Editors: Mayako and Gisele
Just as ISSBA brings together and plans activities for the whole high school community, grade level councils are an integral part of fostering unity between batchmates and leading their grade in various service events throughout the year. Though it is difficult to replicate the effects of in-person interactions, the grade level councils have adapted well to the situation, using virtual means to connect to their respective classes. Here is an overview of what each council has been up to.
New to high school is the class of 2024. Despite not being able to participate in some of the highly-anticipated events of the school year such as Battle of the Bearcats, the freshman council has been able to keep themselves and the rest of their grade busy with unifying assemblies and advisory competitions. Inez, president, says that they “like to interact with [their] grade level and keep them interested in things outside of class.” She says that interacting with the rest of the grade outside of the class setting is important because “as a batch, we don’t get to see each other out of class the way we did when we were in school, so keeping everyone tight makes up for the social interaction we used to get in hallways and by playing sports.”
The sophomore council recently concluded their biggest fundraiser of the year so far, holding a Valentine’s Day Candy Gram sale in support of their service partner, Child Hope. Those who wished to send a candy gram to someone simply had to fill out a form with their own contact information and a special message to their recipient. Joaquin, public relations officer, tells us that “while we were planning, we thought of how much Child Hope would benefit from this fundraiser, but also about how it might spread joy to the community, as it is almost a year since we are all on campus.”
The initiative was a success, with the council raising around 100,000 pesos through the sale of 303 candy grams. Reflecting on the fundraiser, Joaquin says that he is “really proud of how smoothly everything went” and “so thankful for the support of the ISM community because we couldn’t have done it without everyone.”
The assemblies planned by the junior council consist of games including Bingo, The Price is Right, and for Valentine’s Day, a virtual escape room. A few weeks ago, the council held a Family Feud game show, which served as a fundraiser for their service partner to buy materials to help with online school, such as internet sticks. The gameshow raised around 10,000 pesos. Sarah, vice president, adds that they “sent out a form a couple of weeks before, in order to get responses from the high school to use for the game.” The event was “super fun” and was a great way to get a good laugh after a long week.
The senior council is currently developing various projects for their service partner, Upskills. In addition to this, the senior council has also been planning their Grade Level Assemblies. Similar to the freshmen, the interactive element of assemblies is a priority for the senior council. Silvana, a cabinet member, says they achieve this through, “polls, Kahoots, or raise your hand games”, explaining that “being on Zoom can usually get really boring and people get distracted easily, so we try to recreate the experience of a face-to-face assembly as much as possible.” They also do FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) slides, which she says are “even more important during times like these, and I think we are able to answer and ease a lot of concerns.”
Although it must not have been a simple task, the grade level councils have undoubtedly been able to adapt well to this school year’s distance learning format, as shown by their successful efforts in transitioning their assemblies and fundraisers to virtual platforms. Well done to all the councils!