We had a fun start to the school year with our First Day of School Assembly at 07:30 on Thursday. Almost 200 Secondary students were able to join us from all around the world! We kept the Secondary School tradition of playing “Two Truths and a Lie” to introduce our new Principal and five new teachers.
Our new Principal is Dr. Rick Odum and our new teachers are as follows: Joanna Gutierrez (PYP, MYP, and DP Music), Dr. Dean Lindstrom (Grade 9 and DP Mathematics, and Grade 7 Science), Chantra Reinman (Director of Student Support Services), Mark Reinman (Grade 9 and DP Language and Literature, Grade 12 TOK), and Adam Cruickshank (DP Economics and Grade 9 Individuals and Societies).
We want to let you know more about what to expect for the start of the school year. In this section, we will explain how we are supporting students and parents during the start of this school year.
Our students are supported academically, social-emotionally, and technologically through a variety of programs in the Secondary school.
Students are supported academically through being able to access learning resources and materials on the Landing Pages for their classes. These Landing Pages are located in the Student Portal, to which all students have access. Students whose families have indicated that they prefer Path 3 (Flexible Distance Learning) can access their learning materials via the Landing Pages and watch recordings of the class videos at times that work for them. Students whose families have indicated that they will join us on Path 2 (Real-Time Distance Learning) should be present in class each day. If they cannot attend for a whole school day for any reason, please contact us at email@example.com so that their teachers are aware they will be absent from class. If they cannot attend a specific class, please notify that class’ teacher.
Below is an example of what the links to the Landing Pages looks like.
Below are some example Landing Pages so you can get an idea of what they look like for different grades and classes. You'll notice that they all have a link to the Google Meet for the lesson, the learning objectives, and the resources and learning experiences for the students. The Landing Pages ensure that students in Path 2 (Real-Time Distance Learning) and Path 3 (Flexible Distance Learning) can be successful during distance learning.
Students are also supported academically through the AISL timetable, starting each day at 7:30 am and ending on Mondays through Thursdays at 2:30 pm and Fridays at 1:00 pm. Students on Path 3 who are not attending classes will be invited by their teachers to check-ins each week so that their teachers can build student-teacher relationships and support them; those check-ins will begin on Monday 17 August. Your child’s timetable is available on ManageBac.
Our teachers will support students academically during class by ensuring that the lessons are engaging. Students will participate in group work, all-class discussions, and independent work. If the lesson allows, they will be permitted to log off to work on tasks offline while the teacher stays in the Google Meet so if the student has a question, the student can log back on and receive support.
Students’ social and emotional needs are supported through our Advisory program, which continues during distance learning. All Grade 6-10 students have Advisory on Mondays through Thursdays at 8:55-9:30 am. Grade 11 and 12 students have Advisory built into their schedule as part of their Advisory/CAS/EE block. Our counselors are involved in working with the advisors to make sure that student needs are being met.
Our students are supported technologically in several ways. On the Student Portal, they can navigate to the Tech@AISL page, which is located at the top of the page on the right. That page contains tutorials and information about all aspects of technology use and agreements in the Secondary school. If they have a problem with accessing ManageBac, their school email, or the Student Portal, or if they have a problem with a device, they can contact our technology support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our teachers and advisors are also supporting students in their classes at being able to navigate the Landing Pages and ManageBac.
We extend our technological support to allowing students to take breaks, with permission, during lesson times. If they feel strained during the class from being online, they just need to ask their teacher when might be a good time to take a break. Our teachers will also build breaks into their lessons. If the screen time is too much for your child and you decide to switch to Path 3, which allows students to complete assignments and watch lesson recordings on their own time, please let us know. We will communicate the switch from Path 2 (Real-Time Distance Learning) to Path 3 (Flexible Distance Learning) with your child’s teachers.
Our parents will continue to receive weekly updates on the Secondary program through the Leopard’s Tale. We will also host Open Night at 17:30-19:30 on Tuesday 18 August. Open Night is an evening when parents can meet their children’s teachers and advisor as well as the Secondary school leaders.
We will create a schedule with links to the Google Meets presentations for each teacher and class so that parents can meet all their child’s teachers and learn about all their classes. That schedule will be released in the Leopard’s Tale next week, so stay tuned.
Feedback and communication
We care deeply about making sure that every student thrives. Your feedback and communication help us to make sure that your child manages the academic, social-emotional, and technology challenges of distance learning. Please contact us with any questions or feedback you might have. Thank you for all your support at home.
Dr. Rick Odum, Secondary Principal
Dr. 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: