In uncertain times, it can be a trying task for parents to determine which international school they should send their child or children to.
Since the latest International Labour Organization (ILO) report, named Work for a Brighter Future: Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, it has become clearer to schools and universities that they must support their students through future of work transitions and readily embrace uncertainty with innovative learning solutions.
Requiring academic institutions and workplaces to think about increasing investment in people’s capabilities’, the report also highlights that “Young people will need help in navigating the increasingly difficult shift from school to work.”
To serve their students well, international schools need to be future-facing, understanding both current and upcoming industry demands.
Naturally, parents want the best education for their child; one that is progressive, broadens their horizons and helps them excel academically while equipping them with practical skills to succeed in university and beyond.
But as there’s a lot of uncertainty in the future, with globalisation and technological advances reshaping our world, parents must opt for an eco-conscious educational institution that has the best intentions for their child/children.
And one international school that offers a diverse learning environment and instils values in students that readies them for future career success is Singapore American School (SAS).
Providing an American-style education from pre-school to high school, the school’s holistic nature means learners benefit from a wide range of engaging academic and extracurricular activities.
Nestled within the Woodlands of Singapore, the SAS campus is a sight to behold. Boasting 36 acres of open pathways and lush foliage, the school’s natural surroundings are ideal for inquisitive and active students.
An international school with a social heart, SAS is committed to eco-friendly initiatives and ‘going green’ as their solar panels on campus produce one million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, also integrating two acres of the natural rainforest as a living laboratory for science classes.
Yet, in academic fields, the school also thrives by being in the 96th percentile of schools globally for having students that earn a three or higher on AP exams.
Behind the scenes of SAS, through the eyes of a Superintendent
Serving as a Superintendent of the 4,000-student Singapore American School, Tom Boasberg knows what it’s like to be a part of one of the world’s largest, most diverse and academically innovative international schools.
Prior to starting at SAS, he served last year as an adjunct lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and previously served in Hong Kong and Denver as Global Head for Corporate Development for Level 3 Communications, and as a legal advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC.
By witnessing the school’s environmental commitments and its student development strategies as a parent and a superintendent, Tom understands how SAS’ strengths prepare students for the future of work and shapes them into responsible, career-driven global changemakers.
“SAS has a reputation internationally for high-quality education, which I was familiar with through my years living in Hong Kong. That reputation is built upon a terrific faculty attracted by SAS’ commitment to professional learning, and by an experienced, energetic team of school leaders.
“The rapid economic and global changes that we are now experiencing will only accelerate for our children. That makes it all the more essential that our schools are able to help students develop the character, content knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and cultural competence that will allow them to succeed both in higher education and in life. To do all that is certainly not easy. Yet, as both a parent and a school leader, I believe that SAS is very well-positioned to do so, and I have great confidence in SAS’ current direction and strategy,” Tom explains.
Indeed, SAS has a superb reputation. Many students go on to study at top universities all over the world, and during the Summer Semester, they broaden their horizons through strategic SAS partnerships with leading education institutions such as Stanford and Columbia University.
“In high school, we have developed a collection of advanced topic courses. These college-level courses are co-created by SAS faculty and university professors from around the world, including professors from; Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Texas Tech University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale NUS Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, University of Texas…We also have a formal partnership with Syracuse University that allows our students who take our Advanced Topic courses to enroll at Syracuse University, to earn university credit concurrently,” Tom highlights.
Beyond formal education partnerships, students can also work closely with professionals from several multinational companies based in Singapore and can connect directly with professionals to learn more about potential career paths.
And in a time of uncertainty, Tom believes the social and emotional learning skills SAS provides are more important than ever.
“Students need to have a toolkit of strategies and habits to help them know what is right and to give them the strength to act on what is right in the face of difficult situations.”
That’s why elementary school counselors visit classrooms to help students learn about character and develop tools to use when they face adversity, and the reason why middle school and high school SAS students are assigned to an advisory group.
Holding onto their holistic nature, SAS also offers diverse after school activities, where students are free to explore their passion for the arts, technology, and athletics.
Previously visited by New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Medal winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, accomplished artists/actors/dancers/conductors/musicians, entrepreneurs and a Nobel Laureate, SAS is a springboard for talent, open to any career direction that students’ may choose.
Rather than letting a system define who they can become and how far they can go, SAS students revel in an uncertain future, equipped with a multitude of employable social, emotional, academic and artistic skills.
A future-facing international school like no other and open to inquiries, Tom believes SAS is giving students endless possibilities through personalised learning and insightful industry connections.
“At SAS, students prepare for the future by interacting directly with today’s professionals who can help them understand more clearly what will be required of them when they begin their careers someday,” he concludes.