Shanghai Community International Schools & Hangzhou International School
Sports in Our Schools:
WHY WE PLAY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FEATURES Superintendent’s Letter Administrator’s Letter Host Culture Curriculum: Health/ Physical Education Theme: Why We Play
CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS 03 Hangzhou 04 Pudong 05 Hongqiao 06-07 18-21
Cover Photo: Features SCIS-HIS Dragon Cup Outstanding Teammate Award winners from different campuses at HIS, taken by Ms. MunYee Choo, Marketing Manager. Communitas is the official magazine for the Shanghai Community International School 2 Hangzhou International School. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and
08-09 10-13 14-17
COMMUNITY Educational Insights Safety Student Spotlight Community Meet The Teacher Event Partner PAFA The Librarians Corner
22-23 24 25 26-27 28 30 31 33 34
SUPERINTENDENT ‘S LETTER
Dear SCIS-HIS Community and Friends,
he arrival of Spring has been most welcome in this Year of the Horse, and the warmer temperatures and sunshine again lift the playful and creative spirits of our students. The change in season also matches a shift in afterschool program opportunities to include more outdoor sports and activities. Our schools provide students with robust extracurricular and cocurricular offerings that allow them to explore new skills and further develop talents. In this month’s edition of Communitas we explore “How We Play” at SCIS-HIS schools. This year, SCIS-Pudong hosted the annual Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools (ACAMIS) Spring Conference attended by over 450 school leaders, counselors, librarians, business managers, athletic directors, arts specialists, ECE specialists and sponsors. The theme of this year’s conference was “Providing Opportunities that are Just Right.” In addition to a slate of presenters and workshops that allowed these professionals to increase their understandings and capacity to serve students, we also engaged high school students from many international schools (including 18 junior facilitators from our three sister schools) to lead experiential learning for the conference delegates. Key to this experience was demonstrating the interconnectedness between learning, attitudes, communication, and physical contact. While experiential learning goes well beyond themes of sport and play, we encourage our community to ask one of our SCIS-HIS leaders in attendance to demonstrate the “lumberjack” or “fisherman” handshake. As is the case each Spring, hundreds of our students were committed to our spring drama productions, many of whom finished rehearsals just in time to compete in basketball tournaments or step up on the blocks for a swim meet. Note: once again, all of our schools brought home trophies from these events, including at least two “team sportsmanship” and “team spirit” awards. There are over 60 afterschool activities for our students to choose from during the school year at our sister schools. With such a wide range of choice, we teach our students to weigh and consider their options and maintain a balanced approach in their commitments. We also ensure that our activities programs match the developmental needs of the student. As students move between the school divisions, the emphasis moves from opportunity, involvement, and participation to options that allow for highest levels of competition—providing opportunities that are just right. Coordinating all of these opportunities and advising students with care is a monumental task. To assist with this, each of our schools employs an Athletics and Activities Coordinator (AAC) whose specific responsibility is to ensure that students are provided with a well-organized slate of sports and creative programs. Our teaching staff also put in well over the minimum expectation of at least 40 hours of additional support for our afterschool activity programs. And while we specifically recruit teachers who have a passion for helping kids thrive beyond the regular school hours, once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank our faculty, parents, and friends who help build such a robust program and caring place for our students to explore, take risks, and strengthen talents. I hope you enjoy the colors and spirit of our great schools on the following pages. Have a wonderful Spring Break and as always…. GOOOooo Dragons!
Jeffry R. Stubbs Superintendent of Schools
Curriclum: A Plan to Prepare Students for Career, University, and Life
he lower hanging apples had all been picked but the high hanging fruit was there for the picking. Tom decides to go after that high hanging fruit. He enlists the help of two friends, Sam and Bob. “We have never picked apples before, much less picked them from the highest branches. It is probably not possible,” said Bob. “Those apples sure do look good. I bet that they are delicious. Let’s give it a try,” said Sam. Tom and Sam devised a plan. They showed the plan to Bob who agreed that it had potential. The three went about getting the needed materials, carried out the plan (with some adjustments, bumps, and bruising along the way), and before long had a bag full of apples. I was recently asked the question, “What would be your plan to prepare students for career, university, and life skills?” The answer to this question lies in the story of Tom, Sam and Bob. Tom had initiative and the ability to enlist the help that he needed to achieve his goal. Initiative and collaboration skills are vital career-ready attributes. Bob was astute enough to recognize a good plan and willing to set aside his own trepidations to follow it. The ability to work within a given structure and to see a plan through are vital university-ready attributes. Sam was able to appreciate the apples; and he was willing to take a chance to personally taste them. The ability to appreciate life as it presents itself, and the willingness to invest time and energy towards a more fulfilling experience are vital life-ready attributes. Students need a wide range of experiences in order to develop
theses attributes. They need unstructured or open-ended contexts in which to develop initiation and problem solving skills. They need role models and guidance as they develop skill in navigating the social, political, and emotional aspects of collaboration. They need structured opportunities to develop trust in academic knowledge while maintaining a critical mindset necessary for evaluating context. To support persistence, calculated risk-taking, and the ability to face challenges, students need to develop a keen sense of self-awareness and a range of self-regulating skills. To develop an appreciation of life and a desire to fully engage, students needs to develop a humble understanding that we really only get out of life what we are willing to invest of ourselves—the understanding that there are no guarantees only probabilities based on preparation. Academic study alone cannot fully prepare students for the demands of adult life. Individual and team sports, group activities, and independent pursuit of interests complement academic study and help students prepare for career, university, and life that will be learned as they pursue each of these. So here is my answer to the question, “What would be your plan to prepare students for career, university, and life skills?” I would plan for diverse academic opportunities, flexible time demands to allow for pursuing opportunities outside of academic study, and for a supportive environment that encourages taking initiation, working collaboratively, persisting, and reaching for high hanging fruit. By TAMMY ROADABOUGH SCIS-HIS Curriculum Director
Qing Ming Jie 清明节
The Chinese Tomb Sweeping Festival Stepping-the-green “Stepping-the-green “ refers to the Spring-outings people talk about now. In contrast to the sadness of the tomb sweepers, people also enjoy hope of Spring on this day. The Qing Ming Festival is a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green, and nature is again lively. It is just a good time to go out for a walk.
Introduction to Qing Ming Festival
The Qing Ming (Pure Brightness) Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day is a festival for the Chinese people to commemorate their ancestors. It usually falls between April 4 and 6 each year. Due to different traditions in different places, some people celebrate this festival on different dates. Mostly, it depends on the individual family’s decision, but any day from 21 March to 5 April 2014 is within the normal boundary. It is the most important day in Chinese tradition for honoring ancestors. People offer sacrifices to them and sweep their tombs. To further honor them, Chinese people will not cook or serve any hot food and only eat cold food. The Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival was usually one day before the Qing Ming Festival. But our ancestors often extended the day to the Qing Ming, so they were later combined. Amazingly, this history started in the Zhou Dynasty, over 2500 years ago.
The Legend of Qing Ming Festival
The beginning of Qing Ming was based on a sad story about a man whose name was Jie Zitui, a faithful servant of a Duke named Wen. Jie was so faithful that when his lord and him could hardly find any food, he prepared a meat soup made of his own thigh. His lord found out that Jie had sacrificed some of his own thigh for him, and then he promised Jie that once he succeeded in becoming King, he would reward Jie for his loyalty. Jie didn’t want a reward and actually resigned not long after his lord became a Duke to live in a forest with his mother. The Duke looked for Jie, but he couldn’t find him. So Wen ordered his servants to burn the forest in order to force Jie out. Unfortunately, the fire not only forced Jie to get out of the forest but it also killed him. Then, the remorseful Duke Wen ordered the villagers not to use fire and eat only cold food for three days to commemorate Jie’s death.
