Friday, 26 September 2014

7: Friday 26th September 2014

From the Director

I want to thank everyone for their patience in terms of dealing with our drop off and pick ups in the morning and afternoon. We realised at the start of term that with the changes to the Panamericana we could not cope with all our cars arriving at the same time in the morning and that required a change. Our changes in the morning have worked well and the traffic throughout the morning drop off period is now much improved. Everyone tells me they are happy with this! The afternoons are now where we are facing some issues and we are working to deal with them. it is our intention to change nothing more for a few weeks while we monitor the situation and we try to improve the internal pick ups. I want to reassure you that it is our intention to try to make everyone's life easier during the pick ups and we are considering various ideas.

Please note that Eleanora Daura is to be Acting Chair of the Board for the next six months and we look forward to working more closely with her. 

Primary News

Children’s day on the 1st of October is a very special day in the Primary school. 

In Lower Primary we will have an entertainer in school to perform for the children and we ask parents to send in a simple but meaningful card for each child. The children will receive this before they go home. Imagine your child is the only one in the class who doesn’t receive a card. How hurt and upset they would be. Please make sure your card is handed in well in advance.

This year in Upper Primary the children are allowed to wear non-uniform. However, clothes must still be suitable for school activities. No beach wear or unsupported, or high heeled shoes. No spaghetti straps or offensive slogans etc. The teachers will also have special activities going on in some of their lessons.

Keep an eye out for your child’s class assemblies below so that you can get time off work to attend.

The Lower Primary curriculum nights start this week. Pre Kinder parents please come along on the 1st October so that you are better informed about what is happening in school and so that you can support your child in the right way at home.

Sometimes as parents we are tempted to become too involved in our children’s arguments and sometimes we do not support our children enough! Come along to our School for Parents on the 8th of October and learn about helping children resolve conflicts in a constructive way which also helps the children move forward. This event, arranged by our school psychologists, is in the PAC at 7.10 am.

Have a wonderful week.

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
October:
Wednesday 1st: Children’s day - please send your child’s card in
Wednesday 1st: Pre Kinder Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 3rd: First Vásquez Assembly - 7:35am PAC
Tuesday 7th: Kinder Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Thursday 9th: Prepa Curriculum Night - - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 10th: First Aguirre Assembly - - 7:35am PAC
Wednesday 15th: First grade Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 17th: Prepa Watt Assembly - 7:35am PAC
Friday 17th: LP United Nations day - 8:00am PAC
Monday 27th - Friday 31st - Mid-term holiday

Upper Primary
October:
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day
Wednesday 1st October: 5th Linares assembly
Wednesday 8th October: School for Parents: Helping children resolve conflicts. 7.10am PAC
Wednesday 8th October: 3rd Padilla assembly
Wednesday 22nd October: 2nd Elisa Hernández assembly
Wednesday 22nd October: 4th Avilés assembly
Monday 27th - Friday 31st - Mid-term holiday

Secondary News

Student Council
Thank you to the Student Council for their continued support and valuable contributions.

At the ABC we encouraged our students to share their ideas and concerns. The Student Council also organises a number of fundraisers during the year.

Elections were recently held and it is my pleasure to announce the new Form Representatives. Newly elected from Grade 6 to Grade 12 we have: 

Grade 6: Sebastian Arce (6A), Isabella Bolaños (6B), Rocio Guerrero (6C), Luciana Molins (6D), Alfredo Sanchez (6E)

Grade 7: Carlos Vasquez (7A), Michelle Ramirez (7B), Vanessa Nuñez (7C), Catherine Sanchez (7D), Paola Ponce (7E),

Grade 8: Michelle Kawas (8A), Marco Samour (8B), Rodrigo Melara (8C), Alejandro Orellana (8D), Clarisa Arteaga (8E) 

Grade 9: Diego Behrens (9A), Irma Choto (9B), Carmen Reyes (9C), Ximena Sanchez (9D), Diego Arevalo (9E)

Grade 10: Jose María Mejía (10A), Diego Daura (10B), Sofia Rodriguez (10C), Lucia Soto (10D), Ximena Nosthas (10E)

Grade 11: Paola Lopez (11A), Saul Padilla (11B), Max Mendez (11C), Roberta Bara (11D)

Grade 12: Jimena Vega (12A), Roberto Iglesias (12B), Hans Dorcich (12C), Adriana Valladares (12D), Gabriela Landaverde (12E)

Congratulations.

