Welcome to New ASH Families
The second semester has begun with several new families having arrived, replacing many of those families who departed during the winter break. We expect several more new enrollments in the next few weeks, and we congratulate the PTO welcomers and various orientation groups for helping these mid-year arrivals to settle in.
Enrollment for 2011-12: Second Preschool Section Added
Our Preschool program, begun last school year, has proven sufficiently popular that we will be opening a second section of this class for three-year-olds in August of this year. We have experienced waiting lists almost from the inception of this new program, and demand continues to rise. We are excited about this growth in our early childhood program and congratulate the Preschool teachers and assistants who have made this new program for our youngest students such a rousing success.
Gifts to ASH from PTO – Phase 2
Last month, I reported on several gifts of instructional support made by our very generous and hard-working PTO. Since then, two more requests have been granted: archery equipment for our physical educational program and several iPads for our Elementary School learning support program. These new gifts, plus those granted earlier, total an amazing €16,470 euros just for the fall. Thank you to our PTO for these exciting grants-in-aid to our classroom teachers.
Early Childhood Center: Another Step Closer
Last month, the Wassenaar City Council approved our request for a streamlined approval process, a reassuring affirmation of the city’s support for this important enhancement of ASH facilities. We continue to solicit input from a team of early childhood teachers at ASH, as well as from sustainability specialists, as we move toward the final design drawings. Late in January, we hosted a reception jointly with the handball club with whom we will share the property, in our continuing efforts to build good communications with the neighbors. We hope to obtain all necessary approvals in the coming months, conclude financing scenarios, and select a construction company before the end of this year, with construction beginning at some point after that. We hope to occupy the new ECC at some point in 2013.
Our recruiting outlook for 2011-12 is very positive, with the fewest openings in many years. Our turnover of teachers normally runs at about 10%, a figure less than many international schools. That would normally mean about 14-15 new teachers each year at ASH. At the time of this writing, we expect only around 10 departures and replacements for next year. We have had good success in recruiting so far, having filled several of our vacancies and only one or two positions still open. All our positions are listed on our website and we invite any interested and qualified community members to submit an application. I will be continuing to attend recruiting fairs in the next few weeks, and I will report on those hired for next year in the next issue of the Bulletin.
Recruiting Process: How Do We Find Our Teachers?
The recruiting process has become almost a year-round activity in recent years. We ask for a tentative statement of intentions from staff in November and begin posting our firm and tentative openings on our website in early December. We also advertise in several global publications and enlist the services of three different international school recruiting agencies. I begin by attending recruiting fairs in Europe in November, then move to the Far East during the winter break, continue with job fairs in London in January, and hope to conclude with recruiting fairs in the US in February. Sometimes late openings require us to attend additional job fairs in May or June though this is thankfully rare. Our HR office uses an online application software and we then sort the literally hundreds of candidates into a first group of the most promising. The Principals and I then screen dozens of resumes of the top candidates, eventually selecting a few for telephone, video, and in-person interviews. Normally, we could look at the files of 50-70 candidates for each of our openings, and interview 15-20 of the best before making an offer. Fortunately, we are usually successful in landing our first choice, but the credit for this goes to the word of mouth support of our current teachers, the hours and hours of hard work by our Human Resources Department, my Assistant and the School Principal's. It is a very time-consuming, but I believe most important part of our job as administrators—finding the best possible teachers.