Learnig Corner

High School News




We are continuing a math initiative with our grade 9 and 10 students that Mr. Olson began last year. Students will input their math MAP scores into Khan Academy. Khan Academy then creates a differentiated learning plan for each student’s skill set which will help them develop mastery of skills. Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, describes the learning process in this TedTalk. Your student (if in grade 9 or 10) will bring home their MAP report this Friday. Ask them about the program and how it relates to their math learning. Thank you for your support.

Supporting Teenage Health:

Freedom from Chemical Dependency will again visit Academia Cotopaxi this coming November. Ms. Delaney Keyes-Voeller, HS Counselor, will share meeting times for parents in an upcoming newsletter. The organization provides current research about adolescent brains, and what happens when drugs and alcohol are abused. FCD provides strategies to help our students keep safe, remain in control of their body and decision making abilities and be able to say “NO”. Thank you for your support of this program and for helping us keep all of our students safe throughout the year. While teenage parties are common place, we can all help to make them safe by being present, checking in with our child, asking questions about where the party will occur and who will be there to chaperone, and by cultivating honest and trusting relationships with our child.

School Uniforms/Dress Code:

This week begins our first official uniform day at AC in the HS. All students should have purchased, picked-up and now be wearing the uniform.

"From the Student - Parent Handbook p. 43 All students must wear a polo with the AC logo on the left side. AC Cougar dry-fit shirts are also acceptable. If students choose to wear sweaters, vests, hoodies or jackets, these must also have the AC logo on them. Most pants and skirts, including jeans are permitted. They must be in good condition, without holes and not torn or frayed. "Short shorts, mini skirts, pajama bottoms are not appropriate for school. The Uniform is now expected and required. Please plan on having lunch in the Learning Commons if you are out of uniform. Our Friday Dress Code p. 44 reads "Shirts should be tucked in or overlap with pants or skirts at all times. Bare midriffs are not acceptable. Clothing may not be excessively baggy, short or tight. Language or pictures on clothing condoning or explicitly or implicitly advertising alcohol, drugs, racism, sex, tobacco or foul language is not permitted."

HS Parents, please help us in helping our student body be dressed appropriately for school, by ensuring your child is wearing the uniform. Thanks for your help!

Athletics News:

Academia Cotopaxi has withdrawn from this season’s CAISSA Volleyball Tournament at Carol Morgan School, Dominican Republic, due to the elevated costs of flight tickets for those dates.

The Volleyball season continues until the end of October with the QISSA Play-offs, the JV Invitational Tournament hosted by Einstein, and AASSA that will be hosted by Alliance Academy.

  • Varsity play Menor at AC on Thursday
  • JV will play at Menor on Thursday - Go Cougars!

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal

High School Happenings



Students are now entering the core of our first semester. Our teachers have been able to get to know their students, now understand their strengths and areas of improvement, and know the goal the student has selected. Relationships have been built through Discover Ecuador and the opportunities created through the life of the school. Now is the time to ensure your child is working well at home to prepare for the next day’s classes and working ahead so that larger projects are completed on time and to the best of their abilities. If you have concerns about any class or would like to better understand the class direction, please schedule a meeting directly with the teacher through Ms. Monica Jacome.

Thank you PTSA and Fun Run Participants! We had a great day and many HS students volunteered their time to assist with the day’s activities.

Volleyball Games This Week

Varsity at Home on Monday and Thursday
Varsity Away at Menor on Tuesday
JV Away on Monday and Thursday
JV Home on Tuesday

Sun Exposure

We are adapting our practices to ensure our students are "sun safe" at all times. For this reason, we would ask that you please ensure your child has a hat at school. For younger grades, use of sunscreen and hats are standard practice. We would highly recommend that this practice is adopted by all students and that parents ensure all students have a hat to wear at school. For those students who change into Physical Education (PE) clothes, please ensure that students have a long sleeved cotton shirt or UV protective for practice and PE classes.

Counseling Update

Starting this month, we are collaborating across all divisions of AC to focus on one of the IB Learner Attributes each month. During October our theme will be Open-mindedness. During our Global Citizenship time our mentor teachers will be engaging students in discussions and activities about open-mindedness, crossing social boundaries, and collaborating with differently-abled peers through Special Olympics. 9th graders will also be assessing their personal strengths in order to begin thinking about their college and career interests. You can support your students at home by engaging them in dinner table conversations about these topics.

Afterschool Activities and Buses

The 6:00 p.m. bus is only available for registered bus users, and the bus is not a door-to-door bus but rather a central drop-off point that is considered safe, such as inside a gated community or a public place with security. Any change in transportation for a planned or unplanned activity needs a permission request through the Transportation Change Form (excluding planned sports games, on or off campus).

College Counseling Update

For 12th Grade Students who are United States Citizens, it is highly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can after October 1st to ensure that you do not miss out on available federal aid. Questions? Contact lwasser@cotopaxi.k12.ec

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal



Our first MS Social of the school year was an overwhelming success! Students played basketball, ping-pong and volleyball, danced, and had positive interactions with friends. With approximately half the Middle School in attendance, it was a night to remember. A big congratulations to our House Leaders for organizing the event! The MS hosts four Socials a year, the next will be in November.

Sun Exposure

We are adapting our practices to ensure our students are "sun safe" at all times. For this reason, we would ask that you please ensure your child has a hat at school. For younger grades, use of sunscreen and hats are standard practice. We would highly recommend that this practice is adopted by all students and that parents ensure all students have a hat to wear at school. For those students who change into Physical Education (PE) clothes, please ensure that students have a long sleeved cotton shirt or UV protective for practice and PE classes.

Goal Setting Conferences

At the time of this publishing we will be in the midst of Goal Setting Conferences. Thank you for your participation - I will share notes from the day in next week’s newsletter.

Feedback to the Middle School

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback to the Middle School on the survey which was sent after Back to School Night. I have been collating the responses, and will share them with you in an upcoming newsletter.

Important Reminders

Students staying after school - Please note that MS students must leave campus directly after school unless they are staying for an AC activity (MS activities or athletics). Students in an AC sponsored activity may ride the 4:15pm bus, all others should use their regular means of transportation directly after school. This is for the safety of your child. All adults who are on campus after school are engaged in specific activities and are not able to supervise other students.

Student absences - If your child will miss two or more days of school, for any reason, s/he must obtain a Pre-Arranged Absence form from the MS Office. The student takes this form to all teachers to discuss homework obligations, and then the form is signed by the MS Principal. Additionally, parents should call the MS Office in as far advance as possible to report these types of absences. Thank you.

With kind regards,

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal

"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."

Learning is happening!


Students in elementary are stamping their hand on our “anti-bullying” tree as a demonstration of their commitment towards a “bully-free” environment.  Parents can stop by at any time in the elementary office to leave their stamp!

Thank you for attending our Back to School Night (BTSN), Fun Run and Conferences...  There are busy times with lots of learning happening!  We had 80% of our families represented at BTSN and appreciate each one of your contributions and engagement.  Here’s a link to the presentation used in the auditorium if you would wish to refer to it in the future:  BTSN Presentation

Parent Representatives

Our gratitude also goes out to all of the parent representatives who have volunteered to help in their classrooms!  While there is one or two parents representing in each class, all parents have opportunities to participate in different ways. We invite you to complete your information as an “expert” in any area that you feel that you could contribute either in your child’s division or school-wide. Here is the link to the form asking about expertise that parents can bring to the classroom.

Be Balanced

After a careful review of the use of electronic devices in areas other than learning environments, our team has developed guidelines with the intention of providing clearer expectations.  Please review these with your child at home and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  Guidelines can be found on our website.

Sun Exposure

We are adapting our practices to ensure our students are "sun safe" at all times. For this reason, we would ask that you please ensure your child has a hat at school. For younger grades, use of sunscreen and hats are standard practice. We would highly recommend that this practice is adopted by all students and that parents ensure all students have a hat to wear at school.

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

Skills and behaviors for being successful

Juramento a la Bandera

Academia Cotopaxi has followed the International Baccalaureate Organization’s  (IBO) lead on separating learning behaviors from academic grades. A student’s Approach to Learning (ATL) represents the tangible skills and behaviors that will allow him/her to be successful in all classes, activities and life experiences. In many ways these grades are more important than the academic grades earned as they represent a student’s ability to manage time, communicate effectively, gather information responsibly, work effectively in groups, and think critically and reflect on learning. There is a growing body of research that indicates these skills can be learned and lead to success in all aspects of life. HS students used the ATL rubric for self assessment and to set an ATL goal to work towards throughout the year. The HS Faculty evaluates each student four times a year; at the end of each quarter.

