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The monthly community newsletter

14 June 2013

Quick Links n School Insights - Head of School Letter - Technology Service Suspension - New Staff Bios

n Primary School

- Primary Principal Letter - HKA IB PYP Evaluation Report - Service Learning Update - PS Counsellor News

n Secondary School - Secondary Principal Letter

- Buffalo Awareness - Volunteers for SS Play - Secondary Soccer - Computer Donations

n HKA Web Links - Photo Galleries

12 Ka Wai Man Road | Kennedy Town | ph. 852.2655.1111 | fx. 852.2891.4460 | hkacademy.edu.hk

- Calendar


Quick Links

n Primary School n Middle/High School n HKA Web Links

School Insights

Dear HKA Community, At the beginning of this school year, the Board held an offsite retreat and engaged the expertise of John Littleford, a well-respected independent school consultant who specializes in working with boards to develop strategic plans. At the session, Littleford asked board members to articulate features that set HKA apart from other schools in Hong Kong. There was discussion of an inquiry-based education, a child-centred programme, and a dedication to an engaging learning environment. Littleford pointed out that these were all qualities of any good IB school; he pushed the Board and administrators further to hone in on the qualities that make the school unique and special; the intangibles that cause prospective parents to think “yes, I want my child to come here” and keep our current families committed to the programme.

Stephen Dare, Head of School

As HKA was already planning for a big move to a new campus, the leadership team at the school was acutely aware of the need to keep the focus on learning in the classroom and let the building exist as an expected feature of a top international school; not the reason for wanting to attend. Once in Sai Kung, gone will be the temporary facilities of Stubbs Road and Kennedy Town that acted as a sort of screening process for prospective parents – back then, if you could see past the ugly buildings and makeshift facilities, and focus on what happens in the classroom, we knew that you would be a good fit for HKA, and vice versa. Consequently, in October we launched a series of grade level community evenings to provide an opportunity for a constructive conversation in small group settings in order to understand and preserve the culture of the school. During each meeting we asked three questions: why do you send your children to Hong Kong Academy, what does the school do well, and what do you perceive to be challenges for the school over the next five years? Since October, we’ve held 12 evening sessions across Hong Kong. Parents have graciously opened up their homes and others have been organized in a shared space. The principals and I, along with other members of our leadership team, have attended and listened to all that you’ve had to say. We’ve been heartened by your honesty, humbled by your praise, and challenged to respond to your recommendations.

Xiao Xi

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14 June 2013


When we started, there was curiosity and concern regarding transportation for next year; later in the year, after school activities became more widely mentioned. With parents of children as young as three and as old as 17, one would expect a range of responses to the questions posed. While there were definitely some age-specific questions and concerns – homework in G4, discussions of cliques in upper grades – overwhelmingly we heard the same themes over and over, both in regards to the positives as well as challenges.

Technology Service Suspension

Here are the highlights:

During this time period, there will be no access to: •First Class via your school account •FirstClass webmail •FirstClass mobile (android/ ipad/iphone etc)

• There is a true appreciation for diversity among the students and faculty, the lack of a “one size fits all” mentality. Parents know the school acknowledges that all students are different, all have something to offer, and there is more to a school than the academic side – and these principles are truly practiced, and not just touted at Open Houses.

With the imminent move to Sai Kung there will be some Technology disruptions for an anticipated period of 48 hours towards the end of July.

• The fact that the school is deliberately smaller than other PreK-12 schools means no child can slip through the cracks. Parents cited their ability to know what is happening with their child(ren), and that HKA teachers truly know all the kids. Individual attention and differentiation is making all the difference.

Even if you have forwarded your FirstClass mail to an external mail system, it will be unavaiable during this time.

• There is a unique culture of tolerance among the students from the earliest ages. Parents feel this mutual respect helps the school go one step further and strengthens the learning experience.

Once the date has been set, the school will send out an early warning via First Class.

• The people here – students, parents, and teachers alike – are intentional about being here and all expect to contribute to the community. Parents praised the high caliber of teachers and programmes like the Buddy Families, the buddy classes, and the community organization that allow for interactions which strengthen bonds between all groups.

During the move, the school website will still be running, though some functions will be restricted. Continual updates will be posted on the website.

• Parents recognize the changing needs of students moving from Primary to Secondary School, whether academic, co-curricular, or social. They expressed interest in a Secondary School that was slightly bigger than the Primary school to provide the range of classes, activities, and opportunities necessary for a developing adolescent. • Everyone understands the intrinsic tension between growing the school in a manageable fashion, maintaining our close-knit community, achieving financial sustainability, and staying true to the school’s mission - all at the same time. Negotiating the next few years and ensuring that we continue to admit the types of families that have made HKA successful is key. • And finally, as more and more students graduate and move on to further education, there will be a need to continue to build the positive brand of HKA and gain recognition as a leading international school in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Academy is at an exciting, and critical point. We’ve accomplished so much already, and there are great things yet to be done. I have no doubt that with the continued support and participation of the

All class websites will still be active via Weebly. During this transition, should you need to contact someone at the school, you can do so via the main phone number. If there are any questions, please contact the Technology Department. -Michael Taylor, Director of Technology

Look throughout this issue of Xiao Xi to discover some of the ways HKA teachers plan to recharge over the summer break.

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parent community in programmes such as these community evenings, which provide invaluable feedback for all involved, HKA will continue in the tradition of learning, growing, understanding. I wish you all the very best for a restful summer with family and friends, and look very much forward to welcoming you to Sai Kung on 21 August. Stephen Dare Head of School

New Staff Introductions Please welcome the following new staff members to the HKA community. Aaron Cook, Athletics, Activites, Events Manager I grew up in a small coastal town called Devonport in northern Tasmania, Australia. After finishing my degree in Human Movement at the University of Tasmania, I went to the UK where I worked as a teacher in London for 2 years. Over the next few years I travelled across Europe, Northern Africa and North America as well as completing an 18-month backpacking and volunteering journey from the bottom of South America to Mexico. I look forward to joining Hong Kong Academy in August as Athletics, Activities, and Events Manager. Nicola Dixon, SS Design Technology Teacher In my previous life I was a Makeup Artist who frequently worked backstage at London Fashion Show. I am a virtual fitness fan who is an Arsenal supporter and has future grand hopes of improving my fine art skills. I am extremely excited about joining HKA. From teaching in London and Azerbaijan and now Hong Kong I hope to encourage students to think ‘out of the box’ and use their imagination and creativity to solve everyday urban environmental problems. Alyson Doty, SS English/Humanities Teacher Originally from Minnesota, USA, I have been teaching overseas for eight years. I spent four years in Dubai and three in Guangzhou. During my time in Guangzhou, we visited Hong Kong often and I am excited to be moving to a place that is already familiar. In my free time I enjoy fitness activities, spending time outside, live music and traveling. I am looking forward to joining HKA in August. Joseph Marchione, SS Music Teacher I grew up in New York and started playing rock n’ roll guitar in G7 so I could form a band with my buddies. As I got deeper into my studies and practice I discovered blues, classical music, and jazz through playing and listening. I took up saxophone in G9 and fell in love with the instrument, so that is my voice in music to this day. I have taught in the USA, Taiwan, and Thailand. I’m really looking forward to Hong Kong, working with students and the learning community of HKA.

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Richard Reilly, SS CAS Coordinator I am originally from Glasgow and moving from International School Manila. I am coming with my wife Angela and 2 kids - Georgina and Magnus. We are all excited to come to HKA and the new Sai Kung campus. I came to teaching late after working as a Diplomat for a number of years. I am joining to work with the IB CAS programme and service learning. I am looking forward to becoming part of the HKA family. Kelly Throne, SS Mathematics Teacher Having lived in Hong Kong previously, I am excited to be returning and for the opportunity to share all the city has to offer with my one-year-old son William. I have taught at schools in Morocco and most recently Germany. We enjoy being active, including swimming, hiking, and biking. I am also a big foodie and love both trying new recipes as well as exploring different restaurants. We look forward to joining the HKA community. Elisha Byrne, LS Co-Teacher I recently moved to Hong Kong from Brisbane, Australia. I graduated from a Bachelor of Primary Education in 2010 and am currently studying a Post Graduate degree in Special Needs Education. Over the last six years, I have worked with children from a range of backgrounds and diverse learning needs. I am extremely passionate about working with children and supporting an inclusive environment. I started at HKA in May this year as a Learning Support Co-teacher and am excited to be returning in the new school year. I look forward to a great summer exploring Asia and a new teaching and learning journey at Sai Kung! Stefania Ginesu, LS Co-Teacher I first moved to Hong Kong in 2008 and lived here for 2.5 years until my husband was transferred to Korea. Thereafter, we moved to Malaysia and we returned to Hong Kong in January this year. Apart from my skills and qualifications, I have an international background and the experience of being an expatriate teacher and parent in different countries. I look forward to learning and contributing in HKA and am excited to start my employment at the new campus. In my free time, I like swimming, I practice Yoga, I love cooking and above all else I love reading! Allison Laura Reilly, LS Co-Teachert I will join HKA as learning support co-teacher after having spent the past three years in London. I received a B.A. in Sociology and History from Boston College, and an M.Ed. from Bank Street Graduate School of Education in early childhood general and special education. I have worked within settings that espouse developmental models of inclusion and transdiciplinary teaching, which have provided collaboration with a broad spectrum of dynamic professionals. Prior to living in London, I spent six years working at Merricat’s Castle School in New York City working as the head teacher for a class of four- and five-year-olds. Christina Chan, PS Co-Teacher I began my journey towards becoming a teacher at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where I received my Bachelor of Education. For me it is the best feeling to be part of a classroom, Xiao Xi 14 June2013 35


and taking part in creating a warm and safe learning environment. I’ve spent the past year in an administrative position at a kindergarten, but my desire to return to the classroom has drawn me to Hong Kong Academy. I’m excited to join the community and look forward to a fun and rewarding year! Samuel Ho, PS Co-Teacher Hailing from Toronto, Canada, I am a graduate of Trent University where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. I also attended Ryerson University and have a specialization in GIS and Digital Geography. Most recently, I attended Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education and earned my Bachelor’s of Education in primary, junior and intermediate education. In my spare time, my passions include participating in a variety of sports such as ice hockey, baseball, football, paddling, and camping. I am extremely excited to work with the students, teachers and staff at Hong Kong Academy starting next year. Chris Lam, PS Technology Co-Teacher I am joining HKA as the PS Technology Co-Teacher. I am from the UK and I have a strong interest with the Lego Education system in classrooms, NXTRobotic and video game making programs and have been involved with coaching HK teams. We are currently preparing our children for jobs that do not exist, using technologies that have not been invented, in order to solve problems we do not even know are problems yet. I believe digital literacy will be the key part of primary school curriculum for children’s development today. It is a great pleasure for me to join the school. Heather Linhardt, PS Co-Teacher I have 16 years combined experience in environmental education, nonprofit management, organizational development, and classroom teaching. Before Hong Kong, I worked for 10 years in Mexico, co-founding an NGO devoted to environmental education and connecting classroom learning to productive permaculture gardens for international & local schools, as well as the Mexican Secretary of Social Development. I served as Executive Director of Outward Bound Mexico, innovated CAS, service learning, and outdoor education programs for Mexico’s best IB schools, and led Women in Action. I look forward to an active role in and outside of the classroom at HKA next year. Felicity Pettigrew, PS Co-Teacher I am originally from Adelaide, South Australia, and arrived in Hong Kong nine years ago after an eighteen month stint in Bahrain. This is my second time round being on-staff at HKA. I previously spent two years as a co-teacher in G3 before taking a brief break to stay home with my daughter, who is now 5. I enjoy spending my weekends hiking with my family and am looking forward immensely to the new school year and our wonderful new campus in Sai Kung. Krishma Gloria Purswaney, PS Co-Teacher I grew up in Hong Kong and lived in Australia for 9 years where I studied and pursued my teaching career. My educational motto is to nourish a Xiao Xi 14 June2013 3 6


