Newsflash: March 6, 2020

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Admin Update

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, CIS Superintendent

On behalf of the CIS community, I would like to congratulate the CIS PTA Board Executive members Ms. Marjolijn Roepers (President), Ms. Wendy Tanagho (Vice-President and Secretary) and Ms. Zana Gawan-Taylor (treasurer), for successfully leading the PTA over the course of this school year, including the planning of the main PTA events, the International Fair Day, Christmas Bazaar and Sinulog Family Day. Thank you all so much for your work!

Now we have finished our main events, it is time to start preparing for next year. Following a meeting this past week with the AMT and the PTA Executive Board yesterday, we agreed it would be to the benefit of the school to encourage more members to join the PTA Board next year, and not just the 4 Executive members as has been the case in past years. The PTA by-laws have scope for 8 PTA Board positions, and we would like to encourage ALL of these slots to be filled for next year, in order to help spread the load and be as inclusive as possible!

What does this entail? We will give more details on this at some point, but for now it is to support the primary purpose of the PTA as stated in the CIS PTA bylaws. These are:

  • Maintain an understanding, working relationship among the school administration and teachers, the parents of the students in the school, and others interested in the stated mission and core beliefs of CIS.
  • Provide the CIS community with fun and family-friendly activities and celebrations throughout the year.
  • Provide services and programs in support of scholastic pursuits and extra-curricular activities of the students in accordance with established school policy.
  • Raise funds, transact business and exercise such functions as are necessary in the execution of the stated objectives of the organization.

With a full 8-member Board, we hope to enable us to maintain our current events if possible, but also review how we might adapt them, and consider new ways that we can reach our purpose including more parents. The positions are open to all interested and available parents who wish to assist and be a part of the PTA Board for SY 2020-2021. As per our bylaws, I have appointed Mr. William Belda, our Business Development Officer (and a CIS parent) to be our Nominating Officer, responsible of forming a nominating committee that will look for, encourage and present potential Board Members to the PTA Members later in the school year.

Kindly take note of this opportunity to participate and be involved in the preparation and development of our children and our community. Further information will be sent out in the coming days, but in the meantime, feel free to touch base with Mr. Belda for more information and if you had any questions.

It was wonderful to read about the Week Without Walls (WWW) experiences of our students in last weeks Newsflash. In this edition, you will find the next batch!

We continue to monitor the Covid-19 coronavirus situation, and will update you as the situation progresses. This past week has seen continued increases in the number of cases outside of China, but it is promising to note the continued decrease on new cases within China. Our thoughts go out to those in the Affected Areas (hot-spots), and please note we are monitoring the developments carefully, and will update you when there are any new developments. In the meantime we remain at threat matrix level 2, so please be reminded to inform Nurse Arlene of ANY travel you have done or plan to do so she can log these in case of a new outbreak, and any persons coming from any of the current WHO-reported hotspots or China (including HK and Macao) are required to stay away from school for 14 days.

Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend.

PTA Corner

Yearbook Committee

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Aside from the engaging and student-centered learning which takes place in our classes each day, there are exciting activities occurring outside of the classroom walls. This week we continue with reports and student reflections from our recent Week Without Walls experiences. I hope that you enjoy reviewing these reports and that they may pique your interest for exciting and engaging courses for your children to select in years to come. 

Another exciting initiative that we are continuing from last year is our Grade 5 mentoring program. This was an exciting initiative that came about through a collaboration between the ES and MHS, together with the counseling office, to help our Grade 5 students transition more successfully into our Middle Years Program. Right now we are in the process of receiving new mentor applications from students in grades 8-11 and those selected will each be paired up one-on-one with one of our Grade 5 students. We have created a series of events and activities to help build the relationships between each student and his or her mentor and also prepare the Grade 5 students with experiences to help them feel more at ease and prepared for entering Grade 6. We will be sharing more information as the mentoring program for this year unfolds.

Model United Nations

by Ms. Emily Cornet & Ms. Jacqui Street, Advisers of Model UN Club

During this past week, students from the Model United Nations club were supposed to be in Beijing, China participating in the annual BEIMUN Conference.  While the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, this does not mean that the MUN club has not been actively engaged in other activities!

