Head of School Updates, May 17 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends,

A big thank you to our newly appointed PAFA Leadership Team. Our PAFA meeting on Tuesday covered a lot of topics – one of which included some group brainstorming for potential PAFA goals for 2019-20.

You can see meet the new PAFA Leadership and review the proposed goal areas in the PAFA minutes from Tuesday’s meeting on the PAFA website.

Today kicked off with a blast as PAFA celebrated Teacher Appreciation with a fantastic breakfast for the entire staff. On behalf of the entire staff, a big thank you for today’s morning fuel – and all the energy you provide throughout the year to our community.

Please mark the calendar for next week’s Upper School Drama Performance: Somewhere Nowhere
Thursday, May 23: 4:30 – 6:30
Friday, May 24: 6:30-8:30

Be sure to check out the each division’s Principal’s Post for more detailed information.

As we near the end of the year, it is always a busy time of the year. Please take a moment to reflect with your child on all that they have accomplished. I remain grateful for all the people who make up our SCIS community by giving of themselves to try to make each child’s experience a special one.

Wishing you and your family a great weekend,
Derek Luebbe

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, May 18, Middle School River Event Basketball,9:00am-10:00am
  • Monday, May 20 to Friday May 24,IB Exams and LS MAP Testing
  • Monday, May 20:
    • US Counselor’s Coffee, 9:00am-10:00am, Library Conference Room
    • Notes: Information session for parents on applying to University in Hongkong, Singapore and Japan.
  • Thursday, May 23, Upper School Drama Production: Somewhere, Nowhere,4:30pm-6:30pm, Theater
  • Friday, May 24:
    • Grade 12 Reports Released
    • Upper School Drama Production: Somewhere, Nowhere,6:00pm-8:00pm, Theater

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, May 10 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends,

I start today’s blog with an important announcement about student safety primarily intended for parents of Upper School students – and helpful to share with everyone.

As the end of the year approaches, it is an exciting time for celebrations and social events. It’s also provides an opportunity to talk to your child about their choices during some of these events which could include drugs and alcohol. While each family will have different norms around a child’s social life, we are all living in China. The following information applies to everyone. We share it in the hopes that it helps you have a discussion with your child to help ensure understanding. 

Recently, we have received important information from discussions with other international schools. There have been reports of international students all around Shanghai being pulled aside by police at clubs/bars and administered random drug tests. An article from That’s Shanghai provides more detail on the situation. Our own SCIS Government Relations Office verified this information and identified additional information. They report:

In cases such as this, if the individual is in possession or tests positive, the police are requiring that the individual share a list of names of other suspected users.  The police will then sometimes show up at the person’s home, and in some cases may even request an on-the-spot drug test. Should this happen, it is advised for everyone to remain calm and becooperative and in no way confrontational. 

While we trust you will find this message helpful, we are also aware that you may have additional questions. To support you in answering these questions, SCIS will welcome a representative from the US Consulate, Mr. Owen Johns. While a representative from the US, his presentation is to help clarify the legal requirements of China. This will include an explanation of the typical consequences of any violation and the actions that Consulates can take (and not take) in helping students and families. The presentation for students and parents is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 from 11:30-12:10. 

Specifically for parents, we have added an additional option for this important discussion:

  • Part 1: On Tuesday, May 14 at 10:00 am during the PAFA meeting, we will be sharing key slides from the Consulate presentation to preview the information and help answer any parent questions. We can also share additional advice we have from our SCIS Government Relations Office.
  • Part 2: We have requested a Parent-Only Q&A session with Mr. Johns following his presentation to students. The Parent Session will take place on May 21 from 12:15-12:45.

Parents are invited to attend both sessions. If you need any additional support or advice for how to approach this topic with your child, please feel free to reach out to our Upper School Counselor, Maja Kelly (mkelly@scis-china.org).

At SCIS, we are thankful to have wonderful students who benefit from the support of our community.  Proactive opportunities like the visit above help us all continue to educate and guide our students on such important matters.

Derek Luebbe

PAFA Leadership Team Survey

Our next General PAFA Meeting is Tuesday, May 14 at 10:00. During the meeting, we will be welcoming the new PAFA Leadership Team. Earlier, we posted our PAFA Leadership Survey on the PAFA website . If you not completed the short survey already, please do so.

I also want to share a collective “THANK YOU” to our current PAFA Leadership Team for the their service to the school in 2018-19.
– PRESIDENT – Vanessa Thomas
– TREASURER- Roshni Shah
– COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR – Bharti Singh
– EVENTS COORDINATOR – Trish Castillo
– FOOD & BEVERAGE COORDINATOR – Isabel Pinaud

and a shout out to some of the other PAFA contributors which included:
– Booster and Swim Team Chairs: Gitte Thomasen, Preeti Shah, and Christina Hui
– MaiTian Charity – Therese Malmgren, and Cris Borio
– PAFA Post – Sandra Machan

And, one more thank to each of the PAFA Grade Level representatives!

We are a better school because of the efforts that each of these individuals give to the SCIS Community. Thank you!

