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Elementary News: May 4

posted May 4, 2012, 5:18 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 4, 2012, 5:29 AM ]

Dear Parents,

The recent highlights in the Elementary School have focused around the events of our Senegal Arts Week, and culminating World Cultural Month events. I do hope you managed to come in and help us celebrate our diversity, or even help out on a booth. I feel the afternoon's performances also showed our core value of Excellence, in both efforts in preparation and attainment in performance. I would also like to thank those of you who voted in the board elections, we had a higher turnout than before, and we also appreciated those who could come out for the meeting. There was another event that we welcomed some of you to, our Staff Social, which was also most enjoyable. I hope you'll make it to another school evening tomorrow, our International Potluck Dinner (I'm hoping to win Mrs. Clark's birthday present in the tombola :).

Finally, please remind your children to give their teachers and TAs a special thank-you (or even a home-made card or cookies!) as next week is Teacher Appreciation Week….

Other Notes:

1.  Celebrating Senegal: Here are some photos from our recent WCM final day. There are also a selection from the other activities the children took part in during Senegal Arts Week. I hope you had a chance to get to the gym and look at the pieces the children produced, and thanks to those of you who came to see the children perform, staffed a booth (they were amazing!) and maybe even braved the catwalk in the Fashion Show. Thanks also to Sara Monahan for the many pictures below - parents, you should look through the slides (you may appear), as these are really wonderful!:

Celebrating Senegal and World Culture Month

2.  Lunch Information: As you will know, we have made some healthy changes to the menu at Shady Shack. We also thank you for sending healthy snacks and lunch from home. Please read the letter below on the subject from our nurse, Katie Morgan: 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As our beloved Shady Shack begins to incorporate healthier food guidelines, I wanted to address the reasoning behind some of the decisions made, and perhaps use this as an opportunity to provide information to allow for healthier food choices to be made outside of school as well. 

For those who are unaware, Shady Shack will no longer be selling candy, soda or Tampico juices during the school week and will eliminate french fries from the menu except for “French Fries Fridays.”  These items will be replaced by healthier drink/food options including 100% fruit juices with the hope to expand the number of healthy food choices starting this upcoming school year.  Just as students need to be taught math and grammar, they also need to be taught how to eat healthy eating skills.  These healthy (or unhealthy) eating skills that they develop now as children will be used throughout their lives and can have lasting, serious health consequences.

A staggering 72% of men and 64% of women are overweight or obese in America due to an overconsumption of some of the exact foods and beverages we are eliminating from Shady’s menu.  In the last 35 years, the number of obese adolescents 12-19 years has jumped from 6% to 18%, and even more unfortunate is that the number of obese children aged 6-11 years has increased from 4% to 20%.  Although our student body does not appear to struggle with obesity, good nutrition is still critical because many of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality around the world (particularly in the developed world) such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers are DIRECTLY linked to diet.   

While we are a diverse, international community, I reference guidelines and statistics from the United States because those stats provide an accurate picture of what overconsumption of added sugars, fats, and sodium can do to a population. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released guidelines for healthy amounts of added sugar consumption showing that the typical American diet is way over the limit.  Increased sugar consumption is linked with diabetes as well as obesity and cardiovascular disease. A typical child aged 4-8 should consume a maximum or 3 teaspoons (12-13 grams) total of added sugar a day, while pre-teens and adolescents should consume no more than 5-8 teaspoons (20-32 grams) total per day.  However, a study by the AHA has shown that on average children aged 4-8 are actually consuming a whopping 21 teaspoons per day while adolescents consume a staggering 34.3 teaspoons per day. Below is a list of typical sugary drinks and food items with their corresponding sugar content:

  • Coca Cola, Sprite (12 ounces): 10 teaspoons (39 grams)
  • Fanta (12 ounces): 11-12 teaspoons (44-48 grams) 
  • Tampico (12 ounces): 9.3 teaspoons (37 grams) 
  • Frosted Flakes (100 g): 9.5 teaspoons (38 grams) 
  • Muesli (100): 7.8 teaspoons (31 grams) 
  • Special K plain (100g): 3.2 teaspoons (13 grams) 
  • Yogurt (6 ounces): 6.8 teaspoons (27 grams) 
  • KitKat candy (100g): 12 teaspoons (48 g) 
  • Chocolate sandwich cookies (100g): 10 teaspoons (41g) 
  • Sugar cookies (100g): 9.5 teaspoons (38 g)

The other major food item that is being removed from the daily menu is french fries.   Fried foods such as french fries are high in calories and fat (particularly the bad fats – saturated and trans fats) with little or no nutritional value.  Saturated and trans fats have been shown to be a major cause of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease with absolutely no nutritional benefit.  In general, calories from fat should provide no more than 20-35% of your total daily calories.  

