January 8, 2016

posted Jan 8, 2016, 9:19 AM by Suzanne WARDINI   [ updated Jan 8, 2016, 9:33 AM ]
Welcome Back!


I hope all of our families had a restful break and enjoyed the various holidays our community celebrated over the past three weeks.


Coming and Going

In a school like ISD, turnover is a normal part of our community. Since December, we had 20 students move on to new schools.  We have welcomed in the same number of new students.  We expect an additional nine students over the next few weeks and could set a new record for ISD enrollment.


Likewise, every year we can expect a number of our teachers to leave ISD in search of a new adventure or to move home for family reasons. Our teachers needed to inform me of their intentions for next year by the beginning of December.  To date, we have had seven teachers indicate they will not be returning next year.  This is a very low number less than half the resignations we had last year.


With the hiring of Kelly Chumrau as our next elementary principal and her husband Brad as an elementary teacher will have already filled two of the vacancies.  We have begun interviewing candidates for the other positions.  This year I will be attending three hiring fairs in London, Boston, and Atlanta to continue to search for the best possible teachers for our students.


Performing Arts Center and Master Campus Plan

Last year, the school completed a new strategic plan.  A major part of the plan was to improve the fine and performing arts programs by creating new facilities for them, namely building a performing arts center or PAC.  One of the Board of Trustee’s goals this year was to approve the construction plans for the PAC by May, 2016.  Before beginning any new construction, though, the board wanted to update the school’s master campus or facilities plan.  The master campus plan outlines what new construction and/or renovations will be done over the next ten year.


To help us accomplish both of these tasks, we hosted two architects from Flansburgh Architects in mid-December.  They met with a wide range of teachers and staff members to understand what we wanted in the Performing Arts Center.  They also gained feedback on the state of our current facilities and what could be done to improve the campus.  They have sent us a draft concept design of the Performing Arts Center and master campus plan.


A concept design is an example of what the building would look like, the features, seating capacity and the like.  As we get ready to build, the concept design will be turned into proper architectural drawings.  A master campus plan is a map of the future of the campus.  It shows where new construction or renovations can be placed to accomplish a school’s strategic plan.  The draft plan addresses the school’s needs over the next ten years.


I will be sharing the master campus plan and concept design with the administration, teachers, and staff over the next week. The board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee will meet virtually with the architects on February 4 to review both plans.  I will share both plans with the community in a future JAG Journal article.