Principals’ Post #16

Dear SCIS Families,

While the semester is winding down, the pace on campus hasn’t slowed a bit. With one more week to go in the semester students are working hard to wrap up the semester.  The final day of exams will be Monday, December 10th but instruction will continue through Friday.  Our semiannual International Breakfast will be held Friday, December 14th.  Students are asked to bring in a dish that represents a culture(s) that students identify with to share with their classmates.  This will be followed by the Semester Celebration in the Theater from 10:00-11:30am.  Parents are welcome to join us for the assembly to celebrate the accomplishments and student growth that has taken place of the Fall Semester. We hope to see you there.

SCIS Participates in the First Lego League of Shanghai

Congratulations to our First LEGO League teams on finishing 8th and 9th at Last Saturday’s regional tournament. SCIS took 1st place in Core Values and 2nd in Robot Design. Both teams will advance to the finals which will be hosted on our own SCIS-PD campus in February.  We would like to thank Mr. Johnson for his time and efforts coaching the team and Grade 11 student Jahangir Rafiq for working with the team this season.  Their many late evenings of practice truly paid dividends. We are very proud of what these teams have been able to accomplish through their hard work in only our second year of competition. 

For those that are not familiar with First Lego League, its purpose is to develop tomorrow’s innovators by providing them opportunities to practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. The competitions provide students with the opportunities to solve real world problems while having fun with applying science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. 


Spotlight on Upper School Mandarin

We would also like to congratulate Upper School Mandarin teacher Xiating Fang and the students who participated in the Chinese Poetry Recitation competition.  The Shanghai Education Commission invited our school to join the “Introduce Chinese Traditional Culture to International Schools –Chinese Poetry Recitation Competition”, a competition for foreign students aged 2 – 18 years old, non-native Chinese speakers only. This Chinese poetry recitation competition is designed to help international school students learn more about Chinese cultural traditions.  Congratulations to Piper Broad for her 2nd place finish for reciting Altair (迢迢牵牛星) and congratulation to Larissa Zens, Sasha Cassidy, Sarah Castillo, Miguel Ortiz, Jet Wu, and Vaishvi Shah for their 2nd place finish for their group recitation of The Ballad of Mulan (木兰辞).

Semester Exams

As a reminder, Upper School semester exams began Wednesday December 5th and will end on Monday December 10th.  Following exams, students will spend time reviewing exam feedback, reflecting on the semester, and getting a head start on semester 2 units of study.  Final report cards for the fall semester will be published in ManageBac on December 14th.

Uniform Reminder

Parents, with the change in seasons we would like to ask for your help in ensuring students meet the dress code expectations.  There are two aspects of the uniform policy that we want to draw your attention to; outwear and grade level uniform expectations.  Please refer to page 15 of the Parent-Student Handbook for further details.  Please note that we will be strictly enforcing the uniform policy on our return from the winter holiday in order to help ensure students get into the habit of following the uniform policy at the start of the semester. We ask that parents ensure students can meet the following requirements.  Please note that SCIS outerwear can be purchased in the school store along with grade level uniforms.

  • Outerwear: Only SCIS approved outerwear may be worn inside the building. These include SCIS sweatshirts and cardigans and approved sports/club outerwear.
  • Grades 6-8: tan shorts, trousers, or skirts and navy blue polo shirt with the SCIS logo.
  • Grades 9-12 uniform: tan shorts, trousers, or plaid skirts and a light blue Oxford button down shirt with the SCIS logo.

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal           Upper School Vice Principal

Principals’ Post #15

Dear SCIS Families,

It’s hard to believe but we are now entering the final stretch of the fall semester.  Students are wrapping up units and preparing for summative assessments (please be sure to read more about the semester exam session below).  The end of the semester also brings celebrations and performances.  Thursday night SCIS hosted our annual Winter Arts Night. The community had a chance to witness the incredible work our students have done over the course of this semester.  This Sunday our end of semester celebrations continue with the PAFA sponsored Winter Festival. 

As a reminder, please note that Friday December 14th students will be released at 11:30, prior to lunch.  Friday’s activities will include an International Breakfast and we will conclude the day with a Semester Celebration assembly.  We ask that parents help students prepare a traditional dish from a culture students identify with to share with their classmates on Friday the 14th.  Parents are also welcome to attend the Assembly which will start at approximately 10am.  

Spotlight on Winter Arts

Last night’s event was a showcase of the effort and talent across the Arts program as both curricular and extracurricular groups performed and work was displayed.  Curriculum-based student work and performances in Visual Arts, Film, Design, and Music were featured in the gallery during the first part of the evening.  The community had the chance to speak with the artists, designers, photographers, and musicians.  These interactions gave students the chance to explain their work and answer questions about their inspirations and process.  The level of perseverance, hard work, and talent displayed was exceptional.  The evening then moved to the main stage in the theater with the debut of the Middle School Jazz Band.  They were followed by the string ensemble and evening finished with a entertaining set by High School Jazz band.  We would like to express our thanks to all of the parents who attended.  Finally, we would like to recognize teachers in the Arts Department Mr. Willauer, Mr. Demas, Ms. Whiteside, and Mr. O’Reilly.  Thank you for a wonderful evening!  

Semester Exams

The Upper School semester exams will begin Wednesday December 5th and will end on Monday December 10th.  MYP students in grades 6-10 can expect semester exams to follow a range of formats, just like any regular unit assessments.  In the MYP, the end of semester summative assessments are not weighted more heavily than other unit summative assessments completed over the course of the semester.  However, the exam period does allow for students to practice more formal assessment experiences.  The format of these final assessments will vary by subject group and grade level.  Students in grades 11-12 in the Diploma Program can expect more formal exam style assessments that mimic the format of the external assessment components of each course.  Following exams, students will spend time looking at feedback from their exams, reflecting on their skill development over the semester, and getting a head start on semester 2 units of study.  Final report cards for the fall semester will be published in ManageBac on December 14th.


We’re looking forward to Sunday’s Winter Fest. Hope to see everyone there!

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks           

Upper School Principal         Upper School Vice Principal


Principals’ Post #14

Dear SCIS Families,

In the spirit of American Thanksgiving students took some time to reflect on what they are grateful for in their lives of the course of this week.  Students wrote notes posted on the “Gratitude” board in the lobby and on the windows in the cafeteria to publicly share their appreciation.  The most common theme in the student reflections was the important role of other individuals in our lives; friends, teachers, and family. These relationships are at the core of what makes a strong community.  As an administrative team we would like to take this opportunity to communicate our gratitude to all of you for making SCIS such an amazing community to be a part of. 


Waterloo Math Competition

This week 27 students in grades 8-12 participated in the annual University of Waterloo’s Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing contest.  The student work will be sent back to Canada for evaluation and the results should be out before the end of the semester. The CEMC seeks to inspire the next generation of students to develop an interest in and love for mathematics and computer science. The CEMC is part of the extra-curricular Math Club led by Mr. Etienne Bilz.  Mr. Bilz has done an exceptional job is his leadership of this program.  These experiences provide great opportunities to show their diverse skills, talents, and interest.  Thank you Mr. Bilz for nurturing the passion for mathematics in our community!


Spotlight on Teacher Professional Development

This week students had a chance to sleep in Friday while teachers were hard at work.  Visiting Conceptual Inquiry expert Tania Lattanzio was on campus this week working with teachers to promote the refinement of the SCIS MYP units of study.  MYP emphasizes an inquiry approach to teaching and learning in order to capitalize on natural curiosity and contextualize learning in the real world.  Teachers also spent time working on ways to better emphasize conceptual understandings in their units of inquiry.  The MYP framework requires students to understand facts but emphasizes the organization of facts into big pictures transferable concepts that students will be able to apply in new situations and across subject areas.  Thank you teachers for your hard work this week!

Middle School Soccer Season

This past weekend marked the end of the Middle School soccer season.  Both teams demonstrated sportsmanship and skill in the Cross River event held last Saturday.  We would like to congratulate the students on their season and thank Coach Mavec, Coach Roberts, Coach Newell, and Coach O’Reilly for all of the time and effort they put into making this a memorable season.   

