HUSKY EXPRESS Aug 27, 2019


 Administration Corner 

  Head of School    

A Welcome to the 2019 ~ 2020 School Year

On behalf of the school I would once again like to welcome back our returning and new students and families to this 61 year of the school. We are looking forward to another exciting year of positive learning experiences and want to thank your families for entrusting us with the process of teaching and learning that takes place here at HIS.

Through feedback at the first PTA we heard from parents the request to incorporate more social events that bring our community together. I look forward to working with PTA to find times and social events that strengthen the bonds of community. Let's have a wonderful school year. 


Changing Shoes & Proper Sports Shoes

One of the important cultural observations followed by Hokkaido International School is that of changing shoes at the school. It helps us to maintain a very clean school environment and given our northern climate, makes a great deal of common sense.

In addition to the simple changing of shoes, we require proper footwear for physical education. Please read the important note from Ms. Marquez regarding shoes in PE.

Dear Parents and Students,


To ensure safety during PE classes, it is important to make sure students bring 2 pairs of shoes for class. One to use in the gym and the other for outside PE classes. Please make sure students wear inside and outside shoes that are for athletic use. Students are required to change shoes for indoor ones as a school policy. If the shoe students wear during the day at school are slippers or sandals, they are required to bring another pair of athletic indoor shoes for PE class. If a student is walking or coming to school with athletic shoes on a daily basis, they can use that pair for their outside classes. However, if students use boots or other types of non-athletic wear outside, they will need to bring a shoe that is safe for PE class. Thank you for your understanding.

PE Department.

Often students will not wish to bring a change of shoes for indoors or PE, please ensure that you have a conversation with your son or daughter about the above information and ensure they have the right footwear for school.


  From the Principal’s Office  

Welcome students, parents, and teachers to a new school year at HIS. Hope you all had a wonderful summer!

Welcome also to our new MP2 teacher, Ms. Rory Pickett.

Parent Orientations
The evening parent orientation sessions are scheduled for:
Monday, September 2 for elementary
Wednesday, September 4 for secondary

At both sessions, Mr. Ratzliff and I will be presenting details of the school life and curriculum at HIS. Please contact me at if you require a babysitter.

SAT Exams (October 5th sitting)
The final deadline for registration: September 6th

PTA Steering Committee Meeting
A reminder that on Wednesday, September 4th 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.

 From PTA 

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.

PTA Information Website:

 @ Niseko 

Dear Parents of HIS Niseko,

On Monday morning, I will be driving alongside our new driver, Wakata san for bus driver training. We will pick up and drop off Mia, Jessie, Jade/Van, and Mao tomorrow. Ms. Liene and I are finalizing our bus route now that we have secured a driver. Please talk to Liene if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for your understanding.

Also, on Monday, Head of School, Barry Ratzliff and Executive Board Chair, Mr. Alan Bossaer will arrive from Sapporo. The three of us will meet with Mayor Katayama to discuss growth model ideas for HIS Niseko.

Ms. Emily will begin her day visiting the MP3 and MP1 classrooms as our ELL teacher. We will spend a bit of time this week to give Woodcock-Johnson diagnostic testing.

We have a Junior High intern joining us from Rankoshi.

Pikinini, YY Diner, and Maitorie will serve optional lunch services this week. Please talk to Liene if you have any questions.

Both EY and MP1-3 students are scheduled for swimming pool visits. Hopefully, the air and water temperature will allow us to enjoy our swim lessons. Lola and I will teach Little Big Minds to the MP1 students at 1:10 on Tuesday if the swim lessons are canceled on that day.

I look forward to a great week of team building and modeling of learning routines.

Barry Mernin
Hokkaido International School Niseko

 Science Research Cruise 

HIS was invited to join the Hokkaido University School of Fisheries Sciences for a training cruise aboard the Oshoro-maru research vessel. Subha Chowdhury, Tadashi Shichida, and Haruhito Sakurai earned their places as cadets, learning the basics of ocean water testing, plankton collection and identification, squid fishing and dissection, plastic waste pollution, ropework, and ship operations.

Despite rough seas in the wake of Typhoon Krosa, the students persevered through their initial seasickness to get the full experience on offer. The trip organizer, Prof. Tony Chittenden, complimented our students on their eagerness to learn, diligence, and manners. May this trip be the start of an annual HIS tradition!

 AP Human Geography 

This year the high school Social Studies department will be introducing a new course: AP Human Geography, which explores the global geographic landscape from a human perspective-- examining the way that human economic systems, cultures, and governments impact and shape environments and vice-versa.

This course provides a great opportunity to integrate relevant, real-world topics into the classroom, and we would welcome any hands-on experiences, especially those related to Hokkaido, that would help make the course concepts more “real” for students. Later in the year, students will study the topics of agriculture and industry.

Parents, do you have any first-hand experience with local agriculture or industrial production? Do you have connections with local sites that could provide students with an opportunity to connect their learning to Hokkaido?

If so, please email Laura Harmon ( with any leads!

 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!

 Upcoming Events 


Upcoming EVENTS

Sept 2 Elementary Parent Orientation
Sept 4 Secondary Parent Orientation
Sept 4 - 6 Senior Daisetsuzan Overnight
Sept 16 Open House
Sept 19 MS Learning Trip
Sept 28 - 28 JV Girls VB Tourney

 Husky Hugs 

Husky Hugs go out to...

  • Custodial and maintenance staff for their hard work over the summer to get the school building and grounds in order for the new school year.
  • Teachers and office staff for all the hard work they have put in to prepare classrooms, lessons and to ready for the start of school. 
  • The Executive Board and Board of Councilors for its ongoing support of the school. 
  • Professor Tony Chittenden for arranging for three of our students and Mr. Aseltine to join Hokkaido University’s research vessel this past week.



All welcome … old and new players to our Fall sports program. Get active!
See schedule in this document and also posted around the school. Welcome also to our new Sports Officer PK.

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  

 The Publications & Media class 

This year the students have revived the online student website, www.TheHusky Pulse with lots of new content including artwork from elementary, middle, and high school students, MP3 narratives, high school writings, student articles on HIS events and the Hokkaido outdoors.

Also check out HIS Newscast, a series of quirky video reports created by high school students.

The Husky Pulse, created by students for all to see.


 AP Capstone 

Call for parent experts!

Do you have experience conducting original research at the graduate level, post-graduate level, or in your current work? Do you have experience with a particular data collection or data analysis method, whether quantitative or qualitative?

Our AP Research students need your help!

AP Research is the culminating course of the Capstone curriculum that asks students to add new research to an existing field over the course of the school year by designing a study, gathering data with a field-appropriate method, analyzing their findings according to an appropriate method, and presenting their findings in a 4,000-5,000 word research paper and oral defense.

We need experts to help coach our students in various data collection and analysis methods. Your help could take the form of coming into class and offering a mini-lesson on a method with which you have experience OR volunteering to be available as an expert advisor for students as they engage in the research process and have questions that come up.

If you have any experience that you think may be helpful, please email Laura Harmon ( so we can discuss possibilities. We appreciate your time in helping our students engage in this higher level work!

 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.

This year, 2 of our violin teachers are offering group lesson options. Please see the attached pdf for Ms. Ichikawa and Ms. Kawamura’s lessons for more information.

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. 29 (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

 Greetings from the Executive Board 

If you wish to learn about what the Executive Board is
and what we do, please follow this link to the HIS homepage:
(Governance page is here)
If you wish to read the minutes to our meetings,
to read in detail, what exactly was discussed and decided on,
then follow this link to the HIS homepage minutes archive:
(Minutes Archive is here)

© 2020 Hokkaido International School, Sapporo, Japan. All rights reserved.