We hope you can attend the next PAFA meeting on May 14 at 10:00 am. The agenda is posted on the PAFA Website

PAFA Invites You To…

Element Fresh Supports IB 12th Students

We’re grateful to Element Fresh for supporting our IB 12th Graders prepare for their upcoming IB Exams. What better way to counteract the anxiety of the IB tests than to enjoy a stack of pancakes while you study! Our 12th grade IB Science students joined Mr. Bilz and Ms. Sculerati in a weekend study session at Element Fresh, with free food and drinks to fuel everyone’s brain power ! In addition to the academics, I want to thank our teachers and students for coming together on a Saturday to dig a little deeper into the material. A big thank you to owner (and SCIS parent!) Scott Minoie for his help and support. It’s a great example of our community coming together to help our students.

Our Seniors Prepare for IB Exams at Element Fresh


Upcoming Events

  • Monday to Friday, May 13:
    • IB Exams
    • US MAP Testing
  • Tuesday, May 14:
    • US Counselor’s Coffee, 9:00am-10:00am, Library Conference Room (Notes:Information Session for parents on applying to University in the United States. )
    • PAFA General Meeting, 10:00am-11:00am
    • Middle School Basketball vs SMIC, 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Thursday, May 16:
    • G11 Group 4 Project
    • K-5 Lower School Assembly,8:15am-9:15am, Blackbox (Notes: Grade 4 students present this month’s Lower School Assembly.)
    • US Counselor’s Coffee, 10:00am-11:00am, Library Conference Room (Notes: Information session for parents on applying to University in Canada, UK and the Netherlands. )
    • Middle School Boys Basketball Green @ Wellington, 4:00pm-5:00pm, Away
    • Middle School Boys Basketball White vs NAIS, 4:00pm-5:00pm, Home
  • Friday, May 17:
    • G11 Group 4 Project
    • Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, 7:30am-8:30am
    • Due day to sign up for the LS Variety Show with Mrs. Luebbe. (See her for permission form)
  • Saturday, May 18, Middle School River Event Basketball, 9:00am-10:00am

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, May 3 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends,

Initially, a big thank you to our entire SCIS Community in celebration of last weekend’s International Food Festival. It was a fantastic day to be Dragon, showcasing 46 nationalities in food, song, dance, and festivities. Thankfully, the weather cooperated as well. Take a look at the photos below to relive just a few of the highlights – and check out the Fantastic Parents WeChat group to see so many more!

The end of year approaching fast. And, it is with a great deal of pride and sorrow that I announce that today was the last day of full classes for our seniors, the the SCIS graduating class or 2019! As both an educational leader and parent of a 12th grader, I’m proud to call these young adults SCIS graduates. As you may know, the next few weeks the Seniors will be engaged in their IB exams – the culmination of 2 years of work in each of their classes. We wish them well on their exams. Their success is a testament to not only the 12th grade teachers but the effort and passion of all of our entire faculty and the school community that supports them. I invite you to mark the date of our graduation on May 30 to celebrate their accomplishments.

Today also marked a major milestone for our Grade 5 students – the PYP Exhibition. Groups of 5th Graders worked with mentors over the last few months to explore and take action on topic of choice. Students, teachers, and visiting parents each visited the groups, allowing them to share their understanding, answer questions, and take action to help improve our school community.

Today, we also held an afternoon informational session for parents of 5th Graders in preparation for the upcoming 6th Grade year. The presentation was entitled “A Transition to the MYP”. A special thank you to Dr. Volpe for leading the session. If anyone was unable to attend, and wants to ask questions about the MYP, please contact Dr. Volpe.

Lastly, I want share a personally inspirational experience. Over the last four days, twenty-five leaders in the SCIS faculty from each campus in Shanghai took part in the Adaptive Schools Training. The training was led by Kendall Zoller, and helps us explore the strategies, skill sets, and research behind developing more effective schools. As a learning organization, these are the shared experiences that continually push us to be better. As always, the end result of our efforts will be the students. Listening and learning from my colleagues, I leave the experience with Kendall more committed than ever to the idea that SCIS is an adaptive school, focused on supporting students.

With so much happening, I know I will enjoy a restful weekend. I wish the same for you and your family.

Derek Luebbe

Upcoming Events:

Monday, May 6 to Friday May 10, IB Exam

Tuesday May 7, MS Girls Basketball @ Wellington, 4pm-5pm

Thursday:

  • MS Boys Basketball White @ Wellington, 4pm-5pm
  • MS Boys Basketball Green vs LFS-PD, Home, 4pm-5pm

ON THE HORIZON:

PAFA General Meeting, Tuesday May 14th at 10:00 am

Our PYP Exhibition, 5th Graders in Action!
Kendall Zoller our Adaptive Schools workshop

Head of School Updates, April 26 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends

The Mission of SCIS is “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring learners who contribute positively to their communities.” Today’s post is a good example of how we try to meet our mission.

As you will see below, our photos (some of which are from last Friday’s celebrations) showcase a few of the opportunities for students to express their learning – and themselves. You’ll see photos of our Upper School poetry recital – where students shared their own creations. You will also see photos from our Lower School Music Celebration where are students shared their original creations.

One of the benefits of the IB Program is that it moves students beyond understanding of content and into creation with content. Having a small school certainly helps – as students get a much greater chance to make meaning with the help of their teachers, and then express that meaning. But it is our faculty who are the real heroes in this story. For example, take a look at the photos below from Mr. Willauer’s MYP Design Class. They are taking the understanding of design content and the design cycle and putting it into action by designing games which the Lower School students will play during the International Festival this Saturday (11:30-4:00 pm). To take action like this requires application of knowledge, and that application allows real-world feedback along the way – as various members of the faculty circulated through the Design Room the last few days to give their feedback on the designs and games. Of course, the real test will come on Saturday when hundreds of youngsters will actually play the games. Some will go smoothly, and I’m sure some will not. But the reflection on Monday morning will focus on why. The entire process is a great application of how we try to make learning personal and meaningful for students in a way that allows them to contribute positively to their community.

Learning like this takes time. It’s messy and complex. It’s not as easy for the student (or the teacher) as simply sharing knowledge and then having students recall that knowledge in a test. But we know that these are the valuable skills our students need. And it’s a good reason why we’ve chosen the IB as the framework that best aligns to our philosophy. Remember, not all that is tested is important, and not all that is important can be tested.

Re-Enrollment Reminder: 2019-20

Reminder: If you are planning to return to SCIS next August, please ensure that you reserve your child’s seat. We have already reached capacity in multiple grade levels and expect to fill up others as well. We anticipate enrollment growth around ten percent, and want to ensure that our current families have had ample opportunity to reserve a spot while they remain.

New Faculty Introductions: 2019-20

Speaking of next year, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to our newly hired faculty. We have been fortunate this year in finishing our recruiting early and wish to introduce you to the newest SCIS Dragons joining our faculty in August 2019.

Adika Kay Cremet

Kia Ora and greetings SCIS-Pudong community! As a Third Culture citizen, I was born in Singapore and grew up in several countries which eventually led me to China. Coming from a mixed parentage background and being Eurasian, helps me to understand what it means to be internationally minded and tolerant to every culture and people. Both my French husband and I are avid travelers and we have enjoyed living in Shanghai for the past 2 years. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and Management from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (United Kingdom).

I started my teaching career in 2005, right after graduating from university. Since then, I have taught for 8 years in different schools and settings in New Zealand, before moving to Denmark to teach at an international school. I taught there for nearly 5 years before moving to Shanghai for another teaching position. From all these teaching experiences, I have been in several roles including Homeroom Teacher, Head Teacher, Centre Manager, Team Leader and PYP Coordinator.

As a passionate educator, I strongly believe in the rights of every child to deserve quality education and care. I am privileged to serve this international community here in Shanghai, with hopes to contribute, share, learn and reach for the stars together!

Ryan Brown

Hello SCIS Pudong! I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Sonoma State University and my teaching certification is from California State University East Bay. I’ve been working with elementary school students since 2003 and I’ve been teaching since 2010 with my most recent experience being in Beijing, as a Homeroom teacher. When I’m not working as an educator you can find me playing music around town as both a guitar player and bass player with my favorite styles of music being Rock, Jazz, & Funk. I am excited to be working here at SCIS this year. Go Dragons! 

Leanne Kridl

Hello SCIS! My name is Leanne Kridl and I am thrilled to be teaching first grade at SCIS! I received an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and my teaching credential from San Francisco State University. I have previously taught Kindergarten for two years in Qatar and then back home for three years in California. I am so excited to be continuing my international journey in Shanghai. I am looking forward to exploring new places and food in China. I love teaching literacy as I always have a book on hand and I love to see my students learn to love reading the same way I do. In my free time, I love to read, hike, and search for every dog I can pet.

Andrew Shearer

Hello, my name is Andrew Shearer and I am very excited to be part of the SCIS Pudong community, where I will teach MYP/DP Mathematics and DP Economics. I previously worked at the Hongqiao campus of SCIS and before that I taught in Mongolia, and the Falkland Islands, where penguins outnumber humans by 300 to 1. I have been lucky enough to travel the world while teaching, which has fueled my curiosity about how different countries work and the ways in which they are connected, a curiosity that I hope to pass on to my students by exploring the applications of Mathematics and Economics. I’ve enjoyed exploring as much of China as possible since moving to Shanghai and the sheer variety of landscapes, peoples and cultures within a single country has never, and hopefully will never, cease to amaze me.

Ian Sylvester

I’m excited to bring my passion in Learning Support and the PYP to help lead and support Lower School students and teachers at SCIS. I began my own learning journey as a student at Fairview Elementary School in the great state of Delaware. There I found connections to a love of reading, outdoor education and sports, which have continued to be lifelong interests of mine. Later, in university, I studied Psychology and received a Masters degree in Special Education. I have been part of classrooms across the USA, Australia and Southeast Asia, with students from three years old to Grade 6 in private, public, and IB World Schools. I believe in the power of agency, inquiry and access for all of our learners. In my spare time, I enjoy coaching soccer, rock climbing, travelling, and dog walking.

