SIS News Archive
Where do the truly great ideas come from? Who are the people that light our hearts and inspire us to reach out, give back, and sacrifice for the greater good? Where does the passion that ignites creativity for the arts come from? When does imagination spark genius that changes generations?
The answer is, imagination, creativity, passion, altruism must be fostered in a community of caring. At SIS, caring staff and students, inspired learning, and passionate creativity have been part of the culture since its inception. And SIS programs like the Advisory, CAS (Creativity-Action-Service), and AMPed (Autonomously Master Purposeful Education), are the foundation of SIS's caring community.
The Advisory Program
"A caring community starts with transparency and trust." - Mike Livingston, Bayside Principal. When walking through SIS's Bayside (High School/Middle School) campus, transparency is physically evident. The campus is open, and where there are walls they are, well...transparent.
Transparency also means having an open dialog with students, parents, staff, and administration. "Transparency breeds trust, and we want to provide our students a safe, trusting environment where they can try something new, fail, and, with support, pick themselves back up and try again." - Michael Clancy, High School Guidance Counsellor
According to students past and present, that trust at SIS begins with the advisory but runs through the ethos of what the school is about. "The advisory program and how it functions is unique to SIS. It is based on the research that every kid is more successful if they have a mentor in school who cares about them." - Rachel Brooker, Middle School Counsellor, Advisory Co-Creator.
The mentoring that takes place in the advisory between teachers and students and between students and their peers builds a student's confidence for their future at university and later in the working world. It gives them experience in peer collaboration and team-building activities.
"The advisory program is what really adds to the students developing into who they are, and overall, it goes back to SIS as a whole-- the size, the community, and what SIS allows us teachers to do in developing relationships with the students." - Liz Cho, Senior Advisor, IB English Teacher
CAS (Creativity-Action-Service) in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)
Universities are looking for academic growth, and SIS certainly has an academically rigorous IB program of study, but universities are also looking for substance behind high GPAs. Universities want students who are socially adaptable, creative thinkers and problem solvers, and students who will bring passion and innovation to their campuses.
Universities want IB graduates because the program is focused on nurturing a holistic student. Within the Diploma Programme, the CAS component is one way for universities to identify students who will add to their community beyond academics.
"CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience. It provides opportunities for self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work. At the same time, CAS is an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the DP (diploma program)." - IBO.org
Although CAS is a requirement for all IB DP students, that doesn't mean it looks the same at all IB DP schools. CAS requires students to dig deep, find what they are passionate about, create an action plan around it, present it, and follow it through to its completion. But CAS is not only about personal passions, it's also about being a global citizen.
The young, creative minds at SIS reach out to those in need with innovative ways to tutor, mentor, raise money for a cause, and bring awareness to an issue. "We have kids come to us that can sometimes be apathetic. Through programs like CAS we can help kids find their passion." - Liz Cho, CAS Coordinator
AMPed (Autonomously Master Purposeful Education)
SIS's newest program AMPed is full of energy and has the school buzzing! Martin Ruthaivilavan, AMPed's co-creator, thinks this new program taps into young people's idealism and gives them a platform to express themselves. "AMPed is about finding your self-drive, learning how to master that, and know that it's purposeful."
Yes, AMPed is about fun, and students sharing their passion with peers. In fact, an AMPed assembly at the Bayside campus brings out all the best things we love about teenagers. It can range from a student's presentation describing her journey to learn computer animation while set to her own music, to two students humorously presenting their love of photography, to an acoustic guitar cover of a Maroon 5 tune that had the audience singing and clapping along.
AMPed is about exploring the different facets that make up the individual. Taking a break from the pressure of academics and releasing one's soul into heart-pumping activity, creativity through art, music, and writing, or exploring the science of cooking or technology.