Newsletter - 7 December 2018

Traffic News (Update from the Traffic Committee)

Earlier this week there was a meeting at the City Planning Office (MA 46) responsible for the changes being implemented in Strasse der Menschenrechte. The first picture indicates where new signs will be placed indicating that the left hand side of the road between Siebeckstrasse and the main VIS entrance will be zoned as no parking permitted. Parents of Primary School students will be allowed to use this space for 10 minutes maximum between 07.30 – 9.00 as well as 14.30 – 16.00  on school days only. The right hand side will be a short term parking zone (10 minutes I think) that will extend as far as the end of the street with parking spaces for approximately 22 vehicles. This would only be for ELC and grade Primary parents to use.


Between the main entrance to the school and the end of the street on the right hand side there will be a kiss and drop zone (where no waiting will be permitted). This will apply on school days only between between 07:30 – 09:00  and  14:30 – 16:00.


On the construction side of Strasse der Menschenrechte the plan is to considerably reduce the pedestrian footpath as shown in the diagram below.


It can be seen that the proposed plan is to erect the wooden fence such that this will significantly reduce the width of the street in terms of the current arrangement. This aspect of the planning is still to be rigorously contested.

Ubahn exit into Siebeckstrasse

The situation of Siebeckstraße in front of the subway stop  is still a matter of serious discussion. As a next step, there are plans to contact the head of MA46 (Mr. Raab) - to make sure that he directly hears the communities concerns.  

Main central exit from the Ubahn in front of the new bus station

Of utmost importance, is the security of the children when exiting the Ubahn station. SIGNA HOLDING informed the meeting that the sign below will be prominently displayed to guide the children to the safe path on Prandaugasse.     

In addition, the builder has been ordered by MA 46 to build a wider, more attractive pedestrian path and a fence between the Ubahn and the pedestrian zone, which will make the walk considerably safer.

I would like to thank the Parent Committee for their very active support in pushing the authorities to finally take action.



I write this short article in anticipation of seeing this year’s stage presentation of Annie tonight. From all of the reports so far, it has been another huge success, and a credit to all who have committed considerable time and energy to bring it to the stage. These events are only possible because people volunteer to make them happen – not just students and staff but also a cadre of parents and volunteers ‘backstage’.  This is a time of year when we are all naturally tired due to the weather and shorter daylight hours. Next week, I suspect that everyone who has worked so hard will find the sense of exhaustion catching up with them. Please be supportive if this is indeed the case.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Monday, 3 December the VIS held its Annual Meeting of the General Assembly. Thank you to those of you who participated, got informed and exercised their right to vote as members of the VIS Association! During the Assembly, there was a voting process for one position of Board Member in the VIS Board of Governors. Thank you to Regine Ahner and Gregor Hofstaetter-Pobst for their efforts to run a very dynamic informative campaign for this position and we congratulate Regine Ahner for being elected as the newest Member of the VIS Board of Governors.

Please find here the presentation held during the VISA General Assembly 2018.

Please find here the VIS Annual Report, feel free to get your own printed copy from the Reception desk.



Digital Distraction

Since August 2018, at VIS we have implemented the Digital Distraction policy. As part of this policy, the School has created three phone-free zones: The Cafeteria, the Theatre and both Libraries. The School also created Grade Level Expectations for Mobile Phone Use with confiscation consequences in place. The Digital Distraction policy is available here. Students have been very responsive to the policy as proven by the small number of  confiscation incidents, shown in the following chart provided by the IT Department. The number of confiscation incidents across the whole school has remained lower than nine incidents per week since September, with the exception of one week in October.

At VIS we believe that technology can give teachers and students great resources, new opportunities for learning, ways to collaborate, communicate and create.  Technology is a very powerful tool for preparing students to face the 21st century challenges. The School is keen to work in partnership with students and parents to help build the necessary resilience against distraction and addiction that inappropriate use of digital devices can cause. We would also appreciate it if you reminded your children about  the appropriate use of mobile phones and computers at VIS and help us minimize the number of confiscation incidents.



As the last week of the calendar year approaches, we welcome you to our Annual Primary Choir Winter Concert on Tuesday evening (details further down in the newsletter) and wish all families a safe and energising holiday season.


