Friday Newsletter: February 15, 2019

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS: (February 18– February 22)

  • Monday, February 18: Parent Math Workshop -Facilitated by Francois from 7:45 – 8:45 in MP 1 and an evening session from 6:00 – 8:00pm in MP 1
  • Tuesday, February 19: Primary School Staff Meeting from 2:45 – 3:45 in MP 1: The objective of our meeting is to map out our learning spaces for the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Tuesday, February 19: Open Board Meeting from 6:00 – 8:00pm in the Auditorium
  • Wednesday, February 20: PLT Meeting from 2:45 – 3:45 in the PS Office
  • Wednesday, February 20: TA Professional Learning facilitated by Joe from 1:45 –2:30 in Room 16. The topic will be Learner Agency
  • Thursday, February 21: Primary School Collaboration Meetings from 2:45 – 3:45 in MP 1.
  • Thursday, February 21: ISSEA Drama and Visual Arts Opening Ceremony at 7:45 at the amphitheater
  • Friday, February 22: PS Leadership Design Team will meet from 7:30-2:30 in the Learning Hub.
  • Friday, February 22: Family Fun Fest from 3:00 – 8:00pm at AISM




evening workshop
  • Maths Professional Learning: We have contracted one of the premier mathematics consultants in the world, Ms. Erma Anderson, to offer the Math Specialists in International School’s (MSIS) certificate program at AISM. The MSIS training will support our teachers responsible for teaching math with the conceptual and instructional understandings to provide highly effective math instruction.  The MSIS program is comprised of five, 3-day institutes, and we will be hosting two of the institutes during this school year, and the additional three next school year.
  • The IB has collaborated with the University of the People (UoPeople) and launched a tuition-free, online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) programme. The M.Ed. offers teachers and schools across the world an opportunity to further their careers, regardless of where they live and teach.
  • Leading and learning in the 21st centuryScreen Shot 2562-02-09 at 10.15.37
  • Seesaw PD in your PJ’s  – February PD in your PJ’s

(If you know of a learning experience that should be shared on our blog please share with me via email)


Our new Scholastic Book Club is up and running! Go to to browse the latest books and order online. For every $1 you spend on this month’s Book

  • AISM is hosting the ISSEA Drama and Visual Arts Festival from 20 to 24 February.  We will be hosting schools from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.    You are cordially invited to attend the ISSEA Drama and Visual Arts Opening Ceremony on Thursday, 21 February, 2019 at 07:45 at the amphitheater.  The opening ceremony will only take about 20 minutes.  We hope you can be there to give a warm Buffalo welcome to our guests.
    Our visiting schools will arrive on Wednesday in the afternoon, and you will see art work being put on display in the lobby that day.  There will be guest artists and students teaching and learning all over campus from MP1 to the auditorium, and from the SS Art Studio to MP2. Workshops and  performances will take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  We realize having so many guest learners and teachers on campus will be disruptive to our normal routine and apologize for any inconvenience.
    We hope to see you at the opening ceremony. Go Buffalos!
    Lee Clagnaz
  • Dear colleagues,
    The next PAC meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday 21st February.
    Please let any of the reps know if you have any items to be included on the agenda.
    Best wishes
    THE PAC representatives (Vanessa, Brooks, Erika, Letticia, Dave and Mike)
  • The house system has been updated to add all staff, primary school and new students. The link below will share the house lists with you to let you know in which house you are in. And of course, if you have children and/or siblings, you are together in a house. 
    Please note the school colours are: IncomatiZambezi & Limpopo. Please wear these colours on school House days to take part in the Buffalo spirit every Friday, starting this week! 
    You have been randomly distributed in the houses according to the following criteria: if you have children, sibling and/or parents woking at school you are in the same house. If there is any problem regarding your house, i.e. if you and your child are in different houses, if your children are in different houses, if you are not in a house, if you have any questions, etc, please don’t hesitate to contact Amanda Godoi at and Elné van der Westhuyzen at and we will sort it out as soon as possible. 

    From: SS Student Leadership

  • Dear Members of the AISM Community: The AISM Board of Directors invites you to attend the second general (open) meeting of the 2018/2019 school year on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 18:00 in the AISM auditorium.  All members of the association and other interested persons are welcome to attend.  The specific purpose of this meeting is for the Board of Directors to present progress on the Board Goals, share the academic and operational initiatives, and to gather community input on potential school expansion as we near capacity.Open Board Agenda – February 19, 2019 and the 18-09-2018 Open Board Meeting Minutes FINAL.doc (1) from the last general association meeting, which took place on September 18, 2018.  As we have recently welcomed new families to the AISM community, the Board wishes to take this opportunity to provide a bit more information on the role of association members and also explain procedures for open board meetings.  As per the Articles of Association of the school, membership in the Association is voluntary and shall be comprised of parents and legal guardians of children who are registered for attendance at school.The Board of Directors Policy Manual, Section 7001, sets forth the procedures for Board Meetings.   Herewith is the section from the manual for your review:

    The Board of Directors exists to represent the AISM Association in overseeing the operations of the School and where appropriate, conducts deliberations openly during monthly meetings.  Members of the school community may speak about their concerns, but all participation should be orderly and no person or group has the right to obstruct the work of the Board.  The following procedures have been established to ensure effective and efficient board meetings:

    1. Copies of board meeting agendas will be posted one week in advance and will be made available to all participants.
    2. Persons who wish to bring a particular concern before the Board should observe the following:

    Advance Written Requests: A person who wishes to address the Board should submit a request in writing to the School Director or Board Chair at least one week before the date of the meeting, indicating the subject to be discussed.  The item may then be incorporated in the meeting agenda prior to the meeting date.

    Request during the Meeting:  If no advance request has been made, a person wishing to address the board may make use of the period designated for “open forum”.

    Addressing the Board:  Each person addressing the Board will state his/her name and the subject of his/her remarks.  The Chair may establish a time limit, depending on the number of speakers and the length of the agenda.  Undue interruption or other interference with the orderly conduct of any meeting will not be tolerated. Abusive remarks are always out of order and the Chair may terminate a speaker’s privilege if, after being called to order, he/she persists in improper conduct or remarks.

    Action by the Board: Other than answering simple questions of fact, the Board will not normally act upon any concern or request brought before the Board at the same meeting.  Questions may be referred to the School Director for further investigation or the Board may place the matter on the agenda for a subsequent meeting for discussion and action.  The Board will generally receive communication and take under advisement without immediate action.

    1. Members of the school community should bear in mind that the Board represents everyone in the community and that the views expressed by a few individuals may not result in Board action.

    The Board welcomes your participation at open board meetings and encourages it as a way for parents and guardians to be more informed about the outward vision of the school.   As noted above, please submit any advanced written requests to the Chair prior to the end of the school day on Tuesday, February 12, 2018 to give the Board sufficient advanced notice to consider the request. As always, there will be opportunities to raise items during the meeting’s open forum.

    Should you have any questions about the association, open board meetings or wish to submit an advanced request, please feel free to contact the Board Chair directly at

  • PTA Family Fun Fest: 
    Friday, February 22 is Family Fun Fest and we have a growing number of vendors selling drinks and small food items. We are holding Family Fun Fest in conjunction with ISSEA Drama and Visual Arts. The ISSEA students will turn the atrium and walk way into a gallery, hold an improv session, and have a lip sync battle. For all of the students not participating in ISSEA the PTA is facilitating workshops on painting, sewing, and storytelling for the children and there will be ceramic buffalos to paint as well bouncy castles and fun.

    If you are available would you please be so kind as to donate an hour of your time and help with Family Fun Fest. We are asking for volunteers with set up, ticket sales, to supervise bouncy castles, and to serve as rovers to simply help where needed.
    Please sign up here:
    Kind regards,
    The PTA Executive Council
  • As you post AISM related content on Twitter, please remember to include our school hashtags, #AISMlearns and/or #Buffalopride and the school handle @AISMmoz
  • 1. Communications email
    This email is coming to you from an office email that we all share.  You can use it for general inquiries when you don’t know to whom to direct a question.  In the near future, we hope to add a ticketing system (like when you email the IT help desk) so we can monitor the question or issue you have.
    Request: use this email (communications@aism-moz.comfor general inquiries relating to AISM communications.
    2. Communictions project form
    Do you have a request for a Bulletin item, a brochure, an email, a message for the board, or other projects for the Communications team? If so, go to this form( and fill it out.  Depending on the nature of the request, we may follow up with a request for an intake meeting, so we understand the project and its goals and can do a good job for you and the school.  Bear in mind, we do need to prioritize projects, so we will try and be realistic about the turnaround.  Note: one of the criticisms we have received from parents concerns late notice of events, so if you know of an event that needs promoting, even if it’s a few months away, please fill out the form and get it into the queue.
    Request: Use this form ( ) for a project for anyone on the Communications & Advancement Team: Abel (web), Bruno (message board, design/photo and videography), Miriam (social media, feature news), Mike (editing, broadcast email), Vanessa (clarification of calendar items, space requests).
    3. Website Update
    a. The new site is up and running, and we have a new look for the weekly Bulletin as well.  They are related: you can always see the latest Bulletin by going to the community portal and clicking on Bulletin.  Older issues are available in Archives.  We are busy adding features to the community portal and will be making some architectural/structural changes in the coming weeks as well.
    b. Members of the community will be receiving unique usernames and passwords in the coming week.  The former (ironicly named😉) username and password (aismsecure;  Keepsafe18!) will cease to work once you have been given your new login instructions.
    c. Community and staff portals and features: In addition to the community portal, we are also developing a staff portal.  In it, we will have features that may have previously been on the Intranet as well as new features that have emerged as essential or helpful for (some or all of) us as we do our jobs.
    Request: Look at the website and if you notice errors or have specific suggestions or requests–including features you would like to have or see, go to the communications project form ( and add it.  We will consider each suggestion and request.
    4.  Mobile App
    We are in the process of deciding whether it makes sense for AISM to have a mobile app for faculty/staff as well as students.  I asked a small group of our colleagues to assist by being a test group, but with a small group and with everyone’s busy schedule, it is almost impossible to keep to a time line.  So….if you would like to be part of an expanded (but still small) test group over the coming month, here’s what it involves:
    -meeting a few times to discuss the goals of the effort and the products we are evaluating (likely on Mondays after school);
    -downloading and testing each of the products (approximately 1/week)
    -meeting to provide feedback on the overall idea as well as the specific products.
    Request: if you want to be a part of this, respond to this email and say “I’m interested”).
    5. Social Media, Especially Twitter…
    The communications team is very impressed with everyone’s use of Twitter to document all the special things that happen at AISM. It is a great way to highlight how wonderful it is to be a part of this community.  We even have a Twitter feed on the front page of the website.  With respect to this, there are some tips and reminders:
    a. Please be careful not to post photos of students where their faces are clear and easily identifiable. This is to protect the students’ privacy as well as for their security.
    b. Hashtags are great because they boost engagement of posts on twitter; however it can also be a little tricky considering if we click on a hashtag all the posts with the same hashtag will come up. In order to avoid that inappropriate content be associated with AISM by mistake, please use AISM hashtags only. For example: #AISMLearns #AISMArt #AISMCultivateGrit #AISMLibrary etc.
    Request: Use #AISMLearns on your Tweets about the school and limit the use of tags that are more generic.
    6. Students and Faculty/Staff Pictures
    On 25 and 26 February, we will be working with a photographer to take class pictures as well as individual photos for all students, faculty, and staff.  More information will be coming out about this in the weekly Bulletin, but for now you should plan on photographs at a designated time for primary school on Monday 25 February.  The secondary school pictures will take place the next day, 26 February.  And there will be a retake/make-up day as well. Also, you may have seen the new gate pass cards that some members of our community are using (parents, drivers, nannies, and some students and staff).  We will use the pictures we take on 25 and 26 February for your new gate pass cards as well.
    Request: look nice and smile!
    Kind regards,
    The AISM Communications & Advancement Team
    Mike, Abel, Bruno, Miriam, and Vanessa
  • Need books for your upcoming lessons? Click here to access the Library request email:

screen shot 2562-01-27 at 11.33.03

  • PLT Meeting Agenda and Minutes  Please contact me if you have any questions about the PLT minutes or would like to propose a topic for discussion. All staff now have the ability to comment directly on the document!

Screen Shot 2562-02-14 at 19.03.26

What Apps are Compatible with Seesaw?

CURRICULUM RESOURCES:  Learner Agency and Literacy

Screen Shot 2562-02-16 at 09.47.46

“Choice is the cornerstone of our own literacy life, yet it is one of the first things we tend to remove for children, especially fragile or developing readers.  And I get it, we think we know better when students repeatedly choose wrong, yet, it is in the selection process that students can uncover who they are as readers, if we give them time to discuss, reflect, and yes, even try the things they choose that may not be a great fit.” ―Pernille Ripp


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