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Director Message

DIR JUNE 9

Dear Parents and Colleagues,

This has certainly been a challenging and unique school year since the October disruptions right up to this final week of school with teachers and students engaged in distance learning. It is easy to focus on the negative, but in many ways we have come together in a spirit of resilience and collaboration. The levels of empathy and understanding afforded by this time are tools for a better future.

COVID-19 has dominated the news and our lives for months, but there are still many other equally, if not more pressing, issues we need to address as individuals and as a society. Recent events in the United States highlight the need to continue to address, as we are modelling at Academia Cotopaxi, issues of race, gender and economic inequality and the ongoing threats of environmental degradation. We fundamentally believe in an inclusive community with zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. Together we inhabit a small, increasingly crowded planet that is sailing through rough waters. In such circumstances we need to collaborate, cooperate and help each other or else the whole boat is at risk of being overcome by threatening waves.

These summer holidays will also be different from years before. At the school we will be busy continuing our planning and preparations for the contingencies of next year. Attached to this message is a document that outlines our planning process for how the school and learning will look next year. Success in adapting to the new reality will be a community effort, collaboration in spirit and practice between home and school.

One example of this collaboration and support for our parents is postponing the required purchase of uniform articles for next year. There are far too many questions in the air for us to require you to go to the effort of purchasing specific clothing items now. When on-campus school resumes we will require certain standards of dress, orderly, tasteful, the ability to voluntarily wear uniform items already purchased. However, until things are more stabilized we do not want you concerned with trying to purchase additional clothing for your children. If there are changes to this decision down the road parents will receive plenty of advanced notice.

We are currently completing plans for Summer Discovery and Learning to provide additional support for you and your children. This will include both assigned and recommended readings and activities as well optional and fun ways to keep your sons and daughters engaged intellectually. Complete details will be coming out shortly. We do believe our teachers and students need a short pause away from Zoom meetings and such so there will be a short break from school for all before the Summer Discovery and Learning options are opened. Please stay on the lookout for updates.

On behalf of all our students I want to personally thank you for your support through this time. It takes a community to educate a child and COVID-19 has definitely highlighted this truth. From the teachers who have had to completely redesign their approach to teaching, to the parents who have had to support their children at home, to the students, from our youngest students at IMAGINE who have adapted, so much more quickly than we as adult could imagine, to learning from a screen, to our seniors who are, without a doubt, the graduates who have exemplified the resilience and fortitude we desire for all your youth. Collectively you have made this year, despite all its challenges, a year to celebrate as part of the Cotopaxi community.

I would also like to thank our Board of Trustees. This is the seventh international school where I have had an administrative role. I can say with all sincerity that I have never worked with a more dedicated and sincerely caring Board as I have had the privilege of working with here at Academia Cotopaxi. Their efforts are a reflection on the huge heart this school has. We will make mistakes as we navigate through the challenges of life, but when our hearts are in the right place we come out better for the journey. As a reflection of the love for our community that we all share, the Board would like to share with you today, in this last official Newsletter for the year of surprises, a short video of celebration.

As new or returning parents or staff next year please be aware that all schools right now are in a process of adapting to unknown variables. As things develop we will communicate to you as quickly as possible so it is important that you keep your eyes on your emails and messages. 

Have a great summer. You have my email contact and personal phone number. Count on my support in whatever way I can provide, which is based on the support I feel from all of you!

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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Elementary School News

ES JUNE 9

Dear Families,
 
This last week of school is a special one for all of us. We are spending our time together focusing on reflections and community! 5th graders invited us to carry out a spirit week and it is a gift to witness all the enthusiasm from children and staff. I can’t wait for Wacky Day on Thursday!

On Friday, we will hold assemblies with all students. The links are below. As part of our assembly, Mr. Josep will invite all participants to illustrate their own Cougar which your child can use throughout the summer to document their reading. So, we ask that you make sure your child has a letter size paper or cereal box where she/he can draw, pencil, and markers.  Because the theme is ice-cream or yummy foods, we invite you to share a snack with your children and make it special. We also encourage you to connect with other families and find ways for your child to continue to interact with friends over the summer and if their friends are moving to different countries or if you are moving, make a plan of how the friendships will be maintained. Remember, once a Cougar, always a Cougar!

Friday, June 12, 2020
Ice-Cream or Yummy Food Day
Last Day of School

I am enjoying reading each of the narratives that your teachers are writing about your child’s learning and will send you directions on how to access those at the end of the week. Your celebrations will be approved by teachers so that these appear in your child’s journals.
 
So, this is not my last communication with you… more to come at the end of the week.
 
Always Together,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Middle School News

MS JUNE 9

It has been an honor to be part of the Cotopaxi community for the past three years. I have delighted in getting to know your children and your families. This is a special school, in a special part of the world. The international school community is small and I hope that some of our paths cross again in the future. I wish all of you good health and well being. I will miss you.

