ISY Elementary Blog


Sandy Sheppard , Elementary School Principal

27th January to the 14th of February, 2023


Thank you for completing your report cards and getting the international orders in, it was a busy week.

This blog will be your reference point for the next two weeks, if you require any information on dates, it can be found on the faculty pages. I will not be resending the blog while I am absent. If anything important comes up reminders will be sent via email. 

Thank you to the Mandarin teachers and the Parent Association for their organization and support of the Lunar New Year assembly.

Please check out the dates to remember below, there are some new dates on there that are important.

I am returning home to New Zealand for my daughters wedding. I will be returning on the 13th of February. In my absence please direct support needs and questions to Mike. Student quesitons can be directed to Patty. I will be checking my email regularly.

Have a great weekend,



In case parents ask you for information. This was sent to all parents via email and is also in their blog.

Your child’s Quarter 2  Report Card is now available on PowerSchool.

The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of what has been covered this term and an indication of your child’s academic achievement at this point in time. 

Please take the time to review this report together with your child. If you have any questions relating to your child’s reports, please email your child’s teacher(s) for clarification. If you have any questions relating to the reporting process in general, you can contact Ms Sheppard at 

 Accessing PowerSchool:

  • Click the following link to access PowerSchool
  • Enter your username
  • Enter your password. If you have forgotten your username and password contact for assistance.
  • Click on the login button

 Accessing your child’s Quarter 2 Report:

  • Once you log in, you will see your child/children’s name on the left-hand side top of the screen along with the information of the student schedule. 
  • Click on your child’s name 
  • Click on the “Document” icon on the left side of the screen
  • Student Documents box will appear on the screen
  • Click on the file name “Q2 Report Card 22-23”

If you have difficulty accessing your child’s report, please know that you can contact the Elementary School office by email  for assistance.

Good Practice in Elementary School Highlighted

Inclusive Math Practices

Math challenges are a great way to extend and challenge students’ thinking. On Fridays, grade 2 students participate in these weekly challenges. Not only do these extend to students that are exploring higher-level thinking skills they are also inclusive to all students working within different ability levels. 

Students are grouped by abilities and work in pairs to solve problems. The lesson is heavily modeled, differentiated, and scaffolded. Students work together and discuss strategies to solve problems. The conversations and ideas allow students to explain their thinking and explore different mathematical strategies. Students are engaged, excited, and motivated to solve problems.

Nrich is a great resource to explore and use as a resource, please let us know if you would like to come and observe Grade 2 in action! 

See pictures below


As with the advent of any new technology, ChatGPT is cause for excitement and concern. It is a tool for us to use and we are the ones who will need to determine how to use it – as students and as teachers. Determining how to use it will be an adaptive process. It will involve some trial and error, and will need to adapt to make sure the way we use the technology improves learning.

I think our major cause for concern at the moment is the thought that students might be using it to write for them. This is very problematic. The detection tools available are not foolproof and we cannot solely rely on them to determine whether a student is cheating.

While this issue might be an issue of technology, I don’t think we can rely on technology to solve it – not yet anyway.

The best way to determine whether a student’s work is their own is to get to know them as a learner – in this case, as a writer. By guiding our students through the writing process from start to finish, conferencing along the way and providing feedback and revisions, we will know them as writers. Not only will we know them as writers, we will also be able to assess them as writers before they hand in a finished product. 

ChatGPT is a shortcut to a finished product. It is designed to bypass the writing process. By putting more emphasis on the process and assessing our students throughout the process, then I think ChatGPT will become less of an issue in terms of cheating and will ultimately become part of the process just as tools such as Grammarly have. As we become more familiar with ChatGPT and clearer in our purpose for using it to improve learning, I am sure that it will become more of a cause for excitement than concern.

Elementary Stuco is organizing Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb 13-17th.  The activities they have planned do not take any of your class time….unless you want it to and include:
1. Making a Paper Chain: When a student does or receives a Random Act of Kindness (RAK) they can write or draw it on a link and add it to our paper chain.
2. Valentine/Appreciation Cards: These will be available during recess.
3. Senseless Acts of Beauty: Making art to display.
Stuco is looking for any offers of collaboration.  If you have an idea or activity you think your class/grade might be interested in doing, please let me know.  The possibilities are endless:

Date: Monday 6 February – Friday 10 February

Monday: Mismatch Day – wear your most mismatched outfit to school
Tuesday: Anything but a Backpack Day – bring anything but a backpack to school
Wednesday: CLASS Colors Day – wear your class colors to school (Patty will give you more information)
Thursday: Teacher Day – dress up as a teacher (respectfully)
Friday: ISY Colors Day – wear the ISY colors to school


Here are a few of the takeaways from the opportunity:

  • Setting clear expectations on Monday morning before starting
  • Expect to review and clarify these expectations a few times during the week
  • Students were assigned into 3 teams: sandbox, sand kitchen, picking up general trash
  • We agreed it would take 5 minutes to do this if everyone was helping. 
  • The clean-up after lunch will cut slightly into class time because there isn’t a transition time.
  • We framed these jobs as a way to be responsible for the school and our toys. Every class will take turns doing this. However, we should still try to leave areas clean as we finish playing there. My class was fearful that other students would try and leave big messes for them to clean up. This wasn’t the case. We focused on this being a team effort from everyone to take care of our space and things. 


This year’s Compassion Conference will be on Thursday, March 2. The date has changed as SEASAC tournaments will take some teachers away on the original date, February 3.

More details will follow, but I wanted to introduce our keynote speaker. Kathryn Berkett will speak to us in 2 workshops:

The Impact of Early Development and Adolescent Brain Changes. If you want to learn more about Kathryn and her work, check out the resources on this website:

Kathryn will present to us in the morning. The afternoon session will be set aside for teacher workshops. This is a great opportunity for us to hear from those teachers who have put together a workshop proposal for EARCOS, along with any other teachers who have an idea or practice to share. Please let Mike or Sandy know if you would like to share something.

FYI – Dear Chinthes and ISY community,
The ISY Family Fun Fair is coming up soon on Saturday, February 18! Part of this year’s fun will be a special booth called the ‘Second Hand Market’.
The Second Hand Market will sell second hand clothing (all ages), books (all ages), and toys. All proceeds from the Second Hand Market will go to the ‘Chinthe Fund’ that supports our ISY Partner Projects (including Yangon Animal Shelter and Care to the Least Center Orphanage). And any items not sold will be donated to our ISY Partner Projects.
We would like to collect as many items as we can to sell at the Second Hand Market. Please donate gently used clothing, books, or toys to this great cause. You can make donations on the Front Steps. From this Monday, January 30 there will be baskets on the Front Steps to donate your clothing, books, and toys.
We thank you in advance for donating and supporting our ISY Partner Projects as well as STUCO and our Service Learning Groups who are organizing the ISY Family Fun Fair. See you all on Saturday, February 18!
Kind regards,
High School Student Council (HS STUCO)

Have a fabulous birthday:

29th Janaury – Anshu

Professional Growth Plans

Everything can be found on our ISY Faculty Pages.

Thank you all for completing your Professional Growth Plans. 

Quarter 2 Colleague Observations / Assisted Reflections 

For Quarter 2, please arrange for a colleague to observe you and help you reflect on your practice. It can be very effective to ask your colleague to provide feedback on your Professional Growth Plan focus.

Just make another copy of the Assisted Reflection Form in your Professional Growth Folder. 

Observers, please remember to also complete the ISY Inclusive Practices Checklist (UDL: Engagement) at the top of the Assisted Reflection Form. This is an anonymous form that gives good school-wide data about the inclusive practices we are using.


On Wednesday, Dr. Hedger, Mike, Patty and myself and some students all visited a school near the Kalihtaw Dam north of Yangon. We got to meet some of the students there and engage with them as well as see the facilities of the school. This is all part of the Access to Education Service Learning program at ISY.


2nd peer observations should be completed

30th January – After School Activities start

30th January – Please dedicate time to filling out your grade level scope and sequence, this is expected to be finished by the end of the week

3rd February – No assembly

6th February – Cyber Bullying presentation for all teachers by IT 2:34-3:45 in Cafeteria

10th February – Musical performance rehearsal – ES invited, more information to come

11th/12th February – musical performance

6th – 10th February – Spirit Week

18th February – Family Fun Fair – 4:00-7:00 PM – all should attend

20th February – MAP testing begins

2nd March – Compassion Conference (no school for students)

3rd March – Chinthe Social (more information to come)


The child protection handbook can be found on the Faculty Pages, see the link below.



Find information on compassionate communities and mindful curriculum at this link



Please find the information for the ISY drills at this link




  • We will be starting playground clean-up duties. Each week a class will be assigned. This will start the week of the 16th of January.  PLEASE SEE THE DUTY SCHEDULE HERE
  • There have been a few small changes to supervision see the new Quarter 3 supervision schedule here
  • Classroom clean up responsibilities for the end of day, can be found here


Monday – Ian, Mabel, Tuesday – Dan, Saw John, Wednesday – Laura, Zarchi, Thursday – Beth, Sandy, Friday – LuAnn, Htut Htut


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