Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends
Welcome back to school everyone. I’m hoping everyone enjoyed a relaxing Spring Break.
There are a few pieces of important information that I want to draw to your attention.
1. We are now seeking PAFA parent nominations for the 2019-20 SCIS PAFA Executive Leadership Team. Please consider offering your talent and ideas to add to benefit our students and community. The nominations are open until April 24. You can nominate yourself or another parent who you feel would add value to our school community. Learn more about the important role of PAFA, here. And, review our new PAFA Job Descriptions to see if you or someone you know could contribute to SCIS. You are all invited to the next PAFA General Meeting on Tuesday April 16 at 10:00 am where we will talk more about this process, and the planning for the 2019-20 school year.
2. Reminder to save the date, April 27th, for the International Food Festival. We will provide bus sign-ups for those that don’t wish to drive. Come join us for a fun day!
3. WASC Accreditation – on the horizon
For me, it was a delayed return to SCIS after the Spring Break. I was absent most of this week after returning from Beijing. I took part in a 5-day WASC Accreditation Visit for another IB school in Beijing. WASC stands for Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For most of this week I was part of a team that was reviewing another school for potential accreditation.
SCIS is WASC accredited. Our last visit was five years ago (which is the maximum accreditation term). We will have our WASC visit in 2 years which means next year parents will see opportunities to become involved in contributing to our self-study process.
How does the accreditation process work?
The accreditation process is like a big educational audit with the goal of focusing the school’s future efforts into a viable action plan. Members of WASC are educators from around the world. The entire process is a significant amount of work; The school works for 18-24 months in analyzing their own school and sharing a detailed report in advance of the WASC visit. The visitors read this report of approximately 200 pages before the 5-day visit so that they can confirm the self study while at the school. The process ends with the visiting team working with the school to develop the priorities and areas of focus for future work.
Why is accreditation a big deal?
Completing a successful visit earns a school a term of accreditation for a certain number of years. Schools which are accredited can communicate to the world that the educational program is meeting high quality standards and that students who graduate and transfer to other schools can be accepted by universities and other schools.
How do WASC visits help SCIS grow?
Obviously, when we begin our self-study and go through our visit, the school will benefit from the increased focus, by all constituents (teachers, parents, students, support staff, etc.) into determining priorities.
Additionally when SCIS faculty volunteer their time to be on a WASC visiting committee to another school, we can bring back a more detailed understanding of that school’s practices in order to help guide areas where we can improve. Additionally, we get to appreciate the unique qualities of our school, children, and community. For me, this visit was an affirmation of so many of the positive elements I take for granted at SCIS.
4. Next week, SCIS will host visiting author Andy Craven-Grifiths. Andy will be leading writing workshops with Upper and Lower School students, and we should all be grateful to our PAFA group who have worked with our librarian, Ms. Emily Williams, to support this opportunity for our students. More information is available from the Principal’s Posts.
Wishing you and your family a relaxing weekend.
Events on the Horizon
Monday, April 15: Author Visit Andy Craven-Grifiths (through Friday)
Tuesday, April 16: PAFA General Meeting – 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Thursday, April 18:
- ACAMIS soccer @ Harrow Beijing
- K-5 Lower School Assembly, 8:15am-9:15am, Black Box
- Note: Grade 5 students present this month’s Lower School Assembly
- Lower School Principal’s Coffee Morning on the PYP Exhibition, 9:15am-10:15am, Room 208
Saturday, April 20, SISAC Badminton, Concordia International School
Saturday, April 27 – International Festival – 11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Friday, May 17 – Teacher Appreciation Day
Photos From Around Campus