Weekly Community Update: April 19, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

On Tuesday night, the National Honor Society (NHS) will welcome new members at the annual induction ceremony beginning at 7:00p.m. in the Nimitz Middle School auditorium. All new inductees are asked to arrive no later than 6:30p.m. After the hour-long ceremony, families are invited to celebrate with the students over cake and punch in the auditorium foyer.  NHS sponsors Bonnie Brawner and Stacy Brooks asked me to remind families that new member dues are $20 and may be submitted to either sponsor any day before Wednesday.  Congratulations to the new inductees and thank-you to Ms. Brawner and Mrs. Brooks for their leadership of NHS!

On Thursday, April 23, Julie Magadance, ISA senior counselor, departs for the Middle East to attend a counselor fly-in weekend at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.  Julie was one of seventeen college admission counselors in the United States offered this fully grant funded five-day trip to tour the campus, interact with students, and meet the President of the university. After an NYU Abu Dhabi college admission officer visited ISA three years ago, NYU Abu Dhabi has been eager to recruit our students. I look forward to learning more about the opportunities NYU Abu Dhabi has to offer when Julie returns to San Antonio early next week!

Looking ahead, the Witte Museum is hosting a Career Block Party on Wednesday, April 29th from 5:00-7:30pm as part of college week. The Career Block Party offers students the opportunity to network with a variety of career fields. ISA will be taking a spirit bus to and from the event. Interested students should see ISA Assistant Principal Paul Smith for a permission slip and complete this form.

Finally, if your son or daughter signed up for Summer PE Camp, please look for an email in early May with the camp schedule and details. We are hoping to visit several Texas State Parks again this year and are seeking volunteers as well. While Summer PE Camps is at capacity, we have a few seats remaining in oursummer health class scheduled June 8-11 & June 15-18 from 8:00am-4:00pm.

Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

Weekly Community Update: April 12, 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

After weeks of planning through advisory and the social studies elective Building Tomorrow: Global Youth Leadership, students are ready for ISA’s 2nd Annual Global Youth Service Day this Friday, April 17, 2015.  On Friday, every ISA advisory will perform service in the San Antonio area including visits to schools, parks, and non-profit organizations. The event, coined Globie Youth Service Day by the Class of 2018, was created last year as new tradition to celebrate our 20th anniversary.  We are happy to announce that all ISA students will receive a free 2015 ISA Global Youth Service Day t-shirt on Friday morning to wear during the event. The t-shirts, funded by the $2500 H-E-B award that I was surprised with as a finalist in their education awards, will help us celebrate and promote the event this year and beyond.  You can look forward to photos from Global Youth Service Day posted on our ISA webpage next week; in the meantime, you can see images on the ISA Twitter @ISA_globies and at #Globie2015GYSD.  Thank you to all the Global Youth Service Day student organizers and sponsor Josh Duelm. Best of luck to all students and their advisers!

After a fun day of service in our community, many ISA students will be up early the next morning. We have a large group of students attending a one-day Model United Nations simulation at Reagan High School or a world history AP Saturday preparation session at ISA.

Have a great week!

Best,

Kathy Bieser

 

Weekly Community Update: April 5, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Friday, April 10, is the first day of ISA English Mini-Courses, a longstanding ISA tradition. All ISA students selected a mini-course to attend from April 10-16 in lieu of their regular English class. The courses, taught by ISA faculty or ISA seniors working with a faculty mentor, allow students choice over the curriculum and the opportunity to learn with students from across grade-levels.  The course offerings vary from year to year as faculty and students design new curricula.  Here are just a few of the mini-courses being offered this year:

Conflict Poetry: Think poetry is just pretty words? Explore issues like war, racial discrimination, and more through poetry. See how poetry can influence people and find out what that metaphor really means!

When the Bow Hits the Rock–Art Rock: In 1973, Peter Gabriel and Genesis released a song in 7 parts, totaling 22 minutes in length.  Explore the factors that laid the foundation for such a strong departure from the pop music tradition and a stronger desire to ally with the classical music tradition.  From Stravinsky to TV on the Radio, come with me on a journey requiring attention spans of up to 33 minutes in a single sitting!  

The Power of Propaganda: We want you for this mini-course! Join the “bandwagon” as we analyze the power of propaganda and examine the various techniques that influence public opinion. Examining various forms of propaganda–from posters to political speeches–we will apply the techniques to create our own pieces of propaganda.

To end the week, ISA has several events on Saturday, April 11. Our newly selected Model United Nations San Antonio XX rising junior and senior  co-chairs have a morning training at ISA in the Sergiovanni Room from 8:00-11:00am to begin the nine-month process to prepare for next year’s simulation. The Freshman Team will also be at ISA from 9:00am-noon hosting a Saturday School for our freshmen. After the MUNSA training and Freshman Saturday School, students and their families are invited to the Sophomore Battle of the Bands fundraiser at Beto’s on Broadway beginning  at 10:30 a.m. and continuing through 2:30 p.m.  

Finally, a quick reminder about the ISA Amigos meeting on Thursday, April 9 from 5:30-6:30pm in the Sergiovanni Room. All parents are invited to attend!

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

Weekly Community Update: March 29, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear ISA Families, 

Sixty-five ISA astronomy club members, sponsor and physics teacher Nick Polito, several faculty members and I returned a few hours ago from a wonderful weekend in Leakey, Texas, where we participated in science activities by day and by night studied the dark sky of the Texas hill country. We wish to thank the parent chaperones and the ISA teachers who accompanied us and helped to make the trip possible!

The STAAR English end-of-course exam will be given this week to our freshmen on Monday, March 30 and to our sophomores on Wednesday, April 1.  Please help by making sure your son or daughter gets a good night’s sleep and eats breakfast, so all are ready to put forth best efforts each morning.   Our teachers have been working hard with students to prepare them well, and we know they will do their best!

These testing sessions will take up almost the entire day, with a lunch break mid-way through the exam. Testing regulations require us to collect all electronic devices (cell phones, iPods and other personal media devices) from students prior to testing. Students will not be able to use them during or after they finish testing in their testing room.  However, they do have access to a land line in the ISA office.

During testing, our number one priority is supporting the students who are testing.  Therefore, our ability to deliver items, check-out students, and process other paperwork is more limited than on a regular school day; please expect longer delays on Monday and Wednesday should you need assistance from an ISA faculty member or our support staff. While our freshmen and sophomores will be testing, our junior and senior students will follow the regular bell schedule, attend their normal elective and core ISA and Lee classes, and will not be dismissed early.

Our MUNSA sponsors asked me to announce that MUNSA XX Co-Chair Application for rising juniors and seniors  is now available and due no later than Wednesday, April 1 at 4:05. Students may see ISA teachers Cassie Allen or Melanie Anderson with questions.

Finally, be sure to vote for ISA in the  2015 Spurs Team-Up Challenge and help us win $20,000 to make our campus more green.  The ISA social studies elective class Global Youth Leadership has been working to create a garden as well as mentoring 2nd graders at  Jackson-Keller just down the street from ISA. You can vote here, and we welcome you to share the link on social media.

Have a great week!
Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

Weekly Community Update: March 29, 2-15

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Sixty-five ISA astronomy club members, sponsor and physics teacher Nick Polito, several faculty members and I returned a few hours ago from a wonderful weekend in Leakey, Texas, where we participated in science activities by day and by night studied the dark sky of the Texas hill country. We wish to thank the parent chaperones and the ISA teachers who accompanied us and helped to make the trip possible!

The STAAR English end-of-course exam will be given this week to our freshmen on Monday, March 30 and to our sophomores on Wednesday, April 1.  Please help by making sure your son or daughter gets a good night’s sleep and eats breakfast, so all are ready to put forth best efforts each morning.   Our teachers have been working hard with students to prepare them well, and we know they will do their best!

These testing sessions will take up almost the entire day, with a lunch break mid-way through the exam. Testing regulations require us to collect all electronic devices (cell phones, iPods and other personal media devices) from students prior to testing. Students will not be able to use them during or after they finish testing in their testing room.  However, they do have access to a landline in the ISA office.

During testing, our number one priority is supporting the students who are testing.  Therefore, our ability to deliver items, check-out students, and process other paperwork is more limited than on a regular school day; please expect longer delays on Monday and Wednesday should you need assistance from an ISA faculty member or our support staff. While our freshmen and sophomores will be testing, our junior and senior students will follow the regular bell schedule, attend their normal elective and core ISA and Lee classes, and will not be dismissed early.

Our MUNSA sponsors asked me to announce that MUNSA XX Co-Chair Application for rising juniors and seniors  is now available and due no later than Wednesday, April 1 at 4:05. Students may see ISA teachers Cassie Allen or Melanie Anderson with questions.

Finally, be sure to vote for ISA in the  2015 Spurs Team-Up Challenge and help us win $20,000 to make our campus more green.  The ISA social studies elective class Global Youth Leadership has been working to create a garden as well as mentoring 2nd graders at  Jackson-Keller just down the street from ISA. You can vote here, and we welcome you to share the link on social media.

Have a great week!
Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

Weekly Community Update: March 22 and 15, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, we will host our last Report Card Pick-Up Night of the year at ISA. Unlike other Report Card Pick-Up Nights, our freshman, sophomore, and senior students will be exhibiting work. The public exhibition of student work is one of the unique features of an ISA education. Not only do we encourage parents and families to view their own child’s work, but we invite you to visit and give feedback to students across the three grade levels. Our students benefit from diverse audiences and multiple eyes on their work.  Below is an overview of the afternoon and evening:

5:00-7:15 p.m.: Student Exhibitions of Work & Report Card Distribution

  • Freshmen: Make A Difference Fair  (MPR2, across from the cafeteria)
  • Sophomores: Advocacy Fair (Cafeteria)
  • Juniors: Parent Meeting @ 6 pm. No student exhibition (Sergiovanni Room)*
  • Seniors: SA2020 & DC Policy Recommendations  (1st Floor ISA Building)

*Please note: Junior students will not be exhibiting work, but the team will hold a parent meeting at 6 p.m. to share updates and distribute report cards.

Families may pick up report cards in the locations listed above and visit the student exhibitions any time between 5:00-7:15 pm. Each student will have an assigned shift at his/her exhibition site, along with time to visit exhibitions of other students and grade-levels.

Freshman, sophomore, and senior students will remain at school to set up their exhibitions ahead of the 5:00 p.m. start time. We will be providing a pizza snack for all freshmen, sophomores and seniors, and any juniors who remain on campus.

Several ISA senior parents on the project graduation committee will also be at Report Card Night recruiting parent chaperones for the June event and selling tickets for fifteen dollars. As a reminder, all ISA families are invited to go to California Pizza Kitchen on Thursday, March 26 and present this flyer (hard copy or image) as the restaurant will be donating 20% of all sales to ISA.

Finally, a large number of ISA students will be participating in this weekend’s Astronomy Club field trip to Leakey, Texas. We are hoping for clear skies and great star gazing. The camp does not have cell phone or wifi service, but look for photos from the weekend late on Sunday on our ISA Twitter: isa_globies.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Our ISA travelers to China returned late Friday night after spending 10 days exploring Beijing, Xian, and Jiamusi where they participated in a homestay with Chinese host families. With ISA partner schools now in China, South Korea, Germany, and Japan, we have created a two-year travel rotation to help interested students and their families plan.  We plan to rotate travel between China and South Korea each spring break, while rotating travel between Germany and Japan each summer. Following this pattern, ISA will be traveling to South Korea next year during spring break and to Japan during the summer of 2016.  Later this spring, we will hold an information meeting for these 2015-2016 trips.

Every year, all ISA students have the opportunity to interact and learn from our global partners when they visit the school, attend classes, and live with ISA families. Although we have hosted all of our foreign delegations for the 2014-2015 school year, we will begin preparing in late spring to host a group of German students set to visit ISA in early October. Please look for more information in the coming weeks about how to sign up to host a German student next October.

Before students left for spring break, several ISA students competed in two special events. First, our art students presented their work at the annual VASE art competition where thirteen students were honored as regional medalists, and two students qualified to continue on to the state competition. Second, ISA students won 6th place out of 36 teams in Academic WorldQuest competition, a team game testing high school students’ knowledge of international affairs.  Congratulations to all of these students, art teacher Cruz Ortiz, and WorldQuest sponsor Josh Duelm!

