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Dear Waterview Community:

We were all happy to have some warmer temperatures this week after last week’s ice storm. Thanks again for keeping learning going online, so that our students could stay on track with the curriculum. This week has been a little more “normal,” thankfully, with some important points to share with you. 

AP Exams

We’ve received quite a few questions about AP exams, so a note on that: Remember that students at DIS can take AP exams, even though we do not teach AP courses. Our curriculum is strong enough for the students to do very well on the AP exams anyway. The AP French Language and Culture Exam is taken in 9th grade and the preparation will be taught by Laurent Gélibert during three Saturday morning sessions on the 1st, 22nd and 29th of April 2023. Each class will run from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm (a four-hour class with one break) at the Waterview campus. The cost of the program is $100 per student. A minimum of six students is required for the course to proceed. If you would like your child to take the French AP Exam, please register for this preparatory class on Smart Tuition. It will help them understand the format of the test itself. 

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, so we have invited two special guests to speak to our students right after break, on February 20 and 22. Dr. Dorothy Bland will speak to our High School students and Mr. Neil Foote will address our Middle School students. We’ll tell you more about this after break, but please remember to talk to your children about this.

MAP Results

I spent some time on Tuesday afternoon with Ms. Nall and Mr. Lamphear, analyzing our English MAP data, and we have some excellent news to share. We are well above the national average in MAP scores for all our grades which take the MAP test for reading: grades 5, 6 and 7. Congratulations to our students and their awesome teachers. They will take the English MAP again in the spring, along with the Math MAP test. Our students scored particularly high in vocabulary, showing the richness of a multilingual education. Their foundational language skills are also higher than the norm, as they are acquiring these skills in more than one context. It was interesting to note that the national norm for reading went down during online learning, but DIS students kept their scores higher than the national average. Our overall trend is distinctly upward, even including our speakers of other languages. We had one 7th grade non-native speaker who came to us last year, whose score improved by 50 points! She is now at the national norm for all English speakers in the United States. We are extremely proud of our teachers and students. All MAP scores are uploaded on MyDIS under “Progress” for 5th, 6th and 7th grade students. (Remember 8th grade and up take the PSAT/SAT.)

Delegate Meetings - 02/08

Our Dean of Students, Ms. Tadeo, and our new Student Life Coordinator, Ms. Herd, met with our student delegates in the testing center over lunch on Wednesday, to go through the responses from the administration to all their points raised during the Class Councils. We see these meetings as a valuable exchange and as an exercise in citizenship, and we want our students to feel heard. They have excellent ideas, and we are all working together to ensure the best possible educational journey  for our students here at DIS. 

Food Committee Meeting - 02/08

On Wednesday, we had our Food Committee meeting to discuss the points that were raised at the Class Council meetings. Chef Mike and Chef Adam are open to your feedback and we had a fruitful discussion about portions, the dishwasher, variety and options for those with food sensitivities. Please continue to share your thoughts if you have any constructive suggestions for us. Kimberly Jenkins will be sharing the feedback with the class parents.

FB/IB Meeting for 8th and 9th Grades - 02/09

At DIS, students have the choice of two excellent tracks after 8th grade or 9th grade. They can do the French Baccalaureate Track, or the IB Diploma Track, which are both rigorous programs, preparing them well for college and the future. Some can decide to do the Diplôme National du Brevet, a set of exams at the end of 9th grade, and then decide on their track after 9th grade, others decide after 8th grade. But either way, we wanted to make sure our 8th and 9th grade parents and students had all the information they needed, so we had an opportunity to share this on Thursday evening in the testing center. Please let us know if you’d like to talk more about these tracks, as we would be happy to meet with you for further discussion. 

Valentine’s Day

There were many hearts and cards, chocolates and cupcakes around campus for this special time of year. Sage created a beautiful pastry display in the cafeteria and the SGA was busy selling all kinds of Valentine's Day treats. Students were offered a free dress day, wearing Valentine’s Day colors on Friday and the CM2/5th grade classes had a party in the testing center to celebrate. The Middle School Boum is on February 24, so keep an eye out for more on that.  

And that’s it for this week. Have a wonderful break next week. If you’re traveling, come back to us safely, and if you're staying in town, enjoy the change of pace.

Warm regards,