As we return from the break, we are still in the situation of working through distance learning. As you can see below this has not stopped the learning but has definitely changed the structure. Currently we are all learning how to best make this new reality work, and I thank everyone, parents, teachers and students for giving this new system their best effort. I have talked with some of you about the successes and challenges of this time and from what I see many people have shown amazing flexibility and patience.
Earlier in the week I emailed a document outlining UWC East Africa’s Distance Learning Program. This was developed through lessons learned from those that have gone before us. While it is good to learn from other’s trials, experience tells us that practice is the only way to actually learn how to do things. In that spirit, I know that we will have stumbles along the way at all levels, but through good communication we can fix these quickly and with little delay.
Wherever you are currently, stay safe and continue to keep in touch with us and each other. This will end and we hope to come back together as a non-virtual community soon.
Virtual Coffee Morning
Thursday April 23rd we will have virtual Parents Coffee Morning at 10am. We will run through either Zoom or Google Meet with an invite emailed to those that are interested. Please email me so that your name can be directly added to the list and the invite sent directly to you. The number of people interested may determine the platform.
The newest edition of the Student Magazine is out now. Despite the contributors being all over the globe the students were able to come up with another great edition. Click here to access.
I have been thinking of what to write about in these strange and turbulent times. I wanted to focus on something positive and settled on the reported impact the global response to combating the spread of Covid-19 is having on the environment. Air pollution has dropped significantly in China, the waters of Venice’s canals are clean again, commercial energy use has been enormously reduced and so on. It is easy to understand how pollution and emissions have fallen across continents as countries try to contain the spread of the virus but is this just a fleeting change? Will everything return to “normal” when we come out the other side?
Of course, a global pandemic should never be seen as a way of bringing about environmental change but, perhaps, it is a good opportunity for us to take stock of our own consumption. History tells us that times of change can lead to the introduction of lasting habits. During the coronavirus outbreak, those habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less or, perhaps, cutting down on food waste. Are these habits that we can take forward into the future as a global community?
Earth Day falls on 22nd April every year. Earth Day was conceived as a unified response to an environment in crisis and is now recognised as the planet’s largest civic event. Next Wednesday will mark 50 years of Earth Day and the theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action.
Many of us are choosing to stay at home and greatly limit our interactions with others or, even, the outside world. So, how might we take action in these isolated times? I challenge you all (students, teachers and parents) to take action next Wednesday to support Earth Day. On Earth Day itself, the Earth Day Network is organizing 24 hours of “global digital mobilization” called Earthrise. The Earth Day Network is also organizing 22 daily challenges you can take to fight the climate crisis. These might be a good place to start.
To quote a recent BBC article, “It’s safe to say that no one would have wanted for emissions to be lowered this way. Covid-19 has taken a grim global toll on lives, health services, jobs and mental health. But, if anything, it has also shown the difference that communities can make when they look out for each other–and that’s one lesson that could be invaluable in dealing with climate change.”
I look forward to hearing all about our collective action. Stay safe everyone and look after each other.
From the Counselor
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” ~ Forrest Gump
These words ring true to the situation we find ourselves in right now, with a lot of unknowns, and yet tremendous opportunity. As we continue to maintain appropriate safety practices and pay attention to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are also provided with a chance to be creative and inventive in these uncertain times. It starts with your mindset, and the chart below provides some guidance on how to move from being stuck to being open to whatever the future holds.
We do realize that it is not easy to move from “fear” to “growth” in these challenging times, especially given the levels of grief that many are experiencing for a variety of reasons. In order to continue to support our school community through this pandemic, the counseling team will continue to update this link with resources. If you cannot access the Google document, you can view this version. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional concerns that are not addressed in this document, or if you would like to discuss a counseling related concern.
Karibu tena to the fourth quarter. We are looking forward to working together to practice a growth mindset amid all that is occurring in the world around us.
Ms. Ford and Mr. Kileo Your School Counseling Team
Virtual University Fair
From April 20th to the 23rd there is a virtual University Fair. This fair is four days of information about universities in North America and Europe as well as presentations concerning the application process. Students do need to register for sessions, so please use this link to access the website.
Along with the rest of the school diploma students have moved to online learning.
For the D2 students this time has been about finishing off the syllabus and doing the final assessments. Meanwhile they have been working on their CAS portfolios. In the absence of the final interview due to school closure they have been recording themselves talking about what they have done for CAS. I am pleased how much they have had to say about this. Teachers have been finalising the Internal Assessment marking and predicted grades. These will be used by IB to calculate the grades students will be awarded. Details on this can be found here. We have been given an extention until the start of May so that teachers have time to work with students with the aim of providing the best possible predicted grade.
For D1 students, they have had zoom sessions with their teachers in many subjects. Most subjects have set up Google Classrooms to organise the work and parents have been invited to join these. After accepting the invitation, you will receive a summary of what has happened in the class. Detail about this can be found here. If you have not received an invitation, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will investigate.
We welcome all members of our community to a unique quarter 4 during which distance and online learning will be our new normal. We are grateful for your fidelity to UWCEA, its programmes and personnel. All details of our online learning programmes can be found in UWCEA Distance Learning Program document that was sent by the Head of Campus recently.
Students and parents Survey We wish to thank all the MYP students and parents who participated in our online feedback survey between March 25 and April 10. We are thankful for your input that has informed how quarter 4 distance learning will be conducted. The new schedule and guidelines are a product of your feedback.
Following your input, Managebac and Google classroom remain the main distance/online learning platforms. Each year group in MYP has only four subject areas per school day to minimize screen hours and make the quantity of work manageable. Teachers will provide feedback and clarify concepts mainly through Zoom and Google Meet.
MYP eAssessment For all students who were registered for these exams, we wish to let you know that all ePortfolio, personal project tasks and predicted grades in registered subjects are now with the IB. The ePortfolio subjects (French, Drama, Music and Visual Arts) together with the personal project are usually first marked by our teachers before the IB moderates them. This year, in the absence of onscreen examinations, the IB will rely on our teachers’ predicted grades together with moderated grades in the subjects above to award the certificates/course results. The school will generate and award internal certificates to all M5 students regardless of whether they registered with the IB or not.
Outstanding Personal Project
Aftab’s Fire Fighting Robotic Car which was his M5 Personal Project has emerged as a finalist under Science (Innovation Category) at the Genius Olympiad. Global Environmental Issues and Us (GENIUS) Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues. It is founded and organized by Terra Science and Education and hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology. It promotes a global understanding of environmental issues and the achievement of sustainability through basic science, arts, creative writing, engineering, design, and business development.
Aftab’s project involved researching on, designing, programming and creating a robotic firefighting car capable of sensing and extinguishing open fires.
Please visit the site through the link below for more information. Here is the link to the list of finalists. His project is No. 1391.
Congratulations to Aftab and his family!
The gallery below are some images of the online learning in Swahili at the PYP, MYP and Diploma level. This is just an example of some of the ways learning is continuing at this time.
Greetings to all you all and welcome to quarter Quarter 4. I hope you all had a restful break and are settling back into the online platforms being used in your child/ren’s class/es.
On behalf of the PYP team, we appreciate the feedback you shared and hopefully, you have experienced positive changes as a result of suggestions you shared. Remote teaching and learning has been quite a learning curve for us all and hopefully, the rewards will be more than the challenges as we go along.
I am sharing these publications sent by the IB in support of online learning with various links for parents to use.
As you can imagine, the separation of our youngest students from each other makes it very difficult for them to do the thing they should be doing most of right now, interacting with others and learning through play. On top of this challenge, online resources for learning can obviously be difficult for EC’s to navigate without adult input and many of us are still balancing work and home.
Slowly but surely we are easing into a morning routine via seesaw that lets the children see and interact with each other online in creative and hands-on tasks on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. We have a roll call, a daily video and a creative task. The children can often complete these semi-independently using natural or readily available home resources. We’re looking into zoom meetings as a possible tool for coming weeks.
We now begin our new unit about stories. Thanks to all of you for your incredible support and regular feedback as we try to keep things as ‘normal’ as we possibly can for our littlest during this time of human crisis.
I’m wishing our entire community all the very best and sending my thoughts and love to you all.
P 1/2 Class
Judging from all the holiday news I listened to and read about this week, everyone has had a restful Easter break. Welcome back to school! After the last week of familiarizing ourselves with how online learning looks and feels like, I believe we are all starting to get into our own home routines.
For the coming week, we will be exploring our line of inquiry which focuses on the role of art in culture and society. We will look at a few artists around the world and in our homes. This will be an exciting time for the dancers to get their shoes on, singers to set the microphones or sculptors to get their chisels ready! We should not forget Earth day coming up on the 22nd. I wonder how people all around the world will be using art to celebrate the earth.
Let us meet together at 9:30am Monday morning to share our ideas. The zoom meeting link will be sent to your emails at 7:30am.
I celebrate you all for being creative as you use your homes to extend your learning.
Welcome to a very strange Quarter 4. For our picture this week, I have attached a quote that I saw on one of the social media platforms that I follow. I believe it’s symbolic of where we are in the present circumstances.
I appreciate all the hard work that both you and the students have been putting in to turn into virtual learners. One of my teaching philosophies has always been that teaching and learning both happen simultaneously. As learners, we learn and teach; and as teachers, we teach and learn. Over the past month, you as parents have also joined this learning experience. It’s a journey and you have all been open minded and risk-takers throughout this process.
A lot of what we’ve been doing thus far has been reviewing math concepts and working through some language ones. We will slowly be introducing new concepts in math, language and unit of inquiry. I am always available for questions, and for setting up times to communicate with you over Skype. Please refer to this Google Sheet in order to schedule a time to set up a call to answer any questions your child has, or to say help.
I hope you’re all staying safe and I look forward to continuing to work with you for the remainder of the school year.
I hope you all had a rewarding break and a good first week back. I have really enjoyed hanging out with the children on Zoom. We have faced a number of challenges with connectivity and logging in but in the process, we have learned plenty. I appreciate the partnership that parents have offered and the children seem to be getting more relaxed and confident with logging into Seesaw and Zoom.
In the coming week, we will expound on our first line of inquiry and find out more about endangered animals in various regions around the world. We will also be using data handling to analyze the information we come across and to record our findings as we inquire further. Our Language focus will be informational writing. In preparation for this, look for a medium-sized box that you will use to stick your information on. You can see an example in this link. Images shared are images from students’ work from Seesaw, a “Gratitude Tree” a design of a travel pod created through minecraft and a drawing of animals around us.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
The P5 has had a good start transitioning onto our online learning platform. Most have been successful in uploading their work with See Saw. We just started Book Clubs this week with the Roald Dahl books that were sent home. I will attempt to set up a Google Hangout for each group. I sent home a letter today asking for feedback on how home learning is going for you and your child. Please let me know by responding to that email. Your input is important.
I would like to start communicating one on one with all of the class with Whatsapp, phone, or online for 20-30 minutes once a week. In order to do this, can you please inform me of the top three times that would work for you from Tuesday through Thursday? There is a chart included in the email. I look forward to talking to you soon. Give your children a hug from me, they are all missed tremendously!
The P6 students have been online and on task. I am so proud of their independence and organisation. The children are doing a sensational job at online school. They have posted morning messages, maths, writing, reading response activities, art, cooking and P.E to name but some of the many activities they have been doing. Many thanks to mums and dads for ensuring that everything has gone smoothly and for giving support where necessary. The children will turn their attention towards their Exhibition work next week, having taken a short break from it whilst we ascertained the new situation in which we find ourselves. We are considering Google Slides as the format for our online Exhibition and will work towards this next week. Please make sure your child has signed up to watch one of the virtual PYPX presentations listed in the email.
I hope that all of you stay well and happy. P6 – I will see you on Seesaw on Monday.