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Upper School Newsletter November 21, 2022









November 23, 24 Interviewing Workshop - 3:30-4:30

November 25 Professional Inservice

                  - (no school)

November 26    Christmas Tree Lighting

                - at Four Seasons Hotel

November 29        Career Talk

December 1   Coffee Talk - 10:30am

December 2   Christmas Tree Lighting

             - at Hotel Intercontinental

December 2-3      Lower School Production           - Seussical

December 4          Winter Fair

December 16        US Winter Arts Night

December 22        Winter Chill Out (STUCO)

December 23        End of Semester 1

January 30            Start of Semester 2



Mr. Fursey Gotuaco

Upper School Principal



This Friday is a day of professional learning for teachers, a day off for the students, and a day of Thanksgiving for many.

Though it is often seen as an American holiday, the notion of a day of Thanksgiving is celebrated by many cultures around the world, in their own season, in their own way.  What a great moment of mindfulness it is to take stock of everything that we have in our lives.  Author Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness, writes, "Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation.  It is savoring; it is not taking thing for granted; it is present-oriented".  What a great reminder to consider what we have rather than what we covet.

As I worked with some seniors last week on their college interviews, it was clear how much they have to offer the world.  But did they see themselves in the same way?  The process of answering questions for an interview or writing college entrance essays gives us an opportunity to look in the mirror.  But what do we see?  Do we see our faces?  Do we see our hearts?  Or do we see what we do not have?  Can we put on a pair of special glasses through which lenses we see the talents that we have to offer the world?

Each child on this campus has gifts within them that we must discover, refine, and shine.  As teachers write hundreds of letters of recommendation for our students.  We have that opportunity to identify what a kid does well and brag about them to the world. Whether it is to help Mandy get into Hong Kong University or to help Andy get into MIT, or to simply help a transferring 6th grader earn entry to their next school, we see what potential greatness they might not see in themselves.  This week, we will continue our endeavors to help these amazing kids get into great schools around the world!  

As for myself,

I am THANKFUL to work with great students. 

I am THANKFUL to work with dedicated teachers. 

I am THANKFUL to be surrounded by smiles all day long. 

I am THANKFUL for the roof, the food, and the clothing. 

I am THANKFUL for the opportunity to be the best version of myself. 

I am THANKFUL for the days, the nights, and the magical twilight in between.

I am THANKFUL for the chance to touch lives and make a positive change.

I am THANKFUL for family, friends, and yes, even foes, for each and everyone one of those groups challenges me to be a better person. 




P.S.: All parents are invited to our Coffee Morning on December 1st at 10:30am to hear about our Spring Timetable.  More to come.  See you then!



HIS is doing great things and being noticed!!!  Click on the button below or scan the QR code to see what they're saying about your HIS Dragons!

Article #1

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Leading International Schools in China

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We are thrilled to once again have HIS nominated and endorsed as one of the Leading International Schools in China by the Educational Insight Team of Newsweek Magazine.  Over the years, HIS has received numerous commendations for its outstanding programs and quality of instruction, especially for its IB Programmes, and we are so pleased to have the entire school recognized for its leading mission, facilities and commitment to international education.  



Jeffry R. Stubbs

Making HIS a benchmark for international schools


HIS Dragon Runners and Hikers, join us this Saturday, November 26 to the

“HIS Turkey Trot”.

We’ll run, or hike 5km on a trail from the Lianhua Old Temple to the HIS Campus.

We will meet at the HIS Campus at 8:30am, and together (transportation provided) we will depart to the Lianhua Old Temple to start our journey.

Our HIS Cross-Country team will join us to conclude their training season.

We will have different groups leading, so everyone can find their own pace.

If hiking slowly, the approximately time that it takes (2hrs.)


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Congratulations HIS Dragons Swimmers! 

On 20 Nov, 35 swimmers of the HIS Gold Swim Team competed at the Hangzhou International Youth Swimming Championships 2022, and brought back home 79 medals, 30 of those where 1st place in the individual championships, 18 certificates, and 1500USD as an award! #GoHISDragons!

You can look at the photos in the link below:


to the winners of the

GIN Club Greeting Card Competition!

All winners will receive their free pack of cards from GIN club, and can pick them up next week at Ms. Andrea’s office.

Thank you to all the participants. Please, collect your drawings, plus a chocolate, with Ms. Andrea. The winning submissions have been printed on greeting cards and will be sold at the different events at HIS. All proceeds help fund GIN club projects and charity experiences.

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HIS Tree Lighting Choir and Strings Ensemble Performances

It's that time of year again!  The HIS Tree Lighting Choir and Strings Ensemble will be performing to celebrate the official lighting of their Christmas tree at the Four Seasons and Intercontinental Hotels.  Here are the dates for these evening events:

Four Seasons - Saturday, November 26. This is a traditional Gala Charity Event to fundraise the Carnation School for Children with Special Learning Disabilities, and our HIS Christmas Choir and Orchestra is really proud to participate to give back to the community. Tickets must be purchased in advance by scanning the QR code in the poster, and include a free flow of the drinks and food (Limited Tickets for the event) 

InterContinental – Friday, December 02 (Free – no ticket needed)

GIN Club –Advent Calendar delivery orders

If you ordered an Advent Calendar,

this will be distributed by November 28th to your child, but if you wish to collect the calendar yourself, please send an email to

Ms. Andrea:

Thank you for supporting the HIS GIN Club Projects in the community while giving a special gift during the festive period!

Individual Studio Photos are available to see and order! 

Individual Studio Photos are available to see and order! Following Dave’s Studio recent visit to take school photographs, you are able to see the photos and if you wish, order online directly with them by scanning the QR Code below. If you have questions, you can contact them by email: or by scanning their WeChat contact below:

Instructions in the Ordering Guidelines Poster below

DragonNews Fall 2022 issue is out online!

Click the link:

Printed copies will be distributed to the students next week. We hope you enjoy this issue!


Hello students and parents! 

HIS is proud of our strong tradition of college counseling.  We are committed to not only giving our students the best education possible while here with us in Hangzhou but we also work to insure that they find the right fit university for life after HIS.  These decisions are not always easy. 

At HIS, we help each student find the exact right fit for their personality and their choice of study.  This year, we have decided to help our students do 'a little research'... 

To this end, we have decided to spotlight excellent schools from around the world that may not have heard of before.  Please take a moment to see if any of these schools might pique your interest.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our any of our College Counselors.

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

                          Ms. Iris Zhang

                  Mr. Fursey Gotuaco

                        Dr. Aaron Ayers

                      Dr. Monica Prieto

                     Dr. Ryan Beddows


Middle School Ultimate Frisbee  

On Tuesday 12th November our Middle School Ultimate Frisbee teams participated in a friendly game with Huili School Hangzhou. This was the culminating game for our Middle School team and gave them a chance bring together the skills they had practiced during the season with Coaches Mr. Greg Mazzeo, Mr. Liam O’Shea and Mr. Patrick Wells 

A large contingent of 20+ students was eager to get on the field and play and although they found the opposition a bit bigger and more athletic, our young HIS Dragons continued to play a spirited game for the full 40 minutes. Regular rotations of 7 players kept everyone as warm and active as possible on a chilly night under the floodlights of Dragon Field. We thank the parent cheer squad who came and supported our team. Varsity Frisbee season will begin in the spring and no doubt some of the stand-out players from this middle school team are likely to get an invitation to join the Varsity season. 

Varsity Basketball Season  

The boys and girls teams get an early season hit-out this Thursday in the Dragon’s Lair with friendly games with Chinese International School Hangzhou (CIS). Parents and spectators are welcome. Games tip-off at 5pm and will be played simultaneously across both gymnasia, (Boys in Upper Gym, Girls in Lower Gym). The Boys then follow this up with their HISAC tournament on Saturday.  

HISAC Cross-Country Championships - Open Invitation 

On Saturday 3rd December we will host a Cross-Country event in some parklands adjacent to our HIS Campus. Student who would like to participate are invited to register with Mr. Nogueira this week in person or through email – . Distances are 3.2km for U14 and 4.8km for U19. 



HIS vs Chinese International School @ HIS Upper and Lower Gymnasia 

Thursday 24th November - 5pm tip-off  


Hosted by Kings College Hangzhou 

Saturday 26th November 


Hosted by Nanjing International School 

Saturday 3rd December 


Hosted by Hangzhou International School 

Saturday 3rd December 


Congratulations to all 123 Golden Dragon swimmers who participated in the Shanghai Swim League Round 2 Swim Meet at The Wave. It was a great and rewarding day for all, with a lot of great swims and many achieving a new personal best. The meet would not have been possible without all the parents, faculty, staff, coaches, and student-athletes, who volunteered (endured the warm pool deck temperature!) Thank you. 

The first swim meet using a full six lanes with the new timing system was a success, and we are looking forward to the 2022 Hangzhou International Youth Swimming Open Championship this Sunday, November 20, 2022.  

SSL Round 2 Swim Meet Photos 

SSL Round 1 Certificates 

Printed certificates are available at the Aquatics office.  

SSL Round 1 Certificates - Age-Group 

SSL Round 1 Certificates - Individual and Relay 

2022 Hangzhou International Youth Swimming Open Championship 

Date: Sunday, 20th November 2022 

Location: No. 181, North Huancheng Road, Hangzhou Swimming Pool 

Participants: By Invitation 

Cost: Registration fee and Bus cost paid by HIS 

Reminder: Parents are not permitted to attend this event as spectators, but a Livestream will be available to watch online. Invited swimmers can make their own transport arrangements or travel on the bus provided by HIS. If you are making your own transport arrangements to/from the location, please notify the coaches so we can make appropriate bus bookings.  

Upcoming Events: 

Nov. 20 – 6th Hangzhou International Youth Swimming Open Championships 2022 

Nov. 26 – Dulwich College Suzhou Invitational Swim Meet (TBC) 

Dec. 3 – HISAC Round 1 Postponed Meet 

Dec. 10-11 – 2022 Swim Cloud Junior International Swimming Championships  

Dec. 17 – Santa Splash Swim Meet 

Email for inquiries, and visit the Aquatics Swim Meet Calendar webpage for updated events. 

Fantastic Round #2 of the Shanghai Swim League at The Wave!

A good opportunity for our Dragon Swim Squad that ended with many smiles, personal best times, and a good experience. Thank you, coaches, swimmers, parents, and volunteers!

You can look at the photos by scanning the QR code below:

International Baccalaureate 

Diploma Programme


Terry Strombeck

TOK/DP History Teacher

As the football-soccer World Cup in Qatar begins, there are friendly and for-profit prediction games about which country will win the tournament.  Hours of television programs have been spent building ‘evidence-based cases’ predicting which teams are the most likely to win. In the past week many teachers and students have also made friendly predictions on who will win. In general, it is fair to say that we are fascinated with predicting the future. In fact, we all often want to know the future. 

Our Grade 12 students want to know what scores they will receive in May and if the university of choice will accept them as students. Adults may want to know their professional and personal futures.  In TOK, students explore how each of their subjects tries to predict the future.  Some subjects do this more obviously than others. For example, economic data and interpretation is used to predict inflation and unemployment rates.  Mathematics helps predict how much food there will be.  Through TOK reflection, students in all grades can see that one of the purposes or values of studying a subject is not just to understand what and why something happened but also to see how various subjects can help us ‘know’ what may happen in the future.

However, a question about predicting the future comes up:  'can we know the future with certainty?’  In TOK, ‘knowing’ implies that ‘we have proof’ so can we have actually 'know’ with certainty before an event happens? Some subjects like to think they can get close to ‘knowing the future with certainty.'  Can you guess which subjects these might be?


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Parents, Just Listen.

The most simple piece of advice I can give to parents of teenagers is to listen. Listening well isn’t as easy as it sounds especially when they are sharing something emotionally painful. It is called active listening and it can be really effective. It builds better connections within the family and is also allows the children to feel like their feelings and experiences are important and acknowledged.

                Listen for meaning, not to respond. When we listen to someone and actively try and understand their experiences it can really transform the conversation. Often people are listening but also thinking about how they are going to respond. Focus on what they are saying and what they are experiencing.

                Don’t slip into problem-solving mode. Often when a teenager is opening up about something that happened they are looking for someone to share the pain. They don’t need advice at this time.

                Acknowledge and validate. Telling anyone “not to worry” is very unhelpful. Telling a teenager, “yes I went through the same thing” is even more unhelpful. When people are going through a tough time they need to know people understand and they are taking it seriously. Validate their emotions without over-reacting by using phrases like, “that sounds like a tough situation” or, “you must’ve felt a little bit stressed

If you have any questions or worries about your children please contact Dr Ryan be email



Student Leadership is a priority here at HIS.  Each week, we will spotlight a student leader and give them an opportunity to tell you what they are doing in their clubs, sports, and activities.  

Jayden Hwang/Benjamin Branham

Student Council

Hey everyone! This is Jayden Hwang and Benjamin Branham from the Student Council Officer team.

On October 29th, the Student Council arranged the first Upper School Halloween Event on our new campus! What a wonderful night it was, laughing and scaring each other. Reflecting on this event, overall, we were successful. Students have enjoyed the variety of activities in the event and were given a great chance to get to know each other more. After the event, the Student Council representatives communicated with their advisories and asked for their feedback regarding what the student body thought about this Halloween event. This will help us with our organization for our next event - The Winter Carnival on December 22nd!

This will be an opportunity for students and teachers to express their Christmas Spirit by celebrating, performing, or by simply hanging out with each other. Throughout the process, the Student Council representatives learned how to come up with different viewpoints of how their ideal Winter Carnival would be like, and then integrated them together in planning. We are looking forward to your smiles and Christmas Spirit! Also, don’t forget about the second Career Talk for the highschoolers focusing on the Fashion industry at the end of November! Thank you!

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Sara Freeman

Newsletter – Upper School Library

NOVEMBER 21st, 2022

Hello Parents!

Next week our Season’s Readings contest begins. I’m hoping to get as many US students involved as possible. Essentially, students are given a punch card where they have to complete specific tasks and upload photos to prove they met them. Students who finish their cards are given a small prize and are entered to win one of three grand US prizes! The tasks they have to do range from silly, like wearing a winter hat while reading, to a little more on the academic side, like creating a one-pager after they finish a book. So if you have a child at home who doesn’t like to read, this will be an excellent way to have fun while working their way through a book.

On the other hand, if you have a bookworm on your hands, they can finish up to three cards for three chances to win one of the big prizes. The library can use the help of parents to make this contest a big success! Please let us know if you have any questions.


Ordering Uniforms or School Merchandise

Parents can go to following link and look at the uniform web page (

Parents can place an order with Nancy in the Dragon Shop ( by email or by calling the school directly (Tel# 8669-0045 X109) during office hours (Monday-Friday 7:45am - 11:30am and 12:30pm - 4:30pm).

Also parents may make an appointment to go to the Dragon Shop between 3:45pm – 4:30pm when the regular school day is over.

Older students may come to the Dragon Shop to select sizes and purchase uniforms if they have time before or after school during open hours.

Payment may be made through AliPay or by giving students cash.

You can choose from the following options to receive uniform orders:

1. Give items directly to students

2. Wait for pickup at the school gate

3. Deliver home 12RMB pay on delivery fee.

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. 

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Dragon Shop Winter Merchandise - Stay warm and comfy! 



The hoodies and fleece below are available to buy at the Dragon Shop. 

              HEALTH & SAFETY NOTICES                


With Covid 19 cases appearing locally, parents are reminded to keep an eye on Managebac and WeChat for any updates. If students' health codes are green and the child is healthy, campus remains open.

Parents are respectfully requested to keep ill students at home until they are recovered and ready to participate fully in lessons. 


While it is not required for HIS students to be vaccinated, if parents wish to get the vaccine for their children, the information below contains the most up-to-date clinic address and times: 

Students (aged 3-17) can be accompanied by a parents/guardian to No. 368 Liu He Road, Binjiang to get the vaccine. 

Address: 杭州市滨江区六合路368号海创基地南楼 滨江主舱临时接种点

Phone #: 0571-56234087

Students (aged 3-17) have to be accompanied by one of the parents/guardians, but must also take:


Police registration

Guardian’s Passport

Schedule: Monday to Sunday, 8:30am to 6:30pm

**Please note that these details can change with very little notice. You should call the clinic ahead of time to confirm that the information above is correct. **


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: