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Appointed - Devin Pratt
Feb 27, 19
Mar 20, 19
On behalf of the School Board and Search Committee of Walworth Barbour American International School in Even Yehuda, Israel, we wish to announce that Devin Pratt has been appointed Head-of-School beginning in August 2020.
Mr. Pratt is currently the Assistant Head-of-School at Frankfurt International School in Frankfurt, Germany, where he has served since 2015. He has also held leadership positions at Singapore American School, the American School of Bombay, Taipei American School and Jubail Academy (International Schools Group in Saudi Arabia).
Mr. Pratt earned a BS in Education from Texas Tech University, a Master of Education from the College of New Jersey and is currently a doctoral student at Northeastern University.
The Walworth Barbour American International School Board, the WBAIS Search Committee and Search Associates appreciate the quality of candidates who applied for the position and everyone who contributed to a successful search.
WALWORTH BARBOUR AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
Established under the auspices of the American Embassy in 1958, the Walworth Barbour American International School (WBAIS) in Israel is an independent, co-educational international school offering an American educational program leading to a US high school diploma for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
With a current enrollment of approximately 600 students representing more than 40 nationalities, WBAIS is a diverse and vibrant community. Approximately 35% of students are American, 40% from countries all over the world, and 25% from Israel. WBAIS families come from more than 50 nations with substantial representation from the diplomatic community, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations. The school has an extension campus in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem American International School (JAIS), which enrolls approximately 100 students in grades PreK-8.
The state-of-the-art WBAIS campus was opened in 2007 on 19 acres in the town of Even Yehuda, a residential community approximately 20 kilometers north of Tel Aviv. The purpose-built campus includes separate classroom buildings for each division, as well as a performing arts facility with a 400-seat auditorium, a full gymnasium, cafeteria, library and media center, athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
WBAIS is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). In 2008 AIS was awarded the International Credential and reauthorization was awarded in 2016.
In May of 2018, after a year-long development process involving the entire community, the WBAIS Board approved a new Mission and Vision Statement.
Our mission is to educate and prepare students for engagement in a changing world.
Our students will pursue excellence through a high-quality international curriculum which is inspired by best practices in the United States and other nations. They will learn through experience; master essential skills and concepts; and acquire the skills and habits of mind they’ll need to become critical thinkers, strategic problem solvers, and insightful researchers.
We will develop students who are reflective and curious learners; resilient, persistent and adaptive achievers; and responsible and compassionate citizens. Our students will cultivate personal motivation and passion for learning; set challenges for themselves; develop empathy for others; and find ways to make a positive difference in the world.
We will create and maintain an inclusive learning community which celebrates diversity; values effective communication and supportive collaboration; fosters enduring relationships among students, teachers, and families; and builds bridges of understanding between cultures.
Profile of a Learner
As self-directed and curious learners, WBAIS students are:
Insightful and strategic researchers
Critical and creative thinkers
Resilient, persistent and adaptable achievers
Innovative problem solvers
Responsible and compassionate citizens
WBAIS delivers a strong college preparatory program that daily seeks to deliver on the mission and vision of the school. This commitment is evidenced throughout the entire curricular program. WBAIS believes in the importance of designing a program that provides essential learning experiences for its students. The curricular program empowers students to become self-directed and curious learners who recognize their unique role in demonstrating responsibility and compassion. The student experience builds personal capacity to develop resilience and persistence so that learning opportunities are approached with adaptability and flexibility. Students engage in the program as critical and creative thinkers, solving problems innovatively and creatively. Students seek collaborative opportunities and use the power of words to skillfully communicate ideas, perspectives, and understandings.
WBAIS follows an American curriculum with instruction in English. The curriculum is associated with well-developed and rigorous standards including the Common Core, C3 Framework for Social Studies, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Teachers College Reading & Writing Program. These standards reach into each discipline and target core academic skills and learning principles, developing a strong foundation in the core disciplines and providing strong experiences in the visual arts, performing arts, and physical education. Each division invests in the curriculum to ensure that the student experience is meaningful and challenging, culminating in the high school with options to enroll in the Advanced Placement (AP) program, including the AP Capstone Program.
The faculty at WBAIS includes seventy-five certified teachers who all hold degrees from well-respected institutions from around the world. In addition to the teaching staff, WBAIS has a Head of School, Director of Teaching and Learning, four division principals and four counselors. After studying at WBAIS, students can navigate the world with a sense of wonder, responsibility, and proficiency.
The WBAIS Preschool is a place where memorable beginnings are crafted. With a foundation built upon the Reggio Emilia Approach, a uniquely progressive educational philosophy, WBAIS respects children as competent and integral members of the learning community. A highly experienced and qualified faculty facilitates learning through an experiential educational approach. Students learn and create via their senses, thereby exploiting their intrinsic curiosity and planting the seeds for further learning and success.
As students become increasingly independent, make their own choices and realize at an early age that their actions do make a difference, their sense of ownership and self-direction blossoms into a life-long love of learning with increased their self-confidence and the capacity to develop relationships that resonate beyond the classroom.
WBAIS believes each child has an innate disposition for learning and a natural curiosity that must be intentionally and carefully nurtured. Teachers implement the curriculum through keen observation and ongoing reflection of the children’s interests and needs. Through project-based learning, children are encouraged to be creative thinkers and original problem solvers.
The WBAIS Preschool strongly values working in close partnership with families while respecting each child’s natural intelligence. In doing so, we ensure that strong foundations are built during the early stages of development.
The Elementary School program at WBIS is designed to equip every child with the essential learning skills in order to become a responsible and contributing member of the community. Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science are the foundations of the school’s academic program. Additional opportunities allow children to express themselves creatively through Art, Music and Physical Education. Technology and Media Literacy is embedded throughout the K-5 curriculum.
Faculty members utilize a variety of strategies designed to enrich each student’s experience. All classes participate in field trips linked to curriculum. School traditions include holiday celebrations, assemblies, sports, concerts, and publishing parties.
Special services offered in Grades K-5 include support for students with mild learning disabilities and counseling services. Formal instruction for English Language Learners (ELL) begins in kindergarten.
Dedicated faculty provide an excellent education that both challenges and inspires our students. The curriculum reflects the best of what is known about elementary education. The active and supportive parent community has been instrumental in assisting the school to provide a program of the highest quality. Most importantly, we have incredible children who come to us from diverse backgrounds and experiences who share a common joy of learning.
WBAIS features a Middle School that serves students in the sixth through eighth grades and is characterized by its high standards of academic excellence, while meeting the unique social and emotional needs of the adolescent learner. The WBAIS learning environment fosters a sense of caring and sets the stage for achieving high personal learning standards. It is important that every child feels a sense of belonging and part of a community. Through the Buddy Program, new students gain confidence in their new surroundings, even before the first day of school. In addition, social events foster new friendships that carry over throughout the year. In the fall, the Week Without Walls program serves to solidify this sense of belonging and connection early in the year.
The core academic program consists of middle and high school level math courses, lab-based sciences, integrated humanities, and the choice of modern languages (French, Spanish, and Hebrew). This core program is supported by strong performing and visual arts and physical education programs. Students also participate in exploratory course work and a wide variety of extracurricular activities, ranging from inter-school sports to dramatic productions.
The Middle School’s 1:1 Laptop Program reflects the school’s commitment to providing 21st Century learning opportunities. Each classroom is equipped with a SmartBoard, Apple TV, and LCD Projector. Teachers and students regularly use technology tools to research particular events, design visuals to reveal new understandings, produce videos to capture a big idea, and communicate understanding to peers and teachers in real-time.
Students regularly participate in activities and service programs that promote stewardship and responsibility within the local and global community.
The high school at WBAIS is a special place that provides fertile ground for students to further grow and mature. Their experience here lasts a lifetime as attested to regularly by our alumni. The high school experience at WBAIS incorporates the best of the American system of education with an international focus. It provides students with a global perspective while ensuring that the elements of a strong liberal arts education promotes an understanding of the world from multiple perspectives and modes of thinking.
Curricular offerings provide students with an option of up to 15 Advanced Placement courses to ensure the opportunity to study a variety of subjects in depth and at the university level. In 2017-18, the Advanced Placement Capstone program was added to the program of study. In addition to the rigors of Advanced Placement study, the program encourages and promotes study in the arts to a level that allows students each year to continue their university education majoring in fields such as studio art, musical drama, and photography.
Intellectual, personal, and social growth best describes the primary goals the school has for students. WBAIS affords each student the maximum opportunity to develop close, personal relationships with members of the faculty. Two highly trained full-time counselors ensure that students receive what they need in terms of support and guidance as they navigate through adolescence and select and work toward their future goals often to include college/university matriculation.
Creativity, research, and critical thinking are infused into the academic program throughout all four grades. Each year students write a major research paper. Students in 12th Grade are required to demonstrate their research, writing, and competencies associated with these skills through the Senior Project course.
The rich co-curricular and extra-curricular program promotes the school as the focal point for student life beyond normal school hours. Popular activities include varsity teams in ten sports which compete in the International Schools Sports Tournament league (ISST); an active and popular Model United Nations program; a Robotics Club which has excelled in local and international competitions; and GAIA, an environmental club with a focus on research, fieldwork and community service.
It is expected that WBAIS high school students will devote time toward the help or betterment of others. Whether within the school or across the many opportunities outside the school, WBAIS students are regularly and actively engaged in service.
The mission of the WBAIS Athletic Department is to provide opportunities for all middle and high school students to participate and experience the benefits of sports while being part of a team. The sports program is inclusive and competitive. Athletics as an extracurricular activity is an integral part of our students’ education and growth a WBAIS. Through participation in athletics, students learn skills and participate in activities that challenge them physically, emotionally and socially. They learn to take responsibility for personal growth by developing integrity, commitment and perseverance.
The Athletic Department strongly believes that everyone is an athlete– therefore WBAIS does not hold tryouts or limit participation. Everyone is welcome to join the team and be part of the experience. Our teams compete locally and internationally in the International Schools Sports Tournament (ISST), comprised of 23 international schools mostly located in Europe.
WBAIS has a strong and dedicated coaching staff who are not only instructors of the sport, but teachers of character and development. They strive to make sure that each student has a challenging and fun experience during their respective sports season, while not losing sight of their academic responsibilities.
Students develop values such as time management, goal setting, work ethic, leadership and sportsmanship. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, these values build character and prepare graduates for success beyond AIS. The most important lesson to be imparted is to never give up.
WBAIS has perhaps the strongest Visual and Performing Arts program in Israel. From the elementary school music class to Advanced Placement Studio Art, there are incredible opportunities for students throughout the school. There are also after-school activities for artists, actors, and musicians at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
The Music Program features full instrumental (grades 5-12) and choral (grades K-12) programs, including individual and group instrumental and vocal lessons. Visual arts features instruction in multiple mediums. The Drama Program features acting classes as well as the productions of plays and musicals.
Students of all backgrounds and levels are welcome and encouraged to explore their artistic side.
Mostly catering to middle school and elementary school students, the After-School Activities Program features science, sport, movement, music, and arts. Most programs take place from Monday through Thursday, with Sunday off-campus courses like sailing, surfing, and horseback riding.
Sample activities include arts and crafts, chess, dance (jazz), drama, fashion accessories, design, horseback riding, karate, musical instruments (piano, guitar, drums, cello, flute, clarinet, recorder), orienteering, pottery, sailing, surfing, swimming, tennis, and voice lessons.
The counseling program at WBAIS is a support service designed to proactively and responsively enhance the educational experience of all students. From the day a new student and family arrive on campus, the counselor coordinates and implements the process of planning for, monitoring, and insuring the successful educational experience of each child. The goal is to support the “whole child” by addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of each student. Given the right tools and support, the counselors believe that students can succeed in each of these areas.
The counseling department consists of four full time counselors: an elementary school counselor, a middle school counselor, and two high school counselors (one for grades 9 and 10 and one for grades 11 and 12, with the latter also serving as the college counselor). Counselors meet with students on a regular basis in groups and individually. Counselors serves as a resource to teachers, parents and administrators in understanding the needs of WBAIS students. Due to the multicultural and transient nature of the student body, an important function of the counselor is to familiarize students and parents with the American system of education and facilitate their successful transition.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
The AIS “English as an Additional Language” (EAL) program is designed to help all students achieve full proficiency in English, which is vital for their long-term social and academic success. AIS provides a safe environment for students to learn by providing a challenging, comprehensive academic English language program while affirming the cultural and linguistic diversity of our students. In 2017-18 a Mother Tongue program was launched and has expanded in the 2018-19 school year towards full strength.
EAL students are identified and evaluated when they apply to AIS. They are assigned a proficiency level which is followed by an appropriate level of support to enable students to develop the language skills necessary to be successful in their program of studies. EAL instruction focuses on oral communication, expanding vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension, writing skills, and learning strategies. When an EAL student masters the appropriate grade-level content and demonstrates an advanced level of English proficiency, they are fully integrated into mainstream classes.
The WBAIS Special Education program focuses on mainstreaming students with mild learning disabilities through provision of Resource Center remediation and support. Diagnostic services, based on testing and classroom observations, are used to determine a student's strengths, areas for focused development and learning styles. Resource Center teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to implement appropriate teaching strategies, accommodations and modifications for students. An RTI (Response to Intervention) approach to early identification and support is used.
WBAIS believes that technology is a tool to be employed to further improve teaching and learning. All WBAIS students achieve a high level of technology literacy as it is integrated into the curriculum whenever appropriate and constructive. Classroom equipment is not only of the highest quality but is also utilized to its full potential with the support of the technology department. Every classroom at WBAIS is equipped with digital HDMI projectors that are capable of streaming content from a centralized digital database, as well as directly from teacher and student devices.
Elementary and middle school students are provided with iPads or MacBooks, while high school students are part of a bring-your-own-laptop program for their studies. WBAIS supports learning and home-to-school communication through a variety of information systems such as GoogleApps and PowerSchool. These applications allow efficient schoolwide communication between teachers, students and parents. Students display their work on blogs and can find their assignments and class notes online as well as having access to additional resources to enhance their learning. With a combination of effective practices and knowledgeable guidance, WBAIS provides a strong learning program further complemented through seamless technology integration.
At WBAIS, one expects, teaches and facilitates students to become global citizens. To support that goal, the school as an institution views itself as part of both the local and global community. The school is constantly holding events and fundraising for local and international charities. WBAIS hosts and supports invitationals that bring together diverse communities from both Israel and abroad.
Students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels often take part in service activities or fieldwork which is connected to the curriculum. Teachers seek to develop units with authentic links to the local and global community and use these connections to encourage authentic engagement and make learning more relevant for students.
WBAIS engages the local community through the offering of membership to the school library, access to the facilities for specific community programs, the opportunity for children to learn English on Sundays, camps during the summer, and trick or treat in October. WBAIS is also an official testing center for the SAT and ACT, which is open to any student in the nation who registers.
WBAIS takes its role in the global and local communities very seriously. The broader school community further reflects the values that are daily reinforced with students.
WBAIS is fortunate to have an engaged Parent Teacher Association whose most important role is fostering and developing community at WBAIS. The PTA organizes various community events throughout the year, including a Halloween Trick-or-Treat in October, Teacher Appreciation Day in April, and International Day in May.
In addition, the PTA Executive Committee serves as a liaison between parents, teachers and the school including:
Meeting with principals
Organizing volunteers to help with plays, shows, concerts, class parties and class trips
Maintaining contact with faculty at monthly meetings
Welcoming new families at the beginning the school year
Organizing get-togethers and events.
The WBAIS School Board is comprised of seven members, four of whom are required to be affiliated with the US Embassy and three members who represent other segments of the school community. One of the seven board seats may be filled by a person who is neither a parent nor a guardian of a registered WBAIS student. The School Board meets regularly and has general policy-making authority, with very specific responsibilities for the financial planning of the school.
Candidate Board Members representing the American Embassy shall be selected by appointment by the US Ambassador or his/her designee. Candidate Board Members representing the Community shall be selected by appointment of the existing School Board.
Vacancies that arise in the membership of the School Board between elections or appointments will be filled by a majority vote of the School Board on the candidate nominated by the chairman or chairman pro-tem.
The School Board's major responsibilities are in the areas of finances and strategic planning including:
Hiring of the Head-of-School
Approving of the annual budget and any necessary budget modifications
Assuming a supporting role in the negotiating of the teacher's agreement
Oversight of the planning and execution of all major capital improvements in the school
The WBAIS purpose-built campus was completed in 2007 and designed to provide state of the art facilities for today's student. It is located just 20 km north of Tel Aviv and sits on 19 acres. This beautiful campus includes eight buildings interconnected with shaded walkways.
Minimum of a graduate degree in Educational Leadership or Educational Administration.
At least five years of successful experience as a Director/Head-of-School or Superintendent.
Demonstrated experience in successfully recruiting, retaining and developing faculty, staff and administrators.
Excellent business acumen.
He or she should also:
Be an experienced international leader able to successfully communicate a vision of education and career preparation for the 21st century which is WBAIS mission/vision-centric.
Have a proven history of exceptional relationship development skills.
Be capable of providing leadership for the creation and execution of a multi-year planning process that focuses on improvement in all areas of the school operation.
Be able to plan and manage resources responsibly, according to policy.
Have the capacity to generate consensus and manage change in a complex multi-cultural environment.
Have the ability to effectively provide leadership to a faculty consisting of both local and international-hires.
The successful candidate will also possess a range of knowledge, skills and understandings, as well as attributes related to effective school leadership, including:
Exemplary communications skills in a variety of formats, including written, spoken, presentational and social media, and an ability to promote transparency through a collaborative and shared-decision making processes.
Up-to-date knowledge of effective leadership and instructional practices, including an understanding and support for a standards-based learning system.
Commitment to successfully leading a K-12 administrative team and to building connections both between school divisions on the WBAIS campus and between WBAIS and JAIS as partner schools.
Open-mindedness and flexibility, as well as an ability to generate creative solutions to problems.
High social and emotional intelligence coupled with an ability to listen and empathize.
A student-centered outlook, with a demonstrated capacity to honor and celebrate student work and achievement and promote student voice, engagement and leadership.
Experience with working effectively with a volunteer Board of Directors.
The performance of the Head-of-School will be evaluated semi-annually by the Board in accordance with procedures established by the Board.
SALARY & BENEFITS
The salary and benefits package are competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.
The Board of Directors has appointed Search Associates as its partner in its search for the Head of School with Dr. Brent Mutsch serving as the lead consultant. The deadline for applications for the position is March 20, 2019. 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 close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is identified.
The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee and at least three finalists will be identified. Finalist candidates together with their spouse (if applicable) will be invited to WBAIS to meet with the Board of Directors, visit the school and meet with faculty, non-teaching staff, parents, students and administrators.
The new Head of School will be selected at the conclusion of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks. The new Head-of-School will assume his/her professional responsibilities in July 2020.
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 Head of School position at Walworth Barbour International School.
A statement describing your management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
A one-page list of references with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
A maximum of four 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. Additional information about Walworth Barbour American International School can be found on the school’s web site: www.wbais.net