Lower School Principal’s Blog #20

September 22, 2021

Dear Families,  

Available on Managebac today!

Today marks the end of semester one!  Please look for an email sent today to your SCIS email address which includes a link to your child’s report card, accessible through Managebac. If you have any questions at all regarding your child’s report, please contact your child’s teacher. If you have difficulties finding or downloading the report, please email Barry Johnson at bjohnson@scis-china.org.

Reminder – Early Release Day on Monday

This is a gentle reminder that this Monday, January 24th will be an Early Release Day.  All students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will depart campus at 1:40 pm.  Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30 am.    

The purpose of the Early Release Days is to provide SCIS-Pudong faculty and staff with an opportunity to collaborate and engage in the IB/WASC reaccreditation self-study process.  The self-study process is an ongoing school improvement process that assists a school in looking in-depth at what currently exists and what needs to be improved in relation to student learning and the school’s program.  As a dually accredited school, we have an obligation to ensure that our practices not only meet but exceed the standards set forth by these esteemed educational organizations.  As such, it is paramount we set aside the time for faculty and staff to engage in this process in order to ensure we are providing an exceptional, world-class educational experience for your child(ren).   

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 remaining SCIS-Pudong early release days for the school year are:   
o   Monday, January 25th  
o   Monday, March 1st  
o   Monday, March 29th 

It’s COLD Outside, Uniforms & Lost and Found 

Winter Uniforms Available Now!
Lost and Found Box is Getting Full!

While students across grade levels continue to enjoy outdoor recess and exploration, please remind your child to dress appropriately for the cold weather by sending him/her to school with warm coats, hats, mittens, or gloves.  Uniforms are still required and we do have SCIS sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts. Please contact Ms. Stephanie for uniform assistance by emailing at sge@scis-china.org. 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.  At the moment, we do have several items in lost and found. If you are missing anything, please ask your child to check out the lost and found box near the cafeteria. 

Bus Expectations 

As we head into semester 2, it is a wonderful time to review the student bus expectations with your child(ren). While this list is extensive, it is important that everyone understands the behavior expectations. To ensure the safety of all, students who violate bus expectations are subject to disciplinary action consistent with SCIS policies which may include suspension and expulsion from the bus service. Thank you for taking the time to discuss these expectations at home. 

  • The bus driver and Bud Monitor’s primary responsibility is the safety of the passengers. Children must respect and follow any requests made to always ensure student safety. 
  • Be on time for the bus. 
  • Walk, do not run to the bus. 
  • When getting on a bus with the engine on, wait until the bus stops completely and the Bus Monitor signals you to come on. 
  • Younger students sit toward the front of the bus.  
  • Seats may be assigned by the school administration, Transportation Coordinator, or Bus Monitor
  • Remain in your seat with the seat belt firmly fastened around your waist shortly before departure and wear it until the bus arrives at the student’s stop. 
  • Do not use the seat next to you for personal items unless given permission to do so. 
  • Do not get up and move around or change seats while the bus is moving. 
  • Students may eat/drink on the bus responsibly. Sharing of food/drink is not allowed and students must pick up after themselves. 
  • Be respectful and speak in an indoor voice. 
  • Do not do anything that might distract the driver.  These actions include: 
    • Loud noises such as yelling, screaming, or the use of inappropriate language. 
    • Throwing items inside the bus or out the window. 
    • Fighting and/or arguing with other students, the driver, or Bus Monitor. 
    • Turning around, standing, or jumping on the seat. 
  • Use digital devices responsibly under the following conditions: 
    • Play appropriate movies and/or games only. 
    • Keep device on silent or use headphones. 
  • Keep the aisles clear of obstructions (personal items, hands, and feet). 
  • Windows stay closed (unless there is a breakdown or the air conditioning is not working). 
  • Keep the bus clean. Remove all rubbish from the areas where you were seated. 
    Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner at the designated stop. Exit the bus carefully,  
  • If there is an accident or the bus breaks down, students should listen for instructions from the driver or Bus Monitor. If students are told to leave the bus, they should stay together with the other students, as far from the road as possible, until a service vehicle and another school bus arrives. 
  • Video cameras are installed on all school buses to record student behavior during transportation to and from school and school-related events. Evidence of student misbehavior recorded on video may be used during discipline procedures. Viewing these video recordings by the general public is prohibited. 
  • Students are encouraged to report any bus issues or concerns with the Transportation Coordinator and Administrator. 

Travel Update

Please check your school email address for an updated travel announcement from Mr. Daniel D. Eschtruth, the Director of Schools, sent today at 4:30 p.m.

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

The Mandarin Department continues to prepare for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations. As in past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school on February 9th.  Additionally, 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 and we are sure that students will enjoy learning more about Chinese New Year and Chinese culture. Stay tuned for more information coming soon! 

Important Dates

  • Jan. 25: Early Release Day (WASC), 1:40 dismissal (11:30 ECE) 
  • Feb 9: CNY Assembly and Activities 
  • Feb 10: No School for Students (Professional Development for teachers-WASC) 
  • Feb 11-17: CNY Holiday 
  • Feb 18: Return to School 
  • Feb 25: Lower School Assembly Featuring Grade 1

 

Lower School Principal’s Blog #19

January 15, 2021

Dear Lower School Families,  

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

We’re not just “passing time!”

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 about your child’s learning experiences.  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 at 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 _________. 

Learning Walk Highlights Progress Towards Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

Schoolwide Learner Outcomes(SLOs) represent the goals we have at SCIS for our students. At SCIS, we seek to design learning experiences and inspire student passions in an effort to help them develop into Innovative Thinkers, Knowledgeable Inquirers, Self-Directed Learners, and Positive Contributors. We develop these outcomes through our curricular and extra-curricular programs. In an effort to promote the development of the SLOs, groups of teachers, staff and administrators use Learning Walks to collect evidence and monitor progress. Learning Walks are protocol-based classroom observations that involve a group of teachers/staff (5-8) observing multiple classrooms with a common observation tool. Observers are not watching teachers as they walk through classrooms, instead, the focus is on student learning and collecting evidence from the classroom observation that is related to progress towards meeting the SLOs.

Today, teachers, staff and administrators visited classrooms in Early Childhood, Middle School, and High School. A broad mix of teachers, staff, and administrators observed classrooms, spoke with students, and spent time debriefing what they observed. We plan to make these Learning Walks a regular part of our practice as we continue to work to support all of our students in their growth towards achieving these outcomes. Special thanks to Head of School for the Pudong Campus, Liz Gale for organizing our Learning Walks!

Mandarin Assistants – Book Study

This week, our Mandarin Assistants began a book study to learn more about the Primary Years Programme and the IB Learner Profile! It is beneficial for all our faculty and staff to understand our curriculum and to use a similar language when interacting with students. Parents and guardians at home, can also refer to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile Attributes and recognize their children for demonstrating those traits. Here are the 10 IB Learner Profile Attributes.

Reminders

After School Activity Session #2 

Let them make a mess a school after school! We love it!

Please note, that this coming Monday, January 18th, 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.    

Jeans and Greens Spirit Day!

On January 22, students may wear jeans and a green SCIS shirt to show our school spirit and celebrate the end of semester 1.  

Early Release Day

This is a gentle reminder that next Monday, January 24th will be an Early Release Day according to the school calendar.  All students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will depart campus at 1:40 p.m.  Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30 a.m.    

The purpose of the Early Release Days is to provide SCIS-Pudong faculty and staff with an opportunity to collaborate and engage in the IB/WASC reaccreditation self-study process.  The self-study process is an ongoing school improvement process that assists a school in looking in-depth at what currently exists and what needs to be improved in relation to student learning and the school’s program.  As a dually accredited school, we have an obligation to ensure that our practices not only meet but exceed the standards set forth by these esteemed educational organizations.  As such, it is paramount we set aside the time for faculty and staff to engage in this process in order to ensure we are providing an exceptional, world-class educational experience for your child(ren).   

If you have any questions surrounding early release day logistics please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or Dawn Brews, the Lower School Principal.  Please note the remaining SCIS-Pudong early release days for the school year are:   

o   Monday, January 25th
o   Monday, March 1st  
o   Monday, March 29th 

Substitute Teachers Needed!

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

As in past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly, followed by a Chinese Temple Fair on February 9th.  Closer to the date, we will be sharing details on how parents can join us virtually.  Looking forward to seeing you then!  

Re-Enrollment for the 2021-22 School Year

Re-Enrollment for next school year will begin on Monday, January 18th. On this day, you should expect to receive an email sent from the Admissions Office that includes a link to our Online Re-Enrollment Website and instructions on how to complete this process. The Re-Enrollment Survey should take no more than 5-minutes to complete and is a requirement for all current SCIS families. Re-enrollment will extend through March 12th, during which time current SCIS families will receive priority to secure their enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. After this re-enrollment period ends, and where space is available, we will begin offering enrollment to students within our new applicant and wait pools. With many grade levels already at or near capacity, we expect space to be limited following this re-enrollment period. Should you require any support during this re-enrollment period, please contact the Admissions Office (admissions@scis-china.org). 

Would you like to enroll a non-SCIS sibling? 

If you are interested in enrolling a non-SCIS sibling, please contact the Admissions Office as soon as possible so that a space can be reserved accordingly. Siblings of current SCIS students will receive priority status for enrollment, pending space availability. 

Would you like to refer or recommend a friend? 

As a community-oriented school, SCIS values the referrals and recommendations provided by our current community. If you’d like to refer or recommend a friend for admission to SCIS, please feel free to contact our Admissions Office. Referrals will be handled separately from our standard new applicant pool. 

Pudong PAFA Brunch – Join Us!

Important Dates

  • Jan. 25: Early Release Day (WASC), 1:40 dismissal (11:30 ECE) 
  • Feb 9: CNY Assembly and Activities 
  • Feb 10: No School for Students (Professional Development for teachers-WASC) 
  • Feb 11-17: CNY Holiday 
  • Feb 18: Return to School 
  • Feb 25: Lower School Assembly Featuring Grade 1 

Lower School Principal’s Blog #18

January 8, 2021

Happy New Year and welcome to the second half of the 2020-2021 school year! This semester, despite the limited number of families moving to Shanghai, the Lower School welcomes several new students and their families, representing multiple nationalities! Having a truly diverse and multicultural 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 intelligence and the ability to relate and work effectively across cultures is essential as we prepare children to be successful in the 21st century.

Thank you to all SCIS families that have recommended SCIS-Pudong to friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.  Your commendation and 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 are at the core of what makes SCIS a great school.    

Home-School Partnership 

We truly value a strong home-school partnership with all our families. Although we still cannot invite parents to campus during school hours, we encourage open and frequent communication. Please be sure to connect with your child’s teacher to share your thoughts and learn more about your child’s progress. Our dedicated teachers are always willing to set up a time to meet with parents virtually or to schedule an on-campus visit after dismissal at 3:15 p.m. Monday-Friday. Please feel free to contact the Lower School Principal, Dawn Brews, with any questions, comments, or concerns.

After School Activities Session 2

Please check your SCIS family email address for details on registering your child(ren) for the second round of after school activities. Registration opens on Monday the 11th at 9:00 am. Sessions will run from Monday, January 18 to Friday, March 9.  

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair 

Over the course of the next few weeks, the Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations. As in past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school on February 9th.  Additionally, 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 and we are sure that students will enjoy learning more about Chinese New Year and Chinese culture. Closer to the date, we will be sharing details on how parents can join us virtually.  Looking forward to seeing you then! 

Jeans and Greens Spirit Day!

On January 22, students may wear jeans and a green SCIS shirt to show our school spirit and celebrate the end of semester 1.

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 Dawn Brews at dbrews@scis-china.org. While teaching experience or certification is not necessary, a passion for working and learning with children is essential.  

目前,我们正在寻找会说普通话的老师来参加我们的普通话课程。如果您或您认识的人有当老师的经验,或有兴趣通过代课获得经验,请联系Dawn Brews dbrews@scis-china.org 或Vicki Xu vxu@scis-china.org 。虽然教学经验或证书不是必要的,但对工作和学习的热情是必不可少的。

Important Dates

  • January 22: Jeans and Greens Spirit Day!
  • Feb 9: CNY Assembly and Activities
  • Feb 10: No School for Students (Professional Development for teachers-WASC)
  • Feb 11-17: CNY Holiday
  • Feb 18: Return to School
  • Feb 25: Lower School Assembly Featuring Grade 1

Lower School Principal’s Post #17

December 18, 2020

Dear Families,  

It has been a wonderful few months here at SCIS-Pudong!  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all Lower School faculty and staff for their ongoing commitment to providing meaningful, engaging, and fun learning experiences for students each and every day.  The continued 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 conflicts in appropriate ways across the Lower School.   

Lower School Assembly

In this week’s Lower School assembly, Grade 2 students performed an artistic interpretation of Hattie and the Fox. They demonstrated excellent storytelling skills through music and drama. Thank you to Ms. Stacey, Ms. Emily, and Ms. Mabel for their support with the performance. During the assembly, Student Council representatives shared their ideas on possible school initiatives such as having an extra recess and free dress days on Fridays. Of course, they will need to use their persuasive skills to get these ideas approved. We also learned about how Christmas is celebrated around the world through a short video and students shared their thoughts of appreciation for their teachers. We love our teachers!

Santa Splash

The SCIS-Pudong swim team had a fantastic time racing against each other in this year’s Santa Splash! Thank you to Coach Larisa and Coach Oscar for making this such a fun event!

Christmas Caroling

During today’s dismissal, students in grade 3, along with several faculty and staff members, joined together to sing traditional Christmas Songs. Thank you to Ms. Mabel for her assistance.

Thank you, SCIS Parents

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all SCIS parents for your continued support in ensuring there is a strong parent-school connection. We look forward to having families back on campus whenever that is possible. In the meantime, we will continue to invite you to learn along with us and join us virtually for learning celebrations, school events, and parent information sessions or workshops. Wishing all SCIS families a wonderful, relaxing, and well-deserved Winter Break.  School will resume on Monday, January 4th.   

Update from the Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools / Head of SCIS-Pudong

Dear SCIS-Pudong Families,

As we head into a very well-deserved holiday, one that will be different for many families considering the continued travel restrictions and ongoing impact that COVID-19 is having on our lives, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all members of the SCIS-Pudong community for what has been an incredible start to a challenging school year.  Despite the difficulties faced, I am extremely proud of our phenomenal team of faculty and staff that have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to delivering upon the SCIS mission by continuing to engage, challenge, and inspire all students through meaningful learning experiences each and every day.  While 2020 has undoubtedly been a tremendous learning journey, I look forward to working with students, parents, and teachers to ensure the continued growth and development of our remarkable school and community.  I sincerely wish all SCIS families a wonderful, and relaxing winter break filled with joy, laughter and love.  May 2021 bring us all new happiness, new goals, new achievements, new inspirations, and a new appreciation for the resilience and the strength demonstrated by our amazing SCIS-Pudong community.

In addition to the above, I’d like to provide the following updates and announcements, as well as remind you of the SCIS travel guidelines should your family make the choice to leave Shanghai at any point during the next two weeks. 

Upper School Principal Announcement: 

Following an extensive Upper School Principal search process, I am pleased to announce that Ms. Naomi Shanks has been appointed as the new Upper School Principal to commence in July 2021 upon the departure of Dr. Frank Volpe.  Ms. Shanks brings a wealth of institutional knowledge, IB PYP, MYP and DP experience, as well as a comprehensive understanding of inclusive educational practices.  Additionally, Ms. Shanks’ notable understanding of SCIS-Pudong, the school culture, and our host country China will undoubtedly contribute to the stability and continuity of our robust programs and help to ensure the implementation of structures, processes, and practices that continue to meet the needs of students, parents, and faculty.  

I look forward to working with Dr. Volpe and Ms. Shanks to ensure a successful transition for all stakeholders in the coming months.  Congratulations Ms. Shanks!

Thank you PAFA:

Thank you to Ms. Sammy Yi, our SCIS-Pudong PAFA President, members of the PAFA Executive Committee, and Grade Level Representatives for your ongoing commitment to supporting SCIS-Pudong and creating opportunities to bring families and community members together outside of school.  We are extremely appreciative of the time and effort you have dedicated to developing creative solutions to building community especially given the ongoing restrictions surrounding campus access and the hosting of large scale events.  Thank you for volunteering your time and skills to ensure the continuation of the strong community spirit that defines SCIS-Pudong!

Departing Families:

There comes a time near 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 welcomed back to SCIS! Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Winter Break Travel Reminder:

SCIS Covid-19 Travel Guidelines:

  • SCIS requests our community to refrain from any unnecessary travel outside of Shanghai.
    • SCIS will communicate any adjustment on travel recommendations set forth by our Municipal and Educational authorities.
    • Should you still choose to travel, despite government and SCIS advice, we implore you to limit your travel to known low-risk areas.
  • Anyone traveling outside of Shanghai, regardless of the destination’s risk-level, could face government-mandated control measures such as being stranded outside of Shanghai due to travel restrictions, required quarantine, and/or Covid-19 Nucleic Acid Testing.
  • Students that have restricted access to campus-based on a choice to travel outside of Shanghai will be identified as absent; thus, additional provisions such as virtual learning will not be made available.

SCIS Travel Protocols:

  1. Pre-Departure Requirements: SCIS will continue to uphold the mandate to collect information, prior to departure, for all students who will travel outside of Shanghai: PD Campus Travel Form Link
  2. Requirements Upon Re-entry to Shanghai: All students and employees returning from any location outside of Shanghai: Starting on their first day back in Shanghai, any student or employee returning from travel must monitor and submit their health information via the link below for 14 continuous days. Students will need to do this in addition to the paper Student Health card required for campus entrance on all school days.  PD Campus Traveler Health Declaration Form Link
  3. Students and employees returning from Medium- and High-risk areas:Students and employees will need to complete a 14-day off-campus quarantine and/or provide negative Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) results.
  4. Return to Campus Requirements: All community members, regardless of travel history, must continue to meet the following requirements to enter the campus (or school busses) each day. 
    • Have a temperature of 37.2 Celsius or below
    • Possess a Green QR Code
    • Be symptom-free (fever, cough, etc.)
    • Students must provide a completed paper Student Health Card.
    • SCIS retains the option of requiring, from any individual returning to campus, an additional travel verification process.
  5. Identified Medium- and High-Risk Areas: Given the constantly changing nature of this situation, it is important to note that an individual who has traveled to an area that shifts from low- to Medium- or high-risk will be required to adhere to the heightened protocols (14-days off-campus quarantine, testing, etc.) associated with the higher risk level. In order to remain aware of government identified risk levels, we suggest that you monitor the official government site here.

As always, we appreciate your time, attention, and support for all we do in our efforts to secure a healthy and safe environment for all our community members. Please remain vigilant in your efforts to help maintain the incredible stability we have enjoyed that continues to provide us with the opportunity to welcome your children on campus each day.

Lower School Principal’s Post #16

December 11, 2020

It is hard to believe there next Friday, 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.  

News in Kindergarten – “We are Writers!”

For the end of the Show and Tell writing unit, some of the kindergarteners worked towards creating a book store. Throughout the unit, they learned how to be brave spellers, work with writing partners, and how to fix and “fancy” their writing. They created a book factory- making books about things they love and things they think other people love. They picked topics that they knew a lot about; starting by bringing in a special object to draw. Then, they began writing pattern books using snap words and everything they knew about sounds. When it was time to launch the book store, this group of kindergarteners chose to organize their books for sale by genre. They were able to “sell” their books, engage in book talks, and even sign their autographs. Kindergarten students are writers!

Computer Science Education Week 

This week was “Computer Science Education Week” and several grade levels took this opportunity to either introduce or give students a chance to code. If you would like to explore free coding activities designed for all ages including early childhood, you can begin with the Hour of Code by clicking on the below image: Hour of Code and Code.org 

NWEA Map Testing

Thank you to Dr. Volpe for leading the NWEA Map Testing Parent Workshop for families with children in grades 2-5. If you missed the presentation, you may view the Presentation and/or watch the recording below.

PowerPoint Presentation

As always, if you have specific questions about your child’s test results please see your child’s homeroom teacher or the Lower School Principal, Dawn Brews. You can view your child’s MAP testing results under “reports” in ManageBac. Follow this link: https://scis-pd.managebac.cn/parent/academics/reports

Jeans and Greens Day! Show Your Dragon Spirit!

Next Friday, December 18th will be a schoolwide GREENS & JEANS spirit day to celebrate the coming winter holiday!  

Lower School Assembly

Our final Lower School Assembly for this calendar year will be on Thursday, December 17 at 8:30 a.m. Grade 2 will be featuring! Please click here for Microsoft Teams Link, which will also be shared via Seesaw closer to the date. We hope all families can join us! 

Important Dates

December 17th: Lower School Assembly 
December 21-January 3: Winter Holiday 

Lower School Principal’s Post #15

December 4, 2020

Dear Families,  

It has been another exciting week of learning in the Lower School!  Yesterday, students had a special opportunity to watch the performance of the Upper School Play:  Bungee Jump Bear Trap!  It will be performed again for families next week.

Mathematics Escape Room Challenge!

Escape Room Mathematics Challenge!

In grade 4, students strengthened their communication and collaborative skills while they honed in on their math problem-solving skills to crack codes in an Escape Room Challenge!

Curriculum – Units of Inquiry

In the Lower School, all grade levels are finishing their second Unit of Inquiry. Students have been engaged in a variety of learning experiences where they have asked questions surrounding their inquiry topics and worked with their peers to begin seeking answers to their queries.    

Now, teachers are collaborating on their third Unit of Inquiry. Planning begins by assessing students’ prior knowledge and providing experiences through the curriculum and learning environment that give students opportunities to test and revise their thinking, make connections between their previous and current perceptions, and provide them the freedom to construct their own meaning in a way that is significant, relevant and engaging.    

PYP Transdisciplinary Themes

All Units of Inquiry are organized within six Transdisciplinary Themes. Within the theme, a Central Idea is identified. This is a big idea for the children to explore and understand. Below are the Central Ideas that serve as the focus for the upcoming third Unit of Inquiry in each grade level: 

  • Kindergarten:  Scientists follow a method to learn new things.
  • Grade 1:  Signs and symbols are designed to communicate.
  • Grade 2:  Living things adapt to changes in their environments. 
  • Grade 3:  People prepare for the future by analyzing the past. 
  • Grade 4:  Exploring the properties of light and sound enables us to use them for dramatic effect.
  • Grade 5:  Understanding the nature of matter allows us to transform and use it.

NWEA MAP Testing Parent Presentation

Please join the Upper School Principal, Dr. Volpe, and the Lower School Principal, Dawn Brews for a parent presentation on understanding NWEA MAP testing and the results on Wednesday, December 9th at 2:00 p.m. Please see the below flyer for further details and the QR Code to access the Microsoft Teams Link.

Lower School Assembly

The last Lower School Assembly for the calendar year will be on Thursday, December 17 at 8:30 a.m. Grade 2 will be featuring! A Microsoft Teams Link will be shared closer to the date so all families can join us! 

Thank you, PAFA

Thank you to all the SCIS parents who spent their time putting up several beautiful Christmas trees throughout the school! We are definitely feeling the holiday cheer!

Important Dates

December 17th: Lower School Assembly 
December 21-January 3: Winter Holiday 

Lower School Principal’s Post #14

November 27, 2020

Lower School Winter Concert – Please click below to enjoy the recorded concert.

Today, the Kindergarten through Grade 5 students were excited to share their musical talents with the SCIS community in a wonderfully festive winter concert!  As I mentioned before the concert, every year, no matter where I am in the world, the happy music of a winter concert sparks joy in my heart. It’s a time of celebration, reflection, and appreciation. It’s a time when we get to give thanks for all that we have, and it’s a time when we get to see our children having fun performing, putting a smile on everyone’s faces.  

This time of year is special and it is often a time in which we visit family and friends. With the current situation, distant travel is not a possibility, but we do have each other and I know we are all grateful for that.   

Thank you to all our students for getting the holiday season started. Your performance was absolutely magical! Thank you to all parents and guardians who helped the children with their costumes, supported the gift-giving initiative, and to those who were able to join us virtually. We loved seeing so many families online. 

Of course, a special thanks goes to Ms. Mabel, our talented music teacher. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for ensuring the concert was a success and accessible to all virtually. 

Also, we would like to thank:
* Abhilasha Rana and James (stage management) 
* Justin and Barry (lights and sound) 
* Rambo and Max for photography 
* Haz one of our (grade 12 students) 
* Christopher (our US music teacher) 
* Nichael and his cleaning crew
* Vicki (decorations) 

Grade 3 Learning Celebration

The grade 3 students have worked very hard in their unit of inquiry on landforms. They asked good questions, found interesting details, and presented their knowledge in different ways such as slow-motion movies and clay art. They practiced their communication and skills and worked on presenting their findings with confidence and enthusiasm. Well done, Grade 3! 

Spirit Week

Students this week truly showed their SCIS-Dragon Spirit! Check out these photos from Twins/Triplets Day to Pajama Day!

Important Dates

December 21-January 3: Winter Holiday 

Lower School Principal’s Post #13

November 20, 2020

Dear Families,  

Lower School Assembly featuring Mr. Brown’s Grade 4 Students! 

We hope you were able to join us virtually in yesterday’s assembly. The theme for the assembly was “Kindness” which connects to one of the ten learner profile attributes “Caring.” We explored various ways to be kind and the ripple effect that kindness has on others and our world. Students were given a 30-day “Acts of Kindness” challenge. Please ask your child(ren) about this and send the Lower School Principal, Dawn Brews, at dbrews@scis-china.org if you have witnessed your child being kind in any way – photos are welcomed!   

A great big shout-out to all students in Mr. Brown’s class for their very entertaining performance during yesterday’s Lower School Assembly.  All students were involved in a skit that inquired into what makes the work of one artist better than the other. In the end, performers agreed that our perspectives may vary and that that we can appreciate the work of all artists. Excellent job, grade 4 students! 

 
Lower School Winter Concert – A Letter from Ms. Mabel

Dear Kindergarten to Grade 5 Families,

I am very happy to announce our upcoming LS winter concert that will be held on November 27th. at 8:30 a.m. As we are unable to have parents on campus, we will provide a Teams Link soon, so you can join us remotely. We hope everyone can enjoy the terrific performances of our stars!

Every grade level will wear something significant related to the song they will perform. Please have your child(ren) bring the below items from home.

  • KG: Red t-shirt, Santa’s hat, and (if possible) Santa’s vest
  • Grade 1: Winter/Christmas bandanas and headbands, green t-shirts, and black pants. Please, try to choose a headband without sound
  • Grade 2: Black t-shirt, black pants, shiny jacket, and sunglasses
  • Grade 3: White t-shirt, black pants, winter hat (any color), a colorful scarf, and white gloves (this is very important!)
  • Grade 4: Black t-shirt and pants, black thieve mask and cap (shiny if available)
  • Grade 5: Winter/Christmas jumper, headband, or hats with animal motive

On the day of the concert, there will be “Greens and Jeans” day, so students can change into these clothes after the concert.

In addition, on the day of the performance, we are asking that all children bring a new toy to donate. It should be wrapped and please, specify on the packaging if the toy is for a boy, a girl, or either along with the approximate age of who could receive the toy. Donations will be taken to an orphanage in Shanghai.

If you have any questions, please email me at mgarcia@scis-china.orgThank you so much for your support.

Fondest regards,
Ms. Mabel Garcia

SCIS-Pudong Swim Team 

Yesterday, our Lower School swimmers competed in a Shanghai Swim League Meet! It was a wonderful opportunity for our swim team to virtually compete against other schools in Shanghai. Thank you to Larisa, Oscar, James, Vic, Abhilasha, Barry, and all faculty that helped support the event!   

PAFA Luncheon

Thank you to the PAFA Executive Committee and grade level representatives for hosting the off-site PAFA Community Luncheon. Parents had a wonderful time enjoying Indian cuisine and dancing to traditional Indian music. Looking forward to the next event!

Departing SCIS this Semester?

Sadly, we know that at the end of the semester some of you may be leaving Shanghai and the SCIS community. Please visit our website for instructions on how to formally notify our Admissions Department of your child’s upcoming departure from SCISand review the posted deadlines.

Early Release Day Reminder

Dear SCIS-Pudong Parents,  

This is a gentle reminder that next Monday will be an Early Release Day according to the school calendar.  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.   

The purpose of the Early Release Days is to provide SCIS-Pudong faculty and staff with an opportunity to collaborate and engage in the IB/WASC reaccreditation self-study process.  The self-study process is an ongoing school improvement process that assists a school in looking in-depth at what currently exists and what needs to be improved in relation to student learning and the school’s program.  As a dually accredited school we have an obligation to ensure that our practices not only meet, but exceed the standards set forth by these esteemed educational organizations.  As such, it is paramount we set aside the time for faculty and staff to engage in this process in order to ensure we are providing an exceptional, world-class educational experience for your child(ren).  

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:  

o   Monday, November 23rd 
o   Monday, January 25th 
o   Monday, March 1st 
o   Monday, March 29th 

Student Council Announcement – Spirit Week!   

In our assembly, Student Council representatives demonstrated ways to be involved in Spirit Week. As a reminder, Lower School children may dress up according to the themes below starting this Monday (November 23-27th). Have fun!!! 

Bus Tips from Dr. Myers

Your child walks into school and is greeted by their smiling teachers. They are excited and full of joy, but this is not when their school day begins. A child’s school day begins and ends with their bus ride.

Riding the bus impacts our emotions. As adults, we know that a bad commute can affect our mood and performance at work. Research shows that riding the bus can cause anxiety in some children. Sitting for long periods of time can be challenging, especially for young children or children with special needs. Older children are more capable of self-management and are able to entertain themselves with devices, listening to music, or getting a head start on homework. Older students may also be tired, stressed, and irritable because of their school-life realities and become impatient with younger children and their excitement. It is important we help ALL students develop coping strategies for long bus rides.

The school bus is a unique environment with a distinctive combination of physical constraints and limited social opportunities that can contribute to emotions and behaviors. Unlike homes, playgrounds, and schools, buses have very few objects for play or exploration. Younger students need some strategies to occupy their time on longer bus rides.

To support younger students on the bus ride, consider the following solutions:

  • Create a special bag of soft toys, books, or games for your child to use on the bus ride.
  • Make a favorite photo book or family photo album for your child to look at.
  • Pack an extra snack especially for the bus.
  • Talk to your child about how to be a good bus rider.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact the Lower School Counselor, Dr. Molly Myers at mmyers@scis-china.org

Lower School Themes:  
Monday – Crazy Hair Day  
Tuesday – Character Day (Video games, books, movie characters)  
Wednesday – Pajama Day  
Thursday – Twins/Triplets or all black clothing like Dr. Myers 
Friday – Greens and Jeans 

Important Dates 

  • November 19th: LS Assembly – Microsoft Teams Link will be shared soon! 
  • November 23rd: WASC/IB Self-Study, 1:40 dismissal (Nursery-PreK, 11:30 dismissal) 
  • November 27th: Lower School Winter Concert.  
  • December 21-January 3: Winter Holiday 

Lower School’s Principal’s Post #12

November 13, 2020

Dear Families,  

Students and parents alike have been very busy here at SCIS-Pudong. Here are just a few of the events that took place this week! 

PAFA Sponsors Visiting Cartoonist Workshops 

Matt Smith, a Scotland-based cartoonist, joined the SCIS community to share his work with students and lead virtual workshops on creating comic books.  He started the week with two assemblies to introduce himself and explain how his experiences as an IB international school student influence his work. He then worked with each lower school class to develop expressive characters and create a comic story. Mr. Smith’s workshops focused on how comic book stories use both text, facial expressions, movement lines and, emanata (the lines and squiggles that emanate from a cartoon character) to tell an interesting story. It was terrific to see students developing their ability to identify and draw emotions using the characters they created. Students showed off their creativity and writing skills as they wrote their own comic stories and received feedback from Mr. Smith to improve them.  We are thankful for PAFA’s generous support of this exciting week of virtual learning and collaboration. 

Welcome to the SCIS Community, Ms. Emily Johnson!

Please welcome Ms. Emily Johnson to the SCIS-Pudong Community. She is joining Ms. Stacey and the grade 2 team!

Positive Discipline Parent Workshops 

Each Saturday in November, Dr. Myers and Ms. Sun have been conducting parent workshops on Positive Discipline. 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,  If you were unable to join us this month, additional workshops will be offered in March. 

Parent Workshops for Kindergarten Families 

Our kindergarten teachers, Ms. Malika and Ms. Amy have also conducted Sunday parent workshops on various topics, most recently on inclusion.  Thank you to our amazing teachers and to all those parents who continue to learn along with us here at SCIS-Pudong. 

Student Council Announcement – Spirit Week!   

Student Council has been busy planning a Spirit Week for all SCIS-Pudong students. They are excited to share the details of our Spirit Week – November 23-27th.  Please join the fun! Lower School children may dress up according to the themes below. Have fun!!!! 

Lower School Themes: 
Monday – Crazy Hair Day 
Tuesday – Character Day (Video games, books, movie characters) 
Wednesday – Pajama Day 
Thursday – Twins/Triplets 
Friday – Greens and Jeans 

Important Dates

  • November 19th: LS Assembly – Microsoft Teams Link will be shared soon!
  • November 23rd: WASC/IB Self-Study, 1:40 dismissal (Nursery-PreK, 11:30 dismissal)
  • November 27th: Lower School Winter Concert. 
  • December 21-January 3: Winter Holiday

Update from the Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools / Head of SCIS-Pudong 

Dear SCIS-Pudong Families,  

Thank you for your continued understanding surrounding the implementation of our heightened health and safety protocols.  These precautionary measures were taken due to the confirmation we received on Monday of one transmitted case of COVID-19 within the immediate vicinity of the Pudong Airport.  Unless we receive further information this weekend, surrounding additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 within close proximity to our campus, we will return to our standard health and safety measures on Monday.   Please know that the health and safety of our community is our utmost priority and we will continue to act with an abundance of caution surrounding the implementation of precautionary measures in the event additional cases are confirmed.  

Community Climate Survey 

On Wednesday, all SCIS families should have received an email from the admissions department regarding the launch of a new systemwide community climate survey.  In our quest for continuous improvement, we are seeking community feedback related to all aspects of our curricular, organizational, and operational program implementation.   

Each parent or caregiver is asked to complete one survey.  The survey settings allow for parents/caregivers with multiple children to comment on aspects related to each divisional program.  Please note, the survey will close on Wednesday, November 25th.  If you have any questions surrounding the implementation of the Community Climate Survey please feel free to connect with Dr. David Mazer (dmazer@scis-china.org), the SCIS Community Relations Officer or Ms. Liz Gale (egale@scis-china.org), the SCIS Deputy Director of Schools.  Thank you in advance for your time and valuable feedback. 

Click Here to Access the SCIS COMMUNITY CLIMATE SURVEY 

Monday, November 23rd Early Release Day 

Please note that Monday, November 23rd will be the second SCIS-Pudong Early Release Day of the school year.  You may remember from our previous early release day on October 26th that all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be dismissed from class at 1:40 pm and depart campus by 1:52 pm.  Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30 am.  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.   

The purpose of the Early Release Day is to provide faculty with an opportunity to deeply engage in the IB/WASC self-study process.   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).  We appreciate your understanding and support surrounding the implementation of early release days this year.  

Thank you, PAFA! 

While we have had limited opportunities to have parents on campus this semester, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the PAFA Executive Committee, as well as the Grade Level Representatives for creating opportunities for SCIS-Pudong families to connect outside of school and continue to strengthen the community bond that SCIS is known for.   In addition, a big thank you to Preeti Shah and Abhilasha Rana for supporting several Upper and Lower School students with the creation of a beautiful rangoli design for the entryway in celebration of Diwali.   

Liz Gale
Deputy Director of School

Lower School Principal’s Post #11

November 6, 2020

Dear Families,  

This week at SCIS-Pudong has been busy and fantastic! From going on Safari to discovering how to calculate perimeter, students at SCIS-Pudong are learning in the most imaginative and fun ways!

Parent-Teacher Conferences – Thank you and Feedback

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 they put into preparing for the conferences.   We hope you found the Parent-Teacher Conferences valuable, informative, and enjoyable! 

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 an effort to improve our Parent-Teacher Conference practices we would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to provide us with your feedback by accessing the Lower School PTC Parent feedback survey BY CLICKING THIS LINK.   Thank you for your support. 

Lower School Winter Concert – Date Change 

Please mark your calendars for the Lower School Winter Concert which will take place on Friday, November 27th.  Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 will perform at 8:30 am in the Theater. We hope you can join us virtually for this special event! A Microsoft Teams link will be shared closer to the date. 

Important Dates

  • November 25th: WASC/IB Self-Study 
  • November 23rd: 1:40 dismissal, (WASC/IB Self-Study). ECE students will be dismissed before nap at 11:30 a.m.
  • November 27th: Lower School Winter Concert.