AN IB WORLD SCHOOL

Academic News

SGS seniors have used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore two timely topics of particular interest to them -- the SGS Food Drive and National Elections.

EE Highlight:   In the time of our election, we thought we would highlight a research question that was at the center of an election… in India.  Senior Chaitanya Nalluri wrote his extended essay topic on Hindu Nationalism.  His research question is: How has the election of Narendra Modi caused a surge in Hindu nationalism and how has this affected religious minorities in India?  We can’t wait to read this Extended Essay once it’s complete!  (The school makes all EEs available for everyone to read.  These live in our library, so please talk to Sara Smith or Elizabeth Tender if you want to read any EEs written by our full diploma students from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.)  

CAS Project Highlight: Senior Dana Mogensen and junior Beth Swartzwelder are running the annual 2nd Harvest food drive this year from November 2-20.  Grades 6-12 each have their own donation boxes with a competition between grades.  The Lower School will be collecting as one unit with bins inside ESAC.  Dana and Beth will be down at ESAC on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to meet parents and grab any donations from them.  These food donations go directly to local families that are unable to afford food.  In Spokane alone, 1 in 8 people, including 1 in 5 children, are food insecure.  “Saint George’s food drive is the biggest donation that 2nd Harvest gets from any organization,” according to Dana and Beth.  Families choosing to social distance can donate directly to 2nd Harvest at: https://2-harvest.org.  Every $1 donated equals 5 meals. 

IB Question of the Week:   What are IB subject briefs?  IB provides short, two-page summaries of many of their most popular subjects including an overview of the topics, a teaching hours distribution and a sample assessment question or two.  While not intended to provide a complete picture of the course, they do give some insight to the teaching philosophy and structure of both SL and HL versions of the course.  Complete subject guides for actual teaching of every course are available to authorized and candidate IB schools.  There are also many other resources available to IB Diploma course teachers; both online and in training sessions.  Here is a link to a page with the available Subject Briefs.

Got a question about the IB?  Send it to Elizabeth Tender and she'll answer it in a future IB Highlights.

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

This is fall conference week, so the schedule for the rest of this week is Tuesday (A), Wednesday (E), Thursday (NO School K-8 and 8 periods for 9-12), and then no school K-12 on Friday, Nov. 6.  Student conferences for grades K-8 are Thursday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 6 and will be held on Microsoft Teams.  Grades 9-12 will have distance learning classes on Thursday, Nov. 5 and their own conferences on Friday, Nov. 6 (also on MS Teams).  Advisors should have emailed invitations to their TEAMS conference, so if parents haven’t received one yet, they should contact melanie.gee@sgs.org or michelle.bledsoe@sgs.org.

The 10th graders spent time in the Chemistry Lab using Bunsen burners to burn toothpicks that had soaked in chemical solutions.  See a Photo Gallery of the students burning a lot of toothpicks and recording what color flames were associated with different chemicals.

The 8th graders were measuring the speed and acceleration of gravity by dropping tennis balls in the Upper School courtyard.  See a Photo Gallery of Shane Kangas' Math class measuring the distance and speed of the balls, then doing their calculations.

Most of the freshmen and sophomores returned to in-person classes on Oct. 22-23.  From Spanish and Chemistry to Government and Advanced Geometry, it was good to have their energy back in their Upper School classrooms.  See photo galleries of the 9th Graders in different classes and the 10th Graders in some of their classrooms.

Most of the juniors and seniors returned to in-person classes on Oct. 20-21.  From English Literature and Chinese to Math Analysis and Physics, they added some welcome activity to their Upper School classrooms.  See photo galleries of the 11th Graders in various classes, the 12th Graders in their classes, and a IB Spanish Class Video of them moving along with a Spanish Zumba video during an exercise break!

Three SGS seniors have used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore topics of particular interest to them -- an online literary magazine and the effects of US health policy on South Africa.

CAS Project Highlight:  Paul Darnall and Chaitanya Nalluri are working together on their CAS project of producing the SGS Literary Magazine.  "The Literary Magazine is a production created by Paul and I in order to bring various forms of literary writing to the school," says Chaitanya.  "The magazine will feature works of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Within these categories, the writers will get some flexibility to write funny, serious, relevant, and other types of articles.  There will also be illustrations.  The magazine will be primarily web-based, but we may end up printing it out and distributing it around the school.  We aim to get an issue out by the end of the semester.  We have a solid group of writers right now, but anyone is welcome to join." 

CAS Experiences Highlights:  CAS experiences for all Upper School students (in the US and China) this week included splitting wood, painting Nike shoes, Everlasting Envelopes letter making, Little Spokane River float, school workouts, biking excursions, hiking excursions, learning to hip hop dance, and taking a puppy for a walk.

EE Highlight:  Senior Addy Lennemann’s research question is "To what extent does the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy negatively affect access to health resources in South Africa?"  When asked what prompted her to choose this question, she said, "I chose my research question because I believe more people should be made aware of the changes the Trump Administration has made and the impacts they have.  I think policies that restrict important funding to the point that lives are being lost is a topic that should be written on.  Because it deals with abortion, my topic can be considered taboo, but it is that mentality that places the repressive policy on NGOs in the first place.  I strongly believe that when given the chance, one should advocate for themselves and their community, and this EE is my chance to do so."

IB Question of the Week:  How many schools worldwide offer the IB program?  
On 14 July 2020, there were 7,002 programs being offered worldwide, across 5,284 schools in 158 countries.  The IB publishes a range of statistics and information about its programs.  For more information, you can Follow This Link.

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

Dear SGS Community,
 
Fall is here!  If we needed a reminder, the colorful leaves and the cooler mornings confirm the season.  The first month and a half of this school year has produced a successful and safe roll out of our hybrid model in grades K-8.  It looks neat and tidy as a written description, but the complexity of this process cannot be understated.  I have never been prouder of our teachers as they continue to adapt during this school year.  The recipe for success thus far includes:
 
1. Take home learning kits, routine and stable daily schedules
2. Hybrid classes with varying ratios of students at school and at home
3. Full in-person classes
4. Distance Learning (DL) Classes – Synchronous and Asynchronous
5. Switching between Hybrid, full in-person and DL as needed
6. Evening classes for International Students in their home country
7. Porch drops when needed
8. On-site tech support
9. Small grouping of Upper School students on campus: Conditioning, EE Boot camp, etc.
10. Patience, flexibility and resilience by everyone
 
UPPER SCHOOL BEGINS HYBRID MODEL NEXT WEEK
 
I am pleased to announce our Upper School grades will move to a hybrid (in-person and DL) model next week. We are starting with an alternating model at this time to limit the number of high school students in the building to further mitigate the risks of transmission at school.  When at school, grades 9-12 will follow a four-period block schedule to limit the number of transitions during each day.  We will continue with DL on Mondays (8 period) for grades 7-12 until further notice.  
 
11th and 12th Grade Students will move to a hybrid model on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21.  (9th and 10th grade students will attend DL classes these two days.)
 
9th and 10th Grade Students will move to a hybrid model on Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23.  (11th and 12th grade students will attend DL classes these two days.)
 
Dr. Mulazzi will be sending additional information and details about next week and Kathy, Joelle and Ryan will provide updates in a timely manner to the appropriate divisions.  US students will receive an attestation card “The Golden Ticket” in the mail this weekend.  You may also print one from the SGS website if necessary.
 
We continue to work with Dr. Lutz and the Spokane Regional Health District team to plan our move to the US hybrid model.  As many of you have seen, the 2-week virus activity continues to be a concern in Spokane County.  Using the systematic approach of bringing small numbers of students back to the SGS campus has been successful, as we can make adjustments along the way.  Our students have done an outstanding job of following guidelines, and our parents have been proactively communicating with the school regarding symptom checking, learning pods, and COVID testing.  These combined efforts keep our community healthy and allow us to have students return to campus.  Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.
 
We are excited to welcome some of our Upper School students back to campus next week and will continue to provide the DL option for those students attending from home.  We expect there will be a learning curve next week for students and teachers as we transition to the hybrid platform.  Communication will be key to navigate this new method of instruction. 
 
Please contact me, the division heads, or Ryan Peplinski (COVID Coordinator) with any questions.
 
Thank you and Go Dragons!
 
Jamie Tender
Head of School

Upper School grades 9-12 will return to campus using a hybrid (in-person and Distance Learning) model the week of Oct 19-23.  Only two grades will be on campus on any day to limit the number of high school students in the building to mitigate the risks of transmission at school.  The schedule for the first week back is: 
 
Monday, October 19 
• Grades 9-12 DL
 
Tuesday–Wednesday, October 20-21
• Grade 11-12 students will be in-person with DL available.  
• Grade 9-10 students will continue with DL. 
 
Thursday–Friday, October 22-23
• Grade 9-10 students will be in-person with DL available.  
• Grade 11-12 students will continue with DL. 
 
See Head of Upper School Francesca Mulazzi's Upper School Reopening Letter for more details about morning drop off, class times, lunch, and afternoon pick up procedures. 

Two SGS seniors have used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore topics of particular interest to them -- winter sports and scavengers!

CAS Project Highlight:  Senior John DeForest centered his CAS project around something he loves… Nordic skiing.  For his project, he helped Mr. Tuck plan and set up the Middle School Nordic Day last winter.  “CAS has both encouraged me to extend my learning into projects I enjoy," says John, "and at the same time reflect on my extracurricular activities more deeply.”  Full diploma students, such as John, complete a CAS project that includes an 18-month portfolio and multiple reflections.  His project's learning outcomes included demonstrating initiative, planning, developing skills, and working collaboratively.    

CAS Experiences Highlights:  CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students this week included a self-care diagram, styling an old hat, geocaching at Otis Orchards, helping at a food bank, writing for The Round Table, selling old clothes, creating a group of people to play strategy games with, pumpkin carvings, and working on SGS community nights.  All Upper School students (pre-IB grades 9-10, full diploma candidates and course candidates) complete CAS experiences with reflections.

EE Highlight:  One of our seniors, Erika Piotrowski, has picked an Extended Essay topic involving condors.  Her research question is, “What role do different scavengers play at a carcass and how do their different roles lead to the overall dynamic at carrion site?”  For those of you who don't know, a carrion site is the location where she places all the meat to attract the scavengers.  Seniors spend a year researching and writing a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice.

IB Question of the Week:  Who is the head of the IB?
Dr Siva Kumari. She started her tenure as the seventh Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in January 2014 and is the first woman to hold the post.  Read more about her at This Link.  Email elizabeth.tender@sgs.org with any IB questions you'd like answered.

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  (Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.) 


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