ACCREDITATION AND MISSION STATEMENT
QSI International School of Skopje (QSI Skopje) is fully accredited (pre-school through secondary) by the internationally organization Middle States Association of Colleges and School (MSA). MSA is one of six educational agencies in the Unites States which evaluate school programs. MSA accreditation verifies that QSI Skopje meets or exceeds quality educational standards, is engaged in a six-year program of continuous school improvement, and is providing quality assurance through self-evaluation and peer review. These quality measures ensure that our students easily transfer to other schools around the world.
QUALITY SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL MISSION STATEMENT
Virtually every five year old comes to school eager to learn. The mission of Quality Schools International (QSI) is to keep this urge to learn alive in every child in QSI schools. Our schools are established to provide in the English language a quality education for students in the cities we serve. These students are the children of parents of many nationalities who have come to a foreign country, usually for a limited stay of a year or more. Some students are permanent residents, citizens of the host country.
Our schools follow a logical model of education which measures success by the accomplishments and attitudes of our students. We believe that all of our students can succeed, that their successes encourage them to continue in a pattern of success, and that it is the schools' responsibility to provide the conditions for success. These conditions include
- 1) developing clear statements in measurable terms of what the student will do to demonstrate mastery of learning,
- 2) providing the time and resources needed for each student to attain mastery, and;
- 3) ensuring that students engage in learning at a level which is challenging and yet a level for which each student has the prerequisite skills necessary for success.
We believe in providing an aesthetically pleasing physical surrounding under the charge of a caring staff who believes their students will be successful, and who use time with the students as a resource for learning rather than as a boundary condition to determine when a unit of learning begins and ends. We believe in providing resources such as books, learning materials, and educational technology. In the world today children need to become proficient in the use of computers and related technology as tools to accomplish a myriad of tasks.Adopted qualities of living include universally accepted "success orientations" of trustworthiness, kindness/politeness, responsibility, independent endeavor, concern for others, group interaction, and aesthetic appreciation.
Finally we believe in working with parents to encourage our students to adopt qualities of living which lead to success long after formal schooling has ended.
SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY & OBJECTIVES
The schools of QUALITY SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL (QSI) have been founded in order to provide a quality education in the English language for expatriates living in the international community. Local citizens who want their children to be educated in English are also accepted. The schools recognize that most of the students are enrolled for only two or three years and have diverse educational backgrounds. The philosophy and objectives of QSI can be viewed here (http://qsi.org/exitoutcomes.htm) and include the following:
Attitudes Toward Learning
We believe that more learning will occur if the student has a desire to learn, has positive feelings concerning his school environment, and succeeds in his work. A comfortable atmosphere of caring and acceptance established by the school is considered important, so that each student is encouraged to strive for excellence and to be creative. An aesthetically pleasing environment with a view to appreciation of beauty and order enhances this. Each student's possibility of success increases when he works at the appropriate level of difficulty and senses positive expectations from his teachers.
Area objectives include:
Areas of Learning
Mastery of basic skills is considered a vital part of education, essential for success in studies of other subjects as well as in most situations in life. A broad and varied program of physical education, fine arts, and other activities is also considered important to enhance the interest and education of the students.
Area objectives include:
- To provide learning situation leading to mastery of appropriate topics in English and mathematics for all students.
- To provide quality instruction in science and cultural studies (geography, history, economics, etc.) for all students.
- To offer quality programs of instruction in physical education, music, and art to all students.
- To provide classes in Intensive English as appropriate.
- To offer local and foreign languages as appropriate.
- To offer selected courses in national studies (American, British, Dutch, etc.) including non-English languages as appropriate, with a view to the needs of particular nationalities and to academic adjustment upon repatriation.
- To offer courses in computer literacy to all students.
- To offer varied activities and elective classes which are not part of the regular academic program.
- To involve students in field trips and activities related to their classes, but away from school.
- To provide the appropriate materials, resources, and equipment for all areas.
For a useful and meaningful life we encourage the development of personal qualities leading to acceptable values and harmonious relationships.
Area objectives include:
- To encourage an understanding of one's self with a view to developing acceptable values such as patience, kindness, unselfishness, honesty, and consideration for others.
- To provide a positive and secure atmosphere, treating the students honestly and fairly.
- To encourage each student to feel good about himself and to help him promote similar feelings in fellow students.
- To provide guidance in problem solving and decision making situations.
- To develop a sense of responsibility and to encourage leadership.
An understanding and acceptance of the different cultures represented in the school are considered important. We believe emphasis should be placed on gaining an appreciation and knowledge of the region and the local country in particular.
Area objectives include:
- To encourage each student to recognize in a positive way his own nationality.
- To provide an atmosphere of cultural acceptance and understanding with a view to building healthy international relationships.
- To integrate into the curriculum studies of the local region and the country itself.
We believe it is essential to have an awareness of the value of protecting and improving our environment.
Area objectives include:
- To develop an awareness of environmental concerns such as overpopulation, pollution, waste of natural resources, destruction of wildlife and natural areas, and personal health.
