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middle 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 middle school right here.

#BestYearYet

We began the year by challenging students to focus on two areas, having a growth mindset and embracing a culture of connectedness, ensuring this is truly the #BestYearYet! We spoke about the need to be the “best you” each and every day, the importance of taking care of each other, and to look for opportunities to perform random acts of kindness. We also encouraged students to recognize that new learning is not always easy, that it takes hard work, effort, and the support of collaborative relationships. In a nutshell, learning is all about the journey, so we have encouraged students to embrace the journey and be open to the opportunities that await them each and every day. So, let’s celebrate where we are in our journey!

This semester our leadership students have implemented health and happiness campaigns, organized our first tribe activity, and used assembly time to motivate and inspire students. During advisory, much focus has been on developing empathy, inclusivity, and caring. Teachers and students discuss both social and academic challenges and successes using a variety of activities including team building activities, role play, Ted Talks, and Youtube, to name a few. They also have built a more connected community through “Fun Friday” and cultural breakfast events. Our main corridor displays examples of how to shift from a fixed to a growth mindset, and students are often observed exhibiting this idea in their classes and during social times creating a more positive and supportive environment. 

We recognize that this can be a challenging time in a child’s development and hope these efforts provide them with the support needed to focus and be the best they can be each and every day. We recognize that this work is never finished and look forward to continuing our efforts in the upcoming semester. We appreciate the contributions made both on and off campus to ensure that each ISP student truly has the #BestYearYet! 

MS Global Issues

On Friday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 6, fourteen students in Dr. Broeckel's Global Issues class presented their individual service projects to parents who attended ISP's 35th Anniversary and to other students in the Middle School. The 6th Grade Wheel class focuses on service learning, advocacy, social justice, and external networking. 

Each student, through a process designed by Dr. Broeckel and other colleagues on this area, asked each student to choose a topic that they were interested in. Once the topic was chosen, each student had to decide which kind of service it related to. Next, action steps were planned and set in motion to conduct research, plan, interview, and finally to prepare a Pecha Kucha or iMovie presentation. The presentations were professionally done, and allowed for a question and answer time from the audience, whom were their peers and educators from both the Middle and High Schools.

As this Wheel class comes to an end, students have reflected - both digitally and in written form - to express their emotions and feelings. Here are some of their answers:

"I felt great giving service because I could spread awareness of what happens to people all around the world." - Isabella C.

"I was really excited to share how cats are important in our life. There was a guy who said, "Thank you for sharing this. It really shows how cats live." and "Where are the shelters located?" This made me happy. - Isabella V.

"Now that the semester is ending, I feel like continuing to search and find ways to help animals." - Ali Y.

"The Service Galleries was a very good and positive experience, and it helped me learn how important it is to be prepared." - Henry K.

Middle School Leadership's Progress

By Raquel Cardenas MS Leadership

As a leadership team, we have made vast progress regarding our planning this semester. In the first quarter, we sent a survey to students asking them about their opinions on possible upcoming projects. With these answers, we knew which projects to proceed with and we have been brainstorming lots of fun stuff for the middle school.

The students inquired about uniforms and how it would be nice if we had availability of uniforms in school. We have been looking into talking to the board about this and we have also been talking to HS stuco about this. In this survey, we also asked the students about their opinion of a big MS activity and we found the 'lock in' was the most popular choice (rather than a dance) and we are auctioning this for February 23 - but more later on that!

In addition, students said they wanted food… (and fundraising) so we have held a few sales to support various charities. Leadership funds have gone to a local charity for breast and prostate cancer support and disaster relief for Mexico and Puerto Rico. We sold food in September and October, and because of this, donated $50 to FundaCancer plus a ‘Free Dress’ day resulted in a total of $110 for both Mexico and Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief. In November, we sold moustache cookies and stickers, along with “Cancer Sucks!” lollipops and, as of today, raised $70 for the ‘Movember’ campaign. We have already started raising money to buy toys for Kuna Yala children, in support of a HS service learning project for the holidays. A few leadership students plan on delivering these toys on December 19 to the community.

Along with our current projects, we have also started to plan ahead. We will be having a ‘Tribes’ event next week, which involves students from grade 6, 7, and 8 working together. Some members have been working on the spirit week days, including activities that let the students reflect on our school spirit and how proud we are to be at ISP. We have also thought about possible specific topics to talk about in our anti-bullying campaign and hopefully we can make an impact to help eliminate any form of bullying in ISP. Even with all of our projects, we still have one or two members always working on the Monday flag ceremony. In these powerpoints we include the events that will occur in the week coming and results or pictures of events of the previous week. Every so often we make skits or activities, including student participation, in the hopes of giving them a fun experience before the school day starts.

Upcoming Overnight Field Trips

Please save the date for the following overnight field trips! More information regarding logistics and specifics will be coming your way shortly. 

  • Grade 6 - Safarick’s Zoo - January 25-26
  • Grade 7 - El Valle de Anton - January 25-26
  • Grade 8 - La Granja (in Colon) - March 8 - 9

News From the Middle School Counselor

Semester exams are around the corner and they could be a stressor for students and parents. Here are some tips to put in practice during the semester exam week.

Semester Exams December 14-19

Semester Exams measure students’ ability to demonstrate thorough and in-depth knowledge of each course. The exam counts for 10% of the overall grade. There will be a modified schedule during semester exams, with students taking no more than 2 exams per day and dismissing at noon. The following courses will be assessed during this time: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, and Spanish. Please note the table below based on your child’s schedule:

December 14 - Grade 6: Blocks A & B. Grade 7: Blocks A & B. Grade 8: Blocks A & B. December 15 - Grade 6: Blocks E & F. Grade 7: Blocks E & F. Grade 8: Blocks E & F. December 18 - Grade 6: Blocks G & H. Grade 7: Blocks C & D. Grade 8: Blocks C & D. December 19 - Make-Up Exams (students only attend if they missed an exam.)


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MAILING:   P.O. Box 0819-02588, Cerro Viento Rural, Panama City, Panama