Dedicated to Inclusion and Respect
Culture informs children's cognitive development and almost every facet of how they understand and experience life. Academic success directly relates to how they see their particular cultures valued by family, school, peers and society. At CAIS, we acknowledge and embrace students' diverse backgrounds. In doing so, we offer differentiated instruction to each student recognizing that 'one size' does not fit all.
Students: Reflecting the Bay Area's DiversityThe CAIS student body reflects a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds (2011-12 enrollment):
- Asian-American 39%
- Multiracial 37%
- Caucasian 22%
- Hispanic 1%
- African American 1%
Teachers: Offering Dedication and Accomplishment
We hire teachers based on their educational background, teaching experience, subject specialty, motivation and methodology. All demonstrate a strong commitment to their profession and great skill in creating classroom environments that encourage students to perform at peak levels in a congenial and nurturing atmosphere. Some CAIS teachers have earned prestigious honors, including Fulbright scholarships, Johns Hopkins Achievement Awards, and the Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence.
Chinese-program teachers are gifted native Chinese speakers with degrees from institutions in China and Taiwan. Some pursue advanced degrees in the United States. Our Chinese teachers undergo a one- to two-year orientation period to become familiar with our bilingual curriculum before teaching their own classes.
Diversity Programs: Bringing People Together
We have developed or are in the development stages of a number of diversity-related initiatives:
- Building Bridges (Middle School): fosters dialog among Chinese and English program staff/faculty, who discuss how we can better understand each other's cultures--and our own.
- Family Diversity (Lower School): more consistent and explicit ways to discuss diverse family structures.
- The Environment: CAIS and French American School, students included, are creating a program to reduce, reuse and recycle
- Student-led volunteer groups: with assistance from adults, students will organize, plan and run volunteer groups relating to such themes as personal interests, social action and service learning initiatives.
- Art projects: our art continually celebrates our multicultural society and the many cultures represented by CAIS students.
- Building Little Bridges: Second graders from CAIS and French American School can sit together during lunch and develop friendships.
One uniform approach runs through all these initiatives. We instill in each student a sense of pride in who he or she is as an individual, and a sense of respect for others.
Global Citizens: Expanding Students' HorizonsCAIS students have inherited a world in which national borders no longer define educational, business, social and even political opportunities. We seek to provide the broadest possible view of the world to our students, encouraging them to see the commonalities they share with societies around the world and project their futures as connected with those of people in other nations. Towards this end, we take a global approach to history, art, music and literature to help familiarize students with other cultures and ways of life.
Respectful School Campaign
CAIS integrates respect into the daily fabric of teaching and learning at every grade level. We approach issues on an age-appropriate basis and utilize programs designed to enhance respect in every grade.
Service Learning: Students go beyond theory to put the principles of respect into action.
- Seniors and Hunger (Eighth Grade): Students make multiple visits to the On Lok Senior Citizens Home, visiting with and reading to seniors in the Chinese and Asian American community. They also implement a service learning project based on their Seventh Grade Homelessness and Poverty unit.
- Homelessness and Poverty (Seventh Grade): Students investigate issues and work at the San Francisco Food bank. Class speakers include advocates from non-profit organizations.
- The Environment (Sixth Grade): Students help to restore natural habitat.
Enhanced Advisory Program. Adult advisors become more included in student life, guiding discussions of monthly themes, including respect, responsibility, honesty, community and health choices. Program highlights include:
- 6th grade boys have male advisors
- 6th grade girls have female advisors
- 7th graders participate in a three-month anti-bullying curriculum and two-month 'body positive' curriculum
- 6th and 7th grade students receive drug and alcohol education
- 8th graders engage in a one-month unit on coping with stress
- All grades have Health Education once a week.