Principal’s Post #3

Dear SCIS Families,

It was great to visit with so many of you at yesterday’s Back to School Night, thank you for taking the trouble to come out on a rainy Thursday evening. Our teachers were thrilled to make the home-school connection with you, and it was great to see the enthusiasm of parents as they pored over the course syllabi, flipped through coursebooks, and discussed the program with the teachers, new and returning. Parent engagement is a significant factor in a every student’s educational success, and your commitment to be here makes a difference. Please remember that this is just the beginning of a yearlong conversation. Checking ManageBac at least once a week, together with your Upper Schooler, following the units and tasks in each class, and discussing the teachers’ feedback are important strategies to stay connected with your child’s learning. As questions arise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers. as well as to the administrative team.

Photos from Back to School Night

What Does the Research Say? NurtureShock: Importance of Sleep

In the “Lost Hour” chapter of NurtureShock, Bronson and Merryman summarize important research on the negative physical and cognitive impacts of teenagers not getting enough sleep. According to the U.S. based National Sleep Foundation teenagers should sleep for 8-10 hours each night. However, research conducted in the United States by Dr. Fredrick Danner at the University of Kentucky found that most teens only sleep on average 6.5 hours. A survey of students enrolled at SCIS during the 2018-2019 school year found that 68% of MYP students (grades 6-10) sleep for 8 or more hours but this number drops to only 20% of the students sleeping for 8 or more hours once they are enrolled in the DP (G11-12). These lost hours negatively impact the physical health of our students as well as their academic performance in school.

According to Bronson and Merryman, researchers have attributed a number of challenges teenagers face to these lost hours of sleep. Sleep deficits can lead to decreased academic performance and emotional instability, an increase in obesity rates and ADHD, and it has been theorized that persistent sleep deficits can lead to permanent changes in the brain. According to research done by Dr. Avi Sadeh at Tel Aviv university, “a loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive maturation and development”. In other words, an average 6th grade will perform like an average 4th grade student when suffering from only one hour less sleep then the target eight hours. Using Functional MRI technology, scientists observe that far fewer connections are made during learning in subjects that have sleep deficits compared to control groups that have optimal sleep conditions. Essentially, what the researchers have found is that sleep is required to consolidate new learning, or more simply sleep = memory.

We encourage parents to set students up for success by supporting a bedtime routine that promotes at least eight hours of sleep per night. For more information on how parents can help teenagers get the necessary amount of sleep, please read this ARTICLE from Commonsense Media.

2019 China GO!

As a reminder, China GO! forms, passport and visa copies were due to student advisors on TODAY. If you have not provided the signed forms or copies of your child’s travel documents please ensure they are turned in Monday, September 2nd. Please contact your child’s advisor or Coach Vic ( with questions.

We hope to see families on campus this weekend for Dragon Cup Volleyball. Go Dragons!

Warm regards,

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

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