Newsflash: June 4, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

We have just finished our last full week, and students are looking forward to our last few days together with mixed emotions. On one hand, I think it is fair to say we are all fairly tired after an eventful year and are looking forward to a nice summer break! On the other hand, classes have provided a sense of stability and connection – even if they have had to be virtual. We also now face the annual social upheaval caused by leaving community members. As I wrote in my Info Brief (sent to registered email addresses on June 1st), this is a sad annual occurrence whereby a few of our community members move on to new challenges around the world. On behalf of CIS, we wish all faculty, graduates, students, and families who are leaving best wishes as you continue on your journey, and we thank you for your contributions to CIS over your years at CIS.

For updated news regarding planning for next year, please refer to the June 1 Infobrief. Here is the schedule for the last day of school next Wednesday 9 June:
8:30 AM: G5 Moving Up Ceremony (recording*)
9:00 AM: G10 Moving Up Ceremony (recording*)
10:00 AM: Class Parties for Students (synchronous – in person)
11:00 AM: EOY Whole School Assembly (recording*)

*The link to these events will be distributed prior to the event via registered email

This will be our last full Newsflash as next week is a half week, however, there will be a short admin Newsflash next week to finish up the school year. End of Semester Two Reports for students will be also published on Wednesday 9 (you will receive an email notifying you when this has been done).

Have a wonderful weekend and I trust your last week is meaningful!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear CIS Community,

It is with some sadness that I write this Newsflash article. Not only is this the final Newsflash article from me for the year, but it is also my final CIS Newsflash ever. As I move on from CIS I, I have so many special memories to take with me,  yet I am sad to be moving on from such a special community.

It is these memories and reflections that cause all of us to be happy and grateful. Our interactions with students, and the memories we form together through the process of learning, are unforgettable. As a PYP school  we believe that learning is a social enterprise. Knowledge is constructed within a social context, and quality relationships are formed with the people that this knowledge is discovered with. It is often said that during times of hardship, our relationships with others deepen. Over these past 12 months, many of us have found aspects of our daily lives to be filled with hardship. Yet, as we reflect on this full year of remote learning, the connections we have with each other, within the CIS community are as strong as ever. It is this level of connection that I will miss the most. 

When preparing for this final Elementary Newsflash, I felt it would be appropriate to invite the most important people in our CIS community to contribute to the Newsflash article, our students. I connected with our talented group of CIS Educational Assistants and asked them to gather some information from our students about their memories throughout the 2020/2021 school year. Our students had so much to say, and our EA team did a simply fantastic job of collating these student voices for us. We asked the student three questions;

  • What did you like most about this year at school?
  • If you could change one thing about school this year, what would it be?
  • What has been your most memorable occasion this year?

In answer to the first question, a common theme from the students across the school was ‘learning with their friends each day’ with the various subjects that are offered by CIS. It seems that although we were not physically connected, the students still felt as though they had progressed academically, and had connected with their peers in meaningful ways. 

The second question brought a wave of expected responses that could be summarised with the statement, “We want to be back on campus together!” Everyone has missed the face to face connection that we all so desire as learners and as human beings. 

The third question then led to a wide range of interesting responses that indicate the students have connected meaningfully with the strong and rigorous academic and Social and Emotional Program of learning that has been designed by our dedicated team of CIS teachers and academic assistants.  

Early Years

  • I like when there’s a party, we play kahoot and eat snacks 
  •  I like it when I do many things and do  fun stuff like in PE. We do games and dance, and hear things.
  • I like learning alphabet and numbers

KG and Grade 1

  • My friends, it felt like we were all at school together
  • I like reading books and we take screenshots
  • Being with my family all the time, this made me very happy
  • Starting school and meeting new friends
  • PE because we can do push up, push up is my favorite exercise
  • Playing KAHOOT
  • The assemblies
  • Spending my time with Mommy and Daddy
  • Week Without Walls
  • Science experiments
  • My baby brother was born

Grade 2

  • The Christmas Pageant and Secret Santa wirth so many elves
  • Our Sharing the Planet unit
  •  It was nice to eat lunch together and roast marshmallows together during Week Without Walls. It felt like we were all at school together
  • 100 days of school and celebrating our birthdays virtually playing Kahoot!
  • Having a fun Friday social chat and a tell-a-joke day

Grade 3

  • Diorama making in Art class.
  • I liked the Christmas party. We had lots of fun games.
  • HAD was the most memorable occasion this year
  • My first day in Grade 3
  • Camp Chronos. We made s’mores and shared stories.
  • The ecosystem project 

Grade 4

  • Meeting  with my classmates
  • Doing remote learning for an entire year is quite memorable
  • HAD because we had a lot of activities and it was so fun!
  • The first call of Grade 4. I remember I was very happy to see my friends.
  • The 3-Way Conference. I felt so happy because I feel proud to share my activities with my mom.
  • Sinulog Celebration
  •  Book week! I enjoy reading books at home

Grade 5

  • Escape room with the MHS teachers. It was really fun and memorable. 
  • The PYP exhibition and it’s journey 
  • 3D book scenes from one of our design days.
  • Week without walls
  • Performing in the assembly
  • HAD 2
  • Many occasions were memorable for me

You can view the feedback slideshow here!

Feeling Grateful,

Glenn Davies
CIS Elementary Principal

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

Dear parents and members of our CIS community, 

We have come to the end of another academic year, and this is one I’m sure we will never forget. In light of the fact that Covid-19 radically altered the way we conducted school for the entire academic year, it is easy to forget all of the great things that have happened at CIS throughout the past 10 months. In taking a few moments to review retrospectively, we can see that we have still been able to have a great year, both in terms of our learning, but also in developing our students’ holistic growth.

This year’s final assessments in Grades 6-10 continue to be a positive shift in our assessment structure. While traditional exams may feel like a “gotcha” enterprise where students are trying to cover all content areas and predict pitfalls, it is not the intention of teachers to trap or trick them. When we are trying to cognitively challenge students, however, questions that ask them to apply their knowledge to a new situation may seem like a curveball, and not all learners have the proclivity to problem-solve the same way or at the same pace. Project-based (product and performance assessments) allow students to mull over problems and work toward solutions in a way that matches their unique learning styles.


This year we have been able to carry on with the majority of our events and activities that serve to sustain our school culture. We have also added some new events this year, like our new Grade 11 TOK Presentations, which reflect the changes in that specific course, and the MYP Personal Project Exhibition.

With our implementation of the MYP program, our Grade 10 students completed and hosted an exhibition to present their MYP Personal Projects. Last year’s Personal Projects were also commendable, and this year we showed further progress and demonstrated that the Personal Project is becoming an important and valued milestone within our CIS culture.

Some of our events we have been able to carry forward with this year are as follows. This is not an exhaustive list, but demonstrates a sample of the range and scope of our activities this year. In all cases, we have had to be innovative problem-solvers as we have sought to provide quality experiences within a remote learning context. While it’s almost always better to hold these events in person, it was definitely worth moving forward with them as best we could. In all cases, these virtual events required a team effort of teachers and CIS faculty, often students, and parents sometimes as well.

  • Weekly Opening Assemblies
  • Weekly After School Activities
  • Arts week
  • DP Visual Arts Exhibition
  • End-of-year celebrations, such as Moving up ceremonies and Graduation
  • End-of-semester and End-of-year assemblies
  • STEM Week
  • DP Visual Arts Exhibition
  • CIS Production
  • All 3 HAD Days (organized and led by our MHS StuCo—thank you to their faculty sponsor, Mr. Ron deVilla)
  • Week Without Walls
  • Culture week
  • Celebration of Learning

Thank you for a wonderful year and for all of your resilience, patience, and fortitude as we worked hard to make lemonade when life gave us lemons.

Grade 7 Math

This year has been an exciting opportunity for students to use technology to explore new content in their classes. In grade 7 Math the students have created online games, slide shows, inactive quizzes, videos, and more. One of the more recent units allowed us to look at transformations of images. While this is usually a lesson that involves a lot of graphing by hand, this year students were able to use the online graphing software GeoGebra. This tool allows students to graph images and equations and use built in tools to transform the graphs.

Once the students had practiced using the tools they were able to unleash their creative side and create a graph of reflections and rotations to design a kaleidoscope style image.  The interactive nature of this tool allows the students to then spin and change their image.

Here are screenshots of the designs the students made.

Here is a video of one of the designs being manipulated and rotated:

Grade 10 Visual Art

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, IB MYP/DP Visual Art Teacher

Art’ is one of the few words in the English language that shares the same origin in English, French and Italian. From its archaic French origin in the early 10th century, art meant ‘skill as a result of learning or practice’. Around that period of the Middle Ages, the word ‘art’ was utilized for English to also mean ‘skill in scholarship and learning’. At that point the distinction for art was generally between decorative art and applied art. It was not until aesthetic theories developed during the Italian Renaissance that the term ‘fine art’ would come to existence defining the highest art that allowed for the full expression and display of the artist’s skill and imagination. Historically, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry were considered as the five main fine art disciplines with the addition of theatre and dance to include performing arts. With the advent of technologies emerging during the industrial revolution leading to the present, opportunities for artists to explore new media developed into modern art-making forms such as film, photography, video, design, digital, and conceptual art. 

Visual art in the MYP arts curriculum reflects the collective concepts and culture of great thinkers in the arts enhancing the way in which our students approach art-making through a creative and stimulating process that aims to generate in them a strong sense of agency. The MYP acknowledges the contribution of different cultures and experiences throughout time adding a life-long experience of a wide range of creative and cultural dimensions of art activities to benefit students in their artistic development. An integral part of the MYP curriculum is the process of making ideas a reality through the application of the skills and practices of the visual arts. Students of the MYP Visual Arts study to understand art styles, art movements, artists’ practices, art terminology, and specific artworks to allow a language of visual communication to flourish. Through studio work, students develop their technical skills, observation skills, and intellectual aspects of visual art such as critical and creative thinking, providing them with the ability to incorporate ideas into their own work. 

The grade 10 (year 5) MYP visual art students recently concluded their unit for this quarter where they explored the statement of inquiry, ‘the effective application of symbols through art presents a narrative of creative expression’. In this unit grade 10 students explored the key concept of communication through the exchange or transfer of ideas and symbols to convey meaning. Students also considered the related concept of the audience; examining strategies for engaging the audience, identifying different types of audiences and how the audience–artist relationship affects and influences their work. Another related concept the students explored was narrative; a visual account of connected events; a story, which may be fictional or non-fictional, aimed to manipulate the viewpoint of the audience. Focusing on these concepts, students reflected on their personal concerns that they interpreted using an art form of their choice. By deconstructing the elements of art in an artwork and reconstructing them differently using symbols and visual narrative, students developed an artwork in response to the works of a particular genre, style or artist they have studied.

To view and appreciate the collective work of this year’s grade 10 MYP visual art students please visit the link below.

Grade 10 Visual Art Gallery

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

PH universities (Documents required)

If you are applying to Philippine universities, these three documents are usually on the list of requirements:  

  • Form 137 or 138
  • PSA birth certificate
  • Certificate of Good Moral Character

Form 137 is also called the Permanent Record Form which is equivalent to what we issue as the Transcript of Records.  This contains all your final grades from Grade 9 to the present.  Form 138 is the document that shows the student’s academic progress within the school year which is equivalent to our Report Cards which are released every quarter.

The PSA birth certificate is the document labeled “Certificate of Live Birth”(if Filipino) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.  Filipino citizens may request a copy through  this LINK and the document is delivered to your address for a reasonable fee. If you are a dual citizen, it is recommended that you use your Filipino citizenship when applying to a local university while indicating your other nationality if required. 

The Certificate of Good Moral Character is a letter issued by the school that you are of good standing and have no disciplinary issues.  This certificate can be obtained from the Registrar’s office.  Most Philippine universities have adopted an online application system and waived their entrance examinations since the pandemic.  For next school year, we are not certain if they will revert to their entrance exam system.  For more information, contact Ms. Basa at

UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS and FAIRS: (students & parents are welcome)


June 10 Thursday
8:00PM PH time


Alumni Chat Series Episode 6:  Annyeong Korea!
LINK to join (see posters below)
Alumni Guests:
Changwoo “Edge” Choi – CIS Class of 2011, Yonsei University
Yoori “Veronica” Seo – CIS Class of 2009, Dongguk University & Kaywon University of Art and Design
Minwoo Cho – CIS Class of 2017, Seoul National University
Chihoon Song – Class of 2017, Yonsei University 
Ko Eun “Chloe” Choi – Class of 2019, Hanyang University

June 16
8:30 – 9:30AM
PH time

Studying in Japan – Mini Fair (Japanese University Consortium)
LINK to join
Participating Universities:
University of Tsukuba
Tohoku University
Temple University – Japan Campus
Ritsumeikan University
Ritsumeikan – Asia Pacific University
Osaka University
Okayama University
Nagoya University of Commerce and Business
Nagoya University
Lakeland University Japan
Kyushu University
Kyoto University of Advanced Science
International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA) at Yamanashi Gakuin     University
International Christian University
Hiroshima University
Doshisha University

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Newsflash: May 28, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Today is the CIS Class of 2021 Graduation day.

Please join us for our virtual Graduation Ceremony tonight, premiering at 5 pm (link will be sent to registered email addresses).


Photo credit: Shayna Douglas on

Building your transition RAFT!

As we near the end of the school year, we are all faced with various levels of pending change. Students are finishing up their year and some families will be leaving, so there are upcoming changes we are being presented with. During this time of change, research has suggested that it is beneficial to consciously consider how transitions can affect us, and our family. The following is an adaptation of an article I have shared in the past so we can consider how to build a transition raft!

 David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken* outline the transition process as a normal process that uses the following associated feelings:


It is helpful to consider emotions involved during transitions, so as to understand and be ready to deal with any stress these emotions may cause. Failure to cope with these will result in an unhappy transition and poor re-engagement in your new environment. For students, this will certainly affect their social and academic achievements.

Dr. Pollock also developed the acronym and visual image “RAFT” to help explain pre-departure processes needed for successful transitions. Here is a summary for your reference:

 Reconciliation – Begin building your raft by asking yourself if you have any relationships that need mending. Is there any unfinished business between you and someone you are in a relationship with? This is the time to give and receive forgiveness. Bitterness and regret stemming from lack of closure and resolution inhibit good grief and adjustment to a new location.

 Affirmation – This is the time to thank the people who have been involved in your life. Affirm the relationships you have made and what they have meant to you. Take the time to tell people what you have learned from them and how grateful you are for them. Try to leave as little unsaid as possible when you leave a place.

 Farewells – Say good-byes to people, places, pets, and possessions that have mattered to you. Take lots of pictures. Take the time to say culturally appropriate good-byes. Some cultures require a lengthy departure process. Particularly difficult farewells are the ones that are generally rushed or put off, so plan ahead and give the farewell its due.

 Think destination – Think and dream about where you are going and what it will be like. Be very honest about the expectations you have for the people and situations that you are going to. Be honest with yourself about how you feel about this transition. Think ahead to what scares you or excites you about where you are going. Research the realities of your destination. If at all possible, put concrete plans in place.

 As we move into our last 2 weeks, please take time to build your RAFT as you transition, and go out of your way to help your friends build theirs. Consider how change may impact the feelings of all of our students whether they are leaving or not, as the process will help them face new situations as they move into a new grade, and as some of their friends and teachers leave.

 Have a great weekend!

*References & Credits:
– Third Culture Kids: The experience of growing up among worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken
– Adapted from:
– Class of 2021 Photo credit: Shayna Douglas on
– Raft Photo credit: Joshua Earle on

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear CIS Community,

The final days of school  for the 2020/2021 academic year are falling upon us. This past week has been a wonderful opportunity to review the learning growth of our students as they have prepared for the Celebration of Learning.  I know our teachers valued the opportunity to meet with each family who signed up for the Three-Way Conference, and we know our students were excited to share their Student-Led Conference sections of the day with you. As we draw toward the end of the year it is also promising that we see progress being made that will facilitate the return to the school campus next year, although this may be gradual at first,  with a hybrid learning model likely being employed in the initial stages as described by Dr. Underwood in previous publications.  We have all certainly made the very best of the last twelve months and we are all looking forward to being together as a community again.  Currently our teachers are completing the end of year formal written reports and these will be released to the community on the afternoon of Friday 4th June. Also next Friday, the elementary school will host the final ES assembly of the year and currently our student council team is working hard on creating this production.  

Amidst the end of the year business, it is valuable for us all to reflect on the incredible achievements of the past twelve months.  Both our CIS faculty and students have let no obstacle get in the way of their learning. Each class has a virtual classroom which reflects their school classroom and video conferencing has become the norm for us all, enabling us all to feel connected despite the physical barriers. I am incredibly proud of what each student has accomplished, they way each family has enabled this, and the perseverance and commitment of our CIS teaching faculty.  We never stop learning. 

Summer Family Directory
Over the summer period there are likely to be a number of families remaining in Cebu. Some of these families may be seeking to have playdates or social contact with other families. To assist with this CIS would like to provide an opt-in directory for those families who wish to connect. Only families who choose to share their contact details will be shared in this closed group.

If you would like to share your contact information, please send an email to the Elementary Secretary ( ) before June 9th, the final day of school. Please include the following information.

Student Name:
Student’s Class:
Contact name and phone number:                          Relationship to student:

Learning in Visual Arts 

Grade 5 has been exploring different Art Movements such as Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism and Pop-Art. In our Seesaw learning engagement, we identified the characteristics of each movement and looked at examples from some famous artists. The students then created an artwork inspired by that particular art style. 

Here are some of their artworks:

Jiwoo’s Pop-Art
Ghea’s Expressionism
Kuto’s Expressionism
Sinead’s Expressionism
Arianna’s Expressionism
Sinead’s Cubism

The Grade 4 students have been practicing to draw and shade shapes. As a culminating activity we moved towards creating 3D Shape sculptures. These are sculptures made using any materials that were available in the household with a goal of creating 3D Shapes.

Jiwon’s Shape sculpture, materials: toothpicks and scotch tape
Rhianna’s Shape sculpture, materials: toilet rolls & masking tape

For Celebration of Learning Day, the Grade 2 students had the choice of drawing one family member, focusing on facial expression or body gesture, or drawing their whole family, while making sure that the whole family sketch had a background, middle ground and foreground.

Abigail’s Family Portrait
Rhiley’s Family Portrait

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

We are approaching the end of the academic year in MHS, and I wanted to thank all of our parents for their support and trust and for partnering with the teachers and administration this year. We appreciate your trust and support. Given the unique challenges of remote learning, we are so proud of our students and what they have been able to accomplish this year.

I am sharing our End of Year Schedule for MHS, including our Assessment Schedule for next week. The MHS teachers have collaborated to create a schedule that we feel allows us to assess student learning appropriately while not overburdening them with too much work being due on any given day. Although our students are sometimes anxious about assessments (especially tests), these can actually be seen as an opportunity for students to powerfully demonstrate what they have learned and what they can do. With our shift to more product and performance assessments this is now the case more than ever. Students striving to reach the explicitly laid out Assessment Criteria means that they have a clear target to aim for as they complete these assessments.

The following schedule will apply to all students in grades 6-11 and to their respective courses. Each course will be allocated a 2-hour time slot for students to complete and/or submit their end-of-semester assessments. To help our students balance their final assessments, no additional assignments will be due during the period of June 1-4, unless it falls on the designated assessment day for that specific course according to the schedule above. This will serve to support our students’ success in all of their academic courses.

In these final weeks, our students have continued to engage in creative and powerful learning experiences, crafted by their teachers, to help their understanding of course concepts to be deep, relevant, and meaningful.

Physical and Health Education

COVID19 Awareness – A talk  with a COVID19 Survivor

On May 24, our Grade 8 and 9 students had an opportunity to listen to a Covid 19 survivor- Mr. Jason Cardente who is from Mindanao and suffered a severe case of covid 19. Here’s a short summary of the experience written by Alessandra Gabrieblle “Bea” F. – Grade 9. 

In P.H.E. class today we were visited by Sir Jason Cardente, a person who had a severe case of COVID-19. He covered many topics such as how he contracted the virus, his mental health during that time, and tips for prevention. This experience was very insightful and he taught us a lesson on how serious this pandemic is. Although I knew the virus was deadly, this new perspective opened my eyes to how it can affect people’s lives. This made me realize that anyone can get the virus and it is better to be safe than sorry. I will move forward by always taking the proper precautions and warning others about the gravity of the pandemic. 

