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Director Message

DIR MAY 26

Dear Parents and Colleagues,

Last week’s newsletter had a summary of the results of the virtual open meeting and the thought exchange we had with parents and staff. Above everything else, the priority for Academia Cotopaxi and IMAGINE is to ensure, to the best of our ability, the safest, cleanest and most child-friendly atmosphere for our students and staff. At the same time we will continue to focus on maintaining and extending the robust learning that your children are accustomed to receiving. At the same time as we plan for the safest of campus access, we realize that we will need to continue access to on-line (distance) learning experiences for a variety of contingencies, students who cannot be on campus for health concerns, temporary closure of the campus in case of a resurgence, travel restrictions that keep children out of Quito. These are all part of the scenario planning we are currently undertaking.

With respect to social distancing and hygiene, at Academia Cotopaxi we have many unique characteristics that will, like our teaching and learning, place us as a leader in the community and around the world. These characteristics include:

  • 1) A very large campus for the number of students with many underutilized learning spaces as well as large classrooms for social distancing and additional division of groups. Some schools are considering splitting the days into morning and afternoon groups or alternating days by grade level due to congestion in their classrooms. We should, pending government authorization, be able to as closely as possible mirror our current hours of instruction for all students. We know it is very important to parents as they return to work that their children have a safe school that they can attend for the full day.
  • 2) We collaborate with and learn from examples of other schools in Asia and elsewhere that are in the process of reopening their campuses.
  • 3) We have an idyllic climate with no need for air conditioning or heating, which can recirculate potentially contaminated air.
  • 4) We have an excellent team of professional educators and support staff dedicated to your children's academic, emotional and physical well-being. They get it. We are all aware we need to place health and safety at the front of all our decisions and actions.
  • 5) We have a supportive and engaged community of parents (you) who have proven to be true partners in learning during our distance learning. We all know that empathy and teamwork will continue as we adapt our operations to reopening.  

Things will be different. That is true in every business and place where large numbers of people meet and interact. But we have the means to ensure safety while not overly impacting the joy of being with one’s classmates and teachers. There is lots of information we will be able to easily confirm regarding the “how” once we have official government requirements. The big question is “when”. Our intention is to start school on August 19 as on our annual calendar, regardless if on-campus or on-line. We still do not have official government notifications regarding this. As soon as we have official notification parents will be the first to know. 

Here are some videos on how other schools are opening. I invite you to watch these. We will adopt and adapt from these and many other examples for our realities and requirements here in Quito.

As stated we have the opportunity to build upon the examples of other schools for a most robust safety protocol which will be communicated with parents prior to opening. This is important as we are a team in the effort to ensure everyone’s health. 
 
Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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Elementary School News

ES MAY 26

Dear Families,
 
We have started our week number 10 of distance learning and there is so much learning that has happened for students and for our community. We are so impressed by the growth in children’s independence, by the showcase of creativity through personal inquiries and inspiration projects, by the rigor that we see in their work and the enthusiasm with which they participate.  
 
We would like to invite all students to a special Zoom gathering to celebrate childhood with them on Monday, June 1 - which is Children’s Day in Ecuador. These assemblies may impact your child’s regular schedules, so please check your homeroom schedules for any changes.  Assemblies will be held as follows:

Below is a summary of the results of our parent survey. Thank you for contributing and continuing to actively be present in the learning lives of your children.

 

  • Reminders: 
    Friday June 12, 11:00 a.m. - Grade 5 Moving On Ceremony and Last Day of School For All Students
    End of year reports will be in form of a narrative following the Ministry guidelines
    Summer recommendations will be published in the weekly newsletter for the last week of school

Always Together,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Middle School News

MS MAY 26

I hope you enjoyed a lovely long weekend. It is astounding to consider that after this week, we only have two more weeks of the school year. In next week’s parent newsletter, I will send information about our special MS events for the last week of school, and also explain the MS summer learning expectations.

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
Last week I hosted a parent workshop on Transitions & Moving during times of uncertainty. Thank you to those of you who were able to attend, and for those who are interested in reviewing the information in the workshop, you can view the recording here and the slideshow here. This week in Cougar Time, students will also be exploring what transitions, endings and new beginnings mean to them during these unprecedented times and how we can find meaningful closure to the 2019-20 school year together. 

I am going through the transition and moving process myself after calling Quito and Academia Cotopaxi home for the past three years. Prior to the school closure, I made the difficult decision to not return for the next school year and unfortunately did not have the chance to tell parents and students in person. It has been an honor getting to know each of your children - and you as well - over the past three years. I have felt at home in the halls of the Middle School, hearing the sounds of learning and laughter, building connections with students, parents and faculty. There is nothing like the AC Community! I will be moving on to a Counseling position at a K-8 School in the US. One of the things I value most about working in this profession is how much I learn alongside each student and parent I work with, so thank you to each of you for allowing me to be a part of that process. 

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

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 MAY 26

Dear High School Parents and Students,

This week is a special one as we will hold our virtual Senior Awards ceremony on Friday at 1:30 p.m. We will invite seniors and their parents to join the zoom meeting and for the rest of the High School we will use this  streaming link. Translation will be available through our usual app Interacio on mobile devices.

June
The last week of June will be dedicated to a few things:
-Last meetings with teachers
-Sharing the summer work
-Capstone presentations with mentors. As always, parents are invited to join. Students will be reviewing the parameters of those presentations this Wednesday in mentors. Please encourage students to attend the session with their mentors at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

June Schedule
Below is our last week’s schedule:

Meet with Teachers - Schedule Appointments
We will continue to encourage students to set up appointments with teachers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to meet with our teachers.

CAS at Home
Mr. Shulman and Ms. Faidutti have created a google classroom to share ideas of cool CAS experiences that can be done at home. The CAS code is cmtf4ra. Those ideas will contribute to maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

Reminder of Netiquette
It is crucial that, together, we maintain strong and positive ways to interact and to present ourselves online. Please support us so that students respect the following netiquette.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Director Message

dir may 19

Dear Parents and Colleagues,

Thank you to all the participants in the virtual meeting last week using the Thought Exchange Platform. Many of us are becoming accustomed to Zoom and Google Meets. Unlike these virtual meetings the Thought Exchange platform allows for recording, categorizing and prioritizing the comments and thoughts instantly. This provides for both qualitative and quantifiable reflection on the exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Below is a word cloud of the thoughts from the two meetings that were conducted first in English and then in Spanish. The platform allows for a range of ideas to be automatically translated so we are no longer limited to one or two languages. 

As with many of the conversations we have been having with parents and colleagues, there are a range of thoughts regarding the current and future status of learning within the context of COVID-19. As you can see from this word cloud the centre of all our thoughts are children and learning. Other important factors are health and safety. Concerns with the economy are on all of our minds and it is something the Board and administration is taking very much into account also as we develop our strategies for next year.

We are currently finalizing broad learning models that can adapt to essentially three scenarios, that we are required by the authorities to start school virtually through continued distance learning, that we are able to re-open the campus, or most likely a combination of these, with contingencies for periodic closure if the situation with the pandemic thus requires and provision for continued learning support for students who are unable to attend school. There are many models of schools in other regions reopening with these same broad parameters.

We have a fantastic team of educators and parents working together and understanding that this is a situation beyond individual control. We will be communicating further details and opening up to more exchange of thoughts on specific elements of health and safety, learning and solidarity as a community that together is navigating challenging social, technological and economic waters, but also with plenty of opportunities to adapt and excel in this new reality.

Some statistics from last week’s meeting:

We had 145 participants. Not bad for our first try with this. We plan on having more similar meetings to gather thoughts and ideas from different members of our community, including students. Over 200 thoughts received nearly 6,000 ratings. It is through such generous input that we are able to most precisely identify areas mostly highly shared as well as other less shared, but nonetheless important ideas or questions,

87% of participants identified themselves as Academia Cotopaxi only, 5% from IMAGINE and 8% from both. The majority of participants were parents but a large number of faculty also participated, providing an opportunity to see different perspectives.

For parents the most frequent thoughts were with respect to health and safety. These are also our priorities. Health and safety is the fundamental focus of all our decisions. There was not a lot of variance in the categories of thoughts and questions, all are considered important, but overall second to health and safety was the type of learning models that will take place next year followed by financial/economic issues. 

For our faculty the primary concern is their employment status next year, which is directly related to the thoughts parents have regarding the economic impact of this crisis. If anything beneficial is coming out of COVID-19 it is that we are realizing how interconnected and reliant we are on each other. Noone is an island and we all are navigating the same storm. 

 

What best describes you?

Just as we are gathering data and ideas from our community we are reaching out to industry, other schools and ministries of health and education here and around the world to learn from, adopt and adapt the best practices with respect health, learning and management of our resources for the benefit of you, your children and our faculty and staff. We look forward to continued dialogue and sharing our models of learning with you with a constant understanding that we all need to be adaptable and conscious of the evolving nature of this situation. 

Finally, on a much lighter but enjoyable note. I would like to share with you a couple examples of the creativity of our middle school students. This is an example of how the technology we have on hand today, more importantly, that our children have, opens opportunities we could never have imagined when we were young.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15SkvJ60n5rtZ2kLSIJaU7fJtCJLOtxsL/view
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cDevmoR_Aqe0LS0DiDqHVgzb8zm9yMQL/view

Thank you Juan Andres and Kamile in sixth grade. Two future George Lucas or Steven Spielberg learning their trade through the COVID-19 experience?

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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Elementary School News

ES MAY 19

Dear Families,
 
Thank you for engaging in powerful conversations with your children’s teachers during conferences. I am sure you have shared the highlights of conversations with your children celebrating their resilience, their responsibility and their effort; and encouraging them to continue growing! We have received a bit over 150 responses to the feedback survey and appreciate your input. We are analyzing and will summarize in next week’s newsletter. 
 
Your children’s participation in the live sessions has been outstanding!  Being involved with both synchronous and asynchronous learning allows for a complete learning experience and supports your children’s social emotional well being and the well being of the class community. We have heard from the Ministry of Education regarding requirements for end of year reports and are happy to share that children’s SeeSaw journals meet the guidelines for portfolios which is the requirement for all elementary students. I will be sending you more information regarding the end of year and how you can contribute to the celebrations of learning.

