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The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia

Featured in this Issue Cover Story Global Issues Network in the EARCOS Region Governance School Governance in the Age of Covid-19 EdThought International School Leadership During Tough Times: Reflecting on What Matters

WINTER 2020


THE EARCOS JOURNAL

The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA, with a regional office in Manila, Philippines. Membership in EARCOS is open to elementary and secondary schools in East Asia which offer an educational program using English as the primary language of instruction, and to other organizations, institutions, and individuals. OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES * To promote intercultural understanding and international friendship through the activities of member schools. * To broaden the dimensions of education of all schools involved in the Council in the interest of a total program of education. * To advance the professional growth and welfare of individuals belonging to the educational staff of member schools. * To facilitate communication and cooperative action between and among all associated schools. * To cooperate with other organizations and individuals pursuing the same objectives as the Council. EARCOS BOARD OF TRUSTEES Andrew Davies, President (International School Bangkok) Stephen Cathers, Vice President (International School Suva) David Toze, Treasurer (International School Manila) Margaret Alvarez, Past President (ISS International School, Singapore) Saburo Kagei (St. Mary’s International School) Barry Sutherland (American International School Vietnam) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Kevin Baker (American International School Guangzhou) Elsa H. Donohue (Vientiane International School) Catriona Moran (Saigon South International School) Lawrence A. Hobdell (ex officio), Office of Overseas Schools REO EARCOS STAFF Edward E. Greene, Executive Director Bill Oldread, Assistant Director Kristine De Castro, Assistant to the Executive Director Elaine Repatacodo, ELC Program Coordinator Giselle Sison, ETC Program Coordinator Ver Castro, Membership & I.T. Coordinator Edzel Drilo, Webmaster, Professional Learning Weekend, Sponsorship & Advertising Coordinator Robert Sonny Viray, Accountant RJ Macalalad, Accounting Assistant Rod Catubig Jr., Office Staff East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, 4024 Philippines Phone: +63 (02) 8779-5147 Mobile: +63 928 507 4876


In this Issue

contents

2 2 3 3 4

Message fromthe theExecutive ExecutiveDirector Director Message from What’s in Store for 2021? Press Release STORY -COVER Welcome New EARCOS Staff Global Issues NetworkEvents in the EARCOS Region - EARCOS Upcoming - Seoul Foreign School Wins International Architecture Award (page 46)

4 Welcome to EARCOS - New Schools - New Heads - New HS, MS, ES Principals - New Childhood Principals - New Associate Institutions 8 -Marketing New Individual Members Creating Authentic Marketing Messages and a Value 8 Proposition Build School Enrolment List of Global to Citizenship Award 2020 Winners 9 Global Citizenship Community Grant Recipients 10 Governance Reimagining School Together with ISS CHALLENGES School Governance in the Age of Covid-19: How Effective 12 Boards Ensure School Survival and Continued Success Cover Story - The Impact of the Pandemic on Mission and Governance 12 Financial Management 14 Financial Leadership Management in International Schools - Developing Principals for EARCOS Schools 14 Learning -Virtual Leading to Inspire - UNIS Hanoi’s Women Nurturing Bosses Connections (page 26) During COVID Through Virtual Playdates 16 Campus Development 16 Learning -Project GriffithBased Library Reopening Ceremony (RISM) 21st Century ProjectSchool Base Learning for Generation Z - Wells International Yangon Campus (page 31) - Canggu Community School (page 44) 18 Curriculum 18 -Curriculum Data-Driven Decision Making in Creating the ISB Tech Plan -- MTSS: A Research-based System Ensure Self-Compassion: Putting on your to own maskEquity first and Access Learning (page 36) of the Future (page 22) - Building afor Learning Community 19 SENIA Conference 2020 20 VirtualVirtual Learning Bridging - Teacherthe andGap Student Perspectives on Maintaining Community in a Makeshift Online Classroom 20 Design for Learning 28 The ISM Promise EdThought - Resiliency Schmasiliency… When Is this Over? 22 Service Learning 30 Ensuring Meaningful Service in Times of Uncertainty Student Writings - Virtual Learning Reflections 24 EdThought 32 -Action International School Leadership During Tough Times: Research Reflecting What Matters - Ownership, on Motivation, and Class Engagement -- Psychological Safety:inWhat It Is, and Why You Should Care Student Motivation Completing Formative About (page35) 28) WorkIt(page 38

Classroom Management - Enjoying Classroom Management . . . really!

30 39 31 40

Green & Sustainable Community Service Summit: Changemakers of Today -Sustainability Kahon ng Karunungan, Bridging Two Worlds through Educational Equity Community Involvement Stepping outT.ofKrajczar the ‘bubble’ - The Importance of Creating The Richard Humanitarian Award 2020 Meaningful and Sustainable Community Partnerships - The Hug Project Thailand

32 Student Writing Award 41 Global Citizenship -- Strangers Rescuing Wisdom (The British School of New Delhi) -- “One Who We Aretrash (pageis 33) man’s another man’s treasure” - the journey of Plastic Free NIST (page 42) 35 -Reflection Generation. Education. Period (page 43) - A Zoom Call with Epictetus 45 -Virtual A Personal Account of Returning to China During the Assessment Ongoing Pandemic (page adopted 40) - Remote Final Assessments by 8 Shanghai International Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak 42 Campus Development 47 -Elementary International School Beijing Unveils New Facilities School ArtofGallery - You Are What You Eat (CDNIS Renovates Cafeteria and Revamps Lunch Menu) (page 44) - From 1.0 to 2.0, Brand New Campus, Unchanged SCIE The EARCOS Action Research Grant Spirits (page 46) In an ongoing effort to implement the EARCOS Strategic Plan, specifically Strategy E, to conduct, communicate, and archive relevant data 48 Press Release and research to identify and enhance exceptional educational practices, Taipei American School Selected as a SPAN Honorary grants will be made available to encourage our teachers, administrators, Partner School and professional staff to conduct action research to improve educational practices for the purpose of enhancing student learning. Action 49 Middle School Art Gallery research is a reflective process, conducted in the school setting, to solve a real problem, or to improve and enhance the instructional process. This research may be undertaken by an individual, or by several people collaboratively. The EARCOS Action Research Grant Please visit the EARCOS website for more information. www.earcos.org In an ongoing effort to implement the EARCOS Strategic Plan, specifically Strategy E, to Conduct, communicate, and archive relevant data Contribute the ET and research totoidentify andJournal enhance exceptional educational pracIf you grants have something going on at your school in any the following tices, will be made available to encourage ourof teachers, admincategoriesand thatprofessional you would like highlighted the Winter issue istrators, stafftotosee conduct actioninresearch to improve please send itpractices along tofor us:the purpose of enhancing student learning. educational Faces ofvisit EARCOS - Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Please the EARCOS website for more information. Service Learning http://earcos.org/rs_action.php Campus Development - New building plans, under construction, just completed projects. Curriculum - New and exciting curriculum adoptions. Green and Sustainable - Related to campus development or to curriculum efforts. Community Service Student Art - We showcase outstanding student art in each edition. (E.S. Fall Issue, M.S. Winter Issue, H.S. Spring Issue) Student Writing Press Releases

Winter 2020 Winter 2020 Issue 1


Message from the Executive Director Last year was hard--for so many and in so many ways. There was an understandable global sigh of relief as we welcomed 2021. While many challenges await, we head into a brand-new year with long missing optimism. All of us in international education are moving through a portal to a changed landscape. That which was normal just 12 months ago will not be restored even as the pandemic is pushed into history. As we move forward, we carry new knowledge and understanding, much of it learned through painful lessons, some of it the result of forced innovation that many say was long overdue. Across this vast region international educators overcame one challenge after another--with patience, empathy, wisdom, “grit,” and creativity. Most impressive has been the eagerness of educators across this region to share their experiences, ideas and solutions with one another. All of this underscores the power of the community that is EARCOS. For an organization committed to professional development, if there has been a silver lining during a year of disrupted travel and postponed gatherings, it must surely be the rise of the EARCOS webinar series. Since late spring, with your support and participation, we have been able to offer over 40 webinars and on-line courses. The series has proven invaluable during the past months and will continue long after the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. Please see the schedule of upcoming webinars on page 3 of this issue—and check earcos.org for topics that will be added in the weeks ahead. There have been so many victories in the face of unrelenting challenges during the past year. From my view, one of the greatest stories has been the inspirational work of this region’s young people, under the guidance of mentors committed to service learning, and especially under the banner of the Global Issues Network (GIN). That so many educators and students in our region have managed to continue their efforts in service through GIN and other projects while being handcuffed by the pandemic is nothing short of astounding. Several articles in this issue illuminate the depth and breadth of the service work being done in our region’s schools. Congratulations to all of our students and their mentors for their unmitigated commitment to making the world a better place. In closing let me wish each of you a happy and healthy start to 2021. I really, really look forward to seeing you at an upcoming EARCOS Leadership or Teachers’ Conference when travel permits. Stay happy, stay well--and stay in touch. Happy New Year to you and your school communities!

Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. Executive Director East Asia Regional Council of Schools

2 EARCOS Triannual Journal


WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2021? Here is our list of sponsored value-packed webinars, filled with International School insights provided by leading-edge panelists including subject-matter experts, Leadership, Governance, Assessment, Curriculum, and many more. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many EARCOS PD are now held virtually.

ICMEC Child Protection for Vulnerable Groups Webinar Series January 14, 21, and February 11, 6:30 AM Eastern and 7:30 PM HKT Project Based Learning (PBL) 101 Presented by Mark Barnett January 16 & 23 8:30 AM HKT (90 minutes each session) Women in Leadership Presented by Dr. Fran Prolman February 4, 25 and March 4, 11 7:00 PM HKT (75 minutes each session) Nurturing an Inclusive Learning Community: A Deep Dive into the LEARNS Framework Presented by Nicole Furlonge January 30 8:30 AM HKT Moving Mathematics Forward 21: Using the TQE Process to Guide Instructional Decisions Presented by Erma Anderson K-5: February 4 & 18, March 4 & 18 Secondary: February 5 & 19, March 5 & 19 8:30 AM China Standard Time Participants may join either the K-5 or Secondary workshop. Differentiating Curriculum for Online Learners Presented by Mark Barnett February 6 9:00 AM HKT (3 hours) Peer to Peer Online Learning Presented by Mark Barnett February 18 6:00 PM HKT (3 hours) The Language of Psychological Safety Presented by Terence J. Bostic & Ashley Parker February 20 8:00 AM HKT Helping Students Express their Stress with Tools and Tips Presented by Michelle Garcia Winner February 27 8:30 AM HKT (90 mins.) What Problem Are We Solving? Unpacking Social Problem Solving Presented by Michelle Garcia Winner March 6 8:30 AM HKT (90 mins.)

School Reputation – How to Endure and Build in Unprecedented Times! Presented by Dr. Stephen Holmes March 13 9:00 AM HKT Your Students, My Students, Our Students Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms Presented by Lee Ann Jung March 15 through May 3 7:30 PM HKT (90 mins.) This is a seven-part course meeting Assessment, Feedback and Review for Online Learning Presented by Mark Barnett March 20 9:00 AM HKT (3 hours) Project Based Learning (PBL) 101 Presented by Mark Barnett April 8 & 15 7:00 AM HKT (90 minutes each session) Leading Strong Through Crisis Presented by Terence J. Bostic & Ashley Parker April 17 8:00 AM HKT Making Learning: The Follow, Tinker, Make, Share Framework Presented by William Rankin & Bea Leiderman April 23 8:00 AM HKT (90 mins.) Designing Learning: Building Follow/Tinker/Make/Share Projects Presented by William Rankin & Bea Leiderman May 8 8:00 AM HKT (90 mins.) Maker Educator Certificate Presented by Mark Barnett May 15, 20, and 22 6 hours (over 3 days – 2 hours per day)

REGISTER NOW! visit https://www.earcos.org

Winter 2020 Issue 3


COVER STORY

Global Issues Network in the EARCOS Region Article by: Robin Wilensky and Cindy Chen, NIST International School, LeeAnne Lavender, Concordia International School Shanghai, Sarah Urquhart, Yokohama International School, Emma Urban, Canggu Community School Bali, Nestor Olsommer, International School of Penang (Uplands), Kathryn Govier, International School Manila The Global Issues Network (GIN) ASIA serves to promote student understanding of global issues and more importantly, to inspire students to make change and generate action towards that change in their local communities. Advocacy and activism are the only ways that we will confront the large array of global issues facing our planet and the citizens of our earth. The Global Issues Network in the EARCOS region believes that through our students’ passion and action, we can make a better world. While the global pandemic has brought much of the world to a standstill, the EARCOS Global Issues Network schools and students have carried on with an array of action plans, campaigns and global citizenship initiatives. Concordia International School Shanghai GIN students at CISS have been very busy this year. With several groups operating under the GIN club umbrella, some fantastic projects and campaigns are ongoing. One such initiative is the Lily Project, focused on gender equality and period poverty, has cultivated a partnership with China-based NGO Educating Girls in Rural China (EGRC). The Lily Project team student service leaders partnered with EGRC to host a “Spinathon” to raise awareness and raise funds to sponsor high school girls to attend school in Yunnan province.

seen below hosting booths and raising awareness at the annual Shanghai Jin qiao Maker Faire in November 2020.

Shanghai Styles is a student-led service group that focuses on alternatives to fast fashion and promotes clothing swaps and thrifting as a way to reduce-reuse & recycle. Senior student Iffany Zou founded Shanghai Styles one year ago and has developed an online store where students and others can sell their clothing on a consignment basis (https://shanghaistyles. com/). She also holds regular sales, and is also spearheading a campus clothing swap to celebrate the end of semester 1. Yokohama International School At YIS in Japan, Covid-19 has had several secondary service groups creatively rethinking how they can still maintain community connections and support meaningful local and global action despite some limitations on engagement. Several are focusing on research and more indirect and advocacy actions.

Another GIN team, Food Waste, is focusing on auditing on-campus food waste at Concordia and is working with all stakeholders to tackle the issue in sustainable ways. Each day during semester 1 of the 2020-2021 school year, the Food Waste team measures daily food waste at school in order to audit and report back their findings. This will allow the food service department to make informed decisions in an effort to reduce food waste during semester 2. Bye Bye Plastic Bags Shanghai, which aligns with the Bye Bye Plastic Bags global initiative continues to be an incredibly active GIN club at CCISS, 44 EARCOS EARCOS Triannual Triannual Journal Journal

For example, the Underwater Explorers group addresses SDG Goal #14 Life Below Water by campaigning for the proper disposal of masks on social media and are hoping to print and sell their own reusable masks as a fundraiser for ocean conservation.


For example, Pancit (a popular Filipino noodle dish) Friday is hosted every month with messages from the students to the contractual staff. The second step is to support our local service partners, and then nationwide efforts through an agreed international agency.

In Elementary, service is connected to several PYP units of inquiry. In grade 5 for example, students have partnered with the local foreign cemetery to help the caretakers manage the site. YIS students are also supporting local food programmes through weekly fresh fruit and vegetable collections as the number of community members experiencing food insecurity is on the rise this year. International School of Penang (Uplands) Even though our original plan of hosting a How-To session connecting with like-minded youth leaders during GIN2020 did not happen due to the pandemic, GIN students at International School of Penang (Uplands) found creative ways to continue reaching out to inspire and connect with youth in the local region.

We led a workshop on systems thinking and utilizing the Sustainability Compass tools, which guides towards a sustainable path, similarly to how a regular compass guides us toward the North. Instead of cardinal points, it ecompasses Nature, Economy, Society, and Wellbeing. This tool supports us in becoming thoughtful change makers, by considering a holistic approach to an issue. During COVID times, it is especially empowering for us to be able to continue building local connections hoping to reconnect virtually globally soon. International School of Manila COVID 19 shut ISM down in March 2020 and moved all students to online learning.This is still the situation as of December 2nd.The Service Learning Council has been in continuous liaison with ISM Service Learning Coordinator Neil Woods, the whole school SLEC (Service Learning and Environment) Committee and the student body on all aspects of the school response. ISM’s first action is to ensure that its own community of guards, cleaners, gardeners, transport personnel, and canteen staff are supported. These contractual staff needed additional financial support for the time they could not work, and for those that could receive messages of love and well-wishes from the students who they would normally see on a daily basis.

Groups of students have been working with our Service Partners through our ICAREx (International School Actively Responding to the Environment) program to provide support and connection online. For example, 23 juniors have set up a GoogleMeet with students from Papaya Academy, a foundation run free school for children living on and around the Payatas dump site, to provide mini-lessons and games. Students have also been working on their own Service initiatives outside of school and sharing these with the community. Three senior students partnered with One Million Lights (OML) to provide solar powered lights for communities in the provinces, specifically for households with students that need study lights in order to adapt to social distancing rules during COVID-19. These stories are shared through monthly newsletters to the school and their SLC website. Over the last few months, parts of the Philippines have been significantly affected by intense typhoons. The SLC has worked with the Service Learning Coordinator to set up our Giving Tree (physical donations such as clothes & toiletries) and Disaster Relief Fund (monetary donations) early to collect donations for those in our community who have been affected and our Service Partners. They also agreed that we would support Save the Children through donations from the Disaster Relief Fund to work in regions of the Philippines we are not connected to. They had a concrete plan on how they will utilize the donations, setting a goal of supplying 1,000 family hygiene kits, 1,000 water purification kits, and 1,000 plastic sheets or tarpaulins that will serve as a temporary shelter to the displaced families.

Winter 2020 Issue 5


The Sustainability Council has been working on a variety of projects to help teachers and students to continue to be sustainable during the COVID pandemic and Metro Manila lockdown. Each month has a different sustainability theme based around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They host webinars on Zoom, post on their Instagram page and provide teachers with ideas on how they can bring sustainability into their lessons. In October, they partnered with Make a Difference (MAD) Travel to host the first ever Manila Sustainability Summit. Together with Sustainability Coordinators Kathryn Govier and Lindsay Mould, the summit was organized and headed by a team of students. This virtual event brought together student changemakers to learn and discuss how to make a positive change online through keynote speakers and interactive workshops. They are also working with staff and student groups across the school to gain an EcoSchools certification. Canggu Community School, Indonesia CCS has experienced both fully online and blended learning models since March 2020. Despite new challenges and obstacles, students in the CAS program continue to address global issues in both their school and wider communities. Recycling PSA Stop Motion Video - Alexander Sharp and Nathan McKenna For a CAS experience, we decided to create a PSA for recycling. Because of the quarantine, there aren’t too many opportunities for service at the moment. We thought that a PSA was a good idea. Since we were already familiar with stop motion, LEGO stop-motion was an easy choice to use for the PSA. We were inspired by typical PSA’s that are played. They do not typically have a sense of humor or self-awareness. Humor is an important tool to get a message across and humor allows the PSA to stick in the mind of the viewer. Recycling is an important topic and especially since the world seems to be occupied by the pandemic and has forgotten that we need to reduce plastic waste. We aimed to provide a funny and informative video on recycling and we believe that we have achieved our goals thanks to our CAS supervisor’s support and kind words from parents, students, and even teachers after they have watched the video. Making Face Masks with Interact - Elizabeth Arwen Chandra, Germaine Liew, and Maya Sugita Truchi Interact is based in Denpasar, Bali, and its inspiration for offering service to the community is to just help those who are in need. Interact does a variety of stuff to help the community but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our project is focused on helping our medical staff and to lessen 6 EARCOS Triannual Journal

the load for them by providing extra face shields for the local hospitals. Our only hope is that we were able to provide enough to help them with their fight against the virus. Also, since some people in more rural areas are not able to go out and buy groceries themselves, we collected donated clothes and sold them in a garage sale; we will take all the money gained from that garage sale to buy groceries villages in need. CAS Marketing Team: CCS Newsletter Takeover - Shaun Legg, Tamara Darby, Anabel Schaap, Lucy Hoyles, Michelle Robertson, Kai Miller, Artyom Abesadze, Jadie Mollison, Glafira Dmitrieva Since the beginning of the current school year, a team of CAS students have formed the CAS Marketing Team, and have taken control of the whole school community newsletter. It highlights classroom activities, primary and secondary school events, and the achievements of our students and teachers alike. It is published once every two weeks. Our marketing team has been able to showcase and develop their skills in communication, organization, writing, editing, and graphic design. The objective of this CAS Project was to help continue fostering the significant “community” aspect of our community school - even if we can’t be with each other as much as we used to be and want to be. You can check out the fourth edition of our newsletter here! EARCOS GIN ASIA CONNECT NIST International School invites all middle and high school student service leaders and their advisors to connect on a bi-monthly basis to celebrate our service successes, inspire initiatives and empower our students to take action to solve critical global issues. Our bi-monthly, one-hour “zoom” meetings host guest speakers, student-led sessions that share service projects, toolkit sessions to give students the tools to engage in meaningful service. Schools are encouraged to join us at no costs and to sign-up to lead sessions of interests. Covid-19 may have hampered our ability to connect in-person but it has not hampered our ability to connect “live on zoom” and make meaningful change! To join us please email Robin Wilensky, rwilensky@nist.ac.th and Cindy Chen, cichen@nist.ac.th (seen above celebrating Pinktober at NIST on October 16, 2020).


Introductory Workshops • Coaching • MTSS Solutions

Professional Learning that

Impacts Student Achievement! TOOLKIT FOR EDUCATORS

Fr resources!

The Lindamood-Bell Toolkit for Educators is a free collection of tips, lessons, and information about literacy and learning. LINDAMOODBELL.COM/TOOLKIT-FOR-EDUCATORS Field trip to an organic farm

Proven Results for Schls and Educators I have attended many workshops and courses during my career. None have had the impact upon my teaching like the Lindamood-Bell workshops have had. The children are learning skills that they can use for the rest of their educational careers. ~Karen, a remedial teacher


MARKETING

Creating Authentic Marketing Messages and a Value Proposition to Build School Enrolment By Dr. Stephen Holmes B Ed, MBA, MEd Admin, PhD Founder and Principal of The 5Rs Partnership

For so many international schools, the economic reverberations of the health crisis have rapidly translated to enrolment and marketing challenge for Boards, owners and leadership. This global event has propelled to centre stage something that was already a building problem for so many schools – weaknesses in the authenticity and impact of their marketing and marketing messages. While there has been increased recognition of the potential importance of marketing in schools, they still find it difficult to define and communicate points of difference in compelling and cogent ways to various audiences. A precondition to building enrolment is an authentic, cogent and compelling identity driven by marketing messaging that impacts and shapes the way people perceive the school. A quick search of international school websites continues to suggest that creating authentic, differentiated marketing messages is beyond most schools. Straplines and slogans on websites (i.e., integrated into brand schemes), have become commonplace approaches to try to convey a distinctive school identity. In general, despite improvements in the public ‘look and feel’ of schools, real changes in identity are rare, illusionary--and in almost cases expensive! So, a continued weakness in schools is the lack of influence and impact of marketing messages on parent choice and the authenticity (originality) of marketing messages. It is why so many schools have weak value or woolly propositions (USPs). We live in a world of fake news, rejection of logic, illusion and instantaneous sharing. Marketing messaging in reputable institutions like schools surely has to take all of that into account and do better! And it’s not just problems with the actual marketing messages. Schools typically have far too many messages – they tend to be too inclusive and say something about almost everything in the hope that something will connect. A narrow and deep set of messages explained in terms of actual benefit to the student/parent, why they are valuable and matter both in the short and long term, and proof that they are a reality across the student/ parent journey is a far more compelling narrative approach for school audiences. In this regard, we can learn one lesson from the corporate world – top brands are usually associated with a very small set of at8 EARCOS Triannual Journal

tributes (not more than 2 or 3) that achieve penetrative, attractive and enduring identities. To impact on public perception and enrolment, school marketing must be more than ‘lots of activity’ pushing out similar messages that aim to connect with increasingly diverse audience preferences and expectations. Marketing Messaging: Pitfalls to Avoid and the ‘To Do’ List For the foreseeable future, we think that the quality of marketing messaging in schools will be a tipping point and catalyst for market success or failure. How can schools effectively address the challenge they face in the search for the ‘right’ marketing messaging, especially in a time of serous enrolment pressure? Our work with schools on marketing over three decades manifests in six crucial guidelines for action to review and enhance marketing messaging.

Messaging Pitfalls

Messaging To do List/Metrics

1. Schools struggle to distinguish or differentiate themselves, nor do they explain compelling and cogent reasons to choose them (enrol) over other alternate schools.

Clear points of difference in messages, and or messages that may be common but are known to be highly valued by parents/ students (prospective, current and past).

2. A sameness (generic) in the way schools project themselves that does little to create a sustainable identity, or connect and resonate well with diverse audiences/expectations.

Marketing messages that are not generic (e.g., a current or possible future innovation or theme) to build a clear trajectory. Parents/students being able to consistently offer one or two words they would assign to the image of the school, words that are that are aligned with the actual espoused school identity.


3. A lack of messaging and understandable communication on differentiation at the classroom/ pedagogy level, so essential for effective and persuasive marketing messages.

More needs to be said about staff quality, teaching and pedagogy in marketing messaging. Illustrating authentic school-wide pedagogies, how they are of benefit--what is genuinely being done to enhance and monitor teaching quality and learning success.

4. Weak links between the School Vision (and or Mission) and the marketing messages.

An inspiring and ambitious School Vision sets the scene for messages that can be marketed successfully. That is in demand everywhere in school communities!

5. Lack of connectivity in marketing messaging to specific audiences.

Minimising disconnect between what schools are saying (messaging) and the realities and consistency of the holistic parent/student journey is core to building reputation.

6. Do not over-rely on corporate models to build school identity. Credible high value education messages are what the market most wants here.

Effective marketing messages must override slick mottos which often create cynicism, not an enhanced reputation in school communities.

A Framework for Action: Market Messaging Flowing from the above, schools need an organising framework to see where and how to best build a messaging narrative that is consistent and impactful. From our experience, a market messaging development action framework should span the below, working from left to right: Positioning Statement (Identity)

Marketing Messages (the what to market)

Benefits of each Message (the ‘so what’)

Best evidence that exemplifies/ supports for Messages

Metrics for Messaging Impacts

Such a framework will take schools on a better path toward: • More precise marketing messaging definition, and explanation. • A narrative for the future identity of the school to align internal strengths/capabilities with external audience preferences. • Credibility in marketing messages/value proposition. • Formation of performance metrics to support whether or not market messaging truly impacts on perceptions of the School.

Marketing Messaging as a Big Picture Strategy Informer The process of reviewing marketing messaging has a wider benefit and implication for school Boards in particular. Starting with the end goal in mind (a compelling and cogent set of reasons to choose your school), the process should inherently inform three big strategic issues: Strategic Issue 1: How Should Your School Compete? Agreement on what basis (which messages and value proposition) your school can primarily engage to appeal and be seen as attractive. Strategic Issue 2: Where to Compete – Which Audiences/Which Messages? In terms of where (what audiences or profiles), explicitly define the audiences the various messages are most likely to attract and the most appropriate marketing messages for each persona. This will assist in targeting and creating specific examples/proof points that would resonate with specific audiences. Strategic Issue 3: How to Refine your Education Offer to Align to Marketing Messages? Almost invariably, our diagnosis of schools with market challenges is that the problem is partly a ‘product’ matter (what a school offers including services), and partly a messaging issue (how a school externalizes and communicates that offer). So, a messaging review is best when it is informative from the education offering perspective also. In conclusion, crafting the right marketing messages continues to be an elusive problem for schools everywhere we look. In the times we now live in, the interrelated questions of what is ‘best’ to say and how ‘best’ to say it in marketing terms can no longer be considered merely prosaic for schools seeking to survive and thrive. Perhaps the biggest question of all for schools--how do we identify and promote impactful marketing messages to sustain--is not going away nor will it fix itself. Crafting marketing messaging in schools it is not merely an act of creativity or imagination. It requires a process that includes robust market analysis. About the Author Dr. Stephen Holmes B Ed, MBA, MEd Admin, PhD is the Founder and Principal of The 5Rs Partnership (www.5rspartnership.com). He holds a doctorate in School Marketing and Reputation. Based in Singapore, The 5Rs Partnership is a global consultancy specifically for schools in strategy planning, marketing and market research, reputation management, and effective governance, established in 2004. http://5rspartnership.com/ school-specialists/. Please contact Dr. Stephen Holmes at s.holmes@5rspartnership.com for further details.

Welcome New Individual Associate Dr. Ann Wagner, Head of School Southbridge International School Cambodia

Winter 2020 Issue 9


GOVERNANCE

School Governance in the Age of Covid-19: How Effective Boards Ensure School Survival and Continued Success By Ray Davis Senior Consultant,The 5Rs Partnership

There has been much speculation about the longer lasting outcomes of the remote learning challenges that schools across the globe have experienced as a result of Covid-19. The pandemic has brough unparalleled challenges but has also been a catalyst for some exciting thinking and invigorating ideas on the future of pedagogy and learning. Educators, school leaders and students have responded well and adapted very quickly to a new paradigm which has tested and challenged the traditional way of teaching and learning. Education systems are not known for initiating rapid changes, however the experience of adapting teaching and learning in response to the current pandemic has demonstrated that effective change can take place more rapidly than previously thought. As educators look toward implementing new ways of teaching and learning it is also a time when school Boards can begin to identify what they have learned about effective governance during the Covid-19 crisis. Forward thinking Boards are now asking themselves how they might turn the current crisis into opportunities and how they might implement more effective ways of operating that will ensure continued sustainability and promote continuous school improvement. School Boards have grappled with a wide range of challenges that have necessitated rapid decision making, often in realms that they previously had never considered. Good governance and strong leadership have always been key to school success. For many schools during the present crisis good governance and leadership is now a necessity for survival not merely success. Sound Governance during Crisis Situations: In order to emerge in the best shape possible from the current world health crisis, school boards should ensure that they have implemented the majority, if not all, of the following 25 features of effective governance: • Having a positive mindset and taking the opportunity to be aspirational and ambitious. (Considering how the school may emerge from this challenge stronger, more engaged, and more capable than before). • Ensuring that there is a genuine trust in and among the Board and the school leadership and that the Head of School/Board partnership is functioning effectively. • Creating trust amongst all stakeholders through dialogue and 10 EARCOS Triannual Journal

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• •

• • • •

actions and not just through public statements. Reaffirming the Head of School as the leader of the school community and ensuring that the respective roles, responsibilities and authority of leadership and governance are fully understood and acted upon Ensuring that all Board members are engaged in the decision making and not just the Board Chair and Head of School. Ensuring that all decisions are well-aligned with the school’s guiding statements and protect the interest of students. Creating the understanding that decisions taken during the crisis may affect the school well into the future; Creating operational practices that allow for agile decision making and strategic planning – (Many of the most successful organisations have moved to 90-day strategic planning and have reshaped Board committees and committee membership to bring in specific expertise to address particular challenges). Insisting on confidentiality of Board discussions and decisions and identifying who is responsible for communicating decisions to stakeholders– (usually the Head of School). Keeping the school community connected and engaged by having a well-developed and comprehensive communication policy to keep all stakeholders, families, students and staff informed in a timely manner; Having established policy and practice in relation to privacy and the disclosure of information; Ensuring that the Board understands the pressures that school leaders and staff have been under during the crisis and supporting them with their tasks as well as supporting their wellbeing. Reviewing and adapting strategic initiatives and their timelines; Having a predetermined proactive role with risk management and compliance requirements and making realistic assessments of potential outcomes. Advocating for and facilitating staff training to manage risk. Keeping the school community connected and engaged by having a well-developed and comprehensive communication policy to keep all stakeholders, families, students and staff, informed in a timely and considered manner; Having well established and effective links with external agencies – (health, law enforcement, local and national government


• • •

• • •

• •

agencies, social service agencies, specialised professionals and embassies). Actively engaging in dialogue and sharing information with other schools and with educational associations. Shifting development priorities where necessary to ensure that the school has the technological capacity to provide engaging distance and remote learning. Ensuring financial stability through the consideration of new models of financial planning and management: • Establishing an early commitment to the issue of refunds to parents in areas such as tuition fees, transportation, catering, Boarding, activities etc. • Establishing future fee levels based on data as well as objective market evidence. • Identifying alternative forms of income. • Developing sound models to predict future enrolment. • Reviewing and revising future contingency commitments. Establishing a compensation philosophy and reviewing school leader and staff salaries to ensure the retention and recruitment of staff in uncertain times. Establishing a plan to retain school leaders: Ensuring that the Head of School and senior leaders feel valued by the Board and developing a long-term succession plan for school leadership. Recognising that the pandemic has brought another dimension to the management of well-being and ensuring that strategies are implemented to manage student and staff self-care, emotional well-being and mental health. Ensuring that appropriate protocols are in place to ensure the safeguarding of students engaged in remote learning. Ensuring that appropriate support is provided for the individual needs of students.

Questions Boards should consider as schools begin to re-open to students: As schools begin to reopen their doors to students it now makes sense for Boards to spend some time over the coming months reflecting upon what they have learned from the experiences of responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Some useful questions for Boards to reflect upon include: • How prepared were we to face the immense challenges of such a pandemic? • Did we have the organisational structure necessary to review the challenges faced and make appropriate decisions in a timely manner? • Did we have the necessary data that was required to inform our decision making

• • • • • •

Did we have a communication policy that satisfactorily kept stakeholders informed? Did we have the necessary external links with experts and professional bodies to assist us in our decision making? To what extent were our risk management protocols effective in dealing with the challenges faced? Did we have a suitably nimble and agile approach to implementing our strategy? To what extent are we now prepared to meet the challenges of a future crisis? If we could go back in time, what would we have done differently?

Looking to the future, it will be necessary for Boards to consider these three questions: • • •

Are we able to accurately gauge the effect of the actions taken over the past months on the school’s reputation? Do we have a suitably effective and renewed plan for marketing to ensure the sustainability of enrolment? Are we able to accurately assess the most appropriate level of tuition fees and ancillary fees for the coming and successive school years in order to ensure the financial stability of the school whilst maintaining its affordability for parents?

In conclusion, schools that emerge from the current health crisis in a strong position will do so because of sound governance and strong and informed leadership. The attributes necessary to govern well during the risks and uncertainties of a crisis have been outlined above. It is now time for Boards to take the opportunity to reflect upon their response to the crisis and to develop governance action plans that not only enable them to strengthen the effectiveness of their governance responsibilities but enable them to become more proactive in successfully meeting the unknown challenges that lay ahead. About the Author Ray Davis is currently the Senior Consultant with The 5Rs Partnership (www.5RsPartnership.com) and is based in Melbourne, Australia. He has been a Head of School in three international schools and a national school in the UK and is the former Director of School Evaluation with the Council of International Schools (CIS).The 5Rs Partnership is a global consultancy specifically for schools in strategy planning, marketing and market research, reputation management, and governance, established in 2004. Please contact Ray Davis at r.davis@5rspartnership.com for further information on governance support.

Welcome New EARCOS School Springboard International Bilingual School Dr. Xiaomin(Simon) Chen, Head of School http://www.sibs.com.cn/

Yantai Huasheng International School Samuel Goh, Head of School http://www.yhischina.com

Winter 2020 Issue 11


FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Financial Management in International Schools By Gregory A. Hedger, Ed.D. , Director & Cameron Janzen, Chief of Operations The International School Yangon

The purpose of this short article is to share some information and insights we have generated related to the financial management of small to medium size international schools. In doing this, we will discuss ideas around setting the climate for proactive financial management, ways to improve financial predictability, and tools we have developed to support principle-based budgeting and budget management. In doing this, we speak from the experience of effectively managing two schools from deficit budgets with no reserves, to balanced budgets with substantial reserves, generating financial returns in one new school start up over a period of four years, and managing finances effectively through crisis situations through scenario planning. Effective financial management in international schools has to begin with setting the climate. This begins with role clarity with the Board of Trustees and has to rest on the ideal of transparency. This means keeping the Board informed at all times about successes and challenges. In doing this, it also means developing the sense of the Board owning the budget as a whole, while the head of school owns the implementation of the budget once it has been approved. Policies and procedures that define this relationship are key. At ISY, we work closely to develop the budget. Once we feel confident about it, we begin to meet with the Board Treasurer to review the budget. The Treasurer questions and challenges us on various aspects of the budget, and occasionally encourages change. Once the Treasurer is satisfied with the budget, he takes ownership for guiding it through the finance committee, and ultimately the full board. In doing this, it becomes the Board’s budget, and we become the custodians of its delivery. This becomes accepted at all levels. Another important aspect of developing the financial climate is addressing silos within the school. We constantly remind staff that there is only one budget, the all school budget. Individual divisions and departments have spending guidelines based upon budgetary lines, but they do not have ownership of a budget of their own. All major expenditures are discussed based on what is best for the whole school, as opposed to what is best for one division. As with the Board, we believe that part of establishing a financially effective climate includes keeping everyone aware of the financial situation of the school. We communicate this through State of the School addresses, where we share financial information and discuss plans for addressing concerns, whether those may include staff cuts, pay increases, or cost cutting measures. This commitment to transparency ensures that everyone is informed and prepared to share the burden as needed. 12 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Finally, we believe in promoting a realistic picture of what to expect. A generally accepted adage is that from the time something new is initiated, it takes about three years before you begin to see results. This is especially true when it comes to financial initiatives. We frequently remind people of this in an effort to keep expectations appropriate, and then provide means to measure progress as we strive for results. This brings us to the topic of financial predictability. Most international schools only have one source of income - tuition fees. As a result, it is important we be able to predict this source as accurately as possible. We do this by removing variables that can make predictions unreliable. For example, we require early payment of tuition, usually at the start of the fiscal year. Discounts are never given for early, or full year payments (as opposed to payment by semester). However, there are added processing fees for multiple payments. We clearly state that refunds on tuition are not given for any reason, and then adhere to that. Discounts are not permitted - even for multiple children from the same family. It costs the same to educate all children. If we did not need the tuition from all of the children, we would not charge the tuition that we do. One challenge some schools confront is families who move around from school to school. We address this through financial barrier--upfront costs, like a capital or enrollment fee--that is paid when a student enrolls. This is not refundable. Doing this creates an incentive for parents to avoid changing schools for trivial reasons. Finally, we have eliminated salary steps for faculty. We hire faculty based on education and experience at six different levels. Once hired, pay increases are based on inflationary increases only. This avoids creating a large automatic cost escalator that may not be in alignment with increases in revenue. Over the years, we’ve developed a number of ideals and tools that help us with our financial management. First, we promote the ideal of principle driven finances. All of our financial decisions are based on the mission of the school, and we communicate that constantly. We even go so far as to have line items in the budget dedicated to mission-based expenses. We are committed to the ideal of no deficit spending, and constantly communicate the sense that we are stewards of the school’s funds, which means the funds of the community. Through these principles we are able to generate a sense of trust with the community around the finances of the school. We go beyond ideas though and produce tools to guide us and our community. For example, we have generated a budget matrix to help guide the Board in making decisions


about the budget. It is difficult for Board members to know what an appropriate amount to spend on select items should be. The matrix draws upon data collected to show averages from other schools, and targets for us to shoot for. It identifies how much of the budget is appropriate to go for salaries and benefits, as well as what is appropriate to expect for annual tuition increases. All of the items in the matrix are identified and approved by the finance committee and reviewed annually. Through the years, we’ve identified a few other key data tools for financial transparency and planning, including: •

An in-depth budgeting timeline that clearly identifies every step of the budgeting process, the role different people play in contributing to the budget, and different roles and responsibilities. This document is important for understanding the amount of work that goes into the budget, as well as the level of input. Benchmarking. We have worked with the Board, and with faculty, to develop a list of schools in the region and the country to benchmark against. We benchmark tuition and fees, as well as salaries and benefits. We keep this list of schools small so we can generate qualitative data and be as complete as possible. For example, we know that simply looking at salaries doesn’t give a complete picture. So, we do qualitative interviews with these schools to better understand the cost of living for them, the value of various benefits, and the quality of living. This helps us generate a savings potential figure, which in turn gives us a realistic sense of how well our school compares to others on this important criterion. Going back to our matrix, we have determined the level we at which. We would like to be as compared to others. This, then, drives budgeting decisions. Again, returning to the idea of breaking down silos, we have a very clear spending authorization table, which requires at least two signatures on all expenditures. This requires a deeper understanding of how our funds are being spent. We have put into place a cloud-based financial management system that is easy to understand and gives everyone quick access to information on income, expenditures, and the budget. This permits greater transparency, ease of access, and personal responsibility for the finances of the school.

Beyond the tools mentioned, we have also worked to improve the finances of the school through some simple investment procedures, and well as procurement guidelines. For example, we rarely let cash sit in a bank account. All cash collected that is not immediately needed is put into safe short-term investment vehicles. These are approved by the full board and monitored through regular reports to the finance committee. These investments reflect an investment strategy developed with

the finance committee, and approved by the Board, to guide us as we strive to gain income and reduce the burden on our community. One of the great dangers in international schools is developing relationships with vendors that do not ensure the best prices or the best product. These relationships, often quite comfortable relationships, can develop over time for a variety of reasons and may seem to be good for the school, when in fact they do not represent the best management of school resources. We believe in a rigorous procurement schedule, where all services are put out for tender based on a regular schedule--in our case, every four years. Even in-house services, such as maintenance, are put out for tender so we have a point of comparison as we look at our overall expenses. We put out requests for proposals every time something is up for tender, and then use a committee approach to approve the voice of the vendor. This permits us to make sure we are getting the best price and service for our community, maintain transparency, and to be able to require certain ideas that are important to us, like the use of environmentally sustainable products, or enforcement of fair labor practices. Procurement procedures are not just about finances but also about promoting what we believe in as a community. Finally, we believe it is important to always plan for challenges. Every year, our leadership team reviews and updates decision making matrices that are built around what we will do in certain crisis situations. While we cannot plan for every situation, this does establish certain principles to be employed in a crisis. For example, we are clear in how communication is handled in a crisis, how certain resources are used, and individual roles and responsibilities. A big part of this planning includes the generation of different financial scenarios. In the most recent COVID 19 situation, we had four different financial scenarios developed to discuss with the Board. These scenarios included triggers for different decisions that would help us mitigate the overall impact of various threats. This type of planning has helped us maintain a sense of overall security for the school’s financial resources. Managing the finances of an international school can sometimes feel like a daunting task. We believe it can be manageable by adopting a number of important attitudes, practices, and tools. Ultimately, this means collecting data, promoting transparency, and always being as prepared as possible. About the Authors Gregory A. Hedger, Ed.D. has been the Director of The International School Yangon, in Myanmar, since 2016. Cameron Janzen is the Chief of Operations at The International School Yangon.

E-Connect Stay in touch with many current ideas and trends in education at EARCOS Connect Blog. Welcome to EARCOS E-Connect.Teachers, counselors, and administrators are extremely busy people. You don’t always have time to search for articles, blogs, videos, and books that will educate and enhance your practice. This blog offer links to relevant educational discussions, articles, book reviews, and videos that you may find informative and useful. http://earcos-connect.tumblr.com/ Winter 2020 Issue 13


VIRTUAL LEARNING

Nurturing Connections During COVID Through Virtual Playdates By Kris Bumpus, Head of Counseling and Student Support & Candy Lee, Elementary Student Support Teacher American International School Hong Kong Playdate Requests by Grade Emma nurtures old and makes new connections through virtual playdates.

The start of the year is a critical time for young people to develop connections with both teachers and peers and doing this virtually would certainly pose yet another challenge for our students. While middle and high school students are highly adept at connecting online, our youngest community members need some additional support in navigating this virtual social world. To encourage student connections we launched the idea of supporting Zoom playdates in the Early Childhood and Elementary School divisions at the American International School Hong Kong. To launch this project, we used the Design Thinking Model to first identify the need. In our case, we had many new families joining our school as well as Early Childhood students who had not been in physical school since January 2020. As Hong Kong is fortunate to have a wonderful and extensive public transportation system, many of these families live in different neighborhoods that are not necessarily centered around school. Hence, their ability to connect outside of school is also limited by physical proximity. Second, we defined our objective and identified constraints. Our objective was to create opportunities for students and parents to develop connections. Major constraints or challenges were the need to maintain social distancing requirements, personal privacy of parents and students, and child protection. Finally, we needed to be realistic about our capacity to coordinate the initiative. Playdate Requests by Student’s Gender

Male 46. 2%

14 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Female 53.8%

G4 15.4%

EC2 7.7%

G3 15.4%

G1J 34.6%

G2 11.5%

G1 15.4%

Keeping our objective and constraints in mind, we brainstormed ideas and settled on prototyping and testing zoom playdates. Email requests came streaming in within hours of sharing a letter introducing the Zoom playdate initiative. 66 requests from 26 different families were received, with 46% from families with male children and 44% with female children. 58% of the requests came from our elementary families and 42% came from early childhood families. To date, a total of 50 virtual connections were made. Following the initial wave of requests at the start of the year, we saw a resurgence of requests following the parent teacher conferences in October. Elementary school teachers had a clear resource to share with families for whose children needed support in developing connections outside of the classroom. More importantly, these referrals led to action on the part of families. To review the effectiveness of the initiative we distributed a survey to participants. Of the families who have responded to our feedback survey, a majority agreed that having virtual playdates helped to connect their child to peers and foster friendships at school. It was also noted that in-person playdates were arranged among families who connected with each other through this initiative. The survey response rate was lower than hoped and we are currently seeking ways to review the effectiveness of virtual playdates in creating connections at school. With our recent return to the full online learning model, we will again reach out to our community to remind families of this resource in hopes that students will be able to maintain and nurture the connections they have made at AIS.


MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Support for You and Your School When you work with International Schools Services (ISS), you’re connecting with a leading nonprofit with more than 60 years of experience in international education. Whether developing and managing world-class international schools, staffing schools, ordering equipment and supplies, performing accounting functions, or supporting teaching and learning approaches, ISS provides the full range of services necessary for your school to deliver an outstanding global education to your students. Learn more at ISS.edu

#ISSedu

Stay connected with ISS 2020-21 opportunities: • ISS-Schrole Advantage recruiting iFair® events: ISS.edu/Job-Fairs • Online PD events and resources: ISS.edu/Online-Learning


PROJECT BASED LEARNING

21st Century Project Based Learning for Generation Z By Mercia de Souza Dominican International School, Taipei When two High School entrepreneur groups from Dominican International School, Taipei (DIS) participated in finals of Taipei’s Dragon’s Chamber 2019 competition, it was a further step forward in the development of 21st Century project Based Learning in its fourth experimental year at the school. In this annual event finalists pitch their businesses to long-term, established expatriate entrepreneurs in Taipei.The organizers gave two of the school’s student businesses the opportunity to pitch their businesses to showcase the Dragon’s Chamber organizers’ commitment to the training of young entrepreneurs for the past three years. The young entrepreneurs are Grade 12 students who are running real start-up businesses as a school subject. Entrepreneurship is part of Dominican International School’s 21st Century Project Based Learning. After extensive research into the merits and methodology of 21st Century PBL, the writer of this article started the new subject for Grade 12 students three years ago. The Buck Institute for Education in the US is a leading organization in the field of PBL. They describe it as “… a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge” The Dominican International School PBL program was initially based on their framework for PBL course development. 21st Century Project Based Learning teaches Generation Z students critical survival skills for the 21st century. There are many descriptions of these essential skills, but the 4Cs are the ones most widely accepted - critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Students learn from their own project research; they are not taught any facts. Usually, teachers provide readings, worksheets and other forms of information before students do a project, but 21st Century PBL is different, students do not just apply what they have learned from a teacher, they learn the material from completing the project. Students take responsibility for their own learning, because the teacher becomes a facilitator. Students learn how to solve problems and how to think beyond the box. They learn to work together to achieve a common goal and to communicate in such a way that they convey their ideas clearly. No more fact regurgitation as they learn to think critically, learn problem solving skills, learn to manage their time and learn to be organized. Furthermore, they have to do teamwork – just as in the real world of work. They learn communication skills, because they have to do regular presentations about their progress to their peers and teacher. The DIS students also have to pitch their businesses to the judges for the Dragon’s Chamber competition in a first round. Not all of them present in the final event, they are competitors like every other entrepreneur team in the competition. Students’ creativity is enhanced as they find new ways to grow their businesses. An example of the students’ creativity is the way in which the 16 EARCOS Triannual Journal

DIS entrepreneurs coped with the new challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. They moved their businesses online, some even brought about new product ranges, and the income and expenditure statements looked very healthy at the end of the 2019/20 school year. Community involvement is important. Students create a public product, which means that they present or display their work to an audience beyond the classroom. For this to be successful, community members share what they know with students – for example, guest speakers, project consultants and other community members who are willing to give of their time and expertise. The 2019/20 students were featured in a radio talk as inspiration for other young entrepreneurs. The school teams up with outside partners to help students create a public product with the help of established and well-known Taipei entrepreneurs. This means that students present their work to an audience beyond the classroom and get input from people with the expertise to guide them. The student entrepreneurs run real businesses and the successful ones step away with well-earned profits at the end of the school year. Some of these young entrepreneurs even went on to partially fund their university education from their own start-ups after leaving school. Three years ago Dominican International School student entrepreneurs pitched their businesses for the first time to the “dragons” in the first elimination round of the Dragon’s Chamber hoping to eventually get into the final. The organizers of the event have supported the young entrepreneurs ever since and every year, they participate in the first elimination round of The Dragon’s Chamber. There they learn what the world away from the school’s protection has in store when they get very frank assessments of their businesses.Teachers try not to be judgemental and to encourage the students as much as possible, but the “dragons” live up to their name; here is some feedback from students who participated: • “Dragon’s Chamber allowed us to understand what we are facing when we are starting up our own company” • “The Dragons’ Chamber experience showed me just how brutal the business world is” • “The Dragon’s Chamber made the business world real for me.“ • “The Dragon’s Chamber was my best experience this year.“


During the 2019/20 school year, the organizers gave the two most promising high school businesses the chance to showcase what they were doing, and to show the support the Dragon’s Chamber organizers give the school and the young entrepreneurs in Taipei. This gave them the opportunity to find investment, or to do business-to-business trade. One group had very lucrative dealings with businesses they met at the Dragon’s Chamber final event that boosted the bottom line of their income and expenditure statement. The school hopes to showcase the students’ entrepreneurship skills again, even if it has to be virtually, because of the current pandemic. Elias Ek, one of Taipei’s best known expatriate entrepreneurs and the author of “How to Start a Business in Taiwan” is one of the school’s esteemed and stalwart supporters of the Entrepreneurship project. He knows how to identify with the young entrepreneurs and how to inspire them, because he started his first business at the age of fifteen. The students feel that they are given real advice and they act on the recommendations of the business people present during their initial pitch. Jessie Hung, one of the main organizers of the 2019 Dragon’s Chamber and a successful entrepreneur herself, has also been a student supporter for the past three years. She is always ready to share valuable ideas with them, and to give much needed advice. Assessment is important, but students do not get assessed on their profits or sales. They get assessed on how well they develop their businesses and how they interact as business partners to make a success of their venture. The progress is assessed through a series of benchmarks that their teacher-facilitator gives them and how they achieve those benchmarks. Examples are their product development, their marketing plan, and the development of their bookkeeping system. They also have an opportunity for regular peer assessment of their business partners’ contribution to the project. Peer assessment makes up a substantial portion of the grade they achieve for the subject. Assessment is done on a series of rubrics especially designed to evaluate every one of the benchmarks and how they achieve them. 21st Century PBL is exciting methodology that correlates with the research about Generation Z. Several studies found that they were are self-sufficient, entrepreneurial, prefer peer-based information, and want hands-on experience. Entrepreneurship fits into these needs and enhances the learning of a new generation of 21st century students.

Dragon’s Chamber final

In Memoriam Daw Khine (Hla Hnin Khine), the founder, the chair of the Board, and the heart and soul of the International School of Myanmar (ISM), passed away earlier this year. Until her final weeks, Daw Khine was present every day at ISM leading the way to keep a supportive environment for both students and staff. She also represented ISM at many international conferences. Daw Khine grew up during the post-colonial times in Myanmar (Burma), and she was educated at a Catholic school. However, there was a decline in the education system in the country, which she experienced as a teacher during her early career and again during the elementary schooling of her granddaughter.Twenty one years ago, Daw Khine founded ISM for her granddaughters and other children in the country to get a high quality well-rounded international education. Today, her legacy is the school she envisioned. ISM remains true to Daw Khine’s vision of educating hundreds of Burmese students who will do their part in shaping the future of Myanmar and positively contributing to the global community. Although Daw Khine can no longer physically grace those of us at ISM with her presence, her name will forever be remembered and honored at ISM. Winter 2020 Issue 17


CURRICULUM

Getting the Full Picture Data-Driven Decision Making in Creating the International School of Busan Tech Plan By Dale Plotzki Technology and Learning Innovation Coordinator

Over one week in November, we surveyed almost our entire community! We asked three simple questions; where are your skills at, how are you using technology to transform your learning and how do you envision the future of learning at our school? In order to make sure what we were getting back was accurate, each of these questions was broken down into highly specific subsections that focused on hard technology skills (i.e. file management, digital literacy, keyboarding and browsing practices), the ISTE standards for students and educators and an open-ended response section. After a whole lot of data cleansing and a little magic with Google Data Studio, the results were ready to be shared. We created a series of interactive dashboards that allow the whole community to explore the data for themselves and see both the macro-level trends or drill down into specific groups/skills for a more granular view of educational technology at our school.

When I joined the International School of Busan (ISB) this year as the whole school Technology and Learning Innovation Coordinator, my director tasked me with a deceptively simple list of jobs for my first few months; 1 - get to know the students and teachers, 2 - figure out how things work around school, and 3 - put together a plan for how we might move forward with educational technology at our school.

Like everything in life, hindsight is 20/20 and there are certainly some suggestions I would give other tech leaders who are considering similar initiatives at their school. But this big endeavour has been an awesome project for getting to know the amazing learning community here at ISB, and more importantly, it has produced a wealth of valuable data to draw upon when it comes to making informed decisions about our future!

I spent my first weeks at the school visiting classrooms, chatting with students and teachers about their learning and working hand-in-hand with our lead systems engineer to fully wrap my head around all of the moving pieces that bring an ISB school day together. Tasks 1 and 2 went smoothly and I was feeling confident. But when it came to task 3, I felt like I was standing at the base of a huge mountain staring up, knowing I had yet to take the first step up. How could I make a plan to move forward if I didn’t know what students and teachers were currently capable of? How could I suggest strategies that both met the demands of the 21st century and honoured the spirit of the IB programme? Furthermore, how could I hear from each member of our community and get their individual perspectives on what tools and methods they think we should adopt as a school. After all, they are going to be the ones on the receiving end of all of this! It was clear we needed some data. The Learning Innovation team came together and with lots of input from teachers and administrators, wrote the 2020 ISB Technology Skills Survey. This was a one-stop-shop streamed Google Form that would collect data from everyone at ISB around their use of and perspectives on educational technology in one single place. We were ready to roll! 18 EARCOS Triannual Journal

International School Busan Technology Skills Survey Hard Technology Skills - Students (bit.ly/ISBtech1) Hard Technology Skills - Teachers/Administrators (bit.ly/ISBtech2) ISTE Standards - Whole School (bit.ly/ISBtech3) Parent Perspectives (bit.ly/ISBtech4) Qualitative Feedback - Whole School (bit.ly/ISBtech5)


SENIA CONFERENCE

SENIA 2020 Virtual Conference: Bridging the Gap By Lori Boll, Executive Director Special Education Network and Inclusion Association(SENIA) www.seniainternational.org SENIA members were extremely disappointed when their regularly scheduled conference was canceled last February due to COVID-19 concerns. Optimistic that the pandemic would soon be over, members of the SENIA board and Chadwick International School began planning for a new conference to be held from December 4-6 in Korea. COVID had other plans. According to Kate Balsamo, SENIA Chairperson, “The global pandemic altered the paths of many conferences worldwide, and SENIA was no exception. While we all hoped to travel to Chadwick International school for this year’s annual SENIA conference, country restrictions and travel bans forced the shift to a virtual platform. The SENIA Board, under Lori Boll’s direction, built an amazing conference that attracted close to 900 participants from some 37 countries around the globe! The initial benefit of using a virtual platform was access to educational leaders in the field of special education, but many more benefits emerged. Participants enjoyed the asynchronous learning that allowed choice as they built their personal learning plans. Furthermore, since the keynotes and workshop sessions were recorded, participants had access to the information throughout the month of December. This allowed for small groups to gather and watch (or rewatch!) sessions together.” This year, SENIA participants were treated to keynotes from exceptional professionals including author, psychologist, and founder of Lives in the Balance Dr. Ross Greene, inclusion advocates Norman Kunc and Emma VanDerKlift, and well-known expert on Executive Functioning, Sarah Ward.  Other speakers of note included Jessica Minahan, author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, Jon Nordmeyer, Bonnie Singer, Dr. Ann Helmus, and Dr. Roby Marcou to name a few. In the end, we had 23 presentations that supported teachers, parents, and professionals in the areas of behavior, communication, autism, and best practices. A unique aspect of this virtual conference is that it allowed large school groups to attend and learn best practices together. Many schools took advantage of this including International School Manila who sent more than 60 educators and Jakarta Intercultural School which had 78! Schools learning together and adopting inclusive practices is something special. SENIA local chapters had watch parties (where permitted) so our members were still able to network. Best expressed by Kate Balsamo, “The heart of a SENIA Conference is networking and connections, and be it through community chats and meetups on Whova, or in-person watch parties, our members have risen to the challenge and expanded their knowledge and broadened their networks!”

SENIA looks forward to having in-person conferences again in the future but will continue offering our participants virtual learning opportunities as well. This will help SENIA further its mission and vision which is to live in an inclusive world where every individual is supported, resources are accessible, potential is maximized and action is inspired. Some comments from SENIA participants:  “Having access to all the presentations for 30 days - we could access more PD than we could in a weekend at the conference.” - Jane Thompson (Malaysia) “The online format was excellent and allowed me to dip in and out during the school day and over the weekend - between grading etc. Loved the power to learn when I was in the best possible headspace for learning i.e. my own schedule” - Brenda Knowles (Malaysia) “SENIA online allows for maintaining wellness while diving into intense professional learning.”- Erin Madonna (Bangkok)

Winter 2020 Issue 19


DESIGN FOR LEARNING

The ISM Promise

For the International School of Myanmar, a focus on learning recalls its foundational promise By Dr. Aloha Lavina, Director of Curriculum International School of Myanmar ISM has spent the last three years creating principles that guide a framework for learning. Designing Learning In 2020-2021, ISM turns its attention to design, using its framework. The shared school-wide goal this school year is to create the systems that turn its principles of learning into practices. Some of the systems that ISM has created and enacted this school year address the following: • Alignment between instructional planning, classroom instruction, and assessment To strengthen the alignment of the written, taught and assessed curriculum, ISM redesigned its unit planner so that there is more concrete and targeted guidance embedded in the unit planning process. For example, instead of a blank box titled Essential Questions, ISM’s Unit Planner specifies the creation and use of questions that target content, concepts and disciplinary and interdisciplinary understandings. In its beginning, the International School of Myanmar (ISM) was founded on a grandmother’s hope for her granddaughters. Picking up her granddaughters from school one day, ISM founder Daw Khine saw that they were in classes of 60 students, sitting passively, listening to the teacher. Daw Khine wanted her granddaughters and many children like them to experience “better quality and well-rounded education that meets international standards.” The promise of a quality international education was at the heart of ISM’s foundation. More than two decades later, ISM revisits its founding purpose as it addresses school improvement initiatives using an ecosystem approach. ISM focuses on learning as a community by re-visioning teaching and learning as “The ISM Promise.” A curriculum audit and a self-study in SY 2019-2020 revealed to the ISM community a list of definite priorities for teaching and learning. These priorities formed the basis for ISM’s curriculum action plan. Finding Common Ground A useful inquiry cycle for systems work is the four lenses of the Common Ground Collaborative (CGC). CGC organizes learning around four D’s which suggest a way to look at school as an ecosystem that cycles through four learning phases: define, design, deliver, and demonstrate (Bartlett & Eldridge, 2014). ISM inquires about its own re-visioning through each of the four learning phases. Defining Learning Like many international schools, ISM has co-created the language it uses to speak about teaching and learning over many years of collaboration. And, like many international schools, the language of learning gains definition from how students and adults learn and talk about learning through time. Consolidating a common glossary for learning addresses the question, What is learning and how do we do it? (Bartlett & Low, 2020). To answer the question and define learning for its community, 20 EARCOS Triannual Journal

• A tighter connection between professional learning and classroom/school needs Professional learning is distributed through four layers.The first layer addresses whole-school goals, such as alignment between written, taught and assessed curriculum. The second layer of professional learning addresses departmental goals, for examples, the science department is working on strengthening the student experiences of inquiry in science through phenomena, and the math department collaborates to design its curriculum backwards from the culminating AP years down through Pre-K. The third layer of professional learning happens in smaller teams, with goals set by the teams. For instance, Pre-K investigates projectbased learning and the use of single-point rubrics to create conversations about learning between the students and teachers. Finally, the fourth layer of professional development is based on individual growth goals, and is closely linked to ISM’s professional expectations for teachers. Senior leadership has embedded its professional development into the calendar year to address school-wide goals. The seminar from Thinking Collaborative’s associate trainer Ochan Kusuma-Powell focuses on facilitating collaborative teams and was co-designed with Director Ben Marsh and Director of Curriculum Aloha Lavina. Starting with an outcome mapping with the members of the leadership team, the leadership team meets with Dr. Powell once or twice a month, using contextual polarities and issues as conversation points for rehearsing and applying collaborative capabilities and norms. • Ways to make data more accessible to inform instructional decisions With many years of data, ISM is currently inquiring into ways to make data more accessible to teachers and students. One of the indicators for achievement is the ability of teachers and students to be able to speak about and predict achievement, whether descriptively using standards-


derived criteria or grades (Hattie, 2012; Marzano, 2003). ISM aims to turn data not only into information but also use the information to provide insight, and over time, perhaps sustain as part of the school’s wisdom about effective teaching and learning. As part of its inquiry into using data to improve learning, ISM is focusing on crafting better questions to ask of its data, facilitating data conversations, and using the common glossary of learning in these collaborative sessions. Delivering Learning Like many schools in 2020, ISM has had to hold virtual school because of lockdowns and stay-at-home directives due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Distance learning has presented a new set of challenges and approaches to learning for both teachers and students. ISM has been able to make quick pivots, such as providing virtual labs for science, quickly providing online student platforms for different subjects, and leveraging its professional development budget to cover teachers’ Zoom pro subscriptions, to name a few. The school uses short surveys to find out where the professional development needs are for teachers to strengthen distance learning, and has reallocated time and resources to bringing professional development for virtual delivery into the school. Demonstrating Learning Along with the data visualization that ISM is investigating, teachers have begun to inquire into the question, How do we know we have learned? Using the once-a-month Pre-K to 12 meetings, for example, the English Language Arts team is collecting samples of student work and using a tuning protocol to arrive at a shared understanding of standards mastery in writing, an integral value as one of the school’s Student Learning Outcomes. Student assessment is only one of the data sets that show school improvement. Some teams are also involved in gathering data

about effective instruction. As part of their subject review, the Arts team have created a process for peer observation of practices in the arts classrooms, using the same standards used in the school’s teacher effectiveness appraisal and growth system. Curriculum is our Promise to our students and families ISM appreciates that the curriculum is a promise that we make to the families who entrust their children’s education to our school. The ISM Promise calls for the learning at ISM to be visible, coherent and guaranteed. As we continue to inquire and improve learning in the school, the ISM Promise is about working together to create clear pathways to success for each student from Pre-K to 12. For the community, the ISM Promise bridges the past to present, embracing the growth of the school from its founding to where we are now. Present actions resonate with the words of ISM founder Daw Khine, “We hope and believe that all of us can work together as one to build a stronger ISM.” References Bartlett, K., & Eldridge, G. (2014). “The Learning Ecosystem.” Common Ground Collaborative. Retrieved from https://commongroundcollaborative.org/what-we-do/ on November 17, 2020. Bartlett, K., & Low, D. (2020). The Learning Playbook; Building experts in the learning game. Brussels: Common Ground Collaborative. Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers; Maximizing impact on learning. New York: Routledge. Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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Winter 2020 Issue 21


SERVICE LEARNING

Ensuring Meaningful Service in Times of Uncertainty Article written by NIST International School Students: Avan Fata (Class of 2021) & Rei Tangkijngamwong (Class of 2023) Supported by: Cindy Chen, Secondary Service Plus Coordinator & Robin Wilensky, CAS Coordinator COVID-19 may have brought the word to a stand still, but passionate student service leaders in the EARCOS region were motivated to act on behalf of the vulnerable. 2020 has been a year of calamity, unpredictability, and above all else, constant uncertainty. As the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a stand still, service groups and the communities they work with across the EARCOS region and beyond faced an unprecedented challenge. As governments issued lockdown protocols and schools went online, the collaborative operations run by student youth leaders encountered what may have been the beginnings of a crisis. However, in Bangkok, Thailand, the pandemic only served to galvanise our passionate student service leaders to act on behalf of the vulnerable and to continue their efforts to improve livelihoods, ecosystems, and lives of individuals, even during Covid-19. ServiceCo Emerges A student-service group mentor team, led by students, for students, ensuring sustainable service. At NIST International School, located in Bangkok, Thailand, student service leaders came together in February to form the backbone of their school’s service infrastructure and sustainable change management. Just a few weeks before national lockdown commenced, the merger of the Events Approval Team (EAT) and NIST Development Bank (NDB) resulted in the formation of the NIST ServiceCore Team, otherwise known as ServiceCo.

Unfortunately, our “ideal” meetings were swept aside once lockdown measures were mandated, and ServiceCo spent the first months of its existence meeting through zoom and communicating online. The service groups it was designed to assist were also having to adapt to the “new normal” of digital platforms, with many putting their planned initiatives on hold due to social distancing measures. But as Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Undaunted by the challenges Covid-19 imposed, ServiceCo set about reconfiguring its own procedures and actions to overcome this unexpected situation. Service group proposals which would’ve once taken place in-person were now held seamlessly via video conferencing, whilst approvals for funding were communicated via email. Service-related promotional material which would’ve once been plastered on school walls were now easily accessible via social media as well as weekly NIST News articles. Eschewing the true spirit of service learning in the wake of adversity, ServiceCo rose as a mentor group; guiding established service groups to resume their planning and implementation of service initiatives, even if in a different direction or through an online medium.

This team of experienced, principled, and skilled student leaders embodied the core values of service-action at NIST: meaningful, sustainable, and impactful. These three values are perfectly encapsulated in their mission statement, entrusting them with the responsibility “to support service projects in the NIST community with their management, communication, and finance to ensure meaningful impact.” In “ideal” weekly meetings the student members and teacher supervisors of ServiceCo would review the event proposals and/or funding requests of student service groups at NIST, advising them on how best to achieve their own goals in a sustainable and meaningful way. Pictured here are Year 13 students proposing an event to ServiceCo. for feedback and approval.

22 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Two months after its establishment, Covid-19 started to directly impact our community partners. As many were financed by donations and contributions, they were more vulnerable than ever. So ServiceCo set out to support our community partners through an emergency access fund, where service groups could acquire up to 30,000 Thai Baht (~1,000 USD) to support their partners.


By creating the fund, ServiceCo’s goals were for it to be effective, immediate, and celebrated. With this in mind, Service Co embraced every proposal, and ensured that the funds were effective not only in the short run, but also long term, maximizing the benefit.

viceCo has used its primary funds account to enable the meaningful service of other groups.

Through the Emergency Covid-19 Access Fund, 15 projects were supported, totalling to more than 500,000 Thai Baht (~16,500 USD). But as the funds were put to use, ServiceCo was also responsible for celebrating the relief efforts, and sharing the stories with the school community.

In October, ServiceCo once again led the way in laying the groundwork for another collaborative inter-service group event: Pinktober week.

Utilizing the weekly NIST News newsletter, ServiceCo established the Service Spotlight campaign, which was a series of videos, highlighting service projects running in accordance with the Emergency Covid-19 Access Fund. This campaign also allowed for transparency in the Emergency Fund, as the photos and lists of purchased items were shared.

Back In School

An annual event in the NIST community, the week is centered around raising awareness of women’s health topics as well as fundraising for the various student-led service groups whose goals also focus on women’s health.

Service Spotlight Campaign These promotional celebrations and added transparency resulted in a cycle of further service action, as service groups which were disrupted during Covid-19 began to reach out to ServiceCo for their own planning and funding. The culmination of this new support-and-promote behaviour came in the form of amazing community events, where dozens of service groups came together to plan and carry out school-wide initiatives based on advocacy for the SDGs as well as fundraising to support larger efforts beyond NIST. The first of these events took place in April, when ServiceCo assisted in the organisation of daily videos and campaigns for Earth Week (running from the 16th to 22nd of April).

In August, the pandemic situation in Thailand had stabilised to a point where in-person schooling could resume under social distancing parameters.

This time around however, ServiceCo played a more secondary role, advising the parent association NIPTA on how best to manage the daily activities for all students, gate-side sales, and school events, including musical performances and a capture-the-flag game. At the close of the campaign, NIST raised approximately 5,000 USD for women’s health screenings.

This meant that ServiceCo could finally move into the physical role that it had been formed with the intention of serving.

Looking ahead, ServiceCo aims to continue fulfilling its mission by helping new service startups with their initial planning and funding; as well as ensuring that service groups with graduating leaders smoothly transition to a new generation of Student Youth Leaders (SYLs), who can responsibly and effectively expand the operations of their groups in sustainable directions.

Meetings now took place in person, adding a new dimension of responsiveness and opening up avenues for the student leaders to take the initiative. Now service groups which once had to put themselves forward could be invited to meetings if a member of ServiceCo knew of their intention to host an upcoming fundraiser or plan a needs-analysis trip.

Beyond Thailand, ServiceCo’s teacher mentors along with some of its student members have launched a new campaign, GIN ASIA Connect, a new online forum taking place monthly, facilitating discussions and jointplanning between service leaders as well as community partners across the EARCOS region.

The Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund remained open in case lockdown restrictions returned, but from August until the time of writing, SerWinter 2020 Issue 23


EDTHOUGHT

International School Leadership During Tough Times: Reflecting on What Matters By Stephen Chatelier, Elke Van dermijnsbrugge and Mark Harrison

It’s not easy being a leader. Of course, anyone involved in school leadership already knows this. But with the many challenges that have confronted us in 2020, this has perhaps become clearer than ever. For many international school leaders, particular issues emerge from the complex transnational spaces in which they operate. In this article, we briefly describe some of these challenges and suggest that this unusually difficult situation has provided an opportunity for school boards and leaders to reflect on some important questions about the nature of their roles. The impact of Covid-19 on international schools While Covid-19 has affected school leaders across the world, including those working in local schools with local children, the challenges presented have often been of a different nature for those involved in international school leadership. Leaders of schools that serve families from different parts of the world have encountered a plethora of challenges as a result of the pandemic. Many schools have witnessed a decline in enrolment as families have either been stranded in their home countries due to travel restrictions or have even lost their jobs as multinational employers have reduced or ceased operations. Others have made the decision themselves to take their families back to their home countries, seeking the support of family and the sense of comfort that often comes with being in one’s own country. Mirroring the reality that the effects of globalization over the past three decades have not been even, Covid-19 has also impacted the world unevenly. Some countries have been affected in large numbers, while others have managed to mostly contain the virus. This has meant that some international schools, depending on their student demographics, have been more impacted than others. It also means that in many international schools with diverse student populations, the challenges and concerns being faced by some families are markedly different to those of others. 24 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Some international school leaders are working in countries that have imposed significant border restrictions and conditions for opening schools. For example, here in Hong Kong, the many “cross-border” students who travel each day from the Mainland have been unable to continue their education with their classmates. Under similar conditions, international school leaders across the world have been forced to consider whether they should offer learning that is fully online, offer a hybrid arrangement of asynchronous online and face-to-face lessons, or offer face-to-face lessons where students outside of the country “participate” live from their computer screens, to name just some of the options (you can see a map of school closures from UNESCO at-- https://en.unesco.org/ covid19/educationresponse) In addition, these leaders have often had to unexpectedly delve much more deeply into their school’s financial position, making predictions about what kinds of operating losses can be sustained and for how long. They have also fielded requests – perhaps demands – from parents for reductions in tuition. Perhaps some of the hardest decisions have involved staffing. Can we keep paying them? If so, can we do so at full salary? And, boards and leaders in countries where staff have been stranded outside the country, have had to confront the prospect of telling their staff – many of whom have been loyal employees and even friends – that they no longer have a job. Given the gravity of the events of 2020--and given their particular significance for international schools--we wonder: have international school leaders been adequately prepared for the unique challenges they have now been asked to face? What might 2020 teach us about international school leadership? We offer the following questions and observations for reflection and as an encouragement to share practices and responses. We do not offer anything like an exhaustive list of questions and


issues, but suggest that a focus on the importance of relationships and ethical deliberation, especially in the context of culturally diverse spaces, might be a very good place to start.

ings during the Covid-19 pandemic, has there been any discussion about ensuring that this continues as a standard approach to the consideration of school policies and practices?

What is the focus of school leaders’ work?

How can cooperation and sharing be facilitated between international schools?

There is a lot of varied literature on school leadership out there. But we would suggest that the dominant framework in which educational leadership is conceptualized these days is that of instructional leadership: how to lead school improvement, instructional coaching, staff appraisal, how to use data to inform practice, etc.Yes, there has been an increased focus in recent years on social-emotional learning and wellbeing, but these are often linked, explicitly or implicitly, to improved (academic) outcomes. Educational leaders, of course, ought to be concerned about academic quality, but what are the consequences when instructional leadership and school effectiveness are the key paradigm in which emerging school leaders are trained? Think about your own context. What do leadership meetings and internal professional development sessions suggest about your school’s priorities? To what extent is the focus on trying to understand and support people compared to the analysis of data and discussions about how to meet external requirements or improve ‘performance’? A focus on human being rather than human performance might seem particularly important amidst the present challenges as people struggle with complexity and uncertainty. What about when the pandemic is over? How prominent will the relational focus of leadership be in your school? How are international school leaders equipped for intercultural understanding? A distinctive aspect of a more relational leadership focus in international schools ought to include deep thinking on how to approach cultural difference. International schools tend to claim that engagement with cultural diversity and global citizenship are key aspects of the education they offer, but how deep is that engagement? Given all the demands of the job, how tempting is it for international school leaders to simply show that they meet the requirements of authorization and accreditation bodies rather than deeply consider how to think about and practise cultural diversity? If school leaders themselves have not reflected deeply on the ethical and political ambiguities within intercultural understanding, can they reasonably expect this of their school communities? Are school boards and even senior leaders themselves prioritising this aspect of their own learning journeys? What might need to happen for your school to move from the uncritical celebratory approach (food, flags and festivals) to a commitment to confronting the difficulties of difference? How important is the consideration of values? School leaders manage organizations, but they lead people. To take the leadership of people seriously requires a deep commitment to ethical reflection as well as asking questions about who we are. This doesn’t require formal training in ethics. Instead, it is about being intentional about asking questions such as: what do the policies and practices of the school suggest about what we most value? How has the school responded to the challenges of 2020 and what this might say about how the teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and students are understood and valued? Is there anyone on the school board or senior leadership team who regularly asks the group for an ethical justification of a decision? How often are market-based decisions that might negatively impact people questioned? How highly valued are humility and integrity within the board and leadership team? If ethical and human-based discussions have become more common at board and leadership meet-

Covid-19 has facilitated a shift towards countries looking to protect national concerns. Of course, this is quite appropriate as states seek to look after their citizens’ welfare. But might it be possible that a strong commitment to global cooperation could best serve national interests? While we might be seeing a shift in international relations, what about international school relations? International schools tend to affirm the idea of global mindedness and citizenship. These notions assume interdependent relations between various actors. We began by stating that leadership is not easy. It can also be lonely. We believe, then, that international school leaders need the support of other international school leaders. And yet, in an increasingly competitive and marketized environment, how often do international schools cooperate and collaborate amongst themselves? When you think of your school, how do you imagine its place within the broader context? If you imagine your school schools as existing within a market, however true that may be, you are perhaps more likely to see other schools as competition. If you imagine, instead, your school as part of an international school movement, sector, or community, you may think about how these schools can cooperate. Many schools did cooperate on how to respond to the pandemic. If this working together was new for your school, what might you be able to do to keep these mutually beneficial relationships of trust and support going into the future? Concluding thoughts While there have been plenty of fire drills in schools over the years, few schools will have been planning for a pandemic. This year has been tough. We have been confronted with unprececdented circumstances and confrontation is, for most of us, uncomfortable. Yet being forced out of our comfort zone is sometimes just what we need to assess the way things have been and think about where we might be headed. In doing so, we have an opportunity to pause and wonder if there might be another way. Some of the questions and reflections we have put forward here may have also been a little discomforting, but we offer them in the hope that they might be useful as a way of facilitating reflection on what you and your school consider to be important. Particularly, we think it is an ideal time for international school leaders to be thinking about the priority they give to human beings and their relationships, and to the place of intercultural understanding as a distinctive feature of international education. And it is a good time to be thinking about how these priorities might affect the school’s policies and practices. Doing this well, we suggest, is not about applying a formula or model. Instead, it is about genuinely asking the questions and grappling with them in all their complexity. Did we mention, it’s not easy being a leader? About the Authors Stephen Chatelier, Elke Van dermijnsbrugge and Mark Harrison have all been teachers and leaders in international schools, including in Asia. They work in the Department of International Education at The Education University of Hong Kong where they teach and conduct research on critical aspects of international schooling.

Winter 2020 Issue 25


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EDTHOUGHT

Psychological Safety: What It Is, and Why You Should Care About It

By Ashley G. Parker, Ph.D. and Terence J. Bostic, Ph.D. Why are some teams just more effective at exchanging ideas with each other, welcoming diverse thinking, and in general coming up with and following through on better plans? This has been a research question that applied psychologists have eagerly studied for years. Findings indicate that a team dynamic referred to as “psychological safety” is a critical component. This concept is important not only for team performance generally, but also in building and sustaining an inclusive multi-cultural environment in international settings. This article explores findings in this area and what can be done to apply these findings to you and your teams. In general, most groups want to be able to have hard conversations with each other and bring up different points of view. What gets in the way here, however, is that human beings tend not to like conflict. We tend to want to maintain a positive self-image in front of other people, and power differentials in the room, either spoken or unspoken, can get in the way of bringing up our best ideas. The key to battling this is psychological safety. Psychological safety is the shared belief that team members feel safe to be themselves, to speak up, and to take smart risks without the fear of negative consequence. Amy Edmondson of Harvard is one of the leading researchers on this topic. She refers to psychological safety as “a shared belief that the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” This is an easy concept to describe, but a challenging one to build inside a team where there are complex 28 EARCOS Triannual Journal

organizational dynamics, power struggles, and an organizational history that can all get in the way. Some of the most powerful research on this was conducted by Google. They undertook a huge project called Project Aristotle. In this, they analyzed over 180 teams at Google in search for the holy grail of organizational behavior—what does the most highly functioning team look like? What do they do? What are the characteristics of their team members? This four-year study looked at several individual factors--everything from personality types, to backgrounds, to education. Somewhat surprisingly, they did not find any significant impact from individual factors on team functioning. The “who” in terms of the make-up of the teams did not predict team effectiveness. Manager ability was also not predictive. What emerged as most predictive of team success was psychological safety: the shared sense that team members felt safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other. Groups that had high levels of psychological safety also had higher levels of dependability (team members getting things done and meeting Google’s high bar for excellence), structure/clarity (understanding around plans, goals, and members’ roles), meaning (a deep connection between the people and their work), and impact (a sense that their work matters and creates sustainable change). The creation of this psychological safety, therefore, appears to be associated with all sorts of both positive human and positive business outcomes. critical to organizational results.


Psychological safety also underpins all conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. While many organizations try to go right at these diversity issues head-on (e.g., discussing how racism can show up at work), it can often have unintended consequences that reduce people’s engagement in the tough topic because the people on teams are not ready to have these conversations in a safe way. The creation of psychological safety allows for real conversations around these issues. The absence of psychological safety only allows for education around these issues, not change. So, what do we do to create psychological safety in teams? More specifically, what can you do as a leader to create organizations that have high levels of psychological safety? Fortunately, there appear to be several key factors. While none of them are easy, the literature does point to a number of key areas for focus.

1. Replace blame with curiosity.

John Gottman’s research at the University of Washington shows that blame and criticism reliably escalate conflict, which is the opposite of psychological safety. Working with the team to create curiosity, especially around mistakes, misfires, or misunderstanding/miscommunications, appears to be the first key step.

2. Honing your sensitivity and empathy is important.

The power of using the right words matters in creation of psychological safety. As a leader, helping people distinguish between “I’m angry and having a bad day” and “I’m pretty pessimistic today because of my upcoming meeting” is important. Building up people’s emotional vocabulary is also important. Likewise, helping people understand that “different” and “difficult” are not the same thing. Not having the same opinion is not the same as misaligned. This is especially challenging right now in our world struggling from compassion fatigue.

3. Respect is paramount.

As a part of respect being important, the impact you have needs to be seen as more important than the intent you have. Being open to feedback, even if you don’t agree with it, and being grateful for it, appears to be very helpful in the creation of psychological safety.

4. Adopting a growth-mindset.

Fortunately, this one is a natural for educators and educational leaders. Psychological safety is really a process of growth, and growth is a function of making mistakes. Helping people know that creating psychological safety is a process and not an end state is key for the conversations to be ongoing.

5. Equality and conversational turn-taking.

Despite all of the efforts here, conversations still tend to be dominated by extroverted people, and they still tend to be dominated by men. Efforts to ensure that everyone in the group shares in the conversation, in an equal fashion, appears to be key to creating psychological safety. This means those in leadership roles need to look out for the more introverted people and invite them in and invite the more extroverted people to be more thoughtful or to be more reflective before speaking. Talking about psychological safety is, at some level, like describing being in love. This is, talking about it does not create it. However, the five steps outlined here do show real promise in terms of helping leaders create higher levels of psychological safety inside of organizations. We encourage you to think about what small steps you can make individually and with your immediate team to help promote this throughout your schools.

Submit an Article to The EARCOS Journal We invite you to share the great things going on at your school with the other schools in the EARCOS region. Deadline for the following ET Journal Issues Spring Issue - April 1, 2021 Fall Issue - September 1, 2021 Winter Issue - December 1, 2021

What can be Contributed?

Here are some of the features in the next issue: Faces of EARCOS – Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Campus Development – New building plans, under construction, just completed. Curriculum Initiatives – New and exciting adoption efforts, and creative teacher ideas. Green and Sustainable – Related to campus development and/or curriculum.

Welcome New Head of School

Service Learning Projects Action Research Reports - Summaries of approved action research projects Student Art – We will highlight ES art in Fall issue, MS art in Winter issue, and HS art in Spring issue. Student Writing – Original short stories, poetry, scholarly writing.

Article Integrity

We want to make sure submitted articles are not in violation of copyright laws. We highly encourage original articles. When you send an articles to our ET Journal, we will make sure you get the proper credit by displaying your name, title, school, and email in the article. if you would like to submit an article please email Bill Oldread at boldread@earcos.org OR Edzel Drilo at edrilo@earcos.org

Ryan Godlewski, Head of School Access International Academy Ningbo

Winter 2020 Issue 29


GREEN & SUSTAINABLE

Sustainability Summit: Changemakers of Today

ing Online News and Activism.” Marny used a socratic-style seminar approach to get students discovering and sharing their insights on the pitfalls of social media activism, how to avoid ‘performative activism’ and how to spot fake or misleading news. Meanwhile, Raina discussed the Four Pillars of Sustainability: Planet, Profit, People and Policy, which she has applied within her work with the youth-led NGO, ‘Bye Bye Plastic Bags Philippines’ along with their journey on this global activism project.

By Anna Seipelt Goco, Director of Advancement International School Manila “The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.” From the words of Ernest Hemingway – the place we all call home certainly deserves our protection. Sustainability is the answer but how can we continue to create awareness and make change during a time when we all feel powerless? Last October 17, 2020, the Sustainability Council at International School Manila (ISM) partnered with Make a Difference (MAD) Travel to host the Sustainability Summit. Together with Sustainability Coordinators Kathryn Govier and Lindsay Mould, the summit was organized and headed by students from the ISM High School Sustainability Council. This virtual event brought together student changemakers to learn and discuss how to make a positive change online. With over 60 delegates in attendance from schools across Manila, including Brent International School, British School Manila (BSM), Chinese International School Manila (CISM), Everest Academy, and Xavier School, the half day digital summit consisted of two keynote speakers and three virtual workshops. Participants were divided into three breakout rooms with workshop leaders rotating every 45 minutes. This provided an interactive element allowing for the delegates to engage and inquire. The summit opened with keynote speaker, Meggie Ochoa. Meggie is a Jiu Jitsu world champion and applies the empowerment she gained from this sport to reach out and help support survivors of child sexual violence in the Philippines, through her Non-Government Organization (NGO), ‘Fight to Protect’. The first workshop of the morning was dedicated to supporting local industries led by Raf Dionisio, co-founder of MAD Travel. As a social entrepreneurship focused on finding ways to connect indigenous and rural communities to profitable markets in order to help protect the environment, MAD ventured into new initiatives such as MAD Market due to the Metro Manila quarantine. Originally, the group concentrated on Eco-tourism projects but have recently taken this online to support ISM’s Service Learning Program to make it equally as meaningful despite the extraordinary circumstances we are currently facing. ISM’s very own High School students Marny Rosette F. Abao and Raina Hwang headed the second workshop of the summit entitled “Navigat30 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“How to Design for Activism” was the final workshop of the virtual event. This was led by two University of the Philippines (UP) students, who were recognized for their activism campaigns online. They discussed top tips on how to make online campaigns more impactful and led the delegates through activities that analyze and look at how to improve visual media messages. Tom Graham, also a co-founder of MAD Travel, ended the Summit with the keynote topic “Be the Change Online and Discover your ‘Ikigai’”. Tom shared his experience with insights on how to successfully launch a social enterprise and encouraged delegates to ‘discover your Ikigai’ and transform actions into something that makes a bigger impact in making lives more meaningful and fulfilling. Building a sustainable world takes one step at a time, starting with creating awareness to inspire changemakers and instilling upon community members, the importance of living sustainably and practicing being sustainable together. The summit was just one aspect of ISM’s school-wide priority on Sustainability where students are taking initiative to learn and make change. For the school year 2019-2020, ISM also saw the implementation of Bring Your Own Container (BYOC). This encouraged community members to bring reusable containers, cutlery and cups even for food purchased in the cafeteria. This initiative not only helped to raise awareness school wide, but also greatly reduced cafeteria waste brought on by disposable meal packages. In an effort to raise further awareness, for the school year 2020-2021, selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations were assigned to each month of the school year. These goals are discussed with students every month, accompanied by sustainable activities related to the theme. Sustainability continues to be a school wide priority at ISM as together, we create awareness and do our parts in saving our home, one step at a time. “In recognition of our responsibilities as citizens of the world, our community of adults and children will commit to playing an active part in caring for the environment – on campus and beyond.”


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Stepping out of the ‘bubble’ The Importance of Creating Meaningful and Sustainable Community Partnerships By Laura Davies, Athletic Director & Sadie Hollins, Head of Sixth Form, Lanna International School, Thailand Many international schools pride themselves on their extra-curricular programmes. Go to most school websites, and they will loudly and proudly tell you about the extensive number of activities they offer; sports, drama, music, MUN, IA, leadership, debate team, community service – the list goes on. They proclaim that these will prepare students for entrance into universities, employment, and transform young people into truly ‘global’ citizens. Whilst schools are to be rightly admired for creating such amazing opportunities for students, we must also ask ourselves - what is the true purpose of all of this? In a setting where business and education are so closely intertwined, it can sometimes feel as though we have forgotten to include programmes that truly place the holistic development of students at the heart of them – and that also consider the wider communities in which international schools are situated. The importance of interacting with, and embracing the local community, is stressed by Keith Allen (2000), who states that ‘one of the most important roles of an international school is to encourage its privileged students to develop an appreciation of, a respect for, and an empathy towards their world’. Whilst many international schools pride themselves on creating globallyminded young people, this should not be at the expense of their knowledge and understanding of local issues. We would argue that this should in fact take precedence, and the way in which schools manage this interaction is essential. Whilst many schools do make efforts to engage with local communities, the intention behind this must be considered. The communities in which international schools are situated are rich in culture, language and history, and students must be given the opportunity to explore and engage with these in a way that goes beyond simple awareness or charity. At our school, we have developed a relationship with an organisation called Playonside. Playonside work with the Burmese migrant community in Mae Sot on the Thai/ Myanmar border, and use football as a way of bringing together and empowering young people from this community. They aim to spread awareness of the issues facing these young people, and are particularly keen to promote equal opportunities and improve relationships between the different ethnic groups that exist within the community. Our collaboration with this organisation has been carefully fostered and built up over a period of time, and has involved a range of mutually coordinated activities, involving many different parts of the school body. As part of our Sports Leadership Level 3 course we have taken students to Mae Sot, where they have organised and lead games and activities as part of the seasonal football festivals run regularly by Playonside. These festivals bring together teams from the many migrant schools in the local area, and include participants of a wide range of ethnicities, gender, ages and abilities. The focus of these events is social inclusion, and points are awarded to teams not merely for winning, but also for displaying teamwork, fair play and mutual

respect for one another. Along with the benefit of offering our students the opportunity to put into practice, and evaluate, their coaching skills in a different and unfamiliar environment, it also pushes them outside of their comfort zone, helps to break down social-barriers, and encourages them to communicate and build connections with the young people they meet. Additionally, we have both taken a group of female students to Mae Sot to participate in a football tournament hosted by Playonside, and invited women and girls teams from the organisation to visit us in Chiang Mai to take part in (what we hope will become) an annual ‘friendship’ tournament, alongside teams from both our school and other local international schools. This has not only allowed us to foster and strengthen the relationship between students, but also provided additional opportunities for female students to participate in sports, thereby challenging gender stereotypes – one of the core aims of Playonside. Finally, we have involved our entire school community in fundraising efforts, both financial and to provide specific resources as needed – for example we recently hosted a drive to collect donations of stationery, as Playonside worked to support the teachers at the migrant schools they work with to do home visits and provide socially-distanced classes during the pandemic. This ongoing collaboration has been meaningful to our school and our students in many ways, but what we feel has been most special about this project is the genuine relationships that have formed as a result. Our students, whilst not without problems of their own, do possess an amount of privilege and entitlement that is not afforded to everyone. During our trips, we not only take part in sports events, but also visit the border crossing so students can see firsthand what happens there, and attend presentations delivered by Playonside coaches, many of them migrants themselves, that provide them with information about the political and economic issues that contribute to some of the difficulties experienced by these communities. Our students are invited to visit homes and schools, and see for themselves the stark contrast between their lives and the lives of the people they are now meeting and interacting with, determined by little other than a birthplace lottery. Most importantly, students from completely different backgrounds connect with each other. They become friends, discover the similarities that bind them, develop a better understanding and appreciation of their differences, and build relationships that last beyond school-arranged events. So our final message would be this; collaborations with local organisations are wonderful and important. As international educators, we should be pursuing opportunities such as these for our students and attempting to create genuine, long-term relationships with those that inhabit the wider communities in which our schools are situated – relationships that serve the best interests of these communities, and not merely those of our schools and our students. Our hope is that long after they leave school, students will continue to remember these experiences and the relationships they formed, and that it will shape their future actions in a way that is beneficial to those they live alongside - particularly those that may not share their privilege. References: Allen, K. (2000) The international school and its community: think globally, interact locally, in Hayden, M. & Thompson, J. (Eds) International Schools & International Education, Kogan Page: London, UK. Winter 2020 Issue 31


STUDENT WRITING

Strangers By Anna Schier, Busan Foreign School

mouth and onto the tiled floor as he did so. The guard turned back to the man with a shrug.

“Might you be able to help me?”

“I guess that’ll be two dollars fifty, then.”

The security guard grunted, ignoring the request, and shifted sluggishly in his chair. His feet were resting on the counter in front of him, and the portly man was absorbed in a boorish cartoon concealed in yesterday’s paper. The guard’s forehead, drenched in sweat beneath his linen cap, puckered as he read. An insistent tapping against the thick plastic divider went unnoticed as the guard skimmed the crass caricatures and it was only after another minute did he look up. A man stood behind the glass, evidently the source of the insistent knocking. He was a curious figure. He held himself in a strangely polite but uncertain way, with his spine straight but his shoulder rolled forwards, his chin held high but his eyes darting warily from side to side beneath the rim of his dark hat. The guard’s grip on the paper loosened, and it fell against his stomach with a gentle smack.

The man nodded and fished a handful of coins out of the bottom of his pocket. The guard watched as he cradled the coins in a bandaged palm, pushing the big coins aside from the smaller ones. It was clear he hadn’t done this too many times before.

