Newsflash: August 19, 2022

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Dear CIS Community Members,

We are pleased to have had a relatively quiet week of school after the bustle of last week. As our Middle and High School students return to campus after their week of remote learning, we would like to remind everyone yet again of the importance of continuing to be diligent in following our health and safety guidelines. To help take this seriously, please note that the US Department of State has just raised the Philippines Travel Advisory to level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution (from 1, out of 4), due to “a high level of COVID-19”. We are confident that, providing all of our guidelines are followed by all members of our community, we can manage the risks of Covid spreading, and continue to provide our students with a safe on-campus learning experience.

I was asked by a young student with a group of friends the other day, “Are you the owner of CIS?” I gave them my short answer – no, your parents do! That caused a few confused looks, and as I think there are probably more who are not sure how this works, here is the longer explanation!

Cebu International School Inc. (CIS) is a “non-stock, non-profit school, secular institution, primarily established to meet the specialized educational needs of foreign and Filipino students” (Cebu International School Inc. Amended By-laws 2012)  and designated as an “educational institution of international character” under the Republic Act of 9190. In simple terms, this means:

  • We are not owned by any one person, family, or company. In essence, CIS parents as a community are caretaker owners while they are CIS parents. 
  • We can determine our own international curriculum including languages to reflect our international character.
  • CIS parents are automatically eligible to join the CIS Corporation, a body set up to provide a structure to support the governance needs of the school. The CIS Corporation members elect a 10-person Board of Trustees, who are ultimately responsible for the oversight of the school. 
  • The Board of Trustees have the following roles:
    • Legal—exercises fiduciary role to ensure the organization is properly managed. Maintains corporation status.
    • Financial—Approves an annual budget. Conducts periodic reviews of financial reports. Ensures that proper internal controls are in place.
    • Planning—Establishes mission and program direction. Reviews program plan and progress. Conducts or reviews program evaluation plan.
    • Policy—Sets policy.
    • Personnel—Adopts and reviews personnel policies. Hires the Superintendent and reviews performance. Sets salary and compensation levels.
    • Board governance—recruits new board members.
  • The Superintendent is responsible to the Board of Trustees, and serves as the Chief Executive Officer, being responsible for managing and administering the School.
  • As a non-profit school, 100% of fees collected are used to operate and continue to develop the School. Our budget (including annual fees) is set by the Board.

Each year at this time, we send out an invitation for parents to join the CIS Corporation. There are two Corporation meetings held each year to elect new members to the Board when terms expire (Sept. meeting) and to receive a report from the administration on the status of the school. If you are interested in joining or if you have any questions, please contact Ms. Lory Romano our Administrative Secretary <> for details.

Grade 3 Class

by Ms. Katrina del Mar, Grade 3 Teacher

We are Important Pieces of the Puzzle

Going back to school was hotter than the summer break for our Grade 3 students. Their beaming smiles on the first day of school were as bright as the glaring sun. The energy they brought was sure to jumpstart the new school year.

In our school, we highly value The Five Respects. To make sure that we remain respectful in the classroom, we co-constructed our Essential Agreements. We first read “What if Everybody Did That?” by Ellen Javernick. Inspired by the story, we wrote our version of our hopes and dreams for our class family.

What do we wear to school? The Grade 3s were quick to answer this morning message with “uniform”. Indeed, they were right! They had so much fun drawing a picture of what they should wear to school. More importantly, they learned that when they wear the school uniform, they become representatives of CIS and they have to responsibly follow the school’s dress code.

What was striking about this activity was the teamwork they showed to complete it.

As we begin our first Unit, Who We Are, the Grade 3s carefully decorated puzzle pieces to describe themselves. They learned new things about each other as they shared the special things that were dear to them. When they solved the puzzle, they learned that a missing piece will not complete it. Each member of our class family is important.

