Thursday, February 25, 2010

Principal's message

February is always a wonderful month in Kodai. The weather is beautiful and the sun brings welcome warmth with it; and life is at its busiest.

It is not possible for me to mention all that has taken place this month but I should mention the following:
- KIS students participated in the first IB Schools of India soccer tournament which we dominated with the boys winning the competition and the girls, in second place in theirs

- Christian Emphasis week was a joyous occasion when we were blessed by the presence of both an American group (Rainbow of Promise) and an Indian singing group (PARA). The concerts and other activities were wonderful
- This month has also seen the submission of extended essays, personal projects, World Literature papers and IB Math and ToK papers

I have just signed letters of congratulations to the 72 members of the Principal’s List and I can say that we are looking forward to the outcomes of the exams with some anticipation.
In addition, as I write, we are preparing for the music field trip and the beginning of the Field Day events; always highlights of our calendar.

This month has also seen a visit from Adrian Moody as part of his ongoing induction prior to his taking up the role of Principal in July 2010. It was a pleasure for us to have him back here at KIS and I know that he is looking forward to taking up his responsibilities with anticipation.

I hope the month of March will be good for us all and I look forward to being in contact again soon.

Geoff Fisher


Vice Principal's update

"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” G.B. Shaw

We are well into the second semester with academics and activities building up the momentum!

On the academic front, the ‘staffing’ for grade 6-12 students is over, the interim reports have been sent and tests have started. The IBDP students have also completed their extended essays, world literature papers and the TOK essays. Most of the teachers are at the end of the IB course and the emphasis in assessments is on the higher order thinking skills. MYP grade 10 students have completed their Personal Projects which have been marked, standardized and displayed in the Personal Project Fair held on 20 February. Furthermore, we are ready to send the grade 10 MYP assessments samples for monitoring to the IB.

The K-5 teachers had a successful in house official PYP workshop from 25 - 27 February on "The Written Curriculum in the PYP" conducted by Barbara Galbraith. This is the second PYP in house workshop for the teachers and two teachers were sent to Mumbai for the PYP workshop. We are all set to embrace the inquiry based approach of the PYP.

Technophile Robotics Company conducted a workshop for staff and students across grade 3 to 10. We hope not only to build the robotics component in our technology curriculum of grade 3-10 but also to explore how we could use this knowledge to enhance inter disciplinary learning. We were also delighted to have among us Dr EW Rogers, Chief Knowledge Officer at NASA, Maryland, a KIS alumnus who gave a guest lecture to our grade 11 and 12 science students and generously sponsored a ‘one-time’ donation of $2000 for one student from KIS to attend NASA Space Camp in May 2010. Our congratulations go out to Cherian, Cyril Punnoose, of grade 11 who was chosen for this sponsorship by the science dept on the basis of a set criterion.

It was also a month of field trips such as girls’ hockey and music field trip to Ooty. In the very first All India IB Inter School Soccer Tournament – LIGA organized by Jamnabai Nursee School, Mumbai, the KIS soccer team stood first amongst the nine schools that participated while our girls were runners up! It was a joy and a pleasant surprise for the chief guest Zahid Khan, an alumnus of KIS to see our team in Mumbai! We are also thankful to our parents in Mumbai and the KIS alumni for coming to the sports venue to cheer and support our students! It was also time for Class of 2010 to go for their senior trip to Poovar Islands in Kerala. To all this add, ACT examinations on 6 February, our usual weekend social experience program, Fun Day at the K-8 Ganga campus, grade 7 and camps in Poondi, Christian Emphasis Week, Ash Wednesday, intramurals, canteens ………..

It s quite apparent that for KIS February isn’t the shortest month of the year!

Kaisar Dopaishi
Vice Principal


Changes in calendar dates 2010-2011 semesters

Please note that the beginning of the academic year in July 2010 is 20 July with 1st semester ending on 25 November. First day for 2nd semester will be 11 January 2011 with last day 19 May 2011.


Admissions update

Well - interim reports for our January admissions were due yesterday, Elementary school fun / field day and MYP personal project fair tomorrow, music field trip next weekend and KIS field day the weekend after that! Our calendar of events continues to turn over. I have enjoyed a week with Sylvan my son who has made his second visit to Kodai since graduating in 2008 – our families and alumni just can’t get enough of this place!

Shekinah Truman (Admissions Officer), Bryan Plymale (TOK and SoEx teacher) and I are off to Hyderabad, Pune and Goa next weekend to host information receptions. We have sent invitations to our current and prospective families, and alumni. We would be happy to pass on details of the events and if you wish to attend, please contact our office on email ID:

General enquiries to the Admissions office, January through 15 February, have been a total of 88. Of note are the foreign enquiries from Malaysia, Middle East, UK, Switzerland, Israel, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia , Thailand and New Zealand! Our diary is filling each day as July 2010 applicants visit for their entrance tests and interviews.

The 2010-11 enrolment statistics as at 15 February tell us that we’re almost half way to reaching our projected total. March, April and May are our busiest months so we’re optimistic. Our current diversity reflects 25 nationalities other than Indian, with South Korea, USA and Thailand representing the three largest groups. The Admissions office anticipates a similar reflection in the 2010-11 enrolment.

I visited Ganga Campus last week and it was good to note that into the second semester the dust has well settled from the move of grades 7 & 8! The extended kitchen / dining hall facility is spacious and airy and gels well with the existing building. The space is abuzz with hungry eaters! The grounds were looking great and it was a pleasure to see activity going on outside of the classrooms involving different age groups and with different purposes.

Highclerc is a microcosm of our global community and is a show case for the choices our students have in their daily schedule: pyschology classes on flag green, track on Bendy Field, drama in the Box, music in the practice rooms, labs for four disciplines in the science block, portfolios and installations in various stages of completion in Bob King Studio …

We look forward to all the activities that KIS plans over the coming months and to watching, and perhaps participating in, all that we love about this school.

Helen Haeusler
Admissions Coordinator


ES News

The kindergarten students started off this semester on the yummy ‘food’ theme. Although they are at a stage where they are simply exposed to information and knowledge, the students turned out to be inquirers and reflectors on this topic. They enjoyed themselves as they made a huge food pyramid in the class with the different food groups and sorting out our toy foods into the respective groups. They also went to our ES kitchen to interview the Food Services Manager and cooks about the menus and about the planning of a healthy meal. We rounded up the unit by the kids designing their own healthy meal and presenting it on a poster. They had fun while learning how to have a good balanced diet in their day to day life !!!!

Rhadika Sagar
ES PreSchool - KG teacher
Grades 1 & 2 worked on the theme ‘Stories’. They were exposed to different kinds of stories and ways of telling them including puppetry, acting, drawing and writing. This was their own story, which was shown and read as a TV screen model. While presenting this each student dressed up as one of their favorite characters.

It was an enriching experience for my students as well as for me.

Suchitra Chettri

ES grade 1-2 teacher


Elementary School news

Grade 3 and 4 students showcased an aviary for their final presentation of their bird unit during February. In preparation for the aviary, each student researched a bird of their choice, wrote an essay, created a costume, nest, playground and some other form of presenting like a song, powerpoint, model, poster etc. They then sang a song describing the different types of beaks and feet of different birds and "became" the birds for the aviary.

Parents, teachers, and students were encouraged to walk from bird to bird listening to the birds describe themselves.

Lynea Mitchell
ES teacher


ES Fun Day

The Elementary School Fun/ Field Day was on 20 February 2010. The day started off at 8am with all the students from K through 5 dressed in their team colorso - orange, blue and white marching down the hill from the ES quad, screaming their cheers accompanied by our intermediate band led by Paul Jaikumar. Brian Nelsen blessed the event with a prayer. Principal Geoff Fisher, our chief guest, opened the event by raising our school flag. The team captains took their oath and did their laps with the torch. As the orange team was last year’s winner, the captain Aadit Sen (grade 5) completed the final lap by lighting the torch. ES Fun/Fun Field day had officially begun.

