Reflections

24

August

2018

24th August 2018

Recent Reflection Articles

Goodbye for Now

Dalat International School has played a meaningful role in my family since the 1970’s.

Leaving A Legacy

Mr. Steinkamp did more than “stand at the helm.” He is affectionately known as Uncle Karl because of his deep investment in individual student lives.

Year of Growth

We are grateful that, over this year, SOPs have eased enough that we were able to spend a majority of the year in face-to-face learning despite starting the year online.

Finishing Well

Whenever we approach the end of something, whether it’s a job or a school year or a project, it’s easy to lose motivation.

A flagship is the command ship and is often the most powerful in some way. The flagship flies a distinctive flag and is the ship on which the commander of the fleet sails. The term “flagship” has become synonymous with idea of “most important.”

In 1986 I was in Phuket on my senior sneak when we ran into a naval officer on the beach who was serving on the U.S.S. Blue Ridge which was in port. As we talked with him, we told him that we were from an international school in Penang. He got excited because the ship was headed there next. He was the promotions officer and his job was to connect with different organizations in each port to create community service opportunities for the armed forces personnel on the ship. This connection on the beach resulted in a week of fun activities at Dalat. We had teams from the ship play us in sports, naval bands came and played, there were VIP tours of the ship for all the students and staff, and much much more.

During that week we learned that the U.S.S. Blue Ridge was the “flagship” for the U.S. Pacific feet. A flagship is the command ship and is often the most powerful in some way. The flagship flies a distinctive flag and is the ship on which the commander of the fleet sails. The term “flagship” has become synonymous with idea of “most important.” This can be seen when it is said that a certain store is the “flagship” store for that brand (e.g. Apple has their flagship store in New York).

Dalat now has four “flagships” that reside on our campus. Last year the school did a full review of what we called our “ESLRs.” The ESLR acronym stood for “expected school wide learning results” and encompassed the goals we had for our students; what we hoped they would become and be able to do because of their time at Dalat. As we reviewed our ESLRs, we realized a number of important points about them:

  • The ESLRs were not integrated into day-to-day life of the school as much as we wanted.
  • The term ESLR was confusing and misunderstood by many.
  • The student goals, though for all our children, were written mostly for high school students.
  • Some of our ESLRs were confusing not only to students but to some parents as well.
  • We needed to make our ESLRs more memorable and easier to remember.

The review committee did research both within our community (through surveys and focus groups) as well as outside of the school. After much debate and discussion, the decision was made to rewrite our ESLRs with a desire to improve them.

The result of this work is what the school now calls our “flagships” (instead of ELSRs). This fits our new nautical theme and each key word ends with the suffix “ship,” making them easier to remember:

  • Scholarship (Academic)
  • Citizenship (Character)
  • Discipleship (Spiritual)
  • Relationship (Relational)

Throughout the coming year, we will focus on one flagship each quarter. For the first quarter our focus will be on “scholarship.” I will elaborate on this first flagship more next week.

See you at the Open House tonight (for MS and HS parents this week, and ES parents next week).

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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Recent Reflection Articles

Goodbye for Now

Dalat International School has played a meaningful role in my family since the 1970’s.

Leaving A Legacy

Mr. Steinkamp did more than “stand at the helm.” He is affectionately known as Uncle Karl because of his deep investment in individual student lives.

Year of Growth

We are grateful that, over this year, SOPs have eased enough that we were able to spend a majority of the year in face-to-face learning despite starting the year online.