Newsflash: October 15, 2021

Admin Notes

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

It was wonderful to see our students return from October break looking rested and eager to start our second quarter! In addition to the publishing of MHS quarter 1 reports today, we now look forward to an eventful couple of months, starting with our virtual Culture Week next week, which culminates with our virtual International day on Saturday 23 October. We then transition to our annual Book week from Oct. 25! You will receive details of all these events via your registered email address.

Please read on for our weekly showcasing of various class activities at both elementary and middle/high school levels. Firstly, however, we will take a quick look at another two “CASEL 5” competencies (Refer to our Sept. 24 Newsflash for Part one).

SEL Competencies: Social-Awareness and Relationship Skills (The “CASEL 5” Part two)

To recap, the “CASEL 5” competencies (refer to CASEL’s SEL diagram) can be “taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood and across diverse cultural contexts to articulate what students should know and be able to do for academic success, school and civic engagement, health and wellness, and fulfilling careers.

This week, we reflect on Social-Awareness and Relationship Skills. Please review the descriptors for each of these competencies below, and consider how you could respond to the following questions: 
• To what extent am I (and/or my child/ren) aware of, and understand, these areas?
• What can I (and/or my child/ren) do to recognize what behaviors I can choose to develop my competencies in these areas?
• These areas can be particularly challenging with remote learning and communicating virtually. What are some of the challenges I am facing, and how can I compensate for not being able to see my peers in person? 

The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. Such as:

  • Taking others’ perspectives
  • Recognizing strengths in others
  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion
  • Showing concern for the feelings of others
  • Understanding and expressing gratitude
  • Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones 
  • Recognizing situational demands and opportunities
  • Understanding the influences of organizations/systems on behavior

The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed. Such as:

  • Communicating effectively
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Demonstrating cultural competency
  • Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving • Resolving conflicts constructively
  • Resisting negative social pressure
  • Showing leadership in groups
  • Seeking or offering support and help when needed
  • Standing up for the rights of others 

(Source: CASEL’S SEL FRAMEWORK: What Are the Core Competence Areas and Where Are They Promoted?)

Kinder/Grade 1 Philippine Language and Culture Class

Ms. Bebelin Tubilan, K/G1 Teacher

In Philippine Language and Culture, the Kinder and Grade one students have been learning about famous/ influential people from their home countries, especially the Philippines. Our Unit, Who We Are, connects to how these influential people affect our community. We talked about the different traits and characteristics they possess, the talent and skills they showed, and the positive impact they contributed to their country.  

We got to know Mr. Manny Pacquiao, a famous boxer; Ms. Hidilyn Diaz, a weightlifter, the first Filipino to win a gold medal during the Olympics and Mr. Remy Presas, the Father of Modern Arnis. Arnis is the Philippines’ National Martial Arts. We dive deeper into how Arnis was played before and how it changed over time.  

In the first few weeks, we tried to create our own baton/ arnis sticks using some newspapers or other recyclable materials at home. We also learned some basic skills of Arnis, or they call it stances. Stances are the different positions we do when we play Arnis:

  1. Grip or hawak, it is how we should hold our sticks properly.
  2. Salutation or pugay,  how we give respect to our opponents.
  3. Ready or handa means that we are now ready to play Arnis.

Then the forward stance or pasulong, it’s how we position ourselves when we want to attack, and the backward stance or paatras when we want to defend ourselves from getting struck. 

To get the point in Arnis, we should hit or strike the twelve (12) different parts of our opponent’s body, but we only focused on five (5). The right and the left temple is part of our ulo, the stomach or tiyan, and the left and right knees or tuhod.  

We showed what we learned by playing Arnis with one of our family members. We tried to demonstrate the different stances while playing and scored a point by hitting the right areas. 

We will be getting to know more influential people/ athletes from the Philippines in the coming months.

Grade 2 / 3 Philippine Language and Culture Class

by Ms. Ann Codoy, G2/3 Teacher

In our Philippines Language and Culture, we talked about influential people. We shared some of the influential or famous people we know and are from our country. We continued exploring the different influential people in our host country, the Philippines, particularly in Cebu. We discussed the Influential Cebuano Artist from Carcar Cebu, named Martino Abellana, who is considerably recognized as the “Dean of Cebuano Painters.” Most of his paintings significantly represent the culture, values, daily life of Cebuanos, and beauty of nature in Carcar, Cebu. As the Grade two and three students observed Abellana’s painting, we reflected on how we might show the things that reminded us about Cebu. 

We mentioned Bahay Kubo which is the native Filipino house, the whale shark, one of the animals you could see in one of the tourist spots in Cebu and others. We used our creativity in painting, drawing and coloring to show what we think best represents Cebu, Philippines.

CIS students participate in the MUN LOCALS Conference

by Emily Cornet, MUN Co-Advisor

Each year during Quarter 1, the CIS Model UN club participates in the MUN LOCALS Conference, usually hosted in Manila.  This year the conference was held virtually towards the end of our October Break on October 8 & 9, involving 272 total delegates from nineteen different schools across the Philippines.

Each student chooses to represent a country in an assigned committee — all based on the allotment we are given.  Then that student must represent that country’s viewpoint in arguing for solutions to the problems being discussed.

Of particular note in our group this year, we had three students present as Main Submitters of a Resolution — Selly P. (G11), Daigo K. (G12), and Dominic L. (G12).  We had another seven students co-submit a resolution, and five who authored and presented amendments.  The group as a whole was actively engaged in the two-day conference.

