Newsflash: November 25, 2022

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

After months of hard work, sweat, and yes, even tears at times, we are so excited to have our wonderful Production team perform the Broadway musical Elf, the Musical to the CIS Community this evening! Here is a sneak preview from the dress rehearsal yesterday – photos of the actual event will be highlighted next week!

As we enter the two-more-weeks-to-Christmas-break period, it is not surprising to experience a bit of “red zone” behavior. This is a period of time when people tend to get impatient and grouchy easily due to the pressures they face over this time. If you are on the receiving end of any grumpiness, please try to be understanding and tolerant, and not react. If you are feeling stressed and in danger of becoming a grouch, then I have a great suggestion for you, summarized from Dan Rockwell’s Leadership Freak article 4 surprising times to express gratitude:

#1. When tempted to complain express gratitude.
A closed mind rages against an unalterable past. Find a way to express gratitude in every situation. You can’t be thankful for tragedy. You can be thankful for helpful people. Honor painful circumstances by learning from them. Feeling like others need to learn but you don’t produces ungratefulness. External adversity forms internal character.

#2. When tempted to quit express gratitude.
Grumbling comes before quitting. Gratitude is energy to keep going. Challenges make contribution relevant.

#3. When tempted to feel sorry for yourself express gratitude.
Ungratefulness finds reasons to moan when others have it easier than you. Kill envy with gratefulness. Say, “Good for you,” when others shine. You’re smaller than the person you tear down.

#4. When tempted to feel resentment express gratitude.
Bitterness poisons attitudes and contaminates relationships. Grateful leaders [and people] build safe environments. Ungrateful leaders [and people] build self-protective teams.

  • Gratefulness sees advantage where ungratefulness sees obstacle.
  • Unexpressed gratitude is ungratefulness.
  • Expressing gratitude shifts your thinking from burden to opportunity. The greatest power of gratitude is it changes you.

I trust these words of wisdom will help you to consider how you can choose to act positively when tempted to react negatively. In addition to the red zone, these are also useful to consider for the upcoming holiday period as well!

Enjoy your weekend, and Production Team, we are proud of you – get some well-earned rest and see you ready to get stuck back into your learning activities next week!

Upcoming events of note

  • Nov 29: PTA Coffee Morning (8-9am, Canteen Annex)
  • Nov. 30: Public holiday
  • Dec. 2: End of Semester 1 ASAs / Clubs
  • Dec. 3: CIS Tree of Giving
  • Dec 1-2: Yearbook Photoshoot (scheduled to be communicated by email)

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

Elementary: Language Acquisition-English

by Ms. Evangeline Belono-ac, K-5 LA-English Teacher 
     Ms. Claudette Colinares, K-5 LA-English Educational Assistant

In Language Acquisition-English classes, students engage in different learning activities to develop the four language domains- listening, speaking, reading, and writing and improve their English language proficiency. They explore words related to their units of inquiry to build their vocabulary, improve their comprehension, and support them in accessing the curriculum. They learn different grammatical rules and structures to improve their oral and written communication skills.

Kinder/Grade 1
During their unit, How We Organized Ourselves, the Kinder/Grade 1 students learned about the different places in the community.  They explored sentence structure, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives and used their knowledge and skills to write descriptive sentences.

Grade 2/3
The English language learners in grades 2 and 3 explored sentence structure, the different kinds of sentences, paragraph writing, punctuation marks, nouns, adjectives, and fact and opinion.  They learned how words are organized into sentences; and how sentences are put together  into paragraphs and stories.  Using the OREO graphic organizer to help them put together  their ideas, they wrote opinion paragraphs on their chosen topic.

Grade 4/5
The Grades 4 and 5 students enhanced their research and communication skills as they explored news writing and reporting.  They revisited what a sentence is and learned about run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and how to fix them.  They looked into punctuation marks and dug deeper into how these are used such as quotation marks, commas, and semicolons.  They reviewed the different conjunctions and used them to fix comma splices and run-on sentences.

