Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vice Principal's update

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn... and change. Carl Rogers

The New Year 2010 heralds the beginning of the second semester of the academic year 2009-2010 for KIS which also means that it is the last semester for the Class of 2010.

There was a rather quick settling in time period for the new staff and students. By the third week of January we had SAT/PSAT classes and support classes in place for those who needed the extra attention. Students who are taking three or less IB certificates or those not doing IB this year are doing an extra requirement for KIS Diploma - Critical Thinking course. This course will not only give the students an extra 2.5 credits but the best essays will be put in our online journal and receive a certificate of merit. The IB students are busy completing their extended essays and are getting ready to meet the challenges of the IB deadlines. For the moment it is “extended essay season’ for IB students!

On 15 - 16 January grade 11 and 12 student attended the interactive seminars entitled “Science and Spirituality” conducted by Andy Fletcher. Andy is the President and CEO of Life, the Universe and Everything, Inc USA and is dedicated to working with international schools and communities, offering seminars on 20th and 21st century physics. Many interested staff members attended also. The seminars were intellectually stimulating and peppered with Andy’s wit and humor! These seminars were of special interest for students doing TOK, Critical Thinking, Science and Religious Education courses and were punctuated by the occurrence of the solar eclipse!

The weekend that followed had some of senior students (apart from the juniors) taking their final shot at the SAT examinations. This was followed by the Republic Day celebrations on the 26 January with its finale being the Social Experience department’s fund raising event – the carnival. Of course there was excitement in the air about the new menu in the Gymkhana also!
In the midst of this, we took time to fondly remember little Micah Daniel, student of KIS and son of our dorm parent Pushpa Lawrence, who passed away during the winter vacations. We need to continue to hold Sunder, Pushpa and their family in our prayers.

For the teaching staff, the semester opened with two full day professional development workshop on “Engaging All Students for the 21st century: Differentiation Strategies for Effective Teaching Learning” conducted by Susan Baum and Henry Nicols- Directors of International Centre for Talent Development, USA. This is the first time we have begun a semester with pedagogical workshops being conducted by globally acclaimed professional workshop leaders. In our MSA strategic plan Differentiation Instruction has been put down as one of the priorities and we are confidently moving towards developing and consolidating it. Susan and Hank also conducted 4 hour workshop for dorm parents. Both these workshops were well received. We were indeed blessed to have Susan and Hank among us.

From the 29 - 31 January twenty three KIS IB Diploma teachers went to Indus International School Bangalore to attend the SAIBSA Job Alike Session and had fruitful sessions sharing and exchanging ideas with their professional counterparts from different IB schools in India.

So we have begun the New Year with renewed vigor, hope and positivity!
Kaisar Dopaishi
Vice Principal