Past Notes

Secondary School Notes

Week 1 (September 7)

Welcome

A warm welcome to all returning and new parents and students! It is great to see the school alive with students again. Each day at break and lunch our fields and the gym have been full of active students and as I walk into classrooms there is a tremendous amount of energy and excitement.

Welcome also to our new teachers; your children may have mentioned them to you. They have all made a positive start and are adding new facets to our already strong team of teachers. They are:

Dr. Petrusz (IB&AP Bio), Mr. Falkenberry (Computer Aplications and Design), Ms. Froman (MS Social Studies) and Mrs. Hagen (MS Science), Mr. Hagen (Student Support), Ms. Deeks (Desktop Publishing and MS Tech), Mr. O'Brien (Physics). We are very fortunate to have such positive and dedicated educators added to our exceptional staff.

So many New and Smiling Faces

This past Tuesday we were able to welcome the newest members of the AOSR community onto campus. It was fantastic to have students back at school and feel the energy building for the start of another exciting year here at AOSR. We are so fortunate to have so many caring students as our welcome ambassadors to all of the new arriving families. The PTO BBQ was a great way to get the whole community together. Please look on our AOSR website for more information about how to get involved with our PTO and all of our After School Activities.

News and Events

Mr. Zacaroli has just introduced our After School Activities (ASAs) to our students and these will begin their trial dates the following week.Please encourage your children to get involved, we have a lot of wonderful things on offer.

In two weeks time we have our back-to-school event coming up on Thursday September 20th at 5pm. This is an evening where you will be able to meet new and returning teachers, and learn about the MS, HS, AP & IB programs, as well as our specific courses. An email detailing this event will be sent home soon.

This week our Fall Varsity Sports have begun. It has been great to see so many students involved already. Our Tennis, Volleyball and Cross Country teams have hit the ground running!

Getting Involved

On the 15th of September their will be a World Cleanup Day and AOSR will be sending representatives to the Ponte Milvio area at 10am. This is a fantastic way to come together as a community and do some good in our local environment. Please take a look at the information below and see Ms. Ellyson for more details.

World Cleanup Day

So Proud of our Students

As we begin another new year at AOSR I want to encourage all of our students to challenge themselves. I am sure you know this by now, but AOSR is a great school. As our mission statement states that we offer the best of an American-International education in a supportive learning environment. We inspire a diverse student body to courageously meet the demands of a changing world through an engaging and creative curriculum. This has proven to be a winning formula for years as we graduate not only students that are prepared to excel in college, but students that have character and compassion. On the intellectual growth side of the mission, I am proud to say that we continue to live and reflect our Profile of a Graduate. What I am most excited about is the fact that students continue to find their individual passions in the MS, HS, AP & IB programs. That means more students are choosing to challenge themselves and they are succeeding! I will be giving you more details about this in the coming months, but please know that our students continue to impress colleges and universities around the world with their achievement and character.


I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I look forward to seeing you at next week’s open house.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

Week 2 (September 14)

Full Steam Ahead!

Week 2 Underway

We have now been in school for nine days and the school is already roaring on all engines. The Volleyball, Tennis and Cross Country programs are all in full swing, and the ASA’s are gaining a great deal of momentum. The teams are all keen and excited and now the real work now begins. I have visited every classroom in the school and I can tell you, the learning going on in these rooms is extraordinary. Your children are engaged and focused. They are learning new skills and consolidating old ones. They are pushing teachers on difficult and complicated topics in a way that challenge the faculty. They are truly a pleasure to work with and I look forward to another fantastic year.


Middle School Community Meeting

Last Wednesday Ms. Ellyson brought our Middle School together to develop community and speak about all of the wonderful opportunities that are available to our Middle School students. There was a tremendous amount of energy and the students received a great deal of information. This was also another opportunity for Mr. Park to speak about the new laptop distribution. Now every Middle School student has access to a laptop!


College Visits starting this coming week

We are very fortunate to have so many top colleges and universities wanting access to our students. Ms. Jeffrey does a fantastic job reaching out to schools and establishing relationships with their admission officers. These visits are a great way for our students to connect a name to a face with their application while also receiving more information about a particular school/program and the admission process. Below is a schedule for the coming week.


September 17: University of British Columbia, 12:00 - 2:00, HS Library
September 18: Loyola University, 1:00 - 2:00, HS Library
September 19: Bard College, 12:30 - 2:00, HS Library

Open House Night at AOSR

This coming Thursday our AOSR parents get to be students again! We are getting ready for our Open House evening, providing an overview of the year and our program in the Cafeteria and from there parents will be able to follow their student's schedule to see each of their child’s teachers and here what enriching learning experiences will be forthcoming this year. Thank you for such a taking such an interest in your child's education and our school, it is one of the things that I truly enjoy about working at AOSR-the partnership that exists between the parent community and the school. Our students are the true beneficiaries of this partnership. This year we will not be printing out each individual schedule, instead parents will access their schedule via PowerSchool. Thank you for helping us keep AOSR 'Green!' Below is the welcome letter and Schedule of the evening.

Downloads

AOSR 2018 MS/HS Open House Welcome Letter

AOSR 2018 MS/HS Open House Schedule

PTO Welcome Meeting

This coming Monday our PTO will be hosting their welcome meeting. This meeting will take place at 9:15 in the cafeteria. We are so fortunate to have such a positive and involved parent community. Please come and see how you can contribute to all of the wonderful events that happen here on campus.

PTO Welcome Meeting Schedule

AOSR is Active and Engaged!

Our students are off and running with all of the different activities that they have access to. This weekend the Cross Country team will be running a team race, many of our students will be engaged with a World Cleanup Event and the coming week will start our athletic competitions in Volleyball! Please come out and support AOSR and ask your student how they can get more engaged.

Pick Up and Drop Off

I want to thank everyone for a successful and smooth opening to the school year. It is been so nice to see our secondary students model respectful behavior as they come onto campus. Each morning I walk onto campus, showing my ID and opening my bag, as does every parent that comes on. It is very reassuring to know that our children get to learn in such a safe and secure environment. Thank you again for modelling this behavior to our entire community.

Thank You for a Wonderful Start

It has truly been a pleasure to begin this school year.The AOSR students and parent community have welcomed my family in with open arms.We knew we were coming to a special place and these past two weeks have certainly reaffirmed that for us.I look forward to the exciting events that lie ahead.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

AOSR Secondary School Principal

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 3 (September 21)

Week 3 Setting Routines

We are now well into the school year where the routines of school have been established and we are not really able to start with the engaged learning that our students crave! Please continue to engage with your student about what they are 'learning.' It is important that we support their growth, while helping the advocate for themselves as learners.


Open House at AOSR

Thursday our AOSR parents got to be students again! We opened this year with our Open House evening, providing an overview of the year and our program in the cafeteria and from there parents were able to follow a student schedule to see each of their child’s teachers and hear what enriching learning experiences will be forthcoming this year. Thank you for such a lovely turnout and for helping us 'Go Green' with a paperless event, it is one of the things that I truly enjoy about working at AOSR-the partnership that exists between the parent community and the school. Our students are the true beneficiaries of this partnership.

Falcon Family Picnic

On Saturday, September 29th AOSR and the PTO are hosting a social event for parents, students and teachers. The Falcon Family Picnic will take place from 12-3 at AOSR and participants are asked to bring a dish to pass(Last names A-P a side dish, Q-Z a dessert). AOSR continues to develop its sense of community and development of a partnership between the teachers and parents. It is very comforting to work in a place where we are all striving for the same thing-improve student learning and experiences.

Falcons are Flying!

This weekend we have all of our Fall teams competing. We are hosting Volleyball all weekend, Tennis has left for Naples and our Cross Country runners will be racing on Saturday. We will be having a Booster Bar this afternoon and our Pep Band will be performing. It is fantastic to see so many of our students engaged and involved. Please come out and support our students as they represent AOSR!


School Photos
This coming week we will be having our school photos. Below is the schedule of the grades with the specific days for each grade level and class photos.

Monday, September 24th
School Photos-Grades 6, 7

Tuesday, September 25th
School Photos-Grades 11 & 12

Wednesday, September 26th
School Photos-Grades 8, 9 & 10
Class Photos-Each Grade level

Do you have a Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.

According to Dweck, in a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

So, the question for us as an educational institution, and for you parents at home, is how we instill the Growth Mindset in the students (and children) that we serve? This is a topic we talk about here at ASD and will continue to focus on. Please take a look at this quick video describing the effects of a Growth Mindset.

If you have any thoughts, please feel free to pass them on to me. I love hearing from parents as we work together.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

Secondary School Principal AOSR

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 4 (September 28)

Week 4 Examining where we are & preparing for where we can go!

This coming week we will be engaged with external testing to help us examine the areas of strength for our students and reflect on the areas of growth. Our Middle school students will be engaged with the MAPS testing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. These assessments provide individual growth data for each of our students in the areas of Math, Literacy and Scientific understanding. We are fortunate to take these externally moderated assessments three times within the year to provide us with checkpoints to see how our students are progressing and what steps we can take as a school to help them succeed. It will be important that all Middle School students are at school on time and have had a good breakfast before they begin their MAPS testing. The individual data will be shared out with each student and parent. This data provides us with the feedback needed to help structure our instruction throughout the year.

The following week our 10th and 11th graders will be taking the PSAT. This is a practice for the SAT that many of our students use/need for their college admissions. This test provides our students with an understanding of this type of test as well as some areas of strength and growth for them. One of the most important components of this test is that colleges and universities use this data to match students with their schools and programs. Please ensure that your child marks that they want to receive information from colleges and universities. This will be one of their first steps toward deciding on a university. It will be important that the students arrive on time, well rested and have had a breakfast.


The Use of PowerSchool

We are fortunate that we have PowerSchool to help us communicate out the learning that our students are engaged with. PowerSchool is a tool to help students, parents and teachers communicate regarding where a student is in relation to the learning that is taking place within a specific course. It is important to remember that it is not the number that is most important, but the growth and what that number represents. If a student does not understand what the assessment score means in relation to their learning it is important for them to meet with their teacher. The more our students advocate for themselves and their learning the more success they will see.

College Counseling Services

We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable college counselor. Ms. Jeffrey has already organized 4 college visits here on campus and we will be hosting the Canadian College Fair here on campus on the 9th of October. On October 10th, while our 10th & 11th graders are taking the PSAT Ms. Jeffrey will be running a college application seminar for our seniors during the exam time. This will be extremely useful to our seniors as they are in the midst of their college applications. Ms. Jeffrey will also be starting her Coffee with the Counselor mornings in the coming weeks.

Falcons are Active!

This weekend is a very busy weekend for our Falcons. Our Volleyball teams have left for Sicily early this morning, our Cross Country runners left for a race in Naples tomorrow morning and our Tennis team will be hosting a tournament here on campus tomorrow. Please check out the AOSR Athletics page for more information and upcoming events. It is great to see so many of our students active and engaged.

AOSR Family Fun Picnic

Show your Falcon Pride at the Falcon Family Picnic on Saturday, September 29, from 12-3pm. This is an event for the entire school community! New families and returning families are all welcome for food, fun & fellowship!

Show off your culinary skills and bring a dish to share as part of our international potluck table. Last names beginning with A-P bring a side dish, letters Q-Z bring a dessert. The Booster Bar will be selling 100% beef hamburgers, poultry hot dogs, veggie burgers and drinks.

How do we learn Best?

Learning takes on many forms. How do we internalize what we learn and make it a part of who we are? Like any activity, learning takes time, practice and reinforcement. However, what are some of the most effective ways in which we can help our students practice/prepare how to learn? Make it Stick is a text dedicated to the science of learning. One of the steps that it highlights as most effective is a consistent, short testing of one’s ability in relation to the task that was just ‘learned.’ This links to the idea of quick and consistent formative assessments and feedback. By testing ourselves we truly get to see where we are in relation to the ideas we have just been exposed to. I am including a short link to a clip and the first chapter of this text. I would welcome any further discussion about this topic.


Download "The Science of Successful Learning (Chapter 1)

Thank you for your continued interest and support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

Secondary School Principal AOSR

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 5 (October 5)

Week 5 Stepping up to Challenge

We are well into the school year with many of our students having already completed major assessments or in the midst of completing assessments. This is the time of year where our expectations have been set and our students need to ask themselves are they giving 'Their Best.' Yesterday we had an assembly that highlighted many of the activities that we have going on here at AOSR, we had a musical introduction, a Drama selection and an introduction of our Student Government advisors. At the end of the assembly I spoke to student about 'Their Best' and shared a personal story of a race that I had recently run. Below is the clip that I shared with each of the students. Please take a look at it and ask your student(s) about it as well. We are always trying to strive to meet the challenges that we face.

External Assessments

This past week our MS students have gone through the MAP testing. We will be sending this information home to families soon and will also be hosting an informational session to explain our use of this data and how it helps guide instruction. Many of our 11 & 12 grade students will be taking the SAT this weekend. This test is used as a part of the acceptance process for many of the universities that our students are applying to. Our 10 & 11 grade students will be taking the PSAT on Wednesday the 10th. This is a practice SAT and this information is used by universities to see which students might have matching interests with their school. It is important that the students ask to receive this information. During the PSAT our Seniors will be involved in a senior retreat where they will be working on the application process and other areas related to their college applications.


College Visits

We are very fortunate to have many top notch universities that come to visit our campus. This coming Tuesday we will be hosting the Canadian College Fair. Representatives from 18 schools in Canada will be here on campus to speak about their schools and meet with our students. This event will begin with a parent information session in the Cafeteria starting at 9am. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about these schools, speak with admissions officers and gain more insight into the college admissions process. In the coming weeks we will also have visits from Tulane, NYU, US State Department of Education and the EU Business School in Barcelona. Please check out Ms. Jeffrey's counselor page on the AOSR website for more information about upcoming events.


Falcons are Active!

This weekend our MS boys soccer team will be competing. We will be hosting a booster bar today and the following week we will have our 'Homecoming' game for our Volleyball teams, where we will be competing with Marymount. Please come out and support our students athletes and watch as they represent AOSR!


Drama Production

Our Drama production is about to begin! We were given a small taste of the dramatic talent here at AOSR during our assembly on Thursday. Tryouts will begin in a weeks time. If your child has any interest in the production, whether on stage or back stage, please have them contact Ms. Rhodes. I look forward to watching our students shine on the stage!


Thank you for your continued interest and support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

Secondary School Principal AOSR

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 6 (October 12)

This past week a number of our students took part in the MAP testing protocol and the PSAT. We also had a senior retreat focused on the balancing of workload and preparation for the college admissions process. Our students have continued to model what good learning practices look like. They have engaged with these tasks, taken time to reflect and are now waiting on feedback to help guide their next steps. It is wonderful to see our students so thoughtfully engaged in their academics and the challenges that they are tackling

MAP Information Session

This coming Wednesday, October 17th at 9am in the cafeteria, we will host an information session going over the MAP testing protocol and our use of it here at AOSR. This session will focus on how we use this data to guide instruction, provide individualised learning targets and work towards growth. We will also focus on how students and parents can read their scores, understand how they will be used and explain the feedback that is provided. We will have subject specific teachers in Math and Literacy speak about their use of the data in relation to their courses. I look forward to seeing our engaged parent community as we strengthen our partnership in learning for our students.

College Visits

We are very fortunate to have many top notch universities that come to visit our campus. This past Tuesday we hosted the Canadian College Fair. Representatives from 18 schools in Canada were here on campus to speak about their schools and meet with our students. This event began with a parent information session in the Cafeteria. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about these schools, speak with admissions officers and gain more insight into the college admissions process. In the coming weeks we will also have visits from Tulane, NYU, US State Department of Education and the EU Business School in Barcelona. Please check out Ms. Jeffrey's counselor page on the AOSR website for more information about upcoming events.

Falcons are Active!

Today we will be hosting a booster bar followed week by our 'Homecoming' game for our Volleyball teams, where we will be competing with Marymount. This will also be our Senior Night. Our Tennis and Cross Country teams are traveling as well. Our Pep band will also be providing some musical excitement to the games. Please come out and support our students athletes and watch as they represent AOSR!

School Photos

Our individual and class photos are now available on campus. Students can pick up their individual pictures at the HS office and class photos are available for viewing outside of the high school office.

AOSR Parent Survey

Late last week, our Communications Assistant sent you a link to an important survey. This survey is framed around our accreditation standards and your feedback will help us improve what we must and celebrate what we can. In order to hear as many 'voices' as we can , we have made the survey available in English as well as in Italiano. I must confess though that we have been a bit sneaky as well and offered a pizza party to any grade that has a 90% completion rate or above. Yes, I apologise for the intense pressure that your children will be putting on you!

So Much Community Spirit

It has been so lovely to see so much community engagement with all of the events that we have going on here at AOSR. From the Booster Bar, Family Picnic, Athletics, Open House, College Visits and parent information sessions and soon the PTO Trunk or Treat! It is fantastic to see so much involvement from our community. It is this type of atmosphere that separates AOSR from other school!


Thank you for your continued interest and support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

Secondary School Principal AOSR

Week 7 (October 16)

Busy Times!

As I looked at the coming weeks on the school calendar I was amazed at how busy our students are! This coming week marks the midway point for our High School Students. We have universities coming to visit, teams traveling for tournaments and ongoing assessments throughout the week. Please take the time to ask your student what is going on with them, how they are handling all of their activities and what they are learning in their classes. I am so proud of how well our students manage themselves and their time!

 

College Visits

We have so many exciting events throughout the academic year that regard the college admission process. Here are the next two!

 

Tuesday, 23 October, at 9AM in the Cafeteria, we are fortunate to have Ms. Claire Wilkins from New York University discuss not only NYU, but the application process that surrounds competitive colleges and universities. Be sure to come and bring your questions about US colleges and the opportunities for your children applying to the United States for university.

 

Monday, 29 October, at 9AM in the Cafeteria, we are equally fortunate to welcome Shawn Abbott who is representing the U.S. Department of State. He will be discussing the US application process and he will be here to speak with parents and students about everything to do with this process. He has a tremendous amount of experience working at several prestigious University Admissions Offices. Currently, he is the Provost and Head of Admissions at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

High School Progress Report

This coming Wednesday marks the midway point of our first semester. It is amazing at how quickly the weeks fly by! At this time we will have all of our classes grade

books updated and ready to be viewed by both parents and students. PowerSchool is a wonderful tool that allows us to communicate in real time the learning and progress that our students are making. Please be sure to sit down with your student and go over their progress with them.

 

Middle School MAP Data

This past week we had a MAP Testing information session. Here we spoke about how we use this data to inform instruction and help focus on individual student growth. This coming Wednesday individual student MAP data will be sent home electronically to every parent within the Middle School. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions.

Falcons are Busy!

This weekend all three of our Fall Sports are competing, including our Middle School Cross Country runners! We are also fortunate to have our MS Basketball teams competing here at AOSR on Saturday. These opportunities are a great way for our students to challenge themselves, cement friendships, learn about perseverance and sportsmanship, while making friends with students from other schools. A huge thank you to all of our coaches and chaperones for the time and dedication that they give to our student athletes. Go Falcons!

PTO and Halloween!

Our PTO continues to provide different ways for us to come together as a community. Today they hosted another Booster Bar, which I can smell from my office! For Halloween the PTO will be hosting a Halloween event here at school. Below are the details for the event. I look forward to seeing everyone there!

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

Secondary School Principal AOSR

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 8 (October 26th)

As we pass the midway part of the semester our students are putting a great deal of effort into their culminating activities.  This is a time of the year when we are able to really get a good look at where our students are, what they still need to do and how we can help them.  Please take some time this weekend to ask your student what things they have coming up in school.  I think you will be surprised at all they are doing and I know that they will appreciate the support and encouragement.

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are a perfect opportunity to work as a team towards the educational growth of our students.  The more that we are able to share information, provide feedback and support the better able we are to help our students reach their potential. I mention the Student as a key component to this conversation. It is very important that they are a part of these conferences, because at the end of the day we are speaking about their learning!

We will be having Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences on Thursday, November 16th from 9am until the end of the school day in the Gymnasium. Students are encouraged to come to their conferences, but they must arrive with their parent.  To help facilitate our sign-up process, parents will be given the ability to electronically set-up a conference time instead of having to come in, line up, and see if a teacher will be available to meet.   We ask that parents and students prioritise the teachers they would like to meet with, as schedules will fill very quickly.  This information and electronic link will be sent shortly, along with more information about the logistics of the day

The conferences will be run in 7 minute time slots, allowing for parents to see as many of their teachers as possible.  If the need arises for a longer conference please stop by the Secondary Principal table to schedule a follow up meeting.

We look forward to working together to help our students continue their growth and work towards their potential.  Thank you again for taking the time to work in partnership with us.

Extension offerings here at AOSR

We are very fortunate to have many different ways for our students to look for support and challenge themselves here at AOSR.  Currently we have our Environmental and GIN groups working on problem solving activities in order to help their communities. The AOSR MUN, where students interact with other schools in diplomacy, tackling real world unilateral problems, is a club that continues throughout the year that offers students the chance to work on their critical thinking and presentation skills.    Our Homework club, which runs every Tuesday and Wednesday, helps students to look at ways to maximise their study time and organisational skills. Our theatre department is also starting to prepare for their productions and our Pep Band continues to provide entertainment at our home sporting events.

We are very fortunate to have so many different type of learning opportunities for our students.  Please continue to ask your students about the multitude of ways that they can challenge and extend themselves here at AOSR.

University Information

On Monday, October 29th at 9m in the cafeteria we will be hosting a visit from the US State Department of Overseas Education.  Mr. Shawn Abbott will be here speaking about the application and admission process. Mr. Abbott has been in the admissions departments at many of the top universities in the US, including NYU, BU, Drexel, Stanford and more. This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and parents. 

Falcons are Soaring!

Currently we have all of our fall Falcon teams traveling and representing AOSR. Our Tennis and Cross Country teams are at the European Championships and our Volleyball teams are in Vicenza getting ready for their Championship tournament next week.  All of our student athletes and coaches have worked extremely hard this year and are looking for fantastic results.  Great Job Falcons!

Modeling Continued Learning

This weekend over 50 AOSR Staff and Faculty members will be engaged in A Google Summit, where they will be picking up different skills and ideas that can be applied directly into their classes for the benefit of their students. It is great to see so many AOSR faculty and staff members taking advantage of this opportunity. I am looking forward to my sessions and the learning that will come from them.

PTO/Middle School Halloween Event

This coming Wednesday our PTO will be hosting it's Halloween event. Our Middle School STUCO has also organised a dance and other Halloween activities for our students as well.  A huge Thank You to both groups for providing these engaging community events!

Secondary School Assembly

On November 8th we will have a Secondary School Assembly, celebrating our Fall Sports teams, highlighting our various clubs and groups, presenting our student talent in music and the arts, as well as coming together as a community. These events allow us to celebrate our accomplishments and gather some insight into our upcoming challenges. I look forward to seeing all of our students engaged and sharing their talents with their peers!

Kind Regards,

 

Justin Walsh

 

Secondary School Principal AOSR

 

jwalsh@aosr.org

Week 10 (November 9)

Week 10-A Full Week of Learning!

It was wonderful to see all of our students back in classes this week, fully engaged with their subjects and focused on their learning and upcoming assessments.  For our IB students we have a number of IAs coming due, along with the Extended Essay.  Our MS students are nearing the end of their first Trimester and have a number of culminating activities on the go.  Please engage with your student about some of their upcoming learning!

Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are a perfect opportunity to work as a team towards the educational growth of our students.  The more that we are able to share information, provide feedback and support the better able we are to help our students reach their potential.

The Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences will run all day on Friday, November 16th from 9.00am-3.20pm. This should allow greater opportunity for parents to be able to make an appointment with all of their children’s teachers. It is an expectation that students will be actively involved in each of these conferences, contributing to a three-way discussion and ensuring all stakeholders have a clear direction and common understanding for ongoing improvement and development.

I look forward to a productive day, focused on the learning and growth of our students.

AOSR Students Give Back

One of the great things that separates AOSR students from other Secondary Students is their willingness to give back to their community.  Today our Booster Bar will be dedicated to supporting the JNRC foundation which looks to help provide winter needs for displaced refugees here in Rome. This is an initiative that has been spearheaded by a High School student and as a school we will continue to contribute to this group throughout the rest of this semester.  

We also have a group of students off this afternoon to help out at a local dog shelter. Our environmental club continues to collect recycled goods from campus and bring them to the recycling center each Friday.  Our music students are opening up the 'Music Cabinet' this afternoon and will be hosting a bake sale in the coming week to support AIDS research and support in Africa.

I could continue to go on about the multitude of ways that our students are engaged with their community and give back. These types of events speak to the character of our students and truly make me proud to be a part of the AOSR community.

AOSR Falcons

This Friday we will be hosting the Fall Sports Banquet, celebrating the accomplishments of our Fall sports athletes. Our students and coaches have had a tremendous season and really came together. It is fantastic to see their growth from the beginning of the season up till the end.

This coming Monday we will have our Winter Sports tryouts for Cheer and Basketball. There have already been some preseason practices in the gym and we have already had a number of students out and participating. Way to go Dragons!

AOSR Fine Arts

We are so fortunate to have so many talented students here at AOSR. Our Fine Arts program is extremely busy and has many events upcoming. Last week we were treated by the performance of the Tiger Tones, Princeton's all male choir; these students also worked directly with our choir students. This Friday our 'Music Cabinet' will be opening.  At the end of the month our musicians will perform at the Embassy Tree Lighting Ceremony and our Winter Concert will occur on the first week of December. Our drama students are in the midst of rehearsals for their upcoming performance. 

It is wonderful to see so many of our students express and challenge themselves through the arts.

Continued Progress

During this week's assembly I spoke to our students about the idea of Identity.  I challenged them to not worry about 'who they are', but instead focus on 'who they are becoming!'  The more we look at ourselves as a work in progress and continue to provide ourselves opportunities to grow and improve the more we can expect of one another. I am always so amazed at how much our students take on and how much they want to continue to grow!

 

Week 11 (Nov 16)

Giving Back

Dear AOSR Community,

For many years, AOSR has been an active supporter of the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center located in St. Paul's within the Walls church in the heart of Rome.  On November 9, a Booster Bar was held to support fundraising for needed winter items, and we are now underway with our annual Needed Winter Item Collection Drive through December 7 (see details in the flyer below).  Please consider this community collection drive when pulling out winter items in your closet and by donating gently used men's winter clothing, shoes and jackets, or when visiting a shop by adding some of the needed items in your cart such as warm new socks, gloves, hats or scarves to help keep away the cold this winter.

On November 30, the AOSR community is invited to attend the center's Pakistani Fundraiser Dinner starting at 19:30 (see details below and RSVP by contacting events@jnrc.it), with authentic food, opportunity to meet new people in Rome and enjoy traditional musical entertainment.   In addition, Mr. Ulrich and HS Choir are planning a December visit to the center to visit with guests and sing at the center and in St. Paul's within the Walls church. 

It is our hope that you will join us and consider various ways your family can contribute to AOSR's efforts to support the current migrant crisis. Thank you.

High School Information Night

This coming Tuesday we are pleased to present the American Overseas School of Rome's High School Information Night.

Please join AOSR on Tuesday, November 20th from 5-7 PM for our High School Info Night. We encourage both potential and current families to participate. This event will provide information about the opportunities our High School program can offer to you and your family.

You will learn more about our curriculum and classes, AP and IB programs, athletics, clubs, organisations and after school activities. Feel free to bring other families and friends with you! 

Within this evening there will be an overview of our High School program as well as time to meet with our International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement teachers. This meeting time will allow for insight into each program as well as individualised information on how to prepare for these courses.  We look forward to seeing you there and sharing all of the reasons that make AOSR such a fantastic place to learn!

AOSR Fine Arts

We are so fortunate to have so many talented students here at AOSR. Our Fine Arts program is extremely busy and has many events upcoming.  Our 'Music Cabinet' is now open and many of our students have been taking advantage of it.  At the end of the month our musicians will perform at the Embassy Tree Lighting Ceremony and our Winter Concert will occur on the first week of December. Our HS Drama students are in the midst of rehearsals for their upcoming performance and our MS Production choice is about to be announced!

It is wonderful to see so many of our students express and challenge themselves through the arts.

 

College Support here at AOSR

On November 28th Ms. Jeffery will be hosting a mandatory lunch meeting with our Seniors to help with their application process.  Ms. Jefferey will also be hosting a College Night on the 12th of December at 6pm for parents and students. This event is open to our current seniors and any interested grade 10 and 11 students and parents. It is wonderful to have a college counselor with such a tremendous amount of experience and contacts.  Please continue to look on our website for upcoming morning Coffee with the Counselor events.

AOSR Falcons

Our Winter Sports season is underway, tryouts have finished this week and we have had over 50 students participating in our varsity level sports for this season.  It is great to see so many of our students engaged and challenging themselves. We have a number of early morning practices as well! Please go on the AOSR Athletics website for updates on schedules and events. 

AOSR PTO

Our PTO continues to provide a wonderful community feel here at AOSR as well as contribute to the overall engagement activities that our students have access to. Our Music Cabinet is a direct result of the work of our PTO. Our Halloween festival was another fantastic example of how our PTO is able to bring the whole community together.  Below is the current PTO newsletter in both Italian and English.

Time for a Break!

Next week will be a short week as we prepare for our Thanksgiving Holiday. Our students have been working very hard and it is a good time to slow down and being Thankful for all that they have accomplished. I hope everyone is able to take a little time to appreciate all that they have to be thankful for.  Have a well deserved break.

Thank you for your continued support of AOSR.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

Week 12 (November 23rd)

Week 12-Finishing Strong!

This coming week marks the end of our first Trimester in the Middle School. There will be a number of assessments and projects coming due at this time. It is important to help our students finish strong with all of the work and learning that they have engaged with so far this trimester. Thank you for your continued support and engagement with your student.

Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences & Reports

I want to thank all of the parents that were able to attend our Parent/Teacher/Student conferences this past week.  These are a great opportunity for all of us to work together to determine the best way to support your student as we move through the school year.  The more that we are able to keep our lines of communication open, the better we are at encouraging, supporting and heading off any missteps along the way.  The next component in this line of communication and support is the distribution of are trimester and semester one reports.  These reports will be forthcoming-the Middle School will receive their Trimester report on December 7th.  It is our hope that there is nothing in these reports that comes as a surprise.  The more we communicate the better we can support.  It is also important to remember that these reports are simply a progress report.  This is an indication of where your student is right now, not who they are forever.  We continue to foster growth and these reports,  with the emphasis on work habits and developmental comments, are a reminder of that growth mindset we are looking to develop for all of our students.  Thank you again for your continued interest and support of your students growth and learning here at AOSR.

Giving Back

Dear AOSR Community,

For many years, AOSR has been an active supporter of the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center located in St. Paul's within the Walls church in the heart of Rome.  On November 9, a Booster Bar was held to support fundraising for needed winter items, and we are now underway with our annual Needed Winter Item Collection Drive through December 7 (see details in the flyer below).  Please consider this community collection drive when pulling out winter items in your closet and by donating gently used men's winter clothing, shoes and jackets, or when visiting a shop by adding some of the needed items in your cart such as warm new socks, gloves, hats or scarves to help keep away the cold this winter.

On November 30, the AOSR community is invited to attend the center's Pakistani Fundraiser Dinner starting at 19:30 (see details below and RSVP by contacting events@jnrc.it), with authentic food, opportunity to meet new people in Rome and enjoy traditional musical entertainment.   In addition, Mr. Ulrich and HS Choir are planning a December visit to the center to visit with guests and sing at the center and in St. Paul's within the Walls church. 

It is our hope that you will join us and consider various ways your family can contribute to AOSR's efforts to support the current migrant crisis.   Thank you.

AOSR Falcons

Our Winter Sports season is underway, tryouts have finished this week and we have had over 50 students participating in our varsity level sports for this season.  It is great to see so many of our students engaged and challenging themselves. We have a number of early morning practices as well! Please go on the AOSR Athletics website for updates on schedules and events. 

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

Week 14 (November 30)

Staying Focused

You can feel the excitement within the hallways, students know that holidays are right around the corner!  It is important to remember that there are still important tasks coming in the days ahead. We are just over a week away from our HS Semester exams. Teachers are starting to review and help with the culminating summative assessments that will highlight the learning that has occurred so far this year. We are also running extension time for students Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please have your student come to the HS office for more information.

HS Semester Exams

On Monday December 17th we will begin our semester exam schedule for our HS students.  Our students have put in a great deal of time and effort and it is important that they are well rested prior to these exams. Below is a link outlining the schedule for the exams.

HS Exam Schedule

College Night

This past Wednesday Ms. Jeffrey offered an informational College Admissions night. This event highlighted the process of college admissions as well as some specifics regarding the different systems that our students apply to-UCAS, European, United States and Canada. Ms. Jeffrey is happy to have more follow up discussions around this topic and will be advertising her Coffee with the Counsellor and other information evenings on our Website, Facebook page, PTO newsletter and direct AOSR emails.

 

Student Expressions

This past Tuesday our Choir and Band students presented a fantastic Winter Holiday Concert. It was lovely to see so many students engaged and presenting their passions to a live audience. All of my family left the evening singing(except for me, thankfully for everyone else!)  the HS Choir then had an opportunity to sing for the JNRC refugees. We also have our GIN, Environmental and Recycling groups working very hard here on campus and within the community. Our MUN group is preparing for their conference and a group of our Italian Literature class just returned from a trip to Prague, where they engaged with Kafka and other cultural components of the city. It is wonderful to see so many of our students finding different outlets for their expressions and learning.

Holiday Market

Today there is all kinds of activity on campus. We are so fortunate to have our PTO organising the Holiday Market. As I write the gym is being transformed into a Winter Wonderland!  We will have musical selections, numerous vendors and I believe a very special guest!  Thank you again PTO for organising such a lovely event, it is great to have such community involvement.

Giving Back

Our student body has been orchestrating a supply drive in order to support the JNRC refugee group. This past week we have presented a large amount of supplies to the group. It is lovely to see so many of our students looking for positive ways to give back.

Thank you for your continued support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

Week 15

Week 15-Time for a Rest!

We are approaching our Winter Break.  Our students have been working hard and are looking forward to some well deserved down time.  This family time is important and we want to ensure that our students have a chance to regroup and come back strong. It is also important to maintain some of our habits. I would suggest that the students keep up with their reading and look over their math throughout the holiday.

So Talented!

Our Drama students have been super busy performing 3 times int the past two days!  I had a chance to be a part of each production and the students have shown so much poise and enjoyment throughout the performances. Thank you for coming to support their endeavours and a huge thank you to Ms. Rhodes and Mr. Nielsen for all of their hard work. 

Semester Exams

This coming Monday we will start our Semester Exams for the High School students. Students have been studying and reviewing for the past week. It is important that students have a good night sleep prior to their exams. The exams are a great opportunity for our students to show off all of their learning. These can be stressful times for our students, but they are prepared and ready to go!  Below is the exam schedule information. 

Winter Exam Schedule (PDF Download)

Falcons are Flying

This afternoon our Falcon Basketball teams will be competing here on campus. We begin with our MS team, followed by our JV Boys, Varsity Girls and finally our Varsity Boys teams. They have been practising hard all week and are very excited to perform in front of their home crowd. I hope to see many of you there!

Technology Here at AOSR

We continue to employ many 21st century skills within our classrooms here at AOSR. As our students in the middle school get accustomed to having a computer throughout the day, we help them understand the power and responsibility of having a computer within their classes.  This prepares our students for High School where students are in charge of their own machines. We will be having our incoming grade 9 students next year bringing their own computers to school/class. If you have any questions about this please contact the office, we will also be providing more information in the second semester.

PTO/Booster Bar

This Friday there will be a Booster Bar. This will be a huge part of this afternoon's activities with our Drama Production and Basketball games. I was so amazed by the drastic change that took over the school and gym last Friday for the Holiday Market. We are so fortunate to have such a vibrant and active community, headed by the efforts of our PTO.  I feel so fortunate to have my children involved in such a welcoming community.

Thank You

It has been such a joy to be a part of the AOSR school community. It is such a warm and welcoming place and I look forward to all of the learning and fantastic events that are upcoming. I hope everyone has a wonderful break and is able to reconnect and relax with family. 

Thank you for your continued support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

January 18 Notes

A Well Deserved Rest!

After our semester exams, summative assessments, winter concerts, drama productions, sporting events, it is time for our students to take a well deserved rest. I hope everyone is able to take this time to relax and recharge, spending quality time with family and friends. When we return on January 7th it will be a Red Day. Enjoy your break!

 

 

Support from our Educational Technology Department

Below are some links for podcast, information and support for students/teens within the ever changing technological landscape. We hope that you find these sites/ideas helpful and would welcome and further discussion.

 

Common Sense Media is a great resource for parents and teachers dealing with media and young people. Check out these recommended resources. 

 

Many students play FortNight in their spare time. Learn more about this here.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-fortnite?utm_source=121818+Edu&utm_medium=email

 

Here are some some fun and safe games recommended for families

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/must-have-apps-for-family-travel-0?utm_source=121818+Edu&utm_medium=email

 

Here are some fun, age appropriate podcasts for your teens

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/10-must-listen-podcasts-for-tweens-and-teens?utm_source=121818+Edu&utm_medium=email

Falcons are Flying

Our Varsity BBall and Cheer Programs will be hosting Naples on the 11th of January, the first Friday we are back after break. I hope to see all of you there to help support our student athletes!

 

Thank you for your continued support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

February 1

Week 18-Welcome Back!

We are now one full week back from our Winter Holiday. It has been fantastic to see all of the smiling faces and engagement in classrooms. Our teachers have jumped right back into the learning and our students have responded!  

We are also fortunate to have a number of new students joining the AOSR community this semester. We will be having a new student welcome lunch hosted by our counseling department with the students who were new at the start of the year acting as ambassadors.

HS Semester 1 Reports

We have now completed our First Semester in the High School. At this time of the year it is important that we take a look at the progress that our students have made, highlight their areas of strength and look at ways to help with their areas of growth.

Through the use of PowerSchool we have the ability to get a 'real time' look at where are students are in relation to their learning and assessments. It is important to remember when we use PowerSchool that we focus on the learning and growth of our students and not simply the number that we see.

Please go onto your student's PowerSchool and look at the report and the comments that have been provided by each teacher. You have the ability to click on the class grade in order to see each individual assignment that has been used to calculate the grade. If you have a question about a grade you can also click on the teacher's name in order to send them an email.

It is important to remember that we are focussing on the progress of our students and how we can help them to continue to be successful. I encourage you to go over your student's PowerSchool Report with them. This will help shape the conversation around the learning that is going on in each class in order to highlight areas of success and growth.

Below is a quick tutorial reminder of how to log onto PowerSchool and find the relevant information to access the report for your student.

Thank you again for your continued support of AOSR, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Accessing Report Cards in PowerSchool

Technology News

AOSR Expands BYOD Program

We will be expanding our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program to 9th Grade in September 2020. This means all 9th to 12th Graders must bring their own computer to school each day starting in September 2020.

Families can choose almost any device, but the computer should meet the specifications found at https://www.aosr.org/academics/tech-aosr

If you plan to purchase a new device, this is a great opportunity to have your son or daughter research computer models and propose to you what they would like to purchase. Ask them to tell you why they want that model, where they can get the best price, and what warranty and support are included. If you already have an older laptop that meets the specifications, then no need to buy a new computer.

Consider purchasing a protective case to help protect the computer from damage.

You can contact Rick Part at edtech@aosr with any questions. 

MS/HS Reading Competition

We have just begun a reading competition within the Secondary School.  Students need to check out the 5 titles, read the texts and share their understanding of the text via some comprehension questions. Those who complete all 5 texts will be presented with raffle tickets for prizes at the May Fair. This competition is being promoted on screens throughout the Secondary School and within the Secondary School Library. I look forward to seeing all of our students engaged with these texts.

Falcons are Flying!

We have started off with a bang as we came back from the holidays. Our BBall and Cheer squads had some great competition this past Friday and the amount of support from the student body and community was fantastic. Our Varsity boys even received a write up in the Stars & Stripes publication.  Today we will be hosting another full event, with teams from the MS all the way through to our Varsity will be competing.  The games will continue through Saturday. 

We will also be hosting a Flag Football event for our Middle School students and their parents, this will be a fun community event.

PTO & FSC

We are so fortunate to have such a thriving and engaged parent community here at AOSR.  That of course does not just happen on it's own, it is a direct result of the support and interaction of our PTO and FSC.  Today we will be having a Booster Bar as well as concessions throughout the weekend.  Below is the information:

 Thank you for your continued support of AOSR and our students.

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

February 8

Our students are extremely engaged during this time of the year. Whether it is finishing up summative assessments as we reach the midway point of our MS trimester, to the Musical Ensembles, MS Drama Production, IAs and Extended Essays for our IB students, Basketball and Cheer competitions, returning from MUN, our students are engaged!  Please take some time to ask your student what they have going on and what they are up to in the coming weeks.

Fine Arts are Flourishing

This past week our music students were able to perform for the MS/HS solo and ensemble evening. It was a lovely event highlighting the talents and growth of our students within the music program. This coming week our MS Drama production will take place with over 40 students participating in the Brothers Grimm production.  Performances will take place starting on Wednesday of this coming week, please come by and be a part of this wonderful event.

MS Trimester Progress Report

Tuesday of this week will mark the midway point of our 2nd trimester for our MS students. It is important to remember that this is a midway check point and we are looking at progress and growth. Please make sure to go onto your student's PowerSchool with them to engage in a conversation about their learning and progress so far this trimester. We want to ensure that all of our students are engaged in their learning and we are providing them the support they need in order to be successful.

Course Selection Time

We are now in that strange time of the year where we have one foot in the present and another stepping towards the future. This coming week we will be having meetings with grades 8-11 to look at the course selection process. This will be start of the discussions that will help students and parents plan their course selections for the coming year.  Please engage with your student about the options they have and the choices they would like to make. We want to encourage challenges and growth, with an eye to understanding the balance that is needed to help our students succeed academically.

Middle School Trip Registration Deadline

This past week we had our parent information night for our upcoming Middle School trips. It is amazing to see the types of opportunities that our students will have. I am sure that you are like me and are a bit jealous of what they will be able to experience and are probably thinking back to your own middle school experience and are wondering where were those types of opportunities for you! Our deadline for the registration will be February 13th, with payments to be made in the Villa.

Falcons are Flying!

This weekend we are hosting three teams for our basketball and cheer squads, with our JV boys playing this past Thursday. We will have a Booster Bar on Friday afternoon and it will be senior night in the middle of this evenings games. There will be a concession stand at all of the games and our students have been really focused as they prepare for the upcoming European Championships. Thank you for your continued support of our student athletes. Go Falcons!

 

Technology News

AOSR Expands BYOD Program

We will be expanding our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program to 9th Grade in September 2020. This means all 9th to 12th Graders must bring their own computer to school each day starting in September 2020.

Families can choose almost any device, but the computer should meet the specifications found at https://www.aosr.org/academics/tech-aosr

If you plan to purchase a new device, this is a great opportunity to have your son or daughter research computer models and propose to you what they would like to purchase. Ask them to tell you why they want that model, where they can get the best price, and what warranty and support are included. If you already have an older laptop that meets the specifications, then no need to buy a new computer.

Consider purchasing a protective case to help protect the computer from damage.

You can contact Rick Part at edtech@aosr.org with any questions. 

Staying Focused

It is very challenging to stay focused with all of the distractions that make up a modern day. This week I shared an article with the teachers about how we can help one another strive for a deep focus.  Below is the link to that article, please take the time to look and have a conversation with your child. I would love to hear from you and your thoughts on this topic.

Deep Dive 

Thank you for your continued support of AOSR and our students

Kind Regards,

Justin Walsh

jwalsh@aosr.org

Secondary School Principal

High School Academic Profile

Well Rounded Students

AOSR students stand out as well-rounded individuals with access to an enormous range of athletic, and artistic activities as well as clubs and organizations to engage in outside of class.

Athletics

Our student athletes compete with pride and sportsmanship against their peers at schools across Italy and other countries throughout Europe.

  • Cross country
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Soccer
  • Cheerleading
Arts

Students learn to value creativity and think outside the box, becoming more comfortable with risk taking and more adept at honing a craft.

  • Music ensemble
  • High school chorus
  • Theatrical productions (including the annual Shakespeare festival)
  • Painting
  • Photojournalism
Clubs and Activities

Students are exposed to principles of leadership development, project planning and character building.

  • Environmental Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Student Council
  • Global Issues Network (GIN)
  • French, Italian, and Spanish Honor Societies
  • Omnibus: the literary and art magazine
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Cinephiles: Film Club
Community Service

There is a premium on community service at AOSR and over 25% of our students participate in service efforts on and off campus.

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Recycling
  • Library service
  • Classroom helpers
  • Supporting a cultural center in the slums of Salvador Bahia, Brazil
  • Volunteering with Retake Rome
  • Volunteering at the Rome Refugee Center