ISKL is a school of 1500 students, 400 faculty/staff members, and 200 parents representing 68 nationalities. Expatriates make up 80 percent of the student population, residing in Kuala Lumpur on average between two to three years whilst faculty/staff members account for 91 percent and typically remain for a period of six years.
With these figures in mind and the extent of movement within the ISKL community, there is a direct link between the transition of families, educators, and faculty staff members to their wellness and well-being whilst adapting to a new city and/or country. It is a significant priority for us to establish effective structural methods of transition to support and administer positive pathways that ensure the overall welfare of each individual community member.
The establishment of a longstanding and evolving specialist ISKL Transitions Steering Committee acts as a supportive network, accessible to all ISKL members in their transition into and out of the community. It was established to unite professional in-house counselors, the Director of Student Services, and administrators, together with retaining close collaborative links to SPAN (Safe Passage Across Networks).
‘Transition’ is a word that is multi-dimensional in its term of phrase. At ISKL we focus, not merely on the transitional well-being of new-coming or departing families and staff members, but equally on those students transitioning between grade levels and campuses as well as teachers embarking upon new roles within the educational framework. As a result, the incorporation of a series of sub-committees within the transition spectrum includes:
- Ambassador Committee
- Cross-Cultural Awareness Committee
- Parent Committee
- Orientation Committee
- Stayers Committee
- Leavers Committee including Alumni Relations
- New Employee Committee
Transitioning within a New Normal
Covid-19 saw an increase in ISKL’s transitioning population and it was of utmost importance to offer support in alternative ways beyond the personal interaction we were accustomed to. Online orientation methods were established in order that all ‘Transition’ sub-committees were united and connected with each of their members during what was perceived as the most challenging period of transition. Whilst our community adapted and molded to new normals, the range of committees was one step ahead in ensuring all transitions within the spectrum were reinforced, coordinated, and prioritized with well-being strategies that kept a focus on individual morale.
From budgeting funds to be put toward transitional endeavors to collating up-to-date resources on well-being and wellness within a community, the passion and commitment of ISKL’s Transition Committee members are highlighted through their giving of personal time as volunteers in the process of supporting others. It is a united effort that uses annual planning and scheduling to ensure priority is given to the task at hand. Each individual committee member has a personal and invaluable experience that builds upon knowledge and understanding that they input into their individual role. Their commitment directly translates to a personalized service warranted and benefitted by all members of the ISKL community.
The Future of Transitions
In an ever-evolving world, we are proud to establish an ever-evolving community of members who are passionate about supporting the transition of a wider community of students, parents, educators, and faculty members. We continue to actively involve students and parents to engage and become involved in the work that we do. We encourage individuals in all areas of transition to reach out and ask the questions they wish to be answered so we can all grow together in an ever-evolving and supportive mindset.
*This article is based on a presentation by Julia Love (Director of Admissions), Jennifer Gold; Liesbet Recter (Middle School Counselors), and Alison Lewis (High School Counselor).