Something that struck me the most during the talk was the fact that he went under a stage of deep sadness and thought of ending the pain he was suffering permanently. This struck me the most because it showed how much suffering he went through both mentally and physically and yet did not give up, but instead listened to the experts and followed all their advice. The way he faced and fought covid also inspired me. I am glad that Sir Jason was able to visit our class as I think that his story is one of great importance. It is crucial that students hear this kind of talk online because some students do not take the virus seriously and this can be a real eye-opener for those who believe they are immune to the virus. It can help students fully understand this threat and protect themselves from it. This relates to our physical health education class because we have been discussing updates on the coronavirus and how it affects people around the world. Additionally, it relates to our current fitness unit because the talk teaches us to prioritize our health and take care of our bodies during this seemingly bleak time. 

Grade 11 Spanish

The Cave of Altamira represents the apogee of Paleolithic cave art that developed across Europe, from the Urals to the Iberian Peninsula from 35,000 to 11,000 BC. Because of the cave’s deep galleries, isolated from external climatic influences, these caves are particularly well preserved. The caves are inscribed as masterpieces of creative genius and as humanity’s earliest accomplished art.


This cave in northern Spain is Nicknamed “the Sistine Chapel of paleolithic art”. We have used this artistic expression as a touchstone to understand a different aspect of Spain, and we have used it to answer some deeper questions like: why did early humans paint on cave walls?

Shark-Tank Week in Grade 10 Business

by Mr. Michael Stewart, MHS Business Teacher

This week, our student–entrepreneurs pitched their ideas for their new business products or services to the ‘Sharks’ (Ms. Cornet, Ms. Condor, and Mr. Denton – our sincerest thanks to them), seeking investments in the companies and product/services that they’ve been developing throughout the Quarter. Students were required to incorporate what they’ve learned over the semester- about supply and demand, competition, marketing, market research, pricing, and cost analysis– in order to convince the Sharks that they have hit upon the ‘next big thing’. The Sharks weren’t readily inclined to part with their ‘money’, asking challenging questions and probing the pitches for oversights, but they were impressed by the knowledge and hard work so clearly on display. Here is one of the best pitches of the week, from Stefen and Edrigu. Their company – ‘Dragons’ Delivery’- had the Sharks circling immediately!

Click here for the link to their presentation

Here are a few slides from their presentation showing how they used feedback to refine their logo to attract more customers.

IB Business Management 11

by Ms. Emily Cornet, IB Management Teacher/IBDP Coordinator

During the final quarter of Grade 11, the IB Business Management students begin work on their Internal Assessment (IA), a required component of the IBDP course.  For the IA, students need to create a research question which allows them to examine a real-world business.  

Higher Level (HL) students must choose a business which they have access to, because the IA will require them to conduct primary research over the summer as they interview different internal stakeholders about a problem that the business is facing, and then formulate suggestions for how that business should resolve the problem.  

Standard Level (SL) students will complete a secondary source-based commentary on an aspect of a business.  The IA is actually one of the biggest differences in the HL and SL course for Business Management students, as the approach the student takes in their research differs greatly (primary research versus secondary research).  

Thus far, students have created their Research Questions, and have formulated a proposal for what they will complete over the summer months when they do the bulk of their investigation.

Psychology 10

by Ms. Evangeline Villagonzalo, MHS Psychology Teacher

Psychology 10 is a semester-long course designed to give students a basic overview and understanding of the subject. Unit Two’s key concept centers on perspective, where students will explore how our brain processes the world around us through a study into the interaction of our basic senses, our prior experiences, and knowledge. Perspective is the position from which we observe situations, objects, facts, ideas, and opinions. It may also be associated with individuals, groups, cultures, or disciplines. Different perspectives can often lead to multiple representations, interpretations, and different perceptions.  In this unit the students will explore how the human brain determines how we experience the world, and what impact it has on our daily decision making process. 

Here are some of the student’s sample slides, drawings, and reflections:

We learned about how the brain uses our past experiences (perceptual set) in order to dictate how we perceive the world. This unit had really opened my eyes to how our brain deciphers the sensations that are collected by our sense organs. Overall, it was really interesting to see everyone’s depiction of the processes of sensation and perception and how different illusions can trick our minds. Selly

I learned that most of what we experience is determined by our mind. There’s a lyric of this song that goes “You don’t see with your eyes, you perceive with your mind.” and I never really understood that until now. Our perception of the world can definitely shape the life we live by influencing our perception. It opened my eyes up to how important our brain is for finding our way around the world, and that we must make this world more accessible for those whose brains function differently from ours. – Katrina

Joo Ha’s art interpretation of Dr. P’s condition

After all of our summative assessments and activities for this unit, I feel like I was able to obtain a deeper understanding about myself. I learned how we sense things on a day to day basis and how we perceive certain objects. I learned how and why we sometimes get tricked and that our senses have limitations. From one of our activities, The Man who Mistook, I was able to learn how different disorders affect perception. I found this study particularly interesting because I really wanted to understand why the man couldn’t detect faces but could detect objects and geometrical shapes really well. All of these have helped me understand the human body and behavior. – Heinz

In this unit I created a presentation about hearing. I went over the parts of the ear, sound waves, hearing loss and what to do to treat it, and more. This has helped me understand the world we live in as well and how to act in it. What I find most interesting about this unit is vision. I didn’t realize how much processes the eye has to go through to pass on images to the brain. There was so much to learn about it making me even more interested to learn about vision.  – Andrew

I think the topic is especially interesting and insightful because it helps us understand ourselves through understanding the processes that take place in our minds and bodies. I learned to be more aware of my thoughts and actions. I realized that we cannot fully trust our senses because our mind can also perceive things as what they are not based on our past experiences and opinions. I found the illusion aspect the most interesting because we have yet to figure out how they really work since we are only stuck with a bunch of theories. – Reona

My presentation focused on the somatosensory system which is the huge network that allows us to touch an object and interpret it with our brain and different receptors. It was meaningful to learn deeply about the process of how sensation and perception works in every second of our lives.  – Thomas

Learning from the sensation and perception unit, I have realized how they are different and how they support the way we perceive things and the world around us. I better understand now how our senses work and why common visual illusions work. – Vicky

Featured Image by Selly

My personal favorite activity was the Man Who Mistook. I enjoyed the Man Who Mistook activity because the story was very interesting to read and answering the questions itself was also a fun activity to do. I specifically found this activity interesting because I watched a show that had a character with a similar disability and I didn’t think it was real until I read about the Man Who Mistook in psychology class. – Hayun

One thing I have found interesting about this topic is that our sense of smell is more linked to our memories and emotions than other senses. At first, I thought that our sense of vision relates better to our memories and emotions since we are under the impression of what we see. However, it has been proven that the nose and the sense of smell make you remember things. – Joo Ha

The TOK Exhibition 2021

by Mr. David Gibson, MHS TOK Teacher

This year was a new and challenging year in TOK. For the first time the previous Presentation assessment had been dropped and the new TOK Exhibition introduced. It would also be an introduction coinciding with the adaptive and innovative requirements of the pandemic.

The Exhibition differs considerably from its predecessor in that there is no requirement for a live component. Rather, students are required now to attempt to ‘place’ TOK in a real world environment. Indeed TOK can be a very abstract subject and one that has a tendency to remain in the realms of the hypothetical and philosophical. And yet properly grasped, TOK has many practical applications, indeed. It was in an attempt at addressing this that the TOK Exhibition was created.

The TOK exhibition was something completely new none of us had experienced. We had to think about a question we’ve never thought of before which was a challenge for a lot of us. However the process overall was fun and fruitful.” – Youngseo

The exhibition itself comprised students’ selection of one of the provided 36 TOK prompts and their relation of that prompt to one of the TOK Options or Areas of Knowledge. This was then investigated and represented by students via means of three real world objects encountered personally by the student in their daily lives, studies, or reading. Their task was to demonstrate how these objects, illustrating their particular prompt, showed how the prompt was met with in a real world situation. Each object, though a separate investigation in itself, made up a part of the three towards a single student-directed whole which they offered as an overall expression of their prompt.

“The TOK exhibition was challenging [as] part of the new syllabus… however, I enjoyed creatively showing how TOK exists in the world around me.” – Deandra

Students found challenges in various ways. Firstly it was not easy to take the sometimes abstract and conceptual content of TOK and fashion it into an exhibition comprising mundane or otherwise everyday objects. Objects could range from content heavy items such as an article focused on a particular topic or something quite commonplace such as, in one example, the family dining table. This process then defined the TOK thinking in ways students could see and utilise for themselves; thus encouraging a highly practical understanding of philosophical principles.

“The TOK Exhibition has really allowed me to be in touch with my human self, in the sense that I still have yet to understand a lot of things about the true breadth of knowledge and how it affects the real world.” – Justin

Various skills were utilised and developed along the way. Critical thinking was to the fore, while practical application made up the body of the students’ work. Their written skills were developed also in terms of illustrating a complex topic in writing while simultaneously making connections between areas of thought and understanding to produce a single well-crafted exhibition, organisation, coherency, lucidity all being necessary to the exhibitions success.

During the exhibition I had faced some challenges like time management, writing within the word limit, and balancing information [in terms of] order of most important to not important.” – Luna

Given remote learning the students were also challenged to create this exhibition, not necessarily intended for online access, in an accessible online manner. Students utilised their creative abilities and electronic media awareness by creating their part of the exhibition within an online Prezi environment including, text image and video. The overall result was a well-handled crafted TOK exhibition the students should be fully proud of. 

The exhibition was undoubtedly challenging and truly tested my ability to unfold such complex theories into simple objects I’ve encountered in my personal life. However, it has allowed me to grow substantially as a conscious thinker with a more informed perspective of the nature of knowledge.” – Justin

Well done, Year 11 TOK students!

(CAS) Creativity Action Service  Learning

by Mr. Ace Pierra, IB CAS/ Service Learning Coordinator

A Sustainable Livelihood Support for the Super Typhoon Victims in Caramoan Bicol

CIS PROJECT SICAP: Seaweed Income Collaborative Aquaculture Program

During our last Week Without Walls in February, the 4×4 Group worked together to come up with a livelihood program for the victims of the super typhoon in Bicol. Combining the efforts of the entire school to extend help to the super typhoon victims, we developed the Project SICAP for the chosen families. We would like to thank our community for all of the donations that were made. The next step for CIS is to bring students to this community and let the families teach our students the process behind aquaculture and seaweed production.

Here’s what Ms. Jean Naval our community leader there in Caramoan has to say;

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill

A life-given gift to share despite the creeping difficulty brought by pandemic. Devastating leftovers of typhoons brought tears to the 7 families of Campo St., Tabgon, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Many years living along the coastline and fed from fishing kept them living, but after the typhoon, nothing was left, including their source of income.

A spring of hope once again was seen on the horizon when, on a day of November just after the typhoon, Cebu International School contacted me. This started the journey and opened the door for new beginnings through Project SICAP (Seaweed Income Collaborative Aquaculture Program), a joint Livelihood project that aims to help the 7 families to rise again.

The agar farming has already launched and we look forward to the successful process and equitable income for the 7 families. 

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

School Profile
When applying to a university, one requirement that may be required is the School Profile.  This is a document created by the school that contains relevant information about the school’s curriculum, grading system, accreditations and a brief history.  It also includes a list of the universities the graduates have been accepted to. This document is updated every year and is submitted to universities if required when a student applies for admission.  Here is a link to the CIS School Profile 2020-21 which can be accessed on our school website. 

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


May 29 Saturday
3:30PM – 7:00 PM

Alumni Chat Series Episode 6:  Annyeong Korea!

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

UK Virtual Fair
LINK to register & view participating schools

To be confirmed (Final date will be sent to interested students)

Share this:

Newsflash: May 21, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Dear CIS Community, 

I am extremely pleased to share with you that we have now received our official letter of authorization from the International Baccalaureate (IB), and are officially authorized to offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP)! 

The addition of the MYP to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in our elementary school and the Diploma Programme (DP) in grades 11-12 enables us to offer a seamless IB education throughout our Early Years-Grade 12 program. CIS now joins an elite group of IB Continuum Schools worldwide (IB World School which offers at least three of the four available IB programs). We are also the first and only IB Continuum school in the Philippines!

Congratulations to any of you who have contributed to this milestone in any way. We want to publically thank Mr. Jonathon Denton, our Assistant Principal-MYP, for effectively coordinating the implementation process over the last two years, and we recognize all of the work our MYP teachers have put into adapting to the MYP standards and practices. We are excited at the contributions the MYP will make to our provision of a high-quality education for our students.

Upcoming events and dates for your attention

  • Parents, please join our last Parent Coffee Meeting next Tuesday, May 25 at 9-10 am. This time is provided to enable you to chat with fellow parents, receive news details directly for the admin team members, and discuss parent-related issues. 
  • May 26 Wed: Whole School Celebration of Learning (virtual – details will be provided by the divisional principals. Students, note this day is not included on our day rotation so Thu will be Day B!)
  • May 28: Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony (virtual)
  • Refer to our online School Calendar a complete listing of school events

Have a safe, restful weekend!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Celebration  of Learning

This coming Wednesday, May 26th, is the CIS Celebration of Learning event. This is a significant event in the CIS school Calendar when all students have the opportunity to demonstrate the growth they have made in their skills, knowledge, and personal attributes during the school year. 

This week the students have been working with their teachers to design their Celebration of Learning Day so that each learning from each subject area can be represented. The CIS PYP Curriculum is designed to prepare students for a rapidly changing world, one where the traditional realms of knowledge and skill become quickly outdated. In order to prepare students for this world the curriculum places considerable emphasis on How to Learn, not just What to Learn. As parents who experienced a different kind of education, we sometimes struggle with this difference, because our children take a little longer to master some of the knowledge components of the curriculum. This is because we learned in a system that placed high levels of value on memorisation, viewing the ability to rapidly recall relatively simple pieces of factual  information quickly.  At CIS we recognise that it can be useful to recall such knowledge quickly at times, however we also recognise that the ability to know how to locate information, organize and interpret this information, and apply it to an unfamiliar context is of much greater value. Because we cannot teach everything of importance, this is where the focus must lie for a school who wishes to prepare students for a rapidly changing world. The Celebration of Learning is an opportunity for your children, our students, to demonstrate this type of learning growth.

There will be three parts to the Celebration of Learning in the Elementary school on Wednesday. 

Student-Led Conference: Firstly, your children will prepare a series of learning engagement demonstrations to share with you at home. We ask that you set aside the necessary time on Wednesday. If you are unable to spend this time with your child on Wednesday, please ensure you commit another time in the week or weekend when this will be made a priority. 

Three-Way Conference: Early this week you received an invitation to sign up for a Three-Way Conference. This conference is an opportunity for your child, the teacher and yourself to discuss the progress made over the semester, review your child’s personal goals, and together identify future areas for growth. 

Follow-up Specialist Learning Engagements: During the Celebration of Learning there will be no formal classes or regular synchronous calls. Each class will have two specialist learning engagements to complete on this day following the SLC and 3WC. Following the completion of the sections listed above, please have your child visit Seesaw to complete the Celebration of Learning Specialist learning engagements. 

We  do encourage you to ask your child about their Celebration of Learning plans so you are aware of what they are preparing. Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if you have any questions.

Learning In Grade 5

With the school year drawing to a close, it is a significant time for the Grade 5 students as they finish their education in Elementary School and prepare to transition to Middle High School. 

Earlier this month, the students showcased their learning through the Virtual PYP Exhibition (PYPx). If you have not already done so, please visit the website and leave a comment.

The PYPx is designed as a learning journey for the culmination of elementary school. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate the ATL skills and Learner Profile attributes developed over the years. 

The students selected a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), then formed teams, centered around their interests and passions. They demonstrated their thinking skills through developing their own Lines Of Inquiry and Key Questions, then employed their research skills through in-depth inquiries into their Central Idea. 

Students were supported by a wonderful team of mentors (thank you to Mr. Sten Coppin, Mr. Glenn Davies, Ms. Leanne Gibson, Ms. Mau Juanson, and Mrs. Aimee Underwood for the time and effort you invested on the students.)

Students collaborated in their teams to create a visual presentation of their key ideas, and conduct an online live presentation to an audience. This was quite intimidating for some students, but they proved themselves risk-takers and knowledgeable communicators through capably conducting their live sessions. 

Reflection after the PYPx revealed that all students felt they had benefited from the experience, with greater insight into their strengths, a better understanding of their chosen SDG and action they can take, and appreciation of areas for personal growth to continue their development as learners. The students agreed it was helpful in their preparation for Middle School.

Our current Unit Of Inquiry centers around the theme: The human body is made up of interrelated systems that change and affect people at different life stages. We have been investigating the form and function of different body systems and how they are connected. Collaborative groups have each studied a specific body system. They will be passing on their new knowledge and understanding to teach their fellow classmates in the coming days. 

As we consider our bodies, we are gaining an appreciation of the many changes occurring within us right now. (physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, etc) For each person, the timing is different, and it is important that we understand the  process of puberty, and treat each other with respect and care.

If you are a Grade 5 parent, you are probably noticing some of the changes the students have indicated:

In other fields of learning, specifically in Arts, they are reading up about Cubism. Cubism was a revolutionary new approach to representing reality invented in around 1907–08 by artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. They brought different views of subjects (usually objects or figures) together in the same picture, resulting in paintings that appear fragmented and abstracted.​ 

Learning in the Early Years 

Story Workshop 

The Early Years participated in our story workshop and drew inspiration from the stories read during library classes. Having a story workshop process helped these young learner to  develop their writing skills. They were able to build stories using different materials. The EYs made use of their imagination, life experiences and other familiar stories to create their own stories.

As they continued with the process, they managed to identify the characters, settings, and plot of their stories by using the transition words. At the end of the week, our young writers shared their stories in small groups and their stories were published in our Seesaw blog to allow others to share their friends’ stories and give comments or feedback.

As we engaged in listening to the story, “So light, so heavy” shared with us by Ms. MJ, the author used seesaw as a tool for readers to explore the concept of heavy and light which allowed us to dive deeper and discover how heavy or light objects are. In math, our young learners made their own balancing scale to describe and explain their understanding of the concepts heavy and light. Now that we have a better understanding of the concepts heavy and light, we started to compare the length and weights of objects.

Our youngest learners continued learning about the concepts of long and short as well as the concept of more or less by demonstrating simple measuring experiments. The Early Years showed their understanding of the math concepts by using different objects as a tool to measure and compare things. They demonstrated and shared their knowledge of the concept of capacity and concluded that containers can hold different things based on their size and shape.

Family Traditions Show and Tell

As we continue with our unit on Where We Are In Place and Time, The Early Years collected some items that represented their families and traditions. They started to build on their understanding of where and how family traditions began by sharing some items from their families and the countries where they are from. As we are about to end our unit, we continue to inquire into the concept of Responsibility and we learn, respect, acknowledge and understand other families’ traditions. 

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

Grade 5 Transition

An exciting initiative that we started two years ago and are continuing this year is our Grade 5 transition/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. We have created a series of events and activities to help build the relationships between each student and his or her MHS mentor and also prepare the Grade 5 students with experiences to help them feel more at ease and prepared as they enter Grade 6 and the MYP Program. 

Last week we invited our Grade 5 students to “come and try” our Grade 6 classes by joining them virtually. A small group of students each day had the opportunity to join at least 2 of our Grade 6 classes that day in order to get a better sense of what classes and structures in MYP were like.

We have also planned a series of weekly transition activities to help students connect with us and with their MHS mentors. For example, this week the Grade 5 students will take part in an Escape Room activity, created by Mr. Denton, where the clues needed to escape with their group are all related to MHS life, teachers, and classes.

On Tuesday afternoon, we also held a Transition Talk for our Grade 5 parents to better acquaint them with MHS and specifically the MYP program. Again, the transition team worked collaboratively both to create and deliver this presentation. Some of the key aspects that we discussed with parents were as follows: 

We have once again paired all of our rising 6th graders with a MHS mentor who will connect with them over the next few months and help them with the transition next year. Our mentors are a group of outstanding students who had to apply for the role and were hand-picked to mentor specific students in the rising 6th grade class. They serve as a resource for the Grade 6 students, providing help, guidance, wisdom, and accountability.

Maths Personal Project

Discovering maths through games and puzzles

When students in Grade 10 select the focus of their MYP Personal Project, a few brave souls choose to challenge themselves with exploring a subject like Math. On the surface “The Tower of Hanoi “ is an entertaining puzzle, accessible to a wide range of students. This year it became the focus for Thomas Kim for his MYP Personal Project. Throughout the year, Thomas has invested the time to dig deeper into this problem, discovering for himself how to sum a geometric series, the concept of recursion, and how a physical situation can be better represented in a binary base.

One at a time, he could have learnt about these topics in the classroom; instead, as any true mathematician appreciates, he has discovered that mathematics is not a succession of disparate topics but a connected whole. His success in this guided exploration reinforces his connection with mathematics and it has given him the confidence and motivation to aim higher. Who knows where this journey will take him?

Here are Thomas’ own words concerning his project:

Hello, my name is Thomas from Grade 10A. For my personal project, I chose to work on math. Most students feel math is scary and stressful. Often this is because of the ambiguity of the use of math in a real-life situation. People think that the calculation of real numbers is only knowledge used in the real-life. However, other mathematical theories also apply in real-life situations, such as the Tower of Hanoi.

The Tower of Hanoi is a mathematical puzzle consisting of three rods and multiple disks of different sizes that can be inserted and removed anywhere on the rods. The player should play the game according to these rules. 1. At first, all disks are stacked sequentially with small ones facing up on the left rod. 2. One disk can be moved to another rod at a time. 3. Large disk cannot be placed on a small disk. Regardless of three simple rules, there are numerous mathematical patterns. Now, let’s explore those patterns and disclose the answer from the unknown monk. 

The recurrence relation is one of the solutions to find the number of movements.  f(n) = 2 n – 1, n ∊ N, is the minimum number of movements needed. This formula is induced by a theory called recursion. It means calling its function inside the function itself. Now, let’s define a function as function f. A number of disks should be inserted into the domain and the range will represent the number of disks. For step 1, the number of movements is f(n-1). For step 2, only 1 movement is required. For step 3, we also need f(n-1) movements. If we add up all the ranges, the result will be f(n). So, a recurrence relation that expresses the number of disks is f(n) = 2{f(n-1)} + 1. If we transform this equation.

f(n)+1 = 2{f(n-1)+1}
f(n-1)+1 = 2{f(n-2)+1}
f(n-2)+1 = 2{f(n-3)+1}

f(2)+1 = 2{f(1)+1}

Multiply Both Sides

(f(n)+1)(f(n-1)+1)(f(n-2)+1)…(f(2)+1) = 2n-1{f(n-1)+1}{f(n-2)+1}{f(n-3)+1}…{f(1)+1}

Divide Both Sides By (f(n-1)+1)(f(n-2)+1)…(f(2)+1)

(f(n)+1) = 2n-1*{f(1)+1}
Set f(1) Into 1
(f(n)+1) = 2n-1*{21} = 2n
∴ f(n) = 2n-1

As you can see, there is a mathematical theory hidden inside one simple puzzle. Accordingly, we need to look for the interaction between scientific principles and human society to understand how the natural world works. I hope everyone will be able to understand the global context of “Scientific and technical innovation” throughout mathematical thinking.

Language & Literature 10

by Mr. Corryn Smith, Language & Literature Teacher

In their final quarter of Grade 10 Language & Literature, students are studying various genres of film & commercials (PSA’s, consumer advertisements, movie trailers and political attack ads) to better understand the purpose and structure of non fiction texts and how producers use these texts to appeal to their audiences. 

As a final assessment of their understanding of these concepts, students have been tasked with creating their own film/commercial spot (Media Presentation) to demonstrate such structural aspects of film as camera angles and shots, montage, voice over, composition, lighting, make up and pacing. 

In the student sample here from last year’s Grade 10, you’ll see a creative exploration of the PSA (Public Service Announcement) addressing issues of teen depression:

G10 Language & Literature Summative Media Presentation

Grade 9A Visual Arts Class

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

The Grade 9A class are working on their unit ‘Still Life Portrait’. They are developing their drawing skills and addressing the key concept of form by looking at perspective and how objects can be arranged to lead to multiple representations (related concept).

Here are some students’ documentation of their progress. 

It felt very difficult when drawing details, especially money. The painting in the money was very complicated and elaborate. What I drew doesn’t match the actual money, but I did my best and I’m satisfied with the result. I started coloring, but I quickly modified the iPhone sound and power button during coloring. I was very satisfied because the color of the cell phone was well added with the tonal value. – Minseong

I feel that, generally, the background needs more work at this point. The forms are all put in, but if I colored it now there would just be a lot of blank color, and while with a lot of shading and work with tonal value that could look good, I still want to provide a reason to look at the middle piece other than just it’s placement. To address the problem of the wide expanses, I’m thinking of adding a scenic background to the computer screen. – Zeke

I think that I developed my overall art skills and thinking because before I didn’t even bother with shading and these format compositions. This helped me arrange my thoughts and gave me better ideas when I wanted to draw, especially in art class. After the formative tasks and the 4 study drawing tasks, I do feel a bit more confident in drawing. – Clark

After all of the formative tasks, I think I’m a little bit more confident, not in the drawing part but in the item placement because I was able to figure out how to place different items on the drawing and how to overlap them if needed. Before it really took me a long time to figure out how to overlap each of the items while I was drawing, but now it’s a little easier to see which parts of the items I should cut off and which parts should stay. – Natalie

After the formative tasks and the 4 study drawing tasks, I am more confident in drawing this because I have drawn something similar before and I have drawn the objects multiple times. My confidence grew because I remember how to draw the objects and now I am already used to drawing them. That is why I find it so much easier to draw the objects. – Liam

Because I did the study beforehand, I was able to understand the importance of a good composition better. I did not expect this to have such an impact on my final choice. From the study, I chose to do the triangle composition since out of all my photos this, to me, created the most pleasing interest. – Sofia

I used colored pencils for the paint tube because of the details and size of the object. I think I can try using the oil pastels for the background, cloth and maybe parts of the book. I really felt more confident drawing and coloring this piece because of all the exercises we have done in class. Now, I know how to use the color pencils better, as well as other tools that I have at home that have been of great use to me. I think I made lots of good progress today; I finished coloring in one whole object, and I have a relatively good plan in mind on how to fill in the rest of the image. – Mahati

I started doing a bit of shading, it was a bit easier to do the drawings on a bigger piece of paper because there was more room and I had more space to draw the background. I like how it looks right now; it was really fun to see how the drawing improved after a couple times. I drew the table underneath so it would look more like the picture I took. – Sealoa

During this summative task, I feel like I’ve improved in adding tonal value with colored pencils. In the formative tasks it was hard for me to blend different shades of the same color together but I think I applied that really well when coloring the statue. Overall, this session was mainly for me to get some of the small objects and details colored in so that in the next two sessions, I could focus more on finishing the wallet, timer, and adding some shading to the background. – Esther

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Tip for the Week:  Are you interested in studying in Europe?

If you are interested in studying in Europe, below are links to country-specific websites that can provide you with general information about universities, degrees offered, the application process and relevant information. 

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


May 22 & 23
Saturday & Sunday
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

May 29 Saturday
3:30PM – 7:00 PM

EVENT (*IDP Webinar Series)

Australia & New Zealand Virtual Fair
Institutions from Victoria & Queensland
LINK to register & to view participating schools

UK Virtual Fair
LINK to register & view participating schools

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Newsflash: May 14, 2021

Virtual Summer Programs

We invite you to join the Virtual Summer Programs hosted by Cebu International School! This is open to everyone, so go and tell your friends and family!

For full list of programs and fees, please visit this link

To sign up for the programs, visit

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

As we move toward the end of the month of May, CIS will hold the annual Celebration of Learning event where students will take the opportunity to demonstrate their personal growth. As an IB PYP school, CIS measures student growth in a range of ways because we recognize that students who are learning to navigate a rapidly changing world need to master a wide range of skills and competencies.  Traditional schooling places great importance on excellent grades, high test scores and the rapid recall of knowledge. However we all know that a high test score is a poor predictor of life success.  Rather, measuring students’ success against a wide range of skills and competencies is a more accurate way of determining growth and improvement over time. In an IB PYP school we measure growth by observing the nature of students’ inquiry over time, by observing for depth and breadth of their ability to self manage the learning process. We measure students’ awareness of authentic challenges that require solutions based on the integration of knowledge that spans and connects across different subjects. We do assess their subject knowledge, but also how students  apply their conceptual understandings to further their own investigations successfully. We are deeply concerned with how students demonstrate and develop the approaches to learning skills and attributes and how students demonstrate both independence and an ability to learn collaboratively.

CIS teachers employ 4 types of monitoring process to measure student growth. The most valuable tool is our daily formative assessment practices where learning progress is monitored daily in a partner relationship between students and teachers. As students who have agency (a sense of ownership over their learning), daily negotiation takes place between the teacher and the student. The teacher provides the student worth feedback regarding their learning, and students equally seek advice as they engage in productive struggle to grasp new knowledge, concepts and skills. As this relationship between the teacher and student matures, the teachers and students form a learning partnership. Our CIS celebration of learning, held on Wednesday 26th May, is an opportunity for our students to demonstrate how this learning partnership has equipped them to be self directed learners who make meaningful decisions about the direction of their learning. We ask that you highlight the Celebration of learning date on your calendars so you  can be a part of this important day.

How We Express Ourselves

Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws

As we embarked on our last unit for this school year, How We Express Ourselves, we started by reading a story about a girl who manages to convey her emotions through a series of actions until she finally made herself cool off away from everyone, especially her younger sister. The students then shared their experiences on how they show their feelings toward a certain situation. Most of them said reading a book can help you cool down, drawing, painting, taking pictures and even walking your dog. 

We carried on the second line of inquiry which is  “Appreciation of the different ways people express themselves”, and focused on looking deeper into one´s art and how it varies to everyone. We showed students some of the world’s famous paintings and artwork on how it makes them feel. The students discussed how the colors, strokes and subjects of the painting affects the artwork and the eye of the beholder. Then, we talked about the story How Artists Tell Different Stories and highlighted that artists are not just those who paint and do art rather they are people who express themselves responsibly and effectively through different mediums. 

Finally, we encouraged the students to be an artist themselves and asked them to make an artwork using paper and coloring materials. They put together the things that they have learned from the different artists like Vincent Van Gogh and his style in painting but they centered their piece on how they felt at that time of the day and how they see themselves in the future.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

As we approach the end of the academic year, we also are moving toward the culminating summative assessments in our respective courses. In keeping with a bit of a philosophical shift in alignment with our transition to MYP, you will find that the majority of our end-of-year assessments are performance assessments, where students demonstrate their understanding and highlight their skills through a performance of some type, or a product/project performance where students demonstrate their knowledge and skills through creating a substantial product.

In this final month of school we continue to provide instruction for our students that helps them reach academic standards and we continue to strive to keep the classroom student-centered, as we know that the person doing the most talking is, provided that this talking is on task and relevant, doing the most thinking, and the one doing the most thinking is doing the most learning.

This week we take a look into our Design and Science classes to see how our students are thinking critically and creatively to conduct experiments and produce designs while they are at home. 

Grade 8 and 9 Design Classes 

by Ms. Gerri Ancajas-Jumao-as, Design Teacher

The Grade 9 Design class is currently working on their unit on Textile. They are developing their sewing and textile related skills and addressing the key concept of development by looking at processes through improvements and textile materials to create a product.

Here are some of our students’ documentation of their progress. As you can see student agency, ownership, as well as peer-feedback and collaboration play important roles in the students as they follow the design process.

Embroidery will be used in the final design because of the branches. I plan to embroider the branches on the cloth by using the satin method. Because I would have to cover a lot of length I might use yarn to do this or just stick to normal thread. I will be using this skill because I do not have a complete piece of cloth since they are all leftovers. This will be used when I put together the cloth for the base frame. I need to join my largest green clothes just to make sure I get the right and proper length. I will be using this technique in my design because I do not have the exact lengths of what I need (in this case some might be too large for the desired shape). This will also be used in the petals because not only does it shorten the length; it gives the cloth a smoother edge. – Sofia

Skills that I have learned from my formative tasks that will be used for my summative are: shortening a cloth, joining two pieces of fabric, and repairing a hole.  I will be using the skill of shortening a cloth just in case there is still some more space on the shirt that I didn’t use for the rug, even though the rug is done. I will be using the skill of joining two pieces of fabric when I finish using one shirt and I need to transition to another shirt, I will join the two pieces of fabric together. I will be using the repairing a hole skill just in case there is an unwanted hole on the shirt that messes up the rug. With that skill, I can cover up that hole. – Liam

This is my final design. Reflecting the opinion in the survey group, I changed the background to clothes instead of boxes and changed the design. There is another change here: making a pot holder, not a cup holder. In the survey, my mom told me to make a pot holder, so I added a pot holder. When I make these holders, I will use running stitch back stitch and satin stitch. – Minseong

For my final design, I decided on the Table Runner, because in my survey, more people thought it would be better to have a table runner for people to see rather than a pillowcase that no one would see. Also you can use a table runner as a centerpiece and It would also be a lot easier to make considering the fabric is less. The design is also more neutral so it would match people’s houses better. I am using Cotton sheets and dish towels to make it. I will also use yarn to make tassels at the two ends of the table runner. – Sealoa

The main change to the designs is really just the top flap. Instead of having a loop at the end to close the case, the flap has a buttonhole so that it can be used to close up the case. I think the best method is what is normally used for bags; a separate piece of fabric that is attached to the back so that it can fold forward. I have 4 different fabrics that I plan to use; a bright yellow cotton one, a dark blue cotton fabric, a dark greenish blue fabric, also cotton, and a light greenish blue fabric, which is a bit silkier. Now, thinking about the textures of the fabric, I think it’s better to use the dark green-blue fabric as the inner lining instead of the lighter one, since it’s a bit stronger and made of more cotton than the lighter fabric. The yellow fabric is probably the stiffest and toughest one I have, so that is definitely what I’ll be using for the lining. The embroidery on the cover of the case will be contrasting colors, like yellow, orange, or gold. – Mahati

Things I learned from our formative task was obviously how to sew and the different techniques and different sewing styles to use. Another technique I learned during the formative time was embroidery- about the different designs and techniques they use while putting designs on different fabrics and sometimes even words. The last memorable thing that I learned from the formative task was weaving and that was our first task ever and to be honest it was the easiest for me to learn since it didn’t involve a needle and thread which is great for me since I’m not the best at using them. The weaving was so easy and it actually was really fun to do and I learned it to the point that I was able to do the task while watching tv which is something really rare for me to do and only if I really understand how to do something. – Natalie

We practiced lots of skills in our formative tasks, so I’ll be applying them to my final design. I’m using the tools of backstitch, hemming, and joining two pieces of fabric together. I’m also going to be using the hemming technique when sewing my pillowcase for the open end. This is a very useful technique for a pillowcase because it will be easier to cover a pillowcase because I won’t be sewing the opening together. Instead, I’ll be hemming it. I’ll be using the backstitch for sewing the outer edges of the two fabrics together because it’s an easy and reliable stitch to use and it holds the fabric together well. I’ll also be joining two pieces of fabric together because one piece of fabric will be on the front of the pillowcase, and I’ll sew that together with the plain white piece of fabric that will be shown on the back of the fabric. – Esther

The final design chosen is a denim jacket with minimal embroidery in exchange for a simple and utilitarian look. There is an embroidered piece on the right breast of the apron. Cutting open the legs of the old jeans makes it easier to source long and wide planes of material, and preserving the waist area with the pockets is easy enough to do. There are also a lot of seams already sown in, meaning less edges that need to be smoothed down. The things I will be applying the most to this project are the skills of embroidery, joining cloth, and adding seams. These are especially important as denim is not only thick, but also very rough around the edges when cut, and the wide expanse of blue may throw off a lot of people. The embroidery might be harder to do, and the motif might not stay the same depending on what colors I have, but really this design hasn’t changed from when it first was made, to when it was shared in a survey, and now when it’s on the final leg of the summative. – Zeke

The Grade 8 Design class started their unit on Upcycling.  They are developing their recycling and upcycling related skills and addressing the key concept of development by looking at processes through improvements and recycled materials to create a product.

Here are some students’ documentation of their progress.

My initial struggle creating my product was that my paintbrushes weren’t really working so I decided to just use my finger because I could smooth it out and it would be even and not clumpy. Some skills I am developing are painting skills and open-minded skills because of what I did to solve my problem. I think after doing several formative tasks it was easier for me because we had done things like this before and I think it helped me in making my summative one. – Avery

I think one of the initial struggles I had making this was the time aspect, it took much longer since it took about 30 mins to stick the scrabble pieces together and form one coaster, which means I spent extra time apart from class time to work on it. I think that because we did multiple crafty formatives beforehand it helped get more crafty and I think I would’ve worked slower without the previous formative projects. – Miguel

This product will be made out of wood. It will have screws sticking out of it acting like hooks. It is like a wall itself so that you can just hang items on it and so you don’t have to drill the wall. I think having enough time might be my struggle because it took a lot of time to take nails out. Not having all the tools that I need is another challenge. Rounding the corners was also challenging and I addressed it by putting a lot of effort and time into making it round. – Caleb

Creating the product was much easier during the session and much more realistic after doing several formatives because I have more experience and I have a clear vision on what I will have to do in the future. I also have received multiple feedback from my teacher for me to understand what I had to improvise in detail, which was also a factor that contributed to my performance this session. – Roland

I think it was kind of easier because of the formatives we had beforehand. The formatives helped me prepare for making something kind of complicated. The things I had to do were kind of simple like cutting and glueing but the base of the lamp I had to improvise. Since it will be difficult if I actually used the base of a lamp then how will I attach the lamp shade. – Aaryan

This project is helping me develop my innovative and creative thinking skills. I was able to make necessary changes to the upcycling process of my product, and I came up with a more convenient way to go about the steps I had trouble with. Having done several upcycling projects before and doing research prior to that have made the creation of my products easier. Since we continuously did those for many sessions, I’ve gotten more familiar with the entire process in terms of the preparation, planning, and the necessary descriptions of my required materials and their purposes. With that said, I feel that it won’t take a long time for me to complete this project. – Fiana

I changed the basket design, especially size and color. I changed the colors to yellow and orange. I also put in a bee and flower so it makes the basket more attractive. I made the size bigger so when someone uses it, more items are fitted inside, making it useful and comfortable. I made the basket holder by using the rest of the plastic bottle. I think the basket is practical. I think I use my creative skills while I make the basket because I create the design and shape of the basket. – Yeseul

My initial struggle when creating this product was that the top would not have a proportionate size; therefore I cut the topside of the plastic bag to tried and make it proportionate while also folding it to the inside. This product was harder than expected since my formative tasks were much easier and took less effort. In this summative, I have to use multiple coats of spray paint to make the bag look white but if the bag has any creaks on them the paint can start to fall off. This was also harder since it required more thinking and creativity to make. – Sengo

My initial struggle was to place the first tape because the paper kept falling and I had to use one hand to cut the tape and the other to stabilize the paper to the bottle. I think that my taping skills are really developing due to the amount of tape I’m using in this project. It was easier to do what I did because I had practice with cutting, sketching, and piercing. so now it took me less time to do all of the actions and I reckon it’ll get better and better with more practice. – Noam

Having done several formative tasks beforehand really came in handy in creating this final product and it’s much easier now. This is because, from the formative tasks, I’ve learned ways to make my creations or products more effectively and also come up with a good design. From the formative assessments, I’ve learned to do things in a better way and also avoid certain things that may damage or ruin my product. So in conclusion, through formative assessments, I’ve learned my lesson and have applied what I’ve learned to my final product, which I’m currently in the process of making. – Gabrielle

Grade 10 Science

Grade 10 students recently did a presentation on Genetically Modified Organisms. They were provided with a range of categories, such as, Insulin production, Spider silk production, Frost resistant crops, Drought resistant crops, Flood tolerant crops, Bt crops, Herbicide resistant crops, etc. They chose a particular organism and conducted research on the techniques along with steps that are involved in the engineering and the transfer of the desired gene to the target organism. Also, they evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of GMOs. Their presentations were made using PPTs. To promote the chosen ATL skill of communication, each presentation was peer reviewed using a TAG feedback form.

