School Logo


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

Changes in the Cafeteria

As you are aware our cafeteria is undergoing a number of changes and further ones are afoot. A new chef, Mr. Jalil Mendoza has been hired, Mr. Camilo Hoyos, our Cafeteria consultant has been meeting with students from all divisions, his aim is to ensure the cafeteria has systems in place that works for our students and menus that are appealing, nutritious and price effective.

For that, a new menu concept is “under construction”. We are committed to a modern and trendy way of presenting meals, with a larger and colorful variety of local, fresh and healthier products. We value and understand that going back to basics where every dish is prepared from scratch, using fresh products, combining creativity and modern cooking techniques, will help us ensure our school community is happy and healthy. A single “cozy home meal” will be available daily, and for those who prefer other options vegetarian meals and other special foods will be available throughout the school year.

Our efforts in the cafeteria are currently focused on improving operations, efficiency and finding ways in which we can “green” the cafeteria in harmony with our school wide efforts to drive sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The Elementary School will, due to the efforts of the Student Representative Council and the 5th grade ECO leaders, no longer be using disposable cutlery. This will come into effect after the Semana Santa holidays.

In the MS and HS we will also discontinue using disposable plastic cutlery after the Semana Santa holidays. Instead there will be three options for students and teachers.

  • Students will receive their meal and metal cutlery and can eat in the cafeteria and the breezeway.
  • Students can opt to purchase biodegradable cutlery and plates and take their meal anywhere in the school.
  • Student can bring in their own Tupperware and cutlery. If they do so they can receive a stamp on our new ‘Free Meal Cards’. For every ten meals where students bring their own utensils they receive a free meal!

At ISP we expect our students to show a high level of integrity. There have been a few cases in which students have cut in line or not paid for meals. Please be advised that we are adjusting the cameras in the cafeteria to monitor the service lines to ensure everyone is paying for meals and being respectful while waiting in line. Faculty and Staff will also continue to monitor the cafeteria during lunch time and breaks. 

Our cafeteria is part of the school and therefore it is also a place where our students can learn. Let us use these opportunities to further educate our students by modeling integrity, reminding them at assemblies, and also at home. Working together we can help our students become better caring and responsible citizens.

Transportation Update

I am aware that Parents are waiting for an update on our transportation arrangements, addressing the process which began almost a year ago.

Back then many of you met in the PAC due to hearing that parents were expected to pay for the price of the ASA transportation which the school had been subsidizing until this point and still is doing until the end of this school year. The cost of supporting the ASA transportation has grown to $300000 and is no longer sustainable for ISP.

Many parents were understandably very upset last May at hearing that their transportation costs were going to significantly increase. In order to mitigate this cost a number of parents signed up voluntarily to join the PWG (Parent Working Group) and investigate different transportation models. Over the past eight months this group of stalwart parents have continued their work with the guidance of one parent , Mr Jorge Lestani, who had experience in this area. Together they interviewed bus companies, explored different models and over the year became experts in transportation services. The hours dedicated have been more than we can count all in the service of our school.

Meanwhile the Board asked the administration to also investigate different options. Together the administration, the school lawyers and the PWG decided that the only way for ISP to launch a transparent model was to have a public bid.

After much work the PWG and the administration have together developed criteria to maintain the current safety standards but also to have a fair pricing of bus routes. The bid will be launched in the coming week and all bus companies will have the chance to apply. We are looking at many criteria which will need to be met and then choose companies that offer ISP a market price to transport our children to and from school.

The bidding process will close in the third week of April. The bid will be opened by a team consisting of a PTA member, a PWG member, a Board member and two ISP administrators. The criteria are based on safety, reputation and above all price.

We will share the outcome of the bid with the ISP community by the end of April.

I would like to once again thank Jorge Lestani and the PWG for their outstanding work throughout the past year. Their work has been invaluable! The administration greatly appreciate all that has been done to get us to this point where the bid is about to happen.

Having an open bid for the first time in the ISP history is naturally a challenge for the four bus companies who have served ISP for 35 years and who have given excellent service. This is a challenging time for all as we await the end of this lengthy process.

As with all ISPs endeavours we are aiming to give the best service possible. We will be in touch as we near completion of this process.

Student Voice

One of my fervent beliefs is that we educate our children not only for the future but we need to give them the opportunity to have their voice heard at school, for students know their school better than anyone. To this effect student’s input has been sought recently on many levels.

Our consultant in the cafeteria has spoken to all three Student Councils to receive feedback. Changes are being made based on this input.

There are three Grade 10 students on the Design Team which is helping to define ISP’s future.

There are three Grade 10 students contributing to the planning of the Educational Summit which will take place in March 2019.

I have met with the HS head of the student council and we are planning regular meetings to ensure the student voice is heard

TEDx demonstrated student voice of the highest quality.

Each Student Council at ISP has a resident faculty member who meets regularly with the administration.

Students are encouraged to share their ideas with teachers and administrators. I was recently approached by a student who disagreed with the treatment of a snake on campus. In the light of this letter a new procedure was written to make a change for the future.

Students all completed a survey as to their happiness at ISP, feedback was given in all three campuses assemblies as to the content of these surveys.

We are continually seeking other ways to hear our students and to make changes with this feedback in mind. Student voice is certainly valued highly at our school.

Student voice is also telling me that they are in need of the upcoming break. I wish everyone a great week ahead and a restful holiday. I look forward to seeing you all on April 2nd for the final term.

Here is an additional resource on student choice and success. 