In an effort to be as thorough but as brief as possible, I’ve also outlined some of the other major, yet easy, ways to eat a healthier diet:

  • Make at least 50% of your grain consumption whole grains instead of refined (white) grains
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products 
  • Use oils (unsaturated fats) to replace solid fats (saturated and trans fats) such as butter 
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake and choose items of all colors 
  • Choose lean proteins: beans, lean meats, seafood, soy products, unsalted nuts, and eggs 

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Katie Morgan

School Nurse 

3. Nurse Information:  On the subject of nursing, we are looking for someone to take over Katie's role in the Health Office next year. Please contact the office if you or someone you know would be interested and are qualified for the position.

4. Teacher Appreciation Week: Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know that many students are planning to make a gift, bake a snack, construct a card, or just say a big thank-you to their teachers and Teaching Assistants. We are having a Faculty Appreciation Lunch, organized by the PTO, and I thank those of you who will be helping out. Sharon Nossiter and the PTO team will also be hosting a Staff Appreciation Lunch the following week - we appreciate all the PTO do, too!!

5.  After-School Pick-up: Please be aware that students are not permitted to be on campus without an adult after 3:20 pick-up. There have recently been cases of Elementary students waiting for a sibling to play in a soccer match, or a practice. We need to ensure that children are picked up, or if they are watching, they are with an adult. The coaches cannot be held responsible for any accidents. 

6.  Gr 3-12 Talent Show: The Talent Show sign-up is open for children Gr 3-12, with Mr. Watters running auditions. Students need to be prepared before they meet with him, and he will give advice where needed to polish any acts. The Talent Show will be on May 25, starting at 6:00.

7.  4th Grade Thies Trip: A great time was had by all, and here are some photos from the trip:

4th Grade Trip to Thies

8.  DELF Exams: These external French examinations are coming up for many of our ES children on May 16. Ms. Faye will be in touch with timings in the near future. 

9. May Assemblies: Our French team were also busy in our assemblies this week, where the Kindergarten classes performed in French, and Pre-K 4 and 5R in English. Pre-K 4 sang us a lovely song about growing up, and the 5th Grade presented our CORE values, as discovered by aliens - excellent entertainment! A lot of awards were also handed out, and through these we try to reflect our CORE values of Creativity, Open-mindedness, Responsibility and Excellence. Here are some photos:

May Assemblies

10.  Science Expo News: We had a chance to see the different presentations for the 5th Grade Virtual Science Fair last month. Two of these were selected to go forward into the NESA region Virtual Science Fair. We will find out how these presenters fared soon, but well done to the two groups who now represent the school: Maira de Tollenaere, Davida Alumbaugh, Sophie Kane & Chaney Keck, Ethan Reid, Jordan Dikoum. Also a notable mention for the team of Tyler Osterhout and Kyle Vanelli in the 4th Grade!

11. Spirit Shop: Just a reminder that the ISD items are being spirited away quickly, so get to the Spirit Shop early to secure those summer jaguar T-Shirts and other ISD gifts - open Fridays after school (thanks Grainne)!

12. TAM: Here is a link to an excerpt from TAM (turn up the sound - we enjoyed a hour of this and more). This was a performance along the lines of the musical STOMP, choreographed by a Senegalese dance group - and ISD students saw their interpretation of Travail en Musique last Friday. The video is from Karen Schaeffer, whose KGS students sent some wonderfully illustrated letters to the director to say merci to the dancers:

Travail en Musique

Upcoming Events: 

- May 5: PTO International Potluck Dinner, 7:00pm
- May 7-11: Teacher Appreciation Week
- May 16: ES DELF Exams
- May 17: School Holiday (Ascension)
- May 18: PTO Summer Souvenir Sale
- May 25: Gr 3-12 Talent Show, 6.00pm
- May 28: School Holiday (Pentecost)
- May 29: Board Meeting
- May 31: Pre-K 3 Assembly, K-5 Spring Concert, 6:00pm
- Jun 1: 4P Assembly
- Jun 7: Pre-K 4 Moving-Up Assembly
- Jun 8: Gr 5 Moving-Up Assembly
- Jun 13: Last Day of School

Ian Clark

Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar