Director's Letter

on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the parent/teacher/student conferences on Friday. I hope they were productive. Your attendance at these conferences demonstrates to your child how you value their education and helps reinforce the team approach between home and school, which research has shown is such an important component to supporting students.

MAP Tests
Beginning Tuesday 15th April, students in Kindergarten - Grade 10 will be having their second semester MAP tests. Please see the schedule below.
MAP tests are standardized tests that students take on the computer. They adapt to the student’s level, getting easier if the child makes mistakes and getting more difficult as they get more answers correct. Teachers will analyze the results to see how much growth each student (and the class) has made since they took their first test back in September. These results will be shared with you in a few weeks.
While there is no specific preparation to do for these test, students should try to get a good night’s sleep the night before and eat a good breakfast (and lunch if the test in the afternoon) on the day of the test.
Please try to help your child do this. They will then be in a position to do the best they possibly can.
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Francophonie Week
The week before break, students throughout the school were involved in activities to celebrate Francophonie Week. During the week French language and culture were highlighted and celebrated through dance, song, poetry, writing and food.
The week culminated in an assembly. I am pleased so many of you could attend.
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Completed Shade Sails
I am pleased to inform you that after a VERY long process, we have now fully installed 6  IMG 1002large shade sails over the playground equipment to provide shade for the children while they are playing. These cut the temperature underneath by as much as 10 degrees in the hottest part of the day. The final step will be to paint and decorate the support posts – that is a job ahead for our students. Many thanks to Baba Coulibaly, our facilities manager, for his hard work overseeing this project.
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Please see the flyers below for some community events.


All the best,
Caroline Jacoby
Director

Monday 21st – No holiday for AISB, regular school day

Please be aware that while Monday 21st is a Malian public holiday, it will be a normal school day for AISB students.
When designing the school calendar we consider the necessary number of school days for the year and the spacing of breaks throughout the year. As we only returned from Spring break two weeks ago and will have a four-day weekend at the beginning of May, we decided that for continuity, it was best not to have another holiday this month.

In A Good Book

A group of students, teachers and community members are busy putting the final touches on “In A Good Book”. This is an original play which will appeal and be appropriate for an audience of all ages.
Please see the flyer below. Tickets are on sale now at the office, 3,000cfa for everyone 5 years and older.
InAGoodBookAdvert

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in America

Imagine that you are at work. It has been a terrible day, you are stressed, you have a headache, and the Corporal punishment comic olleague that was supposed to provide you with a report, which will enable you to finish your work, has not fulfilled their requirements. When you see the colleague they present you with a host of excuses for why they could not finish in time. Your response? You hit them.
To most of us this scenario sounds implausible. We would never hit another adult, without a very strong provocation involving self-defense, and we do not solve our adult conflicts with violence. Yet ironically, many people solve conflicts and respond to children in similar scenarios with corporal punishment (hitting children). Where it is universally taboo to strike another adult for an offense, many see it as acceptable to strike a child.
Corporal punishment is deeply ingrained into many cultures and societies. Justifications run the gambit from, “How will he learn/respect me?” to “It didn’t cause any permanent damage”.
Studies around the world have proven the damaging effects of corporal punishment, and many countries have outlawed it in schools, and in some cases also in the home. When considering corporal punishment for a child all adults should ask themselves a few very basic questions first:
  1. Would I strike an adult for this offense? 
  2. Am I angry? Can I control myself? 
  3. Is this the best way to help the child understand the offense?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, perhaps there is a better method to help the child understand the offense. Many countries in Africa are working to change the cultural perception of corporal punishment. The comic above is from Namibia from their campaign for alternatives to corporal punishment.

Click this link to read an online comic on alternatives to corporal punishment.  See also a website/video in French.

Positive Parenting Workshop

  • Wondering how to avoid power struggles with your child?
  • Do you feel bad if you hit your child when they have been naughty but are not sure how else to discipline them?
  • What are appropriate consequences for children of different ages?
  • How can I use positive techniques to encourage and teach my child?
On Wednesday 7th May, we will be running a workshop on Positive Parenting to help answer some of these questions, and others you may have regarding positive parenting and discipline. This workshop will be focusing on parenting young children, but everyone is welcome.
When: Wednesday, 7th May, 7:30a.m.
Where: AISB library

Mathematician of the month - March

Kurt Gödel (nominated by Jonathan because he died in a cool way)

Godel bord

Did you know that:

  • He was born in Austria on the 28th of April 1906 (Fousseiny)
  •  Austria was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at that time (Mathilda)
  • German was his mother tongue (Fousseiny)
  • He was raised by Rudolf and Marianne Gödel. His mother was a Protestant and his father a Catholic. However, he was raised a Protestant (Fousseiny)
  •  His nickname was Mr. Why (Mathilda)
  •  At the age of 12 he automatically became Czechoslovakian when the Austro-Hungarian empire broke after WW1. Despite this he always considered himself an Austrian and changed back to this nationality when he was 23 years old (Fousseiny)
  • When Germany annexed Austria he became German at the age of 32 (Fousseiny)
  • He moved to America during WW2 (Bastiaan)
  • He later became American (Raphaela)
  • This was after WW2, when he was 42 years old (Fousseiny)
  •  He attended primary and secondary school in Brno, the town in which he was born (Bastiaan)
  • At the age of 18 he joined his brother at the University of Vienna, where he studied theoretical physics. By that time he had already mastered university level mathematics (Raphaela)
  •  He finished his doctorate in 1930 and became a logician, a mathematician and a philosopher (Raphaela)
  • He made a huge impact on scientific and philosophical thinking. He worked with Russell, Whitehead and Hilbert to understand the foundations of mathematics (Raphaela)
  • In 1931 at the age of 25 he published his two incompleteness theorems. His first incompleteness theorem states there are true propositions about natural numbers which cannot be proved from the axioms. In other words: ‘If a system is consistent, it cannot be complete’ 
  • The second theorem was ‘The consistency of a system cannot be proven within the system’. To prove these he developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering (Raphaela)
  • He had used the same method to prove the theorem: ‘Every valid logical expression is provable’ (Cheick)
  • He also proved that neither the axiom of choice nor the continuum hypothesis can be disproved from the accepted axioms. This prompted other mathematicians to assume the axiom of choice (Raphaela)
  • He also elaborated on Einstein’s theory of relativity. His results were a landmark in 20th century mathematics, showing that mathematics is not a finished object, as had been believed up till then. This also implies a computer can never be programmed to answer all mathematical questions (Susane)
  •  With Aristotle and Frege he is considered one of the most significant logicians in history (Raphaela)
  • Godel Quotes: (Mathilda)
    • 'The more I think about language, the more it amazes me that people understand each other at all’ 
    • The meaning of world is separation of wish and fact’ 
    • ‘I do not believe in empirical science, I only believe in a priori truth’ 
  • He married Adele Porter in 1938. She was 6 years older than him and had been married before. His parents objected to the marriage as they had to his first fiancée, who had been 10 years older than him.  He had no children (Susane)
True or false
  • Later in his life he suffered from mental instability. This caused a fear of getting poisoned and he ate only the food his Adele prepared (Fousseiny)
  • He refused to stick to diets which his doctors prescribed him (Susane)
  • In 1977 when Adele was hospitalized for 6 months, she could not prepare his food, so he refused to eat anything and died of starvation in January 1978. This was at the age of 72 and he only weighed 30 kilograms (Fousseiny)
  • His death certificate reported he died of malnutrition caused by a personality disorder (Mathilda)
  • Adele died 3 years later (Fousseiny)GEB

Keep Cool!

With soaring temperatures, we are adapting our programs to reduce the time students are spending in the sun. Hot Weather1 Many PE classes are taking place inside and students have the option of going to the library during break times, rather than playing outside if they would prefer to be in a cool environment.
However, there are times in the normal course of the day students will be outside playing or involved in PE. It is important to remind your child to take care of themselves to stay healthy in the heat.

English Classes for Support Staff and Children From Outside AISB

AISB now offers English classes for children (4 -14) who do not attend AISB. These are going well and we now have three different groups operating. If you have any friends who have children who may be interested in joining these, please contact Aracely at: englishclasses@aisbmali.org
In addition to these classes, twice a week our hardworking support staff has the opportunity to take English classes here at AISB. They are currently working on greetings and developing work related vocabulary. They are keen to practice their new skills, so if you are talking to one of our drivers, janitors or gardeners, help them practice!

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Spirit Week

The Secondary School student council have organized a Spirit Week for the whole school.
Dress up in the following themes:
  • Tuesday: Twin Day – come dressed as a twin (or a triplet)
  •  Wednesday: Crazy Day (come as crazy as you like – though within dress code secondary school students!)
  • Thursday: Red Carpet Day (Glamorous or like a movie star)
  •  Friday: Gender Bender (dress as the opposite sex)

Fasting In Grade 2/3

Grade 2/3 are learning about energy that people, animals and non-living things need. For four days students kept track of what they ate. They then compared this with their class-mates.
This was particularly interesting considering the diversity of cultures (and eating habits) we have at AISB.
Then for the really challenging exercise! The best way to learn things is to experience them. The students experienced a morning of "fasting", no breakfast, no snack, until lunchtime. While this is a short time compared to what many children around the world experience, it isn't easy for 7-8 year olds who are used to eating regularly.
We wanted the students to experience how important it is to eat regularly and for them to understand that their bodies need food in order to have energy to function well. Some of the students comments during the morning included, "I thought his fingers were hot dogs”;  "My tummy started talking I told him to be patient”; "I saw chicken flying all around me”; "Our teachers are torturing us”.
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Community Events



Important Dates

April
Mon. 14th - Fri 25th: MAP testing
Mon. 14th - Fri.18th: Spirit Week
Wed. 16th - AP Environmental Science Mock Exam: 12:30 -3:30
Wed. 23rd - AP Human Geography Mock Exam, 1;40 -3:55
Sat. 26th   - School play, "In a Good Book", 18:00 at AISB.
Get your tickets now from the office.

May
1st & 2nd - Holiday - no school!
Mon 5th: AP Environmental Studies Exam
Wed. 7th : Progress reports sent home
Thu. 8th: PTO meeting, 7:30 a.m.
             - AISB Board meeting, 6:30p.m.
Fri. 9th: AP English Exam
Tue. 13th: AP Human Geography exam
Thu. 15th: Board elections and Annual General Meeting
Fri. 16th: Intra-mural competition - indoors.
Mon. 19th - Fri. 23rd - Africa Week
Friday 23rd - Africa Week Assembly - afternoon
Sat. 24th - Piano recital
Mon 26th - 30th Teacher Appreciation Week
Friday 30th Tues. 3rd June - HS exams

June

Wed. 4th & Thu. 5th:  Non academic activities for secondary school students.
Thu. 5th:  Graduation - evening
Friday 6th - School finishes. Summer holidays begin!