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MICA (P) 195/08/2006

Volume 9, Issue 8-06/07 - April 2007

A Singapore American School community service publication


Singapore American School Cultural Convention 2007

Content Page

Board of Govornors

Regulars 3 - Calendar Highlights 14 - Booster Club News 15 - SAS PTA President Letter

Shelly DeFord Chairman of the Board

Garth Sheldon Vice Chairman of the Board Chairman Facilities

Sally Greene Chairman Curriculum

Carl Stocking Chairman Finance

Bart Broadman Richard Borsuk Chairman Trust Board Member

Melanie Ng Chew Board Member

William Ball Board Member

Bob Comstock Board Member

4 6 8 9 12 13 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 27 -

SAS Highlights Cultural Convention Global Citizenship and Community Service Elementary Literacy Progress at SAS Areas of Continuous Improvement at SAS Getting Past the Grunts Educators from FCD Visit SAS The Awesome Ape 2nd Annual Marathon Club in the IS Knowledge Masters Open Competition International MS Honor Choir at SAS Care Corner Young Authors Thrive at Camp SAS Summer Program MS Art Show Biography Hall of Fame A Collection of Dance Works

NEWSFLASH is published monthly by the Communications Office of the Singapore American School. It is distributed free of charge to the parents, faculty members and organizations served by the school.

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Singapore 738547 Tel: 6360-6303 SAS Website: Editor: Ms. Beth Gribbon Staff Editor: Mr. Scott Duncan Layout Design: Ms. Joey Lew

We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School

Kirk Hulse Board Member

Maya Roll Board Member

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Tom Linton Board Member

Sheila Wang Board Member

May NewsFlash Deadline: May 4, 2007 Publication Date: May 21, 2007 August NewsFlash Deadline: July 18, 2007 Publication Date: August 6, 2007 Email Community News Input to Email Trading Post Input to Trading Post advertising is restricted to non-commercial items only from SAS students, parents and staff

25 25-27 26 27

* Campus Mosquito Fogging, every Sunday 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Alternate Dress Day Spring Tabitha Sales 11:00am – 1:00pm (IS/MS Café Hallway) HS Dance Showcase Preview 3:45pm (Auditorium) Tabitha Sales SACAC Gym Festival Show 1:30pm (HS Gym)

27-28 28 28-29 30

HS Dance Showcase 7:00pm (Auditorum) AMIS Choir Concert 7:00pm (Drama Theater) SACAC Gym Festival 8:00am – 5:00pm (HS/MS Gyms) HS Third Season Awards Night 7:00pm (Auditorium/Drama Theater/Theater Studio)

* Campus Mosquito Fogging, every Sunday 5:00pm – 7:00pm 1 2 3-4 4 5 5-6 7 7-18 8 9 10 11

LABOR DAY (NO SCHOOL) HS Tri-M Induction Ceremony (HS Library) HS Scenes & Monologs Night 7:00pm (Drama Theater) PS/IS Student-Led Conferences No School for K - Grade 5 Pre-Sch/Pre-K are in session SAT & Subject Tests HS SAS Activity Free Weekend (SACAC Activities Continue) IS Parent Coffee for current Grade 2 Parents 8:15am – 9:15am (5th Grade Grouproom, I311) MS Parent Coffee 10:00am (M301) HS AP US Government and Politics Exam – AM HS AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam–PM HS AP French Language Exam – PM PS Festival of Stories PTA Board Meeting 9:30am (PTA Office) HS AP Computer Science A Exam – AM HS AP Computer Science AB Exam – AM HS AP Spanish Language Exam – AM HS AP Statistics Exam – PM Alternate Dress Day HS AP Calculus AB Exam – AM HS AP Calculus BC Exam – AM HS AP Chinese Language & Culture Exam – PM Community Calendar Meeting 10:00am (S119) MS Dance Matinee 3:30pm MS Dance Performance 7:00pm (Auditorium) HS Thespians Inductions 4:30pm (Theater Studio) HS AP English Literature Exam – AM HS AP French Literature Exam – PM HS AP Japanese Language Exam – PM Laurie Nelson Film Festival 3:30pm & 7:00pm (Drama Theater)

11 12-18 14 14-19 15 16 17 18 19 21 21-22

Calendar Highlights

April 2007

May 2007

HS Art Show Opening 3:30pm HS AP US History Exam – AM HS AP European History Exam – PM HS AP Studio Art (portfolios due) HS Art Show HS AP Biology Exam – AM HS AP Music Theory Exam – AM HS AP Physics B Exam – PM HS AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam – PM HS AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism Exam – PM Music Festival Week PTA Appreciation Tea/AGM 10:00am – 12:00nn HS AP Environmental Science Exam – AM HS AP Chemistry Exam – AM HS AP Psychology Exam – PM HS Celebration of Service 3:15pm – 4:30pm (Drama Theater) HS AP English Language Exam – AM HS AP Art History Exam – PM IS/MS/HS Band Concert 7:00pm (Auditorium) HS AP Macroeconomics Exam – AM HS AP World History Exam – AM HS AP Microeconomics Exam – PM Booster Club Appreciation Lunch11:30am HS Decathlon 3:15pm – 6:00pm IS/MS/HS String Concert 7:00pm (Auditorium) HS AP Human Geography Exam – AM HS AP Spanish Literature Exam – AM IS/MS/HS Choir Concert 7:00pm (Auditorium) Booster Club General Meeting 9:30am (H301) HS Decathlon 3:15pm – 6:15pm

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Cultural Convention - Music and Art March 8-10, 2007 in Singapore Long Live Music! By Nanette Devens, HS Choir Director Music leaked from halls, classrooms, auditoriums and practice rooms as 268 musicians from the six IASAS schools converged on the SAS campus on March 8, 2007. The excitement was palpable as the music students prepared to take part in this dual festival. One part of this “Cultural Convention” is the solo/ensemble festival. Each student was required to sing/play a festival level solo and ensemble for accomplished adjudicators, who would give them verbal and written feedback. The students had been preparing for this opportunity for months. From the pool of solos and ensembles a select few were chosen to perform at the Showcase Recital that was held on Friday night. Catalina Hwang (violin), Arthur Meng (trumpet) and the SAS Vocal Octet (Renuka Agarwal, Juliana Kim, Alice Jeong, Nora Yin, Corey Householder, Dominic Wong, TJ Son and Ee Chien Chua) from SAS were selected to perform. Each of these soloist would then join together to form an IASAS choir, orchestra and band, which is the second part to this festival. Accomplished and renowned conductors were brought in to work with each of the festival groups. The fruits of the weekend of labor together were the festival concert, held on Saturday afternoon. Eugene Rogers, the choral conductor, hails from the University of Michigan, where he is both a professor and a doctoral student. He is an active guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator around the world and has studied with such choral greats as Helmut Rilling, Doreen Rao and Jerry Blackstone. Mr. Phillip Greene conducted the orchestra. His international appearances as both conductor and performer are extensive and he has worked a wide variety of performers like Sir Georg Solti and Phyllis Diller to name a few. Robert W. Smith, the band conductor, is considered the most popular and prolific composers of concert band literature in America today. As a conductor and clinician, Mr. Smith has performed throughout the world. The IASAS Festival Band performed three movements of his Symphony No. 2 “The Odyssey.” The musical passion, talent and potential displayed on March 8-10 was astounding. We can rest assured that the future of music in this world will be preserved through our young musicians. LONG LIVE MUSIC!

