M’KIS Admissions Spotlight: Supporting Families During their International School Search
To say that this has been an unusual year for international schools, administrators, and admissions departments across the world is an understatement. The transition to temperature checks, wearing masks, social distancing, online learning, virtual tours and testing, quarantine, and so much more has tested us all.
But amidst the challenges, there is opportunity for growth. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, our Admissions Team has drawn inspiration from one of our most important roadmaps, the IB Learner Profile attributes, to help us adapt to adversity this year.
Being an IB school means we strive to develop learners that are: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, and Reflective.
In a year of tumultuous change, the attributes of the risk-taker have offered a powerful guiding principle for our Admissions Team: “We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.”
Here are a few highlights of how we are embracing our new normal and serving families with the personalized attention upon which we pride ourselves.
Tailored Virtual Tours
Although our campus has been closed, our Admissions Team has been running on all cylinders. We quickly transitioned to online tours, which are tailored for our families much like our campus visits. Although so much of what makes M’KIS unique is the palpable sense of community you feel when you are on campus, virtual tours still allow for great opportunities to share our stories and showcase our campus via 360 degree photos. Beyond the pandemic, virtual tours will continue to be an important tool for accommodating families across different countries, time zones, and circumstances.
Streamlined Testing and Orientation
While we prefer to meet and get to know all of our prospective families in person, we continue to test and evaluate our students online. Technology platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts make it possible for us to offer our families flexibility with remote testing. This year, we have also had many students start their schooling while we have been in virtual learning mode. To welcome families and support their transition, we virtually introduce them to their teachers, counselor, and principal prior to the first day. These first connections are incredibly important for families so they can ask questions and feel comfortable in their new learning environment, especially in these uncertain times.
Leading with our Values
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, families not only have many more questions than before, but the nature of the questions has changed. Questions about campus safety measures, virtual and hybrid learning, and government protocols are common. Ensuring that our families feel welcomed, cared for, and heard is always vital, but especially during a pandemic that has challenged our notions of safety and community. We continue to lead from a place of offering our families belonging, connection, and compassion, which are our key values.
By learning to work outside of our comfort zone during these unusual times, we all are demonstrating resourcefulness and resilience. And although much has changed this year, our core principles remain the same, both within our Admissions Department and more widely within our school.
Our Admissions Department continues to offer all prospective families a personalized and streamlined process, from initial inquiry to enrollment and beyond. We continue to share the sense of community and genuine care for all members of our school by focusing on the needs of each child and each family that comes through our doors. We support our families by addressing a range of topics, from the excitement and nervousness of their move, to questions about the academic, social, and emotional needs of their child, and, most recently, the safety measures we have on campus.
Although 2020 is coming to a close, we believe our work is never done, and we continue to reflect and refine our process to best serve our prospective families. We are grateful for the newest members of our M’KIS community this year, and we look forward to opening our doors to more families in 2021!