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             On Thursday 28 January, Dallas International School hosted its 2nd Annual Forum des Metiers or Career Fair for grades 5-12 at the Upper Campus. Two dozen industry professionals were on hand to talk with students about their careers, education and experiences. During the four-hour event, students visited with a variety of experts in fields ranging from health, business, technology, law and the arts. Students especially enjoyed the Career Day Scavenger hunt that encouraged them to inquire about the professional background of the extraordinary participants to better explore the vast career possibilities that await them. Themes represented during the event centered on global health issues, careers around the world, international business and law. Distinguished speakers on these topics included Mr. Jim Falk, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council; Dr. Felicia Toé, an OB/GYN; Dr. Alistair Fyfe, a cardiologist; Mr. Nicolas Burgaud, international businessman; and Mr. Richard Hunt, international law.

 

ABOUT

Dallas International School (DIS) is the only private school in the DFW metroplex offering a multilingual education via an international curriculum. DIS has more than 670 students in preschool through grade 12, located on two campuses. The Preschool (2yr+) through 4th grades are at 6039 Churchill Way, and the 5th through 12th grades are at 17811 Waterview Parkway. Both campuses are easily accessible for residents in Dallas, Plano, and Richardson. In 2015, DIS was ranked the #4 most challenging Private High School in the Nation by the Washington Post.

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Dallas International School Alum Victoria Huang (’15) along with three fellow Computer Science freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania took first place in Social Impact/Civic Hacking in the PennApps competition! During the harsh, Pennsylvania winter, Huang and her teammates have witnessed “many people without homes brave the bitter cold in search of food” while local restaurants seem to just trash their leftovers. Inspired by this paradox, Huang and her teammates devised Foodship, a website that connects local restaurants to nearby homeless shelters using popular on-demand courier service, Postmates, to ship the food.

This January marked the thirteenth edition of PennApps, the nation’s first and largest student-run collegiate Hackathon, a two-day event where developers team up to create solutions to real-world dilemmas using the latest in hardware and software. Teams began tinkering with their hacks, or technological quick fixes, at 8 pm Friday 22 January and had only until Sunday 24 January at 9 am to develop a functional prototype. Submissions to this year’s Hackathon were judged on technical difficulty, originality, polish and usefulness. The Foodship team, comprised of Victoria Huang, Ming Zhang, Sanjana Sarkar, and Abha Vedul, is planning on turning this hack into a startup and is currently looking for sponsors.

 

ABOUT

Dallas International School (DIS) is the only private school in the DFW metroplex offering a multilingual education via an international curriculum. DIS has more than 670 students in preschool through grade 12, located on two campuses. The Preschool (2yr+) through 4th grades are at 6039 Churchill Way, and the 5th through 12th grades are at 17811 Waterview Parkway. Both campuses are easily accessible for residents in Dallas, Plano, and Richardson. In 2015, DIS was ranked the #4 most challenging Private High School in the Nation by the Washington Post.

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              Every year, Dallas International School selects a country to study, and the 2015-2016 school year marks the Year of Japan. The Country of the Year serves a thematic purpose as teachers integrate aspects of the culture, language and food into the curriculum. In previous years, students have studied Spain, Brazil, Italy, France and Russia just to name a few. Sometimes students will attend a short musical concert to hear what the traditional music sounds like. They might even participate in a dance lesson or learn how to make art often found in the Country of the Year.
             On 26 January, DIS Lower School students were treated to a performance featuring traditional Japanese music. DIS parents Yumiko and Oliver Schlaffer, are professional musicians, and play the harp and the cello respectively. They curated a set of signature songs and paid tribute to Yumiko’s native Japan; for many students, it was the first time they had gotten to see a harp (and its 47 strings) in person! Students were enchanted with the Sakura, Sakura piece which was composed in celebration of the Japanese cherry blossoms that bloom each spring. The husband and wife duo dressed in simple kimonos for the performance, and answered questions about Japanese instruments in addition to those about their background as musicians. Multicultural outreach programs, like these, provide Dallas International School students with the opportunity to explore a culture different than their own, preparing them to be global-minded citizens. 

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On Saturday 9 January, 5 Dallas International School (DIS) High School students boarded a plane for Florence. They will spend 5 weeks in Italy attending the Lycée Victor Hugo, sister school to DIS and fellow member of the Mission laique francaise (Mlf) network. The curriculum at both schools is interchangeable, and the pedagogical teams of the two institutions are constantly in collaboration to make sure that the lesson plans stay in sync. In other words, DIS students will be able to continue their studies abroad as if they were still in Dallas. This is just one of the advantages of the Mlf network which comprises 110 schools in 41 different countries.

The first few days abroad have been very positive so far! DIS students are cherishing the sweetness of the Italian lifestyle while marveling at the architectural wonders of Florence. During their trip, the students will live with a host family, the family of the pen pals they have been corresponding with for some time. In fact, this study-abroad program is twofold: their Italian pen pals will travel to Dallas in February and March to spend 5 weeks experiencing the American lifestyle.

The principal objectives of this exchange allow for students to encounter a new culture through the discovery of a European country while also reinforcing their mastery of the French language (being that the students are residing with Francophones during their stay). The students will also develop skills that will greatly benefit their personal growth as they become more autonomous and independent. They are already integrating perfectly into their new school and were even asked to assist the Lower School instructors in teaching English, a valued act of community service.

Amazingly, DIS was able to offer this study abroad exchange for a reasonably low cost: just the price of a plane ticket and a little bit of pocket money. In fact, the relationship of these two sister schools ensures that DIS tuition can be applied towards attending another school within the Mlf network. And in a considerate gesture of hospitality, the day-to-day costs of lodging are paid for by the student’s host family.

The development of such exchange programs is a goal of DIS, and Mlf’s incredibly vast network is able to accommodate these various requests and organize an enriching experience across 5 continents. Another partnership is currently in the works with a French school in Alicante, Spain where four DIS students will spend their third trimester.

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First Annual Alumni Week Reception

Dallas International School welcomed 17 returning alumni on Wednesday 6 January during a reception as part of the first annual Alumni Week event. Students were invited back to the Upper Campus to see former teachers and staff, reconnect with each other, and view the renovations that have been made since graduating with the current junior and senior students providing the tours. The graduating classes of 2010 - 2015 were represented during this event.

 

Alumni Week Assembly

Hosted by the Alumni Relations Office, eight Dallas International School alumni returned to campus to discuss life after High School with Grades 8-12 during an academic assembly on Friday 8 January.  Utilizing a panel discussion format, the graduates, now in various years of their undergraduate education, shared their experiences in university and how their coursework and time at DIS helped them make the adjustment to college life. The current high school students were intrigued with their words of advice and pictures of the things that they have to look forward to.

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First Annual Alumni Week Reception

Dallas International School welcomed 17 returning alumni on Wednesday 6 January during a reception as part of the first annual Alumni Week event. Students were invited back to the Upper Campus to see former teachers and staff, reconnect with each other, and view the renovations that have been made since graduating with the current junior and senior students providing the tours. The graduating classes of 2010 - 2015 were represented during this event.

 

Alumni Week Assembly

Hosted by the Alumni Relations Office, eight Dallas International School alumni returned to campus to discuss life after High School with Grades 8-12 during an academic assembly on Friday 8 January.  Utilizing a panel discussion format, the graduates, now in various years of their undergraduate education, shared their experiences in university and how their coursework and time at DIS helped them make the adjustment to college life. The current high school students were intrigued with their words of advice and pictures of the things that they have to look forward to.

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In a celebration dedicated to showcasing the beauty of multilingualism, Dallas International School (DIS) launched the “Festival of Languages” on Tuesday 12 January. The Spanish, German and Chinese departments wowed the audience with an hour-long presentation organized around student performers in 6th-12th grade. While the importance of learning a third or fourth language at a bilingual school like DIS is always present, the young performers remained eager to entertain each other with their communicative aptitude. In fact, the Festival showcased the student’s comfortability in expressing themselves not only linguistically, but artistically, as well. DIS Upper School students took to the stage with unmistakable flair! A trio of students enacted role-plays in Spanish highlighting the importance of healthy eating, and 6th graders harmonized songs in Chinese. 10th graders performed a song they wrote in Spanish, urging their peers to continue making sustainable choices for the environment, and German students presented a dialogue infused with popular English slang. The bar has certainly been set high for next year’s Festival! 

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It may only be January, but there is certainly a spirit of pomp and circumstance in the air at Dallas International School (DIS). From 4-8 January, DIS will welcome recent graduates back for the First Annual Alumni Week. They will meet with current students to recount their smooth transition from high school to college scholars, many having entered university with the credentials of a college sophomore. Alumni are usually nostalgic upon their return and tout Dallas International School’s unique and rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum as the foundation of their academic accomplishments.

However, the groundwork of such sound scholastic infrastructure could not have been laid overnight. In fact, Dallas International School parents are decidedly proactive. They understand that, in order to integrate into this globally-minded economy, their children need access to the elements that will give them an edge: a strong multilingual and multicultural education starting as early as possible. Regardless of mother tongue, enrolling at DIS during the preschool years and persevering until senior graduation positions students with a leg up over their monolingual counterparts.

Dallas International School is the only private school in the Dallas area to offer the French Baccalaureate (FB) Program accredited by the French Ministry of National Education. There are students who are not native French speakers with parents that don't speak a word of French who have excelled in the FB program. The first student to successfully complete pre-K through 12th grade at DIS graduated in 2009 with an FB diploma and had never even traveled to France before! Conversely, international students who are non-native speakers of English have successfully received their International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas.

Notably, the Baccalaureate Diplomas open doors to top-tier universities in Europe, Canada and America. DIS alum Daniel Guinan (’15- FB) was accepted unconditionally to St. Andrews in Scotland. DIS alumni have been accepted to SciencesPo in Rheims, McGill University, University of Texas at Dallas and have even been awarded Presidential Scholarships to Southern Methodist University. Victoria Huang (’15-FB), currently attending the University of Pennsylvania, was presented with the 2015 Excellence Scholarship EZA Award from Mission Laique Française (Mlf), a distinction only bestowed upon four students in the Mlf America network of 20 schools. Students graduate from Dallas International School with a strong sense of identity, able to communicate in two or more languages and poised for success no matter which Baccalaureate track they choose to pursue.

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On Sunday 6 December, Dallas International School (DIS) student, Dylan Walters, showcased her piano skills in the Plano Music Teachers Association Fall Festival.  She was honored with a Certificate of Achievement and an Award of Superior Achievement by the Plano Music Teachers Association for her technique and interpretation of “Little Prelude in C Minor” composed by J.S. Bach. While she has many strong musical influences in her life, Dylan is constantly inspired by her grandmother, a fellow pianist. Dylan started taking piano lessons in the after-school program at DIS when she was just 5 years old, and her grandmother has always encouraged her musical pursuits. Dylan has given 6 end-of-year piano recitals and has performed several times in the Annual DIS Talent Show, but the Fall Festival marks her first time participating in a judged competition. This year, Dylan continues to hone her craft under the tutelage of DIS Piano Teacher Mr. Miguel Heredia. 

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The Dallas International School Athletic Department is proud to announce its first member of the All-State Team! Valentine Habrard has been voted in by the TAPPS Governing Body as one of the Top 4 Defenders in the State of Texas for Fall Soccer. Habrard was the only female selected in an all-boys league and has become the first female athlete in the history of TAPPS to have been chosen as a member of the Fall Soccer All-State TAPPS First team. She was also selected as a member of the Academic All-State Team with a cumulative GPA of 3.97. The Dallas International School Athletic Department would like to congratulate her for all of her hard work during these last 14 years! Habrard has been a student at Dallas International School since Pre-K, and Dallas International School staff and faculty are certain she will do an outstanding job at the university of her choice. Allez Les Tigres!