April 17, Head of School Update

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends

Today’s update is a special one of course. It includes a short update regarding our Return to Campus. And, it includes the full text of the important emails shared earlier today regarding my departure from SCIS this June. I again share those communications here, and thank you all once again for the memories and progress we have made.

As a reminder, May 1 is a school holiday. There will be no school for students and staff on this day.

Return To Campus

SCIS, along with all other international schools in Shanghai, have received additional clarification from the Shanghai Educational Commission on our next steps.  We now understand that May 6th is identified as a date by which we should be operationally ready for a return to campus, having completed all mandatory preparation work, and submitted our application for the inspection.

We still do not have a specific timeline for our return-to-campus learning which would include students and teachers. If we learn of a date, we will share this with all of you. In the meantime, we will focus on that which we can control and continue our efforts toward complying with all requirements for the operational and planning requirements for our eventual return.  We stand ready to complete all required actions once a return-to-campus learning date is established. 

Thank you for your ongoing understanding and patience as we continue through this situation together.

My Departure from SCIS

For those of you who may not have received the initial email from Dan Eschtruth and my subsequent email, it is shared below.

Dear Pudong Parents,

I write to share some important information with each of you in tandem with the announcement from our Director of Schools, Dan Eschtruth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the financial projections for schools all around the world; SCIS is no exception to this.

Due to upcoming budget shortfall, I agreed to take a one-year sabbatical for 2020-21 school year  I will continue to work through to the end of this academic year. Beyond that, I am considering my professional options and what that may mean for my family. Given the situation, steps like these are an unfortunate reality to ensure SCIS continues to meet the needs of our students and remains financially responsible.

The adjustments to the Pudong Campus leadership structure for the 2020-21 school year are detailed in the accompanying letter from Mr. Eschtruth.

On a personal level, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.

My time leading the Pudong Campus has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences in my life. I’m very proud of what we have built, and what we continue to build.

I have always appreciated SCIS’s focus on finding success for each individual child. This focus makes us unique, and it’s also the common thread that builds our community.

It is this community I will truly miss:

·       the students who come into school each day with a smile (usually),

·       the dedicated faculty who come up with creative ways to meet students’ needs, and challenge each other (and me) to be better each day. I respect them greatly.

·       the parents who work with us as partners in order to support students in pursuit of a shared goal.

I am hopeful that my next professional experience will provide the same level of satisfaction.

In the last four years, the school has successfully overcome so many challenges.  Whatever the future brings to SCIS Pudong, I do want to share my sincere thanks for having welcomed me and giving me the honor to lead.   I’ve been lucky to come to work each day be surrounded by this international environment and people within it.

I wish nothing but the best for all of you and for SCIS. Go Dragons.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

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