Director’s message 113

International School of Ouagadougou Stakeholders,

There are two constants in International Education: “Change and Transition.”

I would like to take a moment to thank you for all your work, and dedication to the International School of Ouagadougou that I have seen since 2020. As a community, we have truly shown that “When a team works together, the impossible does indeed become possible.”

During our Board meeting last Tuesday, our Board Chair stated that we are “indeed a strong, and vibrant community.”

In August 2020 we were one of the first schools to return to physical learning, showing that despite the COVID Global Health Emergency, we weathered the storm by re-opening and beginning our IB program with our first cohort.

Indeed, as I enter my final four months serving as your Director, and after an internal reflection, I am extremely proud of what we gained and learned over the last 3.5 years:

  • Although we are presently a small school, we have a tight-knit, deeply committed teaching staff that constantly strives to provide an outstanding education — one that is truly “active, creative and participatory,” and which above all ensures fluency in English, and excellence in all subjects. Truly, the school’s greatest strength is our dedicated staff. During the COVID pandemic, staff members returned with facemasks, thermometers, and bleach to open the school.
  • Perhaps the most significant change that can be observed during these past years has been the development of clearer, more defined curricular goals and expectations. This was a time-consuming task, but one that was essential to the academic health of the school. In addition, the staff at the International School of Ouagadougou is firmly committed to having our curriculum be “ours” – not a boilerplate version that sits on a shelf and has little relationship to the day-to-day teaching that happens in our classrooms. In one word, the impact of this process on our institution has been to make us more reflective. That is, as a school, by going through this process, we have become clearer about what our Vision, our Mission, and our purpose truly are.
  • As day-to-day life in Ouagadougou becomes more complex, it is important to note that today at 08:00 we raised our external security threat measures. We are now using the emergency “sally port” at our school entrance. We will continue to monitor events both in the city, country, and region, to ensure that we are offering a “safe” and “appropriate” learning environment to all our students.
  • In more general terms, the International School of Ouagadougou is facing the same crises that all international entities are facing at this difficult time in West Africa’s history. It is quite possible that for either political or economic reasons, we may be forced to keep modifying our program to continue to meet the overall needs of our students.

In closing, as we are moving towards greater transparency as a school, we are working to offer greater (and more meaningful) involvement to all of our stakeholders. This is a necessary, albeit not always easy, process.

However, as part of our open and transparent communication, the school:

  • Has modernized our student bathrooms. As a Student Council member very accurately stated, “We all share the responsibility of having clean, hygienic bathrooms, and students need to do their part, as well as our cleaning staff in keeping our bathrooms clean.” (Parents, please remind your students about the correct use of public restrooms.)
  • Over the next 7 – 10 days, the school cafeteria will transition from our present internal “Snack Shack” to a new contractor, Petit Paris. The transition is expected to take around 5 weeks and each division will send out menus and payment options at least five days before the transition officially commences. The goal is to have a ribbon cutting at the school cafeteria, which will be renovated by Petit Paris, after the Spring Break.

Final Reminders:

  • Friday, March 8th: International Women’s Day – No School.
  • This is the last week of Trimester II After School Activities Program: Program Resumes on March 18th with new program offerings.

Let’s have a short and productive week.

Greetings from the school site.