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ES Weekly Bulletin | September 7, 2018
Posted 09/07/2018 03:00PM

The most important day of a person's education is
the first day of school, not Graduation Day.

– Harry K. Wong

My first boss in education, a middle school principal in the Hayward, California, public school system, used to say that if you do not have butterflies in your stomach on the first day of school then you may be in the wrong profession. Over the course of Opening Weekend and the first week of school at TASIS, I saw our students, teachers, and families on campus aglow with the excitement of a new school year that holds the promise of growth, challenge, and reaching our full potential. I want to thank the TASIS Community for such a promising beginning: "Well begun is half done," as Aristotle is credited with saying. It is my sincere hope that everyone in our community is stretched in the arenas of truth, goodness, and beauty—words emblazoned across the M. Crist Fleming Library for the whole world to see—so that together we can proudly and humbly do our part to make the world a better place. All the best for a great 18–19 school year!

– Christopher Nikoloff, Headmaster

Upcoming Events

Tuesday–Thursday, September 11–13 TPA ES Coffees • Bora da Besa, 8:15
Wednesday, September 12 TPA Lunch • 12:00–14:00, Casa Fleming
Thursday, September 13 Consular services for American citizens • 18:30, Palmer Center
Wednesday, September 19 ES Curriculum Night
  • Focolare Classrooms, 17:00
  • Palmer Center Presentation, 18:00
  • Grade 5 Meeting in Palmer Center, 18:30
  • Hadsall/Aurora Classrooms, q8:45
Wednesday, October 3 ES Parent Coffee • 8:30, Casa Fleming
Friday, October 5 ES Portrait Day
Monday, October 8 ES has classes this day. (MS/HS do not have classes.)
Wednesday–Friday, October 17–19 Grade 5 overnight trip to Kandersteg, Switzerland
Thursday, October 18 All-ES field trips
Sunday, October 21 Fall Festival Brunch
Thursday, November 8 Parent Book Club • 19:00, Casa Fleming

Key Contact Information

Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff: headmaster@tasis.ch
Head of Elementary Theresa Cullen Hill: theresa.cullen-hill@tasis.ch
Assistant Head and Italian Section Coordinator Guia Berera: guia.berera@tasis.ch
ES Secretary Shireen Merli, Focolare: essecretary@tasis.ch
ES Secretary Lucia Lo Passo, Hadsall/Aurora essecretary@tasis.ch
Learning Resource, Hermione Fadlon: hermione.fadlon@tasis.ch
TASIS Nurses: nurses@tasis.ch
TASIS Shuttle Service, Svetlana Koreshkova: shuttle@tasis.ch
TASIS Parent Association (TPA): tpa@tasis.ch


Please refer to the Faculty and Staff Directory on the TASIS website for additional contact information.


Emergency Forms

Please make sure to complete your child's emergency form and bring it to the ES secretaries or your child’s homeroom teacher. Please also review your Household Profile in the Veracross Parent Portal and make any necessary adjustments.


Morning Drop-off and Afternoon Pick-up

Please refer to the transportation section of the TASIS website for specific information regarding our drop-off and pick-up procedure. Student safety is paramount, so please keep in mind that during periods of heavy traffic, the traffic guards may instruct you to do something different.


Authorization for Pick-Up

If you would like to make any changes to the list of people you have authorized to pick up your child, please send the names and copies of identification to the ES secretaries at essecretary@tasis.ch.


Dismissal Process: Notes from this Week

Thank you for your cooperation in helping us make the dismissal process better and better each day this week! Together we are ensuring a safer environment for the whole community.

As we continue to tweak and improve this process, here are a few suggestions you may find helpful if you typically drive to the main TASIS campus to pick up your child:

  • If the parking lot next to Hadsall is full when you come to pick up your child, you may want to try the lot on Via Matorèll (see map below).
  • If you would prefer to avoid the busiest pick-up period, you may want to consider waiting in the cemetery lot (across from Sant’Abbondio) until you see the Romantic Tour buses going down the hill. At that point you can drive up to the TASIS campus and pick up your child without much hassle.



Shuttle Bus Service: General Info

The TASIS Shuttle Service is offered to all TASIS families at no extra charge. You must submit a new sign-up form for each child every school year. These forms can be found at tasis.ch/shuttle.

Nine routes are currently in place, and your child’s regular shuttle schedule can be found on the Student Attendance & Transportation Request page in the Veracross Parent Portal. Please check the schedule regularly to ensure that it continues to suit your needs.

You can also use this page to make permanent or single-day changes to your child’s transportation plans. All changes must be made before noon on the day of the change. We cannot accept late changes.

Follow these steps to make a change:

  1. Go to the Student Attendance & Transportation Request page in the Veracross Parent Portal.
  2. Submit your request.
  3. Please make sure you receive the confirmation that your request has been submitted successfully, and you will then see it pending in the Parent Portal. The request will disappear once it is processed. Please note that your request might be pending until the date of the change, as requests are normally processed on the same day as the change. If your plans change again and you need to cancel your pending request, simply send another request. The most recently received request will be processed.

Below are some of the things to consider as you fill out your request:

Transportation to/from school
This prompt will ask you if the change is permanent or for a single day.

Transportation from school: Car pick-up changes
This prompt is for students who do not use the Shuttle Service.

Playdates
If your child is invited to a playdate and will be picked up by his or her friend’s parent or guardian, use Transportation from school: Playdate. Please be specific and provide the full name of the person picking up your child.

