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American International School of Johannesburg

Vol. 4 No. 7

November 21, 2013

Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed, and courageously make a dif ference

School Director’s Message

What’s Inside...

To the AISJ Community, It is easy to view successful technology in a school as the sum of hardware and software that they possess. Another often used measure is how much the productivity of students and teachers is increased. While these are no doubt factors that contribute to how a program should be measured, at AISJ we work hard to ensure that the technology that is in use at our school directly supports student learning and the objective that at AISJ students will be conceptual, independent, and connected learners is met. More details of Goal number two, and the plans we are implementing to meet the objectives, can be found in the school’s Annual Report which is online at Issuu (http://issuu.com/aisjcommunications/docs/ar5?e=4858573/50588710) and available for download from the school website. In the current round of Professional Grow th and Collaboration Time Learning Institutes, Dennis Ross, the High School Technology Integration Coach and Fred Biggar, Director of Technology are leading a ‘think tank’ designed to start us on our way towards developing connected, independent and conceptual learners. The group is composed of teachers from across the whole school who are passionate about the role of technology in student learning. We are exploring three big questions: What is connected learning? How is technology best integrated into the curriculum? And how will technology be integrated into the curriculum in Elementary School at AISJ?

School Director’s Message 1 Message from the Board of Directors 2 Measures of Academic Progress - MAP 2 Technology News 2 Construction @ AISJ 3 Communications @ AISJ 2 AISJ is now on Facebook 3 Service Learning @ AISJ 3 AISJ’s 1st Carols by Candlelight 6 AISJ High School Theater presents RENT 6 Johannesburg Campus Eagle Shop 6 Mistletoe Marketplace 7 AISJ Counselors’ Corner 7 School Lunch Menu 8 Chris Hani Baragwanath Toy Drive 9 Elementary School News - Johannesburg Campus 9 Scouting at AISJ 11 Pretoria Elementary and Middle School News 11 Wake up & Learn! Coffee Morning 15 Middle School News - Johannesburg Campus 15 High School University & Career Communicator 16 High School News 17 Johannesburg Parents Association News 18 Pretoria Parents Association News 19

The final question is of vital importance. It has been clear for some time that AISJ needs to have a solid, well thought out direction for the use of technology in our Elementary School. It is also important that we do not just rush out and buy devices so we can say we have extensive technology in the Elementary School. We must have clear parameters for evaluating success and know what it is we are trying to achieve by increasing the use of technology. The approach we take must be developmentally appropriate for students and be the best way to support their learning. To this end a number of activities are being planned to help us develop a better understanding of what we need. A number of study groups will be formed in the new calendar year to continue the work begun in the think tank. This month, Fred will be visiting a number of schools to research current best practises and to see technology in action in the hands of students. Additionally, we will be trialling a set of Samsung Gala xy Tab devices with a small group of Elementary School students over the next couple of months. Thanking you for your continued support. Andy

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American International School of Johannesburg

Vol. 4 No. 7

November 21, 2013

Message from the Board of Directors News from your School Board During the November 18th meeting, the School Board welcomed suggestions from the Governance Committee to form two sub committees - one to support Teaching and Learning staff working on learning support policies, particularly as they relate to admissions policies; and a second to provide guidance to the School Director on compensation for school faculty and staff. The Director briefed the Board on the continuing work of the Strategic Goals Oversight Committee, which is composed of two board members, teachers from both campuses and administrative staff. The Board discussed the agenda for its upcoming day-long retreat, scheduled for December 8th. We welcomed the nomination and approval of new committee members Cherice Seibert for the Governance Committee and Barry Gill and Karl Williams for the Finance Committee. Community members interested in volunteering to serve on one of the School Board’s three committees, Governance, Finance, or Facilities, may visit the board page on the AISJ website for further information about what the board and committees do. Kate Pongonis Executive Board Secretary

Measures of Academic Progress - MAP We are holding informational sessions for parents on both campuses on Monday 25th November – from 2:00 pm. The sessions at the Johannesburg campus will be held in the Teaching and Learning Center and the sessions at the Pretoria Campus will be held in the Lapa. Parents will be presented with an overview of MAP and individual student reports will be handed out to the respective parents who attend these sessions. Parents who are unable to attend the meetings will receive their child(rens’) report(s) with an accompanying explanation sheet from the divisional offices. Please contact your child’s Principal or Liz Hargreaves, Director of Teaching and Learning lhargreaves@aisj-jhb.com or Fred Biggar, Director of Technology fbiggar@aisj-jhb.com for further information.

Technology News Technology oriented professional development for teachers is continuing with scheduled PGCT sessions, conferences and increased one-on-one coaching opportunities in each of the divisions. On the weekend of the 9th and 10th of November, successful workshops were run for teachers on the use of Microsoft OneNote in their class rooms. As part of that process we explored how this technology would enable us to create more collaborative learning environments and increase productivity. The workshop was well attended by faculty from both campuses.

Communications @ AISJ AISJ’s Website is getting a new “look” Another major technology related initiative being undertaken is the AISJ website. While we often receive praise from teacher candidates at recruitment fairs for the detailed information available on our site, it has been our feeling for some time that the site itself does not necessarily meet the needs of our community. Overhauling a website, as many of you will know, is no small task; it takes considerable deliberation and consultation with stakeholders. To this end, we are currently setting up focus groups to determine exactly what functionality the site requires. In the meantime, we have started to ‘freshen-up’ the AISJ website, developing a new look and tweaking the navigation. A key focus point in this redevelopment is how the site supports AISJ’s vision and mission. So keep an eye out for the new site in the future.

