Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year
A Sense of Gratitude and Expectation: As we begin 2016-17, we do so with a sense of both expectation and gratitude. Gratitude to the generations of teachers, students, and parents that have come before us and who have poured their hearts and minds into making Rosslyn what it is today. Gratitude to our current community, whose deep commitment to the school’s mission and values continues to spur us forward. But most of all, gratitude to God. For we recognize above all else, that it is, “in him we live and move and have our being”.
New Staff: The sense of expectation this year is palpable. There are a number of reasons for our optimism. One reason is the new group of excellent teachers and administrators who have recently arrived and are already having a significant impact. This is a dynamic, caring, and professional group of educators, whose sense of calling to the Rosslyn community and our students is already evident. This year’s group of new staff average well over ten years of experience in their roles, and almost all have some prior, and significant, connection with East Africa.
New Facilities: New building also has added to our sense of anticipation as we look to the new school year. As the old joke in the US Midwest goes, there are really only two seasons, winter and construction. This summer we have been frantically working on a number of facilities improvements that, we hope, will be ready when the students arrive in just a few days. These include a new High School Science wing – which includes a new Chemistry lab, a new Biology lab, and two other significantly remodeled rooms – a HS Physics lab and a second HS Biology lab. As part of our new accreditation goal of excellence in Math and Science, we have also just completed the process of enlarging and renovating the two main MS Science classrooms. These improved learning spaces are also being complemented by a new Learning Support Center and a new Counseling Center – all of which have been completed over the past summer holiday.
New Security Upgrades: We also continue to be thankful for the contributions of the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Nairobi towards our campus security. Ensuring that our students and staff are safe, and feel safe, is critical to our educational mission. Grants from the US Department of State have allowed us to provide considerable security upgrades in the form of perimeter security, safe haven development, and improved campus communication systems. These upgrades will continue throughout the 2016-17 school year.
Test Scores: We are also grateful for the fresh evidence of strong learning that we received over the summer holidays in the form of standardized test results (Terra Nova and Advanced Placement Exams). While we are not a test-driven school, standardized testing can provide us with a valuable source of external feedback. Again this past year, that feedback has been extremely encouraging. Below are some graphs that tell, in broad brushstrokes, the story of student learning at Rosslyn this past year.
Summary: Between the arrivals of the new staff, the facilities developments over the summer, and the chance to build on a strong 2015-16 school year, there is definitely a mood of positive expectation on campus. What is it that God is going to do among us this year? We can’t wait to find out.