Secondary Principal’s Blog

October 23, 2020, Update

Christina Powers, Secondary School Principal

Happy Thadingyut Holiday

As we head off on a week-long holiday, I would like to encourage you to take a moment to reflect and be grateful for all of our good fortune. We are all fortunate to be members of a caring school community. Throughout the fall our students, parents, and teachers have worked together in order to ensure student success.  I can not think of a more committed group of individuals that I would like to work with as we persevere through these times. Thank you for the little things that are done that positively impact our community.

A special thanks to the following community members who assisted the secondary students with their Change Campaign. Jessica Farmer, Mia, Soe Naing, Ntika, Thiri. 


Fun Community Events for Our Students

Students should check their emails for details and zoom links

  • October 23, 2020
    • MS STUCO Presents Virtual Game night from 6:30-7:30
    • HS STUCO Presents Virtual Game night from 4:00-5:30 PM
  • Week of October 21st to 28th
    • #YAAHalloween Instagram Mask Design Event
  • October 30, 2020
    • Halloween scary movie night from 7:45-9:30 (Movies will be PG 13)

Guidelines for Virtual Social/Game Night

Keep all communication positive: Respect others online and communicate in a constructive way. Do not use language, create or publish content that is offensive.

Respect the rights of others:  Only record and share video, photo, or audio content if the people in it know it has been taken and have provided their consent.

Advocate for yourself and others: If you see inappropriate or unkind behaviors be assertive and communicate. Tell the person to stop and let them know how their actions/words are impacting an individual or a team.

Seek help If you feel unsafe or come across inappropriate or hurtful online content and behaviors talk to a trusted adult, teacher, counselor. Return to the link provided by the host of the event for assistance.

So what will you do with your family during the upcoming

Thadingyut holiday? 

That is, besides watching movies, swimming through social media, ordering take out and staring at the four walls or the faces of your family members you are cooped up with?

To keep our kids off so much screen time, we should interact with them.  Here are some ideas:


Since we have to stay within the boundaries of our townships, why not walk the boarder of where we live?  You don’t have to do it in one shot, but walking around the boarder of your township might help you to explore on foot the areas around your town that you don’t often go.  Plan to do it over the course of the week.

Or, if you don’t feel safe going out, do a family workout at home.  Look on YouTube for Tabata Hiit workouts.  Or check out 15 family energizing workouts, Youtube’s Workouts for Families series or there are lots of resources at working out during quarantine.

Get Creative

Cooking – Bake without going insane!  Or combine science and cooking and make rock candy.

Fashion show – Let the kids rad your closets and dress up in all kinds of ways!

Scavenger Hunt – Do it indoor and/or outdoor!

Make a music video or a movie as a family!

Sometimes, when we are unable to travel, we look back at trips we have taken.  Why not got back and sort through those photos and create a photo journal, blog or website in order to help others plan a similar trip?

Other Fun Stuff

Balloons can be entertaining for a couple hours – blow them up, let them go and try to hit a target to try to get them to fly the farthest.  Try to keep two or more off the ground for as long as possible.  Balloon games can last a long time.

Start a garden – for those of you with a yard.

Learn New Skills

Learn to code for free

Finally, breaks are a good time to stop and think and reflect.  Taking the time to examine what we have been doing since the summer and evaluating if what we are doing with the time we have is helpful to us or getting us what we want in the future.  If not, it is a good time to choose 1 or 2 goals to reach for and put in place tasks or habits needed to pursue those goals.  Perhaps it is to get into better shape, have a different study routine, reduce screen time or increase connections with friends.  Whatever it is, it is usually helpful to find others who want to pursue a similar goal and you can do it together!

Have an enjoyable break, whatever you  choose to do!

When we return from the holiday Students in grades 7-8 will have an adjusted schedule as we have added an additional block with their core teachers. ( More Math, Science, and Humanities)  Students will be sent their revised schedule in google classroom on Sunday evening prior to the start of school. 

Profile pictures on ISY email accounts: Recently the profile picture on student’s ISY emails has been updated with their yearbook photo. Some students have expressed concern about the photo that has been used. Please know that after the holidays we will look for ways to accommodate students’ needs and requests.

Thadingyut Holiday in Myanmar in 2020

Known as the Festival of Lights, Thadingyut is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival.

The full moon of the month Waso (Dhammasetkya Day) marks the ascent by Buddha and the start of the three month period of Buddhist Lent when the monks retreat to their monasteries. During this time, monks dedicate themselves to meditation and study.

The full moon in Thadingyut marks Buddha’s return to earth and signifies the end of Buddhist Lent.

Thadingyut is called the festival of lights as the followers of Buddha lit up their houses and temples to mark the return of Buddha. Towns and villages across Myanmar will be illuminated in honor of this auspicious event.