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About Us > School Newsletter Archive 2012-2013 > Riffa Breeze - Volume 3 Issue 19 27/06/11
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Volume 3 Issue 19: 27 June 2011

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Our Mission

Riffa Views International School is a non-profit, college preparatory school committed to implementing the best educational practices from around the world, while being sensitive to local cultural values.  We strive to be a community of learners engaged in becoming intellectually adept, technologically proficient, and ethically guided contributors to a global society.

Director’s Message

By Des Sjoquist, Director

On behalf of my family, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the entire RVIS community.  Our experience here has been amazing and it is definitely a sad time as we pack up our belongings and prepare for the journey home to Canada.  As I have said many times, the building is incredible and the resources available are beyond belief, but the real difference about this school which makes it exceptional are the people.  The staff is one of the most caring and professional group of individuals I have ever had the chance to work with.  The students are friendly, well-behaved, and a pleasure to be around.  The parents are very supportive and have lots of great ideas about how we can make the school even better.  I am proud to be associated with this organization.  Even though our time here has been short, it has been a very rewarding professional experience.  Thanks to everyone.

Staffing Update
We began the school year with just over 200 students and are pleased to announce that we now have over 250 students enrolled for 2011-2012, a growth of almost 25% despite all the challenges faced by Bahrain this year.  Subsequently, we are pleased to announce as per our last Breeze the addition of the following teachers:

Our new Grade 4 teacher is John Sciurba.  John has taught Grade 4 for the past two years at the American International School of Bucharest in Romania, and for three years previously at Tashkent International School in Uzbekistan.  He is a professional photographer and avid go-karter.  He loves reading, travel, meeting people and getting to know cultures.  He spent several years as a Peace Corp volunteer working in schools.  His official home is Washington, PA, USA.

Our new Grade 2 teacher is Marc Levasseur.  He began teaching at the Canadian Academy School of Japan in Kobe for 8 years in Grade 1 and Kindergarten.  Then he spent 10 years in Collier County, Florida teaching Grades 2-5 where he was named Teacher of the Year.  He also was adjunct professor at Edison College during this time.  He opened his own consulting business – TSI Education – where he presented all over the US.  This led to his appointment as Program Manager for Pearson Education on the K-12 Michigan Summative Testing program for 3 years.  Since then he has been working with Palm Beach County as a Math, Reading and Science Coach for grades K – 5.  He is really excited and passionate about classroom teaching and loves working with students and colleagues.  He played hockey at the University of Maine, loves reading, travel, exercise, and theatre.  His home is Palm Beach, Florida.

Finally, our new Kindergarten teacher is Linda Grunwald .  Linda began teaching later in her life, but has been teaching Kinder for 3 years in Fairfax County, Virginia and for the past year she has been teaching Kinder in a brand new school – The American School of Viet Nam.  She is a new convert to Understanding by Design and loves how it has been changing her thinking about learning/teaching.   Prior to teaching, she spent many years working in retail and management.  She too loves reading, travel, and cooking.  Her official home is Seattle, Washington.

New School Uniform and Tuition for 2011-2012
This week is your last chance to get sized for our new school uniform on campus, and qualify for the free uniform kit.  In order to qualify for the free uniform kit, your first semester tuition must be paid in full by June 30, 2011.  Please contact the main office to set up your appointment with Muna.  As of July 1, 2011, all uniform sizing, ordering, and purchasing will take place at ZAKS store in the Country Mall.  

Tuition for first semester is due in full by August 15, 2011.  Please make arrangements to take care of this important matter before this date, if you have not done so already.  Our office hours from July 1 – September 3 are Sunday – Thursday 8:30 am – 1:30 pm.  There will be a small staff on campus all summer to assist you if needed.

Cafeteria Reminder
As we transition from VIDA to 'Sage and Sirloin' Delicatessen over the summer, please make sure you contact the VIDA staff this week in order to collect whatever credit that remains on your child’s cafeteria card.  This is a private financial arrangement between yourself and VIDA and as such RVIS cannot be responsible for any credit not claimed directly from VIDA by Thursday afternoon.  Sage and Sirloin will be offering a similar cafeteria card system in September.

Bus Routes for 2011-2012
Al Hutaim Travel and Tourists are pleased to offer transportation for students again next year.  They have added a number of new routes, as well as reduced the costs for the Riffa Views route.  They will have a customer service rep available in the main office for the remainder of this week from 1:00 – 3:15 pm for parents to sign up their children for next year.  They will be back on campus the last week of August for a second round of registration.  Their updated flyer will be sent home with the youngest child in each family this week and is available here as well.

Show Case at the Café Success
Congratulations to all of the talented performers at last week’s Show Case at the Café.  The audience was treated to more than twenty music, comedy and drama acts, ten video jokes, and sixteen poetry readings.  It was a great evening of fun.  The level of talent among parents, students and staff at RVIS is impressive!  Start practicing today for next year’s Show Case.  Special thank you to the more than twenty staff volunteers who helped make the evening a success!



  End of Year Events

By Dorothy Loveland, Principal

We would like to remind you about a few End of Year Events:-

Cross Grade Level Portfolio Sharing on Wednesday, June 29th – Dismissal at 3:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, June 29th, our last full day of school, students in Grades 1 – 7 will have a cross grade level portfolio sharing to celebrate and honor their efforts this year. All students will  receive a donut and juice to celebrate all of their hard work and positive efforts this year. This will be a free dress day for PK - Grade 7 (respectful dress: shirts with short sleeves, pants, and shorts or skirts to the knee).

June 30th  Last day of School  - Dismissal at 11:30 a.m.
On Thursday, June 30th students should come in perfect uniform at 7:45 a.m. and bring a snack. We will have a shortened day with dismissal at 11:30AM. There will be an assembly for Grades 1 – 7, recognizing their efforts on their Learner Profile, summer birthdays and wishing the Grade 5 students congratulations on their promotion to Middle School, as well as sending good wishes to the members of our RVIS family who are leaving us. Students will receive their end of year reports on June 30th. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten will be having a morning ice cream party to celebrate all the wonderful work your child has completed.  PK and KG parents are encouraged to join us at 10:45 a.m. until dismissal at 11:30 a.m. and share in this activity where you will have the opportunity to review your child’s work and take it home. Please send in 1 BD to cover the cost of this party.

Grade 5 Promotions Ceremony on June 30th  at 10:30 a.m.  in Presentation Room
On Thursday, June 30th we will have a special Grade 5 Promotions Ceremony for our Grade 5 students who will be moving into the Middle School next year. This is a very important event and all Grade 5 parents and siblings are invited to please attend the promotion ceremony.  The ceremony will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the presentation room.

End of Year Reports:  All students will receive their end of year report, portfolio and a Summer Review / Scavenger Hunt on the last day of school, June 30th. The Summer Review / Scavenger Hunt helps students avoid the “Summer Slide”.  The “Summer Slide” happens when students do not read, write and review their math over the summer and the skill levels they have achieved in June drop and are lower when they return in September.  We encourage all students to participate in our Summer Review and avoid the “Summer Slide”.

Please understand that we are not able to give reports and portfolios before June 30th. If you are leaving before June 30th, then please send an email (  or note to officially inform the school. If you are unable to collect your report on June 30th and would like someone else to collect it for you, then please write a letter or send an email with the full name of the person collecting your child’s report and we will issue it to them. Otherwise all reports will be kept for student collection in September.

RVIS School Uniforms:  Pay your tuition and make an appointment for sizing today! In order to receive the free uniform kit full payment of first semester tuition is due by Wednesday, June 29, 2011.

We hope everyone has an enjoyable summer holiday! 

Student Withdrawal

Notice to Parents Who Have Previously Notified the Admissions Office about their Child’s Withdrawal from RVIS

By Tracey Sjoquist, Director of Admissions

Student Check-Out Sheet – Last week your child received a ‘Student Check-Out Sheet’ via his/her teacher to complete and return to the Admissions Office. Please be sure your child returns all school and library books, bags and manipulatives to his/her teacher and to the library as quickly as possible.
Business Office - All accounts should be cleared before the Second Semester Report Cards and School Records can be released to the student.
Release of School Records and Book Deposit - Please stop by the Admissions Office this week so that I can give you a sealed envelope containing your child’s school records to give to your child’s next school. At that time, your Refundable Book Deposit, or a portion thereof, will be returned to you in cash. Your withdrawal packet will also include an original Letter of Introduction with your child’s name, grade and date he/she first entered RVIS and left RVIS.  The final 2011-2012 report card will not be available until June 30th.  Thank you.


Grade 3 and Kindergarten buddies experience with small creatures

By Cheryl Palamarek, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Cheryl’s and Ms. Preyma’s students spent some time together teaching each other about what they are learning in Science.  The Kindergarten buddies taught the Grade 3’s some interesting facts about red worms.  The Kindergarten buddies explained that earthworms breath through their skin (called the cuticle), they do not have a brain, and they have five pairs of simple hearts that pump blood through their bodies.  The Grade 3’s showed their buddies how to handle the bess beetles, the 3 distinct body parts of insects, their hooked legs and how/what they eat (rotting wood)!


Art Show
By Alejandra Chavez, Art Teacher

Please stop by the cafetorium and check our End of Year Art Show.Come soon, the show will end on Tuesday!

Grade 6 Play - Thief Lord

By Saad Kabbara, Grade 6 Student

When Prosper and Bo's parents died, they were sent to live with their aunt and uncle. There was only one problem their aunt and uncle only wanted Bo. They didn't want Prosper. So he and Bo ran away to Venice. What happened next is that the Grade 6 boys did a play of the Thief Lord. We had 4 weeks of rehearsals and re-did every scene 4 or 5 times. We finished blocking the play only 4 days before the performance! We performed our play on a homemade stage in our classroom. The play was 45 minutes long and we did 6 plays on Thursday for the whole school. The play was a great success! All the 6 grade boys put 120% effort into it and we had a great time. We would like to thank our parents for their help on memorizing lines, and we would like to thank our audience.

Thank you for coming.


Family Reading Afternoon

By Tracey Dunlop, Librarian

On Wednesday, 22nd June we hosted the Family Reading Afternoon in the library. It was great to see families enjoying books together – students reading to their siblings and parents and vice- versa. All the students who came put their names into the box and three children won books from the book fair. Ms. Dot shared one of her favorite stories and everyone had a sweet donut treat at the end. Thank you to all the families who came along to this library event.

Parents please note, if your child has outstanding books from the library please help him/her look for them and return them to the RVIS library as soon as possible.


Life Fit Summer Camp

LifeFit will be holding a summer camp for children aged 5 -15 at RVIS beginning on July 10 and running until August 18. LifeFit will be on-site at RVIS Wednesday and Thursday this week to conduct registrations and to answer any questions that you may have. Please stop by to see them outside the Elementary office at drop-off and pick-up times on both of these days.

RV Summer Camp Application Form

Vaccination Update

By Sam Browne, School Nurse

Last Thursday, I sent home a form with those students whose immunization records require updating. The Ministry of Health’s policy states that as well as vaccinations being a mandatory requirement in all schools, proof of administration is required. The Ministry of Education wants to ensure that all children are receiving the required vaccinations, according to Bahrain’s immunization schedule, and defaulters are followed up. I appreciate that many of you may wait until the summer vacation to obtain your child’s vaccinations so please return the required information to me in September. I also appreciate that some of the vaccinations may have been given but I just haven’t received an update.

Thank you for your cooperation. Have a great summer, keep well and keep safe, Nurse Sam.

Dolphin Dispatch

The Dolphin Dispatch is a great way to get rid of any unwanted items that you may have around the house, or find items that you are in need of. Please continue to send your advertisements to

Please click here to access this week's Dolphin Dispatch.


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