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MS Weekly Bulletin | February 15, 2019
Posted 02/15/2019 10:00AM

I had this dream of starting something that was outside and beyond the narrow frontiers that countries draw around themselves.

- M. Crist Fleming

In her 1975 yearbook message, Mary Crist Fleming, TASIS's founder, said, "We must bring together old dreams with new realities into a fusion of international cooperation and communication, ever more essential as the world pinches us closer and closer together."

International Week, admirably stewarded by our own Eleonora Pinton, represents the fusion Mrs. Fleming envisioned, a fusion that brightens a world pinched even more closely together in 2019 than in 1975. This week our students learned how to express the highest form of patriotism, love of home and country, while retaining an open heart and mind to all that the world, in its various and wondrous plenitude, has to offer.

As students embark on Academic Travel and Global Service in a week's time, they will extend their education from the classroom to Europe and around the world, continuing their exploration of the truth, goodness, and beauty that abide in all of us. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful community we call TASIS.

– Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 20 MS Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Early dismissal for MS at 12:20
  • 12:30 shuttle bus departure; 12:40 car pick-up
Monday, February 25–Wednesday, February 27 MS Spring Academic Travel for grade 6
Thursday, February 28–Friday, March 1 No school for grade 6
Monday, February 25–Friday, March 1 MS Winter Adventure for grades 7–8
Monday, March 4 Yearbook portrait retakes
Friday, March 29–Sunday, March 31 HS Spring Musical
Saturday, April 13–Sunday, April 28 All-School Spring Holiday

International Week 2019

Please enjoy this article (with video footage) about Monday’s Opening Ceremony, which included remarks from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff, the Parade of Flags, the presentation of Torch Awards, and outstanding musical and dance performances. Photos from the ceremony can be found here.

Torch Award Ceremony: This special recognition is given during International Week every year to a student in each grade who most embodies cross-cultural understanding. This award honors those who reach out to students from other countries and cultures. It reminds us all to embrace the differences in others and learn all we can from them.

Our faculty has discussed each candidate, and we feel these students have made a habit of being kind, helpful, inclusive, and open while also demonstrating curiosity about all of their classmates and cultures. They also are integral to promoting cross-cultural understanding within their social groups and our community as a whole. Congratulations to the MS Torch Award recipients: Theodor Reigger (Grade 6), Katerina Smyslova (Grade 7), and Mira Rosa Marini (Grade 8)!

The MS Cultural Assembly on Wednesday was led by the Student Council Service Learning group. During the Assembly, students from Brazil, Nina Mondin, Rafael Cohn, and Pietro Beckenkamp Furlan gave a presentation on their country. During this special Assembly, the MS community also participated in an International Quiz and an International Karaoke Competition. Students and teachers from each grade level had to pull a song title from a hat and then sing for one minute in Spanish, Japanese, French, or Italian. Congratulations to the 8th-grade students who won the competition with an Italian song! (Stay tuned for video highlights and photos from this assembly.)

We would also like to thank the many families who participated in our annual MS International Brunch by preparing and sharing delicious homemade traditional dishes with the community and thus contributing to the great success of this year’s International Week! THANK YOU, PARENTS, for your support and help before, during, and after the brunch!

See more photos from the MS World Cup.

MS World Cup Soccer Competition: If you were looking for thrills and excitement, the eighth International Week Middle School World Cup once again delivered on both fronts. The Grade 8 teams, AS Turbo and AC Vostra, plowed a straight path to the semifinals, trouncing their rivals in the highest-scoring early round games in the history of the tournament. They were joined by an intrepid band of female players, the BBs, and the rising stars of the seventh grade, the Scarsenals. This year, there were to be no penalty shoot-outs, and once again AS Turbo and AC Vostra scored one-sided victories to move on to the finals. In the end, AS Turbo proved too strong and completed their three matches with 25 goals scored and none conceded—a tournament record.

The week also saw the heroics of several promising sixth-grade players, and we look forward to seeing them play in the future. Thank you to Mr. Lill for officiating, Mr. Yo for keeping score and providing sparkling commentary, Ms. MJ for helping us with the food stand, and the coaches and teachers who helped make this a successful event. Students learned valuable lessons in sportsmanship, camaraderie, project planning, and fundraising.

MS Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 20

The Middle School will hold parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, February 20. Students will be dismissed at 12:20, shuttle buses will depart at 12:30, and car drivers can pick up students at 12:40. There will be no after-school activities that afternoon. MS day students can’t remain on campus during parent-teacher conferences without adult supervision.

There will be four one-hour sessions in Palestrina, with the first session beginning at 13:15. Please register at

We look forward to seeing you on February 20.

Upcoming MS Parent Meetings

A Presentation on Digital Citizenship will take place on Wednesday, March 6, from 19:30–20:30 in the Palmer Center. The meeting will be led by MS Tech Coordinator Ms. Amy Bloodworth.

MS Parent Coffees this semester:

  • Wednesday, March 13, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (Meeting with School Counselor Ms. Waters)
  • Wednesday, April 3, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (MS/HS transition meeting for 8th-grade parents)

MS Spring Academic Travel for Grade 6

MS Academic Travel is part of the TASIS curriculum and is required for all 6th-grade students. This spring the students will visit Zurich.

Monday, February 25, 9:15 Check-in at De Nobili (bring passport and insurance card). Please note there will be no shuttle bus service in the morning.

Note: Students should have a backpack and be dressed warmly. Students will NOT have access to their suitcases during the day. See the itinerary and packing list.

Wednesday, February 27, between 17:30 and 18:00 Arrival at TASIS.

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in Zurich on February 25 or pick him or her up on February 27, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information by Wednesday, February 20.

On Thursday, February 28–Friday, March 1, there will be no school for the 6th grade.

MS Winter Adventure For Grades 7–8

MS Winter Adventure in St. Moritz (February 25–March 1) is required for all students in grades 7–8, as it is a core part of the MS Curriculum and the TASIS experience. Please see the packing list.

Students traveling with the school on Monday, February 25, must check in at De Nobili at 11:45 and must bring their passports and insurance cards. Please note there will be no shuttle bus service that morning.

        • Monday, February 25, at 11:45
Check in at De Nobili and depart for St. Moritz
        • Friday, March 1, at 15:30
Return to TASIS

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in St. Moritz on February 25 or pick him or her up on March, 1, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information by Wednesday, February 20. Drop-off at the Youth Hostel in St. Moritz will be from 16:00–16:15, and pick-up will be possible between 12:30–13:00 on Friday, March 1. Please find the hotel’s details below:

St. Moritz Youth Hostel
Via Surpunt 60
7500 St. Moritz Bad
Tel: +41 81 836 61 11

Students will arrive back at TASIS around 15:30 on Friday, March 1. Parents picking up their children in St. Moritz must arrive at the Youth Hostel by 12:30 for check out.

TASIS Duty Administrator in St. Moritz: If any emergencies or concerns arise during Winter Adventure, please contact theMiddle School Duty Administrator in St. Moritz at +41 79 175 9736 or the TASIS Duty Administrator at+ 41 79 337 3857.

After-School Sports and Activities

MS Ski and Snowboard Club: The third and fourth outings will be on February 17 and March 10.

Spring After-School Sports and Activities begin on Monday, March 4, and end on Thursday, May 9. Here are the spring options:

  • MS Soccer (Boys and Girls): Fridays 16:00–17:30
  • Track and Field: Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Girls Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Music Band: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Choir (will continue from the winter season): Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:40–13:10
  • Dance: Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • MS Musical: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 16:00–18:00. Performances will be May 17–19

Students will be able to sign up electronically for activities on Monday, February 18, during the Advisor Block.

Service Learning Updates

Cometa Service Learning Group: On Tuesday, February 19, the Service Learning group "Cometa" will go to Como to visit Associazione Cometa and Cometa Formazione. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience the place that MS students have worked on the behalf of with great interest and effort. The visit will be guided by Cometa Headmaster Giovanni Figini in the morning, and in the afternoon students will have the possibility to do service activities with small children who attend the Cometa after-school program. Students will also bring the CHF 620 they collected for a "No Dress Code Day" held in December. To know more about Cometa, please visit their

Event Planners Service Learning Group: The Event Planners did a wonderful job planning last weekend’s Valentine’s Day Celebration! See more photos here.

MS Used Uniform Sale on February 20

Out with the old and in with the used. Mark your calendars—the next MS Used Uniform Sale will be from 13:00–17:00 on Wednesday, February 20, in the Palestrina. Now is the time to donate the old uniforms that your children have outgrown and buy gently used ones at a fantastic price.

Volunteers Needed!

The TPA is looking for volunteers to work at the MS Used Uniform Sale on February 20 and at the ES Used Uniform Sale on February 21. We are hoping that ES parents can volunteer for the MS Used Uniform Sale because it is during the MS parent-teacher conferences and that MS parents can volunteer at the ES Used Uniform Sale because it is during the ES parent-teacher conferences. By working together across divisions, parents will have time to volunteer during the sale and still meet with teachers for conferences. HS parents are of course welcome to volunteer for either date.

If you can't volunteer on either day, you can still help! Please bring gently used uniforms that your children have outgrown. There will be a box in the Palestrina used for collecting uniform donations on February 20 and February 21. All items will be professionally laundered and then used at future sales.

To volunteer to help out at either sale, please click here.

We appreciate your help and support,

TPA Co-Presidents
Laura Colombo and Brunella Pignaton

Spring Holiday Travel Forms for Boarding Students

All boarding families will receive an email with information and details regarding Spring Holiday travel. Please complete the documents and email them to Ms. Breton and Mr. Morton by Friday, March 1.

Portrait Retake Day

Portrait retake day will be held on Monday, March 4, from 10:00–16:00 in the MCF Library for any students who did not have their portrait taken in October. This photo will be used in the Yearbook and in Veracross, so it’s very important that students remember to go.

Save the date for the next TPA Potluck on March 12

The TASIS Parent Association (TPA) invites all TASIS parents to its next Potluck on Tuesday, March 12, at the home of Stefania Rovelli. To attend, please RSVP at

Important Reminder About Our Dismissal Procedure

Please note that the local police have begun to complain that some parents have used the bus stop in front of the main TASIS campus as a place to pick up their children. In order to avoid incurring a fine, please take note of the following options available to you when you pick up your child after school:

  • If the parking lot next to Hadsall is full, you may want to try the lot on Via Matorèll (see map below).

  • If you would prefer to avoid the busiest pick-up period, you may want to consider waiting in the cemetery lot (across from Sant’Abbondio) until you see the Romantic Tour buses going down the hill. At that point, you can drive up to the TASIS campus and pick up your child with very little hassle.

Thank you for your attention to this matter!

No MS Bulletin Next Two Weeks

Because there are no classes during the week of February 25—March 1 due to Spring Academic Travel, please note that we will not send a Middle School Weekly Bulletin on Friday, February 22, or on Friday, March 1. Classes will resume on Monday, March 4, and our next Weekly Bulletin will be sent on Friday, March 8.

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