Head of School Updates, Sep. 14 2018

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Today was a quiet week at SCIS as the Upper School students were away to various regions in China as part of their China Go trips.

It’s a great way for the students to build new relationships, strengthen the classroom community with their advisors, engage in Service Learning, and see different parts of the diversity of China.  You will see a few of the photos from the China Trips below, and you can check out the Upper School’s Principal Post for more photos and information.


Speaking of diversity, on Friday, September 21, SCIS will celebrate the annual United Nations International Day of Peace (UNIDOP). Each year, this is truly a celebration of the diversity we have on this campus, the value which comes with that diversity, and reminder of the power that our students’ unique perspective gives them in helping to make the world a better place in the future. They are uniquely positioned to do so, and we want to foster that with our annual schoolwide assembly at 1:30 on Friday in the auditorium. One important aspect of this celebration is our Parade of Nations in which students and parents walk across the stage to celebrate the nationality(ies) that represent(s) their family. Please see a list of the 40 nationalities below to ensure it includes all the countries your family/child would represent.

Today (and through the weekend) was also a special day of Professional Development. Most of our  Lower School teachers took part in a specialized workshop let by Erin Kent, a worldwide consultant in teaching literacy through the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop (TCRRW). This method of literacy instruction is the program followed by our Lower School teachers. The TCRRW is child-centered, inquiry-based naturally differentiated approach so that students are collectively working on skills by reading books of their interest and ability level. We’re proud to be hosting Erin to allow our teachers to continually refine their practices.

In early October, SCIS Pudong will host the 3rd weekend workshop (of 5) in the two-year program leading to additional specialized certification in mathematics. The program is entitled the Math Specialist in International Schools. It is led by renowned math expert Erma Anderson. Approximately 25 educators from around Asia (including 12 SCIS teachers) are taking part in the program to receive this additional certification. For parents lucky enough to have heard Erma present, she speaks about how traditional math programs struggle to teach mathematical thinking and reasoning and instead rely too much on algorithmic solutions and superficial understanding. It’s a fascinating topic, and we are trying to find some time for Erma to share additional presentations with parents when she is here next month. But for those of you who are curious, you can see a video of one Erma’s sessions online via YouTube, at this link. (You will need to be behind a VPN.)

SCIS is committed to providing our teachers with professional development the represents best practices in education. This year, our plate is rather full. Inquiry expert Kath Murdoch will lead a weekend workshop at SCIS Pudong to educators all over Asia. We were also granted the opportunity to host an IB Regional Conference in March, where IB educators from over 50 schools will take part in one of 15 different workshops to strengthen our IB program and practices. Lastly, SCIS Hongqiao  will be this year’s host for the ACAMIS Leadership Conference in March, welcoming over 500 educators to it’s campus and allowing SCIS faculty to benefit greatly from spending a few extra days with some of the regions top consultants.

This spills over into our current initiative for supporting parents through our Positive Discipline workshops. If you want to expand your parenting tool-kit and learn alternative strategies for how to respond at home to the  struggles that parents face daily, then inquire with Lower School Liz Gale (egale@scis-china.org ) how you can learn more about our book club and/or workshops being held at the school in both English and Chinese.

I wish you a pleasant weekend and hope you’re able to spend some time outdoors enjoying the lovely weather.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School


International Day of Peace (UNIDOP)

Our annual UNIDOP ( United Nations Int’l Day of Peace) celebration will be September 21, 2018 at 1:30 in the SCIS theater.  We want to ensure that we have all the flags representing our diverse student body at SCIS. Please check the list to see the flags on the line-up and write Laurie Luebbe (lluebbe@scis-china.org) if you would like to have another one displayed.  The deadline to make changes is WEDNESDAY, September 19th.  STUDENTS will able to walk across the stage when their flag is displayed.   Some students will walk more than once if they identify with more than one nation.
List of Nations:
China (HK, Taiwan, Macau)
Czech Republic
South Africa
South Korea
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom


Grade 10 in Guilin
Grade 6 in Moganshan


Grade 9 in Inner Mongolia
Grade 8 in Beijing

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