Newsflash: June 5, 2020

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Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

We did it! Congratulations on successfully completing our 2019/2020 School Year. We were confident we would get through it, but it is a relief to finally get to this point. No one expected we would end up completing the year virtually, but circumstances dictated we needed to do so, and I am proud of being part of a community who all pulled together to make the best of the situation. As things start to open up over our summer break, I hope you and your family get time to refresh and renew yourselves and are ready to approach our 2020/2021 School Year with an open mind ready to face the challenges of a new year!

I thought I would share the following ACCEPT advice to deal with crisis fatigue, as I found it helpful to reflect on the various feelings I am sure we all experienced over the past 12 weeks. It is a good reminder of how it helps to be aware of the potentially negative impact of not processing our emotions to a state of accepting situations that are out of our control and focus on what we can change.

I hope you enjoyed our moving up ceremonies and End of Year Assembly this morning. If you were not able to see it, the advantage of them being virtual events is they are available for you to watch at your convenience at a later time! The links were emailed to your registered email address.

As we break for summer, I want to reiterate what I mentioned in my End of Year Assembly closing address. I encourage you to consider ways of developing a “growth mindset”. Make it a habit to use, and it will stand you in good stead in the coming years. Students, take a break from individual pursuits on your electronic devices (i.e. too many videos and games), and spend some time with your friends and families. Most of all read as much as possible, then think critically about what you read! It is also helpful to write or sketch about your thoughts to help you process your thinking. This will help develop both language and critical thinking skills for next year!

For families who are leaving CIS, we wish you farewell and all the best in your continuing journey. Students who are leaving, and friends of students who are leaving, please re-read Mr. Woods’ Newsflash articles from the last two weeks covering “leaving well”. This is especially important this year considering you have been unable to see each other for the last couple of months. An easy mnemonic I like from David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken, was to be sure to build your RAFT as you leave (this whole book is recommended reading for all parents and students living in a culture outside of their own culture!):

  • Reconciliation • Leave in peace by resolving any conflict you have (as much as is possible).
  • Affirmation • Be sure you let those you love know that you will miss them, and thank those who have helped you on your way.
  • Farewell • Say goodbyes and do not just disappear on your friends – closure is critically important!
  • Think Destination • As you leave one place in peace, think positively about your next destination to prepare you for your transition.

Finally, a few reminders:

If you have not had the chance to read my last Info Brief from the Superintendent, please do so. It is quite long, but it contains critical information about next year. I will be in touch over the vacation to confirm our opening dates (also note any change will be reflected in our official calendar on our website), and to give you details of what procedures and conditions we will be opening with in order to keep our community safe from the ongoing Covid-19 threat.

Please submit your re-registration form and arrange for enrollment payments for next year as soon as you can, as this helps us with our planning (links were sent in previous Info Briefs). If you are unsure of your circumstances for next year due to the Covid-19 situation, please update us so we are aware of your situation. We are also happy to talk to you about your options or situation, just email your divisional secretary and they can forward it to the most appropriate administrator. If you have a whole-school or finance concern, please feel free to contact me via my secretary Ms. Azela Diapana <>.

Please take the time to fill the End of Year Parent Feedback Survey, as this info is very helpful for us as we plan for the coming year (one/family – the link was in the last Info Brief).

Have a wonderful summer vacation, and we will see you hopefully in August!


Dr Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

The Year in Review in the Middle and High School

In light of the fact that Covid-19 has dominated our focus for the past three months, it is easy to forget all of the amazing things that have happened at CIS this year. In taking a few moments to review retrospectively, we can see that it has been a wonderful year, both in terms of learning, but also in developing our students’ holistic growth.

Academic Milestones:
At the start of the year we engaged all of our grade 11 and 12 students and their parents in two separate IB Commitment meetings, where we reviewed the nature and parameters of the program as a whole, as well as conducting smaller meetings with the respective subject teachers, and then culminating with our students and teachers signing a pledge to do their best in fulfilling the requirements of the programme. We also held our annual EE Cafe to celebrate our students’ finishing of this major milestone and then sharing their work with the community. With our implementation of the MYP program, our Grade 10 students completed and shared our first ever MYP Personal Projects.

We also experienced events this year related to academics such as Book week, where our entire school celebrates the gift of reading. We also enjoyed Chinese New Year celebrations, featuring an intentional and fun focus on Chinese culture both for our students who are studying Mandarin and activities and events for the entire student body. 

In addition, we effectively implemented our first design classes as a cornerstone course in the MYP programme. Our IB Visual Arts students were also able to present and publicly display their creations to the public in our IB Art Exhibition at Ayala Mall in IT Park.

G12 IBDP Visual Arts Virtual Exhibition:

Over the past weeks our students have been reflecting on the year and on Tuesday afternoon we held our virtual Celebration of Learning. Students worked with a partner or small group to create a presentation highlighting learning experiences that stood out to them from the entire school year, ranging from Band to Chemistry Labs to The School Production to ISAC soccer, which they presented virtually to their classmates, teachers, and parents. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect and evaluate their own learning from the year.

Please find a link to this year’s Celebration of Learning
Celebration of Learning student presentations

Clubs and Co-curricular Activities
This year we were able to run over 35 clubs each semester in the MHS, giving our students a wide range of options to help them keep physically fit, explore new interests, and develop their skills. These ranged from Dragon’s Print, Cooking Club, Yearbook, dance, and athletic clubs. Even though BEIMUN had to be cancelled, we had a group of seventeen students attend the MUN event in Manila back in September. We were also able to compete in two ISAC tournaments where our students represented CIS admirably with quality performances and strong sportsmanship.

Major School-wide Events
Up through February we were able to hold important school-wide events which serve to build community and highlight the strengths of its members, such as International Day where we are able to embrace and celebrate the global diversity of our student and parent body. Other events facilitating this were the PTA Christmas Bazaar, our school-wide Holiday Assembly, and Sinulog Day. Our School Production of The Music Man involved, in a variety of ways (backstage, sound and lighting, concessions, acting, and live orchestra), about 35 percent of our MHS student body and included students from ES as well. Our HAD days, run primarily by the student leadership of Student Council, provided the opportunity to build school spirit and enjoy the camaraderie within each of our 4 houses.

Service Learning Focus
We have again been able to emphasize service learning as a central component of who we are as a school. Our Week Without Walls, which thankfully we were able to hold just prior to the community quarantine, allowed our students to engage intentionally in a variety of service projects. Even with some hurdles and needing to adjust some of our courses, we were still able to run all of our courses and engage in learning through service. We also had many ongoing service efforts involving our students over the weekends and after school, and with the MYP we were able to introduce elements of Principled Action within our curriculum units.

There are so many things that make a school year memorable. Even though Covid radically changed the ending of our school year, I hope we will be able to look back on the past three months as a unique time which tested us, but from which emerged stronger than ever. We can certainly be proud of our students, who have weathered this storm and once again proven themselves to be responsible, respectful, and prepared.

Business 10 closes out the semester with Social Marketing

Business 10 is a semester-long course which aims to introduce students to the different topics of Business. To end the second semester, students focused on Social Marketing — advertising that is designed to create a change in audience perception or behavior.  During the unit, students decided on an issue, identified their goal as persuasive or informational, and created an advertising campaign targeting these pieces.  Each group had to create multiple pieces for their campaign.  Groups created videos, podcasts, posters, soundbites, a social media hashtag, and even a newspaper!  The final step of the project involved presenting their marketing to the class, either through pre-recorded videos or live presentations in a virtual room.

