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

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