News Post

MS Principal Weekly Update December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019

Dear Parents,

Thank you for reading this week’s news from the Middle School.  I hope everyone enjoyed the recent long weekend.  We have had a great week of learning since the return from the break.  I have enjoyed my classroom visits this week, including seeing 8th grade Social Studies students participate in an academic discussion on the topic of citizenship and activism.  As well, 8th grade Language Arts students were presenting their oral memoirs.  It was great to see both of these learning expositions, which clearly demonstrated our students’ skills as communicators and critical thinkers.  Beyond the content of the course, it is these dispositions that are so important to students and their learning.

At the time of this writing, several Middle School students are participating in the Umoya Band Festival in Maputo, Mozambique.  Reports I have received are that the festival is going well and that our Middle School musicians are learning a lot through their collaborations with others.  I look forward to their safe return and hearing all about their experiences.  Thanks to Ms. Whaley and Mr. Cohen for accompanying the group.

Well done to all of the Middle School vocalists who entertained at last night’s MS/HS Choir Concert.  It was a lovely concert featuring some nice performances from both Middle and High School students.  Thank you to Ms. Lillis for her continued efforts teaching our students.

As we enter the final week before the December break, here are a few things to highlight:

There will be no Middle School after school sports or clubs during the week of December 9th.     All other clubs and activities will resume as usual on January 7th, following the December break.  All students should go home when school ends each day at 2:50 p.m.

Semester One report cards will be issued at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11th.   This report card can be accessed via PowerSchool and detailed instructions on how to do so are included below.  The first semester report card will contain individual reports from all Core classes, first trimester electives for 7th and 8th grade, year-long electives, and the first two quarters of the grade 6 exploratory wheel.  Once again, reports will be available after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

The final week before the holidays also includes some special events, including the first of our grade 8 into 9 transition activities, special field trips to the Jo’burg Theater to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and a fun-filled final day on Friday.  The schedule for the week of December 9 – 13 is as follows:

Monday, December 9


Normal schedule

Tuesday, December 10


Grade 8 student to Pretoria for MS/HS transition activities from 9:00 – 1:30.    They will be back for E block classes.

Wednesday, December 11


8th grade off campus to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from 9:10 – 1:00.   They will attend C block classes as normal from 7:50 – 9:00. 


6th and 7th grade classes as normal.

Thursday, December 12


6th and 7th grade off campus to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from 9:00 – 1:00.  They will return in time for F block classes.


 8th grade classes as normal.

Friday, December 13


7:40 – 8:40               Imbizo/Grade Level Assemblies

8:50 – 9:40               Middle School Assembly - Ukuhlola Celebrations

9:40 – 10:30              Break/Open Mic

10:30-11:10am          Lunch

11:10-11:35am          House Meetings

11:40am-1:30pm       House Event

1:30pm                      Dismissal


As in the case each year at this time in international schools all over the world, we do have several students who will be departing AISJ next week.   I want to wish the following students and their families all the best as they embark on new adventures.   Thank you for your contributions to our Middle School and AISJ community:

Grade 6: Mala Abouelseoud, Yoonseo Choi, and Seoah Lee

Grade 7: Vicky Pentilius and Keren-Kendra Mukasa

Finally, as happens every year, there are families who do leave early prior to our scheduled holiday break.  If you have plans to start holidays earlier than December 13th, we need to know about this.  Please notify the Middle School Office if you are leaving early and we will provide your child with the required form to be completed by teachers.  Thank you for this courtesy.

Enjoy the weekend.  Thank you for your continued support of the Middle School.


Andy Ferguson


IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  Issuing Middle School Report Cards

Semester One MS Student Report cards will be released to parents on Wednesday, December 11th after 3:00pa.m. via our PowerSchool Parent Portal. Parents will need to access the AISJ PowerSchool Parent Portal ( in order to view their child’s online report card.

From the AISJ PowerSchool Parent Portal, parents will be able to click on their child’s name, click on the ‘Report Card’ link, and generate their child’s report card.  Parents will be able to review the report card online and will be able to save and/or print the report card as a PDF file. More detailed instructions on how to successfully access, generate, save and/or print the report card will follow next week.

In order to view their child’s online report card, all parents will need to access the AISJ PowerSchool Parent Portal ( If you have not accessed the parent portal, or have tried but failed, follow these instructions:

For parents who have previously not been able to successfully log on to the AISJ PowerSchool Parent Portal account, click on: How to Create a Parent Account on PowerSchool

For parents who already have successfully logged on to their AISJ PowerSchool Parent Portal account, but who need to add their children attending AISJ, click on: How to add students to your PowerSchool parent account.

The recommended browsers are Firefox and Chrome on a MS-Windows or Apple MacOS device. Mobile platforms (Apple iOS and Android) are not supported. If you encounter any difficulties in accessing the PowerSchool Parent Portal, please send an email to:

Report Card and Transcript Requests from Parents

AISJ recognizes that on occasion, parents will need certified copies of report cards or transcripts from their division when applying for schools or universities. In an effort to facilitate these requests, without placing an excessive burden on school personnel and resources, AISJ has developed the following protocol: 

  • FIVE DAYS (5) advance notice is required from families for report card/transcript printing. Requests should be submitted via email or in person through the respective divisional offices.
  • Divisional offices will only print ONE complete set of report cards/transcripts for each year requested.
  • If parents require multiple copies of report cards/transcripts, it is their responsibility to make copies off site.
  •  If an official AISJ stamp is required on the documents, parents will be expected to make the required amount of copies, deliver them to the school, at which time stamping will be completed by school personnel in the main reception of AISJ (stamping will not occur in the divisional offices).
  • With the exception of the final report card, issued at the end of the school year, stamping of all documents will be completed within 10 working days. All other report cards/transcripts required must follow the process outlined in steps 1-4 above.




The Middle School Parent Association will sponsor a Skating Party on Saturday, January 18th.  The Skating Party will take place at Northgate Mall and the school will provide transportation for students who are registered bus riders both to and from the event.  More details about the Skating Party will be provided when school resumes in January.  Thanks to the MS PA for sponsoring this event.


AISJ Middle School Instagram: with nearly 80 followers already, the MS Activities Instagram account is becoming quite popular.  If you’d like to check out all of the great things happening each day in the Middle School, please consider following the IG account.

Given the engagement on the IG account, we’re going to begin to migrate information from this bulletin to the Instagram page. This bulletin will still include important date, the bus schedule, and the link to the practice/game schedule, but other information, including shout-outs and updates about activities will be posted on a more frequent and fluid basis on the IG page.

If you have yet to do so, please follow the IG account by clicking on this link. Once the Communications Office confirms that you are a parent, they will grant you access. If you have already signed up, please help us to spread the word.  

Important Dates: 

December 8th


Wanderers Rugby Club

U15 Boys and Girls Rugby Tournament

December 9th – 13th



No Co-Curricular Activities*


 *HS sports team will still train. Please contact your coach accordingly (Swimming and Rugby)

 Bus Schedule 












5:00pm (only for select students in specific programs)










The schedule is a live document containing all information regarding Swimming, Rugby, and Soccer. Since this is a live document, I will include this link every week. I encourage you to check it every week, as well, so that you know exactly when and where practices, matches, and meets are being held.

Other Important Dates and Events for the Months of December and January

December 13

Early Release @ 1:30 p.m.

December 14 – January 5

School Holidays

January 6

School Resumes

January 6

New Student/Parent Orientation @ 8:30 a.m. in the Library

January 15

Parent Association Welcome Back Coffee

January 18

Middle School Skating Social, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. @ Northgate Mall

January 21

Principal’s Coffee Morning @8:15 am in the MS Library


Three Cheers to the students of the Middle School.  All of you have been working extremely hard over the last few weeks to manage projects and assessments.  Well done.  Your deserved break is near!

Three Cheers for our Middle School musicians and vocalists and your success at the Umoya Band Festival and Thursday evening’s choir concert.