Principals’ Post #1

Dear SCIS Families,

We are very excited to have students back on campus getting the new school year underway. The excitement of a new beginning was visible in the hallways as students caught up with each other and met new classmates for the first time. As an administrative team we could not be more proud of the returning students as they worked hard to welcome our newest Dragons. The SCIS community spirit was most visible at lunch as new students were invited to sit with their classmates, sparking new friendships. In addition to introducing students to their new courses, teachers spent considerable time this week building the relationships that form the foundation of our community. Teachers organized ice-breakers, games, and other activities in classrooms and grade levels to help students get to know one another and develop grade level bonds.

For those that are new to SCIS-Pudong, this blog is one of the primary ways you can stay up to date on what’s happening in the Upper School. We will celebrate events that have taken place and share upcoming events. Our Principals’ Blog provides a great window for parents into the student experience at SCIS and also serves as the best source of information for parents who want to learn more about SCIS programs and how parents can get involved. We are also committed to sharing important information with parents regarding the latest research on how you can support the educational and social-emotional development of your child. We look forward to sharing this information and showcasing the growth and achievement of our students over the course of the year.

Meet the New Teachers

We are delight to share that we have increased the number of teaching faculty this year in the Upper School. Whether coming in to fill a new position or replacing one of our beloved departing teachers, this new group of teachers is uniquely positioned to have an immediate impact on our programs. All of the incoming teachers have experience in other international schools and are extremely well qualified in their subject areas. Please be sure to introduce yourselves to our new faculty when you next find yourself on campus. We are excited to introduce you to (pictures appear in the order names are listed):

Jennifer Arvay: Visual Arts
Kyounghee You: Language and Literature (Korean)
Lisa Marcos: Science
Maitane Arruti: Language Acquisition (Spanish & English)
Andrew Shearer: Mathematics/Economics
Ivana Nedeljkov: Learning Support
Dan Olsen: Learning Support

What Does the Research Say?

In this year’s blog we are excited to offer a series of articles that will summarize important research across academic disciplines. Our goal is to share relevant research with families regarding education, the science of learning, human development, psychology, health and wellness, and other fields in order to provide families with important tools and strategies to support our students. The first articles will focus on summarizing select chapters from Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s NurtureShock. This book does an excellent job of synthesizing important research across many fields in an effort to provide parents and educators with important knowledge and strategies from academic research that can be used to help optimize the development of our students. Stay tune for lessons from NurtureShock!

After School Activities (ASAs)

After school activities in the Upper School are an important part of the balanced SCIS student experience. We feel strongly that students develop important skills and relationships through their participation in the Arts, Athletics, and many clubs. These ASAs seek to capitalize on student interests and passions as well as provide opportunities for students to be exposed to new experiences and opportunities for growth. After School Activities provide an important opportunity to have shared experiences that deepen and develop new relationships. These shared experiences and relationships are the foundation of our SCIS community. As parents, we ask that you encourage your children to participate in areas of passion and that you encourage them to try something new. The skills and relationships they will gain from these experiences will truly last a life time.

The logistics of student sign-ups requires individual students to identify the activities they are interested, for them to follow through by communicating with the sponsor of the activities, and for them to communicate with parents regarding the activities they will participate in. We realize for students new to SCIS or for students in grade 6, this may be a new experience. As a school, we will support students through this process. During today’s welcome back assembly, students were introduced to the many opportunities available for them to get involved with the Arts, Athletics, and Clubs. Students will receive information through announcements and advisory regarding activities and sign-up procedures. While students are encourage to independently take charge of their own participation in activities, parents are encouraged to help students find the activities they are interested in. Below, we have attached a list of the current offerings available for students. However, please be aware that other activities may be added over the course of the semester. Any changes or additions will be communicated to students directly through the daily announcements. Please feel free to contact us, or Coach Vic ( our Athletics and Activities Director with questions. Go Dragons!

2019 China GO!

Excitement is building for this year’s China GO! trips. China GO! is consistently identified by students as one of the highlights of the 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 research shows these relationships have a positive impact on student learning. Whether focused on community building in grade 6 or literally building a new home for villagers in Chengdu in grade 11, 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 (Sept. 28). 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.

In closing, we would like to welcome everyone to the 2019-2020 school year. We encourage parents to stay connected to school by following this blog, reviewing ManageBac with students on a weekly basis, and participating in the many events on campus. Finally, we wish all of our Dragons an amazing 2019-2020 school year filled with growth and achievement.

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                  Naomi Shanks
Upper School Principal        Upper School Vice Principal


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