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For up to date AISA information and to read the latest news and announcements, check out our news items below. Don't forget to share them via the social media links and to sign up to our social media groups. 

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  • 04 September 2020 11:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    COVID-19 has created massive uncertainty for schools throughout the world. AISA member schools across Africa are no exception. Meticulous planning and committed support are needed to overcome threats to the health and wellbeing of all staff.

    The Online Staff Wellbeing Toolkit

    With that in mind, AISA is partnering with an Australian based organisation, the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI), to offer member schools an Online Staff Wellbeing Toolkit, a self-paced programme which assists people to proactively manage their wellbeing and provide strategies for schools to support each other.

    To assist with the implementation of this unique programme, AISA is facilitating a Practice Group to support those executing the Toolkit at their schools; the Toolkit Leader. AISA aims to ensure that group members collaborate with their peers, learn from each other and are set up for success as they lead the rollout at their school.

    The Desired Outcomes

    • To have individuals take a proactive approach to their wellbeing and develop resilient mindsets and behaviours that will see them through challenging times.
    • To enable professional communities to collaborate and effectively support each other.
    • To contribute towards improved student performance by enhancing staff engagement, wellbeing and connectivity.

    How The Programme Works

    • The Online Staff Wellbeing Toolkit is facilitated by one of the school’s staff using the resources provided by NESLI and with the support of the AISA Practice Group.
    • The programme comprises 5 modules containing a 15-minute introductory video followed by a 45-minute peer learning session.
    • Additional material is provided for staff who may want to explore topics in greater depth.
    • Each school nominates a staff member to act as the Toolkit Leader. His/her role is to facilitate the peer learning sessions and provide support. Ideally, staff should undertake the programme in small cohorts of 10 or less. Larger schools may want to nominate several staff members to take up the role of Toolkit Leader.
    • The Staff Wellbeing Toolkit utilises robust evaluation tools that measure both wellbeing and social capital before and after its application.
    • AISA’s Practice Group will provide additional support to Toolkit Leaders via an online community, monthly webinar check-ins, plus more.
    • There is no fee to join the AISA School Well-being Practice Group, but schools must pay for access to the NESLI resources prior to joining the Practice Group.

    The programme, suitable for all staff, is aimed at schools rather than individuals, and requires a minimum of 5 registrants per school.

    Only one person per school must apply, preferably the head of school. The deadline for registration and payment for the NESLI Toolkit is 18 September 2020.

    To join the AISA Practice Group, please complete the application form by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AISAW4ALL

    For any further details don’t hesitate to contact AISA’s Chanel Worsteling. chanel@aisa.or.ke


  • 03 September 2020 15:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are happy to announce that Columbia Business School VFA will offer be offering ten weeek pre-college virtual course 

    About Program

    Modelled on the MBA class Launch Your Startup, this interective program will provide high school students with an intensive, “hands-on” course focusing on the creation, evaluation, development and launch readiness of a new business or social venture.

    Benefits 

    • Learn the process of new venture creation
    • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
    • Learn to embrace innovation and apply technology to make processes and products more efficient
    • Become a member of the Columbia VFA Global Entrepreneurs community.
    • Earn a certificate of completion, become a certified Entrepreneur
    • Receive a letter of recommendation based on your performance. This can be uploaded by your professor directly as an external recommender on the common application
    • Based on merit, you will be offered an opportunity to become a Teacher’s Assistant at any of the global locations
    Course Dates

    October 3rd - December 12th, 2020

    November 7th, 2020 - January 30th, 2021

    Register Here

    For more infomation, please send email to admissions@columbiavfa.org

  • 27 August 2020 14:40 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Within AISA’s community of schools the goal is to graduate young people who are passionate about contributing to the world around them, who are compassionate, confident change-makers; people whose educational core has been enhanced and strengthened by the integration of service learning into their curricula.

    For many years, AISA has championed service learning and most of our schools have well-established programmes that reflect best practice. To help further equip our students in the creation of a better world, AISA offers opportunities for you to share your school’s service learning experiences with fellow AISA member schools with the AISA Global Issues Service Summit (AISA GISS) that usually takes place each year. Unfortunately, the AISA-GISS event planned for 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But AISA is looking at ways for schools to continue to showcase their service learning programmes in an online platform. More on this soon.

    Why is service learning important?

    Essentially, service learning connects school-based curricula with the concern young people have around key issues that impact our planet – whether on their school campus, in local communities, or in distant rain forests. Results are indelible, lifelong lessons for our students and foster a stronger society for us all.

    AISA support

    AISA supports service learning in several ways, including professional development opportunities at conferences, institutes and webinars and, more recently, by establishing a service learning online forum. The forum is an online space for educators from international schools across Africa who understand the importance and value of curricula integration and the implementation of high quality service learning.

    “AISA's approach is embedded in its belief that our schools should be supporting the growth and development of the communities and countries where they are located,” says David Henry, Director of the International school of Kenya. “One of the best ways to do this is through service learning driven by the students in our schools. Our students develop a sense of purpose and personal fulfilment while supporting how a community might develop independently.”

    Recognition and reward

    AISA offers two awards, Outstanding Service Project and Student Service Leader, to encourage and recognise the service learning achievements of schools and students from within the AISA school network. Our award winners for 2019/20 include students from the International School of Kenya and the International School of Tanganyika, Tanzania. We hope to offer these awards again in 2021.

    “All too often attention is only paid when students achieve things in sports and academics, says Ellie Sato, Service Learning Coordinator at the International School of Tanganyika. “Having prestigious awards dedicated solely to service, motivates students to get involved in service activities that they are passionate about.”

    David agrees. “These awards have had tremendous impact. They are highlighted at our graduation ceremony in a way that solidifies our school's mission and vision and approach to teaching and learning.” AISA welcomes all member schools to nominate outstanding students who have excelled in this essential area of learning and self-fulfilment.

    Service learning is ever-changing, its dynamism resulting in many different programmes and projects throughout the AISA region. By participating and sharing your successes and challenges, your school is helping to shape the future of our students and the world. In the face of massive change, our objectives have remained constant; to inspire optimistic, confident, globally minded, caring students who have a sense of real responsibility and willingness to cooperate with others. In other words, to be effective leaders.

    International School of Kenya, Outstanding Service Award

    International School of Tanganyika (IST), Student Service Leader Award

  • 26 August 2020 10:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Burns, ISS Chief Innovation Officer

    COVID-19 has forced schools to rethink how they operate, educators to reimagine their practice, and students to adapt and learn in new ways. To scale these new practices, we opened our innovation platform ISS CHALLENGES to educators around the globe, posing this question: “What new practices should schools keep or implement as a result of our experience with online learning?”

    The response was tremendous. Not only did educators submit fantastic ideas, but they also supported others in developing their thinking. Across the many entries emerged six broad themes schools should continue to engage with:

    Parental engagement

    Schools reported a significant increase in parent engagement due to accessible technology and efforts to create learning partnerships. Suggestions included:

    • Giving parents the option of online or in person student led conferences
    • Regularly inviting parents to virtually join the classroom as subject matter experts or learning support staff

    Learner agency

    Learning at home showed the importance of students asynchronously working on projects of interest, and of community members sharing their passions. Ideas included:

    • Dedicating a significant block of time every week to a student passion project
    • Providing an a-la-carte list of STEAM, SDG or other focused challenges for students to choose from

    Authentic learning

    Online learning brought the world into classes and open classes up to the world. Suggestions included:

    • Participating in virtual field trips which are abundant and free online
    • Using learning portfolios to showcase student work, and encourage discourse with the wider community

    Low-tech, sustainable solutions

    Some of the most meaningful learning happens offline, beyond the formal curriculum. Ideas included:

    • Creating urban farms. These can spring up even in apartments and high rise living
    • No-tech days to encourage physical activity and other learning opportunities

    Student-centric design

    Schools need to reflect students’ needs, rather than have students accommodate the standard design of schools. Suggestions included:

    • Providing more asynchronous opportunities. For example, shift school timetables to reflect the needs of different groups of learners
    • Use social media more as a mechanism, for both student engagement as well as learning showcase

    Faculty support

    School closures catalyzed incredible global collaboration. Ideas to keep up this momentum include:

    • Snapshot professional learning experiences co-created by staff and shared with other schools worldwide
    • Transfer faculty onboarding and orientation to an online mode

    ISS will continue to launch new challenges for educators and students through 2020-21. Keep an eye on ISS.edu and #ISSedu on social media to get involved!

