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UPDATE 57 WO LGYE-RO 45GA-G I L , NOWO N- G U, S EO UL , 1 3 9-8 5 2 , KOREA ■ T. 0 2 .9 0 7 .2 7 4 7 ■ F. 0 2 .9 0 7 .2 7 4 2 ■ WWW. A PIS .O RG

Welcome to 2015-2016! IN THIS ISSUE:

■ Summer Reading ■ 2015-2016 SRC Officers ■ High School Music Retreat


■ Faculty Forum ■ Elementary Chinese & Japanese ■ ■Assessment & Learning Expo Faculty Retreat

■ APIS Quick Contact Guide


E L E M E N TA R Y S C H O O L N E W S & E V E N T S

Summer Reading Roundup

Sunon Jones (Grade 1) enjoys reading "The Little House" at a cafe. Sunon was one of the approximately 75 people who participated in the APIS Summer Reading Program this year.


hey read everywhere — cafes, airports, beaches, the front porch, doctors’ waiting rooms, church, buses, and airplanes. They read on vacation at Jeju Island and at home in Seoul; they read in Australia, England, and the United States. Students, parents, faculty, and staff scattered across the globe for vacations and travel during the long summer break from classes. But many of them made a point to keep up their reading skills (and just enjoy reading) those weeks as they participated in the annual APIS Summer Reading Program. Participants in the program were asked to aim for at least 1,000 minutes of reading over the summer, which is about 30 minutes a day for four days a week. Participating in the program was particularly interactive this year, as Principal Bruce Knox had the idea for readers to share what and where they were reading using a APIS Reading Program Facebook page. Submitted photos showed all the varied places people enjoyed reading and included book recommendations and reviews for other readers. “The value of having the APIS Summer Reading Program is to instill the love of reading all year round including our long summer vacation,” said Judy Park, third grade teacher and organizer of this year’s reading program. “Research also indicates that students who don't read can experience a slump and fall back up to even two reading levels. From my personal experience, I have seen students who moved up to a higher reading level because they kept reading during summer break and continued to grow as readers.” The approximately 75 participants who met the reading program challenge will be acknowledged and given a program T-shirt at an upcoming chapel. “Many students read way more than 1,000 minutes and I'm very proud of them,” Mrs. Park said.


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Summer Reading Roundup


E L E M E N TA R Y S C H O O L N E W S & E V E N T S




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E L E M E N TA R Y S C H O O L N E W S & E V E N T S

Aiming for an Excellent Year


ast spring, elections were held for this year’s SRC elementary school officers. The following students campaigned and won those four positions. During the first week of the 2015-2016 school year, these new officers shared some of their hopes and goals for the new year at APIS.

My goal is to make all the other people in elementary happy and make what they think come true. I like to be a leader and lead others in a very good way and support others. I want to listen, and I want to problem-solve the things they want to change or fix in the school. I believe that everyone should be proud of who they are and what they know and what they can achieve in the future. President Rin Choi (G5)

My goal is to make people enjoy every single hour at school. And I’m thinking that during Wicky Wacky Week, maybe we could add a cooking day where we could all cook in class Vice President Adelia Kwak (G4)

I want to make more fun things like Wicky Wacky Week and more dress-down days. I want to make APIS funner. Secretary Margaret Cheon (G4)

I am thinking more dress-down days so kids can have fun wearing their individual clothes and we can make more money. With more money, we can make our events better. I’d like to upgrade our carnival events and other events, too. I want to make everyone happy, because I like to see people smiling at school because it makes it a better place.


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Treasurer Joanna Kim (G5)

Secondary Officers Prepare to Lead


econdary SRC class officers for the 2015-2016 school year share their hopes for the upcoming year.

