August 31, 2018

From the desk of Principal Ruiz

CIA Parents, Guardians and Scholars,

Regular communication between parents and teachers is key to improving achievement for each scholar. As a parent, you know your scholar better than anyone else—you know your scholar’s strengths and limitations. We encourage you to share your knowledge so our educators are able to design lessons to match your scholar’s interests and learning style. The more our teachers know about your scholar’s daily life, language, and culture, the better able they will be to create meaningful lessons connected to your scholar’s experiences. When scholars make connections between their lives outside of school and what they are learning in class, they are more engaged and enthusiastic learners.

With scholars in mind,

Ms. Angela Ruiz

Big picture

Technology agreement

All parents and guardians of scholars in 6th - 8th grade must complete the technology agreement on/before August 31st. Scholars will not be allowed to take their school-assigned technology home without the completion of the technology agreement.

Parents of scholars in Kindergarten - 5th grade will not be required to complete the survey as their technology devices will remain at school.

To access the technology agreement, click here.

Any parent that needs access to a computer, may come into the school to complete the form in the main office between the hours of 9:00 and 4:00 each school day.

School Pictures

October 10th each CIA Cougar will have their school picture taken. For information to purchase pictures in advance, please click here. The ID code for CIA is HM608114Y0.

How was school today?

How many times have you asked your scholar, “How was school today?” and been frustrated by the lack of response? As a parent, I was guilty of asking my children this question often, even though, at times, I did not get much in return.

Sometimes (to be honest), I did not have the energy for a real conversation. Other times, I just could not think of what to ask.

As an educator, I have often wished that scholars would share stories of the amazing things we were learning with their parents, but at times, we fail to teach our scholars how to make learning come alive at home.

Each day there are many exciting moments of learning transpiring at CIA that our parents/guardians need to be aware of—we have identified a list of questions that draw out important information so that learning transfers from school to home.


With slight wording modifications, these questions can work with children of all ages:

  1. Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
  2. Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.
  3. Think about what you learned and did in school today. What is something you would like to know more about? What is a question you have that came from your learning today?
  4. Were there any moments today when you felt worried? When you felt scared?
  5. Were there any times today when you felt disrespected by anyone? Tell me about those moments.
  6. Were there times today when you felt that one of your classmates demonstrated care for you?
  7. Were there any moments today when you felt proud of yourself?
  8. Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that you enjoyed.
  9. What was challenging about your day?
  10. What do you appreciate about your day?
  11. What did you learn about yourself today?
  12. Is there anything that you would like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
  13. Is there anything you are worried about?
  14. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  15. Is there a question you wish I would ask you about your day?


How and when we ask these questions makes a big difference in the information we receive from our scholars. First, limit the number of questions asked in one day. After a while, you will figure out which questions elicit the most meaningful responses.

You will want to ask questions during a time when you have the ability to focus so that your scholar feels they have your full attention. With my children—and in my home—dinner and driving in the car are optimal times for these conversations.

Now these conversations have become routine. My children knows that when we drive to school I will ask them what they are looking forward to, if there is anything they are worried about, and if there is anything they want to talk about with me that I might be able to help them figure out.


The following can help your conversations be positive and powerful:

  • Don’t interrupt. This is a good rule for any conversation, but especially if you want to get a lot of information out of a scholar.
  • Ask for more. Simply say, “I’d love to hear more about that...” Or, “Can you expand on that a little?”
  • Ask about feelings. After a scholar describes an experience, ask, “How did you feel in that moment? What did you notice about your feelings?”
  • Validate feelings. Whatever your scholar feels is normal and okay. Let them know that. Feelings are okay. Tell them this.
  • Tell them it is not okay for teachers or scholars to be unkind or mean. If they tell you a story about a teacher who yelled or disrespected them (regardless of what they said or did) let them know that it is not okay for an adult to treat them that way. Same goes for how they are treated by other scholars.
  • Thank them for sharing with you. Always appreciate their honesty and willingness to share the highlights and bright spots, as well as the difficult moments. This will fuel their confidence in telling you more.

Student Council

Dear CIA Community,

I am so excited to announce that I am lucky enough to be the CIA Student Council advisor for the 5th-8th grade scholars this year! We are going to get started right away, so our first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13th, immediately after school; this meeting will be held in my classroom. Meetings will be held twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays, unless school is not in session or cancelled.

Scholars interested in being a Student Council Representative should have brought home a copy of the form included with this newsletter. Both scholars and parents should sign the form indicating that they understand both the commitment and transportation information.

Each first hour class will have 1 representative and 1 alternate. ALL representatives are expected to attend the 1st meeting. After the first meeting, only the main representative should attend, with the alternate only attending if the main representative cannot. This process should allow those who are involved in sports or other activities to have the ability to be a part of student council.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I will get back with you right away.

I look forward to working with both our scholars and parents as we work to make a real difference in our community!

Sincerely, Mrs. Greenlee

Student Council Sign Up

Click here to access the form

Before School Percussion Class

We are pleased to announce that our CIA band students who are interested in learning percussion techniques will be able to meet before school every day except the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from 8:30-8:50 AM. Scholars who eat breakfast at school need to arrive at 8:15 and eat breakfast before coming to the band room (#120); breakfast will not be available after the percussion session concludes. If a parent or guardian has questions, please call Mr. Iwaniec at 574-393-4300 or e-mail

Hearing Screening

SBCSC Speech Therapists will be conducting the state mandated hearing screenings of all Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, & 7th grade scholars (along with any scholars new to SBCSC) on September 24th. Parents/guardians will be notified by the SBCSC Audiologist if the scholar demonstrates difficulty with their hearing after a second screening is administered. Parents will not be notified unless the scholar does not meet the state standards for hearing screenings.
CIA spirit wear is here!

Click here to order official CIA spirit wear.

The Great American Cookie Dough Fundraiser

The Great American Cookie Dough Fundraiser is underway. Help support CIA by selling and purchasing products. Details can be found at the CIA facebook and/or Twitter account.

Items may be purchased by clicking here; enter the CIA school code 5290036. The Fundraiser ends Tuesday, September 4th.

Kindergarten news

Click here to learn more about Our Kindergarten scholars

Take-home Folders

The CIA take-home folder was designed to assist our Kindergarten - 5th-grade scholars in organizing daily, weekly and long-term assignments. Each scholar received a folder earlier this week that will be used throughout the 2018 - 2019 school year.

Living in an International Baccalaureate (IB) World...

One may ask...Why Clay International Academy? Why an international academy? Why an International Baccalaureate programme?

It is no surprise to any of us that we are living in a rapidly changing world that is becoming more and more connected. The aim of the IB Programme is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help create a better, more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The IB Learner Profile has ten attributes, or core values. Our learners will be: inquirers, open-minded, knowledgeable, caring, thinkers, risk-takers, communicators, balanced, principled and reflective. These attributes are posted on banners throughout the school. You are invited to linger and look more closely at them as you pass them.

Our learners at Clay International Academy will be passionate, life-long learners who will know that how and why they learn is as important as what they learn. At CIA, learning is broad and balanced, conceptual and connected, and based on inquiry, action, and reflection.

Above all, learning at CIA is student centered. Clay Cougars are working together to make a better world through education!