Head of school listening tour

Message from Head of School

It is undeniable how much our families care about our school — and our team, students, and alumni, too. Over the last six weeks, I have met with more than 350 members of our school community. I can say for certain that you care for ISI and that you have a desire for us to reach our full potential, not for the institution, but for the community we serve. 

As one parent said, we have all the right pieces at ISI, but we are not connecting them well. The unique combination of studying languages, cultures, and different perspectives should be a key differentiator for our school. Our school culture should be a model for others who want to give students the tools to bridge divides, not just in our own community, but anywhere they choose to go in the world. 

You have shared with candor the missteps you believe we’d made in reaching this goal. You have also acknowledged the complexities we face because of the complexities of the world we live in. This is why you share a sense of urgency to make meaningful changes now, resulting in students continuing to develop academically, socially, and emotionally.

You made the point that your expectations of our school are high and that our school needs both clarity and conviction around the culture we desire. You have urged us to be transparent in our decisions and to give you a voice in the future decisions we make. 

Ten themes emerged during our Listening Tour. We’ll use this information for continued and inclusive development of action steps that support a key pillar of our strategic plan: Engagement.  In our April message, we will share with you those action steps that have resulted from these themes. 

Though the Listening Tour has concluded, I remain committed to continuing our conversations. We acknowledge that we have serious work to do. Our culture will not be transformed overnight, but I am confident that with commitment, with persistence, with the support of our community, and with a deep affection for ISI, we will create a culture we can all be proud of.



Hundreds of ideas emerged during the 80+ hours of sessions and meetings, emailed comments, and informal interactions that took place over the past 60 days. The ideas, comments, suggestions you shared can be distilled into ten common themes, which are explained below. Acting on every idea that was shared isn’t possible or even in our best interest, but your input has helped us to identify the shared interests and priorities of our community, and will help us determine our next steps. 

  1. Our Culture & Values
  2. Community Building
  3. Change Management
  4. Diversity
  5. Racism
  6. Policy & Procedure
  7. Holidays & Celebrations
  8. Leadership & Staffing
  9. Training
  10. Curriculum

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Learn more about our vision, progress, and the ongoing work to ensure that ISI is a fair and inclusive environment for all.