Director's Dispatch - May 5th, 2012

posted May 5, 2012, 2:43 AM by Marylene, MICHELET   [ updated May 5, 2012, 2:46 AM ]

The weather seems to be warming a bit (and my trusty climatologist, Mr. Pennypacker, informs me that the currents in the ocean have just warmed, indicating that Dakar's Summer on its way). The good news from school is that the pool is starting to fill. The not-so-good news is that it is a slooooow process. More good news is that the Board Ad Hoc committee on the new land has nearly finalized the policies and procedures that will allow ISD families to use the pool and other recreational facilities. The soon-to-be good news is that work on those facilities is nearing completion. ISD families can anticipate access to the pool and other facilities in the early part of next school year.

We are at a critical point in the academic year, particularly for HS students. Mid term reports went out this week and spring/summer fever seems to have taken hold, particularly of our seniors. Parents, please make use of ISD's FOCUS software to log in to your son's and daughter's accounts to keep abreast of due dates, missing assignments and performance slips....we have plenty of all of these, unfortunately. Generally, our students pull up their grades after a scary mid-term, but in each of the past two years, a senior has failed to meet ISD graduation requirements and has not graduated.....clearly, this is not a good thing!

I am away from Dakar this coming week as I will be having my 'transition visit' to Cairo. Just as Barb Gage visited ISD in March, it is my time to visit my new post at Cairo American College and hopefully learn enough of the ropes not to drown in my first few months on the job. I am very sorry to be missing Teacher Appreciation Week and the luncheon put on by the PTO. It has been a very nice event in the past, and our teachers certainly deserve a pat on the back at this point in this busy and challenging year. 

Along the lines of challenges, the AIS Bamako Director, Caroline Jacoby, was in town this week, visiting former colleagues who are now on staff at ISD, and former students and Board members who are now part of our community. Speaking with Caroline again reminded me of how lucky I've been to be in Dakar for the past five years and how fortunate we all are that our elections went smoothly. The school in Bamako is closed and seems likely to remain closed for the remainder of this school year. While they plan to reopen in August, the future is far from certain and my sympathies go out to Caroline and her whole community as they deal with the many ramifications of a closed and/or very much smaller student population. Really, we have it very good here!

As the year winds down, for those who are leaving, there will be several events that will be 'lasts' for us, but which I hope will leave all with a great feeling about ISD. The World Culture Month and the spectacular Fashion Show were two for me last week--what a great event and a testament to our diversity, unity, richness and ability to collaborate as a community! In the coming weeks, there will be concerts, the annual talent show, year end assemblies, and awards ceremonies. I encourage all--leaving parents and those who will remain--to come out and see how your students have grown during the year, celebrate their accomplishments, and contribute your presence and applause to their sense of achievement. It means a lot to the students, and also to the coaches, teachers, and directors of the events that are culminating with performances in the next few weeks. 

I look forward to seeing you on campus!

Wayne Rutherford

Wayne Rutherford
International School of Dakar
May 17, Thurs: Holiday - No School
May 25, Fri:  ISD Gr 3-12 Talent Show, ISD gym, 6-8pm.
May 28, Mon: Holiday - No School
June 2, Sat: SAT Exam
June 5-8 - High School Exams (June 8 is conflict/make up exams)
June 7, Thurs: MS/HS Spring Concert - 6:30pm
June 8, Fri: Senior Banquet, Terrou-bi Hotel, 8:30pm
June 12, Tues: MS/HS Sports Day am, MS/HS Drama Performances PM
June 13, Wed: Last day of classes--HALF DAY, noon dismissal.
June 13, Wed: HS Annual Run to the Lighthouse - 8:30 am
June 13, Wed: Graduation - ISD Amphitheater, 6pm.