The American International School of Rotterdam
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
DECEMBER 18TH 2009
1 959 - 2009
Snow technicians get to work...
From the Director Graham Gamble How splendid to be able to put a picture of fun in the snow on our last Shark of the year. The crisp white carpet was an early Christmas gift to all our students (including Seniors) and Mr. “Peter Pan” Wah, though slippery roads were not much fun this morning. Congratulations to all Grade 7 involved in the Lego Robotics League last week for winning first prize for Structural Design and many thanks to Ms. LeMieux for training the team and organizing their involvement. Please read the full report elsewhere and also enjoy (better late than never) our account of the excellent UN Assembly which took place a few weeks’ ago. As I write this, High School examinations are coming to an end, which means that the end of the semester can not be far away. Working in a school does funny things to your sense of time, so it seems like only moments since I arrived here in late July. The end of any school semester or term is always a bitter sweet time, as Mrs. Blitz notes below. Whilst we look forward to the holidays, the Middle School students and teachers say farewell to Julian in Grade 7, who will start at a new school in Libya in January. I also thank Jo Simeone for all that she has done for our school, in many roles, and wish the whole family every success for the future. Back on the subject of time, I am afraid my piece here exists in a different temporal reality from Mrs. Blitz’s so I am still looking forward to Thursday’s Winter Performance. As you read this, you and I will all be looking back to a very successful event on the previous evening, for which we must thank many for their involvement and efforts. You will also be looking forward to your holidays, so you had better stop reading this quickly in order that you can start enjoying them. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and see you in January!
From the Elementary Principal Anne-Marie Blitz Here it is, the last Shark of 2009. It is a very festive time for many, but alongside of that, there are some sadder moments. We have to say goodbye to some of our students and colleagues. Goodluck to Cage, Lauren, Connor, Marina, Ryudai, Rogan, Karan, Leon, Dong Hi and Shusuke. Keep in touch! We also have to say farewell to one of our colleagues – Jo Simeone. Jo has been a great asset to the staff and we will miss her very much. On Monday, the staff were surprised by a Seasonal Breakfast, provided by the PTSA to say ‘Thank you” to all the staff for their hard work. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the PTSA for their hard work – what would we do without your dedication to AISR? Also the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony took place last Monday – the sound of beautiful voices echoed through the school as the Elementary students, led by Olivia Hanne sang three very well known Seasonal songs. Those same beautiful voices were heard again at the Seasonal Program last night. What a variety of music – definitely reflects the multi-cultural nature of AISR. Thank you to all the people who made this evening such a success. Please remember: Report Cards will be posted home on Friday January 15, 2010. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Elementary Staff and students, to wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and successful 2010. Sincerely,
Grade One Is Lots Of Fun... Sue Graham and Nicole Ballantyne
“...we are all getting very excited about Christmas! ...” We have been doing many exciting and fun things in Grade One this year. We began the year with a unit called My World. We learned all about ourselves and the many different places we come from. It is always interesting to learn about other countries. Then we moved on to our next IPC topic which is Structures. We took a walk around the neighborhood and discovered all kinds of different structures.
We have been investigating the different materials from which these structures are made and how they are built. We even got the chance to make our very own structures. We built dollhouses, towers, and even bridges. Now as Quarter 2 comes to an end, we are all getting very excited about Christmas! We have been making Christmas crafts, singing songs and sharing all our unique family traditions. We would like to wish you all a very happy holiday and a restful break. See you in 2010! Sue and Nicole
Robotics - Good Job, Seventh Grade! Carol LeMieux
“...the team received a first place trophy for their robot structural design...” On Friday, Dec 11. Nine seventh graders, lead by Ms. LeMieux, went to the Region Rijnmond FIRST LEGO League competition here in Rotterdam. In preparation for the competition the children built a robot, wrote programs for several missions on the competition field, and researched a problem in the transportation industry. They had a exciting day. Their robot performed 25th out of 34 teams on the field. They placed sixth in teamwork and to top off their day the team received a first place trophy for their robot structural design. Good job, Seventh Grade!
UN Day at AISR Lynda Boot
UN Day was celebrated a bit later at AISR this year. The message, however, was no less poignant. We were privileged this year to have a wonderful guest speaker from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Mr. Christian Chartier gave a talk entitled, “2,000 Eyes; One Vision”, in which he spoke about integration and cooperation at this International Tribunal, which is essentially on our back doorstep, in the Hague. Mr. Chartier brought brochures and postcards for every child in the school, but the most important message was in his words. He stressed the need for international cooperation in bringing the wrong-doers of the recent past to justice, and to bring about peace in the area of the former Yugoslavia.
As a wonderful backdrop to the international nature of the assembly, the elementary students and their teachers and parents did AISR proud by coming in many elements of their national costumes. They marched in at various moments during the assembly with music chosen by Ralph, who took care of the sound part of the proceedings. Kalli and Manuel looked after the production of the informative programs, and Sahil and Nela organized the UN flag display at the end, as we walked out to, “Playing for Change - Sung Around the World”, again, organized by Ralph. Nico made sure that the microphones were always in the right place and Drew, Won-Young and Alan excelled themselves yet again, as the wonderful public speakers they are. Two choirs, that of the Elementary Singers, and the AISR Community Choir, sang at the assembly and this really added to the special nature of the event.
The 11th grade CAS students organized the whole event, with a little help from Mrs. Blitz, and they certainly did every bit as good a job as has been done in the past. Not a detail was missed, as we felt well taken care of as the rest of the CAS students ushered us to our places, wearing suits and suddenly looking very adult. A special thanks goes out to the group of 8th graders who helped set up and clear away beamers and Mrs. Boot’s computer at the last minute. This assembly was a great success and it can be greatly attributed to the hard work and attention to detail of our wonderful CAS students.
Heartfelt thanks go out to those AISR community members who donated baked goods for the PTSA sale during the winter performance. We received so many delicious desserts, and appreciate your time and effort.
The PTSA extends warm holiday wishes to the AISR community. Best wishes to all of you for a safe, fun-filled winter break. We have many wonderful events still to come this school year, and look forward to enjoying them with all of you in the New Year.
On Friday, December 11th the PTSA provided breakfast for the AISR staff. The PTSA committee delivered foods such as croissants, fruit, yogurt and orange juice to each AISR staff member. Happy holidays!
Pam Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder: The next PTSA general meeting will take place on Thursday, January 14 at 8:30 a.m.
010 8188522 061 1062630
IMPORTANT TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION Dear Parents, Please note that we now have a new recorded phone message. When you call the school during school hours, you will hear a message which invites you choose from one of three menu options:
1. you can leave a message regarding transportation 2. you can leave a message to say your child is sick and won't be coming to school today 3. you can speak to one of the office staff
You can also get to speak to someone if you just stay on the line. When you ring outside school hours, your option is simply to leave a message, which then answer in the normal way. Please contact the School Office if anything is not clear AISR School Office
SCOUTS@AISR A huge thank you to our wonderful scouts and families from AISR! They did a great food drive. Some of the troop leaders and scouts dropped off the food at the Voedselbank in Schiedam. It was very interesting. The founder of the food bank was there and explained to us that it went from "just" her and her husband to a national organisation. They are feeding 2800 families, in the Rotterdam area alone and continue tohelp nation wide for over 22000 families. They are all volunteer workers and the bank only closes for two weeks in January for the whole year. Amazing people and our scouts did well supporting them. Thanks you for your support - we could not do it without you! Bianca Rimbach
Board of Trustees
From the Board of Trustees Dear AISR Families, At the end of last year, we introduced a new feature of the Board of Trustees. I made a commitment to you that I would update you on a regular basis on what your Board has been doing.
Our primary focus at the start of this school year was to create a strong working relationship between the Board and the new Director. To this effect, the Board invited Gail Schoppert – a former Director of our school, and now a full-time trainer – to lead a workshop for the Board Trustees and the Director. This workshop took place early September. We had great discussions about the role and functioning of Boards, and the desired interaction between the Boards and the Director. We came out full of energy and ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.
One of the decisions taken during the workshop was to reduce the number of committees. The IT, Building and Grounds, and PR committees were discontinued. The Board is indeed happy with how these areas are covered by the school staff. There are now 3 active committees remaining: Policy & Vision, Governance, and of course, Finance. The Board will consider setting up ad-hoc committees if and when necessary.
All committees have resumed their work. We were especially pleased to see that many staff members volunteered to join the Policy & Vision committee this year! Not only do our policies need continuous updates, but this committee will be laying the groundwork for our new Strategic Plan (scheduled for next school year). This Strategic Plan will build on the tremendous work performed by many of you as part of the accreditation process.
As far as Governance is concerned, we were happy to have two 'old' acquaintances recently join the Board: Chris DeLury and Andrew George-Kelso. They follow Michael Engelen, who joined earlier this year. Unfortunately Clare Millard stepped down, as will Sev Simeone in December. This school could not be what it is without the time, hard work, and support of many volunteers in many different roles. We cannot therefore thank them enough for their contribution. “You make a difference.”
Last but not least a word on the Finance committee. It is no secret that, as a result of the recession, our finances are hurting. I won't go into the details – the information is available for you to consult at the school office. The school posted a loss last year, and is planning again a loss (albeit lower) for this year. Our current situation does not differ fundamentally from that of other international schools in this part of the world. This is however not sustainable in the longer run. The school has already taken numerous actions, and will be reassessing the situation throughout the year. Our aim is to “live within our means” while offering the best possible education to our children.
We are celebrating this year our 50th anniversary. This is a milestone which calls for many more! Let's spend some time thinking about what makes this school such a wonderful place, and make sure that it remains so for the next 50 years to come.
Alan Steele-Nicholson Board Chair
Ice Skating (Online Special). Elizabeth Marsh Photography
The snow fell and the students played...
Views From the Science Block... Becca Vanderlaan and Larry Rosenblatt
I had the honor of being a judge, along with Ms. Lipp, for the Science Fair put on by Ms. Vanderlaan’s seventh grade class. It was well attended and snacks, along with tea and coffee, were served. The projects were very creative and it was obvious that all of the students put a lot of time and effort into these projects. The students were judged on project design, the quality and quantity of the data gathered, as well as the presentation of the results. In the end, we could not decide on a clear winner so we chose to award first place to two projects: "How Senses Affect Taste" by Marianne and Anna and "The Putt-Putt Boat" by John and Alexander. Larry Rosenblatt
Mr Patrick Dailly and Mrs Bianca Rimbach
The music department and some wonderful volunteer parents (thank you to the Chambers, Rimbachs and Rachel Ford!) organized a trip for 3rd and 4th grade elementary students that were interested in seeing the performance of "The Snow Queen" in Den Haag. It was a very successful night out. The play was interpreted by OperaDans, which is an interdisciplinary vocal, music, dance and creative arts ensemble directed by the soprano Nicole Jordan (she was the Snow Queen, seen in the attached picture with our children). After the play the children got to meet the "Snow Queen" and a professional harpist who played the only instrument during the show.
Even though it was a very late show for our young students (2000 - 2230), some of the audience and even some performers came up to us and complimented us on "our" very well behaved children. It was a very serious, classical performance with some modern dance. Our children did amazingly well and seemed to be captured by the fascinating interpretation of the story. Patrick Dailly and Bianca Rimbach
Fun in the Snow (Online Special). Mrs VanCleve
Grade 4 and 5 go skating...
Big Plate Menu Monday 11
Small plate for €2
Small plate for €2
Healthy sticks Italian pasta Bolognaise sauce Cheese sauce for vegetarians Fresh fruit or yoghurt
Healthy Peas and Healthy sticks carrots sticks Cauliflower Spaghetti Fresh cooked Cooked Big chicken Italian pasta with Napoli potatoes potatoes kebab Sauce “a la sauce(beef) Swedish chef” Baked fish Potato slices meatballs
Elementary School Menu
Healthy Healthy sticks sticks Chicken soup Broccoli Italian pasta with bread Steamed rice Italian pasta stick Bolognaise Carbonara Mexico sauce Hotdog or Tortilla (beef) sauce Tosti or and tex mex sauce Small plate Sandwich Small plate for €2 for €2
Cucumber Healthy and carrots Peas and sticks Salad with sticks carrots tomatoes Italian pasta Italian pasta Mexican rice Potato Bacon and HALF DAY Bolognaise coquette cheese sauce Chicken sauce wings Chicken fillet Small plate Small plate for €2 for €2
Wednesday Thursday 13 14
Broccoli Chicken Steamed Sweet corn soup with rice Fries bread stick Mexico Chicken Hotdog or Tortilla fingers (beef) and Tosti or Veg. burger tex mex Sandwich for sauce Fruit and vegetarians Veg. Tortilla milk Fresh fruit or for (max 2 yoghurt vegetarians sandwiches) Fresh fruit or yoghurt
Healthy Peas and Cauliflower Cucumber Green beans sticks carrots and carrot Cooked Fries sticks Spaghetti Fresh potatoes Spring roll with Napoli cooked Fish fingers Pizza Fresh fruit or sauce(beef) potatoes pepperoni or Veggie yoghurt Cheese Swedish schnitzel for mozzarella sauce for meatballs vegetarians Fresh fruit or vegetarians Veggie Fresh fruit or yoghurt Fresh fruit or schnitzel for yoghurt yoghurt vegetarians Fresh fruit or yoghurt
Cucumber Peas and Salad with Corn and carrots carrots tomatoes Potato slices sticks Mexican rice Potato Cheese Italian pasta Chicken coquette burger HALF DAY Bolognaise wings Chicken fillet (oven) sauce Veg. roll for Fresh fruit or Fresh fruit or Cheese vegetarians yoghurt yoghurt sauce for Fresh fruit or vegetarians yoghurt Fresh fruit or yoghurt
*Cold lunch can be served instead of hot lunch: French bread sandwiches with Ham or Tuna or egg.
