Newsflash: May 19, 2023

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Cebu International School is accredited/authorized by three globally recognized organizations:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • The Council of International Schools (CIS – but we will use CoIS in this post to avoid confusion with our school name)
  • The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Schools
Why get accredited?

Accreditation from a reputable organization provides an established, independent framework that enables us to collaboratively evaluate the quality and effectiveness of our program, using comprehensive standards which cover all aspects of operating an international school (refer to the diagram below-right for the nine domains used in the CoIS accreditation process). This is helpful in numerous ways, as follows:

  • The feedback from completing accreditation visits (which are repeated on a five-year cycle as shown in the diagram below-left) is used to provide a focused drive towards the continued development of the school program in a systematic, data-based, and accountable manner, with valuable advice provided by external international education specialists.
  • Accreditation provides an independently verifiable way for the community to check the quality of all aspects of a school’s program and provides reassurance to prospective families that our school really does provides the high-quality teaching and learning we say we offer.
  • Students who attend or graduate from accredited schools will generally find it easier to transfer to new schools or enroll in colleges, as the accreditation status of the school enables the institution to be able to trust the quality of the education the student has received.
Why do we use three different organizations? 

Each of the organizations we use provides a different aspect of accreditation/authorization that we find useful:

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) has authorized CIS to offer three well-regarded IB programs – the Primary Years Programme (PYP)  in the elementary school, The Middle Years Programme (MYP) in grades 6-10, and the prestigious Diploma Programme (DP) in grades 11-12. Unlike most other school programs/curricula, the IB programs are student-centered comprehensive holistic programs that are based on effective research-based practices, and incorporate the teaching of life skills and character development within an environment that promotes international mindedness.    
  • The Council of International Schools is an organization providing internationally recognized accreditation services to more than 1450 schools and universities, representing 121 countries. 
  • The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Schools is a world-renowned accrediting association and one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States providing accreditation service to over 5200 schools in the US, as well as numerous schools worldwide.

Last week, we hosted representatives from CoIS and WASC for our Preparatory Evaluation Visit (the first “leaf” in the reaccreditation cycle as shown in the diagram above left). The visitors used our detailed Prep Visit Report, interviews with stakeholders, and observations to get a comprehensive understanding of how CIS is performing using the CoIS domain standards, and will send us feedback over the next few weeks to help us prepare our self study and complete our full joint (IB/CoIS/WASC) accreditation visit next school year. From the feedback we have had thus far, all indications suggest we are on track for a successful accreditation visit next year! 

Upcoming events of note

  • April 27-May 19: IBDP Exams
  • May 19: School holiday
  • June 2: Graduation Day (*Note adjusted date from previous calendar) 
  • June 8: Last day of school & Moving up ceremonies (half day)

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

EY & Grade 1: Philippine Language and Culture

by Mary Alexis ‘Maya’ Mendez, Philippine Language and Culture Teacher

Celebrations and Fiestas in Cebu

Venturing into the world of celebrations and fiestas, the EY and KG1 students were wide-eyed since they started their last unit on How We Express Ourselves. As they were able to experience Sinulog in their actual school, they looked back on the activities they enjoyed with their family and friends. 

Furthermore, they explored the big festivals of the other two islands of Cebu province as well, Kadaugan sa Mactan in Mactan Island and Palawod Festival in Bantayan. We went deeper into the festival by discussing the different story backgrounds that brought about these festivals.

They were in awe knowing the stories behind each festival and how Sinulog and Kadaugan sa Mactan are somewhat connected. They also understood that because Bantayan island is known for their marine life, the Palawod Festival shows their unique fishing tradition and the life of their fishing community. In addition, they also unlocked relevant Cebuano words!

Some students also shared the unique celebrations and festivals of their own country while others talked about the celebrations they experienced and how these are important in bringing families together! 

Now the students are busy planning and preparing as they are creating their own celebration to culminate the lesson. The Early Years came up with Flower Day which showcases their appreciation of nature and continued efforts of sharing the planet. The Kinder and Grade One, on the other hand, agreed to celebrate Sports Day to encourage the people to exercise while having fun. This celebration entices us to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Grade 6: English Class

by Mr. Alejandro Guerra Tibocha, MHS English Teacher

Argumentative Writing and The Little Prince

In Grade 6, as part of the study of World Literature, we are studying the novella “The Little Prince” written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a literary work in translation. We have also been working on a progression of writing styles from the beginning of the school year. Each quarter there has been a different emphasis, namely narrative, descriptive, explanatory, and now in quarter 4 the emphasis is on argumentative/persuasive writing.

To complement the study of this literary work, and as well to prepare students to write argumentative texts, a series of tasks and activities have been assigned to students to work individually and also in groups. Some of these tasks include visual prompts, creative writing tasks, and essay-like prompts, among other.

The following is one of the Character Recipes created to study and understand characters’ personality traits. This one corresponds to the main character, The Little Prince.

Grade 12 Visual Arts

by Ms. Gerri Ancajas Jumao-as, Design Teacher

Visual Arts have been an essential part of our lives as it reflects the world and times. It is infused in our expressions, endeavors and communication. It aids us as we understand our lives, culture, history and experiences.

One key feature of the IB Visual Arts curriculum is the Process Portfolio. It is an assessment task that highlights student’s experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two-year course.

The extracts and artworks below showcase how the students have engaged with their chosen medium and technique, and the development of their ideas.

Design and Concept by Reesha

The theme of my exhibition is childhood nostalgia. For this artwork, I aim to depict the addictiveness of nostalgia and how easy it is to be drowned in it. Thus, I plan on representing nostalgia through an abstract flow to depict drowning and consume the woman (meant to represent me). ​The subject depicted is me as the theme for this artwork was inspired by my own experiences. I tend to cling to the past and reminisce then, and thus feel a connection to the subject of this piece. The woman is not smiling but instead in a daze, to embody that this addiction to nostalgia is unhealthy and numbs the present.

After presenting this artwork, I am satisfied with the assessment of my peers. The main comment was that the composition used for this artwork was very successful in creating harmony despite the large array of forms used in the style of Lee. Moreover, they successfully appear to be drowning her-which were the main purposes for the experimentation of this artwork. My peers stated that the texture and coloring of the background creates a flow and dream-like drowning effect to the artwork, further lining with the concept of the artwork. Lastly, they stated that the overall design chosen to present the theme for this artwork successfully lines with the concept of the drowning characteristics of the past in the form of nostalgia. Additionally, the design and palette chosen has a playful child-like design shared by the artworks for the exhibition, tying everything together. However, if I were to attempt to create this artwork again, I would take more time transferring the artwork to paper using the colored pencils, using less pressure when coloring so I can have better control on values and color. Additionally, now that I have a better understanding of composition, I would like the push the number of forms and details for said forms further.​

Design and Concept by Naoki

In my sketch, I have drawn a symmetrical design of a living room of a family where I plan to include the figures of parents and a child. However, the child is on the ceiling as the parents are on the right side of the floor to express how isolated the child feels. With Andy Acre’s artwork in mind, I plan to experiment with my ability to create a story within a diorama. With my sketch, I plan to bring the audience into the scene of a family and how their emotions are taking over them. With Rene Magritte’s “Not to be reproduced,” I plan to mimic the way he conceals, yet reveals the identity of his main subject. I plan to mimic this for the characters that will be included in my artwork, which will focus on a family. Lastly, With Sun Young Byun’s artwork, I was truly inspired by the way they white out figures to create a contrast, yet meaningfully expresses the loss of identity in their artwork. With that in mind, I plan to mimic this through whiting out different objects that I can include in my artworks to draw attention and create a connection to the subject’s emotions. With the symmetry, realism, and symbolisms in mind for the artworks, I aim to create surreal artworks and/or a diorama which I will be experimenting with.

The majority of comments from peers were positive and really great to hear that my ideas and symbolisms were truly effective in the process of bringing my concept to life. In terms of suggestions, I believe that the suggestions would truly improve my artwork. I tackled the suggestion which was to cover up the parts of the walls and exteriors that aren’t thoroughly painted. To do this, I made sure to color match the areas that needed a retouch in paint and made sure that the paint I had mixed was opaque. I covered the areas that needed improvement with multiple layers to ensure that it has been covered up thoroughly. Lastly, there are certain parts of the exterior that haven’t been connected efficiently. To improve this I made use of glue and weights to hold down the parts, specifically the roof, to glue them together. Other than the suggestions given, I took a step back to gain another perspective of how I could add one last detail that could tie my artwork altogether. I realized that in the early stages of my experiment, I was inspired by expressionism to symbolically use vibrant colors to symbolize conflict between the parents. I wanted this to symbolize how these conflicts between parents don’t only affect them, but also affect everyone around them. Not only in a child’s development, but also affects everyone around them like relatives. I believe that I truly reached my goal and was able to express my ideas and concepts so much better than my initial sketch.

Design and Concept by Roy

The overall theme of my drawing is coercion, which means to persuade someone to do something by using force. The girl in the drawing can’t express her feelings or speak words that she wants. This is because there is a lot of coercive restraint in the world that we are living in now. The tape represents the restraint of voice.” 

