Head of School Update January 12

Hello Parents, Students, and Faculty,

Happy 2018!  We welcome approximately 35 new students to SCIS this January, the largest growth we’ve seen in six years.

My update will be brief, as I have been off campus during the first week of school attending a teacher recruiting conference in Bangkok. SCIS continues to be well-known within the international teaching community, and this is only strengthened by our addition of the MYP and PYP programs, making SCIS an attractive destinations for many top-quality teachers. I’ll provide a full recruiting update in the near future.

Wish our Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball Teams luck in their ACAMIS Tournament this weekend in Beijing.

The big news today (of course) is the early dismissal due to a power outage.  I am copying my note on the situation below. (It was also sent via email.)

I look forward to the 2nd semester and returning to activity of the SCIS hallways. On behalf of our entire staff, we thank you for the opportunity to work with and help shape your children.

Have a restful weekend.
Derek Luebbe


Dear Parents,

As you know, today we experienced a power failure and sent students home at 2:00 pm. With this email, I want to provide more information on the situation and remind everyone of the importance of our emergency contact information.

Power Outage and Dismissal

The power stopped working at approximately 11:30. This affected all of the power in some classrooms, our heating system and our plumbing/toilets. We immediately called the power company to investigate further. Power company representatives shared that the outage was due to neighborhood construction but were not optimistic that the power could be restored by 3:00 pm.

At approximately, 12:45, due to health and safety reasons, I made the decision to dismiss students at 2:00 pm. We began communicating with families shortly thereafter. When we have an unexpected dismissal, we work hard to ensure that each student can safely return home and a parent/guardian awaits for Lower School students. If a parent/guardian is not present to meet each Lower School student, our bus ayis are instructed to keep the student on the bus and continue on with the bus route. If our efforts to contact the parent are unsuccessful, then the child will return to the school by bus. We will then, continue to call parents until we are successful.

We will continue working with the power company over the weekend to restore power to the school. We feel confident that the situation will be solved this weekend and classes will continue on Monday. If we receive further information that could affect our operations on Monday, I will share that with all of you.

Emergency Contact Information

In cases of emergency, the school will do all it can realistically do to notify parents. Our formal method of communication in case of emergency is by phone or SMS text. Because this situation involved an early dismissal, we utilized multiple communication methods to ensure that parents were informed and children were not dropped off to a home without a parent/guardian present. This included:

  • Phone calls home
  • An SMS text message
  • SeeSaw grade level text messages for the Lower School
  • WeChat groups

As of 2:00 pm, we had already successfully personally communicated with over 95% of families.

Thankfully, this emergency was not a serious one. But it does allow us to test our systems and ensure that we have each family’s accurate contact information. I ask for your help in the following important steps.

  • Ensure that you received a text message (not WeChat or SeeSaw) emergency alert on your cell phone.
  • If you did not, contact your divisional school secretary with your updated contact information.

Lower School Secretary: Vicky Xu vxu@scis-china.org

Upper School Secretary: Jelly Ling jling@scis-china.org


Using a day like today as an important test will make sure that we are better prepared for a future emergency.

I wish each of you a relaxing weekend.   May your power stay on!

Derek Luebbe

Head of School

Update December 14

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

I wanted to share this blog a day early to ensure that parents know that tomorrow is a Green and Jeans Day!  Students are dismissed at 11:30.

The first semester has truly flown by. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your children.

Enjoy your long break and we will see you back in 2018!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Welcoming New Families

SCIS Pudong will welcome over 20 new students in January – the most in the last four years.  So, we want to make sure that all the new families are supported in joining the SCIS Community. This includes the opportunity to learn all about the details of living in a dynamic city like Shanghai !  We are putting together a new WeChat group for the new families. (It is optional for them to join.)  On the group, they can ask all the little questions that each of us had when we first moved to Shanghai. We are looking for a few of our current parents to join this WeChat group and support our new families in their transition by sharing information and helping to answer questions. If you are interested in helping out, email Laurie Luebbe at lluebbe@scis-china.org and she will add you to the group.  (Thank you!)


December 8 Update

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Let me start by saying congratulations to all of our Lower School students for their performances today. It was a day to showcase the Performing Arts.

