Newsletter - 12 October 2018

Director's Message

IB Conference

Last Friday and Saturday many of our students and staff were involved in supporting the 50 year International Baccalaureate anniversary conference for schools in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. It was both a treat and an honour to see our community so powerfully represented. The musicians and choral groups were marvelous as usual, the student speakers were amazing – particularly when you consider that they were presenting their ideas to an audience of over 1800 people! The student art work on display was a credit to our creativity and the adult speakers all did us proud in sharing success stories related to action at VIS.



In addition, we had parents and students who acted as general guides and advisors supporting the conference organisers.

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved both on stage and behind the scenes!


Board Professional Development

This weekend our VIS Board members will be travelling to Krakow to take part in a weekend workshop hosted by Central Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA). Thanks in advance for making this big time contribution in support of our community!

Secondary School Principal Search

On Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd October we will have four Secondary Principal candidates in school for a comprehensive selection process. During their time (which starts on Sunday afternoon) the candidates will meet with stakeholder groups representing: the Board, the Students, the Staff, the Leadership Team, the Parents before final selection committee interviews all day on Tuesday. Our hope is that we will identify a suitable candidate during this week and be able to make an announcement as soon as possible after that.

Meet the Director October

Earlier today I hosted the regular monthly open invitation meeting with parents. A number of topics were discussed including the current traffic situation in front of the school. A parent task group has formed to look at ways of mobilizing the community to petition for safer solutions to the current situation. If you would like to know more about this please speak to me and I will pass your details forward.

Those parents who attended the Tim Burns session last week on The Amazing Brain can get the workshop handouts by following this link: Here (slide number 7 has a link to Tim’s presentation). If you missed this really well received event don’t worry, we plan to invite him back in Spring.

Please see below a very relevant video on this topic!

Just Breathe


Dear VIS Community, we are proud to introduce to you the new VIS Intranet. The purpose of this platform is to offer you a place where you could easily find all information needed about school. This interface will come to replace the Moodle platform that we are currently using.

How to get to the new VIS Intranet? Simply go to the VIS website, then you can find the Intranet icon in the upper right side of the screen. Here you can find a direct link to it. After you click and enter the Intranet, you will be required the registration details. Please use your user name and password from ManageBac

What will you find in the Intranet? Information about the school, general information, contacts, information about the school's curriculum, extra currricular activities, additional services that school is offering and many other needed information. Please find here a map of the structure of the VIS Intranet, for your information. We hope you will find the new Intranet easy to navigate, friendly to use and useful in finding the specific information you will need.

Learn to navigate. Please find here a guide that will show you how to navigate easily through this new Intranet platform. Additionally, our Development Office (room B5, near Reception) will be offering you help sessions the next week, daily between 13:00 and 15:00, whether you would need any help in finding your way around the Intranet. You can also feel free to email us at marketing(at) 

Thank you for your collaboration and enjoy navigating through the new VIS Intranet!

Primary School

Parent Teacher Student Conferences

Parent participation in supporting student learning is recognised at VIS as one of the most positively influential indicators of individual learning growth. In each school year, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get involved in their child’s learning, the most central one perhaps being the Parent Teacher Student Conferences (PTS Conferences).

The PTS Conferences provide an opportunity for class and specialist teachers and parents to discuss how students have settled into school, academically, socially  and behaviourally. In addition, parents and teachers discuss goals students should focus on along with a range of strategies that that will support students to successfully achieve them.  In G1-G5, students are encouraged to attend and participate in their own conferences so they have greater ownership over the reflection and goal setting process.

The PTS Conferences take place over four half-days concurrently with the Secondary School on the following dates:


Thursday, 8 November 13:00 - 17:30

Wednesday, 14 November 13:00 - 17:30


Wednesday, 27 February 13:00 - 17:30

Thursday, 7 March 13:00 - 17:30

Using our online booking system, Parents sign up for 15-minute conferences with their child’s class teacher and, where available, 10-minute conferences with specialist teachers (German, PE, Art, Music and ELA). Learning Support teachers will attend the meetings with Class Teachers where possible and appropriate. Parents with more than one child in Primary school and/or with children in the Secondary school, will also be able to sign up for conferences with those teachers using the same system.  

If parents cannot make the conference dates, or find that appointment slots are booked, they are encouraged to contact the teacher they wish to meet with to arrange an alternative time outside the conference dates. Parents can expect an email early next week with sign up instructions, but note that the system will open on Wednesday, 17 October at 18:00 and close Monday, 5 November at 23:55.

While the school strongly encourages students to attend their own conference, child care will be available in Gyms C, D, and E for:

  • Primary students not attending the conference with their parent(s) during booked Primary and Secondary conference times (ELC, GP, and other students who are not attending the conference with their parents), and
  • Primary students who attend VIS that are siblings of other VIS students that are attending their booked conference time.  

Parents sign their child(ren) into Gym C and must pick them up immediately following the completion of the conferences, making sure to sign them out. Child care will be available in Gym C for students who attend VIS that are siblings of other VIS students who are attending conferences. Parents attending the Primary and/or Secondary School conferences can register sibling(s) in Gym C in order to attend conferences with individual children. Parents must pick siblings up from Gym C immediately following the completion of the conferences and make sure to sign them out.

Note: There will not be any After School Activities, VISMA, Mother Tongue lessons or After School Care on these days.

InCAS Testing Grades 1-5 Results

With the exception of the ELA Intensive students, all students in Grades 1-5 have completed a computer-adaptive external assessment, which aims to identify individual student’s development in reading, spelling, maths, mental arithmetic, developing ability and attitudes.

We use this data alongside other learning information that we have to personalize learning and monitor progress.

A one-page view of these results has been shared with parents in the Portfolio section of each student on ManageBac.

A general information sheet for parents about InCAS and how to read the results can be found here.

For general information about InCAS, you can visit the CEM website

Secondary School

by Elisabeth Stanners

Fire drill

On Thursday morning we carried out our first practice fire evacuation of the year. The students did an excellent job of leaving the building and lining up in their designated area at the back of the school playing field. All Secondary School students and staff were out of the building and it was reported clear within four minutes of the alarm sounding. The behaviour of the students during the drill was mature and safe.

All parents should have received an sms from the school telling them that this had successfully taken place. If you did not receive a notification, please check the contact details in ManageBac for your child/ren. If they are incorrect, please send an email to with the corrected contact details.

MidYIS and Yellis testing

This year VIS will be replacing the annual International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) with assessments designed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM). CEM is based at Durham University and also designs the INCAS test that is taken in Primary School and the ALIS test that is taken by our Grade 11 students. These new tests, MidYIS for Grade 7 and Yellis in Grade 9, are computer adaptive assessments providing a baseline performance in areas of vocabulary, Mathematics and non-verbal ability.

The assessments do not count towards a student’s school report grades. They are only used to help the school monitor individual and group student progress over time, and to evaluate the school’s programmes.

Students will take the test online using their own laptops during periods 3 and 4 on the following dates:

Tuesday, 16 October: Grade 9

Thursday, 18 October: Grade 7

Click here to find our more information about these programmes.

A (repeat) note about future dates

The Autumn holiday for students begins on Thursday, 25 October (a Staff Work Day). School will open again on Monday, 5 November. Please note that during this period Friday, 26 October and Thursday, 1 November are public holidays here in Austria.  

Please mark your calendars for our first Grade 6 - 12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences of the year, which will be held on 8 and 14 November. Conferences will begin from 14:00 on both days. Parents can expect an email early next week with sign up instructions. These days are a half day of lessons. Students are expected to attend the conferences with their parents or otherwise leave school as there is no supervision on these afternoons.

Photo Purchase

Here you will find the information regarding the school photos that have been taken a few weeks ago.


Connected Learning

by Ioanna Karariga

Data Security

On your device go into #Settings #Applications-
Go into each App and check the permissions you have given to the apps on your device:

  1. Unistall  Apps not being used

  2. Turn Off permissions for apps that don't require it.

This week’s useful reading

By David Bancroft, Secondary Librarian

Literacy resources from Encyclopaedia Britannica

“Literacy” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in education, but being “literate” means so much more to lifelong learning that simply being able to read. Truly literate people are not only able to apply new vocabulary to the things they say and write, but they can digest and re-apply new information and concepts across their daily lives. To be literate is to have an innate enjoyment of learning new things. Literate people also possess the ability to identify things they don’t immediately understand and the skills to go about choosing the right resources and finding answers; they navigate their worlds with a sense of purpose, wonder, and curiosity.

VIS subscribes to the full Encyclopaedia Britannica for Schools, and the start page is available here.

Login to Encyclopedia Britannica is automatic in-school. From home, use this ‘List of VIS logins’ document for login details to VIS digital subscriptions.

Photo Consent

Please follow this link to give your consent if you haven't already. Unless you mark your clear option, we are not able to share documents reflecting life in VIS (performances videos, camps pictures, exhibitions, e.g.). Thank you to those who already filled in this important form.

Admissions & Withdrawals

by Tina Lackner

Student Withdrawal Information 

If, for any reason, you need to withdraw your child from VIS you are asked to send a written notice to the Admissions Coordinator, Tina Lackner. The following is an excerpt of the annually published VIS tuition fees schedule 2018-2019, page 5:

Early Departures: Parents/Guardians may terminate the schooling contract prematurely before its expiration at the end of the school year by way of a notice in writing to the Admissions Coordinator. The termination takes effect at the end of the second (2nd) calendar month following the month of receipt of the notice by VIS, unless the notice expressly states that the termination take effect on the last day of a later month. Unless notice is given in writing, fees will continue to be charged and the deposit will not be returned.

School Fees are calculated pro rata on the basis of complete calendar months are payable until the termination takes effect. If the termination takes effect at the end of the month of May, School Fees are payable until the end of the school year. Unless notice is given in writing, fees will continue to be charged and the deposit will not be reimbursed.

For example: If you must withdraw your child/ren from VIS at the end of December 2018, you will have to notify Tina Lackner in writing by the end of October 2018 at the latest.


You are cordially invited to our Performing Arts Autumn Concert!

Enjoy the music from the Grade 5 Beginner Band to our IBDP students. Our Jazz Band will perform as well as our choirs, guitar ensemble intermediate and advanced band and string ensemble. As parents were not able to participate in the fabulous performance at the opening of the IBO conference last week, we will repeat these pieces as well. 

Entrance is free and the PTA will provide again a wine and cheese after the concert.

Sport & After School

by Jason Bowie


We are looking forward to hosting the CEESA Middle School Boys Soccer tournament, from 8 November to 11 November. Six teams from other international schools will come to Vienna to compete against our two Middle School Boys Soccer teams. We are looking for VIS families that are willing to host two or more guest students for this tournament. Can you host? Or do you want to know more about it? Please let us know at activities(at) Thank you very much!

VIS Holiday Camps

Great news! We are happy to announce, that we will organize holiday camps during all the breaks. We do have a child supervision from 08:00 until 17:00. During the day we will offer various sports and different activities. Here you can find an itinerary, how a day would look like. Please find here all other information. We do have limited space so be quick to register. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: sportbox.vis(at)


Eco-School News - Global Warming

Most of you will have heard the latest report concerning global warming.

It is clear that we are not meeting the goals of the Paris agreement and there now appears to be a time limit within which action must be taken.

At the VIS we are emphasising to the students and wider school community that small actions can have a big impact. However it is clear that we must all make changes in the ways that we live our lives.

During the last school year a student group put forward the suggestion that we should have a weekly Eco Day.

Various actions were considered and one that has been implemented so far is a meat free day in the cafeteria.

We are grateful to Andrew Warren and his colleagues for creating alternative menus for this one day of the week. This serves two purposes:

1) To highlight the interesting, tasty and healthy alternatives to meat thus exposing the students to a variety of dishes.

2) To draw attention to the impact that meat production has on global warming. Meat is a significant source of global warming emissions. Eating less meat is, in general, a way that people can reduce their carbon footprint.


We are conscious that we can not all agree on the different measures that we must undertake to sustain our world, however we have to try to be committed to supporting our students in learning a sustainable life style from an early age. We truly thank you for your understanding and support.

For more information click here to read the article about the UN Report and their warning or the point of view from NASA regarding global warming.


Communication Corner

  • FACEBOOK - Search "PTA VIS" (currently 470 members – Let's UP that number exponentially! Come join our Page!)

Below is a quick reference guide with email addresses and short descriptions of PTA offerings: Please send an email if you have questions, would like to sign up for classes, or are interested in joining any activities.

  • Contact the Chairs: ptachair(at) (contact the Chairs: Regine Ahner, Caterina Veronese, Krista White)
  • Communication Hotline: hotline(at) (we have created a hotline and WANT to hear from you! Send us your comments, suggestions, new ideas, or concerns)

*Book Club: Info coming soon. 

*Booster Club: boosterclub(at) (Join the Booster club. Help sell snacks after school, support sporting events, and more. Opening Hours are: Monday - Wednesday 14:50 - 17:00pm. Looking for Monday volunteers.)

*Buddy Family Program: buddyfamily(at) (Offer support and sponsor new families at VIS or request a buddy family/ sponsor once you arrive. Always looking for sponsors.)

Cooking: cookingclub(at) (Learn how to make delicious international cuisine once a month on Mondays in the VIS kitchen. Next class: Sri Lankan Cuisine, Monday, 15 October 12:30-14:00

Culture: cultureclub(at) (Join us as we go on monthly cultural field trips.) 

German Conversation Club: elisabethriecken(at)  (Come practice your German skills and converse with others or start studying German! Beginners' class: Monday, 1 - 2:30 pm at room K9 (behind the locker room in the basement). Advanced level: Tuesday, 1 - 2:30 pm at the Secondary Aula. Classes every week except school holidays. Price: 100 Euros for 10 sessions)

*Grants: grants(at) (Do you have an idea for an idea that you would like to propose for a PTA grant? This year's grant deadline is 26 October) 

*Hobby Club: hobbyclub(at) (Do you have any talents to share OR Do you have any special skills you would like to learn how to do? We need your ideas, suggestions, skills, and we need presenters.)

*Newsletter Editor: newsletter(at) (Have something to put in the PTA section of the newsletter? Submissions must be made by Wednesday evening 20:00 for display in Friday’s PTA section of the school newsletter.)

*Seminar Organizer: seminars(at) Do you have an idea for a seminar or would like to lead one? Contact for scheduling and inquiries.

*Parenting Workshops: writetorachelle(at) (workshops on various upcoming Mondays 08:30-11:00am. Nov 5th: Alternatives to punishment and problem solving, Nov 12th:encouraging autonomy, Nov 19th: new ways to praise and self esteem), and Nov 26th: freeing children from playing roles)

*Primary Social: pcpcoordinator(at) (If you would like to be on the list to receive information on primary level social events or be on your primary grade level mailing list.)

*PTA Shop: ptashop(at) (Join the PTA shop volunteers where we sell school accessories, clothes for PE, instruments etc. Opening Hours are: Tuesdays 2:30-4:00pm & Fridays 8:15-9:00am. Looking for Friday shop volunteers.)

*Running: runningtalkies(at) (Run with the running group every Tuesday throughout the school year @ 8:45am. Meeting point: Prater, in front of Republik Kugelmugel. Psssst: there are fast walkers that join in too!;) 

*Spanish Conversation Club: andreaniknia(at) (Weekly Spanish Conversation classes. Write for more info). 

*Secondary Social: secondarysocial(at) (Keep in touch & socialize with other secondary parents or be added to the mailing list for your specific secondary grade level)

*Walking: walkietalkies(at) (Walk with the walking club every Thursday morning throughout the school year @ 8.40am. Meeting point: Ubahn Kagran, the exit from Siebekstrasse.)


New eco friendlier PE bags available at the PTA shop

We are trying to reduce the use of plastic in the school so as a first step we have replaced the plastic PE bags with cotton ones.

They look really nice, are very soft and easy to care for.

Come see for yourself!

Available at the PTA shop for 12 Euros.


Lost Property Display

It's only the beginning of the school year and our students are already forgetting articles of clothing and other items left behind which have been turned into the lost and found. There will be a lost and found property display for students and children to come and claim their items on Monday, October 22nd, Tuesday, October 23rd, and Wednesday, October 24th.

The display areas will be:

  • SECONDARY SCHOOL: in the area of the Mall (Gym Area)
  • PRIMARY SCHOOL: in the mall close to the theatre. Any items not claimed by the end of the day on Wednesday, October 24th will be collected and delivered to charity. (Caritas)

To prevent a MOUNTAIN of clothing from forming, we are soliciting volunteers to sort and organize. (Thank you for those volunteers who emailed this week to volunteer to sort and organize on Friday, October 19th.  We could use a couple more if you are interested.) Please contact: ptachair(at)

Winter Market Planning Meeting

The much anticipated Winter Market is quickly approaching and will be held in the Mall and Octagon after school on Thursday, 29 November. This community event is organized by the grade 6-8 students with the support of the PTA to raise money for Young Caritas, WWF and Maher. The students will be busy in November making crafts to sell at the market.  There will be a working group PLANNING MEETING on Monday, 15 October at 14:00 in the cafeteria to meet with Winter Market Organizer, Carolyne John.  Please come to the meeting if you can help with this event.

Secondary Social Network

by Debbie Cecchini

What a wonderful evening at the Meet & Mingle at the Marriott! Lots of chatter, laughter and good company and a great crowd from across all grades in Secondary - perfect evening and I will organise another evening mid-November - watch this space! If you want to join us next time and be a part of this fun group then send me an email at secondarysocial(at) Enjoy this beautiful, barmy autumn weekend!


Weekend Ideas

  1. Visit the World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 on its world-wide tour showcasing the stories that matter with photography from the 61st annual World Press Photo contest! From the 14th of September - 21st October 2018 at the WestLicht Museum (Westbahnstrasse 40, A-1070, Vienna). Click here to read more about it!
  2. Get your pumpkins ready for Halloween or simply enjoy all the autumn colours at Schloss Hof! Click here to read more about it!
  3. Or at Franzlbauer, Lower Austria, with an impressive display and artful arrangement of pumpkins. Click here to read more about it!


Here is the menu for the upcoming week!


  • Interquest presentation by Alan Beckett for Grade 10 students (9:15-10:15)
  • PTA Cooking club "Sri Lanka sesstion" for parents and teachers (12:20-14:00, Cooking Room) - reserve your place at cookingclub(at)
  • Meeting for starting preparations for the PTA Winter Market (14:00, Cafeteria) - parents and teachers welcomed


  • Music: Technical rehearsal Autumn Concert for students (15:30-18:00/ Theatre T11)


  • Sports: VIS – ICSV Middle School Boys Soccer (16:30-18:30, VIS)
  • Music: Autumn concert (all the community welcomed) (18:00-20:00, Theatre)



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