From the Head of School

Dear Parents,

At my recent  Head of School Community Meeting I highlighted the work of the Leadership Team in revising and updating the UNIS Hanoi Air Quality Index (AQI) Response Chart.

The updated chart is linked here.

Please note, the “Health Implications” and “Health Advisory” at the different levels of AQI are derived from the US Government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines and the third column details the UNIS Hanoi response.  

The AQI is monitored hourly through the UNIS Hanoi AQI station, a second AQI reader located at ground level and the Hanoi AQI data found on this website. Based on these readings, the staff is informed of the level of the AQI and responds according to the UNIS Hanoi AQI response chart.

The Sports Center and Ly Thai To Learning Center (B8b – canteen building) both have air filtering systems. Stand alone air purifiers are in all other learning spaces to ensure our students have filtered clean air. The staff is regularly updated on appropriate use of the purifiers and our operations team regularly visits classrooms to ensure the air quality in classrooms is safe. Sample measurements are taken with a handheld machine.

I have also included some feedback from our PE department which provides a sense of modifications that are made to ensure a high quality educational experience in spite of the AQI reading. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Principals, PE department or me if you have any questions.

Head of School
Jane Mc Gee


Examples of Modifications:

101 – 150 (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups)

Examples: Recess/break times limited to 20 minutes.

ES PE example: When doing a high intensity activity it would be adapted for sensitive groups. High intensity lessons/games or running for long periods of time would take place indoors.

MS/HS PE example:

  • No vigorous activity or intense game play. Activities that require students to spend an extended period of time with their heart rates above 130 bpm/ex-football, waterpolo, athletics running events would be modified decrease level of exertion. Modifications would include decreasing field size, changing position rules so that movement is restricted to zones, changing longer running events into relay races.
  • Sensitive students will have modified activities to minimize heavy exertion ( ex. design a modified fitness workout that allows them to focus on muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility while minimizing cardiovascular fitness)

151 – 200 (Unhealthy)

Example: Recess/break times limited to 20 minutes, no “running” activities (field and soccer pitch closed)

ES PE example: All high intensity activities are done inside. PE that is done outside is modified to low/medium intensity activities. Volleyball is an example of a low/medium intensity activity which would still happen outside. However the warm-up game (which is high intensity) would take place inside.

MS/HS PE example:  

  • Activities will be moved to an indoor space when possible (ex- Warmup and cardiovascular fitness portions of a lesson could be moved to the movement room or fitness room (yoga, aerobics, dance and circuit training can all be integrated into a unit and facilitated in these spaces as students explore ways to maintain the health related fitness components)
  • All activities that require heavy exertion will be modified.  (Ex. A Track & Field lesson would focus on throwing & Jumping events and would not participate in running events on unhealthy days.)
  • Sensitive students would have a modified role in class that does not include physical activity (ex- referee, coach, warmup specialist, team manager).

201 – 300 (Very Unhealthy)

MS/HS PE example:

  • When indoor facilities are not available lessons would be  structured to accommodate classroom work (when applicable) from the current unit. This also helps to  increase outdoor activity time on healthy days.
  • Facility schedules would be altered when possible to maximize indoor activity space.  An example would would be splitting the sportscenter in to four instruction spaces when normally it is two.
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