American International School of Johannesburg Director's Annual

Document Sample
American International School of Johannesburg Director's Annual Powered By Docstoc
					                                               American International School of Johannesburg
                                                                                               27 March 2007

                                                                                Director’s Annual Report

1.        Introduction
This report provides an overview of the 2006-2007 school year. As Director, I have been pleased to get to
know and to work with students, staff and parents in a growing partnership. During this, my fourth and last
year at AISJ, I have spent much of my time working with the Board and business office to strengthen our
financial position and working with my administrative team as we implement the second year of our strategic
plan. The year has provided a series of challenges and a series of successes worthy of celebration.

I invite all who read this report and who have questions or comments to contact me in my office, by phone
(464-1505, ext 204), or via email (

Rob Ambrogi, Ed.D.

2.        AISJ Mission Statement
In reviewing the annual report of activities for any school it is important to keep its mission in focus. All that
we do should contribute to the school’s mission in some direct or indirect way. Our present mission:

     “The mission of AISJ is to ensure that all of our students are inspired life-long learners, motivated
                   global contributors, and empowered seekers of personal fulfillment.”

This mission, developed two years ago, pushes our target beyond just helping all students learn to their
highest level. Without reducing our academic program or rigor, we are now directing our energy at also
ensuring that students develop, while they are with us, the attitudes, habits of thought and internal
motivations that will lead them to continue to learn things throughout their lives.

We have also begun to consciously and purposefully work to ensure that they become motivated contributors
to the world around them. We are seeking to build individuals who look outside of their own needs and who
behave responsibly, respectfully and with personal integrity as they make decisions and choices in their lives.

And finally, the new mission challenges us to empower students to reach for their dreams. We will find
ways to encourage self-awareness, internally driven plans and the confidence, persistence and creativity
needed to meet their goals.

Each of these elements in our mission pushes us to produce students who will be well equipped to succeed in
their next school and in life beyond the time they are with us. AISJ students of tomorrow will be ready for
the unknown challenges ahead and will be ready to take leadership roles in whatever career they pursue.

The future is bright and the significant challenges ahead will require that the whole AISJ community retain
sharp focus on our mission as we serve the children in our care.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                   1/31                                   March 27, 2007
3.       School Demographic Profile
School Demographic Profile

The statistical data that follows provides a window into the quantity and quality of AISJ employees.

Academic           Number % Certified *           % Certified * % with Masters
Staff                        North American Other Nations or higher degrees
Administrators         6           67%                                    83%
Teachers              81           56%                 34%                51%
* Board policy acknowledges that qualifications for teachers and administrators include factors beyond
certification, such as advanced degrees, relevant experience and other professional development training.

Support Staff              Number
Administration                 8
Aides (classroom/office)      20
Catering                       6
Custodial/Maintenance         29
Drivers                       27
Nurse                         1
Secretarial                   15
Total Support Staff          106
TOTAL (Academic & Support)   193

The following data demonstrates some measure of the diversity of our student body.
 #            Nation              Students             % of Population
 1 USA                               241                        38
 2 India                             43                          7
 3 South Africa                       42                         7
 4 Netherlands                        35                         6
 5 UK                                33                          5
 6 Sweden                             25                         4
 7 Belgium                            20                         3
 8 Kenya                              16                         3
 9 Canada                             14                         2
 9 Germany                            14                         2
 9 Korea                              14                         2
      Other (41 countries)           136                        21
      TOTAL                          633                       100

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 2/31                                  March 27, 2007
4.       School Planning: Accreditation For Growth (AFG) and Strategic
         Planning (Ben Weinberg & Rob Ambrogi)

                                             The Big Picture

AISJ uses an accreditation protocol called the Accreditation For Growth (AFG) protocol from the Middle
States Association of Schools and Colleges. Middle States accredits schools and universities in mid-Atlantic
region of the United States (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania...) as well as accrediting many
international schools. Our accreditation protocol calls on us to maintain our performance in 12 areas of
school performance while requiring that we grow and improve by developing, implementing and tracking 2-4
student performance objectives. The AFG protocol evaluates the school based on our planning process, our
culture of planning, and the contents of the strategic plan.

We are in our second year of implementing our strategic plan. The AISJ strategic plan was developed by
the Core Planning Team in an intensive retreat-style workshop in November of 2004. The strategic plan is
based on four student performance objectives. Three of the objectives come directly from the school’s
mission. These three objectives use specially developed rubrics to measure student performance in life-long
learning, seeking personal fulfillment and contributing to community. The fourth objective measures student
academic performance based on AISJ curriculum standards in science, social studies, language arts and

                                    Implementation and Action 2006-07

Submitting the Strategic Objectives to Middle States for a Technical Review
The school has submitted the objectives, our baseline data, and the assessments we use to Middle States for
approval. Middle States approved our objectives, indeed both Middle States staff and members of the
visiting team have commented on the unique and original nature of our plan as well as the thorough and
inclusive nature of the process we used to develop the plan. In their technical review of the AISJ strategic
objectives, Middle States noted that all our objectives were measurable and that the result of each objective
was increased student performance. They noted that the objectives measured important areas of student
development and targeted all students. For the fourth objective which targets academic performance Middle
States noted that we indicate “a variety of internal and external measures being used to assess student
achievement of the academic standards.” Both visiting team members and Middle States were impressed
with the specifically developed rubrics for the first three objectives. The objectives and the base line data are
included at the end of this section.

Validation Team Visit
A key part of the process of accreditation is a visit by a group of our peers. The visiting team is called the
Validation Team and is made up of teachers and administrators from schools served by the Middle States
Association of Schools and Colleges. We were visited two years into the implementation of our strategic
plan. This year, in addition to moving forward with the implementation of the result statements in our
Action Plans we prepared for the visiting team.

How we have prepared for the Accreditation Visit
First, we have an ongoing process of review and reflection. The AISJ strategic plan was developed by a
group called the Core Planning Team. The Core Team is made up of staff, students, and parents. We are
veterans and newcomers, South African and expats. We are connected to both campuses and all divisions.
We come from different continents and speak different languages. The members reflect our rich and diverse
school community. The Core Team meets several times each year and reflects and provides feedback to the
teams who implement the action plans as the strategic plan goes forward.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                   3/31                                   March 27, 2007
Second, we reviewed the school’s performance in regards to Middle States accreditation standards. The 12
accreditation standards were reviewed in depth by a wide cross- section of the AISJ community in 2003-04.
AISJ used a survey format to gather information. Staff, students, and parents rated the school and made
recommendations. The survey results for each standard were analyzed by teams that included parents, board
members, administrators, staff and students. Core Planning Team also reviewed the results and a set of
recommendations were developed. Their recommendations were shared with the AISJ community. Their
recommendations were also considered in the Core Planning Team’s 2004 analysis of the school’s strengths
and weaknesses. The strategic plan’s objectives, strategies and action plans were based on this analysis. In
addition, all staff members participated in a review of the 12 standards in September of this school year. The
results of this second analysis were evaluated by the Core Planning Team. Our intent in all our work is to
create an ongoing cycle of planning, implementation, learning, and adjustment.

The Visit
The five-person team who visited AISJ during the week of March 12, 2007 was a highly qualified and
experienced team. The team included administrators and teachers from US schools and other international
schools. The team received a great deal of information about our school, our planning process, and our
strategic plan. While the team was here they reviewed all aspects of the school and talked to as many
different groups as possible. We developed a comprehensive five-day schedule with the team chair. They
met with teachers, support staff, students, administrators, and parents. They visited classrooms at all
divisions and at both campuses. In addition the team was provided with extensive documentation to
demonstrate the school’s performance in regards to the 12 standards. The team visit is best considered as a
group of critical friends who are here to help us see and celebrate our successes and to show us where we
need to improve.

Highlights of the team’s commendations and recommendations were included in an oral report presented to
the community on the last day of the visit. A key highlight of the Oral Report was the announcement that the
Validation Team would recommend to the Middle States Commission on Institution-wide Accreditation
that AISJ be granted a full seven-year accreditation status without stipulations. A written report will be
sent to us and Middle States with a complete set of recommendations and commendations within 6 weeks of
the visit. We look forward to receiving this report and reflecting carefully on its contents.

Strategic Plan Implementation 2006-07: From Promises to Action Plans
AISJ uses a unique process to develop action plans for each of our four strategies. Individuals who take
responsibility for implementation develop a rigorous promise with the Director. The promise targets a
specific result statement for one of our five strategies. The strategy areas are curriculum, professional
development, school culture, measurement, and using the resources of South Africa. The promises are really
a type of contract that specifies the terms of satisfaction. A detailed action plan is developed from the

Implementation of South Africa Strategy
This year no new results were targeted in this strategy. The effort this year was to finish the work that was
started last year. Last year a table of all South African resources and experiences used in the school was
developed. This year, each division has taken responsibility for listing all South African resources and
activities used in units and curriculum maps. In several divisions, support staff have developed mission
goals in addition to job performance to share aspects of their cultures with students.

