ISHR Director Position Statement

International School Hannover Region Director Position Statement

Hannover, Germany August 1, 2021


THE PLACE: Hannover, Germany

The Interna*onal School Hannover Region (ISHR) is situated at the center of Hannover, a vibrant mid-sized city, adjacent to Europe’s biggest urban forest and at the top of the beau*ful Maschsee, a lake where sailing, rowing, and running occur just a stone’s throw away. Faculty housing is affordable and almost all either walk, cycle, or take the tram to work. This university city has art galleries and a variety of cultural offerings, func*oning as a hub for rail links to ci*es across Europe, with Berlin ninety minutes away. Hannover is a hidden jewel of Northern Europe with a leafy urban standard of living unparalleled in affordability and public transport. The quality of life here is superb. The health care system is excellent, safety is assured, and stewardship of the environment is taken seriously. With great infrastructure, gorgeous outdoor spaces, local bakeries everywhere, small grocery stores, outdoor and indoor recrea*on (from open air swimming pools to the Opera) and numerous fes*vals, it’s easy to see why Hannover is a highly desirable city. In a recent study it ranked in the top three least stressful ci*es to live in worldwide. The School’s recrui*ng brochure gives you

THE OPPORTUNITY The Interna*onal School Hanover Region is a NEASC and CIS accredited 3K-12 Interna*onal Baccalaureate Con*nuum school, authorized to offer the Interna*onal Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (since 1999), the Middle Years Programme (in 2002) and the Primary Years Program (in 2006). The School has a growing student body of 620 students. ISHR provides an English immersion se\ng for a largely interna*onal community. German home-country na*onals cons*tute approximately 35% of the student popula*on with 60 other countries represented. There are 107 staff across grades 3K-12. The team is a perfect size to lead where collabora*on and

rela*onship building are the norm. The School's founders included interested public and educa*onal officials and German business persons, all of whom believed that the Hannover region required an interna*onal school in order to develop its poten*al as a cultural and commercial center. The new ISHR Head of School will have the opportunity to lead an enthusias*c team of faculty and staff into the future acer the comple*on of the School’s Vision for Learning 2018-2021 (Strategic Plan). The current strategic plan, the Vision for Learning, is one of the most thoughgul strategic thinking documents that exists across interna*onal schools worldwide.

more informa*on about reloca*ng to Hannover.

Page 2

Resource Group 175



The School’s mission and vision, translated into 14 languages, describes a learning community that has put crea*vity and caring at its heart since its incep*on 24 years ago. The School defines itself as progressive and aims to be on the forefront of research-based changes in educa*on. Mission ISHR is a learning community that provides an interna8onal educa8on within a crea8ve and caring environment to enable students to become life-long learners and open-minded compassionate ci8zens. Vision We nurture collabora8ve individuals who are empowered to design innova8ve solu8ons to complex problems to create a beAer world. We are a community of learners who are empowered


for ac8on and impact. We provide each student with extraordinary learning opportuni8es, choices and experiences that support them in

The ISHR Vision for Learning has provided the blueprint for development and implementa*on of a thoughgul, future-leaning, and progressive teaching and learning program. The School knows the WHY, WHAT and HOW for con*nually improving the educa*onal program with professional commitments providing the basis for the learning climate and pedagogical impera*ves across school divisions. ISHR’s Professional Commitments to Teaching and Learning ● We ensure that every child in our care is known extremely well by at least one member of our community. We are a caring community. standards in research based educa*onal prac*ce and professional self-reflec*on. We are a community of lifelong learners. ● We aim for the highest

mee8ng their full social, emo8onal and academic

poten8al. We empower them to posi8vely impact their own lives and the lives of others.

Resource Group 175

Page 3


● We provide opportuni*es for each child to reach their full poten*al; social,

emo*onal and academic. We personalize student learning .

● We value and support distributed leadership. We foster collec8ve responsibility for change and growth. ● We foster a respecgul school culture that enables honest and reflec*ve dialogue. We take collec8ve responsibility for nurturing a posi8ve learning environment. Global transforma*on provides the founda*on for how ISHR thinks about educa*on. In September 2015, 193 World Leaders ra*fied 17 Global Goals. Achieving the Global Goals is the challenge of a new genera*on of young people. The current ISHR Vision for Learning ar*culates how the School is crea*ng opportuni*es for young people to learn how to develop self- esteem, be confident, take risks, fail forward, and be resilient. The educa*onal focus is to help students learn how to develop empathy, to care about complex problems, and to collabora*vely find the solu*ons. ISHR allows young people to find their own voice and build on talents and interests. The Secondary School is currently being restructured to create a more dis*nct Middle and High school to bemer serve the developmental needs of grades 6-12 students with a new Head of Middle School joining in August 2020. Students in 11th and 12th grade take IB Diploma Classes and the School has an inclusive philosophy with 100% of students studying for and amemp*ng the Diploma. Grade 6-10 student learning is framed by the IB Middle Years Program (MYP). The School does not have students undertake MYP e-assessments which allows it to avoid a ‘teaching for the test’ taught, wrimen, and assessed curriculum.

