ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog


Mike Simpson

February 4, 2022

At the bottom of this blog, past all of the schedules and planning information, is some information on our Compassion Conference.

Jake Bailey will be our keynote speaker. I actually taught Jake when he was in Grade 5. In 2015, Jake developed a following in New Zealand and around the world on the back of a speech that he gave at his high school graduation ceremony.

In his speech, Jake says ‘Forget about long-term dreams. Let’s be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Micro-ambitious. Work with passion and pride on what is in front of us.’ 

I haven’t asked Jake what exactly he means by micro-ambitious. However, I find the term quite useful when I feel like I am buried in a whole lot of short-term tasks that I struggle to connect with what I had planned in the long-term. 

As proactive as we try to be with plans and schedules for this eventuality and that, everyday COVID and other challenges force us to react immediately to challenges that are difficult or impossible to anticipate. When we are in a reactive mode it is very difficult to look ahead and make long-term plans. And it can be very frustrating not to be able to devote the time and energy to realize the long-term plans that you had already made. 

Long-term plans are essential. But in times like these our long-term plans can frustrate us and I think it can be useful to put them in the back of your mind. There they can continue to act as a gentle reminder of why we are here in the first place without overwhelming us.

Take pride in the fact that we are all making literally hundreds and thousands of decisions each day and acting on them for our students, our colleagues, and our community. Think of all the ‘little’ things we did over the last two years to get to this point of resuming in-person classes. That should make us very proud and if we continue to be ‘micro-ambitious’ and work with passion and pride on whatever it is that we will need to do in the short-term, our students will keep learning. And that is why we are here in the first place.

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!


  • All information regarding COVID cases should go through the clinic.  If a parent or students reports a case to you, please ask them to email the clinic and the clinic will follow up.
  • Everyone on campus (all students and teachers) must wear a mask at all times
  • Students are to wipe their desks with a disinfectant wipe when they leave the room (e.g. leaving a specialist class, on the way to lunch, end of the day)
  • Class doors and windows to be open while teaching with air conditioners turned on (unless air quality is an issue – you will be notified by email).
  • Everyone encouraged to wash hands at every opportunity.


Here is the link to the ES Semester 2 Schedule which is also available on the Elementary School Faculty Pages.

Note: The schedule has no transition times between periods. Please make sure that students are ready to start their next class on time and start recess and lunch on time.



Here is the Supervision Schedule that we will use for Semester 2.

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

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

People on duty this week:

  • Monday: Isabel
  • Tuesday: Charlie
  • Wednesday: Swe Zin
  • Thursday: Brett
  • Friday: No School

ZOOM LINKS (Semester 2)

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

Semester 2 Teaching Teams

Here is the link to the ES Semester 2 Teaching Teams document which is also available on the Elementary School Faculty Pages.

When thinking about these teaching teams, we just need to bear in mind that we might all need to cover for or assist colleagues who are unable to work from school. 

On this document (at the top) you will see links to Grade Level (PK-KG, G1, G2/3, and G4/5) Organization Summaries – as things pop up, please add them to the bottom of the document so we can address them.

Extra Stationery in Room 107

We have a lot of extra stationery (paper, pens, etc) in Room 107 – Help yourself rather than putting in an order. 
If you can’t find what you need in Room 107, ask Sandy and she might be able to find it for you.

Patty’s Presentation on Supporting Students

I’m sure what we covered this morning was a review of your daily practices already, but if you wish to check out the information again or look at the links, here is the presentation.
Also, attached this the list of new students to ISY for this and last year.  Please connect the new students with buddies to help with their transition.  
Good luck as we manage this new challenge!
Warmly, Patty

MAP Testing (February 21 – March 3)

It has been awhile! Grades 2/3 and 4/5 students will sit MAP tests from Monday, February 21 to Thursday, March 3.

The students will sit the following tests:

  • Reading
  • Language Usage
  • Math

We will not be testing Science this year as we have done in the past.

Students will sit the tests in their homerooms during class time.

Teachers will choose a two consecutive periods (80 minutes) for students to sit each test.

Please use this ES MAP Testing Schedule to choose a time for your students to sit each test (it is ok to have more than one class sitting a test at the same time).


Interdisciplinary Units

Curriculum Maps and Scope and Sequences

Here is where you can find our Curriculum Maps These will be updated up to Quarter 2 using our Subject Blurbs from Semester 1 reports.

Here is where you can find our Q3 Scope and Sequence

To fill out this year’s Q3 Scope and Sequence, you might want to refer to the skills you focused on this time last year in this Q3 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 3. Please make sure there is an ‘x’ in the second column of any standard you will cover in these Grade Level Standards Checklists.

 Reading Levels – January 2022

It is time to reassess our students’ reading levels. This is important data to be recorded on this Elementary Reading Levels (2021-2022) Spreadsheet. There are obvious challenges to doing this quickly online so please focus first on those students who you might require additional support in the second half of the year.

From our TIFs

Both Ian and Lindsey have new teaching responsibilities for Semester 2. This might mean one of the another are unavailable to immediately help with an issue. 

If you have a technology issue that is not urgent, email

If you have an urgent technology issue, the best thing to do is send a Google Hangout message to Lindsey, Ian, and Anshu. That way you have 3 chances that someone is available when you need them. 

– – – –

Here are a curated list of helpful links for students and families as we begin the year. These videos can be helpful as you share information with them. 

ISY Annual Compassion Conference

Friday, March 4

This will be organized under the umbrella of ISY Definition of Compassion: The will and understanding to respect and value the identity, culture, perspective, and experience of others in acting to make a positive difference to their lives.

Jake Bailey will be our key-note speaker. Jake is an accidental inspirational speaker by virtue of this speech that he made at his high school graduation ceremony very shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. The speech went viral and now he devotes his time helping people understand how we can most successfully overcome the challenges and adversity we will all inevitably face in life. He has a particular interest in developing resilience and mental well-being in young people. 

An ISY student panel comprised of members of the Diverse Identities Alliance (DIA) student group will provide us with LGBTQ+ awareness training. This panel has already presented this material to our leadership team and to our Board of Trustees. Their presentation is both insightful and practical. 

We have 3 workshops from Cathy Berger Kaye and her associates. Cathy has worked with us in the past and is very supportive of our school and its compassionate Mission and Vision. The workshop titles and presenters are listed below along with a summary of the workshop. Here are the presenters’ bios.

  1. Amplifying Compassion and Service: how digital storytelling can equip learners to create meaningful impact through service learning. 

Shei Ascencio & LeeAnne Lavender

In the past 18 months, we have had the opportunity to explore new and innovative approaches for teaching and learning in virtual spaces. We have needed to develop reserves of compassion: for ourselves as we navigate new and unknown experiences, and for others as we figure out how to engage in meaningful service experiences online. For service learning and global citizenship educators, this has offered new perspectives and possibilities for youth to engage with indirect service, advocacy and research – digital storytelling has surfaced in many contexts as the platform and vehicle for purposeful engagement. In this workshop, we will focus on practical and concrete strategies for successful service learning and digital storytelling in a virtual or hybrid environment. You will come away with a toolkit to increase student agency in creating meaningful and intentional service learning experiences. 

  1. The Danger of a Single Narrative: A lens for authentic connections

Christopher Dadefumi (Chris)

As human beings, we are meaning-making organisms. To survive, to be successful, and to thrive we continually make meaning of the world around us so we may know how to negotiate our way. What we observe, together with the stories we are told and shown over and over, help us solidify that meaning.  However, what happens when a single narrative about a culture or a community and its rituals, practices, behavior, and circumstances come to be accepted as truth? What happens when this is applied as truth about a people – their capabilities, potential or limitations? We begin with looking at ourselves, because understanding what single narratives, assumptions and biases we hold is the foundational work we get to do in service of building more equitable partnerships with communities that are not our own. 

  1. Documentar—A Time Capsule of Now

Cathy Berger Kaye

We are still emerging from a transformative and unique time, in many ways unanticipated and unprecedented. As part of all that transpired, as educators we continually aim to care for all aspects of our youth and community, including their wellbeing. To this end, documentar was created amid the pandemic, as a method, a process, and a global platform for youth to express their inner life in this moment. Together we continue to capture what the world looks like through their eyes. With photos, art, poetry, spoken word, video, and narrative, we have learned in countless ways how youth experienced quarantine and isolation, social and racial injustice, environmental challenges, and have emerged to take action with an authentic desire to impact change. Experience documentar – and know how we can care, connect, and hold the stories and experiences of others. An invitation to be present and creative, and to capture the moment!

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.

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