HUSKY EXPRESS January 20, 2015


 Administration Corner 

  Head of School   

Welcome Back to School: The blizzard conditions of the weekend added extensively to the piles of snow on the ground and has narrowed roads. Please anticipate slow traffic. We encourage parents to have their children leave a little earlier to school and we anticipate that the buses will encounter delays on their route. We thank you for your understanding and help in getting students to school on time.


  From the Principal’s Office  

Report Cards:  As teachers work on upcoming report cards, students are reminded to get all remaining assignments in on time to count toward semester 1 grades.

Semester One Reports will be sent home to parents during the first week of February.

 @ Niseko 

Stone Soup AND pyjama day at Niseko!
And I bet there will be an awful lot more playing in the snow!!

 Husky Hugs 

A thanks and set of welcoming hugs to two teachers who will soon be joining the HIS school team. Ms. Claire Yao joins HIS as the primary ELL teacher. Ms. Yao originally comes from Toronto, Canada and brings with her many experiences from a varied educational career. We are very fortunate to have Ms. Yao at HIS.


Milepost 1 also welcomes Ms. Kagan West, a career international school teacher who will come in to fill the position of Ms. Pape. Ms. West is very excited about coming to HIS and is looking forward to meeting with students, parents and teachers very soon.

 Outdoor Education 

Toishiyama Snowshoe

Sasha & Mr. Robinson somewhere east of Toishiyama (Ph cap)
A student of the Outdoor Pursuits snowshoed 8.2 km over the weekend, reaching her goal of Sankyakuyama of the Toishiyama trail.

Next ADHOC snowshoe is February 15.

AdHOC trips … just email Dave Piazza
at for more information

 ArtSonia Gallery for
Elementary Students

Elementary On-line Gallery at ArtSonia
Art Room News – Invitation to the Art Gallery of your child

MP1 through 3 students have explored art and created very nice work. Their beautiful art is uploaded to their own Art Gallery on ArtSonia ( Please do not forget to activate the digital portfolio of their individual Art Gallery.

It is easy to activate the gallery. Please go to, and then go to your child’s screen typing in the screen name on the Permission Form. On the screen, you will see the column to type the security key. Please type the unique security key on the Permission Form, and set up the security Q&A. Please feel free to contact me if you have any question or concerns.

Ms. Machidori

The online gallery is also a great way to share your child’s art work with family, relatives and friends.

 Foreign Language Department 

International Day and Winter Celebration 2014 was a great success! The devotion of students, faculty and parents to this event proves once again that HIS is very special place where everyone honors the cultures we came from.

The foreign language department would like to give special thanks the following people and groups:
PTA for the financial support,
Mr. Katayama for organizing the communication through art and technology,
HIS Office Staff for the welcoming reception and helping the lantern,
Niseko students and teachers for travelling in the snow and participating in many programs,
Mr. Ratzliff and Mrs. Oda for the mochi pounding,
Mr. Salter and his art class students for decorating the school building with beautiful art works,
Mr. Swarn for the arrangement of the equipments,
Mr. Piazza and Mrs. Currie for the fun booths,
Ms. Nara for helping out students and displaying artworks everyday,
Hugh, Adnan, Raffi and Amy for outstanding service as emcees,
Sports teams for setting up the tables and chairs,
All teachers for showing the spirit with your flexibility and smile,
All students for the enthusiasm, kindness, creativity and volunteer. 

 Elementary Activities 

Notices will come out soon regarding choices for after school activity programs. We will not start until February 2nd as several teachers will be away in Hong Kong this week at a conference.

 Husky Calendar 

Want to see more upcoming events?  Check out the newly updated calendar on the Calendar

 College/Alumni Corner 

Joshua Gan, an Admissions Officer at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne will be in Sapporo on Thursday, 29th January 2015, to meet and recruit potential students and to introduce the hospitality industry and the wide range of career opportunities available.
Attention seniors with US Citizenship: The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opens on January 1st. Please go to this link to create an account and complete your application. You may be eligible for Pell Grants (money you don’t have to pay back) and then also gain eligibility for both subsidized/unsubsidized student loans (money you do have to pay back but either at a lower/fixed interest rate). If you have any questions, just ask!
As always, please write if you have any questions. Office hours are B-days from 2-3:30.

