Middle and High School News
by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal
Our big event in the MHS this week has been making final preparations for the school production of The Music Man. When we include the backstage crew, the musicians, and the stage performers, this production will involve over a third percent of our student body. It is wonderful to see so many students, guided and assisted by so many dedicated teachers, come together to make something as complicated as a musical production a reality and we wish them the very best this weekend.
Aside from the production, this has been a typical week in the Middle and High School; however, typical for us means that teachers have worked hard to intentionally engineer learning experiences that are both enjoyable for students and also help to make the content accessible and meaningful for them. The learning experiences highlighted below also encourage students to understand, question, and analyze ideas in order to master and deepen their understanding of the content.
Grade 7 English students were on their feet competing to spell out challenging words like jowls and muttering in turns. They had to focus and listen to each other to get the next letter right in order to remain in the game.
Students then transitioned seamlessly into a session of group work where they discussed the novel they are studying. Designated group “directors” led their groups to evaluate specific passages and apply their understanding of specific literary features in their analysis.
In Grade 9 science our students examined the stomata of leaves and the composition of onion skin, examining the stoma cells to get a clearer picture of how cell respiration and photosynthesis occurs and view the actual cell structures wherein those processes occur. When I asked students about why they would want to explore the process, they responded that it was to gain a better idea of concepts they had studied and view the plant cells in reality.
In Drama class our Grade 8 students, who just began the course at the start of the semester, were building their confidence, sense of stage presence, and blocking skills by creating and filming their own music videos.
Our Mandarin classes have continued with our New Year’s focus of learning and embracing Chinese culture as they prepared dumplings and other traditional food items, while learning the vocabulary associated with those delicacies. In the combined grade 8 and 9 Mandarin class, groups competed to produce Chinese dishes that were not only delicious, but were evaluated on their presentation and aesthetic appeal.
Our Grade 11 TOK students are already looking forward to next year as they prepare and present Mock Presentations using the assessment rubric that will be used next year on their Formal IB TOK Presentations. TOK is a unique course and is a core component of the IBDP program which trains and encourages students to evaluate ways of knowledge and areas of knowledge as they develop their critical thinking skills. IN TOK presentations, we measure students’ understanding of knowledge claims and questions in relation to self-chosen real life situations.
Our Grade 11 IB Biology classes conducted an experiment to measure the reactions of catalase to substances with differing ph levels in order to reinforce students’ theoretical understanding of enzymes. They used cut up cubes of pig liver for their experiment.
Catalase is found in all living things, including humans, and acts as a catalyzing enzyme in the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (which is a by-product of metabolism in cells). Catalase is able to break down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, which are both substances the body can use. Students were not only able to measure the reaction of the catalase, but also understand why this process is relevant to our lives.
by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator
Dear Elementary Community
In response to the international concerns around the Coronavirus, CIS continues to be very aware of the international and local news, and while not overreacting to the threat, we still want to take it seriously. You will see in each class that additional hand sanitizers have been added and teachers are talking within students about the importance of hand cleaning. Hand cleaning has been identified by WHO as the most effective defense against the Coronavirus.
Thinking About Student Assessment
This morning, Friday 7th February several parents met together for our session on Assessment in the PYP. This was an enjoyable time of learning together, understanding how the world is changing, and how we as the learning community of parents, students and teachers are responding to 21st century changes. One of the ideas we explored this morning was the Factory Model of Education. In 1905, Ellwood Cubberley, The Dean of Education at Stanford University made this statement;
Words like ‘work’, ‘tasks’, ‘performance’, ‘compliance’, and ‘achievement’ come from this metaphor of school as a factory. Look at the similarities between factories and schools in these images from the early 20th Century.
Because society is changing, our assessment practices are also changing. As parents and educators we are beginning to asking ourselves questions like;
- Why do we place so much value on an ‘A’?
- Who decides what equals an ‘A’?
- What does an ‘A’ really mean?
In the IBPYP our goal is to develop Assessment Capable Learners. These are learners who;
- Know what they are learning
- Know why they are learning
- Are able to assess themselves against transparent criteria and standards
- Know what they have to do to improve their learning
Furthermore, we want to develop an assessment capable community. This means that parents, students, and teachers partner to engage in learning and assessment together. This is why CIS highly values parent and student input into our school conferences. It is really difficult to talk about a student’s learning and progress if the learner is not present.
To finish, please watch this short video of a Grade 3 Assessment Capable Learner. This student describes how they assess themselves without sitting a test, and without being given an ‘A’ by the teacher.
Have a lovely weekend.
by Grades 2 & 3
College & University Acceptances Class of 2020
Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Below is the partial list of acceptances for the seniors in the early round of applications. Most universities globally will release decisions in March and April.
College/University Visits for Jan-March 2020
by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison
Open to Interested students and parents
|February 26 - Wednesday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311||University of British Columbia (Canada)|
|February 28 - Friday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Dragon’s Dome||Aviation Institute of Maintenance|
|Hawaii Pacific University|
|Johns Hopkins University School of Education|
|Kent State University|
|Missouri Western State University|
|Nova Southeastern University|
|Pima Community College|
|San Mateo Colleges of the Silicon Valley|
|SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)|
|Stony Brook University|
|SUNY Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University|
|Asia - Virginia Tech University|
|University of Illinois at Chicago|
|Columbia College Chicago|
|South Puget Sound|
|March 2 - Monday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311||Bond University (Australia)|
|Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)|
|March 3 - Tuesday||9:15 - 10:30AM - Rm 311||Canadian Education Fair|
|And an Info Session on the Canadian Visa Stream|
|1. Algonquin College|
|2. Bow Valley College|
|3. Cambrian College|
|4. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology|
|5. Fanshawe College|
|6. Kwantlen Polytechnic University|
|7. Mohawk College|
|8. NorQuest College|
|9. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology|
|10. Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology|
|11. Northern Lights College|
|12. Red Deer College|
|14. Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology|
|15. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology|
|16. St. Lawrence College|
|17. University of the Fraser Valley|
|March 11 - Wednesday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311||Griffith University (Australia)|
|March 13 - Friday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311||Australia Education Fair (list of institutions to be confirmed)|
|March 19 - Thursday||9:15 - 10:00AM - Rm 311||University of Redlands (USA)|
|Creighton University (USA)|
|Whitworth University (USA)|
|San Jose State University (USA)|
SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020
|2019-2010 Test Dates||Test||Registration Deadline|
|March 14, 2020||SAT only (no Subject Tests)||February 14, 2020|
|May 2, 2020||SAT & Subject Tests||April 3, 2020|
For students who are planning to study in universities/colleges that require the SAT exam, below is the schedule of the SAT tests. Please take note of the test dates and registration deadlines.
To register for the SAT, you may log on to www.collegeboard.org. If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at email@example.com or call 261-0247 local 112 to set an appointment. You may also visit her office from 7:15am to 3:30pm