Mawade’ah AIS-R Topics Teach Me how

December 2011, Volume 12 Issue 1
Teach Me how
to EAGLE !
In this Issue ...
Teach Me How to Eagle...
AIS-R’s Mission
As a school committed to excellence,
we will educate and inspire our students to be responsible,
productive and ethical world citizens with the skills and passion to
think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively and learn
continuously. We will accomplish this in an American educational
environment characterized by high measurable standards
and a clearly defined, appropriately interrelated college
preparatory curriculum, implemented by
a superior staff in partnership with students,
parents, and the community.
means “topics” in Arabic. In this case, the name conveys the idea of topics that form
an ongoing conversation on what’s going on in our school.
American International School-Riyadh
Riyadh, 11421 Saudi Arabia
Phone: (9661) 491-4270
(9661) 491-7101
ext. 235
Admissions: ext. 270
Steve Augeri, Maysa Haidar, Kerri McGlade and Jerri Myers
Layout & Design:
P.O. Box 990
Joyce Mikhael Zammar
The moment that AIS-R senior, Ibrahim Ashraf (and back-up rapper, Farah Shrouf), jumped
up on the stage at our first-ever “Eagle Assembly,” overlooking 1300 cheering students,
parents, faculty and staff, to rap the self-written tune, “Teach Me How to Eagle,” I realized
that this event—and the unfolding of the newly developed EAGLE Honor Code—was a
very special addition to our learning community. In front of an energized audience,
Ibrahim and a kettle of student entertainers enthusiastically shared what it means to be
an AIS-R EAGLE through a medley of show-stopping performances. Since this K-12 “kickoff” celebration, AIS-R EAGLE thinking, action and pride has flourished to include a wide-range of informative events,
specialized educational sessions, and creative classroom learning experiences. In a very short time, AIS-R has begun
to embrace what it truly means to be an EAGLE, and this edition of Mawade’ah celebrates the beginnings of these
honorable school-wide expectations.
In an effort to bring alive the AIS-R Mission and continue our dialogue about 21st Century learning, the EAGLE Honor Code
emerged through a yearlong process of dialogue with many members of the AIS-R community. With the assistance of an
AIS-R Task Force, we received feedback about not only the skills and understandings that learners require in this century,
but also, the dispositions and character traits that they will need to discover life-long success and self-actualization. The
E.A.G.L.E model (as outlined on page 5) therefore highlights all of these mission-related, 21st Century attributes under
the values-based banner—I am an AIS-R Eagle. Thus, to be an honorable AIS-R EAGLE, we strive to be Ethical, Adaptable,
Global, Learning and Environmental, and this publication explores how we are beginning to engage and empower all
AIS-R learners to live up to these ideals.
Within this edition, we are greeted by a powerful interview with… the one… the only…Eddie the Eagle, our school’s
mascot, and a symbol of the energy and spirit of what it means to fly like an AIS-R EAGLE. Eddie is clearly a character,
and when asked why AIS-R would choose an eagle for a mascot, he shares, “what other avian options are there?....the
turkey?” Eddie’s captivating interview is followed by a range of photos, including images of the construction process
of our Eagle statues, spearheaded by Mrs. Noeleen Curran and her artistic eaglets. We also see a thoughtful article
by Student Council Presidents, Tamara Kalo and Bandar Al Kabbani, who share their reflections of the “unforgettable”
K-12 Eagle Spirit Assembly as referenced above. Other wonderful student submissions include: the mesmerizing UN Day
speech given by senior and MUN President, Mansoor Elahi; the thoughtful acrostic poetry—“O is for hOnest” and “B is for
Be friends”—by ES students; and, a creative article by Ruth Roberts as she inventively places the “L” in learning.
Amongst the imaginative mix of student voices, we also hear from several AIS-R educators, who perform literary Eaglerena
dances within this issue. Tony (Stanley) Anderson, Athletic Director, highlights one of the several successful High School’s
Eagle Days—special days that focus on empowering students to cultivate these important understandings and dispositions.
Principal Jerri Myers once again amazes us with her lime green, spirited awe of Middle School “talon-t”! Educators, Susan
Stronach (MS-HS Librarian), Renee Couturier (Director of Learning), and Kerri McGlade (Communications Specialist)
describe how AIS-R educators are being Eagles in terms of “adult learning,” as they share some of the exceptional edventures taking place in terms of our on-site professional learning program and the NEASC-CIS re-accreditation process.
Matt Sipple (Director of Educational Advancement) overviews the many ways that AIS-R students are being “adaptable”
(and “awesome”). Finally, Nicole Jawad (Grade Five Teacher), shares the idea that eagles can soar by making even small
gestures, such as saying “Good Morning,” or collecting pull-tabs for recycling. Each contributor helps us to celebrate the
many ways AIS-R is creating ongoing opportunities to become better learners and people.
Without a doubt—and in the humorous words of Mrs. Myers—AIS-R’s has “Talon-t”! Ibrahim’s rap
speaks to all of us in so many ways, and this edition of Mawade’ah reminds us that we can teach one
another “how to EAGLE.” At AIS-R, this is not only our honor code, but it is also our promise!
Learn EAGLE…with us!
Brian Matthews
AIS-R Superintendent
Mawade’ah Chats with Eddie the Eagle
Mawade’ah: Eddie, creatively (where have I heard that before?). And finally, E =
we have noticed that
you are much more
prominent around
our campus this year,
so we invited you to
coffee at Seattle’s
Best to chat with us
about our “I am an
AIS-R EAGLE” theme
this year.
that all about?
Environmental: we want our students to adopt those practices
that will have a positive impact on our planet, such as reducing
their ecological footprints, recycling, and engaging in a healthy
M: With everything you have going on, are you able to find
time to live those EAGLE dispositions yourself?
Eddie: Well, as you
know, AIS-R is a special
place with special people: our parents, our students, and our
faculty and staff. So the EAGLE theme started with the idea that
we want to emphasize those qualities that set us apart as a school.
According to the AIS-R Honor Code, our school “honors and
promotes respect for others, inclusiveness, individual differences,
and appropriate behavior.” This is the common understanding
about AIS-R that we all share, and it’s something we wanted to
make more prominent.
So how did you get
involved in all of this?
E: Who better to represent what
it means to be an AIS-R EAGLE
than an actual eagle?! I have a
noble bearing so people look up
to me. I look good in blue and
yellow, so everyone wants to
wear school colors. And let’s
not even get started on my
dance moves! What other avian
options are there? The turkey?
Nobody respects an edible bird.
The seagull? Those guys spend
all their time at garbage dumps.
The pygmy wren-babbler? I
don’t even know what that is.
The parrot? All he does is talk, talk—
M: Um, Eddie, let’s move on. I notice that all the letters in
M: What’s the deal with all of these EAGLE statues on our
E: This was totally my idea! As you know, even though Eddie
can fly like an eagle, he can’t be everywhere at once. The more
often students see me, the more they are reminded of the EAGLE
dispositions…which makes it more likely they will internalize the
dispositions and live them out. So now we have 10 larger-thanlife-size Eddies all over our campus to inspire students to live
like AIS-R EAGLEs. And though they certainly look good, they’re
nowhere near as strikingly handsome as the original! (Judge for
yourself…photos of our Eddies are on the back cover!)
“eagle” are capitalized. Why is that?
M: So what’s next?
E: That’s easy: because each letter represents a disposition or
characteristic that we want our students to incorporate as part of
who they are.
E: Well, I think it’s time for a refill…are you buying?
M: Can you take us through each disposition?
E: Of course…how can you lead if you don’t lead by example? In
fact, there’s lots of evidence that in the course of any given day,
you can find me being ethical, adaptable, global, learning, and
environmental all over the AIS-R campus! (Check out the photos!)
