The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland

This Month at TASIS

April 2021

April 2021

From local excursions and theater rehearsals to exam preparation and Earth Day celebrations, we offer a photo-driven look at the past month at TASIS.


Campus Haunts

As April brought warmer weather, students returned to the many outdoor study spaces on campus to work in groups and socialize with friends.



The Campus Beat

Middle School students in Ms. Angela Dusing’s grade 8 music class circled up outside to practice drum improvisation near historic Casetta on April 1.



Dress Code Violators

High School boarding students had fun selecting the outfits of their dorm proctors on April 1 for Dress Your Proctor Day, an annual TASIS tradition.



Phonics Fun

Elementary School teachers of grades Pre-Kindergarten through 3 completed a four-hour training workshop on the phonics program Wilson Fundations® following an introductory seminar with ES Literacy Coordinator Erin Fitzgerald. The workshop focused on developing phonological awareness and alphabetic principles and skills taught at each grade level while understanding the why and how of Fundations instruction.



Same Sky Rehearsal

Middle School drama students worked on the finale of Same Sky during a rehearsal on April 8. The hardworking cast and crew are set to perform the musical in front of a very small student audience on May 7 and 8 in the Palmer Cultural Center, and video recordings of their performances will be made available on the TASIS YouTube channel shortly afterward. See more rehearsal photos.



TASIS Speaker Series Guest Inspires Seniors

Social entrepreneur Rakhi Mehra closed down the 2020–2021 TASIS Speaker Series with a virtual address to TASIS seniors on the evening of April 12. Entitled “Social Enterprise: Discovering Purpose in Life and Career,” Ms. Mehra’s inspiring presentation, which can be viewed in full here, outlined the journey that took her from a high school student in New Delhi who dreamed about swimming for India and becoming a fourth-generation chartered accountant to an Oxford- and Harvard-educated economist who has spent the past decade developing sustainable systems to improve the resilience of informal housing in developing countries. Learn more.

Watch the full presentation



The Iconic Red Bench

"Above the nearest mountains, their greens and reds harmonizing with white villages, bluish ridges peered; and beyond, paler and bluer, more and more ridges. Very far away and unreal rose the snow-capped crystalline peaks. Above the acacias and chestnut trees the mighty rocky wall and humpbacked summit of Monte Salute [Monte San Salvatore] emerged, reddish and light purple."

So wrote Hermann Hesse, who spent the final 43 years of his life in Montagnola and was laid to rest in the quiet cemetery of Sant'Abbondio in 1962, in Klingsor's Last Summer the year following his move to Ticino in 1919. The iconic poet, novelist, and painter would later describe his first year in Montagnola as "the fullest, most prolific, most industrious and most passionate time" of his life. 

A path dedicated to Hesse meanders past TASIS, and on the trail just above campus a red bench—a favorite of many TASIS students, staff, and alumni—looks out upon the view described above.



Cramming Coders

On April 13, students in Mr. Isaac Carey’s Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science class learned about sorting algorithms and reviewed for their upcoming exam. See more photos.



A Day in the Şahenk Fine Arts Center

After exploring what a typical day is like for students in Kindergarten, in grade 3, and in grade 6 earlier this year, this month we’ve chosen to focus on a building rather than a grade. Click here for an inside look at the first-rate TASIS Visual Arts Program and a snapshot of what one day is like in the superb Şahenk Fine Arts Center.



Artists at Work

An artist in Mr. Martyn Dukes’ AP Drawing class stepped back to analyze her charcoal strokes while working on a piece of her portfolio that must be submitted to the College Board by May 20. See more photos of artists at work in the Şahenk studios.



Wonderful Weavers

Grade 3 students used yarn to weave colorful squares in Ms. Caroline Rossi’s art class on April 15. See more photos.



Sunshine Skaters

Elementary School students in the Ice Skating After-School Program enjoyed a game of hockey on the beautiful synthetic ice rink outside Belvedere on April 16. See more photos.



Full Bloom

The many colorful flowers in the Parco Ciani gardens were in full bloom for a reimagined Middle School Academic Travel field trip to downtown Lugano on April 16. The students, who have been reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett in Ms. Gigi Diane Guarnieri Rosso’s Introduction to Academic English class, seized upon the opportunity to explore a garden of their own. The group took a guided tour of the park, sketched plants, and learned about several species of flowers. See more photos.



Verdant Greens

High School golfers have called the stunning grounds of Golf Club Lugano home as they’ve fine-tuned their swings this spring.



High Flyers

High School track and field athletes worked through a series of triple jump drills during practice at Lugano’s exquisite Cornaredo Stadium on April 19. See more photos.



Data Crunchers

Ninth-grade students in Mr. Danny Schiff’s Core Math 1 course spent much of April performing statistical analysis. The mathematicians surveyed TASIS students and faculty members on an issue of their choice, analyzed the responses, and presented their findings on April 20–21 to a panel of peers and faculty guests. See more photos.



Book Worms

A pair of Middle School students read on the M. Crist Fleming Bench on the afternoon of April 21.



TASIS-Grown Veggies

The Middle School’s Greenhouse Service Learning group, which is led by Ms. Angela Dusing, has spent this spring converting the unused space near Alba into a vegetable patch. The group has already planted peas, carrots, watermelon, celery, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce!

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, students in the group shared a delicious salad made with lettuce they grew and sold packs of wildflower and lettuce seeds to raise funds to purchase more seeds and flower bulbs for the nascent garden, which will ultimately provide flowers for local hospitals and nursing homes and organic vegetables for the TASIS community.



Earth Day Reflection

During History & Geography class on Earth Day, third-grade students found a comfy place outdoors to study a map of the world and discuss, in Italian, the planet we call home.



Shakespearean Auteurs

Grade 8 English students created their own dramatic interpretations of scenes from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The young filmmakers, who have been exploring the influence a director can have on a play’s interpretation, fielded questions about their own directorial decisions during a film premiere on April 28 in the Palmer Center. See more photos.



Future Publishers

The Day The Crayons Quit, Una Zuppa Di Sasso, Skippyjon Jones, Creepy Pair of Underwear— first-grade students reviewed some of their favorite books and shared their thoughts with classmates and Focolare faculty and staff during a special publishing party on April 29. See more photos.