Alfonso’s update – Feb 1

Dear Friends,
As you recall, we are starting a new student council this year comprised of two representatives from each homeroom in grades 3-5. After two months in office, the new representatives will be relieved by two new representatives from each class, so more students can have the experience of participating. Next year we will rotate on either a semester or quarterly basis.

At last week’s assembly, before I called up the representatives to be recognized, I asked students about current political issues in America. To my delight many had seen the State of the Union Address on the previous evening and many students were aware of and able to explain the key political issues confronting our country and the world. Students also told me that we should have a President and Vice President. I told them that the first task of their new representatives is to discuss with them how we might go about such an election. I have laid out two goals for the council which I hope they will agree with: first, to plan and implement a school service project (or projects- such as helping younger students, doing a campus project, doing a fund raiser bake sale for some cause); second , to plan a major social event for their grades or for the whole school. We were to have had our first meeting today, but my co-moderator, English teacher Kristie Weldon, is absent, so we will meet next Monday.

In assembly, during the weeks ahead, we will be discussing more about current events and concretizing the IB learner profile, attitudes, and trans-disciplinary skills through reference to our daily lives.

A couple of parents recently sent me the New York Times article on the benefits of having recess before eating lunch, a practice we adopted at our new school in Shanghai five years ago, based on much the same research. Maria Abad tells me that most of our classes are following this healthier practice already, and I will review this with the faculty. To see the article, follow this link:

Finally, I encourage you all to respond on the Custom House pledge/poll. The members of the board and I are very eager to know your point of view. See a separate article below with the pledge form. No matter what direction we take on facilities in the weeks, months and years ahead, we will need to make a concerted effort and ensure that TIS has a home befitting the fine work that goes on in our classrooms.

I look forward to seeing at least the Chinese Track parents at the Chinese New Year celebration this coming Friday morning at 9:30 at the Gerding Theater. Until then, I wish you a peaceful week.

Alfonso, 503-226-2496 x104