Dear Lower School Families,
Let me begin by saying that I sincerely hope that all families had a wonderful, relaxing, and well-deserved Spring Break last week. As we come to the conclusion of our 8th week of Virtual Learning, I’d like all Lower School families to know how much we continue to appreciate your support, understanding and encouragement during this uncertain time. We recognize the many struggles that families have faced and will continue to face surrounding balancing work, arranging for child-care, ensuring time for self-care and family-care, as well as managing the ongoing worry and anxiety that has likely been felt both by you and your children at some point over the course of the past two months.
Please know that you are not in this alone. As a school community we are here and eager to support you and your child(ren) knowing that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have long term implications that will affect families and children in various ways. SCIS is committed to ensuring that we are not only providing a high-quality Virtual Learning experience for our students and families, but we are also taking into consideration their social-emotional wellbeing and the short and long-term psychological impact felt by the community throughout this experience.
As always, we remain open and responsive to feedback surrounding the ways in which we can adjust and improve our practices in order to best meet the needs of our students. Modifications to our program will be based upon data trends compiled from the weekly or bi-weekly parent, student, and teacher feedback surveys, anecdotal notes and observations, as well as what current research reveals about developmentally appropriate practice related to online learning.
In conclusion, I’d like to share a persuasive piece of writing by Graco Verduzco in 3J. It’s a wonderful reminder of how incredibly resilient, inspiring, and innocent children are especially during times of uncertainty. Graco’s message is powerful and certainly one the world can learn from. Together we will prevail.
Virtual Parent Community Circles
The SCIS Social Emotional Support Team, made up of divisional school counselors, has been working to support the SCIS community during the school closure. As we continue to transition and settle into the shifts that are taking place in the larger world around us, the SCIS-Pudong Lower School Counselor, Mrs. Laurie Luebbe would like to invite any interested parents to join in a Virtual Community Circle as a way to explore and process emotions stemming from the complex facets of Covid-19’s impact on our lives. We invite you to join this virtual circle as a way to connect with other parents and create a safe space through which to acknowledge the journey you are on, as we continue to navigate that which is unknown.
If you would be interested in joining a Parent Community Circle please let us know your preferred days and times by completing this short interest survey.
An Increase in Live Learning Sessions
During this period of Virtual Learning we recognize the need to provide students with opportunities to connect with their teachers and peers in real time. Since the launch of our Live Learning sessions on February 24th we have received tremendous positive feedback from students, teachers and parents surrounding the value of the live learning sessions which not only provide students with a forum to receive academic instruction and support, but also ensure they have an outlet to connect with their peers, share experiences and ask questions. Starting next Monday, we will be increasing the number of live learning sessions each Kindergarten through Grade 5 student will be provided. Students will be able to participate in a minimum of 4 sessions (instead of 2) in order to provide further real time instruction and support, as well as ensure students maintain a sense of connection and community to their teachers and classmates.
Additionally, Mrs. Luebbe, the Lower School Counselor will be working with K-5 Homeroom teachers to ensure that once every two weeks students will have an opportunity to participate in an interactive live counseling lesson focused on an aspect of students’ social-emotional health and well-being.
Furthermore, the Lower School Mandarin Department has also begun to implement live learning sessions for various grades and Mandarin levels, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
Lastly, we have opened up the option for teachers to schedule one-on-one sessions with students to increase opportunities for teachers to provide individualized instruction and/or support to a student based upon the student’s needs as determined by the teacher. In order for a teacher to schedule a one-on-one session with a student s/he will need to seek parental permission via email confirmation from a parent. Again, please note that one-on-one teacher-student sessions are only meant to be initiated by the teacher at this time based upon student needs as determined by the teacher. Parents should not seek out opportunities to schedule one-on-one sessions for their child. However, if you have a concern about your child’s performance or engagement in Virtual Learning please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher at any time expressing your concern.
Please know, we will continue to look for opportunities to enhance students’ Virtual Learning experience and make ongoing adjustments and improvements to our program with the support of the community.
Please note that Mid-Semester reports will be distributed today, 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. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions or would like to schedule a follow-up conversation.
Re-Enrollment for the 2020-21 School Year
Our Re-Enrollment Process is designed to ensure all current families have first priority to register for the new school year and is a critical process for our ongoing provision of a well-resourced, top-quality program. The deadline to secure your enrollment for the 2020-21 school year has been extended to April 17th and can be confirmed through payment of the Seat Guarantee Deposit or via the Early Payment Discount option.
We recognize that your family circumstances may have changed since your initial survey submission, if you would like to update your enrollment intention for the 2020-21 school year, please contact our Admissions Office (email@example.com).
Learn more about the Tuition Adjustments and Support Measures here.
Lower School Virtual Variety Show
A huge thank you to Mrs. Luebbe for organizing the Lower School Virtual Variety Show. If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch this fantastic compilation of lower school students sharing a large variety of talents please take a few minutes to watch and be entertained by some incredible performers!
Learner Profile Recognitions:
During this period of Virtual Learning students have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to display many of the IB Learner Profile Attributes. This week we’d like to acknowledge several of our Lower School students who have been recognized by their teachers for displaying one or more of the Learner Profile Attributes throughout this period of Virtual Learning. A big CONGRATULATIONS to all our Learner Profile Recognition recipients!
- Liah Perez in 1K is recognized by Mrs. Rana for being a Risk-taker in PE
- Sophia Prasia in 2M is recognized by Mrs. Rana for being Principled and a Risk-taker in PE. Sophia is also being recognized by Ms. Muy for being Knowledgeable.
- Sara Nevalainen in 4R is recognized by Mrs. Rana for being Principled and a Risk-taker in PE
- Daniel Ungaro in 4R is recognized by Mrs. Rana for being a Risk-taker in PE.
- Alexis Chou in 1K is recognized by Ms. Kridl for being a Communicator
- Claire Pan in 1K is recognized by Ms. Kridl for being Principled
- Elias Karassek in 3V is recognized by Ms. V for being a Thinker
- Julia Rando in 5R is recognized by Mrs. Ruf for being Balanced
- Kerry Lukyaniuk in 4R is recognized by Miss Meidinger for being Balanced
- Madison Chung in 1K is recognized by Ms. Kridl for being a Thinker
- Rio Morito in 3V is recognized by Ms. V for being a Communicator
- Shi Yu Yiam is in 2M is recognized by Ms. Muy for being Reflective
How to Talk with your Child about COVID-19
For information on how to talk with your children about COVID-19 below are several resources you can refer to:
- Supporting families during COVID-19 – Child Mind Institute
- A Toolkit for Supporting Families Impacted by COVID-19 – The Creative Curriculum
- Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
- How to Talk with Kids about COVID-19 – Stanford Children’s Hospital
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Talk to Your Child – Kids Health
- Managing Children’s Fear, Anxiety in the Age of COVID-19 – Medscape
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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.
Support for Students Outside of China:
The results of our family survey identify nearly 40% of our students’ as remaining outside of China. Given the abrupt closure of China’s borders to foreign passport holders, we recognize the concern our students outside of China may have should a reopening of campus be announced. As such, the SCIS leadership team is working on a plan that will provide those students access to a program of learning, until such time that the border has re-opened and our families are able to return to Shanghai.
We also ask that you please update the family travel survey as soon as possible to reflect any recent changes in our students’ whereabouts as this will ensure we are best able to support our learners wherever they may be.
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 email@example.com 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:
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.