Newsflash: November 6, 2020

Admin News

Dear CIS Community,

What an interesting Book Week we had this week! It was great to see the CIS community raise awareness of the benefits of reading, and engaging our students in a variety of ways. In addition to the class focus on literature at the various class levels and Book Week Design Challenge in the ES, we have enjoyed a daily DEAR (drop everything and read) time, Living Library guest speakers, Story Time Videos from our community, parent and faculty guest book readers, our Guess What I’m Reading contest and our annual Book Parade which was virtual this year! Thanks to the Book Week Committee for all of their efforts in organizing this enjoyable week that was full of learning!

As per our calendar, please note this coming weekend (November 7-10) is a 4-day long weekend, with no classes on Monday and Tuesday. (*Nov. 9th is a  compensatory holiday for the Nov. 2 Special Non-working national holiday, and Nov. 10 is a school holiday to allow for faculty PD from the IB, although we have had to move this PD to February!). Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend, and stay safe!

Dr. Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

This week we have enjoyed the celebration of our annual CIS Book Week, which encourages all of our community members to experience the wonder, pleasure, and learning that comes from reading; this week always culminates with the fun of our Book Character Parade on Friday which we will highlight next week. In a year full of unprecedented firsts, this was our first-ever virtual book week at CIS. We have grown accustomed to creatively adapting events throughout the year which remain an important part of our school culture. Once again this week, our community, led by our inventive Book Week Committee, with optimism and a growth mindset, came together to share and celebrate Book Week within our current learning context necessitated by the Covid crisis.

Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Time

We wanted to start our Book Week simply with a concerted focus on reading. On Monday our entire CIS community enjoyed a session of DEAR time where we paused to take time to read. Our MHS grades used our homeroom time on Monday for this activity where teachers and students alike were able to lose themselves for a while in a book of their choosing.

Mr. Goldstein leads his grade 7 students in reading during DEAR time
Grade 8 students with their books
Our Grade 6 students enjoying their books during homeroom time
Ms. Steff setting the example for her Grade 8 homeroom students

Story Time Videos 

One of the newer features of Book Week this year has been the creation of a book week website, artistically produced by the Book Week Committee and accessible to our entire community. This website features a series of “story time” videos, where teachers, parents, and students were invited to submit a video of them reading their favorite children’s book, short story, poem, or novel excerpt. These videos serve to represent the vast diversity of the CIS community, something we also experienced last week during our Culture Week, so please feel free to explore the website and enjoy these stories from a variety of cultures and mother tongues.

Lea (Grade 10) presents a story in French
Amanda (Grade 12) shares a story in Tagalog
Deandra (Grade 11) shares a classic children’s story in English

Music 10 Film Music Projects

While our school this week has focused on celebrating reading, our students have been working creatively in their other classes as well. For example, the Grade 10 Music students studied film music as their unit for quarter 1 and how it can be used to make significant social, cultural, and geographical references. For their unit summative project, the students took well-known film themes and made modifications to the original music in order to suggest certain geographic settings. This was a challenging project because the students were introduced to a wide range of new techniques and music materials, such as scales and rhythms that are specific to Japan, China, India, and Indonesia.  Here is what the students had to say about this project within their end of unit reflections:

Now, I understand the SOI (Statement of Inquiry) on a deeper level. In addition to using certain timbres, drum beats, and scales from a specific country, one must also understand how to work with them while fusing a western theme into it. – Katrina

I have gotten a better understanding of identifying elements of music in film and how they are communicated to the audience in order to match the feeling of a scene. – Stefen

As the unit came to a close, I achieved much knowledge from the summatives I completed. I was able to open my eyes to the different cultures and sounds in music around the world through these projects. – Lea

Music can change peoples mind, drive them to feel the same emotion. Music is an expression of myself towards the audience. – Hyeonjun

Here are the links to their videos:

G10 Star Wars Intro.mp4

G10 Rocky.mp4

G10 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.mp4

G10 The Godfather.mp4

G10 Harry Potter.mp4

Grade 12 Math AI SL visits and learns with AA SL

Over the past few months our grade 12 DP Math students in all three levels (AAHL, AASL, and AISL) have begun working on completing their Internal Assessment (IA) projects for the Diploma Programme. In order to deepen their understanding and skills, three students from the Math Applications and Interpretation (AI) class visited the Math Analysis and Approaches (AA) class from August 28 to September 3 in order to learn more about interpreting and analyzing the data that had been collected for their IA’s. Those three students were then able to bring back their insights and understanding to the rest of the class to assist them in conducting deeper levels of statistical analysis through applying the advanced tools they had acquired. While joining the AA class pushed these students out of their math “comfort zone”, it means that they will be able to demonstrate a deeper level of understanding which should allow them to achieve stronger results on their IA’s.

The AI students reflected on the experience as follows:

I was grateful for the experience I gained from the math AA class. I most especially appreciated the fact that we were personally invited for the benefit of our IA grades. However, we also got the chance to share our knowledge with our math AI classmates, so that we could all have an equal opportunity to boost up our IA grades. This experience enabled me to develop inquiry skills, communication skills, and expound my knowledge on math concepts. – Denise

Joining the Math AA class was interesting and a bit intimidating as they taught topics that were outside of the Math AI syllabus but would be quite useful for analyzing our Internal Assessment data. Additionally, having the opportunity to learn from Math AA students and teach Math AI students was the highlight of this experience. As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. – Amanda

Being able to sit in the Math AA class and learn about certain topics that aren’t part of the syllabus in Math AI was fun and challenging. However, being able to then share the knowledge we learned from Math AA to our fellow classmates in Math AI was the true takeaway for the entire experience because we were able to engage as communicators and share key concepts that were beneficial for the entire class. – Yoji

Students are shown here bringing their knowledge back to their class and each sharing with a group of their classmates.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

This weekend everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy an extended weekend away from Remote Learning. As a group of CIS educators, we continue to be so encouraged by the perseverance of our incredible group of students as they meet daily with their teachers, and show such a high level of enthusiasm and creativity. I know several of our classes have been actively using the class blogs to share learning, as as I listen in on the various class meetings, I am reminded about how much has been achieved by you, our parents, by your children, and by our teachers. Please do take a few minutes to read the posts below that highlight the various pieces of CIS student learning. This week we see how Grade 2 have become Researchers and Thinkers, we learn about the Kinder and Grade 1 Common Space Project, the Early Years Story Workshop, and Philippine Language and Culture across the school. 

I wish you all a very lovely long weekend.

Learning in Grade 2 – Researchers and Thinkers

by Ms. Aimee Underwood and Ms. Maffy Ocleasa, Grade 2 Teachers

The Grade 2 students are inquiring into how “natural phenomena and human activities change the earth in a way that affects people’s lives” for our unit on How The World Works. To support this inquiry, they have been busy developing their Research Skills and Thinking Skills as they explored various informational texts, videos, and the world around them.

This week, the Grade 2 Researchers and Thinkers participated in a shared experiment during one of our synchronous Google Meet calls, using crackers and spread to visualize tectonic plate movements. They were able to quickly make connections between the movements and different natural disasters. They are now working in teams to consider ways to take action and inform others of their knowledge and understanding.

Learning in Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws – Common Space Project

by Ms. Tara Bersabal and Ms. Belen Tubilan, Kinder & Grade 1 Teachers

The Kinder and Grade 1 embarked on a two week project for our unit How We Organize Ourselves, with the central idea: Common spaces can develop the well-being of a community.” We started with the question “If you can build your own common space in your house, what would it be?”. Some of the students shared that they would like to make an art room, a pool and even a coffee room for their family. 

The students used their thinking skills as they started designing their common spaces. They drew their plan and mapped out the things that they would put in their common spaces. They also interviewed some of their family members on how they can help to improve their project. 

When they were ready, they gathered their materials and most of them used recycled materials to build their common space. As they built on their project, they checked on each other’s project and gave feedback on how they can improve it. There were some students who shared that they were having a challenging time to work on their project but the rest of the class gave suggestions on how they can make it work. 

On the final days of their project, we introduced a feature in Seesaw where they were able to see each other’s project and had a virtual show and tell. It was indeed a fun and exciting process and the Kinder and Grade 1’s were proud to be able to showcase their common space project! 

Learning in Early Years – Story Workshop

by Ms. Aimee Sesbreño, Early Years Teacher

In celebration of Book Week, the Early Years continued on the concept of a story workshop where our young learners created their own stories. Our learning goal is to develop their understanding of storytelling and the importance of the three elements of a story which are – the characters, the setting, and the problem. In this learning engagement, our young learners built the characters and setting of their stories using different materials found at home. 

In our small groups this week, we invited some parents to be our guest storytellers. Our learners were surprised and excited to have their parents share a story with us in our classes. 

It has been a productive week for us in EY as we showed our love for stories by using our creative thinking in planning and constructing. 

And the Book Character Parade was an awesome way to end Book Week! We would like to recognize the parents for actively supporting our students in participating in this year’s Book Week engagements. 

Learning in Lower Elementary Philippine Language and Culture

by Ms. Jeralyn Monton, Lower Elem Teacher

In lower elementary’s Philippine Language and Culture  we started exploring the different local animals that are significant to the lives of the Filipinos. In relation to Culture Week, we looked into the importance of the national animal “carabao” and the life of a Filipino farmer. Carabao is known to be a hard-working animal, this being one of the characteristics of the Filipinos. Then we dug deep as to how a carabao helps farmers on the farm. 

In Kinder and Grade One, we focused more on farming as one of the sources of livelihood of the indigenous Filipinos. We then linked the role of the Tatay (father) as the head of the family. In a traditional family setting, Tatay is in charge of the farm. He cultivates rice fields and plant crops to earn money to sustain the needs of the family.

In connection to Book Week, we enjoyed listening to an interesting story about the origin of “Pineapple” in Filipino Folktale. Then, we put the events from the story in the correct sequence as our dive deeper activity.

Philippine Language and Culture – Upper Elementary

We kicked off our new unit in Philippine Language and Culture by going on a virtual field trip to a museum looking into the different landforms and water forms that we can find in the Philippines. The Grade 2 and 3 students shared what they noticed, thought, and wondered about. We also learned the Filipino names of the landforms and water forms and used hand gestures to help us remember each of them. The students asked if they could take a closer look into Volcanoes and so we explored the changes before and after the Taal Volcano erupted and the effects not just on the environment but to the people living near the area. The students noticed that Filipinos can easily cope with any disaster, like the Taal volcano eruption. Even though their homes were covered with ashes, their livelihood got affected and some even lost their families, they were able to pick themselves up and continue to live their lives and did not give up. This shows how resilient Filipinos are. The Taal volcano eruption also showed how FIlipinos are willing to help one another in times of adversity or what we call “Bayanihan Spirit”. Filipinos will go out of their way to help their kababayans in need. The Bayanihan spirit is one of the many beautiful things that Filipinos own and can be proud of.

Grade 2s using hand gestures to remember the different landforms and water forms.
Taal Lake, Talisay, Batangas – Isu, Grade 2
Kawasan Falls, Badian Cebu – Rhiley, Grade 2
Aplaya or Sarangani Bay – Jansen, Grade 3

Grade 4 and 5 students started the new unit by going into a nature walk to look into the animals endemic in the Philippines. Similar to the other upper elementary students, the Grades 4 & 5 also expressed their thoughts and wonder about the animals in the Philippines and how these animals help the Filipinos in their everyday lives and in Philippine tourism and economy. They also dove deeper into their learning by inquiring about other animals that are endemic in the Philippines. After they did their research, they shared some interesting facts that they discovered. We talked about caring to the animals and gave some reasons why we should save and protect animals, especially those that are endemic in the Philippines. 