If your child does not use the Shuttle Service but plans to take the bus with his or her friend for the playdate, use Transportation from school: Playdate. Please be specific and provide the following information:

  • the full name of the friend of your child
  • the route number and name of the friend’s shuttle stop
  • the name of the person who is responsible for picking up your child at the stop

We assume that you made an agreement with the other parent and that he or she knows that your child is coming to his or her home.

If this is a single trip, the request will be accepted. If this will be a recurring event, such as every Monday afternoon, please fill out the Shuttle Service submission form.

All timely schedule requests will appear in Veracross as “pending” and then disappear once approved.

Absences
Note that if your child is absent due to illness or a family emergency, or if he or she needs to be dismissed for a medical visit, he or she is automatically canceled from the shuttle schedule list on that particular day. There is no need to make a separate request to cancel shuttle transportation.

Shuttle Pick-Up and Drop-Off
We request that all ES students are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other adult while waiting at the TASIS shuttle stop in the morning. The same is valid for afternoon drop-off. The driver will never leave an ES student unaccompanied at the shuttle stop, and thus we ask for your cooperation. Please be punctual for morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off.

If the parent/guardian cannot be at the pre-arranged pick-up/drop-off location on a given day, he or she must arrange for another adult to be with the child and must inform Shuttle Coordinator Ms. Svetlana Koreshkova directly (shuttle@tasis.ch or 079 234 4378).

If a child is not authorized to leave the bus alone, if no parent/guardian is waiting for a child at the afternoon drop-off location, no alternative arrangements have been made, and the parent/guardian is not reachable by phone, the shuttle driver will bring the child back to TASIS.

Student Behavior
All rules and regulations for student behavior on the shuttles can be found in the Shuttle Behavior Expectations section in the Elementary School Student Handbook.

Questions?
Please feel free to email Ms. Koreshkova with questions or concerns. Thank you for your help in making this year’s transportation to and from school a smooth process!


Special Shoes for Physical Education

Please note that students are required to wear special shoes (see photo below) for their Physical Education classes. These can be found in various stores in Lugano, including Manor, Coop, Oschner Sport, Migros, and Sport Specialist.

On PE days, students should come to school in their regular sneakers and will change into the special shoes when appropriate. Please write your child’s name inside the shoes since they will be stored at the School.

Before the Winter Holiday, shoes will be sent home so that parents can check the fit. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our PE team: Mr. Giorgio Volpi and Ms. Kira Gentilini.


TPA-Sponsored ES Coffees at Bora da Besa on September 11–13

The TPA is sponsoring a coffee and conversation roundtable to discuss events planned for the 2018–2019 Academic Year, ways to get involved with the TPA, and the role of room parents. All parents are invited for coffee at Bora da Besa (across the street from Focolare) at 8:15 AM on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, September 11: Grades PK–1
  • Wednesday, September 12: Grades 2–3
  • Thursday, September 13: Grades 4–5

If you are unable to attend the meetings listed above but are interested in volunteering with the TPA or serving as a room parent, please send an email to tpa@tasis.ch.


TPA-Sponsored Lunch at Casa Fleming on September 12

All parents are invited to Casa Fleming between 12:00–14:00 on Wednesday, September 12, to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Chef Fabio and the TASIS Kitchen Staff. TPA Co-Presidents Laura Colombo and Brunella Pignaton will present an overview of TPA events and plans for the year and answer any questions regarding the new structure of the TPA.


Town Hall Meeting and Consular Services for American Citizens on September 13

We cordially invite any interested American citizens to a Town Hall Meeting with United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Edward T. McMullen, Jr., beginning at 18:30 on Thursday, September 13. The meeting, which will be held in the Palmer Center on the main TASIS campus, will offer guests an opportunity to learn about the US Administration’s priorities and discuss Swiss-US relations with Ambassador McMullen.

Consular Chief Brianna Powers will also be on hand to accept applications for passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, notarize documents, and provide information about voter registration.

There is no cost to attend this event, though fees may be incurred for consular services and are payable in Swiss Francs (cash only). No appointments are necessary, and visitors will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit the US Embassy in Switzerland and Lichtenstein website for more information.


Place Your Scholastic Book Orders by September 23

Dear Parents,

Get ready for another fun year of reading!

We are happy to share an easy way for you to purchase books in English for your child. Our Scholastic Book Club is up and running! Please go to http://eu-schools.scholastic.co.uk/american-school-in-switzerland

to browse the latest books and to order online. You will find all the information you need on the website and can order and pay online. The books will then be delivered free of charge to the school and distributed to your child mid-October. This Book Club is a wonderful way to boost your child’s excitement for reading at home. It also benefits the school. For every €1 you spend on this month’s Book Club, our school will earn 20¢ in Scholastic Rewards. We are then able to buy more books for our classroom libraries with the Scholastic Rewards.

Please place your order online by Saturday, September 23.

Be on the lookout for a flyer coming home with your children on Monday, and please contact me at carol.anklan@tasis.ch with any questions.

Sincerely,

Carol Anklan
Literacy Specialist


Sign Up for the First Parent Book Club Meeting on November 8

In conjunction with the TPA, TASIS is pleased to introduce a new initiative for this year: a Book Club for parents. The first meeting will be held on Thursday, November 8. Following an optional dinner in De Nobili at 18:00 that evening, Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff will lead a guided discussion in Casa Fleming from 19:00–20:00.

The first book to be discussed will be Julie Lythcott-Haims' How to Raise an Adult, a New York Times bestseller that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.

All parents are more than welcome to attend the dinner and discussion. Please take a moment to fill out this form to confirm your attendance. If you need help finding a copy of How to Raise an Adult, please contact TPA President Laura Colombo.

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