Marlene Muy

Hello!  My name is Marlene Muy and I was born and raised in Canada.   I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and my teaching certification from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.  My first teaching position was in a children’s hospital working with students who had epilepsy.  From there, I worked on a cruise ship for a year and a half; combining my love for travel and teaching children.  Teaching has also brought me to the countries of Kuwait, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States.  During my free time, I like to spend time with my husband and two children.  I also like to exercise, read, and watch movies.  I am excited to be working at SCIS, and am looking forward to the new year.

Zachary Berezowski

I am thrilled to be a part of the SCIS community and getting to know everyone.  I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and my family is proudly Polish-Canadian. I have been married for 10 years and have 2 sons.  I have been teaching for 11 years and I am passionate about helping students achieve great things.  I have been fortunate to have taught in many different parts of the world from Kuwait to Singapore, to Switzerland, and currently in Atlanta GA, USA.  I have worked in IB schools, specifically the PYP,  for the past 9 years first as a grade 3 lead teacher and then focusing on supporting students with Learning Differences in all grades. My goal is to make learning accessible to all and support everyone in the learning community.  In addition to teaching, I am passionate about coaching basketball.  My family and I also love to travel and explore new places.

Maitane Arruti

My name is Maitane Arruti and I am excited to be part of the SCIS community. I am originally from San Sebastian, Spain, and earned a BA and MA in Philology of English from the University of the Basque Country. After further studies in Education and Spanish as a Foreign Language I had the pleasure to teach in Germany and South Korea. My husband, Mark Turner, teaches at SCIS Hongqiao Campus and we both share the same passion for teaching and learning. We have two young children with us, Eneko and Ibai, and love spending time with them when we are not working. Shanghai is being a great city for us and we are happy to call it our new home. I am looking forward to meeting my new students and having an exciting and successful academic year. 

Kyounghee You

I am very excited to be part of the SCIS community as a Korean teacher. I was born in Korea and finished my bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certificate courses in Seoul. To become a better educator, I studied at Mansfield University and received master degree in Education. For the last 13 years, I have been working in different countries as a PYP teacher, librarian and a DP Language A Korean teacher. I truly believe in the International Baccalaureate Program, as it, in my opinion, truly helps students to become lifelong learners and global citizens. In my free time, I love hiking, traveling, reading, and watching tv shows and movies. I also love to try new and different foods from around the world!

Dan Olsen

I’m delighted to be part of the SCIS community as a learning support teacher. I completed my degree at the University of Toronto in English Literature, and my Bachelor of Education and recent Master’s degree at Simon Fraser University. I have taught English Language Arts in Taiwan and Colombia, and most recently I have worked as a learning support teacher in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada, supporting a diverse group of exceptional students and coordinating the support personnel in my school.  I have a great passion for inclusion and helping to create classrooms that support the needs and enrich the lives of all learners. I am also a trained musician and have a keen interest in cooking and being out in nature. My wife and fellow teacher, Lisa Marcos, our two children, and I are all excited to experience everything Shanghai has to offer.

Lisa Marcos

Hi! I’m Lisa Marcos, and I’m thrilled to be teaching at SCIS. I earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia, then went on to pursue both Bachelor and Master degrees in Education at Queen’s University. One of the things I love about teaching is inspiring young people to learn through their experiences. I have taught from the inside of a shark habitat at the Vancouver Aquarium, in bogs and on mountaintops across Canada, and on a tall ship as it sailed around the world with my students. I’ve also taught at international schools in Colombia and in Taiwan, as well as at home in Vancouver. Outside of school, I love trying new foods, painting or sketching, and hiking trips in nature. It’s wonderful to be exploring Shanghai along with my husband, Dan Olsen, and our two children. We are delighted to be a part of the SCIS community as a family.

Ivana Nedeljkov

Hello. My name is Ivana Nedeljkov and I am excited to be working at SCIS Pudong. I grew up in Serbia where I completed my BA and MA in Special Education at the University of Belgrade. I also hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs Coordination from Leeds Beckett University. Previously I have thought, as a learning support teacher, in Serbia, Bangladesh and UAE. My professional experience has enriched me with knowledge of numerous strategies and methods that enable children to learn and reach their highest potential in all fields. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling, doing yoga. 

Amy Jauch

Hello SCIS Community! My name is Amy and I am so excited to be starting my first year as a Dragon! I was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. After I moved to Switzerland, I went to the University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Primary and Primary Education. I have taught in multi-age classrooms in both Switzerland and Germany, before my thirst for adventure took full hold of me, and I made the move to China in 2017. I have been enjoying eating my way through South-East Asia in my free time. I am thrilled to be part of the inspiring, and nurturing community at SCIS! 

Arielle Gutierrez

Howdy! My name is Arielle Gutierrez. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, land of Beyoncé, NASA, and tacos, I earned my bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Houston. My teaching journey began at Edgar Allan Poe Elementary, where I taught third grade and kindergarten for several years. With a passion for education as my super power, I strive to build genuine bonds with every student, develop their strengths and hidden talents, and cultivate a love of leaning, to name a few. Beyond school, I shop until I drop, catch live music shows and theater performances, study the Mandarin and French languages, and explore the city and all the tasty food it has to offer. I am honored to be a part of the SCIS family and look forward to a great school year!  

Jennifer Arvay

It is a pleasure to be part of the teaching and learning community in the Secondary School at the SCIS Pudong campus. I graduated from University of Missouri St. Louis with a B.F.A. in Art Education and emphasis in Printmaking. After spending 5 years teaching in St. Louis Public School, I have taught Visual Art in Kuwait, China, and Cambodia over the past 7 years. Shanghai is a rich cultural background of visual inspiration for our student’s creativity to thrive and I am passionate about creating a comfortable environment for my students where they can experiment and take risks. Along with teaching and practicing Art, I enjoy engaging in service opportunities and mindfulness with my students. I also train for half marathons, teach yoga, and love cycling and weightlifting. 

Upcoming Events at SCIS PD

International Festival, Saturday April 27

  • Monday, April 29, Spirit Week- PJ Day, come in your comfiest clothes.
  • Tuesday, April 30, Spirit Week,come in your grade assigned color:
    • Nursery – Red
    • PS/PK – Purple
    • Grade 1- Blue
    • Grade 2 – Green
    • Grade 3 – Orange
    • Grade 4 – Yellow
    • Grade 5 – Black
  • Wednesday, May 1, Labor Day (No School)
  • Thursday, May 2:
  • Spirit Week- Mismatch Day, dress in a crazy combination of clothes that don’t match   
  • MS Boys Basketball Green vs SAS PD,4:00pm-5:00pm, Home 
  • Friday, May 3:
    • Spirit Week- Green and Jeans
    • Last Day of DP12 Classes for IB Diploma Candidates
    • Upper School Principal’s Coffee, 12pm-1pm, Library Conference Room
    • PYP Exhibition, 1pm-2:30pm, Black Box

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, April 19 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends,

A very busy week here at SCIS Pudong.

As I write, our soccer (sorry, football) boys and girls teams are away in Beijing, having completed the first day of the ACAMIS Tournament undefeated!

This week, all students were able to meet with visiting author/poet Andy Cravens-Griffiths in both small and large groups. Sessions culminated in students sharing their creative works and developing skills as writers and in creative expression. Andy’s rapport with our students and his diversity of skills (poet, story teller/writer, song-writer, and musician) have really resonated with many students and given them an access point to develop their expressiveness. A special Thank You to PAFA for funding Andy’s visit to work with our students!

A very busy week ended with two fantastic celebrations that really left me proud of our students and faculty.

  • Today, the Lower School celebrated with their Spring Music Concert; thanks to all of the parents who were able to attend. It strengthens our community and provides such a valuable and authentic audience for our students to showcase their talents.
  • At the end of the day, Andy-Cravens Griffiths met with the Upper School students, some of whom shared some incredible poetry which was crafted throughout the week.

If you were fortunate to attend one or both, you witnessed two great examples of our philosophy in action. In both instances, we had students creating and sharing expressions of themselves. As an educator and administrator, one of the never-ending questions we face is balancing self-expression from structure/choreographed/formulaic performances. SCIS certainly values the former over the latter as a better model of learning – but everyone knows you need both. Musicians, poets, athletes and scientists all need to be taught and understand the structures before beginning to deviate from them to create their own choices. I was so proud to see how both of these events were set up to nurture student self-expression, and so proud of our students for feeling safe and secure enough in front of their peers and larger community to express themselves. I want to thank Ms. Deveor Rainey for leading the LS Music Celebration and Ms. Emily Williams (organizer), PAFA (for funding), Andy Cravens-Griffith, and all the teachers who supported the Poetry Workshops.

I also want to highlight our recent PAFA meeting on Tuesday, April 16. We shared more information on the newly updated PAFA website. You can also navigate to it from the Pudong Portal website. One of the main agenda items included a good discussion about the the goals and roles within our PAFA Leadership Team. In case you were unable to attend, we are currently seeking to transition to a new PAFA Leadership Team for the 2019-20 school year. Leadership positions are each defined by job descriptions which you will see on the website, and our hope is to have nominations secured by April 24. I would like to encourage each of you to review the website, and consider nominating yourself or another parent for a possible role in the Leadership Team. Our PAFA is an incredibly important resource in helping provide opportunities for our students. Your assistance makes us stronger. If you have any questions about the process, please contact PAFA President Vanessa Thomas (pdpafa.president@scis-china.org ) or me (dluebbe@scis-china.org)

On a related note, I want to invite all parents to the next PAFA meeting on May 14 at 10:00 am. Two important topics will be discussed.

  1. We will be (hopefully) announcing the new PAFA Leadership Board, and leading a discussion to help PAFA prioritize for the upcoming year.
  2. SCIS Self-Study: Starting on May 14 and over the next six months, I (and others) will be leading a discussion-based Parent Survey of SCIS strengths and weaknesses. Who are we as a school? What aspects do parents and students appreciate? What areas do we need to improve upon? Developing a deeper understanding of these issues helps us focus our energies in the most appropriate areas. This discussion is just a beginning. We will send the survey out online for all parents following the meeting to solicit ideas from those who were not able to attend. Along the way, we will share information based on what we discover.

