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MICA (P)107/09/2010

A Singapore American School community service publication

November 2010 Volume 13, Issue 2-10/11

United Nations Day Page 6

Writing Across the Grades Page 8

Creating Paths to Peace Page 13


November 2010 Volume 13, Issue 2-10/11

Contents

Editor’s Note

Looking at the World By Tamara Black Associate Director of Communications

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few years ago I was downloading videos from my Flip camera when I came across a clip starring Malibu Barbie and her family traipsing about while on vacation in Hawaii. I was pretty sure that my husband wasn’t the one behind the camera for this shoot, which meant that it must have been my daughter—the future Stephen Spielberg. As I watched the doll family enjoy their holiday and then hastily come together to find a way to conquer a giant, stuffed shark that suddenly appeared on their beach, I realized that I was seeing more than just a movie written, directed and filmed by my child. I was seeing the world through her eyes. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to encourage them to look at the world from the perspectives of others. As you read this edition of NewsFlash, I hope you are as inspired as I am by the stories that describe the many ways that SAS does just that. Beginning with our cover story on page 4, you can read about our youngest students in the ECC and Primary School who recently celebrated UN Day, a culminating event for their study about the countries and cultures of the world. In addition, kindergarteners, fourth graders, and fifth graders learned that the art of Alma Nungarrayi (page 22) tells the story of Aboriginal people living in the remote outback of Australia. On page 11, you can read about Ung Savy, a recent visitor from Cambodia who spoke with middle and high school Caring for Cambodia clubs about the struggles of his childhood during the Pol Pot Regime. And a hallmark of the SAS high school curriculum is Interim Semester (page 24), which provides students with the opportunity to travel to places around the world and experience cultures different from their own. These are but a few of the stories that we share in this month’s news magazine, and I encourage you to enjoy them all. So what did I learn by looking at the world from my daughter’s perspective? Well, I learned that I’ll never look as good as Malibu Barbie in a tropical bikini. But more importantly, I learned that in my daughter’s world there’s nothing as important as knowing that you have a family who will stand beside you no matter what obstacles you might face. Because without them, how will you defeat the giant shark?

Regular Features 3

From the Superintendent’s Office

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From the SAS PTA

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Booster Club News

Highlights 5

Subject Area Renewal Cycle

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Refining the MS Schedule

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Lost in Translation

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CFC Teachers Visit SAS Classrooms

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U.S. Alumni Gatherings

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HS & MS Combined Dance Show

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JV Boys & Girls Tennis

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Interim Semester Scholarships

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Facilities Goes Green

NewsFlash is published monthly during the academic year except September and January by the communications office of Singapore American School. It is distributed free of charge to the parents, faculty members and organizations served by the school. We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School. Editor: Tamara Black, Associate Director of Communications Staff Editor: Junia Baker Layout Design: Alfi Dino Photography: Karen Cortezano

Contacts General Inquiries and Comments communications@sas.edu.sg NewsFlash Submissions Tamara Black, tblack@sas.edu.sg Deadline for submissions is the first of the month prior to the proposed month of publication. Singapore American School, 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547 Tel: 6360-6303 www.sas.edu.sg


From the Superintendent’s Office By Brent Mutsch, Ed. D. Superintendent

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

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s the Thanksgiving holiday moves into full view on the calendar, I find myself to be particularly mindful and thankful for the unique opportunity to be part of the learning community known as the Singapore American School. Like most international schools, we are for many a school of place that is created by the intersection of our lives in an increasingly mobile and interdependent world. Although 30% of our students attend SAS for only two years, 40% for three to six years, and 30% for a more extended period of time, we create an experience where learning is the priority and the voices and experiences of each member of our community hold a place of genuine honor and value. According to author Cynthia Ozick, “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” Therefore, I’m using this article to express my appreciation to the many who so willingly and graciously enrich the quality of learning that is at the core of the SAS experience. SAS is a special place that would be difficult to find elsewhere due to a number of factors. First and foremost, some of the finest students found anywhere in the world daily make their way through our front gates and onto the Woodlands campus. When I greet students, I find that their energy, passion and enthusiasm are immediately evident. I appreciate the way they approach their learning and their social interactions as they move through the corridors, take part in classroom activities, work in the library, and enjoy lunch in a variety of settings around campus. I also appreciate that they live their lives in a manner that is consistent with our Core Values of compassion, fairness, honesty, respect and responsibility. The SAS community is enriched by parents who are well educated, demonstrate a deep appreciation for an excellent education, and are pro-active partners in helping their children develop to their full potential. SAS parents willingly contribute their time, effort and energy to the PTA, high school Booster Club, Arts Council, Community Library Program and SACAC. Our students’ experiences are enhanced through the efforts of a parent population that acts very much in partnership with the school. Finally, the quality and dedication of our faculty and staff enable SAS to remain one of the most well respected international schools in the world. As a matter of fact, this is the time of the year when our human resources department begins to daily field inquiries from teachers looking to secure employment at SAS. Our faculty and staff represent a conscientious and caring group of people who have committed their lives to promoting the learning, cultivating the talents, and challenging the thinking of those students they interact with each and every day.

It’s not surprising that wonderful things can and do occur daily when motivated students, supported by caring and deeply committed parents, are in daily interaction with competent and dedicated educators and support staff. While I would imagine that all schools would like to create the level of synergy that we create at SAS, many schools are unable to do so. I don’t take the SAS learning community for granted, and I trust that I never will assume that it just somehow “happens.” As we enter this Thanksgiving season, I thank you for your contributions toward creating a school of place where each student is provided an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective. The successes of SAS are possible because of the cooperation that takes place each and every day among students, parents, faculty and staff. I am alive in this moment and most thankful for the treasures that accompany being part of the community we know as the Singapore American School. I send my wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving season to you and your entire family!

