Headlines Newsletter | Second Semester 2019-2020 Academic Year

The intent of a message that comes at the close of an academic year is typically to celebrate the successes gone by and to inspire excitement for the school year to come as the school community heads into its summer break. And while I hope to strike these chords, I am compelled to begin by acknowledging the many heartbreaking realities that our Central Indiana community and nation are facing. As I write, massive protests seeking justice and equity in our society are underway, threatened by a small group of bad actors working to hijack this peaceful movement to commit violent acts. This while the pandemic refuses to release its grip, keeping us and our families from the personal and professional routines in which we thrive. 

Indeed, all that has changed since my last update in early February can seem overwhelming. However, my understanding of all that remains the same gives me strength, hope, and purpose. 

Today, our community is as unified and supportive as ever before, launching a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund that will help ensure families financially impacted by the coronavirus can maintain their ISI enrollment. The fund was launched while we also maintain the momentum of the ONE ISI Campaign to unify our campuses, which has continued unabated through the pandemic and still sees us on track for the groundbreaking of the new Chen Family Lower School in the near future. 

Also unchanged is our commitment to delivering the Midwest's most distinct academics. Following a phenomenal, nearly overnight pivot by our faculty and staff team to e-learning, which amounted to a completely new mode of teaching and learning for our community in the final months of this academic year, we were one of the first institutions in the region to release its plan for re-opening our facilities after the government-ordered closures of our campuses, and you can read more about our Return Itinerary for the Academic Year 2020-2021 below. 

Another constant is the power of the transitions we annually experience over summer break thanks to the international nature of our faculty and staff, which results in several relocations for our current teachers. In addition to welcoming new Upper School principal Richard Bruford, as previously announced , more than a dozen new educators will join our faculty over the summer, bringing new energy, ideas, and otherwise rejuvenating the camaraderie among our teaching team and the learning for our students in the classroom. We'll be excited to announce these new team members in our back to school communications later in the summer and sincerely thank those leaving us for their service to our students and school mission.

In these extraordinary times, I'm deeply grateful to be a part of our ISI community. And with continued caring, grace, and tenacity, we will continue to flourish together, as ONE ISI. 
 Highlights from Second Semester

 The Indianapolis Star

Featuring video interviews online and front-page placement in the print edition, Ms. Head explained in March how language immersion impacts student development.

The story took IndyStar readers directly inside ISI classrooms for a look at our distinct academics.

Inside Indiana Business

In April, IIB was one of the first Indiana news outlets to report on the efforts of ISI students to support health care workers during the pandemic by launching a nonprofit organization.

Safer With A Gown, or SWAG, was also covered by local television outlets in Indianapolis, including CBS 4 and WISH-TV 8.
Highlights from Second Semester

Farewell Parade

With our facilities still closed due to the pandemic, our community marked the final day of the academic year with a farewell parade on Friday, June 5.

Families traveled the Michigan Road campus by car as the faculty and staff lined roadsides, offering everyone a chance to say final goodbyes before the start of summer break and in accordance with social-distancing guidelines.

Return Itinerary Plan Launched

Plans for the re-opening of our campuses for the 2020-2021 academic year include Ms. Head and the school leadership team's commitments for learning and safety amid the pandemic.

Videos and a downloadable version of the plan are also available on the ISI website.

Alain Weber Returns

For the first time in nearly 15 years, the founding ISI Head of School returned to the campuses he helped build on March 2.

Alain Weber, the ISI leader from 1994-2007, addressed students, toured classrooms, welcomed alumni and their families at a reception, and met with other school founders at a dignitaries luncheon to review the progress of the ONE ISI Campaign to unify our campuses.

Weber's visit marked the first gathering of all three ISI Heads of School, pictured here with Ms. Head and David Garner, Head of School from 2007-2018, at right.

Travel Auction and Gala

The 2020 Travel Auction and Gala: ONE Future was held on March 7 with more than 350 ISI supporters in attendance.

Yearly, the event is the largest revenue generator for the ISI Annual Fund , which is a vital source of unrestricted dollars that directly impact classrooms.

The gala raised a total of $178,000.

Strategic Plan Community Tours

Prior to the mandated closure of our campuses and related social distancing rules, Ms. Head completed a series of community meetings with families to review the ISI Strategic Plan 2020-2024 .

Families offered feedback on the plan details while Ms. Head provided further context for the plan's four central pillars: Distinct Academics, Sustainability, Engagement, and Recruitment.

Warm Wishes for
Departing Principal

Though previously announced, Ms. Head again extends sincere thanks, on behalf of the entire school community, to Upper School Principal Tim Veale, who is set to depart ISI for a new position in Germany at the conclusion of this school year.

From his commitment as a Founding Contributor to the ONE ISI Campaign to his leadership through the ISI response to the pandemic, Mr. Veale's impact on the community has been far-reaching and will affect the institution for years to come. He and the entire Veale family will be missed as we wish them well in all that is to come.
Highlights from Second Semester
Statewide stay-at-home orders and the closure of our campuses in the wake of the pandemic impacted many of Ms. Head's planned events and meetings with civic and corporate leaders.

Where possible, engagements were moved online to virtual meeting rooms, and Ms. Head over the last three months has spoken with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, major-gift donors to the ONE ISI campaign, and with dozens of Heads of Schools from throughout the world to identify best practices for learning delivery during the pandemic.
ISI welcomes opportunities for Ms. Head to connect with your organization when major events are able to resume. Deliver your invitation using the button below.
New editions of Headlines are published at the start, mid-point, and end of each International School of Indiana academic year.

For the latest information from Elizabeth Head, the third ISI Head of School, we encourage you to bookmark and regularly visit her webpage.
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