Newsflash: September 17, 2021

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-Grade 12 Principal

We’ve had a busy week at CIS with a number of significant events taking place in addition to our regular classes and After School Activities. The Elementary School held Student Goal Setting Conferences which provided students, parents, and teachers with an opportunity to reflect upon the start of the school year and work together to set preliminary goals for the year ahead. Our Grade 11 Values Meeting took place through a series of virtual presentations, which provided our students and their families with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the IB Diploma Programme courses while also reflecting upon the values that underpin CIS, and the commitment we all share to supporting our students. And we ended the week with our first House Activity Day and an afternoon of Professional Development for our teachers.

While these activities are diverse in nature there are some common threads that are worth highlighting:

A sense of connectedness
We strive to provide our whole school community with a sense of connectedness. This is of paramount importance, especially during a time when physical connectedness is so difficult. Research on student leadership indicates that in addition to increased educational outcomes, students who are connected to school have improved longer-term health and wellbeing benefits. Providing students with opportunities to have meaningful engagement with school decisions and show leadership at school are ways of enhancing students’ sense of belonging. They are also an important way to develop social competencies.

Active student involvement
Student agency is an important facet of the IB programmes and in the context of CIS it involves a firm commitment to the principle that students have the potential to positively influence in their own lives. Student agency involves setting goals, reflecting, and acting responsibly to effect change. We encourage our students to make responsible decisions and choices rather than simply accepting those determined by others. When students are actively engaged in their learning and wider community events, they are more likely to be motivated and achieve long-term goals.

Community approach
The power of school-community relationships is transformative in nature. When schools and their communities work together to support learning, everyone benefits. Partnerships serve to strengthen, support, and transform, resulting in a better alignment of goals and learning outcomes. While a focus on curriculum, instruction and student engagement with the learning process is important, parent involvement makes a significant difference in academic achievement and school success.

CIS strives to be an innovative school. The way in which our student leaders have been able to plan and run our House Activity Day online, is testament to the incredible commitment our teachers have made over the past few years to foster a space and place for student agency. As is evident from the current global situation, it is not possible to eliminate challenges from our lives but providing students with opportunities to learn and overcome them ensures that they are well positioned for the future. We could not do that without the support and involvement of our parent community.

Diploma Programme Update

by Ms. Emily Cornet, IBDP Coordinator

September DP update!

September is a busy month for students in the Diploma Programme at CIS.  While the Grade 11 students are only in the second month of their DP courses, the Grade 12 students are busy working on completing their Extended Essay, as well as working on their Internal Assessments in many classes.

This week, Grade 11 students and parents were sent a link to the Grade 11 DP Values Meeting website. While we would normally gather in person to mark the beginning of their two-year journey towards High School Graduation and the IB Diploma, we presented the information virtually. Students and parents had the opportunity to watch the videos presented by their teachers, introducing the journey that they will take in their classes over the next two years. They were presented videos about where they should be, as Grade 11 students, in their path towards university, as well as videos about the CIS Diploma Programme. Lastly, students and teachers signed a digital version of the banner that we normally hang in the Media Center, showing our shared commitment to making sure that all students will be successful in the first year of the Diploma Programme.

On Wednesday 29 September, Grade 12 students and their parents will have the opportunity to view a similar presentation, aimed towards their 12th grade year and their recommitment to being successful in this final year of high school. Grade 12 students will also be learning more in the second half of September about their IB Diploma options, as they meet with the DP Coordinator, the Principal, and their parents, to discuss their Anticipated Grades. Grade 12 students and parents—stay tuned for more about these upcoming events!

Grade 4 Art Class

by Ms. Thea Raagas, Elementary Art Teacher

Google Art Coloring Book

Our Grade 4 students have been examining color as an element of Art. We have discussed warm and cool colors as well as making a color wheel. To further explore this element our students took a break from the traditional art materials and explored color through a digital medium.

The  Google website “Art Coloring Book” provided students with the opportunity to engage with famous works of art and our students thoroughly enjoyed their opportunity to learn about and individualize these paintings. Their results are absolutely amazing. Many thanks to Mr. Jessie Saclo III for sharing this resource.

Grade 4 Class

by Mr. Sten Coppin & Ms. Freshal Abcede, G4 Teacher

The Grade 4 students have been exploring and learning about the economy in our unit “How We Organized Ourselves”. We’re looking at supply and demand and  cause and effect, as well as hyperinflation and how this has impacted countries such as Germany (Post WW1), Zimbabwe (2000s) and Venezuela’s current situation. These students made this presentation especially for Newsflash so that they could share their learning.

Click on the photo to view Sooji and Jua's video!

Biology Class

by Ms. Rebecca Devadoss, MHS Biology Teacher

Grade 10: Unit 1 – The twisted shape of life

Students started this unit by studying about the structure, functions and replication of DNA. They also studied that a parent cell divides to form two daughter cells that are identical to the parent cell. This is possible because of the replication of the DNA and other events that take place during Mitosis, a type of cell division. Remote learning conditions did not hinder them in taking part in group activities to be engaged in the learning process.

JamBoard was used as a primary tool to enable students to learn about the “Structure of DNA”, “Replication of DNA” and stages of cell division by “Mitosis”.

“Structure of DNA”

Stages of Mitosis:

Students drew the various stages of mitosis. They were able to infer that the daughter cells are identical to each other and to the parent cell.

