Sustainability and Service

        So next October we will host a regional GIN (Global Issues Network) conference at our school, and the opportunity that this affords us is immeasurable. It’s an opportunity to deeply inspire our students and our surrounding community around the world’s biggest and most important issues like sustainability and service, which will hopefully transform not only how we educate our kids, but how we live our day to day lives.
        We’ve already been working hard to find solutions to important local and global issues through our ongoing curriculum units, which use a design thinking process and a project based learning approach, and this year our Grade 5 PYP exhibition of learning is focused on how student passions can be leveraged to make our world a better place. The trick however, is how to make this approach to sustainability and service well…sustainable!
        We’ve had wonderful student led initiatives over the past several years here at school, and we’ve had incredible student leaders who have been working tirelessly to bring their passions for creating a sustainable world to life around our campus…but we just haven’t yet been able to turn the corner and create a culture of service and sustainability that is pervasive throughout all that we do…we’re getting there however.
        We’re hoping that the momentum that has been generated lately through our community service expectation in the Middle School, the amazing support that we’ve seen from our entire community following the recent earthquake, and the 85 students who have asked to join our new GIN elective for next year in the Upper School, will finally be the tipping point for us…this momentum, coupled with the hosting of the conference and our recent partnerships with other local international schools, makes me feel optimistic that the fabric of our school is about to change…forever.
        Giving our students the opportunity to impact meaningful change for their futures, and finding ways to make their learning relevant to their lives right now is our ultimate goal…and having kids think critically about ways that they can positively contribute to the betterment of our world is a huge focus for us…and they are responding incredibly well. I couldn’t be more proud of our students and our teachers for taking on this challenge, and for the ease in which they have been changing their mindsets around what is truly important in education…kids owning their learning and being true difference makers for their futures and for our world!
        I’m excited about the direction that we’re headed as a school, and I feel like we’re on the road to affecting incredible change as an international school community in our collective approach to sustainability and service…it all begins with our students as you know, so keep finding ways for them to lead the way. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our world and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…..
It’s not too late at all.  You just don’t yet know what you are capable of – Mahatma Gandhi
 

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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