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AISL Weekly

Friday, October 25, 2013

Issue 10 Volume 50

Dear AISL Community, Wednesday, October 23rd, AISL sent out a test SMS text to all parents to AGAIN test our emergency SMS system. The SMS text said “AISL TEST”. If you do not receive this text on Wednesday, you should contact the following email address: samranw@aislagos.org with a current phone number so that we can add your contact information to the emergency SMS list. If you did receive the text, you do not need to reply. Especially in the case of an emergency, it is important that we have all parent phone numbers in our database, so that we are able to contact you if necessary. This past Tuesday evening, the AISL Board held their October board meeting. Among the many items discussed, the AISL Board approved the construction of a covered walkway that will extend from the guard’s booth at the front entrance, to the front of the building. The plan also included a covered walkway, to the new parent lounge. This construction section is the last phase of the covered walkway project, which will now permit the AISL community to traverse the campus during the rain without getting soaked and will also protect us from the sun. A design of the front walkway project is included in this newsletter. Construction will begin over the winter holiday and will most likely extend a few weeks into the second semester. Thank you to the Board for their continued efforts to create an attractive campus and atmosphere for the AISL community. Have a great weekend everyone, Tim Travers Superintendent


Elementary School Update Meet With M&M! Thank you very much to the new PTO officers for a wonderful meeting yesterday morning… including great donuts! It looks like we have a fabulous new group. They are very representative of our diverse AISL community and they’re extremely excited about increasing community participation (which is already very strong.) I’m really enthused about working with such a lively group of parents. Everybody needs to be involved. A robust PTO equals a strong school!

American International School of Lagos

Next week we celebrate a school wide “Spirit Week” with dress up days all week long. Monday is “Suspicious Person Day”, Tuesday “Crazy Hair Day”, Wednesday “Pajama Day”, Thursday “Tacky Wacky (Backwards) Day”, and Friday is “Red, White and Blue Day”. Friday will also be “Popcorn Day” for those elementary classes that won the PTO’s Summer Reading Program award.

Phone (234-1) 461-0985 (234-1) 461-0987

Additionally, please check out the flyers in this week’s newsletter concerning “Trick or Treating” on Thursday. If elementary students (kinder-5th grades) want to dress up and participate, each participant will have to sign up in their classroom and donate a bag of candy by next Tuesday at the latest. Busy, busy, busy! ...it never slows down around this place. More information is in the flyers attached to this newsletter. On another note I have some unexpected business to take care of in the States next week and, unfortunately, I’ll miss the festivities. I’m still available to you by email. If there is an issue that can’t wait and you need to speak with someone from the office, Mr. Donny McCoy (Early Childhood Director) or Mr. Dan Luce (Middle School Principal) will be happy to help you out. I wish everyone a great week and I’ll see you soon! Mr. Martin-Muth Elementary School Principal

Behind 1004 Estates, Victoria Island, P.O. Box 2803 Lagos, Nigeria http://aislagos.org

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: casobo@aislagos.org


Middle School Update Greetings! Welcome back from holidays. A chance to step away to re-group and refresh is very helpful to being productive. I hope you were all able to experience some needed rest and relaxation. As adults, remembering just what it was like to be an Early Adolescent (11-14 year old) is a time that we remember as a terribly awkward and as a difficult time or we simply would rather block altogether. Being a parent of a child during this phase of development is sometime even more difficult. Early Adolescence is a time when huge and rapid developmental changes are taking place in children intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. It is also a time when the child is attempting to establish some independence, based on a sense that each is unique with individual likes, dislikes, interests and an emerging set of personality traits. Despite all this, child development experts tell us that although the timeline varies greatly between individuals, there is a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviors and phases through which teens move, that are common and “normal”. Moving Toward Independence

Future Interests and Cognitive Changes

Sexuality

- Struggle with sense of identity - Feeling awkward or strange about one's self and one's body - Focus on self and selfesteem - Interests and clothing style, peer influenced - Moodiness - See that parents are not perfect; identification of their faults - Less affection w/ parents, with occasional rudeness - Complaints that parents interfere w/ independence - Tendency to return to childish behavior, more so when stressed

- Mostly interested in present and self, with limited thoughts of the future - Intellectual interests expand and gain in importance - Greater ability/capacity to do work (physical, mental, emotional)

- Display shyness, blushing, and modesty - Girls develop physically sooner than boys - Increased interest or curiosity about body and sex - Concerns regarding physical attractiveness to others - Frequently changing friends/relationships - Worries about being normal/like others

Morals, Values and Self-Direction - Rule and limit testing - Increased capacity for abstract thought - Development of ideals and selection of role models - More consistent evidence of conscience - Experimentation with new things

Individuals vary slightly from the above descriptions, but the feelings and behaviors are, in general, considered normal for each stage of adolescence. It was with the early adolescent in mind, the Middle School Model was developed as a way to transition students from the safe, nurturing atmosphere of the elementary school (grades P-5) to the individual, independent setting of high school (grade 9-12). Over the past three years, AISL has been moving to the more developmentally appropriateness that the Middle School (grades 6-8) offers the student. In addition to bringing on more teachers with middle school experience, we now have a principal designated for the middle school. In cooperation and coordination with the administrative team at AISL, a middle school schedule has been developed and shared with the middle school staff and the Board of Directors. In order that parents can see the improvements we have made, the next Middle School Parent Forum will be used to present the schedule and how it enhances our ability to make a difference for our AISL kids. Please plan to join us. Middle School Parent Forum “The Middle School Schedule” What difference does a schedule make? How is it important” Presented by Dan Luce, AISL Middle School Principal Wednesday, October 30th 2:00 – 3:00 PM AISL Library “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~ E. E. Cummings Thank you for the privilege of serving your student. Dan Luce MS Principal


High School Update The Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) conference took place over the past week in Accra, Ghana. AISL sent 18 teachers, instructional assistants and administrators to the conference. Those of us fortunate to go will now share back with the rest of the faculty what we learned. This professional development opportunity is made possible through the Board of Directors commitment to AISA and the learning community that is present amongst international schools in Africa and the Board’s continuous support for AISL’s faculty development. In our HS Parent Forum on Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Janet Hallwood spoke about her experience as an educator and her role at AISL as the HS Counselor. During the ensuing Q&A, we discussed family guidelines for technology use at home, the merit system, and career counseling. On November 20, at our next forum, we will have a round table discussion about our current merit system’s pros and cons, as well as provide some helpful tips for technology use at home. We look forward to seeing you there! As far as career day, we have a few ideas in mind. Mrs. Tshidi Anya and Mrs. Carla De S. Amorim Rocha from the PTO, as well as Ms. Janet Hallwood and myself are in the process of developing a career interest program that will provide our HS students opportunities to learn about careers and experience careers. In the near future, we will be asking for parent volunteers who would be willing to share their experiences in their chosen profession with our HS student body. Thanks to the PTO for this fantastic idea, the Parent Forum for feedback, and Ms. Hallwood for her valuable assistance as we look to help pique the interest of our students in thinking about their futures. If you get an opportunity to drop by the pool next Friday and Saturday, you will see some fine races as our AISL Eagles compete for WAISAL medals against stiff competition from Abuja, Ghana, Senegal and Burkina Faso. See you there. Go Eagles! Upcoming Events PSAT Wednesday, October 30 from 7:30-11:45 a.m. All Grade 10 & Grade 11 Students WAISAL Swim Meet @ AISL November 1-2 “Don’t Drink the Water” HS Student Production November 8-9 at 7:00 p.m. WAISAL Volleyball @ Senegal November 14-18 HS International Trips (Art, French, Spanish) November 23-30 Thanksgiving Holiday November 27 ½ day, 28, 29 Garth Wyncoll HS Principal


Counselor’s Corner News & Events

Counselor’s Corner: Janet Hallwood

As the high school counselor I often get parents who come and see me because they are frustrated by the differences in performance and effort between their children. My parents went through the same thing with my brother and me. I had the higher IQ but my brother always performed better and got higher grades. Believe me this frustrated them to no end. Kathy Shiels Tully, a frequent contributor to educational journals, and parent of two, had some interesting advice to give: When Motivation Levels Differ: Motivating Your Kids Without Comparing Them In many families, one child is self-motivated and directed while the other is not. How should parents help the unmotivated child without drawing comparisons to the independent, self-starting sibling? Consider this scenario: You’re the parent of two kids. One child is self-motivated—on top of homework and studying, usually on time, and very organized. The other child is constantly late, often missing important papers and books, and requires constant nagging to study and do homework. How is it that in the same family, one child may be self-motivated while another is always behind? And how does a parent deal with both kids without comparing them—and expecting the wayward child to operate at the same level as the motivated child? One expert suggests that, painful as it might be, parents should begin by looking in a mirror. Your Child’s Weak Spots May Be Your Own “Recognize and admit that your child’s weak spots are within you,” advises Frances Walfish, a California psychotherapist, frequent contributor to national news programs and magazines on parent/ child topics, and author of The Self-Aware Parent:

Resolving Conflict and Building A Better Bond with Your Child. “Without realizing it,” Walfish says, “your child is tripping off something within you, exposing your own weaknesses. You drive her harder and harder, scolding her, but you’re talking to, and scolding, yourself, the part of you that you don’t recognize.” This unwitting behavior is known as “projection,” Walfish says, “and it’s your self-anger directed toward that [child].” The remedy, which Walfish says can be difficult to achieve, is to stop during a heated moment and take a good look at the situation. “Slow down your external response and speed up your internal response,” Walfish says. “To do this, stop and ask yourself questions and make observations while in the moment, such as, ‘How am I feeling right now?’ Then take a good look at your child and ask yourself, ‘How is my child feeling right now?’ You can always think about your response, but you can’t take away what you say.” “In general,” she adds, “[you can only] motivate a child through positive support. Don’t force, push, or press. If you do, what you’ll face, especially with teens, is resistance. They’ll rebel. And it’s [a difficult pattern] to get out of.” Unlock the Power Struggle Motivation is often related to power struggles between a child and his parent, says Ann Dolin, M. Ed, author of Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools, and Solutions to Stress-Free Homework. “Kids think the one thing they can control is how they their handle homework and do on tests,” Dolin says. “So if there’s a power struggle with a parent, a child may not finish his homework, or just do a little and not complete it—or not study [at all].” How, then, should parents break the pattern of a daily contest of wills—one in which both parent and child typically lose—and help their kids become more self-motivated? And do so without comparing


Counselor’s Corner News & Events

the unmotivated child to her more motivated sibling? Both experts say the key is for parents to act as supportive coaches, helping both their unmotivated and self-motivated children succeed. To do this, they offer the following tips: Emphasize the process versus the product. It’s important to have structure in the house, says Dolin, even if kids have different motivation levels. Designate a time that is “homework time” in the house, and make this consistent for all the kids. “It’s got to be the same process for all,” says Dolin, who suggests simply announcing, “Homework time starts at 4 p.m.” Take the emphasis off grades. It’s tempting for a parent to use rewards to motivate a child, Dolin says, such as promising money for good grades. Instead, Dolin says parents should put an emphasis on what schoolwork their child does every day and how studying and homework time is spent. “The rule of thumb is that a child should spend 10 minutes per grade on homework,” she says. “So a 6th grader should spend 60 minutes per night on homework, while a 2nd grader should spend 20 minutes.” Set a timer to police progress. Walfish suggests setting a timer for the time allotted to each child for homework. That way, the timer serves as the “bad cop,” not the parent. This simple tool can help children learn to use their time more effectively. But what if one child finishes early while another is still plowing along? “If the homework is really done,” Dolin says, “have that child do something else as long as it’s academically related, such as reading a school book, working on a monthly project—even cleaning out her backpack” until her homework time is up. Motivate with free time, not TV time. Most parents have said, “You can watch TV if you do your homework.” It’s easy to think you can jumpstart your unmotivated child into action with promised TV time, Dolin says. But she explains

that this strategy only motivates a child to rush through doing his homework—the last thing a parent wants. Instead, enact a “no TV until after dinner” policy and, again, make it the same policy for all the kids in the family—the self-motivated and the unmotivated alike. Instead, entice a reluctant student with the reward of “free time,” which can, in some cases, involve screen time, Dolin says. She explains that new studies from California State University, as described in a recent lecture Dolin attended given by CSU’s Larry Rosen, Ph.D., show that if a parent takes away a teen’s cell phone—or if the teen is otherwise not allowed access to the phone—it increases the teen’s anxiety while doing homework. Instead, Dolin says, the parent’s goal should be teaching the teen how to use technology productively while staying focused on completing the homework at hand. Dolin advocates Rosen’s suggestion that parents tell teens they’re allowed a one-minute “text break” after doing homework for a specified amount of time—say, 30 minutes. Then it’s back to homework time. “Even though kids think they can multitask,” Dolin says, “the more focused a child is on homework, the higher his GPA.” Act—and speak—like a supportive coach. “Parents are always saying, ‘Good job!’ and they think that’s self-esteem building,” Walfish says. Instead, she says, it’s vague and not specifically tied to what the child did or how she might actually feel. Instead, Walfish advises parents to say something like, “You must feel so good about yourself when you do (or finish) ____ (fill in the blank).” In these situations, she says parents should describe exactly what the child did and use a “You can do it!” tone of voice.


News & Events

TRICK-or-TREAT at AISL Date: Thursday, October 31st Time: 2:45 - 3:30 pm Location: AISL Elementary School Campus Who’s Invited: AISL Elementary School Students Grades K-5 RSVP: Tuesday, October 29 Please submit student’s name and contribution of treats to student’s homeroom teacher

Parents FYI : After School Activities ( ASA ) are cancelled for next Thursday October 31st due to other activities that will be going on. IMPORTANT: PARENTS , WE ARE REQUESTING THAT IF YOUR CHILD IS INVOLVED IN WAISAL SWIM MEET AND SATURDAY BASKETBALL ,THAT THEY ONLY PARTICIPATE IN THE WAISAL SWIM MEET THIS SATURDAY. THIS SHOULD BE THEIR # 1 PRIORITY. After School Activities ( ASA ) session I ends on Friday, November 8, 2013. Registration for ASA Session II will be on Monday November 4th, Tuesday Nov. 5th, and Wednesday Nov. 6th . Times : 7:00 am – 8:30 am and 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Late Registration is ONLY on Monday, Nov. 11th & Tuesday, Nov.12th Times: 7:30 am – 8:30 am and 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm SATURDAY SPORTS SOCCER EVALUATION DAY is November 23rd Pre K / K 1st / 2nd 3rd / 4th 5th / 6th Girls 7th/up Boys 7/8 Boys 9-12

8:00 – 9:00 am 9:00 – 10:00 am 10:00 – 11:00 am 11:00 – 12:00 12:00 – 1:00 pm 1:00 – 2:00 pm 2:00 -3:00 pm

Go to www.aislagos.org/documents/asa/13.14/ session.2.pdf to view Session 2 ASA Information

SCHOOL SHIRTS A word about School Shirts Spirit Shirt: These are AISL School shirts. The shirt is optional and can be worn on Fridays and School Spirit Days. Usually these are red, white or blue and have the Eagle and/or AISL school Logo. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN THE SCHOOL STORE. Intramural Shirt: These are only for the Middle School to represent the different intramural teams. Intramural Teachers collected money from the student for these shirts at which time they were ordered for individual students. They can be worn on Fridays, when the Middle School holds Intramural competitions. NOT AVAILABLE IN THE SCHOOL STORE. House Shirt: These shirts are identical except for color to represent the House of the AISL House System. The Houses are Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington and Jefferson. These shirts are solid color polo and t-shirt combo. House shirts can be worn on Fridays and on the days House Events are held at school. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN THE SCHOOL STORE.

AISL will be hosting the WAISAL swim gala next week Friday and Saturday. In support of the AISL swim squad, we  have had some of the swimmers parents who have volunteered to assist with time keeping on these days, but we don,t have enough volunteers to prevent our current parents from spending two days out taking times. It would be really helpful if we could have some more volunteers to come out in support of our swimmers and coaches as they represent our school. Please if you can spare an hour or two on either of these days, we would be very grateful if you could contact Nadia Wagenaar on 0805 774 3098 to book a slot. Thank you


News & Events

` AISL Trick-or-Treating FAQs: Q: How do I sign my child up for the Trick-or-Treating event? A: Your child must sign up with their homeroom teacher. They must also bring their contribution of treats to their homeroom teacher no later than Tuesday, October 29th. Q: How can I help? A: So glad you asked!! We will need parent volunteers to help teachers distribute candy in their classroom and also to assist escorting groups of children from each class around the school. Please let your teacher know if you can help out as a parent volunteer. Q: Can I join my child as they Trick-or-Treat? A: Absolutely!! Parents are strongly encouraged to come and help their children get changed into their costumes and also to join their children as they Trick-or-Treat. Parents are also welcome to wear costumes to the event (kid friendly costumes only please). However, please note, treats are for the students only :) Q: What treats should my child bring? A: Your child must bring a bag of individually wrapped treats containing at least 30 pieces. Some suggestions are: small, individual packages of jelly beans, skittles, sweet tarts, m&m's or other individually wrapped sweets such as miniature candy bars. If everyone contributes something they know their own kids, and their friends, would be really excited to receive we should be good! Please do not feel limited by the requested minimum number, you are certainly most welcome to send in more treats – in fact, we strongly encourage you to do so! In the interest of ALL of our children having a great time, we ask that you are generous with your contributions. A special request: No homemade edible goods please. Many students have food allergies and will not know what is inside your delicious baked goods. Any individual packages of store bought cookies, etc will include a handy list of ingredients and allow students to make wise choices with their consumption of treats. Thank you! Q: Why do I need to contribute treats for my child to attend? A: This contribution is your child’s ‘ticket’ to the event. There is no budget to purchase treats for the children as the Trick-or-Treating is a voluntary activity being organized by AISL parents. We are happy to coordinate this event so all interested children can participate and experience Trick-or-Treating, but we do need the support of the greater parent community in order to insure that all students receive some great treats and have a good time. Q: Do I need to send in sweets? A: No, you are not required to send in candy, although this is what is typically distributed when children go Trick-orTreating in their local neighborhoods in the United States. Other popular items are: small snack packs of chips or cookies, capri sun juice packs, Halloween themed stickers / temporary tattoos or other fun items such as those one might find in a birthday gift bag. Please be sure to provide a minimum of 30 of each item you choose to contribute and please consider doubling or tripling this amount, esepcially if you are providing something very small such as individual stickers, temporary tattoos or small individual wrapped candies as we will want to give more than one of these items to each trick-ortreater. Remember, the more we give the more we receive :) Q: Can my child wear his / her costume to school on Thursday, October 31st? A: No, students will not be allowed to wear costumes to school on Thursday. Your child should dress in his / her school uniform, bring their Halloween costume to school with them and plan to change once school lets out. Trickor-Treating will begin at 2:45 pm on Thursday. We encourage all participating students to wear a costume for the Trick-or-Treating event. Parents, please be sure that your children’s costumes are appropriate for the event. Remember, Trick-or-Treating will involve students from Kindergarten through 5th grade only. Let’s focus on the ‘fun’ aspect of dressing up and leave the ghouls and gore outside of our school campus. Nice G-rated costumes will help ensure that ALL participating parents and students are able to enjoy this event. Many thanks for your understanding. Don’t forget to send your child to school with a plastic pumpkin or a bag for collecting their treats!


School Calendar October 2013

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

2

3

4

5

HS End of First Quarter

Saturday Basketball

National Day No School

6

13

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

7

8

9

10

11

12

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 HS Reports Home

14

15

16

17

18

19

October Break

October Break

October Break

October Break

October Break

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana 20

21

22

23

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

AISA Admin Conference Ghana PTO Coffee BOD Meeting 4:30pm Parents Lounge

27

24

25

26

AISA Admin Conference Ghana

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

IB Lock-in 4:30pm-8am

Committee Meetings

IB Lock-in 4:30pm-8am

28

29

30

31

All School Spirit Week (Suspicious Person Day)

All School Spirit Week (Crazy Hair Day)

All School Spirit Week (Pajama Day)

All School Spirit Week (Tacky Wacky Day)

MS Parent Forum 2pm Staff Lounge PSAT - Gym 7:30am-12pm Committee Meetings 3:15pm-4:15pm

Saturday Basketball


25 10 2013  
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