2020-2021 Principal’s Blog #19

Learning Walk Highlights Progress Towards Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

Schoolwide Learner Outcomes(SLOs) represent the goals we have at SCIS for our students. At SCIS, we seek to design learning experiences and inspire student passions in an effort to help them develop into Innovative Thinkers, Knowledgeable Inquirers, Self-Directed Learners, and Positive Contributors. We develop these outcomes through our curricular and extra-curricular programs. In an effort to promote the development of the SLOs, groups of teachers, staff and administrators use Learning Walks to collect evidence and monitor progress. Learning Walks are protocol-based classroom observations that involve a group of teachers/staff (5-8) observing multiple classrooms with a common observation tool. Observers are not watching teachers as they walk through classrooms, instead, the focus is on student learning and collecting evidence from the classroom observation that is related to progress towards meeting the SLOs.

Today, teachers, staff and administrators visited classrooms in Early Childhood, Middle School, and High School. A broad mix of teachers, staff, and administrators observed classrooms, spoke with students, and spent time debriefing what they observed. We plan to make these Learning Walks a regular part of our practice as we continue to work to support all of our students in their growth towards achieving these outcomes. Special thanks to Head of School for the Pudong Campus, Liz Gale for organizing our Learning Walks!

English Language Acquisition Students Put Their Skills to Work in the Lower School

This week, high school language acquisition students worked with grade 4 students to apply their newly learned language skills. The students are currently studying a unit called Art of the Game where they are learning how to use conditional language. The game they played with the grade 4 students allowed them to practice these grammar points in real life situations as they taught the grade 4 students how to play. Apparently, the grade 4 students were having such a good time, they even gave up their recess to continue playing. It was an excellent opportunity for the students to practice with an authentic audience. Hats off to Ms. Roberts for organizing a great learning experience for all!

Re-Enrollment for the 2021-22 School Year:

Re-Enrollment for next school year will begin on Monday, January 18th. On this day, you should expect to receive an email sent from the Admissions Office that includes a link to our Online Re-Enrollment Website and instructions on how to complete this process. The Re-Enrollment Survey should take no more than 5-minutes to complete and is a requirement for all current SCIS families. Re-enrollment will extend through March 12th, during which time current SCIS families will receive priority to secure their enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. After this re-enrollment period ends, and where space is available, we will begin offering enrollment to students within our new applicant and wait pools. With many grade levels already at or near capacity, we expect space to be limited following this re-enrollment period. Should you require any support during this re-enrollment period, please contact the Admissions Office (admissions@scis-china.org).

Would you like to enroll a non-SCIS sibling?

If you are interested in enrolling a non-SCIS sibling, please contact the Admissions Office as soon as possible so that a space can be reserved accordingly. Siblings of current SCIS students will receive priority status for enrollment, pending space availability.

Would you like to refer or recommend a friend?

As a community-oriented school, SCIS values the referrals and recommendations provided by our current community. If you’d like to refer or recommend a friend for admission to SCIS, please feel free to contact our Admissions Office. Referrals will be handled separately from our standard new applicant pool.

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #18

Welcome Back!

It was wonderful to welcome students back to school this past Monday as everyone returned from break. Overwhelmingly students and staff expressed excitement about school being back in session. Students were excited to reconnect with friends and restart afterschool activities with teachers. Students also hit the ground running as they prepared for next week’s exams. For students in the MYP, the exam period is a time when final unit summative assessments are finished and when teachers provide more formal testing conditions for students in the upper grades. They are able to practice the skills they will need to perform well in the IB Diploma Program. Students in the DP will have the opportunity to practice under external exam conditions in preparation for DP exams. Please be sure to review the exam schedule below and discuss with your children how they are preparing for exams.

Upper School Exams (Jan. 11-14)

As always, the best preparation for exams comes with consistent daily study and assignment completion time outside of school hours. However, students are not encouraged to stay up late before exams cramming. Research has shown that last-minute cramming is not effective in increasing student test scores and the lack of sleep that comes from late hours studying also has been shown to decrease the student performance on assessments. The research suggests that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule that is not interrupted for cramming helps students perform best on tests. A well-organized study preparation schedule in the evenings and over the weekend that includes 8 hours of sleep is the best preparation. We thank you parents for your support in helping students best prepare and perform on these semester exams and final summative assessments.

Want to Learn More About Supporting Your Child’s English Language Development?

