Team of Cleaners Help Keep Us Safe

The safe re-opening of our campus this week was a multi-disciplinary effort between the leadership team, faculty and staff. But there’s one group of workers in particular whose work has been critical at a time like this – our cleaners.

UNIS Hanoi has a team of 45 cleaners working everyday to deep clean, mop, vacuum and dust every room, every surface, every pane of glass. They also clean a whopping 33623m2 of ground space and playgrounds. 

Additionally, to help combat COVID-19, all 300 rooms are disinfected four times a day too.

Please join us in thanking them for their continued dedication to keeping our community safe.

Parent Workshop – Summoning Resilience and Finding Your Grace

Furthering our theme of parent connection and parent support, UNIS Hanoi is proud to be partnering with Dr Fran Prolman to develop a webinar focused on helping parents and their children not only survive, but thrive, while staying at home and supporting their children through Distance Learning in the midst a global pandemic.  

“Summoning Resilience and Finding Your Grace”
Join the workshop on Tuesday, April 28 at 8:30 (+7 GMT)

This will be a live session that engages parents directly on issues they are currently facing through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Through the use of Zoom, and audience ‘polling’, webinar participants will have the opportunity to vote on specific topics that Dr Prolman will address, ensuring that she is helping to address the concerns of our parent community.

If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded and made available to our UNIS Hanoi community.

Dr. Fran Prolman is an internationally recognized consultant specializing in educational leadership, school improvement and instructional strategies as well as communication skills, critical thinking and organizational development.  Fran earned her doctorate in teacher training and international education from George Washington University and a Masters degree in educational administration and curriculum and instruction from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a two-time Fulbright Scholar in both India and Israel, and has presented numerous papers and workshops nationally and internationally.

Dr Prolman has previously worked with educators at UNIS Hanoi as an international consultant on helping to deliver some of our ‘Strategy 2020’ goals around student agency and self-directed learners.  She’s currently consulting remotely and offering considerable expertise and support to schools and families through this period of worldwide school closure. 

Dr. Prolman is President of The Learning Collaborative based in Great Falls, VA, and Vice President for Training for the Center for Arts in Basic Curriculum.  She is also currently serving on the Board of Trustees for the AAIE (Association for the Advancement of International Education).  

We hope you will take advantage of this exceptional opportunity for some much needed time for our parent community to come together and feel supported. 

Please RSVP here to confirm your place in the webinar and to receive a secure Zoom link or to request a notification to watch the recorded session.

Our Alumni

Dung Anh To Nguyen (Class of 2011) is working at An Phat Holdings, a company that offers bio-degradable, compostable packaging solutions through a brand called AnEco. Recently in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak Dung Anh and the company delivered 3,000 compostable paper cups to sponsor a quarantined living quarter in Truc Bach, Ha Noi. Dung Anh said, “We want to help protect people from the virus by using disposable cup but also protect the environment at the same time. In the future, we are looking to sponsor more quarantined areas.”

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to over 50% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

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.

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’s Distance Learning Lessons Go Global

As COVID-19 continues to impact countries around the world, schools that have been closed as a precautionary measure are reaching out to Hanoi’s leading international school to find out how to implement high-quality distance learning programmes.

The United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) closed its campus to students from the start of February after authorities in Vietnam directed all schools to shut in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

Four weeks on, teachers continue to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme virtually. Utilizing a range of technologies and platforms, teachers have delivered more than 3,000 lessons in a variety of formats to students aged between three and 18 years.

Imaginative puppet shows, indoor sports challenges, interactive games, and screencasts are some of the activities that have replaced classroom teaching. The school has amassed so much original online learning material, there’s a mini-Oscars playlist of the best videos!

Programme creativity attracts attention

UNIS Hanoi’s rapid response to the unexpected circumstances has resulted in requests for support from other schools in Vietnam and farther afield.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, who has worked at UNIS Hanoi for a decade, paid a visit to a local public primary school last week to show their teachers how to conduct distance learning successfully.

We have a longstanding relationship with the Dong Ngac B School. Since the closures, they have found it difficult to manage online teaching and learning,” she said.

They weren’t very confident about using platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts and they didn’t know how to make it effective for their big classroom sizes, so I offered to give them two training sessions.

After one week, they say their confidence in working with technology has grown.

Ngo Thi Bich Hang, principal of the Dong Ngac B School, said she is grateful to UNIS Hanoi, specifically to Huong, for the assistance.

We’ve been collaborating with UNIS Hanoi for many years. Our children learn to swim at the school and learn alongside their students from time to time,” Hang said.

We’ve also joined their teaching conferences, so it was natural for me to call on them for help. Miss Huong’s workshops were very beneficial to us as educators and to our students and we’re looking forward to learning more from UNIS Hanoi soon.

More workshops to follow

The teachers of Dong Ngac B will be invited to join educators from other local schools in Vietnam to learn more about ‘edu-tech’ at the upcoming Vietnam Tech Conference, hosted by UNIS Hanoi.

Scheduled to take place on April 25-26, the conference will include sessions in Vietnamese about distance learning.

The event is part of UNIS Hanoi’s commitment to serving UNESCO’s goals to help grow education capacity in Vietnam.

We value UNIS Hanoi as leaders in this new field of education delivery for the majority of educators in Vietnam and their proactive collaboration with local schools to provide a conduit for best practice,” Michael Croft, UNESCO representative to Vietnam, praised UNIS Hanoi’s efforts.

Their outreach promotes intercultural dialogue so essential to tolerance and respect with our students becoming role models in times of tension.

Helping schools prepare

Beyond Vietnam, schools in countries such as India, Japan, and Austria are also asking UNIS Hanoi for advice just in case the virus forces them to close, too.

This week, UNIS Hanoi’s Elementary School Principals Megan Brazil and Nitasha Chaudhuri shared distance learning best practices with the American School of Bombay, the American International School, Chennai, both in India, the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, and Vienna International School in Austria.

Sharing best practices, especially in extenuating times like these, aligns with who we are as a learning community,” said UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School Jane McGee.

We strive to be an inspirational role model for a better world. That’s why we welcome such interactions with other educators.

UNIS Hanoi is one of only two UN schools in the world. Established more than 30 years ago, the school delivers the full IB programme to a student population of more than 1,100 with over 60 nationalities.

Registration for the Vietnam Tech Conference will open on March 1 and will be free of charge for educators from public schools:

Hand Hygiene Matters – A Powerful Antidote to Illness​

Hand washing is such an important public health measure for reducing the impact of communicable diseases such as influenza, COVID-19, and seasonal flu . 

Students from Discovery through to Grade 5 were given the option to help us create a poster that they can understand and follow the steps of hand washing, while learning how important it is to wash their hands. Watch this space in the next TIN TUC to see the amazing work they are creating.

Prevention of communicable diseases:

  • Maintain good health by eating nutritious food, drink a lot of water, get adequate sleep, and engage in physical exercise regularly.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away in the trash after you use it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Avoid sharing glasses, straws and spoons.
  • Avoid close contact with patients with flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid being in crowded and poorly ventilated places for an extended period of time.

What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu like symptoms have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

  • Hand washing is a powerful antidote to illness​. Wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • ​When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with tissue or turn away from people, and cough into the shoulder or crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash bin after using.​
  • ​Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours (extended to 48hrs during the COVID-19 outbreak) after the fever is gone.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your healthcare provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

This is a great online course that anyone can take on how you can protect yourself from COVID-19.