Special Schedule for the Remainder of the Week

Wednesday, June 10:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 7
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 8
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Assembly for Grade 8 Moving On Celebration (all MS students and Grade 8 parents are invited)

Thursday, June 11:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 3
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 4
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Assembly and House Olympics

Friday, June 12:
8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. Block 1
8:25 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Block 2
8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Block 3
9:15 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Block 4
9:40 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Block 5
10:25 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Block 6
10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Block 7
11:15 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Block 8
11:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Cougar Time

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
Welcome to our last week of school, parents. We all made it through, together! Although the end of this school year looks quite different, you can still find ways to celebrate and mark the end of a very unique school year. Perhaps you already have traditions you do every year, such as a nice pancake breakfast on the last day of school, or going to get ice cream after the last classes. Even if you have to change some end-of-year ritual, keep some sort of celebration to help teach children to accept what cannot be controlled. I wish you all a healthy, safe, and restful summer. 

Service Learning
Please enjoy the MS Service Learning summer edition

Summer Learning 
All current Grade 6 and Grade 7 students have summer learning requirements. Teachers will be speaking with students about the expectations, please click here for all information.

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 JUNE 9

Dear High School Parents and Students,

This is our last newsletter for 2020 and my last one at AC. It feels bitter sweet. C’est la vie. I feel extremely  privileged to have been part of this beautiful community and wish you all the best.
Enjoy this last week with your last classes with your teachers and the Capstones presentations with mentors. As always, parents are invited to join. 
Despite this different year and bumpy finish, let me wish you to take some quality time off screens and enjoy summers.

Warmly,

Frédéric Bordaguibel-Labayle

Last Week’s Schedule
Below is our last week’s schedule:

You see that we are dedicated quite a bit of time to our capstone presentations. Please join this presentation with your student(s).

In our last week of this quite special year, we will hold our virtual Celebration Assembly on Friday, June 12 at 9:00 a.m. We will invite students to join a zoom meeting and parents can use this streaming link. Translation will be available through our usual app Interacio on mobile devices.

Summer Work
Whether you are returning or you are going to join Academia Cotopaxi next August, it is also essential to do some work during those two months so that you are ready to hit the ground running next school year. Here is the summer work by grade and subject.

Good luck everyone, have a great summer and remember, once a Cougar, always a Cougar. Go AC!

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Director Message

DIR JUN 2

Dear Parents and Colleagues,

I have had the opportunity to communicate with many of you personally about our shared challenges as we navigate the current global and local crisis. Please remember, if ever you need to communicate, I am here for you. You have my email and phone number. Just as our teachers and principals are here for your children. Over the summer I will be working in Quito with various school management teams in preparing for the new school year. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your support and kind words, particularly for our teachers who, with your sons and daughters, have been real troopers! Thank you for your confidence and patience. We are planning ahead but need to wait for some decisions and follow-up communications pending the pandemic and government measures to deal with it.

An overwhelming theme in these conversations is solidarity - focused on the best for our children. Knowing your individual circumstances helps build cohesion, empathy and mutual support. Some examples of this spirit have got me thinking of further ways we can support beyond our continued focus on your children’s social, emotional and academic needs. One parent mentioned he had a finca not far from the school. This led to us talking about how children will need, more than ever, contact with nature, appreciation for the need to love and protect our planet. Perhaps this farm could become a place of learning as we adapt to a world where field trips may be modified and with a need to be ever conscious of the costs of activities?

One, of several families in our community, is in the restaurant business, a sector of the economy particularly hit by this situation. I asked if they were doing delivery and upon confirmation they sent me their menu. Our Sunday night dinner was delicious, especially the lomo - like eating melted butter! As we sat down to our meal I said to my family, “I don’t mind for a second ordering a meal from a family of our school. They pay my salary!” The thought came to me that we have so many families in AC and IMAGINE who we can mutually support. If an AC/IMAGINE family owns a barber shop, why not get our hair (when we can) cut there? If a family owns an auto-repair shop, that is where I am going to take my car (when it can be driven!). Every gesture to help our community, both within and beyond AC/IMAGINE is a means of building resilience here in Quito and Ecuador. I would like to follow up with this theme of solidarity later, but for now I just want to plant the seeds,  seeds to grow a forest of strength and opportunity in these difficult times.

And… On a much lighter, brighter and way more fun note, here are some more examples of creative learning happening across our Academia Cotopaxi Learning Canvas, which covers not only this city but to distant lands. AC - A truly international school. I hope you enjoy this "Fourth Grade Inspiration Projectand the "Middle School Weekly News Show". It looks like we have one student ready for a career in Paris or Milan and some others ready to take on CNN and company.

Sincerely,

Robert van der Eyken
Director

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Elementary School News

hs june 2

Dear Families,
 
Thank you for celebrating childhood this week! We enjoyed the time with them as a community in our assembly and we saw how they enjoyed seeing their friends from other classes and grades.  
 
