Principal's Blog 校長先生のブログ
March 9, 2021
We had a wonderful day today! The students and teachers celebrated the last day of school with Minute-to-Win-it relay games, special class awards were handed out, and finally, we had our 6th-grade graduation ceremony. The 4th and 5th-grade classes played two songs on the ukulele, we watched a video of the graduating students' memories, and then we listened in amazement to our graduating 6th graders' speeches. Our students are truly gifted, hard-working, and fun-loving. It is a joy to know them and watch them grow.
January 7, 2021
I am looking forward to starting back next week after a long holiday. We have a lot of great things planned to finish out this school year. In January, we will celebrate Opposite Day and have a Child Protection Week for all grades. In February, we will have Christianity Week, standardized testing, and our annual science fair. Then in March, we will have a graduation ceremony for our 6th graders, and a special day of fun for our students. Of course, we are still practicing social distance but we are able to enjoy our school life. It's been a challenging year, but God remains faithful, and we are still learning and enjoying school life at New Life International School.
October 9, 2020
Today our parents brought treats for the teachers for "Teacher Appreciation Day". We were overcome by the generosity of the parents. It's a pleasure to teach at New Life International School!
August 20, 2020
We had a very successful two months of face-to-face classes in June and July. Students, teachers, and parents were so happy to be back in school! We all worked hard, learned a lot, and had fun even in our masks. We had an art fair, a ukulele and handbell concert, and a great party to end our last day before the summer holidays with water balloons, squirt guns, relays, and popsicles.
We are off for the summer holiday now but we will go back to school on Thursday, September 3. We have a lot of great things planned for this fall. We have camp literacy day that is usually celebrated in big tents in our gym, but this year we will ask the children to bring small blankets and we'll have individual tents under our desks. All of our activities will have a camp theme. We'll draw maps, write adventures about seeing bears or other wild animals, we will read with flashlights under our desks with "fireflies" (clear Christmas lights) illuminating our "sky" (ceiling). We will also roast marshmallows and eat some s'mores. This is a great day!
We will have a parent/teacher meeting in October. The student will be involved in this - he or she will show the parent all his or her school work and the standardized testing that has been done so far. It's a good day for the students to shine and for the parents to see exactly what their children are learning. We will also have a field trip in October to a local sports park where the children can run, do some relay games, and have a picnic. We are learning how to be creative through this pandemic and help the children still have a good environment in school life and have good energy, learning optimally with great teachers and interesting curriculum. I'm very thankful that we can continue to grow and learn!
May 10, 2020
As everyone knows, Covid-19 has struck and our lives are quite different from the normal. I'm extremely proud and thankful that our teachers have been able to continue our students' learning through online distance education. Our children have not missed any school days, and they are all working hard and are learning and growing. Every day when I get on Skype to "call" my classes to join me, they are usually already on the computer ready to start with a big smile on their faces. They are a joy to teach! That said, we hope to start back at the school building again soon, maybe by May 25.
We are still working on accreditation but our visits from the accreditation committee have been postponed until at least this fall and next spring. I'll keep you, and everyone involved with New Life International School, informed on any developments as they occur. God bless you and keep you safe.
October 27, 2019
Fall time is a busy time at NLIS! We are studying hard, but enjoying school life with all kinds of activities including practicing for a Christmas drama which we'll have on December 13. We are also practicing handbells, recorders, and a poem for that day's program. The students are also gathering items for the Asahi Festival on November 23. They will greet customers and take the money and give change on that day. It will be a wonderful opportunity for us all.
NLIS has been officially approved as an NPO organization- a first step to getting accredited. We are actively pursuing accreditation through WASC - Western Association of Schools and Colleges. With a lot of work from our teachers and staff, we should be able to turn our application in this November. This has been a goal of ours from our school's conception and it's exciting seeing it come to fruition. We have many more goals and plans to help our students learn and grow.
