An Update on E-Learning (April 23)

Dear Parents and Students,

I recognise that this has been a uniquely challenging year for us all and once again there has been a difficult decision for the Administration team to make.  We had hoped to return to the campus after Golden Week, but in the light of the current situation related to COVID-19  in Japan, we have decided to continue e-learning until the end of this academic year with final classes taking place on June 5th for MS/HS and June 10th for K/JS. We are making this decision for the safety of our school community. Based on the current situation in Tokyo and other prefectures in Japan, it is unrealistic to expect the situation in Tokyo to improve to the point where it is safe to physically interact with each other in large groups again in the near future. We don’t want to find ourselves in the same situation as schools in some other prefectures where they reopened and shortly after were forced to close again. 

In particular, I would like to recognise the Class of 2020 and their parents, as the Seniors have had to deal with many disappointments in their final year in High School. This is not turning out to be the year that parents and students had been looking forward to since the start of High School, and some students are dealing with a sense of loss and grief that they have not experienced before. Uncertainty about the future plays heavily on their minds. It is my hope that they will focus on the fact that they are safe at home, and although this year has been amazingly difficult for them, it is also an experience that has taught them resilience and flexibility; qualities that are much needed in the future. Some psychologists say that the Class of 2020 will be better prepared for the future than Seniors from previous years who experienced a ‘perfect’ Senior year. Plans are being put in place to ensure that there is a meaningful and memorable conclusion to the Seniors’ school careers, and years at Sacred Heart. 

I feel deeply grateful to everyone in the Sacred Heart community, students, parents, faculty and staff, for the way you have risen to the challenge of continuing learning through a very different platform. COVID-19 has tested the strength of our community, and it is encouraging to see how people have supported one another, including myself, during this time when the situation often changes on a daily basis. When this started at the beginning of March, we didn’t know that two months later we would still be doing e-learning, and deciding to extend it until the end of the academic year. We all feel fear and worry for our families both in Japan and around the world but our Sacred Heart family stands strong.

I will stay in close communication with you over the coming weeks. Ms. Young and Mrs. Griffiths will be in touch with the MS/HS students and families regarding final arrangements for the week June 8 to June 12 once these are finalized. Mrs. Yaegashi will be in communication with K/JS families regarding end of year arrangements in K/JS.

Sincerely,

Yvonne Hayes
Headmistress
International School of the Sacred Heart
Tokyo, Japan.
Tel. 81 3 3400 3951
Fax 81 3 3400 3496