Dolphin Dispatch. General Assembly a Tremendous Success

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1 Dolphin Dispatch INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PANAMA OCTOBER 31, 2014 ISSUE 13 General Assembly a Tremendous Success Last Thursday, over 60 family members of the ISP Community attended the first General Assembly for the School Year at the Westin Hotel in Costa del Este. What a great turnout it was! Parents had the opportunity to study the growth and development of ISP in the past year, as well as express ideas and concerns to many of our principals, directors, and teachers. Two special topics in particular, among others, were covered: that of the Performance Arts Center, and Security Development, of which you will hear more of in the coming weeks. We want to thank all of you that were able to make it, and implore those that could not to come to future events and help ISP grow together! We will educate and inspire our students to reach their full potential and contribute to the world by providing an exemplary English language education enriched by our multicultural community. In This Issue General Assembly Thank You PANAMUN Elementary School News Middle School News High School News VAPA Flyer Parent Communication November Calendar

2 PANAMUN XXII Model United Nations Javier Chewning, Marketing and Communications Manager PANAMUN Continues to Amaze! The School Year marks the International School of Panama s 22nd annual model United Nations event, known more colloquially as PANAMUN. This is the largest MUN event in the nation, and also one of the most important in Central America. This year we had twelve schools participate in total, coming from all areas of Panama, and as far away as Washington and Colorado, United States. Over these past three days, 400 plus students have debated exquisitely, portraying their views and roles as delegates from nations all over the world. ISP students have worked tremendously hard since the previous school year to get this up and going. Classrooms have been turned into debate halls, and teachers have taken a step back to allow students to demonstrate their expertise. Also present at the event was the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, who served function as PANAMUN s Keynote Speaker. Inspiring and hopeful words were given to the delegates, of which helped set the tone for future debates. Our very own PANAMUN Social Media Director, Jessica Choi, has been hard at work and we invite you to check out panamun.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-panamun-social-you-can-keep-up.html to view pictures, tweets, instagrams, and other tech-savvy media showing all the action that happened here at ISP. PANAMUN XXII theme this year was Technology in the 21st Century, and this can be seen in the topics of various committees. Examples included addressing the issue of cyber-terrorism in Asia and the Pacific, the question of privacy in the age of mass surveillance, and the question of Space Sovereignty, amongst others. Although some of these themes might seem far out, we as a school, and as parents, know that the role technology plays is a very important in the growth and safety of our children and students. This is a consistent theme which can be seen in our very own TechShow Case, or various Principal Coffees (of which a short piece can be found in the following pages). In the next Dolphin Dispatch we will have more information on the success of PANAMUN. In the meantime we leave you with something to ponder, an excerpt from PANAMUN s Secretary General Stefan Bran s opening speech: As we become increasingly dependent on technology, we risk our ability to interact with other human beings, to foster successful relationships, and to build the courage to look beyond our own screens. Congratulations to all students who participated, and the teachers and parents who helped make this happen!

3 Elementary School Becky Jobes, PhD Elementary Assistant Principal Changes for Next Year Dear Parents, As some of you may know, I will not be returning to ISP next year. Family responsibilities are calling me back to the US. Although I am excited about being closer to my own family, this decision is definitely bittersweet. ISP is a special place and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work here. We still have many months ahead of us and I m looking forward to supporting the amazing people on our staff for the rest of this year as they provide an exemplary education for your kids. I am extremely proud of our teachers and you should be as well. They are an outstanding group of caring and committed professionals and I want you to be assured that your kids will continue to flourish in the years to come. ISP kids are some of the most interesting, curious, and kind students I ve ever met and I will truly miss them. I want to thank the ES parent community for all of the support you ve given me and I look forward to strengthening our connections throughout the remainder of this year. Warm regards, Michelle Herron Parent Workshop on Conscious Discipline-#2 Wednesday, November 12 th 11:00am-12:00pm MS/HS Cafetorium In September, during an Elementary Principal Coffee we introduced the first workshop on a behavior program new to ISP called Conscious Discipline. This program is being implemented this year in PK and Kindergarten classrooms, but has strategies that are also introduced throughout the 1 st -5 th grade elementary classrooms. Parents have also found the strategies and philosophy of Conscious Discipline to be helpful in their home routines and behavior management. The program focuses on connection with children and discipline strategies. These are two topics that can sound disconnected, however research has shown that the better connections in our relationships with our children, the easier it is to work on behavior and discipline. This program uses what is known about how the brain works, along with adult behaviors and reactions to common child behaviors, to empower adults to change their self-discipline in order to better help children do the same. This second workshop specifically focuses on Composure and cool-down strategies. You can learn more about the program online at We will be watching a training video in English during the workshop and then there will be time for discussion and questions in English or Spanish afterwards.

4 Elementary School (continued) Becky Jobes, PhD Elementary Assistant Principal Visit from our Sister School, Las Trancas This week our school hosted some students from our sister school. First grade students from Las Trancas came to ISP and participated in activities with our first grade classes. Students sang, painted, played games, ate snacks, and enjoyed time with new teachers and students. Thank you to the teachers, students, and parents who helped make the day so enjoyable.

5 Elementary School (continued) Becky Jobes, PhD Elementary Assistant Principal A Request for Help from our High School ISP s high school is looking for help in piloting an internship/apprenticeship program to better connect its students with the world around them. The note below from John Shea, High School Principal, outlines the idea and the nature of the assistance required. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. As I believe most of you are aware, ISP is in the midst of a strategic planning process this year to develop a new five-year plan for the school. In the high school, this future direction will most certainly include an emphasis on better connecting our students to real world opportunities outside of school. We would like your help, input, and/or ideas. Do you know of organizations (businesses, NGOs/non-profits, or government/public sector entities) or individuals (entrepreneurs, scientists, programmers, artists, politicians, etc.) that might be interested in supporting our efforts? Possibly your organization? Possibly you yourself? We would like to get a better sense of the possibilities as we move forward in this direction... Do you know of organizations (possibly your own) or individuals (possibly you) that might be willing, interested, and able to work with one or more high school students over the course of a school year or a semester informally and flexibly? Or in a more structured manner possibly supporting an internship or apprenticeship that might include regularly scheduled hours for one or two students (possibly one afternoon a week or two Saturday mornings each month or something along these lines)? Though most of the feedback we gather will be helpful with our plans for next year and beyond, we are also looking to pilot some of these efforts (on a small scale) next semester (January to June 2015) with interested tenth graders. (We spoke with the sophomores about it earlier this month and they are very excited about the possibilities.) So, if you would like to help us out, please contact Nash Adamson (ISP high school social studies teacher) at A quick is all that we are asking for at this time, but please be sure to include the following: (1) Your name and your best contact information cell, , etc.(2) The name of the organization(s) and/ or individual(s) that you believe might be interested in this. (We are not asking for commitments just interest.) (3) Just a sentence or so on the nature of the work that might be involved (e.g., small business/finance, high tech/innovation, lab research on water pollution, data/economic analysis with the World Bank, graphic design work at an NGO, etc ). (4) Any thoughts you might have, if any, about the nature of what might evolve (e.g., weekly internship, once per month apprenticeship, something less structured like a few visits over the course of a semester, and/or informal collaboration around a particular idea or challenge or problem). It s also fine to have no idea at all as to how things might evolve but to simply let us know you d like to talk with us about possibilities. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request. Very much appreciated. John Shea, High School Principal

6 Middle School Diane Guevara, Middle School Principal Middle School UN Day A picture is worth a thousand words! Be sure to ask your children about their MDG and what they learned during our UN Day activities on Wednesday, Oct. 29. ISP WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Issue 13

7 Middle School (continued) Diane Guevara, Middle School Principal Thank you for helping to make UN Day a SUCCESS! A heartfelt thank you to our Leadership team, our talented musicians and vocalist, and our Middle School Moms! Kudos to the Social Studies team for organizing the activities for UN Day!

8 Middle School (continued) Diane Guevara, Middle School Principal Fundraising for FANLYC Some very brave Middle School Teachers and our ISP Chef stepped up to help raise money for FANLYC by taking the ice bucket challenge. Students nominated them by putting money into cans. Those with the most money were the ice bucket winners! A fun way to raise..for a worthy cause! HAVE A WONDERFUL FIESTAS PATRIAS BREAK! Remember to check out the Counselor s Newsletter: https://www.smore.com/2t530 ISP WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Issue 13

9 High School John Shea, High School Principal PANAMUN XXII: Technology for the 21st Century by David Swartwout, HS Assistant Principal On Wednesday, October 29, Secretary General for Panamun XXII, Stefan Bran, asked the PANAMUN General Assembly to rise and welcome President Juan Carlos Varela. Over 400 hundred students from ISP and 12 visiting schools, teachers, parents and staff respectfully rose to welcome our esteemed guest. President Varela spoke with great admiration and in support of PANAMUN, one of the proudest traditions at the International School of Panama. In the end, the President asked the student officers to present the resolutions of the various committees to himself, his Vice President and Secretary of Foreign Affairs. What a wonderful moment and testament to why many in our community point to PANAMUN as a best practice. It goes beyond that wonderful moment with our host country s Head of State, however. PANAMUN is a best practice because students design, organize and lead the process from start to finish. The three day conference, in a sense, reflects just a small piece of the learning that takes place. Officer applications are submitted. Teams are forms. Committees are made. Topics suggested, forged, reworked and published. Invitations. Communication. Spreadsheets. Budgets. Website design. Social media harnessed. Art work created and curated. Music practiced and performed to a live audience. Leading groups of thirty or forty fellow students, in multiple languages. Skype interviews with outside speakers and guests. Chairing. Training. And just learning to manage expectations, especially when things do not work out quite as envisioned and people are occasionally not getting along. This is a long --- and hardly complete --- list of duties. Our students embrace these responsibilities and more; indeed, they are at the center of all this process-based learning for nearly eight months. And in another four short months, another group of students will enthusiastically and boldly swear allegiance to the best Panamun ever: Panamun XXIII. It is the learning that makes PANAMUN stand out as a best practice. We enjoy the three-day conference; we celebrate and commend the 8 month-long journey. It also goes without saying that to pull off such an event requires more than a little support. We would all like to thank MUN Director Laura Houston and Co Director Ron Patrick for their tireless commitment to the students and this tradition, the ISP PTA, ISP Dolphins and Maintenance Staff, visiting schools, students and MUN directors, all divisional principals and administration for their support, Diane of the Middle School in particular and, last but not least, our ISP High School Student Body. To the best Panamun yet!

10 High School (continued) John Shea, High School Principal Some scenes from around PANAMUN! REMINDER! Ninth grade Panamanian Diploma Candidates: Independence Parade on Monday, Nov. 3. Please be at school no later than 7:30 am in proper attire (school uniform) and comfortable marching shoes. You should be back at ISP (and done for the day) by 11:00 or 11:30.

11 Visual and Performance Arts Adam Herzig, Director of Visual and Performing Arts

12 Parent Resources Samir Jamal, Leadership Teacher & Counselor Tips On Making Your Home a Safe Online Environment A BIG thank you to all of the parents who attended the Elementary Parent Coffee and the Middle School Parent Coffee on Digital Citizenship last week. In both Coffees, we discussed the responsibilities of students and parents to be positive digital citizens in the 21st century. Parents also got a glimpse of what their children are learning at school on topics related to digital citizenship. For those who were unable to attend the parent coffees, our technology specialists have created a flyer full of excellent resources and tips for your convenience, which can be found here: https:// page has a couple of links on it that parents will need to have access to as well. This week we are featuring resources geared towards elementary students. In our next issue, we will feature resources tailored for middle school students. Please stay tuned! N OV E M BER 2014 S U N M O N T U E W E D T H U F R I S AT SCHOOL 4.SCHOOL 5. SCHOOL 6.SCHOOL 7. SCHOOL SCHOOL MS/HS Mes de la Patria Event 20. ES Mes de la Patria Event ISP ArtsFEST! SCHOOL 29.

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