Ms. Linxia "Amy” Mi visited St. Anne’s-Belfield School from Sinolink Primary School in Shenzhen, China. Mi’s daughter, Miyi Wang, a recent graduate of University of California, San Diego, joined her for much of the visit.
Mi and Wang enjoyed a full week of observing classes the lower, middle and upper schools, and stayed on dorm. They were able to meet with Grade 5 teachers to discuss their China unit, with the School’s reading specialist and RLA Department Chair Megan Grant, have lunch with Grade 8 students from China, and discuss American and Chinese educational practices with Upper School faculty members. Mi was also able to give an informal presentation to Residential Life faculty on what to know about Chinese culture in order to provide the most appropriate care and mentorship to Chinese boarding students.
“It has been a wonderful week with Amy and Miyi,” said Associate Head of School for Academics Beth Miller.
“In addition to comparing our educational systems, we have learned about the value Chinese families place on education and, specifically, bilingualism. Many Kindergarteners in China spend up to two hours a day studying English. Given the high oral proficiency of Amy’s fifth grade students in China, we are pleased that our Grade 5 Humanities teachers, Geoff Reed and Caitlin Thomson, have co-designed with Amy a unit of study that will engage students from both countries in an exploration of cultural similarities and differences. Continuing to expand our global footprint is one of the School’s strategic goals, and I am excited to see the enthusiasm from teachers around exchanges and school visits.”
In addition to touring the University of Virginia with Associate Head of School for Advancement Warren Buford, Mi and Wang were also able to observe athletics events after school and take part in a Grades 5 – 8 Chapel.
The relationship with Sinolink Primary School began when School parents Shawn Zhang and Qiaoyu Guo introduced St. Anne’s-Belfield to Sinolink. Since then, Miller, Director of Residential Life Antxon Iturbe, and Director of College Counseling and Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Sandra Sohne-Johnston have traveled to Shenzhen and the school to observe classes as well.