14 December - Last Full Day before Winter Break

  • We will have a whole school Assembly in the afternoon
  • VISMA, After School Care, After School Activities, Mother Tongue Classes are happening
  • Full day of school


Parent Curriculum Session on Multilingual Language Acquisition

Thank you to parents who were able to attend our most recent Parent Curriculum Session on Multilingual Language Acquisition. Please find a link to the presentation here and feel free to contact Paola Devenport, English Language Acquisition Department Leader or Tamsin Roberts, PYP Mother Tongue Coordinator with any questions or input.

Our next Parent Curriculum Session is Thursday, 7 February, from 08:40-10:00. The topic will be: Mathematics - Helping all children reach their potential and it will be opened to all Primary School parents. During this session, colleagues will support parents with practical support and advice to support students in mathematics at home and school.


Primary Grade Websites

Be sure to find the section of your weekly update to the Grade Level Websites (see links below) that shows the tips for supporting your child at home on the same topics studied at school. This is a huge support to learning, especially if you are interacting with the same material in your home languages.




Message from the Secondary Principal

On Wednesday evening I was lucky enough to be able to be present at the opening night of this year’s production, Annie (the musical). The Theatre was full and it was good to have quite young children with us, who obviously thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It really added to the fun! As one of my colleagues said to me afterwards; ‘time flew’. It is no news to us that we have some very talented students: performers, musicians and backstage helpers. What was also evident is that there is a wealth of talent in our teachers and parent community that resulted in really impressive choreography, hair, makeup, costume and stage design. I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank those parents who have offered help with the set, costumes, makeup and hair. We are so grateful for your talented support.


Our students have returned from Maher. The conversations I have had about their experience there have been very moving. I hope that you will have the opportunity to hear them speak about their experiences. While this is a project to which we give significant financial support, they feel that they have received a gift from those who welcomed them at Maher. You will find the team every morning in the Octagon next week, ready to talk to you and to show you some beautiful articles they brought back from Maher, that would make precious holidays gifts. I encourage you to talk to our students about this important cause (1 Euro - 1 Child - 1 Day) and to praise them for their efforts!


Please note that school will end with an all-school Assembly on Friday afternoon, 14 December. We plan to end school at the normal time however, if the Assembly ends early, the students will be dismissed slightly early.


Invitation to the Science Fair 2019

Dear Secondary School Students, VIS will be hosting the Science Fair on the 30 March 2019 and we are looking forward to your participation with a project on the theme ‘S.T.E.M.: More than just part of a plant!’ coordinated by the UN Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. Please share your ideas and sign up with your science teachers by the end of January 2019. We will then be meeting and working on the projects. Science Fair is a wonderful opportunity to express your interests, interact with students from other schools and scientists from the UN, as well as to get an award for your efforts.  

Please visit the web site  to view the instructions for participation and the rules for projects. 

The Science Department

Grade 10 Pesonal Project Exhibition

We are looking forward to welcoming the VIS (G10) parent community next Tuesday, 11 December at 18:30 for the much awaited Personal Project exhibition. The Grade 10 student have been working hard in the past weeks and months and are ready to show their many talents. Please just come to the Theatre at the start for a brief introduction before we will look at the 127 projects in the Mall.

Dear Parents, for those of you who currently have a child at home that you are considering to enroll at VIS for the school year 2019-2020, we would advice you to please start the application process at your earliest convenience.

Please be aware that siblings receive priority within their priority group when applying to VIS, however an early application date is very helpful to make the application successful and would also help us to plan ahead. Please see the Admissions section on the website for more information.


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 February 2019, you will have to notify Tina Lackner in writing by the end of December 2018 at the latest.






Pictures from "Annie", the Yearly School Performing Arts Production


Mother Tongue

At VIS we believe that the use of the Mother Tongue (MT) at home benefits our students’ progress in English and other school subjects.  It also allows for an understanding and experience of their own culture, which can help them to understand and value the cultures of others.  Research studies suggest that bilingual brains may be more flexible, more creative and better at problem solving. 

To support your child's continued learning in their MT, VIS facilitates lessons from experienced, external teachers in over 40 languages. The libraries also offer an extensive range of books in MT languages – and if you’d like to see something added to this collection please let us know!

For details of the programme please log in the VIS intranet at and follow the pathway: Home/ Extra Curricular/ Mother Tongue Programme

Alternatively please contact our Mother Tongue Coordinators who will be happy to help with any questions you may have:


Tamsin Roberts: pypmothertongue(at)

MYP (G6-10)

Bettina Schwarz: mypmothertongue(at)

IB (G11-12)

Henrike Schauer: ibmothertongue(at)


News from the Sports and Activities Office: the new "Panther Dome", covered red court is now open, for our students to use and play sports in all seasons.


Upcoming events:

  • Varsity girls and boys basketball to Rodewald, Munich, this weekend 7 - 8 December
  • Ski team training to Hauser Kaibling 29 November - 2 December and this weekend 5 - 9 December
  • Hauser Kaibling International School Ski Races 15 - 19 January. (Schools participating: Vienna International School, Danube IS, Munich IS, IS Carinthia, Bavaria IS, St Gilgen)
  • DVAC Festivals - 26 January
  • St George’s School of Rome High school basketball at VIS 31 January - 2 February
  • More friendlies scheduled so please contact the team coach and check the school sports calendar


Winter Holiday Camp

The Winter holidays are really near and we are happy to announce that we can offer a supervision program for your child during the first holiday week (17 - 21 December). For ELC and Grade Primary students we offer a Kindergarten supervision with limit space of 16 students. For Grade 1 to Grade 8 students we are offering a holiday camp with various sport activities during the day. Please make sure to register in time as we are limited of space in the Kindergarten. The registration window will close on the 10 December. Please register through

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

Maher - Main VIS Charitable Project

Dear VIS community,

we (a group of eight Grade 11 students and 2 teachers) have just arrived back from a visit to MAHER (, an Indian based charity that VIS supports since nearly 15 years. It is not easy to describe in short what we have experienced, as it has been a rollercoaster full of high emotions and overwhelming, warm, sometimes challenging, lovely, heartbreaking experiences. With every encounter we recognize how important our engagement with MAHER is - with both sides profiting from the partnership: our donations are the seeds that make people flourish and we learn how important it is to share and to be grateful of how privileged we are …

Since its´ beginning in 1997 the UN registered NGO has supported over 4000 women and children in one of the many living communities, schools and self help groups. MAHER has been home to us in the same loving and caring way as it is for the many people that we were honored to get to know. Please find below a small selection of stories and pictures that we have brought back. 

In case you want to hear more, please come and talk to us on the following days, as we are running a small stall selling handcrafted items (like Sari-shopping bags and Masala, Indian Chai etc.), that have been produced in one of the many self help groups in MAHER – being open every morning 8:00 – 8:30 it is the ideal opportunity to grab small X-mas presents for those of the community celebrating. 

Thank you for your support: MAHER = 1 EURO – 1 CHILD – 1 DAY

With love,

The Maher CAS team

Green Midweek – Meat Free day

Earlier this year the VIS Catering Committee supported a proposal from the Student Council to set a message for less meatconsumption in the school. Thus the Student Council and the Catering Committee (Eco School team included) suggested a meat free day every week with the purpose of reducing the greenhouse gas foot print of the VIS. In the same spirit, the Eco School team decided to concentrate all their activities on the green midweek (Wednesday). 

Some facts:

A cow does on average release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). The negative effect on the climate of Methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. Therefore the release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2300 kg CO2 per year. Let's compare this value of 2300 kg CO2: The same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated by burning 1000 liters of petrol. With a car using 8 liters of petrol per 100 km, you could drive 12500 km per year (7800 miles per year). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) agriculture is responsible for 18% of the total release of greenhouse gases world-wide (this is more than the whole transportation sector). Cattle-breeding is taking a major factor for these greenhouse gas emissions according to FAO.



Service & Action Student Project

My name is Benjamin Diaz and I want to share an opportunity to serve with other students at the school.  The activity is part of an ongoing Service & Action activity that I am doing.  Please click here to find out the details of my project and how you can contribute to it.

VIS Primary Choir Annual Winter Concert

The VIS Primary Choir is excited to invite you to attend this year’s Winter Concert at the William Kirk Theater on Tuesday, 11 December, at 17:00. This is a great opportunity to showcase the musical talent that we have at VIS and to bring the holiday spirit to the community. The repertoire will include songs from old English Carols to more modern songs. Free entrance with open seating once the audience is allowed in. We look forward to seeing you at the concert!

The Traffic Petition link is still open. Please consider signing the online petition if you have not done so yet. Please find the link for your consideration here. (Note: you do not need to sign the online petition if you already signed the hard copy.)

New Monthly Meeting Times:  In an effort to accommodate all members to attend monthly PTA meetings, the executive committee has voted to return monthly meetings back to an alternating morning/afternoon schedule.  The next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, 16 January at 16:30 in the Primary Library. We hope to see many of you there following the holiday break and start of the new year!

Child Protection and Safeguarding Practices: On Friday, 30 November, PTA Chairs were invited to and took part in an administrative professional development workshop aimed at analyzing the VIS procedures & practices for making the school a safe environment for our children.  A wide range of child protection & safeguarding procedures were discussed. Teachers and administrators have implemented in-depth action plans for these safeguarding practices.  For additional information or questions, please reach out to Primary Safeguard Lead: Ben Hacking (bhacking(at) or Secondary Safeguard Lead: Laura Stewart (lstewart(at)

PTA Grants: Many thanks to students and teachers who took the time to prepare and present their grant requests to the PTA this past Wednesday at the PTA monthly meeting.  There are eight grants that were submitted and being considered.  The next step in the process is for you, the VIS community, to vote for which projects you would like PTA funds to sponsor and support.  All members of the community are invited to attend and vote at the PTA Grants meeting to be held on Wednesday, 9 January at16:30 in the Secondary Aula.  A special thanks to Roselyn Kielnhofer for her time and dedication in standing up this official grant program for the first year.  The PTA is excited for the upcoming opportunity to help fund requested programs/projects/activities from our students and teachers!

The Annual Winter Market was a terrific success. Not only did students have fun while fulfilling their service and action, but families enjoyed their purchases and entertainment.  2078 Euros were raised (excluding the sale of homeroom baskets) from the sale of crafts and food.  ALL proceeds this year will go to Maher, Young Caritas and WWF.  The PTA thanks all those who volunteered to set-up, work the event, and clean-up. Special thanks to coordinator Carolyn John and co-coordinator Madeleine Peltier. 

PTA would like to announce a new monthly event called “The Lunch Bunch” starting in January.  This fun, once a month gathering will be held at a local restaurant establishment in the city.  Each month, it will be held at a different location and any and all are welcome.  Thanks to Uki Gaidoschik for standing up this new social outlet.  (Details will be forthcoming for January’s time and place).

The Lost and Found propertywill be again displayed at the end of next week, on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14, therefore you are all welcome to stop by and check out the collection of lost clothes, hoping you might find the items your child lost a while ago. The items which will not be collected by the end of next week will be donated to a charitable institution.

Please find here the Communication Corner of the PTA, with the main contacts of the PTA clubs and activities.

1. A vegan christmas market  is happening this weekend at the Arcotel Kaiserwasser. Please click HERE for details.

2. A fun day out to the familypark is only a bit more than an hours drive away from Vienna. Click HERE for more detais.

3. Another Christmas market with fun activities for kids in a beautiful setting just outside of Vienna. Check it out HERE.

4. For some indoor fun you could book a slot at the Zoom Kids Museum







  • Grade 5 Ski Camp Info evening (17:00-18:00, Theatre)
  • Grade 10 Personal Project Exhibition evening (18:30-20:00, Theatre)
  • G2 PYP Choir Winter Concert (17:00-18:00, Theatre)
  • Grade 7 Humanities Trip (08:30-15:15)
  • Grade 3 Trip to Natural History Museum (09:00-14:00)
  • VIS Sings Dress Rehearsal (16:00-18:30)


  • Grade Primary International Food Festival (11:45-14.45, Grade Primary Corridor)
  • Grade Primary End of Unit Celebration (13:45-14.45)
  • VIS Sings (18:00-19:00, Theatre)
  • Whole School Assembly (14:00-15:00)


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