Dear SAIS Family,
We are very excited to share some news about the upcoming school year!
New Semester Starts August 21st
We will begin the school year with an orientation for both parents and students in the morning of August 21st. It is our hope that we will be able to have parents and students together on campus as scheduled below on this day. If for virus-related reasons, we are unable to do this, we will let you know and provide an alternate plan where students still attend the orientation times as shown and the parent orientation is planned differently. As of now, different grades of students will come for their orientation as shown below:
8:30-10:30 Preschool/ELE 1 and ELE 2
9:30-11:30 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grades
10:30-12:30 Grades 4-9
For each group, students and parents will start in the auditorium for a welcome and some announcements before going to individual classrooms to meet the teachers and learn more about the educational program for the year. Please be on time, because there is important information specific to each set of grade levels and classrooms and we don’t want anyone to miss out.
For the past year, we have been exploring partnerships with schools in other parts of the world. This fall we are launching a partnership with Latitude High School in Oakland, CA. Latitude is an exciting new Project Based Learning school that is also an XQ Superschool funded by Apple founder Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs (read about Latitude here: https://xqsuperschool.org/xq-schools/latitude-high-school). Latitude’s principal and several teachers previously worked at High Tech High, a network with which we also are continuing to explore partnering. As our middle and high school humanities team collaborates with Latitude’s ninth grade humanities team, we are also exploring bringing in other schools in the U.S., Brazil, Spain, and other locations. During these interesting times when limited travel, physical visits and exchanges are on hold, even though they are still in the plans, collaborating virtually will help our students get to know and work with peers around the world.
Leadership, Adventure, Teambuilding, and Learning Trips
One of the big changes we are making this year is including trips into the tuition costs at every grade level. Instead of having to pay the fees for every trip from a day-long excursion to the aquarium to a multi-day trip to Dapeng, these will now be built into the school fees as well as the academic program. For the upcoming year, our tentative plan for longer trips (based on the current reality in our region) is as follows:
- October: Middle and High School students go to Yangshuo with Indier for a leadership, adventure, and teambuilding trip
- March: Grades 4 and 5 go on a teambuilding multi-day trip to Dapeng with Indier
- Spring 2021: Project related trips for Middle and High School students
Last year, students in grades 5 and up who attended our overnight trips had an unforgettable learning experience. Students grew closer, developed maturity, and learned so much that they couldn’t have learned while staying at home. We are looking forward to building this new and important aspect of our program, especially as we work towards sending students on international exchange programs and to schools in the U.S. and other countries.
We are excited that in spite of the many challenges we have all endured, all grades will be working with live English-speaking expat teachers in addition to our wonderful Chinese staff and faculty. A few members of the SAIS family are still abroad, including two of our specialist teachers in the upper grades, but they will all be acting in supporting roles to those who are on campus. We will send out information about our new teaching staff in our next letter.
We look forward to welcoming returning and new families to the SAIS campus in a few short weeks! In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer.
The SAIS Leadership Team