From the Head of School

Happy New Year and welcome back!

We are committed to gathering the perspectives and feedback of our students, parents, faculty and alumni on an annual basis. As you know, this year we are completing our self-study for our Council of International Schools (CIS) accreditation process. The Community Survey is an important part of our accreditation and we will be launching it next week. The survey is administered by CIS and you will receive an email with a link to the online questionnaire and instructions on Monday (January 14).

The survey is anonymous and should only take around 10 minutes to complete. It can be taken in 30 languages including English, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and others. We use the data collected during this survey as a benchmark in how we are delivering on our mission, vision, and values, to evaluate our achievement of our Annual Action Plan and our Strategic Plan, and to set targets for improvement. By taking time to complete the survey you will help us know whether we are on track to achieve our objectives, and what we should prioritise for next year.

We hope that you will be willing to take a few minutes to share your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about UNIS Hanoi with us. We are grateful for your participation.

As a reminder, these were the highlights and challenges identified from last year’s Community Survey completed in March 2018:

Last year’s Highlights included:

  1. Our curriculum is in line with our mission, and our mission is well understood.
  2. Our campus is safe, healthy, and clean, with an outstanding increase in satisfaction with food services.
  3. There is a strong understanding of our United Nations connection and agreement that multiculturalism and diversity enrich teaching and learning at UNIS Hanoi.
  4. Parents feel their children are engaged in their learning, and both parents and students feel they understand grading.
  5. Our community feels technology effectively supports and enhances learning at UNIS Hanoi.
  6. Learning is collaborative at UNIS Hanoi, and personalised learning is meeting the needs of most students.

Challenges identified last year include:

  1. There was a downward trend in perception of campus maintenance. We think this is largely related to the impact of the campus development project on our campus spaces this year and we will monitor this concern closely next year. We don’t expect this trend to continue when the construction fences are removed and we can all enjoy the results of the project.
  2. There was a drop in satisfaction with Board of Directors communications and some drop in satisfaction with school communications among specific national groups and across divisions. We completed a  communications audit led by the Parent Partnerships Task Force which provided detailed recommendations to improve school communications including increasing translation where possible and reviewing new family orientation.
  3. Students were less satisfied this year with emotional support, counseling, and expressing themselves at school. Parents are also concerned about counseling services. In 2017-2018 three of our four MSHS counsellors were new to the school, and both MS and HS principals were new to their roles. The separation of MS and HS divisions is an ongoing project which is designed to provide better, more tailored services at division level in the long-term. MSHS counsellors are following up with additional research to understand how services can be improved. In 2017-2018 we already began providing training for student councils and leader retreats, and will continue to  develop with student spirit councils to strengthen student voice.
  4. Our community understands our United Nations connection and values its impact on learning, but doesn’t feel as connected to the work of the UN in Vietnam. We continue to maintain and strengthen our UN connection through a variety of activities, and are planning several events to showcase the work of the UN at UNIS Hanoi including continuing to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our curriculum, recognition of significant UN observances such an event with UN Women for Women’s Day, and further linking our Service Learning projects with UN initiatives in Vietnam.
  5. Although our community feels very safe on campus, some specific concerns with emergency procedures, busing, and local health awareness were identified. We will be reinforcing our policies and procedures through training for staff and contractors (busing), and improving communication by departments such as the School Health Centre and Transportation.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

Dear Parents,

It has been a pleasure working with your children throughout the first semester. On behalf of the faculty and staff at UNIS Hanoi, I hope you have a restful, safe and happy holiday with friends and family.

Please note that the campus will be closed from December 24 – January 1. We will resume operations on January 2, 2019. During the break, the administrative building will be closed. If you need the below departments, they will be located in the following areas:
  • HOS Office – B8B Activities Conference Room
  • Human Resources – B8B – 117
  • Business Office – B5 – 127
  • Advancement – B8B – Faculty Lounge
  • Admissions – B8B – 115 & 116

We look forward to welcoming everyone back on January 7 and wish you all the best for 2019!