Lastly, next Friday, April 26 will be a Green & Jeans Day as we take an all-school photo.
And, don’t forget to save the date (and sign up transportation if you need it) for the International Food Festival on April 27.

Wishing you a relaxing weekend and hoping you’re able to take advantage of the spring weather.

Warm regards
Derek Luebbe

Upcoming Event:

Saturday, April 20, SISAC Badminton, Concordia International School

Monday, April 22, First Day of ASA 3, Begin 3rd trimester

Tuesday, April 23, MS Girls Basketball vs Concordia, 4pm-5pm, Home

Thursday, April 25, US Spring Arts Night, 5pm-7pm

Friday, April 26, Green & Jeans DayAll-School PictureUpper School SCIS Oscars, 2:15pm-3pm,

Saturday, April 27, PAFA International Food and Music Festival/Art Auction

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, April 12 2019

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.

Derek Luebbe

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

 

 

 

 

Head of School Updates, March 29 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

On Thursday, March 28, all parents received an important email from the school regarding a child safety incident which occurred just outside of our campus. (The email was sent at 4:06 pm.) The email is great reminder of the important role that both the school and home play in communicating to children about interactions with strangers.

The email included resources for parents on how to talk to children about the interactions with strangers.  We will continue to monitor children’s perceptions and stay diligent in ensuring a safe environment.

If you did not receive this email, the event should serve as important reminder that all emails are sent to your SCIS Parent Email Accounts. We can help you set up your SCIS email account to automatically forward  to your personal account so that you will not miss future important emails. Contact the divisional secretary to make an appointment with our Technology Support who can assist you.

I also want to draw your attention to the upcoming elections for the PAFA Executive Board for the 2019-20 school year. Our current PAFA Executive Board has been working diligently to revise our election process. Our goal is to provide avenues for multiple roles for parents who wish to get involved.

For 19-20, we are moving forward with one change in our election process – online voting. In preparation, I want to encourage parents to consider stepping up and encouraging friends to help lead next year’s PAFA by contributing to the following positions on the Executive Board.

2019-20 PAFA Board Positions

President
Treasurer
Communication Coordinator
Events Coordinator
Food & Beverage Supply Manager
Country Ambassador Coordinator / Volunteer Outreach (NEW)

Non-Board PAFA Positions
Divisional Coordinators (Lower School, Middle School, High School)
Aquatics Booster Club Representative
Bingo Night: Lead Organizer
Halloween Lead Organizer
Winter Festival: Lead Organizer
International Festival: Lead Organizer

Our process leading up to the election is shared below, and we invite you to take an active part in helping continue the strong tradition of community at SCIS Pudong into the 2019-20 school year!

April 9: Job Descriptions Released, Nominations Open
April 16: PAFA General Meeting (update)
April 24: Nominations Close
April 26: Online Voting Opens
May 2: Voting Ends
May 6: New PAFA Board for 2019-20 Announced and transition meetings with current board begin.

Please consider supporting the school. You can learn more about these positions by speaking with a PAFA representative or Laurie Luebbe (lluebbe@scischina.org)

Lastly, I want to leave you with some Photos From Around Campus which feature our Literacy Week and our annual March Madness Ping Pong Tournament. One of the highlights of our Literacy Week was hearing our newly formed Teacher Band (Ms. Williams, Ms. Mount, and Mr. Schultz) play an original song written by Ms. Williams called “Just Right Books.” It was shared in our assembly and was just one highlight of many in a special week celebrating reading and literacy.

Our ping pong tournament will finalize when we return – much like the NCAA Basketball Tournament in the USA it is named after. But the lunchtime competition has been a fun way that teachers and our students come together as doubles team for some fun, laughter and friendly competition.

Wishing you all a restful Spring Break!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

 

Upcoming Events

Monday, April 8, HS Badminton Practice, 4pm-6pm, Dragons Lair

Wednesday, April 10:

  • PSAT, 8am-11:30am, Black Box
  • Girls Varsity Soccer @ SMIC, 4:15pm-5:15pm, SMIC
  • HS Boys JV Soccer @ SMIC, 4:15pm-5:15pm, SMIC

Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, April 13, ACAMIS Badminton (Tentative)

Saturday, April 11:

  • SISAC Soccer 7-aside D1 Tournament, Boys and Girls Sites TBD
  • Swim Meet – East Sprints DCS, Dulwich Jinqiao

Save The Date for International Festival

In order to help support the International Festival, we are still seeking parent volunteers to share food and culture from your home country. The list below represents the countries represented thus far. If you would like to help support your country, reach out to the Country Head or contact pdpafa.eventco@scis-china.org to add your name (and country!) to our celebration on April 27.

 

Consider joining the next Positive Discipline Parent Cohort. You will not regret it.

