Mr. Magadance's Blog
Dear ISA Families,
Even though Monday, January 16, is a school holiday, we have plenty happening on campus and around San Antonio!
Today, along with several ISA families, we welcome 18 students and their teachers from ISA’s sister school in Gwangju, South Korea! Students will experience a homestay with ISA families and participate in cultural exchange events during their visit. On Tuesday, January 17, we will hold a welcome ceremony for our guests during advisory at 10:30 a.m. in the Lee Auditorium. ISA Families are welcome to attend the event in order to help give our friends an official welcome to ISA and San Antonio.
On Monday, the ISA Interact Club will participate in the 30th Annual MLK March. Anyone who is interested in walking with us can meet at Freeman Coliseum Parking Lot 1 at 9:00 a.m. VIA buses will provide a free shuttle to and from the march, and we will return to Freeman Coliseum by 1:00 p.m. The first 50 people to find the ISA group at Freeman Coliseum will receive a free 2017 ISA scarf. Students and families are asked to Sign up here or https://goo.gl/XZkcQf to help us plan for the day.
Our next school-wide ISA event for families is the second Report Card Pick-Up Night of the year on Thursday, January 19! Join our teams to celebrate the first semester and preview upcoming class events for the second semester. Team meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. and be held in the following locations:
This evening is especially important for senior families as our students and teachers make final preparations for the senior travel experience to Washington, D.C. The ISA Amigos will also be selling ISA Spirit Items this evening for families still interested in making a purchase before seniors leave for D.C.
Thursday also marks the opening night for Allied Campus Theater’s presentation of Shrek the Musical in the Lee Auditorium! Based on the animated motion picture and the book by William Steig, Shrek promises fun and laughter for all. Tickets for the show are $10 and showtimes for January 19, 20, and 21 are 7:30 p.m. There is also a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 22. Allied Campus Theater is one of our strongest community wide organizations and features performances from Lee, ISA, and STEM students. Please consider supporting this whole community presentation!
Looking ahead, ISA will hold a parent information night for families of students interested in applying for the 9th grade class of 2017-2018, January 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the ISA Flex Room. This session is a great way for prospective families to learn about ISA. The deadline to apply for the incoming class of 9th graders is January 25, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Although siblings of current students are granted automatic admission, all students, including siblings, who are interested in attending ISA must submit the 2017-2018 Freshman Lottery Enrollment Form by the January 25 deadline as well!
Finally, the Lee/ISA/NESA/STEM Chinese Culture Club was featured this week on the district website! We are pleased to continue to support this opportunity for Mandarin Chinese instruction and cultural exchange on campus for our students. Also, the Texas Education Agency has made the ISA School Report Card for 2015-2016 available to our community. Information about the report card in English and Spanish is linked here and attached to this update. The report card itself is linked here or with this URL: https://goo.gl/akyPB5. Hardcopies of the report card are also available upon request!
Have a great week!
Dear ISA Families,
Welcome back to the first full week of the second semester!
Last Wednesday through Friday MUNSA XXI: Cultivate took place at Trinity University. Over 900 student delegates from across the U. S. and Mexico participated in spirited debate during the three day conference.
Once again, the ISA Amigos provided food and drinks for our guest sponsors during the event, and Trinity University’s facilities provided a beautiful, professional backdrop for the delegates’ experience at MUNSA.
More than 400 ISA students participated as press corps, delegates, co-chairs, secretaries, peacekeepers, and runners to help make MUNSA XXI a successful conference. Additionally, ten senior members of the MUNSA XXI Secretariat led the event from initial planning stages to the closing ceremony. The Secretariat have spent countless hours over the last six months preparing for MUNSA along with Mr. Luke Freeman and Ms. Andrea Puentes, the MUN sponsors. Thank you to all who played a role in another amazing year for Model United Nations San Antonio!
Yesterday, along with several ISA families, we welcomed to San Antonio 23 students and their teachers from ISA’s sister school Takayama Nishi High School in Takayama, Japan! Students will experience a homestay with ISA families and participate in cultural exchange events during their visit. On Tuesday, January 10, we will hold a welcome ceremony for our guests during advisory at 10:30 am in the Lee Auditorium. ISA Families are welcome to attend the event in order to help give our friends an official welcome to ISA and San Antonio.
Looking ahead, NEISD magnet schools will wrap up the final Magnet Monday on January 9, at Krueger Middle School. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and is open to families interested in NEISD’s collection of magnet schools. On Tuesday, January 10, at 6:00 p.m. we will hold a meeting for families who are hosting a student from our sister school in Gwangju, South Korea. On Thursday, January 12, the ISA Amigos will hold their monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Room. Also on Thursday, ISA families interested in learning more about Dual Credit, PSAT scores, and the ISA Internship program are invited to attend sessions on these topics on the first floor of the ISA building beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Finally, I wanted send a quick reminder that the first floor hallway will continue to be closed during 4th period lunch. Students will still be able to attend lunch tutoring in ISA classrooms and ISA clubs will still gather during scheduled lunch meetings.
As we prepare for our upcoming visit from South Korea, we are still in need of host families for two male students. If you are interested in hosting one of these young men please contact ISA counselor Necol Harness at (210) 356-0925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also happy to introduce two new faces to the ISA community this semester:
Have a great week!
Dear ISA Families,
During the short week students will complete their remaining semester exams! Below is the list of exams that will be administered this week:
Students will still follow a modified bell schedule on Monday that includes all of their classes. Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21 are early release days on high school campuses. School will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on these days. All school buses, including ISA shuttles to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Students are welcome to stay after school until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20 to study and/or use our computer lab to prepare for their last two finals on Wednesday.
ISA Counselor, Mrs. Necol Harness, asked me include the South Korean Hosting Application one more time. We are still seeking families willing to host four boys from our partner school in Gwangju, South Korea. If your family is willing to host a student from January 15 to January 22, 2017, please complete the hosting form! Families who are hosting a student from South Korea are asked to attend an exchange hosting meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room. We cannot express enough thanks to all the families committed to opening their homes for our ISA exchange experiences!
This last week the ISA hallways were filled with conversations about finals, plans for the winter break, seasons greetings, and MUNSA preparation! The secretariat and staff would like to remind our community that MUNSA XXI: Cultivate--hosted at Trinity University--begins on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium. ISA sophomores participate as delegates to the conference on January 4 through 6, ISA freshmen participate as members of the press corps on January 5, and ISA juniors and seniors staff the conference as committee chairs, secretaries, peacekeepers, and numerous other positions the ensure smooth operations. We are extremely proud of our students for their preparation and hard work and we look forward to a fantastic conference in January!
Recent concerns for the safety of ISA students and teachers have resulted in a decision to change the way we do lunch at ISA. Effective January 5, 2017, the first floor hallway in the ISA building will be closed during 4th period lunch. Students will continue to have access to their teachers in ISA classrooms for academic support. Clubs and organizations will also still be able to meet in classrooms during regularly scheduled times. Exceptions will be made in cases of inclement weather and as other needs arise. We appreciate your understanding the need for this change.
Finally, this is the last weekly update for the 1st semester. The next update will be sent out on Sunday, January 8, 2017! This year has been marked with many new experiences, new staff, and new conversations. I have enjoyed meeting new faces and reconnecting with familiar ones. I am continually reminded that ISA is successful because of the support of all of our stakeholders and the warm and cool feedback we get from the community serve to make us a better place for teacher and learning. In the spirit of reflection and renewal, we are interested in your feedback here or by pasting this URL into your browser: https://goo.gl/FZKoNI. I look forward to reviewing and sharing our learning from your feedback!
Enjoy family and friends during this holiday season, and have a great week!
Dear ISA Families,
Greetings from Kunming, China! This weekend, I am attending the 11th Confucius Institute Conference. As a member of the Confucius Classrooms Network, ISA is linked with schools in the United States and internationally that offer students the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and language. With the support of the network and our partnership with the Asia Society, we have worked to support cultural exchange travel and hosting opportunities for our students. This spring ISA will travel to Wuxi, China for an exchange visit and we are excited to continue to offer opportunities for students to travel internationally!
Looking ahead to January 2017, we will welcome exchange guests from Japan and South Korea on January 7 and January 15, respectively. ISA families who are hosting a student from Japan are asked to attend a Japanese exchange hosting meeting on Thursday, December 15, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room. Families who are hosting a student from South Korea are asked to attend a Korean exchange hosting meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room. Thank you to all of the families who have agreed to host a student from ISA’s sister schools! Your commitment to our exchange programs is the foundation for their success!
This week students and teachers will wrap up the 2nd quarter grading period and prepare for first semester exams! Semester exams begin on Friday, December 16, and continue through Wednesday, December 21. Below is a list of the exams that will be given on each day this week and next:
Although students take one or two exams per day, other class periods will be meeting each day on Friday and Monday. Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21 are early release days on high school campuses. School will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on these days. On Tuesday and Wednesday all school buses, including ISA shuttles to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 1:30 p.m. Students are welcome to stay after school until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20 to study and/or use our computer lab to prepare for their last two finals on Wednesday.
We are also excitedly preparing for MUNSA XXI: Cultivate hosted at Trinity University! MUNSA leadership will be visiting Trinity University on Monday and Tuesday this week to complete final preparations before the winter break! MUNSA opening ceremonies take place on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium. The opening ceremonies will include a welcome from our gracious host, a keynote speaker, commentary about the purpose and vision for the conference, and the official motion to begin the conversation!
This will be the penultimate weekly community update for the first semester! The first update for the new calendar year will be Sunday, January 8, 2017!
Dear ISA Families,
Semester exam exemption forms were distributed this week. Students who meet the grade and attendance requirements outlined in the exemption guidelines may exempt up to three semester exams. Students must also acquire the appropriate teacher signatures, a parent/guardian signature, and submit the signed exemption form by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7.
With only nine more days before semester exams begin, teachers will begin to prepare our students for semester exams. Information about reviews and the format and content of specific semester exams will be forthcoming. We encourage students to review the semester exam schedule linked from the ISA Daily Bulletin and posted on the ISA calendar and to speak with teachers if they need further assistance about how to prepare. Please remind students that their teachers are here to support them and to help them manage the stress associated with this busy time of the year.
The ISA Amigos asked me to send a request for volunteers to help prepare for MUNSA XXI: Cultivate. Each year the Amigos prepare hospitality for teacher sponsors who attend MUNSA. If you are interested in helping please follow this link or paste this URL: https://goo.gl/VLRmo2 into your browser. If you are interested in more information about this opportunity as well as other ways the ISA Amigos support ISA students, and new ISA spirit items you are invited to attend the ISA Amigos’ monthly meeting on Thursday, December 8, at 6:00 p.m., in the Sergiovanni Room.
We are seeking several additional host brothers and sisters for our South Korean exchange students visiting in January. Although the South Korean students do not arrive until after winter break, we plan to finalize host families prior to the break. We still need five families willing to host boys from South Korea. If you are interested in hosting, please complete the South Korean Hosting Application as soon as possible.
Looking to the end of this week, the sophomore team teachers are hosting a December 10 Saturday School from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the EngWHAP classroom (S102). This Saturday School is for any students who are not passing one of their core classes by Friday, December 9. If your student might be in this category, please encourage them to turn in missing or make-up work before Friday to avoid Saturday school. They should see their teachers for this week’s tutoring schedules or for more information.
Finally, as the holiday season approaches we want to remind everyone that ISA will host MUNSA XXI: Cultivate at Trinity University on January 4 - 6, 2017. Not only is MUNSA the largest student run event of its kind, January 4 is the day before North East ISD students and staff return from the winter holiday. Knowing that a majority of ISA students take part in some aspect of MUNSA, please mark your family calendars now to accommodate this early return.
Dear ISA Families,
Our freshman, sophomore, and junior students arrived safely back at ISA just in time to begin the Thanksgiving holiday. During this time of thanksgiving we are reminded that our travel experiences, field trips, student exhibitions of work, student-led conferences, service opportunities, internships, and other unique and special ISA traditions rely on the tremendous support of parents and community members. To the parent chaperones who embraced overnight bus rides on our recent travel experiences, the ISA Amigos busily preparing for fundraising events in the spring, grandparents and guardians who volunteer to join us on our field trips, community members who serve as mentors for our seniors as they complete their internship, and to the many parents and guardians who share the gift of time or financial support with ISA, we thank you for your generosity and commitment to our school and our students!
ISA excitedly awaits the arrival of students from Japan and South Korea in January! From January 7 to 17, 2017, ISA will host 23 students (13 boys and 10 girls) from Takayama, Japan. From January 15 to 22, 2017, we will host 18 students (8 boys and 10 girls) from Gwangju, South Korea. These cultural exchange opportunities help our students live the mission of ISA to understand the world around them. As of this update we are still in need of host families for 9 boys and 4 girls for our Japanese students. We also still need host families for 7 boys and 4 girls for our Korean students.
ISA families who are interested in hosting a Japanese student or a Korean student during these exchange visits should complete the hosting application linked in this update and in the ISA bulletin. The deadline to complete the hosting application is Friday, December 2.
On Monday, November 28, semester exam exemption forms will be distributed to students in their ISA classes. Students who meet the criteria described in the exam exemption guidelines will be exempt from taking up to three of their semester exams. The exemption form must have a student, teacher and parent signature and are due in the ISA office by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, December 7. Because attendance is an important part of having an exemption granted, it is important that all doctor’s notes and/or college visit verification forms are brought to Mrs. Tamez by December 7. Any questions about exam exemptions may be sent ISA Dean, David Garcia, at email@example.com.
Dear ISA Families,
When you read this message, our sophomores will be nearly to Santa Fe, New Mexico, after a full day of learning. Our Juniors will be headed to Vicksburg, Mississippi, on the first leg of their travel experience to Alabama! We wish our students, teachers, and parent chaperones the best as they continue the ISA tradition of travel and learning. I am excited to learn with our sophomores this year, and I cannot wait to hear the stories our juniors and freshmen bring back from their travel experiences.
On Monday, November 14, ISA Freshmen will check-in for their travel experience to Heifer International in Arkansas. If possible, please arrive at the staggered times listed below to help us shorten wait times. The Freshman team would like to remind families that check-in takes between ½ to 1 hour.
Looking ahead to the rest of the week, the Lee Campus PTSA is asking for volunteers to participate in a holiday pie drive for faculty and staff at LEE/ISA/NESA/STEM. If you are interested in donating a pie, the PTSA encourages you to follow this URL: https://goo.gl/iXmdSG to sign up!
ISA is still seeking families who are interested in hosting a student from our partner schools in Japan and South Korea. From January 7 to 17, 2017, ISA is excited to host 23 students (13 boys and 10 girls) from Takayama, Japan. From January 15 to 22, 2017, we will host 18 students (8 boys and 10 girls) from Gwangju, South Korea. These cultural exchange opportunities help our students live the mission of ISA to understand the world around them. ISA families who are interested in hosting a Japanese student or a Korean student during these exchange visits should complete the hosting application linked in this update and in the ISA bulletin. The deadline to complete the hosting application is Friday, December 2.
The ISA Interact Service Club asked me to share information about some service opportunities happening during the Thanksgiving Holiday. Students can sign up to work at the Holiday River Parade on Friday, and/or prep for the Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner on Monday and/or Tuesday.
Finally, when we return from Thanksgiving Break on Monday, November 28, semester exam exemption forms will be distributed to students in their ISA classes. Students who meet the criteria described in the exam exemption guidelines will be exempt from taking up to three of their semester exams. The exemption form must have a student, teacher and parent signature and are due in the ISA office by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, December 7. Because attendance is an important part of having an exemption granted, it is important that all doctor’s notes and/or college visit verification forms are brought to Mrs. Tamez by December 7. Any questions about exam exemptions may be sent ISA Dean, David Garcia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful week!
Dear ISA Families,
By this time next week, six charter buses will be on the road to New Mexico and Alabama, and three additional buses will leave for Arkansas the following day. This year, all trip check-ins will happen in our new science building. The buses will be staging in the parking lot located in front of the Lee main building adjacent to Jackson-Keller. Families are encouraged to park in the administrative lot near the gym or in the student lot near the band practice pad. As you prepare snacks for your student’s travel, please do not pack any snacks that contain peanuts or peanut butter as there are students with severe peanut allergies. The close proximity of the bus environment makes it especially important that we maintain a peanut free trip. Please also remind your student of this requirement so that all students are kept safe on the trip.
Below are the trip departure times and links to the travel presentations with additional information.
Saturday, November 12
Sunday, November 13
Monday, November 14
The ISA faculty is looking forward to another wonderful travel week this fall!
This week, on Thursday, November 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room, parents of ISA students who are designated as Gifted and Talented Learners in English or math are invited to attend a short meeting to learn about how ISA works to meet the specific needs of our G/T students. Following this meeting families are invited to stay for the ISA Amigos monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m.
This Friday, November 11, ISA Seniors will have the opportunity to hone their interviewing skills! Representatives from local companies such as HEB, Toyota, Mood Texas, and more will be on campus holding mock interviews. Seniors are encouraged to embrace the experience by wearing professional dress to create an authentic environment for practicing their communication and presentation skills. ISA Internship and Service Learning Coordinator, Beth Coleman, has coordinated this experience in partnership with SA Works. This local organization provides summer internship opportunities to students. If you have questions please contact Ms. Coleman at email@example.com.
ISA Shadowing days will take a brief hiatus during our travel season and resume after classes return from their trips. However, while our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders travel, ISA will share our story at the first of three Magnet Informational Nights! On November 14, ISA will join all of NEISD’s magnet schools at Bradley Middle School from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. The evening begins with an open house and will also include break-out sessions hosted by each school.
This year, NEISD has partnered with Healthy Schools, Schoolhouse Pediatrics, and E3 Alliance to “Kick the Flu”. This program will offer free flu shots to Lee/ISA/NESA/STEM students on Thursday, December 1, from 9:oo to 11:00 a.m. Parents must complete and return a consent form (attached) to the ISA Office by Friday, November 18, to take advantage of this program.
Finally, when we return from Thanksgiving Break on Monday, November 28, semester exam exemption forms will be distributed to students in their ISA classes. Students who meet the criteria described in the exam exemption guidelines will be exempt from taking up to three of their semester exams. The exemption form must have a student, teacher and parent signature and are due in the ISA office by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, December 7. Because attendance is an important part of having an exemption granted, it is important that all doctor’s notes or college visit verification forms are brought to Mrs. Tamez by December 7. Any questions about exam exemptions may be sent ISA Dean, David Garcia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful week!
Dear ISA Families,
We have completed the second week of our recruiting season with ISA Shadowing dates for prospective freshmen (current 8th graders) and their families this past week. Families are encouraged to register for the four remaining dates by completing the ISA Shadowing Form. The 2017-2018 Freshman Lottery Enrollment Form is also now posted on our website. Although participation in the Shadowing Program is not required in order for a student to apply to ISA, we encourage all interested students to participate.
Last Wednesday, ISA Freshmen completed the Storytelling Project by travelling to local elementary schools to perform their stories for 1st and 2nd graders. It was a real pleasure to watch our students share and debrief their tales with their audiences. The storytelling project is a prime example of the kinds of experiences that help ISA students develop their skills in collaborating and communicating effectively, and it is no surprise that many ISA Seniors highlight the Storytelling Project as one of their favorite ISA memories!
The ISA experience is also enriched by the partnerships we have developed with other high schools globally. From January 7 to 17, 2017, ISA is excited to host 23 students (13 boys and 10 girls) from Takayama, Japan. From January 15 to 22, 2017, we will host 18 students (8 boys and 10 girls) from Gwandju, South Korea. We are currently seeking ISA families who are interested in hosting a Japanese student or a Korean student during these exchange visits. Interested families can fill out the hosting applications linked in this week’s update and in the ISA bulletin.
There are several events happening this week at ISA:
The Lee Campus PTSA and Lee Band Parent Association asked me to share information about two events:
Finally, we are less than two weeks away from our fall travel week! The Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior teams are making final preparations for departure. They asked me to remind ISA families to return any outstanding permission slips and medical forms for students. Also, if your student has medication that needs to be self-carried (i.e. inhaler, epipen), please submit the necessary self-carry paperwork to the Lee High School nurse by this Friday, November 4, 2017. Failure to submit this paperwork does not mean that the medication cannot go with your student on the trip. It does however mean that a team teacher will maintain possession of the medication during the trip.
Have a wonderful week!
Dear ISA Families,
Yesterday evening students from the Allied Campus attended our annual homecoming dance. It is truly fantastic to see our students dressed up and having fun together celebrating our community. Thank you to everyone who helped decorate and chaperone the dance!
If you were unable to attend last Thursday’s Report Card Pick-Up on October 20, please read through the presentations linked below. Included in the presentations you will find important information about medication check-in, baggage check-in, trip itinerary, and expectations of students presented by the freshman, sophomore, and junior teams. Also, if you haven’t received your student’s report card, please send a written request or email to our administrative assistant Ms. Patty Tamez (email@example.com), and she will release the report card to your child during lunches this week.
To help families plan for upcoming travel, we also want to share three important medication reminders:
This week, ISA families are invited to attend the annual NEISD College Fair at Blossom Athletic Center on Wednesday, October 26, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. More than 100 colleges and universities will be in attendance to speak with students and their families. This is a great way to begin or continue a conversation to identity the best college options for your student!
Have a wonderful week!