Welcome to ISD

posted Aug 24, 2011, 3:41 AM by Marylene, MICHELET

 Welcome to Opening Ceremony and the start of the 2011-12 school year. For new families, Welcome to ISD, Welcome to Dakar, and Welcome to Senegal! For returning students and parents, Welcome back! We are all in for a very exciting year. We have new teachers and new students, developments in our course offerings and Performing Arts programs, and the continued growth of many programs we've been building for the past several years. There is much to look forward to. Some news:


Construction Progress 

As you can see when you come to campus, our new building has risen to its full height (four floors) and is moving rapidly towards a completion date in early 2012. At this point, we are on schedule and I am excited about the rapid progress on the building. The building project has, so far, had minimal impact on students and instruction; we expect that to continue. You can view the building close up through the windows in the security wall. Also, check the live feed for building progress at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/contruction-progress

New Teachers: 

ISD welcomes the following new teachers:

  • 2nd grade: Mrs. Christy Kinkhabwala, from Austin, Texas. Mrs. Kinkhabwala did 2years in the Peace Corps in South Africa. 
  • 5th grade: Mrs. Tracy Hill, a US citizen, but joining the ISD team after five years in IS Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • 6th grade Math/Science: Mr. Yunus Kinkhabwala, also from Austin, Texas, and also a Peace Corps veteran. 
  • 7th and 8th grade Social Studies: Mr. Rodrigo Montiero, who joins ISD after two years in Bahrain. 
  • French: Ms. Emilie Hingrez joins ISD after teaching French for a year at EAB.
  • French Ms. Christine Boccaccini joins ISD after 8 years in Australia, and a busy spring subbing at ISD. 
  • Gr 4-12 Music: Mr. Tony Watters, who joins ISD with his family after seven years at ISV, Vientienne, Laos. 
  • Gr 4-12 Art: Ms. Megan Carpenter, who has taught for the last five years in Southern California. 
  • The new School Nurse is Mrs. Katie Morgan, from the US. Ms. Morgan has been in Dakar for about six months and subbed for Mrs. Mbengue last year, so she knows her way around ISD.
  • Also joining our staff is Mr. Ian Hogg, the new Operations Manager (the new Colin) who comes with Mrs. Hill from Bangladesh. He has already made an impact at school, and is making a big splash as he gets to know all of our 'challenges' during rainy season. 


ISD by the Numbers:

  • Total enrollment: 450 students (down from our peak of 480 last year)
  • New students: 102 (so far!)
  • New teachers: 8
  • Classes with waitlists: 7 (Pre 3, Pre 4am, 2nd, 4th, and 7th). 11th and 12th grades are closed to further admission.
  • Students on waitlist: 18
  • % of ISD Teachers who participated in professional development during their vacation: 25%
  • % of ISD Teachers who participated in professions development last week: 100%
  • Biggest trout caught this summer by Mr. Rutherford: 25 inches (yeah, baby!)
  • Biggest fish caught this summer by an ISD parent: not sure, but did see Ed Roche catch a 40 inch Mahi Mahi in Dakar in June!


More information that may be helpful:


Classroom placement 

The Principals and teachers make every effort to split each grade into two ‘equal’ sections. We build the class lists attempting to balance gender, nationality, special needs, and other factors. Please understand that we cannot honor parent requests to move students from one section to another for any reason. While a child may find he or she is not in the same section as his or her best friend, there are several opportunities during the day for the children to mix (recess, lunch time, after school sports and in French classes). Teachers and Principals work hard to ensure that both sections receive the same, high-quality instruction.

School Supplies School supplies are provided by ISD for students from Pre 3 through grade 8. This is included in your tuition cost. It is not necessary to bring protractors, scissors, and calculators, etc.



Lunches can be purchased from Shady Shack or brought from home. Please check in the office or on the weekly Jaguar Journal for the order form for Shady Shack lunches.


After School Activities 

ASA’s will start in the third week of school. Please look for information in the Jaguar Journal.


Emergency Contact Information 

Please, please, PLEASE make sure ISD has the right emergency contact information for your child. Check your data on your FOCUS account, and notify the office immediately if there have been changes in your address, cell number, maid, emergency contact person, etc. This is critical for ISD if we are to ensure the safety and security of your child.


Back to School Nights

Back to School nights have been scheduled and are on the school calendar. The Elementary Back to School Night is the evening of Sept 8; the Secondary Open House is the evening of Sept 14.


Jaguar Journal

Please read the Jaguar Journal each week!!! This the best way to find out what is going on at ISD, keep abreast of news and information, and to ensure you don’t miss out on something important. This will be the only paper JagJournal this year. It is published weekly on the ISD Website. 


Employment at ISD

  • ISD is looking for a French teacher to teach two sections in the mornings, M-F. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Mr. Rutherford ASAP.  
  • ISD does have needs for substitute teachers. If you are interested, please contact the ISD Office.


ISD is a special place and we are glad you are here. I know that each new student, parent, and family will impact ISD in some way. Growth has defined much of what we do during my four years at ISD, and 2011-12 will be a year of tremendous change and development at school. Flexibility is the quality I think most important for ISD teachers to live, thrive, and survive in Dakar, and I think that that is probably true for all expatriate families living here. Please come to campus. Please ask questions. Please share in the critical home-school partnership that is essential for your child’s success and happiness this year.


Again, Welcome.



Wayne Rutherford

ISD Director