This year, I want SRC to change what's called 'normal' for the students. I want this year's SRC and middle school students to think outside of the box and bring up some creative opinions and ideas which can be implemented in the year. I wish for another successful year with both SRC and our fellow middle school students! President Jacob Kim (G8)

I am very glad to be a vice president this year, and I hope to be a great help this year in SRC. Secondary is a new environment of my life, so I will try my best [as] SRC vice president to make 2015-2016 the best year as it can be.



Vice President Neo Lee (G6)

My goal this year is to make sure that everybody has a great time at school and actually start looking forward to school. I want them to have a fun experience, I really want to listen to the students ideas and make them into reality. Secretary Irene Kim (G7)

This year in SRC, I hope that we can make all of the students' school life better and fun. We will try our best to make this happen. Treasurer Joan Kim (G7) W W W. A P I S . O R G




Secondary Officers Prepare to Lead

President Kenny Jang (G12)

When I was elected president of APIS, I did not feel relief for not losing, but hope for what I could do for APIS. As this is my last year in a school I have attended since 2007, I would like to transform as many desires the student body has to reality so that everyone will be able to enjoy their time at school.

As this year's vice president, I hope to do multiple things. Of course, there's the eventsmanagement side of things — that's one of the fundamental functions of the council, and I hope to execute it properly with the SRC as a whole. But I also plan to work on facilitating discourse between students and the administration and, more than anything, making the school a better place. As for what ‘better’ entails, that will ultimately depend upon what students call for in the coming year.

Vice President David Lee (G12)

This year, we are hoping to change how SRC operates for the better and change the students' image about their student council. We hope to make school life for the students more comfortable and perhaps even more fun than what it was in the previous years. Secretary Lina Kim (G12)

As an executive member of high school SRC, the most important thing I want to accomplish this year is making more organized and enjoyable activities or events for the entire school. [Mostly,] I want to make and have students participate in school events more enthusiastically.


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Treasurer Yoonjae Hwang (G11)

Ji Hee Suh’s Writing Featured in Changbi’s Book


his spring, the Korean department at APIS was excited to see one of our students’ work published in the Changbi publisher’s collection of student works entitled “Kkoo-mul Kkoo-mul Kkoom” (꾸물꾸물꿈). Among the 472 literary works from various schools, 24 teachers across Korea chose and selected 89 poems, short novels, essays, and many other writings and illustrations of 125 students to compile a book containing the ideas and creativity of Korean students — APIS senior Ji Hee Suh was one of them. The publishing company Changbi has been providing teenagers with a chance to express themselves by supporting schools to publish a collection of their own literary works since 2012. Among the schools Changbi selected, APIS has been chosen each year to publish our students’ writings. Ji Hee’s essay is about how Korean students study too much, sacrificing their individual time. “After reading a Korea Herald article that criticized South Korea’s ongoing problem about hagwons, I felt a strong empathy towards teenagers.” While Ji Hee says the education at APIS is different with teachers at APIS being “very intelligent and having impressive teaching skills,” she says she was motivated to write about this issue as students in Korea are pressured to always be the best in everything. For some tips on writing, Ji Hee says, “...we should not only be creative but also write as if we are speaking.”

Ji Hee Suh (G12)

Bryan Jung Receives Awards for Trumpet Performance




earning a new instrument is not easy. Being good at it is even harder. But to Bryan Jung (Grade 7), it must be a piece of cake. Bryan has won two awards in just over the course of a year of learning the trumpet. Bryan was given the second place award (in trumpet) at the Korean Chamber Orchestra’s 16th National Competition for Music on June 13. The Korean Chamber Orchestra, the oldest chamber orchestra in Korea with a history of over 50 years, has been hosting competitions in piano, violin, viola, cello, doublebass, harp, guitar, chamber music, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, and trombone. Most recently, on Aug. 30, Bryan competed with students who plan to attend music schools and was awarded third place in trumpet at the 7th Korea Herald Music Competition. “I think you tend to improve quickly when you really enjoy doing something” says Bryan’s mom. She adds that Bryan’s interest in the trumpet grew especially after taking classes with Mr. Holbrook, a Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra member who provides lessons as part of the school’s extracurricular program. “I wanted to try out at a nationwide competition for the experience.” Busily heading to one of his favorite classes, band, Bryan says his goal is simply to be a better trumpet player. W W W. A P I S . O R G





