Goody Bag Discovery Trail – This Weekend!

Our Community Connections special weekend launch is here!
Our UNIS Connectors are looking forward to welcoming you, and we hope that you have enjoyed signing up for activities for the weekend and planning your trail to visit them. There are spaces still available for activities and time to make your plans today!
You will meet plenty of new friends out on the Discovery Trail this weekend and every time you see one of our UNIS Eco-Bags be sure to say “Hi” and take the opportunity to get to know someone new!
All the details for the events and the special offers to ‘fill your goody bag’ are on on our Community Connections page on the Parent Portal and some of the highlights for this weekend include:
  • Maison Art Market at Maison de Tet Decor featuring many of our UNIS Connectors on site (Saturday).
  • Free kickboxing trial class with Pace Gym (all weekend – booking required)
  • Tradition textile workshop with Future Traditions (Sunday – booking required)
  • Free workshops at Hockett Haus of Crafts  (Sunday drop-in)

Thank you for signing up for your eco-bag ‘passport’! Your bag has been sent home with your child. Please check with them. 

If they forget to bring it home you can either collect a bag at Maison de Tet Decor (26 Quang Ba, Tay Ho, Hanoi) from 09:00 – 10:00 (look out for the Community Connections table) or use the ‘Virtual Bag’ you have been sent by email as your passport until we can deliver your bag to you. All the UNIS Connectors have been informed and will recognise the ‘virtual bag’ as acceptable for the offers this weekend. Please be ready to show this email on your phone. 

Whether you have just arrived in Hanoi or have been part of the community for years, our new Community Connections Programme will have something for you.

Our goal is simple – to help orientate new families and inspire all our parents to try the wonderful range of shops and services in Tay Ho and further afield in Hanoi, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and ethical partners.

We are grateful to the scores of UNIS Connectors (ethical shops, businesses and organisations) that have stepped up this week to offer you all a special welcome and special offers.

We look forward to seeing you out of the trail!

EVENTS: Saturday, September 26: 
  • 9:00 -17:00: Maison Art Market at Maison de Tet Decor. Read more about the event here.
  • 9:00-11:00 and 15:00-17:00: Free trial classes at Pace Kickboxing & Fitness To Ngoc Van. Call Ms. Giang at 0976056410 at least 15 minutes before to book your slots.
  • All day: Guided tour of The Secret Garden‘s professional music and lesson studio with free ice cream for kids (and adults!) Get $10 off demo lesson when enroll in September.
  • 9:00 – 21:00: Moon Festival event at Playtown: dragon dance and lantern making. Discount on entry.
  • 10:00-15:00: An introduction to Lotus Painting at Marina Slewka’s Lotus Painting Workshop. Refreshments will be available. Get 15% discount for future workshops if you sign up on the day. Visit their Facebook to find out more.
  • 10:00 – 16:00: Free drop in Yoga class and amazing discount when buying 1 month pass at Zenith Yoga. Get 20% discount when ordering food from our Vegan cafe (We serve proper coffee/espresso, juice and kombucha). Sign up here.
  • 11:00 – 14:00: Enjoy free refreshment when you shop at Cattan New York Clothing. 10% discount for UNIS Hanoi Families all year round.

EVENTS: Sunday, September 27: 

  • 9:00-11:00 and 15:00-17:00 all weekend: Free trial classes at Pace kickboxing & Fitness To Ngoc Van. Call Ms. Giang at 0976056410 at least 15 minutes before to book your slots.
  • 10:00 – 12:00: Workshop Open Day for UNIS Families at N Square Creative Learning Center. Enjoy our welcome coffee , tea and snack and introduction of workshops, teachers and chit chatting. Kids’ workshop include: Swimming, Craft & Storytelling, Baking, Hip Hop – Jazz dance Adults’ Workshops include: Art – painting , sketching, shading. Sign up here.
  • 10:00 – 14:00: Free workshops at Hockett Haus of Crafts. 10:00 – 11:00 Tie dye 12:30 – 13:30 Mask Making & Coffee 13:00 – 14:00 Bohemian Art & Clay making.
  • 13:00 – 17:00: Open house at Future Traditions Showroom. Meet Future Traditions designer Cynthia Mann and renowned textile producer Sam Thi Tinh from Hoa Tien Brocade. Special discounts on all Future Traditions collections, a free gift and a range of ethnic Thai textiles will be available for sale.
    From 15.30 to 16.30 Tinh will run a special “taster” dyeing workshop. As numbers will be limited to 10, please email your request to participate to cynthia@futuretraditions.asia.
  • 10:00 – 16:00 all weekend: Free drop in Yoga class and amazing discount when buying 1 month pass at Zenith Yoga. Get 20% discount when ordering food from our Vegan cafe (We serve proper coffee/espresso, juice and kombucha). Sign up here.
  • 9:00 – 21:00: Moon Festival event at Playtown: dragon dance and lantern making. Discount on entry.
Check out the Directory and Map on our Community Connections page on the Parent Portal.

Questions? Please contact Events Coordinator, Giang Pham (pngiang@unishanoi.org).

Questions Asked at the Head of School Community Meeting

We’d like to thank all parents who time out of their busy day to join our first Head of School Community Meeting zoom call this week or watched the shared recording. We are pleased that nearly 100 parents joined the meeting live and a similar number have watched the recording which is still available for parents on the Parent Portal.

Our team responded to as many of the questions that came up during the meeting as possible, and because of the large number in attendance, parents were invited to submit follow-up questions via the Parent Portal. Below is a round up of questions asked during and after the Community Meeting, together with our answers.

General 

Do you want to remind people to sign up for the laptop/device insurance? And the cost?
Parents are given the opportunity to sign up for laptop/device insurance as part of our enrolment and re-enrolment process. We will add the details under the Secondary and Elementary School sections on the Parent Portal for convenience. 

When will we have more details regarding the December School Holidays?
We will provide more details regarding the Winter Break immediately following Autumn Break. Please note:

  • Autumn Break will run as scheduled the week of October 12-16.
  • The first two weeks (December 19 – January 3) of Winter Break will not be adjusted. It is the third week that will be confirmed or moved following October Break.

Last week, an Elementary School student entered the School and parked his bicycle. As he was making his way to the classroom, someone stopped him and asked for his ID card. When he couldn’t produce it, he was told to go back outside the campus and walk around to the main gate and re-enter the campus from there, which he did. I know he’s not supposed to leave the campus without school and parent’s permission. Can you explain what happened on this occasion please?
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will work with our security team to ensure this does not happen again in the future. Elementary School children do not need their ID to enter campus. Only Secondary School students are required to produce their ID and will be directed to the main gate if they do not have their ID on them.

Curriculum and Co-Curricular 

I hope that students who want to take four IB Diploma (DP) Higher Level subjects are given the opportunity to do so.
Please contact the IB Diploma Coordinator (dpcoordinator@unishanoi.org) and/or your child’s School Counsellor to discuss your child’s IBDP course selections. 

Will students be going on Trip Week this semester?
Trip Week for Grades 5 – 12 are currently postponed. We have marked this on the School calendar since the start of school.

Was there MAP testing during the first semester last year?
Last year, we did not have students take the MAP testing at the start of the school year. This is a change from last year and we will continue this new timeline moving forward both for baseline data and to include new students.

My child tells me that he struggles to play sports with a mask on. Although I fully understand the importance of wearing a mask throughout the school day, I’d like to know if the PE teachers are adapting the curriculum to accommodate the wearing of masks?
Our PE teachers are actively monitoring the students and the impact of wearing a mask during activities. Lessons are planned to take into account the wearing of masks. Please also encourage your child to speak directly to the teacher if they are experiencing difficulties.  

When will parents be allowed on campus again? If it’s not possible to allow full access, would it be possible to allow limited access, at off-peak times, such as afternoons or weekends? It would make the logistics of swim practice, music lessons and ASA pick-up so much easier for parents of younger kids, especially those who don’t live in Ciputra.
Guidance from the Ministry of Health, Department of Education and Training in Hanoi and the Tay Ho authorities is ever evolving. At this time, we do not know when parents will be able to join us on campus. We do continually review the situation. 

As all MRISA events have been cancelled this year, what are the plans for UNIS Hanoi to intermix with other schools in Hanoi? Can we join any other international school or Vietnamese school tournaments for sport or drama or art etc?
Through a collaborative decision making process with partner schools from APAC and MRISA the decision was made to suspend all activities requiring travel outside of Hanoi for the first semester. Meetings with our partner schools will reconvene in early 2021 to evaluate the situation and determine if this position will extend through the second semester.  

We are in continuous communication with other schools in Hanoi, including all Hanoi Activities Conference (HAC) partners, to prepare to participate in tournaments, arts, and various cultural exchanges when it is deemed safe to do so. We are also exploring the possibilities of virtual options for various activities and events including virtual ASAs, virtual cross country events, virtual swimming events, and virtual MUN conferences.

Community Connections

Will the Head of School Community Meeting recording be available via the Parent Portal?
The recording of the presentation was made available via the Parent Portal on Tuesday afternoon. It will remain accessible via the home page until the evening of Tuesday September 22. 

In the future, can you explain to us how we can have a dual communication approach in terms of hearing from the parents and addressing some other questions that might be out there? For example, ask for questions before the session and then do a FAQ during the meeting?
We have used many models in the past and will continue to explore different options for effective engagement and dialogue with our parents during the year. However, for this meeting, as we had a significant amount of information to present for the start of the school year and given the high numbers expected in attendance, a more general Q&A session was not practical. We hope that opening up the question submission option gave parents adequate opportunity at this stage. Formats will continue to be adjusted throughout the year. 

What is the deadline for signing up onto the Goody Bag Discovery Trail?
The Goody Bag Discovery Trail (September 26-27) is our very first Community Connections event and seeks to bring new and returning families together to explore the great things on offer in fabulous Hanoi. To join the Discovery Trail, families are advised to sign up before September 24 in order to receive their eco-bag in time. However, there is no deadline for the programme which will  run all year long and your eco-bag is your ‘passport’ to all the special offers available through the programme. You are also welcome to simply ‘join the trail’ without sign-up but you will not have access to the special offers

Are parents welcome to apply for the UNIS Impact Fund for a project related to the School?
Yes! The UNIS Impact Fund is directed by a cross-community committee with parent, student, faculty, staff, Board and alumni representation. All these stakeholder groups in our community can also apply for Project Grants. The Grants Committee reviews all those applications for decision making. The Grants Committee is a sub-group from the main Impact Fund Committee and has two SCO reps on that committee. To learn more about our process and the criteria for approval, please visit our Giving page on our website: https://www.unishanoi.org/giving/impact-fund

Are there any plans to postpone UN Day to next semester when parents may be allowed onto campus?
We have discussed the timing of our UN Day (November 13) and the possibility of postponing celebrations, but the overwhelming feedback from students and teachers was that they wanted to stay as closely connected as possible to the International UN Day (which occurs on October 24)  and make the most of our current on-campus presence. The SDG Week (November 9-13) which precedes UN Day is also a key part of the School’s planning for students and ties to many of the current curriculum units. However, we are considering ongoing opportunities and we are certainly planning to find ways to involve all our community members in activities to celebrate that week.

Canteen Services

Sustainability and food packaging: It would be good to have a discussion about how we manage the use of packaging given the current canteen set up. What is your plan for this? Also, has feedback been provided to the canteen service, and questioning the reasons for the food waste that happens in the classrooms when students aren’t eating the food delivered? This is not aligned to our core values of sustainability around food consumption.
Providing a boxed lunch service through our Canteen providers, Epicure, is a temporary measure which we created as a service for our families in these challenging logistical times. Families are welcome to opt into this service or students can also bring a boxed lunch from home if they prefer. And many choose to do a mix of both. We encourage students to study the menu before ordering to avoid food waste. The menu for the boxed lunches has been updated with feedback from students and parents. Currently we deliver more than 500 lunches daily and this number remains stable with high levels of satisfaction reported.

In addition, we planned the delivery service to be as environmentally friendly as possible and all the packaging is bio-degradable and made from recycled materials. We are currently investing all our energy in this area in resuming a canteen service under strict regulations. Sustainability is a School goal this year and we will be focusing on this later in the year once we have service resumed.

Canteen and Cafe operations: There is confusion in the community as to why Concordia and BIS have opened their canteen and cafe from the start of the school year, while UNIS Hanoi hasn’t. Also, I have heard that a number of other international schools in Hanoi are providing opportunities for their students to have access to a choice of meals, including hot meals, from the cafeteria or cafe. Can you explain why we’re operating differently?
UNIS Hanoi is subject to restrictions imposed by Hanoi and Tay Ho authorities (People’s Party, Health Authority, and Department of Education and Training). Our COVID plan was subject to an inspection and agreement with the local authorities and in line with government directives. We cannot comment on how other Schools are operating in different local authority areas.

Please detail further the canteen plans you have for improving the quality of food served. This is not just about returning to hot lunches, as even prior to COVID-19, the food quality and nutritional content was very questionable. Would it be possible for the school to look at an independent nutritionist to assess the service and provide advice? Given pre-ordering, has it been considered that students could have a weekly menu of options that is available each day so that they can choose? Has any feedback/dialogue been formally provided to parents and the canteen service regarding the service of the canteen?
A number of changes based on student and parent feedback were implemented in the canteen at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. At that time, a “Student Food Advisory Committee” was also formed and met regularly during the first semester. There are plans underway to reconvene this committee in the next couple of weeks. As we move towards reopening the canteen and moving back to regular canteen services, we will continue to work with our parent representatives on the SCO regarding our food services and also gather feedback from the wider community through our Annual Climate Survey. The boxed lunches were designed as a short term solution for those in our community who wanted continued lunch service. There are a number of suggestions embedded in these questions that will be taken under advisement and shared with our Canteen Services provider, Epicure. 

Can Secondary School students be given access to microwaves to warm up food brought from home? Perhaps an Epicure staff member could operate the microwave to help ensure social distancing is practiced?
Microwaves are not in use at the moment because we would have to disinfect the microwave to meet COVID-19 sanitation standards between each use. 

Bubbles and Masks

I am very clear on the process and purpose of the contact tracing system, and how it works. UNIS is working hard to mitigate risks, and can only be responsible for this on campus. However, I am not sure that the ‘bubbles’ you presented at the meeting will adequately hold up against the government guidelines if there is a COVID case (F0, F1) at UNIS. I support the social distancing approaches and mask use. But the current approach to keeping grade levels separated is not effectual – e.g. mixed grade classes (drama, language, maths), parents/teachers mixing across grades, siblings in different grades, cleaning staff travelling together to school and working across the school. Can you please explain the rationale for the ‘bubbles’ in a bit more detail, and a good way to do that might be to ‘map out’ a few ‘case scenarios examples’ for parents on what it might look like if there is a COVID case connected to UNIS. I assume you have already done this in our Business Continuity Plan so this might be a good process to share with the community.
The concept of bubbles is part of the government regulations. Our goal with bubbles is to limit the number of our community members that would be considered F1, F2 or F3 should there be a case in our community (parent or student). We are currently required to contact trace as an organization and report F0, F1 and F2 contacts. For example: If a parent with a student in G10 tests positive, the G10 student would be F1 (until tested); classmates, ASA peers, and bus peers would be F2; the remainder of our students would be F3 or F4. We would request that F3 and F4 students remain on campus (this has been granted in the past), rather than being required to close campus for all students. 

Please see the detailed explanation from our Director of Operations and Finance, Misty Shipley in her article “Bubbles, Canteen, Masks and more…” in this week’s Tin Tuc (September 18).

According to WHO recommendations, “children aged up to five years should not wear masks for source control” (Advice on the use of masks for children in the community in the context of COVID-19 Annex to the Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19 21 August 2020 https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-IPC_Masks-Children-2020). With this in mind, why does UNIS, which has continuously put forward its compliance to WHO recommendations during this COVID-19 crisis, not followed the said recommendations on the use of masks for 5 years old children and younger?

We do appreciate measures which allow the UNIS campus to open in a situation when Covid-19 infections occur. Ensuring good hygiene and washing hands, measuring temperature and separating different grades (bubbles) are good examples of this. Wearing masks at entrance areas and “mixed zones” will support this bubble system. However, wearing masks within the homeroom for kindergarten children seems, in the current situation, too much and not right if we consider the strong impact on the children’s development such as hindering their social and language development because they can’t see faces. We hope that UNIS will further develop the current system to be more flexible. A system consisting of different levels with defined measures, could be easily applied if the situation might get more difficult again – and opened up again in a defined way if the situation allows. Of course we understand that UNIS has to comply with government regulations. However, we see that public and international schools in Hanoi do not require kindergarten children to wear masks or socially distance within their groups. Is this a special regulation which applies only to UNIS Hanoi? And if yes, what is the strategy to negotiate with the authorities about the loosening of these requirements for kindergarteners?

The early childhood setting is all about prevention. In the ECC we are continually trying to lay the foundations for the children to develop an internal locus of control. Locus of control is split into two parts, internal locus of control and external locus of control. External locus of control is the belief that situations and outcomes are a result of the environment and the environment only. Internal locus of control is the belief that situations and outcomes are the result of one’s personal skills and abilities. If a person has a high external locus of control they will contribute things that happen in their life as the effects of other environmental situations outside of their control. If a person has high internal locus of control they will credit a particular situation as an effect of something they did personally. A fundamental component to development in early years is establishing consistency. Consistency allows the children to understand fully what the boundaries are and what is expected of them. Realistic and achievable boundaries will allow the children to express themselves in the correct way and create a secure atmosphere whilst the child is in the setting. As the times are still unpredictable and there is no guarantee that there will not be another outbreak. It needs to be taken into consideration how developmentally appropriate it is to have consistent policies in place for our youngest learners, in order to prevent confusion, misunderstanding, and unnecessary frustration surrounding staying safe and healthy. 

At UNIS we consider teachers and parents to be partners in the process of learning, as well as fostering and placing value in reciprocal exchanges between children and adults throughout the course of constructing knowledge. I would like to invite you to consider the notion that there is not clear scientific evidence to support the concept that children are not carriers of Covid-19. Below are a few articles on the subject. As a community, the health of our educators is extremely important and should also be considered when putting in place preventative policies. 

 

Bubbles, Canteen, Masks and more…

At this week’s Community Meeting with the Head of School, we shared information about our ever-evolving approach to managing School life in the age of COVID-19.

As Ms McGee shared at the start of the School year, our decision making is multi-faceted, taking into account local authority directives, Government guidance and emerging educational expertise from peer schools managing significant crisis levels.

Our foundation through all our decision making is to ensure that we can safely keep students in School as long as possible, even if there were to be cases in the community. So despite the current situation of safety in Hanoi, we know it is unpredictable and can all change with very short notice. Our responsibility to our community is to be ready for that reality every day and our ‘frontline defence’ is mask wearing and operational ‘bubbles’.

As a school we have chosen to prioritise mask wearing since distancing can be challenging to enforce. Our experience is that we are able to be very successful with masks and this is appreciated by our local health authority and factors in their decision making for UNIS Hanoi.

At the Head of School’s Community Meeting this week, we explained briefly about our grade level and course ‘bubbles’ – groupings of students with known and manageable cross-over – which we have identified should crisis intervention be required and in the hope that we might not have to close school for all students.

As part of the current Ministry of Health regulations for schools, grouping of students is a requirement. Our goal with bubbles is to limit the number of our community members that would be considered F1, F2 or F3 should there be a case in our community (parent or student). We are required to contact trace as an organization and report F0, F1 and F2 contacts. The bubbles expand if students participate in ASA’s, sports, and/ or if they ride a bus.

For example: If a parent with a student in G10 tests positive, the G10 student would be F1 (until tested); classmates and faculty, ASA peers, and bus peers would be F2; the remainder of our faculty and students would be F3 or F4. We would request that F3 and F4 students remain on campus (this has been granted in the past as a result of our bubbles and mask wearing), rather than being required to close campus for all students. 

UNIS Hanoi is using this as an opportunity to work with the local authorities on best practices in an international school. It does not mean that if we have a positive case (on campus) we will not be shut down, but it does mean that by being responsible, we can keep as many students on campus as long as possible. 

As Vietnam learns to live and operate with COVID-19, we are working to present a model that can be emulated through the local school system and at the same time keeping our students and staff as safe as possible.

At the centre of School management of bubbles are shared areas such as the Canteen, which in addition to distancing (since masks are removed for eating) also have layered hygiene regulations with regards to transmission. However we are actively working on introducing Canteen service as soon as we can.

Starting next week, the cafe will have increased serving hours and students staying for after school activities will be able to buy drinks and snacks until 16.30. Service will be via the outside serving window and social distancing will be observed. In addition, High School students will be able to make purchases during their off-schedule, study-periods.

As Hanoi continues to open back up, new Government guidelines are being released and local authorities are finalising their level of adoption. Some of these apply to schools and others do not. We will take them into consideration as we review our procedures. Our community’s health and safety is our highest priority. Please remember that all decisions to update our campus and operational procedures will be undertaken with this priority in mind

We will have more information for you next week. Thank you for your patience and understanding and for supporting your child/ren’s understanding if they express any frustrations.

Misty Shipley
Director of Finance and Operations

Community Connections – Goody Bag Discovery Trail!

Whether you have just arrived in Hanoi or have been part of the community for years, our new Community Connections Programme will have something for you.

At a time when on-campus events are challenging to organise for 750+ families, and yet the need for connection is perhaps greater than ever, we are re-imagining our community events and services. And our first event of the year is our Goody Bag Discovery Trail – September 26-27

This event is designed to offer our traditional campus fair, as a Goody Bag Discovery Trail out in the community to coincide with the most popular family festival – Moon Festival!

Our goal is simple – to help orientate new families and inspire all our parents to try the wonderful range of shops and services in Tay Ho and further afield in Hanoi, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and ethical partners.

We are grateful to the scores of UNIS Connectors (ethical shops, businesses and organisations) that have stepped up this week to offer you all a special welcome and special offers.
You could make a Moon Cake with Hanoi Cooking Centre, or create a unique piece of Lotus Leaf Art with Marina Slewka. You could deep dive into local textiles at Future Traditions or start a new hobby – Yoga? Pony riding? Music lessons? Painting class? Jazz dance?
And Maison de Tet  Decor is holding their first Saturday Fair of the year to coincide with our Discovery Trail and you can meet up with friends for coffee and discover a wide range of artists and artisans together.
So many options and there are more coming in!  Find out all the latest information on the Community Connections page on the Parent Portal where you can also sign up for your eco-bag ‘passport’ for all the offers!
And this week we are developing a map and a directory so you can be masters of your own exploration!

What do you need to do now?

  1. Sign up for your eco-friendly goody bag (designed by a G12 student and produced with a UNIS Impact Fund Grant – read the full story in Tin Tuc)
  2. Mark September 26-27 in your calendar and arrange to meet up with friends to get out and explore together.
  3. Sign up for an event, workshop, class or visit with our launch weekend connectors. See the full list below
  4. Bookmark the Community Connections page on the UNIS Parent Portal and check back regularly for new events and special offers.

Questions? Please contact Events Coordinator, Giang Pham (pngiang@unishanoi.org).

September 26-27Goody Bag Discovery Trail

PROMOS: Only available when you arrive with your special eco-bag:

  • Playtown: 20000 VND discount on entry until end of October 2020.
  • Quilts & Arts gift shop: Moon Festival Special Offer of 30% discount on all items. Valid from now until Oct 30.
  • Simple Coffee: 25% off 1 bag of coffee beans.
  • Hanoi Pony Club: 10% discount on outrides (60 minutes) throughout the school year. 15% discount for the Weekend of Sept 26.
  • Asvelis Veterinary Hospital: 10% Teeth scaling for your pet (to be used once a year)
  • Collective Memories: special discount of 10% on all art prints from Sep 26 to Sep 31.

EVENTS: Saturday, September 26:

  • 9:00-17.00: Maison Art Market at Maison de Tet Decor. Read more about the event here.
  • 9:00 – 11:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 all weekend: Free trial classes at Pace Kickboxing & Fitness. Call Ms. Giang at 0976056410 at least 15 minutes before to book your slots.
  • All day: Guided tour of The Secret Garden‘s professional music and lesson studio with free ice cream for kids (and adults!) Get $10 off demo lesson when enroll in September.
  • 10:00 – 13:00: Visit Marina Slewka’s Lotus Painting Workshop and enjoy free refreshment.
  • All weekend: Moon Festival event at Playtown. Check back for details.
  • All weekend: Free trial class at Pace Kickboxing & Fitness. Check back for details.
  • Zenith Yoga: Come visit their studio, enjoy free refreshment and get 15% off when order from their vegan cafe.

EVENTS: Sunday, September 27:

  • 9:00 – 11:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 all weekend: Free trial classes at Pace Kickboxing & Fitness. Call Ms. Giang at 0976056410 at least 15 minutes before to book your slots
  • 10.00 – 12.00: Workshop Open Day for UNIS Families at N Square Creative Learning Center. Enjoy our welcome coffee , tea and snack and introduction of workshops, teachers and chit chatting.Kids’ workshop include: Swimming, Craft & Storytelling, Baking, Hip Hop – Jazz dance Adults’ Workshops include: Art – painting , sketching, shading. Sign up here.
  • Workshop at Hockett Haus of Crafts. Check back for details.
  • 13:00-17.00: Open house at Future Traditions Showroom. Meet Future Traditions designer Cynthia Mann and renowned textile producer Sam Thi Tinh from Hoa Tien Brocade. Special discounts on all Future Traditions collections, a free gift and a range of ethnic Thai textiles will be available for sale.
    From 3.30 to 4.30 Tinh will run a special “taster” dyeing workshop. As numbers will be limited to 10, please email your request to participate to cynthia@futuretraditions.asia.

Help Change the World For Good!

  • Do you have a project you are keen to launch?
  • Are you involved in a Service activity that needs support?
  • Could an existing small project grow with a little help?

The UNIS Impact Fund is designed to support both ‘Big Ideas’ through its annual GOALS and smaller ‘Project Ideas’ through its GRANTS programme.

Our Big Ideas are all set for this year. We will continue to work on our UNIS Botanical Garden and our Solar Power on Campus projects. Watch out for full reports from our busy committees in next week’s Tin Tuc.

And now we want to hear from YOU with your ideas for smaller project funding grants. Anyone can apply for a grant (students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni). Our grants are designed to support individuals or small groups to pilot, experiment or prototype ideas to a maximum of $2,500 USD.

Your idea must create IMPACT, support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and be a project relating to one of the following areas:

  • Sustainability initiatives
  • Service Learning
  • Learning Excellence: Academics, Arts, Athletics
  • Facilities improvements
  • Professional Development

Fill out a GRANT APPLICATION today!

You can apply anytime and the Impact Fund Grants Sub-Committee will review them as they come in – the first meeting will be October 8. And if your idea is approved the funds are available immediately!

Thanks to the School Community Organisation, who are partners for the UNIS Impact Fund, we have funds ready to award for the GRANTS Programme and our Community Connections Programme is also supporting the Grants Programme this year! We have the funds – now we need the ideas!

We want our students to wake up every day knowing we can all make a difference, explore a passion for change and empower others to build their dreams. Together.

Find out more on the UNIS Impact Fund website

Questions? Ask our Director of Advancement, Emma Silva: doa@unishanoi.org

Creating Impact! What’s Your Idea?

  • We believe that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime!
  • We believe that education transforms lives and society!
  • We believe that together we can change the world!

And that is why our community created the UNIS Impact Fund which is designed to support both ‘Big Ideas’ through its annual GOALS and smaller ‘Project Ideas’ through its GRANTS programme.

Our Big Ideas are all set for this year. We will continue to work on our UNIS Botanical Garden and our Solar Power on Campus projects.

And now we want to hear from YOU with your ideas for smaller project funding grants. Anyone can apply for a grant (students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni). Our grants are designed to support individuals or small groups to pilot, experiment or prototype ideas to a maximum of $2,500 USD.

Your idea must create IMPACT, support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and be a project relating to one of the following areas:

  • Sustainability initiatives
  • Service Learning
  • Learning Excellence: Academics, Arts, Athletics
  • Facilities improvements
  • Professional Development

Fill out a GRANT APPLICATION today!

You can apply anytime and the Impact Fund Grants Sub-Committee will review them as they come in – the first meeting will be October 8.

Thanks to the School Community Organisation, who are partners for the UNIS Impact Fund, we have funds ready to award for the GRANTS Programme.

We want our students to wake up every day knowing we can all make a difference, explore a passion for change and empower others to build their dreams. Together.

Find out more on the UNIS Impact Fund website

Questions? Ask our Director of Advancement, Emma Silva: doa@unishanoi.org

New Community Connections Programme

Every year UNIS Hanoi organises a Community Connections Fair to help orientate new families to the wonderful range of shops and services in Tay Ho and further afield in Hanoi, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and ethical partners. This year Community Connections will look a little different and we are extending it for all!

Whether you have just arrived in Hanoi and are new to UNIS Hanoi, or if you have been part of the community and lived in the city for a number of years, our new-look Community Connections Programme will have something for you.

At a time when on-campus events are challenging to organise for 750+ families, and yet the need for connection is perhaps greater than ever, we have grasped the opportunity to re-imagine our Community Connections Fair. Our goal is simply to support our families by providing as many opportunities as possible to make friends and discover (or re-discover) new experiences in Hanoi.

The School Community Organisation led the way this week and got the year off to a wonderful start with their Annual Bus Tours. Nearly 70 parents joined one of the three trips offered with parent-guided tours of local places of interest and finished with lunch sampling Vietnamese cuisine.

And now we are planning for the next Community Connections event, designed to offer our traditional fair in a new format – a Goody Bag Discovery Trail – out in the community on the weekend of September 26-27 to connect with the most popular Vietnamese family festival – Moon Festival!

There will be a range of events and shops and services to visit and explore – some organised especially for our UNIS community by our partners, and some we will highlight that are for the entire Hanoi community.

Families will sign up for a Community Connections eco-friendly Goody Bag which will also serve as your ‘passport’ for a range of special offers and access to special events throughout the year from our UNIS Connectors. On September 26-27, you will download the map, plot your route, get together with friends and explore the Goody Bag Trail filling your goody bag as you go with all the special offers from local stores and services.

What do you need to do now?

  1. Sign up for your eco-friendly goody bag (designed by a G12 student and produced with a UNIS Impact Fund Grant) which we will send home with your child/ren in the week of the event.
  2. Mark September 26-27 in your calendar and arrange to meet up with friends to get out and explore together.
  3. Bookmark the Community Connections page on the UNIS Parent Portal next week and check back regularly as we start to build our map and directory of UNIS Connectors.

From the Head of School

Dear Families,

As we close out our third week of School, I hope you share the ‘settled feeling’ that is now apparent on campus, as we move from the excitement of starting the year to a more grounded atmosphere, and I hope that you and your children are feeling secure in their foundations for the year and their new routines.

We missed seeing you on campus for our Back to School Night series, but we hope that the convenience of the online format allowed you to fully explore the year ahead with your child/ren’s teachers and certainly they were extremely well attended. Thank you for engaging with your child/ren’s teachers. There will be more opportunities for connection at the Division level focused on your child/ren’s learning coming soon, but next week the focus switches to some social fun and the opportunity to make new friends.

Our School Community Organisation partners with the School with a focus on our Value of Community and their first big social event of the year is next week for both new and returning families. I hope you’ve taken the opportunity to join the highly popular Bus Tours social programme which this year they have extended to three days of opportunities for Hanoi exploration with lunch on the way. And a big thank you to our wonderful parent volunteers who are determined to keep us all connected in the age of COVID. 

This is the first in a series of Community Connections events that will be happening as we work hard to ensure our families stay connected not only to their child’s learning, but to each other and build strong relationships for a positive year. The extended Community Connections programme is central to our Stronger Together theme for the year and watch out for more.

UN Day is a calendar highlight for our community each year and for those of you who have attended this event in the past, you will share our wondering on how to create a UN Day celebration that respects the health and safety of our community in the age of COVID-19 and yet still engages all members of our Uniquely UNIS community in learning and action with exciting and powerful connections to the work of the United Nations. This is especially important this year as the UN celebrates 75 years building a better world.

It is unlikely that we will be able to continue this year with our long-standing traditions of an all community School Assembly and Community Picnic Lunch, but rest assured, we will be celebrating our unique connection to the United Nations in our SDG Week from November 9-13 and we will be working really hard to make this as inclusive as we possibly can for our entire community to enjoy together. We are establishing a mini-task-force which will have representation from students, faculty, staff and parents to explore possibilities and there are already some very exciting ideas emerging, so watch this space for more.

And please don’t forget to mark your calendars for my first Community Meeting of the year on September 15 at 8.00 at which we will be sharing learning data from last year, more information about our School goals and our theme for the year of Stronger Together, the impact of our community’s philanthropy and outreach and pertinent updates as we continue to navigate this unusual year.

Yours sincerely
Jane McGee
Head of School

Ms McGee pictured with one of the positive posters created by G8 students now decorating the campus

Impact Alert!

This month you will start to see our UNIS Impact Fund Big Idea Goals swing into action and we are also ready to accept applications for Project Grants.

Last year our community raised $43,109 to support the Big Idea Goals voted for by our students for our UNIS Impact Fund. And this year we are putting those funds into action to create the UNIS Hanoi Botanical Garden and prototype Solar Energy production on campus.

The UNIS Impact Fund Committee, made up from students, teachers, staff and parents, will have their first meeting of the year this coming week to plan the year ahead and at the top of the agenda, alongside our Big Ideas will be planning for the Project Grants.

The UNIS Impact Fund Project Grants are designed to support individuals or small groups with risk-taking, piloting, prototyping ideas or advocacy. Applications for Grants are open all year.

To be successful for funding, projects must support at least one of the following:
a. Sustainability initiatives
b. Service Learning
c. Learning Excellence: (Academics, Arts, Athletics)
d. Facilities improvements
e. Professional Development

We are grateful to the School Community Organisation for their funding of the UNIS Impact Fund Project Grants.

Some examples from last year’s successful Grants include funding for musical instruments for a Service Learning project, eco-bag production for an Art project, bee keeping suits for a new ASA planned for later this year and approval for a textile artist in resident programme.

What is your idea? Put in your funding application today!
Questions?
impact@unishanoi.org

 

Community Connections – Don’t Miss Out!

We are busy planning a whole range of different ways for our parents to connect to the School and to each other this year, and if you would like to be involved/invited please be sure to publish your contact email on the Parent Portal in the Household Directory so our wonderful team of parent volunteers can keep you in the loop.

(Please use this QUICK GUIDE for detailed information on how to update your Household Profile)

By publishing your contact information to the parent community in our password protected portal directory you are opening up a world of connectivity within our UNIS Hanoi community; Our School Community Organisation (SCO) can send you invites and updates, parents of your child’s friends can find you, and it makes organising playdates or zoomdates (!) a lot easier! Its designed as a password-protected resource for you!

With our commitment to COMMUNITY as a core value and our belief that our good relationships with each other are at the centre of a positive environment for learning, we are busy planning a calendar of events including Division information, social networking, workshops and hopefully some fun!.

Of course with our commitment to protect our students and community, and respecting the Vietnamese Governments efforts to contain and control the COVID-19 pandemic we will have to be be resourceful and creative to re-imagine our regular events and still provide ways to connect and socialise.

We are grateful to the School Community Organisation (SCO) who lead many events and partner with us on major community initiatives and you can find out more about your SCO reps in this edition of Tin Tuc.

And look out next week for more information about our new Community Connections Programme!

Questions? advancement@unishanoi.org

Stronger Together! #UNISImpactAction

Our theme for this school year will resonate through curriculum connections, community events or engagement opportunities, service projects and communication efforts. And we have a lot to share and celebrate as we start the new year about the impact of our community’s philanthropy.

We are off to an exciting start with our Emergency Relief Fund, a donation for our UNIS Botanical Garden and the upcoming launch of a new UNIS Cultural CollectionFind out more below. 

We look forward to working together with you on all these projects (and more!) this year.
Emma Silva
Director of Advancement
doa@unishanoi.org 

    Emergency Relief Fund 

Over the summer we were busy putting your donations to work!

In response to the hardship suffered by the most vulnerable people in Vietnam as a result of COVID-19, UNIS Hanoi created an Emergency Relief Fund and in two phases distributed funds in partnership with our local service learning partners. Thanks to our community’s generosity we were able to give $32,500 to Blue Dragon, KOTO, Huong La Centre, Blossom House and School on the Boat to support families they identified for emergency food and shelter. Together we have:

  • Given emergency rent support for 70 street families in Hanoi 
  • Provided 3 tonnes of rice for vulnerable adults and children during social distancing timing in Hanoi 
  • Supported 60 families in Hue with emergency rent; food and necessities
  • Provided safe accommodation at the Blue Dragon for 13 children in crisis
  • Helped keep 3 Blue Dragon shelters running at full capacity 
  • Reached 25 low-income families in Soc Son – Hanoi and 30 low-income families in My Duc – Hanoi with pandemic aid essentials which included food – masks and sanitisers
  • Supported 138 disadvantaged youth from Koto with nutritious daily meals and medical support in a safe environment
  • Supported meals for 40 children/ young adults and 15 nuns at Huong La Centre during the crisis

Thank you!

 

    UNIS Impact Fund

The UNIS Impact Fund is designed to empower students to realise their ideas to help “Change the World for Good!” And thanks to our community’s generosity they can see their dreams put into action. The Fund support Big Idea GOALS and Project Funding GRANTS to ensure that there is something for everyone!

Last year, the School Community Organisation donated $20,000 which is being put to work with small project grants, and we also launched a community fundraising campaign to support two Big Idea GOALS chosen by our students; implementing Solar Power on Campus and creating a UNIS Botanical Garden

We raised $43,109 for the Big Idea GOALS, and this year we will be working with two community task forces to implement the projects. 

As the school year started, we were excited to receive 32 beautiful, healthy potted plants from a father and son team of environmental inventors! The donation from Long Tran (Grade 12) and his father, Mr Thanh Tran marks the beginning of the UNIS Botanical Garden!

And they are not just any old plant pots! They are made out of recycled construction materials like paint buckets and wooden pallets. More importantly, the pots have a special design for low maintenance with self-watering capabilities, which means the plants require less watering than if they were in the conventional plant pots.

Inspired by his father’s passion for bringing more green space into city life, Long suggested the idea to the UNIS Botanical Garden Taskforce of which he is a member. Over the summer, Long spent time working with his father to experiment the weather resilience of different plants. He enthusiastically shared “we can think about bringing a larger variety of plant species and designing more creative and sustainable ways to green our campus”.

The fundraising campaign for the UNIS Botanical Garden and Solar Power on Campus will continue this year and we will be bring you stories of #UNISImpactAction every week!

 

    UNIS Cultural Collection – Coming soon!

We are excited to announce that this year we will launch to our community the UNIS Cultural Collection. This incredible educational resource was made possible by the generous donation of more than 200 Vietnamese cultural and historic artefacts by UNIS Hanoi parent Nhung Nguyen and her business partner Mark Rapoport from local gallery 54 Traditions. We are extremely grateful for their vision and support for our students and community.

It is an educational collection designed to inspire learning through the lens of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage and will be developed as both an on campus exhibition and online resource. It will be formally launched to the community on UN Day (November 13) and we look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks including the ways in which our community members are helping us to realise this project through additional generous support.

But this week we welcomed our first teachers to start their curriculum planning using the UNIS Cultural Collection and we will share the stories from the classroom in Tin Tuc. Watch this space Grade 7!

Campus Access over the Summer

Thank you for your patience as we worked out how to balance Summer Programme, our scheduled summer maintenance works and allowing our community access to the School facilities over the summer months.

We are delighted to announce that Energize will be open during the Summer Programme weeks for faculty, staff and families that are members to use the pool and fitness centre. In addition the tennis courts will also be available for booking for all community members. See the details below.

There will be access for Library borrowing as detailed in the Tin Tuc article with both remote borrowing for the whole summer for electronic resources and book borrowing possible during the Summer Programme (for students signed-up for the Summer Programme only). For any questions please contact: librarystaff@unishanoi.org

We are not able to open the playground, covered courts or other facilities without security and supervision coverage, which is not possible due to Summer Programme and annual leave planning.

Campus will be open for the duration of the Summer Programme only (until Friday, July 10)  After that, campus will be closed for annual maintenance.

Energize Reopening During Summer Programme

Energize facilities will be accessible to members starting June 15, 2020 through the end of Summer Programme on July 10, 2020.  We look forward to welcoming our members back on campus.

Summer Energize opening hours will be:

Fitness Centre

  • Monday – Friday:  6.00-8.00 and 16.00-20.00
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8.00-12.00; 13.00-17.00

Swimming Pool

  • Monday – Friday: 6.15 – 8.00; 17.00 – 20.00
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8.00 – 12.00; 13.00 – 17.00

Tennis Court Bookings Reopen

During the Summer Programme from June 15 to July 10, 2020 UNIS Hanoi will be restarting our tennis court booking programme.

  • Monday – Friday:  6.00 – 8.00; 16.00 – 20.00
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8.00 –  20.00

Please submit booking requests for the tennis courts via email to: facilitiesbooking@unishanoi.org.

Booking requests should include names of all players and the date and times requested.

For questions about any of the sport facility details please contact Community Programmes Officer Ms. Ha at: communityprogrammes@unishanoi.org

Emergency Relief Fund Update

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, in a few short weeks we raised nearly $15,000 to help support the most vulnerable members of the Hanoi community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. THANK YOU!

In recent months, our Service Learning partners reported a worrying rise in homelessness, hunger and extreme poverty as a result of the national lockdown and the global pandemic. In response, we created the Emergency Relief Fund and in the first round of funding in April, money from the School’s Birthday Gift Fund, that had not already been allocated to any service projects ($17,500), was approved to support emergency relief, providing food and shelter for communities supported by Blue Dragon, KOTO, Blossom House and the Huong La Centre.

As a result of the All School Walkathon and other fundraising initiatives including Giving Tuesday in May, the Grade 4 Market Day and direct donations from our community, this week we sent a further $15,000 in emergency funding for shelter, food and urgent medical assistance to our Service Learning partners.

In addition to the organisations above, funding has also been provided to support the people of Sa Seng and Sin Chai in Sapa who our Grade 10 work with annually as part of the Service Week, and the School on the Boat which helps the river people in Hanoi. 

THANK YOU!

Please note that the Emergency Relief Fund has been chosen by some families as the destination for the UNIS Hanoi credit that was offered to families in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. If you would like to donate your UNIS Hanoi family credit to the Emergency Relief Fund, every dollar will be spent in the support of our Service Learning partners and some of the most disadvantaged people in Vietnam.

Please contact our Director of Advancement, Emma Silva for more information: doa@unishanoi.org 

Putting the Emergency Relief Funds to use

Blue Dragon was awarded $7,500 USD in the first round of funding and put the money to work including:

  • Emergency rent support for 70 street families in Hanoi.
  • Three tonnes of rice for both adults and children in Hanoi.
  • Emergency rent, support and food for 60 families in Hue.
  • Emergency accommodation for 13 children and funding to keep three shelters running at full capacity to support not only the children who live there, but to also support other  children who would not have been safe in their usual accommodation.

We will have more detailed reports from all the groups in the new year to share with our community. You have made a huge difference. Thank you!

Making an Impact!

We want our students to wake up every day knowing we can change the world! Together.

The UNIS Impact Fund was designed and launched this year to support community inspired projects which will help our students do exactly that! 

Our community goals chosen by our students in November were to prototype Solar Power on campus and to create a UNIS Botanical Garden through fundraising with our community. READ MORE

And we got off to a flying start! But only a few weeks into our fundraising campaign, COVID-19 closed our campus and the uncertainty for our community put all our plans on hold. However, this was definitely postponement, not cancellation! There is still much to celebrate and we will start the new school year with our projects well underway with student leadership. Watch out for a full update in August!

And a big thank you to everyone who gave this year to get the projects started. Thanks to your generosity we raised $36,776 USD from 78 gifts from families, faculty, staff and alumni.

We will continue our fundraising for these projects next year, hoping to hit our $100,000 USD target! And our volunteer Impact Fund Committee will be waiting for new proposals for Grants, helped by our funding from the School Community Organisation.

This year the Committee approved Grants for student and faculty passion projects which ranged from reusable shopping bags as part of an IBDP Visual Arts project for our longest attending student, Shin Young Kim, to beekeeping suits for a new ASA (originally planned for Semester 2), musical instruments for a Service Learning project to extend its impact and two projects which will be implemented next year for students to learn Vietnamese textile arts from hosting resident ethnic group artists and to construct a sensory path in Elementary School.

The SCO donated $20,000 USD to support the Grants and nearly $15,500 remains for distribution next year.

Finally a big thank you to our 2019-2020 Impact Fund Committee (IFC):

  • Co-Chairs: Emma Silva (Director of Advancement) and Iraj de Silva (Parent)
  • SCO Executive member: Chris Behr
  • Parent members: Sandra Le Courtois and Gareth Harrison Poole
  • Student members:
    • ES: Vilma Niklasson G5 and Alan Daltry G5
    • MS: Beatrice Reilly G8 and Andy Choi G8
    • HS: Solene Shelley G10 and Eddie Lee G10
  • Faculty members: 
    • ES: Christy Heitmiller
    • MS & HS:  Qingli Liu 
  • VN Staff: Han Bich Hanh and Nguyen Thi Bich Hien
  • Admin member: Megan Brazil
  • Board member: Michelle Dinh Jones
  • Alumni member: Emmanuel Selvanayagam (Class of 2003)

There will be places available on the IFC next year and if you are interested to get more involved please look out in August for more information.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact the Impact Fund Committee and team on impact@unishanoi.org

 

Message from the Head of School

Dear Families,

As an educational institution and more importantly a UN School, the events in the United States this week (and which have spread around the world) catalysed by the wrongful death of George Floyd, provide our community with an important opportunity to learn and act in solidarity in the ongoing fight for the most fundamental of human rights.

Across all cultures, the history of violence around the world against minorities and the disenfranchised highlights the importance of our ongoing commitment to our Mission statement and Core Values. 

As a community, we are committed to the UN Principle to: “Encourage respect for fundamental freedoms and equality for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

Our values of responsibility and community ensure that written into the School’s DNA is  respect and appreciation of diverse cultures, beliefs and languages to deepen our understanding of local and global issues, taking ownership and being accountable for our thoughts, actions and their consequences.

These Values and Beliefs speak to how we as a community embrace our diversity and are not only accountable for ourselves but take action to make a difference. Our hope is that through experiences at UNIS Hanoi, our students will develop empathy, understanding and respect for others regardless of differences and take action to uphold these beliefs. 

As a diverse, international community, it is easy to read these words, but much harder to truly understand them in the context of the sheltered and unique microcosm that we experience each and every day on our campus and within Hanoi.  

Last week, in my message to our graduates, I stressed the concept of “privilege”. Whether it is “white privilege”, “socio-economic privilege” or “access to education privilege”, it is important that we as educators and you as parents, dialogue with your children around what this means and how it is not only different for others in the world but gives us the tools and opportunity to make a difference. 

If we are to truly honor diversity and inclusion as a community, we will need to understand our own personal context and work together to proactively educate for anti-bias, anti-discrimination and take action to create a more equitable society. 

At School this week students have been engaged in classroom discussions, reading lists have been shared and resources have been made available to teachers to ensure they feel equipped to nurture our young learners during this global fight for equality. Our High School student-led assembly also focussed on the Black Lives Matter movement with this moving film tribute and call for solidarity.  

I am looking forward to deepening our commitment to living our Mission and Values in the upcoming year. For those of you who are having discussions with your children at home, you may find the resources from the UN’s Let’s Fight Racism website a useful place to start.

Sincerely,
Jane McGee
Head of School