The American International School of Rotterdam
From the Director
“... I hope everyone had a great winter break.”
Happy Friday and Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great winter break. My family and I spend the holiday in Japan with my wife’s family, who live in the south-western part of the country. It was a little colder than Rotterdam, but the sun was shining most of the time so it was still quite pleasant. It the last issue of the Shark, I indicated that I would make a presentation to families about the strategic vision for AISR. I will be making a presentation (about forty-five minutes to an hour) on two different occasions to explain how the school will develop and the rationale behind the strategy. The first presentation will be on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 7:00pm and for anyone who cannot make that date, I will also make the same presentation on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:00pm. I have sent out an invitation to families by email and would ask that if you intend to participate that you please RSVP so I can make the appropriate arrangements for refreshments. During my presentation, I will be outlining how data gathering activities in the first part of the year have led to current administrative efforts with regard to marketing and networking, and how efforts to update and improve the school’s image will be coupled with efforts to update and improve the academic program. Starting from next year, the academic program will see a stronger approach to language instruction with plans to increase the scope of languages offered at AISR with better options for both native speakers and for those who which to learn additional languages. I hope that you can find the time to attend one of the sessions. If you do plan to attend, please be sure to reply via the link that was sent to you by email. If for some reason, you did not receive this email, please contact the front office at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend everyone. Neal Dilk firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary Principal’s Message “... Feeling happy and comfortable in school is the first step towards successful learning..”
On behalf of the Elementary Staff and Students, I would like to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Successful 2013. It was very rewarding to walk around the school on Tuesday morning and hear many students say how excited they were to be back in school. Feeling happy and comfortable in school is the first step towards successful learning. If you would like to know how your child is progressing, don’t forget that ‘Request Only Parent Teacher Conferences’ will take place on Wednesday, February 28 and Thursday, February 29. You can contact your child’s teacher and make an appointment for either of these days. The Report Cards for the 2nd Quarter will be posted home on Friday January 18. I am including a message from our Learning Support Coordinator, Katie Modic, regarding a Homework Club. If you are interested in having your child participate in this program, please contact Ms. Modic at the e-mail address indicated. Dear Parents, For those of you who were here last year, you will recall that we started an after school Homework Club as a way to support our Middle and High School students. Recently interest has been expressed in having this available again. We would also like to extend this opportunity to students in Grade 4 & 5. For those of you new to the school, the purpose of the club is to provide structured after-school support for homework completion. In addition, the staff will support students in organization, planning, and time management to ensure that student’s assignments are completed to an acceptable standard and on time. If necessary and when possible, help with some content (math, science, etc.) could be included. Finally, we aim to develop students’ motivation to study as well as their self-confidence. The club runs on certain days after school (depending on student availability and interest) from 3:15 – 5:00. If your child takes the bus, a late bus is available to bring your child home. The cost of the club is 20 Euro per session. If you are interested in having your child(ren) join this club, please contact Katie Modic for more details at email@example.com. Thank you! Katie Modic AISR Learning Support Coordinator I would like to leave you with another article emphasizing the importance of balancing “Social Contact through the use of Media”. “Today many kids are rushing home from school to log on to social media sites to chat online or via text message rather than communicating in person. According to Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Therapist, Rachel Scharlepp "kids are texting frequently, they are talking a lot more, talking about things they maybe wouldn't talk about face to face in good and bad ways." New research from the pew Internet and American Life Project reveals the average teen sends about 60 texts a day. Older teenage girls tend to send and receive about 100 per day. Scharlepp says "it's no longer human contact it's more distant, and kids aren't getting what they need they're not picking up on social cues that they need. They're not comfortable making small talk and getting through those awkward moments and we know in the real world as adults that we have to be able to navigate those systems." Mother of two, Jessica McPike, signed her daughters up for Facebook after moving back to California so they could keep in touch with family and friends. She says, "I have to make them get off the computer sometimes and with the cell phone I continue to hear it ring as the text messages come in and sometimes it's kind of hard to really know what your kids are doing or saying"
Elementary Principal’s Message
The American Academy of Pediatrics says using social media can be a risk to adolescents more often than you may think. It can open the door to cyber-bullying, privacy issues and lack of face to face communication between family and friends. Research found 20 million minors which is anyone under the age of 18, have a Facebook account and 7.5 million of that 20 million are under that legal age of 13 and 5 million of those are under the age of 10. The research also refers to cell phones and shows that 22 percent of young children ages 6 to 9 years old, 60 percent of teens ages 10 to 14 years old and 84 percent of teens ages15 to 18 own a cell phone. Scharlepp states that "children want to be on Facebook, they want the social media and the gaming so parents have to learn to navigate that and what to do." According to Manager, Chris Gigglio at Verizon Wireless, many parents want their kids to have this technology to help them stay in contact. He says there are applications that parents can use to monitor how much and when the kids are on the phone and Internet. Gigglio says “there are also usage controls so they can kind of monitor what kids are doing on these phones and they can even block sites depending on what they feel inappropriate for their age.” Mother of two, Trish Wingerson, allows her 7 year old daughter, Kaia, to play on the computer but sets limitations. She says “you don't want them to lose that face to face and that's so important, we're human beings, we need interaction, we need communication and I don't want them to lose that so I think there is always a limit, there's a balance that you have to achieve.” When given the option to play on the computer or outside, Kaia Wingerson says “Nah, I'd rather play outside, it's more fun.” If your kids are communicating online, it’s important to remember, what goes online, stays online. Scharlepp states that “the information out there stays out there, the degree of safety and risk is greater then it was before because not only is the information coming in, kids are putting the information out there and it puts them at risk."
Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
Anne-Marie Blitz firstname.lastname@example.org
General Notices... CONGRATULATIONS - Welcome to AISR Miloš! Dear Friends, On December 27 at 4:44pm Mrs Golder gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy - Miloš Loek Joris Golder. They are both doing very well and the first days on Earth for our little Milos are ‘just magical’. They wish you all a Happy New Year and hope to see you all in 2013! Many congratulations from AISR to Paul, Milos, and Aleksandra
Secondary Principal’s Message
“... donʼt forget that ʻRequest Only Parent-Teacher Conferencesʼ will take place on Wednesday, February 28th and Thursday, February 29th.” Dear Parents, Happy New Year to all AISR families! We are back in session and approaching the end of Quarter 2. Please note that reports will be posted on January 18th and Quarter 3 begins on January 21st. If your child is in grades 6-10 and participated in our ISA testing last October, a copy of those results will be included with the report. If you would like an update on your child's progress, don’t forget that ‘Request Only Parent-Teacher Conferences’ will take place on Wednesday, February 28th and Thursday, February 29th. Please contact your child’s teacher to make an appointment for either of these days if you would like to have a conference. Our Science Department is currently looking for a Carbon Dioxide meter to help collect data for an IB Group IV project. The project is designed to promote ecological sustainability at AISR. Students will be researching the carbon footprint/energy use at AISR and submitting a proposal to help AISR become a green school. If you happen to have access to such a meter, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you in advance! Our Homework Club is moving forward so please contact Katie Modic (email@example.com) if you would like your child to participate. For those of you new to the school, the purpose of the club is to "provide structured after-school support for homework completion. In addition, the staff will support students in organization, planning, and time management to ensure that student’s assignments are completed to an acceptable standard and on time. If necessary and when possible, help with some content (math, science, etc.) could be included. Finally, we aim to develop students’ motivation to study as well as their self-confidence." The club runs on certain days after school (depending on student availability and interest) from 3:15 – 5:00. If your child takes the bus, a late bus is available to bring your child home. The cost of the club is 20 Euro per session. Finally, I am pleased to announce that we will be hosting a special event for all high school students on Thursday, February 14th. Students from AISR, JSR and some local schools will be participating in an all-day training given by trainers from the United World College (UWC) Xperience. The purpose of the training is: To provide a meaningful learning experience for students from AISR, the Japanese school and surrounding colleges. To promote the interaction between students from AISR, the Japanese school and surrounding colleges. To demonstrate the approach of both AISR and UWC Netherlands to education and non-formal education to a wider audience (city council, ambassadors, press). To create space for a dialogue on an inclusive society in the city of Rotterdam between students, teachers and local/ government officials. Students will be presenting their vision of an “Ideal Rotterdam” between 3-4:30pm, followed by a brief social. Parents are welcome to attend the event, particularly for the presentations and social. Details will be shared closer to the date. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions. Upcoming Events: • Wednesday, January 16th - Early Dismissal for all students • Wednesday, January 16th - Strategic Vision meeting for parents with Mr. Dilk • Friday, January 18th - Quarter 2 Report Cards mailed home • Thursday, January 24th - Strategic Vision meeting for parents with Mr. Dilk Thank you and best regards for 2013,
Alison Lipp firstname.lastname@example.org Secondary Principal and Curriculum Director
General Notices... Adult Horseback Riding Lessons in 2013 at ʻManage De Prinsenstadʼ Have you ever wanted to go horseback riding with your family on holiday, but you have been too nervous about the experience? Did you ride horses as a child and would like to try again as an adult for enjoyment and exercise? Would you like to try something new during your week and meet new friends and AISR families while getting some exercise? If the answer is yes, then please join us on Thursday mornings from 10:00 – 11:00 at the “Best Manage of the Year” in Holland – Manage De Prinsenstad! The lessons are for AISR families and friends. Instructions will be given in English and all riding levels are welcomed (i.e., beginner, intermediate, and advance riders). Each lesson will cost 20 euros. Please contact Kimberly Thurmond at email@example.com if you are interested or want more details!
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The AISR bulletin to parents and carers.