Table of contents



Dr. Catriona Moran

Email: HOS at ssis.edu.vn


Wai Mun Fong

Email: Assoc_HOS at ssis.edu.vn


Ms. Jennifer Mendes

Email: hsprincipal at ssis.edu.vn


Dr. Timothy Chute

Email: tchute at ssis.edu.vn


Ms. Huyen Tran

Email: hsoffice at ssis.edu.vn Phone: 5413-0901, ext: 33080


Ms. Tram Ho Email: trho at ssis.edu.vn Phone: 5413-0901, ext: 33081


Last name A - L

Mr. Jemison Foster

Email: jfoster at ssis.edu.vn


Last name M - Z

Ms. Kelly Braun

Email: kbraun at ssis.edu.vn


Last name A - L

Ms. Julia Bui

Email: jbui at ssis.edu.vn


Last name M - Z

Ms. Elizabeth Souba

Email: esouba at ssis.edu.vn


Ms. Hang Dinh

Email: hadinh at ssis.edu.vn Phone: 5413-0901, ext: 33050


Ms. Cassie Armstrong

Email: ibdp_coordinator at ssis.edu.vn


Ms. Erica Neal

Email: eneal at ssis.edu.vn


Ms. Amy Coquillard

Email: acoquillard at ssis.edu.vn

Letter from High School Principal


Dear SSIS High School Students and Parents,

Welcome to the high school at Saigon South International School! It is an honor to have you as part of our community. I hope you enjoy a rich and exciting year full of great learning opportunities through which you will develop a treasure trove of memories to carry into the future. As a high school faculty, we aspire to foster an invigorating, comfortable, and safe environment. In this environment, our students feel free to engage in learning and develop intellectually and personally.
Additionally, our care and development of the whole person helps our students to become confident and well-adjusted individuals ready to lead purposeful lives as global citizens. I believe deeply in our commitment to helping each student succeed. I trust each student to come and enjoy every aspect of their high school experience. For reasons of clarity, we have a student handbook that carefully outlines how we will be together as a community. Please take the time necessary to familiarize yourself with our practices and procedures by reading through our High School Student Handbook.

This year is sure to be rewarding, and together we will make the most of it! Enjoy the school year, your learning, and the relationships you develop. Go Dragons!


Ms. Jennifer Mendes




Adona, Nomer
Fine and Performing Arts
(Visual Arts)

Angland, Adrienne

Armstrong, Cassandra

Barnwell, Theodore
Social Studies

Berry, Melinda

Berry, Scott
Social Studies

Butz, Polly (DH)

Chng, Annie
Modern World
Language (Mandarin)

Chung, Haeyoung
Modern World
Language (Korean)

Coquillard, Amy
HS Librarian/EE

Davenport, Elizabeth
Director of Aquatics

Fetterolf, Jodi

David Chadwell
Director of Curriculum

Galvez, Thomas
Technology Learning

Hsu, Scott D.

Jennings, Kari
Learning Support

Katz, Regina

Keller, Daniel P.
Social Studies

Khan, Bilal

Larson, Nathan
Fine and Performing Arts
(Visual Arts)

Leathwood, Alison
Physical Education/

Li, Wen
Modern World
Language (Mandarin)

Lu, Erin
Modern World
Language (Mandarin)

Mellon, Brian

Medina, William
Modern World
Language (Spanish)

Milligan, Justin
Student Service

Neal, Erica

Nguyen, Anh

Ortiz, Sonia
Modern World
Language (Spanish)

Perkin, David
Director of Technology

Phan, Tuan

Richardson, Monika

Redfern, Thomas
Social Studies

Robidoux, Jeff

Ratliff, Jeff

Salminen, John

Stoltz, Christopher (DH)

Swiercinsky, Lisa
HS Drama

Sylvester, Chris
Physical Education/

Tan, David
Social Studies

Weinberg, Evan

Williams, Michael

Wolf, Christopher
Social Studies

Wowchuk, Shelley
Athletic and Activities

Zimmermann, Katie
Director of Admission


Section 1:




Monday / Thursday

Tuesday / Wednesday / Friday

Advisory Day

Regular Day

Block 1
Block 2
Block 3
Block 4
Block 4 AP/HL

Block 1
Block 2
Block 3
Block 4 AP/HL
Block 4




Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4




Day 5

Day 6 Day 7

Day 8




Early Dismissal Schedule:

This schedule will be used about one day per month (usually Wednesdays) and on these days, SSIS will dismiss students at 12:15 pm. These afternoon opportunities for extended meetings provide time for teachers to meet and develop common curricular and assessment strategies. There is no lunch served on Early Dismissal days.

8:00am - 8:55am

9:00am - 9:55am

9:55am - 10:15am

10:20am - 11:15am

11:20am - 12:15am

First block

Second block


Third block

Fourth block

Other Special Schedules:

Daily Schedules to support other special activities and that differ from the established time schedules will be announced via the Daily Announcements posted on PowerSchool Learning at least a few days (usually) before the day in question.


Section 2:


This student handbook is published online for the school community. Contents of the handbook are reviewed with students by advisory teachers and administrators at the beginning of each school year. Students and families are expected to become familiar with the handbook and student expectations.

Students must abide by the handbook at all times when under the care of the school, on school property, on school transportation and at all times while on school business, including field trips and athletic/cultural exchanges.

Reasonable efforts will be made to inform students and parents of any changes to these rules after the handbooks are published. Ignorance of published school rules is no excuse for inappropriate behaviour.


We endeavor to provide a safe and nurturing environment that meets the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of each child.

We believe learning builds on prior knowledge and is enhanced by the process of inquiry, exploration, discovery, and thoughtful reflection. We acknowledge the role of teachers as facilitators of learning who encourage each child’s search for knowledge and understanding. We strive to provide opportunities for children to construct meaning through developmentally appropriate, stimulating, and challenging experiences. We recognize that children have distinctive learning styles and individual rates of development. We value assessment as a reflection of student progress and as a guide to the formulation and implementation of curriculum. We recognize that a child’s learning continues beyond the classroom and that a partnership between the school and home is essential for each student’s success.

As a community of learners, we believe teachers, students, and parents/guardians share responsibility for the educational process. This includes assisting students with the development of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and decision-making skills, and helping them learn to balance their lives for growth in social, emotional, physical and academic arenas. We know that the best way to accomplish this is through a strong, supportive partnership with the parents of our students.

We believe our commitment to academic excellence, personal development, and cultural awareness will ensure that well-educated, caring, resourceful young people can successfully meet the challenges of their world.


SSIS is a college preparatory school committed to the intellectual and personal development of each student in preparation for a purposeful life as a global citizen.

Saigon South International School students will:

1. Achieve academic excellence:

  • Demonstrate mastery of subject area content
  • Demonstrate an ability to think and problem-solve effectively
  • Work individually and collaboratively • Demonstrate effective communication skills in spoken and written English
  • Use technology responsibly and effectively

2. Have a sense of self:

  • Express their convictions and viewpoints effectively
  • Display the attributes of a lifelong learner
  • Exhibit positive character and moral convictions

3. Understand service:

  • Demonstrate social and environmental responsibility

4. Seek a balance in life:

  • Involve themselves in a variety of co-curricular activities
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle

5. Respect all:

  • Display the capacity to work effectively with others of differing identities, cultures, backgrounds and beliefs
  • Exhibit the social skills needed to deal with a variety of situations
  • Express an appreciation of the different cultures of the world


Section 3:



SSIS has four counselors available to support high school students in their academic, social and emotional growth. The counselors offer support services for all students and families as they manage issues of studying and living in an international environment. The goal is to promote personal well- being, healthy relationships and a successful balance of academic, extracurricular and community involvement for SSIS students. Our counselors also offer a wide range of resources to assist students and their families with university planning. The counselors have extensive experience and knowledge to assist students with worldwide university research and application processes.

The counselor is often one of the first staff members new students and parents meet; they assist with initial placement through review of academic records and development of a suitable study program.

Typical issues may involve:

• Social relationships

• Emotional regulation

• Time management

• Academic planning and decision making

• Problem solving and life skills development

• Crisis intervention

• Adjustment to a new school and environment

The formal aspect of the counseling program differs for each grade level. In grade 9, students are supported in their transition from middle school. In grade 10, the focus is on enabling students to assess and evaluate their own achievements, interests, skills abilities, values and personal characteristics. In grade 11, the formal university- counseling program begins and continues throughout grade 12. The focus is on providing information on university/career awareness and assistance in researching options and preparing applications for future educational choices. As students prepare for graduation, the emphasis is on the transition from high school to university or other post SSIS plans.

Social / Emotional Counselors

Ms Julia Bui Students with last name A - L

Ms. Elizabeth Souba Students with last name M - Z

College Counselors

Mr. Jemison Foster Students with last name A - L

Ms. Kelly Braun Students with last name M - Z

Students and parents may directly contact their child’s counselor. A teacher, principal or other faculty/ staff member may also refer a student to the counseling office. Should the need for counseling be ongoing or of a nature beyond the services able to be provided by SSIS, students may be required by the school to seek outside professional assistance. In recognition that effective counseling is built upon trust, the counselor is considerate of issues of confidentiality when working with students, their families and SSIS faculty and staff.


Factors that determine college/university acceptance include:

1. A student’s overall four- year academic record (i.e. transcripts, IB predicted scores etc.). Institutions of higher education generally look for students who show strong academic promise. Choice of courses and grades are the most important considerations in the university admission process.

2. Teacher academic recommendations and high school counselor recommendation

3. University admissions test scores (see relevant section). Many require the College Board Examination (SAT Reasoning test), the American College Test (ACT), or their own examinations. Highly competitive US universities require the SAT subject exams (individual subject area tests). Additionally, students who are second language learners and want to attend a university in an English- speaking country will be required to submit the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) results. The most important test scores relative to admission vary from institution to institution and country to country.

4. Entrance essays, personal statements or motivation letters

5. Participation and leadership in extracurricular activities and community service

6. Special talents and interests (music, sports, art) Students should begin their university planning early in their high school careers. Since each institution establishes its own particular requirements, it is important that students follow the suggestions by each college or university.

Recommended college/university entrance requirements include:

English 4 credits
Mathematics 3 - 4 credits
Science 3 - 4 credits
History and Social Sciences 3 - 4 credits
Modern World Languages 2 - 4 credits of the same language



Parents who desire tutoring for their child should contact PTA who, in consultation with other parents, guardians and perhaps faculty, can suggest possible tutors. Payment for tutoring services is a private matter to be arranged between the parents and the tutor. No teacher may tutor his/her own students for remuneration. If parents have made arrangements for outside tutors, it is imperative that the tutor is in communication with the classroom teacher to ensure that the assistance is relevant and helpful. The classroom teacher knows the needs of the student best and can therefore provide direction and guidance for the tutor.


A nursing office is located on the ground floor of the HS building and provides services to high school students. The school’s main nursing office is located on the ground floor of the Middle School building. The School Nurse, a registered nurse (RN) is employed by the school and is available during the school day at each of these offices. A log is kept of all treatment administered to students. The nurse’s office is not equipped to have students rest or sleep for extended periods of time. Students who become ill or injured will be sent home. In the event of a serious injury or illness, the nurse will contact the parents or guardian so the student can be transported to a medical center or hospital for further evaluation. If necessary, the nurse or a designated person will accompany the student to the medical facility and meet the parent there. Costs associated with emergency treatment or transportation are the responsibility of the parents.

Medical Records

It is very important that the school nurse has complete, updated medical records for all students. At the start of every school year, parents will be asked to complete and submit the SSIS Medical Questionnaire on behalf of their son or daughter. The completed questionnaire makes sure we have your preferred physician’s name and contact information as well as insurance, allergy and all other important medical information. For emergency purposes, parents are required to notify the school in writing of any address or phone number changes. If your phone numbers (work, home or mobile), or those of your student’s designated emergency contact, change be sure the numbers are updated with the school. There is a form at the back of this handbook that you may use for this purpose.


Parents are asked to notify the School Nurse of any infectious diseases or of any change in the health status of a student, (e.g. a vaccination, illness or operation).

Many of the most common illnesses (colds, influenza, hepatitis A & B, chicken pox, and conjunctivitis) result from viral infections. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating or preventing the spread of viral illness - rest, adequate hydration and time are required for the body to overcome the infection. In order to minimize the spread of viral infection and to ensure the quickest recovery, it is important for parents to keep students at home if they are sick.

SSIS maintains a “Fever Free” environment and requires all students stay home if they have or have had a temperature of over 37.5 degree Celsius within the past 24 hours. Additionally, if your child is vomiting or has other signs of an illness that might be transmitted to others, please keep them home from school. This policy supports our efforts to maintain a healthy environment.

Parents are requested to inform the HS office if a student will be absent due to illness prior to 8:00am (See the Attendance Policy for complete information about reporting an absence.)

Email: Ms Tram Ho - (trho@ssis.edu.vn) / Ms Huyen Tran - (hsoffice@ssis.edu.vn)

Telephone: 5413-0901, extension 33081 / extension 33080

In the event of extended illness where the student will be absent for a number of days, parents are requested to contact the school nurse. Email: Ms Lan Nguyen - (hsnurse@ssis.edu.vn) Telephone 5413 0901, extension 31000



Injuries received during the school day will be evaluated by the school nurse. Notification procedures as outlined above will be followed in the event that the nurse determines the student should leave school for rest or further evaluation. If a student needs accommodation (wheelchair, elevator, or other assistance device), either for a short or long-term medical condition, please contact the school nurse for assistance.

Medication at School

If you wish the school nurse to store or administer medication during school hours, please send written authorization including the following information:

• The name of the student receiving the medication and the current date

• The name and description of the medication

• Scheduled time(s) and duration for the administration of the medication

• Instructions for administration of the medication

• The name and contact information of the prescribing M.D.

• A description of any possible side effects

All medicines must be in their original container and clearly labeled in English. For prescription medication, please provide a copy of your doctor’s prescription. A few over-the-counter medications (e.g. Panadol, Ibuprofen) are available and can be given if parental permission is on file as part of the medical authorization form submitted at the time of enrollment. For safety reasons, we ask that students do not carry medications of any type at school.


Strategies in Place to Control Drug & Alcohol Use/Abuse at SSIS

• Upon enrollment, students and their parents are encouraged to read the necessary guidelines and references regarding the control of drugs and alcohol in this handbook. The signature page in the back of this handbook and planner will be required during the first few weeks of school.

• Drug and alcohol information and counseling is available for students and families seeking support. Contact the student’s counselor.

• Random searches of a student’s person, bag, possessions and/or locker may be carried out under the supervision of two members of the school administration.

• Hair or urine testing for drug identification may be carried out at random and/or when drug use is suspected. Such tests will be conducted under the supervision of trained medical personnel and a member of the School Administrators.



SSIS provides 24-hour security service. Parents and other visitors must register at the front gate. Visitors must wear an ID badge visibly and at all times while on campus. For security purposes, visitors must report to the office of the school they are visiting prior to entering any classroom or student area.

Identification Cards (IDs)

Students are issued an ID card. This card must be carried with the students at all times when on campus, and is required to enter and exit the campus. Students should immediately report a lost or missing ID to the high school office. Replacement ID cards can be purchased for 100K VND from main reception desk. 

Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

Anything much beyond holding hands is considered Public Displays of Affection (PDA). Prolonged hugs, kissing, sitting or reclining in compromising positions, or other such actions are unacceptable public displays of affection. These guidelines apply in all areas of the campus and during all times of the school day and at official school events. Students seen exhibiting public displays of affection beyond hand-holding will be referred to the administrators.

Water at School

We encourage drinking of water at school and the school provides safe drinking water for this purpose. All students should have their own water bottle clearly labelled with their name. Water is allowed in all areas of the school. Other than water, food and drinks may be consumed in classrooms ONLY with teacher permission.

No Gum at SSIS

Gum is not allowed at school or on school grounds.

Food Service

SSIS maintains external contracts for on-campus food service, which provides a variety of menu choices. Menus are posted on the SSIS website and also in the MS cafeteria and at the HS Kiosk area. Only high school students have the additional option of food and beverage purchases in the kiosk area, located on the 2nd floor of building C. Parents wishing to bring lunch to students may drop it off at the HS office. Students may not arrange for restaurant delivery to school.

Take-Away Food

Students are not allowed to order any take-away food to be delivered to SSIS during the school day (7:30am - 3:30pm).

Dress Code

To promote a respectful and neat environment focused on study, all SSIS students are required to wear the official SSIS uniform. All uniform items must be purchased at the school store unless noted. The school uniform consists of the following:

Approved Tops:

• Light and dark blue polo shirt with SSIS logo

• Long sleeved white button down shirt with SSIS logo (white shirt needs to be buttoned up)

Approved Sweater/Hoodies/Jackets

• Only SSIS sweaters and sweatshirts can be worn in the HS, which include:

- Those purchased at the school store,

- Those of Clubs/ASAs/Sports that have been approved by the SSIS marketing department and have the school logo.

• Senior students are allowed to wear a university/college sweater.

• SSIS shirts must be worn under approved sweater/hoodie/jacket.

Approved Bottoms:

• SSIS dark blue, black shorts and skorts, and long pants

• All shorts and skorts must extend past student fingertips when standing with shoulders relaxed at their sides.

• Long pants: students are permitted to purchase and wear their own as long as the fabric and color conforms to the SSIS uniform pieces. 

Approved Shoes:

• Students must wear closed-toed shoes when at SSIS

• No flip-flops, slides, Crocs, Birkenstocks and similar varieties are to be worn.

In Addition:

• Non-uniform items such as jewellery need to be safe for the various activities engaged in throughout the school day.

• Hats and headscarves must be removed inside the school building unless worn for religious reasons and approved by the HS administrative team.

• Students are not permitted to wear their PE clothes/uniform on floors 2, 3, and 4 in the HS building or any other SSIS buildings.

Non Uniform Days:

• No sleeveless tops or dresses

• No shirts that expose the belly or chest

• All shorts, skirts, dresses, skorts must extend past student fingertips when standing with shoulders relaxed at their sides.

• No jeans with tears or holes

Dress Code violation

First incident: Students immediately change into appropriate clothing

Second and third incident:

• After-school 1 hour detention (1 day)

• Administrator contacts parents

Fourth incident: •

In-school suspension (1 day)

• Parent Meeting

Dress for Physical Education

Classes An official SSIS PE top, or a team sport/SEASAC sporting event shirt, SSIS PE shorts, athletic shoes and socks are mandatory for all PE classes. SSIS PE shirts and shorts are available at the Student Store. Students MUST change back into their school uniform after PE class at all times (including the last period of the day).

Physical Education Classes

Physical education is a valued part of the SSIS program. All PE students will be issued a PE locker in order to secure their belongings during PE class. This locker may be used for physical education, sports, and after school activities. Students are required to change into their PE uniform for physical education classes and should bring the following items to every class:

• Official PE uniform (mandatory)

• Socks and appropriate sport shoes

• Cap/hat for outdoor activity.

• Sunscreen

• Towel

• Water bottle

In the interest of personal hygiene and consideration of others, all students are expected to change clothing before and after PE class. Showers are available and encouraged. Students will be given ample time at the end of class to shower and be ready for their next class. Students needing to be excused from Physical Education for medical reasons must bring a note from the parent. Students who are well enough to come to school should change into PE clothes and participate to the best of their ability.

Student Lockers

Students in grades 9-12 can have a locker and a combination lock if they request one from Mr. Dan Le. Students are responsible for the security of their locker and should therefore ensure their combination remains private. Lockers should remain locked when not in use.

Locker guidelines:

• Lockers are to be kept clean at all times. Open food or drink are not allowed in lockers.

• Lockers are to be kept locked when not in use. At no times should books or personal belongings be stored on top of, or beside, lockers.

• Students may NOT share lockers.

• No writing is allowed on or in the lockers. Treat your locker with respect - it is school property. Students are charged for painting, repair or replacement as necessary.

• A school administrator may open any locker at any time. A school administrator and one other staff member will be present during any locker inspection.

• Lockers are to be used for school-related purposes only.

Personal Property

Students are reminded that they are responsible for any personal property that they bring to school. Students should lock any personal belongings in their school or gym locker. The school is not responsible for the loss of property. Keep your valuables locked up!

Lost Property

Students who have lost personal items at school are to report the incident to the HS office as soon as possible. Students who find an unclaimed item are asked to turn it into a teacher or the office. Students who have lost an high value electronic device should report it to the HS office.

Found items are stored in the Lost and Found Box in the HS Study Hall room. Labeled items will be returned to students. Students are encouraged to check for lost items immediately and to notify a school administrator if an item of substantial value is lost. While it is not always possible to locate missing items, rapid response does increase the probability of recovery. SSIS takes no responsibility for lost or unclaimed goods.


Students are not permitted to use the elevator unless they have received written permission from the nurse or administration.

Field Trips/School Trips

Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding area provide wonderful opportunities for students to enrich their learning beyond school boundaries. We encourage teachers to engage with the community through field trips that are closely linked to classroom units. While off campus, students are expected to act in accordance with all school rules and expectations. Parents with suggestions for field trips are encouraged to contact the school. The SSIS nurse will help determine if there are specific health concerns related to an individual field trip.

Parents are asked to complete the field trip permission slip (provided in August) and return it as soon as possible. This permission slip allows daytime field trips within Ho Chi Minh City throughout the school year. Participation in extended or overnight field trips requires additional approval from parents. Parents will receive notification directly by teachers when extended field trips are being planned.


Week Without Walls

Field trips are an integral part of our curricular program in that they emphasize learning about the language and culture of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and support the pursuit of our Core Values. In addition to subject-specific day trips, SSIS students in grades 9 and 10 participate in Week Without Walls (WWW) - an extended trip aimed at increasing their awareness and appreciation for this part of the world, making connections to our Core Values that are not possible in the regular classroom, and participating in team building activities and providing opportunity for meaningful service. Additionally, grade 11 students will participate in a mini overnight retreat during the same week the grade 9 and 10 students are on their WWW trips. The dates of high school WWW trips are listed on the HS Google Calendar and will be shared via email and eNews articles. Informational Assemblies and a WWW Parent Evening will be held prior to WWW trips.

Student participation in these field trips is compulsory and is paid for by the family through the SSIS invoice issued by the business office.

Note: SSIS provides limited emergency medical and evacuation insurance in the event of injury during WWW. While the school will have basic insurance coverage for each student participant, families are advised to have additional medical insurance coverage during WWW.

Grade 12 students do not currently take part in WWW due to the heavy attendance requirements in the IB and AP programs and the administration of the university counseling curriculum during this time.

Classroom Rules and Management

As professionals in their field, teachers may establish classroom rules that are specific to their disciplines. Students are expected to follow classroom rules to ensure a safe and academic environment that allows all students the opportunity to learn. Students who violate classroom rules will be subject to disciplinary measures from the teacher and/or principal/assistant principal. Continued violation of classroom rules may result in a parent conference, loss of certain privileges, detention, or suspension from school.

Study Hall

All students are assigned to study hall unless a study hall waiver has been approved (available in the counseling office). Study hall is not designed to be a time to play or socialize. Students should come to study hall prepared to work. Study Hall time also serves as a place for announcements and information distribution in addition to regular electronic communication.

The general purposes of study hall are:

• To serve as a time that the counselor, technology department, administrators, or other faculty/ staff can talk to or deliver curriculum to students as a group or individual .

• To provide a quiet and productive working environment for students without disruptions. • For students to have time to engage in “flexible” activities, including preparing for tests, working in the library, meeting with the counselor or teachers, or for other school-determined programs.

Grade 9 Study Hall Regulations:

• Grade 9 students must have a pass in order to leave the classroom and will be required to have one upon return to study hall. Passes must be used.

• Grade 9 students are assigned to a specific room for Study Hall which is supervised by a faculty member.

• Students are to be on-time to study hall and work productively.

• When possible, the counselor, administrators, and other faculty/staff needing to speak with a study hall class will give a 2-class notice to allow students to prepare for the visit. This lead time may not always be possible. Study hall is a time for visits and should be expected from time-to-time by students. Students should not depend on study hall period to complete home work due later that day; unexpected activities may take place during study hall period.



Each high school student at SSIS is assigned to a faculty advisor and meets every Monday and Thursday (as per schedule). The advisory program plays a critical role in the school’s overall academic and student support services plan. Advisories help to create a more personalized learning environment where all students are well known by at least one adult. Advisory’s purpose is to develop a sense of community through an intentional pastoral care program that: a) endorses the enhancement of emotional well being, b) recognizes and values the development of resilient young people who feel a sense of belonging and connectedness, and c) promotes a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Advisory periods are not meant for students to complete their schoolwork. Sometimes advisory periods are used for activities such as assemblies or guest speakers.


Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Periodically, SSIS conducts evacuation drills to practice safe and efficient evacuation procedures. Students are reminded that evacuation procedures must be conducted in an orderly and quiet manner. Should a crisis ever occur, it is vital that the communication of information be accurate and quickly available. Faculty and staff review procedures and evacuation routes with students at the start of the year and signs indicating the evacuation route for each room are posted in every classroom. If it is necessary to evacuate our students and staff from the school premises, parents will be notified through the school’s emergency contact procedures including text message, email and/or phone call. Students and staff will be evacuated to a nearby, safe location until arrangements can be made for parents to transport students home.



SSIS has a shared vision and desire on the part of the faculty to successfully develop English language proficiency across a high quality academic curriculum, while at the same time promoting the development of each student’s home language and the acquisition of additional languages.

Saigon South International School (SSIS) is mindful of the power of language and words. As part of our core value of Respect for All, the variety of language backgrounds among our students enriches us as a community. The SSIS community is a resource to foster language learning, and the acceptance of an additional language enriches personal growth, enhances first language development, and promotes diversity.



At SSIS, staff and students are expected to use English in all classes unless the class involves direct instruction in the acquisition of another language and/or mother tongue class (e.g. IB Korean).

In order to promote inclusivity across all students, regardless of national or linguistic background, SSIS staff will often and is supported to actively encourage the use of English as the common social language. However, in line with the general belief that diversity in language is a positive element in the school, no language is banned from use during non-instructional time (e.g. changing classes, recess, lunch).


Academic Success

• SSIS curriculum is based on strong English language proficiency.

• All faculty are, to some extent, English language teachers.

• Students are expected to use English as their academic language at SSIS.


English Language Support

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) program supports individual students in English language acquisition. EAL teachers collaborate with classroom teachers in planning effective English language instruction.

Host Country Language

Wednesday Vietnamese classes are required for all Vietnamese nationals.

Resources & Practices

All resources and language of instruction are in English. In all subjects where AP/IB courses are taught, AP/IB approved textbooks are used in addition to other texts.

• The EAL Program and Learning Support Program in all three divisions provide support to those students who have a greater need in successfully using the required level of English.

High School Support Team (HSST)

HS Students are supported at SSIS through a team effort. Members of the HS Support Team include counselors, the EAL teacher, the Learning Support teacher, and an administrator. The HSST meets once a rotation, or as needed, to identify students of concern and to discuss strategies and interventions that will promote their success. The HSST is coordinated by the counseling office and based on referral.

HS Learning Support

The High School Learning Support (LS) program aims to support those students who have difficulties with specific aspects of the learning process. Through an individualized learning plan and small group instruction, students in the LS program learn how to advocate for themselves as they develop the habits and self-management skills needed for both academic and personal success. The Learning Support teacher collaborates with content area teachers to provide accommodations that ensure our students have the support needed to learn and achieve in their classes. Students in the Learning support class earn an elective credit. Admission to the Learning Support program is determined through a referral process initiated by a counselor.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The high school EAL program is a resource for grade 9 and 10 students who are non-native English speakers in the process of acquiring English. Through a class entitled English as an Additional Language (EAL), students are supported in the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in order to transfer those skills into their other courses. Students may also be supported by content area lessons that are co-taught or co-planned by the course teacher and EAL teacher. Upon recommendation, students may enroll in the EAL class for elective credit. Testing accommodations (e.g. extra time, use of a dictionary) are available for students who qualify. Admission to the EAL program is initiated at the time of admissions or through a referral process.


Each division at SSIS contains a library collection of books and other resources. The HS Library, located on the second floor of the HS building, is a student-focused facility designed to support intellectual, educational, recreational and cultural development. The HS Library is open on instructional days from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM, and closed on faculty professional development days and during most school holidays. Libraries may be open for limited hours during Summer vacations.

Library Mission Statement

The Saigon South International School (SSIS) libraries are dedicated to developing the Core Values within the context of the library program. The libraries provide inviting, dynamic learning environments for students, staff, and school community members. Library services support and enhance teaching, information literacy and learning. School librarians facilitate personal and intellectual development through collaboration that encourages a love of reading and the effective use and production of ideas and information.

To achieve our mission, the school libraries:

• Provide all members of the learning community access to supportive, welcoming and learner-centered environments

• Work in collaboration with members of the SSIS community to provide learning experiences that promote student achievement

• Encourage lifelong learning through effective information literacy instruction

• Nurture a love of reading

• Promote critical thinking

• Provide information in a variety of forms

• Use technology to enhance learning

• Contain rich and abundant collections of materials—both print and electronic—to meet the teaching and learning needs of the community

• Reflect principles of diversity and intellectual freedom

• Design spaces for meeting, reading, creating, and studying

Library Borrowing Guidelines:

Students: 5 books for 14 days

Parents/guardians: 5 books for 14 days


All students and staff at are expected to use technology resources and services in a manner appropriate to a school setting and in keeping with the SSIS IT Responsible Use Policy. At all times, SSIS students and staff are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is cognizant of the rights, feelings and freedoms of others as well as themselves. Whether using technology at home or at school, students are expected to give consideration to the effects their actions may have on other members of our community and the global society in general.

