From the Head of School

Dear Parents,

At my recent  Head of School Community Meeting I highlighted the work of the Leadership Team in revising and updating the UNIS Hanoi Air Quality Index (AQI) Response Chart.

The updated chart is linked here.

Please note, the “Health Implications” and “Health Advisory” at the different levels of AQI are derived from the US Government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines and the third column details the UNIS Hanoi response.  

The AQI is monitored hourly through the UNIS Hanoi AQI station, a second AQI reader located at ground level and the Hanoi AQI data found on this website. Based on these readings, the staff is informed of the level of the AQI and responds according to the UNIS Hanoi AQI response chart.

The Sports Center and Ly Thai To Learning Center (B8b – canteen building) both have air filtering systems. Stand alone air purifiers are in all other learning spaces to ensure our students have filtered clean air. The staff is regularly updated on appropriate use of the purifiers and our operations team regularly visits classrooms to ensure the air quality in classrooms is safe. Sample measurements are taken with a handheld machine.

I have also included some feedback from our PE department which provides a sense of modifications that are made to ensure a high quality educational experience in spite of the AQI reading. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Principals, PE department or me if you have any questions.

Head of School
Jane Mc Gee

 

Examples of Modifications:

101 – 150 (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups)

Examples: Recess/break times limited to 20 minutes.

ES PE example: When doing a high intensity activity it would be adapted for sensitive groups. High intensity lessons/games or running for long periods of time would take place indoors.

MS/HS PE example:

  • No vigorous activity or intense game play. Activities that require students to spend an extended period of time with their heart rates above 130 bpm/ex-football, waterpolo, athletics running events would be modified decrease level of exertion. Modifications would include decreasing field size, changing position rules so that movement is restricted to zones, changing longer running events into relay races.
  • Sensitive students will have modified activities to minimize heavy exertion ( ex. design a modified fitness workout that allows them to focus on muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility while minimizing cardiovascular fitness)

151 – 200 (Unhealthy)

Example: Recess/break times limited to 20 minutes, no “running” activities (field and soccer pitch closed)

ES PE example: All high intensity activities are done inside. PE that is done outside is modified to low/medium intensity activities. Volleyball is an example of a low/medium intensity activity which would still happen outside. However the warm-up game (which is high intensity) would take place inside.

MS/HS PE example:  

  • Activities will be moved to an indoor space when possible (ex- Warmup and cardiovascular fitness portions of a lesson could be moved to the movement room or fitness room (yoga, aerobics, dance and circuit training can all be integrated into a unit and facilitated in these spaces as students explore ways to maintain the health related fitness components)
  • All activities that require heavy exertion will be modified.  (Ex. A Track & Field lesson would focus on throwing & Jumping events and would not participate in running events on unhealthy days.)
  • Sensitive students would have a modified role in class that does not include physical activity (ex- referee, coach, warmup specialist, team manager).

201 – 300 (Very Unhealthy)

MS/HS PE example:

  • When indoor facilities are not available lessons would be  structured to accommodate classroom work (when applicable) from the current unit. This also helps to  increase outdoor activity time on healthy days.
  • Facility schedules would be altered when possible to maximize indoor activity space.  An example would would be splitting the sportscenter in to four instruction spaces when normally it is two.

From the Head of School

Thank you to everyone who attended the Head of School Community Meeting and shared your thoughts about the Community Survey data that was shared. For those of you who were unable to attend, you can find the presentation and notes here including the Air Map of Hanoi link mentioned at the meeting.

For those of you running in the Family FUNd Run, I’ll see you there to kick it off! Have a great weekend.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

Join me on Tuesday February 19 at 8.15 for the Community Meeting. 

In this meeting, we will be sharing some of the results of the Parent Community Survey and involve you in making sense of the data for our school planning. We will also share important updates on a number of areas, including our Air Quality Index monitoring and action plan.

I hope you enjoy reading the annual report for 2017-2018, UNIS UNfolded that I shared with you before the Tet break and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Jane McGee
Head of School

From the Head of School

As we celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Pig in Vietnam I would like to take this opportunity to wish your family a new year filled with good health, happiness and success.

We are committed to your children’s success and working in partnership with you and all our parents is important to us. You chose UNIS Hanoi for your children and we take the trust you place in us very seriously.

To that end, and as we start the year of the Pig I would like to make three important requests of you:

  1. Give us your opinion in our Parent Community Survey (if you have not already completed it). You have already received information about this and I can only encourage you to make the time to help us, help your children. It is available in many languages and is anonymous.

  2. Join me on Tuesday February 19 at 8.15 for a Community Meeting at which we will share some of the results of this survey and involve you in making sense of the data for our school planning. We will also share important updates on a number of areas, including our Air Quality Index monitoring and action plan.

  3. Read UNIS UNfolded, our annual report for 2017-2018 in which we share the results of other surveys and important data demonstrating our Mission in action through our values of Learning, Community and Responsibility. Some of the numbers are impressive, some are reassuring and some we are confident we can improve.

You might be interested to know how our IB Diploma results compare to the world? How many students earn a Bi-lingual IB Diploma? How do our standardised test results in Grade 3-9 compare to other international schools? How many students take part in our co-curricular programmes? How many programmes do we offer to the Hanoi community? How many alumni remain connected to UNIS Hanoi as a network for your children? How many volunteer hours do parents give? What is the impact of the school community’s philanthropy?

I hope you enjoy finding the answers in UNIS UNfolded and I look forward to seeing you after the break at my Community Meeting.

Please note that campus will be fully closed over the Tet break from February 2 – February 10. Campus will reopen on Monday, February 11. 

Chúc mừng năm mới!

Jane McGee

Head of School

Artwork by Hong Kiey Anh (Alumni Class of 2020)

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