AIS Online in Action: Week of 4/18

Here are just a few examples of the engaging learning experiences that transpired via AIS Online last week:

3rd Grader Shares Piggy Bank with Philabundance

Third grader Sidney set the table, swept, and performed other chores in order to raise money for those in need! She donated the contents of her piggy bank to Philabundance, the area's largest hunger relief organization — and was featured by NBC10 Philadelphia! Sidney, we are so proud of the way you're living out the leadership toolkit trait of kindness!

Colette Cavazos is Main Line Times Student of the Week

Senior Colette Cavazos is an avid scientist, a National Merit Scholarship Program finalist, a music composer — and now a Main Line Times Student of the Week! Read more about Colette in the Main Line Times article.


Dolly Gaul Tradition Endures

Social distancing didn't stop our Lower School community from celebrating Dolly Gaul Day, a beloved tradition that honors Mrs. Marion "Dolly" Gaul, who taught in the Lower School for 35 years and was a leader in community service. Mrs. Elizardi read the inspirational book The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can by Dr. Tererai Trent, based on a true story of a young woman from Zimbabwe who wrote her goals on scraps of paper and buried them in the ground — an ancient practice that reminded her not to give up on her dreams. Agnes Irwin followed a similar tradition by collecting goals and dreams on slips of paper, which Facilities Coordinator Patti Mangine placed in the ground near the Lower School. A witch hazel shrub, donated by landscaping company Shreiner Tree Care, was planted, a symbol of the spirit of generosity that characterizes each Agnes Irwin girl.

Approaching Current Events Through a Historical Lens

History comes alive in Mr. McCormick's International Relations class, where students are researching and addressing the extraordinary times in which they live. Using Flipgrid video responses, students crafted policy memos that outlined their recommendations for how the United States should have responded to COVID-19 in late January, when reported cases of the virus were largely confined to China. In addition, discussions have included potential ramifications of leaders declaring a national emergency and changing or suspending laws, as well as comparing the cultural and ideological influences in countries' responses to coronavirus.

Examining the Economic Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed the face of economics — and students in Mrs. Hahn's class are studying the effects in real time. In addition to researching their subject on a weekly basis, Economics students are blogging about a sector, industry, or company affected by the coronavirus. Classmates read and provide feedback, deepening discussions about areas such as airline travel, small businesses, health care, unemployment, grocery store stocks, the Zoom platform, historical comparisons with other epidemics or pandemics, and more. The weekly blog posts explore the subject in real time, accounting for new information and providing students with an in-depth look at economic issues and industries that affect their daily lives.

Embracing Acts of Kindness

Fourth grader Eloise knows the value of kindness during this difficult time! She and other students in Ms. Sweeney's class are presenting on current events via Flipgrid video, while receiving valuable feedback and questions from their peers. This week, Eloise highlighted several random acts of kindness from around the country, including a "big tipper" in Texas who left a gratuity of more than $9,000, and artist Mo Williams, whose "Lunch Doodles" series on the Kennedy Center website provides children with creative ideas and encouragement.

A Literary Exploration of the Effects of Isolation

This week, students in Ms. Hahne's English 5 and English 6 classes drew on their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic to study new vocabulary words and write their own poetry. Students embraced the assignments and chose to creatively explore their feelings of isolation, anticipation, and the concept of community. They stepped away from screens and headed outside to clear their minds and find inspiration for their first poem, which incorporated at least one new vocabulary word. Their second composition drew on letter sequencing (A,B,C,D,E or any other direct alphabetical sequence) to create a list poem. We love these authentic looks at this era from our students' point of view — from an "ABC Superheroes" tribute for those on the front lines of the pandemic, to what baking together looks like during quarantine...including relatable frustrations around dishwashing!

Eighth Grade Looks Ahead to Freshman Year

On Wednesday, 8th graders began preparing for the time-honored rite of passage from Middle to Upper School during their class meeting! The Class of 2024 met virtually with Mrs. Horn, Mrs. Willingham, Dean of Students Mrs. Leonard, and Upper School Director Mrs. Webster to learn more about course selection, advisory, running for office, and other key elements of life in 9th grade. This gathering is an important step in the natural progression from Middle to Upper School, and a session that students look forward to each year.

More Scenes from AIS Online

Kindergarteners jumped, skipped, and galloped into learning during their PE class on Thursday, led by Mrs. Kane and Mrs. McGinnes!


Who knew you could learn about surface tension and cohesion through "bubble snakes"? After Session students in Ms. Mack's grades 2-4 class did just that this week using materials in their homes, obtained during a "scavenger hunt."

Sixth graders maintained connection during their class meeting this week, where they highlighted local and international initiatives that support frontline workers combatting COVID-19.


Viva la Semana de Español! This week, students celebrated Spanish Week in the Upper School with new recipes, music, and even a special AIS music video, featuring student, faculty, and staff dance moves!


On Thursday, lower schoolers welcomed a special guest to their "Surprise Teacher" assembly: Ms. Brenda, a beloved member of the Culinart staff who provides healthy lunches for the Lower School girls!


Mrs. Webster's advisory lunch on Thursday also had some special guests: students' mothers! Thank you for sharing your lunch with us!


Stay Connected With Us!

We know community is important; we're staying connected during this time — and want you to be a part of it! Here are a few ways that we are sharing the work of our students and faculty members. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out our Insta story daily: we regularly ask to hear from you about things like book recommendations, how you're spending your time as we stay at home, and more!

Agnes Irwin Workout Series

Did you catch Natalie '20 and Gioanna '22 on our Instagram Takeover this week? Check out their days on the AIS Instagram. If you missed Ayanna Dunlop and Cheney Williams' takeovers from last week on our Instagram Day in the Life Highlight Reel! Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes looks into student life and AIS Online!

Agnes Irwin Workout Series

Keep moving! Workout 5 and Workout 6 of the AIS Athletics' Workout Series are now available!

We’ll be sharing weekly updates of the exciting project, classes, and creative exercises happening on AIS Online, so stay tuned!

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