Return to Bulletin index page:

 

 

The Bulletin                           Jun 21, 2008

   

 

HEADS UPDATE

Karin Caffin

Head of School

Over the last few months I have become sadly aware that many of the things that I do, I am doing for the last time. I have been to the last Maple Hall Concert and what a wonderful event it was. Last Friday was the last OIS graduation, and as always, I cried along with the students as they said thank you to everyone who had been a part of their lives. I have known some of those students for ten years and have seen them grow, academically, socially and emotionally. The students always talk about their opportunities, how hard they have had to work, the quality and sometimes the personalities of their teachers, the challenges of being in Japan and the very unique school that we have here with OIS and SIS.

I too have had many opportunities at this school, and consider it a privilege to have been able to work here. As I reflect back over the last ten years, I realize how many things have made an impact on my life and why in fact I decided to stay longer than the four years we had planned to be here. Most importantly, one reason for staying was the sense of community that we have here, a small school, where students, teachers and parents are able to be close and work together for the education of the students. The teachers who have come to work here also stay longer than they would in many other international schools, and the professional dedication that the vast majority of teachers have shown over the years, the nature of the students, the support of parents and the ease of living in Japan have been major reasons for their long service. I too have enjoyed living in this country and as I said in the graduation welcome last Friday, living in Japan and working at OIS/SIS has certainly challenged my comfort levels when it comes to be more open minded, a risk taker, balanced, reflective and more knowledgeable. But I must have succeeded in part, for I feel very much at home here and know that I will miss many things about life in Japan.

Our students are really great and parents and teachers have good reason to be proud of them. The sense of family and support that the students enjoy at our school is something that they will hold dear. Many of them come back to visit, many write and tell us how they are getting on in college, and thank their teachers for having prepared them so well. I believe that the whole school community, parents, teachers, and staff have helped to prepare the students to become active, compassionate and life long learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. The students of today are the future leaders of the world and I believe that we have given them the education and opportunity to become those leaders.

Working in an IB school gave me the opportunity to become a leader amongst my peers in the Asia Pacific region when I was elected to be on the IB Regional Heads Council and then the world wide International Heads Council. I was able to educate other Heads and IB personnel about the unique nature of our schools, and in particular the shared programs. During the last two years I have been fortunate to be an IB Board member and I have tried to serve that Board by promoting school perspectives and needs of students as the IB continues to grow rapidly around the world.

One of the saddest parts of being an international teacher or family is that people do move on, to new jobs, new schools, to other countries and to their homes. I will be moving on, to my home in Adelaide, and having been overseas for the last 15 years I know there will be some major adjustments that I have to make. I will enjoy taking some time off, but already there are plans for some consultancy work in the field of education.

I will miss the school and all people who have made this school a learning community, and I have many fond memories and would like to thank everyone for their support over the years. Have a wonderful summer vacation and I wish everyone well for the new school year, where ever you may be. My email will be kcaffin@gmail.com

 

FROM THE PRINCIPALS

Rod Adam & Gwyn Underwood

Thank you parents for the support you have given to your children over the course of the school year (sometimes a difficult job!). We wish you all a relaxing summer break. A letter with details for the start of the school year will be sent home to all parents at a later date, but here is a brief overview of the end and the beginning of the years:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Tuesday, June 24: End of 2007/8 School Year Full Day of School

Wednesday, August 27: Orientation Day

All students new to OIS are requested to come to the library at 1:30 pm.

Thursday, August 28: First Day of Classes (2008/9 Fall Trimester)

MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL

Friday, June 27: End of 2007/8 School Year Half Day of School

Cafeteria is open till 1:00 pm.

School Buses operate as usual to school but leave at 11:45 am only from school.

Tuesday, August 26: Orientation Day

Students new to OIS should report at 10:00 am to the 3F conference room.

(This years Gr. 5 are NOT required, as they have their orientation in June.)

Orientation for all students begins with an all-school assembly at 1:00 pm in the theatre, and dismissed at 3:00 pm.

Wednesday, August 29: First Day of Classes (2008/9 Fall Trimester)

 

Following is a list of faculty and students who are departing OIS after we finish the year. We would like to reflect with nostalgia and gratitude for our experiences together, and thank you for you contributions to our community.

Faculty: Mrs. Karin Caffin, Ms. Geraldine OConnell, Mr. Terry Barrett, Mr. Marvin Zulauf, Mr. Steven Hall, Mr. John Secomb

ES Students: Jane Lee, Moma Izutsu, Monet Izutsu, Tomohiko Sakaguchi, Lisa Takasu, Juka Kim, David Lee

MS/HS Students: Eun Jeong Cho

  

IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME INFORMATION

Peter Heimer

IB Coordinator

Graduates: congratulations, DP results

Congratulations to the graduates on their wonderful ceremony last week and on their completion of the IB diploma programme (DP). We extend our best wishes to them as they leave OIS and we trust that their DP experience has prepard them well for future challenges.

The graduates certainly deserve a break after two years of the grueling diploma programme. It is important to remember that very few schools offer only the DP as their core curriculum, like we do at OIS. At many IB schools, only the so-called top students are admitted into the DP. Here at OIS, all students are encouraged to attempt the full diploma programme. (Some students choose to study only certain subjects of the DP, earning individual certificates rather than the diploma.) The 2008 graduating class was special in that all twelve members of the class were full diploma candidates.

Worldwide, the success rate of students attempting the full diploma is 79%. At OIS, even without screening for only the top students (indeed, all our students are top students!), our pass rate over the years is an amazing 96%. This year, we anticipate a 100% success rate. This is a testament to the intelligence, dedication, and effort of both our students and our teachers, and to the support of the parents. Thank you, everyone.

DP results will be available online late at night, July 6, at http://results.ibo.org. Best wishes to everyone as we await results.

  

SABER SPORTS UPDATE (www.senri.ed.jp/sportsweb)

Simon Parker

Athletic Director

The final Bulletin of the school year and what a great year it has been for the Athletic programme here at school. We picked up several WJAA Championship trophies in various activities at both MS and HS levels, along with 2 APAC Championship trophies for Baseball and Girls Tennis.

We had well over 120 students attend the HS Athletic Awards evening the Friday before last, with 30 of them gaining recognition for outstanding contributions and improvement across the various seasons. It was also my pleasure on that evening to be able to announce the following 4 students as the winners of the main awards for the 2007/08 school year::

Sportsman of the Year: Shun Kanezaki (SIS 11)

Sportswoman of the Year: Erika Terada (SIS 12)

Dr. Fukuda Scholar Athlete Boys: Akira Moriguchi (OIS 12)

Dr. Fukuda Scholar Athlete Girls: Sachi Yoshida (SIS 12)

This year was also the year that saw our school, after lengthy and quite difficult deliberations, decide to withdraw from the APAC organisation after 12 wonderful years associated with the APAC schools. The decision as was reported earlier this year by Mrs. Caffin, was taken after looking closely at our own situation here at SOIS, and was taken with what we believed to be the best interests of our own students and our own community at heart. And so it is with a little sadness, but with great excitement and a sense of the unknown that we move forward into the 2008/09 school year with a selection of new tournaments, a new fine arts festival, and new relationships to establish with different schools. In sport, internationally, over the course of next school year we will have students participate in tournaments in China, Malaysia and Guam, and we will host students here in Osaka from China, Korea and Vietnam. Domestically there will be a substantial increase in our level of involvement with international schools in the Kanto region, and all this will all be of course in addition to our more localised WJAA commitments. We have worked hard to find schools that are similar in profile to ourselves; a similar student body size, similar ethos, IB schools, to name but a few of the criteria that were looked at during the process. And I am happy to be able to report to you that things are looking in really good shape.

