Head of School at Kazakhstan International School, Almaty in Kazakhstan
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Head of School
Kazakhstan International School, Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Oct 21, 19
Nov 8, 19


The Kazakhstan International School of Almaty, Kazakhstan

seeks a

Head of School

Commencing August 2020


The School

KIS was founded in 1999 by Gateway Ventures to serve the educational needs of the international expatriate community. As the School has grown, many local Kazakhstan families have become part of the School community together with expatriate families from government, business, and social welfare organizations. KIS is governed by an Advisory Board, most of whom are parents or were parents of the School. We are known for our new impressive facility, great student results, supportive parents, motivated students and professional faculty. KIS maintains a comprehensive website, containing numerous documents and reports, which potential applicants will find useful at http://www.kisnet.org/.

Campus and Facilities

Our new campus covers two and half hectares (about 7 acres) offers state of the art facilities to our students, including a performing arts theater/auditorium, library, science laboratories, design center, Early Learning Center, cafeteria, gymnasiums and extensive sports facilities. The campus is located in the heart of the Almaty Business District with the Tien Shan mountains as backdrop approximately 4km from the city center and 20 km from the Almaty International Airport.

Curriculum and Accreditation

KIS is authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization to offer the IB Primary Years, Middle Years Programs and candidate for the Diploma Program. KIS is also authorized by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education.


KIS is committed to high standards of achievement, as exemplified by a highly qualified faculty who have continuous access to current instructional materials and teaching strategies. KIS faculty and staff come from a multitude of countries including USA, Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa, France, Finland, Brazil, and Germany; the School actively supports and encourages the professional growth of its faculty and staff. Teachers enjoy an excellent benefits package and savings potential.  Almaty is a safe and interesting place to live, with a fascinating history and cultural heritage. Most faculty tend to stay for multiple contracts.

The Student Body

KIS has a richly diversified and rapidly growing population of approximately 450 students, with 30 nationalities attending the School from Early Childhood 3 through Grade 11. Kazakhstanis comprise approximately 60% of the student population and the average class size is twenty students. 

Active Parental Support

The KIS community enjoys the support of a very enthusiastic and hands-on Parent and Teacher Association that supports the education of KIS students by fostering relationships among the School, parents, and teachers, activities and communication between different parts of our community. The PTA organizes and participates in numerous events during the year, such as the Family Fall Fun day, International Day, among others, as well as creating links between the parent community and the School.

The School Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is the governing body of the School. It exists to ensure that our students receive the best education, that our teachers have all the resources to teach and benefit from a constructive working environment, and that the School budget is well funded to support our Mission, Vision and Values. The KIS Advisory Board has nine voting members. The Chair is appointed by the School’s Founder from among the members of the Board. The Board generally meets once a month to oversee and ensure School governance, School policy and to set strategic direction.

The Country and City

Location: Central Asia

Time Zone: 4 hours ahead of Central Europe Standard Time (GMT + 6) – no day light savings time practice

Area: 2,724,900 square kilometers (1,052,100 sq mi) – equivalent to the size of Western Europe, the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world

Population: 18.3 million (est. 2018)

Largest cities: Almaty (1.7 million), Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) (1 million), Shymkent (0.7 million), Karaganda (0.5 million).

Main Ethnic Groups: Ethnic Kazakhs are 63.1% of the population and ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan are 23.7%

Religions: 70% of the population is Muslim, 26% Christian (mostly Christian Orthodox

Official Language: Kazakh and Russian   

Currency: Tenge (KZT)

Capital: Nur-Sultan

Kazakhstan shares borders of 6,846 kilometers (4,254 mi) with Russia, 2,203 kilometers (1,369 mi) with Uzbekistan, 1,533 kilometers (953 mi) with China, 1,051 kilometers (653 mi) with Kyrgyzstan, and 379 kilometers (235 mi) with Turkmenistan. Major cities include Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karagandy, Shymkent, Atyrau, and Oskemen. It lies between latitudes 40° and 56° N, and longitudes 46° and 88° E. While located primarily in Asia, a small portion of Kazakhstan is also located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe.[43]

Kazakhstan's terrain extends west to east from the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains and north to south from the plains of Western Siberia to the oases and deserts of Central Asia. The Kazakh Steppe (plain), with an area of around 804,500 square kilometers (310,600 sq mi), occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest dry steppe region. The steppe is characterized by large areas of grasslands and sandy regions. Major seas, lakes and rivers include the Aral Sea, Lake Balkhash and Lake Zaysan, the Charyn River and gorge and the Ili, Irtysh, Ishim, Ural and Syr Darya rivers.


Kazakhstan has an "extreme" continental climate, with warm summers and very cold winters. Indeed, Nursultan is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar. Precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions, the winter being particularly dry.

The climate in Almaty is a humid continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. It is characterized by the influence of mountain–valley circulation. This is especially evident in the northern part of the city, located directly in the transition zone of the mountain slopes to the plains.

Annual average air temperature is equal to 10 °C (50 °F), the coldest month is January, -4.7 °C (24 °F) (on average), the warmest month (July) 23.8 °C (75 °F) (on average).



Head of School is responsible for implementing the Mission and Vision of this School.  He/she is an ex-officio member of the School Board and is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the School. 


  • Supports and advances the Mission, Vision and Beliefs of the Kazakhstan International School of Almaty.
  • Supports student learning and achievement through cooperative effort and best practices.
  • Supports and promotes the K to Grade 12 curriculum based upon IB goals and mission.
  • Supports and advances international education.
  • Incorporates current research and best practices in decision making.


  •  Advise the staff and School Board on policy development and all matters pertaining to the operation and welfare of the School.
  •  Implement Board policies.
  • Represent the School within and outside of the community.
  •  Keep the School Board informed about the programs and practices and of the School.
  • Be accountable to the School Board in respect of all aspects of safety and child protection matters at the School.

School Management

  • Serve as Chief Executive Officer of the School.
  • Develop long range plans for the School and implement these plans when approved by the School Board.
  • Maintain adequate records for the School including a system of personnel, School population and scholastic records.  Maintain adequate financial accounts, business and property records, with the assistance of the Finance Manager.  Act as a custodian of such records.
  • Ensure a safe and secure campus.
  • Establish and maintain educational standards and practices corresponding to principles mentioned in the statutes and policies.
  • Determine admissibility and placement of prospective students.

Educational Programs

  • Provide for the organization, planning, evaluation and reporting needed to implement the IB curriculum.
  • Keep informed of modern educational thought and practices by advanced study, visiting other schools and attending educational conferences.



  • Supervise the preparation and presentation of the annual budget, with the assistance of the Finance Manager, to the Board.
  • Establish and maintain efficient procedures and effective controls for the management of School funds in accordance with Board Policy and sound fiscal management practice.
  • Provide the School Board with ongoing input regarding continuing long-range fiscal plans and strategies.
  • Submit to the Board a clear and detailed explanation of any proposed budget changes.

Communications/Public Relations/Fundraising

  • Represent the School in the wider community through a program of publicity, public relations and marketing in order to keep the public informed as to the activities and successes of the School.
  • Initiate and oversee marketing opportunities.
  • Initiate and oversee fundraising opportunities

Personnel Management

  • Be responsible for the employment, promotion, re-assignment, non-renewal and termination of all employees and contractors.
  • Develop and monitor the School’s appraisal and mentoring program.
  • Inform the School Board of any personnel problems where appropriate.
  • Maintain an “open door” policy for all staff and teachers.
  • With the Human Resources department, maintain records of training, experience, professional growth, quality of performance and other pertinent data.

Support Services

  • Develop long range plans for facilities and campus management and advancement.
  • Oversee the development of capital improvement projects.
  • Close School; cancel School activities or staff meetings according to his/her best judgement due to emergency conditions.

The above responsibilities are not necessarily exclusive; it is expected that the Director carry out those additional duties as assigned by the Board in the yearly goals and objectives. 


Applicants should possess a Masters or Doctoral degree in Education with successful international school leadership experience as a Director, preferably of an IB World School.

The successful candidate will have most of the following qualities and experience:

  •  Is a skilled and motivating teacher.
  • Derives joy from the process of learning and pursuing personal growth.
  • Communicates optimism about the future of education and the school.
  • Has sound judgment to balance idealism and pragmatism
  • Is interested and accomplished in managing both the nitty-gritty and the big picture
  • Has significant experience in getting it wrong, but shows contagious excitement in leading a team in pursuit of getting it right.
  • Has the capacity to understand others.
  • Is present in the school and local community.
  • Ability to take a hands-on approach to drive, innovative, creative and student-centered improvements.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent planning, problem solving, time management and organizational skills
  • Cross-cultural openness, understanding and sensitivity
  • Capacity to develop a safe, secure and nurturing learning community


The contract will be for an initial term of 3 years, renewable thereafter by mutual agreement. The successful candidate will be offered a highly competitive employment package commensurate with his/her experience and skills.


Suitably qualified candidates should send the information, listed below, to Hans Dewaele, Chairman of the Board, by email hansdewaele@kisnet.org, to arrive as soon as possible, but no later than 8th November 2019

  • A one-page letter of application.
  • A three-page Curriculum Vitae + recent photo
  • A one-page statement of educational and leadership philosophy.
  • The names and full contact details of at least three professional references.


Interviews will take place during November 2019, with the finalists attending meetings at KIS. It is expected that spouses/partners, as applicable, be in attendance. Finalists will be invited to Almaty together with other applicants. The Board reserves the option to invite selected candidates for interview in advance of this schedule.

Did You Know…?

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