SSIS technology and internet access is provided to enrich the learning experience. Recreational use of school technological resources and of school internet access is permissible only at times outside of instructional hours. Parents/guardians and students are required to read the IT Acceptable Use contract and related network policies (below) carefully before signing the document of agreement in the back of this handbook.

Responsible Use Policy

Information and Communication Technologies

Saigon South International School


Statement of Purpose

Saigon South International School (SSIS) provides students with access to the school network and the Internet, and supports the use of personal devices, in order to deliver an innovative, relevant instructional program, enhance student learning, and improve communication.

A key aspect of the educational program at SSIS is to teach, promote, and reinforce responsible use of technology.

Terms of Agreement

SSIS regards access to technology as a privilege that carries with it responsibilities on the part of the students, teachers, and parents. All parties are expected to manage technology responsibly, respectfully, and safely in accordance with the school mission, and core values.

As a responsible user, I agree to:

1. Respect and protect the privacy of self and others.

a. I will keep my passwords and login information private and will only use my own accounts

b. I will protect my contact information and that of others, such as full name, home address, phone number, or any other personal information. c. I acknowledge that all contributions to the Internet leave a digital footprint and can be public and permanent.

d. I will report security risks or violations to a teacher, parent or administrator.

2. Respect and protect the integrity, availability, and security of all technology resources.

a. I will be a responsible user and understand that access to the school’s devices, networks and the Internet is a privilege, not a right.

b. I will be responsible for the safekeeping and care of all the devices (both mine and school-owned).

c. I will conserve, protect, and appropriately share these resources with other students and network users.

d. I will not tamper with data, networks, or any other resources.

e. I will immediately report to a teacher, parent or administrator any damage or problems with any device I use.

3. Respect and protect the intellectual property of others.

a. I will honor the private property of creators’ content and not plagiarize.

b. I will treat information created by others as the private property of the creator.

c. I will respect copyright and cite or attribute appropriately.

d. I will obey copyright laws and not participate in the making or distribution of illegal copies of music, games, movies, or written work belonging to others.

4. Respect and protect the principles of community.

a. I will communicate and use technology only in ways that are kind and respectful in school as well as outside.

b. I will notify a teacher, parent or administrator if I see any information or communication that is threatening or discomforting.

c. I understand that cyber bullying will not be tolerated and the school reserves the right to take action against anyone who posts or sends material, on or off campus, that adversely affects the safety or well-being of another SSIS community member.


Consequences for Misuse:

In accordance with divisional policy, violations of these agreements may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to:

• The confiscation of the device

• The loss of a user’s privileges to use the school’s technology resources

• The loss of the privilege to bring the device to school

Further consequences may be imposed in accordance with school policy.

Note that in extreme circumstances loss of access to school network would make it impossible to continue an education at SSIS.


Supervision and Monitoring:

The use of technology resources at SSIS is not private. The school reserves the right to examine, use and disclose any data found on the school’s information networks in order to further the health, safety, discipline or security of any student or other person or to protect property. They may also use this information in disciplinary actions. The school reserves the right to determine what constitutes responsible use and to limit access to resources.

SSIS will not be held responsible for individual property if it is lost, damaged, or stolen.


Social Media Guidelines

SSIS encourages students to maintain high ethical standards in their use of social networking sites. Since social media reaches audiences far beyond the community, students must use social sites responsibly and be accountable for their actions.

• In the online environment, students must follow the SSIS Responsible Use Policy and conduct themselves online as in School. Students are expected to use technology during class in a way that is expected by the teacher. Checking social media sites is not a class time activity.

• Social media venues are public and information can be shared beyond your control. Be conscious of what you post online as you will leave a long-lasting impression on many different audiences.

• Do not post or link anything (e.g. photos, videos, web pages, audio files, forums, groups, fan pages) to your social networking sites that you would not want friends, peers, parents, teachers, college admissions officers, or future employers to access. What you present on social networking forums represents you forever.

• If responding to someone with whom you disagree, remember to be respectful. Make sure that criticism is constructive and not hurtful. Do not use profane, obscene, or threatening language.

• Only accept social network invitations from people you know. Utilize privacy settings to control access to your network, web pages, profile, posts, blogs, wikis, podcasts, digital media, forums, groups, fan pages, etc.

• Online stalkers and identity thieves are a real threat. Never share personal information, including, but not limited to, social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, exact birth dates, and pictures with people you don’t know or on unsecure sites.

• Users should keep their passwords secure and never share passwords with others. If someone tampers with your blog, email, or social networking account without you knowing about it, you could be held accountable.

• Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else’s identity.

• Cyberbullying is considered an act of harassment.

• Use of SSIS logos or images on your personal social networking sites is prohibited. If you wish to promote a specific SSIS activity or event, you may do so only by means of a link to the official SSIS Facebook account.

Resources: socialmediaguidelines.pbworks.com

Please also refer to the SSIS Responsible Use Policy for further guidance.


Students have the following options for travel to and from SSIS:

• A school bus service is provided by SSIS for an additional fee and dependent upon availability. Interested families should contact Ms. Vy at busing at ssis.edu.vn or 5413-0901, extension 31281. Buses arrive at school between 7:30 a.m. - 7:55 a.m. each day. Afternoon buses depart at approximately 3:10pm.

• Private cars, cars pools or contracted drivers and taxis may drop students off at the school loadingzone in the front of the school. Due to the large volume of traffic and the high number of children in the area, all vehicles are required to drive very slowly and to follow the directions of traffic personnel.

• Students in grades 9-12 may walk or ride bicycles to school. Helmets are required for student bicycle riders to SSIS.

• High school students who ride motorcycles to school must register their official Vietnamese driver’s license in the High School office. Students that do not have this official Vietnamese license are not permitted to ride a motorbike to school (whether parked in the SSIS parking lot or elsewhere).

SSIS Bus Conduct Guidelines: Any student using school transportation is obligated to follow all school rules as well as the rules outlined below. If a student does not follow the directions of the bus driver, exhibits unsafe or inappropriate behavior or acts in violation of school rules, parents will be contacted. A student may be denied bus privileges if continued violation of school rules occurs.

Specific rules are listed below:

1. Bus Safety: The safety and well-being of all SSIS students while traveling to and from school is very important. All school rules and guidelines regarding appropriate behavior will apply on all school buses. This includes travel for school field trips and sports exchanges. SSIS students are expected to behave in a manner that promotes a safe and pleasant ride on all school buses. High School students are expected to be particularly good role models for the younger students that may be riding the bus.

2. Bus Guidelines: Students are to follow the guidelines listed below:

• Respect the bus driver and bus supervisor at all times

• Be on time. The bus cannot wait for students who are late arriving at the designated pick-up.

• Be seated with seatbelt fastened at all times

• Do not use mobile phones on the bus.

• Keep windows closed.

• Treat bus property with care and respect.

• Exit the bus at your stop only; use the front door only to exit.

• Use appropriate language; keep voices at a reasonable level.

• Refrain from eating food or chewing gum on the bus; drink water only.

• Refrain from throwing anything within or out of the bus.

• Keep all body parts inside the bus: do not reach or lean out the windows.

• Be responsible for personal belongings.


Consequences: Except in extreme situations, all students will be given three-warnings before being suspended from using the school bus services. The suspension period will depend on the severity of the incident(s). Parents will be notified when students have been given a second warning. Bus drivers will report all incidents to the bus coordinator who will then refer the student to the high school administration. Should a student fail to come to school during a bus suspension, the absences will be treated as unexcused and the administration will apply consequences. It is the responsibility of the family to provide transportation to school should their child’s bus privileges be revoked.

Students requesting to ride on a different bus than they are normally assigned must provide a note to the office at the start of the school day. Permission to ride on a different bus will be granted only if extra seats are available.


Section 4:



Saigon South International School provides a world class educational experience through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Courses are supported by specific standards and benchmarks that determine what students should know and be able to demonstrate by the end of the course. SSIS employs a full-time Curriculum Director to ensure that standards and benchmarks remain relevant through regular review.

SSIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the United States of America. High school students may choose from SSIS curriculum classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). In addition, all full IBDP grade 11 and 12 students participate in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) classes and the IBDP Extended Essay (EE). Successful completion of CAS, TOK and the EE are mandatory elements of the full IB Diploma. As a guiding principle, students are encouraged to take the most demanding courses in which they can be academically successful. One-on-one academic advising is provided by experience high school counselors.


All Students graduate with an SSIS High School Diploma after successful completion of the minimum number of courses. Each high school course meets for approximately 430 minutes over a two-week cycle throughout the school year, which runs from August to June. All courses are assessed on an A - F scale (A being the highest). Course credit is awarded for successful completion of courses with a Grade of D- or higher. New students joining the high school will, in discussion with a high school counselor, have their previous transcripts/school reports verified and credit awarded.


SSIS offers the IB Diploma Programme as an option to 11th and 12th graders. The IB Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of study that meets the needs of highly motivated secondary school students. Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the program model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many. The IB Diploma Programme is considered a worldwide standard for academic excellence. IB courses with qualifying exam grades are accepted for credit, advanced placement or both, by many universities. In addition, IB courses and predicted exam scores are often used in the university admissions process. It is a deliberate compromise between the specialization required in some national systems and the breadth preferred in others. Subjects are studied concurrently and students are exposed to the two great traditions of learning - the humanities and the sciences. Details are made available to students and parents in January prior to course registration. All students taking IB courses are required to take the IB exam in May of their senior year. For more details on the IB Diploma Programme at Saigon South International School, refer to Appendix 2 in this handbook or contact the IBDP coordinator.


The Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a challenging academic program designed to provide motivated high school students with college level academic courses. Established in 1955 by the College Board, the AP Program is considered a standard for academic excellence in the United States and around the world. AP courses with qualifying exam grades are accepted for credit, advanced placement, or both, by most American colleges and universities. In addition, AP courses and exam grades are used in the admissions process hundreds of universities outside of the United States.

SSIS is committed to offering a wide array of Advanced Placement courses each year. All students taking AP courses are required to take the AP exam in May. Grade 9 students can take one AP exam (AP Human Geography). Grade 10 students cannot take more than two AP exams (courses) without approval of the counseling department and HS principal. Grade 11 and 12 students can register for 3 AP exams. These three AP exams can be a combination of SSIS AP courses and challenging for exams for AP courses not taught at SSIS.

The AP Coordinator is Ms. Monika Richardson, 5413-0901, mrichardson at ssis.edu.vn.

Important Info Regarding Grade 10 Course Selection

*Every Grade 10 student is required to study World Studies 10 or AP World History. An exception is for US citizens whom could choose US History or AP US History.

*AP Psychology is an option, but it is not in the place of the history requirement. It would be studied as your elective option.

*A reminder: If you wish to study in 2 math classes, you need to complete an Application for Permission to Double-Enroll in Math. If you wish to not have a Study Hall, you need to complete an Application for Study Block Waiver. These forms are available in the counseling office.


One credit is earned for the successful completion of a one-year course that meets 2 to 3 blocks per week. Students are expected to remain in year-long courses for both semesters. One-half credit is earned for the successful completion of a semester course that meets 2 to 3 times per week. Credit will be given only for courses taken while students are enrolled at the ninth through twelfth grade levels. Placement in the grades is determined by the total number of credits earned.

Repeating a grade or course

Students in grades 9-12 who fail required courses must repeat those courses (or the equivalent) during the regular school year as scheduling allows. Students wishing to repeat a course for a better grade and/or a better understanding of the course material must consult with the HS counselor and have the approval of the principal. Should courses not be available for students to make up needed credit, students will be expected to complete needed credit through other means (e.g. accredited online options) approved by the principal upon recommendation of the student’s HS counselor (see Independent Study Policy below).

Independent Study Policy

The requirements for independent study or correspondence courses are:

• No course will be accepted for credit that is already offered by SSIS (exception: scheduling conflict or course remediation that is approved by the principal).

• No credit will be accepted from an unlicensed school.

• A proposal must be made which includes time requirements, curriculum outline, supervisor, and testing format of the course in question.

• Final approval will be made by the principal upon recommendation of the student’s counselor.

• All students taking an online course will be assigned a faculty mentor and room assignment and be expected to provide regular status updates to that faculty member regarding the course.

• All fees associated with these types of course are the sole responsibility of the student.

Electronic Devices

Students are allowed to use electronic devices such as mobile phones and other multimedia players during non-instructional times (e.g. before/after school, breaks and lunch). These devices are not allowed in instructional spaces during class time unless expressly permitted by the teacher. Students in violation of this policy may have their electronic devices confiscated by any faculty member or administrator. Confiscated devices will be held in the high school office and can be collected at the end of the school day. In repeated cases (beginning with the third incident), the device will only be returned to the parent.

School Textbooks and Materials

Students will be issued textbooks and other school property for use over the school year. Students are expected to return those materials in good condition. Textbooks should not be written or marked in. Textbooks are numbered and students MUST return the same book they are issued. Students will be charged for lost or vandalized texts. All accounts, including those for lost or damaged items, must be cleared at the Business Office prior to the issuance of a transcript at the time of withdrawal.

Laptop Learning Initiative

All high school students are responsible for having a dedicated laptop computer for use at school on a daily basis. All SSIS students, as well as any students new to SSIS, are required to bring a MacBook computer to school every day.

Laptop Requirements

• Mac Operating System in English

• Maintain a minimum of 3 hours battery life

• Be fully charged at the start of each school day

• Have malware removal software installed (Malwarebytes Anti Malware recommended)

• Hardware must be in good condition with screen, keyboard, touchpad and other essential components present and functioning correctly

• It is expected that you will treat your laptop carefully, and get it repaired promptly if it has technical issues.

• Fully licensed software (all software programs installed on the laptop must be legally licensed)

Wednesday Classes in Vietnamese History, Geography, Literature, and Ethics

In accordance with our government agreement, all students in Grades 9-12 holding a Vietnamese passport must attend Wednesday classes in Vietnamese history, geography, literature, and ethics. Students who miss more than three classes during the school year without an acceptable reason will be required to make up work. A letter of explanation will be sent at the beginning of the school year to all students in grades 9-12 needing to attend these classes. In addition, there will be a mandatory information session for parents of students in these classes.

Organization of School Year

The academic year is divided into four quarters (two semesters) with final grades at the end of each semester. Quarter grades are reported four times an academic year, but only semester grades are reflected in the official transcript and printed report cards. Most courses are a full year, although there are some semester courses. One full credit is given for successful completion of a year-long course; 0.5 credit for a semester course. A SSIS Calendar can be found in the front of this Handbook. PowerSchool, the electronic portal used to communicate grade information between SSIS and home, is constantly revised and allows fluid change of grades as the year progresses. SSIS will use procedures to manage the availability, consistency, and accuracy of these grades and will communicate that to the SSIS community.

Homework:purpose and expectations

Regular practice, review, and completion of assignments at home are key aspects of the learning process. A regular homework routine will help students develop the time management and study habits that are vital to success.

The amount of homework may vary depending on the course, and the time required to complete assignments depends on the nature of the assignment and the student’s work habits. In general, high school students should expect to have 90-120 minutes of homework per day.

Generally speaking, teachers will not assign homework the day before a vacation or long weekend and expect it to be due immediately upon return to school. There may be exceptions for certain IB/AP classes.

Students or parents with homework concerns should contact the teacher as their first step in understanding any issues.

Students’ responsibilities:

• Complete assignments on time and to the best of their ability

• Check Moodle and PowerSchool to plan for upcoming assignments

• Ask for help if they have questions or concerns

Teachers’ responsibilities:

• Provide clear and timely information about homework assignments and due dates

• Provide clear and timely feedback on homework assignments

• Be reasonably considerate of disruptions to the school schedule (such as holidays and exams) when planning homework assignments

Parents are encouraged to:

• Ask students about homework assignments

• Help students maintain a homework routine and minimize distractions

• Periodically check PowerSchool and Moodle

Late Submission of Homework

Students are responsible for submitting homework on time. Students who consistently fail to submit homework assignments on time may be required to attend tutorials or make-up sessions during study hall or after school until work is completed.

Students who know they will be absent on the day a major assignment is due should make arrangements to submit the assignment before the due date. If an assignment is submitted after the due date because of a planned absence, it will be considered late unless prior arrangements are made with the teacher.

In the case of an excused absence (whether approved beforehand or unexpected), students are responsible for confirming what work they missed. Students have the same number of school days to make up assignments as the number of days they were absent.

Short-term and Long-term assignments:

Students are expected to:

• Turn in assignments on time.

• Plan ahead. Teachers are not responsible to remind students of upcoming due dates for long-term assignments.

• Keep current with PowerSchool and Moodle. Although many teachers post both long and short-term assignments on PowerSchool and Moodle, students will not be excused from an assignment because they were unable to access PowerSchool or Moodle.

• Make up missing assessments. Due dates for long-term assignments, oral reports, group projects, or research papers are firm, however, zeros will not be used as final assessment grades for major assignments or in determining a student’s final grade in a course. The student is responsible for arranging with the teacher to make up any missed major assessments. Zeros may be used as a temporary placeholder, which may act as an incentive for some students but “Incomplete” or INC will be used in final grade reporting should the assignment not be eventu ally completed. Departmental policies may guide this practice.

• Plan ahead and expect the unexpected. Technical problems with printers, PowerSchool, Moodle, the internet, storage devices, etc. are not considered excuses for late work.

Late Submission of Assignments

When assigning projects and homework, teachers give consideration to the amount of time required and attempt to provide sufficient advance notice to enable students to organize their commitments. Assignments submitted past the due date may demonstrate a lack of organization and/or poor time management.

Students with incomplete or missing major assessments at the end of the semester will receive no credit for the class. In such cases, a decision on the final grade in the class will be made jointly by the teacher, counselor, and administration.

Late work submitted before the end of the quarter, will not receive a grade lower than 50% assuming that the requirements of the assignment are met and there is adequate evidence of achieving course learning standards.

Demonstrating good organization and meeting of deadlines and submission dates are significant factors in achieving good grades and form a portion of the grade on each assignment. The administration and teachers may also require that students attend tutorials or after school make-up sessions until work is completed.

If the assignment is submitted late, it will be graded accordingly. If the student brings the teacher a signed note from a parent/guardian with a legitimate reason for being away and not completing the assignment on time, deductions will be revised, but not necessarily excused.

Below are examples of unacceptable reasons for late submission of assignments or missing of examinations (whether class exam or midterm/final exams):

• Misreading or misunderstanding the exam schedule

• Oversleeping and therefore being late for an exam

• Holidays/vacation

• Family housing change

• Social and sporting commitments

• Attendance at interviews

• Participation in events such as competitions and concerts


Academic Honesty Policy

Saigon South International School encourages students to strive for excellence and to conduct themselves with academic honesty. Personal integrity and mutual trust are of utmost importance.

It is critical that students create their own work and acknowledge that of others. This is an essential skill that has important transference to university studies and beyond, both professionally and personally.



Academic honesty requires that students present only their own work for assessment and grading. Academic dishonesty is defined as an act of deception, whether intentional or unintentional, that serves to avoid academic responsibility, allows a student to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment through plagiarism or malpractice, and potentially endangers other students’ and damages institutional integrity.


Plagiarism is defined as “the uncredited use (both intentional and unintentional) of somebody else’s words or ideas.” (Purdue University Online Writing Lab)

This may include actions such as:

• Using the words or original ideas of another person without proper citation

• Failing to use quotation marks when quoting a source

• Paraphrasing another’s work without citing the original source

• Using an author’s argument or points from an argument and representing them as one’s own

Examples of common sources of plagiarized materials include work by other students, journal articles, books and the internet. It should be noted that even unintentional failure to acknowledge a source might constitute plagiarism and forgetting to cite a reference is not an acceptable excuse. If a student is ever in doubt, they must acknowledge their source. Students who are not sure whether they have committed plagiarism or academic malpractice must ask their teacher prior to submission.


Malpractice is behavior that results in, or may result in, the student or any other student gaining an unfair advantage on one or more assignments. The following are examples of behaviors that constitute malpractice. This list, however, is not exhaustive:

• Copying the work of another student or allowing one’s own work to be copied

• Sharing one’s own work with another student

• Providing test or exam content or questions to other students

• Exchanging, obtaining or sharing old tests, quizzes, reports, papers or assignments for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage

• Unauthorized collusion on an assignment

• Fabricating data for an assignment (data falsification)

• Forgery (for example forging a signature, parental note, certificates, record, report or letter of reference)

• Misconduct during an examination, such as attempts to disrupt the examination or distract another student

• False declaration (for example, lying to obtain extension of a deadline, to gain exemption from work or to receive special consideration)

• Cutting and pasting information from a website without proper referencing

• Stealing examination papers

• Using an unauthorized calculator or other electronic devices during an examination

Role of Tutors

Successful students sometimes engage in outside support through the use of tutors. While there is nothing wrong with students receiving help so that they understand content and concepts more clearly, sometimes tutors give students too much help. In order to avoid committing an act of academic dishonesty, students and their parents need to communicate the following to tutors:

• Tutors may help their students to understand terms, content and concepts

• Tutors may not write part or all of a student’s essay, report, commentary, etc

• Tutors may not provide interpretations that a student then incorporates into an essay, report, commentary, etc

• Tutors may not write or dictate complete sentences to a student

• Tutors may not do any calculations for a student

If a student (or parent) is unclear about appropriate behavior for tutors, it is essential that he/she speaks with their teacher before submitting the work/assessment. 

All of the points mentioned above also apply to parents, siblings, friends and anyone else who may be in the position to assist a student.

Referencing Expectations

Students are expected to use a MLA citation model to correctly reference the work of others in all situations and assignments.

SSIS Efforts to Control Plagiarism

The school recognizes the need to advise students on what constitutes academic dishonesty and on the distinctions between dishonest and legitimate practice. Such advice is an essential part of academic education and preparation for professional life. All SSIS faculty will spend some time explaining academic dishonesty at the beginning of their course and throughout the year and contacting parents when the first evidence of these types of problems arise. Also, the school requires students and parents to sign a standard form indicating they have read this document and agree to abide by the SSIS School Academic Code of Honesty.

The high school uses www.turnitin.com for all of its core academic classes. This website is a plagiarism control tool allowing teachers to compare student-submitted work to work found on the Internet and to other previously-submitted student work to turnitin.com from anywhere in the world. All students will be required by their teachers to submit major written assignments through turnitin.com. Teachers will provide students in their class with course code and password information for this purpose.

The following information is provided to make sure that students are aware of expectations and understand actions that will be considered as cheating.

Collaborative Assignments

Cooperation and collaboration between students is frequently expected and encouraged. For some group projects, students may be assigned a group grade, rather than an individual grade. However, there must be clear acknowledgement of whose contribution is being submitted or presented. One-sided contribution ceases to be collaborative. Similarly, collaboration must never result in a piece of work being attributed to a single individual.

Consequences for Academic Dishonesty (including Plagiarism and Malpractice)

SSIS reserves the right to impose consequences for academic dishonesty, depending upon the frequency, seriousness, and circumstances of the offense. All incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the high school administrative team by the staff members at SSIS. The administrator will consult with the reporting staff member and student in question to determine the course of action and to determine the level of academic dishonesty.

Once referred to the administration, the following consequences will apply over the students’ SSIS high school career if and as the frequency of academic dishonesty continues.

Academic Dishonesty Level 1 (examples include, but are not limited to)

• Copying homework

• Looking at another student’s test or quiz

• Letting another student look on a test or a quiz

• Receiving or giving answers on a test, quiz or homework

• Taking information from another source that is not properly attributed

• Working with others on an assignment that was meant to be done individually

Consequences for Academic Dishonesty Level 1 Violations:

Instance 1

• The student will receive no score on originally submitted assignment/assessment in question and will be required to resubmit the work. Students will be required to redo the assignment and can earn up to 75% credit on the redone work.

• Student will receive an after school detention.

• An e-mail and/or telephone call by the administration will be made to the parents or guardians

• The incident will be noted in PowerSchool for tracking purposes.

• A conference with the student, teacher, parent, counselor, and administrator may be held depending on the circumstances. The administration will determine whether a meeting will be held.

Instance 2

• The student will receive no score on the originally submitted assignment/assessment in question and will be required to resubmit the work. Students will be required to redo the assignment and will earn no more than 50% credit on the redone work.

• An e-mail and/or telephone call by the administration will be made to the parents or guardians.

• The incident will be noted in PowerSchool for tracking purposes.

• A conference with the student, teacher, parent, and administrator will be held.

• A behavior contract will be signed by the student and parents.

• The student will be assigned an in-school suspension.

• Any future instances will be considered academic dishonesty level 2.

Academic Dishonesty Level 2 (examples include, but are not limited to):

• Having two or more instances of academic dishonesty level 1.

• Using “cheat sheets” or other electronic means during an assessment that are not authorized by the teacher.

• Copying, purchasing, or obtaining papers from the Internet, publications, or other students

• Taking or sharing any part of a test to use or give to others.

• Using a peer’s work without their permission.

• Submitting work that has been developed and/or completed by another person (i.e. tutor, parent, peer).

Academic Level 2 Consequences:

• Student will receive no credit on the assignment/assessment in question, but is required to resubmit the work.

• The student will receive an in-school suspension.

• A behavior contract will be signed by the student and parents.

• The student will be ineligible for any academic awards at the end of the year.

• School guidance counselors may be required to report repeated instances of academic dishonesty on student university applications.

• Multiple occurrences of level 2 instances or in combination with level 1 could result in the student being withdrawn from SSIS. The high school principal will consider the factors carefully before making a recommendation to the Head of School for a final decision.

Academic Dishonesty Level 3 (examples include, but are not limited to):

• Stealing examinations or other materials from the teacher to gain an unfair advantage.

• Using/logging onto a teacher’s computer without permission.

• Altering grades on a computer database. Submitting plagiarized work to teacher for final external assessment (i.e. IB IA, portfolio, AP, EE, etc).

• Falsifying school reports or transcripts.

Academic Level 3 Consequences:

• Student will receive no credit on the assignment/assessment in question, but will be required to resubmit the work.

• The incident will be noted in PowerSchool for tracking purposes.

• A conference with the student, teacher, parent, and administrator will be held.

• A behavior contract will be signed by the student and parents.

• The student will be assigned an out-of-school suspension.

• In addition to an out-of-school suspension, the student may be withdrawn from SSIS. The high school principal will consider the factors carefully before making a recommendation to the Head of School for a final decision.

• School guidance counselors will be required to report Academic Dishonesty Level 3 violations due to their severity on student university applications.



SSIS graduation requirements are designed to meet accreditation standards and minimum university entrance requirements. To be eligible for high school graduation, a student must:

• Earn a minimum of 24 semester credits over four years in grades 9 through 12.

• Complete at least eight semesters of high school in grades 9 through 12 (therefore no student may graduate “early”).

• Not attend high school for more than four years. Should a student not meet graduation requirements at the end of four years, students will receive a Certificate of Attendance. In certain cases, transfer students may be allowed to graduate with five years of study on their HS transcript.

More detailed requirements for an SSIS Diploma are:

 Academic Discipline

 Required Credits


 4 - must include one core English course at each grade level


 3 - must include Geometry and Algebra II


 3 - must include at least one science course while in grades 11 or 12

 Social Studies

 3 - must include at least one Social Studies course while in grades 11 or 12

 Modern World Language/ESL

 2 - two consecutive years in the same language

 Health and Physical Education

 2 - must include core PE/Health classes

 Fine Arts



 6 - credit earned above required department requirements.




Note that 1.0 credit equals a yearlong HS course.

Credit Exception

In exceptional circumstances, one or more semesters of attendance may be waived as well as requirements for Fine Arts, World Language and Physical Education/Health. This would only occur in situations where a student comes to SSIS in Grade 11 and 12 and it is simply not possible for them to schedule the required courses due to IB or other requirements, and it would cause long term educational disadvantage. In such cases, the high school principal will solicit input from parents, the counselor, faculty, and any other relevant sources, but is solely responsible for the final decision.

Students must take core classes at SSIS to fulfill credit requirements. If scheduling conflicts prevent this, then the student may then be allowed to take an approved online course while under the supervision of an SSIS faculty member (see relevant guidelines).

Grade Level Placement

Grade placement and graduation are totally dependent upon the accumulated credits earned during high school.

1. Students who successfully complete the British IGSCE examinations or an equivalent examination system may receive two credits for each examination up to a maximum of 12 credits and be placed in grade 11.

2. Before a student is “officially” accepted for enrollment, all high school records, (or middle school records for grade 9 applicants), must be submitted to the Office of Admission and will be reviewed by the principal. Students will be placed into a grade level in accordance with the following credit requirements:

• Grade 9 (Freshmen)-in general, students who have earned fewer than six (6) high school credits.

• Grade 10 (Sophomores)-in general, students who have earned six (6) or more high school credits.

• Grade 11 (Juniors)-in general, students who have earned twelve (12) or more high school credits.

• Grade 12 (Seniors)-in general, students who have earned eighteen (18) or more high school credits.

Promotion in Grades 9-12

Permitting advancement in a subject without an understanding of the foundational concepts is counterproductive. In many subjects, success in mastering the content of one year is frequently dependent upon successful completion of the previous year’s work.

The credibility of the SSIS High School Diploma, student success in IB/AP courses, and acceptance by universities worldwide is dependent upon our maintenance of high standards. The following promotion procedures, awarded on a course-by-course basis, have been developed to ensure that these standards are consistent.

• Course credit will be granted to students who achieve a final score of D- or above. No credit will be awarded for a final grade of F. If credit for a required course is not earned, students must repeat the course as a part of graduation requirements.

• As a general rule, the availability of an alternative course may permit students to move into the subsequent year without earning course credit in the previous year’s course. The final decision to permit advancement will be made by the high school principal in consultation with the parent, counselor, and subject teacher.

• In general, a grade of C or above is the minimum prerequisite to move to the next course in sequence. While SSIS credit is earned for a C-, D+, D, D-, those grades are generally not sufficient for advancement in courses that depend on a requisite foundation for continued success in that subject (e.g. Mathematics, Modern World Languages.) See the 2018-19 HS Program of Studies for more information related to course prerequisites.

• Should a student be minimally passing a class in a subject area and because of this is not recommended by their current teacher for a course for the following school year, the teacher will make this recommendation to the high school counselor prior to the start of the school year. The final decision to permit advancement will be made by the high school principal in consultation with the parent, counselor, and subject teacher.


Achievement is Reported Using an A-F Scale

 Achievement Level


 A+, A, A- (Excellent / Very Good)

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.

 B+, B (Good)

 A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.

 B- (Satisfactory to Good)

 A consistent and good understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student usually shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight

 C+ (Satisfactory)

A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

 C (Mediocre)

Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates some understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.

 C- (Poor)

 Limited achievement against most of the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.

 D+, D, D- (Very poor)

 Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.

 F (Failure)

 Has not met the objectives for the course. Will not be promoted to the next level in Math, Science, or World Language until course credit in failed course is earned.


Grading Scale and Reporting of Student Progress

High school students at SSIS are graded on the following scale:

 Grade Value

 Numerical Grade

 Grade Point Equivalent (GPA)

A+ 96.5 - 100.0


 A  92.5 - 96.49



89.5 - 92.49



86.5 - 89.49



82.5 - 86.49



79.5 - 82.49


 C+ 76.5 - 79.49 



72.5 - 76.49



69.5 - 72.49


 D+  66.5 - 69.49


 D  62.5 - 66.49


 D-  59.5 - 62.49


 F  < 59.5



To calculate the grade point average (GPA), add the numerical equivalent of each letter grade earned and divide by the total number of grades issued.

In cases where health, or other administration-approved, circumstances have prevented a student from completing required coursework prior to grade reporting, the student will be given an “I” grade (Incomplete). Student grade records will be amended only after the work has been submitted by an agreed-upon deadline. A similar circumstance may occur when a student has withdrawn after a period of time. In this case, a “W” grade will be reported on the report card as “WP” (Withdraw Passing) or “WF” (Withdraw Failing).


Grade Change Procedures

At times a grade may be entered or determined incorrectly and a quarter or semester grade may need to be changed. Because of the importance attached to grading, the following procedure is followed to provide for accuracy and security.

1. A Grade Change Form needs to be completed by student or teacher (available from one of the counselors or located in the HS Office..

2. Once the Grade Change Form is completed and approved, the grade will be changed in PowerSchool by an administrator or one of the high school counselors.

3. The Grade Change Form will be filed in the Guidance Office.


The revised Program of Studies for the following academic year is posted and available online to parents and families prior to course registration each school year. Students are asked to choose their courses for the following year after engaging in discussion with their teachers, counselor, parents, and the IB and AP Coordinators as appropriate.

Please note: While every attempt is made to give each SSIS high school student all of their desired courses/schedules, this may not always be possible. Unavoidable schedule conflicts and full classes may be realities that prevent students from getting their first choice of courses. In these cases, the high school counselors will meet with students to discuss other options.

During the second semester of each year, or upon acceptance to SSIS, students receive a Program of Studies and are asked to choose courses for both semesters of the next school year. During the registration process, teachers and counselors will offer advice as to which courses are appropriate based upon each student’s ability, performance and future plans. Final decisions on courses approved remains the prerogative of the high school administration in consultation with the student, their parents, the counselors, and the appropriate department head or faculty member.

Class Load

Grade 9 and 10 students must be enrolled in seven courses each semester in addition to Study Hall. Grade 11 and 12 students should ordinarily be enrolled in seven academic courses. While it is rarely recommended or beneficial, in very unusual cases a student may request permission from the high school to take eight courses. A waiver request form is available from the counseling office in this case. Students are not permitted to enroll in more than one Study Hall block per semester.

In general, course changes will be considered the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, students should plan their courses carefully, bearing in mind that their choices will have an impact on the building of the master schedule and that their initial choices may make changes impossible.

Schedule Changes

SSIS students must remain in their assigned courses for the first day of the school year. This allows the high school counselors to focus on assisting students who are new to SSIS. Returning students who have a schedule problem should go to the HS Counseling Office after school, during break or at lunch to meet with their counselor.

Students are expected to remain in all requested courses unless the placement is clearly inappropriate. In this event, the high school counselor will work with students and families to provide counseling on other choices. Requests to add, delete, or change a course must be made to the counselor by the end of the 1st full rotation cycle of classes. All requests must be for educationally sound reasons and approved by the student’s counselor.

Students who feel a change is required should discuss the issue with the teachers of both classes (the one being dropped and the one newly joined) and the counselor. If it is agreed that a change is appropriate, an “add/drop” form will be completed by the counselor and given to the student. The student must turn in any books or materials from the dropped class to the book room. Once both teachers have signed the form, the form must be returned to the HS Guidance Office before the change is made. Changes to a schedule can only be made by the student’s counselor and must be reflected in PowerSchool. The high school principal will make the decision on class changes in the event that consensus on a schedule change cannot be made.

Changes After the Add/Drop Period

Students may drop or change a class beyond the end of the first full rotation of classes at no penalty under the following circumstances and with counselor approval:

• If a teacher recommends a change in level (e.g., Spanish 3 to Spanish 2 or 4).

• If the High School Support Team (HSST) recommends that a student drop a course and add a support class (e.g. EAL, Learning Strategies, Study Hall).

• Generally, students who withdraw from a course beyond the 6th full week of school will have a semester average grade of “F” recorded. Only in exceptional cases (e.g. hospitalization), and with approval from the high school principal, is a student allowed to withdraw from a course beyond the sixth week for the semester with a Withdraw Pass (WP) or Withdraw Fail (WF).

Course Override

If a student, in consultation with their parents, wishes to “override” a teacher recommendation for a course, the student must see their high school counselor in order to review the process and pick up the appropriate form for documentation in the high school office. The high school administration reserves the right to review the request and withhold approval.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued to students at mid-semester and at the end of each Semester. Letter grades for academic achievement are given in the high school.

There are final examinations for most courses at the end of the year. Final Semester 2 grades are calculated by adding 80% of the semester grade and final exam grade at 20% if there is a final exam in the course.

Reporting Procedures

Electronic copies of report cards are issued throughout the year at the end of each semester as well as a mid-semester progress report.

Teachers may also contact parents by email or telephone to report on student achievement or to inform parents of changes in student progress. Parents are also encouraged to contact teachers, should they have any questions or concerns regarding student progress or welfare at school.

Curriculum Night

Early in the school year, a Curriculum Night is held to introduce parents to their child’s teachers, classrooms, and the program of studies. Curriculum Night is an opportunity for parents to see their child’s learning environment, understand teacher expectations, and gather strategies to help ensure a successful year. All parents are encouraged to attend this important event.

The date of this event is shown on the HS Google calendar, and shared via email and eNews.

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences (Fall & Spring)

Parent participation in conferences is highly encouraged as it gives students an opportunity to reflect jointly with parents and teachers on successes and achievements in the classroom. Additionally it provides a forum to discuss any concerns in the class along with strategies to address those concerns. Conferences also provide an excellent venue to establish goals for the remainder of the year. It is important for at least one parent of the student to attend these conferences to accomplish the above.

Parent/Student/Teacher conferences are scheduled in both semester one and semester two. The dates of these events are shown on the HS Google calendar, and shared via email and eNews. Additional conferences can be scheduled at the request of parents or teachers any time during the school year through the individual teacher or the counseling office.

Academic Concern, Academic Probation and Academic Contract

To be in good academic standing, SSIS high school students must meet the school’s minimum academic standard. Although SSIS will provide help and guidance to students; students must take an active role in improving their grades to get themselves out of probation. Students receive official reports four times a year via PowerSchool.

Step 1: Academic Concern

When a student does not meet SSIS’s minimum academic standards on an official report (see below) for the first time, the student is placed on Academic Concern for the following quarter. A student is placed on Academic Concern when earning the following grades on any official report whether hardcopy or electronic:

• One (1) F and/or two (2) or more D’s (whether + or -)

• An overall GPA below 1.67

• Or when a student is not maintaining requirements of AP Course(s) or the IB Diploma Programme

A Letter of Academic Concern will be sent to the parents of the student by the high school counselor and kept in the student’s school file.

Students on Academic Concern may take part in student activities/athletics in accordance with the SSIS Eligibility Policy.

Step 2: Academic Probation

When a student does not meet the SSIS minimum academic standards on an official report for a second consecutive quarter, the student is placed on Academic Probation for the following two quarters. A student must perform at or above the minimum standards (as indicated above) for two (2) successive reporting periods in order to be removed from Academic Probation.

When a student is placed on Academic Probation, the following actions will be taken by the school:

1. The high school administration will notify parents by phone, conference, or e-mail

2. Parents will receive a Letter of Academic Probation from the high school administration.

3. A phone or personal conference with parents, students, and counselor will be scheduled.

During the period of Academic Probation, the school will provide help and guidance for the student. However, if over these two quarters of Academic Probation, the student continues to earn failing grades or perform below the 1.67 overall GPA level (as determined at the end of each reporting period), the student will be moved to Academic Contract status.

A high school student on Academic Probation may be prohibited from attending activities that require missing school.

Step 3: Academic Contract

When a student does not meet the SSIS minimum academic standards on an official report for a third consecutive report, the student is placed on Academic Contract for the following semester.

When a student is placed on Academic Contract, the following actions will be taken by the school:

1. The high school administration will meet with the student and his/her parent(s)

2. Parents will receive a Letter of Academic Contract from the high school administration.

3. A phone or personal conference with parents, students, and counselor will be scheduled.

During the period of Academic Contract, the school will provide help and guidance for the student. However, if after three quarters of academic problems (two D’s or an F), the student may be asked to withdraw from SSIS.

Any high school student on Academic Contract is not eligible to take part in or attend student activities that require missing school.

Please note: In cases where students are repeatedly being placed on academic probation (in cases in which probation periods are not consecutive), the high school principal may convene a meeting with the student’s family to address this issue and determine the student’s enrolment status. Should a student be successfully taken off on Academic Probation anytime during the two quarters of this period and then be at academic risk again following the next official report, the student will be placed on Academic Probation (not Academic Concern.)

A Learning Intervention Plan (LIP) will be drafted and implemented by the high school Student Support Team (SST) for every student placed on Academic Concern or Probation. Academic Contract is serious; if a student fails to move out of Contract after two successive quarters, the student may be asked to withdraw from SSIS.


Consistent with the mission of SSIS as a college preparatory program, the eligibility policy is intended to support students in need of academic counseling and improved academic performance. SSIS students are expected to prioritize their academic work above extracurricular commitments. SSIS administrators shall make any exceptions to the guidelines below.

Eligibility is determined at the following times:

• Season 1 Eligibility determined by Quarter 4 & 1 Report Card (June)

• Season 2 Eligibility determined by Quarter 1 & 2 Report Card grades (October)

• Season 3 Eligibility determined by Quarter 2 & 3 Report Card grades (December)

In order to participate in any SSIS overnight extracurricular activity (sports teams and traveling clubs (MUN, SEAMC, VEX, etc.) a student must:

• Be in good academic standing. The student may not be earning:

- 1 or more F grades on their quarter report card

- 2 or more D grades on their quarter report card

• Be in good standing with the school’s attendance policy (not missing more than 10% of any class for non-school related absences).

• Demonstrate good sportsmanship with teammates, coaches, staff, parents and/or members of other teams.

• Be in good behavioral standing. Any student that is under disciplinary action may lose eligibility.

SSIS bears no responsibility for refunds in the event that a student, who has prepaid for travel of an activity/sport, is forced to withdraw due to the eligibility regulations described.

Eligibility determinations will be communicated to the student and family by the Athletic Director, Activity Director or divisional administrators.


Any student not meeting the above criteria for eligibility will only be permitted to continue their participation in that sport or activity if they meet the following conditions:

  • Student must check-in with their counselor each week as arranged by the student and counselor.
  • The student must attend regular after-school student sessions in the Study Hall room (3:05-4:00). Any absences must be approved in advance by the administration. Study hall attendance and behavior information will be reported daily to the administration.
  • The student must stay in the study hall room for the duration of the “ineligibility period” to continue their participation in a sport or activity for that quarter.
  • In cases where these sessions meet at the same time as the sport/activity in question, the HS principal, Athletic/Activities Director and counselor will determine a schedule that will assist the student to continue their activity participation but meet the terms of the eligibility policy as stated in this handbook.

Academic Recognition/Honor Rolls

To encourage academic excellence on the part of SSIS high school students, an Honor Roll and High Honor Roll, based solely on overall semester grades, are published at the end of each semester.

To achieve a place on the High Honor Roll, a high school student must earn a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.70 or higher. To achieve a place on the Honor Roll, they must earn a semester (GPA) between 3.50 and 3.69.

Students with a D, F, or Incomplete at the time the Honor Rolls are published, are not eligible for the Honor Roll.


Standardized Testing Programs: PSAT, SAT, ACT, TOEFL and IELTS

Students attending SSIS will participate in a number of standardized tests. Standardized tests are administered at specific grade levels on predetermined dates, and the results are used for various purposes. These purposes may include review of student progress or achievement, admission, placement, and university admission decisions.

There are many types of standardized tests, but SSIS students participate in the ACT, the WRAP, PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, IB, TOEFL and IELTS.


Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)/National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test is administered to all SSIS Grade 10 and 11 students in October of each school year; no pre-registration is required or additional fee assessed for these tests. The PSAT serves as a “practice” test for the SAT as well as a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program for American citizens or those in the process of gaining U.S. citizenship. The PSAT taken during a student’s junior year is the score used to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The SAT is a widely used aptitude test score used in the admission decision by many universities around the world. The test results are just one item the university will use to make a comparison of the student to possible success at the university. Another standardized test that students can take for this same purpose is the ACT, but it is not as widely known outside the U.S. Students need to check the admission requirements for each university they are considering.

The SAT takes about four hours (with optional essay) and measures how well a student has developed verbal and mathematical skills necessary for success in college work. Generally it consists of multiple-choice questions, but there is also an essay writing section. Students are tested in three areas: Evidence Based Reading and Writing, Math, and Writing.

International Test dates are available each year in October, November, December, May and June. SSIS is a test center site for all six test dates. Students must pre-register online through the College Board website by creating an account. By going to www.collegeboard.com students and parents can access more detailed information on the PSAT or SAT testing and have access to college planning resources for U.S. universities.

The SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are requested/encouraged by some of the more select universities in the U.S. Students may select up to three subject tests per testing date. Students are advised to check to see if their preferred universities ask for the SAT Subject Tests and then consult with their counselor regarding the test dates plan. Students cannot take the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests on the same test date. UK universities also recognize subject exams as they pertain to course/program selection.

