TIS Board Message

Summary of February 2016 and March 2016 School Board Meetings Board Members: Bea Tsuboya (Chair), Lorraine Izzard (HoS), Abo Chiyu, Carol Inugai-Dixon, Ryo Tsuboya, Agnes Ouellette, Shonosuke Beppu / Auditor.   Update on Jun Gakko Hojin Application Status We are now in the final stages of the application preparation process. As many of you may know we are working on securing the capital financial security deposit as required by the application. Thank you to all that were able to select the ‘annual tuition payment’ option to help secure these funds in time for the application. We will update you where we stand in this matter soon. We are also in the process of purchasing the Middle School Building from Fujifilm (also an application requirement) and negotiating a longer land lease. This is a complex process with many players and it is an ongoing challenge, but hopefully everything will be in place by application date. We are planning to submit the application on May 20th, and if the application is accepted for review, we will have some site visits by MEXT and Tokyo-To. They will be coming to see what TIS is all about and to look at various physical requirements.   School Board and Board Trustee Development As part of a new governance structure and one that complies with school status guidelines, we are still recruiting both Governing Board members and Board Trustees. There needs to be twice as many Board Trustees as there are Governing Board Members. The Board of Trustees will meet 2-3 times per year to review the general direction of the school, approve the budget and auditors report, and oversee any other major decisions. Some of these people are from our community some are from outside the TIS group. There are representatives from the neighbourhood as well as the international community. We are looking for 4 more Trustees, these positions are a 3-4 year term. If you yourself feel you can offer your expertise to this Board of Trustees, or know of someone that is a good candidate please contact us.   TIS Cambodia Funding Renewed The Board has approved funding for TIS Cambodia for the next 3 years. This is a modest amount that pays for the teacher and the generator that enables the TIS Cambodia classroom to function, allowing the good work done there to continue.   Satisfaction Survey and Leadership Appraisal Process We have just concluded the TIS Satisfaction Survey along with the Head of School Appraisal. We are in the process of analyzing the comments from the TIS Satisfaction Survey and finding ways to address any of the findings. We will update the TIS community on this process in our next communication.   Policies and Procedures We are reviewing some TIS policies and procedures. Current policies under review are: the “In-class Student Assistants”. Our goal is to be fair to all parties by taking into consideration all circumstances on a case-by-case basis. All Board policies and school procedures are under review in preparation for submission of the report due to New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) in September, regarding recommendations from our last school accreditation process. We will soon begin a thorough review of teacher/staff salary and benefit packages.   In Conclusion In recent months a lot of the board discussion has been around our Jun Gakko Hojin application. This is a labour intensive process with many ongoing variables. We hope that our application will be successful, and that in the new school year we can begin focusing more on TIS specific agenda items. We thank everyone for their...

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Primary School Principal’s Message

MAP – Looking at the Data This Thursday the homeroom teachers’ professional learning time after school was spent exploring and interpreting the mathematics ‘MAP’ data. MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) is one of many assessments we use at TIS. MAP allows teachers to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in students’ mathematics performance and to plan their students’ next learning targets. As MAP represents just one test on one particular day, it is not necessarily an accurate assessment if used in isolation, but is a useful indicator especially when it is triangulated with other assessment data.   Parents’ Workshop The New Physical Education Curriculum On Friday Adriaan and Malgosia led a seminar for parents explaining the new physical education (PE) curriculum and how the PE team is incorporating that into their teaching and learning. The curriculum is based on Australian Curriculum. Adriaan’s and Malgosia’s explanation included a discussion about a key aim of the TIS physical education curriculum being to nurture physical literacy, the ability for a student respond positively to any physical challenge which comes their way. During their presentation the team explained how parents can help namely: Lead by example Provide your child with a wide variety of activities Challenge them to answer why and how questions related to health and physical activity or inactivity Support when failing. There is always new activity to try! Thank you to Adriaan and Malgosia for their time planning and presenting this event for parents. Best regards, Chris Frost Primary School...

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Learning in the PYP

What’s been happening in the PYP at TIS this week? As educators, we are always looking for opportunities for students to build their knowledge and understanding by exploring the world beyond their classroom. The Grade 2 classes have recently shown a great example of this. In their new unit of inquiry ”How We Organise Ourselves “ they have started investigating and building their understanding of the central idea “ Systems can be developed in order to maintain organization”. They have explored the concept of systems and what these look like in the classroom. The students then carried out a mini inquiry of what systems looked like and how they work outside of the school. On Wednesday this week, Fiona’s and Tom’s classes were “systems detectives” and collated information about the systems used in the train stations here in Tokyo. In groups of three and accompanied by an adult, the students walked to the local Shirokane Takanawa train station, bought a ticket to the Azabujuban Station, caught the train, came out at a different exit and then made their way back to school. On their journey, using ipads they documented evidence of the systems used to enter a station, buy a ticket, catch the train to a certain destination and how to exit the station. The students took a large range of photos of the signs and symbols they found on their journey. Their next step will be to sort out the evidence they collected, make sense of it and then use that information to explain how systems are set up and work in a Tokyo train station. They will also investigate how these systems are similar and different to the ones they have at school. Greg Parker PYP...