In closing, we would like to with the High School boys and girls basketball teams good luck as they start their seasons this weekend.  Go Dragons!

Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal           Upper School Vice Principal

Principals’ Post #13


Dear SCIS Families,

The anticipation this week has been building for Saturday night’s PAFA family Bingo Night.  Volunteers have been hard at work this week preparing prize baskets now on display in the main hallway, capturing the imagination of the students.  PAFA is expecting a great turnout for this weekend’s event.  We would like to thank the community for all of their hard work in making this event a reality.  Bingo Night is one of those shared experiences across students, parents, and staff that really helps to build and strengthen our community bonds.  We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night!

Spotlight on MYP Arts

This year SCIS embarked on a bold new experiment in the MYP Arts.  SCIS has shifted from requiring students to select only one of the Arts (Drama, Music, and Visual Arts) during the Middle School years to ensuring that students participate in all them.  Now, students in grade 6 have a chance to experience each of the Arts for a semester and students in grades 7 and 8 participate in a year-long rotation through Drama, Music, and Visual Arts with a carefully structured curriculum build around common themes and culminating in collaborative performances.  Students have further opportunities in Middle School to develop their talents in their preferred area of the Arts through our after school program which includes drama, MS Jazz Band, wind and string ensembles, and art clubs.  We feel this balance serves our students best by allowing them to pursue their passions while also ensuring a breadth of experience all aspects of the Arts.

This new initiative in MS Arts is led by Ms. Whiteside, Mr. Demas, and Ms. Riddle.  The Arts rotation emphasizes student creativity and authorship around a common theme.  This trimester’s theme was The Ugly Duckling, a multimedia performance presented as an Upper School Assembly on Thursday. Students in Drama wrote the script to the play, Visual Arts students prepared scene background artwork in comic book form, and the Music students composed and arranged the music that accompanied the dramatic performance.  These three aspects of the Arts combined for a powerful performance.  We would like to congratulate the grade 7 and 8 students, Ms. Whiteside, Mr. Demas, and Ms. Riddle for their impressive accomplishments. 


Model United Nations in Hangzhou

This past weekend our delegation of Middle School and High School students traveled to our sister school in Hangzhou to represent SCIS Pudong at the West Lake Model United Nations Conference. Model U.N. is a student-led activity where students play the roles of U.N. general assembly and committee delegates and consult on important issues facing the world.  While the West Lake Conference has been an annual event for our High School delegation, this year marked the first year SCIS sent Middle School participants.  Grade 10 student Joshua Sahgal deserves much of the credit for the inclusion of Middle School students this year as he took on the development of the program as his Personal Project.  We would also like to recognize Mr. Steele for his sponsorship of the MUN program over the course of the last two years and Ms. Scheiner for her support in chaperoning the trip.  We look forward to hearing more from this growing program.


We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Bingo tomorrow night!

Warm regards,

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


Principals’ Post #12

Dear SCIS Families,

This week we managed to pack a full week’s worth of events and activities into three days.  While the ACAMIS volleyball tournament dominated much of the attention, there were a number of other noteworthy events that took place outside of the regular scheduled classes.  On Wednesday, we had a good turnout of both Upper and Lower School parents who braved the rain to attend the NWEA/MAP presentation.  Dr. Volpe reviewed the role of the MAP testing at SCIS and walked parents through interpreting the results.  Our High School Model United Nations group also had a big week.  They departed Friday morning for the annual West Lake MUN Conference held at our sister school in Hangzhou.  We even had a visit from the Yale men’s basketball team Thursday.  We invite you to read more about these events below.

Association of Chinese and Mongolian International School’s Volleyball Tournament (ACAMIS)

The highlight of this short week is definitely the ACAMIS tournament.  The entire school got involved in the event, a true celebration of our community.  Lower School classroom’s adopted one each of the visiting teams and came out to games to support them.  Upper School students brought their school spirit to the gym Thursday following a special schedule arranged to allow students in grades 6-12 to cheer on both the boys and the girls varsity teams.  Both the boys and the girls got off to a great start Thursday, winning both of their games.  Pool play continued today to decide the seedings for tomorrow’s final rounds.  A big thank you to Coach Vic, Coach Caban, and Coach Vanta for all of their efforts preparing the teams and the logistics for the tournament.  We encourage everyone to come out to campus Saturday to support our teams!


