Middle School United: Parent Survey Results

Dear Middle School Parents-

Thank you for your recent participation in our Spring Conferences back on March 26 and 27.  We called the event “Middle School United” this year to indicate some big changes we made.   This is the second year we have used the Student-Led Conference format for Spring Conferences, and once again, the response from students, teachers, and parents has been positive overall.

Big changes this year: 

  • Move to a new venue in the Gym and Upper Gallery. 
  • Drop in chats with all teachers given as an option for parents. 
  • Offer a menu of Learning Opportunities for parents.  

Perhaps the biggest change was the addition of Learning Opportunity sessions.  We had over 220 participants in all of the Learning Opportunities combined.  We were quite pleased with this.  Getting that many people to better understand what goes on here at ISB can really help us create stronger partnerships and unite as a community.  I’m very grateful to all of the presenters and organizers, as well as the parents and students who attended these sessions.

Key feedback from parents:

  • 200+ returned a parent survey and the following data is from those surveys.
  • 75% of parents found the level of conversation at Student-Led Conferences “More Informative” than the conversations at home about academics
  • 79% of parents felt their children were “Well Prepared” for the student-led conference
  • 74% of parents reported that they visited at least one teacher for a drop-in chat
  • 35% of parents reported that they attended a Learning Opportunity session
  • Sample comments from parents:
    • I hope that meeting time for each child could be extended. (Translated from Chinese.)
    • I hope that teachers discuss more about how does my child do in school during the conferences. It will allow us to learn more about our child’s learning attitude, academic stands, and whom he/she interacts with during the day. (Translated from Chinese.)
    • This new format is very convenient for us; it allows communication between the teacher and the parent to be more effective. I like it! (Translated from Chinese.)
    • I suggest that we have opportunities to reserve times to communicate with teachers.  (Translated from Chinese.)
    • Yes, learning opportunities are very helpful.  This new conferences way is very impressive and informative.
    • A better portfolio of work would be better to review.
    • This was a very good format and easy to get to see the main teachers which is very important!  So very pleased with this new layout.
    • I thought it was really good.  Totally enjoyed listening to my daughter talk about her school year thus far.  It felt very natural and “unscripted” and was just a great way to spend an hour and celebrate all the things she has worked on /through this year.  Thanks!
    • I would like to spend time one-on-one with teachers, without my child.
    • More private locations for SLC.  Broader criterias for evidence so things like artwork can be assessed.
    • As an ISB parent, I strongly believe this format of SLC is very helpful to understand my daughter’s learning.
    • Well organized!  Impressive!

Of course it was not possible to include all comments from parents, but we will be considering everyone’s comments as we work to improve our conferences next year.  We recognize that there is a large variation in opinion on our spring conference format and there’s no way to accommodate everyone’s wishes, but we will do our best to improve opportunities for bringing students, parents, and teachers together for meaningful conversations about learning.

Next year we will continue to follow the same general pattern with “Parent-Teacher Conferences” in October and “Student-Led Conferences” in March.  We will look for ways to make both of these conference experiences more meaningful and informational for parents.

Here are a few suggestions for parents, following our conferences.

  • If you feel you want a longer conversation with a teacher, it is ALWAYS your privilege to request an appointment.  Please contact your child’s teachers to make an appointment or request additional information at any time during the school year.
  • Now that you know your child has so much to say about their learning at ISB, keep the conversation going at home!  Many of our students reported how much they enjoyed having their parents’ undivided attention for an extended time.  
  • Look for future opportunities to learn more about our programs here at ISB.  Come to the MS Parent Coffee on April 25 at 8:30am in the MPR.  Watch for special parent-focused presentations throughout the year.  Plan to come to Back To School Night in September.  Make an appointment with an administrator or teacher to ask any questions you may have.  We are eager to talk to you!

Thank you again for entrusting us with the education of your children!


Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal


Middle School United Update

Dear Middle School Parents-

Middle School United is more than just spring conferences.  It is a chance for you to learn more about what happens at ISB and build relationships with teachers, parents, and students.

The event has two parts: Student-Led Conferences and Learning Opportunities.

Student-Led Conferences: Hopefully you have already reserved a time for your student-led conference.  Conferences will be held in Gym 2, the Upper Gallery, or the Futures Academy space.  After a brief check in with one of your child’s teachers, your child will independently conduct the conference with you.  This will take around 30 minutes.  Following the Student-Led Conference, parents will be welcome to visit any teacher in the Middle School for a brief (less than 5 minutes), optional chat.   Please note:  If you need more than 5 minutes with any teacher, you should make an appointment with the teacher to meet on a different day.

Learning Opportunities: Throughout both conference days, we will be offering special Learning Opportunities for parents and students.  Here is the schedule as a PDF: MS United Learning Sessions    Please look over this schedule carefully and decide which sessions you would like to attend.  There is no need to sign up for sessions, just come and enjoy any sessions that interest you.  Bring your child (or children) with you.

If you need to reschedule your student-led conference, we ask that you make a phone call to the Middle School Office: 8149 2345 ext 1084.  We will do our best to help you!

See you soon!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal

MS Principal’s List for March 19

At ISB, we honor members of our community who demonstrate our core values of Global Mindedness, Integrity, Respect, Balance, Service, and Creativity.  The following Middle School students have recently demonstrated these values in a special way.

Grade 6
Ashley Wang, 6.1, showed great detail and astute creative thinking with his Design Technology movie. Congratulation on work well done.
Emily Parker spent one whole class time helping set up the Book Art Hidden in the Stacks exhibit in the MS Library. Her outstanding willingness to participate made a difference to the whole class being able to share their work with others. Emily’s willingness to help is one of the many great things about her!
Sybil Beadles, 6.3, showed great detail and astute creative thinking with her Design Technology movie. Congratulations on work well done.
A student came to me with a locker problem.  They couldn’t open their locker and therefore could not get the materials needed for class.  I could tell the student was a little nervous about not being prepared for class.  Joshua Libby got up out of his seat without being asked and said, “Come on, I’ll help you open your locker.” This example is just a sample of Joshua’s attitude of respect and helpfulness.
Annie Wang demonstrates many ISB core values in how she conducts herself every day. Annie gives her best effort in class, works hard, is mindful of others, and is respectful to all those people she meets. Well done, Annie!
Kaylyn Park demonstrates the core values of Respect and Balance in the way she tries hard to maintain a positive attitude, exhibits a growth mindset, is courteous and considerate of her classmates and others, and gives her best effort in her studies.
Elizabeth Wise-Maldonado, 6.6, showed great detail and astute creative thinking with his Design Technology movie. Congratulation on work well done.
Grade 7
Harry Seo demonstrates the core value of service when he helps Theo in his wheel chair moving from class to class.
Jasmine Zhou has consistently been a positive contributor in class, offering help to her teachers and classmates and demonstrating a growth mindset.
Joel Kumi was very helpful to another student in class today who needed assistance going from one class to another due to his injury. He willingly and immediately volunteered to help out when I asked if anyone would “like” to help this person. I appreciate this about Joel–his kindness and caring for others and willingness to help out.
Edric Kan was kind and helpful today, stopping what he was doing to help me carry a heavy item back to my classroom. I appreciated that he took time to stop and help me, regardless of what else he was doing! Great showing of empathy, respect and integrity! Great job, Edric!
Daniel Lee stopped and help me pick up a big pile of papers I dropped as I was hurrying to class! I really appreciated his kindness in stopping and assisting a teacher in need! Great job, Daniel
I appreciate how Scarlett O’Keefe enters each day with a positive attitude, includes others into group works and pushes herself into leadership roles by speaking in front of others and organizing her fellow classmates and helping them stay on task.
Scarlett O’Keefe regularly shares her thoughts and knowledge during class discussions. Her critical thinking skills are evident and a valuable part of the discussions. Thanks Scarlett!
Sofia Roy is consistently a model citizen. She treats everyone with respect and dignity. She is a quiet participant, making it evident she is engaged when she contributes to conversations. If needed she takes steps to better understand a concept. Thank you Sofia!
Grade 8
Sophia Yan has demonstrated great respect for herself and her peers in Algebra through the consistently excellent effort she has been putting into learning and through the way she helps others in a positive and encouraging manner. You are appreciated, Sophia!
Isabel Su demonstrated the core values of creativity and service by designing a Power Point about French Speaking countries.
Michael Chan has been really passionate and engaged with how to inspire awareness for people with disabilities. He’s been really creative and forward thinking in his ideas. Good job!
Over the past month, Angela Zheng has demonstrated integrity and service in Volleyball.  She is always doing exactly what she should be doing, without reminders or prompts.  She also takes initiative to help clean up equipment without being asked.

MS Update: Sports, Conferences, Choir, No School Friday, and Report Cards

Dear Middle School Parents-

Some reminders:

  • We will have our Simply Singing concert this Wednesday, March 14 at 4:30 in the Theater.  All MS parents and students may attend.
  • Friday, March 16, is a teacher professional development day.  There will be no school for students.
  • Trimester 2 ended last Friday.  Teachers are finalizing grades and if all goes well you should receive a report card by Friday evening via email.
  • Please refer to my last blog post about spring conferences.  Sign ups start this week!

And, finally, Jason Cuthbert, our Assistant Director of Student Activities, would like to share the following information about Middle School sports:

There are many things happening this week in Middle school sports.  The basketball teams will be traveling all across Beijing to different international schools on  Saturday for the ISAC exchanges.  Below are the locations where each team will be playing.  At any time if you are in need of your child’s schedule for any of the season # 3 MS teams, please go to the line directly below.


ISAC Basketball Exchange (March 17)

U12 Boys  WAB

U12 Girls  BCIS

U13 Boys  DCB

U13 Girls  Harrow

U14 Boys BCIS

U14 Girls BWYA

ISB MS Tennis  This Saturday, the MS tennis teams will host WAB Saturday morning for a few matches in the dome.   Match times will start around 9:30.  These are just friendly matches and not a tournament but should be a good experience for the team.

ISB MS Track and Field.  The ISB MS track and field team will start their first practice this Tuesday, March 13th.  The season will run into to May and conclude at the ACAMIS track meet held at ISB on May 11 and 12 .

Have a great week!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB MS Principal

Middle School United: Conferences and MORE on March 26 and 27

Dear Middle School Parents-

In the Spring of 2017, we conducted Student-Led Conferences across the Middle School for the first time.  The feedback we received from parents was overwhelmingly positive, but some parents wanted more access to individual teachers and the opportunity to spend more time at school after making the effort to come to campus.

We listened, and for 2018 we have developed a community learning opportunity that we hope will address these concerns and provide many opportunities for students, parents, and teachers to talk meaningfully about learning at ISB.  We are calling the event, “Middle School United.”

The event has two main parts: Student-Led Conferences and Learning Opportunities.

Student-Led Conferences: Parents will sign up for one conference time only.  This will be your Student-Led Conference.  It will be held in Gym 2, the Upper Gallery, or the Futures Academy space.  After a brief check in with the child’s core teacher, students will independently conduct the Student-Led Conference with their parents.  This will take around 30 minutes.  Following the Student-Led Conference, parents will be welcome to visit any teacher in the Middle School for a brief (less than 5 minutes), optional chat.  These chats will not be scheduled, but may happen on a drop in basis.  The teachers will be conveniently located in Gym 2, the Upper gallery, and Futures Academy for parents’ convenience.

Learning Opportunities: We realize that parents want to know more about what we do here at ISB.  So, throughout both conference days, we will be offering special Learning Opportunities for parents and students.  Here is the schedule as a PDF: MS United Learning Sessions    Please look over this schedule carefully and decide which sessions you would like to attend.  There is no need to sign up for sessions, just come and enjoy any sessions that interest you.  Bring your child (or children) with you.  Try to choose a time for the Student-Led Conference that will allow you to attend the Learning Opportunities that interest you most!

Sign ups for Student-Led Conference times will happen on Dragons’ Gate.  In an effort to make the process as simple as possible and to minimize conflicts for families with more than one child at ISB, we have established the following sign-up schedule:

•    March 13: Registration opens at 9:00 am for families with more than one child at ISB

•    March 16: Registration is open at 4:00 pm to all families

Sign-ups will remain open for all families until 12:00 noon on March 23. After this time, if you need to make changes or cancel an appointment, we ask that you make a phone call to the Middle School Office: 8149 2345 ext 1084.

We hope you will take full advantage of this great opportunity to learn about your child’s progress AND experience the great learning here at ISB!  Let’s unite as a learning community at Middle School United!

See you on March 26 and 27!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal

Principal’s List! Celebrating our Core Values!

The following students have demonstrated one or more of the Core Values of ISB recently.  As we head off to our Chinese New Year holiday, let’s celebrate their positive influence on our community!

Grade 6
Seojin ( Dana) Kim demonstrated an ISB Core Value of service since she always try to help during class time. (helping by erasing the board, helping her mates with technology, showing the others how to be organized,….)
Poppy Upite demonstrates respect for others and is consistently engaged in class discussions. She works hard to turn in her best work, cooperates well in group activities and is always willing to reach out to her classmates.
Michael Sakai has demonstrated Balance recently in his core subjects by working hard and continuously completing his homework! Well done!
Musung Hong has consistently been a positive contributor in class, offering help to his teachers and classmates and demonstrating a growth mindset.
Eric Ge auditioned successfully for the AMIS Asian MS Honor Orchestra festival which took place in January in Hong Kong.  He prepared diligently during the winter holidays and was well prepared for both the rehearsals before the festival and the festival itself.  He was an excellent ambassador for ISB and a great example of making the most of a good learning experience.
Grade 7
Darren Zhu demonstrates the core value of service when he spent his time after school tutoring his peers on math problems. Thank you for helping your peers, Darren!
Jeff Chen consistently shows his curiosity in science class by asking lots of questions and going beyond just the material begin taught in class to think about things more deeply.
Henry Zhou did a great job submitting two extra projects to share with the class this week.  Great job stepping up to show your knowledge, sir!
Olivia Wang has consistently demonstrated creativity, integrity and balance as she has come to the forefront of our Humanities class. The same qualities are equally demonstrated in our Mentoring Class as she deals in such a positive way with her peers.
Zhiqi Xu consistently demonstrates Global Mindedness, Integrity and Creativity as he consistently strives to challenge himself and find ways to take his Humanities learning to an even higher level. He is phenomenal.
Jeehyun Song always demonstrates the core value of respect in class and she is a role model for her peers. She shows respect to academic expectations by working diligently to complete her task to her best ability, and she shows respect to her classmates by being considerate and cooperative.
Jeehyun Song always has an incredible “can do” attitude. She comes to class each day ready to do her best–which always includes attempting to extend beyond. Jeehyun is willing to help others and is a great example of a team-player. Thanks Jeehyun, for your positive influence both inside and out of the classroom!
Erica Pan is a good helper for teachers and classmates. She spent time designing the exhibition board of the Chinese reading competition and encouraged other students to become involved in the completion of the board.
Francis Pun has worked very hard to submit high quality work in our G7 Health units, to clarify and re-submit work where required and worked with great integrity under pressure.  WEll done Francis.
Hina Niihara always works with Integrity in every game and activity we play in PE.  She is respectful of her peers and herself in every class.  Well done Hina!
William Liu always demonstrates respect for his peers and his own work in PE.  He works with integrity and ensures that others are working within the framework of the game too.  Well done William.
Harry Seo has been creative in sharing tactical play ideas in PE.  He works with integrity and respect in every lesson.  Thank you Harry!
Daniel Lee has great respect for his peers and the games and activities that we play in PE.  He works with integrity and sets high expectations for others.  Well done Daniel.
Harrison Taylor works to include everyone in his team and shows great respect to of those he interacts with in PE and Health classes.  He works with integrity in game play and sets high expectations for others.  Thank you Harrison.
Angela Ning demonstrated integrity in our recent Health assessment.  She was incredibly nervous about presenting her work but stood up and took a risk to share her thinking and knowledge.  Angela demonstrated that she was able to overcome her obstacles and share her work meaningfully.  Well done Angela.
Grade 8
Maxine Lim always gives her all in Habitat for Humanity.  Her dedication to service is to be applauded.
Justin Jeon, 8.2, showed great detail and astute creative thinking with his Design Technology journal. Congratulation on work well done.
Nathan Chai, 8.2, showed great detail and astute creative thinking with his Design Technology journal. Congratulation on work well done.
After arriving this semester, Steve Kim has added incredible value to the grade 8.  His positive approach to learning and collaboration is contagious, and his kindness is a highlight of our homeroom and EAL class. His integrity and the respect he shows for others in the classroom community makes him a leader.
Sabrina Lam demonstrated balance by seeking out ways to manage school work and extra curricular activities! She’s a rock star!
Huck Henderschedt does a great service to our community every day through his positive attitude and friendly demeanor. He is  builder of positive relationships and an architect of fun! We especially appreciate his mad karaoke skills and the way he serenades the entire middle school at lunch on a regular basis.
Isabel Su is a great example of a student who balance work and fun; she is an awesome leader in class, in STUCO, and in the ABC club. She knows when to laugh and goof around with friends and when to get serious about her learning and her responsibilities, and we feel lucky to have her as a part of our community!
Lei Hsin has worked to respect others as well as herself through our Grade 8 Health units.
Isabel Su  has worked to respect others and herself in our G8 Health units and has shown that she can balance a variety of workloads and keep on top of all her commitments.
Andy Ng has demonstrated great respect to others, especially those with different opinions and ideas to his own while still valuing and respecting his own work during our G8 Health units.
Paul Lim has demonstrated great respect to others, especially those with different opinions and ideas to his own while still valuing and respecting his own work during our G8 Health units.
Thank you for giving up your Saturday to Livestream the APAC basketball game! (Fennel Son, Evan Lin, Sally Kim, Sandy Han, Alicia Song, Katie Chao, Lyndon Beadles, Ireland McDermott, Huck Henderschedt )
Sophia Yan was a great ambassador for ISB at the recent AMIS Asian MS Honor Orchestra festival.  She worked hard in all the rehearsals and her behavior during the festival was exemplary.
Sophia Liu was a great ambassador for ISB at the recent AMIS Asian MS Honor Orchestra festival.  She was one of the leaders of her section and worked hard in all the rehearsals.

MS Update: ASA Registration, New Year Parade, more…

Dear Middle School Parents-

Happy Chinese New Year!  Lots is happening in the Middle School that we would like you to know about.

ASA Registration – Today is the last day to register for After School Activities for Session 3, which starts in March.  Click here for information and look for the blue box that will take you to PowerSchool where you can log in an register for ASAs.

OneDay – Tuesday is a special day for the MS.  All students will be completing a special innovative OneDay project or learning experience.  Then, on Wednesday, they will share their learning with the rest of the MS with a blog post and an exhibition.  Be sure to ask you child what their OneDay project is about.  We will have a number of students doing their learning off campus on Tuesday.

9th Grade Orientation Night– Tuesday, Feb 13, 7pm, in the Theater.  All 8th grade students and parents are encouraged to attend.  Come and learn about course offerings in high school.

Chinese New Year Parade – Feel free to join the ISB community for our parade on Wednesday, starting on the 1st floor of ISB at 1:45pm.

Season 3 Sports have started! – For season 3 we are offering basketball, tennis, track and field, and swimming.  We already have good numbers of students participating, but we are open to having more.  Practices are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:45 to 5:45.  More information is available from the Activities Office.

Trimester 2 End and Student-Led Conferences – Trimester 2 will end on March 9 with reports issued soon after.  We also have Student-Led Conferences on March 26 and 27.  The Middle School will be doing something very special this year with our spring conferences and you won’t want to miss it.  Mark you calendars now and watch for further communication after the CNY holiday about signing up for a conference time.

Recent Parent Coffee – Click here to see the slides from the MS Parent Coffee from last week.  Great information on Design Technology.

Futures Public Radio gives voice to ISB students and global citizens! – Check out their website and enjoy watching our students connect with people changing the world!

Have a safe and happy Chinese New Year!


Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal

MS Parent Coffee Wednesday, Feb 7, 8:30am

Dear Middle School Parents-

You are all invited to join us for the third Middle School Coffee of the school year, Wednesday, Feb 7, from 8:30am to 10:00am in the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room).  We have the following items on our agenda for the meeting:

  • Drama performance by Futures Academy students
  • Announcement from the Board of Governors about elections
  • Announcement from the Strategic Learning Office about our summer CompassQuest trip for students
  • Presentation on Design Technology in the Middle School
  • Presentation on the Importance of Sleep for Students
  • Information on changes to our Student-Led Conferences coming up in March

I hope you can join us!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal

Season 3 Sports Starting

Dear Parents,

This past weekend was a great weekend of ISAC volleyball to finish of Middle School sport season #2.

Please note the first day of Season # 3 Sports is Tuesday, February 6th.  Season 3 sports are Tennis, Basketball, and Track and Field.  Please if your children have an interest to play, they can go to Gym #2 at 3:45 to meet their coaches and start their first day of practice

Please note to have your child bring athletic clothes for the first day of practice.

In the next week if you have any questions, please stop by the activities office.  We are happy to help out in any way.

Remember there is a no cut policy in Middle School sports.  That means every student who wants to play will make the team, practice hard, and get play time!  However, sometimes there are tournaments during the season when we have a limitation on the number of students we can take.  Coaches will always do their best to be fair when selecting players for the tournaments.

Have a great rest of the week!


Jon Hill, MS Principal
Jason L. Cuthbert, Asst. Director of Student Activities

Happy Friday! MS News

Dear MS Parents-

If some of you have ES or HS students, you are likely receiving report cards around this time.  Not in the MS!  Please recall that Middle School is on a trimester system, so we report at different times of the year for all students except those in Futures Academy.  Trimester 2 will conclude in early March, so we have several weeks to go before our next reports come out.  If you would like an update on your child’s learning, please send a note or email to your child’s teacher.  Our teachers are available throughout the year to share information about your child’s growth via email, phone, or scheduled appointment.

Do you want to understand your child’s math education better?  Please join us for a Math Parent Workshop to learn more about ISB’s philosophy and approach to teaching and learning Math. We will be joined by Erma Anderson, who has worked with ISB for several years on our Math Program and is highly regarded nationally in the United States and internationally. Spaces are limited for this event as this will be a hands-on workshop. Sign up hereFebruary 1, MS/HS Library Collaboration Space; 12:30 pm to 2:30pm

I hope you also have the next MS Parent Coffee on your calendar.  Feb 7, 8:30am, in the MPR.  See you there!

Finally, some news from Jason Cuthbert in our Activities Department:

The middle school sports season # 2 is soon to conclude in the next week with the ISAC volleyball tournaments.  All teams have had great seasons.  Below are all locations for the ISAC tournaments which will be on Saturday January 27th.

U12 Girls -ISB

U12 Boys -ISB

U13 Girls -IST

U13 Boys -HBJ

U14 Girls- DCB

U14 Boys –DCB

Season # 3 Sports
The start of middle school season # 3 sports will start on Tuesday, February 6th.  The sports offered in season #3 are basketball, tennis, and track and field.  Please if your child is interested, there is again a no – cut policy.  We encourage all middle school students to come out and participate.  Students are asked to go to Gym # 2 that day to meet their coaches and start the season

Go Dragons!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB Middle School Principal