Friday, 29 May 2015

eNews Issue 36

What an evening! Last night we graduated 19 students from Hong Kong Academy. The theatre was full with family, friends, faculty and staff offering congratulations and wishing these young people well. Their achievements are too many to detail in an eNews but suffice it to say, they have set the bar high for future classes in every pathway to individual excellence.
But as I said in my speech last night, in the midst of all the justified talk of achievement and success, we don’t want to lose sight of what it means to be happy. I’ve yet to find a school mission statement that mentions happiness, joy or even fun. But a meaningful education, and a meaningful life, certainly includes happiness, joy and fun.
Our graduates are now embarking on the next phase of their lifelong educations. As the list of their university choices shows, they are leaving Hong Kong to go literally all over the world. We wish them success - and happiness, joy & fun!

Friday, 22 May 2015

eNews Issue 35

It’s hard to believe that graduation is next week and the end of the school year is right around the corner. This week our Grade 12's finished up their exams. Exams are a standard aspect of any educational process but at HKA we don’t want to lose sight of the students’ pathways to individual excellence and the individual expression of a rigorous international education. We are very proud of their achievements!
I also wanted to share with you that we’ve been playing host quite a lot in recent days to Hong Kong-wide school events. Hong Kong’s major debate tournament took place on campus last Saturday, with HKA’s own Gwen Slaughter, Grade 9, placing first in the Impromptu category. Well done to all our students who competed and you can read more later in this eNews.
The city’s Battle of the Books finals were yesterday in the Theatre. HKA’s team earned a spot in the finals when they placed first several weeks ago at a preliminary competition. Congratulations to the team: Graham Campbell, Kazuki Clark, Jean Dumrongjaroen, Anna Loretan, Candice Lui, Alex Oakley, Luca Salvatori, Carter Sutsko, Emil Tullberg, Oskar Tullberg, Audrey Wahking and Zara Warbanoff with congratulations also going to PLK Choi Kai Yau School who won overall.
We also hosted the ACAMIS Spring board meeting this week. As many of you know, our participation in ACAMIS is extremely important, especially as impacts sports. I’m privileged to serve on the board and I was very happy to host my colleagues at our beautiful campus.
HKA also held its Annual General Meeting this week as well to approve the school’s budget and welcome new board members. Thanks to those of you who attended.

Friday, 15 May 2015

eNews Issue 34

The school has really been buzzing this week with the Grade 5 Exhibition. This is our students’ culminating work in the PYP and compellingly embodies the notion of a rigorous international education. Well done, Grade 5, and many thanks to the Grade 5 teachers and exhibition mentors.
The Secondary School teachers have reviewed all the Grade 10 personal projects as one of the culminating MYP experiences. The projects demonstrate how each student has embarked on a personal challenge and interest throughout the year. Each tells a story of how they have extended their thinking, pushed themselves physically, provided products/services and what they have learned along the way. Congratulations to the Grade 10 students.
Looking ahead, I’d like to personally invite you to the school’s Annual General Meeting next Wednesday, 20th May at 6pm. If you plan to attend, please rsvp online by Monday to let us know. Then on 9th June, we will host our annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch at 10am. HKA is fortunate to have literally hundreds of volunteers who contribute daily to the school. Please rsvp online by 29th May so we can plan for this special morning.
I’m also happy to let you know that we are now able to switch on the “nearby families” function in Veracross (VC) under ‘Directory’. This feature makes it possible to search families who live near you (whose information is available in VC). We hope this will make it easier to plan play-dates and get togethers.

Friday, 8 May 2015

eNews Issue 33

As Head of School, one of my main concerns is the safety of our students, including before school as they arrive and after school as they leave. We are fortunate to have a bus bay for drop-off and pick-up, and overall, our system of buses, “walker walkers” and “private vehicle walkers” works well. However, we are having an increasing safety issue with cars parking illegally on Wai Man Road and Mei Yuen Road both in the morning and the afternoon, with students walking across those streets amidst busy traffic, often unaccompanied.
For students arriving or leaving by car, please either 1) proceed through the bus bay in the designated private vehicle lanes or 2) park in one of the nearby car parks and walk safely to and from campus. This is imperative for the safety of the students and also helps us maintain strong and positive relations with local law enforcement.
A major highlight of this week were the EC and PS Music Concerts. Well done to our budding musicians and many thanks to their teacher, Mr. Antolini. It was a great morning, with many parents enjoying some social time over coffee between the two concerts. Thanks for attending!

Lastly, please join me in wishing our G12 students luck as they continue their IB exams. These exams are taking place over several weeks and represent a real milestone for our students.