Principal Newsletter – Term 1 -2019

G5 – How we express ourselves
January 16, 2019
Coding
January 18, 2019

Principal Newsletter – Term 1 -2019

Dear Horizon Families,

As we end 2018, I would like to thank you for your commitment and support to our school. The success we have experienced since the beginning of the school year owes a great deal to families like yours.  I wish you a restful winter break and hope you enjoy this time with your children. For the New Year, I wish you health and happiness and hope the new year brings you dizzying levels of success and joy.

Our students and staff have accomplished a lot during the first trimester. My sincere thanks to the staff for keeping students focused and working hard till the very end. And I would like to thank students as well for their hard work, effort and their accomplishmetns.

Please also find our coordinators’ messages below.

A few reminders and updates for the upcoming terms;

Jupiter: The report cards have been posted online so please check to see your child’s progress.

Website: There is a new ‘parents’ page on our website under the ‘Community’ tab and we are posting all of our policies, useful links and parent-related docs on that page, so please take a look to get yourself familiar with it.

We have a governance page under ‘About’ which you can find information about the board structure, its goals, and board meeting minutes.

Logo and Colors: Introducing to you our new logo and colors! They have been updated using the feedback we received from parents, students, and staff. The new logo mainly represents a lifelong learner and leader who is confident, trustworthy, strong and determined to help to build a peaceful world.

The Gray color has been replaced by Blue better represent the new identity.

Red: Energy, Power, Determination

Blue: Peace, Trust, Confidence

New Campus and Class Names: Everything at the new campus is moving as planned and we will be in our new home in April. The new campus is really colorful (you will see this soon 🙂 so we have decided to use ‘A’ and ‘B’ as the class names once we move there. You may see some changes in advance so please be aware that the Red will be replaced with A and Gray with B.

Uniform: Please be informed that we will be working with a new uniform company starting from Apr 2019. We planned not to change the style too much but some items were not available at the new vendor so we asked your feedback to finalize, especially, the secondary uniforms. Below is the style that has been decided by the school considering parents’ and students’ feedback.

*Students will be able to still use their current without an expiry date.

Accreditation: We have shared the CIS accreditation news with you while ago and I would like to take this opportunity one more time to thank all the members of our community who help make this happen. Accreditation is an ongoing process and we will still submit annual reports and have accreditation visits on a 3-5 year cycle.

I also would like to share a summary of the report we received from CIS/WASC so that you are aware of our progress.  However, I suggest you read the full report in order to understand the whole progress.

SPECIAL VISITORS’ STATEMENT


Congratulations are in order to the entire school community for their immense progress and commitment to growth and change. The Evaluators were made to feel extremely welcome and were afforded every courtesy.  Everyone was very open and candid with their information and feedback to support the process and relished the opportunity for further professional dialogue about the school and the way forward.

All stakeholder groups mentioned the family feel and community atmosphere as major strengths of the school, and a strong sense of collegiality was evident throughout the visit. There is noticeable positivity and a can-do attitude amongst the staff that will serve them well as they continue to reflect upon and make improvements in all areas of school life. Teachers feel well supported by school leaders and the Principal and feel their requests are heard and addressed. Examples included additional physical and human resources. This is a strong indicator of a community that is developing increasing mutual trust. This could be further enhanced by Board members being more known by the staff, and the staff understanding the role of the Board and appreciating their major contributions to the school in its ongoing growth and success. This past year, the staff say they have felt less pressure and more support; their workload is less and communication between staff and senior leaders has improved. There is a direct correlation between the current state, the action taken since the accreditation visit in 2017 and the positive and proactive response of the Board. This is particularly commendable given the appointment of a new Principal, which always brings its own challenges for a community, the loss of the Vice Principal to another school in the Horizon group and changes in the school leadership structure mid-way through this time period. This has all been navigated effectively and successfully under the leadership of the Principal.

