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Elementary School News

ES FEB 18

Conferences (Gr. 1-5) and Share Day will take place on Tuesday, February 18. You will see that you can also schedule a conference with your child's PE or Spanish teacher. Showcases of learning for both music and art have taken place, and we will not hold conferences for those areas. Yet if you would like to schedule a time to speak to those teachers individually about your child, please contact them directly. 
 
It is important that you read your child's report card with your child prior to the conference. Find a special place and celebrate your child’s learning. 

We have more than 100 items in our lost and found. We hope that you can stop by during conferences.

The Talent Show will take place on February 19 at 4:30 p.m. All are invited to this community event. Funds are assigned to service-learning opportunities.
 
Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira

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Director Message

dir feb 11

Dear Parents,
 
You are currently raising the first generation of children who have the option of talking or texting. Over 50% of today’s youth prefer texting to talking! Make no mistake about it. If your child has access to the internet, they could be doing positive things, such as watching a seemingly unlimited number of educational documentaries, or discovering new paths we never could have never imagined.
 
Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and author. I have had the honor of hearing her speak twice. I cannot recommend enough to all parents to read her book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (Harper). In this book Dr. Steiner-Adair examines ways in which technology and media are putting our children at risk at every stage of development, while challenging what it means to be a family. She shares real-life stories from her clinical practice, from her work with educators and parents, and from extensive interviews with students from pre-school through high school and beyond. Some of these stories can sincerely give a parent nightmares. Easy access to the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life, and Steiner-Adair helps her audiences to understand the psychological risks and fallout that children are experiencing, often with their parents unaware. Here is a 10-minute TED talk by Dr. Steiner-Adair that I highly recommend all parents watch as a baseline for understanding the scale of challenges the internet presents to raising children. There are several longer videos of her speaking on Youtube – one of the wonderful benefits of our digital age.
 
Last year I met with all the parents of an 8thgrade generation in Macedonia. All the students were doing fine academically, but I had a concern that I brought to all the parents’ attention. Their children were not sleeping enough. I knew this from listening to their conversations and also from the hours indicating when they were posting homework etc. One of the most dramatic impacts of technology is the decline of the quality and quantity of sleep. The sleep chemical melatonin is influenced by the constant glow from screens. So keeping technology is likely to interfere with your sleep and affects your general state. What is even more serious is that people become addicted to technology. This has a detrimental effect on a person's health and social life, and destroys social and family bonds. Among other mental problems caused by computers, is a new type of stress called Chronic Smartphone Stress. It is caused by notifications (or their absence), constant anticipation of a message or email. If a person doesn’t get enough attention, this can make you feel stressed or even depressed. Excessive information space, exaggerated online reality, internet overuse, and social comparison, are all factors potentially provoking depressive behavior.
 
There are so many more positive ways for our children to spend their time. Last week, one of our high school students, Andrés Páez, traveled to Macas in Morona Santiago, to deliver the 323 pairs of shoes he collected in the Fun Run. The shoes were given to the Shuar leader from the Taisha community. Approximately 50 members of the community attended the event to receive donated shoes. He also brought toys and some clothes for the children. He had learned that a group of single mothers and their children would attend the event and took on this additional challenge to further support them. To thank him, and everyone in our community who donated shoes, women performed a traditional dance. Andrés has told us how proud he felt to represent our school and our community which helped with the donations. Andrés would like to express his gratitude to all our community for allowing him to have this very positive experience. No, Andrés – thank you!

Your experience exemplifies our Mission of inspiring empathetic and ethical student leaders.

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Elementary School News

ES FEB 11

Dear Parents,

Please remember that this week there is noon dismissal on Friday.  All parents are invited to a “World Café” session to engage in conversations around the school’s future. These conversations will inform the strategic plan and your input is extremely valuable. You may join one of two sessions, at 1:30 p.m. or 3:45 p.m.
 
On Tuesday, February 11 in the afternoon, you will have access to your child’s report card on Skyward. For grades 3-5, you will also be able to see the results from the last MAP Growth test. Please follow this link for more details which will also be sent via e-mail.  
 
Conferences and Share Day will take place on Tuesday, February 18. Please register for your child's conference when you receive the schedule from your homeroom teacher.  You will see that you can also schedule a conference with your child's PE or Spanish teacher. Showcases of learning for both music and art have taken place, and we will not hold conferences for those areas. Yet if you would like to schedule a time to speak to those teachers individually about your child, please contact them directly.
 
It is important that you read your child's report card with your child prior to the conference. Find a special place and celebrate your child’s learning.
 
Class Photos and Talent Show Rehearsal
Please note that group class photos will take place on Monday, February 17.  Also on that date, students participating in the talent show will be required to be present for a full dress rehearsal after school. Those participating will get more information. The talent show will take place on February 19, at 4:30 p.m. You all are invited to this community event. Funds are assigned to service learning opportunities.

Coronavirus - A message from Sam and Tanya - ES Counselors
As Counselors, we would like to reassure you that we are here to provide a safe space where you and your children can come and talk about any concern you might have. Given the recent situation with Coronavirus, we ask that you do not expose children to unpredictable or scary news, but instead concentrate on all the measurements you are taking as a family to be healthy. Please read the information sent by our medical office regarding this matter and these tips on how to deal with stress: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/stress-tips.html.
 
In our school, we welcome students from all over the world and we want to reassure all of our families that students will not be discriminated against in any kind of way. We embrace diversity as a community and welcome you to speak to us if you have any questions.
 
Contact Ms. Nardy at nreinoso@cotopaxi.k12.ec to set an appointment if you would like to speak with either one of us.
 
Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Middle School News

MS JAN 11

Strategic Planning - Be Part of the Process
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend an invitation to all MS parents to participate in a “World Café” on Friday, February, 14. This will be an informal meeting of minds of students, faculty, and parents to discuss where we are and where we are going as a school and an essential part of our Strategic Planning process. You may join one of two sessions, at 1:30 p.m. or 3:45 p.m. Thank you in advance for taking part in this important process!

MAP Testing
January MAP results are now available. Please click these links below to understand what the MAP Growth Report means, as well as instructions on how to access the:

AC Counselor’s advice regarding the Coronavirus - from Aubrey
As Counselors, we would like to reassure you that we are here to provide a safe space where you and your children can come and talk about any concern you might have. Given the recent situation with Coronavirus, we ask that you concentrate on all the measurements you are taking as a family to be healthy and finding accurate information about the current status through reputable sources such as the CDC, World Health Organization and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health. Please read the information sent by our medical office regarding this matter and these tips on how to deal with stress: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/stress-tips.html
 
In our school, we welcome students from all over the world and we want to reassure all of our families that students will not be discriminated against in any kind of way. We embrace diversity as a community and welcome you to speak to us if you have any questions.
 
Friday is a half day for students. All MS students should be off campus at noon. Thanks! 
I look forward to seeing many of you on Friday afternoon for the Strategic Planning meetings.

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 FEB 11

Dear Parents,

Our Discover Ecuador week was a great success. For the first time in years, we sent a group to the Galápagos. We also sent a group to the Amazon, in a women-led community and our group that went to Quilotoa continued our relationships with the community that we have supported through our Thanksgiving drives over the years.

The students who stayed at AC got involved in several community service opportunities like going to "Hogar Para Sus Niños" to spend quality time with kids less lucky than ours. Some students also decided to make a week long commitment to work with students and teachers at IMAGINE. Students also visited a dog shelter to walk and play with the dogs and we had a very successful art activity every afternoon who designed and painted meaningful symbols on some archways.

The Seniors had a great retreat with lots of important work done and it culminated with the annual Senior lock-in on Thursday night with a trivia (that teachers won…), some sports, video games, the good old UNO, smores by the fire pit and a short night.

Back to normal this week. Have a great one everyone!

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Director Message

DUR FEB 4

Dear Parents,
 
New Elementary Principal Update
I am happy to inform the community that Doctor Charles (Charlie) Schlegel, will be joining our community next year as Elementary School Principal. Dr. Schlegel will be bringing a wealth of experience in school leadership and education to build upon the many years of dedication and success under the leadership of Paola Torres de Pereira. A special thanks to everyone who were part of the selection process for this important role in our school.
 
Strategic Planning – Be Part of the Process - February 14
On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to extend an invitation to all parents from IMAGINE and Academia Cotopaxi to participate in a “World Cafe” next Friday, February. 14. This will be an informal meeting of minds of students, faculty and parents to discuss where we are and where we are going as a school and an essential part of our Strategic Planning process.    
 
Coronavirus
Everything, it seems, can be sensationalized, commoditized and embellished with the help of formal and social media, including illness. Without minimizing the current Coronavirus situation, we must not yield to hysteria or worse. In 2009, I was a director of a school similar to AC in Monterrey, Mexico. The H1N1 swine flu, which started in Mexico forced closure of all schools across the nation. In total over 280.000 people died around the world. In 2013 the H7N9 Bird Flu raised similar concern at the school where I worked, in China. Schools also dealt with the 2003 SARS outbreak, which was also declared a pandemic. We had to adapt our operations accordingly, and no one got sick. In all cases, schools did what they had to do, based on guidelines and recommendations from official health and education authorities.
 
All these “big name”, news-worthy, viruses of the last 50 years combined do not come close to the effect of one annual flu season. Unfortunately, up to 650.000 people die each flu season, twice as many as all big news viruses since 1967 combined, including Ebola. Health experts around the world take situations like Coronavirus EXTREMELY seriously. Coronavirus is already impacting the global economy in addition to the lives of millions of people. The 1919 H1N1 Spanish Flu claimed 50 million lives. Since 1919 modern technology helps us detect and combat viruses much better, however, intercontinental flights and a globalized economy accelerate dispersion of illnesses. On top of it all, modern media increases the risk of misinformation and panic. As stated in last week’s Newsletter, please refer only to official and verified news sources, not social media, for accurate information on this and any other important health issue.
 
Protective precautions for the flu are what we should take for all viruses. Please emphasize and model common hygiene precautions with your children; not sharing food or drinks, thoroughly washing one’s hands, covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, avoiding touching the face, eyes and mouth, washing one’s hands again and again. Anyone who appears sick is referred to our school doctors for examination and perhaps sent home. The most important support parents can give is to NOT SEND SICK children to school. Coronavirus is closely monitored by Ecuadorian health and education authorities who advise schools what to do.
 
In our community, we have students from around the world. Some of these can easily become targets of xenophobia and acts of exclusion, the opposite of our mission. Emphasizing hygiene, having sick individuals referred for medical attention, staying accurately informed, and in no way tolerating that any child or adult is ostracized due to ethnicity, is our role as educators. The 2009 Swine Flu started in Mexico. The 1919 Spanish flu most likely began in Europe or the US. Just as we would not want to stigmatize people from Spain or Mexico we do not want to stigmatize anyone today. Medical experts give us tools to protect people from physical illness. Our role as educators and a school is to protect everyone from the plagues of discrimination, prejudice and racism.

PubDate

High School News

HS FEB 4

Dear Parents,

And suddenly, February is upon us and out 2020 Discover Ecuador.

Please note that the seniors will be on their traditional retreat at school.

Students who are not going DE are required to come to school and will get involved with different local service-based activities. A form was sent to students to choose a minimum of two activities. Time will also be allocated for students to write their reflections on ManageBac and to do extra work.

  • Parque Metropolitano Clean Up: Bus to Metropolitano Monday morning and a few hours in the park to help beautify the park.
  • IMAGINE: 8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Monday-Friday: Working in IMAGINE classrooms with children and teachers. (18 maximum committed every morning)
  • AC Art and Design Projects: Working on Art projects around AC. Painting, design, building.  1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Hogar Para Sus Niños. 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday: Bus to an orphanage in North Quito to work with children. (5 students committed both days)
  • Tree Planting in Ilaloa: Working with the Municipio to plant trees. Thursday morning. There is a small cost ($14 for materials for this day). This might not happen as due to very low sign-ups
  • PAE Animal Shelter: An opportunity to help exercise and play with animals awaiting adoption.

Strategic Planning – Be Part of the Process - February 14
On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to extend an invitation to all parents from IMAGINE and Academia Cotopaxi to participate in a “World Cafe” next Friday, February. 14. This will be an informal meeting of minds of students, faculty and parents to discuss where we are and where we are going as a school and an essential part of our Strategic Planning process.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

PubDate

Middle School News

ms feb 4

Service
Please click here to access the February edition of Service Learning: in the Middle!

MS Social
We have our second MS Social this Friday, February 7. The Social is from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Gym. Sorry, parents, the Social is only for students :) 

Here are a few items for parents:

  • Students should arrive by 5:30 p.m. and everyone must be picked up promptly at 7:30 p.m.
  • If your child is going home with another family, please let Sheryl know in advance of the Social.
  • No MS student is allowed to walk home after the Social.
  • The Social is only for AC Middle School students.
  • MS students are not allowed to be on campus after school, unless in a supervised activity. For this reason, we will show a supervised movie from 3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., for students who are unable to leave campus. We prefer that students leave and return for the Social, but understand that this is not possible for some families. 

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
Over the next month, the PE teachers and I will be co-teaching Health Units at various points with all MS students. We will begin in Grades 6-7 with our unit on Substance Use Prevention, moving on to the Grade 8 unit on Substance Use Prevention and finishing up with the Human Sexuality Unit in Grades 6-7. We covered the Grade 8 Sexuality Unit at the beginning of the school year. 
All of our Health Units focus on allowing students to learn the skills needed to make healthy, safe and informed decisions. A letter containing more information will be sent to parents via Skyward. This is also an excellent opportunity to talk with your children about family values, expectations and healthy relationships. Please encourage your children to share with you what they learned in class.

Strategic Planning – Be Part of the Process - February 14
On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to extend an invitation to all parents from IMAGINE and Academia Cotopaxi to participate in a “World Cafe” next Friday, February. 14. This will be an informal meeting of minds of students, faculty and parents to discuss where we are and where we are going as a school and an essential part of our Strategic Planning process.

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."

PubDate

Elementary School News

ES FEB 4

Dear Parents,

This week, we will meet with parent representatives and discuss ways in which we are building a stronger sense of community. Each of our families enriches the community experience, and we encourage you to connect with other Cotopaxi families, especially with families in your same grade levels, get to know them and share time together.  We will also talk about ways in which we can be engage in environmental agency.

On February 5, all students will have a “date with principals.” We will read the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds in celebration of Read Aloud day. Each child will be invited to express their own “dot” and then take a step back and appreciate the “dots” of others. Our collective experience will be displayed as a reminder of who we are. We encourage you to find a special moment every night and give your child the gift of your presence through a story. All children will say how much they love to be read to, and the benefits go far beyond the important one of building reading skills. Reading to your child will strengthen your relationship, help your child to connect emotionally and also develop cognitively as they develop images and possibilities in their brain through the sounds of your voice!

We would like to remind you that in the elementary division, children may not bring personal electronic communication devices or listening devices such as mobile phones, smart watches or iPods to school. If you have an emergency or situation that requires you to communicate with our child, we ask that you contact the school.  We appreciate your help with this agreement.

Strategic Planning – Be Part of the Process - February 14
On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to extend an invitation to all parents from IMAGINE and Academia Cotopaxi to participate in a “World Cafe” next Friday, February. 14. This will be an informal meeting of minds of students, faculty and parents to discuss where we are and where we are going as a school and an essential part of our Strategic Planning process.

Have a wonderful week and celebrate reading with your family!

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

PubDate

Director Message

DIR JAN 28

Dear Parents,
 
Please note, this Newsletter includes useful information regarding the Coronavirus (link here). Please read this so that you are more accurately aware about this situation and how we are monitoring of it. 
 
On February 14, from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. we will be hosting two “World Cafes” that will include parents, students and faculty to discuss big ideas for furthering our Strategic Plan. Please mark the date.
 
Please note that for next school year 2020 -2021 the first day of school for Grades 1-12 and the start of home visits for PK,  K and IMAGINE is August 19th.
 
A couple weeks ago you received a survey regarding our communications strategies. This not only gathered your feedback but also measured the preferred methods of communication. In total 261 parents responded to the survey. This is a statistically significant proportion of our community and provides sufficient data to draw some general conclusions.
 
Email messages are the preferred method of receiving information. Nearly 60% of respondents answered the request via the email that was sent to them. This was followed by 20% answering via WhatsApp. Only 4% of respondents answered the request via this, the Director’s Newsletter. Other methods of communicating the survey, Twitter, the AC website and Facebook represented less than 1% each. 
 
Other general trends from all survey results:

  • Parents overwhelmingly indicated preference for emails followed by WhatsApp.
  • Very few people found Facebook or Twitter useful for school communication.
  • ES parents overwhelmingly generally find SeeSaw to be very useful in following their children’s learning, not necessarily for receiving important announcements.
  • Teachers’ Newsletters are generally seen as more useful than other Newsletters.
  • Skyward has mixed reviews with some indicating it is difficult to use.
  • Few IMAGINE parents answered the survey. Data on Story Park is too limited to measure.     
  • The school website is not seen as useful as it could be and difficult to navigate.  

Comments parents shared with us are also very insightful, including:

  • Predominant comment is too many forms of communication, with overlap, inconsistency and redundancy.
  • Sheer amount of communications can be excessive and overwhelming.
  • Amount of WhatsApp communications, especially with multiple children, can be excessive with too many comments etc. that blur the initial messages.
  • Transportation communications need improvement.
  • Some announcements are received too late.
  • WhatsApp is good for urgent messages but protocols are needed to reduce volume.
  • Some struggle with Spanish or English only messages on WhatsApp or Story Park.
  • The calendar is not always helpful.
  • Too many different platforms and ways of communication.
  • There is a need to better proofread Spanish translations.

 
Thank you for participating in this important survey. Short, specific surveys often encourage more feedback than long, general ones. This data supports our plans to improve communication with parents: 

  • Redesigned, more user-friendly the school website.
  • A parent portal to access information not shared with the general public.
  • Streamlining of communications to fewer platforms with less redundancy.
  • Managing WhatsApp to communicate important messages with less “static”.
  • Consolidation of communications to reduce the sheer amount of messages you receive.

One strategy is to have ONE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER that highlights the most important events and news of the school, across divisions, keep everyone on the same page and more inclined to read the Newsletter. I would like to ask for your feedback on this very short one question survey regarding Newsletters. Let’s get more than 261 respondents! It will take less than a minute.
 
Thank you and have a great week.

PubDate
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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.

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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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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.