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New families welcomed to ISS

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

After a summer of anticipation and preparation, ISS was finally able to welcome in the new families today. As the students and their parents arrived, there was the feeling that they were not only being welcomed into a school, but into a home as well. Flowers were displayed around the entrance, coffee and breakfast items were laid out, and there were numerous smiling faces eager to help answer any questions. What a wonderful privilege this school has – to open the door to people from all over the world and to support them so that they feel at home. The effect of a warm welcome is tremendous because it has the ability to build community. As one looked around today, it was obvious that this community was already being built. Students never having met before were already talking to one another. Parents were mingling. Staff were getting to know the new families. In Tim Kelley’s welcome back letter to the faculty and staff, he discusses the importance of the “…increasing recognition of the power of human connection.” In one of his most recent blog posts entitled, “Our learning, our world,” (Link to blog post) he quotes Alison Cooke Sather: “We need to re-imagine education as an unending process of change in which we strive to connect.…and reconnect…The spaces between words and how we negotiate them, the gaps in understanding and how we bridge them, the distance between people and how we span them…” This is what ISSstrives for, and often bridging gaps and building connections begins with making people feel respected and valued. Making them feel welcomed. There couldn’t then have been a more perfect way to start the year than with the doors wide open and a collective welcoming spirit from the whole school!