Director's Dispatch, Jan 20, 2012

posted Jan 20, 2012, 4:12 AM by Marylene, MICHELET

Greetings parents. The Harmattan has come to visit and it is a cool and very breezy day on campus. We look forward to construction finishing and no longer having piles of sand blowing all over the school!

Big news last night as the ISD Board of Trustees voted to pursue the IB Diploma Program and to underwrite the hiring of an IB Coordinator for next year. This is a major move for our school--high school in particular--and will guide much of the growth and change in our upper school in the coming years. The application process for schools to become Diploma schools is long and involved and will include an 'accreditation' visit by IB authorities.  It can take as long as two years. We are working with an aim of starting the IB DP with 11th graders in August, 2013. It is good to be at a point in the school's development where our size and facilities can support this move. 

Security issues continue to push to the top of the agenda as we near key election dates. ISD Administrators are in frequent communication about our programs and how the news of date changes and other developments affect our decisions and operations. We will continue with our Explore Senegal trips next week, as planned, for the High School students. The move of the Constitutional Court's candidate eligibility decision to Sunday, Jan 29 puts a bit more space between that key announcement and the return of our students from their trips. I have also been in communication with the Director at Dakar Academy, to share ideas and preparations for the upcoming big events. Like us, DA is hoping for the best, but planning for contingencies. In the coming days, with potential fuel and transportation strikes, protests, etc, ISD plans to remain in session. Parents will be notified via email and SMS if there is any change in our plans or regular schedule. Please do stay in communication with school and ensure that we have your proper contact and emergency contact information.

One change to regular programs that is taking place this year is the decision by Dakar Academy not to hold the SIPS track and field tournament at the National Stadium this year. This annual event, held the first weekend of March, has a long tradition, but the timing of political events are creating realities in the DA community that have made it impossible for them to host and for other participant teams to attend and participate. While we feel this is an unfortunate loss this year, DA and ISD will plan to hold and compete in the SIPS track meet again in 2013. 

Amidst the not-so-great news of our current political situation, there are many great things happening at ISD: facilities improvements have begun on the new land and our PE teachers hope soon to be out of their Portable Palace. Students in grade 5 are working on the performance of a musical play (Feb 15 and 16), while 6th graders are gearing up for their Living Egyptian Museum. Our basketball teams are practicing hard as they prepare to host WAIST basketball--we have our largest teams ever and ISD will field two boys' and two girls' teams for the tournament.  Finally, on a very exciting note, ISD is sending its first school trip to Europe for a theater-based exploration of London, with 15 HS students set to travel and attend several plays and theater workshops next week. All of the above are the results of the hard work of our inspirational teachers and the leadership and vision of our two fantastic Principals. 

On that uplifting note, I wish you a peaceful weekend. 

Wayne Rutherford

Wayne Rutherford
International School of Dakar