Apr5: Big news from Alfonso!

Dear Friends,
We have now been officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate PYP school! Congratulations are due to our students, to our extremely dedicated and open minded teachers, and to our long standing Primary Principal, Maria Abad. I also want to thank past Head of School Bruce Bayliss for initiating the move toward PYP and past PYP Coordinator Erika Kohn and NAFTA Educational Consultant Stephan Grasmuck for all the work they did in paving the road to authorization. Finally, sincere thanks to IB Coordinator Teresa Wirsching who did more than anyone else to get us to authorization. The number one most thankless job in all PYP schools is that of Coordinator because it is the coordinator on the front lines who must tell us to revise or re-do our plans and to get our plans and other necessary documentation in on time. It is easy for us to focus our frustrations on the Coordinator, but she, more than anyone else, makes the PYP happen. So we have made it to base camp. It is crucial to pause and reflect on what we have achieved and savour it a bit. And then we start climbing again. I love the Confucius quote : “With the roots established, the way grows.”

Last week we were graced with a visit from Mrs. Jeanette Goodrum, grandparent of one of our Low-k students. Ms. Goodrum told students of her experiences as a Women’s Air Service Pilot during World War II and let us see the Gold Medal which she was awarded in a ceremony in Washington D.C. last month. She also told us of her initial reluctance to practice going into a spin with her plane and how she overcame it. I was once again impressed with the listening and questioning skills of our students as they interacted with this remarkable woman.

Finally, I want to remind you that as you consider summer programs for your children, bear in mind that we host an excellent International School program run by Pilar Arias. Of course, when you support our summer program, as opposed to those of our competitors, the proceeds help support our school program throughout the year. I should also make clear that there is only ONE official TIS summer program run here at school this summer. See details at www.intlschool.org/summer.

The photo is of TIS fifth grader Leigh with two of her classmates at Escuela Modelo in Merida Mexico. The Spanish and Chinese fifth grade classes will share their experiences with us next month.

Wishing you a peaceful week with at least several minutes of sun,
Alfonso
AOrsini@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x109