A Message from Head of School – Matthew Gaetano

Dear Parents,

I am excited to be starting my third year as Head of School at SIS. I love being a part of helping this community grow to become the very best that it can be. I have enjoyed getting to talk to new families while reconnecting with returning families. SIS will have a visiting team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for a mid-term visit.

This will allow them to check the progress of our action plan and see what changes we have made to the school. It also provides an outside set of eyes to give further recommendations for school improvement. SIS will unveil it’s strategic plan in this first term to the community, so everyone can understand the vision the board and staff have set for the school. There is a lot of work to do this year, but when all of our efforts result in a stronger school for our children, we will know that it is all worthwhile.

Kind regards,

Matthew Gaetano
Head of School

Welcoming Remarks: Secondary Principal – Sonia Chowdhury

Dear Secondary Parents,

It is with great enthusiasm I welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year at SIS! It is my first year as your new Secondary Principal. I originally hail from New York City, in the United States, but have lived in and call Austin, Texas and Doha, Qatar home too. This year marks the beginning of my 14th year as an educator. I was a Secondary teacher and Assistant Principal in the U.S. and a District Administrator in Qatar before I joined the wonderful staff at SIS.

I have traveled to almost two dozen countries, speak five languages and am very curious to learn more about every new country and community I visit. I am accompanied here by my husband and son. It is our first time in Indonesia and we are looking forward to immersing ourselves in the culture and community of this beautiful country.

My biggest passion and goal in life is to positively impact student success and achievement. I have taught, guided and advocated for over 3,000 students in my career. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to do the same here for the wonderful students of SIS. I am privileged to walk into a position that has been positively impacted by the hard work Mr. Gaetano, Ms. Desfosses, the teachers, staff, parents and School Board have given over the years. I am honored to carry forward this great legacy and look at even more ways we can improve and refine as a school.

I have some exciting thoughts and ideas, but I encourage you to come forward and share any ideas you may have on how to make the Secondary School even better. Our staff and I will be working diligently this year to re-examine and revamp policies, procedures, and systematic frameworks with the goal of increasing student achievement in mind, so stay tuned for future posts with more information. There are many things to look forward to this year.

I know our staff and I are fired up with excitement to make this our best year yet! I look forward to getting to know your children and you this year and in the years to come. Have a great school year!

Kindest Regards,

Sonia Chowdhury
Secondary Principal

Updates from Elementary Principal – Tylene Desfosses

Welcome back to a new school year.  The elementary school has been a-buzz with activity since our return on August 2.   Our welcome assembly on August 3 provided a wonderful opportunity for us to gather as a community, welcome new students, and have a little fun together!  Our next assembly will be on Friday, August 31 at 8:15 in the Little Theater. We hope to see you there.

The first weeks of school are an important time for elementary students.  During these first weeks, students are getting back into the routine of school, reconnecting with friends, and learning the expectations and procedures of their new classroom.  As such, we ask that students arrive at school between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m.

Arriving as the gates open will ensure that students are ready for morning meeting, calendar activities, or carpet time in their classroom. In addition, it also provides an opportunity for students to socialize and participate in unstructured play on the playground. Play is an important part of our school day for all of our students.

Thank you to parents who joined us for our Back to School Night on Thursday, 9 August.  We hope that you’ll join us for our annual Back to School BBQ on Saturday, 11 August from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Games for parents and students have been scheduled for the gym and the grassy area in front of the canteen. The pool will be open from 12:00 – 1:45.  Parents are asked to accompany their children to the pool. Hot dogs will be served from the canteen beginning at 12:00. Please join us for some fun in the sun!

Engaging Activities: Insights from Activities Director – George Santiago

My name is Dr. George B. Santiago. This is my fourth year here at SIS as a Mathematics and Physics teacher. This year I am taking on an additional role as the Activities Director. I am looking forward to this year’s Activities Program. We continue to offer interesting and diverse ASAs for all our students.

Our student organizations are all ready to get to work and the Athletics program looks promising this school year. We have a good line-up of ASAs for the Fall Season (August to October). Information will be sent out soon.The ASAs for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will start on August 20, 2018. This year we are reviving the House System. SIS students will be divided into four Houses.

Every teacher, staff member, and all students from EC1 to Grade 12 belongs to one house and will participate in a variety of House activities throughout this school year. The four houses are Black House (Manta Ray), Red House (Komodo Dragon), Yellow House (Tiger), and Green House (Rhino). The House System aims to raise the school spirit and develop a stronger sense of community in SIS.

Guidance Counselor’s Corner: Meet Mr. C

Hello, my name is Mr. C and I am your Early Childhood – Grade 12 guidance counselor.  I think this is a great career opportunity because it is my dream job and I genuinely enjoy being a K-12 counselor, and helping students find careers and global universities that match their personality, interest, Multiple Intelligence, and abilities. 

I love learning the capacity of each student and helping them to see their own potential to reach their goals.  In addition, I also love being a K-12 guidance counselor because I can reach all students in the school, hold various lessons, discussions, and relationships throughout the day.  I enjoy all stages of student development, and watch them grow and mature.

My educational background includes a Masters degree in counseling education with a specialization in career advising and mental health.  I am certified in Early Childhood – 12 Guidance Counseling which qualifies me to use psychometrics (testing and assessments) to understand students’ strengths, weaknesses, and needs and interpret the results to students, parents, and teachers.  I have a record of success collaborating with teachers to increase test scores, helping students with social skills, study skills, character development, crisis intervention, socio-emotional support, career planning, and university admissions.

I have a strong knowledge of global university systems to help students earn admission in top universities while helping low performing students find suitable global universities to meet their goals. I have experience helping students earn admission in Oxford, MIT, and other top universities while helping low performing students find suitable institutions of higher learning to meet their goals.

I have a strong knowledge of global university systems such as: USA, UK, UAE, Egypt, ong Kong, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Korea, China, Netherlands, Hungry, and Taiwan. I hope to be able to conduct parent workshops with technology and invite global university representatives to your campus to meet the students and parents.

Since I began teaching in 2006, I have a history of success:

  • Helping students earn a high school diploma in an environment in which they feel safe, supported and valued.
  • Enrolling students in the best global universities.
  • Providing professional and confidential counseling to students.
  • Supporting staff and parents when appropriate.
  • Developing and delivering programs that proactively support the academic-personal-emotional-social development for all students.
  • Create a Graduation Action Plan/Academic Improvement Plan/Safety Plan, etc. to fit each student’s unique learning and personal needs.
  • Guide students research into universities that match their career interests and abilities.
  • Help students learn social skills and develop good character.
  • Identify key counseling needs and develop effective interventions.

In closing, I am excited about the opportunity to work as a K-12 guidance counselor because of your commitment to academic excellence, relationships with students, development of student character, and diversity.  It really seems like a nice place to work, learn, and live.

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