Hey High School….take a break!

It’s been a challenging stretch of time since Tet…to say the least! 

We could all use some “down time”. 

As such, High School teachers have been instructed to not provide any school work for grades 9 and 10 students over Spring Break.

Because of the rigor involved in the IB Diploma Programme, Grade 11 students may be given optional tasks and these tasks will not count towards any grade. If a Grade 11 student or family wants to take the week off from schoolwork, that is absolutely OK.

Grade 12s deserve a break perhaps more than anyone. Please see the Grade 12 information in today’s TinTuc, as well as the email sent to families earlier today.  

Please recognize that teachers have been asked to stay off of their laptops for the week. We thank the UNIS Hanoi community for all of your continued cooperation! 

Scott Schaffner


University and College Admissions Update for Grades 11 and 12

University and College admissions update for Grade 12 students

Our counselling team continues to communicate with other high schools, universities, and college counsellors from around the world. Universities and colleges are well aware of the COVID-19 situation and the impact on students’ high school grades and their IB diploma course results. 

Thus far, the trend is that universities will be flexible in terms of their admissions practices. Different colleagues in admissions from the UK, US, Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada have stated to UNIS Hanoi counsellors that they will be looking at the student’s overall record since their applications arrived. 

Universities DO NOT want to lose amazing applicants like UNIS Hanoi students! The counseling team is working individually with universities and Grade 12 students to support them. The strong underlying belief is that so long as a Grade 12 student continues to be engaged in their school work, they should have unconditional offers.

Given everything that the Grade 12 students have lost in their senior year, this is one bright spot during this difficult time. 

University and College admissions update regarding Grade 11 students:

Many universities, including selective ones, are stating that they have decided to go “test optional” for the 2021 application year given that students are unable to sit for these standardized tests. They also understand that students’ extracurricular activities will be impacted and will be relying more on references and how the students are coping with this situation.

We remain fully committed to doing all that we can to assist UNIS Hanoi students and families throughout the application and admission processes. As developments continue to unfold, we will be in touch with affected students directly. 

Scott Schaffner

Overview of Grade 12 Programme

Dear Grade 12 students and parents,

UNIS Hanoi’s DP Completion and Pre-University Courses for Grade 12 students

After Spring Break Grade 12s will begin a seven week programme that allows them to complete their DP courses and to collaborate with teachers and counsellors to learn more about life after high school. Additionally, students will be given the chance to sign up for pre-university taster courses tailored to their interests. 

There will be three parts to the programme:

DP Courses Completion

Universities are expecting that graduates from UNIS Hanoi will have completed all course components in their IB courses therefore some subjects will continue with regular classes to fulfill those conditions. These subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Music, Visual Art, Film and Theatre.

University Transition

Designed and facilitated by our School Counsellors each year, Grade 12 students are guided through a comprehensive plan for preparing to transition out of high school and home, to living independently and succeeding at university. This year this will be presented as a distance learning experience which will incorporate support from Grade 12 Mentors in weekly synchronous discussions as well as some fun ‘life skill’ challenges.

 Pre-university courses

Grade 12 students will select up to four courses to extend and enrich their learning in areas of personal passion or in subjects they are curious about. Pre-university courses will provide a level of challenge for Grade 12 students equivalent to first year university courses in terms of study skills and content. Each course will consist of six weekly assignments that students complete online from home, plus a weekly live tutorial. Each course will be led by a G12 teacher, or two collaborating G12 teachers. Courses are not limited by DP subjects or subject guides. 

After Spring Break, Grade 12s will receive further information including synopses of each course and details about how they will be able to sign up for their selected courses. 

Have a great Spring Break!

Scott Schaffner

Distance Learning Offers Insight into Life after High School for Grade 12s

Grade 12 students have been letting their teachers know that the distance learning experience has inadvertently prepared them for life after high school. 

Students such as Emma Héloïse Dufour-Nogueira say that the past two months of learning from home has been a ‘nice simulation for university’. She added, “After we graduate from High School, everything will be left up to us and so this was really insightful for me. This period has given us an opportunity to figure out how we want to study.”

