Update from the Principal’s Desk

  • 1 May 2024

Dear Parents, Staff, and Children,

As we approach the end of this academic year, I find myself in a bittersweet moment, writing my final update before bidding farewell to Oakridge.

I am touched by the warmth and concern shown by the children, who often approach me during dispersal, showering me with hugs and smiles, innocently asking why I’m leaving them. Your love and connection mean the world to me. During a recent conversation with a special member of our parent community, I learned of the nervousness surrounding my departure and the uncertainties it brings. I want to reassure each of you that Oakridge is in an exceptionally strong position. I’ve dedicated considerable time to planning and preparation for the coming year, ensuring a smooth transition for my successor.

Many have asked if I’m moving to another school in Bangalore. I want to clarify that I am moving out of Bangalore, or else I wouldn’t have chosen to leave Oakridge. Serving as the principal of this incredible school has been an immense privilege. The bonds formed with parents, the joy of nurturing and guiding our bright students, and the collaboration with inspiring colleagues have enriched my life beyond measure.

Let’s remember that Oakridge stands as the premier International IB continuum school in Bangalore. We have made tremendous progress over the past six academic years, transforming into a school that is not only recognized but sought after for its excellence. Our peers from established international schools now look to us for best practices and collaboration, a testament to our growth and success.

While we acknowledge areas for improvement, we remain open to feedback and committed to continuous enhancement. For instance, it is true that we used to have teachers moving mid-year for whatever personal reasons, but this year we reformed our HR strategy and strictly implemented only academic year-end exits, regardless of notice period. Let us accept it that in a city like Bangalore, replete with international schools, teacher turnover is a phenomenon here to stay. Indeed, in all industries people are moving because they believe movement is growth. If teachers move at the end of the academic year, we should be fine and wish them more success and growth wherever they go. Just like all industries, after COVID, education has also gone through a sea-change and if we accept this change, we will ride it rather than suffer from it.

Secondly, while each year, through systematic teacher training and strategic approach, our MYP and IBDP board result have established us a top performing IB continuum school, we have also been working consciously on enhancing manners, values, culture, and emotional fitness of our community members. With this objective in mind, we had inaugurated the meditation room through Raj yog practitioner and international speaker BK Shivaniji.

Recently we have been holding just a minute (JAM) meditation workshops for each grade to give students a proper methodology and technique for self-awareness and mindfulness so that they can be calmer, more peaceful individuals who can cope with uncertainties. We also have been successfully running the clean speech campaign and the cleanest classroom competition among grades to teach them the value of keeping their mental and physical environments clean and unpolluted.

In a world where our children are surrounded by negative content, we are swimming against the tide and upholding good values and a meditative lifestyle along with academic and holistic excellence. This has been possible through only your support and cooperation, dear parents, and colleagues. It is because of our outstanding results and our commitment to the IB philosophy that this year again I was conferred with the Eduicon award which I completely dedicate to all children, parents and teachers

Many congratulations to the winners of the virtual musician competition on Global campus. I share this with immense pride with you that Bangalore students bagged both the first and second prizes. Speaking of international exposure, two of our students are traveling to participate in the UNICEF summit and several of our students were applauded for winning the champions trophy in the primary. Congratulations are also due to all the students who applied for scholarships and aced the interview process. These scholarships are indicative of your potential and will hold you in good stead when you do your university applications.

Many congratulations to the parents, your fantastic parenting is propelling your children to do their best and overcome any self-doubt. I think, even before school, parents and their personalities, value system and home culture have an indelible impact on each child. Let us be very conscious of this responsibility and refrain from copying each other because we are living in a highly morally confused, self-entitled world. We have normalized anger, stress, and cruel competitive spirit at the cost of kindness and forgiveness. For instance, we know we cannot substitute affection and attention with gadgets and things, yet we indulge our children because the neighbors are doing so.

Moreover, real responsible affection means balancing it with honest yet kind feedback. For instance, don’t allow your child to play games at night because you are too tired to deal with them. Let us develop our patience and without getting angry let us explain why consistent bedtime and routine is important for their emotional health. Both at home and at school, all of us adults must lead by example and exemplify the values we uphold.

The school currently is in full exam mode with MYP5 and DP2 writing the board exams whereas the rest of the secondary school is also going through the year end assessments. The unprecedented heat is certainly going to make the last 20 days until summer break interesting and hopefully we will see some showers before the break commences.

Soon after the student break, teachers will have one week of PD and the school will undergo some infrastructure work to be all dressed up and ready for the new academic year. I am pleased to share with you that we have completed the new academic calendar, and it will be shared with you via the class teachers soon, apart from being available on schoolpost.

Once again, I want to express my deepest gratitude to each of you. It has been an honor to serve this great school.

Let us continue to nurture Oakridge’s legacy and strive for even greater heights in the future.

Wishing you all continued success and happiness.

Kind regards
Pallavi Mishra