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President's Newsletter

Read more about our President's Academic Leadership Journey


On behalf of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff, I would like to welcome you to the American Community Schools of Athens and thank you for entrusting us with the education of your children.

The 2018-2019 academic year is my 14th year serving ACS Athens. I am so proud to experience a continuous growth with quality and integrity of our institution in all aspects. Most important, is the fact that all of us are preparing your children to become global citizens with ethos, serving humanity.


Thursday
Nov152018

ACS Athens highlights - October 2018

Enrollment

Enrollment is continuing to grow and we have currently reached yet another new high! We currently have a total of 1,028 students. This is a clear indication that ACS Athens has a great reputation as an institution with both high academic standards and a strong commitment to serving humanity.

"Sustaining Excellence" Protocol – Reaccreditation (2022-2029)

I am very honored to report to you that I received a letter from the President of the Middle States Association (Dr. Henry Cram) regarding our decision (with the approval of the Executive Committee) to proceed for Re-Accreditation (2022-2029) under the "Sustaining Excellence " Protocol.

In particular his statement below clearly reflects MSA’s respect for ACS Athens. "We are beginning to think about next steps for schools that have successfully used Sustaining Excellence. My consultations with you and Dr. Pelonis about your plans have provided me with a frame work for what our expectations for those schools should be." Dr. Henry Cram

Very few (K-12) premier schools ONLY in US (collaborating with universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania) have successfully completed the "Sustaining Excellence" protocol.  No other international school accredited by MSA (more than 2,500) has attempted the "Sustaining Excellence Protocol."

Back to School Nights

The Back to School events were very successful. This year they were organized in a different way so as to allow parents to meet with their children's faculty in a more time efficient way.

Emphasis was in ensuring that the parents realize the importance of US accreditation and also the honor of ACS Athens being the ONLY international K-12 institution, among 2,700 accredited schools, accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools with the “Sustaining Excellence” protocol. We will continue with the new cycle for this protocol that will provide ACS Athens reaccreditation until the year 2029.

The schedules for the Back to School days are as follows:

Elementary School – October 4, 2018

  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. - for parents of students in Grades JK-2 - ACS Athens Vision Presentation by Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President - in the Sabbagh Library
  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – for parents of students in Grades 3-5 – ACS Athens Vision Presentation by Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President – in the Sabbagh Library
  • The parent classroom visits were broken up into two cycles
    • Grades JK-2 parents were able to participate in this event from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    • Grades 3-5 parents were able to participate from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Parents, who were unable to attend the homeroom visits, had the opportunity to do so again from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
    This different approach to Back to School allowed more time for parents to visit with both the classroom faculty and specials faculty in a more time efficient manner.

Middle School/Academy – October 9, 2018

  • Both the Middle School and Academy Back to School events will take place on October 9th. Again, for the sake of efficiency, it was decided to have these two events on the same day.
    The schedule created is as follows:

    Middle School
    • 4:30–4:50 p.m. - ACS Athens Vision Presentation by Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President - in the Sabbagh Library – all grades.
    • 4:50-4:55 p.m - Ms. Meyer briefs parents and releases to appropriate locations
    • 5:00-6:00 p.m. – Core classes and PE presentations by grade level.
    • 6:00-6:30 p.m. – ESL/EFL/Greek/Foreign Language/other electives faculty will be available – Open House/tour of building.
    Academy
    • 6:30 – 6:55 p.m. - ACS Athens Vision Presentation by Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President – in the Sabbagh Library – all grades.
    • 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. - Parents gather in specified classrooms to meet with faculty.
    • 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. - Tour of the Academy classrooms.

JIC/ACS Athens 4-year Scholarship

ACS Athens and JIC Corporation announces one new, full, 4-year Academic Scholarship, in the name of JIC, which will provide a new student entering 9th Grade in September 2018 with the unique opportunity to study at the ACS Athens Academy (Grades 9-12).

Board Reception

On Wednesday, October 17, a welcome reception took place at which the Chairperson Mr. Suheil Sabbagh, Ada Gianneskis, Jeremy Ryver, Manya Louvari, Iraklis Prokopakis, James Stiegler, Tim Ananiadis, and Vasilis Gregoriou were present. The Board expressed their appreciation to all employees at ACS Athens. The reception ended with employees and Board of Trustees members in casual exchanges.

Peace and Sport Award 2018

ACS Athens received the "Regional Peace through Sport Initiative of the Year Award".

The Peace and Sport Awards are given to international or regional organizations and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to peace, dialogue and social change in the world through sport. The winners of this global initiative have led projects that are symbolic of sport’s capacity to reconcile divided or opposed communities. They are an inspiration to other stakeholders for what sport can achieve on the globally.

This year the Peace and Sport Awards took place on the island of Rhodes in October. The winner of this award was selected by a Jury Committee and announced during a ceremony that will took place on October 18 th in the presence of H.S.H. Le Prince Albert II de Monaco. We are excited to be the winners of this prestigious award.

The Youth to Youth Program

  1. It is with great pleasure that I share with you the attached document that outlines the Youth to Youth Program as it has evolved.
  2. On September 6 th Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro visited ACS Athens to welcome the 18 selected children from the Home Project who are currently attending ACS Athens in this unique and authentic full-time Youth to Youth Program. The Shapiro Foundation has committed €245,000 a year for four (4) years as it relates to the assessment of the program. This potential four-year commitment reflects approximately €1,000,000 in funding.
  3. At the same time, the part-time program will be continuing with 60 ACS Athens volunteers and 45 Home Project children. Sessions will run for nine weeks on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All expenses are covered by donations from individuals and organizations.

University Collaborations

We are currently working with the leadership of four universities to secure agreements in the following areas:

  • Our Ph.D. faculty to be potential adjunct faculty to teach summer courses both at the said universities and on-line.
  • Masters or Doctorate level courses to be offered at ACS Athens during the summer.
  • Invite other educational institutions to send their faculty to take these courses.
  • Opportunity for ACS Athens faculty to complete their Master’s or Doctorate degrees with substantial discount scholarships.
  • ACS Athens to promote their institutions to our students and other high quality K-12 academic institutions in Athens and Greece making it a viable and attractive choice for undergraduate university studies.
  • To participate in a research process that assesses our model of education for the Youth to Youth students and the possibility of it being duplicated by other institutions. The universities we are currently communicating with are: Wilkes University, PA; Griffith University, Ireland; Chapman University, California, and Widener University, PA.

International School Journal Belongs to ACS Athens

I am thrilled to share with you that ACS Athens IIC (Institute of Innovation and Creativity) will assume the publication of the prestigious Educational Journal "International Schools Journal" beginning November 2018. It is truly a great honor, but also a greater challenge to not only maintain the high quality of the journal, but also to make it better.



Tuesday
Aug212018

ACS Athens highlights - August 2018

Enrollment

We continue growth of enrollment, which will reach a new high! This indicates that ACS Athens is enjoying a great reputation as an institution with not only high academic standards, but also as an institution living with its commitment in serving humanity.

The Panagiotis Stefanos Gialamas Scholarship

After receiving numerous applications for the PSG scholarship and carefully evaluating these, the committee has awarded a 4-year scholarship to an outstanding student coming from a Greek public school with a GPA 19.9/20, exhibiting great leadership qualities.

The Thomas Gialamas Scholarship

After receiving numerous applications for the TG scholarship and carefully evaluating these, the committee has awarded a 4-year scholarship to an outstanding student coming from a Greek public school with a GPA 19.4/20, exhibiting great commitment and devotion to Ethos and Service.

JIC/ACS Athens 4-year Scholarship

ACS Athens and JIC Corporation announces one new, full, 4-year Academic Scholarship, in the name of JIC, which will provide a new student entering 9th Grade in September 2018 with the unique opportunity to study at the ACS Athens Academy (Grades 9-12).

"Hasib & Diana Tamari Sabbagh" 3-year Scholarships for student/athletes (basketball)

The generosity of the Sabbagh family extends to 3 new scholarship recipients, making the total number of recipients, 12.

International Baccalaureate Results

Athens students and our exceptional IB Faculty have once more made us all proud with their accomplishments. Below is a summary from the past year:

  • IB Diploma Average: 35.9
  • IB Diploma Median: 35
  • 97% of the students scored above 30
  • 19% of our students scored 40 and above
  • The highest score was 44
Keeping in mind that the IB perfect score is 45 and the world average is 29.5, the results of our students are exceptional!

College Acceptances

Our college/university placement has been outstanding, with our graduates continuing their education in their “best fit” schools around the world. Below are some of the universities in the U.S., U.K. and other countries that our students have been accepted to.

In the United States: Bentley University, Boston University, Emerson College, Fordham University, George Washington University, Hofstra University, Lehigh University, Loyola Marymount University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Miami Dade College, New York University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, University of Arizona, University of California, (Berkeley, Davis, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and L.A.), University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of Tampa, Wheaton College, and more.

In the United Kingdom: Brunel University London, Cardiff University, City University of London, Coventry University, Durham University, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Kingston University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Middlesex University, Newcastle University, Queen Mary University of London, Richmond the American International University in London, Royal Holloway University of London, University of College London, University of Exeter, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Surrey, University of Westminster and more.

In Canada and other countries: American University of Paris/France, Eindhoven University of Technology/Netherlands, Erasmus University Rotterdam/Netherlands, Maastricht University, Netherlands, McGill University/Canada, University of Amsterdam/Netherlands, University of Groningen/Netherlands, University of Toronto/Canada and more.

For a complete list, please click here.

Donations

The generosity of the ACS Athens community resulted in 518,000 Euro total donations this year. A significant amount, 131,000 Euro, was from an individual Board of Trustees member. The ACS Athens PTO, individual parents and community members donated the rest (387,000 Euro). The donations will be used to financially support many important initiatives. We would like to extend a special thank you to all for their support!

Youth to Youth Program

We are continuing our contribution to humanity with the program “Youth to Youth”: educating all students, in collaboration with the HOME Project, the NGO organization established by the Libra Group of the Logothetis family. The HOME Project has developed the concept of providing a home environment to unaccompanied refugee children. Through this collaboration ACS Athens provided unaccompanied refugee children with creative learning experiences. The program is delivered on Saturdays (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.); there are 3 cycles in a year and each cycle lasts 9 weeks. Volunteer ACS Athens faculty and students come together to work with approximately 42 refugee children in integrating athletics, art, music, English or Greek, computers and more in order to ensure a truly multi-faceted educational experience for these children. Volunteer doctors, the bus contractor and other supporters of this initiative have donated transportation, medical check-ups and certain apparel. We will continue this initiative with the new academic year.

The Edward Shapiro Foundation and Home Project 250,000 Scholarship Donation to ACS Athens

Philanthropist Mr. Edward Shapiro from Boston visited ACS Athens and observed the Youth to Youth Program. He spoke with students, faculty, and staff and also with children from the HOME Project who were attending the Youth to Youth Program. Mr. Shapiro was so pleased and touched by his experience, that he offered 18 scholarships to qualified students from the HOME project to attend ACS Athens full-time. After an extended process of selecting from 202 applications, 18 were qualified to attend ACS Athens. Please see the related link from Kathimerini article.

New Faculty

  • Abdel Samad, Darine HS,MS Arabic Teacher
  • Chen, Hsuen-Chin HS, MS Chinese Teacher
  • Laitinen, Valeria Eleonora ES 5 grade Teacher
  • Passons, Christofer ES Assistant Principal
  • Tsinakis, Sophia Chrisanthi ES 1 grade Teacher

NFOP (New Faculty and Staff Orientation Program)

The NFOP Program, August 21-24, & 31st 2018, will continue this year to ensure a smooth transition to our new faculty, especially those coming to us from abroad.

