Head's UP! September 2018

September 11, 2018

Henderson International School September Back to School

Mid-September 2018

 

Dear HIS Parents,

 

We have started the year strong!  Students are mingling well as they move across campus and interacting with each other nicely.  Our Findlay Prep Pilots will be joining younger students as teachers aides beginning this week which always provides an extra level of connection among our student community.

 

Please add to your calendars November 6 - yes, election day - a special evening event for Findlay Prep and Findlay Education Foundation here on campus.  We will be retiring Los Angeles Clippers star Avery Bradley’s jersey from the Pilots and he will be here for the ceremony. We also will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our first national title at the, then, ESPN National High School Tournament.

Thank you to our PTA for all of their efforts on our behalf!  The kid-friendly activities at our All School BBQ and the Night Out at The District on September 21 are just a couple of the early year activities.  My wife, Carrie, and I support the PTA fundraising efforts by hosting Dinner with the Headmaster in our home - this year that event will be Saturday, September 29.  Tickets may still be available via the PTA website.

Now that the school year is well underway, it is important to share some initiatives and community priorities on which we are focused this year.  Most obviously, perhaps, is the restart of our high school beginning with grade 9 this year. Part of our plan is to recruit international students in the near term for homestay experiences which will lead, eventually, to housing students in dormitories.  Currently, in addition to the Findlay Prep program, we have a couple of middle school students staying with host families. If this is of interest to your family please let me know.

 

As part of our preparation to add residential students from around the world we must begin to shift our thinking and expand upon our Guiding Principle of Student Centric Focus.  Not only are secondary school students significantly different developmentally than primary students, their foci are increasingly individualized toward the unique young adult they are becoming.  How we prepare for our interaction with a global student body is now a realistic opportunity for growth.

Toward this end we need to develop routines that demonstrate our openness to change and expansion of whom we are as a school community.  We began in the main entrance lobby with our new Welcome sign in many languages.

 

Soon, LOVE in many languages will hang in the East Building lobby.  I purchased this at the Human Rights Campaign gala this past year and want to share it at school this year.

 

Preparing for many languages and truly welcoming and honoring all of our students is an important community effort!

 

In the South Building students have been focusing on preparing for their experiential education California trips as well as global citizenship, moving from Tolerance to Celebration.  We will celebrate our third annual International Week in late January 2019.

 

The Anti-Defamation League will host a benefit on November 15 - this is an organization that opposes hate in any form.  (https://lasvegas.adl.org/events/)  I was deeply involved with ADL and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) at boarding schools helping students and adults to navigate, as an ally and mentor, many challenges they face in the world.

 

I bring these examples to light as opportunities close to home to become involved in expanding our collective consciousness to be inclusive and not exclusive to all people we have and will continue to have in our school community.  Our Mission is to cultivate confident, well-rounded students that contribute wisdom, compassion and leadership to a global society. As we expand our enrollment beyond local day students we must all be cognizant of our inherent bias and historical routines.  Thank you for your thoughtful engagement!

On the helping the homeless front, my work continues with the Southern Nevada Youth Working Group board to end youth homelessness.  Our second annual Youth Homelessness Summit will be held at The Venetian all day November 2. If you wish to learn more about our efforts please visit Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth - https://nphy.org/   

Our contact left from Broken Chains Ministry, which was our direct link for our Two Lunch Tuesday program and we are working toward another direct effort for our school community.  Our PTA helped Project 150 the past two years with donations and we will be considering next steps soon.

The Leadership Henderson class of 2018, of which I am a member, raised funds to support Be.A.SHERO Foundation which is working to support at-risk girls with feminine hygiene products so that they stay in school each month.  Many of the things we take for granted are not affordable or offered gratis in the quantity needed to meet the need of these children.

“Nevada has consistently ranked 4th in the nation on the most vulnerable population of homeless youth, unaccompanied homeless youth, and 1st on unsheltered unaccompanied youth.”  The State of Youth Homelessness in Southern Nevada,  Research in Brief  Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Nov. 2017

The scale of this issue is mind-boggling where Southern Nevada ranks so highly in homeless youth and so lowly in educational attainment.  If you are interested in learning more please visit: http://helphopehome.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/STAKEHOLDER-CHART.pdf

 

Here at Henderson International School we have so much to look forward to and for which to be grateful.  It is our commitment to raising children to be confident global citizens that surrounds our efforts in personalized education supporting each student’s trajectory for acceptance to the very best colleges.  Together we make a strong positive impact here on campus and from that strength we can make a strong positive impact in the world.

 

Thank you for all of your support!

Seth W. Ahlborn

Headmaster

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