Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Xi'an Bound

In a few short months, I'll be departing the land of cheese and bratwurst and calling the city with all those clay soldiers my home.

Starting in August, I will be teaching art for grades 3-5 at Xi'an High Tech International School. This relatively new school was set up to meet the needs of a growing international community, including the neighboring high-tech companies. Samsung and Johnson & Johnson are two such companies that send large numbers of students to the school. In fact, 39% of the students are Korean. While there are 22 nationalities represented, a large percentage of the students are ethnic Chinese.
Campus (drawing)

The school has been busy constructing a brand new $130 million campus on a 66,600 sq meter campus. An architect firm from Washington, DC has undertaken the project. The campus has a 3-floor building for general classrooms, and separate buildings including an indoor sports center, indoor swimming pool, theater, and black-box theater. A state-of-the-art HEPA filtration system is installed.
Classrooms (PK-12)

Enrollment in the 2017 school year was 320, but they anticipate to have 400 students for this coming school year. More than half of that number is at the elementary level. The non-profit school is now a full IBO world school, with its newest certification of PYP occurring in 2016. Currently, the elementary school has one class per grade level, but this will be expanded to two starting in the 2018-19 school year. Class sizes will typically be between 12-22 students. With the increase in classes, it was decided that a second art teacher was needed.
Indoor Swimming pool

When speaking with the elementary principal (who is from Ireland), he said that art, music, PE, etc. teachers are called "single-subject teachers" at the school. Although he was good with scheduling, the principal (a former PYP coordinator and teacher himself) he wasn't all that knowledgeable about the unique aspects of such subjects. Therefore, those teachers were asked to design their schedules. For the upper elementary, students will have art for two 40-minute periods per week, typically as a double-period. There will be two art rooms, one of which contains a kiln room. Below are some photos of the yet-unfinished art rooms.

Art room with new tables

Unfinished and unfurnished art room

The school also has a Makerspace area and a Teaching &  Curriculum Center. For tech, the school has SmartBoards, iPad cart, MacBook Pros (more hopefully coming), a 3D printer, and some drones.

The school is located a distance outside of the main city of Xi'an and also is about 45 minutes away from the mountains.

Tomorrow I'll write a bit about the city of Xi'an.

Another adventure awaits!


Bibi said...

Fantastic, Nelissa. They are sure so lucky to have you aboard. Wow. And I am waiting to see what beautiful artwork you will create. Congratulations.

Gigi said...

Melissa, I will be praying for you as you head into this excellent new adventure! We are thrilled for you!

tombetz said...

I'm so happy you retained your wanderlust. And they couldn't have made a better hiring decision. You go, girl.

Judy Harney said...

I'm so tempted to apply for any other art openings... lol


Melissa Enderle said...

Thank you for the well-wishes and congrats!