Review 6) (Name removed by admin) 2017 - 2019
Academic integrity of school
Effectiveness of administration
Academic and disciplinary support provided
Director's involvement in academics
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
School has adequate educational materials on hand
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
Cost of living in relation to salary (10 = most favorable)
Yearly salary range for teachers in US dollars$30K - $75K
Satisfaction with housing
Community offers a variety of activities
Availability and quality of local health care
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
Extra curricular load is reasonable
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
Average Score for Review
I've debated sending this review for quite some time. However, I believe it's my ethical duty to my global colleagues to inform them of my recent previous experience at this "school".
To sum up my experience, SAIS is nothing more than a Montessori-style, glorified Arts and Crafts Day Care Center for Students with Special Needs.
SAIS claims on its website that they are “Shenzhen’s premier Project-Based Learning school, providing a 21st Century education for students in grades PK-9.”
What lies. I don’t even know where to begin.
SAIS claims to have been “a school” for over 14 years, but was not accredited until 2018-2019.
Grade 9 is not even established yet (as of June, 2019, there's no teachers, no students, no curriculum.)
And SAIS is NOT providing students with 21st century skills: Students are NOT learning information liter*c* (SAIS doesn’t have a library, only a collection of books in bookshelves on the 3rd floor), students are NOT learning Media liter*c*, and students are NOT learning Technology liter*c*. (Go ahead, contact SAIS and ask them the probing questions you need to related to 21st Century Skills: ask if students are being taught how to use a library, like the Dewey Decimal System, or a library cataloging system; ask if students can define and explain CPU, RAM, ROM; ask if students can summarize the relevant aspects of copyright, intellectual property, trademark, and patent laws, and practice ethical and legal practices. I guarantee you won’t be satisfied with SAIS’ answers.)
Here's some other SAIS highlights....and just occurring between the years of 2018-2019:
One teacher was physically attacked by another teacher. And the school board’s decision? Due to an enormous amount of parental support and advocacy (for whatever reason), the aggressor was allowed to complete his contract for the 2018-2019 school year. (And this was not his first offense; over a dozen teachers signed a pet*t*on to have him fired, with several providing evidence of repeated offenses of verbal aggression towards them.) As a result, the director, (Name removed by admin), resigned after the board overturned his decision to fire that teacher for physically assaulting another teacher. (Another staff member, who was verbally assaulted before by this teacher, also resigned her position as front desk receptionist.)
SAIS will employ teachers without appropriate work visas, in direct violation of Chinese law. Three teachers during the 2018-2019 school year did not have appropriate work visas.
Despite several grievances from students, parents, and staff, two teachers had both their work visas renewed and their contracts renewed……and then were given letters of resignation the last week in May, one week before school ended.
Students are NOT engaged in Project-Based Learning. There’s no alignment to key standards, there’s no established Critical Friends Team, there’s no proficiency matrix…the list goes on. SAIS’ understanding of PBL is basically learning something through arts and crafts.
One middle school teacher, who taught veteran SAIS students, said he was teaching 6th and 8th graders who couldn’t read an analogue clock, who couldn’t add fractions, who couldn’t divide decimals, and who wouldn’t complete personal science projects.
If SAIS were a real school, wouldn’t there and shouldn’t there be a student handbook? There’s no such thing at SAIS.
Teachers were told at the end of May (and given a 13-day deadline) to make “a collection of memories” of their grade level, which were then all compiled to make one yearbook for students.
No graduation ceremony for 8th graders was planned until middle school teachers were asked by the administration to plan one.....two days before the last day of school on Wednesday (June 5). The former principal at SAIS--who was hired as a "Consultant" after former director Darin Schmidt resigned--has always been against graduation ceremonies, so students were given a pizza party instead.
Report cards (only in its second year of implementation) had numerous mistakes on them as well. For example, on every report card this school year (2018-2019): Days of school? 46. Days your child was absent? 46. Hahahah! And grades on report cards are only on a 1-4 scale.
When one teacher asked administrators for verification that student grades would not be changed over the summer, he was confronted by two administrators in the hallway and asked, "why are you making this a big deal?" He was then ordered not to engage in any further correspondence about grades.
Regarding Field Trips: one teacher asked if she could plan a field trip and someone in administration told her: “Why do you want to go there? It’s a waste of time and we have many other effective ways to work out your project.”
Every foreign parent and teacher with kids withdrew from SAIS at the end of June, 2019. SAIS is not an international school anymore! Only Chinese nationals with passports from Ghana. Only the children of the recently hired Principal and the Assistant Principal now provide the foreign faces for the school.
This information is true and accurate.
You are near Hong Kong and its a nice day trip.
High staff turnover,low morale.
Advice to Management
Value your teachers,pay the teachers taxes so they do not have to transfer funds abroad through Hong Kong and lose on the exchange rate.
Location: 80 Gongyuan Rd., Shekou, Shenzhen, China
I am a former teacher at this dodgy school.