The Custom of Qing Ming Festival Tomb Sweeping The customs of tomb sweeping day was been greatly simplified today. Previously, people celebrated Qing Ming Day by eating cold food, but now the traditions have developed into sweeping the ancestors’ tombs, offering food and flowers, and then burning incense and paper money while bowing before the memorial tablet.
Eating Sweet Green Rice Ball The sweet green rice ball, Qing ming tuan in Chinese, is a Qing Ming Festival food popular in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces as well as Shanghai. The custom of making sweet green rice balls dates back to the Zhou Dynasty over 2,000 years ago. One or two days before the Qing Ming Festival was designated as “cold food days”, during which hot cooking is banned. Like glutinous rice dumpling, Qing ming tuan is made from glutinous rice and stuffed with red bean paste. The difference is that squeezed wormwood or brome grass is used in the making of wrapper. Many people think they are delicious.
An Ancient Poem about Qing Ming Festival
Since the ancient times, there have been many works of art and poems about Qing Ming, emphasizing the importance of Qing Ming for the Chinese people. Of these, Tomb Sweeping Day by Du Mu in the Tang Dynasty is a famous poem. 清 明 Qing Ming qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn, 清明时节雨纷纷 lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún. 路上行人欲断魂。 jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu, 借问酒家何处有， mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn。 牧童遥指杏花村。 Translation: It’s raining hard at the time of the Qing Ming Festival. The mourner’s heart is overwhelmed on the road. May I ask where there’s a tavern to drown my sorrows? The shepherd boy points to Xinghua Village in the distance. Despite the seemingly sad history of Qingming, Chinese people worldwide generally welcome the celebration of the festival, as it is also an occasion for family reunions. Wishing you the best in celebrating Qingming Jie 2014! Go enjoy some sweet green rice balls and welcome the arrival of Spring! By JENNY WANG HIS Mandarin Teacher
How Physical Education and Health Work Together
ere at SCIS, Health and Physical Education are based on a broad notion of Health. It encompasses all aspects of an individual’s well being, inclusive of physical, social, mental and spiritual health. The syllabus is concerned with developing students’ skills and knowledge and understanding and attitudes that will enable them to adopt and lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Student’s will develop their physical fitness, motor skills, and coordination through movement, as well as enhance and develop skills in communication, interpersonal relationships, decision-making, and problem solving. Student at the Pudong High School campus are currently enjoying participating in the Basketball unit, in which they develop teamwork and individual skills that are transferable to other areas of their lives. Working together to achieve common goals, performing a specific role, and working alongside less able peers (or more able peers), are skills inherently learned along the way. The program recognizes a wide variety of abilities, comprising of different activities with a clear progression of difficulty and levels of achievement. The program is student-centered, providing students with the opportunity to choose activities, as well as select modifications in games with the goal to maximize participation for everyone. Basketball is a very stop/start sport and as such puts great strain on knee and ankle joints. Warm up sessions are focused on injury prevention by building muscle around these joints. Students
learn the importance of warm up and how fitness and strength improve performance and plays a role in injury prevention. In conjunction with the physical aspect of the course, students are currently researching sports injuries in the Health unit. Students select two injuries of interest to present to the class as a keynote presentation. Students are required to use academic journals as their main source of information and use correct citations. Understanding these two research methods will assist them in their later years of schooling. By CARLA TOBIN Pudong Campus Upper School PE and High School Math Teacher
Play Hard. Play Fair. Have Fun.
The Health and Physical Education Classes
n Health and Physical Education, participation and a positive attitude are what really matters! For the past few years, the HPE program has gone through many changes for the better. We continue to tailor our program to our student’s needs, in the pursuit of discovering what HPE is truly about. We, as a department, feel it is very important for the students to have a strong holistic understanding of their mind and bodies as a unit. That holistic understanding will aid proper decisionmaking and choices that can affect the rest of their lives. We are fostering not only the understanding of health concepts, but also the development of a healthy lifestyle. Continue on page 30…
Moving to the Music: How Music Helps With PE M
any classroom teachers often use background music during their classes as it has been proven to increase math scores, improve memory and retention, help students to focus, and establish a positive learning environment. I’ve found that the positive effects of music certainly extend beyond the classroom and into the gymnasium. Most researchers would agree with me and one, Costas Karageorghis, was quoted as saying that “One could think of music as a type of legal performance enhancing drug.” Amazingly, in some cases, music is actually illegal, like back in 2007 when the United States Track and Field Association banned the use of headphones, by runners competing for monetary gain, in order to prevent them from having a competitive edge. Clearly music has a profound effect on our minds and bodies. Music is a powerful teaching tool that I use everyday in the lower school gym. For example, rather than blowing a loud and piercing whistle to stop an activity and gain the attention of all students, I simply just stop the music and magically my students pause anticipating the next set of instructions. I���m constantly updating my iTunes playlist with up-to-date fast tempo songs (which of course are content appropriate). These songs help to motivate my students. The beats help keep them engaged, increase their enthusiasm towards each activity and have shown to improve their attitudes and behaviors. Most recently, during our circuit-training unit, I’ve noticed that the music has helped my students to get in “the zone.” Listening to music has distracted them from feeling fatigued, therefore improving their endurance. Fortunately, with today’s technology and a recommendation from the lower school PE teachers at our Hongqiao campus, I’m able to use the Remote App for my iPhone. This allows me to circulate to all locations of the gym, to assist students, while still being capable of starting and stopping the music from my phone. I believe that music has an amazing effect on my students, and I often wonder how I would ever teach without it. By JOHN BRENNAN Pudong Campus PE/Activities Coordinator
Making a difference… situation. When education becomes real and when real becomes education, that’s when we make a difference. In P.E. class, those lessons are put directly into practice. Beyond teaching a student how to dribble a basketball or how to do a push-up or even the importance of doing so, comes the life lessons of commitment, effort, and hard work. It’s about doing your best, helping one another, and playing fair. One “wins” by discovering their potential, by standing beside their teammates, and by learning and flowing within life’s vast boundaries.
s educators, one of our primary motives is affecting young lives. These lives are looking at us to make a difference in motivating them, guiding them, and believing in them. Often times, it feels like a thankless, do-no-right, dark and dingy path. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. That light becomes brighter when we witness a student making a correct decision, helping a fallen friend, or smiling after overcoming an adverse
More specifically, learning to do a push-up becomes a lesson about determination and perseverance. And that is best done by modeling and inspiring a young learner that it is in their best interest to learn how to do that push-up, without ever needing to speak a single word. And when we see a young learner taking a skill and applying it in a real-life situation, we know it matters. We know we’re educating… and we’re making a difference! By ERIC CHERNOFF HIS PE Teacher 7
A Journey through the Spectrum of Light and Dark -Have a little peak at what our little youngsters in Pre-K are doing! As we proceed onto our Light and Dark unit of inquiry in March, we are learning about the sun, light, and the cause of shadows. Of course, learning about it isnâ€™t enough! The pupils are also experimenting as to what light can do, and how casting light in different angles can affect the shadows on objects. This unit also expresses about how we see. Our eyes are an amazing part of the human body; it lets us see color and all the things in our surroundings. Sometimes, our eyes play tricks on us, like when we put a straw in a cup full of water, the straw looks like it is bent. That is an illusion that happens when light fractures the water. There are numerous everyday opportunities for exploring science with our children. For example, our children are learning about the basic properties of light when they notice how the size and shape of their shadow changes as the sun appears to move across the sky. Seeing their reflection in a mirror, window, or pool of water tells them more about how light behaves. Once our children have some familiarity with shadows, they were challenged to experiment with them a bit further. We encourage our children to make different-shaped shadows, first
with their hands, then with some other objects. What happens when you use a circular object, such as a hula hoop? Can you turn the hoop to make a circular shadow? What happens as you gradually change which way the hoop is facing? This kind of investigation helps our children make a connection between where the light source is coming from and when we are outdoors during the day; the sunlight also allows for the shadow to appear on the ground or another surface. When we were indoors, with the help of a flashlight, we played Shadow Casting and Puppet Story-Telling games. Pre-kindergarten introduces children to concepts and ideas through investigation of the different content areas. Pre-kindergarten scientific investigations enable children to explore the world around them and allow them to make important discoveries. To be the teacher for this age group, I feel that I am obligated to present my students with opportunities for hands-on science investigations that spark both their curiosity and interests. By JACQUELINE YEH HIS Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Community Outreach: Agents of Change What Is Community Outreach?
Community Outreach was established at HIS in 2011. The service organization began in place of Habit for Humanity because the students wanted to create more of a local change within the Hangzhou and Chinese community. Community Outreach has fifteen members that are in grades nine to twelve. There are also two teacher advisors, Mahri Swan and Julie Ly. The students are in charge of making all decisions and plans as to which organizations to volunteer for and how to raise money for each cause. All of the students seem to have a strong voice and are not afraid to express their opinions on how to reach out to the community. There is a strong desire to help the elderly, children, people in poverty, and endangered animals. Despite all of the different opinions, the students have been able to reach their common goal of helping many different organizations throughout Hangzhou. The high school students who have joined Outreach have a vision to change lives in need around them and to help the world in any way they can. They have organized fundraisers that include the surrounding communities of HIS and to the HIS community as well. They have planned a family Date Night for the families of HIS and have also organized a community wide clothing drive. During the 2013-2014 school year, Outreach has been assisting many organizations in need.
Who Community Outreach Supports:
Around the December holidays, Outreach collected money to provide teddy bears and blankets to the children at the Children’s Hospital in Hangzhou. They visited with the children and had the experience of brightening the lives of so many families. The students are also planning on returning to the Children’s Hospital in Hangzhou in the next few months after raising money to bring them more thoughtful donations and to spend time with the children. Also in December, Community Outreach donated clothes to local villages in Hangzhou. They collected clothing by hosting a clothing drive at HIS. The students of Outreach have dedicated a lot of thought and time into changing the lives of the people in need in Hangzhou. Community Outreach has also helped donate money and
volunteered time at Sea Turtles 911, a relief organization for endangered sea turtles. Sea Turtles 911 is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the endangered Green Sea Turtle. Sea Turtles 911 is located on the Hainan Island coastal regions. Community Outreach is planning to adopt one adult turtle and one baby turtle this coming year to ensure their proper rehabilitation, care and growth. Beginning in March of this year the Community Outreach will also be volunteering at the Handicapped Association in Hangzhou. They will be playing games, spending time and interacting with the people that are a part of the association. Community Outreach students and advisors are very excited for the opportunity to become part of this association. Community Outreach is a growing organization making changes throughout Hangzhou. The students are dedicated to the Chinese citizens of the surrounding community of HIS and will continue to look for ways to serve their community. They are looking forward to lending a helping hand to many different causes and organizations that are in need of their assistance and time. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi By SHANNON DOHNKE and KATIE DALEY HIS Lower School Teachers 9
Developing Leaders “Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves.” Cesar Chevez A group of SCIS student council members surprised fellow students one cold and rainy day by handing out hot chocolate during their recess. When asked what brought this on they said they wanted to spread a little school spirit. Besides Ms Macmillan, “Everyone loves hot chocolate!” This group of young leaders takes their roles seriously to make contributions to the school worthwhile and as memorable as possible. So providing hot chocolate for all isn’t the only thing these young leaders do. Along with spirit themed days (Neo Spirit Day was by far the brightest) the Student Council also plans a Variety Show to support children of migrant workers so that these children have educational opportunities. Additionally, all of our students have the opportunity to exercise what they have learned about being a leader by taking part in supporting and helping other children in rural areas of China through our Maitian project. The students have inspired a community to get involved to help these children who do not have easy access to education. With the support of our parents, students, teachers and community, we have been able to raise money to help these children and have also donated shoes, clothing, backpacks, desks, books, and hope. The students are offered opportunities to experience and explore the many and varied facets of leading and leadership. It is fostered through purposeful buddy programs in which younger and older students work together on a variety of activities. A student ambassador program is well in place and this leadership opportunity supports students who are new to our school. Student leaders are trained to help our students transition into a new environment easier. A composting program is also underway with 4th Graders leading the charge. During the day, students are able to work in cooperative learning groups thus providing them with regular leadership roles to plan and reflect on the ways they work together. Because effective communication strategies are taught to students, they are able to internalize these skills and use them to resolve conflicts fairly and peacefully. The students also lead assemblies and make presentations to audiences and in the process, build upon the necessary skills of confidence building. Through formal and informal student leadership opportunities and programs, a culture of responsibility, collaboration, inter-personal communication, and intra-personal reflection is fostered. It helps to create an environment that supports a school wide practice where we are all leaders, each with our own talents, continually seeking ways to learn about the many ways individuals and groups can and do create change and inspire action. Providing leadership opportunities for our students fosters qualities that will help students be successful as citizens, in and out of school, now and for the future. By JANE MACMILLAN Pudong Campus Lower School Principal 11
The Idea behind The Student Coach Program Student coaches take what they have learned during their years as Dragons and pass down a heavy dose of tradition and pride along with skill. The high school students don’t simply shag balls or lead cheers. They often run the show with the guidance of an adult coach. They design practice plans, evaluate students’ skill sets, determine what areas of improvement are necessary, run drills, and coach during games. Student coaches are a staple of the program and assist with soccer, swimming, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and basketball.
he SCIS Athletics program measures its success upon factors that extend well beyond the scoreboard. The program seeks to foster the skills that help students triumph beyond the field of play such as sportsmanship, strong work ethic, teamwork, being a gracious winner, learning to deal with defeat, overcoming obstacles, and leadership. The last one on this list is a characteristic that attracts a lot of emphasis in our sports program. Student athletes are expected to humbly place the needs of others before their own for the betterment of the team and the program. As way of doing so, varsity team leaders volunteer as student coaches to help lead middle school teams under faculty supervision.
Through the student coach program, varsity leaders and middle school athletes alike have felt the positive effects. Student athletes find real role models within the school to look up to and emulate. The student coaches experience leadership in an authentic setting and have the opportunity to see and feel the extent of their influence. They understand the importance of paying forward all of the time and energy their coaches, past and present, have dedicated towards molding them and building character. At SCIS, we take the “C” very seriously. The student coach program is yet another way to emphasize the importance of the community and the role that each and every member plays. It gives our students the chance to practice their leadership skills and offer their talents for the good of others. By TY SMEINS Pudong Campus Middle School Principal
Summer Fun Camp in Pudong
ummertime is a time for fun and relaxation. It is a time to rejuvenate for the next school year. Everyone looks forward and welcomes summer break, until, you realize that you are bored to tears and have nothing to do! Who said that fun needs to take a summer break? SCIS Pudong is proud to announce our second annual Summer Fun Camp this June. (see ad on next page). Last year’s Summer Camp was a huge hit. Our weekly themes ranged from Mad Scientist where students conducted all sorts of interesting experiments to Animal Adventure where we
explored all types of amazing animals. Everyone enjoyed our homemade slip and slide, games of freeze tag, and our weekly field trips. This year our Summer Camp is shaping up to be even better than last year’s See the ad. For questions please contact the Summer Camp Coordinator, Nicole McIntyre at email@example.com By NICOLE MCINTYRE Pudong Campus Lower School Teacher
Fun doesnâ€™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: www.scisdragons.net/form/pd-summer-activities
Program dates: June 23 - July 18, with flexible weekly enrollment options 13
ARE YOU PROUD TO BE A DRAGON??? … YES WE ARE!!!
he cheer season kicked off with a CAS project implemented by Lily Briggs and Emsley Allgaier, the appointed cheer captains. The goal of the season was to elevate school spirit. Twelve highly spirited and talented high schoolers formed a remarkable squad. With the addition of colorful posters decorating athlete lockers and mini performances in our courtyard during breaks, one could feel the dragon spirit spreading through the hallways. Shortly after the formation of the team, the girls embraced an opportunity to learn from the professionals. We, the cheer coaches, along with Meaghan Bergman (MS/HS Cheer Coach) worked with NFL China to host a spectacular cheer clinic here at SCIS with four New England Patriot Cheerleaders. The girls learned new cheers, dances, and stunts, including a lift split! In addition to learning new skills, the cheerleaders participated in a plethora of team building activities. As the season continues, the school spirit continued to elevate. The team proudly cheered on our Dragon Basketball teams and performed at our home games. A goal of the season was to build a larger student section at our basketball games. Success was achieved, as we saw our Dragons win ACAMIS in front of a packed gym. 14
For the second year in a row, the SCIS cheerleaders had the opportunities to cheer at the Shanghai Sharks Game. Our cheerleaders wowed the audience with their amazing dance skills, difficult stunt techniques, and huge smiles! We hope to continue this exciting tradition in the future. This cheer team is full of energy and excitement and has made an impact at SCIS. As their cheer coaches, we could not be prouder of the following amazing young ladies… Alva Hildell (10) Ava Lim (11) Exilia Han (11) Jenny Hill (9) Jessica Vaisanen (11) Lily Briggs (11 – Captain)
Annelijne Brouwer (9) Emsley Allgaier (11 – Captain) Guari Arora (10) Jessica Li (11) Lauren Lee (9) Sophie Van Rijn (10)
GO DRAGONS! By Coach ALYSSA MOSKOWITZ Hongqiao Campus High School Math Teacher and Coach JULIE ARNOLD Hongqiao Campus High School IB Psychology Teacher
MS Leadership Council Making a Difference
his year, the MS Leadership Council has taken a new direction. All students take the lead on any of the projects and events that have been planned and organized by the Council themselves. Students gage an interest from the student body in order to promote and come up with great ideas and activities for all to enjoy. This year alone, we have had a semester fundraiser for a local hospital that helps young cancer victims with their treatments and recovery, raising over 22,000 RMB. Students created a fun game with money for the fundraiser and added a bonus for earning house points. They convinced their very own Mr. Olson to shave his beard in a design selected by the students for Movember. We have had two dances: a Welcome Back to School dance and recently, an Olympic themed dance. The Leadership Council went above and beyond for their Halloween Extravaganza with fun Halloween games, music, and a haunted house. Fun was had by all. Not only have they sent out words of kindness to their peers, but they also helped teachers create a wish list in which all Leadership Council members helped make those wishes come true. Movie and Game night are always a great success offering an interest to all students.
The Council has also been a huge support with PAFA offering their time to volunteer for their many activities throughout the year. The Leadership Council is looking forward to the remainder of year with some fun games and activities, and of course, their final year-end dance, celebrating the grade 8’s. The students have given up countless hours to plan, organize and host these events, and have done so with great success. What is even more remarkable is their ability to work as a team with such a large group. It is through their teamwork and leadership that the MS Leadership Council is such a great success. By KIM COMEAU Hongqiao Campus Upper School English Teacher
How ‘Program Achieve’ Helps Children Socially Develop
t SCIS HQ, Program Achieve is a school wide program that hopes to develop students’ understanding of five social-emotional capabilities (referred to as the 5 foundations that support student success, well-being, and positive relationships). These are: Confidence, Persistence, Organization, Getting Along, and Resilience. The focus for February was Getting Along. 4th graders have been learning about “fair weather” friends, “true blue” friends, buddies, and pals. There are friendship barriers that make it difficult to make friends, and there are “Overcoming Actions” that help us to get past the barriers so we can make new friends—for example, giving compliments will help overcome being shy. In order to bring the content of Program Achieve alive, all of the classrooms have “buddied up” with another class and are making friends. Recently, all of the students in Mr. Gribble’s 4th grade class got the chance to meet their little buddies in Mr. Watene’s 2nd grade classroom. They introduced themselves by writing letters to them when the SCIS Pre-K Mail Service was going strong. The teachers decided to get together, have the students meet in person, and celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday by having the 4th graders read his books to the 2nd graders. Then, the 2nd
graders showed their big buddies their reading abilities by reading books of their choice from their classroom. It was great fun and all the students had an opportunity to practice some of their “getting along and friendship” skills that they have been learning about. The next key component at SCIS will be working on and discussing Organization. We can all be successful and happy by practicing the key foundations. As the program motto says, “You Can Do It!” By DOUGLAS GRIBBLE Hongqiao Campus Lower School Teacher 15
Helping Children (and ourselves) Become a Little More Active O ver the past ten years of teaching physical education, I have watched children become less and less active. Growing up, I felt like I was always moving…on the playground, on my bicycle, or playing a sport. Some of these activities were organized, but I would say most were just getting up away from the TV or video games and just “playing.” My dad always had me and my brother on the pond playing ice hockey. My mom always had me going for walks with her. I felt like my family was always doing something, which made me fall in love with sports and being physically active. Strange world: today I’m a PE Teacher!
Today children are more “connected” with media than ever before. Children have computers, Smart phones, iPods, Xboxes, and the list goes on and on. I know I would have never moved away from the screen if I had all these fun gadgets growing up! Trying to pull children away from these devises is becoming more and more of a challenge. I wanted to share a few strategies for parents to help their children become a little more active… 1. Participate with your child. Find out what your child likes to do
and do it with them—go for a walk, kick a ball around, go for a swim. It doesn’t matter. Just do it!
2. Become a role model. Show your child that physical activity is an important life skill by being enthusiastic about your own activities. 3. Time of physical activity = time in front of the screen. Example: If your child exercises or moves for an hour, allow them an hour in front of the computer. 4. Buy gifts that encourage movement. A nice new ball, goggles, running shoes, a bike, sports clothes, or a jump rope. 5. Plan a family trip or a weekend getaway with an element of exercise. A ski trip, bike trip, a family hike, water sports etc. Two of my favorite people in the SCIS community when it comes to moving and playing with their children are the Hongqiao Middle School Principal Daniel Kerr and his wife Jocelyn. Most weekends I see Daniel and Jocelyn with their son, Max and their daughter, Gaby playing on the playground or kicking a football around and having a great time. I don’t think Max and Gaby were born loving sports and being active. I truly believe that they
love “playing” because mom and dad have modeled the importance of physical activity. As we say goodbye to the winter months, I hope we all move away from our media devices and become a little more active. By BRAD NEWELL Hongqiao Campus Lower School PE Teacher
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 16
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: www.facebook.com/SCISandHISalumni Linkedin site: www.linkedin.com/groups/SCISHIS-Alumni-4757677 Upcoming Events: June 2014 in Shanghai
SUMMER KIDS CAMP FUN doesnâ€™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 email@example.com 17
Why We Play: Varsity Sports at HIS 18
hest Bumps and High Fives! That camaraderie is what you see when you come to an HIS sporting event. But is that what sports is all about? Well, partly. At HIS, you could say that sports are not really about sports. Sports are a bridge to a more rounded life through the friendships that are made being part of a team, through the benefits of exercise, and through being exposed to many sports and then choosing sports you will play for a lifetime. Benefits gained through participation in sports are resilience in body & mind, commitment, and determination. Have you been to a soccer match where players collapse on the field from exhaustion at the end of the match? Sharing the triumph of playing well with teammates while recovering on the field feels greatâ€”a lesson that applies to all areas of life, not just a soccer match. Nothing feels better than working hard as long as it takes in order to help your team.
At HIS, given the small size of our high school, when you turn out for a sport you are on the team if you commit to practice. Players do not get “cut” because they haven’t reached the level of skill required as at other schools. Thus the pressure to make the team does not exist, but there remains a level of competition: the harder players work in practice to develop their skills the more playing time they see in games. At HIS, the goal is to win games, but the emphasis is inclusion, having fun, and improving athletic skills each year. In addition to the health and social benefits, there is the aspect of improving brain function in sports. Most people do not make this connection, but when you are playing a sport your brain is taxed as much as your body. There are many decisions that need to be made during a sporting match and many of them need to be made quickly. The problem solving skills that are sharpened in a math class are also challenged on the field of play. As a coach, I can teach them all the skills, strategies and plays but there is not a step-by-step process to follow for every eventuality. In basketball, plays can be developed and learned but they do not always go according to plan because there are too many variables that can change during the course of the play. In volleyball, you can have set plays that can continue to be executed until the defense stops you and you have to alter your strategy. Volleyball is more about minimizing mistakes and executing the bump, set, spike consistently. In soccer, the game is much more fluid and stopping the match to design a play is not allowed. For all three varsity sports, the act of participating and practicing are the only way to continuously improve so the skills and execution of them become second nature. In the end, whether you are playing volleyball, basketball, or soccer, players have to think for themselves and make decisions based on a wide variety of factors every minute improving brain function. Lastly, in high school sports, athletes get the opportunity to travel beyond the walls of HIS. The season ending ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) tournament provides this opportunity for our athletes. This year HIS hosted Volleyball while Basketball was hosted by the Hong Kong Academy and Soccer will be hosted by Dalian American International School. Each student is expected to display the very best behavior and values encouraged by parents and HIS while experiencing a new place and people. Visiting a new city, fostering interaction with students from other schools, practicing sportsmanship, and building bonds of friendship are all positive outcomes students experience through participation in sports at HIS. By DAN ROOTH HIS Technology Teacher 21
Change, Transitions, and Life
e live in a constant state of change. Going in and out of the house, getting on and off the bus, commuting back and forth from work/school….Our lives our devoted to anticipating the next change. And we tend to overlook reflecting on the change that just happened. Think about it: we tend to measure the majority of our days, weeks and lives by what we are moving toward or coming from, yet we seldom stop to think about how these transitions affect us. As a child I still remember what it was like when my family moved midway through my first grade year. I was going to be the new kid! Although the words “stress” and “anxiety” were not in my vocabulary at the time, I still knew that something was wrong. And I did not know how to make it better. Even though our move was only to a town a half hour away, it might as well have been to a different country in the mind of a six year old. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is working with families during the challenging transition of moving to China. Usually the working spouse comes first, generally the father, with a list of questions and concerns from their family. “How much homework will they get?” “What is the food like?” “Where are the other students from?” In my experience most families want to simply see the classroom so they can be assured that it is “normal.” It is hard enough for an adult to try to conceptualize what their life will be like in another country—even more so for six year olds. I can see the relief wash over their face once they step into the classroom and see that it is not much different than where they are coming from (with the exception of the 10 different nationalities represented of course). While there is no formula for a successful transition, there are
some basic tips I share with new families. It should start with casual conversations over dinner talking about what will be different in their new home. The PAFA and I created an HIS Transition Package with general information about the school, sample schedules, and information about living in Hangzhou to help with this. I also encourage families to look over our website so they can see pictures of students and descriptions of the multitude of community events throughout the year. With the abundance of online resources for expats, Third Culture Kids, and trans-national students, it is easy for families to find additional support and advice on how to best handle their move. All families are unique in their needs and priorities. My job is to ensure as smooth a transition as possible and to assist in any way I can. The skills needed for a successful transition are similar to those needed for a successful life: sense of humor, perspective, goal-setting, and patience. I like to remind families that at some point in the future they will be recalling the challenges they faced with smiles on their faces, even for some of those most stressful moments. Facing a challenge as a family brings them closer together and gives them dozens of stories they get to tell and re-tell each other for the rest of their lives. Moving to China is a lot like summer camp. Nobody wants to really g—but once they get there nobody wants to leave. I always have to hide a smile when parents ask me if their child is going to be okay. Children are incredibly adaptable and once in the classroom it is impossible to tell who arrived yesterday and who was there since the beginning of the year. The reason I have to hide a smile is that I am confident the children will be fine. Their parents, however, may not be…. By KORY INDAHL HIS Upper School Principal
There Is No Place Like “Home” – Challenges of Repatriation “There is nothing permanent except change.” The fact that this adage, first uttered by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus two thousand five hundred years ago, still applies in today’s fastpaced, technology-crazed, globalized world is a testament to its astuteness. For expat families, change often happens suddenly, and when it is least expected. Much has been said and written about moving abroad. The Internet is full of articles, blogs and documentaries detailing experiences of people whose work, interests and passions have taken them to faraway places. However, there isn’t nearly as much interest in the experience of moving back to one’s country of origin. Nonetheless, for many former expats—adults and children alike—moving “home” leads to unexpected feelings of anxiety, confusion, and even grief. As reverse culture shock sets in, we begin to see old things in a new light. Because our experiences with other cultures change our vantage point, we become highly sensitized to generalizations and misconceptions many people have about other cultures. This contributes to what is perhaps the biggest challenge of repatriation: difficulty reconnecting with friends and family. In addition to having developed different outlooks when it comes to global issues, normal everyday life has also moved on in our absence, and we find it that our relationships have changed. While we were away, loved ones were buying houses, getting married, having babies, changing jobs, and building lives that did not include us. Even though technology today allows us to keep up with the most important developments, Skype and Facebook do not replace being there to witness all the important and not-so-important moments in the lives of those we love. Repatriates also often mention noticing the lack of interest of people back “home” in their life as an expat. Children and adolescents find it particularly difficult to accept that their friends do not want to hear their stories about life abroad, and feel that an important part of their identity has been invalidated. As a result, they experience feelings of alienation, loneliness and reverse homesickness. Young people feel lost between cultures and often struggle with their social identities. Although it might take some time, most families repatriate successfully and eventually find balance. It is important to recognize potential challenges and to be prepared to face them. Repatriates should expect changes in themselves, their family members, places and lifestyles. Finding a group of people with similar international experiences can be an excellent way to broaden one’s social circle, and share the rich experiences gained during life abroad.
As families navigate repatriation, they may find the following resources useful: www.fausa.org - Website of FAWCO Alumnae USA: an association of former expatriates from North America. It is designed to assist with the repatriation experience by providing information and brining former expatriates together. www.denizenmag.com - Online magazine and online community for individuals who grew up in multiple countries, international school alumni, or Third Culture Kids www.internations.org - Online magazine and community for expats worldwide. The organization operates in over 300 cities and 180 countries around the world and connects its members through social events and mixers. www.expatexchange.com/returning.cfm - Website that features a forum for networking with other repats. www.figt.org - Families in Global Transitions is an organization that focuses on cross cultural education and training to support the entire expat family. FIGT organizes conferences and webinars about global living. http://fausa.org/site/wp-content/uploads/WorkshopRepatFAWCOConfMar13.pdf Families in Transition: Abroad and Home Again. A presentation on how women and children experience reverse culture shock. It includes some coping strategies that minimize its impact. Homeward Bound: A Spouse’s Guide to Repatriation – a book by Robin Pascoe (2000) Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming “Home” to a Strange Land – a collection of essays edited by Carolyn D. Smith (1996) By MAJA KELLY Pudong Campus Upper School Counselor 23
The State of Youth Soccer in China
ave Sibley is the current Senior Coach for Soccer for Sport for Life. They have a strong presence in many international schools in Shanghai, including SCIS HQ.
learn second. Focus on technique during the formative ages, 5,6 7, 8, etc., so that the kids have the tools to succeed in a game. Bottom line, if the kids aren’t enjoying they will quit!
Q - Chinese Grassroots Football is full of excuses- (Single Child Law, Education System, Lack of Public Playing Space, etc.) how do you think player development at the grassroots level can overcome such obstacles?
Q -What does the future hold for Sport for life establishing more of a presence in Chinese soccer?
DS-In today’s world children are influenced by media and what other friends like to do. So I believe that the media can create an environment where children become interested in football or any sport for that matter. I am always amazed that the school facilities for kids in China are far superior to England’s. Many astro turf fields and lots of space. The CFA and Chinese government need to utilize the media more in popularizing the Sport! Q- What’s the most important message you would tell a Chinese soccer player or soccer coach? DS-For the players, you must have fun while playing and learn at a very young age how to do many things with a ball. Practice is extremely important and not just for football but everything. You can not master anything if you don’t practice. For coaches, they need to create an environment where kids will have fun first and 24
DS-We plan to branch out into other cities. We are currently in Suzhou and Hangzhou. Maybe we can move into Beijing and Hong Kong also. Q - Any closing comments on Chinese football? DS-I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to focus on youth. There are no shortcuts and I know the professional clubs and owners need to focus on winning games, but these same clubs need to have a commitment to developing the game as well. It just makes good business sense that you should develop you own players so you don’t have to spend millions of RMB buying them. If want more info on Sport for Life go to our website www.sportforlife.com.cn or email firstname.lastname@example.org By DAVE SIBLEY Soccer for Sport for Life Senior Coach
What is the Alissa Johnson Story?
lissa Johnson has been at SCIS Hongqiao for the past 4 years. She is currently in 10th grade and is trying to find a way to take as many Higher Level IB courses as humanly possible, while balancing her time with the World Scholars Cup Team, Basketball team, and drama club. Recently, I was able to get Alissa to sit down with me and talk about HQ life in Shanghai. What is Alissa Johnson story? I heard you’re American but really French…or is it the other way around? How did you end up at SCIS? Well… that’s a tough question. I was born in Paris and grew up speaking French in school, Russian with my nanny, and English with my parents. When I was nine, my parents decided that they’d had enough of being stationary, and told me that we were moving to Shanghai. I was horrified – I mean, who wants to move to a country renowned for overpopulation and air pollution? In my time here in Shanghai, however, I have come to realize that even though Shanghai is certainly different from Paris, it isn’t by any means worse. I’ve had so many opportunities here thanks to the cultural diversity of the city… and I’ve learned a few things about the unreliability of international stereotypes! Thinking back to when you first got here four years ago— would the Alissa then recognize you now? I’m a lot more outgoing in Shanghai than I ever was in Paris (though I still don’t consider social interaction to be a strong suit of mine). I’ve found friends here that I know I will keep for life. Also, me-from-the-past would never even have considered joining a basketball team. I never really participated in any sort of sports-oriented activities before coming to Shanghai. This school and city offer a diverse selection of extracurriculars, which I didn’t have easy access to in Paris. You seem very academically focused. What is the source of this motivation? In a nutshell: curiosity. I love learning about stuff in general, and academics are a perfect opportunity to do so. However, calling me “focused” might be stretching it a little… My academic pursuits generally stem from fascinating distractions. So, congratulations on your team’s recent World Scholars Cup regional round. Next up is the global round in Singapore. Last year’s team made it this far but wasn’t able to advance to the championships. But with the whole team back, do you expect to advance to the next round this time? I hope so! What with competition from schools around the world, the global round is certainly going to be a challenge. Last year, my teammate Alex Cox couldn’t make it to the global round. Sophie and I still participated, but we didn’t really stand much of a chance without her. Whether we win or not, the global round this year is certainly going to be an extremely memorable experience. As to my expectations… It’s going to take quite a bit of rigorous studying, but I think that this year, with the full team, we really do
have a chance of making it to the final round (the Tournament of Champions, hosted at Yale). Quick Debate time. Four sentences. Convince me why you should be able to take 7 IB Courses next year. 3…2…1…Go: I’ve only got two years left of high school… I figure I should cram as much information into those years as I can! The IB curriculum provides students with a structured, rigorous academic curriculum – so why not explore as much of that curriculum while I can? The seventh course wouldn’t count towards my IB diploma, but it would still provide me with information that I might not otherwise have learned. Okay: World Scholar’s Cup star. Violin virtuoso. Avid Reader. Drama Club set builder. I felt like I was beginning to be able to categorize you...and then basketball player? It seems like you are free to be whoever you want to be. Why is that? It’s the goal of every adolescent to find the “right” vocation, something that they have a genuine passion for. My parents have always engaged in a variety of different occupations and hobbies; basing myself off of their example, I did the same. This “toe-dipping” approach to trying new things has allowed me to find the activities that I enjoy—and to pursue them. Just between us (and everyone that will read this of course), what are your future plans after SCIS? I’m not entirely sure. Just like the majority of my classmates, I’m a little hazy on what I want to accomplish after high school… I intend to go to college in the USA, possibly pursuing a degree in neuroscience. Most likely, I will attend a liberal arts college, and thereby postpone specialization until the last possible moment. As for post grad education, I have been looking at the benefits (and drawbacks) of law or business degrees. Last question: what does a typical Friday or Saturday night look like for Alissa Johnson? For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having play rehearsals for the production The Boy from the Sky (for which I was working backstage). Starting next week, my Fridays will be occupied by dance rehearsals for “Just a Dream.” Most weekend nights, I go to sleep relatively early, as I have basketball practice on Saturdays and Sundays. Essentially, my weekend nights are remarkably similar to those during the week – I work on homework, practice piano and violin, read, and in general pursue my various hobbies.
Dragon Cup Soccer from the SCIS HQ Perspective
he cold temperatures and blustery winds did little to dampen the spirits of all who participated in this years Dragon Cup. The Dragon Cup is an opportunity for players, coaches, and parents alike to gather and to catch up with old friends. Grade 11 student Alex Chen was pleased to see some of his old teammates from Hangzhou. “It was nice to catch up with them, Dragon Cup is really the only chance I get to see my old friends.” Junior captain Victor Feng added “What I like most about Dragon Cup is that we get the chance to come together as one school; it’s fun to have a friendly tournament.” The first match between SCIS HQ and HIS was played tightly by both sides. “For us, it was our first game all season, it was good to finally play so that we could get in rhythm,” remarked grade 10 student Hugo Thalen. HQ came out of the half determined, and scored two quick goals to take a 3-2 lead. The remnants of a cold winter and intermittent rain continued throughout the game. Both sides were up to the challenge, with SCIS HQ eventually taking the match 4-3. Between games, the boys stayed warm by playing a few rounds of “soccer golf.” Starting defensive back Johan Schneider said “No one knew how to play, but it sounded fun once coach explained it.” When asked about the game coach Lamb replied “It’s a game we used to play on rainy days when I was in high school, perfect for team building, but really it’s just a lot of fun to play. Basically, you pick a target and assign it a par score. Then you kick the ball until you reach your mark. Lowest score wins.” Freshman 26
player Shingo Shoda shot the lowest round by being very accurate with his kicks. He replied “The game was a good idea because it was so cold, we should play it again sometime, maybe at our school during practice.” After soccer golf and a quick lunch, it was time for the second match: SCIS HQ vs SCIS Pudong. SCIS Hongqiao jumped out early, and kept up the pace throughout. The girl’s team, including coach Eric Pessoa, were able to cheer on the team as the rain threatened in the second half. Coach Lamb commented on the teamwork that was being displayed. “I liked the fact that all of our players and coaches were cheering for our team during the game. It’s important for us, as a team, to remember that we are one unit.” After the two matches, a brief awards ceremony took place. Sophomore Hugo Thalen received a certificate for sportsmanship and fair play. The Dragon Cup was a huge success. It was a great opportunity to visit with friends, and to tune-up for the regular season. Captains for this years SCIS-HQ team are (senior) Takuma Shoda, (senior) Jun-Hwa Song, and (junior) Victor Feng. They are coached by Mr. Michael Lamb , and managed by (8th grade) Shota Kusudo. By MICHAEL LAMB Hongqiao Campus Upper School English Language and Literature Teacher
Dragon Cup Swim Meet
he second Dragon Cup swim meet was held at SCIS Hongqiao on Saturday 25th January with over one hundred and fifty swimmers competing. In the SCIS tradition of the Dragon Cup, the winning criteria was a bit unique to encourage sportsmanship. Like last year, points were awarded if swimmers swam an event they had never raced in before, or if they achieved a personal best time in any event. Each team’s score was then divided by the number of competitors they had. Our Hongqiao Red Dragons swam a combined total of 125 personal best times! We had many unprecedented personal bests like Brynn Algstam’s 39.15 second drop in the 50 freestyle, Kelley Kim’s 18.98 second drop in the 50 free, Annie Lee’s 18.24 second drop in the 50 breast, and Hiral Raheja’s 12.86 second drop in the 25 back. We also had many swimmers braving events they have never competed in before—a total of 113 new swims. Congratulations to Gwen De Roo, who was the high point scorer for the meet at 18 points!
As the waves in the pool settled, all swimmers and their families headed to the HQ cafeteria for a hearty lunch and presentation of awards. After filtering through Coach Cox’s patented “parity formula,” The Pudong Green dragons won the Dragon Cup! Our Hongqiao Red Dragons came in second, and Hangzhou’s Golden Dragons, the incumbent champions, came in third. The students from our three campuses certainly benefitted from the philosophy of the Dragon Cup to develop community spirit, friendship, and camaraderie through sporting competition. It was also an important reminder that at the end of the day swimming, though a team sport and full of rivalries, is just you and the clock. By PETER COX Hongqiao Campus Director of Aquatics
MEET THE TEACHER
Mr. Michael Kohler
Years of Greatness
Mr. Michael Kohler has been at SCIS Hongqiao for the past 11 years. He is currently the Grade 6 and 7 Social Studies teacher but has taught IB TOK and Elementary Grade levels as well. He has a reputation as being one of the best and most passionate teachers in the profession as well as one of the most kind and humble ones. Luckily, I was able to get him to sit down with me… Eleven years is a long time! What kept bringing you back to teach here at SCIS HQ year after year? Thanks for the interview; it means a lot to me. There is no one reason for why I return. Each year brought in, if you will, a new blossom, that has drawn me to open up my classroom door once again at SCIS. This year’s inspiration comes, in great part, from the incredible MS administration team, Dan Kerr and Bret Olson, who, for example, encourage teachers and students to take ownership in defining the school. Talk to me about some of the changes you have seen at SCIS HongQiao since you started till now. When I started teaching here all musicals and dramas were performed in a small cafeteria in what is now the ECE campus located on Hongqiao Lu. Now, as you know, Hong qiao and our sister schools all have impressive theaters. This is great. You got a triple major in University (Psychology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy) and enjoy reading philosophy, ancient history, and poetry. That is a lot of humanistic readings—what are some of the most profound pieces you have read? Being and Time by Martin Heidegger. This single book has affected my views in profound and lasting ways (and I believe it will do to philosophy what Copernicus did to our understand of our place in the cosmos. Great ideas take centuries to nurture before they manifest a culture’s identity.) From his existential writings, I have attempted to see, for instance, how his ideas play out in a community and how technology, specifically the Internet, has the potential to marginalize the spirit of a community. The word on the street is that you “get middle school kids.” What’s the secret? Where does this empathy come from?
I have not forgotten what life was like when I was in middle school. Of course some things are different from when I was attending but the core issues seem to remain. To walk in the shoes of each of my charges demands in part for me to recall those experiences so that I might better appreciate the whirlwind of emotions, thoughts and concerns that move around in their mind. I want to read a quote someone said about you: “What he does to inspire kids is crazy (said with 100% positive connotations).” I mean, the types of rumors I’ve heard about your classes are like out of a Hollywood teaching movie. Do you really do things like dress up in a full-on Roman Toga and Wreath when teaching about Roman History? That’s funny and I appreciate your clarification of “crazy”! And yes this rumor is true. When I dress up during the Roman Unit, I am Julius Caesar. But I am thinking of switching to Augustus Caesar. Sure, he was pivotal in the demise of the Res Publica, but… At any rate, besides togas, I have dressed as a Bedouin, for our Islamic Empire studies and as Odysseus, for Ancient Greece. To these latters ones, students also dressed in character. What fun! To see the ancients come to life makes history more alive, if you will. I know you’re on the leadership team and helped rewrite the Middle School Social Studies curriculum. Talk to me about some of the changes? First, I must thank Billy Kruger and Andrea Plakmeyer, my two outstanding colleagues. They are supportive of and offer needed peer review for my ideas. Additionally, both have been equally proactive in the rewriting of the MS curriculum. With that in mind, we dismantled the old system and replaced it with a program that would promote collaboration, sharing of ideas, evaluating standards and creating skills. In short, [we all teach the same general themes]. Grade 6 now
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The HPE department is comprised of veteran SCIS teachers Miro Bruan and Zach Winter, and new teachers Kathryn Clouthier and Danny Howe. This dynamic and talented mix of teachers (along with previous teachers) have helped develop the HPE program into an in-demand course where students are able to push not only their athletic abilities but their leadership potential as well. Students leave class with more energy, less stress, and a stronger understanding of how to work with and understand their peers. Some of the units of study include: • Volleyball • Basketball • Soccer • Touch Rugby • Badminton • Floor Hockey • Ultimate Frisbee • Weight Training • Rock Climbing • Hand Ball • Gaelic Football • American Football • Soft Crosse • Aquatics • Pickle Ball • Non-Traditional Team Games • Long and Short Distance Running • Dance • Yoga
• Kick Boxing • Gator Ball • Strength and Conditioning Work Outs We also have an extensive Health program that covers a variety of important issues, such as: • Self-Awareness & Self-Esteem • Puberty • Nutrition • Alcohol and Tobacco • First Aid and CPR • Sexual Education • Healthy Relationships • Drug use and abuse • Weight room safety and fitness • Stress Management HPE is about giving students opportunities to learn and experience a wide variety of skills and truths that will help them develop as a holistic learner. Play hard. Play fair. Have fun. Health and Physical Education Department Miro Bruan - HS Head of Department Zach Winter – MS Head of Department Danny Howe – HS PE Teacher Kathryn Clouthier – MS PE Teacher By MIRO BRUAN Hongqiao Campus Upper School PE Teacher 29
ACAMIS Spring Conference PROVIDING
OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE JUST RIGHT 14-15 MARCH 2014 On March 14th, over 450 delegates from around Asia gathered at the Pudong Campus for a weekend of professional development and collegiality. Concepts were explored. Ideas were freely shared. And professional relationships were strengthened.
WHAT IS ACAMIS?
Linking students and schools: the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools
he Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS) was conceived in 1999 by a few schools in China and Mongolia that were searching for a way to have their athletic teams participate in postseason tournament play. BY JIM KOERSCHEN FROM ACAMIS (www.acamis.org) The first event was hosted by the Western Academy of Beijing in May 2000, with seven schools participating in basketball and soccer tournaments and a mile-long run. A few weeks later, the first annual general meeting (AGM) was held at Xiamen International School on the southern coast of China in Fujian Province. Ten schools attended this first gathering. To further extend the idea of friendly collaboration and competition; drama, public speaking and Earth Day symposium workshops were sponsored during the 2000–2001 school year. That same year, the first ACAMIS Creative Arts Festival was held.
Linking together 62 member schools Today, ACAMIS has a membership of 62 independent schools, ranging in size from less than 300 pupils to over 2,500 in Mongolia, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. A ninemember board of directors comprising heads of schools elected by the member schools during the AGM runs the organisation with the assistance of a part-time executive director, a full-time executive officer and a part-time assistant executive officer. The mission of ACAMIS is linking students and schools, and the organisation’s related purposes are to:
• cooperate with other organisations and individuals pursuing the same objectives as ACAMIS • support national and regional networking to link ACAMIS schools • offer professional services to member schools.
ACAMIS AGM crucial for development ACAMIS fulfils these purposes by providing events that link students to enrich their learning experience. We also provide professional development opportunities for teachers and school administrators. ACAMIS member schools are divided into six divisions for athletic tournaments. In addition, the schools take part in band, orchestral, choir, drama and visual arts events. Thousands of ACAMIS students and teachers participate in Model United Nations (MUN)1 debates, Global Issues Network (GIN)-sponsored student conferences,2 chess matches, mathematics competitions and many more events held throughout the year. ACAMIS hosts several professional development opportunities for teachers. Prior to 2006, the AGM for heads and athletic activities directors was devoted to writing policy and developing event schedules. In 2006, the agenda was expanded to consider how best to provide professional development for school heads, aspiring heads, business managers, librarians, counselors, athletic directors and arts and culture coordinators. This meeting now has over 300 registrants and brings in world-renowned speakers for each session.
• broaden the dimensions of education at all ACAMIS schools • advance the professional growth of individuals within ACAMIS schools and similar schools
MEET THE TEACHER
…Continue from page 28 focuses on Early Man through the Greeks. Grade 7 Introduces Rome, the European Middle Ages and The Golden Age of the Islamic Empire. Grade 8 explores Ancient and Medieval Asia and current events related to the exploration. The SRT (Student Radio Television) was started by you. You guys meet twice a week after school. You have Student Anchors, Reporters, Editors Directors…you showcase students across all divisions from high school athletes to middle school leaders to lower school inspirers. And you guys constantly make 15 minute newscasts to show in school assemblies and broadcasts. How did this whole thing get started? SRT launched when I taught Lower School. I felt that so many kids were doing many wonderful things at our school and in the community, yet I also felt, even though SCIS recognized some, it wasn’t celebrating all. And most of the celebrations came via newsletters. Also, most of the recognition came from teachers and admin. Nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with the modes of delivery. However, kids like to celebrate active kids. So, SRT was born. So, how did it gain enough momentum to turn into this massive deal? SRT’s momentum, then and now, comes from the teachers, administrators and all the kids at our school who support SRT by giving us leads, interviews, exclusives, fun ideas and watch SRT! When our audience sees that their ideas are taken seriously by SRT, they are more prone to help us again and see that their contribution matter. So, thanks to all of you. I also hear you like to play squash. Do they even have that in Shanghai?
If you think that is hard, try playing racquetball in Shanghai! When I first arrived in Shanghai over 13 years ago, they had only one racquetball court! In contrast, they had several squash courts. So, I converted! Now, thanks the international nature of this city, you can find squash court in lots of places, including my compound. What are some other things that people might not know about you? I used to have really long hair while at university! And I pierced my ear lobe with two onyx stones back then. I love Punk music because it is raunchy and political: Johnny Rotten rules! What is the “Secret Life of Michael Kohler?”
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!
I shook hands with Rex Harrison, the lead actor in My Fair Lady, in London. Anthony Hopkins, who later played Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, ran by my seat in a performance of Julius Caesar. I also acted live on stage with (Sir) Ian McKellen. That was a wow moment to the 9th degree! (But, if truth be told, Ian only wanted me to die and to die quickly and non-melodramatically. This dashed my spirit! ) And, my great, great grandfather, Sir Admiral Charles Bullen, on my father’s side, portrait hangs in the Royal Museums Greenwich, England. (Check Wikipedia for his museum picture and history!) He fought alongside Lord Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar. And as I researched more about his life I learned that it was due his friend’s decisive action that mutineers spared Grandpa Bullen from being executed. Friendships matters!
For more information about PAFA, please contact us at:
Lastly, what are your plans for the future? Can SCIS look forward to another 11 years of Mr. Kohler?”
Pudong PAFA Chairs: Lower School: Lauren Pitts, email@example.com Katie Berkaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
It all depends on each Spring! I await the blossoms.
Upper School: Sandra Machan email@example.com Weili Vlas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hangzhou PAFA President: LS co-Presidents: Miranda Kwan & Jerry Joseph US President: Francis Spiekerman US Vice-President: Amy Nash Information about our activities: https://hz.scis-his.net/Pafa. Contact us at: email@example.com Hongqiao PAFA President: HQ PAFA Co-President: Mun Chang firstname.lastname@example.org Event Coordinator: Donna Bose email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LIBRARIANS CORNER
Book Recommendations for All Ages Monkey Puzzle
By: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Ages: Kindergarten – Grade 3 Synopsis: A butterfly tries to help a lost young monkey find its mother in the jungle, meeting many different animals along the way. The monkey gives the butterfly clues about what his mother looks like, but they don’t find Mom until little monkey comes up with just the right description. Mr. Wong’s Take: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are best known for the timeless story “The Gruffalo” and the Puzzle Monkey (now published as Where’s My Mom?) is yet another gem in Donaldson’s collection of stories for the young and old. Written in effortless rhyme and coupled with vibrant illustrations, this circular tale combines funny miscommunication with a little bit of science for a charming feel-good adventure. I love stories like this that help you to discuss themes and ideas with children beyond the written words and pictures.
By: R.J. Palacio Ages: Grade 3 – Grade 6 Synopsis: Ten-year-old August Pullman (Auggie to his friends), who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive. He goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student. Mr. Wong’s Take: This is an uplifting and emotional story that makes you want to tell everyone you know how much they mean to you just the way they are. I like how ordinary Auggie is, so that the challenges he encounters due to his outward appearance stand out. This story wonderfully illustrates the courage of friendship against bullying. I think everyone will be able to relate to this story in some way. Whilst we may not all suffer from an abnormality like Auggie, everyone has an internal fear they hope no-one will “see.” As this story shows though, sometimes what we see as a weakness others see as a strength that help us stand out from the crowd.
to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold. The journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerse the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan. Mr. Wong’s Take: Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan came to be and why he remains a boy? How did he end up living on Never Land? This prequel takes you on an exciting journey and gives plausible explanations to these questions and more. As you read about the characters and the adventure they embark on you begin to also get swept up in the fantasy. I did not know what to expect when I picked it up and I was delighted as it took me back to my childhood memories of the original story, yet it was a refreshing read that people who are new to Peter Pan will also enjoy. This is the first book in this trilogy.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By: Ransom Riggs Ages: Grade 8 – 12
Synopsis: As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
By: Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson Illustrations by: Greg Call Ages: Grade 5 – Grade 8
Mr. Wong’s Take: Anchored by the strong relationship Jacob has with his grandfather, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a suspenseful mystery and fantasy story that has subtle notes of Dr. Charles Xavier’s School, mixed with just a little creepiness to keep you up at night…to figure out the mystery before Jacob solves it. The haunting vintage photographs peppered throughout the book brilliantly bring to life the awkward images described so eerily by Riggs. Hollow City is the sequel to this chilling story; keep an eye out for the movie.
Synopsis: A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched
By PAUL WONG HIS Librarian
Peter and the Starcatchers
committed to a viable indoor air quality solution …and making a safer and better place for learning.
“SCIS is one of the most progressive and proactive schools we have worked with. They have implemented a multi-phased plan to assess the indoor environmental quality, provide improvements, and monitor student-learning environments. SCIS has also taken the lead to educate their school community and share strategies with other international schools.” Louie Cheng, President, PureLiving China
SCIS Indoor Air Quality Standard: 0 – 50 US EPA Air Quality Index 36
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