March 1, 2017



AISB Newsletter

Vol. 12.6 | March 1, 2017

In this issue: 


From the Director

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff,

Please find in this newsletter important information about TOEFL and SAT tests coming soon, an update on food services at AISB, a terrific anthology of poetry from our Grade 4-5 class.

AISB’s beautiful swimming pools are up and running, and we are making careful but steady progress in expanding our pool usage. Students are already in the pool regularly during PE and other academic classes, and we have begun a number of pool-based after school activities.

We will be hosting a trial Family Swim for AISB students with their parents on Saturday March 11, from 11am until 3 o’clock.

Please find attached the family waiver agreement; a paper copy of this waiver has been sent home to families. Families wishing to use the pool during Family Swim must return the signed waiver to school no later than March 9.

Thank you very much! We're excited, and we look forward to seeing you there. 

See you at school,



College Counseling Corner: Important News for 11th Graders and their Families

Although the TOEFL is offered in two locations in Bamako, we recommend that students take the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) at the ACI 2000 location. Our former students have had computer issues at the Badalabougou location and therefore, we do not recommend that site.

If you have not signed up for the TOEFL yet, do so as quickly as possible. The TOEFL will take place the following dates this academic year in ACI 2000:

  •  March 4
  • April 29
  • May 30
  • June 3

There are limited amounts of seats, so do not delay! Although the test is offered in the summer and will be offered next year, it is better to take the TOEFL as a junior so there are less tasks to complete your senior year.

The SAT will be offered at AISB this May and next October and December. The College Board is currently conducting a major investigation of international cheating for infractions in Asia. We take security very seriously at AISB, and will continue to do so. It is important to remember to always bring your passport identification and your ticket to a standardized test. You will always want to make sure that the name that is on your ticket matches your identification perfectly. We have had no problems here at AISB, and we expect to have none.

Please do not hesitate to email Lysha Wasser at to make an appointment. Thank you in advance for your collaboration.



Food Services at AISB

We have been fortunate to have Wilma Ensing, our Registrar and Admin Assistant, join our staff this year. Wilma's formal training is in food and nutrition, and she has worked for many years as an advisor to the Dutch military on food and meal design. Wilma graciously signed on to assist Miss Fanta with the design and delivery of food services for AISB this year. Here is her report on what has she has been working on to date.

One of the goals for this year is to look into the meals and snacks to see how we do on nutritional values. We want to improve if possible and add new meals and snacks to the menu too. To reach our goal, I interviewed the Pre-K and elementary teachers. They see the meals and snacks every day. They see what the children eat and what they don’t eat. They talk to the children on a daily basis and they turned out to be a great source of information for me. I have a list of do’s and don’ts for both Pre-K and elementary that helps Fanta and me to improve the meals and stimulate children to eat well.

I also asked the teachers to come up with suggestions, both for the meals and the snacks. That turned out very well. We now have a list of suggestions for meals as well as snacks.

In the meantime, Fanta and I discussed what healthy food is and how we, as a school, can help the children to have a healthy diet. Serving children aged 2 until 18 is not making this easier. Different ages ask for different needs in nutrition. We talked about new meals on the menu. Fanta has started some experiments over the past weeks. She added African dishes to the menu and tried quiches. She also tried a different salad.

We intend to try something new every week. Fanta is improving some of the meals she already cooks, for example by adding more vegetables and bringing the amount of salt down. As far as the snacks are concerned, we added a few healthier options. Fanta found a nice recipe for homemade yoghurt. She serves this in little bowls. She also made humus with carrot and cucumber sticks. The smaller children like the yoghurt, and it looks like the MS/HS kids like the humus.

Experimenting can be fun, but is also a little bit scary. You don’t always know how children will like the meal and some meals and snacks need time to get used to. As a parent, I know that children do not always choose the healthier option. So making changes in the menu sometimes raises questions, like “why is this meal not on the menu this week”. We are keeping track of the sales to see what the preferences are, which changes work out well and which don’t.

We are open for suggestions. So if you have a suggestion, either for a meal or a snack, or you have a great recipe you want to share with Fanta and the school, please let us know. Email to That will help us to change something in the menu every week.



Welcome to Hafizah Kouyaté

We are delighted to welcome our new classroom volunteer, Hafizah Kouyaté. Hafiza is visiting Bamako with her family for a few months and will be joining us in the elementary classrooms as a volunteer during her time in Mali. A third-culture kid herself, Hafiza reports that she “grew up between SE Asia and Saudi Arabia.” Welcome, Hafizah!



Grade 11 Internship: a heartfelt thank you to our community sponsors

Internships vary considerably in their shape; but each one entails a considerable commitment of time, focus and energy on the part of our community partners. Our sponsors allow our students to engage meaningfully with the workplace and their fellow workers, offering sensitive, supportive mentorship and valuable opportunities for learning and reflection.

We would like to thank our community partners very sincerely for their generosity and support in taking on our student interns. We couldn’t do it without you.

This year’s community sponsors included:

M. Hadid Abdelaziz, Clinique PA & KA
Mme Sidibé Fatoumata Cissé, Komi Audit
Dr. Yacouba L. Diallo, Hôpital du Mali
Mr Birama and Mr Ibrahim Touré, Agence de communication:
Mme Paula Dobbelaar, Ministère de l'Eau et de l'Énergie
Mr Sidy Boubacar Koné, Transport UATT
Mr. Arboukana Maiga, Louboutech
Mrs. Aline Mukamabano, International Community of the Red Cross
Dr Boubacar Niaré, Cabinet LABELVET
L'Ambassadeur des Pays-Bas Mr. Jolke Oppewal, and Mr. Biby Traoré, Ambassade des Pays-Bas
Mr. Assen Ouastani and Mr Diallo Idrissa, BIM s.a.
Ms. Adizata Sangaré, Right to Play
Mr. Daniel Son, MINUSMA
Dr. Hamet Pierre Touré, Clinique Pasteur
Mr Mamadou Touré, SINJIYA-TON Mali


Interns undertake a process of self-reflection after their return to school, in which they consider all that they have learned about themselves and the world during the week -- and this year, our interns returned to school full of stories, and with a whole new appreciation for the working world. Some have written reflections for publishing in the newsletter; last month we shared Juliette Racicot’s, and in this edition you’ll find reflections by Kritika Sahoo and Nadine Iraguha, and by Alice Racicot.

We asked the whole class to summarize their internship experiences very briefly, to give the community a sense of the variety and value of the internship program. Below are the first of the responses; we’ll publish the rest in next month’s newsletter.

Read More



Celebrating Student Achievements in Semester One

This past month we took the time to celebrate the growth of our middle school students. We gathered in the library and recognized student growth in academics, social interactions, athletics, and a variety of other areas.  It was a nice time to reflect on all of the work that has been done so far and give us goals for the semester ahead.  

It was wonderful to see students recognizing each other and themselves for being good friends in hard times, for supporting each other, and for participating in a safe learning environment.  We look forward to celebrating more achievements throughout the year.

High school students also gathered to recognize one another's academic growth and achievement. The atmosphere was proud and happy, and we were delighted that a number of parents also attended the event.






Grades 4-5 Poetry Anthology

Grades 4-5 recently completed a lesson in free verse writing. 

Click on the image below to enjoy their original poetry!

Poems for assembly



MUN Trip to St. Petersburg

Ten AISB students will be attending the Nevesky Model United Nations Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ten delegates and their chaperones will leave Bamako on Friday, March 10th and will return Saturday the 18th.

The students have been preparing for several months for the conference, and will be representing the nations of Senegal and France. They will discuss topics ranging from drones, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the rights of workers in the animal slaughtering business.

In addition, the students will be afforded the opportunity to explore St. Petersburg and Novgorod (Russia’s oldest city).

We look forward to sharing more about the amazing experience in the next newsletter.


Mungo Park Field Trip

On Thursday, February 23rd, the 9th grade African History class pretended to be Mungo Park exploring the mighty Niger River. We took a pinasse ride while enjoying snacks and reading and discussing Park’s trip.

The day was great and we were easily able to visualize Park’s travels and some of the complexities of his encounters with cultures new to him, and understand the events leading up to Park’s death by stoning in Nigeria.

The most exciting part of the day was when the students realized that Park was the first European explorer to write that “whatever difference there is between the negro and European, in the conformation of the nose, and the colour of the skin, there is none in the genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common nature.”

Mungo Park trip 3


Mungo Park trip 2


WAISAL Basketball Tournament

Enjoy some more pictures!

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