An additional part of the MUN LOCALS Conference is what is called Crisis, when students are presented with an unpredictable scenario where they must use the MUN-style debating and resolution-building techniques to create solutions to an unpredictable (and slightly unrealistic but entertaining) scenario.

Of our full group of 22 CIS students who participated, this was the first ever MUN Conference for a number of them, and just the second or third conference for even more.  The group did a superb job, despite their anxiety and relative newness to Model UN, and represented CIS well!!

Alessandra F. (G10) was a first time participant and was also selected to be a member of the Press Team, reporting throughout the weekend on the MUN LOCALS Social Media page.  And Dominic L. (G12) was selected as Best Speaker for his committee.  Well done not only to Alessandra and Dominic, but also to all of the CIS students who did such a great job!!

Grade 11 Extended Essay

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, MYP/DP Teacher

Jieun (Dorothy)

The Extended Essay, alongside CAS and TOK, is one of the three components of the IB Diploma Programme core. An essential requirement for all students in the DP, the EE is a 4,000-word paper students write independently through self-directed research of a focused topic from any of the available DP subjects. 

More than a DP requirement, the Extended Essay provides a practical preparation for undergraduate research to prepare students for success at university and other pathways beyond the DP. Through the process of research, students develop skills in formulating a research question, engaging in a personal exploration of the topic, communicating ideas, and developing an argument. Students, through this process, develop their capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge. 

Around this time of the year grade 11 students have already begun to formulate research questions for their chosen topics. By next week, the research skills teacher will present these research questions to the rest of the faculty and staff, a custom signifying the start of the supervision process. Incidentally, during the same period, the incumbent grade 12 students are intensively completing the final stages of their Extended Essays. With this system in place the load is spread amongst supervising teachers and staff, allowing for a seamless transition between incoming and outgoing students. 

Ideally, grade 11 students are encouraged to complete their first EE drafts by mid-August of the following year. The draft is then endorsed to their respective supervisors for review and evaluation. Based on the feedback they receive, students revise and develop their EEs for completion, leading to a final reflection session with their supervisors and a concluding interview known as viva voce

The Extended Essay process culminates with the EE Cafe, an event held in January, where grade 12 students prepare a short presentation of their research journey, challenges, and successes in completing their Extended Essays. 

To have a glimpse of the extensive process involved in writing the Extended Essay, here is a list of the research questions developed by the graduated Class of 2021.

Physical & Health Education (PHE)

by Mr. Ron de Villa, Design & PHE (MYP) Teacher

Physical & Health Education (PHE) can be the starting point for our students to be physically active throughout their lives. Positive experiences in PHE – especially when students feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment –  have been beneficial for long-term physical activity, most especially in this time of pandemic where a lot of students are still ‘locked-in’ their homes. 

This year, the PHE Department has introduced a program wherein students have a choice on whether to take the Standard Class or an Extended option. The standard class promotes physical activity from a more casual, or social perspective. We might not be a Novak Djokovic, a Florence Griffith Joyner or even a Patrick Dangerfield, BUT we do appreciate that physical activity is important in our lives. The Extended class allows students to really push themselves and strive for excellence (it must be pointed out that this innovation was put in place with face to face lessons in mind). Both classes follow the same units and complete the same assessments. 

Giving the students an option on which class to take allows them to be more responsible for the task they will undergo and give them a sense of accomplishment. Our PHE program highlights different physical activity capabilities and allows students to experience multifaceted fitness activities, movement, and individual sports – at least those they can do indoors or in a limited space and equipment set-up –  culture in order to find their individually preferred activity. This way, the units are designed in such a way that daily lessons could address each student appropriately.

The PHE Units this term focused further more on student’s choice wherein they chose the exercises they wanted to perform and master in a span of at least 6 weeks. This gives them the opportunity to evaluate their progress and identify which areas they need to work on. Also, as they learn to master each skill, they now have a chance to impart their knowledge by creating workout videos or slideshows which can be used by fellow students.

We understand that students usually learn by observing others. They require someone who can act as a role model and help them to exercise. Grade 10s have created workout videos that are presented in virtual school assemblies. Since these are exercises which the Grade 10 students have chosen themselves, there is a sense of mastery and accomplishment as they teach the proper way to perform these to their fellow students.  With these, we hope that the students are inspired to work out on their own too even beyond the PHE classes as they see a co-student exercising and teaching them how each exercise is done well.

Here are some examples:

Grades 6/7 (Standard)

Grades 6/7 (Extended)

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Quotes from Alumni on career choices:

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


October 16
5:00 PM
Link to register


Japan University Consortium:  Why Study in Japan?

October 22
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Link to register

Explore Singapore Universities:  Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD)
Participants will have a chance to learn more about the education landscape and opportunities that students can look forward to in Singapore, including an introduction of exciting programmes that are offered by SMU and SUTD.
There will also be breakout sessions where students and parents can interact with the admissions representatives from the different universities.

October 23 – December 31

EduCanada Fair
Link to register

SAT Update

The dates below indicate that registration is open. However, it is highly likely for future dates to be cancelled depending on quarantine restrictions.

2021-2022 Test Dates Registration Deadline
August 28, 2021 CANCELLED
October 2, 2021 CANCELLED
December 4, 2021 November 4, 2021
March 12, 2022 February 11, 2022
May 7, 2022 May 5, 2022
The Optional SAT Essay and Subject Tests have been discontinued.

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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