Our Beliefs

Relay for life

To learn about SAS’ Mission and Learning Goals, we recommend you just look around.

At SAS, the beliefs we hold and the goals we have come to life on a daily basis. Walk one of our beautiful campuses and you’ll see project-based, experiential, and service learning, after-school activities, and personalized counseling. You’ll see students bringing our Mission to life by gaining the courage to live their dreams. You’ll see faculty members demonstrating the fact that learning never stops. You’ll see a diverse group of students collaborating effectively, communicating skillfully, and thinking critically. And by the time they don the SAS cap and gown, you’ll see students who have evolved into ethical global citizens, poised and prepared to make the world around us a better place.

Our Mission

Shanghai American School inspires in all students:

  • A lifelong passion for learning
  • A commitment to act with integrity and compassion
  • The courage to live their dreams

Our Learning Goals

A Shanghai American School education equips students to transfer their knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, in authentic settings, over a lifetime.

CRITICAL THINKERS  - SAS students are critical thinkers who develop ideas and construct arguments by questioning, evaluating, synthesizing, and considering perspective.  SAS students…

  • Consider multiple approaches and perspectives to evaluate decisions 
  • Ask relevant, discerning questions to stimulate reflection 
  • Evaluate evidence and sources to support arguments and conclusions 
  • Synthesize and apply new understanding to a variety of contexts

SKILLFUL COMMUNICATORS - SAS students are skillful communicators who advocate for self, others, and ideas in more than one language by listening, responding, and articulating through multiple media. SAS students…

  • Use appropriate listening skills to integrate information across contexts 
  • Respond to emotions in self and in others 
  • Articulate ideas with exceptional clarity 
  • Select an appropriate medium/a to communicate with an audience

EFFECTIVE COLLABORATORS - SAS students are effective collaborators who help teams innovate outcomes to achieve a goal by holding themselves and others accountable, contributing in productive ways, and sustaining respectful interactions. SAS students…

  • Hold themselves and others accountable for team agreements
  • Build on the perspectives and contributions of others 
  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies to manage interactions

CREATIVE LEARNERS - SAS students are creative learners who engage their imaginations to generate novel ideas, demonstrate flexible thinking, evaluate approaches, and take action. SAS students….

  • Use their imagination to generate novel ideas
  • Demonstrate flexible thinking 
  • Use strategies to evaluate the creative process 
  • Execute ideas with exceptional clarity and effectiveness

ETHICAL GLOBAL CITIZENS - SAS students are ethical global citizens who take action based on informed decisions filtered through empathy, integrity, sustainability, and social justice. SAS students…

  • Acknowledge and respect perspectives and cultures with consideration and care  
  • Take action with sincerity and honesty 
  • Make decisions and take actions to impact sustainability significantly
  • Engage in authentic opportunities to impact others positively

Our Values

We believe that:

  • Embracing diversity enriches individuals and communities
  • Acts of compassion and generosity of spirit create a better world
  • When individuals take responsibility for their own decisions, they are empowered to make positive impact
  • Each individual has intrinsic value and the potential to contribute to society
  • Collaboration is key to overcoming complex challenges and achieving common goals
  • Integrity is the foundation of enduring relationships, quality institutions and well-functioning communities
  • As global citizens we have a duty to care for the earth and its inhabitants to ensure the well-being of humankind
  • Creativity, critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning are essential to personal fulfillment and to meet the challenges of the future.


Upon graduation, each SAS student will exhibit five Learning Goals that we believe ensure a successful future. They will be: Creative Learners, Critical Thinkers, Effective Collaborators, Skillful Communicators, and Ethical Global Citizens.

SAS students bring our Mission to life in Malawi, Africa. (PX)