Cultural Artists Under One Roof By Sam Lloyd, HS Student Reprint of an article originally appearing in The Eye. From hanging to critique, from toy cameras to pinhole photography, or from printmaking to acrylic painting, this year’s IASAS Cultural Convention Art delegates engaged in a variety of activities when they visited SAS from March 8 to 10. The largest activity, that they all worked on at once, was the brainchild of visiting artist Arturo Correa: to make an easel out of a house. As their first activity, each school’s five delegated painted their school’s own panel of a simple house-shaped structure, within two hours. “Each place comes with its own background,” Correa said. “The artists represented what they thought was important about their country.” One challenge for the artists was painting the edges of their panels so that they would connect with those of the other schools and unify the image of the house. “Many different kids and countries being together made it one,” Correa said. “I think that little house symbolizes what Cultural Convention is. It’s about being different, and celebrating our differences, but coming together and working as one, celebrating our feeling of being one.” When they were done painting, the artists joined SAS students in writing hundreds of comments such as “Keep writing, keep living,” or “I am made of awesomeness,” on the interior of the house. Cultural Convention photos by Brian Riady, HS Student and Scott Graham, Jarkarta International School

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Cultural Convention - Dance, Drama, Debate, Forensics March 8-10, 2007 in Jakarta SAS Achievements Dance: Title: “NUMB” Received with a standing ovation from the audience. Director: Tracy Van Der Linden Critic Highlights: Other delegates said SAS dancers had a stunning use of emotion in their dance. The intention of the dance’s theme was easily understood and could be related to. They also were impressed and enjoyed the integration of the technology with the multiple styles of dance technique. Participants: Anna Allen (Grade 12), Abby Murray (Grade 11), Anushka Bharvani (Grade 12), Esha Parikh (Grade 11), Jessica Lin (Grade 12), Ashley McClelland (Grade 10), Jennifer Nockels (Grade 12), Daphnie Pan (Grade 10). Drama: Title: “Isn’t It Romantic” Received with a standing ovation from the audience. Directors: Patricia Kuester and Susan Murray Critic Highlights: The other participants were very impressed with the character development the cast had done and the research they put into it. They felt they were able to easily connect with them because of this. They were also amazed with the consistency in which they maintained their accents throughout the play. Participants: Rachel Black (Grade 12), Chelsea Curto (Grade 11), Crystal Clower (Grade 12), Jane Hurh (Grade 11), Jeffrey Hamilton (Grade 12), Mariko Thomas (Grade 11), Sean McCabe (Grade 12), Sneh Shah (Grade 12), JJ Subaiah (Grade 12). Debate: Resolved: “A just government should provide health care to its citizens.” Coach: James Baker Participants: Tarang Agarwal (Grade 12), Akshay Kumar (Grade 10), Brian Leung (Grade 12), Vysak Venkateswaran (Grade 11). Remarks: Both teams advanced to the Semi-Finals, they took the 3rd place. Extemporaneous Speaking: Coach: Bill Rives Participants: Brittany Balcom (Grade 12), Spencer Anderson (Grade 10), Abhinav Kaul (Grade 12). Remarks: Abhinav and Brittany advanced to the finals. Abhinav took 3rd place. Oral Interpretation: Coach: John Hurst Participants: Sean McCabe (Grade 12), Chelsea Curto (Grade 11), JJ Subaiah (Grade 12). Remarks: Sean advanced to the finals and took 2nd place. Original Oratory: Coach: Jeri Kett Participants: Julia Knight (Grade 12), Rhoda Severino (Grade 12), Simi Oberoi (Grade 12). Remarks: Julia and Simi both advanced to the finals. Simi took 2nd place. Impromptu Schedule Coach: Rick Silverman Participants: Julia Knight (Grade 12), Spencer Anderson (Grade 10), Sean McCabe (Grade 12). Remarks: Sean and Julia both advanced to the finals. Julia took 1st place. All of our students had outstanding presentations at the convention. The judges were given some pretty tough work deciding who the best was. The SAS coaching staff was extremely proud of them all. SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Global Citizenship and Community Service By Julia Knight, HS Student


s a graduating senior who has attended Singapore American School since 4th grade, I have had incredible opportunities to learn about other countries and cultures whether I was in the classroom, on an Interim trip, or simply spending time with my friends. Like many of my peers, I have become interested in global issues and international community service due, in great part, to these experiences. As SAS continues to grow both in size and in the scope of its programs, each student, ideally, should leave the school with a strong background in the most critical issues currently facing the world. This year, I was asked to give a speech at the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Teachers’ Conference on the subject of global citizenship. After spending nine years at SAS, I feel that this topic holds great relevance to the SAS community and will continue to grow in importance as the world becomes increasingly globalized. I would like to share my speech with you. As global citizens, we have epic stories about being delayed in airports from Amsterdam to Zimbabwe. Our friends come from forty different countries…and may have last names we have no clue how to pronounce. We know that international food is a very relative term, and when we are asked where we come from, we give long, complicated answers. We have also seen grinding poverty on the streets of the countries we visit and live in. We’ve witnessed the effects of governmental mismanagement and corruption first-hand. Because of terrorist incidents, we are stopped at security checkpoints in hotels, shopping malls, and even our own school. We are no stranger to contradictions and paradoxes. As we learn more about the world, we increasingly realize how much more there is to know. We are global citizens, and our homes are both nowhere and everywhere.

Foreigners learning computer skills in Migrant Workers Program

Now, there is a lot to be said about this special citizenship, but I think perhaps its most meaningful and significant aspect is the fact that many global citizens are highly committed to community service. This is something that I have seen consistently in my years at Singapore American School.

As global citizens, we have several inherent advantages that both inspire and facilitate community service. To begin with, global citizens have traveled extensively. On one hand, travel has made us aware of global issues by allowing us to look at the big picture, to realize, for instance, the ubiquity of poverty. On the other hand, perhaps even more significantly, our travels have allowed us to focus on the smaller picture. Personally, I’ve become friends with a group of South African girls who are working to stop the spread of AIDS, I’ve had tea in India with people I had just met on the street, and I’ve spent the evening at the home of a Palestinian living in Jordan. While travel instances like these seem ordinary to many of us, they have the power to change one’s approach to community service. Being exposed to other countries and cultures does more than just widen one’s worldview; it also creates a community of global people. Before I had the opportunity to learn at an international school and visit other countries, I thought about the world in an “us and them” mindset, the “us” being Americans and the “them” being everyone else. I believed, as many do, that community service should start at home and stay at home. However, many travel stories and small-picture moments later, I’ve adopted a mindset that I believe is shared by most global citizens: there is no “us and them”’; there is just “us,” the world’s people. And if I still believe that service should begin at home and stay at home, it is because “home” has acquired a much wider definition. For purposes of community service, globally-minded people are citizens of everywhere. Consequently, when we see poverty on the streets of a country that has nothing to do with our passport, address, or origin, we view it as our concern. And in these travels and in our home countries, global citizens have had incredible opportunities to help others. For example, at SAS, students regularly visit homes for the mentally disabled and for those living with leprosy. Others help to teach basic computer skills to migrant workers from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka; and Interim trips have brought students to various corners of the world for community service projects. The personal connections that are made through such projects are invaluable.

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

A visit to the Leprosy Home

They help one to understand who the recipients of our donations are, and how they can best be helped. They match a story and a personality to the person on the poverty awareness poster. And they have shown us how much can be accomplished with consistent, small-scale humanitarian effort. By giving to others, we have become that much closer to the rest of the world. Additionally, and it may be a little unusual that I include this with the advantages of global citizenship, global citizens are aware that community service comes with a host of problems and complications. A prime example of these problems and complications is a situation that occurred when actress Jennifer Connelly became a celebrity activist for UNICEF. In 2005, this well-intentioned star endorsed a line of Gucci handbags whose proceeds were donated partially to this humanitarian organization. But unbeknownst to Connelly, the company that controls Gucci seriously underpaid the workers in its Indian sweatshops and subjected them to despicable working conditions. The irony that UNICEF would affiliate itself with such an organization was too much for many to bear, and a strong, damaging backlash ensued. Good intentions and misinformation can be a harmful combination.

SAS donating computers to one of the developing countries

Global citizens have had to face uncomfortable realities like these including that of corrupt government officials, aid organizations with questionable financial practices, and outsiders’ good intentions that violate local customs. As a student who enjoys community service projects, I sometimes find these pitfalls to community service to be highly discouraging. However, I’ve come to realize that unless I recognize that making a difference is never easy, and unless I realistically confront the problems that arise in my own community service, then I will not be as effective as I could be otherwise.

