Bright Start

Early Childhood Education (ECE) at YHIS includes programs for children from 3 – 6 years of age, specifically designed to support whole child learning. ECE  provides a hands-on approach to learning. Classes are small with 10-20 students, depending on the grade. With both an Early Childhood teacher and a co-teacher in each class, individualized attention can be given to each child’s needs.

For students from ages 3 to 6, these early years are critical in developing their language skills and other skills as a life time learner. Children in YHIS Bright Start first focus on oral language and vocabulary skills. As they grow and develop an emphasis on reading fluency and reading comprehension is addressed. This all ensures each child can reach their maximum potential as a life time learner. Bright Start includes large and small motor skills, learning science through a hands-on approach, and various social skills.

At the same time, daily activities build your child’s character and social skills through life time values such as sharing, waiting, compassion for others, and obedience. These skills help each child become a whole child learner–not just working on academic standings but social and emotional as well.


Children who turn three by September 30, can join Bright Start’s Foundations Class. Daily lessons promote a love of learning, independence, co-operation and confidence. In all these aims, children’s experience their primary way of learning through play and active discovery of their world. Through a focus on art and sensory learning skills, children are able to touch and experience letters, nature and numbers. Each day is filled with opportunities for sharing, laughing, running, singing, dancing, collaboration, experimenting, creating and expressing ideas. YHIS’ Bright Start Foundations provides children with a comfortable and safe environment where adventure, imagination, and happy times are an integral part of everyday life.


Kathy Lee

Junior Kindergarten


Renee Masluk

Children who turn 4 by September 30, may join the Junior Kindergarten program. The JK curriculum is developmentally appropriate and contains a healthy balance of child-directed and teacher-directed learning. Math, language arts, science, and social studies are taught in the form of thematic units, to promote cohesive knowledge. Children in the Junior Kindergarten class are provided with many opportunities to engage in hands-on learning as well as several forms of art including both product and process-oriented. Children sing songs and read books that correspond with each theme and help to develop foundational language skills. Not only are academics a focus, but social-emotional learning is also a foundational component of the curriculum. In addition, children attend weekly music, library, Chinese, art, and physical education specials in order to promote whole-child learning.


Children who turn 5 by September 30, can join the Kindergarten class at YHIS. In Kindergarten, children learn letter sounds and letter names, as well as, sight words and how to read. Children learn number recognition and basic addition and subtraction. Throughout the day children have the opportunity for hands-on learning. All the activities are to encourage whole child learning and to prepare them for a life time of learning.

Children develop character traits such as sharing, obedience, problem solving, and truth telling. They also develop large and small motor skills. Children discover through play and a variety of group learning activities. Kindergarten helps develop a whole child learner. The school is a safe place for each child to grow and reach their full potential.


Lydia Jutte

A variety of activities in Bright Start

Mystery Readers

Each Thursday the Bright Start children have the privilege to listen to a guest reader. The children do not know who the reader will be until that person arrives. Mystery Reader encourages a love of reading because the children listen to an array of books. Mystery Reader also provides the opportunity to listen to a variety of voices since every person reads books in a different manner. It also prompts how to be a good listener and what the child should be doing while listening.

Mystery readers1
family 3

Family Events

We place a high importance on parent involvement in Bright Start. In order to encourage this, we have family events once a month. Each month moms and dads can come in and help with the different events. Some examples, of the events that might be taking place are Christmas Store, Donuts with Dad, Bingo for Books, and Instrument Zoo. As the events come nearer more information will be given.

Cooking Class

Once a week the Bright Start children go upstairs to the kitchen to practice their cooking skills. In Junior Kindergarten the cooking class is based on the letter they learned that week. For example: applesause for letter A, brownies for letter B, etc. In the beginning of the year the Kindergarten class will make a food corresponding with the letter. As the year goes on, the Kindergarten class will make food with different letter sounds and different kitchen skills. For the Foundation class they participate in cooking about once a month corresponding with special events happening in the classroom.


