Lower School

Appreciating the Caliber of CAIS Programs and Colleagues

Even though we have just closed the chapter on a busy and successful month of February, topped off by our annual Mass Greeting tradition, we all know CAIS is never one to sit back on its laurels when there is more learning and innovating that can be done. As many of you know, CAIS is in year three of our revolutionary, first-of-its-kind bilingual and bicultural math curriculum and standards design and implementation initiative. This month, we have welcomed our stellar consultant, Dr. Andrea Barraugh back to Oak Campus for another round of deep professional learning for our Homeroom English and Chinese teachers. Andrea comes to us with 20+ years of experience working with many dozens of public and independent schools in the field of mathematics education. Earlier this week after a Lower School classroom observation, she shared her feedback with the faculty member, and it is with pride and honor that I share it here for you, as a testament to the caliber of teachers whom your children are surrounded by each day:

You facilitated the most powerful, skillful, and effective 15 minutes of teaching that I have ever observed. Every question built from student thinking and followed a clear directional path with the lesson. Keep in mind that I worked with groups out of Harvard and University of Michigan for years recording and analyzing videos of math instruction, looking for key, research-based elements of high quality math instruction. Your lesson had it all!”

Dr. Andrea Barraugh

I feel so lucky and humbled to work alongside such intellectually curious, motivated, and exceptional teachers on a daily basis. They truly are experts at what they do, and I encourage you to follow their leads, trust what they share, and take their recommendations to heart as your children move through their years at the Lower School.

One other very exciting event during the month of March that I’d like to highlight is the launch of the 2024 Global Programs. I’m delighted to share that 100% of our fifth grade students are busy preparing for their capstone Lower School experience, their 2-week educational trip to Taiwan! The fifth grade Taiwan adventure is the first of three opportunities CAIS students have to spend time in-country, utilizing the Mandarin skills they have honed so well over the years, as well as flexing their empathy, adaptability, resilience, and inclusion skills as they participate fully in daily life abroad, living with host families and attending school and activities to get a true taste for life in Taiwan. Having chaperoned this trip myself back in 2019, I can say with firsthand conviction that it is a life-changing experience for both the children and the chaperones. I can’t wait to wish them well when they depart from SFO next week!