Lower School Principal’s Post #31

Dear Lower School Families,

Liv in 3J shares her creative response to a Visual Arts learning experience that required students to create white paper designs.

As we come to the conclusion of our 11th week of Virtual Learning I’d like to take this opportunity to share the results of our recent Grade 2-5 student survey which has provided us with very valuable insight into how our students are coping during this time and the ways in which we can continue to provide encouragement and support in order to meet the needs of each and every student.  There were 88 students that participated in the survey representing Grades 2-5.  While the specific results to each question are shared below, there were some common trends that emerged within the students comments that included their continued enjoyment of the live learning sessions, as well as their desire to return to campus and reunite with their teachers and peers.  Several students commented that staying organized and maintaining balance was an area where they could use more support. 

In addition, the responses to measuring how students are feeling most of the time revealed that while many students indicated they were happy, excited, and hopeful, there were also others who feel lonely, stressed, scared, sad, and frustrated.  Please know that teachers have received individual responses from students and will follow up accordingly through class meetings and one-on-one sessions to ensure each student feels supported during this time both academically, as well as emotionally.  Similarly, if you have concerns surrounding your child’s social-emotional wellbeing please reach out to Mrs. Luebbe (lluebbe@scis-china.org) who can refer you to outside counseling or schedule time to meet with you or your child to make a plan on the ways we can work together to provide them with additional support during this time.

Kindergarten students happily participating in a counseling lesson with Ms. Luebbe.

Return to Campus Update from SCIS Director of Schools

Emily in 3J shares some creative ideas for ways to keep busy while at home.

SCIS has received notification that we will begin the process of campus inspections for both the Hongqiao and Pudong campuses on Friday, April 24th. We are working with the various authorities (SEC, CDC, Health Bureau, Transportation Dept., etc.) to make sure we will be well prepared for each element of our inspections. We understand that once we have completed the inspection period, we will be given approval to announce start dates for specific grade levels. We are pleased to be in the position to begin our process of returning to campus learning. We also recognize that we will be going through a very precise structure of regulations that enhance our commitment to the health and safety of our community. Our focus is on meeting and exceeding all requirements for an eventual return to campus. We will share all meaningful updates on our status and appreciate your continued understanding as we move through the next phase of preparing our campuses for an eventual return to campus, welcoming students again.

SCIS 已接到通知,我们明天将迎接相关部门对虹桥和浦东校区进行校园检查。我们正在 与各部门(上海市教委、疾控中心、卫生局、运输部等)合作,确保做好检查的每一项 内容的准备。据我们了解,一旦我们完成了检查期,我们将获得批准,宣布特定年级的 开始日期。 我们很高兴能够开始我们重返校园学习的过程,但也认识到,我们将经历一系列极其严 格细致的审查,以加强我们对社区健康和安全的重视。因此,我们将继续专注于达到并 超越重返校园的所有要求。我们将分享任何有关于我们状态的有意义的新进展,我们感 谢您的持续的理解,我们将进入下一个阶段,为迎接我们的学生最终回到校园学习做好 准备。

Preparing for a Return to Campus

Lucas in 1K demonstrates his flexibility by completing a PE learning experience focused on yoga.

Over the past two weeks, SCIS-Pudong administrators, teachers and support staff have been working extremely hard to prepare for our return to on-campus learning.  Within the Lower School there are three teams that have been created to address the following:  Health and Safety, Blended Learning, and Community Wellbeing.

The Health and Safety Team led by ECE Coordinator Ms. Stacey Poncia is basing their efforts on the guidelines put forth from the Shanghai Education Commission on the various protocols and practices that need to be enacted before students and faculty return to campus.  Ms. Poncia is working directly with Mr. Vic Caban in the Upper School, and Mr. Luebbe to ensure that the Lower School has the necessary safety equipment, established protocols and procedures, and a shared understanding of how we will make certain we are following all requirements in effort to protect all members of the community.

Jasmine in 1G explains the cycle of how the sun rotates around the earth as part of the current Grade 1 Unit of Inquiry on Cycles.

The Blended Learning Team led by PYP Coordinator, Mr Ian Sylvester is working with a team of teachers to develop a plan to ensure that upon our return to campus, both students on campus, as well as those that are abroad, due to the current Chinese border closure, are provided with a robust learning program that ensures students are continuing to make progress against core and specialist standards.   

The Community Wellbeing Team led by the Lower School Learning and Student Support Coordinator, Mr. Zachary Berezowski is working on developing resources for students, teachers, and parents to ensure the emotional and psychological safety of the community given the impact that COVID-19 has had on our lives over the course of the past 3 months.  Ensuring the wellbeing of our community will remain a priority both upon our return to campus, as well as into the new school year.   

3J spices up their live lesson by showing off their crazy hair styles!

Lower School Faculty Location Update:

Ms. V works with students in one-on-one sessions to provide students with direct feedback and answer questions they have.

Recently we have received a few inquiries from parents surrounding the current location of lower school faculty.  Out of 32 Lower School faculty members, 28 are currently located in Shanghai.  We feel extremely fortunate to have such a large percentage of our faculty in Shanghai, especially given a potential return to on campus learning in the near future.  All faculty, whether they are in Shanghai or abroad continue to work extremely hard to ensure that all students needs are met during this time.  If at any point you have any questions surrounding your child’s virtual learning experience please do not hesitate to reach out to their homeroom or specialist teacher(s).

May 1st Holiday:

Trizstan in 1K responds to the class daily read aloud.

Please note that next Friday, May 1st is a legal Chinese holiday and teachers will not be posting assignments or holding live learning sessions on this day.  We hope you use this 3-day weekend as an opportunity to enjoy time together as a family – especially with the warm Spring weather that is starting to appear for those currently in Shanghai.    

Parent Appreciation:

We continue to appreciate the tremendous support from our incredible parent community.  We know this period of virtual learning has not been easy for families; however, we have been amazed by your dedication and continued involvement in your child’s learning journey.  Here is a link to a video that we hope will make you smile.

The Grade 5 PYP Exhibition:

Matilda in 4B shares her incredible piece of art she created while at home.

Over the last three weeks, Grade 5 students have been participating in the PYP Exhibition. The PYP Exhibition is the culmination of the PYP programme and brings together the knowledge and skill students have learned through their Lower School education. Students develop their organization and research skills, monitor their progress through self-reflection, and will share their understanding with the school community through a 10 week personal project.  In the virtual learning classrooms setting, students have been encouraged to explore personal interests of interest and make real life connections to the UN Global Goals. Ms. Ruf, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Briton, Mr. Berezowski, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Ian are supporting students as mentors. We look forward to seeing the curiosity, creativity, and expertise of grade 5 students continue to blossom.

The PYP exhibition has a number of key purposes:

  • for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
  • to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
  • to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
  • for students to synthesize and apply learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP
  • for students to design an authentic process for assessing their own work
  • to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
  • to unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
  • to celebrate the transition of learners in the primary to secondary education

We are very excited to see the outcome of this year’s exhibition inquiries and wish all of our Grade 5 students the best of luck on their inquiry journeys.

Virtual Parent Community Circles

Students in 2M prepare to start one of their live learning sessions this week with Ms. Muy.

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.

How to Talk with your Child about COVID-19

Students in Ms. Adika’s class come together during their live learning session to ask questions and share experiences from their week.

For 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.

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:

Olivia in 3J shows off her flexibility by sharing different moves.

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.


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