Lower School Principal’s Post #8

October 16, 2020

This week was a fantastic week of learning. Students in all grade levels demonstrated their new knowledge in various ways. Please enjoy these photos of grade 3 students presenting what they learned about landforms, grade 4 students sharing their realistic fiction stories and a few enthusiastic grade 2 students who are working on their communication and persuasive skills as they proposed a plan to Ms. Brews and Ms. Gale to get popsicles for all Lower School students!

Parent Coffee Morning

Thank you to those parents who attended this week’s Principal’s Coffee Morning on the PYP. Please click below to view the presentation slides.

PAFA, Thank you!

Thank you to PAFA for hosting a fantastic parent social! It was a beautiful venue and a great opportunity for parents from both the Pudong and Hongqiao campus to spend some time getting to know each other.

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop in English and Chinese Register now!

Dr. Myers and Olive Sun are offering weekend parent workshops on Positive Discipline and registration is now open! This is a 12-hour workshop that takes place over 4 weekends. Parents will receive a certificate of participation. All materials will be provided and parents will receive a certificate of participation.

Cost: 500RMB for all four sessions. 
Dates: November 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
Times: 8:30am-11:30
Location: Room 208 (English), Library (Mandarin)

Other: Light refreshments will be provided
If needed, please provide your own child care as this is for adults only.

Please register by emailing Dr. Myers or Olive Sun by Wed., Nov. 4th, 2020.
* Dr. Molly Myers (English) at mmyers@scis-china.org
* Ms. Olive Sun (Mandarin) at osun@scis-china.org

  • Overview:  These four sessions will be led by Dr. Molly Myers, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Trainer.  “Positive Discipline is a parenting program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline parenting books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, the program teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Parenting with Positive Discipline means being kind and firm at the same time, which is effective long-term and helps children feel a connection — a sense of belonging and significance,” (www.positivediscipline.com/parents
  • Cost:  This series of 4 total sessions will cost 500RMB per participant.  The money will be used to purchase positive discipline resources for the classroom, as well as parenting resources that will be housed in the library and available for regular parent check-out. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-student-teacher conference will take place on November 3rd and 4th. Lower School parents will have the opportunity to sign-up for a twenty-minute timeslot with your child(ren)’s homeroom teacher.Ten-minute timeslots will also be available for specialist teachers. Parent-students-teacher conferences provide an opportunity for teachers and parents to work together in clarifying progress and next steps in student learning.  These conferences help strengthen the home-school partnership and play an important role supporting students to develop into the best versions of themselves.  

Please note: Lower School students do not attend Parent-Teacher conferences and all conferences will be conducted via Microsoft Teams.  Conferences will be scheduled similarly to previous years.  Parents will receive a link to SignUpGenius, where parents will be able to select the available times to conference with relevant teachers.  This information will be sent out next week.  

Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule:
Tuesday November 3rd: 3:30-5:30
Wednesday November 4th: 12:00-5:30

Important Dates

October 29th: Lower School Assembly, 8:15 a.m.
October 30
th: Whole School Halloween Spirit Day! 
November 3
rd: Mid-semester reports published 
November 4
th: Parent-student-teacher conference (half day) 
November 7, 14, 21 and 28: Positive Discipline Parent Workshops

Lower School Principal’s Post #7

October 9th, 2020

Dear Families,   

It has been a great week at SCIS-Pudong!  There are many exciting events happening over the next few weeks involving students, teachers and parents.  Please take a moment to review the important dates mentioned below and carefully read through the information to ensure you are kept informed of all exciting happenings pertaining to the Lower School and your child(ren).   Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher with any additional questions you may have. 

PAFA Parent Social

We would like to invite all of our parents to participate in the SCIS Hongqiao-Pudong PAFA parent social event happening on October 15th. This is a great opportunity to catch up with parents you know and make new connections. Please see the announcement below.  

General Announcements

Principal’s Coffee Morning

There will be a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday, October 15th at 10:00 am.. This will be an opportunity to meet the Lower School Principal, Dawn Brews, and to learn more about the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our curriculum framework in the Lower School. Please use this Teams Meeting Link to join us at 10:00 a.m. We will record the session in case you are unable to join us. Thank you and hope to see you then. 

Lower School Assemblies

At SCIS-Pudong Lower School assemblies serve several purposes.  They provide a venue for students to practice their speaking and presentation skills and share authentic aspects of their learning to a broader audience.  Additionally, they are a forum through which school-wide information can be communicated to students surrounding policies, procedures and special events. Lastly, they are meant to bring the LS community (students, teachers and parents) together in order to celebrate various aspects of student learning and growth.  

Early Release Day

There will be an early release day for all students on Monday, 26th October 2020. K-5 students will be released at 1:30 p.m. and ECE (Nursery-Prekindergarten) students will released earlier at 11:30 a.m.  Please plan accordingly. The bus coordinator will communicate approximate bus arrival times closer to October 26th

Alternative Dress Days (mark your calendars)

October 30th: In the Halloween spirit, students may dress up in costume!  Please ensure costumes are appropriate (no weapons, please). 

October 16th: will be Jeans and Greens Spirit Day!  Students may wear jeans and their green SCIS-Pudong shirt. 

Lower School Assemblies

Our next Lower School Assembly will take place on October 29th at 8:15 a.m. We will provide a link so parents can join us. Students in all grade levels will share their understanding of school expectations through various means!  We hope to see you there! 

Choir – calling all grade 3-5 students! Please read the below message from Ms. Garcia, the LS music teacher.

Dear all,

I would like to introduce myself to the families that do not know me yet. My name is Mabel García. I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I am very grateful for joining the team of professionals at SCIS. As a LS music teacher, I have the pleasure of teaching ECE-5

In this opportunity I would like to invite your children to join SCIS Choir.

Why? There’s growing evidence that being part of a choir does more than simply make people feel good. Forming new friendships, developing networks in local communities; improving confidence and getting jobs are just some of the benefits of singing with others. Singing in a choir can be very liberating too. Singers don’t have to read or write music to be in SCIS choir. They’ve all got something in common and the benefits go both ways because each time a choir performs in public it spreads awareness of the center that hosts it as well as inspiring other members of the community to think about taking up singing.

Who? Students from grade 3 onwards (including Upper School), teachers and staff of SCIS

What? The repertoire will include worldwide polyphonic songs of different musical styles.

When? Rehearsals will take place in LS Music Room every Wednesday during ASA (3:00 to 4:15)

I am confident that it will be a fantastic experience for everyone. Every voice counts so I hope to meet your child on Wednesday 21st. at 3:15 pm! Please, if you are in doubt, do not hesitate to contact me. Ms. Mabel Garcia.

Repeated Announcements

Positive Discipline Parent Workshop – Delivered in English and Mandarin:

As mentioned in previous Principal’s Posts, Dr. Myers, our Lower School counselor, is offering weekend parent workshops on Positive Discipline.  Ms. Olive Sun, one of our Mandarin teachers will also lead sessions in Mandarin. The sessions will take place from 8:30am-11:30am in room 208.  The cost will be 500RMB for all four sessions. 

Dates: November 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th

Below is additional information and registration information will follow closer to the date. 

  • Overview:  These four sessions will be led by Dr. Molly Myers, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Trainer.  “Positive Discipline is a parenting program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline parenting books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, the program teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Parenting with Positive Discipline means being kind and firm at the same time, which is effective long-term and helps children feel a connection — a sense of belonging and significance,” (www.positivediscipline.com/parents
  • Cost:  This series of 4 total sessions will cost 500RMB per participant.  The money will be used to purchase positive discipline resources for the classroom, as well as parenting resources that will be housed in the library and available for regular parent check-out. 

Messages from Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools

Dear SCIS-Pudong Families,

It has been a great week at SCIS-Pudong as teachers gear up for the busy month of October.  There are many exciting events happening over the next few weeks involving students, teachers and parents and I encourage you to actively review information sent from the school to ensure you are kept well informed of all exciting upcoming events and happenings.  As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

October 6th Full Faculty Professional Development Day

On October 6th, the first teacher in-service day of the school year, faculty across all three SCIS campuses came together as we relaunched the WASC/IB Self-Study process that began last school year.  The WASC/IB self-study is an ongoing school improvement process that assists a school in an in-depth look at what currently exists and what needs to be improved in relation to student learning and the school’s program.  Basic concepts addressed in this process focus upon student success in meeting schoolwide learner outcomes and academic standards (i.e. what all students should know and be able to do by graduation.).  They are:

  1. How well are the students achieving?
  2. Is the school doing everything possible to support high achievement for all its students?

Through the self-study process the school fulfills the requirements for accreditation and uses the findings to form the basis for the school’s strategic action plan through the use of research-based criteria from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). 

During Tuesday’s full faculty meeting, teachers spent time analyzing and reflecting upon the school’s progress and the impact on student learning since the previous self-study in 2013.   In addition, faculty delved into various pieces of disaggregated data and participated in meaningful discussions surrounding the implications of the data on classroom practice and our ability to meet students’ critical learning needs.  

Tuesday’s faculty gathering was the first of several opportunities’ faculty will be provided with this school year to engage in various aspects of the self-study.   Other opportunities will occur during the designated early release days outlined on the 2020-2021 school calendar, as well as the allocated teacher in-service days.  During early release days all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will depart campus at 1:40pm.  Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30am.  If you have any questions surrounding early release day logistics please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or the divisional Principal.  Please note the SCIS-Pudong early release days for the school year are:

  • Monday, October 26th
  • Monday, November 23rd
  • Monday, January 25th
  • Monday, March 1st
  • Monday, March 19th

PAFA Executive Committee Announced

The SCIS-Pudong PAFA Executive Committee is now confirmed for the 2020-2021 School Year.  The Mission of the PAFA is together as parents, students, staff, faculty and friends, we build a solid foundation that unites our diversity and fosters a positive, cohesive community.  PAFA’s Vision is to provide support and resources to the school community through the coordination of activities and projects outside of the regular school provided curriculum.

Due to the fact that we cannot have parents and/or community events on campus at this time, the Executive Committee will be brainstorming opportunities to bring families within and across grade-levels together outside of school.  If you have any questions surrounding the role of PAFA at SCIS-Pudong please reach out to your grade level representative.  If you are not currently in your child’s grade level parent WeChat group, please contact our Pudong Community Relations Officer at: dmazer@scis-china.org

The members of the Executive Committee are: 

  • President: Sammy Yi
  • Secretary: Queenie Wong
  • Treasurer: BuTian (Loewe) Lu
  • Volunteer Coordinator/Country Ambassador: Preeti Shah
  • Events Coordinator: Silvia Gatti and Freda Yiu
  • Parent Representative Coordinator: Sanna Korsstrom

Thank you to all members of the Executive Committee for volunteering your time and service to support the SCIS-Pudong Community.

Mid-Semester Progress Reports

Please note there has been a change in the distribution of mid-semester progress reports as stated in the school calendar.   Mid-Semester Reports will be distributed to families on Tuesday, November 3rd instead of Friday, November 6th.  This change was made to give parents an opportunity to review their child’s mid-semester report prior to parent-teacher conferences which will occur on Wednesday, November 4th.  

Important Dates

  • October 15th10:00 am. Lower School Parent Presentation on the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Framework 
  • October 16th: Jeans and Greens Spirit Day! 
  • October 29th: Lower School Assembly, 8:15 a.m. 
  • October 30th: Whole School Halloween Spirit Day! 
  • November 3rdMid-semester reports published 
  • November 4thParent-student-teacher conference (half day) 
  • November 7, 14, 21 and 28: Positive Discipline Parent Workshops 

Lower School Principal’s Post #6

September 30, 2020

Dear Families,   

To end the week before the October holidays, the whole school came together, celebrating our diverse, multicultural and internationally minded community during our annual United Nations International Day of Peace (UNIDOP) Assembly. A huge thank you to Ms. Mabel for directing the musical performance, Mr. Barry for his continuous help with technology, Mr. Mazer for his support and assistance with the organization of the event, Max and Rambo for the photographs and videos and Justin for sound. Of course, thank you to Dr. Volpe and Ms. Gale for putting it all together.

Have a wonderful time with your family and we look forward to welcoming the students back on October 7th

Reminders: 

Please note the National Holiday and October Break will take place from October 1-5. In addition, there is no school for students October 6.

National Day and October Break & Travel Restrictions: 

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish all families a relaxing and enjoyable National Holiday and October Break from October 1-5.  On October 6th, there will be Professional Development Day for teacher and students will resume school on October 7th. We would like to remind all families that students should not plan to travel outside of Shanghai until further notice.  Missing valuable learning time in school will negatively impact a student’s learning experience and will affect assessments and reporting. If your family chooses to travel outside of Shanghai, against travel recommendations, there will be a modified virtual learning program offered to children during the required 14-day “in Shanghai” health monitoring.   

A modified virtual learning does not include live learning sessions with teachers and will not replicate the face-to-face classroom experiences.  Modified Virtual Learning will primarily consist of independent student assigned work.  

Should your child(ren) travel outside of Shanghai against government and school recommendations, you must contact your divisional secretary (Lower School – Ms. Vicki Xu at vxu@scis-china.org, Upper School – Ms. Jelly Ling , jling@scis-china.org) who will follow up with you regarding requirements and information regarding the mandatory 14-day “in Shanghai” health monitoring before returning to school.  

亲爱的SCIS 浦东家长们: 

温馨提醒,在还没有收到进一步通知前,在校学生不应计划出上海旅游。 错过在校学习的宝贵时间会让学生在学习上产和负面影响以及后续的评估报告。 如果您还是计划出上海旅游的话, 学生将被要求居家自我健康观察14天, 到时将会为学生提供更新后的上线教学课程。 

这次更新后的线上教学将不再包括老师的实时课程,以及面对面互动等。这次的线上教学主要以分配学生任务为主。 

如若您的孩子还是外出上海旅游, 您必须及时与您孩子所在年级秘书联系(低年级- Ms. Vicki Xu vxu@scis-china.org;高年级- Ms. Jelly Ling jling@scis-china.org), 她们会跟进以及更新在学生居家自我健康观察14天后返校信息。 

All Parents are Invited!

Positive Discipline Parent Workshop – Delivered in English and Mandarin: 

As mentioned in previous Principal’s Posts, Dr. Myers, our Lower School counselor, is offering weekend parent workshops on Positive Discipline.  Ms. Olive Sun, one of our Mandarin teachers will also lead sessions in Mandarin. 

The sessions will take place Nov. 7th, Nov. 14th, Nov. 21st and Nov. 28th from 8:30am-11:30am in room 208.  The cost will be 500RMB for all four sessions. 

Below is additional information and registration details will follow closer to the date. 

  • Overview:  These four sessions will be led by Dr. Molly Myers, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Trainer.  “Positive Discipline is a parenting program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline parenting books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, the program teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Parenting with Positive Discipline means being kind and firm at the same time, which is effective long-term and helps children feel a connection — a sense of belonging and significance,” (www.positivediscipline.com/parents
  • Cost:  This series of 4 total sessions will cost 500RMB per participant.  The money will be used to purchase positive discipline resources for the classroom, as well as parenting resources that will be housed in the library and available for regular parent check-out. 

Important Dates:  

October 1-5National Day and October Holiday 

October 6: No School for Students  

November 3rd: Mid-semester reports published 

November 4th: Parent-student-teacher conference (half day) 

Lower School Principal’s Post #5

September 25, 2020

Dear Families,   

As we head into the October break, it is amazing to think about all that has been accomplished since the first days of the school year. Students have demonstrated their ability to be Risk-takers, Communicators and Inquirers who openly embrace new environments, teachers, friends, procedures and learning experiences.  It is very clear that we are, not only a diverse community of learners who bring a wealth of experience and backgrounds to school each day, but we are also a school that truly supports and encourages one another in achieving our personal best.    

Reading Workshop

Throughout the Lower School classrooms, hallways and common spaces it is so wonderful to see the establishment of strong routines, procedures and fantastic student-centered learning environments.  Student agency and providing opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning is readily apparent across grade levels and specialist classes. This is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of our phenomenal Lower School faculty who are constantly looking for opportunities to create fun, and meaningful learning experiences that result in high levels of student engagement and motivation.   

Physical Education

As parents, I encourage you to continue to look for ways to extend your child(ren)’s learning outside of school.  Providing children with opportunities to make connections between their life outside of school to the learning they are experiencing in school, will help them formulate a deeper understanding of how the skills, knowledge and attributes they are developing can be applied in multiple contexts.    

National Day and October Break & Travel Restrictions: 

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish all families a relaxing and enjoyable National Holiday and October Break from October 1-5.  On October 6th, there will be Professional Development Day for teacher and students will resume school on October 7th. We would like to remind all families that students should not plan to travel outside of Shanghai until further notice.  Missing valuable learning time in school will negatively impact a student’s learning experience and will affect assessments and reporting. If your family chooses to travel outside of Shanghai, against travel recommendations, there will be a modified virtual learning program offered to children during the required 14-day “in Shanghai” health monitoring.   

A modified virtual learning does not include live learning sessions with teachers and will not replicate the face-to-face classroom experiences.  Modified Virtual Learning will primarily consist of independent student assigned work.  

Should your child(ren) travel outside of Shanghai against government and school recommendations, you must contact your divisional secretary (Lower School – Ms. Vicki Xu at vxu@scis-china.org, Upper School – Ms. Jelly Ling , jling@scis-china.org) who will follow up with you regarding requirements and information regarding the mandatory 14-day “in Shanghai” health monitoring before returning to school.  

亲爱的SCIS 浦东家长们: 

温馨提醒,在还没有收到进一步通知前,在校学生不应计划出上海旅游。 错过在校学习的宝贵时间会让学生在学习上产和负面影响以及后续的评估报告。 如果您还是计划出上海旅游的话, 学生将被要求居家自我健康观察14天, 到时将会为学生提供更新后的上线教学课程。 

这次更新后的线上教学将不再包括老师的实时课程,以及面对面互动等。这次的线上教学主要以分配学生任务为主。 

如若您的孩子还是外出上海旅游, 您必须及时与您孩子所在年级秘书联系(低年级- Ms. Vicki Xu vxu@scis-china.org;高年级- Ms. Jelly Ling jling@scis-china.org), 她们会跟进以及更新在学生居家自我健康观察14天后返校信息。 

General Announcements: 

Just Hanging Out!

United Nations International Day of Peace (UNIDOP):  

Our annual UNIDOP even will take place this coming Wednesday, September 30th. On this day, students are encouraged to wear clothes representative of their home country.   Students have the option of wearing these clothes to school or changing into their “outfit” prior to our assembly.  With over 51 countries represented, the assembly will provide a wonderful opportunity for all participants to reflect on how fortunate we are to be part of such a multi-cultural and internationally minded learning community. This event will be live-streamed and parents call also call in on Zoom so we can see you on the screen. Parent may call into Via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or both. The live event will also be recorded. Please see this information below.

Microsoft Teams Live Event (so parents can see the presentation slides): 

Zoom Call: optional, Topic: United Nations International Day of Peace Ceremony, Time: Sept. 30, 2020 01:30 PM Beijing, Shanghai, Meeting ID: 940 5371 3713, passcode: dragons or click here to join the Zoom Meeting.

Back to School Night:

Thank you to all those families who completed the Back to School Night Survey. If you have not done so already, please click the above link so we can receive your feedback surrounding the structure and effectiveness of our Virtual Back to School Night.  If you would like to see a copy of your child(ren)’s Back to School Night presentation, please contact the teacher(s) directly. You can also view the pre-recorded sessions here. 

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP:  

The Lower School students in Grades 2-5 have completed The NWEA MAPS (Measurement of Academic Progress) tests. Later in October, we will offer a parent session that provide valuable information on MAP assessments, their purpose and how to interpret your child’s results. Please stay tuned for the date of that parent information session. Until then, you can also find information at www.nwea.org

A Few Reminders: 

After School Activities:  

A detailed guide for Lower School SCIS Sponsored After School Activities will be shared September 25th and registration will open on Monday, September 28th.   

Seeking Substitute Teachers!  SCIS Pudong is seeking substitute teachers for the 2020-2021 school year.  If you are interested in subbing at SCIS Pudong, please email your resume to Julia Qian jqian@scis-china.org.  Once applications are received, Julia will arrange for an interview with administration. Requirements: English fluency and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.  

Important Dates:  

September 28th  – After School Activities Registration Opens  

September 30th  – United Nations International Day of Peace (Unidop) Celebration  

October 1-5 – National Day and October Holiday 

October 6th – No School for Students  

November 3rd – Mid-semester reports published 

November 4th – Parent-student-teacher conference (half day) 

Lower School Principal’s Post #4

September 18, 2020

Dear Families,  

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Virtual Back to School Night.  If you were unable to attend any of the scheduled Teams meetings, you will be able to see recordings of the live sessions which will be shared with all parents shortly. Our pre-recorded sessions are also still available here. All families, including those who were unable to attend sessions, could you please complete a very brief survey by clicking this link. Thank you for your feedback.

Mandarin
Grade 3

While we could not welcome families on campus for Back to School Night, we found the opportunity to connect with parents virtually extremely valuable. We whole-heartedly believe that strong school-family partnerships are key to student success and motivation as a learner.  

Current research on school-community partnerships states, “the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which the student’s family is able to: 

  1. Create a home environment that encourages learning. 
  2. Express high (but not unrealistic) expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers.
  3. Become involved in their children’s education at school and in the community. 
Here I Come!

Benefits for children whose parents are involved include achievement of grade level academic expectations, higher standardized test scores and consistent school attendance.  Additionally, children whose parents who are involved in their education tend to have higher levels of self-esteem, more self-discipline and greater levels of motivation.  

Smash!

There are so many ways parents can be involved in their child’s learning and it can be as simple as asking them to share some of their learning experiences from their school day during dinner. Children should have plenty to share! For instance, the grade 5 students learned about writing a “small, seed” moment instead of a big “watermelon” story. Mr. Kelly helped children understand this concept through an analogy that involved a watermelon, Thor’s mjolnir (hammer), and raincoats!

As always, we encourage you to stay connected and excited about your child’s learning. We look forward to continuing to learn with and alongside you.  Enjoy your weekend!

A Few Reminders:

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP  

The NWEA MAPS (Measurement of Academic Progress) test will be administered to students in Grades 2-5 this week (September 21-25).  During this online assessment, students will be tested in the areas of Reading, Mathematics, and Language Usage (Grades 3-5 only). The MAPs test is not a traditional test that students can or should study for.  Rather it will provide a snapshot of the students’ abilities within these curricular areas at this point in time.  The best thing you can do to support your child is make sure they are well rested, and eat a good breakfast, as we hope they do for every school day.  Teachers receive immediate results with MAP that show what students know and what they are ready to learn which teachers will use when planning the most relevant and appropriate learning experiences for all students.  For more information on NWEA MAP visit www.nwea.org 

Birthday Celebrations  

At SCIS-Pudong, we want to help students celebrate their birthdays.  However, please be mindful that class birthday celebrations are restricted to no more than 30 minutes and should be in conjunction with snack, lunch or the end of the school day.  Additionally, the giving of gifts is prohibited including goodie-bags or party favors. Due to health and safety guidelines, food options are limited and must be cleared by the homeroom teacher well in advance. If granted, any food items need to be individually wrapped (commercial or from a restaurant/bakery) and we need to be considerate of allergies.  Healthy choices are encouraged.

After School Activities: 

A detailed guide for Lower School SCIS Sponsored After School Activities will be shared September 25th and registration will open on Monday, September 28th.  

United Nations International Day of Peace (UNIDOP) 

Our annual UNIDOP even will take place on September 30th. On this day, students are encouraged to wear clothes representative of their home country.   Students have the option of wearing these clothes to school or changing into their “outfit” prior to our assembly.  With over 51 countries represented, the assembly will provide a wonderful opportunity for all participants to reflect on how fortunate we are to be part of such a multi-cultural and internationally minded learning community.  Parents will be able to attend virtually so we hope to see you then. 

Seeking Substitute Teachers!  SCIS Pudong is seeking substitute teachers for the 2020-2021 school year.  If you are interested in subbing at SCIS Pudong, please email your resume to Julia Qian jqian@scis-china.org.  Once applications are received, Julia will arrange for an interview with administration. Requirements: English fluency and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. 

Important Dates: 

September 21-25 – Lower School Map Testing. Please ensure your child(ren) get plenty of sleep and healthy foods this week.  

September 28th – After School Activities Registration Opens 

September 30th – United Nations International Day of Peace (Unidop) Celebration 

October 1 to 6 – No School for Students 

Lower School Principal’s Post #3

September 11, 2020 

Dear SCIS Families,  

It has been another amazing week of learning and celebration at SCIS-Pudong. Students have been enthusiastically engaged in a variety of learning experiences across subject areas and grade levels that reflect their abilities as independent inquirers, as well as collaborative communicators.  Yesterday, we started our morning with a Gong during our Welcome Back Assembly!  It was clear that students and teachers are very excited to be on campus learning together and making new friends.  Thank you to all those families who joined us virtually! 

Positive Discipline 

As mentioned in last week’s Principal’s Post, this year all Lower School Teachers will be implementing a Positive Discipline approach to teaching students important social-emotional life skills and strategies in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults.  Positive Discipline is a program that consists of methods that involve students in focusing on solutions instead of being the recipients of punishments and rewards.  In schools that implement the Positive Discipline approach “teachers create classrooms where students are treated with respect, have the courage and excitement to love learning and have the opportunity to learn the skills they need for a successful life,”  (Nelson, Lott, & Glenn, 2013, p.4). Below are some parent tips to help your child(ren) during their first few weeks of school. 

Indoor Play on a Rainy Day is FUN!

Tips for Kicking Off a Stress-Free School Year:

For many Lower School students, the first few weeks of school means getting to know new teachers, new friends, new environments and new routines.  This may serve as a source of anxiety, particularly for those who have not had a structured schedule during the course of the summer.  Below are a few Back-to-School tips to help ease your child back into the school year and back into their school routines.  By following these tips you will help inspire a love of learning as you transition back into the new school year and minimize academic and social-emotional stress for your child.    

Your Imagination Can Take You Anywhere!
  • Get back in the routine.  Work with your child to re-establish bedtime, mealtime, reading and homework routines. Discuss the importance of routines and how they help ensure a healthy and balanced life. 
  • Set education goals. Review information sent home from the school and help your child set goals at the very beginning of the year.  This will get them excited about school and learning and help start the year on a positive note. 
  • Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher. Take the time to connect with your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year. Teachers are a great source of information and developing a relationship early in the year will benefit both you and your child tremendously. 
  • Homework routine and place. Designate a specific time and place for homework. Help your child discover a regular, quiet place where he or she can study.  
  • Emphasize organization. All children benefit from being organized. Work with your child to determine the best method for them to use.  
  • Encourage learning at home. Promoting learning outside of the classroom helps children perform better in school. To nurture reading skills, spend at least one hour per week – 10 to 15 minutes a day – reading with your child.  

Virtual Back-to-School Night is coming soon! This is a great opportunity to meet your child’s Homeroom and Specialist Teachers while being provided with valuable information surrounding the grade level curriculum and the ways in which you can support your child’s learning at home.  Please keep in mind that Back to School Night is not a time to have an individual conference with your child’s teacher(s), rather it is meant to provide you with a big picture overview of how and what your child will be learning this year.  However, you are more than welcome to arrange for a one-on-one meeting with your child’s teacher at a later date prior to Parent-Teacher Conferences which will take place on November 4th.  Below is some additional information. Links to the Virtual Teams meetings will be shared closer to the day. 

  • When:  Thursday, September 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
  • Focus: Curriculum Focus. This is not intended to be individual parent-teacher conferences.
  • Format:  
    • 5:40-6:10 p.m. Session 1 with Homeroom Teachers 
    • 6:20-6:50 p.m. Session 2 with Homeroom Teachers (for those families with more than one child in Lower School) 
    • 6:20-7:30 p.m. Sessions with Specialist Teachers (PE, Art, Mandarin, Music – 10 minutes per Specialist) 
  • How: Microsoft Teams Meeting. Please read the below instructions for how to prepare for Microsoft Teams virtual calls. 

Preparing for the Microsoft Teams virtual call: 

  1. You have two options for joining a Teams Call, using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser and visiting http://teams.microsoft.com/ or by downloading the Microsoft Teams App by clicking this link 
  1. Sign in with your SCIS parent email account ending in @scis-parent.org. Need help signing in, contact IT Support at pd-technology@scis-china.org 
  1. Visit our online guide https://scis.libguides.com/newfamily/teams which provides a quick video tutorial on joining Teams along with links and QR codes for downloading the app on your phone. 
Enjoying a Snack with Friends

After School Activities: 

A detailed guide for Lower School SCIS Sponsored After School Activities will be shared September 25th and registration will open on Monday, September 28th

Toys and Devices at School: 

Child(ren) should leave their Apple or Smart watches that can function as a phone at home. Personal electronic devices and/or toys of any kind may not be used while on campus. While we recognize that students might bring toys for entertainment purposes on the bus as they ride to and from school, these toys should remain in the student’s backpack while in school.  Thank you for attention to this.   

United Nations International Day of Peace (UNIDOP):

Our annual UNIDOP even will take place on September 30th. On this day, students are encouraged to wear clothes representative of their home country.   Students have the option of wearing these clothes to school or changing into their “outfit” prior to our assembly.  With over 51 countries represented, the assembly will provide a wonderful opportunity for all participants to reflect on how fortunate we are to be part of such a multi-cultural and internationally minded learning community.  Parents will be able to attend virtually so we hope to see you then. 

Travel restrictions: 

A note was shared last week that SCIS employees and students should not plan on traveling outside of Shanghai until further notice. Any family who leaves Shanghai against the guidelines set forth by the Shanghai Education Commission (SEC) should complete this Travel Form and adhere to a 14-day ‘in-Shanghai’ quarantine before entering campus.  

SCIS WeChat Groups and Norms:

As a school we recognize that WeChat is a convenient communication tool for parents.  However, grade level WeChat groups are an unofficial communication channel that is not recognized by the school and, in the event that a concern is brought to a grade level WeChat group, parents are encouraged to communicate their concerns directly to the classroom teacher.   

Below is a statement that discusses the school’s stance on WeChat groups including the SCIS WeChat Norms.    Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your support.

  • Utilizing WeChat groups is an exercise in trust in our collective ability to self-monitor the conversation and ensure that it stays healthy, professional, and supportive of the school and each other. We have developed SCIS WeChat Norms to clarify these expectations. Please review these norms. For example, WeChat should not be used to complain about a particular person or policy. If you have personal questions or comments that you would like to make which may violate these norms, those questions/comments are likely best communicated in person or via email to the specific person, for broader discussion. 

Please take note of the following upcoming Lower School events: 

September 17th – Back to School Night (Virtual).

September 18th – Greens and Jeans Friday!  Students may wear jeans and their green SCIS t-shirt to show their school Spirit! Go Dragons! 

September 21-25 – Lower School Map Testing. Please ensure your child(ren) get plenty of sleep and healthy foods this week.  

September 28th – After School Activities Registration Opens 

September 30th – United Nations International Day of Peace (Unidop) Celebration 

Enjoy your weekend and, as always, please contact me should you have any questions, comments or concerns. Thank you for your continued support. 

Lower School Principal’s Post #2

Dear Lower School Families,  

A warm dragon welcome to all new and returning SCIS families.  We are delighted to have been able to start this school year with students on campus. We cherish seeing the smiles and enthusiasm of the students as well as our faculty and staff. It is great to be back! 

Happy to be Back at School with Friends!

I would like to take a moment to extend sincere gratitude to all members of the lower school faculty and staff for their unwavering commitment to ensuring the success of the 2020-2021 school year.  We have had a fantastic start to the year. Also, please welcome our newest faculty members below. We are happy to welcome them to the SCIS-Pudong Community.

Mabel Garcia – Music
Cat Harstad – Grade 4
Yan Yan -Mandarin Coordinator

This week, students at all grade levels have participated in a variety of fun learning experiences focused on building strong relationships with their new classmates and teachers.  Similarly, students have also been part of developing the procedures, routines and essential agreements that will govern their classroom community throughout the school year.  Fostering a positive classroom culture where students feel safe, happy and confident taking risks with their learning is an essential part of the beginning of a new school year.  Involving children in discussions about how they will work and learn together and valuing their contributions, allows students to have both a voice, as well as choice regarding the establishment of a learning environment that meets their needs.   

Each week, I will communicate with all families through this Principal’s Post. Here, I will share information surrounding lower school happenings and other information including how you can support your child(ren)’s growth and development at home. Of course, I am also available by phone or email so please contact me at any time. 

Read Aloud with Ms. Kridl

At SCIS we strive to honor students’ ideas, opinions and learning styles.  We believe every child is unique, capable and has something valuable to contribute.  Giving students voice and choice in how their learning community will function leads to a long-term commitment to ensuring the learning environment is one in which all members feel a part of.   As in previous years, Dr. Molly Meyers, our school counselor and our Lower School teachers will be implementing the Positive Discipline approach to support students with their social-emotional development.   In a school that uses Positive Discipline practices teachers: 

“create classrooms where children are treated with respect, have the courage and excitement to love learning, and have the opportunity to learn the skills they need for a successful life.  The Positive Discipline vision is about schools where children never experience humiliation when they fail but instead feel empowered by the opportunity to learn from their mistakes in a safe environment,” (Nelson, Lott, & Glenn, 2013, p.4). 

Dr. Meyers will be running weekend face-to-face parent workshops in November and March of this year that include strategies you can use at home to support your children in continuing to use their personal power to make choices that positively influence their environment. Stay tuned for more information on the exact dates and timings. 

“I Can Do It!”

Please take note of the following upcoming Lower School events: 

  • September 10th – Lower School Welcome Back Assembly: We will have our first Lower School assembly on September 10th. We will be sure to capture some moments to share with you. 
  • September 17th – Back to School Night (Virtual): We will share information on our Back to School Night format soon. While we will be unable to welcome parents on campus, teachers will be sharing presentations with important curricular and other relevant information with you. We look forward connecting with you then. 
  • September 18th – Greens and Jeans Friday!  Students may wear jeans and their green SCIS t-shirt to show their school Spirit! Go Dragons! 
  • September 21-25 – Lower School Map Testing. Please ensure your child(ren) get plenty of sleep and healthy foods this week.  
  • September 30th – United Nations International Day of Peace (Unidop): On this day, students are encouraged to wear clothes representative of their home country.   Students have the option of wearing these clothes to school or changing into their “outfit” prior to our assembly.  
  • October 19th After School Activities Begin:  SCIS sponsored ASAs for Lower School students will begin mid-October.  Registration information will be provided closer to the date. 
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 As you can see, we have a lot happening this year and we look forward to sharing photos and videos with you so you can learn and celebrate with us.  

One final note regarding travel restrictions – SCIS employees and students should not plan on traveling outside of Shanghai until further notice. The 14 consecutive days in Shanghai rule applies and quarantine will need to be adhered to should anyone travel outside of Shanghai. Thank you for your support with ensuring that your child remains in Shanghai, so he/she does not miss valuable school time. 

We are always looking for ways to improve your child’s experience so please reach out with any questions, concerns or comments you have!  I am confident that by working together and maintaining ongoing and open communication, we will ensure that all our children are safe, happy and learning each day. 

Finally, we hope you can volunteer to serve on our SCIS-Pudong Parent and Friends Association (PAFA) Executive Board for the 2020-2021 school year. Please read below for more information. Thank you for your continued support.

2020-2021 PAFA UPDATE:

Parents play an active role in the school community at SCIS. Our parent association is known as the Parents and Friends Association (PAFA) and all parents are automatically members.  PAFA coordinates parent involvement with the school and is a source of strength and support, knowledge, experience and a place where many of our families find lifelong friends.  We are currently seeking parent volunteers to serve on our SCIS-Pudong PAFA Executive Board for the 2020-2021 school year.   If you are interested in undertaking one of the below roles, or would like to nominate an SCIS-Pudong parent please complete this 2020-2021 PAFA Executive Board Nominations survey.  Once the survey has been submitted, Dr. David Mazer, the School Community Relations Officer will follow up with each parent directly.  We will be accepting nominations until next Friday, September 11th.   If you have any questions about this process or the below positions please connect with Dr. Mazer at dmazer@scis-china.org.  

Once nominations or volunteers have been received the campus administration will oversee a voting process if needed, and the PAFA executive team will be set for the 2020-2021 school year.   Below is an overview of the open positions.  For additional information on position descriptions please the SCIS-Pudong PAFA Website.

President

Working closely with the SCIS Faculty Representative, the PAFA President is responsible for chairing monthly Executive Committee Meetings and PAFA General Meetings.  The President sets agendas and supports all other PAFA Executive Committee members in fulfilling their roles.

Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for attending and keeping accurate records of all Executive Committee Meetings and General Meetings, make such records available to members, submit Executive Committee minutes for school publication, and model the Code of Conduct.

Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for tracking and managing the income and expenses.

Events Coordinator / Food & Beverage / Purchasing Coordinator

This person will work with the SCIS PAFA Faculty Representative to plan / coordinate / delegate all annual PAFA events such as New Student Orientation, Welcome Back BBQ, Bingo Night, Winter Festival, International Food Festival, etc… In addition, the Events Coordinator will work with other executive committee team members to purchase products needed for PAFA sponsored events.

Volunteer Coordinator / Country Ambassador Coordinator

The Volunteer Coordinator role will liaise with administration and admissions to plan a diverse network of parents to reach out and welcome new parents and students, introduce them to other families, ensure they feel welcome and supported in the SCIS Community.

Message from Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools

Greetings SCIS-Pudong Families,

Ms. Liz Gale

A warm dragon welcome to all new and returning families.  We have had a fantastic start to the 2020-2021 school year, and I would like to begin by thanking all SCIS families for supporting us with the implementation of our health and safety procedures including the completion of the online temperature record form, as well as the daily student health card.  These practices are for the health and safety of the entire community and your understanding and support with adhering to these procedures is truly appreciated.

As I conclude my first week as the SCIS Deputy Director of Schools and Acting Head of School for the Pudong Campus, I can’t help but feel an enormous sense of pride to be part of such a resilient, caring, and inspiring world-class community.   Hallways and classrooms were abuzz this week with overwhelmingly positive energy as students shared stories about their summer, engaged in a variety of community-building experiences, reconnected with teachers and peers, and developed new friendships. 

As mentioned in my back-to-school orientation video shared on Monday, I am honored, humbled, and excited to work with our incredible team of educators, staff, and divisional administrators.  By focusing on our community, deepening our collaborative efforts, and improving communication channels, we will continue to strengthen academic achievement for all learners, build strong social emotional support systems, and empower all members of our community to take an active role in attaining our mission to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring learners who contribute positively to their communities.

With that said, we will be making a conscious effort to streamline our communication channels to ensure that information is provided in a more efficient and effective manner.  As such, I will be a regular contributor to the weekly Upper School and Lower School Principal’s Blog Posts, instead of continuing with the Head of School blog.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me, Dr. Volpe (US), or Mrs. Brews (LS) if you have any questions.   I look forward to an inspiring and rewarding year ahead.

Welcome – SCIS-Pudong Families

Dear SCIS-Pudong Campus Lower School Families,  

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year. My name is Dawn Brews, and this is my first year as the Lower School Principal of SCIS-Pudong. I am honored and privileged to be working with an exceptional faculty of passionate, and talented teachers who are committed to the school’s mission of developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring learners who contribute positively to their communities.  While the past few months have, no doubt, been challenging, I am in awe of the resilience, creativity and dedication of all our faculty and staff that strive to ensure that each and every day our children are safe, happy and learning.  

At SCIS-Pudong, we are very confident in our ability to ensure the continued implementation of best practices surrounding safety, security, wellness, and curricular implementation. By providing a safe and positive learning environment, our students will take risks, explore new ideas, experiment with new strategies and express themselves in a variety of ways so their minds, bodies, and character are developed.  As I write this, our dedicated teachers and staff are already on campus busily preparing the classrooms and campus for the first day of school on September 1st. We hope you and your child are just as excited as we are to start the school year.    

As you know, SCIS has a very professional and committed team ready to provide excellent learning experiences and service to SCIS students and the school community.  I would like to take this opportunity to welcome an amazing group of new, energetic and extremely knowledgeable teachers that will be joining the lower school faculty this year.  Below is a list of new teachers and their respective grade level or department.  

  • Cat Harstad – Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher 
  • Mabel Garcia – Lower School Music Teacher 
  • Yan Yan –Pudong Lower School Mandarin Coordinator 

In addition to our outstanding new faculty, we have also restructured the Lower School’s Mandarin Program.  This includes increasing the number of ability levels to four in order to better meet students’ language needs.  Our new Mandarin Coordinator, Yan Yan, will also be working closely with the Mandarin team to build a more robust and comprehensive Mandarin curriculum. We will continue to keep you updated on this exciting initiative. 

As you prepare for the start of the year, if you have not done so already, please review our newly revised SCIS COVID-19 Community Response Handbook as well as the return to campus information portal.  Please note that all families will be required to submit an online form for each child for 5 consecutive calendar days before the student is permitted to enter campus. Please use this online form to record your child’s temperature each day. 

In addition to information provided in previous letters, I would like to draw your attention to the following beginning-of-the-year information that will assist your family in having a smooth transition to the new school year. 

  • Returning Family Opening House: Monday, August 31st.  As Ms. Gale explained, due to the health and safety requirements from the Shanghai Educational Commission have restructured Open House this year. All returning students will have an opportunity to participate in a virtual open house where they will be able to connect with their homeroom teacher to learn important information pertaining to their grade level and what they may need on the first day of school.  Your child’s teacher will be contacting you later this week with information on scheduling that online session. 
  • The First Day of School and Schedule: Tuesday, September 1st.   Classes will commence at 8:00 a.m., and we ask that students arrive between 7:45am – 8:00am.  The typical school day ends at 3:00 pm.  Our Elementary classes will continue with a four-day cycle throughout the year. Teachers will keep their parents informed of PE and other Specialist classes. Our finalized 2020-2021 School Calendar is now available on our School Website.    
  • Uniforms: All students are required to wear uniforms. Please see Mrs. Liz Gale’s email sent August 18th on the options for obtaining uniforms or call the LS office. 
  • Parent ID badges: Use this LINK to order your ID card. 
  • Transportation: Any changes or additions made now may not be serviced until the start of 2nd semester in January 2021. Please contact our transportation coordinator, Mr. Stu Ren, with any questions: sren@scis-china.org or pd-transportation@scis-china.org  
  • Class Lists: Your child’s teacher will contact you later this week to set up a time for your online Open House. 
  • Nursery-Kindergarten Classes: Our youngest students will use a “staggered start” during the days of school. This is so they can begin school in small groups and reduce any separation anxiety while allowing them to explore their new environment with confidence. The ECE teachers will email parents with detailed information. 
  • SCIS Parent-Student Handbooks:  ECE and Lower School Handbooks: Please take some time to read through the attached Lower School Handbook and/or the ECE Handbook. These will answer many of the questions that you may have regarding the procedures and routines at the school. 
  • Snacks and Supplies: As a reminder, SCIS provides all instructional materials and most school supplies. However, below are items required from home, by grade level: 
  • Backpack that can be easily carried by your child. 
  • water bottle and daily healthy snack. Please clearly label snack boxes and bottles with your child’s name. We encourage healthy foods (fruit, vegetables, yogurt, cheese, crackers, etc.) and request that it be prepared in a way that your child can easily eat it. Food items may not be shared. 
  • Shoes appropriate for PE and outdoor activities. Flip-flops or sandals are not considered appropriate PE attire. 
  • Nursery students, if still in diapers, will need to supply changing materials on the first day of school. In Pre-school, an assistant teacher can help with toileting needs; however, to be enrolled at SCIS, children must be out of diapers by 3 years of age. 
  • A change of clothes in case of accidents or spills (Nursery, Preschool, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten students). 

Finally, ongoing communication between parents, teachers and the school community are highly valued at SCIS-Pudong and I encourage you to contact your child’s classroom teacher or me at any time throughout the year.  As the Lower School Principal, I will continue with weekly updates posted on our Principal’s Post, so please watch this space. 

Again, I am thrilled to be part of the SCIS community, and I look forward to working, learning and living alongside you. Thank you in advance for your participation and support and for joining us in our unified goal of enhancing the creative, emotional, social and academic talents of each of our students. 

Warmest Regards,  

Dawn Brews