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Elementary News: February 11

posted Feb 10, 2011, 6:47 AM by Unknown user

Dear Parents,

The MAP testing for Grade 2-5 is in full swing, and I’ll be hosting a discussion about what the results mean in the near future. Please come along if you wish to know more; you’ll be amazed at the information it gives us to help develop the skills of the kids. Other work has still been continuing, of course, and this was celebrated in assemblies through Ms. Shelly’s class singing, and Ms. Kellet’s Science protocol skit, where they fizzed some Diet Coke away! (more below).

Other notes:

1.     Assemblies: Photos from the above performances (you need to click the link, this week):

      2S & 5K Assemblies - School - Picasa Web Albums

2.     After School Pick-up Thanks: We appreciate all your efforts to pick up you children from 3:20-3:30. If they are on campus, children must be in the direct supervision of their parent or guardian. Often I’m told “My driver is in the car outside and he says I can play”. This is really not direct enough. If they are in the care of a nanny, please encourage the nanny to be proactive and to watch for safe play in the sand.

3.      Teaching Assistant- Gate Duty: We will be moving the TA on duty from the playground area to the gate area. We feel at the moment it is prudent for 30 minutes after school to have another person at the gate, to support our three security staff, as the traffic is quite heavy in that area. Elementary students cannot leave alone to catch their lifts.

4.     Creativity Talk: One of the items we have discussed in our faculty meetings has been creativity, one of our CORE values, and how we foster it in our schools. We have also been reading a book by Sir Ken Robinson on the subject called The Element. You might find this presentation interesting. It comes from an amusing, moving and insightful TED talk he made back in 2006.

5.     Spirit Shop “Old School” Shirt Sale: If your youngest child looks enviously at your oldest child’s classic-wear 5-year old ISD Spirit shirts you can resolve this by dropping in to the ISD Spirit Shop next week. The PTO will have the shop open each day of the MS Spirit Week, where old-style shirts are on sale. Go retro, Go ISD!

6.     Book Month: A superb dance performance by the 6th and 9th graders set Book Month off to a great start. The kids are reading voraciously, and “every little counts”. Kids can read at their own pace, get some sleep(!), but still add something to their team (if they fill in their sheets). I just wish I had a nicer green shirt.

7.     100th Day: This occurred on Wednesday this week, and prompted celebrations through the Early Childhood classes. Activities included baking, crafts, a 100 book PJ morning, planting 100 plants, and 100th Day museums. All great fun!

8.     After Lunch Clean-up Teams: Two weeks ago, the Green team had the idea to reduce the litter left after lunch. We have spoken to the classes, and each grade 2-5 rotates in charge of the areas outside the office or next to the Pagoda. They just do a quick sweep of paper, foil and bottles. We hope to raise awareness of the waste left behind through doing this, and add a layer of responsibility to the children’s day.

9.     English Language Learner site: I have had this site recommended to me by Els, for both ELL kids and just for general language work. A lot of games, too: Click here 

10.  Friday Feb. 18, Faculty PD Afternoon: Next week, we will be having our penultimate faculty PD afternoon. The final one is on May 25. There will be more curriculum design and cross-curricular discussions going on. I have been asked, “Why are these not always Fridays?”, which is a good question; the answer being that we are trying to rotate them so we don’t affect too many of the same Friday class specials, so we do try and stagger them if the calendar allows.  With regard the Pre 4 classes the following applies:

      -        Friday Feb. 18: Pre 4 morning class (no pre 4 afternoon)

      -        Wednesday May 25: Pre 4 afternoon class (no pre 4 morning)



Ian Clark


Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar