Summary of the LFI Tokyo Board Meeting held on 2022-02-16
Link to the full report in French (8 pages).
Attended: director of the AEFE, administration, embassy, 1 staff representative, 2 parents’ representatives, 3/4 French advisors abroad.
Recruitment 2022. Following legislative changes, it is no longer possible to recruit resident staff by deferred recruitment: vacant resident positions can now only be filled by employing staff residing in the country or staff considered to be accompanying a spouse. This is a problem for the functioning of the AEFE, but for the school year beginning in September 2022 it should not affect the LFIT negatively, as its pool of personnel is large.
Update on the building work: The work on the second site, the annex, is progressing at a steady pace, in accordance with the planned schedule, and the annex will open for the start of the new school year in September, in spite of the hazards and imponderables that have generated additional work and costs. Following our request, an update on the costs will be presented at the next Board of Directors meeting and the final report will be presented in October 2022. We remain vigilant and are in regular contact with the administration on this subject.
Adjustment of work contracts: the local contracts of the teaching staff are being rewritten, as well as the internal regulations related to the contracts. The school is assisted by a law firm specializing in labor law. The contracts and modifications will be presented to the Board of Directors at the end of the year. This work is one of the consequences of a dispute with two staff members of the school who refuse to sign the current amendments to the contract, and continue to claim overtime from the school, which the school refuses.
Catering: the functioning of the service is still not considered satisfactory despite the support put in place by the school for several years (audit, training, multiple reorganizations). Recently, to overcome the difficulties encountered by the team, an interim chef was hired until the end of the school year. Please send us your comments on the school catering service, its possible deterioration/improvement recently, your objective and/or subjective appreciation of the service provided: email@example.com. The subject will be discussed again at the next Board meeting.
Staffing reduction: for 2022-2023, 2 teaching positions, one in kindergarten, another for the CM1 level, as well as an ASEM position, are likely to be eliminated, in view of the current number of pupils and the forecasts for the next school year.
2022-2023 budget: The projected deficit for the year 2021-2022 is about 90 million yen, the projected deficit for 2022-2023 is 175 million yen. This is the result of two trends:
- An increase in expenditures due to the opening of the annex (the expenditures are there but not the students for the moment) as well as a growing structure in the secondary (middle school in particular) ;
- A stagnation in enrollment due to the closure of the borders and the impossibility for many families to arrive in Japan. The Strategic Orientation Commission (SOC) conducted in 2018 had projected an enrollment of 1,550 students; at the start of the 2022 school year, we had only 1,427.
Proposed 2% tuition increase: We abstained (2 abstentions, 8 votes for). While the economic factors behind these increases are understandable, their recurrence is less so. Indeed, families have had to bear numerous increases in school fees: +30% over 20 years, +15% over 10 years and an increase of 100,000 yen in the first-time registration fee (FFR) in 2019. In addition, the Finance Director (DAF) indicated that tuition fees will continue to increase steadily to keep up with the annual payroll increase, approximately 1% per year. Indeed, according to the salary grids in effect at LFIT, salaries automatically increase each year. As a way of mitigating this trend, we have proposed that hiring teachers with the least possible amount of seniority be given priority for equivalent skills.
Summary of the School Council held on 2021-11-22
Link to the full report in French (13 pages).
One page summary of the School Council :
In attendance: school administration, 5 primary / secondary school teacher representatives, 1 staff representative, 4 parent representatives, 3 elected councilors for French people living abroad, and 3 student representatives.
2021-22 enrollment: there are currently 1,443 students at LFI Tokyo.
Answers to questions from parents
- The health situation: There has been no positive or contact cases for several weeks. Overnight trips are not allowed, but field trips including use of group transportation are allowed.
- Calendar of consultations for drafting the new school project: Planned for the second and third trimester, the schedule will be communicated shortly.
- School buses for middle and high school students: This would require rethinking the entire bus system. Will get back to the group before the end of the year.
- Approach to continuous assessment for the baccalaureate: harmonization has been agreed upon with no negative feedback brought to the knowledge of Council. Continuous assessment throughout the school year will represent 40% of the baccalaureate final grade.
- English substitute classes (for secondary school): additional English sessions will be offered on Saturday mornings for classes that did not benefit from a regular substitute teacher earlier this year.
- Secondary school lunch: since last year only one main dish is being offered so as to avoid waste.
- Sustainable development: an Ecology club is being run by the students. A meeting is scheduled between school management and members of the parent Eco-team. Sustainability is also included in the school curriculum.
- LFI Tokyo t-shirts / sweatshirts: the school name only appears in Japanese as adding French would increase the printing cost, this choice can be discussed if concerns are raised. Possibility to exchange for another size.
- Online classes for the first week of January: the school council has already pronounced itself against it. No wish to differentiate between primary and secondary school, hybrid courses would require significant adaptations to educational approach
- FLT Note: Student grades are individual and private, although some students may wish to openly communicate their grades in class, teachers should not do so.
Inclusive education / Students with special educational needs: the FLT parent association has created a working group to understand what is being done at the school and beyond to accompany families on these topics. If interested, please contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary of the Primary School Council held on 2022-02-02
Link to the detailed minutes in French (5 pages).
Attended by the primary school principal, 8 parent representatives, 9 teacher representatives and 2 guest teachers.
Enrollment is down slightly and below projections. A discussion will take place at the Board of Directors meeting to discuss the possibility of closing one of the 9 kindergarten classes and one CM1 class for the 2022/23 school year, depending on new enrollments.
- Distance Learning Report from January 21 to 28
Teachers and parents gave positive feedback on the 10 days of distance learning.
- School calendar 2022/2023
There has been some discussions regarding the date of the beginning of the school year (September 2 or September 5), the choice of public holidays during which school will open or not, and the dates of the Christmas break. The provisional calendar will be voted on by the school council on February 8, before being validated by the Embassy and the AEFE.
Main answers to parents’ questions
- A reminder was given regarding use of the library, by whole or half class each week and the number of books that students can borrow according to their level. In the first term, some 11,200 books were borrowed in total. It was noted that there is scope for some flexibility on the number of books borrowed depending on the needs of the children. The library teachers can be reached at email@example.com.
- It was suggested to extend the period of display of the lost and found clothes from 1 to 2 days before the school holidays, and to wait until the week that students are back in classes to give the remaining clothes to charity.
- Concerning the translation of communications into Japanese, an effort has been made in recent years but there is still room for improvement. The director said that a multilingual brochure is being prepared to explain the different language courses (standard, PARLE, and international sections).
- Organization of a meeting on the PARLE and bilingual programs: meetings were organized in September; teachers should be contacted individually for more information.
- Parents also appreciate the effort made by the teachers to make the work done each day in class available for those absent since the beginning of the school year.
- Concerning coronavirus contact cases and quarantine periods, the director explained that the different Japanese health centers give different answers depending on the situation and that the LFI Tokyo cannot give any general rules, except that those concerned should follow the recommendations of their own health center.
- Temperature checks at the entrance to the school, or when getting on the bus, are not a substitute for the checks that families should do before the students leave for school.
Presentation of the FLT “inclusive school” group
At the beginning of the 2021 school year, the FLTs created a committee of 6 parents to provide suggestions on inclusive schooling and offer better support for students with special educational needs (EBEP).
This includes all students who benefit from special support, as formalized by :
- a PAI that allows for adjustments to the school curriculum and/or setting, medical treatment at the school, and may include an emergency protocol. This is directed at students with chronic pathologies, food intolerances, or strong allergic reactions
- a PPRE that allows for diversified and differentiated pedagogical interventions for students with insufficient mastery of certain skills and knowledge, usually for a short period of time (7 weeks). This includes a provision for allophone students (non-French speakers in our case).
- a PAP which allows for educational adjustments and adaptations for students with learning disorders (‘dys’ disorders: dyslexia, dyscalculia, apraxia of speech, dysgraphia..).
- a PAP-EIP which allows for educational adjustments and adaptations for intellectually precocious children.
- a PPS which allows for the provision of educational adjustments and adaptations, adult support (AESH), and/or the provision of adapted educational materials for students with a disability (e.g.: diagnosis of ASD, ADHD,…). Since September 2021, the family can apply to receive financial support (regardless of income), to pay for the AESH, if the child is a French national.
Objectives of the group
- to accompany families whose children may benefit from one of the above schemes or for whom the teacher asks for an individualized follow-up, which may possibly include one of these schemes above.
- to help with the preparation and submission of the MDPH application.
First actions of the group
- Meeting with Corinne Truffier and Isabelle Tarde who are in charge of the issue of inclusive schools for the Fapée (association of parents’ associations of French high schools abroad).
- Meeting with the management team of LFI Tokyo (primary school director, headmistress, deputy headmistress, CPE, EBEP coordinator).
- Meeting with Thierry Vial, Inspector of National Education for the Asia North Pacific zone.
- Meeting with Nicolas Tajan who is in charge of these questions at LFI Kyoto.
- Communication of the creation of the group to the School Councils.
- Dissemination of a free training “vis ma vie de dys” organized by the Fapée.
- Meeting with the social services of the consulate on the issue of MDPH applications
- Creation of a Trainings resource listing trainings available for parents, AESH, teachers, and high school staff, classified according to the type of disorder/disability.
- Creation of a resource listing French, English, or Japanese speaking professionals who can provide consultations, in Tokyo or remotely (speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, psychometrician, psychologist…).
- Talk and exchange group for parents, see https://www.familles-lycee-tokyo.com/fr/event/rencontre-flt-ecole-inclusive/
If you are interested in any of these projects or would like to contribute to any of the resources, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AESH : Learning Support Assistant for students with disabilities
CPE: Educational Head Supervisor
EBEP: child with special educational needs
EIP: intellectually precocious child
MDPH: departmental house for disabled people
PAI: individualized provision plan
PAP: personalized support plan
PPRE: a personalized program for educational success
PPS: Individual Education Plan
ADD/ADHD: attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity
ASD: autism spectrum disorder
Summary of the Primary School Council held on 2021-11-17
Summary of the Primary School Council held on 2021-11-17
Link to the detailed minutes in French (10 pages).
Summary in 1 page
Attended by the primary school director, the national education inspector, 8 parent representatives, 8 teacher representatives and 2 guest teachers.
- Report on the start of the school year: all the new personnel were able to arrive. Enrollment of 734 students as of 17/11 (down 1% from last year): 23.3 students per class for 34 classes in total, about 20 students whose families are waiting for visas.
- Work is progressing on the annex in accordance with the schedule for a move of the 15 classes from CE2 to CM2 at the beginning of the 2022 school year (right next to the LFI Tokyo). Work will also take place in the current elementary building during the summer.
- Christmas solidarity races set for December 8 for kindergarten, December 14 for elementary, with parents allowed to attend this year.
- Generalization of daily physical activities, Olympics Day at the end of January.
- Performing arts as part of the artistic and cultural education program (PEAC)
Main answers to parents’ questions
- In CP PARLE (ex-bilingual), the distribution of the students was made by the kindergarten teachers to constitute 2 homogeneous groups of heterogeneous level. The curriculum has been adjusted to be compatible with the slightly reduced schedule.
- On the issue of students speaking “too much” Japanese: children are encouraged to speak French in class but it is difficult to forbid them to speak Japanese during recess. Accompaniment of parents is essential.
- Extracurricular: Mixed success of the reopening, there are still places available. More activities may be opened in January depending on the availability of space/health situation. New possibilities will be offered by the new annex.
- Canteen: a new chef has taken over since September, rather positive feedback on September-October (detailed feedback on the menus to be addressed to email@example.com), a 2nd vegetarian menu implemented in December, 2 portion sizes offered for the whole elementary. Taste education. Limitation of waste.
- Transportation: The 14 buses arrive in staggered order for students from PS to CM2, parents with vehicles are encouraged to leave the older children up the street. It was not possible to offer transportation for the extracurricular activities during the All Saints’ Day-Christmas period due to cost issues.
- Use of Google for Education (no advertising, LFI Tokyo owns the data) with individual email addresses from CE2 only usable within LFI Tokyo. Pronote, Eduka, SeeSaw, all these systems are RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant
- Ecology/sustainable development: discussion between the FLT eco-team and the extracurricular service for activities for the summer camp. Operation of cleaning up the neighborhood Vegetable garden renewed as well as composting.
- Possibility of a virtual class the first week of January: rejected by the school council.
- Elementary Parent Contact Group: FLT is testing this year the use of an elementary parent contact group with a Line or other group in each class. Contact us to join the group in your child’s class.
- Inclusive School / Students with Special Educational Needs: FLT has created a group to understand what is being done in the high school and elsewhere to support families concerned (MDPH file among others). Contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org .