Head of School Updates, Aug. 16, 2019

Dear Parents,
We’ve reached the end of a busy Week One.

In my earlier post, I highlighted a number of different upcoming school events. Review that post if you were unable to read it. It included:

  • Ms. Gale’s temporary absence
  • Our summer facilities upgrades
  • Communication channels at SCIS: Do you know our WeChat norms?
  • Important School Contacts
  • Read the PAFA Post (Parent and Friends Association)
  • Upcoming Events:
    • PAFA Meet & Greet Coffee Morning, Tuesday Aug. 20, 9:30-11:30
    • Welcome Back BBQ, Saturday Aug. 24, 11:00-3:00 pm
    • Back to School Night, August 29, 6:00 pm

It’s been a fun week for me to roam the hallways and try to connect with the 80+ new students, and of course all of our returning students as well. The school year has a great community feel to it.

Speaking of community, I am proud to announce the arrival of a new SCIS Dragon over the summer. On July 24, SCIS teachers Mr. and Mrs. Ruf welcomed the birth of their first child, a girl named Charlotte Reese Ruf. Everyone is smiling (or crying!) as should be expected. Seeing them all together is sure to brighten anyone’s day!

During my introduction to new families, I highlighted our focus on the development of the whole child. As a Three-Program IB school (PYP, MYP, DP), our academic program is strong and at the forefront. But we strive to be more than the IB – to help children develop socially, emotionally, athletically, and ethically. This is called educating the whole child.

During the welcome message, I shared three foundational goals we have for every child’s experience. They are worth repeating as they apply to all children.

  • We strive to challenge each child, to push toward improvement, in each of these areas.
  • We strive to support each child within this challenge.
  • We strive to appreciate each child for who they are at this point in time.

I know that if we are able to do that, we have the foundation for a very successful school year.

As the year begins, on behalf of everyone here at SCIS, I wish to express how fortunate we feel to have the community we have. We are all here for the success of children. If, at any point in the year, you have questions, please reach out to your child’s teacher, principal, or me.

Hoping your year is off to a successful start.
Respectfully,

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Uniforms & Greens and Jeans

SCIS Green Spirit T-Shirt

If you have any uniform needs, please see Ann in the SCIS Student Store. New families also received a Green SCIS T-Shirts. Next Friday will be a Dragon Spirit Day in preparation for our Welcome Back BBQ on Saturday. Friday the 23rd will be Green & Jeans Day. This means students do not have to come in the SCIS uniform as long as they come in their SCIS Green T-shirt. They can also wear jeans or other appropriate shorts/pants. It’s a fun day to celebrate who we are, and the fun will continue into Saturday’s BBQ.

Welcome Back BBQ: Saturday August 24, 11:00-3:00 pm


The Welcome Back BBQ is an annual tradition filled with food, drinks, games, entertainment and socializing to connect (and re-connect) our SCIS Community. Come out for a fun day of family relaxation. Busing will be provided from designated pick-up points. Busing will be provided to / from selective spots in the city. You must reserve your spot using the QR code below by Thursday at 3:00 pm

Scan for bus sign-up

This is a free – and fun – event!

We are looking for PERFORMERS who want to sing, dance or play an instrument at the AUG 24th WELCOME BBQ. Contact Laurie Luebbe if you or your child(ren) are interested. DEADLINE Friday Aug 23. Email Laurie: lluebbe@scis-china.org

Synchronized IB / WASC Accreditation Visit: Preparation

In this week’s blog, I would like to provide a very short introduction into an important strategic process that SCIS will undertake in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school year. You will hear much more about this process in weeks to come.

This year we embark upon the task of preparing for an accreditation visit. Accreditation is very important process for a school; it is similar to an educational audit, performed by visiting educators. SCIS is a fully accredited school since it’s inception in 1986. We are one of the rare schools in the world that is authorized by both the IB (International Baccalaureate) and accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) in the USA. In the spring of 2021, educators from both both organizations will visit SCIS for approximately one week to verify our internal self-study.

Why is accreditation so important?
An accredited school allows everyone around the world to know that this school meets high standards of quality. It allows universities and other K-12 students to accept students, knowing that the standard of quality has been verified.

Is SCIS already accredited?
Yes. We have are fully accredited by both agencies. Accreditation terms run for a maximum of six years. Our term is up for renewal. What makes this visit so special is that we have aligned both organizations into one, larger, synchronized visit.

This seems over a year away. Why are we learning about now?
Over the course of the next 18 months, SCIS will be going through a rigorous self-study using the externally provided criteria from WASC and IB to learn where we are strong and where we can improve. Our self-study process is a detailed analysis of all stakeholders’ perspectives (students, teachers, parents, support staff, administration, Board members, etc.) to better understand SCIS. The self-study will be published next school year and available for all.

As a parent, how might this affect me?
As a parent (or a student), you can expect that you will receive a few more surveys than in previous years. We will also be organizing feedback sessions to talk about the results of the survey, and solicit more detailed, nuanced perspectives. You can expect to hear more about these in the future.

Is accreditation basically just a stamp of approval?
No. The accreditation process is an opportunity for a school to renew its purpose, review its practices against standards-based criteria of effectiveness, and then benefit from an educational audit from educators from around the world who specialize in each aspect so what we can learn and continuously improve.
We are looking forward to the journey, and sharing more about it this year.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 20, PAFA Welcome Coffee Morning, Black Box, 9:30am-11:30am
  • August 24, Welcome Back BBQ, 11am-3pm

Photos From Around Campus

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