Middle School Parent Newsletter - June 2016

Middle School Parent Newsletter - June 2016
Middle School Parent Newsletter - June 2016

Dear Parents,

Well, the year is nearly over! It's been a tremendously busy and packed year and I know that both students and teachers will be looking forward to a break. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your continual support through the year. Once again, it is a time for us at the school to reflect on what a good community we have here at YIS.

To those families who are leaving us, thank you for being part of our community and we wish you the best of luck in your new post, wherever that may be. Please remember that you are always welcome to come back, even if just for a visit.

Parent Access to Report Cards

Semester two reports will be posted on Veracross from 4:00 pm on Thursday, June 16. If there are queries or errors, please don't hesitate to contact either me or our IT help line (help@yis.ac.jp). One possible thing some parents will notice is that if your son or daughter has changed class during the semester, the old class will still be there- blank – until we can change it on Monday, June 20th.

Please note that you will not be able to access report cards after 22nd June. On the 23rd, first thing in the morning we will start the roll over to the new school year. If you need to access your child's report after this date, you will need to contact Ms Shiina (shiinam@yis.ac.jp) or the Admissions department (admissions@yis.ac.jp).

Timetable changes – 2016/17

Next year will see some changes to high school students' timetables. We have had a 10-day schedule for the past few years, split into Week A and Week B. We now feel it is time to slightly modify this and move to a Day 1 – Day 10 schedule. The benefit of this is that over the year we will lose fewer academic days to sports, arts and holidays than either the Week A/Week B, or the original Monday-Friday model. From experience with other schools, it is usually the students who adapt the quickest. To help, however, we will have the Days indicated on the Veracross calendars and signs posted around the school indicating which Day it is.

The other change will be to lunchtimes. For several years now high school has had lunch at 12:35 pm -1:15 pm and middle school from 1:15 pm to 1:55 pm. We feel it's time to switch this around, so as of August, Middle School will have lunch at 12:35 pm.

Middle School Graduation

While this is a more low-key occasion than the high school ceremony, nevertheless, it marks the end of one period in our students' educational journey. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 14 in the Tanner Auditorium, starting at 7:00 pm. Thank you in advance to Rebekah Madrid our Student Council organiser, and to Leanne Erickson, Michelle Trefren, Peter Noonan, Curt Patterson, and Shane Meiklejohn from our Arts Department for their work with the students as they have prepared for this event. To kick off the end of their middle school adventure, the grade eights will celebrate at the final dance on Friday of this week.

As you as parents, and we as teachers know, the middle years are different. The student who entered grade 6 and who will graduate next week, may be a very different individual. Their time in middle school has been marked by growth spurts, changing social events and circle, and increased independence. Above all, it has often required patience and a dose of good humour from us around them. And yet for us as teachers, their ups and downs are the reason we love teaching middle school. We are proud of them.

Middle School Awards

One of the highlights of the year, this ceremony recognizes the efforts of our middle school students in a range of activities: from academic, to service, sports, arts and overall contributions to middle school. It creates a nice buzz and highlights once again our busy middle schoolers! This event will be held in the auditorium on Monday, June 13, starting at 2:30 pm. Parents of those students receiving awards will be notified in advance.

Middle School Spring Concert

Last week, we ran our annual Middle School spring concert and it was outstanding. Once again it was a format of mixed performing arts – from classical to rock, piano solos to koto, wind ensembles to choir, and the students performed brilliantly. As teachers, we were as proud of their efforts as you must have been as parents. This has been a notable year in the Arts at YIS and a great deal of thanks must go to the Arts team – Michelle Trefren, Brad Johnston, Peter Noonan, Shane Meiklejohn and ably led by our Director of the Arts, Leanne Erickson.

Middle School students support One School

There have been two events recently which have involved our students working across the school to support our focus of One School. Firstly it was a group of over 20 students helping run the Elementary Sports Day. The feedback from our PE staff was that it was an outstanding success. Our middle schoolers worked with a range of ages and did so with energy, enthusiasm and positivity.

The other event was the grade one sleep over, run by grade one teachers, Zoe Page and Donna Saito. A group of eight students helped run activities with the little ones from after school to nearly lights out! The teachers were very impressed with how our students conducted themselves and worked with the younger students.

When we think of events such as these, the running of the Red and White concerts, Sportsweek and service activities, all of us in the Middle School are very proud of the leadership our students demonstrate.

Best regards,

John Snowball

Secondary Principal
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