Saturday, December 22, 2007

CHECK OUT WHAT COLLEGE STUDENTS SAY ABOUT HOW THEIR HIGH SCHOOL PREPARED THEM FOR COLLEGE!



bruce.smith@indystar.com


Plainfield teachers and administrators, usually the ones who hand out report cards, got a few grades of their own this week. And former students gave them straight As.

Plainfield High School Principal Scott Olinger invited about a dozen 2007 graduates to a round-table discussion to find out whether these college freshmen feel they were well prepared for higher education."If we want the feedback from our students, we have to ask for it and then not be afraid to hear it," he said.

The students and high school department heads talked curriculum, workload, new trends in online college classes and course offerings that form a foundation for post-secondary education.
"I'd have to say we were better prepared than most," said Samantha Jennings, a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "I see some of the others struggling and wishing they had taken AP (advanced placement) and honors classes. Those really help a lot."

Angela Vaccari, now studying communications at Butler University, said, "I felt very prepared. (College) is very challenging and hectic, but I find it is manageable with the study and writing skills that we'd learned."

Several of the students said college classes have required far more writing, such as research papers and reports, creative writing and opinions, than high school classes.

Plainfield's curriculum, which includes writing assignments in every class, proved valuable to building that essential skill in college. Several students said the high school could require more writing.

Plainfield parents and students can follow their grades and other progress through the Internet, which the students said is important practice for college.
College instructors make extensive use of online systems to assign homework, administer tests and grades.

Samantha DeRoo, valedictorian of the 2007 class, said some of her classes at Purdue University may have up to 500 students in large lecture sessions. "The classes aren't so difficult but it is more on you" to get the assignments done and to prepare for tests, classes and laboratory sessions.

College isn't all about classes. Campus life and the freedom it affords has been one of the biggest transitions compared to living at home with parents' curfews, several students said, particularly when facing deadlines to complete homework assignments.

Tell us what you think! Is CSIHSIS preparing you for college? What are we doing well? What can we do better?

Join our efforts to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Hello College of Staten Island High School students, parents, and teachers,

With the greatest of appreciation, I'd like to thank you all for participating in the fundraising initiative on December 20th, Rally. We sent out over 3000 letters to friends and family asking them to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

As you may know, money raised goes directly to the Hospital to keep research labs operating and to treat children from all over the world. This treatment is provided without regard for their families’ ability to pay. Because of your help, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will receive much needed funds to ensure that one day there will be a cure for cancer, AIDS and other terrible diseases that threaten the lives of children.
We look forward to growing the partnership between our organization and your High School!
Happy Holidays and have a Healthy New Year!

Wiky Toussaint
Senior Event Marketing Representative
ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
wiky.toussaint@stjude.org

"The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to"-Mirian Wright Edelman

St Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tennessee, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization.

For more information, please visit www.stjude.org or call 1-800-822-6344.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thoughts from Some Students

Following is a poem written by the Zinn Advisory as we practiced using our personal voice. Please feel free to comment, but try to avoid criticism as the students were brave enough to say what they really felt and we've talked about the fact that poetry is rarely "wrong."

Some Things I Wish My Teachers Knew …
By the Zinn Advisory, Fall 2007


I don’t always understand.
Not all students think alike.
Instead of telling me what I know, I’d like you to show me sometimes.
It hurts me when you don’t teach me all the material.
Your class is not the only class I’m taking.
It is important to stay on task, or on the topic.
I try my hardest.
I am exhausted.
I realize that you work hard, too.

I have more than one priority.
Grades might determine my future.
It’s annoying when you set a double standard – we’re not allowed to chat, but then you do it.
You are the shapers of young minds.
I have to hold back my criticism out of respect for you.
Sometimes I just want to be left alone.

Words cannot explain how you have changed my life.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feedback on Student Led Conferences

Although we couldn’t include everything that we read (thank you to everyone who gave us feedback and took the time to share your thoughts with us), we want to share with you some of the ideas we learned through reading the feedback sheets. We are always looking to improve our process for Report Card night, and these comments and suggestions will help us make that happen. (Note: most comments were paraphrased for brevity)

Under, “What worked well for you tonight?”:
o It is reassuring to find that you are giving student the responsibility and opportunity to obtain a critical consciousness that is absolutely necessary …
o The opportunity for one-on-one conferencing with enough time to really talk about what is happening in school.
o No waiting on line, and that it was led by the child, not the teacher …
o The time of the meeting was based on when I could be here …
o I was able to ask questions and get them answered.
o Having the student speak for himself … Making decisions together for a plan of action.
o That students plan their own resolutions to problems.
o It feels more organized … and convenient (we did not have to wait).
o Being able to have a real conversation, not 3 minute chats.
o The time and purpose is suitable for everyone …
o It makes my child accountable for talking about his learning …
o I am able to see how my child feels about school and his work.
o The student understands, recognizes, and discusses her weaknesses and ways to improve.
o I heard the truth from my daughter … and got individual attention.
o It was great to hear the student’s point of view.
o I was pleased with the organization and the letter my daughter had to write.
o It helped me clarify my son’s progress and what he needs to do to improve.

Under, “What can we do to improve Student Led Conferences?”:
o Have a chance to meet more frequently, for struggling students.
o Advisor can give suggestions for how to help student influence their own grade.
o Giving the students more time and support to write letters and feel prepared.
o Provide some option to meet with teachers at some point as well.
o Encourage students to show evidence of improvements and digressions.
o Hold an evening session of regular parent-teacher conferences … or afternoon Student Led Conferences for those who can attend.
o Require that the conference include creating a plan of action for improvement.
o Ensure that students’ evidence folders are complete … and ask teachers to give input through the evidence folder (especially in struggling classes).
o Have the students be prepared with specific ways they will improve.
o Maybe show the Report Card before the folder.
o Make sure the student is prepared to lead the discussion, so the advisor doesn’t dominate the conversation.
o More time to get into the issues would be nice.
o Have a [grade-level] team report on the student included in the folder …
o Send a questionnaire to the parents before the evening to help them prepare …
o Let the kids see the report cards before they write their letter.
o Have the advisor have a break-down of how my child is doing in every class.

Things to Celebrate!

We have so many things to celebrate as the year comes to an end. Although I can't hope to list them all, here are a few things that have happened recently that we are very proud of:
•Twenty seven students no longer have to attend mandated after-school tutoring. Fourteen who did not have to attend last marking period, now have to attend. Many thanks to Elissa Garcia and Jennifer Lima for organizing the program, for helping students in need, and for supervising our college tutors.
•Twenty two junior students will be receiving waivers to take courses at CSI during the spring semester. They will take everything from chorus, photography, and sculpture to American government, business, political science, and physics.
•Freshman, sophomore and juniors will be enrolled in College Now courses in either Psychology or Sociology.
•Junior student Kasey Fausak will depart for Argentina on 12/25 and will then voyage to the Antartic with Students on Ice. Her trip is fully paid through a scholarship she won.
•The CSIHSIS Dragons Girls Basketball team has had two wins, with its most recent win being against Petrides in overtime. Congrats to the entire team for their outstanding teamwork, to Kaitlin Moriarity for scoring the winning basket in overtime, and to their coach, Ms. Zinn!
•The CSIHSIS Dragons Boys Basketball team recently defeated Bay Ridge Prep from Brooklyn. Congrats to the entire boy's team, to captain Shaun Quinto for his outstanding leadership and to their coach, Frank Benigno.
•Congrats to Parliament on getting our school involved in helping to fulfill the wishes of less fortunate children and their families during this holiday season and for starting a blog where anyone can make suggestions and ask questions of the student government.
•Congratulations to Darlene Akanmu, the talented winner of our Sophomore Poetry Slam!!!! Kudos to everyone who participated in this exciting event. Many thanks go out to Nancy Kaplan and Heather Prevosti for organizing the slam, and to our guest Poet, Lamont Dixon for sharing his enthusiasm and energy.

PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS, ADDITIONAL CELEBRATIONS, AND OTHER THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR AS WE HEAD INTO THE END OF 2007.

Monday, December 10, 2007

MS. GARCIA'S SECOND DONOR'S CHOOSE PROPOSAL FULFILLED

Just wanted to share some good news with our school community. Today I was notified that Ms. Garcia's second Donor's Choose proposal has been fulfilled. Thanks to Ms. Garcia taking time and initiative to write this proposal and thanks to the generosity of the donor's, all students in Ms. Garcia's Regents Level Spanish class will be provided with Regents Review Books as well as computer software for Regents Review. This is the sixth Donor's Choose proposal that our school has had fulfilled. Previously fulfilled proposals were for bookcases, independent reading books, knitting supplies, a CD player and CDs with music from other countries, and supplies to create our Day of the Dead altar and celebration.

Donor's Choose is a website that allows teachers at schools across the country to post proposals for projects and materials they need to enhance their students; learning experiences. Individuals can then donate any amount they choose to help fund the proposal. To learn more about the site visit
http://www.donorschoose.org

Share this site with friends and family so that we can continue to have proposals that enrich our students' educational experiences funded.

Read excerpts of the letter I received from Donor's Choose below:

Dear Head of School:

Your colleague, Mrs. Garcia recently earned support at DonorsChoose.org for "Review Books For N.Y.S. Regent Exam In Spanish":
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=97770

We are emailing some of the teachers at your school to help raise awareness of these resources' arrival. Our hope is that you can all work together to help ensure that these resources reach the intended classroom.

The following resource(s) will be purchased after then and delivered to Mrs. Garcia's attention:
- Barron's Regents Exams & Answers Spanish Level 3 Christopher Kendris (Editor), Maxim Newmark (Editor), quantity 25, $6.29 each
- Barrons Regents Power Pack Spanish Maria F. Nadel, Christopher Kendris, quantity 10, $20.69 each

Thank you for helping to ensure that the resource(s) finds its way to Mrs. Garcia's classroom!

Mrs. Garcia has committed to mail thank-you letters for this project by Feb 25, 2008. When donors receive such feedback, they are typically inspired to fund more student projects, so the sincerity and timeliness of Mrs. Garcia's thank-you letters are critical to getting resources into the hands of more students at your school.

Thank you for fostering an environment where teachers are motivated to seek extra resources for their students!

Sincerely,
The DonorsChoose.org Team

Monday, November 26, 2007

CSIHSIS STUDENT, KASEY FAUSAK WINS SCHOLARSHIP TO PARTICIPATE ON THE "STUDENTS ON ICE" EXPEDITION TO ANTARCTICA

PRESS RELEASE:

Students on Ice – International Polar YearAntarctica Expedition 2007

Launch Event at The Explorers Club


New York, NY – This December, five NYC high school students will be going to the bottom of the world on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica. New York philanthropist Mr. Harold Snyder is sponsoring the students to participate on the “Students on Ice” expedition in order to gain a better understanding and respect for the natural world, and witness first hand the impacts climate change is having on the Polar Regions.

Kasey Fausak (College of Staten Island High School of International Studies), Iraida Cabrera Marmolejos (Brooklyn), Felicia Vanacore (Queens), Victor Pagan (Bronx) and Yvette Alfaro (Manhattan) were selected for their excellent contribution to school and community involvement. These deserving students have been selected with the help of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Congressman José Serrano and Senator Chuck Schumer.

An official launch event will take place at The Explorers Club on November 29, 2007. Home to the world’s most celebrated explorers, the club is the perfect venue to host and welcome New York City’s “newest Polar explorers.” The five NYC students will be introduced and celebrated, and several presentations will be made about the expedition and its goals by Expedition Leader Geoff Green, Mr. Snyder and NYC dignitaries.

The Antarctic expedition is organized by adventurer Geoff Green, veteran of 66 Antarctic expeditions, and founder of the award-winning organization Students on Ice www.studentsonice.com. “2007 marked the start of The International Polar Year, an exciting scientific campaign focusing on the polar regions. The world’s attention is focused on the many dramatic changes happening globally as a result of climate change. There is no better time to lead an international group of students to the Poles,” says Geoff Green.

The New York participants will join 70 students, 24 scientists and educators from around the world. They will board the specially designed ice breaker M/V Ushuaia in Ushuaia, Argentina, and sail south to the Antarctic. The students will use inflatable zodiacs to visit extraordinary wildlife settings and international research stations. Hands-on research activities and seminars will include such subjects as marine biology, oceanography, history, and climate change.

