Dear ISANA Families,
I am delighted to welcome you to the 2022-23 school year and work together to further nurture and develop the academic, artistic, social, and emotional skills of all our scholars. Whether your child is beginning or continuing their educational journey with us, we look forward to supporting the unique learning styles of each of our students, fulfilling our mission of providing a whole child, whole family approach to education, and making sure that every touchpoint, with every ISANA educator, equitably prepares each student to reach their full potential.
At ISANA, we have always strived to provide a whole child approach to education that honors, challenges, engages, and supports each students’ learning style, while ensuring their health, safety, and overall well-being. We will continue to work together – families, educators, and community members – to maintain a school environment of belonging and connection for students to engage and thrive. Likewise, we will deepen our community partnerships and provide access to services and resources that address the needs of our families and help improve outcomes for all.
We will also deliver on the promise of academic excellence by cultivating opportunities for our students to develop the skills and competencies required for success at ISANA and beyond. We will expand our academic offerings by welcoming more transitional kindergarten students than ever before, continuing our collaboration with i-Ready, renewing our partnership with the American Reading Company, incorporating basic algebra ideas throughout our TK–7 mathematics curriculum, and include algebra as a requirement for all grade 8 students to maintain the clear advantage of enrichment in mathematics.
And lastly, we will again dedicate significant attention and resources to innovatively expand our methods of delivery, celebrate and recognize the rich and diverse perspectives that exist on our campuses, and support a culture of creativity and discovery. We will also continue to work inclusively to foster meaningful relationships that enhance self and social awareness and, therefore, increase our ability to understand and appreciate the many unique perspectives that make us ISANA.
I can’t wait to start working with all our ISANA educators to deliver on these promises and make a significant, positive impact on the lives of each of our students and their families. ISANA scholars always SHINE bright, and when we work together, we all SHINE even brighter!
CEO, ISANA Academies
A year to reconnect, grow together, and appreciate the many unique perspectives that make us ISANA
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. ” – Harper Lee
As we start the 2021-2022 school year and our scholars return to campus after an unprecedented 17-month period, the coronavirus pandemic provides us with an entirely new backdrop for us to work together to nurture and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills, as well as the self-confidence and awareness of our scholars. To best support the unique learning styles of each of our students, we will be intentional in pursuing our mission of providing a whole child approach to education and make every interaction count. We believe that effective, meaningful interactions can only happen when we are mindful of the whole child – their learning style, processing abilities, communication methods and overall well-being. And this starts by learning to appreciate the many unique perspectives that make us ISANA.
Perspective is the way we see the world. It comes from our personal point of view and is shaped by our life experiences, race, ethnicity, gender or gender expression, language, interests, abilities, values, our current state of mind, and so much more. When we take a culturally responsive approach and open ourselves to understanding others, we learn to appreciate different perspectives and foster greater inclusion and awareness. Not only does this help students with different backgrounds and needs succeed, but it also encourages acceptance, helps prepare students to thrive in an exponentially diverse world, and contributes to the creation of school communities that are more just, more inclusive, and more aware.
Beyond our commitment to academic excellence, this school year we will focus on understanding perspective, or point of view. ISANA will dedicate significant attention and resources to providing safe environments and opportunities where both students and educators can recognize the perspectives that exist within our walls, enhance their self and social awareness and, therefore, increase their ability to understand their own and others’ points of view. This not only emboldens every member of our school community to acknowledge and learn to appreciate each other, but it also helps us understand how our differences strengthen our bond.
Perspective plays a part in how our scholars view achievement in all parts of life, including their view of literacy. One way we are going to encourage our scholars to continue in their academic life (and promote literacy) is by increasing representation of the ISANA community in the books available at ISANA schools. We want this to be truly inclusive of every member of our school community and, as we build these libraries, we encourage our scholars and families to share the titles of some of their favorite books. Because we well know that when students can positively identify with, and relate to, what they are reading and learning, they are more likely to feel acceptance within the classroom and this can help them grow and succeed.
When students can positively identify with, and relate to, what they are reading and learning, they are more likely to feel acceptance within the classroom and this can help them grow and succeed.
We look forward to continuing to apply innovative and diverse approaches to literacy and education and partnering with our families to provide our scholars a learning environment that respects, embraces, and celebrates our diversity. Together, we will learn to appreciate our many unique perspectives and strengths and empower our scholars to succeed.
CEO, ISANA Academies
Welcome to ISANA! I am honored and humbled to serve as your CEO and represent an organization that believes in the transforming power of education.
At ISANA, we know that the key to ending racial inequities, discrimination, implicit bias, and acts of violence within our communities lies in our youth. This generation has the heart, mind, and soul to make this world a better place. Our job as adults and educators is to empower, nurture, and give our scholars the skills to be leaders and positive change-makers. Our scholars culminate from our schools embodying the meaning of “ISANA” – An Innovative, Socially-Aware, Network of Achievers!
To do our job right means we must examine what is taking place in our classrooms, and work hand-in-hand with families for student success. This is the only way to create lasting, meaningful change. As we start the 2020-2021 school year, you have my commitment that we will be intentional in eliminating any inequities found in our immediate educational environment. We will also take strategic and sustained action to empower our students and educators with the tools they need to create just practices in our classrooms and the communities where our campuses are located.
In June of 2020, the ISANA Board of Directors issued a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and established the following six objectives for our organization. They are in line with the established tenets of the ISANA educational model and are based on the themes of equity and justice.
ISANA Academies Board Objectives:
Objective A: Acknowledge and address the impacts of systemic racism on and within our educational system.
Objective B: Engage explicitly in educator professional development around racial justice, equity, and implicit bias.
Objective C: Critically analyze our curriculum for issues of privilege and bias, and ensure that what we teach represents the histories of all peoples and prepares students to become critical thinkers and change-makers.
Objective D: Engage in instructional pedagogy that is culturally relevant and responsive, holds high expectations for students, and fosters student engagement.
Objective E: Embed in our school culture and structures opportunities to address the social-emotional well-being of students, educators, leadership, and the community.
Objective F: Develop a collaborative system for inclusive partnerships with parents and community/stakeholders to ensure a well-rounded and effective student support system that addresses racial justice, equity, and implicit bias.
The decisions we make will always be made in the best interest of our students and in keeping with our promise to prioritize equity and justice for all. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and doing everything we can to create a stronger, more equitable, more inclusive, more aware world.