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Upper School Newsletter June 11 , 2024



June 11-13    Gr. 9 World of Work                            June 11-13    Senior Presentations                              June 12         Guest Poet - Anthony Tao                      June 13         Last Day for CCAs                                June 14         Senior Breakfast          8:30am              June 14         Graduation Practice   10:00am              June 14         Graduation Parade       2:30pm              June 14         Graduation                   5:00pm              June 16         Dragon Run                                            June 18         Music Festival  1:30pm                          June 19         Film Festival Finals  1:30pm                  June 20         Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony 1:30pm  June 21         Last Day of School                                June 21         US Assembly  1:30                                June 21         Whole School Assembly 2:20




Mr. Fursey Gotuaco

Upper School Principal



                                       F.D. Van Amburgh


                                                                 Malcolm Forbes

There are 2 pictures above... The first is a group of MYP students doing a dissection of a heart.  The second is a group of teachers, administrators and students coming together to celebrate a graduating senior's Senior Presentation.  Want to know what they both have in common?  HEART!

To have any kind of success in this world, we must have heart. 

We must have the heart to pump our passions through our veins and into our tasks.

We must have the heart to warm our compassions with empathy and sympathy.

We must have the heart to pound away with the resilience to endure when the tide is against us.

All of these you will see in our students as they work hard in their classroom studies.  Whether they are studying Shakespeare as our Grade 6s are doing or studying poetry as our Grade 10s.  Whether they are doing labs to pursue their curiosity of science as the grade 7s or if they are diving on their knees and elbows practicing volleyball in the effort to prepare for next season's matches. Whether they are dancing, singing, or playing an instrument, our students feel the music in their hearts and they are manifesting their passions with every rehearsal.  HEART!

In this week of Senior Presentations, we are hearing their gratitude for all the encouragement they have received over the years.  We are seeing their passion for each other as colleagues, over the many many years.  We are witnessing a mother's love for her daughter as the young graduating senior confesses her undying love and gratefulness for her parents' support.  HEART!

Join us this week as we celebrate the 12-13 year journeys our students have been taking.  

Join us as we celebrate resilience, brilliance, passion, tenacity, and mental discipline.

Join us on Friday, June 14th at 5:00pm as we celebrate HEART!

Friday June 14th

Senior Breakfast - 8:30am

       - families are invited to this wonderful opportunity to share a breakfast with the seniors.  Please scan the code in the poster below.

Graduation Parade - 2:30pm

       - Seniors will be escorted by kindergarten students

       - We will start at the HIVE on the 2nd floor, go down the central stairs, and go out the building towards the ECE

Commencement - 5:00pm

       - Please join us on the 4th floor Theater entrance

Cap Throw & Reception - 6:30pm

      - Let's have a bite to eat as we toast to the success of our seniors!


IMPORTANT Reminder from Admissions!

This is a friendly reminder that the annual, or semester tuition is due by June 21, 2024. Please, if you had paid, don’t forget to send the receipt to Payment

Remember that by policy, communicated in the Tuition and Fees document online and shared by email with the invoice, after the deadline the seat guarantee fee is no longer applicable, and we will start placing new applicants in the seats available. 

If your plans had changed and you are NOT returning this August 2024 for the new school year, please let us know as soon as possible, so we can support your transition to a new school.


如果您已经支付第一学期或一整学年的学费,请尽快发送付款凭证到邮箱, 以便确认。

 学费单可通过邮件的方式线上发送和确认。按照规定,截至时间过后,仅支付Seat Guarantee费用的学生,将视为自动放弃学位,我们将录入相应待定席位的新生。

 如果您已经确认2024年8月份将不在HIS 继续就读,也请尽快通知学校,以便我们协助您办理转学事宜。

PAFA Fitness

PAFA Fitness –Join us for the last power walk of this school year

and a picnic afterwards!  !

LAST CALL to order the 2023-2024 Yearbook!

The deadline to order is this Friday, June 14.

Don’t miss the school year memories and order a yearbook by

scanning the QR code in the poster.

HIS Community Choir

Conductor: Chanmi Joo

Piano: Mamiko, Francis Jaramillo

Soprano: Kristine, YunJeong, Miyoung, Megan, Hayoung, Rachel, Dorothy, Vivianne, Tracy, Anita, Jessica, Suzuki Ayumi 

Alto: Bella, Renata, Katie, Elena, Hannah, Nancie, Yanti, Carli, Jody, Laxmi, Rhiannon, Yemei, Vanessa, Seonmi, Kate

Tenor: Sean, Joel, Emer, Kyle

We are the HIS Community Choir, composed of dedicated faculty, mothers, and fathers.

Through the power of music, we have inspired not only our children but also the entire community. Our performances and rehearsals bring joy and unity to everyone involved. By sharing our passion for music, we strive to uplift spirits and create lasting memories for all.

For your information,

Here’s the list of our performances throughout the year:

Shangri-La hotel, Christmas Tree Lightening

Winter bazaar at school

Hot Chocolate morning at school

International Day at school

Lunch time open mic at school


go to the calendar tab on the school website and scroll down

                                    HIS                                         COLLEGE COUNSELING INFORMATION       

University Counseling Tips

US Applications: Grade 9-12

Let’s Talk About the SAT

Mark Donagher

Head of Guidance and University Counseling

So one of the questions I hear a lot from parents and students alike is “Do I need to take the SAT?” Let us take a look at the answer.

