Everyday, you entrust your children to our school and there is no mission more important than keeping our students as safe as possible. You may have noticed some heightened safety precautions around the the school as we work on implementing some practices as part of the normal school improvement process. This year, we are working with International SOS, medical and security experts, to support us in reviewing all of our practices. And in the process, we have identified some safety practices that can be upgraded for optimal safety and to reflect current best practice.
The first change, you will have noticed, is the improved security at the front gate entry. Ensuring that every individual uses their own ID card to enter and exit allows us to track who is on campus at all times. The Technology Department has done an outstanding job in successfully facilitating such a huge undertaking. You can expect to hear more about this from our ICT Director, David Perkin. We appreciate your support and patience with this, especially with the occasional delay our strict and safe practices may cause.
A second change is our continued efforts with emergency drills. At SSIS, teachers and staff are regularly trained on emergency procedures. We have conducted two fire drills already this year where everyone in the whole school evaluated onto the field. After every evacuation, we review and adjust our procedures. For example after these two drills, we noted that the evacuation timing is very impressive but an area for improvement is absolute silence on the field as students await instructions.
Third, additionally at SSIS, outdoor learning activities (Week Without Walls, Field trips etc.) are an important part of learning. During these activities, students discover personal strengths, develop confidence and learn the value of co-operative endeavor. However, the risks associated with these experiences are different to the risks on campus. So before every trip, even if it is planned for the same location as previous trips, we conduct a risk assessment aimed at minimizing risk and ensuring safety. SOS is also helping us with this. For example, they helped us to conduct the risk assessment on the weather and ground conditions in Mai Chau in anticipation of Typhoon Mangkhut and provided information to guide the School to cancel the grade 9 WWW trip. Such expertise and input is invaluable in decision making.
In addition to the physical safety of your children, we regularly train our teachers and staff in positive student/adult relationships. Children learn and thrive in a caring and supportive environment and we actively foster such a supportive atmosphere in our school.
Thank you for your support of our processes and practices as we continue to expand our safety and security measures at SSIS. If you ever have a question, a wondering or a worry, I hope you will reach out to me or another administrator.
Remember, safety first!
All good wishes,
Head of School