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MS Weekly Bulletin | November 28, 2019
Posted 11/26/2019 03:00PM

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.

– Dale Carnegie

Thanksgiving is a very popular American holiday during which families gather and express gratitude for all of the bounty in their lives, with approximately 55 million Americans traveling to be with their loved ones today and throughout this weekend. The TASIS family also has much to be grateful for as we approach the three-day weekend, and I would like to thank all of you for making our community as special as it is. I wish you a restful, restorative Thanksgiving in Switzerland!

– Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff

Upcoming Events

Friday, November 29 Thanksgiving Holiday (no classes)
Friday, December 6 TPA Holiday Market and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony • 16:30
Saturday, December 7 MS Christmas Celebration for students and faculty
Sunday, December 8 All-School Christmas Service • 15:15, San Nicolao della Flüe, Lugano-Besso
Thursday, December 12 MS Theater Club Performance • 18:00, Palmer Center
Wednesday, December 18 Last day of classes before Winter Holiday
Thursday, December 19 Dormitories close at 16:00
Tuesday, January 7 Classes resume
Please refer to for a more detailed look at upcoming events.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We would like to remind you that there is no school on Friday, November 29, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume on Monday, December 2.

MS Assemblies and Advisor Meetings

During Wednesday's Assembly on November 27, Mr. Frazier-Smith presented this year’s MS Musical. See details about the audition, rehearsal days, and performance dates below.

During the Advisor Block on Thursday, November 28, advisor groups discussed the following topics by grade level:

  • 6th grade: Health and Eating. Mr. Morton spoke to students about becoming more aware of the amount of sugar that is in popular snacks and about the way that some products market themselves in order for consumers to think that they must be healthy—when in fact this is not the case.
  • 7th grade: Yoga Sleep/Meditation. School Counselor Ms. Mary Cate Hauenstein taught students how to practice Yoga Nidra, or Yoga Sleep, which is an ancient meditation practice that has existed for thousands of years. Yoga Nidra has only been studied for a few decades, but medical and psychological studies have found that it lowers stress, increases relaxation, and increases dopamine levels in the brain. Specifically, Yoga Nidra has been shown to decrease anxiety, depression, and anger while increasing self-esteem, energy levels, and one’s ability to relax and cope with stressful situations.

    Yoga Nidra is both a practice and a state of consciousness; it is a path to seeing, knowing, and becoming that which is changeless. For many people, yoga Nidra is a more accessible form of meditation, due to the fact that it is practiced lying down on the back.
  • 8th graders met in their regular Advisor groups

Auditions for MS Spring Musical 

The auditions for this year’s MS Spring Musical, Alice in Wonderland JR, will be held on Tuesday, December 3, from 16:00–18:00 in the Palmer Center. Each student who attends the audition will be cast in the show and is expected to commit to the entire rehearsal/performance schedule listed below. We are looking forward to a fabulous production!

Rehearsal schedule:

  • Starting on Thursday, January 9: every Thursday from 16:00–18:00 until Academic Travel/Ski Week
  • Starting on Tuesday, March 3: every Tuesday and Thursday from 16:00–18:00

The performances will be held on Friday–Sunday, May 15–17, and the activity will finish after the final performance.

Congratulations to our MS Dancers!

Read about Tuesday night’s amazing Sweet November Dance Company concert and watch the full performance on the TASIS Blog.

Special congratulations to the MS dancers who took part in this outstanding showcase: Jaya Bruera, Alexia Essaris Alexia, Sascha Rhein, Mariaurora Rosso, Antara Stromayer, LalitaStromayer, and Greta Vasino. 

Melody Tibbits and The Cade to Perform at Lugano Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday

TASIS Elementary School Music Teacher Melody Tibbits Zanecchia, Associate Athletic Director Alex Zanecchia ’02, and alumnus Christof Zanecchia ’04 will perform with their band, Melody Tibbits and The Cade, in Piazza della Riforma for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Lugano this Sunday, December 1, from 18:00–19:30. We hope to see you downtown at this fun annual event!

TPA Holiday Market & Santa’s Village Next Friday

Please join us after school on Friday, December 6, for the annual TPA Holiday Market on the outdoor basketball court in front of the Campo Science Center. Come support our Service Learning groups, who will be selling food, drinks, and holiday gift items to raise funds for the organizations they partner with. The market will also feature outside vendors selling cashmere scarves, fashion accessories, and delicious food

This year’s market will be held under a heated tent with music, “mocktails,” an “apres ski” vin brûlé aperitif, and more...! For the little ones, there will be a Santa’s Village in the Palmer Center filled with fun activities (see details below) that will start at 16:45, just after the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which begins at 16:30. A valet parking service will be offered starting at 16:15.

Please click here to learn more about the TPA Holiday Market.

Purchase Pre-sale Tickets for Santa’s Village 

Children who visit Santa’s Village in the Palmer Center will have their pictures taken with Santa, decorate gingerbread cookies, and participate in other fun activities! 

Pre-sale tickets to Santa’s Village are available for CHF 15 per child and can be purchased by clicking on the button below. Take advantage of this opportunity to save! 

Tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event will be CHF 20. (Note that entry is free for parents accompanying their children.) 


Buy tickets now



MS Christmas Celebration for Students on December 7

On Saturday, December 7, the MS will hold its annual Christmas Celebration for students and faculty from 18:30–21:30. A formal dinner will start at 18:30 and be followed by a celebration with games and dancing. Students who participate may not arrive later than 18:30 or leave earlier than 21:30. 

Formal dress requirements for the dinner in De Nobili (18:30–19:45):


  • Dress (dress-code length—not more than one hand above the knee)
    • NO low-cut dresses
  • Or skirt (dress-code length—not more than one hand above the knee)
  • Or pants (NO jeans)
  • Dressy top or Pashmina (shoulders must be covered)
  • Shoes: high-heel shoes may not be higher than 2 centimeters


  • Pants (NO jeans)
  • Jacket
  • Shirt
  • Tie
  • Belt
  • Dress shoes
  • Boys may wear the TASIS suit

Games and Dance in the Palestra (19:45–21:30)

  • NO heels higher than 2 centimeters
  • Sneakers are acceptable.

All-School Christmas Service Next Sunday

The annual All-School Christmas Service will be held at the church of San Nicolao della Flüe at 15:15 on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8. Details regarding the rehearsal schedule on Wednesday, December 4, and plans for the service itself can be found in this bulletin.

Save the Date: TPA Panettone & Prosecco Appreciation on December 12 

The TPA is pleased to invite all faculty and staff to panettone and bubbly at Casa Fleming from 16:00–18:00 on Thursday, December 12, and is looking for parent volunteers to help serve at this event! To sign up, please send an email to



Hour of Code: December 9–15

Computer software plays an increasingly influential role in our day-to-day lives, yet many of us don't understand how computers, software, algorithms, or machine learning work. To help kickstart an interest and build a little skill and awareness, each December during Computer Science Week, teachers and students of all ages around the world spend an hour or more learning a little computer programming. Happy coding to the MS students who will participate in the Hour of Code this year!

Service Learning News

Cometa: Bake Sale on December 10
On Tuesday, December 10, the Cometa Service Learning group will hold a bake sale during MS lunch and recess in De Nobili, in front of the Reception window. We invite the community to enjoy some special goodies prepared with enthusiasm by students and parents. All proceeds will go toward a scholarship for a student in need who would like to attend Cometa High school in Como, which helps students with academic challenges build a new future by teaching them employable skills. To learn more about Cometa, visit

Environmental Saveurs: No Dress Code Day on December 13
On Friday, December 13, the Environmental Saveurs Service Learning group will host a No Dress Code Day. Participating students MUST purchase a bracelet (on sale Monday, December 9, through Thursday, December 12) for CHF 5. The money from this fundraiser will go to the Ticino chapter of ProNatura, the oldest Swiss preservation organization in Switzerland!. This is the same organization we are working with to help restore the peat bog area in Bedrina.

MS Creative Club and Drama Classes Performance 

During the MS Assembly on Wednesday, December 11, the MS Creative Writing Club and the MS Drama classes will present some theatrical work they have created this semester! 

MS Theater Club Performance

The MS Theater Club will present a workshop-style performance on Thursday, December 12, from 18:00–18:45 in the Palmer Center. We look forward to presenting some of the original theatrical work created by the MS Theater Club this semester and hope to see you there!

MS Parent Coffees

Dr. Andrew Rhein recently presented at two Parent Coffees—one for High School parents and one for Middle School parents—on the topic of setting and achieving academic goals. He discussed his background and clarified the way that the Learning Resource Center (LRC) can support students, teachers, and parents in this community. For any parent who wasn't able to attend, or who wishes to follow up to that conversation, please review the presentation and/or reach out to Dr. Rhein.

The next MS Parent Coffee will be held on Wednesday, December 4, from 8:30–9:30 at Casa Fleming. School Counselor Ms. Mary Cate Hauenstein will present on the topic of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Research shows that SEL not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points but also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). Ms. Hauenstein will be answering the following questions: 

  • What exactly is SEL? 
  • How is SEL in line with TASIS mission and values?
  • How can SEL help create an educational setting at TASIS that provides safe, compassionate, engaging, and nurturing spaces where children can grow emotionally, socially, and ethically as well as academically? 

Ms. Hauenstein will also be available to answer questions and listen to any concerns regarding student wellbeing. All parents are welcome.

Recent Parent Support Committee (PSC) Meeting

The following topics were discussed at the Middle School PSC meeting in October.

  • Improvements made in the dining hall
  • Improvements in locker distribution (for 6th graders)
  • Communicating changes to parents in a timely fashion
  • Structure and timing of parent-teacher conferences
  • Criteria for diversification of awards, showcases, and recognition
  • IB interest in Middle School

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