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, March 22 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Once again, it is a busy week at the SCIS Campus. This week, special thanks go out to the parents who joined us for a variety of events – from IB Visual Arts & Music Exhibitions to today’s  MYP Science Expos. Of course, the big event this week was our Student-Led Conferences. The goal of these conferences is to help students take agency for their learning, and we are appreciative of the strong parent turnout on Thursday to give students such an authentic audience to share their learning. Many of our photos below highlight the fantastic interactions that were happening on Thursday.

We continue to plan for next year. I trust that all parents have received a few communications for our Admissions Department already. Thus far, we have received responses from 85% of families to share your plans for next year. Our enrollment continues to grow, and we are already wait-listing new families while we save space for our returning families. Next week represents a big date in the admissions process.  On Friday, March 29, all returning families who have not paid a deposit (or been in contact with our admissions department directly) will be moved to our Wait List pool in order to free up the space for newly arriving families. Our goal is communicate this process clearly to everyone so there are no surprises. If you have questions, please reach out to our admissions department (admissions@scis-china.org ) to ensure we keep a space open for you and your children.

Hoping you are all able to enjoy the spring weather.

Respectfully,
Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Events on the Horizon

Monday, March 25:

  • ACAMIS Badminton vs YCIS PX, 4pm-6pm, Badminton Center
  • Boys Varsity Soccer @ Wellington, 4:15pm-5:45pm, Wellington

Tuesday, March 26, Varsity Girls Soccer Big Game Night vs SMIC, 4:15pm-5:15pm, Dragon Field

Wednesday, March 27, Varsity Boys Soccer Big Game/Senior Night vs NAIS, 4pm-5pm, Dragon Field

Thursday, March 28, Lower School Assembly Featuring 2V, 8:15am-9am, Black Box

PAFA International Festival

Save the date for our annual International Festival. It promises to be a fun-filled day for the entire family.

We are still seeking parent-ambassadors to represent various countries. If you hare interested in supporting your country’s representation, email Trish at pdpafa.eventco@scis-china.org .

Parents Learning Together: Positive Discipline

We are still accepting enrollment for our next group of parents to learn more about Positive Discipline. Interested parents can contact Liz Gale for additional information. (egale@scis-china.org )

Photos From Around Campus

Head of School Updates, March 15 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

A big thank you to the parents who attended the Conceptual Math Workshop with Erma Anderson. Unfortunately, conceptual math is not the way most of us – including me – learned math. But I promise that we will all think twice before asking our children to solve multiplication problems in a procedural manner. For parents who want to learn more about Conceptual (versus Procedural) Math, you can visit the resources section of Ms. Gale’s Principal’s Post.

As I shared at the workshop, conceptual math is just one educational aspect of what we believe and put into practice at SCIS.  Having parents understand our philosophies and practices is an incredibly important part of helping your child succeed. As parents, you may not even agree with every aspect of how we approach each topic, but by better understanding what your child experiences during the day, it helps to strengthen the potential connections and deepens the quality of conversations you can have with your children at home.

Math Lab Site in action in Ms. Meidinger’s KG room

Erma worked with our SCIS teachers on Wednesday and Thursday, participating in what we call Lab Sites. During Lab Sites, many educators come together for a brief period of time to observe and take part in one lesson for one grade level. The power of the professional learning takes place afterwards in the “debrief session” as we lead structured protocols to allow each professional to share strengths and areas for growth. The key to making these powerful conversations is to focus on the children (not the adults), and what evidence we do or don’t observe from the lesson. With that as our foundation, we are able to collaborate and assess the effectiveness of various teacher actions along the way.  I was fortunate enough to be a part of a Lab Site in Ms. Meidinger’s KG classroom. The lesson, and especially the debrief, reminded me of how lucky we are to be in an environment where we openly share and discuss best practices in a safe, supportive environment.

During debrief, one of my important takeaways was to be reminded that math is more than coming up with answers and even following the right procedures. Math takes place in the discussions and thinking that children have to make to justify their answer and provide evidence for why they believe they are right. This is how we can reinforce a conceptual understanding of math in children. (But I can promise you, that to truly value that discussion and honor what children are trying to express requires a significant amount of patience and restraint when we so badly want to help point them in the right direction and get them started on the procedure of solving the problem!)   It’s something I know I struggle with in the classroom as well when I’m teaching.

Speaking of teaching, I will happily self-promote my own Upper School Activity. In recent weeks, I have been leading some sessions for Upper School students at  lunchtime and during advisory to promote Financial Literacy. We call these sessions Financial Fridays. Today, I shared the poster below in the hopes of appealing to Upper School students who want to learn more about saving, investing, and various financial literacy basics. Students can sign up in the office.

On Thursday, we kicked off our 3rd Annual March Madness Student-Teacher Ping Pong Tournament.
What is March Madness?
Well, the official March Madness references America’s NCAA (University) Basketball Tournament with 64 teams to determine a national champion. The SCIS version randomly pairs up 32 students with 32 teachers who have volunteered to take part. During lunch, we take part in a doubles tournament, getting to know one another, building new teacher-student relationships, and just generally having a little fun. It is fair to say that many in the tournament have not touched a ping pong paddle since last year, but that’s what makes it a great time. Matches continue Monday and throughout next week. We’ll share some great photos as the action unfolds!

