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, MAP testing results and about how to book your parent-teacher conferences. There are also updates about the school’s strategic planning process, pool and security construction, the Grade 11 Internship Program and the AISB Phone Directory roll-out.
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.
Happy Halloween! See you at school, Brad
Spirit Week… and the Halloween Carnival
Appropriately, our High School students have scheduled a school-wide Spirit Week for the week prior to the PTO Halloween Carnival - an evening filled with “spirits.”
Monday, Nov. 7: Pyjama Day Tuesday, Nov. 8: Superhero Day Wednesday, Nov. 9: Nerd Day Thursday, Nov. 10: Twin/Triplet Day Friday, Nov. 11: Formal Day Saturday, November 12: Halloween Carnival
Last year’s Spirit Week was enjoyed by all. Expect more information for each day from our grade 10s.
How to get tickets for the Halloween Carnival on November 12th
In order to keep this a secure event, you will need to purchase entrance tickets in advance. You can buy tickets from Ms Oumou, in the school office, or by sending an email to PTO@aisbmali.org and send the money with your child. A ticket costs 5000 CFA per person; this gives you your entrance ticket and 5 food/drinks tickets.
Please remember that you will need to provide the following information to register and receive tickets:
The name of each school associated family member who will attend. This includes parents and AISB students. Parents should bring their school ID badges on the day.
The full name of each guest you will bring. Remind your guest to bring their photo ID on the day.
You can order tickets, or get them directly from Ms Oumou, until Wednesday, November 9. Guests are welcome, but you must register all guests in advance, and they will need to bring their ID to the Halloween Carnival.
Please remember: No guests will be admitted without picture ID.
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
We are also looking for volunteers to help with the decorating, selling tickets, baking a cake for the Cake Walk and doing clean-up after the event. If you want to help out, you can volunteer by emailing email@example.com or by leaving your name and contact information with Ms Oumou.
It’s Report Card Time at AISB
First quarter is now completed, and report cards were sent home with students Wednesday, November 2nd. Secondary school parents may also access their grade 6-12 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.
College Counseling Corner
The Busiest Time of the Year Edition
We are entering the busiest months of the year when it comes to College Counseling. In addition to the demanding load of classes your 12th grade student is taking, he or she must add the following tasks to the list of tasks that must be done:
Draft, revise, revise, and revise his or her personal statement.
Solidify his or her college list with safety, range, reach schools.
Communicate with teachers that he or she will ask for a letter of recommendation.
It can all seem overwhelming, but with counsel and time management, it is totally doable. Please speak with your son or daughter about these tasks and encourage them to consider attending the College Counseling Workshop for 12th graders as an After School Activity on Mondays.
Fall MAP Testing Results
Students in grades 2-9 sat the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests early in the month of October. Students were tested in the areas of Reading, Language Usage and Math. A second round of MAP testing will take place in April 2017.
MAP results help us to determine each student’s instructional level, and to measure students’ academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year. Teachers use data from the MAP tests to inform their instructional planning, and MAP results also play a role in evaluating the effectiveness of the school’s curriculum.
If your child is in grades 2 - 9 his or her teacher will share your child’s full MAP reports with you at the Parent-Teacher Conferences on Friday, November 4th. For those unable to attend Friday’s conferences, results will be sent home with your child.
There is more information about parent resources and MAP testing at www.nwea.org.
Parent-Teacher Conferences Please Come
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held this Friday, November 4, 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 the school booking page. Enter the code 27c3k, 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 Wilma (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.
We look forward to seeing you there!
AISB Strategic Planning - Growing together as a school community
Last spring, the AISB Board of Trustees began an extensive strategic planning process that engaged all
AISB community stakeholders in shaping a vision for the future of the school for the next five years. In
March, volunteer students and parents, teachers and staff gathered to set the groundwork for the process at
an all day retreat. As a result of that retreat the school now has Vision, Mission, and Values and Beliefs
statements that reflect our community and its aspirations. Also discussed at the retreat were the strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats to success (SWOTs) currently faced by the school.
