AAS News

Life is certainly never dull at AAS!  From sports tournaments to musicals, field trips to art competitions there is always something happening!

Check out the latest news from around the school...


Fun at Summer School 2019!

From playing with water to playing in water. From learning to use flour to nature walks and discovering another type of flower. From performing arts to creative art and craft to… just playing. Aged from five to 12 years, the children who came to the summer school 2019 at AAS had a wonderful time.

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Director Jim Urquhart playing Bulgarian gaida

On Wednesday the school held a special, all school assembly to formally say thank you, goodbye and send all our good wishes to our outgoing School Director Jim Urquhart and his wife Andie who has served both as the Athletics and Activities Director and as a Middle School counsellor. After eight years at AAS, the Urquharts are leaving this summer and the school marked the occasion with a school-wide celebration. 

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Professionals Give Career Advice

The third annual AAS High School Career Fair took place this Tuesday and featured a variety of careers that have not been presented in the past. We are grateful for the support of our AAS patrons who represented 10 of the 11 careers that were showcased in the fields of Business Consulting, Public Policy, Social Entrepreneurship, IT, Healthcare, Social Inclusion, Commerce, Architecture, Catering, Acting and Finance.

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Bulgarian writer Alexander Shpatov visits AAS

During Bulgarian Culture Week, we hosted the contemporary Bulgarian writer Alexander Shpatov, winner of the National Best Fiction Debut and the Sofia Award for Literature in 2005 and 2015, respectively.

After Mr. Shpatov’s presentation, it was time for the audience to ask him some questions. It was then that Mr. Reynolds, the AAS HS history and business teacher, stood and asked Mr. Shpatov:

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Students awarded in DeLux Story competition

The DeLux Short Story Competition, begun in 2013, seeks to encourage budding writers from AAS and the American College of Sofia in their creative endeavours, providing an opportunity to recognize their talent beyond the classroom.
On Monday, five AAS students from Grades 10 and 11 travelled to ACS to attend the prize-giving ceremony.

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From the AAS Blog

In Partnership: The Importance of the School-Family Relationship

After reading last week’s column about relationships, I reflected on one of the most critical relationships for a child’s success: the relationship between a child’s family and their school. When the relationship is a partnership, we see the child grow and thrive so much more in their school life; unfortunately, when the relationship is fractured, the opposite is true. Often we are tempted to see school as school and home as home, but the two are intertwined for our kids. They do not shut off one part of their life when they get into the other setting. Many parents have likely seen the impact of a conflict or a bad day at school carry over into the child’s attitude at home. Similarly, at school, we often see behaviors and learning habits impacted by things happening outside of school that are on the child’s mind, their health, or their eating and sleeping habits. 

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It’s All About Relationships

Some 25 year ago, in my first few days of teaching, I stood at my classroom door to nervously welcome 10S4.  They were a small group of 14-year old boys, whose love of mathematics was questionable!  It quickly became clear that it didn’t matter how ‘whizzy-whizzy-bang-bang’ my lesson was going to be, if I couldn’t connect with them, the next two years were going to be an uphill struggle.

Since then, teaching to me has always been about relationships.  In the classroom, kids need to feel happy and safe, they need to feel part of a team, all working together to achieve a shared goal.  They need to know that we want to all celebrate their successes, and that they feel comfortable enough to share their mistakes, or as my twin daughters frequently remind me, “we celebrate mistakes, because they make our brains grow!”

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Get to Know Your PTO

“I don’t see the value in joining PTO.”
“Another bake sale… What for? I don’t see where all the money goes.”
“I don’t like to fundraise, that’s all they do.”
“Too much drama and politics, disguised under the mantra of “supporting our school”…”
“They’re not of much help. When I needed them, I got no support.”

Everyone of us has once heard, thought or said aloud such words about PTO. One could spend hours debating the whys and the wherefores, and I know for sure everyone of us has a different reason or story behind those lines, a singular perception of what this enigmatic organization could do for our community. We all have assumptions, and I had mine, quite well established.

One day, not long ago, I was invited to be part of the organization. 

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The Magic of Words

According to the internet (so it must be true), there are 273,000 English words in the Oxford English Dictionary; there are 470,000 English words in Webster’s Dictionary. The Oxford dictionary is from the United Kingdom and Webster’s Dictionary is from the United States. The United States is larger than the United Kingdom, so it makes sense that the Webster’s Dictionary would have more words. (Somehow that makes sense, right?). 

Each year, about a 1000 words are added to the Webster’s Dictionary: in my life over 50,000 new English words have been born. There are other dictionaries as well. One of my favorite words recently added to Dictionary.com is “sharent” which means “to frequently use social media to share photos or other details and information about one’s child”. In English, all it takes to become an official new word is making it into print many times. A friend recently used the word “psychologied”, which means to have psychology used on you. It is not actually a word, but it should be a word. I’m hoping that by putting it in print here it will be added to a dictionary next year. If Shakespeare invented over 1,700 words, it is fair that my friend can invent 1. 

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That Grief You Are Feeling? It’s Real

In the first few weeks of COVID reaching the USA, the citizens of some states had their first lockdowns. After six days at home in Los Angeles, the actress Gal Gadot was inspired to enlist celebrity friends to join her in a sing-along of “Imagine” by John Lennon, with the intention to acknowledge the suffering of the people and to boost the spirits of those similarly unable to commute to work, eat out at restaurants, etc. The video was met with scorn, as many questioned the extent of our “suffering”, especially as experienced by celebrity millionaires, comfortably ensconced in their posh and spacious houses with swimming pools and other amenities. 

Around the same time, my high school English teacher, a wonderful writer and published author, wrote an article for her city’s newspaper that sought to put our “suffering” under restrictive COVID regulations into perspective. 

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