ISPP Director - Gareth Jones
For August-October 2020
From full-time online learning, through our rotational on-campus and online learning approach, to now having almost all students on campus full-time.

Dear ISPP Community,

Over the past few months, we have moved from full-time online learning, through our rotational on-campus and online learning approach, to now having all but approximately 50 students on campus full-time (with those continuing to be supported online). The academic year is moving ahead at a fast pace, with Pchum Ben and the Water festival break now behind us. Restrictions remain in place from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, so we continue to reinforce the key messaging of:

  • Health and hygiene protocols and practices, especially around handwashing and hand sanitizing and temperature/symptom checking
  • Mask wearing
  • Physical Distancing

We hope that as the academic year progresses we will be able to introduce more campus activities as well as improve access to the campus in general.

As we did last year, we have taken the opportunity within The Pulse to provide a greater focus on what we are doing in our core values of Learning, Well-being, Environment and Community. In the current issue, you will find a focus on Learning from Jonathan Smedes, formerly our Secondary Assistant Principal who has moved into his new position of Director of Learning, Teaching, Impact and Innovation. This includes an overview of how learning and teaching take place at ISPP, along with an overview of assessment. I hope you can take the time to read it.

In early October, we also held our Council of International Schools (CIS) and Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) preparatory reaccreditation visit. The visit was conducted online this year, with one visitor from each of the organisations joining us virtually on campus. There were many meetings that took place with students, parents, board members, teachers and administrators over the course of the week. We expect to receive the report soon and will share the initial findings with you in due course.

For those of you who may not be aware of the accreditation process, every five years both organisations send a team of accreditors to schools to reflect upon how well they are doing in relation to the standards and practices of these organisations. This ensures external quality control assessment on one side and the opportunity for reflection and growth in the other. As reflective educators, it is a process that we fully embrace in the journey of continually nurturing positive impact for our students and the broader school community. All previous accreditations and authorisation processes have recognised ISPP as a quality school and have challenged us to continue on the path of school improvement and development.

The completion of the preparatory stage now leads on to our annual survey that will be distributed shortly, along with a year-long self-study, with an accreditation evaluation team hoping to be on campus in October 2021.

The Admissions Department was pleased to inform me that we now have 917 students enrolled at ISPP. This is due to the great work by our Admissions team and I would like to thank them for the professional and friendly approach that they demonstrate on a day to day basis. Being almost at full capacity also validates the contributions of all our community members – our students, families and of course our teachers and support staff – that it is a professional and collaborative approach, and giving of ourselves as individuals, that makes our school greater than the sum of its parts. Our challenge is not only to maintain this culture and approach but to enhance it. On a practical level, being almost full at each grade level brings practical difficulties and working with disappointed families who may have to be placed on a waitlist.

With kind regards,

Gareth

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ISPP – International School of Phnom Penh