2020-2021 Principal’s Post #34

It’s Time to China Go!

After a year of anticipation and waiting for approval, our China Go! trips are finally here! These trips are designed to support the IB curriculum we offer, help students connect to our amazing host culture, and provide shared experiences for students to deepen their relationships and strengthen the bonds of our community.

As a reminder, students in grades 6-11 will depart from school on May 5th and return to school on May 7th. Students will take the normal morning buses to school on Wednesday May 5th and depart from campus at approximately 8:30. Students will return to school on Friday, May 7th in time to take the 3:00 buses home. Please note that we will ask students not to use their phones during the day but each evening they will have time before bed to communicate with families. If there is an emergency during the trips and you need to contact your child immediately, you can call the school during office hours and we will make sure you can communicate with your child. If there is an emergency after hours, you can reach Dr. Volpe at 185-2141-0773.

Please help your child prepare for the trips by ensuring they have all of the materials suggested in the packing lists they were provided. Specifically, please don’t forget to make sure your child brings their PASSPORT on Wednesday May 5th. We truly appreciate your support as a community in making these trips a memorable experience and an opportunity for growth for our students. In closing, I would like to thank the teachers for going above and beyond, spending time away from their own families and personal lives to be there for our students in making these trips a reality. Thank you teachers!

Grade 6 China Go! Trip Information
Grade 7 China Go! Trip Information
Grade 8 China Go! Trip Information
Grade 9 China Go! Trip Information
Grade 10 China Go! Trip Information
Grade 11 China Go! Trip Information

Spring Arts Night: Celebration of the Arts at SCIS

On Tuesday night, SCIS celebrated our Spring Arts Night. It was a truly wonderful evening with a festive, supportive atmosphere. We hope families were able to join via the live stream link. If you missed it or would like to see it again, please note that all performances and presentations are still available. Scroll down to the previous post for links to the various records. Congratulations to our students on their hard work in preparing for Tuesday’s performances and presentations. It was truly impressive to see the hard-earned skills and talent on display and the warm encouragement students offered each other. A huge thank you to all of our Arts and Design teachers, Ms. Whiteside, Mr. Demas, and Mr. Willauer as well as our teacher volunteers Coach Vic, Ms. Riddle, Mr. Vanta, Ms. Roberts, and Mr. Shearer for their support. Also a huge thanks to Justin and Barry Johnson for their technical support of the performances and the live streams. Finally, we want to recognize Mr. Demas in his last year with SCIS for the tremendous contribution he has made in developing our music program in particular and our Arts program in general. Thank you Mr. Demas for all that you have done! And congratulations again to all of our students!

Update from Dr. Liz Gale, SCIS Deputy Director of SChools/ Head of School SCIS-Pudong April 20, 2020

Dear SCIS-Families,

It has been another incredible week of learning and celebration at SCIS-Pudong that included the Upper School Spring Arts Night, a Lower School Assembly, grade level learning celebrations and more!  It is hard to believe that following the coming 3-day weekend we will be entering the final 6-week stretch before the end of the school year.   As you know, the end of the school year is always filled with fun events and happenings for students, and I encourage you to continue to carefully read through the weekly Principal’s Posts, as well as other information sent from the school to ensure you’re kept up to date on the upcoming events as the end of the year draws near.  As always, if you have any immediate questions, please feel free to connect with any member of the administrative team or the divisional secretaries Ms. Vicki Xu for Lower School (vxu@scis-china.org) or Ms. Jelly Ling for Upper School (jling@scis-china.org).

BINGO NIGHT SUCCESS

A huge thank you to the members of the PAFA Executive Committee, as well as the parent volunteers for planning and organizing a wonderful BINGO night celebration last Saturday evening, April 24th at the Pudong Marriot East Hotel.  Approximately 160 members of the SCIS-Pudong community joined the event, which not only served as a symbol of the communal commitment our families have to SCIS-Pudong, but it actually represented much more than that in year that has been characterized by many hardships and challenges due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  It was an event that symbolized our strength and resilience as a community, as well as our dedication to supporting each other and doing our utmost to persevere and ultimately prevail during the challenges we have faced this school year. 

A BIG DRAGON THANK YOU to the members of the PAFA Executive Committee for your efforts in making this night possible.

