SIA launches 2022–23 school year and a new strategic plan

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Trending News

Abby Walker poses for a photo on the first day of school.

Strelitz International Academy kicked off the school year on August 22 and unveiled a new five-year strategic plan: SIA Going Forth, Embracing Innovation and Inspiring Global Action. The plan is already underway.

A steady growth in enrollment for SIA over the last few years has resulted in the school’s expansion in various aspects. This year, for example, every age group and grade has new students and the school has waitlists for many classes. SIA is already scheduling tours and accepting applications for the 2023–2024 school year as the buzz of the IB® Program and SIA’s reputation spreads.

In reimagining its campus to inspire creativity and learning, several areas of the school were added or updated. For example, a new Learning Lab in the Primary Years wing was created. The Learning Lab includes space for the learning specialists to meet with students and encourages additional student academic support and enrichment. The Early Years Cooking Center received a facelift this summer thanks to a generous community impact grant from Tidewater Jewish Foundation. The cooking center is a hub of the preschool with student cooking and baking opportunities and daily snack storage. This renovation also allows students to have an enhanced “farm-to-table” experience using the SIA garden harvest to create and extend learning opportunities. Other rennovations include the addition of new classrooms to the Early Years space, as well as an activity room for these young students to engage in gross motor development.

The International Baccularate® World School Program continues to be a globally minded and progressive way of teaching and learning that has drawn many new families to the program. Parents and students appreciate the hands-on, project-based learning that the IB® World School offers. SIA is grateful for the support from Simon Family Foundation, TJF, and the community which has helped it become the only International Baccalaureate Primary Years World School for the Primary Years in the area.

This past summer, Elyssa Brinn, SIA’s Early Years director, presented at the IB® World School International Conference in San Diego, California. Brinn’s presentation on “Provocations,” an IB® term used to describe a “hook” when introducing a unit of inquiry to inspire curiosity, wowed the IB® Conference committee so much that they asked her to become a regular presenter.

SIA’s professional development week for teachers that took place this summer included several IB® Global Leaders including Trevor Mackenzie, author of Dive into Inquiry, Inquiry Mindset Elementary Edition, and Inquiry Mindset Assessment Edition. Jessica Vance, an inquiry educator, also presented to the SIA faculty. Vance has a professional teaching and leadership background in both private and public international schools as an IB® PYP educator and PYP coordinator.

Even the SIA school lobby has a fresh new look. Students and visitors are greeted with a mural of a colorful tiger, SIA’s school mascot. The tiger was designed last year by SIA’s 2022 graduating class and is the inspiration behind the 2022–2023 wall calendar and SIA’s 2022–2027 five-year strategic plan.

SIA’s campaign theme this year is G2G, from Generation to Generation, highlighting the bridge from past to present and future. SIA is proud of the ways the school continues to honor Jewish traditions and heritage while creating a sustainable and innovative plan for the future.

For more information on the Strelitz International Academy, contact Carin Simon, director of admissions, at or 757-424-4327.

Carin Simon