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School Transformations

School Transformations

By Dr. Tom Hawkins, ISS Vice President for Startups, Management, and Operations 

Classroom with green walls and green floor

Transforming schools is what we do, right? We, as educators and operations professionals, want to ensure that all our schools “transform” students’ lives, “transform” the community, and even “transform” the way we teach and learn in new and innovative ways.  

Transforming what we teach, how we teach, what we assess and how we assess…these are the challenges that keep education vibrant and relevant. And these challenges are what motivate many teachers in the classroom and business office personnel/facilities specialists to constantly innovate. But sometimes, these challenges can seem overwhelming for individuals, especially those in leadership roles, and the school as a whole. Getting an outside perspective, and recommendations, can often help.


We are often afraid of bringing in someone from the outside because that might indicate that we are not “highly capable and competent” ourselves — but this is not the case. Often, thought partners or consultants from outside your school are the best way to get an objective view of what is causing the “pain points” that keep professionals up at night.


At ISS, we strive to “make a world of difference” with our services to schools. Plain and simple, we attempt to address the pain points the schools encounter so they can get back to working effectively with students and colleagues and parents to deliver on their mission and vision. We deliver on the ISS vision through consulting services, including Strategic Planning, Operations Audits, and the like. And most recently, we are launching help specifically for Teaching and Learning. 

Laura Benson and Michelle Kuhns

We are privileged to have two experts in the field of teaching and learning on our ISS curriculum team. Laura Benson has been with ISS for more than 15 years working with our schools around the world, but she is a world-renowned literacy and professional development specialist able to work with schools beyond the ISS cadre. Michelle Kuhns has recently joined the ISS team and works with our ISS and SISU Schools on curriculum and strategy for improvement. Both of these women are ready to reach out and support AMISA schools across the spectrum with individualized Teaching and Learning consultations. 

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More about the ISS Teaching and Learning Consultancy

How can we build and implement curriculum which serves students’ learning and our school missions? Why is focusing on student proficiency so essential in guiding their growth? What curriculum resources support students’ learning and foster teachers’ confidence as learning leaders? Building students’ learning with a well-aligned and edifying standards-based curriculum is at the heart of our work as teachers and leaders.  Working together, ISS Curriculum Consultancies provide essential lenses and action plans for strengthening your school’s curriculum, assessment, and instruction.  


Healthy schools engage in continuous improvement. A partnership with ISS curriculum experts (Laura Benson and Michelle Kuhns)  is helpful for schools embarking on initiatives to improve teaching and learning. This responsive and customized partnership will help you: 


  • Create a mission-driven curriculum architecture for learning.  

  • Bring your strategic learning goals into classroom practice. 

  • Develop a learning environment that promotes joy in learning. 

  • Establish a standards-based assessment system to support students’ growth and learner agency.  

  • Build capacity in teacher leadership and enhance professional learning team culture. 

In Closing

Transforming schools is what we do, but we don’t do it alone. Leveraging the experience, expertise, and insights from various professionals inside, as well as outside, your schools allows school leaders to genuinely begin to implement the transformations we say we want to see in our schools. Learn more about ISS Consultancies here, and reach out to our team to learn how ISS can help.   

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