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PTO: Catch Up With Will - Meeting Minutes


1. We have heard an increasing concern regarding sensitive but very important topics such as sex, drugs, eating disorders, anxiety, unhealthy use of social media, and other factors that lead to self harm and erratic behavior. How can we start to address these issues with sensitivity, compassion, and empathy while being effective with students and parents? It should be part of the holistic approach to a child’s wellbeing.


Will/Priya Mitchell: Counselors have already done work on alcohol usage with Grade 8 this year. They intend to post resources and recap the work on ishcmcrhinohub.com. With only 8 weeks remaining for the school year, they can’t address and roll out everything in time. There are plans to weave these topics into the Positive ISHCMC curriculum, create workshops for both students and parents, and integrate it into the advisory curriculum. Priya will conduct a livestream event for parents to ask questions and voice concerns in Term 4. She will also communicate the school’s plan and ideas on how to address these issues in the future. It will be an ongoing work in progress with collaboration from parents and the school.


2. School calendar for 2022-2023. Parents are concerned about the long winter/holiday break from Dec. 22-Jan. 27. Some feel it is simply too long and kids will have lost learning and not retain the first 2 terms’ knowledge. Others feel the calendar doesn’t give G11/G12 the sufficient amount (hours) of class instruction for graduation. Can we amend/adjust?


Will: This is a topic at the Head of School level. Will has addressed this with Andy Tay, Managing Director of the school in Kim Green’s absence. It will be discussed internally first. More to come. For the current school year, students are receiving more hours than needed for higher/standard level of class instruction for graduation.


3. Current food offerings are below par in terms of quality and quantity. Canteen workers are also not courteous. Besides a small offering, food is running out by the second period of lunch. Seating for lunch on each grade’s respective floors is also below par where hallway benches are only provided without proper eating surfaces. Teachers are allowed to order outside food and some are eating in front of students. This doesn’t send a good message to our kids. All of these issues culminate in a negative non-supportive environment for eating lunch. Kids already feel rushed having less time to eat and eating much earlier than what they are used to. When coupled with other challenges, kids will just not eat leading to unhealthy habits and negative perceptions of what food and mealtimes should be. Have we cut costs/budget with the food vendor? We know there is good quality food available. Where is the disconnect?


Will: There is a plan already in place to shift back to normal lunch service where more food choices will be offered. The tentative date, although not yet finalized is April 22. There will still be 2 periods of lunch but students will return to the canteen to eat. Catherine Nguyen will host a parent focus group in hopes of improving food quality and quantity soon.


4. Following up from 2 weeks ago, did Andy Tay subsidize prom ticket costs for chaperones?


Will: Prom was a very successful and well executed event. The students deserve all the credit for putting on such a fun event. There were some cost overruns that the school will absorb.


5. When will the temporary schedule revert back to normal? Will G11 meet the criteria of 240 hours for high level and 150 hours for standard level courses?


Will: Upper grades will have more than enough hours of learning instruction for this current school year. The school is looking into different ways to normalize the schedule as they have seen a downward trend in F0 cases. It could potentially coincide with the April 22 date but it’s not definite yet. More to come.


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