A Singapore American School community service publication
VANESSA SPIER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
I love lunch. Each day by 10:00 a.m., I start to look forward to lunchtime, and anybody that knows me knows that 11:00 a.m. is about the latest that I can wait to have a full meal. One day not too far back, I sat at lunch sandwiched between three Singaporean friends; one was eating fish head curry, one was eating liver, and one was eating pig’s innards soup (I could really go on about the color and aroma of that soup). But what shocked everyone at the table? Me, eating my raw sugar snap peas. I held out the container and offered everyone a try. “Really,” I said, “they are sweet and crunchy.” Two shrank back in horror and promised that they would never do such a thing, while the third bravely tried one. Perspective. How we experience this world really is all about how we look at things. Our point of view. What we bring to the table. What we try and where we keep our boundaries. Sometimes what we find familiar and sweet is strange and foreign to those right next to us. In June when my colleague, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Lauri Coulter, and I were brainstorming ideas for an official school blog, she suggested featuring a different viewpoint from each area of campus. That is where our new SAS blog, Perspectives, emerged.
In this newest communications platform, we hope that our entire school community will enjoy all the different perspectives that we all bring – the student perspective, the parent perspective, the teacher perspective, the administrator perspective, the alumni perspective, the tech perspective, and the coach perspective. We all bring something different to the SAS community. We all see it from a different angle. And we all have unique stories to share. We will continue to highlight stories of student and class projects, concerts, tournaments, trips, and clubs here in Crossroads, too. In this issue, we highlight the primary division’s UN Day, the middle school’s Classroom Without Walls experience, the high school division’s job shadowing program, and much more. This month, we also introduce two new features. In “Five Minutes”, we ask new Deputy Superintendent Robert Landau a series of “get to know you” questions, and in “The SAS Voice”, we pose the same question to students from all grades and receive very different responses. What’s your perspective? We would love to hear more from our community. Please join us on Facebook or in the new Perspectives blog, and share your viewpoint today!
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From the superintendent
Five Minutes with Robert Landau
the learning enivironment
BOOSTER & PTA
VISION & MISSION
LEARNING & LEADING AT SAS DR. CHIP KIMBALL SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS There is nothing quite like holiday celebrations at SAS. Smiles, laughter, costumes, and yummy food characterize the day. Our faculty members do a marvelous job embracing the spirit and energy of our holidays while keeping students focused on learning. Many of our parents can be found on campus with treats in one hand and a video camera in the other, enjoying our children and contributing to the life of our school. Celebrations are a wonderful part of the culture at SAS and something that will always be a part of who we are.
The SAS annual report was recently published, highlighting many of the world-class programs that we offer. Our most important accomplishment is the success of our students. SAS students are achieving at high levels, and they have access to tremendous opportunities in sports, activities, the arts, and travel. This level of success requires many parts of the organization working towards the same goal. Our annual report highlights those areas including student learning, finance and facilities, technology, Board leadership, after-school activities, Interim Semester, service learning, divisional accomplishments, and more. I encourage each of our families to take a few minutes to read the annual report to get a sense of the great things happening at SAS (http://bit.ly/201213annualreport). I am very proud of the work that our team is doing for students and families each and every day. We have much to celebrate. Our professional staff cares deeply about our students. They work hard to ensure that they are developing strong and agile minds and a kind and humanitarian spirit. This is a beautiful outcome of international education. Simultaneously, we know that in order to fulfill our vision â€“ A world leader in education cultivating exceptional thinkers prepared for the future â€“ we have to deliberately decide what we will keep doing at SAS, and what we will change, to serve students even more effectively for their lives in the future. For a school that is already extraordinarily successful, this is extremely challenging. Moreover, we have to do this futureoriented work while continuing to serve students today. Within this context, last year we developed a research and development (R&D) strategy for SAS. We know that in order to plan for the future, while continuing
From the Superintendent
the success of today, we need to look broadly at other successful and innovative schools, consider the research regarding learning, and look critically at ourselves and our practices. We also know that we need to commit time and resources to make this happen. This process is well underway. Last year a diverse team of 22 high school faculty members and administrators visited over 30 schools in the U.S. and internationally. We considered educational research and thinking, talked to over 100 college admissions officers, and conducted deep and sometimes controversial discussions about the future of education. School visits included the World Avenues Academy, High Tech High, Thomas Jefferson (DC), Illinois Math & Science Academy, schools in Finland, and outstanding schools in Singapore. We selected schools public and private, domestic and international. An eight-member high school development team is now scrutinizing hundreds of interviews and observations and will present its recommendations for the future of the high school at SAS by the end of the year. Also this year, the middle school and elementary school have begun their â€œresearchâ€? phase of the R&D process. Each 20-member team will break into smaller groups and will visit leading schools during the year (the first set of visitations took place in November). They will also consider the research and best practices, and will use the high school learning as a guide for what will be developed in their divisions. In all cases, teams will be talking with students and parents to help shape the development work as they consider what the SAS of the future should look like. Your feedback will be important as we move forward. These are exciting times for SAS. We are a great school, and because of the processes we now have in place to plan for the future, we will continue to be great and ensure that our students are indeed exceptional thinkers and are prepared for the future. I am honored to be on this journey with the SAS community and look forward to many dynamic days ahead.
FIVE MINUTES WITH ROBERT LANDAU ROBERT LANDAU DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT
Robert Landau joined SAS in July. As deputy superintendent, he works in all divisions supporting principals, faculty, and Office of Learning staff to ensure that the SAS curriculum and programs are implemented in every classroom, and that great teaching and learning happens for our students every day. Robertâ€™s career in education has spanned nearly 40 years in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Most recently, Robert served as the education director of the Liger Learning Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Liger offers promising yet disadvantaged children an educational, extra-curricular, and leadership opportunity of a lifetime.
What is your advice for families that have just arrived for their first overseas experience? If you are a novice or seasoned traveler, you will inevitably encounter culture shock. My advice is to learn about the stages of culture shock so you can embrace the process and have wonderful stories to tell others. What do you always bring back in your suitcase from a U.S. visit? Trader Joe's coffee, maple syrup, Dry Idea deodorant What is the last book you couldn't put down? Merry Christmas by Alex Cross What is your favorite Asia travel destination? Bali â€“ I love that Bali is so different from the rest of Indonesia. It has
a different cultural heritage. I love the calm. When I go to Ubud, I can really relax. What are your passions outside of education? Squash, scuba diving, music, TV & film, tennis, and softball. What drew you to your work in Cambodia? The authentic opportunity to truly change the lives of a group of promising yet economically disadvantaged children. What drew you to SAS? I believe SAS is a school where we can truly walk the talk around creating a progressive 21st century learning environment preparing students for THEIR future.
What is your favorite place on campus? ECC and primary school. They like and appreciate my silly songs. What do you see as some of the challenges facing SAS in the next few years? All schools, including SAS, face similar challenges . . . challenging our long-term assumptions about school by transforming and adapting to prepare students for the myriad of jobs and professions that have not been created. What are your hopes for the 2013-14 school year? Besides not getting lost . . . I hope to help my colleagues make a difference in the lives of our students in a profoundly positive way.
the learning environment
TOTAL TRANSFORMATION FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM JAMIE ALARCON SIMBULAN FACILITIES AND SERVICES OFFICE
She is, first and foremost, an elite athlete. But she is also at the top of her class, tech-savvy with a soft spot for the environment. She often stood in the shadow of her sister, a dazzling beauty who was always the center of attention. Last summer, though, she really came into her own, and now she’s everyone’s first choice for homecoming queen. Welcome to the remodeled new SAS Gym – Gym 2 – formerly the Middle School Gym. For the Facilities team, it’s hard to think of the SAS campus in terms of concrete and steel, asphalt and turf. The various bits and pieces that make up our school are practically our children, with different quirks and temperaments, all very much loved. So you could imagine our elation when we debuted 17-yearold Gym 2 this autumn after a 56day, $3.9-million renovation. “After years of ‘borrowing’ the High School Gym, having to wipe AC condensation off the floor during games and having parents comment on the shabby nature of the Middle School Gym, we have gone straight to a first-class facility,” says Middle School Principal Devin Pratt. The changes are not merely cosmetic. Long-time SAS collaborators Koon Yong and Susana Lim of clla Architects were challenged to reinvent the gym as a space that could accommodate not just PE classes and extracurricular sports, but also non-athletic events of all sizes. Like our students, the gym had to be multitalented and multitasking.
A dividing curtain was installed so that multiple classes and small events can be held simultaneously. The new, 1,400-seat telescoping bleacher system retracts into the walls to maximize floor space. Digital natives will be happy with the three multimedia screens and killer sound system. After clla’s success with the nowiconic giant fan in the IS/MS cafeteria, another behemoth was installed to improve cooling and reduce the gym’s carbon footprint. Unlike its twin, however, the gym fan is almost invisible behind the sleek lines of protective grilles. The grilles, insulation, and laminates are independently certified to be low in volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, and phthalates. The resilient, shock-absorbent maple flooring is from managed forests and has recycled content, with multiple environmental credentials. Finally, a clla project is not complete without Koon Yong’s signature use of light and color. Pristine white walls and blonde wood create a vibrant glow, while the matching reds of the grilles and seats provide a bold but elegant splash of color. Middle School Deputy Principal Brian Combes lauded the project team for engaging stakeholders. “I can’t thank the team enough for their willingness to listen to the end users who are often dreamers of what could be possible if we take the time to think outside the box,” he says. “In this case, ‘the box’ was an outdated gymnasium that was hardly multi-purpose... It is truly a magical transformation.”
Summer Works Projects • 457 approved requests and projects • Zero accidents after 52,330 man-hours of labor • Major works included: - Elementary Pool - Elementary Library - Gym 2 - MS playfield - MS locker rooms - MS Tech Help Center - HS STEM classroom - 63 new fan coil units (FCUs) - 32 new CCTV cameras - New 30-m3 water tank - 1-MWp solar power project
the learning environment
GOOGLE APPS FOR EDUCATION SUMMIT
DEVELOPING STUDENTSâ€™ CHINESE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
JASON CONE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
DR. SUSAN ZHANG CHINESE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
SAS hosted the second annual Google Apps for Education Summit in Singapore on September 7 and 8.This high-intensity two-day event focused on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education to promote student learning. This was a great opportunity for SAS teachers to jump start the year with Google apps. Twelve faculty members from SAS led sessions at the summit. SAS currently has five Google Certified Teachers--which we believe is the highest number of any single school in the world! A total of 400 participants from schools around the region attended the event.
To enable students to use a world language in real-life situations, for real-life purposes, is a common goal for professionals who teach any foreign language. The essential question is how we can best motivate students to develop their language proficiency so that they will be able to negotiate meaning, interpretation, and creation in that language. Teachers must understand research-based best practices and the importance of developing language proficiency, obtain knowledge about the levels of proficiency and their descriptors, and learn to collect and analyze data using ACTFL (American Counsel on Teaching of Foreign Languages) guidelines to determine levels of proficiency. It is a process that requires time, effort, and persistence. Last summer, three of our Chinese teachers, Yolante Pan, Hilda Huang, and Ella Chen, spent four days training as testers for the Oral Proficiency Interview organized by ACTFL. After the training, they spent over 120 hours practicing rating and interviewing and have now successfully become certified ACTFL OPI testers. In addition to having three certified testers on campus, our teachers are seeing the positive impact on daily instruction and lesson design. Most importantly, our students are the beneficiaries of the professional learning that our teachers are engaged in. SAS believes in investing in the ongoing professional learning of its staff. In addition, we have invited an ACTFL trainer to offer a four-day OPI course to our teachers. All teachers who participate in the training are committed to work toward certification, which means we will soon have more experts in Chinese language proficiency.
READING CELEBRATION LOUISE E. DONAGHEY PRIMARY DIVISION LITERACY COORDINATOR
BY ROBERT LANDAU Grade 1 launched their reading workshop this year with a unit of study called Readers Build Good Habits. This unit establishes the reading workshop routines and practices that will be in place for the year and is part of the research-based reading/ language arts program that SAS uses. The focus of this unit is on students using the classroom library, choosing books that are just right for them, developing reading stamina, learning how to get their minds ready to read, and talking with partners about books. At the end of the unit, students celebrated in style with live music and an excellent display of their individual and group reading stamina. Teachers praised students for their achievements and growth as independent readers by recapping the teaching points in a PowerPoint. The presentation had photos of many of the students displaying their good reading habits. Deputy Superintendent Robert Landau (and his guitar!) made special appearances at the reading celebrations where nearly 300 students and their teachers were treated to the premier of his specially written song, "Just Right Book". The song lyrics captured the essence of the unit accompanied by a catchy tune. Everyone joined in the chorus and celebrated the end of the unit... and the start of a great year of reading workshops!
Get your mind ready to read Take your book from the shelf Find a cozy spot And read all by yourself As you turn every page And the story is so cool You are happy that you read In this awesome school Chorus: You choose the Just Right book You choose one or maybe two You choose the Just Right book 'Cause the book is just for you! So what do readers do? When they enjoy a book They think and think and think And look and look and look A book you love to read You can share with a friend A book you think is great You read again and again Chorus: You choose the Just Right book You choose one or maybe two You choose the Just Right book 'Cause the book is just for you!
UNITED NATIONS DAY IN THE PRIMARY DIVISION KEN SCHUNK DEPUTY PRINCIPAL - PRIMARY DIVISION
This fall, the students of the primary division were engaged in activities that helped them learn about our diverse cultures and nations culminating in an SAS tradition - United Nations Day. There were classroom discussions that covered topics such as how many countries actually exist, why countries have flags, which country students considered to be their home country, and why people in other countries speak different languages. The children talked about how people in various countries are very similar in that they may like to sing, dance, and have fun, that they work so they can live in a house, eat, and have things that make their lives better, and that they may have pets and go to school. The children also learned that some people are less fortunate and don't have all that boys and girls at SAS have. On Friday, September 27, the ECC and primary division gathered for an hour-long assembly in the high school gym for the culminating activity around the theme of United Nations Day. It was a celebration of the ways we are all unique, and just as importantly, the ways people around the world are the same. After some brief introductory remarks by deputy principal Ken Schunk, the program began with a "Parade of Nations." Walking in pairs, 110 happy and very excited kindergarten, grade one, and grade two students entered an arena of over 1,100 people, carrying the 55 flags that represent all the countries that SAS students in the ECC and primary see as part of their heritage or important in their lives.
