At the height of the pandemic in 2020, I recall joking with my friends and family (on a new technology called “Zoom,” naturally) about what it would be like if the pandemic ended with a hard stop. As in, one day, the sirens would blare and we would pour into the streets, rip off our masks, and hug each other. We’d dance through the night. Decades later, children would ask us where we were that day and live vicariously through our grand tales. Of course, we chuckled through the screen, it won’t really end like that.
So here we are, dancing as gracefully as possible through the transition. While many aspects of our former lives return, contradictions remain. Stringent travel requirements established to keep citizens safe also keep families and communities cut off from one another. Privileges afforded by vaccination status extend only so far, and there are far more letters in the Greek alphabet than many of us realized. For me, the continued difficulty of travel to Mainland China and Taiwan is troubling for many reasons, both professional and personal. And yet, in keeping with the contradictions, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities afforded by this period of transition and reflection.
In the past few months at CAIS, students have enjoyed the return of in-person guest speakers, facilitators, field trips, outdoor education, after school sports, auxiliary programs, and campuses devoid of “cohorts” and—most mercifully—“Swivl.” Today, intrepid middle schoolers frolicked throughout Hayes Valley singing holiday carols for residents of four nearby senior living facilities.
In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the opportunities we do enjoy by offering a wide array of linguistic and cultural immersion opportunities, taking place virtually, on campus, and throughout the SF Bay Area. We look forward to extending programming to students across several grade levels. In addition to community engagement through field trips and guests, we invite students in Grades 5-8 to participate in the spring programs described below.
Many of you have heard me speak about the shift in vocabulary, from “international” to “global” programs, as a way to conceive of cultures, languages, and peoples outside the context of national borders. As we know, right now diplomatic borders are more meaningful–and more impassable–than ever. However, the real beauty of thinking globally is to realize that we have myriad opportunities to learn anywhere on the globe, including right here in the Bay Area.
Spring 2022 Global Programs
5th Grade Chingshin Academy Virtual Exchange
CAIS 5th graders will be paired with students from Chingshin Academy, our longtime partner school in Taipei. Students are invited to meet synchronously in at least one after-school Zoom session, and will also have opportunities to connect through asynchronous correspondence and a physical book exchange.
5th Grade Mandarin Immersion Program
April 6-8, 2022
Bringing a little bit of last year’s 春FUN (Mandarin immersion programming) to our 5th graders! We are excited to launch a three-day experiential program for 5th grade students to explore the Bay Area Chinese community together, learning alongside peers and Mandarin-speaking guest instructors.
Middle School Guilin Virtual Exchange
February 28-April 8, 2022
Participating 6-8th graders will be paired with university students from Guilin, Guangxi, China. Due to the time difference, students are invited to meet synchronously in up to 24 hours total of after-school or weekend Zoom sessions. Schedules may be customized to accommodate extracurricular activities. Details and registration info to follow after Winter Break.
Middle School Mandarin Immersion Program
April 18-29, 2022
Immediately following Spring Break, students and faculty at the 888 Campus will press pause on the regular curriculum and spend two weeks fully immersed in Mandarin-language experiential learning, both on campus and throughout the greater Bay Area. Students will be exposed to instructors from various disciplines, and will also have the opportunity to choose between several multi day workshop tracks in accordance with their own interests.