Newsflash: October 30, 2020

Media Center News

by Mr. Daniel Monfre, Media Center & eLearning Coordinator

Greetings CIS Community!

We are excited to announce the first-ever virtual book week at CIS! This year’s Book Week is November 2nd to the 6th and we have tons of fun activities planned for you!

Please visit the book week website at for details on all of the events mentioned below.

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

We want to start Book Week with BOOKS! On Monday, Nov. 2 we ask that everyone in the CIS community DROP EVERYTHING AND READ! Snap a photo of you reading in your favorite spot and share it with your class on Seesaw or Hangouts! MHS will DEAR from 12:30-1 pm, Lower Elem will DEAR from 9-9:30 am, and Upper Elem will DEAR from 8:30-9 am.

Character Parade

This year students are going to truly bring their favorite characters to life in the new version of the Character Parade! Students should dress up as their favorite character and then record a 10 to 20-second video of them reading one of their favorite quotes from that character. We will post these videos together on the book week website by grade levels. Please submit videos by Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, at 7 pm.

Story Time Videos

Parents and students are invited to submit a video of them reading their favorite children’s book, short story, poem, or novel excerpt for our Story Time Video collections. We would love to have stories representing the vast diversity of the CIS community, so please feel free to share stories from your culture and in your mother tongue. These videos will be available on the CIS book week website for students to view on their own time. Please submit videos by Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, at 7 pm.

Living Library

The Living Library is a chance for students to hear first-hand stories of a wide variety of professions. This year we are honored to welcome 7 guest speakers who are all CIS alumni. Check the Book Week website for details about these guests.

Guess what I’m reading contest.
Take a look at the photos on the “Guess what I’m reading” page of the website and see if you can identify the books your teachers are reading. We’ve covered up parts of the title to make it a little tricky. Good Luck!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

As we enter the last six weeks of semester one, and the last weeks for 2020, many CIS community members are feeling the strain of this long-term pandemic. We often hear stories of the power of the human spirit, and during this journey of pandemic, each and every one of us has been required to draw deep upon this powerful human spirit to pull through each day. As a school we are aware that this has taken a toll on our students, and although the feedback from our parent survey has been helpful and often positive, we know there is always more we can do as a school to support learners and their families.

If you have not yet been able to, please take a few minutes to complete this survey and provide the elementary school with some feedback about your family’s remote learning experiences.

In line with our committment to respond to the feedback we receive from families, and our committment to continually review and make incremental imptovements to our remote learning program, we are acting on an initiative that has emerged from our CIS teachers, to introduce a Design Day into the remote learning curriculum. We have several goals for this day, including;

  • focus on developing the skills associated with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics)
  • expose students to the Design Thinking process 
  • introduce the UN Sustainable Goals
  • promote creativity and innovation
  • provide a day where there is less need for a digital device
Image from:

Our first Design Day will take place during the month of November, and based upon the lessons we learn from our first Design Day we will be able to make adjustments to ensure the experience is purposeful and engaging for students, and meets our design day objectives. This day would be very much a class learning day and will begin and end for most classes with a synchronous class call, however, the middle section of the day would involve a lot of hands on problem solving, designing and making.

The UN Sustainable Goals

Today in the elementary assembly you will have seen an interview with a CIS highschool student, Zoe, who has been finding was to address some our the UN Sustainable Development Goals by serving people in need within his community. As time progresses, we aim to link our elementary school Design Day with the UN Sustainable Development goals, which would become the elementary school focus during CIS Week Without Walls, in February 2021. If you would like to learn more about the UN Sustainable Development goals, please follow this link.

Learning in Grade 4 – Animal Adaptations

Before the October Break we started our new UOI, inquiring into animals’ adaptations to survive the ever changing world. This week we had the students create a report of an animal of their choosing. They have investigated their animal’s evolution and  habitat, and the different adaptations developed to enable the animals to survive. The students were fascinated by how their animals came to be.

Alongside their learning, students have been encouraged to engage in family fun activities, taking time off their screens, and enjoying the company of parents and siblings. As part of our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) we regularly reflect on what we are grateful for.

Learning in World Languages

These past weeks in World Language Mandarin and Spanish students have been practicing successfully different learning engagements.

K / G1 days of the week, months of the year, celebrations and seasons.

In Gr 2 and Gr3 students practiced naming  places in the city and asking and giving directions in English and Mandarin.

In Gr 4 and Gr 5 students have been practicing vocabulary related to stores and have been talking about legends and folk stories from China and Mexico.

PE in Elementary

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias, Elementary PE Teacher

Early Years students have been learning basic dance moves like hopping, jumping, leaping and sliding. They are also imitating animal movements and making them into dance steps like ‘Flamenco’ dance. During our PE synchronous sessions, students are given opportunities to come up and lead different warm-up exercises.

Kinder and Grade 1 students have been learning different types of dances such as traditional and modern dances. It helps them improve their rhythmic skills, gracefulness, timing, and confidence in dancing. Another goal for this unit is to help them improve health and fitness. As of the moment, students spend time reviewing all the dances that we have been doing in the past few weeks.

Grades 2/3 
PE in Grades 2 and 3 focuses on developing students’ creativity in dancing. They were tasked to analyze the beat of the music in order for them to  improve timing and creativity. They have been learning simple techniques to improve their movements such as coordination & expression. Students were also provided with challenging activities like showing emphasis on the dance steps, gracefulness and confidence.

Grades 4/5
Grades 4 and 5 students are quite busy preparing their ‘Dance Collage’ which will be presented in our synchronous sessions. This helps them understand the importance of dance. They also started rehearsing and compiling dance moves from the pasts. This will be put together and come up with an ‘Evolution of Dance’ dance presentation.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Last week the entire CIS community celebrated our annual Culture Week, which culminated with our International Day celebration held on Friday, October 24. Undeterred by the impact of the Covid restrictions, we were still able to hold this event, albeit virtually, which is always a highlight of our school year.

Students in their homerooms and classes, as well as outside of class, prepared an array of cultural presentations as well as both synchronous and asynchronous activities for our community to enjoy. More than just providing some fun, these experiences open portals for us to better understand and appreciate the diversity we share as a community. Teachers and students worked hard for two weeks preparing, and it was impressive to see how we were able to create a wonderful International Day morning for our community. We are also thankful for all of the parents who participated throughout the morning in our activities and contributed to our “Parade of Nations.”

The morning began with our virtual International Day welcome assembly/presentation, including our annual Parade of Nations, which provides us with a panoramic scope of all of the nationalities represented in our community, including introductions in the respective languages spoken in those various countries.

This virtual presentation also included cultural performances from our students across all grade levels. Here are just a few examples from MHS:

Jandra, Bryan, and Maki perform their lovely song
Kimberly, Jooshin, and Caitlyn perform a Spanish Dance
Grade 8/9 Band joining together virtually and playing “Down by the Bay.”
The trio sings while their classmates dance

I think we all found our special international and multilingual rendition of “Let it Go” both inspiring and unique:

Prior to Culture Week, the school, led by the Culture Week and International Day Committee, created a google site as a platform to help guide the community through the following activities which were available to our students all week long.

These asynchronous activities, created by students across all grade levels, were made available throughout the week. Our entire community was invited to join our students as they shared information and engagements centered on different countries around the world, including asynchronous activities such as instructional art videos, songs and dances, and even cooking exhibitions! If you missed any of these experiences, you can still access them via the following links.

Asynchronous Links/Activities:

An example of one these presentations, for example, focused of the country of India

India is VERY diverse. The main religion is Hinduism, but many other religions flourish, such as Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism. 

Students were also able to learning to count in Filipino

The Korean page featured trivia, k-pop, and language.

Every day of Culture Week we also engaged our students in a daily “Language challenge”. For example, on Thursday our students were able to access and watch the tutorial video to learn how to speak Korean.

Students were able to record their responses to each of the following statements or questions in Korean and check them for accuracy.

  1. Annyong haseyo. (Hello)
    Annyong haseyo. (Hello)
  2. Gam sa ham ni da. (Thank you.)
    Chun man hae yo. (You are welcome)
  3. Jue song hap ni da. (Sorry)
    Guen cha na yo. (It is OK)
  4. An nyong hi ga se yo. (Goodbye)
    An nyong hi ga se yo. (Goodbye)
  5. Yi ru myi mo ye yo.?(What is your name?)
    Che yi ru myi _________. (My name is ___________)
  6. Odi hakkyo danyoyo? (Where do you study?)
    Jeonen sebu gukje hakkyo e danyoyo. (I study in CIS)

Takeaways- Student reflections:

For us as educators and parents alike, one of the most rewarding aspects of an event like Cultural Week is being able to hear from our students and appreciate what they have learned and gained from the experience. Their perspective helps us to gauge how effective such an event has been. Here are the voices of some of our Middle School students reflecting on Culture Week.

