A new academic year, new chapters, new circumstances. There are many uncertainties, but what I can say with certainty is that we are starting a new academic year on August 24, 2020. In keeping with government directives, our campus will remain closed, but we will continue to execute our online programme – new and improved. The pandemic is closer to our reality than before, and today, more than ever, we need to prove our mettle, and uphold the resilience we have displayed, as individuals and as a school community. We are in this together!
At the beginning of every new school year, we are given the golden opportunity to start afresh. This year is no different. Despite the short break, I am proud of my team who have turned up, ready to embark on this journey with your child and you!
Format of Newsletter
In the spirit of starting afresh, we present our newsletter, with a twist! We hope this newsletter answers most of the questions you may have. If not, please feel free to contact the relevant people, who have been listed in this newsletter.
Thank you, AIS community, for participating in the survey and making your voices heard. Your feedback and concerns have really helped us make some informed choices like your preferences with extended live sessions, fee concerns (with red and fire emojis), health issues, and teaching priorities. Please take time to read them. For some reason, if you missed filling the survey and still have suggestions or want to feel heard, do not hesitate to contact me, your Department Head or our Head of Admissions/Administration through email or phone call. All the contact details are included in this newsletter.
Let us start with a topic that has been a talking point, not just for AIS, but for schools regionally and globally. This was also a point that kept coming up in the survey we recently sent out. We are happy to share that, in keeping with our promise last year, we have not hiked the tuition fee this year, instead, we are offering you a discount.
However, before I discuss the discount, I would like to thank all the parents who had faith in us and our programmes and invested in it. I have always maintained that a school is so much more than just the four walls, it is also about the quality of the curriculum and programme. And the pandemic has given us a chance to prove it. We have always had a list of non-negotiables, and we still stand by it, be it the delivery of our International Programmes (in our case – four International programmes now – IBPYP, IBMYP, IBDP and Cambridge A levels), our International accreditations like Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) and International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) – ACER, bank interests, staff salaries, providing our teachers with resources, be it in class or with personalized laptop and internet at home during lockdown.
Yes, just like our global counterparts, we have also seen a drop in enrolments, with many parents opting for a gap year for their children. And that has us impacted severely, but we will not give up. These are challenging times, but we are up for it! No matter what, quality education should not stop.
On that note, we acknowledge all the survey feedback and numerous meetings, and are happy to share that the Directors have decided to extend a discount of 25% for the Early Childhood Department on one term’s fees (with an additional 5% discount if fees are paid within the first two weeks of school) and for the Primary and Secondary Department we are offering a 20% discount on one term’s fees (with an additional 5% discount if fees are paid within the first two weeks of school). You will receive invoices this week. Fees are due on or before September 07, 2020
We understand and respect the situation that some families are in, at the moment, due to which we are also offering monthly payment plans. Kindly keep reading to find out who to contact for this.
As mentioned above, our teaching staff is back to work and preparing very hard to welcome you and ensure a rich teaching-learning experience. Also, these staff, other than teaching students, will be engaged in learning themselves. They will have weekly professional development sessions proving they are lifelong learners. They have also found themselves thrown into the deep end, to teach in new ways, but they are all set to learn those ways and then make this process of teaching and learning rich and engaging.
New Names for Secondary Classes:
As you may all know, AIS is now an IB Continuum School, and among all the other wonderful changes that you will see in our Secondary Department, let us start with class names. Our Secondary classes will be now called M1 to M5, DP1 and 2 and A1 and A2. All initials representing the programme being offered i.e. MYP, DP and A levels respectively. In case of streams, the class name will be followed by the homeroom teacher’s initials.
Welcome packs await all our students!!!
These packs include various necessary stationary items, exercise books, journals, diary and some surprises for EC students as well. Please collect your Welcome Pack from the Admin Block Reception as and when you make your fee payments.
P.S.: We also have Magnetic white boards (with a chalkboard on other side (37cmX29cm)) available with two markers, chalks and a duster. These can be borrowed by Early Childhood and Lower Primary students. We expect these to be returned before issuing of Term 1 reports.
Learning Packs and Library Checkouts:
In other good news, we will now be sending home Learning Packs. These packs will contain all sort of goodies to help our learners study better at home. There will be weekly learning packs for EC and Year 1 classes, while Years 2 to 6 will have Unit-wise learning packs and Secondary will have a starter Learning Pack.
Every student will also have library books for checkout, on a weekly basis. Read on for more information.
Normally, this is just for new students and parents, but this year it will be for all students and parents. This will be done by each homeroom teacher on Friday, August 21, 2020. We exhort all parents to attend the AIS Open Day and meet your child’s teacher. The teachers will share with you the new timetables and the expectations for the new class. Our school Open Day will take place on August 21, 2020. This will be a great opportunity for your child to interact with their teachers, and for you to clear any doubts that you may have.
AIS is committed to leaving no stone unturned. All calendared events such as CCC, PTO elections, MAP assessments and Global Village will be held (of course, virtually) and we will keep parents updated.
Please let us be mindful and remember that these are temporary times, these are temporary solutions and temporary hardships. We will see better times, where we will be on campus and learn together as we did last year this time. Let’s be more hopeful, more forgiving, little kinder, more helpful and we will defeat this situation and smile back at life.