The Dragon's Tale

The Biweekly Newsletter of the Kaohsiung American School

2020-2021, Issue #4: September 21

Dear KAS Families,


Thank you for your partnership in keeping students safe, especially with the recent traffic changes due to construction and the requests from the police. We recognize that the circumstances create delays. At the same time, thanks to everybody working together, all students have been kept safe, and traffic is less stressful than before. Safety is of top importance, so that students can learn together in KAS’s healthy educational environment.


One indicator of a strong educational program is accreditation. KAS is proudly accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This means that our program has been rigorously reviewed both internally and by a qualified external agency, and that we have met the standards required for ongoing accreditation. One of the many ways this benefits students is by helping universities know that a KAS transcript and diploma are meaningful, and that our graduates have met high standards during their studies at KAS.


Our accreditation status is considered regularly, with a full review every 5-6 years, and abbreviated reviews every 1.5 - 3 years. You may remember that, after a comprehensive 18 months internal and external review process, we recently completed a full review in March, 2020. The result was that in June, 2020 our fully accredited status was reaffirmed for the years ahead.

Each accreditation review cycle results in a report that outlines the schools strengths and opportunities for growth, as well as a Schoolwide Action Plan that guides the ongoing strengthening of the school and school programs.
每個認證審核週期都會產生一份報告,概述學校的優勢以及可成長的空間,並制定了一份”Schoolwide Action Plan” 來做為不斷加強學校和課程的指南。

We want to share with you more information about our Schoolwide Action Plan, and our targeted efforts to create an even better KAS. This plan focuses around students’ most important learning needs, which are identified as: (A) literacy, (B) English proficiency development, (C) social-emotional, and (D) critical thinking.
我們希望與您分享更多關於“Schoolwide Action Plan”的資訊,我們的目標是為了創造更好的KAS。這個計劃是著重於學生最重要的學習需求如下:(A)讀寫能力 (B)英文水平發展 (C)社交情感學習 (D)批判性思考

Further, the plan outlines goals in four key areas:

  1. Curriculum 課程

  2. Social-emotional learning and wellness 社交情感學習和健康

  3. Implementing and reviewing our updated Child Protection Policy

  4. Staffing and compensation 職員和薪資

In upcoming newsletters we will share information about each of these learning needs and goals. Furthermore, in the months ahead, we are planning opportunities for discussion, not only around these areas, but the long-term evolution of the school. Please stay tuned for more information in the future.



Dr. Ploeger, Superintendent 總校長

Ms. Rock, High School Principal 高中校長

Mr. Payne, Middle School Principal 國中校長
Mr. Coyle, Elementary School Principal 小學校長

IB Bits

IB Exam Registration for May 2021 for seniors


Senior students can now register for IB exams to be held in May. The registration form sent to every 12th grade student must be carefully filled out, to indicate exactly which IB exams the student wishes to take. The student will then receive a document via email that will confirm the exams for which the student registered, and the amount of payment due. Once the payment is paid to the KAS finance office, the student will be registered for the exams. IB has strict deadlines regarding payment, and students not meeting the October 8th deadline will see an increase in fees.


Students and parents are welcome to make an appointment with the IB Coordinator, Deborah Haines, for questions about the exams, or one of the college counselors, if questions are about college. Students not sure whether to sign up for exams should research their intended universities to see the value placed on IB Exams. In general, good IB exam results are beneficial to college acceptance, and sometimes allow students to skip certain freshman level courses. Students not pursuing the full IB Diploma are still welcome to take “Certificate” IB exams, and these results are often useful for college acceptance.

如學生與家長對於考試有任何問題,歡迎與IB召集人 Deborah Haines預約面談。如果問題有關於大學申請,則與大學輔導老師預約。學生不確定是否要報名參加考試時,應先研究他們心中的大學其對應的IB考試價值。通常,良好的IB考試成績有助於大學入學申請,有時還能讓學生抵扣掉某些新生課程。仍歡迎不修取IB文憑的學生參加“學科證書”IB考試,這些成績對於大學入學申請很有幫助。

Personal Projects for all MYP grade 10 students


Students have been working diligently on finishing their investigation of the personal project. The focus up to this point has been researching their topic and discovering why they are so passionate about it. This week, students chose a product to create based on their research. I can’t wait to see what amazing products they end up making!


They will begin the plan for creating this product and their success criteria. Everything from this point forward will be focused on creating the product. Students have been given time the past few weeks to work on their Personal Project on Wednesdays during BIG or Advisory. This time was used to catch up and begin their plan, step by step instructions, on how to create their product and setting their own deadlines.


As a family member, how can I help?


  • Help your student set aside 1 hour a week dedicated to working on the personal project.


  • Ask your student to share their Process Journal. If the journal is fairly empty, that’s not a good sign.


  • Contact your student’s Supervisor if you have any concerns. Your student will have access to their supervisor’s email address.


  • Review the deadlines document for student’s upcoming meetings with their supervisor as well as the criteria used by the IB to score your student’s report.


Have questions? Please contact the Personal Project Coordinator, Terea Marcum at

有疑問嗎?請與個人專題召集人 Terea Marcum 聯繫。

Ms Deborah Haines, IB/AP Coordinator IB/AP召集人

We are all busy and working hard with seniors to develop their college applications. Currently there are almost 700 applications in progress to universities around the world! We are also really impressed with the way our juniors and seniors are participating in virtual sessions with colleges. They are asking great questions about class size, school safety, study abroad programs, career advising, choosing a major and credit for IB classes. Parents are also welcome to participate in college visits!


Our goal is to prepare students for admission to top universities that are a great fit for each individual student. For Class of 2022, this year of academics is the most important for colleges when they review the transcript, but we also want to make sure you are finding a balance with school, health and extracurricular activities/sports. We really believe in our KAS mission to develop Balanced Individuals who are Independent Learners and Global Citizens!


More than 70% of our KAS students choose to study in the U.S., where applications often include many different components. In a survey of universities, they indicated that the top 5 most important factors for admission are:


  1. Grades in all courses (Please note that this is not the same as GPA: universities calculate GPA according to their own systems)


  1. Grades in college-prep (IB/AP) classes


  1. Strength or rigor of curriculum


  1. SAT / ACT test scores


  1. Essay or personal statement


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For universities in the UK and Australia, scores on the IB exams, teacher recommendation and quality of the personal statement are the most important factors of admission. We are very proud of our long history of sending KAS students to incredible universities all over the world!


Testing update

Many schools have already announced plans for 2021-2022 admissions as ‘test-optional’. For those students who want to take the test, KAS will host the SAT on campus next Saturday, October 3. Please make sure to get a good night of sleep before arriving for the exam, and remember to bring your passport that you used to register for the test. The next SAT test dates available at KAS will be December 5, 2020 and May 8, 2021. To register for the SAT, visit CollegeBoard. Many schools will also require students take the TOEFL or iELTS test of English proficiency, especially for students who are non-native English speakers or will be applying as an international student. Predicted grades for IB Diploma students who need them for university admissions will be reported by teachers by October 5, 2020. Students who need these for self-reporting on college applications will be provided with their predicted IB scores.


許多大學已經宣布2021-2022年度錄取標準,各項測驗分數採選擇性提出,想要報考的學生們,KAS在下週六,10月3日會舉行SAT考試,請考生確保充足睡眠,並記得帶上報名時使用的護照。下次在KAS舉行的SAT分別是2020年12月5日及2021年5月8日,準備報名的考生請上CollegeBoard網站,許多大學或許也會要求 TOEFLiELTS 成績,尤其母語不是英語學生或以國際學生身份申請大學的。需要IB預測成績的學生們也將在2020年10月5日可以從老師那裡取得報告。

Upcoming Virtual College Visits to KAS

All college visits are published on the KAS Public Calendar with links to join the virtual sessions. Parents and students are highly encouraged to participate in these live, interactive sessions just for KAS.


所有的大學講座時間都公布在 KAS Public Calendar,參加連結也在其中,歡迎學生和家長們一同參加,這些只提供給KAS。

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Find your student’s college counselor. Last name letter starts with:


A - L Cerise Roth-Vinson,

字母A-L Cerise Roth-Vinson,

M - Z Jill Newman,

字母M-Z Jill Newman,

We invite you to meet with us in person to answer questions and plan for higher education.

We Are KAS

KAS challenges students to achieve academic excellence and prepares them to be balanced individuals, independent learners, and global citizens.

Kaohsiung American School (KAS) is a private, non-profit, co-educational Pre K – 12 institution offering an American, college preparatory program leading to a US high school diploma and the opportunity for an IB Diploma.

KAS is located in the northern area of Kaohsiung city, the second-largest city in Taiwan with 1.5 million inhabitants. Kaohsiung American School was established in 1989 as an elementary school serving the needs of local and expatriate families with children.