    About International Schools Services (ISS)

    ISS.edu

    ISS, an AISA Strategic Partner, is a leading nonprofit with more than 60 years of experience in international education. Whether it’s developing and managing world-class international schools, staffing schools, ordering equipment and supplies, performing accounting functions, or supporting best-in-class teaching and learning approaches, ISS provides the full range of services necessary for your school to thrive and deliver an outstanding global education to your students.

    About John Burns, ISS Chief Innovation Officer

    linkedin.com/in/johnburns4/

    John focuses on sparking creativity and innovation across ISS learning communities. He has worked on founding and designing both LEVEL 5 China and LEVEL 5 Bahrain, agile spaces for design thinking in education. John has developed apps featured worldwide, and has also previously worked for Apple in assisting schools with organizational change.


  • 26 August 2020 10:39 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Derek Devine, Senior International Business Development Manager, Edmentum International

    The unprecedented events of recent months have put teaching and learning in the spotlight. According to Barclays, educational institutions have closed in 107 countries and 860 million students have been affected.

    Education leaders have faced many challenges. The successful leaders have managed to prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of their students whilst maintaining learning continuity through a variety of different distance, hybrid and blended learning approaches.

    However, uncertainty still prevails, and there is little consensus as to what the future of education will hold this fall. All schools have prepared for a variety of different ‘return to learn’ challenges and scenarios. Many have developed plans that are flexible and will allow them to transition between 100% face-to-face teaching, 100% remote learning, hybrid learning, rotating schedules of face-to-face and remote learning, and sporadic short-term closures (with shifts to remote learning).

    Flexibility, digital curriculum, teacher CPD and equity are critical components of the emerging new online learning world that has enabled schools to ensure learning can take place anytime and anywhere.

    Global Educational Support, Anywhere, Anytime

    We currently work with over 60 schools across Africa and through our strategic partnership with AISA, and are able to offer a variety of flexible models that can be tailored to support your school through the challenges. Our curriculum resources are designed to support and help teachers improve the quality of teaching and learning that is taking place.

    Below are some areas we can support your school with:

    • Digital Curriculum – Fully resourced, accredited, and customizable content.
    • Building Capacity - Professional development for your staff to deliver online content.
    • Teachers Needed - Assign an Edmentum certified teacher to support your students with 400+ courses.
    • Instructional Support - Teacher assistance to ensure success.
    • Tutoring - Additional student assistance to increase engagement.

    “I was very close to suggesting to the Board that they seriously look at the option of closing our school for next year as what we are able to deliver is not good enough if we need to spend extended periods online again. The Building Capacity model saved us.”

    MaryAnn Woods Przekurat, Director, American International School of Nouakchott, Mauritania, West Africa – AISA member school

    London Academy Casablanca, Morocco, has been utilising our Virtual School (Edoptions Academy) for a number of years. They offer additional Advanced Placement (AP) and elective courses, as Angela Arigoni-Mesfioui, Principal, explains:

    “We needed a program that would provide our students with qualified teachers, strong and rigorous content, and a diploma accredited by a recognised agency.”

    “The system allows students to feel in control of their learning. They are the ones choosing the electives they want and are interested in. In addition, the students like the fact that the platform is adaptive, and they can go at their own pace. Some accelerate, while others take their time and are paced by the teachers.”

    To find out more about the school’s success, additional Case study details can be found here.

    For more information, please visit www.edmentuminternational.com or contact derek.devine@edmentum.com or +44 (0)1572 492576.