The children wore every kind of costume imaginable, from cheongsams, kimonos, sarees, hanbok, Baju Melayu, and cowboy clothing, to sports uniforms. Some even dressed as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty. As the music played and spectators clapped and cheered, there were tears as well. Those came mainly from the adults who said that despite how cliche it might sound, they were overcome with emotion from seeing the promise of a better future represented in the collective potential of their children. Following the Parade of Nations, Jordan Mussleman, a second grade student in Mrs. Dougherty's class, stood at a microphone undaunted by being in front of the largest audience she had ever faced, and in a firm, clear voice explained to everyone how the United Nations originated. Mr. Schunk then introduced two video clips in the following way: "In world that is changing fast and one where people are now more connected and dependent on each other than at any other time in history, primary UN Day is really focused on a message of happiness and how important it is to play hard, smile often, laugh aloud, and dance like there is music in your heart. Boys and girls, you live in a time when you will see more of the world by the time you are 18 than most people will see in their lifetime. You will travel to other countries, visit interesting places, see amazing sights, and meet many different people. You have been to other countries, but in the USA, four out of every 10 people never leave the place they
were born, seven out of every 10 people do not have a passport and therefore do not leave the USA. Continue to travel because it will change you and it will change how you view the world. By traveling, you will be able to appreciate just how amazing our world really is. You will see new and interesting things. It will excite, entertain, and even amaze you. And…everytime you take the time to see something new, it will make it easier for you to connect and communicate with others, to make new friends, to become more skillful, and to stay active. It is one way to stay happy. I want you to watch this next video because it is a small example of why ours is “A Wonderful World" (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=B8WHKRzkCOY)." "Ten years ago, a man named Matt Harding traveled around the world. His friend took a video of him doing a goofy dance in different places. It wound up on YouTube and Matt became famous. He traveled around the world looking for happy people. He found many and he danced with all of them. Matt realized that while dancing, that he could also learn something…so he went back and did it again…and again…and again. Now Matt thinks travel is important. It helps us learn what we're capable of, that the path laid in front of us isn't the only one we can choose, and that we don't need to be so afraid of each other all the time. Matt also used to think you were either good at something or bad at something and there wasn't much you could do to change it. He wishes he'd learned sooner that you can get better at most things just by doing
them over and over again. It really is that simple. Here is Matt’s fourth video called “Dancing Around the World" (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=74RnIytPg9I)." Much likes Matt's dancing made people happy, singing can have the same effect.To demonstrate that, all the students at each grade level got up in turn and sang "I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing” (grade 1), “It’s a Small World After All” (grade 2), and "Hello, Bonjour" (kindergarten). Since music, singing, and global happiness were the themes of the day, the program culminated with the trio of Robert Landau (deputy superintendent), David Hoss (principal), and Ken Schunk (deputy principal) singing a special song that put a decidedly Asian "spin" on "This Land is Your Land." And as the music played and the lights came on...bodies both big and small left the gym with just a bit more belief that a group of committed and positive people really did have the power to change the world.
PERSONALIZED LEARNING WITH IPADS MS ROBYN LYNCH INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY COORDINATOR
Watching 66 grade 3 students walk proudly into their iPad launch, hugging their new iPads, was a wonderful moment that was the culmination of a lot of hard work, research, and planning. Over the past two years we have piloted iPad classes in grade 3 and grade 4. A key to effective learning is engagement, and iPads enable us to draw on that engagement in a profound way. We find that, when provided with the opportunity to work with an iPad, students engage differently and productively. Students are being creative and innovative in ways we could not have imagined. They frequently selfinitiate collaborative sessions. Students work together sharing ideas, information, and skills. They also showcase, document, and demonstrate their thinking and learning in ways that support their learning styles, interests, and abilities. One lesson learned from our iPad pilot project last year was that the iPad set up was not individualized to support the learning of the individual user. Hence, the most important change to our iPad program this year is the implementation of student-managed devices. It enables the iPad to be a personalized tool for learning, empowering us to individualize instruction. For example, if a child is in a support class, the teacher may suggest an app that will help the child with their particular learning needs. The same is true for students in enrichment classes - or in any class! Having a managed device means that the students will have an iTunes account on their iPad, which the parents control. This year we decided to pilot this approach with three grade 3 iPad classes. Parents were invited to attend the launch, hear more about the program, and to complete an ‘apptivity’ with their child. They were welcomed by the intermediate school principal, Ms. Marian Graham, and heard the superintendent, Dr. Chip Kimball, explain how our student-managed iPad program helps us to work towards achieving the SAS vision of ‘A world leader in education cultivating exceptional thinkers prepared for the future.’ An SAS-produced video, Personalized Learning with iPads, captures the essense of the iPad program. Our teachers explain, using examples from their classroom experiences, how integrating the iPad personalizes instruction and individualizes learning.
Since the launch, the grade 3 students have started using their iPads to complete a variety of activities. They are using their iPads to narrate their personal narratives and to document their science experiment on the life cycle of a bean seed. For more details on our iPad program, please visit our website: https://sites.google.com/a/sas.edu.sg/ elementary-ipads/home
TEACHERS LEARN FROM A MASTER JODI BONNETTE IS LITERACY COACH
SAS is all about learning – both student learning and teacher learning. How do teachers continue to learn and grow as educators? How do teachers take something they are already doing and become even more skilled at it? One of the most effective models for learning is to see good practices in action. For two days that is just what the intermediate teachers were able to do. Carl Anderson, leading literacy consultant and author of several books on teaching writing, was here at SAS to work with teachers in their classrooms, lifting the level of their individual writing conferences. “This was definitely a great professional development opportunity,” commented a 5th grade teacher. “It was so useful to be able to go right into our classrooms and put our new learning into action,” commented another. Carl Anderson is truly a master at conferring with students and we were fortunate to learn from him! SAS is all about learning – and that includes learning for our instructional assistants. Our IA staff are instrumental in working with students and want to continue developing their skills. Our instructional assistants are so important in what we do for students. They work with students in many different capacities: they listen to students read, assist with math and writing assignments, work with students in science and social studies, and also interact with students at lunch and recess. Learning strategies to promote thinking and learning in students is important and that is why the instructional assistants were involved in a training session during the recent in-service days. The assistants learned strategies to ask open-ended questions, prompt thinking, and listen deeply. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, committed group of individuals at SAS!
MIDDLE SCHOOL LAPTOP BOOTCAMP PHOTOS BY HEATHER ANNE DOWD EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY COACH Middle school students participated in a Laptop Boot Camp as part of the division-wide 1:1 program. The Boot Camp built positive and clear expectations for students as they engaged in lessons on digital citizenship, care for the machine, and how to use the tool to enhance their learning.
JOURNEY TO ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN OUTSTANDING HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC PERFORMING REBECCA WATTERS MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND
The journey to active membership in outstanding high school music performing ensembles at SAS begins in kindergarten. All students in grades K through 5 have instruction in music every third day during their elective rotations. Students are introduced to a wide array of classroom musical instruments. They learn about composers, musical elements and form, and participate in a variety of kinesthetics and movement along the way. Because of the strong musical development that students undergo in the primary and intermediate divisions, students in grade 6 are well prepared (and very excited!) to have the opportunity to join band, choir, or strings in middle school. This year SAS has a record number of young musicians who have chosen ensemble music. The focus is on assisting each and every child in becoming a competent musician who contributes to the noble art of bringing music to life. It is an intense time for these youngsters as they learn proper posture and form for producing sound with their instruments (Yes! The voice is an instrument too!)
