Stephan's Update

Strategic Planning: Values, Mission Statement, and Vision
I am delighted to report that the first phase of the strategic planning process has now been completed. Thanks to countless hours spent by the strategic planning team and with the stead input from stakeholders, including students, parents, staff, and Board members, here are the school’s new Values, with guiding principles; Mission Statement; and Vision as approved recently by the Board:

Core Values and Guiding Principles

Honesty:
• Honesty forms the foundation of our everyday behaviors.

Respect:
• We will strive to understand others so that we may treat them in a way acceptable to them.

Collaboration:
• We promote meaningful inclusion and participation in a team-oriented, student-centered, and cooperative environment. We work together in genuine partnerships to find creative solutions to problems with the goal of achieving superior results.

Responsibility:
• We are accountable for our actions and their consequences.

Diversity:
• We honor the uniqueness of each individual and embrace diversity in peoples' backgrounds, values, and points of view. We are aware of a wider world and have a sense of our own place in it as individuals and as a community.

Passion for Learning:
• We inspire enthusiasm for excellence, knowledge, and learning.

Mission Statement
The International School inspires children to become global citizens by providing a rigorous and comprehensive education within a nurturing, student-centered environment of full immersion in multiple languages and cultures.

Vision
The International School will be recognized as a center of excellence in multicultural education. Graduates of the school are true global citizens who excel in a diverse and multicultural society. The International School fosters a culture that reflects its core values. Active and effective planning is the foundation on which the school achieves it success.

• Our Faculty are passionate professionals and leaders in language immersion education who inspire our children and create a safe and nurturing environment for them to achieve excellence.

• Our Students excel academically; are fluent in another language and versed in different cultures. They attain leadership skills that enhance their confidence and self esteem and represent cultural, ethnic, economic and social diversity.

• Our Programs support academic excellence through small robust class sizes, year round enrichment programs, and international education.

• Our Facilities are clean, green, safe and welcoming in the centrally located urban environment.

• Our Finances provide long-term stability through non-tuition endowments and other sources.

• Our Leadership and Management demonstrate vision, transparency, and accountability.

• Our TIS Culture values our intimate and unique environment, global and local partnerships, and service to the community.

• Our families and alumni provide broad based support to the school through active volunteerism to sustain a positive learning environment

The next step is to move the vision statement into goals and strategies. We invite parents to attend the drop-in sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week for input into that process as well.

Head Lice
The school has been dealing with isolated incidences of head lice since the early fall months. Now, however, several classes are experiencing occurrences of head lice among the children.

What are head lice?
Head lice are small insects that live on the human head and feed on blood. They are very small (about the size of a sesame seed) and can be either gray/white or brown. Lice often lay eggs in the hair. These eggs are called nits and are yellowish in color. Both the lice and nits are most easily detectable in the hair around the neckline and behind the ears. Lice can sometimes cause the head to itch. Lice cannot fly or jump. They are only spread through head-to-head contact or by sharing a hat, comb, towel, or other item which has come in contact with the hair of someone who has lice.

What is the school doing to help put a stop to the incidence of head lice? We are:

1. Educating faculty, staff, children, and parents on ways to identify, prevent, and treat lice.
2. Communicating with parents and teachers as soon as a case of head lice is discovered so that swift action can be taken at home to check for and treat lice.
3. Checking for lice in classrooms where an occurrence has been detected. Children who are found to have lice or nits are sent home immediately.
4. Cleaning thoroughly the classrooms that have experienced a lice outbreak.
5. Asking that parents in classrooms where lice has been detected take home their child’s extra clothing, blankets, stuffed animals etc. to be washed in hot water.
6. Asking teachers to be vigilant in preventing the children from engaging in activities that may lead to the spread of lice, such as sharing hats, scarves, or combs.
7. Consulting with local health authorities, including professionals from among our own parent body, for guidance as to how to manage effectively the head lice occurrences.

Parental support
Without question, the key to managing successfully the head lice situation in school is to have complete parental support. We are grateful to have found much support from our parent body, of course, and want to provide again some references for use by parents toward eliminating head lice first from home.

Here are some web sites as references for dealing with head lice:
http://www.headlice.org/
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/common/lice.html
http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/factsheet.html
http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/acd/diseases/lice/lice.shtml

We continue to send notices home to the parents whose children are in classes where head lice have been discovered and asking the parents to view any of these web sites for video information as to how to manage the issue of head lice. In addition to these videos, of course, many more are available:

Parents TV – this video features an MD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59VGwzmYBWw&feature=related
Australia - provides an interesting international perspective
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmhOMrP_XqE
Mayo Clinic – a short and useful video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQBfjWp_OW4&feature=related

What if my child has head lice?

1. Contact the school so that we can take precautions to stop the lice from spreading, including checking the other students in the class, posting a health notice, taking extra care in cleaning the classroom, and asking parents to take home extra clothes, blankets, and stuffed animals to be washed.

2. Keep your child at home until he/she is lice and nit free. The school’s policy is that children may not come back to school until all lice and nits have been removed from the hair.

3. Use a medicated head lice shampoo (available at pharmacies) and a metal lice comb to remove lice and nits. Medicated shampoos, while helping to kill live lice, will not remove all lice and nits from the hair. Most resources say that the best way to get rid of lice and nits is to use a nit-comb and go through the hair section by section until all lice and nits have been removed.

4. Wash bedding, clothes, stuffed animals, and towels that may have come in contact with head lice. Have other members of the family checked for lice.

5. Vacuuming is an effective way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals that cannot be washed or car seats – wherever someone with head lice may have rested their head.

6. Continue to check your child daily for lice, even after receiving treatment, for up to two weeks. This will help to quickly detect a reoccurrence.

IB-PYP session
Erika Kohn, PYP co-ordinator, will host a session at the school on Thursday evening this week from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Erika will talk more about PYP and several members of faculty will make presentations to parents. We hope to see you there.

Emergency entrance in the Main Building
In our ongoing efforts to provide a safe, secure environment for our students, please note that we have designated only one doorway into the Main building as the accepted entrance and exit for anyone using the building. That entrance is on the lowest floor through the main reception area by Ellen’s desk. We ask everyone to use only that doorway. The Naito street entrance is now designated only for emergency use. We have locked that door so as to avoid the possibility of intruders entering the building. Please use the main door on ground level from now on.

Dr. Stephan Grasmuck
sgrasmuck@intlschool.org