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Appointed - Dr. Alex Pethan
Mar 21, 2022
Apr 28, 2022
Dear Search Associates Colleagues,
On behalf of the Search Committee and Board of Governors of Al - Bayan International School, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Alex Pethan has accepted their offer to assume the position of Director effective at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.
Alex currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent and Secondary School Principal of Tsinghau University High School International in Beijing, China, a position he has held since 2017. Previously he was the Assistant Principal of ISG Jubail in Saudi Arabia, and the Languages Department Head and Interim Middle School Principal at the International School of Manila. Alex's first international teaching experience was in middle school and high school Spanish in Manila beginning in 2003. He also taught Spanish at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York.
Alex received his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Learning in Organizations from Vanderbilt University. Previously he earned his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University, his M.A. in Spanish Literature from Brooklyn College, and his B.A. in Spanish and Zoology at the University of Wisconsin.
Al - Bayan International School's Board of Governors, the Search Committee and Search Associates would like to thank each of the candidates who expressed interest in the Director position and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process to its successful outcome.
Al-Bayan International School
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Seeks a Director
Effective: August 2023
Application Deadline: April 28, 2022
Al-Bayan International School (BIS) opened with the new name and fully restored campus in the Fall of 2017.
BIS is a private co-educational international non-profit, KG-12, American curriculum school dedicated to serving the individual needs of all children. BIS believes in a student-centered approach that is collaborative and plans cross-curricular. BIS is the first true inclusive school in Kuwait.
The mission states, “Al-Bayan International School personalizes learning to achieve intellectual and individual growth of all students, empowering them to impact their community.”
BIS continues to be highly effective in attracting and employing faculty and staff of the highest caliber, not only in terms of educational qualifications and related work experience but also with a genuine commitment to embrace the mission of the school to personalize learning and develop the whole child.
Between August 2015 and today, the school has recruited 86 employees with at least 10 consecutive months of the contract, 70% of whom are still employed. 66% of our teachers hold Bachelors degrees, and 33% hold Masters Degrees. Teacher average experience is 11 years and leadership average experience is 8 years. Our faculty and support staff turnover is low; the average length of service is 6 years and 97% of the current staff choose to stay past their initial contract period.
BIS is positioned well as we look for the new Director to lead a fast-growing international school that has recently received a myriad of accolades internationally.
- Enrollment has doubled since the opening of the new school in 2018, even during a pandemic
- Accreditation speed, usually CIS membership takes 2-3 years, and initial accreditation takes 5-7 years. BIS was able to gain CIS membership in less than one year of opening and accomplish accreditation in 2 years from the formal application
- The Public Authority of Disabled Affairs and the Ministry of Education in Kuwait have authorized the inclusion program.
Stakeholder survey result (undertaken by FAWSEC's Board of Directors in 2020)
- 92.0% My child is supported socially and emotionally.
- 91.2% The curriculum meets my child's learning needs.
- 94.6% My child's lessons/classes challenge them to learn and improve.
- 91.5% My child's learning needs are adequately supported by the school.
- 93.8% The school has a supportive environment for students' well-being.
- 95.9% of Teachers believe the school encourages innovation of teaching strategies and assessment techniques.
- 93.0% of Teachers believe sufficient learning support is provided to students with special learning challenges to enable them to fulfill their potential.
- 98.5% of Teachers believe the school has a professional and trusting working environment.
The student body consists of approximately 450 students. There are 23 different nationalities represented and each year the school is growing as the old program graduates a class, the new program fills the incoming KG class. One hundred percent of the students graduate, and all of them attend colleges and universities.
BIS chose accreditation from CIS due to the exemplary reputation that CIS has on the global front, and we wanted to be able to showcase our school to our parents. Having accreditation allows us to recruit high-caliber staff and personnel that provide better quality education to the students.
BIS was awarded full accreditation in January 2022 from the Council of International Schools (CIS). To receive international accreditation is a distinction in its own right, but to do it in less than 3 years from applying to be accredited and during the COVID pandemic speaks volumes as to the quality of education that BIS offers.
Below is the timeline showing Al-Bayan International School’s rapid accreditation:
- December 2018 Applied for CIS membership
- April 2019: Obtained membership status, which enabled BIS to apply to other programs within CIS
- February 2020: Submitted report
- April 2020: Virtual visit by CIS
- May 2020: BIS received Candidacy for accreditation
- November 2021: CIS Team Visit
- January 2022: Received accreditation valid until January 2027.
Additionally, BIS is licensed by the Kuwait Ministry of Education and is an affiliate member of AAIE and NESA.
At Al-Bayan International School, our aim is to develop critical thinking, inquisitive, and inquiring students who will become life-long learners with a strong sense of empathy and global citizenship.
The BIS Curriculum integrates the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards which are supported by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools (A/OPR/OS). AERO English/Language Arts and Mathematics Frameworks are fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). AERO Science is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which target science, engineering and cross-cutting concepts.
The BIS academic program provides a solid foundation of skills and concepts not only in language arts, math, and science, but also in social science, technology, the arts, P.E., and Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) to enrich and extend student learning. As educators, our goal is to ensure that each one of our students progresses academically, socially, and personally.
The guiding principle of our Mission Statement is to provide personalized education to all students. Accordingly, class size is small with support and remediation, as well as challenge and extension work, are given when needed. Lessons are created and developed to deepen application of concepts and skills, leading to reflection and evaluation of student progress. By these means, we ensure that all students achieve their aspirational targets.
Each year, your child (grades K-12) will be assessed on a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a computer. We give students MAP Growth tests (September/fall, January/winter, and April/spring) to determine their instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in math and reading. Please click here to view NWEA MAP Assessment page.
The school offers an extensive and popular extracurricular activity and sports program. Current activities include: volleyball, basketball, soccer, cooking, chess, art, drama, student government and science fairs. An after-school club for KG children provides them with an opportunity to engage in extra-curricular activities, where they have a variety of fun things to do after school.
In recent years, Al-Bayan has expanded to meet an increasing demand for student placement. BIS operates on a well-equipped campus in the Hawalli suburb of Kuwait City. The campus houses students from KG-12. One of the priorities for the new Director will be to work with the Board on moving the current campus to a larger campus to accommodate the growth of the school.
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN (STRATEGIC PLAN)
The school has a 4-year school improvement plan (2020-2024) for which each school level is responsible – this plan was created as a joint effort from the staff, leadership team, PTA during the preparatory stage of the CIS accreditation process. The plan’s objectives focus on:
a) Student Growth
b) Curriculum and Instruction
c) School Culture
d) Community Partnerships
The academic calendar for faculty is mid-August to mid-June. The year is divided into two semesters.
The Search Committee is looking for an educator with international experience who wishes to live and work in the Middle East. The Committee is searching for an individual who has a strong academic background in early childhood education as well as experience as a Preschool Principal.
- Master’s degree with specialization in leadership, education, administration or related fields.
- Certification in Educational Administration preferred.
- Previous experience as a Principal.
- International experience working in a school with a clear understanding of issues involved in living and working in a country other than one’s own.
- Academic training and experience in the American or Canadian educational system with at least three years of successful leadership experience.
- Experience in implementing the principles and current trends in education, curriculum, staff development, essential elements of instruction and supervision.
- Proven ability to recruit teachers and leaders.
- Model high standards of ethical and professional behavior and the school mission’s core values; abide by all school policies and procedures when interacting with the school community.
- Ensure that the school establishes a School Improvement Plan and monitor improvement.
- Ensure that the school receives and maintains its accreditation.
- Set and communicate clear and visible direction along with high expectations.
- Commit to improvement and modeling the appropriate leadership principles and practices.
- Make data-driven decisions based on School data backed by current educational research.
- Empower staff to make appropriate decisions in support of improvement goals aligned with the mission and vision of the School.
- Work with HR/LT to hire, supervise, evaluate and terminate employees within the school in compliance with Ministry regulations.
- Create a team environment enabling staff to contribute to their full potential in pursuit of school goals.
- Ensure professional development and opportunities for professional growth are aligned with the school mission.
SCHOOL COMMUNITY FOCUS
- Build and sustain positive relationships with PTA, families, community and other stakeholders; focus on requirements, expectations and preferences that will contribute to satisfaction, trust and loyalty.
- Establish strong lines of communication with staff, students and parents.
- Be visible, approachable and active in the school community (on the playground, classroom visits, morning routine, school events, etc.).
- Effectively manage complaints and resolve them promptly and amicably.
- Lead, develop and manage the School’s budget ensuring expenses stay within the budget.
- Direct the daily operation, supervision and monitoring of students and faculty to promote a safe and orderly school environment.
- Continuously seek opportunities for different and innovative approaches to address problems and challenges.
- Maintain, update and supervise all policies as they relate to the schools; for both students and staff.
STUDENT LEARNING FOCUS
- Place the focus of work on learning and the real needs of students.
- Remain current on curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices and ensure curriculum and standards adhere to the school mission and vision.
- Develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive systems of effective instructional programs.
- Monitor internal and external comparison data and utilize results from local and international results to improve student outcomes.
- Lead and evaluate staff according to the approved Organizational Chart.
- Perform other duties assigned by the CEO and Board that are in alignment with the job description.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
- A three-year initial contract – renewals are for additional 2-year periods (as agreed by both parties)
- Transportation allowance or a school provided vehicle for professional and personal use
- Competitive tax-free salary, with a generous end of service gratuity/indemnity
- International Health insurance for candidate and accompanying spouse, children below 18 years of age
- Fully furnished housing, including utilities
- Annual flight for candidate and accompanying spouse, children below 18 years of age
- Tuition fee covered for children enrolled at BIS
- Personal shipping allowance, and settling in allowance
- Support for club membership
- Support for ongoing professional development
PROCEDURE FOR FILING AN APPLICATION
Procedure for Filing Application
Al-Bayan International School has appointed Search Associates to act as their consultant in the search for the new Director, with Barbara Powers and Brent Mutsch, acting as the lead consultants.
The deadline for applications for the position is April 28, 2022. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to accelerate the selection process if the right candidate is identified.
Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:
- A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Director position at Al-Bayan International School.
- A statement describing your educational and leadership philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
- A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
- A one-page list of references who have served as immediate supervisors with current telephone numbers and email addresses.
- A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.
Total document size should be kept to less than four (4) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .
Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be held in April and May. Please note the Search Committee could make their decision earlier if an exceptional candidate applies. Finalist candidates will be identified by the Search Committee and will be interviewed with their spouses, if applicable, in Kuwait in June by the Search Committee. Finalists will have the opportunity to meet with faculty, parents, students, and nonteaching staff. The new Director will be selected soon after the conclusion of the interviews.
We are committed to providing a safe and happy environment for all our employees and in which our students can thrive and learn. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our employees and students. All employees are subject to background checks and appropriate vetting procedures including satisfactory criminal record checks from both country of residence/home country and any other country of residence.
Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.
Candidates wishing to learn more about Al-Bayan International School should visit www.bis.edu.kw.