And even in my moments of discouragement, I am inspired by the deeply heartening signs that point to the fact that it is possible for global citizens to make a difference in the world if we remain dedicated, persistent, and prudent. In the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” And children’s activist Marian Wright Edelman agreed in a different tone but with the same intention, “You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.” These quotes, whichever one you prefer personally, are indicative of many global citizens’ attitude toward community service. Through our own experience, we’ve seen that small-scale, wellplanned efforts do have a significant impact. Last year’s EARCOS fundraiser financed a dental mission to a tiny barrio school in Cebu in the Philippines, where kids who otherwise never be able to afford dental care, even for grave problems, were treated by specialists. Many individual donations made it possible for the Wish for Kids organization, which already has a literacy program in Cebu, to add this important project to their agenda. On another front, the Tabitha Foundation in Cambodia has been helping the most marginalized Cambodians to have adequate housing, clean drinking water, and a sustainable way to earn an income. Among other its successes, Tabitha has installed 2,619 water wells in Cambodia, affecting 13,095 families, or a total of 104,760 people. Clean water has decreased infant mortality, reduced incidence of disease and infection, and irrigated small plots of land, which provide much-needed income for impoverished families. Each life-saving well only costs US$85. In my visits to Cambodia, I have been able to see some of the impact that the Tabitha organization has had on poor Cambodians, and it is truly inspiring. Undoubtedly, a little caring goes a long way.

House Building in Cambodia during Interim Semester 2007

As global citizens, my friends and I often talk about the ever-ambiguous concept of home. In fact, explaining which physical location I might designate as “home” would add a lengthy paragraph to this piece and arrive at no definite answer. But in the past few years, I have begun to look at the “home” question through a new lens. After all, for purposes of community service, most global citizens consider themselves to be citizens of everywhere, and maybe this definition is enough. Global citizens are found wherever there is service to be done, wherever there are uncomfortable truths to be conquered, and wherever lost luggage can be retrieved at airports. Our homes are nowhere in particular, but we are right at home everywhere.

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Elementary Literacy Progress at SAS

Elementary Literacy Progress at SAS By Mr. Mark Boyer, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction


or the past three years, Dr. Bonnie Campbell Hill has been a significant source of support for ongoing progress in elementary literacy at Singapore American School. Dr. Bonnie Campbell Hill is an internationally known educational consultant specializing in the area of literacy instruction and assessment. In addition to Dr. Hill’s support for exemplary reading and writing instruction in schools throughout the world, she is the author of six widely published books on literacy. In the 2004-2005 school year, Dr. Hill provided an “awareness workshop” on comprehensive and reliable approaches to literacy for teachers at SAS. In the 2005-2006 school year, Dr. Hill and others provided workshop support on how to implement the various instructional and assessment approaches, and teachers began to “practice” with these approaches. In the 2006-2007 school year, teachers have been phasing in the various approaches into their regular classroom practice with their students. Both the Primary and Intermediate Divisions have established plans to continue development within literacy over the next two years. The result for teachers is that they have more developmentally appropriate tools to use in understanding the “continuum” of abilities and needs of their students. The result for students is that their needs can be more specifically and precisely addressed. The result for parents is that fuller and clearer information is becoming available for understanding progress. It is the elementary teachers at SAS who have taken on this challenge across classrooms, grade levels, and divisions, and they have been extraordinary in their efforts to create exciting and meaningful learning environments for their students. In the letter of commendation (below) from Dr. Bonnie Campbell Hill to the staff and parents at Singapore American School, Dr. Hill shares that: “This is exciting work and SAS is becoming an exemplary school in terms of literacy instruction and assessment in the international community.” Letter of Commendation from Dr. Bonnie Campbell Hill March 12, 2007 Dear Singapore American School Teachers and Parents, It was a privilege to visit SAS three years in a row and I wanted to write a brief letter to comment upon the changes that I noticed as an outside consultant. First of all, I have seen remarkable growth in the professional knowledge and implementation of best practices in literacy instruction and assessment in K-5 classrooms at Singapore American School. My schedule was packed in the two days I was at the school on March 1 and 2, but I took some time to walk through the school and I was delighted by the rich literacy environment I saw in classrooms. There are wonderful leveled bookrooms and beautiful, organized classroom libraries that will enable teachers to match students to “just right” books in order to meet the needs of students as readers. Of course, with 5,000 new books published in the United States each year, those bookrooms and classroom libraries will need to be constantly updated! In addition, I saw teachers implementing the newest and best assessment practices, such as continuums and the Developmental Reading Assessment which helps teachers to know their students as readers and provides data for grade levels and school analysis and discussion. There were also class-generated charts in classrooms which clearly showed the mini-lessons and discussions that had occurred with students around reading and writing based on best practices and which also reflected the work done by recent consultants, such as Laura Benson, and discussions around professional books which teachers have read together. This is exciting work and SAS is becoming an exemplary school in terms of literacy instruction and assessment in the international community. There are still areas for growth, but the steps the school has made in the past three years are truly remarkable. This has been in part due to the commitment by Mark Boyer and the elementary principals, David Hoss and Marian DeGroot, who provided the vision, organization, resources and leadership to move this very large elementary faculty forward together. However, the credit should mostly go to the remarkable teachers at SAS who have stretched themselves professionally to embrace new ideas, to read professionally, attend conferences, and to work together in order to become better teachers. The Literacy Leaders have done a wonderful job this year at providing leadership on top of teaching full time. When I met with each grade level team, they overwhelmingly said that the changes, although challenging, were valuable and worthwhile. I hope that all of you who are not in the classroom will take a minute this week to thank a classroom teacher for the time beyond the contracted hours they have put into their teaching this year as they have poured their energy and heart into their work. And I hope those of you who are teachers will slip into one of your colleague’s rooms, admire their classroom and the wonderful work they are doing, and let them know how much you appreciate all they do for children. I look forward to coming back again in a year or two in order to support and celebrate your next steps along the literacy journey. Sincerely, Bonnie Campbell Hill

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Areas of Continuous Improvement at SAS


he schools in the world that are truly great places for learning are where faculty is enthusiastically and passionately committed to continuous improvement. Although Singapore American School has received regional and international recognition in a number of areas, this remains a school that strives to be better. This article shares with you some already successful areas where staff is continuing to make improvements. I. Study Year for Science, Health, and Physical Education After significant input from staff and parents for upgrades to pursue for school-wide curriculum enhancements in Science, Health, and Physical Education, the following are the recommendations for improvements in 2007-2009: A. Physical Education/ Health Education 1. Need to have a Preschool through High School Philosophy/Vision that provides focus, coherence, and direction 2. Review units/topics – may want to add important units/ topics, remove units/topics, and adjust amounts of time for units/topics 3. While division curriculum tends to be strong, want to ensure that a coherent preschool through high school scope and sequence is in place with no significant gaps or redundancies 4. Connect standards to the learner outcomes 5. Look at sequence of Health topics as it applies to PE (and also look at sequence of Health topics as it applies to Science) 6. High level of interest in development of Preschool through High School assessments to ensure better consistency of practice, better continuity, and greater opportunity to show longitudinal student progress 7. Review criteria used for report cards 8. Establish clear and consistent criteria/data to demonstrate program effectiveness 9. Explore ways to increase communications, support, and involvement of parents 10. Review resources and equipment that will be beneficial to student success 11. Provide targeted professional development support for PE and Health 12. Support ongoing cross-divisional communication and articulation B. Science Education/Health Education 1. Need to have a Preschool through High School Philosophy/Vision that provides focus, coherence, and direction 2. Connect standards with learner outcomes, and establish a more focused and cumulative scope and sequence for student learning

3. Increase clarity on distinctiveness of grade level topics and Essential Understandings, and provide greater support for unit development; in middle school and high school, review courses, content of courses, and sequences of courses 4. Work for more hands-on, authentic, “real life” learning that has balance within content and process and that connects/involves students with other “science practitioners” in the community, region, and world 5. Continue to develop engaging, authentic, common assessments that support high standards of consistency across classrooms 6. Review ways that student progress can best be demonstrated and reported 7. Explore how to best coordinate, warehouse, and support active learning approaches to science in classrooms and/or labs 8. Enhance parent communications related to student learning in science 9. Establish clear and consistent criteria/data to demonstrate program effectiveness 10. Continue to build professional networks in science for students and faculty 11. Explore extensions, after-school programs, competitions, and other opportunities for highly motivated science students 12. Provide targeted professional development support for Science 13. Look at sequence of Health topics as it applies to Science (and also look at sequence of Health topics as it applies to PE) 14. Review the budget schedule and procedures for equipment replacements