I wanted to focus on the face to highlight the details of the face. This will also allow me to show a wider range of tonal values on the surface of the face and hair. I used the symbolism of a tape to put in her mouth to show that she is being stopped from expressing herself and she is unable to say whatever she wants. The tape represents anything and everything that might stop us from expressing ourselves. 

Before making any changes to the background, I started with fixing the butterfly. Using medium charcoal pencil, I drew thick lines to the butterfly, so that the butterfly will stand out, which brings a lot of meaning to the overall concept. I colored some big empty space, which will make the butterfly visually standout and become realistic. And then I added some light value to the cloth, which was mentioned in one of my comments. By adding light value to the cloth, the overall artwork became more harmonious, not being separated. I also added some curved lines to the hair, which will make the drawing look more realistic. By doing this the drawing became more natural and it actually looked like a person. Finally, I added the framed background. I made a framed background because it will bring focus on the middle of the artwork, which will make the woman stand out more. I also erased some dirty spots on the background because dirty spots could make the overall artwork look messy.

Design and Concept by Victoria

I have been exploring emotions and for this piece focused on depression. Depression is mainly defined as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. In this artwork, I wanted to express an emotion affected by the disorder and medical condition. To express this concept,I wanted the composition to be focused on the bottom parts. To do this, I drew the human figure in the bottom of a body of water. One significant impact from drawing the human figure at the bottom is that it can create the effect of a person drowning  and express that a certain amount of time has already passed after she dived into the water. Another significant part of this artwork will be the colors of the light figures from the top facing downwards, from outside into the underwater. The light will be expressed using various color layers to highlight the effect of diffusion. The variety of colors emphasized the realistic texture of the ocean and created movements of the figures underwater.

“Since the upper part needs to be the brightest, I added a light blue color layer and then added several short white and blue lines facing the sides to express the lights being spreaded. Another feedback was to details on the seaweeds and rocks. A specific feedback was that the underwater figures are placed under deep ocean and hence need to . Based on the feedback, I improved specific details on each figure. For example, for the land on the bottom and left side, I repeated adding layers with different colors. The main color used for the base was green and black was used to add darkness and shadows on the edges of the land to express the darkness of underwater.” 

Then I added the transparent  human figure drawing down the water using white acrylic. To create transparency, after drawing the outline of a human figure, I filled it with white acrylic paint mixed with a lot of water and then wiped the colored area so that only some parts are white and the blue at the back is shown. Lastly, before the artwork is complete, I spray white paint on top of the land area using small brushes to add texture and highlights underwater. The images on the right side is the final outcome of the composition artwork.

Design and Concept by Chewon

The theme I want to express for this artwork is related to stress from pressure. I decided to make a sculpture of an animal instead of a human. I decided to focus on baby birds. Baby birds usually eat what their parents eat. Some species of birds eat the food and regurgitate it to feed their young. To me, how the baby bird grows up depends on what their parent brings to them seems similar to the quality of life that a child gets depending on the social status of the parent. I plan to make 6 offspring, all with their beaks open. The beaks are opened to signify that they are hungry and dependent on their parents. This also expresses their helplessness. They are drawn on a nest sheltered from outside forces. This connotes how as children we are dependent on our parents and cannot do anything without them.

The general comments I got were about how the form looks accurate with the details, the sculpture looks clear, and the sculpture fits the concept (we were able to make a connection between birds and the human experience). The general suggestion was to make the size of the sculpture bigger. I thought about making the whole sculpture bigger, however, this would mean starting from the beginning. This will take too much time to recreate every form. Thus, I decided to make a sculpture of a parent bird. 

Mangrove Planting Field Trip

by Ms. Stefanny Hermias, Go Green Dragons Club Advisor

As an extension to their After School Activity, the Go Green Dragons Environmental Club conducted a mangrove tree planting trip this Saturday, May 13 at Co Jordan Talaba Farm and Fishing. As an environmental club they felt that it was important to reach out to the community and help the surrounding environment. The activity received support from the Mayor’s Office of the Municipality of Mandaue. Students found it a fun morning and a great way to demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

College Events (Virtual and Face to Face)


May 23
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up


Bond University (Australia) – An information session with the university rep to learn about the programs, scholarships and the application process.

SAT Update

2022–23 School Year Test Dates

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
June 3, 2023  May 19, 2023

Digital SAT Dates for 2023-2024

The College Board has confirmed the SAT Testing Dates for next school year.  CIS will be open for SAT testing for the following test dates:

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
August 26, 2023 August 11, 2023
October 7, 2023 September 22, 2023
December 2, 2023 November 17, 2023
March 9, 2024 To be confirmed
May 4, 2024 To be confirmed
June 1, 2024 To be confirmed
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