New Head of School Hosts Virtual Parent Forum

On the evening of July 15 and the morning of July 16, KAS’s new Head of School, Mr. James Laney Jr., hosted virtual Parent Forums to introduce himself and re-affirm our school’s commitment to a successful launch of the 2021-22 school year. If you were not able to attend in person, please enjoy the playback of the event, linked below.

Dear KAS community, teachers, and staff,
親愛的 KAS 社區,教職員大家好,

I am pleased to be invited to join your community at Kaohsiung American School for the 2021–22 school year. I visited your old school campus once in 1997 when you were a very different size. I am excited to be a KAS Dragon next year, in these challenging times.
我很高興接受邀請加入高雄美國學校的 2021-22 學年。 我曾在 1997 年參觀過你們的舊校園,那時的學校規模是非常不同的。 在這個充滿挑戰的時代,我很高興明年成為 KAS 的一分子。

Just as KAS does, I embrace the diversity of our unique and vibrant international learning communities. I enjoy nurturing relationships with teachers, students, parents, and staff. I look forward to working side-by-side with many of you next year, in accomplishing your mission and in laying the groundwork for a successful transition to the next long-term school director.
正如 KAS 所做的那樣,我歡迎獨特而充滿活力的國際學習社區的多樣性。 我喜歡培養與老師、學生、家長和學校行政人員的關係。 我期待著明年與你們中的許多人並肩工作,完成你們的使命, 並為成功交接到下一任長期總校長而奠定基礎。

What KAS will do in the coming weeks and months is an uncharted path. We will walk that path together. How KAS will respond in the coming weeks and months is clear from your values. The Dragons will continue to be critical thinkers & problem solvers, effective communicators, active learners, and ethical global citizens.
KAS 在未來幾周和幾個月要怎麼做是一條未知的道路。 我們將一起走這條路。 從您的價值觀中可以清楚地看出 KAS 在未來幾周和幾個月內將如何應對。 龍兒們 將繼續成為有判斷力的思考者和問題的解決者、有效的溝通者、積極的學習者和有道德的全球公民。

Now for a few details…
現在了解一些我的細節…

My family’s home is in Oregon, in the USA. I began my teaching career in the US Peace Corps in Kenya in the early 1980s. Now completing my 36th year as an educator, I have served in American and international schools in New York City, Nicosia, Taipei, Warsaw, Addis Ababa, New Delhi, and Maputo.
I’ve taught at all grade levels from K to 12, including computer science, technology, math, and physics. In addition to other leadership roles, I have served as a principal in elementary, middle, and high school programs, prior to becoming Head of School at the International Community School of Addis Ababa in 2010. Since 2005 I’ve been a principal or director in three distinguished IB schools. I am currently finishing an interim year as Director at the American International School of Mozambique.

我的家鄉在美國奧勒岡州。我在 1980 年代在肯亞的美國和平部隊開始我的教學生涯。目前完成了我作為教育工作者的第 36 個年頭,我曾在美國紐約市、塞浦路斯的尼科西亞、台灣台北、波蘭華沙、伊索匹亞的阿迪斯阿貝巴、印度新德里和莫三比克的馬布多的美國和國際學校任職。 我教過從 K 到 12 年級的所有年級,包括計算機科學、電腦科技、數學和物理。 除了其他領導階層的角色外,在 2010 年成為阿迪斯阿貝巴國際社區學校總校長之前,我還擔任小學、中學和高中的校長。自 2005 年以來,我一直擔任三個著名的 IB 學校的校長或總校長。 我目前正在完成作為莫三比克美國國際學校總校長的交接職務。

I have four daughters in Oregon, including two who are in graduate school to become international school teachers. My partner Laura is an experienced and qualified ESL and Learning Support teacher from the state of New Hampshire.
我在俄勒岡州有四個女兒,其中兩個正在讀研究所,以便成為國際學校的教師。 我的搭檔 Laura 是來自新罕布夏州,是一位經驗豐富且合格的 ESL 和學習支援教師。

