November 2012 In this issue
Parent-Teacher Conferences Alumni Interview ES Art & SEC Music Awards SRC Thanksgiving Carnival
Address: 57 Wolgye-ro 45ga-gil, Nowon-gu, Seoul, 139-852, Korea Website: www.apis.seoul.kr
Early College Acceptances
Congratulations to our students on their early acceptances! We expect more good news to come. Duke University Indiana University-Bloomington Kingston University Michigan State University Pennsylvania State University- University Park (3) University of the Arts London
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2) University of Miami University of Michigan-Ann Arbor University of Notre Dame (2) Wellesley College
From Dr. Kim’s Desk The Art of Surpassing Civilization I read from an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that the average American college student spends at least 100 minutes a day on Facebook and three hours texting. Some students experience PVS (Phantom Vibration Syndrome) imagining that someone is texting them, while others “fake text” while waiting for a class to begin so they won’t look like losers. Students are terrified of missing something, being out of the loop, not being available to their friends 24/7. I then thought the prevalence of social media as described would perhaps be an understatement even for our younger students who live in Seoul, where many proclaim it to be the “IT capital” of the world. This is an environment where broadband internet access is taken for granted and where wi-fi hotspots are a dime a dozen. In this part of the world, “smart” phones have become an inseparable part of personal identity and lifestyle for not only college students but also for very young children. According to a survey of 1,451,000 Korean students from elementary to high schools in the Gyeonggi province area, 66% owned a smartphone, using it mostly for accessing SNS (Social Networking Service). About 45% of students said they spend 1-3 hours just using smartphones and a 10% said they spend more than 5 hours per day! (Though I do not have direct data, for many reasons -i.e. multilingualism, global personal networks, etc,- one would suspect the smartphone/SNS addiction would be more severe for students in international schools.) The Confucian cultural context is also an important aspect of the SNS phenomenon in Korea. I have often argued that the Confucian cultural tradition is critical in understanding Korean social dynamics. Korea is often recognized by sociological and cultural experts as being more influenced by Confucian ideals (유교 사상) than China, where Confucianism actually originated. At the risk of over simplification, I would argue that SNS is more explosive in Korea, not only because of its strong IT infrastructure, but also because of its cultural legacy that emphasizes social harmony and collectivism in the public sphere (공). Korean culture puts immense pressure to follow the collective norm and care about not losing their public “face”. Otherwise, they risk being a king of social outcasts (“Wang Ta”). As the ultimate public sphere (in terms of its accessibility and its reachability), SNS becomes, in the Confucian context, a realm almost impossible to ignore or to escape. SNS becomes a very high stakes endeavor, forcing our children to be overtly focused on their social relevance, i.e. constantly worrying about fitting in and conforming to others. There is very little space left over for private consciousness, individuality, and courage to stand apart from the crowd. With Confucianism, SNS is running on steroids.
Before we blame everything on Confucianism, we should be reminded that Confucianism also preaches making a clear delineation between what is public (공) and what is private (사). It also preaches that maintaining a good balance between the two is just as important. With some of our students spending more than 5 hours a day on SNS, the private sphere is obviously being squeezed out. Moreover, SNS forums, such as Facebook and Twitter, make it very challenging for our children to distinguish what remains public or private on the internet (Even for adults who currently use Facebook, how many of us really understand the varied implications of all the privacy settings in their account?). It is very easy to forget
that the private sharing of texts or pictures online can easily be turned into a permanent relict of the virtual realm for all to see. The irony is that the access to this open, social media world occurs as children are retreating from real, physical interaction with their family and others. Staring into a computer monitor in their own room with doors closed, the world outside seems blocked off. The social media world may feel like a very “private” space of their own when the exact opposite is true. In the social media world, lines are blurred between what is private or public. The solution obviously is not to make our children turn away from the SNS entirely. We recognize that social media represents a very powerful medium for connecting with others and sharing resources. Its benefit extends to education, not only as an extended knowledge base but also as an opportunity to enhance learning experiences. Hence, we need to educate our children to become responsible and ethical digital citizens, capable of separating what is private and public in the virtual realm. Moreover, we need to help our children correct the imbalance between their private and public life created by SNS. As a remedy for this, I like what the author of the aforementioned article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Andrew Reiner, suggests: a social-media Sabbath. As a university professor, Reiner asked his Towson University students to carve out a four-hour window with absolutely no social media and entertainment technology, and then write about it in a journal. Students detached themselves from outside distractions, decelerated, and consciously, deliberately opened themselves to risk-taking. They sought solitude in trees, watched thunderstorms from atop parking garages, painted for the first time since high school, made eye contact with complete strangers and smiled at them. When the four hours were up, one student said she put her cellphone in her backpack and left it there for the rest of the day. “Know what?” she said. “I hadn’t felt so light in years.” Reiner calls this experiment, “the art of surpassing civilization.” The advent of SNS and the problems associated with it prompts us to re-evaluate the relationship to technology. By taking a purposeful break away from technology, we can learn to gain some degree of independence from it. The break is necessary because what could be a great resource for learning can also be a source of great distraction to learning, if there is too much of it. The social media Sabbath is an opportunity not only to set aside a physical time for serious learning but also to redirect our focus back to one’s own private sphere so that intimacy with what we are trying to learn and understand can take place. The private sphere is one’s interiority where risk taking, focused and deeper exploration of ideas, independent thinking--all necessary for true understanding and knowledge--can take place.
We often see K-pop singers taking a break from public lives to recharge and to develop new material. Taking a break at the height of their popularity may seem like a crazy thing to do. Yet those wise ones in the industry know that is exactly what is needed to ensure longevity. Will you encourage your children to try Reiner’s experiment of “surpassing civilization”? “It can start with one simple act that’s revolutionary in an age when our attention is forever cast downward onto smartphones and tablets,” he says. “We can lift our gaze into the eyes of other people, as well as into our own. Then we can find the connection we seek, to keep the only piece that matters.”
Reference: Andrew Reiner (2012, Sept. 28). “Only Disconnect,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, (Vol. LIX, #5, p. B20)
탈(脫) 문명의 미학 The Chronicle of Higher Education 기사에 의하면 미국 대학생들은 하루 평 균 페이스북에 100분, 친구들과의 문자 교환에 3시간을 보낸다고 합니다. 심지 어 어떤 학생들은 문자가 계속 오는 느낌을 받는 강박관념(Phantom Vibration Syndrome)에 시달린다고 합니다. 이 글을 읽으면서 IT 강국인 우리나라에서의 상황은 더 심하지 않을까 생각했습니다. 실제로 1,451,000명의 경기도 소재 초, 중, 고등학생을 대상으로 한 설문조사에서 66%가 스마트폰을 소지하고 있고 그 중 45%의 학생들은 하루 평균 1~3시간 SNS에 사용한다고 합니다. 5시간 이상 스마트폰을 사용하는 학생들도 무려 10%에 달했습니다. (비록 통계는 없지만 스 마트폰, SNS 중독 현상은 외국어에 능통하고 친구들과의 글로벌 네트워크를 형 성하고 있는 국제외국인학교 학생들 사이에서 더 심각할 수 있다고 생각합니다) 저는 잘 구축된 IT 인프라뿐만 아니라 공공(公共)사회생활 영역에서 조화와 집단주의가 강조되는 유교 문화 때문에 한국에 서 SNS가 폭발적인 관심과 파급력이 있다고 생각합니다. 조직문화의 세계적인 권위자인 Geert Hofstede의 연구에 의하면 한국인은 53대상국가중에서 가장 집단주의적 의식을 가지고 있다는 결과가 있습니다. 우리 아이들은 남들이 하는 것을 따 라 해야한다는 압박을 받고 살아가며 그렇지 않으면 또래집단에서 소외를 당할 수 있다고 생각합니다. 이런 차원에서 접근 성과 파급력 측면에서 최고의 공공 영역 이라고 할 수 있는 SNS는 무시할 수도, 피할 수도 없는 영역이 우리아이들에게 이 미 되어버렸습니다. 우리아이들은 본인이 소셜미디어를 통해 남들에게 어떻게 비춰질지 신경을 쓰는데 너무 많은 시간을 투자하고 있습니다. 