October 6, 2016: A Culture of Learning at AISB



AISB Newsletter

Vol. 12.2 | October 6, 2016

In this issue: 


From the Director: A Culture of Learning at AISB

Educational research has shown consistently that there are two very powerful means of improving student learning, that we at AISB are both advocates for and practitioners of. The first is by increasing student choice, and the second is through assessments that provide students, teachers and parents meaningful feedback on learning.

Meaningful Student Choice
Student choice comes in many forms at AISB. Students might be offered a choice of books to study rather than a “whole class” novel, a choice of topics to write about, or choices of how to show what they know and can do. A student demonstrating her understanding of the history of the atomic model might write a paragraph; or she might create an interactive online graphic, a short video, a poster or a play. These relatively straightforward strategies for differentiating student learning experience and increasing student choice are part of the fabric of the AISB teaching and learning culture.

In high school, elective courses are a very important way that students can make meaningful choices about their education. This year, following a process of student consultation, we are pleased to offer students nine new elective courses, including:

Computer Science with Python
Anatomy and Physiology
French Cinema
Comparative Government
International Relations
Introduction to Sports Coaching
Intermediate Spanish
Environmental Studies
AP World History
Advanced Math with financial applications

Read More



Board Presentation to Association Members on the financial state of the school

October 18th 6:00pm-7:00pm in the Library
Please come join us at the meeting to hear the financial report and to meet our new Board trustees. You will find a brief bio about each of them and the other trustees in this newsletter.



Meet AISB's 2016-17 School Board Trustees

Board Chair: Johan Andersson

Nationality: Swedish

Brief Biography

Our family arrived in Bamako from Sweden in January 2016 so we are new to both the country and the AISB community. My wife works for the Swedish Embassy and we will be here for at least two more years. We have two sons (4 and 8 years old) who both attend AISB.  

For the moment I’m not working but I have 15 years experience as a project manager and business developer for different governmental agencies in Sweden. During these 15 years I’ve lead several projects (both small and large ones) with the aim to streamline operations through process- and IT-development. I have also worked with policy development for different IT- and business development departments.


Board Vice Chair: Marie-Claude Legault

Nationality: Canadian

Brief Biography

Born in Montreal, I hold a Master’s degree in Human Relations Psychology, with a specialization in Organizational Development and Training, and have over 20 years of experience in Human Resources Management of Economy and Finance of Mali), as a Human Resources and Change Management Expert.

My family and I are settled in Bamako since August 2014 for a three-year mandate. I am the mother of 4 children, three are studying in grade 11 at AISB. Since the moment that our children started school, I always have been involved on school boards from the elementary school to high school. I also believe in community involvement and I have taken all opportunities to contribute to mine as a committed citizen, through different initiatives.


Board Secretary: Julien Bouzon

Nationality: French

Brief Biography

I grew up in France and graduated in political science. I also possess two Master's degrees in European affairs and economics. My studies took me to Paris, but also Austria (Vienna), Poland (Warsaw) and the USA (Brown University - Rhode Island). I now work as a team leader in governance and economics for the Delegation of the European Union in Bamako. Before coming here in early September 2016, I spent 3 years in Burundi and 5 years in Kenya in the same capacity. I am the proud father of 3 boys, namely Paul (2 months), George (3 years) and Bastian (7 years). Both George and Bastian go to AISB.


Board Treasurer: Wouter Dobbelaar

Nationality: Dutch

Brief Biography

I have a Master's degree in Business Administration and Strategic Management from the Erasmus University (Rotterdam, Singapore) and did my executive management program at the Essec Business School (Paris). I started my working career in 2000 at Philips Electronics where I held positions in Corporate Strategy, Quality and Business Control. In 2005, I joined Essent Energy, where I was responsible for all the staff departments. The training and development department for all our employees was part of this scope. It clearly taught me that learning is an ongoing and never ending process, but you need to guide and support it in order to gain the real benefits.

In 2008, I started my own consulting firm Lijn2. With the company we supply consultancy and interim management solutions on senior management and executive level. You quickly realize the power of continuous learning since there are no company programs anymore. Learning and development of our staff is a constant subject on the company’s agenda. Beside my work for the company, I joined SEME Distribution here in Mali, which is the exclusive distributor for Bavaria beer.


Member at Large: Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu

Nationality: Ethiopian

Brief Biography

My name is Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu, Scientist, Land and Water Management specialist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and previously a Postdoctoral research fellow at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). I am a PhD and MSc holder in Water Resources Engineering, and BSc holder in Civil Engineering. Currently I am based in Bamako, Mali living with my wife Lemlem B. Habte, and three of our children who are attending AISB. Previously I lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Ethiopia and in the UK for study and work related matters.


Member at Large: Yaya Yattassaye 

Nationality: Malian

Brief Biography

I was born and raised in Mali. After getting my degree in management at the Polytechnic of Namibia in 2004, I developed my sense of entrepreneurship and have been self-employed since.  In Mali I work in the mining and construction sectors. I speak five languages (French, English, Portuguese, Bambara, Peulh). I decided to move back to Mali after 15 years abroad, and seeing the importance of English in the world, I opted to give my son the opportunity to go to school in English.


US Embassy Representative (Non-voting): Andrew Wiener

Nationality: American

Brief Biography
Andrew Wiener is a career member of the senior Foreign Service of the United States of America and a retired colonel in the US Army Reserves. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy and Army War College. Andrew has served on numerous community service boards during his career, that includes service in Germany, Belgium, Iraq, Greece, Russia, and Australia. He is married to Ioanna Toytziari and he his two children, Maria and Dimitri, who are lieutenants in the US Coast Guard.



AISB Director (Non-voting): Brad Waugh

Nationality: Canadian

Brief Biography
Brad Waugh is a native of Vancouver, Canada and came to Mali as the Director of AISB in July 2015. His work as an educator began in Canada and, since 2001, has taken him to Bolivia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal. He is a passionate teacher of mathematics, physical sciences and Theory of Knowledge, and has taught students from grade 8 through post-secondary. His previous work in school administration has included posts as a secondary school principal, whole school principal and deputy director. Brad enjoys bringing students, teachers and parents together to develop dynamic, student-centered learning communities. He and Renée Comesotti have two daughters, Ceilidhe and Kieran, both graduates of international schools and confirmed third-culture (adult) kids.




Boo! The Hallowe'en Party Needs Your Help!

Dear parents,

One of the things that AISB Mali is known for is the Halloween party. Of course PTO and the HS students will be happy to organize it again. But we can use some help.

Last year we had to throw away a lot of old and broken Halloween decorations. We were able to buy some new things, but we are afraid it is not enough. We think that, with a small group of enthusiast people, we can make some scary assets for this year’s party.

We also want to decorate the doors in the high school area again for the trick or treat. We can use the school to gather a few times, so we can make the decorations before November 12th. Or if you prefer to work on a decoration or a door at your house, that is an option too.

So, if you are creative (only a little is enough) and you are able to help, please let us know. Send an email to pto@aisbmali.org or talk to Wilma in the office.



attendanceIf your child is absent from school due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, please call the school (2022 4738) or e-mail Oumou Drame (odrame@aisbmali.org) by 7:30 am, to notify us.

If you know in advance that your child will be away from school, please contact Brad Waugh (bwaugh@aisbmali.org) to seek authorization and to allow the school to develop a remediation program for the missed classes.



AISB Swimming Pool

Construction of AISB's swimming pools is scheduled to be completed November 7th. We will take a few weeks after completion of the pools to test the filtration systems and prepare for lessons.

Stay tuned for news of the grand opening!


02 Construction 20160501





My name is Lamessi Kokou Winigah. I am from Togo, a very small country in West Africa. I am married and father of two beautiful children: Safia (3) and Arafat nearly (2). After earning my English Linguistics Bachelor at the University of Lomé-Togo in 2009, I started working as an English teacher in private secondary schools in Lomé. Since 2010I have been living in Mali, where I have been working as English and French teacher in private schools.

I joined the American International School of Bamako in September 2016 as a Teaching Assistant.


From the ESOL Department: Teaching the Value of Mother Tongue

It is well understood that literacy in our first language, or mother tongue, is vital for effectively learning subsequent languages. It is also essential for students to recognize that their mother tongue is important in the world, and beautiful, an essential part of themselves, and one of the keys with which they will unlock the world of meaning around them. And you can help!

We need your help...
One way to increase mother tongue literacy is to encourage children and families to read and write in their mother tongue, and so we would like to build a Mother Tongue Library at AISB for families and teachers to access. Therefore, we are seeking your help. If you have books in languages other than English that you have loved and are ready to pass on to another home, please consider donating them to our Mother Tongue Library. All donations can be dropped off at the front office with Ms. Oumou.

We encourage you to make time at home for your child’s mother tongue. Stories, songs and books are great ways to help your child learn, and learn to love, his or her mother tongue. Spend time with others who speak the same language. Encourage your child to write a journal in his or her mother tongue. Watch a movie! Listen to the radio. Play games. Have fun! And help your child build this important understanding of language and identity.

For interesting articles and more information on the topic, visit the following resources:

The varied cultures and languages that are reflected in our community is one of our greatest assets. As always, we want to continue working together to provide the best opportunities for our students at AISB, and we cannot do that without the support of our families and larger community. If you have questions, please be in touch with the ESOL department, or your child's teachers. Don't forget to look through your home libraries and consider donating unused resources to our school!


College Counseling Corner

Friends and families,

I hope you are all very well. We are beginning the busy college counseling period of the year. There are many things to do and dates to be aware of. I would appreciate you reading the talking points below and having conversation with your son or daughter at the dinner table about them. Either your child will have a clear answer, or if they don’t, that’s a clue that it would be a good idea to make an appointment with me. However, I am confident that they will be able to answer most of the questions! Thanks again for all the support and if you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact me at lwasser@aisbmali.org.

Lysha Lansing Wasser
AISB College Counselor

Talking Points
Parents of 12th Graders: Has you registered for the Nov. 5th SAT? Have you taken the TOEFL? Have you asked your teachers for letters of recommendation? Have you begun your personal statement? Do you know what your reach, range and safety schools are?

Parents of 11th Graders: Have you talked with Mr. Lysha during your study hall about college counseling? When is the PSAT?


We’re trying out some Databases in the Library!

The AISB library has several trial subscriptions to a number of databases until mid-October. We invite you to have a look at Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Britannica Image Quest (for picture resources), Grolier Encyclopedia Online and WebPath Express (a search engine for appropriate sites for K-12).

We will be working with students with an online citation and bibliography tool, NoodleTools here at school. Once students have an account, they can access it from home as well.

You can access the databases from the Home tab on the Library Home Page under Database Trials. We’d like to know what you think!



Usernames and Passwords:
Encyclopedia Britannica
Username: schoolaug Password: brazil508

Britannica Image Quest
Username: augquest Password: rome

Grolier Encyclopedia
User Name: lforgie Password: welcome1

WebPath Express
No log in required! It’s part of the Library Catalogue tools.

And, while it’s not perfect and is a “work in progress” the AISB Library Wiki has been launched and is full of great resources for students!


After School Activities

Please note that the first session of activities will end the week of October 3-7. The second round will start on November 7.
We encourage parents who have talents to also offer activities.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the After-school activities coordinator, Mr. Souleymane Kone (skone@aisbmali.org), if you have any questions.


English Classes for Adults at AISB

Our program for Adults helps develop your English by focusing on speaking and listening abilities.

Our classes are open to all levels of fluency, even complete beginners.

Join our group on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 6pm.

Please contact: englishclasses@aisbmali.org

Notre programme d’anglais pour adultes développera vos compétences linguistiques en mettant l’accent sur l’expression et la compréhension orales.

 Les cours sont ouverts à tous niveaux, même pour débutants!

Rejoignez-nous, les lundis et mercredis de 16h à 18h.

Informations: englishclasses@aisbmali.org


IT Department Update

As you are aware, we have a number of online services that we take advantage of to help with the organization and management of the school. Here’s an update on some of these:

Focus is an important part of our record keeping about students. Issues that prevented parents from logging in to check details about their children earlier this year have been resolved, and our logs suggest that this system is frequently accessed by both parents and students.
Previously, access has been almost exclusively by students and their parents of the Secondary Department; access to details for parents of Elementary students was limited to families who have students in both the Secondary and Elementary division. Over the coming weeks, we will be updating our system to ensure all AISB parents can login - check your email for details.

Last year, we introduced an online booking system for the organization of After School Activities. This has brought a new level of efficiency for our Activities Coordinator, Mr Koné, in organizing and monitoring these. Until now, we have used a blended system, providing the option of booking your children into their selected activities via either this system or the traditional paper-based form. Beginning with the next ASA session for Quarter 2, all bookings will be via the online system; assistance with bookings will be available for families as required. Details about the next ASA session will be emailed to families soon.

Parent-teacher interviews will be taking place on Friday, November 4. The organization of this will be through our online booking system. This was also introduced last year, and was very successful - our Administration workers commented on how much less stressful this system was compared to the previous paper-based one. Details about the system and how to make bookings will be emailed to parents in the coming weeks.



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