American College Testing (ACT)

Some students feel that they might score higher on the ACT as it is more of an achievement-type test based on the core classes of an American high school. The ACT takes 3 1/2 hours and consists of four multiple-choice question tests - one each in English, Math, Reading, and science.

Note: For more information about the ACT, test centers and test dates go to the ACT website at http://www.act.org.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

If English is not a student’s first language, many universities will ask that proof of English proficiency be provided by submitting scores from a standardized test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Students should make arrangements to take the TOEFL or IELTS toward the end of Grade 11.

Note: Go to www.toefl.org or www.ielts.org to gain more information and register for the test. You will need a credit card for the online registration.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

and International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

If English is not a student’s first language, many universities will ask that proof of English proficiency be provided by submitting scores from a standardized test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Students should make arrangements to take the TOEFL or IELTS toward the end of Grade 11.

Note: Go to www.toefl.org or www.ielts.org to gain more information and register for the test. You will need a credit card for the online registration.

Academic Awards

End-of-year awards are given by each high school department to deserving students in a special school-wide assembly held on or near the last day of school. There is a separate awards ceremony for grade 12 students prior to their departure for the year.

Final Year Examinations

Students in grades 9 - 11 write year-end examinations in June. Exam questions test knowledge, skills, and understanding of the same material on which students have been assessed throughout the semester.

No early or late Final Exams will be given unless prior approval has been given by the high school principal or associate principal due to illness. In these cases, students may be given the opportunity to retake a different exam up to ten school days after the start of the new school term.

Final exams take place during the last two weeks of the school-year. Students will not be permitted to postpone semester finals because of early departure for holiday purposes. Students are not required to attend school on exam days, or during exam times, when they do not have scheduled exams. However, should there be days remaining in the semester after the exams, they are required to return for those days.

If students are in school during exam days before or after exams, they should be engaged in active test preparation in approved areas of the building.

Parents will be informed via PowerSchool of student achievement on examinations and may be consulted on future strategies for success.

Full IB Diploma and Certificate Candidates - Year 1: Full IB diploma and certificate candidates will participate in final exams in June for their Year 1 courses. Grade 12 IB students take mock exams in February or March and their final IBDP exams in May of Year Two.


AP Exams

Students who enroll in AP courses will write external examinations in May of the same academic year. Students enrolled in AP courses are required to sit the exam for that course. Scores on AP examinations are available to students in July. Mock AP exams will be written within two months of the end of the course. Students are not allowed to sit AP exams unless they are enrolled in the course. Any AP exam a student wishes to take that we do NOT offer as a course must show proof that they are taking the course outside of school.

Special Note: Students in AP and IB courses as well as all Grade 12 students will receive a separate communication in advance of end-of-year exams and graduation. This communication will provide relevant, updated details and policies about IB/AP exams and graduation.


Section 5:


Research and common sense indicate a high correlation between attendance in school and academic success. In order for a student to receive maximum benefit from his or her education, daily attendance is required. Class discussions, examples and teacher feedback cannot be replaced by home assignments. Absences, for any reason, are disruptive to the educational process and detrimental to student achievement. SSIS asks parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly.

Additionally, student attendance is recorded on report cards and student transcripts; and as such, students and parents need to be aware that this information is available to prospective universities, summer programs and transfer schools.



• To receive full credit for their work, SSIS High School students must be in attendance at least 90% of their scheduled classes. Absences beyond this number (5 absences per semester) shall be subject to academic consequences.

• An absence will be considered “excused” with a valid reason (sickness, school-related activities, family emergency, family business) and a note from a parent.

• An absence will be considered “unexcused” when it has not been pre-approved as excused, or there is no note from a parent. the reason (for example, a family vacation) for the absence is not excused,

• Students who have an absence lasting longer than 3 days due to illness must provide a doctor’s certificate stating the reason for the absence and verifying that the student is now fit to return to school.

• If a student misses a final examination, major end of course project or presentation, IBDP internal assessment, EE, CAS or other key assessment submitted to the IBO a doctor’s certificate will be required to be able to make up the missed assessment/deadline.

• Participation in school-sponsored educational excursions such as field trips, athletic competitions, or student exchanges will not be counted as absences.

• We recognize that situations can occur which may warrant special consideration. Leaves of absence for excused absences may be granted and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

• Skipping school (truancy) or forging a parental note are both serious offenses that may lead to suspension. (Refer to Infraction and Consequence Chart.)

• Missing classes to study or complete assignments is also considered skipping.

• The high school administration is responsible for all determinations made under this policy.


Absence Notification Procedure

If a student will be absent:

1. A parent should call the high school office, (tel. 5413-0901, ext: 33080/33081) or email the HSOffice at ssis.edu.vn before 8:00 am to inform us that his/her son or daughter will not be coming to school. If no phone call has been received, the student’s home will be called to confirm the reason for the absence.

2. The day following any absence, the student should report to the high school office with a signed and dated note from a parent stating the specific reason for the absence. E-mailed notes are not acceptable for this purpose, unless they come from the parent’s email address.

3. Students are responsible for meeting with their teachers to determine what work needs to be made up.


Medical and Family Emergencies Absences & Student Work

Occasionally, illness may result in a student being unexpectedly absent from school for a short period of time. Students may also be absent for family emergencies, to attend funerals or when applying for visas at an embassy. Under such circumstances, students and parents are expected to check PowerSchool in order to stay up-to-date on class content and assignments. Students are obligated to make up missed work as soon as possible upon return to school. Students will have one day for each day absent to make up the work and receive full credit.

If a student will be away from school due to an excused absence lasting more than three days, contact the high school principal. Please note, students who must be absent for prolonged periods are responsible for mastering any material missed while away from school. Assigned due dates will remain unchanged. Students are encouraged to complete all work, quizzes and tests prior to their departure.


Unexcused Absence & Student Work

Unexcused absences is a when a student is missing a class for a non-approved reason. The school discourages families from arranging vacations while school is in session. Family vacations or college visits are not considered acceptable reasons for absence from classes, and days missed as a result will be considered unexcused absences. Work missed during an unexcused absence may not receive credit. Excessive unexcused absences from class may result in a student being placed on academic probation and may result in the student being withdrawn from the class. Consequences for unexplained absences may vary according to the frequency of the occurrence.

Absence on the Day of a Test or Examination

A student who has an “excused” absence on the day of a classroom test will be required to take the test the day he/she returns during his/her free time and when convenient for the teacher. Students who miss quizzes or tests due to an “unexcused absence” will be referred to the high school administration. Students that have demonstrated a pattern of absences on test days or due dates for major summative projects may be asked to provide a physician’s note in order to make-up assessment or project.

If a student misses a final examination, major end of course project or presentation, IBDP internal assessment, EE, CAS or other key assessment submitted to the IBO a doctor’s certificate will be required to be able to make up the missed assessment/deadline.


Students must take examinations on the scheduled date. Exams will not be written early or given late to accommodate individual travel plans. Students who are ill and therefore unable to take semester examinations on the scheduled date must provide a doctor’s certificate.

Early Departure from School

Occasionally, students may need to leave campus before the end of the day. Students will be permitted to leave only under special circumstances and when written communication has been received from a parent. Students who become ill during the day must receive permission to leave school from the school nurse who will notify parents. Prior to departure the student must report to the high school office to sign-out. The student will receive an exit slip to show the school guards upon leaving.

Absence of Parent(s)

If parents/guardians are going to be absent from Ho Chi Minh City for any amount of time, they are required to notify the high school office in advance (tel. 5413-0901, ext: 33080/33081) and to provide contact information in case of an emergency. A local guardian name and contact information must also be provided. It is not considered appropriate for students to be left in the care of housekeepers and/or drivers.

While Saigon South International School stresses the importance of classroom instruction, we recognize that valuable learning experiences take place outside the classroom. Thus, opportunities are available for students to take part in school-related group travel. School-related group travel is defined as an activity that may take a student off school premises to support instruction or academic programs.

Students, in consultation with their parents, coaches, and high school counselors, are responsible for finding a balance between maintaining their academic focus and involvement in activities that will take them away from their regular classes. Students are reminded that they are responsible for checking with teachers (10 school days prior) regarding work and/or assessments to be missed prior to the absence. For some activities or sports that require travel and absence from school, students may be required to have their teachers sign off on a Planned Absence Form that confirms the student’s current academic standing in each of his or her classes.

Tardy Policy

Tardy Morning

Tardy for School: Students are expected to be in their first block classes and prepared with all necessary materials no later than 8:00 am each day. Students who arrive at school after 8:00 am must report to the high school office to receive a tardy pass and sign the logbook. Students already at school but entering their first block classes after 8:00 am without a previously-issued pass from a teacher will also be considered tardy and will be asked to go to the high school office for a tardy pass and to sign the logbook.

3 Morning Tardies per semester: Warning email to parents and student

5 Morning Tardies per semester: One hour after-school detention, email to parents

7 Morning Tardies per semester: Parent Meeting, Study Hall privilege revoked for 10 school days or Senior privileges revoked for 10 school days if during semester 2 of senior year).

10 Morning Tardies per semester: In-School suspension

Tardy Between Classes It is the responsibility of all SSIS students to get to class in a prompt, prepared, and punctual manner. Students are expected to be seated in class at the starting time of each class block.

3 Tardies to the same class per semester: One hour after-school detention, email to parents and teacher

6 Tardies to the same class per semester: Parent meeting and one-hour after school detention

Closed Campus

Saigon South International School has a closed-campus policy for all grades, PK-12. Any student leaving the campus during the school day (including lunch) must have specific permission and a “dismissal note” from the office. “Campus” is defined as that property (buildings and grounds) that is enclosed within the boundaries of the security fence. In cases of sudden illness at school, the school nurse may authorize a student to leave campus after calling the parent and arranging for transportation.

Students are not permitted to leave campus during the school day without prior permission. Students must present a written notice, signed and dated from the parent to the high school office, an email from the parent’s email account or the parent must phone at (5413-0901, extension 33050). Students must sign out in the high school office.

A student in violation of the closed campus policy is subject to disciplinary action and parent notification. (Refer to Infraction and Consequence Chart.)

Access to School After Hours

School buildings are open between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm on school days. Guards will not allow students into building areas during other times unless accompanied by a teacher. Note that as an exception, the Fitness Center is open until 7:00 pm for high school students. Additionally, the Fitness Center is open from 7:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturdays.

SSIS sporting facilities are heavily booked for practices and games and therefore are not available for casual use. Any request for use of athletic facilities outside of instructional hours during the school week should be made to the Activities Coordinator. Any activity or “gym night” not already on the school calendar must be approved in advance by the principal and supervised by an SSIS employee.

Student Guests

Students may bring an out-of-town guest to attend classes for one day only with prior written approval from the administration to teachers (or by their designation, the HS administrative assistant), requested at least one day in advance of a visit by the host student’s parent. Permission will not be given to students living in Ho Chi Minh City or attending other schools within Ho Chi Minh City.

In some cases, former students may visit for up to two days but this must be approved in advance. A note (or e-mail) to the high school principal from the host student’s parent or guardian seeking permission is also required at least one day in advance of a visit by the host student’s parent.

Upon arrival, guests must sign in at the high school office and wear a Visitor’s Pass at all times. Guests are expected to “shadow” their host student unless they have permission otherwise from the administration. Guests of SSIS students are required to adhere to all school rules while on campus. Guests at extracurricular activities such as performances and dances are also obligated to follow all school rules. Guests who do not abide by the above expectations will be asked to leave immediately.



Section 6:


In addition to service activities, SSIS sponsors a number of high school clubs and activities designed to appeal to a wide range of interests, abilities, and talents.

Students may choose from the aforementioned community service groups, student council, visual and performing arts activities, media and publications, academic clubs and activities, language and cultural clubs, athletics, honor societies, and more. Many are open to all interested students, some are class-related, and others are by audition or try out or have specific criteria for membership.

SSIS Policy of Limitations

The Policy of Limitations stipulates the number of leadership positions an individual student may hold throughout the school year. It is the responsibility of each student to understand the policy and to ensure that they abide by its prescriptions; failure to adhere to this policy may result in a position being revoked.

Commitments to sport, arts or non-SSIS activities are not relevant to the terms of this policy; one of the core values of the school is Balance in Life, and all students should strive to achieve this.


• To provide greater fairness of opportunity and to make leadership opportunities available to a greater number of students

• To ensure that the elected officers are able to fulfil their roles effectively and efficiently

• To encourage Balance in Life

• To ensure the full commitment and participation of the members in each of the various clubs

The following categories have been determined by the amount of responsibility associated with the various offices:

First Category:

• StuCo President/Vice President (2 positions)

• NHS President /Vice President (2 positions)

• Class President/Vice President (8 positions)

• MUN President/Vice President (2 positions)

• Other major leadership positions as determined by the high school administration.

These represent at least 14 presidential or equivalent positions in the high school. A student holding any office in this category may hold only ONE additional position from the second category.

Second Category:

• StuCo Secretary/Treasurer (2 positions)

• NHS Secretary/Treasurer (2 positions)

• Class Secretary/Treasurer (8 positions)

• Club Presidents (positions will vary)

• Xiklo Editor in Chief (1 position)

• Assistant Editor of Xiklo (1 position)

• MUN Secretary (1 position)

• Co-Editors of Dragon Tales (3 positions)

• Other leadership positions as determined by the high school administration.

This second category represents at least 22 officer or equivalent positions. Any student holding office in this category may hold only ONE additional leadership position.

There are approximately 12 other officer positions available as well as a large number of other leadership positions on the various committees that will be formed in the various clubs throughout the course of the year.

No student should hold more than TWO leadership positions at any one time, and only one presidential role can be held at any one time.

A student may be a member of no more than THREE clubs simultaneously per academic year. Students wishing to join a FOURTH club must seek the approval of the advisers of their existing clubs and the high school administration before being allowed to do so. No student may petition for any more than one additional membership.

Students are expected to attend club meetings regularly. Students who feel they must stop their membership in a club must discuss this beforehand with the club sponsor. The high school administration may decide in certain cases whether a student who drops a club or has his or her membership revoked would still be eligible to join another club that year.

Students may join clubs on a trial basis in the first quarter following the guidelines above in order to determine which ones they want to choose for the year. Decisions about club membership must then be finalized by the beginning of the second quarter.

Club Expo

With such a great variety of activities to choose from here at SSIS, it may be difficult to know which club or activity is best suited to each individual. At the beginning of the new academic school year, each club will participate in a Club Expo. During this expo, current club members will have the opportunity to raise awareness and share the goals and mission for their clubs. This will give potential club members the opportunity to explore what is available to suit his/her interests. Sign-ups for all clubs and ASA will take place after the Club Expo through an electronic registration process. High School activities at SSIS are separate from middle school activities. All joint MS/HS activities, sports, or events must be approved by both the middle and high school administration.

Student Council

The student government contributes to the students’ improvement of quality of life. Elected students represent and speak on behalf of the student body, organize student activities and are instrumental in advocating for the interests of all students. Student Council is divided into two branches, The Executive Board and the Legislative Council. The Student Council Executive Board consists of a Student Body President, Student Body Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Senior Class President, Junior Class President, Sophomore Class President, and Freshman Class President. In addition to the Executive Board, two representatives from each grade level from grades 9-12 form the Legislative Council.

The purposes of student government are:

• To encourage student-initiated activities and ideas

• To represent the overall view of the students and the school as a whole

• To ensure students have a meaningful voice at SSIS

• To ensure the betterment of the student population

• To meet regularly with the school administration

• To foster community service in and out of the school environment

• To provide a democratic forum for the discussion of ideas

• To support dedicated service to Vietnam and to Vietnamese culture

• To set up school dances, spirit days and special events

In mid-August, students elect class representatives (the Legislative Council) and the remainder of the Student Council Executive Board (which includes the positions of Senior Class president, Junior class president, Sophomore class president, and Freshman class president). Students in the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer are elected in May of the previous school year. The Student Council program promotes student leadership for all students in a variety of areas. In addition to maintaining a strong academic record, “StuCo” representatives must not have any discipline issues in the “major areas of concern” section highlighted in the student handbook.

Student Council Elections

• Annual elections are held in August and May of each school year by means of a democratic process.

• Every candidate is entitled to the right to campaign and to give a speech at the election assembly, prior to election.

• Every student may exercise one vote per elected position by secret ballot.

• Class representatives are voted for and elected by members of their specific grade level.

Student Council meets weekly, but may meet additionally on an “as-needed” basis.

National Honor Society

The National Honor Society is an organization that is open by application to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who have attended SSIS for at least one semester, who have attained throughout their high school career a high academic average and who have excelled in the areas of leadership, character and service. Students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 are eligible for membership and will be reviewed by a faculty panel for possible selection. In addition to grades, NHS candidates and members must not have any major issues of discipline or academic dishonesty.

NHS members’ GPA and service activities will be reviewed quarterly as per NHS bylaws. Students falling below the minimum criteria will be placed on probation for a first offense and are no longer eligible for NHS membership should they not remove themselves from probation after one quarter.

Dances/Social Event Guidelines

Most events are for SSIS students only. Relatives or guests from other schools are not to be invited unless the activity is announced as open. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the principal or assistant principal and a guest pass issued. Requests for a guest pass must be made at least two days in advance of the event and use the Student Council Guest Form. The parent and student host assume full responsibility for the guest and the guest’s behavior. The visiting student may be asked to provide ID information prior to the event.

• High school students are not permitted to bring middle school students to dances/social functions.

• Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from activities unless otherwise organized by the school.

• Students are expected to remain at the dance or event from the beginning until the end. Leaving the venue for any reason without the permission of a chaperone will be handled as a disciplinary infraction upon return to school.


High School After-School Activity Sessions

The high school ASA session dates are posted on the HS Google Calendar and are shared by the Activities Director via email and eNews.


Statement of Philosophy:

The SSIS High School athletic program is an essential component of our well balanced program that seeks to provide a healthy, positive educational experience for our student athletes based on their developmental needs and characteristics. The focus of our program is the development of fundamental athletic skills, teamwork, character, and sportsmanship.

Participation, performance and competition in the SSIS athletic program will focus on the opportunity for students to develop and exhibit skills to the best of their abilities recognizing the importance of “personal growth and consistent effort regardless of the outcome of the competition.” To support this, SSIS provides multiple interscholastic teams for all students to participate at developmentally appropriate levels for both skill and age.


Goals of the Athletic Program:

The SSIS athletic program’s primary focus for athletes and coaches at this level:

1. Sense of Self

  • To understand how to win with humility and lose with grace
  • To develop those physical skills needed to improve as a player (dexterity, coordination, etc.) \To improve proficiency in decision making
  • To promote a healthy understanding and acceptance of personal attributes and the emotional aspects of a healthy body image
  • To encourage all students to participate

2. Academic Excellence

  • To maximize the learning of skills
  • To develop a positive self-discipline
  • To implant a love of and commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement
  • To improve knowledge and understanding for the rules of the game

3. Respect for All

  • To develop a healthy sense of competition
  • To give opportunity for all team members to participate
  • To demonstrate respect for authoritative figures (officials and coaches)
  • To display compassion and a concern of well-being for others (teammates, competitors)
  • To be aware of mature, appropriate modeling by adults (coaches, parents, spectators, and officials)

4. Balance in Life

  • To develop strong friendships as a result of taking part
  • To engage in a positive co-curricular activity
  • To increase awareness for management of time (personal~school~sport)
  • To expand interest in lifetime and leisure activities
  • To have fun when participating

5. Dedicated Service

  • To create a positive school climate with collaboration and teamwork, conflict management and leadership

Objectives of the Athletic Program:

1. Participation in athletics shall be available to any student expressing a desire to be involved.

2. The values of good sportsmanship and the dynamics of teamwork shall be stressed at all times.

3. The importance of teaching young athletes to give and receive recognition shall be incorporated into practices and games.

4. Students shall be challenged to strive for the highest level of excellence for each athlete as they participate and compete.

5. Students shall be given the opportunity to explore the capabilities of their changing physical make-up, with the recognition of the potential for further physical growth.

6. Coaches will work to ensure that they have:

- Consistent application of rules for their sport

- Well organized practices

- Information-rich teaching and skill coaching

- Knowledge of their athletes and their individual needs

- Recognition of improvement and work-ethic

Commitment to the Athletic Program

Before making a commitment to a sports team, students are encouraged to reflect carefully on whether they can maintain that commitment. Students should consult with the coach and/or the Athletic Director to make sure they understand the commitment required. The commitment for high school athletes is typically 3-4 times per week.

Students wishing to join a sports team must be prepared to commit fully to the team and be prepared to take part in all practice sessions and games. Depending on the activity, games may be scheduled on weekends - including travel to other cities.

Conference Membership

Currently SSIS is involved in three athletic conferences. The Saigon International School Athletic Conference (SISAC) involves 15 schools from the Saigon City area. This league’s commitment involves a series of inter-school matches and a season-ending championship tournament. The Mekong River International School Association (MRISA) involves 6 schools from around SE Asia. In May 2018, SSIS joined the South East Asia Student Activities Conference (SEASAC). Both of these international leagues involves a season-ending championship tournaments.


High School Seasons of Play

  Season One (Aug-Nov) Season Two (Nov-Feb)

Season Three (Feb-Apr)

SISAC (City League)

Volleyball - XCountry - Swimming Basketball - Badminton



(Int’l League)

Volleyball Basketball



(Int’l League)

Volleyball - XCountry - Soccer - Golf

Basketball - Badminton - Arts - Tennis - Softball

 Soccer - Sr.Swimming -

MUN - Jr. Swimming


Cost to participants

Outside of a player’s own personal equipment, a player is only responsible for paying for trips outside of HCMC. Competitions such as MRISA, SEASAC and invitational tournaments will always have a cost attached. These costs cover transportation, insurance, visa fees, T-Shirts, accommodations and food. Costs may vary depending on the location and length of trip.

Athletic Recognition

There will be two Athletic Recognition ceremonies during the year. One at the end of every semester.

Dragon Heart Award - The Dragon Heart Awards are awarded annually to those student athletes who have shown outstanding commitment, effort and enthusiasm towards a team or teams at the school during the year.

Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award - This award is presented to an individual player/athlete for their outstanding achievements during the season. This athlete possesses superb skills and consistently performs at a high level. It is given to the athlete whom the coach feels contributed the most to the team throughout the season, taking into account attitude, attendance, skill and performance.

Coaches Choice Award - This award is presented to the athlete on each team whom the coach feels made significant contributions to the team; taking into account things such as: dedication, character, improvement, and leadership. The coach will choose the specific rationale for their nominee.

Athlete of the Year Award - This award may be given out annually to those student athletes who have excelled in two or more sports during the year. They have been selected as the outstanding student athlete in the school this year.

Hosting Commitment All students who participate on a school team are required to host a visiting player from a team participating in the annual MRISA event we hold here at SSIS. All participating students need to be prepared to host a visitor even if the student does not participate in a MRISA event. Part of the commitment from SSIS to the MRISA Conference is that the school community hosts all visiting players. Students participating in the SEASAC Conference will have a hotel stay. No hosting of visiting players needed for these tournaments.


Section 7:


Some types of behavior are of immediate concern and are not tolerated at school, on school buses, or at school functions. Face-to-face and electronic incidents are treated identically and regardless of ownership of the electronic equipment or forum. Following are some examples.

Disrespectful Behavior: Talking back to teachers and staff (including substitute teachers), rude behavior, making threats, using derogatory language, refusing to identify one’s self, refusing to follow a reasonable direction, deliberately defacing or destroying school property (including equipment and buildings).

Fighting and/or Abuse of Fellow Students: Fighting, the use of profanity, using insulting or profane gestures, any type of harassment or activity designed to intimidate, embarrass or isolate other students.

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating, lying, stealing, malpractice, plagiarism of student work, alteration of grades, falsification of parent or teacher signatures.

Truancy: Student absence from school or from a class without the prior authorization of a parent, guardian or school employee.

Theft: Taking, assisting in taking, or in any way participating in receiving materials that belong to someone else without that person’s consent, for any length of time. Students suspected of possessing stolen items will be asked to empty their pockets and packs, and their lockers will be searched by school officials. Stealing is a serious offense that will lead to suspension and possible expulsion. (Refer to Infraction and Consequence Chart.)

Smoking/Use of Tobacco: Possession or use of tobacco products by students is prohibited at all times at or near the school, on the school bus, at school bus stops, and at all school-sponsored events regardless of location. Possession of any tobacco product, including lighters, will result in confiscation, detention and contacting the parent. (See Infraction and Consequence Chart.)

Drugs and Alcohol: Saigon South International School has a zero tolerance policy on the use or possession of drugs and alcohol. Students engaged in any of the following activities will be immediately suspended from school: being in possession of, using, buying or selling, giving or accepting any illegal drugs (including marijuana and alcohol) or look-alikes; misusing prescription drugs, at or near school, on the school bus or at any school function. Students who are knowingly with other students who are engaged in these activities will also be immediately suspended from school. Expulsion may be recommended.

Vandalism and Graffiti: Vandalism includes defacing, destroying or ruining property not belonging to the student, including but not limited to lockers, books, school buses, etc. In addition to immediate suspension, the student (parents) will be required to pay for damages or replace the item. Replacement costs will be calculated at the cost of the item plus any and all taxes, fees, shipping or other import costs, as applicable. Student records and final grades will be withheld until all such charges are cleared.

Weapons or Weapon Look-alikes: The possession of any type of weapon, toy weapon, or weapon look-alike is strictly forbidden at or near school, on the school bus, at school bus stops, and during all school activities, regardless of location. (See Infraction and Consequence Chart.)


Students in violation of school policies will be treated in a dignified, positive manner. The definitions and consequences summarized below are intended to deter infractions of school policy in a consistent manner and to promote a healthy and studious environment. The following is not to be considered a hierarchy of consequences. School administration reserves and retains the right to enforce any of the following consequences, for any violation, at any time. Factors such as seriousness, repetition, harm to buildings or persons will be taken into account when determining appropriate consequences.

Infractions will be recorded within PowerSchool.

Detention: Students remain after school to “serve time.” Detention offers an opportunity for students to reflect on their actions and, typically, lasts for one hour. Failure to serve detentions when scheduled will result in the assigning of additional detention days. Detentions may be assigned by teachers or administrators. Students serving detention are expected to bring school work with them.

Restitution: In certain situations involving theft, vandalism, etc., students and families may be required to compensate for loss or damage.

Family Conference: Parents may be asked to meet with a counselor or administrator to determine the support needed to correct the problem.

Service Project: When appropriate, as determined by the principal, students may work on a task that gives back to the school community. This consequence will be assigned when logistically possible and relevant and when resources are sufficient for close supervision of the student.

Parent Phone Call/E-mail: The principal notifies parents that their student has been found in violation of a school rule.


Students may be assigned in-school suspension for more serious violations of school rules. In-school suspension is supervised by the HS office and prevents students from attending their regularly scheduled classes. Students are required to complete their class work during this time. Suspensions from SSIS are given as a reflection period, during which students have time to consider whether they wish to continue at SSIS and how they can modify their behavior to do so. Students are not permitted to participate in after-school activities on days in which they are in in-school suspension.

A first in-school suspension will generally be for one or two days, while a second suspension may be three, up to a maximum of ten days, depending on the seriousness of the offense. All incidents resulting in suspension will be documented and become part of the student’s school record.



Students assigned an out-of-school suspension are expected to spend time away from school in a parent-supervised setting. Students are not allowed to attend classes, interact with peers, or be involved in any after-school events. A student who is on suspension will have an opportunity to make up work missed while on suspension. Any exception to this will be made by the high school principal and/or head of school. Suspensions from SSIS are given as a reflection period, during which students have time to consider whether they wish to continue at SSIS and how they can modify their behavior to do so.

A first out-of-school suspension will generally be for one or two days, while a second suspension may be three to a maximum of ten days. All incidents resulting in an out-of-school suspension will be documented and become part of the student’s school record.



Expulsion is defined as the revocation of a student’s right to attend SSIS or be on school grounds. If a student’s conduct fails to improve after one or more suspensions; if an initial offense is considered sufficiently serious by the school administration; or, if a probation plan is deemed ineffectual by the school’s administration, the student may be expelled. The head of school makes the final decision in cases of expulsion. A student expelled will not be eligible for any refund of fees paid for the semester in which he/she was expelled. Transportation fees will be refunded on a prorated basis.


Appendix 1:


The following list outlines the consequences for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The HS administration reserves the right to adjust the consequences for specific violations, depending on the nature of the incident.



Academic Dishonesty

Please review the academic honesty section of the handbook for consequences.

After-school unsupervised

First incident:
• Verbal warning from staff member
• Student must wait by Guardhouse until transportation arrives
Second incident:
• HS Office detention (1 day)
Third incident:
• HS Office detention (4 days)

Bus infractions

First incident:
• Transportation supervisor notifies an administrator
• Student meets with assistant principal
Second incident:
• Administrator contacts parents
Third incident:
• Student suspended from the bus for one week.

Classroom/library rules
(Failure to follow)

First incident:
• Verbal warning from staff member
Second incident:
• Staff member contacts parents
Third incident:
• Staff member notifies administrator
• Detention in HS office (1-4 days)
• Administrator contacts parents
• Administrator meets with student and parents

Curfew (breaking of) on or
during school sponsored trips or
activities (WWW trips, athletic
events/trips, MUN, Habitat for
Humanity, etc.) Refer to trip
permission letter

• Immediate removal of student from activity if possible
• Activity sponsor contacts activities/athletics director and principal
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-School Suspension (1 or 2 days)

Possession or consumption of
alcohol or tobacco on or during
school-sponsored trips or activities
(WWW trips, sports events/trips,
MUN, Habitat for Humanity, Prom,

• Immediate removal of student from activity
• Activity sponsor contacts activities/athletics director and principal
• Administrator contacts parents
• Student may be sent home at family’s expense
• Follow handbook for disciplinary consequences for drug/alcohol/tobacco issues

Disrespectful behavior • Staff member notifies parents and administration

• Detention (1 - 4 days depending on severity of incident)
Dress Code violation • First incident:
• Students immediately change into appropriate clothing
• Second and third incident:
• HS office detention (1 day)
• Administrator contacts parents
• Fourth incident:
• In-school suspension (1 day)

Drugs and Alcohol Policy
(Violation of)

• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-school or out-of-school suspension (2 days)
• Possibility of expulsion as determined by the administration

Electronic devices
(unauthorized use of)

First incident:
• Device confiscated and held in HS Office
• Student must go to HS Office after school, sign the logbook, and collect
 the device
Second incident:
• Detention (1 day)
• Referral to administrator
Third incident:
• Detention (2 days)
• Administrator contacts family
• Parent or guardian must come to HS office to collect device

Failure to clear an absence by parents
to the HS office.

• Absence is considered unexcused
• Work missed may not be made up
Fighting • Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-School Suspension or out-of-school suspension

Forgery of parent note or hall pass

First incident:
• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• Detention (1- 4 days)
Second incident:
• In-school suspension (1-2 days)

(Verbal and online)

• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• After school detention, In-School or Out-of-School Suspension depending
 on severity

Lunchtime policies:
Behavior in the canteen or kiosk/
Being in Off-limits Areas

First incident:
• Student required to leave area or change behavior depending on the situation
• Staff member notifies administration
• Student meets with teacher or administrator
Second incident:
• Administrator contacts parents
• Detention (1 day)

Off-Campus policy,
Violations of

• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-School suspension (1 day)

Skipping class

• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• Detention (1 - 4 days)

Smoking on campus or at a school

• Staff member notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-School Suspension (2 days)

Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

First Incident:
• Warning and discussion with administrator
Second incident:
• Detention (1 day)
• Administrator contacts parents
Third incident:
• Detention (4 days)
Fourth incident
• In-school suspension (1 day)

Tardy for class

After 5th tardy in a semester:
Lunch detention in high school office (4 days)

Tardy to school (1st block)

All incidents:
• Student must get late pass from HS office and bring late pass to 1st block
• Student signs tardy logbook
After 3 tardies:
• HS office detention (one day)
All tardies after 3rd:
• HS office detention (one day)


First incident:
• Administrator contacts parents
• Student and family responsible for repairing damages and replacing losses
• In-School Suspension, out-of-school suspension or Service Project (2 days)
Second incident:
• Administrator meets with student and family
• Out-of-school suspension or expulsion

Weapons or weapon look-alikes

• Staff member confiscates item and notifies administration
• Administrator contacts parents
• In-School suspension, out-of-school suspension, or expulsion





Appendix 2:



The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for-profit foundation motivated by its mission to create a better world through education. “The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. IB programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right” (International Baccalaureate Organization, 2013, The Diploma Program). http://www.ibo.org/about-the-ib/mission/

Grade 10 students will receive detailed information about the IB Diploma Program and its requirements. This information, together with advice from counselors, will help them to decide whether they should pursue the full IB Diploma Programme.

Students who are most successful in the program have a strong commitment to the ideals of the IBO mission statement, and a genuine enthusiasm for learning, as well as sincere curiosity about other cultures and the world around them. IB students aim to be internationally minded and globally engaged by recognising our collective connection and responsibility to others. Additionally, students with strong time management skills and a good work ethic tend to find the most success in IB.


Why participate in the IB Diploma Programme?

While the IB programme presents a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, it also challenges students to think about global issues, cultural assumptions and their place in the global community. The program requires a deep focus in many areas, both academic and experiential. Students are encouraged to build bridges with the local community by engaging in service and further developing active and creative passions. Through the Theory of Knowledge course, students are challenged to think of the strengths and limitations of different methods of seeking knowledge within the various disciplines they are studying. The Extended Essay provides students an opportunity to focus on an area of personal interest, carry out research in that area and present their findings in a detailed, effectively organized essay.


Do I have to do the full Diploma Program?

No, it is not compulsory to take the IB Diploma. Some students elect to take the full IB Diploma while others take a combination of IB classes and non-IB classes. The two options are:

Option A: The full Diploma Program

• Participate in and complete internal/external assessments for six IB courses: - 3 Higher Level courses and 3 Standard Level courses

• Complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course

• Complete an Extended Essay: an in-depth study (maximum 4,000 words) of a limited topic chosen by the student and supervised by a teacher

• Complete a Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Plan.

• Be Committed to the Creativity, Activity and Service programme for the first 18 months of the DP programme. This involves completing consistent reflections to produce a CAS Portfolio.

Option B: Individual Subject Courses

Students participating in an IB class complete all internal and external assessments for that course, and will receive IB subject certificates upon successfully passing exams. College credit or advanced standing at future colleges or universities may be available, depending on university policy.


What are the elements of an IB class?

All IB classes have some form of internal assessment which are activities assessed by the classroom teacher using IB rubrics and assessment standards and then externally moderated (samples of student work are sent to IB faculty around the world to be re-graded and to ensure equality in grading standards). All marks are criterion-referenced.

IB classes culminate in exams which students take at the end of their second year (Grade 12), which are assessed externally. Student marks from these exams become available in July

What is Theory Of Knowledge?

The focus in the IB Theory of Knowledge course is to examine what we know in the various fields of knowledge and how we come to know it. The subjects that we study in our high school classes are, perhaps of necessity, departmentalized: History, Sciences, Mathematics, World Language, Language Arts, etc. It is rare that students can view these disciplines from any larger perspective. The aim of the Theory of Knowledge course is to view the knowledge disciplines from the perspective of knowledge itself, noting the similarities and differences in the formations of knowledge, and noting the strengths and limitations in the various approaches to knowledge.

What is the Extended Essay?

The Extended Essay provides IB Diploma Program candidates with an opportunity to engage in independent, mentored research. Emphasis is placed on the communication of original ideas and information in a logical and coherent manner, and on the overall presentation of the essay in compliance with the guidelines. The essay must be a maximum of 4,000 words and written in one of the IB subject areas of particular interest to the student. A narrowly focused research question is crafted by the student and the paper presents an extended argument that is supported by research. Each student works in consultation with a faculty supervisor.

What is Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)?

The IB Diploma Program places an emphasis on holistic and experiential learning, making purposeful connections community and fostering inspiration through involvement in creative and physical activities. CAS is an essential requirement to pass the IB Diploma requirement for the IB Diploma Program. There is an expectation that students participate in ‘CAS experiences’ over the first 18 month period of the IBDP and to add both evidence and reflections of their experiences once every two weeks. Students are also expected to initiate a separate CAS Project, for which they collaborate with between 2-4 students on a self initiated and completed project over an extended period of time which meets all the 8 Learning Outcomes of CAS. These activities should be distributed evenly among Creativity, Activity, and Service. Both the Extended Essay and fulfilling the requirements of CAS are essential to passing the IB Diploma.

For all other questions regarding the IB Programme at SSIS, contact the IB Diploma Program Coordinator. ibdp_coordinator at ssis.edu.vn

Additional information about the International Baccalaureate may be found at www.ibo.org

Appendix 3:



In the high school division, grading and reporting are used to support the learning process and encourage student success. We believe that all of our students, given appropriate support and instruction, can meet or exceed rigorous academic standards.

Purpose of Grading

• Communicate the student’s mastery of the course content standards

• Provide information for students to use for self-evaluation and growth

• Help identify students for available educational opportunities (IB, AP)

Purpose of Assessment

• Track students’ progress by aligning assessments to course standards •

Encourage student growth and progress by helping students identify the gaps in their learning

• Provide students with ongoing opportunities to demonstrate their learning


Formative Assessment: Demonstrates the student’s progress in mastering subject content during the course of instruction for the purposes of informing the student and teacher of gaps in the student’s learning.

Summative Assessment: Demonstrates the student’s knowledge of a subject after instruction for the purposes of giving an evaluative grade.


• Summative assessments, which may include tests, projects, products and presentations, will count for a significant majority of the final coursework grade (excluding semester exam grades).

• Final evaluative grades should be based on a substantial number and variety of summative assessments.

• Feedback on formative assessment is to be given to students in a timely manner and be available to parents.


• We expect each student to complete all of his or her work, and to participate in class fully.

• Habits of learning are not part of the final evaluative grade and are currently reported separately through PowerSchool comments.

• Habits of Learning delineated in course standards can be included in grades. Examples of this might be demonstration of safety procedures in a science class or practicing an instrument in a music class.

Missing Work and the Awarding of Zeros

• Zeros will not be used as final summative assessment grades or in determining a student’s final grade in a course. The student is responsible for arranging with the teacher to take any missed summative assessments.

- Make-up assessments may take a different format from the original assessment.

- There will be a centralized system to support those students who have significant missing work and not made an effort to submit the work. The referral process will be initiated by the teacher if the student has not completed the missing work within three days of its due date.

- Zeros may be used as a temporary placeholder, which may act as an incentive for some students. “Incomplete” or INC will be used in final grade reporting.

- Students with incomplete or missing summative assessments at the end of the semester will receive no credit for the class. In such cases, a decision on the final grade in the class will be made jointly by the teacher, counselor, and administration.

• Departments will determine consequences related to incomplete or missing formative assessments.

Late Work and Grading

• Work not submitted on the due date may receive an “incomplete” (INC).

• Summative assessments submitted or completed after the due date, but within the three day window before the referral process begins (see above policy on missing work), may be lowered no more than one full letter grade (10%) at the discretion of the teacher.

• Late work completed after the referral process begins, and submitted before the end of the quarter, should not receive a grade lower than 50% assuming that the requirements of the assignment are met and there is adequate evidence of achieving course learning standards. The teacher has the discretion to award more than 50% if she or he believes the student merits it.

• Individual departments will determine consequences related to late formative assessments.

Academic Honesty

• Please review the academic honesty policy as written in the student handbook for details.

Reporting and Comments:

• Semester report grades will be standards-referenced in that they will reflect the mastery of student achievement towards a set of SSIS-adopted standards for that subject.

• Comments

- Are personalized and learning-focused.

- Allow parents and students to understand the student’s areas of strength and areas in need of growth.

Report cards are issued to students at the end of each semester. Letter grades for academic achievement are given in the High School.

There are two reporting periods during each semester, quarters 1 and 2 for the first semester and quarters 3 and 4 for the second semester. There are final examinations for most courses at the end of the year. Second semester grades are calculated by adding each together each quarter at 40% and final exam grade at 20%. For example, the final first semester grade is calculated by adding quarter 1 (40%), quarter 2 (40%) and final exam (20%). If there is not a final exam in a given class, each quarter will have an equal weight of 50% when calculating the semester grade.



Absence of Parents p. 45
Absence Procedure, p. 44
Academic Concern, p. 39
Academic Honesty Policy, pp.30-33, 54
Academic Probation, p. 40
Academic Contract, p. 40
Advanced Placement Program (AP), p. 26
Advisory (Advisor), p. 19
After hours attendance/access to school building, p. 47
After-school Activities, p. 51 Athletic/Activity Eligibility, p. 41
Athletics, pp. 51-53
Attendance, pp. 44-47 Awards, p.43 (see also Honor Rolls, p.41)
Academic and Personal Counseling Services, p.11


Bus Guidelines/Infractions (see also Transportation) p.24


Consequences in support, p.55
Course Override, p.38
CAS (see IB), p. 60
Cheating (see Academic Honesty Policy), pp. 30-33, 54
Classroom rules, p. 18
Closed Campus, p. 46
Clubs, p. 49
Consequences for Academic Dishonesty, pp. 32-33
Core Values, pp. 9-10
Counseling, p. 11
Credits, p. 26
Curriculum, p. 25
Curriculum Night, p.39
Class Load, p.37


Dances, p. 50
Detention, p. 55
Diploma, p. 25
Disciplinary Consequences, p. 54
Disrespectful Behavior, p. 54
Dress Code, pp. 15-16
Drugs/ Alcohol, pp. 14, 54


Early Release Days, p. 7
Electronic Device, p. 27

Early Departure from School, p. 45
English as an Additional Language (EAL), p. 20
Elevators, p. 17
Emergency Evacuation, p. 19
Exams (Semester), p. 43
Expulsion, p. 56 ECA, pp. 48-49


Faculty Listing, pp. 4, 6
Field Trips, p. 17
Fighting, p. 54
Food/Gum/Drink, p. 15


Grade Change Procedures, p. 37
Grade Level Placement, p. 35
Grading Scale, p. 36
Graduation requirements, p. 34
Guests, p. 47
General University Entrance Requirements, p. 12


Health Guide Lines, pp. 13-14
Homeroom (see Advisory), p. 19 Homework, pp. 28-29 Honor Rolls, p. 41 I Independent Study Policy, p.27 ICT (Information Communications Technology), pp. 21-23 ID cards, p. 14 Int’l Baccalaureate Program (IB), p. 25 Appendix 2, p. 60 L Language Policy pp. 19-20, 27 Late Submission of Work, pp. 28-29 Laptop Learning Initiative, p. 27 Library, p. 21 Lockers, p. 17 Lost Property, p. 17 Learning Support, p. 20 M Malpractice, p.30 Mission Statement, p. 8 Medical Record, pp. 13-14 N National Honor Society (NHS), p. 50

P P.E. (Physical Education), p. 16 Philosophy of Education, p. 8 Parent Conference Days, p. 39 PDA (Public Displays of Affection), p. 15 Personal Property, p. 17 Plagiarism, p. 30 Promotion in Grades 9-12, p. 35 Progress Reports, p. 36 R Restitution, p. 55 Report Cards, p. 38 Reporting Procedures, p. 38(see also Appendix 3, pp. 63-64) S Schedule/Bell Schedule, p. 7 Scheduling, p. 37 Schedule Changes, p.38 Standardized Testing Programs, pp. 41-42 School Year, p. 28 Security, p. 14 Skipping class (see Truancy), p. 54 Smoking, p. 54 Student Council, pp. 49-50 Student Support Team (HSST), p. 20 Study Hall, p. 18 Suspension, pp. 55-56 T Tardy policy, pp. 46-47 Textbooks, p. 27 Theft, p. 54 Tobacco (see Smoking), P. 54 Transcripts, Appendix 3, pp. 62-63 Transportation, p. 24 Truancy, p. 54 Tutoring policy, p. 12 V Vandalism, p. 54 Vietnamese classes, pp. 20, 27 W Weapons, p. 54 Week Without Walls, p. 18 Water at School, p. 15


Contributors to this page: dperkin , hile , jnguyen and trho .
Page last modified on Tuesday September 22, 2020 07:13:20 +07 by dperkin.

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