Elementary School

The goal of elementary school at YHIS is for children to have the opportunity to develop and grow emotionally, academically, socially, physically and spiritually. The elementary classrooms are staffed with a lead teacher and an associate teacher, ensuring that each student receive the individualized attention and care needed for success. Thematic units, which incorporate several subject areas increase interest and understanding by drawing from real world and real life connections.  These units build an international perspective by centering around a variety of geographical and historical themes.

Whether through our inquiry-based science curriculum or thematic social studies units, students are being prepared to become lifelong learners. Art, music, and PE classes all have specialized teachers with age-appropriate standards-based curriculum, which helps ensure that our students are experiencing a meaningful education outside of the normal core curriculum

Students in Elementary may choose to get involved after school in fine arts and sports-related activities, giving them a chance to explore other areas of interest and develop additional skills in a safe and encouraging environment.

  • Empowering Learners

    • Promoting a rigorous and relevant education that focuses on individual learning, gaining knowledge, and building skills to be prepared for a diverse world.
    • Encouraging creativity, activating curiosity, fostering engagement, and boosting the ability to solve problems effectively through research, personal analysis, and investigation.
    • Delivering a well-rounded educational experience through academics, technology, athletics, and more.
    • Providing a safe environment to explore and discover through communication and collaboration with teachers and peers.
  • Preparing Hearts

    • Upholding and strengthening formation through integration and developing an optimistic worldview.
    • Building character and instilling values through relationships and experiences.
    • Equipping students to defend their worldview and adhere to their moral principles.
  • Inspiring Lives

    • Identifying and developing students’ gifts and talents.
    • Modeling an example of love and service through character-training philosophies.

Elementary Curriculum

Our core subjects of language arts, math, social studies, science, Bible, physical education, art and music, are taught in English and developed in line with ISC and WASC standards. Throughout this curriculum, Elementary students learn new problem-solving skills as they move from concrete experiences to increasingly more complex levels of abstraction in critical thinking.

As international students living in China, our students also benefit from our Chinese language and culture curriculum. Our Chinese classes are divided according to the students’ current ability. Besides spoken Mandarin Chinese, students learn to use characters and pinyin. In addition, students are exposed to Chinese culture through a variety of cultural activities and annual festivals.

To show quarterly measurement of each student’s progress, students receive percentage grades in core subject areas. These grades include daily assignments, assessments, and participation. The International Schools Assessment (ISA) is administered annually to our third through fifth grade students in order to evaluate our teaching and learning goals, as well as to track student progress.

Elementary Progress and Reporting

Strong cooperation between parents and the school are a key element in having a successful education experience. Each school year starts with New Student Orientation and an Open House to provide a time to visit the classroom to get acquainted with your child’s learning environment and teachers. We also have more formal Parent Teacher Conferences in the fall and the spring. These conferences provide an opportunity for parents to meet with their child’s classroom teacher on an individual basis and review their child’s progress and next steps. Teachers also have regular communication with parents through newsletters and Class Dojo, an online and app-based communication tool. Additionally, all primary students receive a quarterly report card.

Secondary School

Classes in Secondary School at YHIS are about meeting challenges and driving change. The focus of Secondary School is equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and character to be innovative, resilient, and empathetic. Learning standards provide the framework for students to ask investigative questions and to develop problem-solving skills.

YHIS is committed to the learning process. Keeping a goal and moving forward into something new, something stronger. Small class sizes create the focused opportunity and responsibility for growth. Every day, students identify areas of strength, cultivating their abilities through coaching and guided reflection. They are challenged to think beyond themselves to make a positive impact in their community. Individual contribution is multiplied into community strength when working together. Morning homeroom groups, monthly assemblies, athletic teams, and extra-curricular clubs – all create small, intentional communities focused on relationship building and character development. By actively applying learning to exploring significant worldview questions, the classroom becomes a launching point to awareness, stewardship, and influence.

Secondary Curriculum

YHIS is a place of workmanship. Each child is an individual with strengths, hopes, passions, and dreams. The Secondary curriculum provides focus in the classroom and purposeful interactions that teachers have with students throughout the day. This integrated approach is part of the school culture – teaching students to effectively communicate ideas, to address conflicts in a positive way, and to think beyond the obvious. Teachers and support staff work together to ensure every student’s learning is supported and challenged.

