Director’s message 06

[isostaff] [isonews] ISO School News and Notes. Program Recommences This Week 8/19 from 08:00 – 12:00

August 17th, 2020

Important Notes:

#1. School Resumes on Wednesday, August 19th. at 08:00

#2. As a reminder, ISO will hold classes this week from 8:00 – 12:00, and the school campus will only be open to staff, faculty, and students. The school, as discussed, will slowly transition this week (after five months of physical, on site, closure) back to our normal schedule which starting next week will be from 8:00 – 3:15 for K – 12, and 1:30 for Pre K 3 and Pre K 4.

#3. School Reopening Protocols will be sent tomorrow, as the school will conduct temperature checks, frequent handwashing and the mandatory use of facemasks until further notice.

ISO Community, Colleagues, Teachers and Friends,

On August 1, 2020 the Airport here in Ouagadougou officially reopened for commercial traffic, and within the last 16 days our entire teaching team returned to Burkina Faso to physically commence our program for the 2020 School Year.

The one reason we were able mobilize so quickly,… is that our emergency contingency plan for reopening our school worked! Since a plan of this nature has never been used here at ISO we were not sure of how successful it would be. However, I will say … that “luck” combined with an excellent faculty and staff who managed the school with a skeletal maintenance staff during our period of forced closure were two key components to allow us to reopen quickly.

Last year, in August of 2019, we had projected a student population of 190 students, with 30 faculty members. On Wednesday, we are expecting around 130 students supported by 20 dedicated faculty members. We know that with our educational program in place next week, things here will begin to normalize, our student population will continue to grow.

In 2015 the International School of Ouagadougou implemented the web-based version of the Northwest Educational Assessment MAP assessment.

This computer based, flexible and adaptive assessment will provide us with our students test results within 24 hours, and is able to: #1. Assess what has been learned during the prior term. #2. Provide guidance for the current teacher as to each student’s strengths and weaknesses, #3. Help us to identify how best meet our students’ needs.

Although the students may be combined (due to the significant decline in our student and teacher population) into “homerooms” like Kinder/1, and Grades 2/3, we will use the results of the MAP test to make sure we are meeting the needs of all our students. This will occur not only with our Upper School, but also in our Lower School and Early Childhood Education divisions. By using growth data in subjects from Math and Language Arts, we will be sure to challenge all of our students and meet their individual needs.

For example, in the Elementary School combined classes will follow a structure that is very similar to the traditional class structure. The teacher will provide a short whole group lesson that covers the content that is the same between both grades, after which students will have an opportunity to work in small mastery/ grade level based groups in order to address the areas that are different. For example: In English students will all receive a small whole group lesson on prefixes and suffixes (which is something that both grade 4 and 5 students should have knowledge of), students will then receive small group instruction and assignments that are tailored to their grade and or mastery level.

Please note, from the Directors I have discussed this program with, it appears that this non-grade level initiative is only being done at a handful of international schools. However, in those schools, it has raised student behavioral and academic expectations, while providing a supportive environment where children feel safe and eager to come to school and learn.

“Necessity is the mother of invention” – and it is clear that the educational model we will use this year will help all of our students change and adapt to our new environment.

Greetings from the school site and see you on Wednesday.