Principals’ Post #21

Dear SCIS Families,

We hope this message finds you safe and healthy wherever you are in the world. We would like to start with a message of thanks for every member of the school community. We would like to thank the students for their resilience and positive attitudes in the face of the many challenges they are facing. We would like to thank the parents for their patience as we respond to the dynamic nature of this situation and for the support you have provided your children. Finally we would like to thank the teachers for their hard work and professionalism in this transition to virtual learning. In times of crisis, the true nature of a community is revealed and the SCIS community has risen to the challenge!

Coronavirus Community Information

SCIS has developed a webpage on our system website outlining the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). We encourage families to check this link in order to access important information regarding our current campus closure and our response to the coronavirus. Previous updates are also logged on this site. If there are specific questions you feel need to be added, please email the administration.

Virtual Learning Update and Survey

As shared by Director of Schools Daniel Eschtruth, SCIS campuses will remain closed through the end of February (please follow the FAQ link below for the text of this communication). We will continue to update families as soon as information becomes available. In the meantime, we will be doing everything we can to ensure learning continues. While virtual learning is new to SCIS, our extremely talented educators have made an amazing transition to supporting students through this new medium. With this transition in mind, we would like to ask you for your feedback on how things are going. Please complete the PARENT VIRTUAL LEARNING FEEDBACK SURVEY.

Parent Resources for Supporting Virtual Learning

With the information below, we hope to provide you with guidance and useful tips for supporting your child during virtual learning.  While virtual learning places higher demands on self-management skills for students, there are specific steps you can take as a parent to help support your child find success.  Please read through the suggestions below and don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers, advisor, or the administration with questions.  

We realize that many families are staying in hotels, are guests in friends’ homes, and otherwise do not have full control of their environments. Wherever possible please arrange an environment conducive to online learning.  

  • A quiet room, with as little environmental noise as possible.  
  • A clear table and a comfortable chair, where the student can work on writing and computer-based activities while the computer is charging.  
  • A comfortable chair or sofa for reading.  
  • If multiple family members are using the room for parallel activities, everyone should use earphones.

Planning the Virtual Learning Day 

  • Upper School students should consult with their parents to set aside 6-8 hours a day, Monday to Friday, for daily virtual learning. No other family activities should be scheduled during this time. 
  • Students should plan to work at the same time every day.  
  • Each Virtual Learning lesson is expected to take 60-80 minutes for students to complete.  
  • Plan for breaks, just as we do during a campus-based school day. Students should take at least 10 minutes off between lessons, and at least 45 minutes for a full meal between their first two lessons and their second two lessons. 
  • Take at least one “Brain Break” in the middle of each lesson. This may be a simple as standing up and walking around the room one time, or walking to the kitchen and getting a drink of water.
  • Make sure healthy snacks are available for the taking all day long.  

Due Dates 

  • Students should plan to work on their four scheduled lessons each day. 
  • Virtual learning lessons are framed as daily classwork. In school, teachers plan to start and finish the day’s learning experience during one class period. This is paralleled in the daily Virtual Learning lessons.  
  • While lessons are posted and ready for students to begin by 8am Shanghai Time every day, it is understood that students will be logging in and submitting work according to their own time zones over a 24 hour period. As long as students complete their daily tasks every day, following a routine schedule, WHEREVER THEY ARE IN THE WORLD, their work is considered to be on-time. [The ManageBac interface does not support rolling deadlines, but our teachers absolutely do. Students should ignored a “LATE” label on a ManageBac dropbox.] 
  • Any task that is not designed to be completed during the daily lesson will have specific instructions about where and when to submit longer term work.  


Re-enrollment has begun for the 2020-2021 School Year

Last week, all SCIS families should have received an email via your scis-parent email account providing instructions regarding re-enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Please be sure to follow the instruction contained in the email for re-enrollment. Please note, you must use your email account details when signing in to the Online Re-Enrollment Website.  If you have any questions regarding the process for re-enrollment, please do not hesitate to reach out to the SCIS Admissions team at

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal . Upper School Vice Principal

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