Dalat International School
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|Dalat International Tsc|
|Type||Private International School
Day & Boarding School
|Motto||Education for Life|
|Principal||Shantel Seevaratnam (K-4)
Shawna Wood (5-8)
Brian Brewster (9-12)
|Colour(s)||Blue and Gold
|Affiliations||EARCOS and Association of International Malaysian Schools(AIMS)|
|Athletic Director||Chance Edman|
Dalat International School is an international day and boarding school in Penang, Malaysia. Founded as a boarding school for children of missionaries in Southeast Asia, it's now grown into an international school with a diverse student population. As of the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, there are 600 students representing 25 different countries. It is one of eight schools on the island and is the only one offering an American curriculum.
Dalat School was founded in 1929 as a private Christian boarding school in Dalat, Vietnam to provide a North American elementary and high school education for children of Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) missionaries in Indochina. In 1962, Reverend Archie E. Mitchell, who was on staff at the school with his wife Betty, was abducted by Viet Cong guerrillas. As the Vietnam War escalated, in 1965, the teachers and staff were evacuated by the USAF to a temporary location in Bangkok, Thailand. Eight months later, the school relocated to Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia where it remained for six years.
During the late 1960s, the British forces based in Penang were withdrawing from the peninsula after the conclusion of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and school administrators were looking for a new location at that time. In June 1971, Dalat moved into the former British R&R facility known as "Sandycroft" along the beaches of Tanjung Bunga in Penang, Malaysia where it has been ever since. Despite some renovations and additions to the buildings, the initial architecture and layout of the property remains largely unchanged since the school moved in.
In 1999, the C&MA, who had been running the school since its establishment, announced that Dalat School would be closed. It is now governed by an inter-denominational school board.
The sea wall was damaged during the tsunami in 2004.
Dalat still serves its purpose of educating "MKs" and the North American expatriate community but has since opened its doors to all students regardless of nationality who meet the admissions criteria. Priority, in terms of financial aid, is still given to students whose parents work for Christian organisations.
Dalat International School uses United States standards of education that have been compiled McREL Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks. Dalat also uses Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRs) employing teaching methods that focus on cooperative learning and activity-based content learning.
As a Christian school, Dalat requires students to take Bible classes and attend chapel. Prayer, Bible study and actively living out the Christian life are key values. Chapel services are held weekly and Spiritual Emphasis Week and Missions Emphasis Week are special events each year.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered for students wishing to earn college credit. AP English, AP English Literature, AP Calculus AB and Calculus BC, AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, AP Mandarin, AP Art Studio and AP Music Theory, are offered while other AP courses are made available through distance learning.
Dalat International School (DIS) extends an invitation to young Christian men and women in grades 9 through 12 to experience a year or semester learning, living and serving abroad! Dalat DIScovery welcomes an elite group of high school students to study at Dalat, live with a dorm family and participate in outreach opportunities in Southeast Asia.
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Dalat’s sports teams are called the Eagles. Dalat is a member of the Asia Christian Schools Conference (ACSC) with schools from 6 countries in the region. Dalat participates in the Penang Schools Athletic Conference (PSAC) with other Penang international schools. Dalat occasionally competes in the Penang Schools State Competition (Malay: Majlis Sukan Sekolah Pulau Pinang, abbrev. MSSPP). Dalat offers 10 varsity sports including soccer, volleyball, basketball, track & field and softball/baseball. Most sports have JV, middle school and U13 age group teams.
Since its foundation, the school has a boarding tradition which continues to this day, despite the fact that most of the current student population are day students. The boarding programme mainly serves North American missionary and expatriate families based in Southeast Asia but is open to all students based on the availability of space.
The students are housed in mixed-gender, mixed-age dorms with "dorm parents" who live in the building itself with their families to create a family-like environment. They are looked after by residence supervisors, a nurse and dorm assistants, all of whom reside on campus.
There are three dorms: Jackson, Jaffray and Ziemer. Previously there were three more dorms, Eckmann, Chandler and Smith, but one is no longer in use, one is used for offices and the other was converted into classrooms to house the expanding elementary school.
- Boese, Joy (2005). Adventures in Learning to Trust God. Infinity Publishing. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9780741424662.
- Stemple, Charlotte (2010). My Vietnam. Xulon Press. p. 260. ISBN 9781609578145.
- Demaria, Andrew (30 December 2004). "Web postings give helping hand". CNN. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- Fitzstevens, John A. (1966). The History of Dalat School, Dalat, Viet Nam.