Yale University Comes to SCIS

ACAMIS wasn’t the only athletic excitement on campus this week.  Thursday morning the Yale University men’s basketball team used the SCIS Pudong facilities in preparation for their PAC-12 challenge game against the University of California in their Shanghai season opener this Saturday.  PHE students and coaches were invited to the open practice and were treated with an inside look at what U.S. division I college athletics looks like.  The size and strength of the Yale athletes was matched by an equally impressive intensity and focus.  It was a treat for the students and coaches to watch the practice and helped to introduce the Yale players to life at an international school in Shanghai. 


Spotlight on MYP Design

Mr. Willauer’s Design class has been hard at work redesigning the High School lounge on the fourth floor this semester.  Students went through the MYP Design Cycle in their assignment to reimagine the aesthetics and functional layout of the space.  Teams of students presented to a panel of administration and representatives from the PAFA executive board in an effort to gain funding and support for their project.  This project represents a clear example of SCIS’s efforts to contextualize student learning in real world scenarios.  The concepts and skills Mr. Willauer taught the students in this unit were clearly connected to skills students will use in the workplace.  This Design project also demonstrates our efforts to promote student agency by allowing them to influence the decisions that are made about their school.  Administration and PAFA will continue to work with the Design students to synthesize the design proposal and move the project forward towards becoming a reality.  Stay tuned for what’s next on this exciting initiative.  Congratulations and well done to the MYP Design students and Mr. Willauer for his guidance of our students in this process.


Upcoming Events: Family Bingo Night and SCIS Winter Carnival at Hongqiao


In closing, we would like to bring everyone’s attention to the SCIS Winter Carnival which will be held on out Hongqiao campus.  We are excited to build on last year’s success.  One exciting addition to this year’s festivities is an ice skating rink.  Be sure to bring your ice skates if you have them!

We hope to see everyone on campus tomorrow supporting our boys and girls volleyball teams.  Go Dragons!


Warm regards,


Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal           Upper School Vice Principal

Principals’ Post #11

Dear SCIS Families,

There were many highlights from this week which we would like to share.  Our Spirit Week saw great demonstrations of school and community spirit.  For example, staff and student swap day gave everyone a chance to see their school experience from a different perspective.  We would also like to congratulate the 12th grade IB DP music students.  Thursday of this week students and teachers were treated to the annual DP recital with individual and groups performances showcasing the hard work and talent in our music department.  Hats off to Mr. Demas for all of his efforts preparing students for this important event.

Another highlight of the week was the staff vs. student volleyball game Friday.  All Upper School students joined in to cheer on their teachers and classmates.  The excitement is starting to build for the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools (ACAMIS) volleyball tournament which will be held on our campus next week.  Please see the ACAMIS section below for information on how you can help support this exciting event.

NWEA MAP Assessment

SCIS uses the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress to provide feedback to teacher, students, and families regarding student progress toward meeting grade level expectations.  The MAP assessment is aligned with SCIS’s adopted math and language arts standards.  This assessment is particularly important for Upper School students because performance on the NWEA MAP assessment correlates with college entrances exams like the SAT and the ACT which are used in the United States.  To learn more about how to interpret the results of the assessment, we recommend that you attend the NWEA MAP presentation on November 7th at 10am in room 208 with Dr. Volpe.

Spotlight on MYP Visual Arts

This week students in Ms. Whiteside’s MYP Visual Arts class had the opportunity to introduce a physical element into their class this week.  Students had the opportunity to demonstrate their athletic talent while others honed their drawing skills. As we know, pictures speak louder than words, have a look at these captivating images.

SCIS Hosts ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament Next Week

SCIS is excited to host for the second year in a row the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International School’s annual volleyball tournament.  These tournaments bring together schools, students and coaches from across the region for competitive sporting events throughout the year that emphasize sportsmanship and community building.  SCIS is honored to host again this year as it is a wonderful chance to show off our special community and also allow our entire school to experience the excitement of participating in an ACAMIS tournament.

Message from the SCIS Sports Boosters Club:
We are committed to providing an unforgettable experience for our students and the visiting teams.  We could use your help to make sure students are well fed during their time with us.  The Booster Club is looking for volunteers to prepare baked goods for Thursday November 8th through Saturday the 10th.  All proceeds will go to support the SCIS sports program.  Please send a WeChat message to Gitte Thomasen if you can help.   WeChat ID: gittethomasen

We hope to see everyone on campus next week supporting our boys and girls volleyball teams.  Go Dragons!

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #10


Dear SCIS Families,

It was great to see so many of you on campus this week for Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences.  Research continuously demonstrates that a strong partnership between school and home is vital for student success.  These conferences provided a unique opportunity for students to sit with both their teachers and parents to discuss their learning.  We know that one of the most important ingredients in helping students meet their potential is putting them at the center of the learning process.  These conferences are one important way we promote this student agency.  Conferences also provide a great opportunity for teachers to hear directly from parents regarding their students.  We would like to thank you for your participation in these conferences and most importantly for helping us get to know your child better.


Apart from Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences, our annual Halloween celebration was another highlight this week.  Many staff and students came dressed up for the day.  Student Council sponsored candy grams and ran a costume contest during lunch which gave everyone a chance to show off their costumes and creativity.  The Middle School students capped off the day’s celebration with their annual Halloween Dance.  A big thank you to Ms. Roberts, our MS StuCo advisor, and to all of the chaperones who attended.

Thanks to PAFA, the Halloween fun does not stop with today’s events.  PAFA will be hosting a Halloween Party on campus tomorrow (Saturday October 26th).  There will be food, drinks, activities, and the always popular Haunted House.  This a great chance for families to provide a fun activity for the kids and have the time to connect with other parents in the community.  We would like to thank PAFA for all of the time and energy that has gone into planning this event.  These events are a great example of the shared experiences that help to build and maintain our community ties.  Thank you PAFA!

Saturday Halloween Party Busing Times & Locations
Bus#01, Shimao Riviera Depart 11:20
1 Weifang Road Gate 世茂滨江 潍坊西路1号大门

Bus#02, Green Court  Depart 11:20
777 Biyun Road, Lan’an road gate  碧云花园(碧云路777号蓝桉路大门), 

Kerry Hotel     Depart 11:30

Bus#03, Emerald   Depart 11:30 and 12:00
Emerald Club House  绿宝园会所



Looking forward, there are a few items we want to make sure are on your radar.  First, we want to ensure parents that SCIS is doing everything possible to make sure that our cafeteria provides the highest quality food possible.  Given the recent events of other international schools and the concern with 3rd party vendors, know that SCIS is committed to transparency in our efforts to ensure that food quality meets our high standards.  Head of School, Derek Luebbe, and Director of Schools, Daniel Eschtruth, will continue to keep parents informed of our efforts, so please be sure to review their communications for further information. 

We also want to remind parents that there will be no school for students on November 5th and 6th.  School has been canceled by local government officials due to the upcoming China International Import Expo.

Finally, we’d like to remind students and families that next week is Spirit Week.  StuCo has organized the days according to the following themes.  Please encourage your child to come to school next week dressed to show their school spirit. 

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post # 9

Dear SCIS Families,

This week students have been busy planning and preparing for a number of upcoming activities.  Middle School Student Council has been preparing for next week’s Costume Contest and Halloween Dance. High School Student Council has been busy planning a Spirit Week for Octover 29-November 2, Model United Nations (MUN) students are preparing for the upcoming conference, and the High School Volleyball team is preparing to make the most of our home team advantage when we host the ACAMIS championship beginning November 8th.  Preparations are also underway for Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences which will be held next Thursday, October 25th.  Please be sure to review the information below regarding important upcoming events.

Mid-Semester Progress Reports Posted Today

Progress reports will be posted to ManageBac today.  Mid-semester reports will include a progress designation (i.e. “progressing towards class expectations”) for each class along with narrative comments describing each student’s individual progress.  We encourage parents to review these reports with your students in preparation for Parent-Teacher-Student conferences on the 25th.  Reports will be released by 5pm TODAY and can be found in the Reports tab of your  ManageBac account.  You will receive an notification email to your SCIS email address when the reports go live this afternoon. 

In addition to reviewing student progress reports, this is an important time of year to review assignments and the feedback provided by teachers on individual assignments.  Teachers provide detailed narrative comments in ManageBac posted under the assignment or on the assignment itself.  Reviewing and learning from the feedback provided by the teachers is well-researched as one of the most effective ways students can accelerate their learning and improve their scores on the next assignment.  Reviewing feedback from teachers on individual assignments along with closely reading the mid-semester progress reports are the best way to prepare for Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences.

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences October 25th

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

Conferences are scheduled for all day Thursday, October 25. All conferences will be booked through our online sign-up portal, linked below.  You will build your own schedule of 10-minute appointments in the session most convenient for your family. Thanks to the many parents who signed up over the last 10 days. All teachers still have open slots, with most availability in the afternoon, between 2-5pm. Please note that students are expected to attend the conferences with their parents and participate in the discussion. Students must arrive and leave together with their parents, as there are no supervised activities or classes that day.   

Conference sign-ups went live Wednesday, October 10th and will close Tuesday, October 23rd at 3pm.  Detailed instructions for using the sign-up system can be found by following the link below.

Parent TIPS for Effective Conferences


Warm regards,

Frank Volpe, PhD                   Naomi Shanks

Upper School Principal           Upper School Vice Principal

Principals’ Post #8

Dear SCIS Families,

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

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

Principals’ Coffee

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

NYU Shanghai

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

Mid-Semester Progress Reports

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

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences  – Thursday October 25th

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

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

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

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

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

Sign-ups are open now!

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

Warm regards,

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

Principals’ Post #7

Dear SCIS Families,

It felt like we were able to accomplish five days worth of activities in our abbreviated week.  Students were busy with sports as MS started the boys and girls soccer season and the HS volleyball teams continued their action.  Students also completed summative assessments in many classes as teachers wrapped up some units of study prior to the October break. Much of the week was dominated by the Freedom from Chemical Dependency Program and China Go! assembly preparation and reflection.   

Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD)

This week our visit from Freedom from Chemical Dependence prevention specialist Diana Hu was a hot topic of conversation amongst our students and staff.  The FCD presentations and advisory follow up activities are an important part of the SCIS wellness initiatives.  FCD is a non-profit organization that provides alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education world-wide.  As a prevention specialist, Diana Hu’s role was to provide students with the most up-to-date information available on the physiological and psychological effects of substance abuse.  Special emphasis was placed on how to address the social pressures students may face and how to react in these situations and make healthy choices overall.  We encourage you to review the parent handout below.  This week’s FCD programming provides a great opportunity for parents to have conversations with your children about making healthy choices.  We hope to invite FCD back again next year with a major goal of increasing parent participation in the family focused portion of our program.

FCD Parenting for Prevention Factsheet


China Go! Celebration

Today’s China Go! Celebration was a true celebration of our host country. The  assembly allowed students to look back and reflect on their own trips and to learn about the experiences of students across other grade levels.  The student videos demonstrated deep reflection on the service and action components of the trip and highlighted the new friendships and deepened bonds that have grown from these experiences.  Anticipation for next year’s trips was already building as students learned about the experiences they will have in the future.  Mr. Lawrence closed the assembly with a brief presentation on how students will be building off of the Service and Action experiences they had on their trips with new initiatives in school-based Action over the coming months.  The journey has just begun. Enjoy highlights of our student speakers below: 


Looking forward to October, we want to remind families that teachers will be on campus October 8th for professional development but student’s first day of class will be Tuesday, October 9th.  We’d also like to remind parents that Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, October 25th.  More information will be shared following the October holiday but please mark your calendars now.

Warm regards,

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