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Each day is filled with opportunities to build community and expand ideas. In the daily homeroom time, students get the opportunity to take a “brain break” through building relationships and interpersonal activities.

After the first bell rings, students attend a maximum of eight, 45-minute course periods each day. Secondary students participate in courses that are offered in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Technology, Physical Education and Health, Fine Arts, and Religious Studies and Ethics. All courses except for world language courses are offered in English.

With small class sizes, teachers focus on each individual. Middle school (Grades 6-8) focuses on developing responsibility, gaining independence, and growing in understanding and empathy for others. High school (Grades 9-12) deepens subject knowledge, and explores various leadership and career paths. Twenty-four credits are required for high school graduation, based on the semester credit system.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses that are currently offered include Calculus AB, Comparative Government and Politics, and, Chinese Language and Culture.

YHIS students are equipped to manage future lives as adults through the College and Career Program. High school students work through the program to sharpen and showcase their abilities and plans for the future.

Religious study and ethics courses are built into the educational experience as part of our holistic model. By defining and explaining their beliefs, YHIS students connect with their own identity and personal choices, and learn to understand the worldviews around them.

YHIS students learn the skills to collaborate and to think critically in a 21st century, media-driven environment. Technology tools are integrated into the learning experience following the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.

YHIS students have the opportunity to engage in extra-curricular activities. Though athletics, they learn to reason in the heat of competition. Extra-curricular activities encourage students to find balance with regular exercise and good nutrition, to develop citizenship, and productive life habits.

Honors and AP Classes

Honors classes cover more material at a greater depth than their regular counterparts. Students in honors courses will receive 0.33 additional grade points for grades of C- or higher. They also need to expect to receive significantly more homework than they would have in a regular class.

Advanced Placement courses have been designed to provide an additional challenge for students wishing to learn more about a specific subject area. Courses are taught at the level of a university freshman course. Students will receive 0.66 additional grade points for grades of C- or higher. Students in AP classes will receive more homework than they would receive in an honors course. Students who are enrolled in an AP course must sit for the exam in May. Charges for this test will be paid by the school. However, if a student chooses to take an AP test but is not in that AP course, he/she must pay the exam fee.

Secondary Progress and Reports

At YHIS, education is a partnership. The best learning is made in collaboration. Regular communication with families is key to student success. The online communication portal, PowerSchool, allows parents to regularly check their student’s progress. Quarterly reports provide learning checkpoints. Semester conferences in October and March provide open dialogue regarding each child’s learning and progress.

Fine Arts

YHIS is dedicated to developing the whole child. One of our school’s Global Learning Outcomes is that students will “Express creativity in pursuits such as : art, music, technology, drama, writing, and design.” We provide a wide range of course opportunities including traditional, computer medias, and a blossoming music program.

YHIS has dedicated a entire wing of our building on the 4th floor to the musical arts with a choir room, band room, and many individual practice rooms where students can pursue their love of music. Studies show that students who are involved in music normally score higher on standardized tests and have higher achievement in other academic areas.

Another area of study that has similar affects on achievement is the visual arts. YHIS has pottery wheels, a digital media lab, and a traditional art studio where students can take a number of different classes to develop their creative skills as well as creativity. In the US, the number one skill that companies wanted from their employees on recent polls was creativity.

YHIS’s fine arts program works with students, no matter their prior experience or ability, to develop their skills and creativity so that no matter what field of work they go into the skills and experience they have in classes will prepare them for success.

Visual Art

Our goal at YHIS Visual Arts department is to develop visual literacy of our students. It is an important 20th century skill to be able to communicate visually and interpret images. Students throughout all grade levels learn the ABCs of visual language which are Elements of Art and Principles of Design. They apply their understanding with a variety of media in hands on projects.  Students express their creativity as they learn about functional, ceremonial, narrative and persuasive art functions. We hope that students will be able to transfer their experience from our art classes to everyday life and any career choice they make in the future.


Middle School Art

This class is an introduction to artistic creativity. This class introduces the elements and principals of design and teaches basic drawing painting and sculpting skills so that students can understand process ands materials. The goal is to help students move through multistep development of an idea in order to develop creative problem solving, idea generation and artistic expression. This class will not only provide them with the tools for artistic expression in their personal life but will also lay the foundation of skills they will need for for jobs in the art field as well as jobs in design and engineering.


High School Art

YHIS offers two High School art courses: Art I: Intro to Art and Art II: Media.
Next year we plan to introduce AP Studio Art which is a two year course consisting of Pre-AP and AP- Studio Art typically offered junior and senior years unless approved by the art department based on portfolio review.

In Art I, students learn what it takes to make an artwork, experiment with different studio media and learn the basics of drawing from observation. We teach about function and purpose of art, as well as different careers that artists have. Most importantly, we hope students gain basic literacy of the visual language, which they can apply in their daily life and any future career they choose.

Art II provides an opportunity for students to learn skills and techniques in a variety of studio media. This is a hands on class which follows a time line of art styles throughout art history and allows students to see how their discoveries can be used in their own art today.

AP Studio Art is not a preparation for a written test. It is the making of a portfolio that gets submitted to the College Board for scoring.


Elementary General Music

Elementary students come to music class two times each week. Music class is a place where they learn to be creative, expressive, and disciplined. This class allows students to build musical abilities through singing and playing xylophones, boomwhackers, recorders, and percussion instruments. They learn to read, create, and perform music while developing vocal and instrumental skills as an individual and as part of a team. Elementary students perform in Christmas and Spring concerts each year.


Middle School Choir

Middle school choir is a class where 6-8th grade students come together to share the joy of singing. In class we learn vocal technique, music theory, and sight-singing as we explore a variety of songs and choral literature. As a choir the students develop musical abilities as an individual and as part of a group. Middle school choir performs two times each year at Christmas and Spring concerts.

Chinese Language Department

YHIS Chinese curriculum provides beginning, intermediate and advanced Chinese classes for each grade based on students’ language levels. High school students will have the opportunity to take AP Chinese course.

Our students are engaged in learning, our teachers delight in teaching. The students are challenged to speak, understand, read, and write in Chinese, as well as understand and appreciate the many different aspects of Chinese culture and history. The Chinese program aims to help students gain their academic achievement as well as achieve a real life language skill. We hope the Chinese language will benefit our student life long.

Beginning Chinese Class

In beginning Chinese class, lower elementary students build up their vocabulary and learn conversational Chinese, while they are also trained to master the basic Chinese language skills like pinyin and tones. Upper elementary kids further increase their vocabulary by reading stories from textbooks and story books. And, as they learn more and more characters, they gradually transition from reading and writing pinyin to reading and writing characters. Secondary students focus more intensely on learning characters. In order to move up to the intermediate class, they need to be equipped with a lot of characters, a bigger vocabulary, and Chinese grammar and sentence structures. They also practice their speaking by doing speeches.


Intermediate Chinese Class

This course focuses on daily talking and simple Chinese writing. Students will learn additional Chinese characters and begin reading easy stories. Another important goal of this course is to help students have a basic understanding of Chinese culture. A good amount of materials being used in this course is culture-oriented. This course also aims to help students master the basic grammar of Chinese language so that they are able to speak and write grammatically correct, which will lay a firm foundation for their further study in Chinese language. As the students’ language ability grow, this course will also aim to help them grow their critical thinking ability and moral characters. Students who take this course will be given opportunities to think and discuss many global and cultural controversial questions and to share their own opinions on some important social phenomenon.


Advanced Chinese Class

Designed for students who mastered the fundamentals of the Chinese language and are now ready to apply his/her ability in a wide variety of topics. This course is conducted in Mandarin Chinese and aims to help students solidify their ability on strengthening Chinese listening, writing, reading, and conversational skills as well as introducing Chinese history and literary works. The course also emphasizes the use of appropriate formats, varied vocabulary, and complex language structures within student communication, both oral and written. Additionally, the student will be given a deeper insight into Chinese culture and history as well as their Chinese language ability improving.


AP Chinese Course

The AP Chinese course offered in high school is equivalent to a third-year college level language course. This is a rigorous comprehensive language course that incorporates Chinese cultural information within the teaching of listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students are expected to continually improve these skills to a more advanced standard.


There are four Chinese class stages divided from 1st grade to 12th grade, lower elementary Chinese classes, upper elementary Chinese classes, middle school Chinese classes and high school Chinese classes. The textbooks are chosen based on students’ age and Chinese level. The textbooks do not only fit students Chinese level but also be life related and culture-oriented. Teachers also bring materials from daily life, like a newspaper, a notice, an advertisement, etc. to class.

  • Chinese Made Easy for Kids
  • I Love Learning Chinese
  • Local Chinese Textbook
  • Chinese Made Easy
  • Learn Chinese with Me
  • Harvest

Course Content

  • Pinyin
  • Chinese Characters
  • Grammar and sentence structures
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Culture

English Language Support

The English Language Support staff offer an opportunity for all students to increase in their English language ability. The ELS program helps each student improve in their English proficiency and interest in studying English. The ELS program is designed to enable each student to pursue and achieve their personal, academic and career goals.

Varying levels of instruction are available for students in grade 1 through high school. Highly-qualified staff walk beside each student as they progress through YHIS. The goal is for each student to become proficient in English in order to excel in each of their classes without needing support.


Ryan Jeffers

Yantai Huasheng International School is committed to excellence and believes all students can reach their highest potential through a quality education program. Our staff works diligently to ensure that all students are given the proper support to succeed. We celebrate that many of our students are doing something that few of us ever attempted to do: receiving an education in a language not spoken at home. Students come to us at various places along their journey toward fluency in English. Our goal is to tailor the support we offer to meet the needs of every student so that they will thrive at YHIS.



YHIS students come from a variety of academic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. We provide language support based on individual students’ needs as determined by our evaluation team. This team uses standardized criterion-based assessment, historic grades and classroom performance to guide decision-making as to the level of support needed.

Upon entry, YHIS students going into grades 3-12 are given the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Those with low scores are then given the WIDA Language Assessment Test. These tests provide a cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) level in reading, writing, listening and speaking. CALP level scores are the standard criteria that schools in the United States use to determine English learners’ educational needs. These scores, along with past records and teacher input, help determine the level of services required for students to be successful at YHIS. Students are assessed periodically to monitor progress and language support needs, with the end goal that the students gain the language skills required to become effective communicators. Each semester, students are tested to assess progress and adjustments are made to the students’ programs to provide independence yet offer support for success. Throughout each semester, students in the Bridge Program are informally assessed by ELS professionals to determine readiness for entry into core classes.



  • Bridge Program:

Students receive specialized support from trained ELS professionals in core classes. Students also attend intensive English class in lieu of Chinese language class. Allowing the students to take part in intensive English support allows the ELS teachers to review and reinforce material taught in mainstream classes. Students may receive after-school support if needed. This program is for those students who have the lowest level of English.

  • Mainstream Program:

Students attend intensive English class in lieu of Chinese language class. Trained ELS teachers provide students with support in their mainstream core subjects until they have achieved an English level that allows them to succeed outside of the ELS program. Students may receive after- school support if needed.

  • Push-In Program:

Students will receive support in their mainstream English class by having an ELS teacher monitor and assist them as they study alongside their other peers. This program is for those students who do need some support but do not have an extremely low level of English.

Athletics Programs

YHIS recognizes many students and parents have interest in athletics and firmly believes that athletics program is an essential part of the development of the whole person. Physical activities also play an important role in enhancing students’ school accomplishment. By participating in athletics programs, students have opportunities to develop responsibility, sportsmanship, teamwork, and character, etc. YHIS runs athletics programs by seasons : Spring, Fall, and Winter with volleyball, soccer, and basketball respectively.

Activities & Clubs

After-school activities offer opportunities for students to explore different areas more than academics, find talents that they have, and develop new skills. Not only that, students can also build relationships with other friends, having an intimate relationship with an instructor. Encouraging your child to participate in an after-school activity will be beneficial for your child.


YHIS offers a variety of after-school activities. They vary each quarter with at least ten different ones. For the 2nd quarter, the after-school activities that we offer are as follows :

Origami – Mrs. McCarthy
Yoga – Ms. Masluk
Chinese Songs – Ms. Wang
Baseball – Mr. Zhang
Coloring/Dot-to-Dot – Ms. Li
Ceramics – Mr. McCarthy
Reading – Ms. Li
Directive Drawing – Ms. Jutte
Games – Ms. Cha
Kendo – Mr. Kim


Clubs that YHIS offers are as follows :
Mural Club – Mrs. Sokol
Newspaper Club – Mr. Dahl
Kids Read Club – Ms. Carroll

iSC activities

As a member of iSC, iSC schools including YHIS host several extra-curricular events that enrich students’ learning in various areas such as sports, fine arts, science, and service trips. Students from other iSC schools can connect with each other, making friendships, broadening their world view through these events.

Fine Arts Festival

TIS(Tianjin International School), one of iSC schools, hosts iSC Fine Arts Festival each year. It is a two-day all-day event for advanced Art, Band, Choir, and Drama students in iSC schools. The Band and Choir students prepare for a performance under the leadership of a professional choral or band conductor. Two motivated art students from each school participate in a two-day intensive workshop learning or fine-tuning an art form. All art work entered in the juried art competition will be displayed. The festival is an opportunity for advancing high school students to work side by side with other mature performers and artists to grow their skills.  They advance their skills through the varying teaching styles of different instructors, and the purposefully advanced instruction prepared for students. The festival also creates a context for band, choirs, and drama students to perform with a larger perming group in a professional hall.

There is an Art Competition. Each school submits five art works from middle school students and five from high school students. They will be judged and scored at the iSC Fine Arts Festival. The first, second, and third place are given prizes.

Science Fair

Science fair serves as an opportunity for students to launch a scientific investigation of their interest like a real scientist. What makes a science fair project such a great learning experience is that it involves so much more than just science. A science fair project can be self-validating and exciting because it is not just practice in a classroom setting. It involves real discovery of little known or even unknown information. Students put much time, effort, and thought into their projects. They spend time both inside and outside school to put the puzzle pieces together, and they are able to see the result of their thinking in the form of a project by the end. They learn to enable themselves with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and mature into a self-induced learner.

College Counseling

College is an important stage in life, and we recognize that it is a stepping stone towards a bigger world. In order to best guide and prepare our students, YHIS provides college counseling in a one-on-one setting. Our goal is to help each of them find a major that can best assist them for their future by exploring the different options. Moreover, through providing information on prestigious colleges across the world, we hope to help them narrow down the list of colleges they are aiming for and find the ones that best matches their goal. Our high school students’ academic performance and standardized testing grades will also be monitored regularly to encourage their improvement and help them equip with all the necessary criteria to become a stronger candidate. We also recognize the importance of the supports from parents, so we collaborate with parents to bring out the best outcome. Our goal is to foster students’ growth by providing them with all the options they have and help them bring out their best so they can thrive in life beyond YHIS.



YHIS has two library locations specifically organized to serve our diverse school community. Second Floor library collection consists of materials for elementary and secondary.  The third floor library will be specifically providing a cozy reading and studying environment for the middle school, high school students and adults later.

Parents are encouraged to utilize the YHIS library as well. Our library provides three language books which include English, Korean, and Chinese. We also provide computers for students to search for books. We use a color code system to help students, staff, and parents find books with more ease, for example; yellow code for Elementary books, purple code for secondary books, white code for Chinese and Korean books, and pink code for classical collections. We also encourage families to donate fiction and nonfiction books in Chinese and Korean to our collection.

In addition to a growing book collection, we subscribe to Tumblebooks, an online library of books, resources, and activities for preschool through high school.  Social Studies databases are available for secondary students to use for research.

Both libraries are not merely a place where we foster students’love for lifelong reading, but also social learning spaces where students are encouraged to come in as casual groups to mingle with each other. The elementary library also has an enclosed classroom where students and teachers are welcome to use to practice speech assignments, work with friends, or tutors.

For more detailed information about the YHIS Library, please visit our homepage. Click