Director's Dispatch - November 19th

posted Nov 18, 2011, 7:48 AM by Marylene, MICHELET
It has been a busy full week this week at ISD. While the middle school is basking in the glow of their 1st and 2nd place finishes at last weekend's WAISAL soccer event, the high school volleyball teams are in Ghana this weekend at the WAISAL HS Volleyball tournament, with the boys hoping to bring back their third championship in three years. We await news from Accra.

 On the academic side, students face the end of term (today) and many students have been testing this week, while teachers are busily grading and completing report cards. Report cards for all students will be out soon, and our first Parent Conference days are the afternoons of Dec 1 and 2. Please remember that you are able to schedule a conference with a teacher at any time during the term. ISD will have its 'mid term' accreditation visit the first week of December. ISD is accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges out of the US and the Council of International Schools out of Europe. In 2007, ISD was last 'inspected' and was given a 10 year accreditation. As part of the normal process, there is a mid-term visit, and that falls this year. ISD teachers and administrators worked diligently through August and September to prepare a report regarding how we have improved as a school over the last five years, and where we are planning to focus improvement efforts in the coming five years. The report will be available via the ISD website, and you are welcome to read through our 70+ pages. The visit in December will have inspectors evaluating our progress and our plans. This is a big event for ISD, and success on this visit is one of the main Director Goals for the year.

I am aware that the future of the Club facilities has been a major topic of conversation in our community, and I wanted to update folks on current thinking in this regard. The Board was informed in October that the Club/ECRWA would be closing December 31. This accelerated our timeline for reclaiming the Corniche land by six months, and has necessitated quite a bit of scrambling. The Board has formed an Ad Hoc committee that is looking into all areas of responsibility associated with the reclamation of the land, and with two major goals: to keep lunch service operational for ISD students after the hand-over; and to keep the pool operational for student Physical Education classes. The
Ad Hoc committee is looking into the safety and security of the facilities, infrastructure, insurance concerns, personnel needed to maintain and operate the pool and other facilities, ETC. The committee aims to communicate with you effectively, and this Jag Journal posting is a part of the committee's approach. An ISD community meeting to share plans for the new land will take place in January. Please look for announcements next month.

I am also aware that many people want to know how ECRWA and Club closure will affect their lifestyle and ability to participate in their hobbies (tennis and swimming, in particular). The Board's current plan is that the Club facilities will be completely closed for all of January and February, while ISD assesses the safety and security of the facilities, evaluates necessary repairs and upgrades, and works to ensure the safety of any community users in the future. It is very likely that this closure will last until June.  We know that this adversely affects some members of our community, and we are
sorry for this, but again want to say that Club closure at this time was not our intention and was not planned for; rather ISD is having to react to a major change, insure the protection of the school from liabilities, risk, and unexpected expenses, all while trying to keep people informed and relatively happy, all while managing a separate, very large construction project.

The Ad Hoc committee and the Board will be looking at ways of using the new facilities in the future, and we will examine models of other schools with recreational facilities open to parents and students on the weekends. It is almost certainly the case that ISD will not be opening a recreational club, though, and that whatever the uses of the
new facilities are in the future, it will not resemble today's Club. The reabsorption of the Corniche land is an opportunity for ISD to address several issues associated with school growth, and we anticipate that ISD students will benefit in many ways from this expansion. We hope that parents and teachers will also feel the benefits of the new facilities, but do beg your patience while we work to ensure that all moves taken are wise, well-thought-out, and in line with ISD's mission of providing an excellent education.

Wayne Rutherford