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Making a Splash: Dolphin 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 right here.

From the Director’s Desk

This week I had the pleasure of seeing our ISP under 18 boys soccer team play in the finals of Copa Talento and to everyone’s great excitement our team won the cup! Through 60 minutes of nail biting back and forth our team persevered and continued fighting to eventually win 1:0; a remarkable victory against strong opposition. Well done to all! It was great to see a number of faculty and many families at the game, all fevering for the second half to finish as it went into overtime by five minutes. I have to admit that these five minutes felt like an eternity. You can read more about the game in the update from our athletics director. 

Seeing all of the community in blue this week for one of our school blue outs to celebrate our swimmers and tennis players who are off to participate in the AASCA swim and tennis tournament in Nicaragua. Be sure to follow the action via @ispathletics on Twitter and Instagram and on the Go Dolphins app! #wearemany #weareone We are Dolphins!

On Saturday, October 21 our ArtsFest will be taking place in the PAC from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I look forward to seeing our community enjoying art, drama, and music together. Standards are highly professional if our recent photographic art display is anything to go by. 

Work in the PAC has been moving ahead as the ceiling is being repaired and ISP, as well as outside professionals, are assessing the work completed to ensure that safety is our focus as we reopen the PAC to many exciting events ahead. 

Next week is yet another highlight at ISP. On Wednesday we will be opening Panamun XXV as well as celebrating International Day. Whether children are wearing their national costume in the elementary school or are dressed in formal attire and ready for Panamun in the middle school and high school, this is an important day for all our children. 

In my position I am currently deeply involved preparing the annual general meeting (AGM) which takes place on November 26 in the Amber Room at the Westin Hotel starting at 6:00 p.m. This meeting is a reflection on the year past, highlighting many of ISP’s achievements, sharing the main findings of my entry plan, as well as circulating the financial statements with the community. We hope to see many of you there. There will be an open question and answer section for you to participate in. Please share any questions you may have in advance with Marketing and Communication Manager Jair Guevara so answers can be more comprehensive for you. We very much look forward to seeing you at the AGM. 

Have a great weekend!

Middle School/High School Library Closure

On Friday, November 3 (during November break) we will have contractors making some renovations in the library. 

We will need to pack and move several books and items before they start the job, so the library will be closed all day on Monday, October 30 and from 7:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 31. During these dates and times we will not admit any students or staff into the library. 

On Tuesday, October 31 after 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 1, and Thursday, November 2 we will be working on our regular schedule, however, we might have to restrict the use of one or two working tables. 

Please note that study halls for 10th and 11th grade students on Tuesday, October 31 during block 4 from 11:35 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and block 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. will still take place in the library.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

The International School Of Panama Achieves AdvancED STEM Certification

AdvancED STEM CertifiedAdvancED congratulates The International School of Panama  on receiving AdvancED STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) certification. This achievement is a mark of STEM distinction and excellence only offered to highly effective institutions that prioritize STEM education as a path to success.

AdvancED STEM certification is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis placed on STEM education by educators, politicians, and business leaders around the world. In earning this certification, The International School of Panama has demonstrated its commitment to preparing its students for their educational and career opportunities of the future by ensuring its students will have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their postsecondary pursuits and as workforce contributors in the 21st-century economy.

In order to earn STEM certification, The International School of Panama had to demonstrate adherence to the AdvancED STEM standard as reflected by the school’s performance across 11 rigorous STEM indicators. 

The certification process provides a rigorous evaluation and continuous improvement process, supported by research-based tools and resources. Achieving high scores across the indicators certify that students have been equipped and trained to be innovative, creative, and systematic problem-solvers across disciplines.

“We are proud to have a certified STEM program at ISP. This certification exhibits The International School of Panama’s commitment to addressing workforce needs by preparing our students with the relevant skills and experiences to succeed while demonstrating to the private-sector that we are committed to driving higher levels of student achievement for their STEM pipeline,” said Nikki Barratt STEM coordinator “STEM certification will continue to hold our school to high standards while providing a clear roadmap for us to continuously improve our STEM disciplines and program.”

Please take a moment to view the AdvancED STEM certification press release for additional details.

Change of Schedule for Mes de la Patria Performances

Our Mes de la Patria performances will be on November 14 & 15. Some school schedules are adjusted to accommodate these performances (please note: PK and elementary are on a normal schedule):

November 14

  • PK and Elementary--normal day of school, 2:40 p.m. dismissal
  • Middle and High school--change of schedule, noon dismissal

November 15

  • PK and Elementary--normal day of school, noon dismissal
  • Middle and High school--change of schedule to full day of school, 2:40 p.m. dismissal

We look forward to celebrating with you at these performances. 

