Kuwaiti School Administrators Visit Elm Park

meeting with a focus group of students

On October 19th, approximately 24 Kuwaiti School administrators visited Elm Park Community School to learn about American education and practices for school improvement and supervision.

Through a contract with the World Bank and working with the Ministry of Education, MESPA (Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association) has provided leadership training to almost two hundred principals in Kuwait over the past three years.

The principals and supervisors in Kuwait do not go thorough training to become principals and supervisors and they receive little to no professional development while in the role. MESPA has begun to change this by preparing principals to become instructional leaders.

Kuwait is a tiny, oil-rich country at the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, adjacent to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The population of Kuwait is about 60% of that of Massachusetts while it’s size is a little over 65% of that of our state. Kuwait is an ally of the United States. Muslims largely live in peace in this Islamic and chiefly democratic country. The visiting group conducted a learning walk, met with a focus group of students, met with a focus group of parents and were able to learn about Elm Park's aggressive turnaround plan from Principal, Dr. Joany Santa. The students were able to answer their questions of what it means to be a student in a turnaround school and offer feedback on the important role they have as principals. They were amazing guests and are committed to education as much as we are. The Arabic speaking community of students and parents represented Elm Park Community School well.