We have now reached the end of a school year full of initiatives, challenges to be overcome and goals to be achieved. How many new skills have been acquired and tested and how much tenacity, creativity and resilience have been asked of students, teachers and parents. There are still intense weeks left, full of adrenaline for exams and final tests, both for students and teachers. My wish for everyone is to conclude the year and their commitments peacefully and to keep the focus on their responsibilities.
Our Grade 9 Italian Stream students will take the middle school exams at the school of Fino Mornasco, the first actually was taken today. Eligibility exams will instead be taken in the first week of September, but specific preparation will take place in the last weeks of school. We are preparing to say goodbye to some families, students and teachers who will leave us to move to other destinations; and this year we will do so online and it will be even more difficult. We cultivate relationships and develop professional bonds at ISC, and so it can also be an emotional time.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter and that you have a peaceful weekend,
ISA – International School Assessment
We have received the International School Assessment (ISA) results of Grade 4, 5 and 6, Grade 8 and Grade 10 that took place in February. The Mathematics, Reading and Writing, and Science papers were provided by the organizer ACER http://www.acer.edu.au/isa which also facilitated the correcting and the tabulation of results.
These tests have been selected because they are an external and objective measuring stick, are international in nature, lack cultural biases and are based on PISA standards (https://www.oecd.org/pisa/Combined_Executive_Summaries_PISA_2018.pdf).
The Leadership Team will carefully analyze the data received, comparing them with those of previous years. We use this information to continue to strengthen our programs and for the future planning of educational priorities.
The results are organized into several categories, and unsurprisingly have different diagnostic purposes:
- Data on individual students identifies levels of individual performance. They are addressed to individual students and their parents.
- Class data is used to provide diagnostic information about class, subgroup and individual performance on significant groups of items. This information is used by the class teachers and the Coordinators and contains data for comparison with all of the classes, those similar and not, who took the same test.
- Aggregated school data on performance by grade level and subgroup, including comparisons with all other schools and other like schools provide a general overview of the performance levels of the various classes. This information is used by Heads of School/Principals and Coordinators.
- Each school is provided an interactive spreadsheet shows results in a range of graphic displays which makes it easier to identify trends and patterns for your school in comparison with all other ISA schools and to interpret diagnostic information.
Individual results will be shared with the families via email at the end of the school year.
I would like to strongly recommend that you take into consideration the instructions which ACER provides:
“The ISA provides an insight into students’ proficiency in the areas of Mathematical Literacy, Reading, Narrative Writing and Expository Writing, in each case derived from a single measure of performance on a particular day. In order to make best use of the results, it is important to interpret them in the context of other information about students’ achievement, provided by on-going classroom assessment and other external assessments where such results are available.”
Teachers for the next year
In an international community arrivals and departures always accompany the beginning and end of a school year, filling these moments with emotions.
In the Early Years section we say goodbye to Ms. Marlene who will join our sister school in Ticino. In the elementary section it will be difficult to say goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Clutterbuck returning with their family to the UK, Mr. Humphrey and Ms. Besim who will also be reuniting with their families in the UK.
In the secondary section, after years of dedication and hard work, we will all miss Mr. and Mrs. Pearce moving to a school in Switzerland, and Mr. Crewdson who will return to teach in his beloved Poland. Ms. Sabetta, who was with us for maternity coverage, will return to Holland and we will certainly miss her very much.
This year’s recruitment was ambitious as it aimed to replace talented teachers and leaders who have contributed enormously to the development of our school community. We are satisfied with the new team of teachers who will join us and I hope they live up to their promising professional profiles.
Next week we will send you the profiles of the new professionals who will join our teams. The specific assignment to the classes will be confirmed at the end of the summer, when the classes are formed. Where we have two class sections, following the school policy, the leadership will evaluate the opportunity to mix pupils and form new classes, in order to encourage socialization and educate to change, adaptation and resilience.
Meeting with the new principal
In the past few days, the Leadership team met with the new principal, Mr. William. He had some meetings with us at school and started getting involved in organizing the next school year. I am sure that many of you will have the pleasure of meeting him at least virtually, before meeting him in person in September. For this reason, we organized a dedicated meeting on the Blue Jeans platform for Wednesday 10th at 15:00. You will receive the link by email to join the call.
Webinars for parents
I have received quite a bit of feedback on the webinar that was held last week on the reopening of the school in September. I know it has generated several questions that we are progressively trying to answer. The aim was not to be exhaustive but simply to keep an open channel with parents and update you on the various steps of a complex plan involving all central departments, from Operations, Finance to Human Resources. We are working on a large scale and in collaboration with the group schools that have already reopened their offices. As promised, I have put others on the program, always with the intention of keeping you updated on developments. The next to be held on Wednesday 17 June at 17.00 will be dedicated to the Early Years section with the participation of the Inspired Early Years Director, Ms. Marianne Valentine and Ms. Carlota Oliveira Head of Early Learning of PaRK International School in Portugal. You will receive the link to access it via email.
An online Graduation for our first graduates just did not fit into our plans. Therefore, even if with a sober ceremony, I am pleased to announce that it will take place in attendance at the beautiful Fino Mornasco park in the late afternoon of Tuesday 16 June, in full respect of social distancing.
The students were involved in preparing the program and it will be their party, albeit in low tones.
It is a celebratory moment of great achievements primarily for students but also for teachers.
The Diploma Program opens the doors of the best universities and the future.
Final meeting with Homeroom Parents
The last meeting between the Leadership Team and Homeroom Parents is scheduled for 12th June.
We have maintained the same organization as always so that in the morning at 9.00 am Ms. Whittle and I will meet the parents of the PYP section, while in the afternoon at 2.30 pm it will be the turn of the entire secondary section with Ms. Pearce and Ms. Karen.
I sincerely thank all the parents who in this difficult school year have assumed this role and offered their precious service to the whole school community. Many events that had been scheduled inevitably had to be canceled. I like to think that they can be on the calendar next year, even bigger and better.
BLURB – Textbooks for next year
The teachers have selected textbooks for the 2019-2020 year. Textbooks are used in the secondary section and are purchased by families. In the Primary section, we only use mathematics and Italian exercise books that are purchased by the school.
I strongly urged teachers to select a textbook only if it will be used during the lessons and not for simple consultation, and to possibly choose the e-book version. You will receive the list of books of the various classes and the online ordering instructions from one of our trusted retailers, should you wish to use this service.