ISPP Director Gareth Jones
For November 2020 – January 2021
Welcome back to ISPP in 2021!

Dear ISPP Community

I trust that you have all had the opportunity for some rest and reflection, as well as to recharge your energy over the holiday period. As I write, we are now back to full-time, on-campus school and it is great to see smiling faces (albeit under masks) during the first few days of the semester. School attendance on campus is very strong indeed, with only a few students not able to attend at present, mostly because they are still overseas or completing their quarantine.

With global vaccines insight and strong efforts to prevent local spread, we are hoping that we will be able to gradually return to a greater degree of normality and continuity of education on campus over the coming weeks. We hope to be able to further expand access to the campus, as well as increasing activities, including inter-school competition in a safe and secure way. While we decided to move the date for our in-country Week Without Walls field trips, we are still optimistic that these events will be able to take place.

It is important to me to continue to stress the importance of taking personal responsibility for our own health and hygiene practices, specifically hand washing/sanitising, mask-wearing, physical distancing. Additionally, please follow appropriate protocols when feeling unwell and stay at home, and follow self-isolation rules if required by your doctor or the Ministry of Health instructions, from the Ministry’s 115 telephone service.

I would also like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation of the resilience, flexibility and creativity demonstrated by our students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff throughout the transitions between online, hybrid and on-campus schooling. I appreciate that this has provided challenges for us all and it really is not what we have wanted, however, we have all systematically sought to meet the situation as it is, rather than ruminate on what we would wish it to be. In doing so, we have all built capacity and grown our souls, whether we have realised this or not, and we now have a tool-box of skills and dispositions that we did not have just twelve months ago. It is important for us all to reflect on and be rightly proud of this, knowing that these will serve us well in the future.

In closing, I would like to provide you with an update on our re-accreditation and re-authorisation processes. As you will know from earlier communications, the Administration and Board of Trustees have focussed on the alignment, consistency and continuity of our strategic and operational planning, and consistency with the requirements of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) accreditation processes, as well as the International Baccalaureate Organisation re-authorisation process.

We hosted our CIS/WASC virtual preparatory visit in the first semester. Even though our two visitors conducted virtual meetings and tours of the campus, including classroom visits, by iPad, it was certainly rigorous and productive. As we embark on our year of self-study, we are looking forward to receiving the results of the recent community-wide survey to triangulate data points and evidence as we write our reports over the course of this academic year.

Following their visit, the CIS/WASC team wrote an initial report outlining commendations and recommendations, which we are now working on and implementing into our school development planning process.

Finally, I know that we are all very much looking forward to continuing our on-campus learning, and I hope to see you all here very soon, as permissions allow.

With kind regards,

Gareth

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