Newsflash: May 5, 2023

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

With only five more weeks till the end of the 2022/23 school year, we are all faced with various levels of pending change. Teachers will complete the academic year, students are preparing to move up a grade or graduate, and some families are preparing to leave CIS and Cebu. During this time of change, research has suggested that it is beneficial to consciously consider how transitions can affect us, and our families. The following is an adaptation of an article I like to share at this time of the year to remind us all to consider how we can be prepared for the upcoming changes.

Building your transition RAFT 

David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken1 outline the transition process as a normal process that uses the following associated feelings:


It is helpful to consider emotions involved during transitions, so as to understand and be ready to deal with any stress these emotions may cause. Failure to cope with these will result in an unhappy transition and poor re-engagement in your new environment. For students, this will certainly affect their social and academic achievements.

Dr. Pollock2 also developed the acronym and visual image “RAFT” to help explain pre-departure processes needed for successful transitions. Here is a summary for your reference:

Reconciliation – Begin building your raft by asking yourself if you have any relationships that need mending. Is there any unfinished business between you and someone you are in a relationship with? This is the time to give and receive forgiveness. Bitterness and regret stemming from lack of closure and resolution inhibit good grief and adjustment to a new location.

Affirmation – This is the time to thank the people who have been involved in your life. Affirm the relationships you have made and what they have meant to you. Take the time to tell people what you have learned from them and how grateful you are for them. Try to leave as little unsaid as possible when you leave a place.

Farewells – Say goodbyes to people, places, pets, and possessions that have mattered to you. Take lots of pictures. Take the time to say culturally appropriate goodbyes. Some cultures require a lengthy departure process. Particularly difficult farewells are the ones that are generally rushed or put off, so plan ahead and give the farewell due attention.

Think destination – Think and dream about where you are going and what it will be like. Be very honest about the expectations you have for the people and situations that you are going to. Be honest with yourself about how you feel about this transition. Think ahead to what scares you or excites you about where you are going. Research the realities of your destination. If at all possible, put concrete plans in place.

These last few weeks will pass quickly. Please take time to build a RAFT for your transition, and go out of your way to help your friends build theirs. Consider how change may impact the feelings of all of our students whether they are leaving or not, as the process will help them face new situations as they move into a new grade, and as some of their friends and teachers leave.

*References & Credits:

Upcoming events of note

  • April 27-May 19: IBDP Exams
  • May 8 – 12: Arts Week
  • May 9, 7:45 am: PTA planning meeting (save the date – more details to come next week!)
  • 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.

PTA Board Meeting

Join us for a PTA Meeting with the details below:

Theme: “Working together to make the most out of our children’s CIS journey!

Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Time: 7:45 AM
Venue: MB – Rm. 203
RSVP: Al Cergneux +63 917 523 4247

See you on Tuesday!

Grade 5: PYP Exhibition 2023

Mrs. Aimee Underwood, Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher

The Grade 5 students kicked off their PYP Exhibition showcase last Friday, April 28, 2023.  It was wonderful to see and hear the excitement in the community, as we celebrated our first in-person showcase in three years!

Grade 5s introducing their passions and their learning journey through music and dance

What is the PYP Exhibition? In the students’ own words…

The PYPx is a chance for us to independently apply all of our ATL skills that we’ve been practicing over the years, and show how much we’ve grown as IB learners.


It’s an opportunity for us to dive deep into our passions and issues that are important to us.


It’s about exploring different perspectives, reflecting on our learning, and taking action.


It’s a collaborative learning journey that involves the whole learning community.


It has been an amazing journey! Over the past eight weeks, we’ve learned so much, and connected with many people like our mentors, MHS students, teachers, and even experts outside of school.


It wasn’t always easy, but when things got hard, we didn’t give up. We didn’t give in. We told ourselves to try everything!


It was actually really easy NOT to give up because we were all following our passions.

Yi Chi

Passion is something you love so much that you’re always thinking about it, you want to keep trying, even when things get difficult… and even when no one is telling you to do it.


As we explored our passions, we discovered many issues, opportunities, and perspectives in the local and global communities around us that we had not considered before!


We also discovered different ways that we can take responsible action through our passions.


A Community Experience 

Following the opening performance, the CIS community delighted in exploring and participating in a wide range of student passions and actions. Together, we celebrated the learning process — the failures, the false starts, the light bulb moments, the milestones, and the many, many successes and massive achievements that the students have made as IB learners during their PYP journeys.

The Grade 5 shared a wide range of passions that drove their inquiries, helped them connect to issues and opportunities in their personal, local, and global communities, and discover ways to take responsible action in the world around them.

An Invitation

We now invite everyone to visit the PYPx 2023 Virtual Showcase and explore each student’s individual website to read, watch, and learn about their unique learning journeys.

What might you say, think, do, have, or believe differently as a result of visiting their showcase? How will you also be inspired to develop as “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” (IB Mission)?

MHS: Week Without Walls

by Ms. Raisa Romer, OLC Coordinator

Row Row Row!

One of the many highlights of the MHS Week Without Walls was the thrilling and educational experience of the “Build a Boat” activity, which challenged students to design and construct a 1-2 person boat using only cardboard and tape. This 90-minute activity encouraged teamwork, communication, collaboration, and creativity while helping students to apply important physics, design, and math concepts.

Students had to concentrate on their communication and teamwork skills in addition to the technical components of the activity to ensure that their team worked efficiently. To create the best race design and strategy, they had to assign work, listen to one another’s ideas, and compromise. Making a team flag and chant enabled students to collaborate and build team spirit, making them feel more connected and motivated.

During and after the race, students had the chance to evaluate their boats and compare them with their competitors. Through reflection, students could identify areas where they could have improved their design or teamwork. This reflective process encouraged critical and analytical thinking, helping students develop their problem-solving skills and prepare them for future challenges.

The “Build a Boat” activity was an engaging and unique learning experience that integrated physics, design, and math principles while fostering teamwork, communication, and reflection. It allowed students to apply their knowledge and skills practically and enjoyably. We look forward to more exciting learning opportunities like this in the future!


  • G9-11 Build a Boat Winners
  • Boat Design – G10 Lions
  • Chant – G10 Lions
  • Flag -G9-11 Pirates
  • G6-8 Build a Boat Winners
  • Boat Design – G6 Krakens
  • Chant – G7
  • Flag -G6 Krakens
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Grade 9 – 11: Week Without Walls

by Ms. Vangie Villagonzalo, School Counselor

In keeping with the school’s philosophy to enrich and broaden the educational experience of students, MHS students were engaged in a variety of fun and challenging learning experiences during the Week Without Walls. For Grades 9 to 11 students, we set aside one session for them to take some time to reflect and listen to  important messages on chemical substance dependency and abuse. We invited speakers from Safe Haven Recovery Village and Battle Against Ignorance (BAI) Foundation to talk to our students about this topic. 

The said talk aimed to promote understanding of the science behind substance abuse and addiction as well as making students aware of the dangers and harmful effects of getting into it. Specifically, it includes the value of taking responsibility, advocating for oneself by learning how to say ‘no’ to peer pressure, and the importance of choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Here are some of our students’ learnings after the talk.

I found out how much substance abuse affects not just your life but also others around you.

Make real friends and be a real friend. Real friends are important.

The life changing stories of the speakers are relevant, it really shows how it can destroy one's life.

Choose the people you surround yourself around wisely.

I’ve come to learn how valuable it is to have people who truly care about you without condition.

It was eye opening to understand how the process of addiction actually comes to play and how close substance abuse can be to anyone. It was also inspiring to hear the power of human discipline and the transformation through hope  and the desire to do better.

I learned the dangers of substance abuse, what to look out for, and how one small decision can change the course of your life.

Peer pressure is one of the main causing factors of substance abuse. We have to be careful with who we surround ourselves with because they will influence us.

We shouldn't give into the pressure of others. It is important to find those who really care about you and your health.  It is important to help, support and guide each other to a better path in life.

I am glad that I could listen to the guest speakers' stories, be aware and be careful in my life.

The biggest thing I got from the talk is that addiction is a disease that can greatly affect you.  There are ways to recover, but it is really hard.  I really like hearing people who have been through it as I get to connect to their stories and learn from them.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Study in the Netherlands

Here are 5 good reasons to study in the Netherlands:

  • A wide range of programmes offered in English
  • Low tuition fees  (for non-EU: € 6,000 and € 15,000/EU: € 2,314 )
  • International community
  • A good place to live
  • Excellent career opportunities

For more detailed information, please visit this website.  

Higher education in the Netherlands is known for its high quality. There are two types of higher education in the Netherlands: research-oriented and profession-oriented.  Below is a quick overview of both types:

Research about the IB: Key findings from research on Impact of the IB Diploma Programme

The IB partners with institutions to examine the impact and outcomes  of  its programmes. This particular resource looks at the DP Core: CAS, TOK & Extended Essay. 

“A study in Australia, England and Norway investigated whether student participation in the DP contributed to higher levels of critical thinking. Results indicated that IB students had significantly higher levels of critical thinking than their non-IB peers—an advantage that held even after matched samples of IB and non-IB students were used for comparison.”

Source: Graph extracted from the full report available in the link below.

A study across six countries (Australia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States (US)) measured DP and Career-related Programme (CP) students’ global mindedness. Researchers used the World Values Survey (WVS) to benchmark IB students against their non-IB peers from a similar age range.To view the entire report, please check this link.

SAT UPDATE for 2022-2023

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023

Test dates labeled Digital means that students will bring a device to the test center and take the exam using their device.  The College Board may provide devices for test-takers who do not have access to a device.  All test-takers for Digital SATs are still required to report physically to the test center to take the test.

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

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