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Director Message

DIR MAR 31

Dear Parents,
 
Welcome to our third week of this new reality we are all confronting around the world. We are all facing new challenges but also opportunities, particularly with respect to how we collectively move forward to make this a better world for our children, now, next school year, and beyond. Over two thousand years ago Aristotle said that “education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” Our teachers and all the people here at AC and IMAGINE who support them, continue to be committed to providing a refuge of learning to your sons and daughters at this time. 
 
As has been communicated previously, Academia Cotopaxi, along with our sister private schools in Ecuador has received authorization from the Ministry of Education to continue learning from a distance through education and information technology as appropriate for different grade levels. This is recognition of all the shared effort put into distance learning from school and homes. Once again thank you for your support in this effort as this is truly a home-school partnership for the benefit of our students, your sons and daughters.
 
Our IT Department and I would like to invite you to a symposium to assist with general questions regarding online learning. The first symposium will be a “coffee talk” this Thursday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. If you would like to participate, please fill in this quick registration form. Further details will be sent to you prior to the symposium.
 
In recognition of all the distance learning and time being committed to this, we will continue with what was programmed for this school year according to our existing curriculum program and calendar, including the scheduled break of April 6-10.
 
Although learning is continuing and keeping both teachers and students engaged, we recognize that certain services are suspended at this time.

  • Bus Service

There will be no charges for bus services for April. The school will credit the monthly fee, accordingly for both city routes and valley routes and for the days without transport in March.

  • Cafeteria

Families will receive a credit for the April portion for pre-paid plans as well as the days without food service in March. For families in PK and Kinder, the snack fee will be credited as well.
 
These above mentioned credits will be reflected on April invoices. If the current situation continues, the same process will be applicable for May.
 
In the case of no outstanding fees, credits will be applied towards April and May tuition or upon request towards Registration or Tuition for next school year. Refunds are only for families with no pending fees who will not be enrolling for next year.  

  • Other Questions or Clarifications

Parents with particular questions may contact our Business Manager, Mauricio Mera mmera@cotopaxi.k12.ec or myself at rvandereyken@cotopaxi.k12.ec.
 
Thank you for your understanding and continued support. 
 
Robert van der Eyken
Director

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High School News

HS MAR 31

Dear High School Parents and Students,

As I already wrote to the High Schools student body and faculty, I am very proud of everyone’s effort to make this work. As outlined by you, parents, in the survey last week, distance learning is working pretty well (details below). Attendance is top notch and it appears that our adjusted schedule is much better. I have reminded students not to miss out on the opportunity to connect with their teachers one on one in the afternoons.

Time with Mentors
With this new adjusted schedule, students now meet with their mentors on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendance is required, like for another class.

Report Cards 
They will be available on Wednesday April 1, on Skyward. Here are the instructions. Please review teachers’ comments, not just grades. Your teachers took time to write meaningful comments with tips and ideas to improve your semester 2 grades, especially given our new circumstances of the distance learning.

For Seniors, about IB
Please find here the latest communication we sent to all seniors and their parents on Monday.

Feedback on Survey
Thank you for providing feedback  on our distance learning experience. Here is a snapshot of the trends that we have found.

What is going well?

  • Online interaction: Seeing teachers and peers. Zoom works well for most.
  • Learning continues.
  • Schedule with a fixed routine.
  • Student engagement for many students.
  • Teacher dedication.

What are our challenges?

  • Some internet issues.
  • Some students find it hard to remain engaged.
  • Managing screen time for children.
  • Lack of social interactions.
  • Adapting to distance learning from a teaching perspective.

Other questions

  • Regarding assessment and exams.
  • Regarding IB students (year 1 and 2).
  • Regarding when students are meeting with their teachers.

We are working really hard to learn with you to get better and we will address those. As always, do not hesitate to contact your teachers if you have any doubt.

We miss every single one of our students and we can’t wait to see them. In the meantime, please know that we are only an email or a zoom meeting away. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for our students.

Have a great week.

Warmly,

Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Middle School News

MS MAR 31

Thank you once again for your role during this time of distance learning. We are so proud of the independence demonstrated by our students, and we understand how much support is required by parents to help ensure student success! I would also like to publicly thank our phenomenal Middle School faculty. The team has quickly adjusted to a new online learning platform, and is continually striving to ensure continuity of student learning. I am thankful to be part of the AC Middle School Community.
 
Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
To honor and maintain consistency and connection in the Middle School, we are continuing with a once a week Cougar Time session for mentor groups to come together and share. Last week, with the help of the House Leaders, we held our first virtual MS Assembly after this check-in we provided during Cougar Time. At this time, it is important to recognize that every person will be going through their own experience, both emotionally and mentally, in response to the transition to distance learning and navigating through this “new normal” we face. These experiences will be as diverse as our community, and there is no right or wrong response. Take a look at the prompts and sentence starters in the slideshow to help foster conversations and connections about your experiences at home. I’ll be sharing new sentence starters every week. 
 
Progress Reports 
Quarter 3 ends on Wednesday, and Progress Reports will be shared with families on Friday,  April 3.
 
You are welcome to contact your child’s teacher(s) at any time to schedule an individual meeting. In the MS, we have built this time into our daily schedule, from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. This is the time for student/teacher, parent/teacher, student/parent/teacher, or other needed meetings. You are also always welcome to send emails with questions, or a word of gratitude. 
 
Academia Cotopaxi will maintain our scheduled Spring Break, the week of April 6 -10. We will resume class meetings at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, April 13, a Distance Learning Day B. We encourage families to use this week off creatively, with as much “non-screen time” for students as possible.

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."

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Elementary School News

ES MAR 31

Dear Families,

Thank you for your continued partnership and feedback. For last week we received 113 responses and are grateful to have your participation which helps us understand the home perspective and continue to reflect on our practices. Your teachers will have sent out communications regarding how our distance learning structure is continuing and also about added elements that include more opportunities for community building sessions and meetings with groups. Thank you for being ready to support your children so that they can join Zoom meetings with teachers, assistants and classmates.

As I had written a couple of weeks ago, our children will remember our actions during these days, more than they will remember what they learned in any subject. Teachers are working very hard to provide personal feedback to students and are being rewarded with beautiful expressions from their students who are proud to post what they can do at home, what they do with parents, what they do with their siblings and what they are learning. I am sure that you are also creating experiences at home that your children will remember with fondness, with laughter, and with gratitude.

As the weeks go by, our minds and hearts are invaded with feelings and thoughts.  We go through feelings of wonder, of fear… we experience anxiety and sadness.  Yet, we turn to our children, and see them continuing to smile, to play, to learn and to love. More than ever, their expressions of childhood are our inspiration.

As educators, we know that this experience is like no other experience, and we think of the time when we will open our doors at school and how ready we will be to receive each of the children who walk in. There will be children who spent a lot of time reading, others who did a ton of science experiments, others who built fortress after fortress, others who danced a lot, others who learned how to cook meals, others who found a love for mathematics, others who discovered a new passion, others who reconnected with their siblings… We will be ready to embrace children wherever they are in their learning and wherever they are in their emotions. That is our commitment to them.  

How you interact with your child, how you cuddle together, how you dance and sing together, and how you admire their discoveries and creations may be what they remember most. Thank you for creating those memories for them to hold dearly!

FEEDBACK
Below is a summary of the findings (trends only) from your feedback this week for the division. We look at the different grade levels and share information with teachers to continue to improve the experience for all families.

What’s Working

  • Many comments about positive impact of live conferences with teachers, counselors, and classmates.
  • Schedule posted by teachers.
  • Flexibility in the schedule.
  • Mini-lessons.
  • Getting lessons on Monday.
  • Several comments about content that was interesting.
  • Work from specialists seen as engaging.
  • Communication between home and school was noted many times.
  • Increased student motivation this week.

Challenges

  • Live connection is a priority (with classmates and with teachers).
  • challenges with technology related to links not working or videos not loading.
  • Not following a daily schedule or routine.
  • Difficulty with balancing home and work commitments although this was significantly lower than Week 1. 
  • Keeping children motivated and concentrating especially with 2+ children at home was also noted.
  • A significant number of parents noted there was too much work or screen time, while a few felt the opposite that there was not enough. 

On Friday, we will send out suggestions for Spring break for your family during a continued time of quarantine. 

With appreciation,
 
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Director Message

DIR MAR 24

Dear Academia Cotopaxi Community Members,

I hope you had a chance to listen to my message sent to you yesterday. In addition to those words of encouragement, I just want to reassure you that everyone at Academia Cotopaxi and IMAGINE is thinking of every member of our community and their loved ones. Learning will continue, we are committed to this, it is our promise to you. At the same time, the most important thing is that we are all safe and healthy. This is a global community effort. It is sadly ironic that it takes a microscopic threat to remind us all of what is most important and our common humanity. 

As I mentioned in the video, not only your children’s teachers and administrators are here for you, I am too. If you have any questions or needs, please count on all of us as part of your extended family. I can be contacted by email at: director@cotopaxi.k12.ec.

Peace to all. 

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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Elementary School News

ES MA 24

Dear Families,

Around the world, educators and parents are joining together to help all of us navigate these new waters while we all become agents of change. Thank you for the actions that you are taking with your families and your community to care for humanity.

I invite you to read through this distance learning post which has wonderful invitations for families during this lock-down time. Enjoy!
 
I am also including a link to our latest parent communication sent via email on March 22 for your reference. This week, you will receive the parent survey on Thursday and we will continue to use your feedback as we reflect on our distance learning practices.
 
We are all in this together!

With appreciation,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

 

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High School News

HS MAR 24

Dear High School Parents and Students,

I am impressed and proud at how our High School community has dived into the opportunities and challenges of distance learning. We are all learning together. Today I wanted to take this opportunity to remind us of the adjustments in the High School.
 
New HS Schedule from Monday
 
Student-Led Conferences - March 26
HS and MS will not hold conferences this time around. We are going to use this day to finalise report cards so we are keeping this day as a day with no classes, as per our calendar. There will be no-online sessions with teachers. Nevertheless, it will be crucial for High School students to use this day to reinforce their learning, continuing and finishing some assignments. You are, of course, welcome to contact teachers at any time to schedule an individual online meeting. Teachers will also be reaching out to some parents in the coming weeks to set appointments. 

Report Cards
We are slightly postponing the issue of report cards. They will be posted on Skyward on April 1st.

Google Meet vs. Zoom 
We are going to slowly phase out Google Meet to adopt Zoom as the platform for online sessions with teachers. Zoom is proving to be a platform more conducive for robust interactions and we will exclusively use Zoom from this week.

Seniors Capstones 
As Mr. Shulman wrote yesterday, we have to modify the way we would normally run the Seniors Capstones. Seniors are going to screencast their presentations and we will assess them in an asynchronous fashion. This will provide a different but nevertheless meaningful way to celebrate eighteen months of CAS learning.
 
Counseling Tip: Be intentional about your social media usage
On one hand, social media makes it easier than ever before to stay connected with our loved ones and colleagues around the world. On the other hand, there is a lot of negativity and distraction to be found. The key here is to take control of your social media experience; don’t let it control you. You can do this by:

  • Scheduling time to use social media and establish usage time parameters. There are apps that can help  block you from certain sites at particular hours of the day or by tracking the amount of time you use social media.
  • Setting an intention before going on social media: “I’m going on Twitter to find some inspiration from other colleagues” or “I’m getting on Facebook to ask for help with this digital tool I am trying to use” or “I’m getting on WhatsApp to check in on a friend I am concerned about.” Then set a timer for 15 minutes increments to see if you are still sticking with that intention. 
  • Noticing your emotions as you scroll through social media. It is common for us to compare our holistic experience with what we think our colleagues and friends experience, but based on only what they choose to show on social media. We all know these images and texts are curated and never tell the full story. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Be vigilant by practicing self-awareness and protect that joy. 

May 2020 IB Exams Announcement
Here is the letter I sent to all seniors and their parents on Monday morning.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Middle School News

ms mar 24

Thank you for the incredible amount of support you are providing for your child at home as we enter week two of distance learning. We are each working out the details of creating distance learning environments in our own homes, and the past week was challenging for everyone. I am so proud of our MS students, of their parents and teachers. We are all doing our best to quickly adapt to our current reality. We continue to welcome your feedback regarding what we can do to make distance learning a better experience for your child.
 
Thursday, March 26
As noted in my email communication last week, the Middle School and High School will not hold Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences on Thursday. Rather, Thursday, March 26 will be a report writing day for MS and HS faculty, and we will NOT hold regular student class meetings on this day. Students may use this day to catch up on classwork, or reinforce tech tools (the AC Student How To site is a great resource). March 25 is a distance learning Day A and March 27 is a distance learning Day B.
 
The MS Quarter 3 ends on April 1, and Progress Reports will be shared with parents on April 3, as originally scheduled.
 
You are welcome to contact your child’s teacher(s) at any time to schedule an individual meeting. Teachers will also be reaching out to some of you in the coming weeks to set appointments. In the MSl, we have built this time into our daily schedule, from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. This is the time for student/teacher, parent/teacher, student/parent/teacher, or other needed meetings.
 
Middle School Distance Learning Student Expectations
We are all very proud of the way most MSers have adapted to Distance Learning. Please take time to go through the Middle School Distance Learning Expectations for Students with your child(ren), to reinforce our agreements. 
 
Counselor’s Corner - Ms. Aubrey Jordan
The Counseling Team is continuing to update our AC Counselor Corner website to assist and support you during this time of distance learning. One of the resources we have listed under the Well-Being Tips page is an article about free mindfulness apps to try at home. In the Middle School Bulletin, I have been posting pre-recorded mindfulness exercises for students to try in their own time. Mindfulness is a great tool to train the mind to focus, to learn to observe thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, as well as to calm and relax during times of stress. 
 
I greatly look forward to the time when we see one another on campus. We are all in this together! 

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."

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Director Message

dir march 17

Dear Academia Cotopaxi Community Members,

First of all I hope you and your families are healthy and safe. This is a message for the school communities from Academia Cotopaxi and our peer private schools in Quito; the General Directors have jointly prepared this in hopes of sending a united positive message to all our families.

Around the world we are going through a challenging time, people of all nations, ethnicities, and socio-economic levels are being required together to make sacrifices for the common good. 

In preparing for and confronting this challenge we have been collaborating extensively with other private schools in Quito, Guayaquil and around the world. We have also had continuous dialogue and ongoing communications with the Ministry of Education. 

Our school is fortunate to have teachers and administrators with the expertise and level of information technology skills to ensure continuity of learning throughout the coronavirus health emergency, albeit in a form that may initially seem unfamiliar to you and your children. Our expectation and commitment to our families and the Ministry of Education is to provide high quality distance learning for as long as necessary to guarantee our students receive all of their content and objectives in learning. 

It is important to mention that in order to comply with Ministry requirements it is essential that all students attend all online and distance learning activities and continue to stay up to date on their distance learning tasks and assignments. This is a key “ingredient” to distance learning and meeting our learning objectives. Your support is essential.

I want to give tremendous credit and thanks to your child’s teachers. They have responded quickly to this emergency situation to create effective and engaging distance learning for your child. As a school, we had prepared in advance for this possibility, but at the same time, it is new to all of us. We will be assessing our approaches with the objective of continuous improvement where required, and as always we appreciate your feedback and input. Also I give tremendous credit to our parents and students. This is a time for resilience and adaptability, and your support is fundamental to our combined success. 

Our school is part of a greater community beyond our institution, which includes other schools and the general population here in Quito and beyond. We are all in this together. We appreciate this is a difficult time for you as parents, and we want you to know that we will continue to be dedicated to your children’s education.

Finally, to all our students. We are proud of you. Your learning with your teachers these days is preparing you for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. 

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken

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Elementary School News

es mar 17

Dear Families,
 
We cannot thank you enough for your engagement with your children. This tremendous challenge also brings beautiful possibilities. Learning is taking a new form, collaborative family engagement is being redefined, and time has a new meaning. Play is more important than ever! The invitation we now have to play as a family is an opportunity for us to strengthen our relationships and truly enjoy each other. The image for this week’s letter is from one of our 3rd grade students on SeeSaw. Enjoy!
 
