Pinewood

American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Giampapa's May Director's Report

 

Events of the Month

IB Mock & Regular Exams [April 1-3, 20-24 / May 4-22]

IB Mock exams, an important preparatory procedure for students and teachers, were administered last month. As they pinpoint areas that are in need of additional consideration before the exams, they were a vital component of student readiness for the formal exams during the month of May. We wish our IB students the best as they sit for their IB Exams.

Cyberbullying Prevention Presentation [April 2]

The Greek State Elementary & Secondary Divisions for the Prevention of Cyber-Bullying visited Pinewood to present to our Grade 1-5 and 6-12 students and parents on topics related to internet safety, usage, social media and cyber-bullying. We strongly believe that the development of a caring and respectful school culture is paramount to the success of every child. Accordingly, we were pleased to see some parent attendance as we addressed topics that are of exceptional importance to us as a school and exceedingly relevant for today’s youth culture.

PTFA Spring Break Celebration [April 3]

On the last day of school before the Spring Break, the PTFA hosted our annual Spring Break Celebration. Students in grades 1-5 were divided into teams and involved in a variety of activities. A special thank you to the PTFA for organizing a spectacular child-centered event for our students.

MAP Testing [April 20 – May 29]

MAP testing, our computer adaptive, standardized testing for students in Grades 2 – 12 continues through the month of May. 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. After the testing window closes and all students have completed each section, parents will be given their child’s results and invited to attend a meeting to discuss the growth results as a whole.

Let’s Do It Greece [April 20-26]

April 20 – 24 is “Green Week” around Greece and Pinewood did its part to contribute to the environmental preservation of our Earth, too. You may have noticed the beautiful roses that have been planted in the entrance of the school or near the security post in front of the school. Equally, we encourage you to take a look at the very nice trees that have been planted around the campus. Students in all grade levels participated in the joint environmental effort. Thank you to the Pinewood CAS Advisors, Christina Pagidou and Niki Tzivanaki for organizing our events at school!

Folk Art & Ethnological Museum Field Trip for Kindergarten [April 28]

The Kindergarten visited the Ethnological Museum to learn about the traditional costumes, history and life of the Greek people.

Science Day Open House [April 29]

The second annual Science Day Open House, a day dedicated to STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students in Grades 1-12, was a huge success again this year. Students had their experimental science and engineering design projects displayed for view and discussion. Under the guidance of the Science Department teachers, students spent a significant amount of time conducting research, preparing their findings and eloquently presenting them to a wider audience. This important project is intended to increase interest in STEM fields. Also included on this day was guest speakers and special presentations by students. All are encouraged to attend this whole day event.

MUN Team in Bucharest [April 28- May 4]

Our Model United Nations team participated in an international conference in Bucharest, Romania. It was an exciting trip as our team had its first International Chairs and represented the two vastly different, yet crucial, Middle-Eastern countries of Lybia and Jordan. Congratulations to all 8 students who participated and special kudos to the following:

  • Eleni Omiridou (Security Council) and Konstantinos Kouzounis (Human Rights Council) both received Honorable Mention (2nd place) for their contributions as delegates.
  • Marilena Dionelli (Human Rights Council) and Andrea Arivella (Disarmament Committee) for their successful leadership as head chairs in their respective committees.

Thank you to Ian Harrington for preparing the students all year long and supporting them at the conference!

Pinewood Teachers are Official IB Examiners

Around the world, IB teachers may apply to become examiners for various parts of the external assessment components in their respective subjects. Being selected is a reflection and validation of the teacher’s knowledge, understanding and application of his/her subject. Each year, as an examiner, they are sent hundreds of assessments of other students from around the world to mark.
I am pleased to announce those Pinewood teachers who have recently earned the status of IB examiner, as well as share with you those teachers who have been IB examiners for many years already:

Congratulations to the following teachers for recently earning the status of IB examiners:

  • Katerina Tsaloumi for Economics
  • Clare Squires for Chemistry
  • Georgia Paliouris for Environmental
  • Rosa Gomez for Spanish B

Congratulations to the following teachers who have been serving as IB examiners for 10+ years:

  • Alina Tavlaridou for French B
  • Mary Tsoulfa for Math SL
  • Dimitris Terzidis for Physics
  • Tao McCarthy for English A

Notable Upcoming Events

20th Annual Student Photography Exhibition 2015 [Opening Friday May 8th, 8:00 p.m.]

