This summer's renovation focused on optimizing spaces for learning.
After a delayed start due to Monday's typhoon, it was with much excitement that we welcomed 650 students from 50 different nationalities at school today for the start of another academic year.
It's hard to believe that two weeks of summer school have already flown by so quickly.
Whether you're staying in Japan or traveling for the break, check out what your classmates think you should be reading this summer.
As much as I try and think of a different way to start this final newsletter of the year, the disbelief that the final week is upon us already, completely dominates my thoughts.
Congratulations to the 56 members of the Class of 2016 who received their YIS diplomas at Saturday's high school graduation!
Middle School Student
The most interesting project I've taken part of has been working with the Student Service Committee which gives an opportunity for students from elementary to high school to come together and work with various types of service groups. The biggest accomplishment we had last year was creating the first service exhibition where groups in YIS got to promote their causes to the whole community.
High School Student
The amount of after-school activities is something I really enjoy about being a YIS student. With YIS being smaller than other schools I have attended, it's a nice surprise to find they have so many activities in music, sports, service groups, and much more.
Middle School Student
When I came to YIS, my teacher and the other students were nice to me and made me feel welcome. The teachers and our principal listen to what the students have to say and that makes us feel that we are part of making decisions. YIS is the best school I have ever gone to.
The community at YIS is really good, sometimes we work with other grades, like elementary gets to interact with middle school or high school... its not just the same people you work with everyday and you can get to know other people really well.
I love learning at YIS because its fun and everyday we have a different way of doing it. We have different activities giving us different styles to learn, making us confident in whatever we do.
The best part of my day happens to be the four periods of lunch when so many students are coming in and out of the library during that time. We'll have DP students studying, middle school students reading, and elementary students playing board games. The fact that everyone can share the space and allow all these activities to happen at once is one of the things I love about the YIS community.
Japanese Language Teacher
The best part of my school day is when I see my students have an "aha!" moment. Seeing my students discover something, whether it's intentional or not, is the best entertainment I could ever have in my life. I learn so much from these moments.
Music Teacher (MYP/DP)
Music is my meditation; It is my unconditional love; It is my breath. I love being able to play music with all of the students in the school and getting to see new musicians formed every day.
Humanities / History Teacher (MYP/DP)
Our student leaders are the most important people in the whole school. They are the ones to get things done, they're excited, they want to make things better.
Dutch Mother Tongue Teacher
The Mother Tongue program at YIS is very important because it acknowledges and builds the identity of the student and also creates a link between family life at home and the school environment. Also, for new students, I feel like our Mother Tongue program helps smooth the transition into the everyday school life.
Grade 1 Teacher
The PYP at YIS does not look the same in every context because it is meeting the needs of those children at that time. It is working from their passions and from their interests and then taking the core curriculum and applying it in ways that the children can relate to.
Head of Design / Visual Arts (MYP)
We want to provide students with experiences that they can't get anywhere else: real-world exciting challenges that engage students and have relevance to their lives. As a teacher, I came to YIS because the school has a reputation for trying new things and pushing things forward, giving students experiences that they wouldn't get in other schools.
We chose YIS because we wanted an IB school for Audrey and Jasmine. Our biggest desire for them in life and in education is to be happy, confident, open minded and well balanced. We feel YIS embodies this ethos and is a small enough school that the girls feel comfortable and important.
In addition to the high quality, well balanced education that as parents we all want our kids to have, YIS offers this wonderful sense of community amongst the students, teachers and parents that you can immediately feel, but cannot easily describe - this is what makes YIS a truly special place.
Our child enjoys a great variety of learning experiences and opportunities for cultural exchange everyday. Whether it is going to the park, reading in the library, or enjoying art and music classes, he is always active and engaged with his classmates.
At YIS, they are teaching more how to learn than what to learn. Many schools are more top-down, meaning that teachers tell students what to learn based on the textbook, but here kids have to study how to learn by themselves based on their inquiry.
I like the connections that they make in MYP, that something you learn in one class can be connected to something that you're doing in another class.
Teachers here look at the whole child, and not just test scores. They want the child to succeed not only at school but in life, and they impart those skills.
Class of 2004
The IB programme really prepared me well for the future. Perhaps the most important class I ever took in YIS was Theory of Knowledge. I was encouraged to question and scrutinise everything that I had ever learnt. It was truly eye-opening. The critical thinking skills I gained in that class has helped me throughout my whole career as a scientist.
Class of 1973
I met all kinds of people at YIS and that has helped me to appreciate people with different backgrounds and different perspectives.
Class of 2009
YIS's small class sizes, collaborative projects, group extracurriculars and class trips created tons of opportunities to learn to work well with other students - across the smorgasbord of cultures they embodied. In the same vein, the exposure to alternate ways of thinking that YIS provided has given me a unique point of view to bring to the otherwise homogeneous American workplace I'm currently in. Both of these things have definitely helped distinguish me from my peers.