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Proud to be Ten!

PTIS International School celebrates “Founder’s Day”

A giant cake was made to commemorate Founder’s Day at PTIS.

By Joy Huss

The auditorium rang with voices singing “Happy Birthday” while a huge cake sat center stage on Friday 18 November, the day chosen to mark “Founder’s Day” commemorating the first ten years of PTIS International School, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Traidhos Three Generation Community of which PTIS International School is a central player came together to remember and celebrate the achievements of the first ten years and to look to the future.

Founding President, Lister Hannah, shared his memories of the opening day and early years, showing photos of key moments and people who have helped shape the school today. President and CEO ML Tri Devakul congratulated everyone and challenged them to grow as good people so that like the-now mature trees on campus all will be able to give shade and support to those around, and leadership in whichever part of the world they find themselves in the future. Head of School Maxine Driscoll reflected that PTIS was no longer like a baby but entering the next phase of its life, proud of the students who have already graduated and ready to work with twenty-first  century learners.

PTIS teachers and non-teaching staff who have worked at PTIS throughout its ten years, were thanked and students who had been at PTIS from the first day shared their memories speaking warmly about how the school and community continues to influence them.

Celebrations then continued on the school fields where families and members of the local community joined parents, teachers and students for a carnival with activities, games, performances and two bouncy castles.  It was a wonderful day made up of happy memories and much positive energy bearing witness to PTIS’s growth through her teenage years to adulthood.

A common sentiment was shared by students, teachers, staff and parents about the days’ events.

I feel very proud and really good that I am here on the 10th birthday. When I see the photos I think it is amazing how the campus has changed – in a good way! – Mary, G11

Ten years! I feel so proud of the way PTIS has developed my son. He enjoys school. It has something he likes. - K Saeng, Parent

I enjoy the peaceful environment. I love the trees and the diversity of people and cultures. - K Oye, Secretary

PTIS is a unique natural learning environment. - K Pu, Parent

I like the community and the campus. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming. I have kept some friends form when I first started. – Anna, G8

I feel good that the Nongplaman students are here and we can all celebrate under the shady trees.- K. Malee, Parent

Small Hands, Big Heart

Panyaden School’s EM Balls Project By Neil Amas

Everyone gets on their hands and knees to help make EM balls to help clean water for flood victims.

Panayaden School’s EM Balls project is only small. We have just 43 pairs of small hands, plus a few bigger ones provided by teachers and parents. But while our EM balls may make a relatively small splash in the flood waters around Bangkok, the effort and kindness of our children will demonstrate our big heart.

Panyaden School is teaching our children the significance of the floods and why we all need to show kindness at this time of difficulty for many people. With parents, teachers and children working together, the small ripples of our EM balls will carry the big heart of our school.

No matter how small one's act of kindness, it raises the level of kindness over.

EM BALLS 2: All hands on deck!

Chiang Mai Rajabhat University Faculty

Chiang Mai Rajabhat University Faculty of Agricultural Technology students made EM balls to send to Bangkok and Central Thailand to help treat polluted water due to the flooding. The students worked together in a show of volunteer spirit to help make the EM Balls, produced by Japanese technology they use microbial elements in order to cleanse polluted water.

Learning and parenting seminar with Australian educator John Joseph

By Shana Kongmun

John Joseph and PTIS Head of School Maxine Driscoll meet before the start of the seminar on parenting and learning.

Australian educator John Joseph was in Chiang Mai recently and met with parents of PTIS students in a seminar at the Kantary Hills Hotel as well as paid visits to PTIS, CMIS and several other international schools around Chiang Mai.

In his visits to the schools he not only met with teachers but also with students since his program is aimed at teaching students how to learn more effectively and how to use their brains in an efficient manner for school.

The seminar at Kantary Hills was aimed at parents and was titled “Parenting with the brain in mind – Raising great families”.

John Joseph uses graphics and multimedia to discuss his strategies.

Mr. Joseph discussed the various ways in which children learn and encouraged parents to discuss their own children and how they fit into those ways. He also encouraged parents to ask their children why they go to school. He said that the top four reasons are because they have to, they want to learn, to see friends and because they see school as a career path. He informed the parents that there are many weighted elements that will contribute to the success or failure of a child in school and these include learning strategies, motivation, confidence, sleep patterns, nutrition, feedback from friends. Teacher quality, peer influences and many more.

He said it was interesting to note that of these weighted elements, sleep patterns by far and away was the most significant. He added that many teenagers go to bed well after midnight, disrupting the sleep patterns and removing the important hours of sleep that is needed. Some did so for social networking or video games while many others stayed up that late doing homework. He noted that it’s important for children to learn effective and efficient ways of learning and studying so that they don’t spend their time studying, often ineffectively, instead of sleeping.

The seminar discussed ways in which children learn, and the benefits of using cognitive strategy training, that is teaching kids how their brains work and how to learn. Mr. Joseph discussed the different kinds of students and asked the parents to assess their own children to determine what type of learner they were; anxious, high flier, competent, struggling and underachiever. Each type can be determined on a scale of motivation and confidence.

PTIS parents joined the seminar held at Kantary Hills Hotel on November 14, 2011.

He also discussed the 4 worlds involved in learning the inner world that comprises feelings and thoughts, the outer world which is made of direct experience, abstract which involves learning and abstract thought, and future hopes and dreams. He emphasized the importance of a healthy inner world in students.

The evening gave the large group of interested parents quite a bit to consider and discuss as the seminar progressed.

John Joseph is a well known lecturer who has travelled and lectured extensively in many areas of the world.  His goal is to challenge young people to learn about learning behavior and their emotions and to teach parents and educators the importance of feedback and efficient use of study and learning. The seminar outlined strategies for parents and what the schools are looking for in their children. More information about his program can be found here:

Flood Relief and EduCare offered by PTIS International School and Traidhos Three-Generation Community

PTIS students helped Bangkok students displaced from the flooding settle in to their new environment.

On Monday 31 October the Traidhos Three-Generation Community together with the PTIS International School welcomed its first Bangkok students and their families to take part in its newly-formed Flood Relief EduCare Program.

Over the past weeks, Thais and the international community have stood together, neighbor helping neighbor, supporting each other in their works to recover from the devastating flooding that has affected the whole country and most currently its capitol city of Bangkok, home to over 115 International schools.

On 26 October, Mr Usa Somboon, President of ISAT (International Schools of Thailand), notified ISAT schools throughout Thailand of the closure from 1-14 November of all schools in twelve of Bangkok’s flood-affected areas. This also included cancellation or postponement of any field trips or off-campus activities previously scheduled. Schools affected by this announcement were asked to provide make-up classes, using available and appropriate resources and timing, such as e-learning, additional periods, weekend school, summer school, or additional school days in the coming weeks and months.

As a concerned and caring community, home to a diverse campus and multiple resources, PTIS International School and Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning saw an urgent need for immediate education assistance to families as a viable alternative to school closures. In just over 24 hours, an initial Flood Relief and EduCare Program was created, presented and approved by the ISAT President. The President’s Council worked with many facets of the Traidhos Community to develop a program to continue learning in a safe environment for all Grades 3-12 children affected by the floods. The ISAT President immediately contacted all ISAT schools to inform them of the initiative and begin immediate implementation.

The new “no-cost” relief program called Flood Relief and EduCare offers the children of families directly affected by the disaster selective classroom study and care during a difficult time. It has been launched to provide temporary short-term schooling and on-campus living arrangements for up to eighty students and their families.

The first priority is to get the students who are temporarily or permanently affected as a result of the disaster back in the classroom. Under this program, staff from all areas of the Traidhos Community offer co-ordination support, classroom teaching, extended studies, after-school Exploria activities, supervision, nursing care, security and empathy. Several housing alternatives are available - from boarding to apartment living for the whole family.

As it is both a short- and long-term program, the Traidhos EduCare program is being developed as part of the curriculum that can cater for any form of natural disaster and executable at short notice.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of people to help others. It really is what PTIS and Traidhos are all about. This program builds upon Traidhos Three-Generation Community’s sustainability initiative, and its education and care: caring about people, caring about our planet and caring about and doing something for people in times of need.” says Head of School, Maxine Driscoll.

Flood victim students are not the only ones gaining experience as interim visitors to our campus: through them PTIS students are also seeing first-hand how natural disasters affect families, their homes and their livelihood. Although we cannot protect our children from natural disasters, we can open them to learning, seeing and interacting with compassion and understanding at a very early age.

In the words of our visiting students: “I have always wanted to come to PTIS since the summer last two or three years ago. Now that Harrow, my school in Bangkok closed because of the flooding. I come to Chiang Mai and my cousins told me about the flood relief programme PTIS is running and I am very interested in it. The night before the first day I am very nervous, but when I come here I think there is nothing to be nervous of. I have no problem at all.

Today is the second day here at PTIS. The student(s) are very friendly. I like the environment here very much. It is nice and cool with the trees and river. Teacher and staff are very nice and helpful said Ploy in Grade 9.

“About 10 days that I stay and study here. Every teacher is so nice and kind. They advice and take care of me very well. This campus is a lot of tree, not like mine (most of schools in Bangkok do not have) and I love it. Many things here I never met in my school, it is quite cool and the facility here is complete, swimming pool, tools, and a lot of activity to do. And the best thing here (in my opinion) is nature because I come from the place where nature is the stranger and toxic is my friend,” added Kik, Grade 12.

CMU implements measures to aid students from flooded areas

Chiang Mai University President Professor Dr. Pongsak Angkasith announced the CMU has implemented measures for those students wishing to enroll in school because they come from flood stricken areas.

Students from flood stricken areas who cannot afford to pay because of losses from the flooding will see the University cover their registration expenses for the next semester and will see a tuition waiver through the Office of the Registrar, this must be made before February 15, 2012. Students in urgent need of assistance because of damage to their homes from flooding will receive funds from the Board, they will assess the situation of each student based on need, in addition, dormitory fees may be waived for those severely affected.

Students who already attend Chiang Mai University and are unable to attend because they are trapped by the floods should contact the Office of the Registrar so that exceptions can be made in their courses.

NARIT astro kids see the stars

The National Astronomical Research Institute sponsored the Astro Kids trip to Hong Kong, bringing children chosen through the Young Astronomers Youth Ambassador contest to visit the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Observatory. 5 lucky primary school students travelled to Hong Kong with a representative of NARIT and a lecturer in Astrophysics at Chiang Mai University. The kids spent two days, from October 18 to 20 visiting various exhibitions and learning more about space and astronomy.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Proud to be Ten!

Small Hands, Big Heart

Chiang Mai Rajabhat University Faculty

Learning and parenting seminar with Australian educator John Joseph

Flood Relief and EduCare offered by PTIS International School and Traidhos Three-Generation Community

CMU implements measures to aid students from flooded areas

NARIT astro kids see the stars