Archived Director's Dispatch

posted May 3, 2013, 3:55 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 17, 2013, 2:26 AM ]

Greetings everyone!

It is now May and that means we have survived every thing that April offered and now we have only a few short weeks until the end of the school year.

Congratulations to new board members Linda Percy and Jennifer Grant, I look forward to working with you for the next 2 years. Thanks too to our other candidates, it takes a lot of effort to prepare for meetings such as the AGM and so I thank them for running.

Our IB visiting team was very impressed with ISD and the amount of work that went into the preparations for the visit and we look forward to hearing our results in the next 3-4 weeks. Huge thanks to parents, students and staff who helped make the visit a success.

Dr. Pam Ward was very impressed and quite pleased with the ways in which she found ISD delivered Learning Support.  She mentioned that as there are no English Language Supports for students with Moderate to Severe Learning Needs that appropriate schooling in English is very difficult to find in Dakar.  She made a number of initial recommendations and a full report should be available in 2-3 weeks.  We will post it in its entirety, when it arrives.  Specifically she found that ISD does a great job in providing for the Mild to Moderately Learning Disabled students currently in our care. She commended us on our ability to serve our students and was very pleased to see the increased numbers of staff over the past 4 years. She recommended that we put definitions of many of the LSS terms in the Parent Handbook and that will be done in preparation for next year. She has also suggested that staff receive training in the delivery of enrichment programs for students who have been identified as gifted.

I also had the pleasure of meeting with the Special Needs Advisor to the President of Senegal, Mme Aissatou Cisse, regarding how ISD provides learning support services and she was very impressed with the work that we do. She was impressed that our campus is mostly accessible and she was pleased with the diversity offered to our children who can benefit from academic learning.  She shared with me the many programs available in Dakar to students with needs beyond which ISD can provide. She is not aware of any English language specialized services such as physiotherapy or speech therapy in Dakar.

I hope that with this work, the ongoing work of staff and the formation of the ad hoc Learning Support Committee that as a school we have demonstrated our commitment to special needs learning for our students at ISD.  I also hope that as a community we can agree that we are doing our best with the supports and services available to us in our small English Speaking School, in French speaking Dakar.  I believe it is time that we all move onto additional important topics that were identified by parents on the recent survey.  Learning Support Services will continue to be an issue and will always be on our agenda, and I hope to soon be able to share information about our food services provision and possible transportation options in the next few weeks. 

We have many up coming end of year events and I urge you to attend as many as possible to see how far your children have come. They too deserve our attention to other important school matters.

Barb Gage