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Upper School Newsletter January 8, 2024



Jan 9              First Day of Second Semester                            Feb 9-18        Spring Festival/Chinese New Year                      Feb 22           DP Fair (4:30-6)                                                  Mar 11           Professional Inservice (no school)                      Mar 19           Student Led Conference                                  Apr 3-5          Tomb Sweeping/Spring Break (no school)        Apr 26           Professional Inservice (no school)                      Apr 26-27      ACAMIS Leadership Conference


Mr. Fursey Gotuaco

Upper School Principal


"CHARACTER IS THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT A GOOD RESOLUTION LONG AFTER THE EXCITEMENT OF THE MOMENT HAS PASSED."                                                                                                  Cavett Robert



Happy New Year!

It is at this time of year that we traditionally come up with New Year's resolutions.  An opportunity to change what did not go so well in the past.  It is a tradition with practices in both the eastern and western cultures.  

From a religious standpoint, the Babylonians would celebrate the equinox with promises to the gods.  In many other religions we find examples where people would reflect on their wrong doings and make efforts to atone.

But one thought might be to consider what you did well this past year and to be resolved to take it to the next level.  Doubledown.  This means that students can take a moment to reflect not just on what they did not do well but to also consider what they did well.  The focus on our 'weakness' might doom us to a broken promise and failed resolve.  But, if we can phrase our efforts to improve through a lens of what we do well, our strengths, we might stand a better chance to improving our actions and our character.

It is always a good time to reflect on our path and make the necessary choices.  And now, we have our wonderful pagoda outside the ECE where we can all take a moment to consider our thoughts and actions.  Its also a good place to consider where we may have lost a sweater or maybe a water bottle... Then check our lost and found... :) :) :)

As we greeted new students to our school today, I was happily greeted by some familiar faces who were returning to HIS.  They had left to try a new path but their journey brought them back to HIS.  How wonderful to see them again.  To all our past students, present students, and future students we say, "WELCOME HOME"!.



Please see attached the QR code to the new Dragon Shop catalogue. This will take you to a page that allows you to browse it as a digital magazine so it's nice and interactive :) 


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                                      HIS                                          COLLEGE COUNSELING INFORMATION    

Subject: In-Depth Understanding of PSAT Scores

Dear Parents,

I am thrilled by your active engagement in understanding the PSAT scores. This score report is a valuable tool in recognizing your child’s academic strengths and areas for growth. We are committed to providing comprehensive support for your child's educational journey, and I'd like to highlight a few additional aspects:

Detailed Score Analysis: The document you received is a summary report. For a detailed insights report, please register a the official College Board website using your school email:

Score Range: This range shows how much your scores would likely vary if you took a different administration of the test under identical conditions. It predicts score fluctuations in different test scenarios, helping to understand consistency in performance.

Percentile Ranking: This comparison with peers over the last three years gives a clear position of where your child stands academically on a global scale. A 93rd percentile, for example, means you are in the top 7% globally.

Section Scores: The exam consists of Reading and Writing, and Math sections. The report includes a chart showing performance in specific areas such as:

Reading and Writing: Information and Ideas, Craft and Structure, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions.

Math: Algebra, Advanced Math, Problem-Solving and Data Analysis, Geometry, Trigonometry.

Progress Bars: The report includes progress bars indicating how well students meet standards in each of these areas. More black in the bar represents stronger proficiency.

We understand the importance of these assessments in shaping your child's academic and career path. As such, we are here to guide and support them through this process. For additional resources on understanding the score report, I encourage you to visit the websites:

Our doors are always open for any queries or concerns you may have. Together, we can ensure the best possible educational outcomes for your child.

Warmest regards,

Carrie Sun

From: Carrie Sun

College Counseling Staff

Dear Parents,

I hope this email finds you well. Recently, we've received some questions regarding summer schools, and the university counseling team would like to provide some clarifications on this topic.

Firstly, it's essential to understand that attending a summer school is not a compulsory element of your child's educational journey, nor is it a guaranteed way to enhance their college applications. In other words, it is not going to be as influential as you may think (or as some companies running programs may lead you to believe). The key is to focus on the intention behind attending a summer school and what your child aims to gain from the experience. How can they leverage what they have learnt from the experience and how can it help them moving forward is really what most universities are looking at from a summer experience.

Summer schools can be broadly categorized based on location and type:

By Location:

· Popular application countries like the USA, UK, and Canada offer various programs.

· European countries have recently initiated several summer school projects.

By Type:

· University-organized: These are hosted on university campuses, taught by university staff, with students usually staying in university accommodations. It's crucial to verify if the program is directly organized by the university.

· Institution-organized: These are collaborations between organizations and universities, often inviting university professors to teach. They are generally more accessible, with less stringent application requirements. A good way to gauge the quality of these programs is by their application criteria; higher requirements often indicate a more prestigious program. Also for many of these programs the company running the summer camp is actually renting the space from the university-there is no affiliation.

Common Objectives for Attending Summer Schools:

· Focused Academic Interest: For students with a clear interest in a specific field, such as computer engineering or creative writing, choosing a relevant program is beneficial. Attending a summer program can let a student know that this subject is really what they want to pursue in university.

· University Life Experience: General programs focusing on leadership or communication skills can provide a taste of university life and can really let a student know what university life will be like in general and at that specific campus in particular.

· Arts-oriented Programs: These are ideal for experiencing university-level arts education and understanding contemporary artistic trends.

It's generally not recommended for younger students (middle school students) to apply due to age restrictions and safety concerns. However there are online programs that are targeted to middle -school students.

Common Application Materials:

· High School Transcripts

· Language Proficiency Scores (TOEFL, IELTS)

· Recommendation Letters from Counselors or High School Teachers

Remember, the decision to attend a summer school should be a thoughtful one, considering what the student hopes to gain from the experience.

Here are some university summer school programs for your reference. If you have any questions about summer schools, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The following are extremely competitive US summer programs:

· Competitive US Programs: Texas Tech University Clark Scholars Research Science Institute Stony Brook University Garcia Summer Program University of Florida Student Science Training Program SPARC Camp Yale Young Scholars Program

· Other University-Sponsored Programs:

United States: Embry-Riddle Summer Camps (Ages 7+) RPI Summer Programs (Grades 8-11) Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies (All Grades) New York Film Academy Youth Admissions (Ages 14-17)

United Kingdom: Imperial Global Summer School (16-17 Year Olds)

Canada: University of Toronto International Programs (15-18 Year Olds) University of Waterloo Engineering Science Quest (Grades 2-9)

Hong Kong: HKUST Summer School (Grade 10/11)

Singapore: NUS Summer Camp 2024 (Grades 8-12)

European Program: EHL Hospitality Business Innovation


TEST DATE                       REGISTRATION

 MAY 4                                   APRIL 19

 JUNE 1                                   MAY 17




We encourage students to contact one of the university counselors  with any questions about university entrance requirements. 

                  Mr. Mark Donagher

                          Ms. Iris Zhang

                          Ms. Carrie Sun

                     Dr. Ryan Beddows

                      Dr. Monica Prieto

Last Friday Market of the semester. This Friday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm 

Come for a pleasant afternoon by the Christmas Tree to end the school week, and head out for a relaxing and fun holiday with a happy stomach!





Welcome Back! The Swim Team practice resumes on Tuesday, January 9, 2023 (Afternoon sessions only from January 9 – 12). The swimming schedule will remain the same. There will be NO additional registration needed for returning swimmers. Our swim coaches will conduct a swim placement assessment during swim practice upon our return from the break. 

The Swim Placement Assessment for new swimmers will be held on January 9 - 11 at the "The Wave" Swimming Pool from 3:15 PM - 4:00 PM. Please register through the link below. 


NOTE: There will be NO late buses from January 9 - 12. If you are attending the swim team practice or swim placement assessment, please plan accordingly and arrange for transportation home. Pickup student at the Main Gate. 

Any further enquiries should be directed to 


January 20 & 21 – SSL Round 3 (NIS) 

February 24 – SSL Round 4 (SASPX & SCISHQ PD) 

March 15 & 16 – ACAMIS Junior Swimming Championships (XLIS) 

March 30 (TBC) – HISAC Round 3 (WCIS) 

April 13 & 14 – SSL Championships 

Quick Links: 

Swim Team Registration and Handbook 

2023-2024 Swim Meet Schedule 

Aquatics Calendar 

HIS Swim Records 

Swim Meet Results 

International Baccalaureate  Diploma Programme


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Student Leadership is a priority here at HIS. 

Each week, we spotlight a student leader and give them an opportunity to tell you about their clubs, sports, and activities.  


Wendy Zhu

Founder of TEA CLUB

I am Wendy from 10th grade, and my family is a generation tea maker. I have also received training as a tea maker and learned more about tea culture. I started CCA on tea culture with the aim of sharing this traditional intangible cultural heritage with the school community.

On my CCA, I led my classmates to learn about the classification of tea, different methods of brewing tea, and how to taste different kinds of tea. What’s more, recently our CCA also went to Hangzhou to conduct on-site inspections and learning at the Tea Expo. Among them, we had exchanges and communication with multiple tea experts and even tasted some tea varieties that were not seen in daily life, we have really gained a lot.

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Middle School Uniform Guidelines 6-8

Middle Schoolers should wear tan shorts, trousers, or skirts and a navy blue polo shirt (short or long sleeved) with the HIS book logo. A navy fleece or cardigan sweater with the HIS logo or other approved outerwear such as the HIS hoodie sweatshirt can be worn in the cooler weather. All students must wear laced shoes.

High School Uniform Guidelines 9-12

High Schoolers should wear tan shorts or trousers, or plaid skirts (girls only) and a light blue Oxford cloth button down short or long sleeved short with the HIS book logo. A navy fleece or cardigan sweater with the HIS logo or other approved outerwear such as the HIS hoodie sweatshirt can be worn in the cooler weather. All students must wear laced shoes.

Students will be asked to remove outerwear (coats, hoodies, sweatshirts, etc) in lessons unless they carry the HIS logos. Students who are cold will be invited to go to the Dragon Shop to purchase acceptable HIS items. 

Families can purchase items at the Dragon Shop open 

Mondays to Fridays from 

8:05am - 2:45pm and 3:15pm - 4:00pm

For more information, please contact the Dragon Shop:


See the updated lunch menu weekly and monthly as posted on the school website. 

Lunch Menu

HIS Mission Statement

We provide international learners with opportunities to pursue academic and personal excellence within a caring community.

Hangzhou International School
2190 Xiangbin Road, Bin Jiang District, Hangzhou 310052
Phone: +86 571 8669 0045
Email: Website: