Conseil Victor Segalen #1 / 2024-2025 School Calendar

Issue 47: 8/12/2023

On Thursday 30th November, we hosted the first Conseil Victor Segalen (CVS) of the year. CVS is the schoolwide council that, according to our Articles of Association, “provides the head of school with advice, consultation, and support with respect to educational matters at the school”. We had over40 student, parent, faculty and staff representatives participating, as well as principals, board directors, and “conseillers consulaires” (elected French representatives from the French community in Hong Kong). The 90-minute meeting was generative and focused on the following three topics: 

Today I will share about the 2024-2025 school calendar. Designing a school calendar is always a delicate matter, as how we plan instructional time along the year touches upon many cultural and philosophical matters. It also highlights the sometimes diverging interests of groups of stakeholders in our community. Finally, there are constraints placed by the AEFE and the Hong Kong government on when to start and end the year, and where to break.

This calendar is the result of a month-long iterative process of design, sharing with parents, faculty, and staff representatives for feedback, presentation and dialogue at the primary and secondary council meetings in November (which included student representation), to land on the final version presented at the CVS on Thursday.

Members of the community should know that this calendar offers 174 effective student-contact days, 1 more than in 2023-2024 (173), and in line with the average of the last 5 years at FIS (173.1 days). It meets the AEFE requirements and respects local holidays. Compared to this academic year, it offers more instructional days to our IB diploma students prior to their exam thanks to the late April-break; a welcome 4-day week-end for students around the national holiday, mid-way between the start of the year and the October break; a one-week Chinese New Year break; a one-week break in March to avoid an extended period between the Chinese New Year and the spring holidays. The feedback of representatives highlighted some divergence in views but it was overall positive and people felt it is a well-balanced, appropriate calendar.

While we wanted to share and publish this as early as possible to allow faculty, staff and families to plan their summer, I must specify that this calendar has yet to be validated by the AEFE next spring (usually in April). Changes are very unlikely, but the calendar will only be called official once this validation occurs.

I thank all the people who participated in the development process and want to honour them for the spirit of collaboration and co-construction they embodied.

Emmanuel Bonin
Head of School