HUSKY EXPRESS Sept 26, 2018


 Administration Corner 

  Head of School    

Changes at HIS for Child Safety

The Child Protection Team of HIS has met to discuss changes to improve safety practices at the school.

Our WASC accreditation visiting committee mentioned a need to strengthen our practices to bring them into better alignment with other international and local public schools.

Below are the changes that we will implement immediately after Fall Break:

  • Front Door Changes 
    ・Front door automated opening times will be tightened: 
    ・AM - 8:15 ~ 8:30 
    ・PM - 3:25 ~ 4:00 
  • All guests & parents must sign in at a desk to be established outside the office. 
    ・All guests must wear a lanyard bearing “Guest”, “Library Volunteer” or “Parent”. 
  • All Night Time Activities (After 5:00) 
    ・Students must be under direct supervision to remain in the building
    ・The front doors will be locked at 4:00 pm 
    ・Students may not return to school if they leave the building until their activity starts.
  • Medications
    ・Following public school practice, HIS will no longer give medications to school students.** HIS teachers ・will, however, give an epipen injection in the event of an emergency.

We appreciate your support as we work to better secure the campus and make it as safe a place as possible.

If you have any questions, please stop by to see Mr. Ratzliff.

** The dormitory is excepted from this rule so long as the parents of dormitory students give permission for basic medicines (cold or headache medicines)


Emergency Updates

After the September 6 earthquake, the teachers of HIS met to discuss the school’s response, emergency communication methods and other aspects of our emergency response.

We learned a great deal through the experience of an earthquake, discovering what did and did not work when power is lost and wifi and cell phone connections are disrupted. After the discussion, we came to some final conclusions:

  • PUBLIC SCHOOLS LEAD THE WAY - In a post-disaster situation, HIS will follow the lead of public schools. If public schools close, HIS will close. 
  • LOSS OF POWER AT SCHOOL = SCHOOL CLOSURE - Without power, we can’t provide a safe and sanitary environment to open a school. 
  • RELYING ON ALMA - We will rely on ALMA to communicate all emergency message, not the telephone tree. 
  • CLOSURE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT - If public transportation is closed, HIS will keep all children at school until parents can safely come to pick them up.


We thank you for your understanding of the above information. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact school administration.

  From the Principal’s Office  

Parent-Teacher Conferences - Monday October 8th:
Secondary parents: Please contact me at if you would like to set up an appointment to see your child’s teachers. If a teacher (or teachers) are requesting a meeting, I will contact those parents next week.
Elementary parents: You will soon be receiving the parent conference schedule from your child’s homeroom teacher.


MAP Testing Next Week
Starting on Monday October 1st, HIS students in grades 4-11 will be administered standardized external tests called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).
We give grades 4-11 students MAP tests to determine their instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in the areas of Math, Reading, and Language Usage.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. With MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth. Over three weeks, your child will spend a total of about 4 hours completing these tests.
Teachers use the data collected on these tests to better adapt lessons and assignments to your child’s individual needs.
Reporting back to you:
Included with your child’s final report card this June, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth over this year. This report will show specific areas of growth, specific needs, and comparative data with peers, US norms, and other International schools.
If you have any questions about these exams, please feel free to contact me.
Also, I encourage you to check out the following website:


Mark your calendars…

The Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 3rd, 10:00 - 14:00.  Please see the PTA section of the HEx for more details.

Alma Accounts - New secondary students and parents should have received activation emails this week for their Alma accounts.  Alma is our school’s student information system on which student information is stored and schedules / grades / reports are generated.  

If you have NOT received this mail or if you have any questions, please contact me at

In the upcoming weeks, information will also be sent home to elementary parents regarding setting up Alma accounts as we transition to Alma for elementary assessment reporting as well.

SAT Exams (October 6th)

A reminder that on Wednesday October 3rd the first PTA Steering Committee meeting of the school year will be held in the teacher’s lounge (Rm 206) at 3:45.  All interested parents, guardians and teachers are welcome. Please come to learn how you can get involved!  Babysitting is provided for parents who need it. Please contact me for details.

 HIS Parent E-mailing List 


Husky Parents!!
Do you ever have trouble receiving the weekly HEx, Husky-Info bulletins or other school-wide emails?  Do you have another email address to which you’d like to receive these electronic communications? If so, please email us at  or phone the main office so we can update our mailing lists and include you as soon as possible!

 @ Niseko 

Greetings from HIS Niseko.

Cultural Exchange
MP1/3 have been invited to go to Kondo Primary for a rice harvest. The proposed dates are either Tuesday October 2nd or Wednesday October 3rd. This depends on the weather and readiness of the rice field. This will be a morning activity and we will back to school for regular lunch.
Please look out for confirmation details.

Just a gentle reminder that there is no school for students on Monday, October 8. This day is set aside for HIS Niseko parents to learn about your child's academic, social and emotional growth and goals.
I am hoping to meet with parents as well on this day. I will send invites in an upcoming email.



OPEN House:
Thank you to all those who came out to our Open House. We were able to host 10 families. Guests watched the learning happen at our Reggio-inspired, western based elementary international school.

Fall Bazaar:
The HIS Niseko Autumn Bazaar has changed to Saturday, November the 3rd.
This change will give us extra preparation time and allow more people to help out.
We continue to be on the lookout for good quality items to sell on the day and for potential stallholders to join us. We'd appreciate donations of used clothes, books, winter gear, toys etc that are in great condition and we'd like to hear from those who are interested in joining us to sell their own crafts.
Please spread the word!
Donations can be left on the stage in the MPR before the 2nd of November.

Barry Mernin 
Hokkaido International School Niseko

 Information from the Music department 

After School Violin and Piano Program

Please consider joining the After School Violin and Piano program, where we offer private lessons for students from preschool to highschool. There are limited rental violins also available for elementary students.

We currently have 3 excellent professional violin teachers and 1 piano teacher. If you are interested, please read the attached document below, which has information about our teachers and their respective lesson fees and times.

Sign up will be a first-come-first-serve basis except for those students who decide to continue lessons from last year. All returning and new students must sign the Application/Consent Form by Aug. 30 (Thursday)

There will be envelopes in front of the music room door. Please submit the forms into the appropriate envelope by the deadline. 



Lesson Room


Teaching Language

Ms. Ichikawa (Violin)


Rm 206

3:45 - 6:00


Ms. Oshima (Piano)


Music Room

3:45 - 6:00


Ms. Kawamura (Violin)


Rm 201

3:45- 6:00

Japanese or English

Ms. Tomioka (Violin)


Rm 206

3:45 - 6:00



Violin Lesson Fee
30 min lesson - ¥3 500 /lesson
45 min lesson - ¥5 000/lesson
60 min lesson - ¥6 500 /lesson

Piano Lesson Fee
30 min lesson - ¥3 000 /lesson
45 min lesson - ¥4 250 /lesson
60 min lesson - ¥5 500 /lesson

 AP Capstone Seminar 

This past week, the AP Capstone Seminar students took a field trip to the Hokkaido Police Headquarters as part of their study of criminal justice systems. Students were able to observe the emergency call and traffic centers in action while asking questions about how the police force operates. After the tour, students had a chance to discuss their observations and insights with Ms. Harmon and Mr. Tomasine over coffee. A special thanks to Tara-san for setting up this educational excursion and to Mr. Tomasine for his help as an interpreter and chaperone!

 Husky Hugs 

Husky Hugs go out to...

  • … to the teachers who accompanied students on the long weekend hike up Yotei-zan.
  • … to the Child Protection and Safety Team for their efforts to ensure a safer school campus.


 From PTA 

Fall Festival Organization
Dear Fall Festival volunteers,
Thank you for signing up as Fall Festival volunteer(s).
The Fall Festival is the biggest PTA sponsored, fundraising event, which is open to public.
This year, it will be on November 3rd from 10:00-14:00
Profit from this event goes to PTA funds, which allows PTA to give grants for betterment of students’ learning.
Please note that there will be a Fall Festival Organization Meeting on September 26th at 3:45 in room 206.
You can find information on Fall Festival and last year’s PTA Grants on the PTA website. We will talk more in detail on the 26th.
If you cannot make it on the 26th, please don’t worry.
I will be sharing the minutes from the meeting both on website and by email.
Thank you for your support and I hope to see many of you at the meeting!

PTA Steering Committee Meetings
Please note, all Steering Committee meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Any parent is welcome to attend, and please let Megumi or Neil know if you would like to become a regular (and voting) member of the committee.

Next PTA Meeting
Looking forward to seeing parents at the next PTA meeting this week on Wednesday October 3rd, from 15:45 in Room 206.
This is our first Steering Committee Meeting of the school year. If you are interested in perhaps becoming a member for 2018-2019, please and join us to check it out!
Everyone is welcome, please join us!
We will be discussing and voting on PTA Grants.
If you would like to have a babysitter, please contact Neil at

English lesson offered by a parent with teaching experience. If you are interested or would like to have more details, please contact More information will be posted in PTA website as soon as it is available


PTA Information Website:

 Upcoming Events 



Sept 28-29 JV and MS Volleyball Tournament
Oct 10 PSAT Exams
Oct 8 Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences (No Classes)
Oct 12-13 MS and HS Volleyball Tournaments
Oct 22-26 Fall Break

 Husky Lunch 

Please note that from next week, the Husky Lunch Menu will no longer be posted to the website, instead it will be delivered directly to your email each Thursday. 


The HS girls volleyball had a good workout last Friday against the teachers `All Star` team. Thanks to all the teachers and girls who played and also those students who helped by scoring and officiating  the lines. This week they have away games with Seishin HS and Hachijo JH. The futsul team will be excited to have some new goals arriving shortly. We also hope to arrange a game for them next week.  Go Huskies !


If you are an HIS parent and are looking for a babysitter for an evening or on the weekend, please feel free to contact  
Interested HIS parents can then be provided with a list of students available for babysitting.

Also, if you are looking for a student tutor for your child, please contact  

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