Implementation of School Culture Action Plan
No new result statements were identified for implementation this year. The aim has been to operationalize
the all-school events and to involve all staff more actively. At the main campus, PreK – 12 events such as
the International Festival, Building Bus Communities, and Out on a Limb for Justice continue and have been
more closely aligned with the school’s mission and beliefs. Each event is planned by a committee that
includes members from each division. The Pretoria campus has continued to redesign Morning Circle, the

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  4/31                                  March 27, 2007
Pretoria Big 5, Star Shows, the International Studies, the Out on a Limb for Justice unit, and Fun Freaky
Friday activities to have specific mission related focuses and to involve all staff.

Implementation of Curriculum Action Plan
Result statements from the curriculum strategy were a major focus this school year.

Faculty members from each division began a year-long training effort in Social Emotional Learning.
Members of the team worked with Elizabeth Morris to develop pilot projects at both elementary schools, the
middle school, and the high school as well as writing the philosophies, benchmarks, assessment rubrics and
projects for each divisional level for Social Emotional Learning and Service Learning Standards.

The Mathematics and Tech curriculum standards were reviewed first at divisional level then school-wide by
committees with representatives from all divisions and both campuses. Information Literacy standards and
the original tech standards were combined into a single, user-friendly set of 6 standards. The process of
integrating the new Information Technology standards into the core curriculum began with the math
curriculum. Resources for both curriculums were reviewed and additional materials for pilots were ordered
as required. Principals and members of the two committees have begun the process of ensuring that the
philosophy and standards for Information Literacy have been shared with the staff and parents.

Implementation of Measurement Action Plan
The focus of the Measurement strategy this year was to continue and extend the process of collecting,
analyzing and reporting levels of student performance for the four strategic objectives.

This year, all divisions and both campuses used grade level rubrics to assess student performance for the first
three objectives twice a year. The process involves students reflecting and using the rubrics to evaluate their
own level of performance. At different grade levels the process is designed to fit the developmental level of
the students but at all levels the purpose is to help students develop the capacity to evaluate their own level of
performance and set goals for further growth. The data that is gathered is analyzed by the staff and is used to
design units that provide opportunities that will increase student performance in the areas of life-long
learning, seeking personal fulfillment and contribution to community.

The Elementary schools and the Middle school continued to collect data on the mission essential academic
standards in Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science. Last year, 10-14 standards in each
area of the curriculum were identified and assessed. This year teachers have worked with the principals to
continue to track student performance on the 45-50 key academic standards. The High School is collecting
baseline data this year on the academic standards. To assess the standards, AISJ uses a variety of both
internal and external assessments. Some are based on AISJ standards and some are based on national and
international expectations for students. These assessments allow us to compare our students’ performance
not only against AISJ standards but against the standard set for students across the US and internationally.

Implementation of Professional Development Action Plan
The focus of the Professional Development team was to establish an on-going process to ensure that all AISJ
employees understand the strategic objectives, core values, mission and the importance of their job in
contributing to the mission. The team helped get the entire staff off on the right foot. The entire AISJ staff
took an afternoon to attend an inspiring multi-media presentation and Café approach to reflecting on the
importance of all jobs to the school’s mission. Staff worked in groups of four that were deliberately mixed to
allow different divisions and departments to hear and learn from one another. This was the first time the
entire staff of AISJ gathered together in a working session. Staff members reported feeling empowered,
excited, and invigorated by the event.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                   5/31                                   March 27, 2007
Managers of each department began to use the Employee and Supervisor versions of the booklet Living the
Mission, Achieving Professional Growth at AISJ in their annual goal setting and performance review
sessions. The purpose of this process is to expand the scope of supervision to go beyond basic job
performance reviews and become a mechanism for driving the development of each staff member and
increasing the awareness of our collective potential.

Strategic Objectives and Baseline Data
The following info and data tables contain our strategic objectives and the baseline data we collected last
school year.

Objective #1:
By 2012, 100% of AISJ students will willingly and enthusiastically initiate, engage in, reflect upon and share
learning that sparks their curiosity and inspires further exploration as measured by attainment of the
“proficient” or “exemplary” levels on the AISJ Life Long Learning rubric.

Baseline: Year: 2005 - 2006
Percentage of students meeting the criteria necessary to attain “proficient” or
“exemplary” levels on the AISJ Life Long Learning rubric as measured by a survey of
related behaviors and habits.
Year               Elementary       Middle School High School               Target
2006               77               75                  58                  100
2007                                                                        100
2008                                                                        100
2009                                                                        100
2010                                                                        100
2011                                                                        100
2012                                                                        100

Objective #2:
By 2012, 100% of AISJ students will willingly and continually choose to improve the quality of
community as measured by attainment of the “proficient” or “exemplary” levels on the AISJ
Improve Community rubric.

Baseline: Year: 2005 - 2006
Percentage of students meeting the criteria necessary to attain “proficient” or
“exemplary” levels on the AISJ Improve Community rubric as measured by a survey of
related behaviors and habits.
Year               Elementary       Middle School High School               Target
2006               78               72                  70                  100
2007                                                                        100
2008                                                                        100
2009                                                                        100
2010                                                                        100
2011                                                                        100
2012                                                                        100

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  6/31                                  March 27, 2007
Objective #3:
By 2012, 100% of AISJ students will purposefully seek, choose and journey towards what they feel
passionate about, as measured by attainment of the “proficient” or “exemplary” levels on the AISJ
Empowered Seeker of Personal Fulfillment rubric.

Baseline: Year: 2005 - 2006
Percentage of students meeting the criteria necessary to attain “proficient” or
“exemplary” levels on the AISJ Empowered Seeker of Personal Fulfillment rubric as
measured by a survey of related behaviors and habits.
Year              Elementary        Middle School High School               Total
2006              78                78                  78                  100
2007                                                                        100
2008                                                                        100
2009                                                                        100
2010                                                                        100
2011                                                                        100
2012                                                                        100

Objective #4:
By 2012, 100% of AISJ students will meet academic standards consistent with the mission as
measured by mastery of academic standards identified as “mission critical” using a variety of
formal and informal assessments.

                           Elementary School Data – 2005-2006 – Objective #4

Baseline: (see attached data sheets*) % of elementary students met the mastery criteria, using
varied formal and informal assessments of AISJ’s standards. The measures used include:

Language Arts
Developmental Reading Assessment
Grade level Six-Traits Writing rubrics
Stanford Achievement Test results

EveryDay Math assessments
Projects and performance assessments
Stanford Achievement Test results

Science and social studies
Projects and performance assessments

* The data sheet for the main campus elementary school comes from Atlas Rubicon. AISJ is
beginning to use this software for curriculum mapping and managing student performance data.
This data sheet is the way of the future.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM               7/31                              March 27, 2007
                             Main Campus Elementary Student data 2005-06

Director’s Annual Report - AGM              8/31                           March 27, 2007
            Pretoria Campus Student Data -- 2005-06 – Objective #4
Grade       Curriculum            Percent of Students    Percent of Total Standards
            Area                 Who Met All Standards              Met
PreK        All                           0%                        88%

K        Social Studies                  86%                       86%
 15      Language Arts                   71%                       90%
students Math                            86%                       86%
         Science                         96%                       92%

1        Social Studies                  89%                       89%
9        Language Arts                   56%                       82%
students Math                            78%                       86%
         Science                          0%                       70%

2        Social Studies                  100%                      100%
12       Language Arts                   50%                       86%
students Math                            50%                       82%
         Science                         42%                       97%

3        Social Studies                   83%                       92%
6        Language Arts                    83%                      97%
students Math                            66%                       95%
         Science                         100%                      100%

4        Social Studies                  50%                       66%
8        Language Arts                   50%                       72%
students Math                            75%                       75%
         Science                         50%                       63%

5        Social Studies                   0%                       46%
         Language Arts                    0%                       46%
         Math                             0%                       65%
         Science                          0%                       74%

6        Social Studies                  71%                       90%
7        Language Arts                   71%                       87%
students Math                            71%                       88%
         Science                         71%                       88%

Director’s Annual Report - AGM             9/31                           March 27, 2007
                         MIDDLE SCHOOL DATA -- 2005-2006 – Objective #4

Baseline: Year: 2005-06       (see data sheet below) % of middle school students met the mastery
criteria, using varied formal and informal assessments of AISJ’s standards. The measures used
Language Arts
Stanford Achievement Test results

Projects and performance assessments
Stanford Achievement Test results

Science and social studies
Projects and performance assessments

Middle School
One third of each class was sampled. Sample size for each grade was about 20 students.
Grade Curriculum             Percent of Students Who       Percent of Total Standards
         Area                   Met All Standards                     Met
6        Social Studies                 0%                            74%
         Language Arts                 93%                            99%
         Math                          64%                            88%
         Science                        0%                            68%

7         Social Studies                   0%                        71%
          Language Arts                    0%                        95%
          Math                            64%                        90%
          Science                         54%                        86%

8         Social Studies                  36%                        71%
          Language Arts                   86%                        97%
          Math                            59%                        82%
          Science                          0%                        77%

                                  HIGH SCHOOL Data 2005-2006

Baseline: Year:      (High School baseline data will be available in May 2007)
    % of high school students met the mastery criteria, using varied formal and informal
assessments of AISJ’s standards. The measures used will include:

Language Arts
International Baccalaureate assessments
Work samples
Classroom assessments
Writing rubric

Director’s Annual Report - AGM             10/31                           March 27, 2007
International Baccalaureate assessments
Work samples
Classroom assessments

Science and social studies
International Baccalaureate assessments
Lab reports
Work samples
Classroom assessments

5.       Elementary School -- Pretoria Campus (Ben Weinberg)

                                             What’s New
With over 40% turnover in students (39 out of last year’s final enrollment of 70 students) and a net gain in
enrollment of over 10% current enrollment is now 78 students from 16 different countries.

A new teaching position was created this year. The technology integration specialist, Mr. Josh, works with
teachers to integrate technology with science, social studies and language arts. Mr. Josh worked with
teachers to develop projects for each grade level that allow students to access, use and evaluate information
using the Big 6 and the Super Three inquiry models. Mr. Josh also worked with the technology
curriculum review committee that has developed the new Information Technology standards for AISJ. This
position supports the life long learning aspect of the mission.

This year we began to implement the concept of recess teachers. In addition to two teachers on duty during
recess, we now have one teacher at all recesses who is responsible for organizing a game with students.
Students spend as much time at recess as they do for any academic subject. Having recess teachers allows us
to use recess time as learning time. The recess teacher models and supports social and emotional learning for
students. We have noticed a significant decrease in recess issues and a significant increase in student
enthusiasm for participation.

Pre K at the Pretoria campus is no longer a combined class. This year Pre K has its own classroom and a
new teacher, Ms Heidi.

As part of their studies in the Out on a Limb for Justice unit, Grade One started an effort to get all members
of the Morning Circle on Fridays to bring in one item from home that can be recycled. They created Recycle

                                          What Continues
Winter School entered its second year in Pretoria. The Winter School program provided a fitting end to the
2005-06 school year. Students engaged in inquiry based science experiments, went on field trips, cooked
their own snack each day, and tried a variety of arts and crafts projects. Basing a Winter School program in
Pretoria allowed prospective parents to see the school in action in addition to extending the school year for
students staying in South Africa.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 11/31                                  March 27, 2007
The after-school program, held twice-a-week, serves more than 95% of the Pretoria students in grades K-6.
Students participated in ballet, karate, learned to serve and volley in tennis, got rid of the wobbles on the ice,
made their own fashions in sewing, observed and painted South African birds in art club, and participated in
physics and chemistry experiments in Science club. The Saturday Community Baseball program continued
this year supported by Mr. Ben and Mr. Josh.

Writing effectively is a key aspect of life-long learning. The Write-On-Pretoria program is designed to
highlight student writing and motivate all students to achieve excellence. First, the program gets teachers
together to evaluate student writing at all grade levels. Teachers meet and evaluate student writing as a team.
This practice ensure that we have a smooth and consistent transition from grade to grade. Second, it provides
an opportunity for examples of student work to be shared with the school community. Students hear and see
work from other grades and are often motivated to set new goals for themselves. Finally, the program brings
parents into our circle so that the celebration strengthens the connection between school and home. If you
haven’t stopped by to read the Write-on Pretoria Wall do so soon and read the work of these first rate

Social and Emotional learning forms the foundation for all three aspects of the school’s mission. The
Pretoria campus continued to base character education on the Big Five (respect, cooperation, friendship,
responsibility, and perseverance). To develop and sustain a school culture based on mutual respect and
collaboration we use Morning Circle, Star Shows and Fun Freaky Fridays. Each of these ongoing events
is structured to include all staff, recognize achievement, and focus on collaboration. Stars allow recognition
to be part of our daily life. The star is only a piece of paper but the public acknowledgement of an
individual’s contribution is a powerful act for both students and teachers. The stars and the star drawing at
each star show highlight and deliberately focus attention on the global contributor aspect of the school’s

This year the teaching staff has continued to work as a team to develop and refine science and social studies
units. The Pretoria campus uses a three-year cycle of all school themes. This year our units were:
        What Makes Me Me, a science unit on health and the human body.
        My City Pretoria, a social studies unit on economics, geography, and government.
The staff works with a curriculum design process called Understanding by Design. Understanding by
Design deliberately targets understanding rather than content coverage in unit design. It is a backwards
design process that asks teachers to begin with the understanding they want the students to achieve. Pretoria
teachers are also sharing and evaluating student work related to the units on a regular basis. Sharing student
work allows for smooth transitions from grade to grade.

The International Celebration is a month-long unit to celebrate diversity. The unit focuses on culture,
history, and historical analysis standards in the social studies curriculum. Younger grades explored the
diversity of the school community. Older grades discovered stories from their cultures, heritage and
families. Parent support and contribution was a highlight of this unit. Many parents visited the school and
shared their cultures and histories with the students. Parent ambassadors made the unit come alive for the
students. The International Festival at the end of the unit was a great success. The students shared their
learning at the International Festival while parents and staff set up booths for their different countries. We
literally ate our way around the world.

The Out On a Limb For Justice unit in January is a four-week unit that allows students to plan, advocate for
and implement ways to contribute to community. The unit focuses on current events and government
standards in the social studies curriculum. The unit ended with a community-wide vote to decide how to the
weekly Ubuntu Fund monies would be spent. The Ubuntu Fund is created by a weekly dress up day for
students or dress down day for teachers. Over 140 votes were cast in the election and the Siyafunda Day
Care Haven and Pop-Up were chosen by the community. This unit integrated language arts learning as well

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  12/31                                   March 27, 2007
as government and current events standards in the social studies. Students in grades 3-6 worked on writing
and analyzing poetry. Their studies were enriched by the visit of poet and author Naomi Shahib Nye. Ms
Naomi spent a day working with classes. Working with a real author was an inspiring experience for the

The ArtsFest later this year will highlight the empowered seeker of personal fulfillment aspect of the
mission. The Artsfest is a weeklong celebration of the arts. The regular schedule is set aside and students
attend workshops, demonstrations and performances during the week. This is the second ArtsFest at the
Pretoria campus and our draft schedule includes an even wider variety of workshops and visiting artists.

 As a school we continue to participate, as are all AISJ teaching and administrative staff, in the Looking For
Learning initiative. Looking For Learning takes teachers and administrators into classrooms not to watch
the teacher but to determine what the students are learning. It is a powerful tool for building a collaborative
and collegial school culture focused on improving student learning. Looking For Learning is deliberately
coupled with teachers’ individual Professional Development Plans. All staff developed these individual
professional development plans. Support staff at the Pretoria campus also develop professional development
goals that connect their specific jobs with the AISJ mission. This connection shows the power and potential
of integrating personal and professional goals. An integrated and inclusive school community provides
powerful examples to students and staff of what life-long learning looks like.

Optimal Match is another team process that continues to grow at the Pretoria campus. Optimal Match is the
systematic development of individual learning goals and plans for all students. Teams of teachers start the
year by identifying student strengths, learning styles, opportunities and needs. At subsequent meetings
throughout the year the teams review student progress and make adjustments as necessary. Optimal Match
brings the collective experience, knowledge and skills of the staff together in the service of student learning.
At the Pretoria campus teams meet every 6 – 8 weeks.

6.       Elementary School – Joburg campus (Lory Thiessen)
Elementary AGM Report

The mission of AISJ is to ensure that all of our students are inspired life-long learners, motivated
global contributors, and empowered seekers of personal fulfillment. The distinguishing mark of our
mission statement, that makes AISJ a unique international school, is our rigorous promise to ensure that all of
our students will be empowered seekers of personal fulfillment. For this reason, I am beginning my report
with the last of our three promises to our parents and students.

                              A. Empowered Seekers of Personal Fulfillment
Children need three skill sets to become empowered seekers of personal fulfillment. One, they need to have
the skills and understandings to set goals, to think and to learn. Two, they need skills to identify new
information they will require for new learning. Three, they need social and emotional competencies to have
the confidence to pursue their dreams in life. At AISJ we are actively addressing each of these three areas.

The first skill set of setting goals, thinking and learning will be addressed later in the report when we look at
how we are helping our students become inspired life-long learners. Therefore, I will first look at how we are
helping our students master the other two skill sets: the skills of Social Emotional Learning and of
Information Literacy.

1. Social Emotional Learning
This academic year, eight Elementary teachers are becoming certified in Emotional Literacy Training. This is
our first step in developing a whole-school curriculum to enable our students to develop their social
emotional literacy. This curriculum will include two elements, Social Emotional Learning and Service

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  13/31                                  March 27, 2007
Learning. Social Emotional Learning will increase our students’ skills and understandings in the areas
of self-awareness, awareness of others, self-management, relationship management, and global
awareness. Service Learning projects will give our students the opportunity to put these skills and
understandings into practice.

Several of the teachers taking the Emotional Literacy Training will begin developing the Social Emotional
Learning curriculum standards, lessons and assessments this year. They will also begin to identify Service
Learning projects to enhance the SEL curriculum.

Over the next seven years, AISJ will create and implement a comprehensive, SEL curriculum integrated into
all subject areas, Kindergarten through Grade 12. This curriculum will enhance our students’ social
emotional competencies, and this in turn will make our students more self-confident and empower them to
become seekers of personal fulfillment.

2. Information Literacy
We are living in the information age. It is critical that all of our students are able to search for and find
information that will enable them to achieve their learning goals and to thus become personally

This year in the Elementary School the teachers, the technology facilitator, and the media specialist worked
together to integrate Information Literacy standards into the Mathematics and Technology curricula. Through
the curriculum review process, Information Literacy standards will be integrated into all other subject areas
over the next six years.

Each year our students will become more and more skilled at researching and acquiring information through
print, technology, personal interviews and a variety of other means. These skills will enhance their learning
and their personal fulfillment.

3. School-Wide Celebration Theme
The Fine Arts Festival greatly contributes to our mission of ensuring that all of our students are
empowered seekers of personal fulfillment. Throughout the week students will be given opportunities to
perform in areas of their choice: drama, public speaking, art and/or music. They will also be inspired by
presentations of their peers and of guest artists and performers.

                                      B. Inspired Life Long Learners

An inspired life long learner will be excited about learning new things within the school curriculum,
but equally importantly, outside the school in everyday encounters with the world. Our mission assumes
that an individual that has this inspiration will continue to look for learning opportunities in everyday
experiences throughout life.

In the Elementary School, we are preparing our students to be strong learners with exceptional thinking
skills. The most effective learning occurs when students consciously identify their learning goals. At the
same time, the children must connect with a purpose to those goals and their learning. Our teachers put a
strong emphasis on developing curriculum that will help our students become inspired life long learners.

This year we have enhanced student learning in three significant ways. One, we have continued to
utilized our Optimal Match Program. Two, we have put a focus on reading. Three, we have continued to
focus on connecting student learning to life experiences. Each of these efforts helps our students get excited
about their learning.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 14/31                                  March 27, 2007
1. Optimal Match
The goal of the Optimal Match philosophy is that each child’s educational program is a perfect match
for the child’s learning style, academic ability, and social emotional development.

In the Elementary School, Optimal Match continues to be the key to student learning. Twice each semester,
the Optimal Match team meets with each homeroom teacher to review the progress of every student in the
teacher’s class. The Optimal Match team consists of the principal, the counselor, the Resource teacher, and
the English Language Learning teacher (formerly called English as a Second Language). The most important
member of the team is the individual homeroom teacher.

At the Optimal Match meeting, the team discusses the progress of the student, and makes decisions to
enhance the student’s educational program. For some students this means extra support with an academic
area of difficulty. For another student it may mean support with the child’s social emotional development.
For other students, the team will examine ways of providing enrichment in the child’s areas of strength.

Optimal Match is essentially a guarantee that we are doing all we can to meet the individual needs of
every child. We want each child to be challenged optimally; not under-challenged and not over-challenged.
The better we do this, the more successful the child feels, and the more inspired he is about learning.

2. Focus on Reading
One of the key indicators of success in school is the child’s attitude toward reading. Children who are
passionate about reading have a far greater chance of being at the top of the academic ladder of
success. In the Elementary School we have students of varying abilities in reading, as in all other skill areas.
This phenomenon is natural. No matter what the relative ability level may be, we want each and every
student to be passionate about reading.

To achieve this goal, our teachers measure the reading ability of each student and help the children choose
reading material that matches their ability level. The reading material should be challenging for the child so
that the child will learn and grow through developing new vocabulary and through gaining an appreciation of
more sophisticated writing styles.

Another important aspect of our focus on reading is the importance of the child’s individual interests. Our
teachers go to great lengths to get to know each child’s interests and passions. The reading program allows
children to individually choose their reading material.

Our teachers have the support of our Media Specialist in helping children select reading material that is
appropriate for their reading level, and tailored to their personal interests. By developing passionate
readers, we develop inspired life-long learners.

3. Connecting Learning with Life Experience
Connecting learning with life experience makes learning more meaningful and inspiring for children.
At each grade level our teachers develop learning themes that help our students connect with life experience.

To help Kindergarten students understand how animals adapt to their habitats, the classes this year visited the
Lion Park. First Grade students develop an understanding of historical perspective through their unit “Long
Ago and Today”. One of the significant connections for these students this year was their visit to the
Agricultural Museum where they learned about changes in farming practices and life styles over time.

Second Grade students had an intensive historical experience with King Shaka and the Zulu culture. This
curricular unit for these inspired learners culminated in the production of their Zulu play. Making
connections with South Africa of the past enhances our students understanding and appreciation of the new
South Africa.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  15/31                                  March 27, 2007
Third Grade connected with life in the Middle Ages by visiting the Medieval Castle in Kylami. There the
period costumes and historical role plays gave the children a real sense of how life in Medieval Europe was
very different from our life today.

Fourth Grade students have a significant life experience in the form of the Adventure Camp. This is the first
time away from home for most of students. The outdoor education activities include team building and
character building challenges.

Fifth Grade extends the Adventure Camp experience for further personal growth. In another Fifth Grade
initiative, students gained an appreciation of South Africa’s past and an understanding of her present through
their visit to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. The adolescence unit in Fifth Grade is third
significant educational experience as the students gain understandings of their own physical, social and
emotional development.

4. School-Wide Celebration Theme
The International Festival is a significant event for our inspired life-long learners. This is an
opportunity for our children to demonstrate how they value and respect diversity, an essential core belief of
the AISJ community. Learning about other cultures and how their belief systems and practices differ from
our own is one of the greatest impacts on developing minds. We can gain remarkable insights into our own
cultural beliefs and practices. The celebration of our cultural diversity is an ideal way to inspire our
children to become life-long learners.

                                    C. Motivated Global Contributors

Our mission is to foster motivated global contributors who continually look for opportunities to
contribute to the health, the welfare, and the quality of life of the global community. This sounds like a
very lofty and challenging goal for an Elementary student. Indeed, many adults never reach this stage of
moral development and global awareness.

In the Elementary School our job is to help our children begin this journey and to allow each child to
progress along the developmental continuum of becoming a motivated global contributor. Just as children
have differing academic strengths and areas for growth, they also differ in their abilities to recognize
the needs of others, to think of ways to help others in need, to put a plan into action, and to enlist the
support of others to achieve their goals.

We help our Elementary students make connections between becoming motivated global contributors and
practicing our behavior code:
         Take care of yourself.
         Take care of others.
         Take care of this place.

1. Take Care of Yourself
Before students can take care of others, they have to take care of themselves. This includes taking care of
their physical health and their emotional well-being. The students know that the school nurse, their teachers
and the counselor are here to help them take care of themselves.

2. Take Care of Others
Taking care of others on a global level means identifying people in need and putting a plan into action to
help people in need. On a more local level, the Elementary students helped support the Hope Christmas Party
for children who are victims of AIDS. Through a swimathon the children raised money to give every child at

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 16/31                                  March 27, 2007
the party a T-shirt. First Grade also raised money through a bake sale to provide school supplies for the
Riversands School. Our students will also support the Information Technology IT Boot Camp by raising
money through a walkathon. The shoe drive for the Phillena School was another significant ongoing project
for our students.

The Elementary Student Council took a leadership role in cooperating with other whole school organizations
to support these outreach projects. Through these projects our students become more aware of the needs of
others and the importance of reaching out to help those in need in our global community.

Our teachers also contribute to fostering motivated global contributors by reminding students every day that
at AISJ taking care of others means treating other students, and adults at school with respect. It also means
reaching out to help and support a student who is having a bad bay. Our counselor supports this aspect of the
mission by teaching social emotional competencies, such as conflict resolution strategies and friendship
skills. The principal and the counselor reinforce these teachings by employing the same strategies when they
meet with students to mediate conflict, and help build friendships.

3. Take Care of This Place
Taking care of this place on a global level means being an environmentally conscientious citizen. At the
school level we stress cleaning up our own messes: putting away our toys when we finish playing; cleaning
our table area in the cafeteria; picking up trash that we see lying around the school; not trampling plants and
flowers or freshly planted grass on campus. We make a concerted effort to recognize these behaviors
informally and often formally at morning assemblies. Our students understand that these behaviors, on a
basic level, also constitute being a motivated global contributor.

4. School-Wide Celebration Theme
Out on a Limb for Justice was a week of celebrating heroism and stories of courage. Through our visiting
author and related activities, our students had opportunities to write stories of courage and to talk about
heroism. Our goal in the Out on a Limb for Justice event was to inspire our children through real life
and fictional heroes who are motivated global contributors.

                                     Conclusion: Fulfilling the Mission

This has been our second year of implementing our Strategic Plan. Our students and our teachers have been
focused on our mission. Our students are more conscious of our mission and are making more and more
connections between their learning and the mission. Our teachers are not only leading our students to
fulfilling our mission, but are also modeling the mission themselves.

Teachers are becoming much more competent themselves in Information Literacy and Emotional Literacy.
This year the teachers at every division collaborated in integrating Information Literacy standards in the
Math and the Technology curricula. Eight of our Elementary teachers, and fourteen AISJ teachers in total,
are completing the Emotional Literacy certification course. Teachers from this group will be writing Social
Emotional Learning standards to be integrated into the K-12 curriculum.

With each successive year our mission is becoming a more integrated part of our students’ learning
and will continue to guide everything we do at AISJ.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  17/31                                  March 27, 2007
7.       Middle School (Dick Moore)
New Electives and Exploratories

This year we developed several curricular opportunities for our students. The single biggest program
addition was performing music. The Middle School added Concert Band, Beginning Band and Choir as
electives. Over 100 Middle School students were enrolled in one of these performing groups. The students
had many opportunities to perform. We had two formal concerts during the year, International Week Parade
of Nations, Hope Christmas Party, Family Fun Day, and several assemblies. They will also perform for the
senior graduation and 8th Grade promotion. Another important musical opportunity for our students is the
“School of Rock” where kids are given a chance to experience Rock n’ Roll as a small group.

Students who are not inclined to perform music had the option of making Design Technology their elective
class. Design Technology is an introduction to the design process involving various technologies including
hydraulics, simple machines and robotics. The classes also had several special projects including movie
making and the production of a pin-hole camera. This last project involved making a light tight box used to
take simple photographs.

The exploratories are quarter-long classes intended to expose a student to a subject to stimulate a greater
interest. In addition to art and drama, we added Journalism to our list of exploratories. Students developed
story-lines and wrote articles about things that interested them. Each quarter the Journalism students produce
a school newspaper.

Our electives and exploratories give our students choices about their own curriculum. Choice is an
important first step toward seeking personal fulfillment.

Parent Workshops

There were several Parent Workshops this year presented by AISJ staff and parents alike. These included
Parenting Strategies for Helping your Children Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices; Third Culture Kids:
Characteristics and Needs of Children who Attend International Schools; Peer Relations and Conflict
Resolution; and, Being an Emotional Coach for Your Children. Developing our students socially and
emotionally is in keeping with our mission.

Field Trips

The 7th Grade students made a field trip, September 26, 2006, to the Sandton Convention Centre to attend the
International Science, Innovation and Technology Exhibition. This field trip introduced them to cutting edge

As part of their learning about evolution and the Cradle of Human Kind in Social Studies, the 6th grade made
a field trip to the Maropeng Visitors Center and a paleontology dig at Cooper’s Cave. The latter was hosted
by the director of the dig site, Ms. Christine Steininger, who has made a number of significant recent finds.
The visit included a crawl into the cave, hands-on learning with the tools of paleontology and a time to ‘bash
rocks’ to reveal fossils. At Maropeng, students explored the museum following a knowledge scavenger hunt.
This was another opportunity to acquaint our students with their host country, South Africa.

Middle School Houses and the Overnight Adventure

Our Middle School was organized into four houses: Lions, Elephants, Warthogs and Rhinos. The houses
compete in academics, sports and leadership. More importantly, the houses provide opportunities to build

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 18/31                                 March 27, 2007
communities that cut across grade levels within our larger Middle School community. There are four houses:
Lions, Elephants, Warthogs and Rhinos.

An early highlight for the houses was the Overnight Adventure held in September. Our teachers volunteered
to provide an overnight program of character, fitness and talent in a camping environment. The students
were engaged in community building and friendly competition between houses. This was an early
demonstration to our students that each individual has talents, abilities and potential to contribute to

The whole Middle School and each advisory, classroom, house and grade level represents a different
community. The first step in our students embracing the concept of global citizenship is being a part of
a community. Also, to achieve our academic goals it is necessary that we become a learning
community where students are well known by teachers and students are confident to participate and
contribute to the collective learning that takes place in our classroom.

International Week Celebration

This year’s International Week reminded us that the Middle School is incredibly diverse. Not only were over
fifty nations represented in the Parade of Nations, but many of our students come from blended families
combining nationalities, culture and language. The Parade of Nations is an outward and visible sign that
we value and respect diversity.

Each Middle School advisory chose a country or culture within their assigned geographic world region. The
advisories researched their country and its culture, and then designed and created visual displays relating to
our theme, A Day in the Life of a Child. The advisories assembled and mounted their country displays onto
their classroom doors. Each advisory then submitted key questions about their chosen country for the annual
International Week Quiz Show.

Middle School teachers developed individual lessons around our theme during the four days of the festival.
For example, Dr. Beck brought back her popular Wax Museum to the 8th Grade. This project had students
take on the role of a famous citizen of their country – a person who had contributed to his or her country or to
the world at large. The stories of these great people were shared with fellow classmates and were also a big
hit with elementary students.

The International Food Tasting Experience concluded the International Week Celebration. In addition to
sampling food from all over world, our Indaba Student Council served lunch to our support staff. In the
bounty that was the International Food Tasting Experience, our children demonstrated that all people have
equal intrinsic worth.

Optimal Match

Our teachers are continuing to apply our Optimal Match philosophy to students. The Optimal Match
represents both a philosophy of education and the informed selection among an array of instructional
practices to best meet the needs of individual children. The power of Optimal Match is that the collective
professional weight of the staff is brought to bear collaboratively on every student. The Optimal Match plans
developed by the staff are executed in all classrooms. Importantly, Optimal Match is not a program, it must
be a philosophy shared by the staff. The Optimal Match philosophy is grounded in our core value that
unconditional love and support inspires students to reach their potential.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 19/31                                  March 27, 2007
Tied to the Tracks

This year the Middle School musical took the form of a review performed during the Fine Arts Festival. A
musical review provides students a chance to take risks (for a Middle School student incredible risks)
performing in front of their peers. The students have rehearsed tirelessly to make this production a success
all the while maintaining their studies. They are to be commended for their hard work as performer-scholars.

The real success of this production was that our students learned that some of the most important
things in our lives are earned through hard work and that there is something very satisfying about
accomplishing a difficult thing together.

Student Scholarship Program

We began our second year of the scholarship program admitting four more 7th Grade students from the
Student Scholarship Program (SSP). This program sponsors students from the Gauteng area who meet the
criteria of academic achievement and financial need. SSP combines the financial resources of corporate
sponsors, the family and the school to support the scholarship students with their educational expenses.

Each year thousands of students apply for forty positions with fourteen Johannesburg area private schools.
This January we admitted Sbusisiwe, Emmanuel, Lungelo and Fortunate to our 7th Grade. They have already
distinguished themselves in school. Emmanuel finished second in the 5K Fun Run. Lungelo, already a
published poet, contributed several poems to our Middle School Poetry Café that were incredible.

Of course, our first cohort of scholarship students continues to thrive in our school environment. In fact,
Johannes, Lutricia, Tiyani and Piet have been leaders of the 8th Grade. They have been involved in student
government, sports, and music and they always contribute to the classroom. We are already mourning their
promotion to High School.

The student scholarship program is a marvelous form of outreach for our school and these students have truly
benefited, but frankly, these students have themselves contributed to the Middle School culture and climate
in so many positive ways. It is hard to put a value on that contribution. Our scholarship students are such
great models of inspired learners and empowered seekers of personal fulfillment.

Hope Christmas Party

Over sixty Middle School students attended the Hope Christmas Party in December at Ruimsig Stadium.
This party benefited over a 1000 children orphaned or otherwise impacted by HIV. Our students interacted
with these students in jump rope activities and our Middle School Band and Choir performed. Our children
learned that contributing to the quality of community is often a personal event, where we give from
our personal time and effort.

Middle School Virtual Science Fair
The 7th and 8th Grades at AISJ participated in the Virtual Science Fair (VSF) sponsored by NESA (Near East
South Asia Council of Overseas Schools). In our second year of participation in the VSF, AISJ students are
the first to participate outside NESA. The goal of any science fair is to extend student understanding of
science. Science is hands-on by nature, and there is no doubt that hands-on experiences facilitate the
learning process. This science fair extended the traditional lab well beyond the physical spaces where
science experiments are usually conducted. The VSF enables students to “compete virtually" with students
from 75 other schools worldwide.

Students were assigned “e-mentors”-experts in various science disciplines who participate in a collaborative,
interactive online community. The daily face-to-face interactions between the science teacher and

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                20/31                                  March 27, 2007
students in the classroom were supplemented and enhanced by online mentoring via weekly
discussions using the e-learning tool, BlackBoard. Students also put their displays on-line as well as the
other information they discover during their experiments.

The Virtual Science Fair is an integration of science, language arts, library skills and the computer lab.
Although science is the primary subject area, students are learning research and writing skills alongside the
scientific method.

Our Math-Science teachers have helped students develop their topics into hypotheses. Mrs. Rinker, our
librarian, has assisted students with their research. Mrs. Anderson has supported students in developing their
BlackBoard sites and communicating with their e-mentors, an essential element of the virtual science fair.
And, our Humanities teachers have been coaching our students as they write their reports.
Students are intrigued by the real-world work involved in the VSF. They begin to see the connections
between their subject classes. There is another payoff for students. They are beginning to master a
broader number of our curriculum standards and benchmarks.

Classroom Without Walls

Each February our students attend a Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program. Each grade level travels to
a different CWW location.

The Grade 6 students attended the Ubugani Wilderness Experience at the Botshabelo Game Reserve and
Museum near Middelburg in Mpumalanga Province. This trip featured environmental, cultural and
adventure activities. Botshabelo started as a mission in the 19th century and it is a place cultural, natural and
historical significance. In addition to visiting the old mission museum, fort and church, students participated
in team building, orienteering, abseiling and a visit to a Ndebele village.

The Grade 7 students traveled to the Drakensberg to attend the Enviro Ventures/Berg Rest camp. The
emphasis at this camp is awareness of nature and self. Activities at the Enviro Venture camp include
leadership development, mountain safety, rafting, orienteering, hiking and abseiling. The students also made
trips to hear the Drakensberg Boys Choir and see the Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey Centre.

The Grade 8 students make a trip to Sugar Bay on the Indian Ocean coast north of Durban. The Sugar Bay
experiences include marine and aquatic ecology, numerous water sports such as surfing, snorkeling and
kayaking and land-based activities like mountain biking. The students also made a trip to Durban to attend
the Ushaka Aquatic Center which includes a first class Aquarium and Marine Park.

The CWW experience tested our students with new ideas and experiences. Each trip provided opportunities
for students to build community and to be challenged. The common theme at each CWW trip was that
students can reach their potential through hard work and collaboration.

Visiting Author/Poetry Café

In February, Middle School students participated in a Poetry Café. The Poetry Café was inspired by our
visiting author, Naomi Shihab Nye, who led our students in poetry workshops the previous week. Students
from every grade level took turns reading their poetry or the poetry of others.
These students were so inspirational. It was a tremendous act of courage on the part of these young people to
stand before their classmates and share their personal poems. What was also important, however, was that
these poems were really very good! The audience enthusiastically responded by snapping their fingers,
beatnik style, to every poem read.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  21/31                                   March 27, 2007
The poetry shared at the Café revealed a great deal about our students. The audience learned about how our
young poets felt about love, peace, war, friendships, dreams, fears and also the less consequential things of
life. Their poems indicated they cared about many of the same things we adults do. These students are
passionate about writing poetry and we all had a chance to witness them pursuing this passion.

Going out on Limb for Justice

The Middle School celebrated this event concurrently with our Visiting Author. The Humanities curriculum
for the whole quarter has been dedicated to the study of heroes. We are using this study as part of our
Mission education targeting our mission objective: every student will choose to be a motivated global

The Going out on a Limb for Justice Week concluded with the Middle School students creating hundreds of
bookmarks, each dedicated to a hero, his/her picture and biography. These bookmarks will be included with
every book checked out in the MS/HS library.

8.       High School (Maddy Hewitt)
Looking for Learning

In the first three quarters, twelve HS Looking for Learning sessions were hosted, and there was an offering
in each of the eight blocks to ensure that every high school faculty member could participate in a visitation.
In addition, the new high school principal visited every teacher’s classroom, and used the Looking for
Learning template and protocol for post-observation reflection. Martin Skelton of Fieldwork Associates will
visit the school in April 2007 to train new principals and new teachers. This observation program continues
to serve as a powerful tool to improve student learning. Every HS teacher has a formal goal related to
progress on Looking for Learning.

Optimal Match

This year all faculty members participated in quarterly round robin Optimal Match sessions. In the High
School we utilize the Optimal Match report templates developed in the 2005/2006 school year, and resource
teacher Carla Guedes, counselor Rob Beck, IB coordinator Dawn McMaster, and principal Maddy Hewitt
serve as facilitators and case managers. Written reports follow all meetings, and facilitators ensure agreed-
upon strategies and actions are taken.

Mission Critical Standards

After departments identified their subject area mission-critical standards at the start of the school year, all HS
teachers embarked on an assessment program. The collection of mission-critical performance data on each
high school student will serve to inform instruction and measure growth over time. In addition, the data will
be submitted to the Middle States Association as one of AISJ’s performance measures.

Mission Block

A Mission Block design team comprised of students, teachers, and administrators met regularly throughout
the year to determine and steer the Mission Block program with input from all HS community members.

     •   In August the new Mission Block was added to the high school schedule. In September, a Mission
         Block Design Team comprised of faculty, administration and Stu-Co representatives finalized the
         plan for the year. All Students were given an overview of the Mission Block Program after a learning

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  22/31                                   March 27, 2007
         activity on September 6th and 7th during which students reflected on their commitments and activities
         in relation to the mission. After the reflection process each student set three individual goals for the
         year. On September 12th and 13th students focused on the Global Contributing theme and received an
         orientation to the Stu-Co RECYCLING via the Mission Block. On September 18th and 19th Students
         selected from a menu of options for 13 Mission Blocks. The choices fell into one of the three mission
         strands. During International Week, Mission Block was used for special education on the AIDS
    •    After participating in the first semester program, student reflection meetings took place in an
         extended homeroom on December 6th. The feedback was evaluated by the Mission Block Design
         Team and was used to measure individual growth and to determine second semester offerings.
         Second semester offerings included a) follow up on individual goals set in the first semester, b.)
         review of International Week AIDS projects, c.) completion of the AISJ Climate Survey, d.) learning
         about the AFG Team Visit, e.) Going Out on a Limb for Justice workshops with visiting author,
         Naomi Shihab Nye.

                AISJ International Baccaulaureate (IB) Scores

         IB Diploma Results
                                                                              2005       2006

         Graduating Class Size                                                  43          38
         AISJ # Diploma Candidates                                              21          27
         AISJ # Diplomas Received                                               19          25
         AISJ Percent Diplomas Received                                       87.5           *
   1     IBAEM Percent Diplomas Received                                      84.3           *
   2     IBNA Percent Diplomas Received                                       77.1           *
   3     IBAP Percent Diplomas Received                                       94.2           *
   4     IBLA Percent Diplomas Received                                       67.3           *
   5     AISJ Average test points obtained by Diploma candidates                32          31
   6     AISJ Average exam points obtained by Diploma candidates              5.11        4.97
         AISJ Highest points awarded to a Diploma candidate                     38          41

         IB Regions -
   1     IBAEM - IB Region - Africa, Europe, Middle East
   2     IBNA - IB Region - North America
   3     IBAP - IB Region - Asia, Australia and New Zealand
   4     IBLA- IB Region - Latin America
   5     24 point minimum is needed to pass: maximum points 45 with bonus points
   6     IB exam score range 1 - 7

Extra-Curricular Activities, Chronologically

    •    The HS held its “6th Annual Welcome Back Ice Skating Party” on Friday, August 18, 2006, during
         the evening of the third day of school.

    •    During the first week of September, campaigns and the election of student council (STUCO) took
         place. The elected student government for 2006-2007:

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  23/31                                  March 27, 2007
                  President -          Maurits Waardenburg, Senior
                  Vice-President -     Michael Peuse, Senior
                  Secretary -          Adam Dewji, Junior
                  Treasurer -          Gonzalo De Gisbert, Junior
                  Historian -          Maite Tihon, Junior
                  Grade 12 Class Representatives - Celicia Theys and Monty Turner
                  Grade 11 Class Representatives - Thomas Hatch and Lucas de Gracia
                  Grade 10 Class Representatives - Liza Tennis and Neil D. Allen
                  Grade 9 Class Representatives - Emily Chong and Malek Bouzaher

    •    JOMUN IV (Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference) was successfully conducted
         September 28 –September 30. About 225 students participated, including 115 AISJ High School
         students and 10 AISJ Middle School students. Eight other schools participated: Harare International
         School, Lincoln Community School, Ghana, The American International School of Mozambique,
         The American International School of Cape Town, Edenvale High School, St. Benedicts College, St.
         Peters College and Heron Bridge College. JOMUN IV was organized by AISJ’s Model United
         Nations Director, Jack Wyss-Lockner, and his JOMUN team of David Olson, Ocki Fernandes, Tim
         Musgrove and Kamala Peter

    •    The 11th Annual AISJ High School Volleyball Tournament was successfully conducted on
         Saturday, October 21, 2006. AISJ’s girls’ team reached the semi-finals and the boys’ team finished
         in second place, losing in the final to local team Maziquakaze HS. Fourteen schools and 37 teams

    •    The Seventh ISSEA Soccer and Volleyball Tournament was conducted at the International School
         of Uganda, November 1-5, 2006. AISJ’s squad consisted of 29 students and 5 coaches. AISJ’s
         boys’ volleyball team, under the leadership of Coach Tim Musgrove, won for the fourth consecutive
         year the volleyball championship. The girls’ soccer team, for the second consecutive year, finished
         as runners-up.

    •    The High School Play “Once Upon a Mattress” was presented on two evenings, November 16 -17,
         2006 to a full house each night. Ed Sheblak and Heidi Inder, directed and produced. Over 40
         students were involved as cast and crew.

    •    The weekend of November 10 and 11, Johan Kriel organized and led a Hiking Club trip for 40
         participants of the school community to Kuthuba.

    •    On Saturday December 2, the Homecoming/Christmas Dance was very well attended. The dance
         was organized by the HS student government.

    •    The First Semester HS Awards Assembly was conducted n Thursday, January 18, 2007. The
         honor roll consisted of :
                     • Grade 9          13 students
                     • Grade 10         16 students
                     • Grade 11         15 students
                     • Grade 12         17 students
         Recognized for Outstanding Citizenship for the first semester were students:
                          Grade 9       Maria Dewees
                          Grade 10      Neil Allen
                          Grade 11      Adam Wisker
                          Grade 12      Jessica Snook

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                24/31                                 March 27, 2007
         Recognized for Outstanding Effort for the first semester were students:
                        Grade 9         Rutendo Wazara
                        Grade 10        Francis Sun
                        Grade 11        Arild Pettersen
                        Grade 12        Engela Van der Walt

    •    January 18 and 19, 2007, twenty students were lead to The Hague International Model United
         Nations Conference by Jack Wyss-Lockner and David Olson. This year our school represented
         Zimbabwe. Model United Nations is one of AISJ’s longest existing activity programs as our students
         first attended THIMUN in 1986.

    •    AISJ’s basketball, swim and tennis teams were all in action January through March. AISJ
         Coaches: Johan Kriel, Ocki Fernandes, Gyuri Jung, Hugh Dalton, Jess Bossung, Chris Coyne, Kris
         Steinberg, Palesa Sekhonyana, Harry Ansell and Brian Kelley.

    •    AISJ’s National Honor Society and 40 high school students renewed their ties with the Mabopane
         Orphanage when, lead by Greg Vanderheiden, they visited Mabopane on February 3.

    •    In February, the Hiking Club took a group of 70 participants (parents, faculty and students) to
         Tendele Camp in the Drakensberg. Part of this activity was devoted to team-building activities for
         participants in this year’s Kilimanjaro climb.

    •    In March, our boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams went to Nairobi, Kenya to participate in the
         8th ISSEA Basketball Championships. Our boys’ varsity team successfully defended their ISSEA

    •    The weekend following ISSEA AISJ conducted our 9th Annual AISJ High School Basketball
         Tournament for 11 schools and we hosted the American International School of Lusaka, Zambia,
         for their first ever international sports tour. AISJ’s boys’ varsity won this tournament for the fourth
         consecutive year. A host of positive comments were sent to AISJ about this tournament:

                    Alta Conte, AISL Athletic Director
                    AISL cannot thank you enough for the best basketball tournament ever!!!! Thank you so much
                    for everything, from accommodation, transport, organizing meals, to the practices and games
                    ... Everything, the students at AISL think you rock!!!! –

                    Bojan Palic, Sports Administrator, The Glen High School
                    I would also like to take this opportunity to commend you on hosting a wonderful
                    tournament. I have attended the tournament for the past two years as a spectator and in my
                    opinion, it is the most well run tournament in the country. The level of professionalism
                    that is upheld at the tournament is something every tournament organizer should strive for.
                    With this tournament, you are adding to the development of basketball in South Africa.

                    I am a firm believer in the importance of sport in young people’s lives. It develops
                    discipline and a work ethic that will not only be used on the court but also off the court to
                    succeed. Your tournament adds onto this. Most kids in this country will never experience
                    playing at the type of exceptional facilities that you have at your school. The AISJ
                    tournament offers them this opportunity, and motivates them strive to obtain excellence.

    •    AISJ participated in the Beijing International School Model United Nations Conference
         (BEIMUN) for the third consecutive year, March 13-20. Thirteen grade 10 students and
         one grade 11 student were lead by Greg Sipp and John Amosa.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                      25/31                                       March 27, 2007
    •    AISJ’s 11th Annual Five Kilometer Run was conducted March 15, 236 runners, parents, faculty
         and students, participated. The student champions were Junior boy Willem van Brouwershaven and
         grade 8 girl Nardi Amare. The biathlon, run and 500 meter swim, was won by Senior Montgomery
         Turner and Grade Eight girl Theda Hlaing

    •    For the fourth consecutive year, a group of 20 AISJ students, faculty and parents –
         The Kili Club - will climb and attempt to summit Mt Kilimanjaro during the second semester mid
         term vacation, the summit attempt being April 4 and 5. The 2007 Kili Club is lead by Julia Stock,
         Diana Van der Merwe, Richard Koczwarski and Kamala Peter.

    •    The Junior-Senior Prom will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Montecasino Ballroom.

    •    AISJ will conduct its 11th Annual Boys Six-a-Side Soccer Tournament on Saturday, May 12 and
         the Second Annual Girls Six-a-Side Soccer Tournament the following Saturday, May 19.

    •    The 11th Annual AISJ Sports Awards Banquet for all competitive teams will be held Thursday,
         May 24, 2007 at the Kyalami Country Club.

HS Student Services

This past year Dr. Beck hosted several visits by colleges and universities from the United States and
Canada. Admissions officers visited from the following universities: University of British Columbia,
Northeastern University, Westminster College, and Colby College (this May). In addition, a guest
presentation by the Global Leadership Program ( winter/summer study and leadership opportunities for teens
in South Africa, Brazil and Costa Rica) was held in March. Parents and students in grades 9-12 have
attended these information sessions. On March 22 a College Day admissions orientation for interested grade
9-12 students and their parents was held on campus. Issues and topics discussed included: the importance of
high school courses, criteria for admissions, how admissions decisions are made, applying from an
international school, and the ‘how’ and ‘when’ to apply for financial assistance.

Grade 12 students and their parents have been counseled throughout the year as they have completed
college admissions tests and applications for colleges throughout the world including South Africa, the US,
Canada, Australia, India the UK and other European countries. Notifications by colleges of acceptances are
generally made to students beginning in April. To date, however, several students have received early
acceptances or conditional acceptances at universities such as: Macalister College, The College of William
and Mary, Guilford College (full four year scholarship), Cambridge University (UK), San Francisco State
U., Stephen F. Austin U., Everett College, Purdue U., Louisiana Tech U. (scholarship)., Drexel U., U. of
Vermont, U. of Leeds (UK), U. of London School of Oriental and African Studies, U. of Toronto, U. of
Tulsa (scholarship), and Virginia Commonwealth U.

The counselor’s office has been quite active in working closely with students who have experienced a wide
range of challenges including: academic, personal, social , and emotional adjustment issues; adjustment to a
new school, and curriculum and country on arrival and “being left behind” when friends have left AISJ. In
addition, attention has been devoted to scheduling students to meet AISJ graduation requirements. In doing
so Dr. Beck has consulted closely with teachers, the learning resource staff, school nurse, and the principals.

Dr. Beck, along with Norm Flach, ES/MS counselor presented a parenting workshop on Building on
Healthy Lifestyle Choices (e.g., topics included building healthy friendships, use of drugs-alcohol and
concerns about un-chaperoned parties). A workshop on “Drugs-What to Look For”, with the cooperation of a
US Embassy Official, is planned for early April.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                 26/31                                  March 27, 2007
With a view toward helping future AISJ students as they transition to universities and jobs around the
world, Dr. Beck initiated a follow-up survey of AISJ post-graduates to identify how they are adjusting
academically, socially and emotionally. In addition he is seeking their comments regarding the impact of the
AISJ Mission on their life and progress. Post graduates were offered the opportunity to share “advice” to
future AISJ graduates about making the transition to college and/or to the world of work.

9.        Security (Theo van der Westhuizen)
Security of our students and employees continues to be a major concern and priority, especially in light of the
continuing war on terror and other security-related events around the globe.

The following security enhancements were completed and are listed below:

      •   Burglary alarms systems inside high risk building/offices were replaced and upgraded for better

      •   Boarding house security, fire doors, burglary doors and alarms was installed to make it an even safer
          environment for the students staying on the campus.

      •   More spotlights were put on strategic places on the campus for better vision of intruders by the
          security officers patrolling the campus at night.

      •   Sections of the electric fence that were damaged by rain and sun were replaced to keep the fence in
          good working condition.

10.       Finance (Chris Pretorius)
AISJ started the 2006/7 school year with a total cash reserve of R5m. These funds were invested into longer
term instruments and are earning interest in excess of 9.2% per annum. The Board reserve fund target, based
on our long-term financial plan, is 25% of our operating budget, roughly R15m.

AISJ no longer has any short term debt. AISJ does however have long term debt in the form of bussing
finance. The school recently invested in 11 new school buses mainly to replace older, high operating and
maintenance costs buses. The long term debt at the start of the year was R3.2m and we expect to settle R.8m
in this financial year.

The school has a balanced operational budget. In this budget we have made provision for an additional
reserve allocation of R733 000. We anticipate further cash surpluses due to higher than expected enrolment.
We anticipate total cash reserves to be approximate R10m at the end of this financial year.

The fact that the 2003/4 cash deficit of R3.4m has improved to a positive cash reserve of R5m (total positive
swing of R8.4m) is due to the greater than expected enrolment, more new students , stricter fiscal
management and budget control procedures.

Enrolment was initially projected at 545 (for both Johannesburg and Pretoria) and with the budget revision in
October 2006, was adjusted to 566. We currently are in excess of 625 students. Approximately 75 new
students arrived since January.

The annual audit was conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers in accordance with International Standards of
Auditing. The Auditors believed that the audit evidence they obtained was sufficient and appropriate to
provide a basis for their unqualified audit opinion.

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                   27/31                                 March 27, 2007
11.       Facilities/Maintenance (Francois van der Merwe)
Maintenance has gone through a transition this past year with a new Maintenance Director, Francois van Der
Merwe, taking up his position in September. The year so far has been one of him learning the school’s
systems, work force and assessing maintenance procedures and needs.