- To promote a concern for the protection of the environment.
- To provide activities and projects for students which involve them in improving the environment.
SUMMARY OF EDUCATIONAL MODEL
QSI schools use a model of education based upon student performance. This success-oriented model has three premises:
- We believe that all students can experience success in their learning including higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, etc.
- Success breeds success.
- It is the school's responsibility to provide the conditions for this success.
We believe this success-oriented way of doing business in a school leads to optimum learning and to happy and motivated students. Using knowledge of educational research, these schools are student performance-based rather than 'time-based' or 'calendar-based'. Teachers and students in QSI schools use time as a resource to reach mastery of clearly defined objectives (unit outcomes) rather than using time as a boundary condition to determine when learning begins and ends. Our teachers are expected to employ instructional practices of excellence. However, the measure of success is not how well the teacher teaches, but how well the students learn.
The curriculum is based upon the above-mentioned objectives which, in turn, are derived from the four levels of QSI Outcomes: Exit Outcomes, Program Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Unit Outcomes.
- Exit Outcomes - When a student leaves Quality Schools International (QSI), it is purposed that each student demonstrate success in specified general outcomes or behaviors. When a student graduates from a QSI school, these outcomes are built into the graduation requirements and are reflected on both the graduation diploma and the student transcript. These outcomes are also reflected on a continual basis in the student evaluation reports at all age levels. These Exit Outcomes fall into three categories: Success Orientations, Competencies, and Knowledge. Although there are related and overlapping issues and interdependencies among these three categories, they may be identified by the verbs 'to be' (Success Orientations), 'to do' (Competencies), and 'to know' (Knowledge).
They are organized as follows:
Program Outcomes - These are derived from the Exit Outcomes and outline the school's curriculum in each of the seven departments (English, Mathematics, Cultural Studies, Science, Languages other than English, Creative and Applied Arts, and Personal Health). Each course (8 year old reading, biology, algebra, etc.) is identified in the Program Outcomes.
Course Outcomes - These are derived from the Program Outcomes and give a more detailed description of each course and include information on materials available for the course.
Unit Outcomes - Each course is divided into essential unit outcomes which are designed to require from 12 to 18 class periods for the student to attain mastery. These consist of a general statement and a series of measurable objectives (segment outcomes) which are used by the teacher and student to identify what the student must demonstrate in order to receive credit for the unit. Each unit has an evaluation instrument (usually two equivalent versions) used to determine student mastery and level of success. This may be a paper/pencil test, project, performance, or other means of determining student success.
Alignment - The teacher teaches, the materials support, and the mastery demonstrations test the objectives of the unit outcome. In other words teachers teach what they test and test what they teach. To do otherwise is not ethical. We want Mastery Learning, not Mystery Learning.
Expanded Opportunities - Students differ in time needed to attain mastery on a unit outcome. A variety of ways are employed to allow a student the time necessary ('safety net' time, class time, after school tutoring, etc.) while those who need less time are able to engage in selective outcomes and receive additional credits.
Credentialing - Aligned with this structure is the reporting system. Mastery of each unit is evaluated at the time of completion with an 'A' or'B' (mastery grades). Mediocre or poor work (C's and D's) is not accepted. It's either 'A' or 'B' or "You're not done yet!". If a student has mastered a unit with an evaluation of 'B', he or she may wish to demonstrate a higher level of mastery at a later time in the school year in order to change the evaluation to an 'A'. This encourages continuing learning. Data is entered in a computer on a daily basis and 'Status Reports' can be produced at any time. A time period (quarter, term, semester) is not evaluated; student performance in each unit outcome in which a student is engaged is evaluated.
Status Reports - Status Reports are used by teachers as a method to communicate to parents their child's academic or behavioral progress. These reports are typically sent home each mid-quarter but may be sent at any time during the school year.
Standardized Test Results - The QSI director and classroom teacher will be available to interpret and discuss individual standardized test scores with those parents who feel they need clarification of the results.
Classroom Size - We strive to have a low number of students per teacher. Twelve to fifteen students per class is ideal. It allows for constructive social interaction, group work and overall development. In some cases we may have much smaller classes and group two age levels for different activities. When we have larger classes we provide professional assistants for the teacher.
We believe that the application of these tenets results in enhanced student learning and high student motivation as students are rewarded for their successes. Last but not least, we believe a certain code of conduct to enhances student learning.
Consideration - We ask before using other people's property. We respect others and their culture. We consider other peoples feelings. We are just and fair to each other. We are honest in all situations. We respect the environment.
Communication - We respect the rights of others to disagree. We listen to others when they speak. We express ourselves with clarity. We share our opinion with others.
Cooperation - We contribute to a positive school environment. We work in harmony for the benefit of all. We behave safely at all times.
Courtesy - We remember to say please, thank you, and excuse me. We walk and talk quietly in the school. We express our appreciation to others. We greet and farewell people. We are punctual.
Commitment - We take responsibility for our own actions. We participate readily and are prepared. We are active learners and keep on task. We strive to reach our full potential. We keep the promises we make. We strive for excellence.