Head of School Updates, January 25 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

It’s been another busy but productive week.

Last weekend, we hosted 150 educators to learn from the world leader in Inquiry-Based education, Kath Murdoch. It was a great weekend of learning for the 35 SCIS teachers who attended.

On Tuesday, we welcomed faculty and parents to view the culmination of our MYP Personal Projects. As you know, our philosophy of education is grounded in inquiry and a constructivist approach to learning. Briefly, this means that learning should not simply be a rigorous amount of knowledge that needs to be remembered for a test. Learning experiences should be personal, where each student is challenged to connect new learning to existing knowledge within a context that makes sense for that person and for a specific (ideally) real-world context. These are the authentic environments that adults face in the real world. These are the types of skills our students need to learn in order to be successful in the future.

Nathan plays the Guzheng

On Tuesday, we witnessed a great example of how we try to accomplish this goal.

Each 10th grader, with the help of a faculty member, completes a Personal Project which takes approximately 5 months to complete. Each Personal Project is entirely created by the student to pursue a personal passion. Their exploration includes research and a practical component of creation with an emphasis on real world learning.

Garrett shares his computer project.

On Tuesday, the 10th graders shared their projects with a descriptive poster, the display of their product, and a short speech and Q&A regarding their product and process. One of the unique features of the Personal Project is that each student determines the scoring rubric for quality, and this rubric needs to be approved when they start the project in September. One of my favorite aspects of the Personal Projects is that in almost all cases, the project never develops as the student intended. Often times, we find that students struggle to budget their time, they don’t always ask the right questions, and their questions are not answered in the most efficient manner. We learn and grow from these experiences.  Congratulations to our 10th Graders for all they accomplished during the project. Some of the topics are listed below:

  • to design and build a computer

    Sejin’s Personal Project: 3D Modelling
  • to research the history and meaning of Polynesian tattoos in order to design and apply them successfully
  • to learn the basic skills to play the Guzheng (Chinese Zither)
  • to learn the process of 3D modelling, texturing, rigging, and animating in order to produce short 3D animations in blender
  • to research types of language usage and figurative devices to design and produce my own book of short stories in order to become a better writer

I want to share a special thank you to the parents and faculty who made time to attend the presentations and ask probing questions. These are great learning opportunities for our students, and they are only possible with the help of an involved community.

Lastly, there are 2 letters attached to this email regarding routine cases of head lice and H1N1 which are typical for this time of year. Please pay special attention to these issues with regards to your children this weekend.

Lastly, we wish our Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball teams good luck. As of this writing, they are in the middle of their ACAMIS Tournament in Macau.

Next week promises to be a busy one as we celebrate Chinese New Year. We encourage parents to join us for the festivities and our other events.

Wishing you a relaxing weekend. Go Dragons!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, January 28 to February 1, US Chinese Culture Days
  • Thursday, January 31, Positive Discipline Parenting Session 4, 8:30am-11:30am, room 208
  • Friday, February 1,
    Chinese New Year Kick-off Assembly, 1:00pm-1:40pm, Theater
    LS Chinese New Year Temple Fair, 1:45pm-2:45pm, Black Box
  • February 4-8 No School. Chinese New Year
  • Tuesday, February 12: PAFA General Meeting 10:15

Photos From Around Campus

Check out all the MYP Personal Projects in our main lobby.


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