Student Led Conferences

Thank you to those parents and students who attended our Student Led Conferences last Monday. Students presented their ATL goal so that parents and students are able to support them. Our attendance rates are below:

Grade 9 - 61%
Grade 10 - 69%
Grade 11 - 58%
Grade 12 - 30%

I would like to remind all parents that concerns about the experience of your child should be brought first and directly to the attention of the teacher involved. Use of the Whatsapp grade level chat to speak about a teacher is strongly discouraged.

QISSA Volleyball

Our QISSA Volleyball league play begins this week. JV Teams are at home today and Thursday, and Varsity teams are at Alliance on Monday and then at Einstein on Thursday. All games begin at 4:15 and teachers, parents, siblings, friends are all welcome to fill the stands and give our Cougars the support they need and deserve.

Juramento a la Bandera

On Tuesday, September 26th, our Senior class will be involved in the Juramento a la Bandera ceremony. Ecuadorian Seniors will pledge allegiance to the Ecuadorian flag while Foreign Seniors will show their respect to their host nation. This is a very important event in the High School and all High School Students and families are welcome.

College Visits

Please take a look at our updated October College and University Visit Schedule and if there is a university presentation that you would like to attend or make sure your son or daughter is invited to, do not hesitate to email our College Counselor Lysha Wasser at lwasser@cotopaxi.k12.ec.  

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal

Balance and Care


We have an exciting upcoming two weeks in the Middle School. This Friday students will experience the first MS Social of the school year, on Saturday the entire school community is invited to the PTSA Fun Run, and next Tuesday you and your child will meet with teachers to establish goals for the semester. These are all excellent examples of the care provided by Academia Cotopaxi that extends far beyond the school day and classroom walls.

MS Social

Our first MS Social of the school year will be held in the Gym this Friday, September 29, from 6:00 - 8:00pm. Socials are one way in which we support the IB Learner Profile, specifically the “Balanced” attribute (Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others). We do not have sports or after school activities on Fridays, thus students will leave campus after school and return at 6:00pm. Students are to be picked up at 8:00pm. Thank you in advance for your support with prompt drop off and pick ups on Friday. We are all looking forward to the event!

Goal Setting Conferences

We are delighted to invite you to campus on Tuesday, October 3 for MS Goal Setting Conferences. This special day is for you to work with your child and his/her mentor teacher to establish academic and personal goals for this semester. We will have three sessions, based on the student’s last name, throughout the day. Parents/students will first meet with the mentor teacher, in the teacher’s classroom, to create goals. After goals are created, your child will guide you to a few of her/his other teachers’ classrooms to share the goals. It is possible that families will not have time to meet with every teacher, nor is this the time to discuss grades, but rather is an opportunity for teachers and parents to get to know one another, all working together with the student to help her/him develop academically and personally this school year.
8:00 - 10:15     A - G (student last name)
10:30 - 12:45   H - P (student last name)
1:45 - 4:00       R - Z (student last name)

We realize that given Elementary School conferences on this day and other imperative commitments, you may not be able to attend during your given time slot. If it is impossible for you attend at the time listed above, please call the MS Office to reschedule your conference. We look forward to seeing you on October 3!

AC Dress Code

By now all students should have received their AC logo/uniform attire. MS students are expected to wear the AC uniform or House t-shirt each day. The only exception is on Fridays, where students may wear non-AC clothing, given that it follows the MS dress code. Thank you for helping your child make the correct clothing choices.

"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal

Our commitment to childhood


Teachers, assistants, counselors, support staff, and administrators lead a Kahoot game to teach our PYP attributes at Monday’s student assembly.

Our elementary division is committed to guiding each of your children, respecting their learning styles, understanding their developmental needs, and cultivating their personal interests.  At this week’s Back to School Night, you will be participating as partners in this commitment.  Come ready with your promise to your child’s learning and your 2-minute story about your child!

Back to School Night, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 28. We will gather in the foyer of the auditorium for a meet and greet, and then begin our presentations at 6 p.m. Translation will be available to Spanish in the auditorium.  Here are the directions for you to download the application that we will use. Please bring headphones if you will require translation. 

On Monday, we kicked off the week with a PYP assembly where all students interacted with our PYP attributes of the learner profile.  Ask your children to share their learning using this stop-motion video by our PYP coordinator, Ms. Laura Fried.

Goals conferences (Gr. 1-8) and PK & K “Take a Peek into Your Child’s Classroom” are coming up the following week, taking place on October 3.  You will receive a form from your child’s teacher so that you can sign-up for grades PK - 5.  Please note that MS conferences are scheduled by the school.  You will need that information if you have children in both divisions. Here’s the link to the letter sent also via email that explains what will happen on this day.  Goals Conferences Information

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

Your story and our story - Back to School Night

Cotopaxi guard and game designer, shared his innovative game with students.  
The students will introduced the game on Monday as one more play option at school.  ENJOY

Back to School Night will be the first opportunity for us to meet as a class parent community.  We will share our story with you, and we would like to begin by getting to know each of you and your children a little better. We are proud of our diverse community and it is this diversity that makes us unique and strong.   All of our children are special in their own ways and you are the experts when it comes to knowing their style, strengths, personality, challenges, cuteness and more.  Honoring this, we invite you to share a piece of your child’s story with us through a 2-minute presentation at the beginning of our time together in the classroom. 

You are welcome to choose what you would like to share with us.  Some openers to get you started could be:

  • I’m going to tell you the story of my beautiful child...
  • We will use five phrases to describe our child....
  • You would like to know that our child is…
  • When I watch my child, I see...

Also at Back to School Night, we will have a special place for you to leave your parent “promise” which will support your child’s learning.  You can think about this what your commitment is to your child and bring this with you for the evening of Thursday, September 28.

Here’s our schedule for the evening (Parents of Grades PK - 5):

5:30 p.m. Meet and Greet in the auditorium
6:00 p.m. Presentation in the Auditorium followed by classroom presentations with homeroom teachers. 

Translation will be available to Spanish in the auditorium.  Here are the directions for you to download the application that we will use. Please bring headphones if you will require translation. 

Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

Goal setting in the High School

Goal Setting

Last week, all High School students crafted four learning goals with their mentors and teachers. On Monday, during Student-Led Conferences, students presented their goals to their parents reinforcing the crucial partnership between parents, students and school. Thank you for attending the Student-Led Conferences on Monday.

We have revisited and improved our goal setting process. Students have now four goals:
1) one goal must improve one of the “Approach to Learning” skills (communication, self-management, thinking, research and social) that will impact all aspect of student learning;
2) one academic goal;
3) one service goal; and
4) one activity goal.

Let’s all support our students to work towards achieving their goals by talking about them regularly at home, at the dinner table, in the car etc. Thank you for your support.

Also, please note that IB registrations for the Seniors are well on their way and the process will be communicated to parents on September 23rd during the Senior Brunch (see below for details of the event).
Finally, the volleyball season have started. Here are the schedules. Go Cougars!

HS Events

September 23 - Senior Brunch - HS Cafeteria 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
September 23 - Senior Juramento a la Bandera Rehearsal - Auditorium 10:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
September 26 - Juramento a la Bandera (Flag) Ceremony - HS Auditorium 2:00 p.m.
Fred Bordaguibel
HS Associate Principal/IB Diploma Coordinator

Discover Ecuador

Discover Ecuador Grade 7

We did it! The Middle School spent last week “discovering” Ecuador! It was an incredible learning journey and I am certain that by now you have heard many stories from the week. The purpose of the MS Discover Ecuador trips is to serve the local community, to grow as individuals, to understand how we all fit into the world outside of ourselves, to bond as an entire class group, and to form the foundation for how we will continue the school year as a Middle School. Trip reports verified that we not only met these goals but also created memories that will last for many years. It was a privilege for me to travel with the Grade 8 group to the Amazon and have the complete student/faculty experience.
I will be seeking parent feedback regarding how we can make DE week even better next year. Please be on the lookout for an invitation to participate.

MAP Testing

At Academia Cotopaxi, students from Grade 3 - 10 have been taking Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests since 2014. The data gathered has illustrated our students’ strengths and learning needs, has helped teachers target their instruction and has provided administrators with valuable information to make school wide decisions. This is an important assessment and we want our students to take it seriously every time.
During the weeks of Sept 18 - 29, middle school students will take the MAP tests.  We give students MAP tests to determine students’ instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of Math, Language Usage and Reading. Students will take a total of 3 tests during math social studies and language arts. Please note that students do not need to study for the MAP tests; they are meant to measure accumulated learning to date. Students who are absent or do not complete a test will make it up the 2nd week of testing.
MAP tests are unique in that they are an adaptive test, which means that the test adjusts to each student’s learning level, providing a unique set of test questions based on student responses to previous questions. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.
Each school year students take the tests in the fall, winter and spring. Following each testing period, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth with the AC report card. You can help your child take this test seriously by valuing the results and discussing them at home.
For more information on resources for parents, visit this page, and please do not hesitate to contact us.

Upcoming MS Events

September 18 - 29: MAP testing

With kind regards,

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

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