Dear Members of the SSIS Community –
Once again we are opening school this year with our largest ever student body – 999 young men and women here at SSIS who are united as a learning community. We have had a wonderful orientation day in each of the divisions today. With old faces and new, it has been a joy to welcome all our parents and students to campus and meet the newest members of our SSIS community.
Over the summer we have worked very hard to improve our facilities and create new spaces for our students and teachers to learn together. We are proud of our award for the “Best School Facilities” in Ho Chi Minh City, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to become an even better school. In each division, and around the school campus as a whole, you’ll find the results of our commitment to be the best place to learn and grow.
While the number of teachers who leave SSIS goes down each year as teachers stay longer and longer, there are still new faces to welcome amongst our faculty in each division. We have been working together for three weeks with these teachers in anticipation of our opening day of classes, and I am very excited by the expertise and energy they are contributing to an already dynamic faculty here at SSIS.
This will be an exceptionally busy year in the life of SSIS. In addition to our primary mission—the education of your child for a purposeful life—we will be hosting a number of national and international events on campus.
One of the most important of these is our WASC visit which is scheduled for March 2017. WASC (The Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is the agency which accredits SSIS and testifies to other schools, colleges, and universities around the world that we offer an outstanding education to our students. Once every six years, WASC returns for a re-accreditation visit. For the eighteen months prior to these visits, the teachers and administration of the school work on a self-study, a reflection on the education and other opportunities we provide. This Fall we will ask many of you as parents to meet with us and help us review our self-study. You will be asked to provide your perspective on what we do well and what we need to improve.
This year, too, we are also hosting other conferences (Asia Learning 2.0, ELLSA – Asia EAL Teachers, and the Vietnam Tech Conference), giving hundreds of professional educators from around the region an opportunity to visit our school and beautiful Vietnam.
I hope each and every one of you had a restful summer and that your children are as excited as we are about the new school year. Amazing things are in store for each and every one of them.
Mark Iver Sylte, SSIS Head of School