Dear YIS Community,
It is a wonderful feeling to be welcoming the YIS community to a new school year for my ninth time. I am hoping that you are reading this feeling rested and re-energized from the summer break. The past school year was hard in many respects for everyone around the world as we navigated our way through this global pandemic. It is disappointing that we find ourselves in the midst of yet another wave of infections here in Japan and faced with many similar decisions on how best to operate with the greatest positive impact on our students, while keeping everyone as safe as possible. However it is with greater insight and understanding that we do so now and I look forward to your continued support, which has been the key to our success over this time.
While everyone was switching off from thinking about school, the work on the new campus has continued at an incredible pace and construction is over 95% complete. I was lucky enough to walk around the site last week and it was just so wonderful to see the vision and planning now become a reality. We are so pleased with how everything has shaped up and I cannot wait to be able to have our community see it for themselves. Of course there is still plenty to do as the subcontractors commence their installations and final touches such as furnishing and landscaping is completed. We are very grateful for the forward planning of all the teams we have been working with, who have kept us on target amidst many challenges and delays that are part of this pandemic world.
We have been extremely fortunate to have all of our new teachers arrive in Japan safe and sound, completed their quarantine requirements and are ready to join their colleagues for the year ahead. I hope too that our families have all managed to return safely from holidays and the many new families have managed to enter into Japan okay. I know there have been a few people who have experienced travel delays and visa issues, so please stay in contact with the school and let us know if you have experienced a delay and we will support you as best we can.
Last week the faculty and staff were busy preparing for the commencement of classes this week and there is a lovely buzz around the campus and certainly a level of excitement with many projects ahead of us. Obviously the new campus will be a major event this year as we near our January move-in date, but we also have our accreditation visit later in the year with the Council of International Schools and we are looking forward to starting the process for our strategy development that will take us further in school development in the coming years.
One thing that was key to not just surviving the past year but indeed thriving, was the unwavering support from across all members of the community. I reflected over the holidays on just how proud I felt of all the contributions people made, the care people showed and the trust that was given, and this has set us up to remain strong and approach the year ahead with confidence and, yes, excitement. I look forward to "seeing" you all, one way or another over the coming weeks.