2020-21 Board Member Changes

The Board of Directors would like to recognise three departing Board Members and two new Board Members

Recognition for Three Departing Board Members:

Louis Vigneault Dubois (Board Member 2017 – 2020)
The Board would like to recognise the outstanding contribution of Mr. Louis Vigneault Dubois who stepped down from the Board this summer.  Louis was UN appointed to the Board in July 2017, has served as the Board Secretary from 2018-2020, Chair of the Strategic Plan Task Force 2019-2020 and has been a member of the Executive Committee from 2018. His attention to detail, generative approach to governance and dedication to the Board are much appreciated. On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank him and wish him much success in the future.

 

Caryn McClelland (Board Member 2018-2020)
The Board would also like to recognise the hard work and dedication of Caryn McClelland who steps down from the Board in August 2020. Caryn became a valued member of the Finance Committee in 2017 and was invited to become a Board appointed member in August 2018. Caryn was also a valued member of the Strategic Plan Task Force in 2019-2020. Her dedication to the work of the Board, strategic vision and practical approach to problem solving will be greatly missed by the Board. We wish her much success on her move to London.

 

Cristiana Sparacino (2019-2020)
The Board would like to thank Cristiana Sparacino for her hard work this year. Cristiana joined the Board in August 2019 and was also a member of the Finance Committee. Cristiana is an economist on a sabbatical from the International Fund of Agricultural Development in Rome, Italy. She will return to Rome to pursue her next assignment. We are grateful for the clear thinking and ‘big picture’ perspective Cristiana brought to all discussions and thank her for her dedication on the Board this year.


Welcome two new Board members:

Zeynel Kasapoglu
We are delighted to announce that Zeynel Kasapoglu agreed to join the Board in a Board appointed position in June 2020. Zeynel has been a member of the Fundraising Task Force 2019-2020. Zeynel is from Cyprus and has lived in Hanoi for over the last ten years. He is managing director of Ilse Education and Consulting. He has two children at UNIS Hanoi. Zeynel’s first term will run 2020-2024. Please join us in welcoming Zeynel to the Board.

 

Simone Vis
Simone Vis is our new UN appointed member who joins the Board in August 2020. Simone joined the United Nations in 1997 and has worked on education programmes in many countries including Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Suriname, Turkey and Lebanon. Ms. Vis has served as UNICEF Vietnam’s Chief of Education since June 2018. Simone is from the Netherlands and has one child at UNIS. Simone’s first term is 2020-2024. We are delighted to welcome Simone to the UNIS Hanoi Board of Directors. 

Message from the Board of Directors

Officers of the Board for 2020-2021

I am delighted to announce that the following Board officers were approved for the 2020-2021 school year.  Board officers serve in that capacity for one year. 

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

Over the summer the Board will continue to liaise with the Head of School re the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on enrollments and school finances while monitoring  travel restrictions, quarantines and the anticipated arrival of our new families and staff. A Finance Committee and Board Meeting will be scheduled at the end of July to review enrollment numbers with a view to reforecasting the 2020-2021 school budget if necessary. Details will be shared with the community in early August as soon as school returns. 

A Call for Volunteers for 2020-2021

Before we all break for the summer, I would like to ask you to consider volunteering at the school next year.

The Board of Directors at UNIS 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
  • 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 bodadministrator@unishanoi.org

Have a wonderful summer

Thank you to the Board, Committee and Task Force members and everyone who worked so hard during this difficult year to support the school and our children. We hope the summer break will allow much needed rest and recuperation. 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

UNIS Hanoi Board of Directors Annual General Meeting May 19, 2020

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank everyone who attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 19th May, 2020. It was a great turnout and the Board appreciated the opportunity to have an open dialogue with the community. Please find a copy of the Board End of Year Report 2019-2020 and the meeting summary can be found here

Additionally, the presentation can be found under the ‘Parent Resources’ section on the parent portal. Please click on ‘Board of Directors Info’ and look in the ‘Board End of Year’ Report folder. 

The AGM presentation included an introduction of the Board members present and a brief summary of the work that committees and task forces carried out this year. A significant part of the presentation was dedicated to reviewing the implications of COVID-19 on the school’s budget for 2019-2020 and projections for 2020-2021. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. 

Due to COVID-19 and campus closure from the Tet break to early May, community feedback sessions planned to finalise approval of strategic directions and goals for the new strategic plan were postponed. Our new strategic plan will be finalised in the 2020-2021 school year. In the meantime, focus areas for school improvement already identified by the Board, senior leadership team and visiting accreditation teams will be included in the annual action plan for 2020-2021.  

Amie Pollack

Board Chair

Board of Directors Annual General Meeting – May 19

Parents are warmly invited to attend the Board of Directors Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday May 19 at 19:00 in the Ly Thai To Learning Centre rooms 115 and 116. As meeting limits have now been increased to 50, the meeting will be held on campus only – no Zoom link. However, to comply with Health and Security regulations, to register your interest in attending the on-campus meeting please click HERE. Registration will close at 14:00 on Monday May 18. Confirmation will be sent from the Board Administrator on Monday afternoon. On campus access will only be granted to those confirmed attendees. 

There will be a reception from 18:30; canapés, wine, beer and soft drinks will be available.

The formal meeting will commence at 19:00. 

The agenda for the evening will include an introduction to the Board of Directors, as well as brief updates from our committees and task force on the work they have been doing this year. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty regarding enrollment figures for next year, time will be spent detailing the impact of this on the school finances and planning for next year.                                                               

To maximise time together please send your questions in advance to the Board Chair at boardofdirectors@unishanoi.org.                                                        

We look forward to your company,

Dr Amie Pollack,
Board Chair

Open Invite to Board of Directors’ AGM

Message from the Board of Directors 8th May 2020

You are warmly invited to attend the Board of Directors Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 19th May at 7:00PM. Due to COVID-19 we can only accommodate 30 people on campus,  in the Ly Thai To Learning Centre, upstairs rooms 115 & 116 . Others are welcome to join via a zoom link (which will be shared in the Tin Tuc on May 15).

To register your interest in attending the on-campus meeting please click HERE. Confirmation will be sent from the Board Administrator.

There will be a reception from 6:30; canapés, wine, beer and soft drinks will be available.

The formal meeting will commence at 7:00PM

The agenda for the evening will include an introduction to the Board of Directors, as well as brief updates from our committees and task force on the work they have been doing this year. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty regarding enrollment figures for next year, time will be spent detailing the impact of this on the school finances and planning for next year.                                                               

To maximise time together please send your questions in advance to the Board Chair at boardofdirectors@unishanoi.org.                                     

We look forward to your company,

Dr Amie Pollack,

Board Chair

From the Board of Directors

Dear UNIS Hanoi Families,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank our Head of School, Jane McGee and her team for their clear and compassionate leadership in this time of uncertainty. The Board is supportive of the way in which the administrative team has managed proactively the COVID-19 crisis, limiting the impact of campus closure on your children’s learning and demonstrating the ability to respond, adapt and provide robust learning programmes for our children.

We would also like to thank all of you, for your patience, support and understanding as the faculty have created Distance Learning programmes, and for helping your children to continue their learning in these unusual times.

It has been an exhausting and frustrating time for our community as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded globally, with fast-changing realities, fears for safety and often confusing and contradictory information from social media and the press.

Since Tet, the Board has worked closely with Jane and the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Kamal Malhotra, to navigate through different stakeholder requirements including the government’s cautious and directive messages, while protecting UNIS reputation and long-term sustainability. We are grateful to Mr Malhotra and the diplomatic community for their support and advocacy regarding reopening international school campuses when Vietnam was without new cases of COVID-19. The permission that was given for international schools to open was strictly conditional and with the outbreak of new cases in Hanoi, we will be following direction from the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee once more.

Based on the difficulty for us as a School to predict the future of COVID-19 in our community and the possible impact on the future of UNIS Hanoi, the Board of Directors is meeting regularly to assess the situation and plan accordingly.

TUITION & FEES
UNIS Hanoi’s programme of distance learning is providing a core academic programme for student learning. The School is ensuring that curriculum requirements for the successful transition of students to their next grade level will be met. This will support students returning to UNIS Hanoi next year and those transitioning to new locations. Proof of continuity of education and complete school records are a common requirement for student enrollment. End of year report cards and transcripts will indicate that students have met both the condition of continuity of education and achievement of the curricular expectations through our distance learning programme.

