Week one back almost in the books. The kids look happy, are staying responsibly distant, and are wearing their masks. So far, so good. I’m very proud of them.
I know that there is a great amount of anxiety out there about coming back to school. This is perfectly understandable, these are scary times. However, I am very confident in our safety precautions and I believe in our students, faculty and staff’s ability to follow the guidelines which allow us to have a safe learning environment.
That being said, you may see some anxiety in your kids as they transition back into on-campus learning. So, in the interests of helping students through what can be a complex and confusing time, let’s look at some things that you can do to help them with their anxiety.
First off, try and maintain as much of your normal routine as possible. Now, please note that I do not mean maintaining a robust social calendar. What I mean is try and keep things as close to normal as possible while being safe and smart about mitigating risk. At home we have been diligently scheduling online hangouts with the kids’ friends, and making sure that we eat dinner together every night. While maybe we can’t have brunch with our friends on Sunday, we make sure to have breakfast and family conversations at that same time, so that the kids know that Sundays are for family and fellowship.
Second, manage your own anxiety. I know...this is not a small ask. At times the world seems designed to make us worry about things completely out of our control. This is not helpful. That’s why it may be beneficial to look at your news consumption, and keep in mind the information/action ratio. That is, how much of the information you are consuming is something you can control. I have been grappling with this all week as my home state is now a wintery wasteland, and I have yet to need a light sweater. Basically, as much as possible, try and worry about those things you can affect.
Finally, discuss the events of the day with your kids. I know how hard it can be to get your kids talking (at least about the things you want them to talk about), but I’ve found that asking them specifics, such as, “how is the prep for DP exams going?” or “what is the most surprising thing you learned today?” or my personal favorite, “who got in trouble today?” is a great entry into a more robust conversation about their experiences.
Well, that’s well enough of me for this week.
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Rick Odum
DP - FAQS for the Class of 2021
Just before Mocks, the IB announced that it will offer both an examination and a non-examination route to IB results.
Please join our Diploma Programme Coordinator, Monica Murphy, for an evening information session aimed at parents and students on Thursday 18 February from 18:30-20:00 (Google Meet link here). She will share information about the two routes. We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page to provide guidance for students and families around the May 2021 examination session. It will be updated as the IB provides more information. You can submit questions through this form.
Grade 12 Personal & Social Education
As teachers and students begin a new semester in an academic year full of many uncertainties, we can all reflect on our experiences of 2020 and realise that academics are certainly not the most important part of our lives. The relationships we form with others, our physical and mental health, our beliefs and our values - all of these contribute to our well-being and sense of self. AISL's Personal and Social Education (PSE) curriculum aims to complement our academic program with lessons on a variety of important topics, including, for our older students, sessions on sexual education. These sessions are led by Advisors, Counselors, or subject teachers, as appropriate.
Honoring the diversity of our community, we provide parents with the dates and topics in advance. While the following lessons will be postponed if we are in Distance Learning, the current schedule for upcoming lessons is as follows:
Reproductive and Sexual Anatomy (Bob Stewart, co-taught by Biology students)
If any parents would prefer that their child not attend a PSE lesson, they are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org, to exempt their child from attending. Whether or not your child is attending a PSE lesson, we do encourage all families to discuss these important issues with your children at home.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021 for successfully completing Mock Exams last week! With the Board’s permission, students were allowed on campus to get a real feel for how DP exams might run. We had students completing the exams in person, remotely, and in a hybrid situation, so organizing Mocks was a complex task that involved many groups on campus, from the tech team to NemChem staff to the Activities Office. Many thanks to everyone who helped make Mocks a success!
Mock Exams go beyond a typical classroom-based test because they involve following all the regulations set by the IB for running exams. This includes using checking for contraband material, using cover sheets, spacing students out appropriately, reading invigilation scripts, allowing students to enter and exit only at permitted times, etc. Not only is this good practice for the teachers who supervise, but it also gives students the chance to reflect on how they function during a high-stress week.
Here’s what some students had to say:
Whether or not AISL will be able to run DP exams in May (as currently planned), completing Mock Exam week was a valuable learning experience for both teachers and students.
Parent Information Sessions
We host three to six Parent Information Sessions each month to support our parents in understanding what their children are learning and how to support them at home.
Our next information session for Grade 12 parents is (tonight!) Thursday 18 February from 18:30-20:00 (Google Meet link here). Students should plan to attend as well, since this session will focus on the award of IB grades through exam and non-exam routes.
Next week on Tuesday 23 February from 18.00 - 19.00, there is an MYP information session for parents new to the MYP. (Google Meet link here). This is a slightly modified session from the MYP teaching and learning information session held at the start of the year and is in response to so many new families joining us from other school systems.
If you have ideas about Parent Information Sessions that you or others would like to attend, please let our Assistant Principal, Dr. Sheila Seiler, know by writing to her at email@example.com.
We know that this can be a time filled with uncertainties, so please understand that our highest priority is the health and well-being of your children. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Dr. Rick Odum, Secondary Principal
Dr. Sheila Seiler, Secondary Assistant Principal
Elijah has received two acceptances in recent days, and one generous scholarship.
University of Cincinnati, OH, USA
The University of Cincinnati has offered Elijah a place to study for the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Cincinnati is a highly rated public university located in Ohio. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 23,000 undergraduate students, and admissions is somewhat competitive. Popular majors include Engineering, Nursing, Marketing, and Psychology.
The University of Cincinnati invented cooperative education more than 100 years ago. Co-op students from the University earn a collective $75 Million per year working in 22 countries and 44 states for more than 1,300 employers. www.uc.edu
University of Cincinnati Merit and Global Scholarships
On the basis of Elijah’s performance during high school and through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Also in recognition of the diversity and global perspective that he will bring to the campus, he has been awarded two scholarships to attend the University of Cincinnati.
Nottingham Trent University, UK
Elijah’s second acceptance is from Nottingham Trent University in England to study for the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Mechanical Engineering). Engineering courses at Nottingham Trent are highly practical and use real examples and projects from industry. On this course students learn how to analyse and solve mechanical engineering problems by producing their own creative and innovative solutions using the latest technology.
Nottingham Trent University has been awarded a GOLD rating by the UK government’s Teaching and Learning Framework panel. That means the university delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. www.ntu.ac.uk
The University of Edinburgh, UK
Harry has recently been accepted to his first-choice university. He has been offered a place to study at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland to study for the 4-Year Master of Arts in International Relations.
With its rich history, noted alumni and distinguished scholars, The University of Edinburgh has much to be proud of in its many centuries as a world-renowned university. From Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers, The University of Edinburgh has been influencing history since it opened the gates to its first students in 1583.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 20th in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. The University’s entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. It provides a stimulating working, learning, and teaching environment with access to excellent facilities.
The Masters in International Relations examines the driving forces behind international cooperation and conflict and explores security and prosperity in the international system. The School of Social and Political Science has expertise in several regional topics within world politics, such as US foreign policy, the Middle East, and Africa.
Students taking this degree course gain an in-depth understanding of the changing nature of state power, the role of non-state actors, the spread of new norms and ideas and the driving forces behind international cooperation and conflict.
There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the University’s international exchange programmes. Students can work abroad by training, volunteering or undertaking an internship. Their placement may be paid or unpaid and could be undertaken as an optional or compulsory component of their degree programme. www.ed.ac.uk
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: