The Crane, 15 December 2017


  • Introducing John Savage;
  • Contributing to HIS;
  • Festive Eve Survey;
  • Syrian Refugee Winter Clothing Drive;
  • Sakura Medal;

1. Principal’s Message

Dear HIS Families

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday. Please make sure you keep up a consistent routine of reading through the holidays (English & Japanese) and also practice that kanji. Just a bit each day can make a big difference over time. See you all back in January.

Kind regards

Damian Rentoule (Principal)

2. Crane Video

3. Introducing John Savage

Here is an introduction from John Savage who will be joining HIS as MYP Coordinator/Secondary Vice Principal in 2018/2019. We are all looking forward to seeing you here next year.

As a Canadian born educator, I spent the first part of my teaching career in public school systems. My overseas adventures began in 2002 in Fukuoka, Japan where I met my wife, Kazuko. Together we have spent the past 10 years in Muscat, Oman at an IB World School. I have held many administrative and teaching positions during my educational journey. My wife and I are very excited for the opportunity to serve the HIS community, and in particular, your children. We look forward to meeting each and every one of you during the 2018-2019 school year. 

4. Contributing to HIS

As part of our HIS Annual Giving Campaign, we are very pleased to announce a very generous donation of 3,000,000 yen made by the Tomita Family to HIS to support our educational program. As we are a self-funding school, the generosity of our school community is extremely important and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for this kindness.

We would also like to thank the Meiki Family for the donation of one of our first items from the HIS Wish List on our Contributing to HIS page. (Susan Meiki is our General Director of the Board of Directors so also contributes a great deal of her time to the school community.) This is a section of netting/fence that will be used to separate the playground when we have car parking on the field for HIS families visiting the school for events.

We appreciate your ongoing support.

5. Festive Eve Reflection Survey

Each year HIS a Festive Eve production is a highlight as we move toward the Winter Break. Congratulations to all the cast, crew and supporters who worked so hard to prepare for the performance.
This year we held Festive Eve on a Saturday instead of after school. We also held one rehearsal after school to reduce rehearsal times during regular classes. These changes were made based on ideas received last year. We would like to, once again, hear your thoughts on this year’s production to help us plan for next year.

Please share your ideas in the following survey.

6. Syrian Refugee Winter Clothing Drive

Thank you to all of our community members who donated winter clothing to the Japan Syria Solidarity Association for their winter clothing drive campaign. We were able to send off a square-meter container filled with clothing and blankets to their collection center. We hope to support the organization in the future.

7. Sakura Medal

As is tradition, HIS will be participating in the Sakura Medal Competition again this year.  Students are able to read and explore a variety of stories and authors from different countries and backgrounds selected by librarians across Japan. Then able to vote on their favourites. There are books for all grades and ages, from EC to High School level in both English and Japanese.
Because the selection of books in the competition is limited, students are only allowed to borrow one Sakura book at a time and we encourage students to read and return their Sakura book promptly so as to allow other students to read and enjoy as well. While students wait for their chance to borrow a particular Sakura book, we encourage they look at last year’s winners! The Sakura competition at HIS will run from now until the end of April, the voting procedures will be explained more fully after the Winter Break.

8. PTA News

PTA News 15th Nov(日本語は以下に)
Save the date to the next PTA Meeting January 31,9 am. Thank you so much to those of us who joined us this week for another very productive meeting. Your involvement is greatly appreciated.
Board of Trustees Report: Briefly: the greatest challenge to HIS currently is corporate funded student enrollment.  Corporate tuition fees are nearly double the private rate.  Last school year, HIS lost seven corporate rate tuitions.  The goal is to keep HIS tuitions stable, and the finances in the black; however without the corporate rate tuitions, challenges are posed.  Currently our KG-1 and 2-3 classes actually have waiting lists (we cap at 24/25 students) and many other class levels are near capacity. Last year HIS cut teaching staff (cannot happen this year).  The area where we can grow is the Upper School, which is why the dormitory and boarding of overseas students has been explored.  There is no current plan to implement this system; however it will continue to be something that will be explored. Additionally a home stay option is being considered with an outside company being used to facilitate this. It was noted that parents of HIS students need to be kept updated on these proposals.
The school’s facilities were discussed – the grounds seem to be the area that needs the most improvement. Most of the facility is in good condition otherwise.The treasurers report included how far in debt the school is and some discussion of how this will be addressed. The school website now also includes a contribution section.  Recent contributions of over ¥3,000,000 help, but do not completely address this debt. More fundraisers are being considered.
Currently, our Board is not fully compliant with our charter, this is mainly due to two factors: the original charter was set with the position “Significant Financial Contributor”, which is currently vacant.  This position previously was filled by representatives from the Ford corporation, but most members feel it is currently not necessary; however, due to the guidelines of our charter, the position cannot be voted out until it is filled. A Significant Financial Contributor is now considered someone who donates a small amount (eg ¥1000) over their child’s normal school fees and is recognized by the Board. We expect to fill this position by the next meeting in March. Additionally, both the BoT and Board of Directors have the numbers of positions set unreasonably high, and will vote on bringing the numbers down to a more manageable size in the next meeting when the Significant Financial Contributor position is filled.
There seems to be a slight disconnect between what the BoT feels are the school’s greatest challenges and what the parents believe are the greatest challenges. Neither side is wrong, but more communication needs to happen between the two sides, who share the goal of keeping HIS in a position of providing an excellent education for its students.  Matt will endeavour to add some of the concerns of the parents to the next BoT meeting agenda. Please contact him either directly or through the PTA with your ideas.
Playground Improvements: Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas on how we can improve our school playground. Children who contributed their ideas will soon receive a small gift of appreciation.
Out of all the ideas, we have selected two small projects to work on starting in January:
– improving the garden and,
– painting
You can be involved in making these two projects a success in many ways.
In addition to the parents who have already volunteered, we are looking for parents whose knowledge and skills we could benefit from in these two areas. For example, if you have any connections to a hardware store or garden centre perhaps you may be able to help us get a discount on paint or plants? Perhaps you can share your expertise on which plants are the best for our garden?
Garden project
If you are a keen gardener perhaps you can join us? You could give us your expertise into which plants to use in such sandy soil? We would like to make a compost heap and identify a simple watering system. If you can’t give up your time perhaps you can lend us some gardening tools such as shovels and garden forks. We plan to reuse old tires as planters and we want to paint them bright colours so we need paint.
We need plants so perhaps you could donate plants? We need topsoil and earthworms to improve the soil, maybe you could help us in this?
We would like to paint games on the pavements and fences such as Four Square and Hopscotch and again we need paint. We need paint for concrete, metal or wood as well as for external walls. Perhaps you’ve had experience of having painted Four Square or playground art?
For the two projects we will need:
– compost / topsoil/ earthworms
– pots of different colours of paint which we can use on tires, wood and metal
– blackboard paint to make blackboards outside
– wooden boards for the blackboards
– old tires
As you can see there is a lot you can get involved with so please help us. Some parents are doing a bake sale in January to raise some money for these two projects but if you’d like to donate your time, materials or money at any time that would be wonderful.
Please contact Marina Clark to volunteer or for more information.
HIS Logo Merchandise- We are hoping to order new HIS logo merchandise including, but not limited to, t-shirt, hats, parent and student sizes. Does anyone in our HIS community have a connection with a screen printing company that we could discuss our idea with?
A great way to give business to some of your friends or family. Please email to the PTA if you have any suggestions.
PYP Cleaning Day- At the first PTA meeting of 2018, scheduled on Wednesday, January 31th, we will be holding a short ‘school clean up’ time for students and parents from 9:00 am to 9:30 am.
We are hoping this experience will enable students to become responsible members of our community who take care and appreciate the school property.
To support children with dusting shelves and sweeping the floor etc, we are looking for volunteers on the day. If you are able to join, please let us know by emailing to
Also, if you have any used hand towels or dustcloths that you no longer need at home and wish to donate, please send them to school. There is a box located by the office. Thank you!
From Rie Oride and Kumi Morimoto
Ice skating day-Since Friday night is filled with group lodgings, we will do skate day on Saturday.
Date: 3rd Feb 2018 1 p.m.- at Big Wave in Ushita/Higashi-ku
More information will be announced at a later date.
Donation for HIS Festival- We will do  Festival next April. It is the biggest event for HIS. We have set up a box at the entrance of the school. Items we would like to be donated are unnecessary but good conditioned clothes, unbroken toys, books, etc.) Please donate before disposing of!
And, those who would like to join the festival positively from the planning, please contact us!                                 *We are still looking for Room Parents for the EC class and KG/1 class.  It is a very small responsibility and will mainly work with the PTA on some small spring events and welcome any new families that have students in your child’s classroom.  Please let Brooke Amidei know if you are interested in filling those spots.  2-3 parents/classroom would be ideal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *Continue to send in your family information and photo to include in the Crane. This is not just for new families, but for all families to get to know each other and build a stronger community!
*Illumination Walk happened on Thursday night. Thanks to those who joined.
If you have any questions please e-mail us:
Thank you: The PTA would like to thank all of the teachers, the Principal, and of course, parents who have joined our meetings. We appreciate the growing interest and participation this year.  Teachers have expressed an interest in joining the meetings when they can and have done so.  Mr. Rentoule’s presence and participation at every meeting this year has also been very helpful.  We invite members of both the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors to join as well in the coming year.  Enjoy the winter break, and the holiday’s that you and your family celebrate, we are looking forward to seeing you again in 2018.
私たちはフェンスや舗道に(Four Squreやケンケンパなど)ペイントしたいと思っています。そのためのコンクリート用の塗料、木材、外壁用の塗料が必要です。道路に描かれたFour Squareや壁画アートなどみたことないですか?!


From Rie Oride and Kumi Morimoto
日程:2月3日(土曜日)13時より 東区牛田のビッグウェーブにて。
*ルームペアレンツの募集をしましたがECクラスとKG/ G1 が決まっていません。大きな役割があるわけではなく、PTAと今後のイベントや新しくHISに入られるご家族の対応(お子さんの学年)をお願いするくらいです。

9. Japanese Outline