Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” —Langston Hughes
February 5th, 2021
It is hard to believe that over half of our school--(Grades 3-6)--will return this month, after learning from home for almost a year! As we welcome the 3rd and 4th graders back on Monday, February 8th, I would like to give thanks for your support this past year, and express my gratitude for all the coaching, coaxing, translating, and tutoring that you have done to facilitate the distance learning experience in the past year. I also would like to congratulate all the kids for changing their daily routines and learning many new skills to cope with this situation in the best way possible. Lastly, I would like to give a special call out to our amazing ISLA faculty who have really hit it out of the park the past year, and recognize their extraordinary efforts in this area. I recently saw a picture/meme that described distance learning well. It was a photo of an iceberg, with the few elements that we see, such as the lesson itself, represented by a portion of ice that is exposed to the air, and the many areas that we don’t see such as the planning and preparation, the recording of video lessons, correcting, assessing and evaluating, the team meetings, and on and on. I could say the same thing for family members, and for the students themselves. There is so much happening behind the scenes that it is a wonder that we have achieved so much up to this point.
Today, I would like to reiterate and clarify a few things about our Phase 5 of our Safe Learning Plan, and point out a few other key dates:
Spring conferences are approaching at the end of February. As in years past, Spring Conferences will provide an opportunity for students to have agency in how their learning is shared. However, there are some changes that we want to make you aware of. Conferences will be held virtually. (Teachers will share zoom links and other relevant details prior to conferences.) Teachers’ schedules also vary slightly but will offer plenty of opportunities for families to connect between February 24 and 26th. Each conference will last 25 minutes. Some of our families will remain in distance learning, so we will be releasing sign ups in a way that accommodates participation from collaborating distance learning teachers for those families.
We are looking forward to seeing your ISLA learner walking in the front door again later this month.
Thank you for everything you are doing to help us on this journey.
ISLA needs you! Looking for a way to help support the mission and oversight of our amazing school? We are looking for interested community members, teachers, and parents to fill upcoming vacancies on the ISLA Board of Directors for three-year terms, beginning July 1, 2021, as well as a community member to fill a one-year vacancy from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The Board is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the school, implementing policies and procedures, and long-term strategic and financial planning. No previous experience necessary, but we do have a specific need for expertise in finance, marketing and fundraising. Questions can be directed to Mary Jo De Villers, Election and Nominating Committee Chair, at email@example.com. If you are interested in applying, please submit a Statement of Interest to the Election and Nominating Committee by February 19, 2021. Here is a link to the Statement of Interest: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bCSWpuanWuJblxC-JThgl-vXVKZE_at8/view?usp=sharing A sample ballot will be posted on the school's website in April 2021, and the election for office will occur in connection with the school’s annual meeting in May 2021.
Have you heard? ISLA has a new Board Committee and we need your help!
ISLA's newly formed Diversity and Equity Committee is in search of parents, teachers, staff members, and diverse representation from the ISLA community. Having background and experience in the area of D&I is helpful, but certainly not a requirement to participate.
The purpose of the Committee is to provide recommendations, guidance, assistance, and support to the Board and ISLA administration with respect to diversity and equity issues. ISLA is committed to proactively seeking to reduce or eliminate inequities and advance inclusion for all students and employees.
ISLA views diversity holistically as including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, religion, disability, learning abilities, age, and immigration status.
Email Erika Posthumus to indicate your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of Valentine's Day, be on the lookout for fun activities to do at home the Week of February 15th to celebrate friendship! Brought to you by the ISLA PTO.
After a fun week of Friendship activities, join us Friday night, February 19th, at 7pm for a virtual magic show! Brought to you by the ISLA PTO and ISLA magician Kyle Frisk. See attached flyer for more details.