During Culture Week, the students celebrated their diversity and shared their culture with each other.  They learned to appreciate their similarities and differences, developed their research, thinking, and communication skills while embracing the opportunity to be open-minded, principled, and risk-takers. As they learned greetings in other languages, created presentations, read stories, played games, and shared their beliefs and traditions, the students were able to make connections and understood the importance of respecting each other’s diversity. 

I noticed that many countries in Asia have similarities, such as stories. We have our own versions in Korea of the stories that we read from Thailand and the Philippines. 

Ben, G3

I noticed that some of the games that my classmates play in their country, we also play in China or we have something similar to it.

Lucas, G2

Although we have different beliefs and traditions, we should respect each other’s culture, especially our beliefs.

Joy, G2

Language Acquisition

by Ms. Zirong Chen, PYP Mandarin / DP Mandarin ab initio Teacher
     Ms. Dina Melwani, PYP Spanish / DP Spanish ab initio Teacher

Culture may be defined as a ‘social heredity’ transmitted from one generation to another generation with the accumulation of individual experiences, or a mode of activities differentiating people of one society from another society. Culture cannot be a biological phenomenon but a learned pattern of social behavior to be followed. It is a wonderful and unique phenomenon of human society with colorful diversity always changing its patterns which is the greatest beauty of human society. Culture forms beliefs, conveys ideas, and shares knowledge on customs and values. All of these characteristics are communicated through language which is an integral part of culture.

Culture as a social process deals with the use of language and communication experienced by people in given circumstances. They tend to learn more than one language for the satisfaction of communicative needs in their academic and professional career. The process of learning a second or foreign language not only requires an individual to practice linguistic forms but also necessitates to become familiar with the culture of the target language in order to interpret intercultural communication.

Below are some pictures of how we celebrated different cultures in the Mandarin and Spanish classes.

Grade 11: DP History Internal Assessment

by Ms. Joy Pierra, DP History Teacher

One of the essential components of the DP History course is the Internal Assessment (IA) or the historical investigation. It comprises 25% of the overall grade of a standard level (SL) student and 20% for a higher level (HL) student. It’s an inquiry-based investigation that enables students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge. They can engage in an exciting, stimulating, and personally interesting historical topic of their choice to be the focus of their IA.

The IA exposes students to the methods used by historians to conduct research, such as formulating thesis questions, gathering, analyzing, interpreting data, drawing conclusions, and making decisions. It also allows them to evaluate the factors that could affect a historian’s interpretation of the past.

The Grade 11 History students have begun planning their IAs. They started by identifying their topics, formulating thesis questions, and gathering resources. Here is the range of topics that they’ve picked and their thoughts about them.

The Stonewall Riots were a breaking point for the LGBTQ+ community and represent what many regards as the start of the gay liberation movement. While doing my personal project, I did research on Stonewall leaders Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. I was incredibly inspired by their immense strength and bravery as fellow women of color and wanted to explore the movement as a whole. Some possible challenges I may encounter include showcasing a balanced perspective and finding unbiased sources of information. Additionally, I may let my own perspectives guide me resulting in a more subjective investigation.


At first I wanted to do something about the philosophies of Imperial China, however, it was too difficult because of the limited sources. So, I opted to do Pablo Escobar. He is a complicated man who is infamous in many countries. As a result of his exploits, he has been featured in various documentaries. The purpose of my IA will be to explore his influence on the people of Medellin and Colombia as a whole. I am interested to learn of how they perceived this divisive character.


Colonial Mentality is a deeply rooted issue in the Philippines, which I have personally experienced. I wanted to investigate how Filipinos came to acquire this mentality and I wondered whether this was through the long-term colonization of the country. This topic is quite important to me because I always see it perpetuated in the media I consume. 

Furthermore, it has the potential to undermine my Filipino identity. I think some of the challenges I could face along the way is to look for resources from the Filipino perspective. Filipinos rarely talk about the issue, and it’s hard to gain insight from people who unconsciously fall victim to this mentality. From the sources I have seen, they usually come from Filipino-Americans which, I think, is a very limited view on this broad topic.


The suffrage movement is important in understanding the collective feminine struggle for liberation in America. The movement also paved the way for future protests to occur in America and contributed to the rights that women have today. Thus, this topic intrigues me because as a woman I myself wish to learn about the struggles women faced in the past. The possible challenge is that some sources that I have selected are hidden behind a paywall and therefore will be difficult to access. The reliability of the sources may also be questionable and so I will need to carefully examine their perspective and authenticity.


DP Visual Arts

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, DP Visual Arts Teacher

“The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries” (IBO, 2017).

The IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts course is a rigorous two-year program geared to cultivate students’ creative abilities through three assessment criteria: the comparative study, the process portfolio, and the exhibition. This thought-provoking course develops critical and analytical skills through the process of art-making and art critique. By studying and creating art from different cultural perspectives and contexts, students are exposed to an extensive range of traditional and contemporary techniques, styles, and media. 

At the heart of the visual arts core syllabus are three interrelated areas; communicating visual art, visual arts in context, and visual arts methods. These have been designed to interlink with the assessment criteria component tasks fully and are central to the students’ holistic learning and understanding. Within the visual arts course, students apply their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between these areas and how they inform, inspire, acquire, and impact their work in visual arts.

The comparative study challenges students to independently explore and contextually analyze artworks, objects, and artifacts from different cultural contexts. Students have the liberty to choose, examine, and compare at least three artworks with contrasting contexts by at least two different artists. This intensive investigation will feature a comparison and analysis of the selected works and evidence of how their work and practices have been influenced by the art and artists they examined. The completed work will be marked against these criteria; identification and analysis of formal qualities, analysis and understanding of function and purpose, analysis and evaluation of cultural significance, making comparisons and connections, presentation and subject-specific language, and making connections to own art-making practice.

Take time to appreciate some excerpts from the initial comparative study work our grade 11 DP visual arts students produced in their journey through the IB DP visual arts course. 

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Celebration of the Week

Congratulations to Renoa (Class of 2023), Chantal (Class of 2019), and Samsam (Class of 2003) for making it to the list of Sunstar’s 40 under 40 outstanding individuals in the field of public service, advocacies and support for mental health.

Renoa is the youngest among all 40 individuals. She founded Set Forth PH which transforms communities by providing equal and accessible learning opportunities for Filipino children. “I can confidently say that our biggest achievement would have to be involving more people in our cause. I truly believe that change can only be made through collective efforts as a community, and time and time again, I have seen how fellow Filipinos, most especially Cebuanos, have shared their time, effort and blessings to support underprivileged children to obtain access to quality education,” she said.

Chantal was Cebu’s representative in the recent Miss Universe 2022 competition held in Manila. “I personally do not believe in settling for one advocacy,” she said. “The very core of being an activist is extending your help to anyone, anywhere. However, while I am very vocal about animal welfare and the emancipation of women, I am mostly recognized for my work regarding suicide prevention. “

Even though he has a legacy behind him, Mayor Samsam Gullas of Talisay City is not afraid to challenge the times and has made his own mark, an “Aksyon Agad” governance which means immediate action. “The City government of Talisay is definitely not one man. Everyone is working hand-in-hand. If there are compliments, it’s not just the mayor—I’m just one person.”

College Events (Virtual and Face to Face)


November 26
1:00 PM (JST)
Link to register


Ritsumeikan University (Japan) – A webinar on the undergraduate application process to RU.  A recording will be sent to those who register.

December 7
10:00 AM
Link to register

University of Southern California Summer Programs Virtual Info Session: The session will highlight the benefits of attending USC Summer Programs, dive into our USC Summer experience, and discuss application best practices and common mistakes.

Note: College visits will resume in January so students can focus on end of semester assessments.

SAT UPDATE for 2022-2023

2022–23 School Year Test Dates

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
December 3, 2022 November 3, 2022
March 11, 2023 (Digital) February 24, 2023
May 6, 2023 (Digital) April 21, 2023
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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