Emma, who joined UNIS Hanoi in Grade 11, is one of 76 students currently in the final year of the IB Diploma programme. With fantastic offers from her top choice universities already under her belt, Emma says she’s more excited than ever to start the next chapter of her life. And it’s all thanks to UNIS Hanoi. She explains, “I got into film because of UNIS Hanoi. When I first came to the School I was going to take Visual Arts, but then I saw there was a film course on offer and two years later, here I am – accepted onto a film production course at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia!”

Emma says her teachers have been fully supportive of her and she’s grown to further appreciate the relationship she has with them. “You can still ask teachers anything and as a result, I feel even more in control” Emma revealed. 

Emma’s mother, Sophie Dufour agreed. She said, “I’m not worried for my daughter anymore. It’s become clear that Emma’s found a method that works for her, which is wonderful. Normally, it’s during the first year of university that a student would expect to struggle and learn how they’re supposed to study at that level. But Emma’s already experienced this and I think that’s amazing. It’s a blessing that we were here in Hanoi, just so she could attend UNIS Hanoi.”

From the HS Senate

Dear UNIS Hanoi High School Community,

One of our goals as the Senate this year has been to increase our transparency and to keep the student body informed of what is happening. This is why we feel it is our obligation as the HS Senate to inform you of recent developments in our HS Prom planning process that have made it impossible for the event to be held at a hotel this year. We prioritize everyone’s health over everything else, and therefore, keeping in line with school and government regulations, we cannot risk holding our HS prom at a hotel amidst the COVID-19 situation. The Senate, in cooperation with the HS Administration, are working diligently to find the best possible solutions to this issue. We will try our best to hold prom on campus and, if all goes according to plan, we will work hard to ensure that the event will be on par with all the previous proms that have been held at the Sheraton and other venues. 

At this point in time, however, we do not have any more details on what will transpire, but we wanted to inform you of this as soon as possible. Additionally, we would like to mention that the end of the school year will look different than it has done in previous years. This is not solely for UNIS Hanoi, but for schools worldwide. With the unpredictability of COVID-19, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what will happen, but do expect there to be change. Still, we hope that you will work with us and the faculty in our attempts to make the end of the year as fun as possible. None of us wish for our current situation to be prolonged, but the Senate understands (and we hope you share the same view) that the health and safety of each member of the UNIS Hanoi community is our utmost priority. It was a difficult decision to make, but it was done in our best interest. Vietnam, despite being so close to the epicentre of the pandemic, has drastically fewer cases than many countries on the opposite side of the world. This is, of course, in part due to schools being closed since Tet break. It has proven to be a decision that has benefited us in the long term and will continue to do so, so please help support our teachers and one another as we try to navigate through the rest of the year.

In addition, the Senate is also working to increase UNIS spirit even during distance learning. We understand that the cancellation of several events (such as APAC and MRISA) have dispirited many of us, and we hope to help our community through various alternative events that can be held online. For example, our Student Representatives are communicating with their grade levels to increase engagement and plan fun online spirit activities. 

As always, the Senate wants to hear your voice and your input. If there is anything that you are struggling with or anything you would like to tell us, we are all ears. We are here to support you. We are your Senate and we will do all that we can to make your lives better. 


The High School Senate

The Importance of Homebase Attendance in High School

It is important to note that End of Year Report Cards will be sent home at the end of this school year in June, just as they always have. Students who fail a class do not earn class credits, and therefore are at risk of not earning a UNIS Hanoi Diploma. This has always been the case at our school, please see pages 23, and 28 in the HS Handbook for further information.

We have been designing Intervention Plans to support any student who seems to be in danger of not passing classes, and we use our Homebase time to assist in this process. Please read the message below that was sent to all HS students on Thursday:

It is extremely important at this point in the Distance Learning timeline that all HS Students attend Homebase. Homebase is NOT optional.  

Homebase serves as two checkpoints in the week which will help determine that all students are engaged as well as to help determine if any additional support needs to be put in place to assist you, in addition to continuing the connections you have all formed with each other and your Mentor throughout the year.  Mentors WANT to see you and hear from you… it really does bring them joy and puts meaning into what it is we are all trying to accomplish.

HS Homebase – Tuesday and Thursday – 9:20 – 9:55

The only students that are exempt from regular scheduled Homebase attendance are students currently located in another timezone which would make attending difficult – in that case – students MUST schedule an individual meeting time with their Mentor.  

We are in the process of designing Intervention Plans for students who have fallen deeply behind in their Distance Learning – these intervention support plans will involve more direct and scheduled meetings with teachers, counsellors and possibly additional support faculty. 

If you are NOT attending Homebase, we can only assume that you are not engaged and that you may need an Intervention Plan.

Mentors are taking attendance in Homebase and this will be monitored more now then in previous weeks.

Our HS Connections programme was designed for our students to be able to connect with each other and with an adult Mentor…  So many of you are so very skilled at digital social connecting… this is your moment to SHINE!! Be present and connect! Mentors enjoy seeing you all at each every opportunity!

Students who have fallen behind significantly in their distance learning will be contacted directly by their counselor to initiate a thorough Intervention Support Plan.

Any questions, please reach out to your counsellor. 

Scott Schaffner
HS Principal

MYP Students Recognised for Exhibiting IB Learner Profile Attributes

More than 30 students across grades 6 -10 have been recognized by their teachers for exhibiting the IB Learner Profile attributes of care, open-mindedness, and risk-taking among others. 

Eversince the Distance Learning programmes began, teachers have been left in awe of students’ resilience and personal development. The award scheme was initiated to give teachers the opportunity to congratulate students who have grown from the Distance Learning experience in ways they might not have expected. 

UNIS Hanoi’s MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper said, “Our teachers aren’t only tuned into how students are meeting learning outcomes and managing work; they are also able to observe how students are growing as independent learners, tackling new experiences and solving problems. These past months have given teachers an opportunity to see students demonstrate the Learner Profile attributes.”

Unable to present the awards in person, the School has been mailing the certificates to the homes of nominated students. 

We hope by posting the certificates to students, we can all feel more connected”, Daniel explained. 

The IB Learner Profiles are:

IB Exams Update

Hello High School community!

Despite the situation going on in the world, our students and teachers keep working hard and moving forward with teaching and learning.

Our counsellors, leadership teams, and IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) Coordinator are all in constant contact with other international schools around the world who are all facing the same challenges that we are. It is a useful way of sharing ideas in an effort to support students through this time.

As of now, the IB exams are still scheduled for May 2020. As you may know, other major exams such as A levels and GCSE in the UK have been cancelled. How this cancellation will impact the university application and admission processes is being discussed.

In the United States, the College Board has cancelled the SAT. Advanced Placement (AP) exams might be given as “take-home” exams.

UNIS Hanoi is fully prepared to hold the IB DP exams as scheduled, and ready to assist all students in their university admissions process should they occur, or not occur. Last May approximately 166,000 students in 144 countries took the IB DP exams. Now that COVID-19 has become a pandemic, the IBO is looking into options  and they will announce their decision on the May 2020 examination no later than 27 March 2020.  

New update from the IBO can be found here: https://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/

If you are relocating (or thinking of relocating) and concerned about possible implications for taking the IB exams, please do contact me: hsprincipal@unishanoi.org.

Scott Schaffner
HS Principal

From the High School Counsellors

Dear UNIS Parents & Community,

We have received notification from the College Board that they have decided to CANCEL both the make-up March 28 SAT and the May SAT. The June SAT – Subject Tests have not been cancelled at this point in time. This decision applies to all schools worldwide. Please contact the College Board directly if you have any questions regarding refunds.

We understand this may come as a major disappointment, as many of you have prepared so diligently over time to sit the SAT in March and/or May. The comfort we can offer at this point in time is the fact that everyone in the world is in the same scenario and it is our understanding that universities around the world will take these extraordinary circumstances into consideration.

