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  • Writer's picturePTO

PTO: Catch Up With Will - Meeting Minutes

Prom Tickets:

Question - Prom tickets are not subsidized by school and kids now have to pay for teacher chaperones. Is there a reason that students need to bear the cost of tickets for teacher chaperones? With no school trips and events in the past 2 years, the school should have enough funds to pay for the teachers’ prom tickets.

Answer - Prom is a school supported event; not a school sponsored event. The school assists the students to organize but it is a student led event. Tickets for students are not subsidized. Teachers who attend as chaperones are doing it outside of their working hours. Andy Tay, ISHCMC Operations Lead, will look into subsidizing the chaperone tickets.


Question - F1 protocol at BIS and other schools have progressed so that only the F0 stays at home to quarantine. All F1s go back to school if they are feeling well and test negative. BIS no longer has HBL. Parents are frustrated that ISHCMC is still making F1’s quarantine for 7 days. When can we see the protocol for F1 change?

Answer - ISHCMC is fully compliant with the DOET directives adhering to the strictest guidelines so the school can remain open for in-person learning. Mr. Dat, ISHCMC’s Health and Safety Coordinator, is very knowledgeable and close to the government. Because of the school’s compliance, ISHCMC has significantly lower F0 cases than other International schools. There is a new directive regarding F1’s just out and ISHCMC will issue a new announcement imminently.


Question - Communication at Secondary is very confusing and there are too many places (SEQTA, emails, newsletter, Rhino Hub) to find information. A lot of times emails sent to teachers are not answered. Parents rely on a lot of WhatsApp class chats. How can we streamline communication?

Answer - This is a topic that continues to be addressed internally at ISHCMC. Voice of the parent survey and general consensus is that there are too many channels. ISHCMC separates communication into two categories—academic and community. The school wants to centralize all communication to better streamline information. This continues to be a priority for the school.

Lunch Prepaid Cards:

Question - Lunch prepaid card system should be implemented for easy cashless payment. This was brought up before but parents haven’t seen any action. What’s the update?

Answer - The school wants to be cashless and contact-less, so such a system has overwhelming support. Various systems are being evaluated. Due to Covid and borders being closed, vendors have not been able to enter Vietnam until now. The school will start to meet with vendors as soon as they can come to Vietnam.

School Schedule:

Question - We noticed that this year, the school shortened the school day. So, in 2021, the number of study hours was 4 hours 45 minutes per day. It's only 4:20 now.

In total, 25 minutes less every day, which is 125 minutes (more than 2 hours!) a week, which is more than 8 hours every month!

Why did the school reduce the number of school hours? Do we have any compensating for this? The half of school year it was online learning, which means that students couldn’t use any school facilities, participate in school events and quality of education was not the same as we had during on-campus learning (in Grade 9, for example, there were substitute teachers in the main subjects (English, science), which affected the quality of education).

And now we faced up with reducing school hours. So we pay more than last year but we get less?

Answer - This is currently only temporary to reduce student density and adhere to government directives. The campus/home enrichment time from 2-4pm is an opportunity for students to connect and interact with their teachers online to get extra help, ask questions, and consolidate their learning. Teachers are available and accessible during this time. Notices in SEQTA has details.


Question - We are also worried about wearing masks during PHE classes and any sport activities (especially outside, it doesn’t make sense at all).

Wearing masks during sport is very dangerous for the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, which has been proven by numerous studies. The child experiences oxygen starvation due to a lack of inhaled air, which leads to brain hypoxia. The consequences of wearing masks during physical activity can be both a decrease in the child's mental abilities, headaches, and abnormalities in the work of the heart and blood circulation.

Due to the fact that most children and teachers are either vaccinated or have already previously recovered from Covid-19, the constant mask wearing doesn’t make sense, and additionally have a very negative impact on the child’s health. Moreover, many countries of the world have already abolished the wearing of masks at school, and especially in physical education classes. So please, cancel the mandatory of wearing masks during sports and outdoor activities, for our kid’s health.

Answer - The school has to follow 5K protocol in order to have students come to school. For PHE classes, students are given regular breaks to rest and recover from their strenuous activities.

Days Off:

Question - Why can’t the kids be at school during the parent teacher meetings? Make these days an opportunity for socializing and communicating with peers.

Have all the extra school staff take care of them while teachers are at meetings the counselors, PE Staff, Teacher assistants, they could organize spaces, games, sports, library time, studying time etc. Instead, the kids are at home, on their devices, wasting time away from school.

There are too many holidays considering the amount of time the kids spend in and out of school with FO, F1 protocols, Teacher training, early dismissals, etc.

Answer - They know, it is not as easy as it seems. Coordinating all teachers, meetings, etc. to match all demands.

We talked about the option of having the conferences during a longer period of time during the night, or at least not during school hours.

Bad timing, they know. They will try to find a better way to have these conferences.

Vaccination for Under 12:

Question - When?

Answer - No news from government


Question - Same issue about teachers not treating students with respect and dignity. Hope this has been addressed - but it's still going on and discourages kids from learning.

Answer - This has been addressed and reminded to teachers.

Also, there are spontaneous check ins to check on the quality of the lessons specially when taught online/campus


Question - What are teachers and counselors doing to help kids make new friends and feel welcome? Some kids are finding it difficult to break into the nationality groups, being too tight.

Also, The kids can catch up on math and science but they are losing valuable social skills in the past 2 years and being exposed to so much online.

I have been hearing of kids who are nervous to return to school and uncomfortable in social situations

Student well-being:

Question - Topics that need to be discussed more with grade 8 and up are alcohol, vaping and drug usage, date rape drugs. Sex and consent also.

Answer - I’m not sure if these are still being covered with the lack of grade meetings.

Social Media Usage/Addictive Behavior:

Question - self esteem and fake news.- food, drugs and alcohol, social media, gaming

Answer - These 3 last subjects were discussed and the school directives are talking to the Health and Wellbeing team.

Need to make sure that parents and children know what is available at school. For children and for parents too.

We discussed the option of having a Questions Session or something like it, where the wellbeing staff can introduce themselves to explain what is the support available. What are the themes discussed and also the content of the Comprehensive Sexual Education program.

Update: The Community team is talking to Priya to organize a talk.



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