Important Updates from the Head of School

Dear Parents,

Thank you all for joining us this week for our wonderful UN Day celebrations and for making this community event so special.

More than 800 students are involved in the Parade of Nations and the musical performances making this a truly inclusive celebration of all that we can achieve working together!

While we celebrate the end of a successful Quarter One in our School year, our vision is firmly fixed already on next year and I would like to take this opportunity to inform our community of planning that is already in action.

    COMMUNITY MEETINGS

Many of you have already attended community meetings, which in addition to important updates for the current school year, were also designed to help us with our strategic planning for the future. More opportunities for parents to get involved will be announced in the coming weeks and we hope that the unity in diversity that our UN Day celebrations demonstrated, will weave its way into our planning as we look to the future.

Please read the minutes from these sessions (the week before the Autumn Break) and thank you to the 116 parents who attended, with a special thank you to our parents who coordinated translation. 

 

   CALENDAR 2020-2021

To support our families in their planning for the upcoming School year, we would like to share the following information:

  • August 12, 2020: First Day of School
  • December 19, 2020 – January 11, 2021: Winter Break
  • February 11, 2021 – February 21, 2021: Tet (Lunar New Year) Holiday
  • June 11, 2021: Last Day of School

Further information, including dates for Autumn and Spring Breaks will be shared in the coming weeks. The early start provides an additional week of study to our students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme prior to their final exams at the end of the School year and we believe this to be an important consideration in the annual calendar. We have also worked closely with other schools in Hanoi for alignment to support our co curricular programmes and to support our families with children in those schools.

 

   RECRUITING SEASON HAS BEGUN

This year, UNIS Hanoi will be recruiting 19 faculty members and four administrators to join our team for the 2020 – 2021 school year. This is a typical year for faculty recruitment in our international school context and we are delighted more than 135 faculty members (88%) choose to remain with us for another year! 

Openings are in the process of being posted on our website and through various search agencies that provide a service to the international school recruitment market. 

We will have many opportunities towards the end of the school year to celebrate departing faculty and their years of service to UNIS Hanoi, commitment to both student learning and our larger school community. 

The following teachers and staff will be leaving UNIS Hanoi in June of 2020:

Adrian Hubbard, Charla Marshall, Laura Moore, Kristin McAuliffe, Deborah Vermeire, Daniel Lucardie, Christine Boulden, David Carter, Aga Schaffner, Nicole Moodie, Kristi Belete, Kristen Twynam-Perkins, Michael Luciani, Tom Ryan, Carlo Palusci, Sandra Schneiderman, Sarah Schneider, Brenda Manfredi, Lee Cassidy, Scott Schaffner, Glenda Baker, Marc Vermeire and Stephen Lush.

 

   LEADERSHIP TEAM NEWS

As I mentioned we have four administrators who will leave at the end of the year. 

We have already announced that our High School Principal, Scott Shaffner, will be moving to be closer to family in Europe and USA.

Our Middle School Principal, Marc Vermiere has accepted an offer to join the leadership team at the American School in Japan. Marc has been teaching and leading at UNIS Hanoi for the past seven years. For the past three years, he has been responsible for establishing a Middle School culture at UNIS Hanoi that addresses the unique developmental needs of children in Grades 6 – 8 and developing systems and structures to support this area. He has also worked extensively on our all-school child safeguarding processes. We wish Marc, Deb and their family all the best in their next adventure. 

Our High School Deputy Principal, Glenda Baker will be leaving UNIS Hanoi at the end of the year to explore new opportunities and our Upper Elementary School Deputy Principal Stephen Lush will be joining Gyeonggi Suwon International School in Korea as their new Head of School. 

Next year, JJ Akin will assume the full-time position of Middle School Deputy Principal Secondary School. JJ has been the Middle School Deputy Principal (part-time) for the past two years. He has the background, experiences and expertise to provide not only continuity to this division throughout the upcoming transition but also the leadership and interpersonal skills necessary for our School to continue to flourish as we move into Strategy 2023 – our next strategic plan. 

 

  NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL STRUCTURE

Our current structure in the Middle School and High School strongly supports student well-being by allowing for developmentally appropriate programmes, approaches to teaching and learning, and systems and structures that are aligned with what is best for children during various stages of adolescence.  

However, the same structure does not easily support curriculum alignment within the framework of the MYP and in some areas fosters duplication of efforts and possible barriers for transition for our students.

So, can it be better? We believe that, yes, it can. The goal of the new structure is to preserve all that is positive about our current situation while simultaneously, addressing areas that could be improved. Our Concept is one of  Schools within a School.

A new Secondary School divided into two distinct divisions – Middle School and High School – independent and autonomous when appropriate, and operating under the cohesion of one Secondary School for seamless student transition and planning.

This new structure will be familiar to our Elementary School families who already experience Lower and Upper ES Schools, within our Elementary School.

And for those families that have been with us for several years, it is worth noting that this is not reverting to our former combined Middle and High School model which had only two leadership roles for the entire Division with minimal separation or distinction.

I would like to share with you some of the details of our thinking andThe Why?” behind this move; Why would we do this?

Primarily it is a better use of personnel resources to best support student learning and well-being. The roles and responsibilities of the members of the Secondary School Leadership Team will be focused and will allow there to be a strong commitment to both teaching and learning and supporting student well-being (the whole-child).

  • Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning
    • Focus on Teaching and Learning
    • Supports curriculum alignment as an IB continuum school 
    • Will shift the way we think about the transition process between Grades 8 and 9 and support more authentic transitions either academically or developmentally when appropriate
    • Will allow for the alignment of systems and structures
    • Will support cross over teachers that currently teach in both divisions, for example, languages, arts and counselling
    • Will strengthen the sense of community, while maintaining strong Middle School and High School cultures
    • Support the work of the MYP (Middle Years Programme) and DP (Diploma Programme) Coordinator
  • MS Deputy Principal (Grades 6-8) and High School Deputy Principal (Grades 9-12))
    • Focus on Schools within a School
    • Maintain a strong sense of community and identity in each division
    • Provides a continued focus on the importance of relationships between students and staff.
    • Continue to ensure that programs, systems and structures are appropriate for each developmental age group.

 

  ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AND FEE PAYMENT STRUCTURE

UNIS Hanoi is a Non Profit school which endeavours to be as inclusive as possible and to provide the best possible service for a highly transient community.

In addition to reviewing structures to better support teaching and learning (outlined above), we have also been reviewing enrollment deadlines and fee payment structures, both of which are central to managing the school’s finances in a responsible way for our community.

Streamlining the admissions process, re-enrollment dates and fee payment structures is central to delivering  our educational programmes and for future planning. In addition we know that increasingly families who wish to join our school are experiencing unnecessary distress from delays and wait times in School admission timelines which were originally designed to support families!

The budget is based almost entirely on the revenue stream from students enrolled in the school and therefore managing this process more effectively will ensure the success of our programming and delivery of our Mission is dependent upon sound financial planning and timelines.  

What does this mean for you?

  1. We are moving from the option of an annual or quarterly fee payment to the option of an  annual or semester fee payment. The additional fee will remain at 4% for those who choose the semester option.
  2. The re-enrollment deadline will be February 1, 2020.
  3. The payment for Annual/1st semester fees and the capital fees will be July 10, 2020.
  4. The payment for 2nd semester fees will be December 1, 2020.

These changes are aligned with other International Schools and will allow the Enrollment Management Team to offer places to prospective families in a timely manner, ensuring a more consistent enrollment. 

For Example:

(Please note these numbers are for illustration only. Fees for the 2020 – 2021 year will be shared at the November Community Meeting): 

Current Fee Structure New Fee Structure
Annual Quarterly Annual Semester
20000 7280 20000 10400
5200
5200 10400
3120
20000 20800 20000 20800

The Finance Committee (comprised of UNIS Hanoi parents) and the Board of Directors have been consulted throughout this process and concur with the direction the School is taking. 

As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have or to discuss your individual fee payment contract with the School as we transition to this new structure. We are here to support you through this process. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr Manu Trivedi in the Business Office: fc@unishanoi.org or telephone (84 24) 7300 4500

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