Head of School Update, August 13: Starting the School Year Right


    Dear SSIS Parents,

    Your children have been off to a great start this week! From one-on-one meetings with advisors for High School and Middle School students to the Family Conversations held with ES families, these past few days have focused on connecting and getting students’ learning technology set up for a strong school year.

    Under any circumstances, the first week of school is a busy time for all: new faces, new classes, and new routines. Starting the school year virtually for the first time is no different. And as with many firsts, there have been a few minor glitches to work out, which your children have handled exceptionally well. We are so proud to see how they are making the best of this situation!

    To provide you with the tools to help you support your children, I have two valuable presentations to share with you this week. And of course, our first Parent Education session is next Thursday, August 19, on managing technology at home during Virtual School. You will receive more information on this next week.

    Wellness, Key to Academic & Personal Success

    At SSIS, we often talk about wellness as it is an integral part of our curriculum. When students have routines established around wellness and self-care, they reach higher academic and personal success. And now, more than ever, we must be proactive when it comes to their mental health.

    As part of our wellness program, we regularly invite speakers to address students and faculty. On Wednesday, psychotherapist, and SSIS parent, Chinh Le Ostrander, spoke about the importance of self-care with our students in Middle and High School. We are sharing the presentation here, as there are important tips and resources that can help you to further support your child.

    Also, last week, author and former associate director of the Institute of Positive Education, David Bott, presented a session on building positive relationships, for our faculty. It was a great presentation, and I invite you to watch it here. This is relevant to us as adults and parents.

    Doing Everything to Prepare

    We are so grateful to our extremely supportive community members and National University Hospital who have helped us to secure the second dose vaccines for our faculty and staff this weekend.

    Your children may have mentioned a teacher stepping out from their class for a few minutes today to have a COVID test for this purpose.

    As we do everything we can to ensure that we are prepared as soon as the health and safety conditions allow us to welcome your children back to campus, I’m sure it will be reassuring for you to know that the adults in direct contact with your children are vaccinated.

    You will hear us speak more about the preparations we are making to ensure we are ready to reopen as soon as we are allowed. We will continue to work with you, as we consider all aspects of health, safety, and instruction. 

    You know your children best and we need your voice in these discussions. Because, as we work through this challenging time together, we want to make sure that your children are thriving, not just surviving. Your participation in the meetings we’ve held up until now has been truly appreciated. And, as I’ve shared, I will hold weekly small group sessions on Fridays, to keep an open dialogue with you.

    Until the day we can welcome your children back to campus, SSIS will provide the best Virtual School possible while ensuring that there are opportunities for you to be heard.

    And with this, I wish you all a wonderful and well-deserved weekend of rest.

    All best wishes,

    Dr. Catriona Moran
    Head of School