ISY Elementary Blog


Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal

August 27, 2021

After months of having no COVID cases in the community, New Zealand finally had to lockdown last Wednesday. To make sure COVID does not get out of control, we cannot leave our neighbourhoods and schools are closed. This is my first experience of a New Zealand lockdown.

It was interesting for me to observe what happens in New Zealand when students are forced to learn online. 

Firstly, I don’t think that many students in New Zealand come close to learning what our ISY students learn online. I feel guilty about how proud that makes me feel! 

There are many reasons why New Zealand schools cannot do what we can do at ISY. But I wonder if one reason is that more and more New Zealanders doubt the adaptability and strength of their children when faced with a challenge. This is strange to me given that adaptability and strength has always been a big part of the New Zealand national identity. 

Our ISY community did the right thing last year to believe in the adaptability and strength of our children. We knew we would have to support our children differently but we still believed that they could learn. They proved us right last year and they will prove us right again this year. 

It is very important to believe that our children can thrive when times are tough. Supporting a child to work through challenges and experience success builds that child’s belief in themselves. Self-belief is what will allow our students to thrive in the future and our faculty are working hard to help them develop it now.


Strategies for Successful Online Learning

As we start the year online again, the realities of online learning are not new to most of us.  Over the past year and a half we have become rather skilled at managing and assisting our children’s  learning at home.  Having said that, I thought perhaps it might be helpful to review a few things to help your child as they begin this new year.

  • Set a Routine: Children thrive when they understand what is expected of them.  A regular sleep and meal schedule will provide them the structure they need to feel successful.  Allow your child to voice their opinions when creating the schedule.   Visually displaying the schedule can be helpful.  
  • Work Space: Create an individual learning environment for your child that is away from clutter and other distractions.  If possible outside of their bedroom or playroom.  Keep devices not needed for school out of their view.
  • Encourage self regulation: Help your child identify when they are feeling frustrated, bored or confused.  Talk with them about the connection between the body and the brain.  Explore strategies for how your child can regulate their emotions, allowing them to remain present.  This can also help build online learning stamina and focus.
  • Celebrate their accomplishments: Ask your child about the work they are doing.  Display their work in your home.  Show them that you are proud of their accomplishments.  This will help them value learning.

If you find your child or family is struggling with online learning, please feel free to reach out to me at  I am available to support you with social, emotional or academic issues.

Patty Amundson-Geisel

Elementary Counselor


On Tuesday, August 31 at 7pm (Myanmar Time), we will have our first online gathering of families. This will be a chance for us to share how we will be meeting your children’s needs this year, for you to ask any questions you may have, and for us all to get to know each other.

A Zoom link will be sent to you via email.


This week, our students will be signing Student Agreements of Acceptable Technology Use.

These agreements are an important part of educating our students about good digital citizenship and keeping them safe online. Once your child signs their agreement, you will also receive an agreement to sign by email. 

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