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Harbor Country Day School’s Mandarin Students Excel on International Chinese Proficiency Test

LongIsland.com

The challenging HSK Test measures students’ ability to apply the Chinese language in their studies and in their personal lives.

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2018 Spring Festival Gala.

Photo by: Harbor Country Day School

St. James, NY - June 12, 2018 - Fourteen elementary students from Harbor Country Day School, ranging in age from nine to 14, passed the 2018 Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Chinese Proficiency Test, the standardized international proficiency test administered by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The challenging HSK Test, which consists of listening and reading tests, measures students’ ability to apply the Chinese language in their studies and in their personal lives.
 
It is estimated that the HSK Test has been taken more than 100 million times since it was officially introduced in 1992. When several of Harbor Country Day School’s Mandarin students took the test in 2017, Harbor became the first elementary school on Long Island to offer the test to its students. 
 
“I could not be more proud of our Mandarin students,” said Harbor Country Day Head of School John Cissel. “They are a strong, intelligent, fearless group of students, and the never shy away from a challenge. I’m impressed that so many of them were brave enough to take the HSK test, and then for fourteen of them to pass the test -- that’s an incredible accomplishment. Our Mandarin teacher, Hong Li Snyder, has worked so hard to create the best program possible. We’re lucky to have her here at Harbor.”
 

Harbor Country Day School students with Head of School John Cissel and Mandarin teacher Hong Snyder at Chinese Consulate's Open Day Experiencing China Event. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
 
Harbor Country Day’s Mandarin program is offered to all students in PreK 4 through eighth grade. During the 2017-2018 academic year, 116 students studied Mandarin at Harbor. The program is focused on immersing students in the Chinese culture, as well as achieving fluency in reading, writing, and speaking the Mandarin language. 
 
Harbor Country Day has forged a relationship with the renowned Confucius Institute at Stony Brook University, providing students with increased access to cultural events and experiences throughout the community. For the past four years, the Confucius Institute has invited Harbor Mandarin students to participate in the institute’s Chinese New Year celebration at the Charles B. Wang Center on the Stony Brook campus. 
 
In 2017 and 2018, students also were invited to perform for Stony Brook University students, professors, academic deans, and the university president, as well as consuls from the Chinese Embassy in New York, at the Stony Brook Chinese Students and Scholars Association’s (SBCSSA) Spring Festival Gala.  
 

Harbor Country Day School students perform at 2018 Spring Festival Gala: Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
 
And on May 3, Mr. Yongji Xu, the Education Counselor of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, invited Harbor’s Mandarin students to perform at the 2018 Chinese Consulate Open Day Experiencing China event at the Chinese Consulate in New York City. 
 
Mr. Cissel continued, “Watching our students perform at the Chinese Consulate was an amazing experience. The children -- one of whom is just five years old -- were poised and confident in front of hundreds of people, in an unfamiliar, elegant setting. Everyone in the audience was blown away by their performance. They represented Harbor Country Day School well.”
 
Mandarin teacher Hong Li Snyder added, “I am so proud of my students. From passing the very difficult HSK test to performing in Mandarin, their non-native language, for hundreds and hundreds of people at various community events, they continue to inspire me every day.”
 
About Harbor Country Day School
Founded in 1958 by conscientious parents, Harbor Country Day School is an independent, co-educational day school for children from preschool through 8th grade situated in St. James’ Village of Head of the Harbor. The school employs a whole-child approach to education, wherein its rigorous curriculum is supported by a broad program in its academic, athletic, advisory, and visual and performing arts departments designed to develop all aspects of each child's talents and interests. Harbor Country Day School’s summer camp program, Camp Harbor, is among the leading summer camp programs on Long Island. The school’s mission to “cherish childhood, cultivate wonder, and inspire confident learners and leaders” underscores every child’s experience at Harbor Country Day School and ensures that all of its graduates are prepared to lead fulfilling lives filled with wonder, confidence, and many successes. 
 
Harbor Country Day School is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by and a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).  It is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. For more information, visit www.hcdsny.org.