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Elementary School news

International School of Panama’s Dolphins are always up to something good, and we want to share it with you. Catch all the good news and important announcements for our elementary school right here.

ISP's Gifted and Talented Coordinator Announces Advanced Learning Pathways

After careful consideration of the needs of our elementary school students, ISP is pleased to announce the formation of our new system for supporting our advanced learners who may need additional challenges in their schoolwork. Our identification team has been looking closely at student data, including scores from Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests, report cards, the Naglieri Non-Verbal Abilities Test (NNAT3), and parent and teacher recommendations. In light of our significant population of high-achieving and high-ability learners, ISP has determined that two pathways would serve our students best. Students who are achieving at a high level compared to their peers will be involved in our extended learners cohort, and we will have a second pathway for a smaller number of students who have been identified as gifted and talented learners.

Aligning with current research on educational best practices, ISP provides a personalized approach for our advanced learners with in-class extension and enrichment opportunities, allowing students to engage in challenging and respectful work throughout their day. This may include creative problem solving, open-ended inquiry, higher-order thinking tasks, and alternative activities and resources. Teachers develop differentiated pathways with the support of our math and STEM coaches, curriculum coordinators, and our gifted and talented coordinator Sarah Schnack, who will also monitor student progress and communicate with parents. Students who require more targeted support may receive individualized student learning plans and/or additional time with Ms. Schnack as needed. 

While in this pilot year we have only identified students in second through fifth grades, we know that we have highly-able learners across the school. Teachers in every grade use their knowledge of individual students’ progress to plan for differentiated, challenging lessons, and have access to our coaches and coordinators for support. In our lower elementary and in our middle school, Ms. Schnack will continue to be a resource to teachers in the planning process this year, and we are looking for ways to expand our formal student support into those grade levels next year. 

Students in second through fifth grades who will be involved in the advanced learning pathways will be sent a notification prior to Semana Santa break with further details. In addition, we will host an information session for all parents in our ISP community during parent conferences on Thursday, April 12 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Sarah Schnack via e-mail.

Elementary School’s Counseling Connections

Dear ISP Parents,

During the past several years ISP has been committed to continuing its process of developing and sustaining a variety of programs, activities, and policies that will support our students’ physical, social, and emotional well being. The purpose is to promote awareness and education in our community, founded on research-based information in order to make positive and safe choices. We strongly believe in working together with our school community and engage as active learners. Therefore, on Tuesday, March 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. our elementary school, middle school, and high school Counseling Department will be hosting a parent workshop on child protection and empowerment.

Our goal is to activate our channels of communication and increase our understanding of how we can be proactive, create awareness, and take effective actions towards keeping our children and community safe. Our main topic of discussion will focus on child sexual abuse prevention and awareness. By educating our students, parents, and staff we are setting the grounds for a safe environment that will allow students to thrive as healthy individuals in all areas of development. A key element of prevention is awareness, therefore having the opportunity to openly discuss these topics is definitely a step in the right direction.

***This is similar to the workshop that was presented last year. We are presenting it again as part of our on-going review o­­­­f such vital topics.***

Please RSVP to Katherine Ghinaglia via e-mail or Raul Alvarado via e-mail if you are planning to attend. We will present this workshop in English and will have simultaneous translation in Español available. We ask that you please RSVP by March 19, and let us know if you will need translation services so that we can prepare.

Please come and join us on Tuesday, March 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) to hear more information about how you can be part of raising our community’s consciousness on this topic and thereby minimize the risk for our children by empowering them.

    ISP Counselors

    Conscious Discipline

    Dear Parents,

    We know that many of you have shown great interest in attending our parent coffee regarding our Conscious Discipline program. We also understand how difficult it is to manage time in order to accomplish all of those things we have on our to-do list. Sometimes our schedules do not match our interests and we miss out on some important events. Therefore, we have decided to send out a short summary of our last Conscious Discipline session. The idea is to help guide you for our next presentation and that way you will have the basic points. In this summary, you will find information regarding choices and some basic strategies that will help you guide your children when faced with difficult situations. We hope to see you in our next CD parent coffee on April 23, where we will be addressing the topic of positive intent and empathy. Please visit Conscious Discipline for more information on the following discipline topics: Choices Summary, Power, Free Will: The only person you can make change is yourself and Becoming Brain Smart: Choices motivate from within, improve goal-achievement. Until our next meeting, we wish you well!

    Chapter 7: Choices - Conscious Discipline

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