With the sun shining gloriously, all the students participated in the track and field events. It was a great sight to see, loud cheers of encouragement, refreshments being served, the KAC members in their yellow tshirts assisting in different areas, overall all the teams did their best. To give our grade 5 students a breather as they were constantly participating in all the events, we had the staff, alumni and parents shuttle relay. The track events were completed with the 4x100 grade 5 relay leaving a final score of 68 points for white followed by 120 points for blue and the leading team orange, with 160 points.

The day ended with some fun games followed by the price distribution ceremony. All the students received medals; white bronze, blue silver and orange gold. Students from grade 3 to 5 received individual certificates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in all the events. There was a delicious lunch served with hot dogs, french fries, ice cream and water melon. A perfect ending for this memorable day!

I Praveen Kumar
K- 8 PE teacher


ES art contest

On 23 February 57 students in grades k-8 participated in the annual art contest conducted by Osho Communications. All students were very engaged in doing their art work and had a good chance to show their artistic talent. They were all very enthusiastic and focused to express their artistic image and themes. The winner will go to the national level and compete for a multimedia PC. The drawing will be judged for excellence and power of observation, imagination and presentation. All participants received a certificate, art materials and a special discount coupon for Black Thunder theme park.

Youngju Lee
MYP Art Teacher


Professional Development

Engaging all students for the 21st Century: Differentiation Strategies for Effective Teaching & Learning

Susan Baum, Ph.D.
Susan Baum is a celebrated and renowned author of many books including the very popular and useful Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A teacher’s toolkit with Howard Gardner. She is an expert on twice exceptional children and is a Professor Emeritus for the College of New Rochelle, New York and presently works as an international educational and business consultant serving international communities around the world.
Susan Baum –

Henry J. Nicols, M.S. (Hank)
Hank Nicols is a teacher, adventurer, and an international consultant in both education and business. He is co director of the International Center for Talent Development and an adjunct professor for the Buffalo State College of the State University of New York and for the College of New Rochelle where he teaches graduate courses in emotional intelligence, adventure based learning, conflict management and violence intervention. Hank has presented extensively all over the world on topics as diverse as stress management, time management, communications, and innovative training, teaching and learning.
Hank Nicols –

Module 1: What is differentiation? Developing a philosophy for Differentiation. Examining the relationship of IB Program and the learner profiles to 21st Century skills
• Strength based simulation with novice and expert grouping strategies
• Aligning differentiation with student profiles of interests, strengths, and talents
Module 2: What is unit differentiation?
• Creating differentiated points within an IB unit template by responding to interests, strengths,
• Resources, web quests, product choices & interest grouping
• Curriculum compacting
• Interest centers
Using moral dilemmas in any classroom.
The Why & the How!

Conclusions on using Moral Dilemmas
Using differentiation in the Unit Plans Elementary Teachers
Using differentiation in the Unit Plans
Differentiation by readiness
Meeting the needs of the high ability learner:
Tiered instruction and assignments and readiness grouping

Twenty first Century Skills, Emotional Intelligence, communication & the IB profile “Creativity 1,2,3: Integrating creative thinking into the classroom.”

Talent Development: The Best Hope For a Troubled World! : Teachers as Treasure Hunters !

The sessions by Susan and Hank were held on 8 and 9 January for all the academic staff members from morning 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The teachers’ workshops covered all the various types of differentiation strategies and also covered multiple & emotional intelligence theories. The participants were given workshop material to take home and were actively engaged in all the sessions of the workshop. Moreover the closing plenary session: Teachers as Treasure Hunters “was highly inspirational, positive and also something to ponder about. Susan’s remark, “We teach the students not the curriculum”, resonated in our minds even after the intensive sessions of this workshop was over. This workshop was well received by one and all and it was the first time we opened a new semester with professional development workshop being conducted by eminent facilitators in pedagogy. It was a great learning experience for all of us.

It would be worth commenting that KIS is striving to effectively put in place differentiation strategies in our classrooms, which we have targeted as a priority in our MSA Strategic Plan. This endeavor is a worthy one because it facilitates learning for all in a classroom.

