Monday, August 10, 2015

Starting off with New Programs!

Hello to one and all from the Sustainability & Service Learning Office. By now, hopefully, a semblance of routine has found its way to your home. The new year brings a great many new initiatives/events on the sustainability and service learning front and, as is not customary, this article will do it's part to communicate what our students and community are up to in this regard. 

The second day back for our teachers was taken, in part, by training in service learning modalities and concepts. Cathy Berger Kaye spent four days with us providing training to all our faculty and a select group of student service leaders. It was a great initiation to what we hope will be an action-packed year of sustainability and service learning. 

The year also brings with it a new Middle School program in which we hope to engage our students in independent community involvement through the use of the service learning process. The program, nameless until our students find an appropriate name, will focus on documenting and highlighting things our MS students are doing outside the realm of their classrooms but that are none-the-less learning experiences in their community. 

At High School we are welcoming a new course: Global Issues, Local Solutions. The course is intended as a venue for students to pursue action-based learning to address sustainability issues. The course, coupled with the re-introduction of a Global Issues Network club should pave the way to a greater opportunity to address authentic learning. 

We are also taking our first baby steps to creating a Global Issues Network (GIN) program in the MS too. Though in the past we've participated in such events at other schools we are planning to host our first Global Issues conference (on a small scale) in February, largely based on our Global Issues classes. 

On a sustainability front we have created an Operational Sustainability Committee this year which will include all sorts of stakeholders, from our finance department to our facilities to cleaning staff, cafeteria vendors and transport office.  The idea, of course, is to bring everyone "to the table" so to speak, and identify ways that efficiency can be increased while ensuring operational sustainability.  

Our elementary school too won't be left behind. Typically service learning is alive and well at Melawati, but this year there are higher expectations of service learning in all grade levels. 3KD, in particular, will be using "water" as a consistent theme and participating quite extensively in the Eco-Schools programs, of which ISKL is a Green Flag school. 

Wow. That's a lot of new things starting up. Add them to an already extensive list of happenings, and you've got yourself a busy place. More to come as the year continues!

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