Newsflash: September 25, 2020

Admin News

CIS Corporation Announcement

The Annual Meeting of the CIS Corporation will be held via videoconferencing on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00pm.

CIS Corporation members will receive meeting details via their registered email prior to the meeting.

For any inquiries, please contact the CIS Corporation secretary, Ms. Azela Diapana <>.

PLDT Advisory

Dear CIS Community,

We have recieved an advisory notice from PLDT indicating major mainenance on one of their submarine cables. As per the latest update (refer to the infographic for details), all measures are in place to ensure continued connectivity during the scheduled emergency repair. PLDT has spare cables systems and additional capacity to keep uninterrupted connection during the service maintenance.

If there are any connectivity issues (which there are occasionally even without major maintenance!), do not let it bother you. Teachers are aware this might happen, so students can just switch to work on asynchronous learning activities until their connection is restored.


Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

I have been thinking a lot about how we connect with each other lately. Humans (most humans) thrive on social interaction and many of us find it difficult to operate at our full capacity when in isolation.  We often behave differently when we are around other people to when we are alone, sometimes this is positive and other times this can be less positive. As a PYP school our teaching and learning strategies are founded in the theory of Constructivism.

Constructivism believes that knowledge is constructed in context through experience and social interaction, meaning that the best learning happens when a person is interacting with others, and when their emotions are involved in the learning.  The CIS Remote Learning program has been designed to ensure that both of these aspects have been addressed, and as we dive deeper into the school year the evidence of our constructivist beliefs is beginning to emerge. While visiting Seesaw, reviewing student responses and hearing what has been taking place in synchronous classes the beauty of constructivist learning is being honoured by the CIS teachers and appreciated by our learners. This week one of our teachers shared a video of a brother and sister laughing and giggling as they interacted over a math lesson that had been designed for one of them. The lesson itself was offline, but the students had chosen to video themselves doing the learning, then posted it on Seesaw to share with their teachers. This combination of learning through social interaction and the full engagement of emotions is so far from what I experienced as a young learner at school, and so close to what we are working to achieve at CIS as educators base their instruction in constructivist theory.

Our bi-weekly elementary assemblies are another example of the value we place on social interactions here at CIS. We cannot come together physically as a community at this time, but this does not stop us from coming together. Each week our elementary student council come together via Google Hangouts to plan the assembly, create a script, contribute their parts and combine it together to create a wonderful  community production.


Throughout the year we like to hold regular parent workshops at CIS. Since we have been on Remote Learning the elementary school has not offered workshops to parents, however we believe the time has come to begin offering these again. CIS views parents as partners in the learning process and never before has this been more true. As partners we would like the opportunity to discuss the learning process with you in greater detail and there is much that we as a school can learn from your experiences over these past months of being a teacher and facilitator of learning at home. In the survey linked here a list of workshops has been shared. Some of these are workshops that we have offered before, while others are new and more targeted to our current circumstances. We would be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete this short survey to help us plan workshops that would be both meaningful and worthwhile to you as parents. There is also a place in the survey for you to suggest workshops that we may not have thought of. Please follow this link to complete the short survey.

Remote Learning on Seesaw

PE Synchronous Class

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias, PE Teacher

Physical education has never been more important than it is right now. Students find themselves living more sedentary lives. Sedentary bodies can lead to sedentary minds.

During our PE synchronous class, students are engaged in several virtual fitness games such as 60- Second Challenge, Virtual Tag Games, Scavenger Hunt, Simon Says as well as learning the different Components of Physical Fitness to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of the most exciting parts is letting them play using the materials that are available at home, for example, paper bags, paper towels, pencils, rolled socks, stuffed toys, pillows, the laundry basket, and books. Students display a lot of enjoyment when they have been very active and participative during our synchronous classes. They also get a chance to collaborate with different grade levels. Students are also provided with options to do the PE activities posted on Seesaw at their own pace.

KG and G1 participate in exercises using the equipment they have at home
Recently, Grade 4 and Grade 5 did the Fitness Challenge together.
It is fun seeing everyone’s faces online during PE class.

Understanding the concept of CHANGE in the Early Years

by The Early Years Team

Our EY learners have been engaged in our unit of inquiry, Who We Are. We have been exploring the key concept “change” through various learning experiences, such as story read alouds, collaborative discussions, and simple experiments. Last week, we did an experiment to see how objects and materials change. The EY 2 and 3 students had the opportunity to conduct some experiments at home. Some students choose:

  • Color Mixing – Mix two or more colors and see what changes happen. What happens if we mix different colors together?
  • Ice Melting – Put some ice in a bowl and let it sit on a counter. Observe what happens to the ice after leaving it out of the freezer.
  • Making Playdough – Mix ingredients together and see what happens. In what way did the materials change?

The students identified that changes can happen when we mix ingredients together, or if we change the conditions they are kept in together.

We have also investigated how living things such as humans and plants can change. Last Tuesday, we put some mung bean seeds on wet cotton to see what would happen. After a few days they began to sprout. We recorded our observations each day using pictures each day is an opportunity for them to begin developing their research skills.

We look forward to inquiring deeper into this unit to gain a better understanding of who we are.

Living Things in Grade 5

by Ms. Freya Abella and Ms. Carolyn Pynor

This week in Grade 5, we looked back and reflected on our first Unit of Inquiry. The students have shown how advertisements affect our decisions on what we purchase. In their responses, they showed evidence of how they are Thinkers and Communicators, and how they are reflective.

We have also begun our new Unit Of Inquiry, How the World Works with the central idea,  Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. We are talking about unusual animals and how they have adapted with their ever-changing environments. This is a  little bit like us adapting to COVID-19 and the changes in our environment.

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Social and Emotional Learning in MHS

Last week in the ES portion of the Newsflash Mr. Davies explored the area of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) needs and why it is so vital for us to be aware of and address those dimensions within our community, especially given the current quarantine status. As he explained, our previous traditional daily face to face classroom interactions with students allowed many of our students’ social and emotional needs to be met organically; however, as this period of remote learning is extended and people find and/or feel themselves isolated, both physically and psychologically, it is incumbent upon schools to become more intentional about how they meet these social and emotional learning needs.

I wanted to build on what was shared last week and focus on our Social and Emotional Learning efforts in the Middle and High School, exploring some of the things we are doing in our co-curricular programs to promote and facilitate social and emotional learning.

Virtual House Activity Day

The House Activities Day (HAD) is one of the most awaited events at Cebu International School every year wherein the members of the 4 Houses – Acacia, Mahogany, Molave, and Narra – engage in various activities that promote teamwork and foster school spirit! In recent years, this event has been spearheaded by the Student Council members fulfilling their aim of creating opportunities for students to have fun, work together, and enrich their non-academic school experience.

With the remote learning set-up this year, it has been quite a challenge for the members of the StuCo to come up with creative ideas to hold a virtual HAD, which would be quite unique compared to those held in previous years, yet would still be as fun and as enjoyable! While virtual, the students were able to enjoy a morning full of exciting and engaging activities as they went through 6 different activity stations which ranged from virtual charades, singing songs, competing in random trivia, drawing and guessing pictures, team challenges, and even physically challenging activities!

Of course, the House Captains were on top of their league as they guided their house members in creating house hype videos which included chants and cheers for their respective teams! Virtual venues were created to house up to 40 students at a time and each one tried their best to contribute whatever they could to help their respective teams!

In the end, there can only be one winner and for our first HAD of the year, the house that obtained the most overall points was House Narra!

Here’s what Bianca M., the Class Representative of Grade 11 has to say about her experience:

If I were to describe last week’s HAD, I would say it was different…in a good way. The days previous to HAD, were filled with much uncertainty. Surprisingly though, it went much better than anyone could have expected. There were almost no complications during the day itself and from what I heard, most people actually enjoyed it. It was a nice break from online classes and a great way to connect with people from different grade levels. One highlight of mine was the live awarding ceremony. Because of the new online platform, I wasn’t able to see who was watching us. This was a good thing, though, as I have really bad stage fright. Overall, I think the day was very successful and enjoyable for all who participated. I surely can’t wait for HAD 2!

And here’s the Narra House Captain’s experience:

Online HAD was a huge success. I was quite nervous waking up in the morning since this would be the first HAD I would be leading. Going into the first activity I was very excited after the game finished and I felt the nerves coming in because we had tied with Acacia that round. But as the day progressed and we started winning more and more of the activities, my nerves settled and the determination to win kicked in. When they announced the final results I was ecstatic because I knew all the effort the Narra team had put into the games. Overall, I felt as though all the games went very smoothly and all the intensive planning the Student Council put in really showed.

StuCo would like to thank everyone who helped in any capacity to make this first ever virtual HAD a success! To all teachers who supervised the teams and activities, to the live ceremony team headed by Ms. Jenny Basa and Ms. Justine Condor, and especially to all students who gave their best for their respective houses! Until next HAD!

Here are some photos from our HAD 1

Adapting Homeroom Time

One of the things we have done this semester to help our students socially and emotionally has been to return to holding homeroom/advisory twice per week, which has given us much more scope to meet virtually with our students with a non-academic focus. Last week, for example, we were able to allocate homeroom time to gather our students across all grade levels according to their respective houses and facilitate their collaboration in preparation for HAD day.

For any of you who missed our opening ceremony, you can follow the link to the video below. The respective houses, led by their house captains, collaborated on the video, created and presented house cheers, and then presented three house representatives for the “best dressed” competition.

The houses worked together to plan and create these spirit videos which were used to kick-off our HAD day and begin scoring points for the final tally. As you can see, these creations were student driven and student led, with the adults facilitating from behind the scenes. One of the things that HAD does so well is to involve all of our students across all grade levels, so those who may have been feeling a bit isolated would have the chance to work together with their houses and feel a sense of participation and connection.

After School Activities

This semester we have initiated and are running ASA’s just as we always do, albeit virtually, and these groups provide another opportunity for us to address the SEL needs of our students. This semester the ASA’s are optional both for students and for faculty sponsors. However, even though these are not mandatory, we are running nineteen different ASA activities after school to allow our students to gather (virtually), learn, collaborate, and create outside of regular class time. The following are two examples.

Student Support Club
Last year this group was formed after we saw the encouraging success of the Grade 5/6 mentoring program. We thought it would be a great idea to embrace the purpose of the mentoring program, which was created to provide support, empathy, and guidance for our youngest MHS students as they transitioned into Grade 6, and expand it to the entire MHS student body, since we can all use a little help from time to time. While this is a student-led group, Ms. Villagonzalo serves as the faculty sponsor and works with the students to equip them to be effective peer mentors. Here is a description of this ASA in the students’ words:

A strong support system is the foundation of a good community. In order for our school community to be efficient in what we do, we must have a group of people that the entire student body knows they can rely on. This group of people must be well-equipped enough to be able to tend to students and help provide emotional, social, or mental support.
This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Knowing how to react/how to phrase words in situations where one opens up
  • Being open-minded and accepting towards all identities and cultures
  • Practicing non-judgmental listening
  • Not forcing opinions on others
  • Recognizing and helping others recognize toxic behaviours, traits, relationships, etc. and how to handle such situations
  • Recognizing self-sabotage, and helping others to stop
  • Knowing and understanding sensitive topics, why they are sensitive topics, and why they should never be joked about
  • Understanding and being able to recognize depression, anxiety, disorders, etc.

Disclaimer: We understand that these are very serious issues, and it takes   someone who is more knowledgeable about these topics to deal with       them. We are not mature and prepared enough to help others with these, and will direct others to get proper help if necessary.
○ Reminder: It is okay to get help when necessary and is never something to be ashamed of.

The reason we want this group to be student-driven is because students can relate and empathize easier with other students. We understand the struggles a student has to go through, especially now with remote learning. We hope that this encourages students to be more open to approaching us and speaking with us.

Virtual Guitar Club
This semester we have revived the Guitar Club as an ASA and our small but active group comes together, guitars at the ready, on Google Meets to share and learn from each other. While students are given some direction and are taught how to play songs and develop new skills and techniques, they are also invited to request songs for the group to learn and can also teach the group songs and techniques that they have picked up.

Student reflections:
Guitar ASA is a fun way for me to get back into playing the guitar during this quarantine. I am able to spend this time dedicated to learning how to play the guitar better despite not being able to interact in-person. For me, it’s a great way to enjoy my hobby with others, making this quarantine a little less lonely. – Miggy

I have really been enjoying the Guitar ASA so far. I’m in the process of learning guitar, including practicing different guitar chords and learning different songs. The Guitar ASA helps me in this aspect, because it surrounds me with people who can help me get better. It’s more relaxed and less stressful compared to standard instrument lessons. Our sessions are done in a very social way, where everyone is working and communicating together; I really enjoy that. – Kat

College Counselor’s Corner

Tip for the Week

Online options for extra-curricular activities:
If you are worried about having less opportunity for CAS during quarantine, sign up for the online CAS projects presented by Mr Pierra. When filling in your college application form, provide context about your situation and describe what you are doing virtually. The admissions officers will appreciate as much information provided by you as the applicant.

Upcoming Virtual College Visits & Fairs

September 30 Wednesday 2:00 PM PH timeScholarships and Financial Aid Overview of Financial Aid at Japanese national and private universitiesTo register, click here:
September 30 Wednesday 6:00PMHong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) Faculty of EngineeringLink to register:
October 2 Friday 1:00 PM VirtualTemple University (Japan)Zoom link:
October 5 Monday 10:00AM VirtualChinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)Zoom link to follow
October 7 Wednesday 6:00PMHong Kong Polytechnic University(Hong Kong) Faculty of Construction & EnvironmentLink to register:
October 14 Wednesday 6:00 PMHong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) Faculty of Business, Health & Social SciencesLink to register:
October 15 Thursday 1:00 PMUniversity of New Brunswick and University of Victoria (Canada) ID: 318 394 3681 Password: 946466
October 17-18 Saturday & SundayEduCanada Virtual Fair(list of institutions to follow)
October 27 & 28 3:00 - 7:00 PMStudent World Virtual FairsList of Universities

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
August 29, 2020CANCELLED
September 26, 2020CANCELLED
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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