Page 1

Shanghai Community International School & Hangzhou International School

April 2014


Fields MDay Campaign-Communitas.indd 1

10/04/14 3:42 PM


FEATURES Superintendent’s Letter Administrator’s Letter Host Culture Curriculum: Performing Art Theme: Service Learning

CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS 03 Hangzhou 04 Pudong 05 Hongqiao 06-07 18-21

08-11 12-14 15-17 22-23

Cover Photo: Features SCIS Pudong Upper School NAHS (National Arts Honor Society) students’ making items for the art auction that will benefit local charities. Photo was taken by Ms. Mun Yee Choo, Marketing Manager. Communitas is the official magazine for the Shanghai Community International School 2 and Hangzhou International School. Please contact us at:

COMMUNITY Educational Insights Coach Corner Community Partner Event Alumni Spotlight The Librarians Corner

24-25 26 28-29 30 31 32-33 34


Dear SCIS-HIS Community and Friends, The saying goes that “it takes a village to raise a child” and at SCIS-HIS schools we believe in a whole community approach to education. A very important aspect of this endeavor is to establish an environment where caring and support is expected of and modeled by all community members. We also nurture a collegial atmosphere where students, faculty and parents are all seen as learners and contributors, and capable of being involved in leadership and decision-making. Throughout the year, our community will participate in activities that further develop a sense of service and a mindfulness to take action in helping and assisting others. In this edition of Communitas magazine, we share stories and images that highlight our “Culture of Service”. Developing a culture of service requires direct experience and interaction with our wider communities. As the school year begins, each grade level is involved in planning for service learning projects. In addition, our parents and faculty are actively involved in charitable causes that provide support or assistance for others in need. It is our intention that students will develop a positive attitude toward the life and culture of others, become a contributing force in the life of the school, and improve their ability to bring diverse peoples together into a sense of community. A visit to any one of our campuses in Shanghai or Hangzhou will affirm that this goal is already well established by all members of our community. While service learning begins at home, SCIS-HIS schools find and keep outstanding educators who believe it takes a village to raise a child. These teachers and administrators commit well beyond the 8:00am to 3:00pm school day in providing students with opportunities to develop their talents, explore new areas of knowledge, or learn a new skill. This level of dedication and service has been a hallmark of SCIS-HIS schools since our beginnings over seventeen years ago. And while much of this hard work is often unseen to the students’ eyes, there can be no doubt from the countless testimonials from former students, staff, and parents, that SCIS-HIS schools are very extraordinary places to be. As we begin to wind “up” the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our professional educators for their hard work, service and care for our students. As always: GOOOooo Dragons!!!

Jeffry R. Stubbs Superintendent of Schools





t is no surprise that successful schools typically have a wellestablished brand forming the foundation of all their school marketing and communications. A school brand is so much more than simply a logo on the letterhead or a blazer badge; it’s the identity people will associate with that school. The community will subconsciously connect a school brand with the quality of services and facilities they have to offer. In the second year in my marketing position at SCIS-HIS, I see more visibility in the school branding guide application consistency. From my first year, where I spent my time establishing the brand guide, to this year, where I have been able to expand and fine tune it, I have noticed a concerted effort by the whole community to follow the brand guide system. As we are all ambassadors of SCIS-HIS, we each have an opportunity to reinforce the quality of our brand every day. A familiarity with the brand has developed. This definitely helps to build a more solid foundation for our internal and external communities. Students and visitors who come to our campus or see our brand, are able to identify what it represents. The impact made with the school brand cannot be underestimated – today, a school brand has to go much further and assist in identifying our school’s competitive advantage. As SCIS-HIS continue to grow, there are things that need to be standardized. Uniforms and merchandize items have been carefully considered. We have moved to homogenize them while at the same time adding more options to our community. We believe this will improve upon school spirit, school identity, and the student body morale as well as bringing more brand recognition to the school. School spirit is an important part of the student, parent, and community experience. In addition to our new branding standards and our revised uniform and merchandise direction, we have been working on our first Annual Report. This Annual Report will be published at the end of this school year. The purpose of this report is to inform the parents and the extended school community of the school’s successes, vision, activities, and achievements throughout the year.


In March 2014, SCIS-HIS hosted the ACAMIS Spring Conference event on our Pudong Campus. Publication materials such as, conference programs, posters, inserts, signs, badges and advertisements were designed and distributed to over 450 educators from across our region. This showcased our school to all the ACAMIS attendees. Everything went so smoothly, that we have set the bar much higher for all future ACAMIS conference hosts. The marketing department has also been involved in different campus events and activities. For example, school summer camps, the art auction party, Shanghai’s Literary Festival, and multiple school fairs intersected with our marketing office. All these events help contribute to the SCIS-HIS identity. And we strive to make sure all our promotional and informational materials showcase our “truly international” identity. With the consistency in brand guide applications, visual appearance as well as sufficient external marketing in different media, we are confident that all of these outlets will showcase our school system as an active, engaging international community with a strong, quality education, that has rich and robust opportunities, enabling learners to flourish in a diverse environment. By MUN YEE CHOO SCIS-HIS Marketing Manager


Ever Wondered Why Chinese Food is the Way it is?


hinese cuisine originated from different regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world — from East Asia to North America, Australia and Western Europe. Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to the different styles of food. There are eight main regional cuisines, and they are: Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang. Rice is a critical part of much of Chinese cuisine. However, in many parts of China, particularly northern China, wheat-based products including noodles and steamed buns are more common, in contrast to southern China where rice is dominant. Despite the importance of rice in Chinese cuisine, at extremely formal occasions, sometimes no rice at all will be served; in such a case, rice would only be provided when no other dishes remained, or as a token dish in the form of fried rice at the end of the meal. This is because the host does not want their guests to think they need a filler like rice. Soup is usually served at the end of a meal in Southern China. In most dishes in Chinese cuisine, food is prepared in bite-sized pieces, ready for direct picking up and eating. Traditionally, Chinese culture considers using knives and forks at the table rude due to fact that these implements are regarded as weapons.

It was also considered impolite to have guests work at cutting their own food. Fish is usually cooked and served whole, with diners directly pulling pieces from the fish with chopsticks to eat; this is because it is desired for fish to be served as fresh as possible. Chicken is another meat popular in Chinese meals. While the chicken is cut into pieces, every single piece of the chicken is served including feet and head. The emphasis in Chinese culture on wholeness is reflected here. It is considered bad luck if fish or chicken is served without its head and tail, as this is synonymous with something that does not have a proper beginning or end. In contrast to most western meals, a Chinese meal does not typically end with a dessert. However, a sweet dish is usually served at the end of a formal dinner or banquet, such as sliced fruits or a sweet soup that is served warm. In traditional Chinese culture, cold beverages are believed to be harmful to the digestion of hot food, so items like ice-cold water is traditionally not served at meal-time. Besides soup, if any other beverages are served, they would most likely be hot tea or hot water. Tea is believed to help in the digestion of greasy foods. Despite this tradition, today soft drinks are popular accompaniment with meals. By DAISY MI Pudong Upper School Campus Mandarin Coordinator 5


What is Performing Art?

