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The Educator     Feb. 15th, 2008

 


HEAD’S UPDATE

Karin Caffin

Head of School

Thank you Parents!

Over the past few weeks we have seen many of the parents working at the school, helping with various activities. The classroom PTA representatives have been busy organizing things such as food sales at sports tournaments, making badges and fridge magnets to support our All School Production, and they will be selling food on the days of the Honk! performances. There is also a T-Shirt competition in progress as advertised in this Educator. They have planned a Yukata dress up day on February 18th. It is great to see so much activity and I would like to encourage everyone to support the activities that the parents are conducting, whether it is through attending events, being available to help or purchasing products or food.

The students in the school benefit not only through things that are done for them by the parents. They also benefit by seeing their own and others’ parents around the school, for the parents are modeling the principle of service in a very visible manner. All parents are busy people, but many find time to give to the school for the benefit of their own and others’ children. At the admissions interviews with new families I stress the importance of involvement in the school. There are the activities that I call ‘non negotiable’, such as Back to School Night and the Parent-Teacher Conferences. Then there are the activities that can be negotiated depending on parents’ schedules, such as helping with the International Fair. The classroom representative system will allow for all parents to take their turns in being leaders for their classes in organizing and supporting school activities. The classroom parent representatives this year have got off on a good start and are planning more activities through the year. Let us all support them in their activities! 

Report from PTA Classroom Parent Representatives Meeting, January. 17th

The PTA classroom reps met on January 17th and the new organizing committee was chosen. They are Mihye Kim, Isabelle Delumeau, and Kiriko Honda. The new treasurer is Hanae Akeda and Lisa Glasson continues as secretary. The group discussed their responsibilities as classroom reps and began planning some social as well as fund raising activities.

Dates were set for future meetings. They are March 4th, April 8th and June 17th, all beginning at 8.45 and finishing at 10. The PTA meetings are open to all parents and if parents wish to have items placed on the agenda, they can do so by contacting any of their classroom reps or Mrs. Caffin and Mrs. Glasson, who will set the agenda for the meetings.

 

MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE

Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School Principal

As we slowly wend our way towards the end of our second trimester, I would like to encourage students to battle the winter cold and any malaise they may be feeling, and be encouraged that they are now past the half way mark for the school year! In particular, IB Diploma students are encouraged to make special effort as they really only have about 8 weeks of school left before exams in May (4 more weeks to spring break, then April). As usual, at the end of trimester, an end of trimester grade report will be issued containing descriptive levels of achievement, but no narrative comments this time (the next narrative comments will be sent home at mid-trimester 3). Please note the reports will be mailed home this time, as spring break occurs immediately following the end of trimester. 

Last Educator, I detailed the Areas of Interaction (AOI) used in the Middle Years Programme. As these are a central component of the programme, I wanted to follow up briefly in this Educator. If I were to ask you right now, “What is the purpose of the AOIs?”, could you answer?! I would not expect you to remember everything - but I would encourage you to perhaps review the outline again if you could not come up with at least part of an answer! Spare copies of the Educator are available outside the business office - as well as being posted on our web site. 

Speaking of our web site, I would also encourage you to bookmark our OIS community web site. In the future I intend to set up an RSS feed for those of you who would like automatic updates. For now, the link is: http://www.senri.ed.jp/ois/community/index.htm

You will find news items, articles and links here – let me know if you have any to contribute!  

Finally, after much delay for many different reasons, I wanted to let you know we are in the final stages of producing a new OIS Directory. Many of you have asked for these since we discontinued producing them in a few years ago due to the restrictions placed on us by the protection of personal data law changes. This new version will only contain names, home phone number, and parent’s e-mail addresses. It will be distributed only to OIS families. You have the right to ask for any data to be withheld if you wish. I have obtained all families permission for use of the data in this way through a contact information sheet last year; or one filled in upon admissions. Please contact me if you have changed any of the data you submitted; or if you wish to withhold any of that data from the directory. Please contact me or Mr. Adam if you have any concerns you wish to discuss about the directory.

