Info FLT – Back to school: exceptional school and primary school councils decisions
During these exceptional and difficult times, the Association (Familles du Lycée de Tokyo – FLT) remains at your side to hear from each of you. Over the last few months, our school has been through a series of high impact events and we would like to inform you of the role we have tried to play to represent the wide diversity of expectations in our community.
We have been in contact with the school’s management since its lock-down and have taken part in the process to reopen the school. We have made the opinions known during the meetings with the school. However, given the complex and very dynamic nature of the decision process, we have not been able to communicate with you as much as we would have liked.
We received the same email that you did from the school at 4:52 PM on May 22nd. The questionnaire on the return to school did not provide any choices. Not satisfied by this situation, we initiated consultations with school management, the Embassy, the Cultural Counselor and the Consular Counselors. We also sent out an online survey to our members (click here for the results). We insisted on three points: offer a choice, differentiate by class level and leave the final decision to the members of the different school councils.
For kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, two options were suggested by the school and voted on by the members of the boards. We based our decisions on the survey figures and on your comments , as well as on input on the proposed options from representatives of teachers and students (for the secondary school).
During the school council, both teachers and management were unanimous on the need for as much in-person teaching as possible for kindergarten and primary school, stressing the importance of the “sociability” aspect. We therefore voted in favor of this proposition.
For secondary school, there was unfortunately no specific council beforehand so all discussions took place during the school council. The chosen solution was to continue with online learning, without in-person classes. For this to be made acceptable, we pointed out that in-person teaching should be held at least twice during June, which was a solution already envisioned by the direction. We finally decided to vote in favor of the proposition even though we knew it would not be satisfactory for some families since our survey showed a wide diversity of answers. We could have split our votes to reflect this diversity but this would not have changed the result. We are well aware that this decision has its limits. Although school management fully supported the proposition, they did not want to influence the results and chose not to vote – leading to 7 abstentions. The meeting minutes covering the exchanges within the councils will be available soon on the Lycee’s website.
The school’s email from May 29th, 5:45 PM titled “Organization of the LFI Tokyo from June 3rd” does not mark the end of the process. We will continue to closely follow the reopening process. There is room for improvement and we need your constructive input to improve all the aspects that require tuning. We have already summarized the feedback received from parents in the hours following the school’s email. These ideas will be discussed with LFI Tokyo management and during the different school board meetings that are scheduled weekly till the end of the school year. In particular, we have already asked that “6eme” students be able to meet their friends and teachers at least once a week, allowing them to reconnect with them and their regular life in the classroom. Between a rock and a hard place, we weave our path: transparency, representativity and democracy.
Update June 4th 2020: a third meeting day was since introduced for “6eme”
All the best,
The FLT team