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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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High School News

HS Oct2

Last week, our seniors pledged allegiance and paid respect to the Ecuadorian flag. This was a beautiful ceremony of the Jura a la Bandera and we are extremely proud of our students of the class of 2019.

College Counseling Corner
Please take a look at our updated College Visit Calendar through the end of October.
The PSAT will be offered to 11th graders at Academia Cotopaxi on Saturday, October 13th, at 9am.  Mr. Wasser will communicate directly with 11th graders and 11th grade parents on Monday, October 1st with registration details.

Grade Check
I am checking grades regularly and will write to parents and students when grades are 3 or below. Let me also encourage you to check skyward regularly to check grades and connect with High School teachers when you have a question. The 1st quarter ends on October 19th and we will have student-led conference on October 25th.

Your Expertise Requested
At Academia Cotopaxi, we believe we Learn in Community.  We invite parents to be part of our learning by sharing their areas of expertise with students.  We welcome professionals or hobbyists to share your knowledge and passions, or host field trips at your place of work. Please indicate your interest and willingness to be a learning resource by completing the form below.  
Share Your Expertise form
Our librarian, Jill Egan, will respond to and coordinate all volunteers.

IB Corner
The Extended Essay Gallery Walk/Showcase will be on Monday, October 29th from 10:55-11:55am. This event is the culmination of 10 months of work by our Seniors who have completed the IB Extended Essay (Monografia). During the hour they will be displaying their work and answering questions about their topic and process for the EE. Parents, friends and relatives are welcome to celebrate this piece of academic work. 

Cougar Corner
Upcoming Games:
10/3    JV & Varsity Boys Volleyball hosts Einstein. Games begin at 4:15.
10/4    JV & Varsity Girls Volleyball travels to Einstein. Games begin at 4:15.
10/10    Varsity Girls Soccer hosts Americano. Game begins at 4:15.

Fred Bordaguibel
HS Principal
 

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Middle School News

MS Oct2

Middle School Discover Ecuador was a resounding success! Please take a moment to thank the teachers who went on your child’s trip - it is only through their dedication that these incredible learning experiences are possible. 

Parent Day in the Middle 
Limited space remaining, sign up today!! The Middle School is delighted to offer the first bi-annual Parent Day in the Middle. Join us on Wednesday, October 10 for a "deep dive" into the MS program, and an opportunity to experience MS classes. We will begin at 8:15 a.m. in the Library for a conversation about MS curriculum and our counseling program, we will then attend classes, and end the morning by coming together for a follow-up conversation. 

This event asks for a time commitment of 8:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Spaces are limited to 20 parents. You will receive an email confirmation if you are one of the 20. If you are not part of the group in October, you will have another opportunity to sign up for the second semester Parent Day in the Middle.

Please use this form to sign up. We look forward to this opportunity for parents to take a peek into MS life!

Enjoy the upcoming long 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."

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Elementary News

ES Oct2

This week you are going to connect with your child’s learning at very personal levels.  Enjoy these moments where they will speak about the ways in which they learn, reflect on what works for them and celebrate their success!  

Your responses on SeeSaw 
It is wonderful to see so many of you posting responses on SeeSaw  in your child’s journals.  Please avoid any negative comments, and if you want to address the teacher, please email them directly.   We encourage you to provide your children with feedback on their posts that is related to their learning and encourage their continued learning.   Here are some examples of GREAT responses:
Not so good:
*I like your drawing.
*Great job!
*Your English is great!

Great because it is descriptive:
*Your drawing makes me think of xxx.  I like how you included xxx.
*The way in which you explained your thinking tells me that you understand the problem.
*I hear that you are speaking in English with confidence and have learned many words.

Use of video games 
We have had many parents approach us regarding children and video games.  They have raised questions regarding a now popular game, Fortnite.  Fortnite’s cover lists it as “T” - appropriate for teens.  We encourage parents to check ratings and make informed decisions regarding what games children play.  Speaking to other parents and reaching agreements for “device free playdates” is a great strategy to get children to find other healthier alternatives. As we shared in our parent workshop at the beginning of the school year, there are many positive uses of technology and you can support your child by determining if the engagement is contributing to their lives in positive ways.  Here’s one link where you can check on ratings and information about games, movies and media in general
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-fortnite

Inquiry Corner
This year the Elementary School is going through a PYP re-accreditation process.  It is a reflective learning experience that occurs every 5 years as a way to align PYP Standards and Academia Cotopaxi's practices to directly impact student learning.  The process starts with an in depth self-study of where we stand in regards to standards established by the PYP with evidence to demonstrate our rating within each standard, and with recommendations to address areas of need.  The self-study process involves all stakeholders (students, parents, teaching staff, administrators, and Board).  As an important stakeholder, we kindly ask you to complete this PYP Parent Survey. 

Paola de Pereira
ES Principal
 

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High School News

HS Sep25

Juramento a la Bandera
This very special event for our school, for our seniors and for Ecuador is happening on Wednesday, September 26th at 1:30 p.m. in the Auditorium

College Counseling corner
On Thursday, September 27th, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., at Academia Cotopaxi, Mr. Wasser will be holding a college counseling workshop for 11th grade parents.  In this presentation, he will be discussing all aspects of applying to university and how he will work with your student.  We hope to see you there.  Thank you.

Please take a look at our updated College Visit Calendar through the end of October.

MAP Test
MAP Tests are still going on this week in the HS. Continue to do the best you can.

October 1st: Cuestionarix for the Ecuadorian Diploma
There will be a presentation about Cuestionarix at 3:10 p.m. in C36 for 12th grade students taking the Ecuadorian exams and their parents. Cuestionarix helps students practice for the exams required to obtain the Ecuadorian Diploma.

Cougar Corner
QISSA Games this week:
September 25
        
Girls Varsity Soccer             AC @ Alliance Academy at 4:15
Boys JV and Varsity Volleyball    Alliance Academy @ AC at 4:15

September 27
Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball    AC @ Alliance Academy at 4:15

Fred Bordaguibel
HS 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.

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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.