Dear Parents and Guardians,
Eid fitr mubarak and may this letter find you and your family in the best of health and spirits.
We all have much to celebrate and be thankful for this Eid. Foremost, as a nation we Palestinians rose to our highest levels of individual and collective responsibility by controlling the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in our land. At the same time, the American School of Palestine community succeeded in maintaining student learning during the lockdown days through our online academic program. As Muslims we can rejoice in having observed the blessed month of Ramadan under such trying circumstances. And not least, this year marks the 25th anniversary of our founding. So, this Eid represents many victories for us all. Of course, they came at a high cost. We would be wise to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses that they revealed in each of us. At ASP, we have already begun doing so.
Starting with our electronic learning program, we are pleased with its outcome and are confident in our students’ ability to transition smoothly to the next academic year. We know this from student performance, parental feedback and our observations. As we gather additional data, we aim to improve the School’s distance learning provision and resources. This is essential as online educational programs are likely to become an integral part of all schools’ academic delivery during regular attendance. In this regard, we consider the sudden immersion in online education for our teachers and students to have been highly useful in preparing ASP to continue meeting its educational mission. Parents are thus highly encouraged to fully equip their homes with the necessary electronics and utilities for facilitating a future of blended learning.
In its part, the Ministry of Education has made two changes that will affect your child’s end-of-year assessment and school attendance. First, students’ annual grades for the ending academic year 2019-2020 will be based entirely on the results of the first semester. However, when school closure began on March 9th our students had finished the third quarter for which we have complete marks. Also, for the fourth quarter that was taught online we devised a special evaluation criterion and have assembled a set of grades. Accordingly, and since we strongly believe that our learners are entitled to receive an evaluation for all academic work completed, ASP will distribute marks for the third and fourth quarters by means of an informal grading scheme along with the formal annual report card. Second, students will be required to return to school in August for a month-long review of academic subjects taught during the lockdown, which we will base on teacher feedback. We eagerly await our beloved students at this time.
As we conclude what has been a school year of unbelievable global events, we look forward towards a future of continued service to Palestine and its youth. For the last 25 years, ASP has been a leader in academic excellence, the development of citizens deeply rooted in their Palestinian heritage and identity, and of high moral character, and preparing graduates for success in an ever-changing world. This has been the vision of the late educator Mustafa Abd Allah Ramahi, the School’s founder, and remains ours for no investment has ever proven its value to the building of a humane and prosperous society better than a good education.
Kul ‘am wa antum bikhayr.
Dr Hanan Ramahi