Newsflash: April 24, 2020

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Admin Notes

Dear CIS Community,

As we end our 5th week of remote learning, it is heartening to see the range of learning our students are producing via our Remote Learning (RL) program. Please do take some time to look over the Elementary and Middle/High School sections below for a range of examples. It is also great to see last week’s RL adjustments receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback, as we continue to adapt to our new learning environment. Kudos to students, teachers, and faculty for their continuing efforts to do this. Those who are still struggling, we encourage you to persevere, and rest assured our teachers will continue to help you progress.

As noted in my update to you all yesterday (sent via your school-registered email address), be advised that following Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella’s announcement that Cebu City is extending the Enhanced Community Quarantine (EQC) conditions through to May 15, CIS will continue to suspend on-campus activity and continue with our Remote Learning (RL) program until May 15.

Unless this directive changes, we currently plan to resume classes on Monday, May 18, 2020. We will send details of campus conditions we will need to implement to ensure the safety of our students and faculty when we open.

And finally, due to the continuing concerns post ECQ restrictions, we will need to cancel or adapt any of our end of school year events that involve multiple people to congregate in person. A few major events of note to be affected include:

  • Our Seniors Farewell Assembly, which is usually held on their last day of classes before they head off to exams (this was last Wednesday!). Please see our Senior’s Corner below for a virtual recognition of their last day.
  • The annual Prom will be need to be canceled. It is unlikely we will be able to postpone this event.
  • We are currently considering what form our Graduation will take, with Mr. Wood consulting graduating families over the coming days on our options.
    Our end of year assemblies will also be adapted, and options are currently being considered.

We are very sorry these events are being affected by the pandemic. We just need to do our best to adapt under the circumstances, while we ensure the safety of our students and community as we recommence our in-person activities.

Have a safe and restful weekend!

Regards,

Dr Gwyn Underwood
Superintendent

Seniors Corner

College Acceptances

Congratulations to our Class of 2020 on their College Acceptances!  A few are waiting on decisions from Canada, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and other rolling admissions institutions who will release results in May.  Merit-based and need-based scholarships/tuition grant schemes were earned by seniors based on merit and financial need ranging from full-ride, full-tuition to partial support.

Click on the image to enlarge the photo.

Seniors Farewell Messages

In place of our Seniors Farewell Assembly that was supposed to take place last Wednesday, we had a few of our teachers share their good luck messages to our seniors. We will surely miss our Class of 2020!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This week we received the news many of us were hoping would not be given, but were expecting, that our lockdown would be extended. Although we remain separated, CIS continues to find ways to remain connected. This past week Coach Jay’s Dance-Off has been a wonderful connection point. I am grateful for all the work that Coach Jay and Ms. Stefanny have put into this family-friendly competition. During the coming week, students are being asked to watch the four finalist dance groups in each section, and vote for a winner. Based on these votes the winner will be announced next week. The dances and voting forms can be accessed on your child’s Seesaw account.

Next week a new competition has been launched by Ms. Thea, our art teacher.  This competition is to act out a painting. The details for the competition can also be found on your child’s Seesaw account.

Staying Connected through our Assemblies and Remote Learning Website

Today CIS Elementary held Remote Learning Assembly #2. Putting this assembly together required a huge effort from the elementary student council and, from Ms. Vangie Belono-ac, Ms. Aimee Sesbreno, and Ms. Tara Bersabal. If you have not already had the opportunity, please take the time to watch this assembly with your children.

Additionally, if you were not able to view last week’s Remote Learning Assembly, it can be found here (Remote Learning Assembly #1)

As mentioned in previous communications, another way CIS is helping the community remain connected is through the Remote Learning Website. Each week teachers are adding examples of new student learning to this site so families can see what is happening across the school.

As we continue on our remote learning journey, we encourage you to help your children remain connected to their class peers, as well as friends and family outside of the school community. We are blessed to live in an age where technology allows us to communicate across physical divides. Childrens.com/covid19 is a website dedicated to helping parents maintain their children’s physical and emotional health during this time of challenge. The graphic below from their website provides guidance on how these challenges can be turned into opportunities to develop skills and attributes that may not have the opportunity to be developed so authentically in other contexts. I know many of our classroom teachers have begun to include mindfulness routines in their daily schedules to assist with managing potential stress and anxiety students may be feeling. As you are able, you may wish to join in these routines with your child.

Finally, I again wish you all to be as happy and healthy as possible and encourage you to mix up the routine with your children this weekend to make it feel a little different for them.

Warm wishes to you all!

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

We have now come to the end of our fifth week of remote learning and I am encouraged  to see our students continuing to be engaged and enthused as learners as our teachers strive to create dynamic learning experiences for them. Once again I would like to offer a snapshot of some of our students’ MHS classes and the learning activities they are taking part in. We are so very thankful for our teachers who continue to demonstrate their own creative thinking in engineering these activities for our students so that their remote learning can be dynamic, interactive, and holistic.

Grade 10 Band Class

by Mr. Michael Swank, Music Teacher

Our Grade 10 Band class has been working on the composition of original “horror” music pieces to accompany classic spooky animations. Students have been studying the theory behind horror soundtrack composition and examining some of the specific techniques composers incorporate into their music to evoke an unsettling feeling in the listener. Students have had to grasp theoretical aspects that elicit this response and then apply these principles to their own work. Finally they have been asked to explain the work they have created and evaluate the effectiveness of their compositions based on specific criteria.

Grade 7 Science Class

Grade 7 Science this week conducted an experiment at home both to develop some basic understanding of physics concepts (force, motion) and further develop their understanding of the scientific method and how to apply it, and realistically apply their knowledge of gravity to situations outside the classroom. 

Students designed and constructed their own “robocopter”- a paper device that spins as it falls when dropped from a height. Each student had to decide on an independent variable to change (e.g. altering the length of the copter’s blades) in order to measure the effect this would have on the time it takes the robocopter to reach the ground. Students also had to create a hypothesis prior to beginning their investigation. They were then tasked with conducting the experiment, recording the data for several time trials, graphing the data to visually represent it, analysing the data (including an analysis of the forces which act on the robocopter when it is falling), and finally articulating a conclusion.

Grade 6 and 9 PHE Class

by Mr. Ron de Villa, PHE Teacher

Grade 6 and 9 PHE this week has taken on a fun and inspiring dance challenge. Not only is dancing one way to keep ourselves active and fit during the enhanced community quarantine, but this specific challenge serves as a meaningful way of expressing gratitude to all the hardworking medical personnel, health workers, and frontliners who have been trying their best to help us beat this COVID-19 illness.

April 7 was recently celebrated as World Health Day. It has been quite challenging for all of us but at the same time, this crisis has demonstrated the compassion and perseverance of our health professionals and their heroic willingness to make personal sacrifices to protect our communities. As a salute to their commitment and to honor their courage, we offer them – in our own personal ways – a performance through this dance challenge circulating online (Fight Song).

Students practiced all of the dance steps seen in the linked video over several days, making sure they mastered all the steps prior to making their own video. They then uploaded their individual videos to flipgrid and submitted a screenshot to their teacher as evidence that they had completed the challenge. This was just one of the activities students were able to log for their weekly activity sheet.

Grade 11 English (HL) Class

Grade 11 English HL has been reading and analyzing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut for the past few weeks. One of the students’ ongoing assignments has been to contribute significant quotes from each of the novel’s chapters and use them as touchpoints for analysis of the novel’s main ideas as well as highlighting and analyzing the stylistic techniques employed by the author. The teacher has also been involved, commenting on these quotes, offering feedback and insight, building on students’ analysis and ideas, and at times challenging them to consider things they may have missed.

Now that the class has reached chapter 10 they have generated a shared document which is about 40 pages long (and still growing). In essence the class has collaborated to generate its own study guide to the novel through a thoughtful analysis of the text itself, infinitely superior to the “novel study guide” websites we can find online and more powerful and memorable since it has been created by the students themselves.

Unit 3, Summative #1: Lead up to WWII

Grade 6 Individuals and Societies is studying the actions and economic situations that led up to WWII.  They are creating an illustrated graphic organizer on paper (in an effort to reduce screen time) that highlights the countries invaded by, the economic state, and effects of the Treaty of Versailles on the countries Germany, Italy, and Japan in the lead up to WWII. 

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