Head of School 11-22-2017


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 Head of School's Newsletter - November 22, 2017

Kids Day 2017!!

As always, the much anticipated Kids Day at CAC was a wonderful, fun, wet, and sweaty success. Students from K through 5 spent the morning doing all kinds of fun activities, including trike relays, an obstacle course, sponge throw, blindfold squirting, and the old potato sack race (with newfangled, much improved potato sacks). Thanks to the many parent volunteers and to our grand organizer, Mr. Greene and to the teacher who helped keep things safe and fun.



CAC Students Earn Major Awards at InJaz

Huge congratulations to CAC InJaz students Hashem Abdou (CEO), Shivani Pillai (sales), Fadi Tawfik (finance) and Riad Khawam (production). These CAC Eagles soared and snatched two awards in the INJAZ regional competition, hosted in Cairo this week. You can read more about the InJaz Competition and their successes in the Egyptian Enterprise blog. Representing Egypt in the 11-country competition, the CAC team--promoting their Zip and Flip beach towel solution--took the awards for best new product and best customer service. Way to go, Eagles!!


Teachers Celebrate Teaching

Today, the half day before Thanksgiving break, has grown into of the best professional days of the year, as teachers, teaching assistants and administrators spend the afternoon in our Celebrations of Teaching. Now in its fifth year, this has become a great opportunity for professional sharing, learning, growth, and for celebrating the wonderful commitment and successes of our teachers. Teachers attended two 50 minute sessions after students went home, and there were 19 separate offerings to choose from!


Mr Orion led a session on Doug Lemov’s Book Teach Like a Champion

Mr. Balatz led a session on quick learning and transition games for ES classrooms.


College News: Early Eagles Gain Admissions!!!

CAC’s first college admissions have arrived and several seniors are happily comforted by the knowledge that they will be going to college somewhere next year. It is very early--this is really our first batch of admissions--but congratulations to CAC seniors who have been accepted to:

  • US universities: DePaul, Taylor, ​McKendree;

  • Europe: U of Amsterdam;

  • UK (conditional): Westminster, (2) Leeds, Bournemouth, Central Lancashire, DeMontfort, and Hull.


GCC Lunch--CAC Students Serve

On Monday this week, CAC Student Councils continued a tradition started by students four years ago, hosting a Lunch for our General Support Services workers (our guards, drivers, janitors, carpenters, etc). Students and families notated food and students, parents, and teachers served over 100 lunches. The High School student Council had gathered donations and the GSS workers were also given ‘Thank you bags’ of food supplies to take home. A lovely act of serving and thanks-giving.



CAC Hosts Service Fair for Faculty

Parents sometimes ask what happens on Tuesdays when we have our ‘no activity Tuesdays afternoons’. Many things, but this time is set aside for faculty meetings, divisional meetings, and other important work. On Tuesday afternoon, Nov 21, the CAC faculty were given an extended orientation into CAC’s service work and opportunities. Students presented some of their service activities and work, and shared how their involvement with the Global Issues Service Summit has planted the seeds for meaningful, sustainable service work at CAC. After that, 10 different local organizations doing good and important work shared their programs with groups of CAC teachers. I attended sessions by ‘Safekids’, a group promoting child protection and education to prevent child sexual abuse. Courageous work. I also heard a presentation by Ahl Masr, a group that is working to build a burn hospital in Cairo and to educate people about fire safety and common household fire dangers. As we move forward in our efforts to strengthen our Service program at CAC (Goal 1.4 in our Strategic Plan) we will continue to work to ensure that all students at CAC have a meaningful service experience each year.


Teachers participate in a simulation activity.

CAC teachers following the presentation they heard by the Burn Hospital organization Ahl Masr


Weather and Air….Cairo Realities

As we are all aware, we’ve reached that time of year when the air quality in Maadi (and Cairo) takes a significant dip. We’ve seen several bad air days this month already, and surely more are ahead. Some data:

  • in November 2015 we had 8 bad air days

  • In November 2016 we had 9 bad air days

  • So far in 2017, we’ve had 10 bad air days

As we know, the bad air often blows through in a matter of hours; rarely does it linger for the whole morning, and rarer yet for the whole day. But, there is no denying, our location suffers from bad air.

CAC takes the following precautions: we monitor the air quality frequently this time of year---about hourly--with sensitive monitors. We follow globally recognized metrics for healthy/unhealthy air. We curtail or discontinue outside activities when the air is in the unhealthy zone. This means indoor recess activities for our students in the ES Hall or classrooms.

In reality, measuring the air in our buildings reveals that there is not a great difference. Our buildings are not built to be airtight and the outside air easily circulates into our inside spaces. We do our best to monitor the health of our student; parents with asthmatic students certainly understand the challenges of having their children in this environment.

We are also at the time of year, as the temperature drops, that students are susceptible to colds and flu. We do recommend keeping a close eye on students, ensuring proper nutrition and--so important--sleep. We do request that if children are sick, particularly with fever, that parents keep them hope until they are well so as to avoid spreading illness. Thanks for your cooperation in helping us keep the campus health.


Library News


Our 21st Century Library for parents continues.  In December we will be examining the post popular social media platforms,  how they used,  and why they are popular.   





Battle of the Books Elimination Round


The MS BOB teams battled it out yesterday to participate in the final on December 6th.   Four teams advanced to the finals, but the competition was very close.   The scores were very close and it was obvious the students had devoted their personal time to reading, analyzing and discussing the six books.   






From the PTO:

The PTO would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving weekend! We are grateful to be part of this wonderful CAC community.   



The next monthly PTO meeting will be on Tuesday December 5th at 1:30 pm at the PTO Room (#626A) which is located on the second floor of the admin building near the front entrance. All parents are welcome!

PTO meetings generally take place on the first Tuesday of every month.



We are looking forward to the annual PTO Book Fair that will take place December 10-14.



Spaces are limited. Please sign up using the links below:

Islamic Cairo & Khan el Khalili Shopping Dec 11



Islamic Cairo & Khan el Khalili Shopping Dec 18




Planning is underway for the Cairo American College’s 2018 International Festival on Friday March 16, and we are in need of volunteers!

If you are interested in organizing a booth for your country or volunteering in any other capacity, please contact the International Festival Coordinator, Kourtney LaGesse, at cacinternationalfestival@gmail.com.



Save the date:

The CAC Gala will take place on Friday May 4, 2018.

This year’s gala theme will be ancient Egypt! Ladies, channel your inner Cleopatra and get ready to step back in time in all your glamour!

Gentlemen, don’t worry! We don’t expect you to dress up as a Pharaoh, (unless you really want to!) but we promise you will have a fantastic time!


If you would like to be part of the gala committee which will start meeting early 2018, or if you can support/sponsor this important PTO fundraiser in any way, please send an email to Hengameh Murphy, the CAC Gala Coordinator at murphysaroundtheworld@yahoo.com



This private group is a good way to keep informed of all the PTO activities, see pictures of our events and communicate with fellow PTO members.

You can join the CAC PTO group on Facebook using the following link.  



Parting Shots

Hanging with the KGB