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The Talking Head

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Daily Reminder of our Mission and Vision

I hope that all families received the hard copies of our 2016–17 calendar last week. The calendars were sent home with your youngest child. If you didn’t get a copy, please be sure to ask your youngest child’s class teacher (elementary) or advisor (middle/high school).

Our printed calendar highlights the core values that we hold in common here at the International Community School of Addis Ababa. Our school staff work thoughtfully and purposefully on a daily basis to make our mission and vision a reality. We are all committed to using the Learner Profile as a guide for the work we do—whether that means being knowledgeable, reflective carpenter making better bookshelves for a classroom, or whether it means teachers collaborating on lesson plans with colleagues that will challenge students to become more open-minded and caring.

Finally, some parents will ask, “But how are you assessing the students” learning and the school’s performance?” “What is actually happening or being accomplished?” Last year’s Annual Report has some of those details from the 2014–2015 school year…and soon we’ll be able to share our Annual Report for 2015–2016 as well. Annual Reports and other documents for parents are available on the school’s website.

Emergency Preparations at ICS Addis

Last week and this week we’ve been updating our contact information and practicing our procedures for responding to general emergencies. All families should be contacted via email and phone calls. It is vital that we have updated contact and emergency information for all our families. If any of your numbers or email addresses change in the future, please be sure to inform the school at our Reception Desk, by calling the school’s main number at 011–371–1544 or by sending an email to

Child Protection at ICS Addis and in the Home

ICS Addis has made it a priority to implement child protection procedures and programs in our recruiting, in our curriculum and in training for faculty and staff.

This year we are developing more child protection information for parents. We have asked parents to complete police background checks for household staff. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We believe all children need a safe and caring environment at school and at home, to reach their full potential.

Social Media Channels at @ICSAddis

Parents are invited to follow events, programs and demonstrations of student learning at ICS Addis via several social media channels…

Twitter: many ICS teachers use twitter to communicate with parents and students, in addition to networking with colleagues around the world. Ask your child’s teachers at Back to School Night! Several of the more active twitter accounts you can follow include:




Facebook: two official ICS pages with information, photos and stories include:

International Community School of Addis Ababa

Learning at ICS Addis

And there’s a good site for past, present and future ICS Eagles and alumni at ICS Eagle.

Smugmug: many of our events are recorded by ICS photographers and staff members on our SmugMug page. Relax and enjoy your child’s concert, and then check out the photos we’ve put there for you. If a picture is worth a thousand words, there are many, many stories in those albums. I’ve found pictures of my own daughters in some of our older photo albums, so they’re definitely worth browsing.

Youtube: parents, you can also subscribe to the ICS Addis Youtube channel to learn more about school programs and what our students are learning and doing. We will be using the ICS Youtube channel more this year to share information with parents who cannot attend some of our morning or evening meetings.

Parents and the Board of Governors

Finally, almost all our Board meetings include an Open Session that is open to parents, teachers and other community members. These meetings always include an opportunity for association members to make remarks to the Board. There are ten such meetings through the year.

Our first Board meeting of the year will be at 7:00 PM on Monday, 29 August.