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MS Weekly Bulletin | January 31, 2020
Posted 01/27/2020 10:00PM

 

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

–Confucius

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 3 No classes for HS and MS
Wednesday, February 5 MS Parent Meeting (IB, AP, and College Counseling) • 19:30, Monticello 1-2
Thursday, February 6 ES Open House • 8:30, Casa Fleming
Thursday, February 6 Parent-Board of Directors Social • 18:00, Resort Collina d'Oro
Friday, February 7 Memorial Mass for Mrs. Fleming • 8:00, Sant'Abbondio Church
Monday, February 10—Friday, February 14 International Week
Wednesday, February 19 MS Parent-Teacher Conferences
Monday, February 24–Thursday, February 27 MS Winter Adventure For Grade 7 & 8
Monday, February 24–Wednesday, February 26 MS Academic Travel For Grade 6
Friday, February 28 No classes for grades 7–8
Thursday - Friday, February 27–28 No classes for grade 6
Friday, March 6 Yearbook portrait retakes
Tuesday, March 24 Shadow Day for grade 5 (MS) and grade 8 (HS)
Friday, March 27–Sunday, March 29 HS Spring Musical
Saturday, April 4–Sunday, April 19 All-School Spring Holiday
Please refer to tasis.ch/calendar for a more detailed look at upcoming events.

Coronavirus Update

Dear Parents,

As I'm sure many of you have seen, last night the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the coronavirus is now a global health emergency. This situation continues to develop rapidly, so we advise you to refer to the following sources for the latest information:

We continue to track this situation very closely and are in regular contact with Healix, our risk management partner, which released the following statement last night:

We have raised our medical risk rating for China to HIGH due to an acceleration in reported cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The outbreak is centered in Wuhan (Hubei province); however, every region in the country has been affected. On January 30, the country experienced the largest single-day surge in reported cases; 7,800 confirmed cases have been reported and the virus has spread to at least 16 other countries. Reconsider the need to travel to China. Personnel in-country should urgently report any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, or breathing difficulties to their healthcare provider.

On a more positive note, we wish to inform you that the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed yesterday that there are no known cases of the virus in Switzerland. You can review the most recent statement released by the FOPH here.

The well-being of our community remains our top priority, and to that end we participated in a conference call with a number of other boarding schools in Switzerland in order to share best practices. All schools continue to monitor the situation closely and are taking a dynamic approach to this complex and changing picture, carefully following the health protocols established by the CDC and reinforced by the FOPH.

Medical professionals continue to reiterate that the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses is to make sure to do the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.

We kindly ask that you reinforce these protocols with your children, and please know that we will continue to update our community with any new developments. Pending further developments, we intend to proceed with classes as usual.

I wish you all a safe and healthy weekend, 

Christopher Nikoloff
Headmaster 


An Update from the Director of Institutional Advancement

Dear Parents,

On Monday evening in the Palmer Center, we hosted a constructive meeting with Collina d'Oro Mayor Sabrina Romelli and local residents of the community. This meeting was organized at the request of the comune with the objective of improving the relationship between the School and its neighbors and addressing some of the comune's concerns, such as the traffic caused by morning drop-off, afternoon pick-up, and regular service deliveries. Additional topics addressed included the future building projects outlined in our Master Plan, student behavior off campus, and other aspects of the School's impact on the community.

More than 100 community members attended the meeting, including several members of the TASIS Board, Administration, and Faculty. We were also grateful to have the support of TPA President Jennifer Hung-Zanarini and many other TASIS parents.

I opened the meeting by noting that I've spent more of my life here than in the United States, and that I have a deep affection for the Collina d'Oro and feel very fortunate to live here. I also made sure that the local residents in attendance understood how grateful we all feel to have our school in this beautiful location and that we appreciate all the support we receive from the community.

The conversations throughout the meeting were spirited and respectful, and the local residents clearly appreciated the invitation to be heard. We agreed to host these "town hall" meetings on a more regular basis to ensure that the dialogue between the School and our local neighbors remains open. 

We were also pleased that the mayor announced our initiative to expand our parking lot, which will alleviate some of the traffic issues, and build our new 55x37-meter Hydrofield. Now that we have received the necessary permits to proceed with both projects, we plan to begin construction on the expanded parking lot in late February.

We will need to close our current parking lot beginning on Monday, February 24, which will affect our drop-off and pick-up procedures beginning on Monday, March 2, the day classes resume after Spring Academic Travel. We will hold a special Parent Coffee in the Palmer Center from 8:30–9:30 AM on Wednesday, February 19, to discuss construction and transportation logistics. We strongly recommend that any parents who regularly drive to campus plan to attend this meeting.

We aim to have the new parking lot, a new basketball court, and a temporary pool completed by June, and the Hydrofield will be installed this summer. We are also very excited to add a beautiful synthetic ice rink to our campus later this winter.

Of course this construction inevitably leads to disruption, and we are sure to have our share of it in the coming months. But as our Headmaster appropriately noted in the parent appeal we sent earlier this year, it's impossible, at this moment, to imagine our Science Program without the state-of-the-art Campo Science Center, our Visual Arts Program without the Ferit ┼×ahenk Fine Arts Center, our Performing Arts Program without the John E. Palmer Cultural Center, and our Athletics and Physical Education programs without the Palestra. 

We thank you for your patience as we continue to enhance an incomparable Global Village that will serve our students for generations to come.

Sincerely,

Bill Eichner
TASIS Director of Institutional Advancement


Academics

Please note that there will be no classes for the MS and HS on Monday, February 3. Fall Semester report cards will be available on Veracross as of Monday, February 3.


MS Assemblies and Advisor Meetings

The Fall Virtue Award Ceremony was held during assembly on Wednesday, January 29. Congratulations to the recipients of the Magnificent Seven Awards!

Respect:
Grade 8: Velin Gergov
Grade 7: Ginevra Cribari
Grade 6: Kai Lim

Integrity:
Grade 8: Giada Giuliani
Grade 7: Theodor Riegger
Grade 6: Alessia Primo

Responsibility:
Grade 8: Mariaurora Rosso
Grade 7: Anna Bazhenova
Grade 6: Madalena De Sousa Lopes E Costa Felix

Humility:
Grade 8: Anna Batyreva
Grade 7: Kyla Bodnar
Grade 6: Greta Vasino

Compassion:
Grade 8: Giada Giuliani
Grade 7: Alexia Essaris
Grade 6: Davi Ferreira

Service:
Grade 8: Antara Stromayer
Grade 7: Chloe Hassan
Grade 6: Benedetta Attili

Vision:
Grade 8: Edoardo Vasino
Grade 7: Sarah Mesaric
Grade 6: Alessia Primo

During the Advisor block on Thursday, January 31, students had their first Academic Travel and Winter Adventure meetings. 


Upcoming MS Parent Meetings 

AP/IB Programs and College Counseling on February 5
Please join us in Monticello 1-2 and Palmer on Wednesday, February 5, from 19:30–20:30 to discuss the AP/IB Program and College Counseling in the High School.

MS Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 19

We will hold parent-teacher conferences on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 19, and students will have an early dismissal that day. Registration for conference times will open on Friday, February 14. We look forward to seeing you on the 19th.

MS Parent Book Club Meeting on March 10

Middle School parents are welcome to take part in a Parent Book Club conversation dedicated to Technology and Digital Awareness. Building up community awareness can help us and our students avoid exposure to inappropriate social behavior online. Parents are invited to read Nancy Jo Sales’s American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, a book chosen by TASIS parents that addresses parents of both boys and girls. All parents are then invited to participate in an open conversation on Tuesday, March 10, from 14:30–15:45 in Casa Fleming. Ms. Bloodworth and ES Instructional Technology Coordinator Mr. Venchus will participate in the meeting to share their points of view and experiences. Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to the MS TPA coordinators or toTPA@tasis.ch.

MS Parent Coffees this semester:

  • The next MS Parent Coffee will be held on the morning of Wednesday, March 11, and will be led by Ms. Hauenstein. It will be dedicated to social and emotional learning. 
  • Wednesday, April 1, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (MS-HS transition meeting for 8th-grade parents, with HS Administration Team)
  • Wednesday, April 29, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (Topic: MS Digital Citizenship, with Ms. Bloodworth)

Join us at Resort Collina d’Oro Next Thursday

This is a final reminder that all TASIS parents are welcome to join us at the annual Parent-Board of Directors Social at the Resort Collina d'Oro on Thursday, February 6, beginning at 18:00 Please send an email to michelle.arslanian@tasis.ch by this Tuesday, February 4, if you would like to attend.


ES Open House Next Thursday

This is a reminder that we will host an Elementary School Open House for prospective families next Thursday, February 6, should you have any friends who are interested in learning more about TASIS. More information can be found in this article, and the registration page is available here


Memorial Mass for Mrs. Fleming

The annual memorial mass for TASIS Founder M. Crist Fleming will be held next Friday, February 7, at 8:00 AM at the Sant'Abbondio Church in Gentilino. The entire TASIS community is invited.


After-School Sports and Activities

Spring After-School Sports and Activities begin on Monday, March 4, and end on Thursday, May 9. Here are the spring options:

  • Track and Field (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Girls Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Boys Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30. This activity requires a minimum of eight participants.
  • Boys & Girls Soccer (Recreational): Fridays, 16:00–17:30
  • Music Band: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30 
  • MS Ensemble: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Choir: Mondays during lunch recess (12:40–13:10). This activity is a year-round commitment. Students already participating in Choir are required to remain in this activity.
  • Dance: Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Climbing Club (Recreational): Four Sundays during the spring season (dates TBD). This activity has an extra cost of CHF 575.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: MS Musical will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 3–May 14. Performances will be May 15–17.

MS Ski and Snowboard Club: The third outing will be on Sunday, February 9. The last one will be on February 16. Details will be shared in the next MS Bulletin. 


Athletics Update

Recent Results
Date Event Results
January 30 Boys Basketball @ ASM

TASIS A: Loss, 20–13

TASIS B: Win, 27–8

January 30 Girls Basketball @ ASM  Win, 18–14

 

Upcoming  Contests
Date Event Location
February 1 Boys Basketball • ISSL ISZL
February 4 Boys Basketball vs ISM ISM
Please refer to the Athletics Calendar for more details.

International Week Opens on February 10

International Week, a favorite annual TASIS tradition, will begin on Monday, February 10, and conclude on Friday, February 14. The week will include special events in all three divisions, including the all-school Parade of Flags, the Elementary School's International Showcase, the MS/HS World Cup Tournaments, and the High School International Food Fair. 

Please note that the Parade of Flags Assembly on Monday morning will be filmed and posted on the TASIS YouTube channel later that day. Due to limited space in the Palestra, parents are kindly asked not to attend this event.

The full Middle School schedule of events can be found here


Additional Details about MS Events During International Week

International Brunch: Our annual MS International Brunch will be held on Thursday, February 13, from 9:05 to 11:00. To make this event a successful one, family participation is essential! We would appreciate you making delicious homemade traditional dishes to share with our MS community. 

MS World Cup/Soccer Tournament: The Poverty Awareness Service Learning Group will be hosting the eighth MS International Week Football Cup Monday–Wednesday, February 10–12. Join us as students from all over the world come together once again in the spirit of healthy competition and good sportsmanship! 

Each team must meet the following requirements:

  • At least one girl and one boy on the court at any time
  • At least two nationalities represented
  • A total of 5–7 players 
  • All players must be used in every game

Registration fees are CHF 5 per player and must be paid to 8th-grade student Tommaso Danisi by Monday, February 3. The winning team will have its name inscribed on our official trophy and receive a special prize. All proceeds will support our chosen beneficiary, Gram Vikas, an organization that works with rural communities in India. Students who have questions should see Mr. Tripps or Mr. Shelley or any student in the Poverty Awareness Service Learning group. There will be a great bake sale, too. Come, eat treats, and cheer on your classmates!

Alternate Schedule during International Week: We will be running an alternate schedule for International Week. There will be no After-School Activities that week except for the MS Musical session on Thursday, February 13.


TPA Volunteers Needed for International Week!

Calling all parents to bring typical homemade dishes that share and celebrate your child’s heritage! Volunteers are also needed to serve these brunch dishes on Thursday, February 13, at De Nobili from 9:00–11:00. This is a fabulous opportunity to get involved in International Week, a wonderful TASIS tradition! Please contact MS Coordinators Marianne Odjfell and Maria Popova to sign up! 


MS Valentine’s Day Celebration

On Friday, February 14, MS students will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Palestra from 19:00–20:30. Students are asked to wear a piece of clothing or an accessory that is red. Students are required to arrive by 19:00 and will not be allowed to leave until 20:30. This special event is organized by the Event Planners Service Learning Group. 

Come to enjoy great music and have fun with festive props in the traditional photo booth! Bring CHF 2 to get an instant photo and participate in our special Valentine’s fundraiser. 

Please note that there will be a Valentine’s box in Ms. Svetlana Koreshkova’s office from Monday–Friday, February 10–14. All messages from the box will be delivered to their addressee during the MS Valentine's Celebration. Please write your name on the card along with the name of the person to whom the message should be delivered. Don’t forget to send your best wishes and surprise your friends on this special day!


MS Spring Academic Travel for Grade 6: February 24–26

MS Academic Travel is part of the TASIS curriculum and is required for all 6th-grade students. This spring the students will visit Zurich. Please review the packing list.

  • Monday, February 24, at 9:15             Check in at De Nobili and depart for Zurich
  • Wednesday, February 26, at 17:30      Return to TASIS

MS Winter Adventure For Grades 7–8: February 24–27

MS Winter Adventure in St. Moritz is required for all students in grades 7–8, as it is a core part of the MS Curriculum and the TASIS experience. Please review the packing list and this important information for parents. 

  • Monday, February 24                       Check in at De Nobili and depart for St. Moritz
  • Thursday, February 27, at 19:00       Return to TASIS

Snowboarding during MS Winter Adventure: Please take note that during MS Winter Adventure, beginner snowboarding classes will not be offered due to safety precautions. 

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in St. Moritz on February 24, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information at least one week before departure

If your child is a day student and needs to take medication during Winter Adventure, it is important that you talk to the advisor beforehand. Two school nurses will also be available on site. 


Australia Wildfire Relief Donations

Between personal donations, Global Service Program donations, and funds raised at this week’s basketball game, TASIS has been able to send CHF 490 to WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation and CHF 675 to Australian Red Cross. Thank you to all who contributed to this heartbreaking cause.


Recent MS Parent Support Committee (PSC) Meeting

The following topics were discussed at the MS PSC meeting on January 15:

  • Accommodating students with injuries or physical limitations
  • Should the Middle School provide Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)?
  • Free periods for some MS students
  • Double period art classes
  • Heavy backpacks

TPA Eco-Conscious Fundraiser 

Order your personalized BPA-free, stainless steel refillable water bottle (500 ml) and support the TPA! Vibrant new spring colors have arrived! The name of your choice will be engraved on the bottle, making this a unique gift idea for all occasions!

To place an order, please send an email to tpa@tasis.ch and specify the color, text, and font (see examples below) you would like. All proceeds from this sale will go toward the TPA’s eco-conscious initiatives and TPA events.

 

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