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New Academic Year Registration Information

August 2017

 

Message from the President

 

Dr. Gialamas

Dear Parents,

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 2017-2018 academic year is my 13th 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.

Below are ACS Athens highlights:

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 way 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:

Academy

Mr. Anthony Vandarakis, Academy Principal.
Mr. Vandarakis comes to us from New York, where he was a Vice Principal at the Tech International Charter School. He has 18 years work experience in education. He has his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from DePaul University and his Masters of Education-Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ms. Heather Passons, Chemistry Faculty, comes to us from Galveston, Texas where she taught Science courses at Odyssey Academy. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Texas.

Mr. Thom Polizos, Social Studies Faculty, a native of the US, comes to us from Jeju-do, South Korea where he taught at Korea International School Jeju Campus. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/History from Rutgers University and a Masters of Education from Grand Canyon University.

Mr. Nicholas Steinke, Math Faculty, comes to us from Boston, MA where he taught at Cristo Rey Boston High School. He has a Bachelor of Science in Math/Computer Science from University of California, San Diego and a Masters in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Middle School

Ms. Marie Gorack, Language Arts/English Faculty, comes to us from Illinois, where she taught K-5 ELL Resource. She has her degree in Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Western Illinois University – Macomb, IL.

Ms. Maria Katzman, Art Faculty, comes to us from New York, NY, where she taught Upper School Painting and Drawing at the National Academy Museum. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art and Architecture.

Ms. Lori McDonald, Math Faculty, comes to us from Illinois, where she taught Math at Proviso West High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts in Education from Benedictine University.

Elementary School

Ms. Trina Langsenkamp, Art Faculty, comes to us from Massachusetts, where she was a Project Zero Artist in Residence. She has a Bachelor of Art Education from The Ohio State University and is currently working on her Ed.M. Arts in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Ms. Bethany Lanier, Faculty, comes to us from Austin, Texas where she taught Grade 3 at Pleasant Grove Intermediate School. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Texas A & M University.

Ms. Tabitha Newton, Faculty, a native of the USA, comes to us from her last position in Valencia, Venezuela where she taught Grade 2 at Colegio International de Carabobo. She has a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from University of Alabama Birmingham and is currently working on her Masters in Multidisciplinary Studies for International Educators from State University of New York.

Mr. Christopher Passons, Faculty, comes to us from Galveston, Texas where he taught Grade 5 at Odyssey Academy. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University Salt Late City, UT and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from University of Texas at Tyler, TX.

Ms. Jennifer Polizos, ESL Faculty, a native of the US, comes to us from Jeju-do, South Korea where she taught at Korea International School Jeju Campus. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Felician University Lodi, New Jersey as well as a Masters in Teaching with Technology from Lesley University.

It is also a great pleasure to announce different faculty assignments for two of our continuing Faculty:

Ms. Marla Coklas, Middle School and Academy Social Science Faculty. She has a B.A in Psychology from DePaul University of Chicago, M.A in Education (specializing in Curriculum and Design) from St. Xavier University of Chicago, and her Teaching Certification from the State of Illinois. Ms. Coklas has also studied at the University of Indianapolis (Athens campus): which has brought her closer to earning an M.B.A.

Ms. Stavi Dimas, Elementary school 5th grade faculty. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, in Art History from the American College of Greece with High Distinction and a Master’s degree in Museology with a concentration in Museum Education. Ms. Dimas is certified to teach from the state of Florida, and has completed the educator preparation institute at NCATE, the accredited Professional Education Unit of the University of West Florida.

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