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Elementary News: March 30

posted Mar 30, 2012, 10:17 AM by ianc@alumni.isd.sn   [ updated Apr 28, 2012, 7:39 AM ]

Dear Parents,

As our Spring Break is now upon us, I hope your children find a little down time away from a hectic second term. This break will give us all a chance to recharge batteries, and amazingly we only have 8 weeks school after we return. Below are some reflections, upcoming events, and a host of pictures from happenings at ISD in the last couple of weeks. If you are traveling or staying in Dakar I wish you well, and I look forward to seeing you on Monday April 16.

Other Notes:

1.  Senegal Arts Week: When we return, the children will have a chance to visit some artisans on campus, and have a group session with an artist. Classes will rotate through the week to see how a shoemaker, woodcarver and basket maker ply their trade. K-5 classes will also have a 1 1/2 hour session with an artist who will guide them to create a local art form - sand painting, glass painting, clay work, recycled art and others. These finished pieces will all go on display in the gym on the WCM final day.

2.  WCM Booths: There are a growing number of booths being requested, and we would love to have even more! Please contact Gaucher (gaucher@isd.sn) if you are interested in running a booth. The booths are visited by the ES children before lunch on April 27, and are a great source of fun as they get their "passports" stamped! Thanks if you have already volunteered….

3.  Lunch from Shady: Please remember that Elementary Students are not permitted to purchase lunches from Shady during the day. ES students must order their Shady Lunches by submitting the form with money at the start of the week. The forms are sent weekly by Marylene, and are available in the office. 

4. Board AGM and Elections - April 26: Our ISD Board AGM is a chance for you to hear some background about the school, help us celebrate some long-standing members of our school community, and have a glass of wine! We will also be hearing a few words from Board candidates, and this will be another chance for parents to vote. More information about the candidates and the voting procedure will be forthcoming.

5.  Student-led Conferences: Thank you all for attending these important conferences. I hope you learned from your children a little more about their year in school. We also appreciated your feedback from the new 40-minute format experienced in Gr 2, 4 & 5, and I would like to share a few comments from students and parents below:

From students:

"It felt like I was having a normal conversation with my parents."

"My favorite part of the conference was when sharing my goals because it showed my mother how I was progressing and how she could help me."

"I liked that I could talk French to my mom."

"Making my mother laugh."

From parents:

"Taking me through the work done in each discipline helped me to better understand the system in place."

"Enjoyed learning what my child was proud of."

"Looking at the achievements of goals."

"His enthusiasm for sharing his work."

…and this is what Mrs. Hinshaw's room looked like:

6.  Field Day: A great time was had by all at both of our Field Days. Below are pictures of our Pre-school Field Day and our K-5 Field Day; there are a lot of photos! Thanks to Murray Te Huki and Chris Zahrobsky for running the sessions:

Pre-school Field Day

K-5 Field Day

7.  Semaine de la Francophonie: Last week, the theme in the ES was a Francophonie one. Each class decorated their door to celebrate a French-speaking nation, and the French team kept the children entertained with songs, games and stories. 

8.  Science Expo: Wow! Today we had our first Science Expo, and it gave us a chance to see the work of the Science Clubs in the 4th and 5th Grades, and the 6th Grade. Big thanks to Tracy Hill, Celeste Mason and Yunus Kinkhabwala for putting this all together:

9.  Drive - Faculty Book Club: I have been reading the book Drive, by Daniel Pink with my Faculty Book Club. He has a lot to say on motivation, and if you have yet to watch one of his talks, I highly recommend THIS ONE, it's an animation, which outlines the thesis of his book. I would recommend the book to anyone looking for a good read about the progression of motivation techniques from extrinsic to intrinsic methods. As he says, traditional awards aren't always as effective as we think

10. 3D to EAB: Mr D's class recently took up an invite from EAB to attended a Nigeria Day celebration they were having. Here are some photos of them in green attire enjoying the day:

3D to EAB

11.  1B & 4H AssembliesWe recently were entertained by Mr. Balazs's class and Mrs. Hinshaw's class. Here are some photos from their assemblies. 

IB and 4H Assemblies

12.  Samusocial: Both the 3rd and 4th grade have completed a 5-week program of fun and games with the children from Samusocial. The 5th Grade will begin their visits next term. Below is a poster that the 3C & 3D put together with the children at their last visit:









13. Construction Update: We are moving forward with all the plans to begin school next year in the new rooms. The Elementary School will be using the new building for Music, Art, French and Computers. The move for the Pre 3, 4 and Kindergarten to the current Science rooms and HS rooms is still on schedule, and next year will see a new-look playground next to Shady Shack. There will also be an alteration to the drop-off from April, when the gate will be moved 30 yards closer to the Corniche to allow a longer pull-in for traffic, which will be a step toward improving traffic flow. More on that to follow. Ian Hogg, our Operations Manager is doing an amazing job keeping things approaching schedule, and we were happy to move our PE folks into their new digs near the HS Music Room last Wednesday. You may also have noticed the shower block that is under construction on the Corniche land. Below is a slideshow from a tour we had this afternoon after school of the MS/HS building. Science rooms are fitted out, nice big rooms and plenty of breakout spaces and some nice views of the ocean!:

New MS/HS Building

14. Reading Buddies: I walked back to my office recently to see the Pre 4 and Gr 3 children all sharing their favorite books. Here they are:

Reading Buddies

Upcoming Events: 

- Apr. 16: School Reopens
- Apr. 17: ISD Senegal Arts Week Begins
- Apr. 25: PD Afternoon
- Apr. 25 & 26: 4th Grade Trip to Thies
- Apr. 27: ISD Board AGM 
- Apr. 28: WCM Final Day & Country Booths
- May 1: School Holiday (Labor Day)
- May 3: Pre K 4 Class Assembly
- May 4: 5R Class Assembly
- May 5: PTO International Event
- May 12: ES DELF Exams
- May 17: School Holiday (Ascension)

Have a great break!


Ian Clark


Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar

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