Recruitment – Recruitment of quality and multi-cultural staff is on-going. MSK advertises for open positions through its website and when needed through resources such as the Council for Exceptional Children Bulletin Board. Recruitment for teachers is focused on Certified Special Education teachers with specific subject areas identified as needed and in alignment with Kuwait Ministry requirements.
Training – MSK teachers receive an orientation and training program prior to the opening of school each year. On-going assessment of staff needs is conducted by administrative staff and staff development activities are provided, or resources indicated, in order to develop needed skills.
MSK encourages attendance at local conferences and has hosted conferences. Certificates for all training activities are maintained in the staff member’s personnel file.
The school provides professional development to assist teachers in improving pedagogy, for example through reference to best practices and through the use of technology, in order to enhance teaching /learning and to strengthen student engagement. This professional development is provided on one extended school day each week. Sessions are presented by the Vice Principal of Instruction and Curriculum, Literacy Specialist, and school therapists in addition to outside speakers, such as Meagan Cremer, Author of The First 40 Days, who presented a full-day workshop on her methods and strategies for classroom management and instruction. We also provide free, weekly ELL classes for the staff who need and/or desire it.
Conferences are regularly available in the community held by KALD, LDPA, and various university outreach programs.
Teachers are presented with seminars on differentiation, Flipped Classroom, visual and other instructional strategies, and these practices are supported by HoD’s and Admin in the classroom.
Teachers use technology, i.e. Writing Coach is an online tool for English but is also used as a cross curricular delivery system. Videos, on-line textbooks and visual organizers are used as well as the traditional hard copy textbooks. Projects and hands-on-learning are required and encouraged.
MSK works diligently to recruit and hire only staff with exceptional qualities, skills, and training for students and families with special academic needs, and we insist on sound moral character in all of our employees. Assignments are made according to individual expertise and experience with various student levels. Our class sizes meet the Ministry approved standards so as to provide the absolute best possible education to our students. Every homeroom class includes a teacher and teaching assistant with degrees in education or a related area and classroom experience, as well as training in dealing with learning disabilities and other special student needs. Even many of our Arabic language classes include the addition of a specialized teaching assistant. This allows us to meet all of our curriculum requirements, educational goals, and all the objectives of our school’s mission. Staff loads are balanced and fairly assigned and hold our students as the first consideration. These assignments are periodically changed during the school year or at the end of a school year when skill sets are better suited for a switch in assignments. No such changes are done without the greater good being considered as students come first and changes are disruptions they don’t need if not necessary
MSK puts out a Staff Handbook each school year. The tenets of the school policies are read by the Principal and discussed with the whole staff during the in-service week at the beginning of every academic year. Staff must read it again on their own time and sign the last page, which is then turned in to HR to comply with MSK’s policy on staff awareness and proper execution of the school’s policies and procedures. Consequences for not following these are also clearly delineated in this handbook and equally applied. Staff members are to keep this handbook all year for reference purposes. Due to the provision of an “at will” resignation within the first 60 days of a contract, if new employees find the tenets of the Staff Handbook to be contrary to their personal needs, wishes, or desires, that person may feel free to resign without any penalty or discrimination within the community of schools in Kuwait. If the prospective employee wanted to read the Staff Handbook prior to signing an employment agreement, one would be made available to them.
All employees must provide proper documentation regarding full background checks and arrest reports, governmental restrictions of employment, and proper and attested documentation of matriculation and degree status.
MSK uses a well-designed and purpose-driven appraisal system for all staff. The evaluation forms are shared with staff at the beginning of each academic year during in-service week. Each group of employees has its own appraisal document, insuring specification and focus on the issues of most concern within each professional division of the school. Classroom and ancillary teachers all use the same document, which has been translated for use with both the English and Arabic Language departments. Teaching Assistants have their own appraisal form, also translated, which focuses on the supportive skills and talents TA’s are to bring to the school. Specialists in literacy, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavior, and psychological services use a different document from the classroom teaching staff as their duties differ widely from them. Administrative support staff uses yet another appraisal document to account for the variety of services they must perform. Administrative leadership staff has a separate evaluation form, so as to focus on the duties and responsibilities they perform daily in their leadership roles.
Employees in each division above receive annual training on the expectations and language of the appraisal form. They get a copy of a blank form to keep with them so their daily activities are able to meet the expectations being appraised within each domain. Staff is also asked to complete a document in which they set self-improvement goals of their own choosing. They self-appraise their performance regarding meeting those goals at the end of each school year.