2020-2021 Principal’s Post #32

Student-Led Conferences Recap

It was amazing to host parents on campus for conferences this week. The excitement and buzz in the hallways was palpable. After a year of heightened health and safety restrictions, we were grateful for the opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate the learning of our students. We hope these conferences help to further the ongoing conversation at home regarding how we can help students achieve their full potential in school. We would like to thank all of the students for their hard work preparing for the conversation, the teachers for their support of the students, and the parents for their engagement and encouragement of our students. This home-school partnership lays the foundation for our students to be able to develop into the best version of themselves.

Transportation Update

Please note that the remaining 15 legacy buses will be upgraded over the weekend. The SCIS Pudong bus fleet has now been fully upgraded to all new buses. If your child has been traveling on one of the older buses, please remind them to keep an eye out for the new bus Monday morning!

Spirit Week Starts Monday

Starting Monday, April 19th we will be celebrating Spirit Week. Next week’s activities are sponsored by our High School and Middle School Student Council. The goal is to help increase school spirit by bringing students together around a different theme each day, providing a fun shared experience for all. Please help your child remember to dress according to the themes each day (please note that Lower School will be celebrating Spirit Week as well but with different themes). Go Dragons!

Professional School Pictures (April 26)

Dear Parents, 

We are excited to inform you that Pret-a-Portrait will be visiting the school on Monday, April 26th & Tuesday, April 27th to take fun, professional pictures of the students. Pret-a-Portrait is an international school photography company who have been working within China for many years. 

On the day your child has their pictures taken they will bring home a slip which tells you how you can view their photos. Pre-register your details when you receive this slip and Pret-a-Portrait will email you the moment your pictures are ready.  Orders can be placed via their website or via WeChat with the assistance of their customer service team based in Shanghai. 

Images will be available a week or so after their visit, a 25% discount period will be available to all parents and any orders placed for physical prints will be shipped directly to your home address, digital image orders will be emailed to you.  

Should you wish to take a look, Pret-a-Portraits website is: www.pret-a-portrait.net

If you have any questions for Pret-a-Portrait at this stage you can contact them via: 

WeChat: Pret-a-Portrait

Phone: 131 2078 2068

Email: chinasupport@pret-a-portrait.net

Window Into the School Week

SCIS Badminton Tournament

We hosted an internal tournament with students and teachers participating. Students and teachers competed in a double-elimination tournament Wednesday and Friday. Given the limited opportunities to compete against other schools, this was a great opportunity for students to sharpen their skills and build community through shared experiences. A big thank you to Coach Hedderson, Bilz, and Fang!

MYP Film Students

This week MYP film students developed stop motion animation skills. The painstaking patience and required precision is evident in these classroom photos. Thank you to Ms. Whiteside for ensuring that students in the film program develop diverse film production and editing skills.

Grade 7 Science

Grade seven science students designed and built their own homemade water filters to clean a sample of contaminated water. The following photos show students building their prototypes, which they will experiment with to test how well each filter component works. Thank you, Ms. Marcos, for helping to develop our young scientists!

China Go! Trips (Continued Post From Last Week)

The following information was emailed to parents and hard copies were provided to students. Click here to download the China Go! INFORMATION PACKET

We are delighted to announce that we have received permission from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control (CDC) to proceed with our annual China GO! trips from April 28-30. Participation in these trips is an expectation for all students from grades 6-11, and is a highlight of the year at SCIS, eagerly anticipated and always remembered. At SCIS, China GO! seeks to enhance community through shared experiences that help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and solidify a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. All expenses are included in the cost of tuition. In keeping with guidelines from the CDC, please note the following: 

  • All trips will stay within the borders of Shanghai municipality. 
    All transportation will be arranged privately by SCIS. No public transportation (planes/trains) will be used.  
  • All trips leave at 8am from SCIS on Wednesday 28 April. Students will take the buses to school that morning, bringing their health codes and forms as usual.  
  • All trips will return to SCIS before 3pm on Friday 30 April. Students will take the buses home from school as usual on Friday afternoon.  
  • All students, teachers, and guides will have their temperatures checked twice per day during the trips.  

For more questions about the details of your child’s Grade Level Trip itself, please refer to the attached documentation, or contact your child’s Advisor.  

Travel Documents and Forms 

To travel in China, all foreign nationals are required to have a current passport with a legal visa. If there has been a recent change to your child’s passport, please contact the SCIS Upper School Secretary, Jelly Ling, as soon as possible. If your child’s visa is currently being processed, the visa bureau should issue a receipt which can serve as a legal document affirming that they are holding the passport, and that the student is in China legally and free to travel. Students will need to have their original passport, legally binding receipt or travel permit with them on the trip. 

We also need your signed conduct agreement form as well as a medical release form with insurance information. Those two forms are attached(below), and are also available for download from ManageBac, and from our school website. 

Please return hard copies of the following to your child’s Advisor as soon as possible, and under no condition later than Friday 16 April

  • Conduct Agreement and Permission Form (attached)  
  • Medical Release and Personal Information Form (attached) 
  • Copies of current passport, visa page, and most recent entry stamp 

Communication 

Students are free to bring mobile phones on the trip, but in order to ensure that they participate fully in every activity without distraction, they will be expected to keep them zipped up in their bags throughout the day. Every evening, at a scheduled time, all students will be expected to call their parents. Please refrain from calling or texting your child during the day, as they will not respond until the evening, and their silence may cause you undue worry.   

Students who do not have their own devices will have the opportunity to borrow from a friend to ensure that all students are able to connect with their parents every night.  

If a family emergency arises and you have an urgent need to reach your child during the day, please contact Dr. Volpe and he will facilitate the necessary communication immediately.  

Pictures 

Each trip will be fully documented through both pictures and shared reflections. These pictures will be collected for each grade level, and used for reflection and demonstration, for the yearbook, and many other functions after the group returns to campus. While the school administration will provide updates and a few pictures through the Principal’s blog and the Grade Level Parent rep, our expectation is that teachers are directly engaged with students throughout every activity, and should NOT spend time on editing or sharing photos, tasks which necessarily distract from full engagement with students.  

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are confident that this will be a lasting learning experience, and they will return to you brimming with new insights into themselves and the world, and with memories to last a lifetime. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Advisor with further questions about the trip. We are ready to help in any way we can.  

Warm regards, 
Frank Volpe, Ph.D.
Upper School Principal  

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #31

Student-Led Conferences April 14 (On Campus) -Reposted from April 2nd

SCIS Pudong is planning for in-person Student-Led Conferences on April 14th. We are excited that the current health and safety regulations have been relaxed to allow parents on campus for conferences. However, please note that if the health and safety situation changes, we may need to move conferences online. If this is the case, we will notify families immediately. Students will be released at 11:30, on April 14th in order to allow for these conferences to take place. The goal of Student-led conferences is to empower students to reflect on their learning and progress, as well as communicate their learning and development to others. Student-led conferences are an important experience for parents as it allows parents to hear directly from their child in a structured format that is difficult to replicate through informal conversations at home.

Scheduling Logistics

Please note that the first Lower School sign-up time is scheduled for 12:15 and the first Upper School sign-up time is 12:30. These times are purposefully staggered to allow parents time to transition if they have children in both divisions. All students will be asked to take the bus home and return with their parents for conferences. As a parent, if you would like to pick up your child at 11:30, go to lunch in the local area and return for the conference, please be sure to notify the divisional secretaries via email. Finally, for students taking the bus home and returning back to school, please take your child’s transportation time into account when signing up for your conference time. Please don’t hesitate to contact the divisional secretaries or administration with questions.

MYP Student-Led Conference Format

All MYP parents are asked to sign up for ONE 30-minute conference with their child. All students in Grades 6 -10 have focused on developing their Approaches to Learning skills this year through an ongoing process of action, reflection, and goal setting leading to further action. The Student-Led Conference is a family meeting in which students present this learning process to their parents, and share evidence of their learning and development across subject areas with a focus on different skills. While the student’s Advisor may be present, their purpose is to provide logistical support. The student will lead the meeting. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

DP Student-Led Conference Format

 Parents of students in Grades 11 and 12 are invited to join our Juniors and Seniors for one-on-one meetings with each of their teachers. For Grade 11, this is an important checkpoint and will be an opportunity for focused feedback on current successes and next steps. For Grade 12, teachers will discuss final predicted IB grades, share the evidence from the Mock IB Exams and Internal Assessments on which these predictions are based, and make specific recommendations for the best use of revision time in April. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

China Go! Trips

The following information was emailed to parents and hard copies were provided to students. Click here to download the China Go! INFORMATION PACKET

We are delighted to announce that we have received permission from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control (CDC) to proceed with our annual China GO! trips from April 28-30. Participation in these trips is an expectation for all students from grades 6-11, and is a highlight of the year at SCIS, eagerly anticipated and always remembered. At SCIS, China GO! seeks to enhance community through shared experiences that help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and solidify a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. All expenses are included in the cost of tuition. In keeping with guidelines from the CDC, please note the following: 

  • All trips will stay within the borders of Shanghai municipality. 
    All transportation will be arranged privately by SCIS. No public transportation (planes/trains) will be used.  
  • All trips leave at 8am from SCIS on Wednesday 28 April. Students will take the buses to school that morning, bringing their health codes and forms as usual.  
  • All trips will return to SCIS before 3pm on Friday 30 April. Students will take the buses home from school as usual on Friday afternoon.  
  • All students, teachers, and guides will have their temperatures checked twice per day during the trips.  

For more questions about the details of your child’s Grade Level Trip itself, please refer to the attached documentation, or contact your child’s Advisor.  

Travel Documents and Forms 

To travel in China, all foreign nationals are required to have a current passport with a legal visa. If there has been a recent change to your child’s passport, please contact the SCIS Upper School Secretary, Jelly Ling, as soon as possible. If your child’s visa is currently being processed, the visa bureau should issue a receipt which can serve as a legal document affirming that they are holding the passport, and that the student is in China legally and free to travel. Students will need to have their original passport, legally binding receipt or travel permit with them on the trip. 

We also need your signed conduct agreement form as well as a medical release form with insurance information. Those two forms are attached(below), and are also available for download from ManageBac, and from our school website. 

Please return hard copies of the following to your child’s Advisor as soon as possible, and under no condition later than Friday 16 April

  • Conduct Agreement and Permission Form (attached)  
  • Medical Release and Personal Information Form (attached) 
  • Copies of current passport, visa page, and most recent entry stamp 

Communication 

Students are free to bring mobile phones on the trip, but in order to ensure that they participate fully in every activity without distraction, they will be expected to keep them zipped up in their bags throughout the day. Every evening, at a scheduled time, all students will be expected to call their parents. Please refrain from calling or texting your child during the day, as they will not respond until the evening, and their silence may cause you undue worry.   

Students who do not have their own devices will have the opportunity to borrow from a friend to ensure that all students are able to connect with their parents every night.  

If a family emergency arises and you have an urgent need to reach your child during the day, please contact Dr. Volpe and he will facilitate the necessary communication immediately.  

Pictures 

Each trip will be fully documented through both pictures and shared reflections. These pictures will be collected for each grade level, and used for reflection and demonstration, for the yearbook, and many other functions after the group returns to campus. While the school administration will provide updates and a few pictures through the Principal’s blog and the Grade Level Parent rep, our expectation is that teachers are directly engaged with students throughout every activity, and should NOT spend time on editing or sharing photos, tasks which necessarily distract from full engagement with students.  

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are confident that this will be a lasting learning experience, and they will return to you brimming with new insights into themselves and the world, and with memories to last a lifetime. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Advisor with further questions about the trip. We are ready to help in any way we can.  

Warm regards, 
Frank Volpe, Ph.D.
Upper School Principal  

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #30

Student-Led Conferences April 14 (On Campus)

SCIS Pudong is planning for in-person Student-Led Conferences on April 14th. We are excited that the current health and safety regulations have been relaxed to allow parents on campus for conferences. However, please note that if the health and safety situation changes, we may need to move conferences online. If this is the case, we will notify families immediately. Students will be released at 11:30, on April 14th in order to allow for these conferences to take place. The goal of Student-led conferences is to empower students to reflect on their learning and progress, as well as communicate their learning and development to others. Student-led conferences are an important experience for parents as it allows parents to hear directly from their child in a structured format that is difficult to replicate through informal conversations at home.

Scheduling Logistics

Please note that the first Lower School sign-up time is scheduled for 12:15 and the first Upper School sign-up time is 12:30. These times are purposefully staggered to allow parents time to transition if they have children in both divisions. All students will be asked to take the bus home and return with their parents for conferences. As a parent, if you would like to pick up your child at 11:30, go to lunch in the local area and return for the conference, please be sure to notify the divisional secretaries via email. Finally, for students taking the bus home and returning back to school, please take your child’s transportation time into account when signing up for your conference time. Please don’t hesitate to contact the divisional secretaries or administration with questions.

MYP Student-Led Conference Format

All MYP parents are asked to sign up for ONE 30-minute conference with their child. All students in Grades 6 -10 have focused on developing their Approaches to Learning skills this year through an ongoing process of action, reflection, and goal setting leading to further action. The Student-Led Conference is a family meeting in which students present this learning process to their parents, and share evidence of their learning and development across subject areas with a focus on different skills. While the student’s Advisor may be present, their purpose is to provide logistical support. The student will lead the meeting. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

DP Student-Led Conference Format

 Parents of students in Grades 11 and 12 are invited to join our Juniors and Seniors for one-on-one meetings with each of their teachers. For Grade 11, this is an important checkpoint and will be an opportunity for focused feedback on current successes and next steps. For Grade 12, teachers will discuss final predicted IB grades, share the evidence from the Mock IB Exams and Internal Assessments on which these predictions are based, and make specific recommendations for the best use of revision time in April. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