First what exactly is the SAT?

The SAT is test that assess skills like reading comprehension, writing, and quantitative reasoning that are essential for university-level work. A strong score demonstrates a student’s academic preparedness and can greatly improve their chances of admission, especially at highly selective universities. Bottom line universities say that they use the SAT to determine how well a student will do in their first year at university . In reality for many US selective universities submitting a “low” score will simply end any chances of getting accepted.

What is a “good” score?

Like just about everything with US applications -it depends. It depends on the university. Check what is a 50th percentile SAT score . If your score is below that for that university it is not a “good” score-even though it looks like a strong score. If your score falls into their 50 percentile range or above-then it is a “good” score.

Do you need to submit SAT scores?

So when Covid hit all universities went test optional. They had no choice. But since Covid is over it isn’t a surprise that some , especially some of the US most selective schools are going back to asking for SAT scores. Elite universities like Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, MIT, and Harvard have announced they are reinstating mandatory SAT testing requirements for applicants. One this decision was forced on them and two they have been inundated with record application numbers during the test-optional period. Students who would not have met the previous SAT score felt that with test optional why not submit. The reaction from many of the schools was to go back to mandatory testing.

My advice to students thinking of applying to US universities is take the SAT up to three times. Research shows that scores will not go up after three attempts. Prep for it but not before the summer of Grade 10. Try your best. Then see what your final scores are and then determine on a school by school basis if it is to your advantage to submit or not. If you do not have any scores then you do not have the option to send or not. This

strategy is being used by a lot of students-so what we are seeing is that the average scores are going up and less students are submitting to test optional schools.

However, the overwhelming number of US universities are still test optional. Some like the UC universities are test blind ( scores will not be taken into consideration-even if you send them). Personally I think in the next year or two you will see more US selective universities ask again for mandatory testing so students should check each university's latest admission requirements and be prepared to submit scores if mandatory testing is in place.

Still need more info on testing ? Reach out to your child’s counselor or if you need information on taking the SAT at HIS please reach out to Ms. Carrie Sun.


Testing for next school year is below. 

The August testing is now open for registration.


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




A heartfelt thanks to all swimmers participating in this year's HIS Swim Team Summer Splash Swim Meet and Awards Presentation. Each lap and cheer has created a ripple effect of joy and camaraderie.  

To our incredible parents and volunteers, we cannot thank you enough. Your generosity in giving your time and energy was the key to the event’s success. Thank you for making the swimming season truly special. 

To our swim coaches, from daily swim training to ensuring safety, your contributions were indispensable. Your selfless service has left an impression on the hearts of our swimming community and has been the cornerstone of the swimming program. 

To the operations team, nurses, and administrators, THANK YOU! 


Please SCAN QR code or click the link below for photos 

HIS is proud to be a partner in this global event promoting water safety. Get ready for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Thursday, June 20th! Mark your calendars and be part of this life-saving initiative! 

Hangzhou International School’s THE WAVE will be serving as an official Host Location Facility for the 2024 WLSL event. HIS was the first school to participate in WLSL in China, and only one of two host venues in China in 2024. Parents are invited to learn more about this phenomenal event by visiting or

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson was created to raise awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to prevent childhood drowning. Since its inception, more than 383,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL Lessons in 53 countries on six continents generating billions of media impressions about the importance of learning to swim. TEAM WLSLTM holds five Guinness World Records. 



Pattana Sports Resort, Chonburi, Thailand 

July 1-7, 2024 

The swimming camp also includes an indoor and an open water swimming competition to finish. If interested, contact Coach Nat at or visit the link 


June 20 – World's Largest Swimming Lesson 2024 (HIS) 

Swim Team Registration and Handbook 

2023-2024 Swim Meet Schedule 

Aquatics Calendar 

HIS Swim Records 

Swim Meet Results 


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.  

Leadership Conference Experience: A Reflection on Growth and Inspiration

by Andrew Zhu

Grade 11

I and some of my classmates recently had the privilege of attending to the leadership conference to represent Hangzhou International School in such a transformative event. The conference brought together faculties and admins from diverse backgrounds and schools, all coming together by a shared passion for leadership and a desire to learn from one another.

The conference was a mutualistic tapestry of insights, ideas, and experiences, an open platform for sharing and learning. Our job is to start the presentation, but at the same time open the scope for further discussion. One of the most significant themes was the importance of empathy in leadership. As we highlighted the need for leaders to be able to connect with their team members on a personal level, use sympathy as a motivation for charity projects, and be able to show gratitude towards our own school community who supported us. One of the audience agreed with us and came to realize that effective leadership is not just about issuing orders or making decisions, but also about building trust and fostering a sense of community.

Furthermore, the HIS has provided a platform for attendees to connect and learn from each other. One of the most insightful advice we got from a teacher was to expand the impact of our club. She particularly offered us an opportunity to develop a secondary Longyin club at her school in Hong Kong. In addition, one of the attendees offered us a donation to our charity project. 

In conclusion, my experience at the leadership conference was truly enriching and inspiring. The insights and ideas we are conveying and thoughtful questions from the audience, combined with the opportunities to connect with other attendees, have left me feeling motivated to make more applicable changes to the Lonyin Club and bring it to the next level.

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CLICK for Dragon Shop Catalogue

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: