It has been sixteen weeks since we welcomed back students to the AISL campus and we continue to have a safe and engaging learning environment for all students.
I love the rain. I love how it sounds, how it smells, how it cleans all the dust. I even love how it stirs up all the bugs and snails and creepy crawly things from under the earth. None of this is uncommon. Many people love the rain for sensory reasons. But I have another, perhaps more unusual reason for liking the rain.
I like the rain because it messes things up.
Now, I need to explain that lest you think I am some sort of anarchist. What I mean by this is that the rain, like any external variable, exposes flaws and gaps. It leaks through roofs, revealing places that need maintenance attention. It floods sidewalks, identifying problem areas and making us reconsider the routes we take. It complicates outdoor activities, forcing us to find other recreational options.
In short, the rain provides us the opportunity to reconsider how we plan for things. All plans look great on paper, but throw a thunderstorm, or a pandemic, or the unpredictability of a developing adolescent human, into the mix, and you realize how pliable plans need to be in order to be effective.
Hopefully, this is the lesson we take from COVID. Once there is a vaccine that is safe, effective and available, I know the temptation will be to look back on COVID as “the bad year” and move on. However, if we ignore this opportunity to reexamine our plans, policies and structures then we will be missing the chance of a lifetime, and we will definitely be in a worse place when confronted with the next issue that comes our way.
I want to thank everyone for what has been, blissfully, a relatively quiet week in regards to behavior and health and safety violations. As we look towards the holiday season, the safety of the students is the best present the faculty and staff at AISL could ever receive. So, thank you for reinforcing that message at home.
One more thing, please send your child to school with a raincoat/hat and umbrella until the end of the rainy season.
Have a great weekend!
Open Arms Fundraiser
This week, Ms. Cullen shared with the students the following message:
“Although some notebooks and pencils may seem trivial, these utensils open up so many learning opportunities, and enrich the educational experiences of students who are fortunate enough to have them. This was the experience of The Pencil Project, an Africa-based NGO whose central goal is to provide students in underprivileged communities across the continent with pencils, simply so that they could learn to read and write.
It is this same caring support that the Open Arms Fundraiser seeks to provide.
On behalf of the Grade 7 team, I would like to thank those of you who have already supported this CSD initiative.
The whole Grade 7 team
Notes from Ms. Chevanne’s Grade 9 Design Class
The Grade 9 Greenest Greenhouse project has met a major milestone. This semester, Grade 9 has been designing a greenhouse using recycled materials. The grade group presented these ideas to members of staff earlier in the academic year and was asked to create a prototype.
The Grade 9 Design group have now completed two prototypes: one with an irrigation system and one without. This week we were able to begin the testing of the builds. We found that the prototype with the irrigation system worked well! The system, using the shape of plastic bottles to funnel water into the bottles that make up the wall and into the soil, was a success. However, the material the group used to help keep structure did not hold up and sadly their prototype fell apart.
We will do further testing on the second group's prototype making sure that water will be mostly kept out during the rainy season and that their roof design is stable. Maybe we will even have a brave student volunteer to go inside and help us come to a conclusion!
Interdisciplinary Learning in the MYP
In the MYP, interdisciplinary learning is the process by which students come to understand bodies of knowledge and ways of knowing from two or more subject groups and integrate them to create new understanding.
Grade 7 are completing an interdisciplinary unit this week which integrated Language and Literature and Individuals and Societies. The statement of inquiry which shows the overarching conceptual learning is Systems in successful communities need processes, structures and purpose.
We have been exploring systems that enable humans and creatures and the environment to thrive. Last week students watched the documentary Kiss the Ground narrated by Woody Harrelson which explores ways we farm that damage the earth and ways we can farm in order to protect and regenerate the earth and how poor farming impacts climate change.
Here is the link to the documentary which is well worth watching. It is about an hour and a quarter long.
Students reflected on the systems, processes and structures they noticed using the visible thinking routine Notice Think Wonder.
They are currently researching a system of their choice in order to write their summative which is an online magazine article. We are hoping to share some of these in the new year.
Last Day of the Semester Schedule: Friday 18 December
7:30-8:15 am - D block
8:20-9:05 am - A block
9:10-9:55 am - B block
10-10:15 am - Break
10:20-11:05 am - C block
11:15 am-12:00 pm All-School Assembly
Please collect your child at 12:00 pm on the last day of school.
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
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