The Dragon's Tale
The Biweekly Newsletter of the Kaohsiung American School
2020-2021, Issue #5: October 12
Dear KAS Families,
In the last newsletter we shared the good news of our successful accreditation review. This is so important because our accreditation helps universities know that KAS students have completed a rigorous education that meets USA and international standards. Each accreditation review leads to a new Schoolwide Action Plan, which helps us become an ever better school into the future. As promised, in this newsletter and in the future, we will share more details about the Schoolwide Action Plan, and the work we are doing to create an even better KAS.
在上次的信中我們分享了關於我們成功獲得認證的好消息。這是一件非常重要的事，因為我們的認證能幫助大學更了解KAS的學生，他們會了解到KAS學生已經習得了符合美國以及國際標準的縝密教育。認證審核引導我們至一個新的Schoolwide Action Plan，幫助我們未來能成為更好的學校。上次提過的，在本次以及未來的校訊中，我們將會與您分享更多關於Schoolwide Action Plan的相關細節，以及我們為了讓KAS變成更好的學校正在進行些什麼努力。
As a reminder, the Schoolwide Action Plan outlines goals in four key areas:
作為提醒，Schoolwide Action Plan概述了四個關鍵領域的目標：
Social-emotional learning and wellness 社交情感學習和健康
Implementing and reviewing our updated Child Protection Policy實施和審查我們最新的兒童保護政策
Staffing and compensation 職員和薪資
This week, we’d like to share more information about the first goal, Curriculum. The goal in the plan is: Ensure a written curriculum that is current and accessible, which addresses the needs of a diverse student population and which is delivered through appropriate instructional practices.
本週，我們想分享關於第一個目標 - 課程 的更多相關資訊。該計劃的目標是：確保書面的課程是現行的以及易取得的，能夠滿足多樣化學生群體的需求，並且能透過此來提供適當的教學實踐。
What this means is that this year, next year, and possibly the following year we are working diligently to examine, update, write, and rewrite every aspect of our curriculum. It is important to us that our new curriculum supports a cohesive learning experience for students, from the moment they enter Pre-Kindergarten until the moment they graduate and move on to one of the world’s top universities.
We want to make sure that our new curriculum reflects the education that our students will need, not just today, but long into the future when they become adults. We want to make sure our curriculum is inclusive, relevant, and considerate of our students and their identities. We believe that, when we effectively write a new schoolwide curriculum, that we better prepare today’s students to thrive in a rapidly changing future.
Please take a look at the next section, called Curriculum Progress. It is an update from our Curriculum/IB Coordinator, and provides some insight to what this work looks like this year.
請您查看下一個段落，Curriculum Progress (課程發展)。我們的課程/IB召集人將提供一些今年校內工作情況的見解。
Taking KAS to the next level is a team effort, requiring students, parents, faculty, staff, Board, and PTA. Curriculum is an important part of this work, and we are thankful for your support.
As a part of on-going education about the college application and admissions process, we will highlight some important but often misunderstood aspects of the process in each edition of our newsletter. To begin, did you know that universities typically calculate their own versions of a high school GPA, and do not use any GPA generated by a school? For example, the online application for the University of California system includes a Customized GPA Calculator, which will create a GPA for an applicant which will be used for admissions decisions based on their values and priorities. In this case, any grade for PE classes is not used in the calculation, and only a limited number of college level courses such as IB HL courses or AP courses are weighted with an extra point. This process is consistent for all applicants, regardless of the variety of systems used by different high schools. It is important that parents and students keep this in mind as they think about a KAS GPA! Look for more examples of this sort in the coming months!
作為有關大學申請和錄取過程的持續教育的一部分，我們將在每期校訊中重點介紹申請過程的一些重要但常被誤解的觀點。首先，您是否知道大學通常會用自己的一套版本去計算高中GPA，並且不使用學校所生成的任何GPA？例如，UC系統的大學的線上應用程式包括一個定制的GPA計算器，它將為申請人創立一個GPA，該GPA將根據其大學本身用於決策招生的價值標準和優先順序。在這種情況下，計算中不使用任何體育課成績，並且僅針對數量有限的大學程度的課程（如 IB HL課程或AP課程）做加分。此過程對所有申請者都是一致的，無論不同的高中使用何種系統。家長和學生在考慮KAS GPA時務必牢記這一點！在未來幾個月中可以繼續尋找更多類似的案例！
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
Curriculum Progress 課程發展
Time is a precious, finite resource. Our Schoolwide Action Plan goals are so important that we have planned our meetings and leadership structures entirely around these goals. This creates more time for planning, collaboration, training, and discussion of curriculum. The result is that teachers discuss various aspects of the curriculum: how to help grade 10 students with Personal Projects, best grading practices for students in the Diploma Program, strategies to help English Language Learners in elementary school, and other important topics.
時間是一種寶貴的有限資源。我們的Schoolwide Action Plan非常重要，我們以此為中心計畫了很多的會議及領導管理結構。為此需騰出更多時間來計畫、協作、培訓並討論課程。成果是，老師們討論了課程的各方面：如何幫助10年級的個人專題、文憑課程中學生最佳評分練習、幫助小學英文學習者的策略和其他重要的議題。
We have established a structure for Teacher Leadership, with one lead teacher for each subject area or grade level. This supports experienced KAS teachers in unifying and supporting all teachers in the development of curriculum. Some of these Teacher Leaders serve on the schoolwide Leadership Team, which is integrating KAS’s Student Learner Outcomes into curriculum at all levels. The Student Learner Outcomes are important because these are the attributes the KAS community has identified as most important to the lives of KAS students. Curriculum is more than subject content: the Leadership team must ensure that the curriculum nurtures all students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, effective communicators, active learners, and ethical global citizens.
KAS will continue graduating the highest caliber students supported by the faculty’s ongoing discussion, analysis and improvement of curriculum. Elementary school teachers are collaborating to create literacy units that ensure a smooth and continuous flow of learning from one grade to the next as young students learn to read and write. MYP teachers (grade 6-10) and DP teachers (grades 11 and 12) participated in a virtual conference in September, each subject area being led by some of the best experienced IB workshop leaders from around the world. The training emphasized unit writing that incorporates elements important to the IB philosophy. In November, teachers will receive feedback on their written curriculum by participating in a curriculum sharing protocol.
Throughout KAS, we are institutionalizing this updated written curriculum in a shared digital folder. Not only will this allow for rich collegial discussion and improved articulation from one grade level to the next, but will aid in the transition of teachers new to KAS, and will provide greater insights and transparency for students and parents. As teachers collaborate, analyze, and refine curriculum, they become models of the learning process they hope to instill in their students.
The future is bright. Thank you for your care and interest in this progress!
Ms Deborah Haines, IB/AP Coordinator IB/AP召集人
International Mindedness in the IB Programs
From IBO: What is an IB Education?
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Central to this aim is international-mindedness.
International-mindedness is a multifaceted concept that captures a way of thinking, being and acting characterized by an openness to the world and a recognition of our deep interconnectedness to others.
How do students at KAS achieve “international mindedness”?
First of all, KAS teachers come from 12 countries and bring experiences from all over the world to share with their students. Also, IB curriculum supports international mindedness by encouraging, and sometimes requiring students to engage with perspectives from other parts of the world. For example, in Diploma literature classes, students must read novels from different continents, and time periods, and written by different genders. Teachers use the idea of “Local and Global Contexts” to look at subject content as it relates to both Taiwan and other countries. As an example, in middle school Individuals and Society classes, students compare Taiwanese government to governments of other countries. And finally, KAS teachers expose students to important global issues: climate change, global education issues, world religions, and gender inequality to name a few. With students developing an awareness of what is happening around the world, it is hoped that this next generation will be able to make life better for all.
Ms Deborah Haines, IB/AP Coordinator IB/AP召集人
Parent Teacher Conferences 親師座談會
KAS fall semester parent conferences are scheduled for Friday, October 23, 2020. There will be no school while teachers meet with families on campus all day. We hope that every family will participate.
In Elementary School, each teacher will make arrangements for their own roster of students. All students and families are given specific appointments. Please reach out to classroom teachers with any questions.
In Middle School, all students are required to attend and participate in their Student Led Conference. Appointments are made through Advisory teachers. Students will show parents their academic progress in each class as well as major concepts of the IB MYP program. Following the conference, parents may meet with any of their child’s teachers to discuss progress in each class. KAS Middle School expects 100% attendance for students and families as a critical part of the home to school partnership.
In High School, parents may attend an open house in the Media Center and Exhibition Hall from 8am to 3pm. All teachers will be present and no appointments are necessary. Please note that teachers will be on lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00.
The Class of 2021 is actively applying to universities all around the world! We currently have more than 800 applications in progress to Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the USA. Our first applications were officially submitted this week!
We encourage parents to talk with their children about the colleges and universities on their list. A good number of applications is about 10 - 13 total. Students are asked to create a balanced list of schools that are a good fit for them, including 2 - 3 likely admission, 4 - 5 target schools, and 2 - 3 reach or far reach schools. This can be a stressful time as final decisions are made about where to apply. Please know that we are here to talk you through the process and support you at every step! Parents, you are also invited to meet with your child’s college counselor anytime by making an appointment.
Juniors, now is the time to start thinking about any admissions tests that might be required for your future applications. KAS will offer the SAT on December 3, 2020 and again in May 2021, and ACT in June 2021. These are common tests of college admissions accepted by many schools worldwide, especially in the U.S. With COVID-19, we expect many schools will have a test-flexible or test-optional policy next year meaning the SAT or ACT score may not be required. However, because we are not sure about the impact of COVID on future admissions, we recommend that juniors take either the SAT or ACT at least once sometime this year. You can register for SAT here, ACT here, and either the TOEFL here or iELTS test of English here. Most schools outside the US rely on IB exam scores for entrance to college, so they will be most interested in Predicted Grades and eventually final IB exam results.
11年級生們，現在是時候思考一下，哪些入學考試是你們需要準備的。KAS會在2020年12月3日舉行SAT考試，下一次是2021年的5月，ACT則在2021年的6月。這些是世界上一般大學用來錄取學生的基本標準測驗，尤其是美國。由於新冠肺炎，我們預測很多學校會採自動提出或選擇性提出成績，SAT或ACT成績可能不會被列入錄取標準，由於我們還沒辦法確定會有什麼影響，建議11年級學生們今年至少報考一次的SAT或ACT。可以從這裡報名：SAT here，ACT here，托福 here，雅思 here。大多美國以外的學校都很依賴 IB 成績當成錄取基準，所以他們會對預測成績和實際成果比較感興趣。
Many schools will also accept the IB Diploma as a standardized test of college admission. With a certain score, most universities worldwide will also grant college credit for IB exam subject scores of a 4 or higher in some cases. IBO publishes a University Index with detailed information about which universities recognize the IB Diploma for credit or admission.
November 1 Early Action and Early Decision
Parents are required to complete an online Early Decision agreement if your child intends to enter into a binding agreement with a university for early decision admission in the U.S.
November 7 University of Toronto due
November 15 University of Washington and several other colleges due
November 30 University of California, many California State University schools
December 1 Deadline for many schools considering merit scholarships
January 1 - 15 Canada, USA regular decision, UK deadlines
Spring- Summer Deadlines for Australia, Europe, Korea, Japan
Upcoming College Visits to KAS:
10/20/20 08:00AM University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
10/21/20 09:30AM California College of the Arts
10/22/20 10:30AM Beloit College
10/23/20 07:00PM Kenyon College
10/23/20 07:00PM Johns Hopkins University (KAS, TAS, TES)
10/26/20 09:00AM Birmingham-Southern College
All college visits are listed on the KAS Public calendar and also appear at the bottom of the home page on the KAS website. Students and parents are welcome to attend and ask questions.
Find your student’s college counselor. Last name letter starts with:
A - L Cerise Roth-Vinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
字母A-L Cerise Roth-Vinson, email@example.com
M - Z Jill Newman, firstname.lastname@example.org
字母M-Z Jill Newman, email@example.com
We invite you to meet with us in person to answer questions and plan for higher education.
Alumni Spotlight 校友天地
Miranda Lu, 2019
Recently we caught up with KAS alumna Miranda Lu, who is currently a student at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California. Miranda is studying Business Administration with a double minor in real estate development and applied analytics. She loves living near downtown Los Angeles and USC's famous tailgate gatherings on big game days.
She credits her hard work at KAS with IB HL courses and AP classes with giving her a big advantage when it came to college. Because USC offered her 28 college credits for IB and AP classes, she now has the option of graduating early from university in three years. Her future goal includes a career in Investment Banking.
When asked about a favorite memory from KAS, she surprised us by saying: "As odd as this sounds, I miss being forced to go to the KAS auditorium for assemblies! Not everything is mandatory in college, and I actually had to make so much effort to connect with others, make new friends in a brand new environment, and find a community I truly love while balancing academics and being accustomed to a brand new lifestyle."
She encourages seniors who are thinking about their future to “just go for it” if you have a specific idea of what you want to study. But if you also are a bit undecided, that is okay too because many colleges offer a well-rounded choice of majors to choose from. Like many of our KAS graduates, Miranda is currently here in Taiwan studying online at USC but hopes to return to campus later this spring.
Thank you Miranda for taking a few minutes to share about your transition from KAS to USC! For more information about KAS Alumni activities, please visit the Official KAS Alumni Facebook page or contact Cerise Roth-Vinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vivien Huang (email@example.com).感謝Miranda與我們分享你從KAS到南加大的過程。想了解更多KAS校友會活動，請到Official KAS Alumni Facebook page 或是與我們聯繫 Cerise Roth-Vinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vivien Huang (email@example.com).
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.