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High School News

HS

Community Experts

This year at Academia Cotopaxi, we have developed a new initiative to include parents as often as we can to help our students learn our curriculum better. We have asked parents to share their areas of expertise so that our students can learn from you and make authentic connections to their studies. Thank you to so many people who have responded to our survey to Share Your Expertise!  We are amazed by the wide range of skills and interests represented in our parent community and we are already using these connections in our classrooms. Do you have a hobby, skill or job experience that you'd like to share with students?  We invite you to volunteer by completing the Share Your Expertise form.  Thank you!

From the HS Counselor

Did you know that adolescents need 8-10 hours of sleep each night?  I have talked with many students in the past few weeks who are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Some of the signs of not getting enough sleep include:

  • Trouble waking up most mornings
  • Irritability in the early afternoon
  • Falling asleep easily during the day
  • A sudden drop in grades
  • Sleeping for very long periods on the weekends

You can support your child by talking with him/her about getting enough sleep, prioritizing activities and homework, and leaving cell phones, computers and TV’s out of their bedroom.

Athletics Update

The QISSA League Volleyball Tournament is coming to an end. This week our JV and Varsity teams will be taking part in the “playoffs” and next week we will have the QISSA Finals. The JV Invitational Tournament hosted by Einstein takes place this Friday and Saturday. To close the Volleyball season, Alliance Academy will host the Varsity AASSA Tournament on the 27th and 28th of this month.

Season 2
Girls Soccer and Boys Basketball begins on the week of October 30th. Monday and Tuesday will be “Open Court/Pitch”, and Varsity Tryouts will be on Wednesday and Thursday of that week.

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal

 

Student Learning

MS

 

In a few weeks we will end first quarter in the Middle School. This mile-marker along the journey of an academic school year indicates that class routines are clearly established, many subjects are in the process of completing a unit of learning, students may be spending time preparing for summative assessments, friendships are established, and we are all working together toward reaching the MS goals and fulfilling the AC mission. I encourage you to have conversations each day with your child about her/his learning. A great way to begin the conversation is by asking to see Edmodo and viewing assignments and other class resources. Edmodo is your window to your child’s school day, and a way for you to stay connected to the MS learning program.

Special Olympics

AC is thrilled to host Special Olympics this Thursday. The entire community is invited to cheer on our soccer players and participate in the event. Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:00am on the upper field, and Closing Ceremonies take place at 11:30am - with plenty of soccer match action in between! Our MS percussionists will be leading some of the cheers and several MS students volunteered to join the soccer teams. We hope to see you there!

Community Experts

Thank you to so many people who have responded to the survey to Share Your Expertise!  We are amazed by the wide range of skills and interests represented in our parent community and we are already using these connections in our classrooms.  Do you have a hobby, skill or job experience that you'd like to share with students?  We invite you to volunteer by completing the Share Your Expertise form.  Thank you!

With kind regards,

Sheryl
Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotopaxi.k12.ec

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

Health, Community and Spirit!

ES

Children benefit when partnerships are strong. In this photo one of our second grade students speaks about his learning with his parents and teacher!

Thank you for guiding your child’s steps and working closely with us to provide them with the very best experiences.  Here are specific invitations and recommendations for our continued partnership.

Keeping our Children Healthy

When children are ill, they benefit from being home and resting to recover, which usually happens quickly at young ages.  Please follow these recommendations to keep your child healthy and avoid getting other children sick:

  • Keep your child home if there is presence of fever, vomiting or diarrhea, at least until you see a doctor and have a diagnosis, or for 24 hours after symptoms have disappeared. Some illnesses (like ear infection) may present some symptoms, yet are not contagious.  Speak to your doctor if you have any doubts.
  • Practice frequent hand washing with your child, especially after using the bathroom and before meals.
  • Practice sneezing and coughing into a tissue.  If tissue is not available, cough into your sleeve.  Remind your child not to cough into his/her hands.

We truly appreciate your support.

Community Experts

Thank you to so many people who have responded to our survey to Share Your Expertise!  We are amazed by the wide range of skills and interests represented in our parent community and we are already using these connections in our classrooms.  Do you have a hobby, skill or job experience that you'd like to share with students?  We invite you to volunteer by completing the Share Your Expertise form.  Thank you!

Coming Up

Spirit Week is coming up beginning with Pajama Day.  We invite you to participate in the Parade of Nations and encourage you to stay after the parade to attend the first series of workshops that we will hold this year.  For elementary parents, you will be able to choose from topics related to technology and balance, empowering your child as an upstander, and developing a sensory diet for your child’s optimal development (Go Climb a Tree).  I look forward to continuing to learn with you to support our students.

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

Learning in ES

ES

Welcome back from the long weekend! Our teachers, staff and students are refreshed and ready for a week of learning along with you.

Parent Visits last week

Thank you for participating in the “Take a Peek” activities for PK and K as well as Student Goal Conferences for Grades 1 - 5. We were thrilled by the number of parents and students who are taking ownership of their learning and for your commitment to helping the school-parent partnership. The above door photo is just one example of the stories and goals shared with us last week. Thank you!

Kids Cafe

Our kids cafe continues to inspire our students and educate them on all the various elements around food and customer service. We continue to rotate shifts so that everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Reminder - 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.

 

Enjoy the rest of the week!

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

Goal Setting

MS

 

Setting goals is an important process that helps to motivate and gives us a plan to achieve our desired results. It was a delight to see nearly 100% of Middle School families collaborating with Middle School teachers to set student goals last week. Setting goals based on the school-wide IB Learner Profile (page 8 of the MS Handbook) helps us to achieve our first Middle School goal of creating a positive Middle School Culture, where all members of the community respect and value one another. Thank you for your participation in this valuable process! Students will share their goal progress after first semester and either set new goals, or continue working toward the same goals for the second semester.

Reminder - 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.

I hope you enjoyed a restful Independence of Guayaquil holiday weekend.

With kind regards,

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotopaxi.k12.ec

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

High School News

HS

 

Math:

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

HS

 

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

Social-izing!

MS

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
sgruber@cotopaxi.k12.ec

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

Learning is happening!

ES

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
ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec

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

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