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Kozak Korner #27. April 1, 2022

 

 

Director's Message

Dear KIS community, 

Survive, Sustain, Rebuild! This has been my mantra for the past few weeks, as I think about how to move forward and the future of KIS. Our school has a long history in Ukraine and the city of Kyiv. We have no intention of that changing anytime soon.

SURVIVE 
You have felt the disruption this past month to our school and educational plan. February and March have felt like a full year, as we are trying to continue our education program, students are moving, and we watch with horror the war in Ukraine. Our eyes and hearts have also been extremely focused on the people and places we know with hopes of their safety and security.

We are starting into April and plan to finish the school year with the calendar as planned. There may be some slight adjustments along the way, but we will do everything we can to finish this school year as strong as possible. 

SUSTAIN 

KIS Will Operate For The Entire 2022-23 School Year 
KIS will still be operating for the 2022-23 school year. We are preparing a team, budget, and plan that is not dependent on student enrollment. This is to say that we will have our staffing for the entire school year set and operate as such whether we have 50, 150, or 250 students. We do understand that there will be a significant decrease in student enrollment, but want to communicate to KIS families who may be relying on our program that we will be there.

School Plan for 2022-23 – Flexible Modes of Operation 
We are now making decisions  based on where we are now with the hope of being able to shift and change towards where we want to be.  

Option #1 – Online Program 
If we remain in a situation where we need to operate our program online, we will do so, and would need to start the year like this. This is in the hope that we will be able to transition back into Ukraine, at some point. We will need to make some adjustments to this schedule and program given the number of students and staff.  

Option #2 – On Campus – Hybrid Program
At some point, we may be able to transition our teachers back to Ukraine and Kyiv, but understand that not everyone would return at the same time. It is also important to note that we will need to have some buffer time built in to accommodate for the time it takes to move people back and the decision to do so.  

Option #3 – On Campus  
We hope for the day when our staff and all students will be back in Kyiv and on our beautiful campus once again. This is our dream and easily the best option for us. We don’t know exactly when this day will come, but we look forward to it.  

KIS Teachers and Staff – Some Inside and Outside Ukraine 
Currently, our staff are spread around the world – teaching remotely. We also have several staff still teaching from different locations inside Ukraine. If we need to begin the school year online, we will be moving all of our staff to one location near Ukraine to be together. This will provide us with some options, but essentially, we will have a satellite school location outside of Ukraine for our staff to work and the possibility to connect with anyone in that city.  We also understand that we will have those living inside of Ukraine who will continue to teach from their location there.

Re-Enrollment Options – Communicating With KIS What You Plan To Do 
There will be a separate KIS informer that will go out to all parents to go through the re-enrollment process. This is so we can begin planning and have a better idea of student numbers and class sizes. Generally, we are looking to find out the following: 

  1. Yes, we will for sure be with KIS next school year 
  2. No, we will for sure not be with KIS next school year 
  3. Unsure – we still do not know what we are doing 

IB & AP Options
We are building a schedule around the continued option for IB and AP classes. This is important for many IB Year 1 students, as it is extremely difficult to change to a different school during Year 2. We will also use the QVS option to support several AP course options for students. There was a meeting with IB Year 1 students and parents this past week to discuss possibilities. 

School Fees - Financial Support and Flexibility 
We will also publish our school fees with the re-enrollment email. They are very similar to this year. We are discussing different ways that KIS can be flexible with tuition fees and support those in need, with the hope of collecting the fees necessary to support a challenging financial school year.  

How Would We Know We Can Return? 
There would need to be several indicators that it was safe to return to Kyiv and we would rely on the advice and recommendation from Embassies and organizations who are also looking to return. Infrastructure, services, and security are all things to be considered when it comes to our ability to bring staff back. As we begin to have this conversation and meetings, we will share and meet with the community. 

REBUILD 
When asked this question, I have compared the situation to a house on fire. It is hard to know what you will need to rebuild while the house is still on fire. In many ways, we will need to see what it takes once the fire is out. What I do know for sure is that we will have a team that is very committed to doing what it takes to be involved in this process and put things in place to rebuild the school and our community to what it once was. The specifics are unclear.

Clarity of Vision, but Flexibility of Process is something that we have always tried to live by at KIS these past few years. This will continue to be a focus for us, as we know the situation is fluid and the needs and opportunities shift and change. This requires us to be open to them as they arise.

It is very difficult to know what comes next and what the future holds. We also understand that all families need to do what is best for them and school always plays a huge role in family care and decision making. We know that people need to make difficult decisions for next year and know what the options might be, so we want to reassure everyone that KIS will remain and option for those who want and need it.

Sincerely,

 

 

Luke Woodruff
Director
Kyiv International School

 

Key Dates

April – Aesthetic Appreciation

7 April - Virtual Community Coffee Chat (see poster in the Announcement section)

22 April - Earth Day

22 April - Status Reports

25-29 April - Spring Break

Frequently Asked Questions

  Parent Korner

  Counselors Korner

 

How to support your child during a traumatic event

Presented by Linden Global Learning Support Services for KIS parents

During this very difficult time, caring for ourselves and others is of utmost importance. KIS staff recently met with therapists from The Linden Group for council and support as well as to learn strategies for coping with stress and trauma. Please view this parent video for practical tips on ways you can provide comfort and care for your child during these challenging times.

Thanks to the Linden group for giving us permission to post.

 

First page of the PDF file: SimpleTipsonWhattoDoandWhattoLookOutForafteraTraumaticevent2

  Learning Stories & Highlights

Elementary

Flat Serena Project 

Teacher: Cynthia Bateman

Flat Stanley is a character that travels around the world in an envelope. This is a literacy project that has been used by many schools since 1994. Students create a “Flat Stanley” and send it to relatives, famous people, or other schools across the globe. They take a photo with him, write a note and send him back. 

