Principals’ Post #30

Dear Upper School Families,

The global scale of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rock the our world, reshaping everything about the way we live, the way we work, the way we play, and as we have seen so powerfully over the last 10 weeks, they way we learn. We continue to be blown away by the commitment our SCIS Dragons–students and teachers alike–show to making the most of each school day, even when school happens through a laptop on the dining room table. In very many ways, the experience of social distancing has brought us together. Thank you for your daily support of your students. Dragon Spirit does not need a building to thrive.

Shifts at the global scale have local impact, and we refer you to the letters sent to your scis-parent email account from both Mr Eschtruth and Mr Luebbe earlier today. Mr Eschtruth’s communication is also reproduced belowIf you haven’t already had an opportunity to read Mr. Luebbe’s Head of School Blog post today, please do, so as it contains very important information related to communication from the SEC about a return to campus date, as well as additional information on a restructuring of administrative roles at the Pudong campus for the 2020-2021 school year. If you have questions about any of the content within these emails please submit your questions or comments via this form.  

Grade 10 Looks to the Future

Having finished their MYP cap-stone Personal Projects from the comfort of home, our Grade 10 students are ready to look to the future, to their Diploma Years. Every Spring our College Counselor Ms Kelly and our Vice Principal Ms Shanks look forward to working with the 10th grade class to plan out their transition to the culminating Program of an IB World School–their Diploma Years. The process began back in December, when the 10s were introduced to the Diploma requirements and completed an initial survey about their course selection preferences. Last week we held a special Teams meeting virtually with the Grade 10 parents, going over the both the details of the two-year program for Grades 11-12, and the support offered by our College Counselor to support the students towards reaching their post-secondary goals. Click the slide below to review the presentation. This group session is being followed by individual meetings with each Grade 10 family. We discuss the each student’s strengths and goals and work as a team to build a schedule that works for them, We will be inviting families for their personal meetings over the next three weeks, prioritizing those who have finalized the re-enrollment process.

Message from Director of Schools, Dan Eschtruth

Dear SCIS Parents, 

SCIS, along with all other international schools in Shanghai, have received additional clarification from the Shanghai Educational Commission on our next steps.  We now understand that May 6th is identified as a date by which we should be operationally ready for a return to campus, having completed all mandatory preparation work, and submitted our application for the inspection.

We still do not have a specific timeline for our return-to-campus learning which would include students and teachers. If we learn of a date, we will share this with all of you. In the meantime, we will focus on that which we can control and continue our efforts toward complying with all requirements for the operational and planning requirements for our eventual return.  We will stand ready as soon as there is a confirmed return-to-campus learning date established. 

Thank you for your ongoing understanding and patience as we continue through this situation together.

Message from SCIS Admissions: Revised 2020-2021 Enrollment Deadlines

Dear SCIS Community,

During this health emergency, the SCIS Admissions Office remains open and committed to fostering the SCIS community. Of course, first-and-foremost, our priority is the health and safety of your family and our entire SCIS community. We continue to work with current and new families as we strive to effectively plan for yet another successful school year. For current families, our re-enrollment process is in full swing; and for prospective families, we have already begun accepting new students for the 2020-2021 school year. We are confident that SCIS will once again be able to foster one of the strongest and most diverse learning communities within Shanghai.

As this health emergency continues, we understand that it may be difficult to progress through the standard re-enrollment process with certainty. Thus, in order to further support our current SCIS community, we have adjusted the re-enrollment timeline in order to provide a flexible timeframe that ensures all current families have first priority to register for the upcoming school year.

Please review the adjusted re-enrollment timeline below and visit our re-enrollment webpage for more information. We thank you again for your continued support and involvement in our school community and hope to welcome your family for yet another successful year at SCIS.

If you have any questions regarding re-enrollment or need any assistance, please contact our admissions office at admissions@scis-china.org or visit our re-enrollment webpage for more information.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey T. Ginter
Director of Admissions
Shanghai Community International School
1161 Hongqiao Road, Shanghai, China 200051
Work: 86-21-6261-4338 • Wechat ID: JGinter
Email: jginter@scis-china.org • Website: www.scis-china.org

Family Travel Survey

As a reminder, we are required by the Shanghai Education Commission to keep records on the locations of all of our families. Please be sure to update this FAMILY TRAVEL SURVEY if you location has changed since the last time you completed it. Thank you!

Announcements

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.

Technology Support Reminders

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #28

Virtual Learning Back in Session

This week teachers and students resumed virtual learning. Students and teachers reported that the time away from virtual learning has helped them refresh and refocus. Teachers this week noticed a marked improvement in student participation and engagement which was encouraging to hear. The weeklong break from virtual learning allowed some students to get caught up on missed work and gave everyone a much needed break. This week many students transitioned into new units as we enter the last quarter of the year. We encourage parents to engage students by asking them about these new units and by helping them make connections between these new units and previous learning or real world experiences.

We have also been monitoring student feedback and perceptions regarding virtual learning through our weekly Advisory survey. Advisors and teachers use this feedback to adjust their instruction and monitor student wellbeing. This week’s survey identified a decrease in students reporting emotions like sadness and anxiety with a corresponding increase in those students reporting they felt happy and peaceful. There was also a decrease in the number of students expressing the need to talk to their advisor or our counselor Ms. Kelly regarding. Our assessment is that this Spring Break had a positive impact on our student’s emotional wellbeing. We will continue to monitor our students in this way and reach out to parents as needed. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional wellbeing please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ms. Kelly, your child’s advisor, or the administration for support.

IB Exams Cancelled – Seniors Press On!

Last week the International Baccalaureate Organization announced that for the first time in its 50 year history, the May IB Exam session would be cancelled, in response to the now international pandemic. The IBO is developing a process by which the Class of 2020, including our own Dragons, will be awarded their IB Diplomas through an alternate calculation focusing on their coursework. Projects that are normally assessed by teachers are being submitted to the IB now for external assessment. Students have shifted gears, continuing their preparation for May exams which will this year be run internally by SCIS. We remind the students and their families that the true reward of an IB education is the knowledge, understandings, skills, and attitudes developed over the two-year process. No virus can rob our Dragons of the tremendous gains they have made. The future is as bright as ever, and we trust that our graduates’ plans and pathways will be ready and waiting once the global crisis has run its course.

Pictures of our Community at Work and on the Move

During the week prior to Spring Break, we asked for pictures of our students and families engaged in the work of virtual learning. We share some of these here to help us all remember the amazing community we are all so lucky to be a part of. Please continue to share your pictures in your grade level chats or directly with administration. Thank you!

Midsemester Progress Report Posted Friday April 3rd

Reports were published and available for students and parents to view on Friday, April 3rd in the report section of ManageBac. Please contact the Upper School secretary if you are unable to access the reports or contact Tech Support if your password needs to be reset. Please contact teachers and advisors directly with questions regarding reports.

Message from SCIS Admissions: Revised 2020-2021 Enrollment Deadlines

Dear SCIS Community,

During this health emergency, the SCIS Admissions Office remains open and committed to fostering the SCIS community. Of course, first-and-foremost, our priority is the health and safety of your family and our entire SCIS community. We continue to work with current and new families as we strive to effectively plan for yet another successful school year. For current families, our re-enrollment process is in full swing; and for prospective families, we have already begun accepting new students for the 2020-2021 school year. We are confident that SCIS will once again be able to foster one of the strongest and most diverse learning communities within Shanghai.

As this health emergency continues, we understand that it may be difficult to progress through the standard re-enrollment process with certainty. Thus, in order to further support our current SCIS community, we have adjusted the re-enrollment timeline in order to provide a flexible timeframe that ensures all current families have first priority to register for the upcoming school year.

Please review the adjusted re-enrollment timeline below and visit our re-enrollment webpage for more information. We thank you again for your continued support and involvement in our school community and hope to welcome your family for yet another successful year at SCIS.

If you have any questions regarding re-enrollment or need any assistance, please contact our admissions office at admissions@scis-china.org or visit our re-enrollment webpage for more information.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey T. Ginter
Director of Admissions
Shanghai Community International School
1161 Hongqiao Road, Shanghai, China 200051
Work: 86-21-6261-4338 • Wechat ID: JGinter
Email: jginter@scis-china.org • Website: www.scis-china.org

Family Travel Survey

As a reminder, we are required by the Shanghai Education Commission to keep records on the locations of all of our families. Please be sure to update this FAMILY TRAVEL SURVEY if you location has changed since the last time you completed it. Thank you!

Announcements

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.

Technology Support Reminders

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #27

Celebrating 7 Weeks of Virtual Learning

As we end our seventh week of virtual learning, we would like to congratulate students, teachers, and parents on their efforts. The teachers and administrators have been impressed by the resilience, hard work, and positive attitudes our students have demonstrated during this transition to virtual learning. Students should be proud of what they have been able to accomplish. As administrators, we would also like to celebrate the amazing faculty and staff we are blessed to have. These dedicated educators worked hard through the Chinese New Year Break to launch virtual learning over 7 weeks ago, literally on a moments notice. Their creativity, hard work, and dedication supporting our students and each-other has been nothing short of inspirational. Finally, we would like to thank all of the parents who have taken on the role of tutor, virtual learning guide, and cheer leader on top of all of the parental roles they already play. These last 7 weeks have been a true community effort. Everyone should be proud of the role they have played. We will pick-up where we left off on Monday March 30th, hopefully one step closer to a return to campus.

Midsemester Progress Report Update

Due to the announced Spring Break March 23-27, we have changed the Midsemester Progress Report date. Reports were scheduled to be published on Friday, March 27th. However, due to the fact that we will be observing Spring Break at that time, we have moved the reports to the following week. Reports will be published and available for students and parents to view on Friday, April 3rd in the report section of ManageBac.

Spring Break March 23-27

As noted in Director of School’s Dan Eschtruth’s community update, SCIS will be observing our Spring Break March 23-27. This will allow our faculty and families overseas to return to shanghai to ensure they are in place, through their 14 day quarantine period, and ready to start school once the Shanghai Education Commission provides its approval. In addition to supporting travel back to Shanghai, we hope that families and faculty take time over the break to recharge. This period of no new work will also allow some students who have fallen behind the opportunity to catch up on assignments as well. However, we also encourage those that will be using the break to catch up on work to take some time to rest and enjoy other activities. We look forward to reuniting virtually on March 30th. Please enjoy the break!

Week 7 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey

Please continue to share your feedback with us each week as we seek to fine tune our program. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

Announcements

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.

Technology Support Reminders

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

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 @scis-parent.org email account details when signing in to the Online Re-Enrollment Website.  The re-enrollment deadlines have been adjusted to account for the current situation. Please visit the admissions page for more details. 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.

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #26

Dear Upper School Friends and Family,

Over the last few days the news across the globe of the now pandemic COVID-19 has been startling to say the least. We hope that each and every SCIS family is staying safe and healthy wherever they are in the world. Here in Shanghai we are beginning to see signs of the other side of the local crisis, at the same time it is deepening globally. New concerns and their accompanying safety protocols are falling into place one country after the other, and as of yesterday, over 49 countries have announced school closures. Where just a few short weeks ago we in Shanghai may have felt isolated and disadvantaged, as the crisis goes global, we are learning that there are in fact some benefits to being ahead of the curve. Over the last six weeks we have learned a tremendous amount about what Virtual Learning can do, and how to keep our community of Dragons strong and united even when we cannot be together. We’ve got this!

Virtual Socials at the Grade Level

While students are now feeling more relaxed and at ease in the Virtual Learning environment, the isolation of living in isolation under virtual lockdown is beginning to take its toll, and students are ready to connect with each other, and build on the social and cultural relationships that are such an important part of the secondary school experience. Our grade level Advisors are working with students directly looking for ways to use live sessions on Teams to bring more community building fun into the school days. All Grade Levels have held at least one online “social” event, and in Middle School these are becoming part of the routine during the campus closure. In the last week, middle school classes have hosted a trivia contest, a bingo night, and today’s Kahoot. Students should watch their email for invitations to join. More ideas for virtual social activities should be brought to the Advisors.

Taking Tests at Home

You may have already received emails from teachers inviting you to supervise/proctor/invigilate written tests for your children during the Virtual Learning period. It is essential that students get regular practice completing assessment tasks under formal timed conditions, in preparation for IB Exams and other high stakes examinations that they will encounter at after high school. We ask that you support students by ensuring that they have a quiet room with a bare table and no “smart” devices. We ask that you supervise your students to ensure that testing conditions are upheld. When a teacher is scheduling a written test for your student’s classes, they will provide you with all the specific information you need. Please note the following:

  • The test will be scheduled for a specific date and time. Students may complete it in the timezone where they are, within 24 hours of the posted time.
  • A cover sheet provided in advance will list the specific test conditions for a given exam. This may include the timing of the test, a list of approved support materials, and so forth.
  • The test itself will be sent directly to the parents. It will NOT be posted ManageBac. If you are able to print the test, this is the best option.
  • All written tests should be completed in black/blue ink, on lined paper or on the test paper itself. At the end of the test, these should be scanned/photographed, and uploaded to ManageBac.
  • After each test, parents are asked to complete an Authentication Form affirming that testing standards, and any specific instructions on the cover sheet, were upheld.

Midsemester Calendar Updates

Please note the following adjustments to the March calendar:

  • March 25 will be a regular school day – Day 3. Student-Led Conferences are cancelled. Under normal circumstances, SLCs provide a fantastic opportunity for students to invite their parents into the school building and lead a meeting reflecting on their learning in their place of work. During this Virtual Learning period, we urge parents to take the opportunity to discuss and reflect with their students on what we are learning through this experience as it happens.

Week 6 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey

Please continue to share your feedback with us each week as we seek to fine tune our program. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

Community Update from Dan Eschtruth, Director of Schools – March 6

Greetings SCIS Families,

I hope this email finds you well and thriving during this difficult period. I was pleased to see a large number of participants in the most recent Parent Survey and look forward to sharing our findings and responses with you in my next update. We continue to seek out and welcome your constructive feedback as it guides and improves our response to this crisis. We appreciate your sharing and will consider all suggestions as we continue our work to respond and adapt to this ever-evolving situation. Please find below our recent updates and announcements.

2020-21 Tuition Support

SCIS is fully aware that the current situation brings with it a wide range of concerns, including the toll it has taken on the economy and the bottom line for a wide range of individuals and businesses. In recognition that our school operates on a budget driven entirely by our tuition revenue, we still understand that we must all share the burden and support one another in developing out of this challenging situation. With this said, our Board of Directors has approved a tuition freeze for the 2020-2021 school year. Effectively immediately, we will revert the planned 2020-2021 tuition rate, back to that of 2019-20. This will represent an approximate saving of a 3-4% cost reduction for all families, based on the grade levels their children attend. We are pleased to present this news yet stand committed to continuing our efforts to identify and share support and resources we can provide as we come out of this situation together. 

The Office of Admissions and Finance will follow up as soon as possible with more details and a re-issued invoice to reflect the adjustments mentioned above. Furthermore, we recognize that many families have already made payment in full for the 2020-2021 school year, please rest assured, these payments will be retroactively adjusted to include the new tuition rate. We ask for your patience as the Office of Admissions and Finance works to roll out these changes.

Grade 12 IBDP Student Support Plan:

While Dragons of every age have felt the impact of the campus closure, none have been more dramatically impacted than the Class of 2020, whose final semester has come with some unique challenges. Fortunately, SCIS and the International Baccalaureate Organization are in a position to support students wherever they are in the world. The IBO is proactively taking steps to ensure that appropriate accommodations are in place so that our students and the 6000 IB candidates in China are not unfairly disadvantaged. This includes extensions to all schools in China for submission of external and internal assessments and allowing for some assessments to be completed at a distance – particularly helpful for our language classes. And, while we fully expect to be back on campus for the May IB Exam session, the IB has also made clear that other options are open for candidates in these adverse circumstances. Any senior not in a position to return to Shanghai for their IB Exams will have the option of taking the exams at an alternate venue, transferring schools, or deferring to the November 2020 exam session as communicated to Grade 12 parents directly by the Principals. Our DP Coordinators, College Counselors, and teachers are in communication with families. They are ready to support every family to make the decisions that will best meet the graduates’ needs as they move forward to the next stage of their lives. Please follow this link to learn more about our efforts to support our Grade 12 students. 

SCIS Campus Health & Safety Update:

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, our SCIS campuses have been closed to teachers, students, and any other visitors. During this time, our security team has registered and monitored anyone that has accessed campus. The essential staff that have been on campus for short periods have had their temperature checked upon arrival, were required to wear a mask, and wash their hands upon entering.

SCIS has upheld rigorous cleaning protocols at all campuses, and, with the current situation, these have been strengthened further as we strive to ensure the health of our community. In an effort to raise awareness of our preparation efforts, please review below the steps we are taking to prepare our campuses for the eventual return of our students, faculty, and staff. Please follow this link to learn more about our efforts to prepare our campuses for a healthy and safe return of all students, faculty, and staff.

Social & Emotional Support:

The SCIS Social and Emotional Support Team is working to share resources with the school community to help with the challenges surrounding the COVID19 virus. Several new resources have been added to the SCIS website under COVID19 Updates and FAQ’s link here. The Social and Emotional Support section includes guidance from the National Association of School Psychologists about how to talk with children about COVID19, and the International School Counselors Association offers guidance on managing feelings fears and worries of children.  Local resources from SCIS partner, Community Center Shanghai are also included.

Sincerely,

Daniel D. Eschtruth
Director of Schools
Shanghai Community International School

Announcements

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.

Technology Support Reminders

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

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 @scis-parent.org email account details when signing in to the Online Re-Enrollment Website.  The re-enrollment deadlines have been adjusted to account for the current situation. Please visit the admissions page for more details. 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.

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #23

Dear SCIS Families,

As we finish our third week of virtual learning we would once again like to thank you for your patience and support. Our goal in this time of crisis has been to support the health and safety of the entire school community while minimizing the impact on student learning. The parent support of students, the teachers, and the school in general has helped us to ensure that we are able to provide the best program possible under these circumstances. This home-school partnership is as important as ever in leading our students through the crisis. Thank you for your messages, your feedback, and most importantly for your daily support of students during this difficult time.

By now hopefully everyone has had a chance to read the most recent update from Director of Schools Dan Eschtruth (sent Feb. 19) regarding our campus closure and the resulting changes to our academic calendar. As Mr. Eschtruth explained, in order to maximize our face to face instructional time, we have moved Spring Break to coincide with the seven day return-to-Shanghai period previously announced. We are also canceling the February 28th professional development day and we will continue with virtual learning on that day. We encourage everyone to monitor their email and refer to the SCIS Community FAQ page for the most up to date information.

Virtual Learning Update

Each week we collect data from students, parents, and teachers regarding the success and challenges that they experience. We are incorporating this feedback into our practice on a regular basis. Students and teachers receive updates on a daily basis through our daily email and ManageBac messages. There are a few updates we would like to highlight for families. First, in an effort to maintain personal interactions between students and teachers, we have asked teachers to hold virtual Office Hours for their classes. Teachers have communicated their availability to students and schedule realtime instructional and help sessions to support students. These interactions take place on the Microsoft Teams platform which all students and parents have access to as part of the Office 365. This is one example of the many ways we are working to fine tune our virtual learning program for students. We also shared Virtual Learning Guidelines in Post #22 that we encourage parents to reference. We ask that you continue to provide your feedback through our weekly surveys to ensure we are addressing your concerns and celebrating the successes.

Week 3 Virtual Learning Parent Feedback Survey

Virtual Learning ManageBac Refresher for Parents

Whether we are together on campus or spread across the globe, ManageBac is your most essential interface for monitoring your students’ day to day classwork, assessment tasks and ongoing feedback. During Virtual Learning, students will log one every morning (in any timezone) to see the day’s four scheduled lessons posted on their ManageBac calendar. Each lesson includes a range of learning experiences using a variety of media. ManageBac is MOST effective when you sit with your child and look at it together, but logging in as a parent gives you full access to your students daily calendar of learning experiences, messages to classes from teachers, and feedback on formative and summative assessment tasks. Check the tutorials below for further assistance.

ManageBac Video Tutorials

Calendars and Messages on ManageBac
Checking Progress in ManageBac

Virtual Learning Survival Guide

The virtual Learning Survival Guide is a great resource for parentsa nd students. Please take some time to review the Virtual Learning Survival Guide. This guide has been designed to identify resources for students and parents to support the adjustment to virtual learning. There are also some tech tips for students in using the school platforms. Please click HERE to review the Guide.

College Counseling Update

While the CoVid19 outbreak has certainly disrupted our daily routines, our commitment to supporting students with their plans and goals for the future has remained unchanged. Students continue to receive support and benefit from resources to help them identify the best path for the future. The majority of our 12th graders have completed their applications and have already received acceptances from universities from all corners of the world. The 11th graders continue to research the universities they have shortlisted and explore careers and majors that might be a good fit for them by completing the tasks assigned to them via BridgeU (https://bridge-u.com/). Individual university planning meetings with grade 11 students will continue as planned through March and April, either virtually or in person, depending on the return-to-campus timeline.

As usual, grade 9 and 10 students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to attend university presentations and visit university campuses, if possible. Universities from around the world are offering an increasing number of digital visits and webinars to replace school visits in China which were scheduled to take place this spring. Visit this website for a list of upcoming webinars and registration links. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, a recording of it will be available on the website after the event has passed. These webinars are open to students and parents. We encourage you to visit the website frequently, as more events will be added as soon as they are announced.

Families who have questions or would like to make an appointment to discuss the university planning and application process are encouraged to reach out to our College Counselor, Maja Kelly, at mkelly@scis-china.org..

Announcements

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.

Technology Support Reminders

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

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 @scis-parent.org email account details when signing in to the Online Re-Enrollment Website.  The re-enrollment deadlines have been adjusted to account for the current situation. Please visit the admissions page for more details. 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.

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal . Upper School Vice Principal

Principal’s Post #22: Upper School Virtual Learning Update

Dear SCIS Families,

We would like to start out by thanking all of you for your patience and well-wishes as we work to ensure learning continues for the SCIS community.  Given the realities of the extension of our campus closure as outlined in Director of Schools, Dan Eschtruth’s email (Feb 14, see below), we would like to provide you with a virtual learning update.  We recognize that many families find themselves in unique circumstances and our update may not address all of your individual questions.  We encourage you to reach out to the administration with your specific questions so we can identify the best way to support you and your students. 

Feedback on Virtual Learning

We have received over 200 responses from parents and students over the past week.  We are grateful for the time you have all taken to provide your valuable feedback.  We are making adjustments based on the feedback we have received.  Please expect that we will be sending out weekly surveys to parents and students alike, as it is essential that we have a finger on the pulse of our SCIS community throughout this virtual learning period. Please continue to provide us feedback through these surveys so we can continue to fine-tune our program. 

Support for Students and Parents during Virtual Learning

One of the most important outcomes of the feedback we have received is that we have been able to tailor our faculty efforts to continuously improve the virtual learning program.  From the student perspective, we have received valuable information regarding workload, communication, technology challenges, and the many successes students are having.  Parent feedback has helped us identify additional areas of support that are needed for both students and parents.  Overwhelmingly, the feedback has praised the job that teachers have done in designing engaging online learning experiences and supporting students.  We would like to join students and parents in thanking teachers for their efforts.  We would also like to draw your attention to specific supports we have available for parents and students. 

Virtual Learning Survival Guide

Please take some time to review the Virtual Learning Survival Guide. This guide has been designed to identify resources for students and parents to support the adjustment to virtual learning. There are also some tech tips for students in using the school platforms. Please click HERE to review the Guide.

Virtual Learning Guidelines

As we enter our third week of virtual learning, want to ensure that we are clearly communicating the important guidelines we are operating under during this period of virtual learning.  If you have a questions regarding a topic not addressed below, please reach out to the administration.

Virtual Learning Course Credit: High school students that complete the requirements of virtual learning courses will receive full credit for the duration of the virtual learning period.  As a WASC and IB accredited program, SCIS reports and transcripts are recognized by all schools and universities.

Virtual Learning Assignments: All virtual learning assignments, tasks, and assessments will count towards grades earned on student semester reports.  It is essential that all students continue to treat virtual learning with the same gravity they would treat face-to-face learning.  While teachers will continue to be flexible and supportive of students who face unique challenges, it is important to note that all assignments, tasks, and assessments will be factored into final grading.

Attendance: Attendance during virtual learning is earned through the completion of posted assignments, tasks, and assessments.  Teachers will reach out to students and parents if there is a concern.  Parents are asked to continue to email the Upper School Secretary Jelly Ling (jling@scis-china.org) if students are unavailable for learning because of illness, or other family reasons. 

Submitting Class Work On Time: Given that students are across many time zones, teachers have been asked to be flexible with students regarding work submission by providing up to a 24 hours grace period for assignment submission.  Students who log in on a daily basis to complete and submit the day’s tasks, are considered to be on time, regardless of where they are in the world. If students need more time beyond this window, students should proactively request an extension from their teacher prior to the deadline. 

Parent Support and Involvement: Research shows that parent involvement in learning is essential.  This involvement during virtual learning is even more important.  We encourage parents to support students in identifying a productive work environment, organizational and time management strategies that work for them, and for parents to build in regular set times to review progress with students.  We recommend that this be a daily conversation between parents and students during the period of virtual learning.  The isolation of quarantine for those living in Shanghai and the solitary nature of online learning can also be an additional stressor for students.  We encourage parents to more closely monitor the social-emotional wellbeing of their children during this difficult time and reach out for help when needed.   For support on all of the above, please reference last week’s blog and visit the parent section of our Virtual Learning Handbook.

Reminders

  • We continue to follow the rotating day calendar as published in ManageBac
  • Daily assignments for the day’s four classes are posted for students by 8am Shanghai time each day
  • ManageBac remains the primary platform for communication and work submission
  • Technology Help Desk Support: is available Monday-Friday 8am-11pm Shanghai time.
  • Contact Information
  • Passwords:  email PD-technology@scis-china.org if you need your password reset.

How is it going? Click to provide feedback on Week 2 of Virtual Learning.

Click to give parent feedback on Week 2 of Virtual Learning

Message From Director of Schools Dan Eschtruth

Dear SCIS Community,

I write to inform you of a recent announcement received from the Shanghai Education Commission and our Changning District Education Bureau. It states that all individuals returning to Shanghai, from either domestic or international locations, will need to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period before being permitted to return to campus or participate in any related school event or activity. Our current understanding of the requirement is that it will be applied to all community members, meaning SCIS employees (Faculty & Staff), students, and parents. We do not currently have guidance on what the specific requirements of the quarantine will be, but should we receive further information, we will share that on to all.

I continue to remain in touch with other international schools in Shanghai and across China. Further, our Government Relations Department has been on the ground connecting with all available agencies to verify this information. We will continue our efforts to communicate with these groups with the hope of soon receiving guidance on when we will be able to return to on-campus learning. However, without a confirmed date, we intend to provide a reliable notification process to reduce the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the potential unknown return to campus learning. As such, SCIS will provide notification of at least 21 days before our expected return campus learning date. We hope this will giveyou enough information to support your decisions on potential travel plans.

We are all eager to return to campus and come together as a community of learners once again. In the meantime, we remain committed to continuing our virtual program of learning throughout the government-mandated campus closure period. While we hope our 21-day notice will support families in making their return plans, we also understand that this may not be possible for some families. As such, I am working with our leadership team to determine how we will best support the likely transition period where we will have some students back on campus while others have yet to return.

I ask for your continued support as we approach this as a unified SCIS community – supporting one another where we can. Our partnership in learning has grown even closer as we witness the exceptional efforts of our faculty, students, and parents in working through the virtual program of learning. Our faculty remains committed to delivering the best virtual learning experience while our leadership team strives to provide clarity about our eventual return to campus learning.

Sincerely,

Daniel D. Eschtruth

Director of Schools

Announcements

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.

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 @scis-parent.org 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 admissions@scis-china.org.

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal . Upper School Vice Principal

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.  

Environment 
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.  

Announcements

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 @scis-parent.org 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 admissions@scis-china.org.

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal . Upper School Vice Principal