News Post

MS Principal's Weekly Update September 6th, 2019
MS Principal's Weekly Update September 6th, 2019
ITee

September 6, 2019

Dear Parents,

Thank you for reading this week's news from the Middle School. While we continue to send this weekly update to you via email, please note that as of the of September 20th, two weeks from now, we will no longer be sending this newsletter via a direct email. We urge all parents to please sign up for the JHB MS News Alerts so that you will continue to receive the weekly news from the Middle School. By signing up for JHB MS News Alerts, you will receive the weekly update directly. Please click here for how to sign up for this service.   Do let us know if you have any questions about signing up for alerts prior to September 20th.

We have had a productive week of learning. I have enjoyed my visits to classrooms this week and some highlights included: 

  • Seeing our 8th graders in Design Technology using CAD software to design what will eventually become acoustic speakers out of wood to play music from their cell phones.
  • 8th grade scientists testing the properties of solubility and melting point on certain chemicals and compounds
  • 7th grade Social Studies students learning systems and protocols for giving effective peer feedback while becoming "assessment capable" learners. Very powerful.
  • Students in our Theater for Social Change Ukuhlola class beginning to ideate and create stories around important themes such as equity and justice.
  • Students in Spanish 2 and Spanish 3 classes developing their cultural competence by presenting on the cultures of Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico and Colombia.   The food was pretty good too!

Once again, I do want to thank the Middle School Parent Association for their support of last Friday evening's Middle School social at Bounce. We had over 110 Middle School students bouncing, eating food, and having fun. It was a great social to start the school year.

A reminder that this Monday, September 9th is a No School Day for students as our faculty will be involved in a day of professional development and learning. I trust that our students will welcome their long weekend. They have all been working hard since the start of the school year.

When students return to school on Tuesday morning, we have the following;

As I communicated to families in a separate email earlier today, we will adjust our timetable starting on Tuesday. Our new timetable will be as follows, and I hope this adjustment will make for a smoother lunchtime and break experience for our students.   The timetable below applies to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Our Wednesday timetable remains the same.

Revised Middle School Time Table Tuesday, 10 September 2019-2020

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday

 

Wednesday

 

Start

End

Minutes

 

Start

End

Minutes

Imbizo

7:40

8:00

20

 

Advisory

7:40

7:45

5

Passing

8:00

8:05

5

 

Passing

7:45

7:50

5

Ukuhlola (M, T, Fri)

Get Ahead Day (Th)

8:05

8:45

40

 

Block 1

7:50

9:00

70

Break/Passing

8:45

8:55

10

 

Break

9:00

9:10

10

Block 1

8:55

10:05

70

 

Passing

9:10

9:15

5

Break/Passing

10:05

10:20

15

 

Block 2

9:15

10:25

70

Block 2

10:20

11:30

70

 

 

Lunch/Passing

10:25

11:00

35

Lunch/Passing

11:30

12:05

35

 

 

Block 3

11:00

12:10

70

SSR (in Block 3 class)

12:05

12:15

10

 

 

Break/Passing

12:10

12:20

10

Block 3

12:15

1:25

70

 

 

Block 4

12:20

1:30

70

Break/Passing

1:25

1:40

15

 

 

Dismissal

1:30

Block 4

1:40

2:50

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Testing. This week's MAP test will be Language Usage and will take place on Wednesday morning, September 11th. Our final MAP test, Reading will take place on September 18th. Students will take MAP tests during the school day and your child will take the assessments on their computer. If your child is absent on the day they are meant to take a test, there will be make-up sessions scheduled.

A group of 7th and 8th grade students and their Drama teacher, Ms. Willis, will depart for Durban on Thursday to participate in the Hilton Arts Festival, a renowned celebration of theatre and the arts. This should be an amazing experience for all involved. Students and teachers will return to Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. Safe travels to the group and a big thanks to Ms. Willis for organizing this trip and thanks to Mr. Hart for accompanying the students to Hilton.

I wish all of you a great weekend.  Thank you for your support of the Middle School.

Sincerely,

Andy Ferguson

              

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, September 20th – Heritage Day

On September 20th, we celebrate Heritage Day at AISJ. Heritage Day is an important day in the South African calendar because it commemorates and celebrates the diversity of the cultures and the beliefs and traditions of the South African people. On this day, people are reminded of the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make and have contributed to help create the idea of a "Rainbow Nation".

This event is a coming together, a celebration and an acknowledgement of the South African people who work and serve in our community, and for the people in our community who contribute to the beauty and love we all have for our host country, South African.   Heritage Day celebrations also coincide with our annual ArtsFest, a school-wide celebration of the arts. Art connects us to culture, so the coupling of Heritage Day and ArtsFest is meaningful.

So, please join us for a celebration in the Kgoro at 7:45 a.m. on the morning of September 21st. We ask you join in the celebration by wearing traditional South African clothes, or any branded South African clothing, or, perhaps, donning the colors of the South African flag. 

Friday, September 20th - Sunflower Day.

In addition to our Heritage Day celebrations, we will also celebrate Sunflower Day on September 20th. This is a fund-raising initiative by an organization called 'The Sunflower Fund.' This organization has the primary objective of raising awareness about leukaemia, to motivate people to register themselves as bone marrow donors. Throughout next week, there will be opportunities for students to learn more about the Sunflower Fund. Then, up until September 19th, students will be able purchase one or more topes to wear on September 15th. The topes will be sold for 30 Rand around the Middle School during lunchtime and all proceeds go towards supporting the Sunflower Fund to find bone marrow matches for people with leukaemia. We hope that 100% of our Middle School students and staff will support this worthy cause

JHB Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences – Wednesday, October 2nd

Parent-Teacher conferences will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd. While there is no school for students on Wednesday, to help our students become familiar with discussing their learning with parents and teachers we request that students to attend the conferences during the time with their parents.

In the Middle School we run an "Arena Style" conference format. All teachers will be set up in Gould's Gym and parents are invited to the school during the block of time based on their surname (listed below). Each conference is meant to last between 5 and 7 minutes. In order to assure that all parents have an opportunity to meet with their child's teachers we kindly ask that parents and teachers adhere to the timings provided.

 

FROM THE GRADE 7 SCIENCE TEAM

The Grade 7's are exploring natural disasters and how scientists help us predict and reduce damage caused.  If any parents are architect or structural engineers or are knowledgeable in the area and would like to come and share how buildings are designed and built to withstand natural disasters with our students, please contact Ms Robyn Wood (rwood@aisj-jhb.com).

  FROM THE MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR

Housekeeping:

Purchasing Uniforms: Please click here for instructions on how to purchase uniforms for your child. The deadline for purchasing a uniform for a Season 1 CCA is Tuesday, September 10th.

Senior Swim Team: As Mr. Goetz has already shared with students, all Grade 8 Senior Swim Team candidates must attend the September 13th time trials in the pool. If a swimmer would like to improve their time, there will also be optional trials held on September 20th and 27th.

Shout-outs:

Middle School Student-Athletes: With nearly 1/3 of our Middle School participating in Basketball and/or Track and Field, I want to shout-out these young student-athletes for their commitment to their sport and their studies. No matter which team they're on, we hope this season will involve a lot of learning and a lot of fun! Go Eagles!

Middle School World Scholars Cup: This group of talented and committed young scholars will be spending a week later this month representing the AISJ Middle School in Durban and competing against qualified teams from over 130 regional rounds. The competition will be fierce, and I'm certain our team will do us proud. I'd also be remiss if I didn't shout-out Ms. Moreau and Mr. Kader who have started this program here at AISJ and will be chaperoning our students to Durban.

Important Dates:

September 9th

10:45am

 

MS Soccer Field

MS Soccer Intramurals begin

September 12th – 14th

 

 

Hilton Arts Festival

 

September 13th

 

 

Payment due for Sr. Track and Field Waterford Meet

 

September 13th

 

 

ISSA MS Basketball Tournament documents and payment due

September 17th

1:00pm

Christ Church

Sr. Track and Field meet*

 

September 18th

1:00pm

Beaulie

Sr. Track and Field meet

 

September 18th

1:00pm

Pinnacle College

Jr. Track and Field meet

 

September 22nd – 28th

 

Durban

World Scholars Cup

 

September 25th

12:00pm

Summerhill College

Jr. Track and Field meet

 

September 26th – 28th

1:30pm

 

JoMUN

 

September 27th

1:30pm

MS Amphitheatre

MS House Event

 

September 27th – 29th

 

International School of South Africa

ISSA A Team Basketball Tournament

October 2nd

12:00pm

Kings College

Jr. Track and Field meet

 

*For field events only (jumps and throws)

 

 Schedule:

The schedule is a live document containing all information regarding MS Basketball and Jr./Sr. Track and Field. 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 are up-to-date on exactly when and where practices, matches, and meets are being held.

Activities Note:

             For anyone who has been paying attention to tennis this year, you would know that the hottest name in the sport is Cori "Coco" Gauff. The 15-year-old American phenom made a name for herself with a magical run at Wimbledon – a run that involved beating her idol Venus Williams. At such a young age, she is already commanding crowds and garnering attention at levels that for the past two decades have been reserved for Serena, Roger, and Rafael.

             Coco Gauff is more than just a novelty act, though. At five-foot-ten, Gauff has a suite of physical gifts that seem destined to make her a tour staple for years to come. With a wicked backhand, powerful groundstrokes, and a vicious serve, she also has the speed and agility to get to any ball on the court. Her mental toughness is also something that signals a maturity beyond her years. As Timea Babos, whom Gauff defeated in the second round at the US Open, said, "I don't think I have to win the point as many times against anyone as against her."

             For all of her success and potential, however, it must be remembered that she is only as old as some of our 8th graders. And after a recent defeat at the hands of Naomi Osaka, the number one women's player in the world, Coco was overwhelmed by emotion. As Coco shared later that evening, "I was wanting to leave the court because I'm not the type of person who wants to cry in front of everyone." Osaka, however, recognizing Coco's legions of fans in the audience, strayed from tradition and invited Coco to share in her post-match on-court interview. In doing so, Osaka, who also became emotional during the exchange, showed tremendous sportsmanship – sportsmanship that truly transcended the moment. I might say that it's one of the most moving displays of sportsmanship I've ever seen, and sets the standard for how competitors should treat one another. The moment was such a spectacular display that other athletes, celebrities, and politicians took to Twitter to celebrate it:

            

            I am sharing this story with you this week because with House Events, intramural tournaments, Basketball, Track and Field, and World Scholars all underway, it's important to remember that in winning or losing, the CORE values of our school take priority. When we win, we will do so with humility and empathy; when we lose, we will do so with our heads held high. I hope that in all facets of our Middle School, our students will aspire to follow the example set by Coco and Osaka.

Zak Cohen

Middle School Activities Coordinator

zcohen@aisj-jhb.com

 Other Important Dates and Events for the Months of September and October 

September 12 - 15

Hilton Arts Festival

September 20

Heritage Day & ArtsFest – No regular classes

September 23 – 27

World Scholars' Cup in Durban

September 24

School Holiday – Heritage Day

September 26 – 29

JOMUN

October 2

Middle School Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 4

Drama Showcase @ 1:30 p.m. in the Theater

October 11

International Day

October 12 – 21

School Holidays

October 28 – November 1

Grade 8 Classroom Without Walls – Sugar Bay

  THREE CHEERS

 Three Cheers for our students and teachers traveling to the Hilton Arts festival. Safe journey and enjoy this amazing arts experience.

Three Cheers for long weekends. I hope our families enjoy this one.

 Three Cheers for the AISJ faculty, who continue to engage in professional learning to improve their craft.

 

 

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