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Elementary News: June 10

posted Jun 9, 2015, 9:05 AM by Ian CLARK   [ updated Jul 10, 2015, 12:26 PM ]
Dear Parents,

As school year comes to an end, I do have a couple of things to mention below. As I said in my email we do wish you all a safe and happy vacation, and to those of you moving to places new - please do keep in touch! 

Notes:

1. End-of-Year Slideshow: We had a wonderful final day assembly today, and big thanks to all the Gr 5 students who stepped up with their superb speeches. Here is the link to our Facebook pagewith the slideshow that many of you were asking about - do enjoy the photos from the year!

2. Next Year: A reminder that we have a slightly different start to the next school year, which will look like this:

- August 11: 1:30-3:00pm Classroom Drop-in (optional - parents and children together)

- August 12: 8:30am: School Starts in Classrooms

- August 12: 8:45am: Opening Assembly only for Parents (Gym)

We believe that this will help us to transition to the classes more smoothly and give the children an even better start to their new school year. Teachers will be in homerooms from 1:30-3:30pm on the afternoon of August 11th for you to have a chat with and receive handouts. On Wednesday August 12th after drop-off in class at 8:45am it will also give parents a chance to hear a few words from Alan, Vesna and the PTO team in the gym. 

3. Moving to Semesters in 2015-16 School Year: In looking on two months, this is a message from Alan Knobloch, Brad Bell and myself regarding a change in the ISD reporting periods for next year. It was shared last week, but as it's important I am sharing again:

Following an extensive internal review of our reporting processes involving the faculty from Elementary and Secondary schools, the decision has been made to move from trimesters to semesters. With any change, we look at how this will benefit the students, and while this will not have an impact on the curriculum presented, it will certainly add value to the accuracy of our reporting; this in turn improves our ability to plan for academic growth. Next year, both Elementary and Secondary families will receive a midterm report in October, followed by a full report card at the end of the semester. In March, the children will take home another mid-term report, and at the end of the school year another full report card. This is a most common form of reporting in international schools like ISD.

One reason that so many international schools use semesters rather than trimesters is that this system allows for more time to accrue before the initial main report; this gives students more time to show us what they know before a major report. In addition, our community contains families who often leave mid-term; with semesters they will always have a recent set of grades for their new schools and the set mid-year will also be more current for families transitioning mid-year. Moving to semesters will not affect the After School Activities program, or the athletic/sports calendar, as these will take place for the same blocks of time as they do this year.

With regard the Elementary School, we have also just completed an extensive rewrite of the report cards, which we will share at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, and the grades will far better reflect the standards to which we align curriculum. 

This is what ISD’s reporting will look like in 2015-16:

We look forward to this increase in reporting as we continue to develop how we communicate student progress to parents.

4. TransitionMany of our children's sense of home may be very different to ours as we grew up; they may be in a second country and also a different educational system to their home country. Your children may be part of a group that some term "3rd culture children", and this may be something you have thought of in the past. Here are a few sites that you might find interesting: It's about helping kids thrive during transitions.  I plan to include the website in the revised brochure I hand out next year (this year's has already been distributed): http://www.thecultureblend.com/?p=1056   

And then there is this one about expats left behind: http://www.thecultureblend.com/?p=1482

Here are two other links you may find useful that I have shared previously:  

TCKWorld.com     Interactionintl.org     http://www.ori-and-ricki.net/ (this one is also for kids)

5. ipad apps for the Summer: I have attached an Excel doc. with a list of ipad apps that you may want to look at for the summer months, once the days start lengthening. This was up to date as of a couple of months ago, some apps may no longer be available. 

6. Yearbooks: ....and finally, there is a yearbook provided by the school to be given to the eldest or only child at ISD in each family. If you would like another yearbook do please speak to Anja in the HS Office tomorrow, and if there are spare copies they can be purchased for 5,000cfa.

Upcoming Events:

- August 11: 1:30-3:00 Classroom Drop-in
- August 12: 8:30: School Starts in Classrooms
- August 12: 8:45: Opening Assembly only for Parents 

Ian Clark

Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar

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Ian CLARK,
Jun 9, 2015, 9:05 AM
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