HJIS finds itself at an exciting turning point in its history as it prepares for the move to a new campus in a few months’ time. With all that is now in place as a result of the work achieved in response to the Special Issues, there is a great springboard for the future.  The Evaluators would caution however that there will be mixed feelings about moving on from the current site. They heard from students that there will be some sadness about leaving behind all that they have understood HJIS to be. Transition will be more difficult for some than others, and this will no doubt be factored in to managing the move. Honouring the history of the present campus and bringing an appropriate and meaningful sense of closure for everyone will be important, whilst celebrating and emphasising “all things HJIS” that will transfer with everyone to the new site.

Again, the Evaluators wish to congratulate the HJIS community for their positive approach not only to addressing the four Special Issues, but to their overall commitment to the school improvement process.


SPECIAL VISITOR
Carole Denny
CIS

SPECIAL VISITOR
Alana Steward
WASC

ELC

The ELC is always filled with laughter and big smiles! The school year started with the current students returning with excitement and welcoming new students and teachers. It didn’t take us too long before we all became one big ELC family.

Our first unit, Who We Are, was an appropriate theme for all the classes to learn about each other.  The ELC hallways were filled with cute drawings of the students’ self-portraits. Family vacation pictures were on display, too. One of the first writing assignments the kindergarten friends were challenged to was to write about one of their best features. The Pre-K students talked about the different members that make up their families and using their home center to make one of their own. The preschool friends built teamwork when they cooked lunch together. During this term, the students went on their first field trip to the Mother Farm where they saw many different farm animals. They truly enjoyed feeding the sheep. We hope to have another inspiring term when we move into a new unit, How We Express Ourselves, when we return back from the break. Enjoy your holiday!

Primary

Term One is now at an end and it has been an exciting journey. Many new friends and teachers joined us this term and it has been great to have them become a part of the Horizon family. Several interesting and memorable activities have happened in the Primary Division with multiple stand-out moments such as the Grade 1 food drive, Grade 2 board game creation, Grade 3 having a multicultural cuisine party, Grade 4 doing meditation and calligraphy, and Grade 5 continue to grow as leaders by helping younger primary students with their reading as well as at the ice rink. Term 2 is now upon us and promises to deliver similar exciting events with the Talent Show closing out that term as we move onto our eagerly anticipated move to the new campus!

Have a wonderful Winter Break primary students, staff, and families!

Lower Secondary

Our first semester of the year is complete, and it has been a great start to the year! Our first steps into the Middle Years Programme (MYP) have been taken, and students and teachers alike have been seeing the benefits of this programme already. In this term, we have had many highlights including: our students leading Japanese Culture Day activities for primary students, Student Council and the Drama clubs holding incredibly successful fundraisers, and our Winter Musical Showcase! Next semester, there will be a drive to encourage students to use their knowledge, skills, and interests to drive forward into developing more service learning opportunities in our local and global communities. We very much look forward to seeing these projects unfold next semester, as we continue to move closer to our new campus!

Have a fantastic break everyone!

Upper Secondary

It is hard to believe that we’ve finished the longest term of the year! It has been a very busy term for the Upper Secondary students. Grade 11 students had a great start to the Diploma programme. They seem very motivated and are already very busy with their studies. They also work hard on their CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) projects. They are doing various activities with the help of Mr. Higa – our CAS coordinator- Grade 12 students, on the other hand, are in their busiest year. They are working not only on their internal and external assessments but also on the college application preparations.  

All the students have taken SAT tests and the Grade 12 started their preparations for the university applications. They have been having regular meetings with Mr. Ozzie –our college counselor- about the deadlines and the document preparations for these applications.

With the change in the ASP programmes, some of the Grade 11-12 students run after-school programmes for the lower secondary students. It is a great way to improve their skills and to build bonds with the younger students.  Many of them also helped with the school events. They prepared the Japanese Culture Day poster, did some activities with the Primary School students and became the emcees. During the Musical Showcase, many of them worked at the backstage and some put up a fantastic performance on the stage.  There are many more things to do when we are back; so it is time to relax and save energy for the upcoming terms! Enjoy your break, everyone! Happy Holidays!


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