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

Thank you to everyone who joined us today for our UN Day celebrations and Community Lunch! I was happy to meet so many of our community on such a special day which involved so many of our students, and was made possible by the hard work of so many volunteers, faculty and staff. Thank you all!

I would like to take this opportunity to share with those of you who could not join us on campus today, my message to the community.

All week our students have been learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and this was our opportunity to challenge our entire community to help make a difference:

“Many of you have been learning about how small actions can make a big difference – how a teaspoon of change – whether it is ideas, attitudes or actions – can have an impact over time. So, let’s think about this for a moment. How big is a teaspoon? Imagine a teaspoon… In the UNIS community, there are over 2500 members. Now, imagine 2500 teaspoons…let’s use our imagination to measure change.
I want you to think about plastic bags. If everyone in our community refrains from using a plastic bag once…we have saved 2500 plastic bags.
If everyone refrains from ordering a take-away smoothie or coffee in a paper or plastic cup, that is 2500 fewer paper or plastic cups. If everyone shortens their shower by 2 minutes, that saves 40,000 Litres of water. 40,000 Litres in one a day.
And look at a tiny teaspoon…One teaspoon multiplied by 2500 UNIS Hanoi community members = 12 litres of change, 2500 bags, 2500 cups, 40,000 Litres of water. 
One school community. In just one day.”

Please come to our Teaspoons of Change Family Workshop or Parents Event this coming week and challenge yourselves to make the change. You can find more details in this edition of Tin Tuc.

And as I mentioned today, here is the Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World from the United Nations to guide you and give you plenty of ideas. We can all start as Sofa Superheros and move to Household Heros or beyond!

If you would like to watch the all school assembly again or share it with your families around the world, here is the link. All photos will be shared in Tin Tuc next week.

I would also like to share with you today the calendar for the 2019 – 2020 year which is now available on the UNIS Hanoi website. Please note that the first day of school for our students will be  Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

Jane McGee
Head of School

Head of School Community Meeting

Dear Parents,

Please join me on Tuesday, 6 November at 19.00 in the Community Room (B7) for the second community meeting of the year. I look forward to sharing a summary of the first community meeting of the year, engaging in a dialogue about the school’s self study process with our three accreditation bodies (CIS – Council of International Schools, WASC – Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and IB – International Baccalaureate), and providing a forum for Q&A.
To be prepare for the meeting, please register HERE.

Jane McGee
Head of School

Head of School Community Meeting

Dear Parents,

Please join me on Tuesday, 6 November at 19.00 in the Community Room (B7) for the second community meeting of the year. I look forward to sharing a summary of the first community meeting of the year, engaging in a dialogue about the school’s self study process with our three accreditation bodies (CIS – Council of International Schools, WASC – Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and IB – International Baccalaureate), and providing a forum for Q&A.
To be prepare for the meeting, please register HERE.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

Open Campus

During the Autumn Break, “open campus” hours will be from 8:00 – 18:00 daily, except for Sundays. Please check the website for Energize and pool hours.

Please note that there will be some campus improvement projects taking place during the week as well. To ensure the safety of our students and community, please ensure that the “open campus” guidelines are followed.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the UNIS Hanoi community we offer our sincere condolences to the people of Vietnam following the announcement of the sad news of the passing of President Trần Đại Quang.

State media announced this morning the President’s death at the age of 61 following treatment for illness at a Hanoi hospital.

The arrangements for his funeral have not been announced and we will communicate any impact on school operations as we know them.

Our thoughts are with his family, the leaders of Vietnam and our Vietnamese staff and families on this day.

Jane McGee

From the Head of School

The Head of School, Jane McGee, shares updates about the first community meeting with parents and canteen feedback gathering.

Community Meeting Follow Up

Thank you to those who attended the Community Meeting on Tuesday morning and for sharing your insights about our school, UNIS Hanoi. As a starting point, I will be sharing the data with the leadership team to analyze trends and to determine next steps. This will then be communicated to the wider community. My hope is to use this data to open up further dialogue with the community to support our students and their learning experience at UNIS Hanoi.

This will also create opportunities for those parents who were unable to attend the first session to become involved in specific areas that may be of interest.

Canteen

We are currently working with Epicure to finalize a date for a parent session.  This will be an opportunity for parents to learn more about Epicure and their services, followed by a time for questions. In the meantime, please note that we are gathering feedback from students, faculty and staff so that we can highlight the successes of our new canteen provider and also identify any potential areas of concern and possible solutions for moving forward. As soon as a date is set, we will notify parents.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

Community Meeting and Community Campus Access

I would like to warmly invite you to join me next week for our first Community Meeting of the year, and take this opportunity to announce the start of our Community Campus Access Programme this weekend.

I hope you will join me for this first Community Meeting of the year.
The agenda will include:
  • Celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2018, including IBDP results and university placement
  • Sharing an outline of the annual action plan and the vision of the leadership team for the upcoming school year
  • Discussion of the priorities that the community shared with Dr. Barder at the end of last year.

I hope that you will leave the session having learned more about the direction of UNIS Hanoi moving forward and I will have learned more about the perceptions of our school from all of you. I am looking forward to this opportunity to meet you and to the beginning of our partnership to support the learning experience of your children.

See you there!

Community Campus Access Programme

UNIS Hanoi is committed to building a community of learners and is excited to open its gates for students, families and faculty/staff to enjoy its facilities outside school hours.

Starting tomorrow (Saturday September 8) our Community Campus Access programme will open our recreational and leisure facilities to members of the UNIS Hanoi Community when they are not being used for curricular and cocurricular activities.

The facilities included in this programme (including common spaces and bathrooms) are the:

  1. Outdoor covered courts
  2. B5 outdoor court
  3. Artificial turf field
  4. Grass field
  5. School playground

We hope that you will enjoy the facilities with your friends and families and we encourage community members to carefully read the guidelines for Community Campus Access below and look to our website for more detailed information.

The guidelines are for the safety of our community and for the protection of our facilities and include strict ID Badge and parental supervision/buddy requirements for students.

Please note, our Community Campus Access programme does not currently include extensions to the School Library opening times (7.30-17.00 Monday to Friday), but we hope to announce updates later this year.

Community Campus Access Guidelines:

  1. All use of facilities during the out of hours Community Campus Access programme is at the user/family’s own risk. UNIS Hanoi is not responsible for safety or supervision during these designated times.
  2. UNIS Hanoi ID Badge is required for campus access in line with our campus security regulations and must be worn at all times (unless involved with a sport activity and then it must be immediately accessible for spot checks by the security team).
  3. During Campus Community Access times the designated facilities are identified as informal recreation facilities and can be utilised on a first come first served basis. We ask that you respect the spirit of community and invite others to join and/or share spaces. For Facility Rental see the designated times and fees on the School website.
  4. SUPERVISION:
    1. Adult supervision (or High School sibling/designated babysitter) must be provided for all Elementary School-aged children at all times.
    2. Students in Grades 6-8 may not use the facilities on their own. They must be on campus with another UNIS Hanoi MSHS student (buddy system or group of friends) or their guardian.
    3. Students in Grades 9-12 may use the facilities without direct supervision.
  5. Any damage to facilities or equipment will be charged to the individual responsible.
  6. All adults and students enjoying the UNIS Hanoi facilities are expected to adhere to the same code of conduct as outlined in Student Parent Handbooks.
  7. No fees can be charged by community members for any activity or event held on the UNIS Hanoi campus as part of the Community Campus Access Programme.
  8. Goals, baskets, venue seating and other necessary fixed equipment will be available for use.  UNIS Hanoi will not supply recreational equipment such as balls, racquets, hockey sticks, flying discs, etc.
  9. School sponsored programming takes priority over leisure/recreational use of the facilities.

Community Campus Access Hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 15:30 to 18:00
  • Wednesday from 14:30 to 18:00
  • Saturday from 8:00 to 18:00
  • During School holidays: Monday – Saturday from 8:00 to 18:00
    (Autumn Break, Two weeks of Winter Break, and Spring Break)

We hope that you enjoy our new Community Campus Access Programme.

Jane McGee
Head of School