Director’s Dispatch - May 13, 2011

posted May 13, 2011, 5:20 AM by Suzanne WARDINI

View from the New 3rd Floor

It has been a while since my last dispatch, as ISD has been a very busy place. I spent a weekend in Kenya at the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA)’s annual Board retreat, then came back to Dakar for our own annual ISD Board retreat the following weekend. It will be nice this weekend to have some downtime. Lots of good news to share, though. 

The ISD building project continues apace. Construction workers have begun pouring the floor of the 3rd floor, and for the first time this week, I was able to stand in what will be our future high school. The Music rooms are taking shape (two on the 2nd floor; one very large) and Mr. Emborsky’s future office has walls, and (rough) windows and doors! All very exciting. We have been choosing floor surfaces, paint colors, and door styles. At present, the construction is on schedule and we should see the entire building structure when we return to Dakar in August. The best recent news is that the school’s application for an OPIC loan has been approved. While we are still many papers and requirements away from money in the bank, we are one big step closer. In May, the Board authorized an additional disbursement from reserves to carry construction through this summer. 

Congratulations are due to ISD’s Khadiatou Agne. Khadiatou is the recipient of the first AISA Margaret Sanders Scholarship for Girls. This new scholarship was designed to support the education of host-nations girls in our international schools. Khadiatou is a Senegalese citizen receiving a full tuition scholarship to attend ISD’s high school. As we all know, there are costs beyond tuition associated with attending an international school. This scholarship will provide Khadiatou with funds for participation in school trips, shoes for sports teams, a laptop, and other ‘extras’ that are really essential for full participation in all that ISD has to offer. Way to go, Khadiatou!

It is performance season at ISD and we hope you will come out to several of the many offerings that are scheduled. Please see the calendar for events. As ISD grows and our performing arts program expands, the Principals and I recognize that we need some coordination to accommodate the needs of all our offerings. Next August, we will meet with all the performing arts teachers and the Athletic Director to clarify expectations and to set a calendar for events for the year. This will hopefully help us with facilities use, as well--we have only one gym, and right now, everybody seems to want time in it! For now, though, enjoy the shows and thanks to our performing arts teachers for putting so much great stuff together. 

The end of the year will be characterized by an accelerating pace, more stress, and high emotion before we break for summer. It is an important time to be in communication with your sons and daughters about friends who are leaving, loss of favorite teachers, and other elements of this annual transition at ISD. It is also an important time to be aware that older kids may be looking for a chance for that one last ‘big night’ and I encourage parents to do what they need to to keep their children safe. 

Wayne Rutherford
International School of Dakar