Not To Be Missed!!! From Snow Day’s to School Daze --What happens behind the scenes for the Lower School Musical Productions.

blend with the group. This awareness of our community helps to reinforce our skills in empathy. - Self-Discipline: Can we control our impulses when needed? It is so hard not to giggle when it is a serious moment! It also takes practice to know when we are going overboard. - Standard of Excellence: How good can we be? Let’s not settle for anything less than our best! Performing really makes us have to be honest with ourselves. When we answer “No” to the question “Is that the best we can do?” we seek the determination to do it again. And again.


ebruary 13th brought a fun surprise to our neck of the woods: snow! And please guess what every student in grade 2, 3, 4, and 5 sang to me that day. “Don’t let the snow stop! Put away the sun…” These words were straight from our winter production at the beginning of December, and as excited voices echoed in the hallways, one could hear how much the students connected to the music. These days, we are working on material for our spring production entitled, School Daze. We’re singing the lyrics, learning moves, and practicing how to act out our parts. Under the surface of our fun, much more is occurring in the growth of these musicians. In our performances, the audience sees us sing and move. Under the heat of the stage lights, we are using correct vocal technique, enunciating the words, and using inflection all while synchronizing choreography and paying attention to our expressions. As for our preparation (the audience doesn’t know what that looks like) here are some things we have learned to enhance our performance prior to stepping on stage. - Social Development: How do we support our peers in a large group? We have to be aware of our personal physical space and how that relates to the large group, especially on stage. We have to be aware of our voices and actions, to make sure that we


- Confidence: How do we keep our pride in ourselves when we’re nervous? Looking out into the blackness of the audience can be daunting, but luckily we have a few tricks up our sleeves to keep us from becoming too nervous. With our practice, we build up our courage and become more comfortable with performing in any setting. The beauty of a performance is the way it brings a community together in a single moment. For mere minutes, we tell you a story, one that we practiced with the single purpose of entertaining you. I teach these songs and dances so students can make a connection something big. The photo opportunities are just a bonus side effect. The students work collaboratively to become one team, 150 children strong, each relying on the other and being held responsible for performing well. I teach these songs and dances to give these students confidence and poise. They can walk away with the knowledge of understanding how to present themselves to an audience of hundreds. I teach these songs and dances so that students discover another way to find joy in music. See us in action in “School Daze” on May 29th at SCIS – Pudong Upper School’s Theatre. By JESSIE MILLER Pudong Lower School Campus Music Teacher


I’m “All Shook Up!” S

CIS was proud to present All Shook Up!, a rock ‘n’ roll musical set entirely to Elvis Presley hits. Directed by Monica Murphy, All Shook Up! told the story of small-town America, where fun times have been put to an end with the Mamie Eisenhower Decency Act: no tight pants, loud music, dancing, or public necking is allowed. But when roving roustabout Chad drives into town on his motorcycle, things get all shook up! Based on Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “Twelfth Night,” this is a classic tale of hidden identities, falling in love, and jealous rivalry as Chad stirs the hearts of all the young ladies. When Chad himself casts his eyes on a woman who is way out of his league, even the frighteningly strict Mayor Matilda Hyde can’t stop him from falling in love. The March production featured a live band and full-scale choreography. The band, directed by rookie teacher Mark Miller, learned over 20 complete songs plus 18 different scene changes in a few short months of rehearsal; hidden behind the set, they sounded so great that many audience members thought they were professionals! Dance instructor Amanda Seath choreographed nine ensemble dances, and vocal director Tracey Ramsey worked with both ensemble and soloists to perfect their singing. With students ranging from grades 6 through to 12, many of whom had never been in a musical before, it was an exciting challenge for SCIS students! Over fifty students participated by painting sets, running sound and lights, joining stage crew, and of course acting, dancing, and singing. Stars: Wouter Vlas, Naomi Jost, Kyung-in Kim, Marc Xu, Tori Wolf, Mathieu Rundstrom, Nina Walther, Spencer Wilson-Furr, Melia Jost, and David Lee represented the truly international character of SCIS. SCIS looks forward to giving our students chances to shine onstage again! By MONICA MURPHY Pudong Upper School IB English and Drama Teacher

The Show Must Go On P

utting on an elementary musical at HIS is no easy task. Seeing the students twice a week for 40 minutes, coordinating between three different classes and two grades, scheduling rehearsal time, getting props ready, figuring out costumes; it is a serious undertaking. Throw in the fact that Liz Hah has been putting on stellar performances for years (this is the first that she isn’t in the driver’s seat) and you have a real recipe for stress. As if all this wasn’t enough, I had to be as cliché as possible in show business and actually “break a leg” right after the winter holiday and right when rehearsals were supposed to begin. All joking and obvious music humor aside, this did not make putting on a musical any simpler. Continue on page 25… 7


Learning Through an ASA


re you looking for a content-driven after school activity that engages students, builds confidence, expands vocabulary, enhances public speaking skills, increases English proficiency for ESOL students, improves coordination, and requires students to use 21st century teamwork skills? Then look no further than a content-based musical production. During the 2nd and 3rd quarter this year Ms. Darden (2nd grade) and Ms. Dearing (K) offered HIS students in grades 1-5 an opportunity to participate in the musical production Biomes: Animals and Plants in Their Habitats. During the 3rd quarter Ms. Wong (PK) pitched in to help with choreography and running the rehearsals for the show.

their particular biome and their adaptations for survival. In preparation the students performed a few songs at a lower school assembly and there was also a special dress rehearsal that was attended by invitation only. Everyone’s hard work culminated in one night where the students performed two shows for the entire HIS community. The students did an awesome job! Ms. Darden reported, “Seeing them at the first full performance was the most rewarding moment.”

Twenty-five students participated in the show that included costumes, singing, dancing, and quite a bit of humor. Through learning the songs, dance routines and lines, students also learned about different biomes such as grasslands, deserts, forests and tundra. And the students weren’t the only ones who had a great time—Ms. Dearing and Ms. Darden got in on the fun as well. Ms. Dearing said, “The best thing was watching the students’ confidence grow with each practice. During the two quarters they had more than 30 practices including two full dress rehearsals.”

• “We learned a lot about patience and the importance of expressions.” — Eliza from 4th grade.

The show takes the audience on a journey with an elephant, a King Snake, and a Hercules Beetle that have escaped from the zoo. As they travel through different biomes to find their respective homes, the audience is introduced to alligators, Polar Bears, Mushrooms, Macaws, Grasses, Leopard Gecko Lizards, Cactus, and Starfish, who were all discussing the attributes of


Here is what the most important people—the students—had to say about the experience?:

• “We learned a lot about animals and food chains.” — Lucas from 5th grade • Super-duper great!” — Yuval and Janet from 2nd grade. • We learned that if something goes wrong you have to keep going. You can’t stop because of one mistake.” — Lakshaya, from 4th grade. All of the students said it was very stressful being on stage in front of everyone but they had lots of fun participating in the ASA. By CHARLES BELLOMY HIS Lower School Vice Principal


10 Things About Living Abroad. No Turning Back. M

oving around the world teaches you many things. It isn’t for everyone. It takes a special type of person to be able to do what we do. Packing up all your things into two carry-on bags and two checked pieces of luggage is a struggle in itself. Imagine being a woman! I could only bring 10 pairs of shoes! Your mother will go through that luggage and make you narrow it down to 7 cardigans instead of 17, and she will remind you that those shorts still don’t fit and haven’t fit for 3 years, so you should probably just let them go. While letting the shorts go might not be such a big deal, it is a big deal to let go of friendships, relationships, and, comfort. A wise man told me that the reason we move to new countries is because we are either running from or running to something. I laughed and thought he was crazy. I just wanted a change; there was no rationale to my choice. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. I moved from my tiny town of about 60 in the United States of America to Monterrey, Mexico. When I moved to Mexico I didn’t realize that this choice has now started the foundation of my future. I then moved from the big city of Monterrey, Mexico to Hangzhou, China. Just like a tattoo—after you get a taste of one you want more and more. No turning back! Although, I do not have the same amount of experiences as some veteran international teachers, I have learned a thing or two about living abroad. Here are the top ten things I learned from living away from my home country. 1. Freedom. A new sense of freedom. Freedom to do and go as I please. Freedom to travel. Freedom to make choices without a safety net. Freedom to be myself.

5. Stories. The stories you will have to tell for the rest of your life are so unbelievable most people will think you are exaggerating. Hospitals. Airports. Dentists. You try getting your point across in any means possible. And I do mean ANY means possible. 6. Small Things Matter. You realize little holidays and moments you didn’t think mattered are the ones that make you the most homesick. 7. Growth. As much as you hate to admit it, with each move you grow. You learn the best ways to pack, meet new friends, get around, and survive. 8. Adrenaline. Those thrill seekers jumping off canyons and out of airplanes have nothing compared to boarding a plane and traveling to an unknown place. Not knowing anyone. Not knowing your surroundings. Not knowing the language. Now that is a real adrenaline rush. 9. Patience. Realizing no one understands you. No one cares. Ordering food, getting in a taxi and normal every day tasks take patience. Nothing is ever easy. A 10-minute task at home will take you 60 minutes. Accept it. 10. Having to say hello for the first time and having to say goodbye for the final time. Not many people get to experience this, but I have perfected it. This could quite possibly be the hardest and most dreaded part of my life.

3. Converting your local currency to your home country. And the longer you travel or live abroad you begin to convert your new currency to your previous country and countries you visit.

I am still a newbie to the international world and I am sure I will learn many more things. I’m sure some of the readers perhaps laughed or knew what I was saying a little too well. Once you reflect upon your life and all your travels, you can’t picture your life any other way. Although I face some struggles and circumstances that test my patience, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love this lifestyle, the freedom, the opportunities I experience everyday. Not a single day is the same and therefore, there is no turning back for me.

4. Communication. Responding to someone in any language but the language they are speaking.

By RACHEL FAUST HIS Grade 4 Teacher

2. Watching your life at home pass by. Birthdays come and go. Marriages. Deaths. Life doesn’t stop and wait for you.


Registration is now


Fun doesn’t have to take a summer break!

Summer Kids Camp

Enrolling students who have completed Nursery through Grade 5

Online application available here:

Program dates: June 23 - July 18, with flexible weekly enrollment options 10


From Little things, Big Things Grow


have had the pleasure of teaching middle and high school Language Arts this year, and while HIS is still a relatively small school, sometimes it feels like our lower school friends are a long way away. So I feel very lucky to be able to work with the amazing staff to collaborate in teaching our students about reading, writing, storytelling and editing this year. It started when the elective Creative Writing class wrote children’s stories as a class assignment and had the middle school art classes beautifully illustrate them. What better way to get feedback about whether they could grab the attention of their target audience than to march three shy high school boys into a preschool room and make them read their own stories! It was great to see the older boys quietly start reading to their new little friends; as the story went on the character voices started, actions were added, and suddenly my shy boys were teaching! What a wonderful way to show, rather than tell, students about writing for an audience and the importance of character development! Having willing lower school classes at the ready, I have taken other grades from 6 to 11 in to lower school classes. The results have been amazing. Grade 6 students have helped kindergarteners draft, edit and publish books about making healthy choices.

7th graders have helped preschoolers read their favorite stories during reading month and have helped with art—building confidence in my quieter students. It may sound like an easy way to fill an afternoon, but with careful planning the older students really get a lot out of having the little ones to work with. And the little ones have time one on one with an expert reader and writer. The most amazing part of this simple activity is watching the older students come to life creating voices, pointing out the pictures, and asking questions about the story—just like a teacher would! After all, teaching really is the best way to learn something. Amazingly, it has been the students who were very quiet in class, whether because they were shy or they were still learning English, now they have really found their voices from talking with the younger students. Not all schools have the ability for such simple and easy collaboration across the grade levels like we do at HIS. I am so excited that this year we have been able to have so much fun learning with other classes around the school; I am already planning for next years’ projects.

By HANNAH PAYNE HIS Language Art Teacher 11


“Aiming to Serve” - the Middle School Student Council


he main purpose for Middle School Student Council at Pudong (MS StuCo) is to serve our fellow students by organizing fun events for the Middle School as well as finding ways to improve our school. Our 24 members from Grades 6, 7, and 8 work throughout the year. We have two main events that we plan: the Halloween Dance in the fall and the Spring Fling Dance & Lock-In in the spring. This year, the Halloween Dance had over 100 middle school students who dressed up in costumes and had a blast! The Spring Fling Dance & Lock-In will be at the end of May. There will be dancing, contests, awesome raffle prizes, “redonculously” cool activities, yummy food, and another epic game of Sardines. In addition to planning events, MS StuCo also looks for ways


we can give back to our school. Throughout the year, we sell candy grams to raise funds and then purchase needed items for the school. In previous years, we have donated a microwave to the cafeteria, a disco ball for the Black Box Theater, and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the Upper School Campus. Last year, we purchased additional outside benches for the soccer field as well as a juicer for students to use at various events and teachers to use on a regular basis. We also serve our school community by providing recycling bins in the classrooms as well as being the “manpower” to empty the bins once they’re full. By KARIN VALENZA Pudong Upper School Campus Middle School Math Teacher


“Happiness is not what you have, but what you can give”


omeone once said: “Happiness is not what you have, but what you can give.” The members of SCIS-PD Interact Club truly believe this motto, and we experienced this happiness when we visited Chongming Island on April 5th. Despite the fact that many of us had only met these young children for the first time, all of us became close to them after just a few short minutes of interaction. Everyone had fun building sand castles, playing badminton, shooting basketball, and jumping on the trampoline together. Moving inside proved just as enjoyable when we took turns reading storybooks to the boys. Though language barriers exist and communication suffers, nothing can take away the exchange of hugs and games that have no language but love.

come. Many more visits are planned and more opportunities for the Interact Members to continue encouraging these young boys.

Providing opportunities for SCIS Interact members to experience giving time, affection, and energy to these boys creates heartwarming smiles all around and enduring laughter for years to

By JUNE MILES Pudong Upper School Media Specialist/IB CAS & Extended Essay Coordinator


Fun doesn’t have to take a summer break!

Summer Kids Camp Registration is now


Enrolling students who have completed Nursery through Grade 5

Online application available here:

Program dates: June 23 - July 18, with flexible weekly enrollment options 14


The Transition to University: A Guide for High School Graduates


iving in residence halls. Getting to class on time. Studying, Socializing….ah, the life of a university student. To high school seniors, this sounds like a wonderful new life. But how can we be sure they are prepared for the different pressures they will feel? For most of our students, university will be an adventure in a different country than their immediate family is living in. So what do today’s graduates need to think about before they arrive at university? One new experience for most students will be the living situations. With many universities requiring first-year students to live in residence halls, there will always be distractions. University of California Davis student Chris Tse, a 2013 Hongqiao graduate, wishes he had known more about this: “It’s such a different environment than being at home; there are tons of Christ Tse distractions.” He said he needed to be “more conscious about studying and getting my work done.” While living in residence hall has its challenges, the benefit is learning how to deal with many different personalities all the time and working through it while also developing new social skills and study habits. The study habits formed in high school will help students in university, but being prepared for university classes is not exactly the same as high school. “I wish I would have known that just by going to class, it doesn’t mean you’re ‘studying.’ The real studying is through the homework and reading out of class,” Joey Gribble, another 2013 Hongqiao graduate at UC Davis, said. University Joey Gribble classes, with fewer assignments, might seem to new high school graduates a relief, but the reality is that the onus of the work is on them. There may not be a teacher holding the student accountable for the information every time the class meets, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to study. Homework and readings become a personal responsibility.

A big part of the responsibility comes down to time management. IB program graduates can have a leg up on this aspect after two years of intense course work in high school. Joey Gribble said, “I’m really glad that I learned to time manage in high school, as I don’t seem to have any problems here in college.” YeJi Lee, a 2013 Hongqiao graduate studying at Rice University, reinforced this idea: “Your really have to manage your time well to succeed in college. If college is the SAT, IB is the PSAT.” Still, the main theme recent graduates shared was about personal responsibility. “There is an expectation for you to grow up” when you enter university said Alysha Watt, a 2013 Hongqiao graduate at the University of Melbourne. “You will be going to school with people who have an actual desire to learn and better themselves in their own field, so their priorities aren’t about what people do with their personal lives on the weekend.” Taking responsibility for learning and focusing on studying will be the motivating force for successful university students.

YeJi Lee

Alysha Watt

Joey Gribble summed up the transition best: “Overall, I am the true pilot of my success. No one expects me to be in class; I go because I choose to, because I want to. I can sleep, eat, study, or play whenever I want and as often as I want. It’s amazingly freeing. “I’m in an environment of people who came to school because they wanted to, not because they had to. So college is pretty amazing.” By JEFFREY DIBLER Hongqiao Campus IB English and TOK Teacher



March Into Reading M arch is traditionally reading month in elementary schools and a time to celebrate the importance of reading.

At the Lower School library, we started off the month with a celebration Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Dr. Seuss was a famous writer, poet and cartoonist, most widely known for his children’s books including “Cat in the Hat” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Special guest readers were available at recess times to share his books with the students. Another event this month was the Shanghai Literary Festival. SCIS-HIS was a sponsor of the event and we were excited to have authors visit SCIS throughout the festival. The Lower School was pleased to have a second visit from Sarah Brennan, who visited in 2010 as well. Sarah is originally from Tasmania but now calls Hong Kong home. Her visit to SCIS was a fabulous success. Sarah was able to keep the 100+ grade 2 students entranced with a reading of her book PinYin Panda. Some student quotes were “she was funny and nice” and “I loved the part where the Panda was looking in the water and thought she was pretty.” Grade 3-5 students were read The Tale of the Dark Horse, her latest in “The Chinese Calendar Tales”


series. Sarah was able to keep each successive reading full of energy and humour. A common grade 5 comment was, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” The Chinese history was an added bonus to an entertaining reading.

There were 31 students that entered Sarah Brennan’s latest writing contest: A Handsome Horse Poem Competition. Special congratulations to Silya Kivilahti (Third Place), Max Kerr (Honourable Mention) and Lily Hu (Runner Up) in the Grade 2 to 3 Section and Mia-Sam Gabay who was a Runner Up in the Grade 4 to 6 Section. Four places is quite an achievement in a field of 105 entries! (See Silya Kivilahti on the top.) We had a book fair to round out our activities in March, with local vendors Blue Fountain Books, bringing a varied selection of children’s books. Student council organized a “Book Character Day” and many students participated in the dress up. By CAROLE MONDIN Hongqiao Lower School Librarian and Media Specialist


A Recap of the Production

The Boy From The Sky


he Boy From The Sky is based on the story of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It tells the story of a pilot who has crashed in the Sahara Desert and is suffering from an existential crisis while dying from thirst. He meets the Little Prince who has landed in the desert with his own crisis. It’s revealed that the Little Prince is from another planet. The planet was named by a Turkish Astronomer who had to have confirmation by the Astronomical Congress. The Little Prince tells his story to the pilot. Back on his planet he used to carefully tend his volcanoes and watch for baobab seeds. One day a Rose seed flew in and grew into a vain flower who drove him away. He journeyed far before landing on Earth, interacting with: a King who thinks he’s the most important person in the universe; Conceited Boy who’s desperate to impress; Eternal Youth never growing up; Business Woman who owns the stars;

Lamplighter selflessly lighting a lamp; and a Geographer who suggests a trip to Earth. On Earth, the Little Prince comes in contact with a Snake. He continues his lonely journey, stumbling upon an Awkward Flower. Then, he comes across Earth Roses. Just then a Fox appears. He learns a deep lesson from the Fox about friendship. After that, he meets the Pilot. Both of them are changed by the experience in the desert. The Little Prince enters a train station and talks with a Switch Conductor and a water-pill Seller and at this point he and the pilot have completed their lesson. They find water, the Pilot manages to fix his radio and communicate with the outside, and the Little Prince asks the Snake to bite him and send him back home. The Little Prince is reunited with his beloved Rose and the Pilot is a changed man. By VANESSA TOLINO Hongqiao Campus Drama Teacher 17


Service Learning and



Appreciating China “We all benefit from society and so we should contribute as well.” – Mikako Numato, grade 11, Pudong Upper School



“Happiness is not what you have, it’s what you can give.” - Fiona Huang, grade 11, Pudong Upper School

“It’s our duty to make the world a better place.” - Enya Quezado Delgado, grade 11, Pudong Upper School

“I enjoy service work because it makes me feel good that I’m doing something nice for others and putting smiles on their faces.” - Anna Ferarrasi, grade 12, Pudong Upper School


tudents at Shanghai Community International School and Hangzhou International School are encouraged to develop Global and Community Appreciation for the country in which we live. One way to accomplish this is through Service Learning. This takes place in all three schools through commitment to service by encouraging students to get outside the classroom and get involved with the surrounding communities where the school campuses are located. Although language, understanding, and experience can be difficult barriers to overcome, our students have gained so much from their opportunities to serve others, learn more about their community, and interact with individuals they might not otherwise meet, that they are able to break down these barriers. Whether on China Trips, weekly service opportunities, or student initiated service projects, SCIS-HIS students get involved and make a difference wherever they can. The IB CAS requirements are only a part of what the students do to help others and enjoy doing it. At Hongqiao Campus, students from Grades 6-12 are expected to take part in service opportunities each semester, proposing activities, joining them, and reflecting on what they have achieved during the event. These are then shared with their advisors, teachers, and parents in a way that encourages the students to think deeply about their experiences and what they have gained personally. SCIS-HIS students are already providing a wonderful service to the community outside our school. Many students have visited local primary school classes to teach English, read English books, and play games with the children in English. Others have visited the Shining Star Orphanage for blind children who need to learn skills that will help them later in life. Still others work with migrant school children, or autistic children, encouraging them to get involved and interact positively. Still others have traveled outside of Shanghai to work in orphanages to teach English and develop cross-cultural relationships. As a goal, service learning encourages the students to identify a need, collaborate to plan a solution or goal, and then reflect on their interaction with the process. The student groups who are involved include the Interact Club at both Hongqiao and

“What I’ve come to understand Mr. Kerr, is that the power of service learning really doesn’t lie in the changes I can make for other people, it lies in the changes that I can make in myself!” - Lucy Feng, Grade 8, Hongqiao Middle School 20

“The Chinese have a saying, “Helping others is the foundation of happiness.” It’s true! When you do good things you feel good about yourself.” - Nikki Kobrick, Grade 5, Hongqiao Lower School


“When you live in a caring and loving community, you feel like you should give that love back.” - Kim Kim, grade 12, Pudong Upper School

“We should share our good fortune with others.” - Sarah Yu, grade 12, Pudong Upper School

Pudong campuses, the Middle School GIN clubs, and the CAS activity program for MS and HS at Hongqiao. Many students find that helping others can be a fun opportunity instead of a chore to be completed. Our students will one day exit the confines of our school gates and need to know how to function as global citizens. Service Learning is a method of preparation for what they will be doing in the future. While some might argue that service as a requirement loses the option of service, it allows the student an opportunity to make an impact on someone else’s life. Our students are making a difference! Reflection from HQ IB Student from America-- who co-created a Fantasy Basketball League that raised funds to donate basketball goals to a migrant school program in Qingpu District, Shanghai.

“Service allows us to see what we wouldn’t otherwise realize in life.” - InJee Han, grade 12, Pudong Upper School

Reflection from HQ IB Student from Finland: upon his involvement with the Yodak Heart Hospital Cleaning Program. “Progressively through the quarter I have grown to like the Yodak hospital more and more and I have loved indirectly helping the kids there and I hope that our cleaning actually made a difference in their health. I am not the best at playing with kids, but I still wanted to help kids in need. I felt like this was the best way I could contribute to service, while still having fun. I am very pleased I joined the Yodak cleaning group this quarter, and maybe I will join again sometime in the future.” By JESSIE KOENIG Hongqiao High School Vice Principal

Hear it from the Kids! “When I saw the squalid tiny homes that the locals lived in, down dirty back alleys, I saw a part of Shanghai that I had never experienced in my 16 years living here. When Sindri and I finished assembling the basketball hoop, we played a quick game with the kids before we had to leave, and it was great to see the kids smiling and having a good time.”

“I believe contentment comes as a result of making a meaningful contribution to the world. I feel this contentment when working with others worldwide towards a common goal; providing hope to humanity and improving the natural world around us.” - Madeline Friedman, Grade 12, HIS Upper School

The students we helped were so happy to see us there. It was really enjoyable teaching them, reading to them and playing with them on the field. Seeing their reaction to us made this really worthwhile and we’d like to continue to help. - Claudia Chang and Anqi Zhang, grade 9, Pudong Upper School 21


It Takes a Village! - Performing Arts Collaborations on the Hongqiao Campus “When you think about the purposes of education, there are three. We’re preparing kids for jobs. We’re preparing them to be citizens. And we’re teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. The third is as important as the other two.” -Tom Horne, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction.


pringtime is traditionally a busy time for the performing arts at most schools. This spring, at SCIS Hongqiao, is no exception. In the past few months, we have had several concerts and dramatic productions, the theme of which might best be called collaboration. The busy theatre season was kicked off in January by the LS and US Mandarin departments collaborating to produce, not one, but two, Chinese New Year Assemblies that involved enormous effort by our entire Mandarin faculty and included participation by many of our students and several of our overseas faculty as well as professional dancers and Chinese acrobats. February was ushered in with a collaborative effort involving our Upper School Select Strings and our High School dance classes in a concert, titled, “Presque, Presque”, featuring the music of Yann Tiersen. Choreography for this minimal composer’s music was created by both upper school dance faculty member, MeLinda Tatum Kaiser, and Dance 2 student choreographers, as a part of their composition unit. The music was arranged by strings faculty member, Lee Pophal and a music student, Chris Lee.


March brought a variety of arts events, including our annual upper school drama, The Boy from the Sky, an adaptation of the book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This timeless classic, directed by Vanessa Tolino, offered opportunities for over 30 middle and high school students to work as an ensemble and show off their dramatic chops. Several students also were involved backstage, building sets or working as stage crew. The lighting was designed by grade 11 student, Matteo Delfino. On the same weekend, the SCIS-HQ marching band, which is 60 students strong, traveled to the Shanghai Fashion Center to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

hosted by the Irish consulate. The band was well received by a crowd that was very excited to see the marching band. On Tuesday, March 25th was the Upper School select ensemble concert, featuring the advanced and high school percussion ensemble, jazz band, and the high school orchestra. April found the Upper School jazz band on the road again, performing at the Shanghai Center for Shanghai Family Fun Fair. In addition, grade 2 and 3 students will shortly be performing in a massive retelling of Pinocchio, I’ve Got No Strings on April 23rd, directed by LS Dance instructor, Sarah Bailey. The production involves 212 performers, over 20 faculty members and supporting positions, and several upper school students assisting on the technical end. It truly does “take a village” to put on a production. May 23rd-24th, the annual all-school dance performance, Just a Dream, based on the Chris van Allsburg children’s book, will feature the collaborative efforts of over 100 dancers from the Lower School, Middle School, and High School, including from our faculty. Our percussion ensemble and film department will also be involved with this production. This environmental cautionary tale will be coordinated by dance faculty Sarah Bailey, Angela Moran, and MeLinda Tatum Kaiser and promises to delight audiences of all ages. The end of the year is also a busy time, especially for our music faculty. The upcoming music concerts are as follows: May 7 - ECE May 27 - Upper School Strings and Choir May 29 - Upper School Band, Percussion and Guitar June 3 - Upper School Select Ensembles June 10 - G 2/3 Music June 12 - G 4/5 Music It’s a busy but rewarding spring for the performing arts on our campus. Come check out some of the remaining performances! By MELINDA TATUM KAISER Hongqiao Upper school performing arts department chair




Let’s Celebrate Dance!


continue to be amazed by the creativity and enthusiasm for dance that embodies many of our SCIS students. The upcoming Spring Dance Production will bring a wide array of studentchoreographed dances developed within both our high school classes as well as our after school dance company. The students have developed narrative choreography pieces to tell creative stories through movement. Besides flexing their creative muscles, these projects have allowed the students to showcase the impressive dancing technique that they have developed throughout the school year. My heartfelt congratulations go out the many students involved for their accomplishments in dance. Join us May 22nd at 6:30 in the Upper School Performing Arts Center to share in our celebration of their hard work and talent. By AMANDA SEATH Pudong Upper School Campus Dance Teacher

PAFA NEWS SCIS-HIS has parent organizations called the Parents and Friends Association (PAFA) on each campus. PAFA serves as a way that parents can communicate ideas for the betterment of the school to the administration and Board. SCIS and HIS are proud of the high level of parents participation in their schools and value their partnership with the parent community. PAFA conducts various activities, from community events to charity fundraisers to volunteer support for teachers and students. Each campus has a PAFA board who works closely with each campus’ administrations to plan events that help to make SCIS-HIS schools a unique experience for families, faculty, and students alike. We are always welcoming new members! For more information about PAFA, please contact us at: Hangzhou PAFA President: LS co-Presidents: Miranda Kwan & Jerry Joseph US President: Francis Spiekerman US Vice-President: Amy Nash Information about our activities: Contact us at: 24

Hongqiao PAFA President: HQ PAFA Co-President: Mun Chang Event Coordinator: Donna Bose

Pudong PAFA Chairs: Lower School: Lauren Pitts, Katie Berkaw, Upper School: Sandra Machan, Weili Vlas,


My Time in the Peace Corps


he Peace Corps is an American volunteer program that sends college graduates abroad to developing countries. Sometimes these posts are in desolate villages, where the volunteers live in mud huts or brick houses with tin roofs. Electricity and network for phone calls are a delicacy to PCV (Peace Corps Volunteers). And say goodbye to running water and toilets, and say hello to a hole in the ground. With a bucket and a knife… (Ok, that’s a story for another time)… While in the home stay village, a PCV lives amongst the locals, eats the local food, and tries to speak the local language. Their other assignment though (or at least mine was), is teaching at a local community high school. I taught math while I was there (or maths as they call it, since Malawi was a former British colony). Of course, there is training before we get to the village, and one

idea I remember from that training is TALULAR. That stood for Teaching And Learning Using Locally Available Resources. Whether it’s finding the slope of the tin roof of the school building, or using the Law of Cosines to estimate the height of a tree, math is no less prevalent in developing countries than in developed countries (one just has to look around them). The students at Nkhomboli Community Day Secondary School had a great impact on my life and gave me the insight that everyone, no matter where they are or what situation they are in can learn and excel in academics and the educational process. By JUSTIN DEERWESTER HIS Math Teacher

…Continue from page 7 The easy solution would have been to cancel the performance all together, but as they say, “the show must go on.” At most schools, this simply would not have been possible. Luckily, HIS is not one of those schools. What would have been myself leading the performance on a broken leg with Liz behind the scenes working her magic became a joint venture between all the fourth and fifth grade teachers, a wonderful kindergarten teacher/choreographer, the IT staff, and 60 excited students. I started Treasure Island with my fourth and fifth grade classes a week or so before the winter break. We didn’t do much beyond listen to some songs and try to sing along, but it was definitely a start. The first week back after break we had a rehearsal schedule set up, discussed auditions, and really started digging into the lyrics. Things were on a roll until that fateful weekend when my bike decided to rebel and throw me to the ground shattering bones in my right leg. Two metal rods, eighteen screws, and a week later I was back at school in a VERY limited capacity. This is when a decision had to be made. Do we abandon the musical altogether or do we figure something out? Luckily for me, I didn’t have to make that decision. Paul

Cheevers, Jeremy Maher, and Rachel Faust stepped up and told me that they would do what was necessary to make the musical happen for their students. We all knew this wouldn’t be easy and that is would mean being very creative with daily schedules so instruction wasn’t lost. This also meant outside of class planning, tons of parent involvement, and really just stepping into something they had not done before. The responsibility was taken off my shoulders at the best time possible. Paul Cheevers took the metaphorical baton and made this in to one of the best elementary musicals HIS has seen in quite some time. Without his vision and leadership, and without the support and help of Rachel and Jeremy, and all the choreography done by Laura Sirotti-Wong, there just isn’t any way the show would have happened. The performing arts are never just about one person, but this experience has really just emphasized that ten-fold. We set a precedent here at HIS with this show and we are going to continue to work together to give our students the best possible arts opportunities we can. By CHRISTOPHER HORAN HIS Music Teacher



Meet Inês Nunes da Silva SCIS-HQ Girls Varsity Football (soccer) Coach Erick Pessoa interviews Captain Inês Nunes da Silva. Born in Portugal, she took to football at a young age and for the past four years has been on the varsity team. Inês is involved in football and basketball at SCIS, and although she is looking forward to University, she is sad she will be leaving behind so many friends, teammates, and memories. In what sports have you been involved and which is your favourite? I have been involved in both the Football and Basketball Varsity teams for the past four years. I love them both very much and have enjoyed every minute of each game. Needless to say, I am experiencing the football season currently, so I would have to name Football as my favourite sport. What is the highlight of your years in high school sports? There are several highlights I have experienced in the journey of four years in sports at SCIS. I would say the ones that shine through the most though would be the many victories we have proudly brought to our school. The others are the hilarious memories we have made within each team. How does participation in sports affect your academic life? Sometimes it is rather challenging to appropriately balance sports against my academic life. However it has forced me to learn time management, which allowed me to be able to participate in both without any problems. For that I am thankful. What do sports mean to you? Sports mean more to me than just having fun or staying fit, it is incredible how amazing the sensation of being on a team can be and the adrenaline of playing every game whether we win or lose. Sports have always been there for me, as something I could lean on and feel safe with when going through unpleasant chapters in life. Sports are a very important aspect of my life, and I am so thankful to SCIS for allowing me to keep it during these four years. I plan to play sports for as long as I am able to. By ERICK PESSOA Hongqiao Campus HS Digital Photography, IB Film and Varsity Girl Soccer Coach 26

ECE Campus


SUMMER KIDS CAMP FUN doesn’t need to take a summer break!

Program dates: June 23 - July 18, with flexible weekly enrollment options Registration available

March 15 Through

May 15* *while seats available

Enrolling students who have completed Nursery through Grade Two (Date of birth ranging from Nov. 1, 2005 through YES! Now Nov. 1, 2011)

enrolling students through Grade Two!

For all Summer Kids Camp inquiries, please contact



Model United Nations at HIS sense of problem solving and creativity to the issues at hand. Solid Foundation of Knowledge: Participating in a MUN conference often means that students become “expert” delegates in the issues that need to be addressed. Successful delegates are those who have an ample understanding of their role, have identified areas of improvement in a number of scenarios, and can formulate reasonable solutions to large-scale problems.


CIS-HIS teachers, including myself, often wonder how to incorporate the Expected School Wide Learning Results (ESLR’s) into one single, unit, theme or activity. Although there isn’t a one-fits-all answer, a number of enrichment programs within our school system, seem to do the job just fine. The MUN program is a prime example of how ESLR’s are largely and systematically carried out. Let’s take a closer look at them, one at a time: Effective Communication: The students in the MUN club communicate effectively every time they stand up in front of a large audience, in an unfamiliar setting, and speak with confidence about a variety of global issues. They draft resolutions and collaborate with students from different countries towards achieving a common goal. Communication is a key component of all simulations. High Level Thinking: Drafting, formatting, and passing any MUN resolution is a complex process that requires students to research, analyze, comprehend, and then articulate their thoughts into a cohesive and precise manner. High-level thinking occurs at every stage of the process developing a


Positive learning attitudes and behavior: One needs to spend only a few minutes in any debate forum to observe students interacting with the upmost diplomacy, integrity and respect, which are the primary reasons of the United Nations existence. The nature of the MUN program is largely studentrun where attitude and behavior are not compromised or negotiated. Instead, the students take on their roles with a positive and engaging mindset. Global Community and Appreciation: Participants in the MUN have the opportunity to travel locally and often internationally to get together at conferences for one simple reason: to solve the world’s most serious problems. This ambition to change the world, speaks volumes of their sense of community and appreciation for others and themselves. This year, the MUN program at the HIS campus was filled with learning experiences in several venues. We hosted our annual West Lake conference, attended CISSMUN in Shanghai, BEIMUN in Beijing, and NISMUN in Nanjing. In addition, the club is already planning to attend a conference in Singapore next year All in all, our school was well represented, and the ESLR’s that define our school system were effectively carried out. By ANDRES SANCHEZ Hangzhou Campus Upper School ESOL Teacher and MUN Coordinator


Don’t Miss: Hangzhou’s 7th Annual Dragon Run


angzhou International School’s 7th annual Dragon Run is coming up on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Year after year, it brings in hundreds of people and is filled with a lot of entertainment. The event starts off with a 5K race and a 1K Fun Run. Participation pins are given to young children and trophies and medals are awarded to the fastest runners in various categories. After the race, we have a raffle, a delicious barbeque, live entertainment, and a bazaar in the gym where vendors are both selling and giving away products. PAFA will also organize fun activities for the families so we can once again look forward to the bouncy castles and the slip and slide.

When you think of HIS, one of the big things that comes to mind is community, and that is especially true for this event. It seems like just about everyone is involved in making this event memorable. We have people contributing whether they are volunteers organizing the event, runners participating in the race, PAFA arranging fun stations, or companies donating vouchers for the raffle. Everyone willingly does his or her part to ensure that this event is successful. It is amazing to watch the whole day come together and to see everyone having a great time! And most importantly, it is amazing to see everyone working hard for such an important cause.

Although hosting an amazing event and providing a good time for all is important, HIS is excited to be doing it all for a great cause. This year, all proceeds from the Dragon Run will go towards building a classroom for Carnations School in Hangzhou. Carnations School is one of the few schools in Hangzhou that is dedicated to providing education for children diagnosed with Autism. HIS is hoping to not only provide a monetary donation from the proceeds of the race but we are also hoping to spread awareness about this school and the needs of people with Autism.

Be sure to join us on Saturday, May 17 whether you love to run or if you just want to be a part of a community and a fun event. Please visit for more details and to register for the race. By JULIE LY HIS Pre-School Teacher



Yearning to Explore China?


or many living and working in China, the idea of escaping the hustle and bustle of their city lives to explore this beautiful country, whilst appealing, can seem more like a tragic inconvenience than a fun filled adventure.

to find that irresistible local snack, as well as including a range of activities to keep you and the kids busy, Insight Adventures’ range of tours cover any budget and time frame, helping you get the most out of your vacation.

Booking flights is the easy part. Searching for that perfect hotel, organising transfers, booking activities for you and the family, and even finding the right restaurant can be a painstakingly monotonous task of sifting through bias review sites, old lonely planet books, and out-dated travel forums. Who has time for all that?

A well-known English writer by the name of Gilbert Keith Chesterton once said, “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”

Insight Adventures is one of the leading providers of adventure tours and activities, outdoor education field trips, corporate events and international certified training courses in Asia. Formed in 2010, Insight Adventures has offices in both Yangshuo and Hainan Island, with a team of over 50 passionate adventurers from every corner of the globe. Every year, we help thousands, young and old, discover this fascinating part of the world in ways they never could imagine. We understand the work involved in planning a holiday in China, whether a weekend escape or a two week tour of the country, and that is why we’ve put together a number of simple, fully customizable packages to some of China’s most wonderfully scenic and pristine locations. Giving you the choice of our favorite accommodation options in the area, showing you where 30

So next time you are yearning for that holiday with a difference, consider an adventure with Insight. To learn more about Insight Adventures and their tours, please contact: Insight Adventures Head Office: +86 (773) 88 11 033


How 173 Teachers Spent Their Spring Break Learning, Sharing, and Honing Their Craft. W hile students and families were on spring break, the SCIS-HIS faculty were invited to take part in the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Annual Teachers’ Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The SCIS-HIS Board of Directors generously invited all returning teachers to travel to Thailand for the weekend. Teachers attended professional development sessions provided by quality trainers and teachers from around the East Asia region, focused on making connections between pedagogy and the classroom. In all, 173 SCIS-HIS Faculty members took advantage of this professional development opportunity and traveled to Bangkok to take part in the learning and interaction.

The 12th EARCOS Teachers’ Conference featured three keynote speakers with Mark Polansky, Yong Zhao, and Catherine Steiner-Adair. The overarching theme for the conference was “The Science of Learning – Service of Learning.” With 110 different sessions for the faculty members to join, as well as job-a-like sessions and information coffee break meetings with staff members from other schools, it was a great opportunity to establish collaboration, communication, and connections across not only the three SCIS-HIS schools, but also with schools from around the EARCOS region. Opportunities abounded for faculty members to attend sessions based on the concepts of Service Learning, Science, Technology, Math, Social Studies, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Counseling, and General Education Strands…just to name a few. SCIS-HIS faculty members enjoyed the distinction of belonging to the largest group from one school at EARCOS, and often commented on the positives of walking into a particular session and meeting several colleagues from the three SCIS-HIS campuses. The conversations that developed out of the excitement from learning and applying new knowledge will be invaluable in the coming months. When faculty members share ideas, connections, and plans, the students and the community in general, benefits. The conclusion of the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference was not the end of learning for the SCIS-HIS staff. The following day, they took part in the SCIS-HIS EARCOS Learn and Share session that allowed faculty to continue to build connections and transfer their learning with their colleagues. At the Grand Postal Building, small groups of

SCIS-HIS teachers presented highlights from one pre-selected session they had attended at the EARCOS conference. The opportunity to discuss with small groups of teachers from other campuses was beneficial to encourage interaction and immediate application to each teacher’s own classroom. They were able to highlight the relevance of the sessions they attended and how it might apply to their own settings. In keeping with our environmental ethic, staff were encouraged to share their information on the Microsoft OneDrive so that all staff members could access this information when they returned to Shanghai. Following an afternoon social, many teachers left Bangkok to go explore a variety of locations around Asia and the world during their Spring Break. However, the opportunity to learn and share with colleagues was invaluable, and provided a quality opportunity for faculty, administrators, and others to develop important connections for future sharing. All who attended enjoyed the opportunity that SCIS-HIS provided for them. When teachers were asked to share “takeaway” ideas they could implement in their own classrooms, the ideas and topics were full of promise for the SCIS-HIS classroom: “I can encourage creativity in my classroom by using things I’m already passionate about.” “How to better use data on a daily basis rather than by unit or quarter.” “Expert teachers purposefully link learning and teaching through developing and working with a framework that informs and directs their practice.” “Third Culture Kids experience some of the same challenges as teachers who live abroad and move from country to country.” “I’ve taken away a renewed sense of enthusiasm!” “I learned a lot about how I will better differentiate tiered teaching in the Math classroom.” “I love the learning spaces workshop and I think I will try to rearrange my classroom space to make it more fun and accessible to all students.” By JESSAMINE KOENIG Hongqiao Campus High School Vice Principal By LYNN PENDLETON Hongqiao Campus Lower School Vice Principal 31


Julia Zhu

Going from SCIS to a Top University


ulia Zhu graduated from SCIS Pudong in 2011 and has been studying at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is on pace to graduate this December (a semester early) with a degree in Psychology. Julia recently sat down with me to reflect on her past and peer into her future. When someone asks you about your high school, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? “Carefree.” That’s definitely not what I thought when I was in high school, but now that I look up, it was an extremely carefree environment. I was able to immerse myself in such a large range of activities and interact with a number of teachers who truly cared. SCIS was such a tight-knit community (which is a great advantage of attending a small school), and students could take part in every single aspect be it in the arts, athletics, and academics. You’re at one of the world’s Top Universities, how well prepared do you feel coming from SCIS? I think SCIS was able to prepare me relatively well for university academics. The college-level courses they offered were a huge advantage. I was able to skip a lot of introductory courses that are quite mundane (and are typically weed-out classes), and instead was able to enroll in classes that were much more interesting and relevant to my major! What do you think the biggest difference coming from an international school is versus coming from a regular school in someone’s home country? An international school is ever changing. I started at SCIS in 4th grade at Hongqiao campus, and moved to Pudong in 6th grade, so I was at SCIS for approximately 8 years. People come and go every year depending on their parents’ companies, and that’s the sad part of attending an international school.


There are so many students in the States that have been in the same schools with their friends since preschool. Yet, the flow of an international environment gave me such great opportunities to meet people from all over the world, and learn from different cultures. It’s an eye-opening experience, and it still never ceases to surprise me when someone tells me they’ve never been outside of the States! How was the transition of going from Shanghai to Nashville? Have you been converted to country music? I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from Nashville when I landed there on move-in day. I had heard a couple things (some good, some bad), but I really wanted to make the most out of it, so I initially only thought positive thoughts. But now, I realize the transition was pretty hard since many of the freshmen knew someone from their high school who went to Vanderbilt, or people from the same cities and they were able to bond over their similarities. Luckily, after the first week, I met someone who was from Shanghai American School (SAS), and bonded so well with her over how much we missed Shanghai. We’ve been close friends ever since! Unfortunately, I have not converted to country music. I can handle some Brad Paisley now and then, and I don’t mind if we’re playing a country music station, but it’s definitely not my first pick! Rumor has it from my friends in Nashville that you might be coming back to Shanghai for an internship this summer. Have you been missing Shanghai? I definitely consider Shanghai my home. I haven’t been back since the summer of 2012, and I can barely put into words how much I miss Shanghai. I’m hoping one day I’ll


be able to head back to Shanghai and situate myself there, but for now I can’t wait to come back! Did your time spent out here learning the city, the culture, and the language help you land this competitive internship? How big of a deal do you think it is to prospective employers that you have already had real world overseas experience? China is ever growing, and just simply stating experience with the Chinese language and culture can land you a plethora of internships. Overseas experience isn’t something that can be taught in a classroom! Study abroad programs are a huge thing in the States, but being able to say you lived 10+ years in one of the fastest developing countries in the world is an incomparable, and unbeatable experience. I also heard (journalists have spies everywhere...) that you are getting ready for the GRE. What are your plans for graduate school? Haha, I’m getting ready here and there. Next semester I’ll be applying to a small number of graduate schools and hoping to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology within the next 5-7 years. I’m currently researching the effects of electrical stimulation on performance monitoring and learning in schizophrenia patients, a topic which I hope to extend into graduate school. Although graduate school is extremely research heavy (not as clinical as I thought!), I hope to translate my future research into a clinical setting and be able to work heavily with clinical populations. 5 years from now, where do you see yourself? If I continue with psychology, in 5 years, I’ll still be in

graduate school as most programs last 5-7 years. Afterwards, it’ll definitely be years on years of research to establish myself in the field of psychology. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to open my own clinic on the side, as I am still most interested in working directly with the clinical population. The opportunity to merge both interests would be the most ideal path! What advice can you give those in high school right now preparing for university and trying to choose a university? Although this is not extremely viable because everyone lives in China, if given the chance, I would most definitely have visited the universities I was most interested in. A lot of universities look great on paper with amazing pictures of students interacting, but you really have to be there to not only get a feel of what the university is like, but also what the city or town is going to be like. If you’re going to choose a place to live for the next four years, you better love it! And a scale of 1-10, how high would you recommend Vanderbilt? Vanderbilt is a great university, and if you’re looking for an academically rigorous, but sociable environment, this is definitely the place to be. I’d give the university a 9, simply because I feel that it’s missing a few key majors that would have been great choices to have (business, marketing, etc). Luckily, you can easily create your own major! By Jonathan Paulson Communications Officer -Communitas Editor

The Alumni Association Alumni Mission: The SCIS-HIS Alumni Association has been established in order to foster the continued cordial relations of the SCIS-HIS community. The Alumni Association seeks to generate and maintain the active interest of all SCIS-HIS alumni in its regular business. It will provide the alumni with regular opportunities to assemble and maintain valued relationships through the promotion of alumni events and communications. Alumni Contact: Jonathan Paulson

Alumni Requirements: 1. Graduated from a SCIS-HIS school OR 2. Went to school here for at least one year AND be over 18 Social Media facebook site: Linkedin site: Upcoming Events: June 2014 in Shanghai 33


Book Recommendations for All Ages Blackout

By: John Rocco For Grades PreKindergaten-Grade2 Synopsis:This Caldecott Honor book is another gem. The story, though sparse, is that of a family who experiences a city-wide black out. The family, too busy with their electronic divides before the back out, finally have time to enjoy an evening together. When the lights do come back on, the family decides to continue the black out experience of their own accord. Ms Danesi’s Take: The studies and research are in! We are spending too much time on our electronic devices, and our children are feeling it...but I’m not reporting anything new, am I? Without being preachy, this book tells us to try to really be with our family when we are with our family. It also magically turns something that could be view as negative (a black-out) into a little bit of magic for a family that needs it…couldn’t we all use a little “blackout”?


By: Carl Hiaasen For Grades 3-8 Synopsis: Roy Everhardt is the new kid—again. This time around it’s Trace Middle School in humid Coconut Grove, Florida. But it’s still the same old routine: table by himself at lunch, no real friends, and think-headed bullies like Dana Matherson pushing him around. But if it wasn’t for Dana Matherson mashing his face against the school bus window that one day, he might never have seen the tow-headed running boy. And if he had never seen the running boy, he might never have met tall, tough bully-beating Beatrice. And if he had never met Beatrice, he might never have discovered the burrowing owls living in the lot on the corner of East Oriole Avenue. And if he had never discovered the owls, he probably would have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. Apparently, bullies do serve a greater purpose in the scope of the universe. Because if it wasn’t for Dana Matherson… Ms. Danesi’s Take: A mystery wrapped in an adventure! This book will draw out even the most reluctant readers as we hurdle through the humid filled Florida air on a quest! This book also makes me wonder: As a parent, we are always trying to protect our children from difficulties, but, looking though history, it is those who faced mountains to climb who eventually keep climbing and sometimes achieve greatness! The moral? Even the negative experiences can cause positive things to happen.

The House of the Scorpion By: Nancy Farmer Recommended for Middle School 34

Synopsis: Set between the futuristic borders of Mexico and the United States, Matteo Alacran tries to find answers to his cloned existence while discovering himself in the process as he daringly and narrowly escapes numerous life-threatening situations. Readers are drawn to Matt’s tenacious desire to find freedom even though he is marked as an outcast from the moment he is born. Resolution comes through courage and a host of caring characters, but more importantly, Matt remains true to himself! Don’t wait too long to enjoy The House of the Scorpion! Ms Miles Take: An adamant and persistent student kept asking me if I had read this book. Finally, I pulled it off the shelf, took it home, and let it sit by my nightstand for over a month. The three prestigious awards, National Book Award Winner, Newberry Honor Book, and the Michael I. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, should have been motivation enough, but when it was the only book left on the nightstand to read, I picked it up. Lo and behold! What does any reader value in a book? This book has it: a heroic protagonist, a cast of sinister characters, a driven plot line, and an inventive, imaginative story that keeps you wanting to know more—a page turner!

A Bit of Earth

By: Suchen Christine Lin Recommended for Upper School Synopsis: Kok Seng says to his son Seng, “Land and properties, you can lose. But if you lose your spirit, then, you lose the very thing that makes us human. Courage and Loyalty” (416). Kok Seng is just one of three families whose lives are intertwined and rooted in Malaya between 1874 and 1912. Sunchen Lin weaves some factual and some fictional accounts of the Wongs, the Wees, and the Mahmuds, who strive to make a home for their families on a bit of the Malayan soil. Ms Miles Take: Lin uses raw human courage, wit, determination, and fortitude as each family member struggles for power and land through three decades of rulers. Her prose is fluid and vivid! She paints her words full of human longing tied to rudimentary needs for food, shelter, and clothing. Mostly, the families’ stories engage and inform readers to cling to their roots, to understand social and political struggles, and to not let go of your own worth as a human being, even in the midst of greed and hunger. This book satisfies on many levels—emotional, social, intellectual, and historical—and is worth our precious time to sit and reflect long after the story has ended. By JUNE MILES Pudong Upper School Media Specialist /IB CAS & Extended Essay Coordinator

By KAREN DANESI Pudong Lower School Campus Librarian


5KRun 2014 Saturday May 17th, 2014

Race begins at 8:00a.m. from the gates of Hangzhou International School, Binjiang

5K run, fun run, food, games, and prizes! Come with the Dragons and celebrate our Hangzhou Community! All proceeds will be donated to support

See the HIS website ( or go to the office to get a registration form

Registration Deadline: Friday, May 2th


The International School of Choice

SCIS-HIS Communitas - April 2014 issue  
SCIS-HIS Communitas - April 2014 issue