B. Workshop for the Dorm parents
Philosophy & Strategies for Discipline in School Dormitories

Susan and Hank also conducted a workshop on discipline which was mainly aimed at the Dorm parents from 4:30 onwards on both the days.

Workshop material was also given to all the participants and the following topics were covered:

Part 1: Understanding behavior and social and emotional development
Part 2: We are all in this together
• Setting up community
• Rights and Responsibilities
• Causes of Misbehavior
Part 3: Strategies
• Teaching routines and procedures Bullying
• Positive discipline,
• Natural consequences and contracts (booklet)
• Community meetings (family or classroom)
• I statements
• Team building activities: Sample games
• Talking table

Like the teachers’ workshop this too fruitfully engaged all the participants and provided time for reflection. If at all there was any complaint, it was about wanting more time allocated for the dorm parents workshop. It is hoped that in future workshop we will be able to make this provision possible. Again this has been the first time a workshop has been designed to meet the specific needs of the dorm parents.

All in all it was great to have Susan and Hank with us at KIS and we have planned to have them again next January. All participants were given certificate of participation at the end of the workshop. The idea of developing an ongoing professional learning community is gathering momentum.

Kaisar Dopaishi
Vice Principal


KIS Exchanges

Recently, KIS students Vashti and Alan arrived in Melbourne, Australia and were given a very warm welcome by the two families who will be hosting them for one semester while they study at Carey Baptist Grammar School.

It has been a long road for these students: from their selection last June as the successful candidates for this exchange, until their departure from Kodai on 18 February. With passports to be arranged and the visa maze to navigate, it’s a small miracle that they made it there at all! However, such is the nature of exchanges and we’re so thankful that they have now arrived safe and sound.

If an exchange is something you think you would like your child to be involved in while at KIS, there are a few opportunities for this.

Exchange with Australia
An exchange program with Carey Baptist Grammar (Melbourne, Australia) and Woodstock International School (Mussoorie, India) was initiated in the early 1990s by Carey Principal, Dr Ross Millikan and Don Holmes (formerly Dean of Students at Carey and past Vice Principal Academic at Woodstock). In July 2002, Carey Grammar School extended this annual full scholarship offer to two year 10 students of Kodaikanal International School (KIS). KIS students attend Carey Baptist Grammar school during KIS second semester, but Carey’s first semester. The school year in Australia begins in late January / early February and the students return to India in the first week of July. There are many similar courses at the two schools. However, Carey allows only two science subjects per semester if you are in the IB stream. You can do three Sciences, English, Maths and Humanities if you are in the Victorian Certified Stream (similar to KIS diploma). Upon return to KIS, students will receive credits for work done following review of their Carey reports.

Exchange with Germany
The Germany exchange is a one semester exchange program for students in grade nine or ten (at the time of exchange) between KIS and the Andreanum academy. Ordinarily, KIS students travel from Kodai in early August as a group to Hannover, where they are met by their host family, the German family they will live with for the entirety of their exchange. The exchange finishes in late December, when the KIS students return to India (or their country of origin) to complete the winter break with their family. KIS students will have the opportunity to become fluent in German as the school they attend conducts all their instruction in German.

Exchange with The Netherlands
The Netherlands exchange is a one month summer exchange program between KIS and two schools in the Netherlands: OBC in Bemmel and Maasland College in Oss. Ordinarily, KIS students travel from Kodai, in a group to Amsterdam as soon as school finishes in May, where they are met by the Dutch family whom they will live with for the entirety of their exchange. At the conclusion of the exchange, KIS students return to India (or their country of origin) to complete the summer break with their family. KIS students are expected to attend all classes assigned to them at the school they are at. They are also expected to maintain a high standard of behavior, conducting themselves as good ambassadors for KIS. Some of the classes that the students attend are in Dutch, giving KIS students the opportunity to pick up some of the language.

Exciting new possibilities
At present we are liaising with an organization in Switzerland examining the possibility of an exchange in a French-speaking part of the country. We are hopeful that this will provide a much needed link with our strong French program as it is our desire to give students the option to spend time in a French-speaking country.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of setting up a partnership with KIS and a school in your part of the world, please feel free to contact Cath Butler.

Cath Butler
HoD RE department


SAIBSA Job Alike sessions for IB teachers

SAIBSA Job Alike Session for IBDP was held on Saturday, 23 January 2010 at Indus International School in Bangalore. Two mini buses went down the hill with twenty one IBDP teachers to attend this session in Bangalore. Those who went were:

Kaisar Dopaishi Facilitator - Economics
Anna Kagedal Facilitator- Librarians
Charmaine Jesudoss English SL
Peter Strange English SL
Marsha Joshi English SL
Pramod Trivedi Hindi HL/SL
Shobhita Kapila French SL/HL
Shanthi Vedanayakam Facilitator – TOK & Psychology SL/HL
Mausami Sinha Babu Economics SL/HL
Ranjan Biswas Facilitator – Math HL/SL
Santhosh Punnoose Math SL
Peter Regulgadda Physics SL/HL
Anuranjan Shand Facilitator –Chemistry
Priya Vethanayagam Biology SL/HL
David Arul Raj Biology SL/HL
Rebecca Devadoss Environmental Systems & Societies SL
Jaydip Chaudhuri Chemistry SL/HL
Anuradha Vedamurty Placement & Counseling
Raja Sen TOK
Sudeep Ghosh TOK
Rathi Gopinath SEN

The main purpose of this session was to learn and share ideas together about the implementation of the IB subjects in our classrooms. The teachers shared the benefits of their experience and took away many new ideas and insights into the IBDP program. These sessions are an integral part of promoting the spirit of the IBO and helping us to improve our practice by making connections between IB schools and a continued commitment to professional development.

The sessions were as given below:
Subject and New Curriculum developments
Subject Specific Internal Assessment
Subject Specific Extended Essays/Teaching ideas
Plenary sessions on: TOK, CAS and Career Counseling

We left on 22 January, Friday evening after classes and returned late on 24 January; it was a hectic and short trip. Apart from being an intellectual and professional development exercise, it provided an opportunity to unwind and bond, not just with our colleagues from the IB world but also amongst ourselves. Moreover, such trips also help the faculty to focus on the broader issues connected with the IB programs such as its principles and the role of the sub regional association in specifically addressing issues unique to the South Asian region.

Kaisar Dopaishi
Vice Principal


Lecture on Vedic contrasts

Washington and Lee University Professor, Timothy Lubin delivers a lecture on the cultural, social, and religious contrasts between the "Vedic Age" (1500-500 BCE) and the big changes of the following centuries (500-185 BCE) to KIS grade 10 Humanities classes.

It was an exciting opportunity for our grade 10 students to listen to this lecture delivered by an expert on the Vedic Period, a scholar who has done extensive research on Ancient Indian History and written various works. A few of them are :

The Atharvashiras-Upanishad: Historical Study, Critical Edition, and Translation, Brahmin Authority and Patronage in Ancient India: The Transmission, Patronage, and Prestige of Brahmanical Piety from the Mauryas to the Guptas, and Arya Status and the Propagation of Brahmanical Authority in Classical India - Paper for the 31st Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, 10-13 Oct. 2002, in the panel "The Aryas in South Asian History."

Our students learned about the Vedic age, Brahmanical rites and rituals, Alexander’s invasion, the Mauryan Empire and Ashoka’s contribution to the spread of Buddhism. According to Tanvi Shriyan, a grade 10 Humanities student, “The talk gave me a deeper insight into Indian history and social life”.

It was indeed a learning experience, not only for the students, but also for the teachers who attended the lecture. It is a great privilege to have authorities on their subjects in residence at KIS.

Professor William Klingelhofer will soon be giving a talk on Art History, with special reference to the Gupta Period in Indian History also to grade 10 students.
Marsha Joshi
English department


KIS Giving

Change [cheynj] verb
1. to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history.
2. to become different: Overnight the nation’s mood changed.
3. to undergo transformation or transition: The music changed to a slow waltz.

