DEAR ITJ SANTA MONICA COMMUNITY,
We hope you are well and looking forward to starting the new 2021-22 academic year with us at Santa Monica. We are writing today to share the final ITJ News of the year, highlighting all the achievements of this academic semester. One of our main goals of this semester was to reopen the school safety and with quality, allowing all students an optional return to school, and as I am sure you are aware, on Tuesday 15th of June, we safely reopened the school. It was amazing to welcome our students back, they have filed the corridors once again, with their laughter, smiles and presence.
We are proud to report that 100% of our teachers, administration staff, maintenance and security teams, have been vaccinated and we have improved our safety protocols to make every possible effort, to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The wellbeing and security of our families and our students is the highest priority. In addition to all of our work for a safe reopening, we have also had fantastic achievements in other areas that we would like to share with you below:
WHOLE SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENTS
This year we have successfully completed eleven different international projects and reinforced our promise to create students with an international mindset, developing the skills, ability and knowledge needed to become successful global citizens.
These international projects are:
- International Model United Nations – Including winning several key delegate prizes.
- ISP Mathematics Challenge – 244 students from all sections competed in this international mathematics tournament.
- ISP Chess Tournament – 37 students competed and made it to the semi-finals of this international chess event.
- Virtual Buddy Exchange Program – 8 students interacted and worked with other students from various different nations increasing their awareness of multi-culturalism.
- ISP Futures Program – This international tree planting program, allowed us to affirm our commitment to a sustainable future.
- ISP Film Competition – We had two entries and we successfully completed the task of creating two short movies during lockdown.
- SCU – Street Child United – The school remains committed to the fund raising and awareness raising of this vital charitable organization.
- I am Scientist – 15 students participated in an international science inquiry into environmental issues.
Framingham University – Two of our teachers were awarded an MA in International Education from this prestigious US university, in our first pilot project. This project is set to continue into the new year.
- IPGCE – One teacher successfully completed their International Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in our first pilot project. This project is set to continue into the new year with three more candidates set to be trained.
- Inter School ISP MexCA – This was an interschool competition organized by the ITJ Queretaro team and was a very popular event.
As we start our third year as a Fieldwork Education school, we are proud to report significant improvements in the ISA exam testing in Mathematics and Science. Across all academic subjects our results improved and we have taken the decision to extend the EMAT Mathematics program to the whole of Primary school and the first year of Upper school in the new academic year. The program is named OMAT for grade 7 students to access in August.
Next year sees the introduction of our new whole school English program from MacMillan English, to assure our families, that preparing our students for an English-speaking future is a high priority. This coupled with our IB accreditation process, and our training for teachers in the EFA (Embedding Formative Assessment), our academic book club, as well as the MA and IPGCE programs, allows all our teachers to access high quality internationally renowned educational training programs.
DISCIPLINE INTELLIGENT ACCREDITATION
This academic year we concluded a two-year accreditation process with Vidal Schmill to become a Smart Discipline School. We are the only school in our local area to have achieved this status and we have been awarded the accreditation for Kinder, Primary and Upper school sections. The aim of this accreditation, is to assure the entire community, that we take seriously our promise to create a safe and secure learning focused environment. It is a big achievement for the school and we send our congratulation to all the staff involved in the process and look forward to working with Vidal closely in the future.
IB ACCREDITATION PROCESS
This academic year we will conclude a two-year process to become and IB World School and offer the IB Diploma as an international qualification for the last two years of the Prep School. Our final verification visit is scheduled to take place later this year and we look forward to communicating the outcome of our application in due course. This accreditation further strengthens our promise to offer a truly international education for our students, and when obtained, will mark us as a school of academic international distinction in our local area.
On Tuesday 15th of June we opened the three school sites after sixteen months away from school. There have been a reduced number of students and teachers on site, but we pleased to report, our protocols are working. We had 170 students per day, return safely at the start of June. We are looking forward to continuing our work in school with our students and offering face to face classes as optional, in the new academic year.
In the last two weeks, we have changed the learning modality of the school to dynamic hybrid learning. This means students at both home and school, have the same access to the educational content and learning instruction in the virtual or real classroom. In order to facilitate this modality, new technology has been installed in the school, to allow students to connect from both home and the classroom at the same time. Google Classroom remains our platform of choice and we will continue to develop the 1:1 project in school this next academic year and maintain constant revision of the internet service to offer the best possible connection.
EVENTS (LIVE AND ONLINE)
This year we hosted sixteen face to face graduations in school and we were delighted to celebrate these special events in person with our students. For the first time in school history, all the sixteen events were broadcast live with a professional production team, so that all friends and family who could not attend, could accompany our graduates online.
We also have organized seven parades to keep us close to the students, they have been vital to have more contact with the children, over this period away from school.
We made the promise at the start of this school year to continue with all our events online and we kept that promise to the community.
These are the events we virtually organized through our digital channels, mostly through Facebook live. These kinds of events allowed to stay close to the families, despite the circumstances of the pandemic:
- e-Noche Mexicana
- e- Spooky Halloween
- e- Pastorela Navideña
- Day of the Dead (Whole School Competition)
- Roundtable Events
- IB Profile Event
- Showcase for Kindergarten, Primary, Middle and High School
- Mother´s Day Celebration
- Christmas Show – (Kinder
- Super Vivientes
- Grandparents’s Day
- Jumping to the Future
- Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
- Día Thomas “Welcome to Primary”
- National and International Online University Fair
- Acreditación SIDIE con Vidal Schmill
Clear and frequent communication with home and school remains a high priority for us and we have aimed to offer a balance between virtual meetings and key written communications. We are proud of our communications and we believe that the key communication of the Reopening Handbook – Back to School 2020/21, was clear, accurate, timely and of quality for parents to understand the safe return to school.
- Reopening Updates
- New Protocols
- Section Action Plans
- Café con Papas (Upper Started)
- Meet our Faculty
- TJ News (Monthly + Semester)
- TJ Achievements first semester and all academic year
- Top 5 Safe Protocol
- Top 5 Amazing Learning
- Annual Survey
- Back to School 2020-21: Contingency School
- Important Information on COVID-19 Teacher
- Vaccination and Back-to-School Questionnaire
- Protocols – Back to School for each section and Medical Form
And even more:
- Videos: Virtual Tour, Corporative Video, Safety Protocols in Santa Mónica, Warm welcome from our new academic leadership team, The Power of Reflection (5 capsules)
- Collaborations with newspapers: Reforma, La Jornada and NY Times
- New web page
- New Vimeo Channel
- Participated in Expo Digital
We committed in July 2020 to continue to support our families through webinars and other educational materials delivered online, designed to connect and educate our community. We delivered more than fifteen webinars: internal webinars organized by staff, external webinars with invited guests and regional webinars.
This year, a major focus was on preparing the school for a safe return and we undertook hundreds of safety improvement actions, designed to improve the safety of the three school sites. These measures have been mostly preventive, from the installing of thermal imaging cameras and redistribution of handwashing areas, to safety registration, handrail
installation and everything in between. We aimed to make the site safer and ready for our student’s return and we believe accomplished this goal by having a clear and orderly return to face to face classes.
This year we also completed a two-year structural remodel of the Hacienda to bring the building up to the required international structural standards.
These achievements are significant and important considering the conditions in which they were achieved. The whole school community should be extremely proud of the effort they made to continue learning through such a difficult period of human history, a period which has touched the lives of so many, and had such an important impact on the way in which we organize our day to day lives.
The school is proud of its students, its teachers, and its parents for their conduct and attitude, during such a difficult moment and we thank everyone involved with making these achievements memorable and noteworthy.
I am looking forward to welcoming all students back to school personally in August and I wish everyone a safe and peaceful vacation period. Please do not forget, we do have a Summer Xperience planned and if you are interested in joining and invite friends and family, please feel free to get in touch with the school.