adjust to any device you may use.

There is a comment section on the home page, the seniors would appreciate one from you. Thank you for all your support.

Enjoy viewing!

Class of 2020 College & University Acceptances

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 on their College Acceptances!  A few are waiting on decisions from Canada, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and other rolling admissions institutions who will release results in April or May.  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.

Dragon’s News

We’re now two weeks into remote learning and we’re sure that you’ve settled into a study-from-home routine by now. However, we all need brain breaks from time to time. Regina L. and Nathan C. are here to recommend some films you can enjoy after doing your work. Conversely, if you’ve been struggling to focus on your classes because of too many distractions, they also have some great apps that can help you with your learning! Check out their recs on

PTA News

We hope you are all enjoying the time at home with your families! As we look forward to the day when we can gather as a community on campus again, the PTA Board of Officers is releasing a form (please check your email) in which you can rank your preferences for projects that will receive PTA money. These projects include requests from teachers as part of the Student Learning Enhancement Fund (SLEF) and also a project that was initiated by the PTA Board.

Please also join the PTA group page on Facebook so we can continue to communicate effectively. Stay safe and healthy!

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Newsflash: March 20, 2020

Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

I am very proud of the way everyone has stepped up and made our transition into remote learning very smooth this week. This was a new paradigm for many, and change in times of danger can be challenging and stressful, so congratulations everyone!

I want to thank PARENTS for their superhuman efforts at home this week. It was a new experience for many, and I think at some point, most of us had the thought, “wow, I did not realize home learning could be so challenging” – whether it be due to excited children in the ES, not so excited children in the MHS, or the new tech tool challenges some faced!

STUDENTS in the MHS transitioned very smoothly as they were more used to remote learning and using Google Classroom, but the ATL skills of time management for many are being tested. Remote Learning will require these to be well-developed, so thank you in advance parents for working with the teachers and students to ensure this happens. ES students seemed to find the transition exciting, but most will take a little time to settle into the new learning style and routine. Please continue to have patience with them as we all redefine our roles and make sacrifices of the things we are used to doing.

Our TEACHERS have done an outstanding job leading the transition for their classes! The prep over the last few years to get to this point really paid off – but we still have ways we know we can work on to continue to adapt.

And finally, I want to also thank all of our academic, business and outsourced support STAFF, for their continuing and steadfast support for us all over these unusual times!

The Covid-19 situation around the world continues to be a concern in many countries. On the positive side, there have been a few promising signs indicating that with appropriate action, we can get through this. For example, both China and South Korea are now looking like they have contained their outbreaks, and a particular milestone for China was no new daily cases (originating from within China) yesterday! As of writing, we only have 1 case of covid-19 in Cebu, and we support the authorities attempts to use social distancing in order to attempt to avoid a serious outbreak. Please continue to follow their advice, and keep a focus on your own health and wellbeing. For ideas on how you might do this is to consider the IB Learner Profile Attributes applied to our specific situation, as presented by J. von Estorff:

Finally, I wanted to share three relevant sources of information for those who might find it helpful:

Have a safe, restful weekend, you have earned it!

Dr. Gwyn Underwood, CIS Superintendent

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School News

We trust that your children’s first week of remote learning has gone relatively smoothly. We understand that this new learning format presents challenges and that our children (as well as their parents) may have had some ups and downs this week, but things should normalize to some extent once our students increase their level of comfort and adeptness with the tools we are using to help make dynamic learning possible. In rigorous courses it can be very challenging to catch up once you fall behind, so our teachers have been actively communicating and conferencing with students and proactively following up with those who are having trouble or missing assignments. Students in this learning context must also become very adept at self-management and be proactive in their communication as the teacher cannot physically see them in the classroom.

Teachers have also been collaborating remotely with each other, sharing methods and ideas and evaluating and refining practices. Here is a sample of some of the feedback we have received from our students this week:

  • So far, so good!
  • The teachers are doing well!!
  • Mandarin group chat was enjoyable.
  • Students are thankful for the personalized feedback via Comments Section in Google Classroom or email.
  • Everything is fine… except that I already miss school.

This week we have been visiting classes virtually and want to share a sample of the learning experiences our students have been engaged with. To echo Dr. Underwood’s words from last Monday’s info brief, I invite our MHS community to share appreciation for our faculty for all of their hard work as they had already been working overtime behind the scenes for weeks to prepare for this eventuality. This remote stage we are now in, when conducted effectively, also requires more work than preparing and teaching our regular classes. Our teachers have done a stellar job preparing for a smooth transition and implementing effective remote learning, as I have seen first hand. Keep in mind over the next few weeks that this is a learning experience for all of us.

Some highlights on remote learning this week

Our grade 6 students began the very first day of remote learning by conducting IDU (interdisciplinary unit) presentations. This project has been going on for several weeks focusing on designing and creating solar lamps, a project combining scientific understanding and design concepts and skills. Students were scheduled to make their presentations this week, and rather than allowing our situation to interrupt their plans, the two teachers, Ms. Uy and Mr. de Villa, made adjustments, gathered their students together and helped them conduct these presentations for the rest of the class remotely. MYP strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary units as opportunities for  students to draw on expertise from more than one discipline to develop a more complete or complex understanding of a phenomenon. In the context of this unit, Science class concentrated on the ideas of circuits (series and parallel) while Design focused on the effectiveness of the solar panel encasement.

Each group was tasked with creating both an oral (using Google Docs for notes/script) and a digital presentation (using Google Slides) to demonstrate the learning process they experienced and the value of each subject, science and design, within the process. Some of the key scientific understandings students had to master were Energy Transformations, Energy Resources, and Electricity and Circuits. For Design students had to explain their procedure in creating the design of the lamp, explain the design specifications and present justification for their decisions.

Student Reflection:

While designing the lamp, we had to consider the specifications. After making the sketch or design official, we had to sketch the design from another angle to make sure we got the idea of what it would look like. After finishing the design, we had to label what we sketched just in case we forgot one of those components. Or so we could once again get the idea of what it would look like.

There are 4 parts of the design specifications we had to consider: Portability, Enclosed or corrosion-free, brightness, and how robust the lamp would be. 

  • Portability includes weight, length, height, and thickness. 
  • Enclosed or corrosion-free focuses on the coverage of the batteries and sealed encasement. 
  • Brightness includes watts, light meter length, and how long the light can last.
  • Robust includes what height it could be dropped at, how long it can be submerged in water, and what temperature it can withstand.

There were a lot of challenges we faced, especially because we would want to get a higher score in the specifications. Creating the encasement was the biggest challenge. We had to make sure it was usable for the clients from the situation we were given. To make sure it was usable, we use the specifications. Also trying to make the lantern foldable was hard, because we wouldn’t know what to use to make it foldable. Some of us eventually accepted the fact we wouldn’t make the lantern foldable but make sure it’s not big. There was also a struggle of not having the supplies we had in the design. That wasn’t a big problem though, because we’d redesign it.

Learning from two different teachers for the same project was quite easy, but also pretty hard. The easy part was that we would just have the same project and not two separate ones. 

The hard part was having to add a lot of effort into what we do. Like the site, there is only so much to add. Which is one of the reasons why we found more work in design. 

Writing up the specifications, using the specifications, creating the video, and adding up to the site. We had to make sure we recorded everything we did, or at least most. – Kasey, Haylee, and Yuyu

An illustration from Kasey, Haylee, and Yuyu’s presentation highlighting potential and kinetic energy.

English 8 classes have been preparing to conduct a mock trial to master elements of persuasive communication and refine their public speaking skills. Instead of postponing this project in light of the possible challenges posed by our school building closure, Ms. Kohlmeier and her students are carrying on with this project remotely. The theme of this trial is Companies that “flaunt” culturally diverse ads, something that is both engaging and certainly relevant to our diverse international community.

This week in class students had to refamiliarize themselves with the components and order of a mock trial. Students designated as lawyers are working to prepare opening statements, witnesses are preparing witness statements, while jurors and the judge are working on composing a verdict statement. 

To prepare for the upcoming trial, students have been tasked with not only preparing to execute their own roles, but watching and evaluating examples of other student mock trials. Each role also had research to conduct, including examples to watch and reflect on.

Bearing in mind the importance of continuing to address the needs of the whole child, Grade 8 PHE is carrying on and striving to keep our children active in the midst of this situation. Students are tasked with choosing two of the four following options that best fit their interests, their level of comfort, and their learning environment at home. In each case students must produce evidence so that their teacher can hold them accountable to ensure that they are remaining physically active.

  1. Students can create and perform a Martial art Dance/routine (students have already learned relevant skills in class). They must create a full demo video of the routine and upload the video into their E-portfolio. Students are not to share the video with anyone.
  2. Students can download and utilize the Runtastic App, which is an app that encourages and records the distance a student runs. Students are required to use GPS to track their distance and run a minimum distance of 3K per scheduled PHE class. 
  3. Students may participate in the Tik Tok Dance Challenge, creating at least three Tik tok dance videos every PE remote class schedule. Students must be sure that the music they use be clean (no bad words or double meaning). Students must upload their videos into your E portfolio and share the link in Google classroom. Students are not allowed to upload the video onto social media.
  4. Students are to keep a Fitness Diary with clear instructions to ensure effective participation. For this option parents are asked to check each day to confirm that the exercises are happening.

IB Art Exhibition

The IB Art Exhibition is an internal assessment (IA) component of the IB Diploma Visual Arts course which students at both SL and HL are required to complete by their senior year. Students submit a selection of their artworks for assessment to show evidence of their technical accomplishment during the course; these selected pieces also demonstrate an understanding of how the application of materials, ideas, and practices can be used to realize and communicate their intentions. Students design their individual exhibitions to also show evidence of their decision-making process which supports their selection of the connected and cohesive body of work in the form of a curatorial rationale.

During the exhibition, students showcase the skills, techniques, and art styles they have developed to produce their own independent work in a variety of media and art-making forms. Each resolved artwork is supported by an exhibition text plaque which includes a brief outline of the original intentions of the work and any reference sources which have influenced the individual piece. In addition to the exhibition text, students draft a curatorial rationale which is a description of why specific artworks have been chosen and presented in a particular format. It further explains the challenges, influences, triumphs, innovations, and issues that have impacted the selection and presentation of the artworks, and the context of how the body of work presented connects and communicates with the viewer.

As IA’s are required by IB, the timing of the school closure did create a challenge for us. The G12 IB DP Visual Arts class of 2019-2020 exhibition conducted a “soft opening” on March 16, 2020 in the cafeteria annex. A few parents and some students were available as we officially opened the exhibition. Individual student exhibitions were placed both in the Studio and Canteen Annex to accommodate the combined number of resolved artworks of our 14 students this year. Due to the current health crisis, the G12 visual art students were not available to parents and other community members during the opening to usher them and respond to their concerns, questions, and comments about their work. However, we will in the following days, create a virtual gallery to provide everyone a chance to experience this year’s exhibition.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This week has been a very different experience for everyone, and I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work you have done as parents to support us as a school, and to support the learning of your own children. I know this has been challenging and has involved a steep learning curve for many. As a parent, I have spent each evening planning the next day’s learning with my children to ensure they have a clear plan to follow, and this has also meant that I have had to set boundaries and consequences to ensure the learning tasks are completed before recreationalactivities can take place. I acknowledge that this is not always easy.

One thing I have found very encouraging over this past week have been the messages of support and encouragement from families toward our teachers. Like you at home, our teachers have invested many more hours and are working more intensely than usual while they learn how to cater for,  and respond to the needs of many individuals learning remotely. This is different to teaching a class of students learning in the same location and requires a different mindset and skillset. On Wednesday the CIS elementary teachers held their first remote faculty meeting using Google Hangouts. This allowed us to connect professionally to consider the approaches that have been working well and are sustainable, verse the approaches that have been less successful and less sustainable. One of the traps with online learning and online working is that it is possible to be connected for many more hours than when working at a physical location. This is mentally taxing and exhausting. During our meeting on Wednesday, we discussed ways to help teachers manage to learn and planning time more effectively.

Learning at Home

There once was a girl who missed school,
And she hoped that it was still cool,
She loved writing stories,
While munching on candies,
Hopefully, we’ll soon go back to school. – by Arrianna, Grade 4

Finally, I would like to thank the parent community for your formal feedback through the surveys sent on Tuesday evening.  The data from these surveys helped us identify the approaches that are working well, while also providing us with data on how we may fine tune the remote learning process. It has been encouraging for our teachers to find the learning engagements have been instructional appropriate and challenging.  Please see the charts below from the survey:

Figure 1: Here we can see how the elementary community is feeling about the clarity of the learning engagement instructions.

Figure 2: Here we can see how the community feeling about the amount of screen time required to engage in remote learning. 

Figure 3: Here we can see the community feeling about the number of learning engagements given

These feedback help teachers to modify and adjust learning to meet needs. Although we are unlikely to be successful 100 percent of the time, your feedback is valuable. You are also encouraged to connect with teachers directly to enable them to meet needs more effectively by providing helpful and constructive updates about your individual home learning situations.

We do wish you all a safe and restful weekend.

Dragon’s News

Today marks the end of the first week of remote learning for all CIS students! In today’s article, which can be read on, seniors Andie C. and Sij S. documented their first three days of adjusting to studying from home. Keep an eye out for remote-learning-related content in the next four weeks while we continue to work from home. Stay safe and healthy, Dragons!

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Newsflash: March 13, 2020


Image result for notice

Dear CIS Community,

We are waiting for official confirmation on details, but I wanted to let you know ASAP that it has being published that Cebu City Mayor Labella has issued a closure notice for all schools in Cebu from Monday March 16 through to Sat March 28 due to the health risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please do not stress or panic! We have been preparing for this eventuality, and we are confident our teachers and students will do an outstanding job dealing with the situation. It is too bad we did not get a chance to practice our remote learning Tuesday next week as planned, but not to worry, we have been preparing for some time now, and have the advantage of the experience of other schools that have had to do it already!

More details will be communicated when we have them, for now please refer to the CIS Remote Learning Guidelines (a copy and link was sent via email to all parent and students this afternoon with this notification message).

The school will remain staffed over the closure but on reduced hours and faculty will be accessible as outlined in the guidelines. Entrance to the CIS campus over this time will be limited – please contact an administrator for permission if you have a need to enter campus so we can evaluate if it is permissible.

Students, this is your chance to shine in a new exciting remote learning forum. How well we do using this learning method will determine the need for any make up time later.

Parents and students, please do not hesitate to contact your teachers, principals or myself with any questions or concerns you may have. We will keep you updated as we proceed through the closure.

Finally, please keep in mind the purpose of the closure is to stop the spread of Covid-19. It will be challenging at times, but please keep up hygiene protocols you are all familiar with now, and follow all the health guidelines regarding unnecessary group gatherings and avoiding public areas as much as possible. At the same time, keep it in perspective, stay safe, and we will pull through this together as a strong, caring community.

Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent


*PS. We had a request to provide hospital contact details in case of an emergency. This is not an official endorsement, but here is a list of a few hospitals some of our parents frequent for your reference:

  • Chong Hua Hospital – Fuente Osmena – Tel # 255-8000
    Chong Hua Hospital – Mandaue – Tel # 233-8000
    Cebu Doctors Hospital – Osmena Blvd – Tel # 255-5555
    Perpetual Succour Hospital – Gorordo Ave. – Tel # 233-8620
    UC Med Center Hospital – Mandaue -Tel # 517-0888

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

This year, with the COVID 19 virus creating the potential for school closings in the future, our teachers school-wide have invested a great deal of time and effort into upgrading their tech tools and taking our online learning procedures to a whole new level. Specifically in MHS teachers have been working diligently over the past weeks planning and preparing to ensure that our remote learning strategies are implemented well and run effectively should we need to adopt such an approach long-term. We have been busy exploring new apps and programs to help facilitate this and train teachers to effectively use technological tools to foster dynamic learning with our students.

Next Tuesday was going to be our first full remote learning day  to prepare students and teachers and ensure that all of our tech tools are functioning well. With the closure announcement just coming out, we will now be starting it for real on Monday!

While we have communicated clear expectations for our students on remote learning days, we all need to work together as a community for these days to be effective. You can also expect each of your children’s teachers to identify clear learning objectives and assessment outcomes for each of their lessons. Teachers will also use multimedia materials to share information and create interactive lessons for our students. They will clarify assessments, specifying task requirements and length via Google Classroom. Finally they will organise their time and let students know when they are available online via Hangouts, which includes providing opportunities for students to schedule “appointments” through Google Calendar.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

While working hard to maintain a sense of calm and a rational perspective on the current world events, it would be foolish of us as a school not to be taking precautions and be making preparations for the possibility of a school closure. No one wishes for this to happen, however, if a closure is forced upon us, we need to ensure student learning remains as continuous and as uninterrupted as possible. [Stop Press: a closure has been announced from Monday]

Last evening you will have received a letter that provides an overview of what learning will look like should the school be required to close. Click here to view the letter.

As a principal, I am very proud of our team of dedicated and professional elementary school teachers who have worked tirelessly over the past two weeks to prepare for a possible school closure. They have spent many hours in collaborative planning and exploring the various ways in which other like-minded schools have dealt with the challenges of prolonged distance learning. A little less than one month ago a private Facebook site was started by an international school teacher called ‘Educator Temporary Closure for Online Learning’, and as of today, the group has more than 30,000 teacher members. This indicates the scale of the challenge schools are facing, as well as the high level of global support and collaboration educators are involved in. Never before have such a large group of teachers come together so quickly to collaborate around a single issue. Some of the lessons learned by various schools can be seen in the graphic presentation below.

One important factor we are considering as a school is how to minimize the amount of screen time students are experiencing during distance learning. For this reason, in elementary school we are beginning to refer to this learning and teaching process as ‘continuous learning‘ rather than eLearning or online learning. Continuous learning, while using online platforms to communicate and to engage in some of the day’s learning engagements, does not mean students should be on devices throughout the day. At the grade 5 level, we are committed to having no more than 40% of the school learning day on a device, and this percentage decreases as we move into the younger grades, with almost no device time required in the lower elementary years.

Ms. Aimee working this week with our youngest CIS Learners

As I visited classes this week, learning has continued as usual. The lower elementary classes, students remained excited and engaged in their daily routines and inquiry, while the upper elementary were focused on end of the unit assessments and their PYP Exhibition journey. Today the upper elementary students decided to hold a virtual assembly through the use of Google Hangouts Video. The students across 5 classes were able to communicate with each other while sitting in their own classrooms. Although there are still many unknowns, we are fortunate that CIS has had time to prepare, and that our CIS teachers have taken the challenge of providing continuous learning so seriously.

The upper elementary virtual assembly

Student Article

The Grade 4 Band

When I became a Grade 4 student, I started a band. I chose a clarinet for my instrument. Four of my friends also chose clarinet for their instruments. We are learning a song called Jingle Bells. Maybe we will perform this in the Christmas assembly. I feel kind of nervous but also I feel kind of excited. I like our band teachers, Ms. Arnsby and Mr. Swank. Ms. Arnsby teaches woodwind and Mr. Swank teaches brass. I like them because they’re really kind, and they know so much about music! Bands are such fun!!  – Jiwoo, Grade 4

Grade 7 Exploring Biodiversity with Biocubes

by Ms. Nice Uy, Science Teacher

Over the past few weeks, our seventh graders have been working hard in their Science classes. Students learned how classification can be used to organize living things. They explored living places, and studied the way living things interact with their environment as the class focused on the Biocubes MYP Unit this third quarter. Students examined how to construct keys to represent patterns or relationships and to identify a range of plants and animals. It was a wonderful experience for students to explore a variety of living things outside of the classroom and classify organisms on the basis of structural features to group living things. 

Students undertook their summative task – Exploring Biodiversity with Biocubes. Our middle schoolers were tasked to do the Biocube project to show how many species they could find and identify in one cubic foot and tried to answer some of the questions, “Where can they find the most biodiversity in CIS campus?” and “What factors influence the level of biodiversity in an area?” Through focusing on a cubic foot of space, students can describe populations and begin to understand the importance of a balanced ecosystem, relationships, habitats, and its interactions. While the students completed this summative task, they have also developed their communication and collaboration skills as they were using appropriate forms of writing, working in groups, and encouraging others to contribute ideas and suggestions.

Student Reflections

We enjoyed this summative because we got to go outside and explore. The summative assessment we did was called exploring biodiversity with biocubes. All the things we learned during this task are connected to our statement of inquiry because of how it says that people come from many backgrounds and different systems and diversity. We had challenges in identifying the organisms we observed. We overcame this problem by using a dichotomous key, asked people what it was, and searched the features online. We could have improved our research skills because it was a little hard to figure out which organism it was. – Avery and Sengo

For our summative assessment, we were divided into pairs and we had to explore biodiversity within our school campus with our hand-made biocubes. We had to choose an area in the soccer field which had a good level of biodiversity and that would have at least 7 species or more that would visit or that live there. Our report includes the pictures of the species and we used online identification tools, such as and other sources, and the dichotomous key to identify their scientific names as well as their characteristics. We used other sources for more information about biodiversity and factors that affect it. We learned that there is limited biodiversity in an area sometimes because of climate change or the weather, human interaction, and habitat loss. We were challenged during this project because, during our 2nd field visit, we had a hard time taking pictures of the visiting species because they would often fly away. We overcame the challenges by taking our time in taking pictures. We could’ve done better by expounding more on what affects the level of biodiversity in an area and by making sure our graph of the average of species of each group was accurate so that we could communicate our findings well.  – Fiana and Aaryan

We did the “Exploring Biodiversity with Biocubes” summative task. Our learning connected to our statement of inquiry. This summative had a connection with the statement of inquiry because Biodiversity refers to the variability of organisms in every place and time. We found this assessment challenging and very successful. This was because we followed and reached all of the requirements. We also had some stuff that we had to improve on but we overcame those stuff. We overcome our challenges by trying all the different ways we could possibly solve one problem we had to overcome. We also collaborated and also communicated. We could work more on our communication skills and self-management skills. Even though we finished our work on time and we tried our best we kind of had to do a lot of work in class rather than doing the writing at home because we didn’t plan our self-management skills very well. – Roland and Miguel

Our summative assessment was finding out how much biodiversity we could find in a biocube that we placed in the school’s field. We learnt about many new species and the types of areas where biodiversity is most common. We learnt about how many different species can be found in a cubic foot. It connects to our Statement Of Inquiry (SOI) because we are finding different types of diversity in different areas just like what our SOI explains. We found this experiment to be very educational in showing us what biodiversity is. A challenge we faced is that sometimes we could not reach our requirement of finding 7 species. We overcame this by just continuing to search and dig to find more specimens to meet our requirements. To improve our performance we would change to a more grassy area with more plants since it would be easier to find more biodiversity. We used Communicating and Collaborating ATL skills this term. – Caleb and Freya

Grade 7 Math in Motion

by Mr. Daniel Monfre, Math Teacher

This week the grade 7 math class was challenged to put their knowledge and balance to the test in a mathematical game of Transversal Twister. The students competed in groups of 4 to show their understanding of congruent angles on parallel lines and transversals. As Mr. Monfre called out statements like “Place your right hand on angle A and your left foot on an alternate exterior angle of A” students had to turn the wheels in their heads as they twisted their bodies to reach the correct angles. The students were able to have a fun time using math in an unusual way! Check out the rules for the game and play yourself here: Transversal Twister!

Final WWW Course Report (Paknaan Group)

by Ms. Jean Wood and Team

Our two student leaders for this group, Amanda and Dana, had visited the local Paknaan Medical Center and preschool prior to the news of Covid-19 breaking out in order to prepare for our upcoming WWW visit. This is a center which we have developed a connection with over the years so we were excited to continue this relationship with them. However, as a result of Covid-19, the students who signed up for Paknaan ended up experiencing both original activities and new ones related to sustainability. One of their activities included organizing the items donated to help the Paknaan community such as clothing, shoes, books, and toys; so even though we were not able to physically visit Paknaan, we were still able to contribute. The group also had the opportunity of teaming up with the 4×4 WWW group to prepare the ground and plant cocoa seedlings in the garden by the MHS school building.

We also enhanced our understanding about the benefits of eating plant-based foods at the Wellnessland Health Institute, visiting a local chocolatier to learn about her childhood experiences and successful chocolate business. Finally, students designed and cooked mainly vegetable-based meals as small groups in our own campus kitchen.  Students did a great job in designing and preparing their culminating meals. Healthy choices, respect for the environment, etiquette including table manners, forward-thinking/planning, safety in the kitchen, working together with others, and cleaning up were also good reminders and skills developed in our students during our course. A “Thank You!” goes out to our community for donating items such as clothes and books for our future rummage sale.

A Few Student Reflections:

“Education is important outside the classroom because we learn about things that  we don’t get to learn in class. We were able to learn a lot about sustainable foods that we don’t learn much about in normal school days.  I feel that I have learned a lot about sustainability. I was able to learn a lot about healthy sustainable foods at the wellness center. It was also an interesting experience to research sustainable recipes and make them ourselves.”  Hayun

“As a learner, I practiced open-mindedness and risk-taking this week since we had to change our Paknaan activities to another schedule and tried to cook different dishes I didn’t know of from before.”  – JooHa

“WWW this year was pretty fun. I learned more about food sustainability and how it affects our planet. I learned about the impact food has on our health. I learned about how cacao can be used in so many ways.”  – Kat

“The entire experience was great; I learned more about what meat can really do and I plan to lessen my consumption of meat. Casa De Cacao was the best experience for me.” – Stefen

“Overall, I liked going to Case de Cacao, and cooking the food at school.”  – Xavier

“I think that it was a fun experience and I think that we had a very different  experience from what we would have done if we went to Paknaan.”  – Danny

“Because of the cancellation of Paknaan I feel we missed out on getting to meet new people and help others out.  Paknaan was a place I was interested in seeing for myself and since it was cancelled, I was slightly sad, but excited for the new plans  ahead.” – Sean

Planting seedlings on campus
Spinning the wellness wheel
Helpful hands prepare the roasted cocoa seeds (nuts)
The most delicious hot chocolate in town
What do you prefer? milk, white, or dark chocolate?
Chopping vegetables for healthy meals
Mango salsa ingredients
Learning from a Local Medical doctor at the Wellness Center
Tasting a healthy smoothie
Filtering out the lighter husks from the cocoa nibs using tosses and the wind
Learning from the queen of chocolate
Washed hands before lunch
Banana pancakes
Blending the chickpeas for the falafel burgers
Mango float for dessert

Creativity Action Service (CAS)

by Venise T. and Dana T.

Project: Phase 1 Complete

Last February 29, 2020 (Saturday), forty (40) monobloc chairs and two foldable tables were donated to Barangay Huyong Huyong with the money raised from our fundraisers. We were able to purchase and deliver these on the same day. 

Initially, we thought of buying chairs made of recyclable materials to promote environmental sustainability. However, after deliberate thinking, we found that the prices were not so feasible. Although they were great chairs, we believed that the community only needed good quality chairs to sit in that can be easily transported from one place to another.

On the day we delivered the chairs, we also taught them how to properly use and maintain the chairs to ensure long-term use.

We also initially prepared some creative activities for the children. However, because of time constraints, we decided to postpone the activities on the succeeding Saturdays. During our next visits, we will definitely make sure to have fun with the kids. The tables and chairs were only the first steps in creating a harmonious learning environment for the Huyong-Huyong children.

We would like to emphasize that they were very happy to receive the chairs and we could not have done it without your help. Thank you very much to those who helped us during our fundraisers by donating used items that could be sold.

We are grateful to everyone who supported us and helped us secure this project’s success. We hope that the support will continue to strengthen and we will definitely be initiating “Phase 2” of this project soon. 

Stay tuned!

Dragon’s Print

Dragon Recommends is back, this time with a review of the new Japanese restaurant Menya Hachi! Three senior members of the team visited the spot in Ayala Central Bloc to judge if their food was as fantastic as Editor Dong Ha C. had made it out to be. See if the taste tickled their taste buds on

Grade 12 IBDP Visual Arts

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Newsflash: March 6, 2020

Admin Update

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, CIS Superintendent

On behalf of the CIS community, I would like to congratulate the CIS PTA Board Executive members Ms. Marjolijn Roepers (President), Ms. Wendy Tanagho (Vice-President and Secretary) and Ms. Zana Gawan-Taylor (treasurer), for successfully leading the PTA over the course of this school year, including the planning of the main PTA events, the International Fair Day, Christmas Bazaar and Sinulog Family Day. Thank you all so much for your work!

Now we have finished our main events, it is time to start preparing for next year. Following a meeting this past week with the AMT and the PTA Executive Board yesterday, we agreed it would be to the benefit of the school to encourage more members to join the PTA Board next year, and not just the 4 Executive members as has been the case in past years. The PTA by-laws have scope for 8 PTA Board positions, and we would like to encourage ALL of these slots to be filled for next year, in order to help spread the load and be as inclusive as possible!

What does this entail? We will give more details on this at some point, but for now it is to support the primary purpose of the PTA as stated in the CIS PTA bylaws. These are:

  • Maintain an understanding, working relationship among the school administration and teachers, the parents of the students in the school, and others interested in the stated mission and core beliefs of CIS.
  • Provide the CIS community with fun and family-friendly activities and celebrations throughout the year.
  • Provide services and programs in support of scholastic pursuits and extra-curricular activities of the students in accordance with established school policy.
  • Raise funds, transact business and exercise such functions as are necessary in the execution of the stated objectives of the organization.

