May 9, 2016: AISB is Growing


AISB Newsletter

Vol. 11.7 | May 9, 2016

In this issue: 


From the Director

From the Director: AISB is Growing

One of AISB’s Board goals for the last two years has been to undertake an extensive strategic planning process that would engage all community stakeholders in shaping a vision for future of the school. This important process took a major step forward this spring, as volunteer students and parents, teachers and staff gathered to ensure that the school had a Mission, Vision and Beliefs statements that reflect our community and its aspirations. As a result of their work, these foundational documents are now in place and will support both the nature and needs of our community, and best practices in education.

The AISB Vision, Mission, and Values and Beliefs guide all decision-making at AISB, at the Board, administrative, faculty and student-organization levels. They shape our students’ experience of school and of learning. The Vision provides a clear goal towards which the school will direct all its efforts; the Mission describes the context in which those efforts take place. The Values and Beliefs express the principles that determine the manner in which the Mission will be enacted and the Vision achieved.

We are pleased to recognise that these Statements provide AISB with a firm foundation expressed through clear goals and inclusive language, that reflect our community’s strength in diversity and our shared commitment to students and their future.

All students achieve personal and academic excellence, and engage positively with their local and global communities.

The American International School of Bamako provides a high quality international, English-language educational program based upon American academic standards, which fosters academic excellence and personal growth. AISB provides an innovative, supportive learning environment that welcomes students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, empowering them to meet successfully the diverse challenges of a changing world.

Values & Beliefs
The AISB community works together cooperatively in support of student learning, growth, and well being, building upon the perspectives and contributions of each student, parent, teacher and member of staff.

We believe each person is a unique individual with dignity and worth, deserving of respect and humane regard.

We believe it is essential for ours to be an effective ethical community where each and all are held accountable to integrity, honesty, compassion and mutual respect.

We believe in working together to foster students’ resourcefulness, creativity and self-expression.

We believe that learning and growth are life-long projects, and that good education prepares students to become life-long learners. Similarly, we believe that great institutions grow and improve continually.

We believe in providing a supportive and safe learning environment that inspires intellectual, cultural, physical and emotional growth in balance.

We believe our students should develop an awareness of and a respect for different cultures, locally and globally.

We believe that individuals require abundant opportunity to make their own meaningful choices, and direct their own learning and growth to become empowered individuals.

We believe that students need to develop a balance of skills that allows them to work effectively both collaboratively and individually.

We believe in a balanced academic program that fosters understanding, knowledge and appreciation of languages and literature, humanities, math, science and the arts.

This challenging and important work was achieved thanks to the determination of the Board and the guidance of the Strategic Planning committee, and the hard work of all – Board, parents, students, teachers and staff --who undertook this challenging task with such a high level of commitment, insight, and good humor.


AISB Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 6:30pm

AISB will hold its Annual General Meeting this Tuesday May 10, beginning at 6:30pm in the Library. At the meeting our new Board Trustees will introduce themselves, and we will hear reports from the Chair on the work of the Board, from the Treasurer of the Board on the financial state of the school, and from the Director about the growth of the school and its academic program. The Director will also share AISB’s most recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test results.

All parents and faculty of AISB are members of the Association, and are invited to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

We hope to see you there!


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences will be held next Friday, May 13, here at school. These conferences provide an opportunity to meet with your child’s teachers to share observations and discuss his or her learning in greater depth.

Here are 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 she need in order to develop further?
  • What can we do at home to support my child’s academic growth?
  • What are some next steps for my child’s learning?
  • Does my child face particular challenges in class beyond that of his school work?

Teachers who have a particular interest in meeting with a particular parent will be in touch.

There will be no school for secondary students on conference day.

Schedule your appointment
Scheduled conferences begin at 7:30am and continue for all teachers until 1:30pm. After 1:30, as in previous years, Elementary teachers will continue to hold scheduled interviews in their classrooms, while Secondary and specialist teachers welcome unscheduled interviews in the MPR. Interviews will continue until 3:10pm.

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.

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 the school booking page. Enter the code acfa2, 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.

If you have difficulties or enquiries, please contact Cissé ( or Yaa ( And as always, please feel free to contact Brad ( if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Revised Graduation Requirements

AISB’s Mission statement calls upon the school to offer a challenging educational program that fosters “personal and academic excellence.” Until this year, however, AISB has maintained a graduation requirement of only 23 credits in grades 9 - 12 -- quite low, compared to our sister schools in the region.

Our school profile, which accompanies our transcripts, notes our requirements; and these transcripts are used by onward schools and colleges to assess the rigor of AISB’s program. It is thus considerably to our students’ benefit to increase AISB’s graduate credit requirements.

Accordingly, at its last meeting the Board voted to revise the credit requirements for graduation at AISB, from 23 to a total of 26.

The following are AISB’s high school graduation requirements:


English 4.0 credits
Mathematics 3.0 credits
Science 3.0 credits
Social Studies 3.0 credits
Global Languages 3.0 credits
Fine Arts 2.0 credits
Physical Education 1.5 credits
Technology 0.5 credits
Health 0.5 credits
Electives from core 2.0 credits
Electives (can include core) 3.5 credits

 (Adopted 10/2008, Revised: 03/11, 04/16)

The Justice Newsletter Introduction

In this newsletter, you will find nine students have contributed pieces that were born from a question posed in Journalism. “If you could right one wrong in the world, what would it be?” Our North Star in class has been the enduring understanding that journalists have the capacity to make the world a better place. What you will read are pieces that are “works in progress,” however, in regard to attempting to make the world a better place, they have not lost sight of their own North Star. We’ll feature nine opinion articles this newsletter and another nine opinion articles in our final newsletter of the year. - Lysha Lansing Wasser


Anwar Daoud: A World Without Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system. With many problems, and few solutions.. Monopolies are occupied by corrupt bosses, owners and/or capitalists. Hard workers are corrupted by the enslavement of money. Living in a world without capitalism, this is my dream. It is common knowledge that capitalist countries have 3 levels of class: Upper, Middle, and Lower. Communism and socialism use this way of organizing people of different economic backgrounds. However, in capitalist countries,it is10x worse because if you are in the Lower Class you won’t be able to survive on your own, you need the help of a friend or a bank, and once you ask (and get) their help you are in debt to them, meaning you have your whole life to work and pay back all you borrowed.

Pop culture is a very good source of information when talking about capitalism, so I am going to use a famous tv show called SpongeBob Squarepants, and two of the most iconic cartoon characters: SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs.

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Bastiaan de Nooijer: Isis' Way of Education

ISIS is an Islamic terrorist group whom are focused on inflicting fear to the world’s population, and to bring hatred to the American population. ISIS obviously consists of a body of people, but they also claim to own a piece of land in Raqqa, which they call their home. ISIS operates from this location, and is slowly growing a community with many other people who follow their belief and way of life. We as world citizens should try everything in our power to wipe ISIS off of the face of this planet, and fight against their evil intentions. ISIS is banning education to its generation of children meaning that these kids will not have the opportunity to learn. ISIS is not providing any kind of positive education to young kids. These children have no bright future like us, no food the way we know it, no family which supports them, and especially nothing to look forward to after a bad night of sleep.

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Cheick Kone: Mali, A Time for Change

If I had to fix one problem in the world it would be to help make Mali into a More Developed Country (MDC) that would motivate other Sub-Saharan countries to develop. This problem is being ignored at the moment by Malians, but it is a serious problem that needs to be fixed. If less developed countries such as Mali don’t industrialized the gap between more developed countries and least developed countries will become too big, thus cause an economical crisis. I feel connected to this problem since I have lived almost all of my life in Mali, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. If Mali can work hard on making a generation of leaders that aren’t corrupt that would be a great step forward into creating brighter future, this will help improve the country. It would also, allow the country to become more reliable and make companies and industries invest in Mali to improve the conditions of the country as whole. Companies with a lot of natural resources who can make a difference, but for all this to happen the country as a whole needs to work hard and polish its developmental program.

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Moussa Diarra: A Brief History of Evil

In the dead of night, when clouds burdened with rain cover the moon, when the stars seem to have fallen out of the sky, when all other lights go out, the echo of things most intrinsically beautiful and malevolent in the annals of history sends a piercing whistle through the impenetrable void that is the human mind, only to be turned away. The overall success or impending doom of mankind will be determined by our ability to learn from history. There’s an ancient pandemic sweeping the earth, and it’s a sickness not of the body, but of the soul. Humanity’s capacity for malevolence is unparalleled in power; time and time again, the roots of envy, lust, and wrath have reared their ugly heads to reveal a hidden factor in the complex equation that is human nature. Allow me to take you on an expedition of sorts through humanity’s defining moments in history; the times we have turned brother on brother, father on son… let me provide you with perspective as to why such horrible things happened. In this brief history of evil, I will show you why power corrupts, for, as plato said, “the true measure of a man is what he does with power” (Plato); each decision he makes tipping him towards the light, or leaving him in darkness. We live in a day and age where the past serves not as a reminder, but as something to forgive and forget; but let me tell you something: history never forgave, and it never forgot.

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Raphaela Zocklein: All the Buzz

The Honeybees are not just little insects, they are the hardest working creatures on the planet, and the most important Insects to the humans and the nature. These little fascinating creatures are not only pollinating plants, they are also providing our daily food. We need to take care of this creatures in order to survive.

Since I have made the point that this little insect is so crucial, a little biological background knowledge is critical. In a BBC study, there are around 25, 000 different types of bees species divided into just nine families, - the Andrenidae, Colletidae, Dasypodaidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, Melittidae, Stenotritidae and the most known group of bees, the Apidae. In the family of the Apidae is the Honeybee. In a hive, the honey bee can produce averagely around 11kg of honey a year. A Honey bee produces honey from nectar, which is a sweet sticky substance exuded by most flowers.

Around one-third of the food we eat is pollination dependent of a net worth of over $400.000 million to the world economy each year. The bees pollinate around 70 to 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world's population. If we lose the Honey bee, the supermarkets would contain less than half of the amount of fruits and vegetables we currently have. Can you imagine living without fruits and vegetables? How boring it would be without this delicious sweet fruit?

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Roger Indengere: Girls Have a Right to Education

Girls’ right to education must be practiced and allowed everywhere because it will break the cycle of poverty and thus leads to development. This strongly shows that the whole world would be better, more developed if all children were allowed to go to school and all people have right to choose for themselves. This could be more valuable because educated people take most part in development of a country, more than those who are not educated.

Girls’ education is their basic right that leads to a bright future. According to words from UNICEF, “Girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives.” The quote clarifies why the education of girls has a good impact on society because it helps them to participate in creativity of priorities, thus leadings to introduction of other useful things that will help people to fight against poverty by earning money for shelter. This quote models the UNICEF’s use of girls’ education as part of the solution among the problems of the society that has ignorant people who really don’t have much skills to work for the country, thus leading to poverty in entire countries.

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Seynabou Kane: The Power of Feedback

I believe that awareness around feedback must be a part of the normal class assignments, because the only way to make sure we do not continue making the same mistakes is to get feedback. We all make mistakes, it is part of our lives. Additionally, finding a way to improve our skills and behaviors, is always important to take into consideration. That is why we should care more about the value and power of feedback.

Nearly 100 years ago a scientist named Thorndike, did research about behaviorism (stimulus-response). ‘Positive feedback was considered as "positive reinforcement," and negative feedback was considered as "punishment". Both reinforcement and punishment affect learning, as of now feedback could be seen as an effective way to learn.’ For a long time people actually thought that behaviorism could change the behaviours of their fellow humans. But luckily, since 1991 there are many studies that examined the real effective ways of giving feedback. Educational theorists have now figured out that the feedback that is given to the student, is influenced by several factors before the message is received. Those factors consists of inside information, experiences, and motivation. The student needs to learn from schoolwork and not only respond to a stimuli. The value of feedback became more important after these studies. Let's take a better look at why the student’s perception is so important...

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Vivian Peng: We Need Sustainable Development

In our world, we have some issues. They are about everything, but now, we have an imminent threat, that is environmental pollution. Air pollution, large areas of land deforested and more animal extinction. These are serious issues happening in front of our eyes, and we should think about causes and solutions concerning pollution. During modern times, people have focussed on development and as a result we developed fast. This leads to damage and neglect our environment in the process. We only pay attention to development. Development is important of course but development and environment are both important. So, we need to think how to make them balance. When we develop we must also protect the environment. This is difficult but we must do this. Because environment is relating to mankind. We only have one earth, one home, we must protect her.

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Yannick Nelen: Ignorance is Bliss, But Not What the World Needs

Ignorance, the beginning of every problem: Donald Trump, terrorism, North Korea, and poverty. These are all examples of problems that could be solved if people paid more attention to them; however, people make the choice to remain ignorant. People say “Ignorance is sometimes a blessing,” no, it is not. That’s the exact reason why nothing can be solved. People decide to ignore what’s right in front of them because it doesn’t impact them directly or “has nothing to do with them.” People continue supporting people such as Trump, terrorists believe they’re doing the right thing using “God’s words as an excuse,” Kim Jong Un thinks he can do what he likes because he’s the leader, and people decide to ignore poverty instead of dealing with it. Because of these reasons Ignorance has started become a “blessing.” A “blessing” because it’s easier to ignore the maladies of the world instead of dealing with it. And for some reason it’s better to not know that the world is slowly deteriorating than to actually be aware of it. Now let me ask this question: Do you want your children to be born in a world where one of the most powerful country’s leader is racist, where ISIS destroys and kills people using God as an excuse, where pollution is abundant, where people let global warming happen because they don’t believe in it?

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