Our PK students (and parents!) started the day off right with an Art and Artists Gallery Walk. The PK artists shared their work and were able to explain what made it special to them. A big thank you to Ms. Aleksa and Ms. Emily who put so much time into preparing the Gallery Walk so that authentic learning could happen. And, a thank you to the parents and faculty who joined to appreciate and hear from our artists – making the experience an authentic expression of sharing.

Later in the day, three Lower School performances were shared to packed houses in the auditorium. The N/PS class performed an excited dance number followed the Grade PK-1 performance of the “The Mitten”. At 1:30 students in Grades 2-5 shared a lively “The Holly Jolly Pirates of Pinataville” for students and families.

These shows were live-streamed, so if you could not make the live performance, check it out online.

Pudong Winter Festival – Sunday, Dec. 10th 11:00am-3:00 pm

All families are welcome to join our SCIS Winter Festival with a German Market theme to celebrate the holidays.  Our PAFA have worked tirelessly to provide a festive winter environment – come out, relax, shop, and enjoy the SCIS community!

Dragon Cup Basketball – Saturday @ SCIS HQ

Good luck to our Boys and Girls Basketball teams as they are take part in the Dragon Cup on Saturday at Hongqiao Campus of SCIS. We always need more fans, so come out and support the Green Dragons!

Student Transitions

The life of an international school community is transient. The only thing stable is change. As we approach the end of the first semester, we know we will say goodbye to a few families and friends. If you are departing or if you know someone who is, please allow your children the time to say goodbye to classmates and teachers.   Sometimes, saying goodbye is not easy, but it is an important part of a healthy transition process.  If you are leaving, know that you will “always be a Dragon.”  You have left your mark on our SCIS community;  I hope you leave SCIS as a happier, healthier person knowing that SCIS has left a mark on you as well.

Part of the transition process is welcoming our new students – and there should be quite a few of them in January. We can all remember what it felt like to be the family or the new student.  Let’s do all we can to transition these newest members into the SCIS community.

Enjoy today’s photos and the rest of your weekend.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School


G2-5 Winter Concert 1
G2-5 Winter Concert 3
G2-5 Winter Concert 2



PK Art and Artists Learning Celebration set up (Thanks Ms. Aleksa and Ms. Emily!)


Ms. Gale adds to the fun


Lucas shares the day.


Frank and Cody and explore and explain.


PK-G1 Winter Concert

Winter Festival Busing, Broadway Live Deadline

Good morning everyone,

Winter Festival Transportation

Just a reminder of our SCIS Winter Festival this Sunday from 11am-3pm. This is a family-friendly event, and we invite your family and friends to attend in the festivities. We will provide free busing to and from the event at the following locations. For the return trip, all buses will depart SCIS at 3:00 pm. Space on the bus is only for those who reserve in advance. To do so, contact Stu Ren at sren@scis-china.org

  • Shimao Riviera(1 Weifang Road Gate)世茂滨江(潍坊西路1号大门): Depart 10:20
  • Green Court(777 Biyun Road, Lan’an road gate)碧云花园(碧云路777号蓝桉路大门): Depart 10:30
  • Emerald(Emerald Club House)绿宝园会所: Depart 10:45

PAFA Meeting and Broadway Live (15 days left for SCIS discount!) Q&A

Today at 10:00 am there is a PAFA meeting in the main conference room. This is followed by a 2nd Question and Answer Session at 11:00 am about the visiting Broadway Live Theater Experience coming to SCIS Pudong. There are only 15 days left for SCIS parents to secure a discount.

This is a fantastic opportunity to have professionals from Broadway come to Shanghai and work with dedicated theater students from all over Shanghai. We hope you can spread the word (and the website !) to other families in Shanghai.

If you are unable to make the Q&A session but wish to find out more information, contact Laurie Luebbe at lluebbe@scis-china.org

December 1 Update


Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

As we near the near the end of 2017, we have much to be thankful for in our SCIS Community. Enjoy a few pictures from some of the many SCIS events, and be sure to review our divisional bulletins for more detailed information.

Lower School Bulletin            Upper School Bulletin

Enjoy the weekend.

