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DIGITAL CHAPEL Issue #58 | September 2019

STUDENT WELCOME

MAKING READING PLEASURABLE

BOOK FAIR 2019

HIGH SCHOOL HANDBOOK

CAMPUS RENOVATIONS

NEWCOMERS

CHAPEL’S BEST UNDER 40

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WELCOME! Excellence in new student and teacher integration program In the first two weeks of the school year, the process of welcoming new teachers, families, and students has now reached the gold standard due to the quality of the school’s welcoming program. There is a tailor-made program for each new member student, parent or teacher - to make sure they feel they belong to the school community. ‘Chapel really cares about the welcoming of new members. After all, we are an inclusive school which is focused on a greater good: our community. This is the reason why transitions must be smooth and trouble free to preserve everyone’s well-being’, explains Elementary School principal, Juliana Menezes. New teachers come to school two days before returning teachers and go through an immersion process geared towards professional development while also getting to know the school facilities, local culture, curriculum, assessments, and programs, in addition to meeting their peers and principals. ‘The adaptation to a new setting is facilitated when there is someone to mentor a newcomer and also when this person knows our expectations, what to expect and what is to come’, comments Ms. Menezes. All new teachers are assisted by a mentor during their first semester at school. Mentors are senior teachers who are trained by Character Education coordinator Luciana Brandespim. In early childhood education, parents receive guidance not only on norms and procedures, but also on the curriculum of each grade. They attend an opening session with the principal and then go to their child’s classrooms to meet their teachers. ‘In this meeting, families receive essential information for the first days of school of the little ones - it is a true survival guide’, explains Ms. Menezes. The reception of new students in Elementary School happens with a DIGITAL CHAPEL #58

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welcome class led by the ES principal Juliana Menezes and counselor Cris Cavalcanti. They promote community building activities and take the students on a 360º tour on campus, which ends in the classroom where 2nd to 6th graders are greeted by their respective teachers. Afterwards everyone shares a snack and parents are invited to participate and to clarify doubts about the first day of school. First graders who are transitioning from kindergarten have a special activity. Parents and students come to school one day before classes start. Children meet their teacher, the new learning space, and start to get to know their classmates. While their kids interact with pre-selected activities, parents participate in an orientation session with the first grade teachers and the principal, Juliana Menezes. 'This orientation program, which happens a few days or one day before school starts, is fundamental to reduce anxiety, strengthen bonds between families and the school, and also to promote an easy adaptation', concludes the ES principal.

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FAMILIES Workshop promotes the pleasure of reading

The program ‘Making Reading Pleasurable’, designed by teachers Adelina Gebara, Leonor Guedes, and Cris Maesano with the goal of fostering in children the pleasure of reading, is celebrating its first anniversary. During its first year, the program promoted five meetings with parents from Kindergarten to third grade. ‘The idea came about from our passion for reading and our will to foster reading at home. In the workshops we share reading strategies and motivation tips for all age groups and grade levels with parents’, explains Ms. Maesano, the Elementary School Art teacher who is also responsible for the project ‘Literacy and Art’, in which she

merges reading and art with first and second graders. In the workshops teachers advised parents to create a reading corner in their homes, recommended age-appropriate books, discussed strategies to foster reading habits in the little ones, and also talked about reading time. ‘Parents participated eagerly and felt comfortable to share their questions and issues’, comments Ms. Maesano. She adds: ‘It is important to foster the pleasure of reading, rather than imposing it as if it was an obligation’. Ms. Guedes, Elementary School reading teacher, explains that the meetings were structured according to the parents' needs. 'The approximately one-hour long workshops were dynamic and interactive. We had the opportunity to show different ways of reading and exploring a story with children, and parents took part in several activities and were able to ask questions and clarify their doubts. Their feedback was fundamental to develop the following meetings. In the last workshop librarian Fernanda Caires introduced parents to the library and its resources - both analog and digital - for reading and research. The project also focuses on ways to create and maintain a reading routine while respecting the child’s individuality and the family routine. ‘We developed the workshop’s content and organised the most important tips into bookmarks that were printed and DIGITAL CHAPEL #58

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distributed to parents at the end of every meeting’, explains Ms. Gebara. Early education reading teacher Ms. Gebara explains parents must not be shy while reading with their children. She also mentions that there is not a ‘reading recipe’ and that each family must find their own way to make reading happen, exploring pictures, developing the post-reading moment, and establishing connections between the readings and their child’s preferences. The teachers would like to invite parents to the next workshop sessions. This year’s first meeting will happen in September.

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EVENT Book Fair 2019 is right around the corner!

Chapel’s largest book event is coming up. This year’s Book Fair will happen from the 25th to the 28th of September and preparations are underway at full speed. This edition’s theme is Comic Books and everyone will start getting in the mood with activities that will start on September 16th onwards. After last year’s success, writer and drama teacher Gu Braga is back to work with corporal expression with Pre I to 2nd grade students. First to 8th graders will participate in comic book character creation and design workshops with Ana Kirsten and Mauro Souza from Estúdio Maurício de Sousa. Ninth to 12th graders will have workshops in character design and comics’ language with comic artist Flávio Luis. On the week of the event, booths with national, international, new, and secondhand books will offer books at affordable prices. As usual, STUCO will coordinate the selling of secondhand books at the sebo booth. The closing of the fair will happen on Saturday 28th with a parent-child workshop coordinated by the Art teachers, who will use modelling clay to create comic book characters. Guests will be able to interact and take pictures with “Turma da Monica” characters who will be circulating around the school. Also in the morning, the Companhia Paulista de Teatro Bilíngue will present the play Hansel and Gretel. 'This year's fair will be fun because of its theme, comic books, but also very special because it celebrates “Turma da Monica”, a Brazilian comic that has influenced many generations', explains Fernanda Caires, the event coordinator.

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HIGH SCHOOL Handbook is reformulated with a focus on student support

The high school Handbook - a document that gathers academic information, HS procedural rules, and the code of conduct - has undergone a significant overhaul this year. A committee composed of leaders Paula Moro (HS principal), Daniela Gattai (Brazilian Program Director), Benjamin Vaughan (IB Coordinator), Donald Campbell (EE Coordinator), Luciana Brandespim (CAS Coordinator), Marta Bidoli (educational counselor), and Marcos Müller (Technology coordinator) dove into the document during a whole semester in order to revise its content, especially with respect to the student support structure. ‘The Handbook is the equivalent of the High School “Constitution”. When we face a problem, we look for answers there. This is the reason why this revision was so important’, explains Ms. Moro. Aiming to provide even more support to students who need help with academic performance or behavioral issues, two levels of support have been created. In the first level the student has a meeting with his or her teacher to identify needs and to set goals - the dean of students is invited to this meeting if it is a behavioral issue. The goal is always to reflect upon the problem and to build strategies to deal with it: 'The student meets with the teacher, reflects on the past, sets a goal, and develops a strategy to reach it. The student designs their own plan while advised by the teacher, who supports and tracks this process', explains Ms. Moro. In the second level of support, if the student needs more intensive help, the family is invited to take part in the meeting to set goals and strategies. Every three weeks the high school team leaders meet to analyse the performance of each student. ‘It is important that students understand that the changes in our Handbook were made in order to offer them a space to reflect on their academic performance with the help of a teacher. At the same time that students are motivated to think about their performance, they are also advised by a teacher’, points out the high school principal

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IMPROVEMENTS Chapel goes through renovations over the vacation While students and teachers enjoy their well-deserved rest, winter break is one of the busiest times for Chapel’s maintenance team. Even though campus maintenance is an ongoing job, big projects such as renovations, painting, cleaning of carpets, curtains, cushions, and upholstered furniture, and resodding of the grass field happen over vacation. ‘It is common for these changes to go unnoticed, since we work all year long to keep the campus well maintained’, states administrative manager Márcia Berkowitz.  The two last months were marked by intense work in many areas of the campus. In high school the flooring of all classrooms was changed and the lockers were renovated. Ten air conditioning units were substituted by ones that are more efficient and the entire school was repainted. Both the early childhood education and the elementary school offices were renovated. The ES playground has a new big playground toy, and ‘children have started the school year playing with it and sharing their opinions on how to make improvements’, comments Ms. Berkowitz. The other playgrounds also received maintenance and older sunshades were replaced by new ones. The soccer field had portions of turf replaced, with the remainder fertilized and re-sown. The cafeteria table tops were replaced by new ones and the table feet were repainted. The electrical wiring of the kitchen was redone, while the DIGITAL CHAPEL #58

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lighting of the gym and covered outdoor court was replaced and is now LED. To improve security services 43 new cameras were installed in all common areas of the campus. All windows, including those of the marquise and both main entrances, went through a special cleaning to remove acid rain marks. ‘Chapel’s maintenance is an ongoing process. We do not leave any details unchecked. To do so, we count on an excellent team of workers and our leaders are always taking action’, assesses the administrative manager.


