Straight Down the Middle – Summer, 2015

Dear ISG Staff:

I hope the summer has been treating you well, and that you have enjoyed time with family, friends, and perhaps a good book or two. With the conclusion of Eid, ISG has kicked back into action in securing entry visas for new staff (things are going well) and also in the multitude of construction and renovation projects across the district. Rather than send this message at the busy (and fatigued) end of the school year, I thought I’d reach out to you at this time. (If you don’t read this until you return in August, no worries!)

Thank you. Most importantly, I will start with the administration’s appreciation of your efforts toward a year of growth at ISG. Change is in the air, and it is exciting!  In bringing a positive attitude toward the 21st Century Initiative (link to playbook), your willingness to try new instructional methods, devices, or web applications, get on board with school-wide literacy efforts, or join new teams, has made a huge difference. Specifically, we thank you for engaging in the iPGP instrument and process for evaluation. Though we have not yet achieved all of our goals, our progress as a district has surpassed our expectations (please know, however, we believed you could do it).

Focus. I was able to get to each school in June for a quick chat about the district focus toward improvement. We will stick with what we promised, that the three goals areas–tech integration, literacy, collaboration–will remain the three goals areas for the new school year. It’s important that we build upon the progress achieved, all in the best interests of our students. I’m happy to share with you the executive summary of the updated Technology Plan (link).

Security. The events in the Middle East and across the world will keep safety and security in our minds and efforts for the foreseeable future. It is a top priority. As you may know, we are in the implementation phase of our comprehensive security review. Mike Hughes (from RMI) has been visiting each site and working with the administration on immediate infrastructure improvements, and in establishing procedures, practices, and policies (i.e. prevention). You will hear much more about this in the coming weeks and months.

Convocation. The District Office will again host a convocation for the six schools in the EP on Thursday, August 20. I’ll start by hosting a breakfast for the new staff; the all-staff meeting will start at 10:00 in the Auditorium. Following the meeting, the District Office will host an open house, where you can get your questions answered, and perhaps any paperwork completed. (All other teacher days before students start on Aug. 24 will be organized by the individual schools.)

School Videos. We will publicly launch the school videos created last winter as part of a larger social media launch in September. In the interim, take a look at your school’s video, or at others you may be interested to learn more about: District, DHS, DEMS, DBGS, Jubail, Dammam, SVS, Yanbu.

Take care, and see you soon!

Paul

Books read this summerThe Road to Character (Brooks), A Beautiful Mind (Nasser), Periodic Tales (Aldersey-Williams), The Martian (Weil)

 

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