Vol. XX • Issue 38 • June 1, 2018

 

Message From The Middle School Principal

Dear Parents,

This is the final Middle School newsletter for the 2017-2018 academic year that serves to share some important end-of-year information. To be sure, Tuesday and Wednesday 29-30 May felt like two full academic days with student checkout procedures, Ganzadistribution, the Middle School Awards ceremony, the all-school Moving Up Day, and final goodbyes to departing faculty and students. Please read below a short wrap up of the major awards that were given to Middle School students this week.

I wish all of you a healthy summer break with safe travels wherever they may lead you and your family.

Take Care,

MS Principal

Andy O’Hara
Principal

 

Here are the important items to note

Middle School Musical for 2018:We’re pleased to announce that the 2018 Middle School musical production isAnnie! This beloved story is about a cheerful orphan who spends Christmas with the world’s richest man, changing many lives in the process.

Auditions will be held the first few days of school on August 8 & 9.  More information can be found in the Google Classroom, so please join using the code 6jr7e21.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic show!

Lion Heart Award Winners for 4th Quarter 2018:

Grade 6:
Boys: Luis Bedolla
Girls: Jimin Seo

Grade 7:
Boys: Ian Morales
Girls: Mischa Hission

Grade 8:
Boys: Mark Trillo
Girls: Ally Lopez

Perfect Attendance for the 2017-2018 School Year:

Grade 6:
Zhangkaiyan Chen
Hyeongjun Kwon
Mario Labadan III
Cemee Lee
Che Michael Maldonado
Jimin Seo

Grade 7:
Emily Clark
Wafaa Ismail
Kyusang Kim
Thomas Colin Lacson
Min-Kyung Seog

Grade 8:
Hyunjeong Ahn
Sumin Cho
Jiwon Hwang
Say-Yeong Kwon
Junhyeok  Lee
Kimberly Navida
Jiyeon Park

Perfect Citizenship Grades for All Classes for SY 2017-2018:

Min-Hua Lin (8-0)

Bishop Brent Award for Both 1st and 2nd Semesters 2017-2018:

Grade 6
Hyeongjun Kwon
Jimin Seo

Grade 7
Fiona Baguiwet
Josemaria Vincent Collado
Enzo Courbet
Sophia Cron
Annettejelle Cuevas
Ana Gabriela Infante
Jungbin Moon
Hugh Richards Maldonado
Alexandra Sy

Grade 8
Say-yeon Kwon
Jiyeon Park
Isabel Reichert

From the Brent Admissions Office:

Reservation and Re-Enrollment Form

By April 20, 2018: Reserve a slot for the 2018-2019 school year, or withdraw.

April 20, 2018 Deadline has passed to Reserve a Slot or Withdraw

Have you reserved a slot, or withdrawn, for the 2018-2019 school year? If so, thank you! If not, the deadline was Friday, April 20. Refer to the Reservation and Re-Enrollment Form for details of how to proceed, and handle this immediately.

A 100% refund of the Reservation Fee is available until June 15, 2018. If today you are unsure of your plans for 2018-2019, pay the fee to reserve a slot and then contact Brent’s Accounting Office for a refund at a later date if you decide to move.

Brent’s Cashier has extra forms, and it can be printed from Brent’s website: http://brent.edu.ph/wpcontent/uploads/2018/04/reservation-re-enrollment-sy2018-2019.pdf

 

 

Important sections from previous newsletters that bear repeating

BASIS and Student Email:  Brent uses a customized web-based application named BASIS (Brent Academic School Information System). This allows students and parents to view academic progress and attendance information online through a Student and Parent Portal feature. Grades 4 to 12 parents can track progress throughout the year while Nursery to Grade 3 parents can view reports at the end of each quarter.

For Parents:

Parents of new students will receive an email on how to access and use the Parent Portal. Access can also be requested by emailing itc@brent.edu.ph or contacting the school level secretary.

For Students:

A new student is given an email account where they can receive communications from the school. This will also be used to login to Google Classroom, the learning management platform used in the Middle and Upper School.

New students (Grades 4 to 5) will be given their Brent email account as well as their BASIS access information through the homeroom teacher and/or computer teacher.

New students (Grades 6 to 12) can get their Brent email account as well as their BASIS access information at the IT Center, 4th Floor, Media Center.

Weekly Parent Articles:

May 25, 2018:  This article isn’t intended specifically or generally at anyone in our community, but rather I included it because I was fascinated by one country’sresponse to the dilemma of parents taking their children out of school early to begin vacations. I find the solution as one I couldn’t imagine enforcing, but it’s being done. Intrigues? Read on about how Germany fines parents who fall into this special category.

Link Here

May 18, 2018:  As we move away from school and into a more active summer, let’s give some thought to taking care of our kids (if needed, that is) from an athletic -injury point of view. This week’s article “Reducing Injury in Youth Sports” provides useful information on working with your child should he/she suffer a sport-related accident.

Link Here

May 11, 2018: I provided an article earlier this year on vaping, but I came across this longer piece from The New Yorkermagazine and felt I had to include it in this week’s newsletter. This article should help dispel any misconceptions you may have about anything remotely positive about vaping and its effects on teenagers. Read on to learn more about this epidemic and to help arm yourself with information for that necessary discussion with your child about the dangers of vaping.