Aside from animals, we also learned about a plant that FIlipinos consider as a miracle plant, it is called Malunggay or Kamunggay. The students mentioned how Filipinos believe in herbal medicine that’s why this plant is very important to them. They also noticed that we can find Malunggay or Kamunggay almost everywhere in the Philippines and that FIlipinos especially those who are living in the mountains or in remote areas have limited access to hospitals tend to look for alternatives just like using malunggay or kamunggay to cure illnesses, boost the immune system and even make a dish out of this plant.

A Filipino dish called Tinolang Manok with  Malunggay leaves. -Kieth, Grade 4

When I was in Cebu, I used to have a malunggay tree that was almost as tall as my house. -Yahvi, Grade 4

My mom and I used to buy malunggay powder at the supermarket and make tea together. – Frances, Grade 5

It’s important because it can be food, or even medicine. People in the remote area/mountain, they are limited of going to the hospital. But they have much malunggay. So, they use malunggay for medicine. And malunggay can grow fast. So, they can just plant the branch of the malunggay into the soil. Then, after a while, new leaves will born. – Haruki, Grade 5

Athletics Director’s News

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Athletics Director 

ISAC Volleyball Challenge

Are you ready for the ISAC online challenge? This challenge is open to all MHS students of all ISAC member schools all over the country. For more details, we will send an email to your parents. NO PARENTS CONSENT, NO PARTICIPATION. 

Let’s go DRAGONS!

Dragon’s Print

Stress is a feeling everyone is familiar with as there just seems to be a never ending amount of projects, obligations, and summatives due all the time. Read more about how members of our school community have learned to manage their stress and stay calm during this time of uncertainty on

Additionally, one good way to distress is by reading books! In celebration of Book Week,  Dragon’s Print has created a few dazzling Instagram story book-themed templates for you to enjoy! Check out the templates through the CIS Instagram account as well as on our website.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:

If you are in high school but not yet a Senior, attend virtual events and fairs.  Listen to presentations and check out the university websites for any programs that may interest you.  Ask what career opportunities are available for a specific field of study.  This practice can help you narrow down your options before you enter your final year in high school.

Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs: (students & parents are welcome)


November 8 – Sunday
8:00 PM

November 10
8:00 PM

November 11

November 13
3:00 PM

November 13
2:00 – 5:00PM

November 13


Binghamton University (State University of New York, USA)
Link to

Metro NY Group: Fairfield University (CT), Hofstra University (NY), Mercy College ( NY),New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJ), Pace University (NY), St. John’s University (NY) – Click HERE to register

Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Application Workshop for International Students – Click HERE to register
Presentation at 3:00 – 3:30PM / Live Chat at 3:30 – 4:00 PM

Macquarie University (Australia)
Masterclass on Professional Writing
Click HERE to register

Study in Japan Virtual Fair
Participating universities: University of Tsukuba, Kyushu, University, Temple University Japan, Hiroshima University, Nagoya University of Commerce & Business, iCLA Yamanashi Gakuin University, Nagoya University and Kyoto University of Advanced Science
Link to Virtual Fair: Study in Japan Fair

Lingnan University (Hong Kong)
Admission Webinar for International Students
Click HERE to register

SAT Update

Please note that most universities have gone test-optional.  This means they do not require test scores for students to be eligible for admission.

November 7 and December 5  have been  cancelled by the College Board.  Test-takers registered on these dates will receive an email with instructions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
November 7, 2020CANCELLED
December 5, 2020CANCELLED
March 13, 2021SAT only (no Subject tests)February 12, 2021
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsApril 8, 2021
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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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