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Mission and Vision Letter

December 12, 2018

Dear ISB Community,

During the course of last year and frequently this school year, we have shared that ISB has begun a process to review our Mission and Vision statement. There will soon be exciting opportunities for you all, as members of the ISB community, to contribute to the review and help ensure these vital statements are precise enough to define the school’s identity and sharpen our focus, and robust enough to guide us through the next five to 10 years.

Among the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees is periodically assessing the Mission and Vision statement and making adjustments as the community sees fit. The Board was happy to give authorization for this timely, forward-looking review based on clear need – Climate Survey data from 2017 and 2018 indicates ambiguities around the current wording of the statement. The goal of the review, as decided by the Board, is to re-articulate the Mission and Vision with statements that are clear, concise, and reflective of ISB’s identity now and into the future.

Under the guidance of Ewan McIntosh (of the organization NoTosh, a strategic planning firm which has worked not only with schools extensively but also in the corporate sector), a Design Team consisting of approximately 35 parents, Board members, students, teachers and support staff has been established to canvass our school community and learn from the various groups what is special to them about ISB and what should define ISB in the future.

The Design Team are following a Design Thinking process, which requires large-scale participation as we seek responses to prompts, and stories from and about our community.

In January, we will host six sessions – two each in English, Mandarin, and Korean – to hear your opinions. All are welcome to attend these sessions on Monday, January 14; Tuesday, January 15; and Thursday, January 17. Please sign up here. Your voice and perspectives are critical in this process, so we would appreciate you joining us to talk in whatever language you feel most comfortable communicating.

Please also feel free to drop by the Office of Learning (room 2325) to look at all the data that has been collected in our design process. Mr. McIntosh will return to ISB on February 19 and 20 to guide us through crystallizing all the perspectives of the community into our Mission and Vision statement.

Another exciting development to update you on is the Facilities Master Plan (FMP) construction project. As with the Mission and Vision statement, the FMP was the result of a consultation over a number of years with parents, students, and faculty that ensured full community engagement in deciding what campus improvements to make to continue facilitating great learning for generations of students.

The new buildings are now rising from the ground and the facilities are scheduled to open and be fully operational next school year. You can see for yourself how the building work is progressing in this time-lapse video from the construction site. Significant progress is expected during the upcoming Winter Break, when the construction team can work longer hours with no students present. Over the coming months, we will be monitoring progress in the project, and expect to have a firmer idea of whether we are on track around February.

The pace of any project like this is partly determined by factors beyond our control. For example, if the winter is unusually cold or the AQI exceeds 200, construction is slowed or halted by the contractor or government officials.

We can control neither of these things, so please join us in hoping for mild temperatures and clean air for the next few months. And please do take up our offer to continue giving us your views on important projects within ISB including the Mission and Vision review.

Warm regards,

Patrick Hurworth, Head of School

Doug Cougle, Chair, Board of Trustees

International School of Beijing

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