We are launching another series of Parent Workshops on Positive Discipline which will begin in April. A small fee (500 RMB for 4 workshops) is charged for books and resources . As a small thank you to a few of our parents who substitute at SCIS (or wish to substitute at SCIS), these workshops will be free of charge.  The workshops will allow you to engage in strategies and discussions to help us (as parents and educators) move past rewards and punishments as motivators. Instead we want to help build skillful children who have the capabilities and mindsets to make intelligent choices about their own behavior. Positive Discipline workshops are a great tool to help adults instill this mindset in our children.

Hoping you are all looking forward to Student Led Conferences on March 21. As a reminder, there is no school for students on this day, but students are obviously meant to accompany you (and lead) the conference itself. Families should have received sign-up forms to reserve spots from each Principal.

Lastly, I leave you with one my favorite daily traditions here at SCIS – the personalize goodbye! This video happens to be Mr. Schultz with his Grade 1 class, although each day you can find other teachers taking part as well. Small moments like this have a big effect!

Wishing you all a restful weekend. Enjoy the sunshine!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, March 16

  • ACAMIS Swimming, SSIS and DCS (Suzhou)
  • Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)2019
  • Middle School Cross River Event Volleyball  

Monday, March 18:

  • International University Fair, 2:30pm-4:30pm, Hongqiao Campus,  Grades 9-11 will go as group to participate in this college fair featuring over 100 universities from around the world.
  • DP Recital and Art Exhibition, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Theater/Gallery
  • High School Badminton @ YCIS PX, 4:00pm-6pm, Puxi

Wednesday, March 20, Varsity Boys Soccer vs Wellington, 4:15pm-5:15pm, Dragon Field.

Thursday, March 21:

  • G10 Parent DP Planning Conferences
  • Student-Led Conferences (No School for PD students. Half day dismissal for HQ students)

Friday, March 22:

  • Mid semester Progress Reports released
  • Science Expo, 8:00am-9:15am
  • Varsity Girls Soccer @NAIS, 4:15pm-5:15pm 

Photos From Around The Campus

Head of School Updates, March 8 2019

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Today, we welcomed 600 IB educators to our campus to take part in 28 different workshops to improve our teaching and learning. It’s one way that we strive to get better each day in the hopes of giving students a more authentic learning experience.

I want to draw your attention to three upcoming parent events.

  1. This Wednesday from 3:00-4:00, Math Specialist Erma Anderson will run a parent workshop on the topic of understanding Conceptual vs. Procedural Math. It’s an informative session, and parents of all ages are invited.
  2. On March 12, the SCIS PAFA will be holding an important meeting to begin the future-planning process for the 2019-20 school year. Parents are encouraged to attend the meeting, share input, and help keep the SCIS Community strong and vibrant.
  3. Our SCIS International Festival is April 27!  See the poster below for more information and save the date.

Lastly, I want to share an admissions reminder for the 2019-20 school year. Returning families have until March 15 to secure a spot for the next school year. All parents have received emails from our admissions staff sharing information about how this can be done. Because our school continues to grow, the process will be very important because we expect to have wait lists at many grade levels. If you have not reserved your child’s space for next school year and want to learn more, please contact admissions@scis-china.org for more information.

Hoping you and. your family are finding time to get out in the sunshine in recent days. It’s a welcome change from the rainy weather.

Have a safe and restful weekend.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Events On The Horizon

Saturday, March 9:

  • Middle School Cross River Event Badminton
  • IB Regional Workshops, Pudong Campus

Sunday, March 10, IB Regional Workshops, Pudong Campus

Monday, March 11, Mock IB/G12 Final Exams

Tuesday, March 12:

  • Mock IB/G12 Final Exams
  • PAFA General Meeting, 10:00am-11:00am
  • Middle School Girls Volleyball Green vs DCS, 4:00pm-5:00pm, Home
  • Middle School Volleyball White @SMIC,4:00pm-5:00pm, Away
  • Junior Varsity Boys Soccer @ YCIS PD, 4:15pm-5:15pm, YCIS PD

Wednesday, March 13:

  • Mock IB/G12 Final Exams
  • Varsity Boys Soccer @ YCIS PX,4:15pm-5:15pm, YCIS PX
  • Varsity Girls Soccer vs DCS, 4:15pm-5:15pm, Dragon Field

Thursday, March 14:

  • Middle School Boys Volleyball Green @ DCS,4:00pm-5:00pm, Away
  • Middle School Boys Volleyball White vs WCIS, 4:00pm-5:00pm, Home

Friday, March15:

  • ACAMIS Swimming, SSIS and DCS (Suzhou)
  • Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)2019
  • Last Day of ASA 2, End of 2nd Trimester

Saturday, March 16:

  • ACAMIS Swimming, SSIS and DCS (Suzhou)
  • Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)2019
  • Middle School Cross River Event Volleyball  
  • Notes: End of season tournament

Photos From Around School