This is the final newsletter the 2018-2019 school year. This was a year of deep introspection and planning for improvement as AISB undertook a year long self-study, in preparation for re-accreditation by the Middle States Association this coming fall.
We invite you to learn about the self-study process and other important ways that AISB grew this year, by taking a look through the annual End of Year Academic Report to the AISB School Community. The EoY Report provides an overview of the school’s various curricular and co-curricular initiatives and developments, and shares student achievement results for the year. This year AISB students achieved academically at levels above international and American national norms as measured by, for example, school-wide MAP scores; and they did it in a safe and happy learning environment. Our students also continued to engage meaningfully with the broader community through an increasing variety of service learning projects.
Farewells It is also that time of year at which we bid farewell to the members of our AISB community who will be moving on to new beginnings. Our graduates will be sent off triumphantly, diplomas in hand, to embark upon the next big steps in their academic and life paths. We celebrated their achievement first at the Senior Walk Through this past Friday and will do so more formally, at the graduation ceremony next Thursday, June 13th.
We also have a number of faculty members leaving us to move on to new endeavors. We bid a fond farewell to:
Moira Henderson (Grade 4-5 teacher)
Mike Knazek (HS Science teacher and college counselor)
Terae Soumah (Learning Support Coordinator and MS Art teacher)
Marcus Tanner (Technology Coordinator and IT teacher)
Whether in the classroom as educators, or by providing other essential elements needed to build a supportive and stimulating learning environment for the students of AISB, these folks have made our school a better and stronger place. We thank them sincerely for their service and wish them all the very best.
We also bid a very fond farewell to Irama Mitha, who some of you may know as SuperSoother. Irama has been a member of our crack squad of teaching assistants for the past three years, and we wish her well in her future endeavors in Sweden!
Important events over the next week Below is a brief outline of what to expect for the last few days of school.
June 7 – Senior Walk Through at 2:30pm.
June 10-12 – HS Exams (Exam Schedule). Regular school hours in MS and ES, with some special events you will have heard about from teachers.
Tuesday, June 11 – Staff Appreciation Day. The day will begin with a breakfast in the library for all staff, sponsored at hosted by the PTO. Parents and students are invited to express their appreciation to staff members in their own special way. Please refer to the email from the PTO for suggestions.
Thursday, June 13th – Regular school day for ES and MS, with some special events you will have heard about from teachers. Grade 9-11 students are not required to attend school, however all graduating students are expected to be at school by 8:00a.m. for a special graduation breakfast and a graduation practice. Graduates need to arrive for the ceremony by 5:30 p.m. on the evening of Thursday, June 13th.
Friday, June 14th – All students should come to school as usual on Friday. There will be final class and divisional activities, and report cards will be handed out. A short whole school assembly will begin at 11:20am for farewells and to close out the year; parents are very welcome to attend. Students will be dismissed from the assembly at 11:45.
I offer a special thank you to all our teachers, assistants, admin and support staff for the work they have done on behalf of our students this year.
The summer break and start of the next school year The school office will be open throughout the summer holiday from 9:00-3:00 each day, except for public holidays and on Fridays the office will close at noon. School is scheduled to recommence for the 2019-20 school year on August 20, 2019.
I wish you and your family a safe, happy and relaxing summer vacation. Best of luck to those of you moving on to new adventures and locales.
See you at school!
Staffing Plans for 2019-2020
We have been busy planning for the coming school year. We expect to start the year with close to 185 students; but as you know, this could easily change over the summer. Below is our staffing plan for the coming year, based on our current enrollment expectations.