Grade 11: Topic 1 – Cell Biology 
This photo was shared by Chesca, Andrew and Sean

In cell biology, apart from exploring the various parts of the cell, students are also studying the structure, composition and functions of the plasma membrane. Several factors can cause stress to the cell membrane. For example, change in pH, salinity, change in solute concentration, temperature, etc.

Students performed a home based lab investigation, “Stress on Plasma Membrane” due to change in temperature. Beetroot tissue samples were placed in a range of temperatures to observe if extreme temperatures fractured the plasma membrane to release the betacyanin pigments into the water.

House Activities Day (HAD)

by Mr. Ron de Villa, Activities Coordinator

At the beginning of a student’s studies here at CIS, they are assigned to one of the four Houses (Acacia, Mahogany, Molave, and Narra). HAD stands for House Activities Day, an inter-house event conducted three times a year. It is a fun day where every house team competes against each other through different  activities. While members are supporting each other and working together to win activities, friendships are formed between students of different grade levels. HAD serves as a school day where students don’t have to learn in a classroom setting, but instead,  practice valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.

Given the online setting, the Student Council put in an enormous effort to make the remote HADs just as much fun as they were in previous years. Instead of solely relying on ideas for activities from council members, we now send out surveys before every HAD to give each student a chance to share their input and use the results to organize a line-up of more fun and engaging activities!

Additionally, with the extra time we have allocated during the homeroom session before HAD, the House Captains fruitfully used this time for the members to get to know one another and to get the team spirits high in preparation for HAD. With the help of all faculty and staff, every HAD is a success as all students – whatever house they belong in – are sure to be engaged and are having a blast while participating in these fun activities!

At the end of the day, a House is awarded the Overall winner and by the end of the year, the House winning most points from all 3 HADs are declared the Champion! This just makes HAD more exciting and a much-awaited event every year! Here’s a list of past Champions:

Dragon’s Print

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HAD 1 Winners

by CIS StuCo

After much anticipation, here are the winners for our very first HAD for the school year 2020-2021! In fourth place, with 77 points, we have Acacia!! Coming in third place with 83 points, we have Molave!! That leaves with two more house teams… the runner-up for HAD 1 with 88 points is house Mahogany! Coming in the first place, with 101 points, the winner of HAD 1 2020-2021 is none other than Narra!

Congratulations everyone for participating in our first every HAD of the school year!

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Question of the Week:

Q: Will I need a letter of recommendation (LoR) for my college applications?

A: Most universities will require a letter of recommendation from a subject teacher and your counselor.  LoR’s can either be

  • An Open letter – required by most US & UK universities
  • A prescribed form with a checklist and specific questions 

Some universities do not require a letter of recommendation.  The application checklist will indicate if a LoR is needed. Most Canadian universities do not need an LoR for a student to submit an application.

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


September 18
8:00 AM PHT
LINK to register

September 27
8:00 PM PHT
LINK to register

Links to register:
Sunday Sept. 19
6:00PM EDT
Monday Sept. 20
7:00PM EDT
Tuesday Sept. 21
7:00PM EDT


Brown University, Columbia University,
University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University

Exploring College Options : A special informational program hosted by USA’s top leading universities. You are invited to a 90-minute webinar  hosted by admission officers to help you explore your college options and prepare a strong and reflective application in this time of change and new challenges.

If you have questions about accessibility or these programs in general, see our FAQs. Please note that the schedules indicated are all in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), 12 hours behind PH time.

Links to register
Tuesday Sept. 21
4:00PM Pacific time
Friday Sept. 24
8:00PM Pacific time
Tuesday Sept. 28
7:00AM Pacific time
Tuesday Oct. 2

University of California – Los Angeles (USA)
Information Sessions: You will have the opportunity to learn more about the academic and student life at UCLA, the admission process and meet guests such as current students and alumni.

September 25
9:00AM PHT
LINK to join

September 25
Link to join

New Zealand Universities Info Session: Auckland University of Technology
University of Auckland
University of Canterbury
University of Otago

Alumni Chat Series: Focus on Stem Careers

September 27
Monday – 9:00 PM PH time

September 28 & 29
Tuesday & Wednesday
5:00-8:00 PM PH time

Application Review and Financial Aid at Harvard, Pomona, Stanford and Wellesley
LINK To register

European Universities Virtual Fair 2021
• Study in Europe Live Session
• Careers in Europe Session
• Country and University Specific Sessions
• Virtual booths
• 1-on-1 meeting options
Participating universities:
Bocconi University (Italy)
EHL (Switzerland)
IE University (Spain)
Jacobs University (Spain)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Modul University (Vienna)
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Brussels School of Governance (Belgium)

September 30
7:00 PM
Link to follow

Parent Conversations: Studying Abroad
A Question/Answer session for parents to learn about the experiences of parents when their child studies abroad. 
Guest Panel:
• Mr. Bernard Villamor : father of Bianca who studies at UCLA (USA)
 • Mrs. Chorie Chan: mother of  Andie who studies at UBC (Canda)
• Mrs. Mylene Suarez: mother of Catrina who studies at Polimoda (Italy) and Joaquin who studies at Simon Fraser University (Canada)
• Dr. Clementino Diez: father of Dominique who studies at University of Toronto (Canada)

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 DatesRegistration Deadline
August 28, 2021CANCELLED
October 2, 2021CANCELLED
December 4, 2021November 4, 2021
March 12, 2022February 11, 2022
May 7, 2022May 5, 2022

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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