Message from the Board of Directors

Officers of the Board for 2019-2020

I am delighted to announce that the following Board officers were approved for the 2019-2020 school year:  

Board Officers/Executive Committee
Board Chair: Dr. Amie Pollack
Vice Chair: Ms. Ngo Thi Quynh Hoa
Treasurer: Mr. Hieu Nguyen
Secretary: Mr. Louis Vigneault Dubois

The 2019-2020 UNIS Board of Directors and officers assumed their duties following the board meeting on June 4th. Board officers serve in that capacity for one year.

Departure of UN Appointed Board Member

The Board would like to thank Paul Priest  for his dedicated years of service on the Board. Paul will be returning to Australia with his family to take on a new position there. Paul was appointed to the Board in November 2016 and has served on both the Campus Development Task Force and the Committee on Directors. We are grateful to Paul for his strong advocacy of the SDGs and their incorporation into all aspects of our school.  We look forward to welcoming a newly appointed UN Board member after the summer.

A Call for Volunteers for 2019-2020

Before we all head in different directions over the summer, I would like to ask you to consider volunteering at the school next year.

The Board of Directors at UNIS Hanoi are all volunteers and we depend upon other members of the community to volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of the School. There are many ways you can help the school. The following are some examples:

  • Class parent representative
  • School Community Organisation (SCO)
  • Booster Club
  • Spring Fair
  • Helping new families on orientation day at the start of the school year
  • Volunteering for a Board committee or task force

If you would like to volunteer on a Board committee or task force next year, please send your CV and bio to Board of Directors Administrator, Maeve O’Donovan, at

Have a wonderful summer

Thank you to the Board, Committee and Task Force members and everyone who contributed to making 2018-2019 another wonderful year. Safe travels, we look forward to welcoming you back in August. And best of luck to those families leaving Hanoi this summer. We wish you well and encourage you to keep in contact via our Alumni network.

Have a great summer!

Amie Pollack
Board Chair

From the Head of School…

This is the time of year when our entire community is in transition. Members of our school community are either leaving, entering a new place, or being left behind.

Many of our teachers and staff are also in transition. We are grateful to the following individuals who have been a part of our school community, actively contributing to our school values of Learning, Community and Responsibility. We know that they have touched the lives of many students and their families during their time at UNIS Hanoi.

Edward Gilbreath
Tech Director
Carl Strefford
Senior Manager Operations
Bronagh Lucardie
Senior Manager Admissions
Susan McComic
Health Centre Coordinator
Liana Bianchi
Senior Manager – Marketing & Enrollment
Thango Vu
Senior Manager Business Administration
Andy Myers
Aquatics Academy Manager
Francis Beeckmans
ES Mother Tongue
Nao Akagawa
MSHS Mother Tongue

Please join me in wishing them well for their new adventures ahead.

Jane McGee
Head of School


UNIS Hanoi Reads Summer 2019 – Million minutes challenge!!

(Phoenix Summer Reading graphic by Noi Kim 5A)

If everyone reads for just 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week in the long holiday (14 June – 13 August 2019), together we can read for a million minutes! Imagine how much you can experience, how many new worlds you can visit, how much you can learn in just a short time each day. Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that reading makes you healthier and smarter … and it’s fun!

You can read anything! Do you like serious mysteries, or romantic humor? Do you enjoy graphic novels and comics, or true crime, or biographies? Do you read magazines or newspapers? Do you read interesting articles or blog posts online? Listening to an audiobook while you travel counts as “reading” as well.

Everyone at UNIS Hanoi is challenged to join in – students of all ages (parents can read to the non-readers), teachers and staff. Students in Grades 2-5 have been introduced to the Library homepage and can navigate their way to recording their minutes of reading every day!

In the Elementary School, there will be PRIZES for the top individual readers and for the top performing grade level. These prizes will involve water. And teachers. And soaking. So, read. And when you’ve finished, read a little more.

Here are some easy steps to enjoy your summer reading and give your family lots of options for reading:

  1. Install the apps Sora and Destiny Read on your family iPad. Sora will give you access to all of the eBooks and audiobooks we have in the library – perfect for travelling. Use your UNIS Hanoi username/password to login (without
  2. Go to Epic and enroll your family for 3 months of reading for $3 using this link: – use the code SUMMER19 to access the offer. Then bookmark this page on the iPad so it can be accessed easily.
  3. If you read in another language go to the International Children’s Library using this link: – bookmark this page and there are thousands of books appropriate for all ages in many languages.
  4. Go to the Library Home page – – bookmark this page – explore the different suggestions for different grades
  5. LOG YOUR MINUTES EVERY DAY!! And watch the grade graph grow!

Having problems? All students can log in using the same user name and password they use to log into the computers (not their email address). This can be used for Destiny as well. Parents can use their Veracross log in to access all library information.

Something for parents? Over the last year, the Library has tried to put all of the subscription magazines as digital subscriptions. If you add the app RB Digital to your iPad or phone you can access all of our magazines and read them online. You can follow step by step instructions on installing the app here. You will be prompted for a country selection (Vietnam) and then a school selection (UNIS). All UNIS magazines (print and digital) can be seen on this list. There are 94 magazine subscriptions in the Library and there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @unislibrary and forward your “reading in different places” holiday snaps to for uploading to our school account.

Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

Happy Reading!

Monica Mayer and Deborah Wells-Clinton

Campus Use and Access Over The Summer and Operational Changes

As we close the 2018-19 school year, we want to inform you of campus use and access over the summer, and a number of operational changes that will take place at the beginning of next year.

Community Summer Campus Use:

In order to meet safety and security standards during campus improvement projects taking place over the summer, general community access to the campus will close at the end of the school day on the June 12 and resume once school starts in August. Summer Programme will be in operation, but the campus will not be available for free play during the summer. Energize and facility bookings will run as normal.

Parking of Two Wheeled Vehicles:

Over the past few years, we have been seeing an increase in two wheel transportation. In order to accommodate this, we need to make a few adjustments to the parking lot.

  1. For push bikes, we will ask everyone that arrives before 8:00 to enter through Gate 5. You will also notice that the bicycle and push scooters will be separated depending on the age of the students. Elementary students will be directed to park in one area, while secondary and adults (unless accompanying an elementary student) will park in a different section. For bicycles that enter after 8:10 please use the main gate. 
  2. The parking for electric bikes will be expanded but located in the same area.
  3. All motorized bikes require a parking permit and will be checked at the gate. If you drive a motorized bike that does not have a parking permit attached you will be asked to park in front of Main Gate Guard House. To register your bike, please come to the operations office.
  4. All students will be required to show a valid Vietnamese driver’s license (in accordance to the law) in order to obtain a parking permit for their bike.

Child Safeguarding:

In our continued efforts to strengthen our child safeguarding practices and to align with accreditation standards, adults using the facilities for Energize and any community events will no longer be permitted to use the student dressing rooms in the Sports Centre. There are restrooms behind the gym that will be designated adult use only. Please see the map for the exact location.

We wish you a wonderful summer and look forward to welcoming many of you back in August. For those of you transitioning on, we are grateful for the opportunity to have had you as part of our community and look forward to staying in touch via our alumni network.

Have a wonderful break!

Misty Shipley
Director of Finance and Operations

TEDx Youth

Dear UNIS Hanoi community,

Vietnam Youth Leaders is a service learning group at UNIS Hanoi dedicated to connecting youth and encouraging responsible leadership.

We have the privilege to host a TEDxYouth event on 8 June from 9.00 to 13.00. This year’s theme is What if… where we explore new ideas and look out into a world of more possibilities.

TEDxYouth is an opportunity for great young thinkers and leaders to take charge and share amazing ideas.

If you would like to attend this awesome event, please submit your event registration through this link. Tickets are free and in limited supply, so don’t wait and miss out.

Meet some of the speakers of What if… TEDxYouth event:

If you have any questions, please contact


Vietnam Youth Leaders

From the Head of School

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that in a very short period of time, we will be gathering together to “Bang the Drum” to close down the School year. The end of the year brings an excitement and energy through many celebrations while simultaneously creating the opportunity for reflection as we process another year of Learning, Community and Responsibility.

Over the next few weeks, we will be celebrating the journey of our students, their academic progress and achievements, their commitment to service, their pursuit of athletics and activities, and a number of rites of passage as our students move from one division of the School to another or from UNIS Hanoi to post-secondary experiences.

We are very excited to be celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2019 next week with our students and their families at the annual Tree Planting Celebration, the Grand Walk and our Graduation Ceremony.

Additional celebrations over the next few weeks include Farewell Assemblies, Grade 8 Promotion and Grade 5 Celebration Assembly as well as events to celebrate our leaving faculty and staff and to honor the years of service of those who are staying.

As we head into the final three weeks of school, our community – students, parents, faculty and staff – are going through the highly emotional process of transition. In the next few weeks, I urge families that are both staying and going to dive into the research on “leaving well” so they can find ways to support their children through this period of transition. If you feel your child needs additional support, please reach out to our counselling team.

As the faculty and staff work to ensure a smooth, effective and well communicated close to the school year, the leadership team is no exception. In the final Tin Tucs of the school year, we will be communicating with you regarding some end of year developments from our annual action plan priorities, including developments with the canteen, summer campus projects and our new fundraising initiative for 2019-2020.

We will also give you a taste of what is to come and some of the planning already underway for next year.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our end of year events!

Yours sincerely,
Jane McGee

First STEAMfest Success at UNIS Hanoi

This past week, approximately 100 members of the UNIS Hanoi community came together to celebrate STEAM on campus.  

The day started with local STEAM celebrity guest speakers sharing their inspiring agricultural, architectural, and educational work in our surrounding community. We were honored to have Ms Trang Tran, Fargreen founder, who is helping tackle the rice burning in Vietnam by creating organic & sustainable agricultural solutions; Mr Luong Trung Tien shared his love of Science/STEM, and the YouTube channel he created to reach students in Vietnam; and architects Man Xuan Nguyen shared his eye popping prototype of using AI and robotics to automate buildings which he calls the Pizzabot Assembler.

We then enjoyed UNIS Hanoi student and staff presentations at a variety of 12 engaging booths, with topics ranging from Flotatoes (aeroponics) to Hover Shoes.

The day wrapped up in the pool for an underwater ROV challenge.

Thank you to the UNIS Hanoi community for coming out and celebrating with us.  We look forward to making this a repeat event in the coming school years!

If you have any feedback, please share with

Operation Healthy Heart’s Fruitful Outcomes

On 10 May, our service group, Operation Healthy Heart went on a trip to visit the young children who used to have their heart complications.

Operation Healthy Heart is a group that aims to raise money in cooperation with Heartbeat Vietnam. We raised money to fund the less fortunate children’s surgeries. There are several children in Vietnam that lack the money to have proper treatment for their heart condition. The service group was originally the product of a PYP project done by Linnea Niklasson (Grade 12).

During the service trip members from the group went to the Cardiovascular Centre – E Hospital, along with gifts for the two children as well other children in the same ward. The first child that we met suffered from Pulmonic Regurgitation, this is where the pulmonary valve leaks and as a consequence blood flows back into the heart before it reaches the lungs for oxygen, however after multiple surgeries she is now much healthier and can go back to school.

The second child that we visited was much younger and she was still hospitalized when we went to see her. She suffered from Tricuspid atresia which is a heart valve defect, she has suffered from this since birth. She will go through additional surgeries to improve her condition.

From this visit, the members learnt the value and outcomes of all the work that we have done over the years. Throughout the year we have collected money through events such as the Winter Fest in December and selling popcorn during school plays.

We hope that the community will continue to support this group.

Anushka Biswas, Taku Shiwa and Thu Giang Pham (OHH service leaders)

Keep Your Sick Child at Home

Dear Parents,

The School health Centre is seeing a very high number of students with fever. We have received a few medical reports positive for influenza (Flu).

Many students detail to the nurse that they were sick before coming to school. Unfortunately, there is nothing we are able to do except send your children home, but not before they have passed their germs onto other students on the school bus and in the classroom.

What can parents do to help minimize the cross infection risk to our students, staff and UNIS Hanoi community:

  • If your child is unwell in the morning take their temperature.
  • Keep your child at home if they have a fever of 38 degrees C / 100 degrees F
  • Ensure your child stays at home at least one full day after a fever has broken naturally, without fever-reducing medicines. This allows their body time to fully recover.
  • Ensure your child stays home for one full day  after the last episode of diarrhea and/or vomiting.
  • Notify the nurses at of illness so we can continue to monitor

Many thanks for your ongoing support,

School Health Centre Nurses


What’s happening?

Are you using the beautiful summer sunshine and breeze to charge your phone on campus? Did you know that the wind turbine and solar panels on the roof of Building B8b power the USB sockets in the Canteen and classroom B8b-106 (on the roof)?

What are we doing about it?

There are nine outlets with 18 USB sockets which anyone can use to charge phones or other devices. Both the wind turbine and the solar panels generate electricity which is stored in a battery connected to the USB outlets. Each of the systems, turbine for wind and solar panels for sun, can produce around 1,000 watts of electricity. That’s enough electricity to power the average smart phone for one year!

What can YOU do to help?

Use renewable energy to charge your phone or other devices with a USB charger next time you are in B8b! #SustainableUNISHanoi

From the Board of Directors

Annual General Meeting and Parent Election 2019

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank everyone who attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 7 May, 2019. A copy of the Board End of Year Report 2018-2019 can be found here and a meeting summary can be found here.

The AGM presentation included a financial update as well as details of the work of the Fundraising Task Force this year. The current strategic management plan `Strategy 2020’ will conclude next year and Board Secretary Louis Vigneault Dubois provided details on the work that has been undertaken this year and will continue next year to help define the next strategic management plan. The community exercise invited discussion and ideas to put towards the next strategic plan.

New Parent Elected Board Member – Maria S. Chung

The Board takes pleasure in announcing that Maria S. Chung is the winner of the parent election 2019. Maria will assume her Board duties in June and will serve a term of 4 years 2019-2023. We are delighted to welcome Maria to the Board and we look forward to working with her. Please read her bio here.

The Board would also like to sincerely thank Zeynel Kasapoglu for presenting his candidacy in the parent election 2019.

Grade 10 Work Experience Placements

Last chance to help us identify exciting Work Experience placements for our Grade 10 students!

We are finalising placements for our Grade 10 Work Experience which will take place 3-7 June. We are still looking for placements in these sectors to match students’ career interests:

  • Business Management
  • Finance (investment, accounting, economics)
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Architecture
  • Math
  • Arts (music, film, fashion)
  • Communications
  • International Relations
  • Science
  • Engineering

Can you help our Careers Programme by hosting two students at your work place? Please complete the registration form HERE.

If you are unable to host students, can you recommend a contact in these sectors we can approach to consider hosting? Please email

The goal of the Work Experience Programme is for students to develop a better understanding of the links between school and the skills students will need in their working life. This Work Experience will also give students a chance to meet working professionals to inquire about the daily tasks, responsibilities, working day structure, qualifications needed and to learn more about how they arrived at where they are today in their profession. We feel confident that students will enhance not only their communications and leadership skills, they will learn more about their own strengths and interests throughout this process. Work experience may also help students navigate future university and career decisions.

Your support is VERY much appreciated!

Empowerment Art Exhibition – 18 May

The Gender Awareness Annual ART EXHIBITION‍ is on again.

The art exhibition will take place on 18 May (Saturday) at Turtle Lake, from 11:00~13:00. There will be artworks for sale and musical performances from UNIS students, as well as food to nibble on while you are there.

The Art Exhibition is held for the purpose of raising money for HAGAR. HAGAR is a non-profit organization which supports women and children who have been trafficked or victims of domestic abuse.

Tickets are being sold for 50,000vnd. You can buy them from in front of canteen during lunchtime and  or after school till 4.30pm

Please come along and support HAGAR! And if you can’t make it on the day we would love for your support to come in donation form.

Last year was a great success thanks to your support – let’s make 2019 even better!!

Thank you,

Gender Awareness service learning group

Grade 10 Work Experience Programme – Can our Grade 10 students join your workplace for a week?

The goal of the Work Experience Programme is for students to develop a better understanding of the links between school and the skills students will need in their working life. This Work Experience will also give students a chance to meet working professionals to inquire about the daily tasks, responsibilities, working day structure, qualifications needed and to learn more about how they arrived at where they are today in their profession. We feel confident that students will enhance not only their communications and leadership skills, they will learn more about their own strengths and interests throughout this process. Work experience may also help students navigate future university and career decisions.
This year’s Work Experience Programme will take place June 3 – 7, the final full week of school. Work Experience is compulsory for all Grade 10 students and will function as the cumulation of their MYP learning journey. We are currently working towards developing a database of workplace options, however, if requested and approved, students can arrange their own work experience placement.
Please consider registering to host two or more students in June by completing this FORM by 3 May. We are reaching out to the UNIS Hanoi Community for your help in creating meaningful work experience placements.  Even if your workplace is not a match for students this year, we would still appreciate adding your company or organisation to our database of placement options for future years. We want to expand the options for our students as this programme grows.
Your support is VERY much appreciated!



What’s happening?

“Why is the water in toilets in B8b dirty?” It’s not dirty water, it’s rainwater! Have you ever noticed you’re walking on a rainwater collection system when you enter the Canteen?

What are we doing about it?

Rainwater is collected from the roof of B8b and flows through a drainage system into this 40 m3 rainwater collection tank. The water then feeds through a pump system into all the toilets and urinals throughout B8b. Harvesting and using rainwater reduces our use of processed water services and naturally recycles rainwater. Every 40 m3 tank of rain water we collect provides over 88,000 B8b toilet flushes, that’s a lot of processed water saved!

What can YOU do to help?

Other easy ways that everyone can save water at home include:

1.  Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.

2. Turn off the tap while washing your hands.

3. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. This tip might not be for everyone, but the toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house. Do you need to flush every time?

4. Fix your leaks. Fixing leaky faucets can mean big water savings.

5. Shower Bucket. Instead of letting the water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can use the water for flushing the toilet or watering your plants.