Middle School Parent Newsletter - February, 2016
I hope that your winter break was everything that you wanted it to be. We certainly know that winter is here, but fortunately, most days are clear and sunny. We have experienced a rash of teachers and students coming down with the flu, so keep using the hand sanitisers. In addition, if your children are not well, could I ask you to keep them at home rather than send them to school, which not only delays their recovery, but helps spread the illness to others. I think the coming break this week will give several of our students the chance to recover fully. Semester reports were posted and the process seemed to go well. We've also just had an impressive high school production and next week we will have our professional development sessions.
The annual International Schools Assessments (ISA) will be held on Tuesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 18 during the morning. They are held for students in grades 6 through 9 in both literacy and numeracy. They offer students, families and teachers, a snapshot of there the students are in their literacy and numeracy skills. It should be noted that the scores from the assessments do not affect the students' semester scores. Parents will receive a hard copy of the results through the mail, perhaps towards the end of March.
MYP PERSONAL PROJECT EXHIBITION
The Personal Project is the culminating project of the IBMYP. It requires the students to investigate and create a product that demonstrates not just their organisational and research skills, but also their ability to understand the "bigger picture" – the global significance of their product. The students work with a supervisor, starting their journey in grade 9, work on it over the summer break and finally submit it on February 15. In between they work independently, researching, building, recording in journals. The high point of the PP is then the exhibition which was held a couple of weeks ago. What was striking about the show was the ability of the students to thoughtfully and maturely discuss not just their product but also what they had learned through the process. The PP is also a very good practice for the DP Extended Essay which they will begin in semester two of grade 11. It's true to say they did themselves proud.
The annual Nourish conference is coming up on February 20. This conference, organised by our YIS counsellors from all sections features workshops led by YIS people on a range of topics around the theme of wellness. Small workshops on resilience, parenting, balance and finding your passion have all featured over the past few years. It is a terrific opportunity for members of our YIS community to come together to learn from each other. For more details and registration, please visit the Nourish news post on the YIS Homepage.
In the past couple of weeks, YIS was graced with the presence of well-known American poet, Naomi Shihab Nye. Naomi worked with classes all through the school and this culminated with a poetry reading session after school in the library. While Naomi clearly enjoyed the positive buzz of our school, our students were the beneficiaries of not just her talent, but her ability to inspire creativity in the classrooms. Thank you to Rita Kar and Katy Vance in the library for arranging Naomi's visit.
Our teachers have also been busy and will be again this coming week with two days of professional development. This year, we welcome Ms Bonnie Singer, an internationally recognised expert on language, literacy and learning. Bonnie is an expert in learning disorders, executive functions, working memory, attention, reading and writing. She will work with our teachers on not just understanding these issues, but helping to build their arsenal of strategies.
If I don't see you before the ski break, I hope you have a relaxing time.