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United Nations Day By Ken Schunk PS Deputy Principal

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n the spring of 1945, representatives of 50 nations gathered in San Francisco, California to put the final touches to a document of far-reaching consequences: the Charter of the United Nations. Enthusiastically supported by the United States, the UN Charter went into effect on October 24, 1945. Now in its 65th year and comprised of 192 members, the United Nations is an instrument through which nations can identify common problems, set international standards and take action. UN Day was celebrated around the world on October 24. It was an occasion to highlight, celebrate, and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies. In the last two weeks of September, the students of the ECC and Primary Division were involved in activities and projects that acquainted them with the concept of the United Nations. Children looked at maps to identify the various countries of their classmates. They learned that countries have different flags, languages, music, weather, foods, clothing, animals, money and kinds of government. Woven into these activities were discussions about global issues that concern all countries, such as access to food, water and housing, peace and environmental issues. Explaining the United Nations and talking about its purpose was a beautiful fit with our children’s seemingly innate desire to protect and preserve our planet and all the people and creatures that inhabit it. As a culminating activity, the 930 students of the ECC and Primary Division and over 200 adults filled the High School Gym on the morning of Friday, October 1 to celebrate United Nations Day. The children dressed in clothing and costumes that represented their heritage or citizenship. Music played and images from around the world were shown on the large theater-sized screen as excited, enthusiastic small voices united in a buzz of anticipation. It was undoubtedly a day of celebration, as members of the SAS family celebrated the unique and special ways that we are different and the many ways we are so much like others around the world. The highlight was the parade of nations where 110 kindergarten, grade one and grade two students carried the 55 flags that represent all the countries of ECC and Primary Division students. Following the parade of flags, Kami Schult, a grade two student from Mrs. Carroll’s class, stood in front of the massive audience and with a clear, strong voice and with more composure than most adults could muster in such a big venue, told us about the origin and purpose of the United Nations.

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In the face of a rapidly changing world that is now more connected and interdependent than at any other time in history, UN Day focused on the message of happiness and how essential it is to play hard, smile often, laugh aloud and dance as if there is music in your heart. And while videos were shown, and each grade level sang a song, there was a moment where the whole thing stopped being just another assembly, and the adults in the room could truly see that the promise of a better world lived in all the yet to be fulfilled potential of the children who so earnestly sang their hearts out. To them, the message of “be happy and help others” was simply they way they already believed things should be.


Subject Area Renewal Cycle By Louise Perdana Director of Curriculum

hen shown the SAS Subject Area Renewal Cycle recently, a new faculty member commented how like a life cycle it is. I pondered this for a while and decided that in many ways that’s true, both in appearance and to some degree function. The emphasis of this “life cycle,” however, is definitely one of renewal, customized to ensure we systematically evaluate and upgrade each subject and service area, a key process in fulfilling the SAS mission of “providing each student an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective.”

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Since January, Reading Language Arts-English, Visual and Performing Arts, and Technology Education and Careers have each updated their written curriculum. With enhanced articulation of learning targets for all grades and courses, teachers are well-positioned to engage in professional conversations and design units to ensure targets are translated into student learning. News on some of the exciting work already occurring in unit development and implementation in RLA features in both last month’s and this month’s Newsflash, and we will continue to share updates throughout the year.

Phases of the Cycle

Science, P.E. and Health are into their second year of implementation following updates to their respective curriculum in 2008-09. As well as being close to completion of all units, noticeable enhancements are evident on the ground. One area in particular where this is occurring is in assessment, ranging from greater agreement on common assessments and refinement of scoring tools, to new ways to gather data and utilize results. This includes increasing integration of technology to support learning. One example of this is in P.E. where devices such as pedometers and pocket-sized video cameras provide students with instant feedback and ways to self-assess and monitor their progress.

The diagram below shows the phases within the Subject Area Renewal Cycle, and the subjects that are currently at the beginning, mid-point, or completion of renewal. It should be noted, however, that a subject area that has entered implementation is reflected on by teachers and through parent feedback as to whether it is appropriately rigorous.

The Cycle in Action Since last fall, Social Studies and Modern Languages subject area representatives have been examining data about current programs and reviewing recent research to determine Commendations (areas of strength) and Recommendations (areas for enhancement) for their subject area. To ensure we gather data in meaningful and varied ways, we introduced a new method of data collection, “Data-in-a-Day.” This protocol involves teacher volunteers visiting classrooms throughout the school to observe the existing curriculum in action. Spring 2010- Spring 2011: Social Studies and Modern Languages

Through the SAS Subject Area Renewal Cycle, we are able to make curriculum a living document. Like life itself, it involves times of hard work but also plenty of cause for celebration as we continuously find ways to improve student learning.

Spring 2010- Spring 2011: Mathematics

PHASE 1 Research and Recommendations for Curriculum and Updating Resources

PHASE 3

PHASE 2

Implementation

Development of Units of Studies

2010- 2011: Science, P.E. and Health

2010- 2011: Reading Language Arts-English, Visual and Performing Arts, and Technology Education and Careers

View a more detailed version of the cycle and schedule through to 2020 at www.sas.edu.sg under Office of Learning.

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‡ϐ‹‹‰–Š‡…Š‡†—Ž‡ By Devin Pratt MS Principal

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n 2008, MS teacher leaders began considering how to better use the precious time we have with students. After careful thought and planning, a new schedule was implemented in August 2010. As the 2010-11 school year started, we recognized that while the new schedule met most of the stated priorities, the lunch and break times were not sufficient. We timed students’ break and lunch activities and gathered feedback from teachers, students and parents. Based on this input, we implemented a modified schedule on September 13 that offers 35 minute lunches and 15-20 minute breaks. The feedback on the schedule modifications has been positive. A well-designed MS schedule supports learners as they encounter changes and begin to build self-identities during the transition from childhood to young adulthood. An effective MS schedule offers a challenging core curriculum to develop foundational skills and understandings, while ensuring that there are opportunities to explore other interests, engage in physical activity, interact socially with others, and experience success in academic and nonacademic realms. The new 2010-11 schedule maintains a number of strong aspects of the previous schedule. For example, we still have homebase where teams of teachers focus on 100 students for each floor, and we offer a variety of Encore or elective courses. In addition, the new schedule offers the following positive characteristics to better serve our learners:

x An increase in the time designated to reading and language arts (RLA) in grades 7 and 8 and a revised literacy program that includes: o

o

o o o

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A redesigned curriculum that offers clear targets for the overall program, including grammar skills that are specific and articulated across the grades A reduced teacher to student ratio in RLA that allows teachers to know their students as readers and writers so focus can be placed on specific needs A common set of instructional methods known as Readers and Writers Workshops Professional development of all RLA teachers in the use of Readers and Writers Workshops The development of classroom libraries and grade level bookrooms that surround students with high interest books and a variety of reading levels and genres to ensure each reader is challenged and interested