Students who have continued in music throughout their years at SAS have fond memories of their beginning music classes, and they shared what music at SAS has come to mean to them. Austin Lee, Grade 9 Band "After joining band, almost immediately, there were huge improvements. My teachers were patient and willing to teach me everything one-on-one. I fixed my embouchure, cleaned-up my tone quality, and even extended my range higher and lower within months. Seventh grade Advanced Band was a year of learning for me. Then came 8th grade. It was equally engaging and fun, and I was able to really show my skills in that ensemble. Being a first-trumpet and a first-chair, I was constantly challenged with intricate melodies and rhythms, as well as enjoying the limelight with some solos. Playing those final chords in Advance, Entrance of the Gladiators, and In the Forest of the King were all bittersweet yet triumphant moments, knowing that that would be the end of my middle school band experience. Now, Iâ€™m in Symphonic Band,
fully ready to further showcase my passion for music, I look forward to a great year." Edward Ahn, Grade 12 Band "I love how SAS bands have a variety of instruments. For example, the Wind Ensemble has four tubas, several euphoniums and French horns, multiple clarinets and flutes, and even a bassoon and bass clarinet. It's fantastic hearing all sorts of instruments combine to form a melodious performance." Nihaarika Sharma, Grade 12 Choir "When I was a new student in 7th grade, everything about SAS overwhelmed me, but I remember finally feeling at home in choir class. It was a relatively small class and I remember being calmer there because Mrs. Symes was the best and I felt comfortable being able to sing. Without middle school choir, my transition here would have been so much more difficult. To this day, I make it a point to welcome everyone new to choir, so that it can be their safe place like it was mine."
CLASSROOMS, CHARACTER, AND CRACKERS TANVI DUTTA GUPTA GRADE 8
I wince as a saliva-covered gob of sodium-saturated krupuk cracker hits my cheek. Somewhere far, far away, my team is hollering my name. But they are background noise - right now, I have one battle and one battle only, and that is with the cracker suspended in front of me. My fingers squirm behind my back, eager to just grab it and stuff it down my throat, but a wonderful, terrible invention called "the rules" binds them behind me on pain of disqualification. I have only one weapon to fight with and that is with my jaws.
I squint at the cracker for a second through the floodlit night, wondering at its seeming innocence as it simply dangles there, half-chewed and mutilated like a wounded soldier. It would delude any passerby into thinking that eating it without using your hands was a simple task, easily completed in a minute or so. I laugh bitterly, and with new force of will lunge towards it, pouncing with my teeth. Viciously, I rip it off the string and madly chew it in my mouth, barely tasting it on my tongue, just eager to force it down and let it die in my stomach
acid. Someone comes around to me, and holding up a finger as the last bit of the hateful cracker flees down my throat, I gasp “Krupuk,” and sprint back to my team. For a moment, our cheers drown out the night sounds. This is CWW. CWW, or ‘Classroom Without Walls’ is a three-day, two-night trip that SAS middle schoolers take every year to varied locations near Singapore. Officially, it’s a team-building outing, designed to expose us to new cultures and trigger character growth and team spirit. Games like battles
19 with krupuk crackers, which, believe it or not, is a traditional Malay kampong game, on the first night of the Grade 8 CWW are the starting gun on the blitz of team-building and charactergrowth related activities that stuff the next few days. “No one is an island” is the refrain on our CWW, and this was proved again and again when in forty seconds my homebase managed to dispose of highly hazardous nuclear waste (aka plastic golf balls) into a disposal facility (aka a blue plastic bucket), celebrated Malay culture by cooking traditional candy, and tightly clutched my friends’ hands as we plummeted off a two-meter dock. As a team, we found out that sticking to plans often failed as much as succeeded, and that flexibility and inclusivity was a must. But if you think that’s all CWW is about, you’re very, very wrong.
A spurt of sudden laughter in the hallways is triggered by the mention of the word. Loud calls echo- “Remember how Henry had five banana crepes?” “Oh my god, our skit was a complete fail.” The word is a catalyst within the middle school for a flood of memories from each grade’s trip. Who can forget wading in the mangroves in 6th grade? Or zooming down the waterslide in 7th? Ask a single 8th grader, and it’s impossible that they have forgotten the moment just after jumping off the 8-metrehigh dock when they looked down and realized just how far away the water was. CWW is the creation of memories you treasure for the rest of your life. It’s getting to know yourself as a person and getting to know your friends. Without CWW, I never would have discovered so much about my homebase teacher or
found out that watching where you stepped in the jungle could be very, very valuable to preserving your life. Middle school students learned so much more in secluded locations in Malaysia and Indonesia than 1,000 years studying in a freezing classroom could have taught them. But beyond that, CWW is also about having a good time. Beyond the real learning, what will stay with us is the laughter on skit night as girls turned up dressed as boys, and vice versa. CWW is far more than a classroom, with or without walls. It is good times, and good times shared with our peers, good times cherished throughout the years as the moment that a krupuk cracker disappeared down my esophagus.
BUILDING NEW FRIENDSHIPS AMANDA CHEN GRADE 7
On the beach of Lotus Desaru located on the eastern tip of Malaysia, the sun beat down on a hundred 7th graders’ backs as they scrambled to and fro, never stopping, always building, patting the soft sand into golden-brown castles. Downed in swimsuits, the students scurried around creating their sand sculptures for the annual Classroom Without Walls (CWW) trip. My group was building feverishly when a cry rang out, shrill and piercing, slicing the hot shimmering air, signaling the fall of one of our castle’s towers. A couple of us immediately surrounded it, rebuilding the sagging turret, together, as one.
After what felt like ten hours, we collapsed onto the sand, exhausted and panting. Surveying the beach before us, studying other groups’ sandcastles, each different, each unique, each special, we returned to staring at our own sandcastle, pride swelling in our chests at the small mound of sand decorated with sea shells, wood, and seaweed. We had constructed this masterpiece, together. Now, when I look back, I think that the whole CWW experience was like building that sandcastle. At the beginning of the year, students are randomly placed into homebase groups consisting of 10 or 11 of their peers. The year starts out on
rough terrain, where most students know only a few, if any, of the other students. CWW acted as the essential tool needed for building a strong bond. Slowly as we started to get to know each other, we smoothed out the area, ready to build some great relationships on a leveled foundation of understanding. We were asked, as homebase groups, to complete a number of activities, including creating synchronized swimming routines, building human pyramids, competing in relay races, and performing skits. Every activity served as building blocks and our teamwork quickly became the structures of our newfound friendships.
Although there were times when the relationships we were working on would start to fall and crumble,
much like the walls of our castles, we always found a way to mend and rebuild. We continue building
our newly formed friendships everyday.
A GREAT CWW IN SINGAPORE LAUREN LEE, ANJALI PATEL, GENEVIEVE FELDER, AND MEHEK JAIN GRADE 6 C-SIDE
CWW was going to be great. Going on nature walks, hanging with friends, and in Malaysia, too! We were all so excited. Then the teachers broke the news: we would not be going to Malaysia! For the first time ever, the Grade 6 Classroom Without Walls program would take place in Singapore. Some people were disappointed. Some were still up for it. The only thing that was certain is that there were mixed reactions in the crowd of sixth graders. Some wished they could go to Malaysia, others were up for the trip no matter what. “I was a little scared and afraid before going because I thought something would happen to me,” Nicholas K. admits. “But,
afterwards, I wanted to go to CWW again.” We took our hiking bags on the ride with us, since we were going straight to the nature walks, and our luggage would be taken to the Costa Sands Resort, where we would pick them up after our hike. Over the three days, we hiked a lot! On the first day, half the homebase groups journeyed to Pulau Ubin, and the other half to MacRitchie. On the second day, we switched destinations. On the third and final day of our CWW adventure, we all had some fun hanging at the resort. Wherever we went, each homebase was accompanied by a biologist from
Eco Field Trips. The biologists taught us everything we needed to know during our three days of CWW. To get to Pulau Ubin, an island off the coast of Singapore that is shaped like a boomerang, we boarded bumboats and braved the waves. Everyone seemed to at least enjoy the cool refreshing crisp sea air. We hit the trail at nine in the morning, exploring every termite hill, mucky mangrove, mudskipper, and fiddler crab we could find. Not only did we get to explore the rainforest, but we got to spend the day bonding with our homebases. As each of the groups of students hiked, we got to laugh, joke around, and sing our
21 favorite song! We walked across different terrains: the boardwalk over a crystal-clear ocean, a bridge across some fiddler crabs’ homes, and a dirt road through the trees. We saw things we wouldn’t have seen at home: wild boars taking a snooze under a tree, oriental whip snakes coiled and camouflaged against a tree, and mud lobsters burrowing down deep in dung. We came across coconuts, plants with strange-looking leaves, and trees with different patterns of bark. For lunch, we ate in a tourist information area, and everybody was starving by then. Everybody saw and learned a whole bunch on that trip: about the rainforest, about their homebases, and about themselves. Nicholas C. recalls, “The coolest thing I saw was the Green Pit Viper snake because it was a new thing that I had never seen before.” “I learned to not be afraid to try new things. For example, in the Macritchie walk, I didn’t know how long I would walk, but I liked it at the end,” Sumin L. shared. After long hours of trekking through the rainforest, we finally got introduced to our cabins in the Costa Sands resort. Some people went swimming in the resort’s pool, others preferred to relax in their cabins and unpack, and boys who were not tired from the day of walking tossed a football back and forth to each other. After a delicious dinner, it was time for Minute to Win It! Before CWW,
each homebase had looked through the game show A Minute to Win It’s website, selected one activity to organize, and set it up for the trip. There were different challenges and they were all crazy: trying to keep three balloons in the air at the same time by tapping them, using chopsticks to eat 15 M&Ms, blowing a ping-pong ball from one cup of water to the other, building a plastic cup tower and taking it down, and more. Each game lasted one minute, and they were harder than we thought, but a lot of fun! The next morning, the homebases who went to Pulau Ubin boarded buses and had their day’s adventure in MacRitchie. There was a whole new set of plants and animals to see there. In addition, we had the advantage of crossing the Treetop Walk! “It’s only 25 meters above the ground, but it seems like so much more!” said Ethan Chi. The biologists shared everything they knew with us about life in the rainforest. For example, they told us about how smaller plants get their light when they’re way down on the forest floor (sometimes they latch onto taller trees and grow upwards, using them as supports). After a short lunch break, we continued on our way to finish the hike. We saw plants and animals that none of us would have ever imagined. The best part, Mr.Riley’s C-side homebase all agreed, was getting to see the funny sight of a
group of monkeys photo bombing a couple's wedding picture! The last day of CWW was all fun and games. For a little while, we got to swim and make a splash in the pool. Then we went out to a field and the biologists led us in friendly but competitive games, treasure hunts, and races. It was hot, but nobody cared--everyone wanted to get involved and have fun. “I got to know people better by talking to them and even just being with them,” says Renee D. All in all, CWW was an amazing experience for all of us. It helped us bond with our homebase and become better friends with the other kids and teachers on our side. Even though we didn’t get to go to Malaysia, it was still pretty cool that we got to see really interesting places in Singapore. I mean, hiking and Singapore don’t usually go together. Everybody walked approximately nine hours and 20,000 steps each in Pulau Ubin and MacRitchie. We said goodbye to our biologists, and the buses pulled out of the resort. The inside of the buses were quiet, and the sixth graders were finally knocked out. Who would have ever thought that what started out to be a disaster by not going to Malaysia could end up to be some sixth graders most memorable experience?
SAS SHINES AT NATIONAL COMPETITION: CREATIVE THINKING IN HISTORY MATT ELMS GRADE 8 SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
What do the atomic bomb, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm from the 1940s, the battle of Dien Bien Phu, and the housing policies of Lee Kuan Yew have in common? They were the topics researched and presented by students during the 2012-13 National History Day (NHD) Finals held at the University of Maryland in June. Each of the topics was related to the 2013 theme, Turning Points in History. For the second year in a row, middle school students participated in the competition for National History Day, a highly regarded academic program for middle and high school students. Each year, more than half a million students across America and internationally participate in the contest. The top 2,000 kids meet for the final competition.
The results for SAS were outstanding: Jane Li, Janice Ng, Sarah Du, Sarah Choi and Katie Sun: Atomic Bombs: Blasting the Cold War to a New Level, Junior Group Exhibit • 8th Place in Nationals • Best Project Entered from Southeast Asia • 1st Place in Southeast Asia Finals • Best Use of Primary Sources in Southeast Asia Wanling Goh: International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Junior Individual Website • 14th Place in Nationals • 1st Place in Southeast Asia Finals
SAS students chose historical topics related to the theme of Turning Points in History and conducted extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and visits to historic sites. Experts interviewed this year included award winning authors Steve Sheinkin, Deborah Wiles, Russian Ambassador to Singapore Leonid Moiseev, and American nuclear physicist Richard Garwin.
Sunita Srivatsan: Lee Kuan Yew: Creating a Nation of Homeowners, Junior Individual Documentary
After analyzing and drawing conclusions from the various sources, the students presented their website, exhibit, or documentary at the Southeast Asia regional competition in Jakarta and then at the national finals in June. At the national competition, professional historians, U.S. National Archive staff members, and officials from the Library of Congress evaluated the projects.
• 1st Place Southeast Asia Finals • Participation in Nationals
• 2nd Place Southeast Asia Finals • Participation in Nationals Alexandre Chauvel: Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords: Prelude and Legacy to the Vietnam War, Junior Individual Documentary
Special thanks to high school teachers James Baker, Patrick Hopkins, Jason Atkinson, Eric Burnett, and middle school teachers Mary Johnson and JoAnn Clemens for their guidance and expert knowledge. Middle school teachers Scott Riley and Betsy Hall also had profound influence on guiding the students to the finish line. If you are interested in creating a project for the 2014 National History Day competition, we want to work with you! For more information, visit the MS Library to check out the atomic bomb exhibit. Documentary films and websites made by SAS students will be posted to the SAS middle school webpage. Have a look at www.nationalhistoryday.org. The NHD Club meets on Tuesdays after school in the MS Library. If you're interested in participating, stop by M334 and talk with Mr. Elms (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SAS MUSIC FESTIVAL WEEK STEPHEN J. BONNETTE HS STRINGS DIRECTOR Monte Mumford Freelance Conductor and Music Education Consultant
Raymond Chan Freelance Conductor and Music Education Consultant
William Sauerland Director of Vocal Music at LickWilmerding High School
Dr. Milt Allen Associate Director of Bands at The Ohio State University
Those students fortunate enough to have attended an AMIS Honor Festival or IASAS Cultural Convention at some point during their SAS experience can attest to the multiple benefits these enriching events provide. Our studentmusicians, sitting elbow to elbow with like-minded peers, are inspired by the challenging repertoire, a charismatic, master conductor on the podium, and perhaps most significantly, by each other. Ideally, they return home and infuse our entire program with a renewed passion. Only a small percentage of the students under our charge get the opportunity to experience these amazing events first hand; these are amazing experiences and we are very fortunate.
