Welcome Back

posted Jan 11, 2015, 6:31 AM by Gena Engelfried


NEW YEARS GREETINGS – I was so thrilled to get back to school last week.  I know it’s quite a transition to come back to the rhythm and routine of daily life at school. I hope this week provided order and security for our students  (and a return to comfortable daily norms for their hardworking parents). 

I spent the first part of the week off campus at an ISS teacher-recruiting event.  Following my return over the past few days I have been asked the question, “What is ISS and what does it do for our school.” 

ISS is International School Services and our schools’ expat faculty and I are all ISS recruits. Although we are employees of our school’s board, the faculty and I work under the auspices of International School Services. Based in Princeton and founded in 1955, ISS is the “contractor” for our school and works with our school board to provide educational services for our students and our school. ISS sustains our school in many ways by providing curriculum support, HR and benefits coordination, updates and training for administration and support for school policy, and help with shipping and ordering ordering materials.    Our ISS “Contract Executive” guides and advises Alasdair and me. Those of you who met Charles Gregory at the last board meeting got a glimpse of our connection with ISS.   You may have also met Laura Benson, curriculum specialist, who is an ISS employee and was sent by ISS at my request to review our curriculum goals and practices this year. NEW YEARS GREETINGS – I was so thrilled to get back to school last week.  I know it’s quite a transition to come back to the rhythm and routine of daily life at school. I hope this week provided order and security for our students  (and a return to comfortable daily norms for their hardworking parents).

I spent the first part of the week off campus at an ISS teacher-recruiting event.  Following my return over the past few days I have been asked the question, “What is ISS and what does it do for our school.”

ISS is International School Services and our schools’ expat faculty and I are all ISS recruits. Although we are employees of our school’s board, the faculty and I work under the auspices of International School Services. Based in Princeton and founded in 1955, ISS is the “contractor” for our school and works with our school board to provide educational services for our students and our school. ISS sustains our school in many ways by providing curriculum support, HR and benefits coordination, updates and training for administration and support for school policy, and help with shipping and ordering ordering materials.    Our ISS “Contract Executive” guides and advises Alasdair and me. Those of you who met Charles Gregory at the last board meeting got a glimpse of our connection with ISS.   You may have also met Laura Benson, curriculum specialist, who is an ISS employee and was sent by ISS at my request to review our curriculum goals and practices this year. 

On January 4, Alasdair and I arrived at the ISS recruiting fair in Bangkok to spend four days searching for the best teachers in South East Asia to fill our open teaching positions. During that time we also had an opportunity to meet with other directors and principals, discuss best practices and pending changes, talk about the things that make our schools great and brainstorm ways to make them even better.  I learned a lot about ISS and other schools like ours during my time in Bangkok. If you would like to know more, check out the ISS website at www.iss.edu.

Those of you with children who will spend their childhoods in International Schools might be interested in the founding of ISS.  Arthur Sweetser was the author, educator, and entrepreneur who founded ISS.  He was a journalist during WWII and eventually who began his career by promoting global communication through education. In 1924 he had founded the International School of Geneva and in 1947 the United Nations International School in New York.  Sweetser hoped to create global understanding and communication through education. ISS is the non-profit result of his efforts. It is an institution that serves the needs of the international educational community. ISS helps schools like ours find high-quality faculty, sustainable practices, and access to materials and provides guidance and support for us as we guide and support your children. Meeting new teachers and affirming my commitment to International Education was a great way to start a New Year. Welcome back.

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