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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! In the last issue of The Shark, I indicated that I would be wrapping up the data gathering component of my entry plan and that a vision statement would soon follow. I am happy to report that everything is on schedule and that I will formally be presenting my plan to the AISR Board at the next Board meeting, scheduled for November 19, 2012 and, pending Board approval, will share my plan with the broader school community. As I mentioned in my last message, we have learned that there are various government agencies and businesses connected with the harbor have common goals for development in this part of Holland - these goals revolve around attracting businesses from a particular set of countries. In order to make Rotterdam a more attractive option for companies considering establishing themselves in the area, the local government needs to ensure that they have strong selling points. Companies thinking about establishing themselves in the area are considering not only the business environment, but the living conditions for employees - education opportunities being a fairly important consideration. AISR can help contribute to growth in the area by taking a slightly different approach to the way we address language instruction at school. Many schools often take a supply approach to curricular offerings where courses are offered for more academic reasons and not necessarily for practical reasons. If AISR were to take a demand approach to curricular offerings, that is offer additional languages that help the local government and harbor draw foreign investment to the area, then the School will not only ensure that we are offering languages that are more likely to attract families and expand the scope of markets available to the school, but we would also ensure that we are directly tied to the local government and harbor, and will be eligible for varying types of direct support to the school. In my forthcoming vision statement I will outline in detail how the school can offer a more comprehensive language program that goes beyond communication and develops strong literacy skills in students as well. I believe that we can offer a stronger language program at AISR without affecting the current program and with minimal disruption to student life. I believe we can develop this program in a way that makes AISR a more attractive option for families and companies thinking about coming to Rotterdam, and I know that such a program will have strong support from the local government, harbor, and local businesses. Exciting times are ahead. Have a great weekend everyone. Neal Dilk


Elementary Principal’s Message “... Maintaining a strong communication between home and school is so important for the successful development of the whole child.” It has been a busy couple of weeks! Parent Teacher Conferences were very well attended this year. Maintaining a strong communication between home and school is so important for the successful development of the whole child. If you did not get a chance to talk to the specialist teachers, it is always possible to contact the individual teacher and make an appointment at your convenience. The Elementary teachers and students would like to recognize the following parents for making this year’s Hallowe’en celebrations so very special. As well as the traditional Parade, they organized a Haunted House and Trick or Treating for each of the grade levels. A very big ‘Thank you’ to; Christy and Lance Rocks for their outstanding work on the Haunted House. To Sue Syah, Klaudia Gates , Richa Brijesh, Simone Pelgrim, Jennifer Lancaster, Yvette Suffern, Heather Springer, Amanda Trenchard, Jackie Bacon, Natalia Kasiyanova and last but not least, Ruud Temminck for the lights and music and of course Glen Badyna for being a wonderful Master of Ceremonies. This is now the start of what will be a very busy time from now, up through December. Next Thursday, November 8, it will be Early Dismissal for all students at 11:30. From 12:00 - 6:00, the teachers will be participating in a workshop called ‘EAL in the Mainstream’. This course is designed to enhance classroom teachers skills and knowledge to better support the learning of their EAL students across the curriculum. In addition, considerable anecdotal evidence has identified EAL in the Mainstream trained teachers as being more effective in all their classroom activities—so there is a potential for curriculum-wide benefit. The Thanksgiving Lunch will take place on Wednesday November 21. I will send out more details about this event closer to the time. Important: Please note that the Elementary Winter Performance will take place on Thursday December 13, 7:00 - 8:30p.m. This is a change from the date on the School Calendar. The Elementary Play which was planned for that date has been postponed due to the fact that Mrs. Golder, who directed the play last year, will be leaving on Maternity Leave at the end of November. And finally, I would like to share this article from the BBC “Education and Family”; “Reading to children has long impact, says OECD study Parents and children reading together at the start of school makes a long impact, says study. Children whose parents frequently read with them in their first year of school are still showing the benefit when they are 15, says an international study. An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development analysis examined the long-term impact of parental support on literacy. Discounting social differences, the study found children with early support remained ahead in reading. It found a strong link between teenage reading skills and early parental help. Talking together. The OECD analysis, based on teenagers in 14 developed countries, found that active parental involvement at the beginning of school was a significant trigger for developing children's reading skills that would carry through until they were teenagers. On average, teenagers whose parents had helped with reading at the beginning of school were six months ahead in reading levels at the age of 15. It is important that parents read books regularly with their children - such as several times a week - and that they talked about what they were reading together. This parental involvement overrode other social disadvantages and in some countries could represent more than a year's advantage in reading levels at the age of 15 compared with children whose parents rarely read books with them. The study, which draws on data from the international Program for International Student Assessment tests, also found a link between teenagers' reading skills and continued engagement with their parents. Everyday family get-togethers, where parents and children talk, could influence school performance, says the research. "Eating main meals together around the table and spending time just talking with one's children are also associated with significantly better student reading performance in school," says the OECD report”.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Anne-Marie Blitz


Secondary Principal’s Message

“...Maintaining a partnership between home and school is essential for the successful development of every child and we appreciate your support.” Dear Parents, As you may know, this is my second week back from my maternity leave. I loved having the time with my daughter but I am also excited to be back and to work with all of you as we move forward. I would first like to say a special thank you to Mrs. Marga Akerboom, who did an excellent job as "Interim Principal" in my absence. She had her hands full with her regular responsibilities as teacher and IB Coordinator, yet spent countless hours keeping the secondary school going and for that I am very grateful. In my role as Secondary Principal, you can expect me to be: open to various perspectives; direct in tackling any issues; and honest in my communication and approach to solving problems. I will continue with my responsibilities as Curriculum Director so please take note of the following dates for the 2012-2013 Coffee, Croissants and Curriculum sessions. They are held in the student lounge between 8:15-9:15 on the Friday mornings mentioned below. An invitation for the first session was sent earlier this week. Please let me know if you plan to attend. November 30th: Elementary and Secondary Curriculum with a focus on Literacy and Mathematics February 1st: Elementary Curriculum April 19: Secondary Curriculum If you would like the results from your child's recent MAP testing (and previous sessions if you were here last year), please contact Phil Krumrei ( and he will share them with you. Thank you to all parents and students who attended our Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences. Maintaining a partnership between home and school is essential for the successful development of every child and we appreciate your support. If you did not get a chance to talk to a particular teacher, it is always possible to contact the individual teacher and make an appointment at your convenience. If you do have a question/concern/issue, please start by talking to your child's teacher. If the issue remains unresolved, please bring any secondary or curriculum related issues to my attention and continue to bring IB-related issues to the attention of Mrs. Marga Akerboom. Please note the following upcoming events: • • • •

November 8: Early Dismissal for students and training for teachers begins **see below for details November 9-10: NECIS for MS Soccer and Volleyball November 8-10: NECIS for HS Soccer and Volleyball from November 18: Overall Progress Comments available on PowerSchool

For the 2012-2013 academic year, all teachers will be participating in a course called ‘EAL in the Mainstream’. This training is designed to "enhance the skills and knowledge of classroom teachers in order to better support the learning of not only their EAL students, but of all students. In addition, as Mrs Blitz also noted, anecdotal evidence has identified 'EAL in the Mainstream' trained teachers as being more effective in all of their classroom activities—so there is an added curriculum-wide benefit." Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to working with all of you this year. Kind regards,

Alison Lipp


General Notices... Can You Donate a Few Childrenʼs (English) Books? Who: Donate to Ashley (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. Thank you for any donations!

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2012_11_02 Bulletin  
2012_11_02 Bulletin  

The AISR bulletin to parents and carers.