Principals’ Post #27

Dear SCIS Families,

We would like to thank all of the families that attended the March conferences on Thursday. For MYP Student-Led Conferences, it was great to have families on campus hearing directly from their children about the progress they have made in their learning this year.  Student-Led Conferences are truly about providing the students with the opportunity to take the lead in communicating about their learning. 

IB Approaches to Learning Skills

The primary focus of the conferences emphasizes the important role the Approaches to Learning skills (ATLs) play in academic success and life-long learning. Conferences are designed to allow students to view their academic progress through the lens of the ATLs; Communication Skills, Research Skills, Social Skills, Self-Management Skills, and Thinking Skills.  We would like to encourage parents to continue to use the language of the ATLs in your discussions with students.  Educational research and workplace surveys consistently identify the development and application of these skills as a key to success.  

At SCIS we are in a constant cycle of improvement and would appreciate hearing from all parents about their experience with both the MYP Student-Led Conferences and the Grade 11-12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences.  We are seeking feedback from those that attended conferences and from those who were unable to attend.   Please take a moment to provide us feedback on March conferences by following the links below. Parents who participated in both MYP and DP conferences are encouraged to fill out both surveys.

 

DP Art Exhibition and Recital

Monday was a benchmark day for the Class of 2019, with the senior Music and Visual Arts students presenting a formal celebration of their academic pursuit of the Arts. Visual Arts and Music are unique subjects among the IB-DP course offerings, in that the final assessment of student work is required to be presented before a live audience. Each of our senior Visual Arts students presented a curated  collection of original work, created over the last two years, and representing a dazzling range of art styles, media, and messages. The Exhibition will remain on display for the next three weeks, we encourage you to stop by and have a look. On the same evening, our senior Music students performed in a group recital, a performance recorded and submitted to the IBO. The celebration of arts continued on Tuesday with a second recital featuring our Higher Level Music students in solo performances. 

MYP Science Expo

While on campus Thursday students also had the opportunity to share their MYP Science Exposition projects with families. Students also had the chance to present their learning to students across the Lower and Upper School Friday morning. They have been hard at work putting their scientific research and lab skills to the test over the past month in preparing for Friday’s Expo.  The Science Expo allows students to make real-world connections to the concepts they have been learning about in class.  We would like to congratulate the students on their hard work and their newly acquired knowledge and skills. We would also like to thank our MYP Science department for their support of our students. 

 

Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)

This past weekend over 30 SCIS students participated in S2F2 which has become a highly anticipated annual event.  Students spent two full days immersed in film-making; working in teams competing against other students.  On Friday, students competed in the 8-hour Film Challenge where SCIS teams worked together to create their own original films while learning from other students, teachers, and industry professionals.  On Saturday students attended workshops, a screening of student films, and the final awards ceremony.  Our students represented SCIS well, bringing home a number of awards.  The SCIS community will have a chance to view these films later this spring during our final Arts Night of the year.  We would like to congratulate the students and thank Mr. O’Reilly and Ms. Whiteside for supporting our students in this experience. 

Mid-semester Progress Reports Posted to ManageBac

Please note that id-semester progress reports were posted Friday March 22nd at 3pm.  Mid-semester reports provide a progress designation and narrative feedback from teachers regarding the individual progress of each student.  Please take some time to review the progress reports with your child.  These reports provide a great opportunity for parents to have conversations around current progress and how to get to the next level.  

Have a great weekend!

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal          Upper School Vice Principal

 

Principals’ Post #26

Dear SCIS Families,

We are looking forward to seeing all of you on campus next week for conferences.  MYP students have been working hard to reflect on their progress this year and are looking forward to sharing their insights next week.  All families should have received an email reminder this week regarding the schedule and sign-up details for conferences.  Please see the information below if you haven’t yet signed up for conferences.

Conference Day next Thursday!  Sign-Ups Close Tuesday March 19! 

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, March 21! All classes will be cancelled in favor of a day devoted to conferences to enhance home-school communication and parent understanding of their students’ development in knowledge, skills, and understandings. To make the most of the day, the Upper School will host different types of conferences to address the needs of students at different stages of their education. 

8:30-11:30am MYP Student-Led Conferences:  All MYP Parents are asked to sign up for ONE 30-minute conference with their child. All students in Grades 6-10 have focused on developing their Approaches to Learning skills this year through an ongoing process of action, reflection, and goal setting leading to further action. The Student-Led Conference is a family meeting in students present this learning process to their parents, and share evidence of their learning and development across subject areas with a focus on different skills. While the student’s Advisor may be present, their purpose is to provide logistical support. The student will lead the meeting. 

11:00-3:00pm Grade 11-12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences: Parents of students in Grades 11 and 12 are invited to join our Juniors and Seniors for one-on-one meetings with each of their teachers. For Grade 11, this is an important checkpoint and will be an opportunity for focused feedback on current successes and next steps. For Grade 12, teachers will discuss final predicted IB grades, share the evidence from the Mock IB Exams and Internal Assessments on which these predictions are based, and make specific recommendations for the best use of revision time in April. 

MYP Field Trip to Guangfulin

Last Friday our MYP teachers and students in grades 6-10 spent the day learning about over 5,000 years of Chinese history on their field trip to the Guangfulin relic park. The goal of the field trip was to help students connect to the history of our host country. Engagement was high as students completed a scavenger hunt that helped to bring the park to life.   The underground museum was a definitely highlight as students were able to walk through time and experience recreations of pivotal periods in Chinese history.   Special thanks to Ms. Fang, Mr. Lawrence, and Ms. Hedderson for their efforts organizing the event.  And congratulations to the Green Team for winning the scavenger hunt. Enjoy your pizza party!

 

Ping-Pong March Madness

March Madness at SCIS has begun!  Our annual student-teacher doubles ping-pong tournament has become a much anticipated tradition.  Student-teacher teams will compete agains each other over the next 3 weeks.  Up to four teams play simultaneous during the lunch with large crowds gathering to cheer on their friends.  Teams compete in the single elimination tournament in Middle School and High School brackets.  The winner of each bracket will then compete for bragging rights as the March Madness Champion.  We would like to thank Head of School Derek Luebbe and Athletics and Activities Director Vic Caban for organizing this exciting lunchtime tournament. Matching students with teachers in teams creates a friendly yet competitive atmosphere. This is a great opportunity for students and teachers to get to know each other better outside of the classroom and brings an air of fun and excitement to lunch.  If you find yourself on campus over the next few weeks around the lunch hour stop in to check out the excitement, you won’t be disappointed.  Go Dragons!


Middle School Dance Club Performance  

Congratulations to our students and Dance Club sponsor Ms. Williams for their performance at Dancefest, held recently at WISS.  Over 130 students from Shanghai international school had the opportunity to participate in dance workshops and show off their moves. They performed original choreography entitled: Dance Break!  Inspired by the sounds and moves of the 80s, this group of dancers collaborated to choreograph a piece that celebrates the undeniable fun of music and movement.  Just try and stay in your seat when these friends meet up for a dance break.  Thank you Ms. Williams for your time and efforts supporting the club! 

Dance Performance Video

Announcements

IB-DP Visual Arts Exhibition & Music Recital: Monday March 18th, 4-6 

In closing we would like to wish the best of luck to students in the many activities they are participating in this weekend.  Good luck to the students participating in the Suzhou Math Competition, ACAMIS Swimming, Cross-River Volleyball, and our Film students participating in S2F2. 

Have a great weekend!

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal          Upper School Vice Principal

 

Principals’ Post #25

Dear Families,

Its been another great week on campus.  March tends to be the busiest month of the year and this year is no exception.  Our sports teams are in full swing with MS volleyball and HS soccer teams competing in our local Shanghai SISAC league.  Tuesday’s performance of the Three Little Pigs was a highlight.  The crowd was much larger than the performers anticipated with the entire Lower School in attendance and many parents coming out to enjoy the show.  This week was also a milestone for the grade 12 students as they began their mock IB Diploma exams which provide a practice run for the real exams which will be held in May.  Many seniors have also been receiving news on their college applications which helps to bring into focus the fact that high school graduation is only months away.  Please read on below for a recap of some of the events of the past week and a look ahead to upcoming events.

Middle School Trivia Night 

Last Friday night we held the first Middle School Student Council sponsored Trivia Night.  The evening was led by our SCIS Quizmaster, Mr. Chris Willauer. Students created their own teams and had a wide range of categories with music, movie clips, and a taste test to guess the right flavor of ramen. The excitement was high for students as they competed for a pizza party and bragging rights as the first official victors of SCIS Trivia. Special thank you to Ms. Roberts for her efforts in supporting the event and our appreciation goes out to all of the teacher chaperones that made the event possible. 

Three Little Pigs

Congratulations to the students in the grade 7 and 8 Arts Rotation on an impressive performance this week.  The student performance showcased an awesome combination of onstage talent and pre-performance hard work and creativity.  A big thank you to Mr. Demas, Ms. Whiteside, and Ms. Riddle for all of your hard work preparing the students.  We look forward to the third and final Middle School Arts Rotation coming May 27!

March 21 Conference Sign-Ups Open! 

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, March 21! All classes will be cancelled in favor of a day devoted to conferences to enhance home-school communication and parent understanding of their students development in knowledge, skills, and understandings. To make the most of the day, the Upper School will host different types of conferences to address the needs of students at different stages of their education. 

8:30-11:30am MYP Student-Led Conferences: All MYP Parents are asked to sign up for ONE 30-minute conference with their child. All students in Grades 6-10 have focused on developing their Approaches to Learning skills this year through an ongoing process of action, reflection, and goal setting leading to further action. The Student-Led Conference is a family meeting in students present this learning process to their parents, and share evidence of their learning and development across subject areas with a focus on different skills. While the student’s Advisor may be present, their purpose is to provide logistical support. The student will lead the meeting. 

11:00-3:00pm Grade 11-12 Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences: Parents of students in Grades 11 and 12 are invited to join our Juniors and Seniors for one-on-one meetings with each of their teachers. For Grade 11, this is an important checkpoint and will be an opportunity for focused feedback on current successes and next steps. For Grade 12, teachers will discuss final predicted IB grades, share the evidence from the Mock IB Exams and Internal Assessments on which these predictions are based, and make specific recommendations for the best use of revision time in April. 

 

 

IB-DP Visual Arts Exhibition and Music Recital: March 18th 4-6pm 

Upcoming Parent Math Education Event

 

In closing, We would like to thank everyone that has already re-enrolled their child for next year.  If you haven’t had a chance to re-enroll please see your parent email for details or refer to post 23.  We are anticipating waitlists in some grades and programs.  In order to guarantee your students seat, please be sure you have completed the process.   

Have a great weekend!

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal          Upper School Vice Principal

 

Principals’ Post #8

Dear SCIS Families,

This past Monday teachers returned from the October National Holiday rested and ready for professional development.  Teachers spent Monday working on their craft and preparing for the return of our students on Tuesday.  Monday morning’s training was run by our in-house English Language Acquisition specialists Melissa Lawrence and Alison Roberts.  The focus was on helping teachers further develop strategies to support students who are working to develop their English language skills.  SCIS firmly believes that all teachers are teachers of language. Consequently, we have dedicated significant resources and energy to ensure that our teachers receive necessary training and support to fulfill this objective.

Students hit the ground running this week completing end of unit activities and picking up where they left off with extracurricular activities. Middle School soccer kicked off today with their first games both at home and away.  We have been impressed with the enthusiasm and high levels of participation this season with over 35 students joining in the fun.  Middle School Jazz Band was also in full swing as the started preparing for their first gig.  Finally, High School Volleyball has started the countdown to the ACAMIS tournament which our campus will host November 8th through the 10th

Principals’ Coffee

Tuesday morning we hosted a Principals’ Coffee morning prior to the monthly PAFA meeting.  Dr. Volpe presented an overview of the Middle Years Program with an emphasis on how students are evaluated.  Ms. Shanks provided an introduction to the IB Diploma Program reviewing the required components and course options. Following the introductory IB curriculum framework presentations Ms. Kelly gave parents an update on the Upper School Relationships and Sexuality curriculum. The gathering provided a great chance for parents to learn more about the IB programs offered and SCIS and to gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered by Ms. Kelly in her sessions.

NYU Shanghai

We also hosted NYU Shanghai on campus this week.  Students in grades 9 through 12 had the opportunity to hear directly from the admissions officer on what the experience would be like on campus and what admissions counselors are looking for in student applications.  Students were excited to hear about the NYU opportunity here in Shanghai and benefited in general from learning about the admission process directly from a college admissions representative.  A big thank you to Ms. Kelly for organizing the event.

Mid-Semester Progress Reports

Reports will be posted to ManageBac on Friday, October 19th.  Mid-semester reports will include a progress designation (i.e. “progressing towards classroom expectations”) for each class along with narrative comments describing each student’s individual progress.  We encourage parents to review these reports with your students in preparation for Parent-Teacher-Student conferences on the 25th.  You will receive an email in your parent account notifying you of the publication of this report by 5pm on the 19th and can follow the link to the Reports tab of your child’s ManageBac account. 

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences  – Thursday October 25th

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences are an essential opportunity, early in the school year, for parents, teachers and students to come together, discuss the progress already made and set goals for the months to come. 

Conferences are scheduled for the entire day of Thursday, October 25.  All conferences will be booked through our online sign-up portal (linked below).  You will build your own schedule of 10-minute appointments in the time block most convenient for your family. Please note that students are expected to attend the conferences with their parents and participate in the discussion.  All regular classes and activities are cancelled on that day, so students should both arrive and leave together with their parents. 

Online conference sign-ups went live Wednesday, October 10th and end Tuesday, October 23rd at 3pm. Please note that the morning session is filling up very quickly, but there are plenty of slots still available in the afternoon. 

Detailed instructions for using the new sign-up system are included below. The following tips may also help:

        • Before scheduling your appointments, consult with your child(ren) and together make a list of the teachers you plan to meet with.
        • Try starting at the second or third hour of a given block for more openings.
        • If you are scheduling five or more conferences, schedule in a break for yourself. Conferences will start every 10 minutes without exception.
        • If you have two children taught by the same teacher, you may book two slots in a row with that teacher.
        • All conferences will take place on the third floor in designated rooms. You do not need to allow extra time to move between conferences.
        • If you need more time with a teacher, or cannot book the slot you want, you are ALWAYS free to email a teacher directly to schedule a meeting outside of the conference day. 

Sign-ups are open now!

PTC Sign-Up Instructions
TIPS: Making the Most of PTCs

Warm regards,

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