ABC Student Council - 2014 to 2015 Academic Year

Panama Classic 2014
Congratulations to Paola Maria Molina Guzman Grade 9 on her success in the recent Panama Classic gymnastics competition.


Paola competed in Level 4 in the 12 years and older categories. She competed against gymnasts from Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia and Costa Rica. 

Paola said “It was a very fun experienced. At first I was nervous because of the level of competitors in my category”. Commenting on her performance on the bars “...I started to gain confidence in myself {and} … I was determined I could do it well.” Paola eventually came second place. She is now looking forward to her next competition. We wish her every success. 

The Duck Project
The Duck Project, supported by some of our IB students, is a donation campaign that focuses on helping communities in El Salvador that live below the poverty line. The targeted community at the moment is Siguanango in Sonsonate. Siguanango has a population of approximately 300 people that suffer from hunger, water shortage and lack of education. 

How YOU can help
The students have set up collection boxes in the bottom car park by the PAC, the top car park and by the LRC. You can donate anything including clothes, toys, blankets and food (dried food and canned food would be much appreciated, but do not include any perishable foodstuffs); however, please make sure that the items are in good condition. 

Please do what you can to support this worthy project.

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 30th September: Know Your School (KYS) meeting for Grade 6, 5.30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October: KYS meeting for Grades 11 and 12, 5.30 PAC
Monday 6th October: KYS meeting for Grades 7 and 8, 5.30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October: KYS meeting for Grades 9 and 10, 5.30 PAC
Thursday 9th October: Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, NYU, Northwestern University visit - 2.00pm to 3.00pm & 4.00pm to 5.30pm in the PAC (parents and students Grade 9-12 are invited).

Friday, 19 September 2014

6: Friday 19th September 2014

From the Director


We hope everyone had a positive independence day experience at the start of this week. I also hope you have looked at the ABC News blog and read about our Values based Education Quality Mark following the visit of the international consultant and educator Dr. Neil Hawkes. I was delighted so many of you joined us for his address to parents on Tuesday evening.

We want to use the ideas and training provided by Dr. Hawkes to ensure we help our ABC Community promote these values in all aspects of the lives of the children and young people at our school.

We are going to be reviewing our specific values as part of a school wide review of our Philosophy and Objectives which was started last term. We will be asking for your involvement in this

On another note as you are already aware we have been trying to improve the drop off and pick up at school and we are extending our early morning changes into next week but in order to maintain contact time we are also changing some of the pick up times for next week. I would also like to re appeal for parents to consider car sharing at either times and to register through school to see if we can put you in contact with other parents in your area.

Drop Off and Pick Up times for next week:

Pre Kinder: Start at 7.30 and will now go home at 12.15
Kinder: Start at 7.30 and will now go home at 12.45
Prepa: Start at 7.15 and will now go home at 1.15
Grade 1 : Start at 7.15 and will still go home at 1.30
Grade 2-5: Start at 7.15 and will now go home at 1.50

Team Sports times have also been finalised with our coaches and Team Sports times for Upper Primary and Secondary are as follows. We please ask that you work around these times in terms of coordinating a pick up in the afternoon:

Upper Primary: 2.15 - 3.30
Secondary: 2.30 - 4.00

Primary News

Dear Parents and carers,

Fantastic news, our school was awarded the Values-based Education quality mark following the visit from Dr. Neil Hawkes. We all feel very proud of our school and its students.

As you will see above we are pleased to be continuing with the trial morning times and also trialling a change to the leaving times to see if the afterschool congestion is affected. Please note that Pre-K will now leave at 12.15, Kinder at 12.45 and Prepa at 1.15. Thank you for your positive feedback so far.

Next Friday 26th September all of the lost property from Primary and Secondary will be on display for collection and then on Friday evening anything of value will be donated to charity. Please make a special effort to come and look for your lost items on that day or if you identify something sooner please speak to a Primary Secretary about getting it back.

I am still concerned about children not being strapped in when the car is moving and small children not being in car seats. Children hanging out of the window when you drive away is not acceptable and I will be speaking to some of you about it when I am at the collection/drop off points.

The McLay Fun Run and Peace One Day were a great success. Please see some of the photos on the ABC news http://abcnews-blog.blogspot.com/

Have a wonderful week.

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
September:
Friday 19th: LP Spanish assembly - Kinder Francés - 7:45am PAC & McLay fun run
Friday 26th September: 1st Fastiggi Assembly - 7:35am PAC
October:
Wednesday 1st: Children’s day
Wednesday 1st: Pre Kinder Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 3rd: First Vásquez Assembly - 7:35am PAC
Tuesday 7th: Kinder Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Thursday 9th: Prepa Curriculum Night - - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 10th: First Aguirre Assembly - - 7:35am PAC
Wednesday 15th: First grade Curriculum Night - 6:00pm PAC
Friday 17th: Prepa Watt Assembly - 7:35am PAC
Friday 17th: LP United Nations day - 8:00am PAC
Monday 27th - Friday 31st - Mid-term holiday

Upper Primary
September:
Friday 19th: McLay fun run
Friday 25th: Grade 5 McLay fun run
October:
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day
Wednesday 1st October: 5th Linares assembly
Wednesday 8th October: School for Parents: Helping children resolve conflicts. 7.10am PAC
Wednesday 8th October: 3rd Padilla assembly
Wednesday 22nd October: 2nd Elisa Hernández assembly
Wednesday 22nd October: 4th Avilés assembly
Monday 27th - Friday 31st - Mid-term holiday

Secondary News

Peace One Day
Today we celebrated Peace One Day (officially the day will be celebrated on Sunday 21st September). 

Peace One Day 2014 focuses on the youth of today and it aims to reduce school bullying and to create the next generation of peacemakers. Peace one Day 2014 also draws again on the theme of “Who will you make peace with?”, encouraging individuals to take action in their homes and communities. 

These messages were communicated during special assemblies during the day. The assemblies looked at some of the stories of reconciliation that have recently come out of Rwanda (April 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide that claimed the lives of nearly a million people). For more information on this please go to: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html. This link takes you to a powerful and moving New York Times article entitled ‘Portraits of Reconciliation’.
To raise money for charity students were charged $1 to wear jeans and a white top (or a Peace One Day t-shirt) and students were invited to help construct a Peace One Day mural of hand prints (by donating 50 cents). The students also organised a special football match at lunch time to mark the occasion.

Lost property
Please ask your child/children to check the lost and found cage by the Science/Maths rooms for any items that they have misplaced. Items are put out for display each Friday and the key can be collected from the Head of Secondary’s Office on any day during the week. 
Students have been encouraged to retrieve lost items on a number of occasions since the start of term. There are, however, many items still left unclaimed.

At the end of school on Friday 26th September we are going to remove all items and they will be placed in storage. Shortly afterwards, we will be donating these items to a worthy cause. 

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 30th September: Know Your School (KYS) meeting for Grade 6, 5.30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October: KYS meeting for Grades 11 and 12, 5.30 PAC
Monday 6th October: KYS meeting for Grades 7 and 8, 5.30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October: KYS meeting for Grades 9 and 10, 5.30 PAC

Friday, 12 September 2014

5: Friday 12th September 2014

From the Director


We would like to wish you all a Happy Independence Day celebration over the weekend and especially on Monday. We have enjoyed our in school celebrations with assemblies and a party this week. It is a great time to think about the merits of being independent and how we can model independence for our children.

Important Notice regarding school start times
As I know you are all aware we have been having problems with traffic in the morning due primarily to changes in the escape route onto the Panamericana and so we have decided to change the school start times for a trial of three days next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to see if it helps solve our traffic problems. You should have received an email about this and the times we suggest different parts of the school arrive. We recognise some of you will come earlier because it suits your morning schedule or because you have children in different sections of the school. We are asking:

Pre Kinder and Kinder - please aim to arrive between 7.10 and 7.30 for a 7.30 start.
Prepa to Grade 5 - please aim to arrive between 6.50 and 7.10 for a 7.15 start.
Secondary is as usual with a 7 am start.

We are also asking for parents to sign up for our car-pooling register to try to help parents share and therefore reduce the number of cars coming into school. The link is here.

It has been an interesting few days with Dr. Neil Hawkes and his wife Jane visiting school to look at our traits and values and how we use them to develop “responsible outstanding citizens.” You will have an opportunity to hear him speak about the school and ways of developing values in young children at school on Tuesday evening at 6.30 pm. We hope to see you there but please make sure you have reserved a seat.


Please note school is closed on Monday and Tuesday next week and we reopen on Wednesday.

Primary News

Thank you to all the parents who had the Back to school night. We had really good attendances for each one. I hope you found the meetings helpful.

