On March 14th and 15th, Senior Associate, Gez Hayden traveled to Shanghai to renew contact with Heads of Schools and Search Associates candidates at the meeting for the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS).
This conference began in the year 2000, when the leaders of ten international schools in China gathered at the Western Academy of Beijing, which was at the time housed in a former factory. They decided that each year different schools would host student cultural and sports events. Gez, founding member, and board member of ACAMIS for several years, explained that its initial purpose was to enable students in the relatively few international schools in China to meet and interact for cultural, sporting, and social purposes. Thus began the tradition of the annual meeting of school leaders, later to become the ACAMIS Annual Conference, hosted by a different China school each year.
Soon after, the number of schools in China mushroomed; sport and social interaction became possible within individual cities because of the increase in student numbers. No longer needed as a hub for the organization of student events, ACAMIS broadened its focus to encompass professional development and educational networking for teachers. In the years 2003 - 2009, when Gez sat on the Board, he became responsible for strategic planning and professional development for ACAMIS overall.
Currently, the annual ACAMIS Conference hosts leaders of the member schools, including arts and sports coordinators. Following the keynote address, which kicks off the two-day conference, delegates attend a variety of workshops. Arts and athletic directors meet separately to coordinate calendars for the coming school year. Special focus groups for technology, business management, human resources, facilities, and other issues important to ACAMIS schools also convene.
This year, an important strand of the conference addressed the practicalities of ACAMIS schools taking measures to ensure good air quality in their schools.