Archive for the ‘Athletics’ Category

Our first trimester has been wonderful! We started with the strongest results from last year’s Educational Record Bureau (ERB) tests, and have already built upon that success across the grades. Strong teaching leads to solid learning, and I thank our teachers for all of their work to design and implement personalized learning plans while achieving excellent results. Success of the last trimester are below:

First trimester measures of success

We started the year with some impressive results from the spring ERB tests on which 73% of students in grades 3-8 scored 90% or better on at least one subtest of this assessment, qualifying them for consideration by The Center for Bright Kids’ Western Academic Talent Search (WATS). Henderson International School is in process of becoming a testing site for the region. More on this soon, but we are targeting the test dates in January and February. Taking the Explore, SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), or ACT (American College Testing) at a young age prepares exceptional students to be challenged above the confines of grade level assessments, letting them know about challenges above and beyond.

Grades 5 and 6 attended Astrocamp in Idyllwild, CA and grades 7 and 8 went to Pali Adventures in Running Springs, CA.  These annual outdoor education experiences, which rotate among several venues, provide exceptional opportunities for class bonding, off campus study with different instructors than our faculty, and a trip away from the comforts of home. It provides the opportunity to develop independence and personal responsibility, which are necessary to expand executive functioning during late childhood and early adolescence. Within our Mission of developing Global Citizens finding personal confidence and appreciation for our opportunities and obligations seems an obvious rationale.

We have experienced several on-campus “field trips” and science explorations in Early Childhood classes, including parents sharing their international connections with our young Wolverines.  This term the 4th graders traveled to Carson City and Virginia City for their on site study of the Capital Region of Nevada – an experience many adults have not had.

Our Learning Commons is now complete. The transition from a secondary school library to a primary school learning commons is noticeable in the appropriately sized shelving units, color scheme, updated technology, and comfortable seating. During this process many older volumes were donated to local Title I schools and organizations, along with the former furnishings. Our goal has been to help others at each step of the transformation!

Pumpkin plants are growing in the Elementary School garden and we are planning for our Henderson Arbor Day and second annual Earth Day celebrations in April.

We are delighted that 3D printers are in use, as is our Maker Space for learning how things work. Students are designing and printing on the two PTA sponsored 3D printers.


Grade 7 and 8 created a magnificent recycled art project that will be on display at The Palazzo, and we are entered into the statewide art competition.

Grade 4 has completed their first arts rotation among Musical Theatre, Band, and Visual Art.  This rotation exposes each child to all three programs over the final year of lower school, and in 5th grade they will choose one area of art study for the year. Performance season is upon us, and the children have been vigorous in their rehearsals to make wonderful music and perform in public.

Our kindergarten has been working on their Thanksgiving show that will debut on Friday, November 20.

Student artwork has been on display at the Henderson Pavilion on several occasions this first trimester.

In our first trimester bridge building elective, the lightest design carried over 200 times it’s weight before breaking. These engineering design projects had to be no more than 500 grams, and were created entirely from popsicle sticks and glue.  The held weight of 113 pounds more than doubled last year’s most sturdy design.


Preparations are complete for the Meritas Games competition in Orlando, Florida, which will take place the week after Thanksgiving. The largest contingent of student-athletes will compete this year, 62 strong! A new individual sport has been added – Archery. Several of our middle school overnight trips have included archery, scouts have studied archery for their merit badge, and a few students regularly shoot at archery ranges. We are very excited about this addition!

And so to basketball! The Findlay Prep team defeated the 2015 Jr. College National Champions in Arizona. This was a preseason game. The athletes have started the regular season off well winning the first two games by double the opponent’s score. NCAA College team commitments: Carlos Johnson – UNLV Rebels, Skylar Mays – Lousiana State Univ. Tigers and Tristan Clark – Baylor Univ. Bears.

Our 7th grade flag football team earned their stripes in the 11-12 year old league played on Saturdays at Frias Field in Las Vegas. Thank you to their dedication in making the season happen!

Grade 5/6 volleyball played well all season, and grade 7/8 volleyball earned a spot in the post-season tournament. Our grade 5/6 flag football also earned 2nd place in the league. Congratulations to everyone! During trimester one, we also hosted our first cross-country race on campus, receiving rave reviews about our campus and the organization!

We hosted our Henderson International School Triathlon, thanks to organization by the PTA and Mr. Mike Chinn. We also hosted our annual Autumn Fun Run with varying distances based on grade level.


While standardized testing is only one metric of many we use to personalize academic progress, it is a reality that taking tests is something that our generation of students will be doing for most, if not all, of their academic and professional careers. In addition to starting the year with strong ERB results from the spring we have additional strong indicators about our curricula and programs:

 Initial writing assessment (WrAP test) results in grades 3-8 were very strong relative to Independent School norms (the strongest comparison/competition across the country). While we have a range of abilities demonstrated, the strong majority are in the middle to top Stanines, with over half of each MS grade in the top half of the top 2% of the country! Students will take these again in late winter at which time we look for improvements and also have time for further growth prior to the end of the year.