E: Absolutely! E = Ethical: we want our students to be honest,
to stand up for the rights of others, and to demonstrate academic
integrity. A = Adaptable: our students should be flexible and
responsible risk-takers; they should cooperate and collaborate
with those around them. G = Global: we want our students to
be respectful and compassionate towards others, and understand
and accept culture differences. L = Learning: our students should
be able to reason critically, communicate effectively, and think
M: No, Eddie—give us a heads-up in terms of what else we
can look forward to.
E: Our EAGLE theme will be celebrated in all kinds of ways as we
continue to move through our school year…not just with EAGLE
Spirit Days and Weeks coming up in the spring, but also through
the events we’ve traditionally held at AIS-R, including Week
Without Walls, grade-level assemblies, PTSO events, and much,
much more! Every event represents an opportunity to build our
school spirit and demonstrate those qualities that make all of us
EAGLEs Rule the Roost at AIS-R!
An inside look at how students, parents, and faculty created a
home for an aerie of EAGLEs on our campus
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Strutting their stuff! Our perfectly constructed, brilliantly painted
EAGLE statues roost in high-profile locations around our campus. On your next visit,
conduct your own scavenger hunt…can you find them all??
Special thanks go to Ms. Noeleen Curran, our MS art teacher, who spearheaded the EAGLE statue effort by designing the statues,
ordering supplies, and overseeing the entire effort.
Color me EAGLE! Our “newsy” EAGLEs are then set upon
by students and teachers, who cover them in paint schemes that
reflect the locations around campus they will finally occupy.
We are the Mighty EAGLES!
Tamara Kalo, HS Student Council President
Bandar Al Kabbani, MS Student Council President
The High School Celebrates
Eagle Spirit Day
Tony Anderson
Director of Athletics
On Monday, October 17, our High School
celebrated its second EAGLE Day of the
2011-12 school year. High School students
were engaged throughout the day in a
variety of activities that were focused on
the EAGLE dispositions.
On the morning of September 28, 2011, 1,300 heads filled the
MS/HS Gymnasium; the spirit-filled ambience along with the
dominating colors of blue and yellow made our first-ever AISR
K-12 EAGLE Spirit Assembly an unforgettable event.
The room was full of music, celebration and energy when AIS-R
mascot Eddie the Eagle greeted our fine students at the door. We
heard the sounds of our Pep Band playing enthusiastically as our
student body and faculty and staff members entered the gym.
Our AIS-R Choir got things rolling by singing “Eagle Nation,” Mr.
Winograd’s original composition, and we watched a video that
featured our students commenting on what it means to be an
EAGLE and how they demonstrate the EAGLE dispositions: how to
be Ethical, Adaptable, Global, Learning, and Environmental.
Next, Eddie introduced our new Spirit Squad, the Eaglets. Their
debut performance began as they burst through a paper nest.
Their enthusiasm was contagious as they taught the entire student
body the Eaglerena. Then, a group of our some of our Grade 5
students led our “Mighty Eagles” cheer. We, we are, we are the
Mighty Eagles, no doubt!
Ibrahim Ashraf, with the help of Farah Shrouf, stole the spotlight
with his original rap in their crowd-stopper, “Teach Me How to
Finally, the National Honor Society, using giant placards, spelled
out what EAGLE stands for, and the Pep Band was there once
again to keep our spirits high in the final moments of celebration
and excitement.
Thank you AISR Eagles K-12! We can’t wait to “Eagle” again!
We started the day with the NESA Math Challenge. Individually,
students worked through grade-level tests provided by NESA (the
Near East South Asia Council of International Schools, of which AIS-R
is a member). Throughout the year, students will take three more
challenges to see how our students compare to other NESA schools.
Next, students sent out over 400 emails to international schools
in anticipation of United Nation Day on October 26. In true AIS-R
fashion, these emails extended a message of friendship to our counterparts around the world. We shared AIS-R’s logo and a picture of
our mascot, Eddie the Eagle, and asked the recipient to send pictures of their logo and mascot back to us. Although the introduction
was provided, our students were asked to include a paragraph about attending high school at AIS-R. When we brainstormed this
activity, we hoped students would write a few positive statements about something more than Quiznos or our new foosball table.
As I began combing through their emails, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of thought they put into this task. Here are some
• “Through several of AIS-R’s cultural awareness and outreach
programs—such as the ‘Week Without Walls’ and charities run
by the school’s student-administrated clubs—AIS-R is always
looking towards a better future by teaching students how to
live and act in the diverse community that we live in.”
• “Our school encourages us to be ourselves and be spontaneous.”
• “Many of the students are used to moving around often, so
AIS-R has a very welcoming and friendly environment.”
• “Another great thing about AIS-R is the diversity of our students
and staff.”
• “Here at AISR we look at our student body as one big family.”
• “The teaching staff is excellent—not only friendly but easily
approachable. Teachers are willing to help us with any
problems we have both in and out of the academics.”
We capped off the day by having students choose a teachersponsored activity to participate in, ranging from knitting to
learning a ‘flash mob’ dance to studying cricket stats. This
provided a great opportunity for students and teachers to
connect outside the regular classroom. A special thanks
to the High School faculty for offering these activities—the
kids had a great experience!
Finally, the Student Council put on a pep rally to celebrate
the volleyball teams. The noise was enough to blow the
roof off the gym! But the real highlight was when the
student team “let” the teacher team win…thanks for that!
I think we all look forward to the next EAGLE Day. Who
knows what’s in store??
UN Week 2011
UN Day 2011
Celebrating diversity and multiculturalism
AIS-R Goes Global!
How best to show our support for
the United Nations? The Elementary
School had official T-shirts made to
celebrate the day…in UN blue and
white, of course.
What happens when 58 different
nationalities converge on one location?
If they are wearing national colors, it’s
a wonderfully colorful representation
of our amazing diversity.
Mansoor Elahi
Grade 12 Student
my perspective. As I went from MUN
conference to MUN conference, both
internationally and locally, it occurred
to me how the AIS-R community is just
like the UN broken down into its simplest
As an organization The United Nations consists of many bodies,
mainly the General Assembly represented by 193 countries. Other
major bodies include the Security Council, the International Court
of Justice, and the Economic and Social Council.
Athletic teams have incredibly loyal
fans, so what better way to learn
about who roots for whom than to
ask students to wear a favorite sports
team jersey?
What all of these agencies do, when working together, however,
is increase our awareness of the world outside these walls.
When we discuss possible solutions or just research an issue, we
automatically increase our awareness, and consequently become
less ignorant people and in a less ignorant society. That alone may
help us in our day-to-day lives.
Courtesy of the MS and HS Model UN
clubs, young minds battled each day
over the topic of geography. It may
have been trivia, but what happened
here was certainly not trivial.
Each year for our K-12 United Nations Day celebration, an AIS-R
student is selected to address our school community. On October
26, Mansoor Elahi, Grade 12 student and Model United Nations
President, delivered a speech entitled, The Impact of the United
Nations. We have reprinted the full text of his speech here.
Teamwork was essential in this activity
as students deciphered clues to lead
them to flags hidden all over our
campus. And those located on the
Avenue of Nations didn’t count!
During our Fashion Show, students
had the opportunity to strut their
stuff in beautiful costumes before an
appreciative audience. Dubai Fashion
Week’s got nothing on this!
It’s no surprise that the “Food from
the 4 Corners of the World” event was
the most popular. Who wouldn’t be
tempted to skip lunch for these sweets
and treats from across the globe?
For the second year in a row, the
HS Student Council sponsored this
informal talent showcase. Could
this have been just a warm-up for
“AIS-R’s Got Talent?”
Good Morning AIS-R, Mr. Ambassador, Dr. Breslin-Smith and
distinguished guests.
When I was young, an adult asked me what I wanted the world
to be, what I would change in the world and I replied, just like
any other naïve child would, “World Peace is what I want.” Who
wouldn’t want the world to be a utopia at that age? As I spent
more and more time here at AIS-R, from KGI to elementary school,
I learned very quickly that world peace is an ideal worth working
toward but not as easy to achieve as I originally thought. In fact,
sometimes I began to think that maybe world peace isn’t possible
at all. So I was forced to stick with this mindset of never being able
to achieve peace even on a small scale, just because I knew that
globally, world peace would never be possible.
Lastly, and possibly my most important realization about the UN
is the fact that this organization is a human organization—it is
a group of people coming together to talk. That is the UN in its
simplest, most basic form.
Now I know that it seems pretty obvious that they are a bunch
of adults that talk with one another, but isn’t that what the
world needs? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do as well—as
people—on a more fundamental level?
We talk with each other all the time, whether we’re trying to
understand what in the world our French teacher just said,
discussing the meaning of life in ToK, or just engaging in discussion
with our friends in this international school. Everyone does it,
teachers, students, and the administration. We talk, and when it’s
diplomatic enough, we arrive at a solution. That is what the UN is,
and to an extent, our school as well.
So as the celebrations of this week come to an end today, keep
in mind that nothing is perfect including the UN, but that doesn’t
give us the right, as a global society, to not try and achieve
perfection—and along with it world peace.
This mindset was wrong, and I quickly learned that too when I
went into my middle school years and realized that yes, we are part
of something much bigger than ourselves, and that connection
requires that we do our part in our community and try to bring
change into our lives. That’s why I got involved in Model United
Nations. And by participating in Model United Nations, I realized
that the real United Nations is the perfect catalyst for reinvention,
and working through it ultimately gives us hope for a better, more
peaceful world.
This was very liberating. It liberated me from the somewhat
childish mindset I had in the years before. I realized the MUN is
not a club, but it emulates a global organization and it globalized
Acrostic Poems
As part of the UN Day Celebration, Emad Khawaja and Shannon Schmitt were selected to recite
their acrostic poems to our student body, faculty and staff, and distinguished guests.
Thinking Globally in the Elementary School
To celebrate UN Week, AIS-R Elementary students
wrote acrostic poems about what it means to be
GLOBAL. Words so carefully chosen help our
learners express what they know: we are one global family.
Great friendship all over the world
Learning together
Opening our hearts
Being Respectfull
All the people live in peace
Loving the earth
By: KG2-C
is for green
is for learning
is for honest
is for being respectful
is for AISR Eagle
is for love
Middle School Has “Talon-T”
Putting the “L” in Learning!
Ruth Robert
Grade 9 Student
Jerri Myers
MS Principal
I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
-Steve Miller
The AIS-R EAGLE dispositions are Ethical, Adaptable, Global,
Learning and Environmental, and AIS-R offers many facilities
to help develop these dispositions. For example, to encourage
learning, library facilities at AIS-R as well as after-school learning
opportunities are offered and are easily accessible to students.
When you walk into the Middle School, once you’ve gotten over
your initial lime green shock and look closer, you see a school filled
with EAGLE spirit. Posters, banners and pictures that promote the
values in which we so strongly believe are displayed throughout
the school. They illustrate what it means to be an AIS-R EAGLE:
Ethical, Adaptable, Global, Learning, and Environmental. They
remind AIS-R students that they are expected to live these ideals
and avoid behaviors that are inconsistent with their spirit and
For learning to take place one
must have access to an excellent
library; but just as importantly,
a library with kind librarians.
A library without such is
often unappealing, perhaps
even intimidating. I believe
that the AIS-R Middle/High
School Library has successfully
met these requirements.
remember sitting just outside
of the library, reading and listening to the trickle of the fountain,
when the librarian walked past me, coffee in hand, and suggested
that I enter the library…20 minutes before the scheduled opening
time. This demonstrates how the staff at AIS-R also embraces the
EAGLE concept and encourages it in others.
Eagle Spirit permeates every aspect of Middle School life. If you
pop your head into a classroom, you might hear our students
discussing what it’s like to be a refugee and what we can do to
support the United Nations Refugee Agency; you might see the
classroom doors that are decorated in honor of an AIS-R worker
who they adopted and supported during United Nations Week.
You might see students giving speeches or writing essays about
what it means to be
might even hear
the choir singing
“Eagle Nation,” the
spirit song that was
written by our very
own Mr. Winograd,
and let’s not forget
the amazing MS/HS
Concert in November.
The concert was
dedicated to Eagle Spirit with a special guest appearance by none
other than Eddie the Eagle.
all of their AIS-R activities. They are great role models for their
peers and are true AIS-R Eagles!
By now I know you are asking yourself what more the Middle
School could possibly do to show Eagle Spirit; quite frankly, I have
really just scratched the surface. Once every month, the Middle
School celebrates EAGLE Day with activities that, besides being
fun, emphasize one of the EAGLE characteristics. For example,
for the first EAGLE Day, we focused on being ethical Eagles by
learning about bullying and how to stop it. The United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees Organization joined us for our
second EAGLE Day and helped us be more global by explaining
the realities of being a refugee and what is being done to help the
over 15 million people who have fled their homes worldwide. Our
December 5th EAGLE Day was all about being healthy, which is
part of being environmental, and who knows what other exciting
EAGLE topics we will investigate in the future.
Furthermore, AIS-R offers after-school
learning, not only for individual teachers
and their respective classes, but also
for all of High School in general at the
CLAW. The CLAW, which stands for
Communication, Literacy, and Writing, is open to students who
are in need of extra help for writing tasks. The CLAW is overseen
by Mrs. Mills, a former journalist, and is a warm and inviting area.
Sometimes simply entering the room can free one’s mind, as the
walls are covered in helpful hints and synonyms for commonly
over-used words. Overall it is a welcome and stimulating
In conclusion, AIS-R helps to develop in students the traits of a
well-balanced person or an EAGLE. The library facilities and the
CLAW are but two ways in which our school encourages growth.
Hopefully, throughout the year we all can take advantage of our
various opportunities to develop further as AIS-R EAGLEs!
Well, fellow Eagles, I could go on and on, but I think you
get the picture. At the Middle School, we “fly like an Eagle”
because…………………. WE’VE GOT TALON-T!
When you enter the Middle School Student Center, one of our
giant AIS-R Eagles (just one of three that our students have
made) is standing guard over the bulletin board displaying our
EAGLE Award recipients. This award honors students who have
five characteristics
of an AIS-R EAGLE.
They are chosen
by their teachers
along with the
these qualities not
only in class, but in
Adult Learning at AIS-R
I am a Learner
Susan Stronach
MS/HS Librarian
AIS-R NESA Representative
Here at AIS-R, learning isn’t just for the
kids! On November 1 & 2, 2011, AIS-R
teachers got a chance to become students
again during our Mini-NESA Conference.
Teachers were asked to volunteer to conduct workshops for their
peers in areas of their own expertise. Each session was to last
an hour, and teachers could sign up for as many sessions as they
wanted. On November 1, there were three different sessions,
and two more sessions were offered on November 2. Topics
included everything from An Introduction to Bikram Yoga to How
to Differentiate Instruction in the Classroom.
Teachers who presented were able to propose their offering
for selection to be presented at the NESA Spring Educator’s
Conference to be held in Athens, Greece, March 31 to April 3,
2012. We will be submitting the selected finalists to the NESA
Committee for approval, and the presenters will find out if they
have been selected before the winter break. NESA, also known
as the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools, provides
four different conferences throughout the year with many
opportunities for teachers to learn from each other and from
experts in the field. Many of our AIS-R teachers have attended past
conferences and more will attend workshops and conferences
during this school year. These opportunities are just a few more
ways teachers at AIS-R model the life-long learning habits we
hope to instill in our students when we say, “Learn With Us.”
Renee Couturier, Director of Learning
Kerri McGlade, Communications Specialist
This year is AIS-R’s NEASC/CIS Accreditation Self-Study Year. In
addition, it is the inaugural year for our AIS-R Eagle Honor Code.
Part of being an AIS-R Eagle is being a learner. As a community
passionately committed to learning we demonstrate our
persistence in our efforts towards continued school improvement.
In order to grow in the areas that are most needed we reflect
on who we are and how we achieve our goals. This allows us to
determine areas needing improvement and to celebrate all of the
areas in which we excel. This is the cornerstone of the self-study
I am persistent.
Part of being persistent is working towards a goal until you’ve
achieved success. At AIS-R our goal is excellence and we achieve
that through continuous school improvement. One of the
avenues we follow towards this continuous improvement is the
accreditation process. This continual, ongoing cycle of assessing
our strengths and areas to improve is an important way we persist
towards our goal. AIS-R earned its first accreditation in 1984. Since
then, we have completed the ten-year process twice. Included in
the ten-year process are two self-studies, one during the first year
and one during the fifth year. As this is a re-accreditation year for
AIS-R, representatives from New England Association of Schools
and Colleges (NEASC) and Council for International Schools (CIS)
visited our campus in April to determine if we were ready to
start the Self-Study process. The visitors were pleased with what
our preparedness and we began the next step in our ‘Journey to
Excellence” this fall.
an Opinion Survey.
group created the survey
and collected the data, then
provided us with the results. The results of the Opinion Surveys
showcase the areas where we are excelling and highlight the areas
that community members have identified as needing review. The
survey results are truly worth celebrating.
I communicate effectively.
An important part of the accreditation process is to evaluate
our effectiveness in communicating our mission, our practices
and other important information to parents and students. The
following statements were included in the Opinion Surveys.
Parents, students and staff members rated each one according to
their level of agreement with the statement. These results reflect
open and effective communication at AIS-R.
I seek opportunities to improve.
AIS-R is continually working to grow and improve in all areas. A
requirement for our accreditation self-study is for community
Total in
Students I receive timely and up to date
information about school activities and
Effective means for communication
with students and parents are in place.
There are mechanisms for
communicating my needs to school
I am reflective.
The accreditation self-study process is a reflective practice. All
members of our community are asked to reflect on how we are
doing as a school. On our most recent professional development
days, teachers, staff members and parents worked together to
examine AIS-R’s documents and collect evidence of alignment to
the NEASC/CIS Standards. Cohort groups were formed to reflect
on each curriculum area and school division. Each cohort group is
composed of members from all school divisions and departments.
For example, a high school science teacher may work on the early
childhood cohort, while an English teacher may work on the PE
and Health cohort. The teachers of the cohort’s curriculum area
are responsible for explaining what is taught in their department
and to provide curriculum materials, student work and other
evidence that will need to be collected for the report. The others
are responsible for providing a fresh perspective and to ask
questions that may lead to further reflection on our practice in
each area.
I seek out parents opinions about their 87.2%
child’s strengths, needs, and interests.
I receive regular information about
school activities and events.
I know how and where to share
information about my child with
school personnel.
I have received a school or parent
handbook and find it useful.
The school includes me in important
decisions about my child’s education.
Effective communication strategies
exist for the interchange of opinions
among the school, students and
We are proud to be AIS-R EAGLES. We are proud of the work
we have done thus far to begin our re-accreditation self-study
process and we are excited to move forward. Most importantly,
we are proud of our community support and the feedback from
the Opinion Survey. We certainly have much to celebrate at
Adapting to Changes on
AIS-R’s Campus
Matt Sipple
Director of Educational
AIS-R Eagles are ADAPTABLE in many
ways, particularly in terms of how they
have adapted to the many amazing
changes that take place on our campus
each year. In addition to the new, “I am
an AIS-R EAGLE” student honor code, some of the biggest and
brightest of the changes this year are the names and colors on
many of the buildings: Russell Hall, the Center for Performing
Arts, and the MS/HS Dining Hall.
We have also seen
of a new cashless
which allows Middle
and High School
students and parents
to track purchases
using their Skyward
accounts. Cashless
registers are now
in place at every
vendor in the MS/HS Dining Hall, as well as at the Eagle’s Nest
School Spirit Store. Soon, it will be the turn of our students in the
upper Elementary School to adapt to this new system!
In addition, we have seen the creation of two new student clubs
this year: the TREP$ Club
in the Middle School and
the Ambassador’s Club in
the High School. TREP$
in an entrepreneurship
club that teaches Middle
School students the basics
of business ownership.
The Ambassador’s Club
involves High School
students in conducting
campus tours to AIS-R
applicants, welcoming new students to campus, and promoting
AIS-R in numerous ways. Both clubs are off to a fantastic start
with over 60 students involved!
Perhaps most well-received changes so far this year are those
that have taken place in the MS/HS Dining Hall. Not only do our
Middle and High School students get to sample fare from two
new vendors—Quiznos and Farghali Juice—but we have replaced
existing tables with bright and modern chairs, tables and benches.
The room has been transformed; it now looks much more like a
college or university dining hall, and it provides a greater variety
and higher quality of choices. As one enthusiastic 7th grade Eagle
put it, “This is awesome!”
Clearly, the “A” in EAGLE stands for Adaptable as AIS-R students
handle in-stride the many impressive changes taking place on our
campus as we continue to strive for excellence!
AIS-R’s 5th Grade
EAGLEs Soar!
Being an AIS-R EAGLE doesn’t have to take shape as a monumental
gesture. It can be as simple as helping a teacher after school,
showing a new student the ropes, or simply smiling and saying,
“Good morning,” to someone you pass. Continue reading and I
think you will agree with us: based on what our 5th Graders are
doing so far this year, they have E-A-G-L-E written all over them!
In 5-A, we continue to
collect pull-tabs which will
be sent to Thailand to be
recycled into prosthetic
limbs for people in need.
This is the third year that
5-A has promoted this
project, sending countless
pull-tabs many miles away
to be used again for a good
cause rather than just
being discarded. You would be surprised how fast these small bits
of metal can add up: so far, 5-A has managed to fill the bottom
of the 20-gallon fish tank where this year’s collection is being
housed. Many teachers and students from several classes have
pitched in their efforts and have supported 5-A in this endeavor.
We owe a huge thank-you to each and every one of them!
In 5-B, we demonstrated
what it means to be Ethical,
with an emphasis on
standing up for the rights
of others. We turned this
year’s ES Walk-a-Thon
into a fundraiser for the
Children of Haiti Project.
We were able to raise SR
3,178 to help children
who are less fortunate.
Students asked friends and family to sponsor them by collecting
pledges for each lap they walked around our track. Thanks to
everyone who donated and helped us make such a generous
In 5-C, we demonstrated
what it means to be Learning
as students, in small groups,
looked at each character
trait in EAGLE and discussed
its meaning. Each group
shared their findings and
ideas with the whole class
and then displayed its work
on a bulletin board. Groups
formed the letters EAGLE
on the grass field with their
bodies creating the shape of
the letter. They also used a
Nicole Jawad
Grade 5 Teacher
dictionary to define their word and then
described what it would look like in 5-C.
The students also completed an ethics
activity in which they discussed the
importance of respecting others who are different. The students
created a very unique person using heads, bodies and legs from
their classmates’ drawings to develop stories about their unique
people. Their stories included why their person was unique and
why they needed to be respected. We also added a personal
component: students were able to share experiences where
they felt different and needed to be respected. In the future, 5-C
plans to support orphans who live in China through fundraising.
The money we collect will go towards food, clothing, school, and
shelter. Also, we will send colorful cards to the orphanage to
express our concern for them.
In 5-D, we are in the middle of a project to collect used backpacks
in the Elementary School. These backpacks will be given to
other schools in Riyadh with students in need. We hope that the
simple donation of a backpack in which students can carry books,
supplies, and personal belongings will show that we are doing our
best to be globally minded EAGLEs!
Finally, we want to mention that there are numerous little things
our Grade 5 students do to show their EAGLE spirit:
Each class has paired up with Grade 2 reading buddies—those
2nd Graders have some great role models to look up to!
Cereal boxes have been re-purposed and are now being used
as book boxes
New students have been welcomed in the UES halls with
open arms, and these students have become EAGLEs in the
short time they have been here
We hold class discussions on global issues and on what it
means to be a global citizen.
These are just a few things the 5th Graders are doing to be ideal
Parade of Eagles!