The High School Principal's Blog

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The High School Principal's Blog

Time to Celebrate – HS Principal Coffee This Week

April 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As the year approaches the end there is much to celebrate. We have students getting into some excellent colleges and universities. I will share an updated list at the Principal Coffee on Thursday. Grade 12 students have finished with classes and will have the annual Senior Parade on Monday April 24 from 11:00 am – 11:45 am. Please come cheer on this year’s graduating class on their tour of our school.

As the year nears the end please make sure to check in with your son or daughter on how they are dealing with stress and pressure. There will be more summative assessments as well as final exams the end of May so please make sure your son or daughter is getting enough sleep (8-9 hours a night is recommended), exercise, and healthy food.

Our last HS Principal’s Coffee will be held Thursday April 27th from 8:30 am – 10:00 am. We will be talking about college and university acceptances, looking back at our year in the High School with some student presentations and performances, and looking forward to next year.

We are trying to get as many parents as possible to do the Climate Survey. If you have not completed it please click here and give us your feedback.

Thanks for all of your support! Please send me any questions you might have about the High School at

Hope to see you soon.

David Munro

High School Principal


Upcoming Events


24th Senior Parade from 11:00 am – 11:45 am

25th – 27th Map Testing for Grade 9

27th High School Principal’s Coffee from 8:30 am – 10:00 am

28th First Day of Grade 12 IB Exams


1st School Holiday

9th High School Concert from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

22nd – 26th Grade 12 ELO Week

27th High School Graduation at 3:30 pm

30th School Holiday


New Semester Underway

February 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As the first semester has come and gone we have seen our students learn and grow.  We have issued our first Semester Report Cards with Student as a Learner feedback that will hopefully give students and parents richer and targeted information on how to improve in the upcoming semester.   Please look at those reports carefully and ask your teachers if you need help on finding ways to move your son or daughter’s learning forward. We have had a successful Season 2 with a wide range of sports and activities represented in the region.  The final season is upon us and there is a lot of opportunities for students to get involved at our school.


We continue to celebrate students who exemplify our core values in our monthly High School assembly. Our recent winners for January were: Janet King for Grade 9, Tony Huang for Grade 10, Austin Kwak for Grade 11, and Leo Xie for Grade 12.  These students have led our school in their own way by showing the values of global-mindedness, integrity, respect, balance, service, and creativity.  Congratulations to them and everyone who was nominated!


As we continue the school year we have many great events to look forward to: Fiddler on the Roof drama presentation in April, Super-APAC Soccer hosted at ISB and of course the next High School Principal’s Coffee.  We will meet to discuss how our school is moving forward, hear about TOK (Theory of Knowledge) from one of our teachers and listen to a musical performance by students.  Please come to the Coffee on Thursday February 16th from 8:30 am – 10:00 am.


Let me know if you have any questions or concerns at:


I hope to see you soon.


David Munro

High School Principal


Upcoming Events


11 – Charity Fashion School – ISB Theater – 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

16 – High School Principal’s Coffee – MPR – 8:30 am – 10:00 am

23 – Moving to 9th Grade Night – ISB Theater and Upper Gallery – 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

28 – Moving to 11th Grade Night – ISB Theater and Gym 3 – 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Staying Positive

November 20th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The end of the semester is quickly arriving. There have been some great things going on – APAC dance, HS Blast Night, and there are lots of good things to come, Great Wall Shootout,  One Act plays in January and much more.  This is a busy time of year and you may start to see the stress levels rise at home as due dates come closer and Semester finals approach.  Please make sure your sons and daughters are getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy food to keep them energized and engaged.  Make sure you ask how school is going and find out ways that you can help support them at home.  In our mentoring time we are looking at how we manage our time and making sure we are balancing our time between study and rest.  Here are some tips from the American Psychology Association on how to help teens deal with stress CLICK HERE.

We have shared the finals schedule with students at school and made sure everyone is aware of what they have to do.  We have sent out lists of Experiential Learning Opportunities to students and asked that they make their selections before the end of November. Please discuss this with them to find out what they are interested in exploring. Please come to the High School Principal’s Coffee this Thursday November 24th from 8:30 am – 10:00 am. We will have a range of topics from ELO, CAS, assessment, and a student performance.

Also on Thursday:

Why and How is Assessment Changing?
Join us on Thursday, Nov. 24th in the MPR from 6:30 to 8:00pm to hear from Tom Schwimmer, an assessment expert and consultant working with ISB teachers this year, about changing thinking related to assessment in Middle and High School.
Tom Schimmer is an independent education author, speaker, and consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). He is recognized as a leader and expert in the areas of assessment for learning, sound grading practices and educational leadership.


Student of the month winners for November:

Grade 9 – Pieter Evers: He values the process of learning over the outcomes.  He doesn’t take shortcuts and focuses on what he needs to do to learn, not what he needs to earn an “A.” 

Grade 10 – Tommy Vavala: Tommy deserves to be recognized because he has shown in class that he is a good person and a good math student.

Grade 11 – Vivian Liu: For all of the personal writing she does.

Grade 12 – Sean Quigley: for suddenly coming out of nowhere and going from someone who could barely make it to class with his materials , to someone who gives peer support on essay organization and the use of detail in writing.

Upcoming Events:


24 – 26: Great Wall Shootout


7: End of Semester HS Concert

12-16: End of Semester Exams Grade 11

14-16: End of Semester Exams Grade 9-10

15-16: Mock IB Finals Grade 12

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The year marches on…

October 19th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

We are in the thick of the school year with some great learning in progress.  If you are on campus you will feel the energy from the amazing projects, class engagement and motivated students buzzing in the hallways.  We had our first Student of the Month assembly on October 13.  The following students won an award for their grade level after being nominated by their teachers for exemplifying the ISB’s Core values:

Annie Li – Grade 12: impressed us as a student who has a great attitude and determination seldom seen. She used to place at non-native track, but within two years, she not only moved to native track, but also can do very well in Chinese language and literature course. Her great advancement is out of her great effort and her perseverance is remarkable.

Daniel Chan – Grade 11: As a member Rustic Pathways Foundation, has coordinated to donate money for a drinking water project in a county in República de Costa Rica. His commitment to the needs of other people around world well manifests our core values of service and global mindedness.

Leo Cheng – Grade 10: for showing integrity, courage, and sincerity in Mr. Philen’s English 10 Topic Analysis class with sharing a personal writing entry

Cameron Kazebee  – Grade 9: recognizes that respect for his classmates, his teacher, and his own learning, is something that is a fundamental attribute for learning.

We have been working on identifying and dealing with harassment in our mentoring classes over the past two weeks.  The goal is to have students identify different types of harassment and learn about strategies to help stop it when they see it. We have been talking about types of harassment that they might not have recognized in the past.  Please take this opportunity to talk at home about their perceptions of harassment and ways that you can support them in confronting it.  Thanks for helping support our mentoring program.  Here is a good resource to help you CLICK HERE.

Progress reports will be published on October 19th.  Please understand that this is a snapshot of your son or daughter’s learning and is not a fixed grade. The Mid-Semester Progress Report is an internal document that is meant to stimulate discussions at home about how to improve learning. You will see an added layer of feedback in the Student As A Learner assessment. This helps us identify the skills, attitudes and habits that lead to improved learning.

We look forward to seeing most of you at our Parent Teacher Conferences this week. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions about the high school.



Upcoming Events:



20-22  – APAC Sports

20-21 – Parent Teacher Conferences

21 – 22 – High School Drama (7:00 pm Friday and 3:00 pm Saturday)


7-11  – Accreditation Visit

16-19 – APAC Dance

24 – High School Principal’s Coffee (8:30 am – 10:00 am)




Start of the Year

September 4th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Another great year at ISB is underway.  Students are engaged in learning and making connections to their teachers and peers.  This year I have asked students to ‘Live in the Moment’ and with a call to heighten their sense of empathy for those around them. Our students are always finding ways to help those in need in our community and I have asked them to extend that helping hand to their classmates, workers at our school and hopefully their family at home.  By being more empathetic we hope that our sense of community is strengthened and that we all grow stronger together.  We hope that with our on-going mentoring program and this challenge they will work to feel a greater sense of belonging and support for everyone in our ISB community.

In support of student social and emotional health we are hosting a Freedom From Chemical Dependency educator on campus this week September 5-9.  Students in grade 11 will have small group sessions with the educator, students in grade 9 will have an assembly with them on Thursday and parents are asked to come to the High School Parent Drug Forum on Tuesday from 10:00 am to 11:30 am in the Multi Purpose Room.  We will have representatives from the U.S. Embassy, local police authorities and our FCD educator present perspectives on drug use in Beijing and how to help support parents on dealing with this issue. We hope to see you there.

Another guest that we have on campus this week is Paul Anderson who works with the future of science education.  Paul will be working with teachers all week and he will host an evening with parents on Wednesday September 7 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Multi-purpose Room.  A link to the description of his presentation can be found if you CLICK HERE.

I hope you have had a great start to the school year. If you ever have questions you can always address them to me at  You are all encouraged to come to the first High School Principal’s Coffee on September 29 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am in the Multi-purpose Room.  There are many exciting events coming soon this school year. Keep an eye on the calendar and get involved.


Upcoming Events


6 – High School Drug Forum 10:00 am MPR

7 – Science Education in the Future with Paul Anderson 6:30 pm in the MPR

5-9 – FCD, Grade 11; 2 x blocks by mentor group,

8 – Grade 9 Assembly for FCD

6-8 – MAP Grade 9; 8.15-9.40 daily

15-16 – Mid Autumn Festival

23-24 – China Cup

29 – High School Principal’s Coffee

30 –  Terry Fox Run


3-7 – October Break

22-23 – Homework free weekend




High School Back to School Night – Monday 22 August 2016

August 17th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

High School Back to School Night

Monday 22 August 2016

6:30 to 8:45pm

Dear Parents,

You are warmly invited to attend our “Back to School” evening to be held on Monday August 22nd. This event is your chance to follow in your child’s footsteps at the High School by briefly attending classes and meeting teachers. “Back to School” night starts at 6:30pm and continues until 8:45 pm with 10 minutes for each class.

The evening will begin in the Theater at 6:30pm with words of welcome from the Head of School, Dr. Tarek Razik and High School Principal, Mr. David Munro.

All parents will be provided with a copy of their child (ren)’s schedule in the Lower Gallery outside the Theatre, before the opening remarks in the theatre. We would like to request your arrival at 6:15pm to begin collecting your child’s schedule in the Lower Gallery outside the Theatre prior to the start of the event.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday August 22nd.

Best regards,

David Munro

Back to School Night Schedule

When: Where & What:

6:15 – 6:25 p.m. Pick up of schedules (parents)

6:30 – 6:45 p.m. Theatre

6:45 – 6:50 p.m. Passing Time

6:50 – 7:00 p.m. Block A Classes

7:05 – 7:15 p.m. Block B Classes

7:20 – 7:30 p.m. Block C Classes

7:35 – 7:45 p.m. Block D Classes

7:50 – 8:00 p.m. Block E Classes

8:05 – 8:15 p.m. Block F Classes

8:20 – 8:30 p.m. Block G Classes

8:35 – 8:45 p.m. Block H Classes

Other Upcoming Events:

School Photos

A professional photography group will be on campus next week to take individual school photos for every student. Students in Grades 11 and 12 will have their picture taken on Wednesday 24th August, with students in Grades 9 and 10 posing on Thursday 25th August. Photo package order forms will come home with your child on Friday August 19th. If you would like to purchase a photo package, please ask your child to give the order form and payment directly to the photographer at the time of his/her photo. Note: If your child is absent on the day, there will be another opportunity on Tuesday 30th August.

High School Principal’s Coffee

The first High School Principal’s Coffee of the year will be on Thursday, September 29th, from 08:30-10:00am in the MPR.

Please remember to check the Community Calendar on Dragon’s Gate for details of upcoming events at ISB:


Down the Home Stretch

May 2nd, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The school year is progressing and the end of class is nearing.  This time of year can cause students (and parents) higher levels of stress and anxiety. Please talk to your sons and daughters about effective study techniques and ways to handle stress (see this link for some tips).  Plan out a project and study calendar so that there are no big surprises at the end of the year.  Contact teachers if end of year expectation are unclear.  End of the year exams and projects are a great way to show off all that we have learned this semester.

We are working hard to meet all the schedule requests for next year. Our counsellors have collected the request forms and we are now in the process of putting the schedule together.  Please do not ask for any changes to the requests at this time as we have put all the parameters to build the schedule in place.  If changes need to happen they can be requested in the first week of school when we return in August.

There is a lot going on at this time of the year from the Summer Formal, Prom, and High School Graduation as well as ELO trips and exams from May 20-26.  ELO is our Experiential Learning Experiences that students have been planning for the past 6 months.  They will work on something at school, in and around Beijing or go out of the city for their experiences.  You should receive a letter from your son or daughter’s ELO teacher with details about their experience. Let us know if you have any questions about upcoming events or celebrations at

Good luck in all your preparations for the end of the school year and supporting our students’ learning at ISB!


David Munro


Upcoming Events:

May 2-20: IB/AP Exams

May 14: Summer Formal

May 20-26: HS Exams

May 21: Prom

May 23-26: Grade 12 ELO

May 28: Graduation

May 30 – June 2: Grade 9-11 ELO







Spring is in the air!

April 5th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The weather has warmed up and the celebrations are about to begin.  This next month has a lot of celebrate and build upon.  We have the ‘Showtime’ Habitat for Humanity fundraiser Saturday April 9. This event will celebrate our school’s musical talents and help raise money for our house builds.  Tickets are on sale at the Box Office.  April 7th and 8th we will host Parent Teacher Conferences once again. There have been some great accomplishments to share with parents as well as constructive feedback on how to best finish the school year.

After those two events we will have the high school musical production of Return to the Forbidden Planet on April 12 at 4:00 pm, 15 at 7:00 pm and 16 at 3:00 pm.  The show is for all ages of students.  On April 13 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am we will have the final HS Book Club meeting on the book Drive by Daniel Pink.  Please write to me at if you plan to attend.  The following week on April 21 we will host the final High School Parent Coffee. We will be showcasing student talents and work done this year from speeches, to singing and a student proposal on how to improve the school.  All Grade 12 students will have their last day of the year on April 22.  This will allow them time to prepare for their IB final exams.  We will have the Senior Dinner and Junior Dinner the night of April 23 at their respective venues. Please see your grade level PA representative for details.

It is a busy time of year and there is a lot going on.  Make sure to talk with your son or daughter about how they are managing their workload and the stress that comes with it.  Stress is not always negative and is needed to push us to the next level.  When it overwhelms our students it can cause negative effects like lack of sleep and lower productivity.  Check out this article on lowering teen stress (click here).  This may be a good way to start a conversation with your son or daughter.

We look forward to seeing you at the Parent Coffee to share in all the success of this school year!

Upcoming Events:


7-8 Parent Teacher Conferences

9 Showtime Gala

12, 15, 16 – High School Musical Performance

13 Book Club Meeting

22 Last day for all Grade 12 Students


Upcoming Events and Opportunities

February 15th, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Here are some updates on events and opportunities in the High School for Parent Book Club, APAC Theater, and Compass Quest Series:

Parent Book Club

We will be reading ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink for our upcoming book club meeting. The book explores the shift in thinking in the modern world and digs into what motivates people today.  We will meet from 9:00 am – 10 am on Wednesday April 13.  Email me if you are interested in participating. If you need a copy of the book I will help you find one.

Please email me at


APAC Theatre 2016.

Here at ISB! Come and watch the showcase performance at 6pm on Saturday February 27 at the ISB theatre. Led by visiting artistic directors Megan Campisi and Mark Hill,  60 students from AIS Guangzhou, SAS Pudong, Taejon Christian School, S Korea, UNIS Hanoi, Western Academy of Beijing and, of course, ISB have spent three days learning new skills and working together to create an original theatre piece which will be shown at this years’ showcase.  Audiences are frequently amazed by the students’ efforts in such a short time period. We anticipate that the showcase will not run longer than an hour in total. Looking forward to seeing you on February 27th.


Introducing ISB’s Compass Quest Series:

ISB’s Compass Quest Series offers high school students the ability to explore China and throughout Asia in an inspiring and engaging manner by offering a variety of experiences that take place over school breaks.

For this school year, ISB is offering one experience during Spring Break, and three experiences over summer break.

There will be an information session this Thursday, February 18th from 6:30 – 8:00pm in the Lower Gallery.  Parents and students can find out more about the experiences listed below, and also meet with the providers who will offer the experiences.

Spring Break 2016:

Music, Photography, and Film Expedition  Dali, Yunnan Province  March 26  April 1

This Spring Break, ISB has partnered up with Hadi Eldebek, member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, as well as a contributor to Harvard University’s Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study, to offer ISB students the opportunity to travel to The Linden Centre in Xizhou, Dali for a week of artistic creation and exhibition.  This experience will allow students to engage in a meaningful cultural and artistic experience that will take students around Xizhou before heading up Mount Cangshan for a 3-day, 2-night expedition.

During their time in the mountains, students will engage in reflective and creative activities with the goal of creating art through multiple mediums.  Students will then return to The Linden Centre for an exhibition of their created art.

Students who are interested in music, photography, and film are encouraged to apply for this exciting learning opportunity.

Summer 2016:

Listed below are the experiences that will be offered to ISB High School students this summer.  Clicking on the link will direct you to Dragons’ Gate, which will provide you with detailed itinerary and pricing information.

The Silk Road Pamir Mountain Camel Trek 

 Southern Yunnan Xishuanghabba Adventure

 Chiang Mai Expedition: Adventures in the Leadership Mountain Range 

Please contact Brian McManus if you have any questions




More than just the grades…

February 1st, 2016 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The new semester is underway and students are getting into gear. It is great to get right into learning when we return to the new semester as students and teachers have already aligned their expectations.  Our grade 12 students are looking towards their final exams that will come quickly.  Grade 9-11 students are now looking forward to course choices for next year as we talk to students and parents about transitions.  ELO planning is underway and is a great pathway for students to explore their interests in learning outside of the classroom.


Our hope for each school year is that our students will grow in their social, emotional, and physical development as well as academic.  Our students are involved in teams, working out in the gym, part of our Forensics team, MUN, and working with a wide range of service clubs that help those in need in our community. The mission at our school asks that we focus on improving in the classroom as well as helping students develop into well-rounded 21st century citizens of the world.  One of the things that enticed me to come to ISB was the chance to engage in this vibrant community that gives students the opportunity to grow beyond the walls of our classroom. I have not been disappointed so far!


Please come to the High School Principal’s Coffee on February 4th from 8:30 am – 10:00 am. Our theme will be focussed on the Whole Child. We will hear from our Strategic Learning Coordinator about all the opportunities for our students to learn in the broader community.  The Counselling Office will share what is coming up for students in their course selection and changes that we will see in the department next year. We will also hear from the Activities Office about the wide range of co-curricular activities at ISB.  I will speak about the book we read at our parent book club and share some insights we gained about giving praise to our students.  I hope you can make it.

Upcoming Events:


5 – HS Talent Show

8-12 – Chinese New Year

16 – University Forum

17 – HS Season 2 Sports Awards

23 – Moving to Grade 11 Night

24-27 – Hosting APAC Theater