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Succssful International School Needs a New Director

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

By Communications, REI HQ

As the student population at the International School of Djibouti (ISD) continues to grow so does the need for more well-qualified teaching faculty, resources and facilities. To keep pace with this momentum, ISD will need a new director for the beginning of the 2024-25 school year. This person will have the opportunity to step in and take the foundation others have built to bring the school into the next era of primary education in Djibouti.

In 2016, REI led the effort to launch this English-speaking school, at a request from the Djiboutian president who had a vision to develop English education in their K-12 public schools. Back then, ISD started out humbly with six students. Today, ISD has 107 students enrolled for the 2023-24 academic year.

2022-23 International School of Djibouti students

ISD is now operating in two locations as enrollment has surpassed the capacity of the original location, even after adding additional classrooms. Through ISD’s Djiboutian partners, the organization is exploring the possibility of constructing its own school site to reunite the two locations back into one school facility built to maximize educational experiences for all involved.

ISD’s current director Linzie Wells is committed to achieving the next level of education for the thriving institution. As ISD explores new ways to develop our students in the difficult context of an emerging nation without access to the same resources as other developed nations, the institution needs to be creative.

(l-r) Abdikadar (school administrator), Doug Erdmann (REI president), Linzie Wells (ISD director) and Kirk Galster (REI Djibouti Country Leader)

With her expertise in primary education, Linzie has stepped in to set up ISD for success by evaluating the level of the school’s curriculum and moving students towards better results when measured against their own abilities. MAP testing is the tool she is using to accomplish this with all elementary-age students, kindergarten through fifth grade.

According to The Classroom Dot Com: “MAP, or the Measure of Academic Progress test, is a computer-adaptive skills assessment that provides parents, teachers and administrators with metrics to measure a student’s academic growth and progress early in their academic life.”

This testing will provide a baseline of where ISD students are currently as well as benchmarks of growth and improvement through repeated testing during their academic career. In an international school like ISD with such diverse enrollment, MAP testing will help measure the growth of each student’s understanding more effectively than other standardized tests.

ISD students enjoying recess

This is just one example of the many major steps ISD has taken over the last seven years to move from a handful of students meeting in a house in the early years to a full pre-K through 8th grade classroom setting with online high school opportunities as well.

The challenges are many in a country like Djibouti, but the rewards are even greater as ISD seeks to “build people to build nations” through developing local teaching assistant staff and providing quality English education for the leaders of tomorrow. The new ISD director will be stepping into a legacy of educators committed to building something bigger than just a school – a community of global citizens dedicated to learning from our vast experiences in our home cultures and collaborating towards the growth and development of people throughout the world.

Should you or someone you know be interested in taking over leadership of this dynamic school, thus making a direct contribution to developing the country of Djibouti, please email ​ to receive more information.

​​Works Cited

​Benjamin, A. (2023, January 16). What is MAP Testing? Retrieved from The Classroom Dot Com:

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