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Dear SSIS Parents –

All great schools, from time to time, will engaged in strategic planning, looking to the future improvement of the school and its programs. Just before the start of our fall break, a group of administrators, teachers, parents and students, joined by our Chair of the Board, Ms. Gayle Tsien, engaged in two days of discussions regarding the strategic direction of the school.

One primary focus during these sessions was on the continued improvement of our school in offering our students the very best in the way of Academic Excellence. This, of course, is at the heart of what we do in preparing each student to take the next step in his or her learning journey. Whether a student joins us in first grade and leaves after third grade, is at SSIS for only his or her middle school years, or graduates from SSIS and heads off to a great university or college, our goal for each student is the very best academic experience we can offer.

When we finished our two-day strategic planning session, we emerged with distinct areas of interest in developing the school over the next 3-5 years. While they are heavily focused in the area of Academic Excellence, as this is as the heart our mission, they include suggestions for program developments in other areas of our Core Values as well.

We are now preparing a survey, which will be released to parents and students shortly. We are asking for your help in reviewing our work and suggested areas of focus to help guide the work of administrators and teachers who will now take up, and further, the committee work which emerged from our meetings before fall break. We would ask that each of you help us in completing the survey and sharing with us your thoughts on our school and our work together.

We will then bring the committee work, and student/parent feedback, to the faculty, discussing with them these areas of concentration, gathering their wisdom and suggestions. When the faculty and administration have completed our work together on the Core Values and areas of school improvement, the developing plan will be sent back to the senior leadership team. From the goals that we adopt, and from additional work the leadership team is doing on other areas suggested in our WASC recommendations and in operations, finance, marketing and communications, and personnel, the administration will prepare a formal Strategic Plan to be submitted to the Board.

When the board has approved this plan, it will be shared with the entire community as our roadmap for the next several years.

I would like to thank all those who gave of their time and expertise to participate in the Strategic Planning exercise this month:

Gayle Tsien (Board Chair and former SSIS parent)

Elena Lin (PMH Corporation and SSIS parent)

Wai Mun Fong (Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations)

Dan Keller (EC/ES Principal and SSIS parent)

Barbara Reynolds (EC/ES Asst. Principal)

Molly Burger (MS Principal and SSIS parent)

Tina Fossgreen (EC-12 Curriculum Director and SSIS parent)

Katie Rigney-Zimmermann (Admissions and Marketing Director and SSIS parent)

David Perkin (ICT Director and former SSIS parent)

Ha Noi Nguyen (SSIS HRD Manager)

Bich Thuy Nguyen (ES Administrative Assistant)

Roxanne Ross (Gr 2 teacher and SSIS parent)

Melanie Sylvester (Gr 4 teacher and SSIS parent)

Lisa Featherstone (MS teacher and SSIS parent)

Mark Crowell (MS Math teacher)

Nomer Adona (HS Art teacher and SSIS parent)

Shelley Burge (HS Science teacher)

Quoc Cang Pham (SSIS parent)

Chelsey Wagner (PTA Executive Board and SSIS parent)

Delma Park (parent liaison and SSIS parent)

Fanny Perdu (SSIS Class of 2015)

Han Sun Woo (SSIS Class of 2015)

It is my great privilege to serve this community and to work with a great group of dedicated teachers, hard working students, supportive parents, and a welcoming school community in Vietnam.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Sylte

Head of School and SSIS parent

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