Mrs. Bateman’s granddaughter in Canada sent her “Flat Serena” to Kyiv. Unfortunately, we did not get the original but thanks to technology we were still able to do this project. 9B Students selected a place in Kyiv or Ukraine they like, researched and wrote a paragraph about it. We hope you enjoy reading these, keeping Ukraine close.  

Elementary

Bringing Comfort Through Letters 

Teacher: Kayla Kenney

In 10KK, the students have been connecting with different 5th grade classes from around the world. After the invasion, the class was feeling worried, scared, and anxious. They were and still are heartbroken to know that they might not be able to see each other in person for a very long time and worry about the country they called home only a month ago. 

Receiving letters from classes on the other side of the world helped to comfort them. They saw that kids their age were thinking about them during this difficult time, and it has been so meaningful during this process. As we read the first batch of letters together, some of us cried, some listened in solemnity, and everyone felt the support from afar.  

We have continued our connection back and forth with another 5th grade class from Alaska. The students have looked forward to giving and receiving heartfelt letters every few weeks or so. It has been a good distraction from the challenges we’ve recently faced. One student even commented that receiving the letters from other 5th grade students is better than Christmas! 

Elementary

Working Hard and Having Fun

Teacher: Amy Mims

Although we are online, students in 9AM are continuously showing up and working hard. We are now working on a Science unit that has to do with Natural Resources. We have been using Generation Genius to review and solidify concepts of renewable and non-renewable resources, making connections to Cultural Studies and human/environment interaction, and will work together to solve a real-world problem (student generated) using renewable energy. This is when we wish we could access the KIS Makerspace but we are getting creative. When we are not working diligently on curriculum content, we have been playing Pictionary. I was even able to get Mr. Mims in on the action, and a student from the class chose to draw him. Everyone was able to guess the portrait after the red hair was added. Thank you 9AM for showing up every day and making teaching and learning fun!

Secondary

Secondary Art

Teacher: Shanna Griffus

KIS secondary art students have created great artworks and we would like to share some of them with you. More are coming in the next issue! 

  KIS Stands With UKRAINE

Kyiv International School is endlessly proud of its staff and community members who selflessly volunteer and work hard to support Ukraine in every possible way and at every place. No matter where we are, we Stand With Ukraine! 

When KIS Secondary teacher Johnny Semeniuk and his wife Ira, arrived safely in Poland on February 25th, after a 24-hour border crossing, with their infant and young son, the first thing they did was ask who else needed help. This has been their mantra from that moment. Their humanitarian efforts have helped countless people and involved connections and friends across the world.

The thing that stands out the most in conversations with the Semeniuks about their efforts to support Ukraine over the last 5 weeks, is the sheer level of compassion, generosity and kindness that they have encountered, in sharp contrast to the horrors of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Examples include: a generous donation from QSI Tblisi’s StuCo; a lucky, coincidental meeting with a Polish man with a strong desire to help and essential logistical connections that have allowed them to make big shipments of humanitarian aid into Ukraine; the arrival of Gale Stubbs, a KIS Middle School teacher with 11 boxes of medicine and supplies. These are just some examples of the global network the Semeniuks are tapping into. With all of the support they have received, they are working to get humanitarian supplies into Ukraine and to those who need them most on a near daily basis. These areas include medications, supplies and food for orphanages, refugees, bombarded cities (like Chernihiv), and territorial defense units around the country.

The Semeniuk’s stories of kindness, generosity and compassion are uplifting and encouraging, and we are happy that our KIS community is doing so much for Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Stand With Ukraine - KIS Website Resources to Donate - this is a compilation of reliable organizations https://kyiv.qsi.org/discover/stand-with-ukraine 

Support for Ukrainian Staff - can share with those back home or among QSI. If you know people who are asking how to support our local staff, please share this with them. QSI will provide 100% of the donated funds to the families in need! https://gofund.me/f37123d8

It Is Getting Hard for Ukrainians to Find Shelter - This May Help. This resource was shared with us for anyone who is outside Ukraine looking for shelter. If you know someone, have family, or people asking, this may be a good resource. https://www.ukrainetakeshelter.com/

 

We Are United! We #StandWithUkraine! 

Real Talk Podcast

Real Talk Podcast: Episode 21

 

 

Check for more episodes on our website

 

  Voices of Ukraine

As the world remains glued to the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, our KIS family around the world is heartbroken for all who are affected by this situation.  Our KIS community has been impacted by this in many different ways, and we felt it was important for our students and staff to share their experiences. 

The project, Voices of Ukraine, gave students and staff the opportunity to share what they are going through during this time. It was also a place to share thoughts, experiences, and encouragement for each other.  

You can find the elementary submissions here and the middle school/high school submissions here.  Take a moment to look at what was submitted by our KIS students and staff, they are the voices of Ukraine. 

Made with Padlet

 

 

Made with Padlet
Thank you to KIS Counselors for launching this project!

 

  School Announcements

First page of the PDF file: KISBusDriver_postersmall
First page of the PDF file: PosterforZooPatrulKyiv
First page of the PDF file: Back-to-School1

Dear Campus Community,

As you know, we added Classifieds section to our Connect Page on the school website. The Section contains the following branches: 

RECRUITMENT

PROPERTY

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you have an announcement you would like us to place there, please email kozakconnect@qsi.org .

 

 

First page of the PDF file: KISSchoolCalendar2021-22_Final
First page of the PDF file: KISSchoolCalendar2022-23