Viki Stiebert

Middle School/High School Final Parent Canvas Training

As progress reports approach on April 6 many parents might be wondering how to access or observe their child’s assignments or grades on Canvas. We did offer a training back in August, however some parents may not have not have been able to attend or realized there would be a need. In this presentation, our middle school and high school Canvas coordinators will walk parents through the basics of how to access Canvas, navigate between important pages, and manage their notification/announcement settings.

  • Date: Thursday, April 5
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: High school classroom 10 in the gym

Please RSVP via e-mail with your name and the grade level of your child(ren).

Destination Imagination Panama Needs Volunteers

Destination Imagination PanamaDestination Imagination (DI) is an innovative non-profit educational program that invites student teams from all over the world to solve mind-bending challenges. The project-based program takes teams of students through the creative learning process in which they further develop skills such as teamwork, creativity, project management, critical thinking, and problem-solving. This year, DI Panama will host a showcase tournament for teams of students on April 7 at ISP. Teams from Balboa Academy, The Metropolitan School (MET), Knightsbridge School International (KSI), and ISP have been working diligently through the DI challenge program. Now they are getting ready to showcase their solutions. DI Panama is looking for volunteers to support this upcoming event in different capacities. You have the option to sign up to volunteer if you would like to support our students and help out with the event. For additional details, please view the flyer about the Destination Imagination overview

From the Sports Desk

It's Game Time

Students are encouraged to bring water bottles and sunblock to p.e., after-school activities, and all sports. Help keep your body safe as temperatures increase. We look forward to a healthy spring and summer!

For all outdoor activities Bring Water Botle & Sun Block P.E., After School Activities, Sports Keep your body safe

    Off-Season Basketball Practice

    Off-season basketball practice will begin on April 11. Practices are every Wednesday from 12:45-2:45 p.m. These practices are for grades seven through eleven. Please register in the athletics office. Thank you and we hope you enjoy your summer! 

    MS/HS Gym All Wednesdays Starting April 11 12:45 - 2:45 7 - 11 Grade Off Season Basketball Practices Registration @ Athletics Office

      Miryam Roper Visits ISP

      On March 13, 2018, we were very lucky to host Olympic Judo athlete, Miryam Roper, on our campus. Thank you to the Panamanian Olympic Committee for arranging the visit. Roper talked about hard work and perseverance in pursuing your goals. It was fascinating to hear about Miryam’s challenges and her road to competing in her first Olympic Games at the age of 30. Thank you for your visit, Ms. Roper!

      Boarding ASA Buses on Time

      Students are reminded to go directly to the buses after their ASA class or athletic practice finishes. Instructors allow sufficient time to allow students to board buses on time. Students run the risk of being left behind when they choose not to go directly to their buses.

      School Bus Dismissal Schedules Activity: PK - 3, Mon: 11:30 Tues: 11:30 Wed 12:14 Thurs: 11:30 Fri: 11:30 Activity: school Exit ES/MS/HS Monday: 2:55pm Tues: 2:55pm Wed: 12:15 Noon Thurs: 2:55pm Fri: 2:55pm Activity: ASA Exit Mon: 4:30/5:30pm Tues: 4:30/5:30pm Wed: 3:00pm Thurs: 4:30/5:30pm Fri: 4:30/5:30pm

        Check out this video for a glimpse of what we offer.
        VAPA Update

        Les Misérables Gives Back!

        Exciting news from the cast of ISP’s production of Les Misérables. The cast voted to donate some of the proceeds from ticket sales to Hogar Maria Guadalupe, which gives shelter, medical attention, food, and occupational learning to sexually abused teenagers. The cast received word this week that their donations will be used for the remodel of an adult bathroom into a baby bathroom with two bathtubs designed to bathe newborn babies, especially those who are ill. Congratulations to the cast of Les Mis for supporting this amazing project.

        ISTA Middle School Theatre Festival

        See the exciting work done by our students and students from around the world in the ISTA Middle School Theatre Festival video. Also, view their final presentations!

        We have a lot going on in the ISP VAPA department.

        Coming soon:

        • March 22: Middle and high school formal music concert from 4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
        • April 19-21: Elementary school musical, Peter Pan
        • April 28: ArtsFest theme: Fantasy
        • May 3: Multicultural Youth Choir of Panama, Together through Song
        • May 17-19: Middle and high school play, The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck
        • May 30: Grade 8 showcase theme: Fantasy
        • June 8: Elementary school music concert theme: Fantasy

        ISP to host 5th Annual PAIS Teachers Conference

        Hello ISP Teachers, 

        It is with great enthusiasm that PAIS would like to invite you to our PAIS 5th Annual Teachers Conference: Looking at Learning. We will have the conference on Wednesday, April 25 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. We will host the event at ISP during Wednesday's professional development time. In addition, we have a world-renowned author and educational consultant, Sylvia Tolisano, in attendance. Sylvia will present two workshops and speak at our closing ceremony. 

        Please take a few minutes to complete the pre-registration below no later than Monday, March 26. The pre-registration should take no more than five minutes. ISP is happy to provide this opportunity for all faculty! Please make plans to attend. For additional information, please see our PAIS flyer

        If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to either of the ISP PAIS representatives, Sarika Sharma and Vickie Swann We are more than happy to assist in any way. 

        Thank you in advance for completing the pre-registration no later than Monday, March 26. In the upcoming weeks, we will also be sending a call to present. Please keep a lookout for more information. We look forward to having 100% attendance and many ISP presenters at this year's annual PAIS Teachers' Conference!

        Warm regards,
        Vickie Swann
        PAIS Committee Chair
        ISP Middle School Principal

        PH:   +507 293.3000   FAX:   +507 266.7808
        PHYSICAL:   Golf Club Road, Cerro Viento Rural, San Miguelito, Panama City, Panama