The Dragon's Tale

The Biweekly Newsletter of the Kaohsiung American School

2020-2021, Issue #6: October 26

Dear KAS Families,


On Wednesday, October 21st, KAS Middle School and High School students had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their questions directly answered by Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Tang is one of the masterminds behind Taiwan’s excellent management of COVID-19. For her speech, Ms. Tang decided to crowdsource questions directly from students, and then answer as many as she could. KAS students shared over 400 excellent questions with her! It’s not every day that a cabinet member from the central government comes to school. What a privilege and a joy it was!

Big picture

Please note that the next Superintendent’s Afternoon Tea will be in December, and will be an opportunity for discussion about future possibilities and dreams for the school. More details will be shared in late November.

This past week, October 26 -30, was Spirit Week at KAS. Each school had special dress up days such as “Beach Day,” “Wacky Day,” “Twin Day,” and Halloween costumes on Friday. In the High School, students had daily house competitions and a Haunted House/Scary Movie event on Friday night on campus. It was an excellent week full of plenty of smiles, and excellent Dragon spirit!
過去這週(10/26-30)是KAS的Spirit Week。各校部門都有特別的服裝主題像是”海灘日”、“奇異裝扮日”、“雙胞胎日”,以及週五的萬聖節主題打扮。在高中部,學生每天都有學院間的競賽,星期五晚上也舉辦了鬼屋以及恐怖電影之夜的活動。
Big picture

This week we’ll continue sharing more information about our efforts in our Schoolwide Action Plan to further improve learning at KAS. As a reminder, the Schoolwide Action Plan outlines goals in four key areas:
本週我們將繼續分享更多關於Schoolwide Action Plan的資訊,旨在促進KAS的學習環境,作為提醒,Schoolwide Action Plan涵蓋了四個關鍵領域的目標:

  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實施和審查我們最新的兒童保護政策

  4. Staffing and compensation 職員和薪資

This week we’ll focus specifically on social-emotional learning and wellness.
本週我們將著重於介紹 社交情感學習和健康。

Social-Emotional Learning at KAS means that our community is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all students, everyday. Our educational program at KAS is centered on critical-thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. In order to build these essential 21st century skills, students must feel emotionally safe in their academic learning. We need students to feel seen, heard, understood, and respected in their own unique identities so that they will be unafraid to make mistakes and push themselves beyond their comfort zones.


When students feel safe they are able to create, innovate and improvise. At KAS you will find a professional staff that relentlessly creates and protects safe learning spaces. Nevertheless, we don't take social-emotional learning for granted and have employed various actions to achieve this strategic goal:
當學生感到安全時,他們就有能力去創造、創新和即興創作。 在KAS,您會發現專業的教職員會不懈地創造和確保學生有安全的學習空間。 儘管如此,我們並不認為社會情感學習是理所當然的,而是採取了各種行動來實現這一策略目標:

  • Providing clear expectations to students for student conduct and community agreements on how we treat each other within the classroom

  • A focus on community building activities within classrooms, grade levels, and whole schools

  • Implementation of the Second Step Curriculum in grades PK through 8 to explicitly teach social emotional skills
    運用Second Step Curriculum教材來教授PK-8年級的學生社交情感技能

  • Implementation of the Get Real Health Education curriculum in grades 6 through 9
    運用Get Real Health Education教材來教授6到9年級學生健康教育課程

  • School wide systems to identify and support struggling students

  • The Middle School Peer Leader program that supports new students to our school and all MS student Wellness
    中學部運用 同儕領袖計畫來幫助新生以及中學部所有學生的健康

  • Teacher meeting time to design interventions for individuals and groups of students that may need academic or emotional help

  • Drop in or appointment counseling for all students

  • Therapeutic services for all students when needed

  • Counseling lessons in every grade level including Anti-Bullying topics

  • College and career counseling for all HS students

In the near future, you will be receiving details on our new Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Committee, that monitor all aspects of our educational program to ensure compliance with Taiwanese law. The committee also coordinates staff professional development so that our faculty are well trained in Child Protection responsibilities.


Finally, as we focus on improving our learning experience for students, we are aligning our English Language Usage policy with research and best practices for language development. Stay tuned in the time ahead to learn more.



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

The IB Grading Philosophy


When IB awards a Diploma student a 7 for an IB course, that number does not reflect the amount of effort made, the amount of homework turned in, or how well behaved the student has been. The number awarded simply indicates the knowledge and skills that the student has demonstrated on official IB assessments. Most students do not receive 7s for IB courses; these are rare. So, is a score of 5 something to be embarrassed about? Does a score lower than 7 reflect some sort of inadequacy?


A 5 in DP Science is described by IB like this: “Displays broad subject knowledge and shows sound understanding of most concepts and principles, and applies them in some contexts. Analyzes and evaluates quantitative and qualitative data competently. Constructs explanations of simple phenomena. Solves most basic or familiar problems and some new or difficult quantitative and/or qualitative problems. Communicates clearly with little or no irrelevant material.”


Based on this description, considering the high level of required content and skills, earning a 5 in DP science is no small accomplishment. Remember that our students often take 6 challenging courses and to achieve 5s in all 6 subjects would prove them well-prepared for all but the most competitive universities.


IB students have the opportunity to earn up to 45 points with 6 IB courses plus their Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge assessments. In May 2019, of 166,465 IB Diploma candidates around the world, only 275 of those students earned 45 points. IB courses offer challenges for even the most gifted and hard-working student. The true value is not in the number but in the learning. Students who strive to obtain knowledge, understanding and skills that will help them succeed in life, will be truly ready for what lies ahead.


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

Athletic Corner

Dear KAS Families,


Thank you all for the support you have been showing to our student-athletes this past season across all teams. As our middle school soccer teams are getting ready for the season ending tournament on 11/7, our high school teams have experienced a very fulfilling soccer tournament and an off-site volleyball camping experience this past 2 weeks, where we continue to develop learning opportunities to all.


We would also like to update you all that with the support from our admin, KAS has successfully applied and become a member school of the "Chinese Taipei School Sport Federation", where we look forward to supporting our athletics outreach during this COVID-19 and beyond.

我們同時要跟各位報告,因應新冠肺炎對運動團隊帶來的旅遊限制,在學校的同意與支持下,KAS 已經正式申請通過成為中華民國高級中等學校體育總會的一員。希望在很快的將來可以讓我們的孩子們透過多元化運動的機會來學習與成長。

Thank you again for your continuous support to KAS Athletics.


Mr. Ken Su, Athletic Director

This is an exciting time for our seniors who are sending in applications for schools in the U.S. with Early Decision and Early Action deadlines. They have a busy weekend clicking the submit button for their schools. Sunday, November 1 is the deadline for many applications. Please take a minute to celebrate this huge accomplishment!

這是個讓人興奮的時刻,我們正為了 Early Decision 和 Early Action 將申請表寄到美國各大學,週末孩子們應該都會在忙這件事,許多申請都將在11月1日星期天截止。請花點時間和孩子好好慶祝一下這一大步!

Big picture

Seniors participating in a virtual session with University of Toronto

12年級生們參與University of Toronto線上說明

We are working very hard to support each student individually on their written essays and applications. They are working through important values, identity and passion for what they want to study in just 650 words or less. Many U.S. schools also ask for additional writing called ‘supplemental essays’. They are doing a lot of writing! Students have also created their first professional resume to share with their teachers and schools. Their list of activities, awards and accomplishments is truly impressive!


For Juniors, this week we worked on defining the types of colleges and universities available around the world. Students learned about research universities, liberal arts colleges, technical schools, women’s colleges and more. We also talked about other important factors of choosing a college such as location, cost, diversity, ranking, IB predicted grades and campus life. Class of 2022 students are excited to start the process of searching for colleges and universities that are a great fit for their interests!


Starting November 1, students can submit their applications for the University of California schools. All UC applications must be submitted by November 30, 2020. We will hold a workshop on Monday, November 9 from 12 - 3 pm for seniors applying to UC schools to prepare their applications.


Next week, we will also conduct a HS lunch information session for students interested in applying for financial aid and scholarships. We are happy to talk with parents any time about how to qualify for financial aid for U.S. citizens and scholarships for international students using either the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile.

下週我們也會為有興趣申請奬助學金的學生們準備一個午餐說明會,我們很願意為各位家長說明身為美國公民的國際學生,該如何利用FAFSACSS Profile來申請奬助學金這個部份。

College visits are coming to a close for this fall. We have one final virtual College Fair hosted by CIALFO and the Counselors Association of Taiwan. Many schools in the U.S., Europe and Asia are represented and are excited to meet with our students in Taiwan! More information is available for students to register here.

本季各大學說明會即將要結束,我們最後一場線上說明將由CIALFO及Counselors Association of Taiwan共同舉辦,許多美國,歐洲和亞洲大學都會加入,他們都很期待見到台灣的學生們!更多資訊請上網站查詢及報名

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.

Alumni Spotlight 校友天地

Stella Fournier (KAS Alumna, Class of 2019)

Stella Fournier (KAS 2019年度畢業生)

After graduating from KAS in 2019, Stella Fournier set out to pursue her dream of studying in the U.S. She is currently starting her second year at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology (also known as Georgia Tech) majoring in electrical engineering. "I love the campus a lot. I like to walk or ride my bike around the campus," Stella shared.

自2019於KAS畢業後,Stella Fournier即追求他在美國就學的夢想。她目前就讀於著名的喬治亞理工學院(也簡稱為Georgia Tech)主修電機工程學,就讀二年級。“我非常喜歡校園。我喜愛在校園裡散步或騎腳踏車,”Stella分享。

As a student at KAS, Stella credits taking IB HL Physics and IB HL Math with learning how to manage difficult content and preparing her for what she describes as "hardcore classes" at Georgia Tech. Research is a big part of studying engineering, and Stella is currently working on swarm robotics that can paint on the ground. Before that, she was working with lithium-ion batteries and had the opportunity to develop hand-made batteries in the electrical engineering lab. She has also joined a robotics club called the RoboJackets, working with schematic designs, creating computer boards, and soldering! When asked about how the IB program helped her, Stella said: "I recommend students to take the IB diploma because it will definitely make you more equipped when writing essays and research papers in the future."


Her advice for other students interested in STEM subjects and Georgia Tech in particular is to join an engineering-related club, find research opportunities and develop a hobby or expertise other than engineering to combine with engineering. For Stella, that was music. She still cherishes her memories of time spent in Orchestra and performing at Cadenza as special experiences at KAS.


Big picture

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.