For August – October 2022
Dear ISPP Community,
It is hard to believe that two and a half months have flown by so quickly. My transition process has been rewarding and full of optimism. I have focused my time in conversations with community members and spending time with faculty, staff and students. We have been able to launch the PCO (Parent Community Organisation) and have one Community Coffee Morning. Many community members have asked that I continue being visible and present for the important work they are doing. This is the foundation of community.
I am sure you have heard and seen the discussion around our whole school’s focus on community and I am happy to say that we are well on our way to realizing this goal. The campus is buzzing with activity and we are happy to see parents showing up in strong numbers for many of these things. Sports activities, work on the Secondary production, the After School Programme, Elementary and Secondary assemblies, opening the campus for community access, community artwork, the Back-to-School barbecue, Peace One Day activities and more!
Importantly, we have been able to launch the Parent Community Organisation after a couple of years of interruption. The parents have elected three members to take the roles on the Steering Committee:
Chair: Justina Edwardsen, parent of 3 ISPP students in PYP and MYP
Secretary: Kari Podboy, parent of 2 ISPP students in MYP
Treasurer: Weili Guo, parent of 2 ISPP Students in EY and PYP
In my conversations on the topic of community, very strongly held common values are emerging as strengths. And… you won’t be surprised at what they are – you hold them too!
- A culture of caring and acceptance between and across cultures
- A welcoming, supportive and collaborative community
- Appreciation for our diversity in students, faculty and wider community
- A feeling of appreciation and gratitude for our campus facilities and environment
- Purposeful alignment between the school’s mission and vision and the way that we make decisions, assign priorities and invest resource
In my conversations with educators, there is a unique and powerful professional climate at ISPP.
This is founded on professional trust and independence in a hard-working team. Faculty are motivated to do their best, willing to be risk-takers and open to asking for support. Work-hard, play-hard might be a good motto for the team. Educators at ISPP also endorse the school’s commitment to being at the forefront of some important initiatives aligned with our purpose and values; including our Mother Tongue and Scholarship programmes.
I also had the chance to join a group of 35 colleagues in a 4-day training for Cognitive Coaching. In addition to refreshing my own skills in this area, it was a wonderful opportunity to engage in professional learning with colleagues. Fundamentally, this is about fostering self-directed people who are continually learning in their roles.
Bridging our whole-school focus on Community with our Strategic Development Planning Pillars, the following are the strategic objectives described in the community pillar:
2.1 The ISPP community is strengthened through a range of on-campus activities, events, learning experiences and other opportunities for enrichment for the student body, faculty and staff, and the greater ISPP community.
2.2 To have in place a consolidated philanthropic programme encompassing the Scholarship Programme, Global Citizenship and host country outreach programmes.
2.3 The PCO, with nationality representatives and in collaboration with ISPP, drives initiatives to support the school and engage all nationality groups.
As you can see, we have made significant inroads in these areas already in the 2022-23 school year!
This collaborative artwork was created by both Elementary and Secondary Art students, teachers, support staff and parents. We wanted to celebrate the diverse nature of ISPP by including the meaning of the word “community” in various languages our families and students speak.
As we gently ease past a pandemic-driven world, we will be working to re-establish the ISPP traditions, rituals and events. We are looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with all members of our community in this regard.
Exciting opportunities are underway in areas of outdoor education, performances, International Day, Week Without Walls, sports tournaments, trips and more!
Very soon, we will be launching a series of meetings of the “Community and Campus Development Steering Committee”, exploring new ways to make our facilities even more welcoming and impactful. This small steering committee will seek input from a wide range of stakeholders on the following tasks/topics:
- Review the resources currently in place and available for community activities
- Review historical usage patterns (pre-pandemic)
- Consult with all relevant stakeholder groups on interests and needs
- Research what similar schools have done/are doing and how they manage the activities
- Consider options of changes to existing facilities, or creation of new facilities, and the necessary management procedures to ensure effective operations and full consideration of health, safety and security needs
Keep your eyes out for updates on this over the coming months.