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AISL Weekly

Friday, October 11, 2013

Issue 9 Volume 50

Dear AISL Community, It was a solid turnout yesterday and today for the parent teacher conferences. Thank you to the many parents for the numerous compliments to the teachers about the high quality of education you feel your children are receiving at AISL. We do have happy students who seem to be thriving at AISL. We also seem to have effective and positive communication going back and forth between the students, parents, teachers and the administration. Let everyone keep working to make effective communication our goal for the year at AISL. Speaking of our efforts to promote effective communication, this past Tuesday we tested our SMS text system. On Tuesday, all parents should have received a text from AISL saying “AISL test�. We are glad that we tested the system as we have found that many parents did not receive the SMS text. After some investigation with the SMS provider, we discovered the problem and will be performing another SMS text test after the October break. It is crucial that we have an effective communication system in place in case of emergencies. Our plan is to have a working SMS text system, as well as up to date emails for all parents, so that we can contact parents instantly in a case of an emergency. Thank you for your patience and helping us to continually improve our emergency notification system. One fourth of the school year is now over. I am amazed that we are that far along into the school year, as it seems as if we just arrived back from the summer break. We have had a terrific first quarter, and we have every intention of continuing to build on the forward progress and momentum of the first quarter for the remainder of the year. Whether you are traveling to far off and exotic locations, or staying at home and going to the malls, please have a safe, restful, and well-deserved break. Sincerely, Tim Travers Superintendent

Elementary School Update Meet With M&M! Thank you to parents and teachers for a very successful and positive parent conference week. I’m sure it spurred a lot of conversations at home about accomplishments and work to be done! This week we had a good elementary parent forum meeting on Tuesday to discuss health and safety issues. We had over 30 parents in attendance concerning this important topic. Those that were there suggested that we hit this topic again later in the year since our children’s welfare is such a significant matter for all of us. If you have suggestions for subjects to be discussed in future forums, please send them to Later this month, on October 31st, a group of AISL parents are organizing a voluntary after school “Trick or Treating” fun event. Participating students can put on costumes later in the afternoon if they would like to for this event. Students that are participating will be asked to sign up and bring a bag of treats to contribute. There will be more information coming out in the next few weeks. If you are traveling next week, please make sure the children explore their travels using maps. They should compute distances, ask them how long they think it will take to reach their destination, let them help plan the trip, etc. These are great ways to apply the skills they learn in school. Encourage them to keep a diary of their trip or put together a photo album to share with their class when they return. Let’s all return safely for the resumption of school on Monday, October 21. Mr. Martin-Muth Elementary School Principal

American International School of Lagos Behind 1004 Estates, Victoria Island, P.O. Box 2803 Lagos, Nigeria Phone (234-1) 461-0985 (234-1) 461-0987 Fax (234-1) 461-0986 Superintendent Tim Travers High School Principal Garth Wyncoll High School Vice Principal Carlos De La Sobera Middle School Principal Dan Luce Elementary Principal Bill Martin-Muth Early Childhood Coordinator/ Director of Admissions Donnie McCoy Curriculum Coordinator Kim Hayes

Contributions to the newsletter may be emailed to:

Middle School Update Greetings! As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” The first quarter of the 2013-14 school year is complete and the second quarter has begun. I hope that everyone finds time to enjoy some much deserved rest, relaxation and fun over the October break. The next several weeks will be very busy so it is vitally important that students remain caught up on work. Before you know it, finals week will be upon us and the first semester will be history. Semester grades count toward GPA. A disciplined approach including hard work and best effort will be a student’s allies for the best out come. With that being said, all AISL students were issued Student Planners this week. Although teachers went over the use of the planner in Scholars groups on Monday, might I suggest to all parents that you sit down with your student and go through it together? Although the planner is disguised as a nice looking little booklet with a colored logo on the front, it is actually one of the most important tools in a successful student’s ‘life box”. Forming the habit or “practice” of carrying the planner to every class and recording important information such as homework assignments, due dates for projects, exam dates, special notes, events, etc. is critical to success. Using a planner effectively is a life skill that transfers into college and the workplace. Its proper use improves efficiency and effectiveness and even reduces the stress, grief and family conflict brought on by students putting things off until the last minute. Unique to the school environment, the Student Planner is best used as a communication device between home and school. Too often a student planner is thrown in a locker or in a bedroom and never picked up again. Having worked with middle school students and families for over half my career, I am in a position to have observed the most effective use of the planner. The steps are very simple and straight forward, but must become a daily routine. 1. All homework and assignments are written down in the planner each day for each class. 2. All project due dates and assessment dates are written on the calendar when given by the teacher. 3. Student reviews the planner with a parent each day. 4. Student shows parent completed homework, puts it in a folder to be returned to school and then places it in their book bag, to take to school the next day. 5. Every weekend, student and parent review the calendar to plan out time for project completion and study time for exams and assessments. The plan is “calendarized” as well so that time is set aside for project work and exam study. (Putting other events on the calendar like sports, dances, parties, etc is important so that child understands the importance of budgeting time for all aspects of their life.) Plenty of praise and positive reinforcement should be given for successes that result from this routine but very soon the practice becomes habit and the results are motivation enough for most students to “keep up the good work”. “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ~Mahatma Gandhi Thank you for the privilege of serving your student. Dan Luce MS Principal

High School Update We had a terrific visit from author/poets Sarah Holbrook and Michael Salinger on Monday and Tuesday. They spoke about poets needing to be precise and concise with their language. Students worked on using one metaphor in their writing, developing their descriptive voice and calling on their senses to help broaden ideas. These lessons can easily translate to any writing. I hope you enjoy two poems written by Evelyn Orawu (grade 10) and Lisa Okojie (grade 9). AISL would like to acknowledge and congratulate Ms. Amanda Wilcox and Mr. Kobi Felton for becoming semi-finalists in the U.S. National Merit Scholarship Program. Students are first chosen based on their PSAT scores. Semi-finalists then submit their academic record and a recommendation for further scrutiny with hopes of becoming a finalist. This is a highly prestigious award. Congratulations again to these two seniors! On October 30, we will give the PSAT to all grade 10 and 11 students. The test begins at 7:30 in the gym and runs for a number of hours. This is a “practice SAT” and helps students understand how the test is given as well as the typical questions they will see on an SAT. In effect, this is a mock exam, similar to what we administer for our IB students in March. If students score exceptionally well, they can also be selected for awards and scholarships. Thank you for conferencing with your child’s teachers this past Thursday and Friday. Learning how to support your student at home helps parents maintain involvement in the education of their child. Attending conferences helps to demonstrate to your child how important this goal is to the family. Communicating with your child’s teachers helps to develop the team of caring, supportive adults who have great influence on your child. Thanks for working with us hand in hand. HS Parent Forum Topic: Meet the Counselor, Ms. Janet Hallwood When: October 23 2:00-3:00 p.m. Venue: Library – Third Floor SAT Registration Deadline: October 23 SAT Test Date: December 7 Conflict


Evelyn Orawu

Lisa Okojie

please get me… stopped before I could finish music playing, curry smelling neck tensed legs tapped my hand… blinking and tapping like the rain dropping no was a no Words like water, flow soon, the rain went I left, felt hate angry disappointed I did not get it

Before I could set the volleyball back to the receiver It hit me Like a bullet fired at an animal when hunting Or a nail, driven into wood by the old rusty hammer That would usually stay in dad’s toolbox for months With my body frozen, The clouds in my eyes darken. The storm was brewing Hands clenched and jaw tensed I stare, ready to smite all in my path I look up at him and my fists vibrate Ready to pounce upon him in a psychotic manner. Just as a grudged woman would avenge her husbands death I stare; slowly, but ever so slightly tilt my head to the side The clouds turn dark blue in my eyes and they grow cold With hatred Just before I could roar Before attacking He holds me back Restraint holds me back

Counselor’s Corner News & Events

Fall Break is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend some quality time together! Parents, whether you are staying in Lagos or going somewhere, here are some suggestions for activities that you can do together.

Elementary Students* Read, read, and read some more! Read to your child. Have your child read to you. Read, not only books, but read road signs, food containers, restaurant menus, and any other items with words on it. Ask your child to find as many words on items as he can. * Take your child to an outdoors natural area. Have him write about or draw the different animals and plants he sees. Have a conversation about his observations of people at the area. Why do you think they are here? Are they here for the same reasons we are here? What do you think they like to do when they are here? * Prepare a meal together. Have your child make up a “menu” of what he would like to eat for a meal. Explain that it is his meal, and that this is one time he can put different foods together. Don’t be surprised if he chooses a sugary or unhealthy meal. Remember, you are doing this as a special treat! After he has a menu, then cook or make the meal together. Have fun making and eating the meal! Yummy…. * Do an art project together. Gather up different “art” supplies that are around the house. Some ideas – markers, colored pencils, paper or plastic cups, plastic forks and spoons, string, buttons, cloth, and even different kinds of beans can be used. Have paper, glue, and scissors ready. Let your child go, and see what he creates! * Have a TREASURE HUNT list ready, whether staying at home or going somewhere. Find the items or answers together, and let your child guide you to where the items or answers can be found. Middle School Students*Have a Reading Challenge. See who can read the most books during break. Give your child a “prize” at the end of week, whether she read more than you or not. * Make a video or movie. If you are going somewhere, make her in charge of the camera. If you are staying at home, videotape daily activities of other family members. Set boundaries on what can be filmed. You can enjoy these memories for years to come! * Allow your child to have a Themed Get-Together. Tell her that she will need to plan it and share the plan with you first, before invitations can be sent. Things she will have to decide: What is the Theme? Examples are Hat Day, Hawaiian Day, 50’s theme, etc. Who (to invite), What (activities), When (day and time), Where (location)? Then let you child have the Get-Together. * Ask your Middle School child what activity she would like to do TOGETHER while on break. Listen and give her a voice. If reasonable, have FUN doing the activity! When school starts again, I hope to see your children refreshed and ready to learn again. Please feel free to contact me if I can help in any way! Mrs. Imhoff ES/MS Counselor

News & Events Message from the PTO On behalf of the newly elected PTO board, I'd like to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who came out to vote at the elections. The school year has started on an up beat note and this PTO board also promises to be one that will deliver. Please mark out your calendars for the 24th of October for our first general meeting where we will be discussing our plans for the year and how we want to hear YOU.

AISL will be the host of the 2013 West African International School Activities League (WAISAL) Swim Meet this November 1 and 2. In order to make this event possible, we are asking AISL families, both Elementary and Secondary to host students from visiting international schools the evening of October 31, through the morning of November 3. Requirements and responsibilities are fairly simple. If you are interested in hosting a visiting athlete please email Donald Blondin at Thanks.

Also look out for our suggestion box right outside the parents lounge where you can drop us a note or feedback from any events, activities or general concerns. We want to hear YOU! Have a restful break, enjoy the sunny weather, play safe and see you all the week starting Monday the 21st October. Signed Kemi Ohiwerei PTO President

To commemorate the birthday of the founder of the Girl Scouts of USA, Juliette Low on October 31, the USAGSO at AISL will be holding their annual Baked Goods Sale on Friday, October 25, 2013 in front of the school office throughout the school day. All the proceeds from the sales will go to Girl Scout chosen charities. Please come out and support us by buying a sweet treat or more


There is no Saturday Basketball tomorrow October 12th or next Saturday, October 19th. Games will resume on October 26th which will be Environmental Saturday. Start time for games are later in the morning beginning with Pre K/ K at 11:30. Please refer to the website for other game times and information. Have a Great Fall Break! See everybody on the 26th.   Jay Imhoff

Effective October 2, 2013

The American International School of Lagos Parent Teacher Organization Bylaws

Article I Name The name of the organization shall be the American International School of Lagos Parent Teacher Organization (AISL PTO).

Article II Purpose The organization serves the purpose of supporting the education of children at AISL by fostering relationships among the school, parents, and teachers. To enhance the educational facilities and opportunities for the students at AISL that are not otherwise provided for in the school budget. To promote volunteer programs and resources for AISL. To sponsor projects and events for the benefit of AISL students. To raise funds as required providing for all the above objectives. To bring together the different nationalities within the school through social events.

Article III Members (Section 1) Any parent, guardian, or other adult standing in loco parentis for a student at the school is automatically a member and shall have voting rights. The superintendent, principals and all teachers employed at the school are automatically members and have the right to vote on any matter submitted to a vote of the members of the organization. Each member is entitled to one vote only.

Article IV Officers and Elections (Section 1) Officers The officers shall be a President, 1st Vice-president, 2nd Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, ViceTreasurer, Community Liaison, Communications Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator and Assistant Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator all of whom shall be elected from among the members of the organization.


Effective October 2, 2013

(Section 2) The PTO Board shall consist of the President, 1st Vice-president, 2nd Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Treasurer, Community Liaison, Communications Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator and Assistant Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator. The PTO Board may make decisions on an ad hoc basis between meetings. (Section 3) The elected PTO Board shall exist for a period of 2 School Years. Elections shall take place at the May General Meeting in the second year of the outgoing PTO board, after which a transition period will ensue whereby incoming officers work closely with the outgoing officers for the purpose of continuity and handing over. Incoming officers shall assume their duties in August upon resumption of the new school year. Officers shall be restricted to no more than one (2 year) term in the office served. (Section 4) The Nominating Committee shall consist of two members of the outgoing PTO Board and two persons from the membership. The Nominating Committee shall request candidates for the offices mentioned above and present the slate of officers to the membership in April prior to the May elections. Election and installation of officers shall be at the May General meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor, and voting would be restricted to nominees present at the election meeting. (Section 5) Eligibility All AISL PTO members are eligible to run for office. (Section 6) All elections shall be by majority vote of the members present, assuming a quorum. Each member present shall be entitled to one vote only. (Section 7) If during the two year term of office, there is a vacancy in the office of President, the 1st Vice president will become the President and serve for the remainder of the current term of President. Any vacancy may be filled by a majority vote of the PTO Board. The newly appointed officer would serve for the remainder of the current term of the office s/he is appointed to fill. (Section 8) Removal from office Officers can be removed from office with cause by a two-thirds vote of those present, assuming a quorum, at a regular meeting where previous notice has been given.


Effective October 2, 2013

Article V Meetings (Section 1) Regular Meetings The regular meeting of the organization shall be on the 3rd Tuesday of each month during the school year at a time and place determined by the PTO Board. Notice of general meetings shall be given via the weekly newsletter, PTO notice boards and PTO webpage. The Annual General meeting will be held at the September meeting. The annual meeting is for receiving reports and conducting other business that should arise. The Secretary will notify the members of the meetings in the weekly newsletter. (Section 2) Special Meetings Special meetings may be called by the President, any two members of the Executive board, or five general members submitting a written request to the Secretary. Previous notice of the special meeting shall be sent to the members at least 10 days prior to the meeting by newsletter notice, PTO webpage and PTO notice boards.. (Section 3) Quorum The quorum shall be 10 parent members of the organization.

Article VI Executive Board (Section 1) Membership The Executive Board shall consist of the PTO Board and the Superintendent. (Section 2) Duties The duties of the Executive Board shall be to transact business between meetings in preparation for the general meeting, create standing rules and policies, create standing and temporary committees, prepare and submit a budget to the membership, approve routine bills, and prepare and make recommendations to the membership.

PTO Board Job Descriptions A:

President: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Shall preside at all meetings Shall serve as the primary contact for the Superintendent, Shall nominate all Committee Chairpersons. Shall set dates and times for the meetings, with the approval of the Executive Board


Effective October 2, 2013

President (cont’d): 5. Shall be authorized co-signatory together with the treasurer on all the financial matters of the PTO. Either Vice President shall serve as an alternative signatory in the event the President is unable to do so. 6. Shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the Election Nominating Committee, and coordinate the work of all the officers and committees so that the purpose of the organization is served. 7. Shall submit agendas for all the PTO Board and General Meetings. 8. Shall submit the PTO information for the weekly newsletter. 9. Shall work with the PTO Board to evolve a stimulating and varied program to bring about the closer relationship between school and community. 10. Shall seek to identify opportunities for new programs to submit to the Executive Board and General Meetings proposals for discussion to facilitate new programs. 11. Shall inform the School Board of any issues raised by the general community in a timely manner.


1st Vice President: 1. Shall assist in the President in all duties, attend Executive Board meetings, and shall assume duties of the President when the President is absent or unable to serve. 2. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board. 3. Shall liaise with the Elementary Room Mom Coordinator 4. Shall seek to identify options to improve communication with, and to enhance involvement of, the Elementary parents in the school. 5. Shall chair one of the Standing Committees.


2nd Vice President: 1. Shall assist in all Presidential duties, attend Executive Board meetings, and shall assume duties of the President when the President and 1st Vice President are absent or unable to serve. 2. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board. 3. Shall liaise with the Middle and High School Senates and teachers to improve communications and school spirit opportunities for students. 4. Shall seek to identify options to improve communication with, and to enhance involvement of, the Middle and High School parents in the school. 5. Shall chair one of the Standing Committees.


Effective October 2, 2013


Secretary: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Shall record the minutes of all the Executive Board and General meetings. Shall copy the minutes to all Board Members in a timely manner. Shall post all minutes for the General meetings in the school newsletter. In case of the Secretary’s absence, the Community Liaison Officer will take over the recording of meeting minutes. 5. Shall keep a file of all minutes and records necessary.


Treasurer: 1. Shall take care of all the expenditures and shall keep a strict and accurate account of all the financial transactions, in both Naira and Dollar. 2. Shall receive all monies of the PTO. 3. Reimburse money to members of the Committees or Executive Board for expenses incurred for PTO activities. 4. Liaise with School Business Manager on charges from orders placed in the U.S. for the PTO, and arrange payments. 5. Liaise with School Store, Committee Heads, PTO Board and School administration to place orders for all goods and services for the PTO. 6. Will give full account every month of PTO financial situation, at every Executive meeting and General Meeting Coffee. A copy needs to go into newsletter. 7. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board


Vice-Treasurer: 1. Shall assist the Treasurer in all duties. 2. In case of absence, the Vice-Treasurer will perform the function of Treasurer.


Community Liaison: 1. Shall interact with the community to foster relationships among the school, parents and teachers. 2. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board 3. In case of absence of the Secretary, will assume the duties of the Secretary. 4. Shall work with the Communications Coordinator to keep the community informed about the PTO Calendar and other matters arising within the community.


Effective October 2, 2013


Communications Coordinator: 1. 2. 3.


Shall be in charge of keeping the community informed about the PTO Calendar and other matters arising within the community. Shall be in charge of updating the PTO webpage and PTO notice boards. In close cooperation with the PTO President, shall submit PTO entries for the weekly newsletter.

Volunteer Coordinator: 1. Work with all standing committee chairs to compile list of all volunteers. 2. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board. 3. Shall work with the Vice-presidents, and committee chairperson to liaise with the Room Mom Coordinator.


Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator: 1. Shall perform duties relating to public relations, including solicitation of donations or sponsorship from outside vendors by working with individual event planners. 2. Shall write letters of appreciation and sympathy to individuals as deemed necessary. 3. Perform other such duties as may be provided by these bylaws, directed by the President or the Executive Board.


Asst. Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator: 1. 2.

Shall assist the Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator in all duties Perform the duties of the Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator in the absence of the Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator.

Article VII Committees (Section 1) Membership Committees may consist of members and board members, with the president acting as an ex officio member of all committees. All other PTO Board members will be assigned to serve on committees as PTO Board Representatives. The purpose of the PTO Board Representative is to ensure quick and effective communication between the Committee Chairpersons and the PTO Board, and assist with proper documentation of event planning. 6

Effective October 2, 2013

(Section 2) Standing Committees The PTO Board shall set up standing committees which may include the following: • • • • • • • • • •

Family Orientation Day The Family Fun Fair Teacher Appreciation The Fall Book Fair The Summer Reading Program Bingo Bash Hospitality (New Families welcome, Friday treats, birthdays) Special Events Audit International Committee

(Section 3) Additional Committees The PTO board may appoint additional committees as needed.

(Section 4) No Committee shall be undertaken without the consent of the Executive Board.

Article VIII Finances (Section 1) A tentative budget shall be drafted in May for each school year and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board members present. (Section 2) The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of any disbursements and income. (Section 3) The board shall approve all expenses of the organization. (Section 4) Two authorized signatures shall be required on each requisition over the amount of =N=100,000.00. Authorized signers shall be the President, 1st or 2nd Vice President and Treasurer. (Section 5) The treasurer shall prepare a financial statement at the end of the year, to be reviewed by the Audit Committee.


Effective October 2, 2013

(Section 6) The fiscal year shall coordinate with the school year – August to June.

Article IX Parliamentary Authority Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern meetings when they are not in conflict with the organization’s bylaws. Article X Standing Rules Standing Rules may be approved by the Executive Board, and the secretary shall keep a record of the standing rules for future reference.

Article XI Dissolution The organization may be dissolved with previous notice (14 calendar days) and a two-thirds vote of those present at the meeting. Upon the dissolution of the organization, any remaining funds should be used to pay any outstanding bills and, with the membership’s approval, spent for the benefit of the school.

Article XIII Amendments These bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting, providing that previous notice is given in writing prior to the meeting and sent to all members of the AISL PTO by the secretary. Amendments will be approved by a two-thirds vote of those present, assuming a quorum. _________________________________________________________________________________ These bylaws were approved by membership on Tuesday September 17, 2013 and shall come into effect on Wednesday October 2, 2013. Kemi Olumuyiwa

AISL PTO President, 2011/2013

Tolu Enaibe

AISL PTO Secretary, 2011/2013


School Calendar October 2013















National Day No School

MS Parent Forum 2pm Teacher Lounge

HS End of First Quarter

Saturday Basketball







Author Visit

Author Visit

Pre PTC 3pm-4pm HS Swim vs Best Seller Swim Club 3:30pm-5:30pm

Parent Conferences 12pm-4:30pm

Parent Conferences 12pm-2:00pm

Campus Closed

11 am Dismissal

11 am Dismissal

SAT exam at AISL 7:30am - 12:00

HS Reports Home







October Break

October Break

October Break

October Break

October Break

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana 20




AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

PTO Coffee

Committee Meetings

BOD Meeting 4:30pm Parents Lounge 27




MS Soccer Tournament TBA

MS Soccer Tournament TBA

Early Childhood Assembly - Gym 9:30am-10:30am

IB Lock-in 4:30pm-8am

IB Lock-in 4:30pm-8am





All School Spirit Week

All School Spirit Week

All School Spirit Week

All School Spirit Week

PSAT - Gym 7:30am-12pm Committee Meetings 3:15pm-4:15pm

Saturday Basketball

11 10 2013