But what if…
What if we could provide a similar experience for each and every child in our program? What if our faculty could be mentored by a master music-educator for an entire week? What if we could feature each discipline in a dedicated, weekend concert series, celebrating each student’s journey from novice to expert? Thanks to the team at Singapore American School that shares a common vision with our music faculty, “what if…” has become reality. In its infancy, the SAS Music Festival was strictly a choral affair funded by a generous PTA. An industrious vocal director (Ms. Pat Brown) with a vision invited some legendary conductors from colleges with a strong choral tradition to our campus to work with our students. It didn’t take long for the instrumental teachers to recognize a good thing and get on board. The process of planning this event each year has proven to be a valuable mechanism for team building amongst our music faculty. As our school adopts the professional learning community (PLC) model, our department revels in the knowledge that we’ve already been practicing this collaborative approach for years. We tried something new this year. Since the third quarter is such a busy time of year historically, this year’s Music Festival Week was held from October 21 to 26. We were extremely lucky to have four stellar conductors come to Woodlands: Freelance Conductor and Music Education Consultant, Monte Mumford and Dr. Milt Allen (most recently Associate Director of Bands at The Ohio State University) worked with our middle school and high school bands respectively. Both middle school and high school string students worked under the direction of Raymond Chan. Born in Hong Kong and raised in New Zealand, Ray joins the exciting list of new generation artists who draws inspiration from his unique and diverse background. Ray was recently named First Prize Winner of the 2012 Graz International Conductor's Competition in Austria. Vocalists had the pleasure of working with Countertenor William Sauerland. Mr. Sauerland is currently the Director of Vocal Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, California and an Associate Music Director of the Grammy Award-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy. Although our festival is philosophically about the process, we cannot ignore the impact the culminating concert series has on our program. Celebrating our students' journey from novice to expert is what this is all about. This is the one night where our kids get to sit in the audience, front and center. Our beginners see where they are headed and our seniors reflect upon what they have achieved. We all realize that we are part of something very special.
PERFORMING IN THE 21ST CENTURY THROUGH DANCE JOHN KONCKI STRATEGIC LEARNING COACH
I recently attended a 21st Century Learning Summit organized by the SAS Office of Learning for parents, teachers, students, and administrators The work was meaningful and engaging. We looked at the educational research, analyzed SAS community survey data, described what the future state of SAS could look like, and prioritized what DSLOs (Desired Student Learning Outcomes) should be the focus of our accreditation visit and subsequently built into our strategic plan. After two days of rich discussion, the team recommended the following as the SAS DSLOs for our 2013-14 accreditation visit: Creativity and Innovation, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Character. Four other DSLOs were seriously discussed (from 31 considered): Curiosity/Passion for Learning, Cultural Competence, Technology/Information Literacy and Life Skills (Physical, Emotional, Financial Health). Two additional DSLOs were later added by the leadership
team - Cultural Competence and Core Knowledge. It was agreed that the others are important and are embedded into those already identified. After For the past three years, my eldest daughter has been an active member of Tracy Van der Linden’s high school dance program. In this time she has experienced and demonstrated all five of the DSLOs. It turns out, Tracy’s program embodies 21st century learning. Alexandria Koncki on Creativity and Innovation: “The dance program has three levels before you get to DP (Dance Performance). The aim of the program, or at least what I got out of it, is to be exposed to as many facets of the dance world as possible. We learn and recreate work based on styles, choreographers, cultures, time periods, as well as practicing technique.
The levels are increasingly more independent in terms of creating a piece. In DP, you have complete responsibility for your choreography, setting the stage, and managing your dancers in rehearsal. We learn to be creative with original movement, lighting, formations, and teaching methods.” Tracy Van der Linden on Creativity and Innovation: “For me dance has always been a medium through which to teach different skills. Dance in education is a form of communication. It is just a different way of writing an essay. I’m looking for students to use the tools I teach them in creative and innovative ways to communicate through the medium of dance. In Dance Performance I take a backseat, and my role is to advise and help where and when needed. The students who take this course are passionate. They are tasked with creating, refining, and producing the semester dance shows. There is a lot of responsibility and expectation placed on them. There are real deadlines that have to be met and a high standard of work is expected. Each student is a leader, but she or he also has to work effectively with one another and the adults assisting them. The students are not only tasked with choreographing and teaching sections for a cohesive dance show, but with assisting with all of the other production aspects. I love watching my students’ confidence grow through the different dance courses. I notice their posture changes as they become more confident in their ability to use their bodies. I also notice my students’ willingness to take more risks and to discuss or, sometimes, defend their choices.” Alexandria on Communication: “When put to work in groups, we continuously have to find ways to make the dynamics work. Learning how to be efficient, including or developing everyone’s ideas while maintaining a high level of creativity is never easy. The dynamics change drastically with the change of groupings.” Tracy on Communication: "Students are expected to communicate effectively with their dancers, one another, and the directors. This communication happens through a variety of channels like our BlackBoard group, our Facebook page, text messaging, Morning Show announcements, Dance bulletin board, and personal meetings." Alexandria on Collaboration: “Every semester when we choose the theme for our piece, we have the option to work with somebody
or on our own. We also choreograph and perform bits and pieces of our dance for our peers in order to receive and dish out feedback.” Tracy on Collaboration: “I enjoy the collaborative process with and between the students in the course. One of the things I focus most on in all of my classes is how to work with others productively and effectively.“ Tracy on Critical Thinking: “Each of the dance courses requires students to solve problems through movement. The tasks are designed for students to make choices and think of creative ways to communicate through movement. The tasks also focus on reflection and analysis. It is expected that dancers question each other’s choices and that they have a chance to explain the choices they have made.“ Alexandria on Character: “You have to develop yourself to be able to work with others. Being in DP is when that becomes the most clear because you are working so closely with so many people. The reality of creating a show, in itself, makes us focus on our character. But, Ms. V also facilitates it by ensuring that we recognize our faults and successes.” Tracy on Character: “I hope that I help to build our students’ character through dance. I place importance on the SAS Core Values, as these traits underlie all of the discussions, analysis, and critiquing that happens in the program. The students need to feel comfortable and respected for constructive conversations to happen about their work. In the end, I hope my students walk away from our dance program with an appreciation of dance and some skills that they can use no matter what they end up doing. I hope that they can work collaboratively, that they are willing to think creatively and take risks, that they can communicate well with people in different situations, and that they understand that character matters.” As an educator, I look forward to these DSLOs and what they will mean in my professional work and growth. As a parent, I am quite content to know that my daughter is learning and growing in Creativity & Innovation, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Character right now. These are the traits that will be most important and relevant to her journey as a global citizen and as a life-long learner.
JOO YEON OH GRADE 12 STUDENT With over than fifty years of history, Singapore American School has a long tradition of boasting its excellent campus, curriculum, resources, facultyâ€”and students. It has one of the strongest visual arts departments in the region, with all three AP art courses available to students: AP Drawing, AP 2D, and AP 3D. This year, SAS was invited to participate in the third IN Exhibition, an art show jointly coordinated with seven other international schools in Singapore. A group of twelve exceptional students was selected from the art department to represent the Eagles: Seniors Aksha Gang, Joo Yeon Oh, Kaitlyn Rassi, Amber Lo, Lars Roolvink, Melinda Lim, and Treat Swarstad, and Juniors Nadia Kim, Ragini Sharma, Soo Min Bae, Dana Lim, and Clemence Morin. All the students have taken at least three years of art at SAS. The exhibition is separated into two shows; Part I opened on November 4, and Part II on November 18, each show running for nearly two weeks.
1. JOO YEO OH 2.RAGINA SHARMA 3.TREAT SWARSTAD 4.CLEMENCE MORIN 5.KAITLYN RASSI 6. AKSHA GANG 7. DANA LIM 8.MELINDA LIM 9.NADIA KIM 10.LARS ROOLVINK 11. AMBER LO 12. SOO MIN BAE
28 CAMPUS LIVE @ SAS BROADCAST BY MEDIACORP 93.8 LIVE
On September 6, MediaCorp broadcasted a Radio 93.8 FM panel discussion from the Drama Theater on "Empowering a generation of youth to engage in and lead community service." More than 70 SAS high school student service club leaders and invited faculty/admin guests attended. Panel: • Yohyoh Wang (senior student) President of SAS Service Council, • Sarah Anderson (senior student) President of Global Issues Network (GIN), • Martha Began Co-Sponsor of HS Service Council and Global Issues Network, and • Ms Iris Lin, MediaCorp appointed senior social worker from Fei Yue Community Services (FYCS) in Singapore. Ms. Lin works under Project 180, a youth centre under the umbrella of FYCS that engages youths in making a difference to their society.
SO MANY VOICES JEFF DEVENS, PH.D. HIGH SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST
As of August 20, Amazon.com listed 87,777 books on parenting, including Simplicity Parenting, Scream-free Parenting, Nurture Shock, and one of my favorites, Duct-Tape Parenting. There are myriad books that espouse the notion that due to increasing social media influence, peer pressure, genetic variations, and other variables, parents matter much less than once believed. With so many voices it’s difficult to know to whom one should listen. Into this mix I would like add another opinion—mine. This year marks my 20th year in education, 17 of which have been working with international families. During this time, what I have experienced, is that parents matter more than anything else in a child’s life. Think for a moment about your own upbringing. How much of your character, personality, quirks, strengths, weaknesses, and worldview were shaped by the way(s) your parents raised you? The most pronounced change in parenting has been parents who emphasize relationship at the expense of leadership, particularly during the formative years (ages 3-12). Historically, parents did much of the heavy lifting of teaching and guiding during these years. By age 13, however, a parental shift usually occurred from that of teaching and providing to listening and guiding. This is no longer a common parental template. Instead, parents in increasing numbers are abdicating their role as leaders, adopting lesser titles, such as emotional coach, mentor, advocate, or friend. The result is kids with
weak character and even weaker emotional self-regulation. Some readers may object to this old-school model of parenting, believing that kids need love, esteem, and acceptance. What experience has taught me, however, is that kids need more than love, they need discipline... discipline in the form of parental leadership. Without this, our love tends to express itself in enabling ways. Yet, without love, discipline runs the risk of expressing itself as abuse. Leadership parenting, then, is the fulcrum upon which love and discipline balance. As I move into the second half of my career and through the formative years of parenting (we have 8- and 4-year-olds), my wife and I are convinced that the work of parenting is the most challenging undertaking we will encounter in our lives and marriage. It’s not that parenting is boring or even a burden. Rather, it’s a commitment to purposefully instill and cultivate in our children a worldview and character attributes that will allow them to be healthy and independent when they leave the nest. And this is really hard work! Parents commonly note at forums that the work of parenting is far more challenging than actually going to work. I wholeheartedly agree. I once had a high-ranking naval officer tell me that he could command hundreds of men and women, yet struggled considerably when it came to parenting his 15-year-old daughter. Instilling character and cultivating a healthy worldview is not the primary function of schools, it’s
our job as parents. This isn’t to suggest that parents shouldn’t seek advice and support from a psychologist or counselor. If that was the case, I would be working myself out of a job. Rather, when it comes to character development and parental support, schools can buttress what parents teach/ model in the home. To this end, SAS is committed to supporting and encouraging parents. With 18 counselors, four school psychologists, four nurses and over 50 teachers in academic support roles, we purposefully, deliberately, and intentionally are committed to this endeavor. This is what it means to be a school of extraordinary care.
THE SHADOW KNOWS... VIRGINIA SHERIDAN HS JOURNALISM TEACHER The work of a CNN reporter may seem glamorous through the TV screen, but as Kylie Salyards discovered when “on assignment” with Liz Neisloss, the off-camera preparation can be more mundane. “I learned about the importance of note-taking and active listening when sitting in on a court case. I also learned the importance of self-confidence and how you present yourself on camera,” Salyards, now a sophomore, explained. By the end of her Job Shadowing experience, Salyards had dabbled in writing for news purposes—which put a practical spin on her prior English class composition skills. An idea that began as the Booster Club fundraiser “Mentor For A Day,” the Job Shadowing program has evolved into an authentic experience that aims to bridge the gap between curricular lessons and life. Rather than being auctioned off to the highest bidding parent, these mentor opportunities are now available fee-free to students in grades ten to twelve. “One of the most valuable things we can do for high school students is to connect them to the professional community,” said Martha Chaudhry, current Job Shadowing chairperson, who noted that the possibilities are especially diverse and accessible in Singapore.“ Job Shadowing mentorships can blossom into internships, capstone projects, even Interim adventures.” They can also give students a realistic preview to help them make more informed college and career decisions, said Sue Nesbitt, counselor. “I had one student come back and tell me that law was NOT the field she envisioned. She thought it would be more exciting than the reality—more courtroom interaction and less paperwork.” While Job Shadowing at the U.S. Embassy last year, Tucker Erdmann (now a senior) realized that all the professionals he met came from different backgrounds. “There’s no one, direct route to take from college to one of these positions,” he concluded.
What does it take to be a mentor? The desire to share a “real world” view of work with a student for one or more days. “Shadows are matched to mentors by interest and are pre-qualified as responsible, mature students ready for the experience,” said Chaudry. “Students are so excited about the opportunity to glimpse behind the doors of hallowed institutions and fascinating industries. Last year we had 150 student applications for 35 mentor opportunities. I hope that we are able to swell our roster of mentors to accommodate the demand!” After hearing about his daughters’ eye-opening opportunities through Job Shadowing, Chip Salyards, the Asia Pacific VP of BMC Software, signed on to be a mentor. “Dad hopes to offer the same positive experience for another student,” said the Salyards. What could you share with a student that could supplement the classroom experience and help shape her or his career ideas? “Pay it forward” and sign on to be a Job Shadowing Mentor. Although program assignments began in October, there is always a waiting list and mentors are accepted at any time. For more information, contact Martha Chaudry at email@example.com.
BOOSTER & PTA
BOOSTER ONLINE STORE
LAN FISHER BOOSTER CLUB PRESIDENT On behalf of the High School Eagles Booster Club, I would like to welcome home all SAS families and give a warm welcome to all the new families. After the beginning of the school year rush, I hope you have settled in well and have established a working routine. During Open House, we hope you were able to enjoy our great burgers and hot dogs grilled by our dynamic BBQ Team. Our family moved to Singapore in 1997 and we have been a part of the SAS community for the past 11 years. I have two children at SAS, son in 11th grade and a daughter in 9th. Last year, I served as VicePresident of the Booster Club and this year, I have the privilege of being President. As always, we are looking forward to another exciting and successful year making a difference in our students’ experience at SAS.
In 2012, the Boosters initiated a project to help ease the stress of the back-to-school rush at Open House by offering parents the option and convenience of buying school uniforms online. Fully in operation since August, the online store has been well received by the parent community. In addition to uniforms, we also have many school spirit items on sale, such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, gym bags, baseball caps, and pennants. Check out our store at sasboosterstore. myshopify.com
In early September, I had the chance to meet many new, eager parents at our Welcome Coffee. Thank you to all who attended. If you were unable to attend, I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the mission of the Booster Club and its importance. The Booster Club is a parent volunteer organization that supports extra-curricular activities in the high school. We work closely with the Athletic and Activities Director, the Visual and Performing Arts Department, high school administrators, and the PTA to help enrich our students’ overall experience at SAS. Throughout the school year, we raise funds through uniform sales, design items, school supplies, BBQs, bake sales, and social events. Last year the countless hours of dedicated and energetic parent volunteers enabled Boosters to support our high school students in these areas:
BOOSTER CLUB ALLOCATIONS 2012-2013 ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES DEPARTMENT INTERIM SCHOLARSHIPS STUDENT CLUBS VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS SENIOR AWARDS HONOR ROLL RECOGNITION LUNCH YEAR BOOK & STUDENT GOVT MURALS SENIOR CELEBRATION LUNCH SPIRIT ACTIVITIES/POPCORN DAY
$30,200 $28,200 $8,000 $7,200 $10,000 $3,200 $3,600 $11,400 $1,100
THE BOOSTER CLUB WOULD WARMLY LIKE TO THANK OUR SPONSOR, SANTA FE, FOR THEIR SUPPORT.
BOOSTER & PTA
INTERIM SCHOLARSHIPS This fall, the Booster Club was pleased to award five full Interim Semester course scholarships and five partial scholarships to deserving students who would not otherwise experience travel opportunities due to financial circumstances. This is one of the many ways we strive to enrich our studentsâ€™ school experience. Congratulations to all the winners. We hope you have a memorable journey.
THE FIRST BAKE SALES The first bake sales of the school year were a huge success! Thank you to all the parents who donated delicious baked goods, volunteers who helped with the sale, and a special thank you to our Korean and Japanese parents for their contributions of wonderful Asian specialties for the ethnic food sales. Our events would not have been successful without all of you! All proceeds from bake sales and ethnic food sales directly benefit the high school students. Mark your calendars now for the upcoming Booster bake sales and ethnic food sales. Bake Sale and Indian Food Sale March 20, 2014, 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria If you'd like to be a part of the Bake Sale Committee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESFUL OPEN HOUSE A big thank you to the following committees for all their hard work during Open House! These committees spent hours before the end of the school year and days leading up to Open House making sure all our students had uniforms and supplies for the start of school. Thank you to our dynamic BBQ Team for welcoming us back with their awesome burgers and hot dogs. Uniform Committee: Mary Kate Wallace and Mani Gupta Booth Manager: Kendall Jackson BBQ Committee: Jack Brick, Henrietta Hurst and Claire Hewitt And thank you to all our parent volunteers who came out to help! We could not have done it without you!
Thank you to all the high school parents who came to our Booster welcome coffee on September 10. Our committees will be contacting you throughout the year to help with upcoming events. And thank you to Chris Ferguson and Robin Abeles, our Hospitality Committee, for organizing the baked goods and drinks.
Thank you to Leslie Oâ€™Brien, our Bake Sales Chair, for organizing a bake sale and Korean Ethnic food sale on September 26. The students appreciated the yummy baked goods and the delicious Korean specialties.
pta & Booster
WELCOME BACK TO SAS SHELBY PAZOS PTA VICE PRESIDENT Welcome back to SAS, and welcome in particular to all the new families. PTA got underway well before the official start to school with the set up and organization for Open House and uniform sales. Thanks to group efforts last spring, PTA was able to offer online uniform sales to the SAS community. A special thanks to Jen Loi, our new PTA Treasurer, for spending most of her summer here at SAS overhauling our systems in PTA and putting in the new technology to support our online sales. The initial start up of the program was successful and in addition, physical sales were offered on campus for three days including at Open House. PTA sales for the event totaled $225K and comprised of processing 800 invoices and 300 online sales. A great big thanks to Jen Loi and to Diana Cutter and her sales team for their endless hours organizing and managing the Open House uniform sales effort. A special thanks also goes to Jodi Jonis, our Welcome Chair, who put together welcome packets for all the new families and arranged the newcomer coffees as well the Ice Cream Social at Open House. Jodi also worked with the division representatives to provide food for the many back to school nights.
Collaboration is our byword at SAS, and efforts between the PTA, Admissions, and the Office of Finance have resulted in a plan to put a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of new SAS Families. As a result, a pilot program to welcome families through the PTA is being headed by Wendy Weiss, whereby she and her team are reaching out to each and every new family at SAS. In addition, the PTA office space will be renovated next summer to create a more welcoming, cafĂŠtype environment for parents at SAS. This space will be designed explicitly for parents so that they don't need to hang out in the cafeterias or libraries if they so choose. As we work towards these goals this year, we welcome your feedback. Speaking of community building, the PTA puts on several events through out the year. One of our first events was the PTA Carpet Auction hosted at the historic Raffles Hotel on September 6. It was a wonderful evening in which a nominal ticket cost entitled you to dinner, wine, an informative book, and of course a fabulous range of carpets at auction. Those attending had a wonderful time at the event hosted by Eastern Carpets.
Next on the calendar from October 23 to 25, we had Pumpkin Patch, which was hosted in the kindergarten group room and organized by Tracy Faulkner. Pumpkin sales took place on October 26, in conjunction with Food Fest. SAS families shared the cuisines of their various cultures, and shopped at the vendor fair. It was a fun-filled day that also included entertainment and the ever-popular theme basket raffle. Book Fair was directly after on November 25 to 27. All sorts of wonderful books were available on campus, from picture books for the little ones to travel books and cookbooks for the grownups. There was a bookmark contest held in conjunction with the Book Fair. Primary and intermediate students had the opportunity to create a winning bookmark, which was printed and distributed throughout the Fair. Look for photos in the next issue of Crossroads. We hope to see all of you for what promises to be an exciting year at SAS!
What’s the most interesting thing EMI W. KINDERGARTEN
AIDEN J. 8TH GRADE
SOPHIA H. 6TH GRADE
I lost my tooth.
I fit in. I didn’t at my last school, but I have made a lot of friends here.
Meeting my new teachers and moving between classes.
PEARL F. 3RD GRADE
MR. HO AT SAS SINCE 1965!
GABRIEL Z. 11TH GRADE
I donated my hair to Locks of Love.
SAS got a new solar panel system.
We won IASAS!
that has happened to you this year? JACOB F. 4TH GRADE
RACHEL I. 12TH GRADE
MATT W. 9TH GRADE
I started playing soccer.
I signed up for an amazing Interim Semester trip to New Zealand.
The transition to high school and the independence that has come with it.
MEGAN F. 8TH GRADE
RENEE P. 3RD GRADE
SARA B. 4TH GRADE
I went to Tabitha and saw kids that didnâ€™t have much. It made me realize how much we all have.
I met the artist, Harry Bliss!
I helped raise money for Pinktober.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
40 WOODLANDS STREET 41 SINGAPORE 738547 PHONE: (65) 6363 3403 WEB: WWW.SAS.EDU.SG QUESTIONS? EMAIL US AT COMMUNICATIONS@SAS.EDU.SG CPE Registration Number: 196400340R Registration Period: 22 June 2011 to 21 June 2017 Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)