The last couple of weeks of any year is a time for reflection. It goes without saying that this has been a very challenging year. We did a lot of things right. We also discovered that we could do a lot of things differently.
A balanced reflection of any school year revolves around three questions:
- What do we need to stop doing?
- What do we need to keep doing?
- What do we need to do differently?
The perspective from which we explore these questions must be that of our students. All of our students.
Our teachers work in teams. This week I have sat in on grade level student review meetings that were facilitated by our counselor, Ms. Patty. These meetings focused on what our students need and every single student in a grade was discussed.
Our teaching teams are constantly meeting throughout the week to plan, prepare, organize, support and share ideas on all manner of things. But every six weeks, every grade level team meets with our Ms. Patty and our learning support team in student review meetings. These meetings focus sharply on the academic and personal needs of every single student.
This team approach to meeting the needs of our students has worked very well this year and is definitely something we will keep doing next year. After all of the distractions and all that we endured this year, I am proudest of the fact that everything our teachers have done was always sharply focused on the needs of our students.
We will always have room for improvement but our focus on every single student will mean we will always be a very, very good school. Those student review meetings this week reminded me of that and gave me a lot of confidence going into next year.
COUNSELOR’S CORNER with Ms. Patty:
Congratulations! You have almost made it to the end of this wild and unexpected school year. Who would have guessed in August that our final months together would be through a screen. For some of us we are wondering what next year will bring for ISY. For others, we are saying farewell as life is taking us to a new destination or is preventing us from returning. Saying good-bye is a process. Unfortunately, for many departing families this process was quickened or put aside due to pressing needs or the immediacy of the situation. Don’t fret, there is still time. Below I’ve shared a quick reference to the RAFT and RAKE model. These models support the leaving process and provide suggestions of things to reflect on as we say goodbye. Please keep in mind that this model, although important and encourages a smoother transition, can be arranged in ways that best suit your family.
If your family would like more information about these models or are in need of other support, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Sincerely, Ms. Patty
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL & REPORTS
We will finish the year with an Elementary School Assembly at 10am on our last day, Wednesday, June 16. Students will be dismissed for the year at the end of this assembly.
Your child(ren)’s Semester 2 report will be available on Powerschool on Tuesday, June 15.
PLEASE RETURN CHROMEBOOKS & iPADS
As we are coming to the end of the school year, we would like to give you a friendly reminder to return any ISY Chromebooks or iPads that have been used by your child(ren). We were happy to loan these devices to our students to ease the immediate challenge of online learning back in August 2020. Over the summer, we will get these devices ready for our students to use next year.
Please return ISY Chromebooks or iPads to one of our IT Team members in the ISY Spirit Store at the top of the Front Steps on or before Friday, June 18, 2021. We appreciate that some of you might be out of Yangon and were not able to return the devices before you left. If this is the case, please email our technology department at firstname.lastname@example.org to make alternative arrangements.
INTERNET PROBLEMS & OFFLINE LEARNING
We have done some planning for the unlikely event that there is a country wide permanent loss of access to Google tools. In that event everyone should log in to PowerSchool and look for the menu item on the left side of the screen called ‘Office 365 Credentials’. Here you will see a single user name and password for both email and for documents. The email has already been set up such that all school email from now on is being forwarded to the alternative email platform. The documents platform is the place where teachers would upload documents for students. There is no need to log in to Office 365 before losing access to Google. It is advisable, however, to login to PowerSchool just to make sure you know your login and password. If anyone needs help with logging in you can review this simple guide to resetting your password and if that doesn’t help you can contact the PowerSchool Help team at email@example.com.
Although we have yet to lose complete access to the internet during the school day, we do have a plan for this happening. In that event, students not will work on pre-arranged offline learning activities that they have downloaded already. It is important that this work is downloaded as soon as it is received so no use of the internet will be required to access the instructions. These downloads will be updated from time to time in line with the progress of students through their various studies.
Offline Learning Activities in the Elementary School:
The grade level Friday emails have a PDF document attached. This document is a selection of Offline Learning Activities. Students are to do these activities only if we lose internet access and classes cannot proceed online. These activities are connected to what we are doing in class but they are only to be done on days that we cannot meet as a class. When classes resume, students will share and reflect on their work. Please download the PDF Summary & Offline Learning Document when you receive the email on Friday. In this way these Offline Learning Activities will be immediately available to students if we lose internet access in the following week.
Below is a video that outlines how to download a PDF document:
This was always going to be a year like no other but no one could have predicted just how ‘like no other’ it was going to be.
This week, I thought that I would share with you a fun resource that some of our students are enjoying. It is called Freerice.
A New Zealand story about an 82 year old retiree earning his PhD 60 years after graduating with his first degree got me thinking last week.
Students need to know that comparing their lives to others will not bring as much happiness as contributing to the lives of others.
Even reputable and more traditional media outlets seem to focus more on the mistakes people make rather than what people achieve. Why?
This week we celebrated Ms. Delphine’s 40+ year connection with ISY. You will know Ms. Delphine from the Elementary School office where she has served our community for 26 years.
The International School Yangon
20 Shwe Taungyar Street
+95 1 512 793 /94 /95