Over the next four months the AISB Board will host a series of sessions on the six strategic themes touched
on by stakeholders during the March SWOT discussion:
Facilities and Security
Community Involvement and External Relations
AISB Community, Student Services and Extra-Curricular Activities
Curriculum and Staff
Governance, Organization and Management
The sessions are designed to get stakeholder input and to draft objectives to move the school forward in a
particular theme area.
Interested in taking part?
We are looking for volunteers to join us for an evening (or in one case a full-day) session focusing on one
of the six strategic themes above. Expect discussion and philosophy, collegial debate and good company,
with food and drink provided by the school. The next sessions will run on the evenings of November 8th
and November 29th.
If you would like to participate in this important work, please send an email to the director
You will receive draft copies of this year’s Phone Directory by email later this week. We ask that you kindly confirm the accuracy of the contact information for your family and let Wilma Ensing ( email@example.com) know of any corrections required.
The SMS Blast system allows us an important avenue for rapid communication with parents, for example, in the case of an emergency closure of the school.
Soon after confirming your phone numbers, we will test our SMS Blast system. You will receive both the SMS and an email notification; the email will request you to notify the school if you did not receive the SMS. Please do so immediately so we can find and correct the problem.
Thanks very much!
AISB Campus Security Upgrades
We have recently begun a series of security upgrades made possible thanks to the support of our friends at the US Embassy. These include:
Hardening of lockdown rooms throughout the school to bring us to a total of nine (to be completed by mid-November).
An upgrade to the school’s alarm system (to be completed by the end of November).
Addition of an external security wall to the school’s parking lot (completion set for January 2017)
As always, we sincerely thank the Embassy for their support.
Update on the Pool!
Pool constructionis on track for completion by the end of this month, and we will spend a few weeks getting the chemistry right. Stay tuned for news about the grand opening!
AISB 11th Grade Internship Week: We Need You!
GRADE 11 STUDENTS ARE SEEKING INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Each year, as part of their regular program of studies, AISB students in the 11th grade undertake a community internship placement of their own choice. The internship program allows students to observe professionals in their working environment, to investigate their obligations and potential as workers, to learn about workplace safety, and to gain valuable practical training and experience.
At this time, students are exploring appropriate placement options. This year’s 11th grade class is especially energetic, creative-- and large! So we need your help. If your organization is able to sponsor a student for this internship program, please contact Abdel Hacko Yattara at firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you sincerely.
You can read a brief description of the program and some student responses from last year’s internships here.
AISB Girls’ Volleyball Team Represent AISB at WAISAL Tournament
While many of us were off enjoying the fall break, our girls’ volleyball team headed to Accra, Ghana for the WAISAL Girls’s Volleyball Tournament on October 28-29. A last minute cancellation of their original flight meant the team arrived a day later than expected, but fortunately, the organizers re-scheduled things so the girls were able to play all their games. Not so fortunately, that meant they had to play many games back-to-back. Exhausted, these tough girls stayed fierce and fought hard until the last point was played. We’re proud of them, and we congratulate them on their courage and toughness.
Left to Right: Kaydian Sterling, Melinda Loupeda, Efia Sawadogo, Diana Mbama, Mathilda Munstege, Eline Lovstakken, Arkiatou Keita, Leena Nankani. Chaperone/coaches: Attie van den Berg (center) and Amadou Ba (up).
Bring it on!
2017 AISB Yearbook Update
by Anthony Manzi
In Yearbook Class we are focusing on having a steady and strong foundation for us to advance and create our best Yearbook yet. We have been striving to further our leadership, communication, and graphic design skills in order to work more effectively as a group and as individuals. Our goal as the 2017 Yearbook Team is to achieve a Yearbook that surpasses any other AISB has previously produced. With the help of our excellent teacher, Mr. Lysha Wasser, the Yearbook is moving faster than ever.