Principals’ Post #20

Chinese New Year Celebration

We would like to wish everyone in the SCIS community a Happy Chinese New Year! At this time of the year, we like to reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a rich cultural context. This week’s Chinese New Year Celebrations provided students and families with a chance to immerse ourselves in Chinese cultural activities and events. Classroom activities and our Chinese New Year assembly gave students the opportunity to learn more about our host culture and just take a moment to enjoy it. We would like to thank the Mandarin and Arts departments for all of their hard work preparing for today’s Celebration. 新年快乐!

Upper School Language Acquisition Classes Celebrate Chinese New Year

Personal Project Exhibition and Design Food Truck Festival

MYP Grade 10 students presented their Personal Project Tuesday, showing off the knowledge and skills they gained over their MYP years. The projects demonstrated the diverse interests and talents of our students. The Personal Project is a culminating experience for students where they apply the skills and knowledge they have learned throughout their time in the MYP to an area of interest. This year’s grade 10 class explored a wide range of topics including music, visual arts, technology, sports, crafts, interior design, media and other contemporary issues. Students from across the Upper and Lower schools were on hand to learn about the projects. The next step in the Personal Project journey will be for students to write up their experience and reflect on the lessons they learned. This report will be graded internally by Personal Project advisors and will be submitted to the IB for moderation. The IB assessors will provide final scores and feedback over the summer. We would like to thank the Grade 10 Advisors, Ms. Hedderson, Mr. Demas, and Ms. Whiteside for their support and Coach Vic for his leadership as the Personal Project Coordinator.

Students in Mr. Willauer’s grades 7 and 8 Design classes also had a chance to show off their learning during the Exhibition, presenting our first ever International Food Truck Festival. Students were tasked with designing a food truck company complete with a logo, business cards, and a menu. Students were required to combine at least two distinct cultures in their themes and menus. Each group prepared one dish to share with the visitors. The food was a hit, adding a festive atmosphere to the Personal Project Exhibition. We would like to congratulate the students on a very successful day. We would also like to thank Mr. Willauer for designing such a fun unit and offering to integrate it with the Personal Project Exhibition.

MYP Science Astronomy Exhibition

Capping off the week’s academic presentations, students in grades 6 and 9 presented their astronomy projects in the Upper School gallery Wednesday and Thursday. Students chose to research individual topics based on their interest and the options provided by their teachers in the context of their units of study. The goal was for students to extend their learning from the unit, develop deeper knowledge in an area of their choosing, and share that knowledge with others. During their presentations students demonstrated interest in their topics and mastery of the material they had researched. A big thank you to Ms. Marcos and Ms. Sculerati for organizing the event and to the students for sharing what they’ve learned.

Community Update from Director of Schools Dan Eschtruth

Dear SCIS Community, 

As we close out the various Chinese New Year festivities across our campuses, we prepare ourselves to bid farewell to the Year of the Pig and welcome in the Year of the Rat. These celebrations are but one part of the unique opportunity our students’ have to engage in meaningful experiences as they develop deeper understandings of our host country, it’s culture and traditions. Before many of you depart on your travels for the holiday season, I wanted to share the following announcements and updates:

2020-21 School Year Calendar
Please find attached the 2020-2021 SCIS school year calendar (it is also now posted on our main website here: As always, this calendar represents our effort to optimize learning while covering all confirmed and expected school and national holidays. Further, it provides opportunities for our work with our WASC/IB accreditation process and adheres to the calendar mandates established by our SCIS Board of Directors.

2020-21 Re-enrollment 
You will also have received an email from our Admissions Department marking the commencement of our re-enrollment process. Re-enrollment is a vital process for both securing your family’s seat placement for the 2020-2021 school year and our ability to effectively plan for the school year to come. The process of re-enrollment is relatively short and is required for families intending to return and those that are confirming that this will be their final year with us here at SCIS. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with your children and, of course, hope to be doing so once again in the new school year. 

WASC & IB Self-Study Update
Our work focusing on our synchronized WASC/IB Accreditation & Authorization process is well underway. As a reminder, the following dates in February have been earmarked as time available for our faculty to focus on this critical process: 

  • Hongqiao Main & ECE Early Release Dates (2:00 PM Student Dismissal): Feb. 12th & 26th 
  • Pudong Campus Early Release Dates (2:00 PM Student Dismissal): Feb. 10th and 24th 
  • Professional In-Service Day (No School for Students): February 28th 

School-wide Learner Outcome Update
I want to thank the many parents that joined us for both sessions of our School-wide Learner Outcome discussion. Both sessions were inspirational reminders of the incredible community we have here at SCIS. While we had two packed houses, we still aim to get input from as many of you as possible. So, we will take the feedback from the meetings to inform our next steps in gathering parent and, eventually, student feedback into our organizational and educational program. 

Health & Safety
Along with the wonderful opportunities for travel and time with family and friends that this time of year provides, comes the unfortunate increase in illnesses. To be clear, SCIS has already instituted our heightened seasonal cleaning protocols across our campuses and has maintained our effort to remind students of best preventive measures (covering our mouths to sneeze and cough, sufficiently and frequently washing our hands, staying home when displaying symptoms, etc.). However, in addition to the heightened influenza season this year we are also closely monitoring the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) here in China and now the East Asia region. A critical piece for our community is for us to continue to adhere to our proactive and preventative measures established to reduce the spread of any infectious diseases. That being said, we are working with relevant authorities, our health and safety team, and our school cleaning and clinic providers to initiate additional protocols that will further support our efforts to maintain a healthy learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. For additional information and advice on staying healthy and further resources on the novel coronavirus, please follow this link

For now, we turn our attention to bidding farewell to the Year of the Pig and welcoming in the Year of the Rat. May it bring all of us great happiness, health, and prosperity! 新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

Daniel D. Eschtruth
Director of Schools

New Sports Seasons Start after Break

We would like to encourage students to participate in the following upcoming team sports. All students are welcome!
MS Volleyball: Tuesday, February 4th
MS Badminton: Friday, February 7th
HS Badminton: Tuesday February 4th
HS Soccer: Tuesday, February 4th

20-21 School Calendar Finalized

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal . Upper School Vice Principal

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