June 8, 2019
We have the sweetest group of students this year! The atmosphere is buzzing with children who have become good friends with each other and their teachers. 1st graders are already reading and growing in their confidence and love of learning. 2nd and 3rd graders studied economics and opened a "shopping mall" for all the classes to come and buy the goods with play money. 4th and 5th graders memorized all the prefectures of Japan and are doing reports. Their writing is improving every week. They are also planting a garden and graphing their results. 6th and 7th graders are doing a detailed study of Asia: governments, geography, and economics. They are also learning how to work with google docs and create some pretty amazing computer graphics. The entire school went to the archeology museum last month to further our study of Japan and its history. It was a wonderful time of learning. I'm loving this year!
March 14, 2019
April 8 will be the first day of our 5th year of school. We have grown from one full-time teacher to four full-time teachers, and from three students to thirty. I'm looking forward to a good year of learning, not only for the students but for the teachers as we grow in our ability to teach and to listen to each child's needs. What a privilege it is to watch these precious children explore ideas, learn to express themselves better, grow in their friendships, and become more confident in themselves! Please pray for our school, for each student, and for each teacher. We want God's blessings for this 2019-2020 year to be the best year yet!
August 2, 2018
We began our 4th year in April and the students and parents this year are lovely! We continue to grow in every way. We just finished reforming the downstairs of the outside building so that our junior high can open in April 2019. Grade 6 students are very excited. We are busy making lessons for our classes for the remainder of the year. We are starting a handbells class in 2nd and 3rd grade and they will present some Christmas songs in December. We are doing several novel units in grades 2 and up. We want to encourage a love of literature in all our students. We are also planning for our science fair for grades 3 and up. They always blow us away with their inventions or research. We are busy but blessed to be a part of New Life.
December 31, 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, I am filled with thankfulness for our families who have children in our school, our students, our teachers, and our administrative assistant. It's been a good, productive year. The students are doing well academically and socially. We have several activities planned for the final months of the school including field trips and "Opposite Day" in January, Valentine's parties in February, and end of school activities, including parties and a ceremony in March. We will also work hard on writing speeches and continue to grow in math, reading, and all the subjects. Each teacher is working diligently to present new material in a motivating style that helps the students enjoy learning. The atmosphere is amazing. The kids buzz with energy as they work wholeheartedly in the classes and then play with gleeful abandon in the gym and in the park. If any readers would like to come and observe the school, you are welcome. Our visitors are always surprised when they visit. I am very proud of the students and staff at New Life International School and thankful to a loving God who helps us all. Happy New Year!
August 27, 2017
We are busy preparing to return to school after the summer holidays. So far, we have had a very good year with lots of learning and fun activities, have had wonderful speakers come to our school, and have formed dear friendships. Our summer camp was a great success with 30 students in total, the limit, this year. We heard from many that students' English pronunciation improved, their motivation in studying English was increased, and that they would be back next summer.
Now, this coming fall we have many things planned. In September we will have our annual literacy camp day where we get in tents set up in our gym and read with flashlights, play lots of vocabulary games, make S'mores and then write how to make them. We will also go on a field trip to the science museum, and study about Japan, with a focus on Yamanashi. We will culminate our study in October with a tea ceremony given by a trained tea teacher. We will wear a kimono or yukata on this special day. We will also celebrate 100 days of school with various math activities, have a science fair for grades 3 and up, and have our fall class parties. In November, we will present a drama and talent show for our parents. Whew! It's going to be busy, but we will learn a lot and make good memories. We are very thankful to be a part of our school.
April 3, 2017
Our third year of New Life International School is starting in two days. Three years ago we started with just 3 students and one teacher, me. When we would go out for field trips, people thought we were a family. This year we have 18 students and 3 full-time teachers from grades K through 5. We have wonderful lessons planned and we've been praying for this school year and each student and teacher to be blessed by God. May the Lord continue to bless our school and every person who comes through our doors!
December 26, 2016
2016 is coming to an end. It's been a year of learning and growing. Since I last wrote, we have gone on 2 field trips, celebrated 100 days of school, had 2 class parties, had a science fair, performed a Christmas drama and recorder concert, and some of us took the Iowa Basic Skills Test. They tested very well, by the way. We've been busy. I'm proud of our school and our students. They are growing into mature, caring individuals. May God continue to bless each one! Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year! See you in 2017!
