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Director Message

dir jan 21

Dear Parents,

Last week our fourth-grade learners and teachers visited both an Islamic mosque and a Jewish synagogue here in Quito. This is part of the unit they have been doing in the PYP focused on understanding belief systems and traditions around the world. The trips were a huge success. Not only did the students gain an insight into these belief traditions, but they were wonderful ambassadors for our school. The rabbi at the synagogue commented that of all the students he's ever presented to, each year Academia Cotopaxi's students are always the most respectful, active listeners and ask deep, meaningful questions. To all the parents of fourth graders, please congratulate and encourage your sons and daughters to continue being inquisitive and open to learning.
 
To be honest, the Elementary administration, fourth grade teachers and I pondered the rationale of such a trip considering recent developments in Iraq and Iran. We reached out to the security authorities at the US Embassy. The Embassy assured us that there was no reason for undue alarm or caution here in Ecuador. There was also agreement with a philosophical argument for encouraging our students to understand other perspectives. We live in an ever more interconnected world. Many of us grew up in a world where everyone around us were very similar to ourselves, the same culture, the same beliefs. But our children will most likely interact with people who come from very different belief systems and traditions than they. In a world with so many challenges, it is vital that we include others, whoever they are, in finding solutions. We need to build bridges of understanding, not walls and barriers to dialogue. And thus, we realized that our way of combating conflict as a school, is to model and give opportunities for insight, understanding and realization that for the most part we have the same values, love, family, regard for creation and the natural world, the need to feel appreciated for who we are.
 
Developing and promoting principles of tolerance is important in our globalized world. In order to enhance social relations and prevent conflicts, it is necessary to establish a ground for mutual understanding, negotiation and tolerance on the border of religions, languages and ethnicity. Dialogue cannot be conducted if there is no respect for human rights, rule of law, democratic principles and spiritual values. Not only knowledge and respect regarding secular ideology but also religious ideology is an essential goal of life in our culturally diversified world.
 
I recall teaching World Religions to high school students in Mexico, a setting very similar to Quito. Initially some students felt uncomfortable with the idea of exploring other faiths. To address this, we examined the example of Pope John Paul II. There was no doubt of the strength of his conviction in his beliefs, nor the openness to dialogue with people of other faiths, inviting religious leaders from around the world to the Vatican and honoring other faiths by visiting their places of worship. He reflected a universal reality and imperative when he said, “By dialogue, we let God be present in our midst, for as we open ourselves to one another, we open ourselves to God.” No matter what our views with respect to religion, when we open ourselves to including, respecting and honoring others, we become better people. That is a fundamental principle behind inclusion at Academia Cotopaxi.

Please also remember that one of our big events of the year, the PTSA Bingo is taking place this Friday, January 24 from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Athletic Center.
 
Have a wonderful week.

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Middle School News

MS JAN 21

The photo above shows a few of our MS students using the bench they designed and constructed in Design Tech class this semester. In grades 7-8 Design Tech class, students propose and plan their own projects, and then construct them from start to finish. This is a continuation from the Grade 6 Design Tech class, where students plan and complete pre-selected projects. Design Tech is one of the classes we will feature in our Celebrations of Learning during FLEX this week. Other highlights include the Socratic Seminar in Social Studies, Investigative Journalism in Language Arts, and Printmaking in Art. Ask your child on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday about their FLEX experiences!

In addition to classroom Celebrations of Learning, we have two assemblies during FLEX this week. On Monday we all had the chance to watch the Robotics classes battle it out in a Battle Bot assembly, and on Friday students will enhance their cross-cultural understanding through a special Chinese New Year assembly.

MAP
During the week of January 27-31, Middle School students will take the second of three MAP® test sessions, given throughout the year. We give students MAP® tests to determine students’ instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year.  Students will take the tests on their own computers during a set schedule from 9:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. Please note that students do not need to study for the MAP tests because it is meant to measure accumulated learning to date.

At Academia Cotopaxi, students in Grades 3-10 have been taking tests called Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP) since 2014. The data gathered for our school has illustrated our students’ strengths and learning needs, has helped teachers target their instruction and has provided administrators with valuable information to make school wide decisions. This is an important assessment and we want our students to take it seriously.

MAP tests are unique in that they are an adaptive test, which means that the test adjusts to each student’s learning level, providing a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.  

Following each testing period, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth. You can help your child take this test seriously by valuing the results and discussing them with your child.
 
Ideas to keep in mind:

  • 3 tests will be administered this week (Math, Language Usage, Reading)
  • The tests are used in multiple ways to support learning, so please encourage and support your child to take this seriously.
  • As always, ensure your child gets a good night sleep and has breakfast.
  • Remind your child to bring a book, in case they finish early. 

