Newsflash: November 29, 2019

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Elementary News

Dear Elementary Community,

The big event this week was the arrival of the new classroom carpets. Each of the elementary homeroom classes had their carpets replaced with soft new carpets and these have been thoroughly appreciated by students. I approached several of these student experts for their thoughts on the new carpets, and this is what they said.

  • “Very very nice, it feels so soft!” (Grade 5 student)
  • “It’s so soft and comfy.” (Grage 2 student)
  • “It’s soft and sometimes in the morning we like to do cartwheels on it.” (Grade 1 student)
  • “It’s very big!” (EY4 student)
  • “It’s so soft, like a sleeping mat.” (G Student)

Thanks must go out to our CIS purchasing department for arranging the purchase of our new carpets.

Mr. Glenn Davies

ES Lap-a-Thon

Date Change – Thursday 12th December
You and your child will have received a letter and sponsorship form for the elementary Lap-a-thon. Due to the senior exams, the date has been changed to Thursday, 12th December. Further information will come from your child’s homeroom teacher about the Lap-a-thon schedule. I have included the Lap-a-thon video again, made by the elementary student council.

Adlawon Farm Field Trip

The Grade 4 and 5 students recently went on a field trip to Adlawon Vacation Farm, it was pretty fun. The food there was amazing, and so were the plants and animals. My favorite flowers personally were the purple and magenta ones. Some plants were shade-loving, and others were sun-loving. I loved planting the corn and lettuce during the field trip, because it was really fun. With the corn seed we planted it right away in the soil, but the lettuce seeds are so small that they have to be planted in trays to grow little seedlings first, then we plant them into the soil. I learned a lot from that trip and I’m really looking forward to our 3 day 2 night camp later on in February when we will visit Adlawon Farm again.

By Monica, Grade 5

Middle & High School News

End-of-Semester Assessments

by Dale M. Wood, MHS Principal

For many of us words like exam and test may stir up unpleasant memories of stress, anxiety, and all-night cram sessions. While it is important to have a mastery of subject content knowledge, there are various and multiple ways students may demonstrate their knowledge and skills more effectively and in ways that mirror how people manifest and apply these things in the real world. Rarely in life are we asked to sit in silence and write for two hours about our knowledge on a topic. By contrast, 21st century jobs frequently require employees to work on projects individually or collaboratively, create products, make presentations, perform skills, evaluate data, solve problems, and reflect on the quality of their performance. More and more our schools are recognizing this and adjusting their assessment strategies to incorporate important skills (such as ATL’s) and create greater relevance by matching tasks to real-world expectations.

The word assessment comes from the Latin verb assidere, which means to sit beside. The implication in this etymology is that an assessment is not something we do to students, but rather, something we do with them and for them. The image suggested is that of an instructor sitting beside the students and working with them to ensure that they understand a concept and/or can perform a skill. With this description in mind, assessments should not be scary, but rather, are opportunities for our students to demonstrate (even show off) their abilities, that is, provided they have developed the skills and knowledge along the way to allow them to be successful on the assessment tasks we ask them to perform.

With this in mind, and to distance ourselves from the negative connotations of the word “exam,” we are simply referring to our Grade 6-10 end-of-semester summative tasks as “assessments.” Grade 6-10 teachers have a two-week window from November 29 through December 11 to set these assessment tasks within their regular class blocks so students do not have all of their end-of-semester assessments in the final days before break. Teachers have worked collaboratively to plot the dates of these assessments, conscious that we do not want to overload our students; during this window the maximum for each student is two summative tasks per day. While some assessments may look more traditional, even these will reflect the holistic nature of the learner and intentionally provide opportunities for students to apply the content and ATL skills we are cultivating within them. Our teachers are encouraged to write assessments which aim to assess various course criteria, and assessment content may be cumulative, building on quarter 1 content and skills.

Exams, since they reflect current practice in academia, are still an integral component to the DP program and therefore continue to be part of our paradigm at Grade 11. Grade 11 students will have scheduled assessment times during the morning on December 9-11, 2019 according to the schedule below.

Grade 12 students will be participating in the IB Group 4 Project on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 10-11 (these students will not have regular classes as they will be with their Science teachers). The regular class schedule will be followed by Grade 12 students prior to Dec 10-11.

On a final note, December 12 will have a regular class schedule with shortened period to enable all C and D day classes to meet. Classes in January, as the beginning of a new semester, will start with Day A.

Grade 11 Exam Schedule

(Venue: Studio) Exams for grade 11 courses will last 2 hours.

Monday Dec 9 Day DTime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioBusiness/Chem (Chemistry students also in Business take Chem.)
Monday Dec 9 Day DTime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioWL
Tuesday Dec 10 Day ATime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioEnglish
Tuesday Dec 10 Day ATime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioMaths
Wednesday Dec 11 Day BTime: 7:45-9:45 Location: StudioPsychology/History/Business (Chem. students in Business only)
Wednesday Dec 11 Day BTime: 10:15-12:15 Location: StudioBiology/Physics

Thinking Skills in Action across Grades 6-10!

by Maria Socorro Laplana, Assistant MHS Principal

The focus of approaches to learning (ATL’s) is to help students develop their self-knowledge and the skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of learning. ATL skills empower students to succeed in meeting the challenging objectives of the MYP and DP subject groups. Ultimately, ATL skills help to prepare students for responsible participation in local and global communities.

Our ATL focus for November is Thinking Skills. The Thinking Skills Category, includes critical thinking, creative thinking, and transfer. Thinking skills allow students to look at information objectively and also enable them to analyze thoroughly in order to prepare to express a judgment. By learning to use a wide range of thinking skills, students will be able to conceive different ways of looking at things; think of ways of solving problems that they hadn’t imagined before; will develop creative ways to make and propose solutions; and above all, will be integrating the understandings and knowledge obtained in all the subjects studied.

Enjoy this collection of photos of our students working on tangrams to stretch their “thinking” muscles at ELO last Monday!

PTA Christmas Bazaar Music Performances

by Michael Swank, Music Teacher

As visitors enjoyed last weekend’s PTA Bazaar, CIS music students helped enhance the festive atmosphere by performing a set of Christmas music. The program began with a solo violin performance by Axelle (Grade 12) who performed a medley of holiday favorites. The program continued with a performance of traditional Christmas songs by the MHS band students. Special guests included Mrs. Natasha Arnsby (tenor saxophone), Jiwoo, and Seoyeon (clarinet).

Grade 8 Class Production

Hello! In behalf of Grade 8 Drama class, we (Bella, Sofia, Jack & Zeke) are proud to present our class production “Gnomeo & Juliet”! Based upon William Shakespeare’s melodramatic work, “Romeo & Juliet”, our class production is a play adaptation of a movie meant to present “Romeo & Juliet” in a child friendly light. As our unit is on melodrama, which are emotional, plot driven, and cliche stage plays, we needed to find a way to present something like that in a school appropriate setting, and though the difference may be great, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is as melodramatic and plot driven as “Romeo & Juliet”. To a degree, of course. We will be presenting on the 6th of December, and we invite you to come and watch in Room 314/Drama room. We hope to see you there!

Play Director: Jack B
Assistant Director: Bella F
Props/Costume Manager: Sofia J
Lights & Sound/Marketing: Zeke S

Dragon’s Print

Dragon’s Print officially welcomes the holiday season with some poems by Lea F. and Jandra R.! Get into the cheery spirit with three festive acrostics that you can read on

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