Tuesday, 19 August 2014

1: Tuesday 19th August 2014

From the Director

Welcome Back from the School Leadership Team on behalf of all of us here at the ABC

The new school year starts this Thursday and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school after the summer holidays. In my role as the new Director I would particularly like to welcome Mrs. Short, the new Head of Primary and Mr. Spicer, the new Head of Secondary. I have been working with Mrs. Short and Mr. Spicer for a while now and we are all really excited at the prospect of leading this great school forward. We have a great opportunity to build on the work done under the leadership of Mr. Hobson for many years. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Dickson for the huge contribution she has made in the Primary School during the last four years.

In terms of the start of the coming school year please note the new road layout on the Panamericana. In particular please be careful turning onto the Panamericana from the slip road right towards the Admin school entrance where the new cycle lane will change the traffic flow into school. 

On another practical issue we have updated our telephone system over the summer and we have new phone numbers. The school numbers all start 2201 followed by the extension you need. Each Section has included the necessary numbers below but the main switchboard is 2201 6222 or 2201 6200. As usual at the start of the year we will not be starting our extra curricular or Team Sports activities until the week beginning Monday 1st September but there will be extra PE and Prep sessions for designated students on certain days. Details will follow. In the meantime we look forward to welcoming you on Thursday. I would advise arriving early to avoid spending too long in the line up! 

As I mentioned earlier the school recently said farewell to Mr. George Hobson who has been the highly respected Headmaster of the ABC since 1999. In a world of change we have been so fortunate to have had a Headmaster who has committed such a period of time to the school and On behalf of the whole community we are grateful for the development of the school under his leadership. Mr. Hobson posted the following “farewell” message when he left for us to pass on.

A Farewell message from Mr. Hobson
“My wife Carys and I have been very moved by the various messages of thanks and good wishes for the future - thank you. I have had the privilege to work with a wonderful team of teachers, admin and support staff, as well as getting to know parents and students over these fifteen years. The school is lucky to have such a supportive and dedicated community, together with a board and foundation which truly cares about the school and works incessantly towards the improvement of the ABC. Finally, I would like to wish Mr Keslake every success as the new Headmaster of the ABC - I know that the school will be in good hands.”

Summer Holiday Building
The roofs of the classrooms in the lower area of Upper Primary have been replaced with well-insulated modern roofing. We have also started a major renovation of our Maintenance Building by the main gate. This will provide appropriate facilities for our maintenance, cleaning and support staff as well as workshops and storage areas. One important feature of this project is the access to what we have been calling the emergency car park which will now be from within school and not from the Panamericana. This should make it much safer for cars to enter and leave that car park area. As part of this project we will enlarge and bury the rainwater drain that flows under our property from Santa Tecla. We anticipate this work will all be completed by December 2014. Obviously until then we will have slightly less car parking space for staff and visitors and we ask for your patience and help in reducing the impact of less parking spaces in any way you can.

It remains for me to say that all of the ABC team will be looking to work positively with you and your children to ensure their success in the coming term and academic year. I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks at our events to mark the start of the year.

Primary News

As the new Head of Primary I feel very privileged to be working at the ABC. The welcome I have received has been so warm and supportive. I am extremely excited to be leading the Primary Section of the school as it develops and moves forward in order to give our children the very best start in life.

I have worked predominantly in the UK where I was a head teacher but my last posting was at the International School of Milan in Italy which I really enjoyed and was able to introduce some of the latest and best teaching practices to the staff. 

Arriving with me this year we have Mr Ben Pattenden who will be teaching in Grade 3, Mr Ben Brooke - grade 2, Mrs Lindsey Gray - Prepa, Ms Maria Watt - Prepa, Mr Nicholas Turner-Ware - Prepa and Ms Marianne Taylor - Prepa. This will provide a real strength to the children’s English language acquisition at a key time in their education.

I look forward to getting to know you all at the various meetings in the next few weeks and months and working together for the benefit of our children.

Please note the reminders below.

Very best wishes

Sharon Short

Please note our new phone numbers
Lower Primary 2201 6241
Upper Primary 2201 6252

Please also note that in order to ease the congestion of the first week and a half grade 4 and 5 will leave school at 1.45pm until Friday, August 29th

In order to create a suitable learning environment we ask you to support us by ensuring all students wear correct school uniform and have their hair securely tied up, wear no jewellery except stud earrings and that there is no nail varnish and no chewing gum in school. Thank you.

