Chinese educators received the grand tour - and some lessons on professional development - during their visit to Sunnyside School on Friday, Dec. 13.

School Principal Amy Yost and her staff shared student performances, a presentation on professional learning, a building tour and classroom visits, before concluding with a question-and-answer session, during the three-hour visit with 24 educational delegates from China’s Guangdong Province.

“This was an incredible experience,” said Yost about the visit, which was organized by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS).

The delegates visited the state for 10 days, during which time they visited 11 schools, including Sunnyside. Yost said she was “lucky enough” to host since she is a board member with CAS.

"It was a joyous meeting of educators all dedicated to teaching and guiding the next generation,” said school Superintendent Chris Clouet. “Naturally, there are similarities and differences between our cultures, but the visit reflected the mutual respect we feel, and our determination to fulfill our destinies of preparing our youth for the future.”

The Sunnyside visit began with the school’s English Language Learners leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the Sunnyside School song. Students in the youth leadership team, STORM, then presented gifts to the delegates before they split up for professional development talks and visits to classrooms. The visit concluded with first graders performing some songs from their holiday concert.

The delegates then gifted Sunnyside School four flags and art by Chinese students.

"This visit shows that Sunnyside and Shelton schools are world class,” said Clouet. “We have much to learn and a lot to share.”

“They were so gracious and appreciative for their time with us,” said Yost of the visiting Chinese educators. “They have a great appreciation for the American education system.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com