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MS Weekly Bulletin | December 6, 2019
Posted 12/06/2019 01:00PM

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.


– Norman Vincent Peale

Upcoming Events

Friday, December 6 TPA Holiday Market and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony • 16:00–20:00
Saturday, December 7 MS Christmas Celebration for students and faculty
Sunday, December 8 All-School Christmas Service • 15:15, San Nicolao della Flüe
Thursday, December 12 MS Theater Club Performance • 18:00, Palmer Center
Thursday, December 12 TPA Panettone & Prosecco Appreciation • 16:00, Casa Fleming
Wednesday, December 18 Last day of classes before Winter Holiday
Thursday, December 19 Dormitories close at 16:00
Tuesday, January 7 Classes resume
Wednesday, January 21 ES/MS Transition Meeting for 5th-grade parents
Please refer to tasis.ch/calendar for a more detailed look at upcoming events.

We’ll See You at the TPA Holiday Market Today!

Don’t forget to stop by campus between 16:00–20:00 today for Christmas carols, delicious food, holiday gift items, an "apres ski" vin brûlé aperitif, a wonderful Santa’s Village, and more! 

This year’s market is open to the general public and will be held under a heated tent for the first time ever, so bring the whole family, invite your friends, and plan on staying well into the evening!

Summary of Events:

  • 16:00: Holiday Market opens
  • 16:15: Valet parking service begins (simply drive to the main TASIS parking lot)
  • 16:30: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and carols
  • 16:45: Santa's Village opens
  • 20:00: Holiday Market and Santa's Village close




The 2018 TASIS Christmas Service

Join Us for the Christmas Service This Sunday

Lynn Fleming Aeschliman, Chairman of the Board, and Christopher Nikoloff, Headmaster, cordially invite you to the annual TASIS Christmas Service at the church of San Nicolao della Flüe (Via Mons. Angelo Jelmini 4, Lugano-Besso) on Sunday, December 8, at 15:15. 

The beautiful service will feature performances from the ES, MS, HS, and Community Choirs and the TASIS Instrument Ensemble. The musicians will be supported by TASIS music teachers and associated members of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. A reception for parents, friends, and performers will follow.

Directions and parking information can be found here.

Christmas Service schedule for performers:

12:15 Students must be in the main TASIS parking lot.
12:30 All participants—singers, musicians, and readers—will be taken by bus from TASIS to the church.
13:00–14:45  Final rehearsal in the church
15:15–16:15 Christmas Service
16:15 Dismissal for all students except for performers
16:30–17:00  Reception in the Reception Hall following the service for parents, friends, and performers
17:00 Dismissal from the church (performers return to campus by 17:15)


Day families:
Please note that day student performers must travel to the church with the School.


TPA Panettone & Prosecco Appreciation Next Thursday

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 tpa@tasis.ch.


Academics: Alternate schedules on Monday - Wednesday, December 16-18

We will be running a Monday schedule every day during the three-day week leading into the Winter Holiday. We expect this to be a busy week as teachers aim to finish units before the holiday. As you finalize your plans, please remember that school finishes at 15:55 on Wednesday, December 18.


Boarders’ Life: Zermatt at Thanksgiving! 

For years, this trip has been a tradition at TASIS for Middle School boarding students. A number of MS dorm parents and proctors chaperone this journey to one of the most beautiful ski destinations in Switzerland. Under the shadow of the Matterhorn, the group enjoys skiing for two full days. Other highlights include a fondue dinner, a guided tour of the old town, and simply having a great time together in Zermatt. Enjoy a photo gallery on the TASIS SmugMug page.


MS Choir Performs at Principe Leopoldo Hotel

This Wednesday, the amazing Middle School Choir—after a long and busy day of rehearsals for the upcoming Christmas Service—sang popular carols alongside the ES and HS Choirs at the Principe Leopoldo Hotel’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The MS Choir members looked sharp with their Christmas ornament-themed outfits!


Please Join Us for Holiday Celebrations This Weekend!

The MS Christmas Celebration for students and faculty will be held tomorrow, December 7. A formal dinner will start at 18:30 and be followed by a celebration with games and dance. Students who participate may not arrive later than 18:30 or leave earlier than 21:30. They should aim to arrive between 18:15–18:25 and go to the Snack Bar to drop off their jackets. No jackets can be taken to De Nobili. No heels higher than two centimeters are allowed, but sneakers are acceptable.


MS Assemblies and Advisor Meetings 

During the Advisor Block on Thursday, December 5, advisor groups discussed the following topics by grade level: 

  • Grade 6: Kindness and Bullying
  • Grade 7: Emotional Regulations/Anger Management

    School Counselor Ms. Mary Cate Hauenstein took the "emotional temperature" of the 7th-grade class by asking the students to answer the question, "How do you feel at school". The students also practiced self-awareness by contemplating a challenge or struggle they are currently facing. There were asked to observe their thoughts and feelings surrounding this issue. After practicing emotional regulation for ten minutes, students were asked to think about their challenge again and write down one thing they can do to start to resolve the issue. The students were also introduced to the five core competencies of Social Emotional Learning: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. They discussed why it’s important to spend time in quiet contemplation and how this will help them find their purpose and live life well. 
  • Grade 8: Service 

    Students in grade 8 had an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of service. TASIS promotes "service" as a fundamental step toward the search for "Bonum, Verum, Pulchrum," and yesterday's meeting was also intended as an important introduction to the large-scale charity projects in which they will be involved at the High School level.

    Ms. Avaldi provided some guidelines to help students understand that every single action, even a small one, has the possibility to expand one's heart and consequently make a significant contribution to a better world. She gave a few examples of fulfilling actions she has taken that have helped her open her heart to others: 
  • Ms. Avaldi invited students to contribute to two initiatives in Ticino during the holiday season: the food collection at "The Ape of the Heart" (Pizza Dante, the square of the Manor) and the fundraising for "New Flower in Africa" in Piazza Maraini. Michele Stopper, a Franklin University student who regularly works as a volunteer for "New Flower in Africa" (also part of the High School Service Learning program), spoke about his experience of helping abandoned children in Ethiopia to help students gain a better understanding of the real impact we can have on others.

Here is the full presentation from the meeting.


MS Parent Coffees

School Counselor Ms. Mary Cate Hauenstein presented on the topic of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) during the MS Parent Coffee on Wednesday. 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). The following questions were answered during the meeting: 

  • 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? 

Here is the presentation for parents who could not attend.

The next MS parent meeting will be held in the Belvedere Salon on Wednesday, January 21, from 19:00–20:30. It will be dedicated to the ES-MS transition and is designed for parents of students currently in grade 5.


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

Hope and Homes for Children Romania
The MS service-learning group would like to thank all of the students who participated in the No Dress Code Day on November 28. The CHF 475 that was collected will go toward a special project in one of the homes for orphans. We will continue to work toward our goal of raising CHF 1,000 this year. Please stop by our table at the Christmas Market today, December 6, and support the children. 

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 www.puntocometa.org.

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 Writing 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!


Save the Date: Parent-Board of Directors Social on February 6

Dear Parents,

The winter holiday is drawing near and, along with the usual seasonal events, we are planning ahead for the annual reception in which TASIS parents will have an opportunity to socialize with members of the TASIS Board of Directors while they are in town for their meetings.

This year the event will take place on Thursday evening instead of Friday, in the hope that it will be more convenient for local parents, many of whom like to go away on Friday to spend the weekend skiing. The event was a great success last year, and the TASIS Board is always very eager to meet our current families. We hope to have even more of you attend this year. Mark your calendars and Save the Date!

Wine & Hors d’Oeuvres Reception

  • Thursday, February 6, 2020
  • 18:00–19:30
  • Resort Collina d'Oro, Agra

Additional details will be shared closer to the event.

Best wishes,

TASIS Development Office


Winter Uniform

Many students are getting sick this time of the year, and this is a gentle reminder that students should dress warmly each day and must come to school in their winter uniforms. Please take note of the following:

  • All students must have the TASIS crest on the top layer.
  • Only TASIS scarves are allowed.
  • Hats must be taken off while indoors.
  • Athletic shoes, white soles, heavy boots, rubber rain boots, and Uggs are not permitted (though this policy may be relaxed during rain and snow).
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