This week, the students participated in a mock mini-conference, putting themselves into 2003, and proposing suggestions for the SARS epidemic that was affecting the world at that time.  In preparation for writing these proposals, students needed to research SARS, as well as analyze the impact from the perspective of their assigned country. For our final presentation of resolutions on Tuesday, a CIS alumni and former MUN club member, Jay Won (℅ 2019, now studying at Waseda University), joined current senior Levi Choi as one of our Chairs for the day.

As the Model United Nations continues to meet for the rest of the semester, we will continue to explore topics that affect the world around us.  Students should see Ms Cornet or Ms Street if they wish to try it out, especially for those who might be interested in traveling to the MUN LOCALS Conference in Manila next school year in September.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal & PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

The students and teachers in the elementary community have appreciated having a more normal week of school following our Week Without Walls activities and concerns around COVID19. The school remains very vigilant with our COVID19 threat matrix and continues to check all visitors onto campus, as well as students and families that have been traveling outside the country. Additionally, all traveling families are required to notify the school of their travel plans, and any family members who visit areas that have been identified ‘Hot-Spots’ are required to remain off campus for 14 days following their return. If families or family members are considering travel, please remember that the possibility of a 14-day restriction is always possible.

Following the elementary assembly today, Friday 6th March, we held our regular PYP Parent Learning session. The focus of today’s session was on the link between educational theory and the educational practices used in CIS. Today we explored the Theory of Growth Mindset, by Carole Dweck . While studying the impact of intelligence on success, Dweck discovered the data she was gathering showed inconsistencies between IQ and achievement.  While expecting to find close connections between high IQ and high achievement, it was found that often students with lower IQ achieved better than those students with higher IQ. Through perseverance, self-belief, skill development and quality feedback students with lower IQ can achieve high results. Many of us know this to be true from our own experiences.

At CIS we work hard to create the conditions where students feel empowered to learn. By developing high levels of self-belief in our students, helping them to recover from setbacks, and by setting personal learning goals, we see children who are capable, competent and smart, and who are motivated to keep learning. We work hard to create many opportunities where student emotions are connected to learning so that school becomes a place where students what to be.

Our next PYP Parent Learning Session will be held on Friday 27th March, 2020, following our next elementary assembly. The focus of this session will be Love and Logic Strategies that develop self-managing and independent learners.


Werewolf Game

Werewolf is a super super fun game. It’s a role playing card game. We play it on Friday afternoon, only when we are good for the week. Like if we show we are good at the Five R’s. We like playing it, you wanna know why? Cause we like having secrets. Like if the peeker knows the werewolves, the werewolves “eat” the peeker. It feels good when we can trick other people and convince them of something using our thinking skills. There are lots of people and mythical creatures in the game. - Celestin G4

More Week Without Walls Activities

CIS@95 Group (4X4)

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Joy Pierra, Noelle Aliño

After a thorough ocular visit to all the original 4 X4 WWW venues, we decided to cancel the 4×4 off-campus activities for the safety of our students. After a brief and intense period of planning, our team decided to remain on the CIS campus for most of the WWW activities. We then developed the idea of conceptualizing our activities around the fact that this year marks the celebration of 95 years for our school. Below are the activities we conducted on campus. The only exception to this was our fishing excursion to Liloan.






For the 9 & 5 life skills, students were taught the following 9 basic life skills and were then required to teach 5 out of the 9 skills to any random people they know.

  1. How to change a car tire
  2. How to do basic knots or lashing
  3. How to do laundry using hands or a machine
  4. Basic sewing
  5. Basic carpentry
  6. How to use a fire extinguisher
  7. Basic fishing (with actual fishing at Porter Marina in Liloan
  8. First Aid Skills such as CPR, the Heimlich manoeuvre, how to aid minor burns and cuts, etc.
  9. Parents or students were asked what particular skills they want to learn which they felt would be beneficial to them.

“I have learned how to plant, fish, do my laundry, etc! It was an amazing experience to learn so many new things, I can help my mum do more things in the house and I can spend time doing activities with fishing and help others learn too. I also got closer with so many people and made new friends. I would say that the most important WWW activity was when we learned how to extinguish fire and how to do quick medical treatment with the first aid kit. I would recommend people to join this WWW group because it was a really interesting group that helped me connect with others more and like I said earlier learn new things, though a lot was cancelled I would I still recommend the actives that were given to us.” – Grace W.

“I enjoyed that we were able to communicate with other people that aren’t in our grade. I also liked how we were able to plant a lot of plants in the campus, I would cherish this moment for when I am older so I could visit CIS and see the plants we planted. I also enjoyed fishing because it was my first time, and I was able to catch a bunch of fish. I also enjoyed the pizza we bought on Friday. For me, I enjoyed learning and spending time with my friends the most because I get to share an experience and memory with them. I learned how to do laundry, how to do a 2nd time of sewing technique, how to use the saw, how to change the car tire, I learned new things about plants, I learned how to use the fire extinguisher and I was glad to be in charge of the greenhouse. I also learned how to fish and I was able to plant a lot of plants.” – Haley F.

“I enjoyed almost all of the activities that were held in this group. I mostly enjoyed the last day when we went fishing. In this group, I was able to experience things that I usually do not. I learned different skills that could help me in the future. They were first aid skills, how to use a fire extinguisher, basic sewing, how to do laundry, carpentry, how to change a car tire, and different types of ways to tie a rope. I also learned how to plant plants properly and learned how to do fishing.” – Sakura S.

Gawad Kalinga

by Ms. Emily Cornet, Stefanny Hermias, Michael Swank

Sanding, priming, flower pot and mural painting–these are some of the jobs that a group of 16 CIS high school students carried out during Week Without Walls.  As part of a Gawad Kalinga restoration project, the CIS students traveled to a GK community in Talisay to restore their multipurpose hall and paint the flower pots that adorn their surroundings.  In addition to restoring the paint, the students also decorated the inside of the multipurpose hall with two nature-themed murals. CIS students have partnered with Gawad Kalinga on similar projects in the past and the students seem to enjoy the combination of art and community service that this trip offers.

Student Reflections

I chose Gawad Kalinga for my WWW because I wanted to reach out to communities in need of help. In my previous school, we had an outreach to similar communities each year, and I did not want to stop that. I realised that working and collaborating with others allow us to accomplish things that we will not be able to do well alone. We all have our own skills and we should use them to help the community.
I chose Gawad Kalinga as it was an activity which involved art and helping a community.
I learned how to work in a team effectively. When painting the mural we had to work collaboratively.
Through the work that we’ve done, we were able to beautify that GK community. The repainting of the benches and posts made the multipurpose hall look cleaner and newer, while the murals added life to the dull pink wall that was once there. I think the painting will also inspire the people, especially children, to embrace their talents and express their creativity.
I liked that it involved actual service and it was an experience that we were all able to learn from and not only have that feeling temporarily but use it to develop our character and helped us to think about what we value and why.

Potpourri of Adventure

by Mr. Jonathan Denton and Team

“During my trip to Rafi camp, we all had a wonderful experience. We did different types of rope courses together, which gave us the chance to conquer our fears!. They were challenging and new to us so it left us with memorable experiences.  We had so much fun and were able to learn about new things during the camp so I think that it was a win win win situation. I’m so glad that CIS decided to take the students to RAFI adventure camp and let us have such an unforgetable experience. I enjoyed interacting with the other grades and being able to know them better as well as meeting the camp leaders. I wanna thank everyone who took care of all of us and made the camp experience so exciting.” – Ami

“I liked that the activity required trust. It helped us to trust each other. In the picture, we are trust each other when we fall. One person is falling the other is supporting them. I learnt that trust is very important between people.” – Rebecca

Here is RAFI CAMP ROPE COURSE 2. The purpose of the climb was to ‘conquer the fear with groupmate’. I was with Dennis and we succeeded by helping each other. It was a good experience and we had so much fun. We had a hard time memorizing the process of falling and climbing, however, we conquered fear! I think it was a good experience. – Minseoung

This was happening in the climbing gym. I liked the experience of climbing together because I tried climbing alone before so it was a new experience. In the picture I am climbing together with a friend. I learned the script that you need to say before climbing and when falling. – Dennis

I enjoyed climbing and hiking. It was new to me and I could enhance my skills. However, I couldn’t overcome my acrophobia, I regret that. While I was doing the rope course, I saw someone was taking a photo so I posed. Also, I saw team Tesla walking on the wood blocks and Eric performed into the unknown.

I learned teamwork and when I’m doing work with team mates I need to believe them. Especially when we climbed the woods, I trusted our belayers. I was a sincere leader in the Blue Horse group and thanks to my friends for following me. “The mission of CIS is to recognise and nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” – Dongmin

This is a picture when we were learning about how to stand up together without only one person’s help. We tried several times and in this picture, my friend Sam fell down while standing up and we were laughing out loud. My favorite activities were rope courses and orienteering. It was so much fun and helping my friends was thoughtful too. I think in the map orienteering, Yujin did very well on finding the directions. I learned leadership to call my teammates and the team ‘Tesla’ were always one that time. I think I demonstrated leadership skills in IB. I was the team leader and I had to take care of them. “The mission of CIS is to recognise and nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” I helped my teammates. – Eric

This experience that I had when I went to Rafi, was mostly exciting because of how the activities were set up, and because of the Rafi’s Rope Courses 1. I liked it because it made me remember my time in Canada. Of how the heights are amazing and I love being in higher places, and how it feels to float down easily  without a care in the world. Another thing that I enjoyed about Rafi was that the food was actually good.. Making most of the time that I had there more enjoyable because I can go to the fullest and still have enough energy to do other stuff at the campsite. One more thing that I enjoyed at this camp was the exciting adventures, like the tribe building and how it brought the tribe that you were in closer to each other, knowing each other more and more, and knowing the capabilities that you have for the activity. And that was all the things that I liked about Kool Adventure Camp.I will see you soon! – Ryan G

I have enjoyed this experience so very much, so much I could fly to the moon and back. The 2 most enjoyable parts were, 1, when I faced  the fear of falling 5 metres off a ladder and dying… . But, I faced my fears and did it, and it was not so bad. Then 2 the food i felt like a lot of people were saying how the food was bad and grose and horrible but I feel like it was not that bad and if you think about you realise how hard some people are working for us to make our food and it’s actually not that bad. I would like to talk about what I have learned I have learned 1 very important thing, don’t judge how it looks on the outside like example the food looks bad or the bedroom look uncomfortable, but the inside that counts, well at least you have food that is edible and at least you have shelter from the rain. So overall I had a great time, I enjoyed every millisecond. – Amelia 

In Kool adventure camp my best experience was when we were doing the trust fall because it was challenging. To take a rest, we had to make it perfect and we had to do it a lot of times. The other best experience I made was when we were cooking dinner and breakfast. It was a good experience because we had to cook our own food and that took a long time. Probably after 2 hours we started eating and while some people started eating, people said the food was so good. I tried the chicken and that was the best moment I ever had. When we started doing the ropes course, I knew that I was very scared of heights. – Hayden

I enjoyed interacting and having fun among my peers while learning at the same time. I had fun at the ropes course but it was really scary at the same. I also had fun in the bunks since we were playing games and having fun without our phones. The picture was a group picture of me and most of my friends in my grade but I zoomed it into only my face which is why it’s in such bad quality. The picture was taken on a morning hike we had on the 4th day where we took pictures of I learned that I am really really scared of heights. The ib learner trait that related to me to was risk-taker since I did the ropes course even though I was really scared. 

“To have a positive impact.” This was taken from the CIS mission statement. This relates to our adventure in KAC since our goal was to learn about how in our own way create a positive impact.” – Miguel 

Rafi Adventure camp!. This is a photo of when we went hiking. Yujin took a picture of me with a phone. I enjoyed the thrill of going to high places, and playing card games at night. In this picture I was laughing at my friend’s joke. I learned that trying new things is fun. I also learned that we can live normally without devices. Communicator was an important IB learner trait that I used. I was a “communicator” when I tried to have fun with my friends. Empower all members, we motivated each other in order to do something. – Sengo

The trip we went on was really fun! I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and trying new things, like the ropes course and orienteering. In this picture, I was trying the ropes course for the very first time. I learned that trying new things can be fun. I also learned that I could do things I never thought I could do before. I became a better communicator and risk taker during the trip. In the ropes course, we communicated well to keep each other safe. We took risks by trying new things like orienteering and the ropes courses. In the mission statement, it says that we should empower all members. On this trip, we took input from everyone and worked together well. We helped boost each other up and supported each other. – Yujin 

I had such a fun time in the ropes course in KAC. Although I wasn’t able to go till the top for the second ropes course, I still had a great  time doing them! I appreciate that I was able to experience that moment with my friends and teacher. – Rina

I really enjoyed the ropes course and orienteering activity when we used the compasses. During the ropes course we walked across an approximately 5 meter high ladder. I was completely mortified because someone else was holding my life in their hands. In the end I wasn’t able to go across but I redeemed myself in the second course where we had to climb up a ladder with and equal height. My partner and I had to help each other to get to the top and we did exactly that! We had to use our wits to figure out ways to climb up a ladder that only got higher and higher as we went. Finally,we made it to the top and we flew off feeling very proud of ourselves. The next day we did and orienteering course using compasses. We had to use compasses to find our way around. First we learned how to use a compass and then we started the game. The game was that we were at first given coordinates and we had to find the bearing number of these coordinates and the quote that came with it. Some numbers on the worksheet gave us the location and we had to find the bearings and the coordinates. My group and I rushed to finish this game as we wanted to win the prize for first place. In the end we got first place and we jumped with joy. I want to live this experience again everytime I think back to it. I hope I get to go back next year. – Aadya 

In the lecture hall, we made pairs to climb the ladder and we were able to understand our task and I think we really cooperated. I really enjoyed this activity and based on this experience I recognize that cooperation is really important in group activity. – Ryan K.

I liked both of the ropes courses but they were scary. I also enjoyed being with my friends and doing activities with them. In this picture we are doing our second ropes course called the “Dangling Duo”. Something new that I learnt was that I was actually kind of scared of heights. An IB learner profile trait that I showed in this trip is being a risk-taker. I was a risk-taker because I took the risk to conquer the ropes courses that we did. 

“To have a positive impact,” this phrase is from the CIS mission statement. This phrase is linked to what we did in The Rafi Kool Adventure Camp. The camp had a positive impact on us. They taught us new things like orienteering and taught us about the ropes course.  – Aaryan 

We went to a climbing gym to have indoor activities and the picture that I posted was one of the main activities that we encountered (Climbing the ladder). There were six ladders and you should climb each ladder with your partner. It requires not only your flexibility but also cooperation, communication skills as well. I chose that picture because I felt it was the activity that I overcame successfully. Before the activity, we had another one which is quite similar to it. However, I wasn’t that confident and brave enough to accomplish. Somehow I regretted my performance. After all, I promised myself to step further and progress in order to achieve my ultimate goal which was to resolve my fears. There were some difficulties of course. But, partner and I were able to cooperate and work together to climb up and up. It was a great experience that I cannot change with anything. Thank you!  – Sam

Raffi adventure camp, rope climbing course. This is a picture of me doing the  rope climbing course. Ms. Kohlmeier took the picture at the bottom. I enjoyed the thrill that I felt from the height, yet I was trembling and couldn’t let go of the rope. Once I came down I felt like I would collapse from the fear. After that we went to our beds and played card games which were also very fun. We were shouting and laughing throughout the night. I learnt that I can go over my fear and that I’m braver than I thought. I was a risk taker on this trip, I  was eating, sleeping and doing activities that I never did. The most time I showed risk taker was when I tried the rope courses, it was scary because of the height but I overcame it and went over my fears. “Nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.” – Lloyd 

Dragon’s Print

In line with CNN’s Freedom Project, middle and high school students have been coming up with their own definitions of “freedom”. As a student-led publication, Dragon’s Print decided to join in with our take on what freedom means to us—that is, how we utilize the power and privilege of speech to maintain transparency and catalyze change. Read the editorial on

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