Lower School Principal’s Post #26

Dear Lower School Families,

Alice in 1K showing off a very creative “word scanner” she designed and built for a Reading Workshop assignment.

I hope you have had a wonderful week.  It’s hard to believe we are concluding our 6th week of virtual learning.  I continue to be amazed by the tremendous creativity, imagination, and thinking that students are exhibiting through their learning assignments each day.   It is evident that students are showing great growth in developing their skills as responsible, self-directed learners who are embracing new challenges and actively developing solutions surrounding the ways they are communicating their understanding and collaborating with others online.  As I reflect upon the new SCIS Schoolwide Learner Outcomes, I am amazed by how the mandatory campus closure due to COVID-19 has led to students demonstrate their ability to be Innovative Thinkers, Knowledgeable Inquirers, Self-Directed Learners, and Positive Contributors.   We applaud students for their incredible effort and encourage them to continue to put forth their best work and thinking during this time.

3V continues Live Learning this week with an interactive writing lesson.

Family Travel Itinerary Survey:  As noted in email that was sent to all Lower School families this week, the Shanghai Education Commission requires all schools to track the physical location of each member of our community.  As such, if you haven’t had an opportunity to do so, we ask that you complete this survey today by 3pm Shanghai time, even if your location has not changed from the past survey.  Please complete ONE SURVEY per family.  Your response to this survey will help us fulfill the government reporting requirement and will allow us to plan for how best we can support the needs of our community moving forward. 

Week #6 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

Amira in Ms. Amy’s class works with her brother Kody (1K) to paint an elephant.

As mentioned in last week’s Principal’s Post, this week we are once again collecting parent feedback on your child(ren)’s virtual learning experience thus far.  We greatly appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period and wholeheartedly recognize that supporting your child with virtual learning is not an easy task.  Please know we are here to help you in any way we can.  Additionally, we appreciate your feedback surrounding the areas that you believe are going well with regards to virtual learning, as well as the ways that we can improve.   

Please complete this survey to let us know how we are doing.

Elias in 3J greets his classmates as the class gets ready to begin their live learning session.

Mid-Semester Reports

Please note that the distribution date for Mid-Semester reports has been altered from Friday, March 20th to one week later, Friday, March 27th.  The purpose of the Mid-Semester progress report is to provide students, parents and teachers with an opportunity to reflect on student’s attitudes and actions that lead to academic success at mid- semester.  Mid-Semester reports will reflect students’ participation and engagement in virtual learning.  Students that have had limited participation in virtual learning will receive a comment reflecting this.  Mid-Semester reports are typically between 3-5 sentences written by each child’s Homeroom Teacher and focus on the student’s development of the approaches to learning, as well as the demonstration and development of the Learner Profile Attributes.  Mid-Semester reports will be distributed via a link sent to each parents scis-parent email account.

Live Learning Session Essential Agreements: 

As we continue to move forward with the successful implementation of Live Learning Sessions across grade levels we have asked that all students, with the support of parents, review and adhere to the SCIS-Pudong Live Learning Session Essential Agreements when participating in Live Learning Sessions.  

Having Reassuring Conversations with Kids during the time of COVID-19:

Alexis in 1K records a video in response to a learning assignment.

Now that the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic it is important that we continue to make time to comfort and talk with children that may be experiencing an increased level of anxiety or fear due to the continued spread .   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following general principles for talking to children:

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff. (e.g., increased hand-washing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a hand-washing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.
Arul in 4B demonstrates his talents as an amazing artist with his drawing of a butterfly wing.

For more information on how to talk with your children about COVID-19 below are several resources you can refer to:

If you notice your child is still worried or anxious, be assured that this is a normal reaction, and continue conversations and providing care for your child. If you find that additional support is needed, please reach out to Mrs. Luebbe (lluebbe@scis-china.org) who can refer you to outside counseling or to schedule time with you or your child to make a plan on how to support them during this time.  In the meantime please also refer to the SCIS Virtual Learning Survival Guide in effort to provide some connection, communication, and resources that will support you and your child during this time.

ECE (Nursery – Kindergarten) Parental Guidance Program:

Nils in Grade 1 creatively thinks “out of the box” for his art assignment this week.

If you are parent of a student in Nursery, Preschool, Prekindergarten or Kindergarten and have not had an opportunity to complete the Parental Guidance Opt-In Survey, please do so as soon as possible.   At this point 97% of our ECE parents have Opted-In to participate in the Parental Guidance Program.  Here is a link to the Parental Guidance Program Overview for families of our youngest learners.

Coronavirus:  Community Updates and FAQs Page:

Please take time to regularly visit the SCIS Coronavirus: Community Updates and FAQs page on the SCIS school website which provides detailed information on the school closure in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak.   We continue to add new resources and information to the site so that it too, serves as source of information and support throughout these days.

IT Support with Virtual Learning  

Given various challenges related to technology access and internet reliability please feel free to reach out to our SCIS-Pudong IT Department at pd-technology@scis-china.org if you experience any issues or complications with Seesaw and/or other technology platforms.  We appreciate your support and are here to help you make virtual learning a success in any way we can.

School Attendance and Student Participation:

Yu Vern shares insight into her day and some of the learning activities she has completed.

During the Virtual Learning period student attendance will not be taken; however, assignment completion will be used to validate student participation and progress in virtual learning.  Students will be afforded a flexible 48-hour window in order to participate in a way that allows them to complete assignments.  Students / parents should communicate with their teacher(s) if more time is needed surrounding specific assignments. 

Additionally, we recognize that students may not be able to complete all assignments due to families varying circumstances including access to appropriate technology and internet reliability.  Please know that while students will not be penalized academically, lack of participation in the online learning platform may hinder progress against the grade level core or subject area standards.   As such, if students do not partake in the learning experiences it will be difficult for teachers to assess and report on student progress which may potentially result in students receiving the achievement indicator IE (insufficient evidence), AE (approaching grade level expectation), or NME (not meeting grade level expectation) on the student’s semester report.

Reenrollment has begun for the 2020-2021 School Year

Last week, all SCIS families should have received an email via your scis-parent email account providing instructions regarding re-enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Please note that seats are likely to fill up quickly and we have multiple grade levels in the Lower School that are currently at capacity.  As such, if you are confident that you would like your child to continue at SCIS-Pudong for the 2020-2021 school year, we encourage you to submit your re-enrollment as quickly as possible. 

Please note, you must use your @scis-parent.org email account details when signing in to the Online Re-Enrollment Website.  If you have any questions regarding the process for re-enrollment, please do not hesitate to reach out to the SCIS Admissions team at admissions@scis-china.org.

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