Student Keshal Patel (Class 2007) wrote the Board.


From: "Keshal Patel"
To: boardmailbox@ismanila.com
Cc: info@ismstakeholders.com
Date: 07 Sep 2006, 01:12:26 AM
Subject: Letter to the Board

September 7, 2006

To the Members of the Board of Trustees of the International School of Manila,

Our purpose as a school is to provide the best education for the children. At the moment, the catastrophe that is taking place is harming our school's name and our quality of education. At the same time, it is promoting single party rule ? no transparency of the board's actions and freezing of certain email accounts of teachers. This is unacceptable from a board that is supposed to work for the interests of the whole school community.

Quoting from the Core Beliefs, the whole school community is supposed to, "Interact through honest, respectful and open communication." It is quite evident to the faculty, administration and parents that this is not being done by the board. Former board trustee, Mr. Christopher Rowan, who resigned this morning, said, "I sense a reluctance on the part of the Board to engage with the parents, leadership team, and faculty, except at a time and in a format of our choosing. So far, we had one trustee at an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon, we chose not to participate in a faculty meeting on Tuesday afternoon, and we seem to be trying to over-manage the scheduling and configuration of other meetings, delaying a real engagement with the parents and faculty." I personally, along with many students, find this apathetic stance toward parent, student and administration concern, completely intolerable in a school setting.

Another Core Belief that has been undermined is to, "Acknowledge and celebrate our differences and encourage empathy, compassion, understanding and respect for human dignity." For many students, the method of removal of Mr. David Toze, did not represent the "respect", "empathy", or "compassion" outlined in the core beliefs. Once again, even Mr. Christopher Rowan found this unacceptable: "the manner in which the immediate termination of David Toze's contract was carried out is disrespectful to him and embarrassing to the school." Along with this fact, most of the students, administration, faculty and parents have not been informed of the reasons for the immediate dismissal of Mr. Toze ? directly contradicting the core value of "honest, respectful and open communication" mentioned earlier.

In the view of many students, you have clearly failed us as a board. It is because of your apathy that teacher's have refused to work. Now, we are deeply concerned about the future of education here at ISM. With over 199 teachers already refusing to work until the board is dismissed, we are afraid that many teachers will leave or school at the end of this year and good replacement will be difficult to find. As a result, we ask you to take into consideration the view of the students, the very heart of this school, and strongly encourage you to resign for the betterment of our ISM community.

Thank you,

Keshal Patel
Class of 2007