안타까운 것은 이때, 개인의 양심, 판단, 남들과 달리 행동하는 용기를 발휘 할 수 있는 사(私)적인 영역 은 점점 줄어들고 있다는 사실입니다. 사실 이러한 문제를 유교사상에 탓하기 전에 우리는 유교 사상이 공(公)적인 영역과 사(私)적인 영역을 명확하게 구분하며, 둘의 균형을 강조한다는 것을 기억해야 합니다. 어떻게 보면 페이스북과 트위터는 학생들에게 무엇이 공적이고 무엇이 사 적인지 분별하는 것을 어렵게 합니다. 누구든지 내가 게재한 글이나 사진을 볼 수 있고 평생 기록에 남는다는 사실은 우리 어른들 조차도 쉽게 잊고 살아가지 않습니까? 또한 우리는 자녀가 소셜미디어에 더 활발하게 참여할수록 가족이나 다른 사 람과의 진정한 교류는 오히려 줄어든다는 것을 경험했을 것 입니다. 방문을 닫고 컴퓨터 속 화면을 보고 있을 때, 외부 세 상과는 단절된 느낌이 들고 (오히려 더 공개적인) 소셜미디어는 친근한 사적인 공간처럼 느껴집니다. 이처럼 소셜미디어는 공적인 것과 사적인 것의 경계를 모호하게 만듭니다. 소셜미디어로 인해 발생하는 여러 가지 문제를 극복하기 위해 SNS와 아예 단절하는 것은 가능하지 않을뿐더러 바람직하 지 않습니다. 소셜미디어는 사람들과 교류하고 정보를 공유하는 데 굉장히 효과적인 매체이며 교육적으로도 유용할 때가 많습니다. 우리는 가상현실에서 공적인 것과 사적인 것을 분간할 수 있는 능력을 길러주고 책임감 있고 도덕적인 디지털 시 민이 되도록 자녀를 교육하고 지도해야 할 의무가 있습니다. 더 나아가, 우리 자녀 삶에서의 공적인 영역, 사적인 영역 간 균형을 다시 찾을 수 있도록 도와야합니다. 후자의 해결책으로 앞서 언급한 기사에서 저자 Andrew Reiner의 “소셜미디어 안식일”을 소개하고자 합니다. Reiner 교수는 그가 가르치는 Towson University 학생들에게 4시간 동안 소셜미디어 없이 지내보고 그 경험을 기록하는 과제를 주었습니다. 과제를 하면서 학생들은 나무에 올라가 혼자만의 시간을 가져보고, 그림 도 그려보았습니다. 4시간이 다 되었을 때 한 학생은 “마음이 참 가벼워요. 이런 느낌 정말 오랜만이에요” 라고 하면서 하 루가 지나도록 핸드폰을 가방에서 꺼내지 않았다고 합니다. Reiner 교수는 이 실험을 “탈(脫) 문명의 미학”이라고 표현합니다. “소셜미디어 안식일”은 단순히 우리에게 배울 수 있는 시간을 줄 뿐만 아니라 우리의 관심을 사적인 영역으로 옮겨와 배우고자하는 내용과 긴밀한 관계를 만들어 더 자세히 들여 다볼 수 있게 합니다. 이러한 사적인 영역은 도전, 깊이 있는 탐구, 독립적으로 사고 할 수 있는 공간이며 진정한 배움이 시 작되는 곳이기 때문입니다. 우리는 K-pop 가수들이 일정 기간 동안 TV에 출연하지 않고 재충전하는 시간을 갖는 것을 흔히 봅니다. 인기가 정점에 달 할 때 활동을 잠시 중단하는 것을 이상하게 여길 수 있으나 엔터테인먼트 업계에서는 재충전하고 내공을 쌓는 기간이 오히 려 가수가 오래 활동할 수 있는 비결임을 알고 있습니다. Reiner 교수의 “탈 문명”을 시도하도록 자녀에게 가르쳐 보겠습 니까? “그것은 스마트폰과 태블릿 PC에서 시선을 떼는 작은 행동에서 시작됩니다” 라고 Reiner 교수는 말합니다. “우리의 시선을 들어 다른 사람의 눈을 들여다보고, 나아가 본인의 내면을 들여다보는 기회를 가질 필요가 있습니다. 거기에서 우리 는 우리가 찾고자 하는 진정한 커넥션들을 발견하고 간직하고자 하는 것들을 선택할 수 있습니다.”
