Friday, 29 January 2016

eNews Issue 22

One of the HKA’s top priorities is environmental sustainability. This commitment is evident in our building, which earned a BEAM+ Provisional Platinum rating, in our curriculum and in our co-curricular programming. The commitment is equally clear among you, our parent community and of course among our faculty, staff and students as well. 

This week we were presented with a challenge to our commitment to sustainability. The company that collects our plastic recyclables has informed us that, due to market conditions, they will no longer recycle our plastic. From what we can ascertain, we know that HKA is only one of many organisations impacted by this decision.

We have already begun to research alternatives and will keep you informed of our progress. But in the meantime, this is a good reason for all of us to redouble our efforts to limit our use of disposable plastic. This is especially important when preparing student lunches. If your child brings his/her lunch to school, please pack food in reusable containers and avoid single-use plastic items, such as apple sauce and yoghurt cups. At HKA, we strive for a waste-free lunch as much as possible.

I am happy to confirm that HKA ensures that all metal, paper, glass, batteries and other e-waste leaving our campus continues to be tracked and recycled appropriately. In addition, HKA repurposes food waste through two vermicompost systems, donations to the SK community center and a collaboration with Foodlink. But for now, we are without a plastic recycling option and ask for your help to keep our plastic disposal to a minimum. I know that environmentally friendly practice is a priority for us all and thank you for your help!

Friday, 22 January 2016

eNews Issue 21

Thanks to everyone who attended our community information evening last Monday. For those of you who weren’t able to be there, we began the evening with a presentation from our Director of Finance and Operations, Dale Willetts. Dale overviewed the school’s financial health and shared with us how the school is operating sustainably and moving towards its strategic financial goals.

We also reviewed some of the data from last October’s parent survey. Highlights are included in this brief overview. ISM, the professional organisation who conducted our survey, was extremely complimentary about our community and the survey results point to our many strengths. The survey also helps us identify and think about our areas for growth. 

We’ll be following up on the survey in a number of ways, including our Grade Level Community Evenings. At these evenings, now in their fourth year, I facilitate conversations around specific questions with parents from a particular grade level over a potluck dinner. The Principals attend these evenings as well and are eager to speak with you and answer your questions. We hold about 4-5 of these evenings in a 12-month period, usually in PK1/PK2 and Grades 3, 5, 6 and 9/10. Dates for the next community evenings will be announced shortly.

Not every class has a Grade Level Community Evening every year. But my door is always open, potluck dinner or not! Please don’t hesitate to schedule a time with to see me with any questions or concerns. And good news stories also always welcome!

Friday, 15 January 2016

eNews Issue 20

Sometimes when it rains, it pours. Weather like we had today is challenge enough for the morning arrival but today we also had a malfunction with one of the gates in the bus bay. The gate can be fixed easily but the faulty gear this morning certainly impacted the beginning-of-the-day routine.

As is typical at HKA, everyone swung into action. The usual morning bus bay team reacted quickly, other faculty and staff members appeared to lend a hand and everyone behind the wheel of a bus, van or car did their best to make things go smoothly. Thank you all so much for your help! We didn’t miss a beat and everyone got to class on time.

Looking forward to next week! I hope to see you at Monday’s Community Information Evening where we will have the opportunity to review the results of our recent community survey. Light refreshments will be provided, so please rsvp to let us know if you’ll be attending. For Primary School Parents, I hope you’ll also be able to participate in the Primary School Curriculum Evening on Tuesday, 19th January.

Friday, 8 January 2016

eNews Issue 19

Greetings from Bangkok where I’m attending one of Asia’s largest teacher recruiting fairs. It’s always exciting to meet so many talented and dedicated professionals. As I’ve written before, recruiting quality faculty and staff is core to our strategic plan. This year we have very low teacher turnover at HKA but we continue to search worldwide for top educators who share the school’s mission and vision.

The results of our recent parent survey are now in and I’m looking forward to sharing more with you about the survey on Monday, 18th January at 6:30pm. Please rsvp to let us know if you will be able to attend. I’m happy to report that the data reflect the school’s priorities and speak clearly to the school’s strengths. As always, too, there are areas for improvement and the leadership team will be reviewing the report carefully. And we are keen to hear your thoughts as a part of this process. I hope to see you on the 18th.