This is the time of year for our IB students in 12th grade to take their final examinations, the culmination of two years of work in the Diploma Programme. It’s a testament to their studies and integration of the material to answer both knowledge and process questions in their six subject areas. My youngest has been diligently studying (well, most of the time) since the last day of classes for seniors and the exam experience has been a complex mix of stress, sleepless, studious, and Starbucks. It is challenging to prepare and perform in a challenging high stakes exam of this nature and I feel for the kids each day. But, the life lesson of surmounting challenges is critical to our learning process and the precept behind summative experiences of all kinds. The sense of accomplishment can be profound and celebratory, while defeat can give us insight into how to prepare more effectively in the future. Experiences like these carry well to the college level in preparing students for even higher stakes, and life in general. While I struggle with watching the suffering of preparation (not for all), I also enjoy seeing how the kids prepare. My favorite was the “wall of knowledge” I saw one student preparing, copying notes onto a large piece of butcher paper in order to uncover the connections over two years of material. I know they emptied highlighters in recent weeks from all the colors of the rainbow!
As testing comes to a close, students deserve a break while they prepare for graduation. The test results are on the horizon in July, so all eyes can focus on celebrating the accomplishment of earning a diploma. In my heart I know all have done well and I look forward to wishing them well from the stage in a few short weeks!
Our next major project is coming to a close and our 5th graders take the stage on Friday, May 17, with their culminating project. Not unlike our seniors above and our MYP students in their Personal Project, they are experiencing what it feels like to bring a project to completion and experiencing agency and action in the context of their integrated learning. More below in the Elementary bulletin, but please join us starting in the theater at 8:45 a.m.
A Sad Note
The ASW community has experienced a sad loss of our former ASW employee Stanisław Stępień, lovingly known as Stan, who passed away on May 10th at his home in Warsaw.
Stan worked at ASW for nine years (1998-2007) in the capacity of Maintenance Director. Stan was the one to first create and then supervise the security and facility maintenance departments. He was the one to oversee the construction process of the new ASW campus (where the school is currently located) and was also in charge of organizing the move to this location.
Stan will be remembered as a very warm and friendly person, a highly motivated, hard-working, and dedicated employee who was always ready to help everyone in need. Please share your memories of Stan in the comments of this post on Zimplicity and we will share them with the family.