We are all juggling multiple roles, and we recognize that your contributions to making distance learning and virtual learning work are critical. On Thursday, you will receive a feedback survey so that you can provide us with the family input.  We will send out this quick survey every Thursday. We are reflecting as we go, and appreciate your voice!  We will be making modifications in response to needs, so understanding families’ perspectives periodically is critical. 
 
We strongly believe that providing for children’s emotional well being is the most important role we all have. Your counselors, teachers and admin members are here to support, so don’t hesitate to reach out.  For teachers, please contact them via SeeSaw, for counselor’s please see below, and for admin, you can reach us via email at ppereira@cotopaxi.k12.ec (Paola de Pereira); vrodriguez@cotopaxi.k12.ec (Veronica Rodriguez); rwheeler@cotopaxi.k12.ec (Robin Wheeler).
 
Please note that in elementary, we will be tracking student engagement and use posts on SeeSaw to track. This tracking is not evaluative, and will be used to help us analyze tasks as we move along. Your teacher or counselor will get in touch with you if we see that there has been no engagement beginning next week. If your child is ill or you are facing circumstances that do not allow for your child to be engaged in the assigned distance learning activities, please let your homeroom teacher know.  

From our Counselors
Our AC Counseling Team has a new AC Counselor Corner website dedicated to the emotional health and wellbeing of our entire AC community during this time. On this site, you can find articles and tips to help you and your child adapt to all of the changes brought by COVID-19. We know there are a lot of emotions and challenges to navigate through, but I am here to help. You can easily schedule a “student check-in” for your child or a “parent consultation” by clicking Schedule an Appointment and clicking on the counselor’s name that you would like to speak to. Select the type of appointment you would like and then choose the available day and time. A Google Calendar invite will be sent to you via Google, with a Google Meet code. If you have any questions or difficulties, please do not hesitate to email counselors at tduran@cotopaxi.k12.ec (Ms. Tanya Gr. PK - 1) and scraytor@cotopaxi.k12.ec (Mr. Sam Gr. 2-5).

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Our Approach

Academia Cotopaxi is engaged in re-defining a contemporary approach to education. Find out more about our whole child approach that attends to the multiple needs of our students.

Accreditation and Affiliations

Academia Cotopaxi is accredited by various organizations including the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education, the New England Association of Schools & Colleges and the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Learning Support

Academia Cotopaxi's team of qualified and skilled professionals in learning support are champions of our inclusive programming and provide an incredible resource to our community.

Counseling

The aim of the School Counseling program at Academia Cotopaxi is to promote the personal, social, emotional, career, and academic development of students through a child-centered and developmentally appropriate school wide vision.

Technology

We use technology to inspire innovation, ignite imagination, encourage interdisciplinary understanding, ensure digitally fluent citizens, and provide meaningful learning through equitable access.

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Academia Cotopaxi values the arts as an essential part of every child’s education. Classes of music, drama and art are offered by accomplished artists and teachers.

Library

The Library supports the mission of Academia Cotopaxi. We provide resources and materials needed for students to become life-long learners, readers, and effective users of information.

Educational Links

Here you will find useful links to educational resources including Skyward, EdModo, and much more. Links are one click away!

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The Athletics Program is an integral part of the learning experience offered to Academia Cotopaxi students and includes city-wide and regional championships in various sports.

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Participation in extracurricular and after school activities is an important part of a child’s education. Find out about our program offering in these pages.

Transportation

Ensuring that our students arrive to and from school safely and efficiently is our goal. Find school transportation options, policies, procedures, application for bus transportation and change request forms here.

Cafeteria Menu

Find out what’s being served up in our cafeterias! Find healthy and balanced meals every day!

Facilities Services

Our facilities include the largest school library in Ecuador, a semi-Olympic sized swimming pool, Athletics Center, covered parking, music complex, black box theatre and maker space. We continually invest in the maintenance and renovation of our school campus and its learning spaces.

Medical Office

The school has fully qualified medical staff to manage routine sickness as well as injury. Our medical office is an important resource for our community; keeping our students, staff and families healthy.