Summer Message from the Headmaster
Dear XIS Community,
We have now come to the close of SY 2016-2017. To the many of you returning next year, I wish you a wonderful summer holiday. Please stay safe and come back to us well rested and relaxed. To those of you who are moving on, I wish you all the very best wherever you may be going to. I hope you will remember XIS fondly and stay in contact with those friends you made during your time here at XIS and in Xiamen.
For those of you who have asked me and others, we, too, have heard reports of a new bilingual international school opening in Xiamen. Some of you may have already gone to gather information. Since we care about you and respect your choices, I would only encourage anyone considering schools like this to gather as much information as possible prior to applying. As the saying goes, “Caveat emptor” (Latin – “May he beware!”). Please do search the web about these new schools and, if possible, affiliated/related schools. Bilingual international schools throughout China have strict regulations regarding how they can operate. They must offer the national Chinese curriculum in grades 1-9 and sit for the Zhong Kao (China’s examination) at the end of 9th grade. While they have the chance to deliver an international curriculum from grades 10 onwards, they must do so in combination with some Chinese curriculum requirements.
Our goal is to provide helpful information for our current and prospective parents. Please inquire of any new school as to whether the school is fully accredited to see if they meet important criteria as an educational institution. If they are accredited, please inquire as to which accrediting organization. If not, do they intend to become accredited? When? Is it a world-recognized accrediting organization? Do they operate an IB program? If so, are they fully authorized or just in the early stages of the process? Ask to see their certificates of accreditation and/or authorization if they claim to be currently accredited/authorized. Where do their teachers come from? Are they fully certified as teachers in their subjects/grades? What percentage of the teaching faculty is national, and what percentage is international? Have they fully hired all faculty and staff? Are all resources (books, furniture, supplies, technology, etc.) purchased and delivered for faculty, staff and student use? Are their systems and forms fully set up? Have they developed a schedule for their teachers and students? As Richard Gaskell, Director for International Schools at International Schools Research states, “The challenge for these schools will be to meet the requirements of the Chinese curriculum and also prepare students in the best possible way for higher education abroad.”
Please note that for any who choose another school, you will always be welcome back at XIS, but please also be aware there are a number of grades that are full or almost full with returning and new students. Anyone wishing to return should contact the school beforehand to see if there is an opening. The sooner that is done to the beginning of a year, the better, because the longer a student is at another school, the further astray from our programs they may get when the try to enter XIS.
Xiamen International School was the first international school in Fujian Province to be legally approved by the national government. We are currently seeking our fourth accreditation with the Western Association of Schools in Colleges (WASC) based in the United States. We are being re-authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (based in Geneva, Switzerland) to legally offer all three IB programs (e.g., PYP, MYP and DP). We have all fully certified teachers from their home-countries. Some have certifications from other countries as well. All of our teachers have at least bachelor degrees and many have earned masters degrees as well. About 81% of our teachers are international and 19% are national. We have been in operation now for almost 20 years providing us a lengthy period of strong growth, development and shared interests with the growth and development of Xiamen. We are full members in the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) for professional development and conferences, the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS) for student sports, academic and cultural events as well as teacher/administrator professional development. We are members of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) for ongoing professional development and understanding of international school issues. We have won many sports tournament awards (as displayed in our gymnasium). We host (and attend) Model United Nations events. Our students have gone on to many top-notch world-recognized universities (Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Amherst, Stanford, Boston College, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Harvard, Cornell, Hong Kong University, Melbourne, University of Toronto, Australia International University, Yansei Unversity, etc.) in different countries and have earned many hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships. One of our former students has even interned at the White House! We are obviously proud of our students, our staff and our community. We welcome expatriates from some 40 countries and regions around the world.
We thank you for your patronage and support of our school!
John M. Godwin, Headmaster