Old Road, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, Africa | Phone: 231-777-818-775 | administration@aismonrovia.com

The year of the Mountain Zebra
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Theme for 2016 - 2017: “Year of the Emperor Penguin”

In 2012, AISM in the Year of the Butterfly left our cocoon to soar to New Heights! In 2013, we worked together during the Year of the Horse to help our students make measurable academic progress; and in 2014, during our Year of the Chameleon, we adapted and transformed to assist our students in meeting challenging new environments.
Last year, during the Year of the Swallow, we maneuvered and adapted to best meet our students' needs.

This year…we are pleased that AISM continues to evolve to meet the overall needs of our student population, and this year, our school welcomes…the Year of the Emperor Penguin.

As per Wikipedia, “the penguin has an evolutionary conservative body shape, which allows for great maneuverability, endurance, and warmth, while swimming”. Emperor Penguins are social animals that work together in groups and pairs to adapt to both traveling, living and surviving in an extreme habitat. 

AISM Community, Prospective Parents, Partners and Friends …

It is hard to believe how quickly time flies (unlike a Penguin!)! As I start my 24th year in International Education, it is my honor to be part of the AISM community for a fifth year.

AISM is a unique school, with a unique history that I am indeed very fortunate to be a part of. The school is a vital part of Liberia’s reconstruction effort, after the country experienced both a period of Civil War during the 1990's, and the Ebola Crisis of 2014. As her Excellency, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote in May of 2006, authorizing the reactivation of the school:  

Theme for the 2017 – 2018 School Year:  “Year of the Mountain Zebra”

Mission Statement:
The American International School of Monrovia’s mission is to offer its present and ever-changing student population a challenging curriculum (designed to meet or exceed U.S. Standards), while enabling AISM's student body to achieve their full social, intellectual, emotional and physical potential.  Our intellectual community teaches values and good manners, is dedicated to academic excellence, demands responsibility and promotes the power of collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

This is … AISM!!

Re: COMPLETION OF THE YEAR OF THE MOUNTAIN ZEBRA!

AISM Community,

This is the final week, and tomorrow will be our last day of what has been a very busy, productive, and successful 2017 – 2018 School Year. AISM has much to celebrate, as the strength of the newly accredited U.S. Academic Program continues to grow.

This year, AISM reached academic levels above international and American national norms, as referenced by our school-wide MAP scores that our students achieved in a safe and positive learning environment.

Arrival Date of the 2017-2018
AISM Yearbook!

Over my six-year tenure here at the American International School of Monrovia, there are many lessons that I have learned over the years!

1. "The only constant is change!" Sadly, we will be losing a little over 30% of our student body this year, however, we are expecting a net increase of students for 2018 – 2019. Nevertheless, as we found out from our staff meeting yesterday: “it is never easy to say goodbye.” The 30 students and 4 faculty members, who made this year so successful, are going to be truly missed!!

2. “All dates are flexible.” Although we hoped to have the Yearbooks here on campus for tomorrow’s Mountain Zebra Zenith, we have now been able to confirm that they will be here on Monday.  

Dear AISM parents,

With less than ten days of school remaining in the Year of the Mountain Zebra, we are indeed very, very busy in working with your students to ensure another successful year of teaching and learning here at the American International School of Monrovia.

Now Printing in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the 2017-2018 AISM Yearbook!

In 2012, AISM, in the Year of the Butterfly, left its cocoon to soar to New Heights! In 2013, we worked together during the Year of the Horse to help our students make measurable academic progress; then in 2014, during our Year of the Chameleon, we adapted and transformed to assist our students in meeting challenging new environments. In 2015, our teachers maneuvered and adapted to meet your students where they were at, during the Year of the Swallow. Last year, we became accredited (for the first time since 1989!!), as we welcomed the Year of the Emperor Penguin, and as AISM continued to evolve to meet the overall needs of our student population.

“It's an universal law-- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We are very pleased, and the parents’ surveys by the Board of Trustees “backed it up”, that we have an excellent and very tolerant community.

Congratulations to this month’s RESPECT (Tolerance) winners! It is important to note that our school climate is very tolerant and respectful of all students. To that, we say thank you – and to our parents, we appreciate the support; a “job well done”.

AISM Parents,

Many of you wondered yesterday …. “how did we do that?” I heard that some parents got up to ten emails from the school yesterday. It seemed like we were everywhere, and there was no escaping information about:

  • Jupiter
  • PTA
  • Return of Library Books by Friday, June 1st – Tomorrow.
  • After School Activities concluding next Friday, June 8th.

This is in addition to countless messages from the teachers, the front office, and of course me! (Jeff)

3 weeks and 3 days:

With just under a month remaining in our “Year of the Mountain Zebra”, there is still much teaching and learning to be done at the American International School of Monrovia.  I would like to give a special shout out to the 60% of the parents, and 100% of the teachers who completed the Board Survey.  The overall participation of our community in these surveys is a strong indicator of why our students’ MAP testing was outstanding.  A strong home-school partnership is essential for overall student success.  Both, the survey participation along with the MAP results, show that this component is firmly in place. The MAP results for the year can be found on our GDPR-modified website: https://www.aismonrovia.com/directors-messages/365-director-s-message-no-217

AISM Community:

RE:  “New Teachers” joining our Faculty Next Year.

With six weeks remaining in the “Year of the Mountain Zebra”, there is still much teaching and learning to be done at the American International School of Monrovia.  We still have over 15% of our school year remaining!!

As Director, I would like to personally extend my appreciation, on behalf of our faculty, to our proactive parent community for their commitment in supporting our school, and for working with us to strengthen our overall program. This year - for the first time since 1989! - we offered a fully accredited U.S. academic program, for the entire school year!!

PTA Teacher Appreciation Week – Appreciation

On behalf of the faculty and staff, I would like to send out a formal “thank you” to the PTA, and our entire school community, for making our team of teachers feel “appreciated.”

Once again, as it is the tradition of AISM’s PTA … you went “above and beyond” in supporting the teachers, and as always, you “worked together for excellence”.

The PTA parents provided a special breakfast, class coverage, a fantastic lunch (and beverages), and today, some great gift baskets for our team.

Dear AISM Parents,

Let’s all pause for a Moment of Science!!

With two solid months left of teaching and learning, here at the American International School of Monrovia, we are keeping our word…we are FINISHING STRONG!

Last Friday, we held our 10th annual Science Fair! Part of the Science Fair experience is for the students to be engaged in authentic dialogue with people who are involved in professional careers that have connections to the Science and Math fields.

AISM: Making Data-Driven Decision to reflect the needs of our ever-changing student population.

AISM Parents,

This week, students taking French in Grades 2 – 10 received the results of the very first Avant STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test in West Africa, provided for French Language Learning and Growth.

Please note that we gave the test before the break, as it takes up to 72 hours to process the results. This assessment is designed as a “DIAGNOSTIC” tool. It will help us assist your students in their areas of growth, see their progress, and understand the areas that still need to be mastered in the French language.

AISM Community,

“Playtime is over” … but here at AISM, it will be even better with the new artificial turf that we put under our swing set during the “Spring Break”.

Congratulations to our Student of the Month winners for Effective Communication:

Effective Communication is an open, balanced, and reciprocal sharing of perspectives

AISM Community,

Trimester III

The Month of March …. Questions ????  The Month of April … Answers!!!!

With a full Trimester of school remaining, there is much teaching and learning to be done at the American International of Monrovia. During the month of March, we received both two “new” students, and many great questions, about next school year, from our parent community. I would first like to extend my appreciation to our proactive parents, for using ‘quality communication’, and for addressing the following concerns directly to me, as your school Director:

  • The projected increase in school-wide enrollment, and individual class enrollments for next year
  • The continued use of our progressive multi-age mastery-based flexible learning system that is based on multi-age grouping to best meet the individual needs of our students
  • Teachers who may be leaving our community this year, or joining us next school year
  • The inflation-adjusted tuition for the 2018 – 2019 school year
  • The further use of technology integration in the classroom to create a more authentic blended learning, “real life”, experience
  • After the “Year of the Mountain Zebra” comes to an end, what next year’s theme will be????
  • How best to assist our students in accepting responsibility for their choices, and also help improve their academic performance here at the American International School of Monrovia.

Thank you Student Council!

On behalf of the entire community here at the American International School of Monrovia, I would like to send out a huge “shout out” to our proactive, and productive, Student Council! The AISM Student Council donated today $2,040 to purchase water-resistant lockers for our school community.

When these lockers arrive for next school year, it will be the first time (since 1989!) that our historic school site will have lockers to protect our students’ belongings.

March 19, 2018

Welcome to Trimester III at AISM! Our best is “yet to come!”

As we start the final Trimester of the “Year of the Mountain Zebra,” we want to ensure our final trimester is our best!

Throughout this year, our first as a fully accredited school, our community showed resilience and dexterity by completing a “self study.” The purpose of the self-study was a journey of growth and learning.

Just a few minutes ago, our “Assessment and Evidence of Learning team” provided us all with a great gift: the evidence of our students’ growth and learning during the second trimester of the school year.

March 12th, 2018

Trimester II Term Completion Countdown!

  1. MAP Testing in Reading and Math: Results to be sent home tomorrow.  CHECK!
  2. Report Cards will be available for viewing on Jupiter on Monday, March 19th: Start of Trimester III
  3. Culture Day Preparations.  CHECK!     ... Doing some cooking now!  -- Come with a big appetite!
  4. Ready for Trimester II – 3-Day Recess: CHECK!
  5. New Entrance Sign to the School: CHECK


“The purpose of quality student assessment is to help students learn! And teachers teach!”
nwea.org

I love this quote that can be found on the website of our assessment partner, the Northwest Evaluation Association.  It truly demonstrates how quality assessment can enhance a student’s overall educational experience, while providing teachers with the information they need to best assist your students’ education.

Next week, AISM students will be taking the Measures of Academic Progress assessment to ensure that your students are making measurable growth in their studies here at AISM.

AISM Parents,

Yesterday, I sent a note home about our students' growth and development. After which, during our faculty meeting, several teachers reminded me -- "why don't you communicate about the school’s overall growth and development?"

As you know, we have some great teachers, and they have some great points. To that end:

AISM School Growth and Development.

The months of February and March are often the time when both Directors and teachers have their meetings and professional development workshops to assist their schools in moving forward.

RESPECT …..    P … Positive Attitude!

February 26, 2018.  (Two weeks before the end of Trimester II)

Positive Attitude!

"A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power of you!" -- Rocky Balboa

AISM Community,

February 13, 2018

AISM Celebrates 100 days of Learning!!!

RE: Trudeau on Travels. Teacher Professional Development Afternoon.

AISM community,

During the “Year of the Mountain Zebra", our school continues to change, adapt, and support one another to best meet our students’ needs. Like a Mountain Zebra, we are small in numbers but strong in rigor!!

This week, I have the pleasure to represent the American International School of Monrovia at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) in New York (Yes, it is snowing). AAIE is a global community that helps support high quality American/Internationally-accredited education institutions worldwide.

AISM Community,

RE: Publication of the American International School of Monrovia 2018 – 2019 Calendar.

On behalf of AISM’s Board of Trustees, I am pleased to present our Academic Calendar for the 2018 – 2019 School Year. We are looking forward to continuing to offer the American International School of Monrovia Community, a fully U.S. accredited K – 9 Program. 

AISM Parents,

2018, thus far, has proven to be an exciting and busy year here at the American International School of Monrovia:

  1. Student of the Month: Self Control
  2. Food Service for the first time in 28 years (Marwan and I did not want to "understand" the Math.)
  3. Scholastic Order: Note to be sent - It is 2018 -- This year, it will be done fully electronically with the United States.     
  4. PTA Sports Day
  5. First Day of ASAP

Student of the Month:

AISM Parents,

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a well-deserved and relaxing winter vacation break. Thank you for partnering with us for the first part of the 2017 – 2018 “Year of the Mountain Zebra”. We look forward to continuing our academic journey with you on Monday, January 8th.

The school will be on “winter holiday” hours from 10:00 – 2:00 each day, starting on Tuesday, December 19th – Friday, January 5th.

January 9, 2018

Board of Trustees - January Schedule Modification:

RE: U.S. Holiday (Observed) January 15th - Liberian Celebration/Inauguration, January 22nd.

AISM Community,

The Board of Trustees has hit the ground (as we all have) here at the American International School of Monrovia, running and “ready to serve.”

AISM Parents,

Happy Holidays and Welcome Back! It was great to see so many energized students this morning on campus, fully rested and “ready to learn”. We look forward to partnering with you for the second part of the “Year of the Mountain Zebra” in our ongoing academic journey.

This afternoon, for the first time since April of 1990, the American International School of Monrovia served a hot lunch. I contacted the former Director at the time, Mr. Rob Ambrogi, to ask for some tips, and he replied: “sorry Jeff, we used to do it, but all the floppy disks either disappeared or got mold on them”.

That said, Dr. Ambrogi gave me several “specs” from different schools throughout the world, to help us re-launch our program, for the benefit of our school community.

Embracing Our Past, Preparing For Our Future: AISM @ 10

December 12, 2017

AISM Parents, Students, Community Members and Friends,

On behalf of this year’s teaching team (our tenth), I just want to take a moment to thank you all for making our Tenth Anniversary Commemoration and the Student Performances so special, on Friday afternoon. As the Director of AISM since 2012, I am very fortunate to have the unwavering support of our entire stakeholder community. All of us, working as a community, have put our students first – and I am truly humbled by the progress that we have made on all fronts - during the many years that I have been fortunate to be part of the American International School of Monrovia.

November 22, 2017

RE: Trimester II Preparations Complete

  1. MAP Testing:      Check - Results to be sent home today.
  2. Report Cards:     Check
  3. ASAP "restart":   Check
  4. Ready for Thanksgiving Recess: CHECK!

MAP Testing

“The purpose of quality student assessment is to help students learn! And teachers teach!”
nwea.org

Student of the Month: Effort!

The seven characteristics of RESPECT (Responsibility, Effort, Self-Control, Positive Attitude, Effective communication, Cooperation and Tolerance) are used as the AISM Citizenship Code.

This program is also identified on your student report card, which you will have next week for the first Trimester. The Respect citizenship code of student conduct helps us create a positive school culture where students feel safe and excited to come to school and learn.

November 9, 2017

Trimester 1 Conclusion/MAP Testing/After School Activity Program Election Period Hiatus

AISM Community,

It is hard to believe that next week on Friday, November 17th, one third of the "Year of the Mountain Zebra" will be completed.

November 1, 2017

AISM Celebrates Halloween/Fall Festival and Observes Liberian Thanksgiving

I would like to send out a “thank you” to the entire American International School of Monrovia community for a successful Halloween and Fall Festival celebration. The event was organized and supported by our recently reconstituted PTA.

As a past PTA Chair once wrote:

Dear AISM community,

I’m writing you today to express our thanks, on behalf of the previous PTA committee members and myself, for all the support and assistance you gave PTA in the last couple of years.

AISM Parents,

October 30, 2017

RE: Halloween/Fall Festival, AISM Health Insurance, Liberian Thanksgiving.

This week, The American International School of Monrovia is pleased to welcome the four day visit of Mr. Ricardo Urbina to our campus.  Mr. Urbina works with many of the present insurance companies that the school contracts with, each year, to safeguard our teachers, students, and school facility.  Mr. Urbina is directly in charge of our teacher health insurance, and he was able to assist us with the policy development and implementation of our student emergency medical insurance.

October 27, 2017

RE: Updated Students’ School Medical Emergency ID cards for ASPEN.

AISM Parents,

Our insurance company (TIE International) that protects and insures your students for medical emergencies that occur on school grounds, and during school hours, apologizes for the delay in getting the updated medical insurance cards to you.

AISM Community,

RE: Clarity in Election Process and School Position regarding a safe and appropriate learning environment at AISM.

Parents, Teachers, and Students,

As per the text message sent out this morning at 9:45a.m, the school received multiple reports that “provisional” election results are “likely” to be announced today at 4:00p.m. Therefore, the American International School of Monrovia took the position that -- despite the ambiguity in the message -- it was prudent to dismiss school at 12:30, to ensure the safe and timely transit of your students.

Everybody talks about the traffic, but nobody does anything about it. Well, we get to “experience it” until the conclusion of the election cycle.

AISM Parents,

The above statement is not entirely true; we are taking steps, as a school, when possible, to try to mitigate the effect of traffic and the transit time that it takes you and your students to get to and from the American International School of Monrovia campus each day:

  • We dismissed early on Thursday, and with your help and assistance, all students      were home by 4:00pm.
  • We will continue to have our dismissal egress each afternoon at 3:30. The After School Activity Program will continue its election cycle hiatus for two more weeks.
  • We will continue to have staff, and food and water in reserve, until the very last student is picked up each afternoon.
  • As announced last month, this year, the American International School of Monrovia has adopted the Jupiter Online Blended Learning protocol. This was put in place in the event that traffic congestion, during this year’s election period, makes transport to the school challenging and/or inaccessible.

October 11, 2017

AISM Columbus Day Recess Concluded

Over the last three days, the American International School of Monrovia enjoyed a previously scheduled three-day Columbus Day recess.

Please note that this was scheduled by the Board of Trustees, and I, in February of last year, and it has no impact on the number of contact days that were built into this year’s calendar.  As a Middle States Accredited school, it is expected that we have 180 contact days.  Of these 180 contact days, 5 days may be used for emergency, if it is aligned with our Jupiter Online Learning Protocol.

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but through perseverance.”

RE: October 8, 2017. “AISM Turns Ten!"

AISM Community,

It is hard to believe how quickly time flies, as today, we celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the American International School of Monrovia, and begin our second decade of offering a quality (now U.S. Accredited) Academic Program.

AISM “Year of the Zebra” Parents,

October 5, 2017

RE:

  • Anticipated Traffic Congestion, Delays, and Road Closures for Friday, October 6th, 2017.
  • Classes suspended tomorrow, October 6th, 2017. 
  • Jupiter Learning Protocol implemented.  

AISM Parents,

American International School of Monrovia: RESPECT Award!

Here, at the American International School of Monrovia, we use the RESPECT framework for teaching good character. Our framework is composed of seven ethical values (characteristics) that many American International Schools use for best practice: Responsibility, Effort, Self-Control, Positive Attitude, Effective Communication, Cooperation, and Tolerance.

Each of the seven character traits is used with our educational program, to help instill a positive learning environment for our students, in order to make our school a safe place where students are eager to come to school and learn; even the week before the elections!

AISM Parents,

Effective Communication: AISM Safety Manuals on Website.

As many of you may have heard from your students, we held a Lockdown III (fall back room) drill on Friday morning. The Crisis Management Team, and I, felt after a month of school (and with rain preventing us from conducting our normal fire drill, per the drill schedule), that we needed to ensure our students had proper training in the event of an unexpected lockdown of the AISM facility.

Our school Crisis Management Team is pleased to report that our teachers were well trained, students understood the objective of the exercise, and our security team of Liberian National Police and Segal Security reacted perfectly. We even had a late parent get “locked in” with us. Parents, please note that if you are on campus during a drill, you will be a participant in the exercise.


Dear Parents,

Last Friday, during our Emergency Closure Virtual School Drill, the teachers and I discovered some gaps and we recognized that we needed to coordinate a “common practice” for our Jupiter Online Learning protocol, as part of our Emergency Closure Contingency Plan.

The purpose of the drill was to better position our school going into the election period, in the event that traffic, congestion, and road closures make access to the school challenging or inaccessible.

As a general reminder, the school will be closed for an extended Columbus Day recess, the day before, the day of, and the day after the October 10th election.

AISM “Year of the Zebra” Parents,

RE:  Jupiter Online Drill Breakdown.

On Friday, the American International School of Monrovia suspended school and did not hold classes; we used an election-related event as an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to “learn how to learn”, using our new online Jupiter learning protocol. 

As Director, I felt this vital piece should be in place after concluding the first month of school.

This year, starting next week (September 11th), AISM is extending its Foreign Language Program for students in Upper School (Grades 6-10). Upper School students will be able to select between, French, Arabic (native speakers only) and Spanish, as their foreign language option.

“The purpose of quality student assessment is to help students learn! And teacher’s teach!”
nwea.org

Yesterday, it was great to see so many well-rested student faces, returning to AISM, after our Labor Day weekend. On Monday, our teachers and staff enjoyed a professional development day to prepare and analyze the incoming Measure of Academic Progress results that many of our students completed last week.  

This year, we have seen over 50% of our families new to our community. For those parents joining our International School this year, we have some information on how our trimester Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) will help us ensure that your children are achieving measurable student growth at AISM:

https://www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2011/07/A-Parents-Guide-to-MAP-.pdf

Contact Information & Links

Old Road, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, Africa | P.O. Box 1625 | Phone: 231-777-818-775
administration@aismonrovia.com

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