Link Here

May 4, 2018: Here’s a short but meaningful article “How Your Brain Can Trick You Into Trusting People” on the force and impact of unconscious bias has in each of our lives. It’s from the Smarter Living section of the NY Times, and I’m a fan of this part of the NY Times because it includes many links to other interesting articles that can help anyone.

Link Here

April 27, 2018:  I’ve long been a devoted TV watcher, though as I’ve grown older I’ve become more discerning about how I chose to engage with this medium. I’ve also struggled at times to find meaningful, substantive shows to watch with my children. One of my approaches is to watch out for the Peabody Award winners each year for the best drama, comedy, and documentary features on American television. I’ve included the link to this year’s winners. That said, please know that there are numerous shows on this list that are not suitable for our children. Still, there are many shows that are appropriate, including the Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events and numerous documentaries on topics ranging from the environment to Maya Angelou that are worth checking out.

Link Here

April 20, 2018:  This week’s article “Why Teenagers Become Allergic to Their Parents” will provide considerable insights for parents who suddenly, and seemingly without reason, become irritants of varying degrees to our sons and daughters. Frankly, I found comfort in this article as it explained in simple terms the reasons for this aspect of teen behavior.

Link Here

April 13, 2018:  The focus of this week’s article centers not on school education per se but more on how to make better choices in our daily lives to help our planet. The article is titled “How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” and can certainly be discussed with your middle schooler to note possible ways to lessen your family’s carbon footprint. Read on to get some practical advice and knowledge, like the action many of us take that leaves the worst carbon footprint. Hint: it’s not driving your car!

Link Here

April 6, 2018:  

“Those of us who live with teenagers and are around them can see something that is different about this generation.”

This quotation from the NY Times article ”Are Today’s Teenagers Smarter and Better Than We Think” is centered around data collected from recent health surveys that show that today’s teens are different from previous generations in many ways. Read on to find out how today’s leading social scientists feel about this current postmillennial cohort. I think their findings will surprise you.

Link Here

March 23, 2018:  This important article on teenage sexting is one you should definitely read, though I’m afraid you’re not going to like a number of the statistics that you’ll encounter. Still, whether we like it or not, our teens live with this difficult part of their digital lives. And that means we as parents live with this as well. Please read on to gain some perspective on this prevalent issue but also to know how to have a conversation with your teen about this issue.

Link Here

March 16, 2018:  It’s time for some reading suggestions if you’re interested. The accompanying article, “Are IPhones Bad for Kids”, actually focuses on two recently published books, The Art of Screen Time by Anya Kamenetz, and Be The Parent, Please by Naomi Schaefer Riley, though it covers some important points on the good, the bad, and the ugly of screen time for our students. I plan on getting both of these books to read this spring and summer and would be happy to share any thoughts with you regarding these works.

Link Here

March 9, 2018:  Who among us hasn’t been guilty of procrastination? Here’s an article that is certain to help you push through “self sabotage” to accomplish what you need to get finished. Plus don’t forget to access other links in the article on a variety of topics.

Link Here

March 2, 2018:  We still use paper planners in the Middle School and firmly believe in their merits. While they may seem to be just another item to carry around in our students’ heavy backpacks, the derived benefits far outweigh the additional weight. Read on to learn about the benefits of this much overlooked aspect of our instruction at Brent.

Link Here

February 22, 2018:   Here’s an article on vaping, and specifically with a new product called Juul. I don’t know if it’s available yet in the Philippines, but given its popularity in other countries,  its arrival in the Philippines is likely imminent. I don’t know about you, but vaping, and all the dangers that accompany its use, concern me. It’s an ingenious way to start and perpetuate an insidious addiction.

Link Here

February 15, 2018:  Working Hard, Hardly Working, or Working Smarter?  Here’s the latest feature from the “Smarter Living” section of the NY Times. Granted, it’s a short piece, but the link also lets you access other interesting articles on many other topics.

Link Here

February 9, 2018:  I like to provide in this newsletter the professional reading articles that I read and share with the middle school faculty. Here’s an example of a educational magazine that I subscribe to: the AMLE (Association for Middle Level Education), a monthly magazine that explores a different educational theme with accompanying articles. I like the one that starts on p. 21 on teacher expectations for student due dates. It’s ten minutes of important reading as it helps reinforce our efforts not to academically penalize middle schoolers when they miss deadlines.

Link Here

February 2, 2018:  Here’s an interesting piece on Yale University’s most popular undergraduate course. It centers on happiness, and it mirrors Harvard’s most popular undergraduate course that’s also on happiness! Read on to learn about this course and why some Yale students and faculty feel this learning opportunity is critical for young adults.

Link Here

January 26, 2018: This is a health-related article, more specifically about the dangers of vaping and smoking. Read on to learn the latest on this trend among teens.

Link Here

19 January 2018: Feedback comes in many forms, and one that I will discuss with the Middle School faculty next week will be a shared professional article titled “Understanding Grief” about the issue of grief and talking with someone about a significant loss. Admittedly, it’s not a “typical” article on teaching, but working with students and colleagues who have suffered from loss is an important part of our lives. I hope this article provides you valuable insights into this topic.

Link Here

12 January 2018: As parents, we’re always looking for ways to help our kids with their academic work, thus, this included article about improving reading comprehension. I’m reviewing this article with my Middle School faculty next week as part of our ongoing work together on myriad pedagogical matters. Here’s a glimpse into what we work on as faculty and a good way to help your child.

Link Here

On a related note, I’ll start a new newsletter section for the 2nd semester where I’ll house the Weekly Parent Articles that I include each week. If you want to look at past articles from the 1st semester, simply go to a previous newsletter from last semester and click on a link.

Reminder About After-School Supervision: Many middle school students remain after school  to attend tutorials or other after-school activities, or they need to wait for older siblings who have extracurricular commitments. All the divisional principals are reminding those students who are not attending tutorials or participating in extracurricular activities or who do not have to wait for a sibling that they need to go home at the end of the academic day. If a middle school student has an academic commitment aside from attending tutorials and wants to stay after school to work with classmates in the library, the student(s) should go the library and stay there to complete the work. Students without after-school commitments are not allowed to remain after school to socialize.

Improvements to the Physical Plant at Brent: You may have noticed a number of changes around campus. There is now artificial turf around the reflection pond between the Middle School and Upper School. We also have a new serving area in front of the Upper School. This will allow our Japanese food station to have a more permanent location and let our student bake sales move back into the Atrium. A new awning is also being constructed in front of the cafeteria and on the end of the Atrium to keep our walkways a little drier during inclement weather.

Perhaps you will have noticed the new guard station in the drop off area. This added space allows for a more orderly and comfortable vetting of visitors to our campus and adds an additional element of security. In addition, a new Brent cafe is being constructed in the hallway between the cafeteria and administration wing, and we look forward to opening it later this year.  Finally, Gym 1 is receiving a whole new look with new flooring and a new, larger set of bleachers. We hope you attend many games and all-school Eucharists to enjoy it with us.

A Reminder to Parents Who Travel: If traveling requires you to leave your child/ren in the care of someone else, please complete the Temporary Contact Information form. Sharing it with the office will help Brent better handle any security, medical, or legal concerns that might come up while you are away. The forms are available to pick up in each of the school offices. It can also be printed from our website by visiting the newsletter and school calendar pages. Please give the completed form to the office before you depart for your trip. Thank you!

MESSAGE FOR PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH FOREIGN PASSPORTS: Brent, like all schools in the Philippines, is required to document that ALL students (except for Filipino students) are attending school according to immigration regulations. For this reason, it is very important that we have clear documentation on the visa status for every student.

To this end, we are requiring all students during the end-of-year checkout procedure to fill out the proper form and return it to the school along with copies of their passport’s bio-page, visa page, and latest arrival page. To insure your child can properly enroll for this school year, we need to follow-up on his/her visa status. We have all the support necessary to help with any visa issues, but it is very important we receive the requested information quickly.

Brent International School requires all parents/visitors to sign in and get a visitor’s ID card. Permanent ID cards are available for all parents through the Security Office in the Administration building. When displaying a permanent ID card, parents are no longer required to get a visitor ID card each visit.

Closing of School: Brent International School Manila adheres to the Storm Signal Guidelines established by PAGASA – (the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration). Accordingly, when storm signals are posted over Biñan, Laguna, classes will be affected as follows:

  • Storm Signal #1 Normal Operation: All Brent classes will proceed as scheduled.
  • Storm Signal #2 No Classes or Activities: No students or teachers are to report, however the school offices will remain open for the day. Administrators and office support staff report as usual if it is safe to do so.
  • Storm Signal #3 and #4 No School: The entire school operation will be closed. No classes, offices or activities will take place.

Please be aware that the storm signal for Laguna is not the same as that of Metro Manila. Weather reports regarding Manila, therefore, may not apply to the conditions at Brent.

Every attempt will be made to contact parents, students and teachers in the event of a cancellation of classes. When available and applicable, we use corporate texts to inform those whose cell phone numbers are registered in our system. If you have not heard from the school, you can assume that classes will happen as scheduled.

If you are still unsure, calling the school at +63-2-779-5140 to 46 or +63-49-513-4330 to 33 after 6:00 a.m. or checking to see if there is a notice on our website (www.brent.edu.ph) may help.

We realize that parents have the ultimate responsibility for determining whether or not their children go to school. Even if no order for the suspension of classes has been issued, if parents feel that traveling to or from school will place their children at risk, we certainly understand and will honor their decision.

Consolidation of Point-of-Sales (POS) System: We are consolidating all transactions from the Cafeteria, Activities Office, and Media Center into our Point-of-Sales (POS) system. This means that the student balances will not be limited to food items. Charges may include items such as school and sports uniforms, textbooks, etc.

Notification:

(a)  Those with Negative balances will continue to be informed every Monday via email.

(b)  A detailed history of purchases will be reflected in a report at the end of every month via email. Payments will also be reflected here.

If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to rflores@brent.edu.ph.