Director’s message 61

ISO Community, Colleagues, Teachers and Friends,

RE: What a difference a week and a day makes!

On January 23rd, one of our teachers woke up to gunfire at around 04:30a.m. He suspected, but did not know, as the mobile Internet was cut off for 72 hours, that perhaps a coup d’État was taking place. The next evening, we all found out it was true as it aired live on TV.

During that time, the Board and I thought we would only be away for at most two days, after the first Government Decree was issued on Sunday night. Clearly there was confusion due to the ongoing security situation throughout Ouagadougou last week.

Well, two decrees later, and one week and one day after some early morning phone calls, we were able to have classes, with over 90% attendance.

The one reason we were successful in mobilizing so quickly is because we followed the main goal of our emergency contingency plan: keeping everybody in our community “safe.” Since a plan of this nature is not used very often, we can never be 100% sure how successful it can be. However, I will say that… with “luck”, combined with two excellent Principals (Ms. Jalisa Mixon, and Mr. Dean Jex), we were able to open the school smoothly (and safely), and have a great day of teaching and learning here at ISO.

“Necessity is the mother of invention” – and it is clear that the educational model we have been using “on and off” for over the last two years helped our community change and adapt during a challenging time last week.

A final note … I would like to thank you, on behalf of our school community, for your support and your unwavering belief that we will prevail — and that we would reopen — as soon as it was deemed safe to do so! Today, after two decree delays, was finally that day.

Welcome to 2022! May the rest of the school year be uneventful, allowing our focus to return to your students’ learning.