“I would like to buy a ticket.” The man behind the glass spoke clearly and deliberately, as though he was considering every word before he uttered it. Sounded posh. The guard let his feet slide off the counter. “Did you try the ticket machine?” The man’s eyes flickered towards the two ticket machines in the far corner of the station. Both screens were cracked and the machine on the right was dented across the middle; it had the appearance of being hunched over as though it might suddenly be sick. “I don’t believe the machine is working.” The guard clicked his tongue thoughtfully. People didn’t usually stop by his window. He usually confined himself to the happenings of his cartoons, purposefully oblivious to whatever took place beyond the plastic dividers of his box. But then again, this wasn’t an ordinary man, rather a stranger to this part of town. He was glancing around uncertainly- out of curiosity or fear, the guard couldn’t tell- and kept shuffling closer to the window as though the mere presence of the stout guard was in some way comforting. The man wore a dark hat that, coupled with the harsh overhead lighting, sent an ominous shadow over his face. The guard, studying him dubiously, could make out a purpling patch along his cheekbone and a red scratch along his lip. The guard shifted forwards in his chair. “Where else might I be able to purchase a ticket?” The man shuffled even closer as he spoke. “Have you tried the ticket office?” The guard glanced across the row of turnstiles at the empty ticket box that sat along the far wall. Though the words ‘Ticket Office’ had once hung over the booth, the office was now indistinguishable from the rest of the desolate station. Nothing and no one could be seen in the office’s interior; only the guard’s own face stared back at him from across the space, reflected in the cracked glass. Between the guard and his own stout reflection, a younger boy ducked under the turnstile carelessly, letting his chewed up gum fall out of his 32 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“Thank you.” The man decided on the bigger coins, emptying them through the shallow slot in the window. “Yeah, of course.” The guard pushed a ticket back and the man, with a pained smile, approached the turnstiles cautiously. The guard, dismissing the oddity from his mind, lifted his paper back up and once more allowed himself to disconnect from his surroundings. The man exited the jolting train as it reached the city’s outskirts. Cigarette stubs were smashed into the floor, tacked into place by blackening pieces of gum and there was a distinct scurrying noise coming from the tracks. The man, adjusting his hat anxiously, lingered for a moment, unsure where to go next. He definitely wasn’t supposed to be here, that was for sure, but the thought of braving the train again made his hair stand on end and his heart pound painfully. So, he gingerly ascended the stairs, wincing in the underground station’s stale shadows before emerging into the dimming light. He’d have to find somewhere to lay low, just for tonight, and then he could return to the city. The centre and outskirts of town were manageable, it was what laid between, as he had just learned, that presented a challenge. The street was empty at first glance. A rubbled road was the sole divider between stumps of cracked concrete. Fading neon ‘Welcome! We’re Open!’ signs, each a dying shade of magenta, lime or chartreuse, sat in the corner of shop windows, quickly blinking off when passersby glanced in their direction, as if hoping to go unnoticed. Pigeons sat in the gutters of the stained buildings, cooing sluggishly. An alleyway across the street was filled with peach-coloured milk crates that were stacked as high as the buildings themselves. It was only as the man cautiously surveyed the streets that he noticed the people inhabiting it. As his eyes adjusted to the deepening sky, figures seemed to materialise out of the concrete, emerging from the doorsteps, appear on building roofs. A woman came into view from behind the nearest shop, a heavy basket of fruit clutched to her chest. A pair of feet could be seen protruding from between the milk crates.The silhouettes of old men were visible in the above windows as they flicked their cigarette butts onto the street below. The people were like wisps of smoke, apparent one moment and gone the next, barely indistinguishable from the muted street, each of them dressed in the same fading colours and all eager to avoid eye contact. Surrounded by such meek uniformity, the man felt increasingly aware of his figure. He felt, as he stood outside the station, leaning against the sticky railing, a streaky blotch of ink against an otherwise dull canvas, that his presence wasn’t a welcome one. ‘He sticks out like a sore thumb, actually.’ The woman spoke to no one in particular. Perhaps she was addressing the fruit. The basket had been


carefully tucked underneath the table, just in case, but she liked to think the bruised apples could hear her, anyway. The street was a lonely one, with everyone so intent on keeping their noses down and staying out of trouble. This man, with his battered face and poorly disguised injuries hadn’t been so guarded. The woman watched him through a gap in the curtains. He wasn’t from this part of town, that much was clear. His coat, his shoes, although they were freshly scuffed- he had no doubt been running away from trouble- they were too new, too stiff. The shoes they wore had aged with them, the lines surfacing on their foreheads mirrored in the cheap imitation leather. Despite this, the woman almost pitied him as she gazed through the glass and watched the unfortunate man begin his stumbling journey through the street. He’d try to ask for help, but she knew her neighbours, and she knew he’d be lucky to get so much as a glance out of them. Being a maternal person- God knew that had gotten her into some serious trouble before- the woman had half a mind to open the door and tend to his injuries. He seemed genuine, didn’t he? Her hand lingered on the door handle, but her mind drifted back to the fruit concealed beneath the patched tablecloth, the small handful of banknotes in her pillowcase, the coins at the bottom of the vase that sat on the broken dresser, and with a final stab of remorse, she drew the curtains, locked the door, and retreated into the midst of her home. The man wandered aimlessly past the first building, then the second, and then the third. People seemed determined to ignore his presence as he inched down the street, possibilities of salvation trickling away as he passed one building after another. Their eyes would glaze over whenever he passed through their line of sight. His hand ached. It was an intense throb that shot up his arms. His head pounded. His stomach churned uncomfortably. He felt like the bearer of a deadly disease, a bringer of the Plague, a literal embodiment of the Black Death only made worse by his dark coat and shoes. The man, looking at the emptying street and the sinking sun, stepped into the crate-filled alleyway.

ters that hung loosely over the buildings’ front windows were now well and truly closed, though slivers of fiery orange shone out from between the slats. If the man strained his ears, the vague echo of chatter could be heard throughout the street. Pulling off his hat, the man walked to the corner of the street and the alleyway and resignedly lowered himself onto the curb. An old woman spotted the man next, from above, as she went to water the pots of brown twigs on her balcony with her murky dishwater. The sight of the miserable figure, sagged against her doorstep, brought an amused smile to her lips. The street had an odd habit of attracting wandering souls and the street’s inhabitants had a habit of disregarding them. She squinted at him, then dared to spill some of the dishwater down over the chipped railing. It sloshed down the man’s arm and he scrambled to his feet. “Will you please help me?” Not the reaction she’d been expecting. The old woman squinted even harder. Through her weak vision, she could see a scrawny figure in a tattered shirt, wearing pants that were surely too long on his legs. Certainly not a threat to her or anyone else on the street. She waved him in. Downstairs, the man sat rigidly at her chipped kitchen island. The old woman examined him seriously. “Why did you come here? ” The woman kept an eye on the man as she opened her fridge. She was greeted by almost empty shelves. A thin slab of butter sat next to a pot of clotted milk. “I didn’t mean to. I- there was an accident. On the train. I didn’t have the courage to take the next line and head back to safety- real safety.”

Slumped between the crates, seemingly at ease as he sat on the greasy sidewalk was an older man. His hair grew unevenly in clumps over his head, and his eyes had a milky sheen.

“So you come here and eat my food.” The woman smeared the butter against a rough piece of bread. She slyly looked up at the man’s apologetic face, and smiled.

“Can you see me?” The old man heard a faint voice in the distance- or was it a memory, resurfacing after all these years? He could hear footsteps approaching. He picked at the cracks in the sidewalk hurriedly, his nails chipped and caked with dried blood. A pair of dark shoes appeared in the corner of his cloudy view.

“I’ll try to buy more tomorrow.” She slid the bread across the counter. “Eat.”

“Can you help me?” The voice came again, low and impatient. The man flung a mangled hand over his stomach protectively. “I don’t see.” The old man scraped away at nothing in particular, his fingers reddening as he did so. “No one sees. I saw nothing.” The dark shoes wouldn’t leave. They moved a step forward, then a step back. The old man’s stomach constricted. He began to wail, a deep, mournful wail. Terror pounded in his chest. “I don’t know anything about anything. I didn’t see- I won’t say anything, please-” The man backed away from the figure lying helplessly on the floor. The man felt inclined to help him, but he smelt like cheap liquor and shuddered whenever the man drew near. And so, regretfully, he turned, leaving the older man to wail at the pigeons and crates. Alone. Above, the sky had fallen into a shade of deep indigo. The rickety shut-

The man winced as the bread brushed against his cut lip. The woman shook her head at the hopelessly pitiful sight before her. They sat in silence for a moment. From her window, the woman could see the drunk in the alleyway, resting his head against the milk crates, his hands now lying gently in his lap. In the house opposite, a young child with grazed knees sat out on the balcony, lips moving as she concentrated on her battered book. Broken fairy lights hung sadly on the balcony railing. She knew the family that had lived in the opposite house before the young child had come along, and she knew the family that had lived there even before them. The people on the street were kindred spirits, the poor outcasts of society, defensive, anxious. They lived simple lives.They didn’t ask for much. Only peace. The woman’s old heart panged. “Thank you for the bread.” The man hastily wiped the crumbs off the bench. “My wallet was taken, but I’d like to repay you, somehow. “Don’t come here again.” Her voice was quiet but stern. “That can be my repayment. You’re sweet, I’m sure. But this street wasn’t made for people like you.” Winter 2020 Issue 33


STUDENT WRITING

Who We Are By Ananya (Annu) Shukla, Grade 3 Wells International School Bang Na Campus Edited by Tracy Hawkes, Teacher Before Covid, me and my friends could come and play together – it was one of my favorite things to do. We would go to sleepovers and play, and play in swimming pools. We would play tag and hug each other, we would share food. I loved it. We could stand close to each other, whisper in ears, and we could go everywhere. But then a virus came and everything stopped. I was still in India when I heard about the virus. We heard there was a person in Thailand with the virus and I was so scared and worried that I would never get back to my friends. But then it started in India, and we found out Covid was spreading there too. My parents were really frightened, and that made me worried too. Adults are usually so brave! A few days later, I had to go back to Thailand and I was nervous. You know why. My mom told me that I would be fine, but I could tell she was worried. When I got back to Thailand, I saw a lot of people wearing masks. I went back to school and there were lots of students wearing masks there too. We tried to get on as normal, initially. But soon it turned into a nightmare. School closed and we started online classes. When I found myself in a lockdown, it was terrifying because it was just me and my family in a small room with nothing to do. I couldn’t see my friends, I couldn’t go out. I was scared I might die. And even though we were scared, we still had to do online classes. My feelings were out of control. Sometimes I felt happy, sometimes I felt sad. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t understand anything at all. Not because the online class was too hard, but because my mind was too busy. Sometimes it was just hard to learn online when I was scared about the virus. But lockdown didn’t last forever. In the new normal, school reopened. I was still sad that I couldn’t travel to India or go on holiday, but it was great to be back at school with my friends. It feels safer being in a happy place like school. It feels normal, even if lots of things have changed. There is no hugging or touching anymore. We can’t play together and see our friends in other grade levels because we have to have play time and lunch in our classes and at different times. I mean, it’s not that fun, and I miss the little kids. But I guess it is better than nothing. And at least I feel safe again.

34 EARCOS Triannual Journal


REFLECTION

A Zoom Call with Epictetus By Greg Feezell Saint Maur International School

During a Zoom call last week, the stoic philosopher Epictetus and I were comparing our experiences with communal bathing. Since moving to Japan, I’ve learned to relax in the onsen without being self-conscious, but to hear Epictetus tell it, ancient Roman baths were a much rowdier scene. He offered this advice: “If you are going to bathe, place before yourself what happens in the bath: some splashing the water, other pushing against one another, others abusing one another, and some stealing.” Right. Where am I supposed to leave my towel again? I really wanted to know if he had helpful advice for teaching middle school in the middle of a pandemic, but Epictetus kept banging on about the bath. “Thus with more safety will you undertake the matter, if you say to yourself, I now intend to bathe, and to maintain my will in a manner conformable to nature.” Hm, I realized, this could be solid advice for middle school teachers, as well. If I intend to teach middle school, I should remember what happens in a middle school: noisy classrooms, sleepy students, pranks, cheating, plagiarism, pointless meetings, angry emails, lockdowns, top down decisions, forgotten assignments. Young people will be trying on new identities (sometimes daily), making questionable choices, dealing with lust, love, and heartbreak for the first time. I began to see the point: if you’re headed to the bath, know what you’re getting into. Go in eyes open and don’t get riled up if your tunic gets nicked. Since I’m now teaching in the middle of a pandemic, I can add on to the list: school closures, zoom meetings, poor wi-fi connections, and all the rest. I let out a noise, somewhere between groan and a whimper. “Of things some are in our power,” Epictetus observed, “some are not.” This was a key distinction for him. “Not in our power: the body…” Really? The first item on his list of uncontrollable things was the body, which seemed at odds with our contemporary view that, with the help of filters, yoga, supplements, and/or plastic surgery, we can be forever young, or perhaps, forever twenty-one.Yet, the middle school years are a time, as all will recall, when the body has a will of its own. But, is adulthood really all that different? The pandemic has made me realize how fragile our bodies are. “Take away then aversion from all things which are not in our power, and transfer it to the things… which are in our power.” I still have some power during the pandemic: I can wash my hands, mask up, and encourage my students to do the same. Extra worrying isn’t doing anything to stop the virus. I was catching on, slowly, but I was still troubled when Epictetus said, “Seek not that the things that happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things that happen to be as they are.” The received wisdom, which I hold to, is that a teacher should have high expectations. The best middle school teachers recognize the bodily changes, social struggles, and identity crises and still find a way to inspire, teach and challenge. Did he want me to be complacent? No, it wasn’t that. “Men are disturbed not by the things which happen,” he told me, “but by the opinions about the things.”The point is to keep our purpose in front of us and not to be perturbed or upset by circumstances we can’t control. When I first started teaching, I imagined that if I just had the right class, everything would go smoothly. “Everything has two handles, the one by which it may be borne, the other by which it may not,” explained Epictetus. Every class is the right class; I have to be the right teacher. (Note: Sadly, Epictetus lived in the first century AD and is not available for video conferencing. The quotations from Epictetus are taken from The Enchiridion, translated by George Long.)

Winter 2020 Issue 35


CURRICULUM

MTSS: A Research-based System to Ensure Equity and Access for Learning By Joan Schumann, Ph.D. , Tessie Rose, Ph.D. , Keith Collins, Ed.D. , and Kristen Koehler, M.Ed

for learning support (Burns et al., 2005; Dexter, Hughes, & Farmer, 2008). MTSS is an intentional integration of assessment, core programming and instruction, and intervention support within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and support students’ social, emotional, and behavior needs (MTSS Center, 2020). MTSS depends on early identification of struggling learners followed by the delivery of quality intervention support, with a goal to improve outcomes for all students. It is based on three guiding principles. MTSS Guiding Principle: Using Assessment to Guide Decision-Making For maximum benefit of MTSS, educators regularly use data to guide decisions about instruction, allocation of resources, and identification of students in need of additional learning support. School teams use multiple types of data, many already available to educators, to inform MTSS implementation and decision making. Screening data which are collected at least three times a year using brief, reliable measures help educators effectively and efficiently evaluate the overall efficacy of their core programming as well as quickly identify students who may need additional learning support.

Source: Center on Multi-tiered System of Supports at American Institutes for Research How will we know if our educational program meets the needs of learners we have within our school community? What evidence do we collect to support that it does? What do we do when it doesn’t? In an era of welcoming a more diverse student population into international schools, it is our professional responsibility to ensure our curriculum, instruction, and learning environments effectively support students regardless of nationality, academic standing, language proficiency level, or other learner variables. However, without access to relevant data, collaborative teaming, and framework to guide a process of reflection, schools run the risk of systematically creating and widening learning gaps within subgroups of their population. As a result, schools must be responsive to student needs by increasing their ability to support diverse learners. Many international schools are beginning to adopt a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework to guide this effort (Kusuma-Powell, 2020). MTSS: Guiding Principles and General Overview MTSS is grounded in decades of research and is being implemented in schools across the world. Numerous studies have found that MTSS, when implemented as a schoolwide model, can result in sustained high academic performance (Burns, Appleton, & Stenhouwer, 2005; Hattie, 2017), positive effects of students’ behavior and social-emotional functioning (Bradshaw, Waasorp, & Leaf, 2012), and reduction in the need 36 EARCOS Triannual Journal

For students who are identified as needing additional support, educators may use informal diagnostic data to better understand the unique needs of the students. These data help educators be more intentional in their design and delivery of intervention; and may reduce the duration of interventions. Monitoring progress is considered essential for ensuring students identified as needing learning supports are benefiting from these additional services. Jung, McMaster, Kunkel, Shin, & Stecker (2018) found that when teachers used progress monitoring data to guide MTSS instructional decision making for students with the most intensive learning needs (below the 10th percentile), students made more than 1.5 years growth in reading and math per year. In addition to improving student performance, using MTSS assessment to inform decision-making can lead to better use of staffing and instructional resources and allow for increased teacher planning and instructional time (McIntosh & Goodman, 2016). MTSS Guiding Principle: Using Evidence-based Practices and Resources In order for MTSS to benefit schools, educators, and students, it must be built on teachers’ ongoing access and use of evidence-based practices and resources. Evidence-based practices and resources are those educational strategies and tools that have been shown through research to be effective in improving student outcomes. Using evidence-based practices as designed can significantly increase teachers’ confidence that what they are doing is likely to result in student learning. It is important to remember that there is no single practice or resource that has been shown to work for all students. Thus, educators use their knowledge of their students’ learning needs gained from MTSS assessments in tandem with available research evidence to select or design the most appropriate learning supports for their students.


Instruction or Intervention Approach Group Size Assessment Population Served

Tier I Tier II Comprehensive, research-based Standardized, targeted smallcurriculum group instruction

Tier III Individualized, based on student data

Class-wide (with some smallgroup instruction) Screening, 3 times yearly All students

3–7 students

No more than 3 students

At least biweekly or monthly Students identified as at risk (~15%–20%)

Weekly Significant and persistent learning needs, non-responders (3%–5%)

Sample Tiered Continuum of Academic Support MTSS Guiding Principle: Offering a Continuum of Support Services MTSS offers all students access to a continuum of support based on their learning needs. These supports are commonly grouped into three levels, or tiers, of supports: 1) Tier 1: Core Programming for All Students, 2) Tier 2: Supplemental Intervention for Some Students, and 3) Tier 3: Intensive Interventions for Very Few Students. The tiers of support will look different from school to school because the resources, student needs, and staffing will vary. However, the tiers of support are built on the following components. Tier 1: Ensuring effective instructional environments for all learners. A successful MTSS Framework starts with effective instruction for all students. Many international schools have adopted the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to assess learning improvement each year and share this information within their school community. Using an MTSS framework, schools can use these data to identify discrepancies within student subgroups and allocate resources or rethink aspects of the educational program in order to address these gaps. By calculating the percentage of students who are exceeding, meeting or performing below grade level proficiency, school teams maximize their efforts by either focusing on programmatic adjustments within Tier 1, or through the delivery of interventions within Tier 2. Tier 2: Providing efficient and effective support to students with short-term learning needs. Prior to the implementation of MTSS, students are often ineligible for additional support until a significant learning gap occurs, often identified through testing performed by a psychologist. This is often referred to as the “Wait to Fail” method. When schools engage in a formalized evaluation process and await a possible diagnosis before taking action, they waste valuable learning time that could be used to begin academic and/or social-emotional support. Within the international school system, schools and families often become dependent on external and expensive consultation versus leveraging the expertise within the building. Fortunately, evidence-based instructional practices are likely to be effective regardless of diagnosis provided and can be used at any time with any student by any qualified staff member. Effective Tier 2 systems allow for rapid entry and exit from supplemental support in targeted areas of concern. For example, at Stamford American International School in Singapore, MAP scores along with follow-up Curriculum-based Measures (CBM) assessments are used to identify students who would benefit from reading and/or math intervention. Within a matter of days parents are contacted using a template email to confirm agreement and intervention begins soon afterwards in place of their world languages block. Interventions take place during this time so as to prevent students from missing out on core instruction. By supplementing the students’ access to quality instruction in the targeted

area of concern, schools can effectively close critical gaps in learning before heading into the next grade level. In the Stamford example, providing access to just three 40-minute weekly sessions with evidence-based intervention materials, and weekly progress monitoring tools, more than 75% of students met or exceeded projected growth targets on their end of year MAP assessment. Using this approach, schools are able to immediately enter and exit students from support each year; thus, increasing the amount of students receiving access to services. Building on a strong culture of using data to screen for students who would benefit from supplemental support, the International School Bangkok (ISB) is revisiting the delivery of its Tier 2 interventions. To support this work, ISB has supplemented data in Kindergarten and Grade 1 by adding a Reading-CBM universal screener. Furthermore, they are introducing a new data system that allows for efficient triangulation of data to quickly identify students who are not meeting expected growth during, and across, multiple assessment windows. Recognizing the flexibility within an MTSS framework while maintaining the fundamentals of Tier 2 interventions, ISB teaching teams are responding by providing interventions during different opportunities in the schedule. While some grade levels have arranged for Homeroom, EAL, or Learning Support teachers to deliver interventions during independent reading time; other grade levels capitalize on the natural breaks before, during or after school to minimize disruption to core instruction. With the enhancement of Tier 2 screening identification and intervention scheduling, ISB continues to explore new ways to be more efficient in the delivery of services to systematically support students. Tier 3: Reserving special resources and programming for students with more intensive needs. Currently, international schools are looking for ways to accommodate students with more significant needs (NFI ref). In the absence of providing a continuum of support services, schools are inclined to offer all students similar frequency and intensity of support; thus, failing to individualize for learner needs. On the other hand, some schools might be spending too much time and resources towards an individualized goal setting process when a standardized Tier 2 intervention would sufficiently remedy the academic and/or behavioral concerns. In order to adjust the support delivery model for students who have more longterm and intensive needs, schools can reserve Tier 3 programs and resources for a fewer number of students (approximately 1-5% of total student population). The International MTSS Summit (IMS): Building Capacity for School Implementation So, how can we build capacity at the Tier 1 level? How might we distinguish between Tier 2 and 3 intervention? What can leadership do to provide the infrastructure required for MTSS implementation? These are imporWinter 2020 Issue 37


tant questions being asked within the international school community and the solutions require time, resources, and collective understanding. Hence, there is a growing international movement to help support the implementation of MTSS. The International MTSS Summit [www.internationalmtss.com] is a unique opportunity for schools to engage in focused professional learning on the topic of MTSS. Inquiring into this systems-level work alongside leading experts and colleagues from across the globe, school teams can deepen their collective understanding and gain assistance throughout a multi-year process of implementation. In its second year of existence, this event has attracted more than 200 participants annually from nearly 50 schools across the world. Not only are schools interested in providing a better-quality service to students who require support; leaders recognize MTSS serves as a school-wide framework for ensuring an equitable and accessible educational program for all learners. At Shanghai Community International School, members of the senior leadership team participated in MTSS training resulting in coordinated academic interventions at the Tier 2 level. Effective implementation of MTSS requires a balance between organizational change and recognizing the capacity for change. Strong connections between the vision of the school and a tiered approach are reinforced by school leadership and aligned with the goal to close learning gaps for students. Additional considerations include the selection of intervention programs, allocation of personnel resources, management of student data, scheduling intervention time and planning for instructional spaces on campus. Rather than leaving implementation efforts to Student Support Departments alone, successful MTSS systems are established collaboratively by representative school-wide leadership teams. It is important to remember that MTSS is not a one size fits all program or package. Instead, it is a research-based framework that allows schools to maximize its current resources and supports to ensure that all students have equitable opportunity to benefit from the school’s educational program. While the guiding principles for MTSS remain the same for all schools, how it looks when implemented will be unique to each school’s context, resources, and desired outcomes. About the Authors Joan Schumann, Ph.D. is the Director of Professional Learning and Instruction at the International School of Beijing (ISB) and the Executive Director of the ISLES Collaborative, official organizer of the International MTSS Summit (IMS). Prior to joining ISB, she served as the Director of Student Support Services for Stamford American International School in Singapore. Tessie Rose, Ph.D. is a Principal Technical Assistance Consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the Director of the PROGRESS Center: Promoting Progress for Students with Disabilities and Cent-

er on Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS Center) at AIR. She also supports U.S. states and school districts with the implementation of MTSS/RTI through several other national centers--National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and National Center on Intensive Interventions (NCII). Keith Collins, Ed.D. is the Director of Student Services at International School Bangkok and the Director of Education Research for the ISLES Collaborative. He has been a school leader in the United States, China, and Thailand. Keith also supports education through workshops, keynotes, and supporting schools with their service delivery models. Kristen Koehler, M.Ed is the Director of Student Support at Shanghai Community International School and the Executive Vice-Chair of the ISLES Collaborative. Kristen has spent her career working in special education as a teacher, school psychologist and educational leader in the United States, Denmark, and China. References Bradshaw, C. P., Waasorp, T. E., & Leaf, P., J. (2012). Effects of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports on Child Behavior Problems. Pediatrics, 130(5), 1136 - 1145. Burns, M. K., Appleton, J. J., & Stenhouwer, J. D. (2005). Meta-analytic review of responsiveness-to-intervention research: Examining field-based and research-implemented models. Educational Psychology, 23(4), 381 - 394. Dexter, D. D., Hughes, C. A., & Farmer, T. (2008). Responsiveness to Intervention: A Review of Field Studies and Implications for Rural Special Education. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 27(4), 3-9. Hattie, J. (2017). Hattie Ranking: 252 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement. Retrieved from https://visible-learning.org/hattieranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/ Jung, P. G., McMaster, K. L., Kunkel, A. K., Shin, J., & Stecker, P. M. (2018). Effects of data based individualization for students with intensive learning needs: A meta analysis. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 33(3), 144–155. MTSS Center. (2020). Essential components of MTSS. Retrieved from https://mtss4success.org/essential-components. McIntosh, K. & Goodman, S. (2016). Integrated Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: Blending RTI and PBIS. New York, NY: The Gilford Press. Kusuma-Powell, O. (2020). Inclusion in International Schools. UK: ISC Research.

Welcome New Lower School Principal LARA MANASFI Lower School Principal / Director of Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives Ms. Lara Manasfi has been hired as the inaugural Lower School Principal at International School of Myanmar (ISM). Lara previously held the position of Director of Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives and will continue to serve in both roles with the School.

38 EARCOS Triannual Journal


52 Annual nd

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2021 October 28-30, 2021 Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

SAVE THE DATE !


REFLECTION

A Personal Account of Returning to China During the Ongoing Pandemic By Kevin Baker, Director American International School in Guangzhou China Quarantine Survivor 199 days. That is how long it took me to be able to return to Guangzhou. Little did I know when I departed China prior to Chinese New Year for teacher recruiting, did I realize that I would be displaced outside of our new home in China for so long. Welcome to the COVID-19 pandemic era, our next normal. What follows is my personal account of returning to Guangzhou, China to be able to lead the American International School of Guangzhou from ground zero. A few kudos and one caveat are in order before I begin. First, I would like to thank all of the amazing staff at AISG that worked tirelessly to advocate and toil for not only my return but the return of all of our displaced leadership and faculty. Additionally, I would like to thank Ms. Zoe Timms, former Director of Advancement and Communications at AISG, for sharing her and her partner’s return experiences from last spring. My humble efforts are built upon her insightful and authentic description of their experience. An important caveat: first, this is only one person’s experience of returning to China, specifically Guangzhou and the quarantine experience in the government hotel I was assigned to. Your experiences may be different. Please look at this account just as another data point and not the only potential experience you might have. I hope you will find my sharing a meaningful learning opportunity for those yet to make the journey. Preparations for your return First and foremost, the most important items you can pack for your return is a positive attitude and a warehouse of patience. The special visa and flight arrangement process takes an enormous amount of time and will have many unanticipated and potentially frustrating delays. I encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the ultimate prize – getting back to China and your school. If you keep a long-term vision in mind, along with positive self-talk, I believe it will be helpful to you, your loved ones, your school and your emotional health in the long run. Logistics You will likely be required to produce a negative COVID test result 72 hours prior to departure. I would encourage you to identify several potential places where you might get your test or tests completed in time. As I was coming from the United States and I was uncertain if the test results would be completed in time, I underwent separate tests at two different testing clinics to increase my chances of getting the required results in time. You will need to set up your WeChat for arrival in China. This is a foundational aspect of the virus reporting and tracking system in China. Specifically, you will need to download and set up the Sui Kang mini program as well as the China Customs Pocket Declaration mini program which will require you to complete the Health Declaration ID form prior to departure and then upon arrival. I strongly suggest you take a picture of the entry QR code once you have completed both mini program processes. 40 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Packing Considerations As you will most likely be heading straight to your government quarantine hotel directly after landing and completing the various COVID-19 virus prevention testing protocols, it is wise to consider what you might need to successfully complete a 14 day quarantine in a hotel room by yourself. While your personal needs and preferences will dictate what you will pack, here are some suggestions: • Clothes (enough for 14 days as there is no laundry available) • Large beach type towel (to use an a exercise or yoga mat in the room) • Laptop, headphones, power converter and cord • Small portable Bluetooth speaker (it really helps to play music in your room) • HDMI cable (in case you can connect your laptop to the TV) • Books and a notepad • Podcasts and Videos (TV series... movies… exercise videos… download before you fly!) • Prescriptions, Medication and Vitamins (ibuprofen, etc…) • Non-perishable food items (crackers, jar of peanut butter, nuts, tea and coffee sachets, muesli bars, power bars, granola, instant oatmeal, ramen, soy sauce, salt and pepper, etc…) • Treats (hard candy, gum, mints – something that will not melt) • Reusable mug/cup • Plastic container (it also doubled as a plate) and a plastic bowl for oatmeal and ramen • Cutlery • Extra toilet paper (if you have a special preference) • Laundry, dish soap and a sponge (in case you want to hand wash clothes or your cutlery) • Personal toiletries (enough for 14 days) • Alcohol or special beverages (quarantine is a dry experience) The Flights My flying experience, while feeling surreal, was fairly straight forward. Pack plenty of masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Some food and basic drinks were provided on the flights. I would still encourage you to pack some snacks. Masks will have to be worn the entire flight (expect when eating and drinking), so make sure your mask is comfortable to wear for the long journey. Arrival in China I landed at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou. About two hours before landing, the flight attendants took the temperatures of all passengers which was reported to the health team at the arriving airport before we landed. Upon landing, our flight was directed to a restricted area of the tarmac, to a special gate, for us to disembark into their special quarantine and testing area inside the airport. Everyone was instructed to stay seated until instructed to depart the airplane. We were dismissed by seat numbers. You will be greeting by medical professionals and airport employees all in hazmat suits. Do not be alarmed, they are just being careful. They will take your temperature as you come off the plane and direct


you to a seating area in the terminal quarantine area. Again, I encourage people to be patient with the landing process as it takes at least several hours or more to complete. Have your passport and mobile phone handy with WeChat ready. I also strongly encourage you to ensure your phone battery is fully charged! As you disembark, a member of the medical team (in a hazmat suit) will place a red sticker on the back of your passport. The red sticker will have a number on it. This number will be the order in which you are processed. The first stage in the landing process after all passengers disembarked into the special quarantine area in the terminal, was for the medical professionals to confirm that you have an active Sui Kang account and that you have completed a revised online Health Declaration ID form in WeChat. After this is completed you will be directed to an intake area where a medical worker (in a hazmat suit), will scan your QR code from the Health Declaration ID form and print a QR code that will be attached to the back of your passport.This will be used to log your process through all other stages of the arrival health screening process. You will also be asked to sign a number of forms including a “Notification for Centralized Quarantine and Medical Observation” form. Our AISG HR staff were on call to provide virtual translation support through this entire process as most of the workers spoke minimal English. One helpful strategy for communication through this process was the creation of a “Welcome Back to China” special WeChat channel by HR for those of us returning to use at any time. After set up of health registration, you will be directed to the COVID testing room.You will be asked to take your passport with you for scanning (leave your carry on luggage outside the examination room). In the exam room, a medical professional will can your QR code, register your temperature again and then will efficiently administer two thorough nasal swabs, one for each nostril.You will then be dismissed to pick up your luggage and proceed to immigration. Immigration was a very traditional process only with preventive health measures in place. After Immigration, you will proceed to the baggage claim area. At baggage claim, the airport staff (in hazmat suits) will remove all luggage from the carousel as a safety precaution. Once your baggage arrives, you can proceed individually through customs. After customs you are directed to the quarantine bus loading area. It was very strange entering the airport after customs to see no one out in the receiving area. The entire area is closed off with hoarding that displayed directional arrows to follow to go to the next station. When in doubt, follow the arrows. Once you arrive to the bus loading area, you will be asked to provide your apartment address. The specific question I was asked was, “Where do you want to go after the quarantine hotel?”. It is helpful to have your apartment address printed out in Chinese (or a digital picture of the address) to show the medical team workers. If you have a doubt, we recommend for our staff to use our ErSha Campus school address. Based on your location in the city, you are assigned a number (I was assigned #1 and a huge number one sticker was put on my left shoulder). All of the same group was then directed to a bus which took us directly to our quarantine hotel. At no point was there any opportunity for anyone outside of the quarantine area at the airport to meet me or to hand anything off to. It was very comforting knowing that I had AISG HR staff on call to support at any time. Quarantine Hotel Once we arrived to our quarantine hotel (I am staying at the Vienna International Hotel in Guangzhou, a hotel I would rate as a Chinese three star hotel), our passports were collected from us by a medical

staff member (so they could check us into the hotel) and we were instructed to wait on the bus . All of our luggage was removed from the bus, lined up outside of the hotel and sprayed with a disinfectant. We then disembarked the bus and met the medical team and checked into the hotel, all outside of the hotel building. After my temperature was checked again and I completed signed several more forms including a form to check on my psychological health, an insomnia assessment, an anxiety detection form, a QR code to contact counselors if needed, a centralized quarantine notice informing me of how long I would be in quarantine, reminders about when food would be delivered, whether I wanted two or three meals a day, what time outside deliveries could arrive at the hotel, the timing of the two additional COVID-19 tests at the hotel, what time garbage would be cleared each day from the front door of our room. After receiving my passport back and my hotel room card, and a welcome gift bag from the government (ramen and some cookies), a medical team member escorted me to my room and gave me his personal WeChat in case I had any further questions. The process from landing to getting into my quarantine hotel room took me less than five hours. Welcome to your new home for two weeks! My hotel room is comfortable but not luxurious. I have some room pictures I can make available if you would like. The most important feature is that the Air Conditioning works and we are allowed to use it! It is not a big room (almost 30 feet long by almost 15 feet wide).The shower has hot water, the room comes with a water kettle (which is very important as I have used it a lot during my stay), the bed is serviceable, and there is a desk to work at. The room does not have a refrigerator. You can request fresh linens and towels during your stay but they will be delivered outside of your door and you will have to change them yourself. Just place the used linens outside your door to be picked up. The internet in the hotel is very weak. AISG anticipated this and had an immediate care package sent to my room within an hour of arrival that included additional drinking water, some snacks and treats and most importantly a MiFi router which enables me to set up my own wireless internet network in my hotel room. This has been a life saver. Highly recommended! The daily routine in quarantine is very predictable. Food deliveries (Chinese box meals in delivery bags) occur around the same time each day: breakfast at 7:30am, lunch at 12 noon and dinner at 5:30. They are either hung on the doorknob of the room or set outside the door on the floor. I also have some pictures of the meals if you would like to see examples. Please communicate any special dietary needs you have upon arrival (ie: allergies vegetarian, etc.).The medical staff knock on my door twice each day, once at 11am and then at 4pm, to take my temperature. You are expected to wear a mask whenever you come to your door and open it. Otherwise, you can be mask free in your room. I am not allowed to step beyond the doorway of my room. Garbage is taken away at 8pm each evening after it is set outside the door. Over the night, a new trach bag is placed outside my door along with two small bottles of drinking water. If you order any items delivered to your room, they will be delivered around mealtimes only. I have been told that I will have one more COVID-19 test the day before I am released from quarantine. When I am officially released, I will be expected to pay for the room and the meals before I depart. My understanding is that most quarantine hotels are one person to a room unless you have children, in which case children can stay with one of the parents. I am traveling by myself at this time as dependents were not eligible for special visas when I came back.

Winter 2020 Issue 41


Some Suggestions Personal Daily Routines. I recommend each person develops their own special daily routines while in quarantine. Adding structure to your days really helps the time to go by. I have certain morning routines, meal routines, exercise and wellness routines as well as scheduling when my work time is and when is my down time. Be thinking before you come back to China, what you want to do with your time in quarantine and how you can make it a meaningful opportunity for yourself versus just a challenging inconvenience. Stay in touch. Another strong recommendation is to make a plan for regular communication with friends, family, coworkers and your school throughout your quarantine time. I find I look forward to these calls the most each day! I also strongly encourage schools to systematically set up a support structure to assist returning people with managing their quarantine experience.

Care packages matter! I have been fortunate to receive several welltimed care packages and special meals from my staff, board, PTA and friends. Each one is a gift and a bright ray sunshine and joy in the quarantine experience! Closing Reflections While this experience is not ideal, I believe it is very manageable if people approach it with the right mindset, some preparation and having some support on the ground to assist you. You are likely to feel a whole range of emotions as you process everything through the arrival and quarantine experience. This is normal but is important to know, with confidence, that it is doable! You have a community to support you along the journey. It can be tough at times but stay positive and stay connected to your people! At the end of your stint, you’ll be back in your own bed in your home IN CHINA. After such a long time away, what can be better than that! Good Luck!

CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT

International School of Beijing Unveils New Facilities

Early Years Learning Community & Early Years Classroom The Early Years Learning Community supports the school’s Early Years program philosophy of differentiation, play-based, and inquiry-based approaches to learning, by offering flexible learning spaces.

By Nick Yates, International School Beijing Communications At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, the thought going through most people’s heads as they walk round the International School of Beijing (ISB) has been “Wow!” The school’s new facilities are, quite simply, stunning. After a highly unusual Summer Break, this is the moment the whole ISB community has been waiting for as students have begun learning in a new Elementary School (ES) Arts Center and Theater, Middle School (MS)/High School (HS) Performing Arts Center, Early Years Learning Community (EYLC), and MS/HS Design Center. These Facilities Master Plan (FMP) Projects have been years in the plan42 EARCOS Triannual Journal

ning, including extensive community input and consultation, to ensure the school continues to live its Mission and Vision and provide challenging and joyful learning for all. We have finally seen some of the most significant construction projects in ISB’s history come to fruition. The FMP was divided into new-build and remodel projects. ISB was excited to open the two brand-new projects – the ES Arts Center and Theater, and the MS/HS Performing Arts Center – in February, just as Covid-19 forced the temporary closure of campus and a period of online learning.They have since been joined by the remaining two remodel projects – the EYLC, and MS/HS Design Center in the fall. The EYLC is a large, purpose-designed space to better serve ISB’s youngest learners. It features 13 classrooms, lofts, and large common


Elementary School Arts Center and ES Theater ISB’s ES Arts Center and Theater is a flexible, creative performance/ practice space designed to meet the needs of ES performers and audience members. Includes a purpose-built theater, performing arts classrooms, elementary art classrooms, and demonstration areas. tra, choir, drama, and dance) with consideration for acoustic, lighting, and flooring requirements. Gerrick Monroe, ISB’s Chief Financial/Operating Officer, explained the genesis of these new facilities and how they strengthen student learning. “Regular revisions of ISB’s Facility Master Plan are made to ensure that facility modifications and additions are relevant and vital to the success of our innovative and changing programs and in line with our goals of providing world-class facilities that best meet the educational needs of our dynamic school community,” he said. “Flexible spaces allow for seamless changes in the daily programs and activities and are also more easily repurposed to meet the changing programmatic needs of a dynamic learning organization over the long term.”

spaces for Early Years 3, Early Years 4, and Kindergarten students.There’s an early years art classroom, music classroom, and student kitchen. Child-sized facilities and indoor play spaces are connected to outdoor play spaces. The MS/HS Design Center is a centralized facility for showcasing design and engineering programs. Designers can work in a robotics and electronics lab, fabrication lab, finishing lab, three HS art classrooms, and three flexible collaborative spaces. This area of the school provides inspiring spaces to facilitate interdisciplinary and project-based learning. The ES Arts Center and Theater is a flexible, creative performance/ practice space unlike any other on campus, expressly designed to meet the needs of ES performers and audience members. It includes a purpose-built theater, performing arts classrooms, elementary art classrooms, and demonstration areas. ISB values the creative arts alongside academics in whole child development. By increasing co-curricular options, this new space gives a greater range of options for students to meet individual success.

Middle School/High School Performing Arts Center The MS/HS Performing Arts Center was purpose-built to create a space for the growth of ISB’s dynamic performing arts programs

Similarly, but for more senior thespians and artists, the MS/HS Performing Arts Center was purpose-built to create a space for the growth of ISB’s dynamic performing arts programs. The center includes specially designed performing arts classrooms and practice rooms (band, orchesMiddle School/High School Design Center The MS/HS Design Center showcases ISB’s design, engineering, and entrepreneurship programs which challenge students to create, prototype, and iterate ideas, through a centralized design facility. Winter 2020 Issue 43


CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT

You Are What You Eat

(CDNIS Renovates Cafeteria and Revamps Lunch Menu) By Christopher Niem Canadian International School of Hong Kong The main cafeteria, located on the 6/F of the Canadian International School of Hong Kong campus, has been a gathering place for students, staff and parents alike for many years. A place where friends meet for lunch or a quick coffee at the Maple Cafe, and also where the community gathers to sample the great offerings of the International Food Fair during the CISPA Family Fun Fair, to make mooncakes ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, or to participate in one of the annual ‘PaintYour” events put on by the Habitat for Humanity Club. A few years ago, when the school began crafting its strategic plan it was no surprise that renovating the cafeteria was included as part of the school’s improved facilities development plan. Leading up to the cafeteria renovation has been three years of hard work -- from stakeholder surveys asking the community what changes they wanted to see, to meetings between the school, it’s food service provider (Maxim’s), and architects as they discussed what could be achieved -- the school’s goal was to introduce a new dining experience that would appeal to all. Along with renovating the entire back kitchen and installing new stateof-the-art equipment, a new front kitchen was also introduced that includes four stations where diners can watch their food being freshly prepared. Round tables were also brought in to allow for more inclusiv44 EARCOS Triannual Journal

ity, while a living green wall adds warmth to the space. The neutral, earthy tones from our recently renovated Early Years Environment have also been replicated in the cafeteria, and a tree feature in the middle of the room adds to the natural feel. As a green school, the renovations were also undertaken with our sustainability policy in mind. CDNIS is striving for a gold accreditation on the BEAM Plus scale which is “a comprehensive set of performance criteria for a wide range of sustainability issues relating to the planning, design, construction, commissioning.” “Aiming for BEAM Plus accreditation gives us a way to display our commitment to sustainability,” explained Peter Wong, Director of Business Administration. “Practical measures you are scored on include sourcing sustainable building materials and recycling materials which are no longer needed as part of renovation projects.” Along with physical changes to the space, the school also collaborated with alumna Peggy Chan ‘02, Managing Director at Grassroots Initiatives Consultancy, to re-design the cafeteria menus. Peggy previously helmed Grassroots Pantry and Nectar, two plant-based restaurants, and has championed causes of food sustainability and clean eating for many years. She has given back generously to the CDNIS community, with many classes enjoying field trips to her restaurant. Upper School students also gained valuable work experience during summers in Grassroots Pantry too.


“With the revamp of the school lunch options, we are hoping that students will be excited to order lunch at school,” said Upper School Vice Principal David Butler. “The school has worked hard with Grassroots and Maxim’s to significantly increase the quality and variety of food, appealing to Western and Asian palates.” Since the spring, Grassroots and Maxim’s have been working closely together to bring about positive change in time for the start of this school year. Some of the steps taken include discussing which meat ingredients can be substituted for plant-based ones, trying different plantbased recipes and using non-dairy alternatives. The Grassroots team also shared 20 new salad recipes, complete with complementary dressings, replacing empty starches with ingredients such as sweet potatoes for Maxim’s to offer. Maxim’s is also changing the kitchen staples being used. This involves switching from refined salts and sugars to more nutritious, natural substitutes, as well as using olive oil instead of hydrogenated oils heavy in trans fat. “This is an easier start point than trying to change the whole menu from scratch,” explained Joel Tomas, who is also part of the Grassroots team. “By working on this, we can start at the beginning and offer a good base, for example offering red and brown rice by default, instead of white rice.”

Joel Tomas, Operations Training Manager at Grassroots Initiatives Consultancy and Peggy Chan, Managing Director at Grassroots Initiatives Consultancy and CDNIA alumni ‘02. “It’s always been a dream of mine to create a nourishing and sustainable school food programme,” explained Peggy. “I am deeply inspired by the work of Alice Waters and in particular Jamie Oliver, who for many years tackled the quality of school food. What we’re aiming to do is to be a bridge between the school and Maxim’s to get students eating delicious nutritious food.” But it sounds easier said than done. Creating a menu which appeals to both Lower and Upper School students isn’t easy. While the majority of Lower School students would happily eat their lunch before dashing outside to play with their friends, Upper School students were more selective and didn’t want to indulge in the same offerings as their younger peers. If the food options weren’t right, an Upper School student may turn to a not-so-nutritious snack or skip lunch all together, and the school did not want that to happen.

Living green wall – Live green wall feature Educating students about the benefits of healthy, sustainable diets is a key part of the collaboration between CDNIS and Grassroots Consultancy. The “Lunch Well at CDNIS” campaign will tap into the sustainability projects already being driven by students and staff at school, and bring food into the equation. The campaign will spark conversations by having simple infographics such as illustrating the impact of choosing oat milk vs cow’s milk, displayed on the TV screens in the cafeteria and on social media. This will be part of a wider effort to spread awareness, with monthly themes around the issues of food sustainability. “After reviewing our food waste data and listening to concerns regarding our vegetarian options, we realized that we needed to bring in some experts to help us,” explained Brent MacEachern, Grade 8 Science Teacher and co-chair of the School Environmental Education Development [SEED] committee. “We are excited for Grassroots and Maxim’s to work together to help those in our community who are pursuing plant-based lifestyles.”

CDNIS serving stations - Open kitchen feature where food is prepared fresh and in front of students and staff

“Our long-term goal is to be able to influence the culture of school food in Hong Kong, and in other areas of Asia as well,” said Peggy. “Once parents and children can see the benefits of healthy, sustainable food, we really believe that it can become a movement for positive change.” Fall 2020 Issue 45


CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT

From 1.0 to 2.0, Brand New Campus, Unchanged SCIE Spirits

By Frank Deng, Non-academic Assistant Principal Shenzhen College of International Education “My life in SCIE was wonderful in Shuiwei old campus, it gifted me the attitude of curiosity and kindness to all unknowns in the future.” -Chenxing Han,Class of 2018 “SCIE is one of the few places where students with diverse personalities and different backgrounds can grow and speak out their voice freely. It would be glad to see this treasure being passed on to our new campus as it cultivates more independent and com-petitive students.” -Xiao Yang, Former Chairman of Students Union, Class of 2019 “Overlooking the new campus of Shenzhen College of International Education(SCIE), resting peacefully on a big platform which steadily palms the learning space for teachers and students. Here we find the preciousness and values of education.” Said Li Xiaodong, SCIE new campus architect and Winner of the Arkham Prize for Architecture. The campus is surrounded by water, forming intangible boundaries between the tranquil school environment and vibrant urban life. Teachers and students witnessed the opening of this brand new campus alongside of Antuo Shan in this late summer in 2020. What changes Antuo Shan Campus will bring to all staff with SCIE core value that has lasted for 17 years? Much meaningful and wonderful memories are being created in this place where students are cultivated and educated. Locating in Antuo Community, the campus is fea-tured as an elegant and refined looking, 46 EARCOS Triannual Journal

green and flexible space, user-friendly equipment, comparing with the advanced community facilities.


“This campus is built to satisfy the demand of our teachers and students.” Commented by Principal Mr. Neil Mobsby. Analysed by an architecture report from Tsinghua University, “the comfortable and multi-functional space in SCIE new campus reflects the complexity and creativity of teaching, the diversity of extra-curriculum activities, the mutual communication of staff and students, and the global vision of international education etc. .”

site expansion, the core of SCIE spirits pass on from senior to junior groups. We place a high value on focusing the current school students’ health physically and mentally, and seeing graduates who grow up from here develop themselves and achieve success worldwide.Therefore, we look forward to a new chapter and academic achievement in the Antuo Shan new campus in the near future.

The façade of campus is full of liveliness, with the body of ‘Morandi Grey’ which essentially is concretes decorated with simple elegance, while ‘greenness’ here stands for landscape which is covered by giant trees, dense bushes, young reeds, and light bamboo. Also, the sky garden is scattered with the vertical vines and other diverse plants; the clear stream with black stone at the bottom around the campus is like the ‘bul-wark’ to this vivid and natural site. Those who stay here concentrate better, be released from tiredness and realise the internal freedom by feeling the life, truth, as well as love in depth. ‘Here the architecture is to evoke all lives.’ explained by Li Xiaodong. Grey and green, visual and virtual, these elements slow people’s living pace down and enable them to think while experience. The teaching facilities are intelligentialized, from lab equipments to projectors, from white boards to computer connections, which serve for better communication between teachers and students in class. Also, the purpose of the school design is based on students’ academic learning and physical and psychological well-beings. Being founded for 17 years, students in SCIE have been growing up in a competitive and cooperative environment. Quoting from some of our parents, “The students’ minds have never been stopped by the limited physical space in the campus but keep exploring the world of knowledge. They are well-mannered, politely behaved and always see things on bright side in their personal growth.” “SCIE develops with students’ progress, it needs time and diligence. ”said by Principal Mr. Neil Mobsby. Furthermore, SCIE spirits reflect on the continuous daily progress and traditional heritage, which will pass on even moving to the new campus. As stated in the school mission, ‘To educate students in a challenging and international environment that leads to academic achievements at the highest level; and to develop social responsibility, creativity, initiative and enthusiasm, which provides each student with the best preparation for future opportunities.’ SCIE Now, is growing with 17-year rich experience and more than physical Fall 2020 Issue 47


PRESS RELEASE

Taipei American School Selected as a SPAN Honorary Partner School Safe Passages Across Networks (SPAN) is founded and chaired by Drs. Douglas W. Ota. TAS hosted Ota several years ago to start our school down this path. While here, Ota led an EARCOS weekend workshop sharing recent research in cognitive neuroscience and counseling to identify areas that students will most likely struggle with during times of transitions. He also led advisory workshops in the upper school and met with our Academic and Personal Counseling and College Counseling departments. As one involved in transition work with the TAS community, Dr. Dan Long, explained that this Partner School designation is an acknowledgment from SPAN about the good work that our community has committed itself to over the past few years. It is also a sign to internationally mobile families and potential faculty that if they choose to make a home here at Taipei American School, they will receive support for their arrival and eventual departure.

Counselor, author, and speaker Doug Ota works extensively with international schools on mobility, helping them receive and send off students in a proactive and intentional way. He spoke with TAS parents in 2018 about how to help children manage mobility as part of the transition to college, saying goodbye to friends who are moving, or for children moving away from their current community. He also held sessions for upper school students, counselors, and faculty from across the region. (Photo: TAS Communications Office) Taipei American School has been chosen as one of only three Safe Passages Across Networks (SPAN) Honorary Partner Schools worldwide for the 2020-2021 school year. Over the last few years, Taipei American School has invested time and energy into conversations around the SPAN concept, which focuses on the transition needs of students, parents, and educators worldwide. This initiative has been Supported by Interim Head of School Dr. Grace Cheng and led by Upper School Counselor Ryan Haynes, Upper School Dean of Students Dr. Daniel Long, Middle School Counselor Dr. Lori Richardson Garcia, and Lower School Counselor Cindy Teeters, in close coordination with Human Resources Director Carol Chen and HR Assistant Director Anne Tsao. This team has worked in all three divisions to make improvements to many aspects of our transition program for students, parents, and teachers. Whether you are an “arriver,” a “leaver,” or a “stayer,” these faculty members have worked tirelessly to make sure you will have support for your journey at Taipei American School. We are honored to accept this invitation as we continue to refine our vision for student, parent, and faculty transitions. TAS is always trying to improve our transitions care programming. TAS recognizes the importance of arriving, staying, and leaving well. It’s important to remember, in order to arrive well, one must leave well. 48 EARCOS Triannual Journal

In the largest study ever performed in the history of educational research by John Hattie, of the 138 factors that affect learning the single greatest negative impact on how much students learn is whether they have to move. Therefore, it is a vital importance schools pay attention to transitions and devote the time, energy, and resources to ensuring students, faculty, and families transition well. If students do not transition well, optimal learning will not take place. “We want our students, parents, and faculty to transition well,” said Long. “Because if you are supported well during transition, you end up being a healthy, well-adjusted individual.” Since Drs. Ota’s original visit, the school has been hard at work to intentionally curate a more seamless transition experience for arrivers, leavers, and stayers. Dr. Long says that this third category - the stayers has been a particular area of focus of late because they are a historically often overlooked segment of school populations. In November 2020, Taipei American School will host several events for the TAS “stayers” to thank them for their support of other people within our community as others have arrived and needed support or left them behind as they move away from our community. “The stayers are the backbone of our community,” said US Academic and Personal Counselor, Ryan Haynes. “They help define our school culture and help others adjust successfully to our community once here.” The TAS administration hopes that the entire community will continue to delve into these conversations at school and at home. By taking a comprehensive approach and working together as a community, the transition needs of every person on campus can be addressed in ways that lead to healthy, positive adjustment. For more information on SPAN, please visit its website: https://www. spanschools.org/


Middle School Art Celebration American Pacific International School “Horse” Molly Lau, Grade 7 Medium: Color pencils on Kraft paper American Pacific International School “The Illusion” Wanyu Qing, Grade 10 Medium: Oil on canvas

American International School Vietnam “My Personal Belongings” Lê An Nhiên, Grade 8

Bandung Alliance Intercultural School “Art Gallery in 1 Point Perspective” JuEun Song, Grade 8 Medium: Marker

Brent International School Baguio “Portrait” Jihyeong (Connie) Kim, Grade 9 Medium: Pencil and colored pencil on paper

Bandung Alliance Intercultural School “Self-Portrait” Simeon Gunthorpe, Grade 8 Medium: Graphite

Fall 2020 Issue 49


Middle School Art Celebration

Concordia International School Hanoi “Value Study and Silhouette” Minh Ngoc Nguyen, Grade 7 Medium: Tempera paints

Concordia International School Hanoi “My Crazy Hair” Seo Eun (Leah) Oh, Grade 7 Medium: Poster paints and marker

Brent International School Baguio Abstract Art by Kadinsky Elijah Galamay, Grade 5 Medium: Crayons and markers on paper.

International School of Bangkok “Composition Study” Yongen Zhou, Grade 6 Medium: Watercolor, Pen and Ink Title of image: ISBangkok Yongen Zhou

International School of Bangkok “Untitled” Olivia Rortveit. Grade: 8 Medium: Watercolor, Pen and Ink Title of image: ISB Olivia Rortveit 50 EARCOS Triannual Journal


International School of Ulaanbaatar Naima Tepper, Grade 8

Korea Kent Foreign School Alexis (Tae Yee) Kim, Grade 7

International School of Ulaanbaatar Yesugen Khangai, Grade 7

Korea Kent Foreign School Eva Pataki, Grade 6

Wells International School On Nut Campus “Hua Mulan” Krittika “Grace” Luangyot, Grade 8 Medium: Stencil print on collage 27.5 x 37 cm

Fall 2020 Issue 51


Middle School Art Celebration

Seoul International School “N Tower” Won-Geom Yang, Grade 8

Saigon South International School Exploration & Observation Bach Luu, Grade 6 Media: Marker, charcoal, ink, acrylic

Saigon South International School Balance and Harmony Ian Ngo, Grade 8 Media: Acrylic, Amaziograph app, and AR

Nanjing International School Plastic Pollution Alina Medium Linoleum block print on paper Dimensions: 30 x 42cm

Nanjing International School Halina Sunny Medium: Oil paint on canvas Dimensions: 40 x 50cm 52 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Seoul International School “Through the Lights” Jihwan Alex Lee, Grade 8


APPLICATION NOW OPEN!

THE RICHARD T. KRAJCZAR HUMANITARIAN AWARD This annual award is given in recognition of EARCOS’ longest serving Executive Director, Dr. Richard T. Krajczar. Caring for others was not just Dr. K’s passion but his raison d’être. His support of those who provided sustenance and care for the less fortunate was among his most endearing traits. To that end, the EARCOS Board of Trustees has established the Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award to recognize, each year, the work of one not-for-profit organization with a proven record of philanthropy in the East Asia/Pacific Region. APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 15, 2021 https://www.earcos.org/humanitarian_award.php


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