Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe it is now March! With spring, we have a lot going on across campus, including; our international fair auction, our elementary production of The Emperor’s New Clothes, the publication of middle school instructional coach Scott Riley’s new book, the athletic competitions now taking place in high school, and much more. 

I also want to update you on where we are in our hiring cycle for new teachers and some of the new pieces we have implemented this year to improve our hiring process. We are seeing a slightly larger percentage of teachers leaving at the end of this year: roughly 10.8 percent compared to our average of 9.4 percent over the last 10 years. In comparison, across international schools, the average is 17 percent.  

The uncertainties and difficulties caused by COVID-19 are the main factors behind this increase. We are very sorry to see our educators leave, but we understand the family reasons behind so many of their decisions, including the need to take care of aging parents, reunions of separated couples, and uncertainty around opportunities for travel and time with extended family in the coming year.   We will continue to work hard to retain the extraordinary educators we have at SAS. They are our greatest strength as a school.  

At the same time, we are excited about the very high quality of the new educators we have hired for next year. We are fortunate that we see on average over 60 applications from high-quality educators around the world for every vacancy that we have. We hear from applicants, search agencies, and our peers that SAS remains a top destination for many educators. 

Given the high number of applicants we have for teacher openings, I want to share a bit about how we approach the hiring process to ensure we find candidates who both are masters of their professional craft and who will best complement the team they join.

After we identify the strongest candidates based on applications received through online education recruitment portals, we invite each of them to answer a series of questions using a video software platform. This step allows us to quickly learn more about who they are and their teaching philosophy and relevant experience before we advance anyone to the interview stage. This video is important because it enables us to see more candidates before the interview process begins. Once we identify the pool of candidates to move forward, we invite them to a panel interview where they will meet their division leaders. 

Next, for finalist candidates, we conduct detailed reference checks and ask them to submit a  sample video of their classroom teaching so we can see the educator in their practice. Seeing educators in the classroom before they join SAS gives us the opportunity to better understand how the candidate engages students, leads discussions, and creates a conducive learning environment. Once these steps are complete, our division leaders evaluate the data collected to select the best-fit candidate for the position.

One of the elements we began last year to build into the interview panel process is anti-bias training. Before the start of our panel interviews, the panel members receive introductory training on how to surface and discuss any potential implicit biases panel members may have. Our goal is to hire a talented, diverse team of teachers, and ensuring we are addressing any hidden or implicit biases on the hiring teams is an important part of this. 

We are excited about the quality of the incoming class of educators who will join us at the start of next year. I will have the chance to meet virtually with each of them in Zoom calls this spring to welcome them to SAS, as well as to conduct exit interviews with our departing faculty members.  

Please join me in deeply thanking our departing faculty for their service and get ready in a few months’ time to welcome our newbies! 

 

Best,

Tom Boasberg
Superintendent