Greetings Parents and Students!
Our fourth school year has gotten off to a very positive start! Over these few weeks I have heard so much positive talk in the corridors from staff, students and parents that I can hardly believe it!
The road here has been quite long and at times very challenging. Leading up to our first year we had the huge challenges of setting up the entire structure and routines of the school, of organising all contracts and purchases, recruiting and training the entire team and of course simultaneously managing a huge building project. Oh, yes, and of making our first ever calendar and timetable... Those were busy days working out of temporary offices at Junex Huset.
During our first school year there were many more challenges and I often whispered under my breath with a smile "I should write a book about this one day!" The whole team soldiered on through power cuts, water cuts, internet cable cuts (literally) and all kinds of daily doses of laughter. We had incredible obstacles to overcome, again often literally, with having building supplies delivered to the school on a daily basis and having a 70 metre tall yellow crane just to the side of the school yard. But we survived and our first year 9 classes graduated with flying colours!
During our second year we grew from 290 students to 520 students. If you count the staff and students who left the school, over half of the people in the building were new. With the new building and sports hall finished - over half of the school's rooms and over half of the school yard was also new... and with our starting years 4 and 5 for the first time - even all the classes of years 4, 5 and 6 were also new. It was quite literally ?" a new school start all over again.
Year three was calmer in some ways (no major building work or new year groups). However we still met many new faces in the corridors with a total of 200 new students replacing the old year 9s and filling up in certain year groups. There was a new school law and curriculum in Sweden to adapt to and learn. We applied for Spetsutbildning in English and got it (yesss!), we received a grant from Kulturrådet (Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, www.kulturradet.se ) and we received permission to open our school to students in years 1-3. The latter would not only require recruiting some very special teachers and staff but it would also require an evolution of the current building.
In the face of our rapid growth and new future structure, we decided to re-organise all of our internal leadership structure and re-do all our job descriptions and handbooks to meet these future challenges. It quickly became a year of planning, change and adaptation. A great deal of work was put in by all staff on all levels to make the school work both on a daily basis but also to plan ahead for a successful start in August 2012.
At a meeting during spring term, our Primary and Junior special educator Mrs Adén reminded me and of something I said in the first weeks of basic training back in 2009. Someone had asked me how long it would take before things settled down at the school and I had replied "it takes about three years to build a school, before everything starts to really fall into place"...
And there you have it, three years later and things have really started to fall into place. The school is working very well, the building structure is now final, we have a new internal organisation in place with new clear job descriptions and routines ?" all collected into handbooks for each part of the school. Never before have we been so ready for the challenges of running a successful modern school... and that feels great to be a part of!
See you in the corridors,