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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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Middle School News

ms mar 17

Even before talking about distance learning, I would like to give a big shout out to our Visual and Performing Arts department. Although last week was unusual, to say the least, we were still treated to a captivating art assembly, wonderful piano performances, and an excellent orchestra/band concert. And, we were prepared for some phenomenal art activities (which were postponed, not cancelled!). Thank you to our colleagues for not only treating us, but also modeling flexibility and resilience! 

In this new era of distance learning, please remember that the MS team is here for you! As always, your first point of contact for classroom learning is your child’s teacher. If you need tech help, please contact Todd Hollett (thollett@cotopaxi.k12.ec) or Santiago Albuja (salbuja@cotopaxi.k12.ec). And, of course, do not hesitate to contact me or the MS Office.

You all received an email last Thursday afternoon with details on supporting distance learning. Here is a reminder of family expectations:

Families are expected to:

  • Create a family distance learning plan to include:
    • Identifying adequate learning spaces.
    • Determining who will be the adult or adults that will support continuity of learning. Ideally this is a parent.
    • Engaging children in social activity and interaction.
  • Contact Maria Leonor (382-3270 Ext.2006 or mmoreano@cotopaxi.k12.ec) if your child is too ill to participate in distance learning, or if they will not attend a certain class for an extenuating circumstance (such as poor internet or appointments). Attendance will continue as usual. Please note that if your internet goes down, all Google applications are available on your cell phone.
  • Ensure that your child has their Cotopaxi Email, Google Classroom, and Google Calendar OPEN by 8:00 a.m. each day.
  • Support students with the Google platform, or direct them to their teachers for support. 
  • Monitor the Middle School Student Bulletin on Google Classroom. The day schedule will be posted every day before 8:00 a.m.
  • Respond to teacher emails. Teachers will be contacting parents regarding missed work or if a student misses a class session. If a teacher schedules an individual student meeting in the afternoon, parents will be contacted.
  • Email teachers to schedule parent/teacher meetings, if desired. 
  • Ensure your child follows the MS Dress Code when they are participating in class meetings.
  • Please refer to Academia Cotopaxi’s Parent Distance Learning Guidelines.

Counselor’s Corner - Ms. Aubrey
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 scrolling down to my name. 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 me as well at ajordan@cotopaxi.k12.ec

Once again, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding distance learning in the Middle School.

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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High School News

HS MARCH 17

Dear High School Parents and Students,

Here we go. We are about to embark on a different learning journey and together we will make this work. I sent a communication on Thursday that I am copying below, but in a nutshell:

  • We are following our block schedule-please get online at the beginning of your classes.
  • We are continuing to use ManageBac and Google Classroom.
  • For classes together or one on one meetings, we have been using Google Meet but we are going to transition to Zoom. 
  • As usual, your teachers are here to support you all.

For the online classes or the one on one meetings remember that those are the expectations for students:

  • I am on time for class or my teacher meeting (my teacher will be taking attendance).
  • I turn off or mute my computer notifications.
  • I mute my microphone unless it is my turn to speak. 
  • I use the chat feature to ask questions and to answer a question my teacher asks.
  • I use my headphones.
  • I have my camera turned on.
  • I dress appropriately for the class
  • I am in an appropriate room for the class.

The partnership between parents, students and AC is now more important than ever as we are not going to be able to be physically together. As always we strongly believe every parent has a critical role to play in ensuring your child’s educational success. As we move to distance learning, this is even more true. You will find below the elements of our regular school days that we are keeping during this time and those that we are adapting to. The High School and myself thank you in advance for our increased partnership. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn together.

---

Here is what we have decided for the High School to maintain continuity with how and when we work with High School students.

What are we keeping?

  • Our rotation block schedule (inserted above as  a graphic).
  • Our communication through ManageBac and Google Classroom.
  • Attendance will be kept on Skyward.
  • Contact the HS Office on this phone number (0999224729) if your child is too ill to participate in distance learning, or if they will not attend a certain class for an extenuating circumstance. Attendance taking will continue as usual. 
  • Email teachers to ask questions and schedule virtual parent/teacher meetings, if desired. 

What are we adapting to?

  • Use of Google Meet and we are going to transition to Zoom (Since we will not going to be able to meet face to face with our students).
  • Google Meet sessions are recorded.
  • Meet with teachers at the regular time (as per our normal rotation schedule) for group sessions or one or one sessions.

High School Virtual Day Expectations for Students

Families are expected to:

  • Create a family Distance Learning Plan  and  decide on the following:
    • Identify adequate learning spaces.
    • Determine who will be the adult or adults that will support continuity of learning. Ideally this is a parent.
    • Engage children in social activity and interaction.
    • Encourage children to take screen free breaks.
  • Check in regularly during student distance learning time.
  • Support students with their online interactions with teachers through ManageBac and the Google platform and direct them to their teachers for support.
  • Respond to teacher emails. Teachers will be contacting parents regarding missed work or if a student misses a class session.
  • Please refer to Academia Cotopaxi’s Parent Distance Learning Guidelines.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Director Message

DIR MARCH 10

Dear Cotopaxi and IMAGINE Community,

Boy Scouts Meeting Reminder
There is a meeting tonight (March 10) for parents interested in having their son or daughter participate in a Boy Scouts group here at Academia Cotopaxi. The meeting is at 6:00 p.m. in the Library.

Board Strategic Planning Update
This week the Board and people from across our community will be focused on Strategic Planning for the future of our school. Board member, Luis Flores, discusses this in detail in the latest Cotopaxi Conversation.

COVID-19 Update
I would like to assure you, we are taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously. Our number one priority is protecting the health, welfare and wellbeing of all who constitute our community.
 
All health or safety messages are sent to each adult community member’s email. SMS messages are sent as reminders. An Emergency Preparedness webpage is regularly updated for your reference. We are preemptively preparing students for distance learning - just in case. This situation is being thrust upon schools and communities around the world. Although challenging, it is also an opportunity for teachers and parents to be co-educators and role models of how to manage and overcome difficult times.
 
It is imperative that we remain calm, not subscribing to hysteria or false information on social media. AC/IMAGINE only references official health and education agencies for decisions and communications. We ensure what we communicate is timely and as accurate as possible through collaboration with the Ministry of Education and other schools in Ecuador and around the world.

Rest assured we are trying our best for the school’s community to provide a safe and well-protected environment at this difficult time.

Please note the following updates regarding special events and activities:

  • Board Strategic Planning - The Board Strategic Planning retreat is continuing as planned and communicated. Board member Luis Flores discusses this in detail in the latest Cotopaxi Conversation.
  • Swim Meet in Brazil - Cancelled.
  • Swim Meet at Colegio Alemán - Postponed pending further notice.
  • Fine Arts Festival - Cancelled involving other schools but we will still have concerts on campus for AC students and parents as scheduled.
  • The status of other events will be communicated pending further assessment and logistical analysis.

The following are actions we are taking based on latest guidelines from the Ministry of Education:
 
Symptoms

  • Dry cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever over 38° C
  • Respiratory difficulty

Scenarios

Student or staff member returns from (traveled to) a high risk country:

  • Parents or individual must notify the school and contact a formal health service provider (doctor, clinic).
  • Student or individual cannot come to school for 14 days.
  • If a returning student or individual is confirmed to have COVID-19, school must notify the Ministry of Education. The school will determine further actions according to level of risk.
  • Parents must contact school to justify the absence and distance learning instructions.

Student, member of the family, or regular domestic help shows symptoms:

  • Parents/guardians must notify health services.
  • Student and siblings cannot attend school until doctor’s clearance.
  • If confirmed to be Covid-19, the school must notify the Ministry of Education, following their protocols.
  • Parents must contact school to justify the absence.

Student or staff member shows symptoms while at school:

  • School contacts parents of student, the medical office determines if symptoms match COVID-19 criteria and if so, calls 171 for initial evaluation, parents must come and take student home as soon as possible, employee must report to health care provider.
  • School reinforces extra cleaning.
  • School to monitor the case.
  • If a COVID-19 positive, school reports to Ministry.
  • Parents must contact school to justify the absence and distance learning instructions.

General requirements of schools

  • Soap, antibacterial gel, paper towels readily available.
  • Campaign healthy habits, how to wash hands, etc.
  • Reinforcing hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day, before and after breaks and lunch, after visits to the bathroom, before going home, and when arriving home.
  • Air out classrooms and other places where students gather - you can assist by opening windows at appropriate times such as when students are not in class. Cleaning staff will be doing this after school also.
  • Extra cleaning of students’ tables and chairs by cleaning staff.
  • Assign academic activities for absent students as appropriate - this will vary depending on age, subject, and circumstances related to absence, as well as, the health condition of students.
  • Large events/gatherings to be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • Anyone showing symptoms must stay home and not come to school. 
  • Buses are cleaned before each trip with disinfectant and provided with sanitizer.
     
PubDate

Elementary School News

es march 10

Dear Families,
 
Our incoming Elementary Principal, Dr. Charlie Schlegel will be at Academia Cotopaxi next week. You are cordially invited to an Elementary parent meeting where he will introduce himself to our parent community. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the Elementary Cafeteria. He is looking forward to learning about our community and getting to know our families. We hope you are able to join.

Distance Learning
As per our Director’s message, we want to prepare for the possibility of a scenario where we would engage in distance learning. In elementary, we would use SeeSaw as our platform to communicate and engage in learning.
 
All parents and caregivers or any adult who could be available to support your child’s distance learning is invited to attend a special “distance learning” orientation session. We will hold a morning of sessions this Thursday, March 12 from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Sessions will begin every 30 minutes with the first session starting at 8:00 a.m. and the last session starting at 11:30 a.m.
 
In the event that we have to engage in “distance learning” experiences would take on different forms depending on the child’s age and/or subjects. We are fortunate to be able to learn from the many schools around the world who have had to engage their communities in distance learning experiences and know that the partnership with you is critical.
 
We look forward to seeing you here this week.

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Transportation

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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.