My goal is to have every kid in school by 07.45 before the Diwali break. It shouldn’t be too difficult, I’ll just do what other schools do. I’ll shut the gate at 07.45 and send home everyone who arrives after that.
But that will be step 2. Before I can take that step, I need to sort out the buses. I want to be sure that all kids get to their bus on time, so that, if the bus still arrives at school late, I know it’s not the kid’s fault. (So I can have them given passes to enter after 07.45).
What happens right now is that if kids are not waiting at the pickup point when the bus arrives, the bus waits for them. Sometimes the bus attendant will phone the apartment to let them know that the bus is downstairs waiting. This happens a lot on some routes and it makes the bus late. As the year progresses, the problem gets worse. And, as always, it’s the same kids day after day after day.
Not any more. Starting Monday, October 3rd, the bus drivers will be directed to leave their pickup points at the designated time. They will not be allowed to wait for kids who are running late.
So, if your pickup time is 07.05, then your kid will need to be there by 07.05. If he gets downstairs at 07.06, the bus will be gone. If you want to be sure he doesn’t miss the bus, get him down there at 07.00.
Please tell everyone about this. Use your Whatsapp.
I’ll give you a couple of weeks to get used to this, then we’ll move in to step 2.
Welcome everyone to my very first blog post. I hope this can become a convenient and regular means of communication for me, particularly with OIS parents. You will have noticed that the category is “Heads of School” rather than “Head of School”, and this perhaps needs some explanation.
Because learning happens best when it happens collaboratively, I think schools run best when they are run collaboratively. The correct answer to the question “who is the head of OIS?” is “Neil ‘n Steve”. This team approach to leadership runs throughout OIS, because this is the model we want to show our kids.
I notice that Steve has already been active on this blog, and that he has included a photo, so I guess I should as well. There is a tendency, as we age, for us to dig out older and older photographs (because we have to go back further and further to find a time when we looked OK). As you can see, I had to go back a very long time indeed!
I would like this team approach to extend to how we raise our children. I would like the parents and the school to work together to do the best we can for our kids. But, if my endeavour to get all our kids to school on time is any indication, this does not seem to be happening.
I have sent many e-mails. I have spoken to over 1,000 parents at 15 coffee mornings. Everyone I have communicated with is in agreement that this is a worthwhile pursuit. Kids should not be allowed to wander in to school when they feel like it. Parents should not be allowed to bring their kids when they feel like it. It just reinforces the message that school is not important.
I stood at the front gate this morning as 100+ kids came in between 5 and 15 minutes late. I explained to each and every one of them that they were late, and that this could be rectified by getting up a little bit earlier. Everyone looked at the ground and said “sorry”, but I’m willing to bet the same 100 kids will be late tomorrow.
Because they just don’t care. In classrooms throughout the school, teachers are trying to get their classes organized for the day’s learning, and they are continually disrupted by kids (in the lower grades accompanied by their parents) wandering in whenever they feel like it. They don’t care.
I know this makes many of you angry, because you have made the effort to get your kids here on time, yet your kids still have to suffer the disruption caused by latecomers, and your kids are still exposed to this lack of respect for the school.
This makes you angry, and you look to me to do something about it. And I won’t let you down.
Watch this space!
On Tuesday, September 20, the OIS Food Committee held its initial meeting for the 2016-17 academic year. The committee consists of 8 parent representatives (2 from EY, 3 from Primary, and 3 from Secondary), regional and school-based Sodexo staff members, and members of the OIS management team.
Following brief presentations by the OIS and Sodexo members, the parent representatives were able to observe lunch being served to students in Senior Kindergarten, and then helped themselves to lunch in our Primary & Secondary Cafeteria. The reviews were quite good: all agreed the food was excellent in taste and appearance and very similar to what they would serve at home.
Afterward, we spent some time talking about suggestions to improve our food service. One recommendation focused on menu labeling, noting that the names we give to certain dishes correspond to what one would find in restaurants, where food is typically heavily spiced or loaded with not-so-healthy ingredients. Instead, the names should reflect the fact that the food served by Sodexo is healthier, tastier, and much closer to home-cooking. We have already acted to implement this suggestion.
We also talked about how we can encourage students to try all of the food on offer, rather than loading up their trays with just one or two items that they prefer. In the lower grades, in particular, teachers do encourage students to try different items, but we all agreed that parents play a central role in exposing children to a variety of foods and building healthy habits at home. By the time they reach school and can make choices for themselves, they will be much better prepared to make the right choices.
It was a very productive session for all involved. Our school management team provided an overview of food service at OIS. It was quite surprising for some to learn that Sodexo serves over 1,500 meals per day! On a monthly basis, that number comes to over 30,000! Our Sodexo staff shared information about the policies and procedures that both support their operations at our school and ensure that our students are eating healthy and wholesome food that is prepared fresh daily (I am attaching this presentation for your information). We also identified several ways in which we have improved the food service at OIS since the start of this academic year:
Early Years: Ms. Krupa Bhimani: Krupa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Jarna Doshi: Jarnadoshi@gmail.com
Primary School: Ms. Alpa Jhariya: Alpajhariya@gmail.com
Ms. Sonal Khanduja: email@example.com
Ms. Harini Maru: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary School: Ms. Kanchan Wadi Dhingra: email@example.com
Ms. Geetanjali Chitale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sonali Kumar: email@example.com