Upcoming Events:
SAT - January 25 (register by December 27)
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Sapporo - Thursday 29 January 2015 at lunch
The College Corner on the 3rd floor has a variety of new mailings - stop by and check them out!

Link of the Week:
Difficulties international students face when applying to Japanese programs

 Upcoming Events 

  • Jan 22~25 HS Girls & Boys Tournament
  • Jan 30 End of First Semester (Report Cards)
  • Feb 2 Start of Semester Two
  • Feb 6~8 Snow Festival Classic


The JV boys team were up against much larger international schools in Yokohama this past weekend. On Friday they suffered narrow losses to Osaka and Yokohama but then on saturday they staged a magnificent come from behind win against St Maurs to claim 5th place. This week we wish our HS girls and boys teams well as they travel to tournaments in Nagoya and Kobe.  Go Huskies !

 Babysitting/Odd Jobs Directory 

Check out this directory of students able to help! Email Mrs. Currie at if you have trouble accessing the directory or would like to post any job needs. If you know of anyone that needs help with specific projects, just write!

 From PTA 

The next PTA Steering Committee meeting will be Wednesday, February 4th.
The PTA encourages all HIS families who have facebook to join “HIS Family and Friends” as this is a great way to find out about things going on at the school and in our community.

 Invitation to be a Game Critic 

Though a family contact the school was introduced to Mr. Kevin Yockey, founder of Club Penguin, a children’s gaming company that is now owned by Disneyland. The Mr. Yockey started a new gaming software company and has developed an educational game based on the abacus (soroban / そろばん). The company is looking for feedback on their developing game product.

The game provides challenges in the form of math question that need to be solved on the soroban abacus.  The faster a player completes the challenges the harder the challenges become.  The math is currently limited to addition and subtraction. The owners believe that someone who is actually familiar with the soroban will not find the game too challenging.  There isn't a specific age-group in mind, anybody familiar with the soroban and able to add/subtract numbers should be able to play.  The secondary students might be the perfect age (?)

They would like feedback on:

  • Is the game fun?
  • Is it clear how the game is played?
  • Is the game easy to play but difficult to master?
  • What do players like or dislike about it?
  • Is there value in pursuing an educational angle or should we stick to casual gaming?

They are also eager to hear about any teaching tips or tools they could use to help an audience understand the mechanics of an abacus and play the game better.  So far the biggest challenge is teaching people how to play the game, but once they learn it they typically enjoy it and come back for more.

If you or your child is interested in this opportunity, please send an email to Head of School, Barry Ratzliff at

 Yearbooks still available! 

The books are 5000 yen. Sibling price is 8500 yen for two books. Limited supply. Contact Mr. Shaffer at

 Executive Board Update 

The Executive Board had their 3rd meeting of the school year on Wednesday, November 26th. The Board of Councilors had their 1st meeting on Wednesday, October 29th. Minutes of each Executive Board meeting appear a month later in the homepage Governance tab, section “Meeting Minutes Archives.” There is also a brief summary of each board meeting in the Governance section of the HIS website under the heading “Board News.” This is updated after each meeting. All the year’s minutes and previous years’ are accessible from the HIS homepage site, under the Governance tab, section the “Executive Board Minutes.”


Great News! HIS is running a Scholastic International School Book Club.
All books are now available for you to order online. You and your child can look through the paper catalogue and make your selection and then place your order online at
The online catalogue is also available for you to view directly at the Scholastic Website and to place your order online.
Please place your order online by February 28th, 2015.
Each order will earn free books for our school!
Delivery of the books to HIS will be between 7-10 days after the closing date. Your order will then be dispatched to your child in their classroom.
If you have any questions, please contact Alison Manjyoume, MP3 teacher, at

There has been an error made on the paper catalogue. The prices should be:

675 Binky the Space Cat £2.42 / $3.99
760 Magic Tree House: Merlin Missions Pack £30.15 / $48.25

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