News from Alfonso - 11/15

Dear Friends
Last week was a busy and interesting one, culminating in a very successful 20th Anniversary auction. Details on what we raised are being tallied as I write this. I first have to thank the auction Chairs Carrie Banks and Linda McGeady and all of the many volunteers who worked on baskets and classroom art projects and at the auction that evening. Thanks to Kelsey Cleveland, our Development Director who worked closely with the team. Thanks to our terrific board for donating over $21,000, including $9000 to the special appeal for math and science - I believe we exceeded our $65,000 special appeal goal. And I want to thank all of you, those who attended and those who could not attend, who donated items and money and hours of time to support TIS. The wonderful thing about this auction is that every member of this community had some hand in it, including our classroom artists. Your support is especially appreciated as an act of belief in our mission and our daily work. As on every occasion, thanks above all to the teachers who make life happen here every day. The special appeal will support and facilitate their work.

In connection with the math and science focus of the special appeal, we met last week with representatives from OMSI to make the first steps in becoming a partner school. This means we will have access not only to excellent field trips but also customized labs at OMSI geared to the topics we are studying in science at each grade level. OMSI will also be able to provide whole staff and grade-specific professional development for our teachers in scientific inquiry.

We were also visited last week by representatives of Beijing University Press who were more than a little fascinated with seeing our students from K to grade 5 speaking and writing in Chinese. We had preliminary discussions on the creation of books suitable to PYP units of inquiry as well as the need for a wider selection of non-fiction books for primary grade Chinese learners.

Last Thursday night was our first School (Student) Council conceived evening event. From 3:30 until 7:30 in the evening students played wii games in small groups, but mostly focused on dodge ball and kickball in the gym. When we finally took a break to watch a movie, we only got about a third of the way through Monsters Inc. Thanks much to Maria, Teresa, Cassie, and Jhoanna who joined us for the evening. We will have similar evenings for grades 4 and 5 in December and January respectively.

Congratulations to Aiyun Yin who has been selected to join a group of teachers on a Han Ban sponsored educational excursion to China beginning November 17th. Aiyun will have an opportunity not only to meet with American Chinese teachers from all over the States but also to find out the latest in China in relation to Chinese language instruction and resources for teachers. I am sure she will have much to share with all of us.

Pickup and drop off reminders:

  • Please be careful parking and if you do knock into another car, you must find the owner or leave a note with your contact information

  • Don’t let children out of the car on the traffic side

  • Don’t ever pass cars which are parking or dropping off

  • Drive slowly when departing even though you are exhilarated for having completed drop off

Finally, a reminder that there are no classes for parent conferences this Friday.

Have a good week,
Alfonso, 503-226-2496 x109