The opening day of the 20th Annual Thessaloniki Student Photography Exhibition is Friday May 8  at 20:00 at the Thessaloniki Architectural Center located on 13 Aggelaki Street (downtown). Pinewood has two entries in the exhibition, one from elementary and one from high school, so it's a great opportunity to join us at the event to view the wonderful photographic talents of our Pinewood students as well as other students in the city. All students, teachers and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend! Visit the following pages for further information regarding the exhibition:
http://fkth.gr/category/students-photography/
https://www.facebook.com/events/898000296897260/ 

Ms. Tsoulfa Retiring

It is with sadness but warm wishes that I announce the retirement of Mary Tsoulfa at the end of the year. Ms. Tsoulfa’s retirement denotes a change for Pinewood as she has been a solid presence in the school for 35 years. She has seen the school change and develop and she has contributed to the growth of the academic program, particularly the Mathematics Department. We are indebted to her vision and commitment to the Pinewood mission and vision as well as her outwardly expressive love for her students. On behalf of the entire Pinewood community, I wish Ms. Tsoulfa a wonderful retirement as she moves back to Australia to be close to her family, but we will also be anticipating her visits to Pinewood when she is in Thessaloniki. Ms. Tsoulfa, you will be fondly missed.

Thermi Dam: Grade 11 [May 11]

During the trip at the Thermi Dam Park, students will study different ecosystems. The aim of this trip is for students to have a hands on experience of natural systems including their flora and fauna. The deciduous forest in the area will be sampled by identifying  and recording plant species present and freshwater aquatic ecosystems (streams) will be studied by identifying and recording invertebrates present. The expected result is for students to work outside the classroom in contact with nature and to learn by observation and experimentation. Thank you to Mrs. Paliouris for arranging this experiential educational opportunity for students.

Gender and Leadership Student Survey  [May 4-8]

As a reminder, Pinewood is participating in the "Caring Schools Initiative" research project being conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which involves the administration of several surveys to our community. The next phase of the study is for students in grades 6-12 to complete a second survey, this one related to gender and leadership. This survey asks students questions about how they view the types of behaviors and roles that are appropriate for females and males, about how they view females versus males’ capacity for leadership and other achievements, and illuminates differences in how girls and boys might be treated at our school. This survey will provide us with highly valuable information about how our Middle and High School students think about sexism and gender equality. After completion of the survey (which will be done in IT classes and takes approximately 10 minutes), we will receive a report of aggregated school survey results, information about effective programs for promoting gender equality in schools, and other key resources for engaging students in discussion about gender and equality.  Students who complete the survey will also be entered to win a raffle where they can win 1 of 10 gift cards that is each worth $50!

Pinewood “We are Writers” Book!

A very big thank you to Ms. Helen Dalakas and Mrs. Marsha Shkurina for spearheading the first annual Pinewood “We are Writers” book and inspiring writers among our student body. The sample has arrived and it is wonderful to see students' names and stories in a published book form! We are starting to take orders for the book...look for the posters around school...or contact 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)!

Science Festival Day Trip: Grades 4 & 5 [May 14]

Our young scientists in 4th and 5th graders will travel to the HELEXPO to visit the Science Festival on this day. Their trip will coincide with their studies in their respective science classes by engaging in science experiments and observations and meeting with scientists. The trip will last from 12:00-2:55.  Thank you to Mrs. Varsakopoulos for arranging the experiential opportunity for her students.

Lake Plastira Overnight Trip: Grades 9-10 [May 14-16]

Students in Grades 9-10 will travel to Lake Plastira with Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou as part of our Host Country Studies program. On the way to Lake Plastira, students will stop in Larissa to visit The Municipal Gallery of Larissa- G.I. Katsigras Museum. The collection G.I. Katsigras, a donation of the well-known surgeon and collector to the city of Larissa, is one of the most significant in the country and unique in the periphery. It comprises 781 paintings, carvings and drafts of important Greek artists for the period between 1850 and 1950, as well as the invaluable furniture which belonged to the renowned Heinrich Schliemann bought by the collector in 1955. Upon arrival at Lake Plastira, an artificial lake fed by Tavropos river, located near the city of Karditsa, students will visit the most important sights of the area, including the Botanical Garden, the breath-taking Monastery of Panagia Pelekiti, the Lake Plastiras Damp, Kastania Village, known for its traditional craftsmen who make tsarouhia (traditional wooden shoes), and many, many more. They will also enjoy a morning of fun activities like biking, water biking and archery. Thank you to Mrs. Spiliakou and Mrs for organizing and chaperoning this wonderful learning experience for our middle school students.

Pinewood Corporation Meeting [May 20]

On behalf of the Pinewood Board of Directors, I cordially invite you to attend the May Pinewood Corporation meeting on May 20 at 18:00 in the school Library. 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 for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Thereafter, voting for these 2 elected parent positions will begin. As a reminder, voting will continue the next day, May 21, at school from 8:30 - 17:00 for all corporation members who were unable to attend the Corporation meeting.

