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MS Weekly Bulletin | February 14, 2020
Posted 02/10/2020 01:00PM

Maybe foolishly, but 40 years ago I did dream of a school or schools that by bringing young people closely together in their young and formative tender years we might be able to ‘bond’ the world together in such a way that ties of understanding, compassion, love, and a sense of reality would create a saner, safer, better world.

– M. Crist Fleming, 1996 speech

“I would like to begin International Week with a quote from our founder Mary Crist Fleming from a letter she wrote to TASIS alumni in 2001: ‘I want to believe as I age that the dynamic of TASIS will go on forever—that it will continue to bring young people of the world together with a shared vision that the world is really one big family, that no matter what our color, race, or creed, we are all part of the human species, we are all human beings. All we need to bring us together is education, education to give us freedom from poverty, disease, and war. It sounds like a tall order, but through education it can be achieved, and TASIS must take the lead.’

I would like to say to you today that you are the community that Mrs. Fleming envisioned. You are the dynamic that she wished to go on forever, bringing together young people from around the world to share in the common values we have as humans—such as those inscribed over our library—together with the common goal of improving the world through education through a focused bettering of ourselves so that we may bring good to the world.”

– Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff at Monday’s Opening Ceremony

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 19 MS Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Early dismissal for MS at 12:20 
  • 12:30 shuttle bus departure; 12:40 car pick-up
Wednesday, February 19 Construction and Logistics Meeting • 8:30, Palmer Center
Monday, February 24–Thursday, February 27 MS Winter Adventure for grades 7–8
Friday, February 28 No classes for grades 7–8
Monday, February 24–Wednesday, February 26 MS Academic Travel for grade 6
Thursday - Friday, February 27-28 No classes for grade 6 
Friday, March 6 Portrait retakes
Tuesday, March 24 Shadow Day for grade 5 (MS) and grade 8 (HS)
Friday, March 27–Sunday, March 29 HS Spring Musical
Saturday, April 4–Sunday, April 19 All-School Spring Holiday
Please refer to for a more detailed look at upcoming events.


International Week 2020

Please enjoy this article about Monday’s Opening Ceremony, which included remarks from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff, a 62-nation Parade of Flags, the presentation of Torch Awards to 14 students, an IB Theatre presentation, and several outstanding music and dance performances. Photos from the ceremony can be found here.

Torch Award Ceremony
This special recognition is given during International Week every year to a student in each grade who most embodies cross-cultural understanding. This award honors those who reach out to students from other countries and cultures. It reminds us all to embrace the differences in others and learn all we can from them.

Our faculty discussed each candidate, and we feel these students have made a habit of being kind, helpful, inclusive, and open while also demonstrating curiosity about all of their classmates and cultures. They also are integral to promoting cross-cultural understanding within their social groups and our community as a whole. Congratulations to the MS Torch Award recipients: Alessia Primo (Grade 6), Kyla Bodnar (Grade 7), and José Benjamin Palacios (Grade 8)!

We would also like to thank the many families who participated in our annual MS International Brunch by preparing and sharing delicious homemade traditional dishes with the community and thus contributing to the great success of this year’s International Week! THANK YOU, PARENTS, for your support and help before, during, and after the brunch!

See more photos from the MS World Cup.

MS World Cup Soccer Competition
The MS Service Learning group Poverty Awareness is very pleased to report on their recent fund raising event, the MS World Cup. The main purpose of the three-day soccer tournament during International Week is to raise money for a TASIS Global Service Program group that partners with Gram Vikas in India. While striving to raise funds for this purpose, the secondary goal was to have a lot of clean, competitive fun along the way.

The tradition continued this week with passionate soccer/football, enthusiastic encouragement, connecting with others from different cultures, and enjoying tasty treats. The ninth MS World Cup once again delivered on all fronts. Each team this year needed to include players from more than one nation…encouraging cross-cultural cooperation. Michael Fan Club, Belvedere, and Team Out participated in Group A. On the other side of the tournament were Lucky Duckies, Bully, and Hashtag United. Hashtag United, though often down a player due to multiple reasons, basically cruised to the final match. They struggled in the final match a bit, being tied with Team Bully after four minutes at one goal each. By the end of the first half, Hashtag United seemed to have gained some steam, sitting with a 4–1 lead. The steam they found before halftime continued in the second half, and they finished off Team Bully 8–1.

Much cheering, serving, great soccer, and celebration was had by all!

The MS Service Learning group Poverty Awareness would like to extend their enormous gratitude to the following people, without whom the event could NOT have taken place:

  • Mr. Lill and Mr. Morton for their expert officiating
  • Mr. Yo and Edoardo Vasino for keeping score and providing dynamic commentary
  • Ms. Nelson for her amazing photographs on SmugMug
  • Ms. MJ for helping with the food stand 

Hopefully the students learned valuable lessons in sportsmanship, camaraderie, project planning, and fundraising. If so, then the secondary goal was achieved. Speaking of goals, our first goal was achieved; more than CHF 1400 was raised! Thank you to everyone for participating!

Students, Ms. MJ, Mr. Morton, Mr. Yo, and Mr. Lill…start preparing for 2021!

Construction and Logistics Meeting on Wednesday

This is a reminder that we will hold a special Parent Coffee for parents of students in all divisions in the Palmer Center on Wednesday, February 19, from 8:30–9:30 AM to discuss construction and transportation logistics. We strongly recommend that any parents who regularly drive to campus plan to attend this meeting.

Please refer to this announcement from Bill Eichner, Director of Institutional Advancement, for more information about our upcoming construction projects, which will affect our drop-off and pick-up procedures beginning on Monday, March 2.

MS Parent-Teacher Conferences
The Middle School will hold parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, February 19. Students will be dismissed at 12:20, shuttle buses will depart at 12:30, and car drivers can pick up students at 12:40. There will be no after-school activities that afternoon. MS day students can’t remain on campus during parent-teacher conferences without adult supervision.

There will be four one-hour sessions in the Palestrina, starting at 13:30 and ending at 17:30. Please register at (login required). Please be in the Palestrina at the start of the session and keep your conferences to a maximum of 10 minutes. 

We look forward to seeing you on February 19.

Portrait Retake Day 

Portrait retake day will be held on Friday, March 6, from 8:00–16:00 in the MCF Library for any students who did not have their portrait taken in October. This photo will be used in the Yearbook and in Veracross, so it’s very important that students remember to go.

Other Upcoming MS Parent Meetings 

MS Parent Book Club Meeting on March 10
Middle School parents are welcome to take part in a Parent Book Club conversation dedicated to Technology and Digital Awareness. Building up community awareness can help us and our students avoid exposure to inappropriate social behavior online. Parents are invited to read Nancy Jo Sales’s American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, a book chosen by TASIS parents that addresses parents of both boys and girls. All parents are then invited to participate in an open conversation on Tuesday, March 10, from 14:30–15:45 in Casa Fleming. Ms. Bloodworth and ES Instructional Technology Coordinator Mr. Venchus will participate in the meeting to share their points of view and experiences. Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to the MS TPA coordinators or to

MS Parent Coffees this semester:

  • The next MS Parent Coffee will be held on the morning of Wednesday, March 11, and will be led by Ms. Hauenstein. Please join the Director of School Counseling to learn more about Social Emotional Learning. Social Emotional Learning is how children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Ms. Mary Cate Hauenstein will offer information, answer questions, and listen to your thoughts and concerns. All are welcome! 
  • Wednesday, April 1, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (MS-HS transition meeting for 8th-grade parents, with HS Administration Team)
  • Wednesday, April 29, 8:30–9:30, Casa Fleming (Topic: MS Digital Citizenship, with Ms. Bloodworth)

After-School Sports and Activities

MS Ski and Snowboard Club: The last outing will be on Sunday, February 16.

Spring After-School Sports and Activities begin on Monday, March 2, and end on Friday, May 22. Here are the spring options:

  • Track and Field (Competitive):Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Girls Volleyball (Competitive):Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Boys Volleyball (Competitive): Mondays and Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30. This activity requires a minimum of 8 participants.
  • Boys & Girls Soccer (Recreational): Fridays 16:00–17:30
  • Dance: Wednesdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Music Band: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Ensemble: Thursdays, 16:00–17:30
  • Choir: Mondays, during lunch recess (12:40–13:10). This activity is a year-round commitment. Students already participating in Choir are required to remain in this activity.
  • Climbing Club (Recreational): 4 Sundays during the Spring season (Dates TBD). This activity has an extra cost of CHF 575.

IMPORTANT NOTE: MS Musical continues from the fall semester (Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 3–May 14; performances will be on Friday–Sunday, May 15–17)

Recent Ski Race
Please find a recap of the MS/HS Downhill Skiing race on February 6 here.

Don’t Miss the MS Valentine’s Day Celebration Tonight

MS students will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Palestra tonight, February 14, from 19:00–20:30. Students are required to arrive by 19:00 and will not be allowed to leave until 20:30

Students are asked to wear black or white, along with a piece of clothing or an accessory that is red. Dress code is casual smart (no t-shirts, ties are not required, and elegant jeans or trousers are allowed).

Come to enjoy great music and have fun with festive props in the traditional photo booth! Bring CHF 2 to get an instant photo and participate in our special Valentine’s fundraiser. 

MS Spring Academic Travel for Grade 6: February 24–26

MS Academic Travel is part of the TASIS curriculum and is required for all 6th-grade students. This spring the students will visit Zurich.

Monday, February 24, 9:00: Check-in at De Nobili (bring passport and insurance card). Please note there will be no shuttle bus service in the morning. Due to ongoing construction, parents can use the parking lot next to Hadsall or the outdoor basketball court on the main TASIS campus for drop-off that morning. Please follow the instructions of the traffic guards. 

Note: Students should have a backpack and be dressed warmly. Students will NOT have access to their suitcases during the day. See the itinerary and packing list.

Wednesday, February 26, between 17:30 and 18:00: Arrival at TASIS

If your child is a day student and needs to take medication during Spring Academic Travel, it is important that you talk to his or her advisor beforehand.

On Thursday–Friday, February 27–28, there will be no school for the 6th grade.

MS Winter Adventure For Grades 7–8: February 24–27

MS Winter Adventure in St. Moritz is required for all students in grades 7–8, as it is a core part of the MS Curriculum and the TASIS experience. Please review the packing list and this important information for parents. 

  • Monday, February 24, at 11:00          Check in at De Nobili and depart for St. Moritz
  • Thursday, February 27, at 19:30           Return to TASIS

Please note there will be no shuttle bus service in the morning. Due to ongoing construction, parents can use the parking lot next to Hadsall or the outdoor basketball court on the main TASIS campus for drop-off that morning. Please follow the instructions of the traffic guards. 

If you plan to take your child directly to the hotel in St. Moritz on February 24, please email your child’s advisor and Ms. Breton with the specific information. 

Drop-off at the Youth Hostel in St. Moritz will be from 16:00–16:15, and pick-up will be possible at 16:00 on Thursday, February 27. Please find the hotel’s details below:

St. Moritz Youth Hostel
Via Surpunt 60
7500 St. Moritz Bad
Tel: +41 81 836 61 11

If your child is a day student and needs to take medication during Winter Adventure, it is important that you talk to the advisor beforehand. Two school nurses will also be available on site. 

TASIS Duty Administrator in St. Moritz: If any emergencies or concerns arise during Winter Adventure, please contact the Middle School Duty Administrator in St. Moritz at +41 79 175 9736 or the TASIS Duty Administrator at+ 41 79 337 3857.

Spring Holiday Travel Forms for Boarding Students

All boarding families will receive an email with information and details regarding Spring Holiday travel. Please complete the documents and email them to Ms. Breton and Mr. Mendes by Friday, February 28. 

Coronavirus Update

Dear Parents,

Please refer to the following resources for the latest updates on the novel coronavirus, which at this time has not been identified in Switzerland.

As discussed in last week’s coronavirus update, we are closely monitoring travel plans for our students and employees for our Spring Holiday in early April and have also developed a protocols document to help guide our student travelers and faculty leaders for upcoming Academic Travel trips.

We will continue to provide updates as this situation evolves.

Best wishes,

Christopher Nikoloff

Still Time to Order Your Personalized Water Bottle

Order your personalized, BPA-free, stainless steel, and refillable water bottle (500 ml) and help the TPA carry out its goals! Vibrant new spring colors have arrived, and these bottles would be great for your children to take on Academic Travel. The name of your choice will be engraved on the bottle, making this a unique gift idea for all occasions.

Please email with the color, name, and font you would like. Proceeds from this sale will go toward TPA eco-conscious initiatives and TPA events. 

No MS Bulletin Next Two Weeks

Because there are no classes during the week of February 24—28 due to Spring Academic Travel, please note that we will not send a Middle School Weekly Bulletin on Friday, February 21, or on Friday, February 28. Classes will resume on Monday, March 2, and our next Weekly Bulletin will be sent on Friday, March 6.

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