Search Associates welcomes Shanghai school (SMIC) to its catalog of member schools. SMIC is a K–12 day school whose campus of approximately 80,000 square meters is surrounded by green spaces and gardens. The school was established in September of 2001 by the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company. The initial goal was to provide a quality education solely for the children of foreign and domestic employees of the company, but three years later, the school opened its doors to non-SMIC children, making its high-quality education available to the wider community. Currently, approximately 22% of enrolled students are children of SMIC employees. In his “Welcome” message on the school website, Chancellor and Executive Director of the SMIC School Board Dr. Jack Chou describes SMIC:
Fully-accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, SMIC not only offers Advanced Placement courses for the upper levels of the secondary school, but it also serves as an AP and SAT testing center. Currently, 1,275 students are enrolled, with 65% from North America and the U.K. The teaching staff of 116 includes 74 from North America, 37 from China, and five from the U.K. The school’s extensive facilities feature four auditoriums, multiple science labs, art and music rooms, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, and running tracks. The kindergarten and elementary campuses include newly-renovated playground areas for recess.
SMIC provides enrichment opportunities for every child. The Visual and Performing Arts Department’s (VAPA) curriculum follows American standards adapted from California and the Common Core. Students in Grades K–8 take art and music, each once a week, and by Grades 4 and 5, students may also join in extracurricular orchestra and/or choir. In Grades 6-12, students can participate in mini-orchestra, drama, choir, and art club. High school students must take at least one of the VAPA courses: Art & Creativity (regular and advanced), 3D Art, Digital Illustration, AP Studio Art, Orchestra, Contemporary Rock, Band, or Drama. Moreover, students in high school have more than 35 clubs and activities to join, while elementary and middle school students can choose from 13 and four, respectively. Finally, as one of the founding members of the China International Schools Sports Association (CISSA) and the Shanghai International School Activities Conference (SISAC), SMIC competes in two of the top sports leagues in all of Asia. SMIC coaches more than 50 teams in tennis, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, track & field, swimming, and soccer. The “Sharks of Pudong” have won many league championships, or made it to the finals!
Annual school-wide events make SMIC a special place to be: Sports Day, the Science Fair, performing arts concerts, the Spring Art Show, and field trips to destinations in Shanghai. On Vocabulary Day, teachers and students make their own costumes illustrating a vocabulary word of their choice, and then they have a parade! On International Day, each class in the elementary school adopts a country to research in order to create performances and exhibits for their families. Middle school students present their class projects based on a variety of historical and cultural topics, and high school seniors lead workshops and small group discussions on topics such as social justice, humanitarian aid, and the preservation of cultural and ethnic diversity. Awards are given on this day to the winners of the Global Citizenship Day Essay and Poster, and the Grade 12 Global Citizenship students honor a member of the Shanghai community with SMIC's Global Citizen Award.
SMIC is interested in hiring single teachers and married teaching couples. They will consider exceptional teachers who are newly certified as well as outstanding, experienced teachers who lack certification. Teaching couples who are not married, couples with a non-teaching spouse, and interns will also be considered. All candidates must hold their academic degree in the subject that they will be teaching. China issues work visas up to the age of 60.
The salary and benefits package includes a settling-in allowance and 70% of a teacher’s rent. SMIC covers one annual airfare for home leave, which extends to spouses and all dependents under 18. Families receive an 80% tuition benefit for up to two children, and teachers pay a percentage of the worldwide health insurance coverage, life insurance, and long-term disability. Daily lunch is free, and SMIC promises extensive professional development opportunities internally and externally. There are local employment opportunities for non-teaching spouses. This package allows for some savings or the opportunity for a family of four to live on one salary.