Parent-Teacher Conferences Students, parents, and teachers are brought together, twice a year, to engage in conversation and discussion around student achievement. On November 9 and 10, the first ParentTeacher Conferences were held, providing a wonderful opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to celebrate student success as well as to discuss areas for improvement.
Parent Coffee Meetings
Throughout the months of October and November, the APIS administration organized a series of Parent Coffee Meetings. These meetings have been great opportunities for the administration to present key topics as well as hear responses and begin important discussions with parents. During the meetings, elementary introduced online resources which parents and students can use at home with the new math program while secondary walked parents through Power School, APISâ€™ new web-based student information system. The administration plans to continue these Parent Coffee meetings throughout the school year as parents play an important role in the education of our students.
The Parent-Teacher Organization successfully held its annual bazaar from November 8 through 9. Food, snacks, coffee and cake, Christmas decorations, clothes, books, used uniforms, and many other goods were sold during this two-day event.
APIS Launches a New Student Information System At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, APIS faculty and administration began using a new program called PowerSchool to record attendance, assignments, and grades. After the adjustment period, beginning November 12, secondary parents were able to access this new program and students gained access to their own account the following week. Elementary parents will be able to gain access after the winter break. One of the main benefits of this new system is that parents and students are able to access up-to-date information at all times. As soon as teachers update the attendance for each student, parents will be able to see that information instantly. At the secondary level, grades are updated throughout the quarter. Elementary grades are updated at the end of every quarter. PowerSchool also has a mobile application available for Apple and Android devices. With these features, parents can follow their childâ€™s progress at any time and from any location. They can also be kept up-to-date with all school information which include weekly events, a monthly calendar, and a monthly lunch menu.
Events at the School Cafeteria November was an exciting month in the school cafeteria as J&J Catering, our food service provider, hosted several events designed to educate students and provide some fun. The â€œClean the Trayâ€? event was held on November 5 and 6 and focused on encouraging students to be mindful of their food waste. The catering company had noticed that many secondary students take too much food and many elementary students do not eat all of their vegetables. During this event, each student weighed his/her tray after lunch to determine how much excess food remained. If the excess was over 35 grams, an alarm sounded to indicate that the student had too much waste. For students whose waste was under the limit, they received a strawberry yogurt as a prize. On November 13th, elementary students were given puzzles with stickers to test their knowledge of foods high in sugar, fat, and salt. Secondary students had to fill out a crossword puzzle identifying certain foods based on nutritional facts. Students who completed their puzzles were given a homemade cereal bar. Later in the month, some elementary classes were given cooking lessons in the cafeteria. Students were taught how to make Kimbap. While making the Kimbap, they learned about all the ingredients, the nutrition value, and were able to eat their own creations at the end. Students found all of these events to be enjoyable and educational.
Alumni Spotlight It has been already six months since our very first graduates left the Green Hawk nest to explore the bigger world. To see how our graduates are doing, we have started a new column featuring short interviews with our alumni. For the first issue, Sunna Mo (Class of 2012) who is currently attending Cornell University shares her story. Where are you going to school now? What things about your new school do you like? Are you happy with your decision to go to this school? I attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Cornell has various events and opportunities for students to explore and have fun. However, this is probably true for almost all other universities as well. I’m blessed to be studying in a very prestigious university with so many talented people from all around the world. Then again, Ithaca is very isolated, geographically, so people tend to feel lonely (and it’s also really COLD).
Sunna poses in front of her dormitory. Balch Hall is one of the first all women’s dorm in America, which opened in the 1920s.
