When choosing a school, it goes without saying that every parent wants their child to be happy and settled, however when researching schools, parents often overlook the role a school community can play in creating a whole family experience.
ISKL parent Harriet Garbers (bottom left) cheering on ISKL’s athletes
For parent Harriet Garbers, joining the welcoming and dynamic community of The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) made their transition seamless, “My family has spent the last 16 years based overseas, in a variety of different exciting countries. What I have come to realize is that the school environment provides the true anchor for us in each place. We yearn for and need to feel part of a community, in lieu of family and friends at home. I can say with certainty that ISKL has been the softest of landings for us.”
Harriet, whose family joined ISKL in 2021, shares, “One crucial aspect of the school experience that ISKL understands so deeply is the importance of students feeling that they belong. ‘Once a Panther, Always a Panther’ may seem like a simple school slogan, but for global children this thread of belonging is profound. The family of ISKL hit me strongly when the school was hosting one of the inter-school sporting events recently. The campus was buzzing with an energy and pride, with spectators young and old thronging the sidelines to cheer and support the ‘panthers’. The spirit was inclusive, with sportsmanship that respected and celebrated both winning and losing teams from different international schools all over Asia. It was a wonderful few days to be part of the ISKL family.”
In addition to being frequently commented on by prospective and new families, ISKL’s sense of community is something that long-term parents like Annie Poly Sanyet attribute to making a big difference in their family’s school experience.
“Quite simply, ISKL feels like home,” says Annie who has been part of ISKL’s community for more than eight years and is actively involved in ISKL’s vibrant Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
Annie is a familiar figure at the many events organized by ISKL’s PTA, including the school Booster Club supporting sporting events, Back to School Bash to welcome new and returning families, and International Festival to celebrate the diversity of ISKL’s community. She loves the camaraderie, connections, and community experience, “ISKL is like an extended family. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and had the opportunity to be involved in my daughter’s school life as she’s moved through Elementary, Middle, and now High School. Being part of ISKL’s community is a very special experience and I love how parents are welcomed on campus and how many different opportunities there are to be involved”.
With over 1,500 students representing 70 nationalities, ISKL is justifiably proud of its inclusive and friendly school community. In addition to PTA-led events, ISKL parents also enjoy access to workshops led by ISKL parents themselves that are designed to enable parents to learn from each other, make new connections, and showcase the many talents of its diverse parent body.
Supporting the learning journey, ISKL offers parents plenty of opportunities to connect and get involved. Whether it's reading to a class, sharing a lesson about their cultural identity, or coming along to one of the many events in the school’s parent program to learn about topics ranging from brain science and parenting to university applications and becoming an empty nester.
According to ISKL’s Head of School, Rami Madani belonging to a dynamic school community like ISKL’s also helps build the all-important partnership between parents and school, "We know from research that when schools and parents partner together, students learn better and become more engaged, and motivated. A dynamic school community and culture like ISKL’s creates the optimal foundation for parents to be involved in school life and to be engaged in their child’s learning process which in turn benefits their children".
Rami continues, “We are all on a learning journey together, and at ISKL we believe the more we connect, the closer we work together, and the more we understand each other, the better the experience and outcome for students. The connections we build as a community enrich all our lives, and we love seeing our parents engaged in learning and school life. We all learn from each other, it's a community experience that benefits everyone.”
That sense of community starts from the moment families first enquire. ISKL’s Admissions team and PTA Welcome Committee are on hand to ensure everyone feels welcome from the outset and support each family’s transition. As seasoned expat Susan Li shares, "ISKL is our family’s fifth international school. From the start of the process with the incredible admissions team when we were applying for entry of our three children, ISKL has demonstrated the utmost professionalism, communication, and a truly warm welcome, which we have not seen to this degree in our 15 years of living overseas. The unconditional love and support that is the paradigm of ISKL's program for all of their students are apparent and our transition has been the smoothest transition yet. Our family is so fortunate to be a part of the ISKL family."
Whether your child is starting school for the first time or transitioning from another school, you’re invited to come and find out for yourself what makes ISKL such a special community at its next Open Day on Wednesday, February 22. To register visit https://www.iskl.edu.my/admissions/iskl-open-day/