I think that it was really interesting to see what Culture Week would be like considering these strange circumstances. I was able to check out a few culture week websites and I learned a lot about many different countries. Additionally, I was able to work with my fellow classmates to make our own website where we explored the country of Kyrgyzstan. It certainly exceeded my expectations as I was not even sure if there would be a Culture Week or International Day this year. This was definitely an eye-opening experience as I learned about so many different cultures in such a short amount of time and I appreciate the effort the teachers have shown during this tough time. I am glad that CIS has been able to adapt so well. – Bella, Grade 9

Culture week this year was not the same due to the pandemic. Even with that it was still very fun to look at different sites and complete a few quizzes. This was my first culture week that I experienced in middle school so it made it even more fun. My favorite part of culture week was working with my classmates and finishing our site. This to me exceeded expectations because I thought that there would be no international day and no culture week this year. Even though we could not do this physically, it was still very fun learning about different countries. The country that I had to write about was Zimbabwe. I really had fun doing this task because I didn’t even know what Zimbabwe was at that time. To me it is always fun to learn about different countries and see how their culture is different to mine. – Xavi, Grade 7

During this culture week, our class collaborated really well in order to make our activities and websites for International Day. It was fun exploring different cultures and simply working with classmates in order to complete certain tasks. – Maximus, Grade 9

Although this year’s international day was held virtually, it was still fun and educational.  There were activities which you could sign up for and learn about different countries, play games, and take quizzes. During the parade of nations, it was nice to see the different cultures of those who are part of the CIS community. – Fiana, Grade 8

I love international day, all the different activities, foods, traditions, dances, and performances; it is generally quite exciting and fun. This year however is different, Covid19 has the world staying home and social distancing. This means all activities involving many people are banned. So instead of having our normal international day we will be having it in the very comforts of our homes. So far international week has been fun, with so many activities, sites being made, games being played, costumes being planned is quite exciting and all. Though I am sure every student wishes they could go back to school, I am personally very excited to see how the school videos are going to look and how the games and presentations are going to be played. – Amelia, Grade 7

As a newer student who joined during grade 6, this was my first culture week and it happened to be the first online one as well! I wish I were able to experience it physically, but due to the circumstances of this pandemic it wasn’t possible, so I’m glad to be able to attend the culture week virtually. I enjoyed the activities that were given throughout the week, and becoming more knowledgeable about each country that me and my classmates did research on. At first, I really didn’t think that there would be any activities available this year because of the pandemic, but this was much more than I could have asked for. In total, I believe that this was a really nice event and I’m thankful to all the teachers who took part in making this. Hopefully, next year we will be able to go to a physical culture week. – Yi Chen, Grade 7

International day was a really fun experience. As this was my first year in middle school, everything was new for me, it was a really fun experience making our own booths and doing online booths in class together. I really enjoyed the different activities and videos that we watched in the assembly. Overall, It was a really cool and creative way to show different cultures. – Chloe, Grade 6

Dragon’s Print

Who doesn’t enjoy watching a thrilling zombie apocalypse movie to get yourself in the Halloween spirit? But have you ever watched a zombie movie wondering whether or not you’d survive? Well, wait no further! To celebrate the spookiest time of the year, try and see for yourself how long you’d survive in a zombie apocalypse on

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip for the Week:
When writing your personal statement for your UCAS application, start with a statement that catches one’s attention. Below is a chart of the most common introductions in UCAS personal statements in 2018.

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

November 3Tuesday

November 3
7:00 PM

November 4
9:00 PM

November 8 – Sunday
8:00 PM

November 10
8:00 PM

November 13
2:00 – 5:00PM

Enderun Colleges (Philippines)
Click HERE to join

Behind the Scenes of the California College Application
Click this LINK to register
Participating Institutions: University of Redlands, University of La Verne, San Jose State University, Cal Poly Pomona, Pasadena City College, Orange Coast College, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego.

Penn State University (USA)
Session for International Students with Student Panel
– Admissions Overview – Click this LINK to register

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

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

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.

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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