Coffee Q & A with the Head of School

As we wrap up the week, and the Upper School prepares for their upcoming China Go! Trips, I wanted to share an invitation for all of you to attend.

Parent Coffee and Question & Answer Session with the Head of School
When? Tuesday, September 19 at 9:00 am
Where? Room 210
What?  The Coffee Question & Answer Session is a way that parents can learn more about the school program and hopefully get answers to their questions.  We will host a Coffee Morning at least one time each quarter. It’s meant to be a good way to facilitate communication between the parents and school.  Questions should be submitted in advance to the PAFA President, Trish Castillo. ( Please send your questions to Trish by Sept. 15 so that they can be compiled and shared with Mr. Luebbe in advance.

So far, we have received the following questions:

  • How can I understand and use ManageBac?
  •  How does the school monitor air quality in regards to materials used in the construction process over the summer?  On a day-to-day basis, how does the school monitor air quality?
  • How can parents and the school use WeChat to communicate better?

If you have a question to add, please share it with Trish via the link above.



Individual Student Photos are available to be viewed and ordered.  To view your child(ren)’s school photo simply go to

and use the password:  scispd0817

Within the galleries, you will find links to individual student photos.  Galleries are organized by Grade Level and Advisory/Homeroom Teacher.

All online orders will be shipped to SCIS for distribution.   The due date for orders is September 30. Parents are encouraged to provide your full name when prompted on the final order page.


Earlier today, Lower School Principal Liz Gale and I were interviewed by the Kindergarten class. We had a great time finding out what they thought our jobs entailed, and then doing our best to summarize what we do within our roles. ( I never knew how hard it was to answer this question to a 5 year old:  “What happens if there was no Head of School?“)

Needless to say, it was a learning experience for all ! 

Wishing you all a restful weekend, and a special bon voyage to our Upper School students as they prepare for their China trips!

Mr. Luebbe
Head of School

Sept 6 Updates and PAFA Parents Night Out

Dear Parents, Students, and Faculty,

Just to keep everyone informed on some recent happenings.

  1. Mark your calendars for September 23rd for our PAFA Parents Night Out. Come out and celebrate our community. Details are below.

Scenes from last year’s PAFA night out


 2. Volleyball Today (Home) 4:30 vs. NAIS. Come cheer on the Dragons !  If you can’t make it to school, you can catch the LiveStream via our school’s website ( so you don’t miss the action.

 3. PAFA Welcome Meeting:  We wish to thank all the parents who came out to our first PAFA (Parents and Friends Association) meeting on Sept. 5. And, we offer an even bigger thank you to the large group of PAFA volunteers who are already gearing up to make the year a great one with a host of events. We are fortunate to have such a community! Please know that we are always on the lookout for new ideas and new people who can help contribute to making SCIS a great experience for the students. If you’d like to get involved – or just learn more about PAFA – contact Trish Castillo at


 4. Morning Bus Pick-Up Reminders:   The bus will not wait for students who are late in the morning. Doing so causes all the students on the bus to arrive late for school. To help keep us on schedule, I have instructed to drivers to leave the bus stop promptly on time. To prevent problems, please be sure that your child arrives at the bus stop  prior to his/her scheduled departure. If you have any bus questions, contact our transportation coordinator Stu Ren at .  Thank you for your help in keeping our bus times on schedule.

5. Student Individual Photos have now finished. Soon, parents will receive information about how to review and order photos.  

6. What’s happening around SCIS? Check out a few photos. 


As always, let us know how we can work together to support students. If you have feedback or questions about any information in this update,  feel free to email me at . 

Enjoy your evening.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School
SCIS – Pudong Campus


Hello, SCIS Pudong Community!

Hello SCIS Pudong Community,

Welcome to the test-drive of our new Head of School blog. Last year, we published a monthly Head of School Newsletter to help keep parents updated. Now we plan to continue the monthly format – and more!  This blog will be posted each month to highlight happenings at SCIS. And, we will also post some other news and photos along the way.

This blog idea is the result of a yearlong Communication Task Force which was completed last year. The Task Force included multiple meetings of student, teachers, administrators, and parents to try to better streamline our communication efforts for the school community. The HoS Blog is one result, but we have more to follow in the near future. Stay on lookout this semester for other improvements:

  • increased use of WeChat through the development of a new account
  • a new SCIS website with a more personalized communication portal for you to customize the information you want to receive
  • the development of the SeeSaw website and phone app to facilitate communication in the Lower School through digital student portfolios, classroom communication, and personal communication with your child’s teacher. Lower School Principal Liz Gale has emailed information to all Lower School parents’ SCIS email addresses already on August 30. (If you have a Lower School child and you did not receive this email, contact Barry Johnson at )
  • the development of increased feedback for Upper School students and parents within ManageBac

We hope that this blog format is an improvement compared to the previous PDF newsletters. The rationale for the change includes:

  • Blogs offer one-stop shopping for information. If parents can’t recall a specific piece of information, they no longer have to open up multiple PDF documents to try to find it; they can simply search or scroll through one blog to find it.
  • Increased efficiency in posting due to ease and flexibility of formatting.
  • Occasional mistakes or changes can be easily corrected. The newest version is always online with any corrections clearly noted.
  • Parents have the choice to follow a blog, and therefore be alerted when new information is shared – if they desire.
  • Blogs, rather than emails, provide a better balance between updating parents with current information versus potentially overloading them with information in their inbox.  Those that choose to follow frequent updates can. Those who choose to wait for the end of the month can continue to receive an email with a summary of campus information.

As we continue with this experiment, we’d like to hear your thoughts. How does this better communication? What new problems does it bring?  Your feedback helps us improve.

Yours in the hopes of improved communication,

Derek Luebbe
Head of School, SCIS Pudong