ES Newsletter

Andrea Torchin, ES Principal

November 17, 2014

Dear ES Families:

Thank you for your overwhelming support for our World Diabetes Awareness Day! The Preschool and Elementary together raised over $300 to this very special cause. Patients and their families will benefit from your generosity.

Please remember that Wednesday is Color Team Day. Students should wear their color team shirt on Wednesday. Color Team leaders will engage students in an activity related to the topic of Peace. You may want to discuss with your child what peace means to you and your family and how we can be part of creating a more peaceful world. We will be talking about what we can do at school to encourage peace.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi

This week we begin the Toys for Tots campaign. Please send in an unwrapped toy to be donated to a child through the Fundación Pro Niños de Coclé.

Lastly, I wanted to touch upon a topic of interest that was brought up for discussion at last week's Escuela Para Padres on Video Games: "What is the policy for use of personal electronic devices in the Elementary School?"

Here is a section from our Parent Student Handbook related to this topic:

"Technology is a powerful tool that enhances learning and enables students to access a wide amount of academic resources. BA has opened a filtered wireless network through which students will be able to connect privately owned (personal) telecommunication devices (PTDs). Students using personal telecommunication devices must follow the guidelines stated in this document while on school property or using the school’s wireless network.

● Elementary – Students in grades 2-5 are allowed to bring PTDs for academic classroom use as determined by the classroom teacher."

Students bring PTDs for a variety of reasons to school. Some students carry them in their backpacks with them to use before and after school on the bus. Some students have long bus rides home. Other students bring cell phones to communicate with parents after school. This is a parent choice and a family decision.

While at school teachers and administrators in the Elementary supervise the use of PTDs for educational purposes only. If students are using devices for other reasons, they are asked to put them away. We acknowledge the power of technology for educational purposes and also the power that it has at times to distract students from learning. Please discuss this with your child. If your child's teacher has not asked you to send in a PTD, please know that students are not required to bring them to school in the Elementary.

If you have any questions or concerns related to this topic please do not hesitate to contact me or your child's homeroom teacher.

Sincerely, Andrea Torchin

Welcome Ms. Angela Cruz!

We welcome Ms. Angela Cruz to the Elementary Staff as Ms. Vallarino's long term substitute teacher! Ms. Cruz spent last week with Ms. Vallarino learning the routines and schedules of our Performing Arts Program. Friday was Ms. Pilar Vallarino's last day of work before her maternity leave. If you see Ms. Cruz in the halls, please welcome her to the Balboa community!

Toys for Tots

Get in the spirit and make a child’s Christmas special by donating a gift to Toys for Tots. Please drop your unwrapped gift (toys that do not require batteries preferred) in the box starting November 14. All donations will benefit Fundación Pro Niños de Coclé. For more information, please contact Carson Dolan at or 317-5268.

No School December 1st

The Panamanian Government will observe the Independence from Spain holiday on December 1, 2014, which Balboa Academy is required to observe. Therefore, there will not be classes and offices will be closed.

As indicated on our Academic Calendar, the school will also be closed on 27 & 28 November in celebration of Thanksgiving.

We wish you happy holidays and look forward to resuming classes on December 2, 2014.

Support our HS Club - Lead the Way

Dear Parents,

Lead the Way, a High School social-action club, is hosting an estimation game in order to collect money for their next activity—a new ecological water fountain. The first fountain will be located in High School and the goal is to put one in every building! ! This activity will be hosted in Mrs. Bhatty’s art class. The students are able to guess, for $1, how many toys, or cheese strings they think are in the jars—they can repeat as many times as they want. The winner takes the jar, and the student that guesses the closest amount of cheese strings, gets 3 movie tickets.

Thank you,

Lead the Way

Online Book Orders through Scholastic


Dear Teachers, Students and Parents,

The PTSO has set up an International Scholastic Book Club school group order online. This means you can now order the books online and have them delivered directly to our school. The price listed for books already includes the shipping cost, so it couldn’t be easier! You are billed directly to your credit card for the books ordered online; they are grouped together, and delivered to our school to be picked up at the end of our order period.

Orders will only be accepted online. Please do not send orders with money to school.

You need to order your books online by Sunday, 23rd of November 2014. After that date, the PTSO will confirm that all the online orders are in and the books will be delivered to school for the PTSO to hand out in class. Every book you buy from Scholastic helps Balboa Academy to earn money to spend on much-needed books for our own libraries!

An email with ordering guidelines was sent out last week. For more information contact the PTSO at

After School Emergency Contact

Our individual school offices close at 4:00 p.m., which has caused a problem for parents who are trying to contact the school about after-school transportation issues later than that time. While we understand that traffic can cause delays in picking up children on time, it is very important that parents make arrangements to be on time for after-school activity pick up. In the case that there is a delay after 4:00 p.m., parents who are not able to contact their child directly by cell phone may also contact the Athletic Office 302-0037 or the Athletic Director cellular phone number 6781-1852.

ES Student Achievements

Congratulations to one of our very own 4th graders: Omar Rodriguez!

This past weekend Omar Dario participated in an equestrian competition. He won Second Place on Saturday and First Place on Sunday, in his age category.

Keep up the good work, Omar!

This is a new section in the ES Newsletter devoted to highlighting student achievements outside of school. Please send any important student achievements to highlight in the newsletter to

Elementary Calendar of Events

Every Wednesday: PTSO Ice cream and Popcorn Sales! Send money in with your child.

Wednesday, November 19th - ES Color Team Day

Wear your color team t-shirt!

Wednesday, November 26th - ES Book Fair

Thursday & Friday, November 27 and 28 - Thanksgiving Break

Monday, December 1st - No School, Panamanian Holiday

Tuesday-Friday, December 2nd - 5th - PTSO Sponsored Holiday Boutique

Monday, December 8th - No School, Panamanian Holiday

Wednesday, December 17th - Last Day of School for students

Thursday, December 18th - Report Cards emailed home to students K-4th grade

After School Activities & Competitive Sports

Preschool & Kinder:

Coach Acuña offers soccer training for preschool and Kinder students after school on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 12:30 pm. Parents need to provide their own transportation back home at 2 pm. To register, please call Coach Acuña at 6713-9950. Students need to bring water, a snack, hat, and sunblock.

For more information contact Jesus Borras, After School Activities Coordinator at or Richard Gough at for Competitive Sports.

Games This Week:

All game dates and times are posted on Edline. For directions to different game locations, please check the Athletic Department page on Edline.

LIDECOPA Basketball:

Wednesday, November 19th (Change in Date!)

Sub 12- Girls vs. La Salle @ La Salle, 3:00 pm (Semifinals)

Edline Help Desk

Edline is an online platform that helps us communicate in a more effective way with parents and students about many items of interest including homework, assessments, events, and curriculum. Each teacher has important information that will begin to be posted during the first few weeks of school. It is important that every parent from PK to 4th grade activate their Edline account if you did not do so last year. You will be receiving an activation code during the first week of school if you are a parent who did not activate their account last year or if you are new to Balboa Academy. If you do not have your activation code or are having trouble logging in to Edline, please communicate with Mrs. Gaby Gaudiano, ES counselor @ .