As I write this message, our students and teachers are busy with our parent volunteers all over campus, preparing for the annual Halloween Carnival. We are planning to make it a special day, here at AISB. As always, it’s great to see the kids getting into the excitement of a community event.
In this newsletter you’ll find information about report cards, and about booking your parent-teacher conferences. Along with reports of various classroom activities there’s an update from the counselling corner, and some interesting student feedback on AISB’s BYOD initiative.
As always, we would like to thank our hardworking, creative PTO for their tireless efforts on behalf of our school, our students, and the community. The Halloween Carnival is sure to be a success. We could never do it without you.
See you at school,
It’s Report Card Time at AISB
First quarter is now completed, and report cards were sent home with students Wednesday, October 28th. Parents may also access their child’s report online, via Focus.
As you look over the report with your child it's important to keep in mind that report cards, though important, offer only one window on your child’s learning experiences at AISB.
We invite you to consider the following:
Help your child understand that grades are not the most important thing: The comments section of the report provides deeper insight into what your child is learning and doing in class, the successes and challenges he or she is encountering, and suggestions that might help your child learn more effectively. It is important to remember that many students suffer from grade anxiety, which can interfere with their learning. Focusing first and foremost on the letter grade your child has received can exacerbate this kind of anxiety, and can direct your child’s attention away from what matters most. Try to keep the focus on learning rather than the external measures of it.
Take this opportunity to start – or continue – a dialogue about learning. Ask your child what she or he enjoys about learning—what makes learning most effective, what sorts of ideas are most engaging—and what implications these strengths and preferences have for his or her life choices. Grading measures only some aspects of a child’s intellectual and personal growth; there are others, not easily quantified but well worth recognizing. It’s worth asking your children how they feel they have grown lately, and about challenges they have faced and how they have met them. Their answers might surprise you.
Ask your child about what we can do — school and parents, working together as a team — to support his or her learning. Student academic success is closely linked to a strong and cooperative relationship between home and school. This relationship can look very different for students of different ages and personalities, and depends also on family circumstances. Some children appreciate more parental involvement in their schooling than others do. And as students grow older and more independent, parent involvement -- though still important -- evolves considerably.
Report cards are an important way to help our students understand themselves as learners, recognize their accomplishments, and find new direction for the future. As we conclude this quarter we congratulate our students on their many successes in learning and growing.
Parent-Teacher Conferences Please Come
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held next Friday, November 6, here at school. These conferences provide an excellent opportunity to meet with your child’s teachers to share observations, discuss your child's learning in greater depth, share strategies for supporting learning and above all, celebrate your child's successes.
Instructions for how to schedule your appointment are below; teachers with an interest in meeting with a particular parent will be in touch.
Here are some suggestions for the sort of questions you might find useful at your conference:
Does my child seem happy in class? Alert, engaged?
What does my child do well? What struggles does she face, in meeting the challenges of school work?
What does my child need in order to develop further? What can we do at home to support his academic growth?
Is my child completing her homework as expected?
Does my child face particular challenges in class beyond that of his school work?
There will be no school for students on conference day.
Schedule your appointment
Marcus Tanner has sent instructions for parents on scheduling appointments, but to recap: to schedule an appointment with your child’s teacher or teachers, please go to theschool booking page. Enter the code DRQBG, and follow the instructions there. You will be invited to enter your children’s names, and then to select an appointment time for each teacher. Appointments are scheduled in 20-minute increments; interviews are planned for about 15 minutes each, and this allows you time to pass from one teacher to the next.
We hope that this system makes it easier for parents to book appointments conveniently. If you have difficulties or enquiries, please contact Cissé (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Yaa (email@example.com) And as always, please feel free to contact Brad (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns. And Marcus would really like to hear about it if this system works well for you!
Hope to see you there!
Middle and High School Report Cards
Understanding Secondary Report Cards
Those of you who received AISB secondary students’ report cards last year may have noticed some changes in the narrative comments this time around.
You’ll have noticed that the comments for each course were generally longer and more detailed. You may have found a description of the kind of learning and assessment activities your child experienced; you may have noticed, too, that the content of the comments was more focused on describing the nature of your child’s achievement with respect to the specific learning objectives of that assessment period. You may also have found observations about how your child’s learning behaviors and habits impact his or her learning at school.
This evolution in Secondary reporting is the result of ongoing professional discussions among AISB faculty and in good schools around the world, about the purpose of grading and reporting.
The primary purpose of reporting student progress, at any good school, is to support students’ learning. To this end, reports should provide students and parents with clear and accurate assessments of the skills and understandings students have mastered by the end of the reporting period. Reports should also provide specific information about the student as a learner, to help students recognize their important strengths and empower them to target areas for growth. Detailed information about their child as a learner also provides parents with insights into what they can do to support their children’s learning. Reports can also allow teachers to share suggestions for learning strategies that may assist the student in becoming a better learner.
This professional discussion and its outcomes are part of a general movement in education toward assessment and reporting designed to serve student learning explicitly. In achieving greater clarity and a more student-centered focus for our reporting system AISB places itself amongst excellent schools at the forefront of student-centered innovation in education.
Most importantly, our students themselves report that they find their narrative comments clear, accurate and helpful to them.
A detailed explanation of what kinds of learning and achievement characterize learners at each level of the grading system can be found with the paper copies of the reports sent home. We hope that these will help students and parents unpack the meaning of the grade each student has received, and provide discussion points for students, parents and teachers as we work together to help our students grow, as students and empowered young people in charge of their own learning.
2015 is coming to an end and the spring season of applying to colleges and universities is right around the corner for our seniors. In order for your son or daughter to not be stressed out in the spring, you’ll want to be asking the following questions:
“How is your personal statement coming along?”
“When are you going to take the TOEFL exam?”
“What teachers have you asked for letters of recommendation?”
Having a solid answer to these questions now will make the process smoother in the long run. Even if you hear an unsatisfactory answer, the most important thing to remember is we still have time, and help is only an email away.
It sure has been fun counseling your children in regard to this process and the more we can work as a team, the more opportunities your son or daughter will have next year.
If your child is absent from school due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, please call the school (2022 4738) or e-mail Oumou Drame (email@example.com) by 7:30 am, to notify us.
If you know in advance that your child will be away from school, please contact Brad Waugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) to seek authorization and to allow the school to develop a remediation program for the missed classes.
What’s Up in Grades 1 and 2?
Learning About Plants and Seeds
We learned how water goes in the roots, up the stem, and into the leaves. –Habiba
When you plant a seed, you have to make sure you make a long line of seeds so they have enough space to grow. –Alex
Plants need air, sun, water, and dirt to grow. –David
Plants grow from seeds. –Lamine
When the roots carry the water up to the stem and to the leaves, it uses the water to make food for itself. –Fridtjof
The leaves breathe air to make food. –Damien
Sometimes the stem sucks up the water. –Barry
The flower helps the plant to make pollen. –Seydou
The stem holds up the leaves. –Shacanier
The roots take the water up to make the leaves grow. –Salem
The leaves make food for the plant, which is sugar. –Amelia
BYOD at AISB - A Student Perspective
The BYOD, or “bring your own device” initiative, is one that asks students bring their own devices to school. These devices include, and are not limited to, calculators, laptops, and tablets. This initiative is designed to take advantage of the improved internet bandwidth, and to promote organization of resources by the student body. This article explores how the BYOD initiative has affected student life here at AISB.
The 9th Grade Class of AISB is taking part in a micro-finance and service learning project. This project consists of giving small loans to people who need money to start a business.
The process for this is very simple, we are planning on acquiring money by organizing a bake sale at school. This bake sale will take place on Monday, November 2nd and Tuesday November 3rd (if we still have products to sell). We will sell during morning break and after school. 100% of the profit obtained from this sale will be used for our loans.
After gaining the money we will put up signs around town and contact people who need these loans. Subsequently these people will return the money we gave them after their business has finally became successful. This project is all about helping people in our community.
__ The 9th Grade Class
Our Joyful, Fun-Filled, Picture-Perfect trip to Mali Health and a Local School
On Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, the fourth and fifth grade class took a trip to learn about Ebola, and I have to say - it was quite the experience! First, we took a short trip to Mali Health. Dr. Mamadou Keita, from the Foundation Pour Enfance, talked to us about how Ebola can be transmitted, what the symptoms are, what we can do to stay safe, etc.
We were there with 20 other students from two local schools. We all took notes in our notebooks, and we all had our books filled with facts. We were all so fascinated at the different facts we learned about Ebola; like the different species and how it can be healed. And some of the facts were scary, too! We even got to ask questions that the doctor answered for us. I think the most fascinating fact is how it started. There is no proof for what started the shocking disease, but the likely possibilities can fascinate you.