Communication: ISP Dolphin App Notifications Feature

We hope you enjoyed celebrating Panama’s victory this week. Please remember that an announcement of school closure will always be communicated via ISP’s official communication channels.

If you haven’t already we encourage you to download the Go Dolphins App. We will use this app to send notifications regarding school closure. If in doubt, please always check your e-mail, ISP’s official social media account, and our website to confirm if school will be closed.

We will continue to do our best to keep you informed as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,

ISP Administration

From The Sports Desk

Lessons Learned from Victory and Defeat
In the week in which Panama’s men’s national team made history, the boys soccer program at ISP also did so. The U18 boys won the Copa Talento league title for the first time ever after a 1-0 victory over Dolores Moscote. ISP went into the game very much the underdogs facing the team who had won the league on back to back occasions with a 20 game unbeaten run stretching over two years. Humility and hunger were key characteristics displayed by our boys in this match with every player performing at their best. Coach Aquino deserves recognition for adapting the game plan to stop the main threat from the opposition team. This result goes to show what can be achieved with a collective focus on a particular goal. We now must maintain this level of focus and hard work in preparing for AASCA in Costa Rica in February. 

Our sub 18 girls soccer team and our sub 15 boys soccer team were unfortunate to miss out on Liga 10 semifinals this past weekend. Both teams gave their all on the field and can be proud of the work rate and effort applied throughout the Liga 10 campaign. We can learn a lot from defeat and by taking time to reflect on where we are, where we want to be and refocusing on how to achieve those goals.

Benefits of Multi-Sport Participation
Are you struggling with your child only wanting to participate in one sport? Did you know Zlatan Ibrahimovic was awarded a black belt in Taekwondo at the age of 17? Please take a moment to read a short article on Manchester United and their encouragement of multi-sport participation.

Volleyball Tryouts
Our high school boys and girls volleyball teams will begin tryouts on Monday, October 30. Any players with an interest in playing volleyball and representing ISP at AASCA (April 11-15 in Honduras) are encouraged to attend the tryouts. 

ISP Athletes Currently in Nicaragua 
Follow our tennis team and swimming updates on the Go Dolphins app and on Instagram while they compete with like minded schools from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua at AASCA in Managua, Nicaragua.

AASCA Basketball Parent/Student Meeting 
On Monday, October 23 we will have a parent and student athlete meeting in preparation for AASCA in Guatemala. The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the ms/hs cafeteria. We wish the boys the best of luck competing internationally against 17 schools from across Central America.

Devastating Las Vegas Shooting

By Aneeta Johnson

Sunday, October 1 marked one of America’s deadliest massacres yet. The shooting took place at a country music festival in Las Vegas while singer Jason Aldean was still performing on stage. The gunman, who was quickly identified as accountant-turned-gambler Stephen Paddock, fired from his hotel suite located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which was also conveniently overlooking the said music festival. Casualty numbers were incredibly high, with 58 people confirmed dead and 500 more left critically injured. The shooter killed himself his hotel room shortly after the attack. 

What exactly lead Paddock to act this way is still a mystery, but the entire scene seemed planned to the very last detail. Along with the suitably placed hotel room, according to FBI investigators, Paddock also had 42 guns, five handguns, two shotguns, and ammunition in his possession at the suite. The shooting hasn’t, however, been declared a terrorist attack because it showed no intentions of intimidating people or influencing changes in politics. 

It is absolutely devastating to hear about such events and the fact that they are happening so frequently around the world only adds to the pain. There are some pretty strong views about the topic in the ISP community as well. One of our juniors, Brooklyn Jones (United States citizen), said, “I think that gun regulations and policies could be stricter in America because they have a very high amount of shootings, murders, and whatnot. I think it is terrible that something like this has happened.” When asked how she think this event reflects the direction in which the world is headed, Hannah Hunter, another junior, replied, “I think this event symbolizes how the world is becoming more destructive physically and mentally.” I wholeheartedly agree with both of them. For the most part, we can try to help out as much as we can. Donate when that’s a possibility and try to spread some love and positivity in this world full of hatred and violence. 

Dress For Success - Classy Panamun Style

By Nina Cevallos and Mafe Caceres, students

Panamun is right around the corner, and many are still struggling to find three tasteful outfits. If you’re wondering what to wear, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must look professional and polished. Although business clothes may seem dull and boring, there are always ways to make your outfit stylish and edgy while still following the proper dress code. If you’re a girl who needs some inspiration for your Panamun attire, browse through this gallery to get an idea of what to wear! 

Dolphin Cup Tennis: Open

One day, 31 players. Never had ISP seen so many players participate in a tennis tournament in its courts. The event was the Dolphin Cup Tennis: Open, which took place last Saturday, October 7 and served yet another opportunity for the players who will be competing in AASCA tennis this month to practice in a competitive environment. We had participants come from several schools across Panamá, the most represented being ISP followed by the MET and Colegio de Panamá. This tournament was organized once again by myself, Sofia Karter, and Fabiana Avendaño, from 11th and 12th grade respectively. 

Please take a moment to view the pictures of the tournament taken by photographers Lukas Falla (9th grade) and Sofia Karter (11th grade).

ISP Adult Tennis Clinic

This Saturday, October 28, the ISP Dolphin athletics committee (DAC) will be hosting a tennis clinic for adults. Teachers, parents, family, friends, and anybody else willing to participate is welcome! The clinic will be taught by coaches Roger Ángel, Jorge Zabala, and Fernando Archilla. Please see our adult tennis clinic flyer for more information.

Looking Ahead to Our General Assembly

Dear ISP Community, 

ISP Board of Directors SY 2017-2018

The school year is well underway and soon enough our General Assembly will be upon us. The Board of Directors would like to emphasize the importance of this meeting to our school community. Our General Assembly is more than just an event at which we present our annual report. It is an opportunity to meet school leadership and learn about the future plans that are being considered to ensure ISP is the best school it can possibly be.

At this year’s General Assembly, which will be held on October 26, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in Costa del Este, Crystal Room, you will be able to hear from our Directors, Principals, and Specialist(who is or are they), for an update on the implementation of our strategic plan. The presentations will provide more detailed information on what we did (accomplished)during the 2016-2017 school year and what remains to be done to complete the 5 year Strategic Plan which culminates in 2020. This is in essence a window into how ISP works. This is the meeting where your voice is to be heard by the Board and School Administration. If you want to help define the future of the only non-profit and independent international school in Panama, your participation and presence at the General assembly is essential.

As a parent and board member I can tell you that something which concerns us is that not many parents attend the General Assembly. In fact we have for the last 3 years, held the event close to Costa del Este, to try and capitalize on the nearly 500 ISP families that live in the area making it easier for you to attend and be a part of the conversation. To be clear as a non-profit school, ISP, is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board hires the Director, and the Director reports to the Board, but otherwise the Board is not involved in operational details of ISP. Rather Board responsibilities center on higher-level strategic planning and decision-making to ensure that ISP advances its goals of provide (providing)a world-class education to our students, preparing them for success in continued educational endeavors and positive roles in society. In essence Board members are tasked with holding the Director accountable that ISP accomplishes the goals and objectives laid out in our strategic plan, and modifies or expands the plan as appropriate in consultation with the Director.

The ISP Board of Directors is comprised of 5 elected and 4 nominated members, and each member serves a three year term. This year we will select (2) new elected members and (1) appointed member. To successfully deliver on our ambitious Strategic Plan, the ISP Board of Directors needs members that possess the skills, energy, passion and commitment as well as having the time needed to work on this (these) and many other challenges. This year we will hold board (Board)elections in May. The application process, open positions for appointment or nomination, and guidelines for candidacy will be announced next semester in April.

Best Regards,

Jorge Saa
ISP Board of Directors

VAPA News and Events

We are excited to present this year's line-up at ArtsFest 2017! We have a huge offering of performances, workshops, and presentations for all ages. We hope everyone will join us on Saturday, October 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. There will be food and fun for the whole family!

Though many of our workshops are first-come, first-served with participation limits, three of our middle/high school workshops require pre-registration to be able to attend. Register online for the Street Art with Insano Workshop, the Stage Combat Workshop, or the Improv Workshop.

Follow us on Instagram, and tag your ArtsFest photos #ispartsfest.

ISP/PTA Intercultural Program for Parents: Conversational Spanish/English Sessions

The International School of Panama is proud to offer a series of weekly workshops from September through November 2017 on culture and communication in the ISP and Panama. The workshops will be on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the ISP Performing Arts Center.

The topics for this series include:

  • Socializing: introductions, meeting people, social etiquette, proper gestures, eye contact, topics to avoid, in the café/restaurant, making arrangements, time and dates, appointments, emergency services, and useful contacts
  • Host country overview: history, cross-cultural orientations, accommodations, activities, customs, climate, dangers and annoyances, and food
  • Managing the transition: sharing intercultural experiences, discussing cultural differences, cultural values, and communication styles

For more information, please contact program coordinator and ISP parent Graciela Bareiro via e-mail, by phone at +507 209.0786, or by mobile phone at +507 6269-4472.

    PH:   +507 293.3000   FAX:   +507 266.7808
    PHYSICAL:   Golf Club Road, Cerro Viento Rural, San Miguelito, Panama City, Panama
    MAILING:   P.O. Box 0819-02588, Cerro Viento Rural, Panama City, Panama