ISB, An Outstanding School

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Over the past few years, ISB has been on an ambitious journey towards becoming an Outstanding School. Despite the pandemic, our community has continued to make excellent progress towards this goal. 

In some countries, and with some accreditation agencies, schools are given a rating. The best schools aspire to be an Outstanding School. There are many accreditation agencies around the world and they share common factors that define an Outstanding School, including:
  • The school has a clear Vision and Strategic Direction
  • There is evidence that students make good progress
  • Students are involved in the assessment of their own and other students' work
  • Students are enthusiastic to contribute to lessons, asking relevant questions and debating the topic
  • Students take ownership of, and lead their own learning
  • Students are able to explain what they are learning and why
  • There is a consistently high quality of learning and teaching
  • Data is used to assess student progress and ensure all students achieve their targets
  • Teachers are observed regularly and provided with feedback and coaching for continual improvement
  • Teachers have autonomy over their own professional learning and continually seek to learn and grow
  • The teachers are supportive of the school mission and direction and are excited to be a part of the journey
  • The community is supportive of the school and its direction. Parents are proud to be part of the community
Sources: Office For Standards in Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Creating The Outstanding School - Oxford Press, The Educator, CfBT, National Association of Independent Schools. 

With this in mind, here is a short reminder of just some of our achievements over the past 12 months:
  • IB Diploma results: 100% pass rate and an average score of over 35. This is among the very best in the world, and better than most selective schools
  • All students offered places at their first choice University (Class of 2020)
  • This year, our students have been accepted at 15 of world’s top 25 Universities and have been offered $3.9M in scholarships (Class of 2021)
  • MAP and CAT4 progress data indicates very good progress for all students across all grades in all domains
  • Parent Satisfaction rating: 100% of parents recommend the school (NEASC/IB Survey)
  • Teacher Satisfaction rating: 100% of staff recommend the school (NEASC/IB Survey)
  • Glowing Accreditation report from the IB and NEASC
These are also reinforced by the comments in our recent Accreditation Report (see below). All of this gives us confidence that  ISB can proudly call itself an Outstanding School. 

Being an Outstanding School is not a destination, it is an attitude and a process. While it is right we should celebrate our achievements, there is still much work to be done; there always will be. For me, becoming outstanding is one thing, but remaining outstanding requires ‘persistent dissatisfaction’. To quote Jim Collins, good is the enemy of great, and we must never rest on our laurels. We will be taking the feedback from our accreditation report, along with your feedback in the survey, to help drive our new Strategic Plan and our never-ending pursuit of excellence. 

The continual pursuit of Outstanding takes a whole community. We have been successful because our staff, students, parents and Board have all worked together for the benefit of our children.

This is a wonderful achievement for our school; this is a community effort and I would like to thank and congratulate everyone.

Quotes from our recent NEASC/IB Accreditation Report: 

ISB has no significant matters to be addressed.

The community can be pleased that every area is being addressed and that all areas required for the transformation to be complete are either in place or being well developed.

There is a great deal of positive energy and passion for the transformation of learning at ISB, and much has already been achieved in the journey. 

The concepts and ideas included in the Learning and Teaching Guide are truly commendable; it is evident that excellent work has already been done.

ISB is to be congratulated on the positive moves and determination they have shown, to ensure that positive environments for learning are continuously being provided through flexible responses to the ever-changing needs of the local laws, regulations and more importantly student needs.

The school is to be congratulated on its achievements during the pandemic.

NEASC and The IB congratulate you all on the positive and inclusive culture towards all, where ‘the community has no walls’, as one teacher put it, and where students feel heard and respected. 

The community has a strong and positive culture, where parents feel welcome to be engaged and appreciate the care and professionalism of the teachers for their children. 

ISB is a place where teachers regularly confirmed they felt respected and heard, and that they had opportunities to be engaged and part of the process of growth. 

The recent implementation of Professional Learning Communities is an integral part of this positive engagement of teachers and provides an excellent platform for many of the developments that have been already started and further ones to be confirmed during the learning community reflection. 

The school leadership team is to be commended for their flexibility and resilience during the pandemic and their continuing development of the quality of learning, through the instigation of the Guide to Teaching and learning, clarification of the Definition of Learning, and high expectations of themselves and all learners to achieve a most impactful learning environment.