News Post

Elementary School Weekly Update 13 September 2019
Elementary School Weekly Update 13 September 2019

Dear Parents, 

I hope that you all enjoyed the long weekend with your children. This has been a busy week of teaching and learning here at AISJ with our teachers engaged in learning opportunities with our visiting consultant, Dr. Paul Bloomberg. Paul is a former teacher and school administrator. He is the co-author of the book, Leading Impact Teams: Building a Culture of Efficacy. He is also the founder and Chief Learning Officer for the Core Collaborative, a learning network that specializes in student-centered approaches to learning. 

During his week here Paul lead workshops and facilitated team meetings that focused on the following: 

  • Supporting teachers in the implementation of the highest influences on student learning by focusing on critical learning goals, analyzing evidence of learning, and taking collective action to impact learning 
  • Empowering teachers to partner with students to strengthen student ownership of learning by co-constructing success criteria for units of inquiry 

The ES teachers learned a great deal from Paul's visit. They are already exploring ways to implement this new learning in their classrooms.  

Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Reading Assessment:  This week our literacy coach, Gill Porteous, trained the classroom teachers in kindergarten through grade five to administer the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Reading Assessment. This assessment is administered with each child in a one-to-one setting. It provides teachers with information regarding a child's independent and instructional reading level, as well as, his or her ability to read with accuracy and fluency while comprehending text on a literal and interpretive level. Teachers will be able to use this information to set instructional goals for each reader and plan instruction to address these goals. 

MAP Assessment:  MAP assessments got underway this week for students in grades 3, 4 and 5. Students will continue to take their MAP assessments in reading, and language on Monday, September 16th and Tuesday, September 17th. If your child is absent on one of the test dates, they will take make up tests on Wednesday, September 18th and Thursday September 19th

Arts Fest/Heritage Day:  Next Friday, September 20th we will be celebrating Arts Festival and Heritage Day schoolwide. Our visual arts and performing arts teachers have planned an exciting day full of events for all of our learners. There will be a schoolwide opening and closing ceremony. Every grade will attend a live theater performance. Classes will participate in a variety of workshops such as body percussion, art explosion, transient art and Heritage Day crafts. Many thanks to the ES teachers on our planning committee: Sean Fietje, Donna Jepsen-Minyard, Nicola Fader, Narina van Niekerk and Lee Chadderton for planning this event and leading workshops along with their middle school and high school colleagues. 

A Message from the Counselors:  The AISJ Divisional Counselors would like to offer several parent workshops throughout the year, as well as possibly reviving their AISJ Counselors Podcast. They would like to know what you as parents want to find out more about in order to keep your children happy, healthy and productive learners. Please take a few minutes to answer this survey. Your answers will help to guide the counselors in offering the most relevant workshops and podcasts to our AISJ Parent Population: 

If you missed last year's Counselor Podcasts, follow the link below to listen to the episodes on "Fostering External and Internal Assets in Our Students" 

Podcast on Pod bean: 


 Thanks in advance for your feedback.  

Upcoming Events: 

Friday, September 20th: Arts Fest/Heritage Day 

Monday, September 23rd: School is in session; Grade Four Field Trip to Lesedi Cultural Village 

Tuesday, September 24th: Public Holiday/Heritage Day 

Tuesday, October 1st @6pm in T&L 2 – Community Information Session

Thursday, October 3rd and Friday, October 4th: ES Musical auditions take place 

Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th: ES Parent-Teacher Conferences (No School for ES students on Thursday, October 10th) 

Friday, October 11th: International Day and Food Festival (Early Release 1:30 pm) 

Thanks for your ongoing support of the elementary school program. 

Best regards, 


ES Principal