Koç School

Infobox Private School
name = The Koc School


established = 1988
type = Private, coeducational, bilingual, boarding
city = Tuzla, Istanbul
country = Turkey
campus = suburban (75 ha)
head_name = General Director
head = Tony Paulus
students = 1140 (Elementary School), 880 (High School)
colors = Red and white
nicknames = Koç, KÖL
homepage = http://www.kocschool.k12.tr

The Koç School ( _tr. Koç Özel Lisesi ve İlköğretim Okulu) is a private school in Istanbul, Turkey. It was founded by one of Turkey's wealthiest businessmen Vehbi Koç and is currently under the umbrella of Vehbi Koç Foundation. The high school was established in 1988 and the elementary school was established in 1998. Koç High School admits its students based on their achievements on the nationwide examination for high schools in Turkey. Since 1994, the school applies the IB program in the Senior School. The School is considering whether to extend it to the middle and elementary school. It is one of the most selective [cite web
url = http://www.eduvizyon.com/habergoster.asp?id=778
title = İşte Özel Okul Puanları (Article in Turkish)
accessdate = 02 April
] high schools in Turkey.

General information

The Koç School is a high and elementary school, fully accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Education, European Council of International Schools (ECIS), International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), Independent schools UK, England, Scotland, Wales & NI and international schools worldwide (ISBI) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). It offers boarding for five or seven days a week for students of classes between 6-12 at its dorms on its campus.

History

Founded in 1988 by the Vehbi Koç Foundation, The Koç School has quickly become one of Turkey's most selective and competitive university preparatory schools. In the Private High Schools Entrance Exam in Turkey, Koç School generally ranks among the top in terms of its entrance score (ranked second in 2006 [cite web
url = http://www.eduvizyon.com/habergoster.asp?id=778
title = ibid
accessdate = 02 April
] ).

The Koç School is the first school in Turkey to offer the IB program; which it had started applying in the senior school in 1994. [cite web
url = http://www.radikal.com.tr/2000/03/29/turkiye/egi.shtml
title = Eğitimde Bakalorya
accessdate = 02 April
] With the introduction of the IB program, many students started applying for overseas educational institutes with high reputation [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/1997/06/06/haber/abd.html
title = Koc School Students success in 1997
accessdate = 02 April
] . Koç students have been accepted into universities such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, and many other prominent educational institutes [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2002/04/07/yasam/yas03.html
title = Interview with three Koc students accepted to U.S. institutions
accessdate = 13 February
] [cite web
url = http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2006/02/26/gun120.html
title = İşte Türkiye'nin Geleceği
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] [cite web
url = http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2004/01/27/gun105.html
title = Altın Çocuklar (Koç School's Overseas Admission Success in 2004)
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] and the number of students seeking overseas education increased.

The school's Turkish university entrance success is also considerable [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/1999/03/04/haber/hab04.html
title = Okulların Başarı Oranları (in Turkish)
accessdate = 4 April
] : general student achievement is among the top when compared with other similar high schools [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2007/02/04/guncel/agun.html
title = Özel Liselerde Anadolu Kaplanları (Article in Turkish)
accessdate = 2 April
] . In fact in 2000, the top scorer of ÖSS was a Koç School graduate [cite web
url = http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/news/19517.asp
title = ÖSS Results Announced
accessdate = 13 February
] . In the 2006 ÖSS, 19 Koc students were in the top 1000 of over 1.500.000 attendants and many students that applied abroad were accepted to top ten universities in the US. [cite web
url = http://www.kocschool.k12.tr/tr-TR/HighSchool/StudentLife/UniversityCounseling/
title = 2006 -University Final decisions, recruitments.
accessdate = 15 April
] .

Former General Directors and High School Directors

General Directors
*John Chalfant (1988-1997)
*John Chandler (1997-2005)
*Tony Paulus (2005-2008)

High School Directors
*Atakan Demirseren (1988-1998)
*Fehmi Özbay (1998-1999)
*Lalegül...(1999-2000)
*Füsun Ersoy (2000-2006)
*İlkin Özyurt (2006-2008)
*Koray Özsaraç (2008-)

Mission and vision

The Koç School's official website defines the school's mission and vision as follows:

Mission:

Koç School is a Turkish school with a global perspective. Our multi-cultural academic community, innovative methodology, and coherent K-12 bilingual program engage all students in developing their intellectual and human qualities so that they will become confident, ethical leaders and responsible citizens of Turkey and of the world community.

