Director's Dispatch, 8 Sept 2011

posted Sep 9, 2011, 7:44 AM by Marylene, MICHELET
Greetings all. 

ISD concludes week three of the school year on a high note following a great ES Back-to-School Night and a super successful HS retreat. Thanks to all the teachers who put in extra time planning, presenting and chaperoning these events, and thanks to our outstanding Principals, Mr. Emborsky and Dr. Clark, for their work organizing these events. 

The Board, too, has been busy, and met for the first time this week on Tuesday. The Board ratified its goals for the year, nominated some trustee candidates to fill unexpected vacancies, and laid ground work for a very busy upcoming month of Board work. Along with orienting new trustees, the Board will be busy with the Director search, building project financing, and planning for transitions in our school campus and leadership. The Board goals for this year are the following:

Develop and implement a 2011 – 2013 Transition Plan (Director transition, campus transition)
Review and update IB feasibility
Revision Campus Master Plan

Certainly, the board is in for a full year as ISD experiences some major transformations, transitions, and growth. 

I wanted to share with parents three articles that have been circulating among teachers this week that I hope you'll find instructive, interesting, and that I hope might offer some insight on areas we're working on and thinking about as an educational institution this year.

The first article is about Technology in Education. The ISD faculty will spend some time this year examining questions related to our current reality and students future needs: We now possess great technology infrastructure and hardware on campus; how do we use it to improve student learning? As students head off into the 21st century and likely to jobs we cannot currently imagine, how do we prepare them with needed skills and abilities? What are those skills and abilities? What role is appropriate for Technology in the classroom? How do we know it is working to improve student learning? The challenges in grappling with these questions are outlined in the New York Times article: Grading the Digital School:  In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores  which you can find at

The second excellent (but longer) article examines changing parenting styles, student self esteem, the 'cult of happiness,' and the value of letting kids grow up a bit more the way we did--with a bit of freedom to fail. The author discusses the importance of a bit of adversity in one's life as a reference to the relative ups and downs that life throws us all. The author, who is a psychologist, finds in her patients that if they expect to be happy all the time, they end up unhappy....no one can be happy all the time! It is from the Atlantic Monthly, and can be accessed at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/how-to-land-your-kid-in-therapy/8555/4/

The final article really hit home for me when I read it this afternoon, and made me very glad to be an educator in an international school where--generally--we are insulated from some of the parenting behaviors detailed in this Principal's plea to parents. Still, I think that there are some issues worth reflecting on in this article as a parent myself, and I strongly encourage giving it a read. It is from CNN and can be reached at:  http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html

I hope that these articles provide some food for thought and perhaps discussion in your home, and that they present a glimpse into what educators are thinking about, discussing, and sharing as we work towards improving education at ISD.

Bon weekend, 

Wayne Rutherford
Director
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