Back to School

Back to School

Back to School: Parent Evenings

 

Following a series of spirited and energized commencement ceremonies last week, at which we welcomed back our students and faculty, this week we turn our attention to helping parents begin their engagement with our school for the academic year.

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Today, we launch our annual series of ‘back to school’ events which are aimed at all parents, both new and returning. While the format and setting has evolved over the past ten years, the intent remains consistent: we seek to provide our parents with a clear sense of what the year holds for their children.

 

Aside from an introduction to the general structure of the curriculum, a description of key teaching resources, an overview of assessment practices, and an explanation of homework expectations, Back to School Night also offers families a chance to meet some, if not all, of the teachers who will be caring for their children throughout the year. Early establishment of a healthy and mutually respectful parent-teacher communication is critically important for not only academic success, but also the physical and emotional wellbeing of each student.

 

We urge all parents to give these events a high priority in their busy lives. The first event scheduled for today, Friday August 23, is intended for Foundation Year to Grade 2 parents; the second event for Grades 3 to 5, will be held on Friday, August 30; the final event for all of Secondary School, is scheduled for Thursday, September 5.

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Back to School: Alumni Summer Social

 

Last Friday evening, we hosted the largest alumni event since graduating our first cohort of IB scholars in 2012. Over 60 of our former students, with each graduating cohort represented, joined members of senior management to celebrate the start of the new school year. With food and fun in abundance, we spent an evening reminiscing on past adventures and hearing about the amazing exploits of our alumni as they move from university to embrace their adult professional and personal lives. The evening was punctuated with poignance and passion by a series of well-rehearsed performances by our very versatile and talented alumni musicians.

 

Through my conversations with former students, I was struck by the remarkable diversity of interests and passions reflected in their eclectic choices for tertiary study. Ranging from ancient Greco-Roman history to nanotechnology, from company law to community medicine, the richness and breadth of learning and career choices is a compelling endorsement of our approach to education at ISF.

 

Our alumni, numbering nearly 200, have formed an official association, complete with a governing board and a constitution (drafted by alumni who are now working as lawyers!). Increasingly, I expect our alumni to take a greater interest in the development of the school. Already identified in the strategic plan as a key stakeholder group, in the coming years I look forward to welcoming key contributions to governance from alumni representatives. We already have our first full-time alumni employee, a member of the Class of 2014.

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Back to School: Community

 

With the return to school, we need to resume our careful handling of the impact school operations, particularly traffic, has on the surrounding community. We have already received formal complaints from the Southern District Council and local residents about illegal parking, the excessive and illegal use of car horns, and ISF cars blocking key road intersections during the morning and afternoon peak times.

 

I urge all families to ensure that all private ISF vehicles are driven with due care and attention to safety and the potential impact on others. Senior management and parent representatives will be monitoring traffic and offending vehicles will be identified and the owners contacted. The ISF Community Code, a copy of which is attached below, binds all members of the ISF community to exemplify our school values, the Eight Virtues + One, through their behavior and attitude.

 

Poor driver behavior has a direct impact on the safety and wellbeing of students and damages the reputation and standing of ISF in the wider community; it is a clear breach of our Community Code.

 

Please work together with us to make our part of Hong Kong a safe place for all members of the community.

 

 

 

 

The ISF Community Code

 

The ISF anchors its values on the Eight Virtues + One. We see these values as the backbone of our school community, reinforced in the daily activities of our students and practiced by the adults around them.

 

As such, we expect that ISF parents, teachers, administrators and students act courteously and respectfully to each other. In particular we expect members of The ISF Community to:

 

 

  • use respectful and moderate language in all communications and under all circumstances;
  • respect and protect the privacy of others;
  • respect and protect the safety and well-being of all community members;
  • act with honesty and integrity in both social and academic contexts;
  • act to protect the school’s reputation and property at all times;
  • treat others with equality regardless of race, sex, social status, or religion; and
  • student safety is our top priority: please respect the road laws of Hong Kong and observe ISF traffic policy.

 

We tell our students that Wisdom, the ultimate Virtue, is the ability to choose our actions well. We hope that the choices we all make in our interactions with each other will all be guided by kindness and will reflect the core moral values of The ISF Community.

 

Parent Undertaking:

I agree to abide by The ISF Community Code. I also agree that my employees, including but not limited to driver(s), tutor(s), and domestic helper(s), and agent(s) will abide by the code when interacting with other members of The ISF Community, including all employees, teachers, volunteers, and agents. I understand that my membership of The ISF Community and my child’s enrolment as an ISF student require our continued observance of and respect for The ISF Community Code.

 

 

 

 

 

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