SY 2013 –2014

Friday Bulletin
Inside this issue:
Parent Teacher Conferences MAP Tests Service Learning Admissions & Advancement

Weekly Publication for Middle School Parents

Dear Parents: MAP Testing continues this week. In the event that your child misses a testing session, we will hold make-up sessions on Wednesdays starting at 7:30 A.M. If your child requires a make-up session, the MS Office will notify you and we ask that you make the necessary arrangements to bring your child to school early on Wednesday. On Friday, October 11 the first party of the year is happening for grades 5 and 6 from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. While the students are enjoying their party, parents are invited to the Middle School Meet and Greet, which will be happening at the same time. The following week on October 18 we will also have the first party for grades 7 and 8 as well as a Parent Meet and Greet. These events are perfect opportunities to meet other parents and to connect names with faces. Please plan to attend. Parent Teacher Conferences (PTCs) in the Middle School are scheduled for Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22 from 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. We will use an online reservation system for making appointments, and the system will open to parents at 8:00 A.M. on October 7. A step-by-step guide on how to make appointments for Parent Teacher Conferences was emailed to all parents and is included in this week’s bulletin for reference. In order to reserve an appointment, you will need your PowerSchool username and password. If you have misplaced or forgotten your PowerSchool login details, please call the Middle School Office at 840 8555/8550 or email Grace Gabay ( Have a fabulous weekend! Yours in Education, Simon Gillespie Middle School Principal

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Guidance & Counseling ESL Athletics & Activities Academic Bowl ISM Upcoming Events

Events & Activities:

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MAP Testing G5/6 Parent’s Meet & Greet G5/6 Party NATIONAL HOLIDAY Eid-Ul-Adha NO CLASSES Faculty In-Service

Clarissa Sayson Middle School Assistant Principal

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From the MUSIC Department: Girls interested in auditioning for the AMIS Honor Choir in February are encouraged to attend optional Powerschool Update: information & practice session for auditions on Monday October 7, from 12:45 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. Details for auditions are also posted on 11 Progress Reports Access Ms. Hausman's blog.




September 13, 2013

Dear Parents, From September 23 to October 18, ISM will conduct tests called Measures of Academic ProgressTM (MAP). What are MAP tests?  MAP tests are an external assessment from the United States, used to assist in determining students’ instruction al level. Currently, there are 370 international schools in 123 countries, including 56% member schools of EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Schools), who conduct MAP testing. Who does MAP testing at ISM?  Students in Grades 3 to 10 take MAP tests. Students receiving Learning Support and ESL support will be given the opportunity, where appropriate, to participate in the MAP testing. Parents will be contacted individually regarding any modifications taking place. What do MAP tests assess and how often do they occur?  These tests will measure academic growth across the school year in the areas of Reading, Language and Mathematics, and are administered twice a year at ISM. They will be taken again in Semester 2 of the 2013-14 school year. How do MAP tests work?  Your child will take the tests on a computer. MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive. The test becomes more difficult the more questions the student answers correctly. When a student incorrectly answers a question, the following test question is adjusted accordingly and is at an easier level. In this way, your child will take a test specifically created for his or her learning level. How are MAP tests reported?  Your child’s MAP results are reported in RIT (Rasch Unit) scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. Parents will receive a report that shows their RIT score, the normative RIT scores for the grade level at ISM, and the normative scores for students in the United States within the same grade level. These reports will be available in November. What does ISM do with the information that MAP provides?  Teachers use the data from MAP testing to inform learning and teaching. It assists in determining which skills require enhancing, which skills students have already developed, and which skills need to be introduced. MAP tests also provide our school with a reference point for the ongoing development of the school-wide curriculum. This data allows us to look for trends within certain areas of our curriculum. How do I prepare my child for MAP testing?  Factors such as sleep and how a child is feeling can affect the results of a standardized test. Your class teacher will let you know which three days in the coming weeks your child will sit the tests. Please talk to your child to help avoid him/her feeling anxious about MAP testing. Lastly …  It is important to remember that MAP results provide one piece of assessment data in the process of acquiring information and making judgments about student progress toward intended learning. At ISM, we believe sound assessment involves creating a multitude of ways to measure and communicate student learning over time – a photo album versus a single snapshot. For more information on MAP testing, please consult the NWEA (North West Evaluation Association) website at In addition, parents can access the MAP Parent Toolkit at Sincerely, Simon Gillespie Middle School Principal

Clarissa Sayson Middle School Assistant Principal


Seven Ways Students Can Get Involved in Service Learning
All of us have experienced the ethical conflict that arises when a homeless child knocks on our car window at an intersection. Adolescence is a time when many students start to grapple with their response to poverty, climate change, and other issues facing our world. The problems seem so big, that sometimes students feel helpless to affect change. That’s one way to look at it. The other way is to do something about it! As the Dalai Lama said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” The Middle School Service Learning Program offers students a diversity of opportunities to give to others and help safeguard our environment. Here are seven ways that your child can get involved in service and environmental projects:

1. Saturday Service
Beginning on October 19, eight different service opportunities will be offered on Saturdays. Some events involve a trip to visit a service partner, such as La Mesa Watershed and Chosen Children’s Village (CCV) near Tagaytay. Other events involve hosting a local education program, such as Love 2 Learn, on the ISM campus. Along with the joy of giving, students benefit by interacting with children from different backgrounds and getting to know the Philippines beyond Makati and Taguig. See the inset Saturday Service Calendar and discuss which trips interest them most. To participate, students simply pick up a Permission Slip from the MS Office on the Monday before the trip. Once it’s been signed and returned to the office, a student can sign up on the roster. Some trips fill up quickly so encourage them to sign up early. And yes, parents are welcome to attend!

10/19 Philippine Children’s Fund 11/9 Habitat for Humanity 11/16 CRIBS / Papaya Academy 11/23 Chosen Children’s Village 11/30 La Mesa Watershed 12/7 Love 2 Learn 12/14 Tzu Chi Foundation

9/26-27 (G5 teambuilding @ ISM) 2/10-14

2. Classroom Without Walls
For two days in late September and a week in February, students take part in our Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program. Activities range from teambuilding activities to hands-on service projects. Some trips are run from campus on a daily basis, while others involve an overnight trip. All of them offer rich opportunities for experiential learning, bonding with classmates, and helping others. In some cases, students run fundraisers and supply drives to support CWW service partners running up to their trips. For details about specific CWW plans, contact your child’s Grade Level Coordinator.

3. ECO Council ECO stands for Environmental and Community Outreach. This club is open to all MS students and meets regularly to plan and promote Saturday Service projects, special events ,such as, No Impact Week, and assist with community building activities around our campus. There are also smaller service clubs associated with service partners, such as CCV. Students can see Mr. Willey or Mr. Cook to get involved. 4. M.Y.O. Service Trip Students can make their own service trip. All they need is a teacher chaperone and a plan. Some Advisories create service projects together. Sports teams can get involved through events such as the Homeless World Cup. Of course, there are also a lot of opportunities for students to get involved in service activities through a parent’s employer, religious group, and out-of-school clubs. 5. Start a Family Tradition Many ISM families have forged their own ties with service partners. Some students even celebrate their birthdays by visiting their favorite service partner site. It’s easy to arrange family visits. If you’d like assistance organizing a family visit, contact me at the email address provided below. 6. Random Acts of Kindness Service is more than one-off events. There are lots of ways students can help others, and our planet, through their daily actions. Encourage students to practice “Random Acts of Kindness” such as writing a letter to a grandparent, conserving resources at home, inviting a new student to a sleepover, or reaching out to students who need a friend. Studies have shown that such activities often benefit the giver even more than the receiver. 7. “Walk the Walk” This is perhaps the greatest challenge of working with adolescents, whether you are a parent or an educator. It’s also one of the most important. Share your own struggles with issues such as poverty, the environment, and inequality. Model empathy and compassion. Get involved in service projects that suit your own interests and concerns. Research shows that a respected adult role model is one of the most powerful instructional tools. International School Manila holds Service as one of its core values. Those of you who have been here for a while, know how integral service learning is to our commitment to educating the whole child. There are lots of ways for students (and parents) to get involved. Encourage your child to pick activities they are inter-

ested in and try new things. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at All the best, Cory Willey Student Advisory Coordinator

Dear Parents, We are pleased to inform you that your child’s PowerSchool account may be accessed through the ISM Parent Portal. Aside from being a gateway to PowerSchool, the Parent Portal also provides information on school events, useful links, as well as child-specific academic blogs and student portfolios. Should you need to make any changes to your contact information, visit the Parent Portal and follow the steps below:






Parent Group Discussions
The ES and MS counselors will facilitate parent group discussions starting on October 8th and continue throughout the semester. A key focus of the group will be to highlight and discuss parent and child related issues. If you are interested please contact Ms. Perez in the ES Guidance Office. We look forward to seeing you there!


The next RIFA soccer festival will be tomorrow Saturday Oct 5th. All up to date information about our ES/MS soccer teams and the RIFA festivals etc can always be found here: For ES: For MS: In the event of a cancellation or if you are unsure whether a festival will be held, please refer to the links above or: As soon as a cancellation is notified, ISM security is informed and posts are made to the pages referred to on the ATAC blog. Parents please note: Permission slips are issued to all players via the coaches at training prior to each festival with all festival details for our ES and MS teams. Please take careful note of the times and venues as these can change at short notice. ATAC blog will have the most up to date information. The 2nd season practice schedule which runs from October 23 to February 7 will be posted on notice boards around school next week and is also now available on the ATAC blog. 2nd season sports are Basketball, Tennis, Varsity swim team, Rugby and Touch. The ISM XCountry teams raced at Faith last Saturday, September 28 for the 4th race of the local season. The final race of the season is on Saturday, October 12th at Brent. Race results will be posted here when received IASAS Venues this year are Volleyball/XC at Jakarta and Soccer is at Taipei. Match schedules can be found here: Visit for all streaming and results links during 1st season IASAS events. New families please take some time to peruse the ATAC blog as this will help orientate you with the wide variety of co curricular programs ISM offers. A great way to stay in touch with the ISM ATAC program is to subscribe via RSS feed to the ATAC blog and also to follow via twitter (see twitter feed on the blog home page). Each Monday, I will post the week’s happenings and highlight important events for student’s and parent’s information on the ATAC blog and in the regular Friday parent bulletins. GAME SCHEDULE PDF (access to game schedule information): Information about all mid -week/weekend fixtures for ISM teams can be found via the ATAC blog. Please note the game schedule does change often due to involvement with many local schools so please check the page regularly to find out the latest information of where and when the Bearcats teams are playing. Click on schedules tab or the Bearcat logo to be directed to the power school secure site: You will need your power school user name and password to access the game schedule pdf. The Bearcat Den is open for business. Please drop by to check out the range of Bearcat products. We have a great team of volunteers who run the den and are always looking for more people to help out. If you are interested in joining a fantastic group please contact any of our den members during den opening hours or please contact Carolyn Ching for details at: We are always looking for new volunteers and encourage parents from ES/MS to join our group. 14

BEARCAT DEN information: Have a great year at the Home of the Bearcats! Regards, Mark Pekin Director of Athletics/Activities


Do you know lots of interesting facts and general knowledge? Are you fast on the buzzers? Do you like ‘Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader’? THEN COME TO…

Middle School Academic Bowl TRYOUTS/Practices!!!
WHERE: Room P046 (Mrs. Birchenall’s classroom) WHEN: Every Thursday 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

October 10th will be the last practice session for all and the team for the November competition will be selected after this practice.



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