Grade 11 DP Biology

Grade 11 students were involved in setting up home based lab investigations. 

The first one was, Estimating the Osmolarity of Potato cells. Students conducted the experiment at home, collected data, and have completed a detailed lab report.

Preparation: Chae Eun

Preparation: Jaschia

Set up – Pristina

Set up: Umi

Set up – Jenny

Preparing for data collection: Elena

Data collection: Kyoung Min

Data collection: Deandra

Visual representation of data: Deandra

Graph 1. Graph showing the effect of different salt concentrations on the average changes in mass (%).

Qualitative Data Collection: Deandra

Set up: Luna

Preparation: Keenan

Set up – Jodi

The experiment set-up, the five different salt water solutions with varying salt concentrations

Set up – Luna

Preparing for data collection: Bianca

Qualitative data collection: Deandra

Visual representation of data: Jenny

Visual representation of data: Sakura 

Graph 1. Graph that shows the effect of different concentrations on the average change in mass (%).

Investigation 2: Students are in the process of another investigation based on Factors that favour Cloning. Most students are in the experimental phase. A couple of them are already in the data collection phase as well.

Set up: Deandra

Set up: Chae Eun

Set up: Sakura 

Grade 12 Biology

Grade 12 students, after completing their IAs and mock exams, prepared and made a presentation on the topic, “Career Options in Biology”. The prompts provided were to  choose their current favourite career option that is related to Biology, why they are interested in this career, and give an example of a person who is leading in this field and explore their failures and accomplishments. Students were also asked to identify further studies that may be required to pursue this career, and also the ways in which the IBDP program has helped them in laying the foundation for this career. Finally, students identified ways they could contribute to their local community and possibly on a global scale as well. 

The students expressed themselves with passion about their interest in the following specialized fields that relate to careers in Biology. Here are a few examples:

Denise: Agriculture
Caitlyn: Zoologist
Stuart: Genetic Engineering
Romana: Cardiologist

Grade 7 Science

May the force be with You! 

Forces play a crucial role in our everyday lives. Force allows everything to fall into place. Scientifically speaking, force can cause a moving object to: accelerate, decelerate, change direction, and even change shape. With the help of force, people may also then be identified as powerful dynamos that create materials into something that is useful for them, if not improve the quality of our living. These past few weeks, the Grade 7 students have been busy putting together their understanding of non-contact forces such as: gravity, magnetism and electrical forces. 

In a most creative way, they were able to cite how these three non-contact forces have affected their lives.

I fall
You fall
We all fall down
The force of gravity
Pulling us to the ground
You can never see it
It never makes a sound
It makes our mother earth
Go round and round and round
The planets have their orbits
Because of gravity
Pulls on flying objects
Pulls on you and me
Pulls on flying objects
Makes an apple fall
Lets up slip down slides
Makes a yo yo go.

With these students’ reflections on the importance of force specifically the non-contact forces, it reminds me of the Star War’s famous line, “May the force be with you”.  The speaker is saying that they wish the force to work in favour of the addressee, so he can do more.  Although ‘May the force be with you’ obviously originates in science fiction, many use the phrase in everyday life, as it is seen as a nice way of saying goodbye, good luck, ‘may you be protected’ or ‘come back safely’. It was often used as people parted ways, or in the face of an upcoming challenge. The phrase originated in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and has continued to be a classic part of Star Wars stories ever since.

Grade 6 Science

Go Solar!

The sun is considered our main source of energy. It emits these photons (units of light energy) which are then absorbed by plants and are transformed into chemical energy, which then flows readily through a system. But this is not the end story of the sun’s energy transformation; in fact, it can be transformed into power– an electricity that lights every household on the planet.

The Grade 6 students are hooked into understanding the important considerations for the most appropriate ways solar panels will be installed at  homes. These include seasonality, tilt, azimuth and shade. It’s a good investment to avail of the sun’s energy–because no one owns it.  

In need of any Solar Power information? –Call the Grade 6 students. They have a lot to say…

This type of energy resource is said to be renewable, and poses less harm to the environment–thus a cry to GO SOLAR! is the motto of the Grade 6 students. 

Here’s a piece of their brilliant thoughts that might help change our perspectives and avail of the solar power that is already available in the market.

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet – nobody taxes the sun yet.” – Bonnie Rait

So, what are we waiting for?—Let’s Go Solar!

CIS Esports Club

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Athletics Director

The CIS Valorant team has worked hard throughout the past months to be able to compete with other schools. In fact, a few players in the CIS Valorant team have reached the top 11% of global players in Valorant which has 3 million daily players. Valorant is a tactical team based shooter in which team coordination is the key to winning games. Throughout the past weeks the CIS Esports Club has had friendly scrimmages with Faith International Academy. While the results were not what we would have hoped for, the CIS team was able to learn a lot and bond together as a team and also with the FIA students. The CIS Esports Club had also made a new set of friends that they can collaborate with. Further along the club’s life we hope to see more support and even be able to establish a streaming system in which you guys can watch and support us from the comfort of your own computers. We also hope to be able to continue this ASA for the next school year. 

Media Center News

Dear Students and Families, 

We are now in our few weeks before the school year ends. The library/Media center would like to inform you that you may now return the books that you currently checked out before May 28th. You may return the books to the main office, with Ms. Lory. If you wish to keep the books over the summer, please send an email to Mr. Monfre ( ) or Ms. MJ ( ) and attach a photo of the books. You can also borrow books for the summer and send your requests in the first week of June. Please be informed that the turnaround time of the books that you’ll be checking out for the summer can be delayed due to COVID restrictions.

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

Dragon’s Print

As the school year finally comes to a close, here is twelfth-grader Venise T. as she reminisces the journey of Class of 2021 in their last year of high school. Read more at

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Scholarships in the USA: “Where can I find them?

One of the challenges of studying abroad is to finance your education.  If you need a scholarship to attend an institution, check the website to see if the university offers scholarships. There is usually a wide range of scholarships and eligibility to these grants are indicated.  In addition, here are a few websites you can check:

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


May 15 Saturday
11:30 AM – 3:00 PM

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

Canada Virtual Fair
Institutions from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
 LINK to register &  view participating schools

May 16, Sunday
11:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Canada Virtual Fair
Institutions from Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada
LINK to register &  view participating schools

May 18 Tuesday

Study Michigan Virtual Fair
Connect with 28 Michigan colleges/universities
Check the LIST of participating institutions
To register, click HERE

May 22 & 23
Saturday & Sunday
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

May 29 Saturday
3:30PM – 7:00 PM

Australia & New Zealand Virtual Fair
Institutions from Victoria & Queensland
LINK to register & to view participating schools

UK Virtual Fair
LINK to register & view participating schools

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Newsflash: May 7, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Dear CIS Community,

Congratulations Grade 5 students for a successful PYP Exhibition (PYPx) this past Monday! It was great to see the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that you have developed in the PYP confidently demonstrate through your projects and presentations on your selected UN Sustainable Development Goals. A big thanks to Ms. Carolyn Pynor (G5 Class teacher) and all faculty mentors (and parents!) who guided students throughout the process. See the elementary school section below for more information and samples.

“Resilience is not the exception, it is the rule” 

Over the past few months, there has been a wide-ranging debate on how much “learning loss” the Covid-19 pandemic has caused. Some commentators paint a gloomy picture of students who are desperately behind in their work, while others have found their students have coped relatively well and are doing fine. The reality is the actual impact will be variable for individual schools, and also between individual students.

The data we have at CIS indicates that, while results vary between individuals, in general, CIS students have continued to learn at, or close to, levels that would be expected even if we were not in a pandemic. Much of the global research on this issue to date suggests that this is the case in most schools that have effective programs in place. We do also appreciate that as a premium international IB World School, CIS is in a position to avoid or overcome many of the challenges less well-resourced schools have faced. 

What has changed is how teachers have adapted to facilitate student learning via our remote learning program, and the social-emotional learning (SEL) aspect. This SEL remains a focus for us, as we continue to seek ways to compensate for the loss of face-to-face contact and changed relationship-building capacities that are necessary for students to develop their social intelligence. On a positive note, it is interesting to see that the loss of some aspects of on-campus learning (such as less face-time) has directly or indirectly led to the growth in the development of other skills (such as improved ATL skills like communication and time-management) that have been required for remote learning. 

Over the past few weeks, I have been struck by the consistency of messages being given by many reputable educational psychologists. The general message is, while some students have struggled (and we must remember this is a normal phenomenon and an integral part of learning), children are exceptionally resilient and most have adapted to face the situations they are in. I would like to end by sharing a short CNN health video (2min 50sec) by author and psychologist Dr. Angela Duckworth, where she tells Anderson Cooper why she thinks most kids will bounce back from the negative impacts of the pandemic, and that “resilience is not the exception, it is the rule”. 

Source: Anderson Cooper, CNN

Events and dates

    • May 10-14: Arts Week 
    • May 12 (Wed): Eidul Fitr Holiday (*anticipated date, this is still not confirmed!)
    • May 14 (Fri): Last day of Semester 2 ASAs (After School Activities)
    • May 25 (Tue):  Final Parent Coffee meeting for the year at 9-10am (virtual).
    • May 26 (Wed): Whole School Celebration of Learning
    • May 28 (Fri): Graduation (virtual)
    • Refer to our online School Calendar a complete listing of events

Have a wonderful weekend!

Elementary News

by Ms. Maureen Juanson, PYP Coordinator

The 2020-2021 Virtual PYP Exhibition took place on Monday, May 3rd. Through Google Meet, our Grade 5 students presented their PYPx journey to the different members of our learning community. Parents, teachers, and students from both elementary and MHS, attended the sessions to learn about the issues that our Grade 5 students have collaboratively inquired into and the lessons they have learned throughout their exhibition process. 

Our Grade 5 students worked in groups to investigate the UN Sustainable Development Goals that they felt most passionate about. Throughout the process, they further developed their understanding of various issues and applied the ATL skills that they have learned throughout their PYP years.

As I read and listened to each of the Grade 5’s PYPx reflections, I was reminded of the book “Say Something” by Peter H. Reynolds. The book talks about how the world needs our voice and how each one of us could do something to change the world through our words, actions,voices and creativity. Through this PYP exhibition, every single one of our Grade 5 students answered this call. They used their words, actions, voices, and creativity to raise awareness and bring attention to the global and local issues that our world is facing today. 

We are extremely proud of their achievement and are amazed at how much they have grown as learners and individuals because of this experience.  We are truly grateful to the Grade 5 team- Ms. Carolyn, Ms. Lana, Ms. Freya, and Ms. June, for the leadership and guidance that they have provided to the students.  We would also like to express our appreciation to the mentors, and other faculty and community members for providing support, encouragement, and sharing their time and expertise that allowed the students to dig deeper into the issues that they were researching on. This is evidence of how we, as a community, are able to create a collaborative culture that creates a positive impact on our students, our community, and the world. 

If you have not had the chance yet, we invite you to visit the PYPx website to learn about the students’ PYPx research, journey, and action. We hope that their words, actions, voices, and creativity will also inspire you to share your voice to heal and transform the world.


Music in Early Years 2/3
Our youngest learners have been exploring music which connects to families. As part of these inquiries they sang and moved to lullabies.

Music in Grades 2 and 3
Grade 2 and 3 students have been continuing to practice their performance skills. Grade 2 have been working on tuned percussion and keyboards and Grade 3 have been working on recorders.

Music in Kinder and Grade 1
Kinder and grade one students have been continuing to hone their singing skills, focussing on solfege.

Music in Grades 4 and 5
The students have been exploring form and meter through body percussion. They learned that following a rhythm with body percussion requires coordination, motor timing, and body awareness.

K/G1 News

This past week has been another fun week of inquiry and learning for our KG1 students. As we wrap up our Unit of Inquiry, How the World Works, we look into conditions that cause materials to behave differently and how their properties affect their purpose. Together, we shared ideas on which materials would fit a situation. To show our learning, we did the egg drop challenge. We designed a model to protect a fragile object[egg] from breaking.  We learned that there are plenty of materials we can use to protect something precious.

Here are some responses from our KG1 students when asked about what they learned from the egg drop challenge:

  • I learned that if you wrap it[egg] a lot, it will stay safe. –Sierra
  • Using fluff[pillow stuffing] was not helpful; it made the egg bounce. I changed it to cotton instead. –Erin
  • I learned to use strong materials to put together my design. I also learned that my model needs to fit perfectly. If there is an extra space, the egg will bounce. –Ben
  • If you drop the egg into a soft, folded blanket it will not break. –Masa

We are continuing to grow as a reader and a writer. We made a Science Journal and documented our learnings there.

Here are some models from our egg drop challenge. We tested our designs and asked for feedback before sharing our final output.

For Math, we made our own Board Game. We made a board game from our favorite math concepts like addition, subtraction, skip counting, and telling the time.

We also learned to make our own balance scale and measured objects using non-standard measurement.

Here are some reflections from making our own balance scale: 

  • I learned that even though an object is small it can be heavy. For example, metal is heavy like a small padlock. –Erin
  • When an object is big it doesn’t mean that it is heavy. For example, a sock is big but it is light. –Sierra
  • To make my own balance scale, I used one of my clothes hangers and used some strings and buckets. –Catherine
  • Bigger materials usually weigh the most. –Ellaine

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School News


As we draw nearer to completing a full academic year of remote learning, we have repeatedly revisited the importance of the Social and Emotional Learning of our students and maintaining our health and well-being across the entire community. Our school program and curriculum have been intentionally designed to be holistic- from fixtures in our daily schedule like ELO and Homeroom and through emphasis on service learning (even in the midst of the pandemic), Week Without Walls, After School Activities, and other elements which serve to cultivate our students´ development as multi-dimensional human beings. 

Within our academic program In MHS we also seek to meet the various and holistic needs of our students; while this is true generally within the student-centered practices our teachers employ within our daily classes, courses like Art, Drama, Music, and PHE directly address the physical, aesthetic, and emotional dimensions of our students.

Celebrating Arts Week

by Mr. Jessie G. Saclo III, Head of Department, Arts and Design

The arts especially address the idea of aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which your senses are operating at their peak; when you’re present in the current moment; when you’re resonating with the excitement of this thing that you’re experiencing; when you are fully alive.” The late Sir Ken Robinson, during his inspiring talk, ‘Changing Education Paradigms’, emphasized the importance of the arts in 21st century education. Similarly, the IB acknowledges the arts as a universal form of human expression, a unique way of knowing and understanding that engage us in effective, creative, imaginative and productive activities. 

The PYP, MYP, and DP are frameworks for learning that allow students of the arts to explore their sense of identity and individuality to openly experience opportunities to function as artists as well as learners of the arts. By providing age-appropriate opportunities to holistically develop their social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligence through the arts, students at CIS learn to create, perform, and present arts in methods that engage as well as convey feelings, experiences, and ideas. Development in the arts is a dynamic process where students practice to acquire new skills and master those skills developed in prior learning. 

Thinking creatively is a natural fit in the arts and at CIS students engage in activities through the Arts subjects of drama, music, and visual art where they acquire, learn, refine, and master the skills necessary to develop learning. This year has been practically challenging for our students as they were restricted to online class engagement, may have felt isolation, and had limited access to materials. However, creativity as an essential objective in the arts addresses the need for student-centered learning that leads to innovative strategies in resolving the huge changes happening within education at this turning point. 

The late Sir Ken Robinson couldn’t be more precise in stating that the arts truly address the idea of aesthetic experience as our students have shown through their creative work this entire virtual school year. As teachers we have been astonished to witness our students´ grit, self-expression, skill, and creativity in performing the various tasks required in their arts subjects amidst the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.

We invite you to take part in supporting our students as we launch and celebrate Arts Week, a full week dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the arts, beginning on May 10. Please visit our Arts Week Google Site (which will launch on Monday) where we will feature the creative work of our students in the areas of drama, music, and visual art all week. 

Arts Week 2021

Most arrangements the CIS band students learn are performed only once.  They are typically performed for specific occasions, such as International Day, the Ayala Art Exhibition Opening, Arts Week, etc., and are usually archived after that.  There is one arrangement, however, that the band students have performed year after year, namely Star Wars.  Because of its stately tempo and majestic theme, Star Wars has been a suitable processional for many of our graduation and moving up ceremonies.  This familiar tune is easily accessible to band students in the second year of study and is considered a “rite of passage” for CIS band students.   

Keeping with tradition, the CIS band students have performed Star Wars once again in a video made specifically for Arts Week 2021.  Similar to previous virtual performances, all the parts were recorded separately then synchronized together using video and audio editing software–the new normal for performances in the time of the pandemic.  This video features Bryan C. (violin), Deandra R. (alto saxophone ), Esther (flute), Hana K. (trumpet), Jiwoo K. (clarinet), Niño V. (alto saxophone), Roland S. (trumpet), Ron Michael C. (trumpet), Saki M. (trumpet), and Seohyun P. (flute).  Look for it in the upcoming Arts Week 2021 website.

PHE Classes Explore Mood Charts for better Physical and Mental Health

As we continue to provide Physical and Health Education (PHE) through remote learning, the PHE department deemed it also important to consider the student’s mental health as they go through a very challenging time in their academic life.

In one of our current units entitled Happy Hormones – our aim was to consider the effects of physical exercise on the students’ mental health and one way for them to accomplish this is to use a Daily Calendar or a Mood Chart wherein each day they add an emoji for the morning and afternoon that reflects their mood and energy level or for higher levels, write a short statement of how they felt during these times. Additionally, they plan two (2) quick 20-/30-minute workout sessions within the week but outside our PHE synchronous blocks and plot these in the same calendar.

In the latter part of the unit, they used these data to analyze how their mood was affected on days when they had a quick workout versus those which they haven’t done one.  When the unit ends this semester, they will be then tasked to evaluate what they did to improve your health and skill related fitness and evaluate what effect physical exercise had on their physical and mental health.

This task was considered to help students cope with academic work through spurts of physical activities that could produce ‘happy hormones’ which, hopefully, would give them a boost when dealing with academic tasks. We believe that when it comes to personal well-being, one’s mood plays an important role in determining energy levels, where attention is focused, and what actions are taken.

One study suggested that: “when participants were in a happy mood, they processed information more globally compared to when they were in a sad mood.” (Schmid, Mast, Bombari, Mast and Lobmaier, 2011) “ This study shows that, when individuals are more positive, they gather more information from the outside world. With more information, people can make better and more clear choices, which is always a good thing. Furthermore, psychologists define mood as a number of persistent feelings that accompany our perception and evaluation of incoming stimuli. Mood has a huge influence on the way we react, specifically in the actions we take and the feelings that get created throughout that process. (Amado-Boccara, Donnet, and Olie, 1993). 

With enough data and information from the students’ Daily Calendar, a pattern of the highs and lows can be identified, as well as the factors that may have caused them. This tool is handy for those who may want to be more optimistic and be mindful of how their daily mood affects their work in school – hopefully for the better.

Here are sample mood charts from our students:

Monica S. – Grade 6
Fiana B. – Grade 8
Joo Ha C. – Grade 10
Minkwon K. – Grade 10
Chloe F. – Grade 6
Gabrielle S. – Grade 8
Hyeonjun J. – Grade 10
So Yi P. – Grade 10
Coach Jay leading our Grade 7 students through their Synchronous Workout

Dragon’s Print

Throughout the quarantine, artists have been able to work on their music, gifting us with plenty of fresh beats and incredible songs. A variety of albums have recently come out, and Dragon’s Print has put together its go-to recommendations for you to enjoy. Read the latest article to find some new artists and songs to listen to at

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Common App Essay Prompts 2021-22

For the current 11th graders who are planning to apply to an institution via the CommonApp next school year, it is highly recommended that you start planning for your college essay and work on it over the summer. Please note that some institutions may have an additional (supplemental) essay to submit an application. To find out if a college is under the CommonApp, please click this Link.

Below is the full set of Common App essay prompts for 2021-2022.
(minimum: 250 words, maximum: 650 words)

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

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


May 11 Tuesday
6:00 PM

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Learn about the EHL Junior Academy Programme:

  • Hospitality in a digital world (100% Online) 
  • Hospitality Business & Innovation (EHL Campus Lausanne)
  • Culinary Experience (EHL Campus Passugg)
  • International Hospitality & Luxury Brand Management (EHL Campus (Singapore)

LINK to register

May 13 Thursday
7:00AM – 8:00AM

Duke Kunshan University (China)
Virtual Info Session: LINK to register for May 13 or pick a date/time from this LINK if the schedule doesn’t work for you.

Learn about:

  • Their unique academic model
  • The connection to Duke University
  • Merit Scholarships & Need-Based Financial Aid
  • Interdisciplinary Majors
  • How to Apply

May 18 Tuesday

Study Michigan Virtual Fair
Connect with 28 Michigan colleges/universities
Check the LIST of participating institutions
To register, click HERE

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject Tests (an update will be announced next week if this test will be cancelled)May 6, 2021

 If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Newsflash: April 30, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Congratulations to our Grade 10 students for a wonderful showcasing of their Personal Projects this past week. It is always such a pleasure to see such creativity, knowledge, and intellect on display through these projects, which are a culmination of a year of inquiry into a personally selected topic. Please find some time to visit the Personal Project Website to see these for yourself, and scroll down for some samples in Mr. Denton’s article.

It was great to have a lineup of special guest speakers sharing information and activities about a variety of HEALTH topics at our monthly PTA Coffee Meeting this past Wednesday. Thanks to those who attended. Please pencil in the date for our next meeting: Tuesday 25th May. (Note it is not Wednesday as usual, as the 26th is our whole school celebration of learning day – more details of that event will be coming shortly.)

Enjoy looking over a selection of our student’s learning below, and have a restful weekend!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Last week in the elementary assembly I took the opportunity of walking the students around the CIS campus to show the care that the gardeners and maintanence staff have taken of CIS while we have been away. The gardens are full of flowers and the grounds really are looking beautiful.  This week in our newsflash, we have contributions form our art classes, where we are able to see the creativity and color shared by our elementary students. This too is beautiful. The Early years students have explored was resist painting, something I have not done for many years, while the KG students have linked their art work closely to their unit if inquiry investigation into materials and their properties.  What I am most impressed with is the quality of the learning taking place in art, despite our physical separation. I am keenly aware that this is only possible with the support of you, our parent community. 

Something that I am looking forward to next week is the staging of our PYP Exhibition. The PYP Exhibition is the culminating experience for our grade 5 students, signifying the completion of the PYP Programme as they prepare to move into the MYP in Grade 6. On Monday, May 3rd, our Grade 5 students will be presenting their learning to the community during three 30 minute synchronous sessions. Our grade 5 parents and various members of the school community will be attending these sessions. If you do not have a child in grade 5, but would like to see what the Grade 5 students have been learning their PYP Exhibition, please make contact with Ms. Lory, the Elementary School Secretary, and she will be able to arrange access to the PYP Exhibition for you. This Year the PYP Exhibition has been developed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and I for one, am excited to see what our students have to share with us. I also want to acknowledge the huge amount of additional work from our Grade 5 teaching team, our specialist teachers, and our PYP Coordinator. It is this additional investment of time and effort that has made this PYP Exhibition possible.

Art in the Early Years

Sharing the story, “The Rainbow Fish” our youngest learners explored the wax resist art technique and gleaned the value of “sharing is caring.”

The Early Years students have also learned to create ice paint by mixing watercolor or food coloring with water and placing the mixture in an ice tray and freezing it. Students then used the ice to color draw images.

Art in KG and Grade 1

The KG and G1 students have been exploring the science concept of ‘materials and their properties’. The students selected various materials to test. Their goal was to discover which material was best for each type of media; Fabric Painting, Wire Sculpture, and Wax Resist.

Art in Grades 2 and 3

Grade 2 and 3 have been investigating Habitats, Endangered Species and Ecosystems. The students used what they had learned during their inquiry to create a diorama of an ecosystem for an endangered animal. They designed their diorama to have a background, middle ground and foreground. Creating this diorama  was the culmination of their semester learning about drawing habitats, research, and 3 dimensional art skills.

Art in Grade 4

The Grade 4 students have been learning to draw in the style of Betty Edwards which teachers students to use edges and lines,  negative space, perspective and proportion, and shading).  The students did blind contour drawing, face-vase drawing,  and right-side up vs. upside-down drawing. These exercises help students develop their observational drawing skills. 

Learning in Grade 4

Did you know there are several ways to make electricity? These include hydro power, nuclear power, solar energy and fossil fuels. The grade 4 students have been exploring the benefits and side effects of each energy source.  Please study our poster identifying the advantages and disadvantages if using nuclear power to create energy.  

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

It’s been another busy week at CIS, with all of our regular academic courses, After School Activities, and preparations for the end of the school year already underway. One of the significant events of the week was our Grade 10 Personal Project Showcase, which took place on Monday.

The MYP Personal Project marks a significant milestone in the journey of an IB learner. It serves as both the culmination of the students’ MYP studies and also serves as a stepping stone towards future academic work and the DP core.

The project itself is an extended independent research project, which (at CIS) is introduced at the very start of the Grade 10 school year. Students work on this exploration throughout the year with the guidance of their respective faculty mentors and Mr. Denton. The aim is to complete a product of significant quality that reflects the research, exploration, careful and mindful planning, and reflection they have engaged in throughout the year. 

On Monday our Grade 10 students were able to present their Personal Projects to the CIS community during our lunch/homeroom time and then after school. It was amazing to see the variety and quality of the students’ work, and I was also struck by the level of insight into their own learning they were able to exhibit. The Personal Project Website remains the place for you to see for yourself.

One of the goals of the Personal Project is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate the ATL skills and subject specific knowledge they have developed throughout the middle years. The project report, among other things, assesses self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration skills. In doing so, it helps develop our students’ confidence and the attributes to help them become inquisitive lifelong learners. One other thing that was clear in the showcase was that, when students had selected an area they were passionate about, they really enjoyed doing it. This was an important revelation for some of them as they look forward to their subject selections next year in the DP and think about their DP Extended Essay project, and even toward the career they will pursue.

As we continue to effectively transition into an IB Continuum School, we have seen amazing development of the Personal Project as this important element becomes an understood and celebrated aspect of our school culture.

Anya’s exploration of the traditional Filipino portrait
Andrew’s epic goal was to Investigate current fitness ideas, techniques, and strategies and apply that knowledge to improve his level of fitness.
Selly explored and applied the concepts of “art activism” through her project.

Grade 8 Individuals and Societies

by Mr. Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator

I am sure we all have spent a moment marvelling at globalisation; how companies like Lazada and Shopee have made it possible for us to order something from Tokyo and have it in our hands by the end of the week. But how far back do we need to go to truly understand the concept of globalisation?  Do we not also need to know about the merchants who trading materials along the Silk Road on three continents centuries ago, the history of humanity, or even where the earth and the stars come from? These are called ORIGIN STORIES. 

By looking at the really big picture we have been able to make unexpected connections, how everything we are made of came from exploding stars, and how we are able to share and build upon each other’s ideas sets us apart from all other terrestrial creatures. 

This unit asks students to create their own origin story in order to explore an object of personal interest – pizza, ballet, coffee, horses – and produce a portfolio-worthy piece of work that traces its history to pre-human times. The idea for  the project came from Esther Quaedackers, a lecturer in Big History at the University of Amsterdam.

We have broken the project down into three stages, each with guiding questions to help students come up with their own research questions.

Stage One: how is everything connected (prehuman times)

  • What are the raw materials in your object?
  • What are the chemical elements?
  • Can these chemical elements be found in other things?
  • Where do those materials come from?
  • Where can we find those materials on earth? 
  • Are they organic or synthetic?

Stage Two: first contact with humans

  • When did humans first start to use these elements?
  • How did humans share and expand their knowledge of — even if our earliest ancestors probably did not use it?
  • How did the way humans use these elements change over time?
  • How did humans adapt/innovate/domesticate?
  • When and why did it become most popular?
  • How and why did this change from this beginning until 1800 or when the Modern Revolution began?

Stage Three: the modern revolution and beyond

  • Over the last 150 years, what were the most important changes in how — has been grown / produced / distributed / used?
  • How did humans adapt and innovate?
  • What will this object look like in 50 years time?

Below are some of the short formative clips completed for stage one. We are only at the very beginning of this project, so please keep that in mind.

Grade 10 Business

Grade 10 Business students have been developing their own unique products or services that they will pitch in a ‘Shark Tank’ style exercise at the end of the semester. In teams, they were tasked with creating brief presentations in order to receive feedback before moving to the next phase of the project. These presentations involved devising a company name, logo, slogan, visual representation, and rationale for their product or service. Not only does this project challenge students to think both critically and creatively, but it also requires effective communication and collaboration. Simulating the “Shark Tank” experience with actual products allows students to see the relevance of the content they have been learning in their Business course.

Here is an example from Julianna, Lea, and Chewon’s project:

CIS Dragon Responders

REAVO (Rescue Emergency Assistance Volunteers Organization)

Dragon’s Print

Now if there is one thing that has been keeping everyone sane during quarantine it’s probably binge-watching new shows or movies. Running out of shows to watch on Netflix? Dragon’s Print has got you covered with an anime recommendation, Fruits Basket!

Read more about the Japanese series at!

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

Applying to Australia & New Zealand:

If you are interested in universities in Australia & New Zealand, book an appointment with the college counselor at  The application process of AU & NZ universities is processed through a designated agent that the universities recommend to facilitate the legalization of documents submitted for an application.  There are no application fees. In senior year, interested students apply in February or March of their final semester to gain admission.  You may view the Academic Start Dates – Australia  These dates are for this year and may be used as reference for the succeeding years.

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


May 6
6:00 PM

May 6

May 11
6:00 PM

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

Tips on Application & Winning Scholarships
Lingan University (Hong Kong)
LINK to register

Introduction to Financial Aid for International Students
University of Pennsylvania (USA)
LINK to register

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Learn about the EHL Junior Academy Programme:

  • Hospitality in a digital world (100% Online) 
  • Hospitality Business & Innovation (EHL Campus Lausanne)
  • Culinary Experience (EHL Campus Passugg)
  • International Hospitality & Luxury Brand Management (EHL Campus (Singapore))

LINK to register

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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

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Newsflash: April 23, 2021

MYP News

by Mr. Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator

Attention CIS Community!

The Grade Ten Students would like to welcome you to their Personal Project Showcase on Monday, April 26th.

The Personal Project is one of the THREE big IB projects at CIS. The others being the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition, later this year, and the Grade 11/12 Extended Essay.

The Showcase represents a significant milestone in the journey of the student as an IB learner. It serves as both the culmination of the students’ MYP studies and as a stepping stone towards future academic work, and the DP core.

The Personal Project gives students the unique opportunity to learn more about a topic that really interests them, to learn a new skill or develop an existing one, while also showcasing the knowledge they have gained and the skills they have developed throughout the MYP.

This year students have had the additional challenge of having to complete the entire program remotely. There were no face-to-face meetings with supervisors, no face-to-face meetings with the coordinator, and in some cases no access to the materials they needed. Everything had to be done online. This Personal Project Showcase is a testament to our Grade 10 student’s resilience, perseverance, and self-motivation.

There will be SYNCHRONOUS and ASYNCHRONOUS sessions to engage in. The asynchronous sessions start NOW with the release of the Personal Project Website where you can start to take in what they have done at your own pace.

On Monday there will be an opportunity for you to talk to the different presenters to find out more about what they did in our synchronous sessions. Here are the times for those sessions. All meeting links will be on the website.

Grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 Students
12:05-12:15 Welcome message from Dr. Underwood and Mr. Denton
12:20-12:30 Session One
12:35-12:45 Session Two
12:50-13:00 Session Three

Grade 9, 11, 12, Parents and Teachers
15:15-15:25 Welcome message from Dr. Underwood and Mr. Denton
15:30-15:50 Session One
15:55-16:15 Session Two
16:20-16:40 Session Three
16:40-16:45 Closing

We look forward to seeing you there.

Link again:

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

This week in the NewsFlash we continue to share the learning that is happening across the school. Teachers are currently investing considerable additional time collecting benchmark assessment data from their students in order to measure academic growth across the year, and report it accurately in the end-of-year written report. Additionally, students from grades 2-5 are preparing to take the MAP Test (Measure of Academic Progress) which will provide CIS with an overview of our student progress and help identify areas where CIS can make improvements to our academic program. The conversations emerging within our teaching team indicate that there has been incredible progress and growth in our students despite the challenges of the different learning context. Early on in the COVID pandemic, educationalists expressed concerns over the potential ‘Learning Loss’, however it has now been proven over and over again that in a good remote learning environment, such as the one the CIS provides, there is little to no learning loss. Additionally, many of the 21st Century Learning Skills that have been identified as necessary for learning to master to succeed in the rapidly changing world, are being mastered in this Remote Learning context.  


This week in the Newsflash we have articles from Philippine Language and Culture, PE, and Grade 2. I hope you enjoy reading about the learning our students have been engaged in.

Philippine Language and Culture – Lower Elementary

In Philippine language and Culture, the Early Years 2/3 and Kinder/Grade One students have been exploring different celebrations in the Philippines. We learned about the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras. It is a month-long celebration as thanksgiving for having a rich mango harvest. We found out that ” Mango Eat All You Can” is something that makes the Manggahan Festival unique. Mango Eat All You Can is an event where local people from Guimaras invite participants to pay P100.00 to eat as many mangoes as they can, and whoever eats the most is the winner. Aside from that, some of the students were able to make connections that Manggang Hilaw (green mangoes) are sour or “aslom”, while Manggang Hinog (yellow mangoes) are sweet or ” tam- is”.

During our synchronous calls, the students learned to identify colors in Filipino such as pula (red), puti (white), dilaw (yellow), rosas (rose), and verde (green). In addition, we played “I spy” and ” Show Me” to further develop their skills in identifying colors in Filipino.

Philippine Language and Culture – Upper Elementary

In Grade 2 and 3 Philippine Language and Culture, the students explored places in Southern Cebu. They were able to  dive into the waters of Moalboal and Oslob and took a closer look at the pawikan (turtle)  and butanding (whale sharks). The students shared what they wanted to inquire about and learned how  the pawikan and butanding look like, where in the Philippines can they be found, what they eat, the major threats that they are facing, and their current conservation status. Knowing that pawikan and butanding are endangered, they made  an action to send a message and created a poster to teach other people how and why we should save and protect the pawikan and butanding. Finally, they also learned the effects of the pawikan and butanding tourism to the community of Moalboal and Oslob.

In Philippine Language and Culture, the grades 4 and 5 students have been learning about the influential people in the Philippines. We kicked off the unit with a virtual field trip to Masungi Georeserve where we met the power sisters, Ann and Billie Dumaliang who led the conservation of the Masungi. The students were able to compare the differences before and after the conservation of the forest. They also learned the challenges that the power sisters were facing and discovered the actions that Ann and Billie took to save and protect the Masungi. Finally,  we were able to connect them to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) and Human Rights by pointing out which of the UN SDG and Human Rights Ann and Billie were addressing with their actions. They also met the CNN Hero of the Year 2009, Efren Peñaflorida and made a lot of connections.

Grade 2 Class

by Ms. Aimee Underwood, Grade 2 Teacher

We pledge to help our planet. Will you join us? 

Happy Earth Day! The Grade 2 students have been inquiring into interconnections within ecosystems, the causes and effects of changes to ecosystems, and our human responsibility toward our shared planet. Central to this exciting unit of inquiry were research skills, critical literacy skills, and measurement and graphing skills. Watch the Grade 2 scientist, researchers, and now activists share their learning below!

The Grade 2 students are now finishing their independent research books on their endangered species and preparing them for publishing. 

When the Grade 2 students are not busy pursuing their newfound passion for sustainable development, they have been finding creative uses for measurement. Most recently, they have enjoyed a virtual bake-off during which they practiced measuring and comparing length, mass, volume/capacity, and temperature to bake chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Let’s Get Physical

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias, PE Teacher

Physical Education in the Early Years
Children are introduced to a range of activities aimed at developing confidence, control and coordination in large and small movement. Let’s have a look at the snapshots.

EY2/3 P.E. Activities: Desert Chase, Adventure Challenge and Deal or No Deal Workout

Kinder and Grade One on the move!
These past few weeks, our K/G1 students have been engaged in a series of “Adventure Challenge” that comes with animated videos. Here are the kids in action.

Jump for Joy 
Grades  4 and 5 students have been joyfully busy in practicing the “Intermediate Stunts”. They demonstrated great coordination skills and cardiovascular endurance in every skip rope activity during our synchronous calls. Students are currently working and mastering the ‘Advanced’ skip rope stunts.

Jump Rope In Grades 2 and 3 P.E. 
Students have been working so hard learning the skip rope stunts and tricks. Each of them accomplished the ‘Beginner Level’ and are currently working on achieving the second level which is the ‘Intermediate’. This year, ‘Skip Rope’ is our longest lesson among the other PE units. The interest and enthusiasm of the students for this unit is highly impressive! Way to go!

Middle and High School Principal

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

As we continue our journey with remote learning, our MHS teachers continue to seek creative ways to engage our students, foster inquiry, and make learning relevant. This is no small feat given our current learning context. Teachers continue to implement and utilize strategies that allow our students to work collaboratively and meet their SEL needs as well as fulfill the academic content and skill standards in our classes.

This week we focus on some of our Math and Language and Literature classes to see what individual teachers are doing to help develop attributes of the IB Learner Profile, develop ATL skills, and challenge our students cognitively.

From Sizes and Shapes to Symbols and Rules- Math 6

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, G6 Mathematics Teacher

To check in with the students, they were asked to answer questions on 

One is reflecting on their performance from quarter 3 and the other is on their thoughts and ideas on the new statement of inquiry.

Please see below sample answers from students:

One of the pre-algebra topics that Grade 6 students are learning now is on Integer Operations. This is easy for students to be confused about so here are some of the strategies we tried to do in class. Some students prefer to practice Adding and Subtracting Integers with Number Lines, others prefer to memorize the rules with a song, and most of them practice their skills with the ‘Battle of the Cards’. The element of competition adds more student’s engagement and motivation in mastering the rules of integer operations. They have enhanced their speed and accuracy on this particular topic with the different activities assigned in class.

Maths AASL

by Mr. Nick Arnsby, IBDP Math Teacher

Mr. Arnsby would like to express his gratitude towards Kim and Jhon, two of our grade 12 students, who took time out of their busy schedules recently to attend our G11 Maths AA SL lessons and help support the Juniors as they begin their Internal Assessment (IA) journey. 

The IAs is a very important assignment as it is worth 20% of students’ final IB Diploma course grade. These two Seniors did a sterling job of showcasing their excellent IAs and giving expert advice to a very attentive and active audience.

This in-class event provides a superb example of vertical integration, collaboration, and paying it forward. Both Jhon and Kim excelled in being leaders.

But don’t just take my word for it; let’s hear from some of our Grade 11 students:

Grade 7 Language and Literature

Our students are in the process of working through the novel Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins, which chronicles the experience of boy soldiers in Myanmar. This is a modern novel, where the action is taking place in a contemporary setting, so our students are able to make relevant connections with what is taking place in the novel. The following are two strategies being used to foster inquiry and critical and creative thinking as well as engage our students during our synchronous sessions.

Harkness Discussion is a strategy wherein students read and prepare notes based on study questions as well as including their own personal insights. The class discussion is “student-directed” where all learners are expected to participate, listen attentively, build on each others’ ideas, and employ the discourse of literary analysis to demonstrate mastery of those concepts.

Literature Circles is a class activity which allows students to explore the novel using their own observations, insights, questions, and connections. Students take on one of the following roles for each discussion and their roles rotate so that each member of each group has an opportunity to try each. Students read a portion of the text and prepare notes for the discussion based on the specific parameters of their roles. This strategy helps our students learn how to collaborate (and collaborate in order to learn) and develop their social skills as they share and work cooperatively to better understand the portion of text they have read. This activity also helps our students think both critically and creatively, and makes the learning relevant as they generate their own questions, insights, and connections between the text and their own lives. Lastly, this method creates opportunities for honest questioning and discussion.

Literature circle roles

The Summariser:

It is your job to give a summary of what has occurred in the section under review. The summary needs to be at least two paragraphs of 3-4 sentences written as an omniscient narrative.

The question master:

It is your job to come up with 3 open ended, interesting and relevant questions to discuss.. You need to ask questions that will get the group sharing their thoughts and opinions about the book.

Why do you think…..
What do you think about…..
What would you do if ……

The literary observer:

It is your job to find 3 literary devices from our glossary used by the author to build meaning or make the text more interesting to read, and explain how the author has used them and for what purpose..

The director:

It is your job to lead the discussion and introduce the section to be discussed. 

You must:
• keep the discussion going

• introduce each person, and have them complete their role
• make sure that everybody participates

The quote picker:

It is your job to find 3 significant quotes from the reading. You will need to explain why and how these quotes are relevant and important to the story. Make sure to include page and paragraph number.

The connector:

It is your job to connect the text to other things. You may find something in the writing that you can relate to:
• your own experiences
• another story/film
• real world events

Student reflections on Literature Circles:

I enjoyed it a lot, I had a chance to share my opinion, learn more about the book and even learn more about my classmates. I feel it is a very healthy way of sharing because you get so many different thoughts and opinions. Amelia

The activity was very fun because we can learn from each other; it makes people understand more and have more thoughts and questions during the activity or reading the book. This activity helped me understand because it’s taking everyone else’s perspective and putting it all together making a masterpiece. Ryan

I think that this activity is very fun. Talking to your classmates is a good and fun way to get people to learn and participate. I also think that it is good because we can also develop our social skills. I think that it was good that we were able to talk to our classmates. I was able to see other perspectives on the book. It wasn’t just my opinion on everything. I also learned a few things about the book that I hadn’t gotten before.  – Xavi

I think it was interesting because we can talk more deeply about the book and share our thoughts with others. We asked questions and made connections too so it helped me understand how the characters feel. Chaewon

Language and Literature 6

The Language and Literature 6 students have been exploring poetry and literary devices during this unit. In connection to the current situation with the pandemic, they have enjoyed viewing and analyzing poems that explore Technology and Social Media. A few spoken word poems they have watched are Touchscreen by Marshall Jones and Can We Auto-Correct Humanity? By Prince Ea. They have been comparing and contrasting the two poems and identifying the literary devices and the effect of using these literary devices on their audience. Additionally, students have discussed how they relate to the content of the poems because both express some similarities to what they are going through right now.

These are few examples of the Grade 6 learners’ thoughts on these poems:

In “Can we Auto-Correct humanity”, we know exactly how the poet feels about this situation. He feels as if he is concerned about how technology has made us more self-absorbed and less connected to the world we’re currently living in. However in “touchscreen” it’s not as clear how strongly the poet feels about technology and how he is asking us how we feel to make us think more about it. -Monica

The poems talk about how we use too many devices that we became dependent on them and the things online that we stopped talking to each other. – Rebecca

The similar message is about how communication through the internet made a person lonely or sad then communicating in person to person. They both talked about the loneliness in internet connection and communication. – Saki

It affects me in many ways. For example Touchscreen is talking about the friends list and talking about the real life people differences. But in Can we Auto-Correct Humanity is talking about ignoring the people in real life and counting the followers and likes. – Hana

It is about how computers and phones can be bad because we don’t talk to each other and we will have apathy for each other. – Leon

PTA Announcement

Dragon’s Print

Dogs are commonly regarded as human’s best mates, owing to their status as the first animal to be domesticated by humans. While many families keep dogs as pets all over the world, the majority of dogs are feral. Read more about the plight of these feral dogs in dog breeding grounds at

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

Students all over the world have been unable to take the SAT exams due to cancellations. Universities have also extended their test optional policy (they do not require SAT for admission). If you are a student who is worried that you have not taken the SAT, here are a few tips:

  • Focus on getting good grades in your classes. This is the most important part of your application. Test scores are additional information but do not define your application.
  • When creating your college list, check the test policies on the university websites.
  • Get involved in after-school activities. Choose quality over quantity. An admissions person will appreciate your involvement in 1 or 2 activities over a long period of time compared to a list of 10 activities that you signed up for a one-time/one-hour event.  You may also elaborate on your involvement in a particular project in your college essay.

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


April 23
4:00 PM

April 26
3:00 PM

April 27-29
6:00 – 6:45PM (Melbourne timezone)

April 30
3:00 PM

April 16-17,
for webinars
April 27-30,one-on-one consultations.

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

University of Melbourne with Trinity College (Australia)
LINK to register

Flinders University (Australia)
LINK to register

Study in University of Melbourne
Webinar Series
(LINK To register)

Queensland University of Technology (Australia)*
LINK to register

Study World Online Virtual Education Fair:

Register through this LINK to view the participating universities and webinars you can attend. Attendance is free! You can attend webinars and earn a certificate.  There is also an option to speak one-on-one with university reps.

Webinar topics include:

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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

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Newsflash: April 16, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, CIS Superintendent

Congratulations to the CIS Community members who helped prepare for, and who participated in, our IB Middle Years Programm (MYP) verification visit this past week. Based on the exit interview, I can report that it went very well, but we do need to wait for the IB Regional Office to review our application before they can make a final determination on our status. I want to thank our faculty for all of their efforts implementing the MYP over the past couple of years, with special recognition for Mr. Jonathan Denton, our Assistant Principal-MYP, who has done a truly exemplary job coordinating the implementation. We will know the final outcome within 1-2 months.

Upcoming events of note:

  • April 23: Half day of school; CIS EduForum in the afternoon (this is biannual event where CIS faculty provide professional learning sessions to local educators from around the Philippines!)
  • April 23: Last day of classes for G12
  • April 28: Parent Coffee Morning (9-10am)
  • May 1: Labour Day Holiday

Please refer to the CIS Event calendar ( for the complete calendar of the school events.

Elementary News

by Ms. Maureen Juanson, PYP Coordinator

This past week, our PYP learners engaged in consolidating their learning and understanding of their fifth unit of inquiry. It’s great to see students continuing to show enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, discover, and explore the concepts that they are working on in their respective classes at this point of the school year. 

The Grade 5s have been focused on their PYP exhibition journey and are in the process of  researching to find answers to the questions related to the issues and topics that they are greatly passionate about. As they organize, collaborate, and gather data, they are able to demonstrate the ATL skills that they have been developing throughout the years in the PYP. We are looking forward to witnessing their PYPx live presentations in May.

As we come closer to the end of the school year, our PYP teachers began collecting data to help us identify and celebrate the progress and growth that each student has made this school year. It is important that we are able to collect this information in order to continuously provide necessary support to individual students as we move into our final units of inquiry next week and prepare them for the next grade level.

Early Years (EY2/3-AS)

After Easter break, the Early Years began exploring our new unit, ” Where We Are in Place and Time” by unpacking the words Place and Time. Many of us shared our understanding that a Place is somewhere we want to go, and somewhere we build our house. Our young learners also explained what a family is. We all think that a family has a mom, dad, and children. We had a sharing of the story, Applesauce Day written by Lisa J. Amstutz. The Early Years shared some of the unique and special activities they do together as a family. We learned that Traditions are things that we do with our families that are usually passed on from our grandparents to our parents and then to us. 

The Grade 2s and 3s together with the Early Years have started with our Buddy Reading classes and some have started with their end-of-the year assessments. Next week, we will continue to learn more about our families and share more about family traditions. 

Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws – How The World Works 

The Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws have been inquiring and exploring the unit How the World Works. It started with the word matter, and then the students put on their thinking hats and began their journey of curiosity. They have discovered the different properties of matter around them, how they look and feel like. At the same time they also learned that most of the words that define matter are called describing words or adjectives

As they continued exploring the unit, the students engaged in different experiments starting with Ice Cube Meltdown. Students were asked to put ice cubes under different conditions and share their hypothesis. Different results were gathered and presented in their Science journal. They carried on with other experiments such as Paper Tower Challenge, Changing properties of Playdough and Air Experiment

Just before we went on spring break, the Kinder and Grade 1 students created something from materials that they found at home. The challenge was to choose two materials and create something new out of it. Some of them were really amazing and it was good to know that students chose the materials for their creations based on the properties the materials had.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

After a welcomed break following one of the longest continuous stretches of the school year, last Tuesday our students and teachers returned, refreshed and rejuvenated, to their virtual classrooms. As we carry on through these final weeks of the school year, we are committed to investing our best efforts to helping our students finish the year successfully.

This is the home stretch for us as we look forward to just seven more weeks until the end of the school year. This week we will be sharing how selected classes in the Science and Language Acquisition (which includes EAL) departments are engaging our students both cognitively and in other important dimensions as we seek to meet their holistic needs.

The Effect of Sucrose on the Rate of Cellular Respiration of Yeast (Grade 9)

The MYP Grade 9 Science students recently learned about reactions including photosynthesis and cellular respiration. They investigated the rate of reaction involving yeast, were able to conduct a lab virtually and write a full lab report. Students also analyzed graphs to find the half-life, the time it takes for a sample of an unstable radioactive substance to decay and the properties of nuclear reactions including alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. One student was inquisitive during this time by asking about how to solve for half-life using calculations.  

Students also made a wonderful Health Department pamphlet educating employees in the workplace about the dangers of radiation which they presented to their class. According to one recent article, they found out that there is evidence of no harmful radiation from cell phones, which has been a topic of rigorous debate for the past two decades. Some students shared that they do not use their cell phones too much or they use the speaker phone option as a healthy habit. They are currently learning more about The Particle Theory and Energy including Heat, Heat Transfer, and Waves in Physics.

MYP Grade 10 Science (Semester Two) Students had the opportunity to explore mechanics concepts by designing their own experiment involving motion. They carried out physical exercises such as climbing a step or stair(s) and carrying out push ups to collect data involving work and time to calculate their own power in joules per second (watts), a concept which they are analyzing.

DP Physics students (Year 1) have been learning about Wave Phenomena with the content differentiated for the Standard and Higher students during this unit.  For Year 2 students, proud moments were experienced as they prepared and gave presentations/tips about their personal research process and main findings from their Internal Assessment. They also said, “Good bye,” to their final reports of their scientific research as the reports were sent off to the IB Organization for external grading. Year 1 students will say, “Hello!” to these same explorations soon. They are at the stage of brainstorming their ideas for their own experiment which they will research, design, and carry out using experimental procedures to investigate their findings based on their original scientific question. The work of the Year 2 students will serve as student exemplars for the Year 1 students.

Science 8

Interaction session with Architect Junie Rubia

The unit entitled, ‘Eco-house’, focuses on the environment as students explore environmentally-friendly applications of the properties of matter and the changes these undergo. This unit challenges the students to use their understanding and skills to be able to design an eco-house which incorporates the theme of sustainability in the design and use of materials.

To enrich the students’ learnings about the unit, the class invited Architect Junie Rubia to share about his current practice in house design and construction. Mr. Rubia is a practitioner in the architectural field and is also a professor in the Architecture Department of University of San Carlos. Sustainable design in houses and buildings is one of the key elements in his work. As a result, his sharing and interaction with the Grade 8 students was very educational.

These are some of our students’ reflections after the interaction session. 

What are your realizations from the sharing of Archt. Junie Rubia?

That a green house does not mean it has lots of plants, but it is something that is sustainable.  – Caleb

Bamboo is actually very durable. Though you can’t use them all the time because you have to design the building you’re creating with bamboo to go along the growth of the bamboo. – Aaryan

I learned that when developing an eco-house you need to have a way to let airflow in, and to ventilate the toxic materials out of the house.  I also learned that eco-houses reduce energy usage by 20%. – Elijah

Describe the environment-friendly materials which can be used in designing eco-houses?

Some of the “green” or environmentally friendly materials that can be utilized for planning eco-houses are reused steel, bamboo, concrete, wood, glass, bricks timber, compost, soil, straws, fiber, etc. and all of these “green” materials are environmentally friendly and are very useful for designing eco houses. – Miguel

The following are sample outputs of the students.  

Design by Fiana

Sustainable practices in the design:
– Use of many large windows
– Installation of water cistern that stores rainwater
– Solar panels on the roof (not seen in the layout)

Design by Gab

(2nd floor) Sustainable practices in the design:
– Use of many large windows
– Installation of water cistern that stores rainwater (not seen in the layout)
– Solar panels on the roof

Chemistry 10

After learning about the structure of atoms and how these affect the properties and nature of chemical bonding of different substances, the students are now extending their understanding to the nature and applications of varied chemical reactions in unit II, ‘Chemical reactions around us’. 

The unit commences with its contextualization. One of the activities involved a group game using the goosechase app. In teams, the students accomplished 10 missions which allow them to identify different products (home-based) involving chemical reactions. These were some of their accomplished tasks.

Furthermore, one of the learning objectives of the current unit is to increase the awareness of the students regarding the impact of varied chemical reactions in their daily lives.  Using the examples in their respective homes, the students developed a short presentation to showcase common reactions with their corresponding effects.

Screenshots of students’ works:

by Chewon
by Lea
by Anya
by Sean

Chemistry 11

Simple ‘home chemistry’ for kinetics

The use of baking soda and vinegar is very common for science demonstrations and experiments because the materials are readily available and safe to use. In the absence of our “official” school science laboratory, the class used this simple reaction to collect data at home and process the data to investigate the effect of concentration on the rate of the chemical reaction (a kinetics study).  

The following are some of the experimental set-ups.

by Jenny

Pour in the vinegar to each of the glasses, then the baking soda, and as soon as the baking soda touches the surface of the vinegar, start the timer. As soon as the reaction slowing is observed, stop the stopwatch and record the time on the table. This image just shows all the three glasses together, however when conducting the experiment, each trial was conducted separately, individually for more accuracy.

by Jodi

Pouring baking soda into the small container to be measured on the digital weighing scale

by Daigo

This image shows the setup of the experiment which includes the materials as well as the apparatus that were used.

The gathered data were analyzed particularly at the instantaneous rates of the simple chemical reaction.  This involved the use of graphing techniques which demonstrates a very relevant integration of math concepts in a science course.

by Justin

With the necessary adjustments in the manner of conducting scientific investigations during online learning, the students were still able to meet the course expectations. They were able to identify both random and systematic errors and worked their way through minimizing these even in a home set-up. They used their critical thinking and took risks as they designed their own experiments.

News from our Language Acquisition classes

Mandarin AB
Mandarin ab initio Grade 11 students are continuing to develop their language skills and expand their vocabulary during remote learning. As we discussed food and drinks, students presented their knowledge about this topic by cooking many different Chinese-style foods at home, for example, steamed fish, soy sauce fried rice, dumplings, noodles, and Sichuan pork. Students were able to enhance their cooking skills and make the perfect connection with the target culture through Chinese Food. Recently we also discussed community and public facilities.

Mandarin ab initio Grade 12 has successfully completed their IA and Mock Exams. Congratulations to them for their hard work and great progress in this course. I am grateful to see how much they have grown under such difficult circumstances. As we begin to wrap up the course and also allow students to be reflective on their own learning experience, we also reflect on our learning experiences over the past 2 years. Grade 12 students wrote a detailed summary about their learning strategies and useful resources. They also included their feedback about personal learning and the teacher’s instruction.

Spanish Ab Initio
Grade 11 students have worked on developing their writing skills. The new format they have been working on is Message- Nota and students have used this platform to explore some topics related to house chores, homes, and stores. The following is an example of their written texts:


Grade 12 students have been working hard to prepare for their Spanish ab initio Internal Assessment. 

Among some of the general questions in the IA, students were able to compare and contrast their culture and the Spanish language culture. These are insights from grade 12 students  comparing and contrasting some aspects of  both cultures.

Similarities and differences:

  • Una similitud de Filipinas con la mayoría de los países hispano hablantes especialmente en el centro de América es que suelen tener muchos días soleados y clima tropical por lo que la ropa en ambos países es parecida. 

A similarity between the Philippines and most Spanish- speaking countries, especially in Central America, is the sunny days and tropical climate, so the clothes in both countries are similar.

  • Una similitud de Filipinas con la mayoría de los países hispano hablantes es que las familias van a la iglesia para escuchar  misa los domingos. 

A similarity between the Philippines and most Spanish speaking countries is that families go to church to hear mass on Sundays. 

  • En la cultura filipina, coreana y japonesa comer arroz en las tres comidas del día es muy común. 

In Philippine, Korean and Japanese cultures eating rice for all three meals of the day is common. 

  • En la cultura hispana, principalmente en España el arroz es uno de los ingredientes principales para hacer paella pero no forma parte de las tres comidas del día como en los países asiáticos.

In the Hispanic culture, mainly in Spain, rice is one of the main ingredients to make paella. Unlike in Asian countries, it is not eaten for all three meals of the day. 

Spotlight: Grade 12 Mandarin B 

After successfully completing the final round of their IBDP journey, the Grade 12 students in Mandarin B are ready to impart their knowledge of the language to a younger generation. Recently, the class has focused on refreshing the basics of Mandarin in order to teach it effectively to grade 6 and 7 students. The goal is to develop a solid foundation and cultivate their fluency in the language through an online setting.

They have created video modules on topics such as: “How to Introduce Yourself,” “Countries,” and “Fruits and Vegetables.” These will serve as a fun way for beginners to get acquainted with the language, all while establishing a good foundation for future topics, such as “Transportation” and “Health”.

The students will also have a chance to host a teaching session with the younger students next week, where students’ knowledge may be enhanced through interactive activities.

The next goal of the class is to enrich the HSK vocabulary of our grade 8 and 9 students. This will help the incoming IBDP Mandarin students build their confidence in their language, as well as improve their reading comprehension and speaking abilities. After all, expanding one’s vocabulary is one of the most important aspects of learning a language; in Mandarin, it is important to know the right words to say in a sentence in order to communicate effectively.

An Emphasis on Reflective Communication

IBDP Mandarin will not only test your fluency in the language, but it will also broaden your perspective of the world as you learn more about the Chinese culture. Every aspect of the language includes a rich historical background and highlights enduring values within the Chinese culture; as such, one can expand their views of the world and learn the traditional ideals of filial piety and harmony, among many others. 

Moreover, you can experience and analyze how the Chinese culture has evolved over time. One example is the celebration of Chinese New Year: while the traditional practice of giving red envelopes still persists, the development of modern technology has allowed family members to send each other these envelopes via online platforms such as WeChat. You can also discuss the different subcultures in Chinese society, such as fast food culture. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

All in all, the Mandarin class allows students to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, thus allowing them to become more compassionate and reflective communicators.

My journey of learning Mandarin was filled with difficulties, since the language was confusing and difficult to learn. Although it has been a difficult journey, I still enjoyed learning the language through IB Mandarin. IB Mandarin not only gave me more knowledge on the language, but also on the interesting culture of China. Learning the culture while studying the language gave me new perspectives on diversity. — Joshua

In IB Mandarin I learned the Chinese language and culture. Learning Chinese took a lot of patience and practice, but the class helped me overcome the fear of speaking a new language and gain confidence. — Louise

Learning a language that over 1.3 billion people speak is no easy task, but definitely a worthwhile experience.  Learning Mandarin not only provides you access to fluent communication but also allows you to connect to China at a deeper level. — Dana

IB Mandarin has been a great experience for me. I did not only learn the Chinese language, but I also learned Chinese culture. Learning a new language has allowed me to broaden my perspective and embrace diversity all around the world. — James

Chinese… is a fun challenge. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and even if you’re already familiar with the language, the subject still poses challenges for you in terms of your reading, writing, speaking, and listening ability. It’s a tough subject—but the good news is that it makes you even tougher! A culture is ten times better when you experience it versus when you simply hear about it… so if I may propose one challenge: Take a Mandarin class! In school or online, it doesn’t really matter. My only hope is that you may find the beauty in Chinese the way I did through my Mandarin class. — Venise

English as an Additional Language

Try to imagine seeking to grasp the fundamentals of a language while also learning within that language in all of your other courses. This is the unique challenge faced by our EAL students. Add to this the complexity of using online platforms such as Google Classroom.Whether it was easy or difficult, it could be considerably more challenging to learn to use in a language you are still beginning to understand. Words like “resubmission” or “optional” could be new vocabulary words for English Language Learners in the remote learning environment. Connecting with others can be incredibly helpful to motivate and encourage students to participate and be more confident in class.

Here are a few ways we can help our EAL students connect to each other and support their learning:

  1. Home connection

Teacher communication with parents and vice versa about the students’ English language learning has been found by research to be effective in establishing a home-school connection. Translating feedback into the home language of families can really drive important points home. This was shown to help ELL students practice and use the language even after school hours, which is an important step to help them master the language. 

  1. Classmates and connecting

Many students feel isolated, especially during remote learning, due to the physical distance from their peers. Some of our new CIS students have never even met their classmates face-to-face. Encouraging small group interactions can increase their chances of reaching out and talking to their classmates. Guided peer activities provide beginning students the opportunity to extend their current skills and knowledge to higher competence. This can help students feel more comfortable with interacting in class and gives them more ways to practice their second language.

  1. Connect through visual aids

Using pictures and graphic organizers can help ELLs and most students visualize what is happening in class. This can guide them to know what is being talked about even when they do not know the words being said. Assisting ELLs in using the closed captions on websites for class can also give them more time to see and read the words being spoken.

  1. Connect through individual check-ins

Talk to each other! Some students are more likely to ask questions when they are asked individually. This can be through google hangouts or through email as well. Students, teachers, parents, and other community members can gain a better understanding of what is happening on the other side through checking in on each other with open questions. 

For more specific steps to understanding how we can help our EAL community members, this resource would be useful. It is encouraging to find that many of the recommendations found here are strategies we have been actively applying in assisting our CIS learners.

Supporting multilingual learners (MLLs)/English language learners (ELLs) during the COVID-19 Shutdown 

Dragon’s Print

Every year on April 18, we celebrate World Heritage Day where we are reminded to preserve human heritage and recognize the organizations that are working to keep it alive. Learn more about the importance of this monumental day as it celebrates this year’s theme of ‘Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures’ on

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

One of the daunting tasks of an incoming senior is to come up with a college list.  Here are some factors to consider when making choices:

  • Programs available :  Does the institution offer the program you want to study? Have you done some research about the quality of their programs?
  • Cost of Attendance:  Will your family cover the cost of attendance or will you need a scholarship?
  • Location:  Have you considered location in terms of access to family/friends for support?
  • Graduate employability:  Have you checked how employable the graduates are from this institution?
  • Your family:  Have you discussed your choices with  your parents/guardians?

These are only a few of the aspects to consider. In the following weeks, Grade 11 students will be meeting with the College Counselor to finalize a college list and plan the college application timeline for senior year.  An email will be sent to all 11th graders with more information.  

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


April 20
10:00 AM

April 23

April 23
4:00 PM

April 26
3:00 PM

April 30
3:00 PM

April 16-17,
for webinars
April 27-30,one-on-one consultations.

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

Hermes – Colleges Network (Canada) 
LINK to register

Sheridan College (Canada)
LINK to register

University of Melbourne with Trinity College (Australia)
LINK to register

Flinders University (Australia)
LINK to register

Queensland University of Technology (Australia)*
LINK to register

Study World Online Virtual Education Fair:
Register through this LINK to view the participating universities and webinars you can attend. Attendance is free! You can attend webinars and earn a certificate.  There is also an option to speak one-on-one with university reps.

Webinar topics include:

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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

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Newsflash: March 26, 2021

Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

As we wrap up this week and prepare to go on Easter Break, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your contribution to our student’s successes. These have been demonstrated by evidence such as our recent benchmarking data in the elementary supporting our observations that CIS students are in general maintaining expected age level academic growth despite having to use Remote Learning over the last year, and the positive feedback to our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities.

Photo credit: Micheile Henderson via Unsplash

Some of our students still struggle in various areas, however, so we must continue to seek ways to help students overcome any such areas. It is good to keep in mind that struggling with aspects of learning is an expected – and even desirable thing if it is not too severe, as we all learn best when we are challenged. This process is also something that occurs when we are on campus too, so it is important to continue to face our ongoing pandemic challenges in a systematic and practical manner, seeking solutions and not blame. Together, we are stronger, and we can, and will, overcome such challenges!

Have a wonderful week of rejuvenation and spending time with family.

Parent Coffee Meeting (Wed Mar 24) Report

Thanks to the parents who took the opportunity to join us for a time of connecting and discussion this week. Please do make these meetings if at all possible, as they are valuable opportunities to meet other parents, and get to learn more about CIS and our program.

Our feature topic this week was exploring how we define high-quality learning and teaching at CIS. In addition to being one of our accreditation action plan items, we have been finding this question great to stimulate discussion on numerous issues surrounding learning and teaching at CIS. We have a draft definition now that we will share back with you all once all stakeholders have had a chance to give input.

Managing stress

Photo credit: Taya Iv via Unsplash

I think we can all agree that the past year has been stressful for each and every one of us, at least at some point. Advice on how to cope with stress is common, but it is also commonly not heeded! As we go on our spring break, I thought it timely to share some suggestions that could help form habits that will be useful for when we return to work or school. The following list is simple, yet comprehensive. Most of these are probably reminders for you – but if you are still getting stressed, perhaps developing one or more of the following techniques will help?

8 stress-management techniques to consider developing into recommended daily habits:

  • Move, move, move. Any exercise is a fantastic stress reliever.
  • Breathe. Practice meditation and mindfulness exercises to tame your mind.
  • Journal. Writing can help us unpack what’s going on inside. Start by documenting what you’re grateful for each day.
  • Laugh. Watch a funny show, call a funny friend, and feel some joy.
  • Find your flow. What activity or task demands your deepest focus?
  • Listen to music. Research proves that it helps us relax.
  • Read. Non-fiction can help you learn and engage your brain with new knowledge and ideas, but fiction is best to help you relax and let your imagination go free.

Source: Adapted from HBR Management Tip of the day, Feb 12, 2021 (adapted from “7 Ways to De-Stress When You Can’t Go Outside,” by Michelle Bihary)

Events and dates

  • March 29 (Mon) – April 5 (Mon) – Easter break
  • March 9th Valor day (holiday)
  • April 8 (Thu) CIS Corporation Meeting (virtual)
  • April 12-14 IB MYP Verification Visit (virtual)
  • Save the date: Our next Parent Coffee meeting is on 28 April, 9-10am
  • Refer to our online School Calendar a complete listing of events

Dr. Gwyn Underwood,

MYP Accreditation

Dear CIS Parents,

We Need You!

One of the final hurdles on our road to MYP accreditation is the upcoming Verification Visit.  This will be held remotely from Monday, April 12th to Wednesday, April 14th. The visit comprises a series of meetings between representatives of the IB, Patrick Ritter and Sheeza Ali, and members of the CIS community. This includes students, parents, board members, teachers, staff and administrators.

We need a small group of parents and board members for these meetings. The visiting team will be asking questions relating to your experiences with our school, understanding of the CIS philosophy, as well as why you selected CIS for your children.

The Board meeting will be held on Monday, April 12th from 09:15 to 09:45; the Parent meeting will also be on Monday, April 12th from 10:00 to 10:30.

If you are a CIS Board member, or an MYP parent interested in participating in one of these meetings, please let me know by emailing me at and I will forward you more details including a list of potential questions to help ease any concerns you may have.

We truly look forward to your favorable response and participation.

Most sincerely,

Jonathan Denton
MYP Coordinator & Assistant Principal (MYP) 

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Over these past weeks we have explored and encouraged the importance of self-care among our students, our families and among our CIS staff and faculty. This period of remote work and remote learning has impacted us all in different ways, and the long term isolation can sometimes be confusing for our emotions. At times we are not sure how to feel, what to feel, and whether what we are feeling is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. As we now head into a week of no classes, this is a time to move away from our devices and take the opportunity to relax a little from the ongoing pressures associated with pandemic work and learning.

Recently I came across a TED Talk, and I shared this with our CIS faculty. This talk by Rehef Harfoush discussed how burnout makes us less creative.  Our focus on constant high-level performance and high levels of productivity can actually lead to lower output through burnout, so taking the opportunity for a genuine break really helps you. Productivity is not an endurance sport, rather it is slow and steady that actually wins the race. As it turns out Aesop’s fable of the hare and tortoise is as relevant today during the pandemic as it was when first formally published in the mid 16th century We wish you all a well deserved a restful Spring/Holy Week break.

* Image source: 

Learning in the Kinder/Grade 1 Eagles Class

This past week has been another fun week of inquiry and learning for our KG1 students.  As we continue to explore our Unit of Inquiry, How the World Works, we experimented with different materials to understand the properties of matter.

Dry Paper Underwater experiment
Our Dry Paper Underwater experiment proved that air, though invisible, takes up space. Here are some responses from our KG1 students to the question, “Does air take up space?” 

  • Yes. When I put the cup inside the water the paper towel did not fall. I think it’s because the air fills up the extra space and keeps the towel dry. – Erin
  • The paper towel is dry because the air was still inside the cup. When I breathe the air takes up space in my chest. – Catherine
  • I did the experiment three times and the paper was dry. The air takes up space that’s why the paper did not get wet. – Ellaine

Our Experiment
Did you know that it is possible to submerge a paper towel in water without getting it wet? Our KG1 students did an experiment to prove this. We have been learning about Matter. Even though you can’t see it, the air is made up of matter and matter takes up space. We observed that when the glass is lowered in the water, the air is trapped inside the glass keeping the paper dry.

The Tower Challenge
The KG1 students were challenged to build the tallest tower using only recycled paper. The goal was to get it to stand up firmly. By bending, folding, rolling, and tearing the paper, students learned to manipulate the properties of matter to make it suitable for particular uses.

How Playdough Responds to Different Conditions
By making playdough, the KG1 students noticed how different properties of matter interact and come together. We exposed our playdough to different environments and saw that it can turn crumbly, dry, soft, or slimy. We learned that matter behaves differently when exposed to different conditions.

Math in KG
For Math, we discovered how to use objects and nonstandard units to measure. We learned how to measure length, width, and height with nonstandard units, such as paper clips, pencils, shoes, lego, etc.

Music in Elementary

Early Years
Our youngest students are still focusing on their senses, and in Music we have been exploring and honing our listening skills.

Grade 2
Grade 2 students have been putting musical theory knowledge into action and performing on tuned percussion or keyboard instruments.

Kinder and Grade 1
Kinder and Grade 1 students have started focussing on vocal skills. They have started off with ‘so’ and ‘mi’.

Grade 3
Grade 3 students have started to learn the recorder. They have focussed on proper performance technique, breathing and first three notes. They are excited to work their way through Recorder Karate pieces at their own pace.

Grade 4 and 5
The students have been exploring musical elements such as rhythm and texture through an app called Online Sequencer.  In addition to music technology, the students have also been learning about some unusual bands that make music with non-traditional sound sources.  Some of the items that these groups use to make music include brooms, trash cans, basketballs and even vegetables!  The students created their own instrument inventions, too.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

This past week, we have had the opportunity to participate in several of our regular annual events, experiences that are very important for meeting our students’ SEL needs, keeping our students connected to each other within the ongoing covid situation, and preserving key aspects of our school culture. Events like these don’t happen spontaneously, but rather, represent hours, days, or even weeks of work on the part of both teachers and students. Some of this work is visible in the product created, while many individuals work hard “behind the scenes.” A big thank you to all of our faculty and students who have brought us these opportunities.

House Activity Day (HAD) 3

As we continue to highlight our school’s fervent efforts to maintain events that engage, encourage, and unite our students, last Friday we had our final HAD for the year. On these days we set aside our typical academic schedule and engage our students in a variety of activities designed for fun, connection, and team spirit as our students compete against the other houses. 

As this day is meant for the students, and now intentionally to attend to their SEL needs, the activities are planned by the Student Council and also led by the students with the supervision and encouragement of faculty members. This year the Student Council made special efforts to create activities that would require students to be physically active and ensured that there was maximum participation by making sure the activities needed to be carried out as a team which means that they may be virtually away from each other but for them to complete the game, they needed to work together in breakout groups or team chats.

Some of the HAD activities were as follows:

Bring Me which was a very engaging activity even if it is conducted online. As on of the most popular activities in HAD 3, most students said they enjoyed it very much, as it not only had an element of surprise as to what object would they have to look for but also it was very exciting to find out which team was able to obtain them first based on the number of students asked per round. Even if this was done virtually, the participants had to move around their house to get the objects being asked for hence it allowed them to be actually physically active while participating.

Charades was a fun activity, too. This is easy to successfully conduct in a virtual environment, but is very engaging nonetheless. Each team takes turns in guessing a word that is being acted out by a team mate. They are given a few seconds to guess what the word is based on the actions and the opposing team gets a chance to guess if the current team fails to give a correct answer.

Wheel of Songs begins with a wheel with categories of songs displayed up on the screen and is spun. When the wheel lands on a category, each team has 2 minutes to list down as many songs that fit into the category. We use Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide which team goes first, and teams take turns singing lines from the songs they have listed. The winner of the round will be the last team still singing. This will repeat until the end of the rotation and should follow these rules: a. Songs MUST be in English, b. Songs don’t have to be sung by everybody, c. No made up songs, d. For each category round, a song cannot be repeated (i.e. once it is sung for a round, it cannot be used again), and e. If one group sang a song first, the opposing team can’t sing that song.

Escape Room is one activity we introduced just this last HAD, and is one of the most collaborative activities. The goal is for each team to get out of the ‘virtual rooms’ first by answering several trivia questions or looking for clues as to how to obtain the keys for each door. Opening one door can lead you to another until you eventually get out of the final one. Through the use of breakout groups in Google Meet, each team is able to work together to solve each problem or find the clue to obtain the key and open the locks. Students are not able to see the progress of the other team, adding more excitement as they seek to beat each other’s time.

At the end of HAD 3, it was clear that team Narra won as they led with 98 points, 25 points ahead of the second closest team, Mahogany, which had obtained 73 points. Team Acacia took 3rd place and Team Molave took 4th. This HAD was also the final opportunity to determine the winners of the School Spirit Cup. We tally the results of all activities from the three different HAD days in order to determine which house has the “bragging rights” as champions which will carry into next year until the final HAD day of 2022.

The closing ceremony, thanking all participants and announcing the results for the competition and streaming live on Youtube.

Final team rankings for HAD3

A Focus on Art and Design

Highlighting our academics this week, Mr. Jessie Saclo, HOD for Design and Arts, has provided an explanation for our Design and Arts courses and their importance within the MYP framework. According to the Cambridge online dictionary a framework is a supporting structure around which something can be built. The MYP, widely considered a framework for learning, is an expanse of eight subject groups wherein teaching and learning are identified in contexts that have a direct connection to students’ lives and their experience of the world. 

Through the following six global contexts, students of the MYP develop a personal understanding of our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations of: 

  • identities and relationships
  • personal and cultural expression
  • orientations in space and time
  • scientific and technical innovation
  • fairness and development
  • globalization and sustainability.

The MYP promotes learning as a construct that involves the cultivation of understanding through concepts or big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. With this vehicle students inquire and examine knowledge holistically through sixteen key interdisciplinary concepts along with related concepts for each subject discipline.

Art and Design have innate conceptual connections within the creative process. For our units in both subjects in Grade 7 this past quarter, we have identified and explored the distinct key concept of ‘communication’ and the related concepts of ‘interpretation’ and ‘perspective’. Students first developed their understanding of these concepts by constructing their own inquiry questions and by deducing the statements of inquiry for both subjects. With these understandings students have been able to explore the natural connections between art and design resulting in a class agreement to explore an interdisciplinary unit involving both subjects for the remainder of the school year.

The Grade 7 students are developing their skills in ‘illustration’ in Art class and their prowess in creating ‘animation movies’ in Design class. Through a set of formative assessments, students are acquiring fundamental skills and understanding of the methods of illustration and animation in relation to the key concept of communication. Students are also taking hold of their own learning by using software programs of their choice for illustration and video creation.

Visit this site to visit the grade 7 illustrations of the IB Learner Profile and short animation videos of products promotion. 

Yi Chen- Reflective
Grace- Balanced
Haylee- Caring

CIS School Production 2021

Last Friday the CIS community was treated to our first ever virtual school production: Broadway Review. Each year our Fine Arts teachers work tirelessly and side-by-side with a dedicated group of students to create the production, which is always one of the highlights of the year. This year posed a unique challenge, in that not only was the production virtual, but all of our performers had to practice and record themselves without being physically present with the drama directors, musical directors, choreographers, and other cast members. Yet, showing indefatigable “dragon spirit,” our team of teachers and students were able to create a successful production.

This year’s production was a great experience for the Production team.  After going through different stage plays, it was difficult to find one that had the license for a virtual set-up.  The team decided to put up a show highlighting selected Broadway musicals from the 1950s to 2000.  Popular songs and scenes were chosen from each musical.  It was challenging to teach choreography and rehearse in a virtual setting. The student performers had to balance their time between school tasks, attending virtual rehearsals, and recording their performances. The final phase was the editing of the video to come up with high-quality virtual production. The entire process was a learning experience that is indicative of the team’s resilience and determination. Being able to select portions of different musicals meant that we were able to involve students from lower elementary all the way to Grade 12 and also meant that more students were able to share the spotlight more than usual and allowed for more “lead” roles within the various segments.

In addition to song and dance, the Broadway Revue included a performance by the CIS Chamber Ensemble.  The medley of songs included: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, Maybe, I Don’t Need Anything but You, and Tomorrow–highlights from one of most popular Broadway musicals of all time, Annie. A bit more challenging than their normal repertoire, this medley featured syncopated rhythms, more bars, and more advanced ranges for the students. They managed the piece quite well and demonstrated sharp music skills, despite not having played together as a band for over a year. Similar to previous virtual performances, all the parts were recorded separately, then synchronized together using video and audio editing software- the new normal for performances in the time of the pandemic.  The Chamber Ensemble featured Bryan C. (violin), Deandra R. (alto saxophone), Chae Eun L. (trumpet) and Ron Michael C. (trumpet). 

Performance Snapshots

Production Cast Reflection

I loved the production video. It was so fun to see myself in it. I hope to make another video soon.  Harvey, G4

Making the school’s first virtual production was a very long, but fun process. We all had to practice our parts individually, then we prepared to record our performances asynchronously with a green screen as our background. Although this was very different from how we would usually rehearse in-person, it was still enjoyable because I had the chance to make time for my hobbies, which are singing and dancing. I would say that the strength would be being able to practice and record by yourself asynchronously. This way, we could take our time in preparing for our performances. However, when we get busy with classwork, it’s challenging to balance everything, including production. But this is not really a bad thing because it’ll teach us time management 🙂 Also, it’s way easier for us to communicate information and practice in-person because we could see what needs improvement, but we just had to adjust due to the current situation. – Fiana, G8

This year’s production was a success. Although we weren’t able to go to campus, we had many talented students who were able to act out and sing fortunately. But there were only 3 other students in the band group so that was a bit sad. When I saw the editing of the video, I was surprised by how good it was. Can’t imagine how much effort was needed yet it came out amazing. From elementary students to IB students, each had a fantastic job and for next year, I wouldn’t be here but hopefully students are able to be back at campus and show their amazing talents. We didn’t practice our Annie piece virtually because it will be “laggy” so we just had to practice on our own and record it. – Bryan, G9

I enjoyed how the production this year managed to make all these wonderfully creative and fun performances with the power of greenscreens and editing. I liked this because it was a whole new take on how to do an online production and personally, I’ve never seen it done like this before so it was very intriguing. – Sean,  G10

I really had lots of fun by doing the videos of me dancing and singing it has been a long time with production and i am deeply happy for doing all this to make the CIS community happy. Some of the struggles I had was when I sent some of my videos but at the end it was worth it. – Thea, G3

I think that the production went well. The green screen background, acting and singing! I think the whole production team worked hard and the work wasn’t wasted. Rhianna, G4

Overall, I have really enjoyed the production and I believe that our first virtual production was successful. Since it was virtual, there were several challenges I had to encounter mostly related to recording the moves. However, I was able to successfully accomplish the given parts and tasks to participate in the production. I especially enjoyed experiencing different types of songs with different genres. I was able to interpret songs from different time periods and interact with others to impact the music and moves. It was also a great chance for me to understand how much I am interested in music and it was great that I could find that out by doing something I like. – Victoria, G10

Learning that production this school year was going to be conducted online, I was nervous and suspicious of how it would be like. Especially since I know how hard it could be to communicate and practice virtually with other people. However, after the first rough couple of months, I knew that we were in capable hands. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t stressed about how the production would turn out, but after seeing how hard the other club members and the teachers were working I believed that everything would turn out fine, and I was right! Watching the premiere of Broadway Revue surprised me with all the cool effects, wonderful singing, and amazing dancing. I believe that the other people who also watched Broadway Revue would agree that although there were doubts to how the first virtual production would result, the finished product really blew their expectations away. – Jodi, G11

Feedback from Drama Students

I liked the theme and story because it let you know a bit of information about the different musicals included and the songs in each of them. The closing song was nice because everyone included as well as teachers in production were shown on the video. What was shown in the part of the last song sort of goes along with the visuals and signifies how they were able to produce a Broadway Revue together. I enjoyed it because of the songs. Most of the songs included were very familiar to me and I got to sing along with them. – Gabrielle, G8

I personally enjoyed the scene from the Phantom of the Opera. This scene popped out the most to me compared to the other ones played. I was impressed by the performance and was entertained throughout. I also respect this scene in a more personal way as I know it’s hard to do solos. It’s frustrating and pressuring. To see someone do a solo in a big stage always hits me on a different level. I enjoyed the singing of both characters. Although the scene was very serious I still enjoyed it because that’s a theme of drama I personally enjoy watching.  I enjoyed listening to their singing as well. Both presented their voice clear with great tones and pronunciation. – Andrew, G10

I really enjoyed ‘Annie’ the most because it really showed the stories behind Annie and it was one of my favorite productions that I have seen. Also, the effects in Annie were really good. At first, I thought the dog from Annie was real but as I kept watching, it looked like a video clip. I also think that Jodi was a very good actress and she delivered her lines really well and was good at singing the songs. – Joo Ha, G10

Some things I enjoyed about the “Broadway Revue” was that it was very fun and I saw the large amount of effort that was put into it. What made it fun was the actors’ performances in singing and dancing. The show held my attention all throughout and it was interesting to see this new approach. – Bea, G9

I enjoyed the editing. It was very entertaining and creative. The background, background music, and such was very interesting and enhanced the production video overall. The eye make up in Lion King was also nice as it added some detail into the performance. I also liked that I recognized most of these songs and was able to sing along. – Seohyun, G9

Class of 2021 College & University Acceptances Update

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Below is the updated list as today. Some universities have delayed their notification dates due to changes in their admission timeline.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week

Admission Offers
This is the season where most colleges and universities release admission offers. An offer can either be conditional or unconditional.  Below are samples of conditional offers:

Sample 1:
An IB Diploma with 36 points with 666 in HL subjects and a final mark of at least 4 in Math.

