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October 2021 IPS Community Note

Published: October 03, 2021


What’s going on in October? 










Early Release Tuesday

Please follow the correct class bell schedule






Early Release Tuesday

Please follow the correct class bell schedule



PSAT testing grades 10 and 11 (they will leave school after the test)





Early Release Tuesday

Please follow the correct class bell schedule




Mid-Term vacation-no school


Mid-Term vacation-no school


Mid-Term vacation-no school


Mid-Term vacation-no school


Mid-Term vacation-no school

31 Target date for all students to return to face-to-face instruction (MoE?)



  • 10th-grade students-you are auditioning for IB.  In a few months, the 10th-grade teachers will make recommendations as to who will be invited to be part of IB.  They will make their decision on present performance, past performance (grades, attendance, work ethic), and MAP test scores. We will be looking for evidence that a student will be successful if offered IB courses.  Work hard!

  • PSAT-all 10th and 11th grades students will take the PSAT test on October 13th. They should come to school, as usual, that day and when they finish the test they will be allowed to go home.  The test usually lasts until about noon.

  • New staff

    • Primary

      • Gary Wells-From the UK with much experience, he and his family have lived many places but are coming here from South America (Peru and Columbia). Gary is here with us and his family will arrive soon.

      • Alethea Balag- is a face you may recognize - after having to leave her position last winter and return to her native Philippines, she has returned to us this year as PE Teacher in Primary.

      • Liza Kagen-Liza is an experienced teacher of young children with many certifications.  Originally from the United States, Liza and her husband recently moved from India where they had lived and worked here to Saudi Arabia.

      • Mohammed Majzoub-Mohammed is a rarity, he is a gentleman that has great experience working with PYP classrooms.  We are happy that he has agreed to join our staff teaching 5th grade, and he is originally from Lebanon.

      • Yassmeen Al Owais has joined us in the KG1 Department as a Learning Assistant.  

      • Fatimah Al Shehri is a new Learning Assistant in KG1.  

      • Rawabi Al Mansour will be starting on Sunday as the new Grade 3 Learning Assistant.

      • Moudhi Al Ajmi has joined the Grade 2 Team as a Learning Assistant.

      • Anfal Mubarak is the newest member of the KG2 Team as a Learning Assistant in Kg2D. 

  • Boys’ 6-12

    • Cal Kagen-Caloway is a very experienced teacher in IB Physics and Chemistry (actually, he probably could teach anything!), originally from the US but has been in India for several years before coming here.  His wife Liza is teaching in Primary for us.

    • Mudar Alragheb-Mr. Mudar is our new guidance counselor.  Originally from Syria, Mr. Mudar has lived in the Al Khobar area for many years and has worked as a guidance counselor for many years.  He comes to us having worked with several of our current staff previously and is very highly thought of.  Mr. Mudar will be working with the 4th through 12th grade boys on many issues, feel free to contact him if you have a concern with your son that you would like Mr. Mudar to get involved with.

    • Mohamed Rageb - Mohamed Rageb Mohamed, Mr. Mohamed is a highly trained and certified teacher of English.  Originally from Egypt, Rageb has been working at a very highly regarded school in Riyadh as an English teacher.  We are very lucky to have recruited him to join us at IPS.

    • Robert Otchere-We have a lot of Roberts here!  Mr. Robert is a citizen of the UK and is teaching math for our boys.  He is one of the last people that we have hired and is working hard to get his visa and get here to Saudi Arabia.  We look forward to welcoming him.

    • Faisal Malik-Mr. Faisal is another teacher that we recruited from within Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Faisal has lived a large part of his life in Canada (he has dual citizenship in Canada and Pakistan) and is teaching math at IPS.  His wife, Hina, is our girls’ business teacher and they have a young daughter who will be joining them here in Saudi Arabia.

    • Ahmad Wali-Mr. Ahmad is from the UK also and has spent the last few years teaching in China (he and I will compare experiences!).  Mr. Ahmad is teaching our upper-level Biology classes and has already been a great help to his fellow teachers as he is a very quick learner in all of our computer programs.

    • Mamduh Almandeel-Mr. Mamduh taught Chemistry for us last year beginning in about February, but I have included him here as he has returned to us and many of you may not have met him last year.  Mr. Mamduh is from Jordan but has spent a good amount of his life living and working right here in the Al Khobar area of Saudi Arabia. He has provided much leadership to our science department and we welcome him here in Saudi Arabia to continue that.

  • Girls’

    • Sara Takkoush-Ms. Sara is a very highly qualified teacher of math that we have hired to teach in our girls’ school (she could teach some science for us also if we needed her). Sara is Lebanese and we look forward to her arriving very soon.

    • Sahar Mishal-Ms Sahar is our new Girl’s physical education teacher for all grades. She is from Jordan and has been in KSA since 2014 and worked for al-Hussan international schools.

    • Courtney-Lee Appolis-Ms. Courtney-Lee is a South African teacher who is teaching math for us.  Hiring female math teachers is not always easy, but we feel that we have found fantastic teachers for our students.  We look forward to Ms. Courtney-Lee’s arrival.

    • Hina Nasarullah-Ms. Hina is our new business teacher at the girls’ school.  You have seen her name if you read about our new boys’ staff as her husband Faisal is a math teacher for us.  Ms. Hina has dual citizenship in Canada and Pakistan and is a highly qualified business teacher (they are hard to find).  

    • Yorsa Saad-Ms. Yorsa has spent most of her life in Canada.  She has a ton of relevant experience and really knows her chemistry.  We have been very fortunate to find women who are very well qualified in what are normally very difficult positions to fill.

    • Cendrella Tanios-Ms. Cendrella is our new French teacher for both the boys’ and the girls’, and she is also the CAS coordinator.  Dr. Cendrella has her doctorate in Dentistry and has worked for many years as a dentist, but has also worked at IPS before, running our STEM program and overseeing our labs.  We know that she could be teaching science or math classes for us also as those were a huge part of her preparation to become a dentist, but we feel very lucky to have her in the position we hired her for.  Cendrella is originally from Lebanon and is married to our boys’ art teacher, Mr. Marek.

    • Hadeer Al Tahtawy- Ms. Hadeer is our latest addition and has more than 10 years of teaching experience, providing teacher training and IBDP examiner. We are extremely pleased that she will be joining IPS as a Substitute Teacher.

  • Office

    • Michal Jasmine Pechon-Ms. Jasmine is originally from the Philippines and joined our IT department over the summer.

    • Hiba Sairafi-Ms. Hiba is the newest member of our IT team and is a Saudi Arabian Citizen.

  • Changes

    • Rob Becker (C. Robert Becker)-Mr. C. Robert (there is another Mr. Rob now) has moved from the position of Boy’s Principal to the position of Head of School.

    • Merriam Alnasser-Ms Mirriam has moved from a member of our student service team to be a 1st grade classroom teacher.

    • Kholoud Al-Otaibi-Ms. Kholoud has moved from being a Learning  Assistant to being our Librarian.

    • Shayma Abo-Moslim-Ms Shayma has moved from being our full-time substitute teacher to being the Girls’ physics teacher.

    • Yursa Farooq-Ms. Yursa went from being a Learning Assistant to being a classroom teacher in our early primary school.

    • Nouf Alaqil-Ms. Nouf went from being a Learning Assistant to being a teacher with 2nd grade boys.

    • Michele Smith-Ms. Smith went from being a Physical Education teacher and the head of that department to being a High School Social Studies teacher and the head of the Social Studies department. She is a trained history 

    • Tarek Rizk-Mr. Tarek went from being a Middle school and general math teacher to being one of our IB level math teachers, along with still teaching IPS level and general level math classes.

  • Activities and Events Calendar. Make sure you have subscribed to this calendar as well!

Dates to keep in mind for planning:

  • Oct. 13 PSAT for all Grade 10 & 11 Students- no normal classes on this day

  • Oct. 5 World Teacher Day-Send a note to a teacher telling them how much you appreciate them!

  • Oct. 10-20 (various days) MAP testing

  • Oct. 24-28

    • Midterm break- no classes

  • Oct. 31-tentative return of all students (KG-7th grade) to face-to-face instruction (dependent on MoE)

  • Nov. 30 End of Trimester 1

  • Dec. 1 and 2 Long Weekend/end of term break

  • Dec. 6 Start of trimester 2

  • December 21

    • Semester 1 grades and comments are due

  • December 22-January 6

    • Term break- school is closed

  • And more is coming soon!