September 5, 2018

Dear friends and families of Yujin Gakuen,

I was excited to see so many of you today on this first day of the 2018-2019 school year. So many of our students have grown since last spring, and it was great to see returning parents. I want to give a special welcome to our kindergarten parents, especially those who are new to Yujin Gakuen. Thank you for choosing Yujin Gakuen and entrusting us with your children’s education.

I hope you received positive reports from your child about today’s activities. Our teachers spent much of their day reviewing and introducing our schoolwide and classroom expectations. You may be interested in knowing that all our elementary schools this year are reviewing expectations for behavior and all elementary teachers have received training on managing student behavior. This training is part of a district wide focus on a new behavior framework for 4J that emphasizes positive reinforcement, explicit teaching of positive behavior and creating a culture of respect, increased communication, and regulation of emotions. We had started this work last year with our Zones of Regulation, and we are moving forward this year with implementing “Second Step,” a social emotional learning curriculum aimed at teaching students ways to form positive friendships and engage in problem-solving conflicts.

I also want to share a couple of things that was communicated to kindergarten and 5th grade families already, but I want to share with the rest of the community:

I am pleased to welcome back Bree Young as a teacher on a long-term assignment in our 5th grade. She is returning to YG, having covered for Kelly Sensei’s parental leave last spring. Kelly Sensei will be taking another leave of absence but is planning to return after winter break. We are fortunate to have Bree return to us as she already has positive relationships with staff and students;

In our kindergarten, you may have noticed that we have our two teachers, Robin Sensei and Takako Sensei. We had hoped by this time to have added a third teacher, one who would teach Japanese and English; however, we were not able to find a licensed teacher who did not have to deal with immigration and licensing issues. As we approached the beginning of the school year, we also found that our enrollment was not as high as expected. In fact, the entire district is experiencing lower enrollment than projected last year. Our kindergarten has a total of 53 students, so we will maintain two classrooms of 26 and 27 students each.

If you have questions about our kindergarten enrollment or staffing, or if you have other questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Thank you for your support and for choosing Yujin Gakuen.

Sincerely,

Thomas Piowaty
Kocho Sensei
email: piowaty_t@4j.lane.edu
phone: (541) 790-4640