Elementary News‎ > ‎

Elementary News: November 12

posted Oct 14, 2010, 2:56 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 12, 2010, 8:47 AM ]

Dear Parents,

At our whole school faculty meetings, we have been discussing the meanings of our core values, and how we can bring them into the classroom. On Monday, the talk was about open-mindedness. During the reflections it was interesting to hear the number of positive values that the faculty see in the ISD children; many of these relating to their being in a school with such a diverse population, and many coming from the time you put in as parents. We also talked about some of the other variables that we are constantly dealing with as parents and teachers, such as how to spend more time appreciating those who help us as equals, how to make service learning a valuable experience for both parties, and how we need to foster curiosity, compassion and empathy in all grades. Interesting discussions.

On another note, this morning, the WAISAL volleyball tournament opened with a great pep rally including elementary school team sponsors, the HS rock band playing music from my youth and plenty of black and gold. Schools attending are; Lincoln Community School (Accra, Ghana); American International School of Lagos (Nigeria); American International School of Abuja (Nigeria); American International School of Bamako (Mali); Senegalese American Bilingual School-SABS (Dakar, Senegal). Come watch a game and give our ISD HS teams a cheer. More information at: https://sites.google.com/a/isd.sn/waisalsoccer2010/

Other notes:

1.       Assemblies: We enjoyed our assemblies last week with Ms. Karen and Mr Donauer’s classes, and thanks to the many of you who came to watch. Our next assemblies will be on December 9 & 10, and will be led by Ms. Gina’s and Mr. Ramsay’s classes.


2.       Report Cards: We will be sending the Trimester 1 report cards home at 12:00 Wednesday, November 24. We value these as a way to give you a window on your child’s progress, and to illustrate the different ways we are trying to extend or support the children in class. Please do take a little time to chat through key points on the reports with your children, and both highlight successes and discuss certain goals for the upcoming trimester. Teachers will be happy to talk these through with you at our parent conferences in early December.


3.       Parent/Teacher Conferences:  Please mark your calendars for December 2 or 3. Parents will be meeting with their teacher on one of those days. They are for parents only in December, the next ones in March are student led conferences.


4.       Pick-up: I must inform you that there have been some elementary students recently being picked up rather late. As is says in the Parent/Student Handbook, Elementary School students should be picked up at 3:20.  Children on campus after this time should be with an adult. Thanks for your help with this.


5.       Favorite books for the library: We have a lot of great books in the library of both fiction and non-fiction. If you have a particular book that you know the library does not stock (I’m currently a big fan of “Knufflebunny Too”), Roxann Siegel always appreciates being introduced to new titles and these can be added to our next order from the States.


6.       Outreach/service learning opportunities: We will be looking to involve some of our older elementary grades in visits to Samusocial, to work with the younger children there in the New Year. If you are aware of any opportunities to involve our children in visits to support or integrate with interesting local projects, please let me know.


7.       Jappalé: We are currently completing our collection for the Tabaski baskets. Again, thank you for your support with this and the last collections. Your support of the school community is most welcome and greatly appreciated.


8.       After-School Activities: It will soon be time to sign up for the 2nd Trimester. Mr. Te Huki will be distributing forms, and we’ll continue to strive for a balance of different activities for each day.


9.       Green Team: A plug; I’ll be starting an environmental based after-school activity in the 2nd trimester. This will involve looking at plants and insects on campus, and from there, how we can be responsible custodians of our school, city and planet through reducing, reusing and recycling. It will be open for Grades 2-5.


10.   Baobab Math: Not two words that would seem to go together, but KG S paid a visit to some neighboring baobab trees to measure their circumference with string. One was large enough to crawl into. See below:

PicasaWeb Slideshow

11.   Santa Sale: On December 10, the PTO will be holding its annual Santa Sale. Each class will have a designated time to visit during the day. If your child is in a younger grade, there will be a form you can send in with money, if you wish to, that will give teachers and helpers guidelines as to what is to be bought. I’m sure volunteers will be welcomed.


12.   Computers at Home: In the book I have related to in the past, 106 Ways Parents Can Help Students Achieve there is a section on computers, which especially relates to older ES children. The book recommends many of the suggestions of Tim Burns, and if I may, I’ll share a few with you: set rules for how much time the kids go on the computer; place the family computer in a place where it can be supervised; talk about the off-limit web sites; and ensure your kids know about safe computer use, regarding passwords, chatrooms, etc. When using computers in our research sessions at school we are also working at ways to ensure research is original and not simply “cut and paste” to help develop the study skills students will need as they move through the MS and HS.


13.   Looking Ahead: Upcoming events include:

-          November 16: 8:30-4:00 ISD Book Fair (Gym)

-          November 17: Tabaski (school closed)

-          November 20: 8:00am – 5:00pm Delhi Women’s Group Christmas Bazaar (ISD Field)

-          November 23: 6:30 Board Community Forum (Gym)

-          November 24: 9:00am PTO Coffee, 12:00pm Report cards home and half day for students

-          November 25 & 26: School Holiday (Thanksgiving)

Kind regards,

Ian Clark


Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar