Director’s message 17

Middle States Accreditation Professional Development Day

ISO Community: 4 Day “Break.”


September 24, 2020

Dear Parents,

As we come to the first long vacation period of the year, I am once again reminded of just how interconnected our world has become. Indeed it was less than 7 months ago when all of us here at the International School of Ougadagagou were caught off guard in dealing with the consequences of the 2020 Coronavirus Health Crisis.

Tomorrow, we will hold our first Professional Development Day of the 2020 School Year, to conclude our 12+ month “self study” by the Middle States Association to assist us with continual school improvement.

Just a couple of notes to pass along as we get ready for a four day weekend period and our final stretch of the school quarter.

  • School will resume as scheduled on Tuesday, September 29th
  • Tomorrow teachers will prepare for their external accreditation to ensure that we are adhering to the quality academic, facility, finance, and safety standards established by the Middle States Commission on Education.

The team that is coming to visit the school will conduct their self study the week of October 19th. They are presently in the United States, Portugal, Spain and Senegal. They will spend a day orienting themselves, resting and identifying the various areas of our program that each of the four team members will be inspecting and verifying is in accordance to MSA U.S. Educational Standards.

The Middle States Association has already been in contact with me concerning the logistics of organizing the trip, and as one member of this organization stated …. “I was on a trip to Dakar last year– before the world became affected by the crisis …. However, I imagine, given what your community has just gone through that the team will do just as much listening as asking questions to your school community. The MSA team that will be doing your evaluation clearly understands that your team has successfully reopened a school with the help of your community of parents, teachers, and students that truly make education and student growth a benchmark of community success.”

Please be aware that although the school has been “gearing up” and working hard over the last 12+ months for this visit, the goal of the Middle States External Team is to engage us, and learn about all things that are ISO. As a person who has been on several visiting teams, and all ends of the accreditation spectrum, stated the goal of Middle States is:

Not to have a one way conversation with the community of school stakeholders, but … by contrast, have a true two-way conversation that reflects a more open, balanced, and reciprocal sharing of perspectives. In the context of accreditation … communication is approached as a puzzle or a collage, with each person holding a critical piece. The purpose is not to deliver the perfect message or to win people over, but to explore an issue or opportunity together — pooling observations and data, raising and testing assumptions, and creating new ideas out of the mix. No one lectures. Instead they tell stories and ask critical questions to get a more complete and coherent picture of the overall context of the school.

Have a great break