Newsflash: May 29, 2020

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Congratulations Class of 2020

College Acceptances

Congratulations to our Class of 2020 on their graduation, as well as their College Acceptances! Merit-based and need-based scholarships/tuition grant schemes were earned by seniors based on merit and financial need ranging from full-ride, full-tuition to partial support.

Click on the image to enlarge the photo.

CIS Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation Ceremony

The CIS Graduation for our Class 2020 was held earlier this evening, at 5 PM. If you did not get a chance to watch it, we have linked the video in for you to do so when you get the chance below.

This event was the first of its kind in our 95 year history! Our congratulations go out to all of our graduating students, and we wish them all the best as they head into the “real world”! I would also like to thank our graduates parents, family members, friends and all teachers who taught them since they started going to school. Your support enabled our students to be successful, enabling them to get to where they are now. A special thanks for the support given over the last few months since the pandemic crisis hit us as well!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood
CIS Superintendent

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

The Importance of Healthy, Well-rounded Goodbyes

Last week I shared some thoughts on the importance of finishing the academic year strong, and hopefully this resonated positively with you. This week we continue with the other aspect of ending the year in a positive way: saying goodbye well.

In a recent article published in Motivation Science, psychology researchers explored the following question: How does the way people end their previous life phase impact emotional well-being and the transition into the new beginning? In this article, Schwörer, Krott, and Oettingen (2020) explained the concept of a well-rounded ending, which can be defined as one that is marked by effective closure. The authors found that a well-rounded ending is associated with high positive affect, low regret, and an easy transition into the subsequent phase. For example, when exchange students ended a visit abroad, a well-rounded ending correlated to stronger positive feelings afterwards, less feelings of regret regarding having missed out on opportunities, and to the ease they experienced settling back into their home when they returned.

A quote used last week from goal-setting guru Gary Ryan Blair asserts that, “Every task, goal, race, and year comes to an end; therefore, make it a habit to always finish strong.” This quote is relevant here as it reminds us that leaving a place is not the only ending we may experience, as moving into a new grade is also an important shift from one phase to the next and involves saying goodbye to teachers and spaces which have come to feel like “home” while at school. As we know, transitions are particularly poignant within international schools as they experience greater instances of coming and going both for students and teachers, and as such, it becomes more important that we shepherd our students toward well-rounded transitions.

Many times it is just as hard for those of us who are staying, sometimes harder, and it is also important for us to say goodbye well to those who are moving on.

To be honest, in my own transitions I have done a pretty good job of finishing strong, but the other area, saying goodbye well, is an area where I have not been as successful at times. Leaving can be hard for all of us, and leaving in such a manner that important matters remain unresolved only makes it harder and can result in lingering feelings of sadness, anger, or regret. It can also make transitioning to that next phase in life’s journey more challenging as we may bring unresolved “baggage” into that new experience.

This year is especially challenging since it can be more difficult saying goodbye well when we can’t be physically present with those to whom we say our farewells. We may feel that circumstances have cheated us out of saying goodbye well. Regardless of the situation, Cherilyn Veland, a Social Worker from Chicago, explains that:

Saying goodbye is important. Saying goodbye allows us time to honor the importance that we have in each other’s lives. It gives us the opportunity to form words for feelings that we might be recognizing for the very first time. A good goodbye honors our past, codifies the choices we made, recognizes life experiences with others and the world around us, and provides closure, as we move on to our next chapter.

However, when life comes at us such that we do not get a chance to say goodbye, or we are not ready to say goodbye, we can be left wondering forever what was, what happened, and what could have been. Sudden separation from whatever it is, be it person, place or thing, can leave a hole filled with heavy difficult feelings, such as regret, guilt, anger, confusion, and fear.

The challenge of our current situation is that we may not be able to say goodbye in the way we would choose or in a way that gives us a sense of sufficient closure. Especially in light of our circumstances, we should feel satisfied and emotionally at peace that our ending fits the definition of well-rounded and has a sense of closure if the following are true:

  • If we feel that we have done everything we could have done within our sphere of control. We cannot control the actions or attitudes of other people, but can only control our own. If you feel that you have reached out and tried to do everything you could have done to say goodbye appropriately, show yourself some grace, especially given our difficult circumstances.
  • If we feel that we have completed something to the fullest. This goes back to the idea of finishing strong. Knowing that you have fulfilled all of your responsibilities, both with regard to tasks and to people, should provide you with peace.
  • And third, If we have a feeling that all of our “loose ends” have been sufficiently tied up. Again we can only hold ourselves responsible to the extent that this falls within our sphere of control. If there is an emotional loose end that is harder to resolve or where there are hard feelings, we can make the choice to forgive others (sometimes we need to forgive ourselves as well). The irony of not doing this is that harboring hard feelings against someone often troubles us when we hold onto them; we don’t hurt the other person by not forgiving, but rather, we hurt ourselves. Sometimes writing a letter, although it is not a face-to-face communication, allows us to get these feelings out. It can help resolve emotions even if the letter is never sent.