The six candidates, in alphabetical order, are:
1. Mr. Stylianos Binopoulos
2. Mr. Thanassis Chrysoulas
3. Mr. Todor Dimitrov
4. Ms. Penelope Lepida
5. Ms. Cathy van der Ha
6. Dr. Anastasia Vatopoulou

Metsovo Overnight Trip: Grades 6-8 [May 22-23]

Students in Grades 6-8 will travel to Metsovo with Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou as part of our Host Country Studies program. The first day will be dedicated to the Pindos National Park, a park characterized by dense forests of European black pine and common beech, rocky ridges, several peaks over 2,000 meters, rapid streams and mountain lakes. The area belongs to the wider Pindus Mountains mixed forests ecoregion and is a representative part of Pindus mountain range. Moreover, it belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network of protected areas and is one of the three places in Greece that hosts a population of bears. During the day students will visit the beautiful Averofio Garden, the Pindos National Park Center, and Lake Aoos. Students will participate in an educational program dedicated to the Pindos Range as organized by Mrs. Georgia Paliouris. The second day will be dedicated to guided tours of the Averoff Art Gallery, one of the most important Art Galleries in Greece, and the Tositza Ethnological Museum, a unique mansion of the 17th century. In both galleries, Mrs. Spiliakou will guide students through 19th century Greek art and unique Greek treasures respectively. Thank you to Mrs. Spiliakou and Mrs. Paliouris for organizing and chaperoning this wonderful learning experience for our middle school students.

PTFA Open Discussion Series TBA

This year, our active PTFA has organized and initiated an open discussion series dedicated to topics of interest relevant to parents and teachers of EYP through Grade 12 within the areas of psychology, education and schooling. The discussion series is led by our resident school psychologist intern, Nick Benetos. In the second session in March, the topic of discussion was "Young people and information and communications technology". The third session will be dedicated to a discussion of the data received from the Harvard Caring Schools Initiative study in which Pinewood is participating this year. Thank you again to the Parent Professions and Lectures Committee for their efforts in organizing the series.

Holy Spirit Day – NO SCHOOL [June 1]

Please note that there will be no school on Monday, June 1 in observance of Holy Spirit Day.

Balkan Botanical Gardens: Grades 1-5 [June 2]

The Elementary school will take an all-day fieldtrip to the Balkan Botanical Gardens to explore the beautiful location and to enjoy the Spring weather. Please look or specific information about the trip in the coming weeks.

Monthly Elementary Assembly [June 5]

The monthly Elementary assembly will take place at 8:30 on this day!

Senior Prom June 6 (note date change)

Image result for prom 2015The annual Senior Prom will take place on Saturday, June 6! 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.

Administrative Activity

MSA Re-Accreditation

Last month, the Planning Team presented the following topics to be the focus of our long-term objectives for Pinewood school growth and improvement:

Student Performance Objectives:
English Language Literacy
World Languages and Cultures

Organizational Capacity Objectives:
Information and Communication Technology
Student Services

I am delighted to share that these objectives have been officially approved by Middle States Association, our governing accrediting body; thus, we have been given the green light to move forward to the next phase of the self-study.

The next phase is the organization of teams for each of the four objectives. These teams, named Action Plan Teams, will be responsible for developing 7-year Action Plans for each objective. These Action Plans will be the point of contact between vision and reality. They are the bridges to our future as they will describe the methods the school will use to accomplish its goals. These Action Plans are working documents that provide direction regarding the work that is to be done to achieve our objectives. Look for further details about each objective as they are developed by the Action Plan Teams. Also, I encourage you to visit our MSA Accreditation page on the website (under the News tab) for periodic updates and details about the accreditation process.

Also, when the self-study is complete, our school will host a Visiting Team for 3.5 days, who will validate what we have presented in our self-study. This team will make an accreditation recommendation to the Commission of the Middle States Association and a final decision will be made by the Commission thereafter at their biannual meeting. Our visit is scheduled for November 2-5, 2015.

MSA Visit Malta

As you know, I was invited to serve on an MSA Accreditation Validating team for an international school in Malta at the end of April. The school, QSI Malta, has chosen the same protocol as Pinewood, Excellence by Design; thus, it was an ideal opportunity for me to gain valuable experience as an evaluator – the other side of the accreditation process – as we prepare for our own team visit next fall.

Family Feedback Survey 2015

Last year was the first year that we sent an electronic survey out to our families to get feedback in major areas of school operations and programs. We will continue this process again this year with another electronic, low-burden survey for parents to complete. The survey to the community will address areas such as Home-School Communication, Educational Programs, School Climate, Administration, Opportunities for Involvement, School Safety, After School Activities, Transportation and Facilities. In addition, another section aimed at getting feedback in the 6 areas of a developing 5-year strategic plan will be included. Please look for the survey via email in the month of May. I encourage you to complete it as community feedback is a vital component of our growth and improvement efforts at Pinewood.

Health & Safety Committee Update

In our continued efforts to improve campus safety, our Health & Safety committee has recently worked on a few areas.

Firstly, we have made refinements to our earthquake and emergency evacuation procedures. These new additions will make the procedures, in the event of a natural or man-made emergency, flow in an organized and safe manner with student safety always as the absolute, top priority. In addition, we will be introducing a lock- down procedure, one which prepares for an intruder in the building, simply as this is one component of all schools’ emergency procedures handbooks.

Next, we will be introducing a Visitor Pass system for all visitors on campus during school hours next year. With this new procedure, all visitors to campus will be issued a Visitor Pass, which will be worn during the visitor’s time on campus and returned to the security guard upon exiting the campus. More detailed information will be provided as we finalize this procedures.

Finally, as a point of reference, all of our Health & Safety Committee decisions for the school are made not as reactionary measures, but as preventive measures. Thus, we examine best practices around the world, particularly in other international schools, and work to improve our own procedures accordingly.

Enrollment

Total Students 256

April Director's Report

 

Wishing the Pinewood community a relaxing two week Spring Break with precious family and dear friends. Our school hours of operation during the break will be from 9:00 – 14:00 on the following days:

April 6, 7, 8, 16 & 17.

Events of the Month

IB Art Exhibition March 9-18

The annual IB Art Exhibition took place this year at Ilios Exhibition Space in Neapoli. At this important event, IB art students displayed their final works from the previous 2 years and conducted critical discussions about their art to professionals in an open forum. Thank you to Ms. Konstantina Kapanidou for the preparation and organization of her students for this event. As a first year Pinewood teacher, Ms. Kapanidou was exceptionally prepared and represented Pinewood with distinction.

Parent-Teacher Conferences March 9 & 11

The second Parent-Teacher Conference took place during this week. Thank you to all parents who attended these important conferences.

Spirit Week March 9-13

The HS Student Council prepared a fun, entertaining Spirit Week which culminated in a student talent show. Thank you to the Student Council for organizing and executing this week’s events.

EYP/Elementary Report Cards March 13

Report cards were sent home on this day to all EYP and Elementary families for Trimester 2.

Grade 5 Activity

During March 5th graders engaged in a day long exploration of Pi in celebration of Albert Einsteins birthday on March 14th. Activities included calculations of radius, diameter, and circumference of objects such as the giant sequoia tree "General Sherman", balls of all sorts, cookies, chocolates, and pizza. In addition students read a biography of Einstein, watched videos about Pi, sang the Pi song. 
Fifth grade students also participated in a march to stand up against racism and discrimination as the Jewish community and other members of the larger community in Thessoliniki remembered the Holocaust victims from Greece.  This march integrated in real terms concepts students had read  about in their language and literature including Zlata's Diary.

Never Again Rally: March 15

I would  like to thank all those who participated in the Never Again rally in Thessaloniki in remembrance of the March 15, 1943 date of the beginning of the deportation of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki to Auschwitz.  It was a beautiful day of remembrance wherein we paired with the U.S. Consulate to march to the Old Train station from the center where we listened to several short speeches and participated in a moment of silence for the people we lost in the Holocaust.

Panhellenic Forensics Tournament March 19-22

The Panhellenic Forensics tournament is an interscholastic speech and debate competition held every year in Greece for students from around the world. The different categories of competition include oral interpretation of literature (dramatic and comic), duet acting (dramatic and comic), oratory, impromptu speaking, group discussion and debate. Students who participate develop strong skills in public speaking, reasoned discourse and effective communicators. This year, the tournament was held at Mantoulidis School in Thessaloniki. Our Pinewood Forensics Team competed with passion and merit. A special congratulations to Foivos Isakoglou, ’16, for earning Honorable Mention in the category of Oral Interpretation of Literature – Dramatic. Thank you to Mr. Ian Harrington and Mrs. Athena Yannoulis for their dedication in preparing our students for this erudite event.

Greek Independence Day Celebration March 24

Our annual Greek Independence Day celebration took place with excitement and enthusiasm as students presented everything from traditional Greek dances from around Greece to interpretations of the philosophy of Lord Byron. Congratulations to our Greek and Art departments (Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou, Mrs. Sophia Konstantinidou, Mrs. Filiana Zafeiriadou, Ms. Vicky Tzima, Dr. Gundega Smite, Ms. Helen Dalakas) for preparing students from Grades 1-12 to honor our host country with performances related to the theme of Greek independence.

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Field Trip  March 26

Students in PreK2 and Grade 5 traveled to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art where they extending their classroom studies in different ways.

Pre-K 2 children learned about the Greek artist Yannis Gaitis and acted out one his paintings by being guided through the story behind one painting to great effect using movement and hats. Afterwards, the children made their own paintings using stencils and rollers, producing beautiful pictures to take home. The trip was the perfect end to the children's unit on Art and Artists, which also included a visit from IB Art teacher, Konstantina Kapanidou, who demonstrated portrait drawing to our children!

Grade 5 learned about the effects of light on 3D art at the museum. To extend a language arts biography unit which involved reading about the lives and inventions of Thomas Edison, A. C. Clarke, and others, the students considered different ideas of the use of "light" and technology in contemporary art at the museum.

Secondary Quarter 4 Began March 30

Quarter 4 began on March 27. This is the last quarter of the year. Report cards will be available via Sycamore. As a reminder, Final Examinations are held in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of June.

IB Dance Performance March 27

The IB Dance performance, a culmination of our IB students’ two-year study of dance, was an enormous success this year. The performance took place at the KAPPA2000 Theater in Peraia at 19:00 and  IB2 students performed numerous choreographies that they composed throughout their 2-year study and also show their technical skills in Ms. Pagidou’s choreographies. IB1 students were joined by students from Grades 1-10, who performed specially choreographed pieces. In addition, the cheerleaders closed the show with a lively performance! The audience enjoyed a number of different dance styles, including contemporary, Charleston, jazz, modern, hip hop, break dancing and cheerleading. A notable congratulations to Ms. Christina Pagidou for her dedication in preparing more than 50 students for an outstanding show.

American Farm School Field Trips March 30/31

As part of our Elementary Modern Greek curriculum, Grades 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 traveled to the American Farm School to learn about milk and olives in two special presentations in Greek.

Grade 1 & 2 students followed step by step the milk process. Firstly, they, went to "armektirio" (the milking place) where they watched how to take the milk from cows. At the same place, students did the same thing (milking) on an artificial cow. In addition, students watched and fed young cows! Then, they went to "galaktokomeio" where they watched workers prepare the milk for supermarkets and learned about the nutritional value of milk. Finally, students had to make their own label for a bottle of milk and cooked cream on their own! They enjoyed the trip very much.

Grade 3 & 4 students learned how olives are made and collected. They also saw the machine that makes olive oil. They learned that it takes 6 kilos of olives to make one liter of olive oil. They became specialists in tasting and categorizing olive oil and olives. The students categorizes the olive oil as either being fruity, spicy or bitter. They categorized the olives as bitter, salty or flowery. They observed the olive trees and how olives are collected, how to tell how old an olive tree is, how to take care of an olive tree and where they are found. They were very lucky to get the opportunity to walk around to see and touch the olive trees. The children were able to connect what they read about olives to real life.

First Annual Short Video Competition

In Pinewood’s continued efforts to provide students with opportunities to create, evaluate, take risks and develop in alternative and artistic ways, the first Annual Short Video Competition took place this month. Two notable entries, from Savvas Sfairopoulos ’15, and Nikos Paschalis ’17, took center stage. In addition, Pinewood alumnus, Marco Bustamante ’14, who is now studying engineering at Cornell University, sent his greetings with a new short video that he produced with the Cornell Rowing Team. Thank you to Mr. Kostas Papantoniou who conceptualized, organized and inspired our students to participate. We look forward to next year’s competition!

PD Activity

Pinewood is proud to sponsor 4 teachers at this year’s TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Annual Convention. TESOL, or Teachers of English as a Second or Other Language, is an independent non-profit professional association for teachers of Northern Greece whose role is two-fold: to explore the reality of teaching in our classrooms and to strive towards improving teaching and learning for teachers and students. From Pinewood, Ms. Helen Dalakas, Mrs. Evie Kota, Dr. Linda Manney, Mrs. Liza Tziatas and Ms. Ann Karapitsani attended the weekend conference in order to bring to their classrooms new teaching methods and practices.

PTFA Open Discussion Series March 18

Our active PTFA has organized and initiated an open discussion series dedicated to topics of interest relevant to parents and teachers of EYP through Grade 12 within the areas of psychology, education and schooling. The discussion series is led by our resident school psychologist intern, Nick Benetos. In the second session, the topic of Young People and Information Communication Technology, a lively, relevant discussion took place. Thank you to the Parent Professions and Lectures Committee for their efforts in organizing the series.

Notable Upcoming Events

IB Mock Exams April 1-3, 20-24

IB Mock exams, which are formatted exactly as the regular exams, are a way for teachers to assess the readiness of our students for the formal IB examinations in May. These exams are an important preparatory step as they can pinpoint areas that are in need of additional consideration before the exams. Formal IB exams will take place in the month of April.

