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Student and Parent Surveys

Dear Parents,

Thank you for filling out the parent survey, your kind remarks, and your honest concerns. We have published the results of the students’ and parents’ surveys on this webpage. This letter is a report and response to the survey. First, the parents overwhelmingly wrote that their child is happy to go to our school. Responses were also very positive regarding the teachers caring, treating children fairly, being approachable, recognizing the children’s strengths and weaknesses, and supporting the children emotionally. The teachers at New Life International School are very dedicated and are sincerely invested in helping the students grow academically and emotionally.

Second, the questions about 1) the challenging, well-rounded curriculum, 2) being satisfied with the education the children are receiving, and 3) being aware of the child’s progress, received some "threes" on the surveys. While a three is definitely a positive answer, we would like to ease parents’ minds on the curriculum. Please see below the curriculum maps for grades K through 8. This summer we will have the curriculum maps updated for all grades and subjects taught. We also have scope and sequences for every subject and grade. If you would like a copy, see your child's teacher. Please note that the teachers have worked hard to create the curriculum plans for the school, so we ask that you do not show them to anyone outside of this school. We also welcome parents to visit the classes to view the textbooks, workbooks, novels, and tests that the students use.

Third, some parents expressed concern about the parking lot’s safety for the children, and I agree completely. The park was closed, so we didn’t have an alternative place to play, but now that the park is open again, children from kindergarten through second grade will no longer play in the parking lot. They will only play in the park or in the gym. The older students will play in the park, the front lot, and the gym.

Also, a few parents were concerned about whether the children were getting enough playtime. All students have at least a 30-minute break time besides lunch, plus short breaks throughout the day. Grades one through six also have two physical education classes a week where a teacher leads in sports and fitness exercises. Most students from grades seven through twelve take at least one semester of physical education a year. The kindergarten classes play in the gym and in the park for half of the day. We believe small children need exercise and learn better when they’ve had time to move their bodies. We have balls, soccer goals, hula hoops, jump ropes, noodles, a heavy mat for gymnastics, and two basketball goals for all of the students. I’ve already posted the class schedules last week for the parents to see the times that are allotted for every subject.

A few parents suggested we hire specialized teachers for the music, art, and physical education classes. The teachers would love that, but at this time we cannot hire specialized teachers because of the funds and classrooms available. NLIS has an amazingly low teacher-to-student ratio of eleven teachers to 58 students. The school receives no government help; we exist entirely on tuition and fees. New Life International School does extremely well to offer a well-balanced English education to the students at a third of the cost of most international schools. English textbooks are quite expensive. We spent almost 1,000,000 yen this year on curriculum alone. That said, we need donors and businesses to back us with support. The P.S.E. is going to try to find ways to help us make some extra funds to buy better supplies for the science labs and other needs. If any of you have ideas on fundraising, please let us know. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Some of the parents expressed a need to feel more closely a part of the NLIS community. Please come to the PSE meetings and volunteer to be a leader. Come to the English Bible study. Please ask your child’s teacher if you can volunteer your help, or ask me. I have several projects that I need help with right now.

The children are happy and learning. NLIS employees are growing in our ability to learn and make improvements. I believe we will have a great year next year. Thank you for helping us reach new destinations!

Warm regards,

Suzy Brown

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