ISA welcomed administrators from 21 schools on Oct. 1 to a meeting of the Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network. The administrators came from new ISSN schools in California, Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Washington to visit classrooms, talk to students and teachers, and consult with ISA’s leadership.
The ISSN, which started in 2003, seeks to support and guide schools who share its mission to provide an internationally-focused education facilitated by “engaging, inquiry based instruction, innovative uses of technology, opportunities for student travel and international exchanges, and a school culture that promotes a sense of belonging for every student,” according to the ISSN website. “This is the fifth year for this event, and we always bring them here,” said ISSN Site Visit Coordinator Barbara Kelley. “We can’t capture a culture. The principals have to see and feel it for themselves, which helps them to envision it on their own campuses.”
“We bring them here to see the work in action, to see the work that we do,” said Wedin, in response to why the ISSN encourages its new members to visit the campus. “ISA is our flagship, and much of our model is derived from practices that are integral to ISA.”After a morning orientation, the administrators spent several hours observing multiple classes, often asking individual students questions about their work. The visitors then enjoyed a luncheon in ISA’s Sergiovanni Room, where they discussed ISA’s educational vision and practice with ISA students and teachers. In the afternoon session, the administrators discussed what they had observed and explored how they could support it in their own schools, consulting with ISSN leaders Kelley, Texas Regional Coordinator Meredith Wedin, and ISSN Associate Director Lisa Tyrrell. The conference concluded with an additional day of discussion and planning at a downtown hotel.