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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Oldest International School in the Czech Republic Reappoints Its Longest-Serving Director
Board of Trustees approves continuity of innovative leadership By Tony McLaughlin 22-Mar-17
Prague, Czech Republic – March 2, 2017 - The International School of Prague (ISP) announced today that its long-serving Director, Dr. Arnie Bieber, has committed to continuing to lead the school through 2021. Dr. Bieber, who holds a Doctorate of Education from Columbia University, arrived at ISP in 2008 after having taught and administered in schools in New York City, Munich, Caracas, and Bucharest. Founded in 1948, ISP is the oldest international school in the Czech Republic (and among the oldest in Europe) and Dr. Bieber will shortly become its longest serving director. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ISP, Neville Parry, said, “As the trustees of a non-profit educational institution, it is our responsibility to ensure the long-term health of ISP so that it can continue to be a source of pride not only to its students and parents, but also to the broader community. Arnie and his team continue to successfully recruit highly accomplished international educators while improving our programs and resources. We fully support Arnie’s mission-driven leadership and look forward to continued progress as we implement both our strategic plan and the school’s ambitious campus master plan.” Upon his arrival at ISP, Dr. Bieber led the community in developing a new mission for the school, which the school’s Director of Advancement, Clive Watkins, says, “has guided the school ever since; it is the standard by which we measure ourselves.” “As a result,” says Watkins, “ISP has become known in the world of international schools for its focus on ensuring relevance of education to the student, and preparing future-ready learners. We continually have experts coming to share and learn with and from us, with Jane Goodall being one of the more recent and high-profile examples. The school also regularly hosts educational conferences such as the Apple Leadership Summit, Czech Teachers Summit, Google Education and “Reggio Inspired Learning” conferences.” If applications and enrollment demand are any indication, the school’s future-focused approach to education is attracting more and more families; during Dr. Bieber’s tenure, the school has turned away fewer applicants by expanding its capacity and enrollment by about 15%, and has made investments in the school’s infrastructure in excess of 11 million euro. According to Barry Freckmann, ISP’s Business Manager, despite the investment in the facility, attention to finances has allowed the school to avoid significant debt while still pursuing an ambitious capital investment program. “In addition,” says Freckmann, “significant financial donations from within the school’s community have allowed the school to expand its offerings of programs, scholarships, and financial aid while keeping tuition levels competitive. Examples of new programs that have been implemented since Arnie's arrival include our one-to-one laptop and iPad program, robotics, Mandarin Chinese, Environmental Science, specialist English language teachers (for non-native speakers) at every age level, the first English language TEDx Youth conference in the Czech Republic, The Edge in Education parent series and, most recently, a comprehensive child safety program, including the appointment of a whole-school psychologist. We now look forward to implementing the school’s ambitious master plan, to ensure that ISP continues to provide world class facilities and resources.” Dr. Bieber says that he is keen to continue to lead ISP in implementing its strategic plan, ISP2020. “Our world-class faculty, staff and leaders provide us with a unique opportunity to advance our future-focused educational objectives. It is my firm belief that schools must prepare students for their future, not our past. Our responsibility as educators goes far beyond ensuring students have the essential foundational literacies of reading, writing and arithmetics; our responsibility is to ensure that students have all the competencies such as creative thinking and core values in order to adapt and change with the times. As the author, speaker and international advisor on education Sir Ken Robinson has said, ‘Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.’” Dr. Bieber believes that the world of work is changing as rapidly as the world itself. “Employers today are looking for more than content knowledge,” he says, “They are looking for innovators, and critical and creative thinkers who can unlearn and relearn as well as learn. As the futurist Alvin Toffler put it, ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’” The school’s accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC, which accredits entities such as Harvard and Yale) selected ISP to pilot its new accreditation protocol known as ACE Learning. According to Peter Mott, Director of NEASC, “This required not only considerable leadership experience on Arnie's part to guide the school into unfamiliar territory, but also a strong belief in the human capacity to effect transformative change, precisely those qualities excellent schools aspire to instil in their students.” In discussing ISP’s goals for its students, Dr. Bieber says, “We want our students to love learning, to really understand (not just memorize) what they learn, and to apply their learning across disciplines and throughout their lives. We want our students to develop into ethical global leaders who not only have the skills, but the values to contribute responsibly to our changing world. When they can do that, then we will have best achieved the school’s mission of ‘inspiring learners to lead healthy, fulfilling, and purposeful lives.’” In addition to his position at ISP, Dr. Bieber is the Chair-elect of the Board of Trustees of the Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS), a non-profit global membership organisation of almost 400 international schools that provides professional learning, research and advocacy for its member schools. Kevin Ruth, Chief Executive of ECIS, said, “Arnie’s commitment to meaningful innovation in education, evidenced at ISP, has already benefitted ECIS. With Dr Bieber about to lead the ECIS board, we enter an exciting era of purposefully-designed professional learning for international educators who share our mission to impact lives through international education.” International School of Prague +420 720 958 578 [email protected] www.isp.cz __________________________________________ About the International School of Prague (www.isp.cz) Founded in 1948, ISP has a long history of educational excellence in the Czech Republic. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program to students in grades 11 and 12. ISP is also authorized by the Czech Ministry of Education to educate foreign nationals and Czech citizens. About Dr. Arnie Bieber A New York City native, Dr. Bieber taught and administered in schools in New York City, Munich, Caracas, and Bucharest. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from City University of New York, two Masters' degrees, and a Doctorate of Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. He has also served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) and is the Chair-elect of the Board of Trustees of the Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS). Dr. Bieber is well known in the international educational circuit through his keynote presentations and workshops, as well as his blog about new trends in education, www.school21c.org.
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