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American International School of Johannesburg

Vol. 4 No. 7

November 21, 2013

AISJ is now on Facebook

Construction @ AISJ It is exciting and a little crazy at the same time this November as some of our building projects come to completion this week. Pretoria Campus now have two new science labs and three additional classrooms. The classrooms are looking fantastic with the new stone cladding on some of the fascias as well as the expansive aluminium and glass window treatments. Although the buildings are situated close together there is still a sense of space in the area. All these classrooms and labs feature the new roof design which makes use of the inverted trusses to create our shaped high ceilings. This just assists in creating so much more volume in the classroom, while helping with acoustics as well as natural air ventilation. All classrooms are being built to green industry standards and feature automatic light sensors, LED lighting, energy efficient air conditioners and hot water generation systems. This week the language teachers move into their new classrooms and we will soon be moving the science classes into their new labs. While the art classes will move into the existing science lab until the Weinberg Center is renovated. Shane McLaren Assistant Operations Director

Service Learning @ AISJ Grade 10 CWW - Ukuenza Challenge Last week our Grade 10 students completed their first Ukuenza Challenge CW W - Classroom Without Walls in the Drakensberg ranges at Mnweni Cultural Centre. Eight groups (80 students, 7 teachers, 2 volunteers and 4 security guards) set out on an adventure of a lifetime hiking, pitching tents, cooking using a storm cooker, carrying food, water, clothing, tents, and mats to survive in the wilderness. Students took classroom within wall learning to the outdoors. Students became experts at water testing and weather reporting in science, they learned the history of the Drakensberg, learned compass and map reading in geography, and debated over the impacts of cable car installation on the environment. For English Language Arts, students wrote journal entries in the voice of Holden Caulfield from the book, Catcher in the Rye. Many students developed their leadership skills by leading their teams in one of the hardest personal challenges they have ever done. On Tuesday groups 1 - 6 set out We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 3


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American International School of Johannesburg

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on the adventure while groups 7 and 8 worked with the local primary school in both action and creativity. Students participated in service learning at the Mnweni Cultural Centre where our AISJ donations of videos, TV, books, VCR player were set up in a library for a local student afterschool learning program. A big thank you to our CW W teachers and security team who worked with our students to reach their goals.

Camp set up at the Cultural Centre

Group 1

Group 3

Group 2

Insect identification

Group 6

Group 8

Group 4

On the summit checking out the view below

Group 6

CWW Service Assembly Next week on Wednesday 27th at 7:40 am we have a Service Assembly on at HS Gym where we invite parents to attend and see presentations from all the teams.

Gardening Action Day JHB This weekend we have our Pre-K and Kindergarten “Gardening Action Day” in Johannesburg on Saturday, November 23rd from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Students and families should meet at the Kindergarten tables for a prompt start.

Limpopo Born-Free Project During the weekend of November 15th - 17th the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ) Limpopo Service team headed to Indermark, in the Limpopo Province, to work with the students of Marumofase High School. The team consisted of 13 students, 3 teachers, 2 guards, and a bus driver. The purpose of this mission was to assist the Marumofase High School students in writing, editing, and typing their personal short stories. This project is aimed to encourage the students to be creative and expressive, and to tell their own personal story of being part of the born-free generation, those people born after the advent of democracy in SA. The Limpopo team would like to thank STUCO (AISJ student council) who implemented the stationary drive, collecting materials for two weeks leading up to our departure. We were able to take a large number of paper, pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, binders, and other items to the school to use for the writing workshop and to donate to the school afterward. We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 4


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A lot was accomplished during the weekend with the students of Marumofase High School. We know they all had to dig deep and become honest with themselves in order to share the types of stories they shared with us. The intention of the project is to publish the stories so that their experiences will live on and teach others the value of freedom and perseverance. The AISJ Limpopo team took steps leading up to the visit to prepare themselves for the types of stories they would be working with and to be sensitive and caring while working with the story tellers. They organized activities to create trust among the Limpopo students so that they would feel comfortable sharing their experiences. With the support of Mr. Funky Ralethe, a former student of this very same high school, and his inspirational speech to the Marumofase High School students, the AISJ Limpopo team was able to slowly immerse themselves on a personal level and encourage the students to begin their journey and allow us into their worlds. Students arrived Saturday morning with a written story of their journey as a born-free. The AISJ Limpopo team carefully listened to the spoken words that were written on what were once ordinary blank pages. These blank pages were transformed into incredible stories of courage, loss, and strength. Many of the young girls mourned over fathers that never raised them while boys expressed fears of self-protection. The stories that were read were raw; the students were driven and motivated to achieve something higher than what they have, and their dreams are big. However, they are still affected by poverty and other challenges. Their sorrow and desperation were brought to life as they read their stories out loud. Their stories reflected struggle but desire to achieve greatness. The AISJ Limpopo team along with the students of Marumofase High School will meet again at the end of January in 2014 here at AISJ to complete the typing and editing of student stories. A rough draft of what will eventually be a book to be published will be completed during this time. At the end of the project, we hope to create awareness and opportunity for the students from the village of Indermark, Limpopo. - by Enya Calibuso, Limpopo Ser vice Project Communications Of ficer

First Service Learning ‘Action Day’ in Pretoria a Big Success!! On Saturday the 9th of November we celebrated our first Service Learning “Action Day” in Pretoria. We opened our Grade 2 Community garden and had a Soccer tournament with our partner school Meetse A Bophelo from Mamelodi. The morning soccer started with a coaching clinic geared towards the u/10s run by Coach Surat and the u/12’s run by Coach Gerrit. During the coaching clinics the players got to interact, share skills and drills and enjoy their love of soccer. The tournament consisted of 25 minute matches. We saw amazing attacking moves and defensive tactics from both schools. Congratulations to Meetse A. Bophelo who won both matches. Our players definitely learnt a lot from you!

Coaching Clinic

Action Shot

Team Photo

Team Photo

All working in our new botanical garden

Clever recycling solutions for growing seedlings!

Helping the seedlings to grow: what a joy!

Receiving Certificate of Participation

The gardening activities included fruit and vegetable tasting, drawing different fruits and vegetables, reading about gardens, planting seedlings in our new garden and teaching each other how to plant seeds in special recyclable and biodegradable ways. A large part of the community came and helped to get our garden planted. We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 5


Vol. 4 No. 7

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American International School of Johannesburg

It was an exciting fun filled morning ending with a braai where we had ‘boerewors’ rolls for lunch. Participating students received a certificate of participation. Grade 3 had reporters join us for the day and they are writing articles for their Baobab Bulletin which is their Service Learning project. There are lots of people we need to thank for their efforts to make this event such a success. A big thank you to the High School students who came over and worked with our second graders, to our parents who made the food and helped with the soccer, to our parents who got involved with the planting and came along to support their children and to our maintenance staff in particular Mr Oswald and Mr Joseph Our guests from Primary school Meetse A. Bophilo showed to be true gardeners! who are an integral part of this project, arranging field trips, building green houses and hydroponics tables and much more, we could not have the success we are having without these two remarkable gentlemen. Their dedication is making this a true Service Learning experience for our entire school community. We look forward to our Action Day in Johannesburg on the 23rd of November. - Pretoria Ser vice Learning team

AISJ High School Theater presents RENT AISJ’s 1st Carols by Candlelight

Tickets R 50.00

Venue Fine Arts Center, Johannesburg Campus

Showtimes Thursday, 21th November 2013 @ 7:00 pm Friday, 22nd November 2013 @ 7:00 pm Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathon Larson Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner Music Super vision and additional Arrangements by Tim Weil Original Concept and Additional Lyrics by Billy Aronson Dramaturgy by Lynn Thomson RENT was originally produced in New York City

Johannesburg Campus Eagle Shop Eagle Shop is open everyday from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm AISJ spirit wear available, t-shirts, golf shirts, hoodies, base ball caps and more. A variety of colors, styles and sizes to choose from. We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 6


American International School of Johannesburg

Vol. 4 No. 7

November 21, 2013

Mistletoe Marketplace

Mistletoe Marketplace

AISJ Counselors’ Corner Bullying, Social Cruelty, and the Potentially Subtle Blend in Teenage Behaviors Justin M. Walker, PhD MS Counselor AISJ is a place of great diversity and warmth. Students are quickly accepted as they transition into school. However, at this age, it is a universal certainty that somehow, someway, people will experience negative interactions with their peers during middle school. Social cruelty, says Judith Baenen, author of H.E.L.P (How to Enjoy Living with a Preadolescent), is a part of this age and that it isn’t a reflection on the integrity of caring nature of the people around your child. In fact, in many cases, children may not yet understand the emotional implications of jokes, teasing, copying, or ignoring behaviors. Frequently in my role as counselor I am told by a student or parent about a child being “bullied.” Bullying is a significant issue that effects 10-20% of the population; however, many reports do not meet the definition. This isn’t to condone bullying; rather it is a call to recognize what bullying is so that it can be dealt with, both from the perspective of the victim and through the education of the offender, and what bullying is not, so that we work on positive interactions. Dr. Robyn Silverman, a child development specialist and guest on Good Morning, America, calls for education about bullying We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 7


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through the A, B, C, D method. She says that in order to determine if an act is bullying, look for the following: • A - Aggressive: Physical, social, or emotional aggressiveness is evident. • B - Balance of Power is Unequal: The imbalance of power is a benefit to the offender and a detriment to the victim – big vs. little, older vs. younger, popular vs. “uncool”, etc. • C - Consistent: This is not a once-off event. Bullying happens more than once over a period of time. • D - Deliberate: There must be intent to do harm. Tips that can help parents and teacher deal with social issues are plentiful in the literature. One of the most powerful is to console the child without promising retribution. Feeling heard is key, but reinforcing a sense of vigilante justice or “tattle tales” doesn’t help the child work through the issue. Supporting positive friendships and helping build resilience to teasing or negative comments helps children understand themselves and others better and improves the chances for positive relationships in the future. Television, music, and media in general thrives on using put-downs, name-calling, and demeaning others as a way to entice humorous response. Children are seeing frequent modeling of negative behavior with positive response. Understand what your children see and how they perceive it, and have conversation about implications and personal experiences along the way. If you ever hear of a serious harming incident – including bullying - please contact the counselor or principal of your division immediately. AISJ is destined to be a safe place for all learners but for it to stay that way, students must be given support when wronged while others need the learning and structure to change potentially negative behaviors. Parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and students all play a role in preventing bullying, monitoring interactions, and reinforcing positive action.

Contact the Counselors’ Please contact the counselors’ if we can help in any way: Johannesburg Elementary School Counselor Dr. Carol Wootton cwootton@aisj-jhb.com 087 809 1842

Johannesburg Middle School Counselor Dr. Justin Walker mscounselor@aisj-jhb.com 087 809 1819

High School Counselor High School Counselor Ms. Ann Ireland Mrs. Melissa Johnson-Schnyder High School Counselor High School Counselor All Grade 9 - Grade 11 Students with the last All Grade 10 and 11 Students with last name J - Z and the Class of 2013 name A – I (Grade 12 Students) aireland@aisj-jhb.com mjohnson-schnyder@aisj-jhb.com 087 809 1833 087 809 1841 Pretoria Campus Counselor Joe Rauschenbach jrauschenbach@aisj-jhb.com 087 803 0455

School Lunch Menu Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

25 November

26 November

27 November

28 November

29 November

Chicken and Pasta Bake

Grilled Lemon and Herb Hake Fillet

Chicken Strips

School Holiday

School Holiday

Beef Short rib and Veg Casserole Herbed White Rice Broccoli au Gratin (V) Bean and Vegetable Casserole

Beef Chili (Mild) with Yellow Rice

French Fries (V) Butternut and Sweet Potato Bake

Creamy Mashed Potato Steamed Green Beans (V) Vegetable Stir Fry

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American International School of Johannesburg

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November 21, 2013

Chris Hani Baragwanath Toy Drive Johannesburg ES StuCo is collecting wrapped Toys for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Christmas Party. Please help us put a smile on child’s face. We need YOUR help to make a difference. We would like the gift to be wrapped and labelled • Boy/Girl • Age Please drop these gifts off at the Johannesburg ES Media Center, before November 27th. We are going to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on November 30th Any donations of old clothing, shoes or towelling is most welcome!

Elementary School News - Johannesburg Campus Upcoming Events

Dear Parents, We are full steam ahead as we roll towards Thanksgiving next week. Thanks to all of you for helping to make our parent conferences such a success. I hope you were able to gain some valuable insight into your child’s learning at school and feel well informed about their progress. Our next round of conferences are Student Led Conferences in March.

November 23 JHB ES Pre-K and Kindergarten Service Learning ‘Gardening Action Day’ @ JHB Campus, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Kind regards, Ben Hart, bhart@aisj-jhb.com

November 25 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Info Session @ T&L Center, 2:00 pm

Assistant Principal Announcement I have some exciting news to share with you. Lisa Thom has accepted the role of Assistant Principal in the Elementary School. Lisa has spent the past four years at Surabaya International School, Indonesia, where she has been a strong, active member of their administrative team as their PYP Coordinator. Lisa has been responsible for the implementation of curriculum through Pre-K to Grade 5. She comes to our school with an extensive background in early childhood and elementary pedagogy. She gained a Master’s of Educational Leadership from the College of New Jersey and has a B.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. With over 20 years’ experience, Lisa has developed a passion for inquiry and a strong understanding of best instructional practices appropriate for an elementary setting. She will be arriving in time to begin the next school year in August 2014 and I know she is extremely excited to meet you all and to learn more about our school.

November 27 JHB ES Red Day JHB ES Assembly @ Gazebo, 8:00 am Early Release @ 1:30 pm November 28 - 29 School Holiday December 2 JHB and Pretoria Service Learning: World Aids Day December 3 JHB Parents Association Mistletoe Marketplace @ Gould’s Gym, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm December 4 JHB ES Blue Day

Assistant Principal Introduction Letter Hi everyone! My name is Lisa Thom, and I will be joining the elementary team, as Assistant Principal, in August. AISJ is such an extraordinary school, and I feel so proud to be part of your community. I am very excited to move to South Africa. I am originally from Canada, but have lived in the UAE, Azerbaijan and I am now in Indonesia. Africa is a new continent for me to explore, and I can’t wait to see my first African elephant! As Ben mentioned, I have been teaching for many years. I have taught students between the ages of 3 years through 16 years, but my true

JHB ES Parent Coffee Morning @ Parent Room, 8:00 am Topic: Building Conceptual Understanding in Math JHB Cub Scouts American Embassy Visit December 7 JHB Cub Scouts Pack Hike @ Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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love really is elementary aged children. I believe that all children can learn, and that it is our job as educators to find the best way to help all children succeed. I am excited to work with you to achieve that goal.

December 9 JHB Parents Association Meeting @ Parent Room, 1:00 pm

Personally, I enjoy low carb baking, and am currently in the process of writing three low-carb cookbooks. I also like to go on an adventure every year. Last summer I went whale watching with some friends, and saw humpback whales doing cartwheels in the sea. The photo on the left is of me with my friends (I’m the short one in the middle wearing a winter hat – called a tuque in Canadian.)

Board Meeting

At school, I look more like the photo on the right.

December 13 Early Release @ 1:30 pm

I can’t wait to meet you, and wish you and your students a brilliant year.

December 10 JHB and Pretoria Carols by Candlelight @ JHB Kgoro, 6:30 pm December 11 JHB ES Red Day JHB ES Assembly @ Gazebo, 8:00 am

December 16 - January 3 School holiday

Kindest regards, Lisa

January 6 School Resumes

Heather Kissack

nd I have some sad but exciting news to share with you all. Recently, 2 Session ASA Resumes Heather Kissack accepted the position of ‘Head of Foundations Phase’ at St Peters School for Girls, in Lone Hill starting January, 2014. The school is a Kindergarten - Grade 12 private school, where Heather will head the K - 2 division.

Although I’m absolutely delighted for Heather, I am also sad to think that she will be leaving our school so soon. I can’t thank her enough for her support and leadership during my short time here. Heather has contributed much to our school, to our students and to our community. Her dedication, positivity, and her leadership within the elementary have had a significant influence on the culture of our school. I wish Heather well in her new role and know that she will remain connected with us as she enters into a new phase of her career. Please read this note from Heather. Farewell and Thank you Letter To the AISJ Community, This letter serves as a farewell and huge THANK YOU! AISJ has been my home away from home since 1999. I started teaching as a Second Grade teacher with great excitement and enthusiasm. Michael, Michaella, Luke and I had just returned from Indonesia where we had taught in Jakarta, and this was the most fantastic opportunity. Michaella entered 4th Grade and Luke joined Pre-Kindergarten (its first year at AISJ). Since then, both our children have graduated, and my husband, Michael, joined the faculty in 2008. This year, I will have worked for five principals and four directors. To have witnessed the grow th and change at AISJ over this time has been both exponential and wonderful. In my 14 years with AISJ, I have explored and enjoyed numerous opportunities - I have taught 2nd Grade, Visual Arts (k-7) and Kindergarten, always embracing the strides that the school has made. I have loved it and am so grateful for the amazing opportunities it has afforded me professionally. My most valuable memories will of course be the unique children I’ve worked with, who have offered me the chance to explore creative and innovative ideas with endless passion and eagerness. I have been able to work with extraordinary teachers and staff, who have entertained my ideas and helped model and support me in all areas - intellectual, professional, emotional and, of course, social. As of January, I have accepted a position as Head of the Junior Preparatory School at St Peter’s Girls School in Paulshof. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore another dimension in my professional career, and participate in a leadership position. As I take this opportunity, I wish to say thank you to AISJ and all who have been here through my time; for the chance for our We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 10


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children to receive an education that supported excellence and their individual needs, to the children and families I have had the privilege to teach and know; the teachers who have taught Michaella, Luke and me, and finally, the community that I have come to love! I will not be far off and no doubt visiting often, but I find myself reflecting on this time and wanting to say how much you all mean to me and that although I go forward into a new era, I am ever grateful for the one I leave behind that will undoubtedly shape my next ! With warmest wishes and thanks, Heather Kissack

Math 3 Year Plan A lot of work has begun on developing and implementing a three year plan for math within the elementary school. Teachers have been actively engaged in analyzing formal assessment data to determine students understanding of numeracy. We are working on using a workshop approach to teach math, based on international standards and benchmarks. Our goal is to help students develop conceptual understanding in math, and think critically about the concepts being taught in order to problem solve and reason mathematically. We look forward to sharing some of this work with you at our upcoming coffee morning on December 4th.

MAP Reports MAP reports will come home in your child’s backpacks on Tuesday, November 26th. MAP is an academic progress report that students in Grades 3 - 5 take in the fall and spring of each year. It is just one piece of assessment data that teachers use to help determine next steps in instruction. A parent workshop designed to help you understand your child’s MAP report is being held in the Teaching and Learning Center, Monday, 25th November at 2:00 pm. MAP reports will be available to be collected in person for those parents who attend the meeting.

Thanksgiving Assembly We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving assembly next Wednesday, November 27th at 8:00 am. Lost property will be out on display during this time, and for all items uncollected we will be donating to charity. We have a lot of lost property, so if your child has lost anything lately, please come and look.

Parent Coffee Building Conceptual Understanding in Math. Suppor ting your child in math at home – December 4th, 8:00 am. Parent Room Led by Teaching and Learning Coach Jill Bellamy.

Scouting at AISJ JHB Cub Scout Pack 2010 December 4th - Cub Scouts will travel to the American Embassy in Pretoria. Make sure all permission slips have been returned. No Scouts will be allowed to go without it. December 7th - Den hike to Sisulu Botanical Gardens. Boy Scout troop 8 will join us for the hike. Look for an email with details. Our toy drive for Teboho Trust is underway. Donations can be dropped off in the Quinlan Library and the High School mission room. The toy drive will end on December 6th.

Pretoria Elementary and Middle School News News from Pretoria Elementary and Middle School

Rachel Caldwell, Pretoria Campus Principal: rcaldwell@aisj-jhb.com Parent Teacher Conferences Parent–Teacher conferences are an important component of ongoing home–school communication and family involvement in children’s education. The first session of these at the Pretoria Campus went extremely well. The turn-out rate was very high and We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 11


many parents commented on the invaluable opportunity to discuss their child’s progress and goals face-to-face. Presentations for Parents Pretoria parents are invited to complete a survey all about the ever fascinating topic of homework. The responses will be used to inform the Wake Up and Learn presentation, hosted by the PA on Wednesday December 4th at 8:00 am. Rachel Caldwell, Pretoria Campus Principal and Clare Michelsen Learning Support Campus Coordinator, will be co-presenting. We look forward to seeing you there. The link has been sent to Pretoria families by email. We would also appreciate a RSVP to our Office Manager, Ms Petro (pproudfoot@aisj-jhb.com) so that an appropriate venue can be selected based on the number of participants. On January 8th at 8:00 am, Mr Joe will present on the role of counselling. On February 5th at 8:00 am Jill Bellamy, one of our Teaching and Learning coaches, will present on Building Conceptual Understanding in Math. The focus will be supporting your child in math at home. International Star Show With a focus on what it means to be internationally-minded, our December 13th Star Show promises to be a very special occasion. We would like to thank Ms Rita and Ms Alex for taking the lead in terms of the staff organization and Hendrikje, our middle school parent coordinator, for rallying support from parents for the vital international food component of the event. Please note that we would like to start the day a little earlier than advertised in our calendar. Mark your calendars: December 13th, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. See you there! The Ever After – A Musical Join us also for Pretoria Campus’ annual play. With two performance dates there’s no excuse to miss it! The ‘curtain will rise’ at 6:30 pm on Friday 6th December and at the same time on Saturday 7th. Enjoy our article about the Drama Camp which played an important part in the development of this musical. Important Dates for After School Activities Please make a note of the following ASA dates in your diaries and remember to get in touch, through your child’s planner or by email, if you need to inform us of any attendance or transportation changes. 27 and 28 of November NO ASA due to Thanksgiving weekend. th

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Upcoming Events November 18 - December 6 Pretoria Parents Association Coin Competition November 22 Pretoria Spring Concert @ Lapa, 3:30 pm November 25 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Info Session @ Lapa, 2:00 pm November 27 Early Release @ 1:30 pm November 28 - 29 School Holiday December 2 JHB and Pretoria Service Learning: World Aids Day December 3 JHB Parents Association Mistletoe Marketplace @ Gould’s Gym (JHB Campus), 9:00 am - 4:00 pm December 4 Wake Up and Learn Parent Coffee @ Library, 8:00 am December 6 Pretoria Play: The Ever After - A Musical @ Lapa, 6:30 pm December 7 Pretoria Play: The Ever After - A Musical @ Lapa, 6:30 pm December 9 Board Meeting December 10 JHB and Pretoria Carols by Candlelight @ Kgoro (JHB Campus), 6:30 pm December 11 Pretoria Parents Association Meeting @ Band Room, 12:30 pm December 13 Pretoria International 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

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Show

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Early Release, 1:30 pm

6 January ASA re-commences immediately following the December break. th

3rd – 6th of February Last week of school sponsored ASA activities with the exception of Swim Team which continues

December 16 - January 3 School Holiday January 6 School Resumes

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Lapa,


American International School of Johannesburg

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November 21, 2013

10th – 27th February Swim Team and parent funded activities continue, i.e. Hip Hop, Drama, Ballet, Tennis, Golf, Martial Arts and Little Lab Coats 17th February NO ASA due to no school for students (see Community Events Calendar) Spring Concert On Friday, 22nd November 2013, at 3:30 pm, the Chorus and Band students will delight us with a special Spring Concert. You are warmly invited to join us in the Lapa for a very special end to the school week.

Drama Camp 2013 Drama Camp is a yearly highlight for the students who participate in the annual ES Pretoria play. Here is what some of them had to say. Loudmouth claimed that it was a lot of fun, especially watching the movie with her friends. She said she really enjoyed it and that there was lots of laughing. Cinderella and the Evil Queen said that this year’s play is better than last year and that they enjoyed hanging out with friends, polishing their acting skills and singing their solos. The Fairy Godmother said she enjoyed practising the songs over and over again. Enough said – let the photos do the talking. - Ms Marchelle and Ms Lara, Drama ASA leaders

Tech Club, Grades 3 - 5

Students practiced using the digital cameras to take video and still shots. They learned how to use the cameras as well as how to take a good photo by thinking about your lighting and composition.

Picture 2: Students are busy researching their selected topic and experimenting with the programs such as PowerPoint and Comic Life.

In Tech Club, students in Grades 3-5 used tablets, digital cameras, the Internet, and various computer and online programs to expand their tech-sav viness. From the creation of PowerPoint presentations to digital photography projects, everyone benefited from and loved the hands-on and engaging learning experiences! Here’s what some of our club members had to say about their ASA experience…. Steven said, “I learned how to use

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the Samsung camera. I enjoyed it and learned how to use perspectives when taking pictures.” Lanner said, “I like Tech Club because of all of the fun stuff we got to do like learning to use Power Point and learning to use the camera to take fun pictures of our friends.” Liam, James, and Sebastian exclaim, “Its information in formation. Tech Club Rocks!” - Meghan McBride and Nancy Magnus

Tech students learned about the history of photography and how we got to the digital age. They took a series of photos using digital cameras. After saving, selecting and organizing their photos, students used the on-line program, Pixlr to manipulate their photos. Here, students are viewing the final results and asking their classmates how they got their result.

Kindergarten field trip to the Pioneers’ Museum We had a wonderful field trip to the Pioneers’ Museum. We explored the life of the early pioneers that settled in Pretoria. The students made butter, bread and fed the farm animals. The students saw the vehicles the pioneers travelled in and the type of houses they lived in. They also learned that cow dung was used to make the floors and which we sat. - The Pre-K and Kindergar ten Teaching Team

AISJ Pretoria Triathletes Summer is here and so is triathlon season. Congratulations to our triathletes from Pretoria namely Lucy, Cara, Nathan and Pascale who took part in the Sun City Triathlon. The students swam 50m, cycled 1.5km and ran 1.5km. It was a great experience for our students as it was an official triathlon with transition zones, timing chips and race numbers. I look forward to seeing our triathlon group growing as summer progresses.

All ready to go

The swim

Cara and Pascale finishing their run

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November 21, 2013

American International School of Johannesburg

Vol. 4 No. 7

Wake up & Learn! Coffee Morning

Pretoria Parents Association

Date:

4th December 2013

Time:

7:30 am - Coffee, Tea and Snacks 8:00 am - Presentation

Venue:

Library, Pretoria Campus Pretoria PA Coffee Mornings are the 1st Wednesday of Every Month

Middle School News - Johannesburg Campus Parent-Teacher Conferences

Upcoming Events

Thank you to all parents who attended our parent-teacher conferences on November 20th and 21st; and most of you did attend! Most of our MS parents were at conferences and the majority of parents brought their children with them. Having the addition of two hours on Wednesday afternoon for conferences ensured there was adequate pacing and teachers were able to accommodate more parents. As our MS enrolment has grown this additional time has become very important. Overall, this was another very successful parent-teacher conference. Thank you for your participation and support.

Music café On November 7th, a large group of students, parents, and teachers were treated to a very enjoyable afternoon at the MS Music Cafe. The afternoon was filled with a rich program with a wide variety of solo songs, duets; trios and groups performed dozens of performances. We were very pleased to see a large number of MS students participating both as performers and as supportive and enthusiastic audience members.

MS Social on November 8th This year’s fall social was a great success! The Student Council team did a great job organizing the whole event and there was a lot of excitement for the Light up the Night theme which included fun games and a lot of colourful outfits that did light up under the strobe lights. The variety of activities and the choice of the Elementary School Gazebo as a venue helped create a great atmosphere that made the event fun for everyone. Thank you to the Parent Association for provided treats that helped make this a wonderful celebration.

Middle School Basketball Tournament Our fourth annual MS basketball tournament was held on November 2nd. AISJ had a large representation including 2 girls’ teams and 2 boys’ teams. All AISJ teams played well with the AISJ boys B team making it to the finals.

November 25 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Info Session @ T&L Center, 2:00 pm November 26 JHB MS Service Learning Africa Tikkun Day, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm November 27 Early Release @ 1:30 pm November 28 - 29 School Holiday December 2 JHB and Pretoria Service Learning: World Aids Day December 3 JHB Parents Association Mistletoe Marketplace @ Gould’s Gym, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm December 5 MS Band and Choir Concert @ Gould’s Gym, 6:30 pm December 9 JHB Parents Association Meeting @ Parent Room, 1:00 pm Board Meeting December 10 JHB and Pretoria Carols by Candlelight @ JHB Kgoro, 6:30 pm December 13 Early Release @ 1:30 pm

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MS Band and Choir Concert December 5th @ 6:30 pm

November 21, 2013

December 16 - January 3 School holiday

Do not miss our first Middle School Band and Choir evening concert this year. This event is a culmination of the work our students January 6 have been doing all semester. Our theme this year is “Around the School Resumes World in 80 Minutes�. The bands and choirs will be presenting a nd program of music from around the world (in around 70 - 80 min- 2 Session ASA Resumes utes.) Further details on logistics for the evening have been sent to parents of our band and choir students. Remember to leave early enough for traffic! We look forward to seeing you there.

Carols by Candlelight @ Kgoro December 10th, 6:30 pm On December 10th, the first AISJ Carols by Candlelight program will be taking place in the Kgoro. This event will include students in performance from grades 3 - 8 from both the Johannesburg and Pretoria Campus as well as some faculty performance. There will be a range of holiday music performed, some to include the audience! This event will start at 6:30 pm, but the Kgoro space will be open from 5:30 for you to bring food, drinks, and good cheer. Please bring chairs, blankets and a picnic to enjoy for this exciting event. Additional logistical details have been send to parents of MS students who will be performing.

MAP Tests MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing were completed the first week on November. We now have the data from the tests and will be working with teachers over the next few weeks on how to utilize the data in instructional decision making. Individual student reports will be sent home to parents by the end of this month. An informational meeting for parents will be held on November 25th.

High School University & Career Communicator University Workshops and Fair 2013 The Council of International Schools (CIS) tour took place on November 7th at AISJ. Students in Grade 10, 11 and 12 and over 40 parents attended workshops covering general information on admissions, applications, major courses of study, scholarships and financial aid. Following the workshops a fair took place providing an opportunity to talk with university representatives. I was very pleased with the number of students who took the opportunity to learn more about academic choices after AISJ. Several Grade 12 students found an additional university to add to their application list. We were very fortunate to have such a large group of universities visiting and look forward to welcome a new group of universities back on campus in 2014.

4 Year Plan If you are interested in learning more about your child and their future after AISJ you will find our 4 Year Plan below: 1. During Grade 9 Students will talk about a 4 year plan, understand what a transcript is and discuss about importance of obtaining good grades. 2. During Grade 10 Students will take a variety of career assessments, begin creating an activity resume, attend a career day, have opportunities to visit with university representatives and discuss the importance of selecting IB Subjects to match future university programs. 3. During Grade 11 Students will begin creating a list of universities and colleges that they are considering and will have an appointment with their counsellor and parents in Term 2 to discuss their university and career goals. We will also host a We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 16


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writing workshop to begin work on essays and personal statements for applications as well as a variety of other options to help students explore their best “match-school”. 4. During Grade 12 students get the ball rolling by selecting teacher recommendation writers, receiving IB projected results and have a final parent meeting to discuss the final steps needed to submit applications. During Term 2 students will begin to receive both conditional and unconditional offers – Hurray! Please if you have any other questions about your child and their education future after AISJ – contact your counsellor.

Job Shadowing Program at AISJ Are you interested in arranging a possible professional internship or job shadowing experience for your child during the June or July season? Currently we are assessing how many families might be interested in this great opportunity. We are working with leading international enterprises, NGO’s, multi-lateral agencies and leading South African companies to be a part of this experience for your child. If you are interested, please email Ann Ireland aireland@aisj-jhb.com and state your child’s full name and grade level this year. If you have already signed up on the interest sheet at parent-teacher conferences no need to send an email. We will keep you posted on this program development.” Thank you for your interest.

High School News Dear High School Parents,

Upcoming Events

This is indeed a busy and exciting time of year in the high school. Grade 10 just returned from a Classroom Without Walls adventure into the Drakensberg where they discovered they could do things they never thought possible, learned about working together and helping one another, and found that they could exist without pizza and French fries. They also learned about nature, appreciated close-up the beauty of this country, and began to see ties between the kinds of things learned in class and how they might be applied in the “real world”. To most students it was a challenge, but a very worthwhile experience and one they will not forget. While they were gone, seniors continued to work on college applications, extended essays, and various IB projects and assignments. They attended college presentations, prepared for various assessments, and began the process of focusing on “mock exams” which are just around the corner. An important note related to “mock exams”: “Dead Week” for seniors begins on November 26th, and this means that seniors will not be given new information or content prior to exams. It does not mean that seniors are excused from class or that they do not have to be at school. They are required to be here and to attend classes as important review and practice sessions will be presented. An investment of many weeks and months of hard work will pay off this week as students present the musical “RENT” to the public. I have visited rehearsals on several occasions and can confirm the statement made by one of our music teachers that suggested that this is perhaps the most talented group of students AISJ has ever had on stage….. So get your tickets and get to the theater on Thursday or Friday of this week. Please note that “RENT” is a play that addresses important and controversial social issues and that is it not a play that would be suited for elementary or middle school students. Break a Leg!!

November 21 HS Play ‘RENT’ @ FAC, 7:00 pm November 22 HS Play ‘RENT’ @ FAC, 7:00 pm November 23 HS Homecoming Dance November 25 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Info Session @ T&L Center, 2:00 pm November 26 - December 2 HS Deadweek for Grade 12 November 26 HS Band Concert @ FAC, 6:30 pm November 27 HS Grade 12 University Applications Due HS CW W Service Assembly @ FAC, 7:40 am - 8:10 am Early Release, 1:30 pm November 28 - 29 School Holiday December 2 - 5 HS Dead week for Grade 9 - 11 December 2 JHB and Pretoria Service Learning: World Aids Day

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Student council members have continued to be busy preparing for this Saturday’s Homecoming Dance. This yearly event is one that all students enjoy and that helps solidify the feeling of community that holds our school together. It is fun for all, but it is also one of those times when parents must be vigilant and know where your kids are after the dance at school. Help them make good decisions by letting them know that you want them to enjoy themselves but you also want to know what they are up to and who they are with as the evening plays out.

December 3 - 12 HS IB Mock Exam

With everything going on in the high school it is not uncommon to overlook something important. Please take the time to read the article on our students’ visit to the school in Limpopo, also in this Izindaba. It is a credit to these kids and their teachers who together give up their weekend for the benefit of others.