The pandemic continues to challenge societies and schools around the globe. The KAS Dragons are online right now, and you are not alone. I look forward to meeting faculty and others in the community in the coming days and weeks, in preparation for the start of the new school year. I am confident that we can collaborate and work together to achieve your mission next year, challenging students to achieve academic excellence and preparing them to be balanced individuals, independent learners, and global citizens.
疫情持續挑戰全球的社會和學校。 KAS Dragons 現在網路線上上課,您並不孤單。 我期待在未來幾天和幾週內與教職員工和社區中的其他人會面,為新學年的開始做準備。 我有信心我們可以合作並共同努力實現您明年的使命,挑戰學生獲得卓越的學術成就,並讓他們做好成為一個均衡發展的個人、獨立學習者和全球公民的準備。

Best regards,
Jim Laney Jr.

We hope you are all safe and taking care of your health. As we all try to follow the regulations set forth by the recent announcement from the Ministry of Education, we will extend our online learning through June 10, which is the end of the school year. We understand that this may be stressful for your family, and we will try to support you in any way that we can through these difficult times.
我們希望大家一切安好並照顧好您的健康。由於我們大家都遵循最新的教育部公告 , 因此,我們學校將繼續網路線上學習直至6月10日,本學期結束。我們知道這可能會對您的家庭造成壓力,因此我們將盡力在這個艱困的時期為您提供協助。

There are many important traditions and rituals that happen as we close the school year. Our team is adjusting our plans to make sure that we finish our school year in the best possible way.
我們在結束這學年時會有許多重要的傳統和儀式。 我們的團隊正在調整計劃,以確保用最好的方式來結束這學年。

Student safety remains our top priority, and we recognize that this is a very difficult situation for the entire school community.
學生的安全依然是我們最優先的考量,我們深刻了解對整個社區成員來說這是一個非常困難的情況。

Please stay tuned for more communication from your teachers, administration, and Response Team in the time ahead. If you have any questions, please reach out to any of us. We are here to support.
請您持續留意,以便在未來的時間裡與您的老師,學校行政部門和應變小組進行更多的資訊交流。 如果有任何疑問,請與我們中的任何一位聯繫。 我們會在這裡協助支持。

Are you starting to feel a little bored at home? Whether it’s online school or just another day during summer vacation, Ms. Kristi has the cure! These selections are sure to put a smile on your face. Enjoy! #MsKristiRecommends

Kids Ask Authors (subscribe here!) is a weekly 5-10 minute podcast where children’s book author/illustrator Grace Lin and a guest author answer one question from a child reader. Most episodes will end with a book review, poem, short story or a joke by kids!

It has been one year since people of all ages from around the world first joined Mo Willems in his studio for weekday LUNCH DOODLES. 

When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hall every day. Luckily, Dav loved to draw and make up stories. He spent his time in the hallway creating his own original comic books.

In the second grade, Dav Pilkey made a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. Since then, he has been creating books that explore universally positive themes celebrating the triumph of the good-hearted.

Wonderopolis is an informational, inquiry based site that helps kids ask and answer interesting questions about the world.

Students pre-K through grade 4 can play as they learn about NASA and its missions. NASA Kids Club supports national education standards in STEM

Google teamed up with hundreds of museums around the world to create virtual museum tours and digital collections.

Even though we can’t see each other in person, Ms. Kristi wants to share with you some of her favorite Read Alouds. See if you can read along with the author. #MsKristiRecommends

Sometimes things can feel less scary when we can talk about them together. Our library recommends these two books for talking to young children about COVID-19. It’s especially important to consider everyone’s emotional health as well as their physical health. #MsKristiRecommends

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Out of an abundance of caution, KAS will move to Digital Days starting on Wednesday, May 19.  This means that Tuesday, May 18 will be our last in-person day for at least a week.

