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Understanding & Problem Solving

Thursday, June 4, 2020

“Never mask who you truly are and embrace understanding whenever you can.” – Mr. Kelley’s, closing remark to the Class of 2020 who celebrated their highly unusual Graduation last Friday, the day before we quietly celebrated the school’s 35th birthday. For the remainder of this school year we will continue to look at our past while planning our future and today look at two different examples of understanding from the years 2016 and 2017.
“… the response of a team of different stakeholders who successfully supported others in a political climate fraught with misunderstanding.” No, not a comment on events that fill the news today, but how someone in the ISS community described the establishment of the International Café starting in August 2016. In the midst of a national debate, the ISS team took action and has consistently supported our local refugee community in Degerloch since then. Held once a month on a Sunday the Café (image) hosted an average of 60 refugees each month from the refugee homes on the Waldau and in Helene-Pfleiderer-Str. Men, women and children from many different countries and all age groups enjoyed circus, clowning, magic and of course sports and artistic activities.  Their feedback over the years has been that they felt welcomed and they appreciated that our community sought to understand the situations they had left and those that they found themselves in today. Many of the volunteers from our community also supported our guests when it came to health and language needs. The International Café has been on hold for the last few months for obvious reasons, but we look forward to it reopening as a powerful reminder of the importance of our school mission.
Inspired by our location in a city renowned for its contributions to engineering and technology, ISS believes that today’s world requires a creative approach to problem solving. In 2016/17 staff from across both campuses worked together to document how our grades 5 to 12 promote students’ development of problem-solving through a multidisciplinary approach to teaching Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology to a high standard, our curricular and extra-curricular activities from the IB Personal Project to our Science and Inventors Clubs, our involvement in national and international competitions and the forging of active partnerships with local industry. That approach was officially recognized by the German authorities in 2017 when ISS received the ‘MINT-freundliche Schule’ recognition awarded to schools that demonstrate excellence in the teaching of MINT/STEM subjects.