Cyberbullying Prevention Presentation April 2

The Greek State Elementary & Secondary Divisions for the Prevention of Cyber-Bullying will visit Pinewood to present to our Grade 1-5 and 6-12 students and parents on topics related to internet safety, usage, social media and cyber-bullying. We strongly believe that the development of a caring and respectful school culture is paramount to the success of every child. Accordingly, we encourage parent attendance as we address topics that are of exceptional importance to us as a school and exceedingly relevant for today’s youth culture.

Elementary Spring Break Celebration April 3

On the last day of school before the Spring Break, the Elementary School will be hosting our annual Spring Break Celebration. Students in grades 1-5 have been divided into teams and will be involved in a variety of activities.

Spring Break – NO SCHOOL April 6-17

Spring Break begins on Friday, April 3rd after school and classes resume on Monday, April 20.

MAP Testing April 20 – May 29

MAP testing, our computer adaptive, standardized testing for students in Grades 2 – 12 will take place from April 20 through the end of May. The specific schedule for each grade level will be published for your review in April. 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.

Let’s Do It Greece April 20-26

April 20 – 24 is “Green Week” around Greece and Pinewood will do its part to contribute to the environmental preservation of our Earth, too. We will be planting flowers and trees as well as gauging our plastic consumption in an effort to reduce it. In addition, we will be participating in a clean-up activity in the city with other schools. Thank you to the Pinewood CAS Advisors, Christina Pagidou and Niki Tzivanaki for organizing our events at school and on Sunday in the city. Look for details!

Folk Art & Ethnological Museum Field Trip for Kindergarten April 28

The Kindergarten will take a trip to the Ethnological Museum to learn about the traditional costumes, history and life of the Greek people.

Science Day Open House April 29

The second annual Science Day Open House is a day dedicated to STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students in Grades 1-12. Students will have their experimental science and engineering design projects displayed for view and discussion. Under the guidance of the Science Department teachers, students spend a significant amount of time conducting research and preparing their findings. This important project is intended to increase interest in STEM fields. A number of other activities will be planned this year, too, including guest speakers and special presentations by students. All are encouraged to attend this whole day event.

20th Photography Competition

20η Έκθεση Μαθητικής Φωτογραφίας – 2015The Competition takes place this year between May 8th and May 22nd at the Architecture Center of Thessaloniki.  Pinewood participates with the winning photos of both Elementary and Secondary competitions. Visit this link which portrays a picture of our students and their names.  More details regarding the exhibition will follow after the Break. We encourage all students, teachers and parents to visit the exhibition.

Administrative Activity

MSA Re-Accreditation

The Accreditation Planning Team, made up of administration, faculty, staff, parents, students and alumni, is the team responsible for developing measurable objectives from the all collected documents from the self-study. As such, the Planning Team is excited to present the following topics to be the focus of our long-term objectives for Pinewood school growth and improvement:

  • Student Performance Objectives:
    English Language Literacy
    World Languages and Cultures
  • Organizational Capacity Objectives:
    Technology
    Student Services

MSA Visit Malta

I have been invited to serve on an MSA Accreditation Evaluation team for an international school in Malta at the end of April. The school, QSI Malta, has chosen the same protocol as Pinewood, Excellence by Design; thus, it is an ideal opportunity for me to gain valuable experience as an evaluator – the other side of the accreditation process – as we prepare for our own evaluation next fall.

Budget, Registration & Pre-Payment for 2015-16

The Budget for the 2015-2016 academic year was approved by the Board of Directors in the March meeting and I am pleased to announce that our tuition and fees will be maintained at no increase for the 4th consecutive year. In addition, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I present the following new policy procedures for registering your child(ren) for next year:

May 1, 2015                    Pre-payment deadline for all returning students

June 1, 2015                   Payment made in full by this date will receive a 7% discount on tuition

September 1, 2015       Payment made in full by this date will receive a 5% discount on tuition

Accordingly, I kindly remind you to:

  1. Complete and return a Registration Form to Ms. Petroula Rosiou either in person or by emailing it to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that a signed Registration Form must be completed EACH YEAR of attendance and is available in downloadable form by clicking on “Admissions Process” under the “Admissions” tab or by visiting Ms. Rosiou in the Administrative/Admissions office at school.

  2. Complete the Pre-payment for 2015-2016 by May 1. This payment (EYP=€1,000 & Grades 1-12=€1,800) holds your child’s place in his/her respective class and will be deducted from the total tuition & fees.  Payments may be made via direct deposit or transfer to the school bank accounts by using the bank information found at the bottom of the Tuition & Fees page of our website. Please contact Ms. Smaro Kyrimi for any questions regarding payment.

Individual family Billing Statements for 2015-16 will be emailed to you by April 8 and sent via regular mail by the same date.

New Page on the Website

I encourage you to visit the new page on our website called, “MSA Accreditation”, which is found under the News tab, and highlights our progress with the Pinewood re-accreditation self-study.

Enrollment

Total Students

256

March Director's Report


Events of the Month

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony    [February 18]

Our annual National Honor Society (NHS) Induction Ceremony took place with a wonderful audience of students, parents, community and Board members. The purpose of NHS is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership and to develop character in the students in high schools around the world. National Honor Society is the single most prestigious organization for high school students and our induction ceremony was in line with these high standards. Mr. Ioannis Vikelidis, Director of the International Relations Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thessaloniki joined us to deliver the keynote speech to our new inductees. We congratulate our new members of Pinewood's Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Carnival Party   [February 20]

EYP and Elementary students enjoyed their annual Carnival Party. A big thank you to the PTFA Student-Centered Activities Committee for organizing the entire party for our students!

Book Week    [February 24-27]

Our Library and English Departments prepared a wonderful week of reading for students, with emphasis on the importance of books in our children’s lives. EYP children studied the wonderful world of children’s author, Eric Carle. The Elementary students kept reading logs all week to gauge their reading behaviors. In the Secondary Seminar on February 25, students in Dr. Manney’s English class presented their work on the survival story genre, Mr. Harrington’s students analyzed multiple poetic tropes/styles/qualities and Mrs. McCarthy’s students shared their perspectives on the nature of man as expressed through the symbol of the beast from their novel study of Lord of the Flies. Thank you to everyone for making Book Week a success!

Kindergarten Fieldtrip to NOESIS Science & Technology Museum     [February 25]

The Kindergarten class, who has spent a month studying the universe in all its glory, visited NOESIS to see the ‘bigger picture’ and experience the cosmos in the planetarium. It was a fun, educational trip that enriched the students’ classroom learning. Thank you to Ms. Tammy and Ms. Cathy for your creative approaches.

Winter Music Concert      [February 25]

The Music Department, under the direction of Dr. Smite, held its annual winter music concert to celebrate the wonderful musical talent in our school. As one of the events that brings together students from the whole school, it was a superb celebration of music. A total of 26 students participated from Grades 1-12 in voice, violin, piano, flute, guitar and many others. Although a very small amount of money was collected in donations, the concert was a huge achievement! Thank you to Dr. Smite for her dedication to providing students with opportunities to perform.

ARIS Basketball Player and Pinewood Alumnus Visits PreK2       [February 26]

PreK2 welcomed Alexander Vezenkov, Pinewood graduate of 2013 and professional basketball player for ARIS, to help with their measurement unit. Standing at 2.06 meters, Alexander definitely made an impression on our young learners. Thank you to Alexander for taking time to visit Pinewood and for giving our young students tips about growing tall and healthy, eating well, sleeping and exercising as part of a healthy lifestyle. Also, thank you to Ms. Fay for a wonderfully interactive unit.

German School Tournament     [February 26-28]

Pinewood’s boys basketball team participated in the German School Tournament last weekend. They played both the American Farm School and the German School. Although they lost both games, they made a noble showing against much bigger teams! Congratulations to our boys team and a big thank you to Mr. Tsachtanis and Coach Kesidis for their organization and coaching.

Host Country Studies Trip to Botanical Gardens     [March 3]

Students in Grades 6 & 7 visited the Stavroupolis Botanical Gardens with Mrs. Spiliakou as part of their host country studies program. The Gardens are made up of 8 different thematic parts, including a 6 m high Green House with tropical plants, a waterfall and 3 ponds. Our students took a guided tour to learn how the Garden is organized, what each “botanic theme” represents, and how everything is taken care. Back at school, Mrs. Spiliakou connected the experience with the curriculum by exploring plants’ relationship to Greek mythology.

Grades 1 & 2 Fieldtrip to NOESIS Science & Technology Museum    [March 3]

In the month of March, first and second grade are studying Dinosaurs in Science. To reinforce skills and knowledge, they visited Noesis  to view " The Giants of Pantagonia" in 3D. As a preview of physical Science themes, they also visited the museum's Techno-Park, an interactive exhibition where students actively participated in a variety of activities regarding science topics such as electricity, magnetism and mechanics. Thank you to Mrs. Tziatas and Ms. Johnston for organizing this wonderful experience for their students!

Notable Upcoming Events

IB Art Exhibition    [March 9-18]

The annual IB Art Exhibition will take place this year at Ilios Exhibition Space in Neapoli. This is an important event wherein IB art students display their final works and conduct critical discussions about their art in an open event. The invitation for the opening on Monday, March 9 has been sent out to you and I encourage you to attend this fantastic event!

Our very own IB Art Teacher Ms. Kapanidou was also interviewed before the opening on TV 100. Click here to see the interview.

Spirit Week    [March 9-13]

The HS Student Council is preparing for Spirit Week. During this week, Pinewood school spirit is the focus of attention for all students.

EYP/Elementary Report Cards    [March 13]

Report cards will be sent home on this day to all EYP and Elementary families for Trimester 2.

Panhellenic Forensics Tournament    [March 19-22]

The Panhellenic Forensics tournament is an interscholastic speech and debate competition held every year in Greece for students from around the world. The different categories of competition include oral interpretation of literature (dramatic and comic), duet acting (dramatic and comic), oratory, impromptu speaking, group discussion and debate. Students who participate develop strong skills in public speaking, reasoned discourse and effective communicators. This year, the tournament is being held at Mantoulidis School in Thessaloniki. Good luck to our Pinewood Forensics Team!

Greek Independence Day Celebration    [March 24]

I cordially invite you to attend our annual Greek Independence Day celebration at 13:30 in the school gymnasium. At this time, our Greek department will prepare students from Grades 1-12 to honor our host country with performances related to the history and culture surrounding Greek independence.

Greek Independence Day - NO SCHOOL   [March 25]

There will be no school on this day in observance of Greek Independence Day.

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Field Trip     [March 26]

Students in PreK2 and Grade 5 will travel to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. They will extending their classroom studies of the effects of light on 3D art.

IB Dance Performance   [March 27]

I am delighted to invite you to attend the annual IB Dance performance on this evening. This performance is a culmination of our IB students’ two-year study of dance. The performance will take place the KAPPA2000 Theater in Peraia at 19:00.  IB2 students will perform numerous choreographies that they composed throughout their 2-year study and also show their technical skills in Ms. Pagidou’s choreographies. IB1 students, along with students from Grades 6-10 will perform several choreographies. In addition, the cheerleaders will perform during that event! The audience will have the opportunity to enjoy a number of different dance styles, including contemporary, Charleston, jazz, modern, hip hop, break dancing and cheerleading.

Secondary Quarter 4 Begins    [March 30]

Quarter 3 in the Secondary school ends on Friday, March 27 and Quarter 4 begins on the following Monday. This is the last quarter of the year. As a reminder, Final Examinations are held on in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of June.

IB Mock Exams    [April 1-3, 20-24]

IB Mock exams, which are formatted exactly as the regular exams, are a way for teachers to assess the readiness of our students for the formal IB examinations in May. These exams are an important preparatory step as they can pinpoint areas that are in need of additional consideration before the exams. Formal IB exams will take place in the month of May.

Spring Break – NO SCHOOL    [April 6-17]

Spring Break begins on Friday, April 3rd after school and classes resume on Monday, April 20.

MAP Testing   [April 20 – May 29]

MAP testing, our computer adaptive, standardized testing for students in Grades 2 – 12 will take place from April 20 through the end of May. The specific schedule for each grade level will be published for your review in April. 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.

Folk Art & Ethnological Museum Field Trip for Kindergarten    [April 28]

The Kindergarten will take a trip to the Ethnological Museum to learn about the traditional costumes, history and life of the Greek people.

Science Day Open House   [April 29]

The second annual Science Day Open House is a day dedicated to STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students in Grades 1-12. Students will have their experimental science and engineering design projects displayed for view and discussion. Under the guidance of the Science Department teachers, students spend a significant amount of time conducting research and preparing their findings. This important project is intended to increase interest in STEM fields. A number of other activities will be planned this year, too, including guest speakers and special presentations by students. All are encouraged to attend this whole day event.

Administrative Activity

MSA Re-Accreditation

The re-accreditation self-study continues to be the most important focus of administration and faculty. Phase V, next phase, involves creating 3-5 objectives that will be the focus for the school’s growth and improvement over the next 7 years. The Planning Team, with the support of the Board of Directors and the community, is charged with defining these objectives. This phase will be developed and implemented by the creation of new committees for each objective. There are two types of objectives that must be created as follows:

  • Student Performance Objectives: These are measurable objectives that focus on areas of academic performance, broadly defined to include all knowledge, skills and qualities/characteristics that the school sets as a priority in its mission and profile of graduates.
  • Organizational Capacity Objectives: These are measurable objectives that include all aspects of the school’s educational program, services and operations whose purpose is to provide the means by which and support for the school’s efforts to produce the levels of student performance expressed in the mission and profile of graduates.

Enrollment:

Total Students

256