Frequently Asked Questions

What are your school hours?

Our school hours are from 8:00 until 3:00, Mondays through Fridays. After school activities generally run from 3:00 to 4:15 in Lower School and 3:30-4:30 in Upper School (sporting events and upper school sports practices often run longer). The Pre-School half-day program has dismissal at 11:30 (before lunch).

Is transportation offered by the school? Do you have buses?

The school coordinates bus transportation to and from various sectors of Hangzhou (see the application form). School organized transportation is not included in tuition. The buses leave directly after school so if students stay for after school activities then parents need to provide them with transportation home.

What are your class sizes?

Our target class sizes are:

Nursery: 15-16 students per class, with one expatriate teacher, and one or two teacher assistants using a 5:1 ratio of child to adult.

Pre-School: 18-20 students per class, with one expatriate teacher, and one or two teacher assistants using a 6:1 ratio of child to adult.

Pre-Kindergarten: 18-20 students to one expatriate teacher and one teacher assistant

Kindergarten: 20-22 students to one expatriate teacher and one teacher assistant

Grades 1 - 5: 22-24 students to one expatriate teacher and one teacher assistant for a grouping of classes

Grades 6 - 12: 15-22 students per class depending on subject and level.

Additional instructional assistants may support science, arts, PE, and languages.

After reaching target class size, an additional 1-2 students may still be enrolled per classroom as per wait pool parameters. In addition the school may reduce its class sizes due to physical capacity limitations.

Does HIS have a waitlist/wait pool? 

When classes are full and no additional classes can be added, a wait pool may be created until space becomes available. Placement in the wait pool is determined by a combination of factors:

Children of faculty who do not speak Mandarin and/or are unable to attend local schools.

Children of foreign nationals who do not speak Mandarin and/or are unable to attend local schools.

Siblings of above mentioned children.

Children of Chinese citizenship permitted by the Hangzhou Education Commission to attend HIS due to living outside of China or other special reason, whose best language is not Mandarin and they are unable to attend local schools

Children whose best language is Mandarin and are eligible to attend HIS as well as local schools.

English level of student

Intended start date

Demographics of class/grade level

All relevant factors are considered together when assessing admission from the wait pool.

Do students wear uniforms?

Yes, we have smart, yet casual uniforms for our entire student body from Nursery to Grade 12. Students in Grades 3-12 also have an athletic uniform that is required for physical education classes. Students are required to wear shoes that fully enable them to participate in physical activities on any day (no crocs, sandals, thongs).

Do you offer a hot lunch program?

For all grades (Nursery-12) daily hot lunches are provided as part of the school fees. A combination of Asian and Western dishes is served. Students, of course, may bring their own lunch but are also welcome to take any of the daily offerings.

Can students enroll during the school year?

Yes, we have students enter throughout the year. Our teachers welcome new students and have procedures to help each child transition to a new environment smoothly.

 How do you select my child's teacher?

For returning HIS students, the Principal and Vice Principal work alongside current teachers to create balanced classrooms and then assign teachers to those class groups. Students who are new to HIS will be placed into class groups by the Principal based on their gender, language, and learning profile. Upper school students will have a different teacher assigned for each subject and placement will be made based on schedule, level, and class subjects. 

What supplies do l need to bring to school?

Early childhood students (Nursery, Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten) generally need a backpack, a daily snack, and a change of clothes in case of "accidents" or spills (books and supplies are provided).

Lower school students generally need a backpack and a daily snack (books and supplies are provided).

Upper school students need a backpack and supplies as indicated by classroom teachers (inexpensive and readily available in China). The school provides textbooks and Macbook computers on a three year basis. After three years of enrollment at HIS a student receives a new Macbook. Macbooks are school property, and for academic work during the three year period.

Do you have any after school activities?

HIS offers a variety of after school activities. Students and parents are provided a list of activities and sign up procedures through weekly Newsletters and parent email account. Activities generally run from 3:10 to 4:00 pm.

How do you schedule classes?

Lower school students simply need to go to their classroom. Specialist classes are built into their weekly schedule.

Upper school students have core subjects and electives. The building Principal and college counselor work with

Upper school students to build a program. You may contact the Principal for sign-up sheets. 

Are parents involved with the school?

HIS values our high level of partnership with the parent community and encourage parent participation wherever possible. We welcome parent volunteers in the classrooms and as part of our Parents and Friends Association (PAFA).

What is your student body breakdown by citizenship?
We have over 30 nationalities represented by our student body. The breakdown varies from year to year. Overall our student body is represented by roughly 35% from North America, 30% from Asian countries, and 25% from Europe, with the other 10% be made up of students from Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Where are HIS teachers from?

Approximately 70% of our teachers are from the U.S. and Canada, but we also have at different times teachers from Australia, the U.K., New Zealand, South Africa, and an assortment of other countries.

Does the school have a religious affiliation?

We celebrate diversity, but we do not have any religious affiliation. Although we do not teach religion, we value and share the richness of different religions and cultures in our community.

Do you administer standardized achievement tests?

HIS administers the Northwest Educational Assessment (NWEA) to students in Grades 2-10. Our high school students also take the PSAT and SAT. Students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB) may take IB exams in the Spring that may lead to college/university credit. Fees for these tests are in addition to the regular tuition and according to the individual test regime of each student.

Do students participate in field trips?

We firmly believe that HIS students should take as much advantage of their time in Hangzhou to learn about and appreciate the rich culture of China. Hangzhou itself is renowned throughout China, and increasingly around the world, as a prime tourist destination, which gives plenty of opportunities for our students to learn about Chinese culture and history through local field trips. Additionally, all students in grades six through twelve participate in a Week Without Walls wherein they travel to fascinating destinations in China such as Yunnan, Quindao, Xiamen and Inner Mongolia. The cost of Week Without Walls trips are paid by the school.