First Open House Review
On Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 Sias International School hosted out first Open House at our temporary campus. The purpose of this event was to provide parents valuable information regarding our school while giving children an opportunity to explore hands on learning activities in the classroom.
At the beginning of the event, the Founding Head, Elizabeth Martinez, along with her staff, warmly greeted parents and children as they entered. Ms. Martinez gave an introduction about the mission, value and beliefs of Sias International School, as well as discussed the design and color elements as they relate to brain-based research. She also pointed out the tree in the middle of our lobby which represents our social emotional curriculum -The Leader in Me. The Leader in Me curriculum is designed to “empower students with the leadership and life-skills they need to strive as 21st century learners”.
Parents were then guided on a temporary campus tour, during which parents had the opportunity to view our innovative learning spaces, such as our early ages classroom, elementary classroom and Agile Learning space. Ms. Martinez explained how technology would be integrated into teaching and learning with the use of interactive whiteboards. She also gave background information regarding our literacy, math and science curricula and showed examples of various hands on learning materials that support instruction. After the tour, parents went to the information session while the children went into the classroom.
In the Agile Learning Space the parents interest was high during the information session provided by Ms. Martinez, Founding Head and Ms. Guo, Operations Manager. The session elaborated on the vision for innovation and creating an entrepreneurial mindset that fosters creativity. Sias International School is committed to high quality accreditation, like WASC and learning standards, where the focus is on research based individualized student learning strategies, technology integration, and focus on the whole child who feel safe, loved and excited about learning. Parents were eager to learn more and posed many questions to Ms. Martinez. We were impressed by parents’ passion about international education.
In the classroom, our Head Teacher Ms. Danielle Richeson set a warm and friendly tone by welcoming the children with a hello song. Then she greeted the children by name, while they practiced saying hello in English. The classroom was set up to encourage inquiry-based exploration. What this means is that the teacher sets out various activities in each learning area, and then observes student responses to the activities. Children were very engaged in the activities they chose. Some children visited every learning area, while others stayed longest in the areas that interested them most. It appeared that all children enjoyed the hands-on aspect that all of the activities had in common. They loved having the flexibility to move about freely and independently, while having a variety of choices to pique their individual interests and personalities. Some children played alone, while others interacted with new friends. Some explored quietly, while others engaged in conversations with peers and other adults in the room. Through these inquiry-based activities, we were able to see future artists, engineers, mathematicians, and scientists. We were impressed with the children’s active involvement and level of respect for our classroom environment.
To conclude the event, parents and children were invited into the lobby to have refreshments while becoming acquainted with one another. Parents socialized while the children made friends and played together. Everything went smoothly and such a harmonious atmosphere made our event quite successful as one student exclaimed: “This is my dream school! I love it!” When asked why, she responded, “All the smiling faces and all the passion that went into this.” Our Sias International School staff felt proud upon hearing that, as it shows that our hard work and dedication thus far has definitely paid off. Meanwhile, we are encouraged by the support on behalf of the families who participated in our first event. We thank you all and will continue to strive to create a high-quality school your children deserve.