Summary of the Junior High and High School Council held February 14th 2023
The administration presented the 2023-24 school calendar, as well as the exam calendar for next year. Some travel plans for this year have yet to be finalized (Hiroshima/Oshima).
The allocation of junior high and high school classes for 2023-2024 was presented. There will be 4 classes instead of the current 3 for the 1ere to better align with the number of students. The students’ representatives shared their ask to see 4 classes in Terminale considering the difficulties this year (too many students and too noisy when in full groups). The administration reassures that this is under consideration if the preliminary enrollment suggests that the threshold of 30 students per class is to be exceeded.
The proposal to change the language curriculum in secondary school from next year to allow for better continuity with the primary school was presented:
- International Japanese Section (SIJ) from 6th grade
- Japanese/English “bi-langue” LV1 , gradually replacing JP LV1bis
- LV2 Japanese, an additional choice in addition to current German and Spanish
- JP language of the host country – discovery and intermediate – for students coming from abroad
However, there are still questions remaining:
- accessibility of SIJ in 6th grade for non-SIJ in elementary school (Standard and PARLE)
- Japanese language courses for SIAs
The gradual increase in the number of French-Japanese students (now representing 70% of the school’s enrollment), accompanied by a decrease in hours of courses in french for students taking the Section International and PARLE curriculum in elementary school, raises questions from parents and teachers about the impact on the level of French in secondary school in the coming years.
Other questions from parents
- Level of French at the secondary level
The administration wants to reassure parents about the questions they have been asked on this topic. There are no more than one or two students per year who leave the Lycée to return to the Japanese system, and this is most often a planned return.
Successful completion of the Baccalaureate also confirms that the student is ready to continue their education in the French university system.
The administration is at the beginning of the planning process for next year and will closely follow the 2023-2024 pre-enrolment. Every effort will be made to achieve satisfactory timetables.
The parents’ representatives call out the importance of transparency and consultation if compromises have to be made (reduction of options, homogeneous classes and other measures to limit long hours).
- Disparities within language classes
The parents questioned the language courses which are global and not by level, with great disparities among the students.
The principal and teacher representatives consider that heterogeneity is an advantage and that the teacher must adapt their teaching to meet the diverse needs of the class. Language classes with more than 25 students at very different levels worry parents but appear normal to the administration.
It is also difficult to move children from one group to another because of schedules.
- Weight of school bags and digital textbooks
The weight of school bags being a long-standing problem, the administration welcomed the recent initiative from the parents’ association regarding supplies and textbooks which would allow students to benefit from digital textbooks from next year.
The parents’ request to use an hour of homeroom to educate the class on how to use the lockers will also be considered. However, it will not be possible to leave textbooks in the classrooms due to class turnover.
Finally, the administration will work closely with the teachers to provide the list of textbooks and books as early as possible and at reasonable prices.
- Sports and extracurricular activities
The administration mentions major efforts will continue. Despite understanding the request, it will not be possible to offer soccer in 2nde this year. It would also be difficult to offer tennis lessons in the evening given current constraints.
- General atmosphere in 2nde
The parents’ representatives shared concerns that a certain number of students have been detrimental to the atmosphere of this level.
The administration does not wish to stigmatize the students and asserts that it has been providing support through the educational commission and with the families concerned. The broader framework of well-being and living together will be at the heart of the new school project.
- Punishment: lines to be copied
The administration reminds us that punishment is the responsibility of the teacher or staff. It must be determined depending on the student and the offense. It must take into account the student’s situation (possible special support, etc.). The family is invited to contact the teacher in case of concerns to remedy any misunderstanding.
In closing, the parents’ association shares with the administration the creation of a FLT “Living together” working group. This group of parents is getting organized and all ideas on this theme (ethics, well-being, harassment, etc.) are welcome via firstname.lastname@example.org