The Dragon's Tale
The Biweekly Newsletter of the Kaohsiung American School
2019-2020, Issue #10: January 13th
Dear KAS Families,
Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! We hope every KAS family enjoyed the winter break, and we are glad to come back together for a new school term. During the winter holiday our facilities team was hard at work improving and refreshing the campus to provide an even better environment for learning, and we hope as you visit campus you enjoy the improvements.
You may notice fresh paint on the front of the school, including the waiting areas on Cuei-Hua, the refreshed KAS sign on the corner of Cuei-Hua and Sheng Li, fresh stain and repaired wood in our high school courtyard and railings, new outdoor bench surfaces outside of several classrooms, and fresh paint throughout our performing arts center and on our stairs by the soccer field. We also installed 19 brand new countertops with improved materials throughout our classrooms, and remodeled a classroom to better support science learning. These are just some of the many projects completed over the winter break to ensure that KAS remains the best campus for student learning. Kudos to the facilities team for their work over the break. Thank you to our Board of Directors for allowing and supporting these improvements.
Speaking of campus improvements, if you walk by the history hallway on our 3rd floor behind the lecture hall you will see some changes in progress. As we approach our 30th anniversary celebration on February 22, 2020, we are reimaging this space to tell the story of the last 30 years of Kaohsiung American School. We are even saving space to tell the story of our next 30 years. We look forward to opening this newly designed space to the entire community on February 22. Stay tuned for more details soon.
Please note that we will have school during normal hours on Thursday, January 23. On Friday, January 24 will begin our Lunar New Year school holiday. School will reconvene on Thursday, January 30.
We wish each and every KAS family a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!
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
Dear KAS Middle School Families:
Happy Year of the Rat at KAS Middle School and start of the spring 2020 semester. I am so proud of our students’ outstanding achievement. Fall semester International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) grades were excellent. The whole school Grade Point Average is over 3.0, making KAS MS truly an honors school. Individual student honor roll certificates will be distributed in Advisory classes next week. Congratulations on all our students’ hard work!
At this time I’m also happy to announce that at our spring annual awards assembly, we will recognize our first ever IB MYP Learner Profile Awards. Students in each grade level will be recognized in each category. Students will be nominated by peers and staff, and selected by staff panels. The IB Learner Profile represents our goal for each of our students upon graduation and is deeply connected to the core values of our school:
Alumni corner 校友天地
Meet Herbert Chang
A class of 2014 KAS alumni, Herbert attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and triple majored in mathematics, quantitative social science (economics), and a design major called the Senior Fellowship. This creative approach to learning meant that Herbert was able to write a novel and essay about one of his favorite topics, artificial intelligence (AI). He credits being inspired by teachers at KAS who were great at teaching and passionate about their own subjects. Discovering a passion for AI led Herbert to pursue and achieve a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence.
Herbert described KAS as a place with a tight-knit community where it’s easy to tune in to your friend’s interests. He shares, “College admission can feel like a competition, but I learned at KAS it’s really possible to help each other succeed,” as he points out that his fellow KAS alumna, Jennifer Kuo, was accepted and enrolled at the same Ivy League school during the same graduation year.
Herbert 描述說，KAS是個容易喜歡朋友興趣的緊密聯繫社區。他說，“大學申請感覺就像一場競賽，但在KAS裡幫助他人成功是可能的，”他指出Jennifer Kuo，他的KAS同學也同樣在畢業的那年獲得了同樣是長春藤盟校的入學許可。
He describes his high school academic experience as critical to his success. “The IB diploma emphasizes understanding over memorization. The ToK essay is a similar example. In college and during job interviews, the argument is more important than the answer. I liked the IB program a lot and at Dartmouth, it prepared me better than the students who took APs.”
Herbert’s future is even brighter and connects him back to Taiwan. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism where he is studying social movements such as the political situation in Hong Kong by using ‘big data’. Herbert shares why he is so invested in this topic: “The next few years will be important for Taiwan’s democracy, and I’ll also be back to research the elections.” KAS is very proud of you, Herbert, and you inspire our students to follow in your path!
Happy New Year everyone!
Each year, statistics seem to be on everyone’s radar, especially when it comes to ED and top tier schools. We are all interested in past year’s admit rates as well as exact percentages and the reasons behind them. The following excerpt is directed to the class of 2024 and taken from a US company that relies heavily on statistics for its college placements.
大家每年似乎都有錄取雷達, 尤其提早錄取或是被名校錄取。我們對於過去的錄取百分比以及錄取的原因都相當感興趣, 以下是美國一間公司針對2024年將申請大學的學生所做的大學排名統計數據。
UPS AND DOWNS
Unlike past years that saw big gains in everyone’s early numbers, this year was more of a mixed bag. Brown saw its number of early decision applicants grow by 8 percent, on top of a 21 percent increase in ED last year. Cornell, too, saw its pool grow by 7.4 percent and a news release from the university reminds us that the number of early decision applicants has grown 90 percent over the last decade.
Harvard saw its pool decrease by nearly 8 percent over last year to 6,958 early applicants. The last time Harvard saw its early pool decrease was in the fall of 2013 for applicants to the Class of 2018. Duke’s early decision pool decreased by 552 students (11.4 percent) over last year. Dartmouth’s early decision pool decreased by 16 percentage points over last year to 2,069. Likewise, Penn saw its early decision applicant pool drop by 9 percent from the record level reached last fall.
Natural disasters, global economic uncertainty, teacher strikes, and demographic trends are cited by admissions deans as possible explanations for declining early pools. It could also be that savvy students are being more strategic in how they use their early option, aiming for a surer bet rather than going for the long-shot.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
Diversity of background continues to be a key priority in the selection process. Schools are working actively to build more diversity into their applicant pools through targeted outreach and partnerships with organizations like Questbridge.
Several schools made particular mention of greater numbers of low income and first-generation college students among the group offered admission. These hooks are clear institutional priorities increasingly supported through the admissions process.
Both Cornell and Penn are schools that went big for legacy admits, with 22 percent and 24 percent of the ED admits, respectively, being the children of alumni.
Many schools with binding early decision programs will admit 45-50+ percent of their incoming class through the early process. Doing so ensures that they can lock in a solid foundation for their incoming class and reduce yield volatility.
As you can see, institutional priorities change every year in the college selection process so the focus isn’t necessarily on top GPA, top grades & perfect SAT scores although they still play an important part in most acceptances.
如您所見, 錄取的優先順序每年都在變, 所以不見得GPA很高, 或是各項成績, SAT拿高分就一定錄取, 但是這些仍然是重要的環節。
We Are KAS
KAS strives to be one of the finest American International Schools in the World. 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.
ACCREDITED BY THE WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS & COLLEGES
MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE SCHOOL SINCE 2010