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL UPDATE

Rod Adam

Elementary School Principal

HOMEWORK HELPERS

One of the most common topics of discussion between parents and teachers is homework. How much homework is the right amount? Not for students, but for parents. While parents want their children to do well, too much involvement may have negative consequences. Students need encouragement, but most should be able do their homework without parental assistance. Too much help can lead to dependency, frustration and a lack of confidence. It can also discourage students from paying attention in class or overcoming shyness to ask questions of the teacher. The key is to encourage, monitor, and let your child know that there’s help if they really need it.

Here are a few tips for parents concerning help with homework:

- When going over instructions, ask the child to summarize what they need to do.

- If parents spot glaring errors, suggest the child take a second look or ask how they arrived at their answers.

- Don’t judge the work of a child by adult standards – adults are often too critical.

- Assist by asking questions, rather than giving answers.

- Role-play with a child. Play the student who doesn’t understand and have your child become the teacher, showing what they know.

- If the child is completely lost, let the teacher know.

- If students are taking unusually large amounts of time on homework, advise the teacher.

- Don’t jeopardize your relationship with your child by trying to be the teacher and parent. Sometimes this just doesn’t work. 

PRINCIPLED – DOING THE RIGHT THING.

During the month of January the Elementary School highlighted the Learner Profile attribute of “Principled.” This is not an easy concept to define. The PYP characterizes students who are principled as “ones who act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.” The vocabulary and concepts are quite advanced for some of our younger children to understand, so at a recent “sharing assembly” the second graders shared some ideas on how these ideas can be put into action on the playing field:

- Being a gracious loser is just as important as being a good winner!

- When you win a game make sure that you are a well-mannered winner!

- Decide on the rules for a game and then make sure that you stick to them.

- Play games that involve lots of teams!

- Encourage others to show teamwork when they play on your team.

- Try not to keep the ball to yourself, pass it to other members of your team.

- Thank your opponents or shake hands with them if it’s appropriate, at the end of a game.

Of course, this advice can be extended to all aspects of life. Talk to your children about these ideas whenever you have the opportunity. The more we discuss and model these ideals, the better chance children have of internalizing them.

 

IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME INFORMATION

Peter Heimer

IB Coordinator

Reminder – DP deadline: March 3

The first major deadline for submission of IB diploma programme assignments is only two weeks away: March 3. Panic time officially begins now. 

Notice – IB information meetings for parents, March 6 and 8

Parents will note on the school calendar two IB Presentation Sessions for parents on Thursday, March 6 and Saturday, March 8. Presentations will be given on the MYP assessment method, and the Diploma Programme (DP). Each DP presentation will be divided into two parts, each one hour in length. The first part will be for parents of 9th and 10th graders and will provide a detailed introduction to the IB diploma programme. The second part will be for parents of 11th graders and will address the connection between the university application process and an IB background. More information about content, time and location will follow. Please make plans to attend. Students are welcome, too. 

Reminder – DP summer camps

There are summer camp options every year for IB students. Please see Mr. Heimer or check out these websites: www.osc-ib.com or www.isc.clara.net

 

SABER SPORTS UPDATE

Simon Parker

Athletic Director

For a full check on all the recent scores and on all important upcoming dates, be sure to check out the Saber Sportsweb at <www.senri.ed.jp/sportsweb> 

 

APAC REPORT

Jim Schell

APAC Director

The 2007-2008 boys and girls basketball teams concluded their seasons at the annual APAC tournament. This year’s tournament took place in Beijing, at International School Beijing. The boys finished 5th and the girls were 6th, but both squads finished 1st for the Sportsmanship Award. A few days before the tournament, both teams braved the frigid weather and enjoyed a fantastic day touring the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. 

Next week, our band will travel to CA for the APAC Band Festival and our theatre group will head to Shanghai American School for the APAC Theatre Festival. Good luck musicians and thespians! 

 

INVITATION TO THE ANCIENT EGYPT WAX MUSEUM

-presented by Grade 6

Geraldine O’Connell &

Lyn Melville-Rea

OIS English/Humanities Dept.

When:   Tuesday, February 19, 11:00 am – 12:00

Where:  2F, overlooking the genkan

Please come and learn about Khufu, Tutankhamen, Geb and 17 other famous Egyptians. 

 

DT IMMUNIZATION (TD BOOSTER)

Chiho Yanaga

School Nurse

If you follow the Japanese Immunization Schedule, DT(diphteria, tetanus) immunization at age 11~12 is strongly recommended. 

Please see your child’s doctor for a DT shot for free at age 11-12).

If your child missed a DT shot at age 11-12, please ask your child’s doctor for advice. 

If you do not follow the Japanese Immunization Schedule, please check when your child needs a DT shot (Td booster).

(A Td booster is recommended 10 years after the last DTP)

 

YEARBOOK

Those who missed ordering the Yearbook can now purchase it at the School Service Center for 6,000 yen.

 

BOOK FAIR

Thank you to Dr. Coombs for organizing the Book Fair this week. Hopefully many of the students were able to buy books and enjoy reading them in the weeks to come. 

We would also like to thank the parents who have come in over the last few days to help with the Book Fair. Without you we could not have done this. 

 

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUR CHILD THIS SUMMER

Lyn Melville-Rea

ESL/Community Service Coordinator

CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship (backed by UNESCO). 

The Kansai Chapter will offer International Village camps (in English) for 11 year olds (10 - 12 year olds) in Italy (July 11 - Aug 07), Portugal (July 18 - Aug 14), Japan (July 27 - Aug 23), and Thailand (Dec 22 - Jan 18). At each of these camps, there will be four 11 year olds from 11 different countries living together for 4 weeks. 

For middle school students, there are many other camp opportunities for our students including a 3 week homestay in the U.S. this coming summer. For OIS students who have little opportunity to use English outside school, these trips provide a great opportunity for using English intensively with kids from all around the world at a reasonable cost. 

For our older students, volunteering as a junior counselor would count as CAS credits and would look good on college applications. The Kansai branch of CISV's website is only in Japanese http://www12.ocn.ne.jp/~cisv/ but, since this organization was started in the U.S. soon after WWII, you'll find a lot of information online in English too. 

If your son or daughter is interested in joining a CISV camp, please point them to the website or ask them to call Mrs. Yamamoto (072)363-6615. If they don't speak Japanese, I can explain basics in English.

 

A NEW ASSISTANT IN THE LIBRARY

Clarence Coombs

Librarian

Natsuko Mochizuki will be replacing Nobuko Kinoshita who will be retiring the end of March. 

 

TO ALL AMERICANS

Jim Schell

Business Manager

Sara Revell, Consul, American Citizen Services, US Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, will be at school on March 3 to make a presentation.  

The presentation will be about registering to vote in the upcoming election, and will include a brief introduction of the American Citizen Services (ACS) section of the Consulate office and the types of services that they provide.  

The presentation will take place in the 3rd Floor Conference Room, starting at 3:45 pm.

All Americans are encouraged to attend. Please contact me with questions.

 

CALENDAR

FEBRUARY 14 - 16

All School Production

Friday, February 15, 6:00 pm

Saturday, February 16, 2:00 pm

Saturday, February 16, 6:00 pm 

FEBRUARY 18

Yukata Demonstration Lesson by PTA,

10:00 am - 12:00 @ 3F Conference Room

FEBRUARY 19

Ancient Egypt Wax Museum by G6 Class,

11:00 am – 12:00   

FEBRUARY 20 - 24

APAC Music-Band @ CA

APAC Theatre @ Shanghai 

FEBRUARY 27 - 29

Model United Nations @ Marist 

 

K-Gr. 2 SET LUNCH MENU – CAFETERIA

MONDAY, Feb. 18

Fried Rice with Roast Pork 

TUESDAY, Feb. 19

Chinese Noodle Soup 

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20

Pork Cutlet & Rice with Demiglace Sauce 

THURSDAY, Feb. 21

Beef & Egg Bowl 

FRIDAY, Feb. 22

Fried Chicken 

TUESDAY, Feb. 26

Udon (Japanese Wheat Noodle) 

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27

Meat au Gratin 

THURSDAY, Feb. 28

Omelet Containing Fried Rice 

FRIDAY, Feb. 29

Spaghetti with Basil and Tomato 

 

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

Peter Heimer, IB Coordinator
072-727-2305

Mike McGill, Admissions Director
072-727-5070

Jim Schell, Business Manager
072-727-5084

Student Attendance

072-727-2305   

 

       

Contact us via e-mail

*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