    References:

    Barclays. (2020). Education technology: out with the old school [Online]. Barclays. Available at: https://www.investmentbank.barclays.com/our-insights/education-technology-out-with-the-old-school.html (Accessed: 4th August 2020).

    Author: Derek Devine has many years’ experience supporting schools on the introduction of both assessments and digital curriculum to inform teaching and learning. Derek has run workshops across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and regularly acts as a facilitator, speaker, and trainer during international school conferences such as COBIS, IPSEF, AISA and LAHC.


  • 26 August 2020 10:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Alison Mollel with contributions by Esther Bettney, Kerry Bishop, Tikva Chofi and Rob Martin

    It is fair to say that most of us were thrown into this new online teaching world almost overnight. Some schools saw the wave rolling towards them and were able to have a few days or, if they were lucky, weeks to prepare for this new teaching and learning experience. However, other schools and educators had very little time to prepare but regardless of the preparation time, we have all been learning as we go. As the school year has ended for many and we have a moment to breathe, we can take time to look at some of the things we have learned on our journey as we have strived to support our multilingual students the best we can. Opening the next school year online is a possibility for many schools internationally, so what must we make sure we have in place in order to most effectively support our multilingual students.

    • Connecting with students and parents - if the ‘regular’ route (be that email, Seesaw, Google classroom, etc) is not working, try others. Could you try WhatsApp, WeChat, older siblings or others in the community who speak the family’s home language?
    • Consistency - There are many platforms out there that are being used, whether it be Seesaw, Google classroom, etc. Try to ensure consistency across year levels and school sections (i.e. Primary and Secondary), where possible. This allows for families with more than one child to only have to learn and grapple with one system instead of multiple.
    • Face-to-face - You can’t beat face-to-face communication. Scheduling individual or small group meetings regularly with students helps support many areas including: continued language and academic development, social skills, well-being, confidence, engagement and motivation. Inviting parents for a quick chat at the end is an extension of support and most often very gratefully received.
    • Home language development - This is the perfect opportunity to encourage and support home language development. Set tasks that include other family members and the use of home language. Some examples are: interviewing family members, learn a rhyme/song in your home language, play games like Hangman or Would You Rather. Tim Boals, WIDA Founder and Director, recently published a letter to the education community on the importance of home language development.
    • Instructions - Simple, step-by-step and multi-modal is key. Provide clear, concise, step-by-step instructions. When setting up an activity provide video instructions with a model (as you would in the classroom), in addition to audio and written, to allow students to access multiple modes of input to enhance understanding.
    • Additional Opportunities or Time - At times a student may attempt a task but you find they have misunderstood the assignment. After feedback, clarification, and modeling give students another chance to revise their work and communicate their learning.
    • Scheduling - Sending all activities and expectations each Monday allows the parents and students to plan their week rather than have to wait every morning for a tasks that then need to be packed into a short timeframe.

    We would love to hear what you think as you reflect on this past year and look toward the next school year. Please join a global community of educators on the WIDA Flipgrid to connect and share ideas about teaching multilingual learners online.

    Alison Mollel is the Primary English Language Support Teacher/Whole School Home Language Coordinator at Luanda International School, Angola.

    Esther Bettney is a Project Assistant with the WIDA International Programs and a PhD Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Kerry Bishop is an Elementary EAL Teacher at Lincoln Community School, Ghana.

    Tikva Chofi works at The American School of Kinshasa as an Elementary EAL Specialist, DR Congo.

    Rob Martin is an EAL Specialist at the American International School of Lusaka, Zambia.


  • 25 August 2020 09:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dr Peter Bateman, AISA Executive Director

    Even at the best of times, the structures for governance in AISA member schools are varied, transitions are frequent, and trustees often lack experience in the governance role. With the additional restrictions imposed by COVID-19, AISA school Heads and school Boards may have limited access to support mechanisms and professional learning opportunities that would assist their work.

    In AISA schools, the infrastructure is often challenging, and the operating environment can be unstable or unclear. Student learning and school effectiveness are at risk when the Board and school leaders change often or lack experience in their roles. Despite the current challenges a school Board may have for meeting together in person, and because of the rapidly changing environment the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the Board and school Heads must quickly learn to adapt how they plan and work together, developing a relationship based on trust and understanding of their mutually supportive leadership roles – even if this is done remotely.

    Good governance is an essential part of school effectiveness, perhaps now more than ever, so AISA is committed to providing support to school leaders in this area. AISA’s Code of Governance addresses the basics, such as roles and responsibilities and fulfilling fiduciary and strategic requirements of school boards. These “Indicators of Good Governance” are divided into seven domain areas:

    1. Clear Roles & Responsibilities

    A highly effective and engaged board has clarity around roles and responsibilities, aligning its work and performance with organisational values and vision. This requires boards to work both strategically and insightfully in collaboration with the Head of School.

    2. Fiduciary Responsibilities

    School Boards have a legal responsibility to ensure financial viability for the present and future generations of students of the school, focusing on both the short term and strategic development of the school. The Board also have an ethical responsibility to ensure transparency, avoid conflicts of interest and promote effective communication with the school community.

    3. Effective Governance

    To ensure effective governance, Boards have a responsibility to sustain membership, participate in professional development, reflect on the Board’s performance and demonstrate behaviours that the school community should aspire to emulate.

    4. Boards as Strategists and Visionaries

    Establishing and sustaining a strategic direction for the school is a responsibility shared by the Board and HoS.

    5. Sustaining the Head of School

    A successful, healthy school requires an open, supportive and mutually respectful relationship between the Head of School and the Board.

    6. Conducting the Business of the Board

    The Board establishes policies, procedures and essential agreements that define the Board’s behaviours and how it conducts its business

    7. Board Oversight of School Success

    As part of the governance strand of the AISA virtual professional learning programme, we are offering Heads and their Boards opportunities to ‘go virtual’ with their governance learning. Full details of these opportunities are presented elsewhere in this edition of ConneXions. AISA is encouraging our governance learning facilitators (what you might know as ‘board trainers’) to adopt the AISA code of effective governance as a framework and explore how school leaders can use the indicators contained therein with their Trustees.

    Consistent with emergent thinking about governance, the AISA indicators also embrace developing Trustees strategic and generative roles. The current work in generative governance is grounded in the work of Richard Chait and his colleagues. The concept of generative governance reframes the role of non-profit boards as collaborators with school leaders in the process of generative thinking. Even at a time when the technical challenges for re-opening school seem overwhelming, the work of school leaders must continue to go beyond solving technical problems. It requires they work through adaptive challenges that are grounded in new thinking and new ways of interpreting situations, and therefore, in new ways of operating. School leaders who see this adaptive work as their domain alone have fewer resources than those who can authentically engage their Trustees in the collaborative process of generative thinking.

    This approach to governance also requires that school leaders efficiently and effectively orient Trustees so that they can introduce their boards to a more sophisticated and value-added role. As schools re-open for a new school year, the AISA virtual governance learning programme will support heads to develop Trustees’ understanding of their fiduciary and strategic role, and the use of generative modes of thinking.


  • 20 August 2020 15:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As AISA member schools reopen for the new school year, it is imperative that open minds explore all opportunities and options which support sustained efficiency and growth. Top priorities in these times of rapid change are threefold;

    • The safety of students and staff members
    • Effective learning for students
    • The role AISA member schools play in the community

    Options for the realisation of these priorities are as many and varied as AISA schools themselves. Although there is no definitive guide on how to achieve them, AISA’s continuous support includes professional, informative, practical articles, virtual workshops and webinars facilitated by world-renowned experts, person-to-person communication and more.

    Good leadership is vital. Boards and Heads of Schools need to adapt, quickly learning how to plan and effectively collaborate. Managing the concerns of educators, students and parents requires genuine empathy conveyed via careful, compassionate and regular communication – even if this happens remotely.

    In the AISA virtual Professional Learning Programme, we propose that school leaders and their Boards ‘go virtual’ with their Governance learning. We also encourage our Governance learning facilitators to adopt the AISA Code of Governance as a framework.

    The traditional, 100% classroom-based way of teaching belongs in the past. The present and future will comprise a hybrid of in-person and online teaching where technology plays an ever-creasing role.

    With the tentative reopening of schools, safety is of paramount importance. It is the responsibility of school leaders to ensure that all protocols are strictly adhered to. In classrooms, hallways, on school buses, in extracurriculars, every aspect of the on-campus school day must change.

    The future is here and it is optimistic. Aspects of the new reality are fundamentally making students better prepared. The months away from campus have taught them that place matters, but not necessarily in the way they thought. Traditional methods surmised that children had to go to school to learn. We now know that in a changing world, they can learn anywhere, any time. And yet, they need those spaces to return to - spaces where they feel at home.


  • 04 August 2020 15:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Association of American Schools of Central America, Colombia-Caribbean & Mexico (Tri-Association) 
    Seeks: Executive Director
    Start Date: July 1, 2022 (or earlier)
    Application Deadline: September 30, 2020

    THE ORGANIZATION

    The Tri-Association is made up of three Sub-regional Associations; AASCA (Association of American Schools of Central America), ACCAS (Association of American Schools in Colombia-Caribbean), and ASOMEX (Association of American Schools in Mexico). The Association is supported by the Office of Overseas Schools of the U.S. State Department and serves close to 90 schools in Central America, Colombia, the Caribbean and Mexico. The Association is led by an Executive Director who works with the Tri-Association Board, the Regional Education Officer, and the heads of schools in the accomplishment of the Mission.

    THE POSITION

    The Executive Director is responsible for supporting and enriching professional learning for educators in the region by designing programs that meet the needs of member schools and expose them to innovative and evidenced-based trends and methodologies in the field of education. S/he will forge partnerships, stay abreast of learning trends and other educational programs and opportunities that could benefit member schools. The Executive Director will support regional learning events based on the needs of the member schools, plus carry out the administrative, legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the Association.

    APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

    Candidates should read the entire announcement for more information and application procedure. Applicants are asked to submit their letter of interest and complete all necessary application steps as early as possible, as ISS and Tri-Association reserve the right to close the selection process at any time if an ideal candidate is found.

      VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT 

    ISS is proud to assist Tri-Association in their search for an Executive Director.

  • 30 July 2020 17:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The upcoming start of the new academic year brings with it the opportunity to reimagine and redefine international education in Africa, and to do so in ways that not only address the recent challenges experienced across the globe, but that create something new and improved for students and school leadership, educators and co-professionals.

    Africa is a place of great innovation and ingenuity and its people have an undeniable indomitable spirit in how they approach new challenges and overcome obstacles. It is this resilience and vitality that drives the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) and how it has reimagined its professional learning offering.

    “Launching in the new academic year, AISA’s professional learning experiences will be longer, deeper, and take place online and over several weeks,” says Graham Watts, AISA’s newly promoted Deputy Executive Director. “AISA will try to ensure as much as possible is free for our members. This will allow PL budgets to be saved for registrations to our annual conference in November.”

    The go-to resource for the international school community in Africa, AISA is a trusted source of support, resources, professional learning and professional collegiality. “Our new format professional learning programmes are part of our strategy to maintain and continually enhance the close degree of engagement we have established,” says Graham.

    AISA’s upcoming programmes include:

    What Now and What Next? Shaping the Future for International Schools in Africa

    August & September 2020

    Free to all AISA members, this professional learning programme pulls together the many components AISA is currently offering as part of our ‘immediate-need’ focused schools support-work. It will comprise a series of webinars hosted by external experts, AISA-facilitated discussion groups and online forums for posting resources and networking.

    How well we understand, interpret and adapt to the ever-changing education landscape will determine our future success. AISA is leading this charge and invites its members to join it in reimagining and redefining international education in Africa.

    Register now


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