Elementary grades on the CPAA:

  • In the area of Phonemic Awareness, 42% of Kinder students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 81% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 28% in August to 67% now.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 42% of Kinder students met or exceeded expectations back in August. Now, that number is at 78%. Those who exceed has risen from 22% to 47%.
  • In the area of Reading, 64% met or exceeded back in September. Now that number is at 81%. Those exceeding has risen from 8% to 39%.
  • In the area of Phonemic Awareness, 80% of 1st grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 91% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 23% in August to 43% now.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 77% of 1st grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now that number is at 95%. Those who exceed has risen from 34% to 50%.
  • In the area of Reading, 77% met or exceeded back in September. Now that number is at 95%. Those exceeding has risen from 18% to 43%.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 70% of 2nd grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 84% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 24% in August to 43% now.
  • In the area of Reading Mechanics, 60% of 2nd grade students met or exceeded expectations back in August. Now that number is at 67%. Those who exceed has risen from 30% to 51%.
  • In the area of Reading, 67% met or exceeded back in August. Now that number is at 84%. Those exceeding has risen from 16% to 38%.

This has been a remarkable first trimester, and we look ahead to the following months, where more great progress and activities is expected.


Mark your calendar for our annual Camp Fair on March 2. Camps from all around the southwest will be here on campus, and you can even win a gift certificate for a free session in Lake Tahoe!

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We all took physical education (aka P.E.) in school. Sometimes we loved it, and sometimes we had to drag ourselves to class.  We played mindless games and occasionally broke a sweat, and for most of us that’s all we remember about P.E. But at The Henderson International School the path of learning is a little bit different than the norm, and P.E. is no different.

This different approach to P.E. is personified in P.E. Instructor Ricardo Baldizan, known around school as ‘Coach B’. Along with two other colleagues, Coach B instructs P.E. classes every day, working with almost every student at the school. Pre-school students attend a few times per week, and all kindergarten through 8th grade students meet with Coach B once per day.

Coach B focuses his classes toward developing new skills to help students stay healthy, get moving and learn about sportsmanship. Every day he comes up with new activities and skills that he wants to develop, and finds a way to incorporate them into the day’s lessons. He’s also sure to adjust things to the skill level of each age group, so everyone can participate.“Daily classes are great, because I get to really know the kids,” said Coach B.

When classes are playing volleyball, for example, upper classes will jump right into the game. Younger students though, who might not be able to hit the ball over the net quite yet, use softer balls and learn the basics of the game, so when they’re older they can jump right in too! The whole focus is on teaching real games, real sports, and real skills that get kids to enjoy their time and become better at moving.

Coach B has also found that kids who learn to love sports from the beginning get more involved as they get older. At Henderson International, team sports are offered for students in 5th through 8th grade. Coach B is in charge of the soccer program, and has seen many students go through the ranks to eventually play for his team. His biggest focus with this is to take the lessons they’ve already learned and apply them to good sportsmanship, the next step in the process.

“It’s about how they do – not how somebody else does,” said Coach B.

This focus on teaching his students how to personally be better, rather than worrying about beating other teams, exhibits the summation of his teaching goals. Coach B prides himself in these lessons, teaching hundreds of students over the years, including five granddaughters who have all attended Henderson International.  He wants his students to become better at everything they do, and starting from their first day in his class to their final days at Henderson International, they learn the fundamentals necessary to be successful in all of their achievements.

With all of these lessons, skills and accomplishments, it’s no wonder that the efforts of Coach B and the rest of the P.E. instructors have been considered by many to be the key that really puts the ‘Education’ into ‘Physical Education’!

Yesterday we announced some exciting news about Findlay Prep’s Head Coach Michael Peck. He has just been named by the Portland Trail Blazers organization as the new head coach of its NBA Development League team, the Idaho Stampede.

Coach Peck has been the head basketball coach of the Findlay Prep program at Henderson International School for the past five seasons. Coach Peck and his staff led Findlay Prep to three national titles, accumulating a 157-8 record and maintained a perfect 65-0 record at home.

“My time at Findlay Prep has been unforgettable,” said Peck. “During these past few seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to coach some amazing young talent. I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career with another incredible organization.”

Findlay Prep Associate Head Coach Todd Simon will replace Coach Peck as head coach. Coach Simon worked with Peck for seven years and played a key role in building the program from the time it was founded.

Findlay Prep has an impressive basketball program has produced six McDonald’s All-Americans, six Jordan Brand All-Americans and six Parade All-Americans. A number of Findlay Prep athletes have gone on to play in the NBA, including Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Avery Bradley (Boston), Corey Joseph (San Antonio), DeAndre Liggins (Orlando), Joel Anthony (Miami) and Louis Amundson (Indiana).

“Findlay Prep is a world-class program and a valued asset to our community.” said our headmaster Seth Ahlborn, “Our focus on excellence in athletics and academics in the Henderson International and Findlay Prep programs prepare young people for entry into the nation’s best colleges and careers.”

Have you ever been to a Findlay Prep game? They play right here on campus inside the Henderson International School gymnasium. Their next game is on November 8 against Impact Academy! See you there!


[Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun]