Monday, July 07, 2014

The School of Academics and Arts

Our elder daughter, Elle Marie, changed school this year. From St. Scholastica in Manila for two years, me and my wife transferred her to The School for Academics and Arts in Makati. Near to our place, Elle hardly comes late. About 5 minutes by car from the house, or just one jeepney ride.

The school offers nursery, kinder 1 and 2, and Grade school 1-3 classe. It's only their 2nd year this year, and 1st year in their new location at Davila St., Barangay Tejeros, Makati. Elle is in Grade 3.

Last Saturday, the first Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) meeting was held. Good attendance; parents of nursery to grade school students came. All the teachers were there too.

TSAA School Directress Cherry Fernandez explained the various school policies, like class schedules for nursery, kinder and grade school, why incorporate arts with academics in various subjects, why no traditional exams and grading based on exam results, and so on.

Cherry was a friend way back in UP Diliman in the mid-80s. She's two or three years younger than me in UP, was a Political Science major but involved in the UP Repertory and was active in theater and the arts. So it is no wonder why she came to this school.

I have not seen her actually since she left UP in 1987 and went back to her beloved city in Davao. I saw her only last May -- after 27 years! -- when we decided that Elle will transfer to TSAA.

Parents were all ears listening to this cheerful, articulate and passionate lady.

Since it was the first PTA meeting, an election of officers was held. Famous actress and tv personality Giselle was unanimously voted as President.

School owner Audie noted that last year, all the PTA officers were women and suggested that men should be involved as well as being a PTA officer is a good experience. A cue for me to nominate the man seated in front of me, Dean, for Vice President. Then I signed a mother behind me to close the nomination, she did. 

Dean "revenged" and while I briefly walked away, he nominated me as Secretary. I took it as a "balance of terror/harassment" so I was shy to object, and as usual, no one else was nominated.

And more men were nominated and voted unanimously. Five of nine officers including representatives from nursery to kinder and grade school were men. In this photo, Dean to my left.

There was a discussion whether students should wear uniform or not. In theory, diversity and creativity are opposed to uniformity. Thus, having a uniform somehow contradicts the progressive, critical thinking discipline that the school intends to inculcate. That's one side of the coin.

The other side, there is a need for a uniform to show an identity, a brand, much like a trademark or logo of successful and known companies. A sense of belongingness and uniqueness. like "This is the TSAA brand and color, I belong here." Nice to hear. Thus, the need to have a uniform was supported unanimously.

But the earlier side of the coin also has a point. So a compromise was made -- three days a week with uniform, two days, diversity and dress spontaneity would rule. Cool compromise and everyone in the room supported it.

Below, parents of grade schoolers plus their teachers. Elle sat on my wife's lap, left side. Her classmate, Happy, is held by PTA President Giselle.

The school prepared really great and plentiful food. If I knew that such yummy food would be served, I would have not taken breakfast and dinner the previous day. Sayang yong space na occupy ng breakfast and dinner the night before eh. hehehe.

Thanks TSAA administrators and teachers. Thanks fellow parents, for that wonderful and warm meeting and fellowships.

See also:
Elle Marie in Negros Occ., August 20, 2012

Elle Marie Oplas, Part 2, May 28, 2013

Elle and Bien at Camp John Hay, Baguio City, June 29, 2014

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