Community Announcements And Classifieds@AISR
Something for the Shark?
If you have something you would like to publish in the Shark, please send it to David Blackburn via:
email@example.com The next Shark will come out on January 15th. All submissions are due by: Tuesday, January 12th. by 5.00 PM.
Business Network in Rotterdam English classes for adults
Are you looking for a new opportunity to broaden your business network, then the Rotterdam Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce may be the answer. From multinational corporations to one-person businesses, members of AmCham join for a variety of reasons, depending on their particular needs and interests. All members benefit from: • •
Increased business-to-business networking opportunities Improved visibility among key US – Netherlands market players Important Dutch-American bilateral lobbying activities of the Chamber
Membership in the American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands is open to all corporations, firms and small businesses regardless of residence or nationality. Approximately 500 companies represented by over 800 individuals with an interest in US - Netherlands trade relations are currently members of this ever-expanding organization. The Rotterdam Chapter of the American chamber was established in January 2008 and would be delighted to welcome new participants in this business network. Members are typically either American companies operating in the Netherlands or Dutch companies with a business interest in the United States. Professionals whose activities are related to American - Dutch economic relations are also members.
If you would like to improve and practice your
English, and at the same time make new international friends, why not join one of the English language classes for adults available at
Ballet classes for ages 3 and up will be offered at AISR from January 2010. The classes will be taught by Sue Manville who trained at The Royal Academy of Dance in London. Sue has 20 years experience of ballet teaching and choreography, in the United States, UK, Australia, Greece, Spain and Brazil.
the school during school hours? These are small, friendly groups and the lessons, ranging from beginners to advanced and all with plenty of conversation, are given by a British native speaker. If you are interested and would like to know more, please ask at the reception desk or
If interested please email Sue Manville at firstname.lastname@example.org with the age of your child.
contact the teacher, Mary Tomlinson, directly via e-mail address: email@example.com or telephone number: 010 4704424.
For further information regarding membership and activities, please view the AmCham website.
SPECIAL NEEDS TUTORING for Children
LIFE COACH – MIND AND BODY INC. (IN ENGLISH) •
Gifted and Talented (including underachieving gifted), ADD and ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Management, Asperger's, Autism, Down's Syndrome, Fine Motor Skills.
HELP AND SUPPORT FOR PARENTS of children with Special Needs • CONTACT: SANDRA, B.A. Psychology, M.A. English Literature, M.S. Special Education (USA). EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org MOBILE: 06-16593856.
UNDERSTAND YOURSELF! How you can be well and strong from the Inside Out. USE YOUR SKILLS EFFECTIVELY – Govern the Beast within you and Shine your Beauty. LOSE WEIGHT AND STAY FIT THE NATURAL WAY – You do not need to go on countless Weight Loss Diets and Plans if you understand how your body
Treasured memories? Old or damaged photos restored. I can repair most images to a high level of presentation and provide a digital image and photo-print of the restored image.
functions. UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILDREN – You can be their source of Inspiration. LEARN THAT JOY IS WITHIN YOU – while tackling the challenges of life head-on.
KNOW THAT THE WORLD IS YOUR CANVAS CONTACT: SANDRA, B.A. Psychology, M.A. English Literature, M.S. Special Education (USA). EMAIL: email@example.com MOBILE: 06-16593856.
If interested please email David Blackburn at firstname.lastname@example.org