Coming Soon: Phoenix Values

At Northwest Chinese Academy, we are always striving to improve our students’ school experience, whether through big school-wide improvements such as our move to the new campus, or on a smaller level such as when our teachers adjust their teaching style and materials for the benefit of the school.

An important improvement being adopted next school year are the Phoenix Values, a set of school-wide behavioral expectations that will replace our current school rules. There are four Phoenix Values and each has a corresponding Chinese Character:

  1.   Be Kind 仁
  2.   Be Responsible义
  3.   Be Courteous礼
  4.   Be Safe 安

NWCA’s “Phoenix Values” is what we call our version of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and these rules are the end product of a yearlong process involving NWCA teachers, NWCA administrators and an outside PBIS expert from Portland State University. In advance of our Phoenix Values Coffee Hour tomorrow afternoon, here is a primer on PBIS and what it means for your child’s education.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is described as a school-wide, proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for all students to achieve social, emotional and academic success.

(adapted from

“At its heart, PBIS calls on schools to teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach about any other subject—like reading or math. PBIS recognizes that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know what the expectations are. A hallmark of a school using PBIS is that everyone knows what’s appropriate behavior. Throughout the school day—in class, at lunch and on the playground — kids understand what’s expected of them.”

(read more here:

Instead of using school rules that educate students on the incorrect behavior in a given situation, PBIS looks to teach social and behavioral norms, so that students are learning what they should be doing instead of what they shouldn’t. School rules that are framed by “don’t” do not educate students on the correct behavior in a given situation; they only educate the student on one specific behavior that is inappropriate.

While many of our students already meet and exceed the expectations that Phoenix Values sets out, by teaching all students what are the proper social and behavioral expectations in different school settings, we are providing the support needed to be productive, engaged, safe, students, which improves educational outcomes as well as the general school environment.

As put by our Upper English specialist, Ms. W, co-team leader of the Phoenix Values Team:

Phoenix Values (NWCA PBIS) allows us to build a community culture with the core principle that every child can thrive when they’re fully supported. Phoenix Values is an equitable behavioral system that relies on prevention through learning rather than reactionary discipline. Preventing behavior problems helps us maintain a safe and engaging learning environment where everyone feels valued. It takes some of the stress out of classroom management and frees teachers up to do what we’d rather be doing: teach.”

Our staff is excited about Phoenix Values and we want our parents to be, too! Bring all of your questions to our coffee hour on Thursday, May 2 at 3:00 p.m.!

NWCA Performs at Lan Su Chinese Garden’s Chinese New Year Celebration

猪年大吉!zhū nián dàjí! 

Happy Year of the Pig!

Tuesday was 元宵节 (yuánxiāo jié), known in English as the Lunar Festival, signaling the end of Chinese New Year.  However, Before the New Year festivities wrapped up, our NWCA students had the chance to perform as part of the Lan Su Chinese Garden’s Chinese New Year celebration!

Our preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten classes performed together, singing the songs “New Year Gives Me Another Year”( 新年送给我们一岁),  the popular Chinese song “Meow Meow Meow like a cat” (你不说爱我我就喵喵喵) and a Mandarin rendition of “When We are Together”

In addition to the songs sung by our young students, our fourth and fifth grade students graced attendees with a dance medley consisting of the traditional dances for several of China’s Ethnic minorities (少数民族), of which China has more than 50! Thank you to NWCA parent Jingzi Zhao for these amazing photos of the performances!

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

On Oct 26th, Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students visited The Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. This annual trip has been an NWCA fall tradition for many years.

At the pumpkin patch, helpful staff members introduced to us several different kinds of pumpkins and offered a variety of fun, hands-on activities for students.We went on a scenic hayride through the farm’s Christmas tree grove and around the upper field.

We also visited the animals: JP, the billy goat; sheep and lambs; bunnies; chickens and chicks; and Coco and Nilla, the alpacas. After visiting the animals, we got to try out the farm’s other activities. So, we worked our way through the maze, slid down the giant slide, and challenged our abilities on the obstacle course.

Of course, the highlight of the whole trip for students, teachers, and families alike was hunting in the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin to take home.

All in all, it was a very successful, fun field trip!


10月26日,幼儿园小班、中班和大班的学生去参观了南瓜和树林农场。 这是我们第一次外出郊游。 农场提供了很多的活动,给我们介绍了不同的南瓜和它们的名字。 我们乘坐了拖拉机环游了农场一圈,我们看到了很多的南瓜和圣诞树。 我们还参观了一些动物,有山羊、兔子、小鸡、牛、羊驼等等。农场里还有迷宫、滑梯和障碍赛道。


这是一次非常成功、安全而有趣的活动! 感谢所有家长的支持和帮助。

NWCA Celebrates Moon Festival

Little friends, do you know why we are all here today?

Students: To make moon cakes!

Teacher: Why do we need to make moon cakes?

Students: It’s Moon Festival!!!

The Moon Festival finally arrived! The little ones were all excited; they couldn’t wait to make their own moon cakes. This Monday, September 24th was August 15th on the Lunar calendar. It was well known as the Chinese Moon Festival. The students from NWCA preschool to 2nd grade gathered together in the community room to celebrate.

As teachers prepared for the moon cake making activity, the Kindergarten teacher, Huang Laoshi, told students the story about Houyi shooting down nine suns and his wife Chang‘e flying to the moon. She also introduced some traditional foods for this special festival: moon cakes, grapefruit and water chestnuts. The preschool teacher, Donna Laoshi, had samples for all. She also brought in a moon cake and some snails for students to see (river snails are a traditional Moon Festival dinner delicacy). None of the students could believe that snails are edible.

The materials were all set and the students were also ready, gloves on hands, for the fun. Donna Laoshi showed everyone the ingredients used to make the moon cake dough. Next, she demonstrated how to flatten a small piece of dough to wrap around a red bean paste center. The last step was to put the stuffed dough ball into a mold to imprint a pretty pattern on to the moon cake. Then, the students took their turns. Busy little hands worked hard to keep the red bean paste inside the dough. Excited faces showed their amazement at the designs on the moon cakes when they came out of the molds.

“Teacher, can we eat the moon cakes now?” and “Teacher, can we take the moon cakes home?” or “Teacher, what if my moon cakes are gone from the refrigerator?” were common questions heard by all the teachers. Waiting can be such a hard thing for young children. Therefore, don’t wait too long for a reunion. Get together with family! Get together with friends! It is what Moon festival is all about – be round and be united, just like the full moon.








“老师,我们现在可以吃月饼了吗?” “老师,我们可以把月饼带回家吗?” “老师,如果我的月饼不见了怎么办?” …… 等待,对小孩子来说是一件难事。所以,不要等太久了,团聚吧!家人们,聚在一起吧;朋友们,聚在一起吧!中秋节的寓意就是团圆、相聚,像满月一样。