December 7 HS SATs

November 21, 2013

December 3 JHB Parents Association Mistletoe Marketplace @ Gould’s Gym, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm December 5 - 12 HS Semester Exams

December 9 JHB Parents Association Meeting @ Parent Room, 1:00 pm

A last thought as we move into the final weeks of the semester: In numerous conversations I have with parents I’ve noted an under- Board Meeting current of worry and concern about the pace, or lack of pace, with which students are led to the closing scene in high school, the December 10 college application. I’ve been urged to start the process in grade JHB and Pretoria Carols by Candlelight @ Kgoro, 9, and perhaps even introduce the notion in grade 8, all to avoid 6:30 pm the stress that students endure in 11th and 12th, as they are forced to compose personal essays, fill out applications, and research December 13 colleges and universities while putting the final touches on their IB HS Exam Feedback Diploma program. My message in response would be to urge all of you to move through the natural developmental stages with your Early Release, 1:30 pm children and live with them in their current phase. In ninth grade you may touch on college and the need to do well to go to quality December 14 schools, but the focus should be more on how to succeed in high HS ACTs school when you are the youngest and least mature members of the community. The training should be on study skills, organi- December 16 - January 3 zational strategies, writing the good essay and learning how to School Holiday find information you need. As Grade 9 ends and your kids move into Grade 10, the focus needs to be on identifying personal inter- January 6 ests and beginning to think about what the best IB course choices School Resumes would be in Grades 11 and 12. In other words, what is most important is to “live in the moment”, enjoy and live fully your child’s 2nd Session ASA Resumes “present”, whatever that may be. If each “developmental stage” is full of experience, joy, and learning, you can be sure that your child will be prepared for the challenges ahead. It doesn’t do anyone much good to try to live in the future when the present is where everything is happening. All best wishes, Tony Mock Principal, High School

Johannesburg Parents Association News The holidays are approaching and our very special Events Coordinator, Kathy Ustas, has put together another one of her spectacular shopping extravaganzas, Mistletoe Marketplace. 60 vendors will come to the school on Tuesday, December 3rd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in Gould’s Gym. There will be clothing, purses, jewelry, African collectables, food, coffee and so much more! You will not want to miss this! The Eagle Shop will also have all the AISJ spirit wear for sale, sweat shirts and long sleeve items, may come in handy for those of you traveling to the colder destinations for the holiday break.

Upcoming Events For more information on all these events click on the Johannesburg Parents Association button on the AISJ website. December 3 JHB Parents Association Mistletoe Marketplace @ Gould’s Gym, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

While you are out doing your holiday shopping, please remember to use your My School card for your purchases! Every time you swipe We are a diverse, international communit y providing a balanced and nur turing learning program that fosters personal growth, provides meaningful oppor tunities for achievement, and promotes positive contributions to societ y. Page 18


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your card, your school benefits in a big way. Some of the stores accepting My School are; Woolworths, Truworths, Toys R Us, Waltons, Engen, Quick Stop, kalahari.com, Reggies, Wrewards, Frappe Cafe and so many more. They are listed at www.myschool.co.za.

November 21, 2013

December 9 JHB Parents Association Meeting @ Parent Room, 1:00 pm

January 15 Thank you to Debbie Pearce for taking us to the SABC Studios, Novem- JHB Parents Association Meeting @ Parent Room, ber 12th and organizing a fantastic lunch at Firenzi! Be sure to come to 1:00 pm our welcome coffee in January to greet new families joining the AISJ community, and get a chance to be first on the sign up list for next year’s outings. They are always a great way to meet new people, bond with existing friends, and to get out and do something exciting. I and the PA would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! I am very thankful for my team of great ladies, and the wonderful support of the AISJ community! Sincerely, Sharla Rittershaus, PA President

SABC Studios Tour, November 12th Last Tuesday a lovely group AISJ ladies visit the SABC Studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The tour commenced with a talk on the history of the company and an explanation of the various radio and TV stations workings and broadcastings. We were then given a tour of one of the lecture halls, a radio studio and were lucky enough to be allowed to watch a studio live news broadcast and rehearsals for a soap drama currently being shown on SABC 2. It was a highly interesting tour and the tour guides were informative and entertaining. After the tour a superb lunch was enjoyed at Frenzie’s Italian Restaurant in Cedar Square.

Pretoria Parents Association News Upcoming Events

Hi fellow parents, Missed the photos from our Halloween festivities? Click here

For more information on all these events click on the Pretoria Parents Association button on the AISJ website.

Thanks to everyone who came out to school on 9th of November for Action Day. The soccer games with Meetse Primary were exciting and the kids from both schools had a lot of fun working together on the community garden. Big thanks to Krisha DeCoursey and other parents who cooked up a great braai for all involved and to all the teachers who helped make the day possible!

November 18 - December 6 Pretoria Parents Association Coin Competition

Remember when you just arrived in Pretoria and wondered why no one was wearing shoes at the mall? We’re initiating a program to welcome new parents and students to the Pretoria Campus. If you are interested in being a parent sponsor, please email your name, nationality, neighborhood where you live, and child’s/children’s grades to Jennifer E at Pretoria-PA@aisj-jhb.com. We will send you more information and help you every step of the way!

December 11 Pretoria Parents Association Meeting @ Band Room, 12:30 pm

December 10 JHB and Pretoria Carols by Candlelight @ Kgoro (JHB Campus), 6:30 pm

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November 21, 2013

Does your child avoid homework like its gem squash? Principal Rachel and Clare Michelsen, Learning Support Campus Coordinator, January 15 are going to talk about homework and our role as parents at next Pretoria Parents Association Meeting @ Band month’s “Wake Up & Learn!” Coffee Morning on Wednesday, 4th De- Room, 7:00 pm cember (7:30 am coffee, 8:00 am talk). They ask that we please complete a brief online survey by 27th November to help tailor their talk. Look in your inbox for the survey – subject line: “Wake Up and Learn Homework Focus Survey”. Also, please RSVP to Ms Petro at pproudfoot@aisj-jhb.com to ensure we find the right venue on campus. Pen in 1st February for our Summer Carnival (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)! It is going to be a wet and wild day for kids and parents alike. We had our kickoff meet last night after the PA meeting, and are looking for more parents to get involved. In particular, we need help coming up with a variety of carnival booths for the kids. To get involved, please email us at Pretoria-PA@aisj-jhb. com. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break next week (even if you had to look up the American holiday in Wikipedia) and see you around campus! See you around campus! Glenn Frankel Pretoria Parents Association Pretoria-PA@aisj-jhb.com

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Izindaba - 21 November 2013