Sample 2:
This offer is conditional upon you providing a copy of your official final IB Diploma results and IB Diploma certificate with evidence of an achievement of an overall score of 33 points or above, and meeting the minimum required score for English, Chemistry an done of Physics or Higher Level Mathematics as pre-requisite subjects.

Sample 3:
If you complete the IB curriculum with a minimum score of 40, attaining at least 6 in two Higher Level subjects, you will be offered admission with an entry scholarship of HK$195,000p.a. 
• If you attain a score between 36 and 39, attaining at least 6 in two Higher Level subjects, you will be offered admission with an entry scholarship of HK$145,000p.a.
• If you attain a score between 30 and 35, attaining at least 4 in two Higher Level subjects, you will be offered admission without the entry scholarship; AND
• Attaining Grade 4 or above in English or English Literature at International Baccalaureate (IB)

Unconditional offers are usually given by institutions who do not require a specific IB Diploma score.  However, unconditional offers are still conditional because a student needs to graduate and earn the HS diploma in order to enroll in university. This is a reminder to all graduating students that the work is not yet over until all assessments and graduation requirements are completed.  

ALUMNI CHAT SERIES: Episode 5 – The Europe Edition is scheduled on Saturday March 27th at 8:00 PM.  LINK to join

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


March 27

March 27
Saturday – 8:00PM

April 10 & 13-17,
for webinars
April27-30,one-on-one consultations


“Pursue a Career that Positively Impacts the World”
Enderun Colleges (Philippines)
LINK to register

Alumni Chat Series: Episode 7 – The Europe Edition
LINK to join

Study World Online Virtual Education Fair:

Register through this LINK to view the participating universities and webinars you can attend. Attendance is free! You can attend webinars and earn a certificate.  There is also an option to speak one-on-one with university reps.

Webinar topics include:

SAT Update

Dates below are open for registration.  If the test will be canceled, an update will be posted here and on the school website a month to 3 weeks before the test date.

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

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsApril 8, 2021
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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

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Newsflash: March 19, 2021

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Week by week I am inspired by the level of innovation displayed by our Elementary Teaching Team. One aspect that makes our PYP Programme so strong is the constant collaboration we have between our teachers. As teachers plan lessons that promote the transdisciplinary nature of the PYP, we see specialist teachers and homeroom teachers helping students master the same skills, knowledge and concepts within the different context of the curriculum. We often see mathematics skills and knowledge being addressed in Art, Literacy skills in the Media Center lessons, and Social Studies skills within Art classes. This week as you read through the learning examples you will see how the Media Center has been working to support the learning within the homeroom classes within the context of science and literacy. In this time of extended remote learning, it is so encouraging to see how much our teaching are using these collaborative relationships to enhance the learning of all students.

Library/Media Center Class

Library / Media Center Classes collaborated with homeroom teachers on the unit of inquiry.  Students continued to have virtual read alouds during our synchronous calls. Here are some of our learning engagements from our classes. 

For our Early Years students, we read books about our 5 senses. We also shared about how we should take good care of them during our calls. 

For our KG1 students, we read books about matter and its properties. Students started off understanding what the world is made of and looked into properties of materials. We began looking at the things that we have at home and identify its properties.

We started off looking for objects that are in different states of matter : solid, liquid and gas.
We looked into properties of materials of hard and soft things at home
We also explored other properties of materials such as heavy and light

For our Grades 2 and 3 students, we looked into Ecosystems and what these consist of. Students checked out the different types of ecosystems and chose one that they want to explore or that interests them. They are now starting off with their research about their chosen ecosystem. Throughout their research, they will learn about different sources of information. In addition, they will also see the importance of citing their sources and how they should do it in this research journey.

They are now finalizing their research questions about their ecosystem.

For Grades 4 and 5 students, we are still reading the book Number the Stars. We made use of Literature Circles in understanding the novel. Students are assigned to a role every chapter such as Summarizer, Word Wizard and Artful Artists.  They share their work during our Synchronous Calls.

This is one of the illustrations from our Artists in Grade 5. This was based on Chapter 2 – The Man who Rides Past from the book – Number the Stars

Grade 3

In our Grade 3 Maths, we have been learning about different measurements. The students have explored their homes for distances, capacities and masses.

We have also been learning more about our unit, Sharing the Planet. The students shared their thoughts about ecosystems, and how different living things and nonliving things are connected to each other.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

As we prepare to embark on the final quarter of this most extraordinary year, I continue to be heartened and encouraged by the diligence and resilience of the members of our learning community. Teachers continue to plan creatively and challenge students to become stronger thinkers, collaborators, writers, researchers, and communicators. This week we return to a focus on a glimpse into the learning that is taking place in our classrooms with a specific focus on our grade 11 and 12 IBDP classes and also our PHE classes. When we consider the challenges of remote learning, these have been made even more intense by the demands of the rigorous DP curriculum. Both our teachers and students have managed to stay the course over the past eight months, mastering a curriculum that is challenging even under optimal circumstances.

Grade 12 DP Business Management

by Ms. Emily Cornet, Grade 12 Bus Mgt Teacher

In the DP Business Management course, there are a number of components that students work towards; students spend about eight months spanning grade 11, the summer, and grade 12 working on their internal assessment, an in depth look at a real issue facing a business.  There are also two external components to their final grade- Paper 1 and Paper 2.  Paper 1 is based on a single pre-seen case study that students begin studying in depth about three months before the final IB exam.

The grade 12 students have spent a significant amount of time during the past two months exploring the Paper 1 case study- first for their Mock Exams, and then for the end-of-year exam.  Through this in-depth exploration, students have made recommendations, created new proposals, and answered questions that a real-life business would have to examine to remain viable.

Dana’s proposal for the reorganization of MM:

Jhon’s IA outlined evaluation of possible funding sources for MM:

Grade 12 DP History

by Ms. Joy Pierra, DP History Teacher

For the past three quarters, the Grade 12 History class has been very busy completing all their requirements for the IB Diploma. Last week, after they had successfully completed these requirements, Ms. Pierra asked them to inspire the community by sharing their thoughts and feelings about their journey as History students. The activity was done through a sentence relay so everyone could participate and contribute in the article. 

Our IB History Journey in CIS

We started History IB with many expectations in the beginning. As we progressed through the two years, there were many highs and lows that we experienced. – Yoji

Many emotions and hardships were felt since the start of our IB experience. – Romana

From learning in a physical classroom to learning in an online classroom, many adaptations had to be made. – Stuart

Since there were many factors that we were not sure of, we had to stay close and constantly communicate with our classmates and teacher. As a result, we had attained numerous skills through this course.  – Jooshin

During our journey in IB history we were able to expand our analytical skills; however we sometimes struggled with finding reliable sources in order to complete our arguments. – Emily

Finding reliable sources was a skill that we had to develop as well as it could lead to more substantial discussions and analysis about a topic.  – Joeven

History isn’t an easy subject by any means due to how there is no guarantee about everything being revealed. Some things still may be lost to history for one reason or another but we make the best of what we have. 🙂

IB history has been an interesting ride to which we have all come to accept others’ individuals opinions despite not particularly agreeing with what has been said :))) – Romana

IB History has also introduced us to the importance of understanding multiple perspectives and being able to accurately analyse the past.  – Stuart

We were able to grow from our disagreements and learn from our differences.   – Jhon

One can argue that IB History has allowed us to grow as students and individuals. 🙂 ✨  – Romana

Grade 11 DP Psychology

by Michael Stewart, DP Psychology Teacher

IB Psychology students have been learning about some of the central methods used in psychological research, and in particular how to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of these methods when writing exam questions. This requires a general explanation of the method, careful consideration of its strengths and limitations, and being able to identify how and why a given method would be appropriate and valuable with respect to a specific study. Students recently worked in pairs to create short videos on this important topic in the course.

Here is an example produced by Jodi and Luna.

Gr. 12 Visual Arts

The Grade 12 DP Visual Arts students opened their Exhibition entitled ‘Expression’ this week.  The exhibit is a culmination of their 2 years of study in the subject of IB Visual Arts. Working in diverse mediums and styles, these students delved into a variety of themes and concepts, each one drawing on their personal inspiration and experiences to produce an impressive and significant body of work. 

Featured Students:

Denise H.

Curatorial Rationale:

Aristotle defines the distinction between humans and other animals as our ability to think rationally. On the contrary, I define “human” as an incredibly misunderstood creature. The choices we make are not solely based on reason, but also emotion, beliefs, and imagination. We experience indecisiveness, doubt, anxiety, and we yearn for solutions to problems that don’t even exist. Hence, I portrayed the theme of irrationality throughout all my chosen pieces. I utilized a variety of media, including 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, and screen-based forms. I always ensured that I included some aspect of contrast in all my pieces—whether it be between color, shade, or composition—as well as the utilization of a human subject. My pieces were rendered in realism, surrealism, sequential art, contemporary/new-media art, Naïve art, and conceptual installation. Since irrationality contradicts reason and linear thinking, my approach was equally diverse, and inclusive of multiple art styles, disregarding rigid art boundaries. My most common medium was oil paint, since I admire it’s fluidity and susceptibility to changes and mistakes. To me, the nature of oil paint is similar to the malleability of the human mind; although we may be born with predetermined careers, we also have the ability to make detours and recreate plans. In addition, I utilized a great deal of digital art, especially to illustrate non-conventional color schemes and dream-like compositions.


‘Wreck’, Colored pencils
‘my silence is a promise i’m not willing to keep’, Charcoal and Oil paint on canvas
‘debile’, Oil paint and found objects on canvas
‘seventeen’, Oil paint & Readymade objects on wood

Jieun (Dorothy) J.

Curatorial Rationale:

In this exhibition, I aim to illustrate the theme of a teenager’s reflection of innocence by exploring the line between emotions and memories which results in yearning. I chose to explore this because I have experienced many things and realized that most of the time I want to go back to my childhood. My childhood days represent the pureness inside myself. Once I grew up and became a teenager, I was judged and criticized by others for my appearance and personality due to jealousy. Therefore, my choice of works reflects the growth of life, emotions, innocence, adolescence, and myself. My intention is to let the audience think and recall their most alluring memories in their lifetime. I have illustrated this through expressing innocence because I think that my childhood days were the most memorable and alluring moments in my life.

When curating the exhibition, I chose to include 8 works out of 10 produced in order to match the theme. The mediums that I have used were acrylic, digital, color pencil, pen, and 3D art. I mostly apply and explore tonal values, impasto, and gradient in my works. Among the 8 art pieces, the most significant pieces are Reality, Contrast, and Truth behind the Mask, and Innocence which represents the story outline of my life during my adolescence. 


Innocence’, Acrylic Paint on Canvas
‘Answer’, Digital Art
‘Contrast’, Pen and Colored pencils
‘Reality’, Acrylic Paint on Canvas

Alessandro J.

Curatorial Rationale:

I portray the theme of “Reality and Fantasy” throughout all my chosen pieces. I utilized a 2-dimensional style as well as 3-dimensional works and photography. Almost all my paintings contain elements of both reality and fantasy concepts. ‘My time in quarantine’ being the only exception to this as it features pictures directly from reality alone. Through the use of unrealistic colors in my works, I am able to render the idea of fantasy as it’s the application of my imagination. I incorporate elements of reality by utilizing designs and things used in life such as trees and people. I experimented with designs and patterns to apply my ideas and concepts in creating my artworks. The common media I utilized is acrylic paint because of its convenience and ease of application. I especially like how easy the paint spreads and fast it dries.


A Hollow Desire’, Acrylic paint on canvas
‘Historic Armies’, Acrylic Paint on Canvas
‘A Fresh Canvas’, Acrylic paint on canvas
‘Quarantine unlike anything I have seen before ’, Digital Photos

Sun-woo (Lea) L.

Curatorial Rationale:

Since childhood, I have loved to imagine. In my own imaginative world, there was no pain or sorrow, and it was a space where everything I wished was actually realized just like magic. However, the imagination in my head could not be taken or stored like a photograph, and memories may be forgotten someday. The moments of my imagination were also not clearly memorised as time passed by. In order to overcome the limit of imagination, I started drawing scenes of my imagination one by one. The result of my imaginations are my artworks in this exhibition. Each of the artworks capture moments of my imagination.

 I have  chosen 9 artworks for this exhibition. The main theme and the determined purpose of my exhibition was to deliver my recorded emotion and tell the stories about me that makes viewers  empathize with my experiences. To express various feelings, I used different kinds of materials for each artwork. I used watercolor, color pencil, gouache paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, digital media, etc. Each material has its own characteristic, and to exaggerate the texture of material, I had to apply different techniques. 


‘Shape of Ocean’, Digital Art
‘Being a Monster’, Gouache paint & Digital
‘Memory of Moments’, Watercolor & Colored Pencils
‘Prejudice and Oppression’, Charcoal

Kevin S.

Curatorial Rationale:

The concepts of my exhibition revolve around the idea of the presence of time and emotion. The feeling and the complexity of the emotions that a person would feel as they continue to experience life. Be it the future, present, or past, there is a certain strong emotion that a person would feel and I wanted to create what I felt like showing a sense of that emotion with my paintings. For this to work I needed to create artworks that I can sympathize with so that I feel like it’s a working and complete artwork. In the majority of my artworks I tend to use techniques which reflect me and how I view my memories. For the materials I used oil painting, acrylic, and charcoal. While using oil paint I use the impasto technique which makes use of thick paints as well as a palette knife to create textures that a paintbrush wouldn’t be able to replicate. As for the charcoal painting I used a charcoal stick and a charcoal pencil while making use of the kneaded eraser for the highlights and a spreader to blend the charcoal and create more texture and more complex light and shadows. As for acrylic I used basic techniques of water and brush without the paints overlapping for the most part.


‘Eternal Sunset’, Oil Paint on canvas
‘Fantasia’, Watercolor
‘Exhale’, Charcoal

PHE Classes in Remote Learning

by Mr. Ron de Villa, PE Teacher

Keeping students active is crucial for their mental and physical health – especially now, in this time, when everyone is in front of their digital gadgets most of the time. Since CIS physically closed last March, we have been finding creative ways to keep students physically active — with no gymnasiums, sports fields or playgrounds — at a time when we think the students’ physical and mental health is paramount.

PHE has been one of the most challenging subjects to teach online but the irony is, students need PHE now more than ever, not just for physical health but also for their mental health – and we value this very much.

For starters, we have designed workouts that can be done safely indoors, using common household objects that can be fashioned into exercise equipment. Where possible, we also urge students to pause for sports drills, take walks, and follow exercise workouts and log these in a journal.

Our recent unit on Happy Hormones aims to consider the effects of physical exercise on the students’ mood. This is a unit which progresses through MYP 1, 3 and 5 levels or across Grades 6-10. Part of the students’ tasks is to set a up a calendar where they will record how they feel everyday and log the workout they did outside of our PHE sessions.

In our synchronous sessions, our Grade 6 students were asked to create an instructional video for a beginner athlete wherein they will have to teach their clients unique skills of a specific sport which should contain proper terminologies and the proper way to perform the skills.

Our Grade 7 students took on the role of a specialized coach and were tasked to create a video that shows beginners how to execute and apply skills in different game situations while the Grade 8 students developed a circuit based on an analysis of their client’s performance in a specific sport by identifying what skill-related fitness components they would need to work on and how this will improve their performance.

As for Grade 9, the student’s role was to be a self-motivated learner wherein they were tasked to document the development of a set of skills over a defined period of time. They needed to clearly evaluate the improvements they have made, providing evidence. And lastly, the Grade 10’s acted as coaches and have been asked to evaluate the performance of a person who wants to improve on his skills which focuses on skill-related fitness components and how he might use these in developing his skill proficiency.

With the same Criteria to be assessed across all grade levels but in varying strands and levels, the students were asked to create products as detailed the below:

Samples from Grade 6

Samples from Grade 10

Samples from Grade 8

Our final academic glimpse is into the grade 9 PHE class: Fitness and Wellness with Coach Pio Solon

Mr.  Pio Solon is the Program Director of Epic Performance and Fitness. He graduated with a Bachelor of Sports Science degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is also pursuing his post-graduate degree in International Health. Coach Pio is passionate about: 1) using fitness and wellness as a means to keeping our people healthy and disease free, knowing that a healthy populace is a productive populace, 2) using sports to develop and cultivate character in children, and 3) uplift the education of sports coaches in the country. Coach Pio is a member of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association and currently also serves as the Athletic Director of Soutwhwestern University PHINMA. He also sits as a member of the Technical Panel for Sports and Exercise Science and Physical Education with the Commission on Higher Education as well as a member of its Regional Quality Assurance Team.

Coach Pio Solon came to our class and spoke about well being and getting better habits to support our goals on wellness. We did a little quiz as well where he showed 5 questions for different categories like with food or diet, family, religion, and many other aspects of our life that are connected to our personal well-being. We had to answer the quiz questions with a number from 1-5 with 1 being very unsatisfied with that aspect in our life and 5 being very satisfied while 3 would be neutral. After each category we would find the average from our answers and in the very end we added all those averages together to find where we are on this scale as a class and how healthy we are. It was fun and I liked doing the activity and was surprised to find my placing on the scale. Then after that we did some exercise together with him and found out a special routine to use. We now call it the Coach Pio exercise. It was tiring, but very fun. – J. Rivera G9

Dragon’s Print

Every year, on the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day to recognize  women’s achievements in various fields. Learn more about women, the challenges they have to face, and the systematic cause of these challenges on

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week

Email addresses: Every time you create an application account for a university, an email address is required.  Please use your personal email and use your formal name. 

Sample:  Refrain using comic book characters or any fictitious name so your email address is appropriate and professional.   

Alumni Chat Series

Episode 5 – The Europe Edition is scheduled on Saturday March 27th at 8:00 PM.

Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs

(Students & parents are welcome)


March 27
Saturday – 8:00PM

April 10 & 13-17,
for webinars
April27-30,one-on-one consultations.

SAT Update

Dates below are open for registration.  If the test will be canceled, an update will be posted here and on the school website a month to 3 weeks before the test date.

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

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsApril 8, 2021
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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

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