We will notify you accordingly once we hear about any future make-up SAT tests dates.

Please reach out to your counsellor if you should have any further questions.


Grade 12 update

  • Grade 12 students, please update your Cialfo with the status of your application
  • Please keep your child’s counsellor updated if you are concerned about their emotional or academic progress.

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 11 update

  • Students are meeting with their counsellors, discussing their Uniquest research project and sharing thoughts about degree choices, countries of study, and universities that they may apply to next year.
  • Please keep your child’s counsellor updated if you are concerned about their emotional or academic progress.

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 10 update

Please keep your child’s counsellor updated if you are concerned about their emotional or academic progress.

Counsellors: Franko Cifizzari & Brenda Manfredi

Grade 9 update

Please keep your child’s counsellor updated if you are concerned about their emotional or academic progress.

Counsellor: Anwer Kamal


The ACT’s/SAT’s should only be taken by Grade 11 & 12 UNIS Hanoi students. Please see below for more information including testing dates for 2019-2020.

PSAT 2020 date: October 28, 2020 at UNIS Hanoi – NEW!

SAT – Important:

College Board has taken extra security measures in test taker fraud. If a student receives an email from the College Board to complete a survey or questionnaire, please do NOT ignore the email. It must be completed. Failure to do the survey would result in the student being removed from the test center roster and forbidden to take the exam that they have registered for.

Please note that this is a random selection process, and students do not need to panic if they do not get an email. We would like to remind students to check their junk inbox in case the College Board emails get delivered there by accident. Any questions, please see your counsellor!

International testing dates for the SAT are in October, December, March, and May. SAT Subject Tests will be available in October, November, December, May, and June. Students cannot sit the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same day. If you have any questions, please see your counsellor.

SAT test dates for 2019-2020 are:

SAT Test Dates:                Registration Deadline Date


SAT Subject Test Dates:      Registration Deadline Date

June 6, 2020                        N/A


International SAT Test Date

Registration Deadline

SAT Score Release Date

August 29, 2020

July 29, 2020

September 7-14, 2020

October 3, 2020

August 3, 2020

October 11-18, 2020

December 5, 2020

November 5, 2020

December 13-20, 2020

** March 13, 2021

February 13, 2021

March 21-28, 2021

May 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

May 16-23, 2021

** No SAT SUBJECT TEST on this date

The College Board website is www.collegeboard.org

ACT Test dates 2019-2020 are:

ACT Test Date:                 Registration Deadline Date

April 4, 2020                       February 28, 2020

June 13, 2020                      May 8, 2020

2020-2021 ACT Test Dates

Projected dates and deadlines for the 2020-21 ACT testing year. 

Test Date

Registration Deadline

Sept 12, 2020

Aug 7, 2020

Oct 24, 2020

Sept 20, 2020

Dec 12, 2020

Nov 6, 2020

Feb 6, 2021

Jan 8, 2021

Apr 10, 2021

Mar 5, 2021

June 12, 2021

May 7, 2021

July 17, 2021

June 11, 2021

*The first date is when multiple-choice scores come out, and the second date is when complete scores become available

Upcoming University Visits: No visits

HS Students Sign Up for Virtual College Fairs

High School students were given a chance to sign up for CIALFO’s online university fairs this week. In rapid response to the closure of school campuses, CIALFO, a new college database service, gave students the novel opportunity to still connect with colleges around the globe – online. 

College Fairs took place from today, with subsequent opportunities to learn more from other universities across the globe on March 23 and 24. Parents are welcome to sign up too. 

High School Counsellor, Brenda Manfredi said it was good that students, particularly in Grade 11 still had an opportunity to join fairs. She added, “It is important and very helpful for our HS students to continue to research their post-high school options. These online university fairs serve as alternative, yet effective ways for our students to connect to universities around the globe and gather as much information as possible for them to make informed choices regarding where they would like to apply to universities.