FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are my child’s chances of being accepted at HKIS?

Chances for admission vary across grade levels and from one academic year to the next. HKIS accepts applications year-round and operates a waitpool rather than a wait list. When a space becomes available, we select the applicant who will best fit into our school community, rather than considering how long he or she has been waiting for admission. As space availability varies from grade to grade, we encourage families to contact our office as soon as possible to begin the application process.

Does my child need to be a Christian to be a student at HKIS?

HKIS welcomes children of all faiths including those who do not associate themselves with any religion or religious traditions. HKIS is grounded in the Christian faith and respects the spiritual lives of all.

HKIS offers an academic program of different religions in which students are encouraged to share their own worldviews and spiritual/religious understandings. Religious education at HKIS features ongoing exploration of the deep questions of existence and meaning, as well as the study of Christianity and other world religions. Our goal is that each student develops a stronger sense of his or her own spiritual identity.

What modern languages are offered?

From Reception 1 - Grade 5, Mandarin is compulsory. Children are placed in ability groups according to grade level. Students may choose one language from Mandarin, French, or Spanish in the Middle and High School. Modern language is an elective from Grades 6 - 12. Although a modern language is not required for high school graduation, it is strongly encouraged and often required for college admission. Most college-bound students take at least two consecutive years of Mandarin, French, or Spanish.

What is the Chinese Language program like at HKIS?

The aim of the HKIS Mandarin language program is to develop communicatively competent and culturally enriched students in the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. Our students represent a diverse range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, from native Mandarin Chinese speakers to those just beginning to learn. We accommodate this wide range of learners through a two-track (or “stream”) approach with distinct curricula.

Visit our Chinese Language Program page

How big are your classes?

This varies by division. Maximum numbers are listed below:

Reception 1: 14 - 16 students 1 Teacher plus 1 Teaching Assistant.
Reception 2: 18 - 21 Students 1 Teacher plus 1 Teaching Assistant.
Grade 1 - 2: 18 - 21 Students 1 Teacher plus 1 Teacher Assistant shared between 2 classes.
Grade 3 - 5: 21 - 23 Students 1 Teacher plus 1 Teacher Assistant shared between 3 classes.
Grade 6 - 8: 21 - 23 Students per homeroom Teacher, fewer in Modern Language and Math.
Grade 9 - 12: 21 - 23 Students, although as classes become more advanced there may be as few as 12-15.

When does school start and end?

School generally commences the third week in August and concludes the second week in June. You will find that the HKIS calendar consists of the same number of instructional days as US schools, but the calendar is stretched to accommodate the required local Chinese holidays, as well as some of the major US holidays.

What are your school hours?

Lower Primary (Reception 1 to Grade 2):

Reception 1:
Half Day Program:
Morning session: 8 a.m.- 11 a.m.
Afternoon session: 11:50 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Long Day Program: 8 a.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Reception 2: 8 a.m. - 1:50 p.m
Grades 1 & 2: 8 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Upper Primary (Grades 3-5): 7:55 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Middle School (Grades 6-8): 7:45 a.m. - 3:05 p.m.

High School (Grades 9-12): 7:50 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Is transportation provided to the school? Do you offer a busing service?

HKIS operates mandatory busing for Lower and Upper Primary students. View our mandatory busing FAQs for more information.

Kwoon Chung Motors has been providing bus service for HKIS students on a contract basis since 1971 and currently operates 65 routes. If you are planning to reside on Hong Kong Island, there are plenty of transport options available. In addition, buses operate as far north as Kowloon Tong, and students in the New Territories are met at a designated location in Kowloon. Even students living in Discovery Bay can be picked up from the Discovery Bay Central Pier 3. It is customary to have a bus supervisor on all buses to and from the elementary campus. A bus supervisor also escorts the afternoon runs from the middle school. In addition to normal school operating hours, an after-school activity bus departs the elementary campus at 4:00 p.m. and additional buses depart from the Middle and High Schools at 4:20 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. You will be billed directly by the bus company.

For further information please contact Kwoon Chung Motors at:
Tel: (852) 2578 1178
Fax: (852) 2562 3399

Do students wear uniforms?

Lower and Upper Primary School students in R1 to Grade 5 wear uniforms which consist of navy blue bottoms (blue shorts, blue jeans, a blue skirt, etc.) and red or white collared shirts with the HKIS emblem sewn on. Shorts and shirts can be purchased from the Dragon Shop (school store), or you can provide your own and purchase from either campus a sew-on HKIS emblem. Most shoes are fine. However, for safety purposes, clogs and sandals without a heel strap are not allowed. It is recommended that your child wear sneakers for designated PE days.

Middle School students are required to wear school uniforms. This consists of a choice of navy blue or white polo type shirt with HKIS embroidered on its left sleeve. This shirt is sold through the Dragon Shop. The bottoms consist of any typical shorts, skirts, or long trousers in blue, black or khaki color. Denim is acceptable.

No uniform is required in Grades 9-12. Instead, students are expected to exercise good judgment by selecting clothing that is moderate and in good taste.

PE uniforms are required for both Middle School and High School and can be purchased from the Dragon Shop upon arrival. This is a unisex uniform that consists of blue shorts and a gray T-shirt.

Do you have a hot lunch program?

Our Lower Primary, Middle and High Schools all offer healthy and balanced hot lunch options. Lower Primary parents may purchase lunches online and may also view the monthly menus, while students in Middle and High School can pay by cash or Octopus card. For the 2017-18 school year, Upper Primary students will eat lunch in their homerooms. Brown bag lunches can be purchased from our caterer Sodexo, or brought from home.

What supplies do I need to bring to school?

All basic school supplies for Reception 1 to Grade 8 are included in tuition fees. Students should bring a backpack for carrying items to and from home. Occasionally an item affiliated with a particular class, i.e., a scientific calculator for algebra, may need to be purchased. The classroom teacher will notify you of this in plenty of time. Students in Grades 9 - 12 should provide their own binders, paper, pens and pencils.

Where are your teachers from?

Our teachers are from around the world, including: Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, India, UK and the US. Our modern language teachers are often native speakers from their home countries.

The average teaching experience is 13 years, and approximately 63% of the teachers hold master's degrees or above.

How much homework should my child expect to receive?

This varies by division and is a gradual build-up to the heavier academic loads of a college preparatory program. For example, a 2nd grader may have only 20-30 minutes of homework per day while a 7th grader may have up to two hours per day, and by the time a student reaches high school they may have as much as 20 hours per week.

How does HKIS prepare its High School students for college? What colleges do they attend?

HKIS offers an academically rigorous course of study including honors courses, Advanced Placement courses and independent study. This prepares our students for the demands of colleges worldwide. HKIS has full-time college counseling staff on hand to assist students with the application process and making their best college choice. We have a acceptance rate of 100% for our graduates into colleges and universities: Over 90% attend college in North America.

Visit our Graduate Profile page

Do you administer standardized achievement tests?

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is administered to students in Grades 3 - 8 every fall and spring, and the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) in the fall. All Grade 10 and 11 students are required to take the PSAT, and all High School students are eligible to take the SAT, which is administered five times during the year. These tests are scored in the US and parents receive a detailed explanation of their child’s results.

Do you have any after-school activities?

Lower and Upper Primary Schools

In Grades 1 - 5, our after-school activity program offers three sessions with each session lasting six weeks. Students are allowed to choose one or two activities during this time, depending on availability. With the first session beginning in October we offer a wide range of activities such as arts and crafts, chess, computing, cooking, hiking, swimming, roller hockey and crafts, and many more. There are numerous musical opportunities including choir, handbells, Orff Ensemble and strings. After-school Chinese language classes are also available. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops are very active at HKIS, so be sure to bring along your uniform and badges! In addition to all of these, HKIS offers an extensive youth sports program: Soccer begins in R2, baseball in Grade 1 and basketball in Grade 3. These are the HKIS intramural youth leagues, which conclude in Grade 8.

Our facilities are also used by private organizations that offer fee-based activities, which include gymnastics, dance, judo, art, drama, soccer, etc. These are coordinated by the Community & Summer Program Center. Visit the activities section of our website for more information.

Middle School

Intercollegiate sports are available in Grades 6 - 12. Options for Middle School include swimming, cross-country, track and field, badminton, volleyball, rugby, basketball, soccer and field hockey. Grades 6 - 8 may also participate in the HKIS youth league for soccer, basketball and baseball. Many clubs and after-school activities are also available, including Jazz Band, allegretto (girls) and bass (boys) honors choirs, student council, drama, yearbook, chess, language clubs, art, broadcasting, etc.

High School

Sports available at the High School level include badminton, basketball, field hockey (girls), track and field, crew, rugby (boys), volleyball, cross country, sailing, soccer (boys), softball, squash, swimming, tennis and table tennis. All students are registered with the Hong Kong School Sports Association and leagues are categorized according to age into A, B, or C grade. A full range of extracurricular activities are available. Clubs are generally classified according to type, with multiple opportunities available in each category: Journalism, service, music & drama, spirit, cultural awareness, technology, and academics/speech. Approximately 60% of the students are involved in sports with 96% also involved in community service.

How do I sign up for sports and activities?

Parents of children in Grades R2-5 will have an opportunity to sign up for the HKIS and community activities on orientation day. Middle and High School students will be notified through bulletins and parent newsletters available both in print and online.

Can parents get involved with the school?

HKIS is firmly committed to fostering a strong partnership between school and home. There are many ways to be involved, whether that means being an active participant in Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) activities, assisting as a classroom volunteer, coaching a soccer team, or serving on the Board of Managers.

Learn more about our parent community

Is a physical exam required prior to admission to HKIS?

We want to work with you in protecting and promoting the health of your child while they are in school. In order to comply with the entrance requirements of HKIS, a physical examination within the past 6 months is required for all new students prior to entry. We also require existing students to have a physical examination before entring into a new division: Grade 3, Grade 6 and Grade 9.

Does my child require health insurance?

HKIS requires all of its students to be covered by personal health insurance. HKIS does not provide medical coverage for students when accidents occur during school-related activities.

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