Vision:

The goal of Koç School is to be respected nationally and internationally as a model K-12 school, offering an educational program of the highest academic and ethical standards.

Campus and facilities

The Koç School is located on a convert|750|acre|km2|sing=on campus on the eastern outskirts of Istanbul, near Tuzla.

Many of the school facilities were subject to renovations after the first ten years of the school due to increased demands and population of the school. The important facilities and buildings in the school campus are:
*High School building: Includes classes, teacher offices, laboratories, an auditorium, sports center, library, music rooms with instruments, two student lounges, cafeteria, infirmary, canteen.
*Suna Kıraç Library: It was moved to a separate and larger building adjacent to high school building in 2002.
*Piramit/(Sevgi Gönül Student Center): is a student center/lounge. It was constructed in 2002 on the place of Courtyard of the main building.
*Atakan Demirseren Hall: an auditorium with nearly 900 people capacity (renovated in 2008 and opened with the annual Talent Show),
*Open track and field area
*Tennis Courts
*Sports Center (will be renovated in 2007).
*Dorms: used to be located in the main school building. They were built as separate buildings due to increased population of the school in 2005.
*Houses for the teachers and staff of high and primary school.
*Fitness Center
*Art Studios including an oven for ceramics making.
*Elementary school building: Classes, teacher offices, library, auditorium, sports center and cafeteria.

High school

Academics

The Koç School is a bilingual school in Turkish and English but also offers the option of a second language; French or German. Koç School gave its first 4-year high school program graduates in 2006; a year before most of the schools in Turkey. Students choose between IB or a non-IB tracks the last 3 years of high school. The Koç School is also the IB coordinator in Istanbul and prepared the IB Turkish Social Studies Curriculum to be covered in all around the world in IB Schools [cite web
url = http://www.radikal.com.tr/2000/03/29/turkiye/egi.shtml
title = Eğitimde Bakalorya
accessdate = 02 April
] .

Each year, many students of the Koç School prefer to continue their education in overseas universities. The school's Overseas College Guidance Office is strong with successful acceptance rates [cite web
url = http://www.kocschool.k12.tr/NR/rdonlyres/9D89F5BA-7BE6-4E12-BFCB-61BCFBFCC3B8/453/2006UniversiteYerlestirmeSonuclar1.xls
title = 2006 -University Final decisions, recruitments.
accessdate = 15 April
] each year.At the end of each academic year, 1-2 students with a high academic achievement in each subject are awarded according to the feedbacks of teachers and departments.

Koc School is also successful in national [cite web
url = http://www.asdubai.org/pages/sitepage.cfm?page=106055
title = IV. Antalya Ulusal Zeka Oyunları (Turkish)
accessdate = 31 August
] and international [cite web
url = http://www.antalyakoleji.k12.tr/velibultenleri/haberler/habersayfa.asp?haberID=240
title = American School of Dubai International Math Contest Results
accessdate = 4 April
] high school competitions on Math and Sciences that it had participated.

The school also provides a truly international faculty with teachers from Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, India, Ireland, Russia,Scotland, U.S., New Zealand and Turkey teaching Science, languages, arts. Some of the current and former notable faculty include John Freely [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2003/01/11/pazar/apaz.html
title = Interview with John Freely (Turkish)
accessdate = 5 April
] , writer and professor of Physics at Bogazici University, and Erol Köroğlu, writer and doctor of literature and cultural studies at Sabanci University.

Curriculum

In the first two years of education a regular student usually takes the following courses: Turkish Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Arts, Military Science, Physical Education, Religion and Ethics, History, Health, Geography, Geometry, Mathematics, an elective second language course, an elective from a variety of courses like Movie Studies, Advanced Multimedia etc.

In the last two years, Koç School provides a variety of IB and non-IB courses both to those that chose to pursue the program and also those that only want to take the classes, in addition to the curricula and courses determined by Ministry of Education. Among the mandatory and elective courses provided to junior and seniors are: Art History, Biology, Business & Management, Ceramics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Programming, Economics, English, Environmental Systems, French, German, Information Technology in Global Society, Knowledge of Language and Literature, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Theory of Knowledge, Turkish Social Studies, Turkish Literature, and Visual Arts.

There are usually three examinations (or projects and/or papers to be counted as an exam grade) for each course at each semester. Exams are usually held in "Common Exam Week" (or for the finals "Final Examination Week"). Examinations are scheduled by the Dean's office and regular class schedule continues to take place with shorter amount of time for each period. After the exam results are announced several awards (with different categories: Academic Success, Effort, Improvement) are given by the teachers to students.