Fall Season

September 25-29: Twin Towers HS Girls Volleyball Tournament (Kuala Lumpur)

Hosted by the International School of Kuala Lumpur

October 23-25: Saber International Girls Volleyball Invitational Tournament (SOIS)

Participating teams : SOIS, Marist, Yokohama, Sacred Heart (Tokyo), Seoul International (Korea),

Suzhou Singapore International (China)

October 23-25: APIX X-Country Tournament (Guam)

Participating teams from all across Asia.

November 6-8: Osaka Fine Arts Festival 2008

Participating schools: SOIS, Marist, Yokohama, Suzhou Singapore International (China), International School of Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)

November 6-8: Asia Pacific Tennis Tournament (Chiba)

12 team tournament involving schools from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, hosted on a rotational basis by participating schools.

Winter Season

November 26-30: The Great Wall Shoot Out HS Boys/Girls Basketball Tournament (Beijing) Hosted by the International School of Beijing

January 29-31: Saber International Girls Basketball Invitational Tournament (SOIS)

Participating teams: SOIS, Yokohama, Sacred Heart (Tokyo), Seoul International (Korea)

+ 2 awaiting confirmation.

Spring Season

February 19-21: Saber International Invitational Swimming Meet (SOIS)

Participating teams: SOIS, Seoul International (Korea), International School of Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam),Seisen International (Tokyo), St. Marys (Tokyo)

April 9-11: Saber International Boys Soccer Invitational Tournament (SOIS)

Participating teams: SOIS, EJKing, Seoul International (Korea), Suzhou Singapore International (China), International School of Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), CAJ (Tokyo)

The target is most definitely to have something concrete in place for all HS sports, for both boys and girls, by the school year 2009/10. And in line with this we will enter into discussions in the fall with several of the schools listed above with regard to a new activities conference for our students, but one with similar sized schools with similar programmes to ours, with greater flexibility across the board. Having gone through the process of withdrawing from APAC this last year, we will be much more mindful of the potential problems that may arise and will be in a stronger position to best represent the needs of the whole community here at SOIS.

And so all that remains is for me to wish you all safe and happy holidays. I look forward with eager anticipation to the challenges that lie ahead and welcome you to please feel free to contact me at sparker@senri.ed.jp should you have any questions or require any further clarification on anything related to the Athletic programme here at school. Enjoy the summer and see you all in August!

  

END OF TRIMESTER GRADES;

9th AND 10th GRADE COURSE REGISTRATION

Caroline Rennie

Director of Academic Affairs

Spring trimester grade reports

Spring trimester grade reports will be mailed to students homes during the first week of July. Parents and guardians, it is very important that you discuss the report as a family. If you have questions about the grade for a particular course, please contact the teacher of that course. If you have questions about MYP assessment in general (grades 6-10), please contact Mr. Underwood. If you have questions about DP assessment in general (grades 11-12), please contact Mr. Heimer. (You will have to wait until the end of August to contact teachers and administrators.)

As a reminder, here is a summary of the OIS grade reporting process: Mid-term progress reports are written and sent home at the halfway point of the fall and spring trimesters, mid-October and mid-May. (Parent-teacher conferences in mid-January take the place of winter trimester progress reports.) Progress reports provide formative assessment feedback and are written in narrative form. The report for each course provides two kinds of information: 1) a summary of what has been covered in the course so far, and 2) specific, detailed feedback on the performance of the student, pointing out strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve.

End-of-term grade reports with MYP and DP descriptors are sent home at the end of each trimester. These grade reports normally do not contain additional comments. Explanations of the MYP and DP descriptors can be found in the member only section of our OIS community webpage, located at the following URL: http://www.senri.ed.jp/ois/community/index.htm 

The Academic Affairs office takes great care in preparing progress and grade reports in an accurate and timely manner. It is a complicated, detail-filled process that combines human and computer work; some errors are difficult to detect. If you note any errors large or small please notify me at crennie@senri.ed.jp and please accept our apologies. We will promptly correct errors. Thank you.

 

Course registration for 9th and 10th grade

By now, 8th and 9th graders have selected some courses for next year, when they will be in 9th and 10th grade. Most of the curriculum is set for these two grades, but the students do have limited choices in music, art, and PE. The students have indicated their choices on course registration forms that list all courses for 9th and 10th grades. Parents, if you have not seen this course registration form, please ask your children to discuss their choices with you. Its not too late to make changes. Please contact me with questions. Thank you.

 

INFORMATION FROM THE HEALTH CENTER

Chiho Yanaga

School Nurse

All students are required to submit the student health record every year so that we can provide proper care for injuries, sickness or emergency. Please fill out the form, make sure your child completed the recommended immunization and hand it in by the beginning of September.

If your child enters grades 3, 6 and 9, the physical examination record is required as well, other grades are not required the physical examination record.

If your child does have an annual check-up, please hand in the physical examination record and share the information with us.

DT vaccination:

Birthday: '96/4/2~'97/4/1

MR vaccination (If your child hasn't taken two MR.) 

Birthday: '02/4/2~'03/4/1, '95/4/2~'96/4/1, '90/4/2~ '91/4/1

I am expecting my first baby this August and I'll take child-care leave next school year. A Japanese qualified bilingual nurse will take over my position. I'll come back in the 2009/10 school year. Have a great summer with your family!

  

A GREAT EFFORT FROM OUR WHOLE SCHOOL COMMUNITY

On Tuesday 17 June, 6th graders held a fund-raising lunch at Xiao Long Bao restaurant to raise money for children who have lost parents in the recent earthquake in China. Some teachers also donated money, even though they could not attend the lunch. This lunch raised 42,600 yen.

On May 30, elementary students wore pajamas to school and raised 17,000 yen.

The student council collected donations and raised 18,689 yen for earthquake victims at the Student Festival.

David Zhao (gd.6) and his father are coordinating the fund-raising and sending the combined funds to the China Education Development Foundation. 

 

HALLOWEEN

This year the Halloween committee is being rurn by Mari Pelz (G4-& G6) and Cathy Duppenthaler (G8) with advice from Carol Shigeyama (G8).

The community will be making their final arrangements over the next few months and the OIS Halloween committee will reconvene on Thursday September 4th at 3:45 pm so we can continue planning. 

 

2008 OIS/SIS INTERNATIONAL FAIR

OIS/SIS International

Fair Committee

The International Fair 2008 will be held on Sat., November 15.

We are looking for booths, performers for the stage, donations and handicraft goods to make the Fair attractive and exciting. Details will be announced at the beginning of September.

  

CALENDAR

JUNE 22

Family Day/Sayonara Party for OIS/SIS Students, Parents and Teachers, 11:00 am-2:30 pm

@ Cafeteria

JUNE 24

ES Last Day of Classes

JUNE 25

OIS/SIS HS Student Council Cleaning Day

JUNE 26

Lecture by Professor Julie Carpenter, 3:45 pm, @ 3F Conference Room

(A former OIS parent will talk about her career as a translator in English.)

JUNE 27

MS/HS End of School Year - Half Day of School

 

Those who want to visit Sannoh Childrens Center to support Osakas homeless on Saturday evening, June 21, please read the last Educator and call Ms. Lyn Melville-Rea on 090-9612-8364.

  

IMPORTANT NUMBERS

Karin Caffin, Head 072-727-5080

Gwyn Underwood, MS/HS Principal 072-727-5050

Rod Adam, ES Principal 072-727-5050

Patrick Stenger, Counselor 072-727-5061

Mike McGill, Admissions Director 072-727-5070

Jim Schell, Business Manager 072-727-5084

Peter Heimer, IB Coordinator 072-727-5290

Student Attendance 072-727-2305

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us

*For direct e-mail, all faculty have e-mail addresses with their first name initial and family name @ senri.ed.jp

For example: If a faculty member had the name John Smith, his school e-mail address would be: jsmith@senri.ed.jp