What are you studying? Do you know what type of career field you want to pursue? I’m taking Introduction to Microeconomics and Social and Political Philosophy, Calculus, and an English course (Asian American folklore, ghosts, and tradition). In my social and political class, I’m learning about Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Mill (sounds fun?). I haven’t yet decided on my major, but I’m leaning towards studying government. What is your daily schedule like? Is college life different from what you expected? My daily schedule is very different from what it was in APIS. My classes start at either 9 or 10 in the morning. I only have two to three classes a day. I feel like I spend so much time studying, more than I did when I was a junior in high school. Libraries become your best friend. Also, class schedules are more flexible in college. For example, I have friends who purposely scheduled all of their classes in the afternoon, so their class starts at 12 or 1 p.m. every day. Tell us about yourself as a former student at APIS. What are some of your memorable moments at APIS? When I was a student in APIS, I really wanted to go to college and just be over with high school. However, come to think of it, I had so much fun in APIS (like playing basketball). Please cherish the moments you have in APIS. College is fun, but it is certainly different from high school. High school moments will never come again, so take full advantage of it! What was the most challenging part in preparing for college applications? How did you manage it? What programs or sessions at APIS were helpful? I guess the most challenging moment for me was preparing for the common application essays. Don’t stress out and just really try to figure out who you are as a person, what you want to study and what you are good at. Don’t overthink things and don’t try to impress anyone. The writing session I had with Mr. Martin Walsh [Former Dean of Admissions at Stanford University] at APIS was really helpful. Also, visit Mr. Maldonado a lot!! Bug him and ask him questions. Lastly, what advice do you have for our seniors and juniors? Congratulations seniors!! You made it this far!!! I hope all the hard work you guys put into those college applications really pay off. I’ll be praying for you guys! And for juniors, please don’t stress out and enjoy every moment. It’ll just get harder if you guys complain and stress out all the times. Please just relax and try your best.
“.. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him ; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15: 20 When we think of the word “wanted,” it is usually in terms of criminals. If you’re “wanted,” you are seen with suspicion, scorn, or hatred. However, to want is to desire. So in a literal sense, to be wanted is to be thought of, longed for, and loved. This layering of meaning is what we explored this month. God, knowing our sins, marks us as “wanted,” and seeks to bring us to justice and correction. However, God’s motivation is not hatred, but love. God longs for us and strives to restore a rightful relationship. We spent three weeks exploring these themes within the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11-32. In the first week, we examined the younger brother who insulted his father, took his inheritance early, and wasted it on wild living. He then fell into hard times and began longing for the safety and security of home. He made the long walk back home afraid of rejection, because he felt like a criminal. However, while he was a long way off, his father ran to greet him because his father never stopped thinking of him as his son. Those who have been labeled low achievers are encouraged to identify themselves according to God’s unconditional love instead. The second week, we explored the older brother’s choices, and talked about feeling pressure to perform. Knowing how expensive it is to raise a child can make any child feel like a burden to his or her parents. To fight this feeling, some children will try to be perfect and focus on their performance. High achievement gives them assurance that they are indeed celebrated, loved, and wanted. Unfortunately, this makes them judgmental towards their siblings and gives them a sense of entitlement towards their parents. The father in the story challenges his older son to accept his brother and to stop thinking of his performance in a mercenary way. Those who have been labeled high achievers are challenged to identify themselves according to God’s unconditional love instead. The third week, we explored the father’s choices. In order to do the loving thing, the father had to make choices that make him vulnerable to criticism. Some people criticize the father for giving his younger child the inheritance and letting him go. Others criticize him for not going out to rescue him when he was homeless. Still others criticize him for welcoming the son back. In the same way, we read news articles about brutal crimes, and criticize God for giving people the freedom to hurt themselves and others. We find ourselves in trouble of our own making, and call God unmerciful. We see God offering grace to others and complain that God is unjust. However, the parable shows that in each case, the father is doing what is most loving. Rather than judging God, we are called to submit to and love God.
-- Events --
December 14, CLC 3:45-6:00pm: Film Festival
The theme is TRUST and all secondary students are welcome to submit films of up to five minutes. The entire school is welcome to come get popcorn and enjoy the films.
Elementary News Welcome to the cooler days of school as we say goodbye to November, hello to December and our winter months. I truly hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I would like to thank those parents who attended our November elementary parent coffee. We hope you found the on-line math resources helpful in supporting your child’s learning, please keep your eyes open for Part 2 of “Online Math Resources” coming soon. I look forward to continuing our parent coffees and working with you all, to ensure we continue to have a great school. I can’t believe there are less than two weeks until Christmas break for our great readers, writers, mathematicians and young scientists to continue to grow. Here are a few ideas you might want to consider doing, to support your child at home.