China Go! Trips Save the Date (April 28-30)

This year we scheduled our China Go! trips in the spring instead of the traditional fall dates as we had hoped that the health and safety conditions would improve and we would be able to safely carry out the trips. We are excited to say that we received approval on April 1st to move forward with our trips. In order to ensure student safety and meet all health-related travel regulations, all trips this year will take place within Shanghai. We continue to work with our long-time partners Insight-Adventures who have arranged 6 different trips for our grade 6-11 students around Shanghai. Students will depart on April 28th, taking their normal morning bus to school and will return Friday, April 30th on their regular 3pm bus. Please make sure that your child’s visa and passport are valid and available for these travel dates. You will receive further information regarding trip logistics, packing lists, and additional information by Friday, April 9th.

China GO! is consistently identified by students as one of the highlights of the school year. At SCIS, China GO! trips seek to build our community through shared experiences by engaging authentic service-based activities which promote host culture connections. These shared experiences help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and help build a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. Research shows these relationships have a positive impact on student learning. These experiences help to shape who we are as a community of learners. Students will be learning more about these trips through our Advisory program and parents will receive grade level information and required permission forms in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we ask that parents do not make plans to travel with their students until the day after students return for the trips (April 30). We also ask that parents make sure that student passports and visas are up-to-date as we will be requesting updated copies for booking the trips. Please make a point of speaking with your children about their trips over the coming weeks as you receive important information.

SCIS Systemwide Accreditation Self-Study Meeting on the Hongqiao Campus

Over 200 teachers and administrators gathered Friday on our Hongqiao campus to review and celebrate 2 years of work preparing for the WASC and IB accreditation visit that will be taking place the week of May 15th. The self-study process provides an excellent opportunity for the campuses and programs to reflect on our policies, procedures, practices, and student outcomes. This self-study process has involved students, parents, teachers, staff, administration, and the board. As today marks the end of the self-study process, we now turn our attention to the virtual accreditation visit that will take place the week of May 15th. This virtual visit will involve interviews with students, parents, staff, teachers, the administration, and the board. Essentially, the role of the visiting teams is to ensure that we are accurately reflected through our self-study process and that we are meeting the required standards for WASC accreditation and IB authorization. You will be hearing more about the pending virtual visit in the coming weeks. For now, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the work that has been done and thank all of those involved in this process of continuous improvement. Go Dragons!

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #29

Grade 6 Math Shows Off Their Learning

Students in Ms. Marcos’s grade 6 math class showed off their knowledge of Tessellations this week. In this math unit, students were assessed on MYP Criterion C: Communicating. Students had to combine their knowledge of Geometry with their own artistic vision. They were also required to communicate in writing the elements of math and art that were included in the displays as well as express their opinions on the degree to which Tessellations should be considered math vs. art. While other math curricula would stop at requiring students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to the geometry of Tessellations, the MYP requires them to be able to communicate that understanding verbally, in writing, and through modeling. In this way, students at SCIS are exposed to an additional layer of rigor, as students must not only master their mathematical skills and practices but also learn to apply them to the real world and communicate their understanding in a variety of ways. A big thanks to Ms. Marcos for organizing such an engaging learning experience for our students and congratulations to grade 6 on their investigation into Tessellations, well done!

Early Release Day, March 29th (1:40) and Professional Development Day April 2nd (no class for studnets)

As a reminder, Monday is an early release day for students, they will be released at 1:40. The early release days have been set aside for teachers to work on the WASC and IB accreditation self-study which will culminate with a joint visit in May. Teachers will continue this work on Friday April 2nd which is a professional development day. Teachers from Pudong will be traveling to our Hongqiao campus where we will be working together with our colleagues on the other side of the river to complete the system wide self-study. Classes will resume after the Spring Break weekend on April 7th.

Grade 12 Students Take IB Diploma Mock Exams

This week, our grade 12 students sat for IB Diploma mock exams. Each year, grade 12 students are given the opportunity to participate in a simulation of their final IB Diploma exams which serve 2 primary purposes. First, these exams represent the final exam for the semester 2 courses and contribute significantly to their semester grades. Second, these exams give students an opportunity to experience the exact exam conditions they will be under when taking the real IB DP exams, using actual exams from previous years. This opportunity allows students to get used to the setting, timing, and pressure that they will experience when sitting for the exams in May. Finally, students will get a chance to review teacher feedback on their performance on these exams which will guide their revisions efforts over the coming month. I would like to recognize Ms. Shanks, our IB Diploma Coordinator for all of her work organizing and supporting our students and teachers in this important step towards graduation.

Student-Led Conference Sign-ups

The link for parents to sign up for 30-minute time slots for student-led conferences on April 14th will be shared by April 1st. Sign-ups will happen via SignUpGenius, all instructions will be provided with the link. For more information on student-led conferences and this year’s plans, please see the reposted message from Head of School Dr. Gale below.

Student Led Conference Reminder From Dr. Gale (Repeated from Last Week’s Blog)

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

Announcements

ERD PD Day

2020-2021 Principal Post #28 Spotlight on the Arts

DP Arts Showcase

The exceptional work of our IB Diploma Arts students was on display Monday during the DP Arts Showcase. Students are required to publicly display or perform their work as part of the requirements of the IB Diploma Program. Visual Arts students presented their portfolios of work which represents 2 years of engagement around a specific theme. This year’s themes included the impact of human interactions on nature, the seven deadly sins, and the future. Music students were also on hand to share their compositions which were playing over the speakers in the gallery. Film students also screened their final IB collaboration where students worked in teams to create a culminating film that will be submitted to the IB as part of their film grade. We would like to thank Ms. Whiteside and Mr. Demas for their leadership and congratulate the grade 12 Art students on their efforts, their hard earned skills, and the completion of this important part of the IB Diploma experience.

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments was that we received permission to have the parents of grade 12 IB Diploma students on campus. The parents were allowed to enter after all other students had boarded their buses to ensure we were complying with health and safety regulations. It was great to be able to host parents (even if just a few) on campus once again. We are hopeful that we will be able to progressively return to opening our campus to parents as the year goes on and local conditions continue to remain safe.

Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)

Today more than 35 SCIS high school students participated in S2F2 which has become a highly anticipated annual event.  Students spend two full days immersed in film-making; working in teams and competing against other students.  On Saturday, students will compete in the 8-hour Film Challenge where SCIS teams work together to create their own original films while learning from each other.  On Friday students in grades 9-10 attended workshops that were organized, planned, and delivered by students in grade 11.   Student led workshops included animation, sound collection, editing, lighting, and special effects. The SCIS community will have a chance to view these films later this spring during our final Arts Night of the year.  We would like to congratulate the students and thank Ms. Whiteside and Mr. Willauer for supporting our students in this experience. 

SCIS Bus Transportation Handbook

Please review the Bus Transportation Handbook which outlines our bus protocols and procedures including student expectations. Please let your divisional principal know if you have any questions or concerns.  

Student Led Conference Reminder From Dr. Gale (Repeated from Last Week’s Blog)

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post # 27

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

Dear SCIS-Families,

It is hard to believe we are already approaching the middle of March.  Without a doubt, the Spring Break holiday (April 2nd-6th) will be here before we know it.   As such, I’d like to provide you with a brief overview surrounding several important happenings at school.

Thank you to all parents for your continued support of SCIS-Pudong.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!   

Liz Gale, Ed.D.
SCIS Deputy Director of Schools
SCIS-Pudong Head of School

Student-Led Conferences:

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

SCIS-Pudong Community Reflection Session

This morning, over 20 members of the SCIS-Pudong parent community participated in a community reflection session where parents had an opportunity to engage in reflective dialogue surrounding the SCIS-Pudong Community Climate Survey results.  During the session, parents participated in one of 6 groups that looked at specific areas of strength and areas for growth related to the following areas:

  • School Mission, Schoolwide Learner Outcomes, and Overall Satisfaction  
  • Community, Communication, and the SCIS Administration
  • Operations, Services, and Facilities
  • The Early Childhood Program
  • The Lower School Program
  • The Upper School Program

Each group was tasked with analyzing and summarizing survey data in order to develop specific action steps the school can take to improve upon the identified areas for growth.  We are extremely grateful to all of the parents that provided us with incredibly valuable feedback on the ways we can improve our practices.   As we prepare to develop a new schoolwide action plan based upon the results of the WASC / IB self-study process, we look forward to finding opportunities to incorporate the suggestions for improvement gathered from the Community Reflection Session into our action steps.

If you were unable to attend this morning’s parent session, here is a link to the power point presentation.  Additionally, please know that feedback is welcomed and appreciated at any point of the year.  Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher(s), divisional principal, or the Head of School to offer suggestions on ways we can improve the SCIS experience.

Schoolwide Learner Outcome Focused Learning Walks

On Friday afternoon, a group of faculty, staff, and administration participated in a campus learning walk looking for examples of students demonstrating their ability to be Self-Directed Learners.  The indicators for a SCIS Self-Directed Learner are students who:

  • Act with integrity
  • Maintain an active, balanced, and healthy lifestyle
  • Embrace new opportunities and challenges
  • Reflect for improvement

The learning walk led the group to explore self-directed learning in a Grade 3 Music Class, a Kindergarten Writing lesson, and a Grade 10 Humanities Class.  Within all learning environments, there were multiple examples of students taking ownership over the learning process and reflecting and acting upon their areas for improvement.  Additionally, there were numerous observations made of students being risk-takers and reflective inquirers as they engaged in learning experiences that required them to explore new ideas that challenged their thinking.  Common themes that emerged from this learning walk or areas that were evident across classrooms include:

  • A high level of student engagement, and independence
  • Opportunities for student reflection
  • A high degree of choice, empowerment, and individualization of learning
  • A high level of self-motivation and self-management tied to concrete learning objectives

IB DP Arts Showcase

Monday, March 15th we will celebrate our annual IB Diploma Program Arts Showcase. The films, visual artwork, and musical performance represent a culmination of 2 years of work for our grade 11 students. The work exhibited on Monday will be submitted to the IB for external evaluation and will represent a significant portion of our students’ final exam score from the IB. MYP students in grade 6 -10 have been invited after school on Monday to view and experience the work of our DP students. We are excited that we have received approval for the parents of the IB DP grade 12 students to come on campus after students depart to experience the accomplishments of their children. Unfortunately, we have still not received approval to open events to the general community. Special thanks to Ms. Whiteside and Mr. Demas for preparing our students over the past two years for this culminating showcase of their hard work and talent. Congratulations grade 12 DP students!

Grade 6 Students Work to Positively Contribute to the SCIS Community

Service as action is an important part of the IB Programs across the IB PYP, MYP, and DP. Students in the Middle Years Program are expected to identify a need in their community and find a way to take the skills they have learned and acquired in their academic classes and use them to contribute positively to their communities. Because the health and safety circumstances make it difficult to participate in service projects off-campus, they decided to focus on finding out how they could be of service within the school. With support from their grade 6 advisors (Ms. Marcos, Mr. Nicholaides, and Ms. Caban), students researched where there was a need within the community, matched what they found with their skills, and then planned activities to meet the need they identified.

Students explained that they found three specific areas of need in the lower school through their research. First, they identified a social-emotional need in kindergarten where students are starting to learn to cooperate through sharing and turn-taking. In response, they planned a cooperative activity where kindergarten students would build towers in small groups to practice their cooperation skills. The second group of grade 6 students identified a need in grade one where students were focusing on learning to tell time during math. This group of students designed activities to teach and reinforce the skills around telling time like reading an analog clock. Students presented their lesson and then worked with students individually to reinforce the concepts. The third group in their research identified that there was a need to teach students physical games they could play to improve their health and provide them with fun options during recess time. This group worked with grade 4 students to teach them the games in the Upper School gym.

While helping others is certainly a major outcome of the service projects students in the MYP carry out, their own learning and personal development is also a primary goal of the service experience. While contributing positively to their communities, students also learn about their own strengths and weakness, persevere through difficulties, and develop new skills. A big thank you to the grade 6 advisors and to the grade 6 class for their service to our community.

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #26

Grade 7/8 Arts Rotation Performance

Did you miss the grade 7/8 Arts Rotation Performance? You can still watch it (or watch it again) on our LiveStream site below (just click the image below). Congratulations to the students on a great performance and a big thank you to Mr. Demas, Ms. Whiteside, and Ms. Riddle for supporting our students in their preparation for Tuesday’s performance. Well done!

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH THE LIVESTREAM

SCIS Students Compete in the Waterloo Math Competition

Last week over twenty 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. Go Dragons!

SCIS to Host International Virtual University Fair

We are pleased to invite you to join us for the International Virtual University Fair, which will take place on Friday, March 12th, from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. Over 70 universities from over 10 countries will be represented at the event.

Each university will have a virtual booth, where students and parents can find useful information about the institution, one or more videos, downloadable materials (brochures, etc.) and, most importantly, a video / text chat link where students and parents will be able to interact with university representatives in real time. University booths will go ‘live’ today (Friday, March 5) at 4:00pm China time. At that time, all resources (except live video chats) will be available for students and parents to preview in preparation for the event.

All parents who wish to join the fair and access these materials may do so by following this registration linkHigh school students in grades 9-11 will be guided through the registration process during an orientation session that will take place early next week. Students do not need to sign up for the fair individually. 

Please refer to THIS DOCUMENT for a list of presentations, and to the flyer for a list of participating universities. Presentations with a fixed start time will be live, and those that are labeled as starting ‘anytime’ are pre-recorded. All universities, regardless of whether they are providing live or a pre-recorded presentations, will have representatives online who are available to chat and answer questions during the event.

For any questions about the event, please reach out to Maja Kelly at mkelly@scis-china.org

Grade 6 Students Apply Their Learning in Service of the SCI S Community

Service and Action is an important part of the IB Middle Years Program and the SCIS experience. Students are expected to not only master the content material from their courses, but also to seek ways to apply that learning in service to their community. In this way they are able to make progress toward one of our most important Schoolwide Learner Outcomes (SLOs), positively contributing to their community. Grade 6 students have planned their own service experiences within the school with the support of their advisors Ms. Marcos, Mr. Nicholaides, and Ms. Caban.

The students decided to use the skills they are learning in grade 6 and teach them to students in the Lower School. They started out by interviewing the Lower School students to find out what their needs are. So far, they have decided to focus on supporting Lower School students’ math skills and social-emotional learning. As you can see from the pictures, this has proven exciting for both the grade 6 students and the Lower School students. This outreach with the Lower School will take place over the next 2 months. Not only is this a great experience for students to have a positive experience contributing to their communities, it also helps to build the broader campus community by bringing students together from across grade levels and division. Congratulations grade 6 on your service projects, keep up the great work!

Students

SCIS Hosted Masters Degree in Education Program Open to SCIS Community Applicants

As a part of SCIS’s effort to support a wide range of professional development opportunities, we have maintained our partnership with SUNY (Buffalo State Campus) to offer graduate-level courses here in Shanghai. The program is designed for individuals with unique professional and educational objectives not readily met by traditional master’s degree programs, and the program can lead to a Multidisciplinary Studies, Masters of Science (M.S.) Degree issued by SUNY.

The entire program requires 10 courses and one Action Research course delivered through a combined approach of on-site (on a SCIS campus) and on-line instruction over a period of 3 years. Courses are held on two weekend days and finish the following weekend when school is in session. Because of the pandemic, all on-site courses will be held online. Examples of courses offered include: Instructional Strategies for More Effective Teaching, Principles of Curriculum Design, Creative Problem Solving, and Instructional Technologies.   

Parents and community members are welcome to join the cohort and learn alongside our teaching faculty. You can learn more about the program by reviewing the PROGRAM BROCHURE and the APPLICATION INFORMATION. Please contact our site coordinator Olive Sun for details: osun@scis-china.org

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post # 25

Upper School Service Project Fills The Halls With Music

Service to the community is an important part of the SCIS curriculum. Students are expected to take what they’re learning in their academic classes and find ways to use these newly developed skills in service to the community. In the Middle Years Program (grades 6-10) students receive direction and support from their teachers and advisors on how to carry this out but students are expected to become increasingly independent as they mature and develop independent skills. Once students reach the IB Diploma Program, students are expected to independently find, plan, and carry out their own service experiences. One recent example of how students apply their learning in service of the community was on display yesterday.

Music students in grades 11 and 12 decided they wanted to lift the spirits of the students as they boarded the buses and transitioned to their after-school activities. They enlisted their classmates and students from the Jazz Band to be part of their efforts. Students took the lead in organizing musicians, choosing songs, and arranging the required logistics. The end of the school day finished on a bright and fun note. Thank you to all for the creative and motivating finale.

Learning Walk Highlights the SCIS Mission and Schoolwide Learning Outcomes

At SCIS Pudong we have been working to keep our mission statement and Schoolwide Learning Outcomes (SLOs) at the heart of the student experience. One way we keep our focus on the SLOs is through learning walks. During learning walks a small group of teachers, administration, and staff volunteer to visit classrooms and other teaching spaces to observe student learning. The group meets briefly at the start of the learning walk to focus their attention on identifying and reflecting on student learning experiences that demonstrate achievement of the SLOs. These walks are not meant to be evaluative of teachers, rather they focus on what the students are doing and how they are experiencing and achieving the stated goals of the SLOs. This week, our focus was collecting evidence on students being Knowledgeable Inquirers. SCIS defines knowledgable inquirers as seeking to satisfy their curiosity, making connections between factual and conceptual information, evaluating bias and multiple perspectives, identifying challenges, and developing solutions.

We saw many examples of SCIS students demonstrating they are knowledgable inquiries in our walkthrough of Ms. Mabel’s grade 1 music class, Ms. Cat’s grade 4 classroom, and Ms. Shank’s 8th-grade Humanities class. As an observer, it was fascinating to see the changes and differences across the grade levels while also witnessing the unifying instructional philosophy all of the classroom shared. Namely, students were respected as individuals whose prior knowledge, interests, and experiences are an essential component of learning. The share value placed on student-centered experiences that develop self-directed learners was also evidenced by the increasingly independent learning demonstrated by students as we observed progressively older students. We would like to thank Dr. Gale for organizing and Ms. Mabel, Ms. Cat, and Ms. Shanks for hosting.

SCIS Will Host A Virtual University Fair For Students and Families March 12th

On March 12th at 2:00 pm SCIS will be hosting a virtual university fair with participating universities from around the world. University representatives will be online presenting “virtual university booths” that will provide information about programs, application procedures, and allow students and parents to ask questions. There will be live information sessions and opportunities for students and families to communicate directly with the recruiters. Many of the sessions will also be recorded and made available to students and families after the event. Ms. Kelly will be sending a detailed email out to families next week once more information is made available. Students will be participating during advisory while on campus on the 12th. We encourage all families to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Reminder: Monday, March 1st Is An Early Release Day

According to the school calendar, Monday, March 1st will be an early release day. All students in Kindergarten through grade 12 will depart campus at 1:40. Students in Early Childhood (N, PS, PK) will depart school following lunch at 11:30 am.

Announcements

Sports Reminders

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #24

After School Activity Participation is an Important Part of the Balanced SCIS Student Experience

Varsity Girls Volleyball

At SCIS, participation in the arts, athletics, and the many clubs we offer are central to the student experience. In order to help students positively contribute to their communities, we feel it is essential that students find and pursue their passions. Our participatory approach seeks to expose students to as many different activities, fields, and experiences as possible to help them find this passion. We take great pride in the fact that the vast majority of our students participate in our After School Activity (ASA) program. According to a recent internal survey of student participation, currently, 83% of our students were actively involved in at least one ASA in January when the survey was conducted. Over 60% percent of our students were involved in more than one activity and many were involved in 3 or more. In addition, to help students find and develop their passions, these after-school activities serve to develop important soft skills that set students up for success in university and their working life. Whether learning the skill of persevering through difficulty in an athletic practice, practicing their public speaking skills by performing in front of an audience in the school play, learning to collaborate with teammates in preparation for a math competition, learning to manage their time between the demands of homework and multiple activities, or just enjoying being with friends in pursuit of a common interest, participation in these activities helps prepare students for life. Finally, as a community-focused school, we emphasize the role of shared experiences in building relationships and developing the bonds of our community. These activities allow students to learn about other students outside of their grade levels and to learn about teachers in the context of a shared area of interest.

The cast of our fall drama production Bungee Jump Bear Trap
MS Student Council works through a team-building activity

Because ASAs help students grow as individuals and strengthen the bonds of our community, we ask for your help as parents in reaching our goal of getting every student involved in an ASA they are passionate about. This time of year marks a perfect opportunity for students to put themselves out there and join a new sport or club. Please take some time this weekend to review these options with students. Find out what they are already planning to participate in and try to encourage reluctant students to try something new. Please read on to find out more about what is available in this next Upper School ASA season.

Spring After School Activity Options

Below you will find the new ASA schedule for the upcoming season. These opportunities have been publicized for students in the morning announcements and their advisors have encouraged students to participate. Any student who is interested in joining an activity should follow the instructions in the announcements for singing up, should communicate with the activity sponsor, or speak with their advisor. Coach Vic as our Athletics and Activities Director is also available to help. The new sports seasons that will begin starting the week of February 22nd include; MS Volleyball, MS/HS Badminton, and HS Soccer. Go Dragons!

Announcements

Chinese New Year Celebration

As we welcome the year of the Ox, we would like to take some time to celebrate our amazing host culture and the extraordinary SCIS community. We encourage everyone to follow the example of our host culture and spend time during the holiday enjoying time with family and focusing on the hope a new year brings. We know the amazing SCIS New Year’s celebration captured by Ms. Whiteside and our grade 11 film students will help to bring you some of the Chinese New Year spirit! A huge thank you to all of those that organized and participated in the performances and those that made the filming possible! To Ms. Fang, Ms. Chen, Ms. Yan, Ms. Shang, Mr. Demas, Mr. Vanta, Mr. Olsen, and of course Ms. Whiteside, THANK YOU 谢谢!

恭贺新禧 Good luck in the year ahead!
心想事成 May all your wishes come true!
笑口常开 May your year be filled with abundance and laughter!

SCIS Pudong Chinese New Year Celebration Video

CNY Video Behind the Scenes

CNY Celebration Watch Parties in Advisory

Chinese New Year Activities

Images from the Classroom

Announcements