Apr 12: News & a great link from Alfonso

Greetings, Friends,

Last Friday, the teachers put in a great day working on aligning our social studies curriculum to the National Social Studies Standards and our science curriculum to the Oregon Standards (which have been aligned to the National Science Standards). As you know, the PYP is a learning framework, and it needs to be underpinned by a more detailed curriculum. We chose these two curricula because they represent strong, clear thinking on what concepts kids should understand and what skills and capabilities they should be developing. Learning the curricula through the PYP helps our students gain a deep understanding of the material and develop skills for independent learning.

Also on deck for this spring is a review of our math curriculum to make sure we continue to be above local and national benchmarks and that the learning develops smoothly and coherently from one year to the next. We would like to develop our own diagnostic and exit exams in math and language for each grade. However, I must remind myself that even Rome (a much simpler construct than a primary school) was not built in a day. A group of trustees kindly appeared last Friday morning with a special breakfast for this terrific, hard working, inquiring faculty. Thank you!

As you know our Annual Giving Campaign is underway and donations are rolling in from trustees, faculty, parents, alumni, and grandparents! I want to remind you that we are extremely grateful for every gift no matter the amount. What the gifts crucially have to add up to is 100% participation. Only 100% participation says to foundations and outside donors that we ourselves are committed to moving the school forward. Charity does begin at home. However, if you know a person of exceptional means who would like to be a guiding angel to TIS, by all means please introduce us!

Good news from our Water Department friends at the end of last week. It looks like instead of tearing up Water Street next year, they will bring the new water main up the hill at Caruthers and around the back along Naito, supplying us with a hydrant at the top of the hill on Sherman in the process. More on this as it happens, or hopefully before it happens.

I end with a link to an interesting article on inquiry and concept driven learning in the age of collaboration from the Edutopia site.

I am in self- imposed quarantine for one more day (I am glad there is internet) and will see you at the corner tomorrow. Take care,

Alfonso, AOrsini@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x109