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From Your Executive Director: AASSA January 2019 Newsletter

Greetings AASSA Friends and Colleagues! Happy 2019! Wow! To think that the original Blade Runner movie made in 1982 with flying cars was set in the year 2019. While flying cars are not yet in the airways, self-driving cars are here – yikes! What an amazing time we live in.

What an amazing time to be a member of AASSA as well. Our updated mission, vision, values, and goals are set to propel us forward and bring us closer together as we serve our amazing communities in Latin America.

AASSA’s mission is to enhance the quality of education in our American/international member schools. Our vision is that we are a vibrant, membership-driven learning organization promoting visionary leadership, innovative programs, and fiscally sustainable services.

We believe that progressive learning in a safe and collaborative environment is essential to bettering the world. We also believe that respect, trust, and compassion generate positive relationships within a learning community.

To accomplish our mission, vision, and values we have four driving goals: Goal 1: AASSA will update its mission, vision, values, membership criteria and requirements. Goal 2: AASSA will review its programs and services to ensure alignment to its mission/vision. Goal 3: AASSA will develop a forward-looking sustained professional development plan leveraging school leadership capacity to build its network of schools for future-ready students. Goal 4: AASSA will assist member schools in attracting and retaining the best educators.

We have completed work on reviewing and updating our membership criteria and requirements that will go into place starting with the 2019-2020 school year. We are changing our Associate membership to a tiered structure with Silver, Gold, and Platinum partner memberships. We are phasing out Invitational School Membership. We have updated our Full Membership Criteria, and we are adding a Distinguished School Membership level. In addition, we are adopting a Code of Ethics as part of our Membership Criteria. Below is a list of membership requirements for Full Member Schools. Complete membership information is also available on our website.

AASSA School Membership Criteria Applications to join AASSA will be considered according to the following criteria: ● The school is located in Latin America or the Caribbean. ● The school has received formal accreditation from a recognized U.S. regional accrediting agency or from the Council of International Schools and has been in existence for a minimum of five years. Schools are required to maintain current accreditation in good standing. ● The school uses English as the primary language of instruction. ● The school follows an American/international curriculum. ● The school has a Child Protection Policy and is engaged in ongoing training regarding best Child Protection practices. ● The school is led by a Chief Administrative Officer on site. ● The school publishes in full public disclosure, their mission, programs and practices, and aligns with best practices of AASSA member schools. ● The school adheres to ethical governance with fiduciary structures in place. ● The school complies with the AASSA Code of Ethics for Member Schools. ● The school is aligned and committed to the mission and purposes of AASSA, including active participation in AASSA professional development events.

We invite all current Invitational Schools that meet our updated Full Membership Criteria to apply for Full (or Distinguished) Membership. Updated membership materials will be developed and published for the coming school year so that any school that is not currently a Full Member may apply for membership if they wish. Our goals focus our work and provide for continual improvement, refection and advancement. For example, much of Goal 1 has been accomplished, yet we must be vigilant to live our mission and ensure adherence to our membership criteria and core beliefs. A few additional highlights include the launching of a Professional Development Committee (PDC) and reorganizing the AASSA staff to create a Chief Learning Officer position.

Add the AASSA blog to your RSS reader to read and search for articles as well as our Newsletter archives. You may find the search feature particularly helpful in researching what others in our region are doing related to areas of your current work.

As always, I conclude my section of the Newsletter with One to think on… One to think on… “When students are curious, teaching and learning are never a chore” (Ostro , 2016, p. 3).

Best regards, Dereck H. Rhoads, Ed.D. AASSA Executive Director


References: Ostro , W. (2016). Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms? Alexandria, VA: AS


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