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Dear SSIS Students and Parents,

I am very pleased to announce that, in recognition of the creativity, innovation, and excellence in teaching by our faculty, SSIS has been named one of only four hundred Apple Distinguished Schools (ADS) worldwide and is the very first Apple Distinguished School in Vietnam. This designation will begin in 2017-2018 and continue for two years, renewable thereafter with continued demonstration of a commitment to innovation in teaching and learning.

Only three short years ago we set ourselves on a new path and a new understanding of the role and uses technology in education. Building on the foundational work of SSIS colleagues before us, we began with an expanded definition of “literacy” which envisions students as fluent in the traditional areas of reading, writing, and arithmetic but also as literate creators in the emerging areas of communication such as video, audio, software programming, design, gestures, and other languages.

Early this year, as we learned more about the Apple Distinguished School program and its emphasis on continued innovation, we found a clear connection between the work that our faculty and students are doing every day in their classrooms and the exemplar schools Apple celebrates around the world. We set out to tell the story of just a fraction of all the things which go on in SSIS classrooms in a iBook® (SSIS – Leading the Way in Innovation), documenting our commitment to the five best practices of an Apple Distinguished School: visionary leadership at all levels, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment.

Tremendous thanks goes first to our classroom teachers. This recognition by Apple is a direct results of their work with your students. I would also like to thank those who helped put the story together in such a compelling fashion: David Perkin, Director of IT, for first realizing how the work at SSIS exemplifies the attributes of Apple’s ADSs, Jeff Nesmith for his videography and storytelling, our technology coaches (Alfredo Pappaseit, Robert Appino, and Thomas Galvez) for contributing so many great exemplars from their interactions with our faculty and students, Katie Rigney-Zimmermann and our marketing group, and the rest of the administrative team for editing and helping to organize the story line. It was an exciting collaborative effort and we’re very proud of our school, our students, our teachers, and our mission.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Sylte, Head of School
For more information on Apple Distinguished Schools, click here.

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