This is a difficult decision made after many hours of deliberation and planning.  We believe it is important for the safety of all to move forward with this decision.

We currently intend to remain online through at least Tuesday, May 25.  Our Response Team and Board of Directors will continue regular meetings and discussion to ensure we are making the best decisions for both safety and learning.

We will follow up with more details on Tuesday, 5/18.  In the meantime, please be aware that the Kaohsiung Bureau of Education has notified parents that they may provide permission for their student to stay home from in-person school on Tuesday if needed – please click here for more info.  In this case, parents should notify our front office.

校園最新防疫措施

Keeping students, faculty, staff, and our community safe remains a top priority for KAS.  Our Response Team met today to discuss updated guidance from the CECC, the Kaohsiung Bureau of Education, and the Kaohsiung City Government.  
維護學校學生教職員及社區大家的安全依然是我們最高的優先考量。學校的應變小組今天開會商討來自中央疫情指揮中心,高雄市政府,及高雄市教育局的最新指導原則。

Even though some schools in northern Taiwan have moved to online learning already, right now we are able to continue with in-person learning at Kaohsiung American School.  Doing this safely and in accordance with regulations requires us to make some further changes, some of which require very difficult decisions.  These changes are outlined below.  They are effective immediately and remain effective through June 8.
綜使目前北部的一些國際學校已經轉成為網路線上上課,然而高雄美國學校目前還是依然可以維持學生親自到校上課的模式。為了安全並按照法規進行這些步驟的要求,我們需要做一些進一步的改變,其中一些改變需要非常困難的決定。這些概述如下。這些改變自即日起立即生效,並一直持續到6月8日。

1. Effective immediately, only students, school employees, and contracted vendors may enter the KAS campus.  All other meetings must take place online.
自即日起只有學生學校教職員及特定的合約廠商可以進入學校的校園。所有會議均改為線上模式。

2. All field trips and inter-school trips and activities are cancelled.
所有的校外教學及校際間的活動交流都取消。

3. All professional development, meetings, and forums will be held online.
所有的研習、會議及專題研討都改為線上模式。

4. We urge all students, faculty, and staff to not go to crowded public places.
我們要求所有的教職員不要到人群擁擠聚集的場所。

5. Masks continue to be required at all times while on campus.  Social distancing is required during lunch.
所有的學生教職員進入學校後全程都要佩戴口罩。學生午餐時間必須保持社交距離。

6. Anybody who has traveled outside of Kaohsiung in May is requested to take their temperature twice daily – once upon arrival, and again after lunch.  Please use the temperature monitor at our front desk for this purpose.  If you feel ill or have any respiratory symptoms, stay home from school and seek medical treatment.  Please inform them and us of your travel/activity history.
任何曾經在五月到過高雄以外地區者,必需每日量測體溫兩次,一次是早晨到校時,另外一次是中午午餐之後。請善用學校大廳的紅外線體溫量測儀來檢測每日體溫。如果你有任何呼吸道症狀,請不要到學校來並尋求醫療協助。並請告知您的旅遊活動史。

7. KAS recommends the use of the Taiwan Social Distancing app for contact tracing. More details can be found on our website.
高雄美國學校請您善用「台灣社交距離app」來搜尋確診者的路線。您可以在「我們學校的網站」找到更多資訊。

8. All swimming classes are cancelled and the swimming pool is closed.
所有游泳課程都將取消同時泳池也將關閉。

Ms. Rock will follow up with more information about prom and graduation on Monday morning.
Ms. Rock將在下週一早上跟各位報告更多有關畢業舞會及畢業典禮的細節資訊。

We know these changes are difficult for students, families, faculty, and staff.  We thank you for your partnership in safety, and we will continue doing everything possible to keep our community safe.
我們深切了解這些改變對於學生及各位家長還有教職員是很艱難的。我們感激您為維護學校的安全與學校配合,我們將繼續盡期所能來維護學校的安全。

KAS recommends the excelled contact tracing app, Taiwan Social Distancing app (臺灣社交距離). Along with good hygiene, mask-wearing, and social distancing, installing the Taiwan Social Distancing app is an easy way for each of us to support Taiwan’s efforts to overcome COVID-19. It features strong privacy protection, does not track your location, and does not require any personal details or registration. The app uses lower energy Bluetooth (Bluetooth LE), so the battery impact on your device is imperceptible.

The goal of this app is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by providing real-time notification if you have been in contact with a confirmed case. Install the app by clicking this link from your mobile device.

Mr. Brian Borgi, High School English

Brian Borgi is joining KAS in 2021, teaching DP and MYP English Language and Literature. He is a graduate of Binghamton University, where he double-majored in English and History. He later earned his teaching license through the University of Colorado Boulder and his Masters of Education at Lehigh University. Having previously taught in the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, and Peru, Mr. Borgi is excited to begin his new life in Taiwan with his wife and daughter. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Borgi enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, visiting museums, playing board games, and watching Jeopardy!

Anny Chuan, Kindergarten

KAS Kindergarten adds a new smile to its Elementary team with Ms. Anny Chuan. She has worked with wonderful children from an array of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and abilities in Virginia, California, and Texas; and in international schools in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia; Manila, Philippines; and Beijing, China. She holds an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Texas Christian University, an M.S. in Public Relations from San Jose State University, and a B.A. in Communication from the University of Arizona. Anny is also a K-12 certified Special Education teacher who has experience working with students with unique learning needs. She believes a life-changing teacher can spark learning through creativity, constructive guidance, and constant encouragement. One of her favorite quotes says: “Every day may not be a good day, but there is always something good in every day.” Her goal as a teacher is to walk with students through thick and thin, taking them on a journey of discovering their own distinctive strengths and abilities.

Ms. Kimberly Clark, High School Principal

Kimberly Clark, an educational leader and San Francisco native, is excited and honored to be selected as the incoming High School Principal at KAS. She holds an Ed.S. from Mercer University, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Spelman College. Her professional experience includes time spent as a Deputy Principal in Abu Dhabi, UAE, a Vice Principal and Instructional Coach in Houston, USA, and an AP World History Teacher and Department Chair in Atlanta, USA. She is certified by the USA State of Georgia as an Educational Leader and as a Social Studies Teacher.

Ms. Clark hopes to continue impacting the lives of students through her dedication and commitment to the words of Marian Wright Edelman – “education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

Ms. Clark and her partner Audrey both enjoy traveling the world, experiencing new cultures, relaxing on the beach, and desert dune bashing. They are looking forward to exploring the beauty of Taiwan!

Ms. Shari Dixon, Elementary School Counselor

Shari has 25 years of experience as an Elementary School Counselor in the USA, Thailand, and Jordan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Walla Walla University in 1993 and a Masters of Education in School Counseling from Seattle Pacific University in 1996. Shari considers Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington as home. In her free time she loves to travel, hike, scuba dive, do Zumba, snow ski, water ski, read, play table games, explore new places wherever she’s living, try new restaurants, and most importantly hang out with good friends.

Ms. Christina Fears, Pre-K

Christina Fears will be joining KAS, this summer 2021, as Pre-Kindergarten teacher. She attended Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey for her undergrad and graduate studies, graduating in 2009. Christina holds a Masters Degree in Early Elementary Education and a teaching license for New Jersey. While completing her studies, Christina was a teaching assistant at Acelero Learning, which is a bilingual school, where Christina later became a Lead teacher for 3 years. In 2013, Christina began her international teaching career in the United Arab Emirates, working in government schools as an English Medium Teacher, teaching both, preschool and kindergarten for the past 8 years. Christina adores working with this age group because it is always random, fun, and full of energy. Christina loves exploring new places, eating delicious food, and having a good time.