Major Facilities Improvement

  • ACS Theater building structural compliance with Greek building code. Expected completion date January 2019.
  • Art rooms floor above main Hasib J.Sabbagh Library, full renovation about 550 m2. In addition to reconstructing the existing Art classrooms create a new multi-purpose classroom of 90m2. All floor will be air-conditioned.
  • Renovation of HS Combo classes 201, 202, 203 and 204. Some dept. chairs and faculty offices will be moving around.
  • Renovation MS room 10, MS Faculty lounge and MS faculty computer center.
  • Basement of Middle School to become the new Bookstore dept, about 250m2. It will be moving from the Elementary school basement.
  • Basement of Elementary School to become extended Physical Education (PE) and exercise rooms for Elementary students, additional PE space about 300m2.
  • Administration second Floor storage room and surrounding area on roof of Middle school to be converted to a multipurpose classroom, about 90m2.
  • Elementary outdoor area, create new playground at existing play yard - Clean and paint with acrylic liquid the elementary football field (above asphalt), to cover imperfections and avoid injuries to children, New fitness monkey bars equipment and toys in existing space. Special rubber tile placement in this area to avoid injuries of children, Constructing two pergolas at two different playground areas for outdoor table activities and placing picnic tables, Create four running lanes with soft rubber carpet, 50 meters in length, in the area along the back balcony of the Elementary cafeteria, and renovate the surrounding area, (Not affecting the car parking), Drawing and installing various children games on the playground floor and on the playground fence perimeter.
  • Renovate Schools Nurses Department, replace furniture and equipment.
  • Reinforce fire protection, electrical and ventilation measures in Theater Building and swimming pool buildings.
  • Replace school Main computer network switch and reinforce peripheral network switches and fiber optics.
  • Purchase new classroom furniture, computer and other educational instruments as needed. Compo classrooms will be outfitted with additional educational equipment.
  • Expand Natural Gas Heating network to all School Buildings, including the swimming pool.
  • Other improvements as needed, e.g. roofs water proofing, electrical panels replacements, plumbing replacements, etc.

The Center of Leadership and Mindfulness

We are happy to announce the center will be launched in Fall 2018 with the vision of empowering individuals to shape their own leadership identity by providing opportunities to uncover a deeper purpose and a meaningful connection to themselves and the world. The center with appropriate customized programs, will serve students, teachers, and parents.

2018 Commencement Speakers

The Academy commencement speaker was the President of Widener University, Dr. Julie Wollman. The Middle School graduation speaker was Ms. Amy Carlon, Counselor for Public Affairs Embassy of the United States of America and ACS Athens Board of Trustees member.

Over the past 13 years, we have had many prestigious commencement speakers, such as US Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, University Presidents, Harriet Fulbright, President of the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Foundation and more.

Fulbright/ACS Athens Educational Forum

The 2-day Educational Forum, "Redesigning Educational Systems: From Theory to Praxis", which took place at the Light House of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens on April 26 and 27, 2018 was a big success! The Forum was organized by the Fulbright Foundation, Greece, in collaboration with ACS Athens and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and was part of a series of events celebrating Fulbright’s 70 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and the United States. The keynote speaker for Thursday was Dr. Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education. The guest speaker for Friday was Dr. Edward Burger, President of Southwestern University in Texas.

Over 300 participants enjoyed a rich exchange of ideas by the panelists and keynote speakers who aimed to highlight a shared concern: the importance of developing educational systems that will enable students to become productive, responsible, civic-minded global citizens, ready to contribute proactively to societies in transformation. Encouraging effective thinking, global awareness in a globally connected world, civic engagement, meaningful learning and the need to shift existing mindsets on teaching methodologies were among the thought-provoking issues touched upon.
Pictures from the event can be viewed here.

The Incubator of Students Creative Ideas at ACS Athens

An innovative initiative for students has taken birth the past few months: the establishment of the Incubator of Students Creative Ideas. The mission and vision is defined as follows.

Mission: The Incubator at ACS Athens is a student-led, student-run, project-based learning hub using the design process to promote, support and guide student’s creative ideas in all disciplines.

Vision: Students function as architects of their own learning as they choose, create, fund and support their intellectual curiosity.

The Incubator, which is housed on the first floor of the Learning Commons in the Sabbagh Library, is an exciting new addition to our campus learning environment, a place where students (with faculty mentorship) can experiment, design and create -- turning their ideas into viable products, projects and initiatives, allowing them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in a wide variety of scientific and technical, cultural and artistic, and social and humanitarian realms. The incubator is designed and operated by students, and Ms. MaryAnn Augoustatos, Director, JK Academic Research and Learning Studios, ACS Athens Learning Commons guides their work.

Hisar School, Istanbul

On December 9-13, 2017 the Hisar School in Istanbul visited ACS Athens to co-host an Inaugurating Summit of our ISCI (Incubator of Students’ Creative Ideas) and continue our collaboration between the two schools. The students from both the Hisar School and ACS Athens had the opportunity to design and materialize innovative projects. The Head of School, Principal and two Directors with eight students came to ACS Athens to see our academic programs, including the newly constructed incubator space.

Division Chairs

ACS Athens has a unique K-12 structure to secure the best approach to design our curriculum, develop appropriate assessment tools and implementing best methodology of improving teaching and learning.

We have established and this year modified the structure of Division leaders – we now have four K-12 Divisions to best address all issues related to the above contents. They are:

  1. Mathematics and Technology - Dr. Tsokos
  2. Science - Dr. Christakos
  3. Humanities/Art/Physical Education - Ms. Zavacopoulou
  4. English/Languages - Ms. Jasonides
Division Chairs work with the ES, MS and Academy faculty and administration with regularly established meetings (once a month, more if needed). In additions they work with the Deans as needed.

Naming of Home Project Shelter

I was invited to name the first ever shelter of the HOME Project organization. The name Socrates was selected and given because in the shelter there are unaccompanied children from more than ten nationalities and since Socrates said "I am not a citizen of Athens or Greece, but a citizen of the world", this was a suitable name.

The Panagiotis Stefanos Gialamas Home Project Learning Center

The Panagiotis Stefanos Gialamas Incubator of Learning was created and established in the Socrates shelter from the Panagiotis Gialamas fund the incubator was established inside the shelter. Internet connection, furniture and computers were provided so the residents of Socrates can continue their learning on-line with the guidance of ACS Athens faculty or by themselves.



Wednesday
Mar072018

ACS Athens highlights - February 2018

Enrollment

As of today, 985 students are enrolled.

Fulbright Foundation and ACS Athens Organizing Education Forum

The Forum "Redesigning Educational Systems: from Theory to Praxis", is part of Fulbright's 70 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and the United States. It is being organized in collaboration with ACS Athens. The forum will give the attendees an opportunity to engage in a critical exchange between educators (K-12 and Higher Education Institutions) and business leaders regarding the kinds of learners needed by the world today. This event aims to highlight the importance of developing educational systems that enable students to become productive responsible, civic-minded global citizens, ready to contribute proactively to societies in transformation. The two-day program is as follows:

Thursday April 26th: 5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks: Kostas Gavroglu, Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs | Geoffrey R. Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece | Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens | Artemis A. Zenetou, Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation

Panel I: Maria Kapsokefalou, Vice-Rector, Agricultural University of Athens | Haris Makryniotis, Managing Director, Endeavor Greece | Allan Goodman, President, Institute of International Education. Moderator: Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens

Keynote Speaker: Allan Goodman, President, Institute of International Education

Friday, April 27th: 5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks: Stefanos Gialamas, President, ACS Athens | Artemis A. Zenetou, Executive Director, Fulbright Foundation

Panel II: Eleni Katsarou, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL | Dimitris Sampson, Professor, Curtin University/University of Pireaus | Roxanne Giampapa, President, Pinewood Schools | Vincent Gray, Social Studies Teacher, Druid Hills High School, Atlanta, GA/2017-18 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program | Elisavet Chorianopoulou, Administrator, Elementary Schools, "Maria Goudeli" Montessori Schools. Moderator: Peggy Pelonis, Dean of Student Affairs, ACS Athens.

Guest Speaker: Edward Burger, President, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX

Model United Nations

ACS Athens students have had the opportunity to showcase their diplomacy at four MUN conferences this year:

  • Costeas Geitonas MUN, where two of our students chaired and one that received the "Best Delegate" award;
  • Twelve students attended The Hague Model United Nations, with two our students holding the positions of Ambassador and Deputy Chair as leaders.
  • For the first time in the history of ACS Athens, twelve students and two faculty members were invited and are currently participating at the Georgetown University Model United Nations in Washington, D.C.
  • Ten students will participate in the Athens Model United Nations in March.

A special thank you is extended to the S. Stamatiou family and ACS Athens for their generous support in providing two scholarships for students to participate in the International conferences, who might otherwise not have been able to do so. Once again, the community, students, and ACS Athens collaborated with ethos to provide the best educational opportunities for our students.

Professional Development

The 2018 NESA Spring Educators Conference is schedule to take place in Athens in April. Twelve faculty and administrators will engage their learning in one of the largest regional conferences, not only as participants, but also as presenters:
  • Sevasti Koniossis, Christina Bakoyannis and Rebecca Meyer will present their workshop entitled "Ethos Education through Collaborative Leadership" --  they will feature several service learning projects from the ACS Middle School made possible through the UN Day and by the work of all Middle School faculty in Advisory.  "Specific strategies, including an online i2flex platform, will be provided that can make service learning an integral part of a school curriculum and values. Everyone who attends will witness the ways in which a shared vision and passion for service among teachers and administrators can inspire students and empower, as well as unite, an entire school community."
  • Dora Andrikopoulos, will present her workshop entitled "Setting Learning on Fire through Project - Based Learning in Mathematics". Ms. Andrikopoulos will share lesson designs that she has developed so that visiting teachers can discover how "Project-Based Learning has been applied in Middle School Math to develop students as critical thinkers and autonomous learners."

ECIS Conference The following people led workshops/facilitated at the ECIS InspirEd Conference in November, in the following topics:

  • Sevasti Konniosis: How do we encourage students to feel connected to and responsible for their community?
  • Julia Tokatlidou: How do we move to project-based learning (PBL) without disrupting the entire timetable?
  • Rebecca Meyer: What can we do to support Mother Tongue maintenance and development across our school community?
  • Peggy Pelonis: Celebrating individuality: a Best Fit Approach
  • Chris Perakis: What would it look like if we became a more inclusive school? Ms. Perakis was invited by the International School of Luxembourg Head of Schools, to work with their Learning Support Staff on looking at other ways to meet their student needs; as they feel that ACS Athens has a "model" program.

Serving Humanity

  • The second phase of the Youth to Youth Program was successfully completed in December 2017. The program will continue throughout the Spring semester. The Spring program will be finalized within a few days and will be sent to you should you wish to join us.
  • Mr. Prokopakis provided invited the refugee students to the Danaos facilities where they were provided with information about the company, possible employee opportunities and the traits they look for hiring personnel
  • Koinwnos, a student-led initiative, collects and provides clothes to homeless people. Students, parents and faculty (with the support and guidance of Koinwnos personnel) personally deliver clothes, blankets and other materials to people in need. The ACS Athens community donated clothing and especially warm coats and jackets.

College Placement

To date, we have had impressive college acceptances and offerings including:

  • USA: Stanford, Northwestern University, New York University, Rutgers University, Santa Clara University, and more.
  • UK: University of Glasgow, London School of Economics, University of Warwick, University College London, University of Bath, Kings College, Imperial College and more.
  • Other countries: University of Amsterdam, Trinity College Dublin, University of Groningen

PanHellenic Forensics Tournament

Amalia Zavacopoulos and Sophia Thanopoulou are Co-Chairs of the 2018 PanHellenic Forensics Tournament that is scheduled to take place at ACS Athens March 8, 9, 10, 11. Twenty schools from all over Greece, with more than 450 students, will participate. The competition events are: Debate, Group Discussion, Impromptu Speaking, Original Orators, Duet Acting, and Oral Interpretation of Literature.

DiL Program in Thessaloniki

Theo Koutsopoulos and Xenia Vafopoulou, Dogs in Learning instructors and three DiL dogs (Iro, Arno and Hugo) visited the Pinewood American International School and American Farm School in Thessaloniki on February 12 and 13, 2018 and delivered workshops on this program to the Elementary School students and faculty. The students who participated in the workshops enjoyed this learning experience immensely.

University of Delaware

Dr. Dennis Assanis, the 28th President of the University of Delaware and his administrative team visited and toured ACS Athens on January 25 th and met with school educators and leaders. The meeting was quite successful on many levels and solidified the agreement between ACS Athens and the UDEL.

Name a Seat

We will be reactivating this Board initiated fundraising initiative, which thus far has six seats sold. We are currently working on a campaign to re-launch this initiative.

ACS Athens Learning Commons

INCUBATOR of Student's Creative Ideas: The ACS Athens ISCI Council co-hosted, with the Hisar School in Istanbul Turkey, an inaugural Innovation Summit in December of 2017. The two day Summit was organized and taught primarily by the students running the incubator in the Learning Commons.

Topics presented included: Arduino programming language, Fusion 360, Scratch, Python, Adobe, Ancient Greek Ethics, Fashion Design and Creative Writing.

In the Spring, after school courses will be offered to students by a parent who has volunteered to offer Arduino and 3D printing courses.

Learning Enhancement Programs

  • Partnership for Student Success Monthly Sessions provide parents with important information on:
    • "Use of IT platforms (Skyward, Moodle) & internet safety"
    • "The Art of Effective Parenting: How to Raise Responsible and Autonomous Children"
    • "School support services (incl. OLP, Wellness, Testing, After School Program, OT, ST)"
    • "Behavioral, Learning and Socio-economic aspects of Vision Problems in Children"
    • "Positive-Rational Parenting & Sibling Rivalry"
They have all been very well attended.

Middle School Community Service Initiatives

  • MS Elderly Service visits twice a week through Advisory classes; students assist patients by conversing, coloring, playing music, etc.
  • MS Service Leaders lead Holiday shoebox gifts for shelter. Goal: 150 boxes. They raised over 180 boxes!
  • Fields trips once a quarter per grade-level; correspond with curriculum enhancement. This week's Greek LA 7 & 8 classes will be visiting Elliniko Kosmos to see a play about Alexander the Great.
  • MS students and faculty along with Academy are leading a recycling initiative to educate the institution's population over Green initiatives.
  • Mr. Alafouzos, the famous Greek actor and director, was a guest speaker in Ms. Sidiropoulou's Greek class on Friday 26th January 2018.
  • International Day of Mother Languages will be celebrated on: 21 February.
  • Weekly Wednesday Advisories have enabled students to meet with a club or advisory one time/month.

Athletics

Below are the dates for the major upcoming events:
  • International Youth Basketball Tournament on February 23–25.
  • ISST Boys Basketball Tournament at Cobham, UK on March 8-9-10
  • ISST Girls Basketball Tournament at Bohn on March 8-9- 10
  • International Basketball coaches' Clinic on May 11-12
  • Annual Athletics Banquet on May 31

President's Recent Publications/Distinctions

  • Published the article: Transforming K-12 Educational Institutions: The Global Morfosis Paradigm (gMp) in the International Schools Journal Vol XXXVII No.1 November 2017, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas and Dr. Peggy Pelonis
  • Economist Special Greek issue, The World in 2018 "Η Καινοτομία στην εκπαίδευση μαγέυει την καρδιά των μαθητών", Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, February 2018
  • Leadership in Academic Institutions; Preparing Students Holistically for Life: Matters of the Heart and Mind, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Alessadra Sax-Lane, International Journal of Progressive Education, Volume 13 Number 3, 2017
  • Developing Mathematical Knowledge and Skills Through the Awareness Approach of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Angeliki Stamati, Dr. Abour Cherif, Journal of Education and Practice Vol 8, Nov 13, 2017
  • Which Sweetener is Best for Yeast? An Inquiry-Based Learning for Conceptual Change. Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Dr. Abour Cherif, Dr. Sana Kassem, Dr. Farahnaz Movahedzadeh, Journal of Education and Practice Vol 8 No 2, 2017
  • Co-chair and Moderator of The Forum of Redesigning Educational Systems: From Theory to Praxis


Thursday
Sep142017

ACS Athens highlights - August 2017

Enrollment

We continue growth of enrollment, which will reach a new high!   This indicates that ACS Athens is enjoying a great reputation as an institution with not only high academic standards, but also as an institution living with its commitment in serving humanity.

International Baccalaureate Results

For a third year, ACS Athens IB Diploma students achieved exceptionally high IB Diploma scores. Two students received the perfect score (45/45) and ranked at the very top of the scale; Only 219 students received a perfect score, worldwide. The total number of students taking the IB Diploma exams is 159,400. With an average IB Diploma score of 35,7 points, compared to the world average of 29.95 points, this year’s scores place the ACS Athens IB Diploma students amongst the best performing IB Diploma students worldwide. This year’s score distribution was marked with a very high median of 36 points; 50% of the IB Diploma students scored 36 points and above and 17.8% of the IB Diploma scores were above 40 points. All students have met their offers from the UK colleges.

The average scores per subject offered at ACS Athens, which includes the performance of all students taking IB exams (both IB Diploma and IB Diploma Course students) indicate that the success was widespread and that the majority of those taking IB exams have scored well above the world average; 95% of subject averages were above the world average and the overall average exam score is at 5.60 points.

Advanced Placement (AP) Results

ACS Athens offers three AP courses, Calculus AB, Environmental Science and Spanish Language and Culture. A total of 7 ACS Athens students were enrolled in AP classes and took the respective exams. Additionally, ACS Athens students who are encouraged and guided to be risk takers and architects of their own learning, took another 19 AP exams either by attending the respective IB courses or by studying entirely on their own for their AP exams.

With 5 being the highest AP score and 3 the passing grade, ACS Athens students achieved a 3.11 average exam score, with 71% of those taking AP exams scoring above 3 while 40% scored 4 and above. Most US colleges provide college credit for AP scores of 4 and above.

College Acceptances

Our college/university placement has been outstanding, with our graduates continuing their education in their “best fit” schools around the world. Below are some of the universities in the U.S., U.K. and other countries that our students have been accepted.

In the United States: Bentley University, Boston University, Brandeis University, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Columbia College Chicago, Dartmouth College, Drexel University, Elmhurst College, Fordham University, George Mason University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Pepperdine University, Roger Williams University, Seton Hall University, Syracuse University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and more.

In the United Kingdom: Brunel University London, Cardiff University, City University of London, King’s College London, Kingston University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, Swansea University, University of College London, University of Bath, University of Dundee, University of Exeter, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Surrey, University of Strathclyde, University of Westminster and more.

In Canada and other countries: American University of Paris/France, Bocconi University/Italy, Eindhoven University of Technology/Netherlands, Erasmus University Rotterdam/Netherlands, Maastricht University, Netherlands, McGill University/Canada, Ryerson University/Canada, University of Amsterdam/Netherlands, University of Bucharest/Romania, University of Groningen/Netherlands, University of Innsbruck/Austria, University of Toronto/Canada, University of Vienna/Austria and more.

Summer Leadership Academy 2017

Eleven ACS Athens students participated in the 2017 Leadership Academy from June 24 - July 7, 2017, designed in collaboration with the Oskin Leadership institute of Widener University in Chester, PA. While at Widener, ten of the students (rising 9th - 11th graders) participated in an intensive series of seminars on leadership and ethics, led by Dr. Arthur Schwartz, Director of the Oskin Center and a renowned scholar in the field of ethics in leadership.   One student participated in the Widener Summer Engineering Camp, organized by the Widener School of Engineering, during this time. Our collaboration with Widener is but one of the many university and institutional partnerships we have developed to provide expanded learning opportunities for our students and faculty.

Their learning and campus living experience complete, the students and program leaders, Dr. Peggy Pelonis and Mr. Steve Medeiros, continued their study of leadership, ethics, history and government during a seven-day field study experience in Washington, DC, where I had the pleasure of joining them.

In addition to visiting the city's monuments and museums, the group also visited the US Congress and Supreme Court.  They also got to explore themes of leadership in action in a visit with the diplomats at the Greek Desk in the US State Department, as well as in meetings with three ambassadors and other government officials.

One event stands out for me: One evening, we were returning to our hotel near the George Washington University. Outside one the university buildings, several students spied a credit card on the sidewalk. Rather than just moving on, they went inside the building, found an employee who, via the university database, identified the GWU faculty member who had lost the credit card. They did not leave until the owner of the card was found.

This, too, is what leadership in action looks like, and a manifestation of the “morfosis” they receive at ACS Athens.

The Panagiotis Gialamas Summer Leadership Scholarship

Three Students who attended the 2017 Summer Leadership Program received collectively 5,500 Euro scholarship from the Panagiotis Gialamas Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 2015 in the name of the father of Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, Panagiotis Gialamas an educator who past away in 2015.

The Suheil Sabbagh Media Studio

ACS Athens recently completed a state-of-the-arts Media Studio facility that is located in the MS/HS Library. This new addition to the ACS Athens campus is a unique element for K-12 educational institutions that was generously funded by Mr. Suheil Sabbagh. In addition to resources equipping students and faculty to produce and broadcast radio and television projects, this cutting-edge studio space will support all classes in using media as a means to communicate. The Suheil Sabbagh Media Studio includes a 35 square meter green room that offers unlimited applications for virtual sets, a control room, two editing workstations and a lab setup of up to ten workstations for student and faculty projects.

The Suheil Sabbagh Media Studio will also become the new home for faculty research initiatives where curriculum with experiential knowledge can be created. Educators will be able to capitalize on the facilities of the studio for the creation and production of all forms of media, including print, broadcast, radio, film and multimedia storytelling.

Donations

The generosity of the ACS Athens PTO, individual parents and community members has resulted in over 140,000 Euro in personal donations to the school, which will be used to financially support many important initiatives. We would like to extend a special thank you to all for their support!

Thomas Gialamas Scholarship

We recently received a commitment from Mr. Nick Gialamas, a Chicago resident, for a new, full 3-year academic scholarship in the name of Thomas Gialamas for one new student entering the 10th grade beginning September 2018. We will be accepting application for this scholarship during the 2017-2018 academic year. This unique opportunity to study and prepare for college in the best international school in Greece will be given to a student who meets the below stated requirements and will cover the full tuition and school fees for a maximum of three years. The student must:

  1. Have a minimum of GPA of 3.5 (out of 4) or average score of 18 (out of 20).
  2. Pass the ACS Athens Admissions Test (English and Mathematics).
  3. Write an essay reflecting on “The responsibility of today’s citizens to serve humanity”.

Youth to Youth Program

We are continuing our contribution to humanity with the program “Youth to Youth”: educating all students, in collaboration with the HOME Project, the NGO organization established by the Libra Group of the Logothetis family.

The HOME Project has developed the concept of providing a home environment to unaccompanied refugee children. Through this collaboration we provided refugee children with creative learning experiences for six Saturday cycles (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Volunteer ACS Athens faculty and students come together to work with approximately 15 refugee children in integrating athletics, art, music, English or Greek, computers and more in order to ensure a truly multi-faceted educational experience for these children. Volunteer doctors, the bus contractor and other supporters of this initiative have donated transportation, medical check-ups and certain apparel. We will continue this initiative with the new academic year.

Faculty

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our new US faculty.
Click here to view further details.

Please join me in wishing all a successful academic year!

Other Programs and Projects

NFOP (New Faculty Orientation Program)

At ACS Athens, we took the lead in developing a comprehensive and effective New Faculty Orientation Program that is aligned with the institutional educational goals and practices. The New Faculty Orientation Program (NFOP) was evolved from the previous programs, which we have implemented since the 2007-2008 academic year. The latest and comprehensive NFOP was shaped and implemented during the 2015-16 academic year. It utilizes the i2Flex teaching methodology, which includes course designing. Faculty begin online the NFOP program as soon as they are hired and continue with guided learning until they arrive in Athens. Finally the Face-to-Face learning occurs weeks before the academic year begins and therefore are prepared to welcome their students and begin their teaching and learning journey at ACS Athens.

Major upgrading of the Elementary School Facilities.

All Teaching and Learning Facilities of the Elementary School have been upgraded dramatically to reflect the global morfosis Paradigm philosophy of teaching and learning, including all classrooms, the library, the technology lab and a new extra fifth grade classroom.

Finally, the dining facilities are totally redesigned to provide more space, new dining furniture and more natural light.

New approach to our energy sources

Also, school-wide, we are replacing petroleum tanks with natural gas.

The Incubator of Students Creative Ideas at ACS Athens

An innovative initiative for students has taken birth the past few months: the establishment of the Incubator of Students Creative Ideas. The mission and vision is defined as follows:

Mission: The Incubator at ACS Athens is a student-led, student-run, project-based learning hub using the design process to promote, support and guide student’s creative ideas in all disciplines.

Vision: Students function as architects of their own learning as they choose, create, fund and support their intellectual curiosity.

The Incubator, which will be housed on the first floor of the Learning Commons in the Sabbagh Library, will be an exciting new addition to our campus learning environment, a place where students (with faculty mentorship) can experiment, design and create -- turning their ideas into viable products, projects and initiatives, allowing them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in a wide variety of scientific and technical, cultural and artistic, and social and humanitarian realms. The incubator will be designed and operated by students, and Ms. MaryAnn Augoustatos, Director, JK Academic Research and Learning Studios, ACS Athens Learning Commons will guide their work.

FINALLY: The ACS Athens History Book

The first ever ACS Athens history book was written, published and is now available for everyone to add it to their library! Find out more about the Book and how to acquire it here!

Sincerely,

signature Dr. Gialamas

Stefanos Gialamas, Ph.D.
President

 


 

Thursday
Sep142017

March 2017

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff, I would like to welcome you to the American Community Schools of Athens and thank you for entrusting us with the education of your children.

Below, we would like to highlight accomplishments and school related news leading to the semester of Spring 2017.

Monday
Apr032017

Growth in Enrollment

Our enrollment continues to grow as the school year progress.  Our last enrollment report reflects that we have 914 students, and 4 refugee children, for a total of 918 students.

Applications for 2017-2018 have increased since last year and perspective parents are indicating that ACS Athens is enjoying a great reputation as an institution with not only high academic standards, but also as an institution living with its commitment in serving humanity.

Monday
Apr032017

2017-18 Budget Presentation

The Board of Trustees has approved the budget.   Mr. Steve Kakaris, Director of Finance has completed presentations to parents on March 14 and on March 23.

Monday
Apr032017

ACS Athens Serving Humanity 

We are continuing our contribution to humanity with the program "Youth to Youth": educating all students, in collaboration with the HOME Project Organization, the NGO organization established by the Libra Group of Mr. George Logothetis.  The HOME Project Organization has developed the concept of providing a home environment to unaccompanied refugee children.  We have begun the program with creative learning experiences for 17 refugee children on six Saturdays (10:30 am. – 3:30 pm.).  38 volunteer faculty working on a rotating basis and 20 ACS Athens volunteer students are integrating athletics, art, music, English, Greek to create a unique, multi-faceted learning experience both for the visiting students and for ACS Athens students.

Our faculty design and deliver the curriculum and learning activities while our students serve as teaching assistants working one to one with the visiting students.  Transportation, medical check-ups and certain apparel have been donated by volunteer doctors, the bus contractor and Ms. Constantinides / Mr. Tzelalis.  The first 2 Saturdays we had three volunteer doctors that examined the children (pediatrician, ophthalmologist, and dentist.)

Monday
Apr032017

University Acceptances

We have great college / university acceptances and scholarship offers this academic year for our seniors.  More details will be shared with you with the next report.

Monday
Apr032017

Partnership with Widener University and The University of Delaware 

Widener University

To date, seven students have been accepted to Widener University with scholarship offers of $ 15,000 to $ 35,000 yearly.  Approximately $ 172,500 yearly has been offered to our seven students should they decide to attend Widener.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware has accepted two of our students and we are currently waiting for their scholarship offers.

Monday
Apr032017

Representatives of Dutch Universities Visited ACS Athens

Netherlands landscape

On Wednesday, February 8th, ACS Athens hosted a Dutch College Night for parents and students.  ACS Athens focuses on "finding the best fit" for our students and this special evening was organized to provide parents and students with important information about living and studying in the Netherlands.   The evening was a great success and parents / students were able to hear first-hand about the educational opportunities in the Netherlands.

University representatives came from the following universities: Leiden University, Tilburg University, Utrecht University, University College of Groningen, University College of Roosevelt, Radboud University.

Monday
Apr032017

Student Teachers at ACS Athens 

Through our various collaborations with universities around the world, we currently have ten student teachers at ACS Athens; two from the University of Delaware, two from the University of Amsterdam, two from Dundee University in Scotland and four from the University of Winnipeg.

Monday
Apr032017

Recruiting in the United States

Mr. Steve Medeiros, Dean of Academics and Dr. Peggy Pelonis, Dean of Student Affairs were recently in the US to recruit a high school principal and faculty across the three schools.  To date we have hired the high school principal and 11 faculty members.  Overall the recruiting went very well and both Mr. Medeiros and Dr. Pelonis have done a great job attracting highly qualified faculty and an excellent principal.

Monday
Apr032017

Model United Nations in Doha and The Hague

MUN

ACS Athens students, as in every year, participated in some of the most challenging, yet rewarding Model United Nations simulations in the world: the Hague MUN (THIMUN) and Georgetown Qatar Model United Nations (QMUN).

At THIMUN our delegates represented Bhutan under the theme "Borders in a Globalized World."  At the Georgetown Qatar MUN, the delegates represented their assigned countries under the theme of "Fostering Development: Complexities of Intervention in a Globalized World."

Both delegations prepared for the conference they would be attending by researching current topics, using the Official Records and the Masthead documents of the UN to prepare opening speeches, draft resolutions, realistic strategies, non-violent negotiations, all while following the UN Rules of Procedures.  The students participating in this initiative learn about economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and how the United Nations acts on them to resolve conflict. Congratulations to the students who participated in both MUN events so successfully!

Monday
Apr032017

Stanley Haas / Luke Hansen Student Awards

NESA

The Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) in cooperation with TIE International established the annual "Stanley Haas / Luke Hansen Award" that is given to students who model the character traits outlined in the criteria for this award and are valued most in students: persistence, a willingness to take risks, acceptance of other cultures and points of view and a genuine interest in an demonstrated, sustained commitment to the welfare of others.

This year one of our students, Ms. Chrysonoe Katsarou, was chosen to receive this award.   Congratulations are extended to Chrysonoe Katsarou!

Monday
Apr032017

SCIS Middle School Swimming Championships

Congratulations to the Middle School Boys and Girls Swimming team for their performance last week during the SCIS Championship: great competition among ten schools!  The ACS Athens Boys came in first; the Girls finished sixth and our team with their overall score finished in third place!!!

We had outstanding performances from a number of swimmers and finished the meet with 5 gold medals, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.  Congratulations to the athletes and their coach!

Monday
Apr032017

Donation of Property

Dr. Andreas Chatzivasiliades, a pediatrician in the USA and former professor of the University of Chicago Medical School, who for many years served at some of the best hospitals in USA, donated a piece of land with area of 1,157 m2, located at Nomos Messinias, south east of the city of Kalamata, near the town of Kardamyli, Koinotita Eksohoriou, with purpose to be used by ACS Athens for the promotion of educational and cultural activities in the area.  The tax value of his donation is in the amount of € 53,000.

Monday
Apr032017

WISE (Madrid)

WISE

Dr. Gialamas was invited by WISE to be part of a panel discussion at a WISE@ event, a collaborative meeting of stakeholders who gathered in Madrid for discussions on topics of particular educational concerns to regional WISE communities.  Further to Dr. Gialamas, Ms. Vicky Colbert, Founder and Chairperson of Escuela Nueve Foundation, Colombia and 2013 WISE Prize for Education Laureate and Ms. Nieves Segovia Bonet, President of SEK Educational Group participated in this panel discussion.

At this Forum, Dr. Gialamas shared the Global Morfosis Educational Paradigm (gMP) implemented at ACS Athens over the past decade.

WISE@Madrid Forum took place February 27 - March 1 in Madrid.  The topic of the panel discussion was "Redesigning Education Systems for the Future" (see details here).  Eight hundred invited educators, leaders, policymakers, Minister of Education and other influential individuals attended.


You may watch a relevant video below

Monday
Apr032017

Basketball

ACS Athens Girls BasketballACS Athens Basketball - 1st place Winners
ACS Athens Boys BasketballACS Athens Basketball - 3rd place Winners

The ACS Athens Girls Varsity Basketball team competed in Frankfurt in the ISST Div. 2 championship and captured first place, defeating the host school Frankfurt by a margin of 6 points, 42 - 36.   All of the girls' games were close games but they finished with 5 wins and the gold medal in their hands.   Joana Meco and Marie Heder were selected as All Stars.

Not far from there, in the ISST Div. 1 championship in Brussels, the ACS Athens Boys Varsity Basketball team finished in third place with a 4 win - 1 loss record.  While most of their games were won by a large margin, they fell short playing against ACS Cobham.   They did finish strong by defeating Vienna International School by a margin of 23 points for the bronze medal!  Marios Bourtzonis and Angelos Makras were selected as All Stars.

A job well done by Angelos Makras who was the Scott Baillie Award recipient, a prestigious ISST award as voted by the coaches for the player who demonstrates character, intensity, sportsmanship and poise.

Monday
Apr032017

New Media Production Studio

Media Studio

A new approach to media literacy would not be possible without the technical facility of our new Media Production Studio, located at the H.J.Sabbagh Library.  The new Media Studio has been in the planning stages for the past 2 years and through the generous donation of ACS Athens Chairman of the Board, Mr. Suheil H. Sabbagh, it is now a reality.

State-of-the-art equipment includes professional digital cameras in a green screen virtual set, which offers unprecedented flexibility in video applications.  The new media studio includes also a modern professional video broadcasting system, two digital video/audio post-production workstations, a sound booth for audio applications, and it is designed to serve as a media lab for up to 10 students working simultaneously on their individual or group projects.