Principals’ Post #4

Dear SCIS Families, 

The first four weeks of the school year went faster than we could have imagined! There is a lot going on, and this is only the beginning! 

Sports and Clubs  

This was a busy week for Upper School athletics and clubs.  Saturday’s Dragon Cup volleyball tournament gave JV and Varsity Boys and Girls a great chance to get into the swing of the season.  The effort and overall sportsmanship of the annual event was a great reminder of the spirit of SCIS athletics.  Both the boys’ and girls’ teams demonstrated they have many of the pieces necessary to have strong seasons.  It will be exciting to watch them develop over the course of the season as we prepare to host this year’s ACAMIS volleyball in November.  This potential was on full display Wednesday as both the boys and the girls chalked up wins against Pudong rival Concordia.  A big thank you to the all the fans that came out to support the teams over the past week.  It’s great to see so many parents, students, and faculty members supporting our athletes.  

Middle School touch rugby also had a great showing at SCIS this week.  Coaches Mavec and Nicholaides have done a great job getting this co-ed group of middle school students up to speed and ready for competition.   

Off the field many of the Upper School clubs also got underway this week, including MUN, Yearbook, and Math Club, and much more.  As a reminder, Upper School clubs have staggered starts based on the calendar of events and the schedules of the faculty supervisors.  Students should contact the coordinators of the individual clubs to verify the start dates for individual clubs.   


ManageBac as a Tool for Monitoring Progress 

Many teachers have worked hard to ensure that students have received feedback by this point in the semester.  We would like to encourage parents to review ManageBac weekly together with their students.  We feel it is ideal to pick one day a week to sit down with you child and have them walk you through the latest ManageBac updates.  Students receive feedback on their progress in a number of ways through ManageBac.  The will receive numerical feedback in the form of performance level progress indicators on MYP criteria or toward DP objectives.  Teachers will also provide narrative feedback written into ManageBac or annotated directly onto assignments.  Students are trained by their teachers to find this feedback but it may be confusing for parents to find on their own.  Asking your child to show you any feedback they have received from their teachers and reviewing it together once a week a great way to understand how students are assessed and how they can improve.  


China Go! Trips 

We are excited for students to begin their journeys around China this coming week.  Students have been preparing for trips during Advisories and parents should have received grade level specific departure information by email this week.  Please refer to the grade level transportation letters that were sent out earlier this week. Here are the links to important information.

Grade 6 Travel Information

Grade 7 Travel Information

Grade 8 Travel Information

Grade 9 Travel Information

Grade 10 Travel Information

Grade 11 Travel Information

Grade 12 Travel Information

General China Go! Information (itineraries and packing lists)


Please watch the blog next week for updates and pictures from the trips.  

Safe travels to all!  

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

Principals’ Post #3

Dear SCIS Families,

It was great to see so many new and returning faces on campus last night for Back to School Night.  The evening started out in the theater as Head of School Derek Luebbe welcomed parents and shared schoolwide updates including summer construction projects and the positive enrollment trend. We reviewed our many active communication channels, including include this blog, ManageBac, and a range of in-person school events design to help educate parents on the school’s academic and extracurricular programs. 

The primary purpose of the evening was the opportunity for parents to get to know this year’s teachers. Teachers shared course objectives and materials, providing a chance for parents to better understand our academic programs and courses.  Parents also participated in China Go! Trip information sessions with Coach Vic, had the chance to discuss the advisory curriculum with Ms. Kelly, and have their technology problems solved by Mr. Johnson. 

China GO!

This coming week excitement will be building as students prepare for the China Go! Trips which will begin the following week.  We encourage all parents to review the individual trip itineraries on the SCIS-PD website.  All forms should have been turned into trip leaders this week.  Please be sure to communicate directly with your child’s Advisor with any concerns you may have regardingtravel documentation.  These trips are very important opportunities for students to build important relationships and have the shared experiences that will help bond them with their classmates.  Coach Vic, Ms. Shanks, and Mr. Lawrence have invested significant effort into transforming these trips into opportunities for service and action.

Ongoing reflection before, during, and after the trips will help students evaluate how they have grown as individuals and contributed to their broader community through these experiences.  We encourage you to review the trip itineraries with your child and do some research of your own to help you better understand the experiences students will soon embark on.  Please note that if students bring mobile phones they will be expected to keep them powered off and zipped into their bags throughout the day, and only use them with teachers’ permission, normally during a short window of time in the evenings.  Limited phone access allows students to focus on the experience without distraction.  We appreciate your support of these expectations.  Again, please contact your child’s Advisor with any trip specific questions you may have.

NWEA MAP Testing

We’d like to bring your attention to a few important events that will be happening next week.  First, students in Grades 6-9 will be taking the NWEA MAP tests.  Please encourage students to try their best as we use this assessment as an important tool to monitor student progress.  Parents new to the NWEA MAP assessment are encouraged to review the parent tool-kit available online HERE.  Next, we would like to encourage parents to attend the Upper School Counselor Coffee which will be held on Tuesday at 9am in room 208.  This will be followed by the monthly PAFA meeting.

ASA Sign-Ups

We are still missing a significant amount of student entries for the Upper School ASA sign-up portal. The deadline has been extended to Monday morning to give all of our US students the chance to sign-up. Despite our open and fluid US ASA program, it is important to give our teacher leaders an opportunity to adequately prepare. Therefore, we ask, that all US students sign-in and sign-up for the ASAs of their choice, if they haven’t already done so. Please refer to the schedule below and use THIS LINK.

Thank you taking the time to read this update on campus events

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