The School’s Faculty, Staff and Administration have been working full-time to ensure the best possible service during this situation. The majority of tuition fees in the School’s not-for-profit model pay teacher, staff and administration salaries and therefore the School is under contractual obligations for the full financial year which ends on July 31, 2020.

At this time, the School is reviewing a series of scenarios of both the short term financial implications and the possible longer term impact of COVID-19. We understand that there are likely financial impacts on our families as well. The leadership team is closely monitoring Q4 withdrawals and potential enrollment for 2020-21, while also exploring all options for reducing the current budget variable costs, future budget fixed and variable costs and implications to utilize our insurance options. As a Board, we firmly believe we are in the midst of the current crisis and any decision at this time with respect to our tuition structure would be premature.

Finally, the Board of Directors is aware of a number of our families in isolation or quarantine. Our core value of community has never been more relevant. This value has always been this community’s strength and we are guided by our United Nations Principles for peaceful solutions, friendly relations among children and adults of different nationalities, cooperation and respect. We must work to support our most vulnerable community members with empathy and humanity.
Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding in these most difficult times.

Yours sincerely,
Amie Pollack, PhD
Chair of the UNIS Hanoi Board of Directors

UNIS Hanoi Advisory Council

In 2011, the Board established an Advisory Council to support long-term strategic planning for the school. The aims of the Advisory Council include the following:

  1. Strengthen the organisational relationship to the United Nations (UN), with the UN Resident Coordinator serving as Chair of the Advisory Council.
  2. Establish and mobilise relationships with key stakeholders in the UNIS community including the Government of Vietnam, Diplomatic Community, Business Community, International and Local NGO Community, Vietnamese Community and educational leaders.
  3. Enhance and strengthen the visibility and status of the school with influential people providing advice, support, counsel, and ideas for strategy, positioning and advancement towards building a great school in Hanoi, Vietnam and internationally.

Over the years, UNIS Hanoi has worked to engage this influential group with discussions on a range of topics from shifting landscapes in international school competition to UNIS Hanoi’s unique role and contributions to Vietnam. Each meeting is organised around a dinner and discussion topic and we are grateful to the 20+ members who have attended these gatherings over the years.

As one of our key stakeholder groups, the Advisory Council met with our strategic plan consultant Dr Stephen Holmes on December 11 to discuss local and global impacts and their relevance to UNIS Hanoi’s next strategic plan. The Board are grateful for their valuable insights and support of our strategic planning process. 

From the Board of Directors

Please come and join us as we work to define the next Strategic Plan for UNIS Hanoi

The Strategic Plan Task Force is now working with a Strategic Consultant – Dr Stephen Holmes, to begin the process to shape and define our new strategic vision for the future.  Some parents have already been directly invited to ensure representation input from across our community. The following open parent sessions are planned for next week. Please come and join us as we work to outline and define what it means to be UNIS, our unique position in Vietnam and our strategic vision for the success of UNIS Hanoi in the future  – all parts of our strategic discussions next week. 

Next Strategic Plan Community Focus Group Consultations with Dr Stephen Holmes

 November 28-29, 2019Community Room 104, Admin Building, B7 

Korean Parents
(translation available)
Thursday November 28 11:00 – 12:30
Japanese Parents  Thursday November 28 14:00 – 15:30
Vietnamese Parents
(translation available)
Thursday November 28 19:00 – 20:30
Open Parent Session 1  Friday November 29 7:30 – 8:30
Open Parent Session 2 Friday November 29 9:00 – 10:00

We look forward to your input in this important community consultative process. If you have any queries, please email Maeve O’Donovan Board Administrator bodadministrator@unishanoi.org.

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair

From the Board of Directors

Are you a strategic thinker? Do you have a long term vision for our school?

2019-2020 marks the last year of UNIS Hanoi’s five year Strategic Plan `Strategy 2020. 

The Strategic Plan Task Force are now working with a Strategic Consultant – Dr Stephen Holmes, to begin the process to shape and define our new strategic thinking for the future. And we would like you to be a part of this very important and valuable process. If you are interested in participating in one of our focus group discussions please send your details to Maeve O’Donovan bodadministrator@unishanoi.org with a short statement of interest. Focus Group discussions are timed for approx 60 – 90 minutes

Our goal will be to have focus group discussions comprised of members from our community that represent our diversity, including culture, gender, language, school level (ES, MS & HS) and length of time at the school. 

We value your input and look forward to your participation.

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair

From the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors would like to thank everyone who attended the Board Community meeting on Tuesday November 5th.

UNIS Board Community Meeting

Details of the presentation can be found here.

  • Board Chair Amie Pollack introduced the 2019-2020 Board members and briefly outlined Board roles and goals for the year. 
  • Treasurer Hieu Nguyen provided an introduction to the 2020-2021 school budget, the members and objectives of the Finance Committee and details of the budget planning  process including benchmarking data. The budget for 2020-2021 includes provision for another counsellor in the high school to cater to increased college applications as well as social emotional support. 
  • Jane McGee – Head of School provided details on the Board approved Library Renovation work and campus buildings assessment (See the article below for more information). The full assessment report will help prioritise needs for further campus development, once the necessary capital reserves are in place.  
  • Finally Jane McGee provided some details on the following; UNIS Hanoi will be working to define the Next Strategic Plan with community workshops scheduled with a consultant the 28th and 29th November. All those interested in participating should write to Maeve O’Donovan bodadministrator@unishanoi.org  
  • A summary of the meeting including questions and answers can be found here 

Amie Pollack, PhD.
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair

Library Renovation Works

I am delighted to announce that at the 22 October Board Meeting, the Board unanimously voted to approve Library Renovation works. The approved funds ($585,000) will go towards the following;

New furniture (hard and soft furnishings), new library entry for MS and HS students, new meeting rooms for collaboration, new carpet and blinds and updated electrical work, paint, and HVAC system.

Some design concepts can be seen below. 

The renovation works are scheduled to take place during the 2020 Summer Break.

Campus Assessment Study

Campus Development was paused following the completion of Phase 3A in 2017 to allow students and staff a rest from the building fences and to work to replenish capital reserves. Original campus buildings were constructed in time for UNIS Hanoi to move to the Ciputra campus back in August 2004. In view of the age of some of the buildings the Board has determined the need for a campus assessment study to review structures, roofs, electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, fire systems, etc. The study will help determine the lifespan of existing structures and will provide a basis for future plans. The Board approved this campus assessment study at the 22 October Board meeting. The results of the campus assessment and its impact on future capital expenditures will be shared with the community when completed. 

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack

Board of Directors Community Meeting – November 5

Please join us for the Board of Directors Community Meeting on 5th November 2019 at 18.30.

You are cordially invited to attend the Board of Directors Community Meeting which will be held on Tuesday 5th November, 2019  starting at 18.30.  The meeting will be held in UNIS Hanoi Centre for the Arts (B10, upstairs) Black Box 1 & 2. 

A reception will begin at 18.30 at which you can meet with UNIS Hanoi Board members. Wine, beer, soft drinks and light food refreshments will be available.

The formal meeting will start at 19:00 and will include the following:

  • Introduction to Members of the Board of Directors 2019-2020
  • Board Goals and Committees/Task Forces for the Year
  • Comprehensive Financial Update to include:
    • Overview of international school financing
    • Country and regional economic factors
    • Programme and staffing requirements

Proposed 2020-2021 Budget to include details of anticipated tuition and capital fees

  • New Strategic Plan for 2020-2023 – an update from the strategy task force on progress to date

To prepare for and effectively respond to your questions, please send me in advance any specific Board or Governance questions you would like us to address at boardofdirectors@unishanoi.org.

 

Are you a strategic thinker? Do you have a long term vision for our school?

The Strategic Plan Task Force SPTF is planning a Community Workshop on the 28th and 29th of November 2019. Working with Strategic Planning Consultant Dr Stephen Holmes, the task force would like to invite members of our community to share their hopes and dreams for the future of UNIS and to help drive innovative thinking for our next strategic plan. Our aim is to ensure our community workshop will include parents, students, faculty and staff representing our diverse community at UNIS Hanoi. If you are interested in contributing and participating in this Strategic Plan Community Workshop, and can commit to two full days –  Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November (and possibly a third day in March 2020) please send your details to Maeve O’Donovan bodadministrator@unishanoi.org with a short statement of interest.

Our goal will be to have a community task force comprised of members from our community that represent our diversity, including culture, gender, language, school level (ES, MS & HS) and length of time at the school – new, mid and long term parents. 

We value your input and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair

Board of Directors Community Meeting – November 5

Please join us for the Board of Directors Community Meeting on November 5, 2019 at 18.30.

You are cordially invited to attend the Board of Directors Community Meeting which will be held on Tuesday 5th November, 2019  starting at 18.30.  The meeting will be held in UNIS Hanoi Centre for the Arts (B10, upstairs) Black Box 1 & 2. 

A reception will begin at 18.30 at which you can meet with UNIS Hanoi Board members. Wine, beer, soft drinks and light food refreshments will be available.

The formal meeting will start at 19:00 and will include the following:

  • Introduction to Members of the Board of Directors 2019-2020
  • Board Goals and Committees/Task Forces for the Year
  • Comprehensive Financial Update to include:
    1. Overview of international school financing
    2. Country and regional economic factors
    3. Programme and staffing requirements

Proposed 2020-2021 Budget to include details of anticipated tuition and capital fees

  • New Strategic Plan for 2020-2023 – an update from the strategy task force on progress to date

To prepare for and effectively respond to your questions, please send me in advance any specific Board or Governance questions you would like us to address at: boardofdirectors@unishanoi.org.

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair

Governance as Leadership Training Institute at UNIS Hanoi

Over the 7-8 September weekend, the Board hosted the sixth Governance as Leadership Training Institute for international school board members and administrators from the South East Asia Region and beyond. 

The Training Workshop is designed to help boards and their school heads work together to improve the level of governance at their schools.The importance of this annual event is reflected in the number of new delegates who choose to travel from as far away as New Delhi and  Oman as well as those schools who continue to return every year for this unique training opportunity.  

Governance as Leadership
Training Institute 2019 @ UNIS Hanoi
New Returning Total
Number of Schools Attending 5 19 24
Board Members 63 26 89
Senior Administrator 11 20 31
Board Chair pre-conference
(Friday afternoon)- second year
6 9 15
Head of School pre-conference
(Friday afternoon) – new this year
16 16

The Conference was again led by William P. Ryan, faculty member from the Executive Education Programme at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Bambi Betts, Director of the Principals’ Training Center for International School Leadership. Dr Chip Barder (ex-Head of School UNIS Hanoi 2008 – 2018) also rejoined the training workshop this year as a co-facilitator.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Head of School and Advancement Office for the extensive planning required to bring such a big group of delegates together. I would also like to extend my appreciation to our dedicated UNIS Hanoi Board of Directors who gave up their Saturday and Sunday to attend this workshop.

Sincerely,

Amie Pollack

From the Board of Directors

New UN Board Members for UNIS Hanoi

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr Cristiana Sparacino – an economist with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been appointed to the Board by the United Nations Resident Coordinator. Dr Cristiana Sparacino joins Le Thanh Forsberg and Louis Vigneault Dubois as our UN appointed Board members. 

Please join me in welcoming Dr Cristiana Sparacino to the UNIS Hanoi Board. 

Cristiana Sparacino (UN Appointed) Cristiana was appointed to the Board in August 2019. Cristiana is an economist with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Her work involves the design and delivery of agricultural and rural investment programmes mainly based in West and Central Africa, but also in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.  Projects have included natural resources management, agricultural production, food value chains development, community-driven development, and gender equality. In addition to this work, Cristiana has been coordinating and lecturing in the Rural Development Module of the Master’s in Human Development and Food Security in the Faculty of Economics at the Universita’ di Roma III. Cristiana has a PhD in Institutions, Agriculture and Policies for Economic Development from the Faculty of Economics, University of Rome, La Sapienza, and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, as well as a Master’s degree in Economics from La Sapienza.

Amie Pollack
Board Chair