American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Giampapa's May 2016 Director's Report


Total Students             269

Events of the Month

Delphi Overnight Trip – Grades 9, 10, 11                                April 14-16

Students in Grades 9-11 and our American student visitors traveled to the mystical land of Delphi with Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou as part of our Host Country Studies program. Students will travel to the city of Apollo to see his famous Oracle and the wonderful ruins that surround this beautiful Greek area. Thank you to Mrs. Spiliakou for organizing the trip and to Dr. Squires and Mr. Paschalidis for chaperoning this wonderful learning experience for our high school students.

Kavala Overnight Trip – Grades 6, 7,8                                   April 19-20

Students in Grades 6-8 and our American student visitors traveled to the beautiful city of Kavala with Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou as part of our Host Country Studies program. While on the trip, students will visit the beautiful Lake Kerkini to learn about the thousands of birds that migrate there each year and tour the famous ruins of this classic city. Thank you to Mrs. Spiliakou for organizing the trip and to Mrs. Paliouris and Mr. Oikonomopoulos for chaperoning this wonderful learning experience for our middle school students.

IB Final Exams                                                                         May 2-20

Final IB Exams for our senior IB students began during Spring Break on May 2 and will run for 3 weeks. During this time, students will be taking exams that cover material, concepts and ideas from their two-year IB Diploma Program studies. We wish our students the very best on their exams!

MAP Testing for Secondary Students                                    May 9-20

MAP testing, our computer adaptive, standardized testing for students in Grades 2 – 12 is taking place this Spring. Elementary students have completed the testing and Secondary students begin the testing when we return from Spring Break. As a reminder, MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) provides powerful student growth data that allows for informed instruction, measures the growth of every child over time regardless of grade level performance and compares and predicts student achievement and growth over time via normative comparative data from students in other schools around the world.

Pinewood “We are Writers” Book! 2nd Edition

The 2nd Edition of the Pinewood “We are Writers” book, a yearly publication inspiring writers among our student body, is on sale now in the Reception Area or by contacting Ms. Dalakas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Mrs. Shkurina (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). All proceeds from the Pinewood We are Writers book will go towards books for our own Library, so I encourage you to purchase yours (only 12 euros)!

Pinewood starts a school at Diavata

The refugee camp in Diavata, just outside of Thessaloniki, currently houses roughly 800 children. Many of these children will be living in the camp for as long as two years. Dr. Giampapa visited the camp last month to see what Pinewood could do to help.

"While in Diavata camp, I learned that the children there are in dire need of an organized school in order to continue their education. For this to be initiated, basic school supplies & furniture are a must! I invite the whole Pinewood community to participate in our efforts to help build a school so that these children can continue to learn, grow & enjoy constructive play."

By donating just 3€, you will provide one child with a School Pack.

The School Packs we have prepared include a folder, notepads, coloring pencils, pencils, eraser, sharpener and more. Just pop in to school with your donation and let us know how many School Packs you would like to buy! We would like to buy supplies for as many children as possible so please donate as much as you can.

Making Music Matter at Pinewood – Antonio Vivaldi [1678-1741]

In Pinewood’s ‘Making Music Matter’ campaign to make music ‘visible’ this year, May’s Composer of the Month is Antonio Vivaldi, the Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. I invite you to visit the bulletin board in the reception area of the main building or the reception area of the EYP to learn about this influential composer.   And, if you are at school between 8:00 – 8:30 in the morning or 3:00 – 4:00 in the afternoon, you will hear the composer’s music playing in the reception area. Also, as a reminder of the amazing benefits of music for our brains, I invite you to view the following short video:

Notable Upcoming Events

HCS Trip to the War Museum Thessaloniki        May 10

Students in Grade 6 will travel to the War Museum Thessaloniki as part of our Host Country Studies program. Ms. Amalia Spiliakou will lead students through the museum, whose mission is the preservation of historical memory and heritage in Northern Greece.

Cedefop Visit     May 11

Our Grade 11 students will visit Cedefop to learn about this organization’s trainee program. While there, they will have an introduction by the Director of Cedefop and then meet with the trainees. This is a nice opportunity for Pinewood to connect with Cedefop as another international organization in Greece. It also provides a learning experience for our students in line with our Student Services Action Plan for developing career education to our students.

Microscopy Lab at Aristotle University      May 11

Dr. Dimitrakopoulos, our keynote speaker for Science Day this year, has invited our Physics 10 class to the Electronic Microscopy Lab at Aristotle University to learn about the lab in the context of physics research that he is conducting.