child’s physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing with an interest in value based education. I also enjoy learning new languages, reading, dancing and backpacking. I have explored over 40 countries worldwide and worked on several community service projects. I feel privileged to be a part of the HKA community and look forward to my experiences here. Paul James Tottle, PS Co-Teacher I am pleased to be joining HKA (and my wife Helen Savage) as a coteacher having come from Kellett prep school. It’s exciting moving to Sai Kung and beginning a new adventure. Working in a brand-new school environment will be great. I’m looking forward to building rewarding and dynamic relationships with the students and being part of a new school/ Sai Kung community. In my past lives I taught counselling for a decade and prior to this, set up a New Zealand tour company. I revive myself with hiking and meditation. Those green Sai Kung hills look so inviting! Paige Venturino, PS Kindergarten Teacher Paige will be joining HKA as a Kindergarten teacher this August. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, she continuted on with a Master’s Degree in Reading Education, working previously as a student teacher in the US and in the UK. In addition, she have completed a number of research projects on reading and literacy. Her most recent experience is teaching kindergarten at an international school in Tokyo. Stephanie Jane Wright, PS Co-Teacher Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am looking forward to joining HKA in August. I have just completed my PGDE Primary at The Hong Kong Institute of Education, and I can’t wait to put all my hard work to practice. I am originally from Wales where I gained a Geography degree from the University of London. I moved to Hong Kong four years ago after working for an Executive Career Consultancy in the City of London, and I have been teaching ever since. My background in dancing, singing and drama has led me to perform professionally in both the UK and Hong Kong so I can’t wait to share these skills with the students at HKA. Have a great summer and see you all in August. So Fun (Julie) Chong, EC Mandarin Teacher Ms Julie Chong is a native Mandarin speaker, earned her Bachelor degree in Business Administration from University of Portsmouth, UK; Postgraduate Diploma in Education with Hong Kong institute of Education and has several years teaching experience in international schools in HK. Jamie Cadman, Communications Manager Hi! My name is Jamie Cadman and I am thrilled to be joining HKA. I am originally from Arbroath, Scotland and have been living in Hong Kong since 1998. My wife Jo is a primary teacher and I am a father to 3 occasional angels; Frankie [11], Lewis [9] and Dhani [6]. I now spend most of my spare time trying to keep my kids active and healthy which has the by-product of keeping me slightly healthy. My past experience is in engineering/ICT and I have been Communications Officer at Quarry Bay Xiao Xi 14 June 2013 7


Save the Date: HKA Annual Gala Saturday, 22 February 2014 The Gala Committee has started planning the 2013-2014 Annual Gala. It will be held at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Happy Valley. Please mark your calendars! Please remember us this summer in your travels and help us to procure donations or contribute an item to the raffle, silent auction, or live auction. Everyone’s help is needed and truly appreciated. As in past years, the money raised will be used to enhance and support student educational and enrichment opportunities. The 2013/2014 Gala will help support the following:  • • • • •

Performing Arts Programme: enhancements in drama, dance, and music Continued teacher training and professional development in the area of differentiation, literacy, and cognitive coaching Environmental programme supplies and equipment for all ages Assistive technology devices, additional assessment and programming materials, and additional Occupational Therapy equipment

If you would like to join the committee or help with the Gala, please contact Judi Rosensweig or any of our committee members. Have a great summer! The Gala Committee Judi Rosensweig Laurie Slaughter Connie Steubes Surinder Francis Julia Heward

Jeannette Wong Niamh Daniels Mia DeLeon Julie McCloskey Patricia Wagner, Advancement Manager

School for over 7 years. I live in the Sai Kung area and have been watching the progress of the new campus with much interest; it is very impressive and the whole HKA community must be very excited. Laura Mitchell, Director of Advancement and Communications My family and I are delighted to return to Hong Kong and HKA. I’ve been in the non-profit fundraising and management field for more than 20 years, and I am looking forward to assuming the position of Director of Advancement & Communications. My other interests include singing, collage/ assemblage, and poetry. Angela Reilly, Admissions Manager I am Angela Reilly, originally from Scotland. I am very excited to be coming to HKA to work in Admissions. I will be arriving with my husband, Richard and my children, Georgina (G5) and Magnus (G3). We will be coming from International School Manila (Philippines) where I currently head up the Learning Support Team. Our family is looking forward to our new life in Hong Kong, the new campus, new colleagues and new friends. Prior to ISM I have a varied career involving other international school as well as Scottish schools and supporting very vulnerable children and young people.

What Are You Doing This Summer? Attending a Mathematics conference on assessment and the Common Core Standards, catching up with my extended U.S. family, then Australia to join Julie. It may be winter but it's still great to be on the beach. - Warren Needham Spending two weeks on a back country kayaking trip in Prince William Sound in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). No phone, no computer, no contact of any kind with the outside world. It’s going to be AMAZING. Just fourteen days of paddling in front of glaciers and past pristine forests. -Katherine Roundy

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Quick Links

n School Insights n Middle/High School n HKA Web Links

Primary School

From the Head of Primary School Dear Primary School Parents, I am always amazed at how quickly the last day of school seems to arrive each year. I still have vivid memories of greeting the returning families and welcoming the new. Each year my excitement and enthusiasm for working with the HKA community grows deeper. It continues to be a pleasure coming to know the kind and caring families, watching our children grow and learn each day, and a privilege to work alongside the talented and dedicated staff. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support. HKA is a very unique and special school and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the exciting days that are ahead for all of us.

Virginia Hunt, Primary School Principal

The All School End-of-Year Assembly will be held on Wednesday, 19 Jun from 10:00-11:00am on the BB Court. The children will dismiss at their regular schedule with a 12:20pm dismissal for students in K-G5 and 11:20am for PK1 and PK2. Our G5 students will receive certificates in honour of their years in the Primary Years Programme and will be welcomed into the Secondary School by Doug Musco, Secondary School Principal, as they move on from the Primary School. The PS choir will also close the assembly. All parents are welcome to attend our End of Year Assembly. Class lists for the 2013-14 school year will be emailed home in August prior to the first day of school with an introduction from your child’s new teachers. I would like to wish families that are moving on all the best in their future journey. I look forward to welcoming our returning families in August. The first day of school is Wednesday, 21 Aug for the 2013- 2014 school year which will be an open day from 8:30am–12:00pm. Families will have an opportunity to greet your child’s teachers, see their classrooms, and tour the new school. Our students in PK-K will have a scheduled short visit on this day that parents will attend with their child. I am wishing all of you a happy, healthy and safe summer holiday. See you at HKA Sai Kung! Warm Regards, Virginia Hunt Xiao Xi 14 June 2013 69


HKA IB Primary Years Programme Evaluation Report HKA recently received a report from the IB highlighting a successful PYP evaluation process and confirming that we have been re-authorised to offer the PYP for the next five years. The report contained no matters to be addressed. The PYP evaluation represents a 12 month self-study process involving teachers, students, parents, Board members, the PS Leadership Team and the Head of School. The school received several commendations and some recommendations which will form the basis of a PYP Action Plan that will carry the PS division forward towards the next cycle of review in five years time. Highlights of the commendations: • HKA staff are highly collaborative through the structured use of scheduled planning times and Professional Development on Wednesday afternoons • HKA is a lead school through the mentor co-teacher model which supports the mission and a low student to teacher ratio • HKA provides opportunities for, and the facilitation of, student action when applying learned knowledge and understandings • HKA has a stimulating learning environment • HKA has a strong sense of community • HKA has a clear action plan for the implementation of the IB standards and practices

What Are You Doing This Summer? Heading back to Vancouver, Canada, celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday with my whole family (sisters, inlaws, parents and all the kids!) in Mexico, then celebrating former HKA teacher Lauren Konopka’s wedding. Busy! -Sonya Yong & Ben Gonzalez I’ll be attending a Differentiation in Assessment workshop and spending time with family and friends. -Kristel Solomon-Saleem Travelling through Africa and spending a few weeks helping at an orphanage in Tanzania. -Stacey Thompson

Main points from the recommendations: • HKA further explore the use of related concepts in planning and instruction • HKA to have a continued emphasis on inquiry • HKA further develop the provision of feedback through the sharing of learning intentions and success criteria with students Actions arising from the process: • Data will be collected over the coming years as evidence of the primary school implementing the recommendations made during the evaluation process. • Established collaborative structures will be used to further explore all of the recommendations as we continue to refine and improve our Programme of Inquiry. A two day in-school workshop is scheduled for next November that will facilitate the exploration of both inquiry and the embedding of related concepts into planners and teaching. A Primary School initiative for the 2013- 2014 school year based on teacher and student conferring and actionable feedback that will enhance student learning and development. The PS Educational Leadership Team would like to thank the entire school community for supporting this extensive process of reflection and evaluation. If you wish to learn more about this report feel free to contact: dean.johnson@hkacademy.edu.hk -Dean Johnson PYP Coordinator/PS Assistant Principal Xiao Xi

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14 June 2013


Service Learning Update

PS Counsellor News

It has been a big year for service learning and June was no exception! PK2 finished off the year spectacularly with their How We Organize Ourselves unit. The students looked at different roles people have in our school community, like librarian, teacher, counsellor, principal, maintenance person, etc., and then they inquired into the roles of people in the greater community. This provided us another fantastic opportunity to go to our community in Sai Kung. The students visited both the fire and police station. After the police station, they combined their photographs with drawings and words to create a picturebook about the police and how they help keep us safe. This picture book will be shared at the EC assembly and it will also be sent to a local kindergarten. We hope to receive a similar book from them, as the beginning to a possible buddy school or pen pal project in the new school year. How exciting! Thanks for being excellent HKA ambassadors in our new community PK2!

The counselling program ends this year with reference to students’ safety and coping with change. Students have explored the positives about change in different situations and how to use the security of things that remain constant in their lives to help them through difficult moments of change. Students have also become more aware of their personal safety and in tune with their inner alarm to let them know if a situation is unsafe. Different steps and strategies have been practiced with particular emphasis on talking to an adult that you can trust.

Have a very restful, well-deserved summer and keep an eye out for any new service learning opportunities that may arise. They’re everywhere! Please feel free to contact me in the new school year if you would be interested in supporting a new project or have a connection with a local organization. Our hope is to develop a sort-of “Service Learning Directory” that we can add to over the years at our new campus. -Heather Goode, PS Service Learning Coordinator

A big thank you to the parents who attended the last primary parent and counsellor coffee morning this year. It was a very applicable topic about transition and change, with many useful suggestions and strategies. The notes from the morning will be placed in the resources section for parents on the HKA website. A special thank you to Cheryl Poston, playtherapist and educator, who came with ideas targeting the younger student population. Have a wonderful, happy and safe summer. -Carla Nagel, PS Counsellor

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14 June 2013


Quick Links

n School Insights n Primary School n HKA Web Links

Secondary Middle School &High School From the Head of Secondary School Good day Secondary School community, I congratulate all of us on the conclusion of a very exciting and successful school year. In my 22 years as an educator I have learned that time always moves more rapidly at the end of the academic year, and this year has been no exception! As we move into the final days of the 20122013 school year, I share a few items with you in our last publication of the Xiao Xi.

Douglas DouglasMusco, Musco, Secondary School Middle & High SchoolPrincipal Principal

Congratulations to our 19 graduates that celebrated their commenencement exercise on Friday, 31 May. We hosted a lovely ceremony for students, parents, and teachers in Sai Ying Pun. We now have collectively 26 alumni in the HKA community. University and college acceptances continue to come in, and I will brief the community on these, as well as IB scores when we return in August. If you attended Graduation you saw our student ambassadors clad in their HKA shirts assisting with the ceremony. Ms.Cowan introduced this concept, and with more than 30 ambassadors, it is off to a wonderful start. One of the key functions of this student group will be welcoming our more than 60 new students to the Secondary School in August during a special new parent/student orientation on 20 Aug. You will see much more of the ambassadors in the year to come. We have finalized student schedules for next year, and these will be distributed on the first day of school on Wednesday, 21 Aug. We have provided for a one week add-drop period so that if there are any problems/ conflicts with schedules we can address them during this period. This one week transition period is aimed at ensuring all secondary students are appropriately placed in their world language classes as well as their fine and performing arts choices. Ms. Hand will also be presenting a summer reading list to all Secondary School students. Whilst we cannot mandate students taking advantage of this, we do hope you support us in ensuring your children are reading over the summer holiday. Along with excercise and outdoor activty, reading is the best way to ensure our students stay focused and tuned into learning, and keep their brains working during the summer holiday! Xiao Xi 14 June 2013 12 8


On a side note we will not distribute a “supply list” as everything our students in the Secondary School will need are available in Hong Kong. As a father of two adolescent girls I know students like certain personalized stationary items. Do feel free to get these over the summer, but do not stress over this. Teachers will speak with students during the first few days of school and ensure that everyone has their proper academic tool kit. If you are looking for summer activities for your children please do not hesitate to contact us. There is much on offer here in Hong Kong as well as in North America/Europe/Asia and our counselling office is an excellent resource. I do encourage you to keep your kids engaged this summer whether that is in a sports camp, a language camp, or a good traditional summer camp.

Buffalo Awareness The G6 Stray Animal Group is worried about the safety of the buffalos in Sai Kung. In Sai Kung there are buffalos that wander around the roads freely, and we just want to make sure that everyone drives around buffalos slowly and safely. Thank you for reading.

- Mia (G6)

On a personal note I would like to thank you for your continued support of my leadership in the secondary school. I feel very privileged to be working with you and your children, and know what an important job I have. I look forward to coming to school each morning, and truly enjoy my interactions with your children and you as involved and active parents. It does take a village, and at HKA I think we do a good job of cultivating that partnership with you for the benefit of your kids. Thanks very much for that. I wish you a wonderful summer holiday, and cannot wait to welcome you to Sai Kung on Wednesday, 21 Aug - it is a beautiful campus! Warmly, Doug

Volunteers Needed for the Secondary School Play

What Are You Doing This Summer?

Attention Parents and Members of the HKA Community! HKA Performing Arts will be producing its first ever Secondary School Play on 6 and 7 Dec. This is a call for talent, interest and/or just plain help! We need the following positions and helpers:

• • • • • •

Choreography Costumes Marketing/Posters/Programmes Sets Back Stage Acting Coaches

Please email Stella Ireland at stella.ireland@hkacademy.edu.hk or call 9522 6754. Thanks so much!

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Going to El Salvador to practice my Spanish. -Karen Lawler Heading to our farmhouse in Brattleboro,Vermont to recharge and spending three weeks this summer doing an intensive yoga teacher training course. -Robin Muller Renovating our house in Clearwater Bay! -Joanne DeDios

14 June 2013


University and College Counsellor News With summer right around the corner, I am busy gearing up for a three week trip to the US. I have just barely unpacked from my one week trip to Europe where I attended the International Counsellor’s Forum hosted by Les Roches International School of Hotel Management and the Glion Institute of Higher Education. I visited their campuses in Switzerland and in Marbella, Spain. I had a wonderful time and am eager to share what I have learned about these schools! I will be spending my time in the US on various modes of transportation which will bring me to three different states and Washington DC. I’m looking forward to broadening my knowledge at workshops, as well as making and establishing new contacts with colleges and universities. •

9 - 12 Jul: Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) Conference at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York

12 - 19 Jul: College Tour – Loyola University of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

22 - 24 Jul: Potomac Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) Summer Institute at George Washington University, Washington DC and college tour of American University, Howard University and Georgetown University

26 Jul: Boston college tour of Tufts University, Boston College and Boston University

Visit my blog to stay on top of upcoming university and college events. -Vanessa Fong, University & College Counsellor

What Are You Doing This Summer? My dad (Mark Ritchie) an HKA teacher, is planning to spend his summer running everyday. That’s right! He plans to run 1000 km in 30 days from Manila to Cebu between June 22 - July 21. He said “I feel very nervous because I’m not sure if my body can handle it”. Although, with passion and dedication, he is motivated to help a charity called Philippine Community Fund. The PCF’s purpose is to change the lives of children and families who live on the dump sites of the Smokey Mountain in Manila. Everyday, he will try to run 21 km in the morning and walk another 10 km in the afternoon. “I’ve run 3 full marathons before so the longest I’ve run is 42 km”.

Computer Donations to Vision First For the past few weeks, several students have been working on donating eight computers that were donated last year. After doing the research, we decided to give away the computers to an organisation aiding refugees in Hong Kong called Vision First, with whom our school has a strong relationship. Vision First’s mission is to provide the best possible support for Hong Kong-based refugees. Students went through all the computers, cleaned them out and placed the operating system with Xubuntu 13.04, fulfilling Vision First’s needs to provide educational support for the refugees. Thanks to Mr. Carl Christensson and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) who donated the keyboards and mice, we were able to get them running well. In the end we managed to get the computers to the organization and received an email from them saying that the computers are being used by refugee students. We will be following up with Vision First to see how well the computers are being used. Overall, we were able to get it all organized in time in order to donate and get it delivered to Vision First and put to good use. Instead of throwing away these computers, we recycled them and made a difference. - Michaella (G10) and Irene (G10)

So, are you brave enough to join him? If you are not fit enough to run then you can just follow him on his Facebook page which he will be updating everyday. You can also donate to help change the lives of homeless children and their families. For more information please visit the website: https://www.facebook.com/RunPhilippines4Kids?fref=ts -Prenciss (G10) Xiao Xi

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