Elementary Class Teachers:
PreK – Sira Diarra and Lamessi Winigah
Kg – Marylou Casillas
Gr. 1 – Julie Gibson
Gr. 2 – Janet Stewart
Gr. 3 – Don Johnson
Gr. 4 – Rodney Hill
Gr. 5 – TBA
Secondary School Advisors:
Gr. 6 Advisor– Aimée Zokpon
Gr. 7 Advisor– Bill Owens
Gr. 8 Advisor– Vivek Gupta
Gr. 9 Advisor– Aiza Mbaye
Gr. 10 Advisor– Justin Sinkpon
Gr. 11 Advisor– Kelly Owens
Gr. 12 Advisor, College Counselor– Thomas Darcy
Grade 6 & 7 English & Humanities; Grade 8 & 10 English – Bill Owens
MS Science & Math – Vivek Gupta
HS English & ToK – Renée Comesotti
HS Math & Computer Science – Aiza Mbaye
HS Science – Thomas Darcy
HS & Grade 8 Humanities – Kelly Owens
ESOL – Laliya Ba
French – Ousmane Barry, Aimée Zokpon & Justin Sinkpon
Art – Simone Kamminga
I.T. Director– Allwyn Bryner
P.E. and Athletics/Aquatics Coordinator– Amadou Ba
Music – Dámarys del Rey Mustelier
Learning Support – Elmeka Henderson
Library – Yaa Obeng
Thanks to AISB's 2018-19 School Board Trustees
AISB is fortunate to have such a supportive and involved parent community. I would like to take the opportunity to thank our 2018-19 elected board members for their hard work in the service of student learning:
Johan Andersson - Board Chair
Viet-Hong Pham Dinh - Vice-Chair
Boubacar Sidibe - Treasurer
Daniel Tiveau - Secretary
Sonia Guillotin-Keita - Member at Large
Iman Zbib - Member at Large
Join the PTO
Our Parent-Teacher Organization is propelled by a dedicated and hard-working group of parents. These are the folks who brought you the excellent Welcome Back BBQ, Hallowe'en Carnival, International Fair and Staff Appreciation Day. If you would like to make sure that the AISB community continues to have events that bring AISB families together please contact the PTO (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know you are keen on getting involved. In particular, they are looking for a team of pragmatic, fun-loving folks who will start planning for the Welcome Back BBQ, tentatively scheduled for September 14, 2019. Please drop them an email and volunteer for this so we can start next year off right.
Interested in Accreditation at AISB? Join the team!
AISB seeks parent volunteers for the Accreditation Planning Team for 2019-20. This multi-stakeholder team is broadly responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Action Plans for growth and improvement. The job description for the APT may be found here.
For those travelling abroad this summer, you may want to take advantage of the larger number of shopping options available to look for swimwear for your child.
Although there's plenty of fun involved, students are generally in the pool to learn. So your child needs an active-recreation or sport swimsuit, rather than fashion swimwear: something comfortable that's suitable for racing, diving, paddling, lifesaving, conducting experiments, playing strategy games, or otherwise engaging in vigorous exercise.
Above all, pool-wear should be sun-safe, wherever possible; consider adding a "rashie" or UV-resistant goggles to help protect your child’s skin and eyes from harmful UV exposure.
There's a wide range of swimwear available these days for girls and boys, including:
board shorts and tops
"Rashguard" or "rashie" tops for girls and boys, for better sun protection
water aerobics suits
regular one or two-piece suits (try to avoid very thin straps or around-the neck straps since these may be uncomfortable and/or impractical for exercising)
surfer-style "jammer" shorts and tops
swim unitards, long or short
water polo suits
Added sun protection -- rashies or t-shirts over suits -- is encouraged wherever practical. Students may also want goggles and swim caps.
We're looking forward to an exciting year of learning in the water. If you have questions about the pool or swim gear, please don't hesitate to be in touch.
BYOD- Which type of laptop should I get?
In 2019-20, the secondary school will continue the Bring Your Own Device program (BYOD). With a device that they are completely familiar with and control, student learning can happen anytime and anywhere; there are more opportunities for choice in the timing, mode (offline and online, applications used), location and pathways for learning. Please follow these broad guidelines:
Each student in Grades 6 - 12 should be provided with a personal laptop
The laptop should be no more than three years old
Chromebooks, netbooks and tablets and smartphones are not suitable alternatives
Either Apple or Microsoft Windows as your operating system; this could depend on what other devices in your household use. Having the English version is easier for us to support.
The minimum technical specifications for new devices are:
Intel i5 / 1.6GHz processor (or AMD equivalent)
4Gb of RAM (8GB is better)
50Gb of available storage
Camera and microphone
Battery with 5 - 6 hours life
Windows (8.1 or 10) / Mac OSX (El Capitan or Sierra); English version is preferred
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint minimum)
Internet security software (eg Kaspersky, Bit Defender, F-Secure)
Other accessories to consider:
Portable hard disk drive, for backing up and archiving files
Sturdy case for transporting the laptop to school, and between classes
Extra power adapter
A way to personalise the laptop and make it easier to identify eg protective skins, keyboard covers
Some examples of laptops that meet our minimum requirements are shown below; this is not an endorsement for any particular model. The prices listed are from 2018. It is worth considering devices that exceed our minimum requirements, as they are more likely to be able to keep up with changing demands of operating systems and software for a longer period of time.
If you would like advice about a specific model of laptop, please feel free to contact the Technology Department.
Other summer school supplies
Again, if you will be travelling abroad you may want to pick up some school supplies. The supplies expected for students to bring to school can be found here on the AISB web site. Parents can buy directly from the school store at the start of the school year and we will send more information out about this in early August.