Extracurriculars and traditional activities

Extracurricular activities

It is compulsory for each student to join a student club or a sports activity offered at school. Every student has to pick one of the following activities at the beginning of each semester and has to regularly attend its meetings and activities.

The school has over 50 clubs. Some of the available extracurricular activities and clubs are:
*SEMEP (South East Mediterranean Environmental Project)
*Model United Nations Club
*Debate Club
*Ceramics Club
*Chess Club
*Jewellery Design Club
*Librarianship Club
*Social Assistance and Solidarity Club
*Literature
*ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association)
*Voluntary social work projects
*Philosophy Club
*Atatürk's Thinking and Principles Club
*Athletism Club
*American Football Club
*Football Club
*Baseball
*Softball
*German Language
*The Global Friendship Project
*Chorus
*Tennis Club
*Volleyball Club
*Atatürk Club
*Badminton
*Basketball Club
*Table Tennis Club
*Science Club
*Model Aircraft Making Club
*Drama Club
*Computer
*Rugby Club
*Fantasy Role Playing
*School Radio Club / [http://www.radioram.tk RadioRam]
*Journal Clubs ("Mindscapes", "Fanzin" and "Boyut")
*Music Club
*Visual Arts Club
*Folk Dance Club
*Modern Dance Club
*Camping Club
*Cooking
*Environment
*Skiing & SnowboardKoc School is also the first Turkish school to apply International Youth Award Program [cite web| url = http://www.intaward.org/iaa/index_1317.html
title = The International Award for Young People, Koc School (in Turkish)
accessdate = 2 April
] .

Environmental Projects are of the major activities in the school, in fact recycling project of Koc School Students won the First Prize in the International Volvo Adventure 2006 competition [cite web| url = http://www.volvo.com/group/global/en-gb/newsmedia/pressreleases/2006/volvo_adventure.htm
title = Juice boxes turn into school desks – recycling project from Turkey wins this year’s Volvo Adventure
accessdate = 4 April
] [cite web| url = http://www.dexigner.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6305
title = Recycling Project from Turkey Wins This Year's Volvo Adventure
accessdate = 4 April
] [cite web| url = http://www.sabah.com.tr/2006/05/19/gun134.html
title = Artık süt kutuları 30.000 sıra oldu
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] .

At the end of each academic year, extracurricular awards are given to students according to the feedbacks of the supervisors of clubs.

ports

The school has many facilities for sports. Some of the school sport teams are girls-boys basketball, girls volleyball, badminton, table tennis, athleticism, football, folk dance, skiing, dance, and rhythmic gymnastics. Team members are determined after eliminations at the beginning of the academic year. School teams regularly participate in national tournaments.

Each year there are basketball and football tournaments between classes in which each class forms its teams. There are about two matches each week in which boys and girls from different classes compete. The final matches are done at "SpringFest". The winner class team is awarded with a cup and each team member with a medal.

Publications

The school has a growing number and an increasing quality of publications, among them are literary magazines like "Boyut", "Fanzin" and "Mindscapes", a two-week newspaper "T.A.W.A", and "Philosophy". All publications are open to submissions from the whole student body. "Boyut" and "Fanzin" are published by the member students in each journal's clubs with the assistance of the Turkish department. "Mindscapes" is published with the assistance of the English language department and it is also open to all contributions after an evaluation process carried by the student and teacher editors. "TAWA" [cite web| url = http://www.geocities.com/tawagazetesi/index.htm
title = An old version of TAWA from January 2004
accessdate = 5 April
] was initially the publication/newsletter of the "Student Council" and later gained an independent position as the school newspaper in 2003. It is published by a team of student journalists independent from clubs and student organisations.

MUN

Koç School MUN Club admits its members on an application basis. Students have to write a convincing statement of purpose and score above average at the exam testing general knowledge of the member applicants. Each year the MUN Club attends at least four MUN conferences in Turkey and around the world. Some of the conferences participated by the Koc School students in the previous years took place in various parts of the world including the Hague, Cairo, Beijing and Paris. MUN Club has been among the most successful clubs in the school with many awards in the conferences participated [cite web| url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/1997/03/30/yasam/koc.html
title = Koc School Students win 3 awards in Harvard Model European Congress
accessdate = 2 April
] [cite web| url = http://webarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/2000/02/28/184803.asp
title = Lahey'de Koç Lisesi başarısı
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] .

The club also organises a Model United Nations Development Program conference each year at its campus since 2001. cite web
url = http://www.kocmundp.org/main.htm
title = MUNDP
is the first Model United Nations Development Program conference in the world, whose establishment in 2001 was celebrated by the then UN General Secretary Kofi Annan. Each year "MUN Delegates" from many schools in Turkey and overseas participate in the conference. [cite web
url = http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=108664
title = BM gibi Koç Lisesi
accessdate = 13 February
] [cite web
url = http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2006/03/06/yasam/yas07.html
title = Dünya sorunları için beyin fırtınası
accessdate = 2007-08-28
] .

tudent Council

Koc School Student Council is composed of students elected by the student body at the regular elections each year in June. It is composed of 10-15 students with 5-8 members from the 12. grade and 2 representatives from each class at school. The Student Council consists of a school president, vice president, social activities coordinator, finance coordinator, sports coordinator, 1 or 2 independent student representatives elected from the 12. grade students and a total of 8 representatives elected from grades 9-11 and preparatory year students. The Council meets regularly each week with a faculty adviser. All major and important decisions of the council are to be approved by the faculty adviser even if the meetings are done without the presence of the adviser.

Koc School "Student Council" is a very popular and a strong entity in school culture. Even though it is criticized of its lack of ability to effect school politics (an example would be the abolishing of Courtyard and building a pyramid instead, which was disliked by many of the students during the time) concerning discipline code, student freedoms etc., it is an active student organization with especially its election campaigns being one of the major events each year.

pecial events

Festivals, fairs and performances

*"Book Fair". Lasts one week. All kinds of books are sold in the school corridors with discount prices. During the fair 8-10 Turkish writers give seminars and speeches(some of the guests in the previous years: Elif Şafak, Tim Bowler Aydın Boysan, Tuna Kiremitçi, Küçük İskender, Sunay Akın, Feyza Hepçilingirler, Cezmi Ersöz...)

*"Science Fair" is organized with the contributions of Koc School students and other Istanbul high schools every year. The outcomes of student research projects, experiments and from time to time basic inventions are exhibited.

*"Cinema Days". Usually takes place in the last week of school. Several movies are shown in the school auditorium. Turkish actors and actresses visit school for seminars and speeches.

*"RamFest". A spring festival of arts and music with contributions from many schools in Istanbul. It usually lasts 1-2 days with several activities held in 3 different places of school: Auditorium is the usual place for classical dance and music; Front garden or "Piramit" usually reserved for rock and pop bands of high schools; and Halls for exhibition of paintings and other pieces of art created by participants. The Opening Ceremony of the Festival usually hosts professional and amateour performers of different genres like jazz, Latin, classic music or dance such as Ritmiquaa Percussion Group in 2004.

*"SpringFest". Takes place in school campus near the end of the academic year. Alumni, current students, friends, families, faculty come together and enjoy several activities in the festival. [cite web
url = http://www.halklailiskiler.com.tr/detay.asp?id=710
title = SpringFest at Koc School (Turkish)
accessdate = 2007-08-28
]

*"Musicals". Until 2001, a musical was performed each year with the contributions of the student body and the Arts Department("The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in 1999 being among the greatest performances). Actors and actresses were chosen among many applicants and the musical would be performed after months of preparations. In 2007 a similar project was prepared, named Leader of the Pack.

*"Sevgi Gönül Remembrance Night". A night prepared by Koc Students under the guidance of Literature and Arts department to commemorate Sevgi Gönül. The performers are usually picked by the departments from the best participants of Talent Show and RamFest. The night takes place at a Koç Holding building to an audience composed of Koç Family, businessman, artists, academics and friends of Koç family.

tudent contests

*"Talent Show". Usually held in spring. Many students become contestants of Talent Show in their years at Koç School. "Talent Show Awards", which are given to successful performers by a jury composed of teachers, students, alumni and usually a celebrity, are highly respected and celebrated by the student body and faculty. The Talent Show 2008 was held in the renovated auditorium of the school with an attandance of approximately 700 people, including Mustafa Koc's wife Caroline Koc. American folk musician, guitarist Brooks Williams performed as a special guest in this Talent Show.

*"Atakan Demirseren Mathematics Competition". Each year in spring a mathematics competition open to all students is organized by the maths department. The competition includes several eliminations and rounds.

*"Field Day". It is usually held on a warm autumn day, is an indispensable part of school spirit. Students compete with each other in athletic sports, form their own teams and are awarded according to their performances at the end of the day. The activity has not take place for the last 3 years due to lack of attendance.

Traditions

Although Koc School is a newly established school, it is promising with its traditions adhered by its student body and alumni. Following are notable traditions and traditional activities in the school.

*"T.A.W.A". A frequently heard phrase in the school, which also inspired the establishment of the school newspaper "T.A.W.A." [cite web| url = http://www.geocities.com/tawagazetesi/index.htm
title = An old version of TAWA from January 2004
accessdate = 5 April
] . Its extended version is: 'This announcement was about .....', a phrase repeated by students each week during the opening and closing ceremonies at the "Atakan Demirseren Hall" (more commonly AD or auditorium). On Monday after the ceremony and on Friday before the ceremony, announcements regarding school activities, teams, exams are given by the faculty and students. Since the school has international teachers and students, announcements are made in both English and Turkish. Over the years, "T.A.W.A" has become a cult, listened with smiling faces in the auditorium at each time a student repeats the phrase. In 2008, the suspension of two ex-editors, was protested by students who boycotted the newspaper.

*"School trips". To cities and historical places in Turkey, such as Ankara, Çanakkale, Cappadocia are organized each year. Seniors go to Bodrum after the ÖSS as a final to this tradition. There is also a special trip day for the whole school where each class visits a different site in Istanbul and another day where students visit factories and manufacturing centers.
*"School parties and Concerts". Each year there are about 3-4 school parties organized by the Student Council. During parties, students spend their time eating the food served at Koç School for the day by famous cafes in Istanbul, and dancing in the auditorium or "Piramit".There are also many concerts during the year by rock-bands or pop singers.

*"No uniform days". Usually party or festival days when students are permitted to wear clothes other than their uniforms. Students used to pay an amount about 1-2 YTL this day and the collected money is either used in helping poor, homeless people or used for the student council budget to organise student activities. But this year, along with the new director Koray Ozsarac thursdays has been changed into no uiform days without any payment.

Alumni

Koc School's notable alumni include Cengiz Pehlevan, [cite web
url = http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=195692
title = ÖSS'nin şampiyonları anlatıyor (Cengiz Pehlevan)
accessdate = 13 February
] who got the first place in 2000 University Entrance Exam (OSS); Mehmet Özge Özen, writer; Tansa Mermerci, socialite and fashion designer; Berrak Tüzünataç [cite web
url = http://www.organizeisler.com/html_tr/oyuncular.asp?id=12
title = Organize İşler (Short Bio in Turkish)
accessdate = 28 August
] [cite web
url = http://www.radikal.com.tr/ek_haber.php?ek=cts&haberno=6555
title = Gisele'den daha güzel! (Newspaper article in Turkish)
accessdate = 28 August
] , actress; Berkun Oya, artist and playwright; and Ozgur Gungor, the notable New York based sculptor. Also Enes Ayaz, who graduated in 2008 was accepted to Harvard,MIT,Yale with full scholarship and touted as one of the "Future 25" by the Times Magazine, New York.Fact|date=September 2008

"Koc School Alumni Association" offers several activities for the alumni including homecomings, Summer Picnic [cite web
url = http://hurarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/goster/haber.aspx?id=4958062&tarih=2006-08-22
title = Koç Özel Lisesi Mezunları hasret giderdi (Article in Turkish)
accessdate = 4 April
] at campus, Winter Reunion in Istanbul, and Reunions in Boston, New York and London.

Koc School in fiction

* "Kırmızı Motosiklet" by Filiz Tosyalı. A novel based on experiences of a group of teenagers in boarding school. The story takes place at Koç School.

Elementary school

Koç Elementary School was founded in 1998 and it gave its first graduates in 2002. Koç Elementary School was established in order to adapt to the change in the Turkish education system. Koç Elemantary School also provides bilingual education. Students are taught English language from the earliest years. In Grade 4 and 5 students take extra Science and Maths classes which are taught in English. Starting from the sixth year Science and Math classes are taught in English.

Graduates of the elementary school have the right to continue their education at Koç High School after taking an exam to skip the Preparation year. If they score over 55% in this exam, they are automatically enrolled in 9th grade of the high school. If they score below 55%, they have to study 1 year of extensive English preparation.

References and notes

External links

* [http://www.kocschool.k12.tr/en-US/ The Koç School]
* [http://www.ibo.org/school/000755/ IBO School Profile: Koc School]
* [http://www.kocmundp.org/main.htm MUNDP]
* [http://www.intaward.org/iaa/index_1317.html International Award For Young People, Koc Lisesi (Turkish)]


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