New Blog Post Series – How do you determine success?

In the two and half years that I have been the principal at Puxi High School there has been an ongoing dialog about various topics related to success.  Whether it is called Educational Excellence, Academic Rigor, College Outcomes, or simply grade point average, the discourse relating to the question “How do you determine success?” has been heavily discussed among our teachers, students, and parents.

What I have learned in this time is that we all have different variables that factor into our personal equation to calculate success.  I have had many conversations with parents about student happiness, wellbeing, inspiration, and other wishes that we all have for our children.  Yet often these conversations are striped down to one simple concept: OUTCOMES.  Many argue that the reason parents send their children, and the reason students attend willingly, is due rich tradition of academic results and university matriculation. Essentially the ends matter most.

While rigor and high level academic performance is a worthwhile pursuit, it should not in its own right be the primary evaluation. Over the next three months, I will post a series of six blog posts that are designed to engage the community in an online dialog about “How do we determine success?” at Puxi High School.  We will explore the student and alumni narrative around the school academic culture and we will dive into the dialog about what is the best way to ensure that our students learn in a community that celebrates their individual accomplishments and supports their personal aspirations.

For this six part series, the comments feature will be enabled to allow for a fluid dialog about how we can shape the culture of learning with our school.  I look forward to sharing some of my learning and also learning from your perspectives to build a strong school-parent partnership.

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Class of 2014 University Matriculation

As a high school we are very aware that outcomes are an important part of evaluating if our school is meeting the needs of our students.  We are fortunate to educate stellar students who possess a desire to succeed.  This fall the class of 2014 matriculated to their university placement and I wanted to share with you how Puxi High School matriculation data.

  • 1,371 applications to US Universities (45% to US News Top 50 Research, 8% to US News Top 50 Liberal Arts)
  • 360 applications to non-US Universities (20% of all applications)
  • 243 applications to non-North American Universities (14% of all applications)
  • 41% acceptance to US News Top 50 Research schools (27% is the global average)
  • 38% acceptance to US News Top Liberal Arts schools (31% is the global average)
  • 13% acceptance at Ivy League schools (8% is the global average)
  • 57% matriculation to World Class Universities as rated by combining the US News Rankings with those that include international schools.

It is important to note that this data is heavily influenced by our student preferences.  For instance, we did not have applications to all Top 50 schools, so the data table is incomplete as we are not able to evaluate the who successful those students would have had they applied.  In the end the conclusion I draw is our students do very well in university acceptance and more importantly matriculation!

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Buck Institute, Alumni Success, College Visits

Next week will be a full week of activity for all Puxi High School.

Buck Institute – A consultant from the Buck Institute for Education is on campus training our teachers in 21st Century Learning methodology.  The Buck Institute is the world leader in Project Based Learning and frequently partners with New Tech Foundation (A Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Organization), as well as Edutopia, a US based non-profit organization that was founded by George Lucas to promote a world class education.  The focus of this training will be to grow the knowledge of our science department to support the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards that were adopted in 2013.  We will have nine teachers participating in training Wednesday through Friday.

Alumni Success – Sam Wu, Class of 2013, was recently named by Business Insider has one of the “Most Impressive” Harvard undergraduates.  Sam was identified along with 19 other Harvard students for his work in the arts and his amazing creative expression.  To view the full article, click the link below.

Most Impressive Students at Harvard – 2014

College Visits – A group of highly selective colleges is coming to Shanghai American School on Monday, September 15.  Representatives from Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, and Princeton University will be in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for a presentation and reception from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  For information about all university visits, please log-in to the Family Connection on Naviance.



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