Additional classes and staffing. We have been busy since January finalising our staffing plan for the next school year. It has had to be updated recently as we have revised significantly upwards our forecasts of student enrolments. This is very encouraging for our school but brings with it new challenges.
The Board has backed further teacher appointments. In particular we are now planning for a set of parallel classes to the main international school. These classes are to effectively integrate new students that are expected next school year by giving them a focused English programme fitted to their needs. These classes also allow the students to understand the culture of our school and our expectations of the students in terms of their effort and attitudes. This plan enables us to safeguard the international character of our school and build on the successes of our first year. More information will be available on this in our Parent School Association (PSA) meeting next week.
Four new teaching appointments have so far been made to start in August. One is from USA, one Canada and two the Netherlands. Ideally we would like to appoint a further three teachers to start in August, and shortlisting and interviewing is well under way for this. This would bring our teaching complement to 23 teachers, 25 with the French department. This is very high staffing for the number of students we are predicting, but is designed to provide the best quality educational programme for our diverse student needs and build a solid foundation for further growth.
French school. We are finalising a contract with two French companies to provide education either totally (clue to one of the companies!) or partially for what seems likely to be 10 additional students next year. The majority of these students will undertake their own distance learning programme in French under the guidance of two teachers. They will work with the main school for a number of subjects. We are very excited to further strengthen our international breadth and depth, and look forward to welcoming them.
Parent School Association. Our next PSA meeting will be held on Tuesday, 23rd April at 3pm. As previously the event will start with meetings to learn something about the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. There will be separate meetings at the same time on the primary years and the middle years. In the middle years the focus will be on assessment – very relevant as the exams have just been finished. The primary years meeting will be also be about the curriculum with the focus on Chinese. The meetings will be held in the Library. This will be followed at 3:30pm by a PSA meeting where previous events will be reviewed and plans for future events discussed. Parents and friends will also have an opportunity to make comments, suggestions or raise concerns about any general aspects of the school. A main focus for this meeting is likely to be the plans for next school year.
We look forward to welcoming you at these meetings.
Earth Day. Monday is international Earth Day where we have the opportunity to focus on something environmentally focused. There is, as you may know, a garden area immediately South of the school next to where the coaches park. We would like the students to have the chance to start tidying up this area showing action to enhance the local environment. The plan is that the older students will start clearing a small part of this area with staff. In the afternoon when the worst of the rubbish has been removed then the younger classes will have the chance to work on this. We will supply gloves and black plastic bags. The children will be outside for a limited amount of time, weather and air quality permitting. If you would like to come along and help please contact the parent volunteer organisers firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school office.
Bird Flu. As you will be aware there has been an increase in the number of cases of bird flu in the last few months especially around Shanghai. There is no evidence of human to human infection and the assumption remains that this is transmitted following close contact with diseased birds. We will continue to monitor the situation to update our practice as necessary. We are following the advice of International SOS.
The main aspects of advice for us that we have been following are:
- Increased emphasis on hand washing particularly before eating, when preparing food or after touching animals
- Avoid handling of any birds, or any animals that appear sick
- Avoid contact with any surfaces that contain bird droppings or entering water that birds may use
- Thorough cooking of poultry and eggs
Please go to their website for updates and further information. Thanks to one of our parents who alerted us to this advice, which we implemented immediately.
Exam results. All of the exams were completed by the students last week. They gave the students good experience, for many of them a first experience, in the rigours of sitting exams. The results look like giving us a good assessment of the areas that the students have understood and retained. This will help us focus our teaching and the students focus their learning for the rest of this year. Nearly all of the exams have been marked and we would like to release the results for all subjects at the same time for each year group. We therefore have delayed the sending home of these results until early next week. The results are only a small part of the final assessed grade your child will get. Most subjects have between 15 and 30 assessments over the year and the exam result is no more important than other assessments. The results will be accompanied by some information and a short comment particular to your child. Detailed final reports including all assessments will follow as planned in June.
Parent Volunteer Group. The Parent Volunteer Group had its monthly meeting last Thursday, April 11th. This group has been a great benefit to the school community. Each member plays a vital role in our special events as well as volunteering in the classrooms. We would invite anyone interested in being a part of this group to join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, May 7th. The meeting is held in English but translated in Chinese as needed.
Friday, 19th Sports Day 9am-3:30pm
Monday, 22nd Earth Day – work on garden adjacent to school
Tuesday, 23rd Parent School Association meeting at 3pm
Friday, 26th School closes for May holiday
Monday, 6th School reopens
Tuesday, 7th Parent volunteer group at 3:40pm