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NEW TEACHERS Full Potential Conchita Kennedy | Early Childhood  Principal   The name of the new principal of the early childhood division already reveals that she has internationalism running in her veins. Born to a father of Irish descent and a baiana (from Bahia) mother, Conchita’s first name is of Spanish origin because her father was born in Chile. Conchita Kennedy was born in Salvador (BA) and she graduated in Pedagogy there. Afterwards she obtained her graduate degree in Education and Curriculum from the University of Alabama and a specialization in Educational Leadership from the State University of New York (USA). She has been an educator for 31 years and she spent the last eighteen years at the Pan American School of Bahia (Pasb), where she started as an assistant and after only five years became the principal of the early childhood education center.  Ms. Kennedy already knew Chapel from the sports tournaments her son used to participate in, but it was during a PTC (Principals’ Training Center) professional development that she had the opportunity to meet Chapel’s principals. At the moment she is getting to know our community, but she reveals she is truly enjoying the work and the school structure so far: ‘I was warmly welcomed by everyone: families, leadership, teachers, students. It was above my expectations!’ Since it is her first time living in São Paulo, Ms. Kennedy plans to make use her free time to visit art expositions and to watch theater plays. ‘I am an art enthusiast, I come from a family of plastic artists’. One of her first outings in the city was to visit Masp to see Tarsila do Amaral’s expo. Professionally, the principal acknowledges the professional challenges ahead: ‘My commitment is to make Chapel’s early childhood education reach its full potential’. Energy and vigor are not in short supply.

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Welcoming atmosphere Erika Ferreira de Azevedo | 4th to 8th grade Counselor The new 4th to 8th grade educational counselor is a psychologist from Universidade de São Paulo (USP), with a specialization in career counseling and a graduate degree in School and Human Development Psychology. Erika Ferreira de Azevedo started her professional career as an English teacher more than twenty years ago, while she was still an undergraduate student. ‘I built my psychology career by teaching and offering counseling to schools, and also by seeing patients and doing research’, tells us the counselor who was a volunteer at Apoiar - Mental Health Lab and Social Psychology Clinic at USP.  Ms. Azevedo comments that she has always wanted to work at schools, but she pointed out that only high-level schools keep psychologists on staff. Since she lived in the USA for two and a half years, the opportunity of working at international schools came about naturally. ‘My academic life, the fact that I speak English fluently, and my international experience lead to that’. Before Chapel, Ms. Azevedo worked for eight years with inclusion at St. Paul’s School. “My goal is to help students to feel well at school’, she states. The counselor appreciates the welcoming atmosphere at Chapel: ‘I like schools, and when I think about this environment, the warm atmosphere from Chapel comes to mind. People are caring here’. In her free time Ms. Azevedo dedicates herself to Karate. She is a black belt and she has been practicing for seventeen years. Besides training, she is also a referee in tournaments. ‘Karate is my favorite sport. I have participated in competitions but what I really love is to practice, teach courses, and plan meetings’, reveals the counselor, who also enjoys cooking and hiking.

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Music since childhood Caio Oliveira | ES and HS Music Teacher Caio Oliveira’s introduction to music happened in his childhood. At age 6 he had already started to sing at his church and at age 8 he started playing the piano. Later, at age 15, he began having singing lessons, a decisive factor for his career choice three years later: music. He has a bachelor’s degree in music with a specialization in singing from UNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, and he started his professional career as a vocal coach and choir conductor. He worked for eight years at Projeto Guri – a musical education and socio-cultural inclusion program sponsored by the State Government of São Paulo - as a singing, music initiation, and choir conductor teacher for 8 years. ‘I learned a lot at Projeto Guri, both professionally and personally’, he assesses.  He learned about Chapel through a student from the now closed Yamaha Music School, where he taught singing and piano for two years. He became interested in the school, sent his résumé, and was invited to participate in the selection process. ‘Now that I have gone through the overwhelming first days, my attention is drawn to the receptiveness and welcoming environment Chapel offers to its new members’, comments Mr. Oliveira, who is now the conductor of the staff choir. When he is not involved with music, Caio Oliveira enjoys reading, watching movies, and taking care of his plants. ‘I have a suspended garden in my apartment’, he reveals.

