CEO’s Message

A year to reconnect, grow together, and appreciate the many unique perspectives that make us ISANA

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. ” – Harper Lee

As we start the 2021-2022 school year and our scholars return to campus after an unprecedented 17-month period, the coronavirus pandemic provides us with an entirely new backdrop for us to work together to nurture and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills, as well as the self-confidence and awareness of our scholars.  To best support the unique learning styles of each of our students, we will be intentional in pursuing our mission of providing a whole child approach to education and make every interaction count.  We believe that effective, meaningful interactions can only happen when we are mindful of the whole child – their learning style, processing abilities, communication methods and overall well-being. And this starts by learning to appreciate the many unique perspectives that make us ISANA.

Perspective is the way we see the world. It comes from our personal point of view and is shaped by our life experiences, race, ethnicity, gender or gender expression, language, interests, abilities, values, our current state of mind, and so much more.  When we take a culturally responsive approach and open ourselves to understanding others, we learn to appreciate different perspectives and foster greater inclusion and awareness.  Not only does this help students with different backgrounds and needs succeed, but it also encourages acceptance, helps prepare students to thrive in an exponentially diverse world, and contributes to the creation of school communities that are more just, more inclusive, and more aware.

Beyond our commitment to academic excellence, this school year we will focus on understanding perspective, or point of view.  ISANA will dedicate significant attention and resources to providing safe environments and opportunities where both students and educators can recognize the perspectives that exist within our walls, enhance their self and social awareness and, therefore, increase their ability to understand their own and others’ points of view.  This not only emboldens every member of our school community to acknowledge and learn to appreciate each other, but it also helps us understand how our differences strengthen our bond.

Perspective plays a part in how our scholars view achievement in all parts of life, including their view of literacy.  One way we are going to encourage our scholars to continue in their academic life (and promote literacy) is by increasing representation of the ISANA community in the books available at ISANA schools.  We want this to be truly inclusive of every member of our school community and, as we build these libraries, we encourage our scholars and families to share the titles of some of their favorite books.  Because we well know that when students can positively identify with, and relate to, what they are reading and learning, they are more likely to feel acceptance within the classroom and this can help them grow and succeed.

When students can positively identify with, and relate to, what they are reading and learning, they are more likely to feel acceptance within the classroom and this can help them grow and succeed.

We look forward to continuing to apply innovative and diverse approaches to literacy and education and partnering with our families to provide our scholars a learning environment that respects, embraces, and celebrates our diversity. Together, we will learn to appreciate our many unique perspectives and strengths and empower our scholars to succeed.

In solidarity,

Nadia Shaiq

CEO, ISANA Academies

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