AISL is proud to be accredited by Council of Independent Schools (CIS), Middle States Association (MSA), and the International Baccalaureate (IB). Every five years we seek re-accreditation with these agencies to ensure that we continue to meet their educational standards. In March 2020 we completed our Preparatory Visit and are now in the Team Evaluation stage of re-accreditation. This stage is known as the 'self study' as different members of a school's community review, rate and report on their compliance to standards.
The faculty, staff and teachers have been working to create reports in each of the domain sections for CIS/MSA including such groups as; purpose and direction, facilities, staffing, teaching and learning, just to name a few. Additionally, we have another layer of standards that need to be met for the IB. As part of IB accreditation process we have been refocusing our efforts with the Approaches to Learning.
Before April these different committees will complete their reports and submit their findings to the accreditation organisations for early feedback. In March 2022 accreditation teams will visit AISL to confirm compliance in all the different areas. We are grateful for the many parents, board members, students, faculty, and staff that are playing an active role in this process.
The American Library Association announced the 2021 Youth Media Awards this past Monday 25 January. It's an outstanding list of award winners. We have some of these titles and honored books already in our library, and the rest of them are on our big annual order that arrives each August.
Of particular interest to parents might be the Alex Awards, which are one of the ALA categories. These are books published for an adult audience but that are of particular interest to teens. I often find these to be outstanding reads, particularly for book clubs or for parents and teens to read together.
Grab More Great Reads With Ease: Use Our Secondary School Library Book Request Form to Request Books During Distance Learning!
Greetings AISL Community, returning and new! To our new families, we are thrilled to have you with us and can't wait to show you around our library. It is a true hub for learning, collaboration, reading, and more. As parents, you are welcome to open an AISL Library account and may have up to ten items out at a time for a two-week loan period and may renew anything as long as no one is waiting for it. We have a fantastic array of adult fiction, memoir, and other non-fiction in all subjects as well as great magazines. You are also welcome to check out our Secondary School Virtual Library to browse all the electronic resources and database subscriptions we offer to our students to support their learning and inquiry. The password is the same as for the parent portal (or ask your son or daughter for it). Some of our parents also use these databases to support their own research and work.
Given that most of us are lying low and spending more time at home than usual, what could be better than using some of this time to stock up on fabulous reads for family reading time? You are welcome to submit genre / title / author requests on our form or you can tell us your preferences and we'll select for you. All secondary school students have access to this form for their requests, too. We will aim to offer this service weekly in the secondary school until we are back to face-to-face learning.
All you need to do is fill in this SecondarySchool Library Book Request Form by Fridays at 09:00 during distance learning. Your books will be out by the secondary school drop-off point from 12:00-18:00 (same day Friday pick-up) for you or a driver / friend to collect. Please note that the person collecting needs to be wearing a mask properly (covering both mouth AND nose), be clear of any COVID symptoms, and if having travelled recently, needs to have completed a 14-day quarantine or have a negative COVID test result taken after day 5 following one's return from travel.
We'd also love to hear about your favorite reads! If you're looking for a fantastic memoir that would also make a great adult book club read, check out Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett. Both our AISL librarians are on Goodreads if you'd like to follow us to get more book recommendations and share your reading and recs with us (Primary School Librarian: Jill Daley / Secondary School Librarian: Terry Maguire).
Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep reading!
* Image credit: Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Our secondary school students enjoyed some well-earned holiday fun in the library across this week! Students chose from a range of activities- from crossword puzzles of holidays around the world to seed-pod ornament painting to crafting with old books (falling apart too much to be donated!) and more. Just as it is important to focus and work at school, so too it is important to create, connect, and simply have fun. All materials were sanitized between users with our COVID health guidelines in place. We wish all of our AISL families a wonderful break!
Every year we celebrate Computer Science Education Week. This year's theme was "Computer Science for Social Justice." To explore this topic, our Grade 9 students unpacked the meaning of social justice, considered the difference between equality and equity, and then researched a Computer Science for Social Justice hero who inspired them. The students learned about the incredible work of many change-makers who use computer science to improve human rights, access, participation, and equity. Some people profiled included Saad Bhamia, a bioengineer and Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech who has developed a do-it-yourself hearing aid made from readily available, affordable materials. Another #CSforSocialJustice hero is Joy Buolamwini, a computer science digital activities at MIT who has developed an Algorithmic Justice League to improve facial recognition programs particularly for dark-skinned women. Please take a moment to have a look at some of the incredible people they profiled on the posters students made during advisory.
Our Grade 11 students had a special advisory session with alumni Sarah and Paul Young to learn about life in university and job-hunting in the time of COVID. Sarah attended Occidental University in California with a major in Diplomacy and World Affairs and minors in both Spanish and Women & Sexuality Studies. After completing her thesis and graduating with honors from university amidst COVID, Sarah has been working in the state of Michigan on a political campaign. As a result of finding this work so rewarding, Sarah will move to Virginia in January and hopes to work on the gubernatorial race there.
Paul Young attended William and Mary College in Virginia and majored in Chemistry Science with a minor in Public Health. Following university Paul served in the Peace Corps in Panama until his time as a volunteer was cut short due to COVID. Since returning to the USA, Paul has been taking Coursera classes focused on public health, working at a food bank, researching issues related to food security, and serving as a volunteer for a political campaign. He is currently a finalist for work on public health initiatives in the northeastern part of the USA.
Our Grade 11 students had many thoughtful questions for our guest speakers such as how to find the best fit for a university, the importance of the IB diploma for university admissions, race relations on US campuses, budgets, and maintaining balance as young adults with the new-found freedom that university offers. At the end of the session the Grade 11 students reflected on the session and shared some of their thoughts on a Padlet. A few student comments are shared here:
“Today I learned a lot about IB and college. I also learned that self care is very important.”
“One key takeaway i got from this presentation was that in high school, especially in the IB Program, grades are important but not to the point where they consume your entire time at school.”
“University gives us room for personal development. There's enough time to figure out what I want to do- I don’t have to have it all figured out right away.”
We are deeply grateful to Sarah and Paul for spending the afternoon with our AISL Class of 2022 and wish them every success on their next endeavours! We always love it when our leopards come back to visit and share their adventures with us.
Ms. Nevers' MYP Gr10 Visual Arts students have been creating art inspired by COVID and other social issues. Students began the unit with library-based research sessions to develop a deeper understanding of their topics, and then began the process of designing and creating their pieces. Please take a moment to enjoy this virtual gallery walk of their pieces with student-written commentary about each one.
Toward a More Inclusive Society: AISL Hosts Guest Speakers to Honor the UN’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities
On 3 December each year the UN celebrates the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Disability inclusion is a core facet of human rights, yet stigmatizing persons with disabilities persists in many places throughout the African continent. Learning about the importance of inclusion for all persons connects to the goal of an IB education, which is “to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.”
To raise awareness of the importance of disability inclusion, our secondary school hosted two guest speakers for Thursday’s advisory session this week:
Ms. Gertrude Lungu from the Bauleni Special Needs Project: Ms. Lungu spoke about the role of the Bauleni Special Needs School as well as the income-generating projects they support that assist the families of children who attend their school. Not only does this project support the education of children in the Lusaka area, but they extend their services to rural communities, too, by training people This school is located right on Leopard’s Hill Road after Crossroads when you are heading toward AISL.
Mr. Kenneth Habaalu from the Apters Project: Mr. Habaalu has been the director of Apters for the past 28 years. Apters uses paper, cardboard, flour, cereal boxes, and cornflakes (yes, cornflakes!) to make walkers, chairs, stands, and other mobility aids to assist children with disabilities (most of whom have cerebral palsy). The income from the sales of other craft items that Apters sells at local markets (such as the Dutch Reform Market) pay the salaries of the 10 permanent employees, all of whom are adults with disabilities (some of whom benefited from Apters technologies as young children!). AISL has been sending its used paper to Apters for more than a decade, and we would like to increase our support of the incredible work they do.
The third option students had for this special session was to learn about disabilities in Africa and the stigmatization that unfortunately is often associated with it. If students preferred, they could focus their independent learning on invisible disabilities, such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, ADD, and OCD, to name a few. Curated video playlists for these topics were shared with students on the Different Not Less libguide (password is the same as for parent portal if you’d like to watch any of the videos).
Following these sessions, we will be exploring how students' understandings have evolved as a result of these interactions and explorations.
“It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.”- Martin Luther King Jr.
We encourage all of our returning families to stock up on books for the December / January break and we will also have an opportunity for you to collect more books mid-way through in January. Our guidelines are as follows:
- Returning students may have up to five books out at a time
- Returning parents may have up to ten books out at a time (per parent)
If you are leaving us at the end of the semester, we kindly ask that you return all library materials to us so that they may circulate to other patrons.
If you have lost an item, please have your child see a member of our library staff for a bill, which is to be paid in the business office. Note that we are obliged to add 30% of the cost of the item to cover international shipping, library bindings, and library processing.
During the break, you may also request books for collection. There will be one collection opportunity during the break. Please fill out your request by midnight on Tuesday 5 January, and collect your books from the guards by the main secondary entrance (where the secondary students walk in) from 10:00-18:00 on Wednesday 6 January. We hope that this will keep everyone reading during the break! The links for requests are on the library page of our school website, the virtual libraries, and also posted here:
Primary Library Book Requests
Secondary Library Book Requests Form
We always welcome photos of you and your family reading! Please send them to us and we will share them at school.
We wish you and your family a healthy, joyous holiday season and a wonderful start to the New Year!
Terry, Jill, & Lunyunge
Image by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
This past Monday and Tuesday students in Mr. Mrak and Mr. Martin’s Grade 8 Individuals and Societies classes had the wonderful opportunity to interview members of our Zambian staff about different Zambian cultural groups. This event was part of a "Living Library" experience coordinated by Secondary School Librarian Ms. Terry Maguire in collaboration with Individuals and Societies teachers Mr. Mrak and Mr. Martin. The experience formed part of their unit of study on aspects of culture, which promotes the develops an understanding of what culture is, how it develops, and how it influences the world. Once this foundation is established, students begin to look at various aspects of Zambian history and culture and analyze the elements that help people understand what it means to be Zambian in all its different versions. The concept of culture is dynamic and organic. Students have been learning about the visible and invisible aspects of culture and have been building up to a summative assessment based on personal interviews.
Students have been developing the skills of a journalist as they learn to ask open-ended questions, experiment with different ways of recording information, and pose follow-up questions. This week’s learning activity provided students with an opportunity to hone their interviewing skills while learning about various cultures within our school, as they prepare to complete their summative task this month. This lesson also helped students to develop intercultural understanding, which is one of the components of Global Citizenship.
The staff members who so generously shared their cultural background with our students represented the following groups:
“I learned that respect is the most important value in Zambian culture.”
“I learned that in the Ngoni tribe they would often name their child after something that just happened before the child was born.”
“I learned that in the Ngoni tribe they don’t keep dogs as pets - they use them to hunt.”
“Today I learned about how the Bemba people swam from the Congo to Zambia.”
“The Lozi people used to wear leaf skirts before the British colonization, and after that, they started wearing modern clothes.”
“When Tonga people have a good harvest, they celebrate a festival called Lwinda where they bring food to put under a tree to thank the Lord, then they celebrate by having beer and foods with friends and family.”
Many thanks to our library assistant, Mr. Lunyunge Sinyenga, for helping with translation and thanks to Ms. Martina, Ms. Sonia, and Ms. Faith for helping us create a schedule that would allow staff members to be with us for both interview sessions.
“Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first, they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.” - Paul Coelho
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: