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Academic Pressure: Six Ways to Manage High School Stress


Some call it “the hardest test I’ve ever done”, or “the fight that ended our friendship”. But at the end of the day, stress, whichever form it may take, remains inevitable. Whether it involves pencils and papers or best friends and lovers, being a high schooler comes with commitments that seem to never end. In most cases, students feel that there is nothing we can do about it.

And we are right.

Zi Tong Lim

In order to succeed, the hard work and long hours are necessary. But the way to manage this stress is to work around it. Here are some tips that will make your high school lives just a little less …

Posted by K. Shah in Student on Tuesday April 25
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APRIL READS - MIDDLE SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL AND ADULTS

SAS Librarians

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Middle schoolers (Mr. Starker)Middle School

  1. Alive by Chandler Baker (#1 in YALSA’s Top Ten 2016)
  2. As brave as you by Jason Reynolds (Schneider Family Award Winner)
  3. When we collided by Emery Lord (Schneider Family Award Winner)


High schoolers (Mr. Helmer)High Schoolers

  1. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  2. The inevitable understanding: the 12 technologies that will shape our future by …
Posted by K. Shah in Teacher, Librarian on Monday April 24
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Quest at SAS — Personalized learning at its best

Sasha Quinlan

Around this time one year ago juniors at the Singapore American School (SAS) were introduced to a new program called Quest.

Initiated by SAS teachers Simon Bright, Darlene Poluan, and Katie Walthall, this program compelled students to rethink their ideas of a standard senior year and take a chance to explore a topic of interest. This was a fantastic opportunity to get a grasp on independent learning before having to head off to college the following year.

24 students chose the unconventional path and decided that Quest was the program for them. One year later, as current SAS juniors are on the …

Posted by K. Shah in Student on Tuesday April 11
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Lan Fisher: A Booster Booth Farewell


We have had the honor of having Lan Fisher as our Booster Club president for the last four years and vice president for one year. Most of our presidents have only been able to serve one or two year terms and then they either relocate or their child graduates.

SAS Booster Club

We have been fortunate to have Lan’s dedicated leadership and time spent chairing the 13-committee Booster Board for five years. It has been an exciting journey for her as her youngest graduates from SAS this June and we bid her a sad and teary farewell. No one has ever done so much for boosters and the high school community than Lan …

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Improv Life

Kyle Aldous

Improv LifeThis article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Spring 2017.

Improv Life

There are thousands of students around the world enrolled in top MBA programs at Duke, MIT, and Stanford, top medical schools like Mount Sinai or Northwestern, and top law schools like the University of Chicago, all taking the same class.

What one class has become an integral part of graduate level work across such a broad spectrum of fields?

Here’s a hint. The class looks more like an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? than Grey’s Anatomy or Law and Order.

Improv.

Why are future lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs required to …

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Teacher Feature - From Peace Corps to PE and Health, Anne Wenstrom talks about her globe-trotting experience

Teacher Feature

From backpacking through West Africa and Morocco, to hot air balloon rides over Bagan, Myanmar and Cappadocia, staying out in the Wadi Rum Desert and floating in the Dead Sea, to South African safaris and staying in a Finnish glass igloo with magical view of the aurora borealis, SAS PE teacher Anne Wenstrom, has been there, done that. Here’s a little about her life as a world traveler, Peace Corps volunteer, and completing 10 years at SAS.

Anne Wenstrom - Teacher Feature

1. Where are you from and where did you go to grade school and university?

I grew up on a small family farm in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and lived all 18 years …

Posted by K. Shah in Teacher, Communications on Tuesday April 4
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March Reads - Middle School, High School and Adults

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation... A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.” ― Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

Middle schoolers (Mr. Starker)

March Reads

  1. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
  2. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (National Book Award Finalist)
  3. The Saturday Boy by David Fleming


High schoolers (Mr. Helmer)

March Reads

  1. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  2. This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
  3. Wires and Nerves by …
Posted by K. Shah in Teacher on Thursday March 30
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March Reads - Early learning center and elementary school

Librarians

Spring has sprung and it’s the last few months of school before the year ends. What are your reading plans this month? Here are some great recommendations from our librarians at the elementary school library!

Early learning center and kindergarteners (Ms. Cuthbert)March Reads

  1. Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
  2. The Gruffalo Series by Julia Donaldson illustrated by Axel
  3. Scaredy Squirrel Series by Mélanie Watt


Kindergartners, first and second graders (Ms. Shin-Gay)March Reads

  1. Dragon Slayers’ Academy by Kate McMullen
  2. My Happy Life by Rose Lagercrantz
  3. Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the …
Posted by K. Shah in Teacher on Thursday March 30
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Five Minutes with Mark Swarstad

Student Perspective

5 Minutes with Mark Swarstad

5 Minutes with Mark Swarstad

5 Minutes with Mark Swarstad

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Winter 2016.

Click here to read more articles from Journeys Magazine, Winter 2016.


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Three girls and Siem Reap

MUN Siem Reap

MUN Siem Reap

Three experienced Model United Nations (MUN) students -- Jae Hee Koh, grade 10; Se Young Chun, grade 11; and Janvi Kalra, grade 12 -- took the opportunity to create, prepare, and deliver a two-day workshop at the Jay Pritzker Academy (JPA) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Janvi Kalra

It was after fall break, and the sophomores had just come back from their ISPP MUN conference in Cambodia, when Mr. Bisset asked the three of to attend a quick meeting. “There is a cool opportunity to hold a MUN workshop in Cambodia. What do you think?", he asked.

Excited for a chance to give back to the MUN community we …

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From spuds to satellites: SAS alumn launches career at Virgin Galactic

Kristina Doss

From spuds to satellites

Brandon Meehan (Class of 2011) remembers sitting in high-level math and science classes at Singapore American School, listening to one of his favorite teachers share stories about alumni who embarked on careers at some of the top physicist laboratories in the world.

While surrounded by a prized collection of t-shirts and coffee cups that students sent him from their respective work sites, the teacher—Mr. Brian Donalson—rattled off an impressive list of labs. They included the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world, and…

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Welcome to San Fransokyo: JAMIE UY’S AP RESEARCH STORY


This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Winter 2016.

Welcome to San Fransokyo

With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve …

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The student has become the teacher

Sandhya Bala

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Winter 2016.

When Maiki Del Rosario was hired as one of the kindergarten learning support teachers, she didn’t have to take a tour of SAS; she already knew the campus like the back of her hand. She didn’t have to adjust to Singapore’s humidity and culture; she had already lived here for three years during her high school days. And she didn’t have to get introduced to the SAS faculty, because many of them were once her teachers.

Just five years ago, Del Rosario sat in the bustling high school gym, cheering on SAS during pep rallies. She ate …

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Traveling with Tech

HS IT Help Center

The rigors of travel bring extra challenges to using tech wisely. This spring break, traveling smart with your devices may mean the difference between a hip trip and a bummer holiday. Take these steps to ensure a safer, more convenient journey.

Traveling with tech

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

  • Backup all your devices to a remotely stored hard drive or server
  • Take note of your devices’ serial numbers
  • Password protect your local device account
  • Download travel apps and maps of your destination
  • Download magazines and media for use without network
  • Rearrange travel apps onto the main page or same folder of your device A
  • Activate device …
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What's in a name?

Trevor Sturgeon

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Winter 2016.

Originally, a university education meant to be educated in “a community of teachers and scholars” (source: Latin dictionary) whose purpose was “the creation of prepared minds.” But is that still its primary purpose? While becoming an educated person is the ideal, many people also believe the primary goal of university is to make a student marketable for an enjoyable and financially rewarding career.

What's in a name?

Yes, we want our kids to become educated. But ultimately, we also want them to secure jobs and to get off our payroll! I am …

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Welcome to SAS — Newcomer Connections

Parent Perspective

"Having moved countries every three years before settling in Singapore, I found that the most important thing in making your new country home, was to get your family settled in as quickly as possible. Helping your children to integrate into their new school is key”, says SAS parent Debra Surrency. Surrency is part of SAS’s Newcomer Connections, which started in 2014 as a welcoming program for new families joining the SAS community.

Newcomers Connections

Run by the Parent-Teacher Association at SAS, Newcomer Connections welcomes new families accepted into SAS and assigns them to a current SAS buddy family.

Thrilled …

Posted by K. Shah in Parent on Monday March 13
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Walking the talk: Pre-K Kindness Movement


On February 24, Steven Allagan, Isaac Benjamin, Richard Hogan, Kali S, and Sebastian Wong sat in the facilities office discussing an upcoming event with some officers from the navy. In trooped 20 pairs of little feet with a bunch of treats and goodies in their little palms and some personalized thank you notes.Kindness Movement

A heart-melt moment!

All of this started in January when author and illustrator Todd Parr visited SAS as part of the visitors-in-residence program funded by the SAS PTA. Taking an instant liking to him and his work, the children quickly caught on to the messages of peace, love, kindness …

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The Write Way

Robin Hemley

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Fall 2016.

Robin Hemley knows firsthand how students benefit from working directly with authors. Here he recounts his own journey and shares insights to his work at SAS. The winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and many other awards, including the Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from The Chicago Tribune, and three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, Mr. Hemley has published 11 books and his stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and many literary magazines and anthologies. Mr. …

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GRIT OR QUIT?

Kyle Aldous

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Fall 2016.

The only thing I see that is distinctly different about me is: I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me. You might be all of those things. You got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there are two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.- Will Smith

Grit or Quit?

WORK HARD…

If you get on a treadmill next to Will Smith, there are apparently only two …

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Fifth graders aim to stop elephant poaching

Daniel Gach

Day after day we continue to celebrate our children! From mathletes to gymnasts, musicians to dancers, debaters, and even space enthusiasts, every SAS eagle is a beautiful blend of emotions, talents and ideals, pursuing passions and interests.

Over the weekend, Team Techno Terrific — a team of fifth graders beat more than 200 teams to win second place at the First Lego League Robotics competition!

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE 2016/2017 ANIMAL ALLIES Challenge

The First Lego League Robotics competition is an international competition that requires teams of four to five members, to think about a given theme that will tie into their two major projects — the …

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The Cost of Comparison

Jeff Devens

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Fall 2016.

In spite of our efforts to help our children focus on self-improvement, the tendency remains for them to look outward for inward validation. Case in point: what’s the first thing kids do after receiving a grade on an exam, quiz, or project? They look at their peers’ scores and rank order themselves accordingly.

The Cost of Comparison

At some level, all of us rely on comparison as a means of validation; however, when not put in proper perspective, comparison becomes a cruel taskmaster. It teaches Heather, for example, there will always be someone smarter…

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From Passion to Purpose

This article was first published in Journeys Magazine, Fall 2016.

This is a pivot year for Singapore American School. After spending over three years researching, visioning, planning, and putting infrastructure in place to create a personalized education for each student, we have begun to pivot from conception to implementation.

Many of the pivots we are making—from standardization to learning standards for kids; from a system of mass production to personalization; from frenetic to focused; and from content coverage to deep work—will continue to put Singapore American School on the path to …

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From food to waste to dirt to food

The Community Perspective

SAS produces roughly 1,000 kilograms of waste every single day! And about one third to half appears to be food waste.

How can we avoid all this wastage and what happens to wasted food and other material?

The biggest thing we can do to avoid food waste is to serve ourselves only the food we will eat, and eat all of it. After that, place all extra food in the red bins—without any plastic contamination.

As for the food waste, SAS uses a food digester to break it down and has been doing so for several years now. An important part of the SAS sustainability story, our trusty digester has saved many a …

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A Rakugo afternoon...

Storytelling CLub

The SAS community enjoyed two days of amazing performances by Dr. Kimie Oshima, a Rakugo storyteller!

Rakugo

Rakugo is a 300-year old Japanese form of comic storytelling, which has stood the test of time thanks to its use of universal themes like greed and stupidity.

On February 17 and 20 this year, Dr. Kimie Oshima regaled the SAS community – students, parents, faculty and staff with classical tales from Japan! The SAS Storytelling Club members and a class of high schoolers who are learning Japanese, were also treated to a special learning and sharing talk about Rakugo.

RakugoRakugo
The event was organized by …

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Behind-the-scenes of SAS’s space experiment


With their experiment scheduled for launch on SpaceX-11 on Falcon 9 on April 9, The Space Lab at SAS is looking forward to blast-off. Our students are the first in Singapore to send something to space! Let’s just take a moment to digest that.

Team SAS

Achieving this was not easy. The team’s mentors, Priyadarshini Majumdar, a National University of Singapore graduate, along with Dr. Bidushi Bhattacharya, CEO and founder of Bhattacharya Space Enterprises, devoted precious time to the team, guiding them at every step of the way.

Priya was instrumental in encouraging the team to really focus on the various…

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Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 • Singapore 738547 • TEL: +65 6363 3403 | CPE Registration Number: 196400340R | Registration Period: 22 June 2011 to 21 June 2017
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