In Math - Use the online resources from Everyday Math and review the math vocabulary with your child - View the online “review videos” together, to further enhance understanding - Go online and play those math games with your child
In Language Arts - Read with your child those books they love! Have them tell you about their favorite characters. They can tell you in either English or Korean - Have them read to you what they are writing in writers’ workshop - Have them tell you the writing techniques they are using as a writer to create their stories
In Science - Ask them; what are they investigating and what can they tell you about their investigations? Finally, I would like to congratulate our two teams of Daniel Lim & Justin Ahn (Grade 5 ), and Angie Sohn (Grade 2) & Hara Choi (Grade 3) who represented APIS so well in the Korean Air Art Competition which took place back in September. Fantastic work teams, you have made us proud!
Stephen Massiah Elementary Principal
In September, four of our elementary students participated in the nationwide Korean Air Future Artist Olympiad, which attracted more than 400 elementary students. From the international schools, about 40 students participated and only four teams or individuals were given awards. Both of the APIS teams were award winners. On October 27, our students had the privilege of receiving their awards and flying to Busan on a plane decorated with the award-winning artwork. Congratulations to Daniel Lim (Grade 5A), Justin Ahn (Grade 5A), Hara Choi (Grade 3A), and Angie Sohn (Grade 2A)!
Counselor’s Column APIS is Tackling Bullying in Korea Unfortunately, bullying is a problem that occurs in most schools around the world, with Korea being no exception. Within the past year, South Korea has been mourning the deaths of more than one victim who had taken his life because of bullying. Korean government and police officials have become more invested into creating a bully-free society. Thankfully, Asia Pacific International School is committed to educating students in all grades about bullying and the effects it has on the school and local community. Here are some important things to know about bullying in Korea:
Physical and Face-to-Face bullying is not as common in Korea as Behind-the-Back bullying. This type of bullying is sometimes difficult to recognize because a student may not know who is doing the bullying or when it is happening.
One of the most common ways students bully others is called “Wang-ta” 왕따. This type of bullying is where a group or maybe even an entire class will purposely exclude a student. Students will not sit with them at lunch, they will make fun of the student, and they will tell others to ignore him or her and not be a friend.
Because Korea is one of the most electronically advanced and connected countries in the world, another very common problem is Cyberbullying. Students will send mean or hurtful messages or post inappropriate photos through texting, instant messaging, Facebook, online games, or email.
Students and parents at APIS are working together to stop bullying. Students are learning how to be strong, effective upstanders who protect students from bullying at our school. The administration takes bullying very seriously and work with not only the victims, but students doing the bullying and their families to help them grow into responsible citizens of the school and Korea. If you have any questions or concerns about bullying at APIS, please contact either our K-8 school counselor, Shelly Maldonado (email@example.com) or the Dean of Students, Matt Johnson (mjohnson@ apis.seoul.kr) Here are some recent articles about bullying and positive movements to stop bullying in Korea: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15388220801974084#preview http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120112001248 http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20121102000682
Secondary News Throughout the 20th century, education systems were built on the fundamental assumption that information was scarce. Within this context, anyone who desired to learn and educate themselves had to rely primarily on schools providing the experts in various curricular areas to dispense necessary information. The idea was to gather together the knowledgeable, and bring the students to them so they could learn. Today we live in a world of information abundance. Dispensing information is no longer the main goal of education. Information, facts, and content that was only available at school or through a trip to the library not that long ago is now available to students in a matter of seconds through their computer or cell phone. Schools and educators are no longer the holders and dispensers of information. Schools must connect the content knowledge with the metacognitive skills (thinking about how we think) that students need to succeed in a world of information abundance. This is no small challenge. As former U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, is credited with writing, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t yet been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” At APIS we are committed to preparing our students for this uncertain future. We are working to teach our students to find, evaluate, organize, synthesize, and present information for themselves, instead of just regurgitating content. Each day at APIS you see students taking an active role in their education, leading discussions, researching connections between seemingly disconnected ideas, learning how to learn and make meaning out of the content they are exploring. As I listened to education consultant, Allen November speak at a recent conference, I jotted down the following bullet points that I think are important concepts for us to consider as foundational to guiding learning at APIS. The most important skills we can teach children are: • • • •
How to ask the right questions How to get the right information How to evaluate information How to do something with the information (apply it, make meaning)
This is not to suggest that we abandon academic content altogether, or consider the commitment of facts to memory as completely without value. We need to remain committed to guiding students toward a mastery of certain information in order to build a foundation of intellectual capital from which they can draw or contextualize their continued learning. But it is not enough to simply continue the Industrial Age model of dispensing this foundational knowledge, we must move beyond this to help our students learn how to learn, create new things, adapt to rapid change, and apply their learning to real world situations. It is exciting to see students and teachers here at APIS rising to this challenge and working together to create a vibrant learning community committed to successfully preparing for a rapidly changing future.
FINISHING SEMESTER ONE The first semester officially ends December 21 this year, so high school students have very limited time left before final exams the week of December 17 – 21. It is very important for all students to focus on their studies and give extra effort to meet the learning goals in each of their courses. I encourage all parents to activate their PowerSchool account if they have not already done so and to check on their students’ progress regularly. Be sure to ask your student about their learning and make sure they are completing and submitting assignments on time. If you need assistance setting up your PowerSchool account, please contact Julie in the office. Scott Paulin Secondary Principal
Letter from the Dean of Students In the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is an opportunity for all of us to be thankful for our students, parents, teachers, and staff. Our school community makes APIS a special place to learn, grow, and succeed. As we round out the remainder of the first semester, keep your eye on the prize and stay focused in both your personal and collaborative achievements. Attendance is very important in the education and development of students. The faculty and staff of APIS expect students to attend vschool every day and participate fully during classroom activities and discussions. The attendance policy has changed this year, as noted in the Student and Parent Handbook, and students and parents need to be aware of this change. The policy states that “accumulating in excess of 9 period-absences in a class per semester, whether excused or not, will result in a loss of credit for the course or courses involved” (p. 17). This policy applies to both excused and unexcused absences. We, as administrators, understand that there are special circumstances where students may be absent from school (e.g. pre-approved educational trip, medical emergency). Those absences that have been pre-approved by administration will not be counted towards the 9 period-absence limit. Please keep in mind that during the second semester block classes will be counted as two period absences. The purpose of this reminder is not to alarm students and parents, but rather to notify all of you of the policy change for this school year. As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions. I’m here to help you! Matthew Johnson Dean of Students
MOVEMBER by Stephanie Kwon
During November each year, thousands of men around the world grow moustaches. With their “Mo’s”, these men help to raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, more specifically prostate cancer. The Service Learning class decided to bring Movember to APIS to make our students aware of this issue. Seven wonderful teachers, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Durham, Mr. Maldonado, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Stapleton, Mr. Woodrow, and Intern Luke volunteered for this event. Their pictures were taken at the beginning of each week and at lunch students voted on which teacher they think will have the best “Mo” at the end of the month. Also, blue ribbons were distributed during bake sales (every Thursday) to raise money for this event. We are hoping that this will not only raise awareness among students at APIS, but with their family members as well. We are hoping that this event can happen annually at school, and that some students will participate later on too! Come and support the good cause!
News from the Music Department AMIS & KIMEA National Honor Music Festival APIS is blessed with many musically talented students. This year for the first time, music students from middle school and high school had the opportunity to audition for the Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Honor Band and Choir. Preparing and recording the audition CDs was a challenging process for these students, but their efforts were successful. The judges accepted Sally Oh (Grade 8, flute), Grace Kim (Grade 8, clarinet), and Shinyoung Lee (Grade 8, trumpet) for the Asian Middle School Honor Band and Brian Park (Grade 11), Joshua Yoon (Grade 12), and Jackie Lee (Grade 10) for the International Honor Choir. The Asian Middle School Honor Band will take place in Yangon, Myanmar in February and the International Honor Choir will be in Dubai in March. Congratulations, we know you will represent our school well! Additionally, the KIMEA National Honor Music Festival held auditions last week for high school students in band, orchestra, and chorus. Over 30 students from APIS prepared recorded CD auditions and many were accepted by the panel of judges. These students will attend a 2-day music festival in February at Seoul Foreign School with guest conductors from the United States. The final concert is on February 23, 2013 at the Lyso Performing Arts Center at SFS. It is a pleasure to see our student musicians accomplishing great results. Well done, and keep up the practicing!