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Learning in the MYP

Grade 7/8 Japanese Language and Literature Class As the title of the course suggests, this language and literature course comprised of two parts, one is to the study of language and the other is to the study of literature. I would like to introduce how students have been performing in both the language focused unit and the literature focused unit through literary and non-literary texts.   1.“Hunting news” (language focused study) Students learned how they could effectively transfer information to readers through analyzing papers and making their own newspapers. They explored how everyday newspapers are produced, and experienced the process through a field trip to Yomiuri Shinbun.   1) Field trip to Yomiuri Shinbun Here are some students’ reflections about their field trip. Through this field trip, we learned a lot of things that could help us throughout this project – we also got newspaper for middle school students, which could be an example for us when making the wall newspaper. – Jack Brady7B The middle school Japanese class went to the Yomiuri newspaper company. As our project for this unit is making the wall newspaper, it has been a great experience for us. Through this field trip, we learned a lot of things that could help us throughout this project. -Seijin Kim 8A   2) Making out own newspaper Students were thinking about the allocation of newsprint.   2.“I had a dream last night” (literature study) Students developed their creative writing skills through reading short stories by prominent Japanese authors, Akutagawa Ryunosuke and Miyazawa Kenji. Students learned how to appreciate Japanese literature by learning style, structure, genres, and character setting. Students also studied and compared with these two authors’ style.   1) Group discussion Students were discussing about authors’ styles and the themes of the books.   2) Crafts (posters) Here are some students’ reflections after studying the different literary texts. I think that learning about these famous authors really helped me understand more about Japanese literature because it focused on the true personality of humans, and how humans differ from each other. – Rai Nakamura 7B Throughout this unit, I read a book called ‘Toshishun’ from Akutagawa Ryunosuke. I was able to dig down deeper into the story into detail to really find the deeper story. – Koko Suzuki, 7B I find Japanese literature interesting and very unique. The Japanese stories always have an interesting way to show a moral. It has a very strong meaning that is easy to understand. – Louis Rafizadeh-Kabe 7B In this unit, we looked up a Japanese writer Akutagawa Riyunosuke , and found techniques he used in his famous book such as “Toshihsyun”. – Amika Yamada 7B In this unit, we learned how to read classic Japanese stories. Through this, we learned that stories have very hidden meanings, which you find as you go deeper and deeper within the story. – Leon Carlson G8 For this unit, we have focused in Japanese literature. We have read a book of Akutagawa Riyunosuke, such as ‘Toshisyun’. We have learned about writing styles, and how messages are told through writing. Melina Weintraub Japanese...

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Music News

Spring Concert 2016 Attention TIS Families: Our Spring Concert is quickly approaching, and your children are preparing for the event with great energy and excitement! All TIS students will be performing in this showcase of talents and learning at our school. Please see the details of the concert below. Sakura Hall, the site of our 2016 concert, is much larger than last year’s performance hall. There will be ample seating for both families and for students when they are not performing. This year’s Broadway musical is Into the Woods, Jr. It is a wonderful retelling of fairytales with a twist! It includes music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and is appropriate for all ages. All ticket sales will be done in advance, and no tickets will be sold at the door. Please see the ticketing information below, and the attached ticket purchase form. Event: Spring Concert 2016 Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016 Time: 13:30-17:00 (Doors will open at 13:00.) Location: Sakura Hall in Shibuya TIS Students (current): FREE Adults 18 years and older: 2,000 yen Non-TIS Youth (4 years and older): 1,000 yen Children 3 years and younger: FREE Please return the attached TICKET ORDER FORM to the school office no later than Wednesday, May 4 to reserve your tickets. The tickets will be sent out with students after May 9th. SPRING CONCERT 2016 TICKET ORDER FORM I look forward to seeing you at the concert! Brandon Miller Music...

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Event News

Kids-4-Kids Events Pyjama Day Next Friday 15th April is casual clothes day. Kids-4-Kids would like to invite all students to wear their pyjamas to school to celebrate the warmer weather! As an extra incentive, Kids-4-Kids will be playing a movie at morning recess in the MPR and any students from K1-Grade 4 who are in their pyjamas are welcome to watch. All students taking part in pyjama (or casual clothes) day are asked to bring 100yen to their teacher.   Paper Plane Contest Also on Friday 15th April Kids-4-Kids will be holding a paper plane competition to see whose plane can fly the furthest. This will be on the LSB roof at lunch recess. Any students taking part simply need to bring with them the best-engineered paper plane they can make, so start working and testing! The prize for the three best plane makers will be some candy. Entry to the competition will cost 100yen. As usual, all the money from these events will go to TIS Cambodia. Tom Pearce Jared...

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