Academic News

For the latest news from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools this semester, be sure to read the Division Head letters on PowerSchool Learning posted each Monday.  Here are links to letters from Rick Petrini (Lower School), Joelle Neiwert (Middle School), and Francesca Mulazzi (Upper School).

COVID concerns require that the International Baccalaureate alumni panel scheduled for Wednesday, January 5, will not be open to current students and parents.  However, the recent alumni will answer questions about the value of IB skills for college life.  Their answers will be recorded for viewing on the SGS YouTube channel.  

Kindergarten visitation days for 2022 will be February 10th, March 17th, and April 14th from 8:30am to 11:30am.  If you know of families that may be interested, please have them contact Tami Peplinski ( or 509-464-8744) to sign up to attend.

Friday, December 17 is the last day of classes for 2021.  Students will be dismissed at 12:10pm, so busses will take their usual routes, just 3 hours earlier than normal.  There is no late bus or After School Enrichment on Dec. 17.  

In addition, the 6th graders will perform for the Middle School, with parents and families welcome, at 11:05am in Founders Theater.  The students will be singing a few carols and performing some songs they have practiced on tone chimes.  If the concert ends early, parents can sign their student(s) out and begin vacation a little early!  We are asking students to dress festively for their performance -- holiday sweaters, Santa hats, elf ears, etc. are encouraged.  

FTC Robotics Teams in Action

December 13, 2021

The Saint George's FTC Robotics teams competed at a League event at Ridgeline High School on Saturday, Dec. 11.  Team 6128 came in 2nd overall and Team 7935 was 3rd.  See a Photo Gallery of the two teams in action.  Their next event will be the Interleague competition in January.  Go Dragons!

The 5th graders built bridges of toothpicks and glue and then measured how much weight their different designs could hold before breaking.  Adding piers to the middle of the bridges allowed several to hold more than 70 lbs. before crashing under the weight!  See a Photo Gallery of the students with their bridges -- before and after!


2nd Grade Owls Get Poetic

December 13, 2021

The second graders have been studying owls.  So they performed owl-related poems and short stories in their owl "hats" at the Lower School Assembly on Dec. 3.  See a Photo Gallery of them at the Assembly in ESAC Gym and read the Poems and Stories they shared.

IB Questions of the Week:  

Is my student required to be a full IB DP candidate once they enter 11th and 12th grades?
No, some students decide to be a courses-only candidate and not attempt to earn the full IB diploma.  Remember, all SGS students, once having met SGS graduation requirements, receive an SGS diploma.  The IB diploma is additional. Colleges and universities, if they award credit for IB scores in courses, give the credit regardless of whether a student is a full diploma candidate or a courses-only candidate.  Some colleges and universities may give credit for obtaining the full diploma as well, and some, mostly European, may require the full diploma.  Always check the specific college or university website for information on IB award credit.

What are the school’s IB statistics for the last 6 years?
Below are stats for the last six years since the first SGS IB Diplomas were awarded in 2016.  If you would like information about SGS specifics for particular subjects, please email

*Note:  For some years, you will see juniors registered for exams.  This is not a norm, but was in response to specific needs of our students.

IB Alumni Highlight:
On Wednesday, January 5, there will be an IB alumni panel.  This event will allow our current students and parents to talk to SGS IB alumni who are now in colleges putting the skills they left SGS with into practice.  SGS has organized an IB alumni panel in the past, and we feel that it can be valuable as a resource for students and parents to talk to students who now have reflected on their time with the IB and have a helpful perspective on it.  

The panelists will include:
From the Class of 2020:
Kathryn Moon (attending the University of Pennsylvania)
Marshall Roll (attending Macalester College)
Jocelyn Thew (attending Loyola Marymount University)
Miya Jacobs (attending University of San Diego)
Caleb Flegel (attending Whitworth University)
From the Class of 2021:
Gabi Cunningham (attending Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service)
John DeForest* (attending Dartmouth College)
(*will be calling in remotely)

The academic schedule for January 5 will be shortened for all MS and US students.  The panel will be available for students in grades 6-12 from 2:05-3:05pm in Founders Theater.  Parents who are interested in talking to our panelists and learning more about the IB will have a session from 3:15-4:00pm in the theater.  If you are a SGS parent and intend to attend the session from 3:15-4:00pm on Wednesday, January 5, please email to RSVP.

The Lower School's Science Day on Nov. 23 featured posters by the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in their classrooms.  See photo galleries of: 

  • The 3rd Graders working on posters for little Ozobot robots, that can follow the lines and change behavior after rolling over the colored codes;
  • The 4th Graders posing with their Science Day "Wanted" posters about invasive species; and 
  • The 5th Graders displaying their posters about bridges and how different structures can hold more weight.

CAS Experience Highlights:
CAS experiences for all of our Upper School Students reported this week included learning new piano songs, helping with the Santa Express, participating in FTC Robotics, and writing military Thanksgiving cards.  (See a Photo Gallery of students writing Thanksgiving cards for the service members at Fairchild AFB.)
IB Alumni Highlight:  
On Wednesday, January 5, several SGS alumni from the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will be here to talk to the students in grades 6-12 about the IB and their experiences at college.  There will be a special schedule that day for Middle and Upper School students that will allow for a Q&A time with the IB Alumni panel: 
Students grades 6-12:  2:05-3:05pm (Theater)
Parents:  3:15-4:00pm (Theater)
IB Question of the Week:   
In each IB class, what are the Internal Assessments and the External Assessments? 
The IB uses both external and internal assessments in the Diploma Program (DP) to assess student learning. 
• The external assessments (EA) include the exams in May of a student’s senior year. These EAs count for 70 - 80% of the score in an IB course. The EAs are sent in to the IB for grading by IB examiners. If a student takes IB Visual Arts, their EA is an exhibition. In addition, if a student takes a Language A HL course (Chinese A Literature HL or English A Literature HL), they also produce a written assignment. These assessments are called “external” because teachers outside of SGS assess and decide what grade they earn. IB examiners and assessors are all over the globe but trained by the IB to ensure uniformity.
• The internal assessments (IA) include the many investigations and projects that students undertake here at SGS during the two-year program. 20 - 30% of the student’s score is derived from the IA. SGS students complete an IA in each course. The grade for the IA is assessed by the SGS teacher but it is externally moderated by the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization), meaning they are reviewed for grading accuracy. 
External assessment: Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses. This is because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability.
They include:
• essays
• structured problems
• short-response questions
• data-response questions
• text-response questions
• case-study questions
• multiple-choice questions
Internal assessment: Teacher assessment is also used for all courses. This includes:
• written work in languages
• oral work in languages
• laboratory work in the sciences
• investigations in mathematics
• artistic performances
Please email with any IB questions you may have, otherwise she will pick one to answer.  For more information about the DP grading and assessment please follow this link:

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