Mawade’ah AIS-R December 2011, Volume 12 Issue 1 Topics 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. Mawade’ah 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. Publisher: American International School-Riyadh Riyadh, 11421 Saudi Arabia Phone: (9661) 491-4270 Fax: (9661) 491-7101 Website: www.aisr.org Superintendent: ext. 235 Admissions: ext. 270 Editors: Steve Augeri, Maysa Haidar, Kerri McGlade and Jerri Myers Layout & Design: 2 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 3 Coffee-Talk: 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. What’s 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 lifestyle. 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? M: 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 campus? 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? 4 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! 5 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 es! agl ether e tog ald t b ly welded on-to-be o n rt , so es, expe The ntary agl ames are mbers. he Eleme e e e t fr Bar and wire rt staff m opted” by l o d Meta -R supp e then “a r IS . a s A l s o e y b tatu igh Scho s E L EAG , and H le Midd Lo t Led s of by A as and IS-R ’s en sem bl seve faculty thus y c r i re skin al week ome to astic ar q t of p g s apie to coa ether teacher uired over r ma t ea s, st ! u c che from h EAGL the cou dents E rs recy cled statue w e of new spap ith a ers. 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?? 6 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. 7 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 Eagle”. 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 highlights: • “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?? 8 9 UN Week 2011 UN Day 2011 Celebrating diversity and multiculturalism AIS-R Goes Global! Sunday! 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. Monday! 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 form. 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. tUESDAY! 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. tRIVIA cHALLENGE! 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. FIND THE FLAG! 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! oN THE cATWALK! 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! 10 tRY 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? wORLD pEACE cAFE! 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 11 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 community...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 GLOBAL By: KG2-C G L O B A L 12 is for green is for learning is for honest is for being respectful is for AISR Eagle is for love 13 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 meaning. 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. I 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 an AIS-R EAGLE. You 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 environment. 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! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EAGLES! 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 exemplified the five characteristics of an AIS-R EAGLE. They are chosen by their teachers along with the Middle School administration for consistently demonstrating these qualities not only in class, but in 14 15 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 process. 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. members to complete an Opinion Survey. An independent research 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. Survey I seek opportunities to improve. 16 AIS-R is continually working to grow and improve in all areas. A requirement for our accreditation self-study is for community Total in Agreement Students I receive timely and up to date 92.5% information about school activities and events. Staff Effective means for communication 99.4% with students and parents are in place. There are mechanisms for communicating my needs to school management. 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. Statement 90.7% I seek out parents opinions about their 87.2% child’s strengths, needs, and interests. Parents I receive regular information about school activities and events. 99.3% I know how and where to share information about my child with school personnel. 97.1% I have received a school or parent handbook and find it useful. 96.4% The school includes me in important decisions about my child’s education. 93% Effective communication strategies exist for the interchange of opinions among the school, students and parents. 94.9% 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 AIS-R! 17 Adapting to Changes on AIS-R’s Campus Matt Sipple Director of Educational Advancement 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 the introduction of a new cashless payment system, which allows Middle and High School students and parents to track purchases using their Skyward food services 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 18 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 contribution! 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 AIS-R EAGLEs! 19 Parade of Eagles!
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