While the 2019-2020 school year may quickly be coming to a close, there is still much to be accomplished and celebrated in the Secondary School. Please find below a list of important dates.
Graduation Time is Here!
We honor the great accomplishments of our Grade 12 students TODAY! The celebration begins with the release of the Sports Awards Ceremony video in today's Leopard's Tale. This will be followed by tomorrow's 12:00 pm (Lusaka) release of the Senior Awards Ceremony videos followed immediately by the live, virtual Last Supper where students and their teachers can share congrats and accolades. The celebration of our Seniors culminates on Saturday at 15:00 (Lusaka) with the release of the Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony. Following it's launch, the school will host a virtual "house party" for students, parents, and faculty.
Grade 11 Eyes on the Future
Throughout this past week, the Grade 11 students have been engaged in mock exams from home. Whilst we would much prefer to conduct mock exams on campus, we feel it is still critical for our Grade 11 students to get exam practice as well as an accurate assessment of their progress prior to end-of-year break. Next week, the same students will be engaged in their Group 1 oral exams as well as completing their Theory of Knowledge group presentations. This is a big two weeks for our Grade 11 students whom we are sure are looking forward to slowing down and catching some rest over break while still completing their Extended Essays prior to the onset of the new school year.
MYP Marches On
All other students, grades 6-10, will continue with their final modules of distance learning next week. Many students have been putting in extra hours to complete final summative assessments before the closing of semester grading on Friday 5 June. The following week, we will host normal Days A and B synchronous sessions on 8 and 9 June for students and teachers to say goodbye and wish each other well before a well deserved break. The finale of the year occurs on Wednesday 10 June with the release of the Grade 6-10 Awards Ceremony video.
Next week the Secondary School will host three helpful online parent presentations:
Please don't forget to review the COVID-19 school resource return procedures to ensure that you can receive your child's grades and transcripts in a timely fashion.
We're pushing full steam ahead with teaching and learning in the Secondary school as classes prepare to wrap up with summative assessments, closing talks with teachers, and celebrations by grade level. We're also working on all of our end-of-year celebrations and transitions. We're excited about the Sports Awards Virtual Ceremony (The password is the same as that of the parent portal) and here is what's coming up for our Grade 12 celebrations and transitions:
Grade 12 Celebrations and Procedures:
We would also like to celebrate the learning that has been happening during our distance learning program. Here are some great things that have been happening in our classes:
Individuals and Societies:
Grade 8 Individuals and Societies students have been learning about Renaissance thinkers. Their assignment was to post Tweets from Renaissance thought-leaders in the style of today's social media influencers. Below are some examples of their work.
This past week our Band students created videos for the Grade 4 students. In these videos, they shared their knowledge and experience regarding their instruments and being a member of the band. These videos will help the Grade 4 students choose which instrument they would like to play next year. The fourth graders will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of our incredible secondary musicians!
In Grade 6 Science class, students have been learning about the solar system. They were asked to think critically about why the Earth is able to sustain life, why other planets may or may not be able to, and how the Earth's rotation affects life on our planet. Below are examples of their work.
Language and Literature:
In DP HL Language and Literature, students learned about semiotics and applied their knowledge and understanding of symbols and signifiers to their non-literary text: the Nike Dream Crazy campaign. This week, students are thinking critically about Nike's appeal, and asking to what extent its representation of meritocracy and The American Dream is both aspirational and unethical. Here are two examples of student work.
In Grades 7-8 Design class, students have learned how to make video tutorial blogs to teach others how to make something. In this video, one of our students teaches others how to make banana and chocolate muffins.
In lieu of sharing student work this week, we thought it'd be fun to show you how one of our Math teachers, Mr. Egge, keeps student attention focused on him during Google Meets. We leave you with this moment of zen:
Please keep the communication coming.
Thank you to all the parents who have helped us through sharing feedback, the parent perspective, and your ideas and questions about how we can improve the distance learning program. Please let us know if you have any concerns or if you want to pass on any ideas.
Ty Smeins, Secondary Principal
Sheila Seiler, Secondary Assistant Principal
Our secondary students recently voted on their top choice books for our annual Leopard's Paw MS Book Award and Leopard's Eye HS Book Award. They chose some fabulous books as this year's winners! Our Leopard's Eye MS Book Award went to The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden. Our Leopard's Paw HS Book Award went to They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Looking forward to seeing what titles students nominate as next year's contenders!
Thank you for your continued support of our Secondary students’ distance learning. We appreciate the constant communication and feedback from you and our students so that we can keep reflecting on and improving the distance learning program.
This week, we’d like to share some of the student feedback results and comments so that you can learn what the student population is thinking and feeling. We changed our student survey this week by adding Likert scale questions to our open-ended questions.
We respond to the students’ feedback each week to let them know what aspects of their feedback we’re taking on to improve. We also respond to clarify anything that they might be confused about.
From the feedback above, we learned that the majority of our students feel successful at distance learning, feel that they receive learning and technology support, that they understand what to do for each class, and that they are learning and improving. However, just meeting the needs of the majority isn’t good enough.
Our next steps with the feedback results each week are to reach out to individual students who expressed frustrations, worries, or concerns, to offer support. We continue to follow up with those students each week to provide them with whatever they need.
If there seems to be a trend in a grade level's responses, we contact the students in that grade level to know that we're working on solutions, then we communicate with them once we have implemented those solutions.
We also share the results with teachers and have discussed them in faculty meetings. Students know that this week, their answers will be shared with other students and with the parent community so that they and you can learn about their experiences as well.
Our students shared the following insights about what they like about distance learning and what has been challenging for them.
Self-management with distance learning
The students seem to enjoy the flexibility of scheduling and being able to choose when to complete their work. Many students reported that their self-management skills have led to their enjoyment of the distance learning program.
Students' increased autonomy over their schedules has helped them feel like they can make decisions for themselves about their assignments, timetables, and priorities. Their comments included that they liked the following:
Challenges with distance learning
However, our students also miss school, their teachers, and their fellow students. Many mentioned that seeing teachers and friends on Google Meets has been a highlight. One shared that “google meets so we can talk with our teachers” is the best part of the distance learning program. It’s challenging to complete work alone. One student wrote, “this is difficult and frustrating- I want to go back to school.”
Other students shared that the workload is tough, especially as we approach the last third of the quarter, when summative assignments will be due. One student wrote, “There’s a lot of summatives now, so it takes more than 4 hours a day.” Another wrote that it’s challenging to manage one’s own schedule the whole week and then to have all assignments due by the end of the week; “it’s hard to have a lot of stuff due all on Friday” that student wrote.
Each week 30-45 Secondary students respond to the student feedback survey. We send 1-2 reminders a week to all Grade 6-10 students. If parents would like to support the distance learning program, they can encourage their children to give us feedback each week so that we can continue to improve the distance learning program.
As always, please keep the lines of communication open. Your insights and questions help us make sure that every student thrives.
Ty Smeins, Secondary Principal
Sheila Seiler, Secondary Assistant Principal
Listen to Award-Winning YA Writer Read from Her New Novel, Clap When You Land
Elizabeth Acevedo, author of The Poet X (National Book Award winner & Carnegie Medal winner, which we have in the library), has posted on Facebook this short reading from her new novel Clap When You Land (published 5 May 2020 and on its way to our library!) Don’t miss this fantastic author’s reading!
Send Us Your Book Requests
Please use this link to send us your weekly book requests. We will close requests each week on Wednesday, pull books on Thursday, and have your family’s stack ready and waiting for you each Friday. Pick-up time is 09:00-16:00 right outside the Secondary School Entrance. This link is also on the secondary virtual library page and the library page of the AISL Website.
Don’t Forget to Download This Week’s Audiosync Titles!
This week’s Audiosync books look fantastic! Don’t miss this pair of downloads. Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda is a work of historic fiction set during the WWII era and chronicling the experience of two sisters returning to their family’s farm after spending years in a Japanese-American Internment camp. The other selection for this week is Disappeared by Francisco Stork, a YA mystery / thriller set in Juarez, Mexico. It begins with the disappearance of Sara Zapata’s best friend, an act people attribute to a group of criminals terrorizing the city of Juarez.
The AISL grade 7-11 visual arts students recently took up the Getty Challenge. The Getty Museum launched a social media campaign asking people to recreate famous artworks in their homes. The response was amazing and people are still sending in their versions of beloved artworks.
This task required the students to look at historical artworks. They had to “think outside the box” to recreate their selected artwork from objects at hand and often enlist the help of family members. The results were creative and often humorous as they brought art history to life. Click through the slideshow below to view them all.
Ms. Nevers, Secondary Visual Art Teacher.
Transitions can be difficult.
Join our counselors Stephanie Sawchuk, Driekie Smith, and Julie Ann Baldry who will provide a brief overview of strategies that may make transitions easier. This live, virtual presentation is for both leaving and staying families. It will be interactive with chances to ask questions and gain clarification.
FCD Prevention Works is a highly regarded global non-profit substance abuse prevention organization. They are offering two free webinars, one for parents and one for students. Our very own Middle School Counselor, Ms. Driekie Smith highly recommends that students and parents attend these free webinars. Please contact her to discuss this further or register directly below. Please read on for more information.
Audiobooksync has posted two new free downloadable audio titles this Thursday. This week's books are Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (a classic) and Stalking Jack the Ripper (a historic mystery / thriller).
Each week through 29 July Audiobooksync will post two new YA (young adult- roughly ages 14+) titles that are paired thematically. Remember that you aren't able to go back to get the ones you missed- so download each week and you can keep the titles forever! Happy listening!
This week was the first week of scheduled synchronous lessons for our Secondary students. We made the change to offering synchronous lesson times based on student, parent, and teacher feedback that we needed a system for scheduling teacher support with students.
Students are encouraged, but not required, to attend these sessions, which happen Mondays through Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:45. PSE and Advisory lessons are scheduled between 14:00 and 17:30 on Fridays. You can see your child's schedule by logging on to ManageBac.
Here are some highlights from this week in distance learning:
Grade 10 Design class
In Grade 10 Design class, students have been working to create bullet journals. Bullet journals are user-made journals that serve as a place where people can track behaviors, plan their schedules, and reflect on their progress on their goals. Bullet journals teach students organization and self-management skills while helping them express themselves creatively.
Grade 7 Mathematics class
In Grade 7 Mathematics class, students are learning about area and perimeter. They learned how to plan and create composite figures, do accurate measurements, and then use those measurements to determine the area and perimeter of their composite figures. They needed to show their plan, their composite image, and their workings.
Grade 6 ELL
Our ELL (English Language Learners) have been learning about instructional writing and command language. They received materials to make a cake or cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles, then needed to follow instructions to bake their dessert. Their parents weren't allowed to help them, but they did take a few pictures to share their hard work.
As always, please continue to keep the feedback coming! We'll continue to keep listening and working hard to improve your child's learning experiences.
Ty Smeins, Secondary Principal
Sheila Seiler, Secondary Assistant Principal
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend:
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday: 08:00 - 15:00 / Friday: 08:00 - 13:00