HUSKY EXPRESS April 29, 2020


 Administration Corner 

  Head of School    

Responding to Community During Covid-19

Monday, April 20, finds HIS heading into its fifth week of online learning for all students. We were thankful for the two weeks of learning in the building from March 30 ~ April 10. 

The spread of the Coronavirus has disrupted our lives everywhere, however, we have been impressed by the resilience of our students and staff as they take on the challenges of e-learning and overcoming the barriers to reach out and communicate with their students. 

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to support our families and students from wherever they are connecting. More than ever, we are truly an international school, currently reaching students in places as far away as the UK, Indonesia and Thailand, to as close as Kumamoto, Tokyo and Sumikawa. 

We wish all of our community the best of health at this time and we encourage everyone to abide by the rules provided by authorities. I believe it is becoming clear to all of us that

Learning Dates

As you will be aware from previous announcements, HIS is looking to include additional learning time during the time that was going to be for other things. For example, HIS will not be having overnight trips or field trips this school year, instead these will be dedicated to direct instructional learning time. 

This past week, we were again unable to have music performance practices (for Kitara) so the time was given over to direct instruction. 

Other time on the calendar that has or will now be dedicated to direct instruction include: 

  • April 13 (was a school holiday) 
  • Wednesday Mornings 
  • Sports Days 
  • Overnights 

Additional Kitara performance practice times that had been scheduled for the school day, will also be given over to direct instruction until we can return to the school building for learning. 

Note that HIS will observe the May 4 & 5 national holidays as was originally scheduled.


Losing a Husky: Takashi Aoyama (former Bus Driver) 

Our previous bus driver of six years , Mr. Takashi Aoyama (2009 ~ 2015), who many of you will remember for his ready laugh, friendliness, and care and concern for the kids, passed away on Sunday, March 29, after a long battle with health over these past few years. 

Sadly, due to the virus outbreak, we were unable to attend his funeral, which was limited to a small number of immediate family members. We do, however, hope that you can reflect on a really wonderful individual who will be well remembered here at HIS.

Aoyama-san and fellow colleague, Hirano-san, were always an amazing and helpful presence. They are both sorely missed.

  From the Principal’s Office  

Hello to all community members as we enter another week of online learning at HIS. 

I want to thank everyone for all their hard work in these difficult circumstances: students for continuing to remain focused on learning, teachers for all the efforts they are putting into daily lessons using this challenging format, and parents for all the support they are providing students at home.

Please see below a few announcements and reminders for the weeks ahead.

Secondary S2 Progress Report Cards

Teachers are busy this week grading and writing comments for progress reports. Students, please continue to hand in all assignments so that your understanding of course material can be represented accurately.

Progress reports will be distributed via email and for download from Alma on Monday, April 27th.

Secondary Course Selections for 2020-21

Last week, all current grade 5 to grade 11 students will have received an email from me with the following attachments:

  • Course selection form
  • Course description guide

I hope that the information provided in that email and on the documents are helpful.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.  

Note that some courses will fill up early.  Priority will be given in order of the course selection sheets received.

High school students should pay special attention to the information at the top of page one and all of page two of the course selection forms. Please make sure that you are getting the required courses you will need for graduation. Mr. Fazio ( - and Ms. Harmon ( are available to help upcoming juniors and seniors with course selections as well if you would like to contact them.

Course selections can be submitted to me in two different ways:

1. By filling in the attached form, scanning it and sending it back to me at  Note that the form must have a parent or guardian’s signature.

2. If printing and scanning is not an option for you, you can type course selections directly into a return email (please be sure to label each class as A1, A2, etc.). If this method is used, note it MUST be sent from a parent or guardian’s email address (in lieu of parent signature).

All course selections should be sent to me by no later than Friday, May 8th.

 @ Niseko 

Dear Teachers, Staff, Parents and Prospective Parents of HIS Niseko

I am very proud of all in the HIS Niseko community for their hard work. This week, I was fortunate to see evidence of learning, both on campus, online and a hybrid of the two. Thank you, teachers and parents, for your collaboration. We at HIS understand the immense difficulty that this pandemic brings. I am in awe of the perseverance and dedication shown as we help our children learn.


Starting Monday, I will be inviting members of our community to daily 30-minute Wellbeing and Online Learning Advice Zoom sessions. These sessions will be from 12:30-13:00 each day for as long as needed.

Our Monday session will be dedicated to providing students with effective feedback. Tuesday’s session will be moving our children out of a comfort zone and moving into a growth zone of learning.

This week, I wish for teachers and parents to spread the word on the role that mistakes play in the learning process. Ask the children: “What did you notice about this “chunk” of learning?” “What would you do differently, next time? “

Best of luck to you.
Barry Mernin

Niseko Upcoming Dates

  • 24th of April PTA Meeting
  • May 16 Spring Bazaar (Tentative)
  • May 28 Hangetsu Hike MP1-MP3 EY optional (Tentative)
  • May 29 MP1-MP3 Writing Celebration
  • May 30 or June 6th Fun and Fitness Day Niseko Campus (Tentative)
  • June 12th Teacher Appreciation Day
  • June 12th End of the Year Performance @Chomin Center (Tentative)
  • Park Golf Field Trip Final Week of School (Tentative)
  • Kuromatsunai River Adventure trip Final Week of School (Tentative)
  • Jun 18 Closing Ceremony/Last Day of School/11:40 Dismissal
  • Jun 19 Teachers Last Day
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