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The Educator     June 7th, 2008

 


HEAD’S UPDATE

Karin Caffin     

Head of School    

The end of the school year is approaching much too quickly! There are still several school events that we can look forward to, such as the Maple Hall Concert on Tuesday 10th, and the OIS Seniors Graduation on Friday 13th. The Seniors have returned from their Habitat for Humanity trip in Thailand and I know that they have had a life changing experience working in a Thai village and building a house.

The Parent Advisory Council, (PAC), held an open meeting for parents on Monday night to discuss the Kwansei Gakuin merger, and 21 people attended. PAC had also sent out a questionnaire to parents who were able to answer electronically or on paper, and a total of 59 responses was received. The responses from the questionnaire and the discussions at the meeting were well considered, with some positive and supportive comments about the merger, but there were also many questions and issues raised that indicate that there is a significant level of concern and uncertainty about the merger.

The parents agreed that it was extremely important that they have a voice in relation to their and their children’s needs, and that they are able to have direct contact with Kwansei Gakuin. Given that there was no consultation with the school community, and given the way in which the merger was communicated, it was felt by many parents that they should be able to express their thoughts and questions and that they should be able to receive answers from KG.

The PAC has asked for a meeting with people from KG and will present the point of view of the OIS parents, with the aim of having the KG representatives come to OIS for an Open Parent meeting in the new school year.

We have attached the Minutes of the PAC meeting last Monday so that all parents have an idea of the questions and concerns.

The merger will move ahead and it will now be important for the whole school community to use their energy towards preserving the excellent aspects of our schools and also to improve wherever possible. 

 

SCHOOL TUITION for the 2008/2009 SCHOOL YEAR

We have tried hard in past years to keep increases in school fees to a minimum. This year we have carefully considered our school fees and find that it is necessary to increase the fees by a small amount.

The Board of Directors has approved an increase in school fees of between two and a half and three and a half percent.

The increases will be reflected in the account that you receive for the new school year. 

 

SCHOOL FESTIVAL PARKING

We'd like to offer our sincere thanks to the many families who cooperated in not using their cars, despite the inclement weather, on the morning of the school festival. This is especially applicable to those elementary parents who, in many cases, went to great trouble to make alternative arrangements. We are continuing to consider how we can balance the needs of the community and are exploring ways in which we can use buses to alleviate the problems on days of major events.

SIS will be using buses widely to offer transport for the upcoming Education Expo on the 15th of June and Saturday School and JFK have also taken steps to remove the need for cars as the primary mode of transport.

Having said all this though, we still received complaints from the neighborhood, and want to remain sensitive to the issues we create for those living close to school. Your continued cooperation is appreciated.

  

MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE

Gwyn Underwood

Middle and High School Principal

We are now into our last four weeks of school, and I would like to make a plea for patience over the next few weeks! During this period of time, a combination of end of year stress, uncertainty towards the immediate future and tiredness lends itself towards some unsettled behaviour from reduced patience and tolerance levels. Taking time to relax, a healthy diet, exercise, and a good night’s sleep are essential to combat this, so please ensure your children are doing this. When confronted with a problem, taking a moment to consider all perspectives, and confronting sometimes unspoken concerns such as the future, then calmly weighing options can also lead to a reduced level of stress.

I am happy to report our senior students returned safely from their senior service trip in Thailand last Monday, and from all reports, had a great trip. Thanks to Mr. Parker and Ms. Entwistle for accompanying the students on this trip. I have much respect for the students choosing this trip as it is a lot of work fundraising and giving up time to help poorer families build homes. This practical and very real help is a direct application of many of our Student Learning Results, and I am proud our school is associated with such efforts.

All parents, students, families and friends of the graduating class are invited to the Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2008 on the 13th of June, in the theatre. The ceremony will begin at 6:45 pm with a slide show, followed by the ceremony at 7:00 pm. We hope you can join us to celebrate the awarding of diplomas to our graduates. I would also like to thank the Gd.11 class and parents for their help in advance, as they traditionally help by providing the refreshments for the post-ceremony function.

As this is our last Educator for the year (there is a Bulletin on the 20th, but the seniors will have graduated by then!), I would like to recognize our Class of 2008 by name, and congratulate them on their success in making it this far, and wish them all the best for their bright future!

Rico Chow, Iku Kawachi, Yuma Kennedy, Akira Moriguchi,

Arisa Nishimura, Hayato Takami, Raymond Terhune, Chie Trew,

Lina Kobayashi, Maya Sadavrati, Alisa Sweet, and Takeyoshi Mizusawa.

It has been a pleasure knowing you all!

  

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2008!

Patric Stenger

School Counselor

The Class of 2008 has been a pleasure to work with. They have worked hard and they have all found places at university for next year. I wish them the best of luck in their futures. Ganbatte!

Rico Chow: Santa Clara University (CA) www.scu.edu

Iku Kawachi: University of Miami (FL) www.miami.edu

Yuma Kennedy: University of Illinios www.uiuc.edu

Lina Kobayashi: Evergreen State College (WA) www.evergreen.edu

Takeyoshi Mizusawa: ICU  www.icu.ac.jp or Sophia University www.sophia.ac.jp

Akira Moriguchi: University of Pacific (CA) www.pacific.edu

Arisa Nishimura: Loyola Marymount University (CA) www.lmu.edu

Maya Sadavrati: Soka University of America (CA) www.soka.edu

Alisa Sweet: Western Washington University www.wwu.edu

Hayato Takami: California State University at Chico www.csuchico.edu

Raymond Terhune: Lewis and Clark College (WA) www.lclark.edu

Chie Trew: Carleton University (Canada) www.carleton.ca

  

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL UPDATE

Rod Adam

Elementary School Principal

The Exhibition: Putting It All Together

During the past few months the grade five class has engaged in one of the unique components of the Primary Years Programme, the Exhibition. The Exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community.

To provide these experiences the students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The central idea selected must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students.

This year, the fifth grade class explored the issue of smoking. The students presented their research on the history of tobacco, smoking in advertising and the media, the chemicals found in cigarettes, physiological and psychological addiction, and ways to quit smoking. They also discussed the responsibility of adults, tobacco companies and the government to regulate smoking. The fifth grade class made five presentations to OIS and SIS students, teachers and parents.

While researching, the students developed their library and computer skills, note taking, and journal writing skills. Their presentations demonstrated a variety of oral and media communication including a play and a musical. Of course all of this could not be accomplished without learning a great deal about time management, organization and interpersonal relations. Dr. Coombs, Mr. Hall and I enjoyed assisting the class in developing research, technology and presentation skills. Dr. Factora, Mr. Navitsky, Dr. Ninnes and Mrs. Shiffman also generously shared their knowledge and expertise. Now it’s time for the students, Mr. Zarouba and the whole elementary school to reflect on and celebrate the fifth graders’ achievements.

Roll Out Those Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer and Read!

At this time of year, parents often ask teachers, “What can we do to help our child continue to develop reading skills over the summer?” Usually, the more a child is exposed to books and pleasurable reading activities, the greater the interest they will have in reading. Here are a few ways in which parents can not only encourage language development through summer reading – but also pack in a whole lot of fun.

Try to have plenty of English and mother tongue reading material in almost every room of the house or apartment. Bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and living/dining rooms are all potential reading sites – so are outside decks and patios.

Allow children at stay up 30 minutes or so after “lights out” if they are in bed reading.

Selectively discourage the use of television. Set limits for viewing time, such as one hour per day. Let your children know that you pay careful attention to good programming – for adults and children – such as those offered by public stations.

Show an interest in reading yourself and asking your child what they are reading. If you enjoy reading you are serving as a model that your child can follow.

Encourage reading related activities. Have your child tell stories to you that either you or he/she writes down. A diary of daily experiences can be fun, especially when traveling. Include digital photos or simple drawings and share with relatives or classmates upon your return.

Don’t worry if your child seems to ‘forget’ English. Use your special time together to enhance mother tongue communication. The skills and concepts involved in reading are transferable across languages. It is more important that children have frequent opportunities to experience reading in a variety of meaningful and motivating settings – in whatever language is pleasurable for parents and children to enjoy together. Rest, rejuvenate and read!

 

IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME INFORMATION

Peter Heimer

IB Coordinator

DP exams finished; long journey ahead for juniors

The 2008 DP exam session started back on 9 April with the Visual Arts examiner’s visit and finished on 22 May with Japanese A2 exams. This year’s session involved 42 students, 46 exams, 13 days and over 40 hours in the 3rd floor conference room. Many seniors took 10 or more exams; one took 13. Sixteen SIS students took English certificate exams. Exams were mailed to examiners all over the world – England, Wales, Singapore, Bosnia, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, the US. Congratulations to all students, especially the grade 12 students.

IB results will be available online on July 7. Access details will be given to students soon. Best wishes to everyone as we await results.

As mentioned before, all juniors have completed anticipated DP exams in maths, history, and/or ITGS. Student time is now taken up by two more DP components, TOK and EE, both of which are underway.

TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge. EE stands for Extended Essay. Both TOK and EE are required for both the IB diploma and the OIS diploma.

The grade 11 students will be very busy next year as they continue their DP journey. They will spend hours on DP homework, expend energy on CAS, study TOK, and write the EE. They have music, sports, the all school production, university applications, and their community service trip to think about. Throw in hobbies, sleeping, TV, video games, online chatting, boyfriends and girlfriends, and time quickly disappears. This kind of schedule can be stressful and there is a recognized danger of academic overload. One way to lighten next year’s workload is for students to complete the EE over the summer holiday. They will be prepared to do so.

If you have questions about TOK, EE, or the DP academic load, please contact Peter Heimer, IB coordinator.

  

MUSIC DEPARTMENT PRESENTS THE HIGH SCHOOL SPRING CONCERT

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

John Secomb

Orchestra Director

The Music Department would like to invite all members of the school community to the High School Spring Concert.

The OIS/SIS High School Wind Ensemble, High School String Ensemble and High School Chorus will present a Spring Concert on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 6:30 p.m. at Maple Hall in Mino.

The program will feature choral, string and wind literature including Percy Grainger’s arrangement of Country Gardens and Irish Tune from County Derry, Vivaldi’s Concerto for four violins, and the 1812 Overture of Tchaikovsky.

The hard work and commitment of the OIS seniors will be acknowledged and they will be introduced and thanked during the concert.

We would like to encourage all OIS/SIS parents, friends and faculty to attend.  Admission is free.  

 

NOTICE FROM STUDENT INFORMATION CENTER & COUNSELING CENTER

If you need any kind of certificate for any reason (transcript, certificate of attendance/graduation, etc.) please make sure to request before summer vacation.

Office staff will take some days off, and may not be able to issue documents immediately during summer.

To request, please submit “Application for Issuing Certificates” at the Student Information Center.

Student Information Center

(direct number: 072-727-2305)

Counseling Center

(direct number: 072-727-5061) 

 

REMINDER FOR LEAVING FAMILIES

If your child or children are leaving OIS as of end of June, please turn in Withdrawal Form (green color) to the Counseling Center as soon as possible. Forms are available at the Counseling Center. For middle and high school students, there is Sign Out (yellow) form which they need to take around HR and class teachers to receive signatures. Without these withdrawal forms we can not start the process. Grades for this term will be input and confirmed at the beginning of July.

School Report and transcript (cumulative record at OIS) will be sent to your current address, unless there is a special request.

