Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Please join Henderson International School and our preschool experts for a free potty-training seminar on Friday, December 4 at 8:15 a.m.


Come along to meet new parents, gain expert top tips and advice as we share tried and tested methods to help your child get potty trained and ready for school!


Potty training is one of the first significant milestones in a toddler’s young life, and for many parents, its one of the first major hurdles to overcome. For some families, potty training can become a battle of wills and series of setbacks that lead to frustration. The important thing to remember is, timing is key. Most children are potty trained around age three, right at the time they should be ready to enter a preschool program. It is important to remember; potty training your child earlier does not prove anything about your parenting skills or child’s intelligence or development.

There are some key behaviors that you can look for to help recognize when your child is ready to graduate from diapers. According to, you may recognize the following:  

   Does she have bowel movements at a fairly predictable time?

   Does she let you know through words or behaviors that she’s aware that she’s going?

   Can she pull down and pull up her pants?

   Does she show an interest in the bathroom and what other people do in it?

   Can she walk over to and sit down on the potty by herself?

   Has she started saying “No!” to you?

   Does she like to have at least some of her toys in certain special places? This shows that she’s interested in controlling things

   in her environment.

   Does she know what “wet” and “dry” mean?

   Does she respond to praise and want to please you?

According to, the three top training methods are; rewards (hugs and kisses or toys), cold turkey (no diapers or transition pants, just discomfort from soggy britches) or training pants. Each had its own pros and cons and no one method is perfect for every child. No matter which method you choose for your child, we know that you can take some simple steps to help your child avoid accidents.

Our Henderson International team of experts has some words of wisdom to share. For example did you know that Sippy cups can be a hidden pitfall during potty training? Constant drinking increases urination, and frequent bathroom trips can become too much for a beginner. Be mindful of how much they drink before bed, long car rides or shopping trips.

Preschool teacher Megan Zappulla said it’s important to dress children in clothing that they can easily remove themselves. “Often by the time they realize they need to go, they really need to go. Difficult snaps, buttons, zippers, tights and layers can increase the chances of an unnecessary accident,” she said.

Preschool teacher Carrie Rozsell often reminds parents that accidents will happen. “It’s best not to make a big deal out of an accident,” advised Rozsell. “Keep it calm, and just keep spare pants and underwear on hand at all times so you can change quickly.”

The key to successful potty training is patience and consistency. When children first begin the process, they want to visit every bathroom to explore. Don’t let this frustrate you when they ask to go but then don’t actually need to. It’s all part of the natural process.

Henderson International’s preschool program begins around age three, once the child is potty trained. If you would like to speak with one of our experts for free potty training advice, come along and visit us during our free event. We would love to meet you and share even more top tips.


Kinder Literacy Growth

November 12th, 2015

Dear Kinder families-

One of the ways that we monitor student growth toward the standards is through a tool called the CPAA (Children’s Progress Academic Assessment). This Formative tool is used from Preschool through 2nd grade and assesses both early literacy and math skills. We have students take it at the beginning and again at the end of each trimester so that we can measure growth over the marking period and over the entire school year. The assessment is taken on the iPad in the classroom.

Simultaneously, our Learning Support team has been pushing into the classrooms to help teachers do small-group instruction targeting specific Literacy skills. In Kinder, this small-group Literacy instruction happens four days a week, for 20-30 minutes each time. The classroom teacher works with a small group while the Learning Support teacher works with another small group. This structure allows us to differentiate the activities that each group is doing, based on the needs of the students, with an experienced educator facilitating each small group.

As students’ abilities grow, they are transitioned either to a higher level of activities, a different group, or to independent Literacy activities. In this way, we keep the groups flexible and adaptive – no student is locked into any given group for the entire year.

I’d like to report to you some of the encouraging CPAA data that our Learning Support team has compiled which demonstrates the value of teaching to the standards, small-group instruction, and frequent progress monitoring of student growth.

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 exceed expectations. The 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%.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our students, classroom teachers, and Learning Support team for their hard work and their dedication to increasing Literacy for all of our Kinder students.


John Heffron
Lower School Principal

Please join Henderson International School and a panel of preschool experts for a free potty-training seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. Our panel will share tried and true methods for potty training your toddler in just three days.

Potty training is one of the first significant milestones in a toddler’s young life, and for many parents, its one of the first major hurdles to overcome.

For some families, potty training can become a battle of wills and series of setbacks that lead to frustration.  The important thing to remember is, timing is key. Most children are potty trained around age three, right at the time they should be ready to enter a preschool program. It is important to remember, potty training your child earlier does not prove anything about your parenting skills or child’s intelligence or development. (more…)

Back to school – by Sydney

September 8th, 2014



Seventh grade student Sydney reflects on her first few weeks of school.

