About Us
  
 
 
  
       
Dear HKA Community,

Hong Kong Academy is a dynamic learning environment committed to pathways to individual excellence for all students. Success in that endeavour is a community wide effort and relies heavily on an effective home-school partnership. Thank you for being an HKA parent, guardian or caregiver. This online handbook is for you. It provides essential information about the day-to-day workings of HKA as well as answers to
general questions about a wide range of topics spanning from the school’s approaches to learning to the school uniform.

We hope you’ll find this website helpful. If your question isn’t answered here, of if you have a suggestion about how we can improve this resource, please contact communications@hkacademy.edu.hk.

Sincerely,
Stephen Dare
Head of School



Greeting from the Primary School Principal

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to the HKA Community. At HKA we believe in building a bridge between home and school. We value collaborative partnerships with students, teachers and parents. Effective communication plays an important role in this collaboration. The HKA Community Family Guidelines is one way we foster communication with families.

These guidelines include day-to-day procedures in Primary School and provides tips on how you can maximise the experience of your child at HKA. I hope that you will use it as a reference throughout the year. The Primary School staff and I are always available to support you and answer any additional questions you may have.

I look forward to working with the students and families of HKA this year. Thank you for your active participation in your child’s education.

Sincerely,
Virginia Hunt
Primary School Principal
 


Greeting from the Secondary School Principal

Dear HKA Community,

Whether you are a current member of our school community, a prospective parent, student, or educator, or just browsing, welcome to the HKA Secondary School!

We believe in a partnership of staff, students, families and community members where students are the central focus. As an IB World School, HKA develops the whole student and we empower learners to pursue pathways to individual excellence by fostering creativity, communication and problem-solving skills.

We hope you find these Family Guidelines useful as they provide information on day-to-day procedures in Secondary School and can be used a reference throughout the school year. The Secondary School staff and I can be contacted through email or the SS office to answer any further questions you may have.


Joanna Crimmins
Acting Secondary School Principal


https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top

HKA Mission Statement

"Hong Kong Academy (HKA) is a dynamic learning community that provides a rigorous international education characterised by mutual benefit and sup­port.
 
As an educational leader, HKA empowers learners to pursue pathways to individual excellence by fostering creativity, communication and problem-solving skills.
 
HKA learners develop an evolving understanding of our changing world, leading them to engage in responsible action motivated by their interests, strengths and ongoing reflection.
 
HKA is committed to maintaining a diverse, collaborative and captivating learning environment in which students become adaptable, confident and tolerant, equipping them for the future."
 
History and Vision
HKA is a co-educational English-language day school currently enrolling students from PK1 (3 year olds) through Grade (G) 12. The school is located in Sai Kung and the primary school (PS) and secondary school (SS) are all housed on one campus.
 
HKA was founded by two visionary co-founders, Teresa Richman and Ben Frankel, who were committed to providing child-centred and community-minded education. Estab­lished 2000, with just a few students, HKA’s enrolment has grown in fewer than 15 years into a community of over 600 students ranging from age 3 to age 18. While the school is now far bigger, it retains its founding values and tenets: very low student-teacher ratios; an inclusion model of education that embraces children of all abilities in the mainstream classroom, ranging from those requiring additional support to those who are more talented and able; high parental involvement; and inquiry-based learning to support all educational programmes.
 
Inclusion and Rigour
As we learn in a collaborative and supportive culture, inclusion requires us to create differentiated learning experiences and incorporate differentiated instructional strategies that ensure equal access to learning for all.
 
 


https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top

The Student Body
HKA’s 640+ students come from all over the world with a mix of long-term Hong Kong residents and expatriates. Currently, the school population includes students from approximately 40 nationalities.

Classes offer low student to teacher ratio. In the Primary School, HKA offers two classes at each grade level and two teachers in every class. The student to teacher ration promotes individual student attention and maintain a positive and intimate climate within the school.

In the Secondary School, grade levels vary in size by grade, with the lower grades reaching a maximum of 66 and the higher grade levels reaching a maximum of 44. Students rotate through various subjects and have an Advisory period that functions like a homeroom.

 
The Faculty
HKA’s over 100 strong faculty, like the students they teach, come from around the world and form an extended global community that enhances our diversity and international understanding. All teachers hold a degree in education and are certified in their area of teach­ing. Over 70% hold graduate degrees or are working towards their Master's degree. Over 80% of co-teachers hold education related degrees and the remaining co-teachers are working towards a Bachelor’s or post-graduate degree and certification.

HKA’s Mandarin teachers are all native speakers with an excellent com­mand of English. The PS Mandarin staff consists of three full-time teachers, one full-time co-teacher in K-G5 and four part-time Pre-Kindergarten (PK) teachers. In PK1 and PK2, each class has an EC Mandarin teacher who delivers the Mandarin programme.

HKA’s Learner Support Office is comprised of over 20 professionals in several specialties who work both in the classroom and in dedicated 
in-house Learner Support areas focussing on subjects such as occupational therapy and speech therapy. 

Administration
HKA’s Head of School is Stephen Dare, an experienced overseas educator originally from the UK. He joined HKA in 2010 from his position as Assistant Su­perintendent at the International School of Manila (ISM). Earlier positions held during his years overseas include Elementary School Principal also at ISM as well as teacher and administrator at international independent schools in the US and Colombia and in state schools in the UK.

Virginia Hunt, HKA’s Primary School Principal, has more than 25 years in education, mostly in international schools. Originally from the US, she has worked with primary age children ranging from two to twelve years old in Frankfurt, Germany, Dubai, UAE and New York City, US. Virginia has certification and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and an Advanced Master’s and certification in K- 12 Administration, both degrees and certifications were earned from Bank Street College, New York City.

Joanna Crimmins is the Acting Secondary School Principal at Hong Kong Academy; prior to this appointment she served as an MYP/DP Drama teacher, MYP Co-ordinator and DP Co-ordinator at HKA. Joanna holds Bachelor's degrees in Drama and Education from the University of Wales and a Masters degree in Education Leadership and Management. Joanna is also an experienced MYP and DP educator who has worked in a range of leadership roles at state schools in the UK as well as at international schools in Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong; her experience includes being Deputy Head of Secondary School, Head of Pastoral Care and Head of Department. Joanna is passionate about the HKA community and is committed to supporting the ongoing growth of our Secondary School programme.

Board of Trustees and Governance
The HKA Board of Trustees has the primary responsibility for school governance. Membership of The Board normally comprises of four elected members, four additional members appointed by the foundation members, two co-opted members, and the school’s two founders.This Board meets on a monthly basis throughout the school year. Standing board committees with specific responsibilities for the areas of finance, facilities, advancement, and governance meet frequently throughout the year. These committees include parent and faculty representatives as well as elected members.

Parents
At HKA, parents are considered integral members of the learning community. From its founding, parents have been at the heart of HKA. Parents volunteer and give to the school in many ways, including time, expertise and financial gifts. For information about how to get involved at HKA, please contact communications@hkacademy.edu.hk.


Alumni and Former Families
HKA values continued relationships with students and parents who have moved on from HKA to new opportunities. HKA stays in touch with former families and students with newsletters, events and social media and also support alumni and former families staying in touch with one another. For more information about alumni activities, please contact Laura Mitchell, Director of Institutional Advancement at laura.mitchell@hkacademy.edu.hk.

https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top

Admissions

Admissions at HKA are consistent with our values as a community and diversity-based school. We view each student as an individual and evalu­ate both their ability to succeed in the classroom and our ability to enable them to reach their fullest potential. We expect every student and family to be contributing members of our school community and embrace the school’s mission and core values.


  • Priority is not based upon the date of application

  • HKA has a rolling admissions policy and will accept candidates on the basis of the given criteria

  • HKA seeks diversity of nationality, ethnicity, religion, ability, family blend and gender


Requirements

Students must be age appropriate for their grade. The birthday cut-off date for PS and SS is 31st August. For example:


  • Playgroup Class - 2 years old by 31st August of enrolling year

  • PK1 class - 3 years old by 31st August of enrolling year

  • PK2 class - 4 years old by 31st August of enrolling year

  • K class - 5 years old by 31st August of enrolling year

  • G1 class - 6 years old by 31st August of enrolling year


In some cases, students entering after Grade 1 may be granted a placement outside this age requirement if warranted by the student’s past school experience and maturity. The following may also be taken into consideration:


  • Students are able to function in the mainstream classroom using English language

  • Assessment results are appropriate for the space available


Priorities for admission

  • Special Corporate Debenture Holders/Diversity Debenture Holders: Families who hold one of these two Debentures will be prioritised for admission assessment.

  • Faculty Children: The children of Hong Kong Academy faculty will be prioritised for admission assessment.

  • Siblings: Siblings of enrolled students will be given admission assessment priority. This priority does not override the school’s commitment to providing a diverse learning environment. Selection from the sibling wait pool will be made in the following order:

                    i.  Capacity to provide for Learner Support needs

ii. Gender

iii. Date of application

iv. Date of admission of elder sibling

v.  Number of enrolled siblings currently attending HKA

vi. Date of Birth

       

The terminology of ‘sibling’ may be extended to other children in the family.


In general, Hong Kong Academy seeks to provide priority enrolment for siblings of currently enrolled students. This is integral to our commitment to being a community school where all siblings in a family can learn and grow together.


On occasion, some parents may wish to defer the enrolment of a younger sibling. If enrolment of a younger sibling is deferred, the sibling priority privilege will not be extended beyond the original offer of acceptance. Rather, this applicant will be placed in the waitpool along with other admitted students seeking enrolment.


  • Whole family applications: Families who apply for all eligible children in their family will be prioritised over families who do not apply for all eligible children. Enrolling all eligible children demonstrates a clear commitment to inclusion, pathways to individual excellence and support for a strong sense of community feel.

  • Returning Families: Families who currently attended Hong Kong Academy but left to move to a different country shall be given priority over ‘new’ family applications on their return to Hong Kong.  This shall not be extended to families who withdrew to attend a different HK school.  Dependants of Alumni shall also be prioritised.


Learning Support

Children who need learning support are admitted upon the same requirements as other students. They must be able to be successful in the mainstream classroom with minimal outside support services. We seek a diversity in this as well, be they children who are performing beyond grade level expectations, a child with physical disabilities, etc. Students who are receiving additional support in the school are required to have all age appropriate siblings attend HKA, subject to space.


Family Policy

Children who need learning support are admitted upon the same requirements as other students. They must be able to be successful in the mainstream classroom with minimal outside support services. We seek a diversity in this as well, be they children who are performing beyond grade level expectations, a child with physical disabilities, etc. Students who are receiving additional support in the school are required to have all age appropriate siblings attend HKA, subject to space.

Primary School and Learner Support

When a student is accessing the Learner Support Programme or admitted to the Primary School, all other age-appropriate siblings must be in the waiting pool and prepared to accept a place when offered. The school reserves the right not to accept or re-enroll any student in Primary School or any student receiving support who has an eligible, school-age sibling who does not attend Hong Kong Academy.


For this reason:

  • Enrolment and re-enrollment is dependent upon the school receiving applications for all eligible children with intent to enroll.
  • Families who do not apply for or intend to enroll all eligible children may be putting the re-enrollment of their HKA child at risk.
  • Families who have a child in the Primary School or accessing additional support (via Learner Support or EAL support) must enroll all eligible children at HKA if a place is offered.
  • The school reserves the right to deny re-enrollment to families not complying with the Family Policy.
  • The school reserves the right to determine eligibility based upon age, school grade, geographical location and previous curriculum.
  • All eligible children must meet the enrollment requirements of HKA.
  • The decision of the Head of School is final regarding re-enrollment.

Re-enrollment and Exemptions for Families

If Secondary School students are identified as requiring additional support during their first year of enrollment at HKA, the family will be required to enroll all siblings.

Families with children attending other schools may not be offered a re-enrollment contract. If these requirements are not met, re-enrollment will only be considered if:


  • The child(ren) currently attending HKA are not preventing another HKA family from enrolling all their children at HKA.
  • The family pays 100% of Learning Support costs incurred. Typically families will only pay 80% of costs.
AND:
  • The family purchases a Diversity Debenture or
  • The family sponsors a full-grade related scholarship until the sibling not attending HKA graduates from secondary education.

https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top

Details of tuition, debentures, and terms of payment are available via our Admissions page on the school website.

Parents are fully responsible for their child’s school fees. School fees are to be made in two instalments, one per semester. The capital levy and scholarship fees are to be paid each school year in advance as a de­posit and are non-refundable. Should a company or business be paying school fees, parents are responsible for ensuring that these are paid in a timely fashion.


https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top
 

Re-enrolment Procedures

Hong Kong Academy has an online re-enrolment procedure, via the Veracross Parent Portal. Families will be asked to given an indication of their plans (as known) from the middle of the previous semester. Re-enrolling students must be in compliance with all requirements for enrolment. The school reserves the right to refuse re-enrolment to any student or students of families who have demonstrated misalignment with the mission, values, standards, guidelines, rules and regulations and contractual agreements of the school. In addition, no family may be re-admitted unless all financial obligations have been met from the previous school year, student has positive behaviour and academic progress.


Each year parents will be given the opportunity to re-enrol their children for the following year. There will be a two-week period that all returning families may re-enrol to secure their child's place in the class. After the two-week re-enrolment period has expired, your child is not guaranteed a space in his or her class.  Re-enrolment is only complete once the Tuition Deposit has been received by the school.  This tuition deposit is non-refundable.


‘Overdue Payment’ fees shall be added to the deposit for re-enrollment that is not completed within the specified time frame.


Please note that families of students requiring additional support (Learner Support, ELL etc) may be required to re-enrol earlier due to the nature of their programmes.


Why implement a re-enrolment process?

Knowing re-enrolment levels early in the spring aids the school in several ways. Most importantly it allows more detailed budgeting to take place and hiring decisions to be made with the confidence that enrolment levels will support all positions. Supply orders, especially those with a very long lead time, can be placed with confidence. A re-enrolment process allows the school to manage the roll of the school, prioritise existing students and their siblings and give clear indications to applicants of the likelihood of spaces being available for the next semester.


Withdrawal Procedures

In any international setting, students inevitably move on to other schools and other countries. If circumstances necessitate withdrawal at any stage during the year we require written confirmation from parents to admissions@hkacademy.edu.hk. The school requires three full calendar months notice of withdrawal or three full month’s tuition in lieu of such notice for the refund of the tuition fees paid. In either case the 3 month period will be calculated from the date the withdrawal notice is received at the HKA Admissions Dept.

  

Upon leaving HKA, we ask parents to fill in an exit survey and provide future contact details to organise progress reports or records as required, and allow teachers to organise final work pieces around the leaving date. Parents are responsible for the replacement costs for missing or damaged school materials.


If a transfer form is required by a new school please ensure that this request is forwarded to the appropriate principal as soon as possible.

https://sites.google.com/a/hkacademy.edu.hk/parent-handbook/about-us#top
 

HKA normally commences the school year during the 3rd week of August. For a full list of important dates and events please check our online calendars available via Veracross.


Veracross calendars can be synced to external calendars and smart-devices using the 'subscribe' function available within Veracross.


There is also a 'Term Calendar' available via our website.


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