In next week’s newsletter, we will share our summer recommendations. We are in the process of identifying resources that are appropriate and responsive to the environment that we are living in. Some parents have presented concerns regarding what children have “missed” during these times, and what we understand is that each child has had a unique personal experience, an experience that has been different than what would have happened if they were in school. We know that their experience as responsible and autonomous learners have been strengthened and their inquiring minds have resulted in multiple creative expressions and solutions.
 
Please note that school continues to be closed, yet there is a process for families who are permanently moving to complete the withdrawal process which includes support for transition from our counselors and also a safe approach to picking up personal items and documentation from campus. You can contact admissions@cotopaxi.k12.ec to make arrangements and of course our counselors for support. For families who are remaining in Quito, we ask that you pick up belongings in August as school is not yet open and will have the safety systems in place for more families to enter campus at that time.
 
We are all invited to focus not on what has been “missed” but what we have learned with this experience and use that learning to move forward. Throughout distance learning, teachers have provided differentiated approaches that meet students' individual needs. Our personalized approach will continue to assure that we meet students where they are at and support their development in the best way possible. 
 
Below you will find our invitation to you to celebrate that learning that was included in our most recent email to families.

Parent celebration of learning: Please submit as a post using the SeeSaw Classroom App. You can use your child’s device to submit (Grades 3-5) if that is easier.  Your homeroom teacher will approve the post between Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11 so, please submit before June 10.

Through these last weeks, you have observed your children’s actions and reactions. You have probably been marveled by their smiles and how these bring you happiness. There may have been times when your child’s hug gave you the strength you were needing. While so much has been “paused,” your child’s development and growth has continued and children have given us the most beautiful lessons of kindness, of resilience, of adaptability and of love. 

So, we invite you to prepare a personal celebration for your child to include in their SeeSaw Journal. What your celebration looks like is up to you. It can be a video (no more than 5 minutes and max 500 MB), a letter, a song, a drawing with voice note... The idea is that your child will feel that you have observed them with admiration and with respect. You will share what you have seen them do as learners and members of the family. Below are some guiding questions that may be helpful in thinking about your child as a positive contributor to his/her learning and the wellbeing of others:

  • What do you admire about your child’s ideas and thinking?
  • What are moments that you have observed that your child is naturally engaged?
  • What are new interests that have awakened during this time?
  • How have you seen your child self-regulating at home?
  • How have you observed that your child supports others at home, brings them happiness, or helps with household responsibilities?
  • What can you celebrate about your child’s interactions with others in your home?

Always Together,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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High School News

hs june 2

Dear High School Parents and Students,

June 1 - Incomplete Work Deadline
Students with incomplete work received a note from me on Monday and they will be internally suspended from Tuesday to complete their missing work. Parents will be notified too.

Summer Work
Here is the google doc for now. The information will be put on a website that we will also share when it is ready. Your current and incoming teachers have worked collaboratively to provide meaningful learning for the summer.

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.

Last Week’s Schedule
Below is our last week’s schedule:

You see that we are dedicated quite a bit of time to our capstone presentations. Please join this presentation with your student(s).

In our last week of this quite special year,  we will hold our virtual Celebration Assembly on Friday, June 12 at 9:00 a.m. We will invite students to join a zoom meeting and parents can use this streaming link. Translation will be available through our usual app Interacio on mobile devices.

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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Middle School News

MS JUN 2

Although it is difficult for us to remember the “time before COVID-19,” it is worth reflecting on the entire school year, and not simply the past three months. With two weeks left of your child’s 2019-20 school year, I invite you to guide family conversations that touch upon August - June, and all of the special memories created each month. As a way to celebrate the entire school year, the MS is preparing special events each day during the last week of school. We will have class meetings, and an assembly every day, with a schedule on Friday that allows students to attend all classes. We ask your guidance at home in helping to ensure that your children participate in each special event. 

Monday, June 8:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 5
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 6
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Assembly dedicated to farewells

Tuesday, June 9:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 1
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 2
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Assembly dedicated to a final Kahoot game and student recognitions

Wednesday, June 10:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 7
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 8
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Assembly for Grade 8 Moving On Celebration (all MS students and Grade 8 parents are invited)

Thursday, June 11:
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Block 3
8:55 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Block 4
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Assembly and House Olympics

Friday, June 12:
8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. Block 1
8:25 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Block 2
8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Block 3
9:15 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Block 4
9:40 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Block 5
10:25 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Block 6
10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Block 7
11:15 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Block 8
11:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Cougar Time

Summer Learning
All current Grade 6 and Grade 7 students will have learning exercises to complete over the summer months in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Spanish. Their teachers will be going over the summer learning expectations in class, and parents will receive a link to the summer learning program shortly.

Service Learning
Please click here to see our final MS Service Learning newsletter for the school year.

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 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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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!

Athletics

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.

Divisions

Services

Extracurriculars

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.