Areas of Continuous Improvement at SAS

By Mark Boyer, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction

II. Special Services At the beginning of next school year we will be distributing a Special Services Parent Handbook through our division offices to all our SAS parents who have students participating in various special services/resource programs. We think this handbook will make communications, as well as understanding of programs and processes, much easier and more effective for everyone. This handbook will include sections on school philosophy, identification of program services in each of the divisions, and explain eligibility for services, referral process, assessments, implementation of services and the Individual Education Support Plan (IESP), and record keeping. The Special Services Parent Handbook was one of the recommendations that emerged from the Special Services review (by staff and parents) as a way to create stronger partnerships for student learning between the home and the school. Special thanks are extended to David Putnam who has facilitated this process of Parent Handbook development with 26 Special Services teachers across all four divisions at SAS. SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Areas of Continuous Improvement at SAS

III. Preschool through High School Mathematics In the March issue of NewsFlash, there was a two-page article on the improvements that will be in place next school year with regard to preschool through high school mathematics curriculum and new classroom resources for students. This article is posted in the math curriculum section on the SAS web site, along with the upgraded math curriculum that will be implemented next year across all four divisions, as well as a letter of commendation from Shirley Frye (international consultant and Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) for exemplary mathematics program development. I can now also share with you that we are fortunate to have two long-term math consultants providing support for elementary teachers next year as they transition to the use of new curriculum and resources. Janis Freckmann will provide 60 days of classroom teacher support in the Primary Division, and Christie McKee will provide 100 days of classroom teacher support in the Intermediate Division. Both of these exceptional consultants will serve as Math Coaches for teachers at SAS. The intent for a Math Coach is to provide grade level and cross-grade level support for the new math curriculum, to offer support for effective use of the new math resources for students, to suggest supplemental approaches for addressing diverse student needs in mathematics, to enhance effective instructional strategies in mathematics, to support coherent and reliable approaches to assessment within mathematics that develop understanding and responsiveness to student needs, and to respond to individual teacher or team needs/interests related to mathematics. IV. Elementary Literacy See the adjoining brief article on the commitment that elementary teachers in the Primary and Intermediate Divisions are pursuing related to enhanced and coordinated approaches for reading and writing. David Hoss, Marian DeGroot, and teachers in both divisions have also provided numerous other communications on these efforts. The adjoining article is accompanied by a letter of commendation from Dr. Bonnie Hill on the excellent progress that is occurring within teaching and learning related to these efforts. V. Chinese Language Some of the sometimes unsung heroes at SAS are the Chinese Language teachers. They enthusiastically teach one of the most difficult languages in the world, which also happens to be one of the most important languages to learn for the 21st century. These teachers have been on a non-stop steep learning curve for the past three years in the area of curriculum development, as well as establishment of crossdivisional agreements on “best practices” related to instruction and assessment. Additional levels have been put into place in all four divisions, and this has caused further review of articulation and placement procedures. In spite of the enormous challenges that these teachers have


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

methodically and persistently addressed, they have remained perhaps the most eager, receptive, and resilient group of teachers I have ever seen. I have also observed them shift from being very isolated teachers to a group of teachers who truly support and celebrate each other’s hard work across divisions, and have learned how to work smartly as a team. Their progress over the past three years has been enormous, and they know that there is probably one more intense year of development to pursue through next school year. Part of the reason why I describe these teachers as “sometimes unsung heroes” is because it is not always known that these teachers are emerging as recognized leaders in Chinese language instruction throughout Southeast Asia. These teachers provide workshops at other schools, present to packed workshops at regional conferences, write Chinese language books for students, are on the “cutting edge” of knowledge and support for the new AP Chinese Language course that the College Board has introduced, travel all over the world to learn from others, network with experts in the field, all participate in Chinese language workshops at SAS, participate in multitudes of professional development programs that are about effective teaching and learning practices for regular classrooms, and many of them have recently or will recently complete their Master’s Degrees. This past fall, Chinese language teachers from 12 different international schools came from all over Southeast Asia to Singapore American School for a weekend workshop on “Assessment for the Chinese Language Classroom”. It was at this workshop, that one of the guest participants stood up and said that Singapore American School was creating the “gold standard” for its approaches to Chinese language curriculum, instruction, and assessment. This was a significant moment in the room when SAS was finally being acknowledged by professional peers for the excellence that it is creating. Another nod of support was given to SAS by the International School of Beijing when they offered to allow SAS to host this summer’s Annual Chinese Language Teachers’ Academy that Beijing had hosted for the Southeast Asia region for the past two years. Within three weeks of posting notice of this academy at SAS, the six-day program was completely full. The topics in which SAS teachers and other teachers in the region will be focused include curriculum design, assessment, differentiated instruction, culture, technology, and thematic unit design and development. It needs to be noted that major progress has been possible because of 70 days of consultant support that Dr. Helena Curtain has generously offered to SAS this school year, in addition to work that she supported at SAS last school year. If you did not read Dr. Curtain’s update on “Modern Languages at SAS” in the March issue of NewsFlash, I would highly recommend reading this article for the great work that is underway. You can view an expansion of this article on the SAS website at curriculum/curriculumonline.html in the Modern Language section of Curriculum. VI. Advanced Placement As many of you know, Singapore American School is recognized in the world for its outstanding high school student success with

This year, the College Board (sponsor for Advanced Placement programs) required all teachers of AP courses throughout the world to submit their AP course curriculum for audit. Although it would have been easy for 40 faculty members at SAS who teach the AP courses to “slam dunk” this exercise, the reality was that high school faculty were extremely conscientious in the design and development of their courses. All units for all courses were developed on the school’s internal Atlas curriculum system during the first semester of this school year. Curriculum for all AP courses also now appears in the SAS website curriculum section. The result of this work is that teachers have devoted time to carefully crafting their units the way they believe will work best for student learning, the units are now in a system that allows for easy refinement, and the units provide a kind of legacy for others who may someday inherit them and have this work available in which to further build their own designs. Thanks is extended to all of the high school faculty who pursued the “high road” in quality work, and thanks is also extended to Mark Devine (AP Coordinator) who provided significant support in facilitating this entire process. VII. School Accreditation Self-Study Singapore American School has initiated its Self-Study processes for its school accreditation renewal through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This Self-Study process will, at some point, involve all members of the SAS community – parents, staff, and students. Many of the areas of inquiry and review will be orchestrated through each of the divisions. There will be different approaches for how data, information, and feedback will be collected. Since SAS is the largest international American school in the world, opportunities for schoolwide input/feedback can be complicated. One request that we are making to our parent community is to please respond to a School Climate Survey that you will be able to complete online. An email announcement about this survey will be coming your way very soon from our SAS Communications Department. This survey has previously had 37 areas of response, but this new survey will ask for your input on approximately 20 additional areas. We apologize in advance for the length of this survey, but hope that you will understand that there are a number of areas where we need to establish deeper and broader understanding of school effectiveness. WASC serves as the school accreditation agency for the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (includes SAS), as well as schools in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific. Accreditation means:

a. a school has agreed to pursue a formal external review process to ensure high educational standards of quality b. a school is committed to continuous improvement, and actively involves staff, students, parents, and the community c. a school is recognized by an authorized and legitimate source for “consumer confidence” Singapore American School will be involved in its own review processes between March of 2007 and February of 2008. By mid-November of 2007, SAS will have established its own “findings” within four categories: 1) Organization for Student Learning, 2) Curriculum and Instruction, 3) Support for Student Personal and Academic Growth, and 4) Resource Management and Development. Based on the findings that emerge from involvement of staff, parents, and students, areas of strength and areas of growth will be identified. Administration and the Board will utilize the findings and recommendations to then draft a six-year Strategic Plan that will guide Singapore American School in directions that will be most purposeful, meaningful, and desirable for students, staff, and parents. All members of the school-wide community will have the opportunity in December of 2007 to provide feedback on the draft of the Strategic Plan to influence final revisions. The school’s final Self-Study Report and Strategic Plan will be sent to WASC by February of 2008. A Visiting Team of 7-10 external reviewers will then conduct a school-wide audit over approximately five days in April of 2008 to determine the validity of our own self-reporting, to review the school’s overall progress since its last accreditation six years ago, and to determine the school’s reliability and capacity to fully realize its new Strategic Plan.

