Welcome to Trondheim International school. Our school was founded in 2004 and has been an IB World School since 2008. We now have about 40 children in our preschool (3-6 years) and 200 students in our school from grade 1 to grade 10 (6-16 years).
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students, The Reporters SFO Club and the News Elective have been working hard together on our Schools Newsletter. This month’s issue is the first issue of the 2015/2016 school year and will continue to be published … Continue reading
State of the School Report on ThIS School Programs
James Hamilton, Head of School
Welcome Back to our 2015-16 Academic Year and Welcome Back to Summer!
Our new school year brings many significant changes and enhancements to our school our governance structure, IB educational programs, our faculty, our existing facility, and emerging possibilities for our school’s future.
The Annual General Meeting of ThIS met in May 2015 and approved forward progress on the reorganization of ThIS Stiftelsen to create a governing body that can include the needs of both ThIS and ThIS Preschool.
Work has continued on these initiative as well as addressing outstanding matters that our school has been addressing with the Utdanningsdirektoratet.
Recently in Trondheim Kommune, our request for consideration to increase our allowed school size by 30 students received positive approval from the Formannskapet. * Please be aware of a letter authored by ThIS Board of Directors Chair, May-Liz Bjørnevik Tho regarding this measure of support to be published soon in Adressa.
Both the Governing Board and the School Administration support these changes and we see these possibilities as enabling our adopted School Strategic Plan.
The school Staff has been involved in this process from the beginning and is also in support of the initiatives.
IB Educational Programs
The school Administration has done an excellent job in two years implementing necessary, required and highly desirable changes in the way in which the daily operations of the school are managed, including fiscal and program management, teaching qualifications, implementation of IB Standards and Practices and its work in supporting the Board of Directors.
The Administration has instituted practices insuring highly qualified teachers in all class and subject domains, whose credentials meet and/or exceed the legal requirements of the Utdanningsdirektoratet. Beyond this, we have refocused the school’s professional development using our school’s IB Action Plan to enhance and ensure competent knowledge and practice among our instructional staff.
The key Strategic Plan directive to the Head of School formulated and approved by the Board 28.01.2014 has been effectively implemented.
IB curriculum – in school
We are not at a completion stage with this goal. The school IB Action Plan insures continuous school and program improvement. It supports us in keeping pace with the changes and development in the IB World School Programs, as we have done with the revisions to the Middle Years Program (MYP) “ Next Chapter in the MYP” initiatives. These in fact are in process and the goal for completion of these changes in MYP worldwide is in the 2016 -17 academic year.
The Yearly School Calendar reflects our commitments to provide instructional staff the necessary collaborative planning time to ensure that the IB Programs are well implemented. Please note the early-release days in the Year Calendar as well as the noted legal holidays.
The Administration and the Instructional Staff have worked arduously to implement many other internal controls and systematic procedures to ensure that the physical environment and the psychosocial environment of our school meet and exceeds the standards and exemplifies the “Duty to Care” that is our trust.
The Student Council and the School Coordinating Committee (often called a School Site Council) have all contributed well to the development of needed changes in the school, and the Parent Committee has lent great support to the school in many ways. In an increasingly proficient manner, each of these channels for communication and action are increasingly involved in informing and supporting the Administration and the Board in achieving the levels of collaboration expected of us as a Norwegian Privatskole.
IB Program Changes for 2015-16 Most of the changes for this coming academic year, were shared with the school community in a letter that I distributed in early June 2015; the text is repeated here:
The school has done a tremendous job in the 2014-15 School Year, establishing and extending the expectations for higher levels of learning and student performance across all grade levels. We continued our content focus across the school in written English. But a core focus has been reorganizing the school to deepen teaching and learning through the two IB Programs of Inquiry.
The “Next Chapter” for the IB Middle Years Program was officially rolled out last year, with the expectation that the MYP programs would rise to the full implementation level of the program revisions by 2016. Most of our MYP teachers have been to a regional MYP subject specific training for the new MYP program model in the last year. All PYP and MYP teachers and teaching assistants received official IB in-school professional development workshops, focused on PYP development of Inquiry-Based Teaching And Learning and MYP Approaches to Learning (academic learning skills development).
The new MYP program model aligned the transdisciplinary approach of the Primary Year (grades 1-6) with the interdisciplinary emphasis of the MYP and it better prepares the MYP students for the Diploma Program at the secondary school level. Students will be better prepared with more academic rigor and better-developed academic life skills, that we call “approaches to learning” in the MYP.
We are looking forward to our next IB Program reauthorization (accreditation) visit in 2017. We are reorganizing our subject offerings and the continuum of courses offered to MYP students to meet the requirements of the IB Standards and Practices.
This restructuring will impact and improve student learning at each year level of the MYP.
Here are the core changes that we are making for 2015 and beyond:
For Year 7:
Year 7 course sections will increase from 3 to 4 times each week in these subjects:
To enable these program additions, we will begin French or Spanish language in year 8. (This echoes the practice in Norwegian Uds)
For The MYP Years 7 To 10, As A Whole
Language instruction in the IB Program: The IB programs are structured to provide Language Acquisition and Language Literacy as two distinct program subject groups, across both the languages of instruction in the school (English and Norwegian), and in the secondary languages that are taught within the school (French and Spanish). The school has not previously been able to adequately provide separate and distinct focus on both Acquisition and Language/Literacy. It is therefore an intention of the restructuring that we achieve that goal and requirement.
Language A: (Languages of instruction) English and Norwegian Language Acquisition for English & Norwegian will be taught according to student needs, with support lessons scheduled for students who require extra immersion in either language. Literacy will be taught more comprehensively in both of these Language A’s, our two languages of instruction. We have the expectation that all students who have completed the continuous years of our school program will emerge with academic fluency and language literacy in both English and Norwegian at the completion of our MYP Program.
Language B’s (Spanish and French) have been taught as year level classes, with all phases of fluency lumped together. The staffing and logistical obstacles have been too great to differentiate this teaching in the past. The classes have been dominated by language acquisition with minimal exposure to the literary aspects of each language and culture. With this restructuring of our programs, we are adding additional teaching expertise in the language department. There will be two teachers collaborating evenly in the Language B (Sp/Fr) teaching program dividing the teaching of language acquisition and language/cultural literacy.
Enhanced Maths Program: We are adding a % position in Maths to enable a broader differentiation in MYP 10 maths and to prepare advanced math students for the Diploma level program options. Fredrick will teach MYP maths 8, 9,10 and advanced maths year 10. A new math teacher will teach four, MYP 7 math lessons/week.
PSPE: (Personal, Social, and Physical Education) will be taught to each year level separately, whereas we had to teach combined-years in the past.
Visual & Performing Arts: Visual and performing arts will continue to be taught to each year level. Year 10 students will choose between either performing or visual arts emphasis for the year. Again, this orientation is a preparation for the specificity and differentiated courses of the IB Diploma program.
What are we transforming to achieve these program-restructuring goals?
Global Engagement Course: In the past two years we have considered the place and impact of Community, Service and Action within the school programs. The IB requires that Action and Service be elements of the Program and that Global context is a required for teaching and learning.
In the past year, we developed a course titled Global Engagement as a means of jump-starting our Community, Action and Service values within the MYP Program.
In the coming year, we instead embed these within the MYP Programs interdisciplinary studies, as it is done within the PYP transdisciplinary approach.
The Community, Service and Action component of our school program is core to the values of the IBO World Schools and the learning for our students. We have experienced some wonderful initiatives on the part of our students in this past year, and we intend that we retain that inertia within the MYP Next Chapter Program structure.
We are confident about the program changes that we are making in the school. We know that we can continuously improve our academic programs. We know that these changes will reorganize our program to develop stronger academic rigor, higher quality teaching and learning and higher satisfaction in our school environment.
Sincerely, James Hamilton, Head of School
ThIS Administrative Team 2015-16
Mr. James Hamilton – Head of School
Ms. Christine Østerlie – Business Manager
Ms. Kana Mori – Administrative Assistant and Office Manager
Ms. Jelena Sitar – Office Assistant
Ms. Mascha Meland – SFO Manager/Administrative Assistant
Ms. Hilde Wennberg – Special Needs Coordinator
Mr. Marc Urie – Facilities Manager
Mr. Aleks Fedorchuk- Maintenance & Projects
Faculty Changes and Additions
Ms. Rahel Geier – Classroom Teacher Year 3
Ms. Anne Van Dewijdeven – MYP English
Ms. Vanessa Triujeque – MYP French & Spanish / Individuals and Societies
Ms. Bianca Klakegg – MYP French & Spanish / Norwegian Year 4
Ms. Siri Aakre – Math Year 7
Mr. Eric Franken – 60% Position in MYP Individuals and Societies / 40% Position at Kataskole
Mr. Fredrick Kyejo – Math 8, 9, 10, Advanced (pre-Diploma) Math, Math Year 4
Class Teachers in MYP
Year 7- Ms. Anne Van Dewijdeven
Year 8 – Ms. Sima Haddadin
Year 9 – Ms. Vanessa Triujeque
Year 10- Mr. Misa Djordjevic
Ms. Hope Steen will continue as PYP Program Coordinator
Ms. Virginia Neilsen will continue as MYP Program Coordinator
Ms. Marianne Amundsen will act as Norwegian Language Coordinator / Year 10 Counselor
Facility Modifications and Changes We are starting the year again with a full-enrollment of 200 students and a waiting list. We are starting the school year with a larger % of MYP enrollment than ever before.
We continue to explore means of extending our facility at Festningsgata 2, and we are continuously improving it to better serve our needs. This summer:
IT Enhancements 1:1 Laptops and Other IT Changes
The school will continue with the approved implementation of the 1:1 Laptop program for our students. Within the next two weeks, Year 10 students will receive the next implementation of the MacBooks. This will enable us to redistribute other existing computers within the year levels. As our budget allows, we will continue with this program to enable all MYP students’ access to these wonderful tools.
The school has completed the transition from It’s Learning to ManageBac, with all students and parents have access to this Comprehensive and ”built for the IB” Student Information System. ManageBac provides for planning, data storage, student records, class and parent communication and many other resources.
Our Google for Education system continues to serve our school with added tools and supports, and at a free cost for its use and support.
Conclusion Each year begins and ends in a similar way, busy…busy.
We look forward to seeing you back in the school and we wish to remind you especially about the Fall Back-to-School Class meetings that will take place September 3rd. It will be important for you to attend to hear from the class teachers about the programs and responsibilities and to elect the class parent representatives for the Parent Committee.
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