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MS Weekly Bulletin | February 9, 2018
Posted 02/09/2018 03:00PM

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.

- Ronald Reagan

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 12–Friday, February 16 International Week
Monday, February 26–Friday, March 2 Grades 7–8 Winter Adventure
Monday, February 26–Wednesday, February 28 Grade 6 Academic Travel
Thursday, March 1–Friday, March 2 No school for grade 6
Friday, March 9 Yearbook portrait retakes
Saturday, March 24–Sunday, April 8 Spring Break

Recap of the Headmaster’s Presentation on February 7

We would like to thank the many parents who attended Wednesday evening’s Wine and Hors d'oeuvres Reception in the Palmer Center, which featured an excellent presentation from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff. Mr. Nikoloff discussed his background, the educational philosophy that drives TASIS, the School’s financial model, the improvements that will be made to the Elementary School’s academic program next year, and plans regarding future campus developments.

Please enjoy a summary of Mr. Nikoloff’s presentation.

MS Assemblies and Advisor Meetings

During the MS Assembly on Wednesday, February 7, students reviewed all the details of International Week. There is a lot of excitement in the air!

During the Advisor block on Thursday, February 8, students had their second Academic Travel and Winter Adventure meetings. They have now received all trip details.

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

On Tuesday, February 6, parents of students in grades 5–8 had an opportunity to participate in a meeting dedicated to the AP/IB Program, College Counseling, and the TASIS Diploma. The meeting was led by the following members of the High School Faculty:

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

International Week Begins on Monday!

International Week, a favorite annual TASIS tradition, will begin on Monday, February 12, and conclude on Friday, February 16. Please see the MS events for the week, and a full schedule of events for all divisions can be found here. There will be themed lunch and dinners in De Nobili for MS and HS students every day of that week.

TASIS Parade of Flags: Please note that due to limited space in the Palestra, parents are kindly asked not to attend the Parade of Flags on Monday. (The event will be filmed and posted on the TASIS YouTube page afterward. We will also send the video link to all parents when it is ready.)

MS International Brunch: Our annual MS International Brunch will be held on Thursday, February 15, from 9:05 to 11:00. To make this event a successful one, family participation is essential! We would appreciate any delicious homemade traditional dishes you’d like to share with our MS community.

MS Bake Sale and Valentine’s Day Cards: The Heifer International MS Service Learning group will hold a Valentine's Day Card and Bake Sale on the mornings of Monday–Wednesday, February 12–14, during snack time in Belvedere. Please remember to bring a few Francs to treat yourself or buy a friend a sweet or Valentine's Day card. All proceeds will go toward the Heifer International's Women's Empowerment: Send a Girl to School Fund.

MS World Cup/Soccer Tournament: The Poverty Awareness Service Learning Group is holding the MS International Week Football Cup for the sixth consecutive year. The winning team will have its name inscribed on our official trophy and receive a special prize. All proceeds will go to our service learning partner agency, One World Futbol, an organization that provides indestructible footballs to disadvantaged youth in various countries in an effort to encourage sports participation and character development around the world.

MS Alternate Schedule: We will be running the following alternate schedule for International Week. All activities except for Drama (on Thursday) will be canceled during International Week.

International Brunch on Thursday, February 15:

  • F1 Brunch/F2 Class: Ms. Vidana, Ms. Philpot, Mr. Frazier-Smith, Ms. Raymond, Dr. Sinnathamby, Ms. Harding, Study Hall
  • F1 Class/F2 Brunch: Ms. Perani, Ms. Bloodworth, Ms. Meister, Dr. Merritt, Mr. Lill, Ms. Bellini/Ms. Hurst


After-School Sports and Activities

The MS Ski and Snowboard Club will have its third outing on Sunday, February 11. The bus will depart from the main parking lot at 7:15 and return at approximately 18:00. In case of an emergency on the day of the outing, contact one of the TASIS Ski and Snowboard Club leaders at 079 393 6196.

Spring After-School Sports and Activities begin on Monday, March 5, and end on Friday, May 11. Here are the spring options:

  • Track and Field: Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Girls Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Music Band: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Weekend Climbing Club: four outings on April 15, April 22, May 6, and May 13
  • Choir: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 12:45–13:10
  • Dance: Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Musical: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 16:00–18:00. Performances will be May 18–20.

MS Winter Adventure for 7th and 8th Grade (February 26–March 2)

MS Winter Adventure in St. Moritz is required for all 7th and 8th grade students, as it is a core part of the MS Curriculum and the TASIS experience. Please see the packing list.

Snowboarding during MS Winter Adventure: Please take note that during MS Winter Adventure, Beginner Snowboarding classes are not offered due to safety precautions.

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in St-Moritz on February 26 or pick him or her up on March 2, 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 Winter Adventure, it is important that you talk to the advisor beforehand. Two school nurses will also be available on site.

MS Spring Academic Travel for Grade 6 (February 26–28)

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 see the packing list. The itinerary will be shared next week.

There is a nice pool at the hotel, and it is supervised. Guests are required to have flip flops and a swimming cap.

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in Zurich on February 26 or pick him or her up on February 28, 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 the advisor beforehand.

Chess Tournament at TASIS on March 3

Swiss Chess Tour will host a chess tournament on the TASIS campus (Monticello 1 and 2) on the afternoon of Saturday, March 3. The check-in period will run from 13:45–14:25, and the tournament will begin at 14:30. Prizes will be awarded at 18:40.

TASIS students of all ages can enter the tournament for free (provided that they know the rules of chess), and parents and other members of the community are also welcome to participate for an entry fee of CHF 20. Please see the flyer below for registration details.

Portrait Retakes on March 6

Portrait retake day will be held on Friday, March 9, in the MCF Library for the students and faculty/staff who did not have their portrait taken in October. This photo will be used in the Yearbook, in Veracross, and in the faculty/staff directory, so it’s very important that students remember to go.

Volunteers Needed for Spring Gala: Building the Future

The TPA has begun to plan this year’s Spring Gala (“Building the Future”) and is looking for volunteers to help organize the event, which will include an auction, a silent auction, and a raffle. The Gala will be held in the Palestra on Saturday, April 21.

The TPA would also be delighted to receive any donations for the raffle and auctions. If you have any new items or services (e.g. bags, yoga lessons, etc.) you would be willing to contribute or would like to volunteer to help in any other capacity, please contact Brunella Pignaton at

More information about the Spring Gala will be shared in the coming weeks.

TASIS Teachers Participate in Third Annual MITA Conference

The Milan International Teachers Association (MITA) held its third annual educational conference on Saturday, February 3—and TASIS was there once again, represented by a group of eight faculty members: Keith Izsa (High School History Department) and Valerie Bijur Carlson (High School Theater Director & TOK teacher), who have participated in the conference since its inception; Olymar Marco Brown (High School and Middle School Science Department), who attended for the second time; and first-time attendees Erin Fitzgerald and Carla Santoro (Elementary School Literacy Department), Carol Hinchliff (Early Childhood Coordinator), Alice Vassalli (Elementary School teacher), and Emmanuelle Kaser (Elementary School student teacher).

Several members of the TASIS Faculty even led their own workshop sessions: Mr. Izsa laid out a “blueprint” for project-based learning, Ms. Brown taught the methodology of art therapy in the classroom, and Ms. Fitzgerald and Ms. Santoro presented the use of mentor texts for improving student writing.

Learn more on the TASIS Blog.

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