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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #25

Dear Lower School Families,

Kindergarten students participate in a live learning session this week with special guests Mrs. Luebbe, Ms. Sonia and Ms. Jessie.

Welcome to March!  We’ve had another successful week of virtual learning.  The Live Learning Sessions continue to be a great success and a wonderful opportunity for students and teachers to come together to participate in meaningful discussions surrounding various aspects of the curriculum.  It is very evident that students are eager and excited to connect with each other.  For this reason, I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate our Microsoft Teams Student Use Guidelines that are meant to ensure the safety and security of all Lower School students as they engage with one another through the school approved platform Microsoft Teams.

SCIS-Pudong Lower School Microsoft Teams Guidelines for Student Use:

Julia and Olivia Taylor join a Live Learning session from their location in Florida.
  • Microsoft Teams is a SCIS school approved platform to be used by students under the guidance and supervision of teachers as way to enhance virtual learning at SCIS.
  • Lower School Teachers or other members of faculty (Guidance Counselor, PYP Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, etc.) are the only individuals allowed to initiate a call or chat with students using Microsoft Teams.
  • Students are not allowed to use Microsoft Teams to initiate or participate in a conversation (chat or call) with another student or group of students.
  • If it is discovered that a student is using Microsoft Teams to call or chat with classmates and/or students outside of their grade level without the presence of a teacher, they risk losing their ability to participate in calls or chats with their teachers and classmates, and if necessary their account will be deactivated.
Students in Grade 5 join a live learning session with Mr. Kelly to share about their current experiences.

As a school we recognize that during this period of campus closure students are extremely eager and excited to speak and engage with their peers.  This is one of the primary reasons we have instituted the live learning sessions.  However, it is very important that as a school we are able to oversee all interactions that take place between students online including the careful monitoring of content and conversation as we would at school.   As such, we are prohibiting students from participating in unsupervised chats or group video calls through Microsoft Teams.  Of course, there are many alternative platforms students can use to connect with their peers.  As a parent, should you allow your child opportunities to engage in unsupervised chats or group calls on non-school approved platforms, we encouraged you to closely monitor your child’s use of the applications to ensure their interactions are appropriate.  

Week #4 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

The next Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey will be distributed next Friday, March 13th.  However, we’d like to take this opportunity to share some of the results from last week’s survey that was completed by 36 parents.  Again, we greatly appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period.   We wholeheartedly recognize that supporting your child with virtual learning is not an easy task and we want you to know we are here and eager to help you in any way we can. 

ECE (Nursery – Kindergarten) Parental Guidance Program:

Ms. Stacey leads a live learning session with some of our youngest learners.

All parents of students in Nursery, Preschool, Prekindergarten or Kindergarten should have received an email (and Seesaw message) providing insight into the new Parental Guidance Program that will be launched next Monday, March 9th.  The Parental Guidance Program is an opt-in program which means parents must sign-up in order to be included.  We ask that all ECE (N-K) parents review the Parental Guidance Program Overview and then complete this survey to opt-in so that we can continue to support you and your child during this time.  We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to work with you to best meet the needs 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.

Marko enjoys playing some new games his friends created for the PE unit assessment.

Building Resilience and having Reassuring Conversations with Kids during the time of COVID-19.

During this times of uncertainty, such as that which we are currently experiencing due to COVID-19, it is very common for children to experience a range of strong emotions including feelings of ambiguity, fear, frustration, and anxiety.  It is important to remember our children are looking towards us for reassurance and cues on how to react and respond during this difficult time. 

Below are five strategies to build resilience, and have reassuring conversations with kids:

  1. Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Having calm, panic-free discussions can ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them.
  2. Stick to the facts: It is important to have thoughtful conversations regarding the coronavirus to distil anxiety, worry or fear. Look at the facts. Consider your child’s age, processing, and emotions to determine how to frame these conversations to ensure your child understands. Let them know that China is doing everything they can and you are up to date on current information. If they have additional questions you can look to find the answers. Check-in on what your child is thinking and address their worries. Discuss that not everything they hear or see is real. It can also be comforting to be reminded that doctors around the world are looking for ways to address the coronavirus and highlight positive news as well.
  3. Consider Media Consumption: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you are checking and minimize how often you are reading stories. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
  4. Eliminate Stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. Also to communicate that if someone has a fever or cough does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
  5. Boost Your Coping Strategies: When anyone has change or uncertainty this can create some levels of worry or anxiety. When this occurs, it is important to use positive coping strategies to manage those emotions. As every person is different, so too are our coping strategies. Regardless, it is important to practice positive strategies to calm down or modify our thinking to improve our outlook and overall well-being. Coping strategies can include: positive self-talk, singing, dancing, reading, drawing, music, movies, create a gratitude list, meditation, yoga, coloring, exercise, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.
Marcus shares his understanding of an assignment by posting a video reflection,

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.

Here is a link to additional resources on Managing Feelings, Fears and Worries about COVID-19 by the International Counselor Association.

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.

Seesaw Videos and Live Learning Session Etiquette:

Students in 3V participate in a great live debate focused on their current unit of inquiry on Persuasion.

While we understand that the vast majority of our students are either in the comfort of their own home or in an environment that allows them an opportunity to be dressed very casually, please remember that when children post a video to Seesaw as a response to an assignment they should be appropriately clothed. This includes the covering of shoulders, midriffs (stomachs), and the wearing of shorts or skirts that are a suitable length.  Additionally, students and parents should be mindful of the environment in which they are posting to ensure that other individuals who may be unaware that a video is being recorded are not mistakenly seen or heard in the background.

School Attendance and Student Participation:

Mui Mui shows her creative art project.

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.

Family Travel Itinerary Survey: As noted in previous community emails, SCIS is required to support a daily update on the travel itineraries for all students, employees, and family members. We understand many of you have traveled over the past few weeks, so we ask you to please go back into this link and update your current information.

Reenrollment has begun for the 2019-2020 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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #24

Dear Lower School Families,

Kindergarten kicks off their live learning session with a class meeting!

It is hard to believe we are coming to the end of our 4th week of virtual learning.   One of the biggest highlights from this week was the launch of Live Learning Sessions for all students.   During these sessions, students had an opportunity to participate in class meetings, ask specific questions surrounding a particular assignment, engage in a subject specific interactive lesson, and/or spend time connecting with their teachers and classmates.  It was such a joy to see the smiles on students’ faces and feel their enthusiasm as they shared experiences and reconnected with each other.

Grade 5 takes time to check-in and connect!

Regarding the scheduling of Live Learning sessions we are making an adjustment and allowing teachers to schedule sessions outside of regular school hours (8:00am-3:00pm Shanghai Time) in effort to better meet the needs of students regardless of their location in the world.   Based upon our experiences this week, it is evident that providing these live learning opportunities for students is extremely important.  As such, you may see teachers and/or grade level teams offering multiple sessions throughout the week and we certainly encourage students to sign up for as many sessions as they can.   We are so grateful for the ongoing support of parents this past week as we navigated the launch of live learning and are looking forward to seeing students in real-time next week.

3J checking in to their Live Learning Session and sharing experiences.

Week #4 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

Lucas and Ms. Kridl enjoying a laugh during 1Ks Live Learning Session.

We continue to appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period.   We hope you recognize that based upon your feedback, as well as that which has been received from students and teachers, we have made modifications to our Virtual Learning Program to better meet the needs of students during this Virtual Learning period.

As such, we seek your continued feedback on what you believe is going well, and the ways in which we can improve our effort to optimize virtual learning for all students.  Please take a few minutes to provide your valuable feedback by completing the below survey.  Please note the survey will close on Monday, March 2nd at 3:00pm. After today, parent surveys will be sent out every two weeks for the duration of the virtual learning period.

SCIS-Pudong Lower School Week #4 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey

Arul is hard at work completing his learning assignments.

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.

Virtual Learning Modification for Music and P.E. Posting:

This past Wednesday a letter was shared with all K-5 Lower School Families surrounding a change made to the posting of assignments for Music and PE.   The modifications are meant to provide additional opportunities for teacher-student feedback within Music and PE, as well as to ensure students have a sufficient amount of time to complete and reflect upon each of their assignments.  We certainly do not want students (or parents) to feel overwhelmed with the workload and upon reflection we want to create simplicity and cohesion for students across grade levels and age groups.   Similar to the specialist learning environment in school, we want to encourage students to slow down, take their time, and complete the assignment to the best of their ability given the resources and materials they have.  Our hope is that the modification will provide more simplicity for students, teachers, and parents as we move forward with virtual learning.  As such, starting next Monday, March 2nd the learning assignment posting schedule for Music and PE is as follows:

Students in Kindergarten, Grade 1 or Grade 2 will receive:

  • Music assignments on Days 1 and 3
  • PE assignments on Days 2 and 4

Students in Grades 3, 4 or 5 will receive:

  • P.E. assignments on Days 1 and 3.
  • Music assignments on Days 2 and 4.

Art Assignments will continue to be posted according to each classes regular schedule once every four days.

Building Resilience and having Reassuring Conversations with Kids during the time of COVID-19.

Dr. Moss greets some of our youngest SCIS dragons.

During this times of uncertainty, such as that which we are currently experiencing due to COVID-19, it is very common for children to experience a range of strong emotions including feelings of ambiguity, fear, frustration, and anxiety.  It is important to remember our children are looking towards us for reassurance and cues on how to react and respond during this difficult time. 

Below are five strategies to build resilience, and have reassuring conversations with kids:

  1. Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Having calm, panic-free discussions can ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them.
  2. Stick to the facts: It is important to have thoughtful conversations regarding the coronavirus to distil anxiety, worry or fear. Look at the facts. Consider your child’s age, processing, and emotions to determine how to frame these conversations to ensure your child understands. Let them know that China is doing everything they can and you are up to date on current information. If they have additional questions you can look to find the answers. Check-in on what your child is thinking and address their worries. Discuss that not everything they hear or see is real. It can also be comforting to be reminded that doctors around the world are looking for ways to address the coronavirus and highlight positive news as well.
  3. Consider Media Consumption: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you are checking and minimize how often you are reading stories. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
  4. Eliminate Stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. Also to communicate that if someone has a fever or cough does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
  5. Boost Your Coping Strategies: When anyone has change or uncertainty this can create some levels of worry or anxiety. When this occurs, it is important to use positive coping strategies to manage those emotions. As every person is different, so too are our coping strategies. Regardless, it is important to practice positive strategies to calm down or modify our thinking to improve our outlook and overall well-being. Coping strategies can include: positive self-talk, singing, dancing, reading, drawing, music, movies, create a gratitude list, meditation, yoga, coloring, exercise, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.

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.

Here is a link to additional resources on Managing Feelings, Fears and Worries about COVID-19 by the International Counselor Association.

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.

Seesaw Videos and Live Learning Session Etiquette:

While we understand that the vast majority of our students are either in the comfort of their own home or in an environment that allows them an opportunity to be dressed very casually, please remember that when children post a video to Seesaw as a response to an assignment they should be appropriately clothed. This includes the covering of shoulders, midriffs (stomachs), and the wearing of shorts or skirts that are a suitable length.  Additionally, students and parents should be mindful of the environment in which they are posting to ensure that other individuals who may be unaware that a video is being recorded are not mistakenly seen or heard in the background.

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.

Family Travel Itinerary Survey: As noted in previous community emails, SCIS is required to support a daily update on the travel itineraries for all students, employees, and family members. We understand many of you have traveled over the past few weeks, so we ask you to please go back into this link and update your current information.

Message from the Upper School Yearbook:

Hello SCIS Community, 

I hope that you are well wherever this email finds you in the world. 

We are Paris Efstathiou, Grade 12 Yearbook Photography Editor, and Callum Machan, Grade 12 Yearbook Co-Editor in Chief. We would like to ask for your help in documenting this unique time at SCIS. 

Since the school will remain closed for quite some time due to the health crisis in China, the Yearbook team has decided to create a section in the 2019-2020 Yearbook to document everyone’s experiences through Virtual Learning. We would love to see pictures of students and teachers working on interesting learning tasks. We would also appreciate photos from your current location. This could be with distinguishing landmarks where you are or interesting locations for schoolwork. We recognize that as a community we are spread out all over the world right now, and we would like to celebrate that our school community has remained strong while spanning the globe.  

All photos should be sent to pd-yearbook@scis-china.org

Thanks so much for your unique contributions to the 2019-2020 Yearbook,

Paris Efstathiou and Callum Machan

Reenrollment has begun for the 2019-2020 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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #23

Dear Lower School Families,

As we wrap up the 3rd week of virtual learning, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a realization I had while visiting class Seesaw accounts this week.  While perusing journal feeds, I came across videos of a few students responding to the question, “what do you miss the most about school?”  While I initially experienced feelings of sadness as I listened to students describe how much they missed their friends and teachers, these emotions were quickly taken over by feelings of pride and gratitude.  I am so proud to be part of a community where students consistency feel safe, are happy, and engaged in meaningful learning.  While virtual learning is certainly not a substitute for face-to-face learning, I am grateful for our incredible teachers who are working tirelessly to continue to build classroom communities where students feel comfortable and confident to take risks as communicators, collaborators and virtual learners.  

As you have likely seen from the Lower School community message surrounding the launch of Live Learning Sessions that was sent to your scis-parent inbox, we are making an adjustment to our Virtual Learning Program to include Live Learning Sessions for students each week.  These sessions led by Homeroom Teachers could take various forms depending upon student needs.  For example, the session may be framed as an opportunity for students to ask specific questions surrounding a particular assignment or virtual learning in general.  Teachers may also use the session as an opportunity to run a class meeting or provide specific instruction on an identified learning target.   Ultimately, our hope is that through the implementation of live learning sessions, we will be able to further support students during the virtual learning period and ensure they maintain a sense of connection and community to their teachers and classmates. 

Implementation of Live Learning Sessions

In order to implement the Live Learning Sessions, the Microsoft Teams platform will be used consistently across grade levels.  We understand that for many parents this is likely a new platform that you may or may not have experience with using.  As such, we have done our best to provide you with step-by-step guides and a video tutorial detailing how to get your child connected to the Microsoft Teams platform.

To ensure your child is able to access Microsoft Teams, parents will need to review and follow the below or attached instructions based upon the age of their child(ren). 

Additionally, please view the parent video tutorial on joining a live session.  

Members of the Lower School Faculty in collaboration with the IT Department have done our very best to make this transition to Live Learning as simple as possible for students and parents.  However, we recognize that you may experience complications or difficulties during set up.  In the event that you are unable to sign-in to your child’s Microsoft Team please connect with Barry Johnson in our IT Department at pd-technology@scis-china.org 

Week #3 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

We continue to appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period.   We hope you recognize that based upon your feedback, as well as that which has been received from students and teachers, we have been modifications to our Virtual Learning program to better meet the needs of students during this Virtual Learning period.   As you can imagine there are many challenges related to virtual learning that unfortunately are out of our control (i.e. internet connectivity).

As such, we seek your continued feedback on what you believe is going well, and the ways in which we can improve our effort to optimize virtual learning for all students.  Please take a few minutes to provide your valuable feedback by completing the SCIS-Pudong Lower School Week #3 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey. Please note the survey will close on Monday, February 24th at 3:00pm.

February 28th Announcement: Please note that next Friday, February 28th will continue as an instructional day (it was previously scheduled as a teacher professional development day). February 28th will be a Day 3.  The reason for it being a Day 3 is to make up for the Day 3 that was missed on Monday, February 3rd.  

Resources for Academic and Emotional Well-being:

During this times of uncertainty, such as that which we are currently experiencing it is very common to experience a range of strong emotions including feelings of ambiguity, fear, frustration, and anxiety.  As a way to support students and parents the SCIS Counseling Department has put together a Virtual Learning Survival Guide in effort to provide some connection, communication, and resources that will support you and your child during this time.

This extremely useful guide provides resources on the following for parents and students:

  • Anxiety and Fear
  • Organization, Time Management, and Self-Regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Motivation
  • Transitions and Changes
  • Resilience

In addition to the above, there are also IT Virtual Learning Resources for Parents that include information on:

  • Seesaw
  • Reading Resources
  • Login information to sites such as:  Brainpop and Flipgrid

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.

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.

Seesaw Videos and Live Learning Session Etiquette:

While we understand that the vast majority of our students are either in the comfort of their own home or in an environment that allows them an opportunity to be dressed very casually, please remember that when children post a video to Seesaw as a response to an assignment they should be appropriately clothed. This includes the covering of shoulders, midriffs (stomachs), and the wearing of shorts or skirts that are a suitable length.  Additionally, students and parents should be mindful of the environment in which they are posting to ensure that other individuals who may be unaware that a video is being recorded are not mistakenly seen or heard in the background.

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.

Reenrollment has begun for the 2019-2020 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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #22

Dear Families,

As we conclude the second week of virtual learning, I’d once again like to express my sincere thanks to all members of our Lower School learning community for another fantastic week filled with risk-taking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaborating.  I continue to be amazed by the tremendous creativity demonstrated by both teachers and students surrounding the creation and completion of learning assignments.  As I scroll through the Virtual Class Blogs each day, I can’t help but be inspired and motivated by the extraordinary learning that is taking place across grade levels and subject areas.

I’m also beyond grateful to the Lower School parents and caregivers that have unfailingly dedicated time, resources, and space to ensure your child(ren) are able to continue their learning despite the inevitable challenges we have faced in the move to an online learning platform.   Your support, patience, and understanding over the course of the past two weeks is truly appreciated.

Week #2 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback:

As mentioned above, we greatly appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period.   Please know that our goal for your child(ren) moving forward is to not only to provide a continuity of rigorous and engaging learning, but more importantly, we aim to create a safe and collaborative virtual learning space where students can maintain ongoing and positive daily interactions with their teachers and peers while being inspired and motivated to continue their learning journey over the course of upcoming weeks.

As such, we seek your continued feedback on what you believe is going well, and the ways in which we can improve our effort to optimize virtual learning for all students.  Please take a few minutes to provide your valuable feedback by completing the SCIS-Pudong Lower School Week #2 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback SurveyPlease note the survey will close on Monday, February 17th at 3:00pm.

Resources for Academic and Emotional Well-being

During times of uncertainty, such as that which we are currently experiencing, it is very common to experience a range of strong emotions including feelings of ambiguity, fear, frustration, and anxiety.  As a way to support students and parents the SCIS Counseling Department has put together a Virtual Learning Survival Guide in effort to provide connection, communication, and resources that will support you and your child(ren) during this time.

This extremely useful guide provides resources on the following for parents and students:

  • Anxiety and Fear
  • Organization, Time Management, and Self-Regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Motivation
  • Transitions and Changes
  • Resilience

In addition to the above, there are also IT Virtual Learning Resources for Parents that include information on:

  • Seesaw
  • Reading Resources
  • Login information to sites such as:  Brainpop and Flipgrid

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.

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 being used.  We appreciate your support and want you to know we are here to help you make virtual learning a success in any way we can.

Seesaw Video Images:

While we understand that the vast majority of our students are either in the comfort of their own home or in an environment that allows them an opportunity to be dressed very casually, please remember that when children post a video to Seesaw as a response to an assignment they should be appropriately clothed. This includes the covering of shoulders, midriffs (stomachs), and the wearing of shorts or skirts that are a suitable length.  Additionally, students and parents should be mindful of the environment in which they are posting to ensure that other individuals who may be unaware that a video is being recorded are not mistakenly seen or heard in the background.

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.

Re-enrollment 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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #21

Dear Families,

As our first week of virtual learning comes to an end, I’d like to begin this post by saying thank you to all members of our learning community. 

Thank you to all students for demonstrating your ability to be risk-takers, problem-solvers and virtual communicators.  I have truly been amazed by the ways in which you have engaged with online learning.  I am so proud of each and every one of you for showing your independence, enthusiasm, and imagination as you work hard to complete your learning assignments each day.  Keep up the great work!

Thank you to all parents for your tremendous support as we navigate the complexities of our Virtual Learning program.  Your willingness to embrace this new educational medium, provide ongoing support to your child(ren), and collaborate with teachers is sincerely appreciated and vital to the ongoing success of virtual learning within the Lower School.  Additionally, we recognize that implementing a consistent daily routine and providing an environment that meets the needs of your child(ren) and allows them to fully participate in the virtual learning program is not easy.  Please know we are here and eager to support you however we can.   Thank you for your open-mindedness and patience.  You are appreciated!

Thank you to all teachers for your incredible dedication to ensuring the success of the virtual learning program.  I am humbled and honored to be working with such a phenomenal group of educators whose creativity, commitment, collaborative approach to online teaching and learning, and willingness to wholeheartedly embrace change has been exceptional.  I am in awe of the variety of ways in which Lower School teachers have engaged students virtually through the design of interactive and meaningful learning experiences.  In addition, it has been remarkable to see how teachers have maintained personal connections and continued to develop a virtual classroom community.  It is an absolute privilege working with and learning from a truly extraordinary Lower School Faculty.  You are amazing!

Seeking Parent Feedback:

We greatly appreciate the support of families during this virtual learning period.   Please know that our goal for your child(ren) moving forward is to not only to provide a continuity of rigorous and engaging learning, but more importantly, we aim to create a safe and collaborative virtual learning space where students can maintain ongoing and positive daily interactions with their teachers and peers while being inspired and motivated to continue their learning journey over the course of upcoming weeks.

As such, we would appreciate your feedback on what you believe is going well, and the ways in which we can improve our effort to optimize virtual learning for all students.  Please take a few minutes to provide your valuable feedback by completing the Lower School Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey Thank you for your 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.

Virtual Learning with Seesaw

At this point, all students / families should be connected to the Seesaw Class App.   If you haven’t had an opportunity to download the class app please go directly to the Seesaw site or use the web-based version:

Once you download the Class App, you will then be able to scan the QR code for your child’s Homeroom Class in order to ensure they have access to and are participating in the Virtual Learning program.  If you experience any issues or complications with Seesaw and/or other technology platforms students / families are beings asked to use, please immediately reach out to your child’s Homeroom Teacher or our SCIS-Pudong IT Department at pd-technology@scis-china.org

Seesaw Video Images:

While we understand that the vast majority of our students are either in the comfort of their own home or in an environment that allows them an opportunity to be dressed very casually, please remember that when children post a video to Seesaw as a response to an assignment they should be appropriately clothed. This includes the covering of shoulders, midriffs (stomachs), and the wearing of shorts or skirts that are a suitable length.  Additionally, students and parents should be mindful of the environment in which they are posting to ensure that other individuals who may be unaware that a video is being recorded are not mistakenly seen or heard in the background.

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.

Re-enrollment has begun for the 2020 – 2021 School Year

In January, 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.

Lower School Principal’s Post #20

Dear Families,

It’s been a wonderful week of celebration and learning at SCIS-Pudong! 

Ms. Sun led a session on Positive Discipline during Monday’s TTT for Mandarin speakers.

On Monday afternoon all Lower School Teachers participated in two TTT (Teaching Teachers Teaching) sessions on various topics led by Ms. Adika, Ms. Hunt, Ms. Mount, Mrs. Ruf, Dr. Myers, Mr. Sylvester and Ms. Gale.  Teachers were able to learn from colleagues surrounding topics such as inclusion, citizen science and the (new) scientific method, positive discipline, consequences, interactive read-alouds, effective meeting structures, and the SCARF model.  Through TTTs teachers are able to share expertise and facilitate discussions on important topics related to their professional work. In addition, research shows that providing structures for ongoing collaboration and professional dialogue is directly correlated to enhancing and increasing student learning and achievement.  

Grade 4 students worked in groups to create light exhibits through which they explored and explained the different properties of light.

On Thursday afternoon students in Grade 4R revealed a fabulous Light Sound exhibit that showcased student learning as a result of their current unit of inquiry on Light and Sound.  During this unit students explored the properties of light and sound and how these properties can be used and manipulated to create different effects.  During the exhibit, students share the properties of light they used to create their display and discussed the ways that light can be used for dramatic effect.

Several Mandarin Assistant Teachers performed at the CNY Assembly.

The final celebration of the week was the Chinese New Year Assembly and Lower School Chinese Temple Fair that took place on Thursday afternoon from 1:00-3:00pm.  Both events were a huge success as students participated in a variety of traditional Chinese cultural activities.  I would like to take this opportunity to say, congratulations and thank you to our Mandarin Department and specifically to Ms. Olive Sun, Ms. Yang Liu and Ms. Gina Zhang for their excellent work surrounding the planning, preparation and organization of the Temple Fair and Chinese New Year Assembly.  An incredible amount of effort went into making this event a success and it certainly served as a marvelous tribute to our host country, China.  Also, a huge thank-you to all parent volunteers and teachers who assisted with running the Temple Fair stations.  What a memorable and fun event for the entire SCIS community!

Students of all ages enjoying the Lower School Temple Fair activities with family members and friends.

Please note the Chinese New Year holiday will begin on January 24th and end on February 2nd.   School will resume on February 3rd.

I wish all families a fantastic Chinese New Year Holiday and happiness and success in the Year of the Rat!

Gōngxǐ fācái!

Xīnnián kuàilè!

Reenrollment has begun for the 2019-2020 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.

Flu Season

4B enjoying snack and sharing stories after recess.

With the ongoing cold weather, also comes the potential of student illness.  To help stop the spread and lessen the duration of student illnesses at school please be sure your child receives plenty of rest, is eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water.  Sending your child to school if they are ill can be very frustrating to families, as well as teachers as we do our best to keep children, parents and teachers healthy.  Please remember one of the BEST ways to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.  Please review our parent handbook, page 17, for more information on Student Illness Policies.

As a reminder, children should not attend school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100F/37.2c)
  • Diarrhea or more than 2 loose bowel movements within 12 hours
  • Vomiting
  • Discharge from eyes or ears
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Persistent cough
  • Unidentified rash
Valentina in 2S enjoying reading.

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

Lower School Principal’s Post #19

Dear Families,

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

Teachers reflecting on what it means to collaborate and belong.

This week during our Lower School professional development meeting, teachers spent time reflecting on challenges and learnings from 2019, while participating in a goal-setting exercise where they selected “one word” they will focus on as a means to inspire and transform their life and/or work in 2020.  As educational philosopher John Dewey states, “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”  As educators, it is important that we take the time to share our challenges, work together to brainstorm solutions, and provide support to one another to ensure we continue to foster a nurturing and collaborative environment for teachers and students. 

Students in 2S collaborating on a reading project and uploading their work to Seesaw.

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.

Students in 2M work with Mrs. Lawrence.

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.  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 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 _________.

After School Activity Session #2

Julie and Liv showcase some of their Hula-Hoop skills at Thursday’s Assembly.

Please note, that next Monday, January 20th, 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.   While we want to encourage students to take risks and try a variety of After School Activities, we also want to help them understand the importance of following through with their commitment as a member of the ASAs they sign up for. 

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Students in Ms. Adika’s class learn how to write numbers 1-5 using Chinese characters.

Over the course of the next few weeks Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, similar to last year, 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.  The temple fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Yang Liu at yliu@scis-china.org or scan the below QR code to join the volunteer WeChat Group.

It’s COLD Outside

Grade 2 students get ready to play outside for morning recess.

While students across grade levels continue to enjoy outdoor recess and exploration, please remind your child(ren) to dress appropriately for the cold weather by sending them to school with warm coats, hats, mittens or gloves.  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. 

Flu Season

With the ongoing cold weather, also comes the potential of student illness.  To help stop the spread and lessen the duration of student illnesses at school please be sure your child receives plenty of rest, is eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water.  Sending your child to school if they are ill can be very frustrating to families, as well as teachers as we do our best to keep children, parents and teachers healthy.  Please remember one of the BEST ways to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.  Please review the health and safety section of the parent-student handbook for more information on Student Illness Policies.

As a reminder, children should not attend school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100F/37.2c)
  • Diarrhea or more than 2 loose bowel movements within 12 hours
  • Vomiting
  • Discharge from eyes or ears
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Persistent cough
  • Unidentified rash

Professional Development with Jennifer Abrams

Jennifer Abrams working with Grade 3-5 teachers and specialists on Friday morning.

This weekend 20 educators from around the Shanghai will be attending a workshop at SCIS-Pudong with international educational and communications consultant Jennifer Abrams.  Jennifer trains and coaches teachers and administrators on a variety of topics including being generationally savvy, having hard conversations and collaboration skills.  Jennifer has been recognized as one of “21 Women All K-12 Educators Need to Know” by Education Week’s ‘Finding Common Ground’ blog, and the International Academy of Educational Entrepreneurship. Jennifer considers herself a “voice coach,” helping others learn how to best use their voices – be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague, and supervising an employee. For more information on Jennifer visit www.jenniferabrams.com

All Lower School faculty had an opportunity to work with Jennifer in the afternoon on the importance of Building Community.

On Friday, the entire SCIS-Pudong Lower School Faculty including Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers had an opportunity to work with Jennifer Abrams to deepen our collective understanding of how to effectively engage in having “hard conversations” and develop our capacity to function as a progressive and collaborative professional learning community.   According to Michael Fullan, “Improving schools requires collaborative cultures . . . Without collaborative skills and relationships, it is not possible to learn and to continue to learn as much as you need to know to improve.”  Additionally, creating a collaborative cultures is the single most important factor for successful school improvement initiatives (Eastwood & Lewis).  As we move forward with the IB and WASC Self-Study Process it will be essential to ensure that all members of our community are provided with opportunities to have a voice as we continue our quest for continuous improvement and educational excellence.  

Parent Coffee Morning on the new SCIS Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

Fantastic ideas were generated and discussed surrounding the school’s strengths and areas for growth related to each of the new Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.

Tuesday morning’s parent coffee morning focused on the new SCIS Schoolwide Learner Outcomes (SLOs) was a tremendous success with over 30 parents in attendance representing ECE, Lower School, and Upper School.  During the meeting, parents were provided with an opportunity to learn more about the IB and WASC self-study process and the importance of developing a communal understanding of our Schoolwide Learner Outcomes and the role they play in students daily lives.   Parents worked in groups to unpack the SLOs by discussing what each SLO looks like, sounds like, and feels like in a school setting.  Afterwards, parents had an opportunity to provide feedback on the ways in which the school is currently development students who demonstrate the SLOs, as well as the ways in which we could improve.  It was a collaborative and inspiring meeting and we look forward to ongoing opportunities to involve parents both in the self-study process and the development of our Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.

Congratulations to 4R

4R introduces their assembly focused on Facing Challenges Together.

A BIG SHOUT OUT to all students in 4R for their informative and entertaining assembly performance focused on the importance of teamwork and the skills needed to work effectively as a collaborative group.  During the assembly students participated in a variety of group challenges and then sought feedback from the audience on what went well and the ways in which they could have improved.  Great Job 4R!

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

Lower School Principal’s Post #18

Dear Families,

Henry and Sofia in 2M work together to solve a math problem.

Happy New Year and welcome to second half of the 2019-2020 school year!  This semester we are welcoming 14 new students and their families to the Lower School.   These new families, representing eight different nationalities are joining SCIS-Pudong from other schools in Shanghai, as well as from various locations around the world.  Having a truly diverse and multi-cultural 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 intelligenceor the ability to relate and work effectively across cultures is essential as we prepare children to be successful in the 21st century.

Students in KM participate in a class meeting to start their day.

I’d like to thank all SCIS families that have recommended SCIS-Pudong to friends, acquaintances and colleagues.  Your 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 is at the core of what makes SCIS a great school.  

With that said, re-enrollment for the 2020 – 2021 school year is right around the corner and seats are likely to fill up quickly.  We have multiple grade levels that are currently at capacity.  As such, please be on the lookout for an email from the SCIS-Admissions Department in the upcoming days regarding steps to re-enroll your child(ren) for the 2020-2021 school year.

School Uniform Reminder

As the weather becomes colder and students come to school dressed in layers, please remember that it is still important that your child wears their school uniform. As a reminder Nursery through Grade 5 students may wear navy blue trousers, shorts, or skirts and the SCIS light blue polo shirts (short or long sleeved). During cooler weather students may wear sweaters, jackets or hoodies of school colors and winter coats. Thank you for your attention to this.

Seeking Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Input

We continue to seek Lower School Parent input surrounding ideal days / times to host our next series of Positive Discipline parenting workshops.  Positive Discipline parenting workshops usually consist of four 3-hour sessions for a total of 12-hours. There is a possibility we will be able to provide bilingual translation, so the workshop could be in English and Chinese if there is enough parent interest.  Please help us determine the ideal days and times by completing this short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

正面管教课程征询

我们正在为下一期的正面管教课程做准备的同征求一些意见或建议。通常正面管教课程是4节课每节课3小时总课时为12小时。如果有更多的家长参与进来的话我们将提供双语课程即中英文课程。请完成这个简单的正面管教调查表(short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey. )来帮助我们规划课程的日期及时间。非常感谢您的支持。

Lower School Assembly

The next Lower School Assembly featuring 4R will be on Thursday, January16th starting at 8:15am in the Theater.  All parents are welcome to attend Lower School assemblies.  We will also be welcoming the new K-5 students and recognizing them for being risk-takers as they have courageously made the transition to a new school and community.

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Nursery students work together to decorate the hallway doors for Chinese New Year

Over the course of the next few weeks Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, similar to last year, 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.  The temple fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Yang Liu at yliu@scis-china.org or scan the below QR code to join the volunteer WeChat Group.

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

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

School Class Photos:

Please note that Class Photos, individual student re-takes, and new student photos will take place on Tuesday, March 3rd.  Students will need to wear their SCIS blue collared shirt for their class photo.   PE uniforms can be brought to school that day. 

Lower School Principal’s Post #17

Dear Families,

SCIS faculty gather together on the field to say farewell to students on the last day of the semester!

What a wonderful semester this has been!  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all Lower School faculty for their ongoing commitment to providing meaningful, engaging and fun learning experiences for students each and every day.   The continued development and 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 conflict in appropriate ways across the Lower School. 

Lower School students enjoy listening to the Upper School musicians play holiday music on Thursday during dismissal.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all SCIS parents for your support, interest and encouragement as we continue to enhance our curricular program by ensuring we are dedicated to implementing best teaching and learning practices across all grade levels and subject areas.  I look forward to seeing many parents at upcoming Coffee Mornings, student Learning Celebrations and school events throughout Semester Two.   Please see below for more information on Parent Coffee Morning topics and dates.

I’d like to wish all SCIS families a wonderful, relaxing and well-deserved Winter Break.  School will resume on Monday, January 6th

All departing Lower School students received an SCIS Blue Dragon, as well as a Learner Profile Recognition for being a risk-taker.

Saying Good-Bye:

There comes a time at 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 welcome back to SCIS! Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Semester 1 Student Reports

Semester 1 student reports will be distributed via a link sent to parents’ SCIS parent email account on today.  If you have any questions, concerns or wonderings surrounding the comments or achievement indicators your child received for the first semester please feel free to contact your child’s Homeroom Teacher after the Winter Break.  

All Lower School faculty got together on Monday after school to celebrate the end of the semester and review Semester 1 reports.

Semester 2 Parent Coffee Morning Topics:  COME AND LEARN WITH US!

Please mark your calendar for the following Parent Coffee Mornings where members of our Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team will provide insight into various aspects of the curriculum including how and why of teaching and learning at SCIS-Pudong!

SCIS Lower School Mathematics Dragon Tales

Thank you to Mr. Kelly for putting together the new Dragon Tales newsletter that is focused on capturing mathematics teaching and learning throughout the Lower School.  Within this newsletter parents will develop a deeper understanding of how students are learning mathematical practices and concepts through hands-on real-world experiences.  You will find a link to the newsletter on the right side of this blog under the tab focused on Teaching and Learning Mathematics at home.

Seeking Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Input

We are seeking Lower School Parent input surrounding ideal days / times to host our next series of Positive Discipline parenting workshops.  Positive Discipline parenting workshops usually consist of four 3-hour sessions for a total of 12-hours. There is a possibility we will be able to provide bilingual translation, so the workshop could be in English and Chinese if there is enough parent interest.  Please help us determine the ideal days and times by completing this short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

正面管教课程征询

我们正在为下一期的正面管教课程做准备的同征求一些意见或建议。通常正面管教课程是4节课每节课3小时总课时为12小时。如果有更多的家长参与进来的话我们将提供双语课程即中英文课程。请完成这个简单的正面管教调查表(short Positive Discipline Parent interest survey. )来帮助我们规划课程的日期及时间。非常感谢您的支持。

Scholastic Book Orders

Please note that the November 2019 Scholastic Book orders will be delivered after the Winter Holiday.  The previous closing date was November 26th and it typically takes 4-6 weeks for the orders to be delivered.  If you participated in the previous round of scholastic book orders, please note that books will likely arrive between January 6th and the Chinese New Year Holiday.  Thank you for your patience.