Newsletter - 17 January

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Dear VIS Families,

At the end of the school year some of you will be leaving the VIS community to return home or to move on to new home in a new location and you will be greatly missed. The Yearbook Team would like to offer you the opportunity to place a special message of Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye)  from your family in the VIS Yearbook.

If you would like to submit a parting message for printing, please email visyearbook(at) and we will send you the text and photo guidelines for submission. All entries would need to be received by Monday, 2 March at 12:00.

The Yearbook Team

Morning Routines

For safety and supervision reasons, parents and students are asked not to enter the school premises before 08:10 unless accompanied by an adult and not to enter the Primary School itself before 08:30. This means that students may not go to their hallways and classes until told by a teacher to enter the building. Despite the cold weather, it is important that our students are in their expected and allocated areas, especially in the case where an early morning evacuation would be required. Thank you for your support!

Teachers are busy completing the first semester reports for our students. These will be made available to parents on ManageBac by the end of the school day on Friday, 24 January.  We will also confirm this either through the newsletter and/or by ManageBack Notification and will share a guide for parents on how to read the report. There will be a chance to speak to teachers about the reports in the Spring Parent Teacher Student Conferences on 11 & 19 March
Whilst our reports do have a focus on progress and achievement, which we all can agree is very important, we also provide feedback on student engagement. Being motivated to learn impacts achievement greatly and is a big focus for us in the Primary School. Having said that, being caring is also one of the most important of the IB Learner Profile attributes that we value. Parents may be interested in reading an interesting article on the importance of kindness here: Teaching Kids Kindness Prepares them for Success.

Reporting season is also a time for students and their families to reflect on the first semester of learning, celebrating areas of achievement and progress while focusing on areas of growth ahead. While the First Semester Report and Year-End Report represent two opportunities and means to do this. Sharing, reflecting, celebrating and goal setting are ongoing processes throughout the year which require support of different tools.

Prior to the winter break, the School announced the return to the use of SeeSaw digital portfolios which is a tool that supports thist process all year long. For new families who have not experienced SeeSaw, it is a secure online journal where students can document what they are learning in class. Students add evidence and reflections on the work they do (including photos, videos, drawings and voice recordings) to their Seesaw journal and share them privately with their connected family members to view and comment on.  

Those families who have been in the Primary School for a few years will know how indispensible SeeSaw became and remember how disappointing it was to have to suspend its use with the introduction of the European-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). That said, we are pleased to reintroduce it to students at the beginning of the second semester and begin rolling it out to parents prior to the February holiday.  

To help us with a smooth re-implementation we are asking parents to do the following:

  • 19 - 24 January:  Grade 5 Ski Week
  • 21 January (8:45 to 10:00 in the Primary Library):  Parent Information Session - Get to Know the Primary Library
  • 24 January:  End of First Semester in the Primary School (Progress Reports available on ManageBac)
  • 30 January (08:30 to 10:00 in the Secondary Aula):  PYP Curriculum Information Session - Helping All Children Reach Their Potential in Mathematics
  • 31 January (15:30 to 16:15 in the Secondary Aula):  Community Talk with Niel
  • 12 February:  Photo Retake Day
  • 14 February:  Staff Work Day (School Closed to Students)
  • 14 - 23 February:  February Break - School resumes Monday, 24 February

Calculate with Confidence! - A Special Mathematics Curriculum Session for Primary Parents

Explore the mental and written calculation strategies the primary school uses to help students become flexible and confident problem-solvers. Teachers from across the grades will demonstrate several of the strategies used in class and share practical ideas for practicing them with your child at home. Please join us for a fun and informative presentation from 8:40-10:00 on Thursday, 30 January in the Primary Library.

Dear VIS Secondary Community,

What a week in the Secondary School!  

Thanks to all of you who were able to join us last Monday for the Grade 10 course information evening for the next academic year. We understand that choosing an academic programme for Grade 11 and 12 is very stressful for students and we hope that they take the time to seriously consider their options. Please encourage your Grade 10 students to do the research needed to make appropriate choices. If they are in doubt, please don't hesitate to contact the IB Office as they are always there to help them.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Handcock and Ms. Rance led a very informative information evening for our Grade 11 students outlining the University application process. Our University Counselling team work incredibly hard in guiding our students. Remember they are always available to respond to your questions.

From Wednesday to Friday we hosted MUNoV (Model United Nations of Vienna) at the Vienna International Centre. Over 50 students were involved in organising and participating in this multi-school event, whose theme this year was “Fostering equity through multilateralism”. The debates and committee meetings were intense and it was fantastic to see so many young people so interested in many important issues facing the world today. 

And lastly, Congratulations to our Performing Arts team on to yesterday's Winter Concert. Another impressive display of talent at VIS in the Performing Arts. It was great to see so many members of the community there celebrating our students achievements.

A final thanks goes out to the PTA for organizing the new parent coffee morning on today.  Welcome to all new VIS families and please don't forget to let us know if you have any questions or need any support. 

A few reminders for upcoming events:

  • Grade 12 students will begin to sit their Mock Exams on Monday, 20 January. The IB Office has created a schedule that runs from Monday, 20 January to Friday, 31 January. These two weeks are an opportunity for the students to practice taking all the different exams that they will be required to take in May. 
  • Grade 7 Ski Week is also approaching, from Sunday, 26 January to Friday, 31 January
  • Semester one reports will be published, and can be viewed on ManageBac, from Tuesday, 11 February.

We are looking forward to an exciting week again next week.   

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marc Starr

With the support of DIS, Vienna International School hosted the Model United Nations of Vienna (MUNoV) 2020 at the prestigious United Nations from the 15 to the 17 of January. An inspiring number of schools were involved in this year’s MUNoV, from the nearby Theresianum to the distant GEMS Dubai American Academy, encompassing over 180 delegates, student officers, and advisors. It was motivating to see so many eager delegates discuss and resolve the world’s most pressing issues, as they formed bonds and relations with one another. We would also like to shine light upon the incredible work of the MUNoV team for organising a large-scale event at such a prestigious venue.

Model United Nations is an educational activity which encourages the inclusion of youth in pressing UN-related issues through fostering crucial skills, such as confidence building, diplomacy, and formal writing. Through caucusing and lobbying between delegates, a resolution is ultimately passed, educating students on international relations and critical thinking.  

The theme of this year’s MUNoV is “Fostering Equity through Multilateralism”, which will be explored as delegates discuss and debate with one another in their assigned committees, such as the Human Rights Council and Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Students are encouraged to work together on the largest and most inclusive conversation, shaping our future together. It’s been a great honour to hold this conference with the support of the UN. We would also like to congratulate Ms Bottoms for organizing another fantastic musical performance as well as thank the VIS leadership team for their continued support of this program. 

Bianca Mascarenhas 

Editor-in-Chief of the MUNoV 2020 Press Team


Maths Competition Clubs. For students interested in challenging maths problems. A team of students will also have the opportunity to participate in the ISMTF Maths Competition.

MS (Grades 6, 7 and 8)            Wednesdays period 6 With Mr Van der Leij in Room 146

Junior (Grades 9 and 10)          Wednesdays Period 7 with Mr Harcet in Room 224

Senior (Grades 11 and 12)        Thursdays P7 with Mr Harcet in Room 224

Maths Support club: Students have the opportunity to ask questions on topics they find challenging.

MYP (Grades 6 to 10):

  • Tuesdays 15:15 to 16:00 with Ms Malagari in Room 227

Diploma (Grades 11 and 12) with Mr Acford:

  • Week A Tuesday Period 6 in Room 244
  • Week B Thursday Period 6 in Room 244.

We look forward to seeing you there!



Re-Enrolment Process for 2020-2021

Many thanks to the parents of the 761 students that have already completed the online Re-enrolment form for 2020-2021. For the parents of the 434 students that still have a PENDING re-enrolment status, please complete the online form as soon as possible and before 14 February 2020.

REMINDER - All parents of currently enrolled students have received an email on Thursday, 9 January 2020, with an invitation to express their Re-enrolment intentions for each of their children for the next academic year, 2020-2021, commencing 31 August 2020. Parents will be able to indicate one of the following answers online: YES, NO and UNDECIDED. Please make sure to complete the online Re-enrolment process by the deadline given, Thursday, 14 February 2020. In case you have any questions regarding the Re-enrolment process, please send an email to annualre-enrolment(at)

Admissions Process for the Next Academic Year Started

The Admissions Office has already received a great number of complete applications for next academic year. Many thanks to those of you who applied early. In grades where we know that we have a great number of vacancies available (ELC, GP, G1, G2, G6, G9) the Admissions Coordinator started with first offers already. For all other grades we will start to offer places after the deadline for the annual Re-enrolment, 14 February, or as soon as we know that we have places vacant. If you have a child in your family that you wish to apply for please start the application process as soon as possible as the application date plays an important role in the admissions process. Applications can only be done online. Please follow this link to complete an online application for your child. In case you have any questions please contact the Admissions Team directly on admissions(at)

If, for any reason, you need to withdraw your child from VIS you are asked to send a written notice to the Admissions Office, admissions(at) The following is an excerpt of the annually published VIS tuition fees schedule 2019-2020, 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 March 2020, you will have to notify the Admissions Team in writing by the end of January 2020.

In the case of early departures, all and any of the school’s outstanding claims against the parent/guardian are due and payable not later than on the school working day preceding the last day of the student’s attendance. Parents/Guardians are entitled to a refund (without interest) of a credit balance of school fees paid in advance, if any, remaining after settlement of any and all outstanding claims. Parents/Guardians are responsible for the payment of all fees.



VIS adopts the DQ Framework

As a society we are facing unprecedented challenges – social, economic and environmental – driven by accelerating globalization and a faster rate of technological developments. At the same time, those forces are providing us with a myriad of new opportunities for human advancement. In a world that is technologically driven, we need to adapt our lifestyle and develop our ability to confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities offered by the digital life. To be able to navigate through the digital environment effectively, people would need to develop a new set of competencies, a new type of intelligence that combines research, knowledge and the ability to safely and effectively interact.

Digital Intelligence (DQ) Framework has been defined by the DQ Institute as a “comprehensive set of technical, cognitive, meta-cognitive, and socio-emotional competencies that are grounded in universal moral values and that enable individuals to face the challenges and harness the opportunities of digital life”. They allow people to not just use a computer or smart phone successfully, but to also deal with modern digital challenges such as identify theft, screen addiction, online privacy, and the spread of digital misinformation. As a school, we believe we have a responsibility towards preparing our young students for the 21st century and empowering them to embrace the opportunities offered by the digital environment while being responsible digital citizens. Recognition of the Digital intelligence platforms is estimated to expand the scope of teaching and learning in the 21st century and touch all aspects of a student’s life, from personal social identities to the use of technology, critical for daily digital lives and later careers. At VIS we have built a highly learnable Digital Abilities Curriculum based on the DQ framework in order to ensure that our students build the skills, competencies and attitudes according to their age. Developing Digital Intelligence from an early age is essential for children to develop the sense of a digital citizenship as soon as taking their first steps in the digital world.

Cybercrime Education Seminar

On Friday, 31 January from 15:30-16:15 (in the Secondary Aula), we are fortunate to welcome Mr. Neil Walsh, the United Nations Chief of Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering Section, to talk to the parents in our community about how to protect the children against Cybercrime, as part of a campaign the Secondary School is organising to address the online safety concept. Here are the topics that will be covered during this seminar:

  • Cybercrime – what is it and how to notice it
  • Online Sexual Exploitation and Abuse – scale, risks, prevention and help
  • Seeking help
  • Having difficult discussions (especially useful for teachers, parents and children above the age 14)
  • Keeping your devices safe
  • Identifying fake social media accounts

All parents and students are welcome to attend as the UN expert will cover these topics of importance for anyone who has an online presence, as part of the Digital Intelligence (DQ) framework the School is now following to empower the students embrace the opportunities of the digital life while being prepared for it. 

Eco Tip Of The Week

In addition to supporting our students understand the important aspect of sustainability on a global scale and encouraging them to become the future ambassadors of the planet, the School is also looking to reduce its carbon footprint during the day-to-day operations. The education for sustainability is a major driver for all business procurement decisions in the recent years, and every decision of the School is now embedded in a continuous improvement process for the environment. VIS is also aiming to engage the students and the school community in integrating the concept of sustainability into the school culture and every day life. Here is one idea for our families to consider: why not choose the school bus service instead of driving to school every day?

  • Is it comfortable, reliable and always arrives on time
  • It is convenient - you don’t have to hassle with the morning traffic or the stress of finding a parking place every day
  • The bus has four different routes around Vienna and neighborhood
  • Teaches students responsibility and helps them take ownership of their daily routine
  • It is environmentally friendlier to have more students sharing the school bus rather than using the family car

Moreover, the school’s bus provider Blaguss has shown support to this initiative by offering 100 EUR discount (from the total amount of 1025 EUR) if you sign up NOW for the second semester, plus free rides by the end of January. Please find more details about the bus transportation service, bus routes and price HERE. For other questions and registrations, please email vis(at)


With support from the three organisations accrediting our school (Eco Schools, Global Schools and Umweltzeichen), VIS continues assessing the building and the daily operations to optimize the internal processes towards becoming environmentally friendly. Since 2017 when VIS was nominated the first Eco School International in Austria, the School has already made notable progress in using less paper, reducing the energy usage, reducing water consumption, increasing the number of trees, reducing oversee travel. The education for sustainability is a major driver for all business procurement decisions in the recent years, and every decision of the School is now embedded in a continuous improvement process for the environment, social welfare and low transportation cost.

Since 1 January 2020, the Vienna International School upgraded the electricity from 100% hydro power (energy from water movement) to 100% renewable energy without any CO2 emission (green electricity), also called Ökostrom. From now on, all classroom lights, elevators and beamers have zero CO2 emissions. By eliminating these carbon emissions the school hopes to balance out the pollution, therefore reduce the carbon footprint. We will continue to work on finding and implementing techniques to reduce the CO2 emissions in our School and to engage our students and the school community in integrating the concept of sustainability into the school culture and every day school life.



SOS – Calling All Animal Lovers

Bushfires have ravaged the Australian native wildlife and their habitats - they need your help. Show your support at the Australian cake stall fundraiser on Thursday, 23 January from 14:45 to 16:30 in the Octagon. Many traditional Australian sweets will be available for purchase and the donations go towards Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park and Wildlife Victories bushfire sponsored charities.

Thank you for your support!

VIS Music Students Perform at the UN

As wonderful it is for our students to perform in our own theater on a regular basis, performing in a prestigious location such as the UNO is even more exciting. These real life situations challenge our students and teach them how to adapt quickly to new situations and deal with unexpected changes. On Thursday, six of our students had the opportunity to perform at the Opening ceremony of the Model United Nations of Vienna (MUNoV) in the conference room of the “C building” and our students did a wonderful job. A great variety of repertoire (Fly Me to the Moon, Gymnopédie Nr 1 and You Can Count on Me) added glamour and entertainment to the opening ceremony. 

Winter Concert

Last night we celebrated the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven with his famous “Ode to Joy” in a combined performance of the VIS choirs, the Advanced Ensemble and the combined strings from Primary School and Secondary School. We opened the concert with a majestic fanfare from the movie “Back to the Future”, enjoyed the lovely combination of our guitar ensemble with the Soprano and Alto voices of our choirs and were impressed by the progress made by our Beginner Band. Not to forget the outstanding performance of “You’re a Mean One” by the Chamber Choir and the Adelaide Concerto by W. A. Mozart by the Strings and Advanced Ensemble. All in all, a wonderful evening of most contrasting music, highlighting the musical ambitions and celebrating the learning of our students.

Our next performance will be on Saturday, 1 February in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein! Our students are already very excited about this event! If you would like to participate at the concert, you can buy tickets on the Musikverein website.



Mother Tongue Breakfast

The UN Mother Language Day is celebrated internationally on Friday, 21 February.  VIS students speak almost 90 Mother Tongue languages  and we are proud of our linguistic diversity.

As the the date falls during the VIS break this year, we will be marking the day with a special Mother Tongue Breakfast on Thursday, 13 February. Details on how to get involved will be in the newsletter next week, but please note the date in your calendar in the meantime!



