Please don't forget that during this time of distance learning, the Secondary School has created the Secondary Daily Comms page. This is the place to receive the most up to date information as well as video Q&A revolving around your questions and concerns with distance learning. In addition, we are very eager to hear your feedback about how things are going in your home with distance learning. Please remember that using the feedback that we have received from students, parents, and teachers, we will reexamine different parts of the distance learning plan and adjust after midterm break to ensure that our systems are making learning as smooth as possible for our students.
We are striving to balance the delivery of a holistic, rigorous program, balancing the academic and the socio-emotional, while remaining sensitive to each family's unique situation (i.e. difference in time zone, travel dates, a household with multiple siblings, working parents, etc.). In order to know how we might be able to balance this even better, please share your feedback with us. We welcome your perspective as a family.
Take care and be safe,
Ty & Sheila
Dear AISL Secondary families,
Let us begin by expressing my gratitude for your patience while we ironed out the final details of our Secondary Distance Learning Plan. We also greatly appreciate the understanding and calm with which our students, parents, and teachers have handled the news of the unavoidable school closure. This has aided us in the process of making a smooth transition to the new distance learning format.
It is unfortunate that the rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced a campus closure. However, we are lucky in that we are one of the last countries and international schools to be affected by the pandemic. In the last months, we have learned a great deal from the trials and errors of our fellow international teaching colleagues in other parts of the globe. We have had a variety of video conference calls with individuals that have been delivering distance education for ten weeks or more. Moreover, administration and teachers receive multiple daily emails from sources, such as the IB, about the best methodology for distance education delivery. Having seen the writing on the wall, we have had the luxury to plan for a campus closure for some weeks now as well as the opportunity to do a small scale simulation with a number of our own students and teachers. Therefore, we feel confident in the plan that we have laid out.
Please find the extensive, yet concise, Secondary Distance Learning Plan at this link. Please ensure that you have read through this document and understand it thoroughly. We have tried our best to anticipate as many hurdles as we could and devised structures and procedures for overcoming these. As more questions come to us from you, we will continue to add to this document. Please note that it is inevitable that there will be hiccups along the way. We kindly ask for your continued patience as we address these in a timely manner.
We anticipate that there will be a multitude of updates throughout the first weeks, and perhaps month, of distance learning. Therefore, we have created the AISL Secondary Community Daily Comms. This will be the location for the latest news pertaining to the Secondary School and its students and parents. We offer this in place of filling your inbox with multiple emails daily. Moreover, you will be able to scroll to find past information at your convenience. Please bookmark it and check it daily as well as have your child(ren) do the same. In addition, all students are expected to check their emails at least once per day Monday-Friday for communication directly from their teachers.
As of today, no students will be permitted on campus for any reason. Staff will continue to work normal hours through Friday. During this time, they will be working on creating high quality instructional plans for the students. We are thankful to the Board for allowing us these grace period days in order to prepare properly. Online distance learning will commence on Sunday 23 March at midnight when weekly modules for each class will be posted. Please note that in the first few weeks, we will be using very basic structures to ensure that students can ease into the new distance learning process. Teachers will be utilizing, as much as possible, the same routines as they have all year such as posting assessments and tasks to ManageBac. The link to the lesson plan will also be posted directly on ManageBac as an event for easy student access. The only new addition to students’ repertoire will be the use of Google Meet for teacher office hours. This is a fairly straightforward tool found in the Google Suite. Regardless, we will be posting some how-to videos shortly to the daily comms. After students and teachers become proficient with distance learning, following midterm break, some teachers may choose to become more technical in their delivery to create more effective lessons. Further notification about this would be posted on the Secondary Community Daily Comms.
This morning I met with all of the Secondary students in grade level meetings and presented the distance learning plan to them as well as answered their questions and addressed their concerns. Please find the slideshow presentation here. Please note that we have made two minor changes to the distance learning plan this afternoon. Teachers will post lessons by SATURDAY midnight, not Sunday, and all work will be due by THURSDAY midnight, not FRIDAY.
Please take note of some common practices that we ask all parents to monitor in order to respect child safety procedures.
As you child engages in distance learning, we highly encourage them to establish a daily routine. As part of this routine, please consider adding time for school work, exercise, socializing with friends (perhaps online), reading, chores, etc. This has been a simple tactic that has greatly aided student success in schools that have been engaged in distance learning for some time. Here is a possible sample schedule. These will obviously differ by child and students of different ages and work preferences. We also encourage students to spread out the work of each course across the week and not do all of the work for one course in a single stretch.
We know that many questions will come up after reviewing this letter and linked documents over the next couple of days. To submit a question, please use the Google Form link found on the AISL Secondary Community Daily Comms. Ty will create a video answering parents’ and students’ questions. The video link will be posted there as well by Friday afternoon.
Finally, in the unfortunate circumstance anyone in your family or your circle of contacts should contract COVID-19, it is critical that you inform us immediately to minimize further spread. Fingers crossed that we never receive such a notification.
It is our very sincerest hope to see all of you back, and healthy, at school on or near April 28. We are confident that this time will bring us closer as a community and more appreciative of the great gift of education that we are able to share and experience.
Ty & Sheila
AISL MYP Year 5 (Grade 10) students celebrated their independent learning in the Personal Project Expo, held this past Tuesday and Wednesday in the Palm Pavilion. The Personal Project, begun at the start of the school year, gives students the opportunity to delve into a passionate area of interest and to create a product of their own design, assessed according to a rubric they create. Students spent approximately 25 hours on their projects and the accompanying reports, which were completed almost entirely on their own (as opposed to being worked on during classes). Through this process, students developed important ATL (Approaches to Learning) skills including inquiry, research, interviewing, speaking, and presenting. Please join us in congratulating our MYP 5 (Grade 10) students on this fantastic accomplishment!
Class of 2022 Personal Project Topics
Nkweto: A Brochure to Teach Zambian Families About Pediatric Health & Nutrition
Bernice: Creating Music: Self-written and Professionally Recorded Song Lyrics
Ryan: Investment Basics Website
Oenone: The Effects of Charcoal on Deforestation and the Environment
Marmik: Ways to Encourage Underprivileged Youth to Participate in Soccer
Megha: The Promotion of a Sustainable Recycling System for Lusaka
Qinsong (Jerry): Creation of a Minecraft Server
Rose: Book on Long-Distance Running (including training plans and recipes)
Deborah: An Inspirational Video to Strengthen the Message That Disability Does Not Define Us
Chris K.: A Photography Exhibit of How My Environment Shapes My Choices
Christina: "On The Front Steps of The Theatre": A Complete Musical
Lewis: Raising Awareness About the Problem of Waste Disposal Around Lusaka Through Photography
Vaughn: Published eBook available on Amazon: Tembi Learns About Flags
Toyosi: Upcycled Art
Jay: “Lunch 2 Learn”: A Weekly Lunch Plan to Provide Nourishing Meals for Students at Chipapa Primary School
Weiyang (James): Basketball Training Drills
Jonah: Beginners' Basketball Video Tutorials
Colette: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Greenhouse Using Geodesic Domes
Rajman: Wildlife Conservation Photography
Alex: Environmental Architectural Designing
Saniya: Expressive Make-Up as a Vehicle for Political Statements and Self-Expression
Rode: A Bill for the Proposed Ban of Polystyrene Based on the Long and Short-Term Effects of it on the Environment
Khizar: Computer-Generated Musical Compositions to Convey Differing Emotional States
Victor: A Documentary Highlighting the Effects of Drought on Subsistence Farmers in Zambia
Natasha: A Photography Book to Promote Conservation
Michael: Video Tutorials To Develop Beginner Tennis Players
Twange: How Football Shapes Character: A Documentary Video
Florine: Turning Single-Use Plastics into Bricks that Can Be Used to Build Houses
Christopher W.: A Cookbook of Italian Recipes and the Stories That Influenced Them
Mekyla: A Cookbook of Traditional South African Desserts
Simnikiwe: A Book of Shading Techniques for Art
Updated Invitation With New Times! Meet Zambian Writer Natasha Omokhodion Wednesday 18 March 10:50-11:40 in the Protea Room
Any interested AISL community members are welcome to join our Grade 9 students who will be speaking with local writer Natasha Omokhodion next Wednesday as part of an interdisciplinary unit on the role of the arts in society. We will hold this special session on Wednesday 18 March from 13:20-14:20 in the AISL Palm Pavilion.
Ms. Omokhodion recently published her first novel, No Be From Hia (2019). This debut novel - a finalist for the Graywolf Press Africa Prize- explores multi-generational family dynamics shaped by the post-colonial migration of the 1960’s. Identity and biculturalism feature prominently in the novel, which draws on Ms. Omokhodion’s own Zambian / Nigerian / Jamaican heritage. We will have a limited number of books available for purchase and signing (200 cash kwacha each; correct change appreciated).
Ms. Omokhodion is also the author of several short stories. The complete text of two of her short stories, including an Afro-futurist work titled “The Doorway" is available on Ms. Omokhodion’s official website.
Please consider joining us for this special event if you like! If you have specific questions, please contact Secondary School Librarian Terry Maguire.
Global Recycling Week at AISL is nearly here! It is Next week, 16 - 20 March. We will kick off this important community action with a special PALS presentation on 13 March at 11:50 in the Tiyende Pamodzi Theater. Parents, we invite you to join us at PALS so you too can learn about how we can all reduce our carbon footprints at AISL and beyond!
During the next week, Primary and Secondary students will be participating in a variety of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ activities and investigations.
Projects and games will be shared and displayed alongside the Friday Market on 20 March in our Recycle Gallery. Parents, we invite YOU to display some of your creative upcycled projects as well. Please contact Maya Monteroso at email@example.com or Sahar Hemaidan at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to inspire others with your own upcycled creations.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
You are invited to join us for the next Parent Club meeting. In this session we will discuss and explore our coping mechanisms for daily stress and learn how our response patterns can be expanded and varied for better communication and results. We hope to see you on Thursday, 19 March from 7:30-9:00 in the Protea Room.
Noa Mor and Stephanie Sawchuk
In recent weeks, Mr. Haske’s grade 8 and 10 Individuals and Societies (I&S) classes have had the opportunity to learn from guest speakers that are part of the local community. The grade 8 class spent the last few weeks of semester one investigating a variety of issues that are impacting Zambia and other countries in the region. These issues were related to access to education, healthcare, energy, food and water. After examining the impacts of these issues, and potential solutions, students worked in small groups to identify organizations here in Zambia that are working to improve these areas, and to see if they could learn more firsthand, and possibly help out themselves.
The first guest speaker to meet with the class was Russell Lyseight of Vitalite. Vitalite is working to provide solar energy, high efficiency charcoal cooking stoves, and other tools to individuals who need them. Mr. Lyseight did a terrific job of informing the class about Vitalite’s current projects and their hopes for the future through anecdotes, statistics and imagery. He also informed students about how they can help contribute.
A few lessons later, the class was visited by members of Chance4all, a local NGO that sponsors children who have limited access to education, so they can attend school. Two of the founders of Chance4all, Anna Caprile and Jane Okafor, along with two members of their team, Sandra Ngulube and Anna Alder, joined the class one afternoon. Students learned about the history of Chance4all, how many children do not have access to education in Zambia and the region, what Chance4all is doing to help local children, and how AISL can contribute as well. Once again, students were treated to an engaging presentation that included a number of informative statistics, imagery and heartfelt stories.
Mr. Haske’s grade 8 class is now in the process of forming committees, and looking at next steps to inform the AISL community of the work that Vitalite and Chance4all are doing. Students are hoping to raise money and bring in clothing donations, so both groups and the individuals they support, can continue to work toward their goals.
Mr. Haske’s grade 10 class (10C) on the other hand, had been investigating the impacts of climate change on Zambia and other locations students have a deep connection with. After identifying a specific problem related to climate change, and a specific solution to that issue, small groups reached out to professionals in the local community in an effort to learn more and to get involved. Arend van der Goes of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation joined the class for a highly informative and engaging presentation. Mr. van der Goes’s presentation was related to deforestation, agroforestry, and integrated soil fertility management. He did an incredible job of engaging students with fascinating facts related to these topics, humor, questions, and various visuals. He even provided tree seedlings for students to plant themselves. Mr. van der Goes has mentioned the possibility of developing a smaller version of the agricultural model he promotes, here on the AISL campus. Mr. Haske is now in contact with the AISL science department to look at making this a reality.
As always, guest speakers can be an incredible asset to the learning of students. It is extremely beneficial for students to see that the learning that takes place within the classroom can be applied out in the ‘real world.’ It is also integral for students to make connections with the local community and to develop a better understanding of the steps that are being taken to address some of the world’s biggest problems. Hopefully, both classes can build on the relationships they recently developed with these guest speakers, and help contribute, in their own ways.
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday: 07:15 - 15:45 / Friday: 07:15 - 14:30