Newsflash: September 2, 2022

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Dear CIS Community Members,

It was so refreshing to have a long weekend last week after the busy start of the year, and we have been happy to observe a bounce in the steps of both students and faculty/staff this week!

This past week we had our first PTA Parent Coffee Meeting, where our PTA Board Chair, Mr. Darrell Caballero, gave notice of the following:

  • CIS is turning 100 Years Old in 2024, so the PTA is looking at how they can support our centennial anniversary events. We would like to invite you to come to our meetings to join in the discussions and planning!
  • A questionnaire will be coming out shortly, seeking your input into PTA plans for the year, such as marketing, merchandise, class parent volunteers, and events.

Following that, I was happy to give an introduction to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum in CIS. Here is a brief outline of the topics covered!

  • To put things into perspective, we began by discussing our answers to a few key questions to establish our “Why?”:

  • The discussions led us to the IB Learner Profile Attributes as an ideal list of attributes we desire for our children:

  • We then took a look at the IB Continuum of Programmes – CIS offers the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in our EY-G5, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Grades 6-18, and the Diploma Programme (DP) in Grades 11-12. (The purple represents the latest addition to the IB, the Careers Program).
  • The advantage of having a continuum of specifically designed programs for different stages in a child’s learning journey is highlighted by the shared philosophies and beliefs underlying all of the IB programs, as depicted by the diagram below, starting with the LEARNER at the CENTRE of all we do:

  • And finally, we took a look at a selection of 10 key facets that give the IB its’ unique character. Here is a diagram showing the 10 Key Facets to give you an idea of how comprehensive the program is:

Over the course of this year, our academic team will provide more opportunities for you to learn more about how the IB programs operate. Please also do not hesitate to ask our teachers, IB coordinators, and principals to help you understand any areas you are not sure of. In this way, you can help to support your children at home – and that support is critical to providing the best learning opportunities we possibly can to our students!

Upcoming events of note

  • Sept. 9: Osmeña Day (Public Holiday)
  • Sep 15: ES Goal Setting and Conferences day (no classes for ES students)
  • Sep 16: House Activity Day (HAD) 1 (half day of morning events/home at 11:30 am); Teacher Inservice afternoon
  • Sept. 20: CIS Corporation Meeting (members only)
  • Sept. 27: Parent Coffee Meeting (CIS Annex)

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

Grade 2: Inquirers

by Ms. Marina Ocleasa, Grade 2 Teacher

In CIS, we are developing our students to become assessment-capable learners. In one of our researchers’ workshops, the Grade 2s had a chance to reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement as inquirers. Many of them shared that they want to be better at formulating questions and planning, one of the sub-skills under research skills. This led them to ask questions about our key concept perspective. To support them in this inquiry, they were exposed to multiple experiences that will help them gain a deeper understanding of the concept perspective. 

The students used their research skills and chose the most appropriate method to gather information about the word perspective. Using the Cornell note-taking method, they recorded their information and shared it with the class.

The students investigated the photos and participated in a conversation about what they noticed. As a result, they gathered that people might look at the same object simultaneously but see it differently depending on their points of view.

The students stood in a circle with an object in the middle. Using an iPad, each took a photo and tried to compare and contrast the different ways they saw the same object. 

The students were given authentic challenges such as complex Math problems and too much writing without playing. Some responded well to the challenges and took them as an opportunity to grow; some needed support to handle them. In the process, they identified the different ways people perceive and respond to challenging situations. 

The students were given scenarios and asked how they would perceive and respond. Through the experience, they realized that some people perceive and respond differently than others based on prior knowledge and experiences.

Next week, the Grade 2 students will continue participating in various learning engagements and diving deeper into the concept perspective. What pictures can the Grade 2s draw showing two points of view? Where can they find different perspectives around them?

Grade 6: First Eight Days of Mathematics

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, Grade 6 Mathematics Teacher

The first 8 days of Grade 6 Math focused on learning about themselves as mathematicians, creating learning norms/essential agreements and building relationships and classroom community. 

As we started the school year, students engaged in a team-challenge which allows them to get to know their classmates better as well as collaborate and share their strategies and creativity in building the tallest index card tower without needing any other materials. 

It was very fun to work with people I don’t normally spend time with and I truly enjoyed building the tower.


This activity was fun and it was good to play the game because I got to know my classmates.


Another highlight in their first 8 days of Grade 6 Math is the Four 4’s challenge

 Students enjoyed working with a study buddy and were eager to recall their prior knowledge on order of operations.

My favorite part of class so far was the four fours challenge! I enjoyed sharing my ideas with my friends and trying to figure out and create every number between 1 and 10 using only four 4s and any operations.


Made by Science and Math Doodles

Students are also getting used to classroom routines and one of which is the 5-a-day challenge, where students try to complete 5 random questions that they may or may not have learned previously. The students maintained positive motivation and perseverance as they applied their knowledge and/or  welcomed new learnings. 

Here are some students’ reflections on the 5-a-day challenge.

It’s really fun and it challenges our brains to work on some small fun, mostly easy questions.


The 5 a day questions are my favorite part of the class because even though I did not know the questions it’s fun to learn new things.


Lastly, here are a few more eager learners’ reflections after 8 days of Grade 6 Mathematics.

I used to think…

Math is so important to my future.Oh no, this is going to be hardMath is just calculating and gettting answers but I think Math is not just getting answers but also expanding the ideas.I used to think that the best and most fun way to do math was to do it alone without any distractions so I could focus.
Now I think …

I want to learn Math more.Wow learning from our mistakes can be ca bit fun.Math is very interesting and fun to think and go deeper about it.Now I think that sharing ideas with your friends can also come up with great ideas and you can have more fun.

Grade 11: DP English A

by Mr. Alejandro Guerra Tibocha, DP English Teacher

First Approach to the Individual Oral: Visual Texts Analysis

Students in grade 11 this year are starting their first approach to the subject’s Internal Assessment, namely the Individual Oral. They are studying political cartoons (visual texts) as their first non-literary body of work of the two-year diploma course, a selection of cartoons by South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro.

Nevertheless, in order to begin this study and to understand basic visual text features, the first text we discussed in class was a famous Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by American cartoonist Bill Waterson. We had an interesting oral group discussion, wherein students were able to identify a few basic features such as the comic relief presented in the form of caricature features and the dialogue included in the speech bubbles. This helped students understand a possible meaning of the text through authorial choices (stylistic features).

World Sleeps During Burundi Conflict As They Did With Rwanda @2015 – 2020 Zapiro

The analysis of this political cartoon by Jonathan Shapiro, which is more developed and complex too, poses a number of challenges as well as benefits.

Some of the benefits are evident through the sections of the following graphic organizer filled in by students as a small group task in class. These sections clearly show different interpretations of the same aspects/elements of the cartoon.

Other features students are also analyzing are:

  • Captions, Title, and Labels
  • Relative Size
  • Graphic weight – color
  • Imagery
  • Symbolism
  • Caricature attributes
Chiara and Natalie graphic organizer
Liam and Maximus graphic organizer
Victoria and Seohyun graphic organizer

The next step is to begin the individual oral practice, which is an oral presentation (analysis) based on an extract (text), in this case from Shapiro’s cartoons, and a focal point provided in the form of a Global Issue.

Dragon’s Print

With the start of a new school year, we are so excited to welcome and support our juniors as they transition into the IBDP program. For Dragon’s Print’s first article since May, we wanted to highlight their journey as they discuss their goals, thoughts, and feelings to the CIS community. Read more at

Tech Awareness

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Question of the Week

College Events (Virtual and Face to Face)


September 6
Canteen Annex


University of Sydney (Australia) In-person visit with the university rep for an information session with Q&A.

September 13
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

Savannah College of Art & Design (USA, France)
In-person info session with the college rep from SCAD.  Learn about their programs, the application process, scholarships, portfolio preparation and more.

September 16
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

SIM Global Education (Singapore)

September 27
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

York College Pennsylvania (USA) – In-person info session with the college rep with Q&A.

September 28
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex

University of Technology Sydney (Australia) will conduct a SILENT LEGO WORKSHOP for interested students in Grade 12 and 11.

October 1 Saturday
October 7 Friday
7:00 PM
Pacific time
Link to register

University of Southern California (USA): Discover USC – You will hear from members of the USC Office of Admission, as well as current USC students who will share their experiences and advice on how to navigate the admission process in the upcoming year.

October 4
Venue & Time – To be confirmed

New York University – Abu Dhabi – In-person info session with the NYUAD rep.  Since this is during the quarter break, the venue & time will be confirmed later next month.

October 11
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex

Hawaii Pacific University (USA) – Info session with the university rep with Q&A.

October 21
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex

University of British Columbia (Canada) – Info session with the university rep with Q&A.

SAT Update for 2022-2023

2022–23 School Year Test Dates

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
October 1, 2022 September 2, 2022
December 3, 2022 November 3, 2022
March 11, 2023 (Digital) February 24, 2023
May 6, 2023 (Digital) April 21, 2023
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023

Test dates labeled Digital means that students will bring a device to the test center and take the exam using their device.  The College Board may provide devices for test-takers who do not have access to a device.  All test-takers for Digital SATs are still required to report physically to the test center to take the test.

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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