ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog

Spirit Week & Olympiad

Mike Simpson

April 1, 2022

Next week is Spirit Week. This comes at a perfect time and we want to make the most of it to re-establish an ISY identity in our students re: expectations around how they engage in their studies, participate, interact with others, that sort of thing. 

2 years out of school is a long time and it is understandable that some of our students are needing more help in getting along with others in the playground, etc. This is especially true given that for many of our students, this is the first time they have been on campus at ISY and are not familiar with how we do things.

Please do all that you can to put the Mission, Vision, and ISY Learner Attributes in front of our students next week. This is essentially character education and I think there are two ways that we can use together to approach this:

  1. We can explicitly teach the students what Mission, Vision, and ISY Learner Attributes are. Here are some resources that can help you:
  • Posters in the classrooms – Mission, Vision, Attributes
  • This ISY Learner Attributes Presentation we used for orientation when things were almost normal – it has links to padlets with the definitions of the attributes.
  • These ISY Learner Attributes Activities Menu – these are a selection of activities that can be used to teach the attributes. We made these as we were going online. Please add any other ideas you have for others to choose from.
  1. We can help the students catch an understanding of these concepts simply by using the language all the time inside and outside the classroom and commenting on and complimenting students behaving in ways that are consistent with the Mission, Vision, and attributes. This continues after Spirit Week.

The Great ISY Student Quiz

To help give the students something to focus on during the week, we will have a quiz (using Kahoot) that will ask students questions about ISY, the Mission, Vision and Attributes. I will pull the questions from the website. We will have a quiz for Grades 2/3 and another for Grade 4/5. I will put something for you to show students to explain how the quiz will work. I think we will have the quizzes on Thursday and we will figure out some prizes. If this is successful, it could be an annual thing.

Faculty Get Together on Monday After School

After school on Monday, in-person faculty will get together to share challenges and ideas around getting that ISY identity back inside and outside the classroom. It is great to be back in-person but this does not come without its challenges after 2 years online!

If you have any questions or ideas for Spirit Week, please let Sandy, Patty or I know.

We all know we are doing our best…. even when we are not at our best!

Check in. How am I? What do I need? How are they? What do they need from me?

Ask for help and be helpful.

Be present and patient. Take time to fully understand others and allow time for others to understand you. Pausing, Paraphrasing and Posing Questions promotes our common understanding.

Share your ideas and be open to the ideas of others. Once shared, they become our ideas and anything could happen!

What are our Students’ Critical Needs?

After a very long period of disrupted learning, we need to figure out exactly what our students’ needs are in math, reading, and writing and how we are going to address them next year and beyond.

We will do this with Focus on Learning Collaborations which we had introduced before Covid hit. The idea is to identify our students’ Critical Learner Needs which then become our ‘Problems of Practice.’ This language comes from WASC and ties in with how we will review all curriculum areas.

A Problem of Practice isn’t a shortcoming on the part of teachers – it just recognizes the fact that teachers are the ones who cause learning and meeting student learning needs is our problem to solve.

Here is an ES Focus on Learning Collaboration folder with grade level documents plus a folder of MAP reports that will be useful in identifying Critical Learner Needs. There is also a folder of what we did in 2019-2020 as a reference bearing in mind our students have changed a lot.

We will meet in grade level teams in the week after the Thingyan holiday. I will send out calendar invites for these meetings during planning times. In the meantime, feel free to record any thoughts in the grade level documents that you will find in the folder linked above.


Here is the link to the ES Quarter 4 Schedule which is also available on the Elementary School Faculty Pages.

The schedule has been amended very slightly re: 4/5L PE on Wednesday and 4/5O Art on Friday. No other changes have been made.


Here is the Q4 Supervision Schedule that we will use for Quarter 4 beginning this Monday, March 28.

We now have a security guard scheduled to supervise the Front Steps playground during recess. This gives us more support as students get used to playing together again. Teachers will be on duty on the field or the A Building Playground. Please tell your students that they can go to a security if they need anything. 

This week:

10:00 – 10:20 Grade 2-5 Recess Locations

  • Front Steps End of Field / Front Steps Playground: Grades 2/3
  • SAS Building End of Field / A Building Playground: Grades 4/5

8:00 – 8:20 Before School Play Duty

Update: Students are allowed on campus before 8am but before school duty will still begin at 8am.

Here is the Before School Play Duty Schedule that we will use for Semester 2.

People on duty this week:

  • Monday: Zarchi
  • Tuesday: Samia
  • Wednesday: Sandy M.
  • Thursday: John
  • Friday: Dan

ISY Annual Compassion Conference

Friday, March 4

This is the ISY Compassion Conference 2022 Google Site for your reference.

We have decided to hold our own ISY teacher workshops for a separate event to be held later in the year. This event will be organized around our ISY Inclusive Practices.

      Quarter 3 Reports & Conferences

      Thank you for getting the Progress Reports done!

      These Progress Reports will act as conversation starters for conferences on Friday, April 29. There will be no classes on this day and conferences will be online.

      We will share MAP reports with families during these conferences. If a parent would like their child’s MAP report before conferences, please email me and I will provide that for them. The goal is for parents to see MAP data as one data point in developing a fair and accurate picture of. a child’s academic achievement and growth.

      Q4 Interdisciplinary Units

      Scope and Sequences

      We now have confirmed Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions for our Quarter 4 units. Please refer to the Q4 Scope and Sequence and update it as necessary.

      Specialist teachers, please strive to connect to the Enduring Understanding and/or Essential Questions.

      Everyone, please strive to integrate our Mission and Vision, Attributes and the SDGs (which inevitably hit our strategic themes) into this last quarter.

      Consider how what was covered in our Compassion Conference might help us integrate Service and Action.


      Here is where you can find our Q4 Scope and Sequence 2021-2022 Scope & Sequence

      To fill out this year’s Q4 Scope and Sequence, you might want to refer to the skills you focused on this time last year in this Q4 Scope and Sequence 2020-2021.

      Please link your planning to the Scope and Sequence as you did for our Q2 Scope and Sequence. We want to give you some autonomy as to how you organize your planning and resources but your planning needs to be in an ISY Shared Drive. 

      Please also check off the standards that you intend to cover in your subject in Quarter 4. Please make sure there is an ‘x’ in the second column of any standard you will cover in these Grade Level Standards Checklists.

      Indoor Lunch/Recess

      Poor Air Quality & Rainy Days

      An air quality reading will be taken at 9:50am so you can be confident that an A Q sign in the window of the B Building at 9:55 means that the air quality is not good enough for outdoor recess. Hopefully this doesn’t happen very often. Rainy days will be more common soon so this will also require a plan for indoor lunch / recess.

      Homeroom Teaching Teams – if you haven’t already, please reach out to Sandy with how you will plan for indoor lunch/reces so we can communicate to those people on duty.

      ZOOM LINKS (Semester 2)

      Here is a link to the Zoom Links that we will use for Semester 2.

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