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Elementary News

ES Oct23

Inquiry Corner
Using evidence to plan learning and next steps is an integral part of the PYP framework.  THANK YOU for providing your feedback to our questionnaire for the PYP re-authorization.  Your feedback allowed the self-study teams to know what elements of the PYP are exemplified at home, and how we can continue to improve.  All in all, your feedback demonstrates development within character, skills, and content for all of our students.   

Paola de Pereira
ES Principal
 

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High School News

HS Oct23

 

Dear HS Community,
Quarter 1 is over. First reports are out this week and Student Led Conferences are on Thursday. Lots of meaningful things happening in our High School, but it does feel busy. Thank you for hanging in there.

Welcome back to the volleyball teams- a long weekend for our coaches and students. Well done everyone!

Our AC MUN crew is going to Panama for the PANMUN conference. Good luck to everyone!

College Counseling
November 1st is an Early Action (EA)  and Early Decision (ED) deadline for many universities in the United States.  If your student is applying EA or ED, please make sure they are communicating with Mr. Wasser.  

Wake Forest University (United States) will be here on Tuesday at lunch and IE University (Spain) will be here on Thursday at 11:15am.  You as parents are more than welcome to attend.

Student-led conferences
Student presence is needed for those. Teachers we will be in their rooms with the exception of Ms. Murrell, Mr. Fuentes, Mr. Iverson and Mr Heide (Mr. Heide in the Senior Area
Ms. Murrell in the  HS Conference room, Mr. Iverson and Mr. Fuentes in the main meeting area with 2 different stations). Teachers will have lunch from 12 to 1. Conferences start at 8.00 and end at 3.45. Thank you for coming with your student(s) and find out about their goals for the year.

Parade of Nations - October 31st
The 2nd Annual Parade of Nations is right around the corner. It will be very similar to last year and will be in the morning 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31st. Parents are invited to watch and participate, so please come wearing the colors/dress/accessories of the nation you wish to represent. 

HS Yearbook photos - November 5th and 6th
11th and 12th graders during their study support (or with an invitation sent by Mr. Voeller) and 9th and 10th during SPANISH class. Students must wear their AC Polos.

SEMESTER 1 Exams
They are scheduled between December 14th and December 19th. Make ups on 19th and 20th. No early exams. 
Exam Schedule is HERE 

QISSA Games
October 23         JV and Varsity Boys Volleyball        AC receives Menor
                           JV and Varsity Girls Volleyball        Menor receives AC    
October 26-27    JV Volleyball Invitational Tournament hosted by AC

Fred Bordaguibel
HS Principal

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Middle School News

MS OCT23

The MS Faculty and I all look forward to seeing you at conferences on Thursday. Conferences are the most effective way for you to support your child’s learning at AC. Please remember that these are Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences, and a wonderful way to strengthen the home/school partnership.

Reporting
Because reporting will look a bit different this year than last year, I am again including this section in the newsletter. The Middle School shares student reports four times a year. We have Progress Reports at Quarter 1 and Quarter 3, and Report Cards at Semester 1 and Semester 2. This year, all reports will be shared digitally; we will no longer be sending paper reports. You will receive a link to your child’s report each reporting period. You may print these reports, if you choose. 

In addition to receiving a content grade for each class, we will also report on the MS ATL’s (Approaches to Learning). The MS ATL’s encompass Self-Management Skills, Communication Skills, and Social Skills. A descriptor of each will be included on the report. I also invite you to ask your child about these important components of learning. 

MS Social
Our first MS Social is this Friday, October 26, 6:00 - 8:00pm, in the Gym. MS Socials are organized by the House Leaders and are open to all MS students! 

Sorry, but this is a student only event, parents are not invited :) Please plan to drop your child off at 6:00pm and pick him/her up promptly at 8:00pm. It is never fun for a child to be the last one picked up, and it adds extra work for our teacher chaperones. Thank you.

Counselor’s Corner  - from Aubrey
Last week in Cougar Time we kicked off our unit on Understanding Differences. For our first lesson, students in their mentor groups got a chance to unpack the term privilege through an activity called the “privilege walk.” Through careful self-reflection, students were able to become aware of their personal privileges and biases as well as reflect on experiences when they felt dismissed. Students will continue to build on these concepts as we explore identity, culture and diversity leading up to the Parade of Nations.

See you later this week!
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 Oct16

Student-led conferences
Parents and students are invited to our student-led conferences on Oct 25th. Parents have received an invitation letter from me.

Attendance 
One of our HS pillars is Be present. Attendance is very important to us and highly correlates with success. Of course when students are sick it is important to keep them at home, visit a doctor and call the school to justify the absence. Please look at this extract from our Handbook:

Absences
The following, based upon the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education, is a summary of what is considered a justified or unjustified absence and the related consequences of absences
from school.

Justified absences
Justified absences are absences due to a domestic calamity (death, accident or major sickness of student, parent, or force majeure to the property of students and parents) or due to a student’s participation in national or international trips that recognize his/her special abilities or contributions. To justify an absence, please ensure that a note outlining the reason for the absence is presented to the HS counseling secretary Ms. Paula Luna at pluna@cotopaxi.k12.ec. This should include a doctor’s note, an invitational letter for trip, or a signed memo describing the situation and justifying the absence. Absences must be reported to school immediately and must be justified within the next two days after the student returns to school. Absences as a result of family vacations or appointments are strongly discouraged, but will be justified when a note is brought to the High School office.

Unjustified absences
Unjustified absences occur when students miss class time and no reason is provided to the school.

Maximum number of absences 
During the school year, a student cannot be absent for more than 10% of total class time. According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education and enforced by Academia Cotopaxi, if a student exceeds the maximum number of unjustified absences, the student will not pass the class.

Extended Essay Showcase
16 of our Seniors have been hard at work over the last 10 months on their Extended Essay. A required piece of work for the I.B. Diploma and part of the “Core” program that asks students to dive deep into a subject area that they are passionate about. The culmination of this work is a 4,000 word formal piece of academic writing. We will be showcasing these Essays on Monday, October 29th during our GC time (10:55 a.m. -11:55 a.m.) in the courtyard. This gives our Seniors a chance to show off and explain their work to our HS Students, faculty, community and parents. It is a fantastic culmination and celebration of the work they have done. We hope to see you there. 

IB Registrations - Seniors. 
Just a reminder to senior parents whose students are considering registering for IB Exams that our due date to have our signed fees letter and registrations is November 15th. If you have any questions, please let Brian Voeller know (bvoeller@cotopaxi.k12.ec)

College Counseling Corner - University Visits

  • Tuesday: 11:15 a.m. -11:50 a.m. - College Center: Les Roches International School of Hotel Management  & Glion Institute of Higher Education: Hospitality Management School
  • Wednesday: 11:15 a.m. -11:50 a.m. - College Center: Washington & Lee University, Bates College, Baylor University, & Babson College
  • Thursday: 11:15 a.m. -11:50 a.m. - College Center: Carleton (Canada) University
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m. - College Center: University of San Diego Visit with Workshops (Common Application & Personal Statement)

Cougar Corner
October 19-20: AASSA Varsity Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament at IAA, Guayaquil 

Fred Bordaguibel
HS Principal

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Middle School News

MS Oct16

Our first bi-annual Parent Day in the Middle proved to be a worthy opportunity for parents to take a peek at MS life by visiting classes and reflecting on what they saw. Stay tuned for our second Parent Day in the Middle in March.

Conferences
Conferences are the most effective way for you to support your child’s learning at AC. You all received an email outlining MS Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences and the link to sign up for conference times. Conferences are October 25. Please sign up for conference times by October 23. Please refer to the email for all details. We look forward to seeing you on October 25. Thank you!

Reporting
The Middle School shares student reports four times a year. We have Progress Reports at Quarter 1 and Quarter 3, and Report Cards at Semester 1 and Semester 2. This year, all reports will be shared digitally; we will no longer be sending paper reports. You will receive a link to your child’s report each reporting period. You may print these reports, if you choose. 

In addition to receiving a content grade for each class, we will also report on the MS ATL’s (Approaches to Learning). The MS ATL’s encompass Self-Management Skills, Communication Skills, and Social Skills. A descriptor of each will be included on the report. I also invite you to ask your child about these important components of learning. 

MS Social
Our first MS Social is on Friday, October 26, 6:00 - 8:00pm, in the Gym. MS Socials are organized by the House Leaders and are open to all MS students! Socials are a wonderful, developmentally appropriate, way for students to interact outside of school hours.

Sorry, but this is a student only event, parents are not invited :) Please plan to drop your child off at 6:00pm and pick him/her up promptly at 8:00pm. It is never fun for a child to be the last one picked up, and it adds extra work for our teacher chaperones. Thank you.

Counselor’s Corner, from Aubrey Jordan
This past Friday, we had our joint MS/HS Parent Meeting led by Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) specialist, Eduardo Torres. Thank you to those attended, making the interactive workshop a success in sharing stories and tips. Please share with other parents the gems you took away from the meeting. For those who would like to learn more, here is a link to FCD’s Parents in Prevention Information, including the Social Norms Approach which was a focus in the parent meeting as well as the student workshops. We will be continuing this conversation in the community and keep an eye out for future parent meetings, including our MS parent workshop on The Adolescent Brain. We will continue to address these issues with MS students throughout the year through a proactive approach to help promote healthy behavior and attitudes.     

This Friday, October 19, is a half day for students, and a professional development afternoon for faculty. All students should leave campus at noon. Enjoy the extra time with your children!

With kind regards,
Sheryl

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
sgruber@cotpaxi.k12.ec
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001
"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."
 

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Elementary News

ES Oct16

Last week your children participated in an evacuation drill.  I invite you to watch the video at this link and celebrate your children.  They are true role models for drills.  They have learned to stay calm, walk  in silence, follow directions and observe safe behavior!  We encourage you to ask your children about how they feel that they contribute during drills and what they notice about others around them.  

This week, we have a half day on Friday, October 19 and all students will be dismissed at noon.  Our teachers will continue to reflect on our practices and develop action plans to address areas that have been targeted based on the PYP self-study.  Thank you for contributing with your feedback in the recent PYP survey.  We are analyzing all the responses on Friday to use as we determine where we are in each of our practices. The self-study allows for all constituents to contribute to the understanding and improvement of experiences for our students.  

Inquiry Corner
Our students are INQUIRERS and model asking diverse questions on topics they are passionate about.  These questions stem from curiosities and desires to understand and impact the world.  As adults one of the most effective ways to develop student ownership in inquiry is to “answer” any question with another open-ended question.  For example: if a child asks “Why do so many people abandon dogs at the park?” or response question could be “What makes you ask that?”  or “What responsibilities do people towards their pets?”  This way we model that questions lead to more questions, and it is the act of questioning that deepens learning. 

Paola de Pereira
ES Principal
 

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Elementary News

ES OCT9

For the past three years, we have not assigned traditional homework in our elementary school and encourage families to use time in the afternoons to connect with children at deep levels, set up the environment for children to wonder, create, and play!

At home, we expect students to consistently read for at least 20 minutes a day.  There is extended research on how daily reading impacts students’ academic life in powerful ways.  There is also important evidence that highlights that, traditional homework in the elementary grades may not be as beneficial to student achievement as we once thought, and in some cases, possibly detrimental to a child’s attitude towards learning. If you’d like to read up on some of the research, please check out the links at the end of this message.

While we do not assign regular homework, other than reading, there may be times when we will recommend specific practice or learning extensions to support your child’s growth.  Yet, our most important aim for time at home is to get our children to play, to explore, to create, to enjoy family time and allow time for them to extend their learning in areas that they are intrigued by or interested in. This year, we have been encouraging families to engage in “device free dinners.” We know that many passions and interests are being developed at home, and we invite students to work on personal inspiration projects.   These projects are expected to be related to your child’s individual passion through a desire to solve a problem (big or small), make an improvement, invent or re-invent.  While inspiration projects formally begin as an expectation at the end of 2nd grade, all children are encouraged to dig deep into their passions and interests as inquirers!  Parents of students in grades 3 to 5 will receive more information regarding inspiration projects and showcases in the coming days.

