First letter from Head of School Alfonso Orsini

Dear Friends,
I am beginning my second week at TIS and enjoying it immensely, especially the cool weather which is a relief after Shanghai. I am happy and excited to be here and learning a great deal through conversations with administrative and teaching colleagues, parents and students in the summer program, and members of our dedicated Board of Trustees.

I begin work focused by the exceptionally astute strategic plan which you all played a part in developing last spring. Within that plan, I will suggest to the board, in our next meeting, that our specific immediate priorities are:

  • Professional development of faculty

  • Excellent daily classroom practice of IB-PYP education

  • Development of a comprehensive plan of faculty and staff evaluation

  • Raising the funds to insure that excellence is possible through resources, facilities, and faculty and staff compensation.

Upon arrival, I learned that the International High School, which we had joined other Portland international schools in supporting, will not be continuing. I think that trying to create such a high school was a wise and valiant effort on behalf of Portland children. However, this was a difficult historical moment in which to try and start a new Portland school.

On the bright side, we will be intensifying our own exploration of whether and how to create our own middle school and perhaps even high school in order to more fully serve the needs of current families and students.

In this exploration and in all key steps we take, we will be consulting families and actively seeking feedback and ideas. This means we want to know what you think. We also want to see all of you as often as we can to insure that you feel part of this community and that you have a voice in it. We want you to feel you have a clear knowledge of what your children do and learn each day.

I look forward to seeing you all when school resumes if not earlier, and hearing your points of view. If you would like to talk, give a call or just stop over, please feel free to do so. Most mornings I will be down at Stearns Hall as students come in for the summer program. I will be the guy standing on the side looking as though I am waiting for someone to ask me to dance.

In the meantime, I wish you an enjoyable and peaceful summer.

Alfonso Orsini