IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 229
Message from HoS
Mrs Anne Fowles, Head of School
Dear IGBIS Families,
Selamat Hari Raya!
We hope that those of you who were celebrating the festivities over last weekend were able to catch up safely with family members and enjoy this special time together.
Thank you to the many people who have already come into school to return school resources. Our staff have appreciated your support in doing this. Sometimes the visits have coincided with other families returning things and of course, people want to catch up with each other, but we do ask that you try to follow social distancing guidelines shared by the government for the CMCO.
Our principals and teachers in each part of the school have been discussing ways that we can still have some end of year events, even if these need to take place virtually or with distance, and they will share details of these with you soon. We are hoping that we can at least organise some form of our usual drive-by farewell for those of you who are able to call by on the last day of school, June 10th.
Have a great weekend ahead.
Supporting our Secondary Students and Families in Transition
Bill Mitchell (Grades 9-12 School Counsellor)
It would be a gross understatement to say that this has been an average year for students and families at IGBIS. Not only did we prevail over our haze issues, we are now in the midst of the challenge of social distancing and movement control. What these events will prove to all of us is that when people put their minds to a task and work together, we can persevere.
Something that is not uncommon each year in international schools in transition. We are lucky enough to have friends and families from around the world that enrich our lives. The downside is that there is the possibility that they will only be with us for a few years at a time. When we consider this as moms and dads, friends, co-workers, we have to realise it is a process for both the “leavers” and those that stay behind. Ms Skepper and I would like to offer some ideas for our Secondary families. Please also see Ms Skepper’s note from the last newsletter for ideas.
There is emerging research and personal experience that we can take from the study on Third Culture Kids/Families that as expatriates do transition a great deal. The article that I have linked above outlines the concept of building a RAFT.
Are we building a boat? No, not literally. RAFT is an acronym that the late David C Pollock developed to help people transition. This process of moving can take up to six months or more. Below is the simple form of this model. If you have the opportunity to go to a seminar or workshop – GO! Seriously, it will change the way you do the move – and I’m not talking about a dance step.
R = Reconciliation
Reconciliation is just that: reconciling with people, making the relationship right. Just because you leave a place doesn’t mean the problem goes away. It doesn’t – instead, it goes with you. Research has been done on health-related issues due to unforgiveness. Just google it and see for yourself.
A = Affirmation
Is there anyone you are super thankful for? Anyone who has helped you greatly while living in that city? Tell them. Let them know how much you appreciate them and what they did for you, for your kids, for your family. Awkward? Write a letter to tell them – but just tell them. You have the opportunity to make someone feel appreciated – and you’ll feel great that you did it.
F = Farewell
This is the not so fun part; saying good-bye. You immediately think of all the people you want to tell good-bye. An article on this topic stated to rank your friends, which sounds harsh but may assist in prioritising and making sure you do say goodbye to your closest besties. Don’t forget to say “Good-bye” to places and things as well. This may sound strange, but it really helps to bring closure. This one is important for kids as well. Plan these “events” on a calendar so you get them in. I’ll write more on this later this week…so much you can do to help your kids here.
T = Think Destination
It’s just that – think about the next place. How will it be different from where you are now? How will it be the same? Go through this dialogue with your kids as well. It will help them in the process. Look upon the internet and read about the new place and the exciting adventures that await. Check it out on Google Maps. Reminder: It’s okay to feel excited about the new destination as you say good-bye to all the old things. It’s normal.
A few other articles for consideration:
As we draw to a close this year at IGBIS, I am also building a RAFT as I transition back to my homeland of Canada. My thanks to all the families, students and peers who have made my 3 years at IGB enjoyable as I complete my 15th year in Malaysia. I am progressing through building my own RAFT and will leave with a heart and head full of wonderful memories. Wishing you all the best for the summer and the years ahead.
Julie Arcidiacono, Community Support and Services Coordinator
As we approach the end of the school year, we look back at everything the PVO has accomplished. The Phoenix Foundation and the Inclusion Committee were the big highlights this year, as were the signature PVO events – Masquerade and Holiday Bazaar – which managed to exceed its high expectations. Parent workshops and numerous sub-committees kept parents actively involved with the school, which is crucial for our school’s holistic teaching approach. Unfortunately, the much anticipated International Day and Staff Appreciation Lunch were cancelled, but looking forward, there is much to be done in the upcoming year.
Once school is back in session in August, after the New Student Orientation / Returning Student Reception, we will have our back-to-school Uniform Drive. Many children will have grown over this extended break, so we anticipate many swaps! Please save your outgrown uniforms for the Drive. Kindly note that donations can be dropped off anytime at our school’s Reception area; please make sure they are clean and in good shape.
In August, we will also host our Welcome New Parents Coffee / PVO Meeting. The agenda is already filled with exciting developments. As we transition from PVO (Parent Volunteer Organisation) to PTA (Parent Teacher/Staff Association), we will be reaching out for parent volunteers to participate in a pro-tempore PTA committee that will organise the PTA structure, as well as its election process. There will also be sign-up opportunities for other committees that include the Phoenix Foundation, Inclusion Committee, Social, Holiday Bazaar, International Day and Staff Appreciation Lunch. Class Parents sign-up will also be available. More information on each of these will be provided at the meeting, so keep yourself informed of the date once it’s confirmed.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the parents who have volunteered their time during the 2019/20 academic year. Several parents took leadership roles in above-named projects and beyond, which have positively impacted our community. We are grateful for their initiatives and we encourage parents to continue to choose to be involved at school. Our appreciation is also extended to the 25 Class Parents for their efforts throughout the year: Zoe Dadson, Tama Segaran, Ana Ng, Liez Pucher, Chickie Dumalag, Rathi Angeline, Maria Fournier, Louise Hyland, Burnie Tai, Susana Lopez, Divya Kapoor, Chrissy Steinheart, Flora Remeo, Ma Xuedi, Felicier Suppiah, Shamina Nordin, Suzana Tan, Tina Webster, May Huay Teh, Flavia Labre, Nan Awai Kwak, Yee Peng, Wei Ling Poon, Jeena Kaithavana, and Pappu Sruthi.
Friends of the Phoenix
Julie Arcidiacono, Community Support and Services Coordinator
As we virtually bid farewell to our graduating students, to our leaving students/ parents and staff members, we welcome our newest members of the ‘Friends of the Phoenix.’ All graduates and leavers are encouraged to keep connected through our ‘Friends of the Phoenix’ directory. This directory is a social and professional network for all former members of the community. It can be found online at www.igbis.edu.my/friendsofthephoenix.
Who are the ‘Friends of the Phoenix’? Anyone who has ever been a part of the IGBIS community is a ‘Friend of the Phoenix’. That includes all of our former students, their parents, and former staff members, in addition to our school’s alumni.
I am a ‘Friend of the Phoenix’. Why should I register and what can the directory be used for? There are countless reasons why one would reach out to a fellow ‘Friend of the Phoenix’ – to enquire about a university, about life in a specific country, for an employment connection… the possibilities are endless.
How can I view the directory? If you are a ‘Friend of the Phoenix’, visit the above-mentioned website and fill out your profile. You will be able to select which information you would like others to view. Once your own profile is completed, you will be able to log-in and view information that others have submitted as well. There is no cost to join.
I’ve joined. What next? Encourage other ‘Friends of the Phoenix’ to complete their profiles. The success of this directory is largely based on everyone’s input. As life takes you to new locations, be sure to check the directory to see if there are any ‘Friends of the Phoenix’ in the area. As a registered ‘Friend of the Phoenix’, you can also request transcripts, schedule a school visit, order a yearbook, and much more. One more event has been added to our annual Friend of the Phoenix events, Phoenix Makan and London Annual Dinner. Since 2021 will mark the 5th year since our first seniors graduated IGBIS, we will introduce our Legacy event series to celebrate their reunions. More information will be forthcoming via the Friend of the Phoenix directory.
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