Some research about homework:
Maybe surprisingly, ongoing research continues to show us that homework in the elementary grades may not be as beneficial to student achievement as we once thought, and in some cases, it could even have a negative effect in achievement.  Below are links that you may find informative:
    
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/26/homework-an-unnecessary-evil-surprising-findings-from-new-research/?utm_term=.0a96f2bd3ef5
http://thecaseagainsthomework.com/
http://www.greatschools.org/students/homework-help/1939-interview-with-Sara-Bennett.gs?page=2
http://www.livescience.com/19379-homework-bad-kids.html

Inquiry Corner
Benjamin Franklin stated “Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.” Our Parent Representatives were collaboratively involved in an experience On Oct. 4 as they experienced how children learn in our division.  After a provocation of seeing a video of the Earthquake in Indonesia, and the crumbling of their hospital, parents designed a re-structure for the Palu hospital. This experience allowed parents to collaborate, think critically, and show empathy - the essence of meaningful learning experiences. 
Photos

Paola de Pereira
ES Principal

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High School News

HS Oct9

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend and that everyone is ready for October.

Grades, skyward and retake policy
I would like to encourage parents and students to check skyward regularly and talk about grades and retakes. In our last meeting with High School Parents reps we discussed our retake policy so that we are all on the same page. When in doubt, please feel free to reach out to your student’s teacher.

Student-led conferences
On October 25th, the High School will be hosting our first student-led conferences. Please reserve this day to come and visit High School teachers in their classrooms with your student who will share their Approaches to Learning (ATL) goal with you and will explain how this will impact their studies in different classes. Students’ attendance on this day is therefore paramount. If you have students in the Middle School, this is also the day for the student-led conferences.

Thank you class of 2018 and their parents
The High School would like to thank the class of 2018 and their parents who made a donation of $880 to Hogar para sus niños. You can read the letter from the organisation thanking them. 

FCD
We would also like to invite you to an interactive parent workshop focused on substance use on Friday, October 12th from 1:30 - 3:00pm in the ACCR, led by the FCD specialist, Eduardo Torres. More information was distributed by the HS Parent Reps. Please contact Ms. Keyes with any questions. 

College Counseling Corner
The PSAT for 11th graders will occur this Saturday at Academia Cotopaxi at 9am.  Registration closes on Wednesday, October 10th.  The registration form is here.  10th graders will take the PSAT 10 in the spring here at Academia Cotopaxi.  

IB Corner  
The Extended Essay is due on Monday, October 15th for our full I.B. Candidates. This is the culmination of 10 months of work and is a major accomplishment. On Monday October 29th during GC time we will hold a celebration showcase of the work they have done. Parents are invited to share in the celebration. 

Cougar Corner
Upcoming Games:
10/10     Varsity Girls Soccer hosts Americano. Game begins at 4:15.
10/10     JV & Varsity Boys Volleyball at Americano.  Games begin at 4:15.
10/11     JV & Varsity Girls Volleyball hosts Americano. Games begin at 4:15.
10/12    Swim Meet at AC. Meet begins at 3:00.

Fred Bordaguibel
HS Principal
 

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Middle School News

MS Oct9

Conferences
Please mark your calendars for MS Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences on October 25. You will receive an email later this week with all conference information and a sign-up sheet. The MS conferences are to be attended by both students and parents. In addition to meeting with your child’s teachers, you will have the opportunity to attend a Home Digital Safety workshop, designed for MS parents and students. See you on October 25!

Counselor’s Corner
This week we have a specialist with us from the Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) program, as a part of the continued efforts we take at AC to provide substance use prevention to our students and community. The FCD specialist, Eduardo Torres, will have the opportunity to meet with all MS students, by grade level. As the still-developing adolescent brain is prone to act on impulse, take risks, and follow the influence of peers, we hope to address these issues through the following age-appropriate presentations: 

Grade 8: Interactive workshop to explore the complex social challenges that influence risk-taking behaviors (including drug use) and the strategies for managing those situations in a positive and healthy way.

Grade 7: Large group format to explore the complex social challenges that influence risk-taking behaviors (including drug use) and the strategies for managing those situations in a positive and healthy way.

Grade 6: Large group format to engage kids in the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to make positive, healthy decisions and understand the risks of drug use.

We would also like to invite you to an interactive parent workshop on Friday, October 12th from 1:30 - 3:00pm in the ACCR, led by the FCD specialist, Eduardo Torres. More information will be distributed by the MS Parent Reps. 

Thank you to those of you who signed up for Parent Day in the Middle, on October 10. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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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