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AIS-Salzburg Newsletter

Dear AIS-Salzburg Community,

In my humanities course this week, we are finishing up the Ancient Greeks and our last topic is a discussion on the four schools of philosophy that dominated the Hellenistic Age.  These included the Skeptics, Cynics, Epicureans and Stoics.  As all four of these schools of thought emphasized how to live rich, fulfilling lives typified by contentment and peace of mind despite the frustrations, setbacks and difficult circumstances we often experience, I cannot help but note that there is a much higher level of relevance to this material during the present, Corona-dominated year.  The Stoics, for example, talked of the Dichotomy of Control; a central tenet of their philosophy.  Put simply, the Dichotomy requires that we recognize what it is in our lives that we can control as opposed to that which is not under our control—acting appropriately and wisely with regard to the former and learning to let go of thinking we can do anything about the latter.  Our thoughts, our judgments and our actions are under our control.  Most everything else is not—including lockdowns, homeschooling, travel bans and quarantines.  Therefore, I may not be able to control a pandemic outbreak, but I can control what I think about it and what my attitude toward it is.  I can think it unfair, repressive, and a great injustice which sabotages my goals and personal lifestyle priorities.  But that won't change the circumstances of a pandemic at all and I know this.  If I truly wanted to be happy and content, on the other hand, I would approach these circumstances with equanimity and work to make the best of the situation, accepting the simple fact that there is no one and nothing to blame other than my own attitude of affront vis-a-vis a microscopic organism.  I think we could all use a little Stoic mindfulness from time to time, but especially during these trying times.  

We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter.  

Headmaster McLean

Inside the Virtual Classroom; November 9-16

In our first week since switching to online instruction, our students and faculty members have picked up right where they left off this past spring without great difficulties.  Here are a few insights into what's going on in our virtual classrooms:

Italian Class

The students in the Italian Language and Culture elective were each assigned a paragraph from the story ‘Una Stories di Mele’ to read and record. The video below was put together by Andi, one of the students in the class. 

World Geography

The Junior High World Geography class has been studying the early civilizations of Mesoamerica; an area that extends from about the middle of modern-day Mexico to modern-day Honduras.  This is part of a unit covering the Americas which includes learning about Canada, the U.S.A., Mexico as well as the Central and South American nations.

The video below, covering the three ancient civilizations of Mexico, was submitted by Ola, one of the students in this junior high course.

Junior High Science

In Junior High Science, students were instructed to make a "Recipe Card" of Photosynthesis. This recipe card required for submission had to include: 
  • The “ingredients” or the items needed for photosynthesis to take place.
  • The “directions” or the process that occurs during photosynthesis
  • A picture that shows what is happening. 
  • Creativity. Use ‘recipe’ words.
Here are some photos of a few of the student submissions. 

P.E. Challenge

With students now homeschooling, physical education has become even more important. 

a physical education challenge system, whereby instructors

To incentivize students, our instructors put together a physical education challenge system, whereby instructors and even teachers challenge students to complete various physical activities. Students can pick and choose which activities to complete in order to meet their weekly P.E. Challenge requirements. These activities range from strength and endurance training to developing skills in various sports disciplines. 

The video below is of two instructors challenging students to an at-home workout and two students accepting and completing those challenges. 

To view the list of various P.E. challenges go to:

Online Junior High Math with Ms. Cerone

Math teacher Ms. Cerone opened the doors to her virtual live classroom to us his week for a sneak peek into how she manages to instruct our Junior High students online. The video below is a clip from a review of a quiz the students took recently. 

Up-to-Date Corona Virus Information in Austria

Ampelsystem - ‘Traffic Light System’
Current Level in Salzburg: Red

As of 12:00 pm, November 20th, 2020
After four days of lockdown in Austria, the number of Corona Virus cases have stopped rising but remain at an elevated level between 4,500 and 7,000 cases a day. 

Notable Corona Virus news in Austria in the past week via
  • The number of daily testing is now consistently very high, between 25,000 and 30,000 per day.
  • A second lockdown commenced on Tuesday, November 16th and will run through until December 6th. 
  • Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced in an interview last Sunday that the government plans a mass testing campaign with rapid antigen tests towards the end of the lockdown. 
  • The first coronavirus mass tests are ready. Testing will begin on the first weekend of December, on Dec. 5 and 6. Federal and national teachers and kindergarten caregivers (around 200,00 people) will be tested. Participation is voluntary.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech will reportedly file for authorization of their coronavirus vaccine today, which means it could be available by mid- to late December.
For more information in English on the latest Corona Virus news across Austria, click here

News & Upcoming Events

December 19th: Start of the winter break.

January 9th: Students return from winter break. 
Previous Newsletters
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