Newsletter - 19 October 2018

Dear VIS Community,

Please be aware that due to the fact that next week will be a short school week (22-24 October), we will not be sending out a weekly newsletter. You will receive the next newsletter from the VIS on 9 November 2018, after the Autumn break. Thank you for your understanding! 

VIS News

Dear Parents and Guardians,

in order for VIS to continue its participation in the international sports tournaments, we must meet certain obligations. One of these is to host visiting athletes, the same as when our student-athletes travel outside Vienna.

As a community we all play a role in maintaining the system of sports exchanges between international schools. As a VIS community we can all contribute by feeling responsible for the hosting of our own tournaments, whether you are actually hosting guest students or not. As a community of international schools we need families to host in order to keep costs to a minimum and to promote international understanding among our student-athletes. We wouldn’t be able to organize tournaments if the system of hosting and being hosted didn’t work.

From 8 to 11 November, VIS will host the CEESA Middle School Boys Soccer Tournament. We expect 66 student athletes from different schools that will stay in Vienna for 3 nights. The guest students will almost all be Grade 7 and 8. Please make these visiting athletes feel welcomed in our wonderful community by opening your home for one Thursday, Friday and Saturday night!

Please contact bmartel(at) whether you decide to become a host family. Thank you for your consideration and for this effort!


Dear Parents and Guardians, we hope that by now you have got acquainted to the new VIS Intranet and you were able to find in there the relevant school related documents.  Please be aware that the Moodle (Parents section) will be closed soon, so we will ask you to rely on the Intranet to find the information you previously searched on Moodle. If for any reason you are having difficulties finding any information, please let us know at marketing(at) and we would be glad to assist you locating it.

How to get to the new VIS Intranet? Simply go to the VIS website, then you can see 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

Learn to navigate. Please find here a guide that will show you how to navigate easily through this new Intranet platform. For any additional question, feel free to email us at marketing(at) 

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. 

Primary School

Visiting Literacy Expert

Next week, the Primary School will be hosting a guest language and literacy expert all week with in-class visits throughout the week and large group in-service sessions on Monday after school and during our Collaborative Planning Day on Thursday. Erin Kent is an international school consultant who specializes in literacy instruction. As we implement our new language curriculum, Erin’s focus will be on how our understanding of text complexity can raise the level of our feedback to learners. Understanding text demands will help us to better be able support our students and our target our teaching. Click here to read Erin's biography.

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 two 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

Earlier this week you have received an email with the sign up instructions, please note that the system opened on Wednesday, 17 October at 18:00 and close Monday, 5 November at 23:55. Please click here to access the online booking system and find here a useful guide showing you the sign in instructions. 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.

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 can drop 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: On the day of the Conferences, school closes at 12:45 and school buses leave at 13:13. There will not be any After School Activities, VISMA, Mother Tongue lessons, Dutch School or After School Care on these days.


School will be closed to students from Thursday, 25 October and we are looking forward to seeing them back on Monday, 5 November. As it is a short week this week, there will be no updates to the Grade Level/Department websites. We wish everyone a restful and regenerative break!


Secondary School

by Elisabeth Stanners

The Autumn holiday for students begins on Thursday, 25 October. On that day the teachers will still be in school. We will be working on the refinement of our Digital Literacies Curriculum. This work will be done by grade level teams of teachers and will be led by our newly appointed Chief Digital Integration Officer (CDIO), Ms Ioanna Karrariga. 

School will open again after the Autumn holiday on Monday, 5 November. Please note that during this period, Friday, 26 October and Monday, 1 November are public holidays here in Austria.  

This week you will have received an email regarding the sign-up for our first Grade 6 - 12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences of the year, which will be held on 8 and 14 November. Please click here to access the online registration system and click here for the sign in instructions. Conferences will begin from 14:00 on both days. (if you are experiencing difficulties signing up in the Parents Evening system, please click here for further instructions). Please be sure that the presence of students with their parents is expected and valued. The strength of these meetings is in a discussion that includes our students, in which all three parties contribute and everyone hears the same message and agrees on the next steps, to ensure that your child experiences a sense of wellbeing and success at VIS. We strongly encourage you to include a meeting with the Homeroom teacher/ Advisor in your schedule as well, as these are the people in your child’s school life who have the responsibility for monitoring that wellbeing and success.

Grade 10 and 11 parents and students received information this week about a possible trip to Mozambique this summer between 9 August and 26 August. The trip will include the possibility of helping as volunteers at the Marine Research & Whale Shark Conservation Project and engaging in a school project near to Tofo. Last year a group of students participated in a similar trip to Thailand. This is the feedback that we received from one of the parents: ‘I think the World Challenge journey far exceeded her expectations and has had a really quite profound impact on her and the way she is thinking about things now she is back in Vienna’. Tony Burns, a World Challenge Representative will come to school on Monday, 22 October at 18:00 and Tuesday, 23 October at 08:30 to give a presentation in the Aula on the planned trip.

Last night our Beginner and Intermediate Bands, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Band Advanced Ensemble and String Ensemble, Choirs, the Pitch Blue Band and some of our IBDP vocal students performed at the Autumn Concert. Many congratulations go to them on all the quality of their performances at the first concert of the year. Watching the students perform highlighted for me the fact that this is a domain in which age does not matter. Even as adults we can continue to develop ourselves as musicians. This experience is a significant one in the preparation, not just for the journey through school, but for lifelong learning.

I wish you all a very restful and enjoyable holiday. I think everyone is ready for a well-deserved break.

University Counselling 

by Jeremy Handcock

1. European Universities Consortium Fair

The following universities will be attending: Bocconi University Milan, Jacob University Bremen, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, IE University Madrid, Modul University Vienna, Vesalius University Brussels (all courses taught in English).

  • Date: 24 October, from 13:10-14:15 in the Aula

2. CIS (Council of International Schools) University Fair

The CIS University Fair is a prestigious event with 120 universities from the UK, USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Europe and Asia. It is addressed to students in Grade 10, 11 and 12. Parents are welcome to attend.

  • Date: 7 November, 09:00-12:00, in the Gym.

3. St. Andrews University Presentation

Information on St. Andrews academic programmes and  the  special joint programme with The College of William and Mary in Virginia. The presenters are Kyle Blain, responsible for Admissions, and Dr. Dave Evans – the University’s Pro-Dean from the Arts Curriculum. Parents are welcome to attend.

  • Date: 8 November, 13:10-14:00, Rooms 123/124.





    Performing Arts Autumn Concert 

    It has become a tradition to present the results of the first few weeks of work in the music section of the Performing Arts Department in our annual Autumn Concert. 

    It truly felt different this time, a wonderful “retro” feeling as, due to the GDPR regulations, telephones and private cameras were banned from the theatre. We extend a big thank you to all the parents who understood and followed the instructions given at the beginning of the concert. It was such a special feeling for the performers, that the audience gave them their full and undivided attention! It was absolutely worth paying attention to our students -  the concert went smoothly, with a variety of contrasting pieces presented by the different groups. The positive collaboration between the youngest students, supported by students in the higher grades created an atmosphere of care and diligence. 

     Closing the concert with “Lamma Bada”, a traditional Andalusian tune from the 9thcentury, combined a majority of the performing groups that evening.  Our next event in the Performing Arts will be the presentation of the musical “Annie” 5, 6 and 7 December 2018.

    Sport & After School

    by Jason Bowie

    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. Update: We have still places for the Autumn Camp, please apply soon. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: sportbox.vis(at)


    Last Saturday morning around 40 Service & Action students, parents and teachers from VIS met at the Donauinsel to help clean up the local environment. After a couple of hours you can see that a lot of waste was collected. Well done to all involved!


    Eco-School News - New look for our Eco Garden

    Once upon a time in the playground behind the ELC there was a glasshouse, then it was transformed into the Eco Lab. The Eco Lab has now gone and in its place is a beautifully designed garden area. There is a seating area placed around a planting area for a butterfly garden, there are also spaces for apple trees to be planted. The area will be supporting bio diversity as well as providing outdoor learning possibilities.

    There are also some interestingly designed potato planters and areas for year levels to plant vegetables. The compost bins and wormery provide opportunity for children to see the composting process. Every week children from the Grade Five Green Team collect bio waste from the cafeteria and put it in the bins, it is also used by different year levels for daily bio waste.

    Last week the area was ceremoniously opened by a bulb planting session. Children from Grade Primary all planted a bulb and children also added Lavender and Erica plants for some autumn colour.



    Alumni in Action

    Dhruv Mehta, a VIS Alumni, addressed all Grade 11s during their Homeroom Lesson as part of an initiative to inspire students to take action against climate change. This links to their Community and Service Programme in the Diploma. Dhruv graduated in 2011, then completed a degree in Economics and is now a consultant with UNIDO. He shared his experiences of the Diploma Programme and its relevance to university studies and career opportunities. Dhruv is currently designing and helping to implement various innovative renewable energy projects in low income countries (e.g. Ethiopia)  and explained the nature and value of these projects to students.  The students found the talk very inspiring and it was a pleasure to host a former student.



    • 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 (contact the Chairs: Regine Ahner, Caterina Veronese, Krista White)
    • Communication Hotlinehotline(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 Clubboosterclub(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 Programbuddyfamily(at) (Offer support and sponsor new families at VIS or request a buddy family/ sponsor once you arrive. Always looking for sponsors.)

    Cookingcookingclub(at) (Learn how to make delicious international cuisine once a month on Mondays in the VIS kitchen.)

    Culturecultureclub(at) (Join us as we go on monthly cultural field trips.) 

    German Conversation Clubelisabethriecken(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 Clubhobbyclub(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 Editornewsletter(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 Workshopswritetorachelle(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 Socialpcpcoordinator(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 Shopptashop(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.)

    *Runningrunningtalkies(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 Clubandreaniknia(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)

    *Walkingwalkietalkies(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

    There will be a lost and found property display for students and children to come and claim their items on Monday, 22 October, Tuesday 23 October, and Wednesday 24 October. The display areas will be:

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

    Thank you for those volunteers who organized and sorted today, Friday 19 October.   

    Calling All Wine Lovers

    Now that we have your attention, the hobby club is looking for wine corks to be used as part of a children's craft for the Winter Market.  If you have any used wine corks that you would normally be throwing away, please drop them off in the box under the Reception desk in the octagon.

    French Teacher Needed

    Do you speak French or know someone who would like to lead a weekly French conversation club? We have many people who want to learn and practice this language. We need someone willing to teach and lead this group. 

    Monthly PTA Meeting (Wednesday, 7 November)

    We will start at 8:45am in the Cafeteria. All members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend! Last year a decision was made to alternate the times of the monthly meetings between afternoons and mornings. As the October’s meeting was in the afternoon, November’s meeting will be in the morning. In addition to a variety of topics, we will be discussing plans for the Winter Market. If you can help in any way for the Winter Market, please join! We will also be brainstorming ideas on how PTA can use and allocate 1850 Euros available in a fund for the Mother Tongue programme. Do you have an idea on how PTA can use these funds?  Come share your ideas. All members welcome! 

    Culture Club

    Please click here to find information about the Culture Club's visit to the "Campus der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien”. 

    PTA Winter market

    Please mark your calendars for this year’s VIS Winter Market, which will take place on Thursday, 29 November, from 15:00-18:00 in the Mall/ Octagon. Come and join us to enjoy, a festive atmosphere with music from the Primary choir and Secondary students, crafts to buy, a silent auction of themed baskets, festive food, drink and much more. Parent volunteers welcome - please contact: cjohn(at)

    Weekend Ideas

    1. All the gamers amongst you can visit Game City in the center of town (in and around the town hall) this weekend. Click here to read more about it!
    2. If the weather holds (forecast for Saturday is dry) you could go for a walk in the beautiful Lainzer Tiergarten. If your kids have a collected chestnuts the past weeks they could bring them there - the wild boar love eating chestnuts. Click here to read more about it!
    3. The forecast for Sunday is rainy so a trip to warm waters might be a nice idea. The Therme Wien is easy to get too and fun for young and old. Click here to read more about it! Or try The Sonnentherme! It is just over an hour drive from Vienna and has a lot to offer for children of all ages. Click here to read more about it!

    Lunch Menu

    Please find here the Lunch Menus for the two upcoming school weeks!


    • Presentation of the World Challenge Journey (for Grade 10-11 students, 18:00, Aula)
    • Lost Property Display (Mall)


    • Grade 2: End of Unit Celebration (for Grade 2 students and parents, 13:25-14:45)
    • Presentation of the World Challenge Journey (for Grade 10-11 students, 08:30, Aula)
    • Lost Property Display (Mall)


    • European Uni Consortium Fair(for Grade 10-12 students, Secondary Aula, 13:00-14:30)
    • Lost Property Display (Mall)



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