The November 29, 2007 launch event will take place from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and will be attended by Mr. Harold Snyder, Mr. Geoff Green, dignitaries and members of the prestigious Explorers Club.

About The Explorers Club:

The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. Additional information can be obtained through the Explorers Club Web site at www.explorers.org

About Students on Ice and Geoff Green:

Students on Ice is an award-winning educational organization offering unique educational expeditions to Antarctic and the Arctic. Its mandate is to provide students from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the earth, and in doing so, help them foster a new understanding for the planet. The organization was recently awarded the Citation of Merit for outstanding feats of exploration and service by the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City. Students on Ice was the recipient of the Michael J. Smith Award for Science Promotion, and its founder, Mr. Geoff Green, was awarded a special Congressional Commendation for his work with Youth and the Environment. In 2005, he was selected as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Leaders Under 40.” Additional information can be obtained through the Students on Ice Web site at www.studentsonice.com

Please join me in congratulating Kasey. We look forward to hearing more about her trip as she will be communicating with us during her exciting voyage!


NANCY KAPLAN HONORED AS AN EDUCATOR OF EXCELLENCE BY THE NEW YORK STATE ENGLISH COUNCIL



After being nominated by Ms. Horowitz last year, on November 15, 2007 our very own Nancy Kaplan, a member of our inaugural team of teachers, was honored as an Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council (NYSEC). Every year NYSEC holds an event at its Annual Conference to honor the work and professionalism of English Language Arts educators. Award winners show a commitment to excellence, innovation, and creativity in teaching, mentoring, and learning.

Attending the awards ceremony with Ms. Kaplan , was our junior student, International Insider reporter Marco Muniz, who covered the story for our paper. Marco was also fortunate to hear the keynote speaker, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi. Following her address, Ms. Nafisi granted Marco an interview which will be featured in the next issue of The International Insider.

As the creator of our award winning newspaper, The International Insider, our 11th grade journalism class, our literary magazine Black and White Reflections, as well as being a champion of establishing educational opportunities for global collaboration for all of our students such as our International Teen Scrapbook and the Pearl World Youth News Project (an international online newspaper for students), Nancy Kaplan has inspired excellence and creativity in her students. She works tirelessly and with passion every day to help students improve their writing, to inculcate in them a love for literature and learning, and to help them to become open minded, ethical global citizens. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Nancy Kaplan on this honor.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sharing our Student's Work

Just want to share with you a poem written about our school by one of our sophomores, who was nice enough to share with me today as she was accompanying a student who is new to our school to his next class. Rosa writes,
SCHOOL
Too many kids for these tiny halls,
Graffiti in the bathroom stalls,
Cultural projects on the walls,
The different cultures all around,
Softball girls were the champions with an awesome pitcher on the mound,
Everyone buzzing about the latest fashion,
Students caring for their community with a passion,
And a staff full of excitement and compassion,
Bake sales with cookies and brownies,
Fun filled days with international festivities,
Class trips with follow-up activities,
Creative ideas to give money to charities,
Encouragement comes from the supporting and caring faculty.
The principal that runs this school
makes it excellent and she's really cool.
She helps students in danger and gets them to pass,
Don't let her see you in the hall or she will yell, "GET TO CLASS!"
We yell it out loud,
There's no shame in our game so we loudly proclaim
"WE ARE THE CSIHSIS DRAGONS!"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Attention Junior Parents!

Learn about what your child will be expected to do on their upcoming Regents Examination in English by sitting in on your child's Regents Presentations!

WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2007

WHERE: CSIHSIS (Room 215 B with Ms. Prevosti)

WHY:

On Tuesday, January 22, 2008 and Wednesday, January 23, 2008 your child will take the Regents Examination in English. This is a two day exam which s/he must pass in order to graduate. As part of a two month integrated review for the exam, students are researching and creating projects that explore the four parts of this two day test. This opportunity to spend time in with your child in his/her class will be informative and fun for all. Should you have any questions, please email Heather Prevosti at HPrevosti@schools.nyc.gov We hope to see you all there to share in our students' learning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"RALLY" & "Rock-N-Roll Jam" for St. Jude's Children's Hospital

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

Ms. Garcia's advisory is sponsoring a school wide letter writing campaign called RALLY to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Students from Ms. Garcia's advisory will be going into all advisories to educate their peers about the mission of St. Jude's. Then, the letter writing event will take place in all advisories on Thursday, December 20, 2007. We would also love to have parents involved in this campaign.

St. Jude's is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility anywhere. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. At St. Jude's no one pays for treatment beyond what is covered by insurance, and those without insurance are never asked to pay.

Mark your calendars! The Garcia Advisory is also proud to sponsor a concert, "Rock-n-Roll Jam" that will take place on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 8:00 PM in the Concert Hall in Building 1P on the campus of College of Staten Island. Proceeds from this event will be donated to St. Judes and to our school's scholarship funds. Tickets are just $10 and will be on sale shortly. Bring your friends and family to a great performance and help the Garcia's raise money for St. Jude's.

If you are interested in learning how you can help, post here and we will respond or contact Ms. Garcia and one of her students will get back to you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

OPEN HOUSE DRAWS FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE!

It is hard to believe that last night, in this small building, close to five hundred people attended our Open House for prospective students and that everything went smoothly. In fact, parents were so impressed by the way our students ran the evening from directing traffic, to their ability to articulately respond to questions and talk about the work we do, and to express how they feel about our school and why attending a small school has been beneficial to them that they were compelled to email me their feedback. They were equally impressed by our wonderful and involved parent partners who participated on the parent panels to offer the parents' perspective on the school. As I walked from room to room last night to meet prospective parents and students, I was extremely proud of each of you who participated. I heard phrases like,
"We are like a family here." "When my second child was accepted I felt like I had won the lottery a second time." "Advisory helped me adjust to high school and it is a place where I can share my feelings." "I can trust my advisor." "Our graduate profile talks about who we will be when we graduate and our yearly portfolio projects help us reflect on that and on our learning." "Through the International Insider we blog with students in other countries so that we can learn about their perspectives on different issues." "We respect one another." "We have a lot of freedom and our teachers trust us."

As I listened to our freshman, sophomore and junior students as well as to our parents and teachers I could not help but think about how much I value this community that we have all helped to build with hard work, and tender love and care. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping to build and perpetuate our school community.

Many thanks to Ms. Jennifer Zinn, our wonderful Assistant Principal, and to Ms. Annette Lentini, our energetic Parent Coordinator, for empowering our students to plan this event. I would also like to thank Chris Liviccari and Chris Chieh, two teachers who every day go above and beyond the call of duty, for volunteering to be part of Open House. Your volunteerism is a great example for our students. Of course, we could not have had a successful Open House without our parents, Lisa McSherry (parent of Michael and Katie), Kelly Cevallos (parent of Rob Palumbo), Esther Mallozzi (parent of Jackie), Mrs. Yatco (parent of Haynes), Vivian Borzi (parent of Lisa), and Carlotta Levine (parent of Adam). You too are wonderful examples for your children and for all of our students. And of course our articulate, energetic, and enthusiastic student volunteers: Danielle Ianizzi, Katie McSherry, Breanna Pizzolo, Steven Cecere, Elizabeth Cecere, Paulina Plata, Martin Sanchez, Alyssa Ditre, Dylan Luke, Alessandra Asperti, Emma Starace, Priscilla Torres, Marisch Perera, Vincent Arcello, Haynes Yatco, Adam Levine, Marissa Mule, Dana Pistilli, Brianne Hannafey, Lisa Borzi, Aisha Musi, Carolina Jiminez, Isaiah Jenkins, Sarai Wanyoni, Michelle Naidoo, Rosa Carucci, Brianna Kohm, Samantha Goodman, Josephine Barone, Conor McGinn, Emily Marks, Samantha Furman, and Vanessa Kreytak, Daelina Lockhart, and Kasey Fausak. Thank you all for contributing to making our Open House a success. Stay tuned for Thursday, November 15 at 6:30!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dia de los Muertos


The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and the Mexican community living in the United States and Canada,

with variations of it also observed in other Latin American countries and other parts of the world. The Mexican celebration occurs on November 1 and November 2. At CSIHSIS,thanks to Ms. Garcia and the students in her Spanish classes, we celebrated Day of the Dead on November 2nd.


Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective of some other cultures, celebrants typically approach the Day of the Dead joyfully. Day of the Dead emphasizes celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased. Revelers of the Day of the Dead celebrate the continuation of life — believing not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life. Joined by faculty, staff, and their parents, CSIHSIS students celebrated Day of the Dead complete with an ofrendo they made honoring the lives of those who perished during the 9/11 attacks as well as their own ancestors. Each participant in the celebration also buried a bad habit! The fiesta was complete with a room that was beautifully decorated with traditional Day of the Dead decorations made by our students and traditional Mexican food including Day of the Dead bread, quesadillas, spicy chicken, guacamole and chips, Mexican guava and raspberry filled pastries, rice and beans, fried bananas, and more!!!! Students, teachers and parents enjoyed food, traditional Mexican music and dancing.
We would like to thank all of the parents who helped make this fiesta complete by bringing in food and by coming in to participate with their children in this celebration. Your participation illustrates the strong partnership that exists between parents, staff and students who are members of our CSIHSIS community.

I would also like to thank Elissa Garcia (and her mom) for immersing our students in this cultural experience while making it relevant to their own lives! I know that through this experience our students not only learned Spanish language, but learned about and experienced Mexican culture while being able to express their feelings about loved ones they have lost! Thanks again Ms. Garcia for a meaningful learning experience and a great celebration!!!!!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

RANKING SENIORS - THAT IS THE QUESTION!

For those of you who have been reading our blog, there has been some previous discussion by parents and students regarding ranking of students in their senior year. Ranking lets students and colleges know how they are performing in relation to the rest of their class. This is done by giving each student a number based on the grades they achieved during their high school career. This number can then be converted into a percentage so that colleges can be informed of how each student did in relation to the rest of the students in their grade. We are in the process of deciding whether or not to rank seniors. So ranking seniors - that is the question! What do you think? Tell us why or why not!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HOT OFF THE PRESSES - INTERNATIONAL INSIDER

Congratutlations to the staff of the International Insider on the release of your first issue this year. Thanks to both our journalism class and our journalism club, our paper has grown to 16 pages, featuring a two page spread about our students' summer travel adventures to Asia, Turkey, Mexico, Ireland and more. We are also fortunate to have articles from our international student reporters in Lebanon, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, India and Belarus as well as Heather Vale's interview of a Tahani, a student in Syria. An interesting center spread about our new staff members and articles about our move to Marsh, the new start time for school, graffiti and other school issues make for interesting reading as well. Be informed - read the International Insider!

I would also like to thank Ms. Nancy Kaplan, faculty advisor to the International Insider, for her dedication and devotion to our paper and for continuing to ensure its excellence.

Share your feedback!

If you are interested in writing for the paper, learning how to do layout, or working on advertising the Journalism Club meets on Thursdays after school in room 103! Check it out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I am really excited to see you all tomorrow in your costumes and hope that we can have fun while learning and participating in what has become an American tradition. We are hoping that dressing in fun, yet safe and appropriate costumes will also become part of a tradition at our school that you all have helped to establish.

The staff want you all to know that we greatly value student voice and are giving you the opportunity to demonstrate how listening to your voices can help to create a positive and fun environment for learning .

Just so everyone remembers:
  • All costumes must comply with the school and the Chancellor's dress code!
  • Absolutely no weapons!
  • No costume that is offensive to a person's race, religion, gender or ethnicity!
  • No costume that will prevent you from participating in learning activities in your classes!
  • No very big accessories on costumes that can pose a danger to you or others or can get in the way of other students in classes, such as large angel wings!
  • No profanity!

Again, I have heard pleas for the last two years about being able to wear costumes on Halloween. This year, Ms. Zinn and I were presented with an impassioned letter from students that detailed a plan for Halloween, including the guidelines listed above. The faculty has decided that because we were presented with a well written plan, more than one day before Halloween, that we would allow costumes this year as a trial. Please make sure that if you choose to wear a costume, it complies with the guidelines. That will enable us to establish a Halloween tradition at our school! Can't wait to see all of your costumes!

Be safe! Share your thoughts about the day!

Watch for the first edition of The International Insider!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

CSIHSIS Hosts First Annual Junior College Breakfast

Thanks to the work of our Guidance Counselor, Ms. Marie Mammaro, this morning we hosted our first annual college breakfast. Junior students and their parents were invited. Those who attended received the "hot off the presses" CSIHSIS College Handbook as well as other valuable information about the differences between SATs and ACTs, the SAT Subject Tests, and a host of websites to help begin the college search and application process. Students and their parents also learned how to access and use the College Board website to do a college search. Allan Katz also gave a wonderful and informative presentation about financial aid requirements, the different types of aid available, how to obtain the forms that need to be filed, the differences between public and private universities and financial aid, and information about how to locate scholarships. Students and their parents then visited the Big Apple College Fair in the CSI Gym.

For those of you who did not attend, we missed you! For those of you who took advantage of this opportunity, we would love to have your feedback about this event. Please tell us what worked well and what we can do better to improve upon this event for next year!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CSIHSIS Gets a New Home!

Today I was pleased to inform our students and staff about the new state of the art school building that we will make our permanent home. We will occupy our new home, located on Marsh and Essex, in September 2008. Our new building will provide use with a theater that can accommodate our entire school, gymnasium facilities complete with boys and girls locker rooms, a library media center, hallway lockers, science laboratories and prep rooms, outdoor soccer and football fields as well as a basketball court, a guidance suite, a music area, wireless internet and more.

Additionally, we are working with College of Staten Island to enhance our partnership to provide our students with new and greater learning opportunities. Both the College and the Department of Education have promised to support this effort by collaborating to provide us with a robust shuttle service that will operate between the College and our new school building. We are pleased to invite all CSIHSIS students and their families to learn more about our exciting new facility and how our partnership with the College will grow on Monday, October 22nd in the Williamson Theater in Building 1P at the College. I am pleased to be joined at that meeting by representatives from the Department of Education's Office of Portfolio Development as well as our partners Judy Conk from Asia Society and College of Staten Island President Tomas Morales. We are hopeful that you all will attend this meeting, learn more about how this facility will help us to provide your child with new and greater learning opportunities, and have your questions answered. Looking forward to seeing you on the 22nd and to hearing your thoughts before then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day!

Attention CSI!
Monday, October 15, 200y is Blog Action Day. Bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Major blogs have signed up to participate, including Lifehacker, Dumb Little Man, Lifehack.org, Get Rich Slowly, Web Worker Daily, GigaOm, The Simple Dollar, Zen Habits, Freelance Switch, LifeClever, Unclutterer, Pronet Advertising, Wise Bread and many more.

"For just one day, we'd like to unite as many of the millions of bloggers around the world and speak about one issue - the environment," said Collis Ta'eed, an Australian blogger from FreelanceSwitch.com, and a cofounder of Blog Action Day. "We want to display the potential and the power of the blogging community, which is a disparate community but one with an amazing size, breadth and diversity. By bringing everyone together for one day, we can see just how much can be achieved, and how much we can be heard."

So, CSI I invite you to do something good for the environment today; pick up some trash on the campus, turn out the lights when you leave a room, make sure you recycle, use a burlap bag for groceries instead of paper or plastic bags, walk instead of being driven, educate others about global warming, plant a tree, etc. Check our what others are doing! Check out some environmental charities. Organize a service learning project about the environment! Take action! Share your thoughts and what you have done to preserve our environment!



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Studies Link Sleep Deficits With Student Performance

According to a series of articles in this weeks New York Magazine, http://nymag.com/news/features/38951/ sleep-deprived students fare far worse academically and emotionally than students who get adequate sleep. MRI scans show that a lack of sleep inhibits the body's ability to refuel itself. Like our school, some districts have tried to encourage students to get more sleep by starting school later in the morning.

"According to surveys by the National Sleep Foundation, 90 percent of American parents think their child is getting enough sleep. The kids themselves say otherwise.
In those same surveys, 60 percent of high schoolers report extreme daytime sleepiness. In another study, a quarter admit their grades have dropped because of it. Over 25 percent fall asleep in class at least once a week.

The raw numbers more than back them up. Half of all adolescents get less than seven hours of sleep on weeknights. By the time they are seniors in high school, according to studies by the University of Kentucky, they average only slightly more than 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Only 5 percent of high-school seniors average eight hours. Sure, we remember being tired when we went to school. But not like today’s kids.

Using newly developed technological and statistical tools, sleep scientists have recently been able to isolate and measure the impact of this single lost hour. Because children’s brains are a work-in-progress until the age of 21, and because much of that work is done while a child is asleep, this lost hour appears to have an exponential impact on children that it simply doesn’t have on adults.

The surprise is how much sleep affects academic performance and emotional stability, as well as phenomena that we assumed to be entirely unrelated, such as the international obesity epidemic and the rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A few scientists theorize that sleep problems during formative years can cause permanent changes in a child’s brain structure: damage that one can’t sleep off like a hangover. It’s even possible that many of the hallmark characteristics of being a tweener and teen—moodiness, depression, and even binge eating—are actually symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.

A different mechanism causes children to be inattentive in class. Sleep loss debilitates our body’s ability to extract glucose from the bloodstream. Without this stream of basic energy, one part of the brain suffers more than the rest: the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for what’s called “executive function.” Among these executive functions are the orchestration of thoughts to fulfill a goal, the prediction of outcomes, and perceiving consequences of actions. So tired people have difficulty with impulse control, and their abstract goals like studying take a back seat to more entertaining diversions. A tired brain perseverates—it gets stuck on a wrong answer and can’t come up with a more creative solution, repeatedly returning to the same answer it already knows is erroneous.

Convinced by the mountain of studies, a handful of school districts around the nation are starting school later in the morning. The best known of these is in Edina, Minnesota, an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, where the high school start time was changed from 7:25 a.m. to 8:30. The results were startling. In the year preceding the time change, math and verbal SAT scores for the top 10 percent of Edina’s students averaged 1288. A year later, the top 10 percent averaged 1500, an increase that couldn’t be attributed to any other variable. “Truly flabbergasting,” said Brian O’Reilly, the College Board’s executive director for SAT Program Relations, on hearing the results.

Another trailblazing school district is Lexington, Kentucky’s, which also moved its start time an hour later. After the time change, teenage car accidents in Lexington were down 16 percent. The rest of the state showed a 9 percent rise."

This is just the latest of many articles to be published about the topic of children, teenagers, sleep and school performance, and how sleep deprivation adversely affects our children. Additionally, as I sat in on a brief portion of today's Psychology Club , College of Staten Island Professor Pat Brooks was having a discussion with our high school students about how increased sleep will help students perform better on their upcoming PSATs as well as in class and on other tests.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

End of First Marking Period-Your Thoughts?

As the first marking period of the new school year quickly comes to a close, we would love to hear your comments, thoughts, suggestions, feedback, etc. about your school experience thus far. This certainly includes feedback from students, parents and teachers. I would love to know what you think about the creativity of assignments, our new independent reading period, blogging in your classes, classes in general, advisory, clubs, homework, Thinkwave, our weekly Parent Coordinator email newsletter, etc. Although I have had the opportunity to hear from a few students in your advisories or because you came to speak with me, this is an opportunity to share with a larger audience.

Now that we are all settled into the school year, this is also a good time for reflection. As you reflect on these past few weeks, you should set some goals for the next marking period and for the rest of the year. Think about and reflect on what worked for you, what you will do differently; how you can ask for and get help if you need it; what you can do to better manage your time; and how you may be able to help others. Share those with us on the blog, share them with your friends, your colleagues, your parents--enlist your peers in helping you to achieve your goals.

Once again, share your thoughts!

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SEND OUR CHALLENGE TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Outrageous October

Hey CSI:

Many exciting events happening in October; this month all of you will be taking the PSATs; the sophomores will have a trip to Ring Homestead Camp in Middletown, New York; clubs will start; we will be selecting two students who are taking Spanish to go to Ecuador to help us set up a summer exchange program; we will have Principal for Day; renowned education professor Tom Sergiovanni will visit our school; our school will be visited by a team of international educators to see how we use technology to enhance instruction and global communication; boys soccer team tryouts and practice and girls and boys basketball team tryouts and practice will begin; on October 23rd, students who traveled to China this summer will present a Global Seminar about their trip and what they learned about China and Chinese culture; you will elect representatives for student parliament; on Saturday, October 20th we will have a breakfast and college information session for Juniors and their parents prior to attending the Big Apple College Fair; and our PTA is planning a trip to Great Adventure for Fright Fest!!!! Join us for these events! !! Be an active and involved member of our community! Provide us with feedback! Let us know what else you want!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KEY CLUB COMES TO CSIHSIS

CALLING ALL STUDENTS: Key Club, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, is a student led organization that teaches leadership through community service and service learning. Students will brainstorm, create and participate in community service projects as well as have opportunities for international exchange, college scholarships, summer volunteer experiences at Camp Kiwanis, and opportunities to attend leadership conventions. Key Club is the largest service organization in the world for high school students. Let us know if you are interested by responding to this post, sharing your community/service learning ideas. Come join Ms. Slaughter at the first meeting, MONDAY, OCTOBER 3RD IN ROOM 106!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

JUNIOR STUDY GROUPS FOR SAT II TESTS

Calling All JUNIORS! Our theme for this year is preparedness for your future. With that in mind, I know that many of you are already preparing for the PSATs and SATs by taking the Saturday Kaplan's Review Course at our school or working with other tutors outside of school. If you have not started to prepare, please go to Barnes and Noble and at least buy a review book and do some practice exams. It is important to have the stamina to complete the test, to be familiar with the format of the test and with the timing to be able to do your best.

In addition to SATs most top notch colleges and universities require at least two SAT II subject area tests. These are tests given in particular subject areas at various times during the year. SAT IIs are one hour long multiple choice tests that do require a considerable amount of studying. I know that some juniors are interested in forming study groups for the SAT II tests, which are very different from Regents Examinations and AP tests. These groups could meet at determined times before or after school or during lunch (based on what students decide) and we can arrange to have a teacher come to help sometimes. If you are interested in joining an SAT II study group, please let me know by posting a response with your name and the subject(s) you are interested in working on. (It would great to have students form a study group for US History as well as for MATH 1--possibly for Mandarin as well).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FRESHMAN FUN AT RING HOMESTEAD CAMP

As I write this entry I am reflecting back on the wonderful day of team and trust building, fun and adventure that the freshman, the freshman advisors and I experienced today at the Ring Homestead Camp. From the initial team building activities with hula hoops to trust falls and levitating and then to the ropes course, the day was truly a bonding experience. I can honestly say that you all gave me the courage and support to try two things (the trapeze jump and the tight rope) that I never would have dared if you weren't there. I can still hear your cheering, your support and your guiding comments to help me get to the top of that trapeze! I know from talking to many of you individually and then in the advisory debrief, that you also felt the same way; it is wonderful to feel so supported! So, I would love to hear your thoughts on the day; what did you like; how can we make the experience better; what did you learn about trust and about being a team member; did you meet new people from your grade; and do you think we should do this with next year's incoming freshman? I am really excited to hear your thoughts about the day! Please share, and of course, if you have pictures, you can use the tool bar to upload them to your post and share them with the community!

Friday, September 14, 2007

ARE WE PREPARING OUR STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE?

According to eSchool News Online, The Alliance for Excellent Education convened a panel on September 12, 2007 to discuss the disconnect that exists between the way high school teachers prepare their students for the future and how students actually achieve success. An emphasis on college readiness, panelists said, is needed to inform, assess, and improve high school teaching for the 21st-century. Read excerpts from the article below about the skills and competencies the experts believe high school students need to be prepared for college. Think about our Graduate Profile and instruction at CSIHSIS. Let us know what you think about how we helping our students be college ready! Where are we doing well? How can we improve?

Contents Copyright 2007 eSchool News. All rights reserved.

Read the article in its entirety!
Report: Schools aren't preparing kids for college
Better alignment is needed between high school and college standards, panelists say

By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News
September 13, 2007
Students are taught to believe that earning a high school diploma means they are prepared to enter college, and many policy makers and school leaders still believe that multiple-choice assessments are adequate measures of students' skills. But at a panel discussion convened by the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) on Sept. 12, researchers and education professionals said this is too often not the case.

"Recent studies have shown that the skills needed to succeed in college are similar to the skills needed for good-paying jobs," said Cyndie Schmeiser, president of the education division at ACT Inc., which administers the ACT college entrance exam.

Only 34 percent of students graduate from high school ready for college--and that number is smaller for minorities. Overall, it says, only 18 percent of high school freshmen graduate in four years, go on to college, and earn an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Also, one-third of those who make it to college must take remedial courses, costing the nation more than $1.4 billion every year at community colleges alone, according to the report.

The problem, panelists said, is that high school standards, assessments, and course requirements are not aligned with those of colleges. In a recent ACT poll, 65 percent of college professors said they do not believe high school standards prepare students for college.

In terms of assessments, multiple-choice tests rarely ask students to explain their reasoning or apply knowledge to new situations. "High schools are increasingly boxed in by assessments," said Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University's School of Education. "There's just a huge mess of expectations."

To help solve these problems, AEE and ACT have outlined definitions for college readiness. AEE defines it as "the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in entry-level college coursework without remediation." ACT's definition consists of four parts: habits of mind, key content knowledge, academic behaviors, and contextual skills.

"Habits of mind" refers to the skills that professors consistently identify as critical-thinking skills, such as analysis, interpretation, problem solving, and reasoning skills. Key content knowledge is the essential knowledge of each discipline that prepares students for advanced study, or study of the "big ideas" in each content area.

Academic behaviors include skills such as reading comprehension, time management, note-taking, and self-awareness of how one is thinking and learning. Contextual skills are skills needed to get into college, such as understanding the admissions process, placement testing, financial aid, and the expectations of college life.

To prepare students for success in college, panelists said, teachers must believe that all--and not just a few--students can succeed; make honors courses available as electives for all students; create rigorous work assignments using collaboration and problem-solving; teach reading comprehension and writing skills; and, most of all, motivate students to achieve.

Finally, teachers need helpful, longitudinal data and the skills to interpret this information as a tool to drive individual student instruction. "With a sustained focus on college readiness, we hope to inform, assess, and improve high school teaching for the 21st-century," said Ayers. "We're trying to fundamentally change the culture and beliefs of high schools across the country."

Kim McClung, an English teacher at Kent-Meridian High School in Washington state, said most teachers teach to the "lowest common denominator, but they need to expect the best from every single student."

But the panelists acknowledged that teachers must receive support to make this happen.

For example, teachers must be given more time to collaborate with colleagues and talk with individual students. They need time to "give feedback and ask for work revisions," Darling-Hammond explained.

Teachers also must receive ongoing professional development to know their subject at a college level and to update their knowledge regularly, in order to incorporate critical-thinking skills into the classroom. For instance, a chemistry teacher not only must know the principles of chemistry, but also should encourage reading and writing skills for comprehending text, as well as preparing a lab report and analyzing results.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

THERE IS NO POWER GREATER THAN A COMMUNITY DISCOVERING WHAT IT CARES ABOUT

I would like to share a poem that I shared with out students and staff that really speaks to me about our school community and the power that we have. This year as we work as community, with students, staff and parents to define our values, I would love for you all to reflect on this poem from Turning to One Another by Margaret Wheatley. Share your thoughts and think about the power you have as member of our community!

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about

Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking

Notice what you care about.

Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.

Talk to people you don’t know.

Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.

Expect to be surprised.

Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.

Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.

Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School Jitters/Excitement

Students, teachers, parents, and other staff, please share your thoughts about the first day of school. We would love to hear your reflections about the day, what you think abut your classes, what your thoughts about advisory are, and what you think about our new schedule.

I would like to thank the junior class for moving to 1P for their advisories today to so that we could have all advisories meet at the same time. I would also like to thank all of the students and staff who helped to make our opening ceremony a success! Many thanks to all of our student speakers! Ms. Fisher, you and your crew did an incredible job on short notice.

It was great seeing all of our juniors and sophomores and hearing about some of your summer adventures. It was also wonderful to finally meet our new freshman. In the coming days I look forward to meeting and getting to know each of you.

Looking forward to hearing from many you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A BIG Thank you!

On behalf of all of our staff I would personally like to thank all of the students who have been here to help us get ready for the start of school. You have moved furniture, stamped books, stuffed and stamped envelopes, helped teachers prepare their classrooms, cleaned the conference room, answered phones, stuffed folders, welcomed teachers who are new to our school, and most of all, made those of us that were here working with you smile and laugh. (Hide and seek was fun too!) Your energy and your enthusiasm are contagious! From the bottom our hearts thanks to Michela, Loretta, Tiffany, Melissa, Kaitlin, Conor, Anam, Alexandra, Vinny, Ann, Justin, Jessica, Steven, Rob, and Manny. We could not have gotten the school ready without you. Your giving spirit and your willingess to give to our school community is truly appreciated! Thank you all!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Exciting News-Save our History Grant Awarded to CSIHSIS

Hey Juniors-- this is for you! Get ready!

NATIONAL PARKS OF NEW YORK HARBOR EDUCATION CENTER RECEIVES
SAVE OUR HISTORY GRANT FROM The History Channel®

The History Channel Supports Preservation Initiative That Links NPNH Education Center with Statue of Liberty National Monument, Save Ellis Island, Inc., the College of Staten Island and CSI High School for International Studies

Staten Island, New York, August 25, 2007— The History Channel has awarded the National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center in Staten Island a $10,000 Save Our History grant. The Education Center will partner with Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, the College of Staten Island, and Save Ellis Island, Inc., for “Immigrant Reflections: From Ellis Island to Staten Island.” Through this project 100 high school students will compare and contrast the experiences of recent immigrants to Staten Island, New York, with their predecessors who immigrated via Ellis Island almost a century ago. Students will conduct oral history interviews of recent immigrants and research those from the days of Ellis Island. They will convert their knowledge of past and present immigration into short podcasts.

The National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center is one of 27 history organizations nationwide that received Save Our History community preservation grants. These grants fund innovative preservation projects designed to bring communities together, actively engage children in the preservation of their local history and communicate the importance of saving local history for future generations.

The History Channel, with the counsel of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), created the Save Our History Grant Program as an extension of the Save Our History philanthropic initiative and is committed to inspiring and motivating local communities to learn about and take an active role in the preservation of their past through projects involving artifacts, oral histories, sites, museums or landmarks that exist in their own neighborhoods.


Our project “Immigrant Reflections: From Ellis Island to Staten Island” will bring educators from the National Park Service, Save Ellis Island, Inc., and the College of Staten Island to our school. At the school, educators and other professionals will teach eleventh graders how to conduct oral histories and how to conduct research of primary sources in history. Media consultants will aid school educators in teaching students how to create podcasts and how to take digital and video photography.

Starting in the fall, students will locate immigrants living on Staten Island for interviews. The very act of conducting oral histories will raise student awareness of local heritage. Students will also visit Ellis Island to conduct research about earlier immigrants, who passed through Ellis Island before it closed as an immigration station in 1954. By the end of the 2007-08 school year, teams of students will create podcasts, which will be available to visitors of Ellis Island.

In addition to this project, The History Channel is also awarding Save Our History grants to historic organizations in Alaska, Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

“The History Channel receives stacks of applications for Save Our History grants,” said Dr. Libby O’Connell, SVP, Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, The History Channel. “The National Parks of New York Harbor Education Center demonstrated the creativity and commitment to preservation and education that we believe is fundamental to giving our past a bright future.”

Friday, August 24, 2007

Excited for the Start of School

I am excited to let you all know that we have hired a fabulous Parent Coordinator, Annette Lentini. Annette comes to us after having been the Parent Coordinator at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, where she implemented many successful programs to help students and to bring parents into the school building. She has many great ideas and also welcomes input from the PTA. To help keep you informed of school news and events, Annette will continue to send out a weekly newsletter via email. If we do not have your email address, please call the school and speak with Annette. Also, feel free to call her with your questions at any time.

As we get ready for classes to begin, there are many exciting things happening. Our Kaplan's PSAT and SAT Preparation Class will begin on Saturday, September 8th at our school. This class is to help juniors prepare for the college entrance examinations. Class size is limited to 25. We do still have a few spots available in our second class. If you are interested, please call the school.

We are planning a Poetry Slam for our sophomores. This will include a week-long poet in residence program. During this time sophomore students will have an opportunity to work with a professional, published poet to write poetry, have their poetry critiqued and participate in a poetry slam. Students will also enjoy our resident poet as he animatedly and passionately performs his original poetry. This program grew out of the very successful one day program that we had for last year's sophomores.

We have already planned a day long freshman orientation trip to the Ring Homestead Camp in Middletown, New York for Tuesday, September 18. While at Ring Homestead Camp, students will participate in team and community building activities. Part of the trip will involve students working together to complete a ropes course. On that day, buses will leave from school at 7:30 am and return at 6:00 pm. We expect all students to participate in this experiential learning activity as it is essential to building freshman community at College of Staten Island High School for International Studies as well as for helping students get to know their teachers and become contributing members to our school community.

We are thrilled to be able to include Japanese 1 in our language offerings to our freshman students and are equally as excited about incorporating a technology course into the junior curriculum.

We are also excited about the ways in which we have expanded our Advisory Program. This year, advisory will meet five days per week. Two of those days will be devoted to independent reading. Independent reading affords students opportunities to read what they enjoy, while building vocabulary and improving reading and writing skills. During this time students and teachers will be able to read books/magazines/newspapers of choice. Students will also be able to work on their independent reading assignments for their English classes during these two periods. Guidelines will be explained to students in advisory. Additionally, to help support all of our students, advisers will also be able to conference with each of their advisees so that they are more aware of academic progress as well as any issues or problems their advisees are having. We are hopeful that this will strengthen communications and the bond formed between students and their advisers and will ultimately lead to increased student achievement.

Things that are still in the works: a two week student exchange trip to Germany, a student exchange with Ecuador (for students studying Spanish), dual high school/college credit for students enrolled in Spanish 4, tuition waivers for students to take courses at College of Staten Island during Spring Semester, college visits and many exciting trips and other programs for all grade levels.

We are very excited about the start of school and look forward to seeing all of you on Tuesday, September 4th at 8:30 am. If you have additional ideas, suggestions or comments, please post them. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

STAY TUNED FOR CSIHSIS ON ABC

Just a reminder that the ABC news special about Asia Society will air on August 18th at 7:30 pm. This clip will feature our students and our school's language program. There's a preview at http://dig.abclocal.go.com/wabc/AS_07/index.html

If you look quickly, you can catch a glimpse of Ama and Jakub in the preview clip.

Remember to watch and let us know what you think about how our school is portrayed as well as what you learn about the importance of a global, world class education and the extent to which you think we are meeting the goal of providing our students with that education.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS MS. ZINN

As of August 27, 2007 Jennifer Zinn will officially be appointed Assistant Principal of College of Staten Island High School of International Studies. After our C30 committee, comprised of teachers, parents, students and a CSA union representative, interviewed applicants for the position, the Level 2 interviews took place and Ms. Zinn was selected to be our school's assistant principal.

Ms. Zinn was one of the founding faculty members of our school, is an extraordinary and dedicated instructional leader and teacher, and embodies the values of our school in her daily life. Having previously taught at the award winning International School of the Americas in San Antonio Texas and completed her supervisory training at Trinity University, she is well qualified to be our school's first assistant principal.

Please join me in congratulating Ms. Zinn on her new position!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

FULLY STAFFED

As of today, although we are still in need of a Parent Coordinator, I am happy to announce that we are fully staffed with teachers. Our newest addition, Ms. Ho-Ling Lo, is a Math teacher coming to us from The Fort Hamilton School, PS/IS 104. She holds a Master of Science in Math Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Asian American Studies. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi (National Honor Societies). Please join me in welcoming her to our school.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Teacher Grows Disillusioned

Regarding The New York Times article, A Teacher Grows Disillusioned, although principals do have the right to change a student's grade, principals need to communicate with teachers and first understand why the student failed the class. Of course, we want to give students every opportunity to demonstrate their learning and provide them with all the support they need so that they can be successful. However, students should not be permitted to simply "skip" school and then be provided opportunities to make up exams and missed work. This negates the importance of students attending school. It seems that an alternative would have been to have this student attend summer school, or to make up missed work and take a final exam, rather than simply retake the same final exam and earn a passing grade.

Read the article and let me know what you think!