Ski Team Update

Our Ski Racing Team is participating at the International Schools Ski Race at Hauser Kaibling this weekend, below you can enjoy a little video from their last practice! We wish them best of luck to the race and can't wait to welcome them back to school next week.

Second Semester Activities Offer

The second semester of the After School Activities programme will start after the February Break on Monday, 24 February. The registration for this semester will start with a pre-booking phase for currently booked courses on Thursday, 30 January and after a week of pre-booking we will open the registration for all remaining spots for all parents. Please find HERE the link to the offer of After School Activities for the second semester.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact vis(at)



Stay Organized, Mark Your Calendars & Get Involved

Here is a list of our PTA Meetings for the remainder of 2019/2020 School Year. 

PTA Evening Meetings 16:30-18:00

  • Wednesday, 5 February - LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM 
  • Wednesday, 1 April - LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM
  • Wednesday, 3 June - PRIMARY LIBRARY

PTA Morning Meetings 8:30-10:00

  • Wednesday, 4 March – AULA
  • Wednesday, 6 May – DINING ROOM (Aula will be blocked for exams)

Come and join us!

Come and join us!

We need people ready to work in the PTA Shop, especially Friday morning from 8:15-9:00 and as well as on Tuesdays, for the first (14:30-15:20) or the second shift (15:20-16:00). We are looking for volunteers ready to work with money, i.e. organised persons. We do this for all our VIS community after all, so every helpful hand counts.

Dear New Family,

within the initiatives organized by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the VIS, we wish to share with you the "VIS New Family Welcome Program" that offers support to new families by connecting them with established volunteer family(ies) who already have some experience of the school and living in Vienna. The volunteer welcoming family(ies) might share the same language(s), nationality(ies) or have children in the same grade.

The support offered by this program may vary according to the situation, but with an informal and friendly approach, might include:
* Email or telephone contact before or soon after the new family moves to VIS;
* Being available to answer questions and share information about the school, living in Vienna etc, to help the new family settle in more quickly;
* Helping the new family find further information by suggesting useful contacts or links;
* Introducing the new family to other families with the same nationality, culture, language or children the same age (perhaps arranging coffee meeting and/or play dates with your children.

If you are new to VIS and would like to have a current Family as point of contact, please fill out this form so that we can find a suitable volunteer family for you.

For any further information, feel free to contact newfamily(at)

Dear Parents,

Join us for the first amazing guided tour of 2020 at the St. Stephen´s Cathedral (Stephansdom), the main landmark of Vienna and the most important gothic building in Austria. On this tour we will hear about the history, the architecture and the secrets of the Cathedral and legends connected to it. During our inside-visit we will explore artistic masterpieces in the altar area such as the famous stone pulpit and the emperor´s tomb.

DRESS WARMLY !!!! The tour will be indoor and outdoor, around the cathedral.
Our tour will be complemented by a visit of mysterious subterranean Vergil´s Chapel , which is accessible from Metro Station U1.  

  • When: Wednesday, 22 January from 10:15 to 12:30
  • Meeting Point: St. Stephens´ Square in front of "Alte Feldapotheke" (Pharmacy), Stephansplatz 8A.
  • Cost: 25,00€ per person.

Please sign up here!

Come and join us!

If you haven’t joined the PTA VIS Facebook page yet, don’t delay! Our page is active on a daily basis with 605 members and growing fast. Be the first to know about planned community events and  volunteer opportunities. All for the benefit of our children. Our transparent communication is at the tip of your fingertips. Join now!! Facebook search: PTA VIS.

The weekend weather forecast includes no rain but it might be rather windy.

  1. You could explore the inner city by taking different trams around the ring. Stop for lunch at a kid friendly place like Yamm
  2. Or have a warm drink while watching and stroking cats (if they let you) at Cafe Neko!
  3. Watch a film in one of the cinemas showing films in English: Artis Cinema or Haydn CInema!
  4. Or go to the see “A Bedfull of Foreigners”, a British farce performed in English (details and tickets HERE)
  5. Let your kids burn off some energy with some some indoor fun!


    Change Contact Details

    In case you change your contact details (adress, telephone numbers or email adresses) please notify the school by email change(at) so we can centrally update the information accordingly.


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