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x Three separate grade-specific lunch breaks, which ensure that each grade level builds a sense of community, students choose courses based on interest and not on a desire to have lunch with friends, and the number of opportunities for students to be connected socially increases x The addition of an Exploratory Wheel in grade 6, allowing students to develop skills and understandings in areas that enhance their core learning, as well as interests through exposure to a variety of electives x Required modern language in grade 6 with a choice of a year-long Mandarin or an exploratory language option that includes exposure to French, Spanish and Mandarin, increasing the opportunities for students to develop interests in new languages and cultures, and acquire language skills x Increased grade 6 PE instruction, to develop lifelong fitness habits, interact with peers in a non-academic environment, expend excess energy, and improve academics. (Educational research studies have linked physical education with improved learning in core subjects.) x The addition of a health curriculum in grade 6, which is a critical period when students experience significant change, are more impressionable, and are beginning to make decisions as they relate to peer pressure and healthy lifestyle choices x The addition of a PE teacher to each grade level team or side increases the number of teachers on a grade level team from five to six x The recent increase in break and lunch times for all three grades ensures that students take a mental break from academics, socialize with friends, and engage in physical play In addition to the student focused improvements, the new schedule offers the teacher teams the opportunity to use core subject times flexibly for enrichment activities and common planning time to collaborate. We believe the changes we have made will give students the best possible academic environment that recognizes the importance of their social and emotional well being and development. We appreciate the support of the teachers, parents and the Board of Governors in the development and implementation of this more effective student schedule.


—Ž–—”‡‘ˆ‡ƒ”�‹�‰ˆ‘” By Scott Riley MS Teacher

“Okay writers,� I say. “Today’s the day you get back your personal narratives.� Students’ murmurs immediately die out as they see the stack of papers in my hands. “Remember what good writers do when receiving feedback. They ask, ‘How can I use this information to improve my craft?’,� I remind them as I hand back their work. The students nod knowingly and take out their notebooks. In no time at all they pour over the feedback. As part of their work in Writing Workshop, Middle School students know that their learning does not end with any given published piece. Instead, they continue to form a picture of how they have grown as a writer and where they need to improve by analyzing feedback, reflecting on mini-lessons, and noting their increased skill development through multiple drafts. This is the work that student writers do in MS RLA classes. The culture of learning at SAS is such that learning is not limited to students. Teachers continue to develop and refine their practice through collaborative projects in four areas:

‡ Word study—focusing on the acquisition of vocabulary and study of word patterns, families, roots and origins

‡ Grammar—applying the scope and sequence as articulated in the written curriculum and determining best-practice methodology

‡ Reading—examining components of a reading workshop to teach reading skills/strategies and to create critical and engaged readers

‡ Assessment—studying how authentic assessments are best designed, implemented and reported This learning is not dependent on administrative initiatives, curriculum cycles, or completion of units written— although it is highly supported by these factors. Rather it is an ongoing process through which we reflect on our current practice, analyze student data, research best practices through professional book studies, and set plans to continue improving our craft in the classroom. The goal, as in any learning, is to understand more clearly what we know and do, and to plan how we can improve. The benefit of conducting these collaborative projects is in how the learning will have an immediate impact on our students.

professional learning communities will affect the academic rigor for MS students as they become more proficient and prolific readers and writers. So the next time you walk down the halls of SAS, don’t be surprised if you overhear a conversation among teachers where someone asks, “Okay, how can we use this information to improve our craft?�

The SAS culture of learning is at the heart of the RLA departmental and team collaborations throughout the year. This culture of learning is best articulated in the SAS Vital Few, which are academic rigor, professional excellence, and extraordinary care for the welfare of each child. Our commitment to lifelong learning and active involvement in

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Writing Across the Grades By Jodi Bonette IS Literary Coach

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ll across the school, from Primary to Middle School, students are writing about small moments in their lives. Students learn that their lives and their thoughts are worth writing about. Each year, students learn to write in ways that reflect all that they have already learned. They build on and extend their learning and improve in noticeable ways.

celebrations. These first writing celebrations honor how our students change and grow as writers and highlight their learning and accomplishments. In this first unit of study on narrative writing, students learned to work productively and independently, to use a repertoire of strategies to generate and develop ideas, and to be able to capture small moments on a page.

Students gather with fellow students and parents to share, compliment and celebrate one another’s work with writing

You stretch your writing by adding more details. Matthew, Grade 1 You can tell what happened. You tell your feelings. Seo Eun, Grade 1 You have to catch an idea and plan it out. Abby, Grade 1 It is a story that tells one small part of your life. Sasha, Grade 1 You need to use lots of interesting details. Gaby, Grade 2 Your story needs a good start. Janna, Grade 2

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You need an ending that doesn’t just end but makes the reader remember the story. London, Grade 4 You need to use dialogue so you make the reader feel like he is there. Jett, Grade 4 You need to use juicy details to make it more interesting for the reader. Kai, Grade 4

You need to use dialogue and inner thinking because it helps the reader envision things and understand the story better. Aleny, Grade 6 I focused on the proper use of punctuation so my story was more readable. Chandler and Bradley, Grade 6 My word choice needs to give a clear image for the reader. Elaine, Grade 6 By reading a book, I can take on some of what the author is doing – I can learn from the writing. Sean, Grade 8 Hot Spots are important because they are parts of the story that create a movie in the reader’s mind and make the reader want to read on. Rebecca and Haley, Grade 8 SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL

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Lost in Translation: Part 1 By Jeff Devens, Ph.D. HS Psychologist