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Back home Melissa Kassner | 3rd grade Teacher The new 3rd grade teacher has a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license in Languages (Portuguese-English) and Pedagogy and a graduate degree in translation from Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Melissa Kassner started at Chapel for the first time in 2014, during which period she taught as a Portuguese teacher for 1st to 5th grade, 6th grade classroom teacher and 1st grade classroom teacher. In June 2018 she left Chapel to embrace a new professional challenge but she left a part of her heart here. ‘To me, home is where I feel loved and Chapel is a home to me and my family’, she emotionally reveals.  Besides herself, her two children, who are 10 and 11 years old, also missed their friends and Chapel’s teaching while they were away. According to Ms. Kassner, Chapel is the perfect blend between academic rigor and family environment, which favors learning: ‘It is a place that offers academic challenges while at the same time it is caring and welcoming, making us feel safe and motivated’, she explains. As a happy coincidence, today, the 3rd grade group she teaches is the same one she taught two years ago in 1st grade: ‘It goes without saying that I received a warm welcome not only from the staff, but also from students and families’.   In her free time she likes to stay active: she runs every morning and she also enjoys dancing and skating. She plans to adopt a new dog soon, since her family sorely misses Cascão, their beloved dog which passed away a year ago.

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CHAPEL’S BEST UNDER 40 Dennis Wang, 36 years old. City where he lives: São Paulo, SP.   Period in which studied at Chapel: From 8th grade (1997) to 12th grade (2001)   What is your academic background? I have a degree in public management from Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, managed by Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV - EAESP).   Briefly describe your professional life. Since 2017 I have been responsible for the operations and customer service area at Nubank, a technology company which is building a digital bank. Before Nubank I was the co-CEO of Easy Taxi for five years, directly contributing to the transformation of the Brazilian startup into a global company. Before entering the tech world, I worked in the financial market, working in an investment bank, private e q u i t y f u n d ( c l e a n e n e rg y ) , a n d a s s e t management for more than eight years at Merril Lynch, in São Paulo, BNP Paribas, in London, and ABN AMRO in Amsterdam, respectively. Your greatest goal in life is: It may sound a little cliché, but my greatest goal in life is to have a loving, healthy, and happy family. My wife, Milena, is incredible and she has given me the two greatest gifts she could ever give me, Felipe and Julia, who are 4 and 2 years old, respectively. Professionally, my current goal is to contribute to the development of the technology sector in Latin America by attracting capital and talent to the region. There is plenty of value to be generated for our economy and for consumers in the next decade.   Tell us about your best memory from Chapel. It is hard to pick only one. I cherish my senior year for we had many remarkable moments such as the senior trip to Cancun and the graduation. That last school year was also very special due to the expectations of what was to come after Chapel. I keep a letter my dad wrote to me back then and I read it whenever I need to make an important DIGITAL CHAPEL #58

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life decision, either personal or professionally. The letter is about choices and it says that the path to be followed in life is not always easy.   How did Chapel influence your life? First of all, I would like to say what I will be forever grateful to my dad, who gave me the opportunity to study at Chapel. I take with me three great things from Chapel. Firstly, the academics. To this day I use logical thought frameworks that I developed in High School - thanks to Mrs. May, Mr. Doner, and other inspiring teachers. Secondly, the culture. The diversity in nationalities of students and teachers, as well as having subjects such as English literature, greatly contributed to my cultural baggage, especially to keep an open mind to diverse viewpoints and different ways of thinking. Lastly, great friends and memories. Till today many of my closest friends are from Chapel. We got into a lot of trouble back then, and we laugh a lot when we reminisce.

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DIGITAL CHAPEL é uma publicação da Chapel School. Todos os direitos reservados. R. Vigário João de Pontes, 537. - Chácara Flora - CEP 04748-000 São Paulo - SP - Brazil Fone: +55 11 5521-7763 - www.chapelschool.com Artigos: Paula Veneroso e time Chapel - Tradução: Chapel School Fotos: Arquivos Chapel - Diagramação: Otávio Garcia

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