Director's Update - Jan 26th 2018
Director’s Newsletter, January 17th, 2018
New AISZ Learning Ecosystem
Over the few weeks, since the start of school, I have really enjoyed talking with groups of people about the new AISZ Learning Ecosystem which describes the interconnectedness of learning for all at AISZ.
Construction of the the AISZ Concept School of the Future about to start as contracts are signed.
I was absolutely delighted to sign the construction contract of our new AISZ Bundek School Campus with the consortium Teh-Gradnja and Projektgradnja on August 29th 2017.
The project will commence in the second week of September 2017 and I will keep you up to date with the progress through our school website.
Welcome To Our New School Year
After a rejuvenating summer the staff and faculty of AISZ are excitedly waiting for our students to arrive on Monday 21st. On Friday we welcomed our new families and had our chance to share the work we do at the school. We had a number of our returning students also helping the new students to settle in which was very much appreciated.
Relational Aggression & Social Media
This morning our Counselor Mr. Don Tingley discussed Social Media and Relational Aggression. The topic related to student transitions between schools, classes, and divisions (i.e. Lower School - Middle School; Middle School - High School) and social media issues such as mean, rude, bullying behavior and relational aggression. The presentation used to stimulate our conversation was distributed to you by email.
Dr. Lavina discussed our school's focus upon the transition points which impact our students and how we are building systems to make sure that every student feels known and advocated for and how as a result of the Community Dream Summit we are consciously and intentionally building more forums for "student voice". Parents who also attended the Summit spoke of the eloquence of our students and their desire to help the school in our development in order to further enhance school life for those who come after them.
We have a number of books in our library available for parents who would like to follow up or have further information on this topic.
Thank you to the parents who attended. This partnership is very important to our school. In the future we hope to include students in our Coffee with Content.
During the conversation we watched part of a conversation with Simon Sinek. Simon discussed our adolescents and cellphones. It came from this 15 minute video Millennials in the Workplace. The whole video is worth watching, but the part we shared today begins 03:10 to 07:20.
Bistro Gableraj: New Canteen Provider from August 2017
After three days of taste testing our different cafeteria tenders, the committee is proud to announce Bistro Gableraj will be commencing AISZ Cafeteria service in August 2017.
Thank you to students, parents and staff for their participation and feedback during the three days. Without such input the decision would have been much more difficult.
Gableraj presented their food to the panel on the second day of the tasting.
Reconnecting with our Vision, Mission and Values
The community summit identified the the top eight dreams we wanted the school to pursue. Some of the eight were very similar to each other and many of the other dreams also could be connected so it showed a very strong correlation of our aspirations. Six strongly held aspirations arose as a result.
It was very clear from the summit that we want the American International School of Zagreb to be:
1. a concept school of the future
2. a school which is connected to community; both within our own walls and outside our walls - connected to community both global and locally.
3. a school that believes in personal, self-directed, authentic learning.
4. a full inclusive school which provides opportunities for emotional, physical and psychological balance for all.
5. a school which promotes intellectual, spiritual and physical wellness.
6. a school that believes joy and happiness are fundamental to the process of authentic learning and future success.
It was clear the community also held a strong unified commitment to the American International School of Zagreb becoming an educational leader in our region and recognized internationally for our work;
* inspiring our students, our teachers and our immediate community,
* leading other educators in best practice,
* recruiting and retaining teachers and students passionate about learning,
* reaching out into other communities in Zagreb, Croatia and the world, making a positive contribution and difference;
* achieving high academic standards through the implementation of high-impact learning strategies;
* balancing intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness; and
* finding and retaining the joy in learning.
The next stage is to establish small dymamic taskforces focused on strategic tasks and then to disband for another focus.
Taskforce 1 will draft our Core Documents focusing on our Vision, Mission, Values and tools to measure our progress and success.
The Core Document Team will meet for the first time at 15:10 on Monday 3rd March in the Library.
I will be using this Director's blog to keep you informed of the progress and research we uncover.
To help the Taskforce do its work and to allow the greater AISZ Community to have input into our future development, I will be making it possible for you to contribute to the process virtually.
By following a series of very, very short readings, watching a short youtube video and completing a short 4 question interactive survey, you will be able to contribute to the strategic development process of AISZ even though you maybe unable to attend or join a Developmental Taskforce.
The whole journey for this section will take about 30 minutes - the video being 18minutes of that
Dear AISZ Community,
Our very first Community Dream Summit happened several week ago - how time flies - but at school we are still feeling invigorated by the clear direction that all stakeholders put forth during the weekend of appreciative inquiry.
There is a new Community Dream Summit blog on the website on which I will regularly update our community with regard to the progress of our work.
The work now is to build towards that direction in creating our truly innovative concept school of the future. Our Top 8 Dreams are posted on the Community Dream Summit blog.
In the near future we will be establishing a series of small representative taskforces which will come together for a short series of collaborative, constructive meetings focused on a fixed purpose within a fixed time frame. Their job will be to work quickly on a small set of crucial high leverage tasks and then disband. It is very different from a committee that can often times get caught up in the dialogue at the expense of a definitive result.
The first set of taskforces will focus on either reconnecting with, or redefining our CORE DOCUMENTS. This includes:
Taskforce 1 - Core Documents
School Vision: "What do we want to achieve?"
School Mission: "How do we do it?"
Values: "What values do we share and hold to be sacrosanct and non-negotiable at our school. What values do we hold for ourselves and others to which we will hold our collective selves accountable.
There were plenty of ideas generated at the summit, but the Core Document Taskforce will rapidly take the wealth of information, synthesis it and either reconnect us with our Vision, Mission and Values - or produce possibilities for new future-focused statements that will inspire our work. These Core Documents are essential in shaping the next strategic steps for our school.
I am looking for volunteers to join me in this short focused and dynamic work. Preferably it would be great if I could get 1 person from each of these groups.
Our first meeting is Friday 30th March at 08:10. The venue will be announced on Tuesday.
For the 3 student representatives, you need to give me a signed agreement from your first period class to miss this lesson. If you are interested in helping us with this essential task which will forge the future direction of our school, please get approval from your Friday Block 1 teacher and then email me with your name and grade before
Tuesday 28th March end of school at 15:00.
You can give me the signed approval later.
Please email me your interest before Tuesday 28th March 15:00.
The results of this group's work will be distributed to the whole school community for feedback which will again be synthesized to get to an end product.
I am hoping to get the Core Documents completed by the Spring Break ready for Board approval.