Ms. Celine Fournier, MYP Art/Design

Celine Fournier is joining the KAS community in 2021 as an IB MYP Art and Design
Teacher. She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on
painting and animation. She completed her MPhil in Arts, Creativity, and Education at the University of Cambridge with Distinction and received a “Best Dissertation Award”. She is also certified in TESOL and trained in both MYP visual arts and design. Passionate about art and education, she worked as an Education Assistant at the Chicago Artists Coalition where she participated in curriculum planning and management for emerging artists. She was the Visual Design Coordinator of the 2019 Kaohsiung International Piano Festival. Celine is also a visual artist who paints fragments of her everyday life and constructs them into irregular-
shaped self-portraits. Her works were recently exhibited at the Auction Center Taipei. In her leisure time, Celine enjoys hiking, working on ceramics, as well as visiting art museums and galleries. As a KAS alumna, she is thrilled to be back!

Conor Gannon, High School Science

Hey folks, looking forward to meeting you in person in a couple of months. I’ll be the new HS physics teacher. My background is (obviously) physics, with a focus on astrophysics and then nuclear physics. I’ve taught physics for 5 years so far, all in IB schools. I also taught English for a year which has definitely helped with aiming my lessons at the correct level for non-native speakers.
Things I’m most looking forward to about moving to Taiwan:

  1. Nature (I’m currently in a concrete jungle)
  2. Chinese. It seems like a cool language and I’ll enjoy being terrible at it
  3. New people. One nice thing about joining a new school is meeting hundreds of new students and co-workers. The connections that you make with people is easily the best part about being a teacher.

See you in August!

Ms. Iyeshia Grant-Haynes, Elementary Art

Representing the state of M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i, Ms. Grant-Haynes joins the KAS fold in Elementary Art! She’s a 2014 graduate of the Mississippi University for Women with a Bachelor’s of Art in Biology, and also holds a Masters of Art in Art Education from the Memphis College of Art. She has experience teaching in-person and virtually to large and small class sizes in her school district in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Iyeshia enjoys working with young children and is looking forward to new adventures with KAS as she sets her sights on Taiwan.

Mr. Jim Laney Jr., Interim Superintendent of Schools

My family’s home is in Oregon, in the USA. I began my teaching career in the US Peace Corps in Kenya in the early 1980s. Now completing my 36th year as an educator, I have served in American and international schools in New York City, Nicosia, Taipei, Warsaw, Addis Ababa, New Delhi, and Maputo. I’ve taught at all grade levels from K to 12, including computer science, technology, math, and physics. In addition to other leadership roles, I have served as a principal in elementary, middle, and high school programs, prior to becoming Head of School at the International Community School of Addis Ababa in 2010. Since 2005, I’ve been a principal or director in three distinguished IB schools. I am currently finishing an interim year as Director at the American International School of Mozambique.

I have four daughters in Oregon, including two who are in graduate school to become international school teachers. My partner Laura is an experienced and qualified ESL and Learning Support teacher from the state of New Hampshire.

Mr. Kevin Mansell, HS Math

Kevin Mansell will be joining KAS in the high school math faculty. His most recent placement takes him from the hustle & bustle of Hong Kong, where he taught math at Hong Kong International School. Kevin also enjoys theater and coaching badminton. Previously he has presented at student conferences on the topic of Augmented Reality in education.

Ms. Katherine Meade, Elementary ELL

Kate Meade is joining KAS in 2021 as an ELL teacher at the elementary school. Mrs. Meade earned her Bachelor of Science from Longwood University and earned her Masters in Curriculum Instruction and Literacy Leadership from The College of William and Mary. Mrs. Meade previously taught kindergarten through fourth grade and was a reading specialist in grades six through eight in Virginia. Mrs. Meade is looking forward to exploring Taiwan with her husband, Mr. Meade (HS science) and her two children.

Mr. Stephen Meade, High School Science

Stephen Meade is joining KAS in 2021 teaching MYP & DP Biology. He is a graduate of The University of Melbourne where he double majored in Botany and Zoology with an additional minor in Australian flora & fauna. While still at The University of Melbourne Mr. Meade completed a Masters in Teaching specializing in secondary science education. Mr. Meade has been teaching a variety of high school sciences in Virginia for the past ten years with his wife Katherine and two children who are all excitedly moving to Kaohsiung.

Mr. Meade loves cricket, soccer, and badminton; he also enjoys trying out new foods and spending time outside with his family.

Ms. Laura Rollison, MS Humanities

Please welcome Ms. Laura Rollison to the 2021-22 KAS roster. She is a graduate of NYU and Dartmouth College, and has taught ESL all over the world. Most recently, Laura worked with students in her placements at ICS Addis Ababa in Ethopia, and the American Embassy School in Dehli.

We are happy to have her among our excellent Middle School team.

Mr. Meade loves cricket, soccer, and badminton; he also enjoys trying out new foods and spending time outside with his family.

Ms. Lily Tejeda, MS Science

Representing the flag of the Dominican Republic is Ms. Lily Tejeda, who will join KAS’s strong science department and teach students in grades 7 and 8. Ms. Tejeda and her dog “Nuby” have called Taiwan their home for over 5 years. Her background includes teaching the British A Levels at the Middle and High School levels. Prior to this she was a senior researcher assistant specializing in molecular biology, running a science laboratory. Ironically, Lily confesses that during her high school years, science had not been her cup of tea. This changed when she understood the power that science knowledge can provide to help others see the world in all its color. Her aim is to make science more accessable by removing stigmas and teaching the needed basics for students to grap Science and hypothesize about everyday phenomena for fun!

Ms. Angela Hsu, Aquatics Director

This year, Ms. Hsu has accepted the role of Aquatics Director after years of experience in the department. Angela Hsu joined KAS in 2016 as a lifeguard. She earned her BA from Kaohsiung Medical University in Sports Medicine and her MA from National Kaohsiung Normal University in Teaching. Angela is a certified lifeguard and Lifesaving Coach, fitness coach, volleyball referee, and coach, and has her EMT license. Angela is also an athletics trainer for local, national, and international events, including the National Games in Taiwan and ACAMIS in Hong Kong and China. She also coaches the girls’ varsity volleyball team and took them to the championship in 2018. She and her sister live together in Kaohsiung; they enjoy traveling, cooking, swimming, and watching movies.

Ms. Angela Kuo, Elementary Faculty G5

Angela Kuo joined KAS in December of 2020 as a one-on-one paraprofessional in fifth grade. She will continue as a fifth grade teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Visual Arts and minored in Education Studies. She continued to obtain her teaching certificate in multiple subjects as well as a Master’s in Education from the University of California, San Diego. After teaching in the United States, Angela and her family decided to settle back in Taiwan. She is looking forward to continuing her learning and teaching at KAS, while at the same time enjoying the endless adventures that Taiwan has to offer. Some of her favorite things to do to relax are going to the beach, swimming, making arts & crafts, and just spending time with loved ones.

Mr. Jitesh Pattni, MYP Science

Jitesh will teach MYP Design and Science this school year. He brings with him 11 years of experience as a fisheries biologist on the Oregon coast where he led the research of salmonid population dynamics and harvest rates to ensure a sustainable future for the species. He received his BA in Environmental Studies and Economics from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and is currently working towards completing his Masters in Education. You may recognize him from his work in the elementary school and coaching basketball, volleyball, soccer, and swimming at KAS. When Jitesh isn’t on campus, he helps organize the Kaohsiung Ultimate League and can often be found on the ultimate frisbee field. You’ll frequently spot him in his wife Kali’s 4th grade classroom, or playing with his amazing daughter, Ilia, in Aozihdi Park.