KAIAC Music Festival Results
The APIS jazz band receives a clinic session from Lt. Col. William McCamley (Retired Director of the U.S. Air Force Bands).
On Tuesday, October 30, the APIS High School Chorus, High School Orchestra, High School Band, and Jazz Band participated in the KAIAC Large Ensemble Music Festival hosted at SIS. Each group performed repertoire the students have been preparing since the beginning of the school year. The ensembles were judged by local and international professional musicians and were given ratings for their performance. The music department is happy to announce that the HS Orchestra received Silver and the HS Chorus, HS Band, and Jazz Band received Gold. Students were recognized for their effort and leadership within the ensembles: John Kim (Grade 10), Kevin Lee (Grade 10), Joshua Yoon (Grade 12), and Jinwoo Choi (Grade 9). Congratulations on a job well done to everyone who performed! Please join us for the music departmentâ€™s annual Christmas Concert on Wednesday, December 19 at 5:00 p.m. in the APIS Gym. Sophie Holbrook Band Director
Grade 8 Persuasive Speech
On November 16, Grade 8 students prepared persuasive speeches and displayed their best speaking skills under the lights of the auditorium stage.
Winter Season of After School Activities Begins Fall was a great season for APIS After School Activities. Students enjoyed new activities such as Electronics Design, TED talks, Tap Dance, and Hip Hop Dance for 11 weeks. Electronics Design was especially popular in the Elementary group and TED Talks was also popular amongst the secondary students. Although Electronics Design, ES Ballet, and Book Club will take a break for the winter season, it will resume in the spring. In the meantime, there are a couple new activities for the new season. Some new activities are Sensational Stories for the elementary students and National History Day for secondary students. Sensational Stories will explore stories and discuss written pieces. National History Day is a club preparing for a competition in February. Students will prepare media projects about a moment in history. The winter season of After School Activities started December 3, 2012 and will go on until March 3, 2013. There will be a continuation of activities stretched across athletics, academics, fine arts and service. Most activities still have open seats so please discuss with your child and sign up for the new season!
Oedipus Rex Today
As their final project for their study on Greek Literatures, both 11th Grade English classes performed their version of Oedipus Rex, an Ancient Greek play. All 29 students were involved in acting, performing, and singing the scenes and odes in the second part of the play. Each class was given one week to translate their lines and create their scenes. They were divided into three groups and each group gave their own creative twist to the story to include one of the odes being performed to the tune of the popular song, â€œCall Me Maybe.â€? Other High School English classes came to watch the performance. Overall, the audience loved the modern day twist on the classic story and especially loved seeing their peers performing on stage.
Fun Games, Cotton Candy, and a Time of Giving
For the first time, the APIS Elementary, Middle, and High School SRCs teamed up to put on a school-wide Thanksgiving Carnival on November 21. The Moon Bounce, Cookie Fall, Archery, Ping Pong Toss, Leaf Hunt, Potato Sack Race, and Arcade were among the games and activities enjoyed at the event. There was also a long queue of elementary students wanting to buy the alltime favorite cotton candy. Part of the goal of the carnival was to think about the true meaning of Thanksgiving and donate to our neighbors who are less fortunate. To serve this purpose, the SRC ran a school-wide donation drive for school supplies, books, socks, and athletic equipment in exchange for tickets to use at the carnival. The generosity of our students and their families truly showed, as the SRC collected over 1,500 items! All of these donations collected will go to the“Forget Me Not” School (Mulmangcho School) for North Korean refugee students, between the ages of 6 and 21, who are struggling to adapt to life here in South Korea. Three representatives from the school made a special visit to APIS to speak to students at Wednesday’s chapel. The representatives included Mr. SukWoo Kim, Board Member, Ms. Yeo-Ye Lee, Korean teacher, and Mr. Casey Lartigue, volunteer. They expressed their deep gratitude to APIS, and are very thankful for the overwhelming support from the community.
Editorial Team: Euysung Kim Director / Hyewon Kang Art and Design Editor / Keumjo Shim Communications Officer / Ashley Stapleton Writing Staff