Please make sure you have noted the trial changes to school times in Mr Keslake’s information above.

McLay Fun Run - Friday 19th
Next Friday it is the McLay Fun Run for everyone up to and including Grade 4. The children are asked to come to school in their PE kits so that they can take part and to bring in a dollar for the local charity. The Grade 5 children will be carrying out their run a week later, off site. They will be bringing home sponsor forms to raise money. Please help them to get sponsors for the event. They should not approach people that are not known to their family.

Peace One Day - Friday 19th 
Also on Friday is Peace One Day. Grade 5 can come to school in a white t-shirt and Jeans to recognise the day and should also bring in one dollar for the privilege. All other children can bring in a white T-shirt to change into after their fun run. Please see the secondary section below for more information about the day.

We have now appointed our tribal chiefs and student council. Please go to the ABC news http://abcnews-blog.blogspot.com/ to see their photos.

Please note that the Primary School is becoming eco-friendly and all communications will be electronic from now on. So please make a point to check your email accounts and spam!

Very best wishes for the coming week and the Independence Day Celebrations. We look forward to seeing the children again on Wednesday 17th.

Sharon Short

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Monday 15th September: Independence day
Tuesday 16th September: Staff inset training day
Friday 19th September: LP Spanish Assembly (Kínder) - PAC 7:35am
Friday 19th September: McLay Fun Run. All children should come in their PE kit.
Friday 26th September: 1st Fastiggi class assembly 7:20am PAC
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day

Upper Primary
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.
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day
Wednesday 1st October: 5th Linares class assemblies

Secondary News

Peace One Day - Friday 19th September
On Friday 19th September we are celebrating Peace One Day. Peace One Day was founded in 1999 by Jeremy Gilley, the British filmmaker and actor. 

Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation whose objective is "to institutionalise the International Day of Peace, 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known." (from the Peace One Day website - see link below).

As well as assemblies during the day, the ABC will support Peace One Day by raising funds for charity. We are asking students to pay $1 to wear jeans and a white top (or a Peace One Day T-shirt).

For further information about Peace One Day please go to: http://www.peaceoneday.org

Dangers of using Ask.fm, Instagram, WhatsApp...
Not wanting to single out just these mediums (I could include Skype, Facebook etc.), there is a lot of concern, and rightly so, about how people, particularly young people, communicate with each other using modern technology.

Information (often quite personal), images (sometimes inappropriate) and comments (often abusive) are shared too easily. This can put people in danger and worryingly the use of these mediums has been linked to a number of recent suicides.

Please speak to your son(s)/daughter(s) about their use of social media. I encourage you to research these mediums as a family and discuss how best to use them. 

Facts (in brief):
  • Ask.fm - a social networking website set up in a question and answer format.
  • Instagram - used for sharing images online.
  • WhatsApp - one of the most popular messaging applications (it handles two billion messages per day).
Independence Day Celebrations - Friday 12th September
Today we celebrated Independence Day at the ABC. For a taste of the day’s celebrations please go to the ‘ABC News’ for a pictorial record.

Secondary dates for your diary
Monday 15th September: Independence Day - National holiday for whole school
Tuesday 16th September: INSET Day for teachers - School is closed for students
Tuesday 16th September - Escuela Americana Linden University Fair, 6.00pm to 8.30pm at the Hotel Princess and at the American School
Wednesday 17th September: Back to school - normal time
Friday 19th September - Peace One Day (please see above)
Tuesday 30th September: Know Your School (KYS) meeting for Grade 6, 5.30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October: KYS meeting for Grades 11 and 12, 5.30 PAC
Monday 6th October: KYS meeting for Grades 7 and 8, 5.30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October: KYS meeting for Grades 9 and 10, 5.30 PAC

Friday, 5 September 2014

4: Friday 5th September 2014



From the Director


Our Community and our values
We have heard a lot about values recently and as a community we are 100% committed to ensuring our students grow up respecting themselves, their community, their country and their world. This month we are celebrating our national values as we join the rest of the country in looking forward to the Independence Day later this month. 

We are being visited by Neil Hawkes next week. He is an international education consultant who focuses on helping schools place their values at the heart of their work. We expect him to help us promote our shared values through all we do at school. Neil Hawkes will also be talking to ABC parents at school on Tuesday 16th September at 6pm. We hope many parents will attend and in order to monitor numbers we are asking you to register. The ABC News blog contains more information on Neil Hawkes and his visit.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our community is an integral part of our school and the importance of us all working together in the best interests of all our students and the school. All of us have essential parts to play.

