Happy Chinese New Year!
The second semester is in full swing now as we finish our first week with a great celebration this morning, Chinese New Year. I was able to participate as one of the "Fortune Gods" and enjoyed handing "Hong Bao" to the Lions and the Dragon. I wish everyone Good Luck in the New Year of the Dragon!
Our festivities were followed by a MS Parent Coffee Talk that was attended by over 50 parents! It's a great way to get involved and keep in touch with what is happening in the Middle School. Mr. Terry gave a great presentation on Internet Safety for our parents. Mrs. Gretchen updated the status of our Advisement trips taking place next week. The focus of these trips this year is on Community Service. The 6th grade are hosting a local Thai school for some fun and educational games on our campus. The 7th grade are going to Camillian Home to work with disabled children. Finally, the 8th grade are travelling to Pattaya and dividing up to help at three venues: Father Ray Children's Village, the Redemptorist Center Day Care, the Pattaya School for the Blind. Our second round of MAP testing is also coming up to take place between Feb. 2 - Feb. 17. Please make sure your children get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet!
Our school will be upgrading to PowerSchool for next year. This program is already in use in many International Schools and will facilitate better communication with an easier interface for parents and students. Stay tuned for Parent workshops opportunities later this semester! We'd like you to be able to use this new interface right away in August.
We are also asking parents to volunteer to come and talk with our middle school students about careers. A Career Lecture Series of talks will be launched on Feb. 8 from 2:45-4:00pm for students to learn what it takes to be a surgeon, engineer, marketing specialist, event coordinator, or even airline pilot. If you are interested in participating to share your career, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. These chats with our students will be hosted by the Middle School Student Council and organized by one of our parents, Sioux, she can also be contacted at email@example.com.
Finally, we wrapped up our meeting with an update from Mr. Kevin (Chair of the Laptop Committee) about the successes our 1:1 Laptop program has seen during this first semester of its implementation. Students are using their laptops for a wide variety of tasks, from word processing and presentations to movie/video editing and research. We are analyzing the returns from our latest survey and signs are positive for the expansion of the program to 7th and 6th grade for next year.
As you can see, we continue to develop our programs here in the Middle School and always looking for parent input. If you have questions or would just like to stop by for a chat, please don't hesitate to come by the middle school office for a visit.
J. Andrew Westerman