We are excited to accept registrations for the International School of Riga SUMMER DAY CAMPS for youngsters in age groups 3-12 (Early Years – Grade 6)! 🏕

Programs consist of developmentally appropriate activities, including inquiry learning ✨, intensive English language practice 💬, sports ⛹🏻, games 🧩, outdoor exploration 🌳, field trips 🚌, art🎨, & cultural experiences. 💛

This is great fun for our students, as well as a unique opportunity for people outside of ISR to explore our school and its learning methods, get to know our staff members, and practice English! 💚

The Summer Day Camp will run for 3 weeks:
⭕️ Week one: June 28 – July 2 “Busy Bees Art Week”
⭕️ Week two: July 5 – July 9 “Time Travel”
⭕️ Week three: July 12 – July 17 “Express Yourself”

Summer camps will take place in ISR Primary Campus and a safe environment is guaranteed, according to recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.

The cost of Summer Day Camp is 250€ for ISR members per week (per child) and 350€ for non-ISR members per week (per child). Sibling discount: 10% for the second and subsequent child(ren). The price includes lunch and all activities.

For more info and registration, please see https://isriga.lv/services/summer-camp/, or contact our Admissions office through e-mail admissions@isriga.lv or call +371 6789 3641!

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See you at the Summer Camp 2021! 💖

Latvian Television publishes a story about our Outdoor learning program: “The reunion of students in person at the Riga International School begins with conversations and games.”
For the first time, 7th grade students of Riga International School met in person in the middle of April. After so long of seeing each other only on the computer screen, changes have been made to the school curriculum. Instead of lessons, adaptation takes place. Students learn to be together again, only this time in masks and two meters away, in a tent or school stadium.

Riga International School is a private school, the language of instruction is English. The school is located between residential houses. The presence of office buildings is also constantly reminiscent of the urban environment. Here, the teacher’s story is interrupted from time to time by both the roar of the engine and the generators working in the adjacent building. However, the young people are happy to be able to meet again.

7th-grade student Karen Kristen pointed out: “Yes, it is a bit disturbing, but it is also nice. You are closer to nature, and the feelings are natural. (..) It’s so good to be in school again. It’s both easier to learn and nice to meet classmates again. And it’s just good to be back and feel things change.

Learning online, Karena remembers the constant feeling that school is in your room.

“It was difficult because you felt like you were in school all the time. Even when not studied. But it was good not to get up early. And homework could be done at any time. But there was a lack of cooperation with classmates,” she said.

The class advisor admitted that the online “screen time” time for his students – seventh-grade students – had increased.

“Some have become more independent and responsible. They have become much older at this age. But others are not ready for it, and they feel lost,” said Grade 7A Advisor Daniel Dodge.

The teacher is happy that, under all conditions, the lessons can take place in person again. He admitted: “It’s a great idea. Because the risk is low, there is continuous ventilation because we are outside, in the fresh air.”

For now, there is a badminton tournament and board games instead of literature and mathematics. The school’s director, Mr. Shane Kells, explained: “Children are social beings. They need to be with others. Social well-being is just as important, so we start with children sitting and just talking. It was such a big challenge for them. And we hope so much that they will not lose their curiosity.”

In addition to purely practical things – tents and tables in the area – the school had to think about the workload of the teachers and the work plan. Other classes still study remotely. However, teachers counsel young people privately, in person.

“It simply came to our notice then. Our goal was first to get the children back to school and, depending on their age, to help them understand that school still exists. The school is still here, and they are still part of the school,” said Mr. Kells.

This is the first week the 7th grade is studying outdoors. Weather can also introduce its own adjustments for outdoor activities. Once the students have become accustomed to each other, the teachers will also return to the lesson list.

Middle School students of the International School of Riga are stunning with this year’s Spring Project! Over the two weeks before spring break, the students completed a project on a passion of their choice.

This website is an exhibition of their results: https://sites.google.com/isriga.lv/isr-middle-school-spring-proje/home?fbclid=IwAR2XA-HerLteVoxe_4KI0WtCqbiNcCrInTKeXI9e1yleUB_VHoOn_hCZrFI

Teachers facilitated multi-grade level communities of learners. Students planned their days, reflected daily, attended community meetings, and exhibited self-management, research, creation, and communication skills. This included completing research and producing a product or outcome. Each student’s work is their own.

Please enjoy their passions by reading the website, where you will see projects of discovery, projects completed in the kitchen, as well as arts and crafts, fashion and photography, the literary corner, and fitness and health!

Thank you for supporting The Spring Project!

ISR is founded by an Association, which is governed by the School Council consisting of 7 Members and 1 Associate Member who are elected at a General Meeting from among the Association’s members (parents). We welcome the new School Council…

Dear ISR community, ISR will be hosting an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Wednesday, December 16th at 6:00 pm.
The meeting will be virtual and accessible via the Zoom link you received in your email.
The EGM is being called at this time with an agenda of three items:

  1. Approval of the changes to the Articles of Association (Voting item);
  2. Election of the School Council (Voting item);
  3. Director’s Report.

Voting item #1) A vote will be taken to approve the changes in the Articles of Association.
Voting item #2) A vote will be taken for the election of the School Council.

All information on Voting items #1 and #2 was sent in three languages on Friday, November 27th and can be accessed in that mail.
Preliminary voting will take place starting on 15th December from 8 am to midnight and voting will be open 16th December during the EGM meeting. A voting link will come as a separate email from ElectionBuddy.

Questions may be asked prior to the EGM and submitted via email to info@isriga.lv or during the EGM by writing the questions into the Zoom platform Chatbox.

Your online presence at this EGM would be greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing as many of you on the day as possible!
In case you cannot participate in the online meeting on 16th December, please make sure to participate in the preliminary voting on 15th December – as every vote is important to reach the required quorum for the General Meeting’s decisions.

We invite every staff member, parents, students over the age of 18, and residents of the City Centre to contribute to someone else’s good health before the long winter holidays – donate blood to save lives!

On Friday, 11th of December, from 10.00 to 14.00 outside of our Secondary Campus on Vesetas iela 9, the State Blood Donor Center will provide a mobile bus, where everyone healthy and well will have the opportunity to donate blood. One donor can save at least three lives.

Find 15 minutes of free time, bring a colleague or friend with you, and donate!

Please pay attention to your health before donating blood!

Note:
🔺When going to donate, you must bring an identity document – passport or ID;
🔺 You can donate if you are 18 to 65 years old;
🔺 Your weight is not less than 50 kg;
🔺You did not drink alcohol the day before the blood donation;
🔺You have consumed a healthy diet and plenty of fluids, had a good sleep, feel good;
🔺 Are healthy;
🔺 You have not donated blood for at least 9 weeks and have not done so 4 times in a 12-month period (for women) or 6 times (for men, with a 3-month break for men after the 6th time);
🔺 In case of questions, call: 800 000 3 or write to vadc@vadc.gov.lv.

Let’s prepare for the holidays by saving lives. See you!

By Alise Podniece, Marketing and Advancement Manager
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ISR prides itself on hiring strong individuals with big hearts who are committed to carrying out the ISR mission. For the school year 2020/2021, are delighted to welcome 9 experienced educators to join the ISR team!

LAUREN FENATO – Secondary Geography/Humanities Teacher, who previously worked at The Canadian International School in Vietnam. Lauren is really good at designing activities and games to engage students. She is always open to individual opinions and needs. 

In your opinion, what’s the best part about teaching? 

The best part about teaching is that you constantly learn from your students and their perspectives on world issues. It’s the ah-ha moments and the real sense of discovery and moments when students feel comfortable to take risks and challenge one another that I love most.

Lauren’s motto: “I Touch the Future. I Teach.” /Christa McAuliffe/

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IAN WINDSOR – Kindergarten Teacher, who previously worked at the Dubai American Academy in the United Arab Emirates. Ian always greets his students and colleagues with a smile. It seems that no storm could distract his calmness. For Ian, the most fulfilling part of teaching is when students discover the joy of their achievement and are keen to achieve more, developing their independent work skills and building their confidence. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I worked at KFC for 8 years to earn money to put myself through university.

I enjoy spending time outdoors and love to hike but knee pain sometimes keeps me from going on hikes that are too strenuous. On a trip to New Zealand, my wife wanted to go on a day hike that sounded difficult. I wasn’t sure if I could make the 19.4 km Tongariro Alpine Crossing and was reluctant to go. However, I decided in the end to take the challenge and I am so happy that I did.

Ian’s motto: “Treat others with kindness and be happy.”

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ELIZABETH WINDSOR – Primary Teacher (Grade 5), who previously worked at the Dubai American Academy in the United Arab Emirates. She strongly believes in the abilities of her students and is excited to help them to gain confidence and even more to lead a new group of students through the Exhibition. She believes that being a positive role model is one of the most essential parts of teaching. 

What’s your teaching style? 

I enjoy teaching from the sidelines. I set up interesting activities that allow students to ask questions, discuss ideas, and inquire into. Then, I ask questions that encourage students to think about ideas from a variety of perspectives, support thinking, and model strategies that help students to become independent learners.

Elizabeth’s motto: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” /The Dalai Lama/

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TASHA STEPHENSON – EAL Primary Teacher, who previously worked in Rabat American School in Morocco. Tasha is seeking to understand and nurture people around her and she celebrates mistakes as a sign of growth and possibility for finding new solutions.  Tasha is the one you’ll want to talk to with if you ever want to see the world differently.

What accomplishments are you most proud of? 

Here are a few recent accomplishments that bring a smile:

 – finding Google image translate so I can read some signs here in Latvia
 – working with our nervous family dog to help her trust her new fellow canines here in Latvia

Tasha’s motto: Wherever you go, there you are.” /Jon Kabat-Zinn/
“You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop.” /Rumi/

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DANIEL DODGE – Middle School English and Social Studies Teacher, Grade 7 advisor, who previously worked in Rabat American School in Morocco.  

Patience, Contemporary Connections to World Events, Personalized Attention and Flexibility for Students are what characterizes Daniel as a teacher. The latest restrictions around the world make Daniel proud of his family moving and adapting to Latvia after 7 years in North Africa. 

Daniel’s motto: “Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” /Kahlil Gibran/

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LAIMA DIMANTA, Primary Music teacher. Though Laima is a professional musician, she also loves teaching. Laima believes that learning that experiencing is the best approach for all – students and grownups. She celebrates her achievements – her solo album “Mieram” and many other musical creations as outcomes of her own life lessons.

In your opinion, what’s the best part about teaching? And the hardest?

The best part about teaching is growing. Every day is interesting. New adventures and challenges. Happy, students. Also great co-workers who brighten every day. 

The hardest part I think is the stress that teachers go through. Finding paths that work for everyone without burning out. 

Laima’s motto: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” /Oscar Wilde/

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KATHRYN KIDDELL – Primary Teacher (Grade 3), who previously worked at Keystone Academy in China. Kathryn strives to build up an environment where  students can feel safe, so they are more likely to take risks with their learning. Her strengths as a teacher all stem from building those relationships throughout the year.

In your opinion, what’s the best part about teaching? And the hardest?

The best parts of teaching are watching your students apply their learning by helping each other and discovering new knowledge through inquiry. The hardest part of teaching is saying goodbye to my students at the end of each year.

Kathryn’s motto:

“So if the eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it. If the eyes are not shining, you get to ask a question. And this is the question: who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining? We can do that with our children, too. Who am I being, that my children’s eyes are not shining? That’s a totally different world.” /Benjamin Zander/

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MELANIE KELLS – Secondary Chemistry Teacher, who previously worked in Canadian International School of Hong Kong.

Melanie is excited to join the ISR community and to build the IB Chemistry program and Experiential Learning within the community. Melanie has very a broad working experience from an IGCSE Coordinator, Dean of Studies to becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator- and leading a school to become an Apple Distinguished School. 

What’s your teaching style? 

Guided Inquiry Learning. I believe strongly in making connections with students, therefore I promote learning with PBL (Project Based Learning), and recognize the profound impact of building social-emotional learning skills together with teachers and students. I’m also excited to see our Mission and Service program in action.

Melanie’s motto: “Learn to do by doing”
…is the motto of 4-H, a youth organization I was actively involved in from age nine to twenty-one. It is my philosophy of teaching, too. I believe that modelling what you would like others to do is the best way to achieve results, whether with students or colleagues. I make mistakes, I admit them, and I hope that my students would do the same.

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RŪDOLFS KRĒSLIŅŠ, Secondary Music teacher. Rudolfs trained to become a football player as a child but ended up as a Music teacher following his passion. 

Following his passion for choir music, Rudolfs obtained his higher education in choir conducting at the Latvian Academy of Music.  

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

There is no bigger or smaller accomplishment. Every day I try to do something better than yesterday in my job and my life. 

Rūdolfs’s motto: “Train your mind to see the good in every situation.
We can’t wait to see all the wonderful things they achieve with their students this year and we wish them a genuinely wonderful time at ISR.”

By Melanie Kells, Secondary Chemistry Teacher

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As, Bs, Cs, percents, scores for 5, 6 or 7 – So many different ways of recording achievement.
How do the grading schemes of the main high school curriculums compare to each other?

There are three educational schemes that international students often seek during their final year or two of secondary school. This article will attempt to compare assessment of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), the A & AS-level programme, and the Advanced Placement (AP) program. All three have a summative examination that is created by a central committee and is administered to all students during the same dates and under similar conditions. This summative assessment is graded externally and useful in comparing one student to all others taking that exam around the world during the same season.

Developed in Europe, the IB DP programme is studied for two years. Students take six subjects in a wide range of content areas. Three additional components are (CAS, ToK, and EE) with each integral to the programme. The IB Diploma is awarded with a highest possible score of 45. Each of the 6 subjects earns a score from 1-7 with up to 3 additional points awarded for the other components.

Created in the UK, AS-level subjects occur during a one year course of study. Students generally choose 4-6 subjects. Each subject earns a score from e – a. The is a wide range of subjects available and many students specialize and have a career plan in mind when they choose their subject areas.

After completing an AS-level subject, the A-level (A2) extends learning into a second year (the first year earning an AS-level certificate) in a subject. Students generally choose 3-5 subjects. Each subject earns a score from E-A*. Study is concentrated on these subjects only. Usually students choose AS and A level subjects that will lead them into their desired university or college path.

Popular in America, Advanced Placement (AP) subjects occur during a 10 month course of study. Students generally choose 1-2 per year in Grades 11+12. Each subject earns a score from 1-5. In addition to AP courses, students also take subjects as a part of the normal high school experience. Usually students choose AP subjects that will lead them into their desired university or college path.

All of these curricula are assessed with a final grade earned mostly by an end of program exam that occurs over about 3-5 hours. All of these tests are scored with a points and percentage system that is then converted to the score using a rubric and percentage range to establish each final grade. There are other components such as coursework or labs. These vary widely in each subject and in each curriculum, but often contribute about 20% to the final grade in the subject.
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Guide to comparing final exam assessment in AP, IB, AS, and A level (compiled from a variety of sources)

Approximate Percentage *APIBASALatvian system**
90+57aA*10
80+57aA*/A9
70+56bA/B8
60+46cB/C7
50+45dC/D6
40+34eD/E4
30+23E3
20+222
10+111

* Each subject has a different standard applied when combined with the rubric. These percentages are general and approximate. This percentage is the percentage earned on assessment of the entire course, not a unit test or part of a course.
** ISR has developed an aligned system of assessment with Latvian grading.

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Further Reading

Further Explanation on the different curriculums

Further Explanation on IBDP vs A level

Explanation about GPA

Education in Latvia

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Sources

Adminpiya, et al. “The Complete IB Middle Years & Diploma Programmes Guide.” Tutopiya, 23 Mar. 2020, www.tutopiya.com/blog/the-complete-guide-to-international-baccalaureate-ib-middle-years-programme-myp-diploma-programme-dp/.

American Foreign Service Association, www.afsa.org/ap-vs-ib-practical-comparison.

“Advanced Placement: What Do The Scores Mean?” Occam Education, 20 July 2018, occameducation.com/en/ap-exams-what-do-the-scores-mean/.

“Curriculum.” ACS Cobham HS, acscobhamhs.weebly.com/curriculum.html.

“Home.” Cambridge Assessment, www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/search/gcsearch.aspx?q=uniform grading#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=uniform grading&gsc.page=1.

“International Baccalaureate – Ppt Download.” SlidePlayer, IB, slideplayer.com/slide/2515536/.

Liebowitz, Cheree. “IB, AP or AICE: A Comparison of the College-Level Programs.” International College Counselors, 21 Mar. 2019, internationalcollegecounselors.com/ib-ap-or-aice-a-comparison-of-the-college-level-programs/.Mark, et al. “What Everyone Ought to Know About – Ppt Download.” SlidePlayer, slideplayer.com/slide/11831061/.