From Head of School

Issue 36: 15/9/2023 Head of School (E. Bonin)

Dear FIS Community,

We have now experienced three weather-related events, two of which were of epic proportions, that have led to unplanned campus closures. As always, safety comes first, and we are fortunate that damages on our campuses were limited. I have received expressions of appreciation for the clarity and timeliness of our school communications. As mentioned in my communication dated 8th September, I am also well aware of the impact such repeated closures have on student learning. While there are reasonable arguments in favour of embracing the proverbial “snow days” (in this case rain days) as welcome moments of pause for students, balance remains an issue, and we should be ready to provide opportunities to learn in case of further disruption in the near future.

In light of recent events, I am sharing two important news today:


In addition to the recent unforeseen weather-related closures, we recently learned from the government that Monday, 11th December would be an official holiday to follow the 10th December election day. All schools in Hong Kong will be closed. This raises to a minimum of four the number of school closure days imposed on us this academic year. This impacts everyone, and I am especially mindful of our high school students who should not fall behind in preparation for their exams.

Therefore, we are taking the exceptional measure to turn Friday, 29th September into a normal instructional day at FIS. Originally in our calendar, 29th September was a holiday for students and a professional development day for faculty. We must indeed use the variables in our control to mitigate these extraordinary circumstances for our students and we will be creative to find alternate ways to bring PD to our teams. We will amend our school calendar accordingly on our website, and I ask you to take note of these two important changes.


The plans provided below are ready for immediate implementation, should we need to. They are designed for short-term, unexpected campus closures, notwithstanding the reason. They cover all age groups within the school, with age-appropriate degrees of engagement to take into account each group’s relative autonomy and the diverse needs of learners. They provide a balance of online check-ins for students with their class and asynchronous, autonomous activities. This approach ensures social connection, the opportunity to engage in meaningful learning, as well as a degree of autonomy and choice for students and parents (depending on student’s age) on how to plan the day.


In FIS Primary, there will be live Google Meet check-ins in the morning to support the school's youngest learners' well-being and understanding of learning for the day. Please note the live check-in via Google Meet and home learning tasks are optional, as we understand that some families may experience difficulties in accessing online learning due to the weather conditions in Hong Kong.

GS/Y1 - Y2/CP Y3/CE1 - Y4/CE2 Y5/CM1 - Y6/CM2
Google Meet check-in 10:00 am 10:30 am 11:00 am


A few additional notes

We will always put student and FIS faculty and staff’s safety first. We understand that some students or some employees might not be in a safe position to satisfy the expectations laid out above. This should not and will not lead to prejudice to them. In addition, these plans will not be actioned for official city-wide holidays as imposed by the government, as this would conflict with government requirements.

I trust these measures will help with the continuity of learning for our students. Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support of our school.

Emmanuel Bonin
Chef d'Établissement | Head of School