Dwight School Dubai appoints founding principalOctober 29, 2017, 5:10 am GMT
Dwight School Dubai has appointed Janecke Aarnæs as the inaugural principal.
Aarnæs brings more than 22 years of experience in public and private education to her new role. Prior to joining Dwight School Dubai, she was head of Oslo International School, an IB World School in Norway.
Janecke has held progressively senior roles in the education sector including six years as head of school at Sonans Oslo and a strategic project role as business development manager at the Scandinavian School of Brussels (SSB), where she also served on the Board of Governors, and as an officer to the College of the EFTA Surveillance Authority in Belgium, a judicial inter-governmental institution in Brussels tasked with monitoring implementation of EU legislation. Her experience also includes stints with private educational start-ups, such as the Sonans Privatgymnas, a Norwegian upper secondary school for adults in Drammen, where she was founding principal, and for performing a demerger at SSB that resulted in the founding of the Norwegian School of Brussels (DNSB).
Dwight School Dubai will be the New York based school's first campus in the Middle East, and its fourth international school after London, Seoul and Shanghai.
Dwight School Dubai will be part of a "super campus" it will share with Brighton College Dubai and the Centre of Excellence for Arabic Language, Culture and the Arts.
Commenting on Aarnæs' experience, Stephen Spahn, chancellor of Dwight Schools and the longest serving head of an independent school in the US said: "We are delighted to welcome Janecke Aarnæs to the Dwight family as the first principal of Dwight School Dubai. She shares our deep commitment to igniting the spark of genius in every child, which empowers students to pursue their passions and become innovative global leaders. With her extensive background in international education, track record of leadership, and dedication to personalized learning – Dwight's cornerstone – Ms Aarnæs is poised to successfully launch Dwight's first school in the Middle East. We look forward to welcoming her and our new students when we open the doors in fall 2018."
Aarnæs added: "I am excited about the amazing opportunity to bring the Dwight School's mission to the Middle East. I aim to be a strong female role model who inspires young learners to dare go their own ways, constantly absorb new information, challenge their assumptions and believe that every individual has the power to make a positive difference. I look forward to working with my colleagues, students and parents, and equipping Dubai's young people with the right skills for the future."
Fees at the IB through school will range from AED 114,000 in pre-KG to AED 130,000 in Grade 12, Education Journal ME has learned. Founders discounts will be announced once approved by the KHDA.
The fees will likely make Dwight Dubai the most expensive school in the emirate. Given the competitive landscape in Dubai's school sector, Aarnæs acknowledges the marketplace does hold challenges, however, she's confident that with Expo 2020 preparations ramping up, and the resulting demographic growth, the school will have a place in the market.
Speaking to Education Journal Middle East, she said: "We're aware of the challenges in the market at the moment and as any market goes through financial fluctuations, demographically there is still huge growth in Dubai and in the UAE. So the demographic growth should, in itself, indicate that there is a need for a number of schools to open every year. Of course, there is a market need to be met that's not necessarily all in the premium range… but with the Expo 2020 coming and the bottom having been met and the market now climbing up again, we do not see it as a negative challenge that the market is at it is. And I do believe the strong influx means that people will always be on the lookout for premium schools. And I think with both schools being extremely strong branches in themselves is enough to meet the competitive market."
Dwight Dubai will also offer the inclusive Quest and Spark Tank programmes offered by Dwight New York.
Quest is Dwight's learning support programme, which is designed as additional support beyond the provision the school will routinely offer in terms of differentiation, learning intervention and specialist support. The programme is planned in collaboration with parents and faculty and replaces the need for outside tutors by using a Quest mentor who works with teachers.
Dwight's Spark Tank programme offers a think tank approach to nurture innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership among students based on their interests and strengths.
Commenting on her priorities in the run up to the school's opening and its first year, Aarnæs told EJME: "I think the first year, as any year, for my sake is to focus on student learning. For Dwight School and for me personally as the leader of the school, the focus on the individual student and ensuring that the individual student is safe, feels happy and thrives in the school both personally, physically and academically is of importance. It is not unique to the first year because it will always continue. But when you start a school, hitting the ground running as if you were a school with a history of 150 years is really important because we cannot experiment with students; we need to feel that we can provide something which is as solid for the first child who starts with us as it will be for the one who comes in three generations later. So that's my priority – to ensure that we have a school environment that is as established as it can be for every student."
Read the full interview with Aarnæs in the November issue of Education Journal Middle East.
"Photos: Dwight School Dubai launch
echo $body; ?>November 22, 2017, 7:15 am
"Dubai British School students bag Outstanding Pearson Learner Awards
echo $body; ?>November 20, 2017, 6:51 am
"Esol Education appoints founding director for sustainability-focused school
echo $body; ?>November 16, 2017, 5:42 am
"New British curriculum school to open in Dubai's Al Furjan district
echo $body; ?>November 14, 2017, 7:54 am
"A perfect blend
echo $body; ?>November 13, 2017, 3:57 pm