In 2012, then Chinese vice president and current president Xi Jinping and Vice President Joe Biden visited the formerly-known International Studies Learning Center, where Simon Rodia Continuation High School currently sits, and made an agreement to promote Chinese and American cultural understandings.
Since then, South East has remained in partnership with Beijing No. 39 Middle School. Students and staff from Beijing No. 39 Middle School and South East staff and administration visit each other’s countries and schools annually to interchange cultural understandings.
Students and staff from our sister school, Beijing No. 39 Middle School, made their annual visit to campus from Beijing, China this past week. Upon their their arrival, 19 students who ranged from sixth to twelfth grade, Beijing No. 39 Middle School’s principal, a Chinese [language arts] teacher, and an interpreter were greeted with a performance from the Jaguar Regiment, Color Guard, and the cheer team.
The students spent their morning meeting ASB Leadership students and school staff members. ASB Leadership students helped their Chinese counterparts select their American names and the Chinese students helped translate the American names of the ASB Leadership students to Chinese. The Chinese students then presented the ASB Leadership students with gifts that represent Chinese culture, both ancient and modern, while they got to know each other a bit better.
The Beijing students were then split into three groups to visit classrooms from a variety of subjects which ranged from English, Math, Visual and Performing Arts, Science, and History.
In Ms. Rodriguez’s math class, the Chinese middle schoolers were able to solve math equations in seconds compared to their ninth grade American counterparts.
In Mr. Palomo’s AP United States History class, the Chinese students were intrigued by Mr. Palomo’s lecture, despite the language barrier and barely having any knowledge of United States history.
ASB Leadership students and the Chinese students then went to play volleyball and basketball in the recently painted gym that is decorated with murals. The Leadership students also got to know their Chinese counterparts a bit more because they shared a common likelihood of sports.
At the end of the day, the Beijing students were fed California’s most treasured food: In-n-Out. Students were given gift bags which were filled with a Jaguar spirit shirt, a copy of S0uth East’s student newspaper the Jaguar Times, a school brochure, and American snacks and candy.
The students departed but not before receiving awards of recognition by Mr. Lossada and American keepsake gifts from and photo ops with ASB Leadership students.