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am fascinated by people who speak foreign languages. Their ability to effortlessly transition from one language to another without losing the context of multiple ongoing conversations is amazing. During the four years we lived in Beijing, I often found myself lost in that sprawling metropolis; however, using my smidgeon of Mandarin, and my trusty business card with taxi directions to a hotel near our home, I was able to explore the road(s) less traveled by foreigners. What a wonderful cultural experience it was. Sometimes, it was also incredibly frustrating. You see, there was so much more I wanted to say and so much more the locals wanted to convey, but we were at an impasse. Without a broader understanding of the language, I was incapable of making inroads. Most of the time I resorted to impromptu sign language and barking noises, both of which were a hit among the locals but did little to further our dialogue. In a not too dissimilar way, communication with teenage boys is a bit like learning a foreign language. The fluid and unsolicited dialogue that occurred during the preteen years gives way to the arid landscapes of adolescence silence. At times, it seems that no amount of effort on a parent’s part can coax their teens beyond monosyllabic grunts. What’s a parent to do? Author and psychologist Nigel Latta, writing in Mothers Raising Sons, notes with wit and wisdom two general principles of adolescent male communication that are essential for parents to understand—their pragmatism and anger as a communication tool. When it comes to communication, adolescent males are highly pragmatic. They are more concerned with practical outcomes (i.e., what’s in it for me) than they are with general theories and principles (i.e., communicating will help foster our relationship). For example, when your son arrives home from school and you ask him that all too familiar question,

“How was your day?” which of the following responses do you most likely receive? a) “Fine.” b) Silence c) Grunting, followed by heavy breathing and increased grunting, as he makes his way to the refrigerator. d) “Well, we started the day with biology, which was great because the teacher is so cool, and then at break I met with some friends from history and we discussed the geo-political ramifications of nuclear proliferation among Middle East countries, and then…” Answers A, B, & C are all correct. Answer D? That’s someone else’s son. For the pragmatic teen the day is already over so why bother talking about it? For you, it’s about cultivating a relationship. For him, it’s about cost versus benefit. Now, in fairness to teenage boys, I am generalizing regarding their typical responses. The point, however, remains. Teenage males need to understand, in concrete terms, the value for them in communicating. I know that readers may object to such writing, noting that adolescent males can be more civil when it comes to communication. And they can, in so far as they appreciate the concrete benefits for doing so. If communication is an art then it must be cultivated, but talking more isn’t necessarily the best way to bring this about. Sometimes parents tend to equate the volume of words they use with the effectiveness of their intended message; however, with teenage boys speaking less is a good way of saying more. To be continued in next month’s NewsFlash…

Literacy Scholar and Author Visits HS

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he HS English Department had the privilege of working with literacy scholar and author Deborah Appleman during the first week of September. Appleman, who teaches education at Carleton College in Minnesota, helped the department integrate literary criticism into the new RLA/English curriculum and facilitated a day-long assessment writing workshop. She also demonstrated lessons for students across the curriculum from English 9 to a few of the new junior/senior options courses. The department looks forward to working with her in the future, as her presence sparked new ideas and provoked scholarly collaboration. Her books, Critical Encounters: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents and Adolescent Literacy and the Teaching of Reading were made available to each teacher in the department by the Office of Learning. Deborah Appleman’s involvement at SAS was made possible through funding from the PTA. 10

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The English Department enjoys a post-workshop dim sum meal at Din Tai Fung in Paragon. L to r, Back row: Jackie Osborn (student teacher), Kelly Nash, Rick Silverman, Mark Guggisberg, Deborah Appleman, Anne-Marie Russell and Terry Leipold. Front row: Amy Zuber-Meehan, Michael Clark and Stacey Jensen


CFC Teachers Visit SAS Classrooms By Lori Mcconaghy CFC Director & School Liaison

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his September, dedicated teachers from SAS and Tanglin Trust brought Caring for Cambodia (CFC) teachers, one administrator and two representatives from the Ministry of Education in Siem Reap to their Singapore classrooms. “CFC teachers have visited SAS and Tanglin in the past, but their visits in classrooms were fleeting. They asked if next time, they could observe classrooms that matched the grade levels they taught in Siem Reap,” explained Kaye Bach, an SAS teacher and former director of teacher training at CFC. “The focus of the trip became how core values are integrated into everyday life in our schools. I was very proud that the core values were immediately demonstrated as teachers and students warmly welcomed their Cambodian guests. Even the youngest students were wonderful hosts.” The CFC teachers were chosen for this trip based on their outstanding performance in the classroom during the past year. To prepare, they committed to six weeks of daily English lessons during their vacation time. “Miss Sarah is wonderful at classroom management,” said Chea Sopha who teaches six, seven and eight year olds at the Spien Chreav Amelio School. She spent the day in Sarah Farris’s grade 2 classroom playing math games, participating in a read-aloud and even visiting a music class. “She has the children behaving very well in small

groups. And of course, the classroom is beautiful.” Sarah Farris and grade 4 teacher Jenny Redlin lead a group of SAS teachers that regularly travels to Siem Reap over the Thanksgiving break as part of a teacher-training program for Caring for Cambodia. They emphasize the importance of hands-on learning and child-friendly classrooms; they also have developed lesson plans around health and hygiene as well as other pressing topics. This year, the topic will be, “The teacher as the role model for core values in the school.” “It was great having our Cambodian counterparts come here,” said Sarah. “When they walked in, many of us recognized one another. It was really an exciting reunion.” While teachers observed in classrooms, CFC superintendent Ung Savy and two Cambodian ministers of education attended classes in the middle and high schools, met with the principals and met with SAS Superintendent Mutsch. Caring for Cambodia currently supports two high schools designed as pilot schools for the child-friendly policy set up by the Cambodian government.

“SAS has beautiful resources,” commented Savy, “but the biggest thing we take back to Cambodia is how the teachers work with their students. It’s respectful all around. We also had helpful conversations with administrators about the structure and philosophy of SAS. At Caring for Cambodia schools, we’re trying to lift secondary education to a higher level. We want our students to become good citizens, even more than that—the leaders of the next generation.”

Golden Finger Award SAS teacher Kaye Bach, Tanglin Trust teacher Katie Samson, and SAS parent Christy Miller have been recognized by the Cambodian government for their dedication and service to the people of Cambodia. They are to receive the Golden Finger award, a carved hand with fingers extended, which is the highest award given to a non-Cambodian. Kaye spent the last two years in Siem Reap training teachers and developing educational programs for CFC schools.

Savy Speaks to CFC Club By Casi Miller Grade 11

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n Tuesday, September 21 SAS was privileged to have a special Cambodian guest speaker. Ung Savy spoke to the MS and HS Caring for Cambodia clubs about his struggling childhood. Savy was accompanied by the CFC

administrators and teachers who were chosen to participate in training in collaboration with SAS teachers. He told us his story of growing up during the Pol Pot Regime, his education and how it brought him to where he is today. Savy has devoted his life to helping the children of Cambodia receive the education he missed. Through the non-profit organization Caring for Cambodia, Savy has helped

more than 4,000 children obtain educations so they can be the future of their country and lead it out of poverty. Savy inspired us. He encouraged us to help the children just as he has. The high school and middle school clubs will continue to donate and to provide uniforms for the children in the hopes of further benefitting the schools and the children’s education.