Derek Luebbe, Head of School 

18 Days (and counting) for SCIS Parents to Receive Broadway Live Discount!


Did you know Broadway is coming to Shanghai?   Professionals from Broadway NYC will be leading an intensive nine-day theater experience at SCIS.  SCIS is working hard to make this a reality in Shanghai and promote this unique

opportunity, with a deadline for sign-ups of December 20.  More information can be found here.

Benefits for SCIS families?

  • Receive a $500 discount
  • One child can receive a 50% discount in exchange for some marketing support
  • Spaces are limited. Contact Laurie Luebbe if you are interested.
  • Broadway Live provides access to top-tier universities in the USA, with potential for  visits and possible scholarships in performing arts.

We will host a Q&A for any interested parents on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 11:00 am.

(That’s right after the PAFA meeting at 10:00 am)  If you know of other parents – SCIS or not – please invite them to contact us to learn more!

Bus Safety

Please read the blog post from Nov. 28 regarding changes to our bus procedures that are beginning Monday to enhance safety and help improve bus behavior.

SCIS Celebrates Arts Night

Performing arts plays a very important role in the development of children  – allowing them to express who they are. Ultimately, performing isn’t really performing without an audience. And, that’s where I want to thank all the parents who came out to share in what was a great evening for our SCIS community, and – thanks to all of you – provided an authentic experience for our students expressing themselves!


SCIS Band, led by Mr. Demas
Break-out sessions in the foyer featuring our beginner band students.
Parents socialize and peruse IB Art / Design student work.
A fantastic parent community makes this a great event!

Maitian Giving Tree Delivers Donations to Jiangxi Province

Thanks to our dedicated Maitian parents, we collected donations and were able to deliver those (and other purchased supplies) to students in Jiangxi Province on November 26.

Students in Jiangxi Province welcome SCIS
Maitian Donations: Ready to Go









SCIS gives!
saying Thank You










Maitian spreads the (bagel) love to brighten up the morning. (Proceeds helped fund the donations.)

Boys Basketball Go 2-0

With victories over SCIS-HQ and SAS, the boys varsity basketball team continued improving during the action this weekend.

Coach Volpe and the Varsity Boys, leading at half vs. SAS.


SCIS Faculty – Life Long Learners

Friday, November 24 was a free day for students, but a professional development day for faculty. Pictured below, small groups analyze research on the changing role of assessment during our morning sessions.

Small groups debate and discuss best practices in assessment to help our students.






Bus Information

Dear Parents,

Starting on Monday, December 4 we are instituting additional procedures to ensure that our bus safety protocols are followed.

We have instituted a new procedure to have the younger students sit closer to the front of the bus, near the bus ayi.  We have had a few minor instances where students are not responding to requests made by the bus ayis. In some cases, I have instructed the bus driver to not continue to drive the bus unless safety conditions are met. Upon being notified of these instances, the school can follow up with the students (and parents) to ensure that they are abiding by the rules and following the instructions of the bus ayi. In most cases, one warning will suffice for students.

If this warning is not sufficient for a student, then our next consequence for will be to remove the privilege of riding the bus for a short period of time. During this period, parents would be responsible for transporting their children to and from school. We certainly hope this consequence is never needed, but hope that you can take the time to remind your children of the importance of following all the bus rules and listening to the directions of the bus ayi.

On a related note, we occasionally receive requests to modify the bus route to accommodate a specific child’s situation. Please be aware that we set the bus route to be the most effective bus route we can manage for all students on that route. We will review alterations to the bus route at the start of each semester, and make any necessary adjustments at that time.

If you have any questions about transportation, feel free to contact Stu Run at  sren@scischina.org


Derek Luebbe

Head of School Update Nov 17

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Please take a moment to stay current and stay connected.
Wishing each of you a relaxing weekend!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School, SCIS Pudong

Live Broadcast with Student/Teacher Audio Today at 4:30

Join us our LiveStream link, to hear students and faculty share the play-by-play of this afternoons Boys Varsity Basketball Game today at 4:30 versus SMIC. Live broadcasting, and announcing play-by-play is a challenging task to do well. We are trying this for the first time with tonight’s game. Wish both the broadcasters and the Boys’ Basketball team good luck!

No School for Students, Friday November 24

REMINDER: November 24 is a faculty Professional Development Day. No school for students. Enjoy the long weekend!

SCIS Pudong Winter Festival: Sunday Dec. 10

Pudong Winter Festival: Save the date.

Friday November 24: SCIS HQ Winter Carnival

This is an wonderful SCIS Winter Carnival welcoming families from Pudong and Hongqiao Campus.  The Carnival takes place at the SCIS HQ Campus. Bussing will be provided free of charge for Pudong families from selected spots in Pudong.

We would love for you to join us. Stay tuned this blog post for more information on bus information.

Broadway Live Summer Theater Experience

SCIS Pudong will be hosting professionals from Broadway Live (NYC) to run a 9-day summer theater experience for those who share a passion for the stage. You can learn more about the program here. Space is limited, and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.  SCIS students receive a discount of 500 usd.

Visit our website to learn more about this unique opportunity.

Big Community Events

Dear Parents, Faculty, Students, and Friends,

A quick update on a few events.

NCAA Basketball with SCIS

For those of you who are joining us for tomorrow’s USA NCAA Basketball Game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the UCLA Bruins, you can find more information in the following link.   SCIS PD Family Day 2017 – PAC 12 China Game
10:00 am:  Breakfast at school
10:45 am: Busses leave SCIS

Let’s hope we are in store for a great game.

PureLiving Presents to Parents

Our Nov. 7 PAFA meeting featured some guest speakers from PureLiving to discuss the air quality in Shanghai. Specifically, they discussed the processes that SCIS takes along with suggestions regarding steps that families can take at home.

The session included a Q&A from parents, and the full PPT from the PureLiving presentation is  here.

PureLiving shares air quality information at PAFA meeting.



SCIS (HQ and PD) Community Winter Carnival: November 25

Our Board of Directors is throwing a party!

Come celebrate with the entire SCIS Community as we join together with the SCIS Puxi Hongqiao Campus. This will be a big extravaganza, and we want to make it easy for you all of our Pudong families to show their spirit.

We will provide bussing to and from the event from key areas in Pudong. More information on the bussing will come soon. For now, please save the date and join us for a fun-filled day in Puxi.

Click image to download.

Bingo Night, Nov. 18

Today was a busy one at school as our fantastic parents spent the day preparing Bingo Baskets for our Bingo Night event on Nov. 18.  We look forward to a fun evening of laughter, food, drink, and bingo prizes.  Mark your calendar!

A special thank you to the fantastic community that was on display today from our parents working so hard to get ready for the big night. Their efforts and energy are a big part of what makes this a special place.


Parents Make it Happen.


Bingo Baskets Before and After: Thank you parents.
The final product! Come out and win a basket on the 18th.

Pudong Winter Festival: December 10

Save the date for our Winter Festival from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday December 10. The day is being put together by our PAFA and more information will be coming soon.

HoS Update Oct 31 (Happy Halloween!)

Dear Parents,

Having just returned from the EARCOS Leadership Conference in Bangkok, I unfortunately missed two big events on the SCIS calendar:

Newly painted playground lines

Parent Teacher Conferences and our Halloween celebration. Thanks to social media, I was able to get a virtual experience of the events.

Our Parent-Teacher Conferences provide opportunities for you to engage in dialogue with your child’s teacher to better support learning.  We appreciate hearing your opinion on how these conferences can be improved. Please take a moment to share your feedback on the Lower School and/or Upper School Conferences.

Both days require a good deal of planning, and my thanks go out to all the faculty and parents who were a part of the preparation and set-up to make the events a success. 

Our community joins in celebrating Halloween.


In addition to Halloween, the last few weeks have seen numerous examples of the fantastic ways that parents have added value to our students’ experience. These are great ways that SCIS is truly a community school, celebrating and learning from our diversity.

Parent Booster Club helped support (and feed!) all the athletes during the recent ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament held at SCIS.
Parents help celebrate Diwali, the Indian Celebration of Lights” by creating a masterpiece in the main lobby as 3rd graders observe.




A Diwali masterpiece!
A big thank you to our parents!
Celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. (Thanks to Mrs. Chiu!)

SCIS Represents at EARCOS Leadership Conference

As I shared earlier, I recently attended the EARCOS Regional Leadership Conference, a gathering of close to 200 schools from the Asian region. This year, Lower School Principal Liz Gale joined me. It’s a great event to learn, grow, and recognize so many of the special elements we already have here at SCIS.  We both left EARCOS with some great ideas for potential growth along

Lower School Principal Liz Gale, presenting at the Bangkok EARCOS Conference

with an affirmation of the special community we have. A special congratulations go out to Ms. Gale as she was also a presenter at the conference, leading a session attended by 25 education leaders entitled “Elevating Inquiry through the Readers / Writers Workshop”.


A Picture (Movie) is Worth a 1000 Words

Lastly, I will leave you with a great video produced by the Grade 1M class. Ms. Myers and the class shared it at the recent Lower School assembly, but it captures the philosophy of learning at SCIS, helping students  learn in authentic settings, valuing mistakes as part of learning, and recognizing the real learning is social – created together and shared for a purpose.  Enjoy this link to view the movie on Youku.


Results from Two Parent Surveys: Swimming and PureLiving Town Hall Meeting

Thank you to the parents who completed our two recent surveys. Here are the results.

  • Weekend Swimming: We do feel that we have enough initial interest to try to begin a weekend swim program. You can expect to hear more about the details of the program in the next few weeks. If you have questions, contact Vic Caban at vcaban@scischina.org
  • Air Quality Town Hall with PureLiving: Based on survey results, an over-whelming majority wanted this Town Hall meeting to take place during a regularly scheduled parent event. We have scheduled the informational and Q&A session to coincide with the upcoming PAFA meeting at 10:00 am. The PureLiving Town Hall will begin at 11:00 am on Tuesday Nov. 7.  Parents are encouraged to attend and learn more about methods to monitor and improve air quality in the school and the home.

Better Communication at SCIS is Just a Click Away


As a reminder, this blog is just one of the ways to stay in touch with all that is happening within the SCIS Community. We have a number of additional ways to connect that are just a quick scanned QR Code away!

Spirit Week & Hosting ACAMIS Volleyball

As you all know, it’s Spirit Week here at SCIS!  Students are invited to follow the special dress days throughout the week. The entire week is a build up to our big event on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as SCIS hosts 12 teams from around China in the ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament.

This is major event for our campus. I want to start by acknowledging the hard work of Coach Vic in making it happen.  I also want to share a special thank you to all of the parents who are hosting student athletes from other schools this weekend. The entire tournament experience is a fantastic opportunity for all of our students, and without our dedicated parents hosting students, it would not be the same. Thank you.

The games take place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We invite parents to come out and show your support for our Pudong (and SCIS Hongqiao) Boys and Girls Teams. The full schedule is here.

For parents who are hosting, you can expect additional tournament information from Coach Vic. You can stay up to date with tournament action at the Tournament Website.

And speaking of sports, this last weekend was a busy one for the SCIS Dragons. Our Hongqiao Campus hosted a swim tournament and SAS Puxi hosted the Boys and Girls SISAC Volleyball Tournament. Enjoy the photos!


Some fish out of water-
PD Swimmers in Action at SCIS HQ









Varsity Boys Volleyball in Action
                Look out below!
Boys VB: On their way to a 3rd Place at SISAC
Girls Volleyball: 1st Place SISAC Champions

Click to watch the video of the championship point.

What are the Spirit Week Dress Up Days?

Plan for the fun week by helping your child take part in the fun!
Monday: Pajama Day
Tuesday:  Dress Like a Teacher Day
Wednesday: Hat Day (LS),   Hero/ Villain Day (MS),  Class Color Day (HS)
Thursday: Greens & Jeans Day
Friday: Sports Day

Parent Teacher Conferences

When?  Wednesday Oct. 25 starting at 3:30 pm
              Thursday Oct 26 starting at 12:30 pm
How do you schedule an appointment? See the Principals’ Weekly Bulletin for divisional instructions.
How can parents best prepare for a successful conference?  Download this prep-sheet from Harvard’s School of Education for Parent -Teacher Conference Tips