Lower School Principal’s Post #19

Dear Families,

It’s been another fun week of learning at SCIS-Pudong. 

Teachers reflecting on what it means to collaborate and belong.

This week during our Lower School professional development meeting, teachers spent time reflecting on challenges and learnings from 2019, while participating in a goal-setting exercise where they selected “one word” they will focus on as a means to inspire and transform their life and/or work in 2020.  As educational philosopher John Dewey states, “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”  As educators, it is important that we take the time to share our challenges, work together to brainstorm solutions, and provide support to one another to ensure we continue to foster a nurturing and collaborative environment for teachers and students. 

Students in 2S collaborating on a reading project and uploading their work to Seesaw.

At this point in the school year, many grade levels are well on their way to finishing up their 3rd unit of inquiry and are getting ready to delve into their fourth unit.  Prior to the beginning of each unit, teachers and specialists participate in a PYP Kick-off meeting where they reflect on the overarching goals of the unit and determine the best learning path forward that will spark curiosity and enthusiasm with their current students.

Students in 2M work with Mrs. Lawrence.

As parents, we continue to encourage you to travel alongside your child in their learning journey by frequently visiting the class Seesaw journal and asking your child questions related to the pictures and postings you see.  Additionally, please take some time to provide a positive comment or feedback to your child related to the learning experiences.  Research shows that feedback is one of the most powerful influences on student learning and achievement.

Likewise, positive feedback that promotes a growth mindset has the power to motivate children to ensure they remain persistent, resilient and focused on the process of learning.  Below are some examples of feedback that promote the development of a growth mindset:

  • I’m so proud of the effort you put forth with _________.
  • I’m very proud of you for not giving up, and look what you have to show for it!
  • All that hard work and effort paid off!
  • What choices did you make that you think contributed to your success?
  • I can see you really enjoyed learning _________.

After School Activity Session #2

Julie and Liv showcase some of their Hula-Hoop skills at Thursday’s Assembly.

Please note, that next Monday, January 20th, Session #2 of our SCIS After School Activities program will begin.  Throughout this session, please remember that children will not be allowed to “skip” or miss their ASA, unless the school has received a direct email or phone call from a parent.   Once a student has signed up for an ASA they are making a commitment to attending all sessions of that ASA, unless the school has been notified otherwise by a parent.   While we want to encourage students to take risks and try a variety of After School Activities, we also want to help them understand the importance of following through with their commitment as a member of the ASAs they sign up for. 

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Students in Ms. Adika’s class learn how to write numbers 1-5 using Chinese characters.

Over the course of the next few weeks Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, similar to last year, the assembly will be followed by a Chinese Temple Fair for Lower School students.  The Temple fair will provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of fun Chinese cultural activities.  The temple fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Yang Liu at yliu@scis-china.org or scan the below QR code to join the volunteer WeChat Group.

It’s COLD Outside

Grade 2 students get ready to play outside for morning recess.

While students across grade levels continue to enjoy outdoor recess and exploration, please remind your child(ren) to dress appropriately for the cold weather by sending them to school with warm coats, hats, mittens or gloves.  Also, please remember to label all your child’s personal belongings with their name to ensure their items can be returned in the event they are misplaced. 

Flu Season

With the ongoing cold weather, also comes the potential of student illness.  To help stop the spread and lessen the duration of student illnesses at school please be sure your child receives plenty of rest, is eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water.  Sending your child to school if they are ill can be very frustrating to families, as well as teachers as we do our best to keep children, parents and teachers healthy.  Please remember one of the BEST ways to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.  Please review the health and safety section of the parent-student handbook for more information on Student Illness Policies.

As a reminder, children should not attend school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100F/37.2c)
  • Diarrhea or more than 2 loose bowel movements within 12 hours
  • Vomiting
  • Discharge from eyes or ears
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Persistent cough
  • Unidentified rash

Professional Development with Jennifer Abrams

Jennifer Abrams working with Grade 3-5 teachers and specialists on Friday morning.

This weekend 20 educators from around the Shanghai will be attending a workshop at SCIS-Pudong with international educational and communications consultant Jennifer Abrams.  Jennifer trains and coaches teachers and administrators on a variety of topics including being generationally savvy, having hard conversations and collaboration skills.  Jennifer has been recognized as one of “21 Women All K-12 Educators Need to Know” by Education Week’s ‘Finding Common Ground’ blog, and the International Academy of Educational Entrepreneurship. Jennifer considers herself a “voice coach,” helping others learn how to best use their voices – be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague, and supervising an employee. For more information on Jennifer visit www.jenniferabrams.com

All Lower School faculty had an opportunity to work with Jennifer in the afternoon on the importance of Building Community.

On Friday, the entire SCIS-Pudong Lower School Faculty including Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers had an opportunity to work with Jennifer Abrams to deepen our collective understanding of how to effectively engage in having “hard conversations” and develop our capacity to function as a progressive and collaborative professional learning community.   According to Michael Fullan, “Improving schools requires collaborative cultures . . . Without collaborative skills and relationships, it is not possible to learn and to continue to learn as much as you need to know to improve.”  Additionally, creating a collaborative cultures is the single most important factor for successful school improvement initiatives (Eastwood & Lewis).  As we move forward with the IB and WASC Self-Study Process it will be essential to ensure that all members of our community are provided with opportunities to have a voice as we continue our quest for continuous improvement and educational excellence.  

Parent Coffee Morning on the new SCIS Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

Fantastic ideas were generated and discussed surrounding the school’s strengths and areas for growth related to each of the new Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.

Tuesday morning’s parent coffee morning focused on the new SCIS Schoolwide Learner Outcomes (SLOs) was a tremendous success with over 30 parents in attendance representing ECE, Lower School, and Upper School.  During the meeting, parents were provided with an opportunity to learn more about the IB and WASC self-study process and the importance of developing a communal understanding of our Schoolwide Learner Outcomes and the role they play in students daily lives.   Parents worked in groups to unpack the SLOs by discussing what each SLO looks like, sounds like, and feels like in a school setting.  Afterwards, parents had an opportunity to provide feedback on the ways in which the school is currently development students who demonstrate the SLOs, as well as the ways in which we could improve.  It was a collaborative and inspiring meeting and we look forward to ongoing opportunities to involve parents both in the self-study process and the development of our Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.

Congratulations to 4R

4R introduces their assembly focused on Facing Challenges Together.

A BIG SHOUT OUT to all students in 4R for their informative and entertaining assembly performance focused on the importance of teamwork and the skills needed to work effectively as a collaborative group.  During the assembly students participated in a variety of group challenges and then sought feedback from the audience on what went well and the ways in which they could have improved.  Great Job 4R!

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

Lower School Principal’s Post #18

Dear Families,

Henry and Sofia in 2M work together to solve a math problem.

Happy New Year and welcome to second half of the 2019-2020 school year!  This semester we are welcoming 14 new students and their families to the Lower School.   These new families, representing eight different nationalities are joining SCIS-Pudong from other schools in Shanghai, as well as from various locations around the world.  Having a truly diverse and multi-cultural learning environment is something we highly value at SCIS, as students are provided with daily opportunities to learn from the backgrounds and experiences of their peers.  Developing a strong cultural intelligenceor the ability to relate and work effectively across cultures is essential as we prepare children to be successful in the 21st century.

Students in KM participate in a class meeting to start their day.

I’d like to thank all SCIS families that have recommended SCIS-Pudong to friends, acquaintances and colleagues.  Your assistance in helping us continue our quest to build an exceptional program focused on implementing current research-based best practices, including valuing and appreciating all cultures and capabilities is at the core of what makes SCIS a great school.  

With that said, re-enrollment for the 2020 – 2021 school year is right around the corner and seats are likely to fill up quickly.  We have multiple grade levels that are currently at capacity.  As such, please be on the lookout for an email from the SCIS-Admissions Department in the upcoming days regarding steps to re-enroll your child(ren) for the 2020-2021 school year.

School Uniform Reminder

As the weather becomes colder and students come to school dressed in layers, please remember that it is still important that your child wears their school uniform. As a reminder Nursery through Grade 5 students may wear navy blue trousers, shorts, or skirts and the SCIS light blue polo shirts (short or long sleeved). During cooler weather students may wear sweaters, jackets or hoodies of school colors and winter coats. Thank you for your attention to this.

Seeking Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Input

We continue to seek Lower School Parent input surrounding ideal days / times to host our next series of Positive Discipline parenting workshops.  Positive Discipline parenting workshops usually consist of four 3-hour sessions for a total of 12-hours. There is a possibility we will be able to provide bilingual translation, so the workshop could be in English and Chinese if there is enough parent interest.  Please help us determine the ideal days and times by completing this short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

正面管教课程征询

我们正在为下一期的正面管教课程做准备的同征求一些意见或建议。通常正面管教课程是4节课每节课3小时总课时为12小时。如果有更多的家长参与进来的话我们将提供双语课程即中英文课程。请完成这个简单的正面管教调查表(short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey. )来帮助我们规划课程的日期及时间。非常感谢您的支持。

Lower School Assembly

The next Lower School Assembly featuring 4R will be on Thursday, January16th starting at 8:15am in the Theater.  All parents are welcome to attend Lower School assemblies.  We will also be welcoming the new K-5 students and recognizing them for being risk-takers as they have courageously made the transition to a new school and community.

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Nursery students work together to decorate the hallway doors for Chinese New Year

Over the course of the next few weeks Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, similar to last year, the assembly will be followed by a Chinese Temple Fair for Lower School students.  The Temple fair will provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of fun Chinese cultural activities.  The temple fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Yang Liu at yliu@scis-china.org or scan the below QR code to join the volunteer WeChat Group.

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

Substitute Teachers Needed

If you or someone you know has experience as a teacher or would be interested in gaining experience through being a substitute teacher, please connect with Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org.  While teaching experience or certification is not necessary, a passion for working and learning with children is essential.   

School Class Photos:

Please note that Class Photos, individual student re-takes, and new student photos will take place on Tuesday, March 3rd.  Students will need to wear their SCIS blue collared shirt for their class photo.   PE uniforms can be brought to school that day. 

Lower School Principal’s Post #17

Dear Families,

SCIS faculty gather together on the field to say farewell to students on the last day of the semester!

What a wonderful semester this has been!  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all Lower School faculty for their ongoing commitment to providing meaningful, engaging and fun learning experiences for students each and every day.   The continued development and refinement of the Primary Years Program (PYP) units of inquiry has allowed students to formulate in depth understandings surrounding unit content and take action with their learning in new and exciting ways.  Additionally, the ongoing implementation of the Reading and Writing Workshop approach, as well as the accompanying units of study has resulted in consistency in teaching practices across grade levels (K-5) and students are eager and excited to share the work they have produced as readers and writers.  The work teachers have done to develop a strong conceptually-based mathematics program has allowed us to implement consistent practices that focus on developing fluency, as well as students critical thinking and problem-solving skills as mathematicians.  Lastly, the implementation of Positive Discipline and the Second Step program has had a profound effect on the way in which we are teaching students how to handle strong emotions and resolve conflict in appropriate ways across the Lower School. 

Lower School students enjoy listening to the Upper School musicians play holiday music on Thursday during dismissal.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all SCIS parents for your support, interest and encouragement as we continue to enhance our curricular program by ensuring we are dedicated to implementing best teaching and learning practices across all grade levels and subject areas.  I look forward to seeing many parents at upcoming Coffee Mornings, student Learning Celebrations and school events throughout Semester Two.   Please see below for more information on Parent Coffee Morning topics and dates.

I’d like to wish all SCIS families a wonderful, relaxing and well-deserved Winter Break.  School will resume on Monday, January 6th

All departing Lower School students received an SCIS Blue Dragon, as well as a Learner Profile Recognition for being a risk-taker.

Saying Good-Bye:

There comes a time at the end of each semester when we need to say good-bye to some of our SCIS friends and families as they embark on new adventures in their home country or elsewhere.  We wish all departing families the best of luck and we want you to know that you will always be welcome back to SCIS! Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Semester 1 Student Reports

Semester 1 student reports will be distributed via a link sent to parents’ SCIS parent email account on today.  If you have any questions, concerns or wonderings surrounding the comments or achievement indicators your child received for the first semester please feel free to contact your child’s Homeroom Teacher after the Winter Break.  

All Lower School faculty got together on Monday after school to celebrate the end of the semester and review Semester 1 reports.

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

SCIS Lower School Mathematics Dragon Tales

Thank you to Mr. Kelly for putting together the new Dragon Tales newsletter that is focused on capturing mathematics teaching and learning throughout the Lower School.  Within this newsletter parents will develop a deeper understanding of how students are learning mathematical practices and concepts through hands-on real-world experiences.  You will find a link to the newsletter on the right side of this blog under the tab focused on Teaching and Learning Mathematics at home.

Seeking Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Input

We are seeking Lower School Parent input surrounding ideal days / times to host our next series of Positive Discipline parenting workshops.  Positive Discipline parenting workshops usually consist of four 3-hour sessions for a total of 12-hours. There is a possibility we will be able to provide bilingual translation, so the workshop could be in English and Chinese if there is enough parent interest.  Please help us determine the ideal days and times by completing this short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

正面管教课程征询

我们正在为下一期的正面管教课程做准备的同征求一些意见或建议。通常正面管教课程是4节课每节课3小时总课时为12小时。如果有更多的家长参与进来的话我们将提供双语课程即中英文课程。请完成这个简单的正面管教调查表(short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey. )来帮助我们规划课程的日期及时间。非常感谢您的支持。

Scholastic Book Orders

Please note that the November 2019 Scholastic Book orders will be delivered after the Winter Holiday.  The previous closing date was November 26th and it typically takes 4-6 weeks for the orders to be delivered.  If you participated in the previous round of scholastic book orders, please note that books will likely arrive between January 6th and the Chinese New Year Holiday.  Thank you for your patience.

Lower School Principal’s Post #16

Dear Families,

What a busy, fun and festive week we have had in the Lower School as students and teachers wrap up or begin new units of inquiry, engage in new learning experiences and count down the days until the upcoming Winter Holiday. 

The Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” was certainly a major highlight this week for our Lower School Community. During this event students proudly and confidently took the stage and performed original compositions that were developed collaboratively within each grade level.  I’m very proud of all students for their hard work, creativity and commitment leading up to, and during the Winter Concert.  Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. DeVeor Rainey for the endless hours of work and preparation she put into guiding students on this musical journey and inspiring them to create, compose and perform.  I would also like to thank all Lower School teachers for their support during rehearsals, as well as for ensuring students transitioned successfully on and off the stage.  It was truly a magical and original event that showcased both the process of musical creation, as well as the culmination of a fantastic performance.

PS/PK Artists Display their Creativity

Ms. DeVeor helped students kick off the opening of the art gallery with a song students have been practicing during Music class. Several courageous students volunteered to showcase the dance movements.

Another great highlight of the week took place on Thursday morning when students in our multi-age Preschool / Prekindergarten classes had their first big learning celebration of the semester, during which parents, teachers, students, and special friends were invited to an Art Gallery Exhibition featuring some of the beautiful and creative pieces students crafted throughout their current unit of inquiry “How we Express Ourselves:  Art and Artists.”  During this unit, students formulated an understanding that artists express themselves in different ways.  Throughout their inquiry, they learned about the different forms of art, what people can learn by creating art, and how artists use tools and different materials to construct art.  During the Art Gallery, children reflected on their own artwork and shared information surrounding the process they went through to create such imaginative pieces.   A great big shout-out to Ms. Aleksa, Ms. Adika, Ms. Amy, Ms. Tami, and all Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers for guiding students during the past 8 weeks and providing opportunities for them to be creative risk-takers and express themselves through various forms of art! 

Winter Break

The last day of Semester 1 is next Friday, December 13th.  If your family intends on leaving early or if you plan on picking your child up from school, please let the front office know as soon as possible. 

Congratulations to 3J Authors

Congratulations to all student authors in 3J who enthusiastically shared their “All About” books with parents and other community members on Friday, prior to the Winter Concert. The informational books were filled with fantastic descriptions, diagrams, pictures, and glossaries on a range of topics students were passionate and interested to write about. Keep up the great writing 3J!

Semester 1 Student Reports

Mr. Ian and Mr. Kelly team up during a Math Team meeting on Thursday.

Semester 1 student reports will be distributed via a link sent to parents’ SCIS parent email account on the afternoon of December 13th.  Reports are meant to provide parents with an opportunity to understand their child’s progress against the grade level standards and expectations at this point in the school year.  If you have any questions surrounding your child’s report, please connect with your child’s classroom or specialist teacher in January.

Seeking Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Input

We are seeking Lower School Parent input surrounding ideal days / times to host our next series of Positive Discipline parenting workshops.  Positive Discipline parenting workshops usually consist of four 3-hour sessions for a total of 12-hours. There is a possibility we will be able to provide bilingual translation, so the workshop could be in English and Chinese if there is enough parent interest.  Please help us determine the ideal days and times by completing this short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

正面管教课程征询

我们正在为下一期的正面管教课程做准备的同征求一些意见或建议。通常正面管教课程是4节课每节课3小时总课时为12小时。如果有更多的家长参与进来的话我们将提供双语课程即中英文课程。请完成这个简单的正面管教调查表(short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey. )来帮助我们规划课程的日期及时间。非常感谢您的支持。

Lower School Principal’s Post #15

Dear Families,

Grade 2 students showing off their crazy hair styles for Crazy Hair Day on Tuesday during Spirit Week!

It’s hard to believe there are only 10 more days until the SCIS community departs for the Winter Holiday.  It has been an incredible semester thus far, filled with rich learning experiences and memorable community events.  Please note that the last day of Semester One is on Friday, December 13th.  Semester reports will be sent home on this day via a link sent to SCIS parent-email accounts.  Semester Two will begin on Monday, January 6th

We look forward to seeing many parents attend the Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” next Friday at 1:30pm in the Theater.  Students across grade levels have been working extremely hard to compose original music, practice as an ensemble and prepare for this performance.  We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!   Below is information on the concert attire required for each grade level:

  • KINDERGARTEN students are asked to wear their PE uniform as their concert attire
  • GRADE 1 students are asked to wear blue jeans and a white t-shirt
  • GRADE 2 students are asked to wear their favorite pajamas
  • GRADE 3 students are asked to wear all black clothing
  • GRADES 4 & 5 students are asked to wear 1970’s Disco-inspired fashion

If you intend on taking your child(ren) home after the concert, please be sure to inform Mr. Stuart Ren either via email (sren@scis-china.org) or in person while you are on campus.  The earlier the school is informed of student departure plans the easier it is for us to ensure the whereabouts and safety of students at all times.

SCIS-Pudong Winter Festival

We hope to see many SCIS families and friends on campus tomorrow for the PAFA sponsored Winter Festival from 11:30am-3:00pm.  The school is bursting with holiday spirit and PAFA has been busy decorating and organizing fun activities for the whole family to enjoy on this day!

In addition to the Winter Festival there are several other events happening tomorrow including an Early Childhood parent education workshop focused on The Power of Play-Based Learning from 9:30am-10:30am in room 102.  There will also be an Open House for potential new families taking place from 10:30-12:00pm.  Lastly, at 3:00pm many Upper School students will take the Theater stage to perform the Addams Family musical. 

Shout-out to KLM!

It was a full house at the KLM Bookstore on Wednesday where students sold self-published books to various members of the SCIS Community!

On Thursday, students in Ms. Mount’s Kindergarten class opened the KLM Bookstore where they sold a variety of self-published books covering a range of topics.  During the bookstore opening, KLM authors took great pride in reading their texts to parents, students, and teachers.  Although there were several copies available of the books, many were completely sold out by the end of the event.  Way to go, KLM authors!

Seesaw Success Statistics!

We continue to experience great success with Seesaw, our digital communication platform as evidenced by an incredible increase in parent usage this semester.   Since our initial roll-out of Seesaw (August 2017) we have had 79,503 total parent visits to class and student journals, 46,895 total likes and 9,827 total comments on student work.  By comparison, last year at this time we had a total of 39,145 parent visits to class and student journals, 26,184 total likes, and 5241 total comments on student work. 

We are so grateful to students, teacher and parents for the success of this fantastic platform and the strong connections it has created between the home-school environment.  As parents, we ask that you please continue to engage with your child on Seesaw by providing positive feedback and encouragement.  Additionally, creating opportunities to talk with your child about their work on Seesaw will help you gain a better understanding of what (and how) children are learning at school.  It will also provide children with an opportunity to share their thinking and understanding with an authentic and very important audience.

Grade 2 Engineers Unveil their Simple Machine Creations

Last Friday morning, Grade 2 students gathered in the Black Box to present their creative and innovative ideas, designs, and machine prototypes that evolved as a result of their most recent unit of inquiry, Where we are in Place and Time focused on Simple Machines.  During this unit students explored the function of simple machines (how they work) and the impact of simple machines on our lives over time.  During the learning celebration, students shared the journey of their inquiry into simple machines that included documentation of the learning process through the use of the book creator app.  If you’re interested in seeing some of the students’ fantastic work please click on this link: https://teachersh.scis-his.net/pudonglowerschool/simple-machines-by-grade-2/

Limiting the Loss of Personal Belongings

With the recent change in weather and the need for students to come to school in multiple layers of clothing, we ask that parents take extra care to label all of your child’s personal belongings.  In the event, that an item is misplaced, the item can easily be returned to its owner if it is properly labeled with the child’s name and grade. 

How Do We Know Students Have Learned?

The Assessed Curriculum at SCIS

With semester reports right around the corner (distributed via a link sent to each parent’s scis-email account) it is important for parents to understand how students are assessed not only at the end of the semester, but more importantly throughout the process of learning each and every day.  Please take a moment to read the following information surrounding the “assessed curriculum” at SCIS-Pudong.

Assessment is an essential part to all teaching and learning that takes place within the Lower School at SCIS-Pudong.  Within the Primary Years Programme the fundamental purpose of assessment is to provide feedback on the learning process and ultimately inform instruction.  Throughout the learning process teachers gather and analyze assessment data in a variety of ways in order to determine what students know, understand, can do, as well as how they feel at different stages of their learning.   

Although, most people are familiar with formal assessments, such as standardized tests (i.e the NWEA MAPs test), there are several other assessment options available for teachers that are more informal and focus on student work, motivation and progress instead of the end of the unit test score.  Teachers at SCIS use a range of assessment tools in effort to track student learning in a variety of ways.  The chart below provides a few types of assessment tools used by teachers on a daily basis.

Assessments are conducted constantly throughout the school year in order to help teachers monitor their students’ progress and to modify instruction accordingly.  They are used to detect whether or not effective teaching and an appropriate level of learning is taking place in the classroom. Assessments are also used to help students monitor their own progress.

With Semester Reports being distributed in less than two weeks, it is important to keep in mind that teachers use many assessments to determine the needs and abilities of students.  The achievement indicator(s) a child receives on the report is based upon multiple pieces of assessment data that have been collected over the course of the semester as opposed to only one test or project.  Additionally, often the most valuable assessments are observations or daily conversations that are not recorded in a formal way.   If you would like more information on assessment, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Ian Sylvester at isylvester@scis-china.org at any point in the school year.

Lower School Principal’s Post #14

Dear Families,

Ms. Briton guides Grade 5 students as they design and create monochromatic landscapes in connection with their current unit of inquiry focused on migration.

It has been a busy week within the SCIS-Pudong Lower School as grade levels wrap up their second unit of inquiry and begin their third and final unit for the semester.  With only 3 weeks left of Semester One students are completely immersed in a wide variety of fantastic learning experiences across the curriculum that are student-centered, inquiry-based, and provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop the skills needed to be independent, self-directed learners.  

Lower School faculty working collaboratively in their PYP Self-Study Groups to reflect upon all aspects of the lower school curriculum.

As educators, we are constantly reflecting upon the ways in which we can improve the learning experience and ensure that students are making progress towards achieving the schoolwide learner outcomes, as well as the standards for each subject area across the curriculum.  This past Monday, Lower School Teachers, in collaboration with Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers delved into various aspects of the written, taught, and assessed components of the curriculum, as well as the opportunities available for collaborative planning in order to evaluate how we can further improve our practices in order to have the optimal impact on learning.   As we explore evidence related to student achievement data and engagement in learning, we continue to be extremely proud of the programs we have in place and the progress students are making related to all aspects of teaching and learning within the Lower School. 

Dr. Sheila from New York Dental visits Grade 1 to discuss healthy habits related to dental hygiene. Thank you Dr. Sheila for making the time to share your expertise with our Grade 1 Learners as they inquire into the many ways they can live healthy and balanced lives.

As parents, we continue to appreciate your support and encourage you to also take the time to reflect with your child(ren) on their progress and celebrate the incredible work that they do each and every day.

Spirit Week is Next Week!

Please support your child as they participate in a schoolwide Spirit Week starting with Pajama Day on Monday, November 25th!  Students have the option throughout the week to come to school in their uniform or participate in Spirit Week!  We hope they choose the latter.  Below is an overview of the different themes for each day of Spirit Week.

  • Monday, November 25th: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday, November 26th: Crazy Hair Day 
  • Wednesday, November 27th: Mis-Match Day (wear clothes that do not match such as stripes and polka-dots or different colored shoes/socks)
  • Thursday, November 28th: Backwards Day (wear your clothes backwards)
  • Friday, November 29th: Greens and Jeans

Congratulations 3J

On Thursday, students in 3J took the Theater stage and presented a fantastic rendition of the story, The Great Kapok Tree:  A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry.  Adorned with beautiful costumes depicting the various creatures of the rainforest, students in 3J spoke loudly, clearly, and enthusiastically as they shared the beautiful tale of the Great Kapok Tree.  Wonderful Job 3J – Way to be risk-takers!

Grade 2 Engineers Unveil their Simple Machine Creations

On Friday morning, Grade 2 students gathered in the Black Box to present their creative and innovative ideas, designs, and machine prototypes that evolved as a result of their most recent unit of inquiry, Where we are in Place and Time focused on Simple Machines.  During this unit students explored the function of simple machines (how they work) and the impact of simple machines on our lives over time.  During the learning celebration, students shared the journey of their inquiry into simple machines that included documentation of the learning process through the use of the book creator app.  Parents, teachers, and younger and older students alike were amazed by the knowledge and creativity that was present from all Grade 2 students as they proudly showcased their learning journey and innovative designs.  

Shout-out to KM!

On Thursday, students in Miss Meidinger’s Kindergarten class opened the KM Bookstore where they sold a variety of self-published books covering a range of topics.  During the bookstore opening, KM authors took great pride in reading their texts to parents, students, and teachers.  Although there were several copies available of the books, many were completely sold out by the end of the event.  Way to go, KM authors!

Lower School Winter Concerts

Please mark your calendars for the Lower School Winter Concert Performance which will take place on Friday, December 6th at 1:30pm for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  The concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” will showcase student music videos, original music compositions and lots of singing and dancing. We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!   Below is information on the concert attire required for each grade level:

  • KINDERGARTEN students are asked to wear their PE uniform as their concert attire
  • GRADE 1students are asked to wear blue jeans and a white t-shirt
  • GRADE 2 students are asked to wear their favorite pajamas
  • GRADE 3 students are asked to wear all black clothing
  • GRADES 4 & 5 students are asked to wear 1970’s Disco-inspired fashion

Scholastic Books

All Lower School students should have received a Scholastic Book Catalogue last week.  Information on how to order scholastic books can be found on the back of the catalogue.  Please ensure that all book orders are completed by November 26th.  Please note, that for every purchase the SCIS community makes towards a book order, the school receives points that can be used for additional book purchases for classroom libraries.

Limiting the Loss of Personal Belongings

With the recent change in weather and the need for students to come to school in multiple layers of clothing, we ask that parents take extra care to label all of your child’s personal belongings.  In the event, that an item is misplaced, the item can easily be returned to its owner if it is properly labeled with the child’s name and grade. 

Lower School Principal’s Post #13

Dear Families,

This PLT is focused on developing a deeper understanding of Positive Discipline and social-emotional learning and development.

At SCIS-Pudong we believe that professional development and collaboration is essential to building a strong curricular program focused on implementing research-based best practices across all subject areas and disciplines throughout the school.  As part of our annual Teacher Growth and Evaluation Process teachers work together in Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) to engage in rich pedagogical discussion and reflection surrounding aspects of their professional SMART goal.  Within the Lower School, all teachers must develop two SMART goals each year related to an aspect of the school’s annual curricular initiatives.  This year, the Lower School has four key focus areas:  Inclusion, Assessment, Social-Emotional Learning, and Mathematics Workshop with a focus on Number Talks.  In this way, all faculty are part of a greater professional learning community that is driven by clear goals and objectives.  According to DuFour and Eaker (1998) the six core principals of professional learning communities are:

  • the promotion of a culture of collaboration
  • the development and implementation of a shared mission, vision, and values
  • the implementation of collective inquiry into best practice
  • action-oriented
  • a focus on continuous improvement
  • a focus on results

We are excited about continuing to develop our PLT model and look forward to sharing the results of our inquiries into best practices within our four key focus areas with you towards the end of the school year.   

Kosei and Soichiro discuss and interested book before the school day begins.

Limiting the Loss of Personal Belongings

With the recent change in weather and the need for students to come to school in multiple layers of clothing, we ask that parents take extra care to label all of your child’s personal belongings.  In the event, that an item is misplaced, the item can easily be returned to its owner if it is properly labeled with the child’s name and grade. 

Lower School Assembly featuring 3J

Student in 3J listen as Jerry explains his reasoning during a class number talk.

The next Lower School Assembly will take place on Thursday, November 21st beginning at 8:15am in the Theater.  3J will be presenting the story, The Great Kapok Tree:  A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry.  This amazing story will certainly get the audience thinking about the disastrous ways in which humans are affecting rainforests and the many beautiful creatures and animals that reside there.  We look forward to seeing many parents at the assembly!

Mrs. Ruf confers with Aedan during writing workshop.

Scholastic Books

All Lower School students should have received a Scholastic Book Catalogue this week.  Information on how to order scholastic books can be found on the back of the catalogue.  Scholastic book orders are due next Friday, November 22nd.   After Friday, students will no longer be able to order books.  Please note, that for every purchase the SCIS community makes towards a book order, the school receives points that can be used for additional book purchases for classroom libraries.

Lower School Winter Concerts

Please mark your calendars for the Lower School Winter Concert Performance which will take place on Friday, December 6th at 1:30pm for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  The concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” will showcase student music videos, original music compositions and lots of singing and dancing. We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!   Below is information on the concert attire required for each grade level:

  • KINDERGARTEN students are asked to wear their PE uniform as their concert attire
  • GRADE 1 students are asked to wear blue jeans and a white t-shirt
  • GRADE 2 students are asked to wear their favorite pajamas
  • GRADE 3 students are asked to wear all black clothing
  • GRADES 4 & 5 students are asked to wear 1970’s Disco-inspired fashion

Shout-out to 3V

On Wednesday morning, parents of students in 3V joined the class for an interactive inquiry into how the earth changes and what causes the changes.   Students, parents, and other members of the community delved into various experiments were predictions were made, experiments were implemented, and observations were recorded.   Many of the experiments could be easily replicated at home and parents were provided with a wonderful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what inquiry-based learning looks like at SCIS-Pudong.

Parent-Teacher Conference Reflection

Although Parent-Teacher Conferences were a little over 3 weeks ago, we’d like to get parents’ opinions on their conference experience.  We request that you take a few minutes to complete this very short survey to help us better understand how Parent-Teacher conferences can be improved for the future.  Thank you very much for your time and feedback!

Lower School Principal’s Post #12

Dear Families,

This Lower School team chaired by Mr. Ethan Schultz is focusing on analyzing and evaluating the different components of the school’s written curriculum.

This has been a short, but fun-filled week within the Lower School.  On Tuesday morning Lower School faculty including Teachers, Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers came together continue work surrounding the IB PYP Self-Study.  As mentioned in last week’s Principal’s Post the self-study serves 3 overarching purposes:

  1. Evaluate the extent to which the school is meeting the IB programme standards and practices .
  2. Improve implementation of the program / curriculum by identifying strengths and weaknesses, and determining areas for future focus. ​
  3. Serve as a vehicle to reinforce the support and commitment for the IB program from all stakeholders in the community through the action plan. 

As a school, we highly value the self-study process because it allows us to think critically about the ways in which we can continue to improve student learning and ensure that children are developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and conceptual understandings necessary for overall success in the 21st century.   If you have any questions about the self-study process please feel free to connect with Mr. Ian Sylvester at isylvester@scis-china.org or Ms. Liz Gale at egale@scis-china.com.   We look forward to periodically sharing updates of our progress.

Miss Meidinger is leading this team through the IB standards and practices related to collaborative planning. Prioritizing time for all teachers to plan and reflect is an essential component of an IB PYP school.

Whole Faculty Professional Development focused on Child Protection and Response to Intervention (RTI)

Cross divisional faculty work together to evaluate various scenarios related to child protection.

On Tuesday afternoon the entire SCIS-Pudong faculty came together for additional professional development focused on Child Protection.  Kristen Koehler, SCIS Director of Student Support in collaboration with Laurie Luebbe (Lower School Counselor) and Maja Kelly (Upper School Counselor) led a session to discuss specific child protection policies and practices we have in place to ensure the safety and welfare of all students.    Following this session, Ms. Koehler in collaboration with Zachary Berezowski (Lower School Learning and Student Support Coordinator) and RiAnn Caban (Upper School Learning and Student Support Coordinator) worked with faculty on developing a deeper understanding of the RTI model.  RTI is a multi-tiered approach used by educators to help students who are struggling with learning or behavior needs.  The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction for all children in the general education classroom. Throughout the RTI process struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These interventions may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. 

Mr. Berezowski leading an activity with Lower School faculty as a way to further unpack the RTI process and develop a shared understanding among teachers.

Lower School Winter Concerts

First grade students practicing their drumming skills in preparation for the winter concert.

Please mark your calendars for the Lower School Winter Concert Performance which will take place on Friday, December 6th at 1:30pm for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  The concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” will showcase student music videos, original music compositions and lots of singing and dancing. We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!   More information will be forthcoming surrounding concert attire for each grade level.

Lower School students and teachers learning how to do the WAVE at Thursday’s assembly.

Lower School Assembly featuring 3J

The next Lower School Assembly will take place next Thursday, November 21th beginning at 8:15am in the Theater.  We look forward to seeing many parents at this fun community event!

This week’s assembly was hosted by the Lower School Student Leadership Team. They taught the audience about the importance of appropriately using hand sanitizers.

NWEA MAPS Principal’s Coffee Morning

Upper School Principal, Dr. Volpe leading the Principal’s Coffee Morning on the NWEA MAP test.

Thank you to all parents who attended the Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday where Dr. Volpe provided a comprehensive overview of how to interpret the NWEA MAPs results received by students in Grades 2-5.   Here is a link to the PowerPoint slides that were shared at the coffee morning.  Just a reminder that the NWEA MAPs test is one piece of the assessment mosaic teachers use at SCIS to measure student progress and determine a student’s areas of strength and areas for growth.  Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or Ms. Gale with any questions that you have.  NWEA MAPs results were shared in a link sent to each parents’ scis-parent email account on Friday, October 18th.

Parent-Teacher Conference Reflection

Grade 2 students uploading reflections to Seesaw.

Although Parent-Teacher Conferences were a little over 2 weeks ago, we’d like to get parents’ opinions on their conference experience.  We request that you take a few minutes to complete this very short survey to help us better understand how Parent-Teacher conferences can be improved for the future.  Thank you very much for your time and feedback!

More Photos from a Great Week including our most recent Learner Profile Recognition recipients

Lower School Principal’s Post #11

Dear Families,

Another exciting week of fun and learning in the Lower School.  At this point, all grade levels are well into their second Unit of Inquiry and students have been engaged in a variety of learning experiences where they have had the opportunity to ask questions surrounding their inquiry topics and work with their peers to begin seeking answers to their queries. 

Julia, Valentina, and Mandisi in 4B work together on figuring out their word sort.

When planning, teachers begin by assessing students’ prior knowledge. Once teachers have an understanding of what students know about a particular topic, they then design meaningful learning experiences that provide the children with opportunities to test and revise their thinking, allow them to make connections between their previous and current perceptions, and give them the freedom to construct their own meaning in a way that is significant, relevant and engaging. 

Below are the Central Ideas that serve as the focus for the current Unit of Inquiry in each grade level:

Isabella, Mila, and Weedema work with Ms. Liu on reading Chinese characters during Mandarin class.
  • Nursery:  We move from place to place in different ways.
  • Preschool / Prekindergarten:  Artists create art to express themselves in different ways.
  • Kindergarten:  People use their senses to help them learn.
  • Grade 1:  Choices we make affect our health.
  • Grade 2:  People have improved their daily lives by using simple machines.
  • Grade 3:  Processes change the earth.
  • Grade 4:  Heroes reveal values and beliefs.
  • Grade 3:  Human migration is a response to challenges, risks and opportunities.

For more information on what and how your child is learning, please take some time to visit their student journal on Seesaw and talk with your child about the different learning experiences they are having at school.  Also, if you like what you see, be sure provide your child with some positive feedback on their work.

Please note, there will not be school next Monday and Tuesday, November 4th and 5th

Wishing all families, a wonderful and relaxing 4-day weekend! 

PAFA SPONSORED HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL

A HUGE THANK YOU to all students and parents that came to campus last Saturday, October 26th to participate in the PAFA sponsored Halloween Carnival.  The children had a wonderful time and it was so fun to see adults and children alike dressed in a wide variety of fun Halloween costumes.  A special thanks to Maria Trantow and all PAFA volunteers who spent a large portion of the day setting up stations, facilitating games and ensuring the event was a huge success!

NWEA MAPS

(Northwest Evaluation Association / Measurement of Academic Progress)

For parents of students in Grades 2-5 you should have received access to your child’s fall NWEA MAPs testing results on Friday, October 18th via the same link that was sent to your scis-parent email account for the mid-semester report.   We recognize that interpreting the test results can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the MAPs test and therefore, we will be hosting a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday, November 7th led by Dr. Volpe.  The session will begin at 9:30am in room 208.   During this session, parents will develop an understanding of how to interpret their child’s MAP results, have an opportunity to ask questions and learn how to use the data to support their child’s growth and development at home.   Please note, the NWEA MAPs test is one piece of the assessment mosaic teachers use at SCIS to measure student progress and determine a student’s areas of strength and areas for growth.

Next Lower School Assembly

Please note that the next Lower School Assembly will take place next Thursday, November 7th starting at 8:15am in the Theater.  The Lower School Student Leadership Team will be leading this assembly.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Students in 1S say good-bye to Mr. Schultz at the end of the day with a special handshake.

SCIS School Closure

SCIS has confirmed with the proper authorities that our best course of action is to close school on all of our campuses (Pudong, Hongqiao Main, & Hongqiao ECE) on November 4th & 5th in support of the second annual China International Import Expo. As such, all After School Activities (ASA), athletics, performances, mother tongue language programs, and extra-curricular activities will also be canceled on those days. We will re-open with all operations on Wednesday, November 6th.

SCIS policy requires makeup days when cancellations are more than one school day per academic year. Given the government directive to cancel two school days, SCIS will adjust our calendar to make up one school day. As such, we will now hold a full day of school for students on Friday, November 22ndwhich was previously identified as a professional in-service day. 

Launch of the PYP Self-Study

This past Monday, all Lower School teachers gathered together in room 208 to take part in the beginning phase of the PYP Self Study.  Each IB World School is regularly evaluated to ensure that the IB standards and practices are being maintained.  Evaluation takes place at least once every five years.  As part of the process, schools engage in a self-study that is a key element in the school’s continual improvement.    

The self-study serves three primary purposes;

  1. Evaluate the extent to which the school is meeting the programme standards and practices ​
  2. Improve implementation by identifying strengths and weaknesses, and determining areas for future focus ​
  3. Serve as a vehicle to reinforce the support and commitment for the program from all stakeholders in the community through the action plan. 

As a Lower School, we have made tremendous curricular growth since the adoption of the PYP in 2016.  Through the PYP self-study process led by our PYP Coordinator, Mr. Ian Sylvester we will certainly be celebrating all of the phenomenal teaching and learning that is currently happening and collaboratively identify the ways in which we can continue to improve. 

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop

Tomorrow will be the final session for the Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop.  A HUGE thank you to all parent participants and especially to Dr. Molly Myers for doing such a fantastic job facilitating.  If you were not able to participate in this round of parenting workshops, please be on the lookout for our next round of workshops that will likely take place at the start of the second semester.  More information will be forthcoming regarding the start date for the next series of workshops.

Lower School Principal’s Post #10

Dear Families,

What a super busy, but fantastic week at SCIS-Pudong!  I have received many positive comments from both parents, as well as teachers surrounding Parent-Teacher Conferences and I’d like to say thank you to the parents for making the time in your schedule to attend your child’s conference.  Also, thank you to all teachers for the work and effort you put into preparing for the conferences.  

Please keep in mind that conferences can be scheduled at any point in the year should you have a concern or if you’d simply like to touch base and discuss various aspects of your child’s learning.  According to Jane Hull, “the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents” and we look forward to many more opportunities to engage you in your child’s learning journey at SCIS-Pudong this year.

In effort to improve our Parent-Teacher Conference practices we would appreciate if you could take a few minutes to provide us with your feedback by accessing the Lower School PTC Parent feedback survey through the below QR code.   Thank you for your support.

PAFA Sponsored Halloween Party at SCIS

The PAFA Sponsored Halloween Party is tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing all SCIS families participate in this fun event!  Tomorrow’s event will begin at 12:00pm and conclude at 3:00pm.  Everyone is encouraged to participate and come dressed in a Halloween costume!

NWEA MAPS

(Northwest Evaluation Association / Measurement of Academic Progress)

For parents of students in Grades 2-5 you should have received access to your child’s fall NWEA MAPs testing results last Friday via the same link that was sent to your scis-parent email account for the mid-semester report.   We recognize that interpreting the test results can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the MAPs test and therefore, we will be hosting a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday, November 7th led by Dr. Volpe.  The session will begin at 9:30am in room 208.   During this session, parents will develop an understanding of how to interpret their child’s MAP results, have an opportunity to ask questions and learn how to use the data to support their child’s growth and development at home.   Please note, the NWEA MAPs test is one piece of the assessment mosaic teachers use at SCIS to measure student progress and determine a student’s areas of strength and areas for growth.

Positive Discipline Parent Event

The third Positive Discipline parenting workshop will take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 26th) from 9:00am-12:00pm in Room 208.  If you are interested in attending this workshop, please contact Dr. Myers immediately at mmyers@scis-china.org.  In addition to tomorrow’s workshop there is one additional workshops taking place on November 2nd

Next Lower School Assembly

Please note that the next Lower School Assembly will take place on Thursday, November 7th starting at 8:15am in the Theater.  The Lower School Student Leadership Team will be leading this assembly.  We look forward to seeing you there!

SCIS School Closure

SCIS has confirmed with the proper authorities that our best course of action is to close school on all of our campuses (Pudong, Hongqiao Main, & Hongqiao ECE) on November 4th & 5th in support of the second annual China International Import Expo. As such, all After School Activities (ASA), athletics, performances, mother tongue language programs, and extra-curricular activities will also be canceled on those days. We will re-open with all operations on Wednesday, November 6th.

SCIS policy requires makeup days when cancellations are more than one school day per academic year. Given the government directive to cancel two school days, SCIS will adjust our calendar to make up one school day. As such, we will now hold a full day of school for students on Friday, November 22ndwhich was previously identified as a professional in-service day. 

Bilingual Parent Education Workshops focused on Early Years