International Academy Governance Council Meeting: September 15th, 2021

Reporting by Leah Raymond (’22)

In Attendance

Avondale School District, Bloomfield Hills Schools, Birmingham Public Schools, Royal Oak Schools, Rochester Community Schools, Troy School District, West Bloomfield School District

Public Comment

Amy Hochkammer, a Birmingham Public School Board of Education Trustee and member of the Oakland County Schoolboard spoke in regards to Agenda Item #1, the Council’s future meeting dates, and items she hoped to see added.

The evening of September 15th was the eve of Yom Kippur; having the meeting on that particular evening prevented members of the Jewish community from attending the meeting if so desired.

Additionally, the following meeting coincided with the Oakland County School Boards Association dinner, to which all of the trustees and superintendents are invited; thus trustees and superintendents would have conflicting commitments.

Finally, she hoped to see various items addressed by the Council:

To develop and implement a strategic plan for the International Academy

To ensure that funding and tuition at the Central Campus is equitable

To address accusitions of racist and anti-semitic comments at the Central Campus

To post minutes timely and email them to each district’s superintendent

The Council responded to her first point taking responsibility for the meeting conflicting with the eve of Yom Kippur, and mentioned intentions to change the date of the following meeting.

The resolution to alter meeting dates was approved.

Principal’s Report

Return to School: Lynne Gibson

There was a professional development day held on August 16th.  Staff and faculty discussed the focus survey results, IB exam results, the addition of Human Resources at the East Campus, C-Day format, and MYP and DP goals.  The focus survey results indicated that staff and faculty would like to focus on IA culture in the 2021-2022 school year, with a secondary focus on assessment.  For the latter, the goal is to establish common grading categories across subject areas.

International Academy Tri-Campus Goals


IB Exam Results: Joanne Juco

33 remark requests with cost covered; 15 requests resulted in a grade increase, seven of which resulted in a diploma that would otherwise not have been earned.  There was a 91% acquisition rate, at 294 out of 323 candidates receiving the diploma.  18 candidates did not receive the diploma but still received HL credit.

The IA received increased feedback from the IB this year in order to amply prepare future students for exams.

IB Evaluation Visit: Wednesday, November 10th – Friday, November 12th; virtually.  The IA is resuming sending teachers to IB trainings.

Campus Staff Meetings: Joanne Juco

Staff and faculty have been meeting to discuss Covid-19 protocol updates, curriculum night, dates for the upcoming SAT/PSAT/NMSQT tests, mentor and mentee teachers, seminars, school events, and struggling students.

C-Week: Lynne Gibson

The aim of C-Week was to foster tri-campus interaction while still being spread out with Covid-19 protocols.  Students traveled to Forgotten Harvest Farm and Oakland Avenue Urban Farm to continue with the theme of helping food insecurity.  Among other things, students picked 4000 lbs of kale at Forgotten Harvest and put bean beds to rest at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm.

Leadership Council: Lynne Gibson

The Council had their first meeting on September 8th.  The following renovations have been made to the IA Central Campus building, provided by Bloomfield Hills Schools: interior painted, old lockers removed, benches installed, two new restrooms installed, restrooms in ISC renovated, new heating and cooling system installed in a wing of the building, new music lockers installed.  The PTIA passed a motion securing $24,000 for an outdoor classroom, with construction beginning at the end of November.

Okma Campus Updates: Dr. Azra Ali

The following events have taken place so far this school year:

Club fair with 56 clubs present: August 26th

Virtual curriculum night: August 31st

Virtual Coffee with the Counselors with 48 parents: September 8th

Bower’s Farm Welcome Back Dance with 300 students: September 10th

PTIA meeting with 150 people: September 14th

Senior week with Extended Essay workday and trip to Tree Runner ropes course: September 20th-21st

The PTIA has donated 22 new picnic tables, seven new bulletin boards, and is working on beautification of the IA grounds.

The Olympics theme for this year is StarWars.  The Olympics will be held on Friday, October 1st.

Guidance Requested from Government Body: Lynne Gibson

The following items were requested to be put as discussion items in the future:

Evaluations of the IA from the Council

Teacher classroom resources

Open Meetings Act with respect to a meeting regarding the IB Evaluation with the Council

Closing Announcements

The Council passed a movement to move to a closed session to discuss attorney client privilege.

The resolution to set the following dates for future meetings was approved:

October 20th (moved from 27th)

December 15th

February 16th

April 20th

June 15th (moved from 22nd)

The meeting was brought to a close at 6:48 pm.

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