Here is one example from each group’s advertising campaign:

Group A — Minwoo and Johan (Coronavirus R0 informational video)

Group B — Kate, Duane, and Dom (Climate Change persuasive video)

Group C — Jodi, Luna, and Sofia (Working/Studying from Home During Coronavirus informational poster)

Group D — SooA, Kyoungmin, and Sakura (How to stay health during Coronavirus video)

Student Reflections:

I would say that this campaign really shows my understanding of advertising in marketing. This is because I am essentially taking the concepts in this unit and translating them from selling a product, to selling an idea, from persuading a customer to buy something, to persuading someone to do something. One example in which our campaign shows this is in our goal which is to inform and persuade the audience. Our methods also match the methods that can be used in business advertising which are things such as leaflets or flyers (posters) and word of mouth (video and podcast). We also needed to keep in mind the packaging or the design of the posters in order to catch the audience’s attention. – Sofia

The target that our group has focused on is to allow people to gain more knowledge from looking at our campaigns. By looking at our campaign, we wanted the audience to learn more about the Corona Virus and we wanted to help the people. This is an important topic to focus on because by allowing the audience to learn new information about this virus, it could help decrease the number of people being affected by this virus. – Sakura

We concluded and felt that misinformation and fake news was a prevalent and extremely dangerous aspect and behaviour during COVID-19. It is important that people have reliable, factual, and easy-to-access information during these times, and is a necessity to allow people to stay safe and cautious. We subsequently decided to create our products based on this singular goal. – Johan

We wanted to focus on things that can be done by normal citizens. We chose to do this as not all people have money to donate or time to volunteer in large events. With our campaign goal we chose to be both persuasive and informative, changing in products that would exemplify those qualities better.  – Dominic

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

This past week has been a time of celebrations, memories, and farewells as we have concluded our school year. It has felt a little unusual for each of us to be ending the school year in such a different way. I sit here writing at the desk in my office at school, and Ms. Lory is in the main office outside preparing the report cards ready to be sent home tomorrow, but otherwise, the school is almost empty. Mr. Wood and Dr. Underwood are also in their offices, like me I’m sure, coming to terms with the unusual nature of this situation. Our security team is here, and a few members of the Maintenance team, but the buzz and excitement of the last day of school is completely missing. I began my teaching career in 1998, and this is the first time in 22 years I have seen a school year-end in such a way.

Despite this, we are still connected. This morning I spent time with our Grade 5 class as we took part in the Remote Grade 5 Moving up ceremony that premiered at 8.00 am. I was then able to visit several class parties and also be part of the farewell celebration for our Educational Assistant, Ms. Eva. Later in the morning, I was able to enjoy the End of Year Assembly with the entire CIS community, and in the early afternoon, I was able to visit the grade 2 end of years virtual party, which was held later in the day to enable students who have left Cebu to take part. So, despite the physical distance between us, through the wonder of technology, we are able to remain connected in ways that are still very special and meaningful.

Celebrating Grade 5 Student Completion:

Today we have said farewell to our Grade 5 students. As an international school, many students have come and gone over the years as work and family commitments have brought people to Cebu, and taken them away again. Three of our Grade 5 students have been at Cebu international School for their entire elementary education, while the other 18 students have joined CIS along the way. We are so proud of who our Grade 5 students have become. Recently we celebrated our PYP Exhibition, the culminating event for the Grade 5 PYP students as they complete the IB Primary Years Programme.  Following this event, one of our Grade 5 Students, Niño, who had made it a personal goal throughout the year to develop his drawing skills, decided to ask each member of the Grade 5 class which superhero they would be. He sent each classmate a quiz, then decided to draw each of his classmates as their superhero. The result was both special and impressive.

You can follow this link to see each of the images individually.

Celebrating Grade 2 Learning on FlipGrid

Despite the physical distance caused by remote learning, the innovation and excitement around learning is still very much alive, and simply wonderful. I keep returning to the first two Core Values of CIS:

  1. Learning is an joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration.
  2. Each child’s curiosity needs to be identified and nurtured (morally, socially, physically, and academically) to reach his/her potential.

As a school, it is our commitment to these core values that make us stand out from other schools. Other schools can provide students with workbooks and worksheets that develop academic repetition and memorization,  but not very many schools make a firm commitment to developing every aspect of a child’s potential. CIS has done this, and will continue to do this through any Remote Learning or Blended Learning programs we are required to provide. This is our Core Value.