  • Freda Yiu
  • Loewe Lu
  • Preeti Shah
  • Queenie Wong
  • Sammy Yi
  • Sanna Korsstrom
  • Silvia Gatti

I would also like to thank the following parent volunteers, Athina Ferpozzi and Judith Varnai, as well as the following student volunteers, Allison Peng, Ellen Kim, Francesca Cordischi, Gunit Rana, Jazmin Varnai, Johanna Schultz, Veera Kortelainen, Zazu Varnai who all devoted their time and creative energy to this event. 

In addition to all of the preparations that went into planning BINGO night, our PAFA team has done a phenomenal job this year creating opportunities to bring parents and families together outside of school given the continued restrictions we face surrounding parental access to campus.  The cultural lunch celebrations and grade level outings have been a huge success and certainly had a very positive impact on our community.  Thank you PAFA!

SCIS SCHOOL ACCREDITATION UPDATE

Over the past 24 months, administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents across all three SCIS campuses have engaged in the IB / WASC self-study process.  The “Focus on Learning” self-study is an ongoing school improvement process that assists a school in examining in-depth what currently exists, as well as what needs to be improved in relation to student learning and the school’s program.  Basic concepts addressed in this process focus upon student success in meeting the school-wide learner outcomes and academic standards.  This includes critical reflection on the following questions:

  • How well are students achieving?
  • Is the school doing everything possible to support high achievement for all its students?

The accreditation process is a perpetual cycle of reflection, assessment, designing, and planning, implementing, monitoring, and reassessment:  the process is guided and assisted by tools and structures within the self-study, visit, and follow-up.  

At this time, the school has completed the self-study process by ensuring communal engagement in the following five tasks:

  • Task 1:  Analyze and reflect upon the school’s progress and the impact on student learning since the previous SCIS full self-study in 2013.
  • Task 2:  Refine the student and community profile based upon analyzed and disaggregated data; clarify the schoolwide learner outcomes.
  • Task 3:  Evaluate the quality of the school program in relation to the IB / WASC criteria.  Synthesize the information, determine strength and growth needs.
  • Task 4:  Summarize identified student critical learning needs based on the profile, progress and focus group analysis and findings.
  • Task 5:  Revise or create a comprehensive schoolwide action plan that will drive achievement of the schoolwide learner outcomes and academic standards.

All of the work that was accomplished as a result of the above tasks was compiled and organized into a self-study report that has been submitted to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in preparation for the SCIS IB/WASC synchronized visit that will take place during the week of May 17th-21st.  During the visit, a team of 18 educators and leaders from around the world will engage in dialogue with SCIS faculty, staff, students, and parents surrounding the self-study process and accompanying findings and provide an outside perspective of the school’s ability to effectively meet the established WASC criteria that defines organizational excellence.

Due to the thorough nature of the SCIS self-study process we are very confident that both WASC, as well as the IB Visiting Teams will affirm the school’s findings, as well as the new 2021-2024 systemwide strategic action plan that has been developed as a result.  The 2021-2024 SCIS systemwide strategic plan will guide the work of the systemwide Educational Administration Team, as well as the systemwide Operational Team until completion and/or refinement of the action plan in preparation for the next self-study in 2027.  More information on the IB / WASC synchronized visit, as well as the findings from the visiting team will be shared in the coming weeks.  

If you have any questions surrounding the SCIS IB/WASC self-study process, please feel free to connect with me at egale@scis-china.org.  We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the community surrounding the IB/WASC self-study process this year.

TRAVEL REMINDER

Just a reminder – if your family plans on travelling outside of Shanghai this weekend please ensure that you have informed the school by completing the SCIS Traveler Health Declaration Form. 

RE-ENROLLEMENT UPDATE

Re-enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year is well underway and seats are filling up quickly across grade levels.  In fact, several grade levels are currently close to capacity.

As such, if you are confident that you would like your child(ren) to continue at SCIS-Pudong for the 2021-2022 school year, we encourage you to submit your re-enrollment as quickly as possible.  Additionally, if you have friends or acquaintances who are interested in enrolling their child(ren) in SCIS-Pudong, please encourage them to connect with our admissions department as soon as possible. 

Despite the challenges we have faced surrounding the tightened border restrictions and the impact that has had on welcoming new families from abroad, we continue to attract new students and families from across Shanghai who have heard about SCIS-Pudong and the exceptional student-centered experience we provide.  We are grateful for the continued support from our parent community and appreciate the ways in which you constantly advocate and champion for our world-class and forward-thinking school. Your support and belief in our ability to provide a personalized and holistic educational environment is truly appreciated.

If you have any questions regarding the process for re-enrollment, please do not hesitate to reach out to the SCIS Admissions team at admissions@scis-china.org.

Summer Camp 2021

Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) is excited to offer a specialized summer camp designed with the whole child in mind.  This year, our SCIS-Pudong summer camp program will be a non-academic, thematic experience filled with action-packed fun for children in the ECE through grade 5.  Enrolling your child in the summer program will ensure that their days are filled with games, sports, outdoor exploration, water activities, art, music, drama, Mandarin language/culture fun, and more!  All ECE through Grade 5 students at SCIS-Pudong are welcome to enroll.  Summer camp offers flexible weekly enrollment options for families with limited availability or travel plans.  For more information on Summer Camp please contact the SCIS Admissions team at admissions@scis-china.org.

School Picture Ordering Information

Dear Parents,
The pictures taken during Pret-a-Portraits recent visit will soon be ready. If you haven’t already, please use the card that your child brought home to pre-register your interest in the school pictures and you will be sent an email the moment your pictures become available.

If you have any questions or need assistance, Please contact Pret-a-Portrait directly via:
WeChat: Pret-a-Portrait
Phone: 131 2078 2068
Email: chinasupport@pret-a-portrait.net

Window Into the School Week

Senior Walk-Off

An important tradition at SCIS for our graduating students is a celebration of their last day of class. The class of 2021 had their last day of class this past Tuesday and the entire school community came out to celebrate and mark the occasion. Upper School and Lower School students lined the hallways and staircases as the seniors “walk-off” from their last day of classes. Grade 12 students are now focused on their end-of-semester and IB Diploma exams. This was the first of many events that will celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating students.

Staff vs. Varsity Girls Soccer Team

Last Friday, brave staff members stepped up to help the girl’s soccer team have one more game before the season ended. The game

PSAT

Students in grade 10 had another opportunity to practice their testing skills for college entrance Wednesday as the wrote the Preliminary Scholastic Apptitude Test (PSAT). Students will receive feedback on their performance before the end of the year which will help them prepare for the SAT in their grade 11 year if they plan to apply to universities that require it. If you have any questions about the PSAT or SAT please don’t hesitate to reach out to our University and Social-Emotional Counselor Ms. Kelly.

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #33

China Go! Update

As communicated on Tuesday, April 20th, China Go! trips have been rescheduled to May 5th-7th. Please see the letter from Dr. Volpe below from Tuesday regarding this change. Although we had to adjust the dates, we are very excited that we are still able to offer this opportunity to our students. We thank you for your patience and flexibility with this adjustment to the timing of the trips. These trips are an important part of our curricular program and serve a very important role in strengthening the bonds of our community by deepening and broadening relationships through shared experiences contextualized in our host culture.

Health and Safety Update

Thanks to the ongoing stability of the health and safety environment related to the pandemic in Shanghai, the municipal government, Shanghai Education Commission, and the Education Bureau have continued to relax restrictions. Daily health cards and QR health codes are no longer required for students, staff, and faculty entering campus. Please reference Director of School Dan Eschtruth’s Community Update email from Friday, April 16th for additional information. Subsequently, we have also been received guidance that departure temperature checks for students, staff, and faculty are also no longer required. Please note that QR codes, temperature checks, and scheduled meetings are still required for families to enter campus. However, despite the relaxed protocols, SCIS remains vigilant in safeguarding the health and safety of our community. We will not let our guard down. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Busy Week for SCIS Swimmers

This week our swimmers were busy with a virtual swim meet on Monday April 19th and preparations for the long course, in-person swim meet this weekend at the Oriental Sports Center on Saturday. On Monday, swimmers put in an excellent showing with many personal bests and three new Upper School swimming records set. Tomorrow students will be in the pool for the first time against students from other clubs and schools. We would like to thank Coach Oscar and Coach Mount for all of their time, effort, and energy in supporting our swimmers and we would like to wish them good luck in the long course tomorrow. Go Dragons!

Professional School Pictures (April 26)

Dear Parents, 

We are excited to inform you that Pret-a-Portrait will be visiting the school on Monday, April 26th & Tuesday, April 27th to take fun, professional pictures of the students. Pret-a-Portrait is an international school photography company who have been working within China for many years. 

On the day your child has their pictures taken they will bring home a slip which tells you how you can view their photos. Pre-register your details when you receive this slip and Pret-a-Portrait will email you the moment your pictures are ready.  Orders can be placed via their website or via WeChat with the assistance of their customer service team based in Shanghai. 

Images will be available a week or so after their visit, a 25% discount period will be available to all parents and any orders placed for physical prints will be shipped directly to your home address, digital image orders will be emailed to you.  

Should you wish to take a look, Pret-a-Portraits website is: www.pret-a-portrait.net

If you have any questions for Pret-a-Portrait at this stage you can contact them via: 

WeChat: Pret-a-Portrait

Phone: 131 2078 2068

Email: chinasupport@pret-a-portrait.net

Window Into the School Week

Sprit Week

This week Student Council organized a spirit week to build community and have some fun. Students and staff alike took full advantage of the opportunity to dress up, express themselves, and show their school spirit. It was another great example of the everyday shared experiences that make our community strong.

Outdoor Movie Night

Last Friday, High School Student Council organized an outdoor movie night for high school students. A big thank you to Ms. Hedderson and HS StuCo for organizing the event!

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #32

Student-Led Conferences Recap

It was amazing to host parents on campus for conferences this week. The excitement and buzz in the hallways was palpable. After a year of heightened health and safety restrictions, we were grateful for the opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate the learning of our students. We hope these conferences help to further the ongoing conversation at home regarding how we can help students achieve their full potential in school. We would like to thank all of the students for their hard work preparing for the conversation, the teachers for their support of the students, and the parents for their engagement and encouragement of our students. This home-school partnership lays the foundation for our students to be able to develop into the best version of themselves.

Transportation Update

Please note that the remaining 15 legacy buses will be upgraded over the weekend. The SCIS Pudong bus fleet has now been fully upgraded to all new buses. If your child has been traveling on one of the older buses, please remind them to keep an eye out for the new bus Monday morning!

Spirit Week Starts Monday

Starting Monday, April 19th we will be celebrating Spirit Week. Next week’s activities are sponsored by our High School and Middle School Student Council. The goal is to help increase school spirit by bringing students together around a different theme each day, providing a fun shared experience for all. Please help your child remember to dress according to the themes each day (please note that Lower School will be celebrating Spirit Week as well but with different themes). Go Dragons!

Professional School Pictures (April 26)

Dear Parents, 

We are excited to inform you that Pret-a-Portrait will be visiting the school on Monday, April 26th & Tuesday, April 27th to take fun, professional pictures of the students. Pret-a-Portrait is an international school photography company who have been working within China for many years. 

On the day your child has their pictures taken they will bring home a slip which tells you how you can view their photos. Pre-register your details when you receive this slip and Pret-a-Portrait will email you the moment your pictures are ready.  Orders can be placed via their website or via WeChat with the assistance of their customer service team based in Shanghai. 

Images will be available a week or so after their visit, a 25% discount period will be available to all parents and any orders placed for physical prints will be shipped directly to your home address, digital image orders will be emailed to you.  

Should you wish to take a look, Pret-a-Portraits website is: www.pret-a-portrait.net

If you have any questions for Pret-a-Portrait at this stage you can contact them via: 

WeChat: Pret-a-Portrait

Phone: 131 2078 2068

Email: chinasupport@pret-a-portrait.net

Window Into the School Week

SCIS Badminton Tournament

We hosted an internal tournament with students and teachers participating. Students and teachers competed in a double-elimination tournament Wednesday and Friday. Given the limited opportunities to compete against other schools, this was a great opportunity for students to sharpen their skills and build community through shared experiences. A big thank you to Coach Hedderson, Bilz, and Fang!

MYP Film Students

This week MYP film students developed stop motion animation skills. The painstaking patience and required precision is evident in these classroom photos. Thank you to Ms. Whiteside for ensuring that students in the film program develop diverse film production and editing skills.

Grade 7 Science

Grade seven science students designed and built their own homemade water filters to clean a sample of contaminated water. The following photos show students building their prototypes, which they will experiment with to test how well each filter component works. Thank you, Ms. Marcos, for helping to develop our young scientists!

China Go! Trips (Continued Post From Last Week)

The following information was emailed to parents and hard copies were provided to students. Click here to download the China Go! INFORMATION PACKET

We are delighted to announce that we have received permission from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control (CDC) to proceed with our annual China GO! trips from April 28-30. Participation in these trips is an expectation for all students from grades 6-11, and is a highlight of the year at SCIS, eagerly anticipated and always remembered. At SCIS, China GO! seeks to enhance community through shared experiences that help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and solidify a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. All expenses are included in the cost of tuition. In keeping with guidelines from the CDC, please note the following: 

  • All trips will stay within the borders of Shanghai municipality. 
    All transportation will be arranged privately by SCIS. No public transportation (planes/trains) will be used.  
  • All trips leave at 8am from SCIS on Wednesday 28 April. Students will take the buses to school that morning, bringing their health codes and forms as usual.  
  • All trips will return to SCIS before 3pm on Friday 30 April. Students will take the buses home from school as usual on Friday afternoon.  
  • All students, teachers, and guides will have their temperatures checked twice per day during the trips.  

For more questions about the details of your child’s Grade Level Trip itself, please refer to the attached documentation, or contact your child’s Advisor.  

Travel Documents and Forms 

To travel in China, all foreign nationals are required to have a current passport with a legal visa. If there has been a recent change to your child’s passport, please contact the SCIS Upper School Secretary, Jelly Ling, as soon as possible. If your child’s visa is currently being processed, the visa bureau should issue a receipt which can serve as a legal document affirming that they are holding the passport, and that the student is in China legally and free to travel. Students will need to have their original passport, legally binding receipt or travel permit with them on the trip. 

We also need your signed conduct agreement form as well as a medical release form with insurance information. Those two forms are attached(below), and are also available for download from ManageBac, and from our school website. 

Please return hard copies of the following to your child’s Advisor as soon as possible, and under no condition later than Friday 16 April

  • Conduct Agreement and Permission Form (attached)  
  • Medical Release and Personal Information Form (attached) 
  • Copies of current passport, visa page, and most recent entry stamp 

Communication 

Students are free to bring mobile phones on the trip, but in order to ensure that they participate fully in every activity without distraction, they will be expected to keep them zipped up in their bags throughout the day. Every evening, at a scheduled time, all students will be expected to call their parents. Please refrain from calling or texting your child during the day, as they will not respond until the evening, and their silence may cause you undue worry.   

Students who do not have their own devices will have the opportunity to borrow from a friend to ensure that all students are able to connect with their parents every night.  

If a family emergency arises and you have an urgent need to reach your child during the day, please contact Dr. Volpe and he will facilitate the necessary communication immediately.  

Pictures 

Each trip will be fully documented through both pictures and shared reflections. These pictures will be collected for each grade level, and used for reflection and demonstration, for the yearbook, and many other functions after the group returns to campus. While the school administration will provide updates and a few pictures through the Principal’s blog and the Grade Level Parent rep, our expectation is that teachers are directly engaged with students throughout every activity, and should NOT spend time on editing or sharing photos, tasks which necessarily distract from full engagement with students.  

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are confident that this will be a lasting learning experience, and they will return to you brimming with new insights into themselves and the world, and with memories to last a lifetime. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Advisor with further questions about the trip. We are ready to help in any way we can.  

Warm regards, 
Frank Volpe, Ph.D.
Upper School Principal  

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #31

Student-Led Conferences April 14 (On Campus) -Reposted from April 2nd

SCIS Pudong is planning for in-person Student-Led Conferences on April 14th. We are excited that the current health and safety regulations have been relaxed to allow parents on campus for conferences. However, please note that if the health and safety situation changes, we may need to move conferences online. If this is the case, we will notify families immediately. Students will be released at 11:30, on April 14th in order to allow for these conferences to take place. The goal of Student-led conferences is to empower students to reflect on their learning and progress, as well as communicate their learning and development to others. Student-led conferences are an important experience for parents as it allows parents to hear directly from their child in a structured format that is difficult to replicate through informal conversations at home.

Scheduling Logistics

Please note that the first Lower School sign-up time is scheduled for 12:15 and the first Upper School sign-up time is 12:30. These times are purposefully staggered to allow parents time to transition if they have children in both divisions. All students will be asked to take the bus home and return with their parents for conferences. As a parent, if you would like to pick up your child at 11:30, go to lunch in the local area and return for the conference, please be sure to notify the divisional secretaries via email. Finally, for students taking the bus home and returning back to school, please take your child’s transportation time into account when signing up for your conference time. Please don’t hesitate to contact the divisional secretaries or administration with questions.

MYP Student-Led Conference Format

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 which 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. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

DP Student-Led Conference Format

 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. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

China Go! Trips

The following information was emailed to parents and hard copies were provided to students. Click here to download the China Go! INFORMATION PACKET

We are delighted to announce that we have received permission from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control (CDC) to proceed with our annual China GO! trips from April 28-30. Participation in these trips is an expectation for all students from grades 6-11, and is a highlight of the year at SCIS, eagerly anticipated and always remembered. At SCIS, China GO! seeks to enhance community through shared experiences that help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and solidify a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. All expenses are included in the cost of tuition. In keeping with guidelines from the CDC, please note the following: 

  • All trips will stay within the borders of Shanghai municipality. 
    All transportation will be arranged privately by SCIS. No public transportation (planes/trains) will be used.  
  • All trips leave at 8am from SCIS on Wednesday 28 April. Students will take the buses to school that morning, bringing their health codes and forms as usual.  
  • All trips will return to SCIS before 3pm on Friday 30 April. Students will take the buses home from school as usual on Friday afternoon.  
  • All students, teachers, and guides will have their temperatures checked twice per day during the trips.  

For more questions about the details of your child’s Grade Level Trip itself, please refer to the attached documentation, or contact your child’s Advisor.  

Travel Documents and Forms 

To travel in China, all foreign nationals are required to have a current passport with a legal visa. If there has been a recent change to your child’s passport, please contact the SCIS Upper School Secretary, Jelly Ling, as soon as possible. If your child’s visa is currently being processed, the visa bureau should issue a receipt which can serve as a legal document affirming that they are holding the passport, and that the student is in China legally and free to travel. Students will need to have their original passport, legally binding receipt or travel permit with them on the trip. 

We also need your signed conduct agreement form as well as a medical release form with insurance information. Those two forms are attached(below), and are also available for download from ManageBac, and from our school website. 

Please return hard copies of the following to your child’s Advisor as soon as possible, and under no condition later than Friday 16 April

  • Conduct Agreement and Permission Form (attached)  
  • Medical Release and Personal Information Form (attached) 
  • Copies of current passport, visa page, and most recent entry stamp 

Communication 

Students are free to bring mobile phones on the trip, but in order to ensure that they participate fully in every activity without distraction, they will be expected to keep them zipped up in their bags throughout the day. Every evening, at a scheduled time, all students will be expected to call their parents. Please refrain from calling or texting your child during the day, as they will not respond until the evening, and their silence may cause you undue worry.   

Students who do not have their own devices will have the opportunity to borrow from a friend to ensure that all students are able to connect with their parents every night.  

If a family emergency arises and you have an urgent need to reach your child during the day, please contact Dr. Volpe and he will facilitate the necessary communication immediately.  

Pictures 

Each trip will be fully documented through both pictures and shared reflections. These pictures will be collected for each grade level, and used for reflection and demonstration, for the yearbook, and many other functions after the group returns to campus. While the school administration will provide updates and a few pictures through the Principal’s blog and the Grade Level Parent rep, our expectation is that teachers are directly engaged with students throughout every activity, and should NOT spend time on editing or sharing photos, tasks which necessarily distract from full engagement with students.  

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are confident that this will be a lasting learning experience, and they will return to you brimming with new insights into themselves and the world, and with memories to last a lifetime. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Advisor with further questions about the trip. We are ready to help in any way we can.  

Warm regards, 
Frank Volpe, Ph.D.
Upper School Principal  

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #30

Student-Led Conferences April 14 (On Campus)

SCIS Pudong is planning for in-person Student-Led Conferences on April 14th. We are excited that the current health and safety regulations have been relaxed to allow parents on campus for conferences. However, please note that if the health and safety situation changes, we may need to move conferences online. If this is the case, we will notify families immediately. Students will be released at 11:30, on April 14th in order to allow for these conferences to take place. The goal of Student-led conferences is to empower students to reflect on their learning and progress, as well as communicate their learning and development to others. Student-led conferences are an important experience for parents as it allows parents to hear directly from their child in a structured format that is difficult to replicate through informal conversations at home.

Scheduling Logistics

Please note that the first Lower School sign-up time is scheduled for 12:15 and the first Upper School sign-up time is 12:30. These times are purposefully staggered to allow parents time to transition if they have children in both divisions. All students will be asked to take the bus home and return with their parents for conferences. As a parent, if you would like to pick up your child at 11:30, go to lunch in the local area and return for the conference, please be sure to notify the divisional secretaries via email. Finally, for students taking the bus home and returning back to school, please take your child’s transportation time into account when signing up for your conference time. Please don’t hesitate to contact the divisional secretaries or administration with questions.

MYP Student-Led Conference Format

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 which 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. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

DP Student-Led Conference Format

 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. 

This link closes on April 12th at 3pm

China Go! Trips Save the Date (April 28-30)

This year we scheduled our China Go! trips in the spring instead of the traditional fall dates as we had hoped that the health and safety conditions would improve and we would be able to safely carry out the trips. We are excited to say that we received approval on April 1st to move forward with our trips. In order to ensure student safety and meet all health-related travel regulations, all trips this year will take place within Shanghai. We continue to work with our long-time partners Insight-Adventures who have arranged 6 different trips for our grade 6-11 students around Shanghai. Students will depart on April 28th, taking their normal morning bus to school and will return Friday, April 30th on their regular 3pm bus. Please make sure that your child’s visa and passport are valid and available for these travel dates. You will receive further information regarding trip logistics, packing lists, and additional information by Friday, April 9th.

China GO! is consistently identified by students as one of the highlights of the school year. At SCIS, China GO! trips seek to build our community through shared experiences by engaging authentic service-based activities which promote host culture connections. These shared experiences help build the bonds of friendship between classmates and help build a foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. Research shows these relationships have a positive impact on student learning. These experiences help to shape who we are as a community of learners. Students will be learning more about these trips through our Advisory program and parents will receive grade level information and required permission forms in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we ask that parents do not make plans to travel with their students until the day after students return for the trips (April 30). We also ask that parents make sure that student passports and visas are up-to-date as we will be requesting updated copies for booking the trips. Please make a point of speaking with your children about their trips over the coming weeks as you receive important information.

SCIS Systemwide Accreditation Self-Study Meeting on the Hongqiao Campus

Over 200 teachers and administrators gathered Friday on our Hongqiao campus to review and celebrate 2 years of work preparing for the WASC and IB accreditation visit that will be taking place the week of May 15th. The self-study process provides an excellent opportunity for the campuses and programs to reflect on our policies, procedures, practices, and student outcomes. This self-study process has involved students, parents, teachers, staff, administration, and the board. As today marks the end of the self-study process, we now turn our attention to the virtual accreditation visit that will take place the week of May 15th. This virtual visit will involve interviews with students, parents, staff, teachers, the administration, and the board. Essentially, the role of the visiting teams is to ensure that we are accurately reflected through our self-study process and that we are meeting the required standards for WASC accreditation and IB authorization. You will be hearing more about the pending virtual visit in the coming weeks. For now, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the work that has been done and thank all of those involved in this process of continuous improvement. Go Dragons!

Announcements

2020-2021 Principal’s Post #29

Grade 6 Math Shows Off Their Learning

Students in Ms. Marcos’s grade 6 math class showed off their knowledge of Tessellations this week. In this math unit, students were assessed on MYP Criterion C: Communicating. Students had to combine their knowledge of Geometry with their own artistic vision. They were also required to communicate in writing the elements of math and art that were included in the displays as well as express their opinions on the degree to which Tessellations should be considered math vs. art. While other math curricula would stop at requiring students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to the geometry of Tessellations, the MYP requires them to be able to communicate that understanding verbally, in writing, and through modeling. In this way, students at SCIS are exposed to an additional layer of rigor, as students must not only master their mathematical skills and practices but also learn to apply them to the real world and communicate their understanding in a variety of ways. A big thanks to Ms. Marcos for organizing such an engaging learning experience for our students and congratulations to grade 6 on their investigation into Tessellations, well done!

Early Release Day, March 29th (1:40) and Professional Development Day April 2nd (no class for studnets)

As a reminder, Monday is an early release day for students, they will be released at 1:40. The early release days have been set aside for teachers to work on the WASC and IB accreditation self-study which will culminate with a joint visit in May. Teachers will continue this work on Friday April 2nd which is a professional development day. Teachers from Pudong will be traveling to our Hongqiao campus where we will be working together with our colleagues on the other side of the river to complete the system wide self-study. Classes will resume after the Spring Break weekend on April 7th.

Grade 12 Students Take IB Diploma Mock Exams

This week, our grade 12 students sat for IB Diploma mock exams. Each year, grade 12 students are given the opportunity to participate in a simulation of their final IB Diploma exams which serve 2 primary purposes. First, these exams represent the final exam for the semester 2 courses and contribute significantly to their semester grades. Second, these exams give students an opportunity to experience the exact exam conditions they will be under when taking the real IB DP exams, using actual exams from previous years. This opportunity allows students to get used to the setting, timing, and pressure that they will experience when sitting for the exams in May. Finally, students will get a chance to review teacher feedback on their performance on these exams which will guide their revisions efforts over the coming month. I would like to recognize Ms. Shanks, our IB Diploma Coordinator for all of her work organizing and supporting our students and teachers in this important step towards graduation.

Student-Led Conference Sign-ups

The link for parents to sign up for 30-minute time slots for student-led conferences on April 14th will be shared by April 1st. Sign-ups will happen via SignUpGenius, all instructions will be provided with the link. For more information on student-led conferences and this year’s plans, please see the reposted message from Head of School Dr. Gale below.

Student Led Conference Reminder From Dr. Gale (Repeated from Last Week’s Blog)

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

Announcements

ERD PD Day

2020-2021 Principal Post #28 Spotlight on the Arts

DP Arts Showcase

The exceptional work of our IB Diploma Arts students was on display Monday during the DP Arts Showcase. Students are required to publicly display or perform their work as part of the requirements of the IB Diploma Program. Visual Arts students presented their portfolios of work which represents 2 years of engagement around a specific theme. This year’s themes included the impact of human interactions on nature, the seven deadly sins, and the future. Music students were also on hand to share their compositions which were playing over the speakers in the gallery. Film students also screened their final IB collaboration where students worked in teams to create a culminating film that will be submitted to the IB as part of their film grade. We would like to thank Ms. Whiteside and Mr. Demas for their leadership and congratulate the grade 12 Art students on their efforts, their hard earned skills, and the completion of this important part of the IB Diploma experience.

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments was that we received permission to have the parents of grade 12 IB Diploma students on campus. The parents were allowed to enter after all other students had boarded their buses to ensure we were complying with health and safety regulations. It was great to be able to host parents (even if just a few) on campus once again. We are hopeful that we will be able to progressively return to opening our campus to parents as the year goes on and local conditions continue to remain safe.

Shanghai Student Film Festival (S2F2)

Today more than 35 SCIS high school students participated in S2F2 which has become a highly anticipated annual event.  Students spend two full days immersed in film-making; working in teams and competing against other students.  On Saturday, students will compete in the 8-hour Film Challenge where SCIS teams work together to create their own original films while learning from each other.  On Friday students in grades 9-10 attended workshops that were organized, planned, and delivered by students in grade 11.   Student led workshops included animation, sound collection, editing, lighting, and special effects. 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 Ms. Whiteside and Mr. Willauer for supporting our students in this experience. 

SCIS Bus Transportation Handbook

Please review the Bus Transportation Handbook which outlines our bus protocols and procedures including student expectations. Please let your divisional principal know if you have any questions or concerns.  

Student Led Conference Reminder From Dr. Gale (Repeated from Last Week’s Blog)

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

Announcements