Pechersk School International – An inspiring story of resilience

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Learn more about the challenges a Ukrainian school – Pechersk School International, has overcome in light of the recent war.

Pechersk School International is an accredited IB World School that was opened in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1995 with just 47 students. PSI has grown in size and stature over the past 25 years, and in 2021-2022 school year was close to having 550 students from both international and national families.

The name Pechersk is a reference to the location of the original school site in the district of Pechersk, which was also historically the city’s centre of learning. On February 24, 2022, the school was forced to close its campus as a result of the war.

Creating a Home away from Home

PSI Team

Since the war began, individuals and organisations have come together in extraordinary and unprecedented ways to ensure that the school can continue to offer an outstanding education to its students, even away from home.

O American School of Warsaw (ASW) has shared a part of its campus with #PSIKyiv to enable them to sustain a temporary home for approximately 100 students. In addition, Avenues: The World School has gifted PSI students use of its world-renowned online learning platform. Pamoja has also offered its services to PSI on a pro bono basis this school year. These creative solutions were hatched in conversations between PSI’s school director, Rachel Caldwell, the director of ASW – Jon Zurfluh and a senior advisor for Avenues – Tim Carr.

PSI 4 Good Campaign

On Tuesday 15 November, PSI launched PSI 4 Good Campaign. Committed to the continuity of international education in Ukraine, this fundraising Campaign brings together individuals and organisations that want to make an impact and ensure that PSI can continue to offer outstanding education for good.

The Campaign launched with the release of a 20-minute documentary that captures the story of this remarkable school over the past 9 months.

The goal of the Campaign is to raise 2.5 Million USD. These funds will be directed towards: 

  • Providing support for student and community member well-being, including additional staffing and expertise in counselling and other support services.
  • The ongoing creation of a temporary facility on the campus of the American School of Warsaw, as well as the upkeep of the school facility in Kyiv. The construction of a bomb shelter back in Kyiv is also a necessity.
  • Finding new ways to promoting the school and attracting future students.

“This Campaign is about PSI going home to Kyiv and supporting the restructuring of Ukraine. Families will need an international school like PSI; a strong community with an exceptional learning programme. We want to be there to serve that community and to help with this fundamentally important effort, not only for Ukraine but for the rest of the world.”

Rachel Caldwell, Director, Pechersk School International

The story of Pechersk School International serves as an inspiration for us all – no matter how dire or difficult our situation may be, there are always ways forward if we act collaboratively with determination and ingenuity. We applaud PSI’s incredible resilience which enabled them not only to survive but thrive despite having been through such trying times!

Key points about Pechersk School International Kyiv:

  • Pechersk School International (PSI) was opened in 1995 and by 2021 was close to having 550 students; its preferred maximum
  • PSI is the first school in Ukraine that gained authorisation to teach three of the International Baccalaureate ® (IB) programmes: PYP, MYP and DP.
  • PSI plays an important role in preserving and reviving the international community in Kyiv.
  • PSI is supported by the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools and is licensed by the Ministry of Education in Ukraine to offer the Ukrainian Programme of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education.

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