Thank you to all of the families that came out to support our lower primary students on Wednesday, 29 November for their Splash Gala. The students had a chance to share their skills and strokes in a variety heats. Thank you to our swim team, Ms. Kate, Coach Ian, and Mr. Antonio for working with our students over the past three months during their swimming unit. Below are some highlights from the afternoon.
I am thrilled to announce that we have finally started the construction of Phase 1A of our Campus Improvement Plan. This phase will include the construction of a large multi-purpose hall on the school’s new property behind the Primary School. This hall, which we are calling the Pavilion, will be large enough to accommodate exams, exhibitions, class meetings, workshops, conferences, and more. It also includes a large deck and social area that will overlook four multi-purpose courts. These courts will be large enough for basketball, volleyball, or tennis. The second part of the project will be a renovation to our gym to improve ventilation, renovate some spaces and, most importantly, almost triple the playing space available for Physical Education classes and sporting events. This phase will significantly improve our school programming, provide higher quality facilities, and introduce much more flexibility in scheduling. The pictures show the floor plan and an artist’s rendering of the Pavilion.
This project is the culmination of a four-year process. The adjacent property was purchased during the 2014-15 school year. After a competitive process, Flansburgh Architects from the USA was hired to conduct a campus master site planning exercise. During the 2015-16 school year, teams of their architects made three visits to campus and engaged the board, faculty, staff, parents, and students in a consultative process to envision the AISL of the future. The 2016-17 school year was focused on putting everything in place to realize the first parts of this vision. This meant holding competitive processes to hire a project manager and professional team and then an architect. By the middle of the year, we had appointed African Cityscapes as our project management and professional team. SVA Architects from South Africa, in partnership with Anderson & Anderson Architects from Zambia, were then appointed as the project architects.
The remainder of last year and the first half of this school year have been dedicated to designing Phase 1A. Once the designs were completed we held a competitive process to appoint a builder. From an original pool of eighteen construction companies who were part of the process, the Board appointed Hong Chen Construction Company. We have now turned the site over to them and they are already hard at work. We anticipate construction to finish during our June/July holiday so that we can move into our new facilities before the next school year.
I am pleased to report that Phase 1A of our Campus Improvement Program will be funded entirely through the capital funds that we collect. This includes the one-time admission fee and the annual capital levy and does not come out of tuition payments. These capital funds are collected and earmarked specifically for facility improvements like this.
I anticipate that the construction of the Pavilion and the multipurpose courts will not have a significant impact on our programs since they are on an adjacent property that we do not currently use. The gym renovation will occur in at least two phases. Some of the exterior work on the parking lot side of the gym will start next week and carry on through the December/January holiday. Although the gym will still be usable, there will not be any access from the parking lot side. The second, larger phase of the renovation is currently scheduled to begin sometime in February. The gym will be unavailable for several months as this work is conducted. There will also be times when the Secondary Pool will have to be closed during some of these works. I will keep you posted on the scheduling of that work as we get closer to the time.
Please join me in thanking the Board of Directors, the members of the Board’s Building Committee, and all the faculty, staff, parents, and students who have contributed to this robust process over the last four years. I am thrilled to see all that work come to fruition.
What I’m excited about…
December 4-10 is international Computer Science Education Week - formerly known as Hour of Code Week. The AISL Library & Discovery Center together with the AISL IT Department are pleased to host several fun events during the week- some of which will be during class times, and others which will be available on a drop-by basis:
Please join us for a parent coffee morning focused on the subject of balanced tech use hosted by Tony Potts (Primary Assistant Principal & Technology and Innovation Coach) & Terry Maguire (Secondary Teacher-Librarian) next Tuesday morning. We will view three short video clips followed by informal discussion after each. The topics we will explore include:
- Setting boundaries regarding device use with your child
- Social media etiquette and safety
- Gaming: how much is too much?
There is no single answer to any of these questions, but together we will explore constructive ways to promote open dialogue and boundary setting with your child and family.
This session is geared toward parents of students in Grades 5 and higher.
As part of their current unit of inquiry, our Grade 4 students are busy preparing for the annual holiday sale. On Thursday, 7 December, students in Grades 1-5 will be visiting the sale. If your child is interested in purchasing some of the homemade crafts, food or drink, please send in a small amount of money on that day with your child. The poster below, created by the Grade 4 students, includes the details about the event.
On Tuesday, 5 December, Grades 3-5 will have their end-of-swimming season relay gala. We would love to have our G3-5 families join us at the Primary Pool from 13:00-14:30 to celebrate our students' progress as they demonstrate their strokes in various relays.
Please make sure your child has the following on this date:
* Goggles (optional)
This is a Relay Gala, which means there are no individual races. Students have been assigned groups in which they will participate for the various races. The teams from previous years (Elephants, Lions, Rhinos) will not be used.
Thank you for your continued support in making this sporting event successful and fun.
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday: 07:15 - 15:45 / Friday: 07:15 - 14:30