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MS Weekly Bulletin | December 13, 2019
Posted 12/13/2019 02:00PM


Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.

– William Shakespeare

Upcoming Events

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
Monday–Thursday, February 24–27 MS Winter Adventure For Grade 7 & 8
Monday–Wednesday, February 24–26 MS Academic Travel For Grade 6
Please refer to for a more detailed look at upcoming events.

Winter Holiday Begins On Thursday

Please note that Wednesday, December 18, will be the last day of classes before the Winter Holiday. There will be regular shuttle bus service in the morning and afternoon for MS and HS students that day.

Dormitories will close at 16:00 on Thursday, December 19, and reopen at noon on Sunday, January 5.

Please note that we will not be sending any Weekly Bulletins next week. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 7, and our next Weekly Bulletins will be sent on Friday, January 10.

We wish you all a restful and joyous holiday season!

TPA Gratitude: Holiday Market & Santa’s Village 

Dear TASIS Community,

The TPA would like to thank all the parents, faculty, and staff who worked together to make this year’s Holiday Market and Santa’s Village a truly special and beautiful event! We also had many donations from the Lugano community, with special mention to Bachmann Giardini, Kairos Tents, and Federica Brocchi Catering for their generosity!

More than 300 students, parents, and faculty members celebrated together over live gospel music, vin brûlé, aperitifs, hot chocolate, shopping, and photos with Santa, and TASIS Service Learning groups combined to raise more than CHF 6000 for their respective charities! It was a joy to see our community come together with such holiday cheer and goodwill!

Everyone had the chance to win more than 15 different prizes at the TPA raffle, with items and services donated to us by designer shops, restaurants, and hotels in Lugano. (See the full list of sponsors and prizes here.) Global Service Program Director Danny Schiff pulled the winning raffle tickets with Headmaster Chris Nikoloff, and I’m happy to report the following winners: Vanessa Vigano, Sabrina Giuliani, Anton Besandini, Pietro Virgilio, Angelo Scaranello, Cosima Klim-Wirren, Magdalena Bertsch, Corina Nikoloff, Roberta Braghiroli, Elina Chak, Giulia Stano, Julie Wagner, Jennifer Zanarini, Martin Riegger, Egor Maksimov, and Nogol Zahabi. All winners will be emailed directly with instructions on how to collect their prizes! 

To see lots of great photos and learn more about this year’s TPA Holiday Market, please refer to this article on the TASIS website and visit the TPA Instagram page: @tasis_tpa_lugano.

We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with peace, joy, and love!

All the best,

Jennifer Zanarini
TPA President

Enjoy the Impressive 2019 TASIS Christmas Service

Congratulations to Performing Arts Chair Samantha Forrest, Middle School Choir Director Yara Rubb, Elementary School Choir Director Melody Tibbits Zanecchia, Community Choir Director Tamara Schumacher, and the many student and faculty performers who made last Sunday’s Christmas Service a memorable one! 

Watch the full service on the TASIS YouTube channel.

Holiday Cheer Is in the Air! 

Congratulations to the Student Council and Event Planners Service Learning groups for their great teamwork and commitment in organizing and holding the MS Christmas Celebration. The event was a huge success! 

Enjoy photos from the MS Christmas Celebration, the TASIS Christmas Service, and the TPA Holiday Market & Santa’s Village.

Holiday celebrations continued this week for MS students. During Thursday’s Advisor block, groups enjoyed panettone and hot chocolate.  

Academics: Alternate Schedules on December 16-18

We will be running a Monday schedule every day during the half 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.

There will be regular After-School Activities on Monday and Tuesday, but activities will not be held on Wednesday. 

Join Us at the ES Christmas Concert on Wednesday

Parents of students in all divisions are more than welcome to join us at the Elementary School Christmas Concert in the Palestra on Wednesday, December 18, at 11:00. The program is expected to last about one hour. Valet parking will be available from 10:30–12:30.

We hope to see you at this fun and uplifting holiday event!


MS Assembly This Week 

During the MS Assembly on Wednesday, December 11, the MS Drama classes presented some theatrical work they have created this semester! The Grade 6 Drama class shared an original piece entitled “Going Viral,” and the Grades 7–8 Drama class shared an original, Christmas-themed comedy called “Finding Santa.” Nice work, performers! 

MS students also welcomed students from Mr. Friday’s Grade 5 class, who gave a presentation on climate change awareness. 

This year the theme for the Elementary School's Service Learning Program is “awareness.” Mr. Friday's fifth-grade students have connected this theme to their nonfiction research and essay writing about Climate Change. This led to the formation of various Service Learning groups around these vital topics: how to use a tree-planting web browser, how to better compost food at TASIS, how to carbon-offset your traveling and make a lighter carbon footprint, and how to address the problems associated with palm oil plantations. 

These Service Learning groups gave their initial presentations in the grade-five assembly a few weeks ago. They then volunteered to stay behind after school on Wednesday and share the same presentation in the Middle School assembly. They felt nervous about presenting to the older students, but they did very well, sharing their passion and ideas about environmental action. The Middle School proved to be an excellent audience, further inspiring the younger students. They are now visiting classes throughout the Elementary School and have even shared their carbon-offsetting ideas with the Global Service Program team. They will expand their presentations and actions in the Spring Semester. Great job by all involved!

MS Theater Club Performance

On Thursday, December 12, Mr. Frazier-Smith’s After-School Theater Club presented a “workshop-style” performance of original theatrical comedy. These 11 students met ten times over the course of this semester to create a collection of short skits and improvisational scenes. Congratulations to the following performers for creating a lively, playful night of comedy! 

  • Matteo Arpino 
  • Sergey Bektashev 
  • Kyla Bodnar 
  • Martina Gallone 
  • Celeste Lo Monaco 
  • Artur Loika 
  • Leone Mazzola 
  • Sarah McClellan 
  • Edoardo Milani 
  • Anastassia Smyslova 
  • Katerina Smyslova 

Service Learning News

Green Heart: Bake Sale at TPA Holiday Market
The Green Heart Service Learning group had a stand selling luxury hot chocolate and homemade baked goods at the Holiday Market. They made CHF 483 in profit. The students discussed various local, national, and international environmental organizations that they could donate the money to and ultimately voted for The Canopy Project, which is part of the Earth Day Network and is an international effort aimed at reforestation by planting hundreds of trees in areas at risk of habitat loss. Well done to the members of the Green Heart Group for raising enough money to plant approximately 500 trees! 

Cometa: Bake Sale on December 10
The Cometa’s bake sale this past Tuesday was a great success. The special goodies prepared and served with great enthusiasm by Cometa students helped raise CHF 530, which will go toward a scholarship for a student in need who would like to attend Cometa High School in Como. This unique charity home serves as a community of families involved in temporary or permanent adoption and 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
Today, December 13, the Environmental Saveurs Service Learning group is hosting a No Dress Code Day. 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.

Nepal Global Service Program Group Hosts Dodgeball for MS Students
The Nepal GSP group (HS) hosted speed dodgeball games for Middle School students in the Palestra during recess on Thursday, December 12. This fun event helped raise more than CHF 100, all of which will go toward the beloved community of Tibetan refugees in Tserok, Nepal, that this GSP group works closely with each spring.  

Yoga Marathon Raises CHF 2500 for Children of Zambia

Dear TASIS Community,

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Yoga Marathon on November 23. Thank you so much for supporting this great cause and helping us raise CHF 2500 for the Serving Southern Africa Global Service Program group!

I would also like to thank Mr. Chris Nikoloff for giving me the opportunity to hold the Yoga Marathon at TASIS, our TASIS personale and kitchen staff for their help in making the event run so smoothly, and all the yoga teachers who leant their expertise. Finally, a huge thank you to my colleague and friend Ms. Carol Hinchliff, whose remarkable efforts behind the scenes made all our jobs a lot easier.

With gratitude,

Mara Bernasconi

Last year’s Middle School Girls Basketball team

Athletics Update

Upcoming Middle School Contests
 Date  Event  Location
 January 13  Boys Basketball vs. ASM  TASIS
 January 13  Girls Basketball vs. ASM  TASIS
 January 18  Girls Basketball • SGIS Tournament  Nations
 January 18  Boys Basketball • SGIS Tournament  CDL
 January 30  Boys Basketball @ ASM  ASM
 January 30  Girls Basketball @ ASM  ASM
Please refer to the Athletics Calendar for more details.


MS Ski and Snowboard Club

For an eighth season, we’ll be skiing and snowboarding with a wonderful group of MS students in various ski resorts around Switzerland. The first outing will be on January 12. The dates for the other outings are January 12, January 19, February 9, and February 16.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Alava or Ms. Breton

Upcoming MS Meeting For Grade 5 Parents

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.

MS Winter Adventure For Grade 7 & 8: February 24–27

MS Winter Adventure in St. Moritz is required for all students in grades 7–8, as it is a core part of the MS Curriculum and the TASIS experience. Please review the packing list.

MS Spring Academic Travel for Grade 6: February 24–26

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

Reminder About Winter Uniform

Many students are getting sick this time of the year, and this is a gentle reminder that students must come to school dressed in their winter uniforms.

  • 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).

TASIS Snow Policy

In the event of heavy snowfall or other dangerous weather, our primary concern will always be the safety of students, faculty, and staff.

Given that weather and road conditions can vary dramatically across the region, decisions regarding day student transportation to and from school always remain with parents. If parents notify the School promptly, students who arrive late, leave early, or miss an entire day due to inclement weather will be excused.

While our goal is to remain open whenever possible, we cannot guarantee a normal school day in the case of severe weather. If police, other local authorities, or the company providing the TASIS shuttle bus service are advising against travel in our region, we are likely to cancel all classes. If we must do so, we will send an email to all parents, students, and staff as soon as possible. In the event that classes are canceled, day students will be asked to remain safely at home while boarding students will remain under the care of our experienced Residential Life team.

If weather conditions develop during the school day that make travel conditions hazardous, we may need to authorize an early dismissal. Parents will be notified promptly if this situation arises. Please know that if weather conditions change dramatically during the day, our shuttle bus service may not be able to transport students home. Parents will be immediately notified if this is the case, and we will provide care for all students until families can arrange for safe transportation home.

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