Finally, an important part of ending well is also found through the rituals which mark important transitions, such as ceremonies, banquets, farewell gathering, and the like; this is true whether we are moving on in life, or moving up a grade. Our students and teachers have been busy and active these past few weeks in the final stretch of the school year. One of the things we have been working hard on is preserving those rituals as best we can in light of the obstacles that keep us from being together face to face.

As we approach the end of a challenging and unsettling year, I invite you to attend the following end of year events, so that we may celebrate all the good that has occured.

  • Today we held the CIS Graduation of 2020 at 5:00 PM. This virtual event was the first of its kind in our nearly 100 year history.
  • Our Celebration of Learning will take place next Tuesday afternoon, June 2nd. The purpose of the Celebration of Learning is to provide an opportunity for our students to share their highlights from the school year, not only with their parents, but with the entire school community. We will be creating Celebration of Learning “pages” containing links to all of our students’ presentations so that you may visit your own child’s presentation and others that interest you.
  • We will be holding Moving Up Ceremonies this year on the final Friday of school, as is our tradition for students transitioning between important stages in their educational journey, for Grade 5 and 8. This year we are also adding a Grade 10 Moving Up ceremony in light of the fact that we are soon to be an IB continuum school and these students are moving from MYP to either the IBDP or CIS Diploma programmes.
  • To celebrate this year’s achievements and gain positive closure to the year, we are also holding our End of Year Assembly at 11:00 AM on June 5th. This will help us to go on holiday with a sense of closure and hope for the future (when for some there may still be a lot of uncertainty). As usual this assembly will feature student speakers, performers, and awards.

I hope that you will be able to attend these events via the links that we will share, and take the opportunity and find the wisdom to say goodbye well in these challenging circumstances. We will certainly miss all in our community who will be transitioning to other places and other chapters in their lives, but as Ghandi stated:

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are you will always be in our heart.”

Our MHS Band classes have been working over the past weeks to put together music for our Graduation and Moving Up ceremonies. If you think trying to make a zoom meeting effective, imagine trying to orchestrate an ensemble when the performers are not in the same room. Our End of Year Assembly will also feature “spoken word poetry”, which is an interdisciplinary project involving our Grade 6 Language and Literature and Drama classes. The Assembly will also feature dance performances which have been an aspect of our Physical and Health Education courses.

Last week we explained that our Grade 11 DP students, in the midst of remote learning, have begun working on their Internal Assessments (IA’s) in most of their classes. The internal assessment (IA) in IB Psychology challenges students to conduct a replication of an well-known psychology experiment; by following in the steps of a well-known experiment, they learn to think and act like practitioners of psychology. The experiment must be carried out in a group of no more than four students.

The first step is for students to choose an experiment to replicate. To do this they must understand what is meant by a simple experiment. The psychology course defines a simple experimental study as requiring the manipulation of one independent variable and measurement of one dependent variable, while other variables are kept constant. Consequently, correlational studies, quasi-experiments, and natural experiments (that is, any research undertaken without control over the independent variable and without a controlled sampling procedure) would not be acceptable for the parameters of a simple experimental study.

At this point students have completed their proposals, have had their plans approved by the teacher, and have now written the introduction and exploration portions of the IA.

Please find below some examples of our students’ proposals:

Here are some student reflections on their Psych Internal Assessment:

The Psych IA was initially a very daunting task. I worried mainly about writing the best Introduction and Exploration I could, and ironically that really bolstered my fears and caused me to fret over a blank paper for a good few days. It was when I passed my initial draft that I realized worrying the way I did was pointless. Constructive criticism will always sting. It will also always help you write better. With the criticism I was given, I was able to approach what was once a daunting task with a clearer goal in mind and a sounder method in place. I learned a lot about the attitude I must have to utilize my teacher’s feedback to my advantage, and it’s a useful kind of attitude to have, especially in areas of the IB where feedback is needed the most. – Venise

In order to complete the psychology internal assessment, it was important to not only understand the concepts but also be able to explain the ideas as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Since this was my first time writing an IA, I had to rely on the concrete guideline, which has been the grading criteria. Also, group discussions were necessary to maintain consistency and to brainstorm the experiment that we are replicating. It is very important to choose the study wisely in terms of ethics and feasibility, and sometimes it might be necessary to have adjustments in the methods. Last but not least, it has been very helpful to have a feedback session with the teacher, which has made my writing much easier and concise. Overall, I think the most important thing was to write the IA while checking the requirements of the criteria.  – Woochul (James) 

The psychology IA is something I find exciting because it is an opportunity for me to experience conducting first hand research. Although what my group chose to investigate is not a lesson we directly learned from class, I enjoyed reading and learning about it. Writing the introduction and exploration of my IA was first very overwhelming. However, with the feedback I received, I was able to work on areas that needed improvement. I realized the importance of making strong linkbacks as well as the importance of organization. All these make the flow of concepts in the essay clear and effective. – Kimberly 

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/ PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Today I want to pay tribute to the CIS elementary teachers for their incredible work over this last semester. Prior to March 13th there were rumors that a period of remotlearning may be required. Back then we were all aware that some countries had already started to close schools, however, no one really thought Cebu would be affected. Nevertheless, the teachers prepared. Now as we end the second to last week of school, and begin the final week of the school year, we also enter week 12 of remote learning. We at CIS acknowledge this has been a team effort. It would have not been possible without your support at home. This has been a great challenge for all of us. Our teachers are ending the year exhausted but satisfied knowing they have given everything they could possibly give to ensure our CIS Core Values have been honored over this time. Let’s reflect on these for a moment.


Despite planning, teaching, conferencing, providing feedback, holding conferences, and writing reports remotely, I can acknowledge with sincerity and pride that our CIS teachers have embodied the CIS Core Beliefs. Not only this, but our teachers have also successfully guided your children, and to some extent, yourselves, in applying and living these core beliefs at home over these past weeks.  The end of the school year is always an emotional time as we say goodbye to students, teachers, and families, and show gratefulness for all that has been achieved over the year. This year I feel especially grateful that we have such a professional, committed, and caring team of teachers in the elementary school.

Final Elementary Assembly for 2019/2020

On the second to last Friday of each year, we normally hold an end of year elementary assembly. This assembly is where emotions can surface as we say farewell to the teachers and students we have built trusting relationships with, and come to love and respect. Over the past two weeks Ms. Vangie B, Ms. Tara, and Ms, Aimee S. have worked with the elementary student council to coordinate with various teachers and students across the school to create the Elementary School Remote End of Year Assembly. This assembly has captured all the elements we would normally have in a final assembly, including the emotions (a private viewing link was sent out for parents to watch through Seesaw today). We hope you enjoyed it!

PYP Exhibition 2020

This week the PYP Exhibition was launched remotely on the CIS PYP Exhibition  Website. The PYP Exhibition is the culminating event in a PYP student education journey.  Under the direction and teaching of Ms. Carolyn Pynor, the extensive support of Ms. Heather Jean Grady, and the guidance of a wide range of teacher mentors from across the school, the Grade 5 students have undertaken a semester-long collaborative inquiry into an area of significance and importance to them.  We are extremely proud of what our students have achieved and very grateful for the many hours of support and guidance they have received from the PYP Exhibition team.

Over the next few days, I encourage you to visit the PYP Exhibition presentations. While visiting, please provide our students with some positive feedback. This feedback may include:

  • Sharing something you have learned
  • Telling the students about something that has challenged your thinking
  • Asking a student a clarifying question

Normally the PYP Exhibition is a vibrant and exciting event that you could attend on campus. Despite the challenges we have all faced, it is now a long-lasting event hosted on our PYP Exhibition website. We look forward to your visit.

Covid 19 Parody – 7 Years
As part of our CIS final assembly one of our Grade 4 students, Khen Uy prepared a song in the style of 7 Years by Lucas Graham. I would like to leave you all with this powerful song as Khen shares his feelings about the Covid-19 remote learning experience, something we can all relate to.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

SAT Registrations Update

Priority Registration for Fall SAT Dates is Now Open

Until June 3 at 8 p.m. ET, August, September, and October registration will be open to: Students in the class of 2020 or 2021 who don’t have an SAT score, and students who registered for the June SAT or Subject Tests and didn’t cancel.

Registration Details
Beginning on May 28, the following students will get a week of early registration access to sign up for August, September, and October tests:

  • Students already registered for the June SAT or Subject Tests who didn’t cancel their registrations
  • Students in the high school class of 2020 who don’t have SAT scores
  • Students in the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores

All students can register for the November and December tests starting on May 28. Registration for August, September, and October tests will open for all students on June 3.  The new SAT test dates for Fall 2020 are: 

August 29       September 26        October 3        November 7          December 5

College/University Visits (online)

Students & Parents are welcome to join!

June 2, 2020 Tuesday (9:00am - 10:00am)- Explore the Pacific Rim: (USA)
- University of Redlands
- California Polytechnic State University – Pomona
- Western Washington University
- University of Oregon
- Whitworth University
- Hawaii Pacific University
Join Zoom Meeting
June 3, 2020 Wednesday- EduCanada Virtual Fair
To register:

IDP Virtual Fairs Coming up

May 30, 2020 at 2:00pm – 7:00pm (Canada, UK & Ireland)
To register, please click on this link :

  • Camosun College
  • Columbia College
  • Douglas College
  • Fanshawe College
  • Excelsia College
  • Fleming College
  • Humber Institute
  • Langara College
  • NorQuest College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Royal Roads University
  • Sault College
  • Saint Lawrence College
  • University Canada West
  • University of Fraser Valley
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • On Campus
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Trinity College Dublin
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