Head of School Updates, January 23, 2020

Dear Parents, Faculty, Students and Friends

Happy Chinese New Year! We hope you were able to join us this afternoon for our celebration to welcome the Year of the Rat!

We had a busy week leading up to our CNY holiday. On Tuesday, many of you were at school to interact with our students as they shared their (MYP) Personal Project presentations. The Personal Project is a yearlong exploration by each tenth grader into an area of personal passion and curiosity. This is one of the required parts of the IB Middle Years Program, and there are quite a few requirements that structure the process. But at its core, the Personal Project represents the culmination of a process that started in August, involved countless hours of work and planning, (each student was given a Personal Project Supervisor from our faculty) and presented the action taken on a personal exploration.

The presentations in the Black Box were supported by another great learning experience led by students in our MYP Design Class. These students supplied snacks for the day – but not just any snacks. They followed the MYP Design Process to work in groups and create cross-cultural snacks that they hoped would satisfy the tastes of customers. Blending the foods from different cultures produces something entirely new – leaving the cooks and the customers with a brand new experience to share! To share a few examples (along with the accompanying business cards.)

  • “Made Indi USA” food truck combined Indian and American cultures. They made spicy vegetable and paneer wraps.  The Indian culture was represented by the spicy veggies, paneer and masala spice, and the American culture was represented by the idea of wrap.
  • “Eco-Chez” food truck was a vegetarian Croatian /Brazilian fusion truck idea. They made Croatian pancake with dulce de leche filling. A Croatian pancake recipe was brought from home. The dulce de leche, a sweet confection from Brazil or Latin America, was added and served as a mild, sweet dessert.

Both the Personal Project and the Food Fusion project are fantastic examples of how we use students’ personal passions and our diversity of backgrounds to create unique solutions to existing problems. The SCIS Mission Statement speaks of students who “contribute positively to their communities.” Those types of contributions happen when students are given authentic opportunities to identify their own interests and apply their learning in those areas. These are the experiences that leverage what students already know and stretch that area of knowledge into new territory.  Congratulations to everyone who was involved!

On a related note, in the 3rd floor lobby, many of you may have seen the interactive displays shared by our Grade 6 and Grade 9 students for their planetary exhibits.

Grade 6 & 9 Planetary Exhibits

I also was lucky enough to pop into Mr. Ruf’s class to see their learning celebration on Light. Congratulations to everyone involved in that project.

Lastly, I am sure many of you share my concern about the coronavirus and its impact during the Chinese New Year. (Please see below for more information.) I share my personal wishes with each of you for health and safety during the holidays – and beyond. We are so fortunate to live within one of the most dynamic cities in the world, and share in their celebration. Being a part of today’s assembly was just a small reminder for me how lucky we truly are.

To everyone within the SCIS community, I wish to extend my best wishes for prosperity and happiness during the Year of the Rat! Enjoy your time with friends and family during the holiday.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School


All of you should have received an important email on Thursday from our Director of Schools, Dan Eschtruth. (If you did not receive it, please ensure that you have your SCIS Parent Email set up to forward to your personal email account. Contact Barry Johnson – bjohnson@scis-china.org – if you want help with this.)

We have remained diligent, mandating hand-washing and taking extra safety and cleaning precautions. The school will stay in close contact with all relevant agencies during the upcoming days to ensure that we have current, accurate information.


Dear SCIS Community, 

As we close out the various Chinese New Year festivities across our campuses, we prepare ourselves to bid farewell to the Year of the Pig and welcome in the Year of the Rat. These celebrations are but one part of the unique opportunity our students have to engage in meaningful experiences as they develop deeper understandings of our host country, its culture and traditions. Before many of you depart on your travels for the holiday season, I wanted to share the following announcements and updates:

2020-21 School Year Calendar

Please find attached the 2020-2021 SCIS school year calendar, it is also now posted on our main website, please follow this link to find it. As always, this calendar represents our effort to optimize learning while covering all confirmed and expected school and national holidays. Further, it provides opportunities for our work with our WASC/IB accreditation process and adheres to the calendar mandates established by our SCIS Board of Directors. 

2020-21 Re-enrollment 

You will also have received an email from our Admissions Department marking the commencement of our re-enrollment process. Re-enrollment is a vital process for both securing your family’s seat placement for the 2020-2021 school year and our ability to effectively plan for the school year to come. The process of re-enrollment is relatively short and is required for families intending to return and those that are confirming that this will be their final year with us here at SCIS. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with your children and, of course, hope to be doing so once again in the new school year. 

WASC & IB Self-Study Update – 

Our work focusing on our synchronized WASC/IB Accreditation & Authorization process is well underway. As a reminder, the following dates in February have been earmarked as time available for our faculty to focus on this critical process: 

  • Hongqiao Main & ECE Early Release Dates (2:00 PM Student Dismissal): Feb. 12th & 26th 
  • Pudong Campus Early Release Dates (2:00 PM Student Dismissal): Feb. 10th and 24th 
  • Professional In-Service Day (No School for Students): February 28th 

School-wide Learner Outcome Update: 

I want to thank the many parents that joined us for both sessions of our School-wide Learner Outcome discussion. Both sessions were inspirational reminders of the incredible community we have here at SCIS. While we had two packed houses, we still aim to get input from as many of you as possible. So, we will take the feedback from the meetings to inform our next steps in gathering parent and, eventually, student feedback into our organizational and educational program. 

Health & Safety:   

Along with the wonderful opportunities for travel and time with family and friends that this time of year provides, comes the unfortunate increase in illnesses. To be certain, SCIS has already instituted our heightened seasonal cleaning protocols across our campuses and has maintained our effort to remind students of best preventive measures (covering our mouths to sneeze and cough, sufficiently and frequently washing our hands, staying home when displaying symptoms, etc.). However, in addition to the heightened influenza season this year we are also closely monitoring the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) here in China and now the East Asia region. A critical piece for our community is for us to continue to adhere to our proactive and preventative measures established to reduce the spread of any infectious diseases. 

That being said, we are working with relevant authorities, our health and safety team, and our school cleaning and clinic providers to initiate additional protocols that will further support our efforts to maintain a healthy learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. For additional information and advice on staying healthy and further resources on the novel coronavirus, please follow this link

For now, we turn our attention to bidding farewell to the Year of the Pig and welcoming in the Year of the Rat. May it bring all of us great happiness, health, and prosperity! 新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

Daniel Eschtruth
Director of Schools
Shanghai Community International School

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4:
    • High School Soccer Tryouts/Practice, 4pm
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5:
    • High School Soccer Tryouts/Practice, 4pm
  • Thursday, Feb. 6:
    • PAFA Board Meeting, 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Friday, Feb. 7:
    • High School Soccer Practice, 3:5pm

Photos From Around Campus

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