Message from the Board of Directors

In-House

Dear parents,

You’ll read below some key findings from the 2018 FIS survey. They were a core topic of the Board Retreat on September 1. That feedback is one of just a few essential sources of evidence for measuring how well the school is performing in the areas laid out in the Strategic Plan. As such, a big thanks to the students, staff and the parents who took the time to fill out the survey. That said, please allow us to express our disappointment that only 20% of parents gave their feedback. We really hope and indeed expect more. In fact, we consider it an obligation to participate as per the home-school partnership. If there are any concerns with the process or the way the survey is set up, kindly let Kelly Vandermeeren, Communications Officer, have your input via kelly.vandermeeren@the-fis.de so we can do our best to get close to 100% participation next spring!

The Retreat was an ideal opportunity to look into the status of the Strategic Plan and discuss priorities for this school year. We started with a reflection on the school’s Mission and Vision, kindly supported by several teachers and students who expressed by video what these guiding statements mean to them. Then looked at the 2017-2022 strategy and progress being made on a variety of action plans. It was also an ideal and fun opportunity for the Board (with four relatively new members) and school leadership to “gel”.

The comprehensive survey which was completed by parents, staff, board members, alumni and student at the end of the last school year was the CIS (Council of International Schools) standardized survey used by hundreds of international schools. This survey enables us to benchmark how we are performing in a number of areas with like schools and to compare our progress with previous years. The survey was also designed to include twelve specific FIS related questions to cater to our strategic needs. The main findings of the survey were:

Areas of strength

  • The school is managed well, is financially secure and the Board provides sound direction
  • The school uses information technology to enhance learning
  • The school promotes a supportive environment for student learning and wellbeing
  • The school provides a healthy and safe environment for students
  • Classroom and teaching spaces provide an appropriate environment for learning
  • The Strategic Plan provides sound direction for the school
  • The school has a culture which embraces change
  • The school is well led and trusted in managing the total school program

Areas for growth

  • The school needs to develop a more systematic means for analyzing/recording/reporting on schoolwide data.
  • Regarding deep thinking, creativity and reflection, there is a disconnect between what teachers think is happening in the classroom and what students are experiencing.
  • The higher the grade level, the lower students rated the creativity and real-life learning experiences offered.
  • There is a concern among parents, students and staff about transitions between Grades and school sections.
  • Unique needs and abilities of students need to be better identified at admission.
  • Students expressed that they are not able to share their cultural heritage.

Fortunately, our Strategic Plan has identified many of these areas of concern and action plans have been written to help address these concerns. As a school, we want to improve and your feedback is really important, so I ask that when the survey is sent out in the spring of 2019 that everyone takes part.

Your Board of Directors, Director and Deputy Director

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