Newsflash: October 2, 2020

Admin News

Congratulations, CIS community! Your  adaptability, resilience, and efforts to face challenges with a growth mindset have enabled us to complete our first term successfully. I am sincerely impressed by what we have achieved as a community. Some highlights and acknowledgements are:

  • Our faculty/staff who have strived to adapt to offering/supporting a remote learning program since the pandemic began, including undertaking ongoing professional development (PD) as we seek to constantly get better at facilitating learning remotely. It is new for all of us, and I am proud of the collective effort they have made to make it work well.
  • Our amazing students, who are not only the ones at the centre of our new remote learning mode, but who are ALSO coping with being quarantined for about 100 days now! THAT is a noteworthy example of resilience that is an example to all of us.
  • Our students and teachers who use their growth mindset to look for SOLUTIONS rather than just complaining about a situation that is largely out of our control, by adapting our school events to interesting new virtual events, such as our orientation events, House Activity Day, assemblies, production, an impressive range of after school activities (ASAs/clubs), and currently, planning for our upcoming virtual Culture Week & International Day.
  • Our dedicated, supportive parents. We acknowledge the hardships you are facing, while you work to provide for your family, AND support your children’s RL at home at the same time. This is an extreme challenge, especially for parents who both work, and parents with multiple children. Please know we are aware of this at school, and are here to support you. One of our goals as we design learning engagements is to make it as easy for you as possible, under the constraints we are working under.

Our shared objective is what holds us together and drives us. As a community, we aim to develop our students’ unique potential to contribute to a better world – a mission even more important than ever with the uncertainties for the future currently facing us. A sincere thank you to each and every one of you for your part in enabling us reach this mission. As I noted in last week’s assembly: Together, we are stronger. Together we can do it.

Have a wonderful, safe, October break!


Dr. Gwyn Underwood

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

We now draw to the end of the first quarter for 2020/2021. As I sit here writing I am looking at a sticker I have sitting on my desk, ‘Lifelong Learner’ and never before has this been such a true statement. Educators often talk about being lifelong learners but when it is really required we can be a little traditional and rigid in our thinking. These past months have tested our willingness to be Lifelong Learners. At CIS we value the many partnerships that have emerged over these past months between home and school, parents and teachers. This has been challenging, and many of us would prefer to be learning, working and teaching through a different medium, but never the less, we continue to be successful. And why do we do this? We do this for our children, our students, because quality student learning is our highest priority.

As we continue to move forward, reflecting on how we can make ongoing incremental improvements to how we approach quality student learning, our teachers actively engage in discussion and planning on how to achieve this. Previously in the Newsflash we have discussed our increased focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and our faculty have now made steps to practically address this. One way they have chosen to address this is by creating a HUB, a virtual classroom space where students feel they can connect, and where their ideas can be displayed, valued, and shared. When you visit your child’s Seesaw you will see how the HUB is creating a virtual space for children to visit and revisit. In doing this we are working toward achieving the following goals;

  • Welcome and represent all learners
  • Value everyone’s ideas and work
  • Support active and engaged learning
  • Support diverse developmental needs and learning styles
  • Foster independence, responsibility, and cooperation

    This week during our faculty professional development session on Wednesday, our talented team of educational assistants built a virtual classroom for our teacher to explore. Each part of the classroom led us to a different resource, video, or piece of prior learning we have been investigating together. The CIS teachers have been redefining student learning and teaching during this time of remote learning, and I am very proud of what has been achieved by us as a community of parents, students, and teachers.

Student Learning on Seesaw

Early Years 2/3

by Ms. Aimee Sesbreño, Ms. Maureen Juanson & Ms. Jerilyn Gibson, EY 2& 3 Teachers

As we are about to end our unit on “Who We Are”, the Early Years discovered new things about each other by sharing our likes and dislikes. We have observed that we all like similar and different things. We made use of different words to express our interests and likes.  We looked at how many of our friends liked similar things. Some of us shared about how we like salami, apples, toys and oreos. We looked into the beginning sounds of these words for our synchronous and asynchronous engagements. We sorted out pictures into different boxes to show their beginning sounds in order to develop our reading skills. Few students were able to dive deeper and started to write and take photos of objects that start with the /s/, /a/, /t/ and /o/ sounds. We worked on becoming good readers by learning the sounds of some letters.

