Director’s updates 24th August 2017

Dear Parents,

We have successfully navigated our first two days of school and returning students are so engaged already that is seems they never had a summer break. Many of the new students seemed a little timid at first but already most are working and communicating as if they have always been here. Everybody will be pleased to see that we have made every effort to keep class numbers to decent sizes this year. It means the EC children have even more room per student to run and play than ever before. Overall numbers in Elementary are up due to having a second Grade 1 class rather than overcrowding in each class. This, however, does leave us with relatively large waiting lists for all Elementary classes. We realize that students on this list have a genuine need for the type of education offered at ISKR and as we look to the future we keep this in mind. The Secondary School (combined Middle and High School) has grown rather dramatically this year. High School alone has grown from 24 students in August 2016 to 36 students now; an increase of 50%.

The returning teachers are also fully engaged in classroom work and have had over a week of intensive training in new systems (RENWEB, DESTINY, Google Classroom etc) and curricula advancements that are being implemented this year. A new Library/Media center will soon be opening as a core addition to this progression. All our new teachers are also in place and adding their extensive experience and knowledge to the mix.
Now that we are moving past the initial excitement of meeting everyone again and moving into the school year I want to highlight some of the areas of the Parent Handbook;
1. Drop off time is 7:45am and pick-up (when there are no clubs) is at 3:15 (or five minutes earlier in the EC building). Due to extra morning meetings we do not have anybody on duty before 7:45am and feel that children dropped off alone before this time are at risk.

2. All visitors, including parents, need to report to the office (or Nurse’s station in EC) on first entering the building (aside from regular drop-off or pick up times). This process has been there for years and now as numbers grow we really need to enforce this for everyone’s safety. In case of a fire, lockdown or evacuation we need to know who exactly is in the building and where they are. Many classes are now full and this increases the number of possible visits during the day if parents are rushing in with forgotten homework or lunches. All items can be left in the office (or lunches on the table outside) and the office staff will ensure they are picked up.

3. Please let us know as soon as possible if your child is going to be absent. Again with larger numbers this is likely to occur more often and teachers can plan ahead (changing learning groups or assignments etc.) The easiest way to do this is to email and Mensiye will immediately enter the data into the new RENWEB system.

4. Please turn up to school events!! This is not a rule but the more communication between school and home the more all students will benefit.

Next week there is a possibility of two school closures; it is possible that Rwanda will celebrate Harvest on Sunday 27th of August which may lead to a public holiday on Monday. Eid Al Adha, a public holiday in Rwanda, will fall towards the end of the week though we are not yet sure on which day. As soon as we know we will inform all parents. Please keep watching your email or the website for updates.

I sincerely hope that you and you children have and excellent school year and I look forward to meeting everyone at school on numerous occasions.

Séamus Hennessy
International School of Kigali-Rwanda