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Aiding China Club By Wei Li Grade 12 Student

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iuning County in Anhui Province, China has a rather unique claim to fame in Chinese history. It has produced the most number of valedictorians in the civil examination system since the examination’s start in 605 C.E.–19, to be exact. The modern day equivalent would be if every high school applicant to college had to undergo three levels of testing–county, state, national–and the one person who placed first on all three would be named valedictorian. In a country of 1.3 billion people, that’s no small feat. Simply put, Xiuning County is a land of scholars. However, Xiuning County’s scholarly achievements seem now to be a glorious memory. Anhui is one of China’s poorest provinces and Xiuning, tucked into jagged, foggy mountain peaks, suffers more than most other counties. With this in mind, 21 members of the HS service club Aiding China, accompanied by HS teacher Wenhong Zhu, visited Linnan Hope Primary School in Xiuning County this past June bringing much needed supplies, gifts for the children, and enthusiasm. The school 12

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was built by Project Hope, a public service project that builds schools and improves the quality of teaching in poverty-stricken rural areas of China. During the school year, Aiding China raised around $9,000 through various fund-raising events such as Food Fest, County Fair, Candy Cane Sales, Pumpkin Patch and Cup Noodle Sales. With this money, we donated a refrigerator, a disinfecting cabinet, ten bookshelves, books, ten new computers and computer desks, and a digital camera. We spent four days teaching children in grades 2 to 5. Each group presented its material in engaging ways. Children played games with newly learned vocabulary, made masks of favorite animals, danced the Hokey Pokey, and became entangled during games of Twister. Whenever possible, the lessons were bilingual to help the Linnan children with their English and for us to practice Chinese. Outside of the classroom, we also had fun. Some members challenged the older kids to ping pong matches–and lost. Others taught the “Crank Dat” dance November 2010

often seen at HS pep rallies. One group taught the kids how to play the recorders that the IS had donated. By the end of the lesson, they were enthusiastically blowing Hot Cross Buns on their instruments. After service hours, we explored historical sites around Xiuning and witnessed the extent of its former grandeur and wealth. However, people’s enthusiasm for learning has never diminished and we saw it every time we stared into a child’s eager face. Everyone enjoyed the trip immensely and felt touched in some way. Sophomore David Zhu said, “[This trip] was the best part of my summer.” Daniel Bourgeois agreed, “The most memorable part was making friends and going to China. What more could you ask for?” Aiding China will continue to reach out to underprivileged children in different parts of China. If you would like to lend a hand, we welcome you! Join us on Thursdays at first break in H411.


Creating Paths to Peace By Priyanker Aiyer Grade 5 Student

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eace Day is a day where peace reigns supreme throughout the world and for one day aid can get to those who need it. Peace Day was first conceived in July 1998. From that date onwards, independent film maker Jeremy Gilley tried to establish a fixed calendar date for Peace Day because the day was never enforced. After much promotion, finally, on September 7, 2001, the U.N. International Day of Peace became a reality. Last year, the 11th year anniversary of Peace Day, aid successfully reached those in conflict zones.

This year, the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore) (JGIS) hosted a Peace Day celebration at the Old School at Mount Sophia. The celebration was intended to raise awareness for Global Peace. SAS SAVE Club members prepared and brought six giant peace doves to the celebration to be flown in the Peace Dove Parade. JGIS also held an art and writing competition on the topic of What Peace Means to Me. Priyanka Aiyer, an SAS intermediate school student, won the competition with her poem titled, “Serpent of Peace.” Pryianka’s award winning poem will

be published on the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore) website. After awarding Priyanka with Jane Goodall’s book, Reason for Hope, those attending participated in a short meditation session focusing on how we all can make the world a better place. Finally, the celebration concluded with the screening of Jeremy Gilley’s documentary about the process of creating Peace Day.

Priyanka Aiyer, grade 5 SAS student and winner of the What Peace Means to Me essay competition

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International Coastal Cleanup By Zach Nelson SAVE Club President and Grade 12 Student

The 150+ strong SAS contingent pose for a photo before heading into the Kranji mangroves.

Debris was collected and the type, size and number was recorded. Then the debris was placed in plastic garbage bags for weighing at the weigh station.

SAS parent Peter Thome rigs a knot on a refrigerator found in the mangroves so that it may be massed and the weight recorded for data analysis.

Juniors Dylan Goulding, Scott Smith, Kyle Samson and Kyle Forgeron lug a refrigerator found embedded in the muck of the mangrove.

Juniors Monica Scieszka, Maya Kale and Senior Rodrigo Zorrilla take a break from data collection to pose next to the plastic scourge.

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U.S. Alumni Gatherings By Lauri Coulter Associate Director of Alumni Relations

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he SAS Alumni Relations office held its second set of 2010 alumni gatherings in the United States in September with events in San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, Houston and Chicago. We were delighted that the response was so positive and that alumni from many class years turned out to connect and share their experiences about SAS and Singapore over the years. At each of the events, many alums were meeting for the first time but were excited to trade stories about all things SAS and Singapore, including IASAS, Interim Semester, CWW, Mr. Ho’s food and favorite hawker centers. Though few folks were from the same class years, the sense of family and community was felt by everyone with many commenting on how nice it was to be around those with whom they shared a common third culture kid experience. They also

enjoyed meeting others who understood that the responses to the questions “Where are you from?” or “Where have you lived?” were never quick or easy but were always interesting. For fun and entertainment at each location, a much soughtafter navy blue SAS sweatshirt was raffled off, and alums were treated to a slide show of yearbook photos of attendees along with pictures of Singapore then and now taken from Singapore’s Eagles, the SAS 50th anniversary book. For more information about upcoming alumni events or to view more pictures from past events, log on to the alumni website at alumni.sas.edu.sg or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/singaporeamericanschoolalumni

Austin Alums Cynthia Joacobs Mayo ‘77, Jane Neale Etzel ‘75, Jack Geiser ‘74, Theresa Page ‘75

Chicago Alums Kristen Miller ‘98, Payal Adhikari ’01

Houston Alums sharing the goodies they won in the raffle! Sue Ann Wilson ‘80, Karen Sewell ‘77, Marcus Shriner ‘80, Jen Morris Olsen ‘84, Laura Nicklas ’82

Los Angeles Alums Nishanth Dev ‘03, Angelica Morse ‘04, Brian Hodges ‘03, Robert Ooadasan ‘03

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From the SAS PTA

By Mae Anderson PTA President

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he PTA has a full agenda this quarter, and our many volunteers worked hard to successfully organize some of PTA’s most popular annual events. One of the functions of the PTA is to engage in community building. Events this semester such as the Pumpkin Sale and Food Fest gave us all the opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company while at the same time raising funds in support of school programs.

Scholastic Books If you have a child in the Primary, Intermediate or Middle School, you recently received an order form for Scholastic Books and will soon be receiving the books you’ve ordered. A tireless team of volunteers led by Abha Kaul and Alpa Vyas spend hours processing orders, sorting and delivering the books. The Scholastic Book program offers PTA the opportunity to build division and classroom libraries through points awarded by the Scholastic Book Publishers, which are accumulated through our book orders. These points allow us to buy additional books for classrooms and libraries. Thank you to everyone who supported this program.

A Kingdom of Books - Discover The Riches of Reading This is the theme for this year’s PTA annual Book Fair, which will be held from November 22nd to 24th in the elementary gym. Over 10,000 books will be available for purchase with titles to please every age. Parents are welcome to stop in and shop anytime. Children in the Primary and Intermediate Divisions will have the opportunity to visit the Book Fair with their classes, and schedules will be made known soon. You are welcome to join your child during his or her class visit, or volunteer to work at the Book Fair during that time. Middle and High School students are encouraged to visit the Book Fair during their breaks. I

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would like to thank our Book Fair Chairs, Amy Huber and Subha Kalathur, and their team of dedicated volunteers for their efforts. Countless hours and months of planning go into an event of this size.

A Host of Thank Yous The large team of enthusiastic volunteers who have put in a lot of time and effort into recent PTA events are too numerous to mention, but I would like to acknowledge and warmly thank a few. Č’ Pumpkin Patch: Joany Perrotta Č’ Pumpkin Sale: Kim Hamby and Helena Whalen-Bridge Č’ Food Fest: Sue Leiberman ,ZRXOGDOVROLNHWRWKDQNWKHYDULRXVHYHQWFRPPLWWHHVWKDW VXSSRUWHGHDFKFRPPLWWHHFKDLUDQGDOVRWKHZRQGHUIXO 6$66HFXULW\DQG)DFLOLWLHVVWDIIZKRDUHLQYDOXDEOH PHPEHUVRIWKH37$WHDPDWHYHU\HYHQW  ,KRSHWKDW\RXKDGWKHRSSRUWXQLW\WRHQMR\VRPHRIWKH UHFHQW37$HYHQWVDQG,LQYLWH\RXWRSDUWLFLSDWHLQWKH SURJUDPVWKDWDUHVWLOOWRFRPH,ZLVKHDFKIDPLO\LQWKH 6$6FRPPXQLW\D+DSS\7KDQNVJLYLQJ


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Mon 22 November 8am-5pm (Open Late) Tues 23 November 7:30am-5pm (Open Early/Late) Wed 24 November 7:30am-4pm (Open Early)

Selection of OVER 10,000 books for ALL ages and reading levels (Pre-K to Adult) Shop for holiday gifts or something to read on your next trip FREE bookmark with your purchase designed by WKH:,11(56RIWKLV\HDUČŠV%RRNPDUN&RQWHVW View ALL Bookmark Contest Entries Reading is FUN...come find your treasure!

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November 2010

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SAS PTA cordially invites you to the PTA Gala Dinner Dance February 19, 2010 at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel Come join us for an incredible evening of wine, food and friends, while bidding on an array of art, furniture, dining vouchers, carpets, vacations, and much more. The evening begins at 6:30pm with a Cocktail Reception, Silent Auction and exciting items available through our lucky draw lanterns. This is followed by a Four-course Dinner and Wine pairing with a Live Auction by Eastern Carpets. We will cap off the evening with musical entertainment and dancing. Funds raised from this event are used to support and sponsor scholarships, visiting authors, artists and musicians, curriculum projects and library enhancements at SAS. We are very pleased that the event will once again be hosted at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel, allowing us to accommodate a generous number of guests from the SAS Community. Don’t miss this elegant evening and community building event and join us! Tickets go on sale Friday, November 12th at 9am in the PTA Office. Tickets are $180 per person. After this date, they will be available at both the PTA Office and the Booster Booth in the High School. PTA Gala Dinner Dance Co-Chairs Kim Rowe rowest@gmail.com

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Deb Christian dmhchristian@yahoo.com


ISB & SAS Band Exchange By Brian White MS Band Director

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n the spring of 2009, Middle School band directors Brent Poling (ISB) and Brian White (SAS) dreamed of creating a high quality music event that would benefit a large number of students. The idea was to foster musical excellence while creating opportunities to make friends with students from another school and in many cases, another culture. Last year,

Virtual Presence

the dream became a reality when 65 students from the SAS Middle School Advanced Band travelled to Bangkok to perform with ISB’s Symphonic Band in a band exchange. This September, SAS returned the favor when 71 ISB students and seven adults arrived at our doorstep. The 131 member ensemble rehearsed all day on Friday. SAS director Rebecca Davidson said, “It was amazing to see such a large ensemble of middle school students stay so focused for so long.” Directors Brian White, Rebecca Davidson, Brent Poling, and Kentaro Udagawa worked with the ensemble. During breaks ISB and SAS students mingled, swapped stories, and promised to add one another to their Facebook friends list. More friendships were made in the evenings because the ISB students stayed in the homes of the SAS families. After the rehearsals, the bands took a spin on the 42-storey tall Singapore Flyer. Afterward the large group meandered down to the hawker stalls behind the Esplanade to tuck into some great local food. It wasn’t just the

Thai students who received their first taste of Singapore food; about 25% of the SAS students said that it was their first time at a hawker stall! The cultural tour of Singapore continued on Saturday morning with a trip to the Singapore Zoo. Saturday afternoon featured more rehearsal and a pizza party. A final gala concert at 5:00pm showcased the students’ hard work. The two-day festival was a complete success. ISB director Brent Poling said, “It was an amazing experience for the students. We have not heard of another event matching the musicality with cultural experiences involving so many students at such a high level. The friendships gained will be long lasting and the memories forever engrained as they take these experiences home. We definitely feel like we have achieved something truly magical.” An SAS parent said, “The culmination of the efforts and support of the SAS administration, the instructors, parents and especially the students was a wonderful concert that was very enjoyable for us to sit back and enjoy on Saturday afternoon.”

By John Johnson HS Librarian

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he four SAS libraries are attractive, stimulating places to visit. Please drop by when you have a chance. When you don’t have a chance, though, the libraries have a virtual presence that you can visit anytime, anywhere through the Internet. One feature of the each library’s web site is the Online Database page by which students and parents can access masses of information via SAS database subscriptions and those offered by the Singapore National Library.

Interested in the latest news from sources around the world? Try Newsbank Access World News. You can zero in on particular continents or cities. Included is the Singapore Straits Times from 2002 to the present.

The Opposing Viewpoints site offers multiple perspectives on a vast range of controversial subjects from the Afghan War to Zero Tolerance–a marvelous tool for students and lifelong learners.

The Singapore National Library Board offers eBooks, eDatabases, eJournals, eMagazines, and eNewspapers by the millions. Anyone who lives in Singapore and has a FIN or NRIC number is eligible, and it’s FREE! At NLB.gov.sg follow “eResources” to set up your account. When you have the chance to visit the real, non-virtual libraries, pick up an e-resources bookmark for a complete list of user names and passwords for all databases.

Grizimek’s Animal Life profiles animals from every corner of the planet. It’s a great resource for aspiring zoologists or animal lovers. Watch a video to hear “Grzimek” pronounced.

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e are pleased and excited to announce the official school-wide SAS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/singaporeamericanschool. This page is administered by the SAS communications team to facilitate interaction between SAS and the school community, and to provide up-to-date information to the school community via a mix of news, useful articles and links, and video. To participate, simply log in to Facebook and click the Like button located at the top of the Singapore American School Facebook page. And then help us spread the word by doing what social media does best—share the page with your Facebook friends!

Ƭ‘„‹‡† Dance Show

NYC Dance Experience By Athena Zecha, Ian Stuart, Karilee Smith, Sarah Quinlan, Shreya Doshi - Grade 8 Students

By Brittney Dimond Grade 12 Student

n September 27 and 28, New York hip hop chorographer and teacher at Broadway Dance Center Leslie Feliciano visited SAS, teaching classes and workshops in the Middle School and High School. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC, he brought a whole new style of hip hop into the classroom. His visit allowed us to expand our dance experience in the hip hop genre. In addition to spending time in Singapore, he has worked in Spain, Italy, India, Japan, Peru, Slovenia, Sweden, and Dubai both teaching and performing.

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his semester HS and MS dancers come together to put on an amazing dance show. The HS dance performance class has choreographed the show as part of its class work. We split everyone into a land– Adventure, Horror, or Fantasy– and then into a character– skeleton, ghost, zombie, pirate, pixie, fairy, and so on. Choreographers had to find a way to create a piece that suited their characters and their dancers’ abilities. The styles range from high speed hip-hop to neo-classical ballet and pointe.

Being an accomplished international choreographer and dancer, he brought a unique, hands-on,high-energy approach to learning, dancing with students and instructing them as they progressed. From a student prospective, his classes and workshops were extremely enjoyable because he took the time to get to know us and interact with us as individuals. In addition, his sense of humor kept us focused and wanting more.

Rehearsals have been successful; the dancers are picking up the material and the freshmen, new students and MS students are adapting to how we run the high school dance club. With time and practice our show will come together nicely and will be one to remember.

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The show is loosely based on the 1994 film, The Pagemaster, which is about a young boy who is nervous and scared of pretty much everything. He gets caught in a thunderstorm and takes cover in a library where he meets an eccentric librarian. The boy wants to go home but he slips, falls, and is knocked unconscious. He awakens to find the books coming to life. The Pagemaster takes him on a journey through the genres of adventure, horror and fantasy.


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Aboriginal Art Exhibit By Laurie Thompson IS Art Teacher

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uring the week of September 6, SAS students in some of the kindergarten, grade 4 and 5 classes welcomed guest visitors Alma Nungarrayi, her sister, Wendy, and community representative, Gloria from the Yuendumu Aboriginal Community, Northern Territory of Australia. The aboriginal people have a 40,000-yearold culture and produce beautiful contemporary art pieces painted with dots and symbols. We learned of traditional symbols and created our own aboriginal inspired painted dot art pieces, which were joined into mural designs. The Aboriginal Artist Project was in collaboration with the ReDot Art Gallery, which proudly displayed our students’ completed art designs alongside the Under the Night Sky paintings. Many thanks to the contributing student artists for their creative work, the elementary art teachers for creative direction, and ReDot Gallery for its support in the project.

JV Boys & Girls Tennis By Radhika Kalra Captain JV Tennis team

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lthough the first athletic season was shorter than usual, the boys and girls junior varsity tennis teams came together as a true family and shared some memorable experiences in matches and at practices, as well as during the bus rides. Although our match start to the season wasn’t ideal—with SAS winning only four out of the 10 games against Anglo-Chinese School—we were against the UWC-B team, winning 9 out of the 15 matches and 9 out of the 14 tiebreakers that were played. Due to the tropical weather, some of our practices and matches were cancelled toward the end of the season, but it was an enjoyable experience for everyone, and it is a season that will surely be remembered.

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SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL

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Interim Semester Scholarships By Susan Fay Booster President

gain this year the Booster Club, PTA, and UPS awarded Interim Semester Scholarships to several of our HS students. In early September, HS students were informed that they could pick up applications from the HS office. The students wrote essays on why they needed scholarships and how Interim Semester would enrich them. Students who received funding for their trips through their parents’ companies were not eligible for a scholarship.

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This year’s PTA scholarship recipients were Heather Erdmann, Simon Felice and Jeremy Lincoln. Full Booster scholarships were awarded to Cassandra Miller, Yi Ling Tung, Kelly Schuster, Sung Wook Yang, and Kerry Remson. Partial Booster scholarships were awarded to Gainya St. Clair, Adam Boothe, Mizuha Ogawa, Angela Kim and Hyo Jin Park. The UPS partial scholarship went to HyeongSun Cho.

For the second time, the Booster Club and the PTA joined forces and formed a review committee of six members made up of board members from each organization and HS teachers. The committee read the essays with all identifying marks removed. It was a very difficult job with 66 essays submitted.

A special thank you goes to Kristin Tan, the HS Principal’s secretary, for organizing all the information and keeping applications anonymous and confidential.

The PTA sponsored three full (up to $4,000) scholarships, while the Booster Club sponsored five full (up to $4,000) and five partial (up to $2,000) scholarships. United Postal Services (UPS) also awarded a partial scholarship (up to $3,000). Interim semester is often noted as the most memorable time in SAS HS students’ lives. The organizations are pleased to be able to offer the chance of a lifetime to so many deserving students.

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SAS-sy Social

Thursday, November 11 at 12 noon at The Rendezvous Hotel. Tickets are on sale in the Booster Booth. Any questions, please contact shelbypazos@yahoo.com

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Retain your healthful glow and vitality through living foods.

Come experience this food movement with our gourmet chef and SAS parent who will present an Asian fusion vegetarian menu of kebabs, watermelon gazpacho, sprouted not-fried wild rice with green Thai curry and freshly made guilt-free and dairy-free ice-cream. Additionally, the chef will make a short presentation on living foods and give tips on how to deliciously integrate this into your daily menu. 

presetned by the SAS Booster Club

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Popular among Hollywood celebrities, living foods are prepared using fresh, seasonal, organic, plantbased ingredients. Prepared at a low temperature of below 50 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit), food optimally retains its nutrients.


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)URPWKH3UHVLGHQW  I am often asked what the Booster Club does and where the money we raise goes. The funds go back to the High School and benefit all of the students in many ways. Giving back financially is always nice, but we also feel building community is important. The Booster Booth is the most visible part of the Booster Club and a place almost all HS students visit at some point. The volunteers who work the booth enjoy the interaction with the students, and the students in turn get to know us. It is always a good feeling when a friend’s child comes and asks a favor of you because they know you are happy to help. During Homecoming and SACAC football opening day, Booster volunteers organized by Maria Crema and Karen LeBranche grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. The barbeques have become much anticipated events. We will continue to hold them during the lunch period on Pep Rally days. These are spirit days, and we add to the festivities and join in sending off our IASAS athletes. If you would like to volunteer at any of these, please contact me. Hopefully you joined us at our first “SAS-sy” luncheon held at the Basilico Restaurant in September. Social Fund-raising Chair Shelby Pazos has been busy arranging social events to offer parents a chance to meet and mingle with a small fund-raising component. Look for information regarding our next event in this issue of NewsFlash. In early October we held our second Mentor for a Day silent auction and social. This event offered an opportunity for parents to purchase a day for their child to spend with a mentor in a field of interest to them. This has been a work in progress for over two years and I would like to thank Janice Chumakov for bringing it to life. We hope to see this program take off and offer all of our students an opportunity to interact with a mentor.

Susan Fay, Booster President

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Monthly Meeting Tuesday, November 9th 10:00 am H301 Honor Roll Luncheon Wednesday, November 10th 11:25 am Aux Gym

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Just arrived: Red Eagle t-shirt Spirit clappers Spirit fans Blue coffee mugs Headphones Be sure to check out the new merchandise that arrives weekly. Booster Booth hours are Monday ² Friday 7:45 am ² 3:15 pm

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As we get closer to the holidays, we remind you to stop by the Booster Booth and check out the many gift items our design committee has sourced. Family and friends at home always love to get items that say Singapore American School.

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The new logistics makes the world work better. It’s efficient, reliable and environmentally responsible. No matter where you’re shipping to, the new logistics saves time, cuts down on paperwork and simplifies processes. Want to know how much we love logistics? Visit ups.com/sg

Come visit us at our booth! (We are located near Booster at High School.) We will be at Campus from 2 to 8 December 2010 from 8.30am to 3.00pm.

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Facilities Goes Green By Jamie Rose Alarcon Facilities Engineer

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n American eagle looms, its piercing eyes keeping watch over the SAS track and field. Talons clenched, it’s ready to swoop down at any moment.

There’s much more to the eagle painting than its killer looks. The surrounding wall—and other west-facing external walls on campus—were redone over the summer in cool paint. Cool paint protects buildings by reflecting infrared light so that less heat builds up inside. This helps reduce the airconditioning required to cool down a space.

Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Environmental Sustainability Policy SAS is committed to promoting a healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable campus through the effective and efficient use of resources. In campus planning and operations, Facilities and Services will use resources in a manner that takes into consideration environmental, social and economic impacts, and will seek to integrate sustainability considerations into all decisions, including:

The paint is a Green Label Singapore certified product. It is low on volatile organic compounds and has antifungal and anti-algal properties.

x Energy, water and waste management

Consideration of the socio-environmental impact in purchasing is practiced by many divisions, offices, and individuals at SAS. Recently, it was formally established as part of the Facilities and Services Office’s Environmental Sustainability Policy. The policy, developed as part of Facilities’ Go Green program, states the office’s commitment to a healthy, safe, and environmentally sustainable campus. Facility management plans in the future will be informed by this policy.

x Operations and maintenance

Another recent example of sustainable procurement is the new alphabet soup carpet in the ECC. It contains recycled materials and is free of PVC, phthalates, and PBDE. At the end of its life, it will be reclaimed free of charge by the manufacturer and recycled into new carpets under a closed loop or cradle to cradle system. It is NSF 140 certified and CRI Green Label Plus certified, and using it can contribute points toward a Leadership in Energy and Environmental

x Building construction, renovation and upgrading

x Procurement x Transportation SAS will :

x Meet and exceed the sustainability requirements of the government of Singapore x Clearly define quantifiable goals, targets and benchmarks x Promote sustainable behavior among the broader SAS community

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SAS Homecoming 17 September 2010

Singapore American School Newsflash, November 2010  

Newsflash, now Crossroads, was a Singapore American School community service publication. http://www.sas.edu.sg/page.cfm?p=435

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