Friday, 17 April 2015

30: Friday 17th April 2015

From the Director 

Welcome back to the start of the final term of the year. It was great to see the students returning and meeting up with their friends again after the break! Thank you to all the parents who attended the first of the talks by Daniel Guttfreund this week and he will be talking about issues relating to teenage depression next Tuesday. Please contact Estefania Chacon if you would like to attend. 

Next week we are starting to focus on leadership and teamwork as part of our ABC Values. We at school believe firmly in teamwork in terms of the relationship we seek to establish with parents as well as with our students. We know that we can achieve so much more when we work together with the same goals and expectations.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our ICT / LRC team and especially Jennifer Garcia, for winning the prestigious ISTE online learning award and she has been invited to Philadelphia in June to present her work. We will be posting more detail on ABC News very soon. The work of the students was paramount in winning this award and it shows the ABC is at the forefront of development in learning through ICT.

As a final note I want to congratulate the Under 14 boys football team who triumphed 5-4 against Santa Cecilia this afternoon against a team who are traditionally a very strong opponent. Well done to everyone involved! 

Primary News

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you had a good break with your children and that the first week back to school has allowed you to re-establish your family routines. The children were very happy to see each other and have had a good first week of term. We celebrated World Art Day on Wednesday in a quiet but meaningful way with each class doing their own activity. Today our Prepa students have been out looking at special buildings around the city. I wonder if we have inspired any future architects?

Next week is Earth Week and the big focus for Primary school is litter and rubbish. As a non-native to El Salvador it has been a disappointment to me to see such a beautiful country marred by the excess of rubbish almost everywhere you go. The fact that there is no social stigma attached to throwing litter in the street has astounded me. We are going to be emphasizing the damage that the rubbish does to the environment, to animal life, to the aesthetics and to our own quality of life. We ask ‘Why would anyone want to live like this?’ and reflect on other cultures such as Scandinavia where the total opposite is the case. Please ensure that you, and any other adult your child comes into contact with, models responsible behaviour regarding the disposal of rubbish.

In line with this please also remember not to use an excess of packaging in childrens lunch boxes. Please use containers that can be reused in order to reduce the packaging that is discarded each day. If any packaging is used please make sure your child knows to bring it home so that it can be cleaned off and put into recycling.

We are beginning to think about the traditional end of year Talent Show. Please note that the auditions for the Upper Primary Grades will be held on the 27th, 28th and 29th April, in the lecture Theatre from 2pm - 3:30pm.

This week 3rd and 4th grade families have received the general information on the range of residential educational visits that we will be offering next school year. All educational research shows that educational visits have a big impact on students development confidence and both socially and academically so Grade 3 and 4 parents please read the information carefully and discuss with your child about what you think would benefit them. The traditional Grade 5 trip to the UK will be offered at Easter and Summer next year in order to enable greater numbers of students to go. There will be an annual skiing trip at the beginning of January that will be open to grade 4s and grade 5s and an ecological, outdoor and adventurous trip to Costa Rica at Easter time, also for Grade 5s. We hope that all visits will go ahead but they are dependent on sufficient numbers to make them financially viable. Please support this latest school initiative.

This last term we have our final class assemblies, please make sure you know when they are so that you can come along and support your child. We are asking the students to have a far greater role in the design, scripting and production of our assemblies recently and the results have been most rewarding.

Have a wonderful week.

Sharon Short
Head of Primary

Dates for your diary

Lower Primary 
Mon - Fri April: Earth Week
Thursday 23rd April: Grade 1 visit to FURESA

Upper Primary
Wednesday 22nd April 9.20am 2nd Mena Assembly
Wednesday 22nd April 12.15pm 4th García Prieto Assembly
Thursday 30th April 6.00 pm at the PAC Trips Meeting

Secondary News

Student Council President Elections
Today (Friday 17th April) saw the students vote for the new Student Council President and Vice-President. Andres Butter and Andrea Atanacio were this year’s candidates. Both students have been on the campaign trail and have been enthusiastically presenting their plans to the Secondary School students through assemblies. 

There was a very good turnout from the students and the results were incredibly close: Andres Butter (52%) and Andrea Atanacio (48%). Andres is therefore appointed the new Student Council President and Andrea will be the new Student Council Vice-President. A very well done to both candidates, they each had a lot of support from the student body. 

In next week’s ABC Weekly I will be explaining why having a clear student voice is so important to us at the ABC. 

At this point I would like to publicly thank Steven Kawas (the outgoing Student Council President), Paola Nosthas (outgoing Student Council Vice President) and his team Natalia Gomez and Rachael Keslake for their unwavering support and energy over the past year. 

Examinations
The next few months is a very important time for our Grade 9 to 12 students.

The Grade 11 internal examinations start on Wednesday 22nd of April and continue through until Thursday 30th of April.

The IGCSE (Grade 10) examinations and the IB (Grade 12) examinations are upon us. These examinations are the externally set (and marked) examinations which mark the culmination of two years of study and provide the gateway to the IB programme (for our Grade 10 students) and university/employment (for our Grade 12 students). Earlier this week (Monday and Tuesday) the IGCSE Art students sat their Paper 1 (practical) examination. The Grade 10 and 12 students have just two weeks left until Study Leave starts on Friday 1st of May. Study Leave is at the point when the examinations are more frequent and when the examinations start that are for entire year groups. 

The Grade 9 internal examinations will run from Thursday 21st of May until Friday 29th of May.

Examination instructions and timetables have been issued to students from Grades 9 to 12. 

The Apprentice
As part of our University Guidance and Careers Programme, we organise an activity called ‘The Apprentice’, which provides an important opportunity for our students to further develop their academic vision and professional plans. The activity involves students in 9th grade, who will do a week long internship at a company/institution from June 8th through the 12th, where they will carry out tasks related to a professional field they envision as a real alternative in their future. 

We would like to know if any parents in our school community are able to facilitate an internship opportunity for any of our students; we prefer to send a minimum of two students to each location. We will place the students at their internships according to their vocational interests; and to that purpose we asked students to list three career options. We expect a full day of work to last 8 hours (including one hour for lunch), between the hours of 7am and 3pm, unless a different schedule has been previously agreed on due to the nature of the institution (i.e. 8am – 4pm). 

The students will be responsible for punctuality, performance, and results. And, we trust that parents will help them meet these expectations. Also, we want the students to reflect upon this experience, and this will be done via a survey, and a group discussion about lessons’ learned, during the week after. 

Please, let us know if you can facilitate a work experience at your places of work by contacting ericquijano@abc-net.edu.sv . Your support will be appreciated greatly.
Eric Quijano

Parent Partnership Meeting - Tuesday 14th April and Tuesday 21st April
On Tuesday 14th Dr. Guttfreund, the respected psychologist on teenage related issues, was a guest speaker at the ABC. The first session was on sexting, cyberbullying and technology. Dr. Guttfreund's message was also about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The talks are designed to reinforce what the ABC is attempting to communicate to students and parents regarding substance abuse, healthy living and making sensible choices. 

There is still time to sign up for the next talk by Dr. Guttfreund (on Tuesday 21st April). This talk will be on the subjects of depression and anxiety amongst youngsters. 

You can sign up to attend the next session through the link that has been emailed to you.

Warm regards,

Stephen Spicer
Head of Secondary

Secondary dates for your diary
Tuesday 21st April: Parent Workshop on Teenage Anxiety. Dr. Guttfreund
Wednesday 22nd April: start of Grade 11 (internal) examinations 
Saturday 25th April to Monday 27th April: International Award expedition (Bronze - final)
Friday 1st May: Grade 10 and 12 study leave begins
Friday 1st May: Public holiday
Tuesday 5th May: University Information Evening (this is for Grade 11 students and their parents - more information to follow)
Saturday 16th April to Monday 18th April: International Award expedition (Silver)
Thursday 21st of May: start of the Grade 9 (internal) examinations 

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