Nationality: American, and the rest of my family is Japanese.
Why did you choose YIS for your family?
For lots of reasons, but ultimately for the focus on the IB curriculum throughout all grades.
How important was selecting an IB school to you and what specifically appeals to you about the IB approach/curriculum?
It was quite important.The encouragement of critical thinking and a problem-solving approach to learning is critical to raising our kids to be independent thinkers and contributing members of society.
Please describe a memorable moment from your time at YIS and how that has had an impact on you and your family?
The climate change and sustainability action event that was held by students, faculty, administration and parents last year stands out for me. This was a great moment to think about what more we can do as a community to minimize our carbon footprint, both by changing our behaviors (while on the current campus) as well as looking for ways to build this into the infrastructure, curriculum, and culture of the new campus. I was particularly inspired by the ideas generated by the students--from all ages, elementary school through high school.
What do your children enjoy the most about learning at YIS?
The opportunity for students to be involved in generating both the questions that they set out to answer, as well as the ways in which they go about investigating and trying to solve the challenges that they set for themselves.
What advice would you give to another parent thinking about sending their children to YIS?
Definitely speak with other parents, and have your kids speak with current students to learn more about their perspectives on the school and the community. This was helpful for us in narrowing the list of schools that we were considering.
Do you participate in school or non-school activities with YIS parents? If so, can you tell us about some, and what you enjoyed about them?
I have enjoyed the chance to participate in outdoor activities with other parents and students (such as the annual nature club hike), as well as volunteering at the Food Fair.
Do you live in Tokyo or Yokohama? How is the commute for your child/children?
We chose to live in Yokohama, in large part to be closer to the YIS campus. This has made for a longer commute for me to Tokyo for much of the time that we've been here, but one "silver lining" of the current pandemic is that I am working more from home these days, and I have enjoyed not having to leave the more comfortable atmosphere of Yokohama.
What excites you most about the new YIS campus?
The opportunity to get a fresh start on truly building sustainability into all facets of the campus environment, culture, and practices from the "ground up." Not many schools get this opportunity, so I hope we (as the YIS community) can take full advantage of this.