Please note that the MAP window for the Middle School at AC is ONLY January 27-31. All tests must be completed by the end of the day on Friday, January 31. If your child is unable to complete the tests by this time, for any reason, we will not have a score for that test in this testing session.
 
For more information on resources for parents, visit this page and please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
This past week in Cougar Time, Middle School students learned about how their brains are going through a major “renovation” during adolescence and how they can be more aware of what those changes mean in regards to social interactions, risk-taking, planning & organizing, etc. If you as a parent are looking to better understand the changes that occur in the brain during adolescence, I recommend you read this post: They’ll Do What? The What and the Why of the Changes that Come With Adolescence.

We look forward to seeing you at PTSA BINGO on Friday!

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 School News

ES JAN 21

Dear Parents,

Talent Show auditions will take place this week on Thursday, January 23. To register your child or group, please complete the form at this link by Wednesday, January 22. All proceeds from the Talent Show go towards the class of 2021 service learning project. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: hshulman@cotopaxi.k12.ec

During the week of January 20-24, students in grades 3-5 will take the second of three MAP® test sessions, given throughout the year. We give students MAP® tests to determine students’ instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year. Please note that students do not need to study for the MAP tests because it is meant to measure accumulated learning to date. MAP test scores are one piece of information regarding your child’s learning. 

We continue to monitor the indexes for UV Rays and want to thank you for partnering with us to keep children aware of the importance of protection. Students have been such collaborators and demonstrated flexibility as we have had to make some changes to their play routines.  We will continue to hold PE classes under shade or indoors this week. Only if the index allows for it, will we have classes in the outdoor fields.

We have been observing a heightened interest from students to care for our environmental resources. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage with your child and make some personal commitments to reduce or eliminate the use of disposables. We see that many snacks come individually wrapped in disposable plastic, tetra pak or styrofoam containers.  We encourage you to replace these with drinks in thermos, fruits in non-disposable containers, carbs and protein in reusable bags.

The PTSA is putting together an awesome afternoon on Friday. BINGO begins at 4:30 p.m.

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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High School News

HS JAN 21

Dear Parents,

January is always a busy month in the High School so please take a look at the information below. Have a great week!

MAP
9th and 10th graders are taking the MAP tests this week and next. Here is the letter that Dr Hoyle sent in December.

2020-2021 Course Selection Process
On January 20, at 10:55 a.m., all 10th grade students and parents are invited to a presentation on the Grade 11 courses and there will be a time to interact with all teachers to guide the course selection. This will take place in the Auditorium.

On the same day, on January 20, 9th and 11th graders will work on choosing their courses for 2020-2021. This will be with students only and they will bring their option forms back home for parents to review and sign.

On January 27, 8th grade parents and students are invited for a 2020-2021 High School course selection presentation at 2:00 p.m. in the Auditorium

Discover Ecuador
The Discover Ecuador trips are coming up, between February 3-7. There will be a meeting with the trip organisers on Friday, January 31 at 10:55 a.m. for students and parents. Please review the packing lists for each trip that we sent back in December.

Students who are not going DE will be 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 in the 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, Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Hogar Para Sus Niños: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 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 Municipo to plant trees. Thursday morning. There is a small cost. ($14 for materials for this day)

Class Changes
For your information, students have the first 10 class days of the semester to make any course changes. Students in grades 9-10 can see Ms. Keyes for any questions and grades 11-12 should see Mr. Wasser and/or Mr. Voeller (for IB Courses). Blue course change forms must be submitted by Monday, January 20.

IB Corner
Mock Exams for our Seniors will be the week of March 9. Students that are registered for an IB Exam will take a “Mock Final” for that course during this week. This is designed to simulate the exam conditions they will face in May and will serve as the Semester 2 Final exam for those courses. Students that are not registered for IB exams will have normal school that week. 

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Director Message

DIR JAN 14

Dear Parents,
 
First of all, thank you to the approximately 200 people who have so far, participated in the Communications Survey. There is still time to give your input and help us with ideas to improve your ability to be informed and connected to the school. The invitation went out through this newsletter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and emails. It only takes a couple minutes to do and the data we receive is very powerful. In upcoming newsletters we will communicate a summary of our findings. Again, here is the link to the Communications Survey.
 
In the December 10 Newsletter, the nature of recruiting teachers in the international school world was described. The number of international schools like Academia Cotopaxi is growing exponentially but unfortunately teaching as a profession in general is attracting fewer people and the large number of teachers are approaching retirement age, not a good combination. Consequently, schools need to begin recruiting for earlier, than in the past.
 
Here at Academia Cotopaxi we have been actively recruiting to replace our departing teachers since October and have been very successful. Most positions have been filled. Although our salaries cannot compare to schools in other regions or high demand, our school’s reputation as a leading-edge institution with respect to inclusion, the quality of our programs and the positive professional environment and the quality of life in Quito, help us compete with other highly reputable schools in attracting qualified and experienced teachers and administrators. We take this job very seriously and dedicate a lot of time and energy in our efforts to recruit the best possible educators to lead learning for your sons and daughters. Mrs. Paola Torres de Pereira, Mr. Frédéric Bordaguibel-Labayle, and I will be attending a recruitment fair at the end of this month for the last few positions remaining.
 
We look forward to introducing you to the new teachers. We also appreciate the contributions of those who are leaving. As a teacher’s decision to move is not only a professional, but also a personal decision involving not only their students, but also family and friends, we first allow time for our staff to communicate their decision when they feel appropriate, prior to publicly announcing changes to staffing. Once we have completed our recruitment, you will receive information about the dynamic team of educators who will be joining our exceptional school. This will also be a time to recognize and wish the best to the teachers who will be moving on to new adventures in life and career. As additional evidence of the reputation of our school is the success of our teachers that have found positions at equally excellent schools after working here in beautiful Ecuador.
 
Thank you and have a wonderful week.

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High School News

HS JAN 14

Dear Parents,

January is always a busy month in the High School so please take a look at the information below. Have a great week!

MAP
9th and 10th graders are taking the MAP tests this week and next. Here is the letter that Dr. Hoyle sent in December.

Semester 1 Celebration Assembly
This will take place on January 17 at 2:00 p.m. We will celebrate a variety of achievements of our students.

2020-2021 Course Selection Process
On January 20, at 10:55 a.m., all 10th grade students and parents are invited to a presentation on the Grade 11 courses and there will be a time to interact with all teachers to guide the course selection. This will take place in the Auditorium.

On the same day, on January 20, 9th and 11th graders will work on choosing their courses for 2020-2021. This will be with students only and they will bring their option forms back home for parents to review and sign.

On January 27, 8th grade parents and students are invited for a 2020-2021 High School course selection presentation at 2:00 p.m. in the Auditorium

Discover Ecuador (DE)
The Discover Ecuador trips are coming up, between February 3 and February 7. There will be a meeting with the trip organisers on Friday, January 31 at 10:55 a.m. for students and parents. Please review the packing lists for each trip that we sent back in December.

Students who are not going DE will be required to come to school and will get involved with different local service-based activities. Some will be associated with minor costs.

Class Changes
For your information, students have the first 10 class days of the semester to make any course changes. Students in grades 9-10 can see Ms. Keyes for any questions and Grades 11-12 should see Mr. Wasser and/or Mr. Voeller (for IB Courses). Blue course change forms must be submitted by Monday, January 20.

IB Corner
Mock Exams for our Seniors will be the week of March 9. Students that are registered for an IB Exam will take a “Mock Final” for that course during this week. This is designed to simulate the exam conditions they will face in May and will serve as the Semester 2 Final exam for those courses. Students that are not registered for IB exams will have normal school that week. 

Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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Middle School News

MS JAN 14

The Middle School is back in action! As first semester is coming to a close, this is a good time for you to check in with your child regarding their school work - assignments, final projects, assessments, etc. We rely on the home-school partnership to ensure that students have the time and place to complete work at home, when needed, and we are very grateful for your support. As always, please direct all class related questions to your child’s teachers.

We look forward to our Drama and Choir performances this Wednesday, at 5:00 p.m. in the Auditorium. I hope to see some of you there!

Counselor’s Corner - Aubrey Jordan
Coming back from a long break, you may find that your child struggles in getting back into a routine, especially when it comes to homework. To help reduce that struggle, here are a few homework tips to keep in mind:

  • Designate specific areas for homework, preferably a quiet space in the living or dining room, where you can ensure they are staying on task.
  • Turn off TV and come up with agreements regarding cell phone usage. For example, they can only use their cell phone if they need to ask a friend a specific question about an assignment.
  • Consider placing a whiteboard in your child’s room to help with planning and managing time as well as providing a visual timeline of when assignments are due and upcoming tests.
  • Encourage your child to advocate or reach out for assistance.
  • Review your child’s Edmodo assignments. If you need assistance in your child’s Edmodo code, please reach out to their teachers. 
  • Remember, consistency is a critical factor for success. 