Visiting Authors from Canada   May 12

The International Festival of Authors, or IFOA, is a Canada-based organization that has grown remarkably since its first days in 1974 and is most known for its annual 11-day festival presenting Toronto audiences with the best literary talents from around the globe. There have been over 8,500 published authors from more than 100 countries, including twenty-one Nobel laureates, on the IFOA stage during Festival and additional programming year-round.  Since 2003, IFOA has also travelled with Canadian authors abroad to countries like the Netherlands, UK, U.S.A, Turkey, and Ireland to present Canadian literary voices at some of the most renowned literary festivals. This spring, IFOA has travelled with authors to the Bookworm International Literary Festival in Beijing & Chengdu, China, the Icelandic Writers Retreat in Reykjavik, Iceland, and now to the Thessaloniki Book Fair. We are pleased to announce that 3 authors on the tour will be visiting Pinewood and presenting to our Middle School students. For more information about each author, visit our Home page. (IFOA Visit to Pinewood)

Elementary Assembly     May 13

This month’s Elementary Assembly will take place on this day.

May Corporation Meeting    May 18

On behalf of the Pinewood Board of Directors, I cordially invite you to attend the May Pinewood Corporation meeting on May 18 at 18:00 in the school Gymnasium. Please note the change in time for this year's May meeting. At this meeting, the President will make opening remarks, I will provide a summary of important activities from this year and look ahead to next year, Board committee reports shall be presented and the Nominating/Electoral Committee will present the candidates for the 2 vacant parent positions on the Board. Thereafter, voting for these 2 elected parent positions will begin. As a reminder, voting will continue the next day, May 19, at school from 8:30 - 17:00 for all corporation members who were unable to attend the Corporation meeting.

The four candidates, in alphabetical order, are as follows with biographical summaries for each:

  1. Mr. Werner Arth
  2. Mr. Patrick Ersgard
  3. Ms. Maria Kling
  4. Ms. Cathy van der Ha

Visit from the U.S. Department of State       May 18-19

The U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Schools, is a strong supporter of Pinewood’s efforts to provide outstanding educational opportunities for its students. As part of their support, the chief education officer for our region, Dr. Bea Cameron, makes periodic visits to Pinewood to meet with us in order to keep abreast of our activities, growth and improvements. We are delighted to announce that Dr. Cameron will be visiting this month and will be meeting with the Board of Directors and Director. We look forward to her visit in order to share our recent MSA re-accreditation details and other important initiatives with her.

EYP Spring Show        June 3

The annual Early Years Program Spring Show will take place on Friday, June 3. We look forward to a wonderfully creative show of talent from the youngest members of our school community!

Senior Prom             June 4

The annual Senior Prom will take place on Saturday, June 4! Hosted and paid for by the Junior class, our Seniors will be honored with an evening of good food, friends and dancing. The dance is a formal, so students will be dressed in their very best! Secondary teachers, as well as the whole High School (Grades 9-12), are in attendance for this wonderful tradition.

Spring Drama Production – “Pinocchio”        June 8

The annual Spring Drama production this year is the classic tale of the adventures of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet carved by the woodcarver, Geppetto in a small village in Italy who dreamed of becoming a real boy! We invite you to join us on this evening for an imaginative retelling of the classic by Carlo Collodi. Thank you to Ms. Liza Tziatas and Ms. Dimitra Bentioulis, Drama Advisors, for their time and effort in preparing our young students for their performance.

Secondary Final Exams          June 7-13

Students in the Secondary school (Grades 6-12) will sit for final exams during this time.

Last Day of School                  June 14

The last day of school this year is on Tuesday, June 14. Please be reminded that this is an early dismissal day (12:00) in order for the school to prepare for the Commencement Ceremony taking place the same day in the evening.

Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony          June 14

Our annual commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2016 will take place at 20:00 outside on the school grounds. It gives me great pleasure to announce Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President of ACS Athens, as our commencement speaker this year. Congratulations to the entire graduating class for their accomplishments. On behalf of the entire Pinewood community, I wish you the very best as you venture out into the world!

Administrative Activity

School Calendar 2016 – 2017

The school calendar for the next academic year is available for your viewing on our website as you make plans for summer and next year. (Calendar 2016-17)

Registration & Pre-Payment for 2016-2017

I am pleased to announce that our tuition and fees will be maintained at no increase for the 7th consecutive year. In addition, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I remind you of the following key payment dates for registering your child(ren) for next year:

June 1, 2016               Payment made in full by this date will receive a 7% discount on tuition

September 1, 2016     Payment made in full by this date will receive a 5% discount on tuition

Accordingly, I kindly remind you to complete a Registration Form for each of your children for the new academic year and to submit these forms with your pre-payment for the new year (EYP=€1,000 & Grades 1-12=€2,000).

Individual family Billing Statements for 2016-17, accompanied by Registration Forms, have been emailed and mailed to all families in April.