Today International School of Indiana (ISI) parents, students, teachers, and administrators celebrated the beginning of ISI’s 25th Anniversary Year.
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.
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 crisp 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.
Lower School Principal, Mrs. Trina Haygaru says, “I would like to thank everyone who was able to make it to our 25th Bell Ringing Ceremony. It was wonderful to see so many excited children and family members.”
For Upper School students, there is less anxiety and more excitement about seeing friends. A particular 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, including current ISI teacher Mrs. Sinitsky, 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.
Both ceremonies were made even more special by the presence of our newly announced, third Head of School, Ms. Elizabeth Head.
“I live in Costa Rica right now, and I have been there for 20 years… I have traveled to many countries and seen many different international schools. ISI and the education you are receiving, students, makes ISI such a special place. It is truly a gift from your parents that students are able to be at a school like ISI and I am so proud that I am now a part of your community and I thank you for welcoming me,” stated Ms. Head
These traditions make the first day of school at ISI unique and memorable and are just one more way that ISI prepares students to be ready for the world stage.
View all of the photos from the occasion on the school Flickr page.