I am so excited for the new school year with all the great classes, projects, field trips, and learning experiences.  I’ve gone to this school for years and it just keeps changing, with renovation to the school campus and curriculum.  There is a gre

at new variety of electives that give you many choices of interesting activities.  I can’t wait for the fun field trips and projects.  I really think this year will be full of fun new curriculum.  Although I have gone to this school for a long time, I can’t wait for the new experiences and friendships.

This school year I feel has started really great with our new classes and interactive learning.  One of the new renovations was the interactive notebooks we have been using in some of our classes that really draws your attention to your education.  Another is our use of technology with google classrooms which makes it a lot easier to do your assignments and communicate with your teachers.  The new changes, though very different, are helpful and really great for an interactive education.


Parenting in the digital age

January 24th, 2014


Come gather ‘round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You’ll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you

Is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’

Or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’.

The Essential Bob Dylan is playing in my office. In fact, I’m playing it off my iPad and listening to it via my minijambox, which is of course connected wirelessly via Bluetooth. BTW (that’s “by the way” for the non-texters out there) you just read through four hyperlinks, each will take you to a webpage affiliated with the respective key word, and either nearer to or further from the end of this post.

If you are anything like me (parent and life-long learner that graduated high school in the 80s, that’s the 1980s for any 20 year-olds reading this) then you share my excitement and my trepidation of adjusting to a hyperconnected world. As an individual, I have a very high-risk tolerance when it comes to technology. As an educator, I maintain that sense of exploration because I have seen the rewards that technology has to offer – and I’ve seen educational institutions emerge stronger from many tech blunders. As a parent, I realize that my boys are exposed to resources, tools, games, and information that I didn’t know about until I was in college or beyond. This post is for that last role, the parent.

The Center on Media and Human Development out of Northwestern University published a report in June of 2013 titled Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology. There’s a nice summary of the findings on Mind/Shift by Alexis Lauricella. Yep, I read both, though admittedly I started with the summary. Spoiler alert for those who wish to read the report and/or the summary themselves… parenting is different today and with each new generation parents have to adapt to the environment their children are living in. This resonates strongly with the parent in me – I am the same guy that proclaimed, “My child will not have any screen time until he’s three.” Don’t get me wrong, Max goes days without using our tv, iPad, Netflix, and iPhone. But there are days when he and his one-year old brother borrow the iPhone to take pics and watch family videos. In fact, Max figured out how to take a picture without unlocking my iPhone long before I realized that was possible!

As I deal with parenting in a world that is very different from the one I grew up in, the other voices in my head offer the following tips to my parenting self:

1. Be brave.

2. Learn from and with your kids.

3. Take appropriate chances.

4. Make it fun, don’t just wait to have fun.

5. Downloading an app or purchasing a device is not a life-sentence. If its not working for you, move on.

6. Its okay to be afraid, just don’t let the fear stunt your growth.

7. Its not about you, its about your kid.

Below are a few tech resources for parents that I’ve found to be extremely helpful. If you’ve got a favorite resource that’s not on this list, please send it my way.


Common Sense Media – Offers a wealth of information, tools, and resources for families and schools. They are the primary resource for teaching digital literacy and digital citizenship at HIS. Start with their Family Tip Sheets and their making sense blog for parenting, media and everything in between.

Edutopia: Their mission is to identify and share evidence-based strategies that improve education. Their Media and Digital Literacy: Resources for Parents page is chock-full of great resources for parenting in the digital age.

PBS offers a variety of videos and resources through their Digital Workshops: Online Resources for Parents and Educators.



Chris Bezsylko, Middle School Principal

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill


HIS students are part of the innovative Meritas Touchpoints program, which gives students the opportunity to study global environmental, social and economic issues with a Meritas sister school. This year, while working with Instituto San Roberto in Mexico, our fifth graders were tasked with dealing with the important issue of global poverty, and decided that to make the biggest impact they must start with action here at home.

In December, the fifth grade HIS students came together to raise and donate non-perishable food items to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, a local nonprofit that provides meals, shelter and clothing to homeless and displaced individuals throughout the Valley. The food drive was spearheaded by teacher Heather Berg, and in total students raised 3,500 non-perishable food items.

The donation took place on Friday, December 13 at the school. TV news stations were on-site to highlight the donation, and the students who worked so hard to raise so much food even took part in loading the food items on the Las Vegas Rescue Mission’s truck.

Check out what John Fogal, Executive Director of Las Vegas Rescue Mission, has to say about the great work that these students did in the video below.

You can learn more about the donation by clicking here to visit 8 News Now.

Thanks to everyone that participated in this great event!


gnp grandparents

Nov. 27 2013 will be Grandparent’s/Special Friend’s Day at Henderson International School. We are inviting all grandparents and close friends to our campus to enjoy a day of student performances, art displays, games and reading, accompanied by coffee and a light breakfast.

Intergenerational activities are good for all ages! Older adults will get the chance to learn about new technology, trends and learning opportunities while serving as role models for children growing into tomorrow’s adults.

This fun day will end our school week early when our students are released at noon to enjoy the rest of their week and the Thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends.

Please come to our campus from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm Wednesday, Nov. 27 to support our student’s and learn more about the Meritas difference.

The following is excerpted and edited from an article by Bill Roberts in the Idaho Statesman dated August 25, 2013.

“Education is no longer about cramming facts into kids’ heads. It’s not ‘6 times 8 is 48. Now remember it.’  Students need to visualize numbers and understand those numbers in relation to each other as they seek to discover the answer. So a strategy hint for figuring out 6 times 8 might say, ‘You know what 6 times 5 is …’  Think of it as a question technique to get them to the correct answer.

The basics are still there. Kids need to know division. They have to be able to solve equations such as 2x = 10.  We are still teaching good math.  But how math classes are taught and how students are tested is undergoing a change that will affect how parents help their kids with homework and what students will be asked to do. (more…)


November 14th, 2013

teacher“To be or not to be a math person? That is the question.” Actually, the real question most people ask themselves as a young child is, “How can I get out of math so I never have to look at a quadratic equation again?” Being labeled a math person in today’s society can have some backlash – either you’re smart, or you’re not. End of story.

An article by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith from The Atlantic summarizes the idea of ‘being bad at math.’ Students are expected to take a few initial exams the first few days of math class. Some students pass with flying colors and most students get an average C or B. The students who pass with flying colors are typically very well-prepared because they have parents or support systems drilling math concepts into their brains from a very young age. The students who receive average scores compare their skill levels to those of the prepared students and automatically feel like failures and deem themselves “not a math person.” These students  no longer put forth effort, eventually falling farther and farther behind.

From a math teacher’s perspective, it’s not entirely the student’s fault. When parents or other close adults express they are bad at math, children catch on and have a predisposed idea that they too are bad at math. As adults, we need to be aware of the things we say around children, we may be inherently restricting their mindset and skills without even realizing it.

Math takes hard work to learn, just like any new subject. It’s not always about number crunching to find the exact solutions. Sure, textbook math is very black and white, but Henderson International School strives for more. We develop students’ skills to think through complex problems, deal with logical patterns, reflect critically and use high order reasoning to help prepare them for the complexities of their future.

Some students may bad-mouth math and complain about using it their future. “When will I ever use this in real life!?” A math person obviously won’t ask themselves that question nearly as often as a non-math person. I am confident as students grow older they will understand there may be one, two or no real solutions to a given complex problem, there may even be two imaginary solutions. It’s going to take creativity and critical problem solving skills to find whatever solution it may be. Let’s not allow ourselves or our children to label themselves as one type of person or another, instead, let’s strive to improve our skills, knowing they will come in handy one day – directly or indirectly.

By, Tara Cadena – HIS Math Instructor



Last month, our fourth grade class took a field trip to Carson City and Virginia City where they had the opportunity to learn about Nevada’s history. They visited the Capitol Building, the Governor’s Mansion, and the historic Virginia City Cemetery, among others.

The students really enjoyed themselves. A poll taken from all 18 students after the trip showed that the Virginia City cemetery was their favorite! “The cemetery had great stories and the tour guide was very enthusiastic!” said one student. Next in the running was the School House, followed by the Supreme Court building and the Capitol Building.

Lexi, a student who took part in the trip, learned that the Nevada Supreme Court has seven judges who all have their own offices and wear robes. Another student, Mason, learned that people can make an appeal with the Supreme Court to determine if someone is guilty or not. Students also learned that there is a time limit for how long each justice can speak, and they cannot be the judge on a case for someone they know.

Hunter, another Carson City trip student, was very observant of the Capitol Building. He noticed the pictures of all previous Governors of Nevada, and even the picture of Abraham Lincoln, who was president when Nevada became a state. He also noted that the building was decorated with plants and minerals that are native to Nevada.

Henderson International School takes pride in providing our students with travel and learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Travel enhances children’s curiosity and encourages self-confidence, critical thinking, adaptability and resourcefulness. The Carson City trip proved to fulfill that mission, providing these students with valuable and memorable lessons.