The High School Veracross Gradebook is now Open!!!

Dear High School Parents,

The High School at UNIS Hanoi values effective feedback and its impact on student growth toward learning goals. This school year, teachers have been documenting feedback for assignments and assessments on Veracross to give you the opportunity to observe your child’s progress. When you look at the Veracross Gradebook, please keep in mind that scores (or “grades”) are one indicator of learning, but teacher feedback and student self-assessment can be much richer sources of information. We encourage you to sit with you daughter and/or son to review the evidence of learning recorded in the Veracross Gradebook to date.

All High School students and parents now have access to the Veracross Gradebook. We will continue to keep this Gradebook open throughout the year so parents and students can monitor learning progress. Last year teacher-leaders, students, and parents collaboratively created a “why” statement about the Veracross Gradebook:

“The Veracross Gradebook fosters student learning by making the learning process more transparent and meaningful. Teacher use of the Veracross Gradebook aims to promote communication amongst all stakeholders by recording evidence of student learning. Growth-oriented feedback promotes student reflection of the learning process and the refocusing of learning goals.”

Please read the instructions on how to access your daughter and/or son’s evidence of learning to date here. You can also click on the link provided on the Parent Portal:

Should you have questions, please direct them as follows:

  • Questions about the academic content in a class should be directed to teachers. Please note that Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for November 22 and 23.
  • Questions about accessing Veracross or technical issues should be directed to our Head of Technology, Ed Gilbreath: techdirector@unishanoi.org.
  • Any other questions about Veracross Gradebook should be sent to the HS office: hssecretary@unishanoi.org.

We appreciate your interest in your daughter and/or son’s educational growth. Have a great weekend!

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal

MYP i-Block Exploration Exhibition

Quench your imagination at the Quarter 1 MYP I-Block Exploration Exhibition. MSHS Exploratory Ceramics classes have explored working with clay, hand-building and glazing. Meanwhile, Grades 7 and 8 Exploratory Digital Photography have explored composition and digital editing using Adobe Photoshop. The MS Exploratory Animate! inquired into visually communicating a story through stop motion animation techniques.

Grade 11 DP Art Field Trip

Grade 11 DP Art students visited the Museum of Ethnology last Friday. This was an experience to have a deeper look at various Vietnamese cultural artifacts as well as to practice observational drawing skills. Students were impressed with the new addition to the museum that focuses on the arts of South East Asia.

Gender Equality Workshop by UN Woman

Beyond campus gates, our students and community members benefit from – and are lucky to enjoy – the sites and experiences that Hanoi suburbs have to offer. For the most part, our young people benefit from a harassment-free existence. From time to time we hear that students experience things that threaten their safety and peace of mind. Recently we heard that some female UNIS Hanoi students suffered unwanted and uncalled for attention while returning home after being out in Tay Ho. Like any city in the world, it’s important that we support our young people to know how to respond should they be confronted and feel threatened.

Gender Equality Workshop

This Saturday, because of the efforts of Grade 11 student Sian Rusinow, a workshop facilitated by UN Women on Gender Equality will be hosted at UNIS Hanoi. One of the topics is gender-based violence and the experiences that are common, e.g. harassment and stalking; we hope our students will consider attending.

Time: 9:00 – 16.00 snacks provided
Location: B8b (new building, level 2)
Please email Sian Rusinow to RSVP or ask questions: srusinow@unishanoi.org

Glenda Baker
HS Deputy Principal

Parent Series: Understanding the Middle Years Programme

All grade 6 – 10 parents are invited to attend the Middle Years Programme (MYP) parent session- part 2 focusing on ‘Applying the MYP’. The session will begin at 8.30 in the Community Room (B7). Please register here
Applying the MYP is a hands-on workshop where parents will be engaged in activities to acquire a deeper understanding of how the MYP works in practice!
  1. How do students engage with assessment rubrics?
  2. Example of developing conceptual understanding.
  3. The explicit teaching of ATL skills
  4. Spend a short time in 2 different MYP classrooms then debrief what we see.

If you were unable to attend the part 1 session – ‘What is the MYP’ – which gives you basic understanding of the MYP concepts, please make sure to register for the next one coming up on January 22. The part 2 – Appyling the MYP will also be repeated on January 29.

What is the MYP (Jan 22) Is a lecture based talk designed to give you basic understanding of the MYP concepts and language surround our curriculum.

  1. What is conceptual learning / understanding?
  2. What is the purpose of the statement of inquiry and inquiry questions?
  3. What does learning in context mean? – (global contexts)
  4. Assessment in the MYP – How does criterion based assessment work?
  5. formative and summative assessment
  6. Approaches to Learning Skills (ATLs)
 Questions? Contact MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper: mypcoordinator@unishanoi.org

Hanoi Science Debate at UNIS Hanoi

The annual Hanoi Science Debate is happening this weekend on Saturday October 27. For the fourth year hosting the event, UNIS Hanoi is looking forward to having 4 international high schools coming to participate in a full day of science.

UNIS Hanoi Science Debate Team

The morning will start off with a Jeopardy Quiz based on topics in physics, biology, and chemistry. Moving on from this fun, the afternoon will consist of heated debates on the following topics:

  • Is DNA Microarray reliable or unreliable for use within society?
  • Which scientific solutions to urban mining is the most effective? Chemical/Physical solutions (i.e. hydrometallurgy, thermal treatments) or biological solutions (i.e. biomining, degrading microorganisms) are most effective?
  • Is Carl Sagan’s Solar Sail Spacecraft applicable in real life?

The primary focus of these debate topics is on efficiency, price, implementation, and the feasibility of solutions. We hope to end of the event with a final debate where two teams from any school battle it out on an unknown topic. If you wish to watch the finals, come join us at 16.00 in the theatre.

Congratulations in advance to all the debaters who have worked hard thus far in preparation for the event. Good luck tomorrow!

High School Welcomes Slam Poet – Luka Lesson

The UNIS Hanoi HS welcomes Austrialian Slam Poet, Luka Lesson. Luka is a celebrated slam poet, who has performed around the world. Luka has also published volumes of poetry. Luka will be working with our HS students helping them to craft their own poetry and find their voice to deliver it.

(Photo credit: www.lukalesson.com.au)

On Monday, October 22, Luka will introduce himself to the UNIS Hanoi community and perform a collection of his poems at 12.50 in the Theatre, Centre for the Arts. Parents are welcome to attend. 

Please visit Luka’s website: http://www.lukalesson.com.au/ or contact  Mr. Griffin Loynes at gloynes@unishanoi.org  for more information.

Understanding the Middle Years Programmes Curriculum – Parent Info Sessions

All grade 6 – 10 parents are invited to attend this 2-part parent series focusing on teaching parents about the Middle Years Programme. Please register here
What is the MYP (Oct 23 / Jan 22) Is a lecture based talk designed to give you basic understanding of the MYP concepts and language surround our curriculum.
  1. What is conceptual learning / understanding?
  2. What is the purpose of the statement of inquiry and inquiry questions?
  3. What does learning in context mean? – (global contexts)
  4. Assessment in the MYP – How does criterion based assessment work?
  5. formative and summative assessment
  6. Approaches to Learning Skills (ATLs)
Applying the MYP (Nov 6 / Jan 29)  is a hands-on workshop where parents will be engaged in activities to acquire a deeper understanding of how the MYP works in practice!
  1. How do students engage with assessment rubrics?
  2. Example of developing conceptual understanding.
  3. The explicit teaching of ATL skills
  4. Spend a short time in 2 different MYP classrooms then debrief what we see.
These sessions are created to build on each other and will also be repeated in semester 2 if you are unable to make these events (Jan 22 and Jan 29).
Questions? Contact MYP Coordinator, Daniel Cooper: mypcoordinator@unishanoi.org

Veracross Gradebook – An Online Reporting System

One of the High School’s goals this year is to implement an on-line reporting system. To realize this goal, we will be using our school information system, Veracross, and its Gradebook product. Instead of sending home a Quarter One Report Card, we will “open” the Gradebook to all parents and students during the first week of November.

Our journey towards opening the Gradebook has been ongoing for over a year now. We have talked with other schools who use Veracross and Gradebook in an effort to see at what worked for them, and what did not. We also talked with Veracross about the programme’s strengths and weaknesses. We then convened a team of teachers to examine our grading practices at UNIS Hanoi and to look at ways for us to utilize Gradebook in a way that will both improve school-home communication, as well as teaching and learning. We even had some students and parents look at our “why” statement, which we hope will resonate with you:

The Veracross Gradebook fosters student learning by making the learning process more transparent and meaningful. Teacher use of the Veracross Gradebook aims to promote communication amongst all stakeholders by recording evidence of student learning. Growth-oriented teacher feedback promotes student reflection of the learning process and the refocusing of learning goals.

Upon return from Autumn Break, the High School faculty will be working with educational consultant Michelle Kuhns, about how we record evidence of student learning, and how we give meaningful feedback to students.

Michelle is an educational consultant working with schools interested in transformative change in both student and professional learning. She began her teaching career in Washington state before moving overseas and teaching in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Poland and the United Arab Emirates. She has been an international educator for over twenty years and led curriculum and professional development in overseas schools for ten of those years, serving most recently as the Director of Learning at the American School of Dubai. She is currently a leadership coach to a number of school leaders as they explore leadership dilemmas and strategically plan and achieve their professional and school goals.

As a curriculum director, she has been deeply involved in school-based curriculum design across all disciplines. She has led schools through the transition to standards-based assessment, grading, and reporting and has worked within systems to establish practices that increase learner agency. Michelle loves working with teachers in designing learning systems that engage and empower students to inquire, think deeply, and experience joy in their learning.

Michelle delights in exploring the intimate link between student and teacher learning and in helping schools design impactful, multi-dimensional, school-embedded, professional learning systems. She has been involved in developing instructional  coaching systems in schools since 2009 and continues to work with schools in establishing coaching programmes.

Michelle has served as a member of regional curriculum, assessment and professional development committees in Europe (ECIS) and the Middle East (NESA), and teaches assessment literacy for educators at the graduate level. (taken from https://balancedpl.com/bio1/)

UNIS Hanoi is thrilled to have Michelle Kuhns work with our faculty during the week of October 15!

Scott Schaffner
High School Principal