Headlines Newsletter | Second Semester 2020-2021 Academic Year
This month marks a year since COVID-19 disrupted education as we knew it at the International School of Indiana. When I reflect on how ISI has navigated what was unthinkable 12 months ago, it is with admiration and gratitude for our entire community.
Our faculty and staff have been nothing short of phenomenal frontline workers. Like so many of their colleagues around the world, they have worked tirelessly, first from home, adjusting lesson plans and incorporating digital solutions to create new ways of teaching and engaging students virtually, and then returning for in-person learning in August -- among the first schools in Central Indiana to do so -- thanks in part to an operational plan carefully crafted with a commitment to the safety and well-being of our entire community.
The leadership of our employees and their dedication to creating a safe and successful school community generates tremendous pride, but so, too, does the patience and cooperation of our entire ISI community, and their shared commitment to caring for one another and the world around us. From forgoing daily drop-off routines and cherished school events to unexpected quarantines, ISI parents have been collaborative partners, supporting the school through the messiness and uncertainty that comes with living through a global pandemic.
Perhaps most impressive, though, has been the way our students have managed these challenging times. They have been forced to sacrifice many childhood and adolescent milestones, some that are hard for us as adults to accept. The perseverance of our international students and employees, many of whom have remained in the United States for extended periods unable to return home, has been inspiring to us all.
While COVID-19 continues to shape our lives, we are firmly focused on the future and life beyond the pandemic, too. We continue to press forward with dedication to our strategic priorities. Strengthening our distinct academics is essential to what we do daily and also evident in the success of our 44 high school seniors, all of whom have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities, already earning an impressive $7 million in scholarships.
In recent months our sustainability efforts have been focused on not only the construction of the Chen Family Lower School but also the implementation of a new billing system and enrollment processes that are significant to improving our institution’s maturing infrastructure. Surveys to current parents, upper school students and employees are helping to broaden our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at ISI, and shaping what we must do to be the institution we aspire to be.
Despite the hardships of this year and the challenging circumstances that remain before us, we are optimistic that as ONE ISI we can be certain our students and school will be Ready for the World Stage when the world finally does reopen.
Highlights from the Fall and Winter
Building for the future:
Chen Family Lower School
breaks ground

Decades in the making to create a unified campus, ISI students, families, leaders, donors and friends celebrated a groundbreaking moment for the school. In October, a hybrid event featuring in-person remarks from Head of School Liz Head, Board Chair Scott Weaver and lead donors Stanley and Allison Chen, a virtual countdown from ISI students, and submitted welcome messages from school founders, friends, and supporters around the world, captured the attention of the broader Indianapolis community. In December, Ms. Head shared about the larger impact the facility and unified campus will have on Central Indiana with Inside INdiana Business.

Construction of the $13.5 million, 45,000-square-foot facility is on schedule -- structural steel framing and installation of precast walls is already complete -- with the facility set to open in the fall of 2022. For more about this historic moment in ISI history, the vision behind the capital campaign and construction updates visit isind.org/one-isi/vision.
Highlights from the Fall and Winter

Why is Indiana a great place to live for an international community? Ms. Head answered that question in a new “Hoosiers by Choice” video campaign sponsored by the Indiana Destination Development Corp. She pointed to Indiana’s vision and commitment to developing international talent and the distinct academics at ISI as what drew her from her longtime home and education career in Costa Rica. Ms. Head joined Indiana Destination Development Corporation’s (IDDC) Elaine Bedel to discuss the campaign on WTHR-TV (Channel 13), too.

The Head of School’s team is filled with the best and brightest academic minds, a talented and experienced knowledge base recently tapped by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Upper School Student Counselor Nicole Detrick, a 21-year industry veteran, was invited to write a guest blog post for the chamber’s membership focusing on ways to support students' mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to read her piece.
Highlights from the Fall and Winter

In her continuing meetings with community partners from around the state, Ms. Head recently secured a new partnership with the renowned Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

Among the first joint initiatives is a Language Summer Camp, June 14-July 2, featuring native instructors leading daily immersion lessons and hands-on cultural activities in Arabic and Mandarin. A Portuguese component also will be led by ISI staff. No previous language experience is required. Learn more and register at isind.org/events/camps.
Head among headline speakers
at ACSI’s conference

On November 19, Ms. Head was among a dozen featured speakers to address the nonprofit America China Society of Indiana’s China Business Conference via a Zoom livestream. Nearly 200 participants from across the U.S. and China listened to Ms. Head, who shared her thoughts on the future of international students in U.S. education.

ACSI promotes economic development, trade and investment opportunities between Indiana and China. The conference was sponsored and attended by some of the state’s largest firms, including Eli Lilly and Co., Indiana University, Barnes & Thornburg, The Heritage Group and the United States Heartland China Association.

Unable to gather for our annual Travel Auction and Gala because of the pandemic, creativity has been key in finding safe ways to support the ISI Annual Fund this year. A Year of Giving campaign, launched in October and made possible thanks to the support of great ISI partners and donors, has made possible new fundraising initiatives such as Schmidt Associates ISI Virtual Trivia Night, Bose McKinney & Evans ISI Night at the Indianapolis Zoo, and the First Friday series of monthly carry-out food orders provided by popular local restaurants.

There are still opportunities to support ISI philanthropically this year. We invite you to join us for our next event April 9, First Friday with Petite Chou.
Headlines is published throughout each International School of Indiana academic year by the office of ISI Head of School Elizabeth Head. Ms. Head remains connected with the Central Indiana community through virtual meetings with civic and corporate leaders, donors, the media and other key stakeholders. Ms. Head welcomes opportunities to connect with your organization virtually, or when major events are able to resume. Submit your invitation using the adjacent button.