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MS Weekly Bulletin | February 7, 2020
Posted 02/04/2020 02:00PM

 

What we are doing, or at least attempting to do, is to create not international schools but international human beings, men and women who are capable of moving easily in any society and any civilization on the face of the earth, people who do not have to overcome the barriers of prejudice or even unfamiliarity in communicating with their fellow human beings, no matter what their backgrounds.

– M. Crist Fleming (1993 speech)

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 10—Friday, February 14 International Week
Wednesday, February 19 MS Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, February 19 Construction and Logistics Meeting • 8:30, Palmer Center
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,

We continue to remain fortunate that no cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been identified in Switzerland. For the latest information on the outbreak, we would like to point you in the direction of the following resources:

We also wish to inform you that our recent discussions with local health professionals have helped us draw the following conclusions, all of which remain subject to change due to the dynamic nature of this situation. 

  • None of our upcoming Academic Travel and Global Service Program trips is to a high-risk area (see a full list of locations below), but we still believe that it is imperative to provide basic education to all chaperones and students about prevention. The prevention protocols for upcoming travel can be found here.

  • The Swiss authorities are providing guidance for travelers and recommending that any travelers from China report to a local doctor if they become symptomatic within two weeks of arriving in Switzerland.

  • We are in communication with our students from China about their plans for the upcoming Spring Holiday (April 4–19). If the coronavirus fears have not subsided by that point, we will help these students make alternative travel plans or provide them assistance in finding local accommodations, possibly with host families.

  • Any members of our community (students, faculty, or staff) who decide to travel to China for the Spring Holiday are asked to report to our Health Center ahead of time. They will work with our health professionals on pre-trip education and post-trip support, such as checking for symptoms.

  • We must acknowledge that there is always the possibility that members of our community or visitors arriving on campus have recently traveled from China but are not disclosing that travel to us. Following the prevention protocols mentioned above remains paramount—no matter how low the risk of infection appears to be in Switzerland.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to adapt to this developing situation, and we wish you and your family a safe and healthy weekend.

Sincerely,

Christopher Nikoloff
Headmaster


Upcoming Academic Travel and Global Service Program Trips

February 24–26 (MS)
Grade 6 trip: Zurich

February 24–27 (MS)
Winter Adventure (grades 7–8): St. Moritz


February 20–29 (HS)
Global Service Program: India
Global Service Program: Kenya

February 22–28 (HS)
Modern History: Poland
Ski Adventure: Crans-Montana

February 23–28 (HS)
Computer Science: Zurich
Honors Literature: Greece
Ancient & Medieval History: Greece
Ancient & Medieval History: Madrid
Ancient & Medieval History: Rome
US History: Paris & Normandy
Performing Arts: Paris
CERN: Bern/Geneva
Economics/Business: Brussels
Fine Art Retreat: Granada
Introduction to Budapest: Hungary
IB II Retreat: Tuscany

Academics

EAL Film Program for Introduction to MS Academic English: Students in Ms. Guarnieri Rosso’s class are required to attend their second film session today, February 7, from 15:30–17:30 and tomorrow, February 8, from 10:00–12:00. They will be watching Hugo.


International Week Starts on Monday!

International Week 2020 will kick off with the Parade of Flags Assembly on Monday morning. This exciting event will be filmed and posted on the TASIS YouTube channel later that day. Due to very limited space in the Palestra, parents are kindly asked not to attend.

The week will include special events in all three divisions, including the Elementary School International Showcase, the MS/HS World Cup Tournaments, and the High School International Food Fair. 

Please see the full schedule of International Week events in the Middle School. Additional details can be found in the item below.


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. 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. 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.

 


Last Call for International Week Volunteers!

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 Assemblies and Advisor Meetings

On Wednesday, February 5, the Middle School held the Fall Semester Academic Awards Ceremony to congratulate students who were named to the Honor Roll for the first semester. The Academic Honor Roll is calculated at each end-of-semester grading period. It is based solely on grades earned in classes and does not take into account effort grades or behavior. Honor Roll status at the semester is recorded on the recipient’s final transcript.

  • Highest Honors: GPA of 3.80 or higher 
  • High Honors: GPA of 3.50 or higher 
  • Honors: GPA of 3.20 or higher

During the Advisor block on Thursday, February 6, students reflected on the first semester and set goals for the second semester. Students also reviewed all the details of International Week. There is a lot of excitement in the air!


AP/IB Program, College Counseling, and the TASIS Diploma

On Wednesday, February 5, MS parents had an opportunity to participate in a meeting dedicated to the AP/IB programs, College Counseling, and the TASIS Diploma. The meeting was led by the following members of the High School Faculty:

  • Dr. Abisi, HS Academic Dean
  • Mr. Birk, Director of University and College Counseling
  • Ms. Lucchini, Curriculum Coordinator/Head of Modern Languages
  • Mr. Stickley, IB Coordinator/UK University Counselor
  • Ms. Kerry Venchus, AP Coordinator

Please see the presentation slides from the meeting for more details.


Construction and Logistics Meeting on February 19

As noted in last week’s announcement from the Director of Institutional Advancement, 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 for parents of students in all divisions in the Palmer Center on Wednesday, February 19, from 8:30–9:30 AM to discuss construction and transportation logistics. We strongly recommend that any parents who regularly drive to campus plan to attend this meeting.


MS Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 19

The Middle School will hold parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, February 19. Students will be dismissed at 12:20, shuttle buses will depart at 12:30, and car drivers can pick up students at 12:40. There will be no after-school activities that afternoon. MS day students can’t remain on campus during parent-teacher conferences without adult supervision.

The first conference session will begin at 13:15. We will have the session sign-up portal available on Friday, February 14. There will be four one-hour sessions. 

We look forward to seeing you on February 19.


Portrait Retake Day 

Portrait retake day will be held on Friday, March 6, from 8:00–16:00 in the MCF Library for any students who did not have their portrait taken in October. This photo will be used in the Yearbook and in Veracross, so it’s very important that students remember to go.


Other Upcoming MS Parent Meetings 

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 to TPA@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)

After-School Sports and Activities

MS Ski and Snowboard Club: The third outing will be on Sunday, February 9. The last one will be on February 16.

Spring After-School Sports and Activities begin on Monday, March 2, and end on Friday, May 22. Here are the spring options:

  • Track and Field (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Girls Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Boys Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30. This activity requires a minimum of 8 participants.
  • Boys & Girls Soccer (Recreational): Fridays 16:00–17:30
  • Dance: Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Music Band: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • 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.
  • Climbing Club (Recreational): 4 Sundays during the Spring season (Dates TBD). This activity has an extra cost of CHF 575.

IMPORTANT NOTE: MS Musical continues from the fall semester (Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 3–May 14; performances will be on Friday–Sunday, May 15–17)


Recent Athletics Results
Date Event Location Results
February 4 Boys Basketball  ISM  Win

 

Upcoming  Contests
Date Event Location
February 6–7 Downhill Skiing ISZL
February 8 Boys Basketball • NISSA ISM
February 8 Girls Basketball • NISSA ISM
Please refer to the Athletics Calendar for more details.

Service Learning Update

The Hope and Homes for Children (Romania) Service Learning group would like to thank everyone who took the time to prepare delicious cupcakes, cookies, and cakes for the Bake Sale to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross. We would also like to thank all of those who bought something or kindly contributed to the fundraiser. We raised CHF 350!


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. They will explore the downtown area and walk up the Bell Tower for an amazing view, visit Technorama Science Museum to participate in the science workshops and adventure rooms, and enjoy a guided tour and interview with the zookeepers at the Zurich Zoo. The detailed itinerary will be shared next week. 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

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in Zurich on February 24 or pick him or her up on February 26, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information at least five days before departure

If your child is a day student and needs to take medication during Spring Academic Travel, it is important that you talk to his or her advisor beforehand.


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

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 you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in St. Moritz on February 25, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information at least one week before departure. Drop-off at the Youth Hostel in St. Moritz will befrom 16:00–16:15,and pick-up will be possible at 16:00 on Thursday, February 27. Please find the hotel’s details below:

St. Moritz Youth Hostel
Via Surpunt 60
7500 St. Moritz Bad
Switzerland
Tel: +41 81 836 61 11

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. 

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 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. 


New Location for the Admissions Office

Please note that the Admissions Office is now in historic Casa Fleming! You can find Mr. Eichner and Ms. McKee on the ground floor, and Ms. Roowalla and Ms. Soravia are right upstairs.


Parent-Board of Directors Social

Thank you to the many parents who attended last night’s lovely reception at Resort Collina d’Oro. We hope you enjoyed the evening!

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