Director's Dispatch Feb 17, 2012

posted Feb 17, 2012, 7:12 AM by Marylene, MICHELET
Greetings all. After two weeks away attending hiring fairs in a chilly Boston, it is good to be back home. I was able to fill two openings at the teacher hiring fairs, and feel very good about the collection of new teachers we have joining the ISD community in August. Each year, at several spots around the world, 100 or more international school heads will meet with 350-500 teachers for a three-day process of introductions, interviews, and research that eventually allows teachers to find new jobs and Directors to staff their schools. It is an exciting and unique process.

New ISD teachers next year will be coming from Ouagadougou (4th grade, ES Music), Canada (Physics/Math and French), Dusseldorf (Resource), Tunisia (Tech Director and HS Social Studies), and the US (HS Principal, IB Coordinator, Librarian and Curriculum Coordinator). We have 14 new folks joining our staff, including incoming Director, Barb Gage. I believe that ISD's success in attracting good candidates for positions this year can be attributed to our growing reputation internationally as a high-quality, dynamic school, located in a desirable climate with an attractive culture. 

Despite our lovely climate and the recent breezy days, security issues have been on our minds at school lately. Like many of you, ISD is receiving daily postings and updates regarding demonstrations, marches, and protests. We continue review our security posture on a daily basis and, while we have not been required to close school due to demonstrations, we recognize that this remains a possibility (and perhaps a likelihood as we near the election date). We will continue to keep parents updated via email, SMS in the case of urgent notices, and the Jaguar Journal. If you don't hear from us, please assume we are having school as usual. If you feel that school is not a safe place for your child, you are always able to pick your child up early or keep him/her at home. Please do communicate with the school and your children's teachers if you decide to hold your children out of school for a day or more.

While we watch the security news, work goes on at ISD. It has been a very busy February, with school pictures, MAP tests, Book Month, class plays, WAISAL basketball, and many other events disrupting class-time. Teachers and Principals are working hard to 'protect instructional time' but with so many enriching activities and other demands on our limited hours, this can be a challenge. Report cards and MAP score results will be going home soon, and don't forget that you can always check on the FOCUS system on line to see your child's current standing in classes. 

Today, further disrupting classes, but also important, teachers will spend half the day working on curriculum development and revision, inputting their units on the Atlas Rubicon Curriculum mapping software. This important work insures continuity in our changing school, and supports alignment of lessons and learning from one grade to the next, as well as helping teachers at the same grade level to deliver the same high-quality curriculum. 

Enjoy your long(ish) weekend, and stay safe.  

Wayne Rutherford

Wayne Rutherford
International School of Dakar