Vilnius International School Partners with Senevita

Summer is upon us but it is not too late to celebrate our thriving service learning programme. Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year every VIS class has taken part in at least one service oriented action.  

 The VIS Service Learning Programme led by Mr. Jasper in the PYP and Ms. Irma in the MYP has helped our teachers and students to engage in actions to support initiatives at home in Lithuania and as far away as Sierra Leone. Senevita has come on board as a new service learning partner for VIS. Our relationship with them has brought new energy and opportunity to the programme.  

Senevita is a care home for senior citizens located approximately 20 km from Vilnius. Over the course of year, five projects have taken place at Senevita.  The first was a holiday visit from the Pandas and Ms. Laura’s first grade students who read aloud to their new friends and distributed handmade cards and candy. 

 The next visitors to Senevita were grade 8 students who integrated service learning with Ms. Diana’s visual arts course.  Students were paired with a senior citizen and together they sketched the outline of what later became a collaborative painting about the life of their elder collaborator.  It was a wonderful opportunity to bridge the experience and wisdom of our elders with today’s youth.  The opportunity for intergenerational friendships are increasingly rare and the potential for lost knowledge and skills can’t be underestimated.  This trip allowed us to celebrate the wisdom of generations past.

 Grade 5 continued to promote an ethic of care for the elderly during their Exhibition action.  They discovered that their new friends at Senevita were interested in communicating with students, rather than being entertained by them.  This inspired Marija, Kornelija, Elena, Adomas and Liepa to participate in morning exercises and a Nordic walk with their new friends.  Back at school, they  set up a waffle station during break to raise money to outfit a relaxation room for them.  The grade 5 team, together with the funds raised at Kaziuko Muge last March, was able to contribute a total of 1074 Euro to Senevita.  

 The final action of the school year involved the organization of a sports day for the seniors. The event was facilitated by grade 7students. It was so successful the kids hope to make it an annual tradition. 

 Thank you all for your commitment to our community initiatives!



VIS welcomes our new 2015-2016 staff members!
New PYP teachers include Marisa Villarreal who has spent the last two years teaching in Shanghai, China.  She will teach grade 3.  Two new grade 2 teachers are joining us. Dee Broussard has spent the last ten years teaching at the International School of Estonia where she was also the PYP Coordinator.  Jody Ubert has worked in international schools in Malaysia and Brazil.  The majority of her experience has been in grade 1 and special education.  Rita Navikienė will teach PYP Lithuanian mother-tongue. She formerly taught at Vilnius Sholom Aleichem gymnasium. The Early Childhood team is excited about the return of Ms. Natalija following the birth of her son Alexander a year ago. 
MYP is also gearing up for exciting changes.  Our Individuals and Societies department will reboot this year with the team of Janis Polis and Kęstutis Balynis. Both teachers have experience teaching in IB DP programmes.  Janis is also interested in Model United Nations and Kęstutis has his eye on starting a debate team at VIS.  Samuel Denis will come on board as our new French teacher. Samuel is originally from Belgium and he has taught at international schools in China and Morocco.   Laima Ring will return this fall having been on maternity leave for two years after giving birth to twins. Finally, our new Lithuanian mother-tongue teacher is Rita Aukštuolė. Rita hails from Klaipeda and she is moving her family to Vilnius this summer in order to be with us.  
Please take the opportunity to make our new team members feel welcome! 
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Who is in town?

VIS looks forward to seeing primary and middle school students and their families on September 1st at 10.00. When you arrive you will find a shiny new surprise on the playground.  You can also look forward to improvements in our school gym.  Sorry, it is not a regulation size football pitch! 

The following new staff members just jumped on board our train:  Grade 3 – Ms. Jessica McColly, American, most recently posted in Ghana. Grade 4 – Ms. Lezlie Faber, American, most recently posted in Bangladesh. Turtles – Ms. Jenny Wong-Powel, Canadian, most recently posted in Sri Lanka.  Science/Maths – Mr. Matthew Duquette, American, most recently posted in Ghana. PYP music -  Ms. Indre Kukulskyte, Lithuanian, background in ethnomusicality.


Where did they come from?

VIS is pleased to welcome our new PYP Coordinator, Colin Powell, to the VIS community. Colin is joined by his wife Jenny (our new Turtles teacher) and his two young children. Colin’s  experience in international education is as deep as it is broad. He grew up attending an IB school in Tanzania among a family of educators  and carried the torch into his professional life. Colin has  taught primary school in Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka. 

 Jenny Wong-Powell is originally from Canada and has followed a similar career path throughout Asia. Jenny is also in the midst of completing her PhD. dissertation entitled “An inquiry into the diverse biographical histories with play and its effects on play in early childhood education.” The timing couldn’t be better considering VIS recently won NordPlus funding to support research in the assessment of play with partners at a Russian language kindergarten in Finland.

 Kangaroo Powell and Panda Powell look forward to making friends at VIS and having fun in the snow!


10th Anniversary of EU membership

 Over eighty VIS students  participated in the 10 year anniversary celebration of Lithuania’s membership of European Union by configuring an EU flag. Our school had a special mission – to put up the yellow umbrellas imitating the stars of the EU flag.  Overall, 1000 students from 40 schools participated in the  event.




Fun Run for school in Sierra Leone


 On Wednesday, May 21st, VIS will be holding a mini marathon called Fun Run in order to raise money for training two teachers at a the school in Sierra Leone’s that VIS has adopted recently.
How does a Fun Run work? Two weeks before the run, students will create a sponsor list for the actual run. Students will have to collect money from their parents, grandparents etc. for every single round of the park they run. The more they run, the more money they earn. Sponsors decide themselves how much to pay for each lap.  For example, if a parent sponsors their child 10 LTL a lap, and the child runs three laps, they will pay them 30 LTL.  This money will be donated to the Sierra Leone Fund.   Rebecca’s daughter and her husband are running a half marathon in the capital of Sierra Leone in May.
Venue: Bernardinai Park
Timetable: Fun Run will take place in the following order:
9 am till 10 am – 1st and 2nd grades;
10 am till 11am – Kindergarten;
11 am till 12 am – 3rd , 4th and  5th grades;
13 am till 14 am – 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th  grades;
Students will start to run/walk at the marked starting line and run/walk in their own tempo. Once they finalize one lap, their sponsor list will be stamped for each lap.
Homeroom teachers will be responsible for bringing the kids to the park and getting them back to school. Mr. Jasper and Mr. Ricardo together with Running for Change representatives as well parents-volunteers will be at the Park the whole time.
Running for Change will visit our school on 2nd of May in order to motivate the students and create a running spirit!



Budapest International Model United Nations conference
The Model United Nations team recently attended the Budapest International Model United Nations conference. Seven VIS students, who represented Brazil, successfully worked with hundreds of other student delegates to create solutions to many world issues. Augustas Lignugaris was recognized for his success in his World Health Organization delegation where he was a main submitter of a resolution which passed unanimously. Competing against 300 other delegates, Caoilfhinn Jennings was voted “Miss BIMUN 2014″ for her poise and professionalism. The entire VIS delegation came in third place in the BIMUN spirit games for taking photos and participating in event sponsored activities around Budapest. Overall the trip was a great   success.
Bimun picture 1bimun picture 3Bimun picture 6Bimun picture 4

 Bimun picture 2



Student exchange programme in Denmark

Fifteen VIS students participated in a NordPlus exchange programme in March.  The programme was called “Preparing for Democracy in Europe”.

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PYP Kaziukas Craft Fair

VIS students raised 1800 LTL at Kaziuko Fair.  The money will go toward our ongoing relationship with a developing school in Sierra Leone.  


10th Anniversary Celebration
VIS will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with a party for parents, teachers and friends of VIS.  The party will take place on March 22nd 19.00 at the Juozas Music and Art Club.  Please come to dine on food from Sue’s Indian Raja and dance to a performance by our music teacher Baiba and her band playing 80′s music !  Several VIS students will also be performing for us. Tickets will be on sale for 150 LTL/per person. Current VIS staff members will attend free of charge.  The proceeds of tickets sales go exclusively to cover costs.  Please write to us if you would like to pay by bank transfer and we will send you an invoice for the tickets.  We hope that you will join us in marking this occasion.   You can find weekly updates on our VIS Facebook page!