"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

News from Robert - Jan 21, 2014

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a good long weekend and were able to enjoy the sun.  School is busy as usual, and we are celebrating some new arrivals: the six SMART boards supported by the Auction Special Appeal have arrived and are in the process of being installed. The use of the SMART boards is a pilot project for TIS, so we had to carefully consider where to place each board. We need to understand how they will support teaching and learning within our environment, and to set the stage for what will hopefully be a next phase implementation. To give exposure to the maximum number of students, one SMART board will be in the art room and another in the music room. This will also show us how the technology can benefit our specialist programs.

For the remaining boards, we wanted to place them in different grades and tracks to gather the most information possible about how SMART technology can influence our work. Staff who wished to be a part of the pilot program volunteered and also agreed to commit to significant extra time for lesson planning, sharing ideas, professional development outside of school hours, troubleshooting, training other teachers, and creating a bank of SMART board activities.

Based on the teachers who volunteered and a couple of “coin flips” to decide between teachers who volunteered from similar grades in the same language track, the remaining boards are being installed in Abby's Spanish LowK, Adela's Spanish Kindergarten, Paola's grade 4 Spanish and Xiao's grade 5 Chinese. We are very excited to begin this pilot program and will be providing updates on the experiences and interactions of the various classes. Our intention is to raise funds for additional SMART boards for other classes next year.

This week I also want to share information about two more sections of our NWAIS self-study. Please click here for summaries of our Enrollment Management and Administration self-study sections. Learn about enrollment numbers, retention percentages, admin staff roles and challenges, financial aid percentages, and more. In addition, we now have a web page with all the information about the NWAIS self-study in one place: see intlschool.org/self-study.

Have a great week,

- Robert Woods, Head of School, RobertW@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x122