Grade 7: Language and Literature

by Mr. Corryn Smith, Language & Literature Teacher

Unit 1: Short Stories
Key Concept: Descriptive Writing (Showing versus Telling )

In Grade 7 Language and Literature, students are learning the key elements of effective short story writing. As students prepare to craft their own original short stories, they are first tasked with exploring some of the main content of the unit essential for building effective narrative writing. This includes completing journal writing exercises and short writing pieces displaying sensory language designed to “show” the reader the essence of the subject being described rather than merely “telling” the reader what the subject is.

Students explore the various features of effective descriptive writing including imagery and sensory language through numerous examples. In the examples below, students responded to the following journal prompt applying the features of descriptive writing they have explored so far. “Describe your favorite place”. The second examples below demonstrate the students’ growth in descriptive writing after receiving both peer and teacher feedback.

Original student descriptive writing sample.

Student Credit: Aryan, Katelyn, Savannah

Revised student descriptive writing sample.

Grades 11 & 12 Spanish

by Mr. Antonio Melgar, Spanish Teacher

Hola! This term our students from Grade 11 Spanish B SL are discussing the components of a culture. They share relevant information about the culture of diverse Spanish speaking countries as well as some of the most intriguing and fascinating cultures around the world. Through this, they discover the culture’s contributions, singularities and the causes of their development and disappearance.

To learn more about the Etruscan culture  please check Bella’s work

If you wish to know more about the Mayan culture, kindly review Sofia´s research

Grade 12 Spanish B SL are discussing the topic of Beauty and how it impacts our understanding of what is good, correct and positive. They analyze beauty from the views of diverse philosophers and artists, and review texts and videos in Spanish about how the concept of beauty changes from culture to culture and from time to time.

Picture of the students google sites with their notes on it Blog de Soledad

Spanish B HL Grades 11 and 12 are reading Laura Esquivel´s multi awarded book Como Agua Para Chocolate, directly in Spanish. This amazing literary work has won several international awards, among others the American Booksellers of the Year Award 1994 and has been translated to more than 30 languages, has a movie, a ballet, and has many discussions around it!

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner


HKUST visits CIS for an info session with Dana Te, CIS Alumnus & HKUST Student Ambassador, Mr. Carl Tang

The CommonApp Essay

The Common App is a platform where one can apply to a majority of US universities. It is a single online application that can be sent to more than 1000 universities.  To apply, one needs to write the CommonApp Essay.  Here are essay topics in their condensed/hashtag format:

  • Prompt #1: Share your story.
  • Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles.
  • Prompt #3: Challenging a belief.
  • Prompt #4: Solving a problem.
  • Prompt #5: Personal growth.
  • Prompt #6: What captivates you?
  • Prompt #7: Topic of your choice.

For the full text of the essay prompts, please click here.

College Events (Virtual and Face to Face)


August 29
Link to register


Temple University – Japan Campus (online session)
Learn about the application process, scholarships, financial aid and engage in a Q&A session.

September 6
Canteen Annex

University of Sydney (Australia) In-person visit with the university rep for an information session with Q&A.

September 13
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

Savannah College of Art & Design (USA, France)
In-person info session with the college rep from SCAD.  Learn about their programs, the application process, scholarships, portfolio preparation and more.

September 27
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

York College Pennsylvania (USA) – In-person info session with the college rep with Q&A.

October 4
Venue & Time – To be confirmed

New York University – Abu Dhabi – In-person info session with the NYUAD rep.  Since this is during the quarter break, the venue & time will be confirmed later next month.

October 11
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex

Hawaii Pacific University (USA) – Info session with the university rep with Q&A.

SAT Update

Test dates labeled Digital means that students will bring a device to the test center and take the exam using their device.  The College Board may provide devices for test-takers who do not have access to a device.  All test-takers for Digital SATs are still required to report physically to the test center to take the test.

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

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
August 27, 2022 July 29, 2022
October 1, 2022 September 2, 2022
December 3, 2022 November 3, 2022
March 11, 2023 (Digital) February 24, 2023
May 6, 2023 (Digital) April 21, 2023
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023
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