Resource Group 175

Page 4


Technology, Innova*on, Design- thinking, and Entrepreneurship: TIDE Most remarkable and serving as an umbrella program to inspire future- ready students is the School’s TIDE program, a progressive mul*disciplinary approach to applied technology. The School’s Head of Innova*on and Technology is an integral member of the Leadership Team and has been responsible for restructuring learning experiences for Technology, Innova*on, Design and Entrepreneurship with a collabora*ve K-12 department responsible for TIDE learning impact. TIDE is taught developmentally across the School. All Secondary students take robo*cs and design, which are deemed core courses. The TIDE teaching team also supports and coaches other staff to expand how TIDE learning experiences are integrated into all classrooms. The School has a Primary Maker Space, a small

Grade 6 is a transi*onal year where core subjects form 60% of students’ *me with 40% of the *me being Project Based Learning with staff facilita*ng, allowing 6th graders to personalize the experience of learning. Subjects are combined to facilitate transdisciplinary learning. Discovery classes allow students in 6-8th grade to take elec*ve subjects that extend their interests. The PYP programme in the Lower Primary is influenced by Reggio Emilia philosophy. Using the frameworks of the IB K-12, ISHR teachers work with children to problem-solve, reflect, and ques*on. The School is working on understanding personalized learning bemer and implemen*ng experiences that result in learning impact beyond a tradi*onal classroom. Outdoor Learning The School’s outdoor learning program was established over the last three years through the

expansion of curricular integra*on with units of instruc*on, outdoor educa*on lessons, projects, and field trips. The program emphasizes learning by doing, team-work, kinesthe*c learning, and failing forward as ways to build self-esteem and confidence to tackle the problems students face and to find solu*ons collabora*vely. With a green campus that is adjacent to both a river and lake, there are lots of opportuni*es for ISHR students to see

that the world is much bigger than themselves and learn outdoor skills. Outdoor learning is integrated into Primary Units of Inquiry. The School will realize the goal of providing a K-12 outdoor learning field trip con*nuum this year.

Resource Group 175

Page 5


Secondary Fabrica*on Lab, and a classroom devoted to Engineering, Robo*cs, Micro-Electronics, Programming and CAD/CAM. The School has developed a spirit of entrepreneurship for agency and ac*on from students, and the recently established FIRST Robo*cs team recently won the Albert Einstein Award for excellence in the First Dubai World Robo*cs Compe**on and placed third overall in interna*onal compe**on. Blending Social Entrepreneurship with Technology, Innova*on, Design and Engineering the School’s growing Project Green Machine strives to iden*fy and define ways in which this simple machine can play a contribu*ng role toward sustainability on a global level. Students use Solu*on Fluency (Design Thinking) to design and produce bicycle frames from sustainable resources. Students then design and upcycle bicycle component technologies that are

about 8 years, a factor that promotes camaraderie and connec*ons among those who have semled in Hannover and those who have arrived more recently. One senior leader described the “collec*ve willingness to engage” among faculty, ci*ng the size of the faculty as a posi*ve for both working together and embracing change. “The wheels are in mo*on; let’s con*nue this work!” And the work is focused on students: “ISHR is an inclusive school that emphasizes student well being, crea*vity, and explora*on. Although academic performance is, of course, important…students are encouraged to find joy in learning.” Parents at ISHR recognize the “warm atmosphere” and the commitment to crea*ng a “safe space” for students and families. They love the enthusiasm their children exude because they “enjoy learning at ISHR.” Parents

sustainable, eco-friendly, and possess high recycling rates. They hope to design and fit eco-friendly E-motors to their bicycles by experimen*ng with prototypes using solar power and recharging sta*ons.


Without varia*on, all cons*tuencies at ISHR noted and lauded the “sense of community” at the School. They also ar*culated a pervasive understanding that “students are at the center of all that we do!” Adjec*ves were aligned: “warm and caring school,” “friendly and inclusive community,” “we’re a family, with a solid sense of togetherness,” and “everyone cares about our commitment to our students.” The faculty at ISHR describe the culture of the School as collabora*ve, and they recognize the deep commitment to con*nuous improvement. The average tenure of the faculty is

Resource Group 175

Page 6


are equally enthusias*c about the forward-looking vision of the School under the dynamic leadership of the current Director and the changes she has implemented in recent years. They see first-hand the combina*on of academic excellence, hands-on learning, digital ci*zenship, and pastoral care that the School promotes. Students at ISHR love the close student-teacher rela*onships and appreciate the support and guidance their teachers offer. They also appreciate the parents for their support of organized ac*vi*es and extracurricular op*ons. They also love the agency they have been given to lead ini*a*ves. But most striking of all, one student said he’d been to 8 different schools, and ISHR


The Chair of the Supervisory Board sits in on the School Board mee*ngs and the School Board Chair sits in on Supervisory Board mee*ng, ensuring a healthy rela*onship between the two governing bodies. The School is registered as a GmbH (a non-profit limited liability corpora*on). ISHR is a recognized Ergänzungsschule which means that the School is supported by, and receives contribu*ons from, the local government to supplement school fees. No ques*on that the School Board and the Supervisory Board complement overall ISHR governance. Members reflect strong, blue-ribbon oversight and genera*ve prac*ces reflec*ve of high- performing school governance. A tribute to this fact is the remarkable Vision for Learning strategic thinking document, and more importantly, the level of implementa*on and sustainable change over the past years. Governance at ISHR and senior leadership collaborate successfully for the benefit of the en*re School.

The School was ini*ally founded by investment from shareholders (Bahlsen, TUI, VW, Con*nental,

Solvay, Nord LB, Uniper, and prominent local businesses). Representa*ves from these

was “absolutely the most welcoming school of all!”

companies s*ll meet annually to review the School’s progress as interested par*es. These companies have representa*on on a self- perpetua*ng Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board has the governance responsibility for the strategic direc*on and fiscal stability of ISHR as well as the ul*mate oversight of child protec*on. It is also responsible for hiring the Director. It meets four *mes a year. In addi*on, a parent elected School Board meets 7-8 *mes per year to monitor the progress on strategic implementa*on of the educa*onal program. The School Board acts as a sounding board for the Head of School for policy and educa*onal decisions. Two staff members are also elected to this board.

Resource Group 175

Page 7


FINANCES ISHR is a solidly financed non-profit private limited company. There are no loans or any other debt on its accounts. Business opera*ons as well as investments into equipment are financed through the running cash flow. The financial management at ISHR can be described as prudent and conserva*ve. The Supervisory Board has issued the direc*ve that the quality of teaching and learning has to take priority over expansion. The student popula*on at ISHR over the past 7 years has shown a moderate growth of 2% per annum on average. The admissions policies have worked well in suppor*ng the stability of the School during the inevitable ebb and flow of enrollment fluctua*ons. In the Hannover region, ISHR dis*nguishes itself for offering the IB curriculum in the English language, providing such an extensive extracurricular program, as well as spacious purpose-built facili*es, and sophis*cated technological equipment, located on a large campus so close to the city center. The state of effec*ve technological tools for pedagogy dis*nguishes ISHR further from other schools, especially in the current situa*on of the COVID-19 crisis with the need for online home learning and teaching. The shareholders of ISHR consist of 12 important companies of the Hannover Region with mul*na*onal players such as Bahlsen, Con*nental, VW, and Talanx amongst them. They have a vested interest in having a top interna*onal school in Hannover and although they do not pay regular contribu*ons to the School, their economic and poli*cal support is assured should the School ever be in need. ISHR has an opera*ng budget of approximately 10 million Euros of which roundabout 8 million Euros are generated via school fee and admission fee income and 2 million Euros are contribu*ons by the county of Lower Saxony, which are guaranteed by the Lower Saxony School Cons*tu*on.

Resource Group 175

Page 8


THE FACILITIES Located near the center of Hannover, the School occupies an historically designated school building on a spacious, green campus which includes the main school block, hos*ng the School offices and updated science laboratories. Indoor classrooms are located in four wings of facili*es and a new secondary block. There is a well-stocked K-12 library. The arts are supported by a separate purpose-built music and arts facility for both Primary and Secondary students and a drama room. A robo*cs and small fabrica*on lab are in place for Secondary students and Primary students and staff benefit from a dedicated Primary Maker Space that facilitates design thinking and solu*on finding. It gives the children a unique space to fail forward, to manipulate different materials and to explore electronics and machines. A spacious newly renovated auditorium, replete with wonderful natural light, boasts a sound desk that students can manage. Sports facili*es consist of two main gyms, a mini- gym for the youngest learners, and two open grass sports fields. A small workout area is available to students for fitness ac*vi*es. Outside, the learning spaces are plen*ful with large open playgrounds. An open outdoor space is designated as the outdoor learning area. The School has its own large growing garden and the natural habitat around the campus is designated for addi*onal learning spaces. The School has excellent IT infrastructure, with smart boards or large screens in every room. The School has an amrac*ve dining room, and faculty and staff benefit from a modern newly appointed staffroom with relaxa*on couches, ea*ng area, a laptop bar, a kitchen, and a professional coffee machine. The School is a center for a great deal of wildlife including a plethora of rabbits, ducks, buzzards, and the occasional fox!

Resource Group 175

Page 9


Change Leadership: Proven ability to set key priori*es for ongoing mission-driven improvement and to create strong community awareness, knowledge, and support to ensure a coali*on of stakeholder support. Be inclusive and decisive. Create systems for shared problem-solving and crea*ve solu*ons for sustainable implementa*on on ini*a*ves. Clarify implementa*on priori*es and realis*c pacing, se\ng short and long-term goals to achieve impacgul results. Inspiring Communicator: Communicate consistently and effec*vely across cons*tuencies, inspiring commitment to the mission, clarifying the ra*onale for decisions, and building shared understandings across divisions. Ability to listen ac*vely and speak effec*vely as pivotal

appropriate challenge for all students. Use measures of student growth for con*nuous program improvement and learning results. At the same *me, maintain the commitment to being an inclusive school. Program Breadth: In addi*on to cogni*ve achievement, ensure the implementa*on of a broad-based, holis*c curriculum that addresses the strengths of each student and provides opportuni*es for growth in many areas, from arts and athle*cs to outdoor educa*on and social- emo*onal resilience. Know ISHR students and keep their growth and development at the center of decision-making. Opera=onal exper=se: Lead with experience and confidence on opera*onal mamers, with capabili*es in finance, facili*es, human resources, and infrastructure to align the workings of the school with its mission and vision. Develop the systems, policies, and prac*ces needed to ensure progress.

The next leader of ISHR will bring a set of key leadership skills and abili:es to the work, as described here: Innova=ve academic vision: Con*nue ISHR’s trajectory to implement a world-class, future- focused program. Drive the value of research-based, innova*ve pedagogy and programs, underscoring the skills students need for their future success, using data and other sources to measure program effec*veness. Enhance teacher professional development and build collabora*ve teams that will align and strengthen the implementa*on of the school’s Vision for Learning. Educa=onal Challenge: Understand and execute on the commitment to developing the strengths of every student, through iden*fying the KEY LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES

communica*on skills for engaging the internal and external communi*es. Be visible.

Resource Group 175

Page 10



Talent development: Ability to amract, develop, and retain an outstanding cadre of faculty members who demonstrate the energy, training, and humanity to deliver an outstanding program for all ISHR students. Track record of success in amrac*ng, developing, and retaining an equally strong leadership team to scale and implement change. Wellness and safety : Bring exper*se and sensi*vity in building programs and community assets that support students with increased counseling support, pastoral care, and the best in child safety prac*ces. Community: Capacity to appreciate and engage, long-term, in deepening the connec*ons among all cons*tuencies at ISHR, understanding the importance of the local German context as well as the nature of interna*onal communi*es. Engage with the community, on campus and beyond. Demonstrate warmth, acceptance, and apprecia*on for the talented and compassionate students and families, faculty and staff at ISHR. Build connec*ons in Hannover

The successful candidate will demonstrate the background, experience, and disposi*on characterized by the following personal and professional quali*es: • Head of school experience or equivalent professional background • Exper*se and passion for the IB and for progressive educa*on program development • Confident in knowledge and implementa*on of the art and science of teaching and learning • Collabora*ve problem-solver • Strong communica*on skills • Ability to promote a compelling vision within and beyond the School • Commitment to schoolwide collabora*on • Effec*ve at making decisions and driving implementa*on • Community builder, able to unify the community around ideas of progressive educa*on • Cultural competencies and commitment to connec*ng to everyday life within the School community. • Warm and empathe*c • Crea*ve and innova*ve • Energe*c and ambi*ous APPLICATION PROCESS Interested candidates may apply online at: hmps:// If you have any ques*ons, please contact the consultants on the search: TIMELINE: The School seeks to make an appointment for the next Director at ISHR for August 1, 2021. All applica=ons should be submiHed expedi=ously and no later than May 30, 2020. The School will soon begin to interview for the posi*on and reserves the right to move forward with this appointment when the appropriate candidate has been iden*fied. • Skillful in handling complexity • High emo*onal intelligence • Sense of whimsy and good fun, engaging and personable Coreen R. Hester or Mark E. Ulfers

for the benefit of the school and the greater community.

Resource Group 175

Page 11

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11

Made with FlippingBook Publishing Software