Fumie Onodera

fonodera@senri.ed.jp

072-727-5061 

 

FROM THE ES SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE

Alison Jamieson

Jessica Shiffman

Elsa Connelly

Leanne Entwistle

Thank you to all students and families

who participated on pajama day last Friday, our final FUNdraising day for the year. \33,956 was raised, which will be donated to the aid efforts in Myanmar and China.

  

PTA NEWS

1. Next Halloween Meeting: Thursday 12 June 3:45pm in the Small Cafeteria. Childcare will be available.

2. Next PTA Meeting:

Thursday 19 June 8:45am in the 3F Conference Room.

Please submit agenda items to class reps/ secretary - Lisa Glasson : lisa.glasson2@gmail.com

by 9 June.

3. Winner of the T-SHIRT COMPETITION :

Thank you to everyone who voted and to all contestants who entered.

Congratulations to Kako Tanaka, Kaori Ogawa, Emi Morioka and Mari Nakano who were the short listed finalists for the competition.

Voting is finished with 117 valid votes being counted and the winner with 45 votes was Design No. 3 by Emi Morioka. She will receive a book voucher and free T-shirt when they are printed.

Printing of T-shirts will be organized after the summer break with order forms available at the beginning of Semester 1.

  

INFORMED, CARING, CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS CONTRIBUTING TO THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY

Lyn Melville-Rea

Community Service Coordinator

One Saturday evening each month, a few OIS & SIS students join with children from Sannoh Children's Center to make onigiri and offer support to Osaka's homeless. Our students learn valuable interpersonal skills and compassion. They also get to make friends in the wider community.

If you would like to join us next Saturday (21 June), please phone Lyn Melville-Rea on (090)9612-8364.

We will meet at Kita Senri Station (taxi pick up area) at 5:30 pm or Dobutsuen Mae Station, exit 8, around 6:50 pm.

  

RELAY MARATHON, CITY TRIATHLON & AQUATHLON

Hiroshi Baba

Triathlon & Running Coach

Minoh 6 Hours Relay Marathon

Date: Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Place: Minoh Dai 2 Ground

Entry Fee: Free (But you can donate to the Minoh City Nature Preservation Fund.)

You can run at any time during 10:00-16:00 as much as you like.

Suita City Mayor's Cup Triathlon & Elementary Aquathlon

Date: Sunday, September 7, 2008

Place: Senri Kita Koen

Entry Fee: Free for Gr.1-9, 1000 yen for Gr.10-Adults

Gr.1-6: Swim 125m, Run 1.4km

Gr.7-9: Swim 500m, Stationary Bike 10km, Run 2.8km

Gr.10-Adults: Swim 1000m, Stationary Bike 20km, Run 5.6km

 

CALENDAR

JUNE 7

SAT I & II Tests @ OIS

JUNE 10

HS Spring Concert, 6:30 pm @ Mino City Maple Hall

JUNE 13

HS Graduation, 7:00 pm

JUNE 18

MS/HS Spring Strings Bands Concert, 4:00 pm @ Theatre

JUNE 19

PTA Meeting, 8:45 am @ 3F Conf. Room

MS/HS Spring Strings & MS Chorus Concert, 4:00 pm @ Theatre

  

K-Gr. 2 SET LUNCH MENU - CAFETERIA

MONDAY, June 9

Chicken & Egg Bowl

TUESDAY, June 10

Chinese Noodle Soup

WEDNESDAY, June 11

Hamburger

THURSDAY, June 12

Stir-fried Rice with Chinese-style Barbecued Pork

FRIDAY, June 13

Pork Cutlet Bowl

MONDAY, June 16

Omelet Containing Fried Rice

TUESDAY, June 17

Fried Chicken

WEDNESDAY, June 18

Japanese Wheat Noodle in Cold Soup

THURSDAY, June 19

Curry with Fried Cutlet

FRIDAY, June 20

Salmon Piccata

 

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