On Saturday, March 21, thirty ISA students will participate in a Model United Nations simulation at St. Mary’s Hall. Along with representing France, UK, Bolivia, Egypt, Burundi, Bangladesh, and Syria at the simulation, several of our upperclassmen will also be co-chairing at the event. Best of luck to all the delegates!

Saturday, March 21 is also the last opportunity for students to take the TSI at ISA to qualify for dual credit. Students may see Necol Harness, ISA counselor, to sign-up and for additional details.

Looking ahead, I want to remind families and students about our 3rd and final Report Card Pick-Up Night on Thursday, March 26.   The evening will include grade-level meetings and student exhibitions of work. Please look in next week’s message for event details.

Finally, ISA families have the opportunity to support ISA Project Graduation on Thursday March 26,  the same day as ISA Report Card Night. California Pizza Kitchen Restaurants, at both the Quarry and Huebner Oaks locations, are generously donating 20% of your check when you present a hard copy this flyer or phone image.  This offer is good all day on both take out and dine in orders. Since this offer is takes place on the same day as ISA Report Card Night, families may stop by for lunch, before picking up your child’s report card, or on the way home after Report Card Night.

 

Have a great week.

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

Weekly Community Update: March 1, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Last Wednesday, more than fifty ISA freshmen through seniors attended a special evening performance of the Merchant of Venice at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio after spending several weeks studying the play in the ISA elective Shakespeare course. Thank you to the parents who volunteered to chaperone and to ISA English electives teacher Rick Flieger for organizing the field trip for our students.

There are a few important deadlines approaching this week or the week following spring break. First, all registration forms  for Dual Credit are due to Mrs. Necol Harness no later than Wednesday, March 4. The forms are linked here for your convenience and available in the ISA counseling office: Dual Credit Check List and Parent Consent Form.  Second, registration for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, available through the NEISD Parent & Student Portal, end at 2:30pm on March 20; however, we encourage students to register before they leave for spring break. Third, PALS applications are due Wednesday, March 18.

Early on Wednesday, March 4 nineteen ISA students along with social studies teacher Luke Freeman, math teacher Stacy Brooks, and Chinese teacher James Ku will depart for Beijing, Xian, and Jiamusi, China for cultural visits and a homestay at our partner school. We wish them, and all within the ISA community who may be traveling over spring break, safe travels. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday, March 16.

Look for my next message on Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

Weekly Community Update: February 15

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Tomorrow, Monday, February 16, is a student holiday for all NEISD high students and a  professional development day for faculty.  The ISA faculty will spend the day continuing a book study about assessment and grading, learning advanced features of our new SMARTBoards, exploring possible benefits of Google Classroom at ISA and preparing for Freshman Orientation (Class of 2019) & Choice Slip Night at 6:00p.m. in the Lee Campus cafeteria.

Our new freshmen, along with our rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to participate in Summer PE Camp 2015, and registration is now open. Students are asked to complete the registration, linked above and posted in the ISA Bulletin, by Friday, March 6.  Space is limited for this very popular summer program, so we encourage students to register as soon as possible and to drop off payment in the ISA office to guarantee themselves a seat.

Necol Harness and Julie Magadance, ISA counselors, asked me to share that registration for Advanced Placement (AP) exams will open on Monday, February 16 for ISA sophomore, junior, and senior students who will be taking AP exams in early May.  In order to take an AP exam, students must register through the NEISD Parent & Student Portal. Although the actual cost of an AP exam is $89, students attending an NEISD school will pay only $20 per test because of district support.  Additionally, if a student qualifies for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, the fee is lowered to $10 per test.  The online registration runs through 2:30 on March 20, 2015.  However, we highly recommend and ask students to register before they leave for spring break on Friday, March 6, because once the deadline passes, we will be unable to add additional students.  The on-line registration accepts Visa and MasterCard; students may also bring cash, a money order, or a cashier’s check to the ISA counseling office to register.  If you have any questions, you may email Necol Harness at nharne@neisd.net. The complete AP testing schedule can be found HERE and on the ISA Calendar.

Finally, this Saturday, the Sophomore Team will hold a Saturday School from 9 a.m. to noon for students who are asked to attend by one or more of their teachers.

Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

 

 

Weekly Community Update: February 9

Sunday, February 9, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

We welcomed our senior class home from Washington, D.C. late Friday night after a busy week of learning and exploring. You can look forward to photos from the trip posted on our ISA webpage later this week and, in the meantime, you can see images on the ISA Twitter @ISA_globies.

As our seniors continue working on their trip project ahead of a March exhibition, our junior students are ready to present learning from their travel to Alabama and subsequent research. All ISA families and students are invited to attend the Junior Class Social Injustice Presentations from 6:00-8:00pm on Thursday, February 12.  The presentations will take place at ISA, and a complete schedule will be posted on our home page later this week. Good luck to all of our juniors!

The sophomore board asked me to announce two donation projects they are sponsoring this month. The first, Jeans for Teens, is an effort to collect gently used jeans for local charities and shelters. Jeans may be dropped off in Ashley Taplin’s room through the end of the day Friday, February 13. The second project, benefitting students at Krueger Middle School, is seeking gently worn dresses, slacks, dress shirts, ties, belts, and dress shoes. These items will be accepted through March 13, again in Ashley Taplin’s classroom. Thank you to the sophomore board for tackling these two projects.

Students are still able to sign-up for dual credit classes next year.  However, the deadline to complete the online registration at ApplyTexas, one of the first steps in the process, is this Friday, February 13.

Looking ahead, next Monday, February 16 is a student holiday. The ISA faculty will use the time for professional development and prepare to welcome our 120 new students that same evening at the Freshman Orientation & Choice Slip Night at 6:00pm in the Lee Campus cafeteria.  The new freshmen, the Class of 2019, will meet the ISA faculty, learn about the work of the ISA Amigos, complete course selection cards,  hear about the travel experience to Heifer International, and have the opportunity to sign up for Summer PE Camp.  We congratulate and welcome all of the new students and their families, who were drawn from 300 applications.

In the event you have friends whose students were not drawn in the lottery, the wait list will be available Monday, March 2.  Families will be able to call to find out their position on the wait list beginning that day.

Have a wonderful week.

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

 

Weekly Community Update: February 1, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear ISA Families,

Our senior students are likely busy today packing their bags ahead of tomorrow’s early morning departure to Washington D.C.  By Monday afternoon, after checking into their hotel, the seniors will likely be exploring nearby monuments on the Washington mall, possibly playing in some light snow forecasted for the area, or taking the subway to their      first embassy visit.  We wish our seniors, their teachers, and all of our parent chaperones a wonderful week of learning in our nation’s capital!

This week, we celebrate our two ISA counselors Necol Harness and Julie Magadance in honor of National School Counseling Week for their unique contributions and dedication to our school. Mrs. Magadance will spend the week traveling with our seniors, who she has been coaching through the college application process, while Mrs. Harness will be in the DIM classroom helping freshmen begin course selection for next year. On behalf of the ISA community, we send our thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Harness and Mrs. Magadance for the compassion and expertise that they contribute to ISA.

Along with working with freshmen on course selections this week, Mrs. Harness will host ApplyTexas sessions in the Peer Tutoring Center during 5th lunch every day this week.  Students must complete the ApplyTexas application before they can enroll a dual credit class for the 15-16 school year. The ApplyTexas application is just one of several steps necessary for enrollment, which are outlined in this Dual Credit Overview. We encourage students and/or parents to reach out to Mrs. Harness at nharne@neisd.net with any questions.

I also want to highlight a special North East ISD Facility Needs Survey designed to collect information from the community related to infrastructure, safety enhancements, and facility improvements. The survey remains open until Friday, February 6, and we encourage ISA families to share your feedback. You may read more about the survey HERE.

Looking ahead, the Junior Team would like to invite all members of the ISA community to the Junior Class Annual Social Injustice Presentations on Thursday, February 12th, 2015, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The presentations will be held in the ISA first floor hallway and are the culmination of a semester of research into the history and current status of various injustices present in our society.

Finally, a reminder that the 15-16 Freshman Application is due Wednesday, February, 4th.

Have a great week and safe travels to our seniors!

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

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