Car stickers
Please note that as part of our security measures, new car pass stickers will replace ALL old ones. This will ensure that only current members of our community have access to our premises. Any previous stickers will be replaced for free and additional ones are available at the cashier for $1 each. Please do your bit to help ensure the right people have access to our premises. We are asking that everyone should have the new sticker by Friday 12th September and from that date access will be denied to cars who do not have the new pass even if they have an old one. Thank you for your help.

Primary News

The ‘back to school nights’ continue in Primary next week for our Upper Primary students. The Lower Primary ones were well attended with 98% of parents making the effort to ensure they know what is required for their child this year. Congratulations to the Lower Primary parents for leading the way. Will the Upper Primary parents do even better?

The Independence Day celebrations carry on with an assembly and party on the 12th of the month. There are Salvadorian flags around the school and I have heard the children practising singing the national anthem. Some of our students are rehearsing to dance for us at the party too.

The Primary school staff will all be participating in the training on Values Based Education on the 16th of September which will have an impact on the children’s future learning. Remember that school is closed that day.

We like to show you what has happened in school so please keep an eye on the ABC news blogg http://abcnews-blog.blogspot.com/ where we will be reporting back on Primary events in school all through the year ahead.

Very best wishes,

Sharon Short.

Smart Phone reminder
The only phones allowed in Primary school are the most basic handsets, available from all network providers, that can only be used by children to text and call parents after 1:30pm. These phones need to be handed in at the UP office each day and collected at the end of each day. Any smart phones bought in by students will be kept in the UP Office and only released to parents. This policy reflects our concerns, that we have previously shared on our blogs and in a School for Parents, about the unfiltered content available to children on these devices. We appreciate your support in keeping your children safe. It should also be noted that no other electronic items capable of internet access should be brought into school by children, for example, Ipads and Ipods.

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
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.
Friday 26th September: 1st Fastiggi class assembly
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day

Upper Primary
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
Friday 19th September: McLay fun run. All children should come in their PE kit.
Wednesday 1st October: Children’s day
Wednesday 1st October: 5th Linares class assemblies

Secondary News

The starting point of all achievement is desire” (Napoleon Hill). Schools should be about celebrating achievement, whether it be academic, social or sporting. So much has been achieved since the start to the academic year, but I want to focus on a couple of these achievements - one from the teaching staff and one from our students.

On August 31st, two expatriate teachers at the Academia Britanica Custcatleca - Mr Chris Martin (Head of English) and Ms Jo Bartimote (Head of Mathematics) - ran the Guatemala 21k half marathon on behalf of the UK-based charity Epilepsy Research. 

Mr Martin completed 21k in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and Ms Bartimote in 2 hours 13 minutes. 

So far, through contributions in school and in the UK, over $500 has been raised for Epilepsy Research UK. 

Congratulations to both of them on their impressive times and for their support of this worthy cause. 


One of our Grade 12 students Finella Nicole Rottmann Dell'arciprete, a member of the dojo Schumann’s El Salvador and a member of the El Salvador International Competition Team, represented the country in the International Tournament of Martial Arts at the Mexican Open 2014. This event took place in Acapulco in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, from August 27th to August 31st.

This tournament is the most important martial arts event in the region; there were more than 500 participants of all ages. Finella competed against NBL World champions from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada, Equador and the United States. 

Her results were: second place in combat; second in weapon forms hard; second in creative choreographed music; third in creative musical open; and, fourth in choreographed weapons.

I look forward to reporting on more achievements from our students and staff during this academic year. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Secondary dates for your diary
Friday 12th September: Independence Day Party. Students and staff will be celebrating El Salvador’s independence. I will report on the celebrations in next week’s ABC Weekly.
Tuesday 16th September: Escuela Americana Linden University Fair, 6.00pm to 8.30pm at the Hotel Princess and at the American School.
Tuesday 30th September: KYS meeting for Grade 6, 5.30 PAC
Thursday 2nd October: KYS meeting for Grades 11 and 12, 5.30 PAC
Monday 6th October: KYS meeting for Grades 7 and 8, 5.30 PAC
Wednesday 8th October: KYS meeting for Grades 9 and 10, 5.30 PAC