Newsletter from the Principals
We are really excited to share with you some highlights from the month of September. There is so much learning going on in every classroom! Here are just a few glimpses into what’s been going on and what is ahead.
Our teachers are employing familiar platforms as well as new technology to enhance student learning. We also have distance learners actively participating in lessons.
This year we are excited to have our IT Director working directly with primary teachers and students in their classrooms! Mr.Helmy will come to run technology focused lessons every third week for elementary classes in collaboration with the homeroom teachers. He will start with specific guidance on internet and technology usage. We see this as essential as students are currently using programs, apps, platforms, and email addresses - all of which come with a high level of responsibility. The teachers will then work together to integrate technology lessons to
enhance learning in the curriculum.
A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Braley for their donation of the school's first GoPro camera and microphone. These items will arrive next week and will be used to support students and families of children learning at a distance. We hope to buy more of these cameras in the near future.
The NAO Challenge
As part of CAS and IT lessons, students from Grades 9-11 will have the opportunity to participate in the NAO Challenge. “The NAO Challenge is an educational contest for high school students organized for the first time in Italy in 2015 by Scuola di Robotica (the School of Robotics) in collaboration with SoftBank Robotics and the Italian company CampuStore. The aim of the competition is to offer high school students the change to work and program a humanoid robot to be used in plausible and real-like situations. Service robots can be useful to humans in different situations: at home, at school, in hospital. To support learning, to help in inclusive education, even just to cheer and reassure.”
IPC Personal Learning Goal
Our IPC Personal Learning Goal for this month is to be a Collaborator. Collaborator is from the IPC 2020 updated list of personal goals and was previously identified as Cooperative. IPC gave the following reason for the change: Goes further than simply 'getting along'; encompasses action and agency through working with others.
The reason for choosing this PLG first this year is that cooperating and collaborating are skills that we need to embrace with our students as they begin to work as a face to face learning community again. Most of our students hadn’t been part of an in person classroom for six months, so sharing ideas, spaces, and the learning environment has been a focus in all classrooms. We will be celebrating the IPC Personal Learning Goal on Friday, October 9.
Secondary Advisory System
This week we’ve started the implementation of our Advisory system. Teacher advisors have been identified for each grade level and each section. This teacher will become a point of contact and an overseer of general social, emotional and academic student wellbeing. This
teacher will be in regular contact with students, families and subject teachers in order to support and coordinate for the betterment of our students.
TCRWP - Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Writing
Grades 1 - 8 have launched into their first units in English class. Elementary students are working on building rich reading lives! You should see your children reading every day after school. Hopefully they have found a comfy reading spot and have told you how excited they are about their first books. Ms. Mele our librarian has sent out information about Scholastic orders if you are looking to stock up on books your kids will find fascinating!
6th and 7th grade are currently studying characters in depth and many are already fully into their first, second, or even third novels.
8th graders have started an Investigative Journalism unit. Their first experience involved observing Ece students from a distance. They are currently writing interesting and informative articles about their observations and we will publish some of these articles in next month's newsletter.
Middle School Science
This year our Science department is working hard on integrating many more practical science projects into the curriculum. As an example, our 7th grade students have been learning about body organisation, from cells through to organ systems. They have recreated the structure of the cells creatively by baking cakes, building with lego bricks and designing websites! They have also had the opportunity to take part in many chicken labs, including dissecting a chicken leg and looking at the impact of lack of calcium on the bones.
We are taking full advantage of our beautiful outdoor spaces (weather permitting). Classes are taking place outside, as well as lunch and recess times.
Gentle Reminder - Gatherings After School
We feel very satisfied with our new health and safety procedures put in place. The students are respecting distances, wearing masks when necessary, and above all sanitizing hands often. The area that still needs more attention is pick-up time. We are still noticing gatherings. Please
do your best to avoid crowding and move off the campus as soon as you have collected your children. We also ask that you ensure you are also wearing your mask as we know our children copy what they see role models do. Thank you for your collaboration and attention on this point.
Online Learning Option
As previously communicated, any students who have vulnerabilities in the family or cannot be in Genoa for an extended time should contact the principal to arrange for the online learning option, which will combine live video lessons and work to be completed while offline. In case of an absence due to children feeling ill or showing any symptoms to be monitored, the students should follow the classwork through our platforms (Google Classroom, SeeSaw) or through direct email contact with the teachers. The live video lessons need to be organized in advance and so we will organize these only for extended absences of three or more days. In the case of an extended absence, please contact the principal to arrange for the online learning option. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us. You can keep up with photos, events and more by following the school on Instagram or Facebook!
Thank you for sharing a great first month with us!
and Jody Parker