Here we go with our second issue on HeadsUp! Newsletter this year. Many exciting events have take place in our vibrant school – we have defined our guiding statements and analyzed community survey data, launched an emotional intelligence program in Preschool, held Student Council elections and Poetry Day in Middle and High School, participated in sports and academic competitions, and celebrated Teacher’s Day. Enjoy the read!
This is our second HeadsUp Newsletter video featuring Artūrs Piļkēvičs.
An aligned mission, vision, and definition of high-quality learning
Based on the data from the recent community surveys, it is evident that EIS mission is effective and accurate. The only revision that has been introduced this year based on feedback from the Council of Interantional Schools is the inclusion of our boarding program through the phrase “boarding and day students” in the wording of the mission. A more important recent development was the creation of the school’s vision. At EIS we understand that a mission is a statement about the identity and ethos of an organization in a long term, while the vision captures what it is willing to become in the next 3-5 years. Based on the results of the surveys and in a collaborative effort of the Board and Administration a new vision has been formulated. It reads: “An educational hub for all learners.” As such, it encompasses the school’s desire to become an expert in adaptive teaching practices aimed at including all learners – gifted and talented students as well as students with learning difficulties and special needs. Finally, the school’s definition of high-quality learning has been reviewed and formulated taking into account the input from the faculty. This definition will be the basis for some of the fundamental processes regulating teaching and learning practices at school including the teacher appraisal and evaluation system. Please see the revised EIS Guiding Statements here.
School Wide Goals
To cultivate a dynamic learning environment that embraces adaptive teaching strategies to effectively cater to diverse student needs and foster optimal academic growth.
To establish a comprehensive and balanced assessment framework that promotes accurate, fair, and meaningful evaluation of and reporting on student progress.
Staff Appraisal and Professional Growth
Foster a culture of continuous growth and improvement by implementing an effective and comprehensive teacher appraisal system throughout the entire school.
“Emotional Intelligence” in Preschool – a workshop and "Maminu klubs" visit
On September 9 our Preschool held an informational workshop for parents and little learners about the Importance of Emotional Intelligence during the Early Years and the methods of developing it at EIS. There were so many sign-ups that our dedicated Preschool staff ended up leading more than one session. This new development in preschool is an exciting shift and we were thrilled to showcase the use of the Kimochis toys and program not only in the workshop but also during the visit of one of the largest early childhood media networks in Latvia, see their video report here ''MaminuKlubs@EIS".
CIS Community Survey Results
A huge thanks to all who have filled out the Council of International Schools Community Survey. This survey is an integral part of the self-study process and provides valuable insights about the strengths and areas of growth at the school in all the domains of school life and operations. First of all, the school in general is perceived very positively by all members of the community. Over 90% of all answers by all community groups received agreement (positive) responses. It is evident that the greatest strength EIS school is its friendly, caring, and supportive atmosphere, which is fueled by a clear and inspiring mission, a very modern and welcoming design of its facilities, and an excellent and caring team of educators, administration and staff.
Looking at opportunities of growth, it is evident from the surveys that the focus should be on development of global citizenship, more opportunities for learning about other cultures as well as student’s own culture, establishing a robust teacher appraisal system, providing raining on adaptive teaching and inclusion of students with learning difficulties and special educational needs, Improving the frequency and quality of feedback about student learning. Please see the survey data summaries by the community group here.
Multicultural Poetry Day
We are excited to share with you the fantastic success of our Poetry Day event, which took place on Monday, September 18. It was truly a remarkable day filled with inspiration and cultural richness. Our talented students showcased their love for literature and language by reciting poems in a multitude of languages, creating a vibrant and diverse celebration of poetry. It was heartwarming to witness the enthusiasm and passion our students poured into their performances.
Fire evacuation training
On September 22nd the school conducted a routine fire evacuation drill. This is a necessary procedure so students and teachers can practice emergency protocols in a calm manner and know what to do in a real emergency. When a drill becomes routine, then in a real emergency, people know what to do and this reduces stress and panic. For the first time we have been able to evacuate from one campus building to another which will make any future evacuation safer for our students. We want to thank all teachers, students, and staff for their prompt work that made the evacuations go smoothly.
Robotics World Cup
We are proud to announce that our High School Robotics team has successfully participated in the World Robotics Olympiad that took place in Odensee, Denmark on September 21-24. Even though we were not able to bring home any medals, it was an amazing experience. A huge thanks to our students and their mentor and teacher Mr Sergejs Bratarcuks. Here is a video they made that speaks 10 000 words about their experience.
Munich trip in Grades 9 - 10
During their educational field trip to Germany, Grades 9 and 10 students dived into an inspiring project with a meaningful purpose. Their mission was to unravel the impact of stereotypes on our sociocultural environment and explore the history of technological advancement. By delving into the pages of Anne Frank's diary and visiting the Dachau concentration camp, the Deutsches Museum, the BMW Museum, and the Neuschwanstein castle, the students gained perspective and insight for their units of study at home The culmination involved creating a play script about Anne Frank, a powerful expression of our reflections. The journey fostered communicative and sociocultural competence by immersing in German culture in a global context. This trip wasn't just a tour; it was a transformative experience of education, empathy, and cultural understanding.
International Soccer Tournament
On Sundays 24th of September and October 15th our EIS high school boys football team played in the annual football tournament among international schools in Latvia that took place at Riga Secondary School No 49 outdoor football field. We played International School of Latvia 1st and 2nd teams as well as International School of Riga. Our team has shown improvement over the course of both tournaments. With 3 draws and 3 losses our team has been able to gain a valuable experience and define the goals for improvement in the years to come.
This year, once more, middle school and high school were as engaged as it can be in the process of the student council elections during the first week of October. The student body experienced a true democratic election, with thoughtful campaigns organized by the candidates. This year there was also an informative assembly prior to the candidate debates educating students about the dangers of populism and the mechanisms behind the true democratic process of elections. It was a pleasure to see a well-attended debate session, hear great questions from students. Huge thanks goes to the Student Council and Mr Germans Aminovs who is serving as a club leader and was behind the organization of this impressive process.
A huge thanks goes out to our amazing faculty who work hard every day to nurture and educate our students. On October 6, it was a day of appreciation as students wrote and delivered thank you cards, parents contributed gifts, and teachers enjoyed special treats provided to them by the school. We are very proud of our amazing faculty, and we sayTHANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS, DEAR TEACHERS!
"Food for thought" - do we need to slow down?
Try asking yourself a few simple questions. Are you always rushing, busy, distracted? Are you speed-reading this sentence right now? Are you on your phone, when having breakfast, if you are actually having any? Are your rushing through work tasks and household chores, to the point where you sometimes make mistakes and have to do them again? If you can relate, maybe it makes sense to come and listen to a TED-speaker, book writer and voice of Slow movement - Carl Honoré. He's earned his expertise the hard way, once a speedy journalist at The Economist, a father of two – knows what it means to be in a rush. Unlike many, though, he had the courage to slow himself down, reflect on the journey, learn from it and turn it into a movement – Slow Movement.
The talk by Carl Honoré is scheduled for November 4, 2923 @4PM / Exupery.