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SCIS Building on its Success in Early Childhood Education

September, 2010
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Building on the success of the Pudong Early Childhood Education Center (ECE), Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) opened a new Early Childhood Education Campus in the heart of Hongqiao. This campus was purposely built to meet the needs of Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten age students and officially opened on August 21st. Now, over 120 children are studying at the new facility.

SCIS Pudong ECE is specifically dedicated to the education and social development of two and three year olds and opened last year on the SCIS Pudong Lower School Campus, situated next door to the Emerald Housing compound.

The environment of both SCIS ECE Centers was created specifically to provide opportunities for learning while also engaging, stimulating and nurturing their students. Features include spacious, resource-full classrooms, well-stocked libraries, and gymnasiums that foster physical development in safe environs. The facilities have been designed especially with the younger child in mind, and within smaller sized campuses. The classroom layouts allow for social interaction, independent choice activities and a variety of creative and visual activities.

The children are placed with experienced, caring teachers, who understand the importance of each child, and how fundamental these early years of development are. "We establish environments that create opportunities for students to learn in a way that is both challenging and fun,” Maera Palma, a Preschool teacher explains. “SCIS shares that vision and that makes it exciting to be a part of a whole community focused on not just offering mastery of skills, but also creating a memorable learning experience for our students."

Meanwhile, Principals and Vice-Principals are often seen in the classrooms working right alongside teachers in engaging the students. “It is important to be seen and to be involved; teachers, administrators, cleaners, and parents, we are all a part of a child’s learning experience,” Mel Knudson, Vice-Principal at the Hongqiao ECE campus states. “To that end, parents truly are the key that unlock the door for students to have a smooth transition into school life and SCIS has always encouraged parental involvement as much as possible.”

scis-ece-1sSCIS ECE forms the foundation of a strong, international, academic program that continues all the way through to Grade 12. The students’ benefit greatly from being in a program that has a long-term vision, because they know what they want their elementary, middle and high school students to come prepared with.

“The ECE program at SCIS promotes independence and self-direction in its students,” elaborates Alisa Meinz, preschool teacher. “Teachers direct their instruction toward the individual needs of the students and encourage exploration and community building. A special emphasis is put on early literacy, practical life skills and inquiry-based learning.”

Daniel Eschtruth, Principal of the Hongqiao ECE Campus, shared a few words about the overall aim of the SCIS’ ECE programs. “At SCIS, we believe that children should be developed in all areas; we encourage children’s creativity through music and art, develop their language skills, and we recognize the need for ample physical activity and overall enjoyment in learning.”

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