By Laura Gauld, Head of School and Executive Director, Boarding Schools
June 10, 2013 –Our first full day in Shanghai was devoted to admissions and learning more about the Chinese educational system. This morning, our team split up with Bob, Claire and Fan visiting New Channel School, an organization that focuses on testing and exploring partnerships. The visit was interesting and again, highlighted the Chinese year-round focus on test preparation and the desire for the American vision of a top college and English language skills.
Tracey and I took the high speed train to Hangzhou to meet faculty and staff at the Hangzhou Gongyi Middle School. We were greeted like royalty with huge bouquets of flowers and enthusiastic questions about the Hyde philosophy. We currently have two students who attended this school, Joyce and Kevin Wang on the Woodstock campus. The students and their parents came to help tour us around and we spent time with the Headmaster, who felt that his focus on student “inner happiness” was closer to Hyde’s unique potential than the traditional Chinese focus on achievement at all costs. The school would like to have Hyde as their “sister school” and we exchanged materials and discussed exploring a relationship with them. As this is a middle school, it could potentially be a great foundation for sending students to Hyde in their freshman year.
Tonight, we welcomed consultants and prospective families to our second admissions event at the hotel. It was great to see eight students come to the event, with several of them flying in to help us. In that group were two recent graduates, Tina and Tony. Again, the students stole the show and wowed the crowd with their speaking skills and passionate presence. We continue to learn that Hyde students are the best marketers of the concepts. As Bob said at one point, “We do IQ and EQ!” Folks came away impressed with Hyde and as one prospective mother said, “I am so lucky to have found this school for my son.”
Today was a busy day but we had to take a late night walk to take in the sounds and sights of Shanghai which was even more intensive given the Dragon Festival that is going on this week. Tomorrow is another busy day with a large FLC here at the hotel.
Good night! LDG