If you are planning to buy new trainers/tennis shoes for your children during the summer holiday please remember that in the primary school we insist that students wear trainers that are predominantly white. 

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Thursday 21st August: First day of school
Extra curricular activities start week beginning 1st september
Monday 1st September Back to school night for Pre-Kinder and Kinder 6.00-7.00 pm in the PAC and then in your child’s classroom
Wednesday 3rd September Back to school night for Prepa and First grades 6.00-7.00 pm in the PAC and then in your child’s classroom
Friday 5th September 7.20-8.20 LP Spanish Assembly
Monday 15th September Independence day
Tuesday 16th September Staff inset training day
Friday 19th September McLay Fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.

Upper Primary
Thursday 21st August: First day of school
Thursday 9th September: extracurricular activities start 
Tuesday 9th September Back to school night for 2nd and 3rd grades, 6.00-7.00 pm PAC
Wednesday 10th September Back to school night for 4th and 5th grades, 6.00-7.00 pm PAC
Monday 15th September Independence day
Tuesday 16th September Staff inset training day
19th September McLay fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.

Secondary News

From Mr. Stephen Spicer - Head of Secondary
I look forward to working closely with the staff and parents to ensure that our students enjoy their education, feel happy and safe and realise their full potential. As well as striving for the highest academic standards, I also believe that education should be about students learning about themselves and the rest of society. My team and I will work together to continue to foster confident, responsible and emotionally intelligent global citizens.

I come to El Salvador having worked for the past five years in a large private school in the Middle East and having taught for twelve years in a range of schools in the UK. My wife Gill Gregory will also be working at the ABC, in the Humanities and English departments, and our 7 year old daughter Emily is excited about entering the 2nd grade at the school.

We are joined in the Secondary School by the following enthusiastic and experienced new staff:

Tim Brogan - Mathematics
Natalie Gowman - Science and Biology
Edward Hodder Smith - Mathematics and Head of Grade 11
Prudence Meggitt - English Second in Department
Matthew Tupling - Science and Physics
Sandra Wilson – English and History

Over the coming weeks the new staff will be introducing themselves through the ABC Weekly.

It has been lovely to see our new staff quickly settle in and encouraging to hear them talk about the warm welcome they have all received from everybody here at the ABC. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sarah Harrison on her promotion to Deputy Head Curriculum. I know that this year I will be ably assisted by both Sarah Harrison and by Natalia Caceres, Deputy Head Pastoral.

I will be meeting with parents in person in the "Know Your School" events which are coming up in the next few months. These events will give us the opportunity to discuss our plans for the future and how we intend to build on the academic success at the ABC.

Uniform & equipment
I look forward to welcoming returning and new students during Thursday’s assemblies. As with the start of every new academic year it is always worth reminding students and parents of the school uniform and equipment requirements. Students need to be in full school uniform from the onset, hair must adhere to school policy (girls’ hair should be safely tied back in practical classes and boys’ hair should be smartly cut and not extend over the collar) and students should have all the necessary equipment. Further information regarding uniform, hair and equipment is available on the school website, the student planner and the parent handbook.

Parent Handbooks
Parent handbooks were sent out earlier this week. If you have any queries or have not received one please contact:

Grades 6-8: Marielos Soto (Extension 2201 6273)
Grades 9-10: Roxana Hall (Extension 2201 6261)
IB: Lissett Castro (2201 6236)

End of day arrangements
The end of day arrangements for the next two weeks (from this Thursday until extracurricular and team sports activities begin) will be sent out to all parents by email, we are very grateful to you for your cooperation in helping to make this time of the day as stress free as possible for everyone.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 
Nelson Mandela

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 26th August - New Secondary Parents Welcome Evening for secondary parents new to the ABC at 6:30pm in the PAC and Madres Enlaces at 7pm in the ABCLT
Thursday 28th August - New York Trip Information Evening, 7pm in ABCLT 
Wednesday 2nd September - CIS Tour, 2.00pm to 3.00pm Auditorium
Tuesday 30th September - Grade 6 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October - Grade 11 & 12 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Monday 6th October - Grade 7 & 8 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October - Grade 9 & 10 Know Your School, 5:30 PAC

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