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The American International School of Rotterdam




From the Director “...the process for me will be to start looking at the data in different ways and to develop a vision statement that will describe what the school will be like in three to five years.” Happy Friday everyone! This week I thought I would update you on the progress I have been making with my entry plan. I still have some more work to do in gathering information from constituent groups, but a lot of the information is in and it’s been very helpful in helping me understand the culture of the school. At this point, I have some information from parents, students and staff members, but I still have to conduct a few more interviews. In addition to meeting with members of the school community, I have met with various community leaders as well. I have input from the Rotterdam municipality, representatives of the harbor, neighboring municipal leaders, relocation companies, real estate companies, embassies, etc. The information that I have so far is helping me form ideas about how to ensure the success of AISR in the years to come. Going forward, the process for me will be to start looking at the data in different ways and to develop a vision statement that will describe what the school will be like in three to five years. Based on that vision, we will construct a strategic plan that will drive school development. The strategic plan will break the vision down into distinct areas and lay out a series of milestones over a set timeline. The strategic plan will then translate into a series of operational plans that will outline to all employees how they will contribute to relevant areas of the strategic plan. There will be clear processes, timelines and success indicators in each operational plan. Completing the operational plans will ensure the strategic plan is realized and hence, the vision achieved. Ultimately, the goal of my entry plan is to ensure a clear vision and corresponding strategic plan. I think I am on target for completion of my entry plan and vision statement by the end of October depending on what operational matters demand my attention between now and then. I would expect the strategic plan to follows shortly thereafter, in early to mid November. While things are yet to be clearly defined, I think I have an idea of how we will go about advancing the school. Some of the perceptions of parents, students and staff have sent my thinking in a particular direction. That thinking has led to some theories that I have followed up with some market surveys and meetings with government officials. I have learned that various government agencies, and businesses connected with the harbor have some common goals for development in South Holland and those goals match up very nicely with a positive direction that AISR could take. There are a lot of opportunities and there is a lot of potential for the school, and I firmly believe that we will be able to advance the school significantly in the next year or two. I have a bit more to do and then I’ll be able to put my vision in print and share it with you. So stay tuned... Thank you and have a great weekend!

Neal Dilk


Elementary Principal’s Message “...I look forward to seeing you at the Welcome Back to School Picnic this Sunday.” It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of the first quarter! I think everyone is looking forward to a week off. The first quarter is always very busy with both staff and students getting used to all the new routines. Don’t forget that Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on October 24 and 25 for all Elementary and Early Childhood families. Photo Day will take place on Tuesday October 23 - more details to follow in the next Shark. It’s that time of the year again so here is the schedule for students in Grades K - 5 only:

HALLOWEEN PROGRAM SCHEDULE* Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:00-1:25 p.m. 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. 2:10 - 2:50 p.m. 2:50 - 3:00 p.m.

Normal school program will take place up to and including lunch recess. Students will change into costumes in their own classrooms. Each teacher should arrange for their own Japanese counterpart to come to their class +/- 1:20 p.m. Halloween Parade in the Gym. Places will be marked for each grade. Classes will be called up to the stage so that parents can take photographs. Classroom Parties. Tidy up and home. *Pre-K1 and Pre-K 2 students will celebrate in the morning of October 31. Further details of their celebrations will be sent out closer to the time.

I look forward to seeing you at the Welcome Back to School Picnic this Sunday 7th, fingers crossed for the weather! I would like to leave you with an article that was published in the School Speciality Parent Newsletter: “Operation Overload: Are My Children Too Busy? Monday: Soccer practice, Cub Scouts and dance class Tuesday: French lessons, drama club and field hockey practice Wednesday: Soccer practice, church youth group and a dance recital. Thursday: Is it the weekend yet? If this sounds familiar, you are as over-scheduled as the rest of us. You might have also noticed signs that your children are too busy, including the following: They feel tired all the time or are slightly depressed. They aren't enjoying an activity they once loved. They aren't paying attention in school, and their grades reflect that. They begin complaining routinely about headaches or body aches. Their eating or sleeping habits change because they feel stressed. There is good news, though. There are ways to expose your children to a variety of activities without exhausting them and the entire family. Schedule activities in moderation. Only schedule an additional activity if it is developmentally appropriate for your child's age and if you feel that your child can multi-task successfully. Keep a family calendar in the kitchen to keep everyone on track. As soon as your children are old enough, ask them to record their individual activities. It helps if each child records his or her activities in a consistent color. For example, Trevor's activities are recorded in blue, and Vanessa's activities are recorded in red. Mark at least one day a week for "family day."; Do not schedule any individual activities. Instead, reserve this day for family picnics and outings to local attractions, like museums and parks. Learn how to say no. If adding yet another activity is going to overload your child or the family, explain this to your child. Also give her the opportunity to drop another activity to add a new one. Reserve time for free play. Children need time to play with their friends, hang out and even get bored once in a while. This is precious time that allows them to be kids.”

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend and a great October vacation.

Anne-Marie Blitz


Secondary Principal’s Message

“...It has been my good fortune to experience a wonderful partnership with the students, staff and families in our community.” Dear Parents, It is with heartfelt words that I write this letter to inform you that as of October 22, 2012, I will be leaving the position of interim Principal of the Middle and High School and continue in my position as an IB-Coordinator and teacher of French and Dutch. Although I will miss my work with our school family, I do look forward to the return of our Principal, Alison Lipp, after her maternity leave. I know she is looking forward to continue working with all of you. It has been a pleasure to serve as the interim-Principal at this school since April 1, 2012. I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed these last seven months. It has been my good fortune to experience a wonderful partnership with the students, staff and families in our community. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you, your children and this outstanding school community and hope you know I am especially proud of our teachers and students. Forthcoming events are as follows: Wednesday 10 October: MS/HS Forms for booking appointments for Parent Conferences will be given to your children to bring home. Wednesday 24 October and Thursday 25 October: Parent-teacher conferences. Finally I would like to announce a fabulous ‘Halloween Party’ we are organizing for Middle and High School students on Friday evening, October 26. This date will be confirmed closer to the evening. Have a good weekend and I look forward to seeing you at the BBQ this Sunday. Sincerely, Marga Akerboom


General Notices and New Sharklets! Can You Donate a Few Childrenʼs (English) Books? Who: Donate to Ashley Rocks (Grade 8). Why: Girl Scout Silver Award project. What: Childrens books (from ages 3-8) will be donated to a children’s shelter to help promote reading to at-risk kids. Any extras will be given to Read to Grow. When: As soon as possible. There will be a drop box in the AISR lobby. Please contact at for any questions or pickup. Thank you for any donations!

AISR Welcomes new members to our community... AISR would like to welcome, Bosco born on Friday 21st of September, brother to Mick and Cédric. Proud parents Onno and Wendy brought in the traditional Dutch ‘Beschuit met Muisjes’ for Bosco’s brothers classes. Congratulations!

We would also like to welcome young Rive to our community. Congratulations to our own Mrs Lynne Stewart and her partner Jeroen on their new Facebook friend born September 22nd!

“Like Us On Facebook...” If you have not done so yet - please come to the page by reading the QR code on the right with you smart phone or visit;


2012_10_05 Bulletin  

The AISR bulletin to parents and carers.