Areas of Continuous Improvement at SAS

Advanced Placement courses. SAS is recognized for the number of AP courses offered (28), the number of students who take AP courses in high school, the number of students who take AP exams, and the high scores that students receive on AP exams. Credit for these extraordinary accomplishments goes entirely to the dedication of our high school teachers and our students’ commitment to these programs. Tremendous effort goes into each of these courses, and our exam assessments have been recognized by AP as an “Outstanding AP International School.”

While our school’s interest is clearly to satisfy WASC criteria to achieve school accreditation (for six more years), we have consistently said to all stakeholders that we want this to be a thoughtful and carefully studied process on how we build relationships, communications, understanding for current status and desired directions, and capacity for continuous school improvement. The opening three power point slides for sharing this process with all staff members are: 1. Singapore American School is a Learning Organization. 2. A Learning Organization is a system that continuously improves. Our motivation for improvement is to “make a difference” in the lives of our students. 3. The “difference” we aspire to create for our students is academic, social, emotional, and physical. We greatly appreciate the involvement, ideas, and suggestions of our entire school-wide community – students, parents, and staff. Hopefully the school improvement process that we are now undergoing can help to further strengthen these bonds of support, so that we are able to collaboratively develop something greater than we even now imagine possible. SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Getting Past the Grunts

Getting Past the Grunts Opening the channels of communication with kids By Jeff Devens, Ph.D, SAS Psychologist and Counselor


recently had a conversation with a mother who noted, “My son is amazingly verbal…as long as I’m not the one talking with him!” For all the time kids spend in school, learning about communication, social conventions, and critical thinking, it sometimes amazes parents how difficult it can be to carry conversations with them. Monosyllabic words and disfluent sentences, at times, make up the majority communication between kids and parents. Consider the following, not so atypical, conversation between a 10 year old child and parent: Parent: “How was your day?” Child: “Ahhh;” Parent: “What did you do at school today?” Child: “Nothing.” Parent: “Do you have homework?” Child: “Nope.” Parent: “Where are you going?” Child: “Out.” Parent: “When will you be back?” Child: “Later.” Psychologist, Dr. Paul Colman notes, “In too many families, conversations with children have a neutral effect at best. No harm was done, but neither was anything accomplished.” One of the primary goals of communicating with your children is to talk in such a way so that your relationships with them are enhanced. But how is this accomplished? Recognizing your primary communication style(s) is a first step in establishing meaningful rapport. In his work with parents Coleman found there are generally five patterns or forms of communication that take place between children and parents: Teaching, Empathizing, Negotiating, Dos & Don’ts, and Encouraging. Teaching: In this form of communication, parents are in the process of imparting some sort of instruction or “Howto” aspect. Kids are encouraged to ask questions and seek clarification. When to use Teaching: • When you are not likely to be perceived as being critical • When your child doesn’t have a number of distractions going on • When your child ask a specific question (“What is the capital of North Dakota? FYI: Bismarck). • When working on a project or activity together Empathizing: This form of communication involves trying to understand your child’s pain and talking about it in such a way that your child perceives that you do understand. This is not about offering solutions to a problem, but does provide for this later by laying a foundation of understanding regarding the problem. This type of communication is commonly referred to as the, “Walking a mile in your shoes, but first removing mine.” approach.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

When to use Empathy: • When you’re not sure what the real problem / issues are • If your child is more affected by emotions or emotional • When you want your child to better understand how their emotions (are) may be affecting current / future choices • When your child will not respond to reason Negotiating: Negotiating is a form of communication that acknowledges a child’s need for additional independence; however, this does not translate into “you do this, and then you will get this.” Negotiating does involve finding compromises with children where additional freedoms can be afforded. A large part of this process is helping kids understand that every choice comes with responsibility. Parents still have the final say, but your child will benefit from this process by you hearing them out and, when appropriate, negotiating an agreement with them. For the record, negotiating consequences for poor choices should be discussed at the time the rules are formed not after a rules violation has occurred. When to use Negotiating: • When you are considering providing additional independence • When you want to help kids understand the “big-picture” of choices they will make • When you want to help kids understand the cost of commitment to something • When you want to help them understand areas of life are most important to you…and why Dos & Don’ts: This form of communication does not involve a great deal of verbal give and take. Do’s and Don’ts are not requests. When a parent provides a rational for a rule, the implication is that there is latitude for discussion and possible negotiating. Dos and Don’ts communication, however, is nonnegotiable. This type of communication often involves issues of safety and morality. When your five year old refuses to buckle-up, you don’t negotiate or discuss the finer points of physics, you command conformity. “Your choice is to wear your seat-belt or not go with Mommy.” It is important to note that this form of monolog communication should lessen as a result of maturation and demonstrated responsibility on your child’s part. Parents of teens who heavily rely on this communication style often have kids who live “private lives.” This is precisely what parents are trying to avoid at such a critical age of development. When to use Dos & Don’ts: • When instructing younger children • Issues of morality that you feel strongly about as parents • When an agreement has been made and you want your children to adhere to it • When providing boundaries

Encouraging: Praising the process a child makes towards a goal, thoughtful gestures, lending a helping hand, and words of encouragement are ways parents can communicate to kids how much they are appreciated. Encouragement is a fundamental component of a parent’s vocabulary. It helps kids understand that their choices are moving them in the “right” direction towards positive outcomes and additional independence. Far too often, however, parents praise the product (the final grade, the winning team, the best, etc.) instead of the process. Keep in mind your kids are growing and developing and as such their will be mistakes along the way. Well timed and placed words of encouragement carry considerable weight in motivating a child to new heights. When to use words of Encouragement: • When you can tie them to specific actions (“The way you prepared for the math test demonstrated to me you were serious about doing well.”)

• When you hear from teachers or coaches about positive actions that have been made • Not only tied to actions but attitude as well (“I am proud of the way you controlled your frustration and finished the game, even though your team lost”) Knowing what style of communication to use when addressing issues with kids is a good first step in the process of opening dialogue between you and your child. Communicating with kids doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take some forethought and practice. The content in this article was taken, in part, from a presentation given to the intermediate parent community during the week of April 16th. SAS recognizes the importance of addressing parenting issues and providing support to the parent community. To this end, it is our endeavor to continue offering such services. More to come…

Educators from FCD Visit SAS By Beth Kramer, HS Counselor


hree health educators from FCD Educational Services spent four days in mid-March on the SAS campus. FCD, which stands for “Freedom From Chemical Dependency” is a nonprofit substance abuse prevention organization that works hand-in-hand with schools to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices about alcohol and other drug use. Finding moralizing and threatening messages to be ineffective, the educators approach prevention from a health perspective by providing information and an open climate for discussion. Extremely knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and approachable, the FCD educators speak from their hearts – and from their own experiences. Each of them has at one point in their lives been addicted to alcohol or other drugs, and is now in long-term recovery. This unique “been there” perspective lends authenticity to their message and provides students with important information about progression of addiction. The three educators, Alex Juchniewich, Connie Kim, and Diana Wilson spent the majority of their time with ninth grade students, but in addition provided assemblies and workshops for high school Peer Support students, high school coaches and athletes, eighth grade students, high school health teachers, and several different parent groups. Many ninth graders were enthusiastic about the “4-day course” which they attended in two double sessions due to our block schedule. Despite having to give up their free periods for two days, they felt the time was well spent. As one student commented, “The sessions were not what I expected. I thought we were going to be lectured to, but it was more like talking with someone. The teacher shared his experiences struggling with drugs and that was really interesting.” Other students remarked that the sessions were “eye opening” and appreciated that they learned how to help a friend who drinks too much. The FCD visit was sponsored in part by the SAS Educational Foundation and coordinated by the SAS Community Library. A presentation on Wednesday evening for parents as part of the Community Library Speaker Series was wellattended. FCD feels that an effective substance abuse program comes about not by a single assembly, course, or meeting. Instead, they believe it to be a collaborative process involving faculty, administrators, students, parents, and board members resulting in a school climate that favors healthy decision making. The educators’ visit was a positive part of that process, and discussions are underway about continuing this work. SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Gift Ideas from the Booster Club

Super Clearance Sale April 23 to May 3

Teacher Gift Ideas

Graduation Gift Ideas

Booster Appreciation Lunch May 18, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 26 Oakwood Grove. RSVP


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


rior to the publishing of this article, we held our Annual Staff Appreciation Day for our teachers and staff by providing them special recognition for the great job that they do here at SAS. Many thanks to our PTA Hospitality chairs, Denise Leonard and Dianna Stamp and all of the division coordinators for their efforts in organizing the events for this day. We would also like to thank those of you who either worked a shift during the day, sent in food or money to help allow the teachers to enjoy their special day. As always, these kinds of events could not be held without your support and generosity. I know from feedback received that this event is truly appreciated by the Staff. It is refreshing to see a teacher’s expression as they walk into the room and have someone ask them what kind of omelet they would like to be served. After all the hard work and effort that our teachers put forth each day for our children, it is nice to be able to provide them a special treat and allow them to sit and relax while a freshly prepared meal is served to them during the school day.


PTA President Letter

During this event, the PTA not only feeds the staff during the day but each teacher and staff member receive a gift from the PTA. I know many of you like to have your child personally give their teacher a gift, but this day was designed to take the place of people feeling they had to give individually and allow them to participate as part of the whole community in recognizing our great SAS staff. This is our one time during the year that we recognize the staff with a gift so that we have a centrally coordinated and standard practice across the whole school. While you are of course free to provide your own personal gifts as you see appropriate, we hope that this coordinated effort provides a standard solution for each class. It is hard to believe, but we have only one more event on the PTA calendar for this school year. On Tuesday May 15th, we will hold our Volunteer Appreciation Tea from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. E-mail Invitations will be coming soon with all the details so please watch for this and mark the date on your calendars. This is our opportunity to thank all of you who do so much to help us throughout the year. We welcome everyone to attend as this event is open to all SAS parents and staff. For those of you who plan to be at SAS for the next school year and would like to get a start on planning your volunteer time, we would appreciate any information that you can provide on where you can help us in the future. There are many events to plan and hold, many committees to staff and a variety of PTA positions that need to be filled. The contribution of your time and commitment would be appreciated by everyone here at SAS. Susan Fay PTA President

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld UNCLE ECKY SUMMER BASKETBALL CAMP Offered BY SACAC When: For: Where: Cost:

Monday, June 4th to Friday, June 8th Session 1 ~ 7-9 yrs old @ 8:15am - 12nn Session 2 ~ 10-12yrs old @ 12:45pm - 4:30pm Singapore American School Elementarty School Gym $350.00

Registration form and additional information is available on line at or through the SACAC office (located at the HS, 2nd level) This basketball camp is organized and run by Greg Eckstein (Uncle Ecky). Greg is a former US college basketball player and has been running camps for kids since 1985. The camps have a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of basketball and include a lot of team scrimmages and related competitions for kids. The coaching staff will include young men and women from the SAS varsity and JV basketball programs. In addition, players from the SINGAPORE SLINGERS will be on hand for demonstrations and autographs.

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld SAS NewsFlash – April 2007



SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


The Awesome Ape By Liam Mahoney: A fifth grade reporter, Ms. Lopez’s class


o YOU think you have the skills to enter the Awesome Ape Contest? At SAS, there were a group of persistent and hardworking students who did. On March 9th, 2007, in the intermediate school gym, a boy and girl became the king and queen ape of their grade. They were determined and skillful students when it came to the ropes. The aim of the Awesome Ape is to be the fastest rope climber in your grade. Rope climbing requires people with great agility and speed. Sometimes, you may get a bad rope burn, but despite this, you will be proud you made it to the top. Also, if you are the king or queen ape of this contest, you will be marked in the school records for people in the future to look at! The preliminary rounds were on Tuesday, March 6th, Wednesday, March 7th, Thursday, March 8th, and the finals were on Friday, March 9th. In the 5th grade preliminary round, there was one close contest between Maya Bhat and Melina Cox. Melina Cox won just by a scratch and went on to the finals proud and strong. Eventually, this paid off for her. Usually, students have to race with four other children of the same gender, but on the last preliminary race, due to the shortage of girls, there was one girl and three boys. Taylor Haas, the only girl in THAT race won, moving up quickly and easily. The 4th grade preliminary round was very interesting because Remy Masterson flew up the rope. A fast and agile girl, Remy came in first place and won by far. In another race, Sam Speciale had a close competition with Myles Markey. In the last race for the fourth grade boy’s preliminary round, Craig Broadman won by a hair. In the 3rd grade preliminary round, there was one very close race between two girls but one fell and then luckily grabbed the rope. (Fall + Grip on rope again = really bad rope burns!!!) In the finals for fifth grade, Melina Cox became the Queen ape and Conner Barnes was the King ape. In the fourth grade, Remy Masterson won for the girls and for the boys, Alex Sadler. Finally, Natalia Quintero won for the third grade girls and Stephen Faris out of the boys.

2nd Annual Marathon Club in the Intermediate School By Craig Karnitz, Elementary Physical Education Teacher


or a second straight year over 80 Intermediate School students completed the Marathon Club. In the mornings before school and at home on their own, students completed and logged 26 separate one mile runs between January 15th and February 15th. On March 5th, the Marathon Club met one final time and handed out t-shirts to all who handed in their completed calendars. The Marathon Club is not an easy accomplishment and all participants should be proud of their efforts. By being a part of the club, students demonstrated an ability to set a goal and work towards completion, showed an appreciation of fitness and being active, and displayed impressive work ethics. Whether students were tired and sore or the weather was hot or rainy, the Marathon Clubbers were able to get past these small obstacles and complete the challenge. The elementary P.E. staff would like to thank all the participants and we look forward to even more runners in 2008! Great job and keep on running!


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Knowledge Masters Open Competition (KMO) - Spring Contest

tudents from the US and several cou ntries around the world competed on March 20th in the 37t h Fifth Grade Knowledge Master Open academic competition . The Fifth Grade SAS team, consisting of some students from the January contest as well as fifth graders new to the competition , spent three weeks preparing for the contest which consisted of 100 challenging questions from all curriculum areas. The March competi tion team scored 97/100 correct with a score of 668 which placed the school 58th out of 330 schools. Contest results and example questio ns are available on the website Comments from two members of the team follow:

The SPRING KMO team: David Park, Timothy Swingle, Alex Gentry, Annie Tsay, Winston Yoo, Oliver Jung, Sarah Anderson, Dominic Jay Villamin, Jack Lin, Bianca Insigne, Isabel Perucho, Susan You, Aditya Cavale, Isabelle Chan, Natalya Varkey, Sylvia Levy, Michael Dong, Susan Shaw, coach, Jennifer Koltutsky, coach (not pictured).

Sylvia Levy – 5Yungclas Knowledge Masters is a contest of kno wledge. With our two coaches, Mrs. Shaw and Mrs. Koltutsky, we hav e learned how to act in a group, cooperate with each other and be con fident to argue or add our thoughts to the discussion. In KMO we get a series of questions and each question has five multiple cho ice answers. In one minute we have to question and decide on an answer. If discuss the we get it right we get bonus points dep ending on how long it takes us. We captains, timers and keyboards from also choose the members of the team. Susan You – 5Morrisroe Wow! 3 weeks of hard work accomp lished a great thing – KMO is now fini shed! I feel very lucky to have been a great, hard-working K.M.O. team. Bein part of this g part of this team is important because you always need to cooperate with oth without this “key word” we probab ers, ly wouldn’t have scored as many poin ts as we did. Solving problems one is hard work, but no matter what our after another K.M.O team never lost hope. It was a great experience to face this hard task always fun to try out on new things. but it is The first time I saw the sign up shee t, I thought it would be dull but afte r trying it out it turned out to be grea become a part of the KMO team you t. If you do represent our school, S.A.S. Also rem ember to have significant team work before you enter the world of Knowle experience dge Masters!

International Middle School Honor Choir at SAS By Pat Brown, MS Choir Director


s from Thursday, April 26 through Saturday or the first time ever, SAS will be hosting this prestigious event here on campu at each school to select the best voices for this evening’s concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Drama Theater. Auditions are held desh, IS Beijing, IS Manila, Jakarta IS, SAS choir. Schools attending include ACS Egham, England, AIS Dhaka, Bangla ore American School. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, SAS District, Saudi Arabia, and of course Singap of the The guest conductor is Jo Anne Van der Vaat from the American School and everybody in the community is invited to drop in Hague. Rehearsals will run throughout each day in the Drama Theater tations from the Ring of Fire” featuring songs from and watch this exciting process. The hour-long final concert themed “Incan 6:30 p.m. in the Drama Theater. Admission is free, but the region plus standard choral repertoire will be on Saturday evening at are gratefully accepted. donations to AMIS, The Association for Music in International Schools, SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Care Corner


By Krishan Aghi, 8th Grade Student

s we enter the room, the children stand up and voraciously start chattering and greeting us. They look up at us with smiling, happy faces, asking questions of the most curious nature. If you are wondering who, what or where this is; it is none other than a scene of what 8th graders face in a program called Care Corner. Students at Singapore American School are in one of the most privileged and academically rigorous schools in Singapore. As we are able to be in this situation, many of us try to give back to our community. Created by Middle School ESOL teacher, Sharon Carroll, and 8th grade counselor, Bonetta Ramsey, Care Corner is a program designed to give back to the youth of Singapore. Every Wednesday, approximately ten to fifteen 8th grade students travel to an HDB to teach children whose parents can not afford tutoring services. Teaching the children can range from helping them with their arithmetic and English homework, to teaching them about science on computers donated to Care Corner by SAS. Hopefully in the future what we do at Care Corner will be used to the children’s advantage and improve their opportunities in life. All 8th grade students are welcome to join Care Corner and should contact Ms. Carroll or Ms. Ramsey for more information.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Young Authors Thrive at Camp By Paula St. James, Middle School RLA Teacher Photographs by Kim Riemer, Grade 5 Teacher


ver Chinese New Year, 32 seventh and eighth graders and three teachers embarked on an adventure/creative writing expedition to the Rial Islands in Indonesia. After a short ferry ride and a long bum-boat ride, students arrived at Telunas Beach to meet professional writer Richard Tulloch from Australia. Mr. Tulloch has authored several young adult fiction books, as well as being the writer for the famous Bananas and Pyjamas television show for kids. Over the following five days, students engaged in daily adventures followed by writing sessions in the afternoon and evenings. There was plenty of down time swimming and just hanging out too - jumping off the dock at high tide was a big hit. Mr. Tulloch inspired students with stories of his experiences as a writer. In addition, he pushed them to explore their creativity by assigning “observation” tasks for each of the three main outings: helping two local schools with computers, trekking to a waterfall, and exploring a deserted island. In the afternoons, students used their observations and their talents to create personal narratives, poems, and stories. Two of the nights, participants built bonfires on the beach and shared writings, scary stories, and skits. The last day, Mr. Tulloch met individually with any student who wanted a personal conference about his/her writing. The experience can best be summed up with the following quotes by participants: • “Having real inspiration helped me put more meaning into my writing.” Claire Schollaert • “It showed me that if I really set my mind to it, I can write well, and that I don’t have to be the best writer in my class to become an author.” Sarah Sawasaki • “One of the best camp experiences was jumping off the high dive!” Bridget Davis • “Mr. Tulloch showed me how to zoom in on little events and detail them, as well as explore new writing techniques.” Aliya Ford • “I loved every moment of this camp…it was the perfect blend of fun, work, and cooperation.” Elena Kim • “Was great working with Richard Tulloch. He helped me write a good story just by linking my imagination with things I see…..loved his story-telling skills…very entertaining.” Mikki Benjamin • “A once-in-a lifetime-experience! I’ll never forget it!” Jummy Yoon • “Mr. Tulloch is a really great teacher who makes you want to listen. His tips on good writing are insightful and clever, and the resort is awesome!” Oliver Kim • “Writing in Telunas was much easier than doing it at school.” Chris Yenko • “For the people who said we were going to a “nerd camp”…YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS! I bet you didn’t spend your vacation writing in hammocks and exploring deserted islands.” Athelia Paulli Obviously, the students had a great experience exploring writing, enjoying Telunas Beach activities, and forging new friendships. Hopefully, this opportunity will be available again next year, so watch for information next fall. SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


SAS Summer Program June 11 to July 20, 2007 Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Find course descriptions, schedules and registration forms at Summer at SAS will mean enriching and fun classes for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Students have the option of four modules based upon their current grade level. The program will consist of two sessions (June 11-29th, July 2-20th). Some classes may only be offered during a single session, while most classes are offered all summer. Students may register for the summer program on a weekly basis, for multiple weeks or for the entire six week program. Early Childhood Class for students who are 4 and 5 years (Age 4 years by September 1, 2007) A weekly theme (from Pirates to Star Gazers) will guide each week’s adventures into friendship, language, music and creativity. Chinese Club: Kindergarten through Fourth Grade Chinese instruction will be used during story time, drama, dance, art, problem solving activities, games and cooking. There will be two mixed aged classes, for students in Kindergarten through second grade and for students in third and fourth grade. There are two Activity Programs that are based on current grade level and designed to challenge student’s learning and develop skills in a fun and relaxed way. Activity Program: Kindergarten through Fourth Grade (K-4) Students in the K-4 activity program will be grouped by age and will participate in eight classes on a rotating basis over the week. The daily schedule includes four classes (each 50 minutes) and a lunch time. Every two days all students will have spent time in each of the 8 classes that include: problem solving math, literature, art, dance, swimming, sports, technology, and science. Activity Programs: Fifth through Eighth Grade (5-8) Students in the 5-8 activity program will be grouped by age and will participate in six classes on a rotating basis over the week. The daily schedule includes three (70 minute) classes and two snack breaks. Every two days all students will have spent time in each of the 6 classes that include: problem solving math, a project-based geography, art, drama, sports (first session only) or dance (second session only), digital photography (first session only) or a Mandarin culture-language course (second session only). Registration Registration forms are available online and at division offices. Your child’s place will be secured upon payment and is subject to class availability. Summer School weekly tuition is: • Early Registration (before May 18, 2007) $300 inclusive lunch & 5% GST * • Registration (May 19 –July 16th) $325 inclusive lunch & of 5% GST* * GST subject to change this summer. Cancellation Policy: With written notice, more than one week before the week of attendance – 75% refund, less than one week notice – no refund. Transportation Bus transportation will be available for the summer program. Information is available online or from the Bus Company. (Tel # 6360-6770, ) General information is available on the SAS website at Specific inquiries can be directed to Geri Johnson, Summer Program Director, at


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

SAS Summer Program Chinese Language Immersion Program The SAS summer program offers two Chinese Language Immersion experience in CHINA. 1. Chinese Language Immersion Program to Beijing and Xian Who: HS & MS students enrolled in Chinese Language courses at SAS When: June 17th- June 27th, 2007 Where: Beijing and Xian, China Course Fee: $3,400 inclusive of airfare, food and lodging. Does not include Visa to China or personal spending money The purpose of this program is to provide a Chinese language immersion experience, which focuses on student language skills and the broadening of cultural appreciation. Students will interact with local Chinese students by attending their sport and non-academic classes at the Experimental High School of Capital Normal University. The school will provide SAS students Chinese language classes in the morning. Students will stay with the local students in the school dormitory. In the afternoon students will visit places of cultural importance and practice dialogue with Chinese people. Besides Beijing, students will also visit Xian, one of the imperial cities that served China for eleven dynasties. From the time of departure for Beijing until the time of returning to Singapore, the predominant language spoken throughout the day and night will be Chinese. Mrs. Sarah Mar is the lead teacher and coordinator. There will be one SAS teacher for every 10 students. Registration ends on April 27, 2007. 2. Chinese Language Immersion Program to Chengdu Who: Eighth Grade and High School Students currently enrolled in a Chinese Language courses at SAS or who have some Mandarin language proficiency. When: July 22 to August 3, 2007 Where: Chengdu Course Fee: $3,400 inclusive of airfare, food and lodging. Does not include Visa to China or personal spending money The purpose of this program is to provide a Chinese Language Immersion experience, which focuses on student language skills and the broadening of cultural appreciation. During this two week immersion program SAS students will stay with Chinese student families, attend school in the mornings, and visit the cultural and scenic sites in Chengdu in the afternoon. SAS students will interact with the Chinese students in a Chinese secondary school, as they attend school with a Chinese colleague and explore the local cultural and social environment through field studies. SAS Students will be accompanied by the Chinese student hosts in and out of classes. They will need to use their Chinese to communicate in daily activities and to interview the local people as they gather first hand information for a class field study. Mrs. Wenhong Zhu is the lead teacher and coordinator. There will be one SAS teacher for every 10 students. Registration ends on May 8, 2007. General information is available on the SAS website at Specific inquiries can be directed to

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld SAFETY REMINDER TO OUR SAS COMMUNITY Parents are reminded to exhibit caution and care while driving down Woodgrove Avenue in the Woodlands’ neighborhood. There are many children traveling in this area during the morning opening and afternoon closing of school. We also caution parents about stopping and parking on this main thoroughfare as it can cause disruption to the flow of traffic in the area. Thanks for your support in keeping all of our children safe.

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld SAS NewsFlash – April 2007







 MS Foyer (Front Entrance) Pacita Abad Murals – Art 8 Inspired by Pacita Abad’s artwork, our Art 8 students painted large murals reflecting the culture and energy of each grade level in the Middle School. Pacita Abad is a Philippine born artist who worked in Singapore for many years (the bridge she painted is a recognizable landmark in Singapore today). These colorful paintings are yours to enjoy until the end of the school year.

MS Art Exhibition Board (MS Office side)  Total Perspective – Art 8 This assignment introduces perspective drawing to Art 8 students. The design element of Space is investigated utilizing many techniques including: one point perspective, overlapping, size and placement or position. The culminating activity challenges students to create a design that shows the same scene from five different perspectives or vantage points. In every art work the five panels must relate to each other in some way to create a “Total Perspective” of the scene. When you visit the exhibition, look carefully to see how each student united the 5 panels together. There are many creative solutions!

 MS Art Exhibition Board (Counseling Office side)  Art of Camouflage – Art 7 The term “camouflage” is often used in association with military uniforms, and equipment. However, many creatures around the globe mimic, and conceal themselves into their environment, which is also a form of camouflage. The concept of concealment was the basis for the grade 7 inquiry into camouflage as an art form. Students were asked to create an artwork that demonstrated the basic purpose of camouflage. The foreground and background juxtaposition created an interesting visual problem each student needed to address. Some students challenged their artistic skill to demonstrate a realistic camouflage scene; other students entered the surreal world of art for a visual solution to this assignment.

Others display near MS Art room….. Art 8 - Architecture design, Art 8 - Clay Busts, Art 8 -One point perspective, Art 7 - Letter Shape design, Art 6 - Sun Symbols, Art 6 - Power masks


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007






MS Foyer (Fine Arts Building side)  Picasso Portraits – Art 7 Pablo Picasso was an instrumental member of the Cubist movement. To begin this unit the Art 7 students studied cubism as an artistic concept, Picasso’s life work, African art influences, and techniques used in portrait painting. After some draft sketches in their art work books, students created a portrait painting using acrylic paint. Subjects for their work include: self-portraits, famous people, cartoon characters, family members, pets, aliens, and an elephant! The students also created a contemporary frame to complement the abstract nature of their painting.  MS Library Sculpture Installation – Art 7 Mr. Starker had a vision for one of the quiet reading rooms in the MS library. He wanted the room to have a tropical environment atmosphere. He shared his vision and ideas with the Art 7 students. Sculptures were created using Styrofoam and acrylic paint and various other texture materials. The sculptures have been suspended from the ceiling, and hung all around the walls to create a unique experience. You can enjoy this art installation while silently studying in the “Jungle Room”!

Central Administration Office Fashion design – Art 8  The Art 8 students first made several sketches using fashion templates. After selecting a design, they completed a drawing and began collecting fabric and other material needed for their 3D fashion model. Each student used a miniature mannequin to create a final fashion design. While viewing this exhibition, see if you can match the fashion drawings to the corresponding 3D model. Abstract Sea creatures – Art 6  Waves crash into shore, bubbles rise from the deep ocean, and abstract sea creatures swim, fly and crawl around our Central Administration office! The Art 6 students created these abstract sea creatures using oil pastel. Each student divided their own preliminary sketch into several rhythmic sections by extending original lines to the edge of their drawing paper. Each section was then colored using complementary gradations of color. The final results create a dramatic exhibition full of contrast and movement. Online Art Gallery View all these works and more on our online gallery. (MS web page –MS photo/web galleries – MS Art Gallery)

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Biography Hall of Fame By Mr. Zielinski’s 4th Grade Class


Rosas Parks

Oprah Winfrey

Neil Armstrong

f you had happened to walk past Mr. Zielinski’s 4th Grade classroom on Tuesday, March 20th, you would have seen some amazing things. There was Rosas Parks excitedly telling an audience how she had been arrested during the Civil Rights movement. Oprah Winfrey was startling a crowd with the fact that she had given birth at age 14. And you would have seen Neil Armstrong in his space suit, describing his trip to the moon. If you had been there, you would have seen 19 other well-known personalities sharing the stories of what brought them their fame. You might wonder how all of these celebrities could have gathered at SAS. Well, the answer is that they were actually part of the Biography Hall of Fame, put on by the students in Mr. Zielinski’s class. The project began several weeks prior to the Hall of Fame as a way to motivate students to read and enjoy the biography genre. Students read short biographies and noted that there were similarities in their content. The similarities were narrowed down to three categories: Early Life, Chasing Goals/Dreams, and Achievements. Students then used these categories to research, in-depth, a biographical subject of their choice. From there, they created an appropriate costume and “artifacts” to represent their subject, a script to speak from, as well as in informative display board. The Biography Hall of Fame presentations were given during the RLA block on March 20th in the form of an open house. The room was filled with the buzz of excited students, family members, teachers, and administrators who walked from presenter to presenter. While many of the presenters talked of being nervous, excited, and even exhausted, they walked away with a sense of pride at having accomplished such a rigorous, challenging and engaging task.

Captain John Smith


SAS NewsFlash – April 2007

Elvis Presley

Leonardo da Vinci

The Singapore American High School Dance Club and Dance Performance Class Are Proud To Present

A Collection of Dance Works Please note that each show is a slightly different combination of the high school dance groups Thursday April 26, 2007, 3:45pm The student choreographed pieces, Smile and Winter Friday April 27, 7:00pm Breakers Club, Salsa Club, the Irish Dancers, the Cultural Convention team, the Dance Performance class and the student choreographed pieces, Smile and Winter Saturday April 28, 2007, 7:00pm Breakers Club, Salsa Club, the Irish Dancers, the High School Dance Troupe, the Dance Performance class, Senior dancers and the student choreographed pieces, Smile and Winter About the Dances Student choreographed work: Smile (all shows) There are many different types of smiles and reasons why we smile. This short dance work explores the idea of a smile. Student choreographed work: Winter (all shows) Winter means different things to different people, from feeling of happiness and excitement to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Some people associate winter with the business of getting ready for Christmas others associate it with hot chocolate and winter jackets. What does winter mean to you? Cultural Convention: Numb (Friday only) The feeling after you’ve been bombarded with too much information, too many expectations, and too many obligations; parents and teachers who keep telling you what to do, news headlines that you everything wrong with this world, and people all around telling you exactly how it’s not good enough. Words bounce off, emotions slip away, and passions disappear. Jaded, disillusioned, numb. . . . High School Dance Troupe: Influences (Saturday only) We are all influenced in different ways. There are the passive influences that almost go unnoticed, there are the strong influences that set rules, force and manipulate us and then there are those that we aspire to be like. All these influences result in creating an individual.

SAS NewsFlash – April 2007


Poster designed by Audrey Akman, Grade 12

Singapore American School Newsflash, April 2007  

Newsflash, now Crossroads, was a Singapore American School community service publication.

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