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.

Farewell From Director Rajiv Bhat

As my final semester at ISP comes to a close, trying to summarize five years as part of this wonderful community is almost overwhelming. Reflecting on my time here what excites me the most about our school’s future is the growth we have witnessed and continue to see. We are firm believers in educating the whole child, and as I look across the divisions of our school I can see the dots connecting, the changes we laid out in our strategic plan coming to fruition. To see that every day and in every class is nothing short of inspiring and immensely rewarding.

It has been a wonderful five years indeed. At my farewell I mentioned that in my 36 years of work experience these years spent at ISP, dedicated to education at such a special school, have given me some of the most rewarding professional experiences and personal memories of all. It has been my honor and privilege to serve and be part of this unique international community. I will always look back on my time here with the greatest warmth, affection, and gratitude proudly proclaiming wherever I go that there is indeed “no place like ISP.”

My best wishes to you and your families for a restful break.

Farewell From Director Of Teaching And Learning Lauren Streifer

It is with gratitude and sadness that I extend my farewell to you after five wonderful years at ISP. It has been such a pleasure to get to know all of you and participate in the incredible array of student and community experiences that ISP offers. Regardless of if you too are moving on or returning to ISP next year, I wish you the best and know that we all take a piece of ISP with us wherever in the world we are. I know I will draw on my experiences here as I head to my next chapter. Thank you so much for all that have done to make the ISP experience so rich for me and, most importantly, for our students. #weareISP

Class of 2017 Graduation

Congratulations to the class of 2017, our largest graduating class on record. Of the 80 students in this graduating class, 15 attended pk-grade 12 at ISP. This class also had the largest percentage of students who received academic recognition. Please take a moment to watch the recording of the graduation ceremony.

New Elementary School Assistant Principal

I am very excited and privileged to be appointed as the new elementary school assistant principal. For those who don’t know, I arrived at ISP last August to teach in grade 4. You may also have seen me coaching soccer (boys sub 12 and sub 10) or helping with the technical side of the elementary school musical. I have enjoyed a wonderful year in 4th grade, enjoying the ISP community and beginning to get to know Panama.

A little background - I am an energetic and enthusiastic person who is passionate about learning and all aspects of working with young people. I was born in England and grew up in London. You may notice I still have a little bit of an accent. I completed my teacher training in the UK and taught in a school in London for five years, coordinating both PE and ICT. Then I took my first international posting, spending 13 years as a teacher and then administrator at the British International School of Washington. I was primarily responsible for the learning and pastoral care of members of the upper elementary school (grades 2-5), as well as whole school community outreach, the house system (think Hogwarts) and student leadership. Whilst working in Washington I completed a year long International and Management Programme run by Fieldwork Education in Singapore and Melbourne. This professional development allowed me to meet administrators working in international schools around the world as well as spend time completing my own research. Before arriving in Panama I was recruited to be part of the founding team for a new international school in Doha, Qatar. It was an exciting opportunity for me to further develop my skills and share my experiences from Washington and London. Being a founding member brought huge responsibility as I was responsible for curriculum development, systems implementation, and creating the ethos of the new school.

Away from school I enjoy the outdoors; biking, hiking, and skiing. I also enjoy music and am a keen choral singer. I love books and reading and thoroughly enjoy traveling and good food. I support Newcastle United football team (who recently won promotion back into the English Premier League) and The Washington National’s baseball team (currently seven games clear in the NL East).

Since arriving at ISP I have greatly enjoyed working with my wonderful colleagues and getting to know the children and their families. It has been my pleasure to be welcomed into this delightful community, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know so many more pupils and families in my new role. I would like to do my part to ensure that the learning experienced by every student at ISP enables them to become the very best that they can be.

Nuestra Experiencia en la clase de Cívica

Ya estamos por concluir el semestre y estamos muy satisfechos. No es una clase donde sólo se aprende de temas de gobierno, sino que a través de las actividades (debates, talleres, comentarios, lluvia de ideas) y excursiones como la visita a la Asamblea Nacional nos involucramos con un conocimiento más amplio sobre Panamá.

Los valores fue otro importante tema de clase, que nos ha hecho crecer como personas, ya que a través del respeto, la tolerancia, la honestidad, responsabilidad y otros, entendimos que la práctica de los mismos, debe darse siempre y en todo lugar. De esta forma contribuiremos a que haya una sociedad que viva en paz y armonía y comprender que en el campo que nos corresponda ejercer en un futuro (médico, educador, político, empresario, padre de familia) lo haremos bien, porque hemos sido formados en valores. En conclusión le recomendamos este curso a todos los estudiantes, porque no sólo los ayuda a entender lo que pasa en sus países, sino también a crecer como individuos.

Por: Daniella Uzcategui y Melinda Urrutia

4th ISP Swimming Invitational

Our 11 and over team, Senior Juniors, won the first place at the 4th ISP Swimming Invitational on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27. In a competition of over 150 swimmers, on a stormy Friday night, we finished the day with the second place to come back on Saturday morning and win the first place overall in shocking finish of the meet.

Performance Assessments - Authentic Experience for Middle School Learners

Remember studying for final exams? Flashcards. Textbooks. Late night cram sessions. ISP students still hit the books. But to wrap up the year in middle school they also engage in performance assessments: hands-on, interactive demonstrations of knowledge and skills.

Students build models, design products, invent cultures, debate ideas, diagram systems, collaborate in groups, and present to their peers and younger students. In this way, performance assessments represent a wide variety of types of engagement. But they all have something in common - students working to apply central ideas from their course work to authentic situations in order to solve problems, improve systems, or better understand key concepts.

With these newly practiced understandings, middle schoolers are now ready to hit the books for their final exams. If you see a middle schooler, wish him/her good luck!

Journey Around The World

Wow! What an amazing journey around the world we recently took with our pk4 and elementary students. We journeyed to 23 different countries listening to world instruments, beautiful singing, and outstanding dancing. There was even a surprise staff performance! Look for videos and pictures in the June 16 issue of Dolphin Dispatch.

Grade 5 Spanish Students Visit Our Sister School

Tuesday, May 23 marked the culmination of a project based learning (PBL) activity in 5.1 and 5.4 Spanish class. PBL is a teaching method whereby students learn specific skills by working on real world problems or challenges. The three month project asked students to write and illustrate children’s books teaching specific life values such as honesty, friendship, sharing, and tolerance. The project began with entry events including presentations from actual published illustrators and authors, as well as a lesson on values from a professional counselor. During Spanish class students chose a life value and worked in pairs to create a story representing each value. Students used the creation of the books to practice critical skills such as team work, writing organization, critical thinking, sequence of events, and grammar.

After the books were complete the students took a field trip to our sister school, Escuela Gabriel Luis Galindo, to share their work with local students. The books were then donated to the school’s library.

Please take a moment to watch our video and view the photos of the visit.

PAIS Robotics Challenge

Congratulations to our students who took second place overall in the first ever PAIS robotics challenge. We are very proud of you and your hard work!

PAIS robotics challenge photos

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