Newsflash: October 18, 2019

newsflash cover

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Managing Homework in MHS

It’s been a great first quarter getting back into the flow and rhythm of the school year. Along the way we have had several small breaks and long weekends which have allowed extra time for students to master content and complete assignments. Having said that, we now enter the second quarter and the pace, as well as the workload, can be expected to increase a bit.

You may recall my writing about this topic in last year’s newsflash, but I think that we, as parents, often do see the same concerns emerging year after year with our children. One of the inevitables in school life is homework, but it doesn’t have to consume all of our family time or make our children miserable. I want to offer a couple of thoughts to help ease some of the pressure and to help with conversations you might have with your children at home. There is actually some research right now claiming that homework has no benefit; however, alternate studies show that students who do their homework enjoy many benefits. I think the crucial variables here are the nature and quality of the work students are doing at home.Here are some thoughts to share with your children as to how they might better cope with the workload and pressure to perform:

1. The focus should be on learning rather than on grades (though strong grades will be a natural by-product of that learning). Students should be, first and foremost, building their personal cognitive library and a toolkit of skills which they will take with them to whatever path lies beyond high school. Students should remember that it is the quality of your work and the quality of the thinking that matters rather than the quantity.

2. Be a proactive learner in class. Take notes, pay attention, and ask questions- these things can help you comprehend the material better in class which will make your homework both easier and less time consuming.

3. Know when good enough is truly “good enough”. Perfectionism can be a killer and usually is unsustainable. Do what you need to do to effectively complete the assignment… and then… move on. Get to your next assignment. Most importantly, be good to yourself. Eat well. Get some exercise. Get enough sleep.

4. Prioritize your assignments. Our 4-day rotation is a blessing since we only have a maximum of 4 assignments due each day. However, if there is a big assignment coming up, don’t wait until the night before to begin. The summative assignments are the tasks where you demonstrate mastery of important knowledge and skills. Whereas your formative assignments are critical for practicing and developing your skills, the summative assignments need to take priority- if you must choose.

5. Manage yourself and manage your time at home. Try to plan out how much time you will need for each assignment. Set a schedule and stick to it. If you are struggling with a question, don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Reach out to your teacher and see them the next day if possible.

6. Start your homework as soon as you get home. Take breaks in between your tasks and reward yourself for devoting yourself to periods of quality work time; the brain really loves to be rewarded for accomplishing goals.

7. Finally, remove distractions so you can work more productively.
When we are distracted, it is easy to make mistakes and squander time completing even the simplest tasks. It is also important to know yourself as a learner. If listening to music is a distraction, have the self-discipline to turn it off. Find a quiet place, concentrate, and focus on learning.

Most of all, be proactive in communicating with your teachers. If you are struggling to complete your homework because you have a test the next day, reach out to your teacher to explain. Your teachers are in this profession because they care about you and your learning. It doesn’t mean that your teacher will always be able to give an extension, but he/she may very well do that. A teacher can’t say yes if you don’t ask.

Language Week

by Ma. Socorro Laplana, Asst. Middle & High School Principal, IBDP Coordinator and Elaine Jin, Mandarin Teacher

As part of International Week, the World Languages team launched the “language week” where each day students tried out a new language. Monday is Cebuano, Tuesday is Spanish, Wednesday is Mandarin, Thursday is Korean and Friday is Japanese. Students had to say aloud some sentences in these languages in front of a judge thereby earning a point for their homeroom class. The class with the highest number of points by the end of the week wins a free dress day. Check out some photos below.

Language Exchange in Mandarin and Spanish Class

by Elaine Jin, Mandarin Teacher

During the International Language Week, the ES and MHS Mandarin and Spanish class exchanged language classes. In the MHS, the Grade 10 students experienced how to be a language teacher. The Mandarin and Spanish students divided themselves into three groups, the number group, the color group and the greeting group. They designed a 10 minute mini lesson and taught classmates basic vocabulary about the numbers, colors and greetings. The Grade 10 students enjoyed playing games and learning new languages.

Elementary News

by Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

International Day Preparations

Dear Elementary Community,

Over the past week, elementary students have been working in vertical grade groups to prepare their international day games and activities. In past years each class decided on a country they would like to represent at the International Fair Day, this year however we asked students from KG to G5 to select a country they would like to learn more about. Students were then grouped according to their choices and have worked together to learn about their country and prepare games and activities to share with others in our community. This process has honored our belief in student choice and agency, while still providing a structure to ensure quality learning has taken place.

On Saturday 19th October students will be eager to share their learning with you. Each student will be scheduled to serve at their activity for a section of the morning. Following the activities, food, and clean-up, students will be able to leave International Day at 1.00 pm.

Grade 3 student Reflections on Wheels Day

Elementary School Events

Friday 24th October

  • Elementary Assembly in the media center (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • PYP Parent Education Session: Math Learning and Teaching in the PYP (8.00am – 9.00am)

College Counseling News

by Jennifer Basa, College/Careers Counselor/Alumni Liaison

SAT Test Dates for School Year 2019 – 2020

For students who are planning to study in universities/colleges that require the SAT exam, below is the schedule of the SAT tests. Please take note of the test dates and registration deadlines.

To register for the SAT, you may log on to If you need assistance, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at or call 261-0247 local 112 to set an appointment. You may also visit her office from 7:15am to 3:30pm.

CIS Book Week!

October 28 to 31, 2019

by Dan Monfre, eLearning Coordinator


Create a bookmark or poster that answers the  question “Who do you read?” All posters or bookmarks should include a photo of an author that you love to read and some of their most famous books and quotes.


The media center will host a living library on Oct. 29, at 10:00 – 11:30.  Local professionals will come and share their stories. Students will have a chance to talk in small groups with the guests and ask questions. 


D.E.A.R. time will take place in all ELOs and HRs on Thursday, Oct. 31st at 9:15 to 10:00.


Everyone is invited to dress up as their favorite book character on Thursday, October 31. The parade will start at 7:30. Elementary students will parade through the MHS building, showing everyone their exciting and creative costumes.


Homerooms should each choose a book, series, or genre and decorate one of the doors of their homeroom class. For complete rules click here. One MHS and one Elem HR will win a pizza party! Doors will be judged at 10 on Thursday, Oct. 25th.


MHS Students and Parent volunteers are invited to come read stories to the elementary classes. Students should use this form to sign up for times to read.

Who is reading?

Come by the media center to check out our board of disguised readers and see if you can determine which teachers are reading the books. There will be a box to submit your guesses and a raffle will be held with the students who get the most correct.

Dragon’s Print

by Russell Greene, English Teacher/EE Coordinator

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments