Transition to HS


Today in Advisory, course selection forms went have been handed out. Starting to fill out these forms now provides our HS with the necessary information to start developing their master schedule (the same process is true in the MS)

In order to assist you with the process please find the HS Course Catalog below:

Course Catalog 17-18

Additionally here is the presentation given by our HS counselor on February 14th.

Grade 8 Parent Night 2017

Below are some frequently asked questions that may provide some clarification.

If you have questions that you would like answered please fill out the google form HERE

  1. I’m currently enrolled in MS as an EAL student. Does that mean I should select EAL on my course selection form?

While it is general practice for students enrolled in EAL Humanities (EAL 1 Support) to continue in the EAL program in HS, placement will be determined later in the school year by your child’s EAL teacher, by looking at a number of different assessments. The HS Counselor will meet with the EAL teachers later in the spring to make these decisions. As enrollment in EAL class takes the place of enrollment in a World Language we would ask that your child select the World Language choice that they would like to take if they were not recommended to continue on with an EAL class. Their placement will be communicated with home in the spring.

2. I see Dance in two places. Why is that? Can I take two semesters of CPE (comprehensive physical education) and Dance?

Dance can be considered a PE elective or a Fine Arts elective but not both. This means that to complete your CPE requirements you can take two semesters of Dance (or one semester of Dance and one of CPE) but if you want your Physical Education credits to be fulfilled with two semesters of CPE then enrolling in Dance will be a credit (0.5 credits / semester) towards your fine arts electives.

3. I’m currently in Math 8. What do I sign up for regarding a Math course?

It is important to know that Math 8 and Integrated Math I (IM I) involve similar content and are both considered a prerequisite credit for Integrated Math II (IM II). The typical track from Gr. 8 Math is IM II but in some cases MS teachers will recommend that a student in Gr. 8 Math take IM I when they enter HS in order to review further increase their foundational understanding of key concepts. While this recommendation is made to support students as they continue to develop their understanding it does have implications future courses that they will be able to take and should be discussed with their HS counselor.

Please refer to page 30 in the HS Course Catalog for more information regarding the HS Math Sequence.

4. Do I need to get teacher’s signatures in the places that it says “teacher agrees / teacher disagrees”?

No. These grey areas on your child’s course selection form are to be completed by your child’s teachers and counselor at a later date. The HS Counselors will complete a process where all student’s course placement sheets are reviewed. It is at that time that teachers will discuss any recommendations that do not align with the courses selected by your child.




The Importance of Sleep

There has been lot’s said over the years about the importance of sleep.
As a school counselor, asking students about the amount of sleep they get is a pretty common question. When students are struggling in class as good nights sleep can make the difference. This has been seen by teachers and parents alike, but what is happening when we sleep and why is it so important to our brain.

Recently the CBC radio program Quirks and Quarks discuss recent studies that help further our understanding of the science of sleep. While this research does not specifically look at adolescent development, it is not difficult to make the connection between the current research and memory retention and behavior management in children.
You can find the article here
Or click here if you prefer to listen to the article

Parent Coffee Feb February

Today we’re going to take advantage of my favorite articles that parents have shared with me recently. I really want to emphasize the importance of us, as parents, to share these resources with one another in order to prompt discussion. These articles all have to do with parenting but have different areas of focus. Whether you are interested in cultural identity or helping your son/daughter with body image issues, let us take time today to explore some resources and share our ideas.

Introduction: Video on Third Culture Kids

More on parenting strategies, this article emphasizes the importance of being bored, in a world where phones and tablets provide instant stimulation. What are the benefits of being bored?

Here is an article from the New York Times that discuss a type of parenting strategy that has adopted the name “potted plant parenting”.

Two huge resources that we’ll also explore today:
Common Sense Media

Your Child’s Digital World

Here is the presentation from yesterday’s parent coffee.

Also, please find below a link for the Family Media Agreements from Common Sense Media
While the Family Media Agreement from CSM is a wonderful template and great conversation starter, please have the conversations with your family go beyond this contract to discuss media free places (maybe the bedroom) and media free times (maybe, the morning and when at the table eating meals together).

Thank you so much for your engagement during this mornings Parent Coffee. As we continue the Parent Coffees throughout the year, I look forward to providing more opportunities for us to share ideas and common experiences as well as do some activities to provoke thinking and build on our community of expert parents.
Here is the graphic that we used for our small activity.

Additionally, here is the presentation in PDF format.

Much of the research that I mentioned is presented in the book Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! by Dr. Michael Bradley. You can find a link to his website here

To This Day

Today we will be hearing from Shane Koyczan, award winning spoken word poet and author. He is a Canadian who is known for writing about issues related to bullying, cancer, death and eating disorders. Shane is someone who draws on difficult personal experiences for the subject of his writing and inspirational speeches. He demonstrates how we can all learn and grow in the face of challenges and hardships, and find beauty in ourselves and in the world.
After watching the video follow the three steps below.

Step 1: With you elbow partner please take 30 seconds to give your impressions of the poem.

(Return to Advisory for step 2)

Step 2: Once put into small groups select one person to be the recorder (that person will need an iPad).
Select the link below which will bring you to a google form. The form has several quotes from the poem and a questions below. Discuss the quote and the question and form an answer, or response, that is then entered into the form by the recorder.
-You only need one recorder.
-You only need to complete one question.

Here is the link

Step 3: When you are completed at least one of the questions with your group, choose one of the quotes to focus on and create a skit, a poem of your own, a visual art piece, or something to demonstrate the quote. You will share your art form with your buddy advisory at 11:50am.
Thank you

Anti-Bullying Class

After hundreds of emails I’ve finally updated my blog with the information from the Anti-Bullying class last week.

Here is the video that some of had a chance to watch. What I really like about this video is that it is not made for the bully or for the bully’s target but for the bystander that might be observing the bullying, whether online or in person.
Watch the video again and consider your role in bullying that you observe.

Being a bystander vs. being an Upstander.
Put simply, a bystander is standing by watching whereas an being an Upstander means that you are ‘standing up’ and helping to make the situation better.
For more info on how to be an Upstander, please check out the document below.

Also, I wanted to include the Bullying spectrum. It brought about a lot of positive conversation so I thought that I would share it here.


Where would the bullying that you see or hear about fit on this spectrum?

UPDATED – AES New Student Map…(not MAP)

I couldn’t get a screen shot of the whole map so I took two.


At an international school such as AES we love to celebrate the fact that our students are from all over the world. We’d love for you to contribute to an AES Map that shows where “home” is to you. The idea of “home” may be more difficult to define for some of us who have spent our life traveling the world, moving from post-to-post and integrating in and out of cultures.

Is home…
… where you grew up?
… the place where your passport is from?
… where your parents are from?
… where you lived last?
… a place that you identify with?

Home may actually be many places but I will ask you to select one place, if you can to put on our shared map.

Follow the link here to the AES New Student Map.

Here is a brief instructional video.