We just had our annual "Literacy Camp Day". What a fun day! We read books in the tents, wrote postcards to our parents telling them about our day, "fished" for camp theme compound words (catfish, flashlight, sunscreen), roasted marshmallows and made
s'mores, did science experiments with marshmallows, sang camp songs, enjoyed the fireflies on the wall (white Christmas lights), and rowed boats for P.E. It was a great day with 12 awesome kids and our teachers and staff. I'm already planning next year's event!
Summer Camp was a wonderful week! We had 18 kids, which was our limit, and 4 teachers. We read books, presented a skit, had spelling bees, scavenger hunts, did science experiments, art projects, math, and computer games, water gun fights, "snowball" activities, danced, played at the park, and had water balloon war and blew bubbles. It was a fun, full week!
April 28, 2016
We had our second open house last week and it was a pleasure to meet with all the parents and the grandparents. The older children did a marvelous job presenting our school's various activities and the first graders were just adorable with their little speeches and song. What a delight my students are this year! We have a lot of activities and special days planned for May - we will begin going to the public library every week, a field trip to Fuji Kachoen Flower and Owl Park, a visit from some firemen with a fire truck, and "Opposite Day" which is a fun day where we all go a little wacky with opposites expanding our vocabulary and having fun to boot! Looking forward to growing this year with these wonderful students!
We are having a great year! On April 16th, we had an Open House with all the parents and some grandparents joining us to see the students' work. Each child did a presentation, then we sang a song together, and just enjoyed showing off all our work. Then on April 17th, we got our own library card at the Yamanashi Prefectural Library and have been visiting the library every other Friday to check out more books. We had a dear nurse come and teach us about bacteria and the importance of washing our hands in April. The students are still singing the ABC song to time washing their hands. On May 14th, we had "Opposite Day". What fun we had as we dressed backward and inside out. I dressed like a student. We walked, counted, and sang backward, had a scavenger hunt of opposites, i.e. things that close, things that open, and did a treasure hunt of opposites such as superior and inferior, polite and impudent. Of course, we started our day with "Good evening!" and closed the day with "Hello!" It was fun and confusing. For 2 weeks, we have been studying archaeology. We simulated a "dig" and then on May 22, we went to the Yamanashi Archaeology Museum. I was very happy to discover that they had blue beads just like we "found" in our "site". We also went to Putter's Golf and enjoyed 2 games and then had a lovely picnic. Tomorrow we will make no-bake cookies, Wednesday, we are having a special speaker, and we have 3 other special speakers scheduled to come in June. We are an active school. We are blessed! Stay tuned for more!
Since I last wrote, we have continued to be active. We had a "Beach Day" in June where we all wore sandals and sunglasses and everything we did had a beach or summer theme. For instance, we played compound word bingo with words like, "jellyfish and sandcastle", we wrote a story together about our day at the beach, we did "shark" math and we made homemade ice cream. Yummy!
In July we had an amazing art teacher from New York, Roma Karas, teach us drawing with perspective. The results were fantastic! This week, we are going on an earthquake/fire safety field trip. We simulated an earthquake and practiced what we should do if a big one comes. I had the kids belly laughing because I tried to be people shouting, dogs barking, babies crying, and cats meowing all at the same time. On Friday, one of the mothers is bringing some lavender and we will make beautiful decorations out of it. Next Friday is our last day before the summer break. This will be a great day of water guns, water balloons, popsicles, bubbles, and all sorts of fun math, spelling, and language games. I love our school!
As 2015 closes, I find myself reflecting on our first year of school and feeling quite blessed. The children have grown in every way and I am really proud of our achievements. In October we had a wonderful field trip at Shosenkyo where we got to view all that we had studied in class about the surrounding mountains and nature. The kids really did an amazing job as they presented a Thanksgiving drama in November and in December we had special visitors, Christmas crafts, a party, and a lot of learning. This January we will go to a fire station and practice fire and earthquake drills and then in February, we will study the Civil Rights movement. It's never too early to learn about the dangers of racial prejudice. We are expecting another student in January and 8 more in April, so there will be a lot of changes, but I think it will even be a better year next year at New Life International.