Head of School Updates, November 23 2018

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Bingo Night Planning Committee with our MCs

Initially, a huge thank you to everyone who was a part of SCIS Bingo Night 2018. What a fantastic event! Trish Castillo and the PAFA Bingo Planning Committee led the efforts for a turnout of over 300 parents, students, and faculty. Our MCs for the night (Mr. Kelly and Coach Vic) kept it moving – and somehow managed a wardrobe change every 30 minutes. And, a special thank you to all the behind-the-scenes people who just make the event run smoothly and leave us a with a great memory. Those of you on the WeChat Fantastic Parents group know that a big thank you goes to Dieter for sharing such fantastic photographs of the night!

Bingo Night: Food, Fun, and Community

As we approach the end of the first semester, the activity level at school increases significantly.

Teachers collaborate on Concept-Based Learning.

Professionally, our big highlight this week included a 3-day visit from Concept-Based Learning expert Tania Lattanzio. She worked with the staff in small groups to further their understanding in this area, and today (Friday) were were fortunate to have her work with our entire faculty together. It’s been a great week of professional collaboration.

SCIS Teachers engage in a day of learning with Tania Lattanzio.

As you can see the from the photos below, the school is buzzing as well. I want to thank all the parents who joined us for the SCIS Turkey Trot Swim Meet, basketball games today

Dragon Swimmers compete in the Turkey Trot.

and tomorrow (SCIS Dragon Cup at SCIS HQ) and the various Lower School Learning Celebrations where students showcased their learning. When our students see us involved in their efforts, learning and growth is more connected and authentic.

Operationally, I want to announce that we will return from the Winter Holiday in the midst of a main lobby re-design! Working in collaboration with PAFA and with the special help of parent Victor Ngo (whose design expertise has been invaluable!), we will begin a re-design of the Illy Cafe and main floor central corridor to make it more inviting, collaborative, and create additional meeting spaces for parents and students.

Strategically, the planning for 2019-20 has already begun. The short story is that SCIS Pudong continues to grow! Our year-on-year school tours continue to increase – and so much of that is because of the large number of parent referrals we get from all of you. (Thank you.) While we have reached capacity at a few grade levels this year, we anticipate that next year there will be many grade levels near capacity, especially in the lower grades. Sadly, with each break we must say goodbye to a few families who make up our SCIS Community. If your family is relocating, please reach out to SCIS so that we can prepare your departure packet. Know that you are always welcome to come back and visit. “Once a Dragon; always a Dragon.”

To meet our anticipated enrollment growth, our Board of Directors have already approved additional teachers to be hired for August of 2019, and we have already started the hiring process. Because we’re located in Shanghai and we now have an established IB Program (PYP, MYP, DP), SCIS remains an attractive place to work and grow professionally.  Our reputation and SCIS community is well-known by teachers internationally, and this allows us an added advantage in the hiring process.

As you know, Friday December 14 is the last day of the first semester. Students are dismissed at 11:30 am on this day.

This week, all new families to SCIS in 2018-19 should have received an email survey from me to hear. If you did not receive this email, contact Joanna at jzhou@scis-china.org . Whether you are a new family or a long-term Dragon, your feedback helps us improve. We remain open to your suggestions and encourage you to communicate with PAFA to plan ways that we can better serve students and families.

This weekend, we have the SCIS (Hongqiao) Winter Festival on Saturday from 11:00-4:00 pm. Our Pudong Winter Festival is Sunday, December 2nd from 11:00 – 3:00 pm. We encourage you to join these festive events – and share in the SCIS Community!

Wishing you a restful weekend.


Derek Luebbe
Head of School


Photos From Around the School


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