INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS SERVICES
Excellence is a standard, an expectation, and a state of mind. It is the standard we seek in operating a school, an expectation we have of our staff and our students, and it is the state of mind by which we make decisions about programs, practices, and procedures. Decisions concerning the operation of the Dalian American International School (DAIS) will be guided by the principle of excellence and by what is in the best interest of the children.
We recognize that the choice of a school for any parent is one of the most significant decisions they will make in determining the future of their child. At ISS we respect the different needs of children and families, we recognize that DAIS will be one step on the journey of a child's education and development, and that successful education is a result of the child, the family, and the school working in concert to achieve clear and articulated outcomes.
We view DAIS as an experience for the whole family and encourage parents to actively participate in the school. We have prepared this document to provide families with information about the ISS educational philosophy and beliefs, and to help families become better acquainted with ISS.
About International Schools Services
Since 1955 International Schools Services (ISS) has grown into an important educational force in the overseas community. A nonprofit corporation dedicated to educational excellence for children attending international schools worldwide, ISS is the world’s leader in providing a comprehensive range of quality educational services for schools, educators, families and corporations.
Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, International Schools Services is led by a team of professionals each with many years of international experience. ISS plans and manages schools and provides teachers and administrator recruitment services. To date ISS has managed 100 sponsored schools and currently works with more than 300 international schools.
International Schools Services provides the following assistance to the international community:
From developing core curricula to hiring staff, planning facilities and purchasing supplies,the ISS Management division develops quality schools in an international context.
Finding qualified teachers and principals is a challenge perpetually faced by all international schools. ISS provides international schools with a large pool of highly qualified educators who wish to teach overseas. As a result of extensive connections and knowledge of international education, ISS has successfully placed more than 20,000 teachers and administrators in overseas schools since 1955.
ISS unites the international community through its publications, interactive website, conferences, seminars, and other forums. The ISS Directory of International Schools
is a comprehensive guide to help families make the best educational choices for their children.
The School Supply department provides complete purchasing services to international schools. From books to school equipment ISS helps schools streamline their procurement efforts and realize cost efficiencies.
Experienced in every aspect of school management, International Schools Services responds to the educational needs of students, teachers, and administrators living abroad, whether in cosmopolitan capital cities or remote rain forests. Whatever the need, ISS strives to create or enhance educational operations to meet and exceed the expectations of the families who rely on their schools.
Our Mission is to provide a comprehensive and challenging academic program and to work with parents to advance the quality of education for children in a multicultural environment.
The following beliefs are those shared by administrators and teachers at ISS schools. These beliefs act as our guide in making educational decisions that affect our students and the educational program.
We believe that:
Family is the primary influence on a child’s development and learning.
Honesty and respect are essential in successful relationships.
People are accountable for their actions.
Desire to learn is an intrinsic human quality.
A supportive, positive partnership among school, family, and community fosters successful learning.
All children can learn when the expectations and learning environments support the child.
Meaningful learning is enhanced through active involvement in the learning process.
Development of independence, collaboration, and critical thinking are fundamental to quality education.
Developing skills necessary to live in an ever-changing world is essential.
Learning to set goals and priorities is a prerequisite to successful learning.
Respect and recognition of cultural diversity is fundamental to understanding and developing an appreciation of others.
Cooperation and collaboration are essential to an individual’s success in a diverse society.
Active involvement in community service is a critical component in developing responsible, caring youth.
- Students are expected to be responsible and respectful.
- Learning expectations are high – the program is challenging, diverse, and well rounded.
- The program provides for the student’s intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.
- The school environment should be interesting and stimulating.
- The program should explore international and cultural opportunities.
Core Curriculum – The ISS core curriculum places an emphasis on:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Cultural Studies
- Physical Education
- Fine Arts
Desired Student Outcomes
A solid academic foundation – able to use a variety of thinking, reasoning, communications, and organizational skills and strategies.
Adaptability, flexibility, positive self-esteem, and strong work ethic.
Independence and an ability to work together successfully in groups.
Proficiency in communications and appreciation of world cultures.
Adoption of a safe and healthy life style.
Motivation for lifelong learning.
The academic program provides a solid foundation of skills and concepts in the areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and technology. The development of independent work habits is encouraged in all students. In all curricular areas, the concepts introduced to the younger students become more complex and detailed as the children’s knowledge and reasoning abilities grow. Both standardized testing and informal assessment procedures are used to assess students' academic progress. Special subjects, including library and a foreign language, enrich and extend the basic program.
The school emphasizes high academic standards and attention to the individual needs of students. The school wishes to instill in the children positive and confident attitudes that will lead them to be persistent in their study habits. It is an aim of the school to help all the children develop their full intellectual, creative, and physical potential.
Assessment of Student Progress and Reporting
Research has shown that assessment of student learning is essential to the improvement of learning. Regular assessment of student learning is therefore a vital part of all good programs. ISS believes in the importance and value of observing your child’s learning on an ongoing basis and uses a variety of tools to measure children’s progress and development. Standardized tests, teacher-made tests, and tests that accompany text materials your child uses in the classroom are some of the formal means of measuring learning. In addition, we observe your child’s progress through their daily performance in school. It is a combination of all these tools and methods that give the teachers a picture of your child’s growth and assists the school in planning the next steps in student learning.
Children will be involved in learning how to evaluate their own work and identify the next steps they need to take. Student learning is assisted when they understand what their learning goals are, what they need to do to reach those goals, and then how to evaluate their progress.
Children benefit greatly when their parents demonstrate an interest and are involved with their child’s educational program. The school will communicate with parents both formally and informally through parent-teacher conferences, student report cards, informal notes, and telephone conversations. We hope that parents will contact school when they have a question or a concern about their child’s progress.
Formal reporting periods are scheduled four times each year. At these times report cards will be distributed to parents.
Achievement tests will be administered. These tests are designed to measure the student’s potential and achievement, as well as the effectiveness of the school’s program. Achievement test data is one piece of information among many that is used to evaluate the academic growth of a student. Test results must be viewed in the context of other information such as report cards, parent-teacher conferences, class work tests, writing evaluations, and other indicators. Parents will be given the results of the achievement test.
Schooling is such a critical choice for each family and, in turn, requires trust in those responsible. We hope this material provides greater understanding of what will be provided and why in a school managed by International Schools Services.