EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Our friends in the Early Childhood Department have been busy and creative learning their first Unit of Inquiry, “All About Me”. Our EC team is working extra hard to provide EC families with dynamic lessons at home through Google Classroom, Zoom, and weekly materials in the Weekly Learning Packs. Take a look at some of the great things we have accomplished already this term!
Family Week and Grandparents Day
We hope that you have “liked” our Facebook page and have already seen the amazing update about EC Family Week and Grandparents Day. Our EC friends participated in this themed week that focused on activities promoting family participation and appreciation.
Rachelle Hale – Interim HoD Early Childhood
PRIMARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
I am excited to inform you that most students have settled in well with their virtual classes. They are completing the assignments given on the Study Ladder and Google Classroom, and they continue to practice their Learner Profile attributes. They are working hard to complete Global Village videos. Students, you are doing a great job! Your teachers are proud of your achievements, so far. Keep up the good work! We appreciate all of you parents for working closely with the students to ensure that they get the best from the online classes.
We have noted a few students who mute themselves during the lesson and fail to participate in the classroom activities as expected. Teachers have continued to reach out to such students, and this practice has continued to surface. We request that these students are monitored and guided from home. If not, their performance will be affected, and they will not perform to their highest potential. The teachers will continue to emphasize the attributes of Responsibility and being Principled to students, and we know when we do it with your support, we can achieve our goal. Also, a conducive environment, free from noise and other distractions, will benefit and motivate students will do their best.
One of the elements covered during our CC session this September was assessment practices. Assessment is at the heart of learning, within the PYP, and we have evolved our systems in order to continue to track, monitor and report on learning regularly.
Our first attempt at Remote MAP testing was a great success, in most part, due to parent/home preparedness. We would like to appreciate the efforts that parents put in to ensure devices were available, tuned for testing and students were ready to show what they have learned. This first session of testing will be used to inform instruction for the term as new classes settle into their new yearbands. Family reports will be issued later on in the term.
Gsuite for Education – New Google Classrooms Rollout for Upper Primary (Y4-6)
We continue to unveil new improvements to our teaching and learning services regularly. AIS has registered with Google for Education and this will see a lot of integration and efficiency, especially in how we run our Google Classrooms. All students are to be furnished with a school email account and we will be migrating to the new platform classrooms, after the midterm break. Teachers will be working with your students to get them set up for this exciting move, but here is a short instructional video to help you out with setting up at home.
Shallon Baguma – HoD Primary
SECONDARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
The first half of the term has been a continuing learning curve for us all. The Secondary Department continues to use Managebac and Zoom for our online learning programme. The students, parents and teachers have been making full use of the applications that the software has to offer. One of the benefits of using Managebac has been the Homeroom application. This has allowed the students along with their homeroom teacher to meet on a regular basis during the remote learning programme. There have been a number of training sessions for Managebac and these are also available, if you missed out and would like to learn to get the best out of Managebac.
Students have recently done online MAP assessments in English, Mathematics and Science, as well as internal assessments in all their subject areas. The week of MAP assessments, which kicked off on September 8th and ended on September 11th, was characterized with calmness, maximum concentration, technical questions, as we explored MAP assessment from our homes and smiley faces. Overall, the assessment process was smooth and successful and students did their best in difficult circumstances. Each student will receive their MAP assessment results along with their End of Term reports (Term 1- December 11th 2020).
We are excited to note that our student enrollment throughout the Secondary Department has grown extensively and as you are aware, we also have new teachers who have joined us. Even in hard times, the Directors of AIS and our CEO Ms. Ameena have been working tirelessly to ensure that our Department’s growth is supported. We have been building above the current Secondary Floor, to ensure that we are able to expand when we return to campus. The new top floor will be a mix of classrooms, a new ICT suite, and science labs. We will be able to share some photos of the development with you soon. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your consistent support and trust. I hope you all take some time to rest during the midterm break and we look forward to your return.
Zoe Calder – HoD Secondary
UPDATES FROM THE AIS COVID 19 TASKFORCE
In the face of adversity, flexibility and adaptability are possibly the best virtues that will hold us in good stead. This has been our endeavour, through the entire reopening process. We have tried to prepare a plan that is not rigid, yet follows all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and best practices.
We hope parents of all AIS Candidate Classes have had a look at our Reopening Handbook. As we prepare for our dear students to return on October 15, we have left no stone unturned, to ensure that the campus is safe, be it the disinfection tunnel, social distancing markers/stickers, automatic soap/sanitizer dispensers, and/or all the changes in how we do even the most mundane chores!
There are two elements to safety procedures – the ‘know-how’ and ‘know-why’. While we have all had an overdose of the ‘know-how’ of this pandemic, very few have the ‘know-why’, and this is what we are trying to bridge. The Taskforce members, last week, had a meeting with the AIS Auxiliary team, for this exact purpose – to explain the ‘know-why’ of this pandemic. Such sessions will be held with all stakeholders, as we progress.
While the manual has all the information for returning Candidate Class students/parents, one of the biggest changes for the rest of the AIS Family, after October 15, will be visiting the campus by appointment only. We have always encouraged taking appointments with different members of staff, however, in the current situation, this will be followed very seriously, to ensure Contact Tracing. Everyone visiting the AIS Campus will be expected to email/text the member of staff prior to your visit, and present proof of appointment to our Security team.
As we manoeuvre these unique times, we request your cooperation in this matter. So whether it is to meet the Admissions Team, pay fees, meet a teacher, or any of the Heads of Departments/Curriculum Coordinators, we request you to plan and schedule your appointments. You will find all necessary contact details here to schedule your appointment. The new schedule to pick up Library books, learning packs, etc, will also be communicated by each HoD.
We are truly proud and thankful for the unwavering support that has been doled out to us, as we strive to do our best to keep the AIS Community safe!
In case of any query or ambiguity about reopening, please reach out to any member of the Taskforce.
Nishitha Shrivastava – HoD Head of Admissions / Administration & Community Liaison Officer for the Taskforce