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MS Celebrates Quito Days

MS

Friday was fun and festive in the Middle School! Thank you to all parents who were able to join us in the auditorium on Friday morning to experience skits, songs, dances, and shows about Quito. The MS Spanish classes learned Spanish language as well as cultural heritage during the weeks leading up to the presentations. A big congratulations to Ms. Paola Braganza and Ms. Maria del Carmen Zavala, the MS Spanish department, for their dedication and passion for Quito!

After School Activities

The first session of extra-curricular activities are finished, but MS Sports continues. Additionally, a few special activities (eg: Choir and Math homework help) will also continue until December break. If you have questions about specific activities, please contact me or the activity teacher leader.
Please remember that Middle School students are not allowed on campus, unsupervised, after 3:00pm. We have seen an improvement in after school incidents, and still need to remind a few students of this expectation. Thank you for supporting our efforts to keep all students safe.

Schedule

We all look forward to celebrating Fiestas de Quito with a local holiday on Wednesday. On Thursday, students are dismissed at 12:00, and faculty will spend the afternoon immersed in schoolwide curriculum alignment work. Friday is a regular school day.

From Aubrey, MS Counselor

Every Monday we dedicate one class block to connecting with students in small groups, through our mentor classes. This month, we focused on the IB Learner Profile attribute Principled:

To act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. To take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

To get students starting to think about the term Principled and its application to their own lives, mentor groups actively engaged in lessons on bullying, identity and privilege. Each of these lessons addressed an overarching theme of recognizing, respecting, and appreciating individual differences and reflecting on one’s own experiences of being marginalized.  

Key terms defined and discussed throughout the month included the following:
Privilege - an advantage or benefit available to an individual or a group of people
Bullying - unwanted, unkind and/or aggressive behavior that happens repeatedly. There is an imbalance of power, whether real or perceived. This can come from someone being bigger, older, stronger, perceived as more popular, confident, having more friends, etc.
Bystander - someone who witnesses bullying but does not get involved
Upstander - a person who knows what’s happening is wrong and does something to make things right, by ways such as:

  • Supporting the victim in private—showing concern and offering kindness
  • Standing with the victim and saying something
  • Mobilizing others to join in and stand up to the bully
  • Alerting an adult

We encourage you to ask your child about the lessons and how they might apply them in their own lives.

Enjoy the celebrations on Wednesday!
With kind regards,
Sheryl

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotopaxi.k12.ec
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001
"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."

 

 

The Gift of Words

ES

In the spirit of the holidays, we would like to highlight the power of positive words.  We invite you to join our Gift of Words campaign which will run through December 20.  At school, students will be invited to use positive messages and then post these in our elementary tree which we envision being filled with gifts of words.  At home, catch your children doing things that are commendable and slip them little notes of appreciation with drawings for little ones and specific written comments for older ones.  Celebrate your children for things like putting their things away, giving you a hug spontaneously, helping to bring in groceries, using kind words with others, putting on their seat belts, using manners at the table, smiling at grandparents, remembering to brush their teeth, reading daily, bringing joy to your family… so many celebratory possibilities.  

So, Let’s light up this season with kindness!

Celebrate our host city on Wednesday, December 6 (no school) and please remember that we have a half-day for professional development on Thursday, December 7.  We will have a normal schedule on Friday, December 7.

Here are the schedules for the PK - 2nd grade concerts:

  • PreK and Kinder concert is Friday, December 15th at 9:30am
  • Grade 1 and Grade 2 concert is on Thursday, December 14th at 2:00pm.

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal
ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec

High School News

HS

Many thanks for your contributions to our Thanksgiving Day Gift and Food Drive. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Louisa T., a Grade 11 student who spearheaded this drive and worked to make her dream a reality. High School students who attended school on Thursday, experienced a wonderful day of being useful, thinking about others and enjoying the collaborative spirit of fellowship.

On Friday afternoon, students will present their Grade Level Fiestas de Quito Performances. I hope you will join in the fun and their efforts at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Last week Freedom from Chemical Dependency visited our school, met with many students and delivered a message to parents. Ms. Delaney Keyes-Voeller will begin scheduling parent coffees so that you have the opportunity to create agreements around parties that your child attends.  Please speak to your child about the dangers around consumption drugs and alcohol.

CAISSA games begin Thursday. I’ll see you in the stands supporting our student-athletes.

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal
gwyncoll@cotopaxi.k12.ec

 

Fiestas de Quito!

MS

The positive energy on campus last week was palpable as we all reflected on gratitude and participated in a community wide service project. I hope you had the opportunity to talk about this event at home and that your child could articulate the reason for contributing to service. The ethic of service is important to our entire school community and we plan to keep infusing it into our practices in new and unique ways throughout the school year.

Fiestas de Quito

Our next big event is a celebration of Quito Days! The Middle School Spanish classes have been in Quito Days preparation mode for several weeks. Ask your child how s/he will be involved in the celebration and I am sure you will learn all about this special day. The Middle School Quito Days presentation is on Friday, December 1, 9:00 - 10:30 am. Parents are invited to attend and help us celebrate Quito!

I will be away for the later part of this week, attending a teacher recruitment fair in Atlanta. This fair will give me the opportunity to develop connections with our AASSA (Association of American Schools in South America) partner schools, and to recruit for educators who embody the AC mission.

With kind regards,
Sheryl

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotpaxi.k12.ec
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001
"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."

Elementary News

ES

What an amazing community!  I want to thank each of you for contributing to our Holiday Drive (200 family meals, 600 toys, 900 bags of candy, hundreds of bags, more than 1,000 cards...). I invite you to continue conversations with your children to create awareness of issues that we face in our society and how we can help.  We learn from each of the families who we will have given a meal and toys to and they are extremely grateful for the items, but even more grateful for the respectful visits to their homes.  We want to hear from you to make next year’s campaign even better.   Please complete a short survey to give us your feedback at the following link.

Upcoming Fiestas de Quito

Students are learning about their host city and will celebrate Quito on Tuesday, December 5.  All parents are invited as per the following schedule:

3rd, 4th and 5th grade will be at 8:15 a.m.- 9:15  outside the Auditorium
1st grade and 2nd grade will be at 9:30 - 10:25 in the Auditorium
PK - Kinder program will be in the gymnasium at 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal
ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec

 

High School News

HS

Freedom from Chemical Dependency is here. Mr. Eduardo Torres returned to AC again this year, his third year straight of working with our community regarding alcohol and drug use. He presented the latest Brain Research regarding the effects of alcohol and drug use on the teenage brain. He also suggested that some common agreements need to be made as grade level communities so that weekend parties are safe and promote healthy decisions.

Thank you for your support of the Gift Drive. Boxes are coming in to support our wider community and our students are eager to help on Thursday. I hope your child will attend school on Thursday. Your support of this initiative by having your child attend and be useful helps us develop empathy within our student body and gain momentum for our CAS Program in the HS.

Exams are three weeks away. Thank you for supporting your child by helping him/her maintain a calendar of study, planning time for each course to be ready for exams. We shared the exam schedule with all students, please ask your child to review it with you.

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal
gwyncoll@cotopaxi.k12.ec

Many Opportunities...

ES

This week, there are a variety of opportunities for parents to engage with their children’s learning.  It is wonderful to see you on campus, and we look forward to welcoming you!  

Here are Elementary specific activities for this week:

  1. Speak to your child about our gift drive and about contributing to our local community.  When you get your food box or toy ready, engage your children in the process and remind them that on Thursday, we will be coming together as a school to put it all together!
  2. Stop by the elementary office anytime to help sew bags for the gift drive.
  3. Your children will hear a lot about gratitude this week.  Different research studies have shown the relationship between practicing gratitude and happiness, and I invite you to view a short or longer video at this site to learn more and get inspired.
  4. We will hold a special parent workshop on executive functions “Organized Minds” on Wednesday at 5 p.m. right before the grades 3 to 5 Fall Concert.  If you would like to come, please sign-up at this link.  We will have translation to Spanish and supervision for children.
  5. Fall Concert for grades 3 to 5 will take place on Wednesday, November 22 at 6 p.m. All children should arrive in their classrooms by 5:45 p.m.
  6. Thursday is a half day and our Thanksgiving Celebration! There is no school on Friday.

My profound gratitude this week, goes out to all of the adults in our community.  Thank you to each of you for trusting us with your children and for working with us in a sincere partnership so that we can provide the very best environment for all of our students. 

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal
ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec

Giving Thanks

MS

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

Middle School conference day was an overwhelming success. Approximately 75% of students and parents were in attendance. Thank you for coming! Personal conversations about student learning and growth is a critical component of the home/school partnership. As a Middle School, we are committed to this partnership and and look forward to continued conversations throughout the school year. Please feel free to contact any of us in the Middle School, at anytime, we always love to hear from you.

