Newsflash: January 31, 2020

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Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease update

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

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

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

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

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

Notice of Regular Corporation Meeting

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

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Chinese New Year Assembly

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

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

Extended Essay Cafe

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

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

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

Archival EcoHouse Field Trip

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

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

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

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

Our students reflected that:

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

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

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

Grade 8 Mural Unveiling

by Mr. Ron de Villa, Design Teacher

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

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

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

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

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

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

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

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

The PYP Exhibition

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

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

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

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

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

  • To create sustainable action

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

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

Mangrove Planting

by Grades 2 & 3

Book Drive

by KG and Grade 1 Team

Dear Parents,

We are looking forward to Week Without Walls.

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

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

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

Thank you

College/Career News

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

College/University Visits for Jan-March 2020

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

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

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

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

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

Sports, CAS, and Activities News

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Sports & Activities Director

ISAC 2 @ British School Manila

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

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

CAS Project in Progress

Led by: Venise and Dana 

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

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

This is not an ideal teaching situation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rummage Sale (WWW)

PTA Announcement

by PTA Board

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

Thank you as always for your support and involvement!

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