Dear Parents and Students of The KAUST School,
It is an honor and a pleasure to be joining the KAUST community as the new Director of The KAUST School. After just a few weeks on the ground here it is clear that KAUST has a very supportive and connected community. I am originally from the state of Montana in the United States and I have been a teacher and administrator overseas for the last 24 years in Asia, South America, and the Middle East. The last 13 years I have been in the United Arab Emirates. I am joined here by my husband Jesse and my three children Blake (16), Sierra (14), and Brayden (10). They are equally excited to be here and have all received a warm welcome from the community.
We begin this school year with 44 new faculty members and all-time high student enrollment of 1606 students! This is an increase in our student population of 70 from last August. How wonderful to be part of such a growing community. This is a very exciting time for TKS as we look to celebrate our tenth anniversary in October of this year. Being only ten years old, it is impressive to see all that the school has accomplished in this short time. The anniversary will be an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the successful foundation that has been established and the contributions of so many educators, students, and families over these last ten years.
This year TKS will be in the final year of the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan which has been focused on Teaching and Learning, Engagement, Professional Culture, and Organizational Development. During our pre-service week, my welcome message to the TKS faculty focused on the key concept of “One School,” and the goal that we approach our work through the lenses of Clarity, Consistency, and Coherence. We will be looking at all aspects of the school including Curriculum and Instruction, Human Resources, Facilities, Institutional Advancement & Communication, Finance, and Systems & Structures.
Other exciting work that we will be doing this year is developing and writing our self-study report for our upcoming re-accreditation with the Council for International Schools and the Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools, as well as our re-authorization for all three International Baccalaureate Programs. This is no small task and will take the efforts of our entire faculty, as well as student, parent and board volunteers. As part of this accreditation process, we will begin with a review of our current Mission, Vision, and Values. As we look to the changing landscape of Saudi Arabia, KAUST, and the future of education, we are faced with a challenge to ensure that TKS is positioned to transform the lives of our students in ways that align with the Saudi 2030 Vision, the KAUST vision, and the needs of our increasingly complex global society. I am confident that we are up to this challenge. There is so much in store for the future of TKS.
This year-long process will set the stage for our strategic plan to launch at the start of the 2020-21 school year. I and the other educational leaders at TKS look forward to holding information sessions throughout the year regarding curriculum programs, the future of education, and other student-learning related topics. The times and dates of these sessions will be communicated via email and The WAVE, and I invite you to attend these sessions as your schedule allows. The first of these opportunities will be our Back to School Nights on September 2 for the Gardens Elementary School, September 4 for Kindergarten and September 9 for the Gardens Secondary School. I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks and months.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2019-2020 school year!
Dr. Michelle Remington