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From the Principal's Desk

XIS Academics

This month, our theme is on XIS Academics. Here are a few areas we’ve been focusing on this month:

Teacher Observations

Academic Standards


Teacher Observations

Teachers observe other teachers in order to get inspiration and look for solutions for their own classes. Observations help our teachers continue to learn and grow and challenges us as a school to do all we do in excellence. So if your child comes home and tells you that another teacher was watching in the classroom, there’s a good reason why that is true!

Academic Standards

This area is what creates a rigorous learning environment. The XIS standards are purposefully higher than other standards because we believe when there are high expectations set, the students will often reach them! Each class connects to the subject standard. The objective is the class goal for that day based on what the student can do or show. Each teacher works diligently in crafting classes that better supports student growth and passion. This semester we’ve been looking at standards, picking out key words, and crafting engaging lessons with an increase of student activity.


This is the speed of the class. This may sound easy, but with an average of 10 students per class, and each student unique, finding the right pace can be a challenge! Too slow and the class is boring and too fast and students aren’t learning. If teachers have varied, effective activities throughout a class time, it’s an easy check to see if the speed is just right. If some students are falling behind while others are ahead, then the teacher knows to add some differentiation techniques. One of the many benefits of a having an average of 5 students per every 1 teacher is that checks and adjustments can happen more frequently.


In summary, the month of May is all about XIS Academics. My hope is that you can notice our focus this month with your student’s homework, projects, or stories you see and hear at home. We are continuing our conversation on XIS Culture. Teachers have reported students using English more often, using technology less often (and with more purpose connected to the technology standards), and we’ve seen students following and using the Honor Code more and more. Thank you for your home support!

Class Observations

In May, I’ve been observing how students and teachers connect to learning. Here’s a short list of what I’ve observed:

  • Teachers with a checklist of standards and asked the students to check it off if it’s covered!
  • Other teachers in the classroom with notebooks and computers doing observations!
  • Great whole class “attention getters” paired with timers to use class time wisely!
  • Project presentations with excellent use of grammar!
  • 3 different activities within 10 minutes of observation!
  • Teachers pausing the class to go over questions from a small group!
  • Teachers during recess checking on students if they are by themselves (not part of classroom observations or XIS Academics, but worth noting)!

Recent Updates

May is the month of testing! Both Advance Placement (AP) tests from May 1-12 happened as well as IOWA tests on May 17-19. Many in our community already know that AP Tests are a great resource for our students as a score of 5 can count as a college credit in well-known universities.

However, did you know the IOWA tests are taken by English speaking students around the world? The test score is compared to students at that same age and the families and school get the results in an easy to read format! We look forward to receiving our results for both AP and IOWA tests and are ready to celebrate our student’s growth.

Students in our English Language Program (ELP) have recently taken their WIDA test. At XIS, we hope to see continued growth of 0.5 to 1.0 points per year. It sounded like many students, in only 1 semester, had improved by a whole point now that we’re back on campus full-time! I expect for the graduation from ELP to be large this semester!

Personal Story

A teacher came to my office and excitedly told me a discovery she had made in class. During a review time, instead of having select students answer the question allowed, she had them come up to the front of class and whisper them in her ear. The other students couldn’t hear what was said, but the teacher said if the open ended response answer the question or not. There were 2 incorrect and 1 correct. For the rest of the review time, although there were other questions to answer, the students were so curious on the answer to the harder level questions that when they had a few moments, they would try to answer the question to the teacher as they worked on their review. Although I didn’t get to see the class, I loved hearing the excitement in the teacher’s voice as she found out a new method to unlock middle school curiosity! Way to go!

Thanks to you and your children, we have the best school in the world! Your children bring us joy each day as we find new ways to ‘engage and empower life-long learners and tomorrow’s leaders’.

With Care Always,

Ms. Harris
XIS Principal

If you or your family would like to learn more about XIS engaging and empowering your child to be a life-long learner and tomorrow’s leader, please contact us by phone at (+86) 029-8533-5014 or (+86) 182-9289-3276 or send us an email at

Go Warriors!