In connection, let’s take a look at Ezra’s first story book below. This inspired us to work on becoming good writers too. As we end our unit this week the Early Years created their own “Me Book”. This will show our understanding on how well we know ourselves by drawing or writing the things that we like and how we/ve grown overtime.

Kinder and Grade 1 Tamaraws – Spaces in our Houses

by Ms. Tara Bersabal and Ms. Belen Tubilan

As we launched our new Unit of Inquiry with the transdisciplinary theme How We Organize Ourselves, with the Central Idea: Common spaces can develop the well-being of a community, students excitedly shared their special spaces in their house. In our synchronous classes, we shared what is our special space, what things we can find in there, and how we feel when we spend our time in that space. Most of the students took a photo and videos of their special spaces while others gave us a live tour to showcase their spaces and the things that we can see. Some students even have names for their special spaces.

Throughout the week, we shared and talked about the spaces that we have in our houses. Most of the students made connections with each other as they found out that some of them have the same space in their houses. In one of our class conversations, some students mentioned that they share their special space with other family members. We then started the conversation about common and private spaces. We can really see in the students’ eyes the joy that is brought by their special spaces and the things they can do in it.

Grade 2 Remote Learning

True to our CIS Guiding Statements, learning continues to be a joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration in Grade 2. On Monday, our excited student researchers kick off their new unit on How The World Works by going on a virtual field trip around the world. After taking attendance at 8AM, we boarded our helicopter on the school field, fastened our seatbelts, and pulled out our binoculars and recording notebooks. What will we see and discover? Will our predictions be correct? As we took off high into the sky with the helicopter noise roaring in our ears, the students gasped with amazement and wonder. Then they used their senses to observe, notice, and record details of the incredible sights below. Could these places be true? How can land and rocks be split? Was it an earthquake or a tsunami? How do mountains form? Could we go back in time to see who did all of this? (The answer is yes. Later in the week, we went on a second field trip in a time machine that took us all the way back to 240 million years ago… but the students came away with more questions than answers!) All of these student thoughts, connections, and questions will now guide us as we inquire deeper into How The World Works. Stay tuned to learn how our knowledge, understanding, and skills will develop over the next few weeks!

Philippine Language & Culture

Lower Elementary: Family values in the Philippines

Our Early Years learners are engaged in our topic about the values of a typical Filipino family. One of the values that Filipinos take seriously is to show respect to the elders. In the Philippines, we do the Mano Po (Mano Po) as a sign of respect. We ask for the hand of our elder and gently place it on our forehead while saying “Mano Po”. Similar to the mano Po gesture, Po and Opo are also distinctly Filipino ways of showing respect to one’s elders. The Po is usually affixed to the end of sentences or phrases when one is addressing someone older than him or her. Another tradition many families value is visiting church to pray together or Pagsisimba.

In addition, we have been exploring how a traditional Filipino family lives by looking at how they made their houses and the values they have. We took a peek into the structure of a Bahay Kubo, a type of stilt house indigenous to the Philippine culture. We learned how to introduce family members in Filipino, i.e. Tatay (father), Nanay (mother), Ate (older sister), Kuya (older brother), and Bunso (youngest sibling).

Upper Elementary: Family values in the Philippines

We continued to explore our unit on Family in our Philippine Language and Culture class. Our inquiry led us to the question what makes our family unique and we looked into our contrasting family values and beliefs. Grade 2 and 3 students expressed their appreciation of the Filipino family’s common values as we shared each other’s family values. Though we come from different countries and celebrate different things, we do have something in common. We realized that each family have their own values and beliefs that we should also respect. In addition, the students and their family had fun playing the game Pinoy Henyo during our synchronous class and were able to share their knowledge about Filipino games.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Dear Parents,

We have made it to October and the end of our first quarter of the academic year. Well done and thank you all once again for all of your support, flexibility, and growth mindset as we have navigated through these first months of our school year together. My wish is that you all are able to enjoy a restful break next week, and hopefully this will give us all a wonderful opportunity to relax, recuperate, and prepare for the remainder of our semester.

Design in the MYP

The Design Cycle is a “model framework” used by International Baccalaureate students to guide them in creating solutions in response to challenges. As a central component of the MYP program, design challenges all of our students to:

  • apply practical and creative thinking skills to solve design problems
  • explore the role of design in both historical and contemporary contexts
  • consider their responsibilities when making design decisions and taking action. 

MYP Design emphasizes and fosters a focus on the holistic design process rather than simply focusing on the final products and solutions.

MYP uses the design cycle as a way to guide and structure:

  • inquiry and analysis of design problems
  • development and creation of feasible solutions
  • testing and evaluation of students’ models, prototypes, products, or systems.

For parents involved professionally in Research and Development or Innovative Product Design, all of this may seem quite familiar. What we are doing is teaching our students how to follow the same steps that professionals in the “real world” take to design new products or systems. Hence, our design program is one of the most relevant dimensions of our MYP program both in terms of the process itself but also with regard to the real world concerns we direct students to engage in when they problem-solve.

The Design Cycle contains the following four essential elements/steps:

At the Investigate stage students are led to ask questions such as: What problem do I want to solve? They may research similar solutions which have been attempted previously by others. They also ask practical questions such as what supplies they will need.

At the Design/Plan stage students use their critical thinking skills to develop their ideas and consider what the final product will look like. They are asked to generate at least two prototypes for consideration and evaluate these options to ultimately choose what they feel is the best one.

At the Create stage students build/make/construct their selected prototype.

At the Evaluate stage students test the quality and efficacy or their solutions, asking questions like: Did it turn out as planned? Which step might I need to reconsider and plan differently? What variable should I change this time? If the solution is positive, can I consistently recreate the same results and, if so, how?

As you can see, this model, as a cycle, invites inquiry at all stages and the four steps are actually interacting dynamically throughout the process.

A more complex and full-orbed version of this model looks like this:


Grade 7 Design

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, Design Teacher

Imagination and creativity are key elements in design. The IB, through the MYP, emphasizes the significance of design as a profound approach in exploring possibilities and constraints to provide solutions to the inherent problems presented by a rapidly developing world. Design being the link between innovation and creativity enhances the process that transpires within the birth of an idea to the final form of the conceived product. By applying the principles of the design cycle, students become aware of the fundamentals of design through methods of inquiring, analysing, developing ideas, creating solutions, and evaluation. Students develop their skills in thinking critically while also gradually applying the principles of design as an iterative and cyclical process. 

The grade 7 design class has recently learned how to utilize the 3D design application, Tinkercad, to create product designs by manipulating basic geometric shapes and transforming them into composites ready for 3D printing. The students each identified a problem that they are able to solve using Tinkercad. Here are some reflections on their design solutions.

This year for unit 1 of design we have been learning how to use the app Tinkercad. We had to make a few formative designs so we can be ready for our summative design. For our summative design we had to make a design that would fix a problem that we have. I did not quite fix a problem for myself, but instead for my fish. The reason I went with this is because I want my fish to live in a better home and be more happy. One big way I made my fish happy was by adding artificial corals. The most challenging part for me in building this design was that I had to measure every artificial coral to see if the fish would fit inside. – Xavi

My tinkercad design is an organizer to hold certain things, especially for my stationery and notebooks because they are usually scattered around my table and I don’t like it. I also made it to be kinda carried like a basket because the top area is a handle and has a place to put stuff. The bottom is the notebook area, though. – Aadya

My design is about a stationery organizer. I specifically chose this because every time and everyone sees my table, their first impression is “This is really, REALLY messy.” I do arrange it a lot but no matter how I place my stuff, it always seems to be chaotic. So I decided to just make a single container and organize all my stuff in one box. I honestly had a hard time measuring and making the shape that I wanted to, but overall I think it’s a success and I can use it with good usage. – Rina

My problem was that I didn’t have a proper enclosed case for my stylus. I also wanted to keep my accessories for the stylus with the stylus. The steps in my process were to look at existing products, draw the sketch of what I want my design to be, sketch out other designs, make small adjustments on my original design, and lastly replicate the design using Tinkercad. – KC

I came up with my designs because my house has a lot of random jewelry around everywhere, so I wanted to make a jewelry holder to make things organized. I made it in the shape of a butterfly because to me butterflies represent beauty and to be your own self, and that was what I wanted others to feel. While I was making the design the trickiest part was making the butterfly because if I made the wings I had to make them aligned and symmetrical. – Grace

For my creation, I wanted to come up with something that could sort out my problem of having nowhere to put my accessories.  First, we created multiple potential designs to become the solution, then we asked our peers or family for their opinion with which one they think would be the most suitable. When we finished choosing our final design to create, we went on TinkerCAD to make it ourselves. A challenge for me was finding the inspiration in the first place where we needed to brainstorm, but then I came across a design and added my own changes to it to make mine different. After some advice on certain components of my original design, I adjusted it until I was satisfied and turned it in. – Yi Chen

At the beginning of the unit we were told to find a problem in our household, for example a stationery organizer or a wire holder; mine is a jewelry organizer. I chose this because my earrings have no proper storage space. So to come up with my perfect design, I had to do some research. I looked at all kinds of jewelry organizers, boxes, trays, bags, I chose a tree like design and the tray, where you can hang your jewelry or lay your jewelry. Then I had to make the base and the containers or tree branches, and finally the measuring to see if everything is the right shape, this was my most challenging part, I was not able to measure very well or accurately but so I learned. Finally, do some touch ups and add color and make it your style since it will be in your house hold all day, this was my favorite part. Finally done, there I have made one tree and one holder for my jewelry. What problem would you like to solve and how would you have designed it? – Amelia

Grade 8 Design

by Ms. Gerri Ancajas Jumao-as, Design Teacher

The Grade 8 class has been investigating different methods of delivering a message for their unit on Delivery of Message.  Students have been exploring various ways as to how we can communicate relevant issues as part of the shared responsibilities of being a member of a community.  As a formative task, they created a poster to promote awareness on Covid 19 safety.  Please find below some samples of our student work.

In terms of communicating some safety tips to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to protect yourself and others, I feel that I have been effective. The drawings of the two people turned out really well because I made them big enough so that they will be visible especially from afar. The colors that I used pop, which make the poster more interesting and nice to look at. The captions are the just the right size for people to read even from afar. The elements of my poster are balanced, so there aren’t too many drawings on one side, which is good. – Fiana

I am very pleased with the final result of my poster; it looks really good. I think the areas that are done well are the drawings in the middle and the portions of text. The drawings in the center of the poster turned out really nicely; it’s big enough for people to see from afar and the colors really pop for me which makes it more visible. The text is large enough for people to be able to read from a certain distance. – Gabrielle

 It feels good to finish the poster since it took a lot of time and hard work. I feel like it looks pretty nice and colorful and is easy to read.  I think it would help to convey this message and I think it would work pretty well since it is very simple. – Miguel

I feel very happy about my finished product. It looks very nice and the colors appear very attractively. I think I have been very effective in communicating the safety tips. I think the title is very well done because it clearly shows the message. I also think the small messages are very helpful to keep the people safe. – Sengo

Grade 9 Design Class

by Ms. Gerri Ancajas Jumao-as, Design Teacher

The Grade 9 Design class has been investigating different cooking methods and handwork processes for their unit on Food Preparation.  Students applied their creativity in developing dishes that support varied palettes.  As a formative task, they explored different ways for how to prepare and cook individually selected dishes.

Bread Pudding

Sofia’s Bread Pudding: I think I did well with this recipe. It was not as complicated as the first two recipes I investigated and it did not require frying or cutting vegetables. A challenge I had was placing the shallow bowl into the steamer. I was afraid I would accidentally touch it and get burned. I overcame it by just facing it head first and just gently and quickly dropping it into the pot. Through this recipe I was able to develop my skills in creating desserts. I do not usually cook desserts and most of the time cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner. – Sofia


I think I did pretty well, I didn’t run into any problems with this dish and my family loved it so I think it was successful. I also found that the lasagna tasted really good.  My skill in cooking really improved here because this dish was really complicated for me. Before making this dish, I had no idea how to make lasagna and now I can say that I can prepare lasagna on my own. – Liam

Steamed Dumplings

Click for video

I think this definitely turned out better than expected. I have never used a steamer before, but it worked out okay with some help. I made too little filling, so I ended up with some dough left over, but the dumplings I made were okay. I feel I may have added too much salt this time, and it overpowered the other seasonings I put in the filling. I also had trouble making the dumpling wrapper, but I managed pretty well. I didn’t cut out circles from a big piece of dough but I took small balls of dough and rolled them out. they weren’t perfect circles, but they still worked well. I think that I have learned a few lessons from this session; don’t over season, follow measurements exactly, ask for help if you’re not sure, and many other things. – Mahati


This was a very very difficult meal to prepare. I should beat the meat, but the meat shouldn’t be torn. I tried to beat it slowly and carefully. I used pepper to remove the smell of pork, but I actually used too much pepper. Actually, pepper smells better than pork, but I don’t feel good about this menu. Overall, it was a bit challenging, but it improved my skills in some parts. – Minseong

Green Beans with Persillade

Click for video

I think I did pretty well because the finished product looks very tasty and is also very tasty. The challenge that I came across was straining the water; the pot was very heavy which led to me almost dropping it. I overcame it by not carrying the pot but rather just placing it in the tile and carefully pouring/strain the water. I think that I now know the basics of blanching and sautéing which I think I became very good at. – Clark

Meringue Cookies

I think I did really well because they tasted really good and they had a nice lemony taste to them. They were also cooked perfectly. My main challenge was whisking the egg whites without a mixer because it was really hard to keep doing it for long periods of time. I tried switching the angle of the whisk every few minutes, and that helped a little bit. It was also pretty hard to grate the lemon zest from the lemon because the outside of it was really rough, so I had to press really hard to get the skin off. I used a handheld grater rather than a regular one and that made it much easier to grate the lemon zest from the lemon.

I learned a lot of skills during this formative recipe because I’ve never whisked egg whites by myself before and it was interesting to see how they turned out in the end. I’ve also never made meringue cookies in general, so this was really fun to accomplish and do it well. My whole family liked it, including me.

Athletics Director’s News

by Mr. Ace Pierra, Athletics Director

ISAC Update

The ISAC board met last Friday to discuss important details about ISAC during lockdown. Here’s the statement of the ISAC board.

“Due to the Philippine government mandate of no in-person classes, and due to the IATF directives disallowing sports competitions and tournaments, the ISAC Athletic Administrators recommend to the heads of their respective schools, the cancellation of season 1 sports in the first semester of the year.  Furthermore, the AD’s recommend that if schools are back on campus and if allowed by the government, that season 2 & 3 combine in a yet to be decided tournament format.  If there are any changes to the government mandates, the ISAC AD’s are prepared to meet immediately in order to make adjustments.”

The ISAC board also decided to conduct an online ISAC tournament/challenges which will start next week. It is open to all students.

Challenges will be by age category to be participated by all ISAC schools.

CAS / Service Learning

Lockdown did not stop our students from doing their CAS experiences. Listen to this beautiful song composed and sung by Deandra and Imai for the frontliners.