We invite you to participate in the following ON CAMPUS parent workshop. Please use this LINK to register or click the flyer below:

Middle School Student Council Retreat Update from Ms. Roberts

Each semester the middle school student council meets for a mini-retreat to kickstart the semester. This semester StuCo focused on team building activities.  First, they participated in an activity called sneak peak in which one student had to verbally describe a hidden structure made of blocks while his/her teammates listened and created the same structure. Second, they spent time sharing personal stories to more fully understand each other and practice intentional listening. Finally, after a pizza dinner, students learned a strategy board game called Settlers of Catan, and within the parameters of the game, they had to work with their teammates to build the most cities. At the end, students reflected on their strengths and weaknesses throughout the retreat, and how they could apply this understanding to the next semester of working together as the middle school student council.

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #17

Update from Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools/ Head of SCIS-Pudong

Dear SCIS-Pudong Families,

As we head into a very well-deserved holiday, one that will be different for many families considering the continued travel restrictions and ongoing impact that COVID-19 is having on our lives, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all members of the SCIS-Pudong community for what has been an incredible start to a challenging school year.  Despite the difficulties faced, I am extremely proud of our phenomenal team of faculty and staff that have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to delivering upon the SCIS mission by continuing to engage, challenge, and inspire all students through meaningful learning experiences each and every day.  While 2020 has undoubtedly been a tremendous learning journey, I look forward to working with students, parents, and teachers to ensure the continued growth and development of our remarkable school and community.  I sincerely wish all SCIS families a wonderful, and relaxing winter break filled with joy, laughter and love.  May 2021 bring us all new happiness, new goals, new achievements, new inspirations, and a new appreciation for the resilience and the strength demonstrated by our amazing SCIS-Pudong community.

In addition to the above, I’d like to provide the following updates and announcements, as well as remind you of the SCIS travel guidelines should your family make the choice to leave Shanghai at any point during the next two weeks. 

Upper School Principal Announcement:

Following an extensive Upper School Principal search process, I am pleased to announce that Ms. Naomi Shanks has been appointed as the new Upper School Principal to commence in July 2021 upon the departure of Dr. Frank Volpe.  Ms. Shanks brings a wealth of institutional knowledge, IB PYP, MYP and DP experience, as well as a comprehensive understanding of inclusive educational practices.  Additionally, Ms. Shanks’ notable understanding of SCIS-Pudong, the school culture, and our host country China will undoubtedly contribute to the stability and continuity of our robust programs and help to ensure the implementation of structures, processes, and practices that continue to meet the needs of students, parents, and faculty.  

I look forward to working with Dr. Volpe and Ms. Shanks to ensure a successful transition for all stakeholders in the coming months.  Congratulations Ms. Shanks!

Thank you PAFA:

Thank you to Ms. Sammy Yi, our SCIS-Pudong PAFA President, members of the PAFA Executive Committee, and Grade Level Representatives for your ongoing commitment to supporting SCIS-Pudong and creating opportunities to bring families and community members together outside of school.  We are extremely appreciative of the time and effort you have dedicated to developing creative solutions to building community especially given the ongoing restrictions surrounding campus access and the hosting of large-scale events.  Thank you for volunteering your time and skills to ensure the continuation of the strong community spirit that defines SCIS-Pudong!

Departing Families:

There comes a time near 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 welcomed back to SCIS! Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Winter Break Travel Reminder

  • Pre-Departure Requirements: SCIS will continue to uphold the mandate to collect information, prior to departure, for all students who will travel outside of Shanghai:
  • Requirements Upon Re-entry to Shanghai:
    • All students and employees returning from any location outside of Shanghai:
      • Starting on their first day back in Shanghai, any student or employee returning from travel must monitor and submit their health information via the link below for 14 continuous days. Students will need to do this in addition to the paper Student Health card required for campus entrance on all school days. 
    • PD Campus Traveler Health Declaration Form Link
      Students and employees returning from Medium- and High-risk areas:Students and employees will need to complete a 14-day off-campus quarantine and/or provide negative Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) results
  • Return to Campus Requirements:
    • All community members, regardless of travel history, must continue to meet the following requirements to enter the campus (or school busses) each day. 
      • Have a temperature of 37.2 Celsius or below
      • Possess a Green QR Code
      • Be symptom-free (fever, cough, etc.)
      • Students must provide a completed paper Student Health Card.
    • SCIS retains the option of requiring, from any individual returning to campus, an additional travel verification process.
  • Identified Medium- and High-Risk Areas:
    • Given the constantly changing nature of this situation, it is important to note that an individual who has traveled to an area that shifts from low- to Medium- or high-risk will be required to adhere to the heightened protocols (14-days off-campus quarantine, testing, etc.) associated with the higher risk level. In order to remain aware of government identified risk levels, we suggest that you monitor the official government site here.

As always, we appreciate your time, attention, and support for all we do in our efforts to secure a healthy and safe environment for all our community members. Please remain vigilant in your efforts to help maintain the incredible stability we have enjoyed that continues to provide us with the opportunity to welcome your children on campus each day.

SCIS Arts Night

Wednesday evening was a true celebration of the Arts at SCIS. Two hours of non-stop programing across Film, Design, Music, and Visual Arts electrified the air on Wednesday night. We had tremendous support from the student body and teaching staff with over 90% participation and attendance. The hard work and talent of SCIS students was truly on dislpay. Hopefully families were able to join live via the links published in last week’s blog. For those that missed it, the recordings will be posted at the same links (last week’s post) in the coming days.

Upper School Play Video now Available Enjoy!

Pre-Winter Break Activities Friday Afternoon

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #16

SCIS Celebrates Design and the Arts

We have a tradition as SCIS of celebrating the Arts in the weeks leading up to winter break. SCIS has a proud history of nurturing student interest and talent in the arts. We also capitalize on these shared experiences to build the bonds of our community. While we are sad to not be able to have our parents and families join us on campus, thanks to Mr. Johnson, we have been thrilled to be able to offer live streaming of events to make sure families can still be part of these shared experiences and community celebrations. The performances started at the end of November with the first of 3 grade 7 and 8 arts rotation performances, kicked into high gear with the performance of this year’s play, Bungee Jump Bear Trap, and will culminate in our Winter Arts Night on Wednesday, December 16th. Special thank you to Mr. Whitside, Ms. Riddle, Mr. Demas, and Mr. Willauer for all of their efforts nurturing our students’ passions and developing their skills.

Bungee Jump Bear Trap

This year’s Upper School drama performance focused on a theme very relevant to our students. The play explores the intersection between parental instincts to protect children and the teenage instinct to take risks, push boundaries, and escape the protective parental bubble. Working diligently since September, their hard work and dedication was on full display over the past week as they performed the play for the Lower School, an after-school audience of students and teachers, and to the whole Upper School on Friday afternoon. We are extremely proud of the efforts of the cast and crew. Again, we’d also like to extend a special thank you to our drama faculty sponsors, Ms. Whiteside, Ms. Williams and Ms. Riddle. Well done!

Winter Arts Night (Wednesday, Dec. 18)

NWEA MAP

This week, the Upper and Lower School administration cohosted a parent workshop on understanding the NWEA MAP assessment. The MAP Test as we refer to it, is a computer adaptive test that measures student performance against out grade-level standards and compares students against similar-aged peers. The NWEA MAP Progress reports are available for download in ManageBac and can be found in the reports section along with the mid-semester progress reports. It is important to remember when evaluating student performance on the MAP Test that it is only one of many measures we use to evaluate student progress. The most important lens to view the MAP assessment through is one of growth over time. If you have any questions about the MAP, please view the parent workshop linked below or download the PDF of the PowerPoint. If you have further questions, please feel free to email your child’s advisor or Dr. Volpe (fvolpe@scis-china.org).

Parent Presentation (Click the picture below to access a PDF of the presentation)

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #15

Upper School Principal Transition Message

Dear SCIS Community,
It is with mixed emotions that I make this announcement to the school community. After 5 wonderful years in Shanghai, my family and I will be leaving China in June of 2021. Being part of the SCIS community has been a transformational expereince for me and my family. We have benefited greatly from the caring support, deep freindships, and professional growth being part of SCIS has offered. We would like to thank the students, parents, teachers, staff, and administration for making SCIS such a special place for our family over these past five years.

Like many of you living the expatriate lifestyle, we understand the temporary nature of our time here and plan to take full advantage of the many months we have left to cotninue to enjoye being part of this amazing community. We will be relocated to Quito, Ecuador next year where we will be joining the American School in Quito community where I will take on the role of Director General. We hope our paths will continue to cross in the futur. I know I speak for my wife Emily Williams and my daughters Cadence and Aria, when I say that we will carry the spirit of SCIS with us whereever we go. Once a Dragon, Always a Dragon!

Thank you!
Frank Volpe, Emily Williams, Aria and Cadence

Upper School Principal Recruitment Message from Head of School Liz Gale

Dear SCIS-Pudong Upper School Families, 

While it brings us great sadness to have to say good-bye to the Volpe family at the conclusion of this academic year, we are thrilled for Dr. Volpe as he assumes the role of Director General at the American School of Quito.  Dr. Volpe’s knowledge of research-based best practice, passion for inclusive education, and commitment to ensuring the implementation of an Upper School program focused on rigor, resilience, and relationships has had a tremendous and lasting impact on the development of the Upper School at SCIS-Pudong.  

With that said, we have already begun the search process to find Dr. Volpe’s replacement.  Over the course of the past few weeks, we have received numerous applications from many highly qualified candidates who possess the knowledge, passion, and skills necessary to carry the Upper School program forward on a path of continuous improvement.  Through an extensive interview process our goal is to narrow down our candidate pool to 3 or 4 potential candidates early next week.  Once the finalists are confirmed, we will seek additional input from a small group of students, parents, as well as the Upper School faculty on each candidate’s background, experience, and ability lead the Upper School in delivering upon the SCIS mission, schoolwide learner outcomes, and academic programs.  Based upon the community feedback provided from various stakeholder groups, as well as individual and collective interviews with the Upper School Principal Search Committee, and the SCIS Administration, our hope is to announce the next SCIS-Pudong Upper School Principal prior to the Winter Holiday. 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have surrounding the above information and/or process. 

Warmest Regards, 

Liz Gale
Deputy Director of Schools
Head of School Pudong Campus

Upper School Play Debuted this Week

The cast and crew of Bungee Jump Bear trap had thier debuted performanec this week in front of a receptive Lower School audience. The student-run crew and on-stage cast demonstrated their hard work and preparation with an excellent performance on Thursday morning. Lower School students were mesmerized by the impressive lights, sounds, and performances of the cast. The play with a running time of approximately 40 minutes explores the teenage experience, with particular emphasis on the tension between parents and teenagers as they seek experiences beyond the protection of their parents. Students and faculty sponsors have been hard at work preparing for performances since September. Students across the Upper School in grades 6-12 are represented in the cast and crew. Special thanks to our faculty sponsors Ms. Riddle, Ms. Whiteside, and Ms. Williams for their time, effort, and energy in making this year’s play a reality! We invite families to join us live, by following the live stream link to enjoy the performances. Break a leg Dragons!

NWEA MAP Parent Workshop

SCIS uses the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress to provide feedback to teacher, students, and families regarding student progress toward meeting grade level expectations.  The MAP assessment is aligned with SCIS’s adopted math and language arts standards.  This assessment is particularly important for Upper School students because performance on the NWEA MAP assessment correlates with college entrances exams like the SAT and the ACT which are used in the United States to evaluate university admissions.  To learn more about how to interpret the results of the assessment, we recommend that you attend the NWEA MAP presentation on December 9th at 2pm with Dr. Volpe on MS Teams. Please follow this LINK or scan the QR code on the poster below.

Social-Emotional Learning at SCIS: Dragon Lunch Program

Since our return to school last April, SCIS has prioritized supporting students’ social-emotional wellbeing. We recognize that one of the most important ways we cope with stress and develop resilience is through the development of theses skills. Since April, we have used followed the Psychological First Aid for school’s approach to supporting students who have experiences trauma (which we all give experience with the pandemic). Through our advisory have have emphazised these skills in the context of promoting connectedness withour our community. While social-emotional wellbing is the primary aim of these efforts, there is extensive reserach that demonstrates the positive acamic impact of these efforts. Additional research on the positive impact of social emotional learning at schools can be found HERE.

More recently, we have extended this focus on wellbieng to includde other aspects of the student experince at SCIS. Lunchtime is consistently rated as one of the most stressfull times for students because many find the unstructured time when students self-select who they will interact with difficult to navigate. Ms. Caban, our Learning Suppor Coordinator, and Ms. Kelly, our Upper School counselor have collaborated with studendents to find a creative supportive solution. This is where Dragon Lunch was born. The program every Wednesday seeks to deepen the connectedness of our students beyond preformed social groups by bringing students together to play games during lunch. The loose structure of the games make navigating social situations more predictable and less awkward while provide meaning for opportnunities for students to connect, devleop relationships, and have shared experiences. A big thank you to Ms. Caban, Ms. Kelly, and all of the students making this a reality. Bon appetit Dragons!

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #14

Congratulations to the Grade 7/8 Art Students and Teachers on Last Week’s Performance

Our school community was treated to a compelling Arts Rotation performance this past Friday. Traditional Japanese folk tales were adapted and brought to life on stage. The depth of student preparation was on display across the three facets of the performance: drama, visual arts, and music. Students authored their own scripts, composed their own music, and created their own artwork for each scene. I would like to congratulate students on an amazing performance! Thank you to the visionary and innovative work of our Arts Team, Ms. Whiteside, Mr. Demas, and Ms. Riddle. We are already looking forward to the next grade 7/8 production next semester.

Substance Abuse Prevention Workshops

This week, the Upper School welcomed two prevention specialists from FCD Prevention Works, a non-profit organization specializing in substance abuse education. FCD specialists work with schools around the world to empower students, parents and school communities to make healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Over the course of two days, Upper School students participated in virtual workshops, led by Ms. Jillian O’Connell and Mr. Eduardo Torres. Following the conclusion of the student program, Ms. O’Connell and Ms. Torres hosted a virtual workshop for parents, where they shared data on substance abuse during adolescent years and provided practical advice and resources to help parents support their children as they navigate the temptations and risks involving alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. The specialists emphasized that, when it comes to substance abuse prevention, “sixty one-minute conversations are better than one sixty-minute conversation”, highlighting the importance of engaging in ongoing dialogue with teens about healthy choices. In addition to the linked resources, which can be used to guide these sensitive, yet crucial conversations, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website has a wide range of resources for parents.

Travel Update from Director of Schools Dan Eschtruth

While we have received no further communication on the matter, it seems rather unlikely that there will be an announced change to the travel restrictions while these active cases continue to be identified within Shanghai. As a reminder, this means any faculty, student, or staff member would need to be present in Shanghai 14 days prior to returning to campus, should they leave Shanghai. In our continued communication with authorities, they routinely highlight this mandate remains in place. I regret the impact this has on our ability to travel but remain hopeful that a return to a stable low-risk environment will bring with it a positive update to this regulation.

Korean Langauge IB Presentation December 3rd at 2:30 pm

Announcements

Message From Admissions for Departing Students

Departing SCIS this Semester?

Sadly, we know that at the end of the semester some of you may be leaving Shanghai and the SCIS community. Please visit our website for instructions on how to formally notify our Admissions Department of your child’s upcoming departure from SCIS and review the posted deadlines.

Office Hours

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #13

Monday Early Release (November 23rd)

Dear SCIS-Pudong Parents, 

This is a gentle reminder that next Monday will be an Early Release Day
according to the school calendar.  All students in Kindergarten
through Grade 12 will depart campus at 1:40pm.  Students in Early
Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at
11:30am.  

The purpose of the Early Release Days is to provide SCIS-Pudong faculty and
staff with an opportunity to collaborate and engage in the IB/WASC
reaccreditation self-study process.  The self-study process is an ongoing
school improvement process that assists a school in looking in-depth at what
currently exists and what needs to be improved in relation to student learning
and the school’s program.  As a dually accredited school we have an
obligation to ensure that our practices not only meet, but exceed the standards
set forth by these esteemed educational organizations.  As such, it is
paramount we set aside the time for faculty and staff to engage in this process
in order to ensure we are providing an exceptional, world-class educational experience
for your child(ren). 

If you have any questions surrounding early release day logistics please do
not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or the divisional
Principal.  Please note the SCIS-Pudong early release days for
the remainder of the school year are: 

  • Monday, November 23rd
  • Monday, January 25th
  • Monday, March 1st
  • Monday, March 29th

Shanghai Swim League Virtual Swim Meet

On Thursday students in grades 3-12 participated in the first-ever Shanghai
Swim League virtual swim meet. Students across the city are competing against
each other over the course of this week and into the weekend. Despite the
virtual competition, the excitement in the pool was real, with the excitement
and intensity elevated by the cheers of spectators and teammates. Final scores
will be centrally compiled and results will be communicated out early next
week. While individual and team achievements are certainly a goal of
participating in this competition, the primary goal is to allow
student-athletes an opportunity to showcase their hard work over the past 3
months. As with any competition, but especially in swimming, we look to
celebrate student-athletes who are able to achieve their personal bests (PB for
short). In addition to celebrating PBs, coaches are also able to use these
competitions to help student-athletes identify their next steps in their
development. Thank you, Coach Oscar and Coach Mount for your support of our
swimmers. Go Dragons!

 

Waterloo Math Competition

This week over twenty five Upper School Students participated in the Waterloo University Math competition. Waterloo University of Ontario, Canada sponsors the international math competition annually. According to the University, “the Center for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) develops and administers internationally recognized contests to help to inspire the next generation of students to develop an interest in and love for mathematics and computer science.” Congratulations to the Upper School math students on their participation and a special thank you to Etienne Bilz (Upper School Math and Physics) for his organization of the competition and sponsorship of our Math Club.

PAFA General Meeting

This week PAFA met for their first general meeting. A general update was provided, upcoming events were discussed, and a Lower School donation drive was organized. As you can see from the pictures below, it was a great opportunity for parents to connect and enjoy themselves. The next general meeting/brunch will be hosted in December. All parents are encouraged to participate. The details will be shared through the Fantastic Parent and Grade Level WeChat groups. If you are not yet a part of these groups please email David Mazer Thank you, PAFA!

Announcement

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #12

Update from the Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of Schools / Head of SCIS-Pudong

Dear SCIS-Pudong Families, 

Thank you for your continued understanding surrounding the implementation of our heightened health and safety protocols.  These precautionary measures were taken due to the confirmation we received on Monday of one transmitted case of COVID-19 within the immediate vicinity of the Pudong Airport.  Unless we receive further information this weekend, surrounding additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 within close proximity to our campus, we will return to our standard health and safety measures on Monday.   Please know that the health and safety of our community is our utmost priority and we will continue to act with an abundance of caution surrounding the implementation of precautionary measures in the event additional cases are confirmed.

Community Climate Survey

On Wednesday, all SCIS families should have received an email from the admissions department regarding the launch of a new systemwide community climate survey.  In our quest for continuous improvement, we are seeking community feedback related to all aspects of our curricular, organizational, and operational program implementation.  

Each parent or caregiver is asked to complete one survey.  The survey settings allow for parents/caregivers with multiple children to comment on aspects related to each divisional program.  Please note, the survey will close on Wednesday, November 25th.  If you have any questions surrounding the implementation of the Community Climate Survey please feel free to connect with Dr. David Mazer (dmazer@scis-china.org), the SCIS Community Relations Officer or Ms. Liz Gale (egale@scis-china.org), the SCIS Deputy Director of Schools.  Thank you in advance for your time and valuable feedback.

Monday, November 23rd Early Release Day

Please note that Monday, November 23rd will be the second SCIS-Pudong Early Release Day of the school year.  You may remember from our previous early release day on October 26th that all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be dismissed from class at 1:40pm and depart campus by 1:52pm.  Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30am.  If you have any questions surrounding early release day logistics please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or the divisional Principal.  

The purpose of the Early Release Day is to provide faculty with an opportunity to deeply engage in the IB/WASC self-study process.   Through the self-study process, the school fulfills the requirements for accreditation and uses the findings to form the basis for the school’s strategic action plan through the use of research-based criteria from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).  We appreciate your understanding and support surrounding the implementation of early release days this year.

Thank you PAFA!

While we have had limited opportunities to have parents on campus this semester, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the PAFA Executive Committee, as well as the Grade Level Representatives for creating opportunities for SCIS-Pudong families to connect outside of school and continue to strengthen the community bond that SCIS is known for.   In addition, a big thank you to Preeti Shah and Abhilasha Rana for supporting several Upper and Lower School students with the creation of a beautiful rangoli design for the entryway in celebration of Diwali. 

Honoring Our Senior Athletes

Monday, November 16th will mark the end of our High School Volleyball season. Unfortunately, due to the health and safety restrictions in place, the team was not able to play against other schools this season. However, the growth of the boys and girls teams over the course of the season was obvious and impressive according to the coaches. We will be holding a special assembly Monday at the end of the day in order to allow the student-athletes an opportunity to showcase their hard-earned skills in front of the Upper School. A special thank you to the coaches, Mr. Vanta, Coach Vic, and Ms. Caban for their support of our program. Go Dragons!

A Window into the Classrooms

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #11

Parent-Student Teacher Conferences

Teachers worked late into the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to meet with students and parents for our annual fall conferences. These conferences serve as an important opportunity for parents to have a conversation with their child and the teacher to identify progress and the next steps for reinforcing or improving student performance. While we were disappointed to not be able to invite parents on campus, the online format proved efficient and effective in facilitating these important conferences. In our efforts towards continuous improvement, we would appreciate your feedback on your experience with this year’s conferences. Please take some time to respond to our brief parent survey regarding the parents-student-teacher conference experience.

Mid-Semester Reports Posted November 3rd in Managebac

Mid-semester progress reports were posted to ManageBac on Tuesday.  Mid-semester reports include a progress designation (i.e. “progressing towards class expectations”) for each class along with narrative comments describing each student’s individual progress.  We encourage parents to review these reports with your students if you haven’t already.  Reports can be found at the bottom of the”profile” tab in Managebac by scrolling to the bottom of the page.  You should have received a notification email to your SCIS parent email address on Tuesday afternoon when the reports were published. 

In addition to reviewing student progress reports, this is an important time of year to review posted tasks and the feedback provided by teachers on individual assignments.  Teachers provide detailed narrative comments in ManageBac posted under the assignment or on the assignment itself.  Reviewing and learning from the feedback provided by teachers is well-researched as one of the most effective ways students can accelerate their learning and improve their scores on the next assignment.  Reviewing feedback from teachers on individual assignments, along with closely reading the mid-semester progress reports, are the best way to help your child achieve their individual academic potential.

A window into the Classroom

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #10

Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences (November 3rd and 4th)

We would like to remind parents that we will be holding our midsemester Parent-Student-Teacher conferences on November 3rd and 4th via Microsoft Teams. The conferences are designed for parents and students to have a three-way conversation regarding student progress with individual subject teachers. The conference day is an essential opportunity to build our home-school partnership as we support our students to success.   Parents are encouraged to sign-up for a session with each of your child’s teachers. We’ve provided a useful handout below for parents regarding how to make the most of these conferences. Please click the buttons below or scan the QR codes to make your appointments today!  Also, please don’t forget that Wednesday, November 4th will be a half-day for students due to Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences.

Conference Sign-up Procedures

Please follow the link below to sign-up for conferences. Use the tabs along the top of the Sign-up Genius page to choose which block of time is most convenient for you to schedule your conferences with your child. Choose the tab for slots for Tuesday (3:30-5:30) or Wednesday (12:30-3:00 or 3:00-5:30).  Parents of multiple children who need appointments in more than one block will need to complete the sign-up process in one block before switching to another. 

Instructions

  1. Each 10-minute time slot lists all the teachers available during that time slot.
  2. Check/Tick the “Sign Up” button for one teacher in each 10-minute time slot. Sign up for as many teachers as you like, but only ONE in each 10-minute slot. 
  3. Once you have finished, click the “Submit and Sign Up” button on the bottom of the page. 
  4. Confirm the times and teachers, making sure that you have not registered for more than one conference per slot. Add the names and grades of the students, and your own name and email. If you need to make changes, use the back arrow of your browser. 
  5. Your confirmed schedule will appear on a final screen, and also be sent to the email you used to register. 

Tips

  • Before scheduling your appointments, consult with your child(ren) and together make a list of the teachers you plan to meet with. 
  • Try starting at the second or third hour of a given block for more openings.
  • If you are scheduling five or more conferences, schedule in a break for yourself. Conferences will start every 10 minutes without exception.
  • If you have either two children taught by the same teacher or two subjects taught by the same teacher, you may book two slots in a row with that teacher.
  • All conferences will take place virtually on Microsoft Teams. You do not need to allow extra time to move between conferences. You and your child may share one device, or log in from two separate devices. 
  • If you need more time with a teacher, or cannot book the time you want, you are ALWAYS free to email a teacher directly to schedule a meeting outside of these two days.  

MS Teams Conference Meeting Links

Meeting links will be emailed out to parents on Tuesday, November 3rd by 12:00 pm. Parents will use these links to meet with teachers at the scheduled times via Microsoft Teams.

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