With a full 8-member Board, we hope to enable us to maintain our current events if possible, but also review how we might adapt them, and consider new ways that we can reach our purpose including more parents. The positions are open to all interested and available parents who wish to assist and be a part of the PTA Board for SY 2020-2021. As per our bylaws, I have appointed Mr. William Belda, our Business Development Officer (and a CIS parent) to be our Nominating Officer, responsible of forming a nominating committee that will look for, encourage and present potential Board Members to the PTA Members later in the school year.

Kindly take note of this opportunity to participate and be involved in the preparation and development of our children and our community. Further information will be sent out in the coming days, but in the meantime, feel free to touch base with Mr. Belda for more information and if you had any questions.

It was wonderful to read about the Week Without Walls (WWW) experiences of our students in last weeks Newsflash. In this edition, you will find the next batch!

We continue to monitor the Covid-19 coronavirus situation, and will update you as the situation progresses. This past week has seen continued increases in the number of cases outside of China, but it is promising to note the continued decrease on new cases within China. Our thoughts go out to those in the Affected Areas (hot-spots), and please note we are monitoring the developments carefully, and will update you when there are any new developments. In the meantime we remain at threat matrix level 2, so please be reminded to inform Nurse Arlene of ANY travel you have done or plan to do so she can log these in case of a new outbreak, and any persons coming from any of the current WHO-reported hotspots or China (including HK and Macao) are required to stay away from school for 14 days.

Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend.

PTA Corner

Yearbook Committee

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Aside from the engaging and student-centered learning which takes place in our classes each day, there are exciting activities occurring outside of the classroom walls. This week we continue with reports and student reflections from our recent Week Without Walls experiences. I hope that you enjoy reviewing these reports and that they may pique your interest for exciting and engaging courses for your children to select in years to come. 

Another exciting initiative that we are continuing from last year is our Grade 5 mentoring program. This was an exciting initiative that came about through a collaboration between the ES and MHS, together with the counseling office, to help our Grade 5 students transition more successfully into our Middle Years Program. Right now we are in the process of receiving new mentor applications from students in grades 8-11 and those selected will each be paired up one-on-one with one of our Grade 5 students. We have created a series of events and activities to help build the relationships between each student and his or her mentor and also prepare the Grade 5 students with experiences to help them feel more at ease and prepared for entering Grade 6. We will be sharing more information as the mentoring program for this year unfolds.

Model United Nations

by Ms. Emily Cornet & Ms. Jacqui Street, Advisers of Model UN Club

During this past week, students from the Model United Nations club were supposed to be in Beijing, China participating in the annual BEIMUN Conference.  While the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, this does not mean that the MUN club has not been actively engaged in other activities!

This week, the students participated in a mock mini-conference, putting themselves into 2003, and proposing suggestions for the SARS epidemic that was affecting the world at that time.  In preparation for writing these proposals, students needed to research SARS, as well as analyze the impact from the perspective of their assigned country. For our final presentation of resolutions on Tuesday, a CIS alumni and former MUN club member, Jay Won (℅ 2019, now studying at Waseda University), joined current senior Levi Choi as one of our Chairs for the day.

As the Model United Nations continues to meet for the rest of the semester, we will continue to explore topics that affect the world around us.  Students should see Ms Cornet or Ms Street if they wish to try it out, especially for those who might be interested in traveling to the MUN LOCALS Conference in Manila next school year in September.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal & PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

The students and teachers in the elementary community have appreciated having a more normal week of school following our Week Without Walls activities and concerns around COVID19. The school remains very vigilant with our COVID19 threat matrix and continues to check all visitors onto campus, as well as students and families that have been traveling outside the country. Additionally, all traveling families are required to notify the school of their travel plans, and any family members who visit areas that have been identified ‘Hot-Spots’ are required to remain off campus for 14 days following their return. If families or family members are considering travel, please remember that the possibility of a 14-day restriction is always possible.

Following the elementary assembly today, Friday 6th March, we held our regular PYP Parent Learning session. The focus of today’s session was on the link between educational theory and the educational practices used in CIS. Today we explored the Theory of Growth Mindset, by Carole Dweck . While studying the impact of intelligence on success, Dweck discovered the data she was gathering showed inconsistencies between IQ and achievement.  While expecting to find close connections between high IQ and high achievement, it was found that often students with lower IQ achieved better than those students with higher IQ. Through perseverance, self-belief, skill development and quality feedback students with lower IQ can achieve high results. Many of us know this to be true from our own experiences.

At CIS we work hard to create the conditions where students feel empowered to learn. By developing high levels of self-belief in our students, helping them to recover from setbacks, and by setting personal learning goals, we see children who are capable, competent and smart, and who are motivated to keep learning. We work hard to create many opportunities where student emotions are connected to learning so that school becomes a place where students what to be.

Our next PYP Parent Learning Session will be held on Friday 27th March, 2020, following our next elementary assembly. The focus of this session will be Love and Logic Strategies that develop self-managing and independent learners.


Werewolf Game

Werewolf is a super super fun game. It’s a role playing card game. We play it on Friday afternoon, only when we are good for the week. Like if we show we are good at the Five R’s. We like playing it, you wanna know why? Cause we like having secrets. Like if the peeker knows the werewolves, the werewolves “eat” the peeker. It feels good when we can trick other people and convince them of something using our thinking skills. There are lots of people and mythical creatures in the game. - Celestin G4

More Week Without Walls Activities

CIS@95 Group (4X4)

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Joy Pierra, Noelle Aliño

After a thorough ocular visit to all the original 4 X4 WWW venues, we decided to cancel the 4×4 off-campus activities for the safety of our students. After a brief and intense period of planning, our team decided to remain on the CIS campus for most of the WWW activities. We then developed the idea of conceptualizing our activities around the fact that this year marks the celebration of 95 years for our school. Below are the activities we conducted on campus. The only exception to this was our fishing excursion to Liloan.






For the 9 & 5 life skills, students were taught the following 9 basic life skills and were then required to teach 5 out of the 9 skills to any random people they know.

  1. How to change a car tire
  2. How to do basic knots or lashing
  3. How to do laundry using hands or a machine
  4. Basic sewing
  5. Basic carpentry
  6. How to use a fire extinguisher
  7. Basic fishing (with actual fishing at Porter Marina in Liloan
  8. First Aid Skills such as CPR, the Heimlich manoeuvre, how to aid minor burns and cuts, etc.
  9. Parents or students were asked what particular skills they want to learn which they felt would be beneficial to them.

“I have learned how to plant, fish, do my laundry, etc! It was an amazing experience to learn so many new things, I can help my mum do more things in the house and I can spend time doing activities with fishing and help others learn too. I also got closer with so many people and made new friends. I would say that the most important WWW activity was when we learned how to extinguish fire and how to do quick medical treatment with the first aid kit. I would recommend people to join this WWW group because it was a really interesting group that helped me connect with others more and like I said earlier learn new things, though a lot was cancelled I would I still recommend the actives that were given to us.” – Grace W.

“I enjoyed that we were able to communicate with other people that aren’t in our grade. I also liked how we were able to plant a lot of plants in the campus, I would cherish this moment for when I am older so I could visit CIS and see the plants we planted. I also enjoyed fishing because it was my first time, and I was able to catch a bunch of fish. I also enjoyed the pizza we bought on Friday. For me, I enjoyed learning and spending time with my friends the most because I get to share an experience and memory with them. I learned how to do laundry, how to do a 2nd time of sewing technique, how to use the saw, how to change the car tire, I learned new things about plants, I learned how to use the fire extinguisher and I was glad to be in charge of the greenhouse. I also learned how to fish and I was able to plant a lot of plants.” – Haley F.

“I enjoyed almost all of the activities that were held in this group. I mostly enjoyed the last day when we went fishing. In this group, I was able to experience things that I usually do not. I learned different skills that could help me in the future. They were first aid skills, how to use a fire extinguisher, basic sewing, how to do laundry, carpentry, how to change a car tire, and different types of ways to tie a rope. I also learned how to plant plants properly and learned how to do fishing.” – Sakura S.

Gawad Kalinga

by Ms. Emily Cornet, Stefanny Hermias, Michael Swank

Sanding, priming, flower pot and mural painting–these are some of the jobs that a group of 16 CIS high school students carried out during Week Without Walls.  As part of a Gawad Kalinga restoration project, the CIS students traveled to a GK community in Talisay to restore their multipurpose hall and paint the flower pots that adorn their surroundings.  In addition to restoring the paint, the students also decorated the inside of the multipurpose hall with two nature-themed murals. CIS students have partnered with Gawad Kalinga on similar projects in the past and the students seem to enjoy the combination of art and community service that this trip offers.

Student Reflections

I chose Gawad Kalinga for my WWW because I wanted to reach out to communities in need of help. In my previous school, we had an outreach to similar communities each year, and I did not want to stop that. I realised that working and collaborating with others allow us to accomplish things that we will not be able to do well alone. We all have our own skills and we should use them to help the community.
I chose Gawad Kalinga as it was an activity which involved art and helping a community.
I learned how to work in a team effectively. When painting the mural we had to work collaboratively.
Through the work that we’ve done, we were able to beautify that GK community. The repainting of the benches and posts made the multipurpose hall look cleaner and newer, while the murals added life to the dull pink wall that was once there. I think the painting will also inspire the people, especially children, to embrace their talents and express their creativity.
I liked that it involved actual service and it was an experience that we were all able to learn from and not only have that feeling temporarily but use it to develop our character and helped us to think about what we value and why.

Potpourri of Adventure

by Mr. Jonathan Denton and Team

“During my trip to Rafi camp, we all had a wonderful experience. We did different types of rope courses together, which gave us the chance to conquer our fears!. They were challenging and new to us so it left us with memorable experiences.  We had so much fun and were able to learn about new things during the camp so I think that it was a win win win situation. I’m so glad that CIS decided to take the students to RAFI adventure camp and let us have such an unforgetable experience. I enjoyed interacting with the other grades and being able to know them better as well as meeting the camp leaders. I wanna thank everyone who took care of all of us and made the camp experience so exciting.” – Ami

“I liked that the activity required trust. It helped us to trust each other. In the picture, we are trust each other when we fall. One person is falling the other is supporting them. I learnt that trust is very important between people.” – Rebecca

Here is RAFI CAMP ROPE COURSE 2. The purpose of the climb was to ‘conquer the fear with groupmate’. I was with Dennis and we succeeded by helping each other. It was a good experience and we had so much fun. We had a hard time memorizing the process of falling and climbing, however, we conquered fear! I think it was a good experience. – Minseoung

This was happening in the climbing gym. I liked the experience of climbing together because I tried climbing alone before so it was a new experience. In the picture I am climbing together with a friend. I learned the script that you need to say before climbing and when falling. – Dennis

I enjoyed climbing and hiking. It was new to me and I could enhance my skills. However, I couldn’t overcome my acrophobia, I regret that. While I was doing the rope course, I saw someone was taking a photo so I posed. Also, I saw team Tesla walking on the wood blocks and Eric performed into the unknown.

I learned teamwork and when I’m doing work with team mates I need to believe them. Especially when we climbed the woods, I trusted our belayers. I was a sincere leader in the Blue Horse group and thanks to my friends for following me. “The mission of CIS is to recognise and nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” – Dongmin

This is a picture when we were learning about how to stand up together without only one person’s help. We tried several times and in this picture, my friend Sam fell down while standing up and we were laughing out loud. My favorite activities were rope courses and orienteering. It was so much fun and helping my friends was thoughtful too. I think in the map orienteering, Yujin did very well on finding the directions. I learned leadership to call my teammates and the team ‘Tesla’ were always one that time. I think I demonstrated leadership skills in IB. I was the team leader and I had to take care of them. “The mission of CIS is to recognise and nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” I helped my teammates. – Eric

This experience that I had when I went to Rafi, was mostly exciting because of how the activities were set up, and because of the Rafi’s Rope Courses 1. I liked it because it made me remember my time in Canada. Of how the heights are amazing and I love being in higher places, and how it feels to float down easily  without a care in the world. Another thing that I enjoyed about Rafi was that the food was actually good.. Making most of the time that I had there more enjoyable because I can go to the fullest and still have enough energy to do other stuff at the campsite. One more thing that I enjoyed at this camp was the exciting adventures, like the tribe building and how it brought the tribe that you were in closer to each other, knowing each other more and more, and knowing the capabilities that you have for the activity. And that was all the things that I liked about Kool Adventure Camp.I will see you soon! – Ryan G

I have enjoyed this experience so very much, so much I could fly to the moon and back. The 2 most enjoyable parts were, 1, when I faced  the fear of falling 5 metres off a ladder and dying… . But, I faced my fears and did it, and it was not so bad. Then 2 the food i felt like a lot of people were saying how the food was bad and grose and horrible but I feel like it was not that bad and if you think about you realise how hard some people are working for us to make our food and it’s actually not that bad. I would like to talk about what I have learned I have learned 1 very important thing, don’t judge how it looks on the outside like example the food looks bad or the bedroom look uncomfortable, but the inside that counts, well at least you have food that is edible and at least you have shelter from the rain. So overall I had a great time, I enjoyed every millisecond. – Amelia 

In Kool adventure camp my best experience was when we were doing the trust fall because it was challenging. To take a rest, we had to make it perfect and we had to do it a lot of times. The other best experience I made was when we were cooking dinner and breakfast. It was a good experience because we had to cook our own food and that took a long time. Probably after 2 hours we started eating and while some people started eating, people said the food was so good. I tried the chicken and that was the best moment I ever had. When we started doing the ropes course, I knew that I was very scared of heights. – Hayden

I enjoyed interacting and having fun among my peers while learning at the same time. I had fun at the ropes course but it was really scary at the same. I also had fun in the bunks since we were playing games and having fun without our phones. The picture was a group picture of me and most of my friends in my grade but I zoomed it into only my face which is why it’s in such bad quality. The picture was taken on a morning hike we had on the 4th day where we took pictures of I learned that I am really really scared of heights. The ib learner trait that related to me to was risk-taker since I did the ropes course even though I was really scared. 

“To have a positive impact.” This was taken from the CIS mission statement. This relates to our adventure in KAC since our goal was to learn about how in our own way create a positive impact.” – Miguel 

Rafi Adventure camp!. This is a photo of when we went hiking. Yujin took a picture of me with a phone. I enjoyed the thrill of going to high places, and playing card games at night. In this picture I was laughing at my friend’s joke. I learned that trying new things is fun. I also learned that we can live normally without devices. Communicator was an important IB learner trait that I used. I was a “communicator” when I tried to have fun with my friends. Empower all members, we motivated each other in order to do something. – Sengo

The trip we went on was really fun! I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and trying new things, like the ropes course and orienteering. In this picture, I was trying the ropes course for the very first time. I learned that trying new things can be fun. I also learned that I could do things I never thought I could do before. I became a better communicator and risk taker during the trip. In the ropes course, we communicated well to keep each other safe. We took risks by trying new things like orienteering and the ropes courses. In the mission statement, it says that we should empower all members. On this trip, we took input from everyone and worked together well. We helped boost each other up and supported each other. – Yujin 

I had such a fun time in the ropes course in KAC. Although I wasn’t able to go till the top for the second ropes course, I still had a great  time doing them! I appreciate that I was able to experience that moment with my friends and teacher. – Rina

I really enjoyed the ropes course and orienteering activity when we used the compasses. During the ropes course we walked across an approximately 5 meter high ladder. I was completely mortified because someone else was holding my life in their hands. In the end I wasn’t able to go across but I redeemed myself in the second course where we had to climb up a ladder with and equal height. My partner and I had to help each other to get to the top and we did exactly that! We had to use our wits to figure out ways to climb up a ladder that only got higher and higher as we went. Finally,we made it to the top and we flew off feeling very proud of ourselves. The next day we did and orienteering course using compasses. We had to use compasses to find our way around. First we learned how to use a compass and then we started the game. The game was that we were at first given coordinates and we had to find the bearing number of these coordinates and the quote that came with it. Some numbers on the worksheet gave us the location and we had to find the bearings and the coordinates. My group and I rushed to finish this game as we wanted to win the prize for first place. In the end we got first place and we jumped with joy. I want to live this experience again everytime I think back to it. I hope I get to go back next year. – Aadya 

In the lecture hall, we made pairs to climb the ladder and we were able to understand our task and I think we really cooperated. I really enjoyed this activity and based on this experience I recognize that cooperation is really important in group activity. – Ryan K.

I liked both of the ropes courses but they were scary. I also enjoyed being with my friends and doing activities with them. In this picture we are doing our second ropes course called the “Dangling Duo”. Something new that I learnt was that I was actually kind of scared of heights. An IB learner profile trait that I showed in this trip is being a risk-taker. I was a risk-taker because I took the risk to conquer the ropes courses that we did. 

“To have a positive impact,” this phrase is from the CIS mission statement. This phrase is linked to what we did in The Rafi Kool Adventure Camp. The camp had a positive impact on us. They taught us new things like orienteering and taught us about the ropes course.  – Aaryan 

We went to a climbing gym to have indoor activities and the picture that I posted was one of the main activities that we encountered (Climbing the ladder). There were six ladders and you should climb each ladder with your partner. It requires not only your flexibility but also cooperation, communication skills as well. I chose that picture because I felt it was the activity that I overcame successfully. Before the activity, we had another one which is quite similar to it. However, I wasn’t that confident and brave enough to accomplish. Somehow I regretted my performance. After all, I promised myself to step further and progress in order to achieve my ultimate goal which was to resolve my fears. There were some difficulties of course. But, partner and I were able to cooperate and work together to climb up and up. It was a great experience that I cannot change with anything. Thank you!  – Sam

Raffi adventure camp, rope climbing course. This is a picture of me doing the  rope climbing course. Ms. Kohlmeier took the picture at the bottom. I enjoyed the thrill that I felt from the height, yet I was trembling and couldn’t let go of the rope. Once I came down I felt like I would collapse from the fear. After that we went to our beds and played card games which were also very fun. We were shouting and laughing throughout the night. I learnt that I can go over my fear and that I’m braver than I thought. I was a risk taker on this trip, I  was eating, sleeping and doing activities that I never did. The most time I showed risk taker was when I tried the rope courses, it was scary because of the height but I overcame it and went over my fears. “Nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” – Lloyd 

Dragon’s Print

In line with CNN’s Freedom Project, middle and high school students have been coming up with their own definitions of “freedom”. As a student-led publication, Dragon’s Print decided to join in with our take on what freedom means to us—that is, how we utilize the power and privilege of speech to maintain transparency and catalyze change. Read the editorial on

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Newsflash: February 28, 2020 (WWW Edition)

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This morning the elementary school held their parent drop-in session. This is a time when CIS elementary formally invites parents to come into classrooms to engage in learning with their children. In an IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) education we firmly believe in the learning partnership between the student, parent and school. This is like a stool with three legs that remain very stable when all three stakeholders are working together. Our parent drop-in sessions, along with our use of Seesaw, and our parent-student-teacher conferences are all designed to support this partnership.

This morning it was exciting to see many parents in the Early Years to Grade 1 classes. The CIS elementary team value the emphasis you place for this home-school relationship. While visiting classes, students and parents could be seen engaged in learning together.  Learning does look different to the way we learned as children, and it is encouraging to see so many parents seeking to understand the skills, knowledge and complex thinking their children are engaged with.

While visiting the grade 2 – 4 classes, presentations were being shared about the exciting events that took place during our Week Without Walls (WWW) activities. WWW was a truly worthwhile week of on and off campus learning that will remain with students for a long time. We saw many students develop new levels of self-efficacy as a result of the challenges they faced, overcoming unfamiliar hurdles, and seeing self-management skills emerge as students were required to do things for themselves that they are often not asked to do at home.

As you are able, we continue to encourage you to be actively engaged with your child at school. Your involvement and support add to our community and sends the message to your child that you value the kind of learning your child is engaged in and proud of. Over the coming weeks we have several parent drop-in events and full elementary assemblies that we would love you all to be apart of.

  • March 6th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 6th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): How Educational Theory informs Teaching and Learning in the PYP
  • March 27th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 27th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): Love and Logic Strategies that develop self-managing and independant learners
  • April 3rd – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • April 24th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 27th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): Developing and implementing Science and Social Studies learning in the PYP
  • May 8th – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • May 22nd – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • May 29th – Final ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)

Week Without Walls Reflections

KG/G1 and Grade 5 Buddy Reflections from Adlawon Vacation Farm

When I was at Adlawon I enjoyed seeing the rabbits and piggies. On the first day at Adlawon I played at the playground and then we played freeze tag.  -by JP and Caitlin

These are my favourite things at Adlawon.  The water fight and the feeling of my whole body being wet. Card finding and free time to walk and explore around the farm. I liked it when we went River and Mountain Trekking and walking and the wild and natural places. – by Leon and Angqing Li

We liked our visit to Adlawon because we saw a rabbit.  We fed the rabbit and gave it a drink of water. The rabbit was jumping high. We also played in the adventure playground.  – by Joshua, Justin and Audey

When we visited Adlawon we liked to play with the fluffy rabbits. We also did plowing with the carabao.  The food was really good.  Masa liked the baby goats as they were so cute.  We also played werewolf.  – by Jacob and Masa

Our favourite things we saw and did at Adlawon was when we saw the bunny rabbits.  We also enjoyed make rice sacks and playing in the playground.  We were amazed to watch to see how the carabao ploughs the land. – by Samantha and Kalin

Week Without Walls (RAFI KOOL Adventure Camp)

by Mr. Steve Campbell, Jessie Saclo, Dinah Catalan, Maria Bacus

“It’s important to plan ahead, strategize, and for everyone to understand what’s going on.”  – Caleb, 7th grade

“The importance of service-learning is to know our limits, we just need to trust others and be an encouragement to others, too.” This statement was the result of a collaborative reflection among members of the RAFI KOOL Adventure Camp group.

Vocabulary: belay: to secure (a rope) by attaching to a person or to an object offering stable support.

Learner Profile traits developed in our students on this course include risk-taking, open-mindedness, caring, thinking (problem-solving), and communication/collaboration. 

Students on this camp were required to be the ‘belayer’ in order to secure support for a team member while they climbed and navigated the high ropes courses. The belayer manages the rope that secures the climber. This task required the team member to be ‘on task’ in order to ensure the safety of the climber. Feeding out the required amount of rope on ascent and taking up the slack when necessary, making the required safety checks at the correct times, and communicating these checks were required tasks, allowing the climber to proceed past obstacles and managing the rope to do so. Other members of the team, such as the dead weight and the rope feeder had tasks also essential to the team effort. The climber really had to believe in his team- believe and trust that they would be there firstly for his safety, and secondly that they could be counted on to help in the completion of the task.

The belayer and climber had to communicate well. Instructions had to be clear and communicated helpfully- but not shouted. Sometimes in the advanced activities two climbers and two teams of belayers were required to work together. Both tribes had to communicate to solve the problems that were presented. 

All the learner attributes involved in such an activity were in the front of the students’ minds. For students, being a risk taker was an obvious choice. Further reflection gave students the opportunity to identify that what was essential to success was trust. Students had to trust in their team in order to advance. Additionally, the same student had to be trustworthy when it came to his/her turn on the support team. 

For these WWW (Week Without Walls) campers, much was learned in an environment that was very different from their day-to-day school experience. What students experience in this environment is a curriculum that is very different and very demanding. The learning that occurs helps students develop in their learner profile traits. A core belief for the school is that collaboration, communication, and contribution are essential for learning.

Week Without Walls (Pit-os Teaching)

by Dan Monfre, Gerri Jumao-as, Eddy Clements, Elaine Jin

CIS students were again given the opportunity to continue our work with our neighboring school, Pit-os National High School. This is the 6th year that we have offered the Pit-os On-Campus Teaching as part of the Week Without Walls. Each year CIS students prepare lessons and activities that they will teach to some of the students from Pit-os NHS. This year’s lessons were Spanish, Mandarin, Math, and Art. Due to current health and safety concerns, the students of Pit-os NHS were unfortunately not able to visit CIS. In light of this, the CIS students made instructional materials and videos that have been shared with the teachers and students at Pit-os NHS. Please check out their videos below:

The students demonstrated a willingness to adapt to the changes and made tons of resources to share. This was a great learning experience for our students and we are proud of the service work they have done to help students in our community expand their knowledge. 

“In teaching others we teach ourselves.”  – Traditional proverb

Student Reflections:

From this trip, I have learned how to think outside the box (because we had to make learning materials that could be used), how to use the laminating machine, and being able to balance out the given work to us for each day. This was because, every day, each group had to create 5 learning materials.

I demonstrated being balanced and a communicator because we were given a lot of tasks for each day so I had to organize the schedule. This meant that I would have to not spend too long on working on one task so that I have enough time to do others. This could be seen every day, but most specifically on Friday because we had to edit videos and also create some posters all in the morning. I also demonstrated being a communicator every day because we had to find ways on how to teach the other students without seeing them face-to-face. One instance was on Thursday because we had to create videos teaching them a lesson. In order to do this, we had to explain all of the steps properly so that it could be easily understood. -Deandra, Gr. 10

I have done this course for the last 2 years. I found this activity is pretty interesting because it gives me the opportunity to teach other people about the subject that I’m interested in. Also, I feel like this activity really suits me because I can work in a comfortable environment as well.

I enjoyed making learning materials and research more subject(mathematics)-related contents. I also enjoyed cooperating with my peers, having a different experience from normal days. 

 “CIS challenges students to be globally engaged, positive contributors in a competitive, changing world.” I can link this statement to how we completed this activity. There were different subjects such as world language, mathematics, and arts, which are all international and educational. This provides a lot of opportunities for different people in learning different subjects. Making a variety of learning materials also can make learning interesting and happy, giving a positive mindset to students.  -James, Gr. 11

I enjoyed making the videos a lot, especially the teaching one. I loved thinking hard about how to make it both easy to learn from and funny. Taking the videos was a real joy in and of itself as well! I loved spending time with my peers and laughing together with them about the mistakes that we made. I feel like we improved together as a group, and that’s something I know I’ll always cherish.

I learned how to format teaching videos. I’m probably not very good at it, but I did learn different methods to employ in order to make the learning as effective and interesting as it could possibly be as a video lesson.

“The Mission of CIS is to create a collborative, challenging, and nurturing school environment that involves community members.”Everything we did this week embodied the mission statement. We may have made individual resources but we still supported each other as a group throughout it all. Additionally, our teaching and reflection videos embody a lot of the collaboration and challenge mentioned in the statement, given how we had to work together to overcome problems. In this way, we involved not only the members in the school but also the members in our community, subsequently generating a creative learning platform for both us and the Pit-Os high school students. -Venise, Gr. 11

I wanted to interact with the other students from the Pit-os national high school and I thought that it would have been fun discussing and teaching them certain pieces of knowledge that we learned from school. Also, there were some friends that wanted me to join in the same program as them.

I enjoyed using my imagination and creativity to make posters that could help the students from PNHS. It was fun helping peers and other students and discussing with them what kind of informative pieces we would make. Also, the snacks that were provided were good and delicious.

We got accustomed to making informatively helpful posters, as we were required to make posters, daily, per person. I also learned some new bits of knowledge from the poster that our peers made, which were about the discovery of atomic structure by different people across different eras.

Everything was great except that the students from PNHS were not able to come. Although it was an uncontrollable factor due to the outspread of the Corona-virus, this was the only improvement needed within the program. -Minsung, Gr. 11

I have learned to manage my time, communicate, and also gained some experience editing videos better. Although the video turned out to be low quality, the fps was really laggy, because my laptop couldn’t handle the editing but I still believe it was a good experience. 

Communicators: During WWW I was absent for a day but I was in charge of editing the video which showed our reflections of the past week, the problem was that I didn’t have enough content to finish the video. So what I had to do was to communicate with my groupmates who were present at school and request them to take videos of them answering questions that would be placed in the reflection video. With being able to communicate with my groupmates efficiently I had no problems editing the video that night and the following morning. 

Thinkers: During WWW we each had to create at least one educational tool a day, being able to use creative thinking I was able to produce the requirements without any problems. Especially as the week went by more and more, I got used to creating different materials every day so my creative thinking was able to develop and be used on a daily basis. 

 “Develops the unique potential of all students to contribute to a better world” -I believe I am able to link to this specific line from the mission statement as throughout WWW the main task we were given was to create educational tools for the Pit-Os students, being able to get the experience of creating tools that could potentially improve the student’s education. With the improvement of the student’s education, it is possible that we were also able to contribute in creating a better future and better world. Jodi, Gr. 10

Great Luzon Adventure

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Last week our entire community participated in Week Without Walls, a week of learning, service, creativity, and principled action outside of our regular academic schedule and framework. This week we begin the first of several articles highlighting our MHS courses.

Early last Tuesday morning the Great Luzon Adventure group set off for Manila, immediately boarded vans from the airport, and headed up into the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and the Masungi Georeserve. Over the next two days students were able to hike through different regions of the reserve and come to understand the unfortunate history which has led to its needed restoration and the efforts now underway to help bring the ecosystem back to health. The Georeserve is extremely clean, without a single wrapper or trash to be seen, and is meticulously cared for and maintained by the rangers and the foundation committed to its protection.

The first day we hiked the Discovery Trail, a 4-5 hour trek which navigates through the scenic and lush karst landscape and highlights the wildlife indigenous to the region. This trail includes 8 unique “features,” including giant rope spider webs, enormous rope hammocks, rocky overlooks, and caves; it is hard to believe that this area until very recently was almost entirely deforested and ecologically devastated. While students enjoyed the beauty and unique challenges of this trail, it was really on Day 2, on the 5-hour Legacy Trail, where the devastation of the region and the restoration efforts were truly brought home to us. Our students were able to see holes dug by conniving treasure hunters, areas where professional squatters facilitated the illegal logging activities, and entire hillsides which were denuded by both legal and illegal logging. Students learned about how protecting the environment is linked with serving human communities, seen, for example, when students encountered a dry river bed. The devastation of the landscape means that the soil, which once served as both a filter and a sponge for rainwater, gradually released the water to allow the river to flow consistently and furnish drinking water to the villages below. Now the river only flows directly after it rains and sometimes is too intense since there is no way for the depleted soil to absorb the rainwater and dispense it in moderation.

We were able to participate in the Masungi Foundation’s commitment to sustainable environmental efforts. At the top of the Legacy Trail, after our 400-meter vertical ascent, our students were able to engage in environmental stewardship practice through nurturing young trees that had already been planted. While planting a tree may be more “instagramable” and produce an immediate sense of satisfaction, most trees that are planted will not survive unless they are “nurtured” regularly. This involves a fairly simple process of cutting the weeds around the sapling which may pose a threat, tilling and softening the soil around its base, and then laying down the same weeds to form a layer of protection and moisture retention for the young tree. Furthermore, instead of bringing in outside “experts” to protect the area, most of the rangers are members of the local communities and were the same ones previously engaged in illegal logging.

On the third day we had planned to drive back to Manila to begin a two-day excursion on Corregidor Island. However, due to strong winds leading to unsafe waters, all ferry transport was cancelled on Friday, so we elected to remain at our rustic but comfortable leisure camp for one additional night, engaging in team-building activities like an obstacle course, a high ropes course, and ziplining. In spite of the disappointment of having to change our plans, students had great attitudes and seemed to enjoy the activities.

Some specific IB Learner Profile traits especially developed in our students on this course included risk-taking, open-mindedness, caring, thinking (problem-solving), and communication/collaboration.

Student reflections:

As a Filipino citizen I was glad I learned a lot more about my culture and how willing people are to save nature, especially during the tree-nurturing activity. They are aware of how hard environmentalism is here in the Philippines where profitability is one of the biggest priorities, but still continue to fight for the land and its restoration. During the obstacle course in Ten Cents, there were some difficult parts that made me question whether I actually did have a fear of heights. However I listened to what my friends and the rangers said and with their help I was able to complete the course. 

One of the school’s core beliefs is that collaboration, communication, and contribution are essential for learning. During all the hikes, walks, and activities, we all relied on each other. We were each other’s source of motivation and when we needed help or even a little sip of water, people did what they could to help. I think that was the most important lesson throughout the trip, and hopefully it will continue as we go along through our IB together.  Reina, Grade 11

I joined this WWW because I wanted to explore the Philippines and learn more about the Philippine environment. The hikes were one of my favorites, especially the rope courses, helping the conservation of the trees, and learning how everything is connected in nature.

I learned that you can’t just plant a tree; you need to make sure it grows into one. I also learned how to restore a deforested area back into a normal ecosystem. I also learned how deep deforestation affects the environment and the economy. Kevin, Grade 11

Learning is a joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration. We experienced this on our hikes; instead of just learning about the environment and the effects of logging and how people are trying to help through videos at school or reading articles about it, we got to actually experience it and see it for ourselves. It was also in a fun way, too. We got to create memories with our friends and try new things. I believe this is a great example of core belief #1. Jessica, Grade 11

I think that I was being a risk-taker when I took the lead for the team-building activity. We sadly lost the contest, but were able to finish the activity. Another IB learner profile trait that I demonstrated was being open-minded because I shared a lot of knowledge with my group while hiking, like the environmental situation of Japan. I also shared what I think about the issues and how these must be solved as quickly as possible. After that I listen to other countries’ environmental situations and reflected on the others’ solutions.

I believe that we were very well-prepared for this trip. I saw this when the schedule changed and we had a second option and were able to go through that challenge. I think that the teachers did a really good job with that, as well as the students because they were able to understand the situation and follow the teachers. Actually I think that I was able to see us practicing being respectful, responsible and prepared. I think that we all deserve a pat on our backs. Koshiro, Grade 9

I chose this course because I have a fear of heights and I wanted to overcome it. I also joined because I like hiking and staying in the mountains because it helps me release stress and get away from the chaos of the city. What I liked about this experience were the hiking courses in Masungi since there were a lot of obstacles and an amazing view which felt so good.

I have gained knowledge that there are people who take care of our environment and are very serious about it while we often choose to ignore it. With this new experience I have learned that we should appreciate our environment more and take part in the movement to protect it.  Masako, Grade 11

Dragon’s Print

Looking back onto Week Without Walls, the Dragon’s Print team prepared a fun crossword puzzle relating to everyone’s highlights and activities! Try figuring the puzzle out on

PTA News

Dear parents,

If you own a business here in Cebu and would like to connect with other CIS families who are business owners, we would like to begin a networking group for you! We are aiming to have our first gathering in April. If you would like to be invited, please email with your name and contact info, as well as your business listing.

We also have some other fun and exciting events happening locally that involve CIS parents. For more information, please see the CIS Facebook page and join the PTA group! We will post things there that will build up our parent/teacher community but may not necessarily apply to the school’s Newsflash publication.

Please also be thinking about how you would like to be involved next year, as we are accepting nominations for PTA Board officers. Please check the PTA Facebook group for more information about the positions!

All the best,
Your PTA Board

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Newsflash: February 21, 2020

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Week Without Walls (WWW)

As we welcome our students back from their Week Without Walls activities today, it is great to see a lot of tired but happy students who report they had a lot of fun! I look forward to seeing their reflections, as while it is great they had fun, we also have specific objectives for having a WWW! I thought it would be timely to share these with you now so you could ask your children to report back to you in more depth than the social aspects they might start with!

Philosophy behind having a Week Without Walls (WWW)

Cebu International school’s Guiding Statements highlight our belief in the importance of experiential, constructivist learning, and the explicit development of a wide range of skills and attributes identified as Approaches to Learning (ATL) and Learner Profile (LP) attributes.

We believe providing an extended period of time outside the classroom to engage in purposefully planned activities enables our students to develop many of these skills and attributes in ways that are not possible, or are more difficult, in a classroom setting.

All of our WWW activities are designed around the promotion of one or more of the following areas: creativity, activity, service learning and/or intercultural mindedness. In addition, interdisciplinary/curriculum links are encouraged when opportunity presents, but these should not be forced.

As a school CIS has identified service learning as a particular focus, and therefore aspects of Service Learning will be included in all WWW activities (unless there is approval not to do so for a specific reason), and activities will therefore follow the objectives of Service Learning at CIS.

Here are a few pictures for you to see what some groups were up too. Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring the activities in the Newsflash, so you have something to look forward to!

Coronavirus Update

Please ensure you read the the comprehensive Info Brief on this topic that was sent to your registered email address yesterday. (All parents were sent this email, so if you did not get it, please check your spam folder first, and if it is still not there, please contact your divisional secretary to check you email is current.)

Contact Details

Please remember to update the school with all contact details (including addresses if you move, but especially your mobile phone number) so we can update our HUB database to ensure you get our communications, and to be able to get in touch with you without delay in the event of an emergency.

Enjoy your 4-day long weekend, and students, see you back refreshed next Wednesday (which will be a day A).

Middle and High School News

by Ms. Ma. Socorro Laplana, MHS Asst. Principal/IBDP Coordinator

Mock Exams – Why do they matter?

While the whole middle and high school have been preparing for Week Without Walls, our grade 12 students have also been preparing for their mock examinations. You might ask, what are these mock examinations for? These mock examinations help gauge where students are, to see if they’re on the right track and are also useful for letting students know what they might need to revisit. For teachers, results of mock examinations provide not only with some basis of the predicted grades they will give their students but also information and feedback on what areas may need some more review (reteaching) and because it is given at this time of year, there is still time for students to revise for the May IBDP examinations.  Furthermore, these mock exams provide simulation to the actual IBDP examinations conduct and protocol so students get to practice taking exams patterned after past IBDP papers in the actual venue and under the same examination condition. Lastly, students would get an idea of how to make effective use of reading time which is very crucial for any paper.

The grade 12 students started their mock examinations last Friday, February 14 and ended today, February 21. We hope that the mock exams were an insightful experience for our grade 12 students and we wish them all the best as they complete remaining course requirements in the last few months prior to the May IBDP examinations.

Media Center News

by Dan Monfre, Noelle Aliño, Mary Jean Cordova

Love Month at the Media Center

Love was in the air at the Media Center last week with students, faculty, and staff participating in some Heart’s Day fun. Members of the CIS community enjoyed writing anonymous letters to loved ones inside and outside the campus through the Anonymous Love Messages board. Several learners also borrowed books from the suggestions on the “Books We Love” Bulletin Board. It was good to see many students interested in books about caring and loving. Lastly, on Valentine’s Day everyone got the chance to open love-themed fortune cookies from bowls in the staff room and MHS couches. A few brave souls looked up the books they got in their fortunes.

We hope to see more students and other members of the community reading in the Media Center!

Dragon’s Print

Have you ever wondered what “mock exams” mean? This year, we dive into an exclusive with our current seniors, asking them about their experiences and narrating one of the last obstacles they will have to face before graduating in May. Read our latest interviews, “Mocking the Seniors”.

College/Career News

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison

Ask the College Counselor!

This issue discusses financial aid in US institutions, please watch this space for financial aid in other countries.

1. What is financial aid?

Financial aid is funding that helps one pay for college education.

2. What are the types of financial aid?

Financial aid may be:

  • Merit-based : based on a student’s accomplishments in academics, talent and/or extra-curricular activities.  Eligibility to this type of aid is not based on a family’s ability to pay or family finances.
  • Need-based : eligibility of a student is based on an evaluation of family finances
  • Grants/Scholarships/Gift Aid: awards that do not need to be repaid
  • Loans – funding that must be repaid

3. Does a student need to apply to qualify for financial aid?

It depends on the institution. Some universities will automatically award merit-based scholarships based on a student’s application portfolio which includes academic reports, extra-curricular activities, personal essays and teacher/counselor references

In some cases, institutions will indicate that a student needs to apply for a scholarship if they need financial aid to go to college.

4. What does the Cost of Attendance to college include?

Direct Costs:  tuition & fees, room and board (if on campus) Indirect Costs:  Books, supplies, transport, personal expenses. Universities publish the costs of attending their institution and usually have a tuition price calculator.

5. What is FAFSA and the CSS Profile?

FAFSA is  the Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is completed by current and incoming college students to receive federal aid.  FAFSA is only for American Citizens. Filling in the FAFSA is free.

The CSS Profile is the College Scholarship Service profile which is a form on the College Board website.  This is used by colleges to determine a student’s eligibility for scholarship. This is used by international students (non-American citizens) to qualify for financial aid in most US universities.

Both FAFSA and CSS Profile will require in-depth information into a family’s finances which includes income, expenses, assets and liabilities.

6. Why do some American citizens still need to submit the CSS Profile?

FAFSA provides federal grants, loans and other types of government assistnace while the CSS Profile is used to gauge how much non-federal financial aid a student may need.

7. Where can one find scholarship opportunities in the USA?

There is a “financial aid” tab on almost any university’s website.  Take time to do your research and look at eligibility requirements and how much scholarships are awarded versus the total cost of attendance.

This link is also a useful scholarship search tool provided by the College Board:

College/Careers Schedules

These visits are open to all CIS students and parents.

February 28 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Dragons Dome- Aviation Institute of Maintenance
- Columbia College Chicago
- Embry-riddle Aeronautical University
- Hawaii Pacific University
- Johns Hopkins University School of Education
- Kent State University
- Missouri Western State University
- New York Film Academy
- Nova Southeastern University
- Ohio University
- Pima Community College
- San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley
- Savannah College of Art & Design
- South Puget Sound
- Stony Brook University
- University of Nevada, Reno
- University of Arizona
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Virginia Tech University
March 2 - Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Bond University (Australia)
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)
March 3 - Tuesday9:15 - 10:30AM - Rm 311Canadian Education Fair and an Info Session on the Canadian Visa Stream
1. Algonquin College
2. Bow Valley College
3. Cambrian College
4. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
5. Fanshawe College
6. Kwantlen Polytechnic University
7. Mohawk College
8. NorQuest College
9. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
10. Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology
11. Northern Lights College
12. Red Deer College
13. Seneca
14. Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology
15. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
16. St. Lawrence College
March 11 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Griffith University (Australia)
March 13 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)
March 19 Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Redlands (USA) Creighton University (USA) Whitworth University (USA) San Jose State University (USA)
2019-2010 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject TestsApril 3, 2020

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

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

Share this:

Newsflash: February 14, 2020

Admin News

Dr Gwyn Underwood, ​Superintendent

The Music Man production accolades

Our Production team, led by Production Director Ms. Steffany Hermias and an army of support including students, faculty and the PTA/parents, can take a bow for the stunning performances viewers were privileged to see last weekend. Congratulations and thank you all so much, it really was an impressive performance!

​Coronavirus situation update

The health and safety of ​CIS’s community ​remains our highest priority, ​and we continue to monitor the coronavirus situation daily as we attempt to keep a balance ​between mitigating risks to an acceptable level in what is an evolving situation​. Overall, recent news from reliable sources is starting to indicate the situation may be easing, however, we are still in a very delicate phase and it is still very uncertain how it might proceed. We will ​continue to take necessary precautions as well as adapt our practices as the situation requires​, keeping the best interests of the health and safety of our community and visitors ​a priority. Some updates on the situation as it pertains to CIS include the following:​

  • ​The Health and Safety Committee have has updated our official Threat Matrix from three levels to four​ in order to be more specific on procedures that were previously in threat level two. We did this as we felt level two was  too broad, so teasing it into two levels helps to overcome this (so the old level two is now levels two and three, and the old level three is now level four). Parents, you have access to this Threat Matrix via the link sent in your last Info Brief (please let my secretary Azela know if you would like an updated PDF version and she can mail it to you
  • ​​We continue to evaluate events such as WWW activities, conferences and other professional development ​activities on and off campus on a case by case basis, and will cancel all activities when the risk mitigation assessment highlights a risk that is not acceptable for our students. Our faculty have been wonderfully flexible and creative in coming up with new activities for our WWW program when an activity needed to be changed, and I want to acknowledge their extra work to do this for our collective benefit. We look forward to the WWW activities running safely from next Tuesday!
  • We apologise to members of the public or CIS community who have been unable to enter the campus due not having appointments, and to students who have had to spend extra time at home to be sure they do not have the virus. Please understand we need to do this to protect our students and entire community. If I may please remind parents and students that our current precautionary measures include:

==> If you have travelled outside of Cebu within the past 14 days, please inform Ms. Arlene Villa ( | Tel: 32 261 0247 | Mobile: 0949 704 4937) when and where you travelled, and any info regarding the potential exposure you may have had before you enter the CIS Campus.

==> If you have travelled to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days, you are not permitted on campus.

==> Please keep your child home if they have any flu-like symptoms. You need to obtain a doctor’s note before returning to school. All returning students must check in to the clinic with their medical note upon return before going to class.

Thank you ​​for ​your messages ​of ​support​ for our actions and communication during this emergency​ time​.​ As always, please remember we appreciate your feedback​, both in the form of constructive criticism and compliment​s,​ as they both help us to continue improving our practice​s!

Have a safe weekend!

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

The Arts are Alive and Well at CIS

Too often today the arts are not given enough attention in general and sometimes in education is treated as a pleasant diversion in the middle of a school day full of other more important subjects. However, at CIS, we believe in the importance of the visual and performing arts as important aspects of our students holistic development and we make the arts an integral part of our schedule at all grade levels. Certainly we want our students to one day make a living, but we also want them to make a life. To quote John Keating from Dead Poet’s Society, “Medicine, law, business, engineering- these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life, but poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”

According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, a continuum teachers use to measure orders of critical thinking, creating is the most complex and highest level of thinking, for the student builds on a foundation of understanding and then makes it both unique and personal. Creativity allows students to play and experiment with what they have learned in order to create something new. Indeed, IB embraces the arts throughout all stages- PYP, MYP, and DP; in the DP, for example, Arts is one of the six groups of courses from which students must choose. Another example can be seen in MYP; there are six required Global Contexts, one of which must be present in every learning unit. One of these Global Contexts is Personal and Cultural Expression.

It is wonderful to see that the arts are thriving at CIS as we seek to create opportunities both in and out of the classroom for students to both perform works of artistic merit and express themselves through a variety of creative outlets. We have several after-school clubs that cultivate skills and passion within various forms of art, such as Chamber Ensemble, CIS Dance Crew, Ballet Club, Illustration Club, Yearbook, and Dragon’s Print. Last weekend’s production of The Music Man featured a combination of vocal and instrumental music, dramatic performance, a range of dance routines, and an array of visual arts, including costume design, beautiful stage sets, and backdrops paintings. 

This Wednesday the IBDP Grade 11 and 12 Art Exhibition was opened at Ayala Mall in IT Park with the overarching theme of Conflict. Conflict is an aspect of the human experience and something which we all encounter; thus, it is part of each student’s story and which our students’ artworks portray in various ways. Students were present to explain the message conveyed through their artistic pieces and the process of creating them to the parents, teachers, friends, and visitors who attended the event.

 Students, we are so proud of you all. We encourage you to keep creating.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Over the past 5 years, CIS has developed a relationship with the University of South-Eastern Norway to support their teacher training program. The teacher training program run by the university is called the International Teacher Education Program for Primary Schools and is unique in that the university actively seeks to train students from countries both inside and outside Norway, and intentionally aims to develop International Mindedness in their student teachers. Student teachers are then encouraged to find teaching internships in different locations throughout the world and CIS has actively supported the university’s internship program.

Over the past six weeks, CIS has hosted three student teachers.  Ms. Jil Giannikos has been working with Ms. Marianne’s KG/G1 class, Ms. Ana Borba has been working with Ms. Mau’s Grade 2 class, and Mr. Balal Pasand has been working with Ms. Carolyn’s Grade 5 class.  In each class, a strong rapport has been formed between the student teacher and the class community and in each case, the community has benefited. Today CIS says farewell to our three interns and over the weekend they will return to Norway. We thank Jill, Ana, and Balal for their contributions to the school. As a CIS community, we are proud of the service we are able to provide locally, nationally and globally throughout various service-learning programs, our scholarships, and our internships. Reaching out in this way builds our capabilities as a community and encourages us to become increasingly internationally minded.

Next week at CIS we are holding our Week Without Walls program. Teachers have worked incredibly hard since November designing exciting, challenging and service-minded Week Without Walls projects for their students. As a principal, I am very proud of what they have been able to achieve and the extent to which students have been involved in designing the learning. Although a few of our planned interactions with local communities had had to be postponed due to managing the risks associated with the COVID-19, the majority of the learning and adventure experiences are able to continue safely. Some of these experiences include;

  • Grade 4 and 5 working with the Light of Hope to build and give solar lighting to communities with no electricity
  • Grade 4 and 5 camp to Adlawon Vacation farm
  • Grade 3 and 4 mangrove project
  • Grade 2 and 3 Sirao Peak Hike
  • Grade 2 and 3 Space Camp over sleepover at CIS
  • KG/Grade 1 day visit to Adlawon Vacation Farm
  • KG/Grade 1 book and furniture project to support Pulang Bato Elementary School

Thanks must go to our wonderful team of elementary teachers who have worked so hard and partnered so closely with your children to make design these experiences.

Grade 4 Camp

I’m so excited for February! We are going to have camp outside of school for two nights! I know I did this last year when I was in G3, but at that time it was in school, and now it’s outside school. When I was in G3 my teacher was Ms. Anjana. She was nice, she let us play Twister and we watched a movie called Ice Age. Later, half of the class saw the moon but the other half was already sleeping. Those who saw the moon, we slept
around 11 or 12pm. The next morning we ate pancakes with syrup.

This year I ‘m  just more excited, I think it’s because it’s for two nights and I’m going with our new teachers called Mr. Sten and Ms. Carolyn! I wonder where we will go and are we actually going to sleep in tents?

The Music Man Production

by Stefanny Hermias, Drama Teacher & Head of Production

The Music Man Production was the culmination of five months of rehearsals and hard work put in by the students in elementary and middle/high school. A big THANK YOU to all the teachers and staff who worked behind the scenes to make this production a reality.  Kudos to the cast and crew for giving us an awesome show last weekend!

Here are a few comments from the cast:

I really enjoyed the production. It was a great experience. I got to meet a lot of new amazing people. It was very tiring at times but it was all worth it in the end. I really loved the experience even though I had a smaller role. We all cooperated with each other so well that when the last show finished I didn’t want it to be over! I felt so nostalgic seeing the decor from the production still up in the assembly on Monday! I will join the production next year, too! I would like to thank Miss Stefanny for giving me this experience! AADYA, Grade 6 

This year’s production, The Music Man, was quite the experience. As one of the dancers, the others and I experienced through the stress of learning the dances by ourselves and teaching the dances to the other “townspeople” as well. Before the actual performance, we had to promote the production by dancing during assemblies and the school’s Christmas Bazaar in Oakridge, so we crammed to learn the dances in time. I felt extremely overwhelmed after all the shows we had done and sad that we were no longer going to be performing. Overall, I would say that despite all the challenges and stress we faced, the outcome was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew. LEA, Grade 9

I enjoy acting yet it was never the first thing I’d want to do in a musical. I’m glad I tried it out because I never knew how fun it was to be acting on stage in different settings and costumes. Performing in general was so thrilling with the lights, the cameras, the microphones, and the amazing backdrops. True, there have been times where hope was lost, but we pulled through anyway. Looking back, I feel proud and satisfied. Overall, it was a great experience and I’ve learned a lot from it! KATRINA, Grade 9 

Joining this years’ school production The Music Man was an arduous but rewarding experience. Weeks and months of practicing and acting really took a lot of time, but when we got to the final performance it was all worth it. The day of the first show I was extremely nervous, worrying over the little mistakes and if I was going to get something wrong. However, I tried my best and put full energy into every show and I have absolutely no regrets. It was really fun getting to meet new people, make friends, and along the way have fun to make a remarkable recreation of an established musical. Altogether, I wish the best and congratulate everyone involved in this production for absolutely putting their hearts and souls into it, and I’ll never forget it. SEAN, Grade 9

Our production “The Music Man” took 6 months to prepare. The beginning stages of practice were relaxing because at that time we were still trying to adapt and create ideas to perform a certain scene. However, as time came by it started  to get challenging because of the amount of time we had to stay after school for practices (especially being an IB student). The fact that we had to show commitment towards our play meant that I was able to apply the ATL skills: self-management skills. Self-management skills aren’t the only thing that could be applied to production, but risk-taking and social skills can also be applied here. Although production was a tiring process overall, it was all worth it in the end. I was able to meet new people and create new friends. Not only that, I was able to realize my strengths as an actor. All in all, I am proud of all my efforts that I put in production. Looking back at the production it may not be perfect, but it was strong enough to make the time we exerted worth it. Whatever the outcome was, it’s always the journey that matters.  MASAKO, Grade 11

Dragon’s Print Club

Dragon’s Print is back for the second semester with two sweet surprises! First, please enjoy “0214”, a playlist curated by Karen Y. that will pull at your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day. We recommend listening to the songs in order as they tell a story–from falling in love, breaking your heart, and moving on.

Afterwards, learn how to express your affection with a list of pick-up lines from all over the world. If you’ve been struggling to find the right words to talk to someone, maybe you’ll find them in a different language.

You can find both the playlist and the pick-up lines on our website,

Grade 11 & 12 IB Art Exhibition

by Ms. Geraldine Ancajas Jumao-as, IB Visual Arts/Design Teacher

The IB Visual Arts 11 and 12 students opened their exhibit titled “Conflict” last Feb. 12, 2020 at Ayala Malls Central Bloc.  “Conflict” showcases the work done by the Senior IB Visual Arts students and the Junior Visual Arts students exploring a wide variety of themes and media.  This year’s show is located at 2nd Floor Bridgeway-Padriga, Near Watsons and will be open until the 26th of February.  The exhibit commenced with an opening reception on the 12th with performances from the talented Grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 Band students, speeches from our School Principal, Mr. Wood and Superintendent, Dr. Underwood, and a formal cutting of the ribbon.

It was a worthwhile evening indeed as numerous people including parents, relatives, School Administration, teachers and students came by to support these students for their hard work.

Students Reflections:

I thought the art exhibit was a success; I really enjoyed presenting my artwork to the school community and the public. I was also able to play in the band after half a year, so that was an added bonus for me. As the one who put together the program, I am surprised that the program went really well but it surprised me as well that it went so fast.  Zandro, Gr. 11

The art exhibit was a really thrilling experience. It allowed me to express my artwork to my family, friends, and to people which I believe as an artist, is one of the best things an artist can do. – Kevin, Gr. 11

I like the setup because there was enough space to move around and everything could be easily located. People got to learn about the concept of conflict from different perspectives. So the concept is relatable and a lot of the spectators had questions. –Denise, Gr. 11

The art exhibition this year was fantastic, a lot more parents came to support the event and a number of individuals in the Ayala vicinity were interested and wanted to learn more about our artworks. The performance from the CIS band was excellent, the songs selected were recognizable and a crowd started to form as they played. The artworks featured on the second floor of the Ayala Central Bloc mall display the wonderful abilities of the grade 11 and 12 students and we highly recommend that you view the works in the exhibition. – Liam, Gr. 12

As a senior, this was my second time participating in the annual Grade 11 and 12 IB art exhibitions. I always look forward to displaying my work because I believe it is a way for me to share my ideas and thoughts with the public. Above that, it is also interesting to hear different interpretations of your own artwork from a fresh perspective. Most importantly, this exhibition is meaningful to all of us as it commemorates the progress we have made as art students. – Alya, Gr. 12

During our Art exhibit yesterday, I exhibited two pieces. My first piece is a 5 series embroidery piece about Seasons and the second piece is a 3 series pen on paper piece. I was able to talk to different people about the significance of my artwork. A lot of the audience were amazed with the details that I incorporated. Through this event, I learned how different people interpret my artwork. – Chinatsu, Gr. 12

Sports and Activities News

PTA Announcement

College/University Visits (Feb-March 2020)

by  Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison

All visits are open to interested students and parents. Feel free to join in any of the sessions in the schedules below.

February 26 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of British Columbia (Canada)
February 28 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Dragons Dome- Aviation Institute of Maintenance
- Columbia College Chicago
- Embry-riddle Aeronautical University
- Hawaii Pacific University
- Johns Hopkins University School of Education
- Kent State University
- Missouri Western State University
- New York Film Academy
- Nova Southeastern University
- Ohio University
- Pima Community College
- San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley
- Savannah College of Art & Design
- South Puget Sound
- Stony Brook University
- University of Nevada, Reno
- University of Arizona
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Virginia Tech University
March 2 - Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Bond University (Australia)
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)
March 3 - Tuesday9:15 - 10:30AM - Rm 311Canadian Education Fair
And an Info Session on the Canadian Visa Stream
1. Algonquin College
2. Bow Valley College
3. Cambrian College
4. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
5. Fanshawe College
6. Kwantlen Polytechnic University
7. Mohawk College
8. NorQuest College
9. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
10. Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology
11. Northern Lights College
12. Red Deer College
13. Seneca
14. Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology
15. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
16. St. Lawrence College
17. University of the Fraser Valley
March 11 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Griffith University (Australia)
March 13 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)
March 19 Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Redlands (USA)
Creighton University (USA)
Whitworth University (USA)
San Jose State University (USA)

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

2019-2010 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject TestsApril 3, 2020

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

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

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Newsflash: February 7, 2020

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Our big event in the MHS this week has been making final preparations for the school production of The Music Man. When we include the backstage crew, the musicians, and the stage performers, this production will involve over a third percent of our student body. It is wonderful to see so many students, guided and assisted by so many dedicated teachers, come together to make something as complicated as a musical production a reality and we wish them the very best this weekend.

Aside from the production, this has been a typical week in the Middle and High School; however, typical for us means that teachers have worked hard to intentionally engineer learning experiences that are both enjoyable for students and also help to make the content accessible and meaningful for them. The learning experiences highlighted below also encourage students to understand, question, and analyze ideas in order to master and deepen their understanding of the content.

Grade 7 English students were on their feet competing to spell out challenging words like jowls and muttering in turns. They had to focus and listen to each other to get the next letter right in order to remain in the game.

Students then transitioned seamlessly into a session of group work where they discussed the novel they are studying. Designated group “directors” led their groups to evaluate specific passages and apply their understanding of specific literary features in their analysis.

In Grade 9 science our students examined the stomata of leaves and the composition of onion skin, examining the stoma cells to get a clearer picture of how cell respiration and photosynthesis occurs and view the actual cell structures wherein those processes occur. When I asked students about why they would want to explore the process, they responded that it was to gain a better idea of concepts they had studied and view the plant cells in reality.

In Drama class our Grade 8 students, who just began the course at the start of the semester, were building their confidence, sense of stage presence, and blocking skills by creating and filming their own music videos.

Our Mandarin classes have continued with our New Year’s focus of learning and embracing Chinese culture as they prepared dumplings and other traditional food items, while learning the vocabulary associated with those delicacies. In the combined grade 8 and 9 Mandarin class, groups competed to produce Chinese dishes that were not only delicious, but were evaluated on their presentation and aesthetic appeal.

Our Grade 11 TOK students are already looking forward to next year as they prepare and present Mock Presentations using the assessment rubric that will be used next year on their Formal IB TOK Presentations. TOK is a unique course and is a core component of the IBDP program which trains and encourages students to evaluate ways of knowledge and areas of knowledge as they develop their critical thinking skills. IN TOK presentations, we measure students’ understanding of knowledge claims and questions in relation to self-chosen real life situations.

Our Grade 11 IB Biology classes conducted an experiment to measure the reactions of catalase to substances with differing ph levels in order to reinforce students’ theoretical understanding of enzymes. They used cut up cubes of pig liver for their experiment.

Catalase is found in all living things, including humans, and acts as a catalyzing enzyme in the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (which is a by-product of metabolism in cells). Catalase is able to break down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, which are both substances the body can use. Students were not only able to measure the reaction of the catalase, but also understand why this process is relevant to our lives. 

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community

In response to the international concerns around the Coronavirus, CIS continues to be very aware of the international and local news, and while not overreacting to the threat, we still want to take it seriously. You will see in each class that additional hand sanitizers have been added and teachers are talking within students about the importance of hand cleaning. Hand cleaning has been identified by WHO as the most effective defense against the Coronavirus.

Thinking About Student Assessment

This morning, Friday 7th February several parents met together for our session on Assessment in the PYP. This was an enjoyable time of learning together, understanding how the world is changing, and how we as the learning community of parents, students and teachers are responding to 21st century changes. One of the ideas we explored this morning was the Factory Model of Education. In 1905, Ellwood Cubberley, The Dean of Education at Stanford University made this statement;

“Our schools are, in a sense, factories, in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life. The specifications for manufacturing come from the demands of 20th Century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.”

Words like ‘work’, ‘tasks’, ‘performance’, ‘compliance’, and ‘achievement’ come from this metaphor of school as a factory. Look at the similarities between factories and schools in these images from the early 20th Century.

Jean Piaget, however, began to share a different metaphor of school in the minds of forward-thinking educators.  One of his famous quotes stated;
“The principle goal of education is to create humans who are capable of doing new things — not simply repeating what other generations have done – humans who are creative, inventive, and discoverers.”
The new metaphor of school uses words like ‘play’, ‘learning’, ‘engagement’, ‘passion’, and ‘perseverance’. The reason for this change taking place is because society is changing, and the needs of society are changing. Fortunately, schools are changing, as you can see in the images below. There are similarities between schools and workplaces in these images.

Because society is changing, our assessment practices are also changing. As parents and educators we are beginning to asking ourselves questions like;

  • Why do we place so much value on an ‘A’?
  • Who decides what equals an ‘A’?
  • What does an ‘A’ really mean?

In the IBPYP our goal is to develop Assessment Capable Learners. These are learners who;

  • Know what they are learning
  • Know why they are learning
  • Are able to assess themselves against transparent criteria and standards
  • Know what they have to do to improve their learning

Furthermore, we want to develop an assessment capable community. This means that parents, students, and teachers partner to engage in learning and assessment together. This is why CIS highly values parent and student input into our school conferences. It is really difficult to talk about a student’s learning and progress if the learner is not present.

To finish, please watch this short video of a Grade 3 Assessment Capable Learner. This student describes how they assess themselves without sitting a test, and without being given an ‘A’ by the teacher.

Have a  lovely weekend.

Mangrove Planting

by Grades 2 & 3

College & University Acceptances Class of 2020

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Below is the partial list of acceptances for the seniors in the early round of applications. Most universities globally will release decisions in March and April.

College/University Visits for Jan-March 2020

by  Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison

Open to Interested students and parents

February 26 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of British Columbia (Canada)
February 28 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Dragon’s DomeAviation Institute of Maintenance
Hawaii Pacific University
Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Kent State University
Missouri Western State University
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio University
Pima Community College
San Mateo Colleges of the Silicon Valley
SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Stony Brook University
SUNY Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Asia - Virginia Tech University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
South Puget Sound
March 2 - Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Bond University (Australia)
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)
March 3 - Tuesday9:15 - 10:30AM - Rm 311Canadian Education Fair
And an Info Session on the Canadian Visa Stream
1. Algonquin College
2. Bow Valley College
3. Cambrian College
4. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
5. Fanshawe College
6. Kwantlen Polytechnic University
7. Mohawk College
8. NorQuest College
9. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
10. Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology
11. Northern Lights College
12. Red Deer College
13. Seneca
14. Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology
15. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
16. St. Lawrence College
17. University of the Fraser Valley
March 11 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Griffith University (Australia)
March 13 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)
March 19 - Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Redlands (USA)
Creighton University (USA)
Whitworth University (USA)
San Jose State University (USA)

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

2019-2010 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject TestsApril 3, 2020

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

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

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Newsflash: January 31, 2020

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease update

An official  Info Brief was emailed to all registered parent emails yesterday with a comprehensive update of the current Coronavirus (now officially being called 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease by the WHO). Please ensure you read this email (and all Info Briefs) promptly to ensure you are aware of schools plans in response to the virus spread.

If you did not received this email, please check your spam box first, and then contact your divisional secretary to check your email address (please ensure you update your contact details with the school immediately if they change so as to ensure you are getting our communications, and are reachable when needed. 

I would like to highlight the following from the Info Brief:

  • CIS is currently not accepting walk-in visitors (visitors must rearrange their visit in order to allow us to screen them for potential threat).
  • If you have travelled outside of Cebu within the past 14 days, please inform our clinic ( stating when and where you travelled, and any info regarding the potential exposure you may have had.
  • Please keep your child home if they have any flu-like symptoms. You need to obtain a doctor’s note before returning to school. All returning students must check in to the clinic with their medical note upon return before going to class.
  • Field-trips to high risk areas not permitted (any threats to be identified on Risk Assessment Form and trip viability considered). Our Feb 18-21 WWW trips are being reviewed, but please note under our Threat Matrix protocols, many are still viable at this point, while others may need to be cancelled  depending on the risk assessment of the particular trip.

The health and safety of our students entire school community is our highest priority. We will constantly do our best to  ensure we use the most appropriate risk mitigation procedures possible to address the threats we are facing.

Notice of Regular Corporation Meeting

Then General Membership Meeting for all CIS Corporation Member will be on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm at the Olive and Walnut Room, Oakridge Executive Club, AS Fortuna Street, Mandaue City.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Chinese New Year Assembly

Our Mandarin students across all MHS grade levels have been working hard over the past weeks in their classes to prepare for the celebration of Chinese New Year, and we were able to share various aspects of Chinese culture in our school-wide assembly on Monday morning. It is exciting that our students are able to learn not only the Mandarin language at CIS, but also explore the culture which provides a context for the language and then share it with the broader CIS community.

Our assembly included a wide range of performances and experiences unique to Chinese culture including a dragon dance, fan dances, Mandarin songs, Kuaiban (wishes for the New Year) and Tai Chi. It was wonderful to see such a diverse array of performances representing various aspects of Chinese culture. Thank you to our Mandarin teachers for coaching and preparing our students. Students, we appreciate your talent, skills, and having the courage to perform.

Extended Essay Cafe

As many of you know, a core component of the IB Diploma Program is the Extended Essay, or EE for short. Our students spend a year and a half working on this written research project in the subject of their choice and with the help of a faculty supervisor. The essay is a 3000-4000 product which prepares them very well for the type of paper they will craft at university.

In order to celebrate their completion of this rigorous endeavor, Cebu International School held its second annual EE Cafe on January 28th and 29th. Over these two sessions, our Grade 12 students were given the opportunity to present their findings to faculty and fellow students. Additionally, they discussed the process, including the challenges and triumphs, of such a research project. 

This was also a symbolic act for the students, allowing them to heave a sigh of relief now that their EE journey is at an end. Finally, this event gave our grade 10 and 11 students further insight into what they will need to do in the road ahead.

Archival EcoHouse Field Trip

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

Our Grade 6 and 8 students this week kicked off their Interdisciplinary Units (IDU’s) with a field trip to the Archival EcoHouse and participated in workshops with members of the “Light of Hope Foundation.” An IDU in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) is when two or more disciplines come together to teach a unit for a specific purpose. That purpose could be aesthetic/literary synthesis, personal expression, cross-over tooling, complex explanation (students draw on expertise from more than one discipline to develop a more complete or complex understanding of a phenomenon), contextualization, or finding a practical solution to a real world problem.

Over the course of the Third Quarter the disciplines of Science and Design will collaborate to investigate concepts relating to energy and sustainability. Grade 6 students will be designing solar powered lanterns using the principles of parallel and series electrical systems which will be donated to the victims of the Taal volcano eruption and their families. One of the biggest challenges will be to produce a product that is both “outside proof” and generates enough energy to power a 5 watt bulb.  Grade 8 students will be looking at how much energy is lost or wasted when it is converted from one form to another. They will be looking at designing innovative solutions that can lead to more sustainable uses of resources.

As an introduction, students visited the Archival EcoHouse where they saw first hand some innovative ideas in sustainable living. Amongst these were rainwater catchment systems, solar panels, aquaponics and tree towers. There were also excellent examples of recycling everyday waste with plastic reinforced cement bricks, recycled wood, and vermiculture, where worms are used to break down organic substances. The day continued into the afternoon with students learning about and experimenting with harnessing solar power in a workshop given by the team from the “Light of Hope Foundation.”

Our students reflected that:

I think how the people that live in the eco-house used solar panels to power their entire house really stood out for me. I learned how to create a simple solar-powered lamp that does not require a lot of money, it is easy to make and it can light up a large area. It influenced me that every little action can affect global warming. I would change anything about this trip because I think it was perfect. The reason that I say this is because we first learned about how solar energy can be used and then we learned how to create one.-  Ziyang 

What stood out to me was the amount of waste the worms could produce, I was surprised that their excrement could be used as fertilizer. I was able to learn about how the eco-house sufficiently uses everything they can to reduce waste, including compressing non-biodegradable items into bricks used for paths, as well as collecting rainwater into the pond. I learned that even at home, there are a lot of ways to save our habitat little by little. I have always thought that using it (solar-powered products) was more than unnecessary due to some of its expenses on the market. However, I now understand how quickly our world will drown in plastic and waste. I think that those products could actually benefit and help out with parts of the global warming crisis, and can reduce the number of carbon emissions produced by non-renewable sources of energy.Yi Chen

Thank you to our Grade 6 and 8 Science and Design teachers, Ms. Nice, Mr. Ron, Ms. Christine, and Ms. Gerri for putting these excellent units together.

Grade 8 Mural Unveiling

by Mr. Ron de Villa, Design Teacher

A wall by the CIS parking grounds is now occupied by a colorful display adding to the current murals that represent our school’s global connectedness. Some 48 hands were on deck for the creation of these murals, which took countless hours to complete. After months of hard work by our Grade 8 students, 6 new murals were unveiled on January 21st.

Weeks before, the students planned to create murals based on the key concept of communities, focusing on the ideas of fairness and sustainable development. As the students went through the design process, they also needed to keep an eye out for some important elements as mural paintings require their designs to be very large and would reflect the community it is placed in.

It was a delight to be able to see all the brainstorming and planning, discussions, designing and redesigning, and students’ creativity evident in these murals – showcased for all to ponder on. As they unveiled their creation, the students were able to deliver quite clearly and articulately what messages they intended to convey through these amazing works. 

By: Bella, Zeke, Esther and Max
By: Sofia, Zhandy, Maki and Jack
By: Soowan, Dennis, Natalie and Bryan
By: Kathleen, Jandra, Dongmin and Eric
By: Ami, Rebecca, Sam and Ryan
By: Mahati, Liam, Vincent and Minseong

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Naturally the pressing issue on many of our minds to the Coronavirus and how to manage its spread. You will be aware from the communications shared with the CIS community by Dr. Underwood, our school superintendent, that the school is taking this situation very seriously and we are acting on the most up to date and accurate information possible through our various official sources. It is also very important that as a school community we do not overreact or become fearful by listening to the many untruths circulating through social media or through general conversation, as these untruths can cause unnecessary worry among our CIS families. I want to let you know however that CIS doing all it can to monitor and manage the situation.

As always, regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and water is still the most effective way to control the spread of any sickness, including the Cronoa virus. The second most effective way of preventing the spread of is though regular use of alcohol-based hand gels, but this is secondary to soap and water. It astounds me the number of times I am in a bathroom and see both adults and children exit without stopping to wash their hands. Many of us do not take the time to wash hands before eating either. CIS is currently stepping up is vigilance in ensuring all children and adults are regularly and thoroughly cleaning their hands.

The second way CIS ensures our environment remains hygienic and clean is by cleaning all classroom surfaces daily with disinfectant. This happens every day and is one of the reasons sickness is controlled well within the CIS environment.  We also use ultraviolet light machines in classrooms on a regular basis, and currently, every classroom receives a 30 minute deep clean using ultraviolet lights once a week, in addition to the daily cleaning with disinfectant. But remember, our most effective defense is thorough and regular hand-washing.

The PYP Exhibition

The CIS Grade 5 students are currently embarking on their PYP Exhibition (PYPx) journey. The PYPx is the final significant learning experience for students in the PYP programme and is a challenging journey where students are guided to use the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they have developed throughout their time in the PYP to investigate and take action around an area of personal interest or personal passion.

The Central Idea (major focus area) for the PYPx is;
Through our inquiry, we can discover responsible ways to influence change in the world around us.
The deep understandings the students are working toward are;

  • To realize I can have a voice in this world that can influence change

  • That I have a responsibility to know the impact of my personal choices

  • That I will develop and use the skills of reflection and metacognition to make create personal growth and change

  • To create sustainable action

Throughout the PYPx learning journey, students will be seeking community members to interview and finding local businesses, NGO’s and volunteer organizations to visit. The PYPx is a whole school project, not just a grade 5 process and we would value any input you may be able to offer. Recently one of our parents has put us in contact with a local advocate who is working to reduce single-use plastics in the Philippines. This is one fine example of how community members can assist with the PYPx learning journey. If you feel you are able to support this learning process in any way, please do talk to one of us at school.

Grade 4 and 5 exploring scientific thinking by testing constants and variables using Coke and Mentos.

Mangrove Planting

by Grades 2 & 3

Book Drive

by KG and Grade 1 Team

Dear Parents,

We are looking forward to Week Without Walls.

During this week we will be hosting a local school for a playdate.

The KG and Grade 1 classes would also like to take this opportunity to donate picture books that are either new or used that are in a reasonable condition.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could contribute and place these books in the lobby of the elementary school beginning next week.

Thank you

College/Career News

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison

College/University Visits for Jan-March 2020

February 3 Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Navarra (Spain)
February 4 Tuesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Macquarie University (Australia)
February 5 Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Temple University (Japan)
February 26 Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of British Columbia (Canada)
February 28 Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Venue: Dragon’s Dome Aviation Institute of Maintenance
Hawaii Pacific University
Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Kent State University
Missouri Western State University
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio University
Pima Community College
San Mateo Colleges of the Silicon Valley
SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Stony Brook University
SUNY Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Asia
Virginia Tech University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
South Puget Sound
March 2 Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Bond University (Australia)
March 3 Tuesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)
March 4 Wednesday9:15 - 10:30AM - Canteen AnnexEmbassy of Canada
- Studying in Canada
- Visa Processing
March 11 Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Griffith University (Australia)
March 13 Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)
March 19 Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Redlands (USA)
Creighton University (USA)
Whitworth University (USA)
San Jose State University (USA)

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

2019-2010TestRegistration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject TestsApril 3, 2020

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

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

Sports, CAS, and Activities News

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Sports & Activities Director

ISAC 2 @ British School Manila

We congratulate our ISAC teams for a successful second season of ISAC. Our boys football team bagged the first runner up trophy and girls basketball is sixth place this year. Go dragons. 

We also congratulate the well deserved ISAC All star awardees, Summer, Liam S., Yoji and Tatsu. 

CAS Project in Progress

Led by: Venise and Dana 

Every Saturday, young volunteers from Kalinangan Youth Foundation, a non-profit service organization, visit Barangay Huyong Huyong to teach the kids Math, English, and Catechism. This Barangay—or community—is located within a quarry in the mountain province of Cebu, right along the Pit-Os road. 

During these visits, the volunteers gather a group of children around a “manggahan”, which is an open area surrounded by mango trees. The children sit on the soil or on top of each other as they try to listen raptly to whatever lesson the volunteers are giving. 

This is not an ideal teaching situation.

While these kids do get a form of education, they are not privileged with the right environment for growth and development. They do not have a proper place to learn within the community, which makes it difficult for volunteers to facilitate activities. Moreover, the “manggahan” is not a conducive place for learning as it serves as open grounds for children to get easily distracted, and most end up playing with each other halfway through the session.

We felt that this was a problem that needed to be addressed. There is no worth in coming every Saturday to teach kids when the quality of education is not the best that it can be. So we asked ourselves: “What can we do to give the kids a better environment for learning?”

First things first: we give them a proper place to sit. There is an old dilapidated chapel located at the center of the community. It is used only during Sundays to facilitate Mass, and during the rest of the week it remains unused. We thought it was the perfect place to relocate; however, there were no chairs in the chapel. Even if we brought the kids there, the situation would remain the same: they would sit on the floor, and they would get sidetracked.

In light of this, we decided to raise funds for chairs and a table. We would remodel the chapel to become a classroom on Saturdays, while still functioning as a Church on Sundays. This meant funding Monobloc chairs and foldable tables, which are both easily kept.

So we raised funds. We gathered donated clothes, bedsheets and belongings to sell during a Garage Sale held in Mahogany last November 30, 2019. We raised awareness about our cause and were blessed with generous donations as well. We held our last sale last Saturday, January 25, and we placed an order for the chairs and the tables too. These will soon be placed in the chapel, and hopefully the children and the volunteers will have a much more meaningful—and much more fun—environment for learning!

But the project doesn’t just end there. With the funds left over, we plan to renovate the chapel. Tiles have already been obtained to cover the floor with, and we plan to place a proper gate in order to preserve the work done. We may also work with the children to paint the walls with vivid colors, and we will continue to volunteer every Saturday to make sure that our original goal is being met:

That these children receive the best quality education we can give them, even if it is only for one day every week.

After all, learning is essential to growth, and all children have the right to learn. 

Here’s to a successful and sustainable CAS project! Cheers!

Rummage Sale (WWW)

PTA Announcement

by PTA Board

Every year the PTA sponsors meals for the musical production cast and crew during the days of their dress rehearsals and performances. If you would  like to donate any amount (think the cost of a large pizza), please give your payment and the name of your family on business to Ms. Loida, the CIS Cashier, marked for the PTA Production Dinners.

Thank you as always for your support and involvement!

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Newsflash: January 24, 2020

Admin Notes

As our ISAC sports teams left to compete in basketball (girls) and soccer (boys) over the weekend in Manila, we were also making final preparations for our upcoming GIN conference (MHS) and Week Without Wall activities in February. The recent volcanic activity in Luzon and Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has caused some concern with these activities, so I wanted to make a brief comment here to update you on what we are doing to mitigate the heightened risks.

a) It is part of our regular protocols to carry out Risk Management Assessments (RMAs) for all trips. These include oculars of the sites to be visited (some overseas trips rely on 3rd party oculars), a thorough consideration of all possible risks and how to mitigate them, and investigation and research into specialist data (such as that provided by the CDC and other experts who know more about some of the risks).

b) If there is a high risk of health or safety, the trip is cancelled. This has already been done to an earlier WWW trip, for example. For others, there may be some risk still involved, but it could be determined that the risk is manageable, providing plans are in place to act on a risk immediately to ensure the safety of the students. An example of this is the current ISAC trip, where there are multiple “back-up” plans for all sorts of eventualities such as another eruption in the vicinity.

c) For events outside of Cebu involving travel, at the moment we are proceeding with plans, but will closely monitor the situation and may end up cancelling a trip if it becomes inadvisable to travel.

d) For potential school-wide threats, the school’s Crisis Management Team develop threat matrices in advance to ensure we have contingencies planned for in the event they happen. We have such a matrix for the Wuhan coronavirus, covering a comprehensive range of planned actions over three potential stages of an outbreak: The first level is when the global threat becomes known and we need to prepare for if it spreads, a medium-level threat plan for if the virus is confirmed to have reached Cebu, and a high-level threat plan for if the virus enters the CIS community. If you would like to know more about this matrix, please feel free to contact the school.

I would like to conclude with an assurance that the safety of our students is a paramount concern for us, so all decisions are focused on what we can do to ensure they are safe. As we prepare for activities that may have extraordinary threats, we will inform you of decisions that are being made, with reasons, so as to ensure you are kept fully aware of what is being planned. We can but hope the current threats to our trips diminish soon, but we must be prepared to face them if they do not, while attempting to carry on with our program as best we can.

Xīn nián kuài lè  (Happy Chinese New Year), and enjoy the long weekend. Students, see you back at school next Tuesday!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood (CIS Superintendent)

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

One privilege we have within an International school community is the opportunity to celebrate the various nationalities and cultures represented in the school.  This week has been influenced by the build-up to the Chinese New Year celebrations, while last week was consumed by our Sinulog preparations. As international school stakeholders and advocates of the International Baccalaureate (IB), holding an international perspective and learning to value and appreciate the attributes of each culture we interact with is of enormous importance.

The ultimate goal of the IB is to develop internationally minded people. These are people who are inquiring, knowledgeable and deeply caring, and who realize that may all hold differing perspectives, values and beliefs, yet still come together peacefully to collaborate around important issues. It is about developing a perspective of deep mutual respect and appreciation, being aware of one’s impact on the world around us and having a commitment to life long learning. And these are the attributes we need, and our children need to successfully navigate the world of tomorrow.

School is about ensuring children can read, write and do mathematics, but it is also so much more than this. It is the passionate, internationally-minded, life long learners who will lead tomorrow’s world. Today’s Chinese New Year’s Celebrations here at CIS was an important part of this.

I trust you all have a wonderful Chinese New Year.

Mandarin Class

by Ms. Jinhua Zou, ES Mandarin Teacher

新(xīn)年(nián)好(háo)!Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! 

Chinese New Year is a traditional festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the Lunar Calendar. January 25 is the date of Chinese Lunar New Year in 2020. To celebrate the Year of the Rat, the Elementary School Mandarin students showcased various performances to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Beginning the assembly on Friday January 24th the Elementary School students performed musical acts coupled with dance performances. During the Elementary School Friday Assembly, Jia Qi played a wonderful piano piece as an opening for this special event. Students from Grades 4 and 5 brought the dragon and lion dance to the stage to share this festive portrayal with the audience. Kindergarten and Grade 1 students coupled with their guest singer Jia Lei sang “Happy New Year” to deliver the festival vibes. The Grade 3 students presented a story about the Monster “Nian” to explain both why and how Chinese people celebrate the New Year. Finally, students from Grade 2 presented an amusing song titled “12 Zodiac Animals”. Over the course of this holiday period ES Mandarin Class students also enjoyed learning about Chinese cultures during interactive “Kahoot!” competitions. This offered students a fun and challenging way to learn about Chinese Lunar New Year.

During the lead up to the assembly commemoration Elementary School Mandarin students also did several culture-related activities. The students learned how to prepare and cook dumplings with their guests from Spanish and EAL class. Afterwards they shared different dumplings flavors with their friends and teachers. They also practiced Chinese paper cutting. This involves cutting the fish and character of “春(chūn)”(Spring) and pasting on the windows outside of the Mandarin classroom. Mandarin Ab initio students from Grade 11 also joined the celebrations during class time. These students practiced writing “福(fú)” (luckiness) with brushes onto red rice paper. As one of the most important holidays in Asia Chinese New Year is best celebrated through its traditions and with those we care about.

The Mandarin students wish you all:

Happy New Year! 新(xīn)年(nián)快(kuài)乐(lè),恭(gōng)喜(xǐ)发(fā)财(cái)!

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

This has been a busy week in the MHS, as students have worked hard to prepare for next week’s Chinese New Year celebration, have made final preparations for the ISAC competition (including a school-wide Pep Rally on Monday), and also prepared for the upcoming GIN and MUN conferences. We have also conducted meetings during ELO sessions to get ready for our coming Week Without Walls and are gearing up for our school production in two weeks. Of course we continue to be busy learning and mastering subject content and skills in the classroom. It is wonderful to be a part of a joyful school where students are engaged and so much constructive activity abounds, and also where students greet me each day with a smiling face and a kind word.

Parent Coffee on Academic Integrity

On Wednesday morning we held our most recent parent coffee, during which Ms. Laplana and I led a discussion on the subject of academic integrity. We had a strong turnout of parents and enjoyed a lively conversation on this important topic. We were able to establish a clearer understanding of academic integrity and the various ways students can find themselves, whether intended or not, committing academic misconduct. Parent table groups examined scenarios in order to evaluate examples of misconduct and what the students in those scenarios might have done to avoid committing these infractions.

As we explained, ultimately, academic integrity is a choice to act in a responsible way whereby others can have trust in us as individuals. It is the foundation for ethical decision-making and behavior in the production of legitimate, authentic and honest scholarly work. If we had to summarize the essence of academic honesty, it would be that:

We give credit to others for their words

We give credit to others for their ideas

As we discussed, most students, when they commit academic misconduct, do so because they are afraid- either fearful that their work is not at a high enough level of quality to earn a top grade, panicking because they don’t have enough time, or fearful of disappointing their teacher by not meeting a deadline. As I shared in the parent meeting, it is much better for our students to be honest and open with their teachers, who genuinely care for them and desire to help them. It is far better for them to admit that an assignment is not finished and that they need an extension than to panic and submit work that is not entirely their own.

The importance of academic integrity at a rigorous school cannot be over-emphasized. Since we derive our measurement of student mastery of content and skills from the work they produce, if students are not honest about that work, our entire process of assessment is compromised. It is impossible for us to gain an accurate sense of a student’s true understanding and their mastery of content and skills if the work they submit is not their own. Also, since such acts might cover over a student’s weaknesses, it may impede our ability to recognize deficiencies and, as a consequence, effectively work with that student to help them improve.

Finally, we discussed the consequences of academic dishonesty. We really do believe that a violation of academic integrity creates a teachable moment, but also that the student must learn and not repeat the mistake. Because our focus is on learning rather than the grade which comes as a natural result, when a student is found to have committed academic misconduct for the first time, he or she is required to redo the assignment correctly. It is actually a benefit for our students to make such a mistake at this stage of life and learn a difficult lesson rather than later in life when the consequences could be much more severe.

Please find the link below to access the slides from our Parent Coffee presentation: Parent Coffee Morning presentation on academic integrity

Also find a link to the HUB, where you can find the Student Parent Handbook in the documents tab on the left, which contains our official school policies on academic integrity on pages 30-32.

2nd Annual EE Cafe

by Mr. Head of English Department / EE Coordinator

On Tuesday, January 28th and Wednesday, January 29th, Cebu International School will be hosting our 2nd annual EE Cafe. This is an opportunity for our grade 12 students to show off all of their hard work during the long, strenuous Extended Essay journey. We cordially invite members of the CIS community to attend and greatly encourage family members of the grade 12 students presenting to come and support them. The event will be held in the Media Center both days. On Tuesday, we will begin at 9:40 and on Wednesday at 9:15.

Alumni Spotlight

The Music Man School Production

Tickets are now available for sale!

Tickets for this year’s school production, “The Music Man” is now on sale and can be purchased at the CIS Cashier!

Tickets are ₱350 for reserved seats or ₱300 for general admission.

There are 3 shows this year:
Friday, February 7 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 8 at 2:00 pm & 6:30 pm

We hope to see you all there!!!!!

Clinic News

by Ms. Arlene Villa, School Nurse

PTA News

HAD & Sinulog Family Day

Last weekend was a fun event to commemorate a great Cebu tradition, the Sinulog Festival, as well as our 2nd House Activities Day for the year! We had 2 local contingents visit our school for a parade and field performance and we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch thanks to the PTA and committee. Enjoy the photos!

College/University Visits (Jan-March 2020)

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison

January 29 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Southville Global Education Network
February 3 - Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Navarra (Spain)
February 4 -Tuesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Macquarie University (Australia)
February 5 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Temple University (Japan)
February 26 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of British Columbia (Canada)
February 27 - Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Venue: TBCEducation USA Fair: (more institutions to confirm later)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Hawaii Pacific University
Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Nova Southeastern University
San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley
University at Albany, SUNY
College of Lake County
Ohio University
The University of Arizona
March 2 - Monday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Bond University (Australia)
March 11 - Wednesday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Griffith University (Australia)
March 13 - Friday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)
March 19 - Thursday9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311University of Redlands (USA)
Creighton University (USA)
Whitworth University (USA)
San Jose State University (USA)

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

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

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

2019-2010 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT only (no Subject Tests)February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020SAT & Subject TestsApril 3, 2020
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