“We have composed a song to thank the frontliners for what they have done for us while we are all staying safe at home. These people risk their own lives to help others and through this song, we want them to feel appreciated. We also created a lyric video along with the song. We hope you enjoy it! 🙂 Deandra and Imai


After School Activities – Online


From the beginning of quarantine to the end of summer, our club of Radio/Rescue Emergency Assistance Volunteer Organization (REAVO) Junior Responders decided to try and continue our lessons of responding to first-aid online through our own free time. Every Wednesday, we met and continued throughout summer, adding Friday to our meetings per week. We learned the steps in responding to a medical emergency. The students responded to hypothetical simulations and provided videos of their work. Our goal is to spread the practical skill of being a Responder which can be very useful in life. This year, we are continuing it as a virtual club, and we invite the high school students to join and learn the practical skill of saving lives this semester. This could make a difference in your life later on! Juan Miguel Q., G12

PHE9 Class Online Learning

Ms. Hidilyn Diaz, Olympian Silver Medalist and World Cup Weightlifting Champion joined the PHE9 Class Online Learning.

As part of the PHE 9 Unit 1- Personal Fitness Program, we culminated our unit through an online question and answer session with Olympian Ms. Hidilyn Diaz. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions about how they can develop their fitness program at home as well staying fit and healthy during the lockdown.

For this unit of Physical Health Education, PHE, we focused on creating our own fitness programs at home during this lockdown and looking into improving our fitness and health during online learning. We each choose a fitness goal like increasing stamina, muscle gain or weight loss, etc. and each person chose a focus and created a plan or program around it. We had to do some research on our goal chosen and the exercises that would help us reach that goal. We then took the research made and knowledge we’ve gained and applied to our fitness plan. We would record our exercises and show evidence through our online portfolios with videos or pictures. After around 1 month of exercising we created a calendar to show all the things we’ve been doing so far. After that we continued on until our last day of exercise which was September 30, Wednesday.- Jandra R.

Dragon’s Print

Announcing… Dragon’s Print!

Dragon’s Print is the school’s first online student-run website and publication. Made of a team of Grade 11 students, they release articles every Friday on their website

S.Y. 2020-2021 – Meet the Team!

Although it may not seem like it, we’ve been in quarantine for around 6 months already! By this time, hopefully, everyone has already adjusted to this new normal of just waking up, attending online classes, eating our meals, and going back to sleep. But because we are so used to this new normal, we decided to bring a little ‘spice’ to your lives… Through documenting the day of some students! Read it on

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:

Scholarships and Financial Aid

If you are applying for a scholarship of seeking financial aid  in a university in the USA, make sure you fill in the CSS Profile on this link:

This profile needs to be submitted separately from your college application to be considered for a scholarship.  Speak to the college counselor for more details.

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


October 3 – Saturday
11:00AM (Virtual)

October 5 – Monday

October 7

October 8


October 9 – Friday

October 14
6:00 PM

October 15
1:00 PM

October 16 – Friday
7:00 PM

October 27 & 28
3:00 – 7:00 PM

November 13
2:00 – 5:00PM


University of the Pacific (USA)
Zoom Link: Univ of the Pacific

Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Zoom link to register:

Hong Kong Polytechnic University(Hong Kong)
Faculty of Construction & Environment
Link to register:

Canada Virtual Fair (Link: Link to Canadian Fair) – Participating universities:
Mc Gill University, Concordia University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, University of British Columbia, Ontario College of Art & Design, Lakehead University, Memorial University of Newfoundland

University of Navarra (Spain)
Zoom link to follow

Hong Kong Polytechnic University(Hong Kong)
Faculty of Business, Health & Social Sciences
Link to register:

University of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada)
Meeting ID: 318 394 3681
Password: 946466

New York University (USA)
To register: NYU Info Session

Student World Virtual Fairs
Click to see List of Universities

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

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.

September 26 and October 3 have been  cancelled by the College Board.  Test-takers registered on these dates will have received an email with instructions.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
October 3, 2020CANCELLED
November 7, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsOctober 7, 2020
December 5, 2020SAT & SAT Subject TestsNovember 5, 2020
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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