Director’s message 59

ISO Parents,

After hosting 15 weeks of school, I am happy to report that:

  • Our largest “new” student cohort in years (43 overall students) has successfully settled into our program.
  • The Board of Trustees has been reconstituted, and had several professional trainings, both physical and virtual, since September. Almost all current active members were in full participation in our multi-day retreats. The Board is truly working hard on behalf of our community to achieve their professional mission statement of Academic Excellence, Economic Stability, and Long-Term School Viability.
  • Our teachers and parents have worked diligently during this first part of our school year to assist our students in their learning process.

It has been a busy, but extremely successful start to our 44th year here at the International School of Ouagadougou.

To that end, as announced at the start of the year, the International School of Ouagadougou adopted Google Classroom, PlusPortals, SeaSaw, Flipgrid and other tools to assist with distance learning. This, plus new servers, computers, firewalls, internet wiring, etc. have all been put in place in the event that the pandemic would once again throttle our educational program and that we would have to host classes both on-site, and online with distance learning.

So far, distance learning has been used for students who either had contact with a COVID-positive person, or who tested positive for COVID themselves. In all, we had over a dozen student cases of COVID this year. We are optimistic that, as more vaccines become available to more age groups, those numbers won’t be reached after the Winter Holidays.

However, here is an important note for families (and faculty) traveling over the Break*:

Please be sure to check:

  • The health and safety protocols of the countries you are traveling to
  • Any change to the entry regulations here in Burkina Faso.

*Upon return, please be mindful that if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have been exposed to the virus, you should stay at home until you are medically cleared to return to campus.

If the present health trends both here in Burkina Faso, and around the world worsen, then the school will consider holding the first week of school “online” to ensure that it is both safe and appropriate to return to our campus and hold classes physically. Of course, our preferred course of action would be to follow Burkina Faso guidelines and have all staff and students return directly to campus with a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before travel.

I would like to thank everyone for their patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging period. As mentioned, our overall goal remains to keep your children safe and the school open during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing uninterrupted educational services, whether they are in-person or temporarily online. We thank everybody in our community for your unwavering support in making that possible.

As we still have two days left of school before the Winter Break, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or your teachers, if you have any additional questions.