Building projects that were completed since last school year include of the Elementary gazebo , the
renovation of the support staff recreational room and the construction of two new classrooms in Pretoria.

The stand-by generator is also operational and can supply the FAC or canteen, as well as the computer server
room in the event of a power failure.

The roof leaks in the gym as well as in other parts of the school seem to be resolved.

Looking forward, we hope to upgrade the waste water dams, construct a purpose-built dog pound and update
the plans of the school to more completely depict all services and exact lay out.

Plans are also in place to create a data base of all inventoried equipment and implement a planned
maintenance schedule by August this year.

12.       Cafeteria (Margaret Pretorius)
The cafeteria together with a registered dietician developed a new menu this year, and after approval from
the Director, 15 new dishes were introduced to the students on our main campus. The introduction of
healthier and more nutritious meals has led to an increase in sales of our Elementary School lunches, but
unfortunately showed a decrease in sales of our Middle & High School lunches.

Once again personal and kitchen hygiene audits were frequently performed by our independent hygiene
auditors, Food Consulting Services, and results have improved from an initial 83% to a final 98% over the
past year. All audit reports are available on request. Most findings and recommendations were implemented
to ensure continuous hygiene control.

On average we have been serving more that 170 lunches per day, all depending on what was available on the
menu of the day. Cafeteria and tuck shop revenues are expected to exceed R1.4m this year (8% year on
year). As a result of careful cost control and modest price increases, the operating deficit is minimal and

13.       Transportation (Johannes Kekana)
Total number of students as of 19/03/2007 is 633, of which 480 ride the bus, and of the 480, 22 ride the bus
morning or afternoon only.

During the 2006/2007 school year the transportation department transported about 76% of the school’s
students on daily basis. Of this:

      •   116 students travel from Pretoria to Johannesburg with an average bus ride of one hour.
      •   54 students from Pretoria ride to our Pretoria campus with an average trip of 30 to 40 minutes.
      •   242 students come from Dainfern and Fourways Gardens complexes with an average ride of 40

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  28/31                                    March 27, 2007
      •   46 students come from greater Johannesburg with an average ride of 1 hour.

During this school year our buses will travel over 1,300,000 Km and use about 219,000 litres of diesel fuel.

During this school year we have increased the number of buses that we operate from 22 to 28 buses. Four of
these additional buses are in Dainfern, one at the PTA school, one in JHB.

Bus Safety and Security

Safety of our students continues to be our first priority, this school year the school upgraded our fleet by 9
new 23-seaters and two 35-seater Iveco buses. In the next school year we will invest in 7 new 23-seater Iveco
buses. By August 2007 all drivers will again complete their First Aid and CPR courses and certification.

14.       Human Resources (Kenneth Sturgess)
The school currently employs 193 persons, of which 4 are part-time teachers.

This year our staff development emphasis has been on improving core skills and a number of support staff
have made use of the graduate study loan program and have also taken up opportunities to improve in the
school. AISJ has also funded training that has advanced previously disadvantaged staff to fill more
meaningful positions in the school. The school has helped a number of office support staff to be better
educated in their various fields.

This is the third year our support staff are on full medical aid and training has helped improve their ability to
handle their own medical crises. The medical aid provider has taken the claims handling in house and this
has definitely provided better service. We still provide assistance in forwarding claims and investigating
unpaid or problem medical aid claims for our staff, including both local and overseas employees. The
medical insurance brokers for our overseas sponsored staff changed providers with the aim to provide better
service. We are still evaluating the positive and negative impact of the change from our perspective.

We have been monitoring the HIV/AIDS awareness of our staff. We are developing a plan to more
systematically educate and inform all members of staff of the implications of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Our new medical aid scheme includes an ARV treatment benefit.

This year we have worked with the Board policy committee to update and revise important HR policies
related to our disciplinary code (especially regarding technology and communications offences), leave
regulations, housing benefits, etc. A Support Staff Salary Study was presented for review to the finance
committee of the board.

As a response to a tight labor market for Overseas Teachers, we sent 4 administrators recruiting this
February. We have hired a total of 14 overseas sponsored hires and one local hire for next school year. In
April, the balance of the local hire contracts will be offered.

Between June and August we expect to demobilize 8 staff members and mobilize 14 new staff and their
dependants into South Africa. This process involves selecting housing, assigning buddy couples, scheduling
airline tickets/itineraries for travel, preparation of visa applications and shipping of personal effects.

Induction and Orientation of new staff in August 2006 was very simple and the basics of living in South
Africa were discussed. The mission and core values were shared with new staff by the principals.

The file of Job Descriptions has been completed this year and we received a positive reaction regarding this

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  29/31                                   March 27, 2007
work from the accreditation team.

In the face of recent regulatory changes in the Department of Home Affairs we have been adjusting our work
permit procedures. We are optimistic that the next cycle of applications will go smoothly.

15.      Technology (Barry Locker)
The technology department also experienced a change in leadership this year. Our new Tech Director,
Barry Locker, has been on the job for just under 5 months. His most significant problems have revolved
around internet access and system reliability. The Tech department has put some plans forward that will
hopefully alleviate in the near future some of the stability and speed problems that we have had with our
current internet infrastructure.

This year we purchased two interactive whiteboards. One of the whiteboards has been used quite
extensively by the High School Science department and it offers a new and exciting way to deliver content to
the students. The second whiteboard is destined for the Elementary library and is scheduled for installation
during the upcoming break.

As we have added additional computers to classrooms in the elementary school we are installing some
wireless base stations in an attempt to connect all the new classroom computers to our existing network and
the internet.

Our copiers were upgraded in September to Konica/Minolta machines and so far these machines have been
doing their job quite nicely.

The Technology Advisory Group (TAG) continues to meet to discuss school-wide technology issues and to
monitor and update our rolling 3-year technology plan.

16.      Enrolment Surge (Rob Ambrogi)
Since January 2007, AISJ has experienced a surge in new students. The Board has implemented emergency
provisions to handle the higher than usual loads in several of the grade levels. A new combined pre-k – K
class has been opened and staffed since February. Our admissions department has completed a survey of
existing families seeking to get a sense of possible returnees for next year. The survey indicates that the
present enrolment levels are likely to persist into next year, even with our usual turnover of students leaving.
To more rationally accommodate the new student levels, the Board has authorized the hiring of additional
teachers in the grades that are under stress. The Board also has authorized the construction of additional
classrooms to house the new teachers and their students. In an effort to move into a proactive mode, the
Board has also initiated a feasibility study and master planning effort that will look with a more
comprehensive eye to examine the implications for the school of continued enrolments that exceed our
present capacity.

17.      Transition to New Director (Rob Ambrogi & Rob Beck)
In September of this school year, the present Director, Rob Ambrogi, announced his intention to make 2006-
2007 his last year at AISJ. The timing of this announcement allowed the Board to undertake a world-wide
search for his replacement. International Schools Services (ISS) was hired as consultant to the Board in this
process. After careful reflection, the Board posted a job announcement that served as a call for candidates
from around the world. ISS received and vetted the 27 applications they received and based on the Board’s
criteria, sent a set of 10 dossiers to the school for on-site review and further selection for possible interviews.
The Board set up several input groups (parents, teachers, students, support staff) and orchestrated structured

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                   30/31                                   March 27, 2007
interviews and site visits for four finalist candidates. As most of you know, Dr. Rob Beck, our present
Director of Student Services and HS counsellor, was selected as the new School Director starting in the post
on August 1, 2007.

Since the appointment was finalized, Dr. Beck and Dr. Ambrogi have been collaborating and have set up a
solid transition plan over the remaining months of the school year. Dr. Beck was able to participate in the
overseas sponsored recruiting in February. He is attending all Finance and Board meetings as an observer
and is also participating in the Administrative Leadership Team meetings. We are fortunate to have the
opportunity to have such an in-depth hand-over for this important leadership position at the school.

18.      Future Challenges

Our new mission sets out new strategic targets that will transform the way we look at our school and how we
do things. In many ways, we do not have the capacity at this point of time to fully achieve the new mission.
The challenge, therefore, over the next 5 years is to develop this capacity and to use it effectively to produce
life-long learners, global contributors and seekers of personal fulfillment.

The new enrolment profile and the many external factors that may affect it will need to be studied and used
to refine our long-term financial plan. Issues surrounding possible growth need to be discussed in depth and

Any school that faces a change in leadership is in a great position to use the change to move the school to its
next level of excellence.

The written report of the Middle States Validation Team should also serve as a stimulus for growth and
improvement going forward. The input of critical friends and the mirror that they offer us are resources that
schools like ours should be sure to use as we pursue our mission to serve the students in our care.

We will continue to work on these challenges operationally and strategically. Curriculum implementation,
analyzing and using assessment data and continuous reflection on our professional practice will continue to
be a major part of the professional life of our teachers and administrators. Our future success as a school will
continue to be seen through the success of our students.

As I shift my life to other challenges, I want to thank the Board, my colleagues, the parents in the community
and most importantly, the students of AISJ for all the wonderful interactions, experiences and fond memories
that I will carry with me.

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Ambrogi, Ed.D.

March 27, 2007

Director’s Annual Report - AGM                  31/31                                  March 27, 2007