Reminders: 

  • Wednesday May 20, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. -  Grade 5 Parent Transition Meeting with Middle School -  Meeting link: https://cedia.zoom.us/j/97256167262
  • Monday May 25 - Holiday observed - No school
  • Friday June 12, 11:00 a.m. - 5th Grade Moving on Ceremony and Last day of school for all students

Always together,
Paola
Elementary School Principal

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Middle School News

MS MAY 19

I hope that you and your personal community are doing well. I was introduced to a word last week that I think is very relevant for all of us - the “corona-coaster.” It is normal for life to have ups and downs, and these past two months have certainly contained a roller-coaster of emotions. This might be a good word to introduce to your family, and a way to talk about feelings with your Middle Schooler. 

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
On Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00 a.m. I will be hosting a Parent Workshop (zoom link) geared towards families who will be leaving AC at the end of the school year. (This does not mean families who are staying cannot attend!) The workshop will look at transitions, moving, and how to help your child in “leaving well.” Although goodbyes are never easy, this year it is exceptionally different as we are constrained by new rules and restrictions, and I would like to provide you with some tips and concrete steps on how to navigate that for yourself and your child. We will be looking at this process using the RAFT acronym: Reconciliation, Affirmation, Farewell, Think destination.

I also wanted to provide you with information about an upcoming parent education opportunity led by FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m. - Quito time. This webinar titled “Prevention in the Family: An Online Q&A for Teen Health Promotion” is meant to be an informative session to answer questions such as “Where do the main pressures on kids to use drugs come from?” and “How much impact do parent attitudes and modeling have on teen use?” The webinar is free and registration can be found here.

Service
Please check out our bonus May edition of Service Learning in the Middle, which highlights two MS students.

As per the calendar, there are no class meetings on Monday, May 25. Enjoy the upcoming three day weekend.

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

High School News

HS MAY 19

Dear High School Parents and Students,

Thank you for your continued effort and commitment to our distance learning programme. Here is our HS newsletter for this week. Be safe!

June
The last week of June will be dedicated to a few things:
-Last meetings with teachers
-Sharing the summer work
-Capstone presentations with mentors. As always, parents are invited to join. Students will be reviewing the parameters of those presentations this Wednesday in mentors. Please encourage students to attend the session with their mentors at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

June Schedule
Below is our last week’s schedule:

College Counseling: Requesting Letters of Recommendation from Leaving Teachers
If you are an 11th grader wanting to request a letter of recommendation for your college applications next academic year, you need to provide your teachers with three weeks of advance notice. This means, you must officially request these letters of recommendation by next Friday, May 22. In order for your recommenders to do the best job possible, please make sure you share your Interview Sheet with your recommender. The more time you put into your Interview Sheet, the better job your recommender can do. Questions on this protocol?  Please reach out to Mr. Wasser.

Meet with Teachers - Schedule Appointments
We will continue to encourage students to set up appointments with teachers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to meet with our teachers.

CAS at Home
Mr. Shulman and Ms. Faidutti have created a google classroom to share ideas of cool CAS experiences that can be done at home. The CAS code is cmtf4ra. Those ideas will contribute to maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

Reminder of Netiquette
It is crucial that, together, we maintain strong and positive ways to interact and to present ourselves online. Please support us so that students respect the following netiquette.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

PubDate

Director Message

DIR MAY 12

Dear Parents and Colleagues,

This week we will be hosting two Thought Exchanges, one in English and the other in Spanish to gather ideas and thoughts from parents and faculty to help us in our planning by knowing what you are thinking about the current and near future opportunities and challenges we collectively face as a community at IMAGINE and Academia Cotopaxi with respect to COVID-19. Below is the link to join the Thought Exchange.

Watch live stream: https://youtu.be/SSaGmiHJVXU​​​​​​​
4:00 p.m | (English version)
7:00 p.m. (Spanish version)

Thank you to all the parents who have completed the re-enrollment questionnaire. We still have a significant amount of parents who have not completed this survey. We understand that many of you have doubts or questions about next year, that information itself is very valuable for helping us to plan so please EVERYONE fill in the survey, it is quick and all data we gather helps us better navigate through next year and the immediate benefactors of this information are our students.

On behalf of all of our students, teachers and support staff, I look forward to seeing you in the Thought Exchange.

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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High School News

HS MAY 12

Dear High School Parents and Students,

Thank you for your continued effort and commitment to our distance learning programme. Here is our HS newsletter for this week. Be safe!

Meet with Teachers - Schedule Appointments
We will continue to encourage students to set up appointments with teachers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to meet with our teachers.

CAS at Home
Mr. Shulman and Ms. Faidutti have created a google classroom to share ideas of cool CAS experiences that can be done at home. The CAS code is cmtf4ra. Those ideas will contribute to maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

Reminder of Netiquette
It is crucial that, together, we maintain strong and positive ways to interact and to present ourselves online. Please support us so that students respect the following netiquette.

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

PubDate
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Learning

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.

Arts

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.