Journeys Toward Inclusion Conference

Academia Cotopaxi was honored to host the Journeys conference last Friday and Saturday. On Friday afternoon we all attended workshops lead by our incredibly knowledgeable faculty on topics surrounding inclusion. On Saturday Kristen Pelletier, a renowned specialist in inclusion and personalizing learning, hosted an inspiring day of learning about using differentiation as a way to personalize learning for all students in our classrooms. Kristen will be with us this week continuing conversations with targeted groups of educators and administrators.  

Music Concerts

The Band/Orchestra concert last week was a wonderful showcase of student talent. Designing a concert for Grades 4 - 12 allowed us to experience the progression of musical learning from one grade to another. It was a delightful evening. On Tuesday of this week, we will have another special concert, this time for our Piano students.

Thanksgiving Thursday

We are all looking forward to honoring American Thanksgiving by pausing to reflect on how fortunate we are, and reaching out to help those in need. A communication was sent to all AC families with information about how the annual holiday gift drive will be structured this year. The drive occurs on November 20 - 23, and culminates with a half day on November 23, for students to be involved in Gratitude activities. These will include personal reflection time, as well as time to create special notes for the holiday gift baskets.

Students will be dismissed at 12:00 noon on Thursday, and there is no school on Friday.

Freedom from Chemical Dependency

We are pleased to once again host an FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) prevention specialist to meet with students and discuss non-use of alcohol and other drugs. The FCD specialist will meet with Grades  7 - 12 during their PE/Health classes, and will hold a special assembly for Grades 5 and 6. FCD are experts in their field, with a long history of targeting their discussions to specific populations. FCD will be on campus November 20 - 22.

Quito Day

The Middle School Spanish classes have been in Quito Day preparation mode for several weeks. Ask your child how s/he will be involved in the celebration and I am sure you will learn all about this special day. The Middle School Quito Day presentation is on Friday, December 1, 9:00 - 10:30am. Parents are invited to attend and help us celebrate Quito!

Enjoy the long weekend and the extra time to spend with family and friends.

With kind regards,
Sheryl

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotopaxi.k12.ec
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001
"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."

Elementary School

Elementary School

Parent involvement in student learning positively impacts student performance.  Thank you for partnering with us!

Conferences

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, November 15 for conferences. This is how conferences will work: You should have received a link so that you can pick the time that works for you.  If you have more than one child, you will receive links for each child.  Please plan on being on campus for about an hour for each child.  You will receive a checklist that will guide you and include visits to the homeroom class, specialist areas, technology and a special visit to the book fair in the library.  Students do not attend these conferences as they are a time for you to speak to your child’s teacher.

Gift-bags for holiday drive

There will be a group of parents who will be making gift bags for our holiday drive in the elementary office.  If you like to sew, cut fabric, or want to learn...you are welcome to spend more time at school on November 15 and help us make fabric gift bags between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

We invite you to send your holiday drive contributions between Nov. 20 and 23.  This is an opportunity for you to engage with your children in conversations about giving and gratitude, as well as, connecting with your own family traditions.

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal
ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec

Conferences this week

Middle School

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

I hope to see all of you for Middle School Conferences on Wednesday, November 15! This conference session will be “arena style,” in the Gym. All MS teachers and our student support team will have tables and will be available throughout the day for individual conferences. Conference sessions begin at 8:00am and end at 3:00pm, with scattered breaks between 11:30 - 1:30 for lunch. Conferences are most beneficial when the conversation is between parents, students and teachers, thus we ask that you bring your child to conference day.

Journeys Toward Inclusion Conference

AC is very proud to be one of the more inclusive international schools in the world. We will be learning more about how to best enhance our special learning community at the upcoming Journeys Toward Inclusion conference, hosted at AC on November 17 - 18. Friday, November 17 is a half day for students - all faculty will spend the afternoon growing professionally.

Freedom from Chemical Dependency

We are pleased to once again host an FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) prevention specialist to meet with students and discuss non-use of alcohol and other drugs. The FCD specialist will meet with Grades  7 - 12 during their PE/Health classes, and will hold a special assembly for Grades 5 and 6. FCD are experts in their field, with a long history of targeting their discussions to specific populations. FCD will be on campus November 20 - 22.

Giving Thanks

We are all looking forward to honoring American Thanksgiving by pausing to reflect on how fortunate we are, and reaching out to help those in need. A communication was sent to all AC families with information about how the annual holiday gift drive will be structured this year. The drive occurs on November 20 - 23, and culminates with a half day on November 23, for students to be involved in Gratitude activities. These will include personal reflection time, as well as time to create special notes for the holiday gift baskets. 

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

With kind regards,

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotpaxi.k12.ec
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001

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