Lower School Principal’s Post #27

Dear Lower School Families,

Today marks the end of our 7th week of Virtual Learning and certainly a new phase of the COVID-19 outbreak now it has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.   As you are well aware countries around the world are now experiencing the incredible force with which this virus can overwhelm a community and cause insurmountable disruption to all.  Over the past 8 weeks since the Chinese New Year holiday, we have all been impacted significantly by the disarray this virus has caused in our lives and I have no doubt that it will continue to impact our community and the world for weeks to come. 

Anthony (1G) enjoying a fun PE activity at home!

As we enter a tremendously well-deserved Spring Break, I’d like to share how extremely proud I am of our entire Lower School community and the incredible resilience, resourcefulness, collaboration, and patience that has accompanied our virtual learning experience thus far.  I am continually impressed by the meaningful and innovative quality of learning engagements provided each day by teachers and equally captivated by the incredible creativity, tenacity, and perseverance demonstrated by our students.  Despite the hardships our students are facing, I have been so inspired by the number of students I have seen through live learning sessions provide words of encouragement, support, and reassurance to their peers while discussing individual circumstances and accompanying emotions surrounding what is now a global pandemic.  Students ability to remain positive, optimistic and empathetic is something we should all use to inspire us moving forward. 

ECE students encouraged to use play-doh this week to express various emotions.

I am certain that during this time we have all experienced unforeseeable growth opportunities personally, professionally, as parents, and as a community.  As we continue to navigate the immense uncertainties that lie ahead, it is my sincere hope that years from now each of us will be able to look back on this time as one that is characterized not only by our strength and courage as individuals, but by our ability to be a resilient, empathetic and compassionate community.   I’d like to thank each of our Lower School parents for your continued support and understanding during this time and I wish you and your families a very relaxing and fun-filled Spring Break wherever you may be.

Mid-Semester Reports

Live Learning sessions have been a great way for students and teachers to connect during the past 4 weeks. In this session, students in 2M share the aspects of Virtual Learning they have enjoyed the most.

Please note that the distribution date for Mid-Semester reports has been altered once again due to the shift of dates for Spring Break.  Reports will not be distributed on Friday, April 3rd via a link sent to each parents scis-parent email account.  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. 

It is always wonderful to see Ms. Hunt’s smiling face. All teachers have done a great job of ensuring personal connections to their students during this time.

Family Travel Itinerary Survey:   As noted in last week’s Principal’s Post we continue to seek up-to-date information on the whereabouts of our community members.  If you have not yet completed this survey or if your plans have changed we ask that you complete this survey today as soon as possible.  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. 

Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

Below are the results from the Week #6 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey.  We are happy to report that parents continue to be appreciative of the incredible work and effort that teachers are putting forth to ensure that learning remains engaging, meaningful, and purposeful during the period of virtual learning.  We will continue to use feedback from parents, students, and teachers to modify our program in order to better meet the needs of the community.

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

Tate (Grade 5) and his sister Amira completing their virtual learning assignments.

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 handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a handwashing 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.

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.

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:

We have been very impressed with the level of creativity and resourcefulness students have demonstrated during this period of virtual learning.

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

Edward (1G) demonstrating different body movements for his PE assignment.

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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