What I am excited about this week…
ISSEA Band and Choir was amazing! This year’s ISSEA Band and Choir festival was a great success. We had more than 150 students and staff from the 7 other ISSEA schools join us for two days of workshops with music teachers, local artists and our two guest conductors: African Image Maker Award-winner Ken Wakia from Nairobi, Kenya and Dominick Ferrara from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. The festival culminated with a brilliant gala concert that filled our (extended) stage and the floor around it with musicians. You can watch it here.
These events are a huge logistical challenge that require the support of dozens of people and require months of planning. Many thanks to our music teachers, Chel Illingworth and Dee Hausman, and our Activities Team, Mark Hoffman, Khetiwe Hamainza, and Christine Moono for overseeing the program planning and logistics. Thank you also to Paula Phiri for coordinating the hosting and to all the host families who housed our guests. ISSEA events would not be possible without generous host families. Thank you to our student ambassadors who met the teams at the airport and Edwin Kamangala and our student and staff tech crew who helped with sound, lights, live streaming, and recording. Thank you to Martina Van Vlaanderen and Faith Dube and their teams of cleaners, maintenance workers, and bus drivers. Thank you to the teachers who gave up classroom space and adjusted their schedules to accommodate all the workshop sessions. Special thanks also to Felix Muma, Michael Phiri, Gaston Lungu, and Mwansa Chama for building the beautiful extension to our stage. And finally, thank you to the whole community for the warm welcome that you offered to our guests. AISL has developed a reputation for great hospitality among ISSEA schools, which is something of which we should all be proud!
Blended Learning pilot programs! As always, we work hard to plan and prepare for emergencies, even as we hope that they will not occur. Since last school year, we have been developing procedures for continuing our academic program in the case of a school closure. The cholera outbreak accelerated our planning and the current Covid-19 outbreak has led us to further refine these procedures. Were we ever to have to close school due to an infectious disease situation, we want to ensure that we can continue our world-class education solely online. To that end, we will be conducting some tests with many classes across the next couple weeks. Essentially, these tests will require students to pretend that they are at home while interacting with their teacher and peers through our online tools such as SeeSaw and ManageBac. We will debrief these “drills” and use our findings to further hone our procedures. We certainly hope that these procedures will never be necessary but we are committed to being as prepared as we can be so as to minimize disruption to our educational programs.
ASA Recital on 29 February! Please join us in the Tiyende Pamodzi Theater on 29 February from 16:00 for our annual ASA Music Recital. This is an important celebration and performance opportunity for the 50 or so AISL students who take private music lessons. Many thanks to Susanna Georgiou and the music teachers for planning this fun afternoon of music.
What I am NOT excited about this week…
Secondary school’s generator breakdown! Regrettably, we have had a mechanical problem with the backup generator that powers the Secondary School. Our network is supported by inverters so students and teachers have been able to remain online; however, we have not had the benefit of lights and projectors when ZESCO is out. Rest assured that we are working hard to make the necessary repairs even as we explore other alternatives.
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend: