Director's Dispatch, Jan 13, 2012.

posted Jan 13, 2012, 4:36 AM by Marylene, MICHELET   [ updated Jan 13, 2012, 4:37 AM ]
Happy Friday the 13th! Here's hoping you have an unusually LUCKY weekend, as will be the case with the ISD faculty softball team, the Swingers, who will be vying for the WAIST Softball crown, along with 20 other 'social' teams playing in the tournament this weekend. Great weekend to come out to Ebbetts field or ISD and support our student-athletes, teacher-athletes, or one of our student groups that will be running various fund-raisers. 

It has been a busy two weeks back since winter break and I know that, in my office at least, the pace feels rather break-neck. I am happy to share that I have been able to hire four teachers since winter break, including a new Upper School Principal. The fast work was thanks to a committee of faculty who assisted me in the interview and decision making process. My successor, Barb Gage, has also been able to interview all the teachers I've hired thus far, so that they know her and she knows (and approves of) them. At this stage, I've hired eight of 14 teachers needed for the new school year, and I'm very pleased with the additions. As is always the case at ISD, we are losing some great people, but I hope that--on the whole--the hiring we do contributes to ISD school improvement in some ways. 

Emergency planning is very much on everyone's minds and ISD is no exception. We have been meeting regularly, planning, and we will continue to stay abreast of developments, monitor news sources, and test our systems. To that end, middle and high school students will participate in a 'virtual school day' taking their lessons on line from home while teachers are at school delivering class material. ISD systems should accommodate this time of home/virtual learning, though, of course, we must all have access to active internet for this type of teaching and learning to take place. Elementary teachers will be sending home work packets as we get closer to dates that are seen as 'sensitive' and we will continue to inform you of developments via the Jag Journal, emails, and SMSs. Please do the same for us, and do let us know if your children will not be attending school during the upcoming elections, or at other times. 

Thanks to the 35 or so parents who came out to the PTO meeting regarding developments on the Corniche land. Since Jan 1, when ISD took control of the land, the ISD Operations crew, led by Mr. Ian Hogg, have been busy clearing, cleaning, and have just begun remodeling. We hope to move our PE offices into the former Duty Free shop by February. We met today (Jan 13) with a traffic expert from the US Embassy's construction site and with an official of a Dakar Traffic and Transportation bureau, both of whom shared with us thoughts on the two main possibilities we are looking at for improving ISD traffic and auto-congestion problems. Along with this new busy-ness, the new building moves forward, though sometimes more slowly than hoped. The final big pour of concrete has been finished, and so the building's full shape can be seen. Masonry work on the interior and exterior seems to be marching forward. End of January is a big date for us, as our Science Lab cabinetry will arrive from the US, and we are really pushing to have the lab rooms ready (walls, windows, tiles, and painted) before the workers arrive to install the student work stations, will be interesting to see what happens. Through it all, there remains a very slim hope that we will do a 'soft opening' with some students after Spring break. It seems more likely that we won't move in until always, inshallah.

Hope to see you at school this weekend cheering for ISD softball teams.

Wayne Rutherford

Wayne Rutherford
International School of Dakar