The School's initial purpose was to provide low-cost private education for SMIC employees' children in close proximity to the SMIC Living Quarters and company sites, but has opened to the public since 2004. The School offers lower-priced tuition than others in Shanghai while still maintaining a quality international school education. Graduates have been accepted into many of the top national universities and colleges in America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and more. The school had a finalist, two semi-finalists, and several commended scholars in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
The School provides two academic tracks: an English track that uses an American curriculum with a Chinese requirement and a Chinese track that is based on the local academic curriculum but with strong English emphasis. The SMIC Private School is accredited by the Pudong Board of Education and was awarded as an "Excellent Private Elementary School and Middle/High School in China" in December 2009.
The school grew rapidly since its founding; the school had 75 students in the 1st year, and almost 700 students in its 4th year. The school had its first English track graduating class of 7 in 2006. In 2009, the school had over 1800 students from 22 different countries. Students come from all over the world, including various parts of China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, England, the United States, France, Canada, and Italy, with a majority of the students from the U.S., Taiwan and South Korea.The school is authorized and approved by The U.S. College Board as an official SAT and AP testing center.
SMIC's newspaper, the Xin Lang Scholar, received first place for Best Front Page and Second Place Overall award from the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) during the 2004-2005 school year, and received First Place Overall with Special Merit during the 2009-2010 school year.
The school is housed on a campus in Pudong New Area, on the east side of Shanghai. Academic facilities include: 2 libraries, 5 computer labs, an observatory, two auditoriums, and specialty classrooms for dance, music, and studio art. Athletic facilities include an indoor lap pool and recreation center, a gymnasium, tennis courts, all-weather basketball courts, and a 400-meter track. These include:The Observatory is a unique feature of the School architecture. From the junction of Longdong Avenue and Guanglan Road, you can see a gigantic silver globe sitting atop the Middle/High School (MHS) building – that is the school's astronomical observatory. The observatory has a diameter of 8 meters. The round roof-top of the observatory protects the telescope and its accompanying equipment and facilitates a 360 degree view of the sky. The dome can be programmed to open or shut, as well as stop at a specific position during its navigation.
The Elementary School (ES) Auditorium can accommodate around 150 students. It is used for regular school assemblies, for watching educational movies, and by teachers for their multimedia lessons. The Middle/High School (MHS) also has two auditoriums, the seating capacity of each auditorium is about 400. They are used commonly for important school ceremonies and school-wide performances.
The School has two libraries.
The Gym is situated on the second floor of the building that houses the school cafeteria on the first floor. It has a standard size basketball court, and movable volleyball and badminton equipment.
The school cafeteria was set up in 2004 and can accommodate more than 700 students at present. It is currently run by Sodexo, an international food vendor that has the Shanghai Fast Food Permit and the Shanghai’s Hygiene Special Permit. The vendor has its own experienced nutritionists, who analyze the food nutrition of the students’ meals and provide advice on their diet and menu selection. It has been renovated twice – once in the summer of 2012, the other the summer of 2013.
The school has three divisions: preschool and kindergarten, elementary (grades 1-5), and middle (grades 6-8) & high school (grades 9-12). The elementary and middle/high school divisions offer English and Chinese tracks.
The middle and high school English tracks use Common Core and the AERO curriculum, which fulfills entrance requirements for United States colleges and universities. Combined enrollment with Chinese track students is offered for Chinese language classes, select elective courses, and sports teams. Students from both English and Chinese tracks come together rarely for weekly and school-wide events.
The school offers accelerated/honors and Advanced Placement in English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Chinese language. Advanced Placement courses include Psychology, Calculus AB/BC, Statistics, English Literature, English Language and Composition, Spanish, French, U.S. History, Comparative Government, Computer Science A, Chinese, Biology, Physics I, Physics II, Economics, Studio Art and Chemistry. Students may not enroll in the AP program until their junior year with the exception of AP Chinese, AP Computer Science (sophomore year), and AP Biology (sophomore year). Students in AP classes are expected to take the AP exam in May.
Students must complete 100 hours of community service to fulfill graduation requirements. Past opportunities have included volunteering at local Shanghai orphanages as well as coordinating a charity concert. Several school clubs, such as Community Service Club, offer community service hours for students who are members and participate in events. Some students volunteer as teachers' assistants during the English summer camps.The school had a finalist, two semi-finalists, and several commended scholars in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
The school also had one student that was named a finalist for the 2008-09 Siemens Competition Math, Science, & Technology. The student was the only finalist for the China.
The School offers a variety of co-curricular activities for students. Activities include Student Council, Model United Nations, Environmental Club, Korean Culture Club, Community Service Club, Drama Club, Movie Industry Club, Cookies for Kenya, Creative Writing Club, Photoshop Club, and Debate Club.
The School has a monthly English language student newspaper, Xin Lang Scholar. The newspaper received two awards from the American Scholastic Press Association in 2005, and was awarded First Place Overall with Special Merit during the 2009-2010 school year.
The School started its annual Art Charity Program in 2004. In 2008, through a partnership of SMIC Private School students and SMIC employees, the School donated 88,000 RMB to help sick and needy children in its 5th annual Art Charity Program through the collection of more than 1,600 pieces of art.
The School's Debate Club participates in several debates, within SMIC and with other schools.
The SMIC School Model United Nations hosted its first SMICMUN Conference in 2014, and members attend a few conferences in other schools every year.
The SMIC School is a member school of both SISAC and CISSA Athletic conferences. The SISAC conference is a competitive league primarily for high school students, while CISSA is participation based, non-competitive league primarily for students in grades 6 through 8. The SMIC Sharks are consistently one of the top performing schools in SISAC. Students from SMIC Private School participate in a variety of sports including volleyball, basketball, soccer, cross country, track and field, badminton, swimming, and table tennis.
The school has one sister campus in Beijing.
SMIC Private School in Beijing was established in September 2005. The Beijing school is a Pre-K to Grade 8 school, currently with a kindergarten and an elementary division up to Grades 8, offering two academic tracks. There were about 300 students in kindergarten, and 550 students in the elementary and middle school.
The school has a diverse student body and a small student-teacher ratio which allows for a more creative and personable learning environment. The curriculum of each track stress each student's holistic development and also emphasizes the importance of morals and integrity in education.Jessica Tsu - featured in Shanghaiist.com's Philanthropy column as one of the organizers for the 3rd Annual Roots & Shoots Charity Concert (November 11, 2009)
Justine Hsu - featured in Cityweekend.com's LGBeaT blog as one of the leaders of the Shanghai LGBT Youth Organization. (March 22, 2011)