校 長  楠野 宣孝

【English version】”The 2nd Year of Reiwa”

The 2nd year of Reiwa has already become an unforgettable year for me. On the morning of June 1st, we held our high school entrance ceremony online with only new students and the school’s teachers in attendance in the gym. On the same afternoon, we held the entrance ceremony for 70 new junior high school students and their parents. It was the first time in Shoin’s 103-year-long history that our students had worn their summer uniforms to these ceremonies. Both of these important ceremonies were reported on TV and in newspapers and I was so relieved that everything went both smoothly and safely.
The following day, on June 2nd, the school’s opening ceremonies were held on campus. In order to avoid the three C’s – closed spaces, crowded places and close contact, each class was divided into two groups and the same ceremony was held twice, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. At the main school gate on both days, I observed the students entering the school grounds. I was relieved to encounter a lot of smiling students and teachers, and some of my initial concerns disappeared. Schools need students.
For 2 weeks, starting on June 3rd, all students were divided into two groups based on their student number, with half of the students attending morning lessons and the remaining half attending lessons in the afternoon. During those two weeks, the entire school body was extremely attentive in observing social distancing practices, and paid increased attention to general hygiene, and in particular, hand washing. The sight of teachers disinfecting the school’s classrooms after the students had returned home each day was so impressive. It was a really good two weeks for the school as a whole.
Regular classes started from June 17th, and day by day the temperature has risen. We now must be careful about classroom conditions and heat stroke, while keeping classrooms cool but also ventilated at the same time. The teachers are doing their utmost to be as careful as possible, and the students are playing their part by cooperating with these new conditions. In just a short space of time, both the students and teachers seem to have gotten used to this new way of life at school.
However, regardless of the progress we have made, we need to continue to be aware of a possible second wave of this new corona infection. According to a recent survey, 70% of the people in Japan are continuing their preparations. Looking at the situation in Tokyo, we must all remain vigilant. Shoin’s teachers will continue to make every effort to improve the quality of online learning, keeping in mind what they need to do for their students while remaining positive until the day victory over this emergency is declared.

Principal Nobutaka Kusuno