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.”

About Distance Learning in Middle and High Schools

This week we have received some questions around Distance Learning “basics”.  Please keep them coming! Here are some answers to those that have come in.

Academic classes

During Distance Learning students have been told to follow their daily schedule. Teachers are posting a Lesson Plan via Veracross on each day that their class falls and students are expected to engage in all activities and assigned tasks. 

Should you have any questions related to your child/ren’s academic learning please contact her/his teacher directly. All faculty email is available via the school’s online directory, here is the link.

Synchronous Tutorials

As UNIS continues to provide distance learning for our students, parents are advised to be mindful that faculty will be offering synchronous lessons during regular school hours 8:00 – 15:35 (Vietnam Time).

As families make decisions that may mean students are no longer in the school’s time zone it may not be convenient for your child to join these sessions. They would then be optional only. To ensure continued regular contact, teachers will continue using Office Hours by appointment within reasonable hours outside the school day.

Digital Citizenship and Online Etiquette

Students are expected to abide by the school’s rules for Responsible Digital Citizenship, found on pages 38 and 39 in the MS and HS Handbooks. Mentors and teachers have and will continue to remind and monitor to support students in following these expectations.   

Social emotional wellbeing

Mentors continue to focus on our students’ social and emotional well being. As such, Homebase meetings and check ins every week. Mentors are sending invitations for a video chat to take place for MS on Monday at 8:10am – 8:45am, and for HS on Tuesday at 9:20 am. It is requested that students continue engage in these conversations in a quiet place in school-appropriate attire.

The MS and HS Counseling Team continue to support students during Distance Learning. Counselors are available via email or Google Hangouts by appointment to support students. Counselors continue to be in contact directly with students who have been receiving regularly scheduled individual counseling. Counselors have been sending support resources to students during the distance learning period, including topics such as anxiety, family separation, and self-care.  

Learning Support (LS) students have individual support plans developed by their LS teacher and speak directly with their LS teacher regularly.

Attendance

During Distance Learning attendance is not being formally recorded in Veracross however teachers are monitoring student engagement and following up if a student is not participating or submitting work. 

Student Progress on Veracross Gradebook

Parents are encouraged to view the Veracross Gradebook to see Assignments that have been submitted throughout the year including during Distance Learning. 

Attached please find instructions for accessing all of your child/ren’s information via the Veracross Parent Portal. Any questions about access to the Portal should be directed to Thu Ha Tran, Senior Manager of School Information Systems at this email address: smsis@unishanoi.org

Report cards

The Distance Learning programme is providing robust academic programmes for Grades 6-12 students. Teachers are 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. As previously explained by both Jane McGee and the Board in recent communications, 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 as long as students remain engaged and active in their coursework.

Student Daily Distance Learning Schedules

In High School, Distance Learning schedules help to keep teachers, students, and parents organised.  This schedule follows your student’s on-campus block schedule and is easily visible in Veracross. Please help to make sure that your student is getting the most from our Distance Learning Programme by following their schedule.  If you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to reach out to our teachers directly. Thanks for your support during this unique time.

Student daily “schedules”

In High School

  • Mentors check in with students 2 times per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.  These times provide insight into student’s and their levels of engagement in Distance Learning as well as social and emotional well-being.  
  • Grade Level Teams meet weekly to discuss students of concern, upcoming assignments, and monitor Distance Learning engagement.
  • High School Leaders meet on Mondays to lay out the curricular and pastoral week. Counselors, Curriculum Leaders, Grade Level Leaders, and Administrators are all members of this team.
  • HS Teachers are available for Office Hours.  
  • Synchronous Lessons are scheduled once per week according to student schedules. 
  • An Asynchronous Lesson Plan is posted to Veracross on each day of classes.

Great Ways to Support your MSHS Child with their Distance Learning

Structure their Day: 

  • In the evening  (lessons are posted after 3:00 pm for the following day) or when your child wakes up, check their Veracross calendar with them and make a to-do list. 
  • Set time limits for each class.
  • Plan breaks.
  • Calender their synchronous tutorials for English, Math, I & S, Science, and Foreign Language. 

Check-in with them:

  • If you work, take a break and video call and check on their progress.
  • Spend a few minutes in the evening discussing the next steps for bigger tasks.
  • Ask when their next meeting is with their homebase mentor.

Organize Study Buddies:

  • Get your child to invite a friend over to study together at the kitchen table.
  • Form study a group with regular hours. 
  • Be their study buddy, do some of your own work next to them while they work.

Get Help:

  • Watch teachers’ screencasts from their lesson plans. 
  • If your child is struggling or has a question encourage them to email the teacher or message them on their school Gmail chat.

Wellness:

  • Make sure they have healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
  • Give them opportunities to spend some time outside.
  • Encourage time for exercise.

High School Students benefit from Virtual Classroom Experience

To make sure Grade 12 students remained on track with their learning during the campus closure, teachers hosted multiple ‘synchronous small group tutorials’ this week. Achieved thanks to technology, these small group tutorials offered a virtual classroom experience and was another way for teachers to give personalised teaching while maintaining contact with their students. 

Teachers cultivated virtual authentic learning experiences for other high school students as well.

It’s been a positive thing to see the ownership of learning and responsibility of the students come to life,” said Mr. Aitor (HS Language Acquisition teacher). “Student engagement of the learning activities seems to be high.”  

Teachers like Mr. Rey stayed in constant communication with students, regularly supporting and providing scaffolded instruction through a variety of web-based educational resources such as FlipGrid, Youtube, and Google Hangouts. Further proving that the UNIS Hanoi community can rise up to the challenge of finding new ways to learn during situations that require flexibility.

Online Learning Not New for HS Students!

Online learning is not a new concept for all High School students. At the start of this academic year, as many as 30 high school students have been taking online classes with Global Online academy. 

Course taken include:

  • Gender Studies
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • 9/11 in a Global Context
  • Linear Algebra
  • Medical Problem Solving
  • Arabic Language through Culture II
  • Japanese Language through Culture II

In addition to these, some of our High School students have been taking IB Diploma courses supported by an online learning platform called Pamoja. Each week students gain access to new online learning activities which guide them to engage in a specific part of the syllabus. Students have flexibility in determining how and when to complete these tasks. They also interact with other students online and receive feedback on assessment tasks from their Pamoja teacher. Occasionally students participate in live lessons with their Pamoja teacher and can ask questions in real time.