Change is a word we hear quite often these days. On a large scale it may be economic change, climate change, or political change. In our own backyards, all over the world…and at KIS we are experiencing transformation and transition. It is a change of leadership; our colleagues are moving on; our children are growing up. Most important, it is a new way of learning: Learning to adapt, learning to keep our hopes and dreams alive for our families and for a better world, learning to keep our faith in hard times and learning to be grateful for the good. Being part of the KIS community is a life-changing experience.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
- James Thurber

Judy Redder
Foundation Officer


Appreciation and Accomplishments

KIS Annual Fund 2009 - 2010

This time last year the Annual Fund 2008-09 had received $38,000.
This year the Annual Fund 2009-10 has received $17,000.

In these tough economic times, we are especially grateful for the gifts we have received. If you have not yet made a donation, please consider a gift to KIS through the Annual Fund. Even small gifts will help the KIS Scholarship Program to grow.


KIS Profiles

Annual Giving Supports KIS People
The Annual Fund gives KIS the means to develop and continue programs that make this school a truly outstanding place. The Fund creates opportunities for KIS students to achieve all kinds of excellence and has a direct impact on KIS ability to attract exceptional teachers and tomorrow’s leaders. In this month’s profile…music staff & outstanding music students.

Melissa Kessler
HOD Music

“KIS has given me the room to grow and learn and the opportunity to enjoy new languages” – Melissa Kessler

Hometown: West Moreland, NY, USA
Years at KIS: 2 years
Organizations: MENC (Music Educators National Convention), PAS (Percussive Arts Society), Mu Phi Epsilon (Professional Music Fraternity)
Sports: Soccer, horseback riding, volleyball
Hobbies: Music, cooking, spending time with friends, learning new things
Music: Plays all instruments except guitar. Favorite music to listen to is Christian, Country, Classical and Jazz
Languages: English, Maori (New Zealand tribal), Italian

“I would like to see KIS grow as a community with genuine relationships and a unifying sense of purpose.” – Melissa Kessler

Mikhail Fernandes
Grade 10

“KIS has given me the opportunity to grow into myself.” - Mikhail Fernandes

Hometown: Goa, India
Years at KIS: Mikhail began his studies at KIS in grade 5
Organizations: Peer Mediation, Tahr Pin recipient, Robotics Club, Reaching Through Computers/SoEx, VP’s List, Royal School of Music, Association for Music in International Schools.
Sports: Field hockey, badminton, football.
Hobbies: Learning new music, 3D computer animation, hiking, building things, computers and listening to all genres of music.
Music: Plays euphonium, saxaphone, piano, tuba, baritone and sings. Mikhail has been a member of the KIS Orchestra , Band and Choir
Languages: English, Hindi, French
Favorite teacher: Mr Sen
Favorite class: Science
Inspiration: “My Dad, for his work in cancer research and he also plays the piano.”

“I would like to see KIS bring out talents in other kids like it has in me.”- Mikhail Fernandes

Tiffany Stewart
Grade 11

“KIS has given me the opportunity to learn about different cultures and meet people from around the world and also a good social life.” - Tiffany Stewart

Hometown: Kodai
Years at KIS: Began her studies at KIS in grade 9
Organizations: Peer Mediation, VP’s List
Sports: Track, field hockey, badminton, volleyball, rollerblading. Tiffany is on the KIS Track Team
Music: Plays piano and sings. Tiffany is a member of the KIS Honor Choir and is a member of her church choir and band. She enjoys listening to Modern Christian music.
Languages: English, Spanish, Tamil
Favorite teacher: Miss Sophie & Mr Punnoose
Favorite class: Spanish & English
Inspiration: “My sister, because she is always happy, spreads joy everywhere, and is a good leader.”

“I would like to see KIS develop more emphasis on Christianity.” – Tiffany Stewart


To Give or contact

Your support helps protect the programs, the places and the people that KIS has so carefully invested in for over 100 years. To make a gift, please go to
If you would like more information about KIS initiatives or making a donation, please contact:

Judy Redder
Foundation Officer/Annual Fund


March calendar dates

4 - 6 March - Pentathlon
12-13 March - Field Day
18 - 20 March - AMIS Honor band and choir
20 March - HS formal
26 - 27 March - All school play
27 March - John Chote cricket tournament