RE: Trudeau on Travels. Wednesday “Parent Drop-In”

AISM Community,

During the “Year of the Wildebeest” our school continues to change and adapt, as we continue to support one another tenaciously to meet all of our students’ Academic Needs. We may be small in numbers, but, like Wildebeests, our strength lies in individual and group RIGOR!!

AISH (Academy of International School Heads)

Yesterday, here in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to attend the Board meeting for the Academy of International School Heads (AISH), which I originally joined in 2007. I now have the honor of serving on the Board of Trustees of the leading organization for International School Heads. We currently have over 450 Directors enrolled, of which 95% belong to State Department-assisted schools, like ours. During our six-hour meeting, we worked jointly toward our goal of making significant contributions to the future of learning and leading in an International context. We will make sure that we present our Director stakeholders the training and differentiated professional and personal development opportunities that will be essential for us, as school leaders, to move our organizations and communities forward.

Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE)

Today, I will once again have the pleasure to represent the American International School of Monrovia at the annual Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) in San Francisco (Yes…it is raining!). AAIE is a global community that helps support high quality American/Internationally-accredited education institutions worldwide.

Middle States Association (MSA)

Here in San Francisco, I will meet with Middle States Association (our accreditation agency), as we enter the period of our mid-year review on our accreditation cycle, to make sure that we, as a school:

  • Are using the process of continual school improvement
  • Are fortifying our educational programs
  • Are continuing to develop and evolve in order to meet our highly transient students’ needs

Office of Overseas Schools

I have also scheduled some time with the Office of Overseas Schools to inform them on the progress that we have made since the conference in New York last year. I would like to discuss our period of revitalization during a time of high student transition (>40%), but with low teacher turnover (<10%). This has helped our school remain stable, and in a position of continued academic improvement. In the last year, the American International School of Monrovia had both academic and physical growths, as we added:

  • A new food service program
  • A new Upper School Spanish course
  • A new EYP division, currently very near capacity

I will also present our school’s academic achievement to verify that the school is doing as well as, or better than, other American International Schools worldwide.

Vendors and Educational Suppliers

Also, during this week, I will work to ensure that the American International School of Monrovia is in good standing with our vendors and educational suppliers. I have over 12 meetings with various vendors to discuss topics ranging from school supplies, to blended learning platforms, to banking, and non-profit status:

  • Global Education Systems/International School Services – to make sure that our students have a continuous flow of school supplies, and the most current educational resources. Upon my return, the teachers and I will order, from the samples I collect, the school resources that are the “best fit” for our current student body.
  • K12 – our online learning partner that allows our students to use a blended model for a more personalized learning. This is a supplement to our academic program. The school has partnered with K12, since 2014, and offered over 20 courses to students who needed additional challenges beyond the traditional AISM program.
  • University of Nebraska High School (UNHS)– our online learning partner in our High School division, since 2015. UNHS is an accredited program that allows our 9th and 10th grade students to have a full High School curriculum that meets their needs, challenge them, and make their transcripts “college-ready.” Presently, in Grade 10, we offer the Chemistry course online. With both school and parent support, we are preparing our students to become independent and self-motivated learners by acquiring the study skills and habits necessary for effective learning and success.NWEA – the organization that Measures your students’ Academic Progress (MAP) to help our team of educators meet their academic needs. Since the conference last year, the NWEA has upgraded and added a few features and improvements to our flexible and adaptive, individualized, evaluation that “helps teachers teach … and supports students’ academic growth.”
  • TIE CARE Health Insurance – to ensure that, in the event of medium to severe student health and safety issue, we are able to both stabilize our students (beyond Nurse G) and provide them with ambulatory care in Monrovia. TIE has partnered with ASPEN, as they are presently the only provider in Monrovia that meets TIE’s quality control standards for student stabilization.
  • IMG Health Insurance – a worldwide medical insurance for our international import staff. We ensure that our import faculty health insurance meets the needs of our teachers in the challenging context of present day Monrovia. In the event that the teachers’ medical needs cannot be met in Monrovia, IMG will do a medical evacuation to guarantee their health and well-being.

American/International Schools Worldwide

Most importantly, my work on the Board of the Academy of International School Heads, and also with the American Association of International Education, will give me multiple opportunities to work with several other school Directors from American/International Schools in our region and beyond. Like us, they face complex and difficult challenges in putting student education first. However, like us, they are committed and dedicated to meeting that challenge, while ensuring the long-term viability of the school they serve, and to ensure that all students can, and are able to succeed.

Job Fair

The final night and day of the conference will be to continue our relentless pursuit of having high quality teachers join our team for the 2019 – 2020 School Year, and beyond!!

Final Notes

Like the events we hold at school, we, as Directors, also try to pack as much as possible into these conferences to both make the best use of our time, and to gain as much information as possible during our time off campus.

Special thanks to Ms. Johnson, and our entire staff, for holding down the fort this week. I will be back in the office on Tuesday, February 12th, as Monday (February 11th) is a Liberian Holiday – Armed Forces Day – and the school will be on recess.

Also, a special shout out to Lovetta for helping with our planning for next year, with the survey and our application platform questions that were sent out last week to advise us of your academic intentions for next year regarding your students’ enrollment at the American International School of Monrovia. Please be sure to contact her if you have any issues in using our planning tools.

Our goal is to have our preliminary numbers by the end of the week to begin the work on our financial model for the 2019 – 2020 School Year.

Best from San Fran. See you next week.


Contact Information & Links

Old Road, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, Africa | P.O. Box 1625 | Phone: 231-777-818-775

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AISM admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.