Our grade 2 students have been actively engaged in joyful, creative, open-ended explorations throughout their remote learning time, and recently they took action on their learning by sharing their projects with each other using an ICT platform called FlipGrid. Janna learned how to use Minecraft and built a simulation to present a problem that may have come up between the early explorers and the Native Americans. She then showed how she could use her ATL Skills to see multiple perspectives and help them find a solution.

Dammy created a slideshow presentation and recorded a screencast to discuss the importance of protecting our Earth, and the different perspectives people may have regarding the use of natural resources, as well as to persuade people to take better care of the Earth.

I am incredibly proud of what our Grade 2 students have achieved over these past months. I am also proud and inspired by how our teachers have adapted to these challenging remote learning conditions while remaining faithful to our CIS Core Values.

Celebrating KG/G1 Learning: Book Making

A key aspect of early literacy is reading and writing for meaning. It can be relatively easy to teach a child how to decode words, or how to write a string of words together to form a simple sentence. It is easy for teachers, students, and parents to grade students on their ability to do this, and this is how we would have traditionally measured success. In a rapidly changing world, however, it is essential that students learn to:

  1. Develop a passion and a love for literacy (reading and writing)
  2. View themselves as an author and a reader
  3. Create their own literacy content that is personally meaningful to them, and which they can share with others.

Throughout the school year, the KG/G1 teachers have developed a love of literacy within their students, and many of our younger students view themselves as authors who have important stories and messages to share with the world. Many of our younger learners are also developing simultaneously in two or more languages, placing even more importance on understanding literacy concepts deeply. Here, one of our G1 students who has only more recently become more confident in the English language, shares his important content with the world around him.

Finding Treasures by Lucas 

Farewell and Happy Holidays

As we now say farewell to each other and embark on our holiday adventures, whatever they may look like this year, we leave with a sense of fulfillment that despite the challenges and difficulties faced over these past months, we have pulled together as a CIS community, and as a global community, to overcome them. The quarantine and Remote Learning situations we found ourselves in were not our choice, however, as humans, we know that through hardship we become better. I do believe that as a result of the challenges faced this year, we are closer, stronger, more skillful, and more compassionate.

I wish everyone a very restful and enjoyable vacation period.

Alumni Spotlight

College/Careers Counselor Corner

SAT Registrations Update:

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 click on this link. If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
August 29, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsJuly 31, 2020
September 26, 2020SAT only (no Subject tests)August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsSeptember 4, 2020
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
March 13, 2021SAT only (no Subject tests)February 12, 2021
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsSAT & SAT Subject Tests
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

College/University Webinars (online)

Students & Parents are welcome to join!


June 9, 2020 Tuesday

June 14, 2020

Sunday – 11:00AM – 2:00 PM

How does the Webifair work?

You and your students can move around the virtual platform and interact with any admissions officers that you choose — they will be there speaking to attendees for the entire three hours!

Each of the 30 universities will also give two 10-minute presentations during the event, from inside their virtual rooms. But attendees can actually visit their rooms at any point during the entire event and they will be there and ready to answer your questions one on one!

Education New Zealand Webinar

Click on this zoom link to register:


KIC University Assist WebiFair:

Click here to register:


  • Augustana University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Florida International University
  • Foothill and De Anza Colleges
  • Full Sail University
  • Indiana Institute of Technology
  • Iowa State University
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Marymount California University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio University
  • Orange Coast College
  • Pepperdine University
  • St. Francis College
  • Syracuse University
  • Tacoma Community College
  • The New School
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Whitworth University


  • University of Guelph
  • University of Waterloo


  • University College Roosevelt

Media Center News

by Mr. Daniel Monfre, Media Center & eLearning Coordinator, Math Instructor

Summer Reading! A great way to pass the time and keep your mind sharp is to enjoy a good book. Families who would like to borrow books for the summer can come to the CIS Media Center to check out books for summer reading. The Media Center will be open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 until 3 pm over the next two weeks (Mon 8-18, June). Families may also use this time to drop off materials they have borrowed during the school year.

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