Meeting of the Musical Minds


n Saturday, Aug. 29, all secondary music students and their band, orchestra, and chorus teachers convened at the school for the first APIS High School Music Retreat. The all-day event featured ensemble rehearsals and team-building exercises and was designed to foster a sense of teamwork within and between the different musical disciplines. "During this inaugural High School Music Retreat we hope to build our musical teams early in the year by participating in activities that foster an environment of support, musicianship, respect, and friendship through music. We aim to blur the lines that separate us; to become one cohesive team. A successful music ensemble needs not only to play or sing correct notes and rhythms, but to work together and strive for common goals. By participating in the High School Music Retreat, the music students and teachers will create goals for the upcoming year and begin working together." -Sophie Holbrook, band teacher and music department chair "Viewing music as an emotional and expressive endeavor, it is so important that we feel connected to and safe with one another. Our 9-12th grade students have the opportunity to breathe, move, and emote together as one organism. This intense experience focusing on music will help jumpstart our year — encouraging our student musicians to go full-speed toward truly united and vivid performances throughout the year." -Emmalee Johnson, orchestra teacher “Plato said, ‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.’ Using this quote as our motto for the High School Music Retreat, close to 90 students gathered on Aug. 29. We formed a community. Our community played and sang together; we shared food and conversation; we laughed and danced together. As the APIS music educators, we do not expect all of our students to major in music. We want our community of students to express music as a means for experiencing life. Saturday was the beginning of our 2015-2016 musical journey and the written notes on the page are beginning to take flight!” -Melinda Baum, chorus teacher

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Tuning Up for the New Year


hile students enjoyed their last few days of summer break last month, faculty and staff at APIS were already busy preparing for the 2015-2016 school year. They convened for three days of retreat activities from Aug. 5 to 7 and then participated in a week of inservice work from Aug. 10 to 14. On the first day of the retreat, faculty and family members spent time together exploring Nami Island. They participated in team-building relays, hiked Nami’s paths, and swapped stories with one another over cool drinks and coffee in the island’s cafes. Team-building exercises continued at APIS the next day, along with a buffet dinner together. The final retreat day featured a whitewater rafting trip on the Hantan River in Gangwon Province, where faculty and staff in each raft practiced working together to pass safely through the river’s rapids and then enjoyed swimming and relaxing in the river’s cool water at calmer points.



While the activities were a great deal of fun, they were also designed to have a serious purpose. Principal Bruce Knox noted that when musicians get together to play music, the first question asked is, “What is the key?” Mr. Knox likened the faculty retreat activity as the answer to that question. The retreat was designed to set the tone of how the faculty would work together for the coming school year. “The retreat was designed to understand the foundation that underlies how we play together, work together … address challenges together,” he said. The goal of all this effort is to improve student learning. Continuing on that theme, fostering communication in the coming school year was the focus of the faculty’s week of inservice days. In between setting up their classrooms and preparing for the first week of classes, teachers and administrators met about the APIS mission, communicating at school and with parents more effectively, student assessment and consistency in student discipline. The result — APIS opened its doors to students Aug. 17, ready for a fantastic year of growth and learning, with everyone in the same key.

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What is the best thing you read, learned, or did over the summer?

“The best thing that I did this summer was facing the challenge with my 4-year-old daughter at Seoul Land! Life is full of adventures.” Anna Sea, art teacher

"I read the Charles Mann book ‘1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.’ It was an enthralling book that explained the complexity of the civilizations that were present in the Americas prior to contact with Europeans. I would recommend it for any student taking an American or world history class, a human geography class, or anyone who is interested in the interaction of the environment and humans." Derek O’Malley, social studies teacher

“This summer, I ventured to Niagara Falls. The power of the falls was amazing, and learning about the history of the falls was a lot of fun! Explore your world!” Jeff Underhill, fifth grade teacher

“The best thing I read this summer was ‘Joyland’ by Stephen King. It's about a teen who works at a haunted theme park one summer in the 1970s. It was a real page turner and a short book — perfect for the beach.” Megan Vosk, ELA/social studies teacher 10

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Faculty Forum “Don and I traveled to Alaska for two weeks with my 84-year-old parents. In their lifetime, they visited 49 of the states in the USA. This trip completed all 50.” Melinda Baum, chorus teacher; Don Weller, learning support specialist

Soora Koh, communications officer, visited Sydney, Australia, this summer and fulfilled a longtime goal to try skydiving. She loved it. “It’s not a thing you should do once in a lifetime,” she said. “It’s the kind of thing you should do at least three times in your lifetime!”

“The best thing I did over the summer was go jet skiing for the day with some of my family!” Kim House, first grade teacher



“Reading at the beach was a highlight, I am unable to recall what it was I was reading but it was the act of being outside with a book that was so memorable.” Jodi Nielsen, counselor (Mrs. Nielsen, along with her entire family participated in the APIS Summer Reading Program. Mrs. Nielsen more than exceeded the program’s 1,000 minutes of reading goal, which she noted was not difficult as she is in the process of working toward her doctorate.)

Contribute a question The APIS Update staff plans to make the Faculty Forum a regular feature for the 2015-2016 school year. While we have many questions ready for forum topics, we also invite students to submit questions that they would like to see faculty, staff, and administrators answer. Whether a question is used is up to the editorial discretion of the Update staff, but we encourage Update readers to participate in the discussion. Email proposed questions to W W W. A P I S . O R G




Focusing in on the Most Important Thing

Vivian Bleecker, English teacher, talks to parents about class expectations on Aug. 28 at the Assessment and Learning Expo.


PIS faculty, staff, and parents met Aug. 28 at the school for the Assessment and Learning Expo. Participants prayed for the upcoming school year, met new teachers, and learned more about what the school’s focus on assessments will mean. In his address during the assembly, Director Dr. Euysung Kim noted that too many schools have become a place where students go to get judged, not to learn. Administrators at APIS are fine-tuning the school’s assessment approach to make sure that this school, at least, focuses on learning, not judgement. “We always want to innovate and stay fresh,” Dr. Kim told the parents. Principal Bruce Knox described how the work of education specialists John Hattie and Robert Marzano has influenced the APIS approach to assessment. Hattie and Marzano studied hundreds of studies on learning and found that feedback was the educational tool that had the biggest impact on learning. APIS is focusing on this important finding. “At APIS this year, we are committed to improving assessment practices and feedback,” Mr. Knox said. Mr. Knox noted that the faculty will be focusing on providing regular, specific feedback in the coming school year and explained why that feedback might not always be in the form of a letter grade. When parents visited with teachers in the classrooms, they learned traditional back-to-school information, like how to access their child’s class blog, standards of the class, planned activities, and expectations. But, like the administrators, the teachers also touched on assessment in their presentations. For instance, Sophie Holbrook, band teacher and music department chair, noted that band students will rarely take written tests. Instead, there is a lot of back-and-forth in the process of assessment. The expo also featured a performance by the jazz band and a period of worship, led by Chaplain Zach Luginbill and the high school praise team. Parents were invited to attend the APIS Sunday worship service at the school every Sunday and to get involved with the PTO, which would hold its first meeting the following week, on Sept. 3. Ward Milligan, guidance counselor and director of Christian Life, led participants in the assemblies in a prayer for the school year, thanking God for “the blessing of children” and asking God to give students the enthusiasm and desire to learn. He thanked the parents for taking the time to attend the expo, and he described the APIS staff as enormously talented. “Your children are in wonderful hands,” he said.


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Welcome to 2015-2016!

New Student Orientation

First Day of School



Assessment & Learning Expo

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Librarian's Pick


elcome back after a long summer break! Lazy days of the summer break are over and it can be a hard transition coming back to school. To help students who are anxious about the new year, here are some great books that will make you feel ready for school.

Once Upon an Ordinary School Day

By Colin McNaughton

This picture book starts by describing the morning routine of an ordinary boy. However, this ordinary life of a school boy takes a twist when he meets his new teacher. Mr. Gee begins a creative-writing lesson with special instructions – “listen to some music and let the music make pictures in your head.” Students start speaking out images that come to mind and a story-telling game begins. Life is no longer ordinary for the ordinary school boy. It becomes extraordinary!

L E V E L: K I N D E R G A R T E N - G R A D E 2 By Andrew Clements

We the Children

Will it be good news if your school were to change into an amusement park? To a sixth-grader Ben and his friends, it is not. A mystery unfolds when Ben finds the janitor, Mr. Keane, in severe pain, and Mr. Keane gives him a golden coin imprinted with the founder's declaration that the school "belongs to the children." Ben starts to investigate the school history and discovers a plan to tear down his school. Starting with the mysterious coin, other suspicious questions follow.

L E V E L: G R A D E S 3 - 6 The Wednesday Wars

By Gary D. Schmidt

In the beginning of the 1967-68 school year, a seventh-grade student, Holling Hoodhood, learns that on Wednesday afternoons, while other Catholic and Jewish friends attend religious instruction, he, as the only Presbyterian student, has to spend time with his teacher Mrs. Baker. This seemed to be a bad start to the semester, but their relationship changes as they find some things in common, like their love for Shakespeare's plays. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement serve as backdrops for the novel. See how these events affect the life of a teenager as he struggles through school and tries to grow up.

L E V E L: G R A D E S 5 - 8 Eleanor & Park

By Rainbow Rowell Eleanor, who is overweight, is a new girl in school, and Park is a halfAsian, skinny boy, who has lived in Nebraska all his life but still feels like an outsider. They ignore each other in the beginning, but gradually become close as they realize they share an interest in comic books and music. However, Eleanor's unstable home life affects their relationship, leaving her with a hard decision. "Eleanor & Park," a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013, Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature of 2014, offers a heart-warming start for the new school year.


L E V E L: G R A D E S 9 & U P W W W. A P I S . O R G

Please dial 02-907-2747 and enter the extension number. ADMINISTRATION Inquiry

Contact Director, Dr. Euysung Kim ext. 5164

Director’s Office

Principal’s Office

Principal, ext. 5107

Mr. Bruce Knox

Dean of Students, Mr. Andrew Murphy ext. 5124

SCHOOL OFFICE Inquiry Academics & General Inquiries  Attendance, late arrivals, absence  Report cards, transcripts  Making appointments with the principal/teachers  Teacher recommendation letters  Contacting your child  Lost and found  Translation/ Interpretation Parent Participation  Inquiries about volunteer & school support opportunities

Division Elementary

Contact Elementary Registrar ext. 5107

Secondary Secondary Registrar ext. 5105 All divisions


APIS Quick Contact Guide



Admissions  Admissions related questions  Scholarship & financial aid

Admissions Officer ext. 5111

Accounting  Tuition  Uniform & other fees

Accounting ext. 5113

Student Services  School bus routes  Activities, field trip information  Extra-curricular activities enrollment

Faculty & Student Service Coordinator ext. 5174

Library  Borrowing and returning books

Librarian ext. 5108

Health Services  First aid & medication administration

School Nurse ext. 5119

EDITORIAL TEAM: ■ Euysung Kim Director ■ Nicole Suh Art & Design Editor ■ Josephine Shim Communications & PR Team Leader ■ Susan Craton Writing / Editing Staff ■ Soora Koh Communications Officer

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Issue 32 APIS Online Update August 2015  

Issue 32 APIS Online Update August 2015

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