Headlines Newsletter | Second Semester 2020-2021 Academic Year

This week, we conclude our summer camp programs and mark the official close of our year. The end of a school year always brings a measure of pride, specifically relating to the triumphs of students, faculty, and staff. However, the conclusion of this year leaves me with a sense of pride coupled with gratitude that far exceeds my emotions at the close of any prior school year.

School leaders, faculty, staff, students, and parents across the globe have walked an uncharted path during the past two years. One year ago, we set out to operate in person with a commitment to health and safety protocols, courage to make difficult decisions, and a disciplined approach to weigh the risks and benefits of nearly every event and activity, all with the social, emotional, and educational well being of our students at the forefront of our minds. It took tremendous trust, flexibility, creativity, and determination from our entire community to navigate this academic year. Not only did ISI fulfill its mission during the 2020-2021 academic year, but we also realized incredible achievements on the way. Among them:

  • ISI operated in person for the full 2020-2021 academic year.
  • All students were offered a remote learning option for the full 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Across all 3 buildings, ISI had just 35 COVID-19 cases, and no community spread thanks to a strict following of health and safety protocols.
  • ISI students were successful in and outside the classroom with students selected for awards and honors, including a National Merit Finalist for the second consecutive year, an Academic All-Star, and 4 Rising Stars of Indiana recognitions.
  • Our Upper School Students are prepared for and are participating in summer experiences like the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, Stanford Summer Humanities Institute, Bank of America Student Leaders Internship, FBI Leadership Academy, American University Community of Scholars (Diplomacy and Dictators: US Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World), Cornell University Summer Program for Architecture, the National Student Leadership Conference at American University, IU Kelley Women of Business Summer Program and so much more.
  • Gryphon Athletics had a record year with the boys basketball team securing the best final conference standing in ISI history, and school records set in swimming for the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual medley, and the 50-yard freestyle.
  • We made progress on our five-year strategic plan advancing efforts in four priorities.
  • We celebrated the in-person commencement ceremony for the 18th graduating class of the International School of Indiana at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
  • Once again, the 44 seniors enjoy a 100% college acceptance rate, accepted to more than 139 universities worldwide, and attending 32 different colleges.
  • 2021 graduates earned a combined $7.3 million in scholarships and awards.
  • Construction advanced on the Chen Family Lower School, making the decades-long campus unification efforts a reality for 2022.
  • We celebrated our highest staff retention rate in a decade.

ISI continued important partnerships and began new ones, including a summer language camp partnership with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and the Portuguese embassy. 
These examples are just that, a small sampling of the tremendous progress and uncommon results made possible at ISI. We all hope that the new school year looks and feels more normal, and it is my hope you will be able to join us on campus to experience our community firsthand. Until then, I hope you share my pride in how we have walked through an unprecedented set of circumstances as ONE ISI.
Highlights from Second Semester

Inside INdiana Business

In April, Ms. Head and Ambassador Lee Feinstein, founding Dean of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, joined Gerry Dick on Inside INdiana Business to discuss the institutions' partnership for the Language Summer Camp at International School of Indiana. The camps invited students age 3 to grade 12 to enjoy week-long immersive language instruction and hands-on activities in Arabic, Mandarin, and Portuguese.


In June, reporter Rich Nye interviewed Ms. Head, along with instructors and students, about the Language Summer Camp. Ms. Head discussed the value of students learning and practicing some of the world's most used languages with native speakers.

The story took viewers inside the camp for a look at this unique summer experience.
Highlights from Second Semester

Farewell Parade & Beam Signing

The pandemic did not pause progress at ISI. The dream of a unified campus is quickly becoming reality as construction on the Chen Family Lower School continues. Since construction began in October, more than 14,000 hours have been devoted to the project with roofing, brick placement, and exterior framing well underway.

In June, ISI families and donors saw a closer look at the progress during the Farewell Parade. Hundreds drove through the Michigan Rd. campus, waving to friends and faculty and stopping to sign a beam that will be placed in the new building.

COVID-Ready Campuses Update

In May, over 20 new web pages were launched under the COVID-Ready: 2021 tab of isind.org.

Newly updated COVID-19 policies, procedures, and plans for the 2021-2022 academic year were introduced for families to review. The updates reflect our ongoing effort to prioritize the health and wellness of our students, families, faculty, and staff amidst the pandemic.

Following the launch, Ms. Head hosted Virtual Lunch & Learn events to discuss the new policies with parents, faculty, and staff.

Class of 2021 Commencement

In May, the Class of 2021 graduated from the International School of Indiana. With 44 graduates receiving over $7.3 million in offered scholarships, the ceremony was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for our seniors and their families.

With 100% of this class going on to attend college, we're excited to see the ways they will change the world.


In May, Slide-A-Thon, a Lower School event to benefit One ISI, challenged students to raise money for the collective naming rights to the Chen Family Lower School Slide and to compete to slide the most in 30 minutes.

Over 550 donations were made in honor of ISI Lower School students and a total of $20,000 was raised in this inaugural event.

Students made more than 5,000 runs down two large inflatable slides throughout the day with Grade 5 French & Grade 5 Mandarin tying for 320 runs respectively.
Highlights from Second Semester
As vaccines become more widely available and the city and state begin to resume events and activities, Ms. Head has resumed external events and activities.

In May, Ms. Head and Board President Scott Weaver joined Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb at The Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Later in the month, she was delighted to join a group of leaders in French culture at the International Center to discuss French language programs with French Ambassador Philippe Étienne.
ISI welcomes opportunities for Ms. Head to connect with your organization. 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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