Yesterday International School of Indiana parents, students, teachers, and administrators celebrated the beginning of ISI’s 24th School year- ISI style. ISI has school traditions that are unique to Indiana as they are built or inspired by long-lasting international traditions from all over the world. In the case of the first day of school, ISI rang in the school year with our annual Bell Ringing ceremony.
Each year ISI starts out the academic year with our Bell Ringing. The ceremony is based on a tradition from the former Soviet Union and is still practiced in Russian schools today. In Russia, the first day of school is known as День Знаний (dyen znanii), or “the Day of Knowledge”. The day is also referred to as Первый звонок (pyervi zvonok), or “the first bell”. Students come smartly dressed with flowers for their teachers. There are speeches and songs to make it a festive occasion, and the oldest and youngest students parade in front of everyone as they ring a bell.
At the Lower School, the students waited on the newly updated court, excited, adorable in fresh uniforms, with flowers and a little bit of anxiety for the new school year. Proud (and also anxious) parents, waited with their students to see them ring in the new year. For Upper School students, the first day is old hat. Some parents still attend but there is less anxiety and more excitement about seeing friends. Enjoy pictures from the day in our Flickr slideshow below.
A special part of the Upper School Bell Ringing is a sing-along of the song “Make a Miracle.” The true name of the song is “Совершите чудо,” translated to “Make a Miracle.” It was translated from Russian by our former Music teacher (who we still have a Musical award named after/presented at the end of school year), Chris Barton, to perform every year for the First Bell Ceremony. The singing of “Make a Miracle” started in 1997 when a group of teachers sang it for the first time. The tradition continues today with the students singing the song in both English and Russian. This tradition is a great way to show our international mindedness.
These traditions make the first day of school at ISI unique and memorable and make for a truly a magical experience each year.
This first day of school at ISI was especially special as it coincided with a rare solar eclipse. It is almost like we planned it that way. The students safely enjoyed the eclipse using NASA approved eclipse-viewing glasses. See pictures from our Flickr page slide show.