Thursday is a half day for students, and a Professional Development afternoon for all faculty and staff. MS students are expected to leave campus at noon on Thursday.

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 School News

ES JAN 14_

Dear Parents,

This week, we have welcomed one of the candidates for the Elementary Principal position, and you will receive information for next week’s candidate visit from our director. We appreciate your involvement and I want to assure you that I am putting in place a transition plan along with our elementary team that will result in a smooth change for next school year.

Please keep in mind that Thursday, January 16 is a half - day and we have noon dismissal for all students. Staff will be involved in curriculum planning and digital development in the afternoon. Next week, we will carry out MAP testing in grades 3 to 5. The results from our standardized tests are used to inform how we address the learning needs of students and teachers plan for instruction accordingly. MAP data is one of the different data points that we analyze. One of the most powerful points of data is teachers’ observation of student engagement, day to day interactions and performance. On February 11, you will receive your child’s report card with specific information on all areas of learning. Save the date (February 18) to attend a meeting with teachers during conferences. You will receive information in the future about sign-ups for conferences.

I want to thank our PTSA for organizing different opportunities where families can come together and enjoy each other. You can’t miss the annual BINGO!  It is taking place on January 24. I will miss this year’s BINGO as I will be at the recruiting fair in the US during the weekend, but know that it will be a great time for all.

Warm regards,
Paola de Pereira
Elementary School Principal

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Director Message

DIR JAN 7

Dear Parents,
 
On behalf of our faculty, students and support staff I wish all our community members the best in 2020. A new decade is a moment for reflection on where we are and where we are going. We all have mental images of what certain decades represent for us. For example, music and styles of the 90s. Decades mark important times in history, the Roaring Twenties, Hungry Thirties, cultural revolutions of the Swinging Sixties. What will define the 2020s?
 
We are in the midst of perhaps the biggest change in human history, a third industrial revolution, an era of innovation, social disruption and change. There are huge challenges and opportunities ahead for our global society. We have access to and exposure to more forms of communication than ever in human history. Yet we can feel overwhelmed with the amount and pace of such change. How do we ensure we are properly informed? Schools struggle with these challenges also. One initiative we are taking on this month is to have all our teachers Google Certified to ensure they have the tools and expertise to assist your children to properly and safely navigate the internet.
 
Another strategy we are undertaking is to make sure we are communicating with YOU, our PARENTS, in the most effective manner. In order to assist in this, I would like to ask all parents to participate in a very brief (2-minute) SURVEY to better know your needs with respect to school communication.
 
Thank you and please remember that a key element of school success is your sons and daughters arriving to school on time each day. Also, as we communicated prior to the holidays, it is very important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses. Here is an interesting video from a school experiment that shows how important it is for children to wash their hands.

Have a wonderful week.

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High School News

HS JAN 7

Dear Parents,

I hope that this note finds you well in this new year. Bonne année à toutes et à tous!
The High School Semester 1 report cards are available from skyward and here are the steps to review them. Students who have yet to sit their exams will have their report cards later. And students who have just joined yesterday will not have a report card.

Athletics
Season 2 begins on January 7. The sports offered are:

QISSA JV & Varsity Basketball for Boys and Girls (Tryouts on January 7 and 8)
QISSA JV & Varsity Soccer for Boys (Tryouts on January 8 and 9)
HS Swimming for Boys and Girls (No tryouts required)
HS “Off Season” Volleyball for Boys and Girls (No tryouts required)

Basketball Camp
On January 9-12, Global Squad Basketball Academy will be hosting a camp at Academia Cotopaxi for all interested athletes. The sign up page is active on the link. If you have any questions please contact them directly, their contact information is on the link. 

CAISSA 2020
Carol Morgan International School will be hosting the 2020 CAISSA Tournament from March 11-15. The schools participating are Cayman International School, International School of Port of Spain, Campo Alegre International School from Caracas, Academia Cotopaxi and Carol Morgan. The sports that will compete are:

Boys Basketball
Boys Volleyball
Girls Soccer

We will have an informative meeting for athletes and parents on January 9 at 3:10 p.m. in the HS Commons and we will need confirmation by January 15. The timeline is always tight for these trips considering that we need to have all of our documents ready by mid February, so that the Ministry of Education approves the trip. If you need a VISA for the Dominican Republic, please look into that in advance. Venezuelan nationals will need a VISA. The approximate cost including airfare and hotel stay will be $1200. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Fuentes.
 
Thank you,
Fred Bordaguibel
High School Principal

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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.

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.

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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.