Dear OIS parents,
I would like to welcome everyone back to school for the spring trimester and hope you had a relaxing time with family. The faculty started working yesterday and we are all looking forward to an exciting finish to the school year. This is an emotional time for the parents of our grade 12 students and encourage them to enjoy the experience and try to spend some extra time with their graduating senior son or daughter. The next issue of Educator comes out next Friday April 10th. I wanted to keep you up to date with school events before then. Also note I will be attending the Japan Council of International Schools (JCIS) meeting of heads of schools April 9 – 11 hosted by the Seisen International School in Tokyo.
- Tuesday April 7 – The elementary school students will be UN World Health Day with a “wacky hair/hat” day. The idea is to raise awareness for cancer treatment. Linda Ragsdale, activist and leader of the Peace Dragon Project visited us back in October and she is currently battling cancer.
- Wednesday April 8 – OIS Parent Teacher Meeting 8:45 AM Third Floor Conference Room (a picture will be taken of the new members)
- Thursday April 9 – Kindergarten Easter Egg Hunt
- Friday April 10 – IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts Exhibition Opening – more details forthcoming
- Wednesday April 29 – We are planning to invite OIS parents to come to school on Wednesday April 29 to do some activities with their children. It is a national holiday and some of you may not be working and it may be possible for you to come in. The team has been brainstorming ideas and will send concrete plans later this month. For now, just be aware that we are thinking of doing some event on that day.
New Faculty: I would like to introduce Teruko Clark to the OIS community. Mrs. Clark will be teaching Japanese language this term in the PYP and MYP. She is covering a maternity leave for Kazue Sudo, who will return in April of 2015. Teruko has a long association with OIS. Her daughter, Sophia, graduated from OIS in 2010 and recently from the University of Oregon in the USA. Mrs. Clark also has been a substitute teacher at OIS since 2008. She is a graduate of Osaka Seikei College and has certification in kindergarten and elementary teaching. She is an accomplished pianist, and has taught private music lessons to children and adults for years. Teruko is looking forward to the assignment, as she loves children and enjoys seeing them grow. She appreciates the different cultures at OIS. We are happy to have Mrs. Clark as part of the faculty.
Professional Development: Over the spring break holiday, early childhood teachers Dawn Inada and Wakaba Mori attended the EARCOS (East Asian Regional Council of Schools) teachers conference in Malaysia. They came back with many ideas and were inspired by the speeches and presentations they attended. It is also a chance to share best practices with teachers in other international schools. The school appreciates our faculty giving up their time during their breaks to continue to improve their teaching. Both teachers will also be traveling to a workshop and job-alike next week at the Nagoya International School.
New Families to OIS: We welcome six new students to OIS for the spring term. Families are coming from the USA, China, Dubai, Singapore and Japan. More information will be given in next week’s Educator.
SOIS Featured in IB Global News: OIS is the featured school in the current e-newsletter of the International Baccalaureate. The issue of IB Global News can be accessed here. The IB Global News is a web-based newsletter that is sent to schools and interested parties around the world, five times per year.
Campus Facilities Improvements: The KG facilities department did much work over the spring break. They completed resurfacing the elementary school playground and installed a climbing ramp and play apparatus. LED lighting systems were installed in most of the classrooms on the second and third floors. A video screen was also installed in the genkan for announcements and school photos and videos.
Parent Resource: I occasionally like to suggest media that OIS parents may be interested in. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote the essay “How to Survive the College Admissions Madness” based on his new book, Where You Go, Is Not What You Will Be. He regularly writes about higher education for the New York Times.