Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Celebrate Our Students Attendance!

We are proud to share our attendance data with our school community. As of today, 34 students have perfect attendance! That is approximately 12% of our student body. 115 students have attendance at 95% or better and 76 students have attendance of 90% or better. We are very proud of these 215 students.

Additionally, three advisories have 100% of their students having attendance of at least 90%. Congratulations to Ms. Burgos' advisory, to Ms. Lentini's advisory and to Ms. Francis' advisory. Keep on coming to school!

Monday, February 25, 2008


PTA Fashion Show/ Fundraiser

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The Vanderbilt at South Beach, Staten Island, NY

7:00 to 11:00

The PTA fashion show committee is currently in need of donations to support our raffles and gift baskets for auction at the show. Please send any of the following in to school, addressed to the PTA Fashion Show:

Baskets/decorative box type containers - empty or already made

Gift certificates

New items that can be used to make baskets

Monetary donations

The Fashion Show is our main source of fund raising income, and the money raised goes directly to benefit the students of CSIHSIS. The support of our parents is the key to our success, so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. If you are a business owner or know of a business that would donate, we have a letter on school letterhead that can be sent to the business. For more information, contact Jackie Mc Clean at 718-983-6535, or Anne Matrone at 718-698-3322.

More information about tickets and models to follow…….Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

SLT Reaches Consensus on Ranking Issue

At our last School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting, which includes students, parents, teachers, administrators and representatives of our partner organizations (Asia Society and College of Staten Island), the team heard the voices of each constituency regarding the issue of publicly ranking our senior students and indicating each student's rank on his/her transcript. To ensure that we had an accurate assessment of each constituency's opinion on the matter, prior to the meeting many team members spoke with members of the group they represent to become more informed about their opinions on ranking. In fact, junior student SLT members Ama and Elizabeth visited to junior advisories to discuss the issue with their class mates; our soon to be first seniors! Additionally, the entire team reviewed previous blog posts by students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Although the SLT does realize that public ranking may benefit a few students, the consensus was that those benefits are greatly outweighed by the risks this creates for our entire school community. Since we are such a small school, with an even smaller graduating class, very few students would be in the top 10% of the graduating class. Also, with this information being public, many of our students who work very hard every day to do their best, but who still might not be in the top of the class, will feel like their hard work has not paid off. Further, we have worked very hard to create a learning environment and a school community that is nurturing and supportive. The SLT strongly felt that public ranking would undermine that culture and create competition between our students and has thus decided that we will not publicly rank students.

However, the SLT does realize that certain colleges and universities do ask about student's standing in relation to their class (although most colleges rank applicants on their own scale). As such, on senior transcripts that are sent to colleges we will note that if the school is interested in knowing a student's rank, they can contact our school and we will share that information with them. All members of SLT felt that this policy does not discriminate against students who are applying to schools that want to be informed of their relative ranking, yet does not undermine the culture of community, caring, support and nurturing we have worked so hard to establish at College of Staten Island High School of International Studies.

Monday, February 18, 2008

CSIHSIS Travels the World!


It is February break and while most high school students are home sleeping late, playing video games, and relaxing, 54 CSIHSIS students, seven teachers, and four parents are deepening their knowledge of the world and their appreciation of diverse cultures through travel.

Our first group of students have safely arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica where they are experiencing life in the rain forest. Students participating in this program will be involved in a cultural immersion program while performing community service. Students are experiencing the rain forest climate and will meet, interact with and get to know Costa Rican children.

Following in the tradition of our first group of students who I was fortunate enough to experience Italy with last February, in conjunction with EF Tours, our second group of world travelers are touring England, France and Spain From the historic Tower of London to the Eiffel Tower, to the wonders of Madrid, our students will experience three cultures, see historic sites that they have studied, and gain an appreciation for how life in European cultures is similar to and different from our life in the United States.

Finally, we have started what I hope is a new CSIHSIS tradition - cultural exchange programs. Although we did previously have a one way exchange during which students from Bahrain visited our school and did home stays with our students, our exchange program to Germany is our first two way exchange that will allow our students to both live with and host students from Germany. Right now and for the next two weeks, our students are living with their host families in Berlin while attending the John Lennon School. Students will visit and tour the Bundestag (Germany's Parliament), Checkpoint Charlie, Sachsenhausen (a former concentration camp), and a variety of museums. Students will also tour Potsdam and see a performance of the Symphonic Orchestra Berlin. While in Germany, students will also spend weekends with their host families and experience life in Germany as a teenager living with a family. We know this will be a remarkable experience for our students and they will be waiting impatiently for their German counterparts to visit us early next year. See our students in Germany and read about their experience-- log onto http://www.berlinexchange2008.blogspot.com/


In the Spring, we will host thirty students from France as part of another two way exchange. Our students will then visit France during February of next year.

We are also working with College of Staten Island to establish a two week Summer Program that involves a language and cultural immersion in Ecuador. We are hoping to have our students involved in organizing this program.


Read on to hear more about our students experiences!

CSIHSIS Students Awarded Travel & Study Scholarships


Junior student, Michela was recently awarded a scholarship to participate in the Art Directors Club Gallery Henry Wolf Summer Photography Workshop. This program gives 25 students from all over New York City the opportunity to learn from top New York City Photographers. Participants learn about careers in photography, get to know and work with a different top photographer each day, and produce a variety of photographic pieces that they can include in their portfolios.

Each day of the workshop begins with a photographer discussing his or her career, education, and other experiences. He or she shows samples of their work and engages students in a conversation and a question/answer session. Then, the project for the day is introduced. Students spend the rest of the day shooting, editing and printing the project. The workshop culminates with an exhibition of student work!


This summer along with students from each each of the ISSN schools, junior student Ama will travel to China. During her stay, Ama will expereince Chinese culture first hand as she tours different cities in China, lives with a host family, does community service, and of course practices and enhances her Chinese language skills while getting to know students from our sister school all over the country. Global Lives, Global Futures helps promotes and facilitates cross-cultural tolerance, understanding and appreciation through experiential learning.

Ama is the fourth junior and the fifth student at CSIHSIS to receive a travel-study scholarship to China. We look forward to her coming back and sharing her experiences with the entire CSIHSIS community at a Global Seminar early next year!


During March, to deepen her knowledge of Spanish and to delve into and experience Spanish culture, one of our freshman will participate in a week-long exchange program in Spain. While in Spain, she will live with a host family, attend school with her host sister, get to experience family life in Spain and tour as well. We look forward to the April Global Seminar in which she will share photographs and insights from her experience!

If you have had the opportunity to travel, please share your experiences with us. If you know of other opportunities available to our students, please share with us as well. We look forward to each of you joining us at our next Global Seminar, when some of our students who have traveled internationally over the February break will be presenting.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Concert & Letter Writing Campaign Raise Over $7,000.00 for St. Jude

Congratulations CSIHSIS! You have made a difference in the lives of children who are suffering with cancer. Thanks to the Garcia advisory our school wide letter writing campaign and the Rock-N-Roll Jam featuring NO STANDARDS has already raised more than $7,000.00 for this very worthwhile cause.

Planning for these events began way back in September when the Garcia advisory decided that as part of their community service they wanted to help people with cancer. Their desire inspired them to contribute their time to these two important fund raising events and to educate the CSIHSIS community about the mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

To help make these events a reality students have been involved in selling tickets, posting flyers, getting raffle prizes donated, writing letters, preparing the program, and writing speeches.

All of us at CSIHSIS would especially like to thank NO STANDARDS, a band made up of three young men who donated their performance at the February 1, 2008 concert with the hope of FINDING A CURE! Steven Di Salvo, Chris DiSalvo, and Chris Stark entertained us all with great music that people from every age group enjoyed. NO STANDARDS dedicated their performance to the memory of their mother, Joanne DiSalvo, who they recently lost to cancer, but who continues to be an inspiration to them.

To the Garcia advisory: Alex, Sam, Andrea, Rob, Rosa, Laurel, Anthony, Harold. Ric, Cory, Tremika, Brianne, Jisup, Wingsum, Allison and Jazmin -- you did an amazing job! It was wonderful to see your advisory come together and unite around a cause. Once again, I am reminded that you all can do anything you set your minds to. You are powerful individually and even more powerful when you work as team! Thanks to Ms. Garcia for helping get you to that point and for inspiring you to get connected to a great cause! You guys ROCK!!!!