ISSE World Conference 2016: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Thanks to Norberto, Basil, Paola, and Karin, this conference ran smoothly and efficiently; it also gave us a look at scenery, food, customs, and traditions of Ecuador. The Welcome Dinner was held at the U.S. consulate, and Patricia and her family hosted us all so graciously.
Day 1 took us to Jefferson’s primary Campus, where we were welcomed by all the children with the presentation of all our flags, as well as a series of traditional dances by each grade level. The Salinas children greeted us with a wonderful ceremony the next day.
Joanna and Adam of Australia led the meetings, as representatives of the country last hosting the conference in 2014.
*Medical and travel insurance:
Bottom line: traveling representatives MUST have coverage of one sort or another. Medical problems occurring overseas can be extremely expensive, and it is not the host’s responsibility to cover these. Some families have coverage through their family policies, but other issues that may occur lead us to recommend that ALL traveling students acquire actual travel insurance at the time they purchase airline tickets. Because the cost of travel insurance is based on the cost of the trip, it’s very affordable for us….. our whole trip is only the cost of the airfare and perhaps a side-trip. It covers a wealth of issues as well as medical. Proof of insurance should be given to the trip organizer immediately after airfare is purchased. Star Insurance and EF Assist card-international are 2 companies presently being used. Some companies have acceptable no-pay hospitals; some must be paid ahead and reimbursed. As soon as the organizer has this information, it should be sent to the host country…. No less than two weeks. Chaperone hint: check the list and location of hospitals in the area to which you’ll travel.
*Length of exchanges:
Bottom line: three weeks are necessary to experience the full value of an ISSE exchange. As example, it is not acceptable to stay 2 weeks and then go to Disneyland. A valid explanation is necessary and some negotiation is possible for exceptions. Because it really does take three weeks to get the full benefit of this program, there should be very few exceptions, and they must be agreed upon before other plans are made. Funding is occasionally a reason to stay a bit less, and a number of schools have designed their program to happen over vacation weeks at the home school.
*Selection process-family diversity-student matching:
Bottom line: Design a thoughtful process for choosing the children who travel, and educate your chaperone thoroughly. Your chaperones MUST know their children well. All people involved in the exchange (Children, hosts, and chaperones) must be knowledgeable of the program and what their individual responsibilities are. Adaptability is essential; get familiar with the new culture and be ready to adapt. One suggestion was to have a committee at school to run by all ideas and coordinate what happens. (One family buys a $300.00 gift for their visitor. One takes a flight to a different city. Over-the-top ideas like these can be quickly nixed if heard by a thoughtful committee.) Each delegation must take a gift from their school to the host school. Each delegate should take small family gifts directly to their hosts. Train your chaperones well; this is a working position and it does not become a holiday upon arrival.
Fees remain the same, but are still confusing to some. The straightforward fees are $150 for a full exchange, $75 for a half exchange (IF THE OTHER SCHOOL CANCELLED ON YOU). The school cancelling any part of the exchange pays THE FULL FEE. Membership fee: $25. This fee is INCLUDED in any exchange fee you pay. If a school cancels totally for the year (no visit, no host) they pay the full penalty fee of $150. Please advise Bev and Sue immediately so that Bev can try to get you another exchange, and so Sue knows how to bill. If the newly assigned exchange works, regular fees apply. This is essentially an honor system in figuring out who cancelled whom. I do not know which are the cancelling schools and which would try to make it work. Also, electronic deposits are not clearly explained in some cases when they show up at our bank. As soon as you do a deposit, please send me a copy or photo of that transaction. I am imploring you to keep up the communication with me. Western Union has turned into an easy way to transfer funds,too. Send the money to me; I will cash the check, and send a personal check to Bob Herring. Information for electronic transfers has changed a bit. (I sent this email out a few months ago, but it seems not to have reached some of you.)
Name of beneficiary: INTERNATIONAL ISSE
Account number: #604406
Address of beneficiary: 3544 Glen Edge Lane, Cincinnati, Oh, USA Beneficiary’s bank: TruPartner Credit Union
Address of Beneficiary’s bank: 1717 Western Ave., Cincinnati, Oh, 45214 ,USA Routing number: 242076601
SWIFT CODE NOT NEEDED
Re-stating our calendar year:
We now give exchange assignments by the calendar year, not the school year of the Americas. Some major scheduling problems have occurred when schools vary that schedule. An exchange must be completed in that calendar year; no part or all of it may be put off until the next year. When you rearrange, it messes up the schedule planned for EACH of those school during the next year, AND the schedules of the new schools expecting a fresh exchange. No renegotiating!
