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  • Writer's pictureKim Green

Head of School Update - 03 June

Dear Parents,

I hope that you are keeping well. It has been an exciting week at ISHCMC with our primary campus coming to life with the Grade 1 to Studio 4 Spotlight on the Arts evenings. The learning spaces were filled with people, happiness, pride and joy.

Thank you to our primary school arts team for creating this meaningful opportunity for our parents to engage with our students' learning. I am sure that the ISHCMC Mambo will now become one our #AbsolutelyPositivelyISHCMC traditions. As we look forward towards the next two weeks there are many showcases of learning and moments of celebration that we look forward to sharing with our ISHCMC community.

Our Primary School Principal Ms. Kate Grant continues to make excellent progress in her recovery. She has had her family here in HCMC and next week she will be heading home to New Zealand to continue her recovery. We look forward to seeing Ms. Kate back at school and welcoming all of our children each day at the gate in August.

At the beginning of this week we hosted the end of year Head of School Forum. Thank you to all of the parents who attended either the morning session on the primary campus or the evening session on the secondary campus. The purpose of the evening was to share with our parents key celebrations and identified areas for growth. We answered parent questions and sought our parents input into key areas that are important for action from the perspective of our parents. The Head of School Parent Forum slides contain key information that was shared and a video of the presentation and can be viewed here.

As we come to the end of the week, I wanted to take a moment to share with you our actions and reflections that we have undertaken at ISHCMC in response to the ISHCMC American Academy incident and the resulting coverage in the media.

In our primary school our teaching team continue to reinforce the ‘zones of regulation’, a strategy for making meaning of and communicating our emotions. They also continue to remind students how to seek help. In our secondary school I have met with all Grade 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 students (Grade 9 were on their camp). In these conversations I have shared with the students the general details of the incident that has been in the media. I explained to our students that this incident started from a disagreement between students and resulted in inaccurate information about the incident being shared on social media which is harmful to the children involved. We shared with our students that ISHCMC American Academy is working with families for resolution and all the children involved are safe with their families. We also reminded them of how to seek help.

As proud ISHCMC Rhinos we know that when there is information misrepresented about our school that we all might feel confused and hurt. I also acknowledged that the information might bring up memories of experiences our students and parents have had in the past or challenges our children might be experiencing currently. Therefore, it is important to remember that if your children are facing challenges (related to harassment, sexual abuse, assault or bullying of any kind) that our ISHCMC teachers and Counselors are here to help. It is important that we (parents and teachers) continue to remind our students to reach out and ask a trusted adult for help for ourselves or our friends.

We are proud that at ISHCMC there is a culture where our students and parents are proactive about asking for help. This culture has existed at ISHCMC for many years as recently highlighted by one of our Alumni (Class of 2012) who courageously published an article about the support that she felt from ISHCMC when moving forward from an incident of sexual harassment involving another student during her time at school. We are grateful to our Alumni for illuminating how as a school community we have worked tirelessly for many years to support children in our care. We have reached out to our Alumni to show our admiration for her courage in asking for help when she was at school and for speaking out.

Safeguarding is, and always will be, our number one priority in ISHCMC. Therefore, this current challenge for our sister school and our Alumni’s article are reminders for us all that sexual abuse, harassment, assault or bullying of any kind is very serious and having the right support structures in place at school means there can be positive recovery and restoration. At ISHCMC we have a robust framework and respond to student incidents in a positive and restorative manner. As we commence our new school year, we look forward to ensuring that these practices are explicitly re-shared with our faculty, parents and students so that all members of our community continue to feel empowered and safe to share concerns and our faculty are empowered to respond.

I also take this opportunity to remind you that you can share any concerns or issues you or your child(ren) may wish to report with me, or our Designated Safeguarding Lead and we will continue to do our utmost to support our students in every aspect of our duty of care.

As we enter the new school year many projects have been planned as part of extending our Positive ISHCMC focus and strengthening our social and emotional programmes. These include:

  • our primary students who will be embarking on a ‘Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Responsible’’ project that continues to raise awareness and further develop skills for their personal management of emotions, conflict resolution and friendship building.

  • embedding and expanding the EE-Grade 12 positive ISHCMC education programme to ensure that key social and emotional skills are explicitly taught at all grade levels.

  • offering workshops for our parents and students that explicitly share our values and expectations and how we respond to student incidents in a positive and restorative manner.

  • working with the Saigon International Schools Network to offer de-escalation, crisis communications and management, and forensic interview training to our leadership and teaching teams.

Over the next two weeks of the school year, we encourage all of our students to enjoy these last weeks of school with their friends, to celebrate their personal growth and learning this year and with pride showcase their learning through the upcoming student-led conferences, spotlights on learning and exhibitions.

We look forward to seeing you all of the wonderful celebrations that are planned over the coming weeks.

In kindness

Kim Green, Head of School



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