Dear ISA Families,
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
Greetings from the Texas and Louisiana border where the junior class and I have briefly stopped for dinner en route to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama. We had a wonderful morning at the newly renovated LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, learning more in-depth about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before enjoying a picnic lunch on the University of Texas campus.
Just as the juniors leave Texas, our sophomores will likely be approaching White Sands National Monument as they make their way to their final destination, Santa Fe, New Mexico. By tomorrow night when our freshmen depart for Arkansas and the Heifer global village simulation, over three-fourths of the ISA community will be out of state on their travel experiences.
As a reminder, freshman students who have medication to check-in are asked to arrive at ISA (Science Building) at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 17. Parents must be present if there are medications to check-in. All other students may arrive anytime between 7:00-7:30 p.m. to complete final trip preparations.
We look forward to exchanging stories when we return from the Thanksgiving Break! I will send my next community update on Sunday, December 1. Until then, we wish you and your family a peaceful Thanksgiving Break.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
With grade-level travel just one-week away, ISA teachers are very busy making final preparations for the three upcoming travel experiences to Arkansas, New Mexico, and Alabama. We ask that you return any outstanding paperwork to a team teacher as soon as possible to help them prepare for departure day. Families may visit the team Travel Websites for trip details, packing lists and other important information. If you are in need of any last minute snack bags for your son or daughter, the Senior Board students will be selling make your own goody bags for $5 at the departure times below:
Saturday, November 16
- Junior Bag Drop-Off: 11:00-12:30 pm (30- minute intervals based on bus assignment)
- Sophomore Departure:
- 7:45 p.m. (medication to check-in)
- 8:30 p.m. (no medication to check-in)
Sunday, November 17
- Junior Departure: 5:00 a.m. (goody bags only sold during bag drop off!)
Monday, November 18
- Freshman Departure:
- 7:00 p.m. (medication to check-in)
- Anytime between 7:00-7: 30 p.m. (no medication drugs to check-in)
ISA officially begins our 2014-2015 recruiting season Monday, November 11 at NEISD’s annual Magnet Monday. Magnet Monday is a special event for 8th grade students and their families who are interested in learning more about the various NEISD magnet programs. The evening begins with a short meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Middle School gymnasium before students and their families choose three presentations to attend based on their interest. We will also be hosting our first ISA Shadowing date for prospective freshmen (current 8th graders) and their families on Friday, December 6. Families are encouraged to register early by completing the ISA Shadowing Form. Our 2014-2015 Freshman Application is also now posted on our website. Although participation in a Shadowing date is not required in order for a student to apply to ISA, we encourage all interested students to participate.
Good luck to our freshmen and sophomore students who will both be participating in simulations on Wednesday. Working in teams, our freshmen will advocate for a set of environmental policies during their presentations and speeches while our sophomores will participate in an international debate set at the turn of the 20th century about the future of the Congo Free State. These simulations, as well as others that students will encounter during their four years at ISA, are designed to provide opportunities to interpret situations, events, and issues from many perspectives; to defend personal perspectives; and to understand the influences on these perspectives. If you are on Twitter, we will be tweeting out photos of our students in action during these simulations and while on the road next week @ISA_globies.
Finally, the Amigos will meet on Thursday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Room. All parents are welcome to attend as they prepare for an upcoming fundraising event in January, our Annual Pasta and A Play!
Have a great week!
Dear ISA Families,
Early this afternoon, we welcomed back more than thirty-seven ISA students who spent the last three days participating in the Central Texas Model United Nations (CTMUN) simulation in Austin, Texas. Five of our students were recognized for their contributions at the simulation with special awards and our club sponsors, Cassie Allen and Melanie Anderson, were proud of the professionalism and diplomacy exhibited by all the students.
Our first Report Card Pick-Up Night of the year is Wednesday, November 6, 2013 beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Teams will be reviewing final details regarding the upcoming travel experiences and collecting any last minute paperwork. Representatives from the ISA Amigos will also be selling ISA spirit items (check and cash only) to families who want to purchase a few extra items before the trips depart.
Below are the meeting locations:
- Freshmen: Lee Library Multi-Purpose Room
- Sophomores: Community Center (Formerly known as the Old Library)
- Juniors: Community Center (Formerly known as the Old Library)
- Seniors: Sergiovanni Room
On Thursday, November 7, all high school students in NEISD will be released early at 2:05 p.m. The buses, including the ISA shuttle to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 2:05 p.m.
A reminder about three special fundraising events this week: First, before or after Report Card Night on Wednesday, November 6, your family is invited to stop by the Lee cafeteria for our annual MUNSA Pancake Dinner benefitting the group’s humanitarian cause, the International Justice Mission. Tickets are $5, and pancakes will be available anytime between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Second, the MUNSA Freedom Run will take place on Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 a.m. in the Olmos Park Basin. If you haven’t already signed up for the walk & run, you may use the MUNSA Freedom Run Registration to register this week or at Olmos Park beginning at 7:00 a.m. on race day! With almost 100 participants already attending, we encourage families to arrive at Olmos Park early on Saturday morning to have sufficient time to pick up your race packet and t-shirt and to get warmed up along with Globie for the fun run!
Third, after getting some exercise on Saturday morning the Junior Team and Junior Board invite you to the 4th annual “Party for Your Rights” benefit at The Cove Restaurant from 1:00-5:00 p.m. to raise money for the junior travel scholarship fund. Your $5 donation gets you a great seat to listen to a range of musical guests including ISA’s own The New Deal.
Finally, the freshman team will host a Saturday school extra help session on November 9 from noon until 3:00p.m. for students who need assistance and/or extra time and resources to prepare for their upcoming GEP group presentations.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
Two teams take field trips on Wednesday, October 30, related to current grade-level projects. First, our freshmen travel to several local elementary schools to perform their Storytelling plays, a long-time ninth grade tradition tracing its origins to the very first years of the school. However, over time the project has been refined for today’s young people and to capitalize on new technological tools; the use of Google sites, such as this one, allow students to better manage their long-term projects. If you are the parent of a ninth grader, we encourage you to ask your son or daughter to show you their project group’s website to view all of their hard work thus far. We will be sending good luck wishes as they depart Wednesday morning for the play performances that they have been working so hard on for the last few weeks!
If you are a sophomore parent, be sure to ask students later in the week about what they learned during their field trip to San Antonio’s west side murals. The field trip is part of the sophomore students’ larger exploration of assimilation and acculturation in world history and English to prepare for their upcoming travels to New Mexico.
Beginning Wednesday night, the Allied Campus Theatre presents Elephant’s Graveyard in the newly renovated Black Box at 7:30 p.m. Our theatre students and director asked me to extend a warm invitation to the entire community. The play runs through Saturday, November 9.
On Friday, a large delegation of ISA Model United Nations students begin a three-day simulation in Austin representing a wide array of countries from around the world as part of the Central Texas Model United Nations event. We know the students will represent themselves, their school, and their country with professionalism, diplomacy, and pride.
Looking into next week, we will host our first Report Card Pick-Up Night of the year on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. While we traditionally hold these meetings on Thursdays, we changed the date due to the large number of ISA students and families who would not be able to participate because of the Thursday night football game. The Freshman Team asked me to announce that the final trip payment for Heifer can be made on November 6 rather than the previously published date of October 30.
Have a wonderful week!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
Early Sunday afternoon over 40 of our astronomy club students, nearly 10% of our student population, returned from their weekend at the H-E-B Foundation Free Camp in Leakey, Texas where they participated in astronomy activities during the day and viewed the stars at night. Nick Polito (physics) was the trip sponsort. He, along with several ISA teachers, including Ryan Sprott (world history), Kristen Payne-Furman (biology), Bonnie Brawner (chemistry), Instructional Dean David Garcia, Assistant Principal Paul Smith, and parents chaperoned the trip to give students the opportunity to further expand their understanding of astronomy in the dark skies of the Texas Hill Country. Thanks to all the parents and faculty members who made this weekend of learning possible. The Astronomy Club makes a return trip to the camp April 4-6, 2014, and all ISA students are invited to participate and learn more about the club at their next meeting. Students may speak with Nick Polito (physics) and reference the ISA Student Bulletin to learn more.
Two weeks ago an ISA senior departed for Sweden for her month-long stay in Nynäshamn, the small town were our partner school is located. We are preparing to host a student from the same school and are currently are seeking an ISA host brother and family for a 17 year old young man during his month-long stay (November 16-December 14). Once a host family is found, a decision about which fall travel experience (Heifer, New Mexico, Alabama) to include him on will be made. While in San Antonio, the exchange student attends classes at ISA with the intent of immersing him in American family and schooling life. If you are interested in hosting this student, you may contac me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you are on Twitter, be sure to follow ISA @ISA_globies for the latest news and to view ISA students in action in their classrooms.
Have a wonderful week as we all enjoy the cooler weather!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
Greetings from Hong Kong!
I have spent the last three days learning about the educational system in Hong Kong and sharing ideas with a variety of educational leaders from the United States and throughout Asia. One of the highlights was our visit to schools on Friday to see students and teachers in action, along with studying the leadership practices that support excellence within the schools.
Yesterday, we listended to a briefing from the Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network, a group of urban school systems in North America and Asia created to focus on challenges and opportunities for improvement common to them and to virtually all city education systems. The panelists spoke about the importance of meta-cognition, teaching students how learn, fostering students’ creativity, equiping students with collaboration skills, and exploiting technology in the service of learning. In 2012, the Global Cities Education Network published a report titled Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills that is especially relevant given our district’s current focus on transformation for the future. I look forward to sharing my learning with the ISA community to further refine the work of our community.
Although tomorrow, Monday, October 14 is a holiday for students, we encourage students and/or their families to attend the annual NEISD College Fair at Blossom Athletic Center from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Over 150 colleges and universities will be in attendance to speak with students and their families in addition to special financial aid presentations, which will be taking place in the Piper Bass student center.
On Wednesday, October 16, ISA sophomores and juniors will be taking a Preliminary SAT (PSAT). Although the sophomores will be taking the PSAT as practice, the test will be scored and students will receive individual testing results later in the year. Please help by encouraging sophomores and juniors to come well rested and to eat breakfast in the morning before this important test. While our sophomores and juniors take the PSAT, our freshmen will be taking a district benchmark, which will provide additional data regarding student strengths in reading and writing. Meanwhile, our seniors have a late arrival day, and do not need to report to campus until 12 noon. If this poses transportation problems, seniors may arrive early and report to the ISA main office.
The Model United Nations students asked to announce the first annual MUNSA Freedom Run on Saturday, November 9 at Olmos Park Basin. The proceeds from the MUNSA Freedom Run, a non-competitive fun run and walk, go to the International Justice Mission, a human rights agency that works to rescue the victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. MUNSA Freedom Run Registration forms can be accessed through the link or picked up in the ISA office. Payment may be made through the online payment system or dropped off in the ISA office. Please look for more details as the race date approaches.
In addition to planning for the Freedom Run, our MUN leadership are also preparing for a conference in Austin. Students interested in participating may see Cassie Allen or Melanie Anderson for additional details.
Finally, the freshman team will host a Saturday School from 9:00-12:00 on October 19.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Dear ISA Families
A large number of students, teachers, and Globie enjoyed the cooler weather last night at the football game as we honored National Merit students from Lee, STEM, NESA, and ISA togetherduring a special halftime ceremony. Along with the recognition of ISA’s nine national merit students, several ISA teachers and administrators made names for themselves as they showed off their dance moves in the always popular teacher dance. Thank you to all the students, teachers, and families who helped to make our Second Annual ISA Night at the Football Game a success!
Last week, we opened Korean Hosting Application for ISA students interested in becoming a host brother or sister for a Korean student during their visit in January. I am also pleased to announce that ISA will take its first delegation of students to visit our sister school in Gwandju, South Korea in March over the spring break holiday. We are holding a short informational meeting about the trip for interested parents and students at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5 in the Sergiovanni Room.
On Wednesday morning, NEISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Donna Newman and I will depart San Antonio for a short six day grant funded trip to Hong Kong to attend the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) Fall Leader’s Meeting. Dr. Newman and I will gather with leaders from the ISSN network to visit exemplary Hong Kong schools, meet with representatives from the Hong Kong Bureau of Education, and engage in dialogue about how to further develop our students’ global competence.
I have also been asked to present specific ISA experiences that allow our students not only tolearn about the world but also to learn with the world by leveraging emerging instructional technology to facilitate collaboration among students and adults from geographically diverse areas of the globe.
I look forward to sharing my learning with you while I am abroad using our brand new ISA Twitter account. You can find us on Twitter at Isa_globies. Appropriately, our first ISA tweets will come from Hong Kong.
Back at ISA, the ISA Amigos will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, October 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Room, and all parents are welcome to attend.
We will end the week with a Sophomore Saturday School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students may see their sophomore teachers if they have questions.
Finally, we will be taking panoramic pictures tomorrow at ISA. The complete schedule can be found on the ISA Student Bulletin.
Have a wonderful week!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
Luckily, yesterday’s rains did not arrive at ISA until early afternoon just as ISA students, parents, and teachers were packing up the last few items from our Annual Freshman Garage Sale. We would like to send special thanks all of the parents, students, and freshman teachers who worked Friday afternoon organizing items and Saturday at the garage sale. Because of our community’s generous contributions, the ISA Freshman Team earned over $2,700 to support scholarship requests for our ninth grade students who will travel to Heifer International to participate in a global village simulation.
Along with the garage sale volunteers at ISA on Saturday, over thirty juniors were hard at work inside the school completing day two of the PSAT Blitz in preparation for the PSAT on October 16, 2013. We encourage our junior students to continue to practice and review the content as well as strategies they learned during the Blitz in the remaining weeks before the test. Junior year PSAT scores are used by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Nationally, roughly 1.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT annually, and some of the 50,000 students with the highest scores become eligible for the National Merit Scholarship program. The results of last year’s National Merit Scholarship Competition were released at the end of September and include several ISA seniors including:
4 National Merit Commended Scholars
4 National Merit Hispanic Scholars
2 National Merit Semi-Finalists
We are looking forward to celebrating and supporting our national merit students, football players, band members, and spirit students at our Second Annual ISA Night at the Football Game on Saturday, October 5 beginning at 7 p.m. at Comalander Stadium. Globie will be making an appearance at the game and giving away ISA spirit items throughout the evening!
As I wrote about last week, the campus is hosting a special Drug Awareness Presentation for ISA, Lee, STEM and NESA parents on Tuesday, October 1 from 6:00-7:00p.m. in the Lee Library Multi-Purpose Room. Several ISA teachers, administrators, and I will be in attendance at this parent-only event, and we encourage all parents to attend.
Finally, I want to highlight two unique opportunities currently posted in the ISA Student Bulletin: First, we are currently seeking twenty host families to house students from our sister school in Gwangju, South Korea, January 11-19, 2014. The eight-day visit will include activities at ISA, local field trips, a trip to NASA in Houston, and an official welcome from the city. If your family would like to host one of our visitors from South Korea, please complete the Korean Hosting Application as soon as possible. We continue to hear from past host families that it is an extremely enriching experience for the entire family.
Second, I want to highlight the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a fully funded travel and language opportunity. Students interested in spending their summer abroad learning either Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, or Turkish should come to the NSLI-Y interest meeting on Thursday October 3rd at 1 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Room. Two current ISA Seniors who participated in the NSLI-Y program last year will be at the meeting to talk about their experiences with the program. The program is sponsored by the US Department of State. Previous language study is not required and language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply. The application is open to any student who is a U.S. citizen and 15-18 years of age at the start of the program. Application is due November 5th. Students may see Mrs. Woodard with any questions.
Have a great week!
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Dear ISA Families,
It was wonderful to see so many families at Tuesday’s Back to School Night. In one or more of your child’s classes, you were likely introduced to a teaching intern from Trinity University. For more than 20 years, Trinity University has placed its Masters of Arts In Teaching (MAT) teaching candidates with ISA and Lee mentor teachers. We are happy to welcome 16 interns to the Lee Campus this year, five of whom are working with ISA teachers: Alex Holmes with freshman English teacher Caroline Brooks, Matt Aldrich with sophomore world history teacher Ryan Sprott, Elana Edward with sophomore math teacher Ashley Davis, Yustino (Tino) Hong with junior United States history teacher Josh Duelm, and Jana Tucker with senior English teacher Melanie Anderson. Throughout the fall semester our five ISA interns work closely with their mentor teachers in their respective classrooms before beginning their lead teaching in mid-January.
In addition to our teaching interns, Christian Stafford, an administrative intern from Trinity’s highly competitive Tomorrow’s Leaders Principal Fellows Program, will be working closely with the ISA Leadership Team as she pursues her principalship certification. As a long time professional development school for Trinity teaching and administrative interns, we are honored to be part of the preparation of the next generation of teachers and school leaders.
The big event this week is our Annual Freshman Garage Sale on Saturday, September 28, from 9:00-1:00p.m. in the front parking lot of the Lee campus along Jackson-Keller Rd. In order to make the event a success, we are asking for donations from the entire ISA community. If you have items you would like to donate, you may drop them off at the front of the Lee campus on Friday, September 27 from 4:45-7:00p.m. Volunteers and students will be present to unload, sort, and organize the items.
If you have a large item (sofa, dining table, refrigerator, etc.) that requires a truck to transport it, but you do not have a truck at your disposal, ISA freshman parents are available to coordinate a pick-up. You may contact Julie Risman at email@example.com to make arrangements. We have found that items such as furniture, electronics, large and small kitchen appliances, bedding, pillows, artwork, bicycles, workout machines, and dishware tend to sell well and we welcome donations; however, we ask that you do not bring books or clothing because they do not tend to sell as well. We will also gladly accept cash donations. An information flyer is attached to this email for you to share with family and friends who may want to donate or shop at the event on September 28.
Looking ahead, there is a campus-wide Drug Awareness Meeting for ISA, Lee, STEM and NESA parents on Tuesday, October 1 from 6:00-7:00p.m. in the Lee Library Multi-Purpose Room. We encourage all parents to attend this parent-only session presented by Dr. Niki Jackson, Reagan High School STAN counselor and Mrs. Karla Bolton, Lee High School STAN counselor, to learn about current drug trends and what parents can do to help their children make good decisions. We will share additional details in next week’s update.
Have a great week!