Keep your school contacts current please. Mexico meets frequently: every two months. Costa Rica: will encourage St Paul to communicate more regularly. Japan needs translator for contact person: not connected to school but very familiar with ISSE. India meets every 3 months; all coordinators and principals. Deepika offered to be our coordinator for India and send minutes of those meetings to headquarters. Paola is coordinator of all three schools in Ecuador. They hold regular meetings and she should be copied on ALL communications with these schools. USA plans a meeting this fall to update 6 schools: 4 in one location and 2 others spread out. Australia meets with its coordinators 4X yearly, and sends detailed reports to headquarters. Jillian coordinates schools in China.
Bottom line: be prepared for two. In very few cases where a delegation is 4 or 5, there may be one…. by prior agreement only. Also, in the case of Japan or China, a translator is sometimes needed for the travel period. Their job should end on arrival, and the host school should not be expected to make hosting/housing arrangements for this person.
We digressed somewhat here to discuss exchanges with China. These visitors have not had extensive interactions with Westerners and we need to be very flexible if your school is partnered with China. They hire travel agents to go through the airport with them and negotiate requirements of travel. Each school should communicate extensively regarding this third adult : some plan on hosting them completely although they do not function as chaperones nor give guidance; other schools plan on two adults only and interact only at arrival and departure with them. Plan ahead. Also addressed at this time was how to integrate the Chinese students into classes: omit any lectures and schedule art, PE, and music, which is what they will offer our children as hosts. Overuse of cell phones has been a big issue with Chinese delegations. Children should have regular cameras and cells taken away upon arrival. (Full cell phone discussion later.) * Not all countries were in attendance at conference, but should note these issues so that potential misunderstandings do not happen.
Chaperones have expressed a number of concerns. Most important was being separated from their group or monitoring a split group. Host families should plan essentially the SAME activities, not only to treat the visitors equally, but to have equal access to the chaperone. Excursions need to be local only. You, as a chaperone, have the final word on where these children may/ may not go. Chaperones are reminded to check with the host school to make sure that all necessary tech/physical arrangements needed for the cultural show are actually available. Chaperones and ISSE committee should make sure the delegations are prepared to visit every grade level at the host school, and can adapt with age appropriate talk. Ask your host school to prepare a schedule ahead of time, as these class visits are essential. (Some host schools have been omitting them.) Family dinners: both chaperones should go to all the dinners (or any planned family event: lunch, tea etc.). At one school they were split and scheduled early in order to meet the families. This can be accomplished at Welcome parties, and we can rest assured that the families have been vetted beforehand. Issues should be brought to the attention of the chaperones immediately, and not held to discuss at the family get-together.
*Six year leadership plan:
Time has come to start planning for future (younger) leaders of ISSE . Are you interested? Leadership team must be stable and established; not apt to leave in year or two. Bob offered to compile a form with relevant information. Options: 1) USA younger generation takes over. Everything, all accounts, stay the same 2) Become a volunteer organization: publish a list of schools and schedule independently. 3) Become more hemisphere oriented to alleviate costs. 4) Send us an expression of interest after you meet with your teams. 5) International team: finance and organization two different locations. Please read more about this here
*Number of delegates and hosts:
The HOST school tells the visiting school how many children it can accept. In occasional cases, in small schools, a different age, same sex host may be offered successfully. Small host schools may actually offer the gender of hosts. In rare cases, children of opposite sexes may be the only offer. This is a personal situation requiring much communication and we have no definite policy statement on it. Bottom line: don’t choose your delegates before you have the hosts’ recommendations.
This is an ongoing issue with much input. We strongly recommend that cells are collected at the arrival point in your host country. Children and parents, at the original interview, should be able to state that they are capable of being without the phone for 3 weeks. Communication will be done daily through the report sent to the home school. The chaperone will be available by cell regularly. Have the children bring a camera: needing a cell for photos is not a valid request. We cannot emphasize more the importance of NOT having access to their phone during their stay.
Please send Bev some pictures of your delegations. Please don’t send staged group photos, but kids doing exciting/ different things. Send just one or two please with a few words of description, but no names. Claudia offered to create a release form for those photos which she will send to Bev to put on website. (Parents agree to have their child’s photo published in various forms as part of ISSE International) Look up International School to School Experience on Facebook and see what we’re doing. Join TSIE on Facebook as a friend, perhaps.
Prior to any photos of children being posted to publicly accessible websites, including Facebook, a media authorization form must be signed and submitted to ISSE administration. Please find the media authorization form here.
These visits are not shopping trips. Spending should not include buying tech items or clothing for family members. Travel cards seem to be working well, with an approximate value of $300. max. Chaperones should be aware of the children’s spending so that the card/cash is not used up by the first week. We are ambassadors, NOT tourists. Parents should agree to limit their child’s money according to what was agreed upon by the school. No top-ups should be sent. Be sure parents are informed correctly and reiterate to children frequently. If a cell phone is collected by the chaperone, it is totally unacceptable for the parents to send their child a new one…. as we learned from experience. Host parents should be encouraged to give different but equal gifts to their visitors; the children are (of course) aware of differences in gifting.
*Children’s communication home:
Visiting delegations are often allowed to phone home once in the middle of the stay, at the birth parents’ cost…. Call collect. The chaperone will call home on arrival; the kids are too tired and emotional to do this. All visitors should know they are to be interacting with host families, not spending time on the internet.
* Host families, too, should be asked to limit travelers’ time on the home computer….
This step was frequently omitted until now. Any delegation not following these rules: please advise Bev IMMEDIATELY, not at the end of visit.
Hosting families undergo a police check in Australia. This is very difficult in some countries, ex. Mexico. Should we all adopt at least an affidavit form stating that adult members of the household have no criminal convictions that would impact the visiting child? It would be a legal document much like the immigration forms that we’re familiar with, and include questions on personal history, school history, and legal history and records. This would be a huge step in limiting our liability should a need arise.
These were done in order of a drawn number, by the countries attending. The first round was given to their individual schools, the next round their country schools, and the final rounds given to schools not in attendance with consideration to financing and distances when possible. Matchings will be posted on the ISSE website as always.
The 2018 Conference will be held in Liu Zhou, China, in either June or July. Please send preferences to Bev or Sue. Bob will liaise with China. The 2020 conference will be confirmed before the 2018 conference. Ecuador will chair the 2018 conference, or USA Administration if in default.
The final meeting closed at 11:35 AM Friday, July 22, 2016. Respectfully submitted: Sue Bolduc
ISSE Conference 2014 – Melbourne, Australia
Day 1 – Monday, 14th April, 2014 at Weeden Heights PS
USA – Bev, Donna Mexico – Iona, Ariana Japan – Akemi, Akane India – Suchita Costa Rica – Andrea Australia – Georgina, Joanna, Vicki, Lee, Anne, Adam
- Official welcome Official welcome given by Murrundindi, an aboriginal elder.
- Weeden Heights PS Choir sang – many thanks for this.
- Australia – report – we have lost some schools since the last conference. Importance of having principals on board essential. New principal at Belgrave South PS and SelbyPS – to be contacted
- Japan – only 4 schools allowed to be involved with ISSE but many more are involved. Contact person is Akemi. She will update all later which schools (two, maybe more) will be involved later this year.
- Costa Rica – St Anthony school rep. Things going very well. No exchanges outside of America due to finances, travel etc. Mainly used by parents for children to practise their English. Always willing to host, but rarely visit.
Problem – when China visited St Anthony school the visit was great except an unexpected tour guide arrived, who was unco-operative. Joanna, Georgina & Vicki spoke about Australia’s experiences with an unexpected tour guide with Chinese exchanges who is not a part of the program. They should not be part of the ISSE program. Bev to contact Jillian about this problem to explain our position – the Travel agent is NOT part of ISSE.
- India – Bal Bahrati School – costs are an issue when sending to the northern hemisphere. Contacting India is very difficult.
- Mexico – regularly meet together. Act as a team. Did have a problem with China, but the problem was with a new co-ordinator at a Mexican school, Cenca. Another school took up that exchange.
- Ecuador – not here but report given based on information given to Bev. Not available for any exchanges this time because they have not paid their fees.
**Matchings to be done tomorrow (Tuesday)
- Communication /Emails with schools you are exchanging with –
The communication is still poor at times. Some schools take too long to reply to emails. At least one month before you travel ALL documents and plans need to be finalised. Need to check emails daily and at least acknowledge receipt and state a response timeline, which should not exceed 5 days. Some unfortunately do not respond immediately or at all. Bev has often sent a response to ask for immediate replies, but she shouldn’t do that straight away. Please send a reply email immediately even if you just acknowledge that you received the email and will address the issue/question as soon as possible (not to exceed 5 days) Please do not wait too long for replies – courtesy to the person who emailed.
Changing numbers of those going should not happen / after one month finalization. The host school sets the number to be hosted. The two schools involved in the exchange must communicate about the number of students who are to be hosted. Two chaperones – countries must be willing to send and host two chaperones, although many countries are unable to send two. Where possible please do so especially in cases of emergency ie: a child is sick. The Australian & Japanese governments state that two staff must go. Chaperones – need to take it seriously. Need to interact with all the students – their own and the host school. Tests even sent with some delegations. They need to know their responsibility. Be prepared for their roles. The ISSE Guidelines are located on the webpage.
- Maximum number of children – the two schools have to agree on the number, but the host has the right to say how many they can accept. Rules say to up to 8 students but you can negotiate the numbers. Some schools can host up to 15, but most cannot.
Japan prefer to send 6 students but will host up to 8 students. Japan & other schools –can have difficulty finding two staff – can use one teacher and the other can be an approved non-staff member who agrees to stated responsibilities. It is important that all schools understand that no parent of a travelling student may chaperone! Age of students to travel – 10, 11 & 12 years old Age of students to host – same preferred – 10, 11 & 12 years old Visas – Need to plan ahead as visas and permission from countries needs to be finalised prior to travel. Make sure you leave enough time to do all this.
- Modern Technology & Communication –
This has become a problem especially recently with some members of the delegation spending time contacting home when they should be spending time with their host child and family. These childrea are usually the ones who suffer the most from homesickness and are not actively taking part in the program if they are constantly contacting home. Internet social networking – no iPads, iPods, iPhones, etc., to be used for photography instead the children can take a camera. Many schools involved with ISSE are now on Facebook. You can ‘Friend’ it, but this can cause issues. Some countries (eg: Australia) have set policies about the use of Facebook with students aged 12 and under. Still need to look into this. School time – 10 days with China is not enough – Class time should be included as the main goal with excursions kept to a minimum. Any visiting school’s side excursions should be prior to or after the official exchange. Bob Herring – 2015 – Europe, Germany – Bob tyring to extend ISSE into the program
- Collection of Funds –
This is becoming more difficult. Proposed by Bev that we all pay the fees on the same date. Joanna proposed by the end of February as it suits Australia. Other schools agreed. All fees due by February 28th for previous year’s exchanges! No to Pay Pal.
- New webpage – updated – Looked at this – looks great! And is user friendly
As part of the program, the delegation needs to email at least 4-5 quotes plus photos about the exchange and include the date. There should be no need for usernames and passwords on the new site. Website – updated information – email details and photos to Bev and she will update it asap Two contact names and email addresses, as well as the school’s email address. All website information, updates, etc must got to Bev for addition to the new website. Please add to the Stories section of the webpage, but when you send the information – stories and comments – remember to include the date and school name relating to your story. Suggestion made to Archive old files rather than getting rid of it all together. Names of people not included, perhaps first names, last names are never used. “Tell Your ISSE Story” – send as children have written it if you like. Bev will check it before it is put on the web page. All forms are currently accessible to everyone. No password needed. Facebook site for ISSE? Discussed Only designated people to be able to access it, however we need to look into this more. Can use wikispaces.com site created as a diary of the exchange. Adam Foster from Mount View showed us the site he used for his delegation’s visit to Peru. Kizoa – free program to download photos & video etc – name of the program Adam used to upload a slideshow of pictures daily to his wikispaces web page. ISSE LOGO on webpage – Bev to email this as a jpeg
- ISSE Co-Ordinators –
As the ISSE co-ordinator & their committee – we must oversee the exchange process – meetings, cultural program, class sessions, travelling etc. Australia, Japan and Mexico meet regularly but the other countries do not. Each country must decide who is to be their “designated” ISSE representative for their country. Someone who can co-ordinate / be responsible for their country’s ISSE program, and hopefully attend conferences.
- Treasurer’s Report
Looked at the Treasurer’s Report from July 1, 2012 to Feb 28, 2014 Excess funds – do we offer a scholarship to a country so that a delegate from a country is able to attend? What type of criteria do we set for this? Do we make it a lottery? Will need to think further about this. Need to think how we can use the money towards the scholarship. Be open to all schools. Scholarship not applied to those in the same zone (hemisphere). Countries must apply to Bev stating needs for funds. We’ll have a lottery to draw 2 country names and offer those countries towards the cost for travel to the conference. Scholarships to be offered in zones – east & west. $1,000 USD to be offered for the scholarship. Bev to draw the names of the countries and contact them.
Day 2 – Tuesday, 15th April, 2014 at Mount View PS Introduction by Colin Dobson – great introduction which summed up ISSE so well. Guest Speaker- Alice Pung – excellent speaker and very inspirational.
- Recap on yesterday’s information
Classroom visits are mandatory. China in particular need to either postpone their travel guide, or understand that the guide is not part of the ISSE program and will not be hosted for a homestay. When in China rather than always sending students on excursions the delegation must be in classrooms more. Communication is essential so please respond immediately even if it is simply to acknowledge that you have read the email and will check the information. Chaperones must be aware of the ISSE guidelines as the chaperone. Check the webpage. Interact with and supervise the children – your delegation and the school you are visiting. Please do not send your delegation with too much work, especially exams. Homework should be kept to a minimum or rather just keep it to writing a journal. Children and staff who are visiting the school are to teach and experience class lessons in that school. All electronics – no communication device to be used during the exchange. If taken on the flight, the chaperone is to collect these during the exchange. If the chaperone is uncomfortable about taking away these devices (mobile phone, etc.) because of concern over repercussions when they return home, the ISSE co-ordinator at the school can take charge of this. Limit the computer time at the host family. No real time contact – this is to assist with avoiding homesickness. Communication prior to the exchange about your school’s expectations is a huge help. It also explains to the parents the other school’s expectations. (Need them to be aware from the time of Information Nights regarding the exchange as well.) Families need to stop communicating so regularly to the host family while the delegation is visiting. Sometimes unnecessary pressure is applied to the families hosting or the teacher chaperone to get information about the exchange by families back at home. This can cause stress. Need to make parents aware of this. A Scholarship of $1,000 USD will be available for attendance to future conferences. Any interested country may apply to Bev stating need for financial assistance. East / West areas rather than North & South. Nominate a representative to attend. Need a country contact for each country in order to forward information. Not allowed to have the scholarship for 2 years in a row. A number of forms are outdated. You can send Bev an email with your concerns regarding the form and the suggested changes to be made. Any forms which need to be notarised – Some countries, like Australia, where there is a considerable cost involved in getting a notarisation, the form will be updated allowing a person of authority to notarise the form; as long as they can be filled in by a person of authority eg: the principal. Bev is not receiving the forms which need to be sent to her. Please make sure you send the required forms to here in particular Form 5. Many thanks to Japan who regularly complete all forms and send these to Bev. Form 5 needs to be sent to Bev as this assists her in assessing the program. Eg: So many food issues should not be occurring. Food issues should be discussed as part of the selection process. Students are expected to try all food, if not they shouldn’t travel. Forms 3 & 4 Release of Liability – merely a protection, eg: from a plane crash Form 9 MUST be filled in and kept with the chaperone during the visit Wording to change for the Notary to say – Notary and/or in any official capacity (where applicable) Exchanges – 3 weeks duration at the school, save your extra excursions for after or before the time at the school. If you intend to change this please contact your host school. All ISSE fees are due on or before the 28th February each year.
- Setting up exchanges for the next two years
Rest of the meeting spent selecting schools to visit
- Next Conference in 2016:
Ecuador has requested to have the next conference in 2016 in the second or third week of July. If they cannot host then Colorado will be willing to host the conference.
ISSE CONFERENCE 2012 – USA
Wednesday, July 18, Day 1
We opened with a parade of ISSE nations to national anthems, flags held by Sacred Heart ISSE students. We were welcomed by Sacred Heart Principal, Mr. Nagle. He shared his own experience with hosting a student from France. A representative from Steve Chabotʼs office welcomed everyone and told of Mr. Chabotʼs commitment to international relations. Break for group photo.
Treasurer Report from Bob Herring:
- Laws of state of Ohio govern our group because that is where it was founded.
- We have two sources of income, fees and interest. Interest rates are very low.
- USA schools should write two checks, one to ISSE International and one to ISSE USA.
- Bob shared the last year report and the 8 year picture of finances.
Some countries are growing in the number of schools participating in ISSE. El Salvador is up to 3 schools and Peru is up to 5 schools. India has been encouraged to form a countrywide ISSE group so they can communicate among themselves.
Correction of agenda:
Australia will be hosting the 2014 conference. We will see which countries would be interested in hosting the 2016 and 2018 conferences.
All schools are not submitting the required forms.
- The hosting school should select the hosts at least a month prior to the visit which means the traveling delegation has to have their info forms to the hosting school at least two months prior to the visit.
- Please communicate promptly to allow the process to run smoothly.
- It is NOT OK to send student information right before the exchange.
Glen Lewis from Urbana recommended that the forms be put in a template form so they can be completed online and sent from there to save a step. Glen introduced himself and talked about some history of ISSE. He suggested follow-through with exchanges, keeping in touch and communicating with our former guests and hosts.
Length of exchanges:
Some schools are changing the length of their exchanges. Our policy is 3-4 weeks. Two weeks are not enough time. Cultural learning and sharing are not completed. Suggestions for making the three weeks: use a week of break, use someone besides a teacher to travel. Chaperones need to know children very well. It was suggested that schools work out the time of visits among themselves.
Comments include the request to use the visiting delegation in classrooms more. It would be better if they donʼt have so much time to themselves. One day to practice the show is enough. Please allow them to visit every classroom. It is important that delegates get in to all the classrooms. Cultural show should be 30-40 min. Singing, dancing, not much talking for the show please.
Some schools send work, some donʼt. Teacher/chaperone may need to monitor in airport, somewhere besides school. Current pressure for test scores means US schools donʼt want students to miss much work. Delegates need to interact with host school students, not each other.
NO CELL PHONES!!!! If student has to talk to parents every day, they shouldnʼt be on the trip. E-mailing once a week is allowed. Calls are bad for students. If students take iPods or electronics for planes, they need to get given to the chaperone upon arrival in the host country. The difficulty of keeping parents from constant contact was discussed. Part of the interview process involves whether the parents can limit contact for the visit. No Skype. A blog is a good idea to keep parents happy without communication. Share rules again at welcome party to make expectations clear. If parent does get an e-mail, check with chaperone before panicking. It would be good to have a translator available if you have a chaperone who is not proficient at English.
Number of delegates:
Some countries are adding students at the last minute. Travel group needs to be set one month before–no additions–subtractions may happen. Ten is the maximum number. Most countries send two chaperones, so 10 is a reasonable number.
Number of chaperones:
Two chaperones is acceptable and should be accepted by all schools! Some countries REQUIRE two chaperones and so they must be accepted.
Ages of delegates:
Ages 10-12 are allowed, not 9 and not 13!!! Try to match students with same age students.
Limit the amount, no more than $300.00. The shopping is way out of hand. This is a cultural exchange, not a shopping trip.
Schools need to keep web pages updated and the contact information on the ISSE website needs to be up to date. Some of the websites donʼt have correct information. A country contact personʼs info will be put on the website for an extra place to find help. ISSE contact person needs to be on the website for each school. If your school is not up-to-date, please take of this with Bev! It is very frustrating to try to contact retired people! Website– Send Bev pictures for the website! She canʼt update the site with things she doesnʼt have! Comments are also welcome! Any good student or parent comments would be wonderful.
How to deal with Japanese requirement to travel in August:
Find hosts before the previous school year gets out–plan trips to keep them busy. Plan activities and class visits well in advance.
Liability forms must be sent to Bev. Originals are needed! These should be sent a month before the exchange.
Food, cultural, religious differences–students are expected to try any new foods. Religious food needs or allergy problems need to be respected. Get those info sheets in early so accommodations can be made!
Talk to someone who has been recently! The US State Dept. is a guideline, not a rule! Disease recommendations–you need to keep in mind that our kids are not going to areas where these diseases are common. Perhaps a Skype conference with a parent meeting would set minds at ease. Also use recent travelers to the area to set parentsʼ minds at ease. There is a level of trust that must happen between the schools.
How delegates are chosen:
Sometimes we hear that students were not really interested in what the exchange is all about. We discussed the selection process of each school. Some use school psychologist evaluations. Provide names of other families who have hosted or traveled to the same school if parents want to talk to someone. Expectations are laid out. Colorado is not allowed to choose travelers based on ability to pay for airfare. Several schools mentioned difficulty in finding host families. Some schools have problems getting a visa to travel–this needs to be done early! It is not good for ISSE when individual schools set up their own exchanges, because sometimes it leads to a school leaving ISSE. If you are going to do an outside exchange, please run it by Bev and Sue. Sue would like us to note who we are exchanging with on our checks to her, please, thank you! We discussed having each school pay $150.00 even if they donʼt complete the whole exchange. This discussion was tabled to be continued on Thursday, July 19.
ISSE Conference July 19, 2012, Day 2
Day two of the Cincinnati conference was a very exciting day! We were welcomed by Sister Johanna of the Convent of the Transfiguration. Corrections were made to the minutes from yesterday. Japan asks that we all speak more slowly. We started with choosing exchanges for 2012-2014. Please see the ISSE website for complete exchanges. After the drawing we continued our discussion from yesterday about the fees when part or all of an exchange is refused. We discussed who is responsible when part of an exchange is cancelled. We voted on a resolution that the school that does the canceling is still responsible for the $150.00 fee, the school that gets slighted only pays $75.00.
- Australia Yes II
- Costa Rica Yes I
- India Yes I
- China Yes I
- Japan Yes I
- Ecuador Yes I
- Mexico Yes III
- USA Yes II
The resolution passed that the entire $150.00 will be paid by the school canceling half of the exchange. If a school has part of the exchange canceled on them, they are only responsible for $75.00 of the exchange. Australia started a discussion of when to have the conference in 2014. The weather is better in April, May, or June, than in July. Australia will let us know when it will happen. We discussed where the conference will be in 2016 and 2018.
- Ecuador will host in 2016.
- 2018 will be in China.
- Mexico will get 2020.
Bev suggested having a scholarship fund to help pay for delegates to attend the conferences. Criteria would have to be set. Bev has had requests for help, and there are no rules in place for such support. Discussion was carried over to next dayʼs meeting. After a wonderful lunch provided by Bethany staff, we toured the lovely campus.
ISSE Conference July 20, 2012, Day 3
We were welcomed by the St. Mary ISSE coordinator, Pam Pompelia. Bev made one change to the exchanges. Please see ISSE website for current exchanges. We reviewed the important items we have discussed such as length of exchange, communication issues, chaperone responsibilities, number of delegates, number of chaperones, importance of setting limits on money taken, sending in liability forms, importance of having an ISSE contact person in every school, to make sure everyone is on the same page. Bev asked again that you send her recent pictures and comments for the website. We reiterated the importance of getting the info sheets in early to make allowance for vegetarians and other dietary needs. We also discussed the importance of talking about culture instead of just playing video games. Having the child take a photo album and keep a journal are great ideas. Please remember when choosing delegates what the real purpose is. Please trust that each school in ISSE will take care of the children! The shooting in Aurora, CO reminds us that bad things can happen anywhere! We shared fundraising ideas. Sacred Heart sells out of uniform tickets for $1.00 each. In Australia the school bears much of the cost for ISSE. They donʼt really do fundraising due to so much other fundraising at the schools. We talked about some of the challenges of chaperoning, hosting, and traveling. It is important that the chaperone knows where the students are! Students should have as nearly the same experience as possible. Chaperones should not leave the area to travel far away! Chaperones need to know the ISSE rules! You must let them know! It was suggested that the guidelines be put on the website so it is very clear and easy to find. Taizo made a statement of thanks for all the concern they received after the tsunami. He looks forward to sharing with all of us in the future. Ecuador suggested that we give the ISSE kids and teachers a certificate after participation. Everyone liked this idea so we discussed how to make the logo look good for a certificate. We really need two certificates, one for kids who travel and one for kids who host. Paola from Ameyalli offered to work on this. Bob Herring suggested to get some more mix in the exchanges, we have something like Special Projects week, inviting schools from all over, hosted by the whole school, and focusing on something in the arts while they are there. We talked about maybe having a 10 day program, inviting schools that might be interested in a short exchange to get them interested in ISSE. We also talked about having all the Cincinnati schools host at the same time and having a parade downtown. We all like the idea and will start working on this. Scholarship idea: Each country could decide who should get a scholarship. We talked about the country fees and whether they should be raised. This idea was tabled. Skyline Awards were handed out. Winners were:
- Best use of the English language by someone who is not from the US or England: Joanna from Australia!
- Most likely to get lost in a foreign country and best evening attire: Suchita from India!
- Most punctual and best candy: Japan!
- Most enthusiastic (besides Melinda) Arianna, Mexico!
- Able to control an entire conference of people who have the attention spans and listening skills of third graders, Bev and Sue!
- Most brave for volunteering to host a conference without any people from her country to back her up–Ecuador, Paola, and Jillian, China!!!!
- Super Shopper Award–Nuevo Continente, Martha and Iona!
- Best Sister Act with Mom included–Ameyalli, Olga Patricia, Paola, and Sandra!
- Miss Congeniality–Andrea, Costa Rica!
Congratulations, Everyone! We talked about expansion. A school in Mexico is exchanging in Oregon. We are hopeful that this school will join. Mexico is not accepting new schools until some new schools sign up around the world! Letʼs all try to get some more students involved! Our goal is to sign up 5 more schools by the next conference! It was suggested that it would be an excellent idea to have chaperones who travel with ISSE a great deal to attend the conferences, if possible. It is believed that they would have much to add to our discussions. It was also suggested that delegates to international conventions think carefully about bringing family members to the conference. Sometimes it can be difficult to provide housing and care for other family members. Please be considerate of the host country!
2010 Conference in Japan CONFERENCE MINUTES
July 24, 2010 Dear Members and Friends, The following are the minutes of the ISSE World Conference in Tokoname, Japan held July 12-15, 2010. The conference was opened by Taizo Fukuta, assisted by Akemi Tsuzuki and representatives and volunteers of Japan. People attending were Administrator, Bev Campbell and Donna Dillman, USA. Sharon Smith, Birmingham School, Australia; Lizbeth and Rodrigo Fernandez of St. Anthony, Costa Rica; Suman Kumar, Bluebells School, Rupali Munjal, Bal Bharati, India; Dr. Tan Khun and Jenny , Sri Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Margara and Juan Aguilar of Anahuac, Iona Astorga, Hilbert, and Elisa Diaz of Nuevo Continente , Mexico. Opening Day: Bev Campbell thanked the delegates from Japan for all the hard work that went into preparing for the conference. Bev began the discussion of how to facilitate exchanges with Japan. A plan that would have Japan exchanging with two different schools in one calendar year was proposed and discussion followed. It was noted that the delegates present were willing to try this plan; however, it had to be approved by the head of the board of education. After meeting with the president of the Board of Education, Bev reported that he was willing to try the plan and this would be reflected in the lottery at this conference. Concerns were expressed also, that only four schools from Japan were participating. Japanese representatives agreed to look into this. Discussion was held as to why Japan needs to send delegates to schools prior to visits. This is costly and schools are approved by other ISSE member schools. Delegates from Japan replied that it was required by their Board of Education.
1. Due to the economy of all countries, exchanges for 2010- 2012 will be entered into the lottery according to regions. As of 2013 exchanges, once again will go outside regions. 2. Chaperones: Two chaperones are a must for many countries. Chaperones are to be treated as guests. That means that all expenses, excluding personal items and souvenirs are to be covered by their host. 3. Cultural Show: The cultural show should be a reflection of the customs, costumes, music, dances of the country. This entertainment should be limited to a thirty (30) minute presentation. There has been much improvement in this area since the last conference. 4. Cell Phones: Chaperones and schools are to continue the practice of NOcell phones in the hands of any student delegates during their travels. 5. Newsletter: With the new web site, it was decided that a newsletter was not needed. News and pictures can be posted on the web site.
Students ten to twelve years of age are to be selected to travel. At times younger or older students find it difficult to adjust to the host family and their children. Also, the exchange should be for three weeks. Side trips should occur before or after the exchange and not interfere with the length of the school visit.
Preparation for classroom visits should be completed before traveling. Teachers and students must be in classrooms. There should be little free time during the day.
If all schedules for classroom visits (including number of students in each class), home visits, field trips and other activities could be prepared before the visitors arrive they can be better prepared.
Bev reported the possibility of new schools in Colorado and the Japanese continue to approach schools in Asia. Everyone was urged to make personal contacts with friends, relatives, etc. to find other interested schools and countries. It was stressed that expansion is key to the survival of ISSE.
The Treasurer’s report from Bob Herring was distributed and approved.
Please send checks for dues as direct deposit to Bob Herring or a check to Sue made out to ISSE. Please give important information with dues. Indicate what the money covers and the names of the schools involved in the exchange covered by the payment. Also, indicate if the payment is for a full or half exchange.
The web site is new and improved. Make sure the information about your school is correct and up to date. You need to send a user name and a password to Bev in order to have access to the forms and exchange schedule on the site. Forms: Forms can be obtained from the web site. All schools are not sending forms (especially forms #3 & #4) and these are important for liability.
VISA for USA
In order to expedite the visa process list the traveling students and chaperone(s) full names, the destination of the travel, the dates of the expected exchange and send this information to Bev. She can then send you an official request to your embassy to allow the travel using ISSE letterhead. When applying for visas to any country indicate, only, that you are visiting. Do not mention school exchanges. This, also, facilitates matters.
All countries gave favorable reports. Note: It is important to remember that exchanges are educational opportunities. Students need to absorb the culture. Shopping can not be the primary activity. There must be a balance. Congratulations to Jenny Amador of Costa Rica on her retirement. Enjoy your free time, don’t forget us, and join us at the next conference. Jenny, you will be missed. Invitation to the next conference: The next conference will be held in 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Submitted by: Donna Dillman
Here is a letter from Taizo Fukuta, president of TSIE and head of ISSE Japan regarding the ISSE Conference in Japan.
Aug.18 2010 To everybody of my friends of ISSE, I’d like to express my gratitude for the conference in July from Japan of the continuation of the intense heat. We’ve looked back on the ISSE conference at the board of TSIE directors. We are grateful for participating in the conference with you. This conference was a significant conference for me too. Because this year is an age of the turning point of the 15th TSIE inauguration anniversary, and it was a great year we could have achieved a big target especially for me having held the ISSE conference in Tokoname. At this conference, we were impressed again with Bev’s, Dr. Tan’s and all of our ISSE friends’ sincere attitudes to international exchanges. We need to refer to your attitudes toward ISSE to be active in TSIE in the future. All TSIE consists of children’s guardians who volunteer. The participants of this conference might have understood the differences of the situation between teachers, the board of education and TSIE. We hopefully expect this conference will correct the orbit of the recognition, that person in educational institutions in Tokoname have toward international exchanges, in a better direction. Therefore, we all the staffs of TSIE would like to make an advance in the